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Sample records for increases quantal size

  1. Secretory vesicle rebound hyperacidification and increased quantal size resulting from prolonged methamphetamine exposure.

    PubMed

    Markov, Dmitriy; Mosharov, Eugene V; Setlik, Wanda; Gershon, Michael D; Sulzer, David

    2008-12-01

    Acute exposure to amphetamines (AMPHs) collapses secretory vesicle pH gradients, which increases cytosolic catecholamine levels while decreasing the quantal size of catecholamine release during fusion events. AMPH and methamphetamine (METH), however, are retained in tissues over long durations. We used optical and electron microscopic probes to measure the effects of long-term METH exposure on secretory vesicle pH, and amperometry and intracellular patch electrochemistry to observe the effects on neurosecretion and cytosolic catecholamines in cultured rat chromaffin cells. In contrast to acute METH effects, exposure to the drug for 6-48 h at 10 microM and higher concentrations produced a concentration-dependent rebound hyperacidification of secretory vesicles. At 5-10 microM levels, prolonged METH increased the quantal size and reinstated exocytotic catecholamine release, although very high (> 100 microM) levels of the drug, while continuing to produce rebound hyperacidification, did not increase quantal size. Secretory vesicle rebound hyperacidification was temperature dependent with optimal response at approximately 37 degrees C, was not blocked by the transcription inhibitor, puromycin, and appears to be a general compensatory response to prolonged exposure with membranophilic weak bases, including AMPHs, methylphenidate, cocaine, and ammonia. Thus, under some conditions of prolonged exposure, AMPHs and other weak bases can enhance, rather than deplete, the vesicular release of catecholamines via a compensatory response resulting in vesicle acidification.

  2. Regulation of dopamine quantal size in midbrain and hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Pothos, Emmanuel N

    2002-03-10

    Since the pioneering work of Bernard Katz and his colleagues decades ago, neurotransmitter quantal size (defined as the number of neurotransmitter molecules released by a single synaptic vesicle during exocytosis) is often modeled as invariant. This assumption had tremendous implications for basic research on synaptic plasticity. For instance, it focused attention on the postsynaptic rather than the presynaptic component in studies of learning and memory (the field of long-term potentiation comes to mind as the best example). Furthermore, this assumption somehow 'spilled over' onto studies of monoamine neurotransmitters, which apparently use diffusion and slow action to exert their modulatory effects, in contrast to the fast acting neurotransmitters studied by Katz. Consequently, research on dopamine-related diseases (e.g. psychotic and movement disorders) did not pay as much attention to presynaptic mechanisms that regulate dopamine release, as to postsynaptic receptor action. Part of the problem, of course, has been the lack of technology to directly measure quanta from presynaptic sites and the obligatory reliance on measurements of miniature postsynaptic potentials (minis) for reaching conclusions about presynaptic quantal events. Due to the introduction of the carbon fiber amperometric microelectrode in tissue electrophysiology, initially by Francois Gonon (University of Bordeaux) and then by Mark Wightman (University of North Carolina), we were able to directly measure dopamine quanta from neurites of cultured midbrain dopamine neurons by amperometry. This was the first approach to provide direct measurement of the number of molecules and kinetics of presynaptic quantal release from CNS neuronal terminals. The interventions altering dopamine quantal size are so far the following. (1) Alteration of neurotransmitter synthesis--an increase of cytosolic dopamine availability (e.g. by exposure to L-DOPA) increases quantal size and a decrease of cytosolic dopamine

  3. Synaptic Consolidation Normalizes AMPAR Quantal Size following MAGUK Loss.

    PubMed

    Levy, Jonathan M; Chen, Xiaobing; Reese, Thomas S; Nicoll, Roger A

    2015-08-05

    The mechanisms controlling synapse growth and maintenance are of critical importance for learning and memory. The MAGUK family of synaptic scaffolding proteins is abundantly expressed at glutamatergic central synapses, but their importance in controlling the synaptic content of glutamate receptors is poorly understood. Here, we use a chained RNAi-mediated knockdown approach to simultaneously remove PSD-93, PSD-95, and SAP102, the MAGUKs previously shown to be responsible for synaptic localization of glutamate receptors. We find that MAGUKs are specifically responsible for creating functional synapses after initial spine formation by filling functionally silent spines with glutamate receptors. Removal of the MAGUKs causes a transient reduction in AMPA receptor quantal size followed by synaptic consolidation resulting in a normalization of quantal size at the few remaining functional synapses. Consolidation requires signaling through L-type calcium channels, CaM kinase kinase, and the GluA2 AMPA receptor subunit, akin to a homeostatic process.

  4. Presynaptic recording of quanta from midbrain dopamine neurons and modulation of the quantal size.

    PubMed

    Pothos, E N; Davila, V; Sulzer, D

    1998-06-01

    The observation of quantal release from central catecholamine neurons has proven elusive because of the absence of evoked rapid postsynaptic currents. We adapted amperometric methods to observe quantal release directly from axonal varicosities of midbrain dopamine neurons that predominantly contain small synaptic vesicles. Quantal events were elicited by high K+ or alpha-latrotoxin, required extracellular Ca2+, and were abolished by reserpine. The events indicated the release of 3000 molecules over 200 microsec, much smaller and faster events than quanta associated with large dense-core vesicles previously recorded in vertebrate preparations. The number of dopamine molecules per quantum increased as a population to 380% of controls after glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) exposure and to 350% of controls after exposure to the dopamine precursor L-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA). These results introduce a means to measure directly the number of transmitter molecules released from small synaptic vesicles of CNS neurons. Moreover, quantal size was not an invariant parameter in CNS neurons but could be modulated by neurotrophic factors and altered neurotransmitter synthesis.

  5. Calibration of an autocorrelation-based method for determining amplitude histogram reliability and quantal size.

    PubMed

    Stratford, K J; Jack, J J; Larkman, A U

    1997-12-01

    1. We describe a method, based on autocorrelation and Monte Carlo simulation, for determining the likelihood that peaks in synaptic amplitude frequency histograms could have been a result of finite sampling from parent distributions that were unimodal. 2. The first step was to calculate an 'autocorrelation score' for the histogram to be tested. A unimodal distribution was fitted to the test histogram and subtracted from it. The resulting difference function was smoothed and its autocorrelation function calculated. The amplitude of the first (non-zero lag) peak in this autocorrelation function was taken as the autocorrelation score for that histogram. The score depends on the sharpness of the histogram peaks, the equality of their spacing and the number of trials. 3. The second stage was to generate large numbers of random samples, each of the same number of trials as the histogram, from a unimodal generator distribution of similar shape. The autocorrelation score was calculated for each sample and the proportion of samples with scores greater than the histogram gave the likelihood that the histogram peaks could have arisen by sampling artifact. 4. The method was calibrated using simulated non-quantal and quantal histograms with different signal-to-noise ratios and numbers of trials. For a quantal distribution with four peaks and a signal-to-noise ratio of 3, a sample size of about 500 trials was needed for 95% of samples to be distinguished from a non-quantal distribution. 5. The ability of the autocorrelation method to distinguish quantal from non-quantal distributions was compared against two conventional statistical tests, the chi 2 and the Kolmogorov-Smirnov goodness of fit tests. The autocorrelation method was more specific in extracting quantized responses. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test in particular could not distinguish quantal distributions with multiple peaks even if the peaks were very sharp. 6. The improved discrimination of the autocorrelation method

  6. Interaction of aberrations, diffraction, and quantal fluctuations determine the impact of pupil size on visual quality.

    PubMed

    Xu, Renfeng; Wang, Huachun; Thibos, Larry N; Bradley, Arthur

    2017-04-01

    Our purpose is to develop a computational approach that jointly assesses the impact of stimulus luminance and pupil size on visual quality. We compared traditional optical measures of image quality and those that incorporate the impact of retinal illuminance dependent neural contrast sensitivity. Visually weighted image quality was calculated for a presbyopic model eye with representative levels of chromatic and monochromatic aberrations as pupil diameter was varied from 7 to 1 mm, stimulus luminance varied from 2000 to 0.1  cd/m2, and defocus varied from 0 to -2 diopters. The model included the effects of quantal fluctuations on neural contrast sensitivity. We tested the model's predictions for five cycles per degree gratings by measuring contrast sensitivity at 5  cyc/deg. Unlike the traditional Strehl ratio and the visually weighted area under the modulation transfer function, the visual Strehl ratio derived from the optical transfer function was able to capture the combined impact of optics and quantal noise on visual quality. In a well-focused eye, provided retinal illuminance is held constant as pupil size varies, visual image quality scales approximately as the square root of illuminance because of quantum fluctuations, but optimum pupil size is essentially independent of retinal illuminance and quantum fluctuations. Conversely, when stimulus luminance is held constant (and therefore illuminance varies with pupil size), optimum pupil size increases as luminance decreases, thereby compensating partially for increased quantum fluctuations. However, in the presence of -1 and -2 diopters of defocus and at high photopic levels where Weber's law operates, optical aberrations and diffraction dominate image quality and pupil optimization. Similar behavior was observed in human observers viewing sinusoidal gratings. Optimum pupil size increases as stimulus luminance drops for the well-focused eye, and the benefits of small pupils for improving

  7. BDNF Enhances Quantal Neurotransmitter Release and Increases the Number of Docked Vesicles at the Active Zones of Hippocampal Excitatory Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Tyler, William J.; Pozzo-Miller, Lucas D.

    2009-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is emerging as a key mediator of activity-dependent modifications of synaptic strength in the CNS. We investigated the hypothesis that BDNF enhances quantal neurotransmitter release by modulating the distribution of synaptic vesicles within presynaptic terminals using organotypic slice cultures of postnatal rat hippocampus. BDNF specifically increased the number of docked vesicles at the active zone of excitatory synapses on CA1 dendritic spines, with only a small increase in active zone size. In agreement with the hypothesis that an increased docked vesicle density enhances quantal neurotransmitter release, BDNF increased the frequency, but not the amplitude, of AMPA receptor-mediated miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs) recorded from CA1 pyramidal neurons in hippocampal slices. Synapse number, independently estimated from dendritic spine density and electron microscopy measurements, was also increased after BDNF treatment, indicating that the actions of BNDF on mEPSC frequency can be partially attributed to an increased synaptic density. Our results further suggest that all these actions were mediated via tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) receptor activation, established by inhibition of plasma membrane tyrosine kinases with K-252a. These results provide additional evidence of a fundamental role of the BDNF–TrkB signaling cascade in synaptic transmission, as well as in cellular models of hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. PMID:11404410

  8. PROTEIN KINASE B/AKT IS A NOVEL CYSTEINE STRING PROTEIN KINASE THAT REGULATES EXOCYTOSIS RELEASE KINETICS AND QUANTAL SIZE

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Gareth J. O.; Barclay, Jeff W.; Prescott, Gerald R.; Jo, Sung-Ro; Burgoyne, Robert D.; Birnbaum, Morris J.; Morgan, Alan

    2008-01-01

    Protein kinase B/Akt has been implicated in the insulin-dependent exocytosis of GLUT4-containing vesicles, and, more recently, insulin secretion. To determine if Akt also regulates insulin-independent exocytosis, we used adrenal chromaffin cells, a popular neuronal model. Akt1 was the predominant isoform expressed in chromaffin cells, although lower levels of Akt2 and Akt3 were also found. Secretory stimuli in both intact and permeabilized cells induced Akt phosphorylation on serine-473, and the time course of Ca2+-induced Akt phosphorylation was similar to that of exocytosis in permeabilized cells. To determine if Akt modulated exocytosis, we transfected chromaffin cells with Akt constructs and monitored catecholamine release by amperometry. Wild-type Akt had no effect on the overall number of exocytotic events, but slowed the kinetics of catecholamine release from individual vesicles, resulting in an increased quantal size. This effect was due to phosphorylation by Akt, as it was not seen in cells transfected with kinase-dead mutant Akt. As overexpression of cysteine string protein (CSP) results in a similar alteration in release kinetics and quantal size, we determined if CSP was an Akt substrate. In vitro 32P-phosphorylation studies revealed that Akt phosphorylates CSP on serine-10. Using phospho-serine10-specific antisera, we found that both transfected and endogenous cellular CSP is phosphorylated by Akt on this residue. Taken together, these findings reveal a novel role for Akt phosphorylation in regulating the late stages of exocytosis and suggest that this is achieved via the phosphorylation of CSP on serine-10. PMID:16243840

  9. Hdac Activity is Required for Bdnf to Increase Quantal Neurotransmitter Release and Dendritic Spine Density in CA1 Pyramidal Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Calfa, Gaston; Chapleau, Christopher A.; Campbell, Susan; Inoue, Takafumi; Morse, Sarah J.; Lubin, Farah D.; Pozzo-Miller, Lucas

    2012-01-01

    Molecular mechanisms involved in the strengthening and formation of synapses include the activation and repression of specific genes or subsets of genes by epigenetic modifications that do not alter the genetic code itself. Chromatin modifications mediated by histone acetylation have been shown to be critical for synaptic plasticity at hippocampal excitatory synapses and hippocampal-dependent memory formation. Considering that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in synaptic plasticity and behavioral adaptations, it is not surprising that regulation of this gene is subject to histone acetylation changes during synaptic plasticity and hippocampal-dependent memory formation. Whether the effects of BDNF on dendritic spines and quantal transmitter release require histone modifications remains less known. By using two different inhibitors of histone deacetylases (HDAC), we describe here that their activity is required for BDNF to increase dendritic spine density and excitatory quantal transmitter release onto CA1 pyramidal neurons in hippocampal slice cultures. These results suggest that histone acetylation/deacetylation is a critical step in the modulation of hippocampal synapses by BDNF. Thus, mechanisms of epigenetic modulation of synapse formation and function are novel targets to consider for the amelioration of symptoms of intellectual disabilities and neurodegenerative disorders associated with cognitive and memory deficits. PMID:22161912

  10. Reliable evaluation of the quantal determinants of synaptic efficacy using Bayesian analysis

    PubMed Central

    Beato, M.

    2013-01-01

    Communication between neurones in the central nervous system depends on synaptic transmission. The efficacy of synapses is determined by pre- and postsynaptic factors that can be characterized using quantal parameters such as the probability of neurotransmitter release, number of release sites, and quantal size. Existing methods of estimating the quantal parameters based on multiple probability fluctuation analysis (MPFA) are limited by their requirement for long recordings to acquire substantial data sets. We therefore devised an algorithm, termed Bayesian Quantal Analysis (BQA), that can yield accurate estimates of the quantal parameters from data sets of as small a size as 60 observations for each of only 2 conditions of release probability. Computer simulations are used to compare its performance in accuracy with that of MPFA, while varying the number of observations and the simulated range in release probability. We challenge BQA with realistic complexities characteristic of complex synapses, such as increases in the intra- or intersite variances, and heterogeneity in release probabilities. Finally, we validate the method using experimental data obtained from electrophysiological recordings to show that the effect of an antagonist on postsynaptic receptors is correctly characterized by BQA by a specific reduction in the estimates of quantal size. Since BQA routinely yields reliable estimates of the quantal parameters from small data sets, it is ideally suited to identify the locus of synaptic plasticity for experiments in which repeated manipulations of the recording environment are unfeasible. PMID:23076101

  11. Intracellular Ca2+ stores and Ca2+ influx are both required for BDNF to rapidly increase quantal vesicular transmitter release.

    PubMed

    Amaral, Michelle D; Pozzo-Miller, Lucas

    2012-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is well known as a survival factor during brain development as well as a regulator of adult synaptic plasticity. One potential mechanism to initiate BDNF actions is through its modulation of quantal presynaptic transmitter release. In response to local BDNF application to CA1 pyramidal neurons, the frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSC) increased significantly within 30 seconds; mEPSC amplitude and kinetics were unchanged. This effect was mediated via TrkB receptor activation and required both full intracellular Ca(2+) stores as well as extracellular Ca(2+). Consistent with a role of Ca(2+)-permeable plasma membrane channels of the TRPC family, the inhibitor SKF96365 prevented the BDNF-induced increase in mEPSC frequency. Furthermore, labeling presynaptic terminals with amphipathic styryl dyes and then monitoring their post-BDNF destaining in slice cultures by multiphoton excitation microscopy revealed that the increase in frequency of mEPSCs reflects vesicular fusion events. Indeed, BDNF application to CA3-CA1 synapses in TTX rapidly enhanced FM1-43 or FM2-10 destaining with a time course that paralleled the phase of increased mEPSC frequency. We conclude that BDNF increases mEPSC frequency by boosting vesicular fusion through a presynaptic, Ca(2+)-dependent mechanism involving TrkB receptors, Ca(2+) stores, and TRPC channels.

  12. Changes in quantal size distributions upon experimental variations in the probability of release at striatal inhibitory synapses.

    PubMed

    Behrends, J C; ten Bruggencate, G

    1998-06-01

    Postsynaptic inhibitory gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABAA)-receptor-mediated current responses were measured using simultaneous pre- and postsynaptic whole cell recordings in primary cell cultures of rat striatum. Substitution of Sr2+ for extracellular Ca2+ strongly desynchronized the inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs), resulting in a succession of asynchronous IPSCs (asIPSCs). The rise times and decay time constants of individual evoked asIPSCs were not significantly different from those of miniature IPSCs that are the result of spontaneous vesicular release of GABA. Thus asIPSCs reflect quantal transmission at the individual contacts made by one presynaptic neuron on the recorded postsynaptic cell. Increasing the concentration of Sr2+ from 2 to 10 mM and decreasing that of Mg2+ from 5 to 1 mM produced an increase in the frequency of asIPSCs consistent with an enhancement of the mean probability of release (Pr). At the same time the amplitude distribution of asIPSCs was shifted toward larger values, whereas responses to exogenously applied GABA on average were slightly decreased in amplitude. Application of the GABAB-receptor agonist baclofen (3-10 microM) strongly reduced the frequency of asIPSC, consistent with a decrease in Pr, and led to a shift of the amplitude distribution toward smaller values. Baclofen had no effect on responses to exogenously applied GABA. In summary, our data suggest that at striatal inhibitory connections the weight of single contacts may be controlled presynaptically by variation in the amount of transmitter released.

  13. Regulation of quantal currents determines synaptic strength at neuromuscular synapses in larval Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Powers, Andrew S; Grizzaffi, Jeffrey; Ribchester, Richard; Lnenicka, Gregory A

    2016-11-01

    Studies of synaptic homeostasis during muscle fiber (MF) growth in Drosophila larvae have focused on the regulation of the quantal content of transmitter release. However, early studies in crayfish and frog suggested that regulation of quantal current size may be an integral mechanism in synaptic homeostasis. To examine this further in Drosophila, we compared the electrical properties, miniature excitatory postsynaptic potentials (minEPSPs) and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (minEPSCs) in different-sized MFs in third-instar larvae and for a single MF during larval growth. The third-instar MFs showed differences in input resistance due to differences in size and specific membrane resistance. We found that electrical coupling between MFs did not contribute substantially to the electrical properties; however, the electrode leak conductance and a slower developing increase in membrane conductance can influence the electrical recordings from these MFs. Our results demonstrated that larger MFs had larger minEPSCs to compensate for changes in MF electrical properties. This was most clearly seen for MF4 during larval growth from the second to third instar. During a predicted 80 % decrease in MF input resistance, the minEPSCs showed a 35 % increase in amplitude and 165 % increase in duration. Simulations demonstrated that the increase in minEPSC size resulted in a 129 % increase in minEPSP amplitude for third-instar larvae; this was mainly due to the increase in minEPSC duration. We also found that MFs with common innervation had similar-sized minEPSCs suggesting that MF innervation influences minEPSC size. Overall, the results showed that increased quantal content and quantal current size contribute equally to synaptic homeostasis during MF growth.

  14. Tacrine-induced increase in the release of spontaneous high quantal content events in Torpedo electric organ.

    PubMed Central

    Cantí, C.; Martí, E.; Marsal, J.; Solsona, C.

    1994-01-01

    1. The anticholinesterases, tacrine (100 microM) and physostigmine (60 microM) had different effects on the amplitude distribution and kinetics of miniature endplate currents (m.e.p.cs) recorded extracellularly from the electric organ of Torpedo marmorata. 2. Tacrine increased the ratio of giant miniatures (larger than 4 mV of amplitude) to more than 20% of recorded spontaneous events. In the presence of physostigmine such events represented only 4%. 3. Both tacrine and physostigmine increased the rise time and the decay phase of normal-sized m.e.p.cs when compared to control conditions. Both effects were significantly greater for tacrine. 4. We have tested the specificity of the tacrine effect on ectoenzyme activities associated with plasma membranes of these pure cholinergic nerve endings. Tacrine does not act unspecifically on every ectoenzyme, because it is not able to block the ectoapyrase activity even at a concentration 100 fold greater than that required to inhibit 94% of AChE. 5. We conclude that the differential effects of tacrine and physostigmine can be explained in terms of undetermined presynaptic actions of tacrine, while comparable effects of the two compounds can be explained through a shared anticholinesterase activity. PMID:8032641

  15. Developmental changes in AMPA and kainate receptor-mediated quantal transmission at thalamocortical synapses in the barrel cortex.

    PubMed

    Bannister, Neil J; Benke, Timothy A; Mellor, Jack; Scott, Helen; Gürdal, Esra; Crabtree, John W; Isaac, John T R

    2005-05-25

    During the first week of life, there is a shift from kainate to AMPA receptor-mediated thalamocortical transmission in layer IV barrel cortex. However, the mechanisms underlying this change and the differential properties of AMPA and kainate receptor-mediated transmission remain essentially unexplored. To investigate this, we studied the quantal properties of AMPA and kainate receptor-mediated transmission using strontium-evoked miniature EPSCs. AMPA and kainate receptor-mediated transmission exhibited very different quantal properties but were never coactivated by a single quantum of transmitter, indicating complete segregation to different synapses within the thalamocortical input. Nonstationary fluctuation analysis showed that synaptic AMPA receptors exhibited a range of single-channel conductance (gamma) and a strong negative correlation between gamma and functional channel number, indicating that these two parameters are reciprocally regulated at thalamocortical synapses. We obtained the first estimate of gamma for synaptic kainate receptors (<2 pS), and this primarily accounted for the small quantal size of kainate receptor-mediated transmission. Developmentally, the quantal contribution to transmission of AMPA receptors increased and that of kainate receptors decreased. No changes in AMPA or kainate quantal amplitude or in AMPA receptor gamma were observed, demonstrating that the developmental change was attributable to a decrease in the number of kainate synapses and an increase in the number of AMPA synapses contributing to transmission. Therefore, we demonstrate fundamental differences in the quantal properties for these two types of synapse. Thus, the developmental switch in transmission will dramatically alter information transfer at thalamocortical inputs to layer IV.

  16. Quantal currents evoked by graded intracellular depolarization of crayfish motor axon terminals.

    PubMed Central

    Atwood, H L; Parnas, H; Parnas, I; Wojtowicz, J M

    1987-01-01

    1. Quantal transmitter release was examined at nerve terminals of the excitatory motor axon of the crayfish opener muscle. The magnitude of synaptic currents, recorded with macro-patch electrodes at a nerve terminal, served as a measure of quantal size. Transmitter release was initiated by pulses of depolarizing current applied intracellularly to the axonal terminals after application of tetrodotoxin. Quantal release was altered by a variety of methods and the resulting quantal output and quantal size were measured. 2. Amplitude distributions of quantal events were obtained during experimental manipulations which altered the rate of quantal release by up to 25-fold. These manipulations consisted of: varying pulse amplitude or pulse duration; facilitating the release by prolonged depolarization; and application of a potassium channel blocker, 4-aminopyridine. 3. The amplitude of quantal events is impervious to marked changes in presynaptic depolarization and is not affected by experimental procedures which promote accumulation of calcium ions in the terminals. The vesicular mechanism of release, in which transmitter substance is prepackaged in vesicles which individually undergo exocytosis at a release zone, could account for the observed results. PMID:2888878

  17. A direct potential fitting RKR method: Semiclassical vs. quantal comparisons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tellinghuisen, Joel

    2016-12-01

    Quantal and semiclassical (SC) eigenvalues are compared for three diatomic molecular potential curves: the X state of CO, the X state of Rb2, and the A state of I2. The comparisons show higher levels of agreement than generally recognized, when the SC calculations incorporate a quantum defect correction to the vibrational quantum number, in keeping with the Kaiser modification. One particular aspect of this is better agreement between quantal and SC estimates of the zero-point vibrational energy, supporting the need for the Y00 correction in this context. The pursuit of a direct-potential-fitting (DPF) RKR method is motivated by the notion that some of the limitations of RKR potentials may be innate, from their generation by an exact inversion of approximate quantities: the vibrational energy Gυ and rotational constant Bυ from least-squares analysis of spectroscopic data. In contrast, the DPF RKR method resembles the quantal DPF methods now increasingly used to analyze diatomic spectral data, but with the eigenvalues obtained from SC phase integrals. Application of this method to the analysis of 9500 assigned lines in the I2A ← X spectrum fails to alter the quantal-SC disparities found for the A-state RKR curve from a previous analysis. On the other hand, the SC method can be much faster than the quantal method in exploratory work with different potential functions, where it is convenient to use finite-difference methods to evaluate the partial derivatives required in nonlinear fitting.

  18. TOTAL CULTURABLE VIRUS QUANTAL ASSAY

    EPA Science Inventory

    This chapter describes a quantal method for assaying culturable human enteric viruses from water matrices. The assay differs from the plaque assay described in Chapter 10 (December 1987 Revision) in that it is based upon the direct microscopic viewing of cells for virus-induced ...

  19. Quantal Response: Estimation and Inference

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-01

    1/2 also, and so m is the stimulus level at which the probability of response equals 1/2, that is, m = X(1/2). In ballistic work where x is...Laboratory (US); 1983 Mar. Report No.: ARBRL-TR-02481. 4. DiDonato AR, Jarnagin MP Jr. Use of the maximum likelihood method under quantal responses for...

  20. Quantal Heating of Conducting Electrons with Discrete Spectrum

    SciTech Connect

    Vitkalov, S. A.; Bykov, A. A.

    2011-12-23

    Usually heating of conducting electrons by dc electric field results in an increase of electron temperature. In this paper we show that the dc heating of 2D electrons, placed in quantized magnetic fields, results in a peculiar electron distribution, which has the same broadening or an effective 'temperature' as the unbiased electron system. The quantal heating, however, violates strongly the Ohm's Law. In the conducting system with discrete electron spectrum the quantal heating results in spectacular decrease of electron resistance and transition of the electrons into a state with zero differential resistance (ZDR). Finally the heating leads to apparent dc driven metal-insulator transition, which correlates with the transition into the ZDR state. The correlation is very unexpected and is not understood.

  1. Dose-response model for teratological experiments involving quantal responses

    SciTech Connect

    Rai, K.; Van Ryzin, J.

    1985-03-01

    This paper introduces a dose-response model for teratological quantal response data where the probability of response for an offspring from a female at a given dose varies with the litter size. The maximum likelihood estimators for the parameters of the model are given as the solution of a nonlinear iterative algorithm. Two methods of low-dose extrapolation are presented, one based on the litter size distribution and the other a conservative method. The resulting procedures are then applied to a teratological data set from the literature.

  2. Quantal basis of photoreceptor spectral sensitivity of Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    1975-01-01

    Small potential fluctuations ("bumps"), boyh spontaneous and light induced, can be recorded intracellularly from the photoreceptors of Drosophila melanogaster. Statistical analyses of these bumps in the spectral range, 400-600 nm, lead to the following interpretations; (a) For weak stimuli at least, these bumps are the quantal units of the receptor potential. (b) Quanta of various wavelengths, when effectively absorbed, will elicit bumps of the same average size. (c) The spectral sensitivity of the receptor potential appears to have its origin in the relative efficiency of quantum bump production at different wavelengths, and not in the intrinsic difference in the properties of bumps produced by quanta of differenct wavelengths. PMID:809537

  3. Quantal analysis of excitatory synapses in rat hippocampal CA1 in vitro during low-frequency depression.

    PubMed Central

    Larkman, A U; Jack, J J; Stratford, K J

    1997-01-01

    1. We have performed a detailed quantal analysis of excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) evoked by minimal extracellular stimulation in the CA1 region of slices of adult rat hippocampus maintained in vitro. 2. EPSPs were evoked at 2-5 Hz, and the eight that were analysed all showed at least a 50% depression of mean peak amplitude during recording. 3. EPSP amplitude fluctuations were analysed by three methods: the use of amplitude frequency histograms with clear and reliable peaks where available, graphs of the EPSP (coefficient of variation)-2 against EPSP mean, and analysis of EPSP mean and standard deviation assuming simple binomial statistics with the number of release sites (N) kept constant but the quantal size (Q) and the release probability (Pr) allowed to vary over time. 4. The results of the three analysis procedures were in good agreement. Seven EPSPs showed a substantial reduction in the mean number of quanta released per trial, and in three cases this was the predominant mechanism of the depression. Five EPSPs showed a substantial decrease in Q. Values for N ranged between 3 and 18, with a median of 6; Pr ranged between 0.14 and 0.81 and Q between 66 and 275 microV. 5. We used the Q estimates from the binomial method to correct the recorded EPSP amplitudes for changes in quantal size over time. For seven out of the eight EPSPs, this rescaling procedure allowed histograms with clear peaks to be obtained from longer runs of data, or improved the sharpness of the peaks in histograms from all the recorded data. The improvement in peak sharpness was assessed using an autocorrelation-based method. The correction was much less successful if the Q estimates were obtained with a variant of the binomial method in which Pr was held constant and N was allowed to vary. 6. The only simple explanation for the success of the correction procedure is that changes in quantal size were a major factor in obscuring peaks in histograms based on large numbers of trials

  4. Preferential cell attachment to nitrogen-doped diamond-like carbon (DLC:N) for the measurement of quantal exocytosis.

    PubMed

    Sen, Atanu; Barizuddin, Syed; Hossain, Maruf; Polo-Parada, Luis; Gillis, Kevin D; Gangopadhyay, Shubhra

    2009-03-01

    Electrochemical measurement of transmitter or hormone release from individual cells on microchips has applications both in basic science and drug screening. High-resolution measurement of quantal exocytosis requires the working electrode to be small (cell-sized) and located in immediate proximity to the cell. We examined the ability of candidate electrode materials to promote the attachment of two hormone-secreting cell types as a mechanism for targeting cells for to recording electrodes with high precision. We found that nitrogen-doped diamond-like carbon (DLC:N) promoted cell attachment relative to other materials tested in the rank order of DLC:N>In(2)O(3)/SnO(2) (ITO), Pt>Au. In addition, we found that treating candidate electrode materials with polylysine did not increase attachment of chromaffin cells to DLC:N, but promoted cell attachment to the other tested materials. We found that hormone-secreting cells did not attach readily to Teflon AF as a potential insulating material, and demonstrated that patterning of Teflon AF leads to selective cell targeting to DLC:N "docking sites". These results will guide the design of the next generation of biochips for automated and high-throughput measurement of quantal exocytosis.

  5. Dynamin-2 Regulates Fusion Pore Expansion and Quantal Release through a Mechanism that Involves Actin Dynamics in Neuroendocrine Chromaffin Cells

    PubMed Central

    González-Jamett, Arlek M.; Momboisse, Fanny; Guerra, María José; Ory, Stéphane; Báez-Matus, Ximena; Barraza, Natalia; Calco, Valerie; Houy, Sébastien; Couve, Eduardo; Neely, Alan; Martínez, Agustín D.; Gasman, Stéphane; Cárdenas, Ana M.

    2013-01-01

    Over the past years, dynamin has been implicated in tuning the amount and nature of transmitter released during exocytosis. However, the mechanism involved remains poorly understood. Here, using bovine adrenal chromaffin cells, we investigated whether this mechanism rely on dynamin’s ability to remodel actin cytoskeleton. According to this idea, inhibition of dynamin GTPase activity suppressed the calcium-dependent de novo cortical actin and altered the cortical actin network. Similarly, expression of a small interfering RNA directed against dynamin-2, an isoform highly expressed in chromaffin cells, changed the cortical actin network pattern. Disruption of dynamin-2 function, as well as the pharmacological inhibition of actin polymerization with cytochalasine-D, slowed down fusion pore expansion and increased the quantal size of individual exocytotic events. The effects of cytochalasine-D and dynamin-2 disruption were not additive indicating that dynamin-2 and F-actin regulate the late steps of exocytosis by a common mechanism. Together our data support a model in which dynamin-2 directs actin polymerization at the exocytosis site where both, in concert, adjust the hormone quantal release to efficiently respond to physiological demands. PMID:23940613

  6. Sr2+ and quantal events at excitatory synapses between mouse hippocampal neurons in culture.

    PubMed Central

    Abdul-Ghani, M A; Valiante, T A; Pennefather, P S

    1996-01-01

    1. Whole-cell recording from pairs of adjacent mouse hippocampal neurons in culture was used to study the quantal properties of action potential-evoked excitatory synaptic transmission and to demonstrate the use of Sr2+ in quantifying those properties. 2. In the presence of extracellular Sr2+, excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were followed by an after-discharge of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) lasting 1-2 s and generated by evoked asynchronous release of presynaptic quanta of transmitter. Like the EPSC of which it is thought to be an extension, the after-discharge was modulated by procedures expected to modulate Sr2+ influx into the nerve terminal. The number of mEPSCs in the after-discharge was decreased by increasing extracellular [Mg2+], and increased by increasing extracellular [Sr2+] or increasing the number of action potentials used to evoke the after-discharge. 3. EPSCs recorded in media containing either 1 mM Ca2+ or 6 mM Sr2+ were of similar amplitude. Adding Sr2+ to low-Ca2+ media increased EPSC amplitude, while adding Sr2+ to high-Ca2+ media lowered EPSC amplitude. These results suggest that extracellular Sr2+ is less effective than Ca2+ in supporting quantal release. 4. The levels of extracellular Ca2+, Mg2+ and Sr2+ were adjusted so that most after-discharge mEPSCs were discrete and comparable in numbers to the quantal events that contributed to the corresponding evoked EPSCs. In a series of twenty-five pairs of neurons, the mean amplitude of mEPSCs recorded at -80 mV was 35 +/- 10 pA and the mean coefficient of variation was 0.50 +/- 0.10 (range, 0.26-0.62). The mEPSC amplitude histogram was positively skewed. 5. In ten pairs of neurons, the mean and variance of EPSCs and mEPSCs and quantal content were determined from samples of more than 100 evoked events (in superfusion solutions containing (mM): 0.5 Ca2+, 2 Sr2+ and 10 Mg2+) and mean quantal content was determined from the ratio of amplitudes of the mean EPSC and m

  7. Sr2+ and quantal events at excitatory synapses between mouse hippocampal neurons in culture.

    PubMed

    Abdul-Ghani, M A; Valiante, T A; Pennefather, P S

    1996-08-15

    1. Whole-cell recording from pairs of adjacent mouse hippocampal neurons in culture was used to study the quantal properties of action potential-evoked excitatory synaptic transmission and to demonstrate the use of Sr2+ in quantifying those properties. 2. In the presence of extracellular Sr2+, excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were followed by an after-discharge of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) lasting 1-2 s and generated by evoked asynchronous release of presynaptic quanta of transmitter. Like the EPSC of which it is thought to be an extension, the after-discharge was modulated by procedures expected to modulate Sr2+ influx into the nerve terminal. The number of mEPSCs in the after-discharge was decreased by increasing extracellular [Mg2+], and increased by increasing extracellular [Sr2+] or increasing the number of action potentials used to evoke the after-discharge. 3. EPSCs recorded in media containing either 1 mM Ca2+ or 6 mM Sr2+ were of similar amplitude. Adding Sr2+ to low-Ca2+ media increased EPSC amplitude, while adding Sr2+ to high-Ca2+ media lowered EPSC amplitude. These results suggest that extracellular Sr2+ is less effective than Ca2+ in supporting quantal release. 4. The levels of extracellular Ca2+, Mg2+ and Sr2+ were adjusted so that most after-discharge mEPSCs were discrete and comparable in numbers to the quantal events that contributed to the corresponding evoked EPSCs. In a series of twenty-five pairs of neurons, the mean amplitude of mEPSCs recorded at -80 mV was 35 +/- 10 pA and the mean coefficient of variation was 0.50 +/- 0.10 (range, 0.26-0.62). The mEPSC amplitude histogram was positively skewed. 5. In ten pairs of neurons, the mean and variance of EPSCs and mEPSCs and quantal content were determined from samples of more than 100 evoked events (in superfusion solutions containing (mM): 0.5 Ca2+, 2 Sr2+ and 10 Mg2+) and mean quantal content was determined from the ratio of amplitudes of the mean EPSC and m

  8. Increasing the Size of Microwave Popcorn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smoyer, Justin

    2005-03-01

    Each year Americans consume approximately 17 billion quarts of popcorn. Since the 1940s, microwaves have been the heating source of choice for most. By treating the popcorn mechanism as a thermodynamic system, it has been shown mathematically and experimentally that reducing the surrounding pressure of the unpopped kernels, results in an increased volume of the kernels [Quinn et al, http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/cond-mat/0409434 v1 2004]. In this project an alternate method of popping with the microwave was used to further test and confirm this hypothesis. Numerous experimental trials where run to test the validity of the theory. The results show that there is a significant increase in the average kernel size as well as a reduction in the number of unpopped kernels.

  9. Illustrating Concepts of Quantal Analysis with an Intuitive Classroom Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xu-Friedman, Matthew A.

    2013-01-01

    The quantal hypothesis is central to the modern understanding of how a neurotransmitter is released from synapses. This hypothesis expresses that a neurotransmitter is packaged together in quanta that are released probabilistically. The experiments that led to the quantal hypothesis are often related in introductory neuroscience textbooks, but…

  10. Illustrating Concepts of Quantal Analysis with an Intuitive Classroom Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xu-Friedman, Matthew A.

    2013-01-01

    The quantal hypothesis is central to the modern understanding of how a neurotransmitter is released from synapses. This hypothesis expresses that a neurotransmitter is packaged together in quanta that are released probabilistically. The experiments that led to the quantal hypothesis are often related in introductory neuroscience textbooks, but…

  11. TOTAL CULTURABLE VIRUS QUANTAL ASSAY | Science ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This chapter describes a quantal method for assaying culturable human enteric viruses from water matrices. The assay differs from the plaque assay described in Chapter 10 (December 1987 Revision) in that it is based upon the direct microscopic viewing of cells for virus-induced cytopathic effects. The quantal method can be used to assay viruses concentrated from sewages, effluents and waters using the methods described in Chapters 5, 6 and 14 (February 1999), Dahling and Wright (1986b), Fout et al. (1996) or from sludges and other solids (Chapter 7, September 1989 Revision; Fout, 1999). Develop sensitive techniques to detect and identify emerging human waterborne pathogenic viruses and viruses on the CCL.Determine effectiveness of viral indicators to measure microbial quality in water matrices.Support activities: (a) culture and distribution of mammalian cells for Agency and scientific community research needs, (b) provide operator expertise for research requiring confocal and electron microscopy, (c) glassware cleaning, sterilization and biological waste disposal for the Cincinnati EPA facility, (d) operation of infectious pathogenic suite, (e) maintenance of walk-in constant temperature rooms and (f) provide Giardia cysts.

  12. Effect of N-acetylaspartylglutamate (NAAG) on non-quantal and spontaneous quantal release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular synapse of rat.

    PubMed

    Malomouzh, Artem I; Nikolsky, Eugen E; Lieberman, Edward M; Sherman, Jessica A; Lubischer, Jane L; Grossfeld, Robert M; Urazaev, Albert Kh

    2005-07-01

    N-Acetylaspartylglutamate (NAAG), known to be present in rat motor neurons, may participate in neuronal modulation of non-quantal secretion of acetylcholine (ACh) from motor nerve terminals. Non-quantal release of ACh was estimated by the amplitude of the endplate membrane hyperpolarization (H-effect) caused by inhibition of nicotinic receptors by (+)-tubocurarine and acetylcholinesterase by armin (diethoxy-p-nitrophenyl phosphate). Application of exogenous NAAG decreased the H-effect in a dose-dependent manner. The reduction of the H-effect by NAAG was completely removed when N-acetyl-beta-aspartylglutamate (betaNAAG) or 2-(phosphonomethyl)-pentanedioic acid (2-PMPA) was used to inhibit glutamate carboxypeptidase II (GCP II), a presynaptic Schwann cell membrane-associated ectoenzyme that hydrolyzes NAAG to glutamate and N-acetylaspartate. Bath application of glutamate decreased the H-effect similarly to the action of NAAG but N-acetylaspartate was without effect. Inhibition of NMDA receptors by dl-2-amino-5-phosphopentanoic acid, (+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzocyclohepten-5,10-imine (MK801), and 7-chlorokynurenic acid or inhibition of muscle nitric oxide synthase (NO synthase) by N(G)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester and 3-bromo-7-nitroindazole completely prevented the decrease of the H-effect by NAAG. These results suggest that glutamate, produced by enzymatic hydrolysis of bath-applied NAAG, can modulate non-quantal secretion of ACh from the presynaptic terminal of the neuromuscular synapse via activation of postsynaptic NMDA receptors and synthesis of nitric oxide (NO) in muscle fibers. NAAG also increased the frequency of miniature endplate potentials (mEPPs) generated by spontaneous quantal secretion of ACh, whereas the mean amplitude and time constants for rise time and for decay of mEPPs did not change.

  13. The quantal component of synaptic transmission from sensory hair cells to the vestibular calyx

    PubMed Central

    Highstein, Stephen M.; Mann, Mary Anne; Holstein, Gay R.

    2015-01-01

    Spontaneous and stimulus-evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were recorded in calyx nerve terminals from the turtle vestibular lagena to quantify key attributes of quantal transmission at this synapse. On average, EPSC events had a magnitude of ∼42 pA, a rise time constant of τ0 ∼229 μs, decayed to baseline with a time constant of τR ∼690 μs, and carried ∼46 fC of charge. Individual EPSCs varied in magnitude and decay time constant. Variability in the EPSC decay time constant was hair cell dependent and due in part to a slow protraction of the EPSC in some cases. Variability in EPSC size was well described by an integer summation of unitary quanta, with each quanta of glutamate gating a unitary postsynaptic current of ∼23 pA. The unitary charge was ∼26 fC for EPSCs with a simple exponential decay and increased to ∼48 fC for EPSCs exhibiting a slow protraction. The EPSC magnitude and the number of simultaneous unitary quanta within each event increased with presynaptic stimulus intensity. During tonic hair cell depolarization, both the EPSC magnitude and event rate exhibited adaptive run down over time. Present data from a reptilian calyx are remarkably similar to noncalyceal vestibular synaptic terminals in diverse species, indicating that the skewed EPSC size distribution and multiquantal release might be an ancestral property of inner ear ribbon synapses. PMID:25878150

  14. The quantal component of synaptic transmission from sensory hair cells to the vestibular calyx.

    PubMed

    Highstein, Stephen M; Mann, Mary Anne; Holstein, Gay R; Rabbitt, Richard D

    2015-06-01

    Spontaneous and stimulus-evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were recorded in calyx nerve terminals from the turtle vestibular lagena to quantify key attributes of quantal transmission at this synapse. On average, EPSC events had a magnitude of ∼ 42 pA, a rise time constant of τ(0) ∼ 229 μs, decayed to baseline with a time constant of τ(R) ∼ 690 μs, and carried ∼ 46 fC of charge. Individual EPSCs varied in magnitude and decay time constant. Variability in the EPSC decay time constant was hair cell dependent and due in part to a slow protraction of the EPSC in some cases. Variability in EPSC size was well described by an integer summation of unitary quanta, with each quanta of glutamate gating a unitary postsynaptic current of ∼ 23 pA. The unitary charge was ∼ 26 fC for EPSCs with a simple exponential decay and increased to ∼ 48 fC for EPSCs exhibiting a slow protraction. The EPSC magnitude and the number of simultaneous unitary quanta within each event increased with presynaptic stimulus intensity. During tonic hair cell depolarization, both the EPSC magnitude and event rate exhibited adaptive run down over time. Present data from a reptilian calyx are remarkably similar to noncalyceal vestibular synaptic terminals in diverse species, indicating that the skewed EPSC size distribution and multiquantal release might be an ancestral property of inner ear ribbon synapses.

  15. Quantal transmission at mossy fibre targets in the CA3 region of the rat hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, J Josh; Grinspan, Zachary M; McBain, Chris J

    2004-01-01

    Recent anatomical evidence that inhibitory interneurones receive approximately 10 times more synapses from mossy fibres than do principal neurones (Acsády et al. 1998) has led to the re-examination of the extent to which interneurones are involved in CA3 network excitability. Although many of the anatomical and physiological properties of mossy fibre–CA3 interneurone synapses have been previously described (Acsády et al. 1998; Tóth et al. 2000), an investigation into the quantal nature of transmission at this synapse has not yet been conducted. Here, we employed variance–mean (VM) analysis to compare the release probability, quantal size (q) and number of release sites (n) at mossy fibre target neurones in CA3. At six of seven interneurone synapses in which a high concentration of Ca2+ was experimentally imposed, the variance–mean relationship could be approximated by a parabola. Estimates of n were 1–2, and the weighted release probability in normal Ca2+ conditions ranged from 0.34 to 0.51. At pyramidal cell synapses, the variance–mean relationship approximated a linear relationship, suggesting that release probability was significantly lower. The weighted quantal amplitude was similar at interneurone synapses and pyramidal cell synapses, although the variability in quantal amplitude was larger at interneurone synapses. Mossy fibre transmission at CA3 interneurone synapses can be explained by a lower number of release sites, a broader range of release probabilities, and larger range of quantal amplitudes than at CA3 pyramidal synapses. Finally, quantal events on to interneurones elicited spike transmission, owing in part to the more depolarized membrane potential than pyramidal cells. These results suggest that although mossy fibre synapses on to pyramidal cells are associated with a larger number of release sites per synapse, the higher connectivity, higher initial release probability, and larger relative impact per quantum on to CA3 interneurones

  16. Quantal transmission at mossy fibre targets in the CA3 region of the rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, J Josh; Grinspan, Zachary M; McBain, Chris J

    2004-01-01

    Recent anatomical evidence that inhibitory interneurones receive approximately 10 times more synapses from mossy fibres than do principal neurones (Acsády et al. 1998) has led to the re-examination of the extent to which interneurones are involved in CA3 network excitability. Although many of the anatomical and physiological properties of mossy fibre-CA3 interneurone synapses have been previously described (Acsády et al. 1998; Tóth et al. 2000), an investigation into the quantal nature of transmission at this synapse has not yet been conducted. Here, we employed variance-mean (VM) analysis to compare the release probability, quantal size (q) and number of release sites (n) at mossy fibre target neurones in CA3. At six of seven interneurone synapses in which a high concentration of Ca2+ was experimentally imposed, the variance-mean relationship could be approximated by a parabola. Estimates of n were 1-2, and the weighted release probability in normal Ca2+ conditions ranged from 0.34 to 0.51. At pyramidal cell synapses, the variance-mean relationship approximated a linear relationship, suggesting that release probability was significantly lower. The weighted quantal amplitude was similar at interneurone synapses and pyramidal cell synapses, although the variability in quantal amplitude was larger at interneurone synapses. Mossy fibre transmission at CA3 interneurone synapses can be explained by a lower number of release sites, a broader range of release probabilities, and larger range of quantal amplitudes than at CA3 pyramidal synapses. Finally, quantal events on to interneurones elicited spike transmission, owing in part to the more depolarized membrane potential than pyramidal cells. These results suggest that although mossy fibre synapses on to pyramidal cells are associated with a larger number of release sites per synapse, the higher connectivity, higher initial release probability, and larger relative impact per quantum on to CA3 interneurones generate

  17. Quantal nucleon diffusion: Central collisions of symmetric nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayik, S.; Yilmaz, O.; Yilmaz, B.; Umar, A. S.

    2016-10-01

    The quantal diffusion mechanism of nucleon exchange is studied in the central collisions of several symmetric heavy ions in the framework of the stochastic mean-field (SMF) approach. Since, at bombarding energies below the fusion barrier, dinuclear structure is maintained, it is possible to describe nucleon exchange as a diffusion process familiar from deep-inelastic collisions. Quantal diffusion coefficients, including memory effects, for proton and neutron exchanges are extracted microscopically employing the SMF approach. The quantal calculations of neutron and proton variances are compared with the semiclassical results.

  18. Quantal amplitude and quantal variance of strontium-induced asynchronous EPSCs in rat dentate granule neurons.

    PubMed

    Bekkers, J M; Clements, J D

    1999-04-01

    1. Excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were recorded from granule cells of the dentate gyrus in acute slices of 17- to 21-day-old rats (22-25 C) using tissue cuts and minimal extracellular stimulation to selectively activate a small number of synaptic contacts. 2. Adding millimolar Sr2+ to the external solution produced asynchronous EPSCs (aEPSCs) lasting for several hundred milliseconds after the stimulus. Minimally stimulated aEPSCs resembled miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs) recorded in the same cell but differed from them in ways expected from the greater range of dendritic filtering experienced by mEPSCs. aEPSCs had the same stimulus threshold as the synchronous EPSCs (sEPSCs) that followed the stimulus with a brief latency. aEPSCs following stimulation of distal inputs had a slower mean rise time than those following stimulation of proximal inputs. These results suggest that aEPSCs arose from the same synapses that generated sEPSCs. 3. Proximally elicited aEPSCs had a mean amplitude of 6.7 +/- 2.2 pA (+/- s.d., n = 23 cells) at -70 mV and an amplitude coefficient of variation of 0. 46 +/- 0.08. 4. The amplitude distributions of sEPSCs never exhibited distinct peaks. 5. Monte Carlo modelling of the shapes of aEPSC amplitude distributions indicated that our data were best explained by an intrasite model of quantal variance. 6. It is concluded that Sr2+-evoked aEPSCs are uniquantal events arising at synaptic terminals that were recently invaded by an action potential, and so provide direct information about the quantal amplitude and quantal variance at those terminals. The large quantal variance obscures quantization of the amplitudes of evoked sEPSCs at this class of excitatory synapse.

  19. Quantal amplitude and quantal variance of strontium-induced asynchronous EPSCs in rat dentate granule neurons

    PubMed Central

    Bekkers, John M; Clements, John D

    1999-01-01

    Excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were recorded from granule cells of the dentate gyrus in acute slices of 17- to 21-day-old rats (22-25 °C) using tissue cuts and minimal extracellular stimulation to selectively activate a small number of synaptic contacts.Adding millimolar Sr2+ to the external solution produced asynchronous EPSCs (aEPSCs) lasting for several hundred milliseconds after the stimulus. Minimally stimulated aEPSCs resembled miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs) recorded in the same cell but differed from them in ways expected from the greater range of dendritic filtering experienced by mEPSCs. aEPSCs had the same stimulus threshold as the synchronous EPSCs (sEPSCs) that followed the stimulus with a brief latency. aEPSCs following stimulation of distal inputs had a slower mean rise time than those following stimulation of proximal inputs. These results suggest that aEPSCs arose from the same synapses that generated sEPSCs.Proximally elicited aEPSCs had a mean amplitude of 6.7 ± 2.2 pA (± s.d., n = 23 cells) at -70 mV and an amplitude coefficient of variation of 0.46 ± 0.08.The amplitude distributions of sEPSCs never exhibited distinct peaks.Monte Carlo modelling of the shapes of aEPSC amplitude distributions indicated that our data were best explained by an intrasite model of quantal variance.It is concluded that Sr2+-evoked aEPSCs are uniquantal events arising at synaptic terminals that were recently invaded by an action potential, and so provide direct information about the quantal amplitude and quantal variance at those terminals. The large quantal variance obscures quantization of the amplitudes of evoked sEPSCs at this class of excitatory synapse. PMID:10066937

  20. Quantal analysis of inhibitory synaptic transmission in the dentate gyrus of rat hippocampal slices: a patch-clamp study.

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, F A; Konnerth, A; Sakmann, B

    1990-01-01

    amplitudes vary in a quantal fashion. The quantal size varied between 7 and 20 pA, at a membrane potential of -50 mV. 6. Decreasing the Ca2+ and increasing the Mg2+ concentration in the extracellular solution decreased the number of peaks in the IPSC amplitude histogram but did not affect the size of the quantal event.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS) Images Plate 1 PMID:1707966

  1. Gregariousness increases brain size in ungulates.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Barbería, F Javier; Gordon, Iain J

    2005-08-01

    The brain's main function is to organise the physiological and behavioural responses to environmental and social challenges in order to keep the organism alive. Here, we studied the effects that gregariousness (as a measurement of sociality), dietary habits, gestation length and sex have on brain size of extant ungulates. The analysis controlled for the effects of phylogeny and for random variability implicit in the data set. We tested the following groups of hypotheses: (1) Social brain hypothesis-gregarious species are more likely to have larger brains than non-gregarious species because the former are subjected to demanding and complex social interactions; (2) Ecological hypothesis-dietary habits impose challenging cognitive tasks associated with finding and manipulating food (foraging strategy); (3) Developmental hypotheses (a) energy strategy: selection for larger brains operates, primarily, on maternal metabolic turnover (i.e. gestation length) in relation to food quality because the majority of the brain's growth takes place in utero, and finally (b) sex hypothesis: females are expected to have larger brains than males, relative to body size, because of the differential growth rates of the soma and brain between the sexes. We found that, after adjusting for body mass, gregariousness and gestation length explained most of the variation in brain mass across the ungulate species studied. Larger species had larger brains; gregarious species and those with longer gestation lengths, relative to body mass, had larger brains than non-gregarious species and those with shorter gestation lengths. The effect of diet was negligible and subrogated by gestation length, and sex had no significant effect on brain size. The ultimate cause that could have triggered the co-evolution between gestation length and brain size remains unclear.

  2. LNG fleet increases in size and capabilities

    SciTech Connect

    Linser, H.J. Jr.; Drudy, M.J.; Endrizzi, F.; Urbanelli, A.A.

    1997-06-02

    The LNG fleet as of early 1997 consisted of 99 vessels with total cargo capacity of 10.7 million cu m, equivalent to approximately 4.5 million tons. One of the newest additions to the fleet, the 137,000-cu m tanker Al Zubarah, is five times the size of the original commercial vessel Methane Princess. Al Zubarah`s first loading of more than 60,000 tons occurred in December 1996 for deliver to Japanese buyers from the newly commissioned Qatargas LNG plant at Ras Laffan. That size cargo contains enough clean-burning energy to heat 60,000 homes in Japan for 1 month. Measuring nearly 1,000 ft long, the tanker is among the largest in the industry fleet and joined 70 other vessels of more than 100,000 cu m. Most LNG tankers built since 1975 have been larger-capacity vessels. The paper discusses LNG shipping requirements, containment systems, vessel design, propulsion, construction, operations and maintenance, and the future for larger vessels.

  3. Cholinergic regulation of the evoked quantal release at frog neuromuscular junction

    PubMed Central

    Nikolsky, Eugeny E; Vyskočil, František; Bukharaeva, Ella A; Samigullin, Dmitry; Magazanik, Lev G

    2004-01-01

    The effects of cholinergic drugs on the quantal contents of the nerve-evoked endplate currents (EPCs) and the parameters of the time course of quantal release (minimal synaptic latency, main modal value of latency histogram and variability of synaptic latencies) were studied at proximal, central and distal regions of the frog neuromuscular synapse. Acetylcholine (ACh, 5 × 10−4 m), carbachol (CCh, 1 × 10−5 m) or nicotine (5 × 10−6 m) increased the numbers of EPCs with long release latencies mainly in the distal region of the endplate (90–120 μm from the last node of Ranvier), where the synchronization of transmitter release was the most pronounced. The parameters of focally recorded motor nerve action potentials were not changed by either ACh or CCh. The effects of CCh and nicotine on quantal dispersion were reduced substantially by 5 × 10−7 m (+)tubocurarine (TC). The muscarinic agonists, oxotremorine and the propargyl ester of arecaidine, as well as antagonists such as pirenzepine, AF-DX 116 and methoctramine, alone or in combination, did not affect the dispersion of the release. Muscarinic antagonists did not block the dispersion action of CCh. Cholinergic drugs either decreased the quantal content mo (muscarinic agonist, oxotremorine M, and nicotinic antagonist, TC), or decreased mo and dispersed the release (ACh, CCh and nicotine). The effects on mo were not related either to the endplate region or to the initial level of release dispersion. It follows that the mechanisms regulating the amount and the time course of transmitter release are different and that, among other factors, they are altered by presynaptic nicotinic receptors. PMID:15254150

  4. Automated classification of evoked quantal events.

    PubMed

    Lancaster, Mark; Viele, Kert; Johnstone, A F M; Cooper, Robin L

    2007-01-30

    We provide both theoretical and computational improvements to the analysis of synaptic transmission data. Theoretically, we demonstrate the correlation structure of observations within evoked postsynaptic potentials (EPSP) are consistent with multiple random draws from a common autoregressive moving-average (ARMA) process of order (2, 2). We use this observation and standard time series results to construct a statistical hypothesis testing procedure for determining whether a given trace is an EPSP. Computationally, we implement this method in R, a freeware statistical language, which reduces the amount of time required for the investigator to classify traces into EPSPs or non-EPSPs and eliminates investigator subjectivity from this classification. In addition, we provide a computational method for calculating common functionals of EPSPs (peak amplitude, decay rate, etc.). The methodology is freely available over the internet. The automated procedure to index the quantal characteristics greatly facilitates determining if any one or multiple parameters are changing due to experimental conditions. In our experience, the software reduces the time required to perform these analyses from hours to minutes.

  5. Quantal Aspects of - Energy Transfer and Photodissociation of Oscillators.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanner, John Joseph

    1988-12-01

    Our first chapter examines the mechanism by which molecular rotation enhances vibrational relaxation of a diatomic molecule. Three factors are discussed, lowering by rotational transitions of the vibrational energy defect, coupling due to potential matrix elements off diagonal in rotational state, and additional phase shifts introduced into the incoming and outgoing waves by anisotropy in the intermolecular potential. The distorted wave solution of the coupled states scattering equations elucidates the importance of each factor for H_2(v = 1) - He, CO(v = 1) - H_2, and for vibrational energy transfer from H_2 (v = 1) to CO(v = 0,1,2). Rotation is found to play both an energetic and a dynamical role. In the energetic role, rotation lowers the vibrational energy defect and thereby enhances vibrational relaxation, while the dynamic contribution takes the form of additional phase shifts introduced into the incoming and outgoing waves by the potential anisotropy. Our results suggest that molecular anisotropy in the region of the classical turning point is an important factor in the rotational enhancement observed in recent comparisons of CSA and IOSA vibrational relaxation rate constants for the N_2-He and CO-He systems. In the second chapter we study the response of a highly excited Morse oscillator with 179 bound states to an intense, below resonance electromagnetic field. A dynamic, quantal description of dissociation is obtained from an inspection of the time dependent wavefunction. The bound to continuum transitions which occur during dissociation involve the emission of a high energy, coherent wave which propagates to infinity--a feature not observed in other studies of the periodically driven Morse oscillator. Initially, the exodus of this wave results in a rapid increase in the dissociation probability. However, at longer times the dissociation slows down and concurrently the system is localized in the bound state basis, indicating that even though the classical

  6. An evaluation of increasing sample size based on conditional power.

    PubMed

    Gaffney, Michael; Ware, James H

    2017-02-06

    We evaluate properties of sample size re-estimation (SSR) designs similar to the promising zone design considered by Mehta and Pocock (2011). We evaluate these designs under the assumption of a true effect size of 1.1 down to 0.4 of the protocol-specified effect size by six measures: 1. The probability of a sample size increase, 2. The mean proportional increase in sample size given an increase; 3 and 4. The mean true conditional power with and without a sample size increase; 5 and 6. The expected increase in sample size and power due to the SSR procedure. These measures show the probability of a sample size increase and the cost/benefit for given true effect sizes, particularly when the SSR may either be pursuing a small effect size of little clinical importance or be unnecessary when the true effect size is close to the protocol-specified effect size. The results show the clear superiority of conducting the SSR late in the study and the inefficiency of a mid-study SSR. The results indicate that waiting until late in the study for the SSR yields a smaller, better targeted set of studies with a greater increase in overall power than a mid-study SSR.

  7. Antimicrobial strength increases with group size: implications for social evolution.

    PubMed

    Turnbull, Christine; Hoggard, Stephen; Gillings, Michael; Palmer, Chris; Stow, Adam; Beattie, Doug; Briscoe, David; Smith, Shannon; Wilson, Peter; Beattie, Andrew

    2011-04-23

    We hypothesize that aggregations of animals are likely to attract pathogenic micro-organisms and that this is especially the case for semisocial and eusocial insects where selection ultimately led to group sizes in the thousands or even millions, attracting the epithet 'superorganism'. Here, we analyse antimicrobial strength, per individual, in eight thrips species (Insecta: Thysanoptera) that present increasing innate group sizes and show that species with the largest group size (100-700) had the strongest antimicrobials, those with smaller groups (10-80) had lower antimicrobial activity, while solitary species showed none. Species with large innate group sizes showed strong antimicrobial activity while the semisocial species showed no activity until group size increased sufficiently to make activity detectable. The eusocial species behaved in a similar way, with detectable activity appearing once group size exceeded 120. These analyses show that antimicrobial strength is determined by innate group size. This suggests that the evolution of sociality that, by definition, increases group size, may have had particular requirements for defences against microbial pathogens. Thus, increase in group size, accompanied by increased antibiotic strength, may have been a critical factor determining the 'point of no return', early in the evolution of social insects, beyond which the evolution of social anatomical and morphological traits was irreversible. Our data suggest that traits that increase group size in general are accompanied by increased antimicrobial strength and that this was critical for transitions from solitary to social and eusocial organization.

  8. Faster kinetics of quantal catecholamine release in mouse chromaffin cells stimulated with acetylcholine, compared with other secretagogues.

    PubMed

    Calvo-Gallardo, Enrique; López-Gil, Ángela; Méndez-López, Iago; Martínez-Ramírez, Carmen; Padín, Juan Fernando; García, Antonio G

    2016-12-01

    Adrenal chromaffin cells (CCs) have been used extensively in studies aimed at revealing the intricacies of the Ca(2+) -dependent early and late steps of regulated exocytosis. They have also served as invaluable models to study the kinetics of single-vesicle exocytotic events to infer the characteristics of opening and closing of the exocytotic fusion pore. We have here tested the hypothesis that stimulation at room temperature of CCs from mice C57BL/6 with physiological acetylcholine (ACh) and with other secretagogues (dimethylphenylpiperazinium, high K(+) , muscarine, histamine, caffeine), alone or in combination, could trigger amperometric spike events with different kinetics. We found that mean secretory spike events in CCs stimulated with ACh had a fast rise rate of 25 pA/ms and a rapid decay time of 6.2 ms, with a small quantal size (0.31 pC). Surprisingly, these parameters considerably differed from those found in CCs stimulated with all other secretagogues that triggered secretory responses with spike events having smaller rise rates, longer decay times and higher quantal sizes. ACh spikes were unaltered by atropine but mitochondrial protonophore carbonyl cyanide-4-(trifluoromethoxy)phenylhydrazone markedly slowed down the rate rise and decay time, and augmented the quantal size of mean secretory events. We conclude that the physiological neurotransmitter ACh triggers a fast and efficient exocytotic response that cannot be mimicked by other secretagogues; such response is regulated by the mitochondrial circulation of calcium ions.

  9. Influence of Distribution of Animals between Dose Groups on Estimated Benchmark Dose and Animal Distress for Quantal Responses.

    PubMed

    Kalantari, Fereshteh; Ringblom, Joakim; Sand, Salomon; Öberg, Mattias

    2017-01-17

    Increasingly, dose-response data are being evaluated with the benchmark dose (BMD) approach rather than by the less precise no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) approach. However, the basis for designing animal experiments, using equally sized dose groups, is still primed for the NOAEL approach. The major objective here was to assess the impact of using dose groups of unequal size on both the quality of the BMD and overall animal distress. We examined study designs with a total number of 200 animals distributed in four dose groups employing quantal data generated by Monte Carlo simulations. Placing more animals at doses close to the targeted BMD provided an estimate of BMD that was slightly better than the standard design with equally sized dose groups. In situations involving a clear dose-response, this translates into fewer animals receiving high doses and thus less overall animal distress. Accordingly, in connection with risk and safety assessment, animal distress can potentially be reduced by distributing the animals appropriately between dose groups without decreasing the quality of the information obtained. © 2017 Society for Risk Analysis.

  10. Computer Simulation of Quantal Dose-Response Relationships.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGilliard, Kip L.

    1985-01-01

    Describes a program which simulates animal pharmacology experiments involving "all-or-none" responses. Use of the Applesoft BASIC program in the pharmacology teaching laboratory provides students with a rapid and economical way to gain experience in the design and statistical analysis of quantal dose-response experiments. Information on…

  11. Classical wall formula and quantal one-body dissipation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffin, J. J.; Dworzecka, M.

    1986-07-01

    Within the quantal, self-consistent RPA description of the dissipation of nuclear collective energy, a specific set of assumptions is shown to reduce the RPA system to a vibrating potential model which, with the stipulation of certain additional assumptions, yields precisely the dissipation rate given by the Swiatecki wall formula. This correspondence is utilized to explore the explicit and the implicit assumptions of the wall model. Various implications emerge, the most important of which is the fact that, for finite nucleonic binding energy, the true one-body dissipation rate of giant resonance states is reduced by about an order of magnitude from the wall formula value. The wall formula overestimate is due mostly to the fiction it assumes ab initio that all particles are totally reflected at the wall, whereas realistically only bound particles can be totally reflected. In addition, the self-consistency of the quantal description implies that no dissipation occurs to the bound one-particle one-hole subspace from which the RPA phonon is constructed, imposing an absolute prohibition of one-body dissipation for phonon energies less than the nucleonic binding energy. Finally, the quantal dissipation rate exhibits an explicit, but relatively weak, dependence upon the collective phonon energy, ħω. The result is that the wall formula yields a gross overestimate of the quantal one-body dissipation rate over the whole range of realistic nuclear situations.

  12. Computer Simulation of Quantal Dose-Response Relationships.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGilliard, Kip L.

    1985-01-01

    Describes a program which simulates animal pharmacology experiments involving "all-or-none" responses. Use of the Applesoft BASIC program in the pharmacology teaching laboratory provides students with a rapid and economical way to gain experience in the design and statistical analysis of quantal dose-response experiments. Information on…

  13. The effects of increased serving sizes on consumption.

    PubMed

    Hydock, Chris; Wilson, Anne; Easwar, Karthik

    2016-06-01

    The US Food and Drug Administration recently revealed that it is considering modifying the Nutrition Facts Panels required on packaged foods. One proposed change is increasing serving sizes included on labels, which has two potential implications. Larger serving sizes could increase consumption if consumers use the serving sizes displayed as a reference point for their own consumption (McFerran et al., 2010). Alternatively, larger serving sizes that depict increased values of negative nutrients (e.g. calories) could lead consumers to perceive foods as less healthy, thereby reducing consumption (Russo et al., 1986). In study 1 (Online sample, N = 208, Mage = 32, SDage = 12), participants saw pictures of packaged food items and nutrition labels. The labels, depicted either the existing or larger serving size. Across all foods, larger serving sizes led to lower health perceptions. Labels with larger serving sizes were rated as more representative of typical consumption. Study 2 (Online sample, N = 347, Mage = 31, SDage = 10) used the same design as study 1, but required participants to virtually portion foods. While serving sizes did not impact the amount of food consumers portioned, those who saw labels with larger serving sizes estimated that they portioned out more calories. In study 3 (Student sample, N = 198, Mage = 20, SDage = 1), participants were given M&Ms to eat, paired with a nutritional label depicting either the current or a larger serving size, while participating in unrelated surveys. Participants presented with the larger serving size label consumed less than those presented with the current serving size label. Together, the results suggest that the proposed increase in serving sizes on Nutrition Facts Panels could lower consumption of high-calorie foods.

  14. Ciguatoxin enhances quantal transmitter release from frog motor nerve terminals.

    PubMed Central

    Molgó, J.; Comella, J. X.; Legrand, A. M.

    1990-01-01

    1. Ciguatoxin (CTX), a marine toxin produced by the benthic dinoflagellate Gambierdiscus toxicus, is responsible for a complex endemic disease in man known as ciguatera fish poisoning. In the present study we have investigated the effects of purified CTX extracted for Gymnothorax javanicus moray-eel liver on frog isolated neuromuscular preparations with conventional electrophysiological techniques. 2. CTX (1-2.5 nM) applied to cutaneous pectoris nerve-muscle preparations induced, after a short delay, spontaneous fibrillations of the muscle fibres that could be suppressed with 1 microM tetrodotoxin (TTX) or by formamide to uncouple excitation-contraction. 3. In preparations treated with formamide, CTX (1-2.5 nM) caused either spontaneous or repetitive muscle action potentials (up to frequencies of 60-100 Hz) in response to a single nerve stimulus. Recordings performed at extrajunctional regions of the muscle membrane revealed that during the repetitive firing a prolongation of the repolarizing phase of the action potential occurred. At junctional sites the repetitive action potentials were triggered by repetitive endplate potentials (e.p.ps). 4. CTX (2.5 nM) caused a TTX-sensitive depolarization of the muscle membrane. 5. In junctions equilibrated in solutions containing high Mg2+ + low Ca2+, addition of CTX (1.5 nM) first induced an average increase of 239 +/- 36% in the mean quantal content of e.p.ps. Subsequently CTX reduced and finally blocked nerve-evoked transmitter release irreversibly. 6. CTX (1.5-2.5 nM) increased the frequency of miniature endplate potentials (m.e.p.ps) in junctions bathed either in normal Ringer, low Ca2(+)-high Mg2+ medium or in a nominally Ca2(+)-free solution containing EGTA.2+ Extensive washing with toxin-free solutions did not reverse the effect.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:1972891

  15. Augmented quantal release of acetylcholine at the vertebrate neuromuscular junction following tdp-43 depletion.

    PubMed

    Dzieciolowska, Stefania; Drapeau, Pierre; Armstrong, Gary Alan Barclay

    2017-01-01

    TAR DNA binding protein (TDP-43) is a 43 kD, predominately nuclear, protein involved in RNA metabolism. Of clinical significance is that the majority of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients display abnormal accumulation of misfolded TDP-43 in the cytoplasm, which is coincident with a loss of nuclear localization in the afflicted regions of the central nervous system. Little is known about defects that arise in loss-of-function models, in particular synaptic defects that arise at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). In this report, we examined abnormalities arising at the NMJ following depletion of tdp-43 using a previously characterized mutant tardbp (encoding tdp-43) zebrafish line containing a premature stop codon (Y220X) that results in an unstable and degraded protein. Homozygous tardbpY220X/Y220X zebrafish do not produce tdp-43 but develop normally due to expression of an alternative splice variant of tardbpl (tardbp paralog). Using an antisense morpholino oligonucleotide to knockdown expression of the tardbpl in tardbpY220X/Y220X embryos, we examined locomotor defects, NMJ structural abnormalities and release of quantal synaptic vesicles at the NMJ. As in previous reports, larvae depleted of tdp-43 display reduced survival, gross morphological defects and severely impaired locomotor activity. These larvae also displayed an increased number of orphaned pre- and postsynaptic NMJ markers but surprisingly, we observed a significant increase (3.5 times) in the frequency of quantal acetylcholine release at the NMJ in larvae depleted of tdp-43. These results indicate that reduced TDP-43 levels alter quantal vesicle release at the NMJ during vertebrate development and may be relevant for understanding synaptic dysfunction in ALS.

  16. Block of quantal end-plate currents of mouse muscle by physostigmine and procaine.

    PubMed

    Dudel, J; Schramm, M; Franke, C; Ratner, E; Parnas, H

    1999-05-01

    of quantal end-plate currents of mouse muscle by physostigmine and procaine. Quantal endplate currents (qEPCs) were recorded from hemidiaphragms of mice by means of a macro-patch-clamp electrode. Excitation was blocked with tetrodotoxin, and quantal release was elicited by depolarizing pulses through the electrode. Physostigmine (Phys) or procaine (Proc) was applied to the recording site by perfusion of the electrode tip. Low concentrations of Phys increased the amplitude and prolonged the decay time constants of qEPCs from approximately 3 to approximately 10 ms, due to block of acetylcholine-esterase. With 20 microM to 2 mM Phys or Proc, the decay of qEPCs became biphasic, an initial short time constant taus decreasing to <1 ms with 1 mM Phys and to approximately 0.3 ms with 1 mM Proc. The long second time constant of the decay, taul, reached values of

  17. Larger brain size indirectly increases vulnerability to extinction in mammals.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Voyer, Alejandro; González-Suárez, Manuela; Vilà, Carles; Revilla, Eloy

    2016-06-01

    Although previous studies have addressed the question of why large brains evolved, we have limited understanding of potential beneficial or detrimental effects of enlarged brain size in the face of current threats. Using novel phylogenetic path analysis, we evaluated how brain size directly and indirectly, via its effects on life history and ecology, influences vulnerability to extinction across 474 mammalian species. We found that larger brains, controlling for body size, indirectly increase vulnerability to extinction by extending the gestation period, increasing weaning age, and limiting litter sizes. However, we found no evidence of direct, beneficial, or detrimental effects of brain size on vulnerability to extinction, even when we explicitly considered the different types of threats that lead to vulnerability. Order-specific analyses revealed qualitatively similar patterns for Carnivora and Artiodactyla. Interestingly, for Primates, we found that larger brain size was directly (and indirectly) associated with increased vulnerability to extinction. Our results indicate that under current conditions, the constraints on life history imposed by large brains outweigh the potential benefits, undermining the resilience of the studied mammals. Contrary to the selective forces that have favored increased brain size throughout evolutionary history, at present, larger brains have become a burden for mammals. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  18. Increases in disturbance and reductions in habitat size interact to suppress predator body size.

    PubMed

    Jellyman, Phillip G; McHugh, Peter A; McIntosh, Angus R

    2014-05-01

    Food webs are strongly size-structured so will be vulnerable to changes in environmental factors that affect large predators. However, mechanistic understanding of environmental controls of top predator size is poorly developed. We used streams to investigate how predator body size is altered by three fundamental climate change stressors: reductions in habitat size, increases in disturbance and warmer temperatures. Using new survey data from 74 streams, we showed that habitat size and disturbance were the most important stressors influencing predator body size. A synergistic interaction between that habitat size and disturbance due to flooding meant the sizes of predatory fishes peaked in large, benign habitats and their body size decreased as habitats became either smaller or harsher. These patterns were supported by experiments indicating that habitat-size reductions and increased flood disturbance decreased both the abundance and biomass of large predators. This research indicates that interacting climate change stressors can influence predator body size, resulting in smaller predators than would be predicted from examining an environmental factor in isolation. Thus, climate-induced changes to key interacting environmental factors are likely to have synergistic impacts on predator body size which, because of their influence on the strength of biological interactions, will have far-reaching effects on food-web responses to global environmental change. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. A computer system for real-time data acquisition and analysis of biopotentials and quantal content at the neuromuscular junction.

