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Sample records for jararaca serpentes viperidae

  1. Late embryos and bony skull development in Bothropoides jararaca (Serpentes, Viperidae).

    PubMed

    Polachowski, Katja M; Werneburg, Ingmar

    2013-02-01

    In recent years, developmental anatomy received increasing interest as a potential new source for phylogenetic research. For skeletal development, studies mainly rely on the first appearance of ossification centers. However, informative events occur during the whole course of skeletogenesis; interactions between external and internal development occur and morphometric changes take place - all of which present potential sources for phylogenetic analyses. Therefore, the Standard Event System (SES) was used to traceably describe the external development of the snake species Bothropoides jararaca and external measurements were analyzed. We then applied micro-computed tomography (μCT), clearing and double-staining, and 2D and 3D morphometric methods to describe, illustrate, and analyze the development of the head in great detail. We found a 3D flattening of the skull during ontogeny, a pattern that is not reflected in external development. This may be explained by a different relationship of skeletogenesis and external characters to the developing jaw musculature or simply by the different type of data. Clearing and double-staining and μCT-scanning revealed a broadly similar sequence in the onset of ossification. Minute differences may be due to the treatment of embryos. Bones of the dermatocranium are among the first to ossify and the development of the calcified endolymph may reflect its function as a calcium source during development. The value of phylogenetic observations using the sequence of first ossifications is critically discussed. The related heterochronic changes are interpreted to contribute at least to the very first phase of divagating skull formation among taxa. PMID:23348050

  2. Phylogeography of the Bothrops jararaca complex (Serpentes: Viperidae): past fragmentation and island colonization in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

    PubMed

    Grazziotin, Felipe G; Monzel, Markus; Echeverrigaray, Sergio; Bonatto, Sandro L

    2006-11-01

    The Brazilian Atlantic Forest is one of the world's major biodiversity hotspots and is threatened by a severe habitat loss. Yet little is known about the processes that originated its remarkable richness of endemic species. Here we present results of a large-scale survey of the genetic variation at the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of the pitviper, jararaca lancehead (Bothrops jararaca), and two closely related insular species (Bothrops insularis and Bothrops alcatraz), endemic of this region. Phylogenetic and network analyses revealed the existence of two well-supported clades, exhibiting a southern and a northern distribution. The divergence time of these two phylogroups was estimated at 3.8 million years ago, in the Pliocene, a period of intense climatic changes and frequent fragmentation of the tropical rainforest. Our data also suggest that the two groups underwent a large size expansion between 50,000 and 100,000 years ago. However, the southern group showed a more marked signal of population size fluctuation than the northern group, corroborating evidences that southern forests may have suffered a more pronounced reduction in area in the late Pleistocene. The insular species B. alcatraz and B. insularis presented very low diversity, each one sharing haplotypes with mainland individuals placed in different subclades. Despite their marked morphological and behavioural uniqueness, these two insular species seem to have originated very recently and most likely from distinct costal B. jararaca populations, possibly associated with late Pleistocene or Holocene sea level fluctuations. PMID:17054497

  3. Seasonal, daily activity, and habitat use by three sympatric pit vipers (Serpentes, Viperidae) from southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Marcelo C; Hartmann, Paulo A; Winck, Gisele R; Cechin, Sonia Z

    2014-04-25

    Viperid snakes are widely distributed in the South America and the greater distribution range of the family is found at the Crotalinae subfamily. Despite the abundance of this snakes along their geographic distribution, some ecological aspects remain unknown, principally at subtropical areas. In the present study, we evaluated the activity (daily and seasonal) and the use of the habitat by Bothrops diporus, B. jararaca and B. jararacussu, in an Atlantic Forest area at southern Brazil. We observed higher incidence of viperid snakes during the months with higher temperatures, while no snakes were found during the months with lower temperatures. The data suggest the minimum temperature as environmental variable with the greatest influence on the seasonal activity of this species. Considering the daily activity, we observed a tendency of snakes to avoid the warmest hours. Bothrops jararacussu tend to avoid open areas, being registered only inside and at the edges of the forest. We compared our results with previous studies realized at tropical areas and we suggest the observed seasonal activity as an evolutive response, despite the influence of the different environmental variables, according to the occurence region.

  4. The genus Atheris (Serpentes: Viperidae) in East Africa: phylogeny and the role of rifting and climate in shaping the current pattern of species diversity.

    PubMed

    Menegon, M; Loader, S P; Marsden, S J; Branch, W R; Davenport, T R B; Ursenbacher, S

    2014-10-01

    Past climatic and tectonic events are believed to have strongly influenced species diversity in the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot. We investigated the phylogenetic relationships and historical biogeography of the East African genus Atheris (Serpentes: Viperidae), and explored temporal and spatial relationships between Atheris species across Africa, and the impact of palaeoclimatic fluctuations and tectonic movements on cladogenesis of the genus. Using mitochondrial sequence data, the phylogeny of East African species of Atheris shows congruent temporal patterns that link diversification to major tectonic and aridification events within East Africa over the last 15million years (my). Our results are consistent with a scenario of a delayed direct west-east colonisation of the Eastern Arc Mountains of Atheris by the formation of the western rift. Based on the phylogenetic patterns, this terrestrial, forest-associated genus has dispersed into East Africa across a divided route, on both west-southeasterly and west-northeasterly directions (a C-shaped route). Cladogenesis in the Eastern Arc Mountains and Southern Highlands of Tanzania corresponds to late Miocene and Plio-Pleistocene climatic shifts. Taxonomically, our data confirmed the monophyly of Atheris as currently defined, and reveal four major East African clades, three of which occur in discrete mountain ranges. Possible cryptic taxa are identified in the Atheris rungweensis and A. ceratophora clades.

  5. Another new and threatened species of lancehead genus Bothrops (Serpentes, Viperidae) from Ilha dos Franceses, Southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Barbo, Fausto E; Gasparini, João Luiz; Almeida, Antonio P; Zaher, Hussam; Grazziotin, Felipe G; Gusmão, Rodrigo B; Ferrarini, José Mário G; Sawaya, Ricardo J

    2016-01-01

    A new insular species of the genus Bothrops is described from Ilha dos Franceses, a small island off the coast of Espírito Santo State, in southeastern Brazil. The new species differs from mainland populations of B. jararaca mainly by its small size, relative longer tail, relative smaller head length, and relative larger eyes. The new species is distinguished from B. alcatraz, B. insularis and B. otavioi by the higher number of ventral and subcaudal scales, relative longer tail and smaller head. The new species is highly abundant on the island, being nocturnal, semiarboreal, and feeding on small lizards and centipeds. Due its unique and restricted area of occurrence, declining quality of habitat, and constant use of the island for tourism, the new species may be considered as critically endangered. PMID:27394563

  6. Inhibition of hemorrhagic and edematogenic activities of snake venoms by a broad-spectrum protease inhibitor, murinoglobulin; the effect on venoms from five different genera in Viperidae family.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro Filho, Wilker; Sugiki, Masahiko; Yoshida, Etsuo; Maruyama, Masugi

    2003-08-01

    In order to obtain basic data on the effect of broad-spectrum protease inhibitor against local symptoms of Viperidae snake envenomation, inhibitory capacity of rat murinoglobulin on local hemorrhagic and edematogenic activities of venoms from Crotalus atrox, Bothrops jararaca, Lachesis muta muta, Trimeresurus flavoviridis and Echis carinatus sochureki were examined. Murinoglobulin, pre-incubated with the crude venoms at 37 degrees C for 15 min, inhibited hemorrhagic activity of all five venoms to various extents. The activity of C. atrox was almost completely inhibited at the murinoglobulin/venom ratio (w/w) of 20. The activity of B. jararaca, Lachesis muta muta and T. flavoviridis venoms was considerably inhibited at the ratio of 20 (77.2, 80.0 and 86.2% inhibition, respectively), however some of the activity still remained even at the ratio of 40 (84.2, 79.8 and 86.2% inhibition, respectively). Among the five venoms, E. c. sochureki venom is quite resistant to murinoglobulin treatment and statistically significant inhibition was only found at the ratio of 40 (64.1% inhibition). Fibrinolytic and gelatinase activities were more susceptible to murinoglobulin inhibition. The treatment at the ratios of 10 and 20 almost completely inhibited respectively the fibrinolytic and the gelatinase activities of all the venoms. Murinoglobulin treatment also significantly inhibited the edematogenic activity of L. muta muta, T. flavoviridis and Echis carinatus sochureki. The treatment of murinoglobulin at the ratio of 40 considerably suppressed the swelling up to 60 min after subcutaneous injection of L. muta muta and E. c. sochureki venoms, and up to 30 min after T. flavoviridis venom injection. Murinoglobulin is a potent inhibitor against local effects of multiple snake venoms in Viperidae family. PMID:12906888

  7. Bradykinin is involved in hyperalgesia induced by Bothrops jararaca venom.

    PubMed

    Chacur, M; Picolo, G; Teixeira, C F P; Cury, Y

    2002-07-01

    Bradykinin is involved in hyperalgesia (pain hypersensitivity) induced by Bothrops jararaca venom-intraplantar injection of B. jararaca venom (5microg/paw) in rats caused hyperalgesia, which peaked 1h after venom injection. This phenomenon was not modified by promethazine (H(1) receptor antagonist), methysergide (5-HT receptor antagonist), guanethidine (sympathetic function inhibitor), anti-TNF-alpha or anti-interleukin-1 antibodies or by the chelating agent CaNa(2)EDTA. Venom-induced hyperalgesia was blocked by the bradykinin B(2) receptor antagonist HOE 140. On the other hand, des-Arg(9), [Leu(8)]-bradykinin, a bradykinin B(1) receptor antagonist, did not modify the hyperalgesic response. These results suggest that bradykinin, acting on B(2) receptor, is a mediator of hyperalgesia induced by B. jararaca venom.

  8. Discovery of a Novel Accessory Structure of the Pitviper Infrared Receptor Organ (Serpentes: Viperidae)

    PubMed Central

    Bolívar-G, Wilmar; Antoniazzi, Marta M.; Grant, Taran; Jared, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    The facial pits of rattlesnakes, copperheads, lanceheads, bushmasters and other American and Asian pitvipers (Crotalinae) are highly innervated and densely vascularized infrared (IR) receptor organs. For over a century, studies have focused on a small sample of model species from North America and Asia. Based on an expanded survey of Central and South American crotalines, we report a conspicuous accessory structure composed of well-defined papillae that project from the anterior orbital adnexa. The papillae are continuous with the inner chamber of the IR receptor organ and our histological and ultrastructural data suggest that they possess a well-developed nervous network and extensive vascularization; however, they lack the characteristic IR-sensitive terminal nerve masses found in the IR-receptive pit membrane. The function of the IR receptor organ papillae is unknown. PMID:24595025

  9. [Neutralization of the hemorrhagic effect induced by Bothrops asper (Serpentes: Viperidae) venom with tropical plant extracts].

    PubMed

    Castro, O; Gutiérrez, J M; Barrios, M; Castro, I; Romero, M; Umaña, E

    1999-09-01

    Organic extracts representing 48 species included in 30 families of Costa Rican tropical plants were evaluated for their ability to neutralize hemorrhagic activity induced by the venom of the snake Bothrops asper. A bioassay in mice was used, based on intradermal injection of either venom or venom-extract mixtures followed by the measurement of hemorrhagic areas. Total inhibition of hemorrhage was observed with the ethanolic, ethyl acetate and aqueous extracts of Bursera simaruba, Clusia torresii, C. palmana, Croton draco, Persea americana, Phoebe brenesii, Pimenta dioica, Sapindus saponaria, Smilax cuculmeca and Virola koschnyi. Chemical analysis of these extracts identified catequines, flavones, anthocyanines and condensated tannins, which may be responsible for the inhibitory effect observed, probably owing to the chelation of the zinc required for the catalytic activity of venom's hemorrhagic metalloproteinases.

  10. [Biological and immunological characteristics of the poison of Bothrops cotiara (Serpentes: Viperidae)].

    PubMed

    de Roodt, Adolfo Rafael; Estévez, Judith; Dolab, Jorge Adrián; Manzanelli, Marcelo Víctor; Piñeiro, Nicolás; Paniagua, Jorge Francisco; Vogt, Alejandro Urs

    2006-09-01

    Bothrops cotiara is a venomous snake sporadically found in the province of Misiones in Argentina, South of Brazil and Paraguay. Data on the clinics of the envenomation produced by its bite and on its venom are scarce. There is no information on the neutralizing capacity of the antivenoms available. In this study, the lethal potency, hemorrhagic, necrotizing, coagulant and thrombin-like, defibrinogenating, indirect hemolytic and fibrinolytic activities of the venom of B. cotiara specimens from the province of Misiones were determined. The toxic activities were within the range of those described for the other Bothrops species from Argentina, and the electrophoretic and chromatographic studies showed similarities with those described for the other bothropic venoms. The immunochemical reactivity of six South American anti Viper antivenoms (ELISA) have a strong reactivity with all the antivenoms studied. The neutralizing capacity of three of these therapeutic antivenoms against the lethal potency and hemorrhagic, necrotizing, coagulant, thrombin-like and hemolytic activities showed a very close neutralizing capacity. Our data strongly suggest that the antivenoms for therapeutic use available in this area of South America are useful to neutralize the toxic and enzymatic activities of the venom of this uncommon specie of Bothrops.

  11. Is the population of Crotalus durissus (Serpentes, Viperidae) expanding in Brazil?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Crotalus durissus are found from Mexico to northern Argentina in a highly disjunct distribution. According to some studies, this species is prone to occupy areas disturbed by human activities and floods comprise a plausible method of dispersal as inferred for some North American rattlesnakes. Based on the literature, it seems plausible that Crotalus durissus expanded their natural distribution in Brazil due to floods, but only in a few municipalities in Rio de Janeiro State. Data entries of Butantan Institute, in São Paulo, Brazil, from 1998 to 2012 show a declining tendency of snakes brought by donors. In addition, research shows no evidence of Crotalus durissus being an expanding species in the Brazilian territory. PMID:24314146

  12. Tracing an invasion: landbridges, refugia, and the phylogeography of the Neotropical rattlesnake (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalus durissus).

    PubMed

    Wüster, Wolfgang; Ferguson, Julia E; Quijada-Mascareñas, J Adrian; Pook, Catharine E; Salomão, Maria da Graça; Thorpe, Roger S

    2005-04-01

    Abstract Pleistocene fragmentation of the Amazonian rainforest has been hypothesized to be a major cause of Neotropical speciation and diversity. However, the role and even the reality of Pleistocene forest refugia have attracted much scepticism. In Amazonia, previous phylogeographical studies have focused mostly on organisms found in the forests themselves, and generally found speciation events to have predated the Pleistocene. However, molecular studies of open-formation taxa found both north and south of the Amazonian forests, probably because of vicariance resulting from expansion of the rainforests, may provide novel insights into the age of continuous forest cover across the Amazon basin. Here, we analyse three mitochondrial genes to infer the phylogeography of one such trans-Amazonian vicariant, the Neotropical rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus), which occupies primarily seasonal formations from Mexico to Argentina, but avoids the rainforests of Central and tropical South America. The phylogeographical pattern is consistent with gradual dispersal along the Central American Isthmus, followed by more rapid dispersal into and across South America after the uplift of the Isthmus of Panama. Low sequence divergence between populations from north and south of the Amazon rainforest is consistent with mid-Pleistocene divergence, approximately 1.1 million years ago (Ma). This suggests that the Amazonian rainforests must have become fragmented or at least shrunk considerably during that period, lending support to the Pleistocene refugia theory as an important cause of distribution patterns, if not necessarily speciation, in Amazonian forest organisms. These results highlight the potential of nonforest species to contribute to an understanding of the history of the Amazonian rainforests themselves.

  13. Bothrops jararaca envenomation: Pathogenesis of hemostatic disturbances and intravascular hemolysis

    PubMed Central

    Senise, Luana V; Yamashita, Karine M

    2015-01-01

    To attain fully functional biological activity, vitamin-K dependent coagulation factors (VKDCF) are γ-carboxylated prior to secretion from liver. Warfarin impairs the γ-carboxylation, and consequently their physiological function. Bothrops jararaca snake venom (BjV) contains several activators of blood coagulation, especially procoagulant enzymes (prothrombin and factor X activators) and thrombin-like enzymes. In order to clarify the relative contribution of prothrombin and factor X activators to the hemostatic disturbances occurring during experimental B. jararaca envenomation, warfarin was used to deplete VKDCF, prior to BjV administration. Male Wistar rats were pretreated with saline (Sal) or warfarin (War) and inoculated subsequently with BjV or saline, thus forming four groups: Sal + Sal (negative control), Sal + BjV (positive control), War + Sal (warfarinization control), and War + BjV. Three hours after inoculation, prothrombin and factor X levels fell 40% and 50%, respectively; levels of both factors decreased more than 97% in the War + Sal and War + BjV groups. Platelet counts dropped 93% and 76% in Sal + BjV and War + BjV, respectively, and plasma fibrinogen levels decreased 86% exclusively in Sal + BjV. After 6 and 24 h, platelet counts and fibrinogen levels increased progressively. A dramatic augmentation in plasma hemoglobin levels and the presence of schizocytes and microcytes in the Sal + BjV group indicated the development of intravascular hemolysis, which was prevented by warfarin pretreatment. Our findings show that intravascular thrombin generation has the foremost role in the pathogenesis of coagulopathy and intravascular hemolysis, but not in the development of thrombocytopenia, in B. jararaca envenomation in rats; in addition, fibrinogenases (metalloproteinases) may contribute to coagulopathy more than thrombin-like enzymes. PMID:26080462

  14. Hypericum brasiliense plant extract neutralizes some biological effects of Bothrops jararaca snake venom.

    PubMed

    Assafim, Mariane; de Coriolano, Eduardo Coriolano; Benedito, Sérgio Eufrázio; Fernandes, Caio Pinho; Lobo, Jonathas Felipe Revoredo; Sanchez, Eladio Florez; Rocha, Leandro Machado; Fuly, André Lopes

    2011-01-01

    Alternative treatments for snake bite are currently being extensively studied, and plant metabolites are considered good candidates for such purpose. Here, the ability of a crude ethanolic extract of Hypericum brasiliense plant in neutralizing Bothrops jararaca snake venom was investigated by in vitro (coagulation, hemolysis or proteolysis) and in vivo (hemorrhage, lethality and edema) biological assays. We describe for the first time the ability of H. brasiliense extracts to inhibit some pharmacological effects of a Brazilian snake venom. Inhibitory assays were performed by incubating B. jararaca venom with H. brasiliense extracts for 30min at room temperature before the assays were performed. The results showed that H. brasiliense extracts impaired lethality, edema, hemorrhage, hemolysis, proteolysis as well as fibrinogen or plasma clotting induced by B. jararaca venom. This indicates that H. brasiliense extracts can provide promising agents to treat B. jararaca envenomation.

  15. Agathos Daimon and the Asklepian serpent.

    PubMed

    Pearn, John

    2011-06-01

    Much conjecture abounds about the origin of the Asklepian serpent of healing, this latter the universal metonym for curative medicine. Iconographic evidence of Asklepios with his staff-entwined serpent exists from Hippocratic times. Many theories exist about the origin of this reptilian symbol of curative medicine. Speculation has ranged from the skin-shed serpent emergent in new and robust health to putative associations with earlier Egyptian and Babylonian anguine (snake) symbols of life-determining power. Other scholars have drawn attention to the Palaeolithic, Neolithic and later Bronze-Age associations with serpent veneration in the context of rain and fertility religious invocations in India; and in many other cultures. In the South Pacific, in Australia and in Central and South America, serpents were regarded as spirits of the earth, often chthonian spirits who possessed life-giving powers. In Chaldean and Arabic etymology, the words for "serpent" and "life" have a synergy. In Classical Greece, the Agathos Daimon was literally the "noble spirit", a personal companion spirit ensuing health and good fortune. The Agathos Daimon was portrayed in iconography as a serpent, or as a fit and comely youth. This paper conjectures that the serpentine Agathos Daimon was one origin of the Asklepian symbol of medicine, portrayed as the serpent associated of the Homeric Asklepios. In later Roman times, the Agathos Daimon was transliterated to the agathodaemon, a protective companion spirit both of individuals and of the homes in which they lived. This benign resident spirit featured prominently in Roman art and was a common feature as a protective household spirit in first century homes at both Pompeii and Herculaneum. The agathodaemon motif also featured on Roman coins, such as bronze diobols of Antoninus Plus (138 - 161 A.D.) from Alexandrian mints in Egypt. In the twenty-first century, the serpentine Agathos Daimon is honoured not only as the symbol of medicine; but is

  16. Agathos Daimon and the Asklepian serpent.

    PubMed

    Pearn, John

    2011-06-01

    Much conjecture abounds about the origin of the Asklepian serpent of healing, this latter the universal metonym for curative medicine. Iconographic evidence of Asklepios with his staff-entwined serpent exists from Hippocratic times. Many theories exist about the origin of this reptilian symbol of curative medicine. Speculation has ranged from the skin-shed serpent emergent in new and robust health to putative associations with earlier Egyptian and Babylonian anguine (snake) symbols of life-determining power. Other scholars have drawn attention to the Palaeolithic, Neolithic and later Bronze-Age associations with serpent veneration in the context of rain and fertility religious invocations in India; and in many other cultures. In the South Pacific, in Australia and in Central and South America, serpents were regarded as spirits of the earth, often chthonian spirits who possessed life-giving powers. In Chaldean and Arabic etymology, the words for "serpent" and "life" have a synergy. In Classical Greece, the Agathos Daimon was literally the "noble spirit", a personal companion spirit ensuing health and good fortune. The Agathos Daimon was portrayed in iconography as a serpent, or as a fit and comely youth. This paper conjectures that the serpentine Agathos Daimon was one origin of the Asklepian symbol of medicine, portrayed as the serpent associated of the Homeric Asklepios. In later Roman times, the Agathos Daimon was transliterated to the agathodaemon, a protective companion spirit both of individuals and of the homes in which they lived. This benign resident spirit featured prominently in Roman art and was a common feature as a protective household spirit in first century homes at both Pompeii and Herculaneum. The agathodaemon motif also featured on Roman coins, such as bronze diobols of Antoninus Plus (138 - 161 A.D.) from Alexandrian mints in Egypt. In the twenty-first century, the serpentine Agathos Daimon is honoured not only as the symbol of medicine; but is

  17. Cloning, Characterization and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Bothrops jararaca Snake Antithrombin.

    PubMed

    Morais-Zani, Karen de; Grego, Kathleen F; Torquato, Ricardo J S; Silva, Caroline S; Tanaka, Aparecida S; Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita M

    2015-01-01

    Antithrombin inhibits blood coagulation through the interaction with serine proteases in both intrinsic and extrinsic pathways. In addition, antithrombin also shows anti-inflammatory properties, which are independent of its effects on coagulation. This work shows for the first time the cloning and sequencing of antithrombin from a snake species. This predicted protein is composed by 430 amino acids and presents about 64.5% sequence identity to human antithrombin. Biacore experiments revealed that the binding affinity of Bothrops jararaca snake antithrombin to heparin was ~30 times higher than that of human antithrombin. Furthermore, Bothrops jararaca antithrombin is more effective in preventing acute inflammation induced by carrageenan when compared to human antithrombin. Hence, the results showed herein suggest that Bothrops jararaca antithrombin can play a key role in the control of acute inflammation and that this molecule might be used as a pharmacological tool and as a prototype for drug development. PMID:25687119

  18. Inhibitory effect of the plant Clusia fluminensis against biological activities of Bothrops jararaca snake venom.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Eduardo Coriolano; Anholeti, Maria Carolina; Domingos, Thaisa Francielle; Faioli, Camila Nunes; Sanchez, Eladio Flores; de Paiva, Selma Ribeiro; Fuly, André Lopes

    2014-01-01

    The ability of extracts of the plant Clusia fluminensis Planch & Triana (Clusiaceae Lindl.) to neutralize proteolysis, clotting, hemolysis, hemorrhagic and lethality activities of Bothrops jararaca snake venom was studied. Clusianone and lanosterol from the flower and fruit extracts, respectively, were also tested. The extracts of different organs of C. fluminensis inhibited proteolysis and hemolysis induced by B. jararaca venom, but with different potencies. Only the stems prevented blood clotting. Only the acetone extract of the fruit protected mice from hemorrhage while the acetone or methanol extracts prevented mice from death. Clusianone and lanosterol did not inhibit clotting or hemorrhage, but the former inhibited proteolysis and the latter hemolysis.

  19. Multilocus species delimitation in the Crotalus triseriatus species group (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae), with the description of two new species.

    PubMed

    Bryson, Robert W; Linkem, Charles W; Dorcas, Michael E; Lathrop, Amy; Jones, Jason M; Alvarado-Díaz, Javier; Grünwald, Christoph I; Murphy, Robert W

    2014-07-01

    Members of the Crotalus triseriatus species group of montane rattlesnakes are widely distributed across the highlands of Mexico and southwestern USA. Although five species are currently recognized within the group, species limits remain to be tested. Genetic studies suggest that species may be paraphyletic and that at least one cryptic species may be present. We generate 3,346 base pairs of DNA sequence data from seven nuclear loci to test competing models of species delimitation in the C. triseriatus group using Bayes factor delimitation. We also examine museum specimens from the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt for evidence of cryptic species. We find strong support for a nine-species model and genetic and morphological evidence for recognizing two new species within the group, which we formally describe here. Our results suggest that the current taxonomy of the C. triseriatus species group does not reflect evolutionary history. We suggest several conservative taxonomic changes to the group, but future studies are needed to better clarify relationships among species and examine genetic patterns and structure within wide-ranging lineages.

  20. Complex longitudinal diversification across South China and Vietnam in Stejneger's pit viper, Viridovipera stejnegeri (Schmidt, 1925) (Reptilia: Serpentes: Viperidae).

    PubMed

    Guo, Peng; Liu, Qin; Zhu, Fei; Zhong, Guang H; Chen, Xin; Myers, Edward A; Che, Jing; Zhang, Liang; Ziegler, Thomas; Nguyen, Truong Q; Burbrink, Frank T

    2016-06-01

    Viridovipera stejnegeri is one of the most common pit vipers in Asia, with a wide distribution in southern China and Vietnam. We investigated historical demography and explored how the environment and climatic factors have shaped genetic diversity and the evolutionary history of this venomous snake. A total of 171 samples from 47 localities were sequenced and analysed for two mitochondrial gene fragments and three nuclear genes. Gene trees reveal the existence of two well-supported clades (Southwest China and Southeast China) with seven distinct and strongly supported, geographically structured subclades within V. stejnegeri. Estimation of divergence time and ancestral area suggests that V. stejnegeri originated at ~6.0 Ma in the late Miocene on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. The estimated date of origin and divergence of the island populations of Taiwan and Hainan closely matches the geological origin of the both islands. The mtDNA gene tree reveals the presence of west-east diversification in V. stejnegeri populations. Complex orogenesis and heterogeneous habitats, as well as climate-mediated habitat differentiation including glacial cycles, all have influenced population structure and the distribution of this taxon. The validity of V. stejnegeri chenbihuii is questionable, and this subspecies most probably represents an invalid taxon. PMID:27094901

  1. Description of Serpentirhabdias atroxi n. sp. (Nematoda: Rhabdiasidae), a parasite of Bothrops atrox (Linnaeus) (Reptilia: Serpentes: Viperidae) in Brazilian Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Kuzmin, Yuriy; Giese, Elane Guerreiro; Melo, Francisco Tiago de Vasconcelos; da Costa, Paulo André Ferreira Borges; Maschio, Gleomar Fabiano; dos Santos, Jeannie Nascimento

    2016-01-01

    A new lung-dwelling nematode species is described from the common lancehead Bothrops atrox (Linnaeus) in the Brazilian Amazon Region. The species is assigned to the genus Serpentirhabdias Tkach, Kuzmin & Snyder, 2014 based on the presence of six lips arranged in two lateral groups, the absence of prominent cuticular inflations, and lung parasitism in snakes. Serpentirhabdias atroxi n. sp. differs from other species of the genus mainly by details of the morphology of the anterior end: cuticularised ring surrounding the anterior part of the buccal cavity and six minute onchia present in the oesophastome. Serpentirhabdias atroxi n. sp. is the seventh species of the genus known from the Neotropical Realm and the second species described from viperid snakes.

  2. Description of Serpentirhabdias atroxi n. sp. (Nematoda: Rhabdiasidae), a parasite of Bothrops atrox (Linnaeus) (Reptilia: Serpentes: Viperidae) in Brazilian Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Kuzmin, Yuriy; Giese, Elane Guerreiro; Melo, Francisco Tiago de Vasconcelos; da Costa, Paulo André Ferreira Borges; Maschio, Gleomar Fabiano; dos Santos, Jeannie Nascimento

    2016-01-01

    A new lung-dwelling nematode species is described from the common lancehead Bothrops atrox (Linnaeus) in the Brazilian Amazon Region. The species is assigned to the genus Serpentirhabdias Tkach, Kuzmin & Snyder, 2014 based on the presence of six lips arranged in two lateral groups, the absence of prominent cuticular inflations, and lung parasitism in snakes. Serpentirhabdias atroxi n. sp. differs from other species of the genus mainly by details of the morphology of the anterior end: cuticularised ring surrounding the anterior part of the buccal cavity and six minute onchia present in the oesophastome. Serpentirhabdias atroxi n. sp. is the seventh species of the genus known from the Neotropical Realm and the second species described from viperid snakes. PMID:26739285

  3. Morphological, morphometric, and molecular characterization of Hepatozoon spp. (Apicomplexa, Hepatozoidae) from naturally infected Caudisona durissa terrifica (Serpentes, Viperidae).

    PubMed

    Moço, Tatiana Cristina; da Silva, Reinaldo José; Madeira, Newton Goulart; Dos Santos Paduan, Karina; Rubini, Adriano Stefani; Leal, Denise Dutra Menezes; O'Dwyer, Lucia Helena

    2012-04-01

    Hepatozoon spp. are the most frequent intracellular protozoa in snakes. Considering the variety of parasites infecting specimens of Caudisona durissa terrifica and the divergent data in literature where only two species, Hepatozoon romani and Hepatozoon capsulata, are described, the aim of this study was to morphologically, morphometrically, and molecularly characterize Hepatozoon spp. from some naturally infected specimens of C. durissa terrifica, and observe changes caused by these protozoa in parasitized erythrocytes. Four snakes were examined. Two of them had two morphological distinct gamonts, while the other two had only one type of gamont. The six distinct gamonts were provisionally named gamonts A, B, C, D, E, and F. Statistical analysis, however, confirmed the existence of only four parasite populations, those which were capable of inducing significant alterations in determined red blood cells variables. Attempts to infect Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes were done for each snake specimen. Some mosquitoes became infected and oocysts were recovered and measured. The detection of Hepatozoon DNA was obtained with success but the molecular characterization was unable to differentiate species of the samples, with respect to the fragment studied. PMID:21922238

  4. Appraisal of Antiophidic Potential of Marine Sponges against Bothrops jararaca and Lachesis muta Venom

    PubMed Central

    Faioli, Camila Nunes; Domingos, Thaisa Francielle Souza; de Oliveira, Eduardo Coriolano; Sanchez, Eládio Flores; Ribeiro, Suzi; Muricy, Guilherme; Fuly, Andre Lopes

    2013-01-01

    Snakebites are a health problem in many countries due to the high incidence of such accidents. Antivenom treatment has regularly been used for more than a century, however, this does not neutralize tissue damage and may even increase the severity and morbidity of accidents. Thus, it has been relevant to search for new strategies to improve antiserum therapy, and a variety of molecules from natural sources with antiophidian properties have been reported. In this paper, we analyzed the ability of ten extracts from marine sponges (Amphimedon viridis, Aplysina fulva, Chondrosia collectrix, Desmapsamma anchorata, Dysidea etheria, Hymeniacidon heliophila, Mycale angulosa, Petromica citrina, Polymastia janeirensis, and Tedania ignis) to inhibit the effects caused by Bothrops jararaca and Lachesis muta venom. All sponge extracts inhibited proteolysis and hemolysis induced by both snake venoms, except H. heliophila, which failed to inhibit any biological activity. P. citrina inhibited lethality, hemorrhage, plasma clotting, and hemolysis induced by B. jararaca or L. muta. Moreover, other sponges inhibited hemorrhage induced only by B. jararaca. We conclude that Brazilian sponges may be a useful aid in the treatment of snakebites caused by L. muta and B. jararaca and therefore have potential for the discovery of molecules with antiophidian properties. PMID:24141284

  5. Proteomic Analysis of the Ontogenetic Variability in Plasma Composition of Juvenile and Adult Bothrops jararaca Snakes

    PubMed Central

    de Morais-Zani, Karen; Grego, Kathleen Fernandes; Tanaka, Aparecida Sadae; Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita Mitico

    2013-01-01

    The ontogenetic variability in venom composition of some snake genera, including Bothrops, as well as the biological implications of such variability and the search of new molecules that can neutralize the toxic components of these venoms have been the subject of many studies. Thus, considering the resistance of Bothrops jararaca to the toxic action of its own venom and the ontogenetic variability in venom composition described in this species, a comparative study of the plasma composition of juvenile and adult B. jararaca snakes was performed through a proteomic approach based on 2D electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, which allowed the identification of proteins that might be present at different levels during ontogenetic development. Among the proteins identified by mass spectrometry, antihemorrhagic factor Bj46a was found only in adult plasma. Moreover, two spots identified as phospholipase A2 inhibitors were significantly increased in juvenile plasma, which can be related to the higher catalytic PLA2 activity shown by juvenile venom in comparison to that of adult snakes. This work shows the ontogenetic variability of B. jararaca plasma, and that these changes can be related to the ontogenetic variability described in its venom. PMID:24062950

  6. SERPent: Scripted E-merlin Rfi-mitigation PipelinE for iNTerferometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peck, Luke W.; Fenech, Danielle M.

    2013-12-01

    SERPent is an automated reduction and RFI-mitigation procedure that uses the SumThreshold methodology. It was originally developed for the LOFAR pipeline. SERPent is written in Parseltongue, enabling interaction with the Astronomical Image Processing Software (AIPS) program. Moreover, SERPent is a simple "out of the box" Python script, which is easy to set up and is free of compilers.

  7. Anti-hemorrhagic activity of four Brazilian vegetable species against Bothrops jararaca venom.

    PubMed

    Nishijima, Catarine Massucato Nishijima; Rodrigues, Clenilson Martins; Silva, Marcelo Aparecido; Lopes-Ferreira, Mônica; Vilegas, Wagner; Hiruma-Lima, Clélia Akiko

    2009-03-09

    Around 20,000 snakebites are reported annually in Brazil and 90% of them are inflicted by species of the genus Bothrops. Intravenous administration of antibothropic antivenom neutralizes the systemic actions, but it is of little effect on the reversal of local symptoms and often induces adverse reactions, a context that drives the search for complementary treatments for snakebite accidents. Vegetable extracts with a range of antiophidian activities constitute an excellent alternative. In this study, we investigated the anti-hemorrhagic effects of Mouriri pusa Gardn. (Melastomataceae), Byrsonima crassa Niedenzu (Malpighiaceae), Davilla elliptica St. Hill. (Dilleniaceae) and Strychnos pseudoquina St. Hil. (Loganiaceae) against Bothrops jararaca venom. The methanolic extracts from M. pusa (leaves), B. crassa (leaves) and D. elliptica (leaves) showed total neutralization capacity against local hemorrhages. The amenthoflavone and quercetin fractions from B. crassa and the flavonoids fractions (quercetin and myricetin) from M. pusa and D. elliptica also showed total neutralization capacity. We conclude that flavonoids derived from myricetin, quercetin and amenthoflavone play an important role in the anti-hemorrhagic potential of these Brazilian vegetables species against B. jararaca venom.

  8. The defensive strike of five species of lanceheads of the genus Bothrops (Viperidae).

    PubMed

    Araújo, M S; Martins, M

    2007-05-01

    We studied the defensive strike of one species of each of five recognized lineages within the genus Bothrops, namely, B. alternatus, B. jararaca, B. jararacussu, B. moojeni and B. pauloensis. The defensive strike of the studied species was in general similar to that of Crotalus viridis and C. atrox, but some important differences were observed. Bothrops alternatus and B. pauloensis struck preferentially from a tight body posture, whereas B. jararaca and B. moojeni from a loose body posture. Defensive strikes were either true or false (during the latter, the mouth remains closed or partially open). Almost all strikes were successful; only on a few occasions snakes missed their target (flawed strikes). Strike variables were very conservative among the five species, especially strike distance and height, and one possible explanation may be related to constraints imposed on strike variables as a way of increasing strike accuracy. PMID:17876444

  9. Comparative analysis of viperidae venoms antibacterial profile: a short communication for proteomics.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Bruno L; Santos, Dilvani O; Dos Santos, André Luis; Rodrigues, Carlos R; de Freitas, Cícero C; Cabral, Lúcio M; Castro, Helena C

    2011-01-01

    Bacterial infections involving multidrug-resistant strains are one of the ten leading causes of death and an important health problem in need for new antibacterial sources and agents. Herein, we tested and compared four snake venoms (Agkistrodon rhodostoma, Bothrops jararaca, B. atrox and Lachesis muta) against 10 Gram-positive and Gram-negative drug-resistant clinical bacteria strains to identify them as new sources of potential antibacterial molecules. Our data revealed that, as efficient as some antibiotics currently on the market (minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) = 1-32 μg mL(-1)), A. rhodostoma and B. atrox venoms were active against Staphylococcus epidermidis and Enterococcus faecalis (MIC = 4.5 μg mL(-1)), while B. jararaca inhibited S. aureus growth (MIC = 13 μg ml(-1)). As genomic and proteomic technologies are improving and developing rapidly, our results suggested that A. rhodostoma, B. atrox and B. jararaca venoms and glands are feasible sources for searching antimicrobial prototypes for future design new antibiotics against drug-resistant clinical bacteria. They also point to an additional perspective to fully identify the pharmacological potential of these venoms by using different techniques. PMID:18955360

  10. Using SERPENT Monte Carlo and Burnup code to model Traveling Wave Reactors (TWR)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gulik, Volodymyr; Pavlovych, Volodymyr; Tkaczyk, Alan Henry

    2014-06-01

    This paper is mainly devoted to the proof-of-principle implementation of the SERPENT code for the simulation of traveling wave reactors. The investigation of SERPENT 1.1.19 code for multiprocessor tasks with long burnup steps was performed. The investigation of SERPENT 2 code for multiprocessor tasks with long burnup steps was performed. Methods to remove the influence of the ignition zone were considered, and neutronics simulations with various fragmentations of the burnup zone were performed.

  11. Generation of SFR few-group constants using the Monte Carlo code Serpent

    SciTech Connect

    Fridman, E.; Rachamin, R.; Shwageraus, E.

    2013-07-01

    In this study, the Serpent Monte Carlo code was used as a tool for preparation of homogenized few-group cross sections for the nodal diffusion analysis of Sodium cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) cores. Few-group constants for two reference SFR cores were generated by Serpent and then employed by nodal diffusion code DYN3D in 2D full core calculations. The DYN3D results were verified against the references full core Serpent Monte Carlo solutions. A good agreement between the reference Monte Carlo and nodal diffusion results was observed demonstrating the feasibility of using Serpent for generation of few-group constants for the deterministic SFR analysis. (authors)

  12. Combined venomics, venom gland transcriptomics, bioactivities, and antivenomics of two Bothrops jararaca populations from geographic isolated regions within the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves-Machado, Larissa; Pla, Davinia; Sanz, Libia; Jorge, Roberta Jeane B; Leitão-De-Araújo, Moema; Alves, Maria Lúcia M; Alvares, Diego Janisch; De Miranda, Joari; Nowatzki, Jenifer; de Morais-Zani, Karen; Fernandes, Wilson; Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita Mitico; Fernández, Julián; Zingali, Russolina B; Gutiérrez, José María; Corrêa-Netto, Carlos; Calvete, Juan J

    2016-03-01

    Bothrops jararaca is a slender and semi-arboreal medically relevant pit viper species endemic to tropical and subtropical forests in southern Brazil, Paraguay, and northern Argentina (Misiones). Within its geographic range, it is often abundant and is an important cause of snakebite. Although no subspecies are currently recognized, geographic analyses have revealed the existence of two well-supported B. jararaca clades that diverged during the Pliocene ~3.8Mya and currently display a southeastern (SE) and a southern (S) Atlantic rainforest (Mata Atlântica) distribution. The spectrum, geographic variability, and ontogenetic changes of the venom proteomes of snakes from these two B. jararaca phylogroups were investigated applying a combined venom gland transcriptomic and venomic analysis. Comparisons of the venom proteomes and transcriptomes of B. jararaca from the SE and S geographic regions revealed notable interpopulational variability that may be due to the different levels of population-specific transcriptional regulation, including, in the case of the southern population, a marked ontogenetic venom compositional change involving the upregulation of the myotoxic PLA2 homolog, bothropstoxin-I. This population-specific marker can be used to estimate the proportion of venom from the southern population present in the B. jararaca venom pool used for the Brazilian soro antibotrópico (SAB) antivenom production. On the other hand, the southeastern population-specific D49-PLA2 molecules, BinTX-I and BinTX-II, lend support to the notion that the mainland ancestor of Bothrops insularis was originated within the same population that gave rise to the current SE B. jararaca phylogroup, and that this insular species endemic to Queimada Grande Island (Brazil) expresses a pedomorphic venom phenotype. Mirroring their compositional divergence, the two geographic B. jararaca venom pools showed distinct bioactivity profiles. However, the SAB antivenom manufactured in Vital Brazil

  13. Hepatozoon spp. (Apicomplexa: Hepatozoidae) infection and selected hematological values of the neotropical rattlesnake, Crotalus durissus collilineatus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Serpentes: Viperidae), from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Motta, Rafael Otávio Cançado; Cunha, Lucas Maciel; Leite, Romário Cerqueira; da Silva, Israel José; Pinto, Ana Cristina Araújo; Braga, Erika Martins; da Cunha, Arildo Pinto; de Oliveira, Paulo Roberto

    2011-09-01

    This study aims to establish the hematological values of Crotalus durissus collilineatus snakes captured in Brazil as well as to verify the effects of hematozoan infection on these snakes. Eighty-three blood samples were drawn from C. d. collilineatus specimens for analysis. The sample set was composed of 30 males and 30 females, recently caught from the wild, and 11 males and 12 females bred in captivity. Blood samples were used to determine red blood cell counts, white blood cell counts, thrombocyte counts, hematocrit values, hemoglobin concentration, and total plasma protein. Blood smears were used to diagnose Hepatozoon spp. infection and to calculate the parasitic load in the sample as well as the percentage of immature red cells. Results obtained for the wild-caught animals, with and without parasites, were compared among themselves and with the values obtained for the captive-bred animals. Hematological values for C. durissus were established. Wild-caught snakes had an infection rate of 38.3%, while no Hepatozoon sp. infection was detected in the captive-bred animals. The snakes which were not infected by the Hepatozoon sp. exhibited average weight, length, and weight-length ratios higher than those of the infected animals. An increase in immature red cells was noted in the Hepatozoon-infected snakes. PMID:22950311

  14. Effect of diterpenes isolated of the marine alga Canistrocarpus cervicornis against some toxic effects of the venom of the bothrops jararaca snake.

    PubMed

    Domingos, Thaisa Francielle Souza; Vallim, Magui Aparecida; Cavalcanti, Diana Negrão; Sanchez, Eládio Flores; Teixeira, Valéria Laneuville; Fuly, André Lopes

    2015-01-01

    Snake venoms are composed of a complex mixture of active proteins and peptides which induce a wide range of toxic effects. Envenomation by Bothrops jararaca venom results in hemorrhage, edema, pain, tissue necrosis and hemolysis. In this work, the effect of a mixture of two secodolastane diterpenes (linearol/isolinearol), previously isolated from the Brazilian marine brown alga, Canistrocarpus cervicornis, was evaluated against some of the toxic effects induced by B. jararaca venom. The mixture of diterpenes was dissolved in dimethylsulfoxide and incubated with venom for 30 min at room temperature, and then several in vivo (hemorrhage, edema and lethality) and in vitro (hemolysis, plasma clotting and proteolysis) assays were performed. The diterpenes inhibited hemolysis, proteolysis and hemorrhage, but failed to inhibit clotting and edema induced by B. jararaca venom. Moreover, diterpenes partially protected mice from lethality caused by B. jararaca venom. The search for natural inhibitors of B. jararaca venom in C. cervicornis algae is a relevant subject, since seaweeds are a rich and powerful source of active molecules which are as yet but poorly explored. Our results suggest that these diterpenes have the potential to be used against Bothropic envenomation accidents or to improve traditional treatments for snake bites.

  15. Effect of photobiomodulation on endothelial cell exposed to Bothrops jararaca venom.

    PubMed

    Franco, Ana Tereza Barufi; Silva, Luciana Miato Gonçalves; Costa, Marcília Silva; Zamuner, Silvia Fernanda; Vieira, Rodolfo Paula; de Fatima Pereira Teixeira, Catarina; Zamuner, Stella Regina

    2016-07-01

    Bleeding is a common feature in envenoming caused by Bothrops snake venom due to extensive damage to capillaries and venules, producing alterations in capillary endothelial cell morphology. It has been demonstrated, in vivo, that photobiomodulation (PBM) decreases hemorrhage after venom inoculation; however, the mechanism is unknown. Thus, the objective was to investigate the effects of PBM on a murine endothelial cell line (tEnd) exposed to Bothrops jararaca venom (BjV). Cells were exposed to BjV and irradiated once with either 660- or 780-nm wavelength laser light at energy densities of 4 and 5 J/cm(2), respectively, and irradiation time of 10 s. Cell integrity was analyzed by crystal violet and cell viability/mitochondrial metabolism by MTT assay. The release of lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) was quantified as a measure of cell damage. In addition, cytokine IL1-β levels were measured in the supernatant. PBM at 660 and 780 nm wavelength was able to increase cellular viability and decrease the release of LDH and the loss of cellular integrity. In addition, the concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokine IL1-β was reduced after PBM by both wavelengths. The data reported herein indicates that irradiation with red or near-infrared laser resulted in protection on endothelial cells after exposure to Bothrops venom and could be, at least in part, a reasonable explanation by the beneficial effects of PBM inhibiting the local effects induced by Bothrops venoms, in vivo. PMID:27147074

  16. N-terminal amino acid sequences and some characteristics of fibrinolytic/hemorrhagic metalloproteinases purified from Bothrops jararaca venom.

    PubMed

    Maruyama, Masugi; Sugiki, Masahiko; Anai, Keita; Yoshida, Etsuo

    2002-08-01

    We determined the N-terminal amino acid sequences of the fibrinolytic/hemorrhagic metalloproteinases (jararafibrases I, III and IV) purified from Bothrops jararaca venom. The N-terminal amino acid sequences of jararafibrase I and its degradation products were identical to those of jararhagin, another hemorrhagic metalloproteinase purified from the same snake venom. Together with enzymatic and immunological properties, we concluded that those two enzymes are identical. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of jararafibrase III was quite similar to C-type lectin isolated from Crotalus atrox, and the protein had a hemagglutinating activity on intact rat red blood cells. PMID:12165326

  17. Bothrops jararaca Venom Metalloproteinases Are Essential for Coagulopathy and Increase Plasma Tissue Factor Levels during Envenomation

    PubMed Central

    Yamashita, Karine M.; Alves, André F.; Barbaro, Katia C.; Santoro, Marcelo L.

    2014-01-01

    Background/Aims Bleeding tendency, coagulopathy and platelet disorders are recurrent manifestations in snakebites occurring worldwide. We reasoned that by damaging tissues and/or activating cells at the site of the bite and systemically, snake venom toxins might release or decrypt tissue factor (TF), resulting in activation of blood coagulation and aggravation of the bleeding tendency. Thus, we addressed (a) whether TF and protein disulfide isomerase (PDI), an oxireductase involved in TF encryption/decryption, were altered in experimental snake envenomation; (b) the involvement and significance of snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMP) and serine proteinases (SVSP) to hemostatic disturbances. Methods/Principal Findings Crude Bothrops jararaca venom (BjV) was preincubated with Na2-EDTA or AEBSF, which are inhibitors of SVMP and SVSP, respectively, and injected subcutaneously or intravenously into rats to analyze the contribution of local lesion to the development of hemostatic disturbances. Samples of blood, lung and skin were collected and analyzed at 3 and 6 h. Platelet counts were markedly diminished in rats, and neither Na2-EDTA nor AEBSF could effectively abrogate this fall. However, Na2-EDTA markedly reduced plasma fibrinogen consumption and hemorrhage at the site of BjV inoculation. Na2-EDTA also abolished the marked elevation in TF levels in plasma at 3 and 6 h, by both administration routes. Moreover, increased TF activity was also noticed in lung and skin tissue samples at 6 h. However, factor VII levels did not decrease over time. PDI expression in skin was normal at 3 h, and downregulated at 6 h in all groups treated with BjV. Conclusions SVMP induce coagulopathy, hemorrhage and increased TF levels in plasma, but neither SVMP nor SVSP are directly involved in thrombocytopenia. High levels of TF in plasma and TF decryption occur during snake envenomation, like true disseminated intravascular coagulation syndrome, and might be implicated in engendering

  18. Bothrops jararaca Peptide with Anti-Hypertensive Action Normalizes Endothelium Dysfunction Involved in Physiopathology of Preeclampsia

    PubMed Central

    Benedetti, Gabriel; Morais, Katia L. P.; Guerreiro, Juliano R.; de Oliveira, Eduardo Fontana; Hoshida, Mara Sandra; Oliveira, Leandro; Sass, Nelson; Lebrun, Ivo; Ulrich, Henning; Lameu, Claudiana; de Camargo, Antonio Carlos Martins

    2011-01-01

    Preeclampsia, a pregnancy-specific syndrome characterized by hypertension, proteinuria and edema, is a major cause of fetal and maternal morbidity and mortality especially in developing countries. Bj-PRO-10c, a proline-rich peptide isolated from Bothrops jararaca venom, has been attributed with potent anti-hypertensive effects. Recently, we have shown that Bj-PRO-10c-induced anti-hypertensive actions involved NO production in spontaneous hypertensive rats. Using in vitro studies we now show that Bj-PRO-10c was able to increase NO production in human umbilical vein endothelial cells from hypertensive pregnant women (HUVEC-PE) to levels observed in HUVEC of normotensive women. Moreover, in the presence of the peptide, eNOS expression as well as argininosuccinate synthase activity, the key rate-limiting enzyme of the citrulline-NO cycle, were enhanced. In addition, excessive superoxide production due to NO deficiency, one of the major deleterious effects of the disease, was inhibited by Bj-PRO-10c. Bj-PRO-10c induced intracellular calcium fluxes in both, HUVEC-PE and HUVEC, which, however, led to activation of eNOS expression only in HUVEC-PE. Since Bj-PRO-10c promoted biological effects in HUVEC from patients suffering from the disorder and not in normotensive pregnant women, we hypothesize that Bj-PRO-10c induces its anti-hypertensive effect in mothers with preeclampsia. Such properties may initiate the development of novel therapeutics for treating preeclampsia. PMID:21858206

  19. Ancient scientific basis of the "great serpent" from historical evidence

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stothers, Richard B.