    PubMed

    Liu, H H; Kim, Y I

    1983-06-01

    A computerized data acquisition system for on-line analysis of the parameters of neuromuscular transmission is described. Both hardware usage and software methodologies are discussed with regard to sampling in real-time and analyzing miniature end-plate potentials (MEPPs), end-plate potentials (EPPs) and quantal content of the evoked transmitter release. Significant features of the program include: (1) automatic threshold determination for MEPP detection; (2) the use of a circular buffer to give pre-trigger information; (3) real-time noise spike rejection; (4) an automatic procedure for EPP failure detection; (5) rapid quantal content determinations by several methods as well as complete MEPP and EPP waveform analysis. The system has proven both accurate and reliable during more than two years of use. Advantages of the system over conventional methods include: (1) increased accuracy and efficiency in data analysis; (2) immediate availability of results; (3) conventional data storage; (4) flexibility to meet changing requirements.

  20. Genome size increases in recently diverged hornwort clades.

    PubMed

    Bainard, Jillian D; Villarreal, Juan Carlos

    2013-08-01

    As our knowledge of plant genome size estimates continues to grow, one group has continually been neglected: the hornworts. Hornworts (Anthocerotophyta) have been traditionally grouped with liverworts and mosses because they share a haploid dominant life cycle; however, recent molecular studies place hornworts as the sister lineage to extant tracheophytes. Given the scarcity of information regarding the DNA content of hornworts, our objective was to estimate the 1C-value for a range of hornwort species within a phylogenetic context. Using flow cytometry, we estimated genome size for 36 samples representing 24 species. This accounts for roughly 10% of known hornwort species. Haploid genome sizes (1C-value) ranged from 160 Mbp or 0.16 pg (Leiosporoceros dussii) to 719 Mbp or 0.73 pg (Nothoceros endiviifolius). The average 1C-value was 261 ± 104 Mbp (0.27 ± 0.11 pg). Ancestral reconstruction of genome size on a hornwort phylogeny suggests a small ancestral genome size and revealed increases in genome size in the most recently divergent clades. Much more work is needed to understand DNA content variation in this phylogenetically important group, but this work has significantly increased our knowledge of genome size variation in hornworts.

  1. The size of the nucleus increases as yeast cells grow.

    PubMed

    Jorgensen, Paul; Edgington, Nicholas P; Schneider, Brandt L; Rupes, Ivan; Tyers, Mike; Futcher, Bruce

    2007-09-01

    It is not known how the volume of the cell nucleus is set, nor how the ratio of nuclear volume to cell volume (N/C) is determined. Here, we have measured the size of the nucleus in growing cells of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Analysis of mutant yeast strains spanning a range of cell sizes revealed that the ratio of average nuclear volume to average cell volume was quite consistent, with nuclear volume being approximately 7% that of cell volume. At the single cell level, nuclear and cell size were strongly correlated in growing wild-type cells, as determined by three different microscopic approaches. Even in G1-phase, nuclear volume grew, although it did not grow quite as fast as overall cell volume. DNA content did not appear to have any immediate, direct influence on nuclear size, in that nuclear size did not increase sharply during S-phase. The maintenance of nuclear size did not require continuous growth or ribosome biogenesis, as starvation and rapamycin treatment had little immediate impact on nuclear size. Blocking the nuclear export of new ribosomal subunits, among other proteins and RNAs, with leptomycin B also had no obvious effect on nuclear size. Nuclear expansion must now be factored into conceptual and mathematical models of budding yeast growth and division. These results raise questions as to the unknown force(s) that expand the nucleus as yeast cells grow.

  2. Economic Effects of Increased Control Zone Sizes in Conflict Resolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Datta, Koushik

    1998-01-01

    A methodology for estimating the economic effects of different control zone sizes used in conflict resolutions between aircraft is presented in this paper. The methodology is based on estimating the difference in flight times of aircraft with and without the control zone, and converting the difference into a direct operating cost. Using this methodology the effects of increased lateral and vertical control zone sizes are evaluated.

  3. Mixed quantal-semiquantal dynamics with stochastic particles for backreaction

    SciTech Connect

    Ando, Koji

    2014-10-14

    A mixed quantal-semiquantal theory is presented in which the semiquantal squeezed-state wave packet describes the heavy degrees of freedom. Starting from the mean-field equations of motion that are naturally derived from the time-dependent variational principle, we introduce the stochastic particle description for both the quantal and semiquantal parts in an aim to take into account the interparticle correlation, in particular the “quantum backreaction” beyond the mean-field approximation. A numerical application on a model of O{sub 2} scattering from a Pt surface demonstrates that the proposed scheme gives correct asymptotic behavior of the scattering probability, with improvement over the mixed quantum-classical scheme with Bohmian particles, which is comprehended by comparing the Bohmian and the stochastic trajectories.

  4. Fully automated microchip system for the detection of quantal exocytosis from single and small ensembles of cells.

    PubMed

    Spégel, Christer; Heiskanen, Arto; Pedersen, Simon; Emnéus, Jenny; Ruzgas, Tautgirdas; Taboryski, Rafael

    2008-02-01

    A lab-on-a-chip device that enables positioning of single or small ensembles of cells on an aperture in close proximity to a mercaptopropionic acid (MPA) modified sensing electrode has been developed and characterized. The microchip was used for the detection of Ca(2+)-dependent quantal catecholamine exocytosis from single as well as small assemblies of rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells. The frequency of events increased considerably upon depolarization of the PC12 cell membrane using a high extracelluar concentration of potassium. The number of recorded events could be correlated with the number of cells immobilized on the electrode. Quantal characteristics, such as the number of released molecules per recorded event, are equivalent to data obtained using conventional carbon fiber microelectrodes. The detection sensitivity of the device allows for the detection of less than 10 000 dopamine molecules in a quantal release. The distribution of peak rise-time and full width at half maximum was constant during measurement periods of several minutes demonstrating the stability of the MPA modified surface.

  5. Increasing the Size of a Piece of Popcorn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinn, Paul; Hong, Daniel C.; Both, Joseph

    2003-03-01

    Popcorn is an extremely popular snack food in the world today. Thermodynamics can be used to analyze how popcorn is produced. By treating the popping mechanism of the corn as a thermodynamic expansion, a method of increasing the volume or size of a kernel of popcorn can be studied. By lowering the pressure surrounding the unpopped kernel, one can use a thermodynamic argument to show that the expanded volume of the kernel when it pops must increase. In this project, a variety of experiments are run to test the validity of this theory. The results show that there is a significant increase in the average kernel size when the pressure of the surroundings is reduced.

  6. Increasing the size of a piece of popcorn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinn, Paul V.; Hong, Daniel C.; Both, J. A.

    2005-08-01

    Popcorn is an extremely popular snack food in the world today. Thermodynamics can be used to analyze how popcorn is produced. By treating the popping mechanism of the corn as a thermodynamic expansion, a method of increasing the volume or size of a kernel of popcorn can be studied. By lowering the pressure surrounding the unpopped kernel, one can use a thermodynamic argument to show that the expanded volume of the kernel when it pops must increase. In this project, a variety of experiments are run to test the qualitative validity of this theory. The results show that there is a significant increase in the average kernel size when the pressure of the surroundings is reduced.

  7. Trees increase their P:N ratio with size

    PubMed Central

    Sardans, J; Peñuelas, J.

    2015-01-01

    Aim Phosphorus (P) tends to become limiting in aging terrestrial ecosystems, and its resorption efficiency is higher than for other elements such as nitrogen (N). We thus hypothesized that trees should store more P than those other elements such as N when tree size increases and that this process should be enhanced in slow-growing late successional trees. Location Catalan forests. Methods We have used data from the Catalan Forest Inventory that contains field data of the P and N contents of total aboveground, foliar and woody biomasses of the diverse Mediterranean, temperate and alpine forests of Catalonia (1018 sites). We used correlation and general lineal models (GLM) to analyze the allometric relationships between nutrient contents of different aboveground biomass fractions (foliar, branches and stems) and total aboveground biomass. Results Aboveground forest P content increases proportionally more than aboveground forest N content with increasing aboveground biomass. Two mechanisms underlie this. First, woody biomass increases proportionally more than foliar biomass having woody biomass higher P:N ratio than foliar biomass. Second, wood P:N ratio increases with tree size. These results are consistent with the generally higher foliar resorption of P than of N. Slow-growing species accumulate more P in total aboveground with size than fast-growing species mainly as a result of their large capacity to store P in wood. Main conclusions Trees may have thus developed long-term adaptive mechanisms to store P in biomass, mainly in wood, thereby slowing the loss of P from the ecosystems, reducing its availability for competitors, and implying an increase in the P:N ratio in forest biomass with aging. This trend to accumulate more P than N with size is more accentuated in slow-growing, large, long-living species of late successional stages. This way they partly counterbalance the gradual decrease of P in the soil. PMID:25983656

  8. Rate of tree carbon accumulation increases continuously with tree size.

    PubMed

    Stephenson, N L; Das, A J; Condit, R; Russo, S E; Baker, P J; Beckman, N G; Coomes, D A; Lines, E R; Morris, W K; Rüger, N; Alvarez, E; Blundo, C; Bunyavejchewin, S; Chuyong, G; Davies, S J; Duque, A; Ewango, C N; Flores, O; Franklin, J F; Grau, H R; Hao, Z; Harmon, M E; Hubbell, S P; Kenfack, D; Lin, Y; Makana, J-R; Malizia, A; Malizia, L R; Pabst, R J; Pongpattananurak, N; Su, S-H; Sun, I-F; Tan, S; Thomas, D; van Mantgem, P J; Wang, X; Wiser, S K; Zavala, M A

    2014-03-06

    Forests are major components of the global carbon cycle, providing substantial feedback to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Our ability to understand and predict changes in the forest carbon cycle--particularly net primary productivity and carbon storage--increasingly relies on models that represent biological processes across several scales of biological organization, from tree leaves to forest stands. Yet, despite advances in our understanding of productivity at the scales of leaves and stands, no consensus exists about the nature of productivity at the scale of the individual tree, in part because we lack a broad empirical assessment of whether rates of absolute tree mass growth (and thus carbon accumulation) decrease, remain constant, or increase as trees increase in size and age. Here we present a global analysis of 403 tropical and temperate tree species, showing that for most species mass growth rate increases continuously with tree size. Thus, large, old trees do not act simply as senescent carbon reservoirs but actively fix large amounts of carbon compared to smaller trees; at the extreme, a single big tree can add the same amount of carbon to the forest within a year as is contained in an entire mid-sized tree. The apparent paradoxes of individual tree growth increasing with tree size despite declining leaf-level and stand-level productivity can be explained, respectively, by increases in a tree's total leaf area that outpace declines in productivity per unit of leaf area and, among other factors, age-related reductions in population density. Our results resolve conflicting assumptions about the nature of tree growth, inform efforts to undertand and model forest carbon dynamics, and have additional implications for theories of resource allocation and plant senescence.

  9. Rate of tree carbon accumulation increases continuously with tree size

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stephenson, N.L.; Das, A.J.; Condit, R.; Russo, S.E.; Baker, P.J.; Beckman, N.G.; Coomes, D.A.; Lines, E.R.; Morris, W.K.; Rüger, N.; Álvarez, E.; Blundo, C.; Bunyavejchewin, S.; Chuyong, G.; Davies, S.J.; Duque, Á.; Ewango, C.N.; Flores, O.; Franklin, J.F.; Grau, H.R.; Hao, Z.; Harmon, M.E.; Hubbell, S.P.; Kenfack, D.; Lin, Y.; Makana, J.-R.; Malizia, A.; Malizia, L.R.; Pabst, R.J.; Pongpattananurak, N.; Su, S.-H.; Sun, I-F.; Tan, S.; Thomas, D.; van Mantgem, P.J.; Wang, X.; Wiser, S.K.; Zavala, M.A.

    2014-01-01

    Forests are major components of the global carbon cycle, providing substantial feedback to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Our ability to understand and predict changes in the forest carbon cycle—particularly net primary productivity and carbon storage - increasingly relies on models that represent biological processes across several scales of biological organization, from tree leaves to forest stands. Yet, despite advances in our understanding of productivity at the scales of leaves and stands, no consensus exists about the nature of productivity at the scale of the individual tree, in part because we lack a broad empirical assessment of whether rates of absolute tree mass growth (and thus carbon accumulation) decrease, remain constant, or increase as trees increase in size and age. Here we present a global analysis of 403 tropical and temperate tree species, showing that for most species mass growth rate increases continuously with tree size. Thus, large, old trees do not act simply as senescent carbon reservoirs but actively fix large amounts of carbon compared to smaller trees; at the extreme, a single big tree can add the same amount of carbon to the forest within a year as is contained in an entire mid-sized tree. The apparent paradoxes of individual tree growth increasing with tree size despite declining leaf-level and stand-level productivity can be explained, respectively, by increases in a tree’s total leaf area that outpace declines in productivity per unit of leaf area and, among other factors, age-related reductions in population density. Our results resolve conflicting assumptions about the nature of tree growth, inform efforts to understand and model forest carbon dynamics, and have additional implications for theories of resource allocation and plant senescence.

  10. Fundamental quantal paradox and its resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lev, Felix M.

    2017-05-01

    The postulate that coordinate and momentum representations are related to each other by the Fourier transform has been accepted from the beginning of quantum theory. As a consequence, coordinate wave functions of photons emitted by stars have cosmic sizes. This results in a paradox because predictions of the theory contradict observations. The reason of the paradox and its resolution are discussed.

  11. Individual increase in inbreeding allows estimating effective sizes from pedigrees

    PubMed Central

    Gutiérrez, Juan Pablo; Cervantes, Isabel; Molina, Antonio; Valera, Mercedes; Goyache, Félix

    2008-01-01

    We present here a simple approach to obtain reliable estimates of the effective population size in real world populations via the computation of the increase in inbreeding for each individual (delta Fi) in a given population. The values of delta Fi are computed as t-root of 1 - (1 - Fi) where Fi is the inbreeding coefficient and t is the equivalent complete generations for each individual. The values of delta F computed for a pre-defined reference subset can be averaged and used to estimate effective size. A standard error of this estimate of Ne can be further computed from the standard deviation of the individual increase in inbreeding. The methodology is demonstrated by applying it to several simulated examples and to a real pedigree in which other methodologies fail when considering reference subpopulations. The main characteristics of the approach and its possible use are discussed both for predictive purposes and for analyzing genealogies. PMID:18558071

  12. Super-size me: self biases increase to larger stimuli.

    PubMed

    Sui, Jie; Humphreys, Glyn W

    2015-04-01

    Prior work has shown that simple perceptual match responses to pairings of shapes and labels are more efficient if the pairing is associated with the participant (e.g., circle-you) than if it is associated with another familiar person (e.g., square-friend). There is a similar advantage for matching associations with high-value rewards (circle-£9) versus low-value rewards (square-£1) (Sui, He, & Humphreys Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 38, 1105-1117, 2012). Here we evaluated the relations between the self- and reward-bias effects by introducing occasional trials in which the size of a shape was varied unexpectedly (large or small vs. a standard medium). Participants favored stimuli that were larger than the standard when stimuli were associated with the self, and this enhancement of self bias was predicted by the degree of self bias that participants showed to standard (medium) sized stimuli. Although we observed a correlation between the magnitudes of the self and reward biases over participants, reward-bias effects were not increased to large stimuli. The data suggest both overlapping and independent components of the self and reward biases, and that self biases are uniquely enhanced when stimuli increase in size, consistent with previously reported motivational biases favoring large stimuli.

  13. Pupillometry reveals increased pupil size during indirect request comprehension.

    PubMed

    Tromp, Johanne; Hagoort, Peter; Meyer, Antje S

    2016-01-01

    Fluctuations in pupil size have been shown to reflect variations in processing demands during lexical and syntactic processing in language comprehension. An issue that has not received attention is whether pupil size also varies due to pragmatic manipulations. In two pupillometry experiments, we investigated whether pupil diameter was sensitive to increased processing demands as a result of comprehending an indirect request versus a direct statement. Adult participants were presented with 120 picture-sentence combinations that could be interpreted either as an indirect request (a picture of a window with the sentence "it's very hot here") or as a statement (a picture of a window with the sentence "it's very nice here"). Based on the hypothesis that understanding indirect utterances requires additional inferences to be made on the part of the listener, we predicted a larger pupil diameter for indirect requests than statements. The results of both experiments are consistent with this expectation. We suggest that the increase in pupil size reflects additional processing demands for the comprehension of indirect requests as compared to statements. This research demonstrates the usefulness of pupillometry as a tool for experimental research in pragmatics.

  14. Dynamics of Quantal Heating in Electron Systems with Discrete Spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayer, William; Dietrich, Scott; Vitkalov, Sergey; Bykov, Alexey

    2015-03-01

    The temporal evolution of quantal Joule heating of 2D electrons in GaAs quantum well placed in quantizing magnetic fields is studied using a difference frequency method. The method is based on measurements of the electron conductivity oscillating at the beat frequency f =f1 -f2 between two microwaves applied to 2D system at frequencies f1 and f2. The method provides direct access to the dynamical characteristics of the heating and yields the inelastic scattering time τin of 2D electrons. The obtained τin is strongly temperature dependent, varying from 0.13 ns at 5.5K to 1 ns at 2.4K in magnetic field B=0.333T. When temperature T exceeds the Landau level separation the relaxation rate 1 /τin is proportional to T2, indicating the electron-electron interaction as the dominant mechanism limiting the quantal heating. At lower temperatures the rate tends to be proportional to T3, indicating considerable contribution from electron-phonon scattering. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (DMR 1104503), the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project no.14-02-01158) and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.

  15. Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory.

    PubMed

    Erickson, Kirk I; Voss, Michelle W; Prakash, Ruchika Shaurya; Basak, Chandramallika; Szabo, Amanda; Chaddock, Laura; Kim, Jennifer S; Heo, Susie; Alves, Heloisa; White, Siobhan M; Wojcicki, Thomas R; Mailey, Emily; Vieira, Victoria J; Martin, Stephen A; Pence, Brandt D; Woods, Jeffrey A; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F

    2011-02-15

    The hippocampus shrinks in late adulthood, leading to impaired memory and increased risk for dementia. Hippocampal and medial temporal lobe volumes are larger in higher-fit adults, and physical activity training increases hippocampal perfusion, but the extent to which aerobic exercise training can modify hippocampal volume in late adulthood remains unknown. Here we show, in a randomized controlled trial with 120 older adults, that aerobic exercise training increases the size of the anterior hippocampus, leading to improvements in spatial memory. Exercise training increased hippocampal volume by 2%, effectively reversing age-related loss in volume by 1 to 2 y. We also demonstrate that increased hippocampal volume is associated with greater serum levels of BDNF, a mediator of neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus. Hippocampal volume declined in the control group, but higher preintervention fitness partially attenuated the decline, suggesting that fitness protects against volume loss. Caudate nucleus and thalamus volumes were unaffected by the intervention. These theoretically important findings indicate that aerobic exercise training is effective at reversing hippocampal volume loss in late adulthood, which is accompanied by improved memory function.

  16. Enhancement by Anemonia sulcata toxin II of spontaneous quantal transmitter release from mammalian motor nerve terminals.

    PubMed

    Molgo, J; Lemeignan, M; Tazieff-Depierre, F

    1986-01-01

    The action of Anemonia sulcata toxin II (ATX-II) on spontaneous quantal transmitter release from motor nerve terminals was investigated by recording miniature end-plate potentials (MEPPs) from isolated mouse phrenic nerve--hemidiaphragm nerve--muscle preparations. ATX-II (3.2 microM) when applied for 3-40 min to junctions bathed in a normal ionic medium enhanced about one hundred fold the rate of spontaneous MEPPs. Concomitantly, ATX-II depolarized the muscle fiber. The effect of the toxin on MEPP frequency was markedly reduced when junctions were exposed to Na-deficient solutions or pre-treated with dantrolene sodium (10 microM). ATX-II (0.24-3.2 microM) increased MEPP rate in junctions exposed to a Ca-free medium containing 2 mM EGTA and 2 mM Mg2+ in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Tetrodotoxin (0.2-1 microM) prevented the effects of ATX-II on MEPP frequency and on the resting membrane potential of muscle fibers. Tetrodotoxin also antagonized the acceleration of MEPP induced by ATX-II. The experimental findings suggest that ATX-II acts to increase quantal transmitter output from motor nerve terminals by enhancing Na+ influx through tetrodotoxin-sensitive presynaptic channels, since ATX-II action does not appear to depend upon entry of Ca2+ from the extracellular medium. It is likely that ATX-II, by increasing intraterminal Na+ concentration, may trigger calcium release from internal stores.

  17. Increase in average testis size of Canadian beef bulls.

    PubMed

    García Guerra, Alvaro; Hendrick, Steve; Barth, Albert D

    2013-05-01

    Selection for adequate testis size in beef bulls is an important part of bull breeding soundness evaluation. Scrotal circumference (SC) is highly correlated with paired testis weight and is a practical method for estimating testis weight in the live animal. Most bulls presented for sale in Canada have SC included in the presale information. Scrotal circumference varies by age and breed, and may change over time due to selection for larger testis size. Therefore, it is important to periodically review the mean SC of various cattle breeds to provide valid bull selection criteria. Scrotal circumference data were obtained from bulls sold in western Canada from 2008 to 2011 and in Quebec from 2006 to 2010. Average scrotal circumferences for the most common beef breeds in Canada have increased significantly in the last 25 years. Differences between breeds have remained unchanged and Simmental bulls still have the largest SC at 1 year of age. Data provided here could aid in the establishment of new suggested minimum SC measurements for beef bulls.

  18. Increase in average testis size of Canadian beef bulls

    PubMed Central

    Guerra, Álvaro García; Hendrick, Steve; Barth, Albert D.

    2013-01-01

    Selection for adequate testis size in beef bulls is an important part of bull breeding soundness evaluation. Scrotal circumference (SC) is highly correlated with paired testis weight and is a practical method for estimating testis weight in the live animal. Most bulls presented for sale in Canada have SC included in the presale information. Scrotal circumference varies by age and breed, and may change over time due to selection for larger testis size. Therefore, it is important to periodically review the mean SC of various cattle breeds to provide valid bull selection criteria. Scrotal circumference data were obtained from bulls sold in western Canada from 2008 to 2011 and in Quebec from 2006 to 2010. Average scrotal circumferences for the most common beef breeds in Canada have increased significantly in the last 25 years. Differences between breeds have remained unchanged and Simmental bulls still have the largest SC at 1 year of age. Data provided here could aid in the establishment of new suggested minimum SC measurements for beef bulls. PMID:24155433

  19. Increase in vertebral body size in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

    PubMed

    Briot, K; Kolta, S; Fechtenbaum, J; Said-Nahal, R; Benhamou, C L; Roux, C

    2010-08-01

    Bone geometry plays a prominent role in bone strength. Cross-sectional studies have shown that advancing age is associated with increasing diameter of long bones, related to both periostal apposition and endosteal resorption. However, there are few data provided by prospective studies, especially concerning the changes in vertebral body dimensions. The objective of this prospective study was to measure the changes occurring in the vertebral body size of women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. Three-year data from placebo groups of the SOTI and TROPOS trials, performed in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis, were used for this study. In these trials, patients underwent lateral radiographs of the thoracic and lumbar spine at baseline and annually over 3 years, according to standardized procedures. Six-point digitization method was used: the four corner points of the vertebral body from T4 to L4 are marked, as well as an additional point in the middle of the upper and lower endplates. From these 6 points, the vertebral body perimeter, area and depth were measured at baseline and at 3 years. The analysis excluded all vertebrae with prevalent or incident fracture. A total of 2017 postmenopausal women (mean age 73.4+/-6.1 years) with a mean lumbar spine T score of -3.1+/-1.5, and a mean femoral neck T score of -3.0+/-0.7 are included in the analysis. Vertebral body dimensions increased over 3 years, by 2.1+/-5.5% (mean depth+/-SD), by 1.7+/-8.3% (mean area+/-SD) and by 1.5+/-4.9% (mean perimeter+/-SD) at the thoracic level (T4 to T12). At the lumbar level (L1 to L4), these dimensions increased as well: 1.4+/-3.6% (mean depth+/-SD), 1.4+/-5.7% (mean area+/-SD), 0.7+/-2.9% (mean perimeter+/-SD). A significant increase in vertebral body size was observed for each vertebral level from T5 to L4 for each of these parameters (p<0.01). These prospective results demonstrate that vertebral body dimensions increase over 3 years in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis

  20. Muscle fiber size increases following resistance training in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Dalgas, U; Stenager, E; Jakobsen, J; Petersen, T; Overgaard, K; Ingemann-Hansen, T

    2010-11-01

    To test the hypothesis that lower body progressive resistance training (PRT) leads to an increase of the muscle fiber cross-sectional area (CSA) and a shift in the proportion of fiber types in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). The present study was a two-arm, randomized controlled trial (RCT). Thirty-eight MS patients (Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) 3-5.5) were randomized to a PRT group (Exercise, n = 19) or a control group (Control, n = 19). The Exercise group performed a biweekly 12-week lower body PRT program [five exercises progressing from 15RM (Repetition Maximum) towards 8RM], whereas the Control group maintained their usual daily activity level during the trial period. Muscle biopsies from vastus lateralis were taken before (pre) and after the trial (post). Thigh volume (TV) was estimated from anthropometric measurements. Isokinetic muscle strength of the knee extensors (KE) and flexors (KF) were evaluated at slow (90(°)/s) and fast (180(°)/s) angular velocities. In the Exercise group the mean CSA of all muscle fibers (7.9 ± 15.4% vs. -3.5 ± 9.0%, p = 0.03) and of type II muscle fibers (14.0 ± 19.4% vs. -2.6 ± 15.5%, p = 0.02) increased in comparison with the Control group. No changes occurred in the proportion of fiber types in the Exercise group. Neither was there any change in total TV. Isokinetic strength at KE180, KF90 and KF180 improved significantly after PRT when compared with the control group (10.2-21.3%, p ≤ 0.02). We conclude that progressive resistance training induces a compensatory increase of muscle fiber size in patients with the central nervous system disorder, multiple sclerosis.

  1. A Microscopic Quantal Model for Nuclear Collective Rotation

    SciTech Connect

    Gulshani, P.

    2007-10-26

    A microscopic, quantal model to describe nuclear collective rotation in two dimensions is derived from the many-nucleon Schrodinger equation. The Schrodinger equation is transformed to a body-fixed frame to decompose the Hamiltonian into a sum of intrinsic and rotational components plus a Coriolis-centrifugal coupling term. This Hamiltonian (H) is expressed in terms of space-fixed-frame particle coordinates and momenta by using commutator of H with a rotation angle. A unified-rotational-model type wavefunction is used to obtain an intrinsic Schrodinger equation in terms of angular momentum quantum number and two-body operators. A Hartree-Fock mean-field representation of this equation is then obtained and, by means of a unitary transformation, is reduced to a form resembling that of the conventional semi-classical cranking model when exchange terms and intrinsic spurious collective excitation are ignored.

  2. BDNF has opposite effects on the quantal amplitude of pyramidal neuron and interneuron excitatory synapses.

    PubMed

    Rutherford, L C; Nelson, S B; Turrigiano, G G

    1998-09-01

    Recently, we have identified a novel form of synaptic plasticity that acts to stabilize neocortical firing rates by scaling the quantal amplitude of AMPA-mediated synaptic inputs up or down as a function of neuronal activity. Here, we show that the effects of activity blockade on quantal amplitude are mediated through the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Exogenous BDNF prevented, and a TrkB-IgG fusion protein reproduced, the effects of activity blockade on pyramidal quantal amplitude. BDNF had opposite effects on pyramidal neuron and interneuron quantal amplitudes and modified the ratio of pyramidal neuron to interneuron firing rates. These data demonstrate a novel role for BDNF in the homeostatic regulation of excitatory synaptic strengths and in the maintenance of the balance of cortical excitation and inhibition.

  3. Quantal analysis reveals a functional correlation between presynaptic and postsynaptic efficacy in excitatory connections from rat neocortex.

    PubMed

    Hardingham, Neil R; Read, Jenny C A; Trevelyan, Andrew J; Nelson, J Charmaine; Jack, J Julian B; Bannister, Neil J

    2010-01-27

    At many central synapses, the presynaptic bouton and postsynaptic density are structurally correlated. However, it is unknown whether this correlation extends to the functional properties of the synapses. To investigate this, we made recordings from synaptically coupled pairs of pyramidal neurons in rat visual cortex. The mean peak amplitude of EPSPs recorded from pairs of L2/3 neurons ranged between 40 microV and 2.9 mV. EPSP rise times were consistent with the majority of the synapses being located on basal dendrites; this was confirmed by full anatomical reconstructions of a subset of connected pairs. Over a third of the connections could be described using a quantal model that assumed simple binomial statistics. Release probability (P(r)) and quantal size (Q), as measured at the somatic recording site, showed considerable heterogeneity between connections. However, across the population of connections, values of P(r) and Q for individual connections were positively correlated with one another. This correlation also held for inputs to layer 5 pyramidal neurons from both layer 2/3 and neighboring layer 5 pyramidal neurons, suggesting that during development of cortical connections presynaptic and postsynaptic strengths are dependently scaled. For 2/3 to 2/3 connections, mean EPSP amplitude was correlated with both Q and P(r) values but uncorrelated with N, the number of functional release sites mediating the connection. The efficacy of a cortical connection is thus set by coordinated presynaptic and postsynaptic strength.

  4. Quantal independence and uniformity of presynaptic release kinetics at the frog neuromuscular junction.

    PubMed

    Barrett, E F; Stevens, C F

    1972-12-01

    1. Amplitude and latency fluctuations of the end-plate potential at the frog neuromuscular junction were studied simultaneously at low temperatures, using intracellular or focal extracellular recording techniques and average quantal contents between 0.5 and 3.2. At the release rates studied, the evoked release of one quantum has in most cases no significant effect on the probability of subsequent quantal release to the same stimulus, confirming the mutual independence of quantal releases in this preparation.3. An equation derived from Poisson's law was applied to a histogram of the latencies of the first quantum released on each of a series of trials, to predict the average quantal content of end-plate responses originating at various times after nerve stimulation. The shape of the predicted time distribution of quantal contents usually agreed closely with that of the experimentally observed time distribution of end-plate response amplitudes. This agreement demonstrates that both the amplitude and the latency fluctuations of the end-plate response result from one presynaptic stochastic process that is uniform in magnitude and time course after each stimulus.4. Analysis of extracellular records from synaptic regions with a history of extensive activity often suggested the existence of depressive interaction among quantal releases, perhaps caused by depletion of the supply of releasable quanta.

  5. Empty Niches after Extinctions Increase Population Sizes of Modern Corals.

    PubMed

    Prada, Carlos; Hanna, Bishoy; Budd, Ann F; Woodley, Cheryl M; Schmutz, Jeremy; Grimwood, Jane; Iglesias-Prieto, Roberto; Pandolfi, John M; Levitan, Don; Johnson, Kenneth G; Knowlton, Nancy; Kitano, Hiroaki; DeGiorgio, Michael; Medina, Mónica

    2016-12-05

    Large environmental fluctuations often cause mass extinctions, extirpating species and transforming communities [1, 2]. While the effects on community structure are evident in the fossil record, demographic consequences for populations of individual species are harder to evaluate because fossils reveal relative, but not absolute, abundances. However, genomic analyses of living species that have survived a mass extinction event offer the potential for understanding the demographic effects of such environmental fluctuations on extant species. Here, we show how environmental variation since the Pliocene has shaped demographic changes in extant corals of the genus Orbicella, major extant reef builders in the Caribbean that today are endangered. We use genomic approaches to estimate previously unknown current and past population sizes over the last 3 million years. Populations of all three Orbicella declined around 2-1 million years ago, coincident with the extinction of at least 50% of Caribbean coral species. The estimated changes in population size are consistent across the three species despite their ecological differences. Subsequently, two shallow-water specialists expanded their population sizes at least 2-fold, over a time that overlaps with the disappearance of their sister competitor species O. nancyi (the organ-pipe Orbicella). Our study suggests that populations of Orbicella species are capable of rebounding from reductions in population size under suitable conditions and that the effective population size of modern corals provides rich standing genetic variation for corals to adapt to climate change. For conservation genetics, our study suggests the need to evaluate genetic variation under appropriate demographic models.

  6. Does teenage childbearing increase smoking, drinking and body size?

    PubMed

    Webbink, Dinand; Martin, Nicholas G; Visscher, Peter M

    2008-07-01

    This paper analyses the causal effect of teenage childbearing on smoking, drinking and body size using a sample of Australian twins and their relatives. Fixed effects estimates on samples of siblings, all twin pairs and identical twin pairs show that teenage mothers smoke more during their lives. Teen mothers tend to have a higher probability of being overweight, especially if they are older than 40 years. Their spouses are more likely to smoke and drink more. The quality of the spouse seems to be an important mechanism through which teenage childbearing affects subsequent maternal health.

  7. Plant genotypic diversity increases population size of a herbivorous insect

    PubMed Central

    Utsumi, Shunsuke; Ando, Yoshino; Craig, Timothy P.; Ohgushi, Takayuki

    2011-01-01

    It is critical to incorporate the process of population dynamics into community genetics studies to identify the mechanisms of the linkage between host plant genetics and associated communities. We studied the effects of plant genotypic diversity of tall goldenrod Solidago altissima on the population dynamics of the aphid Uroleucon nigrotuberculatum. We found genotypic variation in plant resistance to the aphid in our experiments. To determine the impact of plant genotypic diversity on aphid population dynamics, we compared aphid densities under conditions of three treatments: single-genotype plots, mixed-genotype plots and mixed-genotype-with-cages plots. In the latter treatment plants were individually caged to prevent natural enemy attack and aphid movement among plants. The synergistic effects of genotypes on population size were demonstrated by the greater aphid population size in the mixed-genotype treatment than expected from additive effects alone. Two non-exclusive hypotheses are proposed to explain this pattern. First, there is a source–sink relationship among plant genotypes: aphids move from plant genotypes where their reproduction is high to genotypes where their reproduction is low. Second, natural enemy mortality is reduced in mixed plots in a matrix of diverse plant genotypes. PMID:21378084

  8. On being the right size: increased body size is associated with reduced telomere length under natural conditions.

    PubMed

    Ringsby, Thor Harald; Jensen, Henrik; Pärn, Henrik; Kvalnes, Thomas; Boner, Winnie; Gillespie, Robert; Holand, Håkon; Hagen, Ingerid Julie; Rønning, Bernt; Sæther, Bernt-Erik; Monaghan, Pat

    2015-12-07

    Evolution of body size is likely to involve trade-offs between body size, growth rate and longevity. Within species, larger body size is associated with faster growth and ageing, and reduced longevity, but the cellular processes driving these relationships are poorly understood. One mechanism that might play a key role in determining optimal body size is the relationship between body size and telomere dynamics. However, we know little about how telomere length is affected when selection for larger size is imposed in natural populations. We report here on the relationship between structural body size and telomere length in wild house sparrows at the beginning and end of a selection regime for larger parent size that was imposed for 4 years in an isolated population of house sparrows. A negative relationship between fledgling size and telomere length was present at the start of the selection; this was extended when fledgling size increased under the selection regime, demonstrating a persistent covariance between structural size and telomere length. Changes in telomere dynamics, either as a correlated trait or a consequence of larger size, could reduce potential longevity and the consequent trade-offs could thereby play an important role in the evolution of optimal body size. © 2015 The Author(s).

  9. Temperature dependence of quantal and thermal dampings of the hot giant dipole resonance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Dinh Dang; Arima, Akito

    1998-07-01

    A systematic study of the damping of the giant dipole resonance (GDR) in 90Zr, 120Sn and 208Pb as a function of temperature T is performed. The double-time Green function technique is employed to determine the single-particle and GDR dampings. The single-particle energies, obtained in the Woods-Saxon potential for these nuclei, are used in the calculations. The results show that the coupling of collective vibration to the pp and hh excitations, which causes the thermal damping width, is responsible for the enlargement of the total width with increasing temperature up to T ≈ 3MeV and its saturation at higher temperatures. The quantal width, which arises from the coupling of the collective mode to the ph excitations decreases slowly with increasing temperature. The effect of single-particle damping on the GDR width is small. The results are found in an overall agreement with the experimental data for the GDR width, obtained in the inelastic α scattering and heavy-ion fusion reactions at excitation energies E* ⩽ 450 MeV. At high excitation energies (E* > 400 MeV) a behavior similar to the transition from zero to ordinary sounds is observed.

  10. Classical study of rotational excitation of a rigid rotor - Li/+/ + H2. II - Correspondence with quantal results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Labudde, R. A.; Bernstein, R. B.

    1973-01-01

    Further classical trajectory calculations of the rotational excitation of H2 in collision with Li(+) have been carried out in order to assess several alternative classical-quantal correspondence relationships. The results are compared with exact quantal cross sections computed for the same model system by Lester and Schaefer (1973).

  11. Bayesian Inference of Synaptic Quantal Parameters from Correlated Vesicle Release

    PubMed Central

    Bird, Alex D.; Wall, Mark J.; Richardson, Magnus J. E.

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic transmission is both history-dependent and stochastic, resulting in varying responses to presentations of the same presynaptic stimulus. This complicates attempts to infer synaptic parameters and has led to the proposal of a number of different strategies for their quantification. Recently Bayesian approaches have been applied to make more efficient use of the data collected in paired intracellular recordings. Methods have been developed that either provide a complete model of the distribution of amplitudes for isolated responses or approximate the amplitude distributions of a train of post-synaptic potentials, with correct short-term synaptic dynamics but neglecting correlations. In both cases the methods provided significantly improved inference of model parameters as compared to existing mean-variance fitting approaches. However, for synapses with high release probability, low vesicle number or relatively low restock rate and for data in which only one or few repeats of the same pattern are available, correlations between serial events can allow for the extraction of significantly more information from experiment: a more complete Bayesian approach would take this into account also. This has not been possible previously because of the technical difficulty in calculating the likelihood of amplitudes seen in correlated post-synaptic potential trains; however, recent theoretical advances have now rendered the likelihood calculation tractable for a broad class of synaptic dynamics models. Here we present a compact mathematical form for the likelihood in terms of a matrix product and demonstrate how marginals of the posterior provide information on covariance of parameter distributions. The associated computer code for Bayesian parameter inference for a variety of models of synaptic dynamics is provided in the Supplementary Material allowing for quantal and dynamical parameters to be readily inferred from experimental data sets. PMID:27932970

  12. Reversible Recruitment of a Homeostatic Reserve Pool of Synaptic Vesicles Underlies Rapid Homeostatic Plasticity of Quantal Content

    PubMed Central

    Pinter, Martin J.; Rich, Mark M.

    2016-01-01

    Homeostatic regulation is essential for the maintenance of synaptic strength within the physiological range. The current study is the first to demonstrate that both induction and reversal of homeostatic upregulation of synaptic vesicle release can occur within seconds of blocking or unblocking acetylcholine receptors at the mouse neuromuscular junction. Our data suggest that the homeostatic upregulation of release is due to Ca2+-dependent increase in the size of the readily releasable pool (RRP). Blocking vesicle refilling prevented upregulation of quantal content (QC), while leaving baseline release relatively unaffected. This suggested that the upregulation of QC was due to mobilization of a distinct pool of vesicles that were rapidly recycled and thus were dependent on continued vesicle refilling. We term this pool the “homeostatic reserve pool.” A detailed analysis of the time course of vesicle release triggered by a presynaptic action potential suggests that the homeostatic reserve pool of vesicles is normally released more slowly than other vesicles, but the rate of their release becomes similar to that of the major pool during homeostatic upregulation of QC. Remarkably, instead of finding a generalized increase in the recruitment of vesicles into RRP, we identified a distinct homeostatic reserve pool of vesicles that appear to only participate in synchronized release following homeostatic upregulation of QC. Once this small pool of vesicles is depleted by the block of vesicle refilling, homeostatic upregulation of QC is no longer observed. This is the first identification of the population of vesicles responsible for the blockade-induced upregulation of release previously described. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The current study is the first to demonstrate that both the induction and reversal of homeostatic upregulation of synaptic vesicle release can occur within seconds. Our data suggest that homeostatic upregulation of release is due to Ca2+-dependent

  13. Decreased frequency but not amplitude of quantal synaptic responses associated with expression of corticostriatal long-term depression.

    PubMed

    Choi, S; Lovinger, D M

    1997-11-01

    We have investigated the site of expression of striatal long-term synaptic depression (LTD) using analysis of Sr2+-induced asynchronous release of quanta from stimulated synapses. The cumulative amplitude distribution of Sr2+-induced asynchronous synaptic responses overlaps with that of miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs), suggesting that Sr2+-induced asynchronous responses are quantal. Quantal amplitude at stimulated synapses is not significantly altered after LTD induction, whereas quantal frequency decreases after LTD induction. The decrease in quantal frequency is prevented when LTD expression is blocked by dialyzing 10 mM EGTA into the postsynaptic neuron. Our findings are most consistent with the idea that expression of striatal LTD involves decreased neurotransmitter release with no change in quantal amplitude, despite the fact that induction of striatal LTD involves postsynaptic mechanisms.

  14. Receptor-mediated presynaptic facilitation of quantal release of acetylcholine induced by pralidoxime in Aplysia.

    PubMed

    Fossier, P; Baux, G; Poulain, B; Tauc, L

    1990-09-01

    1. Possible interactions of contrathion (pralidoxime sulfomethylate), a reactivator of phosphorylated acetylcholinesterase (AChE), with the regulation of cholinergic transmission were investigated on an identified synapse in the buccal ganglion of Aplysia californica. 2. Transmitter release was evoked either by a presynaptic action potential or, under voltage clamp, by a long depolarization of the presynaptic cell. At concentrations higher than 10(-5) M, bath-applied contrathion decreased the amplitude of miniature postsynaptic currents and increased their decay time. At the same time, the quantal release of ACh was transiently facilitated. The facilitatory effect of contrathion was prevented by tubocurarine but not by atropine. Because in this preparation, these drugs block, respectively, the presynaptic nicotinic-like and muscarinic-like receptors involved in positive and negative feedback of ACh release, we proposed that contrathion activates presynaptic nicotinic-like receptors. 3. Differential desensitization of the presynaptic receptors is proposed to explain the transience of the facilitatory action of contrathion on ACh release. 4. The complexity of the synaptic action of contrathion raises the possibility that its therapeutic effects in AChE poisonings are not limited to AChE reactivation.

  15. Topology-dependent rationality and quantal response equilibria in structured populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roman, Sabin; Brede, Markus

    2017-05-01

    Given that the assumption of perfect rationality is rarely met in the real world, we explore a graded notion of rationality in socioecological systems of networked actors. We parametrize an actors' rationality via their place in a social network and quantify system rationality via the average Jensen-Shannon divergence between the games Nash and logit quantal response equilibria. Previous work has argued that scale-free topologies maximize a system's overall rationality in this setup. Here we show that while, for certain games, it is true that increasing degree heterogeneity of complex networks enhances rationality, rationality-optimal configurations are not scale-free. For the Prisoner's Dilemma and Stag Hunt games, we provide analytic arguments complemented by numerical optimization experiments to demonstrate that core-periphery networks composed of a few dominant hub nodes surrounded by a periphery of very low degree nodes give strikingly smaller overall deviations from rationality than scale-free networks. Similarly, for the Battle of the Sexes and the Matching Pennies games, we find that the optimal network structure is also a core-periphery graph but with a smaller difference in the average degrees of the core and the periphery. These results provide insight on the interplay between the topological structure of socioecological systems and their collective cognitive behavior, with potential applications to understanding wealth inequality and the structural features of the network of global corporate control.

  16. Increased bioavailability of a transdermal application of a nano-sized emulsion preparation.

    PubMed

    Kotyla, T; Kuo, F; Moolchandani, V; Wilson, T; Nicolosi, R

    2008-01-22

    The aim of this study was to compare the transdermal application of a nano-sized emulsion versus a micron-sized emulsion preparation of delta tocopherol as it relates to particle size and bioavailability. Two separate experiments were performed using seven F1B Syrian Golden hamsters, 1 week apart. Each emulsion preparation consisted of canola oil, polysorbate 80, deionized water and delta tocopherol; the only difference between the two preparations was processing the nano-sized emulsion with the Microfluidizer Processor. Both were formulated into a cream and applied to the shaven dorsal area. The particle size of the micron-sized emulsion preparation was 2788 nm compared to 65 nm for the nano-sized emulsion formulation. Two hours post-application, hamsters that were applied the nano-sized emulsion had a 36-fold significant increase of plasma delta tocopherol, where as hamsters that were applied the micron-sized emulsion only had a 9-fold significant increase, compared to baseline, respectively. At 3h post-application, plasma delta tocopherol had significantly increased 68-fold for hamsters applied the nano-sized emulsion, whereas only an 11-fold significant increase was observed in hamsters applied the micron-sized emulsion, compared to baseline, respectively. Significant differences were also observed between the nano-sized and micron-sized emulsion at 2 and 3h post-application. This study suggests that nano-sized emulsions significantly increase the bioavailability of transdermally applied delta tocopherol.

  17. Increasing portion sizes of fruits and vegetables in an elementary school lunch program can increase fruit and vegetable consumption.

    PubMed

    Miller, Nicole; Reicks, Marla; Redden, Joseph P; Mann, Traci; Mykerezi, Elton; Vickers, Zata

    2015-08-01

    Increasing portion size can increase children's consumption of food. The goal of this study was to determine whether increasing the portion sizes of fruits and vegetables in an elementary school cafeteria environment would increase children's consumption of them. We measured each child's consumption of the fruit and vegetables served in a cafeteria line on a control day (normal cafeteria procedures) and on two intervention days. When we increased the portion size of 3 of the 4 fruits and vegetables by about 50%, children who took those foods increased their consumption of them. Although this was an effective strategy for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among students who took those foods, many children chose not to take any fruits or vegetables. Further efforts are needed to increase children's selection and consumption of fruits and vegetables in an environment of competing foods of higher palatability.

  18. Sample Sizes for Confidence Intervals on the Increase in the Squared Multiple Correlation Coefficient.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Algina, James; Moulder, Bradley C.

    2001-01-01

    Studied sample sizes for confidence intervals on the increase in the squared multiple correlation coefficient using simulation. Discusses predictors and actual coverage probability and provides sample-size guidelines for probability coverage to be near the nominal confidence interval. (SLD)

  19. Sample Sizes for Confidence Intervals on the Increase in the Squared Multiple Correlation Coefficient.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Algina, James; Moulder, Bradley C.

    2001-01-01

    Studied sample sizes for confidence intervals on the increase in the squared multiple correlation coefficient using simulation. Discusses predictors and actual coverage probability and provides sample-size guidelines for probability coverage to be near the nominal confidence interval. (SLD)

  20. Probabilistic secretion of quanta at somatic motor-nerve terminals: the fusion-pore model, quantal detection and autoinhibition.

    PubMed

    Thomson, P C; Lavidis, N A; Robinson, J; Bennett, M R

    1995-08-29

    The probability of detecting first, second, and later quanta secreted at release sites of a motor-nerve terminal during the early release period following a nerve impulse has been addressed. The possibility that early quantal release autoinhibits later quantal release during this period has also been ascertained. In this investigation, a model for the secretion of a quantum at a release site is developed in which, following the influx and diffusion of calcium ions to a release site protein associated with synaptic vesicles, kappa steps of association of the ions with the protein then occur at rate alpha. The release site protein then undergoes a conformational change which may not go on to completion if calcium ions dissociate from the protein at rate gamma. If this process does reach completion then a fusion-pore between the vesicle and the presynaptic membrane is created; this happens at rate delta. Key assumptions of this fusion-pore model are that the quantal secretions from each site are independent of each other, and that there is a large number of vesicles, each with a small probability of secretion, so that the number of secretions is Poisson in nature. These assumptions allow analytical expressions to be obtained for predicting the times at which first, second and later quanta are secreted during the early release period following an impulse. To test the model, experiments were performed in which the times of first, second and later quantal releases were determined at discrete regions along the length of visualized motor-terminal branches in toad (Bufo marinus) muscles. Estimates of model rate constants and of kappa from the times for first quantal secretions failed to give satisfactory predictions of the observed times of later secretions. Therefore, either the model fails, or the procedure used for detecting later quantal events as a consequence of their being masked by earlier quantal events is inadequate. To solve this detection problem, a two

  1. Bayesian Analysis for Linearized Multi-Stage Models in Quantal Bioassay.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuo, Lynn; Cohen, Michael P.

    Bayesian methods for estimating dose response curves in quantal bioassay are studied. A linearized multi-stage model is assumed for the shape of the curves. A Gibbs sampling approach with data augmentation is employed to compute the Bayes estimates. In addition, estimation of the "relative additional risk" and the "risk specific…

  2. Variability of Vowel Formant Frequencies and the Quantal Theory of Speech: A First Report

    PubMed Central

    Pisoni, David B.

    2012-01-01

    This paper reports the results of a study in which variability of formant frequencies for different vowels was examined with regard to several predictions derived from the quantal theory of speech. Two subjects were required to reproduce eight different steady-state synthetic vowels which were presented repeatedly in a randomized order. Spectral analysis was carried out on the vocal responses in order to obtain means and standard deviations of the vowel formant frequencies. In the spirit of the quantal theory, it was predicted that the points vowel, /i/, /a/ and /u/ would show lower standard deviations than the nonpoint vowels because these vowels are assumed to be produced at places in the vocal tract where small perturbations in articulation produce only minimal changes in the resulting formant frequencies. That is, these vowels are assumed to be quantal vowels. The results of this study provided little support for the hypothesis under consideration. A discussion of the outcome of the results as well as some speculation as to its failure to find support for the quantal theory is provided in the report. Several final comments are also offered about computer simulation studies of speech production and the need for additional empirical studies on vowel production with real talkers. PMID:7280032

  3. Variability of vowel formant frequencies and the quantal theory of speech: a first report.

    PubMed

    Pisoni, D B

    1981-01-01

    This paper reports the results of a study in which variability of formant frequencies for different vowels was examined with regard to several predictions derived from the quantal theory of speech. Two subjects were required to reproduce eight different steady-state synthetic vowels which were presented repeatedly in a randomized order. Spectral analysis was carried out on the vocal responses in order to obtain means and standard deviations of the vowel formant frequencies. In the spirit of the quantal theory, it was predicted that the point vowel, /i/, /a/ and /u/ would show lower standard deviations than the nonpoint vowels because these vowels are assumed to be produced at places in the vocal tract where small perturbations in articulation produce only minimal changes in the resulting formant frequencies. That is, these vowels are assumed to be quantal vowels. The results of this study provided little support for the hypothesis under consideration. A discussion of the outcome of the results as well as some speculation as to its failure to find support for the quantal theory is provided in the report. Several final comments are also offered about computer simulation studies of speech production and the need for additional empirical studies on vowel production with real talkers.

  4. A study of the mechanism of quantal transmitter release at a chemical synapse

    PubMed Central

    Blioch, Zhanna L.; Glagoleva, Irina M.; Liberman, E. A.; Nenashev, V. A.

    1968-01-01

    1. The nerve-muscle preparation of the cutaneous pectoris of the frog has been used to study quantal transmitter release. 2. When the osmotic pressure of the external solution is raised 1·5-2 fold, the frequency of miniature end-plate potentials (m.e.p.p.s) rises by 1·5-2 orders of magnitude. This effect is independent of the presence of Ca2+ ions and of the nature of the substances by which the osmotic pressure has been increased. 3. In Ca2+ free hypertonic solution the nerve impulse still invades the nerve terminals but does not alter the frequency of the m.e.p.p.s. 4. The arrival of the impulse in the terminals causes an immediate increase in the rate of quantal release, provided divalent cations are present whose passage through the axon membrane is facilitated by excitation (Ca2+, Sr2+, Ba2+). 5. Divalent cations which penetrate only slightly (Mg2+, Be2+) lower the frequency of m.e.p.p.s and suppress the end-plate potential (e.p.p.) evoked by an impulse, in the presence of Ca2+ ions. Be2+ is a more effective inhibitor than Mg2+. 6. In Ca2+ free solutions, adding Mg2+ causes an increase in the frequency of m.e.p.p.s evoked by depolarization of the nerve endings or by treatment with ethanol. 7. The trivalent cation La3+ is more effective than divalent cations are in increasing the frequency of m.e.p.p.s. The tetravalent cation Th4+ also raises the m.e.p.p. frequency. 8. The observations summarized in paragraphs 2-7 indicate that the frequency of m.e.p.p.s at a constant temperature depends only on the concentration of uni-, di- and trivalent cations inside the nerve ending. It is suggested that the internal cation concentration influences the adhesion between synaptic vesicles and the membrane of the nerve ending. 9. For a model experiment, artificial phospholipid membranes have been used to study the effect of uni-, di-, tri- and tetravalent cations on the adhesion process. At pH 7-7·4, the time required for adhesion to take place decreases with increasing

  5. 39 CFR 3010.11 - Limit on size of rate increases.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 39 Postal Service 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Limit on size of rate increases. 3010.11 Section 3010.11 Postal Service POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION PERSONNEL REGULATION OF RATES FOR MARKET DOMINANT...) § 3010.11 Limit on size of rate increases. (a) Rate increases for each class of market dominant products...

  6. 39 CFR 3010.11 - Limit on size of rate increases.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ...) § 3010.11 Limit on size of rate increases. (a) Rate increases for each class of market dominant products... 39 Postal Service 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Limit on size of rate increases. 3010.11 Section... authority is measured separately for each class of mail. (d) In any 12-month period the...

  7. 39 CFR 3010.11 - Limit on size of rate increases.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ...) § 3010.11 Limit on size of rate increases. (a) Rate increases for each class of market dominant products... 39 Postal Service 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Limit on size of rate increases. 3010.11 Section... authority is measured separately for each class of mail. (d) In any 12-month period the...

  8. Increasing precipitation event size increases aboveground net primary productivity in a semi-arid grassland.

    PubMed

    Heisler-White, Jana L; Knapp, Alan K; Kelly, Eugene F

    2008-11-01

    Water availability is the primary constraint to aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) in many terrestrial biomes, and it is an ecosystem driver that will be strongly altered by future climate change. Global circulation models predict a shift in precipitation patterns to growing season rainfall events that are larger in size but fewer in number. This "repackaging" of rainfall into large events with long intervening dry intervals could be particularly important in semi-arid grasslands because it is in marked contrast to the frequent but small events that have historically defined this ecosystem. We investigated the effect of more extreme rainfall patterns on ANPP via the use of rainout shelters and paired this experimental manipulation with an investigation of long-term data for ANPP and precipitation. Experimental plots (n = 15) received the long-term (30-year) mean growing season precipitation quantity; however, this amount was distributed as 12, six, or four events applied manually according to seasonal patterns for May-September. The long-term mean (1940-2005) number of rain events in this shortgrass steppe was 14 events, with a minimum of nine events in years of average precipitation. Thus, our experimental treatments pushed this system beyond its recent historical range of variability. Plots receiving fewer, but larger rain events had the highest rates of ANPP (184 +/- 38 g m(-2)), compared to plots receiving more frequent rainfall (105 +/- 24 g m(-2)). ANPP in all experimental plots was greater than long-term mean ANPP for this system (97 g m(-2)), which may be explained in part by the more even distribution of applied rain events. Soil moisture data indicated that larger events led to greater soil water content and likely permitted moisture penetration to deeper in the soil profile. These results indicate that semi-arid grasslands are capable of responding immediately and substantially to forecast shifts to more extreme precipitation patterns.

  9. BDNF increases release probability and the size of a rapidly recycling vesicle pool within rat hippocampal excitatory synapses

    PubMed Central

    Tyler, William J; Zhang, Xiao-lei; Hartman, Kenichi; Winterer, Jochen; Muller, Wolfgang; Stanton, Patric K; Pozzo-Miller, Lucas

    2006-01-01

    Exerting its actions pre-, post- and peri-synaptically, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is one of the most potent modulators of hippocampal synaptic function. Here, we examined the effects of BDNF on a rapidly recycling pool (RRP) of vesicles within excitatory synapses. First, we estimated vesicular release in hippocampal cultures by performing FM4-64 imaging in terminals impinging on enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP)-labelled dendritic spines – a hallmark of excitatory synapses. Consistent with a modulation of the RRP, BDNF increased the evoked destaining rate of FM4-64 only during the initial phase of field stimulation. Multiphoton microscopy in acute hippocampal slices confirmed these observations by selectively imaging the RRP, which was loaded with FM1-43 by hyperosmotic shock. Slices exposed to BDNF showed an increase in the evoked and spontaneous rates of FM1-43 destaining from terminals in CA1 stratum radiatum, mostly representing excitatory terminals of Schaffer collaterals. Variance-mean analysis of evoked EPSCs in CA1 pyramidal neurons further confirmed that release probability is increased in BDNF-treated slices, without changes in the number of independent release sites or average postsynaptic quantal amplitude. Because BDNF was absent during dye loading, imaging, destaining and whole-cell recordings, these results demonstrate that BDNF induces a long-lasting enhancement in the probability of transmitter release at hippocampal excitatory synapses by modulating the RRP. Since the endogenous BDNF scavenger TrkB-IgG prevented the enhancement of FM1-43 destaining rate caused by induction of long-term potentiation in acute hippocampal slices, the modulation of a rapidly recycling vesicle pool may underlie the role of BDNF in hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity. PMID:16709633

  10. Estimation of census and effective population sizes: the increasing usefulness of DNA-based approaches

    Treesearch

    Gordon Luikart; Nils Ryman; David A. Tallmon; Michael K. Schwartz; Fred W. Allendorf

    2010-01-01

    Population census size (NC) and effective population sizes (Ne) are two crucial parameters that influence population viability, wildlife management decisions, and conservation planning. Genetic estimators of both NC and Ne are increasingly widely used because molecular markers are increasingly available, statistical methods are improving rapidly, and genetic estimators...

  11. Stability of mixed-strategy-based iterative logit quantal response dynamics in game theory.

    PubMed

    Zhuang, Qian; Di, Zengru; Wu, Jinshan

    2014-01-01

    Using the Logit quantal response form as the response function in each step, the original definition of static quantal response equilibrium (QRE) is extended into an iterative evolution process. QREs remain as the fixed points of the dynamic process. However, depending on whether such fixed points are the long-term solutions of the dynamic process, they can be classified into stable (SQREs) and unstable (USQREs) equilibriums. This extension resembles the extension from static Nash equilibriums (NEs) to evolutionary stable solutions in the framework of evolutionary game theory. The relation between SQREs and other solution concepts of games, including NEs and QREs, is discussed. Using experimental data from other published papers, we perform a preliminary comparison between SQREs, NEs, QREs and the observed behavioral outcomes of those experiments. For certain games, we determine that SQREs have better predictive power than QREs and NEs.

  12. Quantal density functional theory (QDFT) in the presence of a magnetic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Xiaoyin; Yang, Tao; Sahni, Viraht

    2011-03-01

    We present the QDFT of electrons in an external electrostatic E (r) = - ∇ v (r) and magnetostatic B (r) = ∇ × A (r) field. This is the mapping from the interacting system of electrons to one of noninteracting fermions with the same density ρ (r) and physical current density j (r) . The mapping, based on the `quantal Newtonian' first law, is in terms of `classical' fields and quantal sources, the fields being separately representative of electron correlations due to the Pauli exclusion principle and Coulomb repulsion, and correlation-kinetic and correlation-magnetic effects. The theory is valid for ground and excited states. It is explicated by application to a ground state of the exactly solvable Hooke's atom in the presence of a magnetic field. Supported by National NSF, China and RF CUNY.

  13. Thermal and quantal isospin and spin fluctuations in heavy ion reactions

    SciTech Connect

    Moretto, L.G.

    1980-01-01

    The isobaric charge distributions are discussed in terms of quantal and classical isospin fluctuations. The roles of mass asymmetry and of the higher giant isovector modes are treated within the framework of a cylinder model that is worked out exactly. Spin fluctuations are considered first in terms of quantal fluctuations in a cylinder model and second in terms of thermal fluctuations in a two-sphere model. The results are applied to the calculation of in- and out-of-plane angular distributions for sequential fission, alpha and gamma decay. Analytical expressions are obtained for the angular distributions. The theoretical predictions are compared with experimental results for sequential fission, alpha, and gamma angular distributions. 23 figures.

  14. The quantal theory of how the immune system discriminates between "self and non-self"

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Kendall A

    2004-01-01

    In the past 50 years, immunologists have accumulated an amazing amount of information as to how the immune system functions. However, one of the most fundamental aspects of immunity, how the immune system discriminates between self vs. non-self, still remains an enigma. Any attempt to explain this most intriguing and fundamental characteristic must account for this decision at the level of the whole immune system, but as well, at the level of the individual cells making up the immune system. Moreover, it must provide for a molecular explanation as to how and why the cells behave as they do. The "Quantal Theory", proposed herein, is based upon the "Clonal Selection Theory", first proposed by Sir McFarland Burnet in 1955, in which he explained the remarkable specificity as well as diversity of recognition of everything foreign in the environment. The "Quantal Theory" is built upon Burnet's premise that after antigen selection of cell clones, a proliferative expansion of the selected cells ensues. Furthermore, it is derived from experiments which indicate that the proliferation of antigen-selected cell clones is determined by a quantal, "all-or-none", decision promulgated by a critical number of cellular receptors triggered by the T Cell Growth Factor (TCGF), interleukin 2 (IL2). An extraordinary number of experiments reported especially in the past 20 years, and detailed herein, indicate that the T cell Antigen Receptor (TCR) behaves similarly, and also that there are several critical numbers of triggered TCRs that determine different fates of the T cells. Moreover, the fates of the cells appear ultimately to be determined by the TCR triggering of the IL2 and IL2 receptor (IL2R) genes, which are also expressed in a very quantal fashion. The "Quantal Theory" states that the fundamental decisions of the T cell immune system are dependent upon the cells receiving a critical number of triggered TCRs and IL2Rs and that the cells respond in an all-or-none fashion. The

  15. Stability of Mixed-Strategy-Based Iterative Logit Quantal Response Dynamics in Game Theory

    PubMed Central

    Zhuang, Qian; Di, Zengru; Wu, Jinshan

    2014-01-01

    Using the Logit quantal response form as the response function in each step, the original definition of static quantal response equilibrium (QRE) is extended into an iterative evolution process. QREs remain as the fixed points of the dynamic process. However, depending on whether such fixed points are the long-term solutions of the dynamic process, they can be classified into stable (SQREs) and unstable (USQREs) equilibriums. This extension resembles the extension from static Nash equilibriums (NEs) to evolutionary stable solutions in the framework of evolutionary game theory. The relation between SQREs and other solution concepts of games, including NEs and QREs, is discussed. Using experimental data from other published papers, we perform a preliminary comparison between SQREs, NEs, QREs and the observed behavioral outcomes of those experiments. For certain games, we determine that SQREs have better predictive power than QREs and NEs. PMID:25157502

  16. Quantal potential fields around individual active zones of amphibian motor-nerve terminals.

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, M R; Farnell, L; Gibson, W G; Macleod, G T; Dickens, P

    2000-01-01

    The release of a quantum from a nerve terminal is accompanied by the flow of extracellular current, which creates a field around the site of transmitter action. We provide a solution for the extent of this field for the case of a quantum released from a site on an amphibian motor-nerve terminal branch onto the receptor patch of a muscle fiber and compare this with measurements of the field using three extracellular electrodes. Numerical solution of the equations for the quantal potential field in cylindrical coordinates show that the density of the field at the peak of the quantal current gives rise to a peak extracellular potential, which declines approximately as the inverse of the distance from the source at distances greater than about 4 microm from the source along the length of the fiber. The peak extracellular potential declines to 20% of its initial value in a distance of about 6 microm, both along the length of the fiber and in the circumferential direction around the fiber. Simultaneous recordings of quantal potential fields, made with three electrodes placed in a line at right angles to an FM1-43 visualized branch, gave determinations of the field strengths in accord with the numerical solutions. In addition, the three electrodes were placed so as to straddle the visualized release sites of a branch. The positions of these sites were correctly predicted on the basis of the theory and independently ascertained by FM1-43 staining of the sites. It is concluded that quantal potential fields at the neuromuscular junction that can be measured with available recording techniques are restricted to regions within about 10 microm of the release site. PMID:10692301

  17. The quantal nature of transmission and spontaneous potentials at the Torpedo electromotor junction.

    PubMed

    Erdélyi, L

    1985-01-01

    Miniature and stimulus evoked electroplaque potentials (mEpPs and EpPs) were recorded in Torpedo electrocytes intracellularly and extracellularly. The quantal release parameters of EpPs and the time course of quantal EpCs were estimated in normal and low Ca2+-high Mg2+ solutions. Amplitude-frequency distribution of mEpPs showed Gaussian or uneven character with an average mean value of 0.3 +/- 0.08 mV (S.D.). The mean coefficient of variation of mEpPs was 26.8 +/- 7.2% (n = 6). Tetrodotoxin reversibly blocked the stimulus evoked EpP but hardly influenced the amplitude-frequency histogram of spontaneous EpPs in 10(-8)-10(-6) M concentration. The quantum content of stimulus evoked EpPs varied between 100-400 in normal solution which decreased in low Ca2+-high Mg2+ solution and the quantal release conformed to binomial statistics and allowed determination of the parameters p and n. Frequency of the spontaneous discharges varied highly from electrocyte to electrocyte but an analysis of the time intervals showed randomness for the events. The decay phase of quantal current composed of non-exponential and exponential sections which was characteristic with 0.75 +/- 0.16 msec (mean, S.D., at 20 degrees C) time constant of exponential decay. Although, two types of mEpCs could be differentiated having significantly slower and faster time courses. Neostigmine prolonged the time constant of decay of mEpCs in dose-dependent manner with a factor of 2 in 10(-6) M and of 4 in 10(-5) M concentrations (at about 20 degrees C).

  18. Less Is More: What Teachers Say About Decreasing Class Size and Increasing Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reynolds, Anne; Reagin, Marlene; Reinshuttle, Kenneth

    2001-01-01

    Elementary, middle school, and high school teachers from Fairfax County Public Schools express their views about reducing class size. Teachers from all grade levels said that reduced class size increased student learning and enhanced their teaching effectiveness, whereas large classes had the opposite effect. Lists four policy recommendations.…

  19. 43 CFR 4300.54 - Can BLM increase the size of the land in my permit?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... (Continued) BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR RANGE MANAGEMENT (4000) GRAZING ADMINISTRATION; ALASKA; REINDEER; GENERAL Changes in the Size of the Permit Area § 4300.54 Can BLM increase the...

  20. 43 CFR 4300.54 - Can BLM increase the size of the land in my permit?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... (Continued) BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR RANGE MANAGEMENT (4000) GRAZING ADMINISTRATION; ALASKA; REINDEER; GENERAL Changes in the Size of the Permit Area § 4300.54 Can BLM increase the...

  1. Culling experiments demonstrate size-class specific biomass increases with mortality.

    PubMed

    Schröder, A; Persson, L; de Roos, A M

    2009-02-24

    Size-selective mortality inevitably leads to a decrease in population density and exerts a direct negative effect on targeted size classes. But density and population size structure are also shaped by food-dependent processes, such as individual growth, maturation, and reproduction. Mortality relaxes competition and thereby alters the dynamic interplay among these processes. As shown by the recently developed size-structured theory, which can account for food-dependent individual performance, this altered interplay can lead to overcompensatory responses in size class-specific biomass, with increasing mortality. We experimentally tested this theory by subjecting laboratory fish populations to a range of size-selective mortality rates. Overall, the results were in agreement with theoretical predictions. Biomass of the juvenile size class increased above control levels at intermediate adult mortality rates and thereafter declined at high mortality rates. Juvenile biomass also increased when juveniles themselves were subjected to intermediate mortality rates. Biomass in other size classes decreased with mortality. Such biomass overcompensation can have wide-ranging implications for communities and food webs, including a high sensitivity of top predators to irreversible catastrophic collapses, the establishment of alternative stable community states, and the promotion of coexistence and biodiversity.

  2. Increased energy promotes size-based niche availability in marine mollusks.

    PubMed

    McClain, Craig R; Gullett, Taylor; Jackson-Ricketts, Justine; Unmack, Peter J

    2012-07-01

    Variation in chemical energy, that is food availability, is posited to cause variation in body size. However, examinations of the relationship are rare and primarily limited to amniotes and zooplankton. Moreover, the relationship between body size and chemical energy may be impacted by phylogenetic history, clade-specific ecology, and heterogeneity of chemical energy in space and time. Considerable work remains to both document patterns in body size over gradients in food availability and understanding the processes potentially generating them. Here, we examine the functional relationship between body size and chemical energy availability over a broad assortment of marine mollusks varying in habitat and mobility. We demonstrate that chemical energy availability is likely driving body size patterns across habitats. We find that lower food availability decreases size-based niche availability by setting hard constraints on maximum size and potentially on minimum size depending on clade-specific ecology. Conversely, higher food availability promotes greater niche availability and potentially promotes evolutionary innovation with regard to size. We posit based on these findings and previous work that increases in chemical energy are important to the diversification of Metazoans through size-mediated niche processes. © 2012 The Author(s).

  3. Increased InAs quantum dot size and density using bismuth as a surfactant

    SciTech Connect

    Dasika, Vaishno D.; Krivoy, E. M.; Nair, H. P.; Maddox, S. J.; Park, K. W.; Yu, E. T.; Bank, S. R.; Jung, D.; Lee, M. L.

    2014-12-22

    We have investigated the growth of self-assembled InAs quantum dots using bismuth as a surfactant to control the dot size and density. We find that the bismuth surfactant increases the quantum dot density, size, and uniformity, enabling the extension of the emission wavelength with increasing InAs deposition without a concomitant reduction in dot density. We show that these effects are due to bismuth acting as a reactive surfactant to kinetically suppress the surface adatom mobility. This mechanism for controlling quantum dot density and size has the potential to extend the operating wavelength and enhance the performance of various optoelectronic devices.

  4. Hypercaloric diets with increased meal frequency, but not meal size, increase intrahepatic triglycerides: a randomized controlled trial.

    PubMed

    Koopman, Karin E; Caan, Matthan W A; Nederveen, Aart J; Pels, Anouk; Ackermans, Mariette T; Fliers, Eric; la Fleur, Susanne E; Serlie, Mireille J

    2014-08-01

    American children consume up to 27% of calories from high-fat and high-sugar snacks. Both sugar and fat consumption have been implicated as a cause of hepatic steatosis and obesity but the effect of meal pattern is largely understudied. We hypothesized that a high meal frequency, compared to consuming large meals, is detrimental in the accumulation of intrahepatic and abdominal fat. To test this hypothesis, we randomized 36 lean, healthy men to a 40% hypercaloric diet for 6 weeks or a eucaloric control diet and measured intrahepatic triglyceride content (IHTG) using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1) H-MRS), abdominal fat using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and insulin sensitivity using a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp with a glucose isotope tracer before and after the diet intervention. The caloric surplus consisted of fat and sugar (high-fat-high-sugar; HFHS) or sugar only (high-sugar; HS) and was consumed together with, or between, the three main meals, thereby increasing meal size or meal frequency. All hypercaloric diets similarly increased body mass index (BMI). Increasing meal frequency significantly increased IHTG (HFHS mean relative increase of 45%; P = 0.016 and HS mean relative increase of 110%; P = 0.047), whereas increasing meal size did not (2-way analysis of variance [ANOVA] size versus frequency P = 0.03). Abdominal fat increased in the HFHS-frequency group (+63.3 ± 42.8 mL; P = 0.004) and tended to increase in the HS-frequency group (+46.5 ± 50.7 mL; P = 0.08). Hepatic insulin sensitivity tended to decrease in the HFHS-frequency group while peripheral insulin sensitivity was not affected. A hypercaloric diet with high meal frequency increased IHTG and abdominal fat independent of caloric content and body weight gain, whereas increasing meal size did not. This study suggests that snacking, a common feature in the Western diet, independently contributes to hepatic steatosis and obesity. ( www

  5. Hypercaloric diets with increased meal frequency, but not meal size, increase intrahepatic triglycerides: A randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Koopman, Karin E; Caan, Matthan WA; Nederveen, Aart J; Pels, Anouk; Ackermans, Mariette T; Fliers, Eric; la Fleur, Susanne E; Serlie, Mireille J

    2014-01-01

    American children consume up to 27% of calories from high-fat and high-sugar snacks. Both sugar and fat consumption have been implicated as a cause of hepatic steatosis and obesity but the effect of meal pattern is largely understudied. We hypothesized that a high meal frequency, compared to consuming large meals, is detrimental in the accumulation of intrahepatic and abdominal fat. To test this hypothesis, we randomized 36 lean, healthy men to a 40% hypercaloric diet for 6 weeks or a eucaloric control diet and measured intrahepatic triglyceride content (IHTG) using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS), abdominal fat using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and insulin sensitivity using a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp with a glucose isotope tracer before and after the diet intervention. The caloric surplus consisted of fat and sugar (high-fat-high-sugar; HFHS) or sugar only (high-sugar; HS) and was consumed together with, or between, the three main meals, thereby increasing meal size or meal frequency. All hypercaloric diets similarly increased body mass index (BMI). Increasing meal frequency significantly increased IHTG (HFHS mean relative increase of 45%; P = 0.016 and HS mean relative increase of 110%; P = 0.047), whereas increasing meal size did not (2-way analysis of variance [ANOVA] size versus frequency P = 0.03). Abdominal fat increased in the HFHS-frequency group (+63.3 ± 42.8 mL; P = 0.004) and tended to increase in the HS-frequency group (+46.5 ± 50.7 mL; P = 0.08). Hepatic insulin sensitivity tended to decrease in the HFHS-frequency group while peripheral insulin sensitivity was not affected. Conclusion: A hypercaloric diet with high meal frequency increased IHTG and abdominal fat independent of caloric content and body weight gain, whereas increasing meal size did not. This study suggests that snacking, a common feature in the Western diet, independently contributes to hepatic steatosis and obesity. (Trial

  6. Eating vegetables first: the use of portion size to increase vegetable intake in preschool children123

    PubMed Central

    Spill, Maureen K; Birch, Leann L; Roe, Liane S

    2010-01-01

    Background: Serving larger portions of low-energy-dense vegetables at a meal could have beneficial effects on children's food and energy intakes. Objective: We investigated whether increasing the portion size of vegetables served at the start of a meal leads to increased vegetable consumption and decreased meal energy intake in children. Design: In a crossover design, 3- to 5-y-old children in a daycare center were served a test lunch once a week for 4 wk (n = 51). In 3 of the meals, a first course of raw carrots varied in portion size (30, 60, or 90 g), and no first course was served in the control meal. Children consumed the first course ad libitum over 10 min and then were served a main course of pasta, broccoli, applesauce, and milk, which was also consumed ad libitum. Results: Total vegetable consumption at the meal increased as the portion size of carrots increased (P < 0.0001). Doubling the portion size of the first course increased carrot consumption by 47%, or 12 ± 2 g (P < 0.0001). Tripling the portion size of carrots, however, did not lead to a further increase in intake (P = 0.61). Meal energy intake was not significantly affected by the amount of carrots served in the first course. The effect of portion size on intake was not significantly influenced by the children's age or body weight status. Conclusion: Increasing the portion size of a vegetable served as a first course can be an effective strategy for increasing vegetable consumption in preschool children. PMID:20219955

  7. Altered properties of quantal neurotransmitter release at endplates of mice lacking P/Q-type Ca2+ channels

    PubMed Central

    Urbano, Francisco J.; Piedras-Rentería, Erika S.; Jun, Kisun; Shin, Hee-Sup; Uchitel, Osvaldo D.; Tsien, Richard W.

    2003-01-01

    Transmission at the mouse neuromuscular junction normally relies on P/Q-type channels, but became jointly dependent on both N- and R-type Ca2+ channels when the P/Q-type channel α1A subunit was deleted. R-type channels lay close to Ca2+ sensors for exocytosis and IK(Ca) channel activation, like the P/Q-type channels they replaced. In contrast, N-type channels were less well localized, but abundant enough to influence secretion strongly, particularly when action potentials were prolonged. Our data suggested that active zone structures may select among multiple Ca2+ channels in the hierarchy P/Q>R>N. The α1A−/− neuromuscular junction displayed several other differences from wild-type: lowered quantal content but greater ability to withstand reductions in the Ca2+/Mg2+ ratio, and little or no paired-pulse facilitation, the latter findings possibly reflecting compensatory mechanisms at individual release sites. Changes in presynaptic function were also associated with a significant reduction in the size of postsynaptic acetylcholine receptor clusters. PMID:12624181

  8. Influence of the Latency Fluctuations and the Quantal Process of Transmitter Release on the End-Plate Potentials' Amplitude Distribution

    PubMed Central

    Souček, Branko

    1971-01-01

    Spontaneous synaptic potentials and their relation to the end-plate potential (e.p.p.) are studied. It has been suggested earlier that the e.p.p. at a single nerve-muscle junction is built up statistically of small all-or-none units which are identical in size with the spontaneous miniature end-plate potentials (m.e.p.p.'s). In this paper, a more general theory is developed which takes into account latency fluctuations of the unit components. A general equation for e.p.p. amplitude probability distribution is derived. This probability distribution is a function of the latency distribution, m.e.p.p.'s pulse shape, m.e.p.p.'s amplitude distribution, and the mean quantal content. The time course of transmitter release, or latency distribution, is derived from a histogram of synaptic delays in a frog muscle, but obtained equations can be used for other distribution functions as well. PMID:5542609

  9. Calmodulin increases transmitter release by mobilizing quanta at the frog motor nerve terminal.

    PubMed

    Brailoiu, Eugen; Miyamoto, Michael D; Dun, Nae J

    2002-11-01

    The role of calmodulin (CaM) in transmitter release was investigated using liposomes to deliver CaM and monoclonal antibodies against CaM (antiCaM) directly into the frog motor nerve terminal. Miniature endplate potentials (MEPPs) were recorded in a high K+ solution, and effects on transmitter release were monitored using estimates of the quantal release parameters m (number of quanta released), n (number of functional transmitter release sites), p (mean probability of release), and var(s) p (spatial variance in p). Administration of CaM, but not heat-inactivated CaM, encapsulated in liposomes (1000 units ml(-1)) produced an increase in m (25%) that was due to an increase in n. MEPP amplitude was not altered by CaM. Administration of antiCaM, but not heat-inactivated antiCaM, in liposomes (50 microl ml(-1)) produced a progressive decrease in m (40%) that was associated with decreases in n and p. MEPP amplitude was decreased (15%) after a 25 min lag time, suggesting a separation in time between the decreases in quantal release and quantal size. Bath application of the membrane-permeable CaM antagonist W7 (28 microM) produced a gradual decrease in m (25%) that was associated with a decrease in n. W7 also produced a decrease in MEPP amplitude that paralleled the decrease in m. The decreases in MEPP size and m produced by W7 were both reversed by addition of CaM. Our results suggest that CaM increases transmitter release by mobilizing synaptic vesicles at the frog motor nerve terminal.

  10. 20-Hydroxyecdysone increases fiber size in a muscle-specific fashion in rat.

    PubMed

    Tóth, Noémi; Szabó, András; Kacsala, Péter; Héger, Júlia; Zádor, Ernö

    2008-09-01

    20-Hydroxyecdysone (20E) is an ecdysteroid hormone that regulates moulting in insects. Interestingly, 20E is also found most abundantly in plant species and has anabolic effects in vertebrates, i.e. increasing muscle size without androgen influence. The effect of 20E on slow and fast fiber types of skeletal muscle has not been reported yet. Here we present that 20E affects the size (cross-sectional area, CSA) of the different fiber types in a muscle-specific manner. The effect on fiber size was modified by the distance from the site of the treatment and the presence of a regenerating soleus muscle in the animal. Besides the fiber size, 20E also increased the myonuclear number in the fibers of normal and regenerating muscles, suggesting the activation of satellite cells. According to our results 20E may provide an alternative for substitution of anabolic-androgenic steroids in therapeutic treatments against muscle atrophy.

  11. Increasing seed size and quality by manipulating BIG SEEDS1 in legume species

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Liangfa; Yu, Jianbin; Wang, Hongliang; Luth, Diane; Bai, Guihua; Wang, Kan

    2016-01-01

    Plant organs, such as seeds, are primary sources of food for both humans and animals. Seed size is one of the major agronomic traits that have been selected in crop plants during their domestication. Legume seeds are a major source of dietary proteins and oils. Here, we report a conserved role for the BIG SEEDS1 (BS1) gene in the control of seed size and weight in the model legume Medicago truncatula and the grain legume soybean (Glycine max). BS1 encodes a plant-specific transcription regulator and plays a key role in the control of the size of plant organs, including seeds, seed pods, and leaves, through a regulatory module that targets primary cell proliferation. Importantly, down-regulation of BS1 orthologs in soybean by an artificial microRNA significantly increased soybean seed size, weight, and amino acid content. Our results provide a strategy for the increase in yield and seed quality in legumes. PMID:27791139

  12. Double trouble: Portion size and energy density combine to increase preschool children's lunch intake.

    PubMed

    Kling, Samantha M R; Roe, Liane S; Keller, Kathleen L; Rolls, Barbara J

    2016-08-01

    Both portion size and energy density (ED) have substantial effects on intake; however, their combined effects on preschool children's intake have not been examined when multiple foods are varied at a meal. We tested the effects on intake of varying the portion size and ED of lunches served to children in their usual eating environment. In a crossover design, lunch was served in 3 childcare centers once a week for 6weeks to 120 children aged 3-5y. Across the 6 meals, all items were served at 3 levels of portion size (100%, 150%, or 200%) and 2 levels of ED (100% or 142%). The lunch menu had either lower-ED or higher-ED versions of chicken, macaroni and cheese, vegetables, applesauce, ketchup, and milk. Children's ratings of the foods indicated that the lower-ED and higher-ED meals were similarly well liked. The total weight of food and milk consumed at meals was increased by serving larger portions (P<0.0001) but was unaffected by varying the ED (P=0.22). Meal energy intake, however, was independently affected by portion size and ED (both P<0.0001). Doubling the portions increased energy intake by 24% and increasing meal ED by 42% increased energy intake by 40%. These effects combined to increase intake by 175±12kcal or 79% at the higher-ED meal with the largest portions compared to the lower-ED meal with the smallest portions. The foods contributing the most to this increase were chicken, macaroni and cheese, and applesauce. The effects of meal portion size and ED on intake were not influenced by child age or body size, but were significantly affected by parental ratings of child eating behavior. Strategically moderating the portion size and ED of foods typically consumed by children could substantially reduce their energy intake without affecting acceptability. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Feeding damage to plants increases with plant size across 21 Brassicaceae species.

    PubMed

    Schlinkert, Hella; Westphal, Catrin; Clough, Yann; Ludwig, Martin; Kabouw, Patrick; Tscharntke, Teja

    2015-10-01

    Plant size is a major predictor of ecological functioning. We tested the hypothesis that feeding damage to plants increases with plant size, as the conspicuousness of large plants makes resource finding and colonisation easier. Further, large plants can be attractive to herbivores, as they offer greater amounts and ranges of resources and niches, but direct evidence from experiments testing size effects on feeding damage and consequently on plant fitness is so far missing. We established a common garden experiment with a plant size gradient (10-130 cm height) using 21 annual Brassicaceae species, and quantified plant size, biomass and number of all aboveground components (flowers, fruits, leaves, stems) and their proportional feeding damage. Plant reproductive fitness was measured using seed number, 1000 seed weight and total seed weight. Feeding damage to the different plant components increased with plant size or component biomass, with mean damage levels being approximately 30 % for flowers, 5 % for fruits and 1 % for leaves and stems. Feeding damage affected plant reproductive fitness depending on feeding damage type, with flower damage having the strongest effect, shown by greatly reduced seed number, 1000 seed weight and total seed weight. Finally, we found an overall negative effect of plant size on 1000 seed weight, but not on seed number and total seed weight. In conclusion, being conspicuous and attractive to herbivores causes greater flower damage leading to higher fitness costs for large plants, which might be partly counterbalanced by benefits such as enhanced competitive/compensatory abilities or more mutualistic pollinator visits.

  14. Evolution of ASPM is associated with both increases and decreases in brain size in primates.

    PubMed

    Montgomery, Stephen H; Mundy, Nicholas I

    2012-03-01

    A fundamental trend during primate evolution has been the expansion of brain size. However, this trend was reversed in the Callitrichidae (marmosets and tamarins), which have secondarily evolved smaller brains associated with a reduction in body size. The recent pursuit of the genetic basis of brain size evolution has largely focused on episodes of brain expansion, but new insights may be gained by investigating episodes of brain size reduction. Previous results suggest two genes (ASPM and CDK5RAP2) associated with microcephaly, a human neurodevelopmental disorder, may have an evolutionary function in primate brain expansion. Here we use new sequences encoding key functional domains from 12 species of callitrichids to show that positive selection has acted on ASPM across callitrichid evolution and the rate of ASPM evolution is significantly negatively correlated with callitrichid brain size, whereas the evolution of CDK5RAP2 shows no correlation with brain size. Our findings strongly suggest that ASPM has a previously unsuspected role in the evolution of small brains in primates. ASPM is therefore intimately linked to both evolutionary increases and decreases in brain size in anthropoids and is a key target for natural selection acting on brain size. © 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  15. Bound to Lose: Physical Incapacitation Increases the Conceptualized Size of an Antagonist in Men

    PubMed Central

    Fessler, Daniel M. T.; Holbrook, Colin

    2013-01-01

    Because decision-making in situations of potential conflict hinges on assessing many features of the self and the foe, this process can be facilitated by summarizing diverse attributes in a single heuristic representation. Physical size and strength are evolutionarily ancient determinants of victory in conflict, and their relevance is reinforced during development. Accordingly, size and muscularity constitute ready dimensions for a summary representation of relative formidability, a perspective paralleled by the notion that social power is represented using envisioned relative size. Physical incapacitation constitutes a significant tactical disadvantage, hence temporary incapacitation should increase the envisioned size and strength of an antagonist. In Study 1, being bound to a chair increased men’s estimates of the size of an angry man and decreased estimates of their own height. Study 2 conceptually replicated these effects: among men for whom standing on a balance board was challenging, the attendant experience of postural instability increased estimates of an angry man’s size and muscularity, with similar patterns occurring at a reduced level among all but those whose equilibrium was apparently unaffected by this task. PMID:23951126

  16. Magnetron sputtered diamond-like carbon microelectrodes for on-chip measurement of quantal catecholamine release from cells.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yuanfang; Chen, Xiaohui; Gupta, Sanju; Gillis, Kevin D; Gangopadhyay, Shubhra

    2008-10-01

    Carbon electrodes are widely used in electrochemistry due to their low cost, wide potential window, and low and stable background noise. Carbon-fiber electrodes (CFE) are commonly used to electrochemically measure "quantal" catecholamine release via exocytosis from individual cells, but it is difficult to integrate CFEs into lab-on-a-chip devices. Here we report the development of nitrogen doped diamond-like carbon (DLC:N) microelectrodes on a chip to monitor quantal release of catecholamines from cells. Advantages of DLC:N microelectrodes are that they are batch producible at low cost, and are harder and more durable than graphite films. The DLC:N microelectrodes were prepared by a magnetron sputtering process with nitrogen doping. The 30 microm by 40 microm DLC:N microelectrodes were patterned onto microscope glass slides by photolithography and lift-off technology. The properties of the DLC:N microelectrodes were characterized by AFM, Raman spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry. Quantal catecholamine release was recorded amperometrically from bovine adrenal chromaffin cells on the DLC:N microelectrodes. Amperometric spikes due to quantal release of catecholamines were similar in amplitude and area as those recorded using CFEs and the background current and noise levels of microchip DLC:N electrodes were also comparable to CFEs. Therefore, DLC:N microelectrodes are suitable for microchip-based high-throughput measurement of quantal exocytosis with applications in basic research, drug discovery and cell-based biosensors.

  17. Numerical Model to Characterize the Size Increase of Combination Drug and Hygroscopic Excipient Nanoparticle Aerosols.

    PubMed

    Longest, P Worth; Hindle, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Enhanced excipient growth is a newly proposed respiratory delivery strategy in which submicrometer or nanometer particles composed of a drug and hygroscopic excipient are delivered to the airways in order to minimize extrathoracic depositional losses and maximize lung retention. The objective of this study was to develop a validated mathematical model of aerosol size increase for hygroscopic excipients and combination excipient-drug particles and to apply this model to characterize growth under typical respiratory conditions. Compared with in vitro experiments, the droplet growth model accurately predicted the size increase of single component and combination drug and excipient particles. For typical respiratory drug delivery conditions, the model showed that droplet size increase could be effectively correlated with the product of a newly defined hygroscopic parameter and initial volume fractions of the drug and excipient in the particle. A series of growth correlations was then developed that successively included the effects of initial drug and excipient mass loadings, initial aerosol size, and aerosol number concentration. Considering EEG delivery, large diameter growth ratios (2.1-4.6) were observed for a range of hygroscopic excipients combined with both hygroscopic and non-hygroscopic drugs. These diameter growth ratios were achieved at excipient mass loadings of 50% and below and at realistic aerosol number concentrations. The developed correlations were then used for specifying the appropriate initial mass loadings of engineered insulin nanoparticles in order to achieve a predetermined size increase while maximizing drug payload and minimizing the amount of hygroscopic excipient.

  18. Increases in plasma pool size of lipoprotein components in copper-deficient hamsters

    SciTech Connect

    Al-Othman, A.A.; Rosenstein, F.; Lei, K.Y. )

    1991-03-15

    Twenty-four male Golden Syrian hamsters, were randomly assigned to 2 dietary copper (Cu) treatments; deficient and adequate. Reductions in weight gain, hematocrit and liver Cu as well as increases in heart weight and plasma volume were observed in CD hamsters after 7 weeks of treatment. Plasma very low (VLDL), low (LDL) and high (HDL) density lipoproteins were isolated by ultracentrifugation and Sepharose column chromatography. The percentage of total plasma cholesterol carried by LDL was increased from 20 to 24% but was reduced from 71 to 68% for HDL as a result of Cu deficiency. In LDL the % composition of triglycerides (TG) and phospholipids (PL) was increased by 25% but that of cholesterol was reduced by 13%. The % composition of protein was reduced 24% but that of TG was increased 18% in VLDL by Cu deficiency. Since plasma volume was increased 50% in CD hamsters, the data were expressed as the amount present in the plasma pool corrected for body weight. With the exceptions of smaller increased in VLDL protein and PL as well as the more than threefold increases in LDL TG and PL plasma pool size, the pool size for the rest of the lipoprotein components were increased about twofold in CD hamsters. The lipoprotein data further indicate that Cu deficiency increased the particle number of VLDL, LDL and HDL but enlarged the size of only VLDL and LDL.

  19. Splenic release of platelets contributes to increased circulating platelet size and inflammation after myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Gao, Xiao-Ming; Moore, Xiao-Lei; Liu, Yang; Wang, Xin-Yu; Han, Li-Ping; Su, Yidan; Tsai, Alan; Xu, Qi; Zhang, Ming; Lambert, Gavin W; Kiriazis, Helen; Gao, Wei; Dart, Anthony M; Du, Xiao-Jun

    2016-07-01

    Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is characterized by a rapid increase in circulating platelet size but the mechanism for this is unclear. Large platelets are hyperactive and associated with adverse clinical outcomes. We determined mean platelet volume (MPV) and platelet-monocyte conjugation (PMC) using blood samples from patients, and blood and the spleen from mice with AMI. We further measured changes in platelet size, PMC, cardiac and splenic contents of platelets and leucocyte infiltration into the mouse heart. In AMI patients, circulating MPV and PMC increased at 1-3 h post-MI and MPV returned to reference levels within 24 h after admission. In mice with MI, increases in platelet size and PMC became evident within 12 h and were sustained up to 72 h. Splenic platelets are bigger than circulating platelets in normal or infarct mice. At 24 h post-MI, splenic platelet storage was halved whereas cardiac platelets increased by 4-fold. Splenectomy attenuated all changes observed in the blood, reduced leucocyte and platelet accumulation in the infarct myocardium, limited infarct size and alleviated cardiac dilatation and dysfunction. AMI-induced elevated circulating levels of adenosine diphosphate and catecholamines in both human and the mouse, which may trigger splenic platelet release. Pharmacological inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme, β1-adrenergic receptor or platelet P2Y12 receptor reduced platelet abundance in the murine infarct myocardium albeit having diverse effects on platelet size and PMC. In conclusion, AMI evokes release of splenic platelets, which contributes to the increase in platelet size and PMC and facilitates myocardial accumulation of platelets and leucocytes, thereby promoting post-infarct inflammation.

  20. Multi-trait interactions, not phylogeny, fine-tune leaf size reduction with increasing altitude

    PubMed Central

    Milla, Rubén; Reich, Peter B.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Despite long-held interest, knowledge on why leaf size varies widely among species is still incomplete. This study was conducted to assess whether abiotic factors, phylogenetic histories and multi-trait interactions act together to shape leaf size. Methods Fifty-seven pairs of altitudinal vicariant species were selected in northern Spain, and leaf area and a number of functionally related leaf, shoot and whole plant traits were measured for each pair. Structural equation modelling helped unravel trait interactions affecting leaf size, and Mantel tests weighed the relative relevance of phylogeny, environment and trait interactions to explain leaf size reduction with altitude. Key Results Leaves of highland vicariants were generally smaller than those of lowlands. However, the extent of leaf size reduction with increasing altitude was widely variable among genera: from approx. 700 cm2 reduction (96 % in Polystichum) to approx. 30 cm2 increase (37 % in Sorbus). This was partially explained by shifts in leaf, shoot and whole plant traits (35–64 % of explained variance, depending on models), with size/number trade-offs more influential than shifts in leaf form and leaf economics. Shifts in traits were more important than phylogenetic distances or site-specific environmental variation in explaining the degree of leaf size reduction with altitude. Conclusions Ecological filters, constraints due to phylogenetic history (albeit modest in the study system), and phenotypic integration contribute jointly to shape single-trait evolution. Here, it was found that phenotypic change was far more important than shared ancestry to explaine leaf size differences of closely related species segregated along altitudes. PMID:21199835

  1. Larger ATV engine size correlates with an increased rate of traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Butts, C Caleb; Rostas, Jack W; Lee, Y L; Gonzalez, Richard P; Brevard, Sidney B; Frotan, M Amin; Ahmed, Naveed; Simmons, Jon D

    2015-04-01

    Since the introduction of all-terrain vehicles (ATV) to the United States in 1971, injuries and mortalities related to their use have increased significantly. Furthermore, these vehicles have become larger and more powerful. As there are no helmet requirements or limitations on engine-size in the State of Alabama, we hypothesised that larger engine size would correlate with an increased incidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in patients following an ATV crash. Patient and ATV data were prospectively collected on all ATV crashes presenting to a level one trauma centre from September 2010 to May 2013. Collected data included: demographics, age of driver, ATV engine size, presence of helmet, injuries, and outcomes. The data were grouped according to the ATV engine size in cubic centimetres (cc). For the purposes of this study, TBI was defined as any type of intracranial haemorrhage on the initial computed tomography scan. There were 61 patients identified during the study period. Two patients (3%) were wearing a helmet at the time of injury. Patients on an ATV with an engine size of 350 cc or greater had higher Injury Severity Scores (13.9 vs. 7.5, p ≤ 0.05) and an increased incidence of TBI (26% vs. 0%, p ≤ 0.05) when compared to patients on ATV's with an engine size less than 350 cc. Patients on an ATV with an engine size of 350 cc or greater were more likely to have a TBI. The use of a helmet was rarely present in this cohort. Legislative efforts to implement rider protection laws for ATVs are warranted. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Potential problems with increasing serving sizes on the Nutrition Facts label.

    PubMed

    Dallas, Steven K; Liu, Peggy J; Ubel, Peter A

    2015-12-01

    The United States Food and Drug Administration recently announced that the serving sizes on the Nutrition Facts labels for many products will be increased, but the effect of these increases remains unclear. The present research examined consumers' interpretation of the meaning of serving size information (study 1) and tested whether exposing consumers to the increased serving sizes of the proposed Nutrition Facts label leads consumers to serve and purchase more food for themselves and others (studies 2-4). Study 1 (N = 101; 44.7% female) tested what consumers believe the serving sizes on Nutrition Facts labels refer to, and the majority of participants (over 78%) incorrectly believed that the serving sizes refer to how much food can or should be consumed in one sitting as part of a healthy diet. Study 2 (N = 51; 41.2% female) tested how exposure to the current versus proposed Nutrition Facts label influences the amount of food that consumers serve themselves, and studies 3 (N = 60; 46.7% female) and 4 (N = 61; 48.2% female) assessed how exposure to the current versus proposed label influences the amount of food that people serve and purchase for others. In studies 2-4, the proposed label (vs. the current label) led consumers to serve themselves 41% more cookies (study 2); serve 27% more cheese crackers to another person (study 3); and buy 43% more lasagnas for others and divide a lasagna into 22% larger slices (study 4). The results suggest that the proposed Nutrition Facts label's increased serving sizes may lead people who use this information as a reference to serve more food to themselves and others. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Increasing age and tear size reduce rotator cuff repair healing rate at 1 year.

    PubMed

    Rashid, Mustafa S; Cooper, Cushla; Cook, Jonathan; Cooper, David; Dakin, Stephanie G; Snelling, Sarah; Carr, Andrew J

    2017-09-07

    Background and purpose - There is a need to understand the reasons why a high proportion of rotator cuff repairs fail to heal. Using data from a large randomized clinical trial, we evaluated age and tear size as risk factors for failure of rotator cuff repair. Patients and methods - Between 2007 and 2014, 65 surgeons from 47 hospitals in the National Health Service (NHS) recruited 447 patients with atraumatic rotator cuff tendon tears to the United Kingdom Rotator Cuff Trial (UKUFF) and 256 underwent rotator cuff repair. Cuff integrity was assessed by imaging in 217 patients, at 12 months post-operation. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the influence of age and intra-operative tear size on healing. Hand dominance, sex, and previous steroid injections were controlled for. Results - The overall healing rate was 122/217 (56%) at 12 months. Healing rate decreased with increasing tear size (small tears 66%, medium tears 68%, large tears 47%, and massive tears 27% healed). The mean age of patients with a healed repair was 61 years compared with 64 years for those with a non-healed repair. Mean age increased with larger tear sizes (small tears 59 years, medium tears 62 years, large tears 64 years, and massive tears 66 years). Increasing age was an independent factor that negatively influenced healing, even after controlling for tear size. Only massive tears were an independent predictor of non-healing, after controlling for age. Interpretation - Although increasing age and larger tear size are both risks for failure of rotator cuff repair healing, age is the dominant risk factor.

  4. The scaling of leaf area and mass: the cost of light interception increases with leaf size

    PubMed Central

    Milla, Rubén; Reich, Peter B

    2007-01-01

    For leaves, the light-capturing surface area per unit dry mass investment (specific leaf area, SLA) is a key trait from physiological, ecological and biophysical perspectives. To address whether SLA declines with leaf size, as hypothesized due to increasing costs of support in larger leaves, we compiled data on intraspecific variation in leaf dry mass (LM) and leaf surface area (LA) for 6334 leaves of 157 species. We used the power function LM=α LAβ to test whether, within each species, large leaves deploy less surface area per unit dry mass than small leaves. Comparing scaling exponents (β) showed that more species had a statistically significant decrease in SLA as leaf size increased (61) than the opposite (7) and the average β was significantly greater than 1 (βmean=1.10, 95% CI 1.08–1.13). However, scaling exponents varied markedly from the few species that decreased to the many that increased SLA disproportionately fast as leaf size increased. This variation was unrelated to growth form, ecosystem of origin or climate. The average within-species tendency found here (allometric decrease of SLA with leaf size, averaging 13%) is in accord with concurrent findings on global-scale trends among species, although the substantial scatter around the central tendency suggests that the leaf size dependency does not obligately shape SLA. Nonetheless, the generally greater mass per unit leaf area of larger than smaller leaves directly translates into a greater cost to build and maintain a unit of leaf area, which, all else being equal, should constrain the maximum leaf size displayed. PMID:17591590

  5. Crown Release Increases Diameter Growth and Bole Sprouting of Pole-Size Yellow Birch

    Treesearch

    Gayne G. Erdmann; Ralph M. Jr. Peterson

    1971-01-01

    During the second and third years after release, dominant, codominant, and intermediate pole-size yellow birch grew nearly twice as fast in diameter as unreleased poles. Growth rates were also related to foliage density. Epicormic sprouting was increased by crown release but most sprouting occured in the second log.

  6. Loss of INCREASED SIZE EXCLUSION LIMIT (ISE)1 or ISE2 increases the formation of secondary plasmodesmata.

    PubMed

    Burch-Smith, Tessa M; Zambryski, Patricia C

    2010-06-08

    Plasmodesmata (PD) transport developmentally important nucleic acids and proteins between plant cells. Primary PD form during cell division and are simple, linear channels. Secondary PD form in existing cell walls after cell division and are simple, twinned, or branched. PD function undergoes a marked reduction at the mid-torpedo stage of Arabidopsis embryogenesis. Two mutants, increased size exclusion limit (ise)1 and ise2, fail to undergo this transition, and their null mutations are embryonically lethal. We investigated the ultrastructure of PD in early-, mid-, and late-torpedo-stage embryos and in young leaves. Wild-type (WT) embryos contain twinned and branched (T/B) PD at all stages, but ise1 and ise2 embryos contain significantly higher proportions of T/B PD than WT embryos. WT T/B PD formation occurs in a stage- and tissue-specific pattern that is reversed in ise1 embryos. Silencing ISE1 in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves increases the frequency of secondary PD in existing cell walls. Silencing ISE2 increases the proportion of T/B secondary PD formed. Silenced tissues exhibit increased PD-mediated movement of green fluorescent protein tracers. Thus, silencing of ISE1 and ISE2 phenocopies ise1 and ise2 mutant embryos: when wild-type ISE1 and ISE2 functions are lost, de novo production of PD occurs, leading to increased intercellular transport.

  7. Correlation between quantal secretion and vesicle loss at the frog neuromuscular junction.

    PubMed Central

    Hurlbut, W P; Iezzi, N; Fesce, R; Ceccarelli, B

    1990-01-01

    1. We measured the rate of occurrence of miniature endplate potentials (MEPPs) at identified endplates in frog cutaneous pectoris muscles treated with crude black widow spider venom (BWSV) or purified alpha-latrotoxin (alpha-LTX) in calcium-free solutions, and we examined the relationship between the length of the nerve terminal and the total number of quanta secreted, and the relationship between the number of quanta secreted and the number of vesicles remaining at different times. 2. The venom, or toxin, was applied in a modified Ringer solution with tetrodotoxin, 1 mM-EGTA and no divalent cations, and quantal secretion was started by applying Ca2(+)-free solutions with Mg2+. This was done to synchronize the quantal discharge at the various junctions in a muscle. Ringer solution was applied after the MEPP rate had declined to low levels, and then the muscle fibre was injected with Lucifer Yellow, the endplate stained for acetylcholinesterase and the length of the nerve terminal and the length of a sarcomere were measured on the fluorescent fibre. 3. The total number of quanta secreted by a terminal was measured under a wide variety of experimental conditions: the weights of the frogs ranged from 13 to 68 g, the temperature from 9 to 28 degrees C, and the concentration of Mg2+ from 2 to 10 mM. In one series of experiments the Mg2+ was withdrawn after 3-4 min and reapplied 35-40 min later in order to divide the total output of quanta into two approximately equal bouts of secretion that were well separated in time. 4. The total number of MEPPs recorded at a junction was loosely correlated with the length of its nerve terminal, but it was not affected by the temperature, the concentration of Mg2+ or the division of secretion into well-separated bouts of quantal release. The average total secretion per unit length was about 3700 quanta/sarcomere or about 1200 quanta/microns. 5. The average time course of quantal secretion per micrometre of terminal was determined at

  8. Fertilization Increases Growth of Sawlog-Size Yellow-Poplar and Red Oak in West Virginia

    Treesearch

    N. I. Lamson

    1978-01-01

    Sawlog-size even-aged hardwood stands in north-central West Virginia were fertilized with N, P, and K, singly and in combinations. Applications of N alone increased the annual basal area growth of yellow-poplar more than that of red oak during the first 7 years after fertilization, whereas P alone increased the annual basal area growth of red oak more than that of...

  9. Costs and benefits of increased weapon size differ between sexes of the slender crayfish, Cherax dispar.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Robbie S; James, Rob S; Bywater, Candice; Seebacher, Frank

    2009-03-01

    Unreliable signals of weapon strength are considered to be problematic for signalling theory and reliable signals are predicted to be the dominant form of signalling among conspecifics in nature. Previous studies have shown that males of the Australian freshwater crayfish (Cherax dispar) routinely use unreliable signals of strength whereas females use reliable signals of weapon strength. In this study, we examined the performance benefits of increased weapon (chela) size for both males and females of C. dispar. In addition, we investigated the possibility of functional trade-offs in weapon size by assessing the relationship between chela size and maximum escape swimming performance. We found males possessed larger and stronger chelae than females and the variance in chela force was greater for males than females. By contrast, females possessed greater absolute and body length-specific escape swimming speeds than males. Swimming speed was also negatively correlated with chela size for males but not females, suggesting that a functional trade-off exists for males only. Decreases in swimming speed with increases in weapon size suggest there could be important fitness costs associated with larger chelae. Larger weaponry of males may then act as a handicap ensuring large chelae are reliable signals of quality.

  10. Ectopic expression of a Chinese cabbage BrARGOS gene in Arabidopsis increases organ size.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bao; Zhou, Xincheng; Xu, Feng; Gao, Jianwei

    2010-06-01

    Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis) is a common and economically important crop in Asia. Specific targets of plant breeding programs for cabbage have been improvement in yield, resistance to environment stresses, and nutrition quality by means of genetic manipulation. To obtain information on yield improvement applicable for the genetic engineering approach, we have attempted to dissect the molecular pathways that regulate organ size. We first isolated a putative homolog of ARGOS full-length cDNA from Chinese cabbage leaves, which we designated BrARGOS. At the transcription level, BrARGOS was detected in all organs tested in Chinese cabbage. To test the function of this gene, we then engineered Arabidopsis plants that would overexpress BrARGOS ectopically. The organs of the transgenic Arabidopsis plants were significantly larger than those of the control plants. This increase in size was due to enhanced cell proliferation, with no contribution from cell expansion. The molecular analysis revealed that overexpression of BrARGOS up-regulated the transcription of several genes involved in the control of organ size. These results suggest that the BrARGOS gene may function as one of the regulators of organ size in Chinese cabbage. As such, manipulation of the BrARGOS gene may significantly increase the size of Chinese cabbage organs, such as Chinese cabbage heads.

  11. A pre-docking source for the power-law behavior of spontaneous quantal release: application to the analysis of LTP

    PubMed Central

    Lamanna, Jacopo; Signorini, Maria G.; Cerutti, Sergio; Malgaroli, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    In neurons, power-law behavior with different scaling exponents has been reported at many different levels, including fluctuations in membrane potentials, synaptic transmission up to neuronal network dynamics. Unfortunately in most cases the source of this non-linear feature remains controversial. Here we have analyzed the dynamics of spontaneous quantal release at hippocampal synapses and characterized their power-law behavior. While in control conditions a fractal exponent greater than zero was rarely observed, its value was greatly increased by α-latrotoxin (α-LTX), a potent stimulator of spontaneous release, known to act at the very last step of vesicle fusion. Based on computer modeling, we confirmed that at an increase in fusion probability would unmask a pre-docking phenomenon with 1/f structure, where α estimated from the release series appears to sense the increase in release probability independently from the number of active sites. In the simplest scenario the pre-docking 1/f process could coincide with the Brownian diffusion of synaptic vesicles. Interestingly, when the effect of long-term potentiation (LTP) was tested, a ~200% long-lasting increase in quantal frequency was accompanied by a significant increase in the scaling exponent. The similarity between the action of LTP and of α-LTX suggests an increased contribution of high release probability sites following the induction of LTP. In conclusion, our results indicate that the source of the synaptic power-law behavior arises before synaptic vesicles dock to the active zone and that the fractal exponent α is capable of sensing a change in release probability independently from the number of active sites or synapses. PMID:25741239

  12. A pre-docking source for the power-law behavior of spontaneous quantal release: application to the analysis of LTP.

    PubMed

    Lamanna, Jacopo; Signorini, Maria G; Cerutti, Sergio; Malgaroli, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    In neurons, power-law behavior with different scaling exponents has been reported at many different levels, including fluctuations in membrane potentials, synaptic transmission up to neuronal network dynamics. Unfortunately in most cases the source of this non-linear feature remains controversial. Here we have analyzed the dynamics of spontaneous quantal release at hippocampal synapses and characterized their power-law behavior. While in control conditions a fractal exponent greater than zero was rarely observed, its value was greatly increased by α-latrotoxin (α-LTX), a potent stimulator of spontaneous release, known to act at the very last step of vesicle fusion. Based on computer modeling, we confirmed that at an increase in fusion probability would unmask a pre-docking phenomenon with 1/f structure, where α estimated from the release series appears to sense the increase in release probability independently from the number of active sites. In the simplest scenario the pre-docking 1/f process could coincide with the Brownian diffusion of synaptic vesicles. Interestingly, when the effect of long-term potentiation (LTP) was tested, a ~200% long-lasting increase in quantal frequency was accompanied by a significant increase in the scaling exponent. The similarity between the action of LTP and of α-LTX suggests an increased contribution of high release probability sites following the induction of LTP. In conclusion, our results indicate that the source of the synaptic power-law behavior arises before synaptic vesicles dock to the active zone and that the fractal exponent α is capable of sensing a change in release probability independently from the number of active sites or synapses.

  13. Floral herbivory increases with inflorescence size and local plant density in Digitalis purpurea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sletvold, Nina; Grindeland, John M.

    2008-07-01

    Insect herbivores search for their host plants in heterogeneous environments, and the efficiency of host location may be influenced by plant architecture and abundance. In this study, we ask how plant and habitat characteristics traditionally thought to attract pollinators are related to attack rates by floral herbivores. Patterns of floral herbivory by the moth larva Eupithecia pulchellata were studied in relation to inflorescence size and local plant density in two years in a natural population of the facultative biennial Digitalis purpurea. Overall levels of herbivory were low, 84% of the infested plants lost less than 10% of their flowers. Only 9% of the plants lost more than 20% of their flowers. Probability of herbivory at the plant level increased strongly with inflorescence height, and it was considerably higher in dense patches compared to sparse ones. There was no effect of local plant density on the functional relationship between inflorescence size and probability of herbivory. Both number and proportion of damaged flowers per plant increased with inflorescence height. The results suggest that E. pulchellata is attracted to dense patches and large individuals of D. purpurea, and that negative effects of herbivory increase with plant size. This implies diminishing returns for investment in more flowers in D. purpurea, and indicates that herbivory may select for smaller flowering size and flower number in this monocarpic species.

  14. Increased fat mass is associated with increased bone size but reduced volumetric density in pre pubertal children.

    PubMed

    Cole, Z A; Harvey, N C; Kim, M; Ntani, G; Robinson, S M; Inskip, H M; Godfrey, K M; Cooper, C; Dennison, E M

    2012-02-01

    Recent studies have shown that obesity is associated with an increased risk of fracture in both adults and children. It has been suggested that, despite greater bone size, obese individuals may have reduced true volumetric density; however this is difficult to assess using two dimensional techniques such as DXA. We evaluated the relationship between fat mass, and bone size and density, in a population cohort of children in whom DXA and pQCT measurements had been acquired. We recruited 530 children at 6 years old from the Southampton Women's Survey. The children underwent measurement of bone mass at the whole body, lumbar spine and hip, together with body composition, by DXA (Hologic Discovery, Hologic Inc., Bedford, MA, USA). In addition 132 of these children underwent pQCT measurements at the tibia (Stratec XCT2000, Stratec Biomedical Systems, Birkenfeld, Germany). Significant positive associations were observed between total fat mass and both bone area (BA) and bone mineral content (BMC) at the whole body minus head, lumbar spine and hip sites (all p<0.0001). When true volumetric density was assessed using pQCT data from the tibia, fat mass (adjusted for lean mass) was negatively associated with both trabecular and cortical density (β=-14.6 mg/mm(3) per sd, p=0.003; β=-7.7 mg/mm(3) per sd, p=0.02 respectively). These results suggest that fat mass is negatively associated with volumetric bone density at 6 years old, independent of lean mass, despite positive associations with bone size. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Marine mixotrophy increases trophic transfer efficiency, mean organism size, and vertical carbon flux

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Ben A.; Follows, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Mixotrophic plankton, which combine the uptake of inorganic resources and the ingestion of living prey, are ubiquitous in marine ecosystems, but their integrated biogeochemical impacts remain unclear. We address this issue by removing the strict distinction between phytoplankton and zooplankton from a global model of the marine plankton food web. This simplification allows the emergence of a realistic trophic network with increased fidelity to empirical estimates of plankton community structure and elemental stoichiometry, relative to a system in which autotrophy and heterotrophy are mutually exclusive. Mixotrophy enhances the transfer of biomass to larger sizes classes further up the food chain, leading to an approximately threefold increase in global mean organism size and an ∼35% increase in sinking carbon flux. PMID:26831076

  16. The largest Last Supper: depictions of food portions and plate size increased over the millennium.

    PubMed

    Wansink, B; Wansink, C S

    2010-05-01

    Portion sizes of foods have been noticably increasing in recent years, but when did this trend begin? If art imitates life and if food portions have been generally increasing with time, we might expect this trend to be reflected in paintings that depict food. Perhaps the most commonly painted meal has been that of Jesus Christ's Last Supper, chronicled in the New Testament of the Bible. A CAD-CAM analysis of the relative food-to-head ratio in 52 representative paintings of the Last Supper showed that the relative sizes of the main dish (entree) (r=0.52, P=0.002), bread (r=0.30, P=0.04), and plates (r=0.46, P=0.02) have linearly increased over the past millennium.

  17. Marine mixotrophy increases trophic transfer efficiency, mean organism size, and vertical carbon flux.

    PubMed

    Ward, Ben A; Follows, Michael J

    2016-03-15

    Mixotrophic plankton, which combine the uptake of inorganic resources and the ingestion of living prey, are ubiquitous in marine ecosystems, but their integrated biogeochemical impacts remain unclear. We address this issue by removing the strict distinction between phytoplankton and zooplankton from a global model of the marine plankton food web. This simplification allows the emergence of a realistic trophic network with increased fidelity to empirical estimates of plankton community structure and elemental stoichiometry, relative to a system in which autotrophy and heterotrophy are mutually exclusive. Mixotrophy enhances the transfer of biomass to larger sizes classes further up the food chain, leading to an approximately threefold increase in global mean organism size and an ∼35% increase in sinking carbon flux.

  18. Metabolic characterization of a CHO cell size increase phase in fed-batch cultures.

    PubMed

    Pan, Xiao; Dalm, Ciska; Wijffels, René H; Martens, Dirk E

    2017-09-26

    Normally, the growth profile of a CHO cell fed-batch process can be divided into two main phases based on changes in cell concentration, being an exponential growth phase and a stationary (non-growth) phase. In this study, an additional phase is observed during which the cell division comes to a halt but the cell growth continues in the form of an increase in cell size. The cell size increase (SI) phase occurs between the exponential proliferation phase (also called the number increase or NI phase) and the stationary phase. During the SI phase, the average volume and dry weight per cell increase threefold linearly with time. The average mAb specific productivity per cell increases linearly with the cell volume and therefore is on average two times higher in the SI phase than in the NI phase. The specific essential amino acids consumption rates per cell remain fairly constant between the NI and the SI phase, which agrees with the similar biomass production rate per cell between these two phases. Accumulation of fatty acids and formation of lipid droplets in the cells are observed during the SI phase, indicating that the fatty acids synthesis rate exceeds the demand for the synthesis of membrane lipids. A metabolic comparison between NI and SI phase shows that the cells with a larger size produce more mAb per unit of O2 and nutrient consumed, which can be used for further process optimization.

  19. Encountering competitors reduces clutch size and increases offspring size in a parasitoid with female–female fighting

    PubMed Central

    Goubault, Marlène; Mack, Alexandra F.S; Hardy, Ian C.W

    2007-01-01

    Understanding the size of clutches produced by only one parent may require a game-theoretic approach: clutch size may affect offspring fitness in terms of future competitive ability. If larger clutches generate smaller offspring and larger adults are more successful in acquiring and retaining resources, clutch size optima should be reduced when the probability of future competitive encounters is higher. We test this using Goniozus nephantidis, a gregarious parasitoid wasp in which the assumption of size-dependent resource acquisition is met via female–female contests for hosts. As predicted, smaller clutches are produced by mothers experiencing competition, due to fewer eggs being matured and to a reduced proportion of matured eggs being laid. As assumed, smaller clutches generate fewer but larger offspring. We believe this is the first direct evidence for pre-ovipositional and game-theoretic clutch size adjustment in response to an intergenerational fitness effect when clutches are produced by a single individual. PMID:17698482

  20. Underestimating a serving size may lead to increased food consumption when using Canada's Food Guide.

    PubMed

    Abramovitch, Sharona L; Reddigan, Jacinta I; Hamadeh, Mazen J; Jamnik, Veronica K; Rowan, Chip P; Kuk, Jennifer L

    2012-10-01

    It is unclear whether Canadians accurately estimate serving sizes and the number of servings in their diet as intended by Canada's Food Guide (CFG). The objective of this study was to determine if participants can accurately quantify the size of 1 serving and the number of servings consumed per day. White, Black, South Asian, and East Asian adults (n = 145) estimated the quantity of food that constituted 1 CFG serving, and used CFG to estimate the number of servings that they consumed from their 24-h dietary recall. Participants estimated 1 serving size of vegetables and fruit (+43%) and grains (+55%) to be larger than CFG serving sizes (p ≤ 0.05); meat alternatives (-33%) and cheese (-31%) to be smaller than a CFG serving size (p ≤ 0.05); and chicken, carrots, and milk servings accurately (p > 0.05). Serving size estimates were positively correlated with the amount of food participants regularly consumed at 1 meal (p < 0.001). From their food records, all ethnicities estimated that they consumed fewer servings of vegetables and fruit (-15%), grains (-28%), and meat and alternatives (-14%) than they actually consumed, and more servings of milk and alternatives (+26%, p ≤ 0.05) than they actually consumed. Consequently, 68% of participants believed they needed to increase consumption by greater than 200 kcal to meet CFG recommendations. In conclusion, estimating serving sizes to be larger than what is defined by CFG may inadvertently lead to estimating that fewer servings were consumed and overeating if Canadians follow CFG recommendations without guidance. Thus, revision to CFG or greater public education regarding the dietary guidelines is warranted.

  1. Dietary fatty acid enrichment increases egg size and quality of yellow seahorse Hippocampus kuda.

    PubMed

    Saavedra, M; Masdeu, M; Hale, P; Sibbons, C M; Holt, W V

    2014-02-01

    Seahorses populations in the wild have been declining and to restore them a better knowledge of seahorse reproduction is required. This study examines the effect of dietary quality on seahorse fecundity and egg quality. Two different diets were tested with Hippocampus kuda females: frozen mysis (control) and frozen mysis enriched with a liposome spray containing essential fatty acids. Diets were given to females (two groups of five) over a seven week period. After this period, males (fed the control diet) and females were paired and the eggs dropped by the females were collected. Fatty acid profile were analysed and eggs were counted and measured. Results showed that females fed on enriched mysis had larger eggs and that these had a higher content of total polyunsaturated fatty acids. The size of the egg was especially affected in the first spawn, where egg size for females fed the enriched diet was significantly higher than the egg size from control females. This effect was reduced in the following spawning where no significant differences were found. Egg size is an important quality descriptor as seahorse juveniles originating from smaller eggs and/or eggs of poor quality will have less chances of overcoming adverse conditions in the wild and consequently have lower survival and growth rates. This study shows that enriching frozen mysis with polyunsaturated fatty acids increases egg size and egg quality of H. kuda.

  2. Quantal rotation and its coupling to intrinsic motion in nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakatsukasa, Takashi; Matsuyanagi, Kenichi; Matsuzaki, Masayuki; Shimizu, Yoshifumi R.

    2016-07-01

    Symmetry breaking is an important concept in nuclear physics and other fields of physics. Self-consistent coupling between the mean-field potential and the single-particle motion is a key ingredient in the unified model of Bohr and Mottelson, which could lead to a deformed nucleus as a consequence of spontaneous breaking of the rotational symmetry. Some remarks on the finite-size quantum effects are given. In finite nuclei, the deformation inevitably introduces the rotation as a symmetry-restoring collective motion (Anderson-Nambu-Goldstone mode), and the rotation affects the intrinsic motion. In order to investigate the interplay between the rotational and intrinsic motions in a variety of collective phenomena, we use the cranking prescription together with the quasiparticle random phase approximation (QRPA). At low spin, the coupling effect can be seen in the generalized intensity relation. A feasible quantization of the cranking model is presented, which provides a microscopic approach to the higher-order intensity relation. At high spin, the semiclassical cranking prescription works well. We discuss properties of collective vibrational motions under rapid rotation and/or large deformation. The superdeformed shell structure plays a key role in emergence of a new soft mode which could lead to instability toward the {K}π ={1}- octupole shape. A wobbling mode of excitation, which is a clear signature of the triaxiality, is discussed in terms of a microscopic point of view. A crucial role played by the quasiparticle alignment is presented.

  3. Induced polyploidy dramatically increases the size and alters the shape of fruit in Actinidia chinensis

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jin-Hu; Ferguson, A. Ross; Murray, Brian G.; Jia, Yilin; Datson, Paul M.; Zhang, Jingli

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Some otherwise promising selections of Actinidia chinensis (kiwifruit) have fruit that are too small for successful commercialization. We have therefore made the first detailed study in diploid kiwifruit of the effects of chromosome doubling induced by colchicine on fruit size, shape and crop loading. Methods Flow cytometric analysis of young leaves and chromosome analysis of flower buds and root tips was used to confirm the stability of induced autotetraploids. Fruit weight, size and crop load were measured in the third year after planting in the field and for three consecutive years. DNA fingerprinting was used to confirm the origin of the material. Key Results There was a very significant increase in fruit size in induced autotetraploids of different genotypes of A. chinensis. With the commercially important diploid cultivar ‘Hort16A’, most regenerants, Type A plants, had fruit which were much the same shape as fruit of the diploid but, at the same fruit load, were much larger and heavier. Some regenerants, Type B plants, produced fruit similar to ‘fasciated’ fruit. Fruit of the autotetraploids induced from three female red-fleshed A. chinensis selections were also 50–60 % larger than fruit of their diploid progenitors. The main increase in fruit dimensions was in their diameters. These improved fruit characteristics were stable over several seasons. Conclusions Chromosome doubling has been shown to increase significantly fruit size in autotetraploid A. chinensis, highlighting the considerable potential of this technique to produce new cultivars with fruit of adequate size. Other variants with differently shaped fruit were also produced but the genetic basis of this variation remains to be elucidated. Autoploids of other Actinidia species with commercial potential may also show improved fruit characteristics, opening up many new possibilities for commercial development. PMID:21980192

  4. Protein-assisted pericyclic reactions: an alternate hypothesis for the action of quantal receptors.

    PubMed Central

    Radding, W; Romo, T; Phillips, G N

    1999-01-01

    The rules for allowable pericyclic reactions indicate that the photoisomerizations of retinals in rhodopsins can be formally analogous to thermally promoted Diels-Alder condensations of monoenes with retinols. With little change in the seven-transmembrane helical environment these latter reactions could mimic the retinal isomerization while providing highly sensitive chemical reception. In this way archaic progenitors of G-protein-coupled chemical quantal receptors such as those for pheromones might have been evolutionarily plagiarized from the photon quantal receptor, rhodopsin, or vice versa. We investigated whether the known structure of bacteriorhodopsin exhibited any similarity in its active site with those of the two known antibody catalysts of Diels-Alder reactions and that of the photoactive yellow protein. A remarkable three-dimensional motif of aromatic side chains emerged in all four proteins despite the drastic differences in backbone structure. Molecular orbital calculations supported the possibility of transient pericyclic reactions as part of the isomerization-signal transduction mechanisms in both bacteriorhodopsin and the photoactive yellow protein. It appears that reactions in all four of the proteins investigated may be biological analogs of the organic chemists' chiral auxiliary-aided Diels-Alder reactions. Thus the light receptor and the chemical receptor subfamilies of the heptahelical receptor family may have been unified at one time by underlying pericyclic chemistry. PMID:10585916

  5. Does increasing daylength control seasonal changes in clutch sizes of Northern Pintails (Anas acuta)?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krapu, G.L.; Sargeant, G.A.; Perkins, A.E.H.

    2002-01-01

    We evaluated spatiotemporal variation in clutch sizes of Northern Pintails (pintails; Anas acuta) nesting in California (1985 to 1996), North Dakota (1982 to 1985), Saskatchewan (1982 to 1985) and Alaska (1991 to 1993) to determine whether seasonal declines in clutch size varied in ways that were consistent with a controlling influence of increasing day length. Pintails began nesting in mid-March in California, mid-April in North Dakota and Saskatchewan, and mid-May in Alaska. Observed durations of nesting were 70 ± 2.6 days (SE) in California, 60 ± 6.3 days in North Dakota, 66 ± 1.3 days in Saskatchewan, and 42 ± 0.7 days in Alaska. Annual differences were the principal source of variation in mean clutch sizes (σ̂Y2 = 0.15, SE = 0.049), which varied little among study locations (σ̂A2 = 0.002, SE = 0.013). Predicted rates of seasonal decline in clutch sizes increased with latitude early in the nesting season, but declined as the nesting season progressed, except in California. Rates of decline in clutch sizes thus were not directly related to rates of increase in day length. Predicted declines in numbers of eggs per clutch over the nesting season were similar for all four locations (range, 3.05–3.12) despite wide variation in durations of nesting. Evidence suggests that reduced nutrient availability during nesting contributes to a higher rate of decline in clutch sizes in Alaska than in temperate regions. Pintails that nest early lay large initial clutches, but thereafter clutch sizes decline rapidly and breeding terminates early. This reproductive strategy is adaptive because young that hatch earliest exhibit the highest survival rates; however, the conversion of grassland to cropland on the primary prairie breeding grounds has reduced hatching rates of clutches laid early in the nesting season. Under these conditions, the limited capacity to renest in late spring on their prairie breeding grounds probably has contributed to Pintail population declines.

  6. Matching skidder size to wood harvested to increase hardwood fiber availability: a case study

    Treesearch

    Chris B. LeDoux

    2000-01-01

    Integrating what we know about growing trees with what we know about harvesting them can increase the economic availability of wood fiber and add value to future crops. Results for the oak/hickory forest type in West Virginia show that up to 1,736.61 ft³/ac. of wood fiber can be harvested 10 years sooner than usual by simply matching the size of the machine to...

  7. Increase in tracheal investment with beetle size supports hypothesis of oxygen limitation on insect gigantism

    PubMed Central

    Kaiser, Alexander; Klok, C. Jaco; Socha, John J.; Lee, Wah-Keat; Quinlan, Michael C.; Harrison, Jon F.

    2007-01-01

    Recent studies have suggested that Paleozoic hyperoxia enabled animal gigantism, and the subsequent hypoxia drove a reduction in animal size. This evolutionary hypothesis depends on the argument that gas exchange in many invertebrates and skin-breathing vertebrates becomes compromised at large sizes because of distance effects on diffusion. In contrast to vertebrates, which use respiratory and circulatory systems in series, gas exchange in insects is almost exclusively determined by the tracheal system, providing a particularly suitable model to investigate possible limitations of oxygen delivery on size. In this study, we used synchrotron x-ray phase–contrast imaging to visualize the tracheal system and quantify its dimensions in four species of darkling beetles varying in mass by 3 orders of magnitude. We document that, in striking contrast to the pattern observed in vertebrates, larger insects devote a greater fraction of their body to the respiratory system, as tracheal volume scaled with mass1.29. The trend is greatest in the legs; the cross-sectional area of the trachea penetrating the leg orifice scaled with mass1.02, whereas the cross-sectional area of the leg orifice scaled with mass0.77. These trends suggest the space available for tracheae within the leg may ultimately limit the maximum size of extant beetles. Because the size of the tracheal system can be reduced when oxygen supply is increased, hyperoxia, as occurred during late Carboniferous and early Permian, may have facilitated the evolution of giant insects by allowing limbs to reach larger sizes before the tracheal system became limited by spatial constraints. PMID:17666530

  8. Increase in tracheal investment with beetle size supports hypothesis of oxygen limitation on insect gigantism.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, Alexander; Klok, C Jaco; Socha, John J; Lee, Wah-Keat; Quinlan, Michael C; Harrison, Jon F

    2007-08-07

    Recent studies have suggested that Paleozoic hyperoxia enabled animal gigantism, and the subsequent hypoxia drove a reduction in animal size. This evolutionary hypothesis depends on the argument that gas exchange in many invertebrates and skin-breathing vertebrates becomes compromised at large sizes because of distance effects on diffusion. In contrast to vertebrates, which use respiratory and circulatory systems in series, gas exchange in insects is almost exclusively determined by the tracheal system, providing a particularly suitable model to investigate possible limitations of oxygen delivery on size. In this study, we used synchrotron x-ray phase-contrast imaging to visualize the tracheal system and quantify its dimensions in four species of darkling beetles varying in mass by 3 orders of magnitude. We document that, in striking contrast to the pattern observed in vertebrates, larger insects devote a greater fraction of their body to the respiratory system, as tracheal volume scaled with mass1.29. The trend is greatest in the legs; the cross-sectional area of the trachea penetrating the leg orifice scaled with mass1.02, whereas the cross-sectional area of the leg orifice scaled with mass0.77. These trends suggest the space available for tracheae within the leg may ultimately limit the maximum size of extant beetles. Because the size of the tracheal system can be reduced when oxygen supply is increased, hyperoxia, as occurred during late Carboniferous and early Permian, may have facilitated the evolution of giant insects by allowing limbs to reach larger sizes before the tracheal system became limited by spatial constraints.

  9. Consumption with Large Sip Sizes Increases Food Intake and Leads to Underestimation of the Amount Consumed

    PubMed Central

    Bolhuis, Dieuwerke P.; Lakemond, Catriona M. M.; de Wijk, Rene A.; Luning, Pieternel A.; de Graaf, Cees

    2013-01-01

    Background A number of studies have shown that bite and sip sizes influence the amount of food intake. Consuming with small sips instead of large sips means relatively more sips for the same amount of food to be consumed; people may believe that intake is higher which leads to faster satiation. This effect may be disturbed when people are distracted. Objective The objective of the study is to assess the effects of sip size in a focused state and a distracted state on ad libitum intake and on the estimated amount consumed. Design In this 3×2 cross-over design, 53 healthy subjects consumed ad libitum soup with small sips (5 g, 60 g/min), large sips (15 g, 60 g/min), and free sips (where sip size was determined by subjects themselves), in both a distracted and focused state. Sips were administered via a pump. There were no visual cues toward consumption. Subjects then estimated how much they had consumed by filling soup in soup bowls. Results Intake in the small-sip condition was ∼30% lower than in both the large-sip and free-sip conditions (P<0.001). In addition, subjects underestimated how much they had consumed in the large-sip and free-sip conditions (P<0.03). Distraction led to a general increase in food intake (P = 0.003), independent of sip size. Distraction did not influence sip size or estimations. Conclusions Consumption with large sips led to higher food intake, as expected. Large sips, that were either fixed or chosen by subjects themselves led to underestimations of the amount consumed. This may be a risk factor for over-consumption. Reducing sip or bite sizes may successfully lower food intake, even in a distracted state. PMID:23372657

  10. Capped carbon nanotubes with a number of ground state magnetization discontinuities increasing with their size

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konstantinidis, N. P.

    2017-06-01

    The classical ground state magnetic response of fullerene molecules that resemble capped carbon nanotubes is calculated within the framework of the antiferromagnetic Heisenberg model. It is found that the magnetic response depends subtly on spatial symmetry and chirality. Clusters based on armchair carbon nanotubes which are capped with non-neighboring pentagons and have D 5d spatial symmetry have a number of magnetization discontinuities which increases with their size. This occurs even though the model completely lacks magnetic anisotropy, and even though the only source of frustration are the two groups of six pentagons located at the ends of the molecules, which become more strongly outnumbered as the clusters are filled in the middle with more unfrustrated hexagons with increasing size. For the cluster with 180 vertices there are already seven magnetization and one susceptibility discontinuities. Contrary to that, similar molecules which have D 5h spatial symmetry reach a limit of one magnetization and two susceptibility ground state discontinuities, while fullerene molecules based on zigzag carbon nanotubes and capped by neighboring pentagons also reach a fixed number of discontinuities with increasing size. Dedicated to the memory of Dr. Brahim Belhadji

  11. Physiological responses to increased brood size and ectoparasite infestation: Adult great tits favour self-maintenance.

    PubMed

    Wegmann, Michele; Voegeli, Beatrice; Richner, Heinz

    2015-03-15

    Different types of stressors trigger responses of different physiological systems, and these responses may contribute differentially to the maintenance of homeostasis, to trade-offs and the evolution of life-history traits. To manipulate two common stressors during reproduction, we infested half of the nests in a naturally breeding great tit population with ectoparasites and simultaneously manipulated brood size, using a 2×2 experimental design. Parents in this model species commonly compensate for ectoparasites by an increase in food provisioning. We assessed parental responses to these concurrent stressors by measuring several physiological stress parameters such as changes in metabolic rate, oxidative stress and expression of heat-shock proteins (Hsp), and explored how these stressors affect the trade-off between self-maintenance and reproduction. Neither flea infestation nor brood size manipulation affected adult metabolic rate, oxidative damage or Hsp levels. Furthermore, we found no interactive effect of the two treatments on adults. However, nestlings in infested nests had lower body mass and lower survival. Nestlings in enlarged broods were lighter and had lower survival, although parents of enlarged broods increased food provisioning rate. The findings suggest that adults favour maintenance of cellular homeostasis, and physiological equilibrium over current reproduction, and that the costs induced by both stressors, flea infestation and increased brood size, are carried by the offspring. It emphasizes the importance of self-maintenance over reproduction in life-history decisions, and more generally the need of including physiological traits for understanding the evolution of life-histories.

  12. Seed maturation in Arabidopsis thaliana is characterized by nuclear size reduction and increased chromatin condensation

    PubMed Central

    van Zanten, Martijn; Koini, Maria A.; Geyer, Regina; Liu, Yongxiu; Brambilla, Vittoria; Bartels, Dorothea; Koornneef, Maarten; Fransz, Paul; Soppe, Wim J. J.

    2011-01-01

    Most plant species rely on seeds for their dispersal and survival under unfavorable environmental conditions. Seeds are characterized by their low moisture content and significantly reduced metabolic activities. During the maturation phase, seeds accumulate storage reserves and become desiccation-tolerant and dormant. Growth is resumed after release of dormancy and the occurrence of favorable environmental conditions. Here we show that embryonic cotyledon nuclei of Arabidopsis thaliana seeds have a significantly reduced nuclear size, which is established at the beginning of seed maturation. In addition, the chromatin of embryonic cotyledon nuclei from mature seeds is highly condensed. Nuclei regain their size and chromatin condensation level during germination. The reduction in nuclear size is controlled by the seed maturation regulator ABSCISIC ACID-INSENSITIVE 3, and the increase during germination requires two predicted nuclear matrix proteins, LITTLE NUCLEI 1 and LITTLE NUCLEI 2. Our results suggest that the specific properties of nuclei in ripe seeds are an adaptation to desiccation, independent of dormancy. We conclude that the changes in nuclear size and chromatin condensation in seeds are independent, developmentally controlled processes. PMID:22123962

  13. Increased monolayer domain size and patterned growth of tungsten disulfide through controlling surface energy of substrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godin, Kyle; Kang, Kyungnam; Fu, Shichen; Yang, Eui-Hyeok

    2016-08-01

    We report a surface energy-controlled low-pressure chemical vapor deposition growth of WS2 monolayers on SiO2 using pre-growth oxygen plasma treatment of substrates, facilitating increased monolayer surface coverage and patterned growth without lithography. Oxygen plasma treatment of the substrate caused an increase in the average domain size of WS2 monolayers by 78%  ±  2% while having a slight reduction in nucleation density, which translates to increased monolayer surface coverage. This substrate effect on growth was exploited to grow patterned WS2 monolayers by patterned plasma treatment on patterned substrates and by patterned source material with resolutions less than 10 µm. Contact angle-based surface energy measurements revealed a dramatic increase in polar surface energy. A growth model was proposed with lowered activation energies for growth and increased surface diffusion length consistent with the range of results observed. WS2 samples grown with and without oxygen plasma were similar high quality monolayers verified through transmission electron microscopy, selected area electron diffraction, atomic force microscopy, Raman, and photoluminescence measurements. This technique enables the production of large-grain size, patterned WS2 without a post-growth lithography process, thereby providing clean surfaces for device applications.

  14. Increasing walking: how important is distance to, attractiveness, and size of public open space?

    PubMed

    Giles-Corti, Billie; Broomhall, Melissa H; Knuiman, Matthew; Collins, Catherine; Douglas, Kate; Ng, Kevin; Lange, Andrea; Donovan, Robert J

    2005-02-01

    Well-designed public open space (POS) that encourages physical activity is a community asset that could potentially contribute to the health of local residents. In 1995-1996, two studies were conducted-an environmental audit of POS over 2 acres (n =516) within a 408-km2 area of metropolitan Perth, Western Australia; and personal interviews with 1803 adults (aged 18 to 59 years) (52.9% response rate). The association between access to POS and physical activity was examined using three accessibility models that progressively adjusted for distance to POS, and its attractiveness and size. In 2002, an observational study examined the influence of attractiveness on the use of POS by observing users of three pairs of high- and low-quality (based on attractiveness) POS matched for size and location. Overall, 28.8% of respondents reported using POS for physical activity. The likelihood of using POS increased with increasing levels of access, but the effect was greater in the model that adjusted for distance, attractiveness, and size. After adjustment, those with very good access to large, attractive POS were 50% more likely to achieve high levels of walking (odds ratio, 1.50; 95% confidence level, 1.06-2.13). The observational study showed that after matching POS for size and location, 70% of POS users observed visited attractive POS. Access to attractive, large POS is associated with higher levels of walking. To increase walking, thoughtful design (and redesign) of POS is required that creates large, attractive POS with facilities that encourage active use by multiple users (e.g., walkers, sports participants, picnickers).

  15. Increasing the Size of the Microbial Biomass Altered Bacterial Community Structure which Enhances Plant Phosphorus Uptake

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Pu; Murphy, Daniel Vaughan; George, Suman J.; Lapis-Gaza, Hazel; Xu, Minggang

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural production can be limited by low phosphorus (P) availability, with soil P being constrained by sorption and precipitation reactions making it less available for plant uptake. There are strong links between carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) availability and P cycling within soil P pools, with microorganisms being an integral component of soil P cycling mediating the availability of P to plants. Here we tested a conceptual model that proposes (i) the addition of readily-available organic substrates would increase the size of the microbial biomass thus exhausting the pool of easily-available P and (ii) this would cause the microbial biomass to access P from more recalcitrant pools. In this model it is hypothesised that the size of the microbial population is regulating access to less available P rather than the diversity of organisms contained within this biomass. To test this hypothesis we added mixtures of simple organic compounds that reflect typical root exudates at different C:N ratios to a soil microcosm experiment and assessed changes in soil P pools, microbial biomass and bacterial diversity measures. We report that low C:N ratio (C:N = 12.5:1) artificial root exudates increased the size of the microbial biomass while high C:N ratio (C:N = 50:1) artificial root exudates did not result in a similar increase in microbial biomass. Interestingly, addition of the root exudates did not alter bacterial diversity (measured via univariate diversity indices) but did alter bacterial community structure. Where C, N and P supply was sufficient to support plant growth the increase observed in microbial biomass occurred with a concurrent increase in plant yield. PMID:27893833

  16. Increase of chronic low back pain prevalence in a medium-sized city of southern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a highly disabling morbidity with high social, economic and individual effects. Demographic, occupational and behavioral changes that took place in Brazil over the last decade are related with an increasing burden of chronic conditions. Despite these changes, comparison studies on CLBP prevalence and associated factors, over time are scarce in the literature in general, and unknown in Brazil. The present study compared the CLBP prevalence in a medium sized city in Brazil between the years 2002 and 2010 and examined factors associated with prevalence in 2010. Methods Two cross-sectional studies with similar methodology were conducted in a medium-sized city in southern Brazil, in 2002 and 2010. 3182 individuals were interviewed in the first study and 2732 in the second one, all adults aged twenty years or more. Those who reported pain for seven weeks or more in the last three months in the lumbar region where considered cases of CLBP. Results The CLBP prevalence increased from 4.2% to 9.6% in 8 years. In most of the studied subgroups the CLBP prevalence has at least doubled and the increase was even larger among younger individuals with more years of education and higher economic status. Conclusions Increase in CLBP prevalence is worrisome because it is a condition responsible for substantial social impact, besides being an important source of demand for health services. PMID:23634830

  17. Acute sleep deprivation increases portion size and affects food choice in young men.

    PubMed

    Hogenkamp, Pleunie S; Nilsson, Emil; Nilsson, Victor C; Chapman, Colin D; Vogel, Heike; Lundberg, Lina S; Zarei, Sanaz; Cedernaes, Jonathan; Rångtell, Frida H; Broman, Jan-Erik; Dickson, Suzanne L; Brunstrom, Jeffrey M; Benedict, Christian; Schiöth, Helgi B

    2013-09-01

    Acute sleep loss increases food intake in adults. However, little is known about the influence of acute sleep loss on portion size choice, and whether this depends on both hunger state and the type of food (snack or meal item) offered to an individual. The aim of the current study was to compare portion size choice after a night of sleep and a period of nocturnal wakefulness (a condition experienced by night-shift workers, e.g. physicians and nurses). Sixteen men (age: 23 ± 0.9 years, BMI: 23.6 ± 0.6 kg/m(2)) participated in a randomized within-subject design with two conditions, 8-h of sleep and total sleep deprivation (TSD). In the morning following sleep interventions, portion size, comprising meal and snack items, was measured using a computer-based task, in both fasted and sated state. In addition, hunger as well as plasma levels of ghrelin were measured. In the morning after TSD, subjects had increased plasma ghrelin levels (13%, p=0.04), and chose larger portions (14%, p=0.02), irrespective of the type of food, as compared to the sleep condition. Self-reported hunger was also enhanced (p<0.01). Following breakfast, sleep-deprived subjects chose larger portions of snacks (16%, p=0.02), whereas the selection of meal items did not differ between the sleep interventions (6%, p=0.13). Our results suggest that overeating in the morning after sleep loss is driven by both homeostatic and hedonic factors. Further, they show that portion size choice after sleep loss depend on both an individual's hunger status, and the type of food offered. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Oxidative Damage Does Not Occur in Striped Hamsters Raising Natural and Experimentally Increased Litter Size.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xiao-Ya; Zhang, Ji-Ying; Cao, Jing; Zhao, Zhi-Jun

    2015-01-01

    Life-history theory assumes that animals can balance the allocation of limited energy or resources to the competing demands of growth, reproduction and somatic maintenance, while consequently maximizing their fitness. However, somatic damage caused by oxidative stress in reproductive female animals is species-specific or is tissue dependent. In the present study, several markers of oxidative stress (hydrogen peroxide, H2O2 and malonadialdehyde, MDA) and antioxidant (catalase, CAT and total antioxidant capacity, T-AOC) were examined in striped hamsters during different stages of reproduction with experimentally manipulated litter size. Energy intake, resting metabolic rate (RMR), and mRNA expression of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) in brown adipose tissue (BAT) and UCP3 in skeletal muscle were also examined. H2O2 and MDA levels did not change in BAT and liver, although they significantly decreased in skeletal muscle in the lactating hamsters compared to the non-reproductive group. However, H2O2 levels in the brain were significantly higher in lactating hamsters than non-reproductive controls. Experimentally increasing litter size did not cause oxidative stress in BAT, liver and skeletal muscle, but significantly elevated H2O2 levels in the brain. CAT activity of liver decreased, but CAT and T-AOC activity of BAT, skeletal muscle and the brain did not change in lactating hamsters compared to non-reproductive controls. Both antioxidants did not change with the experimentally increasing litter size. RMR significantly increased, but BAT UCP1 mRNA expression decreased with the experimentally increased litter size, suggesting that it was against simple positive links between metabolic rate, UCP1 expression and free radicals levels. It may suggest that the cost of reproduction has negligible effect on oxidative stress or even attenuates oxidative stress in some active tissues in an extensive range of animal species. But the increasing reproductive effort may cause oxidative

  19. To increase size or decrease density? Different Microcystis species has different choice to form blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Ming; Zhu, Wei; Guo, Lili; Hu, Jing; Chen, Huaimin; Xiao, Man

    2016-11-01

    The buoyancy of Microcystis colonies is a principal factor determining blooms occurrence but the knowledge of seasonal variation in buoyancy is quite poor because of challenge in analysis method. In this study, a method based on the Stokes’ Law after researching on the effects of shapes on settling velocity of Microcystis colonies, whose gas vesicles were collapsed, to accurately measure density was established. The method was used in Lake Taihu. From January to May, mean density of Microcystis colonies decreased from 995 kg m‑3 to 978 kg m‑3 and then increased to 992 kg m‑3 in December. The density of colonies in different Microcystis species was in the order M. wesenbergii > M. aeruginosa > M. ichthyoblabe. For all the Microcystis species, the density of colonies with gas vasicles increased significantly along with the increase of colony size. Our results suggested that the main driving factor of Microcystis blooms formation in Lake Taihu was low density for M. ichthyoblabe from May to July but was large colony size for M. wesenbergii and M. aeruginosa from August to October.

  20. Low-load Slow Movement Squat Training Increases Muscle Size and Strength but Not Power.

    PubMed

    Usui, S; Maeo, S; Tayashiki, K; Nakatani, M; Kanehisa, H

    2016-04-01

    We tested a hypothesis that low-load squat training with slow movement and tonic force generation (LST) would increase muscle size and strength but not necessarily power. Healthy young men were assigned to LST [50% one-repetition maximum (1-RM) load, 3 s for lowering/lifting without pause: n=9] or low-load normal speed (LN: 50% 1-RM load, 1 s for lowering/lifting with 1-s pause; n=7) groups. Both groups underwent an 8-week squat training program (10 repetitions/set, 3 sets/day, and 3 days/week) using the assigned methods. Before and after the intervention, quadriceps femoris muscle thickness, maximal torque during isometric hip extension and knee extension, 1-RM squat, lifting power from squatting position and rate of electromyography rise (RER) in knee extensors during the task, leg extension power and vertical jump height were measured. After the intervention, the LN group showed no changes in all the variables. The LST group significantly (P<0.05) increased muscle thickness (6-10%), isometric hip extension torque (18%) and 1-RM squat (10%), but not isometric knee extension torque, lifting power and RER, leg extension power and vertical jump height. These results suggest that LST can increase muscle size and task-related strength, but has little effect on power production during dynamic explosive movements. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  1. To increase size or decrease density? Different Microcystis species has different choice to form blooms

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ming; Zhu, Wei; Guo, Lili; Hu, Jing; Chen, Huaimin; Xiao, Man

    2016-01-01

    The buoyancy of Microcystis colonies is a principal factor determining blooms occurrence but the knowledge of seasonal variation in buoyancy is quite poor because of challenge in analysis method. In this study, a method based on the Stokes’ Law after researching on the effects of shapes on settling velocity of Microcystis colonies, whose gas vesicles were collapsed, to accurately measure density was established. The method was used in Lake Taihu. From January to May, mean density of Microcystis colonies decreased from 995 kg m−3 to 978 kg m−3 and then increased to 992 kg m−3 in December. The density of colonies in different Microcystis species was in the order M. wesenbergii > M. aeruginosa > M. ichthyoblabe. For all the Microcystis species, the density of colonies with gas vasicles increased significantly along with the increase of colony size. Our results suggested that the main driving factor of Microcystis blooms formation in Lake Taihu was low density for M. ichthyoblabe from May to July but was large colony size for M. wesenbergii and M. aeruginosa from August to October. PMID:27841329

  2. To increase size or decrease density? Different Microcystis species has different choice to form blooms.

    PubMed

    Li, Ming; Zhu, Wei; Guo, Lili; Hu, Jing; Chen, Huaimin; Xiao, Man

    2016-11-14

    The buoyancy of Microcystis colonies is a principal factor determining blooms occurrence but the knowledge of seasonal variation in buoyancy is quite poor because of challenge in analysis method. In this study, a method based on the Stokes' Law after researching on the effects of shapes on settling velocity of Microcystis colonies, whose gas vesicles were collapsed, to accurately measure density was established. The method was used in Lake Taihu. From January to May, mean density of Microcystis colonies decreased from 995 kg m(-3) to 978 kg m(-3) and then increased to 992 kg m(-3) in December. The density of colonies in different Microcystis species was in the order M. wesenbergii > M. aeruginosa > M. ichthyoblabe. For all the Microcystis species, the density of colonies with gas vasicles increased significantly along with the increase of colony size. Our results suggested that the main driving factor of Microcystis blooms formation in Lake Taihu was low density for M. ichthyoblabe from May to July but was large colony size for M. wesenbergii and M. aeruginosa from August to October.