    2004-01-01

    Zoological data and a growing mythology contributed to ancient Western knowledge about large serpents. Yet little modern attention has been paid to the sources, transmission, and receipt in the early Middle Ages of the ancients' information concerning "dragons" and "sea serpents." Real animals--primarily pythons and whales--lie behind the ancient stories. Other animals, conflations of different animals, simple misunderstandings, and willful exaggerations are found to account for the fanciful embellishments, but primitive myths played no significant role in this process during classical times. The expedition of Alexander the Great into India (327-325 B.C.) and the Bagradas River incident in North Africa (256 B.C.) had enormous repercussions on the development of serpent lore. Credible evidence is found for the presence of ancient populations of pythons living along the North African coast west of Egypt and along the coast of the Arabian Sea between the Indus River and the Strait of Hormuz--places where they no longer exist today. The maximum sizes of ancient pythons may have been greater than those of today's specimens.

  20. Ancient scientific basis of the "great serpent" from historical evidence.

    PubMed

    Stothers, Richard B

    2004-06-01

    Zoological data and a growing mythology contributed to ancient Western knowledge about large serpents. Yet little modern attention has been paid to the sources, transmission, and receipt in the early Middle Ages of the ancients' information concerning "dragons" and "sea serpents." Real animals--primarily pythons and whales--lie behind the ancient stories. Other animals, conflations of different animals, simple misunderstandings, and willful exaggerations are found to account for the fanciful embellishments, but primitive myths played no significant role in this process during classical times. The expedition of Alexander the Great into India (327-325 B.C.) and the Bagradas River incident in North Africa (256 B.C.) had enormous repercussions on the development of serpent lore. Credible evidence is found for the presence of ancient populations of pythons living along the North African coast west of Egypt and along the coast of the Arabian Sea between the Indus River and the Strait of Hormuz--places where they no longer exist today. The maximum sizes of ancient pythons may have been greater than those of today's specimens.

  1. Aqueous Leaf Extract of Jatropha gossypiifolia L. (Euphorbiaceae) Inhibits Enzymatic and Biological Actions of Bothrops jararaca Snake Venom

    PubMed Central

    Félix-Silva, Juliana; Souza, Thiago; Menezes, Yamara A. S.; Cabral, Bárbara; Câmara, Rafael B. G.; Silva-Junior, Arnóbio A.; Rocha, Hugo A. O.; Rebecchi, Ivanise M. M.; Zucolotto, Silvana M.; Fernandes-Pedrosa, Matheus F.

    2014-01-01

    Snakebites are a serious public health problem due their high morbi-mortality. The main available specific treatment is the antivenom serum therapy, which has some disadvantages, such as poor neutralization of local effects, risk of immunological reactions, high cost and difficult access in some regions. In this context, the search for alternative therapies is relevant. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the antiophidic properties of Jatropha gossypiifolia, a medicinal plant used in folk medicine to treat snakebites. The aqueous leaf extract of the plant was prepared by decoction and phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of sugars, alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, terpenes and/or steroids and proteins. The extract was able to inhibit enzymatic and biologic activities induced by Bothrops jararaca snake venom in vitro and in vivo. The blood incoagulability was efficiently inhibited by the extract by oral route. The hemorrhagic and edematogenic local effects were also inhibited, the former by up to 56% and the latter by 100%, in animals treated with extract by oral and intraperitoneal routes, respectively. The inhibition of myotoxic action of B. jararaca reached almost 100%. According to enzymatic tests performed, it is possible to suggest that the antiophidic activity may be due an inhibitory action upon snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) and/or serine proteinases (SVSPs), including fibrinogenolytic enzymes, clotting factors activators and thrombin like enzymes (SVTLEs), as well upon catalytically inactive phospholipases A2 (Lys49 PLA2). Anti-inflammatory activity, at least partially, could also be related to the inhibition of local effects. Additionally, protein precipitating and antioxidant activities may also be important features contributing to the activity presented. In conclusion, the results demonstrate the potential antiophidic activity of J. gossypiifolia extract, including its significant action upon local effects, suggesting that

  2. Renal sexual segment of the Cottonmouth snake, Agkistrodon piscivorous (Reptilia, Squamata, Viperidae).

    PubMed

    Sever, David M; Siegel, Dustin S; Bagwill, April; Eckstut, Mallory E; Alexander, Laura; Camus, Angelle; Morgan, Colby

    2008-06-01

    The seasonal variation of the renal sexual segment (RSS) of males of the Cottonmouth snake, Agkistrodon piscivorous, is described using light and electron microscopy. This study is the first to describe the ultrastructure of the RSS of a viper (Viperidae) and only the fourth on a snake. Renal sexual segments from males collected February to May and from August to November are similar in appearance. The cells are eosinophilic and react with periodic acid/Schiff procedure (PAS) for neutral carbohydrates and bromphenol blue (BB) for proteins. At the ultrastructure level, the cells contain large (2 microm diameter), electron-dense secretory granules and smaller vesicles with a diffuse material, and these structures abut against the luminal border and upon clear vacuoles continuous with intercellular canaliculi. Evidence was found for both apocrine and merocrine processes of product release. In June and July, the RSS are significantly smaller in diameter, largely basophilic, and have only scattered granules that are PAS+ and BB+. Cytologically, the RSS from June to July lack electron-dense secretory granules and the smaller vesicles with diffuse material. Numerous condensing vacuoles and abundant rough endoplasmic reticulum, however, indicate that active product synthesis is occurring. This is the first report of significant seasonal variation in the histology and ultrastructure of the RSS of a snake, although such reports exist for lizards. The seasons when the RSS is most highly hypertrophied correspond to the fall and spring mating seasons of A. piscivorous, as determined by other studies.

  3. The Serpent Monte Carlo Code: Status, Development and Applications in 2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leppänen, Jaakko; Pusa, Maria; Viitanen, Tuomas; Valtavirta, Ville; Kaltiaisenaho, Toni

    2014-06-01

    The Serpent Monte Carlo reactor physics burnup calculation code has been developed at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland since 2004, and is currently used in 100 universities and research organizations around the world. This paper presents the brief history of the project, together with the currently available methods and capabilities and plans for future work. Typical user applications are introduced in the form of a summary review on Serpent-related publications over the past few years.

  4. Comparison of SERPENT and CASMO-5M for pressurized water reactors models

    SciTech Connect

    Hursin, M.; Vasiliev, A.; Ferroukhi, H.; Pautz, A.

    2013-07-01

    The objective of this work is to perform a preliminary assessment of the capability of SERPENT to generate cross sections for a PWR Beginning-of-Life (BOL) isothermal mini-core by comparing a SERPENT/PARCS solution with the results obtained using a CASMO-5M/PARCS approach. The PARCS code is used instead of the usual SIMULATE-3 to analyze the Swiss Reactors, because interfaces with PARCS already exist to obtain neutronic data from SERPENT. For the PWR configurations, the differences between CASMO-5M and SERPENT solutions are within 200 pcm at the assembly level and thus rather small when considering the deterministic transport method (energy/angular/space discretization) in CASMO-5M versus the stochastic treatment of SERPENT, the statistical uncertainties in the Monte-Carlo approach as well as the eventual differences in nuclear data used by both codes. At the 2D mini-core level, no major difference is observed when comparing PARCS run with CASMO-5M versus SERPENT cross sections. For the generation of kinetic parameters, non trivial differences are observed due both to the methods and the data used. For the relatively limited number of configurations considered, it is hard to make any definitive statement on the benefits of using Monte Carlo codes in terms of nuclear data generation. (authors)

  5. Contribution of mast cells and snake venom metalloproteinases to the hyperalgesia induced by Bothrops jararaca venom in rats.

    PubMed

    Bonavita, André Gustavo C; da Costa, Aline S; Pires, Ana Lucia A; Neves-Ferreira, Ana G C; Perales, Jonas; Cordeiro, Renato S B; Martins, Marco A; e Silva, Patrícia M R

    2006-06-15

    Bothrops jararaca venom (Bjv) is known to induce local inflammation and severe pain. Since, mast cells are able to secrete mediators involved in algesic processes, in this study we examined the putative role of these cells in the hyperalgesia triggered by Bjv in the rat paw. We noted that treatment with mast cell stabilizer sodium cromoglicate as well as with histamine and 5-hydroxytriptamine receptor antagonists meclizine and methysergide, respectively, inhibited the Bjv-induced hyperalgesia. In addition, we showed that stimulation of isolated rat peritoneal mast cells with Bjv in vitro resulted in the release of stored and neo-generated inflammatory mediators such as histamine and leukotriene C(4), respectively. Bjv-induced histamine secretion was clearly sensitive to treatment with sodium cromoglicate and sodium nedocromil. We further observed that metalloproteinase inhibitors 1,10-phenantroline and DM43 inhibited mast cell degranulation in vitro, under conditions where inhibitors of phospholipase A(2) as well as of serine- and cysteine-proteinases were inactive. Altogether, our findings indicate that mast cells seem to contribute to the hyperalgesia caused by Bjv in the rat paw, and also provide evidence that this response might be dependent on the ability of the Bjv to activate directly mast cells. PMID:16730041

  6. Development of a dynamic simulation mode in Serpent 2 Monte Carlo code

    SciTech Connect

    Leppaenen, J.

    2013-07-01

    This paper presents a dynamic neutron transport mode, currently being implemented in the Serpent 2 Monte Carlo code for the purpose of simulating short reactivity transients with temperature feedback. The transport routine is introduced and validated by comparison to MCNP5 calculations. The method is also tested in combination with an internal temperature feedback module, which forms the inner part of a multi-physics coupling scheme in Serpent 2. The demo case for the coupled calculation is a reactivity-initiated accident (RIA) in PWR fuel. (authors)

  7. Morphological study of Ophidascaris excavata Hsü & Hoeppli, 1931 (Ascaridida: Ascarididae) from Gloydius brevicaudus (Stejneger) (Reptilia: Viperidae).

    PubMed

    Li, Liang; Zhao, Wen-Ting; Chen, Hui-Xia; Guo, Yan-Ning; Zhang, Lu-Ping

    2016-01-01

    Ophidascaris excavata Hsü & Hoeppli, 1931 is a poorly known ascaridid parasite reported from the short-tailed pit viper Gloydius brevicaudus (Stejneger) (Reptilia: Viperidae) in China. In the present paper, the detailed morphology of this nematode was studied using light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) based on newly collected material. The results revealed several important, but previously unreported, morphological features, including the presence of one pair of small, finger-like prolongations on each lip, narrow cervical alae beginning well posterior to the base of the ventrolateral lips and the second pair of postcloacal ventro-lateral papillae being double; in addition, there is no intestinal caecum. These supplementary morphological and morphometric data, especially the detailed morphological features obtained herein under SEM, would help us to understand the relationships of O. excavata with its congeners and enable us to diagnose this species more accurately. PMID:26739288

  8. [Bacterial flora of the oral cavity, fangs and venom of Bothrops jararaca: possible source of infection at the site of bite].

    PubMed

    Jorge, M T; de Mendonça, J S; Ribeiro, L A; da Silva, M L; Kusano, E J; Cordeiro, C L

    1990-01-01

    Culture of fang, fang sheath and venom of fifteen healthy freshly captured Bothrops jararaca were analyzed. The bacteria most frequently encountered were group D streptococci (12 snakes), Enterobacter sp. (6), Providencia rettgeri (6), Providencia sp. (4), Escherichia coli (4), Morganella morganii (3) and Clostridium sp. (5). The bacteria observed are similar to those found in the abscesses from Bothrops bitten patients. Since these snake mouth bacteria may be inoculated during the snake bite, bacterial multiplication and infection may occur under favorable conditions. PMID:2259834

  9. Type specimens of Crotalus scutulatus (Chordata: Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae) re-examined, with new evidence after more than a century of confusion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cardwell, Michael D.; Gotte, Steve W.; McDiarmid, Roy W.; Gilmore, Ned; Poindexter, James A.

    2013-01-01

    The original description of Crotalus scutulatus (Chordata: Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae) was published in 1861 by Robert Kennicott, who did not identify a type specimen or a type locality. We review the history of specimens purported to be the type(s) and various designations of type locality. We provide evidence that ANSP 7069 (formerly one of two specimens of USNM 5027) is the holotype and that the appropriate type locality is Fort Buchanan, near present-day Sonoita, in Santa Cruz County, Arizona.

  10. Venom-Related Transcripts from Bothrops jararaca Tissues Provide Novel Molecular Insights into the Production and Evolution of Snake Venom

    PubMed Central

    Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L.M.; Bastos, Carolina Mancini Val; Ho, Paulo Lee; Luna, Milene Schmidt; Yamanouye, Norma; Casewell, Nicholas R.

    2015-01-01

    Attempts to reconstruct the evolutionary history of snake toxins in the context of their co-option to the venom gland rarely account for nonvenom snake genes that are paralogous to toxins, and which therefore represent important connectors to ancestral genes. In order to reevaluate this process, we conducted a comparative transcriptomic survey on body tissues from a venomous snake. A nonredundant set of 33,000 unigenes (assembled transcripts of reference genes) was independently assembled from six organs of the medically important viperid snake Bothrops jararaca, providing a reference list of 82 full-length toxins from the venom gland and specific products from other tissues, such as pancreatic digestive enzymes. Unigenes were then screened for nontoxin transcripts paralogous to toxins revealing 1) low level coexpression of approximately 20% of toxin genes (e.g., bradykinin-potentiating peptide, C-type lectin, snake venom metalloproteinase, snake venom nerve growth factor) in body tissues, 2) the identity of the closest paralogs to toxin genes in eight classes of toxins, 3) the location and level of paralog expression, indicating that, in general, co-expression occurs in a higher number of tissues and at lower levels than observed for toxin genes, and 4) strong evidence of a toxin gene reverting back to selective expression in a body tissue. In addition, our differential gene expression analyses identify specific cellular processes that make the venom gland a highly specialized secretory tissue. Our results demonstrate that the evolution and production of venom in snakes is a complex process that can only be understood in the context of comparative data from other snake tissues, including the identification of genes paralogous to venom toxins. PMID:25502939

  11. [A fish prey found in the coral snake Micrurus alleni (Serpentes: Elapidae) in Costa Rica].

    PubMed

    Solórzano, Alejandro

    2005-01-01

    A fish prey found in the coral snake Micrurus alleni (Serpentes: Elapidae) in Costa Rica. The presence of a small specimen of the swamp eel Synbranchus marmoratus (84 mm total length) in the stomach contents of an adult coral snake Micrurus alleni with 692 mm total length from the Caribbean versant of Costa Rica is reported. This eel was swallowed headfirst.

  12. Contribution of metalloproteases, serine proteases and phospholipases A2 to the inflammatory reaction induced by Bothrops jararaca crude venom in mice.

    PubMed

    Zychar, Bianca Cestari; Dale, Camila Squazoni; Demarchi, Denise Soares; Gonçalves, Luis Roberto C

    2010-01-01

    Various toxins isolated from Bothrops snake venoms induce inflammatory reactions and have been claimed to contribute to the severity of local symptoms present in this envenomation. Notwithstanding, the relative participation of serine proteases, metalloproteases and phospholipases A(2) in the inflammatory reaction produced by crude Bothrops venoms is poorly understood. Herein, crude Bothrops jararaca venom was treated with phenylmethanesulfonyl fluoride (PMSF), 1,10-phenanthroline (oPhe), or p-bromophenacyl-bromide (p-BPB) to inhibit those classes of enzymes, respectively, and inflammatory parameters were evaluated and compared to those induced by the control crude venom. The intensity of edema and hyperalgesia/allodynia was remarkably reduced in animals administered with oPhe-treated venom. Leukocyte-endothelium interactions (LEI), such as adhesion and migration of leukocytes, were also modified at 2h and 24h. Edema and LEI parameters induced by p-BPB-treated venom were similar to those observed with the control venom, but hyperalgesia/allodynia was significantly lower. Inflammatory parameters induced by PMSF-treated venom were similar to those induced by the crude venom, except for a mild reduction in edema intensity. Our results indicate that metalloproteases have a pivotal role in the inflammatory reactions induced by B. jararaca venom, and phospholipases A(2) and serine proteases have a minor role.

  13. SERPent: Automated reduction and RFI-mitigation software for e-MERLIN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peck, Luke W.; Fenech, Danielle M.

    2013-08-01

    The Scripted E-merlin Rfi-mitigation PipelinE for iNTerferometry (SERPent) is an automated reduction and RFI-mitigation procedure utilising the SumThreshold methodology (Offringa et al., 2010a), originally developed for the LOFAR pipeline. SERPent is written in the Parseltongue language enabling interaction with the Astronomical Image Processing Software (AIPS) program. Moreover, SERPent is a simple 'out of the box' Python script, which is easy to set up and is free of compilers. In addition to the flagging of RFI affected visibilities, the script also flags antenna zero-amplitude dropouts and Lovell telescope phase calibrator stationary scans inherent to the e-MERLIN system. Both the flagging and computational performances of SERPent are presented here, for e-MERLIN commissioning datasets for both L-band (1.3-1.8 GHz) and C-band (4-8 GHz) observations. RFI typically amounts to <20%-25% for the more problematic L-band observations and <5% for the generally RFI quieter C-band. The level of RFI detection and flagging is more accurate and delicate than visual manual flagging, with the output immediately ready for AIPS calibration. SERPent is fully parallelised and has been tested on a range of computing systems. The current flagging rate is at 110 GB day-1 on a 'high-end' computer (16 CPUs, 100 GB memory) which amounts to ˜6.9 GB CPU-1 day-1, with an expected increase in performance when e-MERLIN has completed its commissioning. The refining of automated reduction and calibration procedures is essential for the e-MERLIN legacy projects and future interferometers such as the SKA and the associated pathfinders (MeerKAT and ASKAP), where the vast data sizes (>TB) make traditional astronomer interactions unfeasible.

  14. Validation of the Serpent 2 code on TRIGA Mark II benchmark experiments.

    PubMed

    Ćalić, Dušan; Žerovnik, Gašper; Trkov, Andrej; Snoj, Luka

    2016-01-01

    The main aim of this paper is the development and validation of a 3D computational model of TRIGA research reactor using Serpent 2 code. The calculated parameters were compared to the experimental results and to calculations performed with the MCNP code. The results show that the calculated normalized reaction rates and flux distribution within the core are in good agreement with MCNP and experiment, while in the reflector the flux distribution differ up to 3% from the measurements. PMID:26516989

  15. Validating the Serpent Model of FiR 1 Triga Mk-II Reactor by Means of Reactor Dosimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viitanen, Tuomas; Leppänen, Jaakko

    2016-02-01

    A model of the FiR 1 Triga Mk-II reactor has been previously generated for the Serpent Monte Carlo reactor physics and burnup calculation code. In the current article, this model is validated by comparing the predicted reaction rates of nickel and manganese at 9 different positions in the reactor to measurements. In addition, track-length estimators are implemented in Serpent 2.1.18 to increase its performance in dosimetry calculations. The usage of the track-length estimators is found to decrease the reaction rate calculation times by a factor of 7-8 compared to the standard estimator type in Serpent, the collision estimators. The differences in the reaction rates between the calculation and the measurement are below 20%.

  16. A collision history-based approach to Sensitivity/Perturbation calculations in the continuous energy Monte Carlo code SERPENT

    SciTech Connect

    Giuseppe Palmiotti

    2015-05-01

    In this work, the implementation of a collision history-based approach to sensitivity/perturbation calculations in the Monte Carlo code SERPENT is discussed. The proposed methods allow the calculation of the eects of nuclear data perturbation on several response functions: the eective multiplication factor, reaction rate ratios and bilinear ratios (e.g., eective kinetics parameters). SERPENT results are compared to ERANOS and TSUNAMI Generalized Perturbation Theory calculations for two fast metallic systems and for a PWR pin-cell benchmark. New methods for the calculation of sensitivities to angular scattering distributions are also presented, which adopts fully continuous (in energy and angle) Monte Carlo estimators.

  17. Developing serpent-type wave generators to create solitary wave simulations with BEM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weng, Wen-Kai; Shih, Ruey-Syan; Chou, Chung-Ren

    2013-10-01

    Developing serpent-type wave generators to generate solitary waves in a 3D-basin was investigated in this study. Based on the Lagrangian description with time-marching procedures and finite differences of the time derivative, a 3D multiple directional wave basin with multidirectional piston wave generators was developed to simulate ocean waves by using BEM with quadrilateral elements, and to simulate wave-caused problems with fully nonlinear water surface conditions. The simulations of perpendicular solitary waves were conducted in the first instance to verify this scheme. Furthermore, the comparison of the waveform variations confirms that the estimation of 3D solitary waves is a feasible scheme.

  18. The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of the Methanolic Extract and Fractions from Davilla elliptica St. Hil. (Dilleniaceae) on Bothrops jararaca Envenomation

    PubMed Central

    Nishijima, Catarine Massucato; Delella, Flavia Karina; Rodrigues, Clenilson Martins; Rinaldo, Daniel; Lopes-Ferreira, Monica Valdyrce dos Anjos; da Rocha, Lucia Regina Machado; Vilegas, Wagner; Felisbino, Sergio Luis; Hiruma-Lima, Clélia Akiko

    2015-01-01

    Inflammation and haemorrhage are the main characteristics of tissue injury in botropic envenomation. Although some studies have shown that anti-venom prevents systemic reactions, it is not efficient in preventing tissue injury at the site of the bite. Therefore, this work was undertaken to investigate the anti-inflammatory effects of the methanolic extract and fractions from D. elliptica and to evaluate the role of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in this process. Effects of the extract and fractions from D. elliptica were evaluated using a carrageenan-induced paw oedema model in rats, and leukocyte rolling was visualized by intravital. The quantification of MMPs activities (MMP-2 and MMP-9) extracted from the dermis of mice treated with extract and fractions alone or incubated with venom was determined by zymographic analyses. Our results show that intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of fractions significantly reduced paw oedema after the carrageenan challenge. Treatment with the tannins fraction also resulted in considerable inhibition of the rolling of leukocytes and this fraction was able to decrease the activation of MMP-9. These results confirmed the anti-inflammatory activity of the methanolic extract and tannins fraction of D. elliptica and showed that the dermonecrosis properties of B. jararaca venom might be mediated through the inhibition of MMP-9 activity. PMID:26042466

  19. Neutralization of the oedematogenic activity of Bothrops jararaca venom on the mouse paw by an antibothropic fraction isolated from opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) serum.

    PubMed

    Perales, J; Amorim, C Z; Rocha, S L; Domont, G B; Moussatché, H

    1992-11-01

    The pharmacological modulation of mice paw oedema produced by Bothrops jararaca venom (BJV) has been studied. Intraplantar injection of BJV (1-30 micrograms/paw) produced a dose- and time-related oedema, which was maximal 30 min after injection, reduced gradually thereafter and disappeared over 48 h. BJV heated at 100 degrees C for 5 or 15 min blocked local hemorrhage and caused partial inhibition of its oedematogenic activity. The BJV oedema was not inhibited by the anti-histamine meclizine, the inhibitor of histamine and serotonin, cyproheptadine, PAF-acether antagonist WEB 2170 or by the anti-leukotrienes C4/D4, LY 171883. Dexamethasone, aspirin, indomethacin, and the dual cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase inhibitor BW 755C inhibited BJV-induced oedema indicating that arachidonic acid metabolism products via the cyclooxygenase pathway participate in its genesis and/or maintenance. The antibothropic fraction (ABF) (25-200 micrograms/paw) isolated from Didelphis marsupialis serum neutralized the oedema induced by the venom with and without heating, the hemorrhage induced by BJV and partially blocked the oedema induced by bradykinin and by cellulose sulphate. The oedema produced by histamine, serotonin, PAF-acether or leukotriene C4 was not inhibited. PMID:1295374

  20. Characterization of a human coagulation factor Xa-binding site on Viperidae snake venom phospholipases A2 by affinity binding studies and molecular bioinformatics

    PubMed Central

    Faure, Grazyna; Gowda, Veerabasappa T; Maroun, Rachid C

    2007-01-01

    Background The snake venom group IIA secreted phospholipases A2 (SVPLA2), present in the Viperidae snake family exhibit a wide range of toxic and pharmacological effects. They exert their different functions by catalyzing the hydrolysis of phospholipids (PL) at the membrane/water interface and by highly specific direct binding to: (i) presynaptic membrane-bound or intracellular receptors; (ii) natural PLA2-inhibitors from snake serum; and (iii) coagulation factors present in human blood. Results Using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) protein-protein interaction measurements and an in vitro biological test of inhibition of prothrombinase activity, we identify a number of Viperidae venom SVPLA2s that inhibit blood coagulation through direct binding to human blood coagulation factor Xa (FXa) via a non-catalytic, PL-independent mechanism. We classify the SVPLA2s in four groups, depending on the strength of their binding. Molecular electrostatic potentials calculated at the surface of 3D homology-modeling models show a correlation with inhibition of prothrombinase activity. In addition, molecular docking simulations between SVPLA2 and FXa guided by the experimental data identify the potential FXa binding site on the SVPLA2s. This site is composed of the following regions: helices A and B, the Ca2+ loop, the helix C-β-wing loop, and the C-terminal fragment. Some of the SVPLA2 binding site residues belong also to the interfacial binding site (IBS). The interface in FXa involves both, the light and heavy chains. Conclusion We have experimentally identified several strong FXa-binding SVPLA2s that disrupt the function of the coagulation cascade by interacting with FXa by the non-catalytic PL-independent mechanism. By theoretical methods we mapped the interaction sites on both, the SVPLA2s and FXa. Our findings may lead to the design of novel, non-competitive FXa inhibitors. PMID:18062812

  1. Criticality calculations of the Very High Temperature reactor Critical Assembly benchmark with Serpent and SCALE/KENO-VI

    SciTech Connect

    Bostelmann, Friederike; Hammer, Hans R.; Ortensi, Javier; Strydom, Gerhard; Velkov, Kiril; Zwermann, Winfried

    2015-12-30

    Within the framework of the IAEA Coordinated Research Project on HTGR Uncertainty Analysis in Modeling, criticality calculations of the Very High Temperature Critical Assembly experiment were performed as the validation reference to the prismatic MHTGR-350 lattice calculations. Criticality measurements performed at several temperature points at this Japanese graphite-moderated facility were recently included in the International Handbook of Evaluated Reactor Physics Benchmark Experiments, and represent one of the few data sets available for the validation of HTGR lattice physics. Here, this work compares VHTRC criticality simulations utilizing the Monte Carlo codes Serpent and SCALE/KENO-VI. Reasonable agreement was found between Serpent and KENO-VI, but only the use of the latest ENDF cross section library release, namely the ENDF/B-VII.1 library, led to an improved match with the measured data. Furthermore, the fourth beta release of SCALE 6.2/KENO-VI showed significant improvements from the current SCALE 6.1.2 version, compared to the experimental values and Serpent.

  2. Criticality calculations of the Very High Temperature reactor Critical Assembly benchmark with Serpent and SCALE/KENO-VI

    DOE PAGES

    Bostelmann, Friederike; Hammer, Hans R.; Ortensi, Javier; Strydom, Gerhard; Velkov, Kiril; Zwermann, Winfried

    2015-12-30

    Within the framework of the IAEA Coordinated Research Project on HTGR Uncertainty Analysis in Modeling, criticality calculations of the Very High Temperature Critical Assembly experiment were performed as the validation reference to the prismatic MHTGR-350 lattice calculations. Criticality measurements performed at several temperature points at this Japanese graphite-moderated facility were recently included in the International Handbook of Evaluated Reactor Physics Benchmark Experiments, and represent one of the few data sets available for the validation of HTGR lattice physics. Here, this work compares VHTRC criticality simulations utilizing the Monte Carlo codes Serpent and SCALE/KENO-VI. Reasonable agreement was found between Serpent andmore » KENO-VI, but only the use of the latest ENDF cross section library release, namely the ENDF/B-VII.1 library, led to an improved match with the measured data. Furthermore, the fourth beta release of SCALE 6.2/KENO-VI showed significant improvements from the current SCALE 6.1.2 version, compared to the experimental values and Serpent.« less

  3. [Sequencing and analysis of the complete mitochondrial genome of the King Cobra, Ophiophagus hannah (Serpents: Elapidae)].

    PubMed

    Chen, Nian; Lai, Xiao-Ping

    2010-07-01

    We obtained the complete mitochondrial genome of King Cobra(GenBank accession number: EU_921899) by Ex Taq-PCR, TA-cloning and primer-walking methods. This genome is very similar to other vertebrate, which is 17 267 bp in length and encodes 38 genes (including 13 protein-coding, 2 ribosomal RNA and 23 transfer RNA genes) and two long non-coding regions. The duplication of tRNA-Ile gene forms a new mitochondrial gene rearrangement model. Eight tRNA genes and one protein genes were transcribed from L strand, and the other genes were transcribed genes from H strand. Genes on the H strand show a fairly similar content of Adenosine and Thymine respectively, whereas those on the L strand have higher proportion of A than T. Combined rDNA sequence data (12S+16S rRNA) were used to reconstruct the phylogeny of 21 snake species for which complete mitochondrial genome sequences were available in the public databases. This large data set and an appropriate range of outgroup taxa demonstrated that Elapidae is more closely related to colubridae than viperidae, which supports the traditional viewpoints. PMID:20650853

  4. [Sequencing and analysis of the complete mitochondrial genome of the King Cobra, Ophiophagus hannah (Serpents: Elapidae)].

    PubMed

    Chen, Nian; Lai, Xiao-Ping

    2010-07-01

    We obtained the complete mitochondrial genome of King Cobra(GenBank accession number: EU_921899) by Ex Taq-PCR, TA-cloning and primer-walking methods. This genome is very similar to other vertebrate, which is 17 267 bp in length and encodes 38 genes (including 13 protein-coding, 2 ribosomal RNA and 23 transfer RNA genes) and two long non-coding regions. The duplication of tRNA-Ile gene forms a new mitochondrial gene rearrangement model. Eight tRNA genes and one protein genes were transcribed from L strand, and the other genes were transcribed genes from H strand. Genes on the H strand show a fairly similar content of Adenosine and Thymine respectively, whereas those on the L strand have higher proportion of A than T. Combined rDNA sequence data (12S+16S rRNA) were used to reconstruct the phylogeny of 21 snake species for which complete mitochondrial genome sequences were available in the public databases. This large data set and an appropriate range of outgroup taxa demonstrated that Elapidae is more closely related to colubridae than viperidae, which supports the traditional viewpoints.

  5. Identification and molecular characterization of five putative toxins from the venom gland of the snake Philodryas chamissonis (Serpentes: Dipsadidae).

    PubMed

    Urra, Félix A; Pulgar, Rodrigo; Gutiérrez, Ricardo; Hodar, Christian; Cambiazo, Verónica; Labra, Antonieta

    2015-12-15

    Philodryas chamissonis is a rear-fanged snake endemic to Chile. Its bite produces mild to moderate symptoms with proteolytic and anti-coagulant effects. Presently, the composition of the venom, as well as, the biochemical and structural characteristics of its toxins, remains unknown. In this study, we cloned and reported the first full-length sequences of five toxin-encoding genes from the venom gland of this species: Type III snake venom metalloprotease (SVMP), snake venom serine protease (SVSP), Cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRISP), α and β subunits of C-type lectin-like protein (CLP) and C-type natriuretic peptide (NP). These genes are highly expressed in the venom gland and their sequences exhibited a putative signal peptide, suggesting that these are components of the venom. These putative toxins had different evolutionary relationships with those reported for some front-fanged snakes, being SVMP, SVSP and CRISP of P. chamissonis closely related to the toxins present in Elapidae species, while NP was more related to those of Viperidae species. In addition, analyses suggest that the α and β subunits of CLP of P. chamissonis might have a α-subunit scaffold in common with Viperidae species, whose highly variable C-terminal region might have allowed the diversification in α and β subunits. Our results provide the first molecular description of the toxins possibly implicated in the envenomation of prey and humans by the bite of P. chamissonis. PMID:26410112

  6. Identification and molecular characterization of five putative toxins from the venom gland of the snake Philodryas chamissonis (Serpentes: Dipsadidae).

    PubMed

    Urra, Félix A; Pulgar, Rodrigo; Gutiérrez, Ricardo; Hodar, Christian; Cambiazo, Verónica; Labra, Antonieta

    2015-12-15

    Philodryas chamissonis is a rear-fanged snake endemic to Chile. Its bite produces mild to moderate symptoms with proteolytic and anti-coagulant effects. Presently, the composition of the venom, as well as, the biochemical and structural characteristics of its toxins, remains unknown. In this study, we cloned and reported the first full-length sequences of five toxin-encoding genes from the venom gland of this species: Type III snake venom metalloprotease (SVMP), snake venom serine protease (SVSP), Cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRISP), α and β subunits of C-type lectin-like protein (CLP) and C-type natriuretic peptide (NP). These genes are highly expressed in the venom gland and their sequences exhibited a putative signal peptide, suggesting that these are components of the venom. These putative toxins had different evolutionary relationships with those reported for some front-fanged snakes, being SVMP, SVSP and CRISP of P. chamissonis closely related to the toxins present in Elapidae species, while NP was more related to those of Viperidae species. In addition, analyses suggest that the α and β subunits of CLP of P. chamissonis might have a α-subunit scaffold in common with Viperidae species, whose highly variable C-terminal region might have allowed the diversification in α and β subunits. Our results provide the first molecular description of the toxins possibly implicated in the envenomation of prey and humans by the bite of P. chamissonis.

  7. Epidemiology of venomous and semi-venomous snakebites (Ophidia: Viperidae, Colubridae) in the Kashan city of the Isfahan province in Central Iran

    PubMed Central

    Dehghani, Rouhullah; Mehrpour, Omid; Shahi, Morteza Panjeh; Jazayeri, Mehrdad; Karrari, Parissa; Keyler, Dan; Zamani, Nasim

    2014-01-01

    Background: Information on the epidemiology of venomous snake species responsible for envenomation to humans in Iran has not been well documented. In the Kashan city, venomous snakebite remains a recurring medical problem. Information providing the correct identification of snake species responsible for envenomation in this geographic region would be useful to regional medical clinics and personnel for the effective and optimal management of the patients. Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, all patient data was collected from Kashan city and its suburbs. The specific data relating to the taxonomic identification of snakes responsible for envenomation were evaluated. A general approach to the diagnosis and management of patients was also provided. Snakes responsible for bites were transported to a laboratory, where their taxonomic classification was confirmed based on key anatomical features and morphological characteristics. Results: A total of 46 snakes were examined. Of these, 37 (80%) were non-venomous species, and 9 (20%) were identified as venomous. Seven of the nine venomous snake species (78%) were of the family Viperidae, and two specimens (22%) were in the family Colubridae. Specifically, the viperid species were Macrovipera lebetina obtusa, Pseudocerastes persicus, Pseudocerastes fieldi, and Echis carinatus. The two colubrid species were Malpolon monspessulanus insignitus and Psammophis schkari. Conclusion: Five different species of venomous snakes responsible for envenomation in the Kashan city region were confirmed. The viper, P. fieldi, was reported for the first time in the central part of Iran. PMID:24672563

  8. Evaluation of the effect of aqueous extract of Croton urucurana Baillon (Euphorbiaceae) on the hemorrhagic activity induced by the venom of Bothrops jararaca, using new techniques to quantify hemorrhagic activity in rat skin.

    PubMed

    Esmeraldino, L E; Souza, A M; Sampaio, S V

    2005-08-01

    Aqueous extracts of Croton urucurana (Sangra D'agua), a plant popularly considered a cicatrizant, were analyzed for anti-Bothrops jararaca venom activity. The plant extracts antagonized the hemorrhagic activity of the venom and proanthocyanidins were involved in this activity. Two new methods for the quantification of hemorrhagic activity evoked by bothropic venoms were employed. The first consists of graphic computer analysis of the hemorrhagic halo evoked in rats by dorsal intradermic administration of venom. The second method involves quantification of the hemoglobin present in the hemorrhagic halo. Based on the results, we suggest that these methods, easily implemented in the laboratory routine, allow for quantification of venom-induced hemorrhagic activity. In addition, this study demonstrates that the rich extracts of proanthocyanidins are powerful inhibitors of bothropic venom metalloproteinases.

  9. First report of parasitism by Hexametra boddaertii (Nematoda: Ascaridae) in Oxyrhopus guibei (Serpentes: Colubridae).

    PubMed

    Peichoto, María E; Sánchez, Matías N; López, Ariel; Salas, Martín; Rivero, María R; Teibler, Pamela; Toledo, Gislayne de Melo; Tavares, Flávio L

    2016-07-15

    The current study summarizes the postmortem examination of a specimen of Oxyrhopus guibei (Serpentes, Colubridae) collected in Iguazu National Park (Argentina), and found deceased a week following arrival to the serpentarium of the National Institute of Tropical Medicine (Argentina). Although the snake appeared to be in good health, a necropsy performed following its death identified the presence of a large number of roundworms in the coelomic cavity, with indications of peritonitis and serosal adherence. Additional observations from the necropsy revealed small calcifications in the mesothelium of the coelomic cavity; solid and expressive content in the gallbladder; massive gastrointestinal obstruction due to nematodes; and lung edema and congestion. Histopathological analyses of lung sections also showed proliferative heterophilic and histiocytic pneumonia. Parasites isolated from both the intestine and coelomic cavity were identified as Hexametra boddaertii by a combination of light and scanning electron microscopic examination. Results from this necropsy identify O. guibei as a new host for H. boddaertii, and is the first report of a natural infection by Hexametra in Argentina. Since Hexametra parasites may contribute to several pathological conditions in humans, and with the recent availability of O. guibei specimens through the illegal pet trade, it is necessary to consider the possibility of zoonotic helminth transmission of Hexametra from snake to human. PMID:27270391

  10. First report of parasitism by Hexametra boddaertii (Nematoda: Ascaridae) in Oxyrhopus guibei (Serpentes: Colubridae).

    PubMed

    Peichoto, María E; Sánchez, Matías N; López, Ariel; Salas, Martín; Rivero, María R; Teibler, Pamela; Toledo, Gislayne de Melo; Tavares, Flávio L

    2016-07-15

    The current study summarizes the postmortem examination of a specimen of Oxyrhopus guibei (Serpentes, Colubridae) collected in Iguazu National Park (Argentina), and found deceased a week following arrival to the serpentarium of the National Institute of Tropical Medicine (Argentina). Although the snake appeared to be in good health, a necropsy performed following its death identified the presence of a large number of roundworms in the coelomic cavity, with indications of peritonitis and serosal adherence. Additional observations from the necropsy revealed small calcifications in the mesothelium of the coelomic cavity; solid and expressive content in the gallbladder; massive gastrointestinal obstruction due to nematodes; and lung edema and congestion. Histopathological analyses of lung sections also showed proliferative heterophilic and histiocytic pneumonia. Parasites isolated from both the intestine and coelomic cavity were identified as Hexametra boddaertii by a combination of light and scanning electron microscopic examination. Results from this necropsy identify O. guibei as a new host for H. boddaertii, and is the first report of a natural infection by Hexametra in Argentina. Since Hexametra parasites may contribute to several pathological conditions in humans, and with the recent availability of O. guibei specimens through the illegal pet trade, it is necessary to consider the possibility of zoonotic helminth transmission of Hexametra from snake to human.

  11. Molecular cloning and characterization of satellite DNA sequences from constitutive heterochromatin of the habu snake (Protobothrops flavoviridis, Viperidae) and the Burmese python (Python bivittatus, Pythonidae).

    PubMed

    Matsubara, Kazumi; Uno, Yoshinobu; Srikulnath, Kornsorn; Seki, Risako; Nishida, Chizuko; Matsuda, Yoichi

    2015-12-01

    Highly repetitive DNA sequences of the centromeric heterochromatin provide valuable molecular cytogenetic markers for the investigation of genomic compartmentalization in the macrochromosomes and microchromosomes of sauropsids. Here, the relationship between centromeric heterochromatin and karyotype evolution was examined using cloned repetitive DNA sequences from two snake species, the habu snake (Protobothrops flavoviridis, Crotalinae, Viperidae) and Burmese python (Python bivittatus, Pythonidae). Three satellite DNA (stDNA) families were isolated from the heterochromatin of these snakes: 168-bp PFL-MspI from P. flavoviridis and 196-bp PBI-DdeI and 174-bp PBI-MspI from P. bivittatus. The PFL-MspI and PBI-DdeI sequences were localized to the centromeric regions of most chromosomes in the respective species, suggesting that the two sequences were the major components of the centromeric heterochromatin in these organisms. The PBI-MspI sequence was localized to the pericentromeric region of four chromosome pairs. The PFL-MspI and the PBI-DdeI sequences were conserved only in the genome of closely related species, Gloydius blomhoffii (Crotalinae) and Python molurus, respectively, although their locations on the chromosomes were slightly different. In contrast, the PBI-MspI sequence was also in the genomes of P. molurus and Boa constrictor (Boidae), and additionally localized to the centromeric regions of eight chromosome pairs in B. constrictor, suggesting that this sequence originated in the genome of a common ancestor of Pythonidae and Boidae, approximately 86 million years ago. The three stDNA sequences showed no genomic compartmentalization between the macrochromosomes and microchromosomes, suggesting that homogenization of the centromeric and/or pericentromeric stDNA sequences occurred in the macrochromosomes and microchromosomes of these snakes.

  12. Internal neutronics-temperature coupling in Serpent 2 - Reactivity differences resulting from choice of material property correlations

    SciTech Connect

    Valtavirta, V.

    2013-07-01

    This paper describes the unique way of simultaneously solving the power and temperature distributions of a nuclear system with the Monte Carlo neutron transport code Serpent 2. The coupled solution is achieved through the implementation of an internal temperature solver and material property correlations in the code. The program structure is reviewed concerning the temperature solver and the internal correlations as well as the internal coupling between these two and the neutron transport part. To estimate the reactivity differences resulting from correlation choices a simple pin-cell case has been calculated. It is established, that some correlation choices may result in difference in reactivity of approximately 100 pcm. (authors)

  13. A Place of Transformation: Lessons from the Cosmic Serpent Informal Science Education Professional Development Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peticolas, L.; Maryboy, N.; Begay, D.; Stein, J.; Valdez, S.; Paglierani, R.

    2012-08-01

    A cultural disconnect exists between Western scientists and educators and Native communities in terms of scientific worldviews and Indigenous ways of knowing. This cultural disconnect manifests itself in the lack of participation of Native Americans in Western science and a lack of appreciation by Western scientists of Native science. Our NSF-Funded project "Cosmic Serpent: Bridging Native and Western Learning in Museum Settings" set out to provide a way for informal science education practitioners and tribal museum practitioners to learn about these two worldviews in such a way as to inform their educational practice around these concepts. We began with a pilot workshop in year one of this four-year project. We then provided two week-long professional development workshops in three regions within the Western U.S., and culminated with a final conference for all participants. In total, the workshops served 162 participants, including 115 practitioners from 19 tribal museums and 41 science, natural history, and cultural museums; 23 tribal community members; and 24 "bridge people" with knowledge of both Indigenous and Western science. For this article, we focus on the professional and personal transformations around culture, knowledge, science, and worldviews that occurred as a part of this project. We evaluated the collaborative aspects of this grant between the Indigenous Education Institute; the Center for Science Education at the University of California, Berkeley; the Institute for Learning Innovation; Native Pathways; Association for Science and Technology Centers; and the National Museum of the American Indian. Using evaluation results, as well as our personal reflections, we share our learnings from a place of transformation. We provide lessons we learned with this project, which we hope others will find relevant to their own science education work.

  14. Discovery of microscopic evidence for shock metamorphism at the Serpent Mound structure, south-central Ohio: Confirmation of an origin by impact

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carlton, R.W.; Koeberl, C.; Baranoski, M.T.; SchuMacHer, G.A.

    1998-01-01

    The origin of the Serpent Mound structure in south-central Ohio has been disputed for many years. Clearly, more evidence was needed to resolve the confusion concerning the origin of the Serpent Mound feature either by endogenic processes or by hypervelocity impact. A petrographic study of 21 samples taken from a core 903 m long drilled in the central uplift of the structure provides evidence of shock metamorphism in the form of multiple sets of planar deformation features in quartz grains, as well as the presence of clasts of altered impact-melt rock. Crystallographic orientations of the planar deformation features show maxima at the shock-characteristic planes of {101??3} and {101??2} and additional maxima at {101??1}, {213??1}, and {516??1}. Geochemical analyses of impact breccias show minor enrichments in the abundances of the siderophile elements Cr, Co, Ni, and Ir, indicating the presence of a minor meteoritic component.

  15. Anesthesia with Isoflurane and Sevoflurane in the Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela hoya): Minimum Anesthetic Concentration, Physiological Effects, Hematocrit, Plasma Chemistry and Behavioral Effects

    PubMed Central

    CHAN, Fang-Tse; CHANG, Geng-Ruei; WANG, Hsien-Chi; HSU, Tien-Huan

    2013-01-01

    ABSTRACT The initial goal of this study was to determine the minimum anesthetic concentration (MAC) for isoflurane (ISO) and sevoflurane (SEVO) for the crested serpent eagle. Next, we compared the anesthetic effects of each on the physiological effects, hematocrit, plasma chemistry values and behavior in spontaneously breathing captive adult crested serpent eagles. Sixteen eagles were randomly allocated to two groups for anesthesia with ISO (n=8) or SEVO (n=8). First, we measured the MAC values of ISO and SEVO, and four weeks later, we investigated the effect of each on the physiological effects, hematocrit (HCT) and plasma chemistry values. The MAC values of ISO and SEVO for crested serpent eagles were 1.46 ± 0.30 and 2.03 ± 0.32%, respectively. The results revealed no significant differences between the two anesthetics in induction time, while time of extubation to recovery was significantly shorter with SEVO. A time-related increase in end-tidal CO2 and decreases in body temperature and respiratory rates were observed during anesthesia with each anesthetic. There were no significant differences between the effect of the two anesthetics on heart rate, hematocrit, plasma chemistry values or respiration, although each caused minor respiration depression. We concluded that SEVO is a more effective inhalant agent than ISO for use in eagles, showing the most rapidest induction and recovery from anesthesia. PMID:23955396

  16. Feeding behavior and venom toxicity of coral snake Micrurus nigrocinctus (Serpentes: Elapidae) on its natural prey in captivity.

    PubMed

    Urdaneta, Aldo H; Bolaños, Federico; Gutiérrez, José María

    2004-08-01

    The feeding behavior and venom toxicity of the coral snake Micrurus nigrocinctus (Serpentes: Elapidae) on its natural prey in captivity were investigated. Coral snakes searched for their prey (the colubrid snake Geophis godmani) in the cages. Once their preys were located, coral snakes stroke them with a rapid forward movement, biting predominantly in the anterior region of the body. In order to assess the role of venom in prey restraint and ingestion, a group of coral snakes was 'milked' in order to drastically reduce the venom content in their glands. Significant differences were observed between snakes with venom, i.e., 'nonmilked' snakes, and 'milked' snakes regarding their behavior after the bite. The former remained hold to the prey until paralysis was achieved, whereas the latter, in the absence of paralysis, moved their head towards the head of the prey and bit the skull to achieve prey immobilization by mechanical means. There were no significant differences in the time of ingestion between these two groups of coral snakes. Susceptibility to the lethal effect of coral snake venom greatly differed in four colubrid species; G. godmani showed the highest susceptibility, followed by Geophis brachycephalus, whereas Ninia psephota and Ninia maculata were highly resistant to this venom. In addition, the blood serum of N. maculata, but not that of G. brachycephalus, prolonged the time of death of mice injected with 2 LD(50)s of M. nigrocinctus venom, when venom and blood serum were incubated before testing. Subcutaneous injection of coral snake venom in G. godmani induced neurotoxicity and myotoxicity, without causing hemorrhage and without affecting heart and lungs. It is concluded that (a) M. nigrocinctus venom plays a role in prey immobilization, (b) venom induces neurotoxic and myotoxic effects in colubrid snakes which comprise part of their natural prey, and (c) some colubrid snakes of the genus Ninia present a conspicuous resistance to the toxic action of M

  17. The Descent of the Serpent: Using a Successful Ancient Solar Observatories Webcast from Chichen Itza to Highlight Space Weather Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawkins, I.; Higdon, R.; Cline, T.