  3. Horizontal transfer of fipronil is enhanced with increased group size in Coptotermes formosanus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae).

    PubMed

    Wang, Cai; Henderson, Gregg; Chen, Xuan; Gautam, Bal K

    2013-12-01

    Fipronil is a widely used insecticide for termite control. Although transfer of fipronil among termite cohorts has been investigated in previous studies, no study has yet focused on the influence of termite group size (density) on horizontal transfer. In this study, the mortality of donor and recipient Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) was compared among groups of 10, 25, and 50 workers. Most donor termites were dead within 20 h. There was a significantly higher mortality of recipient termites starting at 44 h when in bigger groups. LT50 and LT90 of recipient termites decreased with increase in group size, being significantly shorter in groups of 50 termites compared with groups of 10 termites. Moreover, the variance (within-group difference) of recipient mortality and lethal time estimations was lowest in the groups of 50 termites, indicating a more uniform horizontal transfer of fipronil by termites in bigger groups. Our findings suggest that group size has an influence on fipronil transfer among C. formosanus workers and should be considered as a variable of importance.

  4. Dynamic size responses to climate change: prevailing effects of rising temperature drive long-term body size increases in a semi-arid passerine.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Janet L; Amano, Tatsuya; Mackey, Brendan G; Sutherland, William J; Clayton, Mark; Peters, Anne

    2014-07-01

    Changes in animal body size have been widely reported as a correlate of contemporary climate change. Body size affects metabolism and fitness, so changing size has implications for resilience, yet the climatic factors that drive size variation remain poorly understood. We test the role of mean and extreme temperature, rainfall, and remotely sensed primary productivity (NDVI) as drivers of body size in a sedentary, semi-arid Australian passerine, Ptilotula (Lichenostomus)penicillatus, over 23 years. To distinguish effects due to differential growth from changes in population composition, we analysed first-year birds and adults separately and considered climatic variation at three temporal scales (current, previous, and preceding 5 years). The strongest effects related to temperature: in both age classes, larger size was associated with warmer mean temperatures in the previous year, contrary to Bergmann's Rule. Moreover, adults were larger in warmer breeding seasons, while first years was larger after heat waves; these effects are more likely to be mediated through size-dependent mortality, highlighting the role of body size in determining vulnerability to extinction. In addition to temperature, larger adult size was associated with lower primary productivity, which may reflect a trade-off between vegetative growth and nectar production, on which adults rely. Finally, lower rainfall was associated with decreasing size in first year and adults, most likely related to decreased food availability. Overall,body size increased over 23 years, strongly in first-year birds (2.7%) compared with adults (1%), with size outcomes a balance between competing drivers. As rainfall declined over time and productivity remained fairly stable, the temporal increase in body size appears largely driven by rising mean temperature and temperature extremes. Body size responses to environmental change are thus complex and dynamic, driven by effects on growth as well as mortality.

  5. Developmental mortality increases sex-ratio bias of a size-dimorphic bark beetle

    PubMed Central

    Lachowsky, Leanna E; Reid, Mary L

    2014-01-01

    1. Given sexual size dimorphism, differential mortality owing to body size can lead to sex-biased mortality, proximately biasing sex ratios. This mechanism may apply to mountain pine beetles, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, which typically have female-biased adult populations (2 : 1) with females larger than males. Smaller males could be more susceptible to stresses than larger females as developing beetles overwinter and populations experience high mortality. 2. Survival of naturally-established mountain pine beetles during the juvenile stage and the resulting adult sex ratios and body sizes (volume) were studied. Three treatments were applied to vary survival in logs cut from trees containing broods of mountain pine beetles. Logs were removed from the forest either in early winter, or in spring after overwintering below snow or after overwintering above snow. Upon removal, logs were placed at room temperature to allow beetles to complete development under similar conditions. 3. Compared with beetles from logs removed in early winter, mortality was higher and the sex ratio was more female-biased in overwintering logs. The bias increased with overwinter mortality. However, sex ratios were female-biased even in early winter, so additional mechanisms, other than overwintering mortality, contributed to the sex-ratio bias. Body volume varied little relative to sex-biased mortality, suggesting other size-independent causes of male-biased mortality. 4. Overwintering mortality is considered a major determinant of mountain pine beetle population dynamics. The disproportionate survival of females, who initiate colonisation of live pine trees, may affect population dynamics in ways that have not been previously considered. PMID:25400320

  6. Lepidium meyenii (Maca) increases litter size in normal adult female mice

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz-Luna, Ana C; Salazar, Stephanie; Aspajo, Norma J; Rubio, Julio; Gasco, Manuel; Gonzales, Gustavo F

    2005-01-01

    Background Lepidium meyenii, known as Maca, grows exclusively in the Peruvian Andes over 4000 m altitude. It has been used traditionally to increase fertility. Previous scientific studies have demonstrated that Maca increases spermatogenesis and epididymal sperm count. The present study was aimed to investigate the effects of Maca on several fertility parameters of female mice at reproductive age. Methods Adult female Balb/C mice were divided at random into three main groups: i) Reproductive indexes group, ii) Implantation sites group and iii) Assessment of uterine weight in ovariectomized mice. Animals received an aqueous extract of lyophilized Yellow Maca (1 g/Kg BW) or vehicle orally as treatment. In the fertility indexes study, animals received the treatment before, during and after gestation. The fertility index, gestation index, post-natal viability index, weaning viability index and sex ratio were calculated. Sexual maturation was evaluated in the female pups by the vaginal opening (VO) day. In the implantation study, females were checked for implantation sites at gestation day 7 and the embryos were counted. In ovariectomized mice, the uterine weight was recorded at the end of treatment. Results Implantation sites were similar in mice treated with Maca and in controls. All reproductive indexes were similar in both groups of treatment. The number of pups per dam at birth and at postnatal day 4 was significantly higher in the group treated with Maca. VO day occurred earlier as litter size was smaller. Maca did not affect VO day. In ovariectomized mice, the treatment with Maca increased significantly the uterine weights in comparison to their respective control group. Conclusion Administration of aqueous extract of Yellow Maca to adult female mice increases the litter size. Moreover, this treatment increases the uterine weight in ovariectomized animals. Our study confirms for the first time some of the traditional uses of Maca to enhance female fertility. PMID

  7. Stated response to increased enforcement density and penalty size for speeding and driving unbelted.

    PubMed

    Hössinger, Reinhard; Berger, Wolfgang J

    2012-11-01

    To what extent can traffic offences be reduced through stronger enforcement, higher penalties, and the provision of information to road users? This question was addressed with respect to the offences of "speeding" and "driving unbelted." Data were collected by a telephone survey of admitted speeders, followed by 438 face-to-face stated response interviews. Based on the data collected, separate statistical models were developed for the two offences. The models predict the behavioral effect of increasing enforcement density and/or penalty size as well as the additional effect of providing information to car drivers. All three factors are predicted to be effective in reducing speeding. According to the model, one additional enforcement event per year will cause a driver to reduce his current frequency of speeding by 5%. A penalty increase of 10 Euros is predicted to have the same effect. An announcement of stronger enforcement or higher fines is predicted to have an additional effect on behavior, independent of the actual magnitudes of increase in enforcement or fines. With respect to the use of a seat belt, however, neither an increase in enforcement density nor its announcement is predicted to have a significant effect on driver behavior. An increase in the penalty size is predicted to raise the stated wearing rate, which is already 90% in Austria. It seems that both the fear of punishment and the motivation for driving unbelted are limited, so that there is only a weak tradeoff between the two. This may apply to most traffic offences, with the exception of speeding, which accounts for over 80% of tickets alone, whereas all other offences account for less than 3% each. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Grape seed proanthocyanidin supplementation reduces adipocyte size and increases adipocyte number in obese rats.

    PubMed

    Pascual-Serrano, A; Arola-Arnal, A; Suárez-García, S; Bravo, F I; Suárez, M; Arola, L; Bladé, C

    2017-08-01

    White adipose tissue (WAT) expands through hypertrophy (increased adipocyte size) and/or hyperplasia (increased adipocyte number). Hypertrophy has been associated with insulin resistance and dyslipidemia independently of body composition and fat distribution. In contrast, hyperplasia protects against metabolic alterations. Proanthocyanidins, which are the most abundant flavonoids in the human diet, improve metabolic disturbances associated with diet-induced obesity without reducing body weight or adiposity. The aim of this study was to determine whether grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) can modulate WAT expandability. Because GSPE also contains gallic acid, we also studied the capacity of gallic acid to remodel WAT. Male Wistar rats were fed a standard chow diet (n=6) or a cafeteria diet (CAF) for 11 weeks. After 8 weeks, the CAF-fed animals were supplemented with 25 mg GSPE/kg body weight (n=6), 7 mg gallic acid/kg body weight (n=6) or the vehicle (n=6) for 3 weeks. Histological analyses were performed in the retroperitoneal (rWAT) and inguinal (iWAT) WAT to determine adipocyte size and number. Specific markers for adipogenesis and WAT functionality were analysed in rWAT using quantitative RT-PCR. GSPE or gallic acid supplementation did not reduce weight gain or reverse and adiposity. However, GSPE reduced adipocyte size significantly in rWAT and moderately in iWAT and tripled the adipocyte number in rWAT. Gallic acid slightly reduced adipocyte size in rWAT and iWAT and doubled the adipocyte number in both WATs. In accordance with this adipogenic activity, Pref-1 and PPARγ tended to be overexpressed in rWAT of rats supplemented with GSPE. Moreover, GSPE supplementation increased Plin1 and Fabp4 expression and restored adiponectin expression completely, indicating a better functionality of visceral WAT. GSPE supplementation has anti-hypertrophic and hyperplasic activities in rats with established obesity, mainly in visceral WAT inducing a healthier

  9. Prolonged sound exposure has different effects on increasing neuronal size in the auditory cortex and brainstem.

    PubMed

    Lu, H P; Syka, J; Chiu, T W; Poon, Paul W F

    2014-08-01

    Tone at moderate levels presented to young rats at a stage (postnatal week-4) presumably that has passed the cortical critical period still can enlarge neurons in the auditory cortex. It remains unclear whether this delayed plastic change occurs only in the cortex, or reflects a change taking place in the auditory brainstem. Here we compared sound-exposure effects on neuronal size in the auditory cortex and the midbrain. Starting from postnatal day 22, young rats were exposed to a low-frequency tone (4 kHz at 65 dB SPL) for a period of 3 (postnatal day 22-25) or 7 (postnatal day 22-29) days before sacrifice. Neurons were analyzed morphometrically from 7 μm-thick histological sections. A marked increase in neuronal size (32%) was found at the cortex in the high-frequency region distant from the exposing tone. The increase in the midbrain was even larger (67%) and was found in both the low and high frequency regions. While cell enlargements were clear at day 29, only in the high frequency region of the cortex a slight enlargement was found at day 22, suggesting that the cortical and subcortical changes are synchronized, if not slightly preceded by the cortex. In contrast, no changes in neuronal size were found in the cochlear nucleus or the visual midbrain. Such differential effects of sound-exposure at the auditory centers across cortical and subcortical levels cannot be explained by a simple activity-driven change occurring earlier in the brainstem, and might involve function of other structures as for example the descending auditory system. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. [Characteristics of pedigree cat breeding in the Netherlands: breeds, population increase and litter size].

    PubMed

    Gerrits, P O; Huisman, T; Knol, B W

    1999-03-01

    A survey of the Dutch Cat Fancy was carried out to determine reproductive, patterns of pedigree cats. The data of the present study were obtained by questioning the pedigree registers of the cat clubs participating in the foundation 'Overleg Platform van de Nederlandse Cat Fancy'. The Dutch Cat Fancy registers 34 different cat breeds. From 1992 up to 1996 a total of 25.985 litters were registered. Over this period the number of litters increased from 4989 to 5313. Litters from Longhair and Exotic Shorthair cats comprised the biggest group and accounted for 55% of the total number of litters. However, over this period, the number of Longhair and Exotic Shorthair litters decreased by 9%. Litters from British Shorthair, Birman, Maine Coon and Norwegian Forrest Cat increased in number as did litters from small breeds such as Ragdoll, Bengal and Sphynx. Litters from Abyssinian, Siamese, Oriental Shorthair cats remained relatively the same. The average litter size of the total cat population, based on pedigree certificates, was calculated at 3.3 kittens per litter. For different breeds litter size varied from 2.7 (Longhair and Exotic Shorthair) to 4.3 (Burmese and Maine Coon). Taking into account an average age of 14 years, the total Dutch pedigree cat population was estimated at 240,000 viz. about 10% of the total cat population.

  11. Quantal release of neurotransmitter: an iterative method for the automatic computation of binomial distribution parameters.

    PubMed

    Belluzzi, O

    1984-01-01

    A computational method is presented by which, when the amplitude-frequency histogram of the excitatory post-synaptic potentials shows a binomial distribution, an accurate evaluation of the statistical parameters p and n may be obtained. The entire procedure is a combination of 3 basic methods: steepest descent, parabolic interpolation and Montecarlo technique. The two statistical parameters are evaluated independently with respect to each other, which makes an effective control of the accuracy of the calculation possible by comparing the p by n product with the average number of quanta released in response to each nerve impulse, conventionally computed. Applications to quantal release studies in both rat and guinea-pig superior cervical ganglia are also presented.

  12. Quantal release of glutamate generates pure kainate and mixed AMPA/kainate EPSCs in hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Cossart, Rosa; Epsztein, Jérôme; Tyzio, Roman; Becq, Hélène; Hirsch, June; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Crépel, Valérie

    2002-07-03

    The relative contribution of kainate receptors to ongoing glutamatergic activity is at present unknown. We report the presence of spontaneous, miniature, and minimal stimulation-evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) that are mediated solely by kainate receptors (EPSC(kainate)) or by both AMPA and kainate receptors (EPSC(AMPA/kainate)). EPSC(kainate) and EPSC(AMPA/kainate) are selectively enriched in CA1 interneurons and mossy fibers synapses of CA3 pyramidal neurons, respectively. In CA1 interneurons, the decay time constant of EPSC(kainate) (circa 10 ms) is comparable to values obtained in heterologous expression systems. In both hippocampal neurons, the quantal release of glutamate generates kainate receptor-mediated EPSCs that provide as much as half of the total glutamatergic current. Kainate receptors are, therefore, key players of the ongoing glutamatergic transmission in the hippocampus.

  13. Paired-pulse facilitation and depression at unitary synapses in rat hippocampus: quantal fluctuation affects subsequent release.

    PubMed Central

    Debanne, D; Guérineau, N C; Gähwiler, B H; Thompson, S M

    1996-01-01

    1. Excitatory synaptic transmission between pairs of monosynaptically coupled pyramidal cells was examined in rat hippocampal slice cultures. Action potentials were elicited in single CA3 pyramidal cells impaled with microelectrodes and unitary excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were recorded in whole-cell voltage-clamped CA1 or CA3 cells. 2. The amplitude of successive unitary EPSCs in response to single action potentials varied. The amplitude of EPSCs was altered by adenosine or changes in the [Mg2+]/[CA2+] ratio. We conclude that single action potentials triggered the release of multiple quanta of glutamate. 3. When two action potentials were elicited in the presynaptic cell, the amplitude of the second EPSC was inversely related to the amplitude of the first. Paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) was observed when the first EPSC was small, i.e. the second EPSC was larger than the first, whereas paired-pulse depression (PPD) was observed when the first EPSC was large. 4. The number of trials displaying PPD was greater when release probability was increased, and smaller when release probability was decreased. 5. PPD was not postsynaptically mediated because it was unaffected by decreasing ionic flux with 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX) or receptor desensitization with aniracetam. 6. PPF was maximal at an interstimulus interval of 70 ms and recovered within 500 ms. Recovery from PPD occurred within 5 s. 7. We propose that multiple release sites are formed by the axon of a CA3 pyramidal cell and a single postsynaptic CA1 or CA3 cell. PPF is observed if the first action potential fails to release transmitter at most release sites. PPD is observed if the first action potential successfully triggers release at most release sites. 8. Our observations of PPF are consistent with the residual calcium hypothesis. We conclude that PPD results from a decrease in quantal content, perhaps due to short-term depletion of readily releasable vesicles. PMID:9011608

  14. Community- and government-managed marine protected areas increase fish size, biomass and potential value.

    PubMed

    Chirico, Angelica A D; McClanahan, Timothy R; Eklöf, Johan S

    2017-01-01

    Government-managed marine protected areas (MPAs) can restore small fish stocks, but have been heavily criticized for excluding resource users and creating conflicts. A promising but less studied alternative are community-managed MPAs, where resource users are more involved in MPA design, implementation and enforcement. Here we evaluated effects of government- and community-managed MPAs on the density, size and biomass of seagrass- and coral reef-associated fish, using field surveys in Kenyan coastal lagoons. We also assessed protection effects on the potential monetary value of fish; a variable that increases non-linearly with fish body mass and is particularly important from a fishery perspective. We found that two recently established community MPAs (< 1 km2 in size, ≤ 5 years of protection) harbored larger fish and greater total fish biomass than two fished (open access) areas, in both seagrass beds and coral reefs. As expected, protection effects were considerably stronger in the older and larger government MPAs. Importantly, across management and habitat types, the protection effect on the potential monetary value of the fish was much stronger than the effects on fish biomass and size (6.7 vs. 2.6 and 1.3 times higher value in community MPAs than in fished areas, respectively). This strong effect on potential value was partly explained by presence of larger (and therefore more valuable) individual fish, and partly by higher densities of high-value taxa (e.g. rabbitfish). In summary, we show that i) small and recently established community-managed MPAs can, just like larger and older government-managed MPAs, play an important role for local conservation of high-value fish, and that ii) these effects are equally strong in coral reefs as in seagrass beds; an important habitat too rarely included in formal management. Consequently, community-managed MPAs could benefit both coral reef and seagrass ecosystems and provide spillover of valuable fish to nearby

  15. Community- and government-managed marine protected areas increase fish size, biomass and potential value

    PubMed Central

    Chirico, Angelica A. D.; McClanahan, Timothy R.; Eklöf, Johan S.

    2017-01-01

    Government-managed marine protected areas (MPAs) can restore small fish stocks, but have been heavily criticized for excluding resource users and creating conflicts. A promising but less studied alternative are community-managed MPAs, where resource users are more involved in MPA design, implementation and enforcement. Here we evaluated effects of government- and community-managed MPAs on the density, size and biomass of seagrass- and coral reef-associated fish, using field surveys in Kenyan coastal lagoons. We also assessed protection effects on the potential monetary value of fish; a variable that increases non-linearly with fish body mass and is particularly important from a fishery perspective. We found that two recently established community MPAs (< 1 km2 in size, ≤ 5 years of protection) harbored larger fish and greater total fish biomass than two fished (open access) areas, in both seagrass beds and coral reefs. As expected, protection effects were considerably stronger in the older and larger government MPAs. Importantly, across management and habitat types, the protection effect on the potential monetary value of the fish was much stronger than the effects on fish biomass and size (6.7 vs. 2.6 and 1.3 times higher value in community MPAs than in fished areas, respectively). This strong effect on potential value was partly explained by presence of larger (and therefore more valuable) individual fish, and partly by higher densities of high-value taxa (e.g. rabbitfish). In summary, we show that i) small and recently established community-managed MPAs can, just like larger and older government-managed MPAs, play an important role for local conservation of high-value fish, and that ii) these effects are equally strong in coral reefs as in seagrass beds; an important habitat too rarely included in formal management. Consequently, community-managed MPAs could benefit both coral reef and seagrass ecosystems and provide spillover of valuable fish to nearby

  16. Increase in fruit size of a spontaneous mutant of 'Gala' apple (Malus x domestica Borkh.) is facilitated by altered cell production and enhanced cell size.

    PubMed

    Malladi, Anish; Hirst, Peter M

    2010-06-01

    Fruit size regulation was studied in the apple cultivar 'Gala' and a large fruit size spontaneous mutant of 'Gala', 'Grand Gala' (GG). GG fruits were 15% larger in diameter and 38% heavier than 'Gala' fruits, largely due to an increase in size of the fruit cortex. The mutation in GG altered growth prior to fruit set and during fruit development. Prior to fruit set, the carpel/floral-tube size was enhanced in GG and was associated with higher cell number, larger cell size, and increased ploidy through endoreduplication, an altered form of the cell cycle normally absent in apple. The data suggest that the mutation in GG promotes either cell production or endoreduplication in the carpel/floral-tube cells depending on their competence for division. Ploidy was not altered in GG leaves. During fruit growth, GG fruit cells exited cell production earlier, and with a DNA content of 4C suggesting G2 arrest. Cell size was higher in GG fruits during exit from cell production and at later stages of fruit growth. Final cell diameter in GG fruit cortex cells was 15% higher than that in 'Gala' indicating that enhanced fruit size in GG was facilitated by increased cell size. The normal progression of cell expansion in cells arrested in G2 may account for the increase in cell size. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis indicated higher MdCDKA1 expression and reduced MdCYCA2 expression during early fruit development in GG fruits. Together, the data indicate an important role for cell expansion in regulating apple fruit size.

  17. Oecophylla longinoda (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Lead to Increased Cashew Kernel Size and Kernel Quality.

    PubMed

    Anato, F M; Sinzogan, A A C; Offenberg, J; Adandonon, A; Wargui, R B; Deguenon, J M; Ayelo, P M; Vayssières, J-F; Kossou, D K

    2017-03-03

    Weaver ants, Oecophylla spp., are known to positively affect cashew, Anacardium occidentale L., raw nut yield, but their effects on the kernels have not been reported. We compared nut size and the proportion of marketable kernels between raw nuts collected from trees with and without ants. Raw nuts collected from trees with weaver ants were 2.9% larger than nuts from control trees (i.e., without weaver ants), leading to 14% higher proportion of marketable kernels. On trees with ants, the kernel: raw nut ratio from nuts damaged by formic acid was 4.8% lower compared with nondamaged nuts from the same trees. Weaver ants provided three benefits to cashew production by increasing yields, yielding larger nuts, and by producing greater proportions of marketable kernel mass.

  18. Effects of increasing size and changing europium activator concentration in KCaI3 scintillator crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindsey, Adam C.; Zhuravleva, Mariya; Wu, Yuntao; Stand, Luis; Loyd, Matthew; Gokhale, Sasmit; Koschan, Merry; Melcher, Charles L.

    2016-09-01

    KCaI3:Eu crystals have been identified as very promising for use in spectroscopic detector applications related to nuclear nonproliferation and domestic security efforts. Initial studies have shown for small crystals a few mm3 in size with 3% europium dopant concentration, a high light yield of >70,000 ph/MeV and energy resolution of ≈3% at 662 keV is attainable which is comparable with the highest performance scintillators discovered. In this work, single crystals of KCaI3 with a range of Eu2+ doping between 0 and 5 at% substituting for Ca2+ were grown at 22 mm diameter and their performance for gamma-ray spectroscopy studied. Comparisons among crystals approximately Ø22 mm×22 mm (8.4 cm3 or ≈0.5 in3) provide a more accurate understanding of how scintillation performance changes with Eu doping and increased crystal size. KCaI3 in the undoped form is shown to be a highly efficient intrinsic scintillator with a defect-related emission at 404 nm which coexists with the Eu2+ 5d-4f emission in low dopant concentrations and is completely re-absorbed in more heavily doped crystals. For larger crystals, effects from self-absorption due to Eu activation become more evident by a near doubling of decay time for 0.5 in3 crystals as the activator is increased from 0.5 to 5.0 at% Eu. Comparisons of pulse-height spectra obtained for Ø22 mm×22 mm cylinders with varying Eu concentration suggests best performance is achieved using lower Eu additions closer to 0.5-1.0 at%. Using a modified crystal packaging featuring an offset reflector geometry, 0.5 in3 crystals of KCaI3:Eu can attain under 4% energy resolution at 662 keV.

  19. When bigger is not better: intraspecific competition for pollination increases with population size in invasive milkweeds.

    PubMed

    Ward, Megan; Johnson, Steven D; Zalucki, Myron P

    2013-04-01

    One of the essential requirements for an introduced plant species to become invasive is an ability to reproduce outside the native range, particularly when initial populations are small. If a reproductive Allee effect is operating, plants in small populations will have reduced reproductive success relative to plants in larger populations. Alternatively, if plants in small populations experience less competition for pollination than those in large populations, they may actually have higher levels of reproductive success than plants in large populations. To resolve this uncertainty, we investigated how the per capita fecundity of plants was affected by population size in three invasive milkweed species. Field surveys of seed production in natural populations of different sizes but similar densities were conducted for three pollinator-dependent invasive species, namely Asclepias curassavica, Gomphocarpus fruticosus and G. physocarpus. Additionally, supplemental hand-pollinations were performed in small and large populations in order to determine whether reproductive output was limited by pollinator activity in these populations. Reproductive Allee effects were not detected in any of the study species. Instead, plants in small populations exhibited remarkably high levels of reproductive output compared to those in large populations. Increased fruit production following supplemental hand-pollinations suggested that the lower reproductive output of naturally pollinated plants in large populations is a consequence of pollen limitation rather than limitation due to abiotic resources. This is consistent with increased intraspecific competition for pollination amongst plants in large populations. It is likely that the invasion of these milkweed species in Australia has been enhanced because plants in small founding populations experience less intraspecific competition for pollinators than those in large populations, and thus have the ability to produce copious amounts of

  20. Metabolic pathways further increase the complexity of cell size control in budding yeast

    PubMed Central

    Enserink, Jorrit M.

    2014-01-01

    How organisms regulate their size is a major question in biology. With a few notable exceptions (such as cell divisions in the early embryo), most cells need to reach a critical size in order to initiate a new cell cycle. How cells set a critical cell size, and how they know it has been reached, is not well understood. Using various types of experimental systems, decades ago two main models were proposed for cell size homeostasis: the deterministic model and the probabilistic model.

  1. Survival and population size of a resident bird species are declining as temperature increases.

    PubMed

    Santisteban, Leonard; Benkman, Craig W; Fetz, Trevor; Smith, Julie W

    2012-03-01

    1. A large number of migratory bird species appear to be declining as the result of climate change, but whether resident bird species have or will be adversely affected by climate change is less clear. We focus on the South Hills crossbill (Loxia curvirostra complex), which is endemic to about 70 km(2) of Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta latifolia) forest in southern Idaho, USA. 2. Our results indicate that the South Hills crossbill has declined by over 60% between 2003 and 2008, and that decreasing adult survival drives this population decline. 3. We evaluated the relative support for multiple hypotheses linking crossbill survival to climate, an ectoparasitic mite (scaly-leg mites Knemidokoptes jamaicensis), and the recent emergence of West Nile virus. Changes in adult apparent survival rate were closely associated with average spring and annual temperatures, and with high temperatures (≥32 °C) during summer, which have increased during the last decade. In contrast, there was little evidence that scaly-leg mites or West Nile virus contributed to recent declines in adult survival. 4. The most probable mechanism causing the decline in adult survival and population size is a decrease in the availability of their primary food resource, seeds in serotinous pine cones. Cone production has declined with increasing annual temperatures, and these cones appear to be prematurely opening owing to increasingly hot summer conditions releasing their seeds and reducing the carrying capacity for crossbills later in the year. 5. In light of regional climate change forecasts, which include an increase in both annual temperature and hot days (>32 °C), and the likely disappearance of lodgepole pine from southern Idaho by the end of this century, additional research is needed to determine how to maintain lodgepole pine forests and their supply of seeds to conserve one of the few bird species endemic to the continental United States.

  2. Territory Tenure Increases with Repertoire Size in Brownish-Flanked Bush Warbler

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Canwei; Wei, Chentao; Zhang, Yanyun

    2015-01-01

    Song repertoire size is often cited as a classic example of a secondary sexual trait in birds. Models of sexual selection and empirical tests of their predictions have often related secondary sexual traits to longevity. However, the relationship between repertoire size and longevity is unclear. Using capture-mark-recapture studies in two populations of the brownish-flanked bush warbler Cettia fortipes, we found that males with a repertoire size of three maintained territory tenure for a longer duration than did males with a repertoire size of two. These results provide evidence that even a minimal difference in repertoire size can serve as a potential signal of territory tenure capability. PMID:25822524

  3. Increased burst size in multiply infected cells can alter basic virus dynamics

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The dynamics of viral infections have been studied extensively in a variety of settings, both experimentally and with mathematical models. The majority of mathematical models assumes that only one virus can infect a given cell at a time. It is, however, clear that especially in the context of high viral load, cells can become infected with multiple copies of a virus, a process called coinfection. This has been best demonstrated experimentally for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), although it is thought to be equally relevant for a number of other viral infections. In a previously explored mathematical model, the viral output from an infected cell does not depend on the number of viruses that reside in the cell, i.e. viral replication is limited by cellular rather than viral factors. In this case, basic virus dynamics properties are not altered by coinfection. Results Here, we explore the alternative assumption that multiply infected cells are characterized by an increased burst size and find that this can fundamentally alter model predictions. Under this scenario, establishment of infection may not be solely determined by the basic reproductive ratio of the virus, but can depend on the initial virus load. Upon infection, the virus population need not follow straight exponential growth. Instead, the exponential rate of growth can increase over time as virus load becomes larger. Moreover, the model suggests that the ability of anti-viral drugs to suppress the virus population can depend on the virus load upon initiation of therapy. This is because more coinfected cells, which produce more virus, are present at higher virus loads. Hence, the degree of drug resistance is not only determined by the viral genotype, but also by the prevalence of coinfected cells. Conclusions Our work shows how an increased burst size in multiply infected cells can alter basic infection dynamics. This forms the basis for future experimental testing of model assumptions and

  4. Increased shape and size offerings of femoral components improve fit during total knee arthroplasty.

    PubMed

    Dai, Yifei; Scuderi, Giles R; Penninger, Charles; Bischoff, Jeffrey E; Rosenberg, Aaron

    2014-12-01

    Contemporary total knee arthroplasty femoral component designs offer various degrees of fit amongst the global population. The purpose of this study was to assess component fit of contemporary femoral component design families against multiple ethnicities. Using a multi-ethnic dataset including Caucasian, Indian, and Korean subjects, this study investigated component fit in six contemporary femoral component design families (A: Persona™, B: NexGen (®), C: Sigma (®), D: GENESIS™ II, E: Triathlon (®), F: Vanguard (®)). Component overhang/underhang was measured between the resected distal femur and its corresponding component size and compared across design families and ethnicities. The severity of overhang/underhang and propensity of downsizing due to clinically significant overhang were quantified for the overall dataset and each ethnicity. In all the overhang cases, Designs A and B had significantly lower component overhang than the other designs (p < 0.02). In all the underhang cases, Designs C and E had significantly greater underhang than the other designs (p < 0.01). Component design influenced the occurrence (% bones) of component downsizing due to clinically significant overhang (>3 mm), with the highest incidence observed in Designs D (20.5%) and F (17.7%), and the lowest incidence observed in Designs A (0%) and B (0.4%). Variation in component fit was significantly impacted by designs (p < 0.01) but not ethnicities (n.s.). The inclusion of multiple ML/AP shape offerings and the increased number of available sizes in Design A, as compared to other contemporary femoral component design families studied, result in improved femoral component fit across various ethnicities.

  5. Trends in size of tropical deforestation events signal increasing dominance of industrial-scale drivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Austin, Kemen G.; González-Roglich, Mariano; Schaffer-Smith, Danica; Schwantes, Amanda M.; Swenson, Jennifer J.

    2017-05-01

    Deforestation continues across the tropics at alarming rates, with repercussions for ecosystem processes, carbon storage and long term sustainability. Taking advantage of recent fine-scale measurement of deforestation, this analysis aims to improve our understanding of the scale of deforestation drivers in the tropics. We examined trends in forest clearings of different sizes from 2000-2012 by country, region and development level. As tropical deforestation increased from approximately 6900 kha yr-1 in the first half of the study period, to >7900 kha yr-1 in the second half of the study period, >50% of this increase was attributable to the proliferation of medium and large clearings (>10 ha). This trend was most pronounced in Southeast Asia and in South America. Outside of Brazil >60% of the observed increase in deforestation in South America was due to an upsurge in medium- and large-scale clearings; Brazil had a divergent trend of decreasing deforestation, >90% of which was attributable to a reduction in medium and large clearings. The emerging prominence of large-scale drivers of forest loss in many regions and countries suggests the growing need for policy interventions which target industrial-scale agricultural commodity producers. The experience in Brazil suggests that there are promising policy solutions to mitigate large-scale deforestation, but that these policy initiatives do not adequately address small-scale drivers. By providing up-to-date and spatially explicit information on the scale of deforestation, and the trends in these patterns over time, this study contributes valuable information for monitoring, and designing effective interventions to address deforestation.

  6. Estimation of quantal dose response of drugs by the Spearman-Karber method: a computer program written in BASIC.

    PubMed

    Fung, K P; Wong, T W

    1989-01-01

    Quantal-dose response is an important concept in pharmacology and toxicology. The best known variables are the median effective dose and the median lethal dose. These are measured according to the frequency of dichotomous response of the subjects being studied. The Spearman-Karber method is a simple and convenient algorithm to evaluate these indices. A highly portable computer program in BASIC language is also included for the convenience of computation.

  7. Increasing zooplankton size diversity enhances the strength of top-down control on phytoplankton through diet niche partitioning.

    PubMed

    Ye, Lin; Chang, Chun-Yi; García-Comas, Carmen; Gong, Gwo-Ching; Hsieh, Chih-Hao

    2013-09-01

    1. The biodiversity-ecosystem functioning debate is a central topic in ecology. Recently, there has been a growing interest in size diversity because body size is sensitive to environmental changes and is one of the fundamental characteristics of organisms linking many ecosystem properties. However, how size diversity affects ecosystem functioning is an important yet unclear issue. 2. To fill the gap, with large-scale field data from the East China Sea, we tested the novel hypothesis that increasing zooplankton size diversity enhances top-down control on phytoplankton (H1) and compared it with five conventional hypotheses explaining the top-down control: flatter zooplankton size spectrum enhances the strength of top-down control (H2); nutrient enrichment lessens the strength of top-down control (H3); increasing zooplankton taxonomic diversity enhances the strength of top-down control (H4); increasing fish predation decreases the strength of top-down control of zooplankton on phytoplankton through trophic cascade (H5); increasing temperature intensifies the strength of top-down control (H6). 3. The results of univariate analyses support the hypotheses based on zooplankton size diversity (H1), zooplankton size spectrum (H2), nutrient (H3) and zooplankton taxonomic diversity (H4), but not the hypotheses based on fish predation (H5) and temperature (H6). More in-depth analyses indicate that zooplankton size diversity is the most important factor in determining the strength of top-down control on phytoplankton in the East China Sea. 4. Our results suggest a new potential mechanism that increasing predator size diversity enhances the strength of top-down control on prey through diet niche partitioning. This mechanism can be explained by the optimal predator-prey body-mass ratio concept. Suppose each size group of zooplankton predators has its own optimal phytoplankton prey size, increasing size diversity of zooplankton would promote diet niche partitioning of predators

  8. Optimal character-size exploration for increasing throughput of MCC lithographic systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sugihara, Makoto

    2009-03-01

    We propose a character size optimization technique to enhance throughput of multi-column-cell (MCC) lithographic systems in which transistor patterns are projected with multiple column cells in parallel. Each and every column cell is capable of projecting patterns with character projection (CP) and variable shaped beam (VSB) methods. Seeking the optimal character size of characters contributes to minimizing the number of EB shots and reducing the fabrication cost for ICs. Experimental results show that the character size optimization technique reduced 70.6% of EB shots in the best case with an available electron beam size.

  9. Somatostatin analogue, octreotide, reduces increased glomerular filtration rate and kidney size in insulin-dependent diabetes

    SciTech Connect

    Serri, O.; Beauregard, H.; Brazeau, P.; Abribat, T.; Lambert, J.; Harris, A.; Vachon, L. Sandoz Canada Inc., Dorval, Quebec )

    1991-02-20

    To determine whether treatment with a somatostatin analogue can reduce kidney hyperfiltration and hypertrophy in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, the authors studied 11 patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and glomerular hyperfiltration. The patients were assigned randomly to receive continuous subcutaneous infusion of either octreotide, 300 {mu}g/24 h (five patients) or placebo (six patients) for 12 weeks. At baseline, mean glomerular filtration rate and mean total kidney volume were not significantly different in the two groups. However, after 12 weeks of treatment, the mean glomerular filtration rate was significantly lower in the octreotide group than in the placebo group. Furthermore, the mean total kidney volume was significantly lower after treatment in the octreotide group than in the placebo group. Glycemic control did not change significantly in either group. They conclude that subcutaneous infusion of octreotide for 12 weeks reduces increased glomerular filtration rate and kidney size in patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus despite the fact that glycemic control remains unchanged.

  10. Increased juvenile predation is not associated with evolved differences in adult brain size in Trinidadian killifish (Rivulus hartii).

    PubMed

    Beston, Shannon M; Broyles, Whitnee; Walsh, Matthew R

    2017-02-01

    Vertebrates exhibit extensive variation in brain size. The long-standing assumption is that this variation is driven by ecologically mediated selection. Recent work has shown that an increase in predator-induced mortality is associated with evolved increases and decreases in brain size. Thus, the manner in which predators induce shifts in brain size remains unclear. Increased predation early in life is a key driver of many adult traits, including life-history and behavioral traits. Such results foreshadow a connection between age-specific mortality and selection on adult brain size. Trinidadian killifish, Rivulus hartii, are found in sites with and without guppies, Poecilia reticulata. The densities of Rivulus drop dramatically in sites with guppies because guppies prey upon juvenile Rivulus. Previous work has shown that guppy predation is associated with the evolution of adult life-history traits in Rivulus. In this study, we compared second-generation laboratory-born Rivulus from sites with and without guppies for differences in brain size and associated trade-offs between brain size and other components of fitness. Despite the large amount of existing research on the importance of early-life events on the evolution of adult traits, and the role of predation on both behavior and brain size, we did not find an association between the presence of guppies and evolutionary shifts in Rivulus brain size. Such results argue that increased rates of juvenile mortality may not alter selection on adult brain size.

  11. Increased brain size in mammals is associated with size variations in gene families with cell signalling, chemotaxis and immune-related functions.

    PubMed

    Castillo-Morales, Atahualpa; Monzón-Sandoval, Jimena; Urrutia, Araxi O; Gutiérrez, Humberto

    2014-01-22

    Genomic determinants underlying increased encephalization across mammalian lineages are unknown. Whole genome comparisons have revealed large and frequent changes in the size of gene families, and it has been proposed that these variations could play a major role in shaping morphological and physiological differences among species. Using a genome-wide comparative approach, we examined changes in gene family size (GFS) and degree of encephalization in 39 fully sequenced mammalian species and found a significant over-representation of GFS variations in line with increased encephalization in mammals. We found that this relationship is not accounted for by known correlates of brain size such as maximum lifespan or body size and is not explained by phylogenetic relatedness. Genes involved in chemotaxis, immune regulation and cell signalling-related functions are significantly over-represented among those gene families most highly correlated with encephalization. Genes within these families are prominently expressed in the human brain, particularly the cortex, and organized in co-expression modules that display distinct temporal patterns of expression in the developing cortex. Our results suggest that changes in GFS associated with encephalization represent an evolutionary response to the specific functional requirements underlying increased brain size in mammals.

  12. Sample size calculations in human electrophysiology (EEG and ERP) studies: A systematic review and recommendations for increased rigor.

    PubMed

    Larson, Michael J; Carbine, Kaylie A

    2017-01-01

    There is increasing focus across scientific fields on adequate sample sizes to ensure non-biased and reproducible effects. Very few studies, however, report sample size calculations or even the information needed to accurately calculate sample sizes for grants and future research. We systematically reviewed 100 randomly selected clinical human electrophysiology studies from six high impact journals that frequently publish electroencephalography (EEG) and event-related potential (ERP) research to determine the proportion of studies that reported sample size calculations, as well as the proportion of studies reporting the necessary components to complete such calculations. Studies were coded by the two authors blinded to the other's results. Inter-rater reliability was 100% for the sample size calculations and kappa above 0.82 for all other variables. Zero of the 100 studies (0%) reported sample size calculations. 77% utilized repeated-measures designs, yet zero studies (0%) reported the necessary variances and correlations among repeated measures to accurately calculate future sample sizes. Most studies (93%) reported study statistical values (e.g., F or t values). Only 40% reported effect sizes, 56% reported mean values, and 47% reported indices of variance (e.g., standard deviations/standard errors). Absence of such information hinders accurate determination of sample sizes for study design, grant applications, and meta-analyses of research and whether studies were adequately powered to detect effects of interest. Increased focus on sample size calculations, utilization of registered reports, and presenting information detailing sample size calculations and statistics for future researchers are needed and will increase sample size-related scientific rigor in human electrophysiology research.

  13. Inorganic and organic mercury chloride toxicity to Coturnix: Sensitivity related to age and quantal assessment of physiologic responses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hill, E.F.

    1982-01-01

    The toxicities of mercuric chloride (HgCl(,2)) and methylmercuric chloride (CH(,3)HgCl) were compared for coturnix (Coturnix coturnix japonica) from hatching to adulthood. Comparisons were based on: (1) Median lethal dosages (LD50) derived by administering single peroral and single intramuscular dosages of mercury, (2) median lethal concentrations (LC50) derived by feeding mercury for 5 days, (3) median toxic concentrations (TC50) derived by feeding mercury 9 weeks and measuring plasma enzyme activity, plasma electrolytes, and other blood constituents, and (4) transient changes of various blood chemistries following a single peroral dose of mercury. Acute peroral and intramuscular LD50s for HgCl(,2) and CH(,3)HgCl increased by two- to threefold for coturnix chicks from hatching to 4 weeks of age. Concomitantly, the LC50s also increased, but the important difference between test procedures was that with both single dose routes of exposure the toxicity ratios, i.e., HgCl(,2)/CH(,3)HgCl, at each age were about 2 to 2.5 compared to about 100 for the LC50s. For example, at 2 weeks of age the peroral LD50s for HgCl(,2) and CH(,3)HgCl were 42 and 18 mg/kg; the dietary LC50s were 5086 and 47 ppm for HgCl(,2) and CH(,3)HgCl. The 9 week feeding trial was not associated with gross effects from either HgCl(,2) at 0.5 to 32 ppm or CH(,3)HgCl at 0.125 to 8 ppm. However, subtle responses were detected for the plasma enzymes aspartate aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, and ornithine carbamoyl transferase and could be quantified by probit analysis. This quantal procedure was based on establishment of a normal value for each enzyme and classing outliers as respondents. A 'hazard index' based on the TC50 for an enzyme divided by the LD50 or LC50 was introduced. The single oral dosages of HgCl(,2) and CH(,3)HgCl showed that ratios of alanine aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, and orinthine carbamoyl transferase for the liver and kidneys of adult coturnix were opposite from

  14. Inorganic and organic mercury chloride toxicity to Coturnix: sensitivity related to age and quantal assessment of physiologic responses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hill, E.F.

    1981-01-01

    The toxicities of mercuric chloride (HgCl(,2)) and methylmercuric chloride (CH(,3)HgCl) were compared for coturnix (Coturnix coturnix japonica) from hatching to adulthood. Comparisons were based on: (1) Median lethal dosages (LD50) derived by administering single peroral and single intramuscular dosages of mercury, (2) median lethal concentrations (LC50) derived by feeding mercury for 5 days, (3) median toxic concentrations (TC50) derived by feeding mercury 9 weeks and measuring plasma enzyme activity, plasma electrolytes, and other blood constituents, and (4) transient changes of various blood chemistries following a single peroral dose of mercury. Acute peroral and intramuscular LD50s for HgCl(,2) and CH(,3)HgCl increased by two- to threefold for coturnix chicks from hatching to 4 weeks of age. Concomitantly, the LC50s also increased, but the important difference between test procedures was that with both single dose routes of exposure the toxicity ratios, i.e., HgCl(,2)/CH(,3)HgCl, at each age were about 2 to 2.5 compared to about 100 for the LC50s. For example, at 2 weeks of age the peroral LD50s for HgCl(,2) and CH(,3)HgCl were 42 and 18 mg/kg; the dietary LC50s were 5086 and 47 ppm for HgCl(,2) and CH(,3)HgCl. The 9 week feeding trial was not associated with gross effects from either HgCl(,2) at 0.5 to 32 ppm or CH(,3)HgCl at 0.125 to 8 ppm. However, subtle responses were detected for the plasma enzymes aspartate aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, and ornithine carbamoyl transferase and could be quantified by probit analysis. This quantal procedure was based on establishment of a normal value for each enzyme and classing outliers as respondents. A 'hazard index' based on the TC50 for an enzyme divided by the LD50 or LC50 was introduced. The single oral dosages of HgCl(,2) and CH(,3)HgCl showed that ratios of alanine aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, and orinthine carbamoyl transferase for the liver and kidneys of adult coturnix were opposite from

  15. Trimmed logit method for estimating the ED50 in quantal bioassay.

    PubMed

    Sanathanan, L P; Gade, E T; Shipkowitz, N L

    1987-12-01

    Trimmed nonparametric procedures such as the trimmed Spearman-Karber method have been proposed in the literature for overcoming the deficiencies of the probit and logit models in the analysis of quantal bioassay data. However, there are situations where the median effective dose (ED50) is not calculable with the trimmed Spearman-Karber method, but is estimable with a parametric model. Also, it is helpful to have a parametric model for estimating percentiles of the dose-response curve such as the ED10 and ED25. A trimmed logit method that combines the advantages of a parametric model with that of trimming in dealing with heavy-tailed distributions is presented here. These advantages are substantiated with examples of actual bioassay data. Simulation results are presented to support the validity of the trimmed logit method, which has been found to work well in our experience with over 200 data sets. A computer program for computing the ED50 and associated 95% asymptotic confidence interval, based on the trimmed logit method, can be obtained from the authors.

  16. QUAD: a computer package for the analysis of QUantal Assay Data.

    PubMed

    Morgan, B J; Pack, S E; Smith, D M

    1989-12-01

    The computer package QUAD has been developed at the University of Kent, U.K. It is menu driven and written in Advanced BASIC. It runs on IBM PC compatible machines equipped with a suitable graphics facility such as CGA or simulated CGA. QUAD is available on a floppy disk, for a small handling charge. QUAD has four main functions: it performs a logit analysis of quantal assay data; it provides a flexible way of analysing the data, allowing dose transformations and providing alternative confidence intervals for EDp values; it produces a range of diagnostics for assessing the fit of models to data; it provides and fits two families of extended models, each containing the logit as a special case. The package makes use of the latest statistical research, and fitted models are displayed by means of the good graphics facilities available on microcomputers. This document describes the facilities available in detail, and provides and discusses, illustrations of the package at work. QUAD has been designed as a pilot package. Further additions and developments are planned and described later.

  17. Quantal density-functional theory in the presence of a magnetic field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Tao; Pan, Xiao-Yin; Sahni, Viraht

    2011-04-01

    We generalize the quantal density-functional theory (QDFT) of electrons in the presence of an external electrostatic field E(r)=-∇v(r) to include an external magnetostatic field B(r)=∇×A(r), where {v(r),A(r)} are the respective scalar and vector potentials. The generalized QDFT, valid for nondegenerate ground and excited states, is the mapping from the interacting system of electrons to a model of noninteracting fermions with the same density ρ(r) and physical current density j(r), and from which the total energy can be obtained. The properties {ρ(r),j(r)} constitute the basic quantum-mechanical variables because, as proved previously, for a nondegenerate ground state they uniquely determine the potentials {v(r),A(r)}. The mapping to the noninteracting system is arbitrary in that the model fermions may be either in their ground or excited state. The theory is explicated by application to a ground state of the exactly solvable (two-dimensional) Hooke’s atom in a magnetic field, with the mapping being to a model system also in its ground state. The majority of properties of the model are obtained in closed analytical or semianalytical form. A comparison with the corresponding mapping from a ground state of the (three-dimensional) Hooke’s atom in the absence of a magnetic field is also made.

  18. The analysis of dose-response curve from bioassays with quantal response: Deterministic or statistical approaches?

    PubMed

    Mougabure-Cueto, G; Sfara, V

    2016-04-25

    Dose-response relations can be obtained from systems at any structural level of biological matter, from the molecular to the organismic level. There are two types of approaches for analyzing dose-response curves: a deterministic approach, based on the law of mass action, and a statistical approach, based on the assumed probabilities distribution of phenotypic characters. Models based on the law of mass action have been proposed to analyze dose-response relations across the entire range of biological systems. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the principles that determine the dose-response relations. Dose-response curves of simple systems are the result of chemical interactions between reacting molecules, and therefore are supported by the law of mass action. In consequence, the shape of these curves is perfectly sustained by physicochemical features. However, dose-response curves of bioassays with quantal response are not explained by the simple collision of molecules but by phenotypic variations among individuals and can be interpreted as individual tolerances. The expression of tolerance is the result of many genetic and environmental factors and thus can be considered a random variable. In consequence, the shape of its associated dose-response curve has no physicochemical bearings; instead, they are originated from random biological variations. Due to the randomness of tolerance there is no reason to use deterministic equations for its analysis; on the contrary, statistical models are the appropriate tools for analyzing these dose-response relations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Quantal and graded stimulation of B lymphocytes as alternative strategies for regulating adaptive immune responses

    PubMed Central

    Hawkins, E.D.; Turner, M.L.; Wellard, C.J.; Zhou, J.H.S.; Dowling, M.R.; Hodgkin, P.D.

    2013-01-01

    Lymphocytes undergo a typical response pattern following stimulation in vivo: they proliferate, differentiate to effector cells, cease dividing and predominantly die, leaving a small proportion of long-lived memory and effector cells. This pattern results from cell-intrinsic processes following activation and the influence of external regulation. Here we apply quantitative methods to study B-cell responses in vitro. Our results reveal that B cells stimulated through two Toll-like receptors (TLRs) require minimal external direction to undergo the basic pattern typical of immunity. Altering the stimulus strength regulates the outcome in a quantal manner by varying the number of cells that participate in the response. In contrast, the T-cell-dependent CD40 activation signal induces a response where division times and differentiation rates vary in relation to stimulus strength. These studies offer insight into how the adaptive antibody response may have evolved from simple autonomous response patterns to the highly regulable state that is now observed in mammals. PMID:24009041

  20. Quantal density-functional theory in the presence of a magnetic field

    SciTech Connect

    Yang Tao; Pan Xiaoyin; Sahni, Viraht

    2011-04-15

    We generalize the quantal density-functional theory (QDFT) of electrons in the presence of an external electrostatic field E(r)=-{nabla}v(r) to include an external magnetostatic field B(r)={nabla}xA(r), where (v(r),A(r)) are the respective scalar and vector potentials. The generalized QDFT, valid for nondegenerate ground and excited states, is the mapping from the interacting system of electrons to a model of noninteracting fermions with the same density {rho}(r) and physical current density j(r), and from which the total energy can be obtained. The properties ({rho}(r),j(r)) constitute the basic quantum-mechanical variables because, as proved previously, for a nondegenerate ground state they uniquely determine the potentials (v(r),A(r)). The mapping to the noninteracting system is arbitrary in that the model fermions may be either in their ground or excited state. The theory is explicated by application to a ground state of the exactly solvable (two-dimensional) Hooke's atom in a magnetic field, with the mapping being to a model system also in its ground state. The majority of properties of the model are obtained in closed analytical or semianalytical form. A comparison with the corresponding mapping from a ground state of the (three-dimensional) Hooke's atom in the absence of a magnetic field is also made.

  1. Large increase in nest size linked to climate change: an indicator of life history, senescence and condition.

    PubMed

    Møller, Anders Pape; Nielsen, Jan Tøttrup

    2015-11-01

    Many animals build extravagant nests that exceed the size required for successful reproduction. Large nests may signal the parenting ability of nest builders suggesting that nests may have a signaling function. In particular, many raptors build very large nests for their body size. We studied nest size in the goshawk Accipiter gentilis, which is a top predator throughout most of the Nearctic. Both males and females build nests, and males provision their females and offspring with food. Nest volume in the goshawk is almost three-fold larger than predicted from their body size. Nest size in the goshawk is highly variable and may reach more than 600 kg for a bird that weighs ca. 1 kg. While 8.5% of nests fell down, smaller nests fell down more often than large nests. There was a hump-shaped relationship between nest volume and female age, with a decline in nest volume late in life, as expected for senescence. Clutch size increased with nest volume. Nest volume increased during 1977-2014 in an accelerating fashion, linked to increasing spring temperature during April, when goshawks build and start reproduction. These findings are consistent with nest size being a reliable signal of parental ability, with large nest size signaling superior parenting ability and senescence, and also indicating climate warming.

  2. Increased maleness at flowering stage and femaleness at fruiting stage with size in an andromonoecious perennial, Veratrum nigrum.

    PubMed

    Liao, Wan-Jin; Zhang, Da-Yong

    2008-08-01

    Theory predicts that cosexual plants should adjust their resource investment in male and female functions according to their size if female and male fitness are differentially affected by size. However, few empirical studies have been carried out at both the flowering and fruiting stages to adequately address size-dependent sex allocation in cosexual plants. In this paper, we investigated resource investment between female and male reproduction, and their size-dependence in a perennial andromonoecious herb, Veratrum nigrum L. We sampled 192 flowering plants, estimated their standardized phenotypic gender, and assessed the resource investment in male and female functions in terms of absolute dry biomass. At the flowering stage, male investment increased with plant size more rapidly than female investment, and the standardized phenotypic femaleness (ranging from 0.267 to 0.776) was negatively correlated with plant size. By contrast, female biased allocation was found at the fruiting stage, although both flower biomass and fruit biomass were positively correlated with plant size. We propose that increased maleness with plant size at the flowering stage may represent an adaptive strategy for andromonoecious plants, because male flowers promote both male and female fertility by increasing pollinator attraction without aggravating pollen discounting.

  3. Asymmetric forceps increase fighting success among males of similar size in the maritime earwig

    PubMed Central

    Munoz, Nicole E.; Zink, Andrew G.

    2012-01-01

    Extreme asymmetric morphologies are hypothesized to serve an adaptive function that counteracts sexual selection for symmetry. However direct tests of function for asymmetries are lacking, particularly in the context of animal weapons. The weapon of the maritime earwig, Anisolabis maritima, exhibits sizeable variation in the extent of directional asymmetry within and across body sizes, making it an ideal candidate for investigating the function of asymmetry. In this study, we characterized the extent of weapon asymmetry, characterized the manner in which asymmetric weapons are used in contests, staged dyadic contests between males of different size classes and analyzed the correlates of fighting success. In contests between large males, larger individuals won more fights and emerged as the dominant male. In contests between small males, however, weapon asymmetry was more influential in predicting overall fighting success than body size. This result reveals an advantage of asymmetric weaponry among males that are below the mean size in the population. A forceps manipulation experiment suggests that asymmetry may be an indirect, correlate of a morphologically independent factor that affects fighting ability. PMID:22984320

  4. Automated thinning increases uniformity of in-row spacing and plant size in romaine lettuce

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Low availability and high cost of farm hand labor make automated thinners a faster and cheaper alternative to hand thinning in lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). However, the effects of this new technology on uniformity of plant spacing and size as well as crop yield are not proven. Three experiments wer...

  5. Increasing seed size and quality by manipulating BIG SEEDS 1 in legume species

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Plant organs such as seeds are primary sources of food for both humans and animals. Seed size is one of the major agronomic traits that have been selected in crop plants during their domestication. Legume seeds are a major source of dietary proteins and oils. Here, we report a novel and conserved ro...

  6. When a Burr Can Not Penetrate the Calcified Lesion, Increasing Burr Size as Well as Decreasing Burr Size Can Be a Solution in Rotational Atherectomy.

    PubMed

    Sakakura, Kenichi; Taniguchi, Yousuke; Yamamoto, Kei; Wada, Hiroshi; Momomura, Shin-Ichi; Fujita, Hideo

    2017-03-02

    In rotational atherectomy (RA), several burr sizes are available, such as 1.25 mm, 1.5 mm, 1.75 mm, or ≥ 2.0 mm. It is important to select an appropriate burr size for each lesion because rotational atherectomy has several unique complications regarding burrs such as entrapment or perforation. When a burr cannot penetrate the lesion, downsizing of the burr is generally recommended. Also, if the smallest burr (1.25 mm) cannot penetrate the lesion, a change to a more supportive or larger French guiding catheter has been recommended. We describe the case of a 68 year-old female who was referred to our department for percutaneous coronary intervention to the calcified stenosis in the middle of the left anterior descending coronary artery. We used the smallest burr (1.25 mm) and a supportive 7 Fr guiding catheter to penetrate the lesion. However, the smallest burr could not pass the lesion even after 14 sessions (total ablation time: 339 seconds). We intentionally increased the burr size from 1.25 mm to 1.5 mm. The 1.5 mm burr successfully passed the lesion without any perforation or burr entrapment. In this manuscript, we discuss why increasing the burr size was successful for this severely calcified lesion that was not penetrated by the smallest burr.

  7. Increased temperatures combined with lowered salinities differentially impact oyster size class growth and mortality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    LaPeyre, Megan K.; Rybovich, Molly; Hall, Steven G.; La Peyre, Jerome F.

    2016-01-01

    Changes in the timing and interaction of seasonal high temperatures and low salinities as predicted by climate change models could dramatically alter oyster population dynamics. Little is known explicitly about how low salinity and high temperature combinations affect spat (<25mm), seed (25–75mm), andmarket (>75mm) oyster growth and mortality. Using field and laboratory studies, this project quantified the combined effects of extremely low salinities (<5) and high temperatures (>30°C) on growth and survival of spat, seed, andmarket-sized oysters. In 2012 and 2013, hatchery-produced oysters were placed in open and closed cages at three sites in Breton Sound, LA, along a salinity gradient that typically ranged from 5 to 20. Growth and mortality were recorded monthly. Regardless of size class, oysters at the lowest salinity site (annualmean = 4.8) experienced significantly highermortality and lower growth than oysters located in higher salinity sites (annual means = 11.1 and 13.0, respectively); furthermore, all oysters in open cages at the two higher salinity sites experienced higher mortality than in closed cages, likely due to predation. To explicitly examine oyster responses to extreme low salinity and high temperature combinations, a series of laboratory studies were conducted. Oysters were placed in 18 tanks in a fully crossed temperature (25°C, 32°C) by salinity (1, 5, and 15) study with three replicates, and repeated at least twice for each oyster size class. Regardless of temperature, seed and market oysters held in low salinity tanks (salinity 1) experienced 100% mortality within 7 days. In contrast, at salinity 5, temperature significantly affected mortality; oysters in all size classes experienced greater than 50%mortality at 32°C and less than 40%mortality at 25°C. At the highest salinity tested (15), only market-sized oysters held at 32°C experienced significant mortality (>60%). These studies demonstrate that high water temperatures (>30°C) and

  8. Form and Size Matter: Increased Risk of Thrombosis in Microvessels with Surgically Created Endothelial Lesions.

    PubMed

    Mücke, Thomas; Wolff, Constantin; von Düring, Monika; Mitchell, David A; Ritschl, Lucas M; Fichter, Andreas M

    2017-01-01

    Background Atherosclerosis is a known risk factor for flap loss in microsurgery. Several microsurgical techniques, like plaque removal, have been proposed for atherosclerotic vessels, but these techniques often induce intimal injuries. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of various endothelial defects on the risk of thrombosis in a rat acute intimal injury model. Methods Endothelial defects of various forms and sizes were created in the abdominal aorta of 30 male Wistar rats following a strict protocol. Defect sizes were measured and classified as round, horizontal, or vertical based on their configuration. An hour after reestablishing the blood flow, the abdominal aorta was harvested and the operation site was assessed for signs of thrombosis clinically and using light microscopy. Univariate and multiple linear regression analysis were performed to identify possible influencing factors on thrombosis. Results The mean defect size was 2.65 ± 1.19 mm(2). Intimal lesions were classified as round in 36.7%, horizontal in 33.3%, and vertical in 30% of specimens. Thrombus formation was detected in 46.7% clinically and in 50% histologically. Univariate regression analysis revealed that defect size (p = 0.048) and vertical form (p = 0.017) were significantly associated with thrombus formation. Multiple regression analysis corroborated vertical defects as a risk factor for thrombosis (p = 0.03). Conclusion Endothelial injuries are associated with a high risk of thrombosis with highest risks associated with vertical defects. Arteries should be carefully examined for intimal defects before microvascular anastomosis, especially in the atherosclerotic patient.

  9. Increasing zooplankton size diversity enhances the strength of top-down control on phytoplankton in the East China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, L.; Chang, C.; García-Comas, C.; Gong, G.; Hsieh, C.

    2012-12-01

    Body size is one of the fundamental characteristics of organisms linking many ecosystem properties and functions. Recent studies suggest that environmental changes alter the size structure of pelagic food webs; however, ecosystem consequences of such changes remain unclear. Here we tested our main hypothesis that increasing zooplankton size diversity enhances top-down control on phytoplankton in the East China Sea (H1), as well as five conventional hypotheses explaining the top-down control: shallower zooplankton size spectrum enhances the strength of top-down control (H2); nutrient enrichment lessens the strength of top-down control (H3); increasing zooplankton taxonomic diversity enhances the strength of top-down control (H4); increasing fish predation is linked to decreasing the strength of top-down control of zooplankton on phytoplankton (H5); increasing temperature intensifies the strength of top-down control (H6). While the results of our univariate analyses support H1, H2, H3, and H4, more in depth analyses indicate that zooplankton size diversity is the most important factor in determining the strength of top-down control on phytoplankton in East China Sea. Our results suggest a new potential mechanism that increasing predator size diversity enhances the strength of top-down control on prey through diet niche partitioning. This mechanism can be explained by the concept of optimal predator-prey body-mass ratio concept. Suppose each size group of zooplankton predators has its own optimal phytoplankton prey size, increasing size diversity of zooplankton would promote diet niche partitioning of predators and thus elevates the top-down control.Fig. 1 Scatter plots the relationship between zooplankton/phytoplankton biomass ratio versus (A) zooplankton size diversity, (B) slope of zooplankton size spectrum, (C) Zoolankton Shannon diversity, (D) NO3, (E) PO4, (F) SiO3, (G) water temperature, and (H) fish larvae density in the East China Sea. Table 1. Results of the

  10. Quantal density-functional theory of excited states: The state arbitrariness of the model noninteracting system

    SciTech Connect

    Slamet, Marlina; Singh, Ranbir; Sahni, Viraht; Massa, Lou

    2003-10-01

    The quantal density-functional theory (Q-DFT) of nondegenerate excited-states maps the pure state of the Schroedinger equation to one of noninteracting fermions such that the equivalent excited state density, energy, and ionization potential are obtained. The state of the model S system is arbitrary in that it may be in a ground or excited state. The potential energy of the model fermions differs as a function of this state. The contribution of correlations due to the Pauli exclusion principle and Coulomb repulsion to the potential and total energy of these fermions is independent of the state of the S system. The differences are solely a consequence of correlation-kinetic effects. Irrespective of the state of the S system, the highest occupied eigenvalue of the model fermions is the negative of the ionization potential. In this paper we demonstrate the state arbitrariness of the model system by application of Q-DFT to the first excited singlet state of the exactly solvable Hookean atom. We construct two model S systems: one in a singlet ground state (1s{sup 2}), and the other in a singlet first excited state (1s2s). In each case, the density and energy determined are equivalent to those of the excited state of the atom, with the highest occupied eigenvalues being the negative of the ionization potential. From these results we determine the corresponding Kohn-Sham density-functional theory (KS-DFT) 'exchange-correlation' potential energy for the two S systems. Further, based on the results of the model calculations, suggestions for the KS-DFT of excited states are made.

  11. Interaction of temperature and an environmental stressor: Moina macrocopa responds with increased body size, increased lifespan, and increased offspring numbers slightly above its temperature optimum.

    PubMed

    Engert, Antonia; Chakrabarti, Shumon; Saul, Nadine; Bittner, Michal; Menzel, Ralph; Steinberg, Christian E W

    2013-02-01

    For organisms, temperature is one of the most important environmental factors and gains increasing importance due to global warming, since increasing temperatures may pose organisms close to their environmental tolerance limits and, thus, they may become more vulnerable to environmental stressors. We analyzed the temperature-dependence of the water-soluble antioxidant capacity of the cladoceran Moina macrocopa and evaluated its life trait variables with temperature (15, 20, 25, 30°C) and humic substance (HS) concentrations (0, 0.18, 0.36, 0.90, 1.79 mM DOC) as stressors. Temperatures below and above the apparent optimum (20°C) reduced the antioxidative capacity. Additions of HSs increased body length, but decreased mean lifespan at 15 and 20°C. There was no clear HS-effect on offspring numbers at 15, 20, and 30°C. At 25°C with increasing HS-concentration, lifespan was extended and offspring numbers increased tremendously, reaching 250% of the control. Although the applied HS preparation possesses estrogenic and antiandrogenic activities, a xenohormone mechanism does not seem plausible for the reproductive increase, because comparable effects did not occur at other temperatures. A more convincing explanation appears to be the mitohormesis hypothesis which states that a certain increase of reactive oxygen production leads to improved health and longevity and, with Moina, also to increased offspring numbers. Our results suggest that at least with the eurythermic M. macrocopa, a temperature above the optimum can be beneficial for several life trait variables, even when combined with a chemical stressor. Temperatures approximately 10°C above its optimum appear to adversely affect the lifespan and reproduction of M. macrocopa. This indicates that this cladoceran species seems to be able to utilize temperature as an ecological resource in a range slightly above its thermal optimum.

  12. Quantal release, incremental detection, and long-period Ca2+ oscillations in a model based on regulatory Ca2+-binding sites along the permeation pathway.

    PubMed Central

    Dupont, G; Swillens, S

    1996-01-01

    Quantal release, incremental detection, and oscillations are three types of Ca2+ responses that can be obtained in different conditions, after stimulation of the intracellular Ca2+ stores by submaximum concentrations of inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate (InsP3). All three phenomena are thought to occur through the regulatory properties of the InsP3 receptor/Ca2+ channel. In the present study, we perform further analysis of the model (Swillens et al., 1994, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 91:10074-10078) previously proposed for transient InsP3-induced Ca2+ release, based on the bell-shaped dependence of the InsP3 receptor activity on the Ca2+ level and on the existence of an intermediate Ca2+ domain located around the mouth of the channel. We show that Ca2+ oscillations also arise in the latter model. Conditions for the occurrence of the various behaviors are investigated. Numerical simulations also show that the existence of an intermediate Ca2+ domain can markedly increase the period of oscillations. Periods on the order of 1 min can indeed be accounted for by the model when one assigns realistic values to the kinetic constants of the InsP3 receptor, which, in the absence of a domain, lead to oscillations with periods of a few seconds. Finally, theoretical support in favor of a positive cooperativity in the regulation of the InsP3 receptor by Ca2+ is presented. Images FIGURE 7 PMID:8889149

  13. Evidence that the rate of strong selective sweeps increases with population size in the great apes.

    PubMed

    Nam, Kiwoong; Munch, Kasper; Mailund, Thomas; Nater, Alexander; Greminger, Maja Patricia; Krützen, Michael; Marquès-Bonet, Tomàs; Schierup, Mikkel Heide

    2017-02-14

    Quantifying the number of selective sweeps and their combined effects on genomic diversity in humans and other great apes is notoriously difficult. Here we address the question using a comparative approach to contrast diversity patterns according to the distance from genes in all great ape taxa. The extent of diversity reduction near genes compared with the rest of intergenic sequences is greater in a species with larger effective population size. Also, the maximum distance from genes at which the diversity reduction is observed is larger in species with large effective population size. In Sumatran orangutans, the overall genomic diversity is ∼30% smaller than diversity levels far from genes, whereas this reduction is only 9% in humans. We show by simulation that selection against deleterious mutations in the form of background selection is not expected to cause these differences in diversity among species. Instead, selective sweeps caused by positive selection can reduce diversity level more severely in a large population if there is a higher number of selective sweeps per unit time. We discuss what can cause such a correlation, including the possibility that more frequent sweeps in larger populations are due to a shorter waiting time for the right mutations to arise.

  14. Recombination in Streptococcus pneumoniae Lineages Increase with Carriage Duration and Size of the Polysaccharide Capsule

    PubMed Central

    Andam, Cheryl P.; Harris, Simon R.; Cornick, Jennifer E.; Yang, Marie; Bricio-Moreno, Laura; Kamng’ona, Arox W.; French, Neil; Heyderman, Robert S.; Kadioglu, Aras; Everett, Dean B.; Bentley, Stephen D.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Streptococcus pneumoniae causes a high burden of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) globally, especially in children from resource-poor settings. Like many bacteria, the pneumococcus can import DNA from other strains or even species by transformation and homologous recombination, which has allowed the pneumococcus to evade clinical interventions such as antibiotics and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs). Pneumococci are enclosed in a complex polysaccharide capsule that determines the serotype; the capsule varies in size and is associated with properties including carriage prevalence and virulence. We determined and quantified the association between capsule and recombination events using genomic data from a diverse collection of serotypes sampled in Malawi. We determined both the amount of variation introduced by recombination relative to mutation (the relative rate) and how many individual recombination events occur per isolate (the frequency). Using univariate analyses, we found an association between both recombination measures and multiple factors associated with the capsule, including duration and prevalence of carriage. Because many capsular factors are correlated, we used multivariate analysis to correct for collinearity. Capsule size and carriage duration remained positively associated with recombination, although with a reduced P value, and this effect may be mediated through some unassayed additional property associated with larger capsules. This work describes an important impact of serotype on recombination that has been previously overlooked. While the details of how this effect is achieved remain to be determined, it may have important consequences for the serotype-specific response to vaccines and other interventions. PMID:27677790

  15. Evidence that the rate of strong selective sweeps increases with population size in the great apes

    PubMed Central

    Nam, Kiwoong; Munch, Kasper; Mailund, Thomas; Nater, Alexander; Greminger, Maja Patricia; Krützen, Michael; Marquès-Bonet, Tomàs; Schierup, Mikkel Heide

    2017-01-01

    Quantifying the number of selective sweeps and their combined effects on genomic diversity in humans and other great apes is notoriously difficult. Here we address the question using a comparative approach to contrast diversity patterns according to the distance from genes in all great ape taxa. The extent of diversity reduction near genes compared with the rest of intergenic sequences is greater in a species with larger effective population size. Also, the maximum distance from genes at which the diversity reduction is observed is larger in species with large effective population size. In Sumatran orangutans, the overall genomic diversity is ∼30% smaller than diversity levels far from genes, whereas this reduction is only 9% in humans. We show by simulation that selection against deleterious mutations in the form of background selection is not expected to cause these differences in diversity among species. Instead, selective sweeps caused by positive selection can reduce diversity level more severely in a large population if there is a higher number of selective sweeps per unit time. We discuss what can cause such a correlation, including the possibility that more frequent sweeps in larger populations are due to a shorter waiting time for the right mutations to arise. PMID:28137852

  16. Amelioration of insulin resistance by rosiglitazone is associated with increased adipose cell size in obese type 2 diabetic patients

    PubMed Central

    Eliasson, Bjorn; Smith, Ulf; Mullen, Shawn; Cushman, Samuel W; Sherman, Arthur S; Yang, Jian

    2014-01-01

    Early studies reported that the size of adipose cells positively correlates with insulin resistance, but recent evidence suggests that the relationship between adipose cell size and insulin resistance is more complex. We previously reported that among BMI-matched moderately obese subjects who were either insulin sensitive or resistant insulin resistance correlated with the proportion of small adipose cells, rather than the size of the large adipose cells, whereas the size of large adipose cells was found to be a predictor of insulin resistance in the first-degree relatives of type 2 diabetic (T2D) patients. The relationship between adipose cellularity and insulin resistance thus appears to depend on the metabolic state of the individual. We did a longitudinal study with T2D patients treated with the insulin-sensitizer rosiglitazone to test the hypothesis that improved insulin sensitivity is associated with increased adipocyte size. Eleven T2D patients were recruited and treated with rosiglitazone for 90 days. Blood samples and needle biopsies of abdominal subcutaneous fat were taken at six time points and analyzed for cell size distributions. Rosiglitazone treatment ameliorated insulin resistance as evidenced by significantly decreased fasting plasma glucose and increased index of insulin sensitivity, QUICKI. In association with this, we found significantly increased size of the large adipose cells and, with a weaker effect, increased proportion of small adipose cells. We conclude rosiglitazone treatment both enlarges existing large adipose cells and recruits new small adipose cells in T2D patients, improving fat storage capacity in adipose tissue and thus systemic insulin sensitivity. PMID:26317056

  17. Increased silver activity for direct propylene epoxidation via subnanometer size effects.

    SciTech Connect

    Lei, Y.; Mehmood, F.; Lee, S.; Greeley, J. P.; Lee, B.; Seifert, S.; Winans, R. E.; Elam, J. E.; Meyer, R. J.; Redfern, P. C.; Teschner, D.; Schlogl, R.; Pellin, M. J.; Curtiss, L. A.; Vajda, S.; Univ. of Illinois at Chicago; Fritz-Haber Inst. der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft; Yale Univ.

    2010-04-09

    Production of the industrial chemical propylene oxide is energy-intensive and environmentally unfriendly. Catalysts based on bulk silver surfaces with direct propylene epoxidation by molecular oxygen have not resolved these problems because of substantial formation of carbon dioxide. We found that unpromoted, size-selected Ag{sub 3} clusters and {approx}3.5-nanometer Ag nanoparticles on alumina supports can catalyze this reaction with only a negligible amount of carbon dioxide formation and with high activity at low temperatures. Density functional calculations show that, relative to extended silver surfaces, oxidized silver trimers are more active and selective for epoxidation because of the open-shell nature of their electronic structure. The results suggest that new architectures based on ultrasmall silver particles may provide highly efficient catalysts for propylene epoxidation.

  18. Increased Silver Activity for Direct Propylene Epoxidation via Subnanometer Size Effects

    SciTech Connect

    Lei, Y.; Mehmood, Faisal; Lee, Sang Soo; Greeley, Jeffrey P.; Lee, Byeongdu; Seifert, Soenke; Winans, R. E.; Elam, J. W.; Meyer, R. J.; Redfern, Paul C.; Teschner, D.; Schlogl, Robert; Pellin, M. J.; Curtiss, Larry A.; Vajda, S.

    2010-04-09

    Production of the industrial chemical propylene oxide is energy-intensive and environmentally unfriendly. Catalysts based on bulk silver surfaces with direct propylene epoxidation by molecular oxygen have not resolved these problems because of substantial formation of carbon dioxide. We found that unpromoted, size-selected Ag3 clusters and ~3.5-nanometer Ag nanoparticles on alumina supports can catalyze this reaction with only a negligible amount of carbon dioxide formation and with high activity at low temperatures. Density functional calculations show that, relative to extended silver surfaces, oxidized silver trimers are more active and selective for epoxidation because of the open-shell nature of their electronic structure. The results suggest that new architectures based on ultrasmall silver particles may provide highly efficient catalysts for propylene epoxidation.

  19. Surface modification of carbon fibers by a polyether sulfone emulsion sizing for increased interfacial adhesion with polyether sulfone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Haojie; Zhang, Shouchun; Lu, Chunxiang

    2014-10-01

    Interests on carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites are growing rapidly, but the challenges with poor interfacial adhesion have slowed their adoption. In this work, a polyether sulfone (PES) emulsion sizing was prepared successfully for increased interfacial adhesion of carbon fiber/PES composites. To obtain a high-quality PES emulsion sizing, the key factor, emulsifier concentration, was studied by dynamic light scattering technique. The results demonstrated that the suitable weight ratio of PES to emulsifier was 8:3, and the resulting PES emulsion sizing had an average particle diameter of 117 nm and Zeta potential of -52.6 mV. After sizing, the surface oxygen-containing functional groups, free energy and wettability of carbon fibers increased significantly, which were advantageous to promote molecular-level contact between carbon fiber and PES. Finally, short beam shear tests were performed to evaluate the interfacial adhesion of carbon fiber/PES composites. The results indicated that PES emulsion sizing played a critical role for the enhanced interfacial adhesion in carbon fiber/PES composites, and a 26% increase of interlaminar shear strength was achieved, because of the improved fiber surface wettability and interfacial compatibility between carbon fiber and PES.

  20. The new digital flexible ureteroscopes: 'size does matter'--increased ureteric access sheath use!

    PubMed

    Bach, C; Nesar, S; Kumar, P; Goyal, A; Kachrilas, S; Papatsoris, A; Masood, J; Buchholz, N

    2012-01-01

    To evaluate whether the use of sheaths to access the ureter has increased after the introduction of new digital ureterorenoscopes in patients undergoing flexible ureteroscopy. 140 patients with kidney stones were randomised to be scoped with either an old-generation fibre-optic flexible ureteroscope (DUR-8, Elite, ACMI; distal tip diameter = 6.75 Fr) or a new-generation digital LCD flexible ureteroscope (Invisio D-URD flexible ureteroscope; distal tip diameter = 8.7 Fr). We recorded the necessity to use a sheath to access the ureter, sheath-related and postoperative complications, and whether or not a JJ stent was left behind. 157 (80 fibre-optic and 77 digital) ureterorenoscopies were performed. Ureteral access sheaths were used significantly more frequently with digital scopes (p = 0.00174). Two patients in the digital scope group had a small distal ureteric perforation from the introducer sheath compared with none in the fibre-optic scope group. A statistically significant increase in sheath use was observed in the new-generation digital flexible ureteroscopy group. Despite the improvement in image quality, better durability and improved stone clearance, there are some potential drawbacks of these scopes. The increased distal tip diameter can result in increased use of ureteric access sheaths and this may increase morbidity and expense. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  1. Group heterogeneity increases the risks of large group size: a longitudinal study of productivity in research groups.

    PubMed

    Cummings, Jonathon N; Kiesler, Sara; Bosagh Zadeh, Reza; Balakrishnan, Aruna D

    2013-06-01

    Heterogeneous groups are valuable, but differences among members can weaken group identification. Weak group identification may be especially problematic in larger groups, which, in contrast with smaller groups, require more attention to motivating members and coordinating their tasks. We hypothesized that as groups increase in size, productivity would decrease with greater heterogeneity. We studied the longitudinal productivity of 549 research groups varying in disciplinary heterogeneity, institutional heterogeneity, and size. We examined their publication and citation productivity before their projects started and 5 to 9 years later. Larger groups were more productive than smaller groups, but their marginal productivity declined as their heterogeneity increased, either because their members belonged to more disciplines or to more institutions. These results provide evidence that group heterogeneity moderates the effects of group size, and they suggest that desirable diversity in groups may be better leveraged in smaller, more cohesive units.

  2. Subliminal Impending Collision Increases Perceived Object Size and Enhances Pupillary Light Reflex

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Lihong; Yuan, Xiangyong; Xu, Qian; Wang, Ying; Jiang, Yi

    2016-01-01

    Fast detection of ambient danger is crucial for the survival of biological entities. Previous studies have shown that threatening information can bias human visual perception and enhance physiological reactions. It remains to be delineated whether the modulation of threat on human perceptual and physiological responses can take place below awareness. To probe this issue, we adopted visual looming stimuli and created two levels of threat by varying their motion trajectories to the observers, such that the stimuli could move in a path that either collided with the observers’ heads or just nearly missed. We found that when the observers could not explicitly discriminate any difference between the collision and the near-miss stimuli, the visual stimuli on the collision course appeared larger and evoked greater pupil constrictions than those on the near-miss course. Furthermore, the magnitude of size overestimation was comparable to when the impending collision was consciously perceived. Our findings suggest that threatening information can bias human visual perception and strengthen pupil constrictions independent of conscious representation of the threat, and imply the existence of the subcortical visual pathway dedicated to automatically processing threat-related signals in humans. PMID:27994567

  3. Increasing AIP Macrocycle Size Reveals Key Features of agr Activation in Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Jeffrey G; Wang, Boyuan; Debelouchina, Galia T; Novick, Richard P; Muir, Tom W

    2015-05-04

    The agr locus in the commensal human pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus, is a two-promoter regulon with allelic variability that produces a quorum-sensing circuit involved in regulating virulence within the bacterium. Secretion of unique autoinducing peptides (AIPs) and detection of their concentrations by AgrC, a transmembrane receptor histidine kinase, coordinates local bacterial population density with global changes in gene expression. The finding that staphylococcal virulence can be inhibited through antagonism of this quorum-sensing pathway has fueled tremendous interest in understanding the structure-activity relationships underlying the AIP-AgrC interaction. The defining structural feature of the AIP is a 16-membered, thiolactone-containing macrocycle. Surprisingly, the importance of ring size on agr activation or inhibition has not been explored. In this study, we address this deficiency through the synthesis and functional analysis of AIP analogues featuring enlarged and reduced macrocycles. Notably, this study is the first to interrogate AIP function by using both established cell-based reporter gene assays and newly developed in vitro AgrC-I binding and autophosphorylation activity assays. Based on our data, we present a model for robust agr activation involving a cooperative, three-points-of-contact interaction between the AIP macrocycle and AgrC.

  4. Hindlimb muscle fibre size and glycogen stores in bank voles with increased aerobic exercise metabolism.

    PubMed

    Jaromin, Ewa; Wyszkowska, Julia; Labecka, Anna Maria; Sadowska, Edyta Teresa; Koteja, Paweł

    2016-02-01

    To test hypotheses concerning physiological factors limiting the rate of aerobic exercise metabolism, we used a unique experimental evolution model: lines of bank voles selected for high swim-induced aerobic metabolism (A) and unselected, control lines (C). We investigated putative adaptations that result in the increased performance of the hindlimb muscle (gastrocnemius joined with plantaris). The body mass-adjusted muscle mass was higher in A-lines (0.093 g) than in C-lines (0.083 g; P=0.01). However, selection did not affect mean muscle fibre cross-sectional area (P=0.34) or glycogen content assessed with a histochemical periodic acid-Schiff reaction (PAS; P=0.82). The results suggest that the increased aerobic performance is achieved by an increase of total muscle mass, without major qualitative changes in the muscle fibre architecture. However, such a conclusion should be treated with caution, because other modifications, such as increased density of capillaries or mitochondria, could occur.

  5. One Size Fits All: The Increasing Standardisation of English Teachers' Work in England

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goodwyn, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    English teachers in England have experienced a lengthy period of external constraint, increasingly controlling their practice. This constraint was originated in the 1989 National curriculum. Although in its first version it was in harmony with practice, its numerous revisions have moved it a long way from teachers' own values and beliefs. This…

  6. Investigating the Efficacy of a Preschool Vocabulary Intervention Designed to Increase Vocabulary Size and Conceptual Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dwyer, Julie C.

    2010-01-01

    This dissertation study investigated the efficacy of a supplementary preschool embedded multimedia curriculum that was designed to increase one type of conceptual knowledge: taxonomic categories. Named the World of Words (WOW), this curriculum focused on teaching the properties and concepts associated with seven taxonomic categories and providing…

  7. Did greater burial depth increase the seed size of domesticated legumes?

    PubMed

    Kluyver, Thomas A; Charles, Michael; Jones, Glynis; Rees, Mark; Osborne, Colin P

    2013-10-01

    The independent domestication of crop plants in several regions of the world formed the basis of human civilizations, and attracts considerable interest from archaeologists and biologists. Selection under cultivation led to a suite of domestication traits which distinguish crops from their wild progenitors, including larger seeds in most seed crops. This selection may be classified as 'conscious' or 'unconscious' selection according to whether humans were aware of the changes that they were driving. The hypothesis that human cultivation buried seeds deeper than natural dispersal, exerting unconscious selection favouring larger seeds with greater reserves, was tested. Using a comparative approach, accessions of eight grain legumes, originating from independent domestication centres across several continents, were sampled. Seeds were planted at different depths in a controlled environment, and seedling emergence scored for 5 weeks after sowing. Domestication in all species was associated with increased seed mass. In three species, greater mass was not correlated with increased ability to emerge from depth. In five species, emergence depth did correlate with mass, suggesting that selection during domestication may have acted on emergence depth. However, domestication only had a significant effect in two of these species (lentil and mung bean), and the increase in depth was no more than predicted by a cube-root allometric relationship with seed mass. The results do not support the hypothesis that burial under cultivation was a general selection mechanism for increased seed mass during the domestication of grain legumes, but it may have acted in particular species or regions.

  8. Boron nitride-graphene nanocapacitor and the origins of anomalous size-dependent increase of capacitance.

    PubMed

    Shi, Gang; Hanlumyuang, Yuranan; Liu, Zheng; Gong, Yongji; Gao, Weilu; Li, Bo; Kono, Junichiro; Lou, Jun; Vajtai, Robert; Sharma, Pradeep; Ajayan, Pulickel M

    2014-01-01

    Conventional wisdom suggests that decreasing dimensions of dielectric materials (e.g., thickness of a film) should yield increasing capacitance. However, the quantum capacitance and the so-called "dead-layer" effect often conspire to decrease the capacitance of extremely small nanostructures, which is in sharp contrast to what is expected from classical electrostatics. Very recently, first-principles studies have predicted that a nanocapacitor made of graphene and hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) films can achieve superior capacitor properties. In this work, we fabricate the thinnest possible nanocapacitor system, essentially consisting of only monolayer materials: h-BN with graphene electrodes. We experimentally demonstrate an increase of the h-BN films' permittivity in different stack structures combined with graphene. We find a significant increase in capacitance below a thickness of ∼5 nm, more than 100% of what is predicted by classical electrostatics. Detailed quantum mechanical calculations suggest that this anomalous increase in capacitance is due to the negative quantum capacitance that this particular materials system exhibits.

  9. Investigating the Efficacy of a Preschool Vocabulary Intervention Designed to Increase Vocabulary Size and Conceptual Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dwyer, Julie C.

    2010-01-01

    This dissertation study investigated the efficacy of a supplementary preschool embedded multimedia curriculum that was designed to increase one type of conceptual knowledge: taxonomic categories. Named the World of Words (WOW), this curriculum focused on teaching the properties and concepts associated with seven taxonomic categories and providing…

  10. Exploring the Relationship between Receptive and Productive Vocabulary Sizes and Their Increased Use by Azerbaijani English Majors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hajiyeva, Konul

    2015-01-01

    This article reports on the results of two studies on receptive and productive vocabulary knowledge of first-year English majors in an English-medium degree programme. The aim of the study is to answer these research questions: (1) to what extent do the receptive and productive vocabulary sizes of English majors increase after a year of…

  11. Milk consumption during pregnancy is associated with increased infant size at birth: prospective cohort study.

    PubMed

    Olsen, Sjurdur F; Halldorsson, Thorhallur I; Willett, Walter C; Knudsen, Vibeke K; Gillman, Matthew W; Mikkelsen, Tina B; Olsen, Jørn

    2007-10-01

    Cow milk contains many potentially growth-promoting factors. The objective was to examine whether milk consumption during pregnancy is associated with greater infant size at birth. During 1996-2002, the Danish National Birth Cohort collected data on midpregnancy diet through questionnaires and on covariates through telephone interviews and ascertained birth outcomes through registry linkages. Findings were adjusted for mother's parity, age, height, prepregnant BMI, gestational weight gain, smoking status, and total energy intake; father's height; and family's socioeconomic status The analyses included data from 50,117 mother-infant pairs. Mean (+/-SD) consumption of milk was 3.1 +/- 2.0 glasses/d. Milk consumption was inversely associated with the risk of small-for gestational age (SGA) birth and directly with both large-for-gestational age (LGA) birth and mean birth weight (P for trend < 0.001). In a comparison of women drinking >or=6 glasses/d with those drinking 0 glasses/d, the odds ratio for SGA was 0.51 (95% CI: 0.39, 0.65) and for LGA was 1.59 (1.16, 2.16); the increment in mean birth weight was 108 g (74, 143 g). We also found graded relations (P < 0.001) for abdominal circumference (0.52 cm; 0.35, 0.69 cm), placental weight (26 g; 15, 38 g), birth length (increment: 0.31 cm; 0.15, 0.46 cm), and head circumference (0.13 cm; 0.04, 0.25 cm). Birth weight was related to intake of protein, but not of fat, derived from milk. Milk intake in pregnancy was associated with higher birth weight for gestational age, lower risk of SGA, and higher risk of LGA.

  12. Genetic factors associated with population size may increase extinction risks and decrease colonization potential in a keystone tropical pine

    PubMed Central

    del Castillo, Rafael F; Trujillo-Argueta, Sonia; Sánchez-Vargas, Nahúm; Newton, Adrian C

    2011-01-01

    Pioneer species are essential for forest regeneration and ecosystem resilience. Pinus chiapensis is an endangered pioneer key species for tropical montane cloud forest regeneration in Mesoamerica. Human activities have severely reduced some P. chiapensis populations, which exhibited a small or null colonization potential suggesting the involvement of genetic factors associated with small populations. We explored the relationships between (i) population genetic diversity (allozymes) and population size, including sampling size effects, (ii) fitness estimates associated with colonization potential (seed viability and seedling performance) in a common environment and population size, and (iii) fitness estimates and observed heterozygosity in populations with sizes spanning five orders of magnitude. All the estimates of genetic diversity and fitness increased significantly with population size. Low fitness was detected in progenies of small populations of disturbed and undisturbed habitats. Progenies with the lowest observed heterozygosity displayed the lowest fitness estimates, which, in turn, increased with heterozygosity, but seed viability peaked at intermediate heterozygosity values suggesting inbreeding and outbreeding depression. Inbreeding depression appears to be the most immediate genetic factor in population decline. Conservation efforts should try to maintain large and genetically diverse populations, enhance gene flow by restoring connectivity between adjacent populations, and avoid genetically distant individuals. PMID:25568006

  13. The ectopic expression of the wheat Puroindoline genes increase germ size and seed oil content in transgenic corn.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jinrui; Martin, John M; Beecher, Brian; Lu, Chaofu; Hannah, L Curtis; Wall, Michael L; Altosaar, Illimar; Giroux, Michael J

    2010-11-01

    Plant oil content and composition improvement is a major goal of plant breeding and biotechnology. The Puroindoline a and b (PINA and PINB) proteins together control whether wheat seeds are soft or hard textured and share a similar structure to that of plant non-specific lipid-transfer proteins. Here we transformed corn (Zea mays L.) with the wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) puroindoline genes (Pina and Pinb) to assess their effects upon seed oil content and quality. Pina and Pinb coding sequences were introduced into corn under the control of a corn Ubiquitin promoter. Three Pina/Pinb expression positive transgenic events were evaluated over two growing seasons. The results showed that Pin expression increased germ size significantly without negatively impacting seed size. Germ yield increased 33.8% while total seed oil content was increased by 25.23%. Seed oil content increases were primarily the result of increased germ size. This work indicates that higher oil content corn hybrids having increased food or feed value could be produced via puroindoline expression.

  14. The Ectopic Expression of the Wheat Puroindoline Genes Increase Germ Size and Seed Oil Content in Transgenic Corn

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jinrui; Martin, John M.; Beecher, Brian; Lu, Chaofu; Hannah, L. Curtis; Wall, Michael L.; Altosaar, Illimar; Giroux, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    Plant oil content and composition improvement is a major goal of plant breeding and biotechnology. The Puroindoline a and b (PINA and PINB) proteins together control whether wheat seeds are soft or hard textured and share a similar structure to that of plant non-specific lipid-transfer proteins. Here we transformed corn (Zea mays L.) with the wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) puroindoline genes (Pina and Pinb) to assess their effects upon seed oil content and quality. Pina and Pinb coding sequences were introduced into corn under the control of a corn Ubiquitin promoter. Three Pina/Pinb expression positive transgenic events were evaluated over two growing seasons. The results showed that Pin expression increased germ size significantly without negatively impacting seed size. Germ yield increased 33.8% while total seed oil content was increased by 25.23%. Seed oil content increases were primarily the result of increased germ size. This work indicates that higher oil content corn hybrids having increased food or feed value could be produced via puroindoline expression. PMID:20725765

  15. Overexpression of a rice TIFY gene increases grain size through enhanced accumulation of carbohydrates in the stem.

    PubMed

    Hakata, Makoto; Kuroda, Masaharu; Ohsumi, Akihiro; Hirose, Tatsuro; Nakamura, Hidemitsu; Muramatsu, Masayuki; Ichikawa, Hiroaki; Yamakawa, Hiromoto

    2012-01-01

    Screening of rice full-length cDNA overexpressing (FOX) lines allowed the identification of a TIFY gene, TIFY11b, as a growth-promoting gene whose overexpression increased plant height and seed size. The grains of TIFY11b-overexpressing plants exceeded those of non-transformants in length, width and thickness, resulting in 9-21% increases in grain weight. The increase was achieved by overexpressing the gene in the whole plant body, but not by seed-restricted expression, indicating that seed enlargement is attributable to overexpression in vegetative organs such as the leaf. The whole-body overexpressing plants developed longer leaves along with higher levels of starch and sucrose in the leaf sheath and culm at the heading stage than the non-transformants. Although overexpression of TIFY11b did not alter the photosynthetic rate per leaf area before and after heading, it caused an accumulation of higher levels of the carbohydrate assimilate, probably due to increased photosynthesis per plant, suggesting that the increase in grain size and weight is attained by enhanced accumulation and translocation of the carbohydrate in the culms and leaf sheaths of the transgenic plants. Thus, TIFY11b is a novel grain-size increasing gene.

  16. Increased Litter Size and Suckling Intensity Stimulate mRNA of RFamide-related Peptide in Rats.

    PubMed

    Noroozi, Atefeh; Jafarzadeh Shirazi, Mohammad Reza; Tamadon, Amin; Moghadam, Ali; Niazi, Ali

    2015-01-01

    RFamide-related peptide-3 (RFRP-3) inhibits gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion in rats. This study evaluates the effects of litter size and suckling intensity on RFRP mRNA expression in the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus (DMH) of rats. A total of 32 pregnant and 4 non-lactating ovariectomized (control group) Sprague-Dawley rats were used in this experimental study. Lactating rats were allotted to 8 equal groups. In 3 groups, the litter size was adjusted to 5, 10, or 15 pups upon parturition. Dams were allowed to suckle their pups continuously until 8 days postpartum. In the other 3 groups, the litter size was adjusted to 5 pups following birth. These pups were separated from the dams for 6 hours on day 8 postpartum, after which the pups were allowed to suckle for 2.5, 5, or 7.5 minutes prior to killing the dams. In 2 groups, lactating rats with 10 and 15 pups were separated from their pups for 6 hours on day 8 postpartum. In these groups, the pups were allowed to suckle their dams for 5 minutes before the dams were killed. All rats were killed on day 8 postpartum and the DMH was removed from each rat. We evaluated RFRP mRNA expression using realtime polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The expression of RFRP mRNA in the DMH increased with increased litter size and suckling intensity compared to the controls. The effect of suckling intensity on the expression of RFRP mRNA was more pronounced compared to the litter size. Increased litter size and suckling intensity stimulated RFRP mRNA expression in the DMH which might contribute to lactation anestrus in rats.

  17. Birth size and accelerated growth during infancy are associated with increased odds of childhood overweight in Mexican children.

    PubMed

    Jones-Smith, Jessica C; Fernald, Lia C H; Neufeld, Lynnette M

    2007-12-01

    The associations of birth size, rate of growth during infancy, and odds of childhood overweight have not yet been thoroughly investigated in contemporary cohorts in low- and middle-income countries. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of birth size (using body mass index at birth) and accelerated growth during infancy (defined as upward growth curve percentile crossing between birth and age 1 year) on the odds of childhood overweight. A secondary goal was to characterize the sociodemographic correlates of accelerated growth during infancy. Observational prospective cohort. Participants were 163 children and their mothers living in semiurban Mexico who were originally recruited between 1997 and 2000 and followed until 2005. Primary outcome was childhood overweight (as assessed by body mass index). Secondary outcome was accelerated growth during infancy. Multivariate linear regression and logistic regression were used to determine the associations among birth size, accelerated growth, and childhood overweight. Increased size at birth and accelerated growth during the first year of life increased the odds of childhood overweight (odds ratio [OR] 7.62, P<0.0005 and OR 2.23, P<0.05, respectively). The effect of accelerated growth on odds of childhood overweight varied by size at birth (OR for interaction term 0.63, P<0.05). Living in a "dual burden" household, where the child was underweight at birth and the mother was overweight 4 to 6 years after birth, was associated with accelerated growth during the first year of life. In a sample of Mexican children living in poverty, accelerated growth during infancy was associated with increased odds of childhood overweight among small and normal-sized babies. Among large babies, accelerated growth did not appear to pose an additional risk for overweight beyond that of high birth weight. Upward growth curve percentile crossing in infancy may be predictive of future childhood overweight status

  18. Increased Litter Size and Suckling Intensity Stimulate mRNA of RFamide-related Peptide in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Noroozi, Atefeh; Jafarzadeh Shirazi, Mohammad Reza; Tamadon, Amin; Moghadam, Ali; Niazi, Ali

    2015-01-01

    Background RFamide-related peptide-3 (RFRP-3) inhibits gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion in rats. This study evaluates the effects of litter size and suckling intensity on RFRP mRNA expression in the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus (DMH) of rats. Materials and Methods A total of 32 pregnant and 4 non-lactating ovariectomized (control group) Sprague-Dawley rats were used in this experimental study. Lactating rats were allotted to 8 equal groups. In 3 groups, the litter size was adjusted to 5, 10, or 15 pups upon parturition. Dams were allowed to suckle their pups continuously until 8 days postpartum. In the other 3 groups, the litter size was adjusted to 5 pups following birth. These pups were separated from the dams for 6 hours on day 8 postpartum, after which the pups were allowed to suckle for 2.5, 5, or 7.5 minutes prior to killing the dams. In 2 groups, lactating rats with 10 and 15 pups were separated from their pups for 6 hours on day 8 postpartum. In these groups, the pups were allowed to suckle their dams for 5 minutes before the dams were killed. All rats were killed on day 8 postpartum and the DMH was removed from each rat. We evaluated RFRP mRNA expression using realtime polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results The expression of RFRP mRNA in the DMH increased with increased litter size and suckling intensity compared to the controls. The effect of suckling intensity on the expression of RFRP mRNA was more pronounced compared to the litter size. Conclusion Increased litter size and suckling intensity stimulated RFRP mRNA expression in the DMH which might contribute to lactation anestrus in rats. PMID:26644862

  19. Diesel exhaust particulate increases the size and complexity of lesions in atherosclerotic mice.

    PubMed

    Miller, Mark R; McLean, Steven G; Duffin, Rodger; Lawal, Akeem O; Araujo, Jesus A; Shaw, Catherine A; Mills, Nicholas L; Donaldson, Ken; Newby, David E; Hadoke, Patrick W F

    2013-12-11

    Diesel exhaust particulate (DEP), a major component of urban air pollution, has been linked to atherogenesis and precipitation of myocardial infarction. We hypothesized that DEP exposure would increase and destabilise atherosclerotic lesions in apolipoprotein E deficient (ApoE-/-) mice. ApoE-/- mice were fed a 'Western diet' (8 weeks) to induce 'complex' atherosclerotic plaques, with parallel experiments in normal chow fed wild-type mice. During the last 4 weeks of feeding, mice received twice weekly instillation (oropharyngeal aspiration) of 35 μL DEP (1 mg/mL, SRM-2975) or vehicle (saline). Atherosclerotic burden was assessed by en-face staining of the thoracic aorta and histological examination of the brachiocephalic artery. Brachiocephalic atherosclerotic plaques were larger in ApoE-/- mice treated with DEP (59 ± 10%) than in controls (32 ± 7%; P = 0.017). In addition, DEP-treated mice had more plaques per section of artery (2.4 ± 0.2 vs 1.8 ± 0.2; P = 0.048) and buried fibrous layers (1.2 ± 0.2 vs 0.4 ± 0.1; P = 0.028). These changes were associated with lung inflammation and increased antioxidant gene expression in the liver, but not with changes in endothelial function, plasma lipids or systemic inflammation. Increased atherosclerosis is caused by the particulate component of diesel exhaust producing advanced plaques with a potentially more vulnerable phenotype. These results are consistent with the suggestion that removal of the particulate component would reduce the adverse cardiovascular effects of diesel exhaust.

  20. Increase of Cloud Droplet Size with Aerosol Optical Depth: An Observational and Modeling Study

    SciTech Connect

    Yuan, Tianle; Li, Zhanqing; Zhang, Renyi; Fan, Jiwen

    2008-02-21

    Cloud droplet effective radius (DER) is generally negatively correlated with aerosol optical depth (AOD) as a proxy of cloud condensation nuclei. In this study, cases of positive correlation were found over certain portions of the world by analyzing the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite products, together with a general finding that DER may increase or decrease with aerosol loading depending on environmental conditions. The slope of the correlation between DER and AOD is driven primarily by water vapor amount, which explains 70% of the variance in our study. Various potential artifacts that may cause the positive relation are investigated including water vapor swelling, partially cloudy, atmospheric dynamics, cloud three-dimensional (3-D) and surface influence effects. None seems to be the primary cause for the observed phenomenon, although a certain degree of influence exists for some of the factors. Analyses are conducted over seven regions around the world representing different types of aerosols and clouds. Only two regions show positive dependence of DER on AOD, near coasts of the Gulf of Mexico and South China Sea, which implies physical processes may at work. Using a 2-D spectral-bin microphysics Goddard Cumulus Ensemble model (GCE) which incorporated a reformulation of the Köhler theory, two possible physical mechanisms are hypothesized. They are related to the effects of slightly soluble organics (SSO) particles and giant CCNs. Model simulations show a positive correlation between DER and AOD, due to a decrease in activated aerosols with an increasing SSO content. Addition of a few giant CCNs also increases the DER. Further investigations are needed to fully understand and clarify the observed phenomenon.

  1. Testing for Depéret's Rule (Body Size Increase) in Mammals using Combined Extinct and Extant Data

    PubMed Central

    Bokma, Folmer; Godinot, Marc; Maridet, Olivier; Ladevèze, Sandrine; Costeur, Loïc; Solé, Floréal; Gheerbrant, Emmanuel; Peigné, Stéphane; Jacques, Florian; Laurin, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Whether or not evolutionary lineages in general show a tendency to increase in body size has often been discussed. This tendency has been dubbed “Cope's rule” but because Cope never hypothesized it, we suggest renaming it after Depéret, who formulated it clearly in 1907. Depéret's rule has traditionally been studied using fossil data, but more recently a number of studies have used present-day species. While several paleontological studies of Cenozoic placental mammals have found support for increasing body size, most studies of extant placentals have failed to detect such a trend. Here, we present a method to combine information from present-day species with fossil data in a Bayesian phylogenetic framework. We apply the method to body mass estimates of a large number of extant and extinct mammal species, and find strong support for Depéret's rule. The tendency for size increase appears to be driven not by evolution toward larger size in established species, but by processes related to the emergence of new species. Our analysis shows that complementary data from extant and extinct species can greatly improve inference of macroevolutionary processes. PMID:26508768

  2. Testing for Depéret's Rule (Body Size Increase) in Mammals using Combined Extinct and Extant Data.

    PubMed

    Bokma, Folmer; Godinot, Marc; Maridet, Olivier; Ladevèze, Sandrine; Costeur, Loïc; Solé, Floréal; Gheerbrant, Emmanuel; Peigné, Stéphane; Jacques, Florian; Laurin, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Whether or not evolutionary lineages in general show a tendency to increase in body size has often been discussed. This tendency has been dubbed "Cope's rule" but because Cope never hypothesized it, we suggest renaming it after Depéret, who formulated it clearly in 1907. Depéret's rule has traditionally been studied using fossil data, but more recently a number of studies have used present-day species. While several paleontological studies of Cenozoic placental mammals have found support for increasing body size, most studies of extant placentals have failed to detect such a trend. Here, we present a method to combine information from present-day species with fossil data in a Bayesian phylogenetic framework. We apply the method to body mass estimates of a large number of extant and extinct mammal species, and find strong support for Depéret's rule. The tendency for size increase appears to be driven not by evolution toward larger size in established species, but by processes related to the emergence of new species. Our analysis shows that complementary data from extant and extinct species can greatly improve inference of macroevolutionary processes. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists.

  3. Alternative reproductive tactics increase effective population size and decrease inbreeding in wild Atlantic salmon

    PubMed Central

    Perrier, Charles; Normandeau, Éric; Dionne, Mélanie; Richard, Antoine; Bernatchez, Louis

    2014-01-01

    While nonanadromous males (stream-resident and/or mature male parr) contribute to reproduction in anadromous salmonids, little is known about their impacts on key population genetic parameters. Here, we evaluated the contribution of Atlantic salmon mature male parr to the effective number of breeders (Nb) using both demographic (variance in reproductive success) and genetic (linkage disequilibrium) methods, the number of alleles, and the relatedness among breeders. We used a recently published pedigree reconstruction of a wild anadromous Atlantic salmon population in which 2548 fry born in 2010 were assigned parentage to 144 anadromous female and 101 anadromous females that returned to the river to spawn in 2009 and to 462 mature male parr. Demographic and genetic methods revealed that mature male parr increased population Nb by 1.79 and 1.85 times, respectively. Moreover, mature male parr boosted the number of alleles found among progenies. Finally, mature male parr were in average less related to anadromous females than were anadromous males, likely because of asynchronous sexual maturation between mature male parr and anadromous fish of a given cohort. By increasing Nb and allelic richness, and by decreasing inbreeding, the reproductive contribution of mature male parr has important evolutionary and conservation implications for declining Atlantic salmon populations. PMID:25553070

  4. International Airport Impacts to Air Quality: Size and Related Properties of Large Increases in Ultrafine Particle Number Concentrations.

    PubMed

    Hudda, N; Fruin, S A

    2016-04-05

    We measured particle size distributions and spatial patterns of particle number (PN) and particle surface area concentrations downwind from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) where large increases (over local background) in PN concentrations routinely extended 18 km downwind. These elevations were mostly comprised of ultrafine particles smaller than 40 nm. For a given downwind distance, the greatest increases in PN concentrations, along with the smallest mean sizes, were detected at locations under the landing jet trajectories. The smaller size of particles in the impacted area, as compared to the ambient urban aerosol, increased calculated lung deposition fractions to 0.7-0.8 from 0.5-0.7. A diffusion charging instrument (DiSCMini), that simulates alveolar lung deposition, measured a fivefold increase in alveolar-lung deposited surface area concentrations 2-3 km downwind from the airport (over local background), decreasing steadily to a twofold increase 18 km downwind. These ratios (elevated lung-deposited surface area over background) were lower than the corresponding ratios for elevated PN concentrations, which decreased from tenfold to twofold over the same distance, but the spatial patterns of elevated concentrations were similar. It appears that PN concentration can serve as a nonlinear proxy for lung deposited surface area downwind of major airports.

  5. Testosterone increases repertoire size in an open-ended learner: an experimental study using adult male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Van Hout, Alain J-M; Pinxten, Rianne; Darras, Veerle M; Eens, Marcel

    2012-11-01

    Song in songbirds is a learned secondary sexual behavior, first acquired during a sensitive phase of juvenile development, which is affected by hormones such as testosterone (T). While the latter has received much attention, the potential involvement of T in the adult repertoire changes observed in a number of species is much less understood. Yet, this may prove essential to understand the role of song as a sexually selected trait. We therefore performed a T-implantation experiment during the non-breeding season (when T is basal), using adult male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), a songbird species in which song repertoire size (and composition) changes seasonally and increases with age. Repertoire size increased rapidly in T-males, but not in control males, indicating a role for T in repertoire size changes. This increase resulted from a lower proportion of dropped song types in T-males than in control males, while the proportion of added song types did not differ between both groups. Interestingly, the observed repertoire turnover (adding and removing song types from the repertoire) in both groups, suggests that elevated plasma T levels were not essential for changes in repertoire composition (contrary to repertoire size). Finally, T-males (but not control males) significantly increased their song rate, while neither group showed a significant change in their song bout length and phrase repetition rate. Taken together, our results suggest a role for T in adult song learning and provide new insights into the information content of repertoire size and song bout length as sexually selected traits. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Scaling of metabolism in Helix aspersa snails: changes through ontogeny and response to selection for increased size.

    PubMed

    Czarnołeski, Marcin; Kozłowski, Jan; Dumiot, Guillaume; Bonnet, Jean-Claude; Mallard, Jacques; Dupont-Nivet, Mathilde

    2008-02-01

    Though many are convinced otherwise, variability of the size-scaling of metabolism is widespread in nature, and the factors driving that remain unknown. Here we test a hypothesis that the increased expenditure associated with faster growth increases metabolic scaling. We compare metabolic scaling in the fast- and slow-growth phases of ontogeny of Helix aspersa snails artificially selected or not selected for increased adult size. The selected line evolved larger egg and adult sizes and a faster size-specific growth rate, without a change in the developmental rate. Both lines had comparable food consumption but the selected snails grew more efficiently and had lower metabolism early in ontogeny. Attainment of lower metabolism was accompanied by decreased shell production, indicating that the increased growth was fuelled partly at the expense of shell production. As predicted, the scaling of oxygen consumption with body mass was isometric or nearly isometric in the fast-growing (early) ontogenetic stage, and it became negatively allometric in the slow-growing (late) stage; metabolic scaling tended to be steeper in selected (fast-growing) than in control (slow-growing) snails; this difference disappeared later in ontogeny. Differences in metabolic scaling were not related to shifts in the scaling of metabolically inert shell. Our results support the view that changes in metabolic scaling through ontogeny and the variability of metabolic scaling between organisms can be affected by differential growth rates. We stress that future approaches to this phenomenon should consider the metabolic effects of cell size changes which underlie shifts in the growth pattern.

  7. Size matters: increased grey matter in boys with conduct problems and callous-unemotional traits.

    PubMed

    De Brito, Stéphane A; Mechelli, Andrea; Wilke, Marko; Laurens, Kristin R; Jones, Alice P; Barker, Gareth J; Hodgins, Sheilagh; Viding, Essi

    2009-04-01

    Brain imaging studies of adults with psychopathy have identified structural and functional abnormalities in limbic and prefrontal regions that are involved in emotion recognition, decision-making, morality and empathy. Among children with conduct problems, a small subgroup presents callous-unemotional traits thought to be antecedents of psychopathy. No structural brain imaging study has examined this subgroup of children. The present study used voxel-based morphometry to compare whole brain grey matter volumes and concentrations of boys with elevated levels of callous-unemotional conduct problems and typically developing boys and explored four a priori regions of interest. sMRI scans were collected from 23 boys with elevated levels of callous-unemotional conduct problems (mean age = 11 years 8 months) and 25 typically developing boys (mean age = 11 years 6 months) selected from a community sample of children. Data were analysed using optimized voxel-based morphometry. Study-specific probability maps were created and four a priori regions of interest identified (orbitofrontal, anterior cingulate and anterior insular cortices and amygdala). Both grey matter volume and concentration were examined controlling for cognitive ability and hyperactivity-inattention symptoms. Boys with callous-unemotional conduct problems, as compared with typically developing boys, presented increased grey matter concentration in the medial orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortices, as well as increased grey matter volume and concentration in the temporal lobes bilaterally. These findings may indicate a delay in cortical maturation in several brain areas implicated in decision making, morality and empathy in boys with callous-unemotional conduct problems.

  8. Bed disturbance via foraging fish increases bedload transport during subsequent high flows and is controlled by fish size and species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pledger, A. G.; Rice, S. P.; Millett, J.

    2016-01-01

    Benthic foraging by fish can modify the nature and rates of fine sediment accrual and the structure and topography of coarse-grained fluvial substrates, with the potential to alter bed material characteristics, particle entrainment thresholds, and bedload transport fluxes. However, knowledge of what controls the nature, extent, and intensity of benthic foraging and the consequent influence of these controls on geomorphic impact remain rudimentary. An ex-situ experiment utilising Barbel Barbus barbus and Chub Leuciscus cephalus extended previous work by considering the role of fish size and species as controls of sediment disturbance by foraging and the implications for bed material characteristics and bedload transport. In a laboratory flume, changes in bed microtopography and structure were measured when a water-worked bed of 5.6-22.6 mm gravels was exposed to four size classes of Barbel (4-5″, 5-6″, 6-8″, 8-10″ in length) and a single size class of Chub (8-10″). In line with other studies that have investigated animal size as a control of zoogeomorphic agency, increasing the size of Barbel had a significant effect on measured disturbance and transport metrics. Specifically, the area of disturbed substrate, foraging depth, and the fish's impact on microtopographic roughness and imbrication all increased as a function of fish size. In a comparison of the foraging effects of like-sized Barbel and Chub, 8-10″ in length, Barbel foraged a larger area of the test bed and had a greater impact on microtopographic roughness and sediment structure. Relative to water-worked beds that were not foraged, bed conditioning by both species was associated with increased bedload transport during the subsequent application of high flows. However, the bedload flux after foraging by Barbel, which is a specialist benthivore, was 150% higher than that following foraging by Chub, which feed opportunistically from the bed, and the total transported mass of sediment was 98

  9. Increased litter size and suckling intensity inhibit KiSS-1 mRNA expression in rat arcuate nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Noroozi, Atefeh; Shirazi, Mohammad Reza Jafarzadeh; Zamiri, Mohammad Javad; Tamadon, Amin; Akhlaghi, Amir; Tanideh, Nader; Niazi, Ali; Moghadam, Ali

    2014-01-01

    Objective(s): The effect of litter size and suckling intensity on the expression of KiSS-1 mRNA in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) of rats were evaluated. Materials and Methods: Thirty two pregnant and four non-lactating ovariectomized (as control group) rats were used in this experiment. Lactating rats were allotted to eight equal groups. In three groups, litter size was adjusted to 5, 10, or 15 pups upon parturition and allowed to suckle their pups continuously by 8 days postpartum. In the other three groups, litter size was adjusted to five upon birth; the pups were separated from the dams for 6 hr on day 8 postpartum, after which the pups were allowed to suckle their dams for 2.5, 5, or 7.5 min prior to killing the dams. Two groups of lactating rats with either 10 or 15 pups were separated from their pups for 6 hr on day 8 postpartum, after which the pups were allowed to suckle their dams for 5 min before the dams were killed on day 8 postpartum. The ARC was removed and the expression of KiSS-1 mRNA was evaluated, using real-time PCR. Results: The expression of KiSS-1 mRNA in the ARC was decreased as the litter size and intensity of suckling stimulus were increased. The effect of suckling intensity on the expression of KiSS-1 mRNA was more pronounced than that of litter size. Conclusion: Increased litter size and suckling intensity decreased KiSS-1 mRNA expression in the ARC which may contribute to lactation anestrus in rat. PMID:25422754

  10. Anabolic steroids activate calcineurin-NFAT signaling and thereby increase myotube size and reduce denervation atrophy.

    PubMed

    Qin, Weiping; Pan, Jiangping; Wu, Yong; Bauman, William A; Cardozo, Christopher

    2015-01-05

    Anabolic androgens have been shown to reduce muscle loss due to immobilization, paralysis and many other medical conditions, but the molecular basis for these actions is poorly understood. We have recently demonstrated that nandrolone, a synthetic androgen, slows muscle atrophy after nerve transection associated with down-regulation of regulator of calcineurin 2 (RCAN2), a calcineurin inhibitor, suggesting a possible role of calcineurin-NFAT signaling. To test this possibility, rat gastrocnemius muscle was analyzed at 56 days after denervation. In denervated muscle, calcineurin activity declined and NFATc4 was excluded from the nucleus and these effects were reversed by nandrolone. Similarly, nandrolone increased calcineurin activity and nuclear NFATc4 levels in cultured L6 myotubes. Nandrolone also induced cell hypertrophy that was blocked by cyclosporin A or overexpression of RCAN2. Finally protection against denervation atrophy by nandrolone in rats was blocked by cyclosporin A. These results demonstrate for the first time that nandrolone activates calcineurin-NFAT signaling, and that such signaling is important in nandrolone-induced cell hypertrophy and protection against paralysis-induced muscle atrophy.

  11. Extinction reverses olfactory fear-conditioned increases in neuron number and glomerular size

    PubMed Central

    Morrison, Filomene G.; Dias, Brian G.; Ressler, Kerry J.

    2015-01-01

    Although much work has investigated the contribution of brain regions such as the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex to the processing of fear learning and memory, fewer studies have examined the role of sensory systems, in particular the olfactory system, in the detection and perception of cues involved in learning and memory. The primary sensory receptive field maps of the olfactory system are exquisitely organized and respond dynamically to cues in the environment, remaining plastic from development through adulthood. We have previously demonstrated that olfactory fear conditioning leads to increased odorant-specific receptor representation in the main olfactory epithelium and in glomeruli within the olfactory bulb. We now demonstrate that olfactory extinction training specific to the conditioned odor stimulus reverses the conditioning-associated freezing behavior and odor learning-induced structural changes in the olfactory epithelium and olfactory bulb in an odorant ligand-specific manner. These data suggest that learning-induced freezing behavior, structural alterations, and enhanced neural sensory representation can be reversed in adult mice following extinction training. PMID:26420875

  12. Symbiotic bacteria contribute to increasing the population size of a freshwater crustacean, Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Peerakietkhajorn, Saranya; Tsukada, Koji; Kato, Yasuhiko; Matsuura, Tomoaki; Watanabe, Hajime

    2015-04-01

    The filter-feeding crustacean Daphnia is a key organism in freshwater ecosystems. Here, we report the effect of symbiotic bacteria on ecologically important life history traits, such as population dynamics and longevity, in Daphnia magna. By disinfection of the daphniid embryos with glutaraldehyde, aposymbiotic daphniids were prepared and cultured under bacteria-free conditions. Removal of bacteria from the daphniids was monitored by quantitative polymerase chain reaction for bacterial 16S rRNA gene. The population of aposymbiotic daphniids was reduced 10-folds compared with that of the control daphniids. Importantly, re-infection with symbiotic bacteria caused daphniids to regain bacteria and increase their fecundity to the level of the control daphniids, suggesting that symbiotic bacteria regulate Daphnia fecundity. To identify the species of symbiotic bacteria, 16S rRNA genes of bacteria in daphniids were sequenced. This revealed that 50% of sequences belonged to the Limnohabitans sp. of the Betaproteobacteria class and that the diversity of bacterial taxa was relatively low. These results suggested that symbiotic bacteria have a beneficial effect on D. magna, and that aposymbiotic Daphnia are useful tools in understanding the role of symbiotic bacteria in the environmental responses and evolution of their hosts. © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Recovery of aging-related size increase of skin epithelial cells: in vivo mouse and in vitro human study.

    PubMed

    Sokolov, Igor; Guz, Natali V; Iyer, Swaminathan; Hewitt, Amy; Sokolov, Nina A; Erlichman, Joseph S; Woodworth, Craig D

    2015-01-01

    The size increase of skin epithelial cells during aging is well-known. Here we demonstrate that treatment of aging cells with cytochalasin B substantially decreases cell size. This decrease was demonstrated on a mouse model and on human skin cells in vitro. Six nude mice were treated by topical application of cytochalasin B on skin of the dorsal left midsection for 140 days (the right side served as control for placebo treatment). An average decrease in cell size of 56±16% resulted. A reduction of cell size was also observed on primary human skin epithelial cells of different in vitro age (passages from 1 to 8). A cell strain obtained from a pool of 6 human subjects was treated with cytochalasin B in vitro for 12 hours. We observed a decrease in cell size that became statistically significant and reached 20-40% for cells of older passage (6-8 passages) whereas no substantial change was observed for younger cells. These results may be important for understanding the aging processes, and for cosmetic treatment of aging skin.

  14. Recovery of Aging-Related Size Increase of Skin Epithelial Cells: In vivo Mouse and In vitro Human Study

    PubMed Central

    Sokolov, Igor; Guz, Natali V.; Iyer, Swaminathan; Hewitt, Amy; Sokolov, Nina A.; Erlichman, Joseph S.; Woodworth, Craig D.

    2015-01-01

    The size increase of skin epithelial cells during aging is well-known. Here we demonstrate that treatment of aging cells with cytochalasin B substantially decreases cell size. This decrease was demonstrated on a mouse model and on human skin cells in vitro. Six nude mice were treated by topical application of cytochalasin B on skin of the dorsal left midsection for 140 days (the right side served as control for placebo treatment). An average decrease in cell size of 56±16% resulted. A reduction of cell size was also observed on primary human skin epithelial cells of different in vitro age (passages from 1 to 8). A cell strain obtained from a pool of 6 human subjects was treated with cytochalasin B in vitro for 12 hours. We observed a decrease in cell size that became statistically significant and reached 20–40% for cells of older passage (6–8 passages) whereas no substantial change was observed for younger cells. These results may be important for understanding the aging processes, and for cosmetic treatment of aging skin. PMID:25807526

  15. Rheotaxis performance increases with group size in a coupled phase model with sensory noise. The effects of noise and group size on rheotaxis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chicoli, A.; Bak-Coleman, J.; Coombs, S.; Paley, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    Many fish exhibit rheotaxis, a behavior in which fish orient themselves relative to flow. Rheotaxis confers many benefits, including energetic cost savings and interception of drifting prey. Despite the fact that most species of fish school during at least some portion of their life, little is known about the importance of rheotactic behavior to schooling fish and, conversely, how the presence of nearby conspecifics affects rheotactic behavior. Understanding how rheotaxis is modified by social factors is thus of ecological importance. Here we present a mathematical model in the form of an all-to-all, coupled-oscillator framework over the non-Euclidean space of fish orientations to model group rheotactic behavior. Individuals in the model measure the orientation of their neighbors and the flow direction relative to their own orientation. These measures are corrupted by sensory noise. We study the effect of sensory noise and group size on internal (i.e., within the school) and external (i.e., with the flow) disagreement in orientation. We find that under noisy environmental conditions, increased group size improves rheotaxis. Results of this study have implications for understanding animal behavior, as well as for potential applications in bio-inspired engineering.

  16. Extracellular Ionic Composition Alters Kinetics of Vesicular Release of Catecholamines and Quantal Size During Exocytosis at Adrenal Medullary Cells

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-07-05

    cytosolic calcium concentration in single bovine adrenal chromaffin cells form video imaging of fura - 2 , EMBO J. 8, 401-411. Pollard, H. B., Ornberg, R...Key words: chromaffin cells, catecholamine, barium induced exocytosis, fura - 2 , calcium independent exocytosis Running title: Effects of extracellular...calibration of the fluorescent calcium indicator Fura - 2 , Cell Calcium 11, 75-83. Winkler, H. (1976) The Composition of Adrenal Chromaffin Granules

  17. Awns reduce grain number to increase grain size and harvestable yield in irrigated and rainfed spring wheat

    PubMed Central

    Rebetzke, G. J.; Bonnett, D. G.; Reynolds, M. P.

    2016-01-01

    Genotypic variation in ear morphology is linked to differences in photosynthetic potential to influence grain yield in winter cereals. Awns contribute to photosynthesis, particularly under water-limited conditions when canopy assimilation is restricted. We assessed performance of up to 45 backcross-derived, awned–awnletted NILs representing four diverse genetic backgrounds in 25 irrigated or rainfed, and droughted environments in Australia and Mexico. Mean environment grain yields were wide-ranging (1.38–7.93 t ha−1) with vegetative and maturity biomass, plant height, anthesis date, spike number, and harvest index all similar (P >0.05) for awned and awnletted NILs. Overall, grain yields of awned–awnletted sister-NILs were equivalent, irrespective of yield potential and genetic background. Awnletted wheats produced significantly more grains per unit area (+4%) and per spike (+5%) reflecting more fertile spikelets and grains in tertiary florets. Increases in grain number were compensated for by significant reductions in grain size (–5%) and increased frequency (+0.8%) of small, shrivelled grains (‘screenings’) to reduce seed-lot quality of awnletted NILs. Post-anthesis canopies of awnletted NILs were marginally warmer over all environments (+0.27 °C) but were not different and were sometimes cooler than awned NILs at cooler air temperatures. Awns develop early and represented up to 40% of total spikelet biomass prior to ear emergence. We hypothesize that the allocation of assimilate to large and rapidly developing awns decreases spikelet number and floret fertility to reduce grain number, particularly in distal florets. Individual grain size is increased to reduce screenings and to increase test weight and milling quality, particularly in droughted environments. Despite the average reduction in grain size, awnless lines could be identified that combined higher grain yield with larger grain size, increased grain protein concentration, and reduced

  18. Increased Selection Response in Larger Populations. I. Selection for Wing-Tip Height in Drosophila Melanogaster at Three Population Sizes

    PubMed Central

    Weber, K. E.

    1990-01-01

    The effect of population size on selection response was investigated with replicated selection lines of 40, 200 and 1000 selected parents, using Drosophila melanogaster homozygous for the mutant raised. Selection for increased wing-tip height was carried out for 55 generations, with an average selection intensity of 0.6 standard deviation. The rank order of responses in the seven individual lines was significantly in order of population size, and the variance of response among lines showed a significant effect of population size. The final mean responses (selected - controls, +/- standard errors) in the three treatments, in order of increasing population size, were 8.6 +/- 1.8 mils (three small lines), 15.1 +/- 1.3 mils (two medium lines), and 19.8 +/- 1.5 mils (two large lines). The differences between treatments seem to have emerged too rapidly to be the result of mutations, and are probably due mainly to the utilization of existing variation with greater efficiency by selection in larger populations. PMID:2116358

  19. Quantal components of unitary EPSCs at the mossy fibre synapse on CA3 pyramidal cells of rat hippocampus.

    PubMed Central

    Jonas, P; Major, G; Sakmann, B

    1993-01-01

    2+), excluding failures, was 1 nS. Reducing the Ca2+ concentration and increasing the Mg2+ concentration reduced the mean peak amplitude in a concentration-dependent manner. 6. Peaks in EPSC peak amplitude distributions were apparent in low Ca2+ and high Mg2+. Using the criteria of equidistance and the presence of peaks and dips in the autocorrelation function, five of nine EPSC peak amplitude distributions were judged to be quantal.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS) Images Fig. 16 PMID:7908327

  20. The peculiar trend of cyclic perfluoroalkane electron affinities with increasing ring size.

    PubMed

    Paul, Ankan; Wannere, Chaitanya S; Kasalova, Veronica; Schleyer, Paul v R; Schaefer, Henry F

    2005-11-09

    The adiabatic electron affinities (AEAs), vertical electron affinities (VEAs), and vertical detachment energies (VDEs) of cyclic perfluoroalkanes, c-C(n)F(2n) (n = 3-7), and their monotrifluoromethyl derivatives were computed using various pure and hybrid density functionals with DZP++ (polarization and diffuse function augmented double-zeta) basis sets. The theoretical AEA of c-C(4)F(8) at KMLYP/DZP++ is 0.70 eV, which exhibits satisfactory agreement with the 0.63 +/- 0.05 eV experimental value. The nonzero-point-corrected AEA of c-C(4)F(8) is predicted to be 0.41 eV at the CCSD(T)/aug-cc-pVTZ//MP2/aug-cc-pVTZ level of theory, which shows a slight deviation of 0.11 eV from the KMLYP estimated value of 0.52 eV for the same. With the zero-point correction from the MP2/6-311G(d) [Gallup, G. A. Chem. Phys. Lett. 2004, 399, 206] level of theory combined with the CCSD(T)/aug-cc-pVTZ//MP2/aug-cc-pVTZ result, the most reliable estimate of AEA of c-C(4)F(8) is 0.60 eV. c-C(3)F(6)(-), c-C(4)F(8)(-), and c-C(5)F(10)(-) are unusual in preferring planar to near planar ring structures. The ZPE-corrected AEAs of c-C(n)F(2n) increase from n = 3 (0.24 eV) to n = 5 (0.77 eV), but then dramatically fall off to 0.40 eV for both n = 6 and n = 7. All of the other functionals predict the same trend. This is due to a change in the structural preference: C(s)() c-C(6)F(12)(-) and C(1) c-C(7)F(14)(-) are predicted to favor nonplanar rings, each with an exceptionally long C-F bond. (There also is a second, higher energy D3d minimum for C(6)F(12)(-).) The SOMOs as well as the spin density plots of the c-PFA radical anions reveal that the "extra" electron is largely localized on the unique F atoms in the larger n = 6 and n = 7 rings but is delocalized in the multiatom SOMOs of the three- to five-membered ring radical anions. The computed AEAs are much larger than the corresponding VEAs; the latter are not consistent with different functionals. The AEAs are substantially larger when a c

  1. Nutrient reserves may allow for genome size increase: evidence from comparison of geophytes and their sister non-geophytic relatives

    PubMed Central

    Veselý, Pavel; Bureš, Petr; Šmarda, Petr

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims The genome size of an organism is determined by its capacity to tolerate genome expansion, given the species' life strategy and the limits of a particular environment, and the ability for retrotransposon suppression and/or removal. In some giant-genomed bulb geophytes, this tolerance is explained by their ability to pre-divide cells in the dormant stages or by the selective advantage of larger cells in the rapid growth of their fleshy body. In this study, a test shows that the tendency for genome size expansion is a more universal feature of geophytes, and is a subject in need of more general consideration. Methods Differences in monoploid genome sizes were compared using standardized phylogenetically independent contrasts in 47 sister pairs of geophytic and non-geophytic taxa sampled across all the angiosperms. The genome sizes of 96 species were adopted from the literature and 53 species were newly measured using flow cytometry with propidium iodide staining. Key Results The geophytes showed increased genome sizes compared with their non-geophytic relatives, regardless of the storage organ type and regardless of whether or not vernal geophytes, polyploids or annuals were included in the analyses. Conclusions The universal tendency of geophytes to possess a higher genome size suggests the presence of a universal mechanism allowing for genome expansion. It is assumed that this is primarily due to the nutrient and energetic independence of geophytes perhaps allowing continuous synthesis of DNA, which is known to proceed in the extreme cases of vernal geophytes even in dormant stages. This independence may also be assumed as a reason for allowing large genomes in some parasitic plants, as well as the nutrient limitation of small genomes of carnivorous plants. PMID:23960044

  2. Enhanced magnetic resonance imaging and staining of cancer cells using ferrimagnetic H-ferritin nanoparticles with increasing core size

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Yao; Cao, Changqian; He, Xiaoqing; Yang, Caiyun; Tian, Lanxiang; Zhu, Rixiang; Pan, Yongxin

    2015-01-01

    Purpose This study is to demonstrate the nanoscale size effect of ferrimagnetic H-ferritin (M-HFn) nanoparticles on magnetic properties, relaxivity, enzyme mimetic activities, and application in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and immunohistochemical staining of cancer cells. Materials and methods M-HFn nanoparticles with different sizes of magnetite cores in the range of 2.7–5.3 nm were synthesized through loading different amounts of iron into recombinant human H chain ferritin (HFn) shells. Core size, crystallinity, and magnetic properties of those M-HFn nanoparticles were analyzed by transmission electron microscope and low-temperature magnetic measurements. The MDA-MB-231 cancer cells were incubated with synthesized M-HFn nanoparticles for 24 hours in Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle’s Medium. In vitro MRI of cell pellets after M-HFn labeling was performed at 7 T. Iron uptake of cells was analyzed by Prussian blue staining and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Immunohistochemical staining by using the peroxidase-like activity of M-HFn nanoparticles was carried out on MDA-MB-231 tumor tissue paraffin sections. Results The saturation magnetization (Ms), relaxivity, and peroxidase-like activity of synthesized M-HFn nanoparticles were monotonously increased with the size of ferrimagnetic cores. The M-HFn nanoparticles with the largest core size of 5.3 nm exhibit the strongest saturation magnetization, the highest peroxidase activity in immunohistochemical staining, and the highest r2 of 321 mM−1 s−1, allowing to detect MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells as low as 104 cells mL−1. Conclusion The magnetic properties, relaxivity, and peroxidase-like activity of M-HFn nanoparticles are size dependent, which indicates that M-HFn nanoparticles with larger magnetite core can significantly enhance performance in MRI and staining of cancer cells. PMID:25878496

  3. Trophic niche width increases with bill-size variation in a generalist passerine: a test of niche variation hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Yu-Cheng; Shaner, Pei-Jen; Chang, Chun-I; Ke, Linhua; Kao, Shuh-Ji

    2014-03-01

    The niche variation hypothesis (NVH) predicts that populations with wider niches are phenotypically more variable than populations with narrower niches, which is frequently used to explain diversifying processes such as ecological release. However, not all empirical evidence supports the NVH. Furthermore, a relationship between population phenotypic variation and niche width can be caused by sexual selection or environmental gradients, which should be carefully considered along with competition in explaining niche variation. In this study, we used eight populations of a generalist passerine species, Paradoxornis webbianus (vinous-throated parrotbill), to test the NVH. We assessed evidence of ecological sexual dimorphism and environmental gradients in bill morphology of P. webbianus. A total of 170 P. webbianus from eight sites ranging 24-2668 m in altitude were included in this study. We used two principal components to quantify bill morphology: one describes bill size and the other describes bill slenderness. We used stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values of bird feathers to quantify trophic positions, and we estimated population trophic niche width using Bayesian standardized ellipse area. Paradoxornis webbianus with larger and more slender bills fed at higher trophic levels and population trophic niche width tended to increase with bill-size variation, supporting the NVH. The males had larger bills and marginally higher nitrogen isotope values than the females, suggesting ecological sexual dimorphism. Despite a positive correlation between bill size and wing length indicating sexual selection for larger male size, only three of the eight populations showed both male-biased bill size and male-biased wing length. Sexual dimorphism explained 13%-64% of bill-size variation across sites, suggesting its role in niche variation could vary greatly among populations. The variation in bill slenderness in P. webbianus increased with elevation. However, neither bill-size

  4. Enhanced Stomatal Conductance by a Spontaneous Arabidopsis Tetraploid, Me-0, Results from Increased Stomatal Size and Greater Stomatal Aperture.

    PubMed

    Monda, Keina; Araki, Hiromitsu; Kuhara, Satoru; Ishigaki, Genki; Akashi, Ryo; Negi, Juntaro; Kojima, Mikiko; Sakakibara, Hitoshi; Takahashi, Sho; Hashimoto-Sugimoto, Mimi; Goto, Nobuharu; Iba, Koh

    2016-03-01

    The rate of gas exchange in plants is regulated mainly by stomatal size and density. Generally, higher densities of smaller stomata are advantageous for gas exchange; however, it is unclear what the effect of an extraordinary change in stomatal size might have on a plant's gas-exchange capacity. We investigated the stomatal responses to CO2 concentration changes among 374 Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) ecotypes and discovered that Mechtshausen (Me-0), a natural tetraploid ecotype, has significantly larger stomata and can achieve a high stomatal conductance. We surmised that the cause of the increased stomatal conductance is tetraploidization; however, the stomatal conductance of another tetraploid accession, tetraploid Columbia (Col), was not as high as that in Me-0. One difference between these two accessions was the size of their stomatal apertures. Analyses of abscisic acid sensitivity, ion balance, and gene expression profiles suggested that physiological or genetic factors restrict the stomatal opening in tetraploid Col but not in Me-0. Our results show that Me-0 overcomes the handicap of stomatal opening that is typical for tetraploids and achieves higher stomatal conductance compared with the closely related tetraploid Col on account of larger stomatal apertures. This study provides evidence for whether larger stomatal size in tetraploids of higher plants can improve stomatal conductance.

  5. Increase of larger-sized islets in C57/black mice during the long-term space flight.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Proshchina, Alexandra; Krivova, Yulia

    groups are of unequal size. The P-value was considered significant if less than 0.05. The islets in all three groups have a typical for murine pancreas architecture. The insulin-containing cells occupied the central position in pancreatic islets and the glucagon-containing cells were localized at the periphery. Histomorphometric analyses revealed significant increase of islets size in flight group compared with vivarium ground control. Moreover, the islets in group of the delayed synchronous ground control were significant larger then in group of vivarium control. No significant differences were found in islet size between flight and delayed synchronous ground control groups, but analyses indicated the increase of larger-sized islets in mice of flight group compared with synchronous control. Thus the mean islets size correlated with the body weight. The literature data indicates that similar changes are also observed in mice under conditions of an increased demand for insulin such as pregnancy, obesity, diabetes etc. According to the literature data, the researches of activity of pancreas have shown the increase of pancreatic hormones (insulin and C-peptide) in blood of astronauts in the early period after completion of space flights of various durations. In our study, the increase of islets size occurred not only in mice from flight group, but also in synchronous ground control. For this group, the live conditions imitated those of flight group without the factors of spaceflight such as microgravity. Therefore, we supposed that the hypokinesia play an important role in alteration of islets size. Thus, our data confirms the hypothesis of association microgravity and its experimental paradigms with manifestations similar to those of physical inactivity and diabetes.

  6. Small particle size of a solid meal increases gastric emptying and late postprandial glycaemic response in diabetic subjects with gastroparesis.

    PubMed

    Olausson, Eva A; Alpsten, Magne; Larsson, Annhild; Mattsson, Håkan; Andersson, Henrik; Attvall, Stig

    2008-05-01

    Our goal was to investigate if food of small particle size increases the gastric emptying rate and lessens the fall in postprandial blood glucose in seven subjects with Type 1 diabetes and gastroparesis. Two solid meals of identical composition but of different particle size, with 5MBq (99m)Tc added to the meals, were ingested in randomized order in seven subjects with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus and gastroparesis and seven healthy subjects. During 180min blood glucose and insulin concentrations were measured and gastric emptying of the ingested meals was registered by a gamma camera. The lag phase in the stomach was significantly shorter, the radioactivity remaining in the stomach after 120min (T(120)) was significant less and the postprandial blood glucose dip was less and of shorter duration after a small particle (SP) meal, compared to a large particle (LP) meal in diabetic subjects. Gastric emptying did not differ significantly between groups after an SP meal. Food of small particle size increases the gastric emptying rate and reduces the postprandial blood glucose dip in both magnitude and duration in Type 1 diabetic subjects with gastroparesis, which is likely to be of importance in achieving good metabolic control.

  7. Overexpression of microRNA OsmiR397 improves rice yield by increasing grain size and promoting panicle branching.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yu-Chan; Yu, Yang; Wang, Cong-Ying; Li, Ze-Yuan; Liu, Qing; Xu, Jie; Liao, Jian-You; Wang, Xiao-Jing; Qu, Liang-Hu; Chen, Fan; Xin, Peiyong; Yan, Cunyu; Chu, Jinfang; Li, Hong-Qing; Chen, Yue-Qin

    2013-09-01

    Increasing grain yields is a major focus of crop breeders around the world. Here we report that overexpression of the rice microRNA (miRNA) OsmiR397, which is naturally highly expressed in young panicles and grains, enlarges grain size and promotes panicle branching, leading to an increase in overall grain yield of up to 25% in a field trial. To our knowledge, no previous report has shown a positive regulatory role of miRNA in the control of plant seed size and grain yield. We determined that OsmiR397 increases grain yield by downregulating its target, OsLAC, whose product is a laccase-like protein that we found to be involved in the sensitivity of plants to brassinosteroids. As miR397 is highly conserved across different species, our results suggest that manipulating miR397 may be useful for increasing grain yield not only in rice but also in other cereal crops.

  8. Selective-field-ionization dynamics of a lithium m=2 Rydberg state: Landau-Zener model versus quantal approach

    SciTech Connect

    Foerre, M.; Hansen, J.P.

    2003-05-01

    The selective-field-ionization (SFI) dynamics of a Rydberg state of lithium with magnetic quantum number m=2 is studied in detail based on two different theoretical models: (1) a close coupling integration of the Schroedinger equation and (2) the multichannel (incoherent) Landau-Zener (MLZ) model. The m=2 states are particularly interesting, since they define a border zone between fully adiabatic (m=0,1) and fully diabatic (m>2) ionization dynamics. Both sets of calculations are performed up to, and above, the classical ionization limit. It is found that the MLZ model is excellent in the description of the fully diabatic dynamics while certain discrepancies between the time dependent quantal amplitudes appear when the dynamics become involved. Thus, in this region, the analysis of experimental SFI spectra should be performed with care.

  9. Increase of third-order nonlinear optical activity of PbS quantum dots in zeolite Y by increasing cation size.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyun Sung; Yoon, Kyung Byung

    2012-02-08

    The third-order nonlinear optical (3NLO) activity of PbS quantum dots (QDs) encapsulated in zeolite Y has been expected to depend sensitively on the countercation of the zeolite host. However, ion exchange of the pristine countercation, H(+), with other cations has not been possible because the framework decomposes and the QDs aggregate immediately when the PbS QD-incorporating zeolite Y with H(+) as the countercation is exposed to the atmosphere. We now report that when H(+) is transformed to NH(4)(+), the framework of PbS QD-containing zeolite Y does not undergo decomposition and the PbS QDs do not undergo aggregation to form larger QDs during the aqueous ion exchange of NH(4)(+) with alkali-metal ions (M(A)(+) = Li, Na(+), K(+), Rb(+)). The 3NLO activity of the M(A)(+)-exchanged PbS QD-incorporating zeolite Y film increases with increasing size of M(A)(+). The stabilization of the surface-bound exciton by the electron-rich framework oxide and electron-poor cation is proposed to be responsible for the increase. This is the first example of a method for systematically increasing the 3NLO activity of QDs dispersed in a dielectric matrix by systematically changing its properties. These results will serve as a guideline for future research and also promote applications of QD-incorporating zeolites in various fields.

  10. Demographic population model for American shad: will access to additional habitat upstream of dams increase population sizes?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harris, Julianne E.; Hightower, Joseph E.

    2012-01-01

    American shad Alosa sapidissima are in decline in their native range, and modeling possible management scenarios could help guide their restoration. We developed a density-dependent, deterministic, stage-based matrix model to predict the population-level results of transporting American shad to suitable spawning habitat upstream of dams on the Roanoke River, North Carolina and Virginia. We used data on sonic-tagged adult American shad and oxytetracycline-marked American shad fry both above and below dams on the Roanoke River with information from other systems to estimate a starting population size and vital rates. We modeled the adult female population over 30 years under plausible scenarios of adult transport, effective fecundity (egg production), and survival of adults (i.e., to return to spawn the next year) and juveniles (from spawned egg to age 1). We also evaluated the potential effects of increased survival for adults and juveniles. The adult female population size in the Roanoke River was estimated to be 5,224. With no transport, the model predicted a slow population increase over the next 30 years. Predicted population increases were highest when survival was improved during the first year of life. Transport was predicted to benefit the population only if high rates of effective fecundity and juvenile survival could be achieved. Currently, transported adults and young are less likely to successfully out-migrate than individuals below the dams, and the estimated adult population size is much smaller than either of two assumed values of carrying capacity for the lower river; therefore, transport is not predicted to help restore the stock under present conditions. Research on survival rates, density-dependent processes, and the impacts of structures to increase out-migration success would improve evaluation of the potential benefits of access to additional spawning habitat for American shad.

  11. Large and abundant flowers increase indirect costs of corollas: a study of coflowering sympatric Mediterranean species of contrasting flower size.

    PubMed

    Teixido, Alberto L; Valladares, Fernando

    2013-09-01

    Large floral displays receive more pollinator visits but involve higher production and maintenance costs. This can result in indirect costs which may negatively affect functions like reproductive output. In this study, we explored the relationship between floral display and indirect costs in two pairs of coflowering sympatric Mediterranean Cistus of contrasting flower size. We hypothesized that: (1) corolla production entails direct costs in dry mass, N and P, (2) corollas entail significant indirect costs in terms of fruit set and seed production, (3) indirect costs increase with floral display, (4) indirect costs are greater in larger-flowered sympatric species, and (5) local climatic conditions influence indirect costs. We compared fruit set and seed production of petal-removed flowers and unmanipulated control flowers and evaluated the influence of mean flower number and mean flower size on relative fruit and seed gain of petal-removed and control flowers. Fruit set and seed production were significantly higher in petal-removed flowers in all the studied species. A positive relationship was found between relative fruit gain and mean individual flower size within species. In one pair of species, fruit gain was higher in the large-flowered species, as was the correlation between fruit gain and mean number of open flowers. In the other pair, the correlation between fruit gain and mean flower size was also higher in the large-flowered species. These results reveal that Mediterranean environments impose significant constraints on floral display, counteracting advantages of large flowers from the pollination point of view with increased indirect costs of such flowers.

  12. Does the invasive Lupinus polyphyllus increase pollinator visitation to a native herb through effects on pollinator population sizes?

    PubMed

    Jakobsson, Anna; Padrón, Benigno

    2014-01-01

    Invasive plants may compete with native species for abiotic factors as light, space and nutrients, and have also been shown to affect native pollination interactions. Studies have mainly focused on how invasive plants affect pollinator behaviour, i.e. attraction of pollinators to or away from native flowers. However, when an invasive plant provides resources utilized by native pollinators this could increase pollinator population sizes and thereby pollination success in natives. Effects mediated through changes in pollinator population sizes have been largely ignored in previous studies, and the dominance of negative interactions suggested by meta-analyses may therefore be biased. We investigated the impact of the invasive Lupinus polyphyllus on pollination in the native Lotus corniculatus using a study design comparing invaded and uninvaded sites before and after the flowering period of the invasive. We monitored wild bee abundance in transects, and visit rate and seed production of potted Lotus plants. Bumblebee abundance increased 3.9 times in invaded sites during the study period, whereas it was unaltered in uninvaded sites. Total visit rate per Lotus plant increased 2.1 times in invaded sites and decreased 4.4 times in uninvaded sites. No corresponding change in seed production of Lotus was found. The increase in visit rate to Lotus was driven by an increase in solitary bee visitation, whereas mainly bumblebees were observed to visit the invasive Lupinus. The mechanism by which the invasive increases pollinator visit rates to Lotus could be increased availability of other flower resources for solitary bees when bumblebees forage on Lupinus.

  13. On the evolutionary consequences of increasing litter size with multiple paternity in wild boar (Sus scrofa scrofa).

    PubMed

    Gayet, Thibault; Devillard, Sébastien; Gamelon, Marlène; Brandt, Serge; Say, Ludovic; Baubet, Eric

    2016-06-01

    Understanding how some species may be able to evolve quickly enough to deal with anthropogenic pressure is of prime interest in evolutionary biology, conservation, and management. Wild boar (Sus scrofa scrofa) populations keep growing all over Europe despite increasing hunting pressure. In wild boar populations subject to male-selective harvesting, the initially described polygynous mating system may switch to a promiscuous/polyandrous one. Such a change in the mating system, where potentially more males sire a litter at one reproductive event, may be associated with the retention of high genetic diversity and an increase of litter size. We tested these hypotheses by estimating the number of sires per litter based on a six-year long monitoring of a wild boar population subject to particularly high harvesting pressure. Our results show a high and stable genetic diversity and high rates of multiple paternity compared to other populations, thus depicting a promiscuous/polyandrous mating system in this population. We also show that litter size is positively linked to the number of sires, suggesting that multiple paternity increases fecundity. We finally discuss that multiple paternity may be one of the factors allowing rapid evolution of this population by maintaining both genetic and phenotypic diversity.

  14. Extracellular protons reduce quantal content and prolong synaptic currents at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction.

    PubMed

    Sandstrom, David J

    2011-10-01

    Fluctuations in extracellular pH occur in the nervous system in response to a number of physiological and pathological processes, such as ischemia, hypercapnea, and high-frequency activity. Using the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction, the author has examined acute effects of low and high pH on excitability and synaptic transmission. Acidification rapidly and reversibly reduces the size of electrically evoked excitatory junctional currents (EJCs) in a concentration-dependent manner, with transmission nearly abolished at pH 5.0. Conversely, raising pH to 7.8 increases EJC amplitude significantly. Further elevation to pH 8.5 causes an initial increase in amplitude, followed by profound, long-lasting depression of the synapse. Amplitudes of spontaneous miniature EJCs (mEJCs) are modestly, but significantly reduced at pH 5.0. It is therefore the number of quanta released per action potential, rather than the size of individual quanta, that is most strongly affected. Decay times of both EJCs and mEJCs are dramatically lengthened at low pH, suggesting that glutamate remains in the synaptic cleft for much longer than normal. Presynaptic excitability is also reduced, as indicated by increased latency between nerve shock and EJC onset. The response to low pH was not altered by mutations in genes encoding Transient Receptor Potential, Mucolipin subfamily (TRPML) and Slowpoke ion channels, which had previously been implicated as possible targets of extracellular protons. The author concludes that extracellular protons have strong effects on the release of glutamate and the time course of synaptic currents. These phenotypes can be exploited to study the mechanisms of acid-mediated changes in neuronal function, and to pursue the way in which pH modulates synaptic function in normal and pathophysiological conditions.