    2006-12-01

    Over the past seven years, NASA's Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum has sponsored and coordinated education and public outreach events to highlight NASA's heliophysics research and discoveries. Our strategy involves using celestial events, such as total solar eclipses and the Transit of Venus, as well as Sun-Earth Day during the March Equinox, to engage K-12 schools and the general public in space science activities, demonstrations, and interactions with space scientists. In collaboration with partners that include the Exploratorium and other museums, Ideum, NASA TV, NASA heliophysics missions, and others, we produce webcasts, other multi-media, and print resources for use by school and informal educators nation-wide and internationally. We provide training and professional development to K-12 educators, museum personnel, amateur astronomers, Girl Scout leaders, etc., so they can implement their own outreach programs taking advantage of our resources. A coordinated approach promotes multiple programs occurring each year under a common theme. As part of an Ancient Observatories theme in 2005, we have successfully featured solar alignments with ancient structures made by indigenous cultures that mark the equinoxes and/or solstices in cultural and historical parks in the Americas. In partnership with the Exploratorium, we produced broadcast-quality and webcast programming during the March equinox that shared heliophysics within a broad cultural context with formal and informal education audiences internationally. The program: "Descent of the Serpent" featured the light and shadow effect at sunset that takes place during the spring equinox at the Pyramid of El Castillo, in Chichén Itzá (México). This program made unique and authentic cultural connections to the knowledge of solar astronomy of the Maya, the living Mayan culture of today, and the importance of the Sun across the ages. We involved Sun-Earth Connection scientists, their missions, and research

  18. An extended version of the SERPENT-2 code to investigate fuel burn-up and core material evolution of the Molten Salt Fast Reactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aufiero, M.; Cammi, A.; Fiorina, C.; Leppänen, J.; Luzzi, L.; Ricotti, M. E.

    2013-10-01

    In this work, the Monte Carlo burn-up code SERPENT-2 has been extended and employed to study the material isotopic evolution of the Molten Salt Fast Reactor (MSFR). This promising GEN-IV nuclear reactor concept features peculiar characteristics such as the on-line fuel reprocessing, which prevents the use of commonly available burn-up codes. Besides, the presence of circulating nuclear fuel and radioactive streams from the core to the reprocessing plant requires a precise knowledge of the fuel isotopic composition during the plant operation. The developed extension of SERPENT-2 directly takes into account the effects of on-line fuel reprocessing on burn-up calculations and features a reactivity control algorithm. It is here assessed against a dedicated version of the deterministic ERANOS-based EQL3D procedure (PSI-Switzerland) and adopted to analyze the MSFR fuel salt isotopic evolution. Particular attention is devoted to study the effects of reprocessing time constants and efficiencies on the conversion ratio and the molar concentration of elements relevant for solubility issues (e.g., trivalent actinides and lanthanides). Quantities of interest for fuel handling and safety issues are investigated, including decay heat and activities of hazardous isotopes (neutron and high energy gamma emitters) in the core and in the reprocessing stream. The radiotoxicity generation is also analyzed for the MSFR nominal conditions. The production of helium and the depletion in tungsten content due to nuclear reactions are calculated for the nickel-based alloy selected as reactor structural material of the MSFR. These preliminary evaluations can be helpful in studying the radiation damage of both the primary salt container and the axial reflectors.

  19. Branding Asklepios and the Traditional and Variant Serpent Symbol Display Among Health Professional Schools in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada: A Cross-Sectional Survey

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background History supports the staff and single serpent, the asklepian, as the symbol of healing and medicine, yet its confusion with the caduceus (a winged staff with two snakes wrapped around it) persists. No population-based information on serpent symbol use exists. Objective To determine the prevalence of asklepian and caduceus display among Internet images of medical and health professional schools’ emblems, and to compare asklepian and caduceus display between medical and health professional schools, examining the effects of school longevity and geographic location on symbol display. Methods This cross-sectional survey examined Internet websites and Google Images associated with medical and other health professional schools in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada from 2013 to 2015. The primary outcome was display of a traditional or variant asklepian or caduceus among current and past emblems in Google Images. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals for the comparison of medical versus other health professional schools were calculated by logistic regression. Differences among schools' longevity were assessed with Student's t-tests and linear regression. Results Among images of current and past emblems of 482 schools—159 medical schools and 323 health professional schools—107 (22.2%) emblems displayed only the traditional, and 205 (42.5%) any, asklepian. Adjusting for geographic region and longevity, medical schools were 59% less likely than health professional schools to display the traditional asklepian (OR 0.41, 95% CI 0.24-0.71, P=.001), and were 7.7 times more likely than health professional schools to display the traditional caduceus. Medical schools were 8% less likely than health professional schools to display any asklepian (OR 0.92, 95% CI 0.62-1.38, P=.70), and were 3.3 times more likely than health professional schools to display any caduceus. Conclusions Schools’ preference of the asklepian over the caduceus confirmed

  20. Analysis of ground penetrating radar data from the tunnel beneath the Temple of the Feathered Serpent in Teotihuacan, Mexico, using new multi-cross algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-Rodríguez, Flor; Velasco-Herrera, Víctor M.; Álvarez-Béjar, Román; Gómez-Chávez, Sergio; Gazzola, Julie

    2016-11-01

    The ground penetrating radar (GPR) -a non-invasive method based on the emission of electromagnetic waves and the reception of their reflections at the dielectric constant and electrical conductivity discontinuities of the materials surveyed- may be applied instead of the destructive and invasive methods used to find water in celestial bodies. As multichannel equipment is increasingly used, we developed two algorithms for multivariable wavelet analysis of GPR signals -multi-cross wavelet (MCW) and Fourier multi-cross function (FMC)- and applied them to analyze raw GPR traces of archeological subsurface strata. The traces were from the tunnel located beneath the Temple of the Feathered Serpent (The Citadel, Teotihuacan, Mexico), believed to represent the underworld, an outstanding region of the Mesoamerican mythology, home of telluric forces emanating from deities, where life was constantly created and recreated. GPR profiles obtained with 100 MHz antennas suggested the tunnel is 12-14 m deep and 100-120 m long with three chambers at its end, interpretations that were confirmed by excavations in 2014. Archeologists believe that due to the tunnel's sacredness and importance, one of the chambers may be the tomb of a ruler of the ancient city. The MCW and FMC algorithms determined the periods of subsurface strata of the tunnel. GPR traces inside-and-outside the tunnel/chamber, outside the tunnel/chamber and inside the tunnel/chamber analyzed with the MCW and filtered FMC algorithms determined the periods of the tunnel and chamber fillings, clay and matrix (limestone-clay compound). The tunnel filling period obtained by MCW analysis (14.37 ns) reflects the mixed limestone-clay compound of this stratum since its value is close to that of the period of the matrix (15.22 ns); periods of the chamber filling (11.40 ± 0.40 ns) and the matrix (11.40 ± 1.00 ns) were almost identical. FMC analysis of the tunnel obtained a period (5.08 ± 1.08 ns) close to that of the chamber (4

  1. A new species of Caryospora Léger, 1904 (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the endangered Round Island boa Casarea dussumieri (Schlegel) (Serpentes: Bolyeridae) of Round Island, Mauritius: an endangered parasite?

    PubMed

    Daszak, Peter; Ball, Stanley J; Streicker, Daniel G; Jones, Carl G; Snow, Keith R

    2011-02-01

    A new species of Caryospora Léger, 1904 (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae), C. durelli n. sp., is described from the endangered Round Island boa Casarea dussumieri (Schlegel) (Serpentes: Bolyeridae) from Round Island, Mauritius. Six of 11 hosts were infected. Oöcysts are spherical to subspherical, 19.2 × 18.2 (17.5-21 × 16-21) μm, n = 20, and have a shape index (mean length/mean width) of 1.05 (1.02-1.09). The bi-layered wall is composed of an outer layer of c.0.6 μm thick and an inner layer of c.0.4 μm thick. A micropyle, oöcyst residuum and polar granule are absent. Sporocysts are ellipsoidal, 14.7 × 11.0 (13-16 × 9.5-11.5) μm, n = 20, and have a shape index of 1.33. Both Stieda and substieda bodies are present. The sporocyst residuum measures c.12 × 4.5 μm, is surrounded by sporozoites and composed of numerous granules. Refractile bodies are present but not clearly visible. This is the first coccidian parasite reported from the family Bolyeridae and the first species of Caryospora durrelli [corrected] reported from the Mascarenes. Conservation issues concerning parasites of endangered host species are discussed.

  2. Diversity-dependent cladogenesis throughout western Mexico: Evolutionary biogeography of rattlesnakes (Viperidae: Crotalinae: Crotalus and Sistrurus).

    PubMed

    Blair, Christopher; Sánchez-Ramírez, Santiago

    2016-04-01

    Rattlesnakes (Crotalus and Sistrurus) represent a radiation of approximately 42 species distributed throughout the New World from southern Canada to Argentina. Interest in this enigmatic group of snakes continues to accrue due, in part, to their ecomorphological diversity, contributions to global envenomations, and potential medicinal importance. Although the group has garnered substantial attention from systematists and evolutionary biologists for decades, little is still known regarding patterns of lineage diversification. In addition, few studies have statistically quantified broad-scale biogeographic patterns in rattlesnakes to ascertain how dispersal occurred throughout the New World, particularly among the different major biomes of the Americas. To examine diversification and biogeographic patterns in this group of snakes we assemble a multilocus data set consisting of over 6700bp encompassing three nuclear loci (NT-3, RAG-1, C-mos) and seven mitochondrial genes (12S, 16S, ATPase6, ATPase8, ND4, ND5, cytb). Fossil-calibrated phylogenetic and subsequent diversification rate analyses are implemented using maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference, to examine their evolutionary history and temporal dynamics of diversity. Based on ancestral area reconstructions we explore dispersal patterns throughout the New World. Cladogenesis occurred predominantly during the Miocene and Pliocene with only two divergences during the Pleistocene. Two different diversification rate models, advocating diversity-dependence, are strongly supported. These models indicate an early rapid radiation followed by a recent speciation rate decline. Biogeographic analyses suggest that the high elevation pine-oak forests of western Mexico served as a major speciation pump for the majority of lineages, with the desert biome of western North America colonized independently at least twice. All together, these results provide evidence for rapid diversification of rattlesnakes throughout the Mexican highlands during the Neogene, likely in response to continual orogenesis of Mexico's major mountain systems, followed by more recent dispersal into desert and tropical biomes.

  3. The complete mitochondrial genome of Gloydius intermedius (Squamata: Viperidae: Crotalinae) from China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Chunzhu; Zhao, Shuai; Li, Cheng; Dou, Huashan

    2016-07-01

    The mitochondrial genome sequence of Gloydius intermedius is analyzed and presented for the first time. The genome was 17, 226 bp in length and contained 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and 2 control region. The overall base composition was A (32.4%), C (28.8%), T (25.9%), and G (12.9%). The base compositions clearly presented the A-C skew, which was most obvious in the protein-coding genes. The extended termination-associated sequence domain, the central conserved domain and the conserved sequence block domain are defined in the mitochondrial genome control region of G. intermedius. Mitochondrial genome analyses based on MP, ML, NJ and Bayesian analyses yielded identical phylogenetic trees, indicating a close phylogenetic affinity of the 13 Crotalinae species. It appeared that no less than two major phyletic lineages were present in Crotalinae. The main clades within the Crotalinae supported are: A clade including the Protobothrops. A clade (G. brevicaudus, G. ussuriensis, G. intermedius, G. saxatilis) with the Ovophis appeared as the sister taxon to Protobothrops and was supported by bootstrap values of 88%. The four Gloydius species formed a paraphyletic group with the high bootstrap value (100 %) in all examinations.

  4. Crystallographic characterization of functional sites of crotoxin and ammodytoxin, potent β-neurotoxins from Viperidae venom.

    PubMed

    Faure, Grazyna; Saul, Frederick

    2012-09-15

    This review will focus on a description of the three-dimensional structures of two β-neurotoxins, the monomeric PLA(2) ammodytoxin from Vipera ammodytes ammodytes, and heterodimeric crotoxin from Crotalus durissus terrificus, and a detailed structural analysis of their multiple functional sites. We have recently determined at high resolution the crystal structures of two natural isoforms of ammodytoxin (AtxA and AtxC) (Saul et al., 2010) which exhibit different toxicity profiles and different anticoagulant properties. Comparative structural analysis of these two PLA(2) isoforms, which differ only by two amino acid residues, allowed us to detect local conformational changes and delineate the role of critical residues in the anticoagulant and neurotoxic functions of these PLA(2) (Saul et al., 2010). We have also determined, at 1.35Å resolution, the crystal structure of heterodimeric crotoxin (Faure et al., 2011). The three-dimensional structure of crotoxin revealed details of the binding interface between its acidic (CA) and basic (CB) subunits and allowed us to identify key residues involved in the stability and toxicity of this potent heterodimeric β-neurotoxin (Faure et al., 2011). The precise spatial orientation of the three covalently linked polypeptide chains in the mature CA subunit complexed with CB helps us to understand the role played by critical residues of the CA subunit in the increased toxicity of the crotoxin complex. Since the CA subunit is a natural inhibitor of the catalytic and anticoagulant activities of CB, identification of the CA-CB binding interface describes residues involved in this inhibition. We propose future research directions based on knowledge of the recently reported 3D structures of crotoxin and ammodytoxin.

  5. Chemosensory age discrimination in the snake Boa constrictor (Serpentes: Boidae).

    PubMed

    Gabirot, Marianne; Picerno, Pablo; Valencia, Jorge; Lopez, Pilar; Martin, José

    2012-12-01

    Many snakes are able to use their chemosensory system to detect scent of conspecifics, which is important in many social contexts. Age discrimination based on chemical cues may be especially important to ensure access to sexually mature potential partners. In this study, we used 24 individual Boa constrictor snakes (12 adults mature and 12 non-mature individuals) that had been captured in different areas of Ecuador, and were maintained in captivity at the Vivarium of Quito. We used tongue-flick experiments to examine whether these snakes were able to discriminate between scents from mature and non-mature individuals. Results showed that B. constrictor snakes used chemical cues to recognize conspecifics and that the scent of individuals of different ages elicited chemosensory responses of different magnitudes. The scents from adult conspecifics elicited the quickest and highest chemosensory responses (i.e., short latency times and high tongue-flick rates), although we did not find differential responses to scent of males and females. The magnitude of the responses was lower to scent of sub adult individuals, and then even lower to scent of juvenile snakes, but in all cases the scent of snakes was discriminated from a blank control. We discuss the potential chemical mechanisms that may allow age recognition and its implications for social and sexual behavior of this snake species.

  6. On the identity of Chironius flavolineatus (Serpentes: Colubridae).

    PubMed

    Hamdan, Breno; Scali, Stefano; Fernandes, Daniel Silva

    2014-01-01

    The snake genus Chironius Fitzinger, 1826 is endemic to the Neotropical region, occurring from Honduras to Uruguay and northeastern Argentina. Some species of the genus have taxonomic and/or nomenclatural problems, such as C. flavolineatus which lacks agreement in the literature about its authorship and type locality. Some researchers have been suggesting Jan (1863) as the author of the species since he first described C. flavolineatus based on two specimens. However, other researchers report that Jan's description is so incomplete that it is not possible to ascertain what snake he had in mind and therefore suggest Boettger (1885) as the author, since he was the first to provide a detailed description of the species. In the present study one of the syntypes of C. flavolineatus, supposedly destroyed in Second World War, was found. Thus, the taxonomic identity of C. flavolineatus was redefined, its lectotype was designated and the authorship of the taxa is attributed to Jan (1863).

  7. Fear the serpent: A psychometric study of snake phobia.

    PubMed

    Polák, Jakub; Sedláčková, Kristýna; Nácar, David; Landová, Eva; Frynta, Daniel

    2016-08-30

    Millions of people worldwide suffer from specific phobias. Almost any stimulus may trigger a phobic reaction, but snakes are among the most feared objects. Half of the population feel anxious about snakes and 2-3% meet the diagnostic criteria for snake phobia. Despite such a high ratio, only one instrument is commonly used, the Snake Questionnaire (SNAQ). The aim of this study was to develop a standardized Czech translation, describe its psychometric properties and analyze the distribution of snake fears. In a counter-balanced design 755 respondents were asked to complete the English and Czech SNAQ (first or last) with a 2-3 month delay; 300 of them completed both instruments. We found excellent test-retest reliability (0.94), although the total scores differed significantly when the English version was administered first. The mean score was 5.80 and Generalized Linear Models revealed significant effects of sex and field of study (women and people with no biology education scored higher than men and biologists). A cut-off point for snake phobia as derived from a previous study identified 2.6% of the subjects as phobic. Finally, the score distribution was similar to other countries supporting the view that fear of snakes is universal. PMID:27280527

  8. A new species of Letheobia (Serpentes: Typhlopidae) from central Kenya.

    PubMed

    Malonza, Patrick K; Bauer, Aaron M; Ngwava, Jacob M

    2016-01-01

    A new species of blind snake in the genus Letheobia (L. mbeerensis sp. nov.) is described from the Mbeere area on the extreme lower slopes of southeastern Mt. Kenya. It is an attenuate blind snake, superficially similar to Letheobia lumbriciformis but with 20 midbody scale rows and 670 middorsal scales. It has a total length of 280 mm with the proportionally longest tail in the genus (2.9% of total length), a broad rostral, eyes barely visible and in life it is pink in color. The new species is known from only a single specimen collected at Siakago, in Mbeere-Embu, which lies at an elevation of about 1200m. It is a burrowing species and like many other blind snakes it is likely to be nocturnal and rarely encountered on the soil surface. The new species is incorporated into a key to the scolecophidian snakes of Kenya.

  9. The complete mitochondrial genome of Elaphe bimaculata (Reptilia, Serpentes, Colubridae).

    PubMed

    Yan, Long; Geng, Zhang-Zhen; Yan, Peng; Wu, Xiao-Bing

    2016-01-01

    The Chinese leopard snake (Elaphe bimaculata) is an endemic species to China. The complete nucleotide sequence of the mitochondrial (mt) genome of E. bimaculata is determined in this study. The circle genome was 17,183 bp in length and consisted of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes and 2 duplicate control regions. Several peculiar features were observed in mitogenome of E. bimaculata, such as the translocation of tRNA(Leu(UUR)) gene and an incomplete copy for tRNA(Pro).

  10. A new species of Letheobia (Serpentes: Typhlopidae) from central Kenya.

    PubMed

    Malonza, Patrick K; Bauer, Aaron M; Ngwava, Jacob M

    2016-01-01

    A new species of blind snake in the genus Letheobia (L. mbeerensis sp. nov.) is described from the Mbeere area on the extreme lower slopes of southeastern Mt. Kenya. It is an attenuate blind snake, superficially similar to Letheobia lumbriciformis but with 20 midbody scale rows and 670 middorsal scales. It has a total length of 280 mm with the proportionally longest tail in the genus (2.9% of total length), a broad rostral, eyes barely visible and in life it is pink in color. The new species is known from only a single specimen collected at Siakago, in Mbeere-Embu, which lies at an elevation of about 1200m. It is a burrowing species and like many other blind snakes it is likely to be nocturnal and rarely encountered on the soil surface. The new species is incorporated into a key to the scolecophidian snakes of Kenya. PMID:27394487

  11. Serpentized mantle at rifted margins: The Goban Spur example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bullock, A. D.; Minshull, T. A.

    2002-12-01

    The crustal structure of rifted continental margins can tell us about the processes that operated from continental extension to eventual break-up and sea floor spreading. Variations between margins may record different processes operating during extension or indicate changes in the external geological controls such as mantle plume influence. Extension between Europe and North America began in the mid Cretaceous, dated at the Goban Spur-Flemish Cap rift as late Hauterivian-early Barremian (126-128 Ma) from deep sea drilling (DSDP leg 80) results on the Goban Spur margin. Marine magnetic anomaly 34 can be identified clearly on both margins and indicates that sea floor spreading began no later than 83 Ma. Syn-rift volcanism is limited to a 20 km basaltic body, with considerable lateral extent, at the foot of the continental slope, emplaced at the end of continental rifting. \

  12. Seasonal variation of Hepatozoon spp. (Apicomplexa, Hepatozoidae) parasitemia from Boa constrictor amarali (Serpentes, Boidae) and Hydrodynastes gigas (Serpentes, Colubridae).

    PubMed

    de Vieira Santos, Mariana Morena; O'Dwyer, Lucia Helena; da Silva, Reinaldo José

    2005-09-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the parasitemia variation of three Hepatozoon species in Brazilian snakes. This study was conducted between 2001 and 2003 and included Hepatozoon terzii from Boa constrictor amarali, and Hepatozoon migonei and Hepatozoon cyclagrasi from Hydrodynastes gigas. It was observed that the parasitemia tended to decrease in all three Hepatozoon species but the parasites were not eliminated. This data suggest that Hepatozoon infection may be similar to Toxoplasma gondii infection, in that it persists throughout host life.

  13. Edema induced by Bothrops asper (Squamata: Viperidae) snake venom and its inhibition by Costa Rican plant extracts.

    PubMed

    Badilla, Beatriz; Chaves, Fernando; Mora, Gerardo; Poveda, Luis J

    2006-06-01

    We tested the capacity of leaf (Urera baccifera, Loasa speciosa, Urtica leptuphylla, Chaptalia nutans, and Satureja viminea) and root (Uncaria tomentosa) extracts to inhibit edema induced by Bothrops asper snake venom. Edema-forming activity was studied plethysmographically in the rat hind paw model. Groups of rats were injected intraperitoneally with various doses of each extract and, one hour later, venom was injected subcutaneously in the right hind paw. Edema was assessed at various time intervals. The edematogenic activity was inhibited in those animals that received an injection U. tomentosa, C. nutans or L. speciosa extract. The extract of U. baccifera showed a slight inhibition of the venom effect. Extract from S. viminea and, to a lesser extent that of U. leptuphylla, induced a pro-inflammatory effect, increasing the edema at doses of 250 mg/kg at one and two hours.

  14. Live-birth in vipers (Viperidae) is a key innovation and adaptation to global cooling during the Cenozoic.

    PubMed

    Lynch, Vincent J

    2009-09-01

    The identification of adaptations and key innovations has long interested biologists because they confer on organisms the ability to exploit previously unavailable ecological resources and respond to novel selective pressures. Although it can be extremely difficult to test for the effects of a character on the rate of lineage diversification, the convergent evolution of a character in multiple lineages provides an excellent opportunity to test for the effect of that character on lineage diversification. Here, I examine the effect of parity mode on the diversification of vipers, which have independently evolved viviparity in at least 13 lineages. I find strong statistical evidence that viviparous species diversify at a greater rate than oviparous species and correlate major decreases in the diversification rate of oviparous species with periods of global cooling, such as the Oligocene. These results suggest that the evolution of viviparity buffered live-bearing species against the negative effects of global climate change during the Cenozoic, and was a key innovation in the evolution and diversification of live-bearing vipers.

  15. First record of Porocephalus cf. clavatus (Pentastomida: Porocephalida) as a parasite on Bothrops asper (Squamata: Viperidae) in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Alvarado, G; Sánchez-Monge, A

    2015-11-01

    Pentastomids are parasites that infect respiratory cavities of vertebrates, they are pretty common but poorly known in wildlife veterinary. A Bothrops asper snake (Garman, 1884) was captured in the Caribbean region of Costa Rica and had its lung infested with pentastomids, identified as ca Porocephalus clavatus (Wyman, 1845). This represents the first record of Porocephalus (Humboldt, 1812) on B. asper as well as P. cf. clavatus in Costa Rica. Further studies are needed to clarify their taxonomic position, images and scanning electron microscopy photographs (SEM) of the specimens are given.

  16. First record of Porocephalus cf. clavatus (Pentastomida: Porocephalida) as a parasite on Bothrops asper (Squamata: Viperidae) in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Alvarado, G; Sánchez-Monge, A

    2015-11-01

    Pentastomids are parasites that infect respiratory cavities of vertebrates, they are pretty common but poorly known in wildlife veterinary. A Bothrops asper snake (Garman, 1884) was captured in the Caribbean region of Costa Rica and had its lung infested with pentastomids, identified as ca Porocephalus clavatus (Wyman, 1845). This represents the first record of Porocephalus (Humboldt, 1812) on B. asper as well as P. cf. clavatus in Costa Rica. Further studies are needed to clarify their taxonomic position, images and scanning electron microscopy photographs (SEM) of the specimens are given. PMID:26628232

  17. Horizontal transfer of non-LTR retrotransposons in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kordis, D; Gubensek, F

    1999-01-01

    Since their discovery in family Bovidae (bovids), Bov-B LINEs, believed to be order-specific SINEs, have been found in all ruminants and recently also in Viperidae snakes. The distribution and the evolutionary relationships of Bov-B LINEs provide an indication of their origin and evolutionary dynamics in different species. The evolutionary origin of Bov-B LINE elements has been shown unequivocally to be in Squamata (squamates). The horizontal transfer of Bov-B LINE elements in vertebrates has been confirmed by their discontinuous phylogenetic distribution in Squamata (Serpentes and two lizard infra-orders) as well as in Ruminantia, by the high level of nucleotide identity, and by their phylogenetic relationships. The direction of horizontal transfer from Squamata to the ancestor of Ruminantia is evident from the genetic distances and discontinuous phylogenetic distribution of Bov-B LINE elements. The ancestral snake lineage (Boidae) has been recognized as a possible donor of Bov-B LINE elements to Ruminantia. The timing of horizontal transfer has been estimated from the distribution of Bov-B LINE elements in Ruminantia and the fossil data of Ruminantia to be 40-50 mya. The phylogenetic relationships of Bov-B LINE elements from the various Squamata species agrees with that of the species phylogeny, suggesting that Bov-B LINE elements have been stably maintained by vertical transmission since the origin of Squamata in the Mesozoic era.

  18. Molecular evolution of Bov-B LINEs in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Kordis, D; Gubensek, F

    1999-09-30

    Since their discovery in family Bovidae (bovids), Bov-B LINEs, believed to be order-specific SINEs, have been found in all ruminants and recently also in Viperidae snakes. The distribution and the evolutionary relationships of Bov-B LINEs provide an indication of their origin and evolutionary dynamics in different species. The evolutionary origin of Bov-B LINE elements has been shown unequivocally to be in Squamata (squamates). The horizontal transfer of Bov-B LINE elements in vertebrates has been confirmed by their discontinuous phylogenetic distribution in Squamata (Serpentes and two lizard infra-orders) as well as in Ruminantia, by the high level of nucleotide identity, and by their phylogenetic relationships. The direction of horizontal transfer from Squamata to the ancestor of Ruminantia is evident from the genetic distances and discontinuous phylogenetic distribution of Bov-B LINE elements. The ancestor of Colubroidea snakes has been recognized as a possible donor of Bov-B LINE elements to Ruminantia. The timing of horizontal transfer has been estimated from the distribution of Bov-B LINE elements in Ruminantia and the fossil data of Ruminantia to be 40-50 My ago. The phylogenetic relationships of Bov-B LINE elements from the various Squamata species agrees with that of the species phylogeny, suggesting that Bov-B LINE elements have been stably maintained by vertical transmission since the origin of Squamata in the Mesozoic era.

  19. Unusual horizontal transfer of a long interspersed nuclear element between distant vertebrate classes.

    PubMed

    Kordis, D; Gubensek, F

    1998-09-01

    We have shown previously by Southern blot analysis that Bov-B long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs) are present in different Viperidae snake species. To address the question as to whether Bov-B LINEs really have been transmitted horizontally between vertebrate classes, the analysis has been extended to a larger number of vertebrate, invertebrate, and plant species. In this paper, the evolutionary origin of Bov-B LINEs is shown unequivocally to be in Squamata. The previously proposed horizontal transfer of Bov-B LINEs in vertebrates has been confirmed by their discontinuous phylogenetic distribution in Squamata (Serpentes and two lizard infra-orders) as well as in Ruminantia, by the high level of nucleotide identity, and by their phylogenetic relationships. The horizontal transfer of Bov-B LINEs from Squamata to the ancestor of Ruminantia is evident from the genetic distances and discontinuous phylogenetic distribution. The ancestor of Colubroidea snakes is a possible donor of Bov-B LINEs to Ruminantia. The timing of horizontal transfer has been estimated from the distribution of Bov-B LINEs in Ruminantia and the fossil data of Ruminantia to be 40-50 My ago. The phylogenetic relationships of Bov-B LINEs from the various Squamata species agrees with that of the species phylogeny, suggesting that Bov-B LINEs have been maintained stably by vertical transmission since the origin of Squamata in the Mesozoic era.

  20. Delivery of Duvernoy's secretion into prey by the brown tree snake, Boiga irregularis (Serpentes:Colubridae).

    PubMed

    Hayes, W K; Lavín-Murcio, P; Kardong, K V

    1993-07-01

    Many colubrid snakes, like the more venomous elapid and viperid snakes, can produce and inject an oral secretion that is toxic and may present a human health risk. However, colubrid oral toxins are produced in a Duvernoy's gland and delivered not through a hollow fang, but instead by long, often grooved teeth under low pressure. The possible role of Duvernoy's secretion in functions other than rapid killing of prey make it important to know how and where this secretion is delivered during a feeding strike. We used ELISA analysis to determine the quantity and proportional distribution of Duvernoy's secretion delivered into the integument compared to the viscera during a feeding strike by the colubrid snake Boiga irregularis. We determined that only about 54% (1-5 mg) of the secretion actually reached the viscera and that the rest remained in the integument. The amount reaching the viscera is about three to eight times the i.p. LD50 for mice, but these snakes depend more on constriction than toxins to kill their prey. Consequently, delivery of Duvernoy's secretion by B. irregularis is hypothesized to be part of a digestive function and its toxic properties a byproduct of this role.

  1. The proper name of the neotropical tree boa often referred to as Corallus enhydris (Serpentes: Boidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McDiarmid, Roy W.; Toure, T'Shaka; Savage, Jay M.

    1996-01-01

    Confusion regarding the application of the proper scientific name for the common Neotropical tree boa has existed since Linnaeus described Boa enydris and Boa hortulana in 1758. We review the nomenclatural history of the species and point out the misapplication of scientific names that have characterized this form. Our review indicates that the proper scientific name for this highly variable, wide-ranging arboreal boid is Corallus hortulanus, not Corallus enydris, as has been used so frequently in recent years.

  2. Postnatal development of the skull of Dinilysia patagonica (Squamata-stem Serpentes).

    PubMed

    Scanferla, Agustín; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S

    2014-03-01

    The snake skull represents a profound transformation of the ancestral squamate cranium in which dermal skull roof bones were integrated with the braincase, in a manner convergent with that which occurred during the origin of mammals. However, the ontogeny of snake characters at the origin of the clade has until now been inaccessible. Here we describe a postnatal ontogenetic series of the Late Cretaceous stem snake Dinilysia patagonica and compare it to that of extant lizards and snakes. Comparative analysis indicates notable ontogenetic changes, including advanced state of ossification, isometric growth of the otic capsule, fusion of the stylohyal to the quadrate, and great posterior elongation of the supratemporal. Of these transformations, the unfused condition of braincase bones and the retention of a large otic capsule in adults are examples of paedomorphic and peramorphic processes, respectively. Some ontogenetic transformations detected, in particular those present in middle ear, skull roof and suspensorium, are strikingly similar to those present in extant snakes. Nevertheless, Dinilysia retains a lizard-like paroccipital process without an epiphyseal extremity, and a calcified epiphysis that caps the sphenoccipital tubercle. Finally, the integration of the dermal skull roof with the braincase is similar to that seen in mammals with regard to the overall closure of the braincase, but the two evolutionary and developmental modules appear less integrated in snakes in that the parietal bone of the dermal skull roof progressively overlaps the supraoccipital of the chondrocranial braincase.

  3. Scratch resistance of the ventral skin surface in four snake species (Squamata, Serpentes).

    PubMed

    Klein, Marie-Christin G; Gorb, Stanislav N

    2016-04-01

    Snakes are limbless tetrapods highly specialized for sliding locomotion on various substrates. Their skin is constantly exposed to high friction forces, which promotes abrasion. Snake skin has material and surface specializations, presumably optimized for friction and abrasion resistance. We found that different snake species living in different habitats have different abrasion patterns and hypothesized that this correlates with specific epidermal architecture and surface topography. To test this hypothesis artificial scratches, under controlled load conditions, were created on the ventral skin material (epidermis) of four snake species adapted to different habitats: Lampropeltis getula californiae (stony and sandy soil substrates), Epicrates cenchria cenchria (trees, soil and water), Morelia viridis (trees), and Gongylophis colubrinus (burrowing in sand). Abrasion appearance on the skin surface was examined using scanning electron microscopy and white light interferometry. The material failure was different between the species, which we attribute to differences in the epidermis' response to the same abrasive challenge. We also discuss abrasion resistance mechanisms and the correlation with the different ultrastructure and surface microstructure.

  4. Phylogenetic position, origin and biogeography of Palearctic and Socotran blind-snakes (Serpentes: Typhlopidae).

    PubMed

    Kornilios, P; Giokas, S; Lymberakis, P; Sindaco, R

    2013-07-01

    The majority of the family Typhlopidae occurs in the Neotropic, Australasian, Indo-Malayan and Afrotropic ecoregions. They show a restricted distribution in the western Palearctic, where they include few native species, i.e. Rhinotyphlops simoni, R. episcopus and Typhlops vermicularis. A unique species among typhlopids is T. socotranus, found in Socotra, one of the most endemic-rich archipelagoes. In this study we determine the phylogenetic position of the above mentioned species and discuss their systematics, origin and biogeography. For this purpose we use three protein-coding nuclear markers (AMEL-amelogenin, BDNF-brain-derived neurotrophic factor and NT3-neurotrophin 3) to construct a time-calibrated phylogeny of the family Typhlopidae. Our results show that T. socotranus is a sister-species to T. vermicularis, while R. simoni and R. episcopus are sister-species to each other and are found within the African clade of the family, although they are geographically distributed in west Asia. Additionally we discuss several hypotheses on their origin, as well as the occurence of typhlopids in Eurasia. PMID:23523862

  5. A new species of Chironius Fitzinger, 1826 from the state of Bahia, Northeastern Brazil (Serpentes: Colubridae).

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Daniel Silva; Hamdan, Breno

    2014-01-01

    We describe a new species of Chironius Fitzinger, 1826 from the highlands of Chapada Diamantina, state of Bahia, Brazil. The new species is distinguished from all currently recognized congeners by a unique combination of states of characters on coloration, scale counts, scale ornamentation, and hemipenis. The new species closely resembles Chironius flavolineatus (Jan, 1863) in color pattern, but differs from the later taxon by the presence of two to four posterior temporal scales; cloacal shield entire; six to ten rows of keeled dorsal scales at midbody; ventral scales with posterior dark edges forming conspicuous transverse bars along almost the entire venter; conspicuous dark longitudinal stripes (in "zigzag") in the midventral portion of subcaudals; region of medial constriction of hemipenis slightly covered with spinules separating calyces of apex from spines below region of constriction; and sulcus spermaticus situated on convex face of hemipenis in lateral view. The new species is apparently restricted to Chapada Diamantina, corroborating the biological importance of this region from a conservational perspective.

  6. Mitochondrial DNA-Based phylogeography of North American rubber boas, Charina bottae (Serpentes: Boidae).

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Robles, J A; Stewart, G R; Papenfuss, T J

    2001-02-01

    We used 783 bp of mitochondrial DNA sequences to study the phylogeography of Charina bottae (rubber boa) in western North America, with an emphasis on populations from California (U.S.A.). Maximum-parsimony and maximum-likelihood methods identified a basal divergence within C. bottae that corresponds to southern and northern segments of its current distribution. These clades coincide with the ranges of the two recognized subspecies, C. b. umbratica in the south and C. b. bottae to the north. A subsequent cladogenetic event in the C. b. bottae clade resulted in two groupings, which we refer to as the Sierra Nevada and the Northwestern subclades, based on the geographic distribution of their constituent populations. The two subclades have completely allopatric distributions, with a genetic break in the vicinity of Lassen Volcanic National Park in northeastern California, an area that was subjected to glaciation during the Pleistocene and that has been volcanically active in the past 100 years. An earlier genetic study documented fixed differences between populations of bottae and umbratica in four of seven allozymes surveyed, and despite noticeable variation and overlap in the characters that define C. b. bottae and C. b. umbratica, the two forms still can be separated in most cases using a suite of morphological traits. All available evidence thus indicates that C. b. umbratica is a genetically cohesive, allopatric taxon that is morphologically diagnosable, and we conclude that it is an independent evolutionary unit that should be recognized as a distinct species, Charina umbratica.

  7. Morphological variation and taxonomy of Atractus latifrons (Günther, 1868) (Serpentes: Dipsadidae).

    PubMed

    Almeida, Paula C; Feitosa, Darlan T; Passos, Paulo; Prudente, Ana L C

    2014-01-01

    As currently understood Atractus latifrons is widely distributed in South America, occurring from Suriname to the east of the Andes in Bolivia. Throughout this widespread distribution, at least three distinct color patterns were previously reported in the literature. Here, we test whether quantitative variation and qualitative distribution of morphological characters are correlated with any color pattern displayed by the species along its range. We recognize three aposematic color patterns (bicolor in monads, tricolor in dyads, and tricolor in tetrads) for A. latifrons. We found no obvious correspondence between these patterns and any character systems analyzed herein. Additionally, we redescribe the holotype of A. latifrons and report on morphological variability (meristics, morphometrics, color patterns, and hemipenis) and geographical distribution (extending its distribution to the state Roraima, Brazil) of the species. 

  8. A new species of Rhadinella (Serpentes: Colubridae) from the Pacific versant of Oaxaca, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Jonathan A

    2015-02-12

    I describe a new species of Rhadinella from the Pacific versant of Oaxaca, Mexico, a region where the genus was previously unknown. This diminutive snake is a member of a group of snakes that have dark dorsal coloration, which mostly or completely obfuscates a pattern of longitudinal striping characteristic of most species of Rhadinella. The closest relative of the new species, on the basis of morphological similarities, appears to be Rhadinella pilonaorum which occurs to the east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec about 800 km from the type-locality of the new species.

  9. Serpent in the spine’: a case of giant spinal ependymoma of cervicothoracic spine

    PubMed Central

    Arrifin, Arlizan; Kaliaperumal, Chandrasekaran; Keohane, Catherine; O'Sullivan, Michael

    2012-01-01

    We describe a case of giant spinal ependymoma of cervicothoracic spine in a 30-year-old lady who presented with progressive spastic paraparesis and significant combined upper and lower motor neuron signs in her lower limbs over a 1-year period. She also had upper limb small muscle wasting with absent reflexes and diminished sensation. She was wheel chair bound with involvement of sphincters. Neuroimaging revealed a uniformly enhancing intramedullary lesion from C2–T3 level with associated syringomyelia. She underwent a complete excision of this World Health Organisation (WHO) II cellular ependymoma, resulting in significant clinical outcome and improvement in bladder and bowel function. PMID:22739334

  10. 'Serpent in the spine': a case of giant spinal ependymoma of cervicothoracic spine.

    PubMed

    Arrifin, Arlizan; Kaliaperumal, Chandrasekaran; Keohane, Catherine; O'Sullivan, Michael

    2012-06-27

    We describe a case of giant spinal ependymoma of cervicothoracic spine in a 30-year-old lady who presented with progressive spastic paraparesis and significant combined upper and lower motor neuron signs in her lower limbs over a 1-year period. She also had upper limb small muscle wasting with absent reflexes and diminished sensation. She was wheel chair bound with involvement of sphincters. Neuroimaging revealed a uniformly enhancing intramedullary lesion from C2-T3 level with associated syringomyelia. She underwent a complete excision of this World Health Organisation (WHO) II cellular ependymoma, resulting in significant clinical outcome and improvement in bladder and bowel function.

  11. Serpents in the Garden: English Professors in Contemporary Film and Television

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carens, Timothy L.

    2010-01-01

    In an article on "Smart People" (2008), a film in which Dennis Quaid plays an English professor who becomes romantically involved with a former student, Jeffery J. Williams notes that a "common complaint among academics is that films don't depict them correctly, and in some ways Quaid was accoutered by central casting, beginning the movie in a…

  12. Ultrastructure and wear patterns of the ventral epidermis of four snake species (Squamata, Serpentes).

    PubMed

    Klein, Marie-Christin G; Gorb, Stanislav N

    2014-10-01

    Snakes are limbless tetrapods highly specialized for sliding locomotion. This locomotion leads to the skin being exposed to friction loads, especially on the ventral body side, which leads to wear. It is presumed that snakes therefore have specific optimizations for minimizing abrasion. Scales from snakes with habitat, locomotor and/or behavior specializations have specific gradients in material properties that may be due to different epidermal architecture. To approach this issue we examined the skin of Lampropeltis getula californiae (terrestrial), Epicrates cenchria cenchria (generalist), Morelia viridis (arboreal), and Gongylophis colubrinus (burrowing) with a focus on (i) the ultrastructure of the ventral epidermis and (ii) the qualitative abrasion pattern of the ventral scales. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy revealed variations in the structure, thickness, layering, and material composition of the epidermis between the species. Furthermore, SEM and white light interferometer images of the scale surface showed that the abrasion patterns differed, even when the snakes were reared on the same substrate. These data support the idea that (i) a specific gradient in material properties may be due to a variation in epidermis architecture (thickness/ultrastructure) and (ii) this variation may be an optimization of material properties for specific ways of life.

  13. Opossums (Mammalia: Didelphidae) in the diets of Neotropical pitvipers (Serpentes: Crotalinae): evidence for alternative coevolutionary outcomes?

    PubMed

    Voss, Robert S

    2013-05-01

    Opossums and pitvipers are sympatric throughout most of the New World, but trophic relationships between these speciose clades have only recently attracted the attention of researchers. Although it is now known that some venom-resistant opossums prey on pitvipers, a review of the literature on diets shows that some Neotropical pitvipers prey on opossums. Interestingly, some pitviper species prey on opossums known or suspected to be venom resistant. If venom resistance and venom potency are coevolved traits, then these observations suggest that alternative outcomes may result in role-switching between victims and exploiters. Because molecular antagonists (e.g., venom toxins and toxin-neutralizing serum proteins) that could mediate such outcomes have been plausibly identified, this system is a potentially fruitful field for evolutionary research.

  14. Molecular systematics and undescribed diversity of Madagascan scolecophidian snakes (Squamata: Serpentes).

    PubMed

    Nagy, Zoltán T; Marion, Angela B; Glaw, Frank; Miralles, Aurélien; Nopper, Joachim; Vences, Miguel; Hedges, S Blair

    2015-11-10

    We provide an updated molecular phylogenetic analysis of global diversity of typhlopid and xenotyphlopid blindsnakes, adding a set of Madagascan samples and sequences of an additional mitochondrial gene to an existing supermatrix of nuclear and mitochondrial gene segments. Our data suggest monophyly of Madagascan typhlopids, exclusive of introduced Indotyphlops braminus. The Madagascar-endemic typhlopid clade includes two species previously assigned to the genus Lemuriatyphlops (in the subfamily Asiatyphlopinae), which were not each others closest relatives. This contradicts a previous study that described Lemuriatyphlops based on a sequence of the cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 gene from a single species and found this species not forming a clade with the other Malagasy species included. Based on our novel phylogenetic assessment we include all species in this endemic typhlopid clade in the genus Madatyphlops and in the subfamily Madatyphlopinae and consider Lemuriatyphlops as junior synonym. Within Madatyphlops, we identify several candidate species. For some of these (those in the M. arenarius complex), our preliminary data suggest sympatric occurrence and morphological differentiation, thus the existence of undescribed species. We also comment on the genus-level classification of several non-Madagascan typhlopids. We suggest that African species included in Madatyphlops (Afrotyphlops calabresii, A. cuneirostris, A. platyrhynchus, and Rhinotyphlops leucocephalus) should not be included in this genus. We furthermore argue that recent claims of Sundatyphlops, Antillotyphlops, and Cubatyphlops being "undiagnosable" or "not monophyletic" were based on errors in tree reconstruction and failure to notice diagnostic characters, and thus regard these three genera as valid.

  15. The Serpent in the Garden State: Juvenile Delinquency in 1920s New Jersey

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ferry, Thomas M.

    2010-01-01

    School administrators, educators, psychologists, social workers, the juvenile courts, institutional reformers, and others shape the manner in which children are labeled, portrayed, and treated. However, the agendas, motivations, political language, and influence of these "helping professionals" in "treating" and "reforming" juvenile delinquents…

  16. Reproductive biology of Thamnodynastes hypoconia (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) in Brazilian subtemperate wetlands.

    PubMed

    Rebelato, Marluci M; Pontes, Gláucia M F; Tozetti, Alexandro M

    2016-07-11

    This study aimed to describe the reproductive biology of populations of Thamnodynastes hypoconia in subtemperate wetlands based on macroscopic analyses of their gonads. We analyzed 101 specimens from the southernmost regions of Brazil. The males had a greater snout-vent length, but the females reached sexual maturity with a greater body size. The reproductive cycle of the females was seasonal, with secondary vitellogenesis occurring between the winter and spring (May-October). Based on macroscopic analysis of gonads, data suggests that males have a continuous reproductive cycle. Parturition occurs between the late summer and early fall (January-April). The clutch size ranged between 4 and 16 embryos and showed no relationship with the female's body size. The recorded reproductive frequency of T. hypoconia is low (38 %) compared to other phylogenetically related species. Conversely, the studied populations appear to have a high reproductive success because it is an abundant species in the study site.

  17. A new genus and species of opisthogonimid (Digenea) of Liophis anomalus (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Uruguay.

    PubMed

    Volonterio, Odile; Baletta, Silvana; Meneghel, Melitta

    2006-10-01

    During a study on the helminth fauna of Liophis anomalus specimens deposited in the Reptile Collection of the Secci6n Zoología Vertebrados, Facultad de Ciencias, Uruguay, a new genus of Opisthogoniminae was found. Paracotyletrema n. gen. is described from the buccal cavity and esophagus of specimens from Departamento de Flores, Uruguay. This new genus differs from the other 2 Opisthogoniminae, Opisthogonimus and Westella, by having much smaller body size; maximum width at level of posterior end of oral sucker; oral sucker length more than one-fourth of body length; oral sucker and acetabulum separated by a distance of about the diameter of pharynx; cirrus pouch length more than half of body length; and testes in completely coincident zones. The type and only species, Paracotyletrema poncedeleoni n. gen., n. sp., is defined by the following diagnostic characters: mean oral sucker length one-third to one-half of body length; cirrus pouch of about body length, contorted, mainly acetabular; large, round testes in nearly adjacent fields, and an ovary nearly adjacent to right testis. Besides the type locality, Paracotyletrema poncedeleoni has been found in L. anomalus specimens from the Departamentos of Artigas and Treinta y Tres; therefore, it has a widespread distribution in Uruguay.

  18. Taxonomic status and morphological variation of Hydrodynastes bicinctus (Hermann, 1804) (Serpentes: Dipsadidae).

    PubMed

    Murta-Fonseca, Roberta A; Franco, Francisco L; Fernandes, Daniel Silva

    2016-08-26

    Hydrodynastes bicinctus was described with no type material or locality and it has two subspecies currently recognized that are not taxonomically well defined. We tested the validity of the two subspecies through meristic, morphometric, and color pattern characters. Two apparently distinct color patterns of H. bicinctus were noticed, one from the Cerrado open formations and the other from the Amazon rainforest. These aforementioned patterns, however, exhibited a high degree of geographic overlap and many specimens showed a blended pattern. Based on these results we propose synonymizing H. bicinctus schultzi with the nominal taxon. Furthermore, we designate a neotype for the species, present data on geographic distribution, and provide morphological descriptions of the hemipenis, cephalic glands, and skull.

  19. Complete mitochondrial genome sequence from an endangered Indian snake, Python molurus molurus (Serpentes, Pythonidae).

    PubMed

    Dubey, Bhawna; Meganathan, P R; Haque, Ikramul

    2012-07-01

    This paper reports the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of an endangered Indian snake, Python molurus molurus (Indian Rock Python). A typical snake mitochondrial (mt) genome of 17258 bp length comprising of 37 genes including the 13 protein coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, and 2 ribosomal RNA genes along with duplicate control regions is described herein. The P. molurus molurus mt. genome is relatively similar to other snake mt. genomes with respect to gene arrangement, composition, tRNA structures and skews of AT/GC bases. The nucleotide composition of the genome shows that there are more A-C % than T-G% on the positive strand as revealed by positive AT and CG skews. Comparison of individual protein coding genes, with other snake genomes suggests that ATP8 and NADH3 genes have high divergence rates. Codon usage analysis reveals a preference of NNC codons over NNG codons in the mt. genome of P. molurus. Also, the synonymous and non-synonymous substitution rates (ka/ks) suggest that most of the protein coding genes are under purifying selection pressure. The phylogenetic analyses involving the concatenated 13 protein coding genes of P. molurus molurus conformed to the previously established snake phylogeny.

  20. Gaps and Serpents; Windows, Borders, and Mirrors: Merging of Analytical Tools from Mass and Interpersonal Communication.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burke, Ken

    Despite the obvious intersections between the studies of interpersonal and mass communication, an unnecessary separation exists between those two closely related (sub)disciplines. Two avenues of connection between these areas of study are the concepts of gap bridging, and application of visual analysis to conversation analysis. James Guardino has…

  1. When colour patterns reflect phylogeography: new species of Dasypeltis (Serpentes: Colubridae: Boigini) from West Africa.

    PubMed

    Trape, Sébastien; Mediannikov, Oleg; Trape, Jean-François

    2012-07-01

    Six colour phases are currently known in the genus Dasypeltis in West Africa, three in the D. scabra complex and three in the D. fasciata complex. Molecular phylogenetic analysis reveals that all correspond to distinct species. D. parascabra sp. nov. is described from wet savannah areas of Guinea and Ivory Coast. D. latericia is given full specific rank. The validity of D. sahelensis, D. gansi and D. confusa - three species recently described on the basis of colour pattern and biogeography - is confirmed. D. fasciata is confined to rain forest areas of West and Central Africa. D. scabra is absent from West Africa.

  2. Leptophis santamartensis (Serpentes, Colubridae), a junior synonym of Leptophis ahaetulla occidentalis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Albuquerque, Nelson R.; de Passos, Paulo; Gotte, Steve W.