  15. Per-capita Incidence of Sexually Transmitted Infections Increases Systematically with Urban Population Size: a cross-sectional study

    PubMed Central

    Patterson-Lomba, Oscar; Goldstein, Edward; Gómez-Liévano, Andrés; Castillo-Chavez, Carlos; Towers, Sherry

    2015-01-01

    Objectives Rampant urbanization rates across the globe demand that we improve our understanding of how infectious diseases spread in modern urban landscapes, where larger and more connected host populations enhance the thriving capacity of certain pathogens. Methods A data-driven approach is employed to study the ability of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) to thrive in urban areas. The conduciveness of population size of urban areas and their socio-economic characteristics are used as predictors of disease incidence, using confirmed-case data on STDs in the United States as a case study. Results A superlinear relation between STD incidence and urban population size is found, even after controlling for various socio-economic aspects, suggesting that doubling the population size of a city results in an expected increase in STD incidence larger than twofold, provided that all other socio-economic aspects remain fixed. Additionally, the percentage of African Americans, income inequalities, education, and per capita income are found to have a significant impact on the incidence of each of the three STDs studied. Conclusions STDs disproportionally concentrate in larger cities. Hence, larger urban areas merit extra prevention and treatment efforts, especially in developing countries where urbanization rates are higher. PMID:25921021

  16. Per capita incidence of sexually transmitted infections increases systematically with urban population size: a cross-sectional study.

    PubMed

    Patterson-Lomba, Oscar; Goldstein, Edward; Gómez-Liévano, Andrés; Castillo-Chavez, Carlos; Towers, Sherry

    2015-12-01

    Rampant urbanisation rates across the globe demand that we improve our understanding of how infectious diseases spread in modern urban landscapes, where larger and more connected host populations enhance the thriving capacity of certain pathogens. A data-driven approach is employed to study the ability of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) to thrive in urban areas. The conduciveness of population size of urban areas and their socioeconomic characteristics are used as predictors of disease incidence, using confirmed-case data on STDs in the USA as a case study. A superlinear relation between STD incidence and urban population size is found, even after controlling for various socioeconomic aspects, suggesting that doubling the population size of a city results in an expected increase in STD incidence larger than twofold, provided that all other socioeconomic aspects remain fixed. Additionally, the percentage of African-Americans, income inequalities, education and per capita income are found to have a significant impact on the incidence of each of the three STDs studied. STDs disproportionately concentrate in larger cities. Hence, larger urban areas merit extra prevention and treatment efforts, especially in low-income and middle-income countries where urbanisation rates are higher. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

  17. The art of braking: Post saccadic oscillations in the eye tracker signal decrease with increasing saccade size.

    PubMed

    Hooge, Ignace; Nyström, Marcus; Cornelissen, Tim; Holmqvist, Kenneth

    2015-07-01

    Recent research has shown that the pupil signal from video-based eye trackers contains post saccadic oscillations (PSOs). These reflect pupil motion relative to the limbus (Nyström, Hooge, & Holmqvist, 2013). More knowledge about video-based eye tracker signals is essential to allow comparison between the findings obtained from modern systems, and those of older eye tracking technologies (e.g. coils and measurement of the Dual Purkinje Image-DPI). We investigated PSOs in horizontal and vertical saccades of different sizes with two high quality video eye trackers. PSOs were very similar within observers, but not between observers. PSO amplitude decreased with increasing saccade size, and this effect was even stronger in vertical saccades; PSOs were almost absent in large vertical saccades. Based on this observation we conclude that the occurrence of PSOs is related to deceleration at the end of a saccade. That PSOs are saccade size dependent and idiosyncratic is a problem for algorithmic determination of saccade endings. Careful description of the eye tracker, its signal, and the procedure used to extract saccades is required to enable researchers to compare data from different eye trackers.

  18. L1 insertion within SPEF2 gene is associated with increased litter size in the Finnish Yorkshire population.

    PubMed

    Sironen, A; Uimari, P; Iso-Touru, T; Vilkki, J

    2012-04-01

    Immotile, short-tail sperm defect (ISTS) expanded in the Finnish Yorkshire population in the end of 1990s. The causal mutation for this defect is a recent L1 insertion within the SPEF2 gene in chromosome 16. Even though all homozygous boars are eliminated from the population because of infertility, the amount of affected boars increased rapidly until marker-assisted selection against the defect was established. To elucidate the associated effects of the ISTS defect on production traits, we have investigated the association of the L1 insertion and PRLR haplotype with reproduction traits in the Finnish Yorkshire population. Two data sets including 357 sows and 491 AI-boars were genotyped for the presence of the L1 insertion and analysed for association with reproduction traits. A Proc Mixed procedure (SAS Inc) and a software package for analysing multivariate mixed models (DMU) were used to study the effect of polymorphisms on reproduction traits. The L1-insertion within SPEF2 gene was associated with litter size in the first parity. The SPEF2 gene is located adjacent to a candidate gene for litter size in the pig, PRLR. Haplotypes within PRLR exon 10 were analysed in data set of 93 AI-boars for the association with reproduction traits. However, no associations were detected within the analysed data set indicating that PRLR sequence variants are not the causal cause for the identified effect on litter size.

  19. Combination of PLR, MLR, MWR, and Tumor Size Could Significantly Increase the Prognostic Value for Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Fan; Tian, Yangzi; Liu, Shushang; Zheng, Gaozan; Liu, Zhen; Xu, Guanghui; Guo, Man; Lian, Xiao; Fan, Daiming; Zhang, Hongwei

    2016-01-01

    category. The combination of tumor size, MLR, PLR, and MWR could further increase the predictive value of prognosis of GISTs. PMID:27057867

  20. Increased cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase expression and size of the bile acid pool in the lactating rat

    PubMed Central

    Wooton-Kee, Clavia Ruth; Cohen, David E.; Vore, Mary

    2008-01-01

    Maximal bile acid secretory rates and expression of bile acid transporters in liver and ileum are increased in lactation, possibly to facilitate increased enterohepatic recirculation of bile acids. We determined changes in the size and composition of the bile acid pool and key enzymes of the bile acid synthetic pathway [cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (Cyp7a1), sterol 27-hydroxylase (Cyp27a1), and sterol 12α-hydroxylase (Cyp8b1)] in lactating rats relative to female virgin controls. The bile acid pool increased 1.9 to 2.5-fold [postpartum (PP) days 10, 14, and 19–23], compared with controls. A 1.5-fold increase in cholic acids and a 14 to 20% decrease in muricholic acids in lactation significantly increased the hydrophobicity index. In contrast, the hepatic concentration of bile acids and small heterodimer partner mRNA were unchanged in lactation. A 2.8-fold increase in Cyp7a1 mRNA expression at 16 h (10 h of light) demonstrated a shift in the diurnal rhythm at day 10 PP; Cyp7a1 protein expression and cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase activity were significantly increased at this time and remained elevated at day 14 PP but decreased to control levels by day 21 PP. There was an overall decrease in Cyp27a1 mRNA expression and a 20% decrease in Cyp27a1 protein expression, but there was no change in Cyp8b1 mRNA or protein expression at day 10 PP. The increase in Cyp7a1 expression PP provides a mechanism for the increase in the bile acid pool. PMID:18292185

  1. A tetraethylene glycol coat gives gold nanoparticles long in vivo half-lives with minimal increase in size

    PubMed Central

    Willett, Julian DS; Lawrence, Marlon G; Wilder, Jennifer C; Smithies, Oliver

    2017-01-01

    In this study, we describe the experiments determining whether coating gold nanoparticles with tetraethylene glycol (TEG) provides pharmacologically relevant advantages, such as increased serum half-life and resistance to protein adsorption. Monodisperse TEG-coated, NaBH4-reduced gold nanoparticles with a hydrodynamic size comparable to albumin were synthesized by reducing gold chloride with NaBH4 under alkaline conditions in the presence of TEG-SH. The particles were characterized by gel electrophoresis, column chromatography, and transmission electron microscopy. The nanoparticles were subsequently injected intravenously into mice, and their half-lives and final destinations were determined via photometric analysis, light microscopy (LM), and transmission electron microscopy. The TEG particles had a long half-life (~400 minutes) that was not influenced by splenectomy. After 500 minutes of injection, TEG particles were found in kidney proximal tubule cell vesicles and in spleen red and white pulp. The particles induced apoptosis in the spleen red pulp but not in white pulp or the kidney. Some of the TEG particles appeared to have undergone ligand exchange reactions that increased their charge. The TEG particles were shown to be resistant to nonspecific protein adsorption, as judged by gel electrophoresis and column chromatography. These results demonstrate that naturally monodisperse, small-sized gold nanoparticles coated with TEG have long in vivo plasma half-lives, are minimally toxic, and are resistant to protein adsorption. This suggests that a TEG coating should be considered as an alternative to a polyethylene glycol coating, which is polydisperse and of much larger size. PMID:28408825

  2. MicroCT and microMRI imaging of a prenatal mouse model of increased brain size

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López, Elisabeth K. N.; Stock, Stuart R.; Taketo, Makoto M.; Chenn, Anjen; Ravosa, Matthew J.

    2008-08-01

    There are surprisingly few experimental models of neural growth and cranial integration. This and the dearth of information regarding fetal brain development detract from a mechanistic understanding of cranial integration and its relevance to the patterning of skull form, specifically the role of encephalization on basicranial flexion. To address this shortcoming, our research uses transgenic mice expressing a stabilized form of β-catenin to isolate the effects of relative brain size on craniofacial development. These mice develop highly enlarged brains due to an increase in neural precursors, and differences between transgenic and wild-type mice are predicted to result solely from variation in brain size. Comparisons of wild-type and transgenic mice at several prenatal ages were performed using microCT (Scanco Medical MicroCT 40) and microMRI (Avance 600 WB MR spectrometer). Statistical analyses show that the larger brain of the transgenic mice is associated with a larger neurocranium and an altered basicranial morphology. However, body size and postcranial ossification do not seem to be affected by the transgene. Comparisons of the rate of postcranial and cranial ossification using microCT also point to an unexpected effect of neural growth on skull development: increased fetal encephalization may result in a compensatory decrease in the level of cranial ossification. Therefore, if other life history factors are held constant, the ontogeny of a metabolically costly structure such as a brain may occur at the expense of other cranial structures. These analyses indicate the benefits of a multifactorial approach to cranial integration using a mouse model.

  3. A tetraethylene glycol coat gives gold nanoparticles long in vivo half-lives with minimal increase in size.

    PubMed

    Willett, Julian Ds; Lawrence, Marlon G; Wilder, Jennifer C; Smithies, Oliver

    2017-01-01

    In this study, we describe the experiments determining whether coating gold nanoparticles with tetraethylene glycol (TEG) provides pharmacologically relevant advantages, such as increased serum half-life and resistance to protein adsorption. Monodisperse TEG-coated, NaBH4-reduced gold nanoparticles with a hydrodynamic size comparable to albumin were synthesized by reducing gold chloride with NaBH4 under alkaline conditions in the presence of TEG-SH. The particles were characterized by gel electrophoresis, column chromatography, and transmission electron microscopy. The nanoparticles were subsequently injected intravenously into mice, and their half-lives and final destinations were determined via photometric analysis, light microscopy (LM), and transmission electron microscopy. The TEG particles had a long half-life (~400 minutes) that was not influenced by splenectomy. After 500 minutes of injection, TEG particles were found in kidney proximal tubule cell vesicles and in spleen red and white pulp. The particles induced apoptosis in the spleen red pulp but not in white pulp or the kidney. Some of the TEG particles appeared to have undergone ligand exchange reactions that increased their charge. The TEG particles were shown to be resistant to nonspecific protein adsorption, as judged by gel electrophoresis and column chromatography. These results demonstrate that naturally monodisperse, small-sized gold nanoparticles coated with TEG have long in vivo plasma half-lives, are minimally toxic, and are resistant to protein adsorption. This suggests that a TEG coating should be considered as an alternative to a polyethylene glycol coating, which is polydisperse and of much larger size.

  4. Increase in ceramide level after application of various sizes of sphingomyelin liposomes to a cultured human skin model.

    PubMed

    Tokudome, Y; Jinno, M; Todo, H; Kon, T; Sugibayashi, K; Hashimoto, F

    2011-01-01

    Sphingomyelin-based liposomes (SPM-L) that were sized (or not) by extrusion through a filter with pores of 100, 200, or 400 nm were applied to a three-dimensional cultured human skin model in order to evaluate which size of SPM-L was most effective at increasing its ceramide level. The diameters of the SPM-L in PBS were 102.7, 181.0, 224.0, and 380.1 nm. The diameters of the liposomes in the culture medium were 117.5, 199.2, 242.1, and 749.8 nm. The diameter of the small liposomes (<200 nm in diameter) did not change much, at least for 7 days. SPM-L in saline or culture medium were applied to the basal layer side or stratum corneum side of the cultured skin model, and ceramide II, III, V, and VI were then extracted from it. The extracted ceramide molecules were separated by HPTLC, and the concentration of each type of ceramide was quantified using a densitometer. When the small SPM-L (110 or 190 nm in diameter) were applied to the basal layer side, the levels of ceramide III and V were increased. When they were applied to the stratum corneum side, the levels of ceramide II, III, V, and VI were significantly increased compared to those of the PBS group, especially after the application of the small SPM-L (110 nm in diameter). Thus, the application of small SPM-L was useful for increasing the ceramide II, III, V, and VI levels of a cultured human skin model.

  5. Preharvest application of oxalic acid increased fruit size, bioactive compounds, and antioxidant capacity in sweet cherry cultivars (Prunus avium L.).

    PubMed

    Martínez-Esplá, Alejandra; Zapata, Pedro Javier; Valero, Daniel; García-Viguera, Cristina; Castillo, Salvador; Serrano, María

    2014-04-16

    Trees of 'Sweet Heart' and 'Sweet Late' sweet cherry cultivars (Prunus avium L.) were treated with oxalic acid (OA) at 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 mM at 98, 112, and 126 days after full blossom. Results showed that all treatments increased fruit size at harvest, manifested by higher fruit volume and weight in cherries from treated trees than from controls, the higher effect being found with 2.0 mM OA (18 and 30% higher weight for 'Sweet Heart' and 'Sweet Late', respectively). Other quality parameters, such as color and firmness, were also increased by OA treatments, although no significant differences were found in total soluble solids or total acidity, showing that OA treatments did not affect the on-tree ripening process of sweet cherry. However, the increases in total anthocyanins, total phenolics, and antioxidant activity associated with the ripening process were higher in treated than in control cherries, leading to fruit with high bioactive compounds and antioxidant potential at commercial harvest (≅45% more anthocyanins and ≅20% more total phenolics). In addition, individual anthocyanins, flavonols, and chlorogenic acid derivatives were also increased by OA treatment. Thus, OA preharvest treatments could be an efficient and natural way to increase the quality and functional properties of sweet cherries.

  6. Mineral particle size in children with osteogenesis imperfecta type I is not increased independently of specific collagen mutations.

    PubMed

    Fratzl-Zelman, Nadja; Schmidt, Ingo; Roschger, Paul; Glorieux, Francis H; Klaushofer, Klaus; Fratzl, Peter; Rauch, Frank; Wagermaier, Wolfgang

    2014-03-01

    Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) type I represents the mildest form of OI and is usually caused by two classes of autosomal dominant mutations in collagen type I: haploinsufficiency leading to a reduced quantity of structurally normal collagen (quantitative mutation), or sequence abnormalities generating structurally aberrant collagen chains (qualitative mutation). An abnormally high bone matrix mineralization has been observed in all OI cases investigated so far, independently of mutation type. This raises the question whether the increased amount of mineral is due to mineral particles growing to larger sizes or to a higher number of more densely packed particles. For this reason, we revisit the problem by investigating the mineral particle size in cancellous bone from two subsets of the previously analyzed biopsies (patient's age: 2-4.2 and 7.6-11years) comparing OI quantitative mutations (n=5), OI qualitative mutations (n=5) and controls (n=6). We used a combined small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) setup with a beam diameter of 10μm of synchrotron radiation, which allows the determination of mineral particle characteristics in 10μm thick sections at the same positions where the matrix mineralization density was previously determined. The thickness parameter of mineral particles (T) was obtained from SAXS data and the mineral volume fraction was calculated from the mean calcium content of the bone matrix determined by quantitative back-scattered electron imaging (qBEI). The combination of these two quantities allowed calculating the true particle width (W) of the plate-like mineral crystals. T was larger in the older than in the younger age-group independently of genotype (p<0.004) and was larger in the controls than in each OI group. The qBEI results showed that the mineral volume fraction increased from 32.45wt.% in controls to 36.44wt.% in both OI groups (corresponding to a 12% increase in relative terms). Combining these

  7. Diabetes Increases Cryoinjury Size with Associated Effects on Cx43 Gap Junction Function and Phosphorylation in the Mouse Heart

    PubMed Central

    Palatinus, Joseph A.; Gourdie, Robert G.

    2016-01-01

    Diabetic patients develop larger myocardial infarctions and have an increased risk of death following a heart attack. The poor response to myocardial injury in the diabetic heart is likely related to the many metabolic derangements from diabetes that create a poor substrate in general for wound healing, response to injury and infection. Studies in rodents have implicated a role for the gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43) in regulating the injury response in diabetic skin wounds. In this study, we sought to determine whether diabetes alters Cx43 molecular interactions or intracellular communication in the cryoinjured STZ type I diabetic mouse heart. We found that epicardial cryoinjury size is increased in diabetic mice and this increase is prevented by preinjury insulin administration. Consistent with these findings, we found that intercellular coupling via gap junctions is decreased after insulin administration in diabetic and nondiabetic mice. This decrease in coupling is associated with a concomitant increase in phosphorylation of Cx43 at serine 368, a residue known to decrease channel conductance. Taken together, our results suggest that insulin regulates both gap junction-mediated intercellular communication and injury propagation in the mouse heart. PMID:27034963

  8. Expanding the genetic counseling workforce: program directors' views on increasing the size of genetic counseling graduate programs.

    PubMed

    Pan, Vivian; Yashar, Beverly M; Pothast, Rachel; Wicklund, Catherine

    2016-08-01

    Although there is an anticipated need for more genetic counselors, little is known about limitations at the graduate training level. We evaluated opportunities for growth of the genetic counseling (GC) workforce by exploring program directors' perspectives on increasing number of graduate trainees. Thirty US-based GC program directors (PDs) were recruited through the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors' listserv. Online surveys and semistructured phone interviews were used to explore factors impacting the expansion of the GC workforce. Twenty-five PDs completed the survey; 18 interviews were conducted. Seventy-three percent said they believe that the workforce is growing too slowly and the number of graduates should increase. Attitudes were mixed regarding whether the job market should be the main factor driving workforce expansion. Thematic analysis of transcripts identified barriers to program expansion in six categories: funding, accreditation requirements, clinical sites, faculty availability, applicant pool, and physical space. General consensus among participants indicates the importance of increasing the capacity of the GC workforce pipeline. Addressing funding issues, examining current accreditation requirements, and reevaluating current education models may be effective strategies to expanding GC program size. Future research on increasing the number of GC programs and a needs assessment for GC services are suggested.Genet Med 18 8, 842-849.

  9. Cosecretion of Chaperones and Low-Molecular-Size Medium Additives Increases the Yield of Recombinant Disulfide-Bridged Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Schäffner, Jörg; Winter, Jeannette; Rudolph, Rainer; Schwarz, Elisabeth

    2001-01-01

    Attempts were made to engineer the periplasm of Escherichia coli to an expression compartment of heterologous proteins in their native conformation. As a first approach the low-molecular-size additive l-arginine and the redox compound glutathione (GSH) were added to the culture medium. Addition of 0.4 M l-arginine and 5 mM reduced GSH increased the yield of a native tissue-type plasminogen activator variant (rPA), consisting of the kringle-2 and the protease domain, and a single-chain antibody fragment (scFv) up to 10- and 37-fold, respectively. A variety of other medium additives also had positive effects on the yield of rPA. In a second set of experiments, the effects of cosecreted ATP-independent molecular chaperones on the yields of native therapeutic proteins were investigated. At optimized conditions, cosecretion of E. coli DnaJ or murine Hsp25 increased the yield of native rPA by a factor of 170 and 125, respectively. Cosecretion of DnaJ also dramatically increased the amount of a second model protein, native proinsulin, in the periplasm. The results of this study are anticipated to initiate a series of new approaches to increase the yields of native, disulfide-bridged, recombinant proteins in the periplasm of E. coli. PMID:11525996

  10. Increased Back-Bonding Explains Step-Edge Reactivity and Particle Size Effect for CO Activation on Ru Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Foppa, Lucas; Copéret, Christophe; Comas-Vives, Aleix

    2016-12-28

    Carbon monoxide is a ubiquitous molecule, a key feedstock and intermediate in chemical processes. Its adsorption and activation, typically carried out on metallic nanoparticles (NPs), are strongly dependent on the particle size. In particular, small NPs, which in principle contain more corner and step-edge atoms, are surprisingly less reactive than larger ones. Hereby, first-principles calculations on explicit Ru NP models (1-2 nm) show that both small and large NPs can present step-edge sites (e.g., B5 and B6 sites). However, such sites display strong particle-size-dependent reactivity because of very subtle differences in local chemical bonding. State-of-the-art crystal orbital Hamilton population analysis allows a detailed molecular orbital picture of adsorbed CO on step-edges, which can be classified as flat (η(1) coordination) and concave (η(2) coordination) sites. Our analysis shows that the CO π-metal dπ hybrid band responsible for the electron back-donation is better represented by an oxygen lone pair on flat sites, whereas it is delocalized on both C and O atoms on concave sites, increasing the back-bonding on these sites compared to flat step-edges or low-index surface sites. The bonding analysis also rationalizes why CO cleavage is easier on step-edge sites of large NPs compared to small ones irrespective of the site geometry. The lower reactivity of small NPs is due to the smaller extent of the Ru-O interaction in the η(2) adsorption mode, which destabilizes the η(2) transition-state structure for CO direct cleavage. Our findings provide a molecular understanding of the reactivity of CO on NPs, which is consistent with the observed particle size effect.

  11. Increasing the physical size and nucleation status of human pluripotent stem cell-derived ventricular cardiomyocytes by cell fusion.

    PubMed

    Kong, Chi-Wing; Chen, Shuxun; Geng, Lin; Shum, Angie Man-Yee; Sun, Dong; Li, Ronald A

    2017-03-01

    Human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs) provide an unlimited source of donor cells for potential cardiac regenerative therapies. However, hPSC-CMs are immature. For instance, hPSC-CMs are only 1/10 of the physical size of their adult counterparts; the majority are mono- rather than bi- or multi-nucleated, which is an evolutionary adaptive feature in metabolically active cells such as adult CMs. Here, we attempted to increase the physical size and nucleation status of hPSC-derived ventricular (V) cardiomyocytes (hPSC-VCMs) using chemically-induced cell fusion, and examined the subsequent functional effects. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) was employed to fuse a 1:1 mixture of lentiviral vectors LV-MLC2v-GFP- or -tdTomato-labeled hPSC-VCMs, such that hPSC-VCMs fused syncytia (FS) were identified as doubly GFP(+)/tdTomato(+) multi-nucleated cells. These microscopically-identified FS were doubled in size as gauged by their capacitance when compared to the control mononucleated hPSC-VCMs using patch-clamp analysis. Reduced automaticity or action potential (AP) firing rate and moderately prolonged AP duration were observed in FS from day 6 post-fusion induction. However, Ca(2+) handling, mitochondrial biogenesis and the extent of apoptosis were not significantly altered. We conclude that larger, multi-nucleated hPSC-VCMs FS can be created by chemically-induced cell fusion but global maturation requires additional triggering cues.

  12. Apolipoprotein M expression increases the size of nascent pre beta HDL formed by ATP binding cassette transporter A1.

    PubMed

    Mulya, Anny; Seo, Jeongmin; Brown, Amanda L; Gebre, Abraham K; Boudyguina, Elena; Shelness, Gregory S; Parks, John S

    2010-03-01

    Apolipoprotein M (apoM) is a novel apolipoprotein that is reportedly necessary for pre beta HDL formation; however, its detailed function remains unknown. We investigated the biogenesis and properties of apoM and its effects on the initial steps of nascent pre beta HDL assembly by ABCA1 in HEK293 cells. Transiently transfected apoM was localized primarily in the endomembrane compartment. Pulse-chase analyses demonstrated that apoM is inefficiently secreted, relative to human serum albumin, and that approximately 50% remains membrane-associated after extraction with sodium carbonate, pH 11.5. To investigate the role of apoM in nascent pre beta HDL formation, ABCA1-expressing or control cells, transfected with empty vector, apoM, or C-terminal epitope-tagged apoM (apoM-C-FLAG), were incubated with (125)I-apoA-I for 24 h. Conditioned media were harvested and fractionated by fast-protein liquid chromatography (FPLC) to monitor HDL particle size. Pre beta HDL particles were formed effectively in the absence of apoM expression; however, increased apoM expression stimulated the formation of larger-sized nascent pre beta HDLs. Immunoprecipitation with anti-apoA-I antibody followed by apoM Western blot analysis revealed that little secreted apoM was physically associated with pre beta HDL. Our results suggest that apoM is an atypical secretory protein that is not necessary for ABCA1-dependent pre beta HDL formation but does stimulate the formation of larger-sized pre beta HDL. We propose that apoM may function catalytically at an intracellular site to transfer lipid onto pre beta HDL during or after their formation by ABCA1.

  13. Effect of penile-extender device in increasing penile size in men with shortened penis: preliminary results.

    PubMed

    Nikoobakht, Mohammadreza; Shahnazari, Alireza; Rezaeidanesh, Maedeh; Mehrsai, Abdolrasoul; Pourmand, Gholamreza

    2011-11-01

    It has been suggested that the application of penile-extender devices increases penile length and circumference. However, there are a few scientific studies in this field. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of a penile-extender (Golden Erect(®) , Ronas Tajhiz Teb, Tehran, Iran) in increasing penile size. This prospective study was performed on subjects complaining about "short penis" who were presented to our clinic between September 15, 2008 and December 15, 2008. After measuring the penile length in flaccid and stretched forms and penile circumference, patients were instructed to wear Golden Erect(®) , 4-6 hours per day during the first 2 weeks and then 9 hours per day until the end of the third month. The subjects were also trained how to increase the force of the device during determined intervals. The patients were visited at the end of the first and third months, and penile length and circumference were measured and compared with baseline. The primary end point of the study was changes in flaccid and stretched penile lengths compared with the baseline size during the 3 months follow-up. Twenty-three cases with a mean age of 26.5 ± 8.1 years entered the study. The mean flaccid penile length increased from 8.8 ± 1.2 cm to 10.1 ± 1.2 cm and 10.5 ± 1.2 cm, respectively, in the first and third months of follow-up, which was statistically significant (P < 0.05). Mean stretched penile length also significantly increased from 11.5 ± 1.0 cm to, respectively, 12.4 ± 1.3 cm and 13.2 ± 1.4 cm during the first and second follow-up (P < 0.05). No significant difference was found regarding proximal penile girth. However, it was not the same regarding the circumference of the glans penis (9.3 ± 0.86 cm vs. 8.8 ± 0.66 cm, P < 0.05). Our findings supported the efficacy of the device in increasing penile length. Our result also suggested the possibility of glans penis girth enhancement using penile extender. Performing more studies is recommended.

  14. Enhanced increase in pharyngeal airway size in Japanese class II children following a 1-year treatment with an activator appliance.

    PubMed

    Horihata, Atsushi; Ueda, Hiroshi; Koh, Myongsun; Watanabe, Genki; Tanne, Kazuo

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the upper airway soft-tissue structures in Class IIJapanese children following activator treatment by means of cephalometric analysis. A lateral cephalometric radiograph was taken of each patient at Ti (prior to the placement of the activator; mean age: 11 years, 5 months) and T2 (after 1 year of activator treatment; mean age: 12 years, 5 months). Tracings of the lateral cephalometric radiographs were made on acetate paper, and several soft-tissue points and contours of the tongue, soft palate, hyoid, and pharynx were digitised. The sizes of the oropharynx and hypopharynx were significantly smaller in Class II patients than in Class I patients. Moreover, significant differences were observed in the sizes of the tongue and soft palate between Class I and II patients at the age of 12. In terms of the ratio of change relative to the initial values between the 2 skeletal patterns, the width and dimension of the pharyngeal airway in Class II patients showed considerable increases after activator use. The pharyngeal airway soft tissue structures of Class I patients using the activator exceeded normal growth after 1 year. This finding suggests that correction ofskeletal Class II discrepancies by the activator in orthodontic treatment could reduce the risk of respiratory problems, such as severe snoring, obstructive sleep apnoea, and excessive daytime sleepiness in the future.

  15. The codA transgene for glycinebetaine synthesis increases the size of flowers and fruits in tomato.

    PubMed

    Park, Eung-Jun; Jeknić, Zoran; Jekncić, Zoran; Chen, Tony H H; Murata, Norio

    2007-05-01

    The tolerance of various species of plant to abiotic stress has been enhanced by genetic engineering with certain genes. However, the use of such transgenes is often associated with negative effects on growth and productivity under non-stress conditions. The codA gene from Arthrobacter globiformis is of particular interest with respect to the engineering of desirable productive traits in crop plants. The expression of this gene in tomato plants resulted in significantly enlarged flowers and fruits under non-stress conditions. The enlargement of flowers and fruits was associated with high levels of glycinebetaine that accumulated in reproductive organs, such as flower buds and fruits. The enlargement of flowers was related to an increase in the size and number of cells, and reflected the pleiotropic effect of the codA transgene on the expression of genes involved in the regulation of cell division.

  16. Increased muscle size and strength from slow-movement, low-intensity resistance exercise and tonic force generation.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Yuya; Tanimoto, Michiya; Ohgane, Akane; Sanada, Kiyoshi; Miyachi, Motohiko; Ishii, Naokata

    2013-01-01

    The authors investigated the effects of low-intensity resistance training on muscle size and strength in older men and women. Thirty-five participants (age 59-76 yr) were randomly assigned to 2 groups and performed low-intensity (50% of 1-repetition maximum) knee-extension and -flexion exercises with either slow movement and tonic force generation (LST; 3-s eccentric, 3-s concentric, and 1-s isometric actions with no rest between repetitions) or normal speed (LN; 1-s concentric and 1-s eccentric actions with 1-s rests between repetitions) twice a week for 12 wk (2-wk preparation and 10-wk intervention). The LST significantly increased thigh-muscle thickness, as well as isometric knee-extension and -flexion strength. The LN significantly improved strength, but its hypertrophic effect was limited. These results indicate that even for older individuals, the LST can be an effective method for gaining muscle mass and strength.

  17. Hybridization and genome size evolution: timing and magnitude of nuclear DNA content increases in Helianthus homoploid hybrid species

    PubMed Central

    Baack, Eric J.; Whitney, Kenneth D.; Rieseberg, Loren H.

    2008-01-01

    Summary Hybridization and polyploidy can induce rapid genomic changes, including the gain or loss of DNA, but the magnitude and timing of such changes are not well understood. The homoploid hybrid system in Helianthus (three hybrid-derived species and their two parents) provides an opportunity to examine the link between hybridization and genome size changes in a replicated fashion. Flow cytometry was used to estimate the nuclear DNA content in multiple populations of three homoploid hybrid Helianthus species (Helianthus anomalus, Helianthus deserticola, and Helianthus paradoxus), the parental species (Helianthus annuus and Helianthus petiolaris), synthetic hybrids, and natural hybrid-zone populations. Results confirm that hybrid-derived species have 50% more nuclear DNA than the parental species. Despite multiple origins, hybrid species were largely consistent in their DNA content across populations, although H. deserticola showed significant interpopulation differences. First- and sixth-generation synthetic hybrids and hybrid-zone plants did not show an increase from parental DNA content. First-generation hybrids differed in DNA content according to the maternal parent. In summary, hybridization by itself does not lead to increased nuclear DNA content in Helianthus, and the evolutionary forces responsible for the repeated increases in DNA content seen in the hybrid-derived species remain mysterious. PMID:15998412

  18. Increased anaplerosis of the tricarboxylic acid cycle decreased meal size and energy intake of cows in the postpartum period.

    PubMed

    Gualdrón-Duarte, Laura B; Allen, Michael S

    2017-03-22

    The objective of this study was to determine the effects of anaplerosis of the tricarboxylic acid cycle on feeding behavior and energy intake of cows in the postpartum period. We infused propionic acid (PA) and glycerol (GL) continuously into the abomasum and hypothesized that PA will decrease meal size and energy intake compared with GL because PA enters the tricarboxylic acid cycle, likely stimulating oxidation of acetyl CoA and satiety compared with GL. Three experiments (Exp.) were conducted using 20 Holstein cows between 3 and 22 d postpartum (8 cows in Exp. 1 and 6 cows each for Exp. 2 and 3). Treatments were compared using isoenergetic (Exp. 1, 193 kcal/h) and isomolar (Exp. 2, ∼0.5 mol/h) continuous infusions of PA (99.5%) and GL (99.7%) to the abomasum using a double crossover design with four 2-d infusion periods each, and 2 mol of PA or GL pulse-dosed to the abomasum using a crossover design (Exp. 3). Treatment sequences were assigned alternately to cows based upon date of parturition. Feeding behavior was recorded by a computerized data acquisition system for Exp. 1 and 2. Propionic acid decreased dry matter intake (DMI) compared with GL 16.7 and 23.4% in Exp. 1 and 2, respectively. The decrease in DMI was because PA decreased meal size compared with GL by 12.6 and 15.3% in Exp. 1 and 2, respectively. Propionic acid decreased total metabolizable energy intake (diet plus treatment infusions) compared with GL for both experiments. Compared with PA, GL increased plasma glucose and insulin concentrations for Exp. 2 only. In Exp. 3, PA decreased hepatic acetyl CoA content 34%, whereas GL increased hepatic acetyl CoA content 32%, resulting in lower hepatic acetyl CoA content for PA compared with GL at 30 min (18.0 vs. 36.9 nmol/g), which persisted at 60 min after dosing (21.9 vs. 32.8 nmol/g). Consistent with our hypothesis, the obligatory anaplerotic metabolite PA decreased meal size, DMI, and total metabolizable energy intake compared with GL, likely

  19. Stochastic, weighted hit size theory of cellular radiobiological action

    SciTech Connect

    Bond, V.P.; Varma, M.N.

    1982-01-01

    A stochastic theory that appears to account well for the observed responses of cell populations exposed in radiation fields of different qualities and for different durations of exposure is described. The theory appears to explain well most cellular radiobiological phenomena observed in at least autonomous cell systems, argues for the use of fluence rate (phi) instead of absorbed dose for quantification of the amount of radiation involved in low level radiation exposure. With or without invoking the cell sensitivity function, the conceptual improvement would be substantial. The approach suggested also shows that the absorbed dose-cell response functions currently employed do not reflect the spectrum of cell sensitivities to increasing cell doses of a single agent, nor can RBE represent the potency ratio for different agents that can produce similar quantal responses. Thus, for accurate comparison of cell sensitivities among different cells in the same individual, or between the cells in different kinds of individuals, it is necessary to quantify cell sensitivity in terms of the hit size weighting or cell sensitivity function introduced here. Similarly, this function should be employed to evaluate the relative potency of radiation and other radiomimetic chemical or physical agents.

  20. Testosterone-induced increase in muscle size in healthy young men is associated with muscle fiber hypertrophy.

    PubMed

    Sinha-Hikim, Indrani; Artaza, Jorge; Woodhouse, Linda; Gonzalez-Cadavid, Nestor; Singh, Atam B; Lee, Martin I; Storer, Thomas W; Casaburi, Richard; Shen, Ruoquing; Bhasin, Shalender

    2002-07-01

    Administration of replacement doses of testosterone to healthy hypogonadal men and supraphysiological doses to eugonadal men increases muscle size. To determine whether testosterone-induced increase in muscle size is due to muscle fiber hypertrophy, 61 healthy men, 18-35 yr of age, received monthly injections of a long-acting gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist to suppress endogenous testosterone secretion and weekly injections of 25, 50, 125, 300, or 600 mg testosterone enanthate (TE) for 20 wk. Thigh muscle volume was measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, and muscle biopsies were obtained from vastus lateralis muscle in 39 men before and after 20 wk of combined treatment with GnRH agonist and testosterone. Administration of GnRH agonist plus TE resulted in mean nadir testosterone concentrations of 234, 289, 695, 1,344, and 2,435 ng/dl at the 25-, 50-, 125-, 300-, and 600-mg doses, respectively. Graded doses of testosterone administration were associated with testosterone dose and concentration-dependent increase in muscle volume measured by MRI (changes in vastus lateralis volume, -4, +7, +15, +32, and +48 ml at 25-, 50-, 125-, 300-, and 600-mg doses, respectively). Changes in cross-sectional areas of both type I and II fibers were dependent on testosterone dose and significantly correlated with total (r = 0.35, and 0.44, P < 0.0001 for type I and II fibers, respectively) and free (r = 0.34 and 0.35, P < 0.005) testosterone concentrations during treatment. The men receiving 300 and 600 mg of TE weekly experienced significant increases from baseline in areas of type I (baseline vs. 20 wk, 3,176 +/- 186 vs. 4,201 +/- 252 microm(2), P < 0.05 at 300-mg dose, and 3,347 +/- 253 vs. 4,984 +/- 374 microm(2), P = 0.006 at 600-mg dose) muscle fibers; the men in the 600-mg group also had significant increments in cross-sectional area of type II (4,060 +/- 401 vs. 5,526 +/- 544 microm(2), P = 0.03) fibers. The relative proportions of type I and type II

  1. A natural antipredation experiment: predator control and reduced sea ice increases colony size in a long-lived duck

    PubMed Central

    Hanssen, Sveinn A; Moe, Børge; Bårdsen, Bård-Jørgen; Hanssen, Frank; Gabrielsen, Geir W

    2013-01-01

    Anthropogenic impact on the environment and wildlife are multifaceted and far-reaching. On a smaller scale, controlling for predators has been increasing the yield from local natural prey resources. Globally, human-induced global warming is expected to impose severe negative effects on ecosystems, an effect that is expected to be even more pronounced in the scarcely populated northern latitudes. The clearest indication of a changing Arctic climate is an increase in both air and ocean temperatures leading to reduced sea ice distribution. Population viability is for long-lived species dependent on adult survival and recruitment. Predation is the main mortality cause in many bird populations, and egg predation is considered the main cause of reproductive failure in many birds. To assess the effect of predation and climate, we compared population time series from a natural experiment where a trapper/down collector has been licensed to actively protect breeding common eiders Somateria mollissima (a large seaduck) by shooting/chasing egg predators, with time series from another eider colony located within a nature reserve with no manipulation of egg predators. We found that actively limiting predator activity led to an increase in the population growth rate and carrying capacity with a factor of 3–4 compared to that found in the control population. We also found that population numbers were higher in years with reduced concentration of spring sea ice. We conclude that there was a large positive impact of human limitation of egg predators, and that this lead to higher population growth rate and a large increase in size of the breeding colony. We also report a positive effect of warming climate in the high arctic as reduced sea-ice concentrations was associated with higher numbers of breeding birds. PMID:24223290

  2. A natural antipredation experiment: predator control and reduced sea ice increases colony size in a long-lived duck.

    PubMed

    Hanssen, Sveinn A; Moe, Børge; Bårdsen, Bård-Jørgen; Hanssen, Frank; Gabrielsen, Geir W

    2013-09-01

    Anthropogenic impact on the environment and wildlife are multifaceted and far-reaching. On a smaller scale, controlling for predators has been increasing the yield from local natural prey resources. Globally, human-induced global warming is expected to impose severe negative effects on ecosystems, an effect that is expected to be even more pronounced in the scarcely populated northern latitudes. The clearest indication of a changing Arctic climate is an increase in both air and ocean temperatures leading to reduced sea ice distribution. Population viability is for long-lived species dependent on adult survival and recruitment. Predation is the main mortality cause in many bird populations, and egg predation is considered the main cause of reproductive failure in many birds. To assess the effect of predation and climate, we compared population time series from a natural experiment where a trapper/down collector has been licensed to actively protect breeding common eiders Somateria mollissima (a large seaduck) by shooting/chasing egg predators, with time series from another eider colony located within a nature reserve with no manipulation of egg predators. We found that actively limiting predator activity led to an increase in the population growth rate and carrying capacity with a factor of 3-4 compared to that found in the control population. We also found that population numbers were higher in years with reduced concentration of spring sea ice. We conclude that there was a large positive impact of human limitation of egg predators, and that this lead to higher population growth rate and a large increase in size of the breeding colony. We also report a positive effect of warming climate in the high arctic as reduced sea-ice concentrations was associated with higher numbers of breeding birds.

  3. Transgenic tobacco overexpressing Brassica juncea HMG-CoA synthase 1 shows increased plant growth, pod size and seed yield.

    PubMed

    Liao, Pan; Wang, Hui; Wang, Mingfu; Hsiao, An-Shan; Bach, Thomas J; Chye, Mee-Len

    2014-01-01

    Seeds are very important not only in the life cycle of the plant but they represent food sources for man and animals. We report herein a mutant of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A synthase (HMGS), the second enzyme in the mevalonate (MVA) pathway that can improve seed yield when overexpressed in a phylogenetically distant species. In Brassica juncea, the characterisation of four isogenes encoding HMGS has been previously reported. Enzyme kinetics on recombinant wild-type (wt) and mutant BjHMGS1 had revealed that S359A displayed a 10-fold higher enzyme activity. The overexpression of wt and mutant (S359A) BjHMGS1 in Arabidopsis had up-regulated several genes in sterol biosynthesis, increasing sterol content. To quickly assess the effects of BjHMGS1 overexpression in a phylogenetically more distant species beyond the Brassicaceae, wt and mutant (S359A) BjHMGS1 were expressed in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. Xanthi) of the family Solanaceae. New observations on tobacco OEs not previously reported for Arabidopsis OEs included: (i) phenotypic changes in enhanced plant growth, pod size and seed yield (more significant in OE-S359A than OE-wtBjHMGS1) in comparison to vector-transformed tobacco, (ii) higher NtSQS expression and sterol content in OE-S359A than OE-wtBjHMGS1 corresponding to greater increase in growth and seed yield, and (iii) induction of NtIPPI2 and NtGGPPS2 and downregulation of NtIPPI1, NtGGPPS1, NtGGPPS3 and NtGGPPS4. Resembling Arabidopsis HMGS-OEs, tobacco HMGS-OEs displayed an enhanced expression of NtHMGR1, NtSMT1-2, NtSMT2-1, NtSMT2-2 and NtCYP85A1. Overall, increased growth, pod size and seed yield in tobacco HMGS-OEs were attributed to the up-regulation of native NtHMGR1, NtIPPI2, NtSQS, NtSMT1-2, NtSMT2-1, NtSMT2-2 and NtCYP85A1. Hence, S359A has potential in agriculture not only in improving phytosterol content but also seed yield, which may be desirable in food crops. This work further demonstrates HMGS function in plant reproduction

  4. Transgenic Tobacco Overexpressing Brassica juncea HMG-CoA Synthase 1 Shows Increased Plant Growth, Pod Size and Seed Yield

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Pan; Wang, Hui; Wang, Mingfu; Hsiao, An-Shan; Bach, Thomas J.; Chye, Mee-Len

    2014-01-01

    Seeds are very important not only in the life cycle of the plant but they represent food sources for man and animals. We report herein a mutant of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A synthase (HMGS), the second enzyme in the mevalonate (MVA) pathway that can improve seed yield when overexpressed in a phylogenetically distant species. In Brassica juncea, the characterisation of four isogenes encoding HMGS has been previously reported. Enzyme kinetics on recombinant wild-type (wt) and mutant BjHMGS1 had revealed that S359A displayed a 10-fold higher enzyme activity. The overexpression of wt and mutant (S359A) BjHMGS1 in Arabidopsis had up-regulated several genes in sterol biosynthesis, increasing sterol content. To quickly assess the effects of BjHMGS1 overexpression in a phylogenetically more distant species beyond the Brassicaceae, wt and mutant (S359A) BjHMGS1 were expressed in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. Xanthi) of the family Solanaceae. New observations on tobacco OEs not previously reported for Arabidopsis OEs included: (i) phenotypic changes in enhanced plant growth, pod size and seed yield (more significant in OE-S359A than OE-wtBjHMGS1) in comparison to vector-transformed tobacco, (ii) higher NtSQS expression and sterol content in OE-S359A than OE-wtBjHMGS1 corresponding to greater increase in growth and seed yield, and (iii) induction of NtIPPI2 and NtGGPPS2 and downregulation of NtIPPI1, NtGGPPS1, NtGGPPS3 and NtGGPPS4. Resembling Arabidopsis HMGS-OEs, tobacco HMGS-OEs displayed an enhanced expression of NtHMGR1, NtSMT1-2, NtSMT2-1, NtSMT2-2 and NtCYP85A1. Overall, increased growth, pod size and seed yield in tobacco HMGS-OEs were attributed to the up-regulation of native NtHMGR1, NtIPPI2, NtSQS, NtSMT1-2, NtSMT2-1, NtSMT2-2 and NtCYP85A1. Hence, S359A has potential in agriculture not only in improving phytosterol content but also seed yield, which may be desirable in food crops. This work further demonstrates HMGS function in plant reproduction

  5. Ligand-independent epidermal growth factor receptor hyperactivation increases sebaceous gland size and sebum secretion in mice.

    PubMed

    Dahlhoff, Maik; de Angelis, Martin Hrabe; Wolf, Eckhard; Schneider, Marlon R

    2013-10-01

    The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) system is an established regulator of the development and homeostasis of the hair follicle and interfollicular epidermis. Here, we evaluated EGFR actions on the sebaceous glands (SGs) by employing Dsk5 mice, a mutant line in which the EGFR is constitutively activated in a ligand-independent manner. Compared to control littermates, Dsk5 mice showed increased sebum levels and enlarged SGs, which contained a higher number of cells and showed stronger proliferation. c-myc transcript levels were increased in Dsk5 skin, suggesting that c-myc mediates the proliferative stimuli of the EGFR in the SG. Analysis of differentiation markers revealed deregulated expression of Scd1 and Scd3, indicating that sebaceous lipogenesis is affected in Dsk5 mice. In conclusion, our study indicates that the EGFR is an important regulator of presebocyte proliferation, contributing to the final cell number, to the size and to the lipid output of SGs. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. L-Phosphinothricin modulation of inwardly rectifying K(+) channels increased excitability in striatal medium-sized spiny neurons.

    PubMed

    Domingos, Laetitia; Desrus, Agnès; Même, Sandra; Même, William

    2016-07-01

    Phosphinotricin (L-PPT) is the active compound of a broad-spectrum herbicide. Acute poisoning with L-PPT has various clinical manifestations, including seizures and convulsions. However, the exact mechanism of L-PPT toxicity remains unclear. The present study addressed the role of L-PPT, in the excitability of striatal medium-sized spiny neurons (MSNs). In whole-cell current-clamp experiments, L-PPT increased the input resistance (Ri), decreased the rheobase and increased the firing frequency of action potentials. In voltage-clamp experiments, L-PPT inhibited the inward-rectifying potassium (Kir) currents. Finally, the effects of L-PPT mimicked the inhibition of Kir channels with Ba(2+) on neuronal excitability. Altogether, these results suggest that the herbicide L-PPT is a modulator of Kir channels in MSNs. Thereby, Kir channels are potent regulators of the excitability of MSNs and reduced open probability of these channels would generate a powerful upregulation of neuronal output. This effect may represent a possible mechanism for L-PPT dependent neuronal toxicity.

  7. Closed head experimental traumatic brain injury increases size and bone volume of callus in mice with concomitant tibial fracture

    PubMed Central

    Brady, Rhys D; Grills, Brian L; Church, Jarrod E; Walsh, Nicole C; McDonald, Aaron C; Agoston, Denes V; Sun, Mujun; O’Brien, Terence J; Shultz, Sandy R; McDonald, Stuart J

    2016-01-01

    Concomitant traumatic brain injury (TBI) and long bone fracture are commonly observed in multitrauma and polytrauma. Despite clinical observations of enhanced bone healing in patients with TBI, the relationship between TBI and fracture healing remains poorly understood, with clinical data limited by the presence of several confounding variables. Here we developed a novel trauma model featuring closed-skull weight-drop TBI and concomitant tibial fracture in order to investigate the effect of TBI on fracture healing. Male mice were assigned into Fracture + Sham TBI (FX) or Fracture + TBI (MULTI) groups and sacrificed at 21 and 35 days post-injury for analysis of healing fractures by micro computed tomography (μCT) and histomorphometry. μCT analysis revealed calluses from MULTI mice had a greater bone and total tissue volume, and displayed higher mean polar moment of inertia when compared to calluses from FX mice at 21 days post-injury. Histomorphometric results demonstrated an increased amount of trabecular bone in MULTI calluses at 21 days post-injury. These findings indicate that closed head TBI results in calluses that are larger in size and have an increased bone volume, which is consistent with the notion that TBI induces the formation of a more robust callus. PMID:27682431

  8. Expected responses to different strategies of selection to increase heat tolerance assessed by changes in litter size in rabbit.

    PubMed

    Piles, M; Baselga, M; Sánchez, J P

    2014-10-01

    Response on litter size (LS) to selection based on EBV of the own trait and several indexes including EBV of 1 or more parameters of a reaction norm model (RNM) was evaluated by simulation. The RNM described animal's performance under different environmental temperatures assuming that this has an animal-specific effect on LS beyond an animal-specific temperature threshold (i.e., it had 3 parameters: intercept [Int], slope [Slp], and threshold [Thr]). Litter size data were generated assuming this model under 2 environmental conditions (comfort [CC] and comfort-to-heat [CtHC]). Variance components for Int, Slp, Thr, and LS were taken from literature. The initial base population consisted of 125 females and 25 males. Ten generations of selection were conducted keeping constant the population size. Eight different selection criteria were considered, depending on both the evaluation model and the index combining EBV for 1 or more parameters of the RNM. In 1 case selection was based on EBV of the own trait predicted by using a repeatability animal model. In the other 7 cases the genetic evaluation was conducted using the same model as that used in the simulation. For each scenario 25 replicates were conducted and response to selection was assessed within replicate as the difference between generations in the average of trait. Results indicate that, under the studied conditions and for the used genetic parameters, selection based on the observed trait seems to have the same effect as selection based on some index, including EBV of the RNM parameters. In addition, response to selection could be greater under CtHC rather than CC. Animals selected exclusively for EBV of the Slp and Thr are not expected to have good performance under CC. Under CtHC, selection for LS has a major response on those parameters, whereas response on Int was very small. Under CC, response to selection on LS is mainly determined by a change in Int, whereas Slp does not change and Thr slightly

  9. Disappearance of 19P/Borrelly's Silicate Feature in 2001 Apparition Is Attributed to Increase in Grain Size

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wooden, D. H.; Woodward, C. E.; Harker, D. E.

    2003-05-01

    We report on observations and analysis of HIFOGS 10 \\micron \\ spectrophotometry of short period comet 19P/Borrelly on 2003 October 13, 15 UT at the NASA IRTF. 19P/Borrelly is one of two short period comets, comet 4P/Faye being the other, to have a silicate feature detected (Hanner et al. 1996, Icarus, 124, 344). During Borrelly.s perihelion passage in 1994 December, a silicate feature was present with a flux-to-continuum ratio of 0.25. Two apparitions later in 2003 October, the silicate feature is absent. Thermal emission modeling (cf. Harker et al. 2002, ApJ, 580, 579) using amorphous olivine and amorphous carbon shows that a slight increase in grain size accounts for the disappearance of the silicate feature. Analysis of 19P/Borrelly suggests grain size, and not the absence of olivine minerals, may be responsible for the absence of silicate features in most short period comets. 19P/Borrelly is one of the more active short period comets. However, short period comets as a family are less active than long period comets. Short period comets probably originated in the Kuiper Belt and suffered collisions while in residence in the outer solar system. Upon evolution into orbits that take them through the inner solar system, the surfaces of short period comets are exposed to sunlight through their many perihelion passages. This is in contrast to long period comets which probably originated near Jupiter and were expelled to the Oort cloud where they have existed and been exposed to cosmic ray processing. By studying the grain properties in short period comets and comparing to long period comets, we compare the effects on the grain populations of different parent body evolution histories. Upcoming opportunities to study short and long period comets will be advertised. This research is supported in part by an NSF Grant to the University of Minnesota.

  10. Previous sport activity during childhood and adolescence is associated with increased cortical bone size in young adult men.

    PubMed

    Nilsson, Martin; Ohlsson, Claes; Mellström, Dan; Lorentzon, Mattias

    2009-01-01

    Physical activity during growth has been associated with altered cortical bone geometry, but it remains uncertain if the physical activity-induced increments in cortical bone size remain when the level of physical activity is diminished or ceased. The aim of this study was to investigate if physical activity during growth is associated with cortical bone geometry in currently inactive young men. In this study, 1068 men (18.9 +/- 0.6 [SD] yr) were included. Cortical bone geometry at the tibia and radius were measured using pQCT. A standardized questionnaire was used to collect information about current and previous sport activity. Subjects who continued to be active (n = 678) and who had been previously active (n = 285) in sports had a wider cortical bone (periosteal circumference [PC], 4.5% and 3.2%, respectively) with increased cross-sectional area (CSA; 12.5% and 6.9%) of the tibia than the always inactive subjects (n = 82). In the currently inactive men (n = 367), regression analysis (including covariates age, height, weight, calcium intake, smoking, and duration of inactivity) showed that previous sport activity was independently associated with cortical bone size of the tibia (CSA and PC). Amount of previous sport activity explained 7.3% of the total variation in cortical CSA. Subjects, who ceased their sport activity for up to 6.5 yr previously, still had greater cortical PC and CSA of the tibia than always inactive subjects. The results from this study indicate that sport activity during growth confers positive effects on bone geometry even though sport activity is ceased.

  11. Disappearance of 19P/Borrelly's Silicate Feature in 2001 Apparition Is Attributed to Increase in Grain Size

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wooden, D. H.; Woodward, C. E.; Harker, D. E.

    2002-01-01

    We report on observations and analysis of HIFOGS 10 microns spectrophotometry of short period comet 19P/Borrelly on 2003 October 13, 15 UT at the NASA IRTF. 19P/Borrelly is one of two short period comets, comet 4PIFaye being the other, to have a silicate feature detected. During Borrelly s perihelion passage in 1994 December, a silicate feature was present with a flux-to-continuum ratio of 0.25. Two apparitions later in 2003 October, the silicate feature is absent. Thermal emission modeling using amorphous olivine and amorphous carbon shows that a slight increase in grain size accounts for the disappearance of the silicate feature. Analysis of 19P/Borrelly suggests grain size, and not the absence of olivine minerals, may be responsible for the absence of silicate features in most short period comets. 19P/Borrelly is one of the more active short period comets. However, short period comets as a family are less active than long period comets. Short period comets probably originated in the Kuiper Belt and suffered collisions while in residence in the outer solar system. Upon evolution into orbits that take them through the inner solar system, the surfaces of short period comets are exposed to sunlight through their many perihelion passages. This is in contrast to long period comets which probably originated near Jupiter and were expelled to the Oort cloud where they have existed and been exposed to cosmic ray processing. By studying the grain properties in short period comets and comparing to long period comets, we compare the effects on the grain populations of different parent body evolution histories. Upcoming opportunities to study short and long period comets will be advertised.

  12. Disappearance of 19P/Borrelly's Silicate Feature in 2001 Apparition Is Attributed to Increase in Grain Size

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wooden, D. H.; Woodward, C. E.; Harker, D. E.

    2002-01-01

    We report on observations and analysis of HIFOGS 10 microns spectrophotometry of short period comet 19P/Borrelly on 2003 October 13, 15 UT at the NASA IRTF. 19P/Borrelly is one of two short period comets, comet 4PIFaye being the other, to have a silicate feature detected. During Borrelly s perihelion passage in 1994 December, a silicate feature was present with a flux-to-continuum ratio of 0.25. Two apparitions later in 2003 October, the silicate feature is absent. Thermal emission modeling using amorphous olivine and amorphous carbon shows that a slight increase in grain size accounts for the disappearance of the silicate feature. Analysis of 19P/Borrelly suggests grain size, and not the absence of olivine minerals, may be responsible for the absence of silicate features in most short period comets. 19P/Borrelly is one of the more active short period comets. However, short period comets as a family are less active than long period comets. Short period comets probably originated in the Kuiper Belt and suffered collisions while in residence in the outer solar system. Upon evolution into orbits that take them through the inner solar system, the surfaces of short period comets are exposed to sunlight through their many perihelion passages. This is in contrast to long period comets which probably originated near Jupiter and were expelled to the Oort cloud where they have existed and been exposed to cosmic ray processing. By studying the grain properties in short period comets and comparing to long period comets, we compare the effects on the grain populations of different parent body evolution histories. Upcoming opportunities to study short and long period comets will be advertised.

  13. Slip-weakening zone sizes at nucleation of catastrophic subaerial and submarine landslides by gradually increasing pore pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viesca, R. C.; Rice, J. R.

    2011-12-01

    We address the nucleation of dynamic landslide rupture in response to gradual pore pressure increases. Nucleation marks the onset of acceleration of the overlying slope mass due to the suddenly rapid enlargement of a sub-surface zone of shear failure, previously deforming quasi-statically. We model that zone as a planar surface undergoing initially linear slip-weakening frictional failure within a bordering linear-elastic medium. The results are also relevant to earthquake nucleation. The sub-surface rupture zone considered runs parallel to the free surface of a uniform slope, under a 2D plane-strain deformation state. We show results for ruptures with friction coefficients following linear slip weakening (i.e., the residual friction is not yet reached). For spatially broad increases in pore pressure, the nucleation length depends on a ratio of depth to a cohesive zone length scale. In the very broad-increase limit, a direct numerical solution for nucleation lengths compares well with solutions to a corresponding eigenvalue problem (similar to Uenishi and Rice [JGR '03]), in which spatial variations in normal stress are neglected. We estimate nucleation lengths for subaerial and submarine conditions using data [e.g., Bishop et al., Géotech. '71; Stark et al., JGGE '05] from ring-shear tests on sediments (peak friction fp = 0.5, frictional slip-weakening rate within the range w = -df/d(slip) = 0.1/cm-1/cm). We assume that only pre-stresses, and not material properties, vary with depth. With such fp and w, we find for a range of subsurface depths and shear moduli μ that nucleation lengths are typically several hundred meters long for shallow undersea slopes, and up to an order of magnitude less for steeper slopes on the Earth's surface. In the submarine case, this puts nucleation lengths in a size range comparable to observed pore-pressure-generated seafloor disturbances as pockmarks [e.g., Gay et al., MG '06].

  14. Warring arthropod societies: Social spider colonies can delay annihilation by predatory ants via reduced apparency and increased group size.

    PubMed

    Keiser, Carl N; Wright, Colin M; Pruitt, Jonathan N

    2015-10-01

    Sociality provides individuals with benefits via collective foraging and anti-predator defense. One of the costs of living in large groups, however, is increased apparency to natural enemies. Here, we test how the individual-level and collective traits of spider societies can increase the risk of discovery and death by predatory ants. We transplanted colonies of the social spider Stegodyphus dumicola into a habitat dense with one of their top predators, the pugnacious ant Anoplolepis custodiens. With three different experiments, we test how colony-wide survivorship in a predator-dense habitat can be altered by colony apparency (i.e., the presence of a capture web), group size, and group composition (i.e., the proportion of bold and shy personality types present). We also test how spiders' social context (i.e., living solitarily vs. among conspecifics) modifies their behaviour toward ants in their capture web. Colonies with capture webs intact were discovered by predatory ants on average 25% faster than colonies with the capture web removed, and all discovered colonies eventually collapsed and succumbed to predation. However, the lag time from discovery by ants to colony collapse was greater for colonies containing more individuals. The composition of individual personality types in the group had no influence on survivorship. Spiders in a social group were more likely to approach ants caught in their web than were isolated spiders. Isolated spiders were more likely to attack a safe prey item (a moth) than they were to attack ants and were more likely to retreat from ants after contact than they were after contact with moths. Together, our data suggest that the physical structures produced by large animal societies can increase their apparency to natural enemies, though larger groups can facilitate a longer lag time between discovery and demise. Lastly, the interaction between spiders and predatory ants seems to depend on the social context in which spiders reside.

  15. Variability in fricative production and spectra: implications for the hyper- and hypo- and quantal theories of speech production.

    PubMed

    Tabain, M

    2001-03-01

    Fricative spectral data are compared with articulatory data from electropalatographic (EPG) recordings in an investigation of coarticulatory effects on the acoustic signal. Data were taken from CV tokens produced by four female speakers of Australian English. Results are presented for the coronal fricatives /theta s [symbol: see text] z [symbol: see text]/ in seven monophthong vowel contexts. The analysis consists of a comparison of spectral centre of gravity (COG) with EPG centre of gravity measured along the horizontal dimension. The correlation between the articulatory and the acoustic data is quite high. Overall, the sibilant fricatives show very little variability in production, while the nonsibilant dental shows a good deal of variability. This is reflected in the spectral output. It is also shown that the alveolar sibilants show more effect from vowel context than do the postalveolar sibilants. These results are interpreted as showing that coarticulatory resistance is indeed greater for sibilant fricatives, but that degree of tongue body raising inherent in the fricative's production must also be taken into account. The results for overall variability are discussed with reference to the Hyper- and Hypo- and Quantal Theories of speech production. It is suggested that sibilant fricatives do not lend themselves to the articulatory imprecision which, according to these theories, characterizes perceptually salient, and typologically common, speech sounds.

  16. Quantal Study of the Exchange Reaction for N + N2 using an ab initio Potential Energy Surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Dunyou; Stallcop, James R.; Huo, Winifred M.; Dateo, Christopher E.; Schwenke, David W.; Partridge, Harry; Kwak, Dochan (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The N + N2 exchange rate is calculated using a time-dependent quantum dynamics method on a newly determined ab initio potential energy surface (PES) for the ground A" state. This ab initio PES shows a double barrier feature in the interaction region with the barrier height at 47.2 kcal/mol, and a shallow well between these two barriers, with the minimum at 43.7 kcal/mol. A quantum dynamics wave packet calculation has been carried out using the fitted PES to compute the cumulative reaction probability for the exchange reaction of N + N2(J=O). The J - K shift method is then employed to obtain the rate constant for this reaction. The calculated rate constant is compared with experimental data and a recent quasi-classical calculation using a LEPS PES. Significant differences are found between the present and quasiclassical results. The present rate calculation is the first accurate 3D quantal dynamics study for N + N2 reaction system and the ab initio PES reported here is the first such surface for N3.

  17. Synaptophysin (p38) at the frog neuromuscular junction: its incorporation into the axolemma and recycling after intense quantal secretion

    PubMed Central

    1988-01-01

    Recycling of synaptophysin (p38), a synaptic vesicle integral membrane protein, was studied by the use of antisera raised against the protein purified from frog brain. When frog cutaneous pectoris muscles were fixed at rest, a bright, specific immunofluorescent signal was observed in nerve-terminal regions only if their plasma membranes had been previously permeabilized. When muscles were fixed after they had been treated for 1 h with a low dose of alpha-latrotoxin in Ca2+-free medium, an equally intense fluorescence could be observed without previous permeabilization. Under this condition, alpha-latrotoxin depletes nerve terminals of their quantal store of acetylcholine and of synaptic vesicles. These results indicate that fusion of synaptic vesicles leads to the exposure of intravesicular antigenic determinants of synaptophysin on the outer surface of the axolemma, and provide direct support for the vesicle hypothesis of neurotransmitter release. After 1 h treatment with the same dose of alpha-latrotoxin in the presence of 1.8 mM extracellular Ca2+, immunofluorescent images were obtained only after permeabilization with detergents. Under this condition, the vesicle population was maintained by an active process of recycling and more than two times the initial store of quanta were secreted. Thus, despite the active turnover of synaptic vesicles and of quanta of neurotransmitter, no extensive intermixing occurs between components of the vesicle and presynaptic plasma membrane. PMID:3144557

  18. Chronically Increased Amino Acids Improve Insulin Secretion, Pancreatic Vascularity, and Islet Size in Growth-Restricted Fetal Sheep.

    PubMed

    Brown, Laura D; Davis, Melissa; Wai, Sandra; Wesolowski, Stephanie R; Hay, William W; Limesand, Sean W; Rozance, Paul J

    2016-10-01

    Placental insufficiency is associated with reduced supply of amino acids to the fetus and leads to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). IUGR fetuses are characterized by lower glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, smaller pancreatic islets with less β-cells, and impaired pancreatic vascularity. To test whether supplemental amino acids infused into the IUGR fetus could improve these complications of IUGR we used acute (hours) and chronic (11 d) direct fetal amino acid infusions into a sheep model of placental insufficiency and IUGR near the end of gestation. IUGR fetuses had attenuated acute amino acid-stimulated insulin secretion compared with control fetuses. These results were confirmed in isolated IUGR pancreatic islets. After the chronic fetal amino acid infusion, fetal glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and islet size were restored to control values. These changes were associated with normalization of fetal pancreatic vascularity and higher fetal pancreatic vascular endothelial growth factor A protein concentrations. These results demonstrate that decreased fetal amino acid supply contributes to the pathogenesis of pancreatic islet defects in IUGR. Moreover, the results show that pancreatic islets in IUGR fetuses retain their ability to respond to increased amino acids near the end of gestation after chronic fetal growth restriction.

  19. [Study of the distribution and migration laws of nitroglycerin in energy increasing propellant by size exclusion chromatography].

    PubMed

    Luo, Y; Yan, X; Tan, H; Luo, S

    1999-03-01

    It is very important to increase the energy of high-nitrogen-content single-base propellant by absorbing nitroglycerin in the case of keeping the advantage of the original propellant. In this paper, the distribution laws and migration laws in the aging of nitroglycerin have been studied by size exclusion chromatography (SEC) after high-nitrogen-content single-base propellant absorbing nitroglycerin. The results show that the distribution of nitroglycerin in high-nitrogen-content sigle-base propellant follows the Gauss distribution. In aging, this distribution changes towards the big variance Gauss distribution. The relationship between migration mass and aging time is y = k1e-k2/t, for external layer k1 = 0.1208 and k2 = 17.229, for inner hole k1 = 0.0348 and k2 = 10.97. The migration velocity constant, K = A0e-E/RT, of nitroglycerin is also given in this article, where A0 = 0.4086 and E0 = 1.6702 kJ/mol for inner hole, A0 = 31.2775 and E0 = 3.5428 kJ/mol for external layer.

  20. Spermidine Suppresses Age-Associated Memory Impairment by Preventing Adverse Increase of Presynaptic Active Zone Size and Release

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Varun K.; Pech, Ulrike; Fulterer, Andreas; Ender, Anatoli; Mauermann, Stephan F.; Andlauer, Till F. M.; Beuschel, Christine; Thriene, Kerstin; Quentin, Christine; Schwärzel, Martin; Mielke, Thorsten; Madeo, Frank; Dengjel, Joern; Fiala, André; Sigrist, Stephan J.

    2016-01-01

    Memories are assumed to be formed by sets of synapses changing their structural or functional performance. The efficacy of forming new memories declines with advancing age, but the synaptic changes underlying age-induced memory impairment remain poorly understood. Recently, we found spermidine feeding to specifically suppress age-dependent impairments in forming olfactory memories, providing a mean to search for synaptic changes involved in age-dependent memory impairment. Here, we show that a specific synaptic compartment, the presynaptic active zone (AZ), increases the size of its ultrastructural elaboration and releases significantly more synaptic vesicles with advancing age. These age-induced AZ changes, however, were fully suppressed by spermidine feeding. A genetically enforced enlargement of AZ scaffolds (four gene-copies of BRP) impaired memory formation in young animals. Thus, in the Drosophila nervous system, aging AZs seem to steer towards the upper limit of their operational range, limiting synaptic plasticity and contributing to impairment of memory formation. Spermidine feeding suppresses age-dependent memory impairment by counteracting these age-dependent changes directly at the synapse. PMID:27684064

  1. Increasing the sample size at interim for a two-sample experiment without Type I error inflation.

    PubMed

    Dunnigan, Keith; King, Dennis W

    2010-01-01

    For the case of a one-sample experiment with known variance σ² =1, it has been shown that at interim analysis the sample size (SS) may be increased by any arbitrary amount provided: (1) The conditional power (CP) at interim is ≥ 50% and (2) there can be no decision to decrease the SS (stop the trial early). In this paper we verify this result for the case of a two-sample experiment with proportional SS in the treatment groups and an arbitrary common variance. Numerous authors have presented the formula for the CP at interim for a two-sample test with equal SS in the treatment groups and an arbitrary common variance, for both the one- and two-sided hypothesis tests. In this paper we derive the corresponding formula for the case of unequal, but proportional SS in the treatment groups for both one-sided superiority and two-sided hypothesis tests. Finally, we present an SAS macro for doing this calculation and provide a worked out hypothetical example. In discussion we note that this type of trial design trades the ability to stop early (for lack of efficacy) for the elimination of the Type I error penalty. The loss of early stopping requires that such a design employs a data monitoring committee, blinding of the sponsor to the interim calculations, and pre-planning of how much and under what conditions to increase the SS and that this all be formally written into an interim analysis plan before the start of the study.

  2. Brood size manipulations in a spatially and temporally varying environment: male Tengmalm's owls pass increased reproductive costs to offspring.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Robert L; Griesser, Michael; Laaksonen, Toni; Korpimäki, Erkki

    2014-10-01

    A key tool used to assess reproductive trade-offs in birds is brood size manipulation (BSM) experiments. Most BSM studies have examined the influence on short-term measures of reproductive output. Seldom evaluated are the effects on long-term fitness proxies under temporally or spatially varying environments. Unpredictable environments may affect reproductive trade-offs by altering the value of the brood or hampering optimization of reproductive effort. We reduced or enlarged broods of 140 male Tengmalm's owls Aegolius funereus by one chick during their first lifetime reproductive event. Males differed in age and bred in environments that varied in quality spatially (habitat structure) and temporally (abundance of main food). We measured the short-term (nestling number and condition) and long-term fitness proxies (survival, lifetime fledgling and recruits produced) until all experimental males disappeared from the population. BSMs did not affect fledgling number or condition, but in enlarged broods, offspring condition was lower in territories with a high proportion of agricultural fields. Importantly, no obvious impacts on long-term fitness proxies emerged; lifetime fledgling and recruit production of males did not differ between the BSM treatments. Thus, the primary caregiver (i.e. Tengmalm's owl males) passed increased reproductive costs to their offspring, which is in agreement with other studies investigating intergenerational reproductive trade-offs in species of intermediate lifespan. Reluctance to accept increased current reproductive costs in these systems highlights the potential for sexual conflict in bi-parental care systems in which one of the pair is the primary caregiver.

  3. Energy Density, Portion Size, and Eating Occasions: Contributions to Increased Energy Intake in the United States, 1977–2006

    PubMed Central

    Duffey, Kiyah J.; Popkin, Barry M.

    2011-01-01

    Background Competing theories attempt to explain changes in total energy (TE) intake; however, a rigorous, comprehensive examination of these explanations has not been undertaken. Our objective was to examine the relative contribution of energy density (ED), portion size (PS), and the number of eating/drinking occasions (EOs) to changes in daily TE. Methods and Findings Using cross-sectional nationally representative data from the Nationwide Food Consumption Survey (1977–78), Continuing Survey of Food Intakes of Individuals (1989–91), and National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (1994–98 and 2003–06) for adults (aged ≥19 y), we mathematically decompose TE (kcal/d) to understand the relative contributions of each component—PS (grams/EO), ED (kcal/g/EO) and EO(number)—to changes in TE over time. There was an increase in TE intake (+570 kcal/d) and the number of daily EOs (+1.1) between 1977–78 and 2003–06. The average PS increased between 1977–78 and 1994–98, then dropped slightly between 1994–98 and 2003–06, while the average ED remained steady between 1977–78 and 1989–91, then declined slightly between 1989–91 and 1994–98. Estimates from the decomposition statistical models suggest that between 1977–78 and 1989–91, annualized changes in PS contributed nearly 15 kcal/d/y to increases in TE, while changes in EO accounted for just 4 kcal/d/y. Between 1994–98 and 2003–06 changes in EO accounted for 39 kcal/d/y of increase and changes in PS accounted for 1 kcal/d/y of decline in the annualized change in TE. Conclusions While all three components have contributed to some extent to 30-y changes in TE, changes in EO and PS have accounted for most of the change. These findings suggest a new focus for efforts to reduce energy imbalances in US adults. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary PMID:21738451

  4. Significant Increase in Band Gap and Emission Efficiency of In2O3 Quantum Dots by Size-Tuning around 1 nm in Supermicroporous Silicas.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Takafumi; Watanabe, Hiroto; Ueno, Taiki; Oaki, Yuya; Imai, Hiroaki

    2017-03-28

    The size of In2O3 quantum dots (QDs) is tuned from 0.57 to 1.80 nm by using supermicroporous silicas (SMPSs) as a template. The band gap energy and photoluminescence quantum yields of In2O3-QDs increase remarkably when their size is decreased below 1 nm.

  5. Deficient eNOS phosphorylation is a mechanism for diabetic vascular dysfunction contributing to increased stroke size

    PubMed Central

    Li, Qian; Atochin, Dmitriy; Kashiwagi, Satoshi; Earle, John; Wang, Annie; Mandeville, Emiri; Hayakawa, Kazuhide; d'Uscio, Livius V.; Lo, Eng H.; Katusic, Zvonimir; Sessa, William; Huang, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Background and Purpose Phosphorylation of eNOS, an important post-translational modulator of its enzymatic activity, is reduced in diabetes. We hypothesized that modulation of eNOS phosphorylation could overcome diabetic vascular dysfunction and improves the outcome to stroke. Methods We used the db/db mouse model of type 2 diabetes. We mated db/db mice with eNOS knockin mice that carry single-amino acid mutations at the S1176 phosphorylation site; the phosphomimetic SD mutation shows increased eNOS enzymatic activity, while the unphosphorylatable SA mutation shows decreased eNOS activity. We characterized the vascular anatomy, baseline physiologic parameters and vascular reactivity. We used the middle cerebral artery occlusion model of stroke and measured infarct volume and neurological deficits. Results db/db mice showed diminished eNOS phosphorylation at S1176. eNOS SD and SA mutations do not change the vascular anatomy at the Circle of Willis, brain capillary density, heart rate, or arterial blood gases of db/db mice. The eNOS SD mutation, but not the SA mutation, lowers blood pressure and improves vascular reactivity to acetylcholine in db/db mice. The eNOS SD mutation reduces stroke size and neurologic deficit following middle cerebral artery occlusion. Conclusion Diminished eNOS phosphorylation is a mechanism of vascular dysfunction in db/db mice. We show here that modulation of the eNOS S1176 phosphorylation site in db/db mice is associated with improved vascular reactivity and improved outcome to stroke following middle cerebral artery occlusion. PMID:23988642

  6. What Is the Standard Volume to Increase a Cup Size for Breast Augmentation Surgery? A Novel Three-Dimensional Computed Tomographic Approach.