    2012-01-01

    Leptophis santamartensis, known only from Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, is one of the more poorly known species of the genus Leptophis. The characters used for its diagnosis largely overlap with those of other Leptophis, mainly with Leptophis ahaetulla occidentalis, the only other Leptophis known to occur in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. A detailed comparison of L. a. occidentalis with the two known specimens of L. santamartensis leads to the conclusion that the latter should be relegated to the synonymy of the former.

  3. Phylogenetic position, origin and biogeography of Palearctic and Socotran blind-snakes (Serpentes: Typhlopidae).

    PubMed

    Kornilios, P; Giokas, S; Lymberakis, P; Sindaco, R

    2013-07-01

    The majority of the family Typhlopidae occurs in the Neotropic, Australasian, Indo-Malayan and Afrotropic ecoregions. They show a restricted distribution in the western Palearctic, where they include few native species, i.e. Rhinotyphlops simoni, R. episcopus and Typhlops vermicularis. A unique species among typhlopids is T. socotranus, found in Socotra, one of the most endemic-rich archipelagoes. In this study we determine the phylogenetic position of the above mentioned species and discuss their systematics, origin and biogeography. For this purpose we use three protein-coding nuclear markers (AMEL-amelogenin, BDNF-brain-derived neurotrophic factor and NT3-neurotrophin 3) to construct a time-calibrated phylogeny of the family Typhlopidae. Our results show that T. socotranus is a sister-species to T. vermicularis, while R. simoni and R. episcopus are sister-species to each other and are found within the African clade of the family, although they are geographically distributed in west Asia. Additionally we discuss several hypotheses on their origin, as well as the occurence of typhlopids in Eurasia.

  4. [Early Stages of Skull Embryogenesis in the Grass Snake, Natrix natrix (Serpentes, Colubridae)].

    PubMed

    Kovtun, M F; Sheverdyukova, H V

    2015-01-01

    Studies of previous authors on snake skull embryogenesis have been performed on embryos obtained from eggs after oviposition. The aim of this study was to investigate the initial stages of chondrocranium development in Grass-snake Natrixnatrix Linnaeus, 1758, embryos before oviposition. Natrix natrix embryos at early developmental stages (24-27 according to the table of normal development by D. Zehr (1962)) were obtained by means of caesarean section. At developmental stages 25-27, previously undescribed structures were found in the region of future skull formation. These structures exist during one or two stages and then disappear. Therefore, we call them "temporary structures." The assumption about the nature of these structures is based on their topography and comparison with the structures of developing or fully formed chondrocranium in other vertebrates. It is hypothesized that the temporary structures in Natrix natrix chondrocranium are vestiges ofprimary chondrocranium of ancestral vertebrate forms, and they indicate the existence of several variants in the formation of chondrocranium in the historical vertebrates.' development.

  5. Monsters of the sea serpent: parasites of an oarfish, Regalecus russellii.

    PubMed

    Kuris, Armand M; Jaramillo, Alejandra G; McLaughlin, John P; Weinstein, Sara B; Garcia-Vedrenne, Ana E; Poinar, George O; Pickering, Maria; Steinauer, Michelle L; Espinoza, Magaly; Ashford, Jacob E; Dunn, Gabriela L P

    2015-02-01

    Examination of a small portion of the viscera of an oarfish ( Regalecus russellii ) recovered from Santa Catalina Island, southern California, revealed numerous tetraphyllidean tapeworm plerocercoids, Clistobothrium cf. montaukensis; 2 juvenile nematodes, Contracaecum sp.; and a fragment of an adult acanthocephalan, family Arhythmacanthidae. This suggests that the fish was relatively heavily parasitized. The presence of larval and juvenile worms suggests that oarfish are preyed upon by deep-swimming predators such as the shortfin mako shark, Isurus oxyrinchus , known to be a definitive host for the adult tapeworm, and also by diving mammals such as sperm whales, Physeter catodon L., hosts of Contracaecum spp. nematodes. PMID:25220829

  6. Valid or not? Yunnan mountain snake Plagiopholis unipostocularis (Serpentes: Colubridae: Pseudoxenodontinae).

    PubMed

    Zhong, Guang Hui; Chen, Wen De; Liu, Qin; Zhu, Fei; Peng, Pei Hao; Guo, Peng

    2015-01-01

    Plagiopholis unipostocularis Zhao, Jiang & Huang, 1978 is a small snake endemic to Yunnan, southern China. Its validity is still controversial and unresolved. Based on extensive sampling in Yunnan, we conducted morphological comparison and molecular phylogenetics on the unidentified specimens of Plagiopholis from Yunnan. Based on a combination of morphological comparison and molecular phylogeny, the newly collected specimens could be identified as P. blakewayi. While some specimens exhibit one or more diagnostics of P. unipostocularis, and some characteristics are intermediate between that of Plagiopholis unipostocularis and P. blakewayi. Thus morphological continuities between two species uncovered P. unipostocularis is a synonymy of P. blakewayi, and the diagnostics of this species was revised accordingly. PMID:26624106

  7. [Reproductive cycles of the coral snake Micrurus nigrocinctus (Serpentes: Elapidae) in Costa Rica].

    PubMed

    Solórzano, A; Cerdas, L

    1988-11-01

    The coral snake Micrurus nigrocinctus has two reproductive patterns in Costa Rica. Specimens of the Pacific population (M. n. nigrocinctus) mate during the early dry season (November, January). Oviposition takes place in February and March; the mean number of eggs was 7.9 (5-14) in this population. Births occur between April and June after 47-81 days of incubation. The total length of neonates is 168-212 mm, and the weight is 1.2-2.0 g. Specimens of the Atlantic population (M. n. mosquitensis) seem to have an extended breeding season. Oviposition in this subspecies was observed in March and June; the mean number of eggs was 6.7 (5-8). Births take place in May and August, after two months of incubation. Neonates have 173-189 mm in total length and 1.9-2.4 g in mass. Adult females are longer than males, especially in M. n. mosquitensis.

  8. The Development of the Skull of the Egyptian Cobra Naja h. haje (Squamata: Serpentes: Elapidae)

    PubMed Central

    Khannoon, Eraqi R.; Evans, Susan E.

    2015-01-01

    Background The study of craniofacial development is important in understanding the ontogenetic processes behind morphological diversity. A complete morphological description of the embryonic skull development of the Egyptian cobra, Naja h. haje, is lacking and there has been little comparative discussion of skull development either among elapid snakes or between them and other snakes. Methodology/Principal Findings We present a description of skull development through a full sequence of developmental stages of the Egyptian cobra, and compare it to other snakes. Associated soft tissues of the head are noted where relevant. The first visible ossification centres are in the supratemporal, prearticular and surangular, with slight ossification visible in parts of the maxilla, prefrontal, and dentary. Epiotic centres of ossification are present in the supraoccipital, and the body of the supraoccipital forms from the tectum posterior not the tectum synoticum. The venom glands are visible as distinct bodies as early at stage 5 and enlarge later to extend from the otic capsule to the maxilla level with the anterior margin of the eye. The gland becomes more prominent shortly before hatching, concomitant with the development of the fangs. The tongue shows incipient forking at stage 5, and becomes fully bifid at stage 6. Conclusions/Significance We present the first detailed staging series of cranial development for the Egyptian cobra, Naja h. haje. This is one of the first studies since the classical works of G. de Beer and W. Parker that provides a detailed description of cranial development in an advanced snake species. It allows us to correct errors and misinterpretations in previous accounts which were based on a small sample of specimens of uncertain age. Our results highlight potentially significant variation in supraoccipital formation among squamates and the need for further research in this area. PMID:25860015

  9. A new species of monadal coral snake of the genus Micrurus (Serpentes, Elapidae) from western Amazon.

    PubMed

    Feitosa, Darlan Tavares; Da Silva, Nelson Jorge Jr; Pires, Matheus Godoy; Zaher, Hussam; Prudente, Ana Lúcia Da Costa

    2015-06-24

    We described a new species of monadal coral snake of the genus Micrurus from the region of Tabatinga and Leticia, along the boundaries of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. The new species can be distinguished from the other congeners by the combination of the following characters: absence of a pale nuchal collar; black cephalic-cap extending from rostral to firstdorsal scale and enclosing white tipped prefrontal scales; upper half of first to four supralabials and postoculars black; tricolor body coloration, with 27-31 black rings bordered by narrower white rings and 27-31 red rings; tail coloration similar to body, with alternating black rings bordered by irregular narrow white rings, red rings of the same width as the black rings; ventral scales 205-225; subcaudal scales 39-47.

  10. Recharacterization of Rhinophis dorsimaculatus Deraniyagala, 1941 (Serpentes: Uropeltidae), including description of new material.

    PubMed

    Gower, David J; Wickramasinghe, L J Mendis

    2016-01-01

    The Sri Lankan uropeltid (shieldtail) snake Rhinophis dorsimaculatus Deraniyagala, 1941 was described originally from two specimens that were subsequently lost. The small amount of previously published data and lack of published colour photographs made this one of South Asia's most poorly known snake species, and this resulted in at least one instance of taxonomic misidentification. An additional 10 specimens from a historical collection from the vicinity of the type locality recently came to light. This material is reviewed and documented and the species recharacterized. An additional locality for the species is reported. The newly reported material helps to corroborate the taxonomic validity and distinctiveness of Rhinophis dorsimaculatus. The species is readily distinguished from congeners by having 227 or more ventral scales; a large, dorsally carinate rostral shield; posterior margins of paired anals that are largely separated by the posteriormost ventral scale; and a distinctive colour pattern with bilaterally asymmetrical dark blotches within a broad, pale middorsal stripe and regularly punctate flanks. PMID:27615880

  11. Taxonomic revision of Chironius flavolineatus (Jan, 1863) with description of a new species (Serpentes: Colubridae).

    PubMed

    Hamdan, Breno; Fernandes, Daniel S

    2015-01-01

    We conducted a taxonomic review of Chironius flavolineatus on the basis of continuous and discrete morphological characters. We recognize a new species which is distinguished from all currently recognized congeners by the following unique combination of characters: first third of body black or dark gray; vertebral stripe yellowish or creamish white distinct from dorsals of nape and extending throughout almost whole body length; head dorsum tan to brown, distinct from background color of first third of body; posterior temporal scales ranging one to four; cloacal shield frequently divided; two to four rows of keeled dorsal scales at midbody; venter ground color gradually darkening towards cloaca; region of medial constriction of hemipenis slightly covered with spinules separating calyces of apex from spines below region of constriction; in lateral view, sulcus spermaticus positioned on convex face of hemipenis; ascending process of premaxilla oblique anteroposteriorly to longitudinal axis of skull; optic fenestrae not exceeding frontoparietal suture; posterior border of supratemporal exceeding braincase; dorsoventral axis of quadrate oblique mesolaterally, moving away from longitudinal axis of skull. Furthermore, we provide data on morphological variation, distribution, and an emended diagnosis for C. flavolineatus. PMID:26623847

  12. Reproductive biology of Thamnodynastes hypoconia (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) in Brazilian subtemperate wetlands.

    PubMed

    Rebelato, Marluci M; Pontes, Gláucia M F; Tozetti, Alexandro M

    2016-07-11

    This study aimed to describe the reproductive biology of populations of Thamnodynastes hypoconia in subtemperate wetlands based on macroscopic analyses of their gonads. We analyzed 101 specimens from the southernmost regions of Brazil. The males had a greater snout-vent length, but the females reached sexual maturity with a greater body size. The reproductive cycle of the females was seasonal, with secondary vitellogenesis occurring between the winter and spring (May-October). Based on macroscopic analysis of gonads, data suggests that males have a continuous reproductive cycle. Parturition occurs between the late summer and early fall (January-April). The clutch size ranged between 4 and 16 embryos and showed no relationship with the female's body size. The recorded reproductive frequency of T. hypoconia is low (38 %) compared to other phylogenetically related species. Conversely, the studied populations appear to have a high reproductive success because it is an abundant species in the study site. PMID:27411065

  13. Preliminary Results From the Serpentinite, Extension and Regional Porosity Experiment Across the Nicaraguan Trench (SERPENT)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Key, K. W.; Constable, S.; Evans, R. L.; Naif, S.; Matsuno, T.; Lizarralde, D.

    2010-12-01

    Water plays an important role in the volcanic processes occurring at convergent margins, as the release of water from the downgoing slab affects the rheology of the mantle, increases melting by lowering the solidus temperature, and alters the chemistry of arc-lavas. Yet, one of the major uncertainties in terms of fluid inputs into the subduction factory concerns the extent of serpentinization of the oceanic upper mantle and the volumes of water that are being carried into the subduction system through this route. In April 2010 we conducted a large-scale marine electromagnetic experiment along a 300 km profile offshore Nicaragua in a region that shows evidence for substantial fault related fluid circulation in the crust and possibly upper mantle, and high Ba/La ratios and water contents in adjacent onshore volcanics that suggest a strong slab fluid input into the arc-melting. Our project is the largest combined controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) and magnetotelluric (MT) data set ever collected on an active subduction zone. During the single 28 day research cruise aboard the R/V Melville we collected 54 stations of broadband marine magnetotelluric (MT) data and deep-towed nearly 800 km of controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) data. Robust multiple-station array processing of the MT data yields high quality MT responses from 10 to 20,000 s period. The MT responses are fairly 1D over the abyssal plain, showing the effects of a thin veneer of conductive sediments overlying a resistive lithosphere and a deeper conductive mantle. The responses become strongly 2D on the trench outer rise and exhibit large 3D distortions at the bottom of the trench, likely due to a combination of effects from severe topography and seafloor conductivity variations. Two circular CSEM tows of 30 km radius were measured by special long-wire EM (LEM) sensors on the abyssal plain and the outer rise. The LEM data reveals a distinct pattern of electromagnetic polarization that is characteristic of mantle transverse anisotropy. Since the conductive axis is aligned with the fossil ridge-parallel direction and reactivated normal faults in the trench, we interpret this to be caused by conductive serpentinized mantle penetrating faults. Conventional CSEM data recorded at a broad suite of transmission frequencies along the 300 km long profile and a 50 km along strike profile provide constraints on crustal conductivity variations. The analysis of these data is ongoing and will provide a comprehensive picture of the electrical conductivity structure from the seafloor to the upper mantle, representing the entire input into this part of the Central American subduction system. Since conductivity is highly dependent on thermal structure, crack porosity and the presence of serpentinite, our experiment will provide constraints on the depth of active fluid circulation within the oceanic crust and mantle, the variation of fluid circulation with distance from the trench and hence with the degree of plate bending, and the extent of dewatering of the subducting slab in the shallow portion of the mantle wedge.

  14. Valid or not? Yunnan mountain snake Plagiopholis unipostocularis (Serpentes: Colubridae: Pseudoxenodontinae).

    PubMed

    Zhong, Guang Hui; Chen, Wen De; Liu, Qin; Zhu, Fei; Peng, Pei Hao; Guo, Peng

    2015-01-01

    Plagiopholis unipostocularis Zhao, Jiang & Huang, 1978 is a small snake endemic to Yunnan, southern China. Its validity is still controversial and unresolved. Based on extensive sampling in Yunnan, we conducted morphological comparison and molecular phylogenetics on the unidentified specimens of Plagiopholis from Yunnan. Based on a combination of morphological comparison and molecular phylogeny, the newly collected specimens could be identified as P. blakewayi. While some specimens exhibit one or more diagnostics of P. unipostocularis, and some characteristics are intermediate between that of Plagiopholis unipostocularis and P. blakewayi. Thus morphological continuities between two species uncovered P. unipostocularis is a synonymy of P. blakewayi, and the diagnostics of this species was revised accordingly.

  15. Taxonomic revision of Chironius flavolineatus (Jan, 1863) with description of a new species (Serpentes: Colubridae).

    PubMed

    Hamdan, Breno; Fernandes, Daniel S

    2015-01-01

    We conducted a taxonomic review of Chironius flavolineatus on the basis of continuous and discrete morphological characters. We recognize a new species which is distinguished from all currently recognized congeners by the following unique combination of characters: first third of body black or dark gray; vertebral stripe yellowish or creamish white distinct from dorsals of nape and extending throughout almost whole body length; head dorsum tan to brown, distinct from background color of first third of body; posterior temporal scales ranging one to four; cloacal shield frequently divided; two to four rows of keeled dorsal scales at midbody; venter ground color gradually darkening towards cloaca; region of medial constriction of hemipenis slightly covered with spinules separating calyces of apex from spines below region of constriction; in lateral view, sulcus spermaticus positioned on convex face of hemipenis; ascending process of premaxilla oblique anteroposteriorly to longitudinal axis of skull; optic fenestrae not exceeding frontoparietal suture; posterior border of supratemporal exceeding braincase; dorsoventral axis of quadrate oblique mesolaterally, moving away from longitudinal axis of skull. Furthermore, we provide data on morphological variation, distribution, and an emended diagnosis for C. flavolineatus.

  16. A new species of death adder (Acanthophis: Serpentes: Elapidae) from north-western Australia.

    PubMed

    Maddock, Simon T; Ellis, Ryan J; Doughty, Paul; Smith, Lawrence A; Wüster, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Australian death adders (genus Acanthophis) are highly venomous snakes with conservative morphology and sit-and-wait predatory habits, with only moderate taxonomic diversity that nevertheless remains incompletely understood. Analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences and morphological characteristics of death adders in northern Australia reveal the existence of a new species from the Kimberley region of Western Australia and the Northern Territory, which we describe as Acanthophis cryptamydros sp. nov. Although populations from the Kimberley were previously considered conspecific with Northern Territory death adders of the A. rugosus complex, our mtDNA analysis indicates that its closest relatives are desert death adders, A. pyrrhus. We found that A. cryptamydros sp. nov. is distinct in both mtDNA and nDNA analysis, and possesses multiple morphological characteristics that allow it to be distinguished from all other Acanthophis species. This study further supports the Kimberley region as an area with high endemic biodiversity.

  17. Systematics of the blindsnakes (Serpentes: Scolecophidia: Typhlopoidea) based on molecular and morphological evidence.

    PubMed

    Pyron, Robert Alexander; Wallach, Van

    2014-01-01

    The blindsnake superfamily Typhlopoidea (Gerrhopilidae, Typhlopidae, and Xenotyphlopidae) is a diverse, widespread part of the global snake fauna. A recent systematic revision based on molecular phylogenetic analyses and some morphological evidence presented a preliminary solution to the non-monophyly of many previously recognized genera, but additional clarification is needed regarding the recognition of some species and genera. We rectify these problems here with a new molecular phylogenetic analysis including 95 of the 275 currently recognized, extant typhlopoids, incorporating both nuclear and mitochondrial loci. We supplement this with data on the external, visceral, and hemipenial morphology of nearly all species to generate a revised classification for Typhlopoidea. Based on morphological data, we re-assign Cathetorhinus from Typhlopidae to Gerrhopilidae. Xenotyphlopidae maintains its current contents (Xenotyphlops). In Typhlopidae, one monotypic genus is synonymized with its larger sister-group as it cannot be unambiguously diagnosed morphologically (Sundatyphlops with Anilios), and two genera are synonymizedwith Typhlops (Antillotyphlops and Cubatyphlops), as they are not reciprocally monophyletic. The genus Asiatyphylops is renamed Argyrophis, the senior synonym for the group. We erect one new genus (Lemuriatyphlops) for a phylogenetically distinct species-group in Asiatyphlopinae. Fourteen of eighteen recognized typhlopid genera are maintained in four subfamilies: Afrotyphlopinae (Afrotyphlops, Grypotyphlops [re-assigned from Asiatyphlopinae], Letheobia, and Rhinotyphlops), Asiatyphlopinae (Acutotyphlops, Anilios, Cyclotyphlops, Indotyphlops, Malayotyphlops, Ramphotyphlops, and Xerotyphlops), Madatyphlopinae (Madatyphlops), and Typhlopinae (Amerotyphlops and Typhlops), some with altered contents. Diagnoses based on morphology are provided for all 19 typhlopoid genera, accounting for all 275 species. This taxonomy provides a robust platform for future revisions and description of new species. 

  18. Unusual labial glands in snakes of the genus Geophis Wagler, 1830 (Serpentes: Dipsadinae).

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Leonardo; da Costa Prudente, Ana Lúcia; Zaher, Hussam

    2014-01-01

    Geophis belongs to the goo-eating dipsadine assemblage of snakes that are known to feed exclusively on earthworms, snails, and slugs. Although the unusual feeding strategies of the goo-eating dipsadines are well known (but poorly documented), little attention has been paid to their internal anatomy. Here, we describe a new and noteworthy morphological and histochemical condition of the infralabial glands in three species of Geophis (G. brachycephalus, G. nasalis and G. semidoliatus), all earthworm feeders. Their infralabial glands are constituted of two distinct parts: an anterolateral portion composed of mucous and seromucous cells that stretches from the tip of the dentary to the corner of the mouth, and a tubular posteromedial portion that is exclusively seromucous. The anterolateral portion receives fibers of the levator anguli oris muscle that attaches on its posterodorsal extremity while the posteromedial portion extends posteriorly to the corner of the mouth where it receives fibers of the adductor mandibulae externus medialis muscle. Furthermore, the posteromedial portion of the infralabial gland is constituted by large acini filled with secretion that is periodic acid-Schiff positive. These acini release their secretion directly into a large lumen located in the middle of the glandular portion. In the three species examined, the supralabial glands show a traditional configuration, being constituted of mucous and seromucous cells and retaining an enlarged part in its caudal region that resembles a Duvernoy's gland. The presence in Geophis of an expanded lumen in part of the infralabial gland that is compressed by an adjacent muscle suggests a more specialized role for the secretion produced by these glands that may not be related to envenomation but rather to prey transport and mucus control.

  19. Two new endemic species of Epictia Gray, 1845 (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae) from Northern Peru.

    PubMed

    Koch, Claudia; Cruz, Roy Santa; Cárdenas, Heidy

    2016-01-01

    Herein, we describe two new thread snake species of the genus Epictia from elevations higher than 2000 meters above sea level in the Andes of the Cajamarca Region in Northern Peru. Both species share 10 midtail scale rows, a broad contact between the anterior supralabial and the supraocular scales in most of the specimens, and a yellow spot on the snout and the terminal part of the tail. Epictia venegasi sp. nov. is described on the basis of nine specimens and can further be differentiated from its congeners by having 211-221 mid-dorsal scale rows and a color pattern where each body scale is black on the anterior half and yellow on the posterior half. The description of Epictia vonmayi sp. nov. is based on two specimens which can further be differentiated from their congeners by having 196-205 mid-dorsal scale rows and 14 distinct black longitudinal stripes around the body, which run through the center of each scale and are separated by bright yellow interspaces; accordingly the tail exhibits 10 black longitudinal stripes which likewise run through the center of each scale. PMID:27515649

  20. Monsters of the sea serpent: parasites of an oarfish, Regalecus russellii.

    PubMed

    Kuris, Armand M; Jaramillo, Alejandra G; McLaughlin, John P; Weinstein, Sara B; Garcia-Vedrenne, Ana E; Poinar, George O; Pickering, Maria; Steinauer, Michelle L; Espinoza, Magaly; Ashford, Jacob E; Dunn, Gabriela L P

    2015-02-01

    Examination of a small portion of the viscera of an oarfish ( Regalecus russellii ) recovered from Santa Catalina Island, southern California, revealed numerous tetraphyllidean tapeworm plerocercoids, Clistobothrium cf. montaukensis; 2 juvenile nematodes, Contracaecum sp.; and a fragment of an adult acanthocephalan, family Arhythmacanthidae. This suggests that the fish was relatively heavily parasitized. The presence of larval and juvenile worms suggests that oarfish are preyed upon by deep-swimming predators such as the shortfin mako shark, Isurus oxyrinchus , known to be a definitive host for the adult tapeworm, and also by diving mammals such as sperm whales, Physeter catodon L., hosts of Contracaecum spp. nematodes.

  1. A new species of Rhadinella (Serpentes: Colubridae) from the Sierra Madre del Sur of Guerrero, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Campillo, Gustavo; Dávila-Galavíz, Luis Fernando; Flores-Villela, Oscar; Campbell, Jonathan A

    2016-04-12

    We describe a new species of Rhadinella from the Sierra Madre del Sur of Guerrero, Mexico, a region where the genus was previously unknown. This diminutive species is a member of a group of snakes previously allocated in the Rhadinaea godmani group, and more recently transferred to the genus Rhadinella. These snakes may have conspicuous dark longitudinal striping on a pale brown to orange background or may have dark brown to blackish dorsal ground coloration, which mostly or completely obfuscates a pattern of longitudinal striping. The new species is mostly dark with barely discernible slightly paler or darker striping (depending on how striping is interpreted). The closest relative of the new species, on the basis of morphological similarities and biogeography, appears to be Rhadinella donaji which occurs to the east in the Sierra Madre del Sur of Oaxaca about 275 km from the type-locality of the new species.

  2. Postnatal development of the skull of Dinilysia patagonica (Squamata-stem Serpentes).

    PubMed

    Scanferla, Agustín; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S

    2014-03-01

    The snake skull represents a profound transformation of the ancestral squamate cranium in which dermal skull roof bones were integrated with the braincase, in a manner convergent with that which occurred during the origin of mammals. However, the ontogeny of snake characters at the origin of the clade has until now been inaccessible. Here we describe a postnatal ontogenetic series of the Late Cretaceous stem snake Dinilysia patagonica and compare it to that of extant lizards and snakes. Comparative analysis indicates notable ontogenetic changes, including advanced state of ossification, isometric growth of the otic capsule, fusion of the stylohyal to the quadrate, and great posterior elongation of the supratemporal. Of these transformations, the unfused condition of braincase bones and the retention of a large otic capsule in adults are examples of paedomorphic and peramorphic processes, respectively. Some ontogenetic transformations detected, in particular those present in middle ear, skull roof and suspensorium, are strikingly similar to those present in extant snakes. Nevertheless, Dinilysia retains a lizard-like paroccipital process without an epiphyseal extremity, and a calcified epiphysis that caps the sphenoccipital tubercle. Finally, the integration of the dermal skull roof with the braincase is similar to that seen in mammals with regard to the overall closure of the braincase, but the two evolutionary and developmental modules appear less integrated in snakes in that the parietal bone of the dermal skull roof progressively overlaps the supraoccipital of the chondrocranial braincase. PMID:24493375

  3. Two new endemic species of Epictia Gray, 1845 (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae) from Northern Peru.

    PubMed

    Koch, Claudia; Cruz, Roy Santa; Cárdenas, Heidy

    2016-08-11

    Herein, we describe two new thread snake species of the genus Epictia from elevations higher than 2000 meters above sea level in the Andes of the Cajamarca Region in Northern Peru. Both species share 10 midtail scale rows, a broad contact between the anterior supralabial and the supraocular scales in most of the specimens, and a yellow spot on the snout and the terminal part of the tail. Epictia venegasi sp. nov. is described on the basis of nine specimens and can further be differentiated from its congeners by having 211-221 mid-dorsal scale rows and a color pattern where each body scale is black on the anterior half and yellow on the posterior half. The description of Epictia vonmayi sp. nov. is based on two specimens which can further be differentiated from their congeners by having 196-205 mid-dorsal scale rows and 14 distinct black longitudinal stripes around the body, which run through the center of each scale and are separated by bright yellow interspaces; accordingly the tail exhibits 10 black longitudinal stripes which likewise run through the center of each scale.

  4. Effect of Mikania glomerata (Asteraceae) leaf extract combined with anti-venom serum on experimental Crotalus durissus (Squamata: Viperidae) envenomation in rats.

    PubMed

    Floriano, Rafael Stuani; Nogueira, Rosa Maria Barilli; Sakate, Michiko; Laposy, Cecília Braga; da Motta, Yudney Pereira; Sangiorgio, Fabíola; David, Heloísa Costa; Nabas, João Marcelo

    2009-12-01

    Crotalic envenomation represents the highest number of deaths when compared to other snakebite envenomations of medical interest. Crotalic venom has important characteristics such as neurotoxicity, myotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, and clotting and hemolytic action. We evaluated the clinical and laboratory aspects of Crotalus durissus terrificus experimental envenomation in Wistar rats treated with antivenom and the aqueous extract of the plant Mikania glomerata. The animals were divided into three groups: Group C (control); Group VS-venom and antivenom; Group VSM-venom, antivenom and aqueous extract of M. glomerata. Crotalic poison caused clinical and laboratory alterations in Wistar mice. Significant clinical alterations were: temperature decrease, edema in the venom inoculated member, sedation and a locomotion decrease in groups VS and VSM when compared with group C. A faster recovery from sedation was observed only for animals of group VSM when compared to VS. There was an increase in the number of leukocytes, neutrophils and creatine kinase in the VS and VSM groups, compared to group C. Wistar rats showed a high resistance to crotalic venom. Additional studies with different doses, time of treatment, different administration methods and histopathological and immunological studies are necessary to understand the action of M. glomerata in crotalic accidents.

  5. Comparative study of anticoagulant and procoagulant properties of 28 snake venoms from families Elapidae, Viperidae, and purified Russell's viper venom-factor X activator (RVV-X).

    PubMed

    Suntravat, Montamas; Nuchprayoon, Issarang; Pérez, John C

    2010-09-15

    Snake venoms consist of numerous molecules with diverse biological functions used for capturing prey. Each component of venom has a specific target, and alters the biological function of its target. Once these molecules are identified, characterized, and cloned; they could have medical applications. The activated clotting time (ACT) and clot rate were used for screening procoagulant and anticoagulant properties of 28 snake venoms. Crude venoms from Daboia russellii siamensis, Bothrops asper, Bothrops moojeni, and one Crotalus oreganus helleri from Wrightwood, CA, had procoagulant activity. These venoms induced a significant shortening of the ACT and showed a significant increase in the clot rate when compared to the negative control. Factor X activator activity was also measured in 28 venoms, and D. r. siamensis venom was 5-6 times higher than those of B. asper, B. moojeni, and C. o. helleri from Wrightwood County. Russell's viper venom-factor X activator (RVV-X) was purified from D. r. siamensis venom, and then procoagulant activity was evaluated by the ACT and clot rate. Other venoms, Crotalus atrox and two Naja pallida, had anticoagulant activity. A significant increase in the ACT and a significant decrease in the clot rate were observed after the addition of these venoms; therefore, the venoms were considered to have anticoagulant activity. Venoms from the same species did not always have the same ACT and clot rate profiles, but the profiles were an excellent way to identify procoagulant and anticoagulant activities in snake venoms. PMID:20677373

  6. A relict lineage and new species of green palm-pitviper (Squamata, Viperidae, Bothriechis) from the Chortís Highlands of Mesoamerica.

    PubMed

    Townsend, Josiah H; Medina-Flores, Melissa; Wilson, Larry David; Jadin, Robert C; Austin, James D

    2013-01-01

    A new species of palm-pitviper of the genus Bothriechis is described from Refugio de Vida Silvestre Texíguat in northern Honduras. The new species differs from congeners by having 19 dorsal scale rows at midbody, a bright green dorsal coloration in adults, the prelacunal scale fused to the second supralabial, and in representing a northern lineage that is sister to Bothriechis lateralis, which is distributed in Costa Rica and western Panama and is isolated from the new taxon by the Nicaraguan Depression. This represents the 15th endemic species occurring in Refugio de Vida Silvestre Texíguat, one of the richest herpetofaunal sites in Honduras, itself being the country with the highest degree of herpetofaunal endemism in Central America. We name this new species in honor of a Honduran conservationist slain in fighting against illegal logging, highlighting the sacrifices of rural activists in battling these issues and the critical importance of conservation in these areas.

  7. A relict lineage and new species of green palm-pitviper (Squamata, Viperidae, Bothriechis) from the Chortís Highlands of Mesoamerica

    PubMed Central

    Townsend, Josiah H.; Medina-Flores, Melissa; Wilson, Larry David; Jadin, Robert C.; Austin, James D.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract A new species of palm-pitviper of the genus Bothriechis is described from Refugio de Vida Silvestre Texíguat in northern Honduras. The new species differs from congeners by having 19 dorsal scale rows at midbody, a bright green dorsal coloration in adults, the prelacunal scale fused to the second supralabial, and in representing a northern lineage that is sister to Bothriechis lateralis, which is distributed in Costa Rica and western Panama and is isolated from the new taxon by the Nicaraguan Depression. This represents the 15th endemic species occurring in Refugio de Vida Silvestre Texíguat, one of the richest herpetofaunal sites in Honduras, itself being the country with the highest degree of herpetofaunal endemism in Central America. We name this new species in honor of a Honduran conservationist slain in fighting against illegal logging, highlighting the sacrifices of rural activists in battling these issues and the critical importance of conservation in these areas. PMID:23794885

  8. Food resources influence spatial ecology, habitat selection, and foraging behavior in an ambush-hunting snake (Viperidae: Bothrops asper): an experimental study.

    PubMed

    Wasko, Dennis K; Sasa, Mahmood

    2012-06-01

    Prey availability affects many aspects of predators' life history and is considered a primary factor influencing individuals' decisions regarding spatial ecology and behavior, but few experimental data are currently available. Snakes may represent ideal model organisms relative to other animal groups for addressing such resource dependency, due to a presumably more direct link between food resources and many aspects of behavior and natural history. We experimentally investigated the relationship between food intake and spatial behavior in a population of the snake Bothrops asper in a Costa Rican lowland rainforest. Six adult snakes were allowed to forage naturally while six were offered supplemental food in the field, with both groups monitored using radiotelemetry. Mean home range size did not differ between groups presumably due to small sample size, but supplementally fed snakes demonstrated altered patterns of macro- and microhabitat selection, shorter and less frequent movements, and increased mass acquisition. Fed snakes also devoted less time to foraging efforts, instead more frequently remaining inactive and utilizing shelter. Because snakes were always fed in situ and not at designated feeding stations, observed shifts in habitat selection are not explained by animals simply moving to areas of higher food availability. Rather, B. asper may have moved to swamps in order to feed on amphibians when necessary, but remained in preferred forest habitat when food was otherwise abundant. The strong behavioral and spatiotemporal responses of snakes in this population may have been influenced by an overall scarcity of mammalian prey during the study period. PMID:22440190

  9. A new species of cat snake (Reptilia: Serpentes: Colubridae: Boiga) from dry forests of eastern Peninsular India.

    PubMed

    Vogel, Gernot; Ganesh, S R

    2013-01-01

    A new species of cat snake, related to Boiga beddomei (Wall, 1909), is described from the dry forests of eastern Peninsular India. It occupies a large geographic range from Berhampore (type locality), near the River Mahanadi in the northeast to Kaigal near the southern Eastern Ghats in the southwest. The new species is diagnosed by having the following combination of characters: 19 dorsal scale rows at midbody, a high number of ventral scales for the genus Boiga (248-259), a yellowish-green dorsal colouration with numerous faint black bands, an uniform, unpatterned yellow-coloured venter and a relatively short tail (0.180-0.200 of the total length).

  10. Redescription of Phalotris labiomaculatus (Serpentes, Dipsadidae, Elapomorphini), with notes on the taxonomic boundaries within the nasutus group.

    PubMed

    Hamdan, Breno; Da Silva, Nelson Jorge; Silva, Helder Lucio Rodrigues; Cintra, Carlos Eduardo D; De Lema, Thales

    2013-01-01

    Phalotris labiomaculatus Lema, 2002 was described based on a single specimen from Porto Franco, south of the Brazilian state of Maranhão, being rediscovered three years later in Mateiros, a municipality in the north of the state of Tocantins, attesting to its occurrence in the cerrado of both banks of the Tocantins River. The discovery of 28 new specimens from other localities during field expeditions (2009-2011) allowed a redescription of the species, adding new data on meristic and morpho-qualitative traits. These results enable a better diagnosis of intraspecific, ontogenetic and sexual variation, consolidating its taxonomic relationships with other species belonging to the nasutus group. The distribution map of P. labiomaculatus, as well as an identification key to the species of the natusus group, are provided. The type-locality is fixed to the municipality of Porto Franco, state of Maranhão.

  11. The Eagle, the Jaguar, and the Serpent. Indian Art of the Americas; North America: Alaska, Canada, the United States.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Covarrubias, Miguel

    The origins of Native Americans are traced through art forms in this history of American art. The basic time periods for this history are determined and defined as the formative horizon, the classic horizon, and the historical horizon. Art forms used throughout these time periods are described in terms of technique and aesthetics. The arts and…

  12. Species Delimitation in the Continental Forms of the Genus Epicrates (Serpentes, Boidae) Integrating Phylogenetics and Environmental Niche Models

    PubMed Central

    Rivera, Paula C.; Di Cola, Valeria; Martínez, Juan J.; Gardenal, Cristina N.; Chiaraviglio, Margarita

    2011-01-01

    Until recently, the genus Epicrates (Boidae) presented only one continental species, Epicrates cenchria, distributed in Central and South America, but after a taxonomic revision using morphologic characters five species were recognized: E. cenchria, E. crassus, E. maurus, E. assisi, and E. alvarezi. We analyzed two independent data sets, environmental niche models and phylogeny based on molecular information, to explore species delimitation in the continental species of this genus. Our results indicated that the environmental requirements of the species are different; therefore there are not evidences of ecological interchangeability among them. There is a clear correlation between species distributions and the major biogeographic regions of Central and South America. Their overall distribution reveals that allopatry or parapatry is the general pattern. These evidences suggest that habitat isolation prevents or limits gene exchange among them. The phylogenetic reconstruction showed that the continental Epicrates are monophyletic, being E. alvarezi the sister species for the remaining two clades: E. crassus - E. assisi, and E. maurus - E. cenchria. The clade grouping the continental Epicrates is the sister taxon of the genus Eunectes and not of the Caribbean Epicrates clade, indicating that the genus is paraphyletic. There is a non-consistent pattern in niche evolution among continental Epicrates. On the contrary, a high variation and abrupt shifts in environmental variables are shown when ancestral character states were reconstructed on the sequence-based tree. The degree of genetic and ecological divergence among continental Epicrates and the phylogenetic analyses support the elevation to full species of E. cenchria, E. crassus, E. maurus, E. assisi, and E. alvarezi. PMID:21912634

  13. Systematics of Nothopsini (Serpentes, Dipsadidae), with a new species of Synophis from the Pacific Andean slopes of southwestern Ecuador

    PubMed Central

    Pyron, R. Alexander; Guayasamin, Juan M.; Peñafiel, Nicolás; Bustamante, Lucas; Arteaga, Alejandro

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Within Dipsadinae, some recent authors have recognized a tribe Nothopsini containing the genera Diaphorolepis, Emmochliophis, Nothopsis, Synophis, and Xenopholis, on the basis of a number of putative morphological synapomorphies. However, molecular results suggest that Nothopsis, Synophis, and Xenopholis do not form a monophyletic group, while the remaining taxa are unsampled in recent molecular phylogenies. Here, DNA-sequence data for some Diaphorolepis and Synophis species are provided for the first time, as well as additional new sequences for Nothopsis and some Synophis species. Including these and other existing data for nothopsine species, previous studies showing that Nothopsini is not a natural group are corroborated. Nothopsini Cope, 1871 is restricted to Nothopsis. Diaphorolepidini Jenner, 1981 is resurrected and re-delimited to include only Diaphorolepis, Emmochliophis, and Synophis. Finally, Xenopholis remains Dipsadinae incertae sedis. Known material of Diaphorolepidini is reviewed to generate revised and expanded descriptions and diagnoses at the tribe, genus, and species level. Numerous cryptic species are likely present in Synophis bicolor and Synophis lasallei. Finally, a new population from the low-elevation cloud forests of SW Ecuador is reported upon, which is genetically and morphologically distinct from all other species, that is here named Synophis zaheri sp. n. PMID:26798284

  14. Case 3693 Cryptodacus Hendel, 1914 (Insecta: Diptera: Tephritidae): Proposed suppression of Cryptodacus Gundlach, 1862 (Reptilia, Serpentes, Colubridae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Norrbom, Allen L.; McDiarmid, Roy W.; Chen, Xiao-Lin; David, King J.; De Meyer, Marc; Freidberg, Amnon; Han, Ho-Yeon; Steck, Gary J.; Thompson, F. Christian; White, Ian M.; Zucchi, Roberto A.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this application, under Article 23.9.3, is to conserve current usage of the well-established genus-group name Cryptodacus Hendel, 1914 for a genus of Neotropical fruit flies by suppression of the earlier, unused name Crypto- dacus Gundlach, 1862, currently a junior synonym of Arrhyton Günther, 1858, a genus of snakes, under the plenary power of the Commission, in the interest of nomenclatural stability. Cryptodacus Gundlach has not been used as a valid name since 1883, whereas Cryptodacus Hendel has been used in a significant body of literature relating to fruit fly systematics, morphology and phylogeny and is the currently used name in various name and molecular databases. 

  15. A new canopy-dwelling species of Dendrelaphis (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Sinharaja, World Heritage Site, Sri Lanka.

    PubMed

    Wickramasinghe, L J Mendis

    2016-01-01

    A new species of Dendrelaphis, Dendrelaphis sinharajensis sp. nov. is described, the sixth species of the genus known from Sri Lanka. The new species is readily distinguished from all other congeners by its colour pattern and scalation. The species is a canopy-dweller known only from the Sinharaja World Heritage Site and its vicinity, in the lowland wet zone of Sri Lanka.

  16. Annotated checklist of the recent and extinct pythons (Serpentes, Pythonidae), with notes on nomenclature, taxonomy, and distribution.

    PubMed

    Schleip, Wulf D; O'Shea, Mark

    2010-11-04

    McDiarmid et al. (1999) published the first part of their planned taxonomic catalog of the snakes of the world. Since then, several new python taxa have been described in both the scientific literature and non-peer-reviewed publications. This checklist evaluates the nomenclatural status of the names and discusses the taxonomic status of the new taxa, and aims to continue the work of McDiarmid et al. (1999) for the family Pythonidae, covering the period 1999 to 2010. Numerous new taxa are listed, and where appropriate recent synonymies are included and annotations are made. A checklist and a taxonomic identification key of valid taxa are provided.

  17. Morphological variation and affinities of the poorly known snake Atractus caxiuana (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) .

    PubMed

    Passos, Paulo; Ramos, Luciana O; Pinna, Pedro H; Prudente, Ana L C

    2013-01-01

    Atractus caxiuana was recently described based on three specimens (two males and one female) from the Floresta Nacional de Caxiuanã, municipality of Melgaço, state of Pará, in the eastern portion of the Brazilian Amazon. Apart from the type series, no additional samples are known for the species. In this study, we report new specimens of A. caxiuana, providing new morphological data (meristic, morphometric, pholidosis, colour pattern, and hemipenis) and localities. We relate the variability displayed by the characters analyzed to sexual dimorphism, geographic variation, and ontogeny. Additionally, we provide detailed comparisons with A. collaris and putative sister species, and propose a new species group to accommodate this distinct and possible monophyletic assemblage. 

  18. A new species of Hepatozoon (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) from Python regius (Serpentes: Pythonidae) and its experimental transmission by a mosquito vector.

    PubMed

    Sloboda, Michal; Kamler, Martin; Bulantová, Jana; Votýpka, Jan; Modrý, David

    2007-10-01

    Hepatozoon ayorgbor n. sp. is described from specimens of Python regius imported from Ghana. Gametocytes were found in the peripheral blood of 43 of 55 snakes examined. Localization of gametocytes was mainly inside the erythrocytes; free gametocytes were found in 15 (34.9%) positive specimens. Infections of laboratory-reared Culex quinquefasciatus feeding on infected snakes, as well as experimental infection of juvenile Python regius by ingestion of infected mosquitoes, were performed to complete the life cycle. Similarly, transmission to different snake species (Boa constrictor and Lamprophis fuliginosus) and lizards (Lepidodactylus lugubris) was performed to assess the host specificity. Isolates were compared with Hepatozoon species from sub-Saharan reptiles and described as a new species based on the morphology, phylogenetic analysis, and a complete life cycle.

  19. Physiological, ecological, and behavioural correlates of the size of the geographic ranges of sea kraits (Laticauda; Elapidae, Serpentes): A critique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heatwole, Harold; Lillywhite, Harvey; Grech, Alana

    2016-09-01

    Recent, more accurate delineation of the distributions of sea kraits and prior dubious use of proxy temperatures and mean values in correlative studies requires re-assessment of the relationships of temperature and salinity as determinants of the size of the geographic ranges of sea kraits. Correcting the sizes of geographic ranges resolved the paradox of lack of correspondence of size of range with degree of terrestrialism, but did not form a definitive test of the theory. Recent ecological, physiological, and behavioural studies provide an example of the kind of approach likely to either validate or refute present theory.

  20. Annotated checklist of the recent and extinct pythons (Serpentes, Pythonidae), with notes on nomenclature, taxonomy, and distribution

    PubMed Central

    Schleip, Wulf D.; O’Shea, Mark

    2010-01-01

    Abstract McDiarmid et al. (1999) published the first part of their planned taxonomic catalog of the snakes of the world. Since then, several new python taxa have been described in both the scientific literature and non-peer-reviewed publications. This checklist evaluates the nomenclatural status of the names and discusses the taxonomic status of the new taxa, and aims to continue the work of McDiarmid et al. (1999) for the family Pythonidae, covering the period 1999 to 2010. Numerous new taxa are listed, and where appropriate recent synonymies are included and annotations are made. A checklist and a taxonomic identification key of valid taxa are provided. PMID:21594030

  1. The real identity of Leptodiranycthemera Werner, 1901 from Ecuador: a junior synonym of Oxyrhopuspetolarius (Linnaeus, 1758) (Serpentes, Dipsadidae).

    PubMed

    Costa, João Carlos Lopes; Kucharzewski, Christoph; Prudente, Ana Lúcia da Costa

    2015-01-01

    Leptodiranycthemera Werner, 1901, was described from a specimen collected in Ecuador. No information on the holotype was published after its description. In the most recent review of Leptodeira, Leptodiranycthemera was considered to be a synonym of Leptodeiraannulataannulata, although the author emphasized that the holotype was lost and did not include the pholidotic data from the original description in his account of Leptodeiraannulataannulata. Since this review, a number of authors have accepted this synonymy. Recently, analyzing specimens of Leptodeira in the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, Germany, we discovered the holotype of Leptodiranycthemera. This holotype is re-described here, and its correct identity is determined. Based on the analysis of meristic characters and the color of the holotype, we recognize Leptodiranycthemera as a junior synonym of Oxyrhopuspetolarius.

  2. Lessons Learned from Cosmic Serpent: A Professional Development Project for Informal Educators on Science and Native Ways of Knowing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peticolas, L. M.; Maryboy, N.; Begay, D.; Paglierani, R.; Frappier, R.; Teren, A.

    2011-09-01

    How can one engage native communities and the public alike in understanding nature and our universe? Our approach has been to bring together practitioners at informal science centers, cultural museums, and tribal museums to develop relationships cross-culturally, to learn about different ways of studying and learning about nature and our universe, and to start to develop informal education programs or exhibits at their institution through their new understandings and peer networks. The design of this National Science Foundation (NSF) grant has been to provide an initial week-long professional development workshop in a region in the Western U.S. with a follow-up workshop in that region the following year, culminating in a final conference for all participants. We focus on three regions: the southwest (Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado), the northwest (Alaska, Washington, and Oregon); and California. We are in our third year of our four-year grant and have in this time organized and run three regional week-long workshops and a follow-up workshop in the southwest. We have learned many lessons through this work, including: the importance of incorporating workshop participants as presenters in the workshop agenda; how the content of astronomy, ecology, and health resonates with these museum professionals and can easily be discussed with different world views in this type of cross-cultural science education; and how to best present different ways of knowing how nature and our universe work (science) in a manner that provides a context for science educators and museum professionals. In this article, we share these and other lessons we have learned from the leadership perspective of bringing together such a diverse and under-represented-in-science group of educators.

  3. The unexpected discovery of blind snakes (Serpentes: Typhlopidae) in Micronesia: two new species of Ramphotyphlops from the Caroline Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wynn, Addison H.; Reynolds, Robert P.; Buden, Donald W.; Falanruw, Marjorie; Lynch, Brian

    2012-01-01

    Two new blind snakes in the genus Ramphotyphlops are described from Ulithi (R. hatmaliyeb sp. nov.) and Ant Atoll (R. adocetus sp. nov.) in the Caroline Islands, the first blind snake species known from Micronesia east of Palau (excluding Ramphotyphlops braminus). Both species are unusual in being known only from small, low-lying atolls. They can be distinguished from other Ramphotyphlops by the combination of 22 scale rows over the length of the body; a wedge-shaped snout, without a keratinized keel; and a broad, pyriform (R. adocetus) or ovate (R. hatmaliyeb) rostral scale.

  4. The unexpected discovery of blind snakes (Serpentes: Typhlopidae) in Micronesia: Two new species of Ramphotyphlops from the Caroline Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wynn, A.H.; Reynolds, R.P.; Buden, D.W.; Falanruw, M.; Lynch, B.

    2012-01-01

    Two new blind snakes in the genus Ramphotyphlops are described from Ulithi (R. hatmaliyeb sp. nov.) and Ant Atoll (R. adocetus sp. nov.) in the Caroline Islands, the first blind snake species known from Micronesia east of Palau (excluding Ramphotyphlops braminus). Both species are unusual in being known only from small, low-lying atolls. They can be distinguished from other Ramphotyphlops by the combination of 22 scale rows over the length of the body; a wedge-shaped snout, without a keratinized keel; and a broad, pyriform (R. adocetus) or ovate (R. hatmaliyeb) rostral scale.

  5. "Have You, My Little Serpents, a New Skin?" Transforming English Studies and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Easton, Lee; Hewson, Kelly

    2012-01-01

    King and Knight (2010) argue that English Studies' instructors must "articulate and develop their tacit assumptions [about English teaching] and create a discipline-grounded idiom for pedagogical research and reflection" (p. 323). We suggest that the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) invites English educators to reflect more…

  6. Sea snakes in Australian waters (Serpentes: subfamilies Hydrophiinae and Laticaudinae)--a review with an updated identification key.

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, Arne Redsted; Sanders, Kate Laura; Guinea, Michael L; Amey, Andrew P

    2014-10-02

    Sea snakes (Elapidae, subfamilies Hydrophiinae and Laticaudinae) reach high species richness in the South China Sea and in the Australian region; however, most countries in the two regions still lack up-to-date checklists and identification tools for these snakes. We present an updated reviewed checklist and a new complete identification key to sea snakes in Australian waters. The identification key includes 29 species documented and 4 possibly occurring taxa and is based mostly on easy-to-use external characters. We find no evidence for breeding populations of Laticauda in Australian waters, but include the genus on the list of possibly occurring taxa. 

  7. Body size as a primary determinant of ecomorphological diversification and the evolution of mimicry in the lampropeltinine snakes (Serpentes: Colubridae).

    PubMed

    Pyron, R Alexander; Burbrink, F T

    2009-10-01

    Evolutionary correlations between functionally related character suites are expected as a consequence of coadaptation due to physiological relationships between traits. However, significant correlations may also exist between putatively unrelated characters due to shared relationships between those traits and underlying variables, such as body size. Although such patterns are often dismissed as simple body size scaling, this presumption may overlook important evolutionary patterns of diversification. If body size is the primary determinant of potential diversity in multiple unrelated characters, the observed differentiation of species may be governed by variability in body size, and any biotic or abiotic constraints on the diversification thereof. Here, we demonstrate that traits related to both predatory specialization (gape and diet preference) and predatory avoidance (the development of Batesian mimicry) are phylogenetically correlated in the North American snake tribe Lampropeltini. This is apparently due to shared relationships between those traits and adult body size, suggesting that size is the primary determinant of ecomorphological differentiation in the lampropeltinines. Diversification in body size is apparently not linked to climatic or environmental factors, and may have been driven by interspecific interactions such as competition. Additionally, we find the presence of a 'key zone' for the development of both rattle- and coral snake mimicry; only small snakes feeding primarily on ectothermic prey develop mimetic colour patterns, in or near the range of venomous model species.

  8. A new canopy-dwelling species of Dendrelaphis (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Sinharaja, World Heritage Site, Sri Lanka.

    PubMed

    Wickramasinghe, L J Mendis

    2016-01-01

    A new species of Dendrelaphis, Dendrelaphis sinharajensis sp. nov. is described, the sixth species of the genus known from Sri Lanka. The new species is readily distinguished from all other congeners by its colour pattern and scalation. The species is a canopy-dweller known only from the Sinharaja World Heritage Site and its vicinity, in the lowland wet zone of Sri Lanka. PMID:27615987

  9. Choleoeimeria ghaffari n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the gallbladder of Eryx jayakari Boulenger (Serpentes: Boidae) in Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Baki, Abdel-Azeem S; Al-Quraishy, Saleh; Duszynski, Donald W

    2014-02-01

    Choleoeimeria ghaffari n. sp. is described from the gallbladder of Eryx jayakari Boulenger in Saudi Arabia. Oöcysts are tetrasporocystic, cylindroidal, 23 × 14 μm, with a smooth bi-layered wall and length/width ratio of 1.5, without micropyle, oöcyst residuum and polar granule. Sporocysts are subspheroidal to ellipsoidal, 8 × 6 μm, with length/width ratio of 1.4, without Stieda, sub-Stieda and para-Stieda bodies but with sporocyst residuum. Sporozoites are banana-shaped measuring 10 × 1.5 μm. The endogenous development was found to occur in the gallbladder epithelium and the extrahepatic bile ducts. Mature meronts are spheroidal, c.10 μm wide, and suspected to produce 12-16 merozoites. Microgamonts are irregular in shape, 13 × 10 μm, whereas macrogamonts are mostly subspheroidal, c.12 μm wide, with a prominent centrally-located nucleus. Based on oöcyst morphology and the site of endogenous development (epithelium of the gallbladder and bile ducts) the new eimeriid coccidian was placed in the genus Choleoeimeria Paperna & Landsberg, 1989.

  10. Species delimitation in the continental forms of the genus Epicrates (Serpentes, Boidae) integrating phylogenetics and environmental niche models.

    PubMed

    Rivera, Paula C; Di Cola, Valeria; Martínez, Juan J; Gardenal, Cristina N; Chiaraviglio, Margarita

    2011-01-01

    Until recently, the genus Epicrates (Boidae) presented only one continental species, Epicrates cenchria, distributed in Central and South America, but after a taxonomic revision using morphologic characters five species were recognized: E. cenchria, E. crassus, E. maurus, E. assisi, and E. alvarezi. We analyzed two independent data sets, environmental niche models and phylogeny based on molecular information, to explore species delimitation in the continental species of this genus. Our results indicated that the environmental requirements of the species are different; therefore there are not evidences of ecological interchangeability among them. There is a clear correlation between species distributions and the major biogeographic regions of Central and South America. Their overall distribution reveals that allopatry or parapatry is the general pattern. These evidences suggest that habitat isolation prevents or limits gene exchange among them. The phylogenetic reconstruction showed that the continental Epicrates are monophyletic, being E. alvarezi the sister species for the remaining two clades: E. crassus-E. assisi, and E. maurus-E. cenchria. The clade grouping the continental Epicrates is the sister taxon of the genus Eunectes and not of the Caribbean Epicrates clade, indicating that the genus is paraphyletic. There is a non-consistent pattern in niche evolution among continental Epicrates. On the contrary, a high variation and abrupt shifts in environmental variables are shown when ancestral character states were reconstructed on the sequence-based tree. The degree of genetic and ecological divergence among continental Epicrates and the phylogenetic analyses support the elevation to full species of E. cenchria, E. crassus, E. maurus, E. assisi, and E. alvarezi.

  11. Dracunculus mulbus n. sp. (Nematoda: Spirurida) from the water python Liasis fuscus (Serpentes: Boidae) in northern Australia.

    PubMed

    Jones, Hugh I; Mulder, Eridani

    2007-03-01

    A new species of Dracunculus Reichard, 1759 (Nematoda: Spirurida) is described from the tissues surrounding organs in the body-cavity of the water python Liasis fuscus Peters in northern Australia. One to 14 worms were recovered from 22% (27/120) of pythons examined. Males were located principally around the lungs, liver and heart of the hosts, and females were recovered from peritoneal tissue surrounding the intestines and lining the body-cavity. This species differs from previously described species of Dracunculus in the position of the papillae at the posterior end in males, and in the possession of thick, narrow caudal alae. Submedian cephalic papillae are single in both sexes. Dorsal and ventral anterior cephalic papillae are absent in males. This is the first report of a species of Dracunculus from the Australian region.

  12. Molecular phylogeny and taxonomy of the Epictia goudotii Species complex (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae: Epictinae) in Middle America and northern South America

    PubMed Central

    McCranie, James R.

    2016-01-01

    Here we review the systematics of the threadsnakes of the Epictia goudotii Species complex in Middle and northern South America using external morphology and molecular data. Two species, Epictia goudotii and E. magnamaculata, are currently recognized from that region, but we provide evidence for recognizing, as species, three other nominal forms usually treated as subspecies of E. goudotii: E. ater, E. bakewelli, and E. phenops. Thus, together with E. columbi (Bahamas), we recognize six species in the Epictia goudotii Species complex. Because E. albifrons from northern South America has been confused with E. goudotii in the past, we also briefly discuss the taxonomic status of that species and its apparent close relative E. tenella, which are not members of the E. goudotii complex. PMID:26788430

  13. Phylogeography across a continent: the evolutionary and demographic history of the North American racer (Serpentes: Colubridae: Coluber constrictor).

    PubMed

    Burbrink, Frank T; Fontanella, Frank; Alexander Pyron, R; Guiher, Timothy J; Jimenez, Cynthia

    2008-04-01

    Most phylogeographic studies examine organisms that do not have transcontinental distributions and therefore the genetic and temporal effects of barriers across an entire continent cannot be assessed with respect to a single species. We examined the phylogeographic structure, lineage age, and historical demography using sequences from the mtDNA cytochrome b gene of the widespread North American racer (Coluber constrictor), one of the few abundant transcontinental snakes that occurs throughout many diverse biomes. Our results indicate that this complex is comprised of six lineages differing greatly in geographic extent, with the largest (a central US clade) being approximately 26 times greater than the smallest (a lineage restricted to the Florida Panhandle and nearby portions of adjacent States). Most of the six lineages appear to be separated at previously identified genetic barriers for several vertebrates with similar ranges. Lineage diversification in this species began in the late Miocene, separating populations in the Florida Peninsula from the remainder of the US. Diversification of lineages continued throughout the Pliocene and early Pleistocene. Four of the six lineages occur east of the Mississippi River, with only two distinctly young ( approximately 1.5 mya) lineages found west of the Mississippi River (one occurs west of Continental Divide). All methods of demographic inference, including the mismatch distribution, Fu and Li's D and Tajima's D , and Bayesian skyline plots revealed population expansion occurring in the mid-to-late Pleistocene for every lineage, regardless of size or proximity to formerly glaciated areas. Population expansion for lineages found east of the Mississippi River occurred earlier and was much greater than those found west of the River. PMID:18093846

  14. No time to worship the serpent deities: women, economic change, and religion in north-western Nepal.

    PubMed

    Saul, R

    1999-03-01

    This paper explores the changing relationships between lay women, and the spiritual realm, in two ethnic Tibetan communities, Kag and Dzong, in northwestern Nepal. The study tackles how economic and social change has affected women's spiritual roles within the household and the community, and how these roles, in turn, have influenced the course of such change. In Kag, the introduction of tourism changed women's way of life. They became income-generating members of the community as lodge-owners. With new responsibilities to manage, Kag women eventually neglected their traditional social and spiritual obligations, much to the dismay of the older generation. On the other hand, women in Dzong still consider full social and physical participation in village life important despite the added obligations. They maintain spiritual harmony within the village. Dzongba women do not seem to feel the same conflicts as Kagpa women. The negative impact of Kag women's neglect of traditional social and spiritual responsibilities should be weighed against the possible benefits to women, household, and economy.

  15. A new species of triadal coral snake of the genus Micrurus Wagler, 1824 (Serpentes: Elapidae) from northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pires, Matheus Godoy; Da Silva, Nelson Jorge; Feitosa, Darlan Tavares; Prudente, Ana Lúcia Da Costa; Filho, Gentil Alves Pereira; Zaher, Hussam

    2014-06-05

    The genus Micrurus comprises 123 currently recognized taxa (species and subspecies) that are traditionally arranged in four species groups diagnosable mainly by color pattern characteristics. Here, we describe a new species of triadal coral snake from northeastern Brazil. The new species is distinguished from other sympatric triadal congeners (M. lemniscatus carvalhoi, M. ibiboboca and M. brasiliensis) mainly by the entirely black parietals and by a suite of external characters and hemipenial morphology. The new species appears to be restricted to tropical ombrophilous lowland coastal forests of northeastern Brazil and all recently collected specimens are known to occur in small forest patches surrounded by periurban environment, which calls for an urgent evaluation on its conservation status.

  16. Maintaining Coral Snakes (Micrurus nigrocinctus, Serpentes: Elapidae) for venom production on an alternative fish-based diet.

    PubMed

    Chacón, Danilo; Rodríguez, Santos; Arias, Jazmín; Solano, Gabriela; Bonilla, Fabián; Gómez, Aarón

    2012-09-01

    American Elapid snakes (Coral Snakes) comprise the genera Leptomicrurus, Micruroides and Micrurus, which form a vast taxonomic assembly of 330 species distributed from the South of United States to the southern region of South America. In order to obtain venom for animal immunizations aimed at antivenom production, Coral Snakes must be kept in captivity and submitted periodically to venom extraction procedures. Thus, to maintain a snake colony in good health for this purpose, a complete alternative diet utilizing an easily obtained prey animal is desirable. The development of a diet based on fish is compared to the wild diet based on colubrid snakes, and assessed in terms of gain in body weight rate (g/week), longevity (weeks), venom yield (mg/individual), venom median lethal dose (LD₅₀) and venom chromatographic profiles. The animals fed with the fish-based diet gained more weight, lived longer, and produced similar amount of venom whose biological and biochemical characteristics were similar to those of venom collected from specimens fed with the wild diet. This fish-based diet appears to be suitable (and preferable to the wild diet) to supply the nutritional requirements of a Micrurus nigrocinctus snake collection for the production of antivenom.

  17. Systematics of Nothopsini (Serpentes, Dipsadidae), with a new species of Synophis from the Pacific Andean slopes of southwestern Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Pyron, R Alexander; Guayasamin, Juan M; Peñafiel, Nicolás; Bustamante, Lucas; Arteaga, Alejandro

    2015-01-01

    Within Dipsadinae, some recent authors have recognized a tribe Nothopsini containing the genera Diaphorolepis, Emmochliophis, Nothopsis, Synophis, and Xenopholis, on the basis of a number of putative morphological synapomorphies. However, molecular results suggest that Nothopsis, Synophis, and Xenopholis do not form a monophyletic group, while the remaining taxa are unsampled in recent molecular phylogenies. Here, DNA-sequence data for some Diaphorolepis and Synophis species are provided for the first time, as well as additional new sequences for Nothopsis and some Synophis species. Including these and other existing data for nothopsine species, previous studies showing that Nothopsini is not a natural group are corroborated. Nothopsini Cope, 1871 is restricted to Nothopsis. Diaphorolepidini Jenner, 1981 is resurrected and re-delimited to include only Diaphorolepis, Emmochliophis, and Synophis. Finally, Xenopholis remains Dipsadinae incertae sedis. Known material of Diaphorolepidini is reviewed to generate revised and expanded descriptions and diagnoses at the tribe, genus, and species level. Numerous cryptic species are likely present in Synophis bicolor and Synophis lasallei. Finally, a new population from the low-elevation cloud forests of SW Ecuador is reported upon, which is genetically and morphologically distinct from all other species, that is here named Synophis zaheri sp. n. PMID:26798284

  18. Genetic differentiation among species of the genus Thermophis Malnate (Serpentes, Colubridae) and comments on T. shangrila.

    PubMed

    Hofmann, Sylvia; Tillack, Frank; Miehe, Georg

    2015-01-01

    The genus Thermophis includes the two species, T. baileyi and T. zhaoermii, which differ morphologically, geographically and molecularly. Recently, a third Thermophis species was described from Shangri-La, northern Yunnan Province, China, and named T. shangrila. The new species was based on morphological and genetic data derived from three specimens. However, the morphological features used to delimit this species seem vague, because they may fall within the range of intraspecific variation of T. zhaoermii. Furthermore, the reported genetic differences in nuclear data are questionable. They likely resulted from a misinterpretation probably due to alignment/analytical flaws or sample/sequence mix-up. Here, we used partial sequences of three mitochondrial (CO1, ND4, cytb) genes and one nuclear (c-mos) gene to analyse the genetic variation between and within species of Thermophis. We inferred the phylogeny using Bayesian Inference and Maximum Likelihood approaches and present additional morphological data that contribute to the knowledge on intraspecific variation in the genus. Our results indicate lacking robustness in the distinguishing morphological features and in the genetic differentiation of T. shangrila and highlight the need for more detailed morphological and molecular studies from a substantially larger sample.

  19. A taxonomic revision of the Asian keelback snakes, genus Amphiesma (Serpentes: Colubridae: Natricinae), with description of a new species.

    PubMed

    Guo, Peng; Zhu, Fei; Liu, Qin; Zhang, Liang; Li, Jian X; Huang, Yu Y; Pyron, R Alexander

    2014-01-01

    The Asian keelback snakes (genus Amphiesma) are a widely distributed group of Old World natricines, inhabiting a variety of niches and exhibiting significant morphological variation. Recent molecular phylogenies suggest that this genus is not monophyletic, and that additional cryptic diversity is also likely present. We conducted a phylogenetic analysis of the group based on 3162 bp of one mitochondrial gene (Cyt. b) and three nuclear genes (C-mos, Rag1, NT3), sampling 18 species in addition to those sequenced in previous works. All analyses consistently show that Amphiesma consists of three distinct, monophyletic lineages with strong support. We divide Amphiesma into three genera, Amphiesma, Hebius, and Herpetoreas. The genus Amphiesma is monotypic, Herpetoreas contains three species, and Hebius comprises the remaining 39 species. On the basis of a combination of molecular analyses and external morphological comparisons, we describe a new species in the Herpetoreas group from China as H. burbrinki sp. nov. Several other species are shown to be non-monophyletic or contain significant levels of intraspecific genetic diversity. Another Old World natricine genera, Xenochrophis is also found to be non-monophyletic. Our results indicate that further taxonomic revisions are needed in Natricinae, at multiple levels. 

  20. The complete mitochondrial genome of the striped-tailed rat-snake, Orthriophis taeniurus (Reptilia, Serpentes, Colubridae).

    PubMed

    Li, En; Sun, Fuxiao; Zhang, Ruidong; Chen, Jing; Wu, Xiaobing

    2016-01-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) of the striped-tailed rat-snake Orthriophis taeniurus was determined in the present study. The genome is 17,183 bp in size, containing 2 ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes, 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes, and 2 control regions (CRI and CRII). The gene order and orientation in O. taeniurus mitogenome are basically identical to that of other alethinophidian snakes. Nucleotide composition is very similar with other vertebrates, showing an AT bias.

  1. Cryptodacus Hendel, 1914 (Insecta: Diptera: TEPHRITIDAE): Proposed conservation by suppression of Cryptodacus Gundlach, 1862 (Reptilia: Serpentes: COLUBRIDAE)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The purpose of this application under Articles 78.1, 80.2.2, and 81.2.1 is to conserve current usage of the well-established genus-group name Cryptodacus Hendel, 1914 for a genus of Neotropical fruit flies by suppression of the earlier name Cryptodacus Gundlach, 1862, currently a junior synonym of A...

  2. Three new endemic species of Epictia Gray, 1845 (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae) from the dry forest of northwestern Peru.

    PubMed

    Koch, Claudia; Venegas, Pablo J; Böhme, Wolfgang

    2015-06-02

    Three new blind snake species of the genus Epictia are described based on material collected in the Peruvian Regions Amazonas, Cajamarca and La Libertad. All three species are well differentiated from all congeners based on characteristics of their morphology and coloration. They share 10 scale rows around the middle of the tail and possess two supralabials with the anterior one in broad contact with the supraocular. Epictia septemlineata sp. nov. has 16 subcaudal scales, 257 mid-dorsal scale rows, a yellowish-white rostral, and a black terminal spine. Epictia vanwallachi sp. nov. exhibits 16 subcaudals, 188 mid-dorsal scale rows, a grayish-brown rostral, and a yellow terminal spine. Epictia antoniogarciai sp. nov. features 14-18 subcaudals, 195-208 mid-dorsal scale rows, a bright yellow or yellowish-white rostral, and the terminal spine and terminal portion of the tail yellow. All three species were collected in the interandean dry forest valleys of the Marañón River and its tributaries. This region is an area of endemism and warrants further attention from systematic and conservation biologists.

  3. Systematics of Nothopsini (Serpentes, Dipsadidae), with a new species of Synophis from the Pacific Andean slopes of southwestern Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Pyron, R Alexander; Guayasamin, Juan M; Peñafiel, Nicolás; Bustamante, Lucas; Arteaga, Alejandro

    2015-01-01

    Within Dipsadinae, some recent authors have recognized a tribe Nothopsini containing the genera Diaphorolepis, Emmochliophis, Nothopsis, Synophis, and Xenopholis, on the basis of a number of putative morphological synapomorphies. However, molecular results suggest that Nothopsis, Synophis, and Xenopholis do not form a monophyletic group, while the remaining taxa are unsampled in recent molecular phylogenies. Here, DNA-sequence data for some Diaphorolepis and Synophis species are provided for the first time, as well as additional new sequences for Nothopsis and some Synophis species. Including these and other existing data for nothopsine species, previous studies showing that Nothopsini is not a natural group are corroborated. Nothopsini Cope, 1871 is restricted to Nothopsis. Diaphorolepidini Jenner, 1981 is resurrected and re-delimited to include only Diaphorolepis, Emmochliophis, and Synophis. Finally, Xenopholis remains Dipsadinae incertae sedis. Known material of Diaphorolepidini is reviewed to generate revised and expanded descriptions and diagnoses at the tribe, genus, and species level. Numerous cryptic species are likely present in Synophis bicolor and Synophis lasallei. Finally, a new population from the low-elevation cloud forests of SW Ecuador is reported upon, which is genetically and morphologically distinct from all other species, that is here named Synophis zaheri sp. n.

  4. A new species of slender coralsnake from Colombia, and its clinal an ontogenetic variation (Serpentes, Elapidae: Leptomicrurus).

    PubMed

    Lamar, William W

    2003-01-01

    Leptomicrurus renjifoi is described from tropical semi-deciduous forest of the eastern Colombian Ilanos. It is one of the smallest species in the genus, is most similar to L. scutiventris, and it may be distinguished from known congeners by a combination of color, pattern, and scale characters. Evidence for the recognition of Leptomicrurus is convincing, although its members were recently thought to comprise a closely related assemblage within Micrurus. A supposedly aberrant specimen of L. scutiventris may indicate clinal or ontogenetic variation in pattern.

  5. Body size as a primary determinant of ecomorphological diversification and the evolution of mimicry in the lampropeltinine snakes (Serpentes: Colubridae).

    PubMed

    Pyron, R Alexander; Burbrink, F T

    2009-10-01

    Evolutionary correlations between functionally related character suites are expected as a consequence of coadaptation due to physiological relationships between traits. However, significant correlations may also exist between putatively unrelated characters due to shared relationships between those traits and underlying variables, such as body size. Although such patterns are often dismissed as simple body size scaling, this presumption may overlook important evolutionary patterns of diversification. If body size is the primary determinant of potential diversity in multiple unrelated characters, the observed differentiation of species may be governed by variability in body size, and any biotic or abiotic constraints on the diversification thereof. Here, we demonstrate that traits related to both predatory specialization (gape and diet preference) and predatory avoidance (the development of Batesian mimicry) are phylogenetically correlated in the North American snake tribe Lampropeltini. This is apparently due to shared relationships between those traits and adult body size, suggesting that size is the primary determinant of ecomorphological differentiation in the lampropeltinines. Diversification in body size is apparently not linked to climatic or environmental factors, and may have been driven by interspecific interactions such as competition. Additionally, we find the presence of a 'key zone' for the development of both rattle- and coral snake mimicry; only small snakes feeding primarily on ectothermic prey develop mimetic colour patterns, in or near the range of venomous model species. PMID:19702841

  6. A perspective on natural products research and ethnopharmacology in Mexico: the eagle and the serpent on the prickly pear cactus.

    PubMed

    Heinrich, Michael; Frei Haller, Barbara; Leonti, Marco

    2014-03-28

    Mexico's extraordinarily rich cultural and floristic diversity has fascinated explorers and researchers ever since the "New World" was discovered for and by Europeans. For many decades, natural product research has been a very active field of research in Mexico, and there also are some ongoing ethnopharmacological research efforts. This review provides an overview and critical appraisal on some key developments in these fields and examples of medicinal plants used by indigenous communities that have become of great local importance in Mexican popular medicine. In this review, the focus is on plants with effects on the CNS, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory processes, and gastrointestinal disorders. While some of the major food plants consumed worldwide originate from southern North America, only very few medicinal plants have become of major global importance. Opuntia species are now used increasingly to manage diabetes and metabolic syndrome and represent an example of a novel medicinal product/supplement. Undoubtedly, narcotic and mind-altering drugs both have received the widest scientific interest and have attracted considerable popular attention. The history of use of the indigenous Mexican Materia Medica in the context of research on local and popular resources specifically with regard to the diverse challenges in the context of studying the world's biodiversity and the development of comparative and semiquantitative ethnobotanical research methods is discussed herein. Natural product and ethnopharmacological research in Mexico seems to have been influenced by the political and societal developments originating from the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and subsequent conventions, which have not yet had the desired effect of giving value to these local resources, as they might deserve. Their equitable and sustainable implementation remains a challenge. Natural product research and ethnopharmacology will play a key role in developing an adequate evidence base for such products derived from local and traditional knowledge in Mexico.

  7. ["Lingue di seripi", "serpents' tongues" and "glossopetrae". Highlights from the history of popular "cult" medicine in early modern times].

    PubMed

    Freller, T

    1997-01-01

    In the 16th, 17th and 18th century "Glossopetrae", popularly known as "Lingue di Serpi", found on the Mediterranean island of Malta, were extensively used for medical purposes as antidotes. These fossil teeth, including specimens of the "Carcharodon Megalodon" (an extinct variant of the great white shark), were ground to powder or used as amulet pendants and "credence" and exported to pharmacies and shops in various cities of Europe. In antiquity, authors like Plinius or Solinus, excluding any religious connotations, had regarded "Glossopetrae" as objects "fallen from heaven on dark moonless nights". However, from the beginning of the 16th century the miraculous antidotic power of the specimens found at Malta was very strongly connected with the Pauline cult there. This cult owed ist origin to the excerpt of the shipwreck of the Apostle of the Gentiles on this island, as recorded in the New Testament. As in so many cases found in medieval and early modern medicine and pharmacy, the renown, collection, distribution and use of the antidote "Glossopetrae" or "Lingue di Serpi" was never limited to its real chemical and pharmaceutical properties. In the period of enlightenment and secular thinking mythic medicine as "Glossopetrae" had lost ist "magical" power. Consequently, with beginning of the late 18th century also the Maltese "Glossopetrae" featured in literature merely as exotic objects of curiosity or symbols of an age bound to medical superstition.

  8. 77 FR 4614 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Children of the Plumed...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-30

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF STATE Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: ``Children of the Plumed Serpent: The... exhibition ``Children of the Plumed Serpent: The Legacy of Quetzalcoatl in Ancient Mexico,'' imported...

  9. Recruitment of striatonigral disinhibitory and nigrotectal inhibitory GABAergic pathways during the organization of defensive behavior by mice in a dangerous environment with the venomous snake Bothrops alternatus (Reptilia, Viperidae).

    PubMed

    Almada, Rafael Carvalho; Coimbra, Norberto Cysne

    2015-06-01

    The neuropsychopharmacological basis of fear- or panic-related behavior has been the focus of several studies. Some mesencephalic tectum (MT) structures, such as the superior colliculus (SC) and dorsal periaqueductal gray matter (dPAG), are considered to be responsible for the control of defensive responses evoked during threatening situations. Furthermore, the pars reticulata of the substantia nigra (SNpr) sends inputs to the SC that can work as a sensory channel to MT neurons fundamental for the elaboration of defensive responses. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the role of striato-nigral GABAergic inputs in the activity of nigro-tectal outputs during the elaboration of defensive behavior using a GABA(A) receptor selective blockade in the MT of mice confronted pre-treated with Bothrops alternatus. Mice with injections of physiological saline into the SNpr and treated with a GABA(A) receptor selective antagonist in the MT displayed an increase in panic-related behavior, expressed by an increase in the duration of freezing, frequency of nonoriented escape and frequency of total escape responses during the confrontation with the snake. However, intra-SNpr injections of cobalt chloride followed by MT injections of bicuculline caused a significant decrease in the duration of freezing and total escape responses. In addition, intra-SNpr injections of lidocaine followed by MT injections of bicuculline caused an increase in panic-related behavior. The results highlight the involvement of SNpr and MT structures in the organization of defensive behaviors and suggest an inhibitory control of striatonigral-nigrotectal pathways during the elaboration of fear- and panic-related behavior.

  10. Biological and immunological properties of the venom of Bothrops alcatraz, an endemic species of pitviper from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Furtado, M F D

    2005-06-01

    Bothrops alcatraz is a new pitviper species derived from the Bothrops jararaca group, whose natural habitat is situated in Alcatrazes Archipelago, a group of marine islands near São Paulo State coast in Brazil. Herein, the biological and biochemical properties of venoms of four adult specimens of B. alcatraz were examined comparatively to a reference pool of Bothrops jararaca venom. Both venoms showed similar activities and electrophoretic patterns, but B. alcatraz venom showed three protein bands of molecular masses of 97, 80 and 38 kDa that were not present in B. jararaca reference venom. The i.p. median lethal dose of B. alcatraz venom ranged from 5.1 to 6.6 mg/kg, while it was 1.5 mg/kg for B. jararaca venom. The minimum hemorrhagic dose of B. jararaca venom was 0.63, whereas 2.28 mug/mouse for B. alcatraz venom. In contrast, B. alcatraz venom was more potent in regard to procoagulant and proteolytic activities. These differences were supported by western blotting and neutralization tests, employing commercial bothropic antivenom, which showed that hemorrhagic and lethal activities of B. alcatraz venom were less effectively inhibited than B. jararaca venom. Such results evidence that B. alcatraz shows quantitative and qualitative differences in venom composition in comparison with its B. jararaca relatives, which might represent an optimization of venom towards a specialized diet. PMID:16002343

  11. Genetic divergence and diversity in the Mona and Virgin Islands Boas, Chilabothrus monensis (Epicrates monensis) (Serpentes: Boidae), West Indian snakes of special conservation concern.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Robles, Javier A; Jezkova, Tereza; Fujita, Matthew K; Tolson, Peter J; García, Miguel A

    2015-07-01

    Habitat fragmentation reduces the extent and connectivity of suitable habitats, and can lead to changes in population genetic structure. Limited gene flow among isolated demes can result in increased genetic divergence among populations, and decreased genetic diversity within demes. We assessed patterns of genetic variation in the Caribbean boa Chilabothrus monensis (Epicrates monensis) using two mitochondrial and seven nuclear markers, and relying on the largest number of specimens of these snakes examined to date. Two disjunct subspecies of C. monensis are recognized: the threatened C. m. monensis, endemic to Mona Island, and the rare and endangered C. m. granti, which occurs on various islands of the Puerto Rican Bank. Mitochondrial and nuclear markers revealed unambiguous genetic differences between the taxa, and coalescent species delimitation methods indicated that these snakes likely are different evolutionary lineages, which we recognize at the species level, C. monensis and C. granti. All examined loci in C. monensis (sensu stricto) are monomorphic, which may indicate a recent bottleneck event. Each population of C. granti exclusively contains private mtDNA haplotypes, but five of the seven nuclear genes assayed are monomorphic, and nucleotide diversity is low in the two remaining markers. The faster pace of evolution of mtDNA possibly reflects the present-day isolation of populations of C. granti, whereas the slower substitution rate of nuDNA may instead mirror the relatively recent episodes of connectivity among the populations facilitated by the lower sea level during the Pleistocene. The small degree of overall genetic variation in C. granti suggests that demes of this snake could be managed as a single unit, a practice that would significantly increase their effective population size. PMID:25837733

  12. Phylogenetic relationships within Bothrops neuwiedi group (Serpentes, Squamata): geographically highly-structured lineages, evidence of introgressive hybridization and Neogene/Quaternary diversification.

    PubMed

    Machado, Taís; Silva, Vinícius X; Silva, Maria José de J

    2014-02-01

    Eight current species of snakes of the Bothrops neuwiedi group are widespread in South American open biomes from northeastern Brazil to southeastern Argentina. In this paper, 140 samples from 93 different localities were used to investigate species boundaries and to provide a hypothesis of phylogenetic relationships among the members of this group based on 1122bp of cyt b and ND4 from mitochondrial DNA and also investigate the patterns and processes occurring in the evolutionary history of the group. Combined data recovered the B. neuwiedi group as a highly supported monophyletic group in maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses, as well as four major clades (Northeast I, Northeast II, East-West, West-South) highly-structured geographically. Monophyly was recovered only for B. pubescens. By contrast, B. diporus, B. lutzi, B. erythromelas, B. mattogrossensis, B. neuwiedi, B. marmoratus, and B. pauloensis, as currently defined on the basis of morphology, were polyphyletic. Sympatry, phenotypic intergrades and shared mtDNA haplotypes, mainly between B. marmoratus and B. pauloensis suggest recent introgressive hybridization and the possible occurrence of a narrow hybrid zone in Central Brazil. Our data suggest at least three candidate species: B. neuwiedi from Espinhaço Range, B. mattogrossensis (TM173) from Serra da Borda (MT) and B. diporus (PT3404) from Castro Barros, Argentina. Divergence estimates highlight the importance of Neogene events in the origin of B. neuwiedi group, and the origin of species and diversification of populations of the Neotropical fauna from open biomes during the Quaternary climate fluctuations. Data reported here represent a remarkable increase of the B. neuwiedi group sampling size, since representatives of all the current recognized species from a wide geographic range are included in this study, providing basic information for understanding the evolution and conservation of Neotropical biodiversity. PMID:24140980

  13. "So it really does exist-the sea-Serpent we've never believed in!" Ferenczi's influence on Freud revisited.

    PubMed

    Bonomi, Carlo

    2013-12-01

    In the last phase of his work, Ferenczi created a new language for trauma, based on the fragmentation of mental life. In the paper on "The principles of relaxation and neocatharsis," Ferenczi reformulated the goal of analysis by proposing that "no analysis can be regarded … as complete unless we have succeed in penetrating the traumatic material", where the "traumatic material" was not to be sought in the neurotic reactions and adaptive solutions of the ego but in more primitive reactions, such as the psychotic turning away from reality, splitting, and fragmentation. This was exactly the material that Freud assimilated in the essay "A disturbance of memory on the Acropolis", after the death of Ferenczi. Freud visited Athens in 1904, and the walk up to the Parthenon represented the successful coronation of his self-analysis. Actually, the hallucination turned out to be so uncanny that he never again visited Athens. In a letter to Fliess, written shortly before the meeting in Nuremberg, on January 24, 1897, Freud reported on a case history turning on a "scene about the circumcision of a girl," who later was convincingly identified by Schur as Emma Eckstein. Did Freud have the germinal idea that Emma Eckstein's hallucination of the penis contained the wish to overcome her trauma and the hope to have a restored genital? Is this the holy visitation, which haunted him on the Acropolis? Why did he give up the profound insight that the dreams of gigantic snakes had a traumatic origin?

  14. The snake family Psammophiidae (Reptilia: Serpentes): phylogenetics and species delimitation in the African sand snakes (Psammophis Boie, 1825) and allied genera.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Christopher M R; Barker, Nigel P; Villet, Martin H; Broadley, Donald G; Branch, William R

    2008-06-01

    This study constitutes the first evolutionary investigation of the snake family Psammophiidae--the most widespread, most clearly defined, yet perhaps the taxonomically most problematic of Africa's family-level snake lineages. Little is known of psammophiid evolutionary relationships, and the type genus Psammophis is one of the largest and taxonomically most complex of the African snake genera. Our aims were to reconstruct psammophiid phylogenetic relationships and to improve characterisation of species boundaries in problematic Psammophis species complexes. We used approximately 2500 bases of DNA sequence from the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes, and 114 terminals covering all psammophiid genera and incorporating approximately 75% of recognised species and subspecies. Phylogenetic reconstructions were conducted primarily in a Bayesian framework and we used the Wiens/Penkrot protocol to aid species delimitation. Rhamphiophis is diphyletic, with Rhamphiophis acutus emerging sister to Psammophylax. Consequently we transfer the three subspecies of Rhamphiophis acutus to the genus Psammophylax. The monotypic genus Dipsina is sister to Psammophis. The two species of Dromophis occupy divergent positions deeply nested within Psammophis, and we therefore relegate Dromophis to the synonymy of Psammophis. Our results allow division of the taxonomically problematic Psammophis 'sibilans' species complex into two monophyletic entities, provisionally named the 'phillipsii' and 'subtaeniatus' complexes. Within these two clades we found support for the status of many existing species, but not for a distinction between P.p. phillipsii and P. mossambicus. Additionally, P. cf. phillipsii occidentalis deserves species status as the sister taxon of P. brevirostris.

  15. Effectiveness of phylogenomic data and coalescent species-tree methods for resolving difficult nodes in the phylogeny of advanced snakes (Serpentes: Caenophidia).

    PubMed

    Pyron, R Alexander; Hendry, Catriona R; Chou, Vincent M; Lemmon, Emily M; Lemmon, Alan R; Burbrink, Frank T

    2014-12-01

    Next-generation genomic sequencing promises to quickly and cheaply resolve remaining contentious nodes in the Tree of Life, and facilitates species-tree estimation while taking into account stochastic genealogical discordance among loci. Recent methods for estimating species trees bypass full likelihood-based estimates of the multi-species coalescent, and approximate the true species-tree using simpler summary metrics. These methods converge on the true species-tree with sufficient genomic sampling, even in the anomaly zone. However, no studies have yet evaluated their efficacy on a large-scale phylogenomic dataset, and compared them to previous concatenation strategies. Here, we generate such a dataset for Caenophidian snakes, a group with >2500 species that contains several rapid radiations that were poorly resolved with fewer loci. We generate sequence data for 333 single-copy nuclear loci with ∼100% coverage (∼0% missing data) for 31 major lineages. We estimate phylogenies using neighbor joining, maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and three summary species-tree approaches (NJst, STAR, and MP-EST). All methods yield similar resolution and support for most nodes. However, not all methods support monophyly of Caenophidia, with Acrochordidae placed as the sister taxon to Pythonidae in some analyses. Thus, phylogenomic species-tree estimation may occasionally disagree with well-supported relationships from concatenated analyses of small numbers of nuclear or mitochondrial genes, a consideration for future studies. In contrast for at least two diverse, rapid radiations (Lamprophiidae and Colubridae), phylogenomic data and species-tree inference do little to improve resolution and support. Thus, certain nodes may lack strong signal, and larger datasets and more sophisticated analyses may still fail to resolve them.

  16. Feeding ecology of Erythrolamprus jaegeri jaegeri (Günter, 1858) and Erythrolamprus poecilogyrus sublineatus (Cope, 1860) in the coastal zone of Subtropical Brazil (Serpentes, Dipsadidae).

    PubMed

    Corrêa, Daniele N; Quintela, Fernando M; Loebmann, Daniel

    2016-03-01

    The snakes Erythrolamprus jaegeri jaegeri and Erythrolamprus poecilogyrus sublineatus are sympatric and syntopic in the coastal region of southern Brazil. Herein, we analyzed the diet composition to evaluate the niche breadth and the prey selection by both species. We examined 192 specimens, and analysis of stomach contents revealed that both species predominantly consume anurans. However, the diet of E. j. jaegeri consists mainly of fish and amphibians, whereas that of E. p. sublineatus is broader, including fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. The Standardized Levins Index presented lower values for E. j. jaegeri (BA = 0.17) than for E. p. sublineatus (BA = 0.61), evidencing specialist and generalist strategies for each species, respectively. Regarding prey selection, E. p. sublineatus presented a larger snout-vent length, head, mouth and lower jaw than E. j. jaegeri and fed on larger prey. In addition, positive correlations between the size and weight of predators and prey were confirmed in both species. The results show the development of different mechanisms for co-occurrence of the two species, such as prey selection by size, such that the size of the predator is related to the size of their prey, or by developing different strategies to decrease niche overlap between species.

  17. Genetic divergence and diversity in the Mona and Virgin Islands Boas, Chilabothrus monensis (Epicrates monensis) (Serpentes: Boidae), West Indian snakes of special conservation concern.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Robles, Javier A; Jezkova, Tereza; Fujita, Matthew K; Tolson, Peter J; García, Miguel A

    2015-07-01

    Habitat fragmentation reduces the extent and connectivity of suitable habitats, and can lead to changes in population genetic structure. Limited gene flow among isolated demes can result in increased genetic divergence among populations, and decreased genetic diversity within demes. We assessed patterns of genetic variation in the Caribbean boa Chilabothrus monensis (Epicrates monensis) using two mitochondrial and seven nuclear markers, and relying on the largest number of specimens of these snakes examined to date. Two disjunct subspecies of C. monensis are recognized: the threatened C. m. monensis, endemic to Mona Island, and the rare and endangered C. m. granti, which occurs on various islands of the Puerto Rican Bank. Mitochondrial and nuclear markers revealed unambiguous genetic differences between the taxa, and coalescent species delimitation methods indicated that these snakes likely are different evolutionary lineages, which we recognize at the species level, C. monensis and C. granti. All examined loci in C. monensis (sensu stricto) are monomorphic, which may indicate a recent bottleneck event. Each population of C. granti exclusively contains private mtDNA haplotypes, but five of the seven nuclear genes assayed are monomorphic, and nucleotide diversity is low in the two remaining markers. The faster pace of evolution of mtDNA possibly reflects the present-day isolation of populations of C. granti, whereas the slower substitution rate of nuDNA may instead mirror the relatively recent episodes of connectivity among the populations facilitated by the lower sea level during the Pleistocene. The small degree of overall genetic variation in C. granti suggests that demes of this snake could be managed as a single unit, a practice that would significantly increase their effective population size.

  18. A new species of Serpentirhabdias Tkach, Kuzmin & Snyder, 2014 (Nematoda: Rhabdiasidae) parasitic in the brown ground snake Atractus major Boulenger (Reptilia: Serpentes: Dipsadidae) in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Kuzmin, Yuriy; Melo, Francisco Tiago de Vasconcelos; dos Santos, Jeannie Nascimento

    2014-10-01

    Serpentirhabdias atracti n. sp. is described based on specimens discovered in the lung of Atractus major Boulenger from Caxiuanã National Forest, Pará, Brazil. The new species is assigned to Serpentirhabdias Tkach, Kuzmin & Snyder, 2014 based on morphological characters (comparatively thin body cuticle without prominent inflations, arrangement of circumoral papillae in two lateral groups, pre-equatorial position of vulva, eggs in uteri at early cleavage stages), as well as because of its parasitism in snakes. The new species is most similar to S. vellardi (Pereira, 1928) due to the absence of lips and buccal capsule, similar body dimensions, and the specificity to dipsadid snakes in Brazil. The two species differ in the shape of the tail (bulbous dilatation in the posterior part followed by a thread-like tail tip present in S. atracti n. sp.), the width of the oesophagus, and the size of the excretory glands. Serpentirhabdias atracti n. sp. is the sixth species of this genus found in the Neotropical Region.

  19. Two snakes from eastern Australia (Serpentes: Elapidae); a revised concept of Antaioserpens warro (De Vis) and a redescription of A. albiceps (Boulenger).

    PubMed

    Couper, Patrick J; Peck, Stephen R; Emery, Jon-Paul; Keogh, J Scott

    2016-01-01

    Antaioserpens warro sensu lato is known from two populations, one in north-eastern Queensland (Qld), the other from south central Qld. Morphological and genetic assessments demonstrate that these widely separated populations represent two species. A re-examination of museum specimens and the type descriptions show that the name A. warro (De Vis) has been erroneously applied to the north-eastern Qld species. The type specimen of A. warro, from the Gladstone district in south-east Qld, is badly faded but the colour pattern as described by De Vis (1884a) is consistent with that of recently collected specimens from south central Qld and it is this species to which the name applies. The earliest available name for the species from north-eastern Qld is A. albiceps (Boulenger, 1898). Both A. warro and A. albiceps are redescribed herein. PMID:27394554

  20. A reassessment of Melanophidium Günther, 1864 (Squamata: Serpentes:
    Uropeltidae) from the Western Ghats of peninsular India, with the description of a new species.

    PubMed

    Gower, David J; Giri, Varad; Captain, Ashok; Wilkinson, Mark

    2016-01-01

    A new species of the uropeltid snake genus, Melanophidium Günther, 1864 is described based on a series of eight specimens. Melanophidium khairei sp. nov. is the fourth species described in the genus, and the first for 144 years. Superficially M. khairei sp. nov. resembles M. punctatum Beddome, 1871 in being piebald and punctate (and it was previously misidentified as M. punctatum), but in many scalation characters it more closely resembles M. wynaudense (Beddome, 1863). The new species occurs in southern Maharashtra, Goa, and northern Karnataka, in the Western Ghats region of peninsula India. It is the most northerly member of its genus. Lectotypes and paralectotypes are designated for M. wynaudense, M. bilineatum Beddome, 1870, and M. punctatum. A new key to the species of Melanophidium is presented. Aspects of the morphology, taxonomy and distribution of the three previously described species of Melanophidium are reviewed and revised. PMID:27394315

  1. A molecular and morphological characterization of Oliver's parrot snake, Leptophis coeruleodorsus (Squamata: Serpentes: Colubridae) with the description of a new species from Tobago.

    PubMed

    Murphy, John C; Charles, Stevland P; Lehtinen, Richard M; Koeller, Krista L

    2013-01-01

    Currently, two snake species of the genus Leptophis occur in Trinidad and Tobago. One, L. stimsoni, is endemic to Trinidad's Northern Range and known from relatively few specimens. The second is the diurnal, arboreal, brightly colored parrot snake Leptophis coeruleodorsus Oliver. It was originally described based on 23 specimens from Trinidad, Tobago, and four locations in northern Venezuela but remains poorly known. It was later assigned as a subspecies of Leptophis ahaetulla; a widespread, polytypic species. Here we compare 11 specimens of the L. ahaetulla Group using DNA sequences from two mitochondrial genes (cytochrome b and 16S, 1,383 bp total) from island and mainland populations, report on the variation in the morphology of 54 museum specimens of Leptophis a. coeruleodorsus; describe the previously undescribed holotype of L. coeruleodorsus Oliver, and restrict its type locality. Additionally, we describe a new species of Leptophis from the island of Tobago that can be distinguished from L. coeruleodorsus on the basis of snout shape, upper labial architecture, elongated prefrontal scales, and ventral scale counts. The new Leptophis raises the number of endemic Tobago amphibians and reptiles to 11 taxa.

  2. Redescription of Haemogregarina garnhami (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) from the blood of Psammophis schokari (Serpentes: Colubridae) as Hepatozoon garnhami n. comb. based on molecular, morphometric and morphologic characters.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Baki, Abdel-Azeem S; Al-Quraishy, Saleh; Zhang, J Y

    2014-06-01

    Hepatozoon garnhami n. comb. was redescribed from Schokari sand snakes (Psammophis schokari) collected from Riyadh city in Saudi Arabia. Gametocytes were found in the peripheral blood of 2 of 15 snakes examined. Based on the similar morphological and morphometric characteristics, the same host and a similar host habitat environment, it can be concluded for the first time that the present species is conspecific with Haemogregarina garnhami previously reported from Psammophis shokari aegyptius. To further characterize this parasite, the partial 18S rRNA gene was amplified and sequenced. The sequence analysis also showed that Haemogregarina garnhami should be reassigned into the genus Hepatozoon as Hepatozoon garnhami which has 99.5% (859/863 bp) sequence similarity to Hepatozoon ayorgbor, infecting the erythrocytes of Python regius in Ghana. Phylogenetic analysis showed that H. garnhami formed a mixed clade with Hepatozoon spp. from geckos, snakes and rodents and ophidian Hepatozoon spp. did not form a separated phylogenetic unit. Also, Psammophis schokari-infecting Hepatozoon contained several different genetic lineages. To our knowledge, the present work extends the geographic distribution of H. garnhami and is the first report of Hepatozoon infection in snakes from Saudi Arabia.

  3. Two snakes from eastern Australia (Serpentes: Elapidae); a revised concept of Antaioserpens warro (De Vis) and a redescription of A. albiceps (Boulenger).

    PubMed

    Couper, Patrick J; Peck, Stephen R; Emery, Jon-Paul; Keogh, J Scott

    2016-01-01

    Antaioserpens warro sensu lato is known from two populations, one in north-eastern Queensland (Qld), the other from south central Qld. Morphological and genetic assessments demonstrate that these widely separated populations represent two species. A re-examination of museum specimens and the type descriptions show that the name A. warro (De Vis) has been erroneously applied to the north-eastern Qld species. The type specimen of A. warro, from the Gladstone district in south-east Qld, is badly faded but the colour pattern as described by De Vis (1884a) is consistent with that of recently collected specimens from south central Qld and it is this species to which the name applies. The earliest available name for the species from north-eastern Qld is A. albiceps (Boulenger, 1898). Both A. warro and A. albiceps are redescribed herein.

  4. Understanding the formation of ancient intertropical disjunct distributions using Asian and Neotropical hinged-teeth snakes (Sibynophis and Scaphiodontophis: Serpentes: Colubridae).

    PubMed

    Chen, Xin; Huang, Song; Guo, Peng; Colli, Guarino R; Nieto Montes de Oca, Adrián; Vitt, Laurie J; Pyron, R Alexander; Burbrink, Frank T

    2013-01-01

    Numerous taxa show ancient intertropical disjunct distributions. Many can be explained by well-known processes of historical vicariance, such as the breakup of Gondwanaland. Others, such as Asian-Neotropical divergences are not as well understood. To clarify the phylogenetic position and understand biogeographic and temporal origins of the geographically disjunct and morphologically unique genera of hinged-teeth snakes, Scaphiodontophis (n=1) and Sibynophis (n=9; Colubridae), we inferred a time-calibrated phylogeny with additional 107 taxa representing the superfamily Colubroidea using four genes (c-mos, cyt-b, ND2, RAG-1; 3085 bp). We used this tree to estimate ancestral areas for the group. The results show that Scaphiodontophis is sister to Sibynophis, both originated in the late Eocene/Oligocene in Asia and likely dispersed through Beringia to the New World, but unlike other snake groups left no extant species in temperate North America. Current recognition of Scaphiodontophiinae renders Colubrinae paraphyletic, and we resurrect the previously named subfamily Sibynophiinae to encompass both genera and use the tribes Sibynophiini (Sibynophis) and Scaphiodontophiini (Scaphiodontophis) to highlight the geographically distinct areas occupied by these taxa. These results suggest that intercontinental dispersal with extinction in intermediate areas can explain puzzling patterns of ancient intertropical disjunct distributions.