    PubMed

    King, Nina-Marie; Lovric, Vedran; Parr, William C H; Walsh, W R; Moradi, Pouria

    2017-05-01

    Breast augmentation surgery poses many challenges, and meeting the patient's expectations is one of the most important. Previous reports equate 100 cc to a one-cup-size increase; however, no studies have confirmed this between commercially available bras. The aim of this study was to identify the volume increase between cup sizes across different brands and the relationship with implant selection. Five bra cup sizes from three different companies were analyzed for their volume capacity. Three methods were used to calculate the volume of the bras: (1) linear measurements; (2) volume measurement by means of water displacement; and (3) volume calculation after three-dimensional reconstruction of serial radiographic data (computed tomography). The clinical arm consisted of 79 patients who underwent breast augmentation surgery from February 1, 2014, to June 30, 2016. Answers from a short questionnaire in combination with the implant volume were analyzed. Across all three brands, the interval volume increase varied between sizes, but not all were above 100 cc. There was some variation in the volume capacity of the same cup size among the different brands. The average incremental increase in bra cup size across all three brands in the laboratory arm was 135 cc. The mean volume increase per cup size was 138.23 cc in the clinical arm. This article confirms that there is no standardization within the bra manufacturing industry. On the basis of this study, patients should be advised that 130 to 150 cc equates to a one-cup-size increase. Bras with narrower band widths need 130 cc and wider band widths require 150 cc to increase one cup size.

  7. When larger brains do not have more neurons: increased numbers of cells are compensated by decreased average cell size across mouse individuals

    PubMed Central

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Messeder, Débora J.; Fonseca-Azevedo, Karina; Pantoja, Nilma A.

    2015-01-01

    There is a strong trend toward increased brain size in mammalian evolution, with larger brains composed of more and larger neurons than smaller brains across species within each mammalian order. Does the evolution of increased numbers of brain neurons, and thus larger brain size, occur simply through the selection of individuals with more and larger neurons, and thus larger brains, within a population? That is, do individuals with larger brains also have more, and larger, neurons than individuals with smaller brains, such that allometric relationships across species are simply an extension of intraspecific scaling? Here we show that this is not the case across adult male mice of a similar age. Rather, increased numbers of neurons across individuals are accompanied by increased numbers of other cells and smaller average cell size of both types, in a trade-off that explains how increased brain mass does not necessarily ensue. Fundamental regulatory mechanisms thus must exist that tie numbers of neurons to numbers of other cells and to average cell size within individual brains. Finally, our results indicate that changes in brain size in evolution are not an extension of individual variation in numbers of neurons, but rather occur through step changes that must simultaneously increase numbers of neurons and cause cell size to increase, rather than decrease. PMID:26082686

  8. When larger brains do not have more neurons: increased numbers of cells are compensated by decreased average cell size across mouse individuals.

    PubMed

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Messeder, Débora J; Fonseca-Azevedo, Karina; Pantoja, Nilma A

    2015-01-01

    There is a strong trend toward increased brain size in mammalian evolution, with larger brains composed of more and larger neurons than smaller brains across species within each mammalian order. Does the evolution of increased numbers of brain neurons, and thus larger brain size, occur simply through the selection of individuals with more and larger neurons, and thus larger brains, within a population? That is, do individuals with larger brains also have more, and larger, neurons than individuals with smaller brains, such that allometric relationships across species are simply an extension of intraspecific scaling? Here we show that this is not the case across adult male mice of a similar age. Rather, increased numbers of neurons across individuals are accompanied by increased numbers of other cells and smaller average cell size of both types, in a trade-off that explains how increased brain mass does not necessarily ensue. Fundamental regulatory mechanisms thus must exist that tie numbers of neurons to numbers of other cells and to average cell size within individual brains. Finally, our results indicate that changes in brain size in evolution are not an extension of individual variation in numbers of neurons, but rather occur through step changes that must simultaneously increase numbers of neurons and cause cell size to increase, rather than decrease.

  9. A limit on the extent to which increased egg size can compensate for a poor postnatal environment revealed experimentally in the burying beetle, Nicrophorus vespilloides.

    PubMed

    Schrader, Matthew; Crosby, Rachel M; Hesketh, Aimee R; Jarrett, Benjamin J M; Kilner, Rebecca M

    2016-01-01

    It is often assumed that there is a positive relationship between egg size and offspring fitness. However, recent studies have suggested that egg size has a greater effect on offspring fitness in low-quality environments than in high-quality environments. Such observations suggest that mothers may compensate for poor posthatching environments by increasing egg size. In this paper we test whether there is a limit on the extent to which increased egg size can compensate for the removal of posthatching parental care in the burying beetle, Nicrophorus vespilloides. Previous experiments with N. vespilloides suggest that an increased egg size can compensate for a relatively poor environment after hatching. Here, we phenotypically engineered female N. vespilloides to produce large or small eggs by varying the amount of time they were allowed to feed on the carcass as larvae. We then tested whether differences between these groups in egg size translated into differences in larval performance in a harsh postnatal environment that excluded parental care. We found that females engineered to produce large eggs did not have higher breeding success, and nor did they produce larger larvae than females engineered to produce small eggs. These results suggest that there is a limit on the extent to which increased maternal investment in egg size can compensate for a poor posthatching environment. We discuss the implication of our results for a recent study showing that experimental N. vespilloides populations can adapt rapidly to the absence of posthatching parental care.

  10. Two-phase increase in the maximum size of life over 3.5 billion years reflects biological innovation and environmental opportunity

    PubMed Central

    Payne, Jonathan L.; Boyer, Alison G.; Brown, James H.; Finnegan, Seth; Kowalewski, Michał; Krause, Richard A.; Lyons, S. Kathleen; McClain, Craig R.; McShea, Daniel W.; Novack-Gottshall, Philip M.; Smith, Felisa A.; Stempien, Jennifer A.; Wang, Steve C.

    2009-01-01

    The maximum size of organisms has increased enormously since the initial appearance of life >3.5 billion years ago (Gya), but the pattern and timing of this size increase is poorly known. Consequently, controls underlying the size spectrum of the global biota have been difficult to evaluate. Our period-level compilation of the largest known fossil organisms demonstrates that maximum size increased by 16 orders of magnitude since life first appeared in the fossil record. The great majority of the increase is accounted for by 2 discrete steps of approximately equal magnitude: the first in the middle of the Paleoproterozoic Era (≈1.9 Gya) and the second during the late Neoproterozoic and early Paleozoic eras (0.6–0.45 Gya). Each size step required a major innovation in organismal complexity—first the eukaryotic cell and later eukaryotic multicellularity. These size steps coincide with, or slightly postdate, increases in the concentration of atmospheric oxygen, suggesting latent evolutionary potential was realized soon after environmental limitations were removed. PMID:19106296

  11. Role of child weight status and the relative reinforcing value of food in children's response to portion size increases.

    PubMed

    Kral, Tanja V E; Remiker, Adriane M; Strutz, Erin M; Moore, Reneé H

    2014-07-01

    Food portion size is an important determinant of intake in children. It remains unknown if children's weight status and relative reinforcing value of food (RRVF) interact with portion size to affect intake. In a randomized crossover design, 25 normal-weight and 25 obese children, ages 8-10 years, consumed dinner once a week for 3 weeks. At each dinner, the same meal was served, but the portion size of all foods (chicken nuggets, hash browns, ketchup, green beans, brownies) and a sugar-sweetened beverage (fruit punch) varied across conditions (100, 150, and 200%). Children's RRVF was assessed using a behavioral choice task. There was a significant main effect of portion size condition (P = 0.003) and weight status (P = 0.0005) and a nonsignificant trend for a portion size-by-weight status interaction (P = 0.108) on intake. Mean intakes across conditions (100, 150, and 200%) were 801 ± 57, 964 ± 58, and 873 ± 57 kcal for normal-weight children and 1041 ± 57, 1129 ± 57, and 1210 ± 57 kcal for obese children, respectively. Neither the main effect of RRVF status nor the condition-by-RRVF status interaction was significant (P > 0.48). Environments that offer large portions of palatable foods affect all children's intake irrespective of their weight status or how reinforcing they find food to be. Copyright © 2014 The Obesity Society.

  12. An Asymmetric Increase in Inhibitory Synapse Number Underlies the Development of a Direction Selective Circuit in the Retina.

    PubMed

    Morrie, Ryan D; Feller, Marla B

    2015-06-24

    Neural circuits rely upon a precise wiring of their component neurons to perform meaningful computations. To compute the direction of motion in the visual scene, the direction selective circuit in the mouse retina depends on an asymmetry in the inhibitory neurotransmission from starburst amacrine cells (SACs) to direction selective ganglion cells (DSGCs). Specifically, depolarization of a SAC on the null side of a DSGC causes a threefold greater unitary inhibitory conductance than depolarization of a SAC on the preferred side. This asymmetry emerges during the second postnatal week of development, but its basis remains unknown. To determine the source of this asymmetry in inhibitory conductance, we conducted paired recordings between SACs and DSGCs at the beginning and end of the second postnatal week. We replaced calcium with strontium to promote asynchronous neurotransmitter release and produce quantal events. During the second postnatal week the quantal frequency but not the quantal amplitude of synaptic events increased more than threefold for null-side SAC-DSGC pairs but remained constant for preferred-side pairs. In addition, paired-pulse depression did not differ between SACs located on the null and preferred sides of DSGCs, indicating that all inhibitory SAC synapses onto a DSGC exhibit the same probability of release. Thus, the higher quantal frequency seen in null-side pairs results from a greater number of inhibitory synapses, revealing that an asymmetry in synapse number between SACs and DSGCs underlies the development of an essential component in the retina's direction selective circuit.

  13. Periodic orbits of the Skyrmion breathing mode: Classical and quantal analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Abada, A.; Vautherin, D. )

    1992-10-01

    We construct the periodic classical orbits of the Skyrmion breathing mode by a perturbation expansion in the amplitude of the vibration. We first examine the lowest-order construction associated with linear response theory. We find that the monopole response function exhibits a sharp unbound peak which we identify to the Roper resonance {ital N}(1440). A calculation of second-order terms provides an evaluation of the anharmonic corrections. In a second part, we construct a collective Bohr-type Hamiltonian using the knowledge of periodic trajectories. This provides a natural requantization scheme with which we calculate the spectrum of monopole excitations of the Skyrmion. Finally we apply our results to the calculation of color transparency effects. We find that anharmonicities decrease significantly the time taken by a nucleon of small radius to regain its normal size. This effect should diminish the importance of the color transparency phenomenon.

  14. Phenotypic selection to increase floral scent emission, but not flower size or colour in bee-pollinated Penstemon digitalis.

    PubMed

    Parachnowitsch, Amy L; Raguso, Robert A; Kessler, André

    2012-08-01

    Fragrance is a putatively important character in the evolution of flowering plants, but natural selection on scent is rarely studied and thus poorly understood. We characterized floral scent composition and emission in a common garden of Penstemon digitalis from three nearby source populations. We measured phenotypic selection on scent as well as floral traits more frequently examined, such as floral phenology, display size, corolla pigment, and inflorescence height. Scent differed among populations in a common garden, underscoring the potential for scent to be shaped by differential selection pressures. Phenotypic selection on flower number and display size was strong. However, selection favoured scent rather than flower size or colour, suggesting that smelling stronger benefits reproductive success in P. digitalis. Linalool was a direct target of selection and its high frequency in floral-scent bouquets suggests that further studies of both pollinator- and antagonist-mediated selection on this compound would further our understanding of scent evolution. Our results indicate that chemical dimensions of floral display are just as likely as other components to experience selective pressure in a nonspecialized flowering herb. Therefore, studies that integrate visual and chemical floral traits should better reflect the true nature of floral evolutionary ecology. © 2012 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.

  15. Increased WDR spontaneous activity and receptive field size in rats following a neuropathic or inflammatory injury: implications for mechanical sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Chu, Katharine L; Faltynek, Connie R; Jarvis, Michael F; McGaraughty, Steve

    2004-11-30

    Spontaneous activity and receptive field size for spinal wide dynamic range (WDR) neurons were measured and related to the mechanical allodynia in both neuropathic (L5-L6 ligation, 14 days post-injury) and complete Freund's adjuvant-inflamed rats (CFA, 2 days post-injury). The size of the WDR receptive field located on the hindpaw expanded significantly (p<0.01) following both modes of injury, with no difference between CFA and neuropathic animals. Likewise, the spontaneous firing of WDR neurons was significantly elevated following both the CFA (4.4+/-0.6 spikes/s, p<0.01) and neuropathic (3.2+/-0.3 spikes/s, p<0.05) injuries compared to naive (2.1+/-0.2 spikes/s) and sham-neuropathic (1.9+/-0.3 spikes/s) rats. Furthermore, the spontaneous WDR activity recorded from CFA rats was also significantly greater (p<0.05) than neuropathic rats. Mechanical allodynia, as measured by application of a von Frey hair stimulus, was observed from both CFA and neuropathic rats, however, the degree of sensitivity was significantly greater (p<0.01) for the CFA animals. These data suggest that the differences in mechanical sensitivity between CFA and neuropathic rats may be related to their respective changes in WDR spontaneous activity, but not to the changes in receptive field size, and is further demonstration of the importance of spontaneous WDR activity in determining mechanical sensitivity following injury.

  16. T cells translate individual, quantal activation into collective, analog cytokine responses via time-integrated feedbacks

    PubMed Central

    Tkach, Karen E; Barik, Debashis; Voisinne, Guillaume; Malandro, Nicole; Hathorn, Matthew M; Cotari, Jesse W; Vogel, Robert; Merghoub, Taha; Wolchok, Jedd; Krichevsky, Oleg; Altan-Bonnet, Grégoire

    2014-01-01

    Variability within isogenic T cell populations yields heterogeneous ‘local’ signaling responses to shared antigenic stimuli, but responding clones may communicate ‘global’ antigen load through paracrine messengers, such as cytokines. Such coordination of individual cell responses within multicellular populations is critical for accurate collective reactions to shared environmental cues. However, cytokine production may saturate as a function of antigen input, or be dominated by the precursor frequency of antigen-specific T cells. Surprisingly, we found that T cells scale their collective output of IL-2 to total antigen input over a large dynamic range, independently of population size. Through experimental quantitation and computational modeling, we demonstrate that this scaling is enforced by an inhibitory cross-talk between antigen and IL-2 signaling, and a nonlinear acceleration of IL-2 secretion per cell. Our study reveals how time-integration of these regulatory loops within individual cell signaling generates scaled collective responses and can be leveraged for immune monitoring. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01944.001 PMID:24719192

  17. T cells translate individual, quantal activation into collective, analog cytokine responses via time-integrated feedbacks.

    PubMed

    Tkach, Karen E; Barik, Debashis; Voisinne, Guillaume; Malandro, Nicole; Hathorn, Matthew M; Cotari, Jesse W; Vogel, Robert; Merghoub, Taha; Wolchok, Jedd; Krichevsky, Oleg; Altan-Bonnet, Grégoire

    2014-04-09

    Variability within isogenic T cell populations yields heterogeneous 'local' signaling responses to shared antigenic stimuli, but responding clones may communicate 'global' antigen load through paracrine messengers, such as cytokines. Such coordination of individual cell responses within multicellular populations is critical for accurate collective reactions to shared environmental cues. However, cytokine production may saturate as a function of antigen input, or be dominated by the precursor frequency of antigen-specific T cells. Surprisingly, we found that T cells scale their collective output of IL-2 to total antigen input over a large dynamic range, independently of population size. Through experimental quantitation and computational modeling, we demonstrate that this scaling is enforced by an inhibitory cross-talk between antigen and IL-2 signaling, and a nonlinear acceleration of IL-2 secretion per cell. Our study reveals how time-integration of these regulatory loops within individual cell signaling generates scaled collective responses and can be leveraged for immune monitoring. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01944.001.

  18. Spinal dorsal horn cell receptive field size is increased in adult rats following neonatal hindpaw skin injury.

    PubMed

    Torsney, Carole; Fitzgerald, Maria

    2003-07-01

    Local tissue damage in newborn rats can lead to changes in skin sensitivity that last into adulthood and this is likely to be due to plasticity of developing peripheral and central sensory connections. This study examines the functional connections of dorsal horn neurons in young and adult rats that have undergone local skin damage at birth. Newborn rat pups were halothane anaesthetised and received either a unilateral subcutaneous plantar injection of 1 % lambda-carrageenan or a unilateral plantar foot injury made by removal of 2 mm x 2 mm of skin. At 3 weeks, (postnatal day (P) 19-23) and 6 weeks (P40-44) in vivo extracellular recordings of single dorsal horn cells with plantar cutaneous receptive fields were made under urethane anaesthesia (2 g kg-1) and responses to mechanical and electrical stimulation of the skin were assessed. Following neonatal carrageenan inflammation, dorsal horn neuron properties and receptive field sizes at 3 weeks were the same as those of controls. In contrast, following neonatal skin injury, dorsal horn cell receptive field sizes were significantly greater than those of controls at 3 weeks (2.5-fold) and at 6 weeks (2.2-fold). Mechanical thresholds, mechanical response magnitudes and evoked responses to single and repeated A and C fibre stimulation remained unaffected. These results show that early skin injury can cause prolonged changes in central sensory connections that persist into adult life, long after the skin has healed. Enlarged dorsal horn neuron receptive field sizes provide a physiological mechanism for the persistent behavioural hypersensitivity that follows neonatal skin injury in rats and for the prolonged sensory changes reported in human infants after early pain and injury.

  19. Remote ischemic preconditioning impairs ventricular function and increases infarct size after prolonged ischemia in the isolated neonatal rabbit heart.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Michael R; Støttrup, Nicolaj B; Michelsen, Marie M; Contractor, Hussain; Sørensen, Keld E; Kharbanda, Rajesh K; Redington, Andrew N; Bøtker, Hans E

    2014-03-01

    Remote ischemic preconditioning (rIPC) reduces myocardial injury in adults and children undergoing cardiac surgery. We compared the effect of rIPC in adult and neonatal rabbits to investigate whether protection against ischemia-reperfusion injury can be achieved in the newborn heart by (1) in vivo rIPC and (2) dialysate from adult rabbits undergoing rIPC. Isolated hearts from newborn and adult rabbits were randomized into 3 subgroups (control, in vivo rIPC, and dialysate obtained from adult, remotely preconditioned rabbits). Remote preconditioning was induced by four 5-minute cycles of lower limb ischemia. Left ventricular (LV) function was assessed using a balloon-tipped catheter, glycolytic flux by tracer kinetics, and infarct size by tetrazolium staining. Isolated hearts underwent stabilization while perfused with standard Krebs-Henseleit buffer (control and in vivo rIPC) or Krebs-Henseleit buffer with added dialysate, followed by global no-flow ischemia and reperfusion. Within the age groups, the baseline LV function was similar in all subgroups. In the adult rabbit hearts, rIPC and rIPC dialysate attenuated glycolytic flux and protected against ischemia-reperfusion injury, with better-preserved LV function compared with that of the controls. In contrast, in the neonatal hearts, the glycolytic flux was lower and LV function was better preserved in the controls than in the rIPC and dialysate groups. In the adult hearts, the infarct size was reduced in the rIPC and dialysate groups compared with that in the controls. In the neonatal hearts, the infarct size was smaller in the controls than in the rIPC and dialysate groups. Remote ischemic preconditioning does not protect against ischemia-reperfusion injury in isolated newborn rabbit hearts and might even cause deleterious effects. Similar adverse effects were induced by dialysate from remotely preconditioned adult rabbits. Copyright © 2014 The American Association for Thoracic Surgery. All rights reserved.

  20. Evidence for the role of non-quantal acetylcholine in the maintenance of the membrane potential of rat skeletal muscle

    PubMed Central

    Bray, J. J.; Forrest, J. W.; Hubbard, J. I.

    1982-01-01

    1. Resting membrane potentials of rat diaphragm muscles cultured in Trowell T8 medium were measured in vitro. After 3 hr in culture the resting membrane potential of muscle fibres within 2·5 mm of nerve section (`near') was -68·3 ± 0·4 mV (nineteen preparations). This was significantly lower (P < 0·001) than the resting potential (-74·0 ± 0·4 mV) measured in muscle fibres 8-10 mm from the site of nerve section (`far') in the same preparations. A difference between the `near' and the `far' fibres was maintained in muscles cultured for 6 and 12 hr. Miniature end-plate potentials were present in both `near' and `far' fibres cultured for 3 and 6 hr and ceased after 12-15 hr. 2. The presence of carbamylcholine (10-7 or 10-8 M) maintained the resting membrane potential of `near' fibres close to that of `far' fibres at 3, 6 and 12 hr. For example, at 3 hr in the presence of 10-8 M-carbamylcholine the mean resting potential was 75·6 ± 0·5 mV in `near' fibres and 76·1 ± 0·4 mV in `far' fibres (four preparations). A similar effect was produced in preparations exposed to anticholinesterases: diisopropylphosphorofluoridate (DFP) (10-7 M), neostigmine (10-7 M) or physostigmine (10-5 M). 3. Agents that blocked acetylcholine receptors had the reverse effect. In the presence of α-bungarotoxin (1 μg/ml.) or d-tubocurarine (10-5 M) the resting membrane potential of `far' fibres was reduced to the level of `near' fibres over the 24 hr period of observation. For example, at 3 hr in the presence of α-bungarotoxin the mean resting potential was 67·2 ± 0·5 mV in `near' fibres and 68·5 ± 0·6 mV in `far' fibres (six preparations). The effect of d-tubocurarine was reversible. 4. When muscles were cultured in Ca2+-free medium containing 1 mM-EGTA and 10 mM-Mg2+, there was no difference in membrane potential between `near' and `far' fibres and physostigmine (10-5 M) was ineffective in raising the membrane potential of `near' fibres. 5. It is suggested that non-quantal

  1. Histomorphology of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) pancreas and association of increasing islet β-cell size with chronic hypercholesterolemia.

    PubMed

    Colegrove, Kathleen M; Venn-Watson, Stephanie

    2015-04-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) can develop metabolic states mimicking prediabetes, including hyperinsulinemia, hyperlipidemia, elevated glucose, and fatty liver disease. Little is known, however, about dolphin pancreatic histomorphology. Distribution and area of islets, α, β, and δ cells were evaluated in pancreatic tissue from 22 dolphins (mean age 25.7years, range 0-51). Associations of these measurements were evaluated by sex, age, percent high glucose and lipids during the last year of life, and presence or absence of fatty liver disease and islet cell vacuolation. The most common pancreatic lesions identified were exocrine pancreas fibrosis (63.6%) and mild islet cell vacuolation (47.4%); there was no evidence of insulitis or amyloid deposition, changes commonly associated with type 2 diabetes. Dolphin islet architecture appears to be most similar to the pig, where α and β cells are localized to the central or periphery of the islet, respectively, or are well dispersed throughout the islet. Unlike pigs, large islets (greater than 10,000μm(2)) were common in dolphins, similar to that found in humans. A positive linear association was identified between dolphin age and islet area average, supporting a compensatory response similar to other species. The strongest finding in this study was a positive linear association between islet size, specifically β-cells, and percent blood samples with high cholesterol (greater than 280mg/dl, R(2)=0.57). This study is the most comprehensive assessment of the dolphin pancreas to date and may help direct future studies, including associations between chronic hypercholesterolemia and β-cell size.

  2. Synaptic vesicle exocytosis captured by quick freezing and correlated with quantal transmitter release

    PubMed Central

    1979-01-01

    We describe the design and operation of a machine that freezes biological tissues by contact with a cold metal block, which incorporates a timing circuit that stimulates frog neuromuscular junctions in the last few milliseconds before thay are frozen. We show freeze-fracture replicas of nerve terminals frozen during transmitter discharge, which display synpatic vesicles caught in the act of exocytosis. We use 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) to increase the number of transmitter quanta discharged with each nerve impulse, and show that the number of exocytotic vesicles caught by quick-freezing increases commensurately, indicating that one vesicle undergoes exocytosis for each quantum that is discharged. We perform statistical analyses on the spatial distribution of synaptic vesicle discharge sites along the "active zones" that mark the secretory regions of these nerves, and show that individual vesicles fuse with the plasma membrane independent of one another, as expected from physiological demonstrations that quanta are discharged independently. Thus, the utility of quick- freezing as a technique to capture biological processes as evanescent as synaptic transmission has been established. An appendix describes a new capacitance method to measure freezing rates, which shows that the "temporal resolution" of our quick-freezing technique is 2 ms or better. PMID:38256

  3. Visible-light absorption in 2D covalent triazine framework: enhanced by interlayer coupling and pore size increasing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Xue; Zhao, Jijun; Dalian University of Technology Collaboration

    2014-03-01

    Compared with traditional bulk materials, two-dimensional (2D) crystals have some intrinsic advantages as photocatalysis owing to the limited thickness and large surface area. So far, many monolayer materials have been shown to be potential photocatalysis for water splitting from both theoretical calculations and experiments; while most of them are inorganic materials. In contrast, g-carbon nitride, as a starting successful case, motivates us to explore 2D organic semiconductors, which have not yet well investigated. Using first principles calculations, we predicted a family of 2D covalent triazine framework (CTF) as a promising visible-light-driven photocatalyst by studying their electronic structures, work function, CBM/VBM position, and optical absorption spectra. Moreover, we found that multilayer CTF have much better visible-light adsorption than a single layer induced by the interlayer coupling. In addition, controlled construction of such CTF from suitable organic subunit pave the way for connection between the optical energy gap of CTF and pore size. The insights from our study not only enrich the family of organic semiconductor photocatalyst, but also are very helpful in designing and assembling CTF subunits for optimal performance.

  4. Heavy resistance training increases muscle size, strength and physical function in elderly male COPD-patients--a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Kongsgaard, M; Backer, V; Jørgensen, K; Kjaer, M; Beyer, N

    2004-10-01

    This study investigated the effects of heavy resistance training in elderly males with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 18 Home-dwelling male patients (age range: 65-80 years), with a mean forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) of 46 +/- 3.4% of predicted value, were recruited. Baseline and post-training assessments included: Cross-sectional area (CSA) of quadriceps assessed by MRI, isometric and isokinetic knee extension strength, isometric trunk strength, leg extension power, normal and maximal gait-speed on a 30 m track, stair climbing time, number of chair stands in 30 s, lung function (FEV1) and self-reported health. Subjects were randomized to a resistance training group (RE, n = 9) or a control group conducting breathing exercises (CON, n = 9). RE performed heavy progressive resistance training twice a week for 12 weeks. 6 RE and 7 CON completed the study. In RE the following improved (P < 0.05): Quadriceps CSA: 4%, isometric knee extension strength: 14%, isokinetic knee extension strength at 60 degrees /s.: 18%, leg extension power: 19%, maximal gait speed: 14%, stair climbing time: 17%, isometric trunk flexion: 5% and self-reported health. In CON no changes were found. In conclusion, 12 weeks of heavy resistance training twice a week resulted in significant improvements in muscle size, knee extension strength, leg extension power, functional performance and self-reported health in elderly male COPD patients.

  5. Intestinal and peritoneal mast cells differ in kinetics of quantal release.

    PubMed

    Balseiro-Gomez, Santiago; Ramirez-Ponce, M Pilar; Acosta, Jorge; Ales, Eva; Flores, Juan A

    2016-01-15

    5-hydroxytriptamine (5-HT, serotonin) storage and release in mast cell (MC) secretory granules (SG) are dependent on serglycin proteoglycans (PG). This notion is based on the studies of MC of the connective tissue subtype that predominantly contain PG of the heparin type, whereas intestinal mucosal MC, which contain predominantly chondroitin sulfate, have been poorly explored. In the present study, we addressed the possibility that PG contents may differently affect the storage and release of preformed mediators in these two MC subclasses and explain in part their different functional properties. Rat peritoneal (PMC) and intestinal mast cells (IMC) were isolated and purified using a percoll gradient, and the efflux of 5-HT from each SG was measured by amperometric detection. IMC exhibited a ∼34% reduction in the release of 5-HT compared with PMC because of a lower number of exocytotic events, rather than a lower secretion per single exocytotic event. Amperometric spikes from IMC exhibited a slower decay phase and increased half-width but a similar ascending phase and foot parameters, indicating that the fusion pore kinetics are comparable in both MC subclasses. We conclude that both PG subtypes are equally efficient systems, directly involved in serotonin accumulation, and play a crucial role in regulating the kinetics of exocytosis from SG, providing specific secretory properties for the two cellular subtypes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Random Photon Absorption Model Elucidates How Early Gain Control in Fly Photoreceptors Arises from Quantal Sampling.

    PubMed

    Song, Zhuoyi; Zhou, Yu; Juusola, Mikko

    2016-01-01

    Many diurnal photoreceptors encode vast real-world light changes effectively, but how this performance originates from photon sampling is unclear. A 4-module biophysically-realistic fly photoreceptor model, in which information capture is limited by the number of its sampling units (microvilli) and their photon-hit recovery time (refractoriness), can accurately simulate real recordings and their information content. However, sublinear summation in quantum bump production (quantum-gain-nonlinearity) may also cause adaptation by reducing the bump/photon gain when multiple photons hit the same microvillus simultaneously. Here, we use a Random Photon Absorption Model (RandPAM), which is the 1st module of the 4-module fly photoreceptor model, to quantify the contribution of quantum-gain-nonlinearity in light adaptation. We show how quantum-gain-nonlinearity already results from photon sampling alone. In the extreme case, when two or more simultaneous photon-hits reduce to a single sublinear value, quantum-gain-nonlinearity is preset before the phototransduction reactions adapt the quantum bump waveform. However, the contribution of quantum-gain-nonlinearity in light adaptation depends upon the likelihood of multi-photon-hits, which is strictly determined by the number of microvilli and light intensity. Specifically, its contribution to light-adaptation is marginal (≤ 1%) in fly photoreceptors with many thousands of microvilli, because the probability of simultaneous multi-photon-hits on any one microvillus is low even during daylight conditions. However, in cells with fewer sampling units, the impact of quantum-gain-nonlinearity increases with brightening light.

  7. Intestinal and peritoneal mast cells differ in kinetics of quantal release

    SciTech Connect

    Balseiro-Gomez, Santiago Ramirez-Ponce, M. Pilar Acosta, Jorge Ales, Eva Flores, Juan A.

    2016-01-15

    5-hydroxytriptamine (5-HT, serotonin) storage and release in mast cell (MC) secretory granules (SG) are dependent on serglycin proteoglycans (PG). This notion is based on the studies of MC of the connective tissue subtype that predominantly contain PG of the heparin type, whereas intestinal mucosal MC, which contain predominantly chondroitin sulfate, have been poorly explored. In the present study, we addressed the possibility that PG contents may differently affect the storage and release of preformed mediators in these two MC subclasses and explain in part their different functional properties. Rat peritoneal (PMC) and intestinal mast cells (IMC) were isolated and purified using a percoll gradient, and the efflux of 5-HT from each SG was measured by amperometric detection. IMC exhibited a ∼34% reduction in the release of 5-HT compared with PMC because of a lower number of exocytotic events, rather than a lower secretion per single exocytotic event. Amperometric spikes from IMC exhibited a slower decay phase and increased half-width but a similar ascending phase and foot parameters, indicating that the fusion pore kinetics are comparable in both MC subclasses. We conclude that both PG subtypes are equally efficient systems, directly involved in serotonin accumulation, and play a crucial role in regulating the kinetics of exocytosis from SG, providing specific secretory properties for the two cellular subtypes. - Highlights: • We improved a method for isolating and purifying IMC. • There was a reduction in total serotonin release in IMC with respect to PMC. • This decrease was not due to less secretion per quantum but a lower number of exocytotic events. • There was also a deceleration of exocytosis in IMC with respect to PMC.

  8. Random Photon Absorption Model Elucidates How Early Gain Control in Fly Photoreceptors Arises from Quantal Sampling

    PubMed Central

    Song, Zhuoyi; Zhou, Yu; Juusola, Mikko

    2016-01-01

    Many diurnal photoreceptors encode vast real-world light changes effectively, but how this performance originates from photon sampling is unclear. A 4-module biophysically-realistic fly photoreceptor model, in which information capture is limited by the number of its sampling units (microvilli) and their photon-hit recovery time (refractoriness), can accurately simulate real recordings and their information content. However, sublinear summation in quantum bump production (quantum-gain-nonlinearity) may also cause adaptation by reducing the bump/photon gain when multiple photons hit the same microvillus simultaneously. Here, we use a Random Photon Absorption Model (RandPAM), which is the 1st module of the 4-module fly photoreceptor model, to quantify the contribution of quantum-gain-nonlinearity in light adaptation. We show how quantum-gain-nonlinearity already results from photon sampling alone. In the extreme case, when two or more simultaneous photon-hits reduce to a single sublinear value, quantum-gain-nonlinearity is preset before the phototransduction reactions adapt the quantum bump waveform. However, the contribution of quantum-gain-nonlinearity in light adaptation depends upon the likelihood of multi-photon-hits, which is strictly determined by the number of microvilli and light intensity. Specifically, its contribution to light-adaptation is marginal (≤ 1%) in fly photoreceptors with many thousands of microvilli, because the probability of simultaneous multi-photon-hits on any one microvillus is low even during daylight conditions. However, in cells with fewer sampling units, the impact of quantum-gain-nonlinearity increases with brightening light. PMID:27445779

  9. Planning and Delivering Instruction with Increasing Class Sizes in Educational Administration Program Coursework: Modeling Leadership Skills for New Professors Transitioning from K-12 Administration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stebbins, Gary

    2009-01-01

    Increased class sizes and advising responsibilities are the new realities in California's graduate programs of Educational Administration. In order to effectively meet new challenges, professors must make adjustments in venue, plan meticulously, utilize technology, distribute leadership, and implement alternative grading systems. This is a…

  10. The effect of increasing the pore size of nanofibrous scaffolds on the osteogenic cell culture using a combination of sacrificial agent electrospinning and ultrasonication.

    PubMed

    Aghajanpoor, Mahdiyeh; Hashemi-Najafabadi, Sameereh; Baghaban-Eslaminejad, Mohamadreza; Bagheri, Fatemeh; Mohammad Mousavi, Seyyed; Azam Sayyahpour, Foruogh

    2017-03-03

    One of the major problems associated with the electrospun scaffolds is their small pore size, which limits the cellular infiltration for bone tissue engineering. In this study, the effect of increasing the pore size on cellular infiltration was studied in poly/nanohydroxyapatite electrospun scaffolds, which were modified using ultrasonication, co-electrospinning with poly (ethylene oxide), and a combination of both. Ultrasonic process was optimized by central composite design. The ultrasonic output power and time of the process were considered as the effective parameters. The pore size of the scaffolds was evaluated by scanning electron microscope. The optimum conditions, according to the pore area and mechanical properties of the scaffolds were selected, and finally the groups that had the highest pore size and mechanical strength were selected for the combined method. Increasing the pore size enhanced the cellular proliferation, extension and infiltration, as well as the osteodifferentiation of stem cells. At the optimum condition, the average cellular infiltration was 36.51 µm compared to the control group with no cellular infiltration. In addition, alkaline phosphatase activity and the expression of osteocalcin and collagen I (COL I) were, respectively, 1.86, 2.54, and 2.16 fold compared to the control group on day 14. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A, 2017.

  11. Electromagnetic transponders indicate prostate size increase followed by decrease during the course of external beam radiation therapy.

    PubMed

    King, Benjamin L; Butler, Wayne M; Merrick, Gregory S; Kurko, Brian S; Reed, Joshua L; Murray, Brian C; Wallner, Kent E

    2011-04-01

    Real-time image guidance enables more accurate radiation therapy by tracking target movement. This study used transponder positions to monitor changes in prostate volume that may be a source of dosimetric and target inaccuracy. Twenty-four men with biopsy-proven T1c-T3a prostate cancer each had three electromagnetic transponders implanted transperineally. Their coordinates were recorded by the Calypso system, and the perimeter of the triangle formed by the transponders was used to calculate prostate volumes at sequential time points throughout the course of radiation therapy to a dose of 81 Gy in 1.8-Gy fractions. There was a significant decrease in mean prostate volume of 10.9% from the first to the final day of radiation therapy. The volume loss did not occur monotonically but increased in most patients (75%) during the first several weeks to a median maximum on Day 7. The volume increased by a mean of 6.1% before decreasing by a mean maximum difference of 18.4% to nadir (p < 0.001 for both increase and decrease). Glandular shrinkage was asymmetric, with the apex to right base dimension varying more than twice that of the lateral dimension. For all dimensions, the mean change was <0.5 cm. Real-time transponder positions indicated a volume increase during the initial days of radiation therapy and then significant and asymmetric shrinkage by the final day. Understanding and tracking volume fluctuations of the prostate during radiation therapy can help real-time imaging technology perform to its fullest potential. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Electromagnetic Transponders Indicate Prostate Size Increase Followed by Decrease During the Course of External Beam Radiation Therapy

    SciTech Connect

    King, Benjamin L.; Butler, Wayne M.; Merrick, Gregory S.; Kurko, Brian S.; Reed, Joshua L.; Murray, Brian C.; Wallner, Kent E.

    2011-04-01

    Purpose: Real-time image guidance enables more accurate radiation therapy by tracking target movement. This study used transponder positions to monitor changes in prostate volume that may be a source of dosimetric and target inaccuracy. Methods and Materials: Twenty-four men with biopsy-proven T1c-T3a prostate cancer each had three electromagnetic transponders implanted transperineally. Their coordinates were recorded by the Calypso system, and the perimeter of the triangle formed by the transponders was used to calculate prostate volumes at sequential time points throughout the course of radiation therapy to a dose of 81 Gy in 1.8-Gy fractions. Results: There was a significant decrease in mean prostate volume of 10.9% from the first to the final day of radiation therapy. The volume loss did not occur monotonically but increased in most patients (75%) during the first several weeks to a median maximum on Day 7. The volume increased by a mean of 6.1% before decreasing by a mean maximum difference of 18.4% to nadir (p < 0.001 for both increase and decrease). Glandular shrinkage was asymmetric, with the apex to right base dimension varying more than twice that of the lateral dimension. For all dimensions, the mean change was <0.5 cm. Conclusion: Real-time transponder positions indicated a volume increase during the initial days of radiation therapy and then significant and asymmetric shrinkage by the final day. Understanding and tracking volume fluctuations of the prostate during radiation therapy can help real-time imaging technology perform to its fullest potential.

  13. Metabolic engineering of the purine biosynthetic pathway in Corynebacterium glutamicum results in increased intracellular pool sizes of IMP and hypoxanthine

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Purine nucleotides exhibit various functions in cellular metabolism. Besides serving as building blocks for nucleic acid synthesis, they participate in signaling pathways and energy metabolism. Further, IMP and GMP represent industrially relevant biotechnological products used as flavor enhancing additives in food industry. Therefore, this work aimed towards the accumulation of IMP applying targeted genetic engineering of Corynebacterium glutamicum. Results Blocking of the degrading reactions towards AMP and GMP lead to a 45-fold increased intracellular IMP pool of 22 μmol gCDW-1. Deletion of the pgi gene encoding glucose 6-phosphate isomerase in combination with the deactivated AMP and GMP generating reactions, however, resulted in significantly decreased IMP pools (13 μmol gCDW-1). Targeted metabolite profiling of the purine biosynthetic pathway further revealed a metabolite shift towards the formation of the corresponding nucleobase hypoxanthine (102 μmol gCDW-1) derived from IMP degradation. Conclusions The purine biosynthetic pathway is strongly interconnected with various parts of the central metabolism and therefore tightly controlled. However, deleting degrading reactions from IMP to AMP and GMP significantly increased intracellular IMP levels. Due to the complexity of this pathway further degradation from IMP to the corresponding nucleobase drastically increased suggesting additional targets for future strain optimization. PMID:23092390

  14. Metabolic engineering of the purine biosynthetic pathway in Corynebacterium glutamicum results in increased intracellular pool sizes of IMP and hypoxanthine.

    PubMed

    Peifer, Susanne; Barduhn, Tobias; Zimmet, Sarah; Volmer, Dietrich A; Heinzle, Elmar; Schneider, Konstantin

    2012-10-24

    Purine nucleotides exhibit various functions in cellular metabolism. Besides serving as building blocks for nucleic acid synthesis, they participate in signaling pathways and energy metabolism. Further, IMP and GMP represent industrially relevant biotechnological products used as flavor enhancing additives in food industry. Therefore, this work aimed towards the accumulation of IMP applying targeted genetic engineering of Corynebacterium glutamicum. Blocking of the degrading reactions towards AMP and GMP lead to a 45-fold increased intracellular IMP pool of 22 μmol g(CDW)⁻¹. Deletion of the pgi gene encoding glucose 6-phosphate isomerase in combination with the deactivated AMP and GMP generating reactions, however, resulted in significantly decreased IMP pools (13 μmol g(CDW)⁻¹). Targeted metabolite profiling of the purine biosynthetic pathway further revealed a metabolite shift towards the formation of the corresponding nucleobase hypoxanthine (102 μmol g(CDW)⁻¹) derived from IMP degradation. The purine biosynthetic pathway is strongly interconnected with various parts of the central metabolism and therefore tightly controlled. However, deleting degrading reactions from IMP to AMP and GMP significantly increased intracellular IMP levels. Due to the complexity of this pathway further degradation from IMP to the corresponding nucleobase drastically increased suggesting additional targets for future strain optimization.

  15. Increasing the recipient benefit/donor risk ratio by lowering the graft size requirement for living donor liver transplantation.

    PubMed

    Chan, See Ching; Fan, Sheung Tat; Chok, Kenneth S H; Sharr, William W; Dai, Wing Chiu; Fung, James Y Y; Chan, Kwok Yin; Balsarkar, Dharmesh J; Lo, Chung Mau

    2012-09-01

    In living donor liver transplantation (LDLT), a right liver graft is larger than a left liver graft and hence leads to better recipient survival. However, in comparison with donor left hepatectomy, donor right hepatectomy carries a higher donor risk. We estimated the expansion of the applicability of left liver living donor liver transplantation (LLDLT) by lowering the graft weight (GW)/standard liver volume (SLV) ratio in increments of 5%. Consecutive LDLT cases were included in this study. The results of computed tomography volumetry provided the graft volume measurements, and the GW was derived from the graft volume with the conversion factor of 1.19 mL/g. We tried to estimate how many more times LLDLT would have been feasible if the GW/SLV requirement had been lowered to 40%, 35%, 30%, or 25%. In all, 361 consecutive donor-recipient pairs underwent LDLT. Right liver living donor liver transplantation (RLDLT) accounted for 95% of the LDLT cases. Most recipients were male (74.2%), and most donors were female (60.4%). The median GW/SLV ratio was 46% (47% for RLDLT and 37% for LLDLT, P < 0.001). Two of the 218 female donors donated the left liver, and 12 of the 93 female recipients received a left liver. In 147 of the 173 cases (85%) when the donor was female and the recipient was male, the GW/SLV ratio did not reach 30%. LLDLT could have been performed more often than 5% of the time if a lower GW/SLV requirement had been adopted. With GW/SLV ratios ≥ 40%, ≥ 35%, ≥ 30%, and ≥ 25%, the proportion of LLDLT cases would have risen from 5% to 5.8%, 12.5%, 29.1%, and 62.3%, respectively. LLDLT could have been performed approximately twice as often with every 5% reduction of the GW/SLV requirement. In conclusion, lowering the graft size requirement could improve the applicability of LLDLT and hence reduce donor risk.

  16. TP53 copy number expansion is associated with the evolution of increased body size and an enhanced DNA damage response in elephants

    PubMed Central

    Sulak, Michael; Fong, Lindsey; Mika, Katelyn; Chigurupati, Sravanthi; Yon, Lisa; Mongan, Nigel P; Emes, Richard D; Lynch, Vincent J

    2016-01-01

    A major constraint on the evolution of large body sizes in animals is an increased risk of developing cancer. There is no correlation, however, between body size and cancer risk. This lack of correlation is often referred to as 'Peto's Paradox'. Here, we show that the elephant genome encodes 20 copies of the tumor suppressor gene TP53 and that the increase in TP53 copy number occurred coincident with the evolution of large body sizes, the evolution of extreme sensitivity to genotoxic stress, and a hyperactive TP53 signaling pathway in the elephant (Proboscidean) lineage. Furthermore, we show that several of the TP53 retrogenes (TP53RTGs) are transcribed and likely translated. While TP53RTGs do not appear to directly function as transcription factors, they do contribute to the enhanced sensitivity of elephant cells to DNA damage and the induction of apoptosis by regulating activity of the TP53 signaling pathway. These results suggest that an increase in the copy number of TP53 may have played a direct role in the evolution of very large body sizes and the resolution of Peto's paradox in Proboscideans. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11994.001 PMID:27642012

  17. TP53 copy number expansion is associated with the evolution of increased body size and an enhanced DNA damage response in elephants.

    PubMed

    Sulak, Michael; Fong, Lindsey; Mika, Katelyn; Chigurupati, Sravanthi; Yon, Lisa; Mongan, Nigel P; Emes, Richard D; Lynch, Vincent J

    2016-09-19

    A major constraint on the evolution of large body sizes in animals is an increased risk of developing cancer. There is no correlation, however, between body size and cancer risk. This lack of correlation is often referred to as 'Peto's Paradox'. Here, we show that the elephant genome encodes 20 copies of the tumor suppressor gene TP53 and that the increase in TP53 copy number occurred coincident with the evolution of large body sizes, the evolution of extreme sensitivity to genotoxic stress, and a hyperactive TP53 signaling pathway in the elephant (Proboscidean) lineage. Furthermore, we show that several of the TP53 retrogenes (TP53RTGs) are transcribed and likely translated. While TP53RTGs do not appear to directly function as transcription factors, they do contribute to the enhanced sensitivity of elephant cells to DNA damage and the induction of apoptosis by regulating activity of the TP53 signaling pathway. These results suggest that an increase in the copy number of TP53 may have played a direct role in the evolution of very large body sizes and the resolution of Peto's paradox in Proboscideans.

  18. Increase in body size is correlated to warmer winters in a passerine bird as inferred from time series data.

    PubMed

    Björklund, Mats; Borras, Antoni; Cabrera, Josep; Senar, Juan Carlos

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is expected to affect natural populations in many ways. One way of getting an understanding of the effects of a changing climate is to analyze time series of natural populations. Therefore, we analyzed time series of 25 and 20 years, respectively, in two populations of the citril finch (Carduelis citrinella) to understand the background of a dramatic increase in wing length in this species over this period, ranging between 1.3 and 2.9 phenotypic standard deviations. We found that the increase in wing length is closely correlated to warmer winters and in one case to rain in relation to temperature in the summer. In order to understand the process of change, we implemented seven simulation models, ranging from two nonadaptive models (drift and sampling), and five adaptive models with selection and/or phenotypic plasticity involved and tested these models against the time series of males and females from the two population separately. The nonadaptive models were rejected in each case, but the results were mixed when it comes to the adaptive models. The difference in fit of the models was sometimes not significant indicating that the models were not different enough. In conclusion, the dramatic change in mean wing length can best be explained as an adaptive response to a changing climate.

  19. Prenatal Exposure to Autism-Specific Maternal Autoantibodies Alters Proliferation of Cortical Neural Precursor Cells, Enlarges Brain, and Increases Neuronal Size in Adult Animals

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Cerdeño, Verónica; Camacho, Jasmin; Fox, Elizabeth; Miller, Elaine; Ariza, Jeanelle; Kienzle, Devon; Plank, Kaela; Noctor, Stephen C.; Van de Water, Judy

    2016-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) affect up to 1 in 68 children. Autism-specific autoantibodies directed against fetal brain proteins have been found exclusively in a subpopulation of mothers whose children were diagnosed with ASD or maternal autoantibody-related autism. We tested the impact of autoantibodies on brain development in mice by transferring human antigen-specific IgG directly into the cerebral ventricles of embryonic mice during cortical neurogenesis. We show that autoantibodies recognize radial glial cells during development. We also show that prenatal exposure to autism-specific maternal autoantibodies increased stem cell proliferation in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the embryonic neocortex, increased adult brain size and weight, and increased the size of adult cortical neurons. We propose that prenatal exposure to autism-specific maternal autoantibodies directly affects radial glial cell development and presents a viable pathologic mechanism for the maternal autoantibody-related prenatal ASD risk factor. PMID:25535268

  20. Clutch size and egg volume in great tits (Parus major) increase under low intensity electromagnetic fields: a long-term field study.

    PubMed

    Tomás, Gustavo; Barba, Emilio; Merino, Santiago; Martínez, Javier

    2012-10-01

    Exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) can affect a wide range of biological processes, including reproduction, growth and development. Experiments aimed at investigating the biological effects of EMFs, focused on potential harmful effects on humans, have been mostly carried out in vitro or with animal models in laboratory conditions. By contrast, studies performed on wild animals are scarce. The effects of EMFs created by an electric power line on reproductive traits of a wild great tit (Parus major) population were explored by analysing data gathered during nine breeding seasons. EMF exposure significantly increased clutch size (7%) and egg volume (3%), implying a 10% increase in clutch volume. This indicates an increase in reproductive investment from parent birds exposed to EMFs as compared to the adjacent reference area. These results cannot be attributed to habitat or adult quality differences between the exposed and reference group. Nevertheless, no differences in hatching success or final productivity (fledging and reproductive success or nestling body mass) could be detected. Our study clearly shows that EMFs created by power lines can have biological consequences in wild organisms that live intimately with them. To our knowledge, this is the first study showing an increase in clutch size, and one of the few reporting an increase in egg size, associated with EMF exposure. The possible mechanisms by which great tits invest more under EMF exposure are discussed, and future research directions to evaluate the effect of EMFs on avian reproduction in the wild are suggested.

  1. Melatonin treatment of pre-veraison grape berries to increase size and synchronicity of berries and modify wine aroma components.

    PubMed

    Meng, Jiang-Fei; Xu, Teng-Fei; Song, Chang-Zheng; Yu, Yong; Hu, Fan; Zhang, Li; Zhang, Zhen-Wen; Xi, Zhu-Mei

    2015-10-15

    A comprehensive investigation was carried out to determine the effect of exogenous melatonin treatment of pre-veraison grapes on grape berries and its wines. Two melatonin treatments of pre-veraison grape berries increased the weight of the berries by approximately 6.6%. Meanwhile, this melatonin treatment could be beneficial in the reduction of underripe and overripe fruits and in enhancing the synchronicity of the berries. In addition, there were significant differences in the volatile compound composition between the wine produced from the melatonin-treated berries and the wines made from untreated berries. The wine from melatonin-treated pre-veraison grape berries had stronger fruity, spicy, and sweet sensory properties, compared to the wines made from untreated berries. Prolonging the treatment through repeated applications can enhance these effects and under different seasonal conditions, more pronounced effects on the grape quality and wine properties can be observed.

  2. The elusive quantal individual

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Groenewold, H. J.

    1985-10-01

    In the formal hedgehog representation of quantum mechanics [5] (ambiguous) weights are derived for hedgehogs with a finite number of questions and answers, in particular applied to spin {1}/{2} and to correlated spin {1}/{2} pairs. Unavoidable negative weights are a clear signal for conceptual difficulties in quantum mechanical interpretation. If these weights had been presupposed to be non-negative, they could have led to Bell-like inequalities inconsistent with quantum mechanics. This is what has happened already in various special models. Owing to the indefinite weights, the hedgehog hypothesis of one-to-one mapping between individual physical samples and individual fictitious hedgehogs cannot be maintained. If no physical interpretation is conceived for the negative weights, the only way to avoid unsolved conceptual difficulties appears to resign (even in the hedgehog representation) to the skeptical ensemble interpretation [1], without theorizing about individual physical samples at all.

  3. Quantal Response: Nonparametric Modeling

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2017-01-01

    evaluating Dp is easy. D <- diff (diag(n)) / diff (x, lag=1) if (p>1) for (j in 2:p) D <- j * ( diff (diag(n - j + 1)) / diff (x, lag=j)) %*% D Here, diff (diag...n)) is ν(n) and diff (x, lag=j)) is δ(x, j). 57 Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. List of Symbols, Abbreviations, and Acronyms

  4. Spontaneous intrauterine growth restriction due to increased litter size in the guinea pig programmes postnatal growth, appetite and adult body composition.

    PubMed

    Horton, D M; Saint, D A; Owens, J A; Kind, K L; Gatford, K L

    2016-10-01

    Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and subsequent neonatal catch-up growth are implicated in the programming of increased appetite, adiposity and cardiometabolic diseases. Guinea pigs provide an alternate small animal model to rodents to investigate mechanisms underlying prenatal programming, being relatively precocial at birth, with smaller litter sizes and undergoing neonatal catch-up growth after IUGR. The current study, therefore, investigated postnatal consequences of spontaneous IUGR due to varying litter size in this species. Size at birth, neonatal, juvenile (post-weaning, 30-60 days) and adolescent (60-90 days) growth, juvenile and adolescent food intake, and body composition of young adults (120 days) were measured in 158 male and female guinea pigs from litter sizes of one to five pups. Compared with singleton pups, birth weight of pups from litters of five was reduced by 38%. Other birth size measures were reduced to lesser degrees with head dimensions being relatively conserved. Pups from larger litters had faster fractional neonatal growth and faster absolute and fractional juvenile growth rates (P<0.005 for all). Relationships of post-weaning growth, feed intakes and adult body composition with size at birth and neonatal growth rate were sex specific, with neonatal growth rates strongly and positively correlated with adiposity in males only. In conclusion, spontaneous IUGR due to large litter sizes in the guinea pig causes many of the programmed sequelae of IUGR reported in other species, including human. This may therefore be a useful model to investigate the mechanisms underpinning perinatal programming of hyperphagia, obesity and longer-term metabolic consequences.

  5. Does increasing the size of bi-weekly samples of records influence results when using the Global Trigger Tool? An observational study of retrospective record reviews of two different sample sizes.

    PubMed

    Mevik, Kjersti; Griffin, Frances A; Hansen, Tonje E; Deilkås, Ellen T; Vonen, Barthold

    2016-04-25

    To investigate the impact of increasing sample of records reviewed bi-weekly with the Global Trigger Tool method to identify adverse events in hospitalised patients. Retrospective observational study. A Norwegian 524-bed general hospital trust. 1920 medical records selected from 1 January to 31 December 2010. Rate, type and severity of adverse events identified in two different samples sizes of records selected as 10 and 70 records, bi-weekly. In the large sample, 1.45 (95% CI 1.07 to 1.97) times more adverse events per 1000 patient days (39.3 adverse events/1000 patient days) were identified than in the small sample (27.2 adverse events/1000 patient days). Hospital-acquired infections were the most common category of adverse events in both the samples, and the distributions of the other categories of adverse events did not differ significantly between the samples. The distribution of severity level of adverse events did not differ between the samples. The findings suggest that while the distribution of categories and severity are not dependent on the sample size, the rate of adverse events is. Further studies are needed to conclude if the optimal sample size may need to be adjusted based on the hospital size in order to detect a more accurate rate of adverse events. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

  6. α-Conotoxin M1 (CTx) blocks αδ binding sites of adult nicotinic receptors while ACh binding at αε sites elicits only small and short quantal synaptic currents.

    PubMed

    Dudel, Josef

    2014-12-01

    In 'embryonic' nicotinic receptors, low CTx concentrations are known to block only the αδ binding site, whereas binding of ACh at the αγ-site elicits short single channel openings and short bursts. In adult muscles the αγ- is replaced by the αε-site. Quantal EPSCs (qEPSCs) were elicited in adult muscles by depolarization pulses and recorded through a perfused macropatch electrode. One to 200 nmol L(-1) CTx reduced amplitudes and decay time constants of qEPSCs, but increased their rise times. CTx block at the αδ binding sites was incomplete: The qEPSCs still contained long bursts from not yet blocked receptors, whereas their average decay time constants were reduced by a short burst component generated by ACh binding to the αε-site. Two nanomolar CTx applied for 3 h reduced the amplitudes of qEPSCs to less than half with a constant slope. The equilibrium concentration of the block is below 1 nmol L(-1) and lower than that of embryonic receptors. CTx-block increased in proportion to CTx concentrations (average rate 2 ×: 10(4) s(-1)·mol(-1) L). Thus, the reactions of 'embryonic' and of adult nicotinic receptors to block by CTx are qualitatively the same. - The study of the effects of higher CTx concentrations or of longer periods of application of CTx was limited by presynaptic effects of CTx. Even low CTx concentrations severely reduced the release of quanta by activating presynaptic M2 receptors at a maximal rate of 6 ×: 10(5) s(-1)·mol(-1) L. When this dominant inhibition was prevented by blocking the M2 receptors with methoctramine, activation of M1 receptors was unmasked and facilitated release. © 2014 The Author. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American Physiological Society and The Physiological Society.

  7. Increased energy intake following sleep restriction in men and women: A one-size-fits-all conclusion?

    PubMed

    McNeil, Jessica; St-Onge, Marie-Pierre

    2017-06-01

    This study assessed the degree of interindividual responses in energy intake (EI) to an imposed sleep restriction versus habitual sleep duration protocol. It also investigated participant (age, sex, ethnicity, and BMI) and study (study site and protocol order) characteristics as potential contributors to the variance in EI responses to sleep restriction between individuals. Data from two randomized crossover trials were combined. All participants (n = 43; age: 31 ± 7 years, BMI: 23 ± 2 kg/m(2) ) were free of medical/sleep conditions, were nonsmokers, reported not performing shift work, and had an average sleep duration of 7 to 9 hours per night. Ad libitum, 24-hour EI was objectively assessed following sleep restriction (3.5-4 hours in bed per night) and habitual sleep (7-9 hours in bed per night) conditions. Large interindividual variations in EI change (ΔEI) between restricted and habitual sleep conditions were noted (-813 to 1437 kcal/d). Only phase order was associated with ΔEI (β = -568 kcal/d, 95% confidence interval for β = -921 to -215 kcal/d; P = 0.002); participants randomized to the habitual sleep condition first had greater increases in EI when sleep was restricted (P = 0.01). Large interindividual variations in ΔEI following sleep restriction were noted, suggesting that not all participants were negatively impacted by the effects of sleep restriction. © 2017 The Obesity Society.

  8. Developmental hormonal profiles in rdw rats with congenital hypothyroidism accompanying increased testicular size and infertility in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Umezu, Motoaki; Kagabu, Satoshi; Jiang, Jiany Y; Niimura, Sueo; Sato, Eimei

    2004-12-01

    Congenital hypothyroid mutant male rdw rats have enlarged testes in adulthood with dwarfism accompanied by infertility. To explain how rdw rats acquire enlarged testes in adulthood, we compared age-matched normal (N) rats at various developmental stages for blood levels of hormones, thyroxine (T4), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone (T), and investigated whether T4 therapy (rdw+T4) from 3 weeks of age (w) until adulthood could induce recovery of fertility in rdw rats, as well as how rdw+T4 affected hormonal patterns. Testes weights of rdw rats were higher than those of N rats at 19 w in adulthood though it was low during development. Serum T4 values in rdw rats were markedly lower than those in N rats but steadily increased up to 19 w. The serum FSH values in rdw rats were lower than those in N rats at all ages, and neither serum LH nor T value was significantly different at any age. The testes weight of rdw+T4 rats was significantly higher than that of N rats at 13 w with recovered growth, and was higher than that of rdw rats at 19 w. When they were mated with proestrous females after 16 w, all females became pregnant and gave birth to a normal number of pups. The T4 and FSH values of rdw+T4 rats were significantly higher than those in rdw rats, but similar to those in N rats in adulthood. The results suggest that even low levels of circulating thyroid hormone (TH) in rdw rats stimulate the development of their testes, probably through Sertoli cells, resulting in the enlarged adult testes without fertility, and that a sufficient circulating TH level from the immature stage plays a pivotal role in restoring mating activity, probably through FSH-mediated action towards adulthood.

  9. Increasing the pore sizes of bone-mimetic electrospun scaffolds comprised of polycaprolactone, collagen I and hydroxyapatite to enhance cell infiltration

    PubMed Central

    Phipps, Matthew C.; Clem, William C.; Grunda, Jessica M.; Clines, Gregory A.; Bellis, Susan L.

    2012-01-01

    Bone-mimetic electrospun scaffolds consisting of polycaprolactone (PCL), collagen I and nanoparticulate hydroxyapatite (HA) have previously been shown to support the adhesion, integrin-related signaling and proliferation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), suggesting these matrices serve as promising degradable substrates for osteoregeneration. However, the small pore sizes in electrospun scaffolds hinder cell infiltration in vitro and tissue-ingrowth into the scaffold in vivo, limiting their clinical potential. In this study, three separate techniques were evaluated for their capability to increase the pore size of the PCL/col I/nanoHA scaffolds: limited protease digestion, decreasing the fiber packing density during electro-spinning, and inclusion of sacrificial fibers of the water-soluble polymer PEO. The PEO sacrificial fiber approach was found to be the most effective in increasing scaffold pore size. Furthermore, the use of sacrificial fibers promoted increased MSC infiltration into the scaffolds, as well as greater infiltration of endogenous cells within bone upon placement of scaffolds within calvarial organ cultures. These collective findings support the use of sacrificial PEO fibers as a means to increase the porosity of complex, bone-mimicking electrospun scaffolds, thereby enhancing tissue regenerative processes that depend upon cell infiltration, such as vascularization and replacement of the scaffold with native bone tissue. PMID:22014462

  10. On the replication of Kristofferson's (1980) quantal timing for duration discrimination: some learning but no quanta and not much of a Weber constant.

    PubMed

    Matthews, William J; Grondin, Simon

    2012-07-01

    This study revisited Kristofferson's (Perception & Psychophysics 27:300-306, 1980) report showing that, with sufficient practice at interval discrimination, the relationship between timing variability and physical time is a step function-in other words, that psychological time is quantized. Two participants completed 260 sessions of a temporal discrimination task, 20 consecutive sessions for each of 13 base durations ranging from 100 to 1,480 ms. The data do not replicate Kristofferson's (Perception & Psychophysics 27:300-306, 1980) quantal finding, and it is argued that the effect Kristofferson reported may have been due to specific methodological decisions. Importantly, the data show (1) some limitation of Weber's law for time, even for the narrow range of the present investigation, and (2) that extensive training provides some modest benefit to temporal discrimination, mainly for longer intervals, and that this benefit primarily occurs in the first few sessions.

  11. Similar increases in muscle size and strength in young men after training with maximal shortening or lengthening contractions when matched for total work.

    PubMed

    Moore, Daniel R; Young, Mark; Phillips, Stuart M

    2012-04-01

    Training exclusively with eccentric (lengthening) contractions can result in greater muscular adaptations than training with concentric (shortening) contractions. We aimed to determine whether training-induced increases in muscle size and strength differed between muscles performing maximal lengthening (LC) or maximal shortening (SC) contractions when total external work is equivalent. Nine healthy young males completed a 9-week isokinetic (0.79 rad/s) resistance training program of the elbow flexors whereby they performed LC with one arm and an equivalent volume of total external work with the contralateral arm as SC. Training increased isometric peak torque for both LC (~10%) and SC (~20%) with no difference (P = 0.14) between conditions. There were also similar increases in isokinetic peak torque at both slow (0.79 rad/s) and fast (5.24 rad/s) shortening and lengthening peak torque for both LC (~8-10%) and SC (~9-20%). Training increased work per repetition similarly for both LC (~17%) and SC (~22%), in spite of ~40% greater work per repetition with LC. The increase in muscle cross-sectional area with training was also similar (P = 0.37) between LC (~6.5%) and SC (~4.6%). We conclude that increases in muscle size and strength with short-term unilateral resistance training are unrelated to muscle contraction type when matched for both exercise intensity (i.e. maximal contractions) and total external work.

  12. Difference in light-induced increase in ploidy level and cell size between adaxial and abaxial epidermal pavement cells of Phaseolus vulgaris primary leaves.

    PubMed

    Kinoshita, Isao; Sanbe, Akiko; Yokomura, E-iti

    2008-01-01

    Changes in nuclear DNA content and cell size of adaxial and abaxial epidermal pavement cells were investigated using bright light-induced leaf expansion of Phaseolus vulgaris plants. In primary leaves of bean plants grown under high (sunlight) or moderate (ML; photon flux density, 163 micromol m(-2) s(-1)) light, most adaxial epidermal pavement cells had a nucleus with the 4C amount of DNA, whereas most abaxial pavement cells had a 2C nucleus. In contrast, plants grown under low intensity white light (LL; 15 micromol m(-2) s(-1)) for 13 d, when cell proliferation of epidermal pavement cells had already finished, had a 2C nuclear DNA content in most adaxial pavement cells. When these LL-grown plants were transferred to ML, the increase in irradiance raised the frequency of 4C nuclei in adaxial but not in abaxial pavement cells within 4 d. On the other hand, the size of abaxial pavement cells increased by 53% within 4 d of transfer to ML and remained unchanged thereafter, whereas adaxial pavement cells continuously enlarged for 12 d. This suggests that the increase in adaxial cell size after 4 d is supported by the nuclear DNA doubling. The different responses between adaxial and abaxial epidermal cells were not induced by the different light intensity at both surfaces. It was shown that adaxial epidermal cells have a different property than abaxial ones.

  13. Examination of the Increase in Thyroid Cancer Incidence Among Younger Women in the United States by Age, Race, Geography, and Tumor Size, 1999-2007.

    PubMed

    Holman, Dawn M; Soman, Ashwini; Watson, Meg; Weir, Hannah K; Trivers, Katrina F; White, Mary C

    2011-06-01

    Thyroid cancer incidence has been increasing for several decades, but the reasons are not fully understood. Previous surveillance reports have covered less than 26% of the U.S. More recent, nationwide data are needed. This study examines thyroid cancer incidence among younger women by age, race/ethnicity, geography, and tumor size. Our study uses nationwide surveillance data to describe incidence rates and recent trends in thyroid cancer among adults aged 20-39 years in the United States during 1999-2007, with a focus on females. Incidence rates were more than five times higher among females (16.4 per 100,000; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 16.2-16.6) than among males (3.1 per 100,000; 95% CI: 3.1-3.2). Among females, rates were higher among non-Hispanic whites than among other racial/ethnic groups and higher in the Northeast compared with other regions (p<0.05). During 1999-2007, incidence rates increased 5.3% each year among females (95% CI: 4.7-5.9). This increase was observed across five-year age groups, racial/ethnic groups (except American Indians/Alaska Natives), geographic regions, and tumor sizes. The increase in rates across all tumor sizes suggests that the observed increases cannot be attributed solely to changes in diagnostics or surveillance. In addition, the continued increase in incidence rates in recent years among persons born after 1960 suggests that other, more contemporary factors than those previously proposed may play a contributing role.

  14. Dark respiration rate increases with plant size in saplings of three temperate tree species despite decreasing tissue nitrogen and nonstructural carbohydrates.

    PubMed

    Machado, José-Luis; Reich, Peter B

    2006-07-01

    In shaded environments, minimizing dark respiration during growth could be an important aspect of maintaining a positive whole-plant net carbon balance. Changes with plant size in both biomass distribution to different tissue types and mass-specific respiration rates (R(d)) of those tissues would have an impact on whole-plant respiration. In this paper, we evaluated size-related variation in R(d), biomass distribution, and nitrogen (N) and total nonstructural carbohydrate (TNC) concentrations of leaves, stems and roots of three cold-temperate tree species (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill, Acer rubrum L. and Pinus strobus L.) in a forest understory. We sampled individuals varying in age (6 to 24 years old) and in size (from 2 to 500 g dry mass), and growing across a range of irradiances (from 1 to 13% of full sun) in northern Minnesota, USA. Within each species, we found small changes in R(d), N and TNC when comparing plants growing across this range of light availability. Consistent with our hypotheses, as plants grew larger, whole-plant N and TNC concentrations in all species declined as a result of a combination of changes in tissue N and shifts in biomass distribution patterns. However, contrary to our hypotheses, whole-plant and tissue R(d) increased with plant size in the three species.

  15. Enhanced Stomatal Conductance by a Spontaneous Arabidopsis Tetraploid, Me-0, Results from Increased Stomatal Size and Greater Stomatal Aperture1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Monda, Keina; Araki, Hiromitsu; Kuhara, Satoru; Ishigaki, Genki; Akashi, Ryo; Negi, Juntaro; Kojima, Mikiko; Sakakibara, Hitoshi; Takahashi, Sho; Hashimoto-Sugimoto, Mimi; Goto, Nobuharu; Iba, Koh

    2016-01-01

    The rate of gas exchange in plants is regulated mainly by stomatal size and density. Generally, higher densities of smaller stomata are advantageous for gas exchange; however, it is unclear what the effect of an extraordinary change in stomatal size might have on a plant’s gas-exchange capacity. We investigated the stomatal responses to CO2 concentration changes among 374 Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) ecotypes and discovered that Mechtshausen (Me-0), a natural tetraploid ecotype, has significantly larger stomata and can achieve a high stomatal conductance. We surmised that the cause of the increased stomatal conductance is tetraploidization; however, the stomatal conductance of another tetraploid accession, tetraploid Columbia (Col), was not as high as that in Me-0. One difference between these two accessions was the size of their stomatal apertures. Analyses of abscisic acid sensitivity, ion balance, and gene expression profiles suggested that physiological or genetic factors restrict the stomatal opening in tetraploid Col but not in Me-0. Our results show that Me-0 overcomes the handicap of stomatal opening that is typical for tetraploids and achieves higher stomatal conductance compared with the closely related tetraploid Col on account of larger stomatal apertures. This study provides evidence for whether larger stomatal size in tetraploids of higher plants can improve stomatal conductance. PMID:26754665

  16. Increased sedimentation rates and grain sizes 2-4 Myr ago due to the influence of climate change on erosion rates.

    PubMed

    Peizhen, Z; Molnar, P; Downs, W R

    2001-04-19

    Around the globe, and in a variety of settings including active and inactive mountain belts, increases in sedimentation rates as well as in grain sizes of sediments were recorded at approximately 2-4 Myr ago, implying increased erosion rates. A change in climate represents the only process that is globally synchronous and can potentially account for the widespread increase in erosion and sedimentation, but no single process-like a lowering of sea levels or expanded glaciation-can explain increases in sedimentation in all environments, encompassing continental margins and interiors, and tropical as well as higher latitudes. We suggest that climate affected erosion mainly by the transition from a period of climate stability, in which landscapes had attained equilibrium configurations, to a time of frequent and abrupt changes in temperature, precipitation and vegetation, which prevented fluvial and glacial systems from establishing equilibrium states.

  17. Increased Pouch Sizes and Resulting Changes in the Amounts of Nicotine and Tobacco-Specific N-Nitrosamines in Single Pouches of Camel Snus and Marlboro Snus

    PubMed Central

    Jensen, Joni; Biener, Lois; Bliss, Robin L.; Hecht, Stephen S.; Hatsukami, Dorothy K.

    2012-01-01

    Introduction: Initial analyses of the novel smokeless tobacco products Camel Snus and Marlboro Snus demonstrated that these products contain relatively low amounts of nicotine and the carcinogenic tobacco-specific nitrosamines N’-nitrosonornicotine (NNN) and 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), as compared with traditional smokeless products. It is unknown whether the modifications in packaging, flavors, and pouch sizes that occurred for both Camel Snus and Marlboro Snus since their first introduction to the market were accompanied by any changes in nicotine or nitrosamine levels. Methods: We examined the available data on nicotine and NNN and NNK levels in 60 samples of Camel Snus and 87 samples of Marlboro Snus that were analyzed in our laboratory between 2006 and 2010. Results: Due to the increase in pouch size, the amounts of total nicotine, unprotonated nicotine, and the sum of NNN and NNK present in the large Camel Snus pouches released in 2010 are 1.9-fold, 2.4-fold, and 3.3-fold higher, respectively, than in the original smaller pouches that entered the market in 2006. Total and unprotonated nicotine content in the current version of Marlboro Snus pouches are 2.1-fold and 1.9-fold higher, respectively, and the sum of NNN and NNK is 1.5-fold lower than in the original version. Conclusions: We observed an increase in nicotine content in single portions of Camel Snus and Marlboro Snus, and an increase in tobacco-specific N-nitrosamine content in single portions of Camel Snus, due to the increases in pouch size that occurred between 2006 and 2010. This finding stresses the importance of tobacco product regulation and ingredient disclosures. PMID:22259150

  18. Increased pouch sizes and resulting changes in the amounts of nicotine and tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines in single pouches of Camel Snus and Marlboro Snus.

    PubMed

    Stepanov, Irina; Jensen, Joni; Biener, Lois; Bliss, Robin L; Hecht, Stephen S; Hatsukami, Dorothy K

    2012-10-01

    Initial analyses of the novel smokeless tobacco products Camel Snus and Marlboro Snus demonstrated that these products contain relatively low amounts of nicotine and the carcinogenic tobacco-specific nitrosamines N'-nitrosonornicotine (NNN) and 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), as compared with traditional smokeless products. It is unknown whether the modifications in packaging, flavors, and pouch sizes that occurred for both Camel Snus and Marlboro Snus since their first introduction to the market were accompanied by any changes in nicotine or nitrosamine levels. We examined the available data on nicotine and NNN and NNK levels in 60 samples of Camel Snus and 87 samples of Marlboro Snus that were analyzed in our laboratory between 2006 and 2010. Due to the increase in pouch size, the amounts of total nicotine, unprotonated nicotine, and the sum of NNN and NNK present in the large Camel Snus pouches released in 2010 are 1.9-fold, 2.4-fold, and 3.3-fold higher, respectively, than in the original smaller pouches that entered the market in 2006. Total and unprotonated nicotine content in the current version of Marlboro Snus pouches are 2.1-fold and 1.9-fold higher, respectively, and the sum of NNN and NNK is 1.5-fold lower than in the original version. We observed an increase in nicotine content in single portions of Camel Snus and Marlboro Snus, and an increase in tobacco-specific N-nitrosamine content in single portions of Camel Snus, due to the increases in pouch size that occurred between 2006 and 2010. This finding stresses the importance of tobacco product regulation and ingredient disclosures.