  5. Redescription of Haemogregarina garnhami (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) from the blood of Psammophis schokari (Serpentes: Colubridae) as Hepatozoon garnhami n. comb. based on molecular, morphometric and morphologic characters.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Baki, Abdel-Azeem S; Al-Quraishy, Saleh; Zhang, J Y

    2014-06-01

    Hepatozoon garnhami n. comb. was redescribed from Schokari sand snakes (Psammophis schokari) collected from Riyadh city in Saudi Arabia. Gametocytes were found in the peripheral blood of 2 of 15 snakes examined. Based on the similar morphological and morphometric characteristics, the same host and a similar host habitat environment, it can be concluded for the first time that the present species is conspecific with Haemogregarina garnhami previously reported from Psammophis shokari aegyptius. To further characterize this parasite, the partial 18S rRNA gene was amplified and sequenced. The sequence analysis also showed that Haemogregarina garnhami should be reassigned into the genus Hepatozoon as Hepatozoon garnhami which has 99.5% (859/863 bp) sequence similarity to Hepatozoon ayorgbor, infecting the erythrocytes of Python regius in Ghana. Phylogenetic analysis showed that H. garnhami formed a mixed clade with Hepatozoon spp. from geckos, snakes and rodents and ophidian Hepatozoon spp. did not form a separated phylogenetic unit. Also, Psammophis schokari-infecting Hepatozoon contained several different genetic lineages. To our knowledge, the present work extends the geographic distribution of H. garnhami and is the first report of Hepatozoon infection in snakes from Saudi Arabia. PMID:24827101

  6. Optimization of geometry, material and economic parameters of a two-zone subcritical reactor for transmutation of nuclear waste with SERPENT Monte Carlo code

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gulik, Volodymyr; Tkaczyk, Alan Henry

    2014-06-01

    An optimization study of a subcritical two-zone homogeneous reactor was carried out, taking into consideration geometry, material, and economic parameters. The advantage of a two-zone subcritical system over a single-zone system is demonstrated. The study investigated the optimal volume ratio for the inner and outer zones of the subcritical reactor, in terms of the neutron-physical parameters as well as fuel cost. Optimal geometrical parameters of the system are suggested for different material compositions.

  7. 78 FR 17359 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Marine Geophysical Survey in the...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-21

    ... overlain with fault bounded, rotated, continental crustal blocks and underlain by serpentinized peridotite, and the Peridotite Ridge, composed of serpentized peridotite and thought to be upper mantle exhumed...

  8. The Seminole Serpent Warrior At Miramar, FL, Shows Settlement Locations Enabled Environmental Monitoring Reminiscent Of the Four-corners Kokopelli-like EMF Phenomena, and Related to Earthquakes, Tornados and Hurricanes.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balam Matagamon, Chan; Pawa Matagamon, Sagamo

    2004-03-01

    Certain Native Americans of the past seem to have correctly deduced that significant survival information for their tradition-respecting cultures resided in EMF-based phenomena that they were monitoring. This is based upon their myths and the place or cult-hero names they bequeathed us. The sites we have located in FL have been detectable by us visually, usually by faint blue light, or by the elicitation of pin-like prickings, by somewhat intense nervous-system response, by EMF interactions with aural electrochemical systems that can elicit tinitus, and other ways. In the northeast, Cautantowit served as a harbinger of Indian summer, and appears to be another alter ego of the EMF. The Miami, FL Tequesta site along the river clearly correlates with tornado, earthquake and hurricane locations. Sites like the Mohave Deserts giant man may have had similar significance.

  9. RICIS Software Engineering 90 Symposium: Aerospace Applications and Research Directions Proceedings

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    Papers presented at RICIS Software Engineering Symposium are compiled. The following subject areas are covered: synthesis - integrating product and process; Serpent - a user interface management system; prototyping distributed simulation networks; and software reuse.

  10. Geophysics could explain Ancient Maya Myth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruchez, Margaret Sabom

    According to Maya mythology, the splendor of the principal entity, the Feathered Serpent, is exalted at Lake Atitlán in southwestern Guatemala. A chance look at a phenomenon in the natural environment reveals the possible geophysical basis of this myth.More than poetic fancy, the flight of the Feathered Serpent could refer to the dissipation of a soliton wave formed in the 130-km2 caldera lake. In the myth, recounted in the sixteenth century document los anales de los caqchiqueles, the newly acceded leader of the Kaqchikel-speaking Maya tribe rises from the lake transformed as the Feathered Serpent [Recinos and Goetz, 1953, p. 76]. Residents claim a gigantic serpent, Xocomil, still lives in the waters.

  11. Geophysics Could Explain Ancient Maya Myth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabom Bruchez, Margaret

    2005-03-01

    According to Maya mythology, the splendor of the principal entity, the Feathered Serpent, is exalted at Lake Atitlán in southwestern Guatemala. A chance look at a phenomenon in the natural environment reveals the possible geophysical basis of this myth. More than poetic fancy, the flight of the Feathered Serpent could refer to the dissipation of a soliton wave formed in the 130-km2 caldera lake. In the myth, recounted in the sixteenth century document los anales de los caqchiqueles, the newly acceded leader of the Kaqchikel-speaking Maya tribe rises from the lake transformed as the Feathered Serpent [Recinos and Goetz, 1953, p. 76]. Residents claim a gigantic serpent, Xocomil, still lives in the waters.

  12. Haematopoiesis in snakes (Ophidia) in early postnatal development.

    PubMed

    Dabrowski, Z; Sano Martins, I S; Tabarowski, Z; Witkowska-Pelc, E; Spadacci Morena, D D; Spodaryk, K; Podkowa, D

    2007-05-01

    The occurrence of haematopoiesis has been studied in various parts of the spine and in the ribs in four species of snakes (Boa constrictor L., Elaphe guttata L., Lamprophis fulaginosus Boie., Bothrops jararaca Wied.) from hatching until 150 days of postnatal development. Marrow spaces are formed by chondrolysis with various time frames depending on the studied species. Marrow cells egress to the general circulation in two ways: via migration through the endothelial cells lining the venous sinuses or by the rupture of protrusions. Erythroblasts are present in the lumen of marrow sinuses suggesting their final maturation there. Various relationships of the spleen to the pancreas have been found. No myelopoietic foci occur in the spleen, liver or kidney of any of the studied species. However, erythropoiesis (sparse islets) has been observed in Bothrops jararaca spleen.

  13. [Effect of reduction in the Bothrops antivenin dose administrated in patients bitten by the Bothrops snake].

    PubMed

    Jorge, M T; Ribeiro, L A

    1994-01-01

    Seven hundred and thirty accidents by Bothrops snake bite attended at Hospital Vital Brazil-Instituto Butantan (HVB-IB) were studied: 411 of in 1983/84 (group A) and 319 in 1986 (group B). All the patients were seen in the Hospital 6 hours after the bite. As an average, all the 411 patients of the group A and the 319 patients of the group B received antivenom capable of neutralizing 215 mg and 117 mg of Bothrops jararaca, respectively. Both groups were similar concerning to: sex and age of the patients; anatomic region bitten; frequency of incision and tourniquet use at the site bite; time in between of the accident and the admission at HVB-IB; classification of B. jararaca either young or adult; frequency of the coagulation impairment. There was no difference in the evolution of the local envenoming manifestations and there were no cases of death. PMID:8061698

  14. Plant natural products active against snake bite--the molecular approach.

    PubMed

    Mors, W B; Nascimento, M C; Pereira, B M; Pereira, N A

    2000-11-01

    The article surveys the substances identified in plants reputed to neutralize the effects of snake venoms. Protective activity of many of them against the lethal action of the venom of the jararaca (Bothrops jararaca) snake was confirmed by biological assays. It was shown that all belong to chemical classes capable of interacting with macromolecular targets--receptors and enzymes. In a few cases it has been shown that exogenous natural micromolecules can mimic the biological activity of endogenous macromolecules. From the evidence presented, it can be inferred that micromolecules which neutralize the action of snake venoms mechanistically replace endogenous antitoxic serum proteins with venom neutralizing capacity such as produced by some animals. PMID:11130675

  15. Snakebite.

    PubMed

    Dutta, T K; Mukta, V

    2006-05-01

    The five families of poisonous snakes are: Viperidae, elapidae, colubridae, hydrophidae, atractaspididae. The commonly seen snakes in India are saw scaled viper, Russell's viper, common cobri and common crait. The venom of a single snake contains all the toxins. The venom of viperidae is haemotoxic. It may complicate with acute renal failure if left untreated. The venom of elapidae is neurotoxic. Management consists in two parts-general and specific. Supportive treatment is done with the use of antibiotics and tetanus immunoglobulin/toxoid. Specific therapy for viper bite is elaborated in this article. Elapid bite and hydrophidae bites are also discussed. Prevention of snakebite is done with avoidance of contact with a snake by using protective knee length footwear and thick gloves. Venom toxoids are used for secondary prevention among the farmers of Japan. PMID:17058570

  16. Asclepius, Caduceus, and Simurgh as medical symbols, part I.

    PubMed

    Nayernouri, Touraj

    2010-01-01

    This is the first of two articles reviewing the history of medical symbols. In this first article I have briefly reviewed the evolution of the Greek god, Asclepius, (and his Roman counterpart Aesculapius) with the single serpent entwined around a wooden rod as a symbol of western medicine and have alluded to the misplaced adoption of the Caduceus of the Greek god Hermes (and his Roman counterpart Mercury) with its double entwined serpents as an alternative symbol. In the second part of this article (to be published later), I have made a tentative suggestion of why the Simorgh might be adopted as an Eastern or an Asian symbol for medicine.

  17. Asclepius, Caduceus, and Simurgh as medical symbols, part I.

    PubMed

    Nayernouri, Touraj

    2010-01-01

    This is the first of two articles reviewing the history of medical symbols. In this first article I have briefly reviewed the evolution of the Greek god, Asclepius, (and his Roman counterpart Aesculapius) with the single serpent entwined around a wooden rod as a symbol of western medicine and have alluded to the misplaced adoption of the Caduceus of the Greek god Hermes (and his Roman counterpart Mercury) with its double entwined serpents as an alternative symbol. In the second part of this article (to be published later), I have made a tentative suggestion of why the Simorgh might be adopted as an Eastern or an Asian symbol for medicine. PMID:20039773

  18. Soluble P-selectin rescues viper venom–induced mortality through anti-inflammatory properties and PSGL-1 pathway-mediated correction of hemostasis

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Der-Shan; Ho, Pei-Hsun; Chang, Hsin-Hou

    2016-01-01

    Venomous snakebites are lethal and occur frequently worldwide each year, and receiving the antivenom antibody is currently the most effective treatment. However, the specific antivenom might be unavailable in remote areas. Snakebites by Viperidae usually lead to hemorrhage and mortality if untreated. In the present study, challenges of rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) venom markedly increased the circulating soluble P-selectin (sP-sel) level, but not P-selectin (P-sel, Selp−/−) mutants, in wild-type mice. Because sP-sel enhances coagulation through the P-selectin ligand 1 (PSGL-1, Selplg) pathway to produce tissue factor–positive microparticles, we hypothesized that increasing the plasma sP-sel level can be a self-rescue response in hosts against snake venom–mediated suppression of the coagulation system. Confirming our hypothesis, our results indicated that compared with wild-type mice, Selp−/− and Selplg−/− mice were more sensitive to rattlesnake venom. Additionally, administration of recombinant sP-sel could effectively reduce the mortality rate of mice challenged with venoms from three other Viperidae snakes. The antivenom property of sP-sel is associated with improved coagulation activity in vivo. Our data suggest that the elevation of endogenous sP-sel level is a self-protective response against venom-suppressed coagulation. The administration of recombinant sP-sel may be developed as a new strategy to treat Viperidae snakebites. PMID:27779216

  19. Comment on Spracklandus Hoser, 2009 (Reptilia, Serpentes, ELAPIDAE): request for confirmation of availability of the generic name and for the nomenclatural validation of the journal in which it was published (Case 3601; BZN 70:234–237; 71:30–38; 133-135,181-182 ,252-253)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rhodin, Anders G.J.; Kaiser, Hinrich; van Dijk, Peter Paul; Wüster, Wolfgang; O’Shea, Mark; Archer, Michael; Auliya, Mark; Boitani, Luigi; Bour, Roger; Clausnitzer, Viola; Contreras-MacBeath, Topiltzin; Crother, Brian I.; Daza, Juan M.; Driscoll, Carlos A.; Flores-Villela, Oscar; Frazier, Jack; Fritz, Uwe; Gardner, Alfred L.; Gascon, Claude; Georges, Arthur; Glaw, Frank; Grazziotin, Felipe G.; Groves, Colin P.; Haszprunar, Gerhard; Havaš, Peter; Hero, Jean-Marc; Hoffmann, Michael; Hoogmoed, Marinus S.; Horne, Brian D.; Iverson, John B.; Jäch, Manfred; Jenkins, Christopher L.; Jenkins, Richard K.B.; Kiester, A. Ross; Keogh, J. Scott; Lacher, Thomas E.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Luiselli, Luca; Mahler, D. Luke; Mallon, David P.; Mast, Roderic; McDiarmid, Roy W.; Measey, John; Mittermeier, Russell A.; Molur, Sanjay; Mosbrugger, Volker; Murphy, Robert W.; Naish, Darren; Niekisch, Manfred; Ota, Hidetoshi; Parham, James F.; Parr, Michael J.; Pilcher, Nicolas J.; Pine, Ronald H.; Rylands, Anthony B.; Sanderson, James G.; Savage, Jay M.; Schleip, Wulf; Scrocchi, Gustavo J.; Shaffer, H. Bradley; Smith, Eric N.; Sprackland, Robert; Stuart, Simon N.; Vetter, Holger; Vitt, Laurie J.; Waller, Tomás; Webb, Grahame; Wilson, Edward O.; Zaher, Hussam; Thomson, Scott

    2015-01-01

    In Case 3601 Raymond Hoser has asked the Commission to validate for the purposes of nomenclature the name Spracklandus Hoser, 2009, and ‘the journal in which it was published,’ issue 7 of the Australasian Journal of Herpetology (AJH). We note that the entire run of AJH has been written, edited, and published solely by Hoser. Although his requests to the Commission were presented as narrow and, in his words, ‘routine matters,’ we are convinced that they represent an important tipping-point with broad implications of major concern for zoological taxonomy and nomenclature as a whole and, by extension, the greater scientific community. Since Hoser’s actions and works have failed to follow scientific best practices (e.g. Turtle Taxonomy Working Group, 2007, 2014; Kaiser et al., 2013; Kaiser, 2014) and both the Commission’s general Recommendations and Code of Ethics in Appendix A, the global herpetological community has widely rejected his taxonomic decisions and resultant nomenclature. This has unfortunately caused a confusing dual nomenclature to develop in the herpetological community, with most boycotting or ignoring Hoser’s 700+ new names coined in the AJH, while he and a few personal followers actively promote their usage. We believe that suppression of the name Spracklandus, and all issues of AJH, is the only effective way to bring this contentious and confusing issue to resolution. The plenary power available under Article 81.1 of the Code exist specifically to allow the Commission to make rulings in individual cases that disturb stability and cause confusion, whether the works are Code-compliant or not. We maintain that it is in the interest of nomenclatural stability, not only for herpetology, but for all of zoological taxonomy, that the plenary power be invoked to declare the works in AJH unavailable, regardless of any narrow interpretation of their technical Code-compliance. We present our arguments for rejection of the validity of AJH in the following commentary. In view of the wide-reaching implications of this case for all of zoology, and reflecting the deep and broad-based community concern over these issues, our contributing authors include 70 global scientific leaders and accomplished amateurs from a wide variety of zoological disciplines.

  20. Animal Symbols in the Art of the Hodensaunee.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, Richard

    1987-01-01

    Explains the significance of the main animal symbols incorporated into the social, cultural, artistic, and spiritual fabric of the Hodenosaunee (the People of the Longhouse) also known as the Six Nations Iroquois: the eagle, turtle, bear, wolf, hawk, heron, snipe, eel, deer, beaver, moose, snake, and serpent. (NEC)

  1. Interior view, detail view of the balustrade; the balustrade is ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    Interior view, detail view of the balustrade; the balustrade is cast bronze and consists of two ribbed posts alternating with a single post decorated with twisted serpents - New Post Office Building, Twelfth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, District of Columbia, DC

  2. A genome-wide RNA interference screen identifies a differential role of the mediator CDK8 module subunits for GATA/ RUNX-activated transcription in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Gobert, Vanessa; Osman, Dani; Bras, Stéphanie; Augé, Benoit; Boube, Muriel; Bourbon, Henri-Marc; Horn, Thomas; Boutros, Michael; Haenlin, Marc; Waltzer, Lucas

    2010-06-01

    Transcription factors of the RUNX and GATA families play key roles in the control of cell fate choice and differentiation, notably in the hematopoietic system. During Drosophila hematopoiesis, the RUNX factor Lozenge and the GATA factor Serpent cooperate to induce crystal cell differentiation. We used Serpent/Lozenge-activated transcription as a paradigm to identify modulators of GATA/RUNX activity by a genome-wide RNA interference screen in cultured Drosophila blood cells. Among the 129 factors identified, several belong to the Mediator complex. Mediator is organized in three modules plus a regulatory "CDK8 module," composed of Med12, Med13, CycC, and Cdk8, which has long been thought to behave as a single functional entity. Interestingly, our data demonstrate that Med12 and Med13 but not CycC or Cdk8 are essential for Serpent/Lozenge-induced transactivation in cell culture. Furthermore, our in vivo analysis of crystal cell development show that, while the four CDK8 module subunits control the emergence and the proliferation of this lineage, only Med12 and Med13 regulate its differentiation. We thus propose that Med12/Med13 acts as a coactivator for Serpent/Lozenge during crystal cell differentiation independently of CycC/Cdk8. More generally, we suggest that the set of conserved factors identified herein may regulate GATA/RUNX activity in mammals. PMID:20368357

  3. Software engineering activities at SEI (Software Engineering Institute)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chittister, Clyde

    1990-01-01

    Prototyping was shown to ease system specification and implementation, especially in the area of user interfaces. Other prototyping approaches do not allow for the evolution of the prototype into a production system or support maintenance after the system is fielded. A set of goals is presented for a modern user interface environment and Serpent, a prototype implementation that achieves these goals, is described.

  4. Use of microarrays for investigating the subtoxic effects of snake venoms: insights into venom-induced apoptosis in human umbilical vein endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Gallagher, Paul G; Bao, Yongde; Serrano, Solange M T; Kamiguti, Aura S; Theakston, R David G; Fox, Jay W

    2003-03-01

    The pathological effects of only a small percentage of the total number of protein components of snake venoms are well documented, yet this knowledge has led to a general understanding of the physiological consequences of snake venom poisoning. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of subpathological levels of Crotalus atrox (Western diamondback rattlesnake) and Bothrops jararaca (Jararaca) snake venoms on the gene expression profile of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) in culture. Analysis of the data demonstrated that HUVECs treated with C. atrox venom had 33 genes up-regulated with significant fold changes of 1.5 or greater compared to untreated control cells. Ten genes were down-regulated with 1.5 or greater fold changes. In cells treated with B. jararaca venom, 33 genes were observed to be up-regulated and 11 genes were down-regulated with a fold change of 1.5 or more. More than half of the up-regulated genes and approximately half of the down-regulated genes detected in cells treated with the venoms were found in both data sets underscoring both the similarities and differences between the two venoms. Ontological categorization of the up-regulated genes from endothelial cells treated with either C. atrox or B. jararaca venom gave the cell growth/maintenance and signal transducer groups as having the most members. The ontology of the down-regulated genes from both venom-treated cell samples was more varied but interestingly, the predominant ontology class was also cell growth/maintenance. Many of the up-regulated genes are involved in the Fas ligand/TNF-alpha receptor apoptotic pathway. In summary, these experiments demonstrate the power of gene expression profiling to explore the subtoxic effects of venoms on gene expression and highlight its potential for the discovery of novel insights into a variety of biological processes and signal transduction pathways. Furthermore, these studies illustrate the subtle functional differences between

  5. Inhibition of hemorragic snake venom components: old and new approaches.

    PubMed

    Panfoli, Isabella; Calzia, Daniela; Ravera, Silvia; Morelli, Alessandro

    2010-04-01

    Snake venoms are complex toxin mixtures. Viperidae and Crotalidae venoms, which are hemotoxic, are responsible for most of the envenomations around the world. Administration of antivenins aimed at the neutralization of toxins in humans is prone to potential risks. Neutralization of snake venom toxins has been achieved through different approaches: plant extracts have been utilized in etnomedicine. Direct electric current from low voltage showed neutralizing properties against venom phospholipase A2 and metalloproteases. This mini-review summarizes new achievements in venom key component inhibition. A deeper knowledge of alternative ways to inhibit venom toxins may provide supplemental treatments to serum therapy.

  6. The management of viper bites on the hand.

    PubMed

    Ince, B; Gundeslioglu, A O

    2014-07-01

    The management of Viperidae snake bites of the hand is discussed from an assessment of the results of snake bite treatments in our clinic. Between 2010 and 2012, 23 patients presenting with venomous snake bites were admitted. None of the patients received a blood transfusion or underwent fasciotomy. There were no severe sensitivity reactions owing to the snake antivenom; however, one patient required a surgical procedure. Repetition of antivenom therapy is necessary to decrease the complication rate in patients with venomous snake bites. Moreover, the use of a peripheral vasodilator may decrease the complication rates in cases where the bite is on the digits.

  7. [Venomous and poisonous animals. III. Elapidae snake envenomation].

    PubMed

    Chippaux, J P

    2007-02-01

    Envenomation by Elapidae snakes is less frequent than by Viperidae snakes but represents a true medical emergency due to rapid progression of cobra syndrome. Elapidae venom contains neurotoxins that paralyze striated muscles especially in the thoracic cavity. Respiratory paralysis can occur within a few hours and is preceded by neurological symptoms (local paresthesia and paresis progressing to the cranial nerves). When cobra envenomation is suspected, antivenom administration by the direct venous route must be undertaken as quickly as possible to stop the envenomation process. Artificial ventilation is necessary in case of dyspnea.

  8. [Rod of Asclepius. Symbol of medicine].

    PubMed

    Young, Pablo; Finn, Bárbara C; Bruetman, Julio E; Cesaro Gelos, Jorge; Trimarchi, Hernán

    2013-09-01

    Symbolism is one of the most archaic forms of human thoughts. Symbol derives from the Latin word symbolum, and the latter from the Greek symbolon or symballo, which means "I coincide, I make matches". The Medicine symbol represents a whole series of historical and ethical values. Asclepius Rod with one serpent entwined, has traditionally been the symbol of scientific medicine. In a misconception that has lasted 500 years, the Caduceus of Hermes, entwined by two serpents and with two wings, has been considered the symbol of Medicine. However, the Caduceus is the current symbol of Commerce. Asclepius Rod and the Caduceus of Hermes represent two professions, Medicine and Commerce that, in ethical practice, should not be mixed. Physicians should be aware of their real emblem, its historical origin and meaning.

  9. [Rod of Asclepius. Symbol of medicine].

    PubMed

    Young, Pablo; Finn, Bárbara C; Bruetman, Julio E; Cesaro Gelos, Jorge; Trimarchi, Hernán

    2013-09-01

    Symbolism is one of the most archaic forms of human thoughts. Symbol derives from the Latin word symbolum, and the latter from the Greek symbolon or symballo, which means "I coincide, I make matches". The Medicine symbol represents a whole series of historical and ethical values. Asclepius Rod with one serpent entwined, has traditionally been the symbol of scientific medicine. In a misconception that has lasted 500 years, the Caduceus of Hermes, entwined by two serpents and with two wings, has been considered the symbol of Medicine. However, the Caduceus is the current symbol of Commerce. Asclepius Rod and the Caduceus of Hermes represent two professions, Medicine and Commerce that, in ethical practice, should not be mixed. Physicians should be aware of their real emblem, its historical origin and meaning. PMID:24522424

  10. Spallation Source Modelling for an ADS Using the MCNPX and GEANT4 Packages for Sensitivity Analysis of Reactivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antolin, M. Q.; Marinho, F.; Palma, D. A. P.; Martinez, A. S.

    2014-04-01

    A simulation for the time evolution of the MYRRHA conceptual reactor was developed. The SERPENT code was used to simulate the nuclear fuel depletion and the spallation source which drives the system was simulated using both MCNPX and GEANT4 packages. The obtained results for the neutron energy spectrum from the spallation are coherent with each other and were used as input for the SERPENT code which simulated a constant power operation regime. The obtained results show that the criticality of the system is not sensitive to the spallation models employed and only relative small deviations with respect to the inverse kinetic model coming from the point kinetic equations proposed by Gandini were observed.

  11. Finite-difference, time-domain analysis of a folded acoustic transmission line.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Charles M

    2005-03-01

    Recently designed, modern versions of renais sance woodwind instruments such as the recorder and serpent use square cross sections and a folded acoustic transmission line. Conventional microwave techniques would expect that this bend would cause unwanted reflections and impedance discontinuities. This paper analyses the folded acoustic transmission line using finite-difference, time-domain techniques and shows that the discontinuity can be compensated with by the use of a manufacturable method. PMID:15857045

  12. [Pharmaceutical ceramics by Buthaud].

    PubMed

    Devaux, G; Arléry, S

    1977-01-01

    In 1928 in Bordeaux, the ceramics manufacturer René Buthaud (1886-1986) created, in the neo-classical style that is typical of his work, four large pharmacists' jars, for display in a city dispensary. These pieces are presented here, each one decorated differently, with the back showing variations on the theme of the serpent and the front the design of tall, unclothed women holding objects Symbolic of the pharmceutical art.

  13. Computation of a Canadian SCWR unit cell with deterministic and Monte Carlo codes

    SciTech Connect

    Harrisson, G.; Marleau, G.

    2012-07-01

    The Canadian SCWR has the potential to achieve the goals that the generation IV nuclear reactors must meet. As part of the optimization process for this design concept, lattice cell calculations are routinely performed using deterministic codes. In this study, the first step (self-shielding treatment) of the computation scheme developed with the deterministic code DRAGON for the Canadian SCWR has been validated. Some options available in the module responsible for the resonance self-shielding calculation in DRAGON 3.06 and different microscopic cross section libraries based on the ENDF/B-VII.0 evaluated nuclear data file have been tested and compared to a reference calculation performed with the Monte Carlo code SERPENT under the same conditions. Compared to SERPENT, DRAGON underestimates the infinite multiplication factor in all cases. In general, the original Stammler model with the Livolant-Jeanpierre approximations are the most appropriate self-shielding options to use in this case of study. In addition, the 89 groups WIMS-AECL library for slight enriched uranium and the 172 groups WLUP library for a mixture of plutonium and thorium give the most consistent results with those of SERPENT. (authors)

  14. The conserved structure of snake venom toxins confers extensive immunological cross-reactivity to toxin-specific antibody.

    PubMed

    Harrison, R A; Wüster, W; Theakston, R D G

    2003-03-01

    We have demonstrated previously that antisera from mice immunised with DNA encoding the carboxy-terminal domain (JD9) of a potent haemorrhagic metalloproteinase, jararhagin, neutralised over 70% of the haemorrhagic activity of the whole Bothrops jararaca venom. Here, we demonstrate that the JD9-specific antibody possesses extensive immunological reactivity to venom components in snakes of distinct species and genera. The polyspecific immunological reactivity of the antibody showed a correlation with amino acid sequence identity and with predicted antigenic domains of JD9-analogues in venoms of snakes with closest phylogenetic links to B. jararaca. This study further promotes the potential of DNA immunisation to generate toxin-specific antibodies with polyspecific cover. An analysis of the reactivity of the JD9-specific antisera to B. atrox complex venoms that exhibited intraspecific variation in the venom proteome revealed, however, that the toxin-specific approach to antivenom development requires a more in-depth knowledge of the target molecules than is required for conventional antivenoms. PMID:12657313

  15. Serological analysis of venoms and antivenins*

    PubMed Central

    Schöttler, W. H. A.

    1955-01-01

    The immunological relationship between the venoms of six species of the snake genus Bothrops (alternata, atrox, cotiara, jararaca, jararacussu, neuwiedii) was investigated by assay against the corresponding species-specific antivenins in more than 11,000 intravenous and subcutaneous mouse tests. The observations were statistically analysed after the probit method. Both ways of antivenin assay gave numerically identical results, within the limits of error, in the majority of the tests. The width of the neutralization spectra of the monovalent sera anti-atrox, anti-jararaca, and anti-neuwiedii against the heterologous venoms is similar to that of a polyvalent antivenin obtained by immunization with all the six species of venom. The titre of a polyvalent antibothropic serum may vary with the venom species used in the assay. The following are discussed: reasons for occasional difficulties in reproducing results, variations in the toxicity of different samples of the same venom species, divergences in the susceptibility of various species of laboratory animals to venom, and inter-relations between venoms and antivenins. PMID:13240449

  16. Behavioral Plasticity and the Origins of Novelty: The Evolution of the Rattlesnake Rattle.

    PubMed

    Allf, Bradley C; Durst, Paul A P; Pfennig, David W

    2016-10-01

    Environmentally induced behavior (behavioral plasticity) has long been hypothesized to promote the origins of novel morphological traits, but this idea remains controversial. One context in which this hypothesis can be evaluated is animal communication, where behavior and morphology are often linked. Here, we examined the evolution of one of nature's most spectacular communication signals: the rattlesnake rattle. We specifically evaluated whether rattlesnake rattling behavior-and, hence, the rattle-originated from a simple behavior: vibrating the tail when threatened. By reconstructing the ancestral state of defensive tail vibration, we show that this behavior is nearly ubiquitous in the Viperidae (the family that includes rattlesnakes) and widespread in the Colubridae (the largest snake family, nearly all of which are nonvenomous), suggesting a shared origin for the behavior between these families. After measuring tail vibration in 56 species of Viperidae and Colubridae, we show that the more closely related a species was to rattlesnakes, the more similar it was to rattlesnakes in duration and rate of tail vibration. Thus, the rattlesnake rattle might have evolved via elaboration of a simple behavior. These data thereby support the long-standing hypothesis that behavioral plasticity often precedes-and possibly instigates-the evolution of morphological novelty. PMID:27622880

  17. Hematopoiesis in snakes (Ophidia).

    PubMed

    Dabrowski, Z; Tabarowski, Z; Sano-Martins, I S; Spadacci-Morena, D D; Witkowska-Pelc, E; Krzysztofowicz, E; Spodaryk, K

    2002-01-01

    Locations of the hematopoietic tissue have been described in the following ophidian species: Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops jararacusu, Waglerophis merremii, Elaphe teniura teniura, Boa constrictor, and Python reticulatus. Studies were carried out on perfusion fixed vertebrae, ribs, spleen, liver, thymus, and kidney. Routine histological technique was applied using both light and electron microscopy. Hematopoietic tissue was found in the following locations of the vertebrae: neural spine, neural arch, postzygophysis processes, hypapophysis, vertebral centre. Moreover, intense hematopoiesis was found inside the ribs. In the spleen and thymus, only lymphopoiesis was found. Hematopoietic islets in the spleen were sporadically found only in young specimens. No hematopoiesis was observed in the liver and kidney. In the studied species, there were no differences in the location of hematopoietic tissue. A new model of mature and immature blood cell release to the lumen of marrow sinuses different from that known to operate in higher vertebrates is proposed.

  18. High-level expression, purification, characterization and structural prediction of a snake venom metalloproteinase inhibitor in Pichia pastoris.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yi; Ji, Ming-Kai; Xu, Jian-Wen; Lin, Xu; Lin, Jian-Yin

    2012-03-01

    Snake venom metalloproteinase inhibitor BJ46a is from the serum of the venomous snake Bothrops jararaca. It has been proven to possess the capacity to inhibit matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), likely based on its structural similarity to MMPs. This report describes the successful expression, purification, and characterization of the recombinant protein BJ46a in Pichia pastoris. Purified recombinant protein BJ46a was found to inhibit MMPs. Structural modeling was completed and should provide the foundation for further functional research. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the large scale expression of BJ46a, and it provides promise as a method for generation of BJ46a and investigation of its potential use as a new drug for treatment of antitumor invasion and metastasis. PMID:22307654

  19. Biochemical Characterization, Action on Macrophages, and Superoxide Anion Production of Four Basic Phospholipases A2 from Panamanian Bothrops asper Snake Venom

    PubMed Central

    Rueda, Aristides Quintero; Rodríguez, Isela González; Arantes, Eliane C.; Setúbal, Sulamita S.; Calderon, Leonardo de A.; Zuliani, Juliana P.; Stábeli, Rodrigo G.; Soares, Andreimar M.

    2013-01-01

    Bothrops asper (Squamata: Viperidae) is the most important venomous snake in Central America, being responsible for the majority of snakebite accidents. Four basic PLA2s (pMTX-I to -IV) were purified from crude venom by a single-step chromatography using a CM-Sepharose ion-exchange column (1.5 × 15 cm). Analysis of the N-terminal sequence demonstrated that pMTX-I and III belong to the catalytically active Asp49 phospholipase A2 subclass, whereas pMTX-II and IV belong to the enzymatically inactive Lys49 PLA2s-like subclass. The PLA2s isolated from Panama Bothrops asper venom (pMTX-I, II, III, and IV) are able to induce myotoxic activity, inflammatory reaction mainly leukocyte migration to the muscle, and induce J774A.1 macrophages activation to start phagocytic activity and superoxide production. PMID:23509779

  20. Inhibitory effect of tea polyphenols on local tissue damage induced by snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Pithayanukul, P; Leanpolchareanchai, J; Bavovada, R

    2010-01-01

    The methanolic extract of fresh tea leaves of Camellia sinensis L. (Theaceae) (CS) was assayed for its potential to inhibit enzymes with hydrolytic activity in Naja naja kaouthia Lesson (Elapidae) and Calloselasma rhodostoma Kuhl (Viperidae) venoms. These snake venom enzymes are responsible for the early effects of envenomation, such as local tissue damage and inflammation. The CS extract inhibited phospholipase A(2), proteases, hyaluronidase and L-amino acid oxidase in both venoms by in vitro neutralization and inhibited the hemorrhagic and the dermonecrotic activities of the venoms in vivo. It is suggested that the inhibitory potential of the CS extract against local tissue damage induced by snake venoms may be attributed to complexation and chelation between the venom proteins and the phenolic contents of the extract.

  1. Neutralization of local and systemic toxicity of Daboia russelii venom by Morus alba plant leaf extract.

    PubMed

    Chandrashekara, K T; Nagaraju, S; Nandini, S Usha; Kemparaju, K

    2009-08-01

    Antivenom therapy is the current best therapy available for the treatment of fatal snake envenomation. However, the antivenom offers less or no protection against local effects such as extensive edema, hemorrhage, dermo-, myonecrosis and inflammation at the envenomed region. Viperidae snakes are highly known for their violent local effects and such effects have been commonly treated with plant extracts without any scientific validation in rural India. In this investigation Morus alba plant leaf extract has been studied against the Indian Vipera/Daboia russelii venom induced local and systemic effects. The extract completely abolished the in vitro proteolytic and hyaluronolytic activities of the venom. Edema, hemorrhage and myonecrotic activities were also neutralized efficiently. In addition, the extract partially inhibited the pro-coagulant activity and completely abolished the degradation of Aalpha chain of human fibrinogen. Thus, the extract processes potent antisnake venom property, especially against the local and systemic effects of Daboia russelii venom.

  2. Wide distribution of cysteine-rich secretory proteins in snake venoms: isolation and cloning of novel snake venom cysteine-rich secretory proteins.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, Yasuo; Hyodo, Fumiko; Morita, Takashi

    2003-04-01

    Cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs) are found in epididymis and granules of mammals, and they are thought to function in sperm maturation and in the immune system. Recently, we isolated and obtained clones for novel snake venom proteins that are classified as CRISP family proteins. To elucidate the distribution of snake venom CRISP family proteins, we evaluated a wide range of venoms for immuno-cross-reactivity. Then we isolated, characterized, and cloned genes for three novel CRISP family proteins (piscivorin, ophanin, and catrin) from the venom of eastern cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus), king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), and western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox). Our results show the wide distribution of snake venom CRISP family proteins among Viperidae and Elapidae from different continents, indicating that CRISP family proteins compose a new group of snake venom proteins. PMID:12646276

  3. Snake venom galactoside-binding lectins: a structural and functional overview.

    PubMed

    Sartim, Marco A; Sampaio, Suely V

    2015-01-01

    Snake venom galactoside-binding lectins (SVgalLs) comprise a class of toxins capable of recognizing and interacting with terminal galactoside residues of glycans. In the past 35 years, since the first report on the purification of thrombolectin from Bothrops atrox snake venom, several SVgalLs from Viperidae and Elapidae snake families have been described, as has progressive improvement in the investigation of structural/functional aspects of these lectins. Moreover, the advances of techniques applied in protein-carbohydrate recognition have provided important approaches in order to screen for possible biological targets. The present review describes the efforts over the past 35 years to elucidate SVgalLs, highlighting their structure and carbohydrate recognition function involved in envenomation pathophysiology and potential biomedical applications. PMID:26413085

  4. Venomous bites and stings in the tropical world.

    PubMed

    Warrell, D A

    Snakes of the families Viperidae and Elapidae are responsible for the high incidence of morbidity and mortality after snake bites in countries of West Africa, the Indian subcontinent, South-East Asia, New Guinea and Latin America. Envenoming can cause local effects, notably tissue necrosis; and systemic effects, including paralysis, haemostatic disturbances, shock, increased capillary permeability, myocardial damage, rhabdomyolysis and acute renal failure. Specific hyperimmune serum (antivenom) is the mainstay of medical treatment for severe envenoming. Ancillary treatments such as assisted ventilation, repletion of circulating volume, renal dialysis and surgical debridement of necrotic tissues are needed in some cases. Scorpion stings are a common medical problem in middle and southern America, North Africa and the Middle East. Vasodilator drugs are important to counter the effects of massive catecholamine release. Bites by spiders and stings by hymenoptera and marine animals are responsible for deaths and morbidity in some tropical countries. PMID:8264466

  5. Venomous snakebites.

    PubMed

    Adukauskienė, Dalia; Varanauskienė, Eglė; Adukauskaitė, Agnė

    2011-01-01

    More than 5 million people are bitten by venomous snakes annually and more than 100,000 of them die. In Europe, one person dies due to envenomation every 3 years. There is only one venomous snake species in Lithuania--the common adder (Vipera berus)--which belongs to the Viperidae family; however, there are some exotic poisonous snakes in the zoos and private collections, such as those belonging to the Elapidae family (cobras, mambas, coral snakes, etc.) and the Crotalidae subfamily of the Viperidae family (pit vipers, such as rattlesnakes). Snake venom can be classified into hemotoxic, neurotoxic, necrotoxic, cardiotoxic, and nephrotoxic according to the different predominant effects depending on the family (i.e., venom of Crotalidae and Viperidae snakes is more hemotoxic and necrotoxic, whereas venom of Elapidae family is mainly neurotoxic). The intoxication degree is estimated according to the appearance of these symptoms: 1) no intoxication ("dry" bite); 2) mild intoxication (local edema and pain); 3) moderate intoxication (pain, edema spreading out of the bite zone, and systemic signs); 4) severe intoxication (shock, severe coagulopathy, and massive edemas). This topic is relevant because people tend to make major mistakes providing first aid (e.g., mouth suction, wound incision, and application of ice or heat). Therefore, this article presents the essential tips on how first aid should be performed properly according to the "Guidelines for the Management of Snake-Bites" by the World Health Organization (2010). Firstly, the victim should be reassured. Rings or other things must be removed preventing constriction of the swelling limb. Airway/breathing must be maintained. The bitten limb should be immobilized and kept below heart level to prevent venom absorption and systemic spread. Usage of pressure bandage is controversial since people usually apply it improperly. Incision, mouth suction, or excision should not be performed; neither a tourniquet nor ice or

  6. Current challenges for confronting the public health problem of snakebite envenoming in Central America.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez, José María

    2014-03-06

    Snakebite envenoming is a serious public health problem in Central America, where approximately 5,500 cases occur every year. Panama has the highest incidence and El Salvador the lowest. The majority, and most severe, cases are inflicted by the pit viper Bothrops asper (family Viperidae), locally known as 'terciopelo', 'barba amarilla' or 'equis'. About 1% of the bites are caused by coral snakes of the genus Micrurus (family Elapidae). Despite significant and successful efforts in Central America regarding snakebite envenomings in the areas of research, antivenom manufacture and quality control, training of health professionals in the diagnosis and clinical management of bites, and prevention of snakebites, much remains to be done in order to further reduce the impact of this medical condition. This essay presents seven challenges for improving the confrontation of snakebite envenoming in Central America. Overcoming these challenges demands a coordinated partnership of highly diverse stakeholders though inter-sectorial and inter-programmatic interventions.

  7. Venomous snakebite in Thailand. I: Medically important snakes.

    PubMed

    Chanhome, L; Cox, M J; Wilde, H; Jintakoon, P; Chaiyabutr, N; Sitprija, V

    1998-05-01

    Thailand has an abundance of venomous snakes. Among the neurotoxic family Elapidae, there are three species of the genus Naja (cobras), three of the genus Bungarus (kraits), and the king cobra of the genus Ophiophagus. Other Elapidae snakes in Thailand include sea snakes and Asian coral snakes of the genus Calliophis. They have potent venoms but rarely bite humans. Tissue and hemotoxic snakes are represented by family Viperidae, subfamilies Viperinae and Crotalinae. They remain an occupational hazard for farmers and rubber tappers, causing serious morbidity but only rare deaths, since competent treatment is now widely available throughout Thailand. Purified equine antivenin is manufactured locally for the monocled and Siamese spitting cobras (Naja kaouthia and N. siamensis), king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), banded krait (Bungarus fasciatus), most green pit vipers (Trimeresurus sp.), Malayan pit viper (Calloselasma rhodostoma), and the Siamese Russell's viper (Daboia russelli siamensis).

  8. [Neurotoxins from snake venom].

    PubMed

    Larréché, S; Mion, G; Clapson, P; Debien, B; Wybrecht, D; Goyffon, M

    2008-04-01

    Many snakes are able to quickly immobilize prey, thanks to their venom neurotoxins. Most of these snakes belong to families Elapidae or Hydrophidae but neurotoxins were also isolated from families Viperidae and Colubridae. Ophidian neurotoxins can be classified into several categories: neurotoxins which inhibit synaptic transmission (postsynaptic and presynaptic neurotoxins) and neurotoxins which facilitate it excessively (dendrotoxin and fasciculin). Their toxicity is dose-dependent, and venom effects are extremely fast. The clinical feature is a potentially fatal neurological syndrome, the so called cobraic syndrome. Because death by respiratory arrest may occur quickly with cobraic syndrome, immunotherapy is a true emergency, because toxins irreversible fixing makes immunotherapy effect uncertain after a few hours passed.

  9. Preliminary Analysis of the Transient Reactor Test Facility (TREAT) with PROTEUS

    SciTech Connect

    Connaway, H. M.; Lee, C. H.

    2015-11-30

    The neutron transport code PROTEUS has been used to perform preliminary simulations of the Transient Reactor Test Facility (TREAT). TREAT is an experimental reactor designed for the testing of nuclear fuels and other materials under transient conditions. It operated from 1959 to 1994, when it was placed on non-operational standby. The restart of TREAT to support the U.S. Department of Energy’s resumption of transient testing is currently underway. Both single assembly and assembly-homogenized full core models have been evaluated. Simulations were performed using a historic set of WIMS-ANL-generated cross-sections as well as a new set of Serpent-generated cross-sections. To support this work, further analyses were also performed using additional codes in order to investigate particular aspects of TREAT modeling. DIF3D and the Monte-Carlo codes MCNP and Serpent were utilized in these studies. MCNP and Serpent were used to evaluate the effect of geometry homogenization on the simulation results and to support code-to-code comparisons. New meshes for the PROTEUS simulations were created using the CUBIT toolkit, with additional meshes generated via conversion of selected DIF3D models to support code-to-code verifications. All current analyses have focused on code-to-code verifications, with additional verification and validation studies planned. The analysis of TREAT with PROTEUS-SN is an ongoing project. This report documents the studies that have been performed thus far, and highlights key challenges to address in future work.

  10. Comparative sex chromosome genomics in snakes: differentiation, evolutionary strata, and lack of global dosage compensation.

    PubMed

    Vicoso, Beatriz; Emerson, J J; Zektser, Yulia; Mahajan, Shivani; Bachtrog, Doris

    2013-01-01

    Snakes exhibit genetic sex determination, with female heterogametic sex chromosomes (ZZ males, ZW females). Extensive cytogenetic work has suggested that the level of sex chromosome heteromorphism varies among species, with Boidae having entirely homomorphic sex chromosomes, Viperidae having completely heteromorphic sex chromosomes, and Colubridae showing partial differentiation. Here, we take a genomic approach to compare sex chromosome differentiation in these three snake families. We identify homomorphic sex chromosomes in boas (Boidae), but completely heteromorphic sex chromosomes in both garter snakes (Colubridae) and pygmy rattlesnake (Viperidae). Detection of W-linked gametologs enables us to establish the presence of evolutionary strata on garter and pygmy rattlesnake sex chromosomes where recombination was abolished at different time points. Sequence analysis shows that all strata are shared between pygmy rattlesnake and garter snake, i.e., recombination was abolished between the sex chromosomes before the two lineages diverged. The sex-biased transmission of the Z and its hemizygosity in females can impact patterns of molecular evolution, and we show that rates of evolution for Z-linked genes are increased relative to their pseudoautosomal homologs, both at synonymous and amino acid sites (even after controlling for mutational biases). This demonstrates that mutation rates are male-biased in snakes (male-driven evolution), but also supports faster-Z evolution due to differential selective effects on the Z. Finally, we perform a transcriptome analysis in boa and pygmy rattlesnake to establish baseline levels of sex-biased expression in homomorphic sex chromosomes, and show that heteromorphic ZW chromosomes in rattlesnakes lack chromosome-wide dosage compensation. Our study provides the first full scale overview of the evolution of snake sex chromosomes at the genomic level, thus greatly expanding our knowledge of reptilian and vertebrate sex chromosomes

  11. Astronomy at Teotihuacan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwaniszewski, Stanisław

    Located 37 km from Mexico City, during the first part of the first millennium AD, Teotihuacan was one of the world's largest and most populated cities. The city controlled the obsidian mines and developed far-reaching economic and political interactions, especially with the Classic Maya dynasties, Monte Albán in the Valley of Oaxaca and the Mexican Gulf Coast. Teotihuacan-made pottery and jewelry along with talud-tablero architectural style and the cult of the Feathered Serpent and Rain gods was spread throughout Mesoamerica.

  12. Bernard CLOUET : unpublished double stars measures (French Title: Bernard CLOUET et ses mesures d'étoiles doubles inédites)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorel, J. C.

    2007-09-01

    Bernard CLOUET measured double stars from December 1955 to May 1961, using 22,53cm x 3,009m refractor (objectif Benoît) of the Société Astronomique de France observatory located at 28 rue Serpente, in Paris. He discovered CLU 1 and published only 271 measures of 91 binaries in the Journal des Observateurs, vol. 41, no. 2, pages 31/39, février 1958. The paper presents the program, the method of observation and the latest 398 observations of the 98 previously unpublished double stars.

  13. Spectroscopy of Moses Rock Kimberlite Diatreme

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pieters, C. M.; Mustard, J. F.

    1985-01-01

    Three types of remote sensing data (Airborne Imaging Spectroscopy (AIS), NS001, Zeiss IR-photographs) were obtained for the Moses Rock kimberlite dike in southern Utah. The goal is to identify and characterize the mantle derived mafic component in such volcanic features. The Zeiss and NS001 images provide information on the regional setting and allow units of the dike to be distinguished from surrounding material. A potential unmapped satellite dike was identified. The AIS data provide characterizing information of the surface composition of the dike. Serpentized olivine-bearing soils are (tentatively) identified from the AIS spectra for a few areas within the dike.

  14. Geobotanical techniques for discriminating serpentine rock types in Western United States

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mouat, D.; Elvidge, C.; Lyon, R.

    1982-01-01

    The effectiveness of airborne multispectral imagery for identifying vegetation indicative of serpentine soils, which usually contain deposits of Ni, Cr, and Co, was examined with ground truth data. Analyses were carried out in SW Oregon, the Jasper Ridge of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and the Sierra Nevada foothills. Airborne studies were performed with 10-channel scanner, a IR scanner, and with false color composites, while ground studies classified the vegetation and mineral contents of the soil. The airborne studies were successfully used to discern serpentine soils from nonultramafic rock types, although difficulties were encountered in separating serpentine from nonserpentinized peridotite. A lack of deciduous trees on serpentized land was noted.

  15. Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) Efforts and Observations at the Rocknest Eolian Sand Shadow in Curiosity's Gale Crater Field Site

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edgett, K. S.; Yingst, R. A.; Minitti, M. E.; Goetz, W.; Kah, L. C.; Kennedy, M. R.; Lipkaman, L. J.; Jensen, E. H.; Anderson, R. C.; Beegle, L. W.; Carsten, J. L.; Cooper, B.; Deen, R. G.; Dromart, G.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Hamilton, V. E.; Hardgrove, C. J.; Harker, D. E.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Herrera, P. N.; Hurowitz, J. A.; Jandura, L.; Ming, D. W.

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission is focused on assessing the past or present habitability of Mars, through interrogation of environment and environmental records at the Curiosity rover field site in Gale crater. The MSL team has two methods available to collect, process and deliver samples to onboard analytical laboratories, the Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument (CheMin) and the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite. One approach obtains samples by drilling into a rock, the other uses a scoop to collect loose regolith fines. Scooping was planned to be first method performed on Mars because materials could be readily scooped multiple times and used to remove any remaining, minute terrestrial contaminants from the sample processing system, the Collection and Handling for In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA). Because of this cleaning effort, the ideal first material to be scooped would consist of fine to very fine sand, like the interior of the Serpent Dune studied by the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit team in 2004 [1]. The MSL team selected a linear eolian deposit in the lee of a group of cobbles they named Rocknest (Fig. 1) as likely to be similar to Serpent Dune. Following the definitions in Chapter 13 of Bagnold [2], the deposit is termed a sand shadow. The scooping campaign occurred over approximately 6 weeks in October and November 2012. To support these activities, the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) acquired images for engineering support/assessment and scientific inquiry.

  16. Ophidascaris wangi sp. n. and O. najae (Gedoelst, 1916) (Ascaridida: Ascaridoidea) from snakes in China.

    PubMed

    Li, Liang; Guo, Yan-Ning; Li, Jian; Zhang, Lu-Ping

    2014-12-01

    Ophidascaris wangi sp. n. collected from the king rat snake Elaphe carinata (Günther) (Serpentes: Colubridae) in China is described using both light and scanning electron microscopy. The new species differs from its congeners in the presence of narrow lateral alae originating a short distance posterior to the base of the ventrolateral lips, its relatively long oesophagus (3.57-4.54 mm long, representing 6.6-7.6% of body length), its short spicules (1.89-2.14 mm long, representing 3.9-4.3% of body length), the number and arrangement of caudal papillae (49-57 pairs in total, arranged as follows: 43-51 pairs precloacal, 2 pairs joined paracloacal and 4 pairs postcloacal), the presence of a particular papilliform medioventral, postcloacal ornamentation and the morphology of the eggs and tip of the female tail. In addition, Ophidascaris najae (Gedoelst, 1916), collected from the king cobra Ophiophagus hannah Cantor (Serpentes: Elapidae) in China, is also redescribed. The morphology of the cervical papillae, labial denticles and phasmids of the female is described for the first time. PMID:25651700

  17. Molecular evolution of HoxA13 and the multiple origins of limbless morphologies in amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Singarete, Marina E; Grizante, Mariana B; Milograna, Sarah R; Nery, Mariana F; Kin, Koryu; Wagner, Günter P; Kohlsdorf, Tiana

    2015-01-01

    Developmental processes and their results, morphological characters, are inherited through transmission of genes regulating development. While there is ample evidence that cis-regulatory elements tend to be modular, with sequence segments dedicated to different roles, the situation for proteins is less clear, being particularly complex for transcription factors with multiple functions. Some motifs mediating protein-protein interactions may be exclusive to particular developmental roles, but it is also possible that motifs are mostly shared among different processes. Here we focus on HoxA13, a protein essential for limb development. We asked whether the HoxA13 amino acid sequence evolved similarly in three limbless clades: Gymnophiona, Amphisbaenia and Serpentes. We explored variation in ω (dN/dS) using a maximum-likelihood framework and HoxA13sequences from 47 species. Comparisons of evolutionary models provided low ω global values and no evidence that HoxA13 experienced relaxed selection in limbless clades. Branch-site models failed to detect evidence for positive selection acting on any site along branches of Amphisbaena and Gymnophiona, while three sites were identified in Serpentes. Examination of alignments did not reveal consistent sequence differences between limbed and limbless species. We conclude that HoxA13 has no modules exclusive to limb development, which may be explained by its involvement in multiple developmental processes.

  18. Polyarnye siyaniya sistemy avroral'nogo ovala kak kosmoloficheskij obraz drevnej mifologii %t The northern light of the auroral oval system as a cosmological concept of the archaic mythology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alekseeva, L. M.

    Since archaic epochs people attentively observe the sky. They used to associate the sky phenomena with gods, heroes, spirits, etc. People interpreted the regularities in the motion of celestial objects in terms of their mythological model of the Universe. These observations and interpretations were first steps of the archaeoastronomy. Many remarkable features are inherent in the patterns of northern lights of the auroral oval system. Their manifestations are fairly regular. Did the ancients observe and some how classify these northern light phenomena? If yes, with which mythological personages were they associated? When were studies of the polar lights initiated? The present work is an attempt to answer these questions. We shall see that the ancient people assumed the spirit-world to be situated on the North. If so, it should manifest itself in spectacular polar aurorae. The specifically northern mythic cosmology formed the basis for Slavic fairy tales (theme of the Serpent and Serpent Fighter) and folk-beliefs. Other inhabitants of snowy latitudes should also manifest similar views. Studying the mythological reflections of typical auroral phenomena, it is possible to trace up long-standing ideological trends from the late glaciation epoch to the present time. Our results can help geophysicists in studying paleoauroral phenomena.

  19. Diving Down in Partnership - Technology assists science outreach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall-Brown, K.

    2009-04-01

    Advances in underwater technology are revealing a world hitherto unseen - the deep ocean. Advances in web technology are enabling scientists to share their discoveries with the world. Underwater robot cameras are allowing scientists to observe animal behaviour and study habitats at depths of 6000 metres. And the Internet is providing a window on this exotic world for everyone with access to the web. The UK's National Oceanography Centre, Southampton operates Isis, a scientific deep-diving remotely-operated vehicle (ROV). The results are phenomenal, producing footage of life in the abyss and the ability to take samples and conduct experiments on the ocean floor. The Centre also hosts a novel project making use of the robot cameras used in the oil and gas industry for maintenance and exploration. Scientists are using this equipment during stand-by time to study animals in their own habitat. The SERPENT project - Scientific and Environmental ROV Partnership using Existing industrial Technology - is an international collaboration with industry, academia and museums. The SERPENT website is updated with the latest information and images attracting some 2000 visitors a month, which is set to rise with recent web developments. A vital part of the Centre's role is communication with the public to increase awareness of the marine environment. Images are essential for outreach especially as audiences continue to seek pictures from remote and inaccessible locations. This talk will explore how TV and the Internet are changing science outreach and the new challenges that it brings.

  20. Ophidascaris wangi sp. n. and O. najae (Gedoelst, 1916) (Ascaridida: Ascaridoidea) from snakes in China.

    PubMed

    Li, Liang; Guo, Yan-Ning; Li, Jian; Zhang, Lu-Ping

    2014-12-01

    Ophidascaris wangi sp. n. collected from the king rat snake Elaphe carinata (Günther) (Serpentes: Colubridae) in China is described using both light and scanning electron microscopy. The new species differs from its congeners in the presence of narrow lateral alae originating a short distance posterior to the base of the ventrolateral lips, its relatively long oesophagus (3.57-4.54 mm long, representing 6.6-7.6% of body length), its short spicules (1.89-2.14 mm long, representing 3.9-4.3% of body length), the number and arrangement of caudal papillae (49-57 pairs in total, arranged as follows: 43-51 pairs precloacal, 2 pairs joined paracloacal and 4 pairs postcloacal), the presence of a particular papilliform medioventral, postcloacal ornamentation and the morphology of the eggs and tip of the female tail. In addition, Ophidascaris najae (Gedoelst, 1916), collected from the king cobra Ophiophagus hannah Cantor (Serpentes: Elapidae) in China, is also redescribed. The morphology of the cervical papillae, labial denticles and phasmids of the female is described for the first time.

  1. Is Continuing Contumely Relative to Mc Leod's Vision and ``Secret Sacred Science, (SSS),'': Contagiously Counterproductive in Science, or an Unhealthy Artifact of ``Turf Wars''?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leod, Roger

    2007-04-01

    Mc Leod confirmed, with physics, his models for vision, and for electromagnetic artifacts, by traditional methods, associated with phenomena like tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes. The latter confirmations are evidently apparent across current ethnology, cultures, linguistics, religion, rituals, exotic astronomy, somewhat concealed evidence of native record-keeping/writing, and iconography. Use of cultural anthropology while observing a modern Peruvian sacred-site-sweeping at Cuzco, coupled with their assertion that Ñari Huallac means ``serpent God,'' plus electromagnet information, reveals that their religious world-view include(s)(d) applied science that is still otherwise unacknowledged. Alexander Thom's precise megalithic site-measurements also imply that ``The Ancients' Serpent'' made/makes precise tracks that convey valuable information. The linguistics of words like Seminole, and unusual visual effects, reveal some traditionalists have done better than most scientists, for vision, and observational physics, and earth science. Tornado and hurricane tracks are predictable, as are some earthquakes. Tornado ``detuning'' or shutdown is electromagnetically possible. To cite this abstract, use the following reference: http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2007.NES07.C2.7

  2. Improved Neutronics Treatment of Burnable Poisons for the Prismatic HTR

    SciTech Connect

    Y. Wang; A. A. Bingham; J. Ortensi; C. J. Permann

    2012-10-01

    In prismatic block High Temperature Reactors (HTR), highly absorbing material such a burnable poison (BP) cause local flux depressions and large gradients in the flux across the blocks which can be a challenge to capture accurately with traditional homogenization methods. The purpose of this paper is to quantify the error associated with spatial homogenization, spectral condensation and discretization and to highlight what is needed for improved neutronics treatments of burnable poisons for the prismatic HTR. A new triangular based mesh is designed to separate the BP regions from the fuel assembly. A set of packages including Serpent (Monte Carlo), Xuthos (1storder Sn), Pronghorn (diffusion), INSTANT (Pn) and RattleSnake (2ndorder Sn) is used for this study. The results from the deterministic calculations show that the cross sections generated directly in Serpent are not sufficient to accurately reproduce the reference Monte Carlo solution in all cases. The BP treatment produces good results, but this is mainly due to error cancellation. However, the Super Cell (SC) approach yields cross sections that are consistent with cross sections prepared on an “exact” full core calculation. In addition, very good agreement exists between the various deterministic transport and diffusion codes in both eigenvalue and power distributions. Future research will focus on improving the cross sections and quantifying the error cancellation.

  3. Molecular evolution of HoxA13 and the multiple origins of limbless morphologies in amphibians and reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Singarete, Marina E.; Grizante, Mariana B.; Milograna, Sarah R.; Nery, Mariana F.; Kin, Koryu; Wagner, Günter P.; Kohlsdorf, Tiana

    2015-01-01

    Developmental processes and their results, morphological characters, are inherited through transmission of genes regulating development. While there is ample evidence that cis-regulatory elements tend to be modular, with sequence segments dedicated to different roles, the situation for proteins is less clear, being particularly complex for transcription factors with multiple functions. Some motifs mediating protein-protein interactions may be exclusive to particular developmental roles, but it is also possible that motifs are mostly shared among different processes. Here we focus on HoxA13, a protein essential for limb development. We asked whether the HoxA13 amino acid sequence evolved similarly in three limbless clades: Gymnophiona, Amphisbaenia and Serpentes. We explored variation in ω (dN/dS) using a maximum-likelihood framework and HoxA13sequences from 47 species. Comparisons of evolutionary models provided low ω global values and no evidence that HoxA13 experienced relaxed selection in limbless clades. Branch-site models failed to detect evidence for positive selection acting on any site along branches of Amphisbaena and Gymnophiona, while three sites were identified in Serpentes. Examination of alignments did not reveal consistent sequence differences between limbed and limbless species. We conclude that HoxA13 has no modules exclusive to limb development, which may be explained by its involvement in multiple developmental processes. PMID:26500429

  4. Molecular evolution of HoxA13 and the multiple origins of limbless morphologies in amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Singarete, Marina E; Grizante, Mariana B; Milograna, Sarah R; Nery, Mariana F; Kin, Koryu; Wagner, Günter P; Kohlsdorf, Tiana

    2015-01-01

    Developmental processes and their results, morphological characters, are inherited through transmission of genes regulating development. While there is ample evidence that cis-regulatory elements tend to be modular, with sequence segments dedicated to different roles, the situation for proteins is less clear, being particularly complex for transcription factors with multiple functions. Some motifs mediating protein-protein interactions may be exclusive to particular developmental roles, but it is also possible that motifs are mostly shared among different processes. Here we focus on HoxA13, a protein essential for limb development. We asked whether the HoxA13 amino acid sequence evolved similarly in three limbless clades: Gymnophiona, Amphisbaenia and Serpentes. We explored variation in ω (dN/dS) using a maximum-likelihood framework and HoxA13sequences from 47 species. Comparisons of evolutionary models provided low ω global values and no evidence that HoxA13 experienced relaxed selection in limbless clades. Branch-site models failed to detect evidence for positive selection acting on any site along branches of Amphisbaena and Gymnophiona, while three sites were identified in Serpentes. Examination of alignments did not reveal consistent sequence differences between limbed and limbless species. We conclude that HoxA13 has no modules exclusive to limb development, which may be explained by its involvement in multiple developmental processes. PMID:26500429

  5. Stabilising the Integrity of Snake Venom mRNA Stored under Tropical Field Conditions Expands Research Horizons

    PubMed Central

    Logan, Rhiannon A. E.; Leung, Kam-Yin D.; Newberry, Fiona J.; Rowley, Paul D.; Dunbar, John P.; Wagstaff, Simon C.; Casewell, Nicholas R.; Harrison, Robert A.

    2016-01-01

    Background Snake venoms contain many proteinaceous toxins that can cause severe pathology and mortality in snakebite victims. Interestingly, mRNA encoding such toxins can be recovered directly from venom, although yields are low and quality is unknown. It also remains unclear whether such RNA contains information about toxin isoforms and whether it is representative of mRNA recovered from conventional sources, such as the venom gland. Answering these questions will address the feasibility of using venom-derived RNA for future research relevant to biomedical and antivenom applications. Methodology/Principal Findings Venom was extracted from several species of snake, including both members of the Viperidae and Elapidae, and either lyophilized or immediately added to TRIzol reagent. TRIzol-treated venom was incubated at a range of temperatures (4–37°C) for a range of durations (0–48 hours), followed by subsequent RNA isolation and assessments of RNA quantity and quality. Subsequently, full-length toxin transcripts were targeted for PCR amplification and Sanger sequencing. TRIzol-treated venom yielded total RNA of greater quantity and quality than lyophilized venom, and with quality comparable to venom gland-derived RNA. Full-length sequences from multiple Viperidae and Elapidae toxin families were successfully PCR amplified from TRIzol-treated venom RNA. We demonstrated that venom can be stored in TRIzol for 48 hours at 4–19°C, and 8 hours at 37°C, at minimal cost to RNA quality, and found that venom RNA encoded multiple toxin isoforms that seemed homologous (98–99% identity) to those found in the venom gland. Conclusions/Significance The non-invasive experimental modifications we propose will facilitate the future investigation of venom composition by using venom as an alternative source to venom gland tissue for RNA-based studies, thus obviating the undesirable need to sacrifice snakes for such research purposes. In addition, they expand research horizons

  6. Numerous Sinusoidal and Other EMF Phenomena, At Present and Former Native American Sites, May Be Superimposing Themselves onto Regional Power Grids.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cadran, Lawrence R.; Mc Leod, Roger D.; Mc Leod, David M.

    2003-10-01

    Periodic electromagnetic field signals (EMF), sometimes noticeable as faint blue-light or other phenomena, frequently are also detected at sites associated with Native Americans. We first noticed this sort of information in the vicinity of Wendell, MA about fourteen years ago. Similar and other signals are apparent at Americas Stonehenge, AS, in North Salem, NH. Connecticut provided our first evidence of superposition of two such waves at the Gungywamp site north of Groton, CT. A Maine location first showed orthogonally oriented trajectories in neighborhoods formerly frequented by Molocket and Metallak and their relatives near Rumford and Rangeley, ME. Florida exhibits similar signals in the vicinity of Hollywood and at Miamis Tequesta instrument, as does a separate site in CT. Powerful thunderstorms in the vicinity of a stone serpent effigy in Ohio cause EMF pulsations. Such signals are possibly superimposing themselves onto power-grids, where frequency changes and system instabilities may occur, according to the elementary physics involved.

  7. Environmental Aspects of Sites Like America's Stonehenge, (AS), Florida's Miami Tequesta Site, and Lowell's A.D. 1069

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ochs, Michael Ann; Mc Leod, Roger D.

    2002-04-01

    Subtle ``instrumentation" is often unnoticed. Stone-chamber transponder-receivers are principle and secondary wave detectors, part of the ``technologic" arsenal of men like Passaconaway/Metacomen of colonial-era Massachusetts, or the earthquake-predicting Shawnee Tecumseh of the Ohio Valley region, during 1811-1813. An Ohio stone-effigy ``serpent" is a thunderstorm precursor signal indicator. The Hopi require similar ``equipment," when duping gullible ``rain-dance" patrons. Tornado/waterspout activity is documented right in the Tequesta site at the river in Miami, Florida, which generates detectable signals. Columbus could have used similar ``secret sacred science" previously learned from American Indians, and thereby successfully predicted an anomalous hurricane on a subsequent trip. These, and the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pelee, seem to be a mythic equivalent of electromagnetically generated signals, i.e., a metaphor for ``environmental applied physics" we detect at A.S.

  8. Floridas Miami Tequesta Indian Site, Its Calusa Indian Locations, the Matacumbe Keys, and Orlandos Wikiwa Springs Generate Environmentally Significant EMFs.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mac Dougall, Jean S.; Mc Leod, Roger D.; Mc Leod, David M.

    2003-10-01

    Florida purchased the Tequesta ([Langue] doc Christ Spirit-signal) Indian site along the Miami River site that vigorously pulsates with even minor rainstorms entering or leaving the area. Although there is a laughable chimera of a fountain of youth associated with Ponce de Leons discovery of the Florida peninsula in about AD 1513, the Calusa (Royal Christ Jesus Spirit-signal) Indian Nation has an associated significance with EMF signals they possibly monitored throughout their area of activity. Our efforts have also led to the investigation of cultural and other influences implied by the Matacumbe Keys that indicate a shared commonality of awareness with Native Americans of the northeast such as Metacomet, or regions like Maines Grand Lake Matagamon and its associated electromagnetic Spirit Signal. Wikiwa Springs near Orlando shares much with Massachusetts (adherent of serpent Jesus Christ Spirit-signal) Natick, and New Hampshires Naticook Island. These are the locales of environmentally sensitive instrumentation.

  9. We Detect Blue Light Phenomena Correlating with Environmental and Weather Changes, and Historic Native Americans or Their Place Names.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ochs, Michael Ann; Mc Leod, Roger D.; Mc Leod, Edward M.

    2003-10-01

    Katahdin (Christ Cathar Spirit-signal stronghold) in Maine is sacred to the Penobscot Indian Nation. That mountain complex, and areas like Ellis Pond, ME and Penley Hill/Anasagunticook (adherent of Jesus Christ Spirit-signal doctor church) of the Mexico/Rumford/Mountain Valley region, also in Maine, have an association with historic Native Americans like the medicine woman Molocket/Molly Ockett. We have observed that these and other regions generate electromagnetic field (EMF) signals, which we can detect visually and in other ways. Such signals have sometimes been associated with significant and dynamic weather phenomena. Ohio's Serpent Mound and associated regions, or those now occupied by the Hopi Indian Nation, formerly an ancient Anasazi site, or areas of the current and earlier Mayan Nations, or the Nazca Plateau of Peru, may generate signals correlating with climate change, that may impact our technology, as in major power blackouts.

  10. Envenomation by a juvenile Malayan pit viper (Agkistrodon rhodostoma).

    PubMed

    Vest, D K; Kardong, K V

    1980-05-01

    Following an accidental bite inflicted by a juvenile Malayan pit viper (Agkistrodon rhodostoma), the progress of envenomation was carefully monitored and subsequent laboratory work performed to determine the amount and quality of venom injected. Even a very small amount of venom from this species is capable of inducing noticeable local symptoms including edema, subcutaneous bleeding, and throbbing. Constitutional symptoms were present but minimal. The extent of inflammation present at any given time following envenomation was found to be a more accurate diagnostic signal than the speed with which it developed. This case is similar to that of bites by juveniles of other species of viperines and crotalines and may serve to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of bites by juvenile specimens of serpents in these families.

  11. Origins of the ancient constellations: I. The Mesopotamian traditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, J. H.

    1998-02-01

    In the sky-map of ancient Babylon, constellations had two different roles, and thus developed into two overlapping traditions. One set of constellations represented the gods and their symbols; the other set represented rustic activities and provided a farming calendar. Many constellations were shared by the two traditions, but in some regions of sky there were alternative divine and rustic figures. These figures developed in stages from ~3200 BC to ~500 BC. Of the divine set, the most important (although the last to be finalised) were the twelve zodiacal signs, plus several associated animals (the serpent, crow, eagle, and fish), which were all transmitted to the classical Greek sky-map that we still use today. Conversely, the rustic constellations of workers and tools and animals were not transmitted to the West. However, a few of them may have survived in Bedouin Arab sky-maps of the first millennium AD.

  12. We Detect Blue Light Phenomena Correlating with Environmental and Weather Changes, and Historic Native Americans or Their Place Names.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ochs, Michael Ann; Mc Leod, Roger D.; Mc Leod, Edward M.

    2003-10-01

    Katahdin (Christ Cathar Spirit-signal stronghold) in Maine is sacred to the Penobscot Indian Nation. That mountain complex, and areas like Ellis Pond, ME and Penley Hill/Anasagunticook (adherent of Jesus Christ Spirit-signal doctor church) of the Mexico/Rumford/Mountain Valley region, also in Maine, have an association with historic Native Americans like the medicine woman Molocket/Molly Ockett. We have observed that these and other regions generate electromagnetic field (EMF) signals, which we can detect visually and in other ways. Such signals have sometimes been associated with significant and dynamic weather phenomena. Ohio's Serpent Mound and associated regions, or those now occupied by the Hopi Indian Nation, formerly an ancient Anasazi site, or areas of the current and earlier Mayan Nations, or the Nazca Plateau of Peru, may generate signals correlating with climate change, that may impact our technology, as in major power blackouts.

  13. Origin of West Indian populations of the geographically widespread boa Corallus enydris inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Henderson, R W; Hedges, S B

    1995-03-01

    Corallus enydris (Serpentes: Boidae: Boinae) is an arboreal snake with an extremely wide mainland distribution from southern Costa Rica to southeastern Brazil and is one of two boine species that has invaded the Lesser Antilles (Grenada Bank and St. Vincent). Mitochondrial DNA sequences of samples from seven geographically disparate localities provided evidence of phylogenetic relationships. The monophyly of C. enydris is corroborated and a major dichotomy between northern samples (Panama and Trinidad) and southern samples (Guyana, Perú, southeastern Brazil) was found and corresponds to the two currently recognized subspecies. Unexpectedly, the two samples from the West Indies (southern Lesser Antilles) cluster with the southern rather than the geographically closer northern samples (e.g., Trinidad). The results imply a fairly recent Guianan-Amazonian origin of West Indian populations.

  14. Cyanoacrylate repair of laser in situ keratomileusis corneal flap perforation by a snake bite.

    PubMed

    Korn, Bobby S; Korn, Tommy S

    2005-11-01

    A 30-year-old man who had laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) for myopia 1 year earlier developed a corneal perforation in the left eye from a boa constrictor. The patient presented to the emergency room, and a small corneal perforation just outside the visual axis was diagnosed within the LASIK flap. Cyanoacrylate adhesive was used to close the corneal perforation. The patient went on to full visual recovery with an uncorrected visual acuity of 20/20. This is the first reported case of a penetrating corneal injury from a serpent in an eye that had LASIK. Cyanoacrylate may be used to repair small traumatic corneal perforations with a favorable visual outcome in eyes that have had LASIK.

  15. Presence of a radioactive gas in archaeological excavations, determination and mitigation.

    PubMed

    Balcázar, M; Gómez, S; Peña, P; Zavala Arredondo, J; Gazzola, J; Villamares, A

    2014-01-01

    During recent archaeological discovery and excavation of a tunnel build approximately 2000 years ago by the Teotihuacans under the feathered serpent temple, in Mexico, abnormal radon concentrations up to 700 Bq m(-3) were measured at several excavation stages. The tunnel is at 15m below the earth surface with a vertical rectangular entrance of 4×4 m(2), a semi cylindrical shape of 3m in diameter, with a probable length of 100 m. This study supports the assumption that at the opening of the tunnel radon concentration was around 5500 Bq m(-3); however, although natural convection in the tunnel atmosphere naturally pups radon out, it build up to a maximum concentration of 2000 Bq m(-3). This paper presents the identification of the radon problem in this archaeological site, dose determination, and the mitigation actions that reduced the radon concentration down to 40 Bq m(-3) that ensure a negligible radon risk for archaeologist.

  16. In situ video observations of two manefishes (perciformes: Caristiidae) in the mesopelagic zone of the northern Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Benfield, M.C.; Caruso, John H.; Sulak, K.J.

    2009-01-01

    This paper describes direct video observations of two manefishes, likely Paracaristius sp., from the mesopelagic waters of the north-central Gulf of Mexico. One fish was observed with a remotely operated vehicle at a depth of 829 m by an industrial ROV as part of the SERPENT Project. The second was observed at 496 m from a manned submersible. Little is known about the behavior of manefishes because most records result from net-collected material. Our observation demonstrates that manefishes are capable of precise locomotory and posture control using extended, erect fins and that the pelvic fins of these fishes are extended in a parachute-like manner. Moreover, one of the specimens exhibited an unusual vertical, sinusoidal oscillation of its caudal fin. One of the observations took place in association with a physonect siphonophore. These observations may include the deepest published record for a manefish in the Gulf of Mexico.

  17. Alteration of Al-rich inclusions inside amoeboid olivine aggregates in the Allende meteorite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hashimoto, Akihiko; Grossman, Lawrence

    1987-01-01

    The primary phases of Al-rich inclusions in amoeboid olivine aggregates have undergone alteration reactions with the solar nebular gas. The simplest interpretation of the present observations is that melilite was the first primary phase to disappear with falling temperature, and was replaced by grossular + anorthite + feldspathoids, followed by fassaite; spinel was the last phase to be altered. Thermodynamic calculations suggest that Na-rich phlogopite could have formed at about 470 K and chlorite at about 328 K at a water fugacity of 0.000001, which is that of a gas of solar composition in this temperature range. The olivine around Al-rich inclusions is not serpentized, indicating the cessation of gas-solid equilibrium above 274 K.

  18. [On gods, snakes and staffs--the emblem of the medical profession].

    PubMed

    Rabinerson, David; Salzer, Liat; Gabbay-Benziv, Rinnat

    2014-10-01

    The commonly accepted emblems of the Medical Profession are the staff of the Greek god of medicine--Asklepios (or Asclepius], on which one serpent is entwined. Later, around the 16th century C.E., the wand of the herald of the Greek Gods, e.g., Hermes, on which two snakes are entwined and facing each other, became popular as the emblem of the medical profession. We elaborate on the history of the evolution of these emblems as symbols of medicine, including earlier influences from the times of the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, which were followed by Judeo-Christian traditions and concepts. The relevance of the use of the wand of Hermes as an emblem of our profession is further discussed.

  19. Snakes as hazards: modelling risk by chasing chimpanzees.

    PubMed

    McGrew, William C

    2015-04-01

    Snakes are presumed to be hazards to primates, including humans, by the snake detection hypothesis (Isbell in J Hum Evol 51:1-35, 2006; Isbell, The fruit, the tree, and the serpent. Why we see so well, 2009). Quantitative, systematic data to test this idea are lacking for the behavioural ecology of living great apes and human foragers. An alternative proxy is snakes encountered by primatologists seeking, tracking, and observing wild chimpanzees. We present 4 years of such data from Mt. Assirik, Senegal. We encountered 14 species of snakes a total of 142 times. Almost two-thirds of encounters were with venomous snakes. Encounters occurred most often in forest and least often in grassland, and more often in the dry season. The hypothesis seems to be supported, if frequency of encounter reflects selective risk of morbidity or mortality.

  20. Teotihuacan and its influence in Mesoamerica. Archaeomagnetic studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terán, A.; Soler-Arechalde, A. M.

    2013-05-01

    Teotihuacan located at the north of the Basin of Mexico was one of the most important metropolises of Mesoamerica between AD 300-500. The chronological information of the city and its neighborhoods is very important to understand its evolution. We present the results of the sampling at the Feathered Serpent Temple and E complex at La Ciudadela, a zone at the south area of the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. These results correspond with a stratigraphic sequence between the 50 BC to AD 500. Two ritual events related with the beginning and the end of the Xolalpan stage (AD325-AD545) were archaeomagnetic dated, events that had been observed too at Teopancazco, the neighborhood of the taylors located at the SE of the city, denoting the importance of them. The beginning of Xolalpan stage is related with the exile of a group of teotihuacan warriors that arrived to Tikal.

  1. S. Weir mitchell and his snakes: unraveling the "united web and woof of popular and scientific beliefs".

    PubMed

    Cervetti, Nancy

    2007-09-01

    Although best known as a nineteenth-century neurologist and creator of the rest cure, S. Weir Mitchell was one of the first Americans to engage in large-scale animal experimentation. In 1860 he published Researches Upon the Venom of the Rattlesnake, and in 1886, in collaboration with Dr. Edward T. Reichert, he published Researches Upon the Venoms of Poisonous Serpents. Yet, Mitchell's pioneering work in scientific medicine remains a little known aspect of his career. This essay, based mainly on primary source material, tells the story of Mitchell's medical education and research on venomous snakes in order to reveal the ways myth and metaphor influenced medicine as it was becoming a science.

  2. Long-range RNA pairings contribute to mutually exclusive splicing.

    PubMed

    Yue, Yuan; Yang, Yun; Dai, Lanzhi; Cao, Guozheng; Chen, Ran; Hong, Weiling; Liu, Baoping; Shi, Yang; Meng, Yijun; Shi, Feng; Xiao, Mu; Jin, Yongfeng

    2016-01-01

    Mutually exclusive splicing is an important means of increasing the protein repertoire, by which the Down's syndrome cell adhesion molecule (Dscam) gene potentially generates 38,016 different isoforms in Drosophila melanogaster. However, the regulatory mechanisms remain obscure due to the complexity of the Dscam exon cluster. Here, we reveal a molecular model for the regulation of the mutually exclusive splicing of the serpent pre-mRNA based on competition between upstream and downstream RNA pairings. Such dual RNA pairings confer fine tuning of the inclusion of alternative exons. Moreover, we demonstrate that the splicing outcome of alternative exons is mediated in relative pairing strength-correlated mode. Combined comparative genomics analysis and experimental evidence revealed similar bidirectional structural architectures in exon clusters 4 and 9 of the Dscam gene. Our findings provide a novel mechanistic framework for the regulation of mutually exclusive splicing and may offer potentially applicable insights into long-range RNA-RNA interactions in gene regulatory networks.

  3. Spectroscopy of Moses Rock dike using remote sensing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mustard, J. F.; Pieters, C. M.

    1985-01-01

    Zeiss IR-photographs, NS0001 (TM simulator) and airborne imaging spectrometer (AIS) data were obtained for the Moses Rock kimberlite dike in southern Utah to identify and characterize the distinctive mafic mineralogy of the dike as well as the surrounding sedimentary rocks. The Zeiss and NS001 images provide information on the regional setting and allow units of the dike to be distinguished from the sediments. The AIS data are narrow images obtained in 128 near-infrared channels and provide characterizing information on the surface composition through. Three distinct spectroscopic units were found which have been tentatively identified as serpentized olivine-bearing soils found in the dike and two types of gypsum bearing soils found in the surrounding sedimentary soils.

  4. An elastica arm scale.

    PubMed

    Bosi, F; Misseroni, D; Dal Corso, F; Bigoni, D

    2014-09-01

    The concept of a 'deformable arm scale' (completely different from a traditional rigid arm balance) is theoretically introduced and experimentally validated. The idea is not intuitive, but is the result of nonlinear equilibrium kinematics of rods inducing configurational forces, so that deflection of the arms becomes necessary for equilibrium, which would be impossible for a rigid system. In particular, the rigid arms of usual scales are replaced by a flexible elastic lamina, free to slide in a frictionless and inclined sliding sleeve, which can reach a unique equilibrium configuration when two vertical dead loads are applied. Prototypes designed to demonstrate the feasibility of the system show a high accuracy in the measurement of load within a certain range of use. Finally, we show that the presented results are strongly related to snaking of confined beams, with implications for locomotion of serpents, plumbing and smart oil drilling. PMID:25197248

  5. e-MERLIN data reduction pipeline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Argo, Megan

    2014-07-01

    Written in Python and utilizing ParselTongue (ascl:1208.020) to interface with AIPS (ascl:9911.003), the e-MERLIN data reduction pipeline processes, calibrates and images data from the UK's radio interferometric array (Multi-Element Remote-Linked Interferometer Network). Driven by a plain text input file, the pipeline is modular and can be run in stages. The software includes options to load raw data, average in time and/or frequency, flag known sources of interference, flag more comprehensively with SERPent (ascl:1312.001), carry out some or all of the calibration procedures (including self-calibration), and image in either normal or wide-field mode. It also optionally produces a number of useful diagnostic plots at various stages so data quality can be assessed.

  6. NMR-based diffusion lattice imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laun, Frederik Bernd; Müller, Lars; Kuder, Tristan Anselm

    2016-03-01

    Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) diffusion experiments are widely employed as they yield information about structures hindering the diffusion process, e.g., about cell membranes. While it has been shown in recent articles that these experiments can be used to determine the shape of closed pores averaged over a volume of interest, it is still an open question how much information can be gained in open well-connected systems. In this theoretical work, it is shown that the full structure information of connected periodic systems is accessible. To this end, the so-called "SEquential Rephasing by Pulsed field-gradient Encoding N Time intervals" (SERPENT) sequence is used, which employs several diffusion encoding gradient pulses with different amplitudes. Two two-dimensional solid matrices that are surrounded by an NMR-visible medium are considered: a hexagonal lattice of cylinders and a rectangular lattice of isosceles triangles.

  7. Status Report on the First Round of the Development of the Advanced Encryption Standard

    PubMed Central

    Nechvatal, James; Barker, Elaine; Dodson, Donna; Dworkin, Morris; Foti, James; Roback, Edward

    1999-01-01

    In 1997, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) initiated a process to select a symmetric-key encryption algorithm to be used to protect sensitive (unclassified) Federal information in furtherance of NIST’s statutory responsibilities. In 1998, NIST announced the acceptance of 15 candidate algorithms and requested the assistance of the cryptographic research community in analyzing the candidates. This analysis included an initial examination of the security and efficiency characteristics for each algorithm. NIST has reviewed the results of this research and selected five algorithms (MARS, RC6™, Rijndael, Serpent and Twofish) as finalists. The research results and rationale for the selection of the finalists are documented in this report. The five finalists will be the subject of further study before the selection of one or more of these algorithms for inclusion in the Advanced Encryption Standard.

  8. Can Portable Technology Capture Subtle Phenomena, Related to Quakes, Hurricanes, Tornados, and Volcanoes, Culturally Reported in the Americas by an Equivalent of ``Kokopelli'' or Ñari Huallac, i.e., the EMF?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ataide, Jade; McLeod, Roger

    2006-03-01

    Peruvians who produced the CD ÑARI HUALAC say this name of their home village represents two of their few original words, meaning ``serpent God.'' Arizona, hurricane, mullah, Molocket, Millinocket and Allagash of Maine, Allahpata, and Apalachicola of FL, and Allegheny of PA are some partial cognates for these ancient words. They are culturally detected aspects of the EMF, like Kokopelli, the ``hunchbacked, flute-playing, dancing around'' icon of our southwest. That aspect of `flutes' indicated by tinnitus, and its co-associated symptoms of Meuniere's syndrome, along with the sensation of `pins and needles', signify the rotation of secondary magnetic poles, stimulating nerve endings with their EMF that technology can detect, here and in Brazil. Can they fool us about some religious concepts?

  9. Fabrication and characteristics of hexagonal Zn nanowires prepared by heating a mixture of Zn and graphite powders.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyoun Woo; Kwon, Yong Jung; Cho, Hong Yeon; Na, Han Gil; Lee, Chongmu

    2014-12-01

    We report the fabrication of thin (< 100 nm) hexagonal Zn nanowires in a conventional reactor, by heating a mixture of Zn and graphite powders. By material characterization, the products were identified as one-dimensional nanowires of serpent-like morphology with a hexagonal Zn phase. The main growth mechanism of the Zn nanowires was proposed to be a vapor-solid process, which was corroborated by the absence of any tip catalyst. Raman spectra of the Zn nanowires exhibited a prominent peak at around 570 cm(-1). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed that the surface of the Zn nanowires was clearly oxygen-deficient in comparison to that of ZnO nanowires. Photoluminescence analysis indicated that the Zn nanowires exhibited emission bands centered at 1.6, 2.0, 2.4, 3.0, and 3.3 eV, respectively. PMID:25970988

  10. Report on the Development of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).

    PubMed

    Nechvatal, J; Barker, E; Bassham, L; Burr, W; Dworkin, M; Foti, J; Roback, E

    2001-01-01

    In 1997, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) initiated a process to select a symmetric-key encryption algorithm to be used to protect sensitive (unclassified) Federal information in furtherance of NIST's statutory responsibilities. In 1998, NIST announced the acceptance of 15 candidate algorithms and requested the assistance of the cryptographic research community in analyzing the candidates. This analysis included an initial examination of the security and efficiency characteristics for each algorithm. NIST reviewed the results of this preliminary research and selected MARS, RC™, Rijndael, Serpent and Twofish as finalists. Having reviewed further public analysis of the finalists, NIST has decided to propose Rijndael as the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). The research results and rationale for this selection are documented in this report. PMID:27500035

  11. Helminth fauna of a Japanese golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos japonica.

    PubMed

    El-Dakhly, Khaled; El-Nahass, El-Shaymaa; Sudo, Akiko; Uchida, Tadayoshi; Kakogawa, Masayoshi; Hirata, Akihiro; Sakai, Hiroki; Yanai, Tokuma

    2012-12-01

    A Japanese golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos japonica, was found dead in Nagano Prefecture PB 399-8200, Japan, and subjected to necropsy. The necropsy revealed that the entire length of the intestine was filled with several masses of intestinal parasites. The recovered helminths were identified as one digenean trematode species, Neodiplostomum reflexum; two species of nematodes, Synhimantus sp. and larvae of Porrocaecum sp.; and a single species of Acanthocephala, Centrorhynchus sp. Digenea and acanthocephalans were found in massive numbers, obliterating the intestinal lumen, which suggests that the bird died as a result of the parasitic intestinal obstruction. The same type of helminths as those observed in this case was previously recorded in crested serpent eagles (Spilornis cheela perplexus) in Japan, but the present study emphasizes the presence of the four species in the Japanese golden eagle as a new host record. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of N. reflexum in Japan. PMID:23272374

  12. Dyke swarm emplacement in the Ethiopian Large Igneous Province: not only a matter of stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mège, Daniel; Korme, Tesfaye

    2004-05-01

    In the Tana-Belaya area, western Ethiopia, field data and satellite imagery reveal the existence of two dyke swarms, the NE-SW Serpent-God dyke swarm, and the NW-SE Dinder dyke swarm. Both swarms are thought to have the same age, 30 Ma, and are likely to have contributed to feeding the traps. After a description of the swarms, this paper examines their relationships with the basement structures. The two dyke swarms follow major lithospheric weakness zones. The Serpent-God dyke swarm follows the Pan-African Tulu Dimtu ductile shear zone, and the Dinder dyke swarm follows a large NW-SE-trending Precambrian fracture zone already reactivated during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic as the northern boundary of the Blue Nile Rift. Because the dyke swarms are adjacent but their orientation differs, the stress trajectory patterns during their emplacement were spatially variable at local scale. Therefore, rather than plate-boundary processes, the origin of stress is thought to be primarily related to the Ethiopian plume. Postulating (in the absence of more data relating to the magma chambers that fed the traps) that dyke orientation is the result of an axisymmetric stress field, the location of the stress source can be placed close to Lake Tana, which is the centre of the Ethiopian broad negative regional Bouguer anomaly. The dykes in the Tana-Belaya area provide the first clues to the orientation of the stress field that prevailed in the early history of the Ethiopian mantle plume, and to some of the factors that guided the distribution of the trap feeders.

  13. Shocked lithologies at the Wanapitei impact structure, Ontario, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grieve, R. A. F.; Ber, T. J.

    1994-09-01

    The approx. 7.5 diameter Wanapitei impact structure (46 deg 45 min N; 80 deg 45 min W) lies entirely within Lake Wanapitei in central Ontario, Canada. Impact lithologies are known only from glacial float at the southern end of the lake. Over 50% of the impact lithologies recovered from this float can be classified as suevite, less than 20% as highly shocked and partially melted arkosic metasediments of the target rock Mississagi Formation or, possibly, the Serpent Formation and less than 20% as glassy impact melt rocks. An additional less than 5% of the samples have similarities to the suevite but have up to 50% glass clasts and are tentatively interpreted as fall-back material. The glassy impact melt rocks fall into two textural and mineralogical types: a perlitically fractured, colorless glass matrix variant, with microlites of hypersthene with up to 11.5% Al2O3 and a 'felted' matrix variant, with evidence of flow prior to the crystallization of tabular orthopyroxene. These melt glasses show chemical inhomogeneities on a microscopic scale, with areas of essentially SiO2, even when appearing optically homogeneous. They are similar in bulk composition for major elements, but the felted matrix variant is approx. 5x more enriched in Ni, Co and Cr, the interelement ratios of which are indicative of an admixture of a chondritic projectile. Mixing models suggest that the glassy impact melt rocks can be made from the target rocks in the proportions: approx. 55% Gowganda wacke, approx. 42% Serpent arkose and approx. 3% Nipissing intrusives. Geologic reconstructions suggest that this is a reasonable mixture of potential target rocks at the time of impact.

  14. A Complex-Geometry Validation Experiment for Advanced Neutron Transport Codes

    SciTech Connect

    David W. Nigg; Anthony W. LaPorta; Joseph W. Nielsen; James Parry; Mark D. DeHart; Samuel E. Bays; William F. Skerjanc

    2013-11-01

    The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has initiated a focused effort to upgrade legacy computational reactor physics software tools and protocols used for support of core fuel management and experiment management in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) and its companion critical facility (ATRC) at the INL.. This will be accomplished through the introduction of modern high-fidelity computational software and protocols, with appropriate new Verification and Validation (V&V) protocols, over the next 12-18 months. Stochastic and deterministic transport theory based reactor physics codes and nuclear data packages that support this effort include MCNP5[1], SCALE/KENO6[2], HELIOS[3], SCALE/NEWT[2], and ATTILA[4]. Furthermore, a capability for sensitivity analysis and uncertainty quantification based on the TSUNAMI[5] system has also been implemented. Finally, we are also evaluating the Serpent[6] and MC21[7] codes, as additional verification tools in the near term as well as for possible applications to full three-dimensional Monte Carlo based fuel management modeling in the longer term. On the experimental side, several new benchmark-quality code validation measurements based on neutron activation spectrometry have been conducted using the ATRC. Results for the first four experiments, focused on neutron spectrum measurements within the Northwest Large In-Pile Tube (NW LIPT) and in the core fuel elements surrounding the NW LIPT and the diametrically opposite Southeast IPT have been reported [8,9]. A fifth, very recent, experiment focused on detailed measurements of the element-to-element core power distribution is summarized here and examples of the use of the measured data for validation of corresponding MCNP5, HELIOS, NEWT, and Serpent computational models using modern least-square adjustment methods are provided.

  15. Toward Reanalysis of the Tight-Pitch HCLWR-PROTEUS Phase II Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perret, Grégory; Vlassopoulos, Efstathios; Hursin, Mathieu; Pautz, Andreas

    2016-03-01

    The HCLWR-Proteus Phase II experiments were conducted from 1985 to 1990 in the zero-power reactor Proteus at PSI in Switzerland. The experimental program was dedicated to the physics of high conversion light water reactors and in particular to the measurement of reactor parameters such as reaction rate traverses, spectral indices, absorber reactivity worths and void coefficients. The HCLWR experiments are especially interesting because they generated knowledge in the epithermal range of the neutron flux spectrum, for which little integral experimental data is available. In an effort to assess the interest of this experimental data to validate modern nuclear data and improve their uncertainties, a preliminary re-analysis of selected configurations was conducted with Monte-Carlo codes (MCNP6/SERPENT2) and modern nuclear data libraries (ENDF/B-VII.0, JEFF-3.1.1 and JENDL-4.0). The spectral ndices, flux spectra and sensitivity coefficients on k∞ were calculated using cell models representative of the tight-pitch measurement configurations containing 11% PuO2-UO2 fuel rods in different moderation conditions (air, water and dowtherm). Spectral index predictions using the three nuclear data libraries agreed within two standard deviations with the measured values. The only exception is the Pu-242-capture-to-Pu-239-fission ratio, which was overestimated with all libraries by more than four standard deviations, i.e. 13%, in the non-moderated configuration. In this configuration, Pu-242 captures are few since the flux spectrum in the Pu-242 capture resonance region (between 1eV and 1keV) is small making this spectral index hard to measure. Sensitivity coefficient predictions with both MCNP6 and SERPENT2 were in good agreement.

  16. Proteomics application exercise of the Swiss Proteomics Society: report of the SPS'02 session.

    PubMed

    Binz, Pierre-Alain; Abdi, Fadi; Affolter, Michael; Allard, Laure; Barblan, Jachen; Bhardwaj, Sanjeev; Bienvenut, Willy V; Bulet, Philippe; Burgess, Jennifer; Carrette, Odile; Corthals, Garry; Delalande, François; Diemer, Hélène; Favreau, Philippe; Giuliano, Elia; Gueguen, Yannick; Guillaume, Elisabeth; Hahner, Stephanie; Man, Petr; Michalet, Sophie; Neri, Dario; Noukakis, Dimitrios; Palagi, Patricia; Paroutaud, Pierre; Pimenta, Daniel Carvalho; Quadroni, Manfredo; Resemann, Anja; Richert, Sophie; Rybak, Jascha; Sanchez, Jean-Charles; Scherl, Alexander; Scheurer, Simone; Schweiger Hufnagel, Ulrike; Siethoff, Christoph; Suckau, Detlev; van Dorsselaer, Alain; Wagner Redeker, Winfried; Walter, Nadia; Stöcklin, Reto

    2003-08-01

    After the success of the mass spectrometry (MS) round table that was held at the first Swiss Proteomics Society congress (SPS'01) in Geneva, the SPS has organized a proteomics application exercise and allocated a full session at the SPS'02 congress. The main objective was to encourage the exchange of expertise in protein identification, with a focus on the use of mass spectrometry, and to create a bridge between the users' questions and the instrument providers' solutions. Two samples were sent to fifteen interested labs, including academic groups and MS hardware providers. Participants were asked to identify and partially characterize the samples. They consisted of a complex mixture of peptide/proteins (sample A) and an almost pure recombinant peptide carrying post-translational modifications (sample B). Sample A was an extract of snake venom from the species Bothrops jararaca. Sample B was a recombinant and modified peptide derived from the shrimp Penaeus vannamei penaeidin 3a. The eight labs that returned results reported the use of a wide range of MS instrumentation and techniques. They mentioned a variety of time and manpower allocations. The origin of sample A was generally identified together with a number of database protein entries. The difficulty of the sample identification lay in the incomplete knowledge of the Bothrops species genome sequence and is discussed. Sample B was generally and correctly identified as penaeidin. However, only one group reported the full primary structure. Interestingly, the approaches were again varied and are discussed in the text.

  17. Recombinant expression of the precursor of the hemorrhagic metalloproteinase HF3 and its non-catalytic domains using a cell-free synthesis system.

    PubMed

    Menezes, Milene C; Imbert, Lionel; Kitano, Eduardo S; Vernet, Thierry; Serrano, Solange M T

    2016-09-01

    Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) participate in snakebite pathology such as hemorrhage, inflammation, and necrosis. They are synthesized as latent multi-domain precursors whose processing generates either catalytically active enzymes or free non-enzymatic domains. Recombinant expression of the precursor of P-III class SVMPs has failed due to the instability of the multi-domain polypeptide structure. Conversely, functional recombinant non-catalytic domains were obtained by prokaryotic expression systems. Here, we show for the first time the recombinant expression of the precursor of HF3, a highly hemorrhagic SVMP from Bothrops jararaca, and its non-catalytic domains, using an E. coli-based cell-free synthesis system. The precursor of HF3, composed of pro-, metalloproteinase-, disintegrin-like-, and cysteine-rich domains, and containing 38 Cys residues, was successfully expressed and purified. A protein composed of the disintegrin-like and cysteine-rich domains (DC protein) and the cysteine-rich domain alone (C protein) were expressed in vitro individually and purified. Both proteins were shown to be functional in assays monitoring the interaction with matrix proteins and in modulating the cleavage of fibrinogen by HF3. These data indicate that recombinant expression using prokaryotic-based cell-free synthesis emerges as an attractive alternative for the study of the structure and function of multi-domain proteins with a high content of Cys residues. PMID:27209197

  18. Effects of Schizolobium parahyba Extract on Experimental Bothrops Venom-Induced Acute Kidney Injury

    PubMed Central

    Martines, Monique Silva; Mendes, Mirian M.; Shimizu, Maria H. M.; Melo Rodrigues, Veridiana; de Castro, Isac; Filho, Sebastião R. Ferreira; Malheiros, Denise M. A. C.; Yu, Luis; Burdmann, Emmanuel A.