  19. Increased size of solid organs in patients with Chuvash polycythemia and in mice with altered expression of HIF-1α and HIF-2α

    PubMed Central

    Yoon, Donghoon; Okhotin, David V.; Kim, Bumjun; Okhotina, Yulia; Okhotin, Daniel J.; Miasnikova, Galina Y.; Sergueeva, Adelina I.; Polyakova, Lydia A.; Maslow, Alexei; Lee, Yonggu; Semenza, Gregg L.; Prchal, Josef T.

    2010-01-01

    Chuvash polycythemia, the first hereditary disease associated with dysregulated oxygen-sensing to be recognized, is characterized by a homozygous germ-line loss-of-function mutation of the VHL gene (VHLR200W) resulting in elevated hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1α and HIF-2α levels, increased red cell mass and propensity to thrombosis. Organ volume is determined by the size and number of cells, and the underlying molecular control mechanisms are not fully elucidated. Work from several groups has demonstrated that the proliferation of cells is regulated in opposite directions by HIF-1α and HIF-2α. HIF-1α inhibits cell proliferation by displacing MYC from the promoter of the gene encoding the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, p21Cip1, thereby inducing its expression. In contrast, HIF-2α promotes MYC activity and cell proliferation. Here we report that the volumes of liver, spleen, and kidneys relative to body mass were larger in 30 individuals with Chuvash polycythemia than in 30 matched Chuvash controls. In Hif1a+/− mice, which are heterozygous for a null (knockout) allele at the locus encoding HIF-1α, hepatic HIF-2α mRNA was increased (2-fold) and the mass of the liver was increased, compared with wild-type littermates, without significant difference in cell volume. Hepatic p21Cip1 mRNA levels were 9.5-fold lower in Hif1a+/− mice compared with wild-type littermates. These data suggest that, in addition to increased red cell mass, the sizes of liver, spleen, and kidneys are increased in Chuvash polycythemia. At least in the liver, this phenotype may result from increased HIF-2α and decreased p21Cip1 levels leading to increased hepatocyte proliferation. PMID:20140661

  20. Texture-Based Differences in Eating Rate Reduce the Impact of Increased Energy Density and Large Portions on Meal Size in Adults.

    PubMed

    McCrickerd, Keri; Lim, Charlotte Mh; Leong, Claudia; Chia, Edwin M; Forde, Ciaran G

    2017-06-01

    Background: Large portions and high dietary energy density promote overconsumption at meal times. This could be reduced by eating slowly.Objective: Two studies investigated whether texture-based reductions in eating rate and oral processing moderate consumption at breakfast in combination with variations in energy density and portion size.Methods: Adults attended 4 breakfast sessions (2 × 2 repeated-measures design) to consume rice porridge, combining a 45% reduction in eating rate [thin porridge (140 g/min) compared with thick porridge (77 g/min)] with a 77% increase in energy density (0.57 compared with 1.01 kcal/g) in study 1 [n = 61; aged 21-48 y; body mass index (BMI; in kg/m(2)): 16-29] and a 50% increase in portion size (100% compared with 150%) in study 2 (n = 53; aged 21-42 y; BMI: 16-29). Oral processing behaviors were coded by using webcams. Porridge intake was measured alongside changes in rated appetite.Results: Increases in energy density and portion size led to increases of 80% and 13% in energy intake at breakfast, respectively (P < 0.001), but only portion size increased the weight of food consumed (13%). The thicker porridges were consumed at a slower rate and led to 11-13% reductions in food weight and energy intake compared with the thin versions (P < 0.001). Combined, the least energy was consumed when the thick "slow" porridge was served with a lower energy density or smaller portion (P < 0.05). Although intake was reduced for the thick porridges, they were expected to be more filling than the thin versions and experienced as equally satiating postconsumption.Conclusions: Adults eat in response to external features of the food environment. An opportunity exists to use a combination of energy-density dilution, smaller portions, and natural variations in food texture to design meals that promote reductions in energy intake while maintaining satiety. © 2017 American Society for Nutrition.

  1. Angiopoietin-2-induced blood-brain barrier compromise and increased stroke size are rescued by VE-PTP-dependent restoration of Tie2 signaling.

    PubMed

    Gurnik, Stefanie; Devraj, Kavi; Macas, Jadranka; Yamaji, Maiko; Starke, Julia; Scholz, Alexander; Sommer, Kathleen; Di Tacchio, Mariangela; Vutukuri, Rajkumar; Beck, Heike; Mittelbronn, Michel; Foerch, Christian; Pfeilschifter, Waltraud; Liebner, Stefan; Peters, Kevin G; Plate, Karl H; Reiss, Yvonne

    2016-05-01

    The homeostasis of the central nervous system is maintained by the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Angiopoietins (Ang-1/Ang-2) act as antagonizing molecules to regulate angiogenesis, vascular stability, vascular permeability and lymphatic integrity. However, the precise role of angiopoietin/Tie2 signaling at the BBB remains unclear. We investigated the influence of Ang-2 on BBB permeability in wild-type and gain-of-function (GOF) mice and demonstrated an increase in permeability by Ang-2, both in vitro and in vivo. Expression analysis of brain endothelial cells from Ang-2 GOF mice showed a downregulation of tight/adherens junction molecules and increased caveolin-1, a vesicular permeability-related molecule. Immunohistochemistry revealed reduced pericyte coverage in Ang-2 GOF mice that was supported by electron microscopy analyses, which demonstrated defective intra-endothelial junctions with increased vesicles and decreased/disrupted glycocalyx. These results demonstrate that Ang-2 mediates permeability via paracellular and transcellular routes. In patients suffering from stroke, a cerebrovascular disorder associated with BBB disruption, Ang-2 levels were upregulated. In mice, Ang-2 GOF resulted in increased infarct sizes and vessel permeability upon experimental stroke, implicating a role of Ang-2 in stroke pathophysiology. Increased permeability and stroke size were rescued by activation of Tie2 signaling using a vascular endothelial protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor and were independent of VE-cadherin phosphorylation. We thus identified Ang-2 as an endothelial cell-derived regulator of BBB permeability. We postulate that novel therapeutics targeting Tie2 signaling could be of potential use for opening the BBB for increased CNS drug delivery or tighten it in neurological disorders associated with cerebrovascular leakage and brain edema.

  2. Curd development associated gene (CDAG1) in cauliflower (Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis) could result in enlarged organ size and increased biomass.

    PubMed

    Li, Hui; Liu, Qian; Zhang, Qingli; Qin, Erjun; Jin, Chuan; Wang, Yu; Wu, Mei; Shen, Guangshuang; Chen, Chengbin; Song, Wenqin; Wang, Chunguo

    2017-01-01

    The curd is a specialized organ and the most important product organ of cauliflower (Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis). However, the mechanism underlying the regulation of curd formation and development remains largely unknown. In the present study, a novel homologous gene containing the Organ Size Related (OSR) domain, namely, CDAG1 (Curd Development Associated Gene 1) was identified in cauliflower. Quantitative analysis indicated that CDAG1 showed significantly higher transcript levels in young tissues. Functional analysis demonstrated that the ectopic overexpression of CDAG1 in Arabidopsis and cauliflower could significantly promote organ growth and result in larger organ size and increased biomass. Organ enlargement was predominantly due to increased cell number. In addition, 228 genes involved in the CDAG1-mediated regulatory network were discovered by transcriptome analysis. Among these genes, CDAG1 was confirmed to inhibit the transcriptional expression of the endogenous OSR genes, ARGOS and ARL, while a series of ethylene-responsive transcription factors (ERFs) were found to increased expression in 35S:CDAG1 transgenic Arabidopsis plants. This implies that CDAG1 may function in the ethylene-mediated signal pathway. These findings provide new insight into the function of OSR genes, and suggest potential applications of CDAG1 in breeding high-yielding crops. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Deletion of p66Shc in mice increases the frequency of size-change mutations in the lacZ transgene.

    PubMed

    Beltrami, Elena; Ruggiero, Antonella; Busuttil, Rita; Migliaccio, Enrica; Pelicci, Pier Giuseppe; Vijg, Jan; Giorgio, Marco

    2013-04-01

    Upon oxidative challenge the genome accumulates adducts and breaks that activate the DNA damage response to repair, arrest, or eliminate the damaged cell. Thus, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by endogenous oxygen metabolism are thought to affect mutation frequency. However, few studies determined the mutation frequency when oxidative stress is reduced. To test whether in vivo spontaneous mutation frequency is altered in mice with reduced oxidative stress and cell death rate, we crossed p66Shc knockout (p66KO) mice, characterized by reduced intracellular concentration of ROS and by impaired apoptosis, with a transgenic line harboring multiple copies of the lacZ mutation reporter gene as part of a plasmid that can be recovered from organs into Escherichia coli to measure mutation rate. Liver and small intestine from 2- to 24-month-old, lacZ (p66Shc+/+) and lacZp66KO mice, were investigated revealing no difference in overall mutation frequency but a significant increase in the frequency of size-change mutations in the intestine of lacZp66KO mice. This difference was further increased upon irradiation of mice with X-ray. In addition, we found that knocking down cyclophilin D, a gene that facilitates mitochondrial apoptosis acting downstream of p66Shc, increased the size-change mutation frequency in small intestine. Size-change mutations also accumulated in death-resistant embryonic fibroblasts from lacZp66KO mice treated with H2 O2 . These results indicate that p66Shc plays a role in the accumulation of DNA rearrangements and suggest that p66Shc functions to clear damaged cells rather than affect DNA metabolism.

  4. An Increase in Forearm Cortical Bone Size After Menopause May Influence the Estimated Bone Mineral Loss--A 28-Year Prospective Observational Study.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Magnus K; Ahlborg, Henrik G; Svejme, Ola; Nilsson, Jan-Åke; Rosengren, Björn E

    2016-01-01

    Areal bone mineral density (aBMD) is the most common estimate of bone mass, incorporated in the World Health Organization definition of osteoporosis. However, aBMD depends on not only the amount of mineral but also the bone size. The estimated postmenopausal decline in aBMD could because of this be influenced by changes in bone size.We measured bone mineral content (BMC; mg), aBMD (mg/cm2), and bone width (mm) by single-photon absorptiometry at the cortical site of the forearm in a population-based sample of 105 Caucasian women. We conducted 12 measurements during a 28-yr period from mean 5 yr (range: 2-9) before menopause to mean 24 yr (range: 18-28) after menopause. We calculated individual slopes for changes in the periods before menopause, 0-<8, 8-<16, and 16-28 yr after menopause. Data are presented as means with 95% confidence intervals. The annual BMC changes in the 4 periods were -1.4% (-0.1, -2.6), -1.1% (-0.9, -1.4), -1.2% (-0.9, -1.6), and -1.1% (-0.8, -1.4) and the annual increase in bone width 0.4% (-1.2, 1.9), 0.7% (0.5, 0.9), 0.1% (-0.2, 0.4), and 0.1% (-0.2, 0.4). BMC loss was similar in all periods, whereas the increase in bone width was higher in the first postmenopausal period than in the second (p=0.003) and the third (p=0.01) postmenopausal periods. Menopause is followed by a transient increase in forearm bone size that will influence the by aBMD estimated cortical loss in bone minerals. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. Crambescidin-816 acts as a fungicidal with more potency than crambescidin-800 and -830, inducing cell cycle arrest, increased cell size and apoptosis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Rubiolo, Juan A; Ternon, Eva; López-Alonso, Henar; Thomas, Olivier P; Vega, Félix V; Vieytes, Mercedes R; Botana, Luis M

    2013-11-08

    In this paper, we show the effect of crambescidin-816, -800, and -830 on Saccharomyces cerevisiae viability. We determined that, of the three molecules tested, crambescidin-816 was the most potent. Based on this result, we continued by determining the effect of crambescidin-816 on the cell cycle of this yeast. The compound induced cell cycle arrest in G2/M followed by an increase in cell DNA content and size. When the type of cell death was analyzed, we observed that crambescidin-816 induced apoptosis. The antifungal effect indicates that crambescidins, and mostly crambescidin-816, could serve as a lead compound to fight fungal infections.

  6. Mutation at the tomato excessive number of floral organs (ENO) locus impairs floral meristem development, thus promoting an increased number of floral organs and fruit size.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Lozano, Antonia; Yuste-Lisbona, Fernando J; Pérez-Martín, Fernando; Pineda, Benito; Moreno, Vicente; Lozano, Rafael; Angosto, Trinidad

    2015-03-01

    A novel tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) mutant affected in reproductive development, excessive number of floral organs (eno), is described in this study. The eno plants yielded flowers with a higher number of floral organs in the three innermost floral whorls and larger fruits than those found in wild-type plants. Scanning-electron microscopy study indicated that the rise in floral organ number and fruit size correlates with an increased size of floral meristem at early developmental stages. It has been reported that mutation at the FASCIATED (FAS) gene causes the development of flowers with supernumerary organs; however, complementation test and genetic mapping analyses proved that ENO is not an allele of the FAS locus. Furthermore, expression of WUSCHEL (SlWUS) and INHIBITOR OF MERISTEM ACTIVITY (IMA), the two main regulators of floral meristem activity in tomato, is altered in eno but not in fas flowers indicating that ENO could exert its function in the floral meristem independently of FAS. Interestingly, the eno mutation delayed the expression of IMA leading to a prolonged expression of SlWUS, which would explain the greater size of floral meristem. Taken together, results showed that ENO plays a significant role in the genetic pathway regulating tomato floral meristem development. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. The increase in fiber size in male rat gastrocnemius after chronic central leptin infusion is related to activation of insulin signaling.

    PubMed

    Burgos-Ramos, Emma; Canelles, Sandra; Rodríguez, Amaia; Frago, Laura M; Gómez-Ambrosi, Javier; Chowen, Julie A; Frühbeck, Gema; Argente, Jesús; Barrios, Vicente

    2017-09-27

    Insulin potentiates leptin effects on muscle accrual and glucose homeostasis. However, the relationship between leptin's central effects on peripheral insulin sensitivity and the associated structural changes remain unclear. We hypothesized that central leptin infusion modifies muscle size through activation of insulin signaling. Muscle insulin signaling, enzymes of fatty acid metabolism, mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and fiber area were analyzed in the gastrocnemius of chronic central infused (L), pair-fed (PF) and control rats. PCNA-positive nuclei, fiber area, GLUT4 and glycogen levels and activation of Akt and mechanistic target of rapamycin were increased in L, with no changes in PF. Acetyl-CoA carboxylase-β mRNA levels and non-esterified fatty acid and triglyceride content were reduced and carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1b expression and mitochondrial complexes augmented in L. These results suggest that leptin promotes an increase in muscle size associated with improved insulin signaling favored by lipid profile. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Glomerular lesions in mice transgenic for growth hormone and insulinlike growth factor-I. I. Relationship between increased glomerular size and mesangial sclerosis.

    PubMed Central

    Doi, T.; Striker, L. J.; Gibson, C. C.; Agodoa, L. Y.; Brinster, R. L.; Striker, G. E.

    1990-01-01

    The glomeruli of mice transgenic for bovine growth hormone (GH mice) were disproportionately enlarged as a function of either kidney or body weight. Glomerular size correlated with mesangial sclerosis and the urine albumin/creatinine ratio. The glomerular lesions consisted of mesangial proliferation (4 to 5 weeks) followed by progressive mesangial sclerosis (19 weeks), resulting in complete glomerulosclerosis at 30 to 37 weeks. Albuminuria paralleled the glomerulosclerosis. In contrast, mice transgenic for insulinlike growth factor-I (IGF-I mice) did not develop glomerulosclerosis, even though glomerular size significantly increased. Glomerular hypertrophy, however, did not reach that in GH mice. These data suggest that high levels of circulating GH lead to a disproportionate increase in glomerular cellularity and volume, as well as glomerulosclerosis. This does not appear to be the result of high levels of circulating IGF-I stimulated by GH, as the serum IGF-I level in GH mice was lower than that in IGF-I mice. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 8 PMID:2399934

  9. Hydrogen Photoevolution Indicates an Increase in the Antenna Size of Photosystem I in Chlamydobotrys stellata during Transition from Autotrophic to Photoheterotrophic Nutrition.

    PubMed

    Boichenko, V A; Wiessner, W; Klimov, V V; Mende, D; Demeter, S

    1992-09-01

    The changes in the light-harvesting antenna size of photosystem I were investigated in the green alga Chlamydobotrys stellata during transition from autotrophic to photoheterotrophic nutrition by measuring the light-saturation behavior of hydrogen evolution following single turnover flashes. It was found that during autotrophic-to-photoheterotrophic transition the antenna size of photosystem I increased from 180 to 250 chlorophyll. The chlorophyll (a + b)/P700 ratio decreased from 800 to 550. The electron transport of photosystem I measured from reduced 2,6-dichloro-phenolindophenol to methylviologen was accelerated 1.4 times. In the 77K fluorescence spectra, the photosystem II fluorescence yield was considerably lowered relative to the photosystem I fluorescence yield. It is suggested that the increased light-harvesting capacity and redistribution of absorbed excitation energy in favor of photosystem I is a response of photoheterotrophic algae to meet the ATP demand for acetate metabolism by efficient photosystem I cyclic electron transport when the noncyclic photophosphorylation is inhibited by CO(2) deficiency.

  10. Multichain aggregates in dilute solutions of associating polyelectrolyte keeping a constant size at the increase in the chain length of individual macromolecules.

    PubMed

    Korchagina, Evgeniya V; Philippova, Olga E

    2010-12-13

    Multichain aggregates together with individual macromolecules were detected by light scattering in dilute aqueous solutions of chitosan and of its hydrophobic derivatives bearing 4 mol % of n-dodecyl side groups. It was demonstrated that the size of aggregates and their aggregation numbers increase at the introduction of hydrophobic side groups into polymer chains. The key result concerns the effect of the chain length of individual macromolecules on the aggregation behavior. It was shown that for both unmodified and hydrophobically modified (HM) chitosan, the size of aggregates is independent of the length of single chains, which may result from the electrostatic nature of the stabilization of aggregates. At the same time, the number of macromolecules in one aggregate increases significantly with decreasing length of single chains to provide a sufficient number of associating groups to stabilize the aggregate. The analysis of the light scattering data together with TEM results suggests that the aggregates of chitosan and HM chitosan represent spherical hydrogel particles with denser core and looser shell covered with dangling chains.

  11. An increase in the degree of olisthesis during axial loading reduces the dural sac size and worsens clinical symptoms in patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis.

    PubMed

    Kanno, Haruo; Aizawa, Toshimi; Ozawa, Hiroshi; Koizumi, Yutaka; Morozumi, Naoki; Itoi, Eiji

    2017-09-01

    Previous studies have shown that axial loading during MRI significantly reduces the size of the dural sac compared with conventional MRI in patients with degenerative lumbar disease. In our previous study, axial-loaded MRI showed a significantly larger degree of olisthesis than conventional MRI in patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS). Furthermore, the degree of olisthesis on axial-loaded MRI correlated more strongly with that observed on X-ray in the upright position. However, no study has investigated whether or not the increase in the degree of olisthesis during axial loading correlates with the reduction in the dural sac size and affects the severity of clinical symptoms in patients with DS. To determine whether or not the increase in the degree of olisthesis correlates with the reduction of the dural sac cross-sectional area (DCSA) detected on axial-loaded MRI and worsens the severity of clinical symptoms in patients with DS. Imaging cohort study. A total of 41 consecutive patients with DS were prospectively evaluated in this study. The degree of olisthesis, the DCSA, Pearson's correlation coefficient, and the severity of clinical symptoms. The differences in the degree of olisthesis and the DCSA between conventional and axial-loaded MRI were determined. The Pearson's correlation coefficient of the increase in the degree of olisthesis with the reduction in the DCSA during axial loading was calculated. The reduction in the DCSA and the severity of clinical symptoms in patients exhibiting a ≥ 2-mm increase in the degree of olisthesis were compared with those in the patients exhibiting a < 2-mm increase. The increase in the degree of olisthesis was significantly correlated with the reduction in the DCSA during axial loading (Pearson's correlation coefficient = 0.63; p<0.001). The reduction in the DCSA during axial loading in patients with a ≥ 2-mm increase in the degree of olisthesis (26 ± 3 mm(2)) was significantly greater than in those with a

  12. Concentration and size distribution of particulate oxalate in marine and coastal atmospheres - Implication for the increased importance of oxalate in nanometer atmospheric particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Tianfeng; Li, Kai; Zhu, Yujiao; Gao, Huiwang; Yao, Xiaohong

    2016-10-01

    In literature, particulate oxalate has been widely studied in the total suspended particles (TSP), particles <10 μm or 2.5 μm (PM10 and PM2.5) and size-segregated particles >100 nm. In this article, we measured oxalate's concentrations in size-segregated atmospheric particles down to 10 nm or 56 nm during eight campaigns performed at a semi-urban coastal site, over the marginal seas of China and from the marginal seas to the northwest Pacific Ocean (NWPO) in 2012-2015. When the sum of the oxalate's concentration in particles <10 μm was used for intercomparison, the lowest average values of 0.05-0.06 μg m-3 were observed during the two campaigns performed at NWPO. The highest average value of 0.38 μg m-3 was observed at the coastal site during a heavy pollution event. Mode analysis results of particulate oxalate and the correlation between oxalate and sulfate suggested that the elevated concentrations of oxalate in PM10 were mainly related to enhanced in-cloud formation of oxalate via anthropogenic precursors. Size distribution data in the total of 136 sets of samples also showed approximately 80% of particulate oxalate's mass existing in atmospheric particles >100 nm. Consistent with previous studies, particulate oxalate in particles >100 nm was a negligible ionic component when comparing to particulate SO42- in the same size range. However, the mole ratios of oxalate/sulfate in particles <100 nm were generally increased by 1-2 orders of magnitude. In approximately 30% of the samples, the mole ratios in atmospheric particles <56 nm were larger than 0.5. Moreover, during Campaign 5, the oxalate's concentrations in <56 nm particles were substantially increased on the days in presence of new particle formation events. These results strongly imply the importance of oxalate in nanometer atmospheric particles, but not in >100 nm atmospheric particles such as PM2.5, PM10, TSP, etc.

  13. Overexpression of a Hevea brasiliensis ErbB-3 Binding protein 1 Gene Increases Drought Tolerance and Organ Size in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Han; Chen, Xiang; Zhu, Jianshun; Huang, Huasun

    2016-01-01

    Rubber trees are economically important tropical tree species and the major source of natural rubber, which is an essential industrial material. This tropical perennial tree is susceptible to cold stress and other abiotic stresses, especially in the marginal northern tropics. Recent years, the genome sequencing and RNA-seq projects produced huge amount of sequence data, which greatly facilitated the functional genomics study. However, the characterization of individual functional gene is in urgent demands, especially for those involved in stress resistance. Here we identified and characterized the rubber tree gene ErbB-3 binding protein 1, which undergoes changes in expression in response to cold, drought stress and ABA treatment. HbEBP1 overexpression (OE) in Arabidopsis increased organ size, facilitated root growth and increased adult leaf number by delaying the vegetative-to-reproductive transition. In addition, HbEBP1 OE enhanced the resistance of the Arabidopsis plants to freezing and drought stress, demonstrating that this gene participates in the regulation of abiotic stress resistance. RD29a, RD22 and CYCD3;1 expression was also greatly enhanced by HbEBP1 OE, which explains its regulatory roles in organ size and stress resistance. The regulation of drought stress resistance is a novel function identified in plant EBP1 genes, which expands our understanding of the roles of EBP1 gene in response to the environment. Our results provide information that may lead to the use of HbEBP1 in genetically engineered crops to increase both biomass and abiotic stress resistance. PMID:27895658

  14. Nicotine enhancement of dopamine release by a calcium-dependent increase in the size of the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles.

    PubMed

    Turner, Timothy J

    2004-12-15

    A major factor underlying compulsive tobacco use is nicotine-induced modulation of dopamine release in the mesolimbic reward pathway (Wise and Rompre, 1989). An established biochemical mechanism for nicotine-enhanced dopamine release is by activating presynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) (Wonnacott, 1997). Prolonged application of 10(-7) to 10(-5) m nicotine to striatal synaptosomes promoted a sustained efflux of [3H]dopamine. This nicotine effect was mediated by non-alpha7 nAChRs, because it was blocked by 5 mum mecamylamine but was resistant to 100 nm alpha-bungarotoxin (alphaBgTx). Dopamine release was diminished by omitting Na+ or by applying peptide calcium channel blockers, indicating that nAChRs trigger release by depolarizing the nerve terminals. However, because alpha7 receptors rapidly desensitize in the continuous presence of agonists, a repetitive stimulation protocol was used to evaluate the possible significance of desensitization. This protocol produced a transient increase in [3H]dopamine released by depolarization and a significant increase in the response to hypertonic solutions that measure the size of the readily releasable pool (RRP) of synaptic vesicles. The nicotine-induced increase in the size of the readily releasable pool was blocked by alphaBgTx and by the calmodulin antagonist calmidazolium, suggesting that Ca2+ entry through alpha7 nAChRs specifically enhances synaptic vesicle mobilization at dopamine terminals. Thus, nicotine enhances dopamine release by two complementary actions mediated by discrete nAChR subtypes and suggest that the alpha7 nAChR-mediated pathway is tightly and specifically coupled to refilling of the RRP of vesicles in dopamine terminals.

  15. Overexpression of a Hevea brasiliensis ErbB-3 Binding protein 1 Gene Increases Drought Tolerance and Organ Size in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Han; Chen, Xiang; Zhu, Jianshun; Huang, Huasun

    2016-01-01

    Rubber trees are economically important tropical tree species and the major source of natural rubber, which is an essential industrial material. This tropical perennial tree is susceptible to cold stress and other abiotic stresses, especially in the marginal northern tropics. Recent years, the genome sequencing and RNA-seq projects produced huge amount of sequence data, which greatly facilitated the functional genomics study. However, the characterization of individual functional gene is in urgent demands, especially for those involved in stress resistance. Here we identified and characterized the rubber tree gene ErbB-3 binding protein 1, which undergoes changes in expression in response to cold, drought stress and ABA treatment. HbEBP1 overexpression (OE) in Arabidopsis increased organ size, facilitated root growth and increased adult leaf number by delaying the vegetative-to-reproductive transition. In addition, HbEBP1 OE enhanced the resistance of the Arabidopsis plants to freezing and drought stress, demonstrating that this gene participates in the regulation of abiotic stress resistance. RD29a, RD22 and CYCD3;1 expression was also greatly enhanced by HbEBP1 OE, which explains its regulatory roles in organ size and stress resistance. The regulation of drought stress resistance is a novel function identified in plant EBP1 genes, which expands our understanding of the roles of EBP1 gene in response to the environment. Our results provide information that may lead to the use of HbEBP1 in genetically engineered crops to increase both biomass and abiotic stress resistance.

  16. Deletion of Mbtps1 (Pcsk8, S1p, Ski-1) Gene in Osteocytes Stimulates Soleus Muscle Regeneration and Increased Size and Contractile Force with Age*

    PubMed Central

    Gorski, Jeff P.; Huffman, Nichole T.; Vallejo, Julian; Brotto, Leticia; Chittur, Sridar V.; Breggia, Anne; Stern, Amber; Huang, Jian; Mo, Chenglin; Seidah, Nabil G.; Bonewald, Lynda; Brotto, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Conditional deletion of Mbtps1 (cKO) protease in bone osteocytes leads to an age-related increase in mass (12%) and in contractile force (30%) in adult slow twitch soleus muscles (SOL) with no effect on fast twitch extensor digitorum longus muscles. Surprisingly, bone from 10–12-month-old cKO animals was indistinguishable from controls in size, density, and morphology except for a 25% increase in stiffness. cKO SOL exhibited increased expression of Pax7, Myog, Myod1, Notch, and Myh3 and 6-fold more centralized nuclei, characteristics of postnatal regenerating muscle, but only in type I myosin heavy chain-expressing cells. Increased expression of gene pathways mediating EGF receptor signaling, circadian exercise, striated muscle contraction, and lipid and carbohydrate oxidative metabolism were also observed in cKO SOL. This muscle phenotype was not observed in 3-month-old mice. Although Mbtps1 mRNA and protein expression was reduced in cKO bone osteocytes, no differences in Mbtps1 or cre recombinase expression were observed in cKO SOL, explaining this age-related phenotype. Understanding bone-muscle cross-talk may provide a fresh and novel approach to prevention and treatment of age-related muscle loss. PMID:26719336

  17. Environmentally-relevant concentrations of atrazine induce non-monotonic acceleration of developmental rate and increased size at metamorphosis in Rhinella arenarum tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Brodeur, Julie C; Sassone, Alina; Hermida, Gladys N; Codugnello, Nadia

    2013-06-01

    Despite of the various studies reporting on the subject, anticipating the impacts of the widely-used herbicide atrazine on anuran tadpoles metamorphosis remains complex as increases or decreases of larval period duration are almost as frequently reported as an absence of effect. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of environmentally-relevant concentrations of atrazine (0.1, 1, 10, 100, and 1000μg/L) on the timings of metamorphosis and body size at metamorphosis in the common South American toad, Rhinella arenarum (Anura: bufonidae). None of the atrazine concentrations tested significantly altered survival. Low atrazine concentrations in the range of 1-100μg/L were found to accelerate developmental rate in a non-monotonic U-shaped concentration-response relationship. This observed acceleration of the metamorphic process occurred entirely between stages 25 and 39; treated tadpoles proceeding through metamorphosis as control animals beyond this point. Together with proceeding through metamorphosis at a faster rate, tadpoles exposed to atrazine concentrations in the range of 1-100μg/L furthermore transformed into significantly larger metamorphs than controls, the concentration-response curve taking the form of an inverted U in this case. The no observed effect concentration (NOEC) was 0.1μg atrazine/L for both size at metamorphosis and timings of metamorphosis. Tadpoles exposed to 100μg/L 17β-estradiol presented the exact same alterations of developmental rate and body size as those treated with 1, 10 and 100μg/L of atrazine. Elements of the experimental design that facilitated the detection of alterations of metamorphosis at low concentrations of atrazine are discussed, together with the ecological significance of those findings. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Soluble non-starch polysaccharides derived from complex food matrices do not increase average lipid droplet size during gastric lipid emulsification in rats.

    PubMed

    Fillery-Travis, A J; Gee, J M; Waldron, K W; Robins, M M; Johnson, I T

    1997-11-01

    The creation of a finely dispersed lipid emulsion is essential for efficient hydrolysis of dietary triglycerides. The effectiveness of emulsification within the stomach depends upon the shear force generated by gastric motility and the concentration of emulsifiers present in the gastric contents. Other dietary constituents can modify these factors, and previous studies have suggested that the presence of soluble non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) during digestion might increase the average size of intraluminal emulsion droplets. In the present study, we developed a new technique for the isolation and analysis of intraluminal lipid emulsions by optical diffraction analysis. The method was applied to rats fed powdered semipurified diets that were free of all NSP or supplemented with insoluble cellulose, guar gum, or NSP derived from apple, carrot or rolled oats. Cellulose had no significant effect on emulsion size, and there was no evidence that the average sizes of lipid droplets in the gastric fundus or antrum were higher than control values in rats fed diets supplemented with any source of soluble NSP. In the groups fed oats and cooked carrot NSP, the mean droplet diameters approached half the values for diets free of NSP or containing insoluble cellulose. The difference between rats fed NSP from cooked carrot and those fed cellulose was significant in the proximal stomach (P < 0.05), and that between rats fed raw oats and rats fed cellulose was significant in the distal stomach (P < 0.05). Soluble dietary fiber does not inhibit lipid or cholesterol absorption via any inhibition of lipid emulsification.

  19. Differences in pup birth weight, pup variability within litters, and dam weight of mice selected for alternative criteria to increase litter size.

    PubMed

    van Engelen, M A; Nielsen, M K; Ribeiro, E L

    1995-07-01

    Selection for litter size had been practiced for 21 generations and relaxed selection for 13 generations in mice. Three replicates were used with four selection criteria: index of components (ovulation rate and ova success), uterine capacity, litter size, and an unselected control. Especially with selection for litter size and the index relative to the control, number of pups born had increased, and differences also occurred in mating weight. Dams of the three replicates and their litters were used to evaluate the effects of accumulated selection on pup birth weight, variability in weight of littermates, and dam's weight at mating and after littering. Total number born, number born alive, number of males, and number of females were also recorded and studied. Mean pup birth weight did not differ among the criteria; however, variability among littermates in pup weight tended to differ among criteria of selection. Regressions for pup weight and within-litter standard deviation of pup weight on number born were small and negative but significant (P < .001). The distribution of pup weight within litter was normal for 77.2% of the litters, with no differences among the criteria. The difference between weight of male and weight of female pups was significant (P < .001); overall males were 2.5% heavier than females. There was a difference (P < .02) among criteria in mating weight and littering weight; however, the maternal weight gain between mating and littering was not different among criteria. Number born differed (P < .003) among the criteria, but there was no significant difference among criteria in numbers of males and females.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  20. Net Metering Policy Development and Distributed Solar Generation in Minnesota: Overview of Trends in Nationwide Policy Development and Implications of Increasing the Eligible System Size Cap

    SciTech Connect

    Doris, E.; Busche, S.; Hockett, S.

    2009-12-01

    The goal of the Minnesota net metering policy is to give the maximum possible encouragement to distributed generation assets, especially solar electric systems (MN 2008). However, according to a published set of best practices (NNEC 2008) that prioritize the maximum development of solar markets within states, the Minnesota policy does not incorporate many of the important best practices that may help other states transform their solar energy markets and increase the amount of grid-connected distributed solar generation assets. Reasons cited include the low system size limit of 40kW (the best practices document recommends a 2 MW limit) and a lack of language protecting generators from additional utility fees. This study was conducted to compare Minnesota's policies to national best practices. It provides an overview of the current Minnesota policy in the context of these best practices and other jurisdictions' net metering policies, as well as a qualitative assessment of the impacts of raising the system size cap within the policy based on the experiences of other states.

  1. Tree size and light availability increase photochemical instead of non-photochemical capacities of Nothofagus nitida trees growing in an evergreen temperate rain forest.

    PubMed

    Coopman, Rafael E; Briceño, Verónica F; Corcuera, Luis J; Reyes-Díaz, Marjorie; Alvarez, Daniela; Sáez, Katherine; García-Plazaola, José I; Alberdi, Miren; Bravo, León A

    2011-10-01

    Nothofagus nitida (Phil.) Krasser (Nothofagaceae) regenerates under the canopy in microsites protected from high light. Nonetheless, it is common to find older saplings in clear areas and adults as emergent trees of the Chilean evergreen forest. We hypothesized that this shade to sun transition in N. nitida is supported by an increase in photochemical and non-photochemical energy dissipation capacities of both photosystems in parallel with the increase in plant size and light availability. To dissect the relative contribution of light environment and plant developmental stage to these physiological responses, the photosynthetic performance of both photosystems was studied from the morpho-anatomical to the biochemical level in current-year leaves of N. nitida plants of different heights (ranging from 0.1 to 7 m) growing under contrasting light environments (integrated quantum flux (IQF) 5-40 mol m(-2). Tree height (TH) and light environment (IQF) independently increased the saturated electron transport rates of both photosystems, as well as leaf and palisade thickness, but non-photochemical energy flux, photoinhibition susceptibility, state transition capacity, and the contents of D1 and PsbS proteins were not affected by IQF and TH. Spongy mesophyll thickness and palisade cell diameter decreased with IQF and TH. A(max), light compensation and saturation points, Rubisco and nitrogen content (area basis) only increased with light environment (IQF), whereas dark respiration (R(d)) decreased slightly and relative chlorophyll content was higher in taller trees. Overall, the independent effects of more illuminated environment and tree height mainly increased the photochemical instead of the non-photochemical energy flux. Regardless of the photochemical increase with TH, carbon assimilation only significantly improved with higher IQF. Therefore it seems that mainly acclimation to the light environment supports the phenotypic transition of N. nitida from shade to

  2. Increase in dNTP pool size during the DNA damage response plays a key role in spontaneous and induced-mutagenesis in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Gon, Stéphanie; Napolitano, Rita; Rocha, Walter; Coulon, Stéphane; Fuchs, Robert P

    2011-11-29

    Exposure of Escherichia coli to UV light increases expression of NrdAB, the major ribonucleotide reductase leading to a moderate increase in dNTP levels. The role of elevated dNTP levels during translesion synthesis (TLS) across specific replication-blocking lesions was investigated. Here we show that although the specialized DNA polymerase PolV is necessary for replication across UV-lesions, such as cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers or pyrimidine(6-4)pyrimidone photoproduct, Pol V per se is not sufficient. Indeed, efficient TLS additionally requires elevated dNTP levels. Similarly, for the bypass of an N-2-acetylaminofluorene-guanine adduct that requires Pol II instead of PolV, efficient TLS is only observed under conditions of high dNTP levels. We suggest that increased dNTP levels transiently modify the activity balance of Pol III (i.e., increasing the polymerase and reducing the proofreading functions). Indeed, we show that the stimulation of TLS by elevated dNTP levels can be mimicked by genetic inactivation of the proofreading function (mutD5 allele). We also show that spontaneous mutagenesis increases proportionally to dNTP pool levels, thus defining a unique spontaneous mutator phenotype. The so-called "dNTP mutator" phenotype does not depend upon any of the specialized DNA polymerases, and is thus likely to reflect an increase in Pol III's own replication errors because of the modified activity balance of Pol III. As up-regulation of the dNTP pool size represents a common physiological response to DNA damage, the present model is likely to represent a general and unique paradigm for TLS pathways in many organisms.

  3. Increase in dNTP pool size during the DNA damage response plays a key role in spontaneous and induced-mutagenesis in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Gon, Stéphanie; Napolitano, Rita; Rocha, Walter; Coulon, Stéphane; Fuchs, Robert P.

    2011-01-01

    Exposure of Escherichia coli to UV light increases expression of NrdAB, the major ribonucleotide reductase leading to a moderate increase in dNTP levels. The role of elevated dNTP levels during translesion synthesis (TLS) across specific replication-blocking lesions was investigated. Here we show that although the specialized DNA polymerase PolV is necessary for replication across UV-lesions, such as cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers or pyrimidine(6-4)pyrimidone photoproduct, Pol V per se is not sufficient. Indeed, efficient TLS additionally requires elevated dNTP levels. Similarly, for the bypass of an N-2-acetylaminofluorene-guanine adduct that requires Pol II instead of PolV, efficient TLS is only observed under conditions of high dNTP levels. We suggest that increased dNTP levels transiently modify the activity balance of Pol III (i.e., increasing the polymerase and reducing the proofreading functions). Indeed, we show that the stimulation of TLS by elevated dNTP levels can be mimicked by genetic inactivation of the proofreading function (mutD5 allele). We also show that spontaneous mutagenesis increases proportionally to dNTP pool levels, thus defining a unique spontaneous mutator phenotype. The so-called “dNTP mutator” phenotype does not depend upon any of the specialized DNA polymerases, and is thus likely to reflect an increase in Pol III's own replication errors because of the modified activity balance of Pol III. As up-regulation of the dNTP pool size represents a common physiological response to DNA damage, the present model is likely to represent a general and unique paradigm for TLS pathways in many organisms. PMID:22084087

  4. Knockout of the abundant Trichomonas vaginalis hydrogenosomal membrane protein TvHMP23 increases hydrogenosome size but induces no compensatory up-regulation of paralogous copies.

    PubMed

    Brás, Xavier Pereira; Zimorski, Verena; Bolte, Kathrin; Maier, Uwe-G; Martin, William F; Gould, Sven B

    2013-05-02

    The Trichomonas vaginalis genome encodes up to 60000 genes, many of which stem from genome duplication events. Paralogous copies thus accompany most T. vaginalis genes, a phenomenon that limits genetic manipulation. We characterized one of the parasite's most abundant hydrogenosomal membrane proteins, TvHMP23, which is phylogenetically distinct from canonical metabolite carriers, and which localizes to the inner hydrogenosomal membrane as shown through sub-organellar fractionation and protease protection assays. Knockout of Tvhmp23 through insertion of the selectable neomycin marker led to a size increase of hydrogenosomes, the first knockout-induced phenotypes reported for Trichomonas, but no growth impairment. The transcriptional response of its four paralogous copies then analyzed revealed that they are not up-regulated, and hence do not compensate for the Tvhmp23 knockout. Copyright © 2013 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Physiological adaptations to reproduction. I. Experimentally increasing litter size enhances aspects of antioxidant defence but does not cause oxidative damage in mice.

    PubMed

    Garratt, Michael; Pichaud, Nicolas; King, Edith D Aloise; Brooks, Robert C

    2013-08-01

    Life history theory suggests that investment in reproduction can trade off against growth, longevity and both reproduction and performance later in life. One possible reason for this trade-off is that reproduction directly causes somatic damage. Oxidative stress, an overproduction of reactive oxygen species in relation to cellular defences, can correlate with reproductive investment and has been implicated as a pathway leading to senescence. This has led to the suggestion that this aspect of physiology could be an important mechanism underlying the trade-off between reproduction and lifespan. We manipulated female reproductive investment to test whether oxidative stress increases with reproduction in mice. Each female's pups were cross-fostered to produce litters of either two or eight, representing low and high levels of reproductive investment for wild mice. No differences were observed between reproductive groups at peak lactation for several markers of oxidative stress in the heart and gastrocnemius muscle. Surprisingly, oxidative damage to proteins was lower in the livers of females with a litter size of eight than in females with two pups or non-reproductive control females. While protein oxidation decreased, activity levels of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase increased in the liver, suggesting this may be one pathway used to protect against oxidative stress. Our results highlight the need for caution when interpreting correlative relationships and suggest that oxidative stress does not increase with enhanced reproductive effort during lactation.

  6. Increased excitability of medium-sized dorsal root ganglion neurons by prolonged interleukin-1β exposure is K+ channel dependent and reversible

    PubMed Central

    Stemkowski, Patrick L; Noh, Myung-chul; Chen, Yishen; Smith, Peter A

    2015-01-01

    Chronic constriction injury of rat sciatic nerve promotes signs of neuropathic pain. This is associated with an increase in the level of interleukin 1β (IL-1β) in primary afferents that peaks at 7 days. This initial cytokine exposure has been proposed to trigger an enduring alteration in neuronal phenotype that underlies chronic hyper-excitability in sensory nerves, which initiates and maintains chronic neuropathic pain. We have shown previously that 5–6 days of exposure of rat dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) to 100 pm IL-1β increases the excitability of medium-sized neurons. We have now found using whole-cell recording that this increased excitability reverts to control levels within 3–4 days of cytokine removal. The effects of IL-1β were dominated by changes in K+ currents. Thus, the amplitudes of A-current, delayed rectifier and Ca2+-sensitive K+ currents were reduced by ∼68%, ∼64% and ∼36%, respectively. Effects of IL-1β on other cation currents were modest by comparison. There was thus a slight decrease in availability of high voltage-activated Ca2+ channel current, a small increase in rates of activation of hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channel current (IH), and a shift in the voltage dependence of activation of tetrodotoxin-sensitive sodium current (TTX-S INa) to more negative potentials. It is unlikely, therefore, that direct interaction of IL-1β with DRG neurons initiates an enduring phenotypic shift in their electrophysiological properties following sciatic nerve injury. Persistent increases in primary afferent excitability following nerve injury may instead depend on altered K+ channel function and on the continued presence of slightly elevated levels IL-1β and other cytokines. PMID:26110238

  7. Chewing activities and particle size of rumen digesta and feces of precision-fed dairy heifers fed different forage levels with increasing levels of distillers grains.

    PubMed

    Suarez-Mena, F X; Lascano, G J; Heinrichs, A J

    2013-08-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the effects of 2 differing forage to concentrate ratios (F:C) and various levels of corn dry distillers grain with solubles (DDGS) replacing canola meal in precision-fed dairy heifer rations on chewing behavior, rumen pH and fill, and particle size of rumen contents and feces. A split plot design with F:C as whole plot and DDGS inclusion level as subplot was administered in a 4-period 4 × 4 Latin square. Eight rumen-cannulated Holstein heifers (12.5±0.5 mo of age and 344±15 kg of body weight, respectively) housed in individual stalls were allocated to F:C 50:50 (low forage) or 75:25 [high forage (HF); dry matter basis] and to a sequence of DDGS level (0, 7, 14, and 21%; dry matter basis). Forage was a mix of 50% corn silage and 50% grass hay (dry matter basis). Diets were fed once daily and formulated to provide equal amounts of nutrients and body weight gain. No differences were found for rumen pH between dietary treatments. Time spent eating tended to be longer for HF and was not affected by DDGS inclusion rate. Ruminating time did not differ by F:C, but linearly increased as DDGS increased (422 to 450±21 min/d). Total chewing time tended to be longer for HF and to increase linearly as DDGS increased (553 to 579±33 min/d). Wet rumen digesta weight and volume were greater for HF. Geometric mean particle length of rumen contents was greater for HF 2h prefeeding when analyzed with solubles (particles <0.15 mm). Proportion of rumen solubles decreased as DDGS increased 5h postfeeding. Fecal geometric mean particle length and proportion of particles >1.18 mm increased with increasing levels of DDGS and did not change with F:C. Total chewing time increased by the addition of DDGS and higher F:C. Heifers can compensate for lower physically effective neutral detergent fiber by modifying their chewing behavior. Rumen pH was never at a level that could induce acidosis, and lower eating time at lower F:C was somewhat

  8. Increased HDL Size and Enhanced Apo A-I Catabolic Rates Are Associated With Doxorubicin-Induced Proteinuria in New Zealand White Rabbits.

    PubMed

    López-Olmos, Victoria; Carreón-Torres, Elizabeth; Luna-Luna, María; Flores-Castillo, Cristobal; Martínez-Ramírez, Miriam; Bautista-Pérez, Rocío; Franco, Martha; Sandoval-Zárate, Julio; Roldán, Francisco-Javier; Aranda-Fraustro, Alberto; Soria-Castro, Elizabeth; Muñoz-Vega, Mónica; Fragoso, José-Manuel; Vargas-Alarcón, Gilberto; Pérez-Méndez, Oscar

    2016-03-01

    The catabolism and structure of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) may be the determining factor of their atheroprotective properties. To better understand the role of the kidney in HDL catabolism, here we characterized HDL subclasses and the catabolic rates of apo A-I in a rabbit model of proteinuria. Proteinuria was induced by intravenous administration of doxorubicin in New Zealand white rabbits (n = 10). HDL size and HDL subclass lipids were assessed by electrophoresis of the isolated lipoproteins. The catabolic rate of HDL-apo A-I was evaluated by exogenous radiolabelling with iodine-131. Doxorubicin induced significant proteinuria after 4 weeks (4.47 ± 0.55 vs. 0.30 ± 0.02 g/L of protein in urine, P < 0.001) associated with increased uremia, creatininemia, and cardiotoxicity. Large HDL2b augmented significantly during proteinuria, whereas small HDL3b and HDL3c decreased compared to basal conditions. HDL2b, HDL2a, and HDL3a subclasses were enriched with triacylglycerols in proteinuric animals as determined by the triacylglycerol-to-phospholipid ratio; the cholesterol content in HDL subclasses remained unchanged. The fractional catabolic rate (FCR) of [(131)I]-apo A-I in the proteinuric rabbits was faster (FCR = 0.036 h(-1)) compared to control rabbits group (FCR = 0.026 h(-1), P < 0.05). Apo E increased and apo A-I decreased in HDL, whereas PON-1 activity increased in proteinuric rabbits. Proteinuria was associated with an increased number of large HDL2b particles and a decreased number of small HDL3b and 3c. Proteinuria was also connected to an alteration in HDL subclass lipids, apolipoprotein content of HDL, high paraoxonase-1 activity, and a rise in the fractional catabolic rate of the [(131)I]-apo A-I.

  9. Individual Maize Chromosomes in the C3 Plant Oat Can Increase Bundle Sheath Cell Size and Vein Density1[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Tolley, Ben J.; Sage, Tammy L.; Langdale, Jane A.; Hibberd, Julian M.

    2012-01-01

    C4 photosynthesis has evolved in at least 66 lineages within the angiosperms and involves alterations to the biochemistry, cell biology, and development of leaves. The characteristic “Kranz” anatomy of most C4 leaves was discovered in the 1890s, but the genetic basis of these traits remains poorly defined. Oat × maize addition lines allow the effects of individual maize (Zea mays; C4) chromosomes to be investigated in an oat (Avena sativa; C3) genetic background. Here, we have determined the extent to which maize chromosomes can introduce C4 characteristics into oat and have associated any C4-like changes with specific maize chromosomes. While there is no indication of a simultaneous change to C4 biochemistry, leaf anatomy, and ultrastructure in any of the oat × maize addition lines, the C3 oat leaf can be modified at multiple levels. Maize genes encoding phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase, pyruvate, orthophosphate dikinase, and the 2′-oxoglutarate/malate transporter are expressed in oat and generate transcripts of the correct size. Three maize chromosomes independently cause increases in vein density, and maize chromosome 3 results in larger bundle sheath cells with increased cell wall lipid deposition in oat leaves. These data provide proof of principle that aspects of C4 biology could be integrated into leaves of C3 crops. PMID:22675083

  10. Maternal choline supplementation improves spatial mapping and increases basal forebrain cholinergic neuron number and size in aged Ts65Dn mice.

    PubMed

    Ash, Jessica A; Velazquez, Ramon; Kelley, Christy M; Powers, Brian E; Ginsberg, Stephen D; Mufson, Elliott J; Strupp, Barbara J

    2014-10-01

    Down syndrome (DS) is marked by intellectual disability (ID) and early-onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathology, including basal forebrain cholinergic neuron (BFCN) degeneration. The present study tested the hypothesis that maternal choline supplementation (MCS) improves spatial mapping and protects against BFCN degeneration in the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS and AD. During pregnancy and lactation, dams were assigned to either a choline sufficient (1.1g/kg choline chloride) or choline supplemented (5.0g/kg choline chloride) diet. Between 13 and 17months of age, offspring were tested in the radial arm water maze (RAWM) to examine spatial mapping followed by unbiased quantitative morphometry of BFCNs. Spatial mapping was significantly impaired in unsupplemented Ts65Dn mice relative to normal disomic (2N) littermates. Additionally, a significantly lower number and density of medial septum (MS) hippocampal projection BFCNs was also found in unsupplemented Ts65Dn mice. Notably, MCS significantly improved spatial mapping and increased number, density, and size of MS BFCNs in Ts65Dn offspring. Moreover, the density and number of MS BFCNs correlated significantly with spatial memory proficiency, providing support for a functional relationship between these behavioral and morphometric effects of MCS for trisomic offspring. Thus, increasing maternal choline intake during pregnancy may represent a safe and effective treatment approach for expectant mothers carrying a DS fetus, as well as a possible means of BFCN neuroprotection during aging for the population at large.

  11. Maternal choline supplementation improves spatial mapping and increases basal forebrain cholinergic neuron number and size in aged Ts65Dn mice

    PubMed Central

    Ash, Jessica A.; Velazquez, Ramon; Kelley, Christy M.; Powers, Brian E.; Ginsberg, Stephen D.; Mufson, Elliott J.; Strupp, Barbara J.

    2014-01-01

    Down syndrome (DS) is marked by intellectual disability (ID) and early-onset of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) neuropathology, including basal forebrain cholinergic neuron (BFCN) degeneration. The present study tested the hypothesis that maternal choline supplementation (MCS) lessens hippocampal dysfunction and protects against BFCN degeneration in the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS and AD. During pregnancy and lactation, dams were assigned to either a choline sufficient (1.1 g/kg choline chloride) or choline supplemented (5.0 g/kg choline chloride) diet. Between 13 and 17 months of age, offspring were tested in the radial arm water maze (RAWM) to examine spatial learning and memory followed by unbiased quantitative morphometry of BFCNs. Spatial mapping was significantly impaired in unsupplemented Ts65Dn mice relative to normal disomic (2N) littermates. Additionally, a significantly lower number and density of medial septum (MS) hippocampal projection BFCNs was also found in unsupplemented Ts65Dn mice. Notably, MCS significantly improved spatial mapping and increased number, density, and size of MS BFCNs in Ts65Dn offspring. Moreover, the density and number of MS BFCNs correlated significantly with spatial memory proficiency, providing powerful support for a functional relationship between these behavioral and morphometric effects of MCS for the trisomic offspring. Thus, increasing maternal choline intake during pregnancy may represent a safe and effective treatment approach for expectant mothers carrying a DS fetus, as well as a possible means of BFCN neuroprotection during aging for the population at large. PMID:24932939

  12. Strategies for reducing supplemental medium cost in bioethanol production from waste house wood hydrolysate by ethanologenic Escherichia coli: inoculum size increase and coculture with Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Okuda, Naoyuki; Ninomiya, Kazuaki; Katakura, Yoshio; Shioya, Suteaki

    2008-02-01

    In this paper, we report a simultaneous realization of both efficient ethanol production and saving medium nutrient (corn steep liquor [CSL]) during bioethanol fermentation of overliming-treated hydrolysate of waste house wood (WHW) using ethanologenic Escherichia coli KO11. In cultivation using WHW hydrolysate supplemented with 4% (v/v) CSL and 0.2 g-dry cell weight (DCW)/l E. coli KO11 cells, the overall ethanol yield reached 84% of the theoretical value at 61 h. When we conducted the cultivation with 1% CSL to reduce the supplemental medium cost, the overall ethanol yield remained in the range of 66-72% even at 90 h. We proposed two alternative methods for increasing the overall yield even with 1% CSL. The first method involved increasing the inoculum size of E. coli KO11 up to 0.8 g-DCW/l, where 83% of the overall yield was attained at 60 h of cultivation. The second method involved the coculture of 0.2 g-DCW/l E. coli KO11 together with 0.02 g-DCW/l of Saccharomyces cerevisiae TJ1, and the overall yield reached 81% at 47 h of cultivation.

  13. A maize ADP-ribosylation factor ZmArf2 increases organ and seed size by promoting cell expansion in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qilei; Xue, Xiaojing; Li, Yuling; Dong, Yongbin; Zhang, Long; Zhou, Qiang; Deng, Fei; Ma, Zhiyan; Qiao, Dahe; Hu, Chunhui; Ren, Yangliu

    2016-01-01

    ADP-ribosylation factors (ARFs) are small GTP-binding proteins that regulate a wide variety of cell functions. Previously, we isolated a new ARF, ZmArf2, from maize (Zea mays). Sequence and expression characteristics indicated that ZmArf2 might play a critical role in the early stages of endosperm development. In this study, we investigated ZmArf2 function by analysis of its GTP-binding activity and subcellular localization. We also over-expressed ZmArf2 in Arabidopsis and measured organ and cell size and counted cell numbers. The expression levels of five organ size-associated genes were also determined in 35S::ZmArf2 transgenic and wild-type plants. Results showed that the recombinant ZmArf2 protein purified from Escherichia coli exhibited GTP-binding activity. Subcellular localization revealed that ZmArf2 was localized in the cytoplasm and plasma membrane. ZmArf2 over-expression in Arabidopsis showed that 35S::ZmArf2 transgenic plants were taller and had larger leaves and seeds compared to wild-type plants, which resulted from cell expansions, not an increase in cell numbers. In addition, three cell expansion-related genes, AtEXP3, AtEXP5 and AtEXP10, were upregulated in 35S::ZmArf2 transgenic lines, while the expression levels of AtGIF1 and AtGRF5, were unchanged. Collectively, our studies suggest that ZmArf2 has an active GTP-binding function, and plays a crucial role in growth and development in Arabidopsis through cell expansion mediated by cell expansion genes. © 2015 Scandinavian Plant Physiology Society.

  14. Drug-primed reinstatement of cocaine seeking in mice: increased excitability of medium-sized spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens.

    PubMed

    Ma, Yao-Ying; Henley, Sandy M; Toll, Jeff; Jentsch, James D; Evans, Christopher J; Levine, Michael S; Cepeda, Carlos

    2013-10-02

    To examine the mechanisms of drug relapse, we first established a model for cocaine IVSA (intravenous self-administration) in mice, and subsequently examined electrophysiological alterations of MSNs (medium-sized spiny neurons) in the NAc (nucleus accumbens) before and after acute application of cocaine in slices. Three groups were included: master mice trained by AL (active lever) pressings followed by IV (intravenous) cocaine delivery, yoked mice that received passive IV cocaine administration initiated by paired master mice, and saline controls. MSNs recorded in the NAc shell in master mice exhibited higher membrane input resistances but lower frequencies and smaller amplitudes of sEPSCs (spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents) compared with neurons recorded from saline control mice, whereas cells in the NAc core had higher sEPSCs frequencies and larger amplitudes. Furthermore, sEPSCs in MSNs of the shell compartment displayed longer decay times, suggesting that both pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms were involved. After acute re-exposure to a low-dose of cocaine in vitro, an AP (action potential)-dependent, persistent increase in sEPSC frequency was observed in both NAc shell and core MSNs from master, but not yoked or saline control mice. Furthermore, re-exposure to cocaine induced membrane hyperpolarization, but concomitantly increased excitability of MSNs from master mice, as evidenced by increased membrane input resistance, decreased depolarizing current to generate APs, and a more negative Thr (threshold) for firing. These data demonstrate functional differences in NAc MSNs after chronic contingent versus non-contingent IV cocaine administration in mice, as well as synaptic adaptations of MSNs before and after acute re-exposure to cocaine. Reversing these functional alterations in NAc could represent a rational target for the treatment of some reward-related behaviors, including drug addiction.

  15. Chronic Exercise Increases Plasma Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Levels, Pancreatic Islet Size, and Insulin Tolerance in a TrkB-Dependent Manner

    PubMed Central

    Jiménez-Maldonado, Alberto; de Álvarez-Buylla, Elena Roces; Montero, Sergio; Melnikov, Valery; Castro-Rodríguez, Elena; Gamboa-Domínguez, Armando; Rodríguez-Hernández, Alejandrina; Lemus, Mónica; Murguía, Jesús Muñiz

    2014-01-01

    Background Physical exercise improves glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) enhances insulin activity in diabetic rodents. Because physical exercise modifies BDNF production, this study aimed to investigate the effects of chronic exercise on plasma BDNF levels and the possible effects on insulin tolerance modification in healthy rats. Methods Wistar rats were divided into five groups: control (sedentary, C); moderate- intensity training (MIT); MIT plus K252A TrkB blocker (MITK); high-intensity training (HIT); and HIT plus K252a (HITK). Training comprised 8 weeks of treadmill running. Plasma BDNF levels (ELISA assay), glucose tolerance, insulin tolerance, and immunohistochemistry for insulin and the pancreatic islet area were evaluated in all groups. In addition, Bdnf mRNA expression in the skeletal muscle was measured. Principal Findings Chronic treadmill exercise significantly increased plasma BDNF levels and insulin tolerance, and both effects were attenuated by TrkB blocking. In the MIT and HIT groups, a significant TrkB-dependent pancreatic islet enlargement was observed. MIT rats exhibited increased liver glycogen levels following insulin administration in a TrkB-independent manner. Conclusions/Significance Chronic physical exercise exerted remarkable effects on insulin regulation by inducing significant increases in the pancreatic islet size and insulin sensitivity in a TrkB-dependent manner. A threshold for the induction of BNDF in response to physical exercise exists in certain muscle groups. To the best of our knowledge, these are the first results to reveal a role for TrkB in the chronic exercise-mediated insulin regulation in healthy rats. PMID:25531651

  16. Daily consumption of orange-fleshed sweet potato for 60 days increased plasma β-carotene concentration but did not increase total body vitamin A pool size in Bangladeshi women.

    PubMed

    Jamil, Kazi M; Brown, Kenneth H; Jamil, Maleka; Peerson, Janet M; Keenan, Alison H; Newman, John W; Haskell, Marjorie J

    2012-10-01

    We assessed the effect of daily consumption of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (OFSP), with or without added fat, on the vitamin A (VA) status of Bangladeshi women with low initial VA status. Women (n = 30/group) received one of the following for 6 d/wk over 10 wk: 1) 0 μg retinol activity equivalents (RAE)/d as boiled white-fleshed sweet potatoes (WFSP) and a corn oil capsule, 2) 600 μg RAE/d as boiled OFSP and a corn oil capsule, 3) fried OFSP and a corn oil capsule, or 4) boiled WFSP and a retinyl palmitate capsule in addition to their home diets. Plasma concentrations of retinol and β-carotene and total body VA pool size were assessed before and after the 60-d intervention. Initial and final plasma retinol concentrations (mean ± SD) were 0.75 ± 0.18 μmol/L and 0.84 ± 0.19 μmol/L, respectively (P = 0.31); final means did not differ by group. Initial and final plasma β-carotene concentrations were 0.10 ± 00 μmol/L and 0.18 ± 0.09 μmol/L, respectively (P < 0.0001); final mean plasma β-carotene concentrations were higher in groups that received OFSP (P < 0.0001), and final mean plasma β-carotene was marginally higher in the group that received fried OFSP compared with boiled OFSP (P = 0.07). Initial and final total body VA pool sizes were 0.060 ± 0.047 mmol and 0.091 ± 0.070 mmol, respectively (P = 0.05, n = 110) and did not differ by group. Despite an increase in plasma β-carotene concentration, the impact of OFSP on VA status appears to be limited in Bangladeshi women residing in a resource-poor community.

  17. The NEDD8 inhibitor MLN4924 increases the size of the nucleolus and activates p53 through the ribosomal-Mdm2 pathway.

    PubMed

    Bailly, A; Perrin, A; Bou Malhab, L J; Pion, E; Larance, M; Nagala, M; Smith, P; O'Donohue, M-F; Gleizes, P-E; Zomerdijk, J; Lamond, A I; Xirodimas, D P

    2016-01-28

    The ubiquitin-like molecule NEDD8 is essential for viability, growth and development, and is a potential target for therapeutic intervention. We found that the small molecule inhibitor of NEDDylation, MLN4924, alters the morphology and increases the surface size of the nucleolus in human and germline cells of Caenorhabditis elegans in the absence of nucleolar fragmentation. SILAC proteomics and monitoring of rRNA production, processing and ribosome profiling shows that MLN4924 changes the composition of the nucleolar proteome but does not inhibit RNA Pol I transcription. Further analysis demonstrates that MLN4924 activates the p53 tumour suppressor through the RPL11/RPL5-Mdm2 pathway, with characteristics of nucleolar stress. The study identifies the nucleolus as a target of inhibitors of NEDDylation and provides a mechanism for p53 activation upon NEDD8 inhibition. It also indicates that targeting the nucleolar proteome without affecting nucleolar transcription initiates the required signalling events for the control of cell cycle regulators.

  18. Hybridisation is associated with increased fecundity and size in invasive taxa: meta-analytic support for the hybridisation-invasion hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Hovick, Stephen M; Whitney, Kenneth D

    2014-01-01

    The hypothesis that interspecific hybridisation promotes invasiveness has received much recent attention, but tests of the hypothesis can suffer from important limitations. Here, we provide the first systematic review of studies experimentally testing the hybridisation-invasion (H-I) hypothesis in plants, animals and fungi. We identified 72 hybrid systems for which hybridisation has been putatively associated with invasiveness, weediness or range expansion. Within this group, 15 systems (comprising 34 studies) experimentally tested performance of hybrids vs. their parental species and met our other criteria. Both phylogenetic and non-phylogenetic meta-analyses demonstrated that wild hybrids were significantly more fecund and larger than their parental taxa, but did not differ in survival. Resynthesised hybrids (which typically represent earlier generations than do wild hybrids) did not consistently differ from parental species in fecundity, survival or size. Using meta-regression, we found that fecundity increased (but survival decreased) with generation in resynthesised hybrids, suggesting that natural selection can play an important role in shaping hybrid performance – and thus invasiveness – over time. We conclude that the available evidence supports the H-I hypothesis, with the caveat that our results are clearly driven by tests in plants, which are more numerous than tests in animals and fungi. PMID:25234578

  19. Investigating ULVZ morphology associated with increased mineralogical grain-size of thermochemical piles resulting in higher intrinsic diffusion-creep viscosity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marin, N.; McNamara, A. K.

    2016-12-01

    Earth's lowermost mantle contains two large regions of lower than average shear wave velocity beneath Africa and the central Pacific, known as the Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs). Seismic evidence infers that LLSVPs may differ in density and composition from the background mantle, resulting in large-scale thermochemical mantle convection. Among several competing hypotheses as to the cause of LLSVPs, one model proposes the existence of dynamically-stable and long-lived thermochemical piles at the mantle's base. Although seismic tomography alone is unable to fully distinguish thermochemical piles from other models, Ultra-Low Velocity Zones (ULVZs)—tiny, seismically-detected patches of decreased seismic velocities residing in the lowermost 10km of the mantle, may provide constraints. Earlier geodynamical calculations (McNamara et al., 2010) found that if ULVZs are caused by a small volume of ultra-dense material, they are expected to accumulate along the margins of thermochemical piles, with an asymmetrical shape (thicker outboard and thinner inboard of the piles). However, these initial calculations assumed that piles have the same temperature-dependent rheology as background mantle. If piles have a larger mineral grain size than the background mantle, the diffusion creep viscosity of the piles would increase. Earlier work (McNamara and Zhong., 2004) has shown that this leads to the development of a viscous rind along the interior pile surface. Here, we explore whether such an increase in intrinsic pile-viscosity changes the ULVZ locations (with respect to piles), shape, thickness, and interaction with the pile material as compared to previous work that simply utilized a uniform temperature-dependent rheology.

  20. Chronic emotional stress exposure increases infarct size in rats: the role of oxidative and nitrosative damage in response to sympathetic hyperactivity.

    PubMed

    Mercanoglu, G; Safran, N; Uzun, H; Eroglu, L

    2008-12-01

    We investigated the level of sympathetic hyperactivity in response to stress exposure in an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) model and the contribution of oxidative and nitrosative damage to this phenomenon. Stress was induced by 20-day administration of different emotional stress factors: daylight/darkness exposure, overcrowding, isolation, new hierarchy, tilting the cage and restriction of water or food. AMI was induced surgically. Heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) measurements were done before and after AMI. Oxidant parameters were measured in heart tissue and cortisol levels were measured in plasma specimens. Compared with the nonstressed group, stress-exposed rats showed sympathetic hyperactivity characterized by increased HR together with decreased HRV. In the stressed group serum corticosterone levels were high both before and after AMI. Mean infarct size in the stressed group was significantly larger (44.6+/-3.23% and 53.1+/-4.52%, respectively; P<0.05). Increased tissue malondialdehyde (MDA) levels (0.63+/-0.59 and 1.60+/-0.31 nmol/mg protein, respectively; P<0.05) and decreased superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and glutathione (GSH) content were seen in stress-exposed rats. Likewise, heart peroxynitrite levels were also high in stress-exposed rats (141.8+/-18 nmol/g tissue vs. 164.2+/-21 nmol/g tissue). Chronic emotional stress is a deteriorating factor for the induction and prognosis of MI. Exaggerated sympathetic activity may be the major contributing factor. Oxidative and nitrosative damage in response to this sympathetic hyperactivity is the key mechanism.

  1. Dosimetric response of variable-size cavities in photon-irradiated media and the behaviour of the Spencer-Attix cavity integral with increasing Δ.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Sudhir; Deshpande, Deepak D; Nahum, Alan E

    2016-04-07

    Cavity theory is fundamental to understanding and predicting dosimeter response. Conventional cavity theories have been shown to be consistent with one another by deriving the electron (+positron) and photon fluence spectra with the FLURZnrc user-code (EGSnrc Monte-Carlo system) in large volumes under quasi-CPE for photon beams of 1 MeV and 10 MeV in three materials (water, aluminium and copper) and then using these fluence spectra to evaluate and then inter-compare the Bragg-Gray, Spencer-Attix and 'large photon' 'cavity integrals'. The behaviour of the 'Spencer-Attix dose' (aka restricted cema), D S-A(▵), in a 1-MeV photon field in water has been investigated for a wide range of values of the cavity-size parameter ▵: D S-A(▵) decreases far below the Monte-Carlo dose (D MC) for ▵ greater than  ≈  30 keV due to secondary electrons with starting energies below ▵ not being 'counted'. We show that for a quasi-scatter-free geometry (D S-A(▵)/D MC) is closely equal to the proportion of energy transferred to Compton electrons with initial (kinetic) energies above ▵, derived from the Klein-Nishina (K-N) differential cross section. (D S-A(▵)/D MC) can be used to estimate the maximum size of a detector behaving as a Bragg-Gray cavity in a photon-irradiated medium as a function of photon-beam quality (under quasi CPE) e.g. a typical air-filled ion chamber is 'Bragg-Gray' at (monoenergetic) beam energies  ⩾260 keV. Finally, by varying the density of a silicon cavity (of 2.26 mm diameter and 2.0 mm thickness) in water, the response of different cavity 'sizes' was simulated; the Monte-Carlo-derived ratio D w/D Si for 6 MV and 15 MV photons varied from very close to the Spencer-Attix value at 'gas' densities, agreed well with Burlin cavity theory as ρ increased, and approached large photon behaviour for ρ  ≈  10 g cm(-3). The estimate of ▵ for the Si cavity was improved by incorporating a Monte-Carlo-derived correction for

  2. Increased fat mass, decreased myofiber size, and a shift to glycolytic muscle metabolism in adolescent male transgenic mice overexpressing IGFBP-2.

    PubMed

    Rehfeldt, Charlotte; Renne, Ulla; Sawitzky, Mandy; Binder, Gerhard; Hoeflich, Andreas

    2010-08-01

    To elucidate the functional role of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2) for in vivo skeletal muscle growth and function, skeletal muscle cellularity and metabolism, expression of signal molecules, and body growth and composition were studied in a transgenic mouse model overexpressing IGFBP-2. Postnatal growth rate of transgenic mice was reduced from day 21 of age by 6-8% compared with nontransgenic controls. At 10 wk of age body lean protein and moisture percentages were lower, whereas fat percentage was higher in IGFBP-2 transgenic mice. Muscle weights were reduced (-13% on day 30 of age, -14% on day 72), which resulted from slower growth of myofibers in size but not from decreases in myofiber number. The reduction in muscle mass was associated with lower total DNA, RNA, and protein contents as well as greater DNA/RNA and protein/RNA ratios. The percentage of proliferating (Ki-67-positive) nuclei within myofibers was reduced (3.4 vs. 5.8%) in 30-day-old transgenic mice. These changes were accompanied by slight reductions in specific p44/42 MAPK activity (-18% on day 72) and, surprisingly, by increased levels of phosphorylated Akt (Ser(473)) (+25% on day 30, +66% on day 72). The proportion of white glycolytic fibers (55.9 vs. 53.5%) and the activity of lactate dehydrogenase (+8%) were elevated in 72-day-old transgenic mice. Most of the differences observed between transgenic and nontransgenic mice were more pronounced in males. The results suggest that IGFBP-2 significantly inhibits postnatal skeletal myofiber growth by decreasing myogenic proliferation and protein accretion and enhances glycolytic muscle metabolism.

  3. Body size and longitudinal body weight changes do not increase mortality in incident peritoneal dialysis patients of the Brazilian peritoneal dialysis multicenter study

    PubMed Central

    da Silva Fernandes, Natália Maria; Bastos, Marcus Gomes; Franco, Márcia Regina Gianotti; Chaoubah, Alfredo; da Glória Lima, Maria; Divino-Filho, José Carolino; Qureshi, Abdul Rashid

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: To determine the roles of body size and longitudinal body weight changes in the survival of incident peritoneal dialysis patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients (n = 1911) older than 18 years of age recruited from 114 dialysis centers (Dec/2004-Oct/2007) and participating in the Brazilian Peritoneal Dialysis Multicenter Cohort Study were included. Clinical and laboratory data were collected monthly (except if the patient received a transplant, recovered renal function, was transferred to hemodialysis, or died). RESULTS: Survival analyses were performed using Kaplan-Meier survival curves and Cox proportional hazards. Total follow-up was 34 months. The mean age was 59 years (54% female). The weight category percentages were as follows: underweight: 8%; normal: 51%; overweight: 29%; and obese 12%. The multivariate model showed a higher risk of death for a body mass index <18.5 kg/m2, a neutral risk between 25 and 29.9 kg/m2 and a protective effect for an index >30 kg/m2. Patients were divided into five categories according to quintiles of body weight changes during the first year of dialysis: <−3.1%, −3.1 to+0.12%, +0.12 to <+3.1% (reference category), +3.1 to +7.1% and >+7.1%. Patients in the lowest quintile had significantly higher mortality, whereas no negative impact was observed in the other quintiles. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that overweight/obesity and a positive body weight variation during the first year of peritoneal dialysis therapy do not increase mortality in incident dialysis patients in Brazil. PMID:23420157

  4. Dosimetric response of variable-size cavities in photon-irradiated media and the behaviour of the Spencer-Attix cavity integral with increasing Δ

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Sudhir; Deshpande, Deepak D.; Nahum, Alan E.

    2016-04-01

    Cavity theory is fundamental to understanding and predicting dosimeter response. Conventional cavity theories have been shown to be consistent with one another by deriving the electron (+positron) and photon fluence spectra with the FLURZnrc user-code (EGSnrc Monte-Carlo system) in large volumes under quasi-CPE for photon beams of 1 MeV and 10 MeV in three materials (water, aluminium and copper) and then using these fluence spectra to evaluate and then inter-compare the Bragg-Gray, Spencer-Attix and ‘large photon’ ‘cavity integrals’. The behaviour of the ‘Spencer-Attix dose’ (aka restricted cema), D S-A(▵), in a 1-MeV photon field in water has been investigated for a wide range of values of the cavity-size parameter ▵: D S-A(▵) decreases far below the Monte-Carlo dose (D MC) for ▵ greater than  ≈  30 keV due to secondary electrons with starting energies below ▵ not being ‘counted’. We show that for a quasi-scatter-free geometry (D S-A(▵)/D MC) is closely equal to the proportion of energy transferred to Compton electrons with initial (kinetic) energies above ▵, derived from the Klein-Nishina (K-N) differential cross section. (D S-A(▵)/D MC) can be used to estimate the maximum size of a detector behaving as a Bragg-Gray cavity in a photon-irradiated medium as a function of photon-beam quality (under quasi CPE) e.g. a typical air-filled ion chamber is ‘Bragg-Gray’ at (monoenergetic) beam energies  ⩾260 keV. Finally, by varying the density of a silicon cavity (of 2.26 mm diameter and 2.0 mm thickness) in water, the response of different cavity ‘sizes’ was simu