    2014-01-01

    Background Venom-induced acute kidney injury (AKI) is a frequent complication of Bothrops snakebite with relevant morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of Schizolobium parahyba (SP) extract, a natural medicine with presumed anti-Bothrops venom effects, in an experimental model of Bothrops jararaca venom (BV)-induced AKI. Methodology Groups of 8 to 10 rats received infusions of 0.9% saline (control, C), SP 2 mg/kg, BV 0.25 mg/kg and BV immediately followed by SP (treatment, T) in the doses already described. After the respective infusions, animals were assessed for their glomerular filtration rate (GFR, inulin clearance), renal blood flow (RBF, Doppler), blood pressure (BP, intra-arterial transducer), renal vascular resistance (RVR), urinary osmolality (UO, freezing point), urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA]), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH, kinetic method), hematocrit (Hct, microhematocrit), fibrinogen (Fi, Klauss modified) and blinded renal histology (acute tubular necrosis score). Principal Findings BV caused significant decreases in GFR, RBF, UO, HcT and Fi; significant increases in RVR, NGAL and LDH; and acute tubular necrosis. SP did not prevent these changes; instead, it caused a significant decrease in GFR when used alone. Conclusion SP administered simultaneously with BV, in an approximate 10∶1 concentration, did not prevent BV-induced AKI, hemolysis and fibrinogen consumption. SP used alone caused a decrease in GFR. PMID:24551041

  19. Characterization and cDNA cloning of aminopeptidase A from the venom of Gloydius blomhoffi brevicaudus.

    PubMed

    Ogawa, Yuko; Murayama, Nobuhiro; Fujita, Yoshiaki; Yanoshita, Ryohei

    2007-06-15

    The aminopeptidase activities of snake venoms from Gloydius blomhoffi brevicaudus, Gloydius halys blomhoffii, Trimeresurus flavoviridis, Bothrops jararaca and Crotalus atrox were investigated. Aminopeptidase A (APA), aminopeptidase B and aminopeptidase N activities were present in all snake venoms. The strongest APA activity was found in venom from G. blomhoffi brevicaudus. The susceptibility to metallopeptidase inhibitors and the pH optimum of the partially purified enzyme from G. blomhoffi brevicaudus venom were similar to those of known APAs from mammals. A G. blomhoffi brevicaudus venom gland cDNA library was screened to isolate cDNA clones using probes based on highly conserved amino acid sequences in known APAs. Molecular cloning of APA from G. blomhoffi brevicaudus venom predicted that it was a type II integral membrane protein containing 958 amino acid residues with 17 potential N-linked glycosylation sites. It possessed a His-Glu-Xaa-Xaa-His-(Xaa)(18)-Glu zinc binding motif that allowed the classification of this protein as a member of the M1 family of zinc-metallopeptidases, or gluzincins. The deduced amino acid sequence shows approximately 60% sequence identity to mammalian APA sequences. This is the first study to report the primary structure of APA from a reptile. PMID:17383704

  20. Transcriptome analysis of the Amazonian viper Bothrops atrox venom gland using expressed sequence tags (ESTs).

    PubMed

    Neiva, Márcia; Arraes, Fabricio B M; de Souza, Jonso Vieira; Rádis-Baptista, Gandhi; Prieto da Silva, Alvaro R B; Walter, Maria Emilia M T; Brigido, Marcelo de Macedo; Yamane, Tetsuo; López-Lozano, Jorge Luiz; Astolfi-Filho, Spartaco

    2009-03-15

    Bothrops atrox is a highly dangerous pit viper in the Brazilian Amazon region. We produced a global catalogue of gene transcripts to identify the main toxin and other protein families present in the B. atrox venom gland. We prepared a directional cDNA library, from which a set of 610 high quality expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were generated by bioinformatics processing. Our data indicated a predominance of transcripts encoding mainly metalloproteinases (59% of the toxins). The expression pattern of the B. atrox venom was similar to Bothrops insularis, Bothrops jararaca and Bothrops jararacussu in terms of toxin type, although some differences were observed. B. atrox showed a higher amount of the PIII class of metalloproteinases which correlates well with the observed intense hemorrhagic action of its toxin. Also, the PLA2 content was the second highest in this sample compared to the other three Bothrops transcriptomes. To our knowledge, this work is the first transcriptome analysis of an Amazonian rain forest pit viper and it will contribute to the body of knowledge regarding the gene diversity of the venom gland of members of the Bothrops genus. Moreover, our results can be used for future studies with other snake species from the Amazon region to investigate differences in gene patterns or phylogenetic relationships. PMID:19708221

  1. Preclinical assessment of the neutralizing capacity of antivenoms produced in six Latin American countries against medically-relevant Bothrops snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Segura, A; Castillo, M C; Núñez, V; Yarlequé, A; Gonçalves, L R C; Villalta, M; Bonilla, C; Herrera, M; Vargas, M; Fernández, M; Yano, M Y; Araújo, H P; Boller, M A A; León, P; Tintaya, B; Sano-Martins, I S; Gómez, A; Fernández, G P; Geoghegan, P; Higashi, H G; León, G; Gutiérrez, J M

    2010-11-01

    Species of the genus Bothrops induce the vast majority of snakebite envenomings in Latin America. A preclinical study was performed in the context of a regional network of public laboratories involved in the production, quality control and development of antivenoms in Latin America. The ability of seven polyspecific antivenoms, produced in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Costa Rica, to neutralize lethal, hemorrhagic, coagulant, defibrinogenating and myotoxic activities of the venoms of Bothrops neuwiedi (diporus) (Argentina), Bothrops jararaca (Brazil), B. neuwiedi (mattogrossensis) (Bolivia), Bothrops atrox (Peru and Colombia) and Bothrops asper (Costa Rica) was assessed using standard laboratory tests. Despite differences in the venom mixtures used in the immunization of animals for the production of these antivenoms, a pattern of extensive cross-neutralization was observed between these antivenoms and all the venoms tested, with quantitative differences in the values of effective doses. This study reveals the capacity of these antivenoms to neutralize, in preclinical tests, homologous and heterologous Bothrops venoms in Central and South America, and also highlight quantitative differences in the values of Median Effective Doses (ED50s) between the various antivenoms. PMID:20621114

  2. Proteomic and Glycoproteomic Profilings Reveal That Post-translational Modifications of Toxins Contribute to Venom Phenotype in Snakes.

    PubMed

    Andrade-Silva, Débora; Zelanis, André; Kitano, Eduardo S; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L M; Reis, Marcelo S; Lopes, Aline S; Serrano, Solange M T

    2016-08-01

    Snake venoms are biological weapon systems composed of secreted proteins and peptides that are used for immobilizing or killing prey. Although post-translational modifications are widely investigated because of their importance in many biological phenomena, we currently still have little understanding of how protein glycosylation impacts the variation and stability of venom proteomes. To address these issues, here we characterized the venom proteomes of seven Bothrops snakes using a shotgun proteomics strategy. Moreover, we compared the electrophoretic profiles of native and deglycosylated venoms and, in order to assess their subproteomes of glycoproteins, we identified the proteins with affinity for three lectins with different saccharide specificities and their putative glycosylation sites. As proteinases are abundant glycosylated toxins, we examined the effect of N-deglycosylation on their catalytic activities and show that the proteinases of the seven venoms were similarly affected by removal of N-glycans. Moreover, we prospected putative glycosylation sites of transcripts of a B. jararaca venom gland data set and detected toxin family related patterns of glycosylation. Based on our global analysis, we report that Bothrops venom proteomes and glycoproteomes contain a core of components that markedly define their composition, which is conserved upon evolution in parallel to other molecular markers that determine their phylogenetic classification. PMID:27297130

  3. Parasitological and immunological diagnoses from feces of captive-bred snakes at Vital Brazil Institute.

    PubMed

    Souza, Janaína Lima de; Barbosa, Alynne da Silva; Vazon, Adriana Prado; Uchôa, Claudia Maria Antunes; Nunes, Beatriz Coronato; Cortez, Myrian Bandeira Vianna; Silva, Valmir Laurentino da; Más, Leonora Brazil; Melgarejo, Aníbal Rafael; Bastos, Otilio Machado Pereira

    2014-01-01

    Fecal samples from 56 snakes at the Vital Brazil Institute, in the city of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, were tested using the sedimentation and flotation techniques to investigate the evolutionary forms of parasites such as helminths and protozoa, and using enzyme immunoassay techniques to detect antigens of Cryptosporidium sp. and Giardia sp. Among the animals tested, 80.3% were positive for parasites. Out of these, there were 16 Bothrops jararaca, 16 B. jararacussu and 13 Crotalus durissus. The prevalence of parasitic nematodes was 41.1%, and nematodes were found in all three snake species. Among these, the most frequent finding was eggs of Kalicephalus sp., which were diagnosed in 25% of the snakes. The positivity for protozoa detected using parasite concentration techniques was 75%, including oocysts of Caryospora sp. in 75%, cysts with morphology similar to Giardia sp. 3.6%, amoeboid cysts in 41.1% and unsporulated coccidia oocysts in 8.9%. Immunoassays for Cryptosporidium sp. antigens produced positive findings in 60.7%. Pseudoparasites were detected in 64.3%. These results show that there is a need to improve the sanitary handling of captive-bred snakes, and also for the animal house that supplies rodents to feed them. The results also highlight that diagnostic tests should be performed periodically on stool specimens from captive-bred snakes.

  4. [Bites by snakes in the genus Bothrops: a series of 3,139 cases].

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, L A; Jorge, M T

    1997-01-01

    Medical records of 3,139 patients bitten by Bothrops snakes and attended at Vital Brazil Hospital (HVB) from 1981 to 1990 were reviewed. They were more frequent in males (75.7%). In 1,412 cases (45.0%) the snake was classified by species, and 1,376 were B. jararaca, 20 B. jararacussu, 11 B. neuwiedi, 2 B. moojeni, 2 B. alternatus e 1 B. pradoi. The most frequent bitten anatomic regions were: foot (47.5%) and hand (21.3%). Tourniquet was used in 38.2% of the cases and its frequency fell down during the study period (p < 0.05). The clinical features at the bite site were: pain (95.6%), swelling (95.4%), ecchymosis (56.1%), blisters (13.8%), necrosis (16.5%), and abscess (11.0%). Systemic manifestations were: bleeding (12.3%), acute renal failure (1.6%), and shock (0.7%). There were blood coagulation disorders in 1,730 (57.9%) of the 2,990 cases. There were 21 amputations (0.7%) and 9 deaths (0.3%). The average serum dose that was used in treatment fell down during the study period (p < 0.001). PMID:9463193

  5. Determination of Toxic Activities in Bothrops spp. Snake Venoms Using Animal-Free Approaches: Correlation Between In Vitro Versus In Vivo Assays.

    PubMed

    de Souza, Letícia Lopes; Stransky, Stephanie; Guerra-Duarte, Clara; Flor-Sá, Ana; Schneider, Francisco Santos; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos

    2015-10-01

    The main purpose of this study is to investigate the in vitro toxic effects of 5 Bothrops spp. snake venoms, which are part of the antigenic mixture used for the production of Brazilian antivenom, and evaluate their correlation with the in vivo toxic activities of Bothrops spp. venoms. The correlation analysis could be helpful for the replacement of living animals experimentation for in vitro bioassay. Cytotoxicity, L-amino acid oxidase (LAAO), proteolitic (serine and metalloproteinase), hyaluronidase (Hyal), and phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activities were estimated and the correlation coefficient was determined for each activity in relation to lethality, edema, hemorrhage and necrosis induced in live animals by B. jararaca, B. alternatus, B. jararacussu, B. neuwiedi, and B. moojeni venoms. The lethal activity in mice was highly related to Hyal activity (r = 0.94, p < .05), edema related to PLA2 activity (r = 0.94, p < .05), whereas the necrotizing activity showed high correlation with LAAO activity (r = 0.83, p < .05). A very significant correlation between in vitro cytotoxicity and LAAO activities was also observed (r = 0.97, p < .05).

  6. Determination of Toxic Activities in Bothrops spp. Snake Venoms Using Animal-Free Approaches: Correlation Between In Vitro Versus In Vivo Assays.

    PubMed

    de Souza, Letícia Lopes; Stransky, Stephanie; Guerra-Duarte, Clara; Flor-Sá, Ana; Schneider, Francisco Santos; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos

    2015-10-01

    The main purpose of this study is to investigate the in vitro toxic effects of 5 Bothrops spp. snake venoms, which are part of the antigenic mixture used for the production of Brazilian antivenom, and evaluate their correlation with the in vivo toxic activities of Bothrops spp. venoms. The correlation analysis could be helpful for the replacement of living animals experimentation for in vitro bioassay. Cytotoxicity, L-amino acid oxidase (LAAO), proteolitic (serine and metalloproteinase), hyaluronidase (Hyal), and phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activities were estimated and the correlation coefficient was determined for each activity in relation to lethality, edema, hemorrhage and necrosis induced in live animals by B. jararaca, B. alternatus, B. jararacussu, B. neuwiedi, and B. moojeni venoms. The lethal activity in mice was highly related to Hyal activity (r = 0.94, p < .05), edema related to PLA2 activity (r = 0.94, p < .05), whereas the necrotizing activity showed high correlation with LAAO activity (r = 0.83, p < .05). A very significant correlation between in vitro cytotoxicity and LAAO activities was also observed (r = 0.97, p < .05). PMID:26160116

  7. Alpha1-adrenoceptors trigger the snake venom production cycle in secretory cells by activating phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate hydrolysis and ERK signaling pathway.

    PubMed

    Kerchove, Celine M; Luna, Milene S A; Zablith, Mariana B; Lazari, Maria F M; Smaili, Soraya S; Yamanouye, Norma

    2008-08-01

    Loss of venom from the venom gland after biting or manual extraction leads to morphological changes in venom secreting cells and the start of a cycle of production of new venom. We have previously shown that stimulation of both alpha- and beta-adrenoceptors in the secretory cells of the venom gland is essential for the onset of the venom production cycle in Bothrops jararaca. We investigated the signaling pathway by which the alpha-adrenoceptor initiates the venom production cycle. Our results show that the alpha(1)-adrenoceptor subtype is present in venom gland of the snake. In quiescent cells, stimulation of alpha(1)-adrenoceptor with phenylephrine increased the total inositol phosphate concentration, and this effect was blocked by the phospholipase C inhibitor U73122. Phenylephrine mobilized Ca(2+) from thapsigargin-sensitive stores and increased protein kinase C activity. In addition, alpha(1)-adrenoceptor stimulation increased the activity of ERK 1/2, partially via protein kinase C. Using RT-PCR approach we obtained a partial sequence of a snake alpha(1)-adrenoceptor (260 bp) with higher identity with alpha(1D) and alpha(1B)-adrenoceptors from different species. These results suggest that alpha(1)-adrenoceptors in the venom secreting cells are probably coupled to a G(q) protein and trigger the venom production cycle by activating the phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate and ERK signaling pathway.

  8. Preclinical assessment of the neutralizing capacity of antivenoms produced in six Latin American countries against medically-relevant Bothrops snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Segura, A; Castillo, M C; Núñez, V; Yarlequé, A; Gonçalves, L R C; Villalta, M; Bonilla, C; Herrera, M; Vargas, M; Fernández, M; Yano, M Y; Araújo, H P; Boller, M A A; León, P; Tintaya, B; Sano-Martins, I S; Gómez, A; Fernández, G P; Geoghegan, P; Higashi, H G; León, G; Gutiérrez, J M

    2010-11-01

    Species of the genus Bothrops induce the vast majority of snakebite envenomings in Latin America. A preclinical study was performed in the context of a regional network of public laboratories involved in the production, quality control and development of antivenoms in Latin America. The ability of seven polyspecific antivenoms, produced in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Costa Rica, to neutralize lethal, hemorrhagic, coagulant, defibrinogenating and myotoxic activities of the venoms of Bothrops neuwiedi (diporus) (Argentina), Bothrops jararaca (Brazil), B. neuwiedi (mattogrossensis) (Bolivia), Bothrops atrox (Peru and Colombia) and Bothrops asper (Costa Rica) was assessed using standard laboratory tests. Despite differences in the venom mixtures used in the immunization of animals for the production of these antivenoms, a pattern of extensive cross-neutralization was observed between these antivenoms and all the venoms tested, with quantitative differences in the values of effective doses. This study reveals the capacity of these antivenoms to neutralize, in preclinical tests, homologous and heterologous Bothrops venoms in Central and South America, and also highlight quantitative differences in the values of Median Effective Doses (ED50s) between the various antivenoms.

  9. Cloning and characterization of a basic phospholipase A2 homologue from Micrurus corallinus (coral snake) venom gland.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Ursula Castro; Assui, Alessandra; da Silva, Alvaro Rossan de Brandão Prieto; de Oliveira, Jane Silveira; Ho, Paulo Lee

    2003-09-01

    During the cloning of abundant cDNAs expressed in the Micrurus corallinus coral snake venom gland, several putative toxins, including a phospholipase A2 homologue cDNA (clone V2), were identified. The V2 cDNA clone codes for a potential coral snake toxin with a signal peptide of 27 amino acid residues plus a predicted mature protein with 119 amino acid residues. The deduced protein is highly similar to known phospholipases A2, with seven deduced S-S bridges at the same conserved positions. This protein was expressed in Escherichia coli as a His-tagged protein that allowed the rapid purification of the recombinant protein. This protein was used to generate antibodies, which recognized the recombinant protein in Western blot. This antiserum was used to screen a large number of venoms, showing a ubiquitous distribution of immunorelated proteins in all elapidic venoms but not in the viperidic Bothrops jararaca venom. This is the first description of a complete primary structure of a phospholipase A2 homologue deduced by cDNA cloning from a coral snake.

  10. Interaction of toxic venoms with the complement system

    PubMed Central

    Birdsey, Vanessa; Lindorfer, Jean; Gewurz, H.

    1971-01-01

    Thirty-nine venoms from various vertebrate and invertebrate species were tested for their ability to consume haemolytic complement (C) activity upon incubation in fresh guinea-pig serum. Nineteen had `anti-complementary' activity, and these were provisionally sorted into the following groups: Pattern I—exemplified by the Naja haje (Egyptian cobra) and six other Elapidae species (all cobras), which induced selective consumption of C3—C9, and led to formation of a stable C3—C9-consuming intermediate; Pattern II—exemplified by the Agkistrodon rhodostoma (Malayan pit viper), Bitis arietans (puff adder), Bothrops jararaca (South American pit viper), Bothrops atrox (Fer de Lance) and three other species, which induced marked consumption of C4 and C2, as well as C3—C9, but did not form a stable C3—C9-consuming intermediate; and individual animals, e.g. the Lachesis muta (bushmaster), which induced other patterns (III—VI) of complement component consumption. Active fractions of representative venoms were partially purified by ion exchange and gel filtration chromatography and their interactions with the complement system characterized further. It is anticipated that these enzymes, with a capacity to activate the complement system in unique ways, will prove to be of further experimental usefulness. PMID:4398349

  11. Diagnostic uses of snake venom.

    PubMed

    Marsh, N A

    2001-01-01

    Snake venom toxins are invaluable for the assay of coagulation factors and for the study of haemostasis generally. Thrombin-like enzymes (SVTLE) are used for fibrinogen and fibrinogen breakdown product assays as well as detecting dysfibrinogenaemias. Since SVTLE are not inhibited by heparin, they can be used for assaying antithrombin III in samples containing heparin. Snake venom prothrombin activators are utilised in prothrombin assays, whilst Russell's viper venom (RVV) can be used to assay clotting factors V, VII, X and lupus anticoagulants (LA). Activators from the taipan, Australian brown snake and saw-scaled viper have also been used to assay LA. Protein C (PC) and activated PC (APC) resistance can be measured by means of RVV, Protac (from Southern copperhead snake venom) and STA-Staclot (from Crotalus viridis helleri) whilst von Willebrand factor can be studied with Botrocetin (Bothrops jararaca). Finally, snake venom C-type lectins and metalloproteinase disintegrins are being used to study platelet glycoprotein receptors and show great potential for use in the routine coagulation laboratory. PMID:11910187

  12. Use of snake venom fractions in the coagulation laboratory.

    PubMed

    Marsh, N A

    1998-07-01

    Snake venom toxins are now regularly used in the coagulation laboratory for assaying haemostatic parameters and as coagulation reagents. Snake venom thrombin-like enzymes (SVTLE) are used for fibrinogen and fibrinogen breakdown product assay as well as detecting dysfibrinogenaemias. Significantly, because SVTLE are not inhibited by heparin, they can be used for defibrinating samples that contain the anticoagulant before assay of haemostatic variables. Prothrombin activators are found in many snake venoms and are used in prothrombin assays, for studying dysprothrombinaemias and preparing meizothrombin and non-enzymic prothrombin. Russell's viper (Daboia russelli) venom (RVV) contains a number of compounds useful in the assay of factors V, VII, X, platelet factor 3 and lupus anticoagulants. Activators from the taipan, Australian brown snake and saw-scaled viper have been used to assay lupus anticoagulants. Protein C and activated protein C resistance can be measured by means of RVV and Protac, a fast acting inhibitor from Southern copperhead snake venom and von Willebrand factor can be studied with Botrocetin from Bothrops jararaca venom. Finally, phospholipase A2 enzymes and the disintegrins, a family of Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD)-containing proteins found in snake venoms, show great potential for the study of haemostasis including, notably, platelet glycoprotein receptors GPIIb/IIIa and Ib. PMID:9712287

  13. Parasitological and immunological diagnoses from feces of captive-bred snakes at Vital Brazil Institute.

    PubMed

    Souza, Janaína Lima de; Barbosa, Alynne da Silva; Vazon, Adriana Prado; Uchôa, Claudia Maria Antunes; Nunes, Beatriz Coronato; Cortez, Myrian Bandeira Vianna; Silva, Valmir Laurentino da; Más, Leonora Brazil; Melgarejo, Aníbal Rafael; Bastos, Otilio Machado Pereira

    2014-01-01

    Fecal samples from 56 snakes at the Vital Brazil Institute, in the city of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, were tested using the sedimentation and flotation techniques to investigate the evolutionary forms of parasites such as helminths and protozoa, and using enzyme immunoassay techniques to detect antigens of Cryptosporidium sp. and Giardia sp. Among the animals tested, 80.3% were positive for parasites. Out of these, there were 16 Bothrops jararaca, 16 B. jararacussu and 13 Crotalus durissus. The prevalence of parasitic nematodes was 41.1%, and nematodes were found in all three snake species. Among these, the most frequent finding was eggs of Kalicephalus sp., which were diagnosed in 25% of the snakes. The positivity for protozoa detected using parasite concentration techniques was 75%, including oocysts of Caryospora sp. in 75%, cysts with morphology similar to Giardia sp. 3.6%, amoeboid cysts in 41.1% and unsporulated coccidia oocysts in 8.9%. Immunoassays for Cryptosporidium sp. antigens produced positive findings in 60.7%. Pseudoparasites were detected in 64.3%. These results show that there is a need to improve the sanitary handling of captive-bred snakes, and also for the animal house that supplies rodents to feed them. The results also highlight that diagnostic tests should be performed periodically on stool specimens from captive-bred snakes. PMID:25054488

  14. Antimicrobial proteins from snake venoms: direct bacterial damage and activation of innate immunity against Staphylococcus aureus skin infection.

    PubMed

    Samy, R P; Stiles, B G; Gopalakrishnakone, P; Chow, V T K

    2011-01-01

    The innate immune system is the first line of defense against microbial diseases. Antimicrobial proteins produced by snake venoms have recently attracted significant attention due to their relevance to bacterial infection and potential development into new therapeutic agents. Staphylococcus aureus is one of the major human pathogens causing a variety of infections involving pneumonia, toxic shock syndrome, and skin lesions. With the recent emergence of methicillin (MRSA) and vancomycin (VRSA) resistance, S. aureus infection is a serious clinical problem that will have a grave socio-economic impact in the near future. Although S. aureus susceptibility to innate antimicrobial peptides has been reported recently, the protective effect of snake venom phospholipase A₂ (svPLA₂) proteins on the skin from S. aureus infection has been understudied. This review details the protective function of svPLA₂s derived from venoms against skin infections caused by S. aureus. We have demonstrated in vivo that local application of svPLA₂ provides complete clearance of S. aureus within 2 weeks after treatment compared to fusidic acid ointment (FAO). In vitro experiments also demonstrate that svPLA₂ proteins have inhibitory (bacteriostatic) and killing (bactericidal) effects on S. aureus in a dose-dependant manner. The mechanism of bacterial membrane damage and perturbation was clearly evidenced by electron microscopic studies. In summary, svPLA₂s from Viperidae and Elapidae snakes are novel molecules that can activate important mechanisms of innate immunity in animals to endow them with protection against skin infection caused by S. aureus.

  15. Capillary damage in the area postrema by venom of the northern black-tailed rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus molossus)

    PubMed Central

    Meléndez-Martínez, David; Macias-Rodríguez, Eduardo; Vargas-Caraveo, Alejandra; Martínez-Martínez, Alejandro; Gatica-Colima, Ana; Plenge-Tellechea, Luis Fernando

    2014-01-01

    The Northern black-tailed rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus molossus) venom is mainly hemotoxic, hemorrhagic, and neurotoxic. Its effects in the central nervous system are unknown and only poorly described for all Viperidae species in general. This is why we are interested in describe the damage induced by C. m. molossus venom in rat brain, particularly in the area postrema capillaries. Four C. m. molossus venom doses were tested (0.02, 0.05, 0.10 and 0.20mg/kg) injected intramuscularly at the lower limb, incubated by 24 hours and the brains were harvested. Area postrema coronal sections were stained with Haematoxylin and Eosin, and examined to observe the venom effect in quantity of capillaries and porphology. Starting from the 0.10mg/kg treatment we observed lysed extravasated erythrocytes and also capillary breakdown, as a consequence of hemorrhages appearance. The number of capillaries decreased significantly in response to the venom dose increment. Hemorrhages could be caused by the metalloproteinase activity on the basal membrane and the apoptosis generated by L-amino acid oxidases. Hemolysis could be caused by phospholipase A2 hemotoxic effect. We conclude that C. m. molossus crude venom produces hemolysis, capillary breakdown, hemorrhages, and the reduction in number of capillaries in the area postrema. PMID:25035793

  16. Fatal diffuse thrombotic microangiopathy after a bite by the "Fer-de-Lance" pit viper (Bothrops lanceolatus) of Martinique.

    PubMed

    Malbranque, Stéphane; Piercecchi-Marti, Marie Dominique; Thomas, Laurent; Barbey, Christophe; Courcier, Dominique; Bucher, Bernard; Ridarch, Alex; Smadja, Didier; Warrell, David A

    2008-06-01

    In Martinique, a man bitten two days earlier by a pit viper (Bothrops lanceolatus) was hospitalized with impaired consciousness and tetraplegia. Investigations confirmed cerebral and myocardial infarctions. Resolving thrombocytopenia was associated with virtually normal blood prothrombin time/activated partial thromboplastin time but increasing hyperfibrinogenemia. Despite specific antivenom treatment, he developed fatal left ventricular failure six days after the bite. At autopsy, multiple cerebral, myocardial and mesenteric infarctions were found. Rupture of mitral chordae tendinae was the likely cause of death. Histopathologic examination showed multi-focal thrombotic microangiopathy with intimal-medial dissection by thrombi extending from foci of endothelial damage in small cerebral, myocardial, pulmonary, mesenteric, and interlobular renal arteries and arterioles. These findings were the causes of infarctions. There was intense angiogenesis in organizing cerebral infarcts. Immunohistochemical analysis showed platelet aggregates and endothelial cells within microthrombi. Viperidae venoms contain vascular endothelial toxins, notably metalloproteinase hemorrhagins, but von Willebrand factor activators or vascular endothelial growth factor-type factors are more likely to have been implicated in this case. PMID:18541759

  17. Complete mitochondrial DNA sequences of six snakes: phylogenetic relationships and molecular evolution of genomic features.

    PubMed

    Dong, Songyu; Kumazawa, Yoshinori

    2005-07-01

    Complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences were determined for representative species from six snake families: the acrochordid little file snake, the bold boa constrictor, the cylindrophiid red pipe snake, the viperid himehabu, the pythonid ball python, and the xenopeltid sunbeam snake. Thirteen protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, 2 rRNA genes, and 2 control regions were identified in these mtDNAs. Duplication of the control region and translocation of the tRNALeu gene were two notable features of the snake mtDNAs. The duplicate control regions had nearly identical nucleotide sequences within species but they were divergent among species, suggesting concerted sequence evolution of the two control regions. In addition, the duplicate control regions appear to have facilitated an interchange of some flanking tRNA genes in the viperid lineage. Phylogenetic analyses were conducted using a large number of sites (9570 sites in total) derived from the complete mtDNA sequences. Our data strongly suggested a new phylogenetic relationship among the major families of snakes: ((((Viperidae, Colubridae), Acrochordidae), (((Pythonidae, Xenopeltidae), Cylindrophiidae), Boidae)), Leptotyphlopidae). This conclusion was distinct from a widely accepted view based on morphological characters in denying the sister-group relationship of boids and pythonids, as well as the basal divergence of nonmacrostomatan cylindrophiids. These results imply the significance to reconstruct the snake phylogeny with ample molecular data, such as those from complete mtDNA sequences.

  18. [Drug or plant substances which antagonize venoms or potentiate antivenins].

    PubMed

    Chippaux, J P; Rakotonirina, V S; Rakotonirina, A; Dzikouk, G

    1997-01-01

    Dendroaspis jamesoni (Elapidae) and Echis oceliatus (Viperidae) are responsible for most of severe evenomation in Cameroon. Toxicity of venoms of these two species has been measured using mice according to the method of Spearman & Kàrber. The effect on experimental envenomation of various drugs (atropine, promethazine, neostigmine, hydrocortisone, pentosane sulfuric polyester, heparin, tranexamic acid and aminocaproic acid) and plant extracts (Schumanniophyton magnificum, Bidens pilosa, Securidaca longepedunculata and Garcinia lucida) has been observed associated or not with the antivenom lpser Afrique (SAV). The venom of D. jamesoni contains neurotoxins agonizing and antagonising acetylcholine. The toxicity of the venom did not depend on the route of injection. Atropine, promethazine, neostigmine and hydrocortisone protected animals against a venom dose up to 2 LD50. Moreover, atropine and promethazine potentiated the SAV. Similar results have been obtained with extracts from S. magnificum and B. pilosa. The venom of E. ocellatus induces haemorrhage and necrosis. The toxicity increased by 3-fold when the venom was injected through intravenous or intraperitoneal route, compared to intramuscular route. Pentosane sulfuric polyester and tranexamic acid protected mice against doses up to 3 LD50. Pentosane sulfuric polyester, hydrocortisone, heparin and aminocaproic acid increased the SAV protective titre by 50%. However, tried plant extracts weakly antagonised the venom and did not potentiate the SAV.

  19. Purification and cloning of cysteine-rich proteins from Trimeresurus jerdonii and Naja atra venoms.

    PubMed

    Jin, Yang; Lu, Qiumin; Zhou, Xingding; Zhu, Shaowen; Li, Rui; Wang, Wanyu; Xiong, Yuliang

    2003-10-01

    Three 26 kDa proteins, named as TJ-CRVP, NA-CRVP1 and NA-CRVP2, were isolated from the venoms of Trimeresurus jerdonii and Naja atra, respectively. The N-terminal sequences of TJ-CRVP and NA-CRVPs were determined. These components were devoid of the enzymatic activities tested, such as phospholipase A(2), arginine esterase, proteolysis, L-amino acid oxidase, 5'nucleotidase, acetylcholinesterase. Furthermore, these three components did not have the following biological activities: coagulant and anticoagulant activities, lethal activity, myotoxicity, hemorrhagic activity, platelet aggregation and platelet aggregation-inhibiting activities. These proteins are named as cysteine-rich venom protein (CRVP) because their sequences showed high level of similarity with mammalian cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRISP) family. Recently, some CRISP-like proteins were also isolated from several different snake venoms, including Agkistrodon blomhoffi, Trimeresurus flavoviridis, Lanticauda semifascita and king cobra. We presumed that CRVP might be a common component in snake venoms. Of particular interest, phylogenetic analysis and sequence alignment showed that NA-CRVP1 and ophanin, both from elapid snakes, share higher similarity with CRVPs from Viperidae snakes. PMID:14529736

  20. Scales microstructure of snakes from the Egyptian area.

    PubMed

    Allam, Ahmed A; Abo-Eleneen, Rasha E

    2012-11-01

    The morphology of many organisms seems to be related to the environments in which they live. Many snakes are so similar in their morphological patterns that it becomes quite difficult to distinguish any adaptive divergence that may have occurred. Many authors have suggested that the microstructure of the reptile's scales has important functional value. Herein, we investigate variations on the micromorphology of the external surface of dorsal scales on the head, the mid-body region (trunk), and the tail of Rhomphotyphlops braminus (Typhlopidae), Eryx jaculus (Boidae), Psammophis sibilans (Colubridae), Naja haje (Elapidae) and Echis carinatus (Viperidae). The specimens were metallized and analyzed by scanning electron microscopy. All species displayed unique dorsal scale surface microstructures of the investigated regions. The microstructural pattern of the scales of head, trunk, and tail differs in different species of these snakes. In conclusion, we detected ecomorphologic relationships between extant dorsal scale microstructures and snake microhabitat, enabling us to hypothesize that environmental pressures have significant influences not only on these animals' macrostructure, but also on its microstructure as well. PMID:23106563

  1. Preparation of antibodies to king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) venom hemorrhagin and investigation of their cross-reactivity.

    PubMed

    Tan, N H; Saifuddin, M N; Jaafar, M I

    1990-01-01

    Hannahtoxin, the major hemorrhagin purified from king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) venom, elicits hemorrhages in rabbits but not in mice. Two antisera against hannahtoxin were prepared: one raised against purified hannahtoxin, while the other was raised against glutaraldehyde cross-linked and detoxified hannahtoxin. The antisera were refined by pepsin digestion and ammonium sulfate precipitation. They are of approximately equal potency in their ability to neutralize the hemorrhagic activity of king cobra venom in rabbits. The antisera did not form a precipitin line with venom of snakes of the Viperidae family nor neutralize hemorrhages elicited in mice by any of these venoms. However, when the hemorrhagic activity was assayed in rabbits, both antisera were able to abolish the hemorrhages elicited by all of the venoms tested. These results suggest that hannahtoxin displays few epitopes in common with hemorrhagins of viperid venoms, except those involved in the neutralization of hemorrhagic activity in rabbits. The epitopes of viperid venom hemorrhagins involved in the neutralization reaction in rabbits are different from those in mice.

  2. Expression of mRNAs coding for VAP1/crotastatin-like metalloproteases in the venom glands of three South American pit vipers assessed by quantitative real-time PCR.

    PubMed

    Tavares, N A C; Correia, J M; Guarnieri, M C; Lima-Filho, J L; Prieto-da-Silva, A R B; Rádis-Baptista, G

    2008-12-15

    Snake venom metalloproteases encompass a large family of toxins, with approximately 200 members already catalogued, which exhibit a diversity of structures and biological functions. From this relatively large number, only a dozen examples of apoptosis-inducing metalloproteases, like VAP1 and 2 from the venom of Crotalus atrox, are known. Since most VAP1-like toxins ever characterized were purified from the venom of Viperidae species inhabiting diverse places on earth, we investigate the expression of VAP-like metalloproteases in the venom gland of three representative pit vipers of the Brazilian territory. By molecular cloning and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, using as calibrator gene the Crotalus durissus terrificus homolog of VAP1, named crotastatin, it is reported here that VAP1/crotastatin-like homologues in the venom gland of Bothrops atrox, C. d. cascavella and Lachesis m. rhombeata are expressed at different levels. Hence, batroxstatins, the crotastatin-like precursors from B. atrox, are expressed 87 times more than crotastatin-1, from C. d. cascavella, and 7.5-fold that lachestatins, from L. m. rhombeata. Moreover, in silico structural analysis of amino acid sequences indicates that batroxstatin-2, crotastatins and lachestatin-1 and -2 which share the archetypal motifs and metal- binding sites of VAP1, are subgrouped in a branch that comprises some apoptosis-inducing toxins. PMID:18926840

  3. [Study on the venoms of the principal venomous snakes from French Guiana and the neutralization].

    PubMed

    Estévez, J; Magaña, P; Chippaux, J P; Vidal, N; Mancilla, R; Paniagua, J F; de Roodt, A R

    2008-10-01

    We studied some biochemical, toxic and immunological characteristics of the venoms of Bothrops atrox, Bothrops brazili and Lachesis muta, Viperidae responsible for most of the bites of venomous snakes in French Guiana. Chromatographic (HPLC) and electrophoretical profiles (SDS-PAGE), lethal, hemorrhagic, defibrinogenating, coagulant, thrombin like, proteolytic, fibrino(geno)lytic and phospholipase activities were studied. In addition, the neutralization of some toxic activities conferred by four antivenins was compared. The chromatographic and electrophoretic profiles were different for the three venoms, showing differences between Bothrops and L. muta venoms. In general, bothropic venoms showed the highest toxic and enzymatic activities, while the venom of L. muta showed the lowest lethal, hemorrhagic and coagulant activities. The enzymes of bothropic venoms responsible for gelatinolytic activity were around 50-90 kDa. All the venoms were able to hydrolyze a and beta chains of the fibrinogen, showing different patterns of degradation. Although all the antivenoms tested were effective to various degrees in neutralizing the venom of B. brazili and B. atrox, neutralization of L. muta venom was significantly better achieved using the antivenom including this venom in its immunogenic mixture. For the neutralization of L. muta venom, homologous or polyvalent antivenoms that include the "bushmaster" venom in their immunogenic mixture should be preferred. PMID:18956820

  4. 'Offensive' snakes: cultural beliefs and practices related to snakebites in a Brazilian rural settlement

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    This paper records the meaning of the term 'offense' and the folk knowledge related to local beliefs and practices of folk medicine that prevent and treat snake bites, as well as the implications for the conservation of snakes in the county of Pedra Branca, Bahia State, Brazil. The data was recorded from September to November 2006 by means of open-ended interviews performed with 74 individuals of both genders, whose ages ranged from 4 to 89 years old. The results show that the local terms biting, stinging and pricking are synonymous and used as equivalent to offending. All these terms mean to attack. A total of 23 types of 'snakes' were recorded, based on their local names. Four of them are Viperidae, which were considered the most dangerous to humans, besides causing more aversion and fear in the population. In general, local people have strong negative behavior towards snakes, killing them whenever possible. Until the antivenom was present and available, the locals used only charms, prayers and homemade remedies to treat or protect themselves and others from snake bites. Nowadays, people do not pay attention to these things because, basically, the antivenom is now easily obtained at regional hospitals. It is understood that the ethnozoological knowledge, customs and popular practices of the Pedra Branca inhabitants result in a valuable cultural resource which should be considered in every discussion regarding public health, sanitation and practices of traditional medicine, as well as in faunistic studies and conservation strategies for local biological diversity. PMID:20346120

  5. Ten years of snakebites in Iran.

    PubMed

    Dehghani, Rouhullah; Fathi, Behrooz; Shahi, Morteza Panjeh; Jazayeri, Mehrdad

    2014-11-01

    Many species of venomous snakes are found in Iran. The most medically important species which are responsible for the most snakebite incidents in Iran belong to the Viperidae family, including Vipera lebetina, Echis carinatus, Pseudocerastes persicus, Vipera albicornuta and the Elapidae family, especially Naja naja oxiana. At least one kind of venomous snake is found in each of the 31 provinces, and many provinces have more than one venomous species. As a result, snakebite is a considerable health hazard in Iran, especially in the rural area of south and south-west of Iran. A retrospective, descriptive study of snakebite in Iran during 2002-2011 was carried out in order based on data collected from medical records of bite victims admitted to hospitals and health centers. From 2002 to 2011, 53,787 cases of snake bites were reported by medical centers in Iran. The annual incidence of snake bites in 100,000 of population varied from 4.5 to 9.1 during this decade and the number of recorded deaths were about 67 cases. The highest rate of snakebite was found in provinces of south and southwest of Iran. We suggest that people, especially in the rural areas, need to be trained and educated about venomous snakes, their hazards, prevention of bite and the importance of early hospital referral and treatment of victims. Also adequate antivenins as the main life saving medicine should be made available based on the recorded numbers of victims in each area of the country.

  6. Snake richness in urban forest fragments from Niterói and surroundings, state of Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Citeli, Nathalie; Hamdan, Breno

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background The Atlantic Forest is a hotspot for biodiversity, an area which houses high species richness and endemism, but with high level of threat. With reference to the herpetofauna, until recently there has been no detailed information regarding diversity of snakes recorded in the Atlantic Forest, the number of endemic species and their distribution ranges. While these basic data were missing, large areas of original forest have continued to be lost to increased urbanization and human population, representing a severe threat to the biodiversity. New information We recorded 28 snake species in our study area. Dipsadidae was the richest family with 14 species, followed by Colubridae (eight species), Boidae (two species), Viperidae (two species), and Anomalepididae, Elapidae and Typhlopidae (one species each). Most species were forest inhabitants (61%), of which 13 are endemic to the Atlantic Forest. There were no clearly defined species clusters regarding species composition. None of the species recorded in Niterói are listed as threatened in the Brazilian Redlist. However, most of them are strongly associated with forested areas and, perhaps, are not adapted to live in small fragments. Thus, more initiatives should be implemented to evaluate the true conservation status of these species in order to better protect them. PMID:26929711

  7. Snakebite management in Iran: Devising a protocol

    PubMed Central

    Monzavi, Seyed Mostafa; Dadpour, Bita; Afshari, Reza

    2014-01-01

    Background: Snakebite in Iran has been a health concern. However, management of snakebite is not standardized and varies from center to center. This study is aimed at devising an evidence-based comprehensive protocol for snakebite management in Iran, to reduce unnecessary variations in practice. Materials and Methods: A narrative search in electronic databases was performed. Fifty peer-reviewed articles, guidelines, and textbooks were reviewed and practical details were extracted. Our currently used protocol in the Mashhad Toxicology Center was supplemented with this information. Consequently an improved wide-range protocol was developed. The protocol was then discussed and amended within a focus group comprised of medical toxicologists and internal medicine specialists. The amended version was finally discussed with expert physicians specialized in different areas of medicine, to be optimized by supplementing other specific considerations. Results: During a one-year process, the protocol was finalized. The final version of the protocol, which was designed in six steps, comprised of three components: A schematic algorithm, a severity grading scale, and instructions for supportive and adjunctive treatments. The algorithm pertains to both Viperidae and Elapidae snakebite envenomations and consists of a planned course of action and dosing of antivenom, based on the severity of the envenomation. Conclusion: Snakebite envenomation is a clinical toxicologic emergency, which needs to be treated in a timely and organized manner. Hence, a multi-aspect protocol was designed to improve the clinical outcomes, reduce unnecessary administration of antivenom, and help physicians make more proper clinical judgments. PMID:24778670

  8. Correlation between annual activity patterns of venomous snakes and rural people in the Niger Delta, southern Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Venomous snakes are among the most serious health hazards for rural people in tropical regions of the world. Herein we compare the monthly activity patterns of eight venomous snake species (Elapidae and Viperidae) with those of rural people in the Niger Delta area of southern Nigeria, in order to identify the periods of highest potential risk for persons, and the human group actually at greater risk of snakebite. Results We documented that above-ground activity of all venomous snakes peaked in the wet season, and that high snake activity and high human activity were most highly correlated between April and August. In addition, we documented that women and teenagers were at relatively higher risk of encountering a venomous snake than adult males, despite they are less often in the field than men. Conclusions Our results suggest that future programs devoted to mitigate the social and health effects of snakebites in the Niger Delta region should involve especially women and teenagers, with ad-hoc education projects if appropriate. We urge that international organizations working on social and health problems in the developing world, such as IRD, DFID, UNDP, should provide advice through specific programs targeted at especially these categories which have been highlighted in comparatively potential higher threat from snakebites than adult men. PMID:23849681

  9. Epithelium specific ETS transcription factor, ESE-3, of Protobothrops flavoviridis snake venom gland transactivates the promoters of venom phospholipase A2 isozyme genes.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Hitomi; Murakami, Tatsuo; Hattori, Shosaku; Sakaki, Yoshiyuki; Ohkuri, Takatoshi; Chijiwa, Takahito; Ohno, Motonori; Oda-Ueda, Naoko

    2014-12-15

    Protobothrops flavoviridis (habu) (Crotalinae, Viperidae) is a Japanese venomous snake, and its venom contains the enzymes with a variety of physiological activities. The phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) are the major components and exert various toxic effects. They are expressed abundantly in the venom gland. It is thought that the venom gland-specific transcription factors play a key role for activation of PLA2 genes specifically expressed in the venom gland. Thus, the full-length cDNA library for P. flavoviridis venom gland after milking of the venom was made to explore the transcription factors therein. As a result, three cDNAs encoding epithelium-specific ETS transcription factors (ESE)-1, -2, and -3 were obtained. Among them, ESE-3 was specifically expressed in the venom gland and activated the proximal promoters of venom PLA2 genes, which are possibly regarded as the representatives of the venom gland-specific protein genes in P. flavoviridis. Interestingly, the binding specificity of ESE-3 to the ETS binding motif located near TATA box is well correlated with transcriptional activities for the venom PLA2 genes. This is the first report that venom gland-specific transcription factor could actually activate the promoters of the venom protein genes.

  10. [Drug or plant substances which antagonize venoms or potentiate antivenins].

    PubMed

    Chippaux, J P; Rakotonirina, V S; Rakotonirina, A; Dzikouk, G

    1997-01-01

    Dendroaspis jamesoni (Elapidae) and Echis oceliatus (Viperidae) are responsible for most of severe evenomation in Cameroon. Toxicity of venoms of these two species has been measured using mice according to the method of Spearman & Kàrber. The effect on experimental envenomation of various drugs (atropine, promethazine, neostigmine, hydrocortisone, pentosane sulfuric polyester, heparin, tranexamic acid and aminocaproic acid) and plant extracts (Schumanniophyton magnificum, Bidens pilosa, Securidaca longepedunculata and Garcinia lucida) has been observed associated or not with the antivenom lpser Afrique (SAV). The venom of D. jamesoni contains neurotoxins agonizing and antagonising acetylcholine. The toxicity of the venom did not depend on the route of injection. Atropine, promethazine, neostigmine and hydrocortisone protected animals against a venom dose up to 2 LD50. Moreover, atropine and promethazine potentiated the SAV. Similar results have been obtained with extracts from S. magnificum and B. pilosa. The venom of E. ocellatus induces haemorrhage and necrosis. The toxicity increased by 3-fold when the venom was injected through intravenous or intraperitoneal route, compared to intramuscular route. Pentosane sulfuric polyester and tranexamic acid protected mice against doses up to 3 LD50. Pentosane sulfuric polyester, hydrocortisone, heparin and aminocaproic acid increased the SAV protective titre by 50%. However, tried plant extracts weakly antagonised the venom and did not potentiate the SAV. PMID:9479470

  11. Current challenges for confronting the public health problem of snakebite envenoming in Central America

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Snakebite envenoming is a serious public health problem in Central America, where approximately 5,500 cases occur every year. Panama has the highest incidence and El Salvador the lowest. The majority, and most severe, cases are inflicted by the pit viper Bothrops asper (family Viperidae), locally known as ‘terciopelo’, ‘barba amarilla’ or ‘equis’. About 1% of the bites are caused by coral snakes of the genus Micrurus (family Elapidae). Despite significant and successful efforts in Central America regarding snakebite envenomings in the areas of research, antivenom manufacture and quality control, training of health professionals in the diagnosis and clinical management of bites, and prevention of snakebites, much remains to be done in order to further reduce the impact of this medical condition. This essay presents seven challenges for improving the confrontation of snakebite envenoming in Central America. Overcoming these challenges demands a coordinated partnership of highly diverse stakeholders though inter-sectorial and inter-programmatic interventions. PMID:24602234

  12. Genetic Identification of Spirometra decipiens Plerocercoids in Terrestrial Snakes from Korea and China.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Hyeong-Kyu; Park, Hansol; Lee, Dongmin; Choe, Seongjun; Kim, Kyu-Heon; Sohn, Woon-Mok; Eom, Keeseon S

    2016-04-01

    Human sparganosis is a zoonotic disease caused by infection with larval forms (procercoid/plerocercoid) of Spirometra spp. The purpose of this study was to identify Spirometra spp. of infected snakes using a multiplex PCR assay and phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequence data from the spargana of terrestrial snakes obtained from Korea and China. A total of 283 snakes were obtained that included 4 species of Colubridae comprising Rhabdophis tigrinus tigrinus (n=150), Dinodon rufozonatum rufozonatum (n=64), Elaphe davidi (n=2), and Elaphe schrenkii (n=7), and 1 species of Viperidae, Agkistrodon saxatilis (n=60). The snakes were collected from the provinces of Chungbuk, Chungnam, and Gyeongbuk in Korea (n=161), and from China (n=122). The overall infection rate with spargana was 83% (235/283). The highest was recorded for D. rufozonatum rufozonatum (100%), followed by A. saxatilis (85%) and R. tigrinus tigrinus (80%), with a negative result for E. davidi (0%) and E. schrenkii (0%). The sequence identities between the spargana from snakes (n=50) and Spirometra erinaceieuropaei (KJ599680) or S. decipiens (KJ599679) control specimens were 90.8% and 99.2%, respectively. Pairwise genetic distances between spargana (n=50) and S. decipiens ranged from 0.0080 to 0.0107, while those between spargana and S. erinaceieuropaei ranged from 0.1070 to 0.1096. In this study, all of the 904 spargana analyzed were identified as S. decipiens either by a multiplex PCR assay (n=854) or mitochondrial cox1 sequence analysis (n=50).

  13. Evolutionary stability of sex chromosomes in snakes.

    PubMed

    Rovatsos, Michail; Vukić, Jasna; Lymberakis, Petros; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2015-12-22

    Amniote vertebrates possess various mechanisms of sex determination, but their variability is not equally distributed. The large evolutionary stability of sex chromosomes in viviparous mammals and birds was believed to be connected with their endothermy. However, some ectotherm lineages seem to be comparably conserved in sex determination, but previously there was a lack of molecular evidence to confirm this. Here, we document a stability of sex chromosomes in advanced snakes based on the testing of Z-specificity of genes using quantitative PCR (qPCR) across 37 snake species (our qPCR technique is suitable for molecular sexing in potentially all advanced snakes). We discovered that at least part of sex chromosomes is homologous across all families of caenophidian snakes (Acrochordidae, Xenodermatidae, Pareatidae, Viperidae, Homalopsidae, Colubridae, Elapidae and Lamprophiidae). The emergence of differentiated sex chromosomes can be dated back to about 60 Ma and preceded the extensive diversification of advanced snakes, the group with more than 3000 species. The Z-specific genes of caenophidian snakes are (pseudo)autosomal in the members of the snake families Pythonidae, Xenopeltidae, Boidae, Erycidae and Sanziniidae, as well as in outgroups with differentiated sex chromosomes such as monitor lizards, iguanas and chameleons. Along with iguanas, advanced snakes are therefore another example of ectothermic amniotes with a long-term stability of sex chromosomes comparable with endotherms.

  14. Pathophysiological effects of Cerastes cerastes and Vipera lebetina venoms: Immunoneutralization using anti-native and anti-(60)Co irradiated venoms.

    PubMed

    Boumaiza, Sabrina; Oussedik-Oumehdi, Habiba; Laraba-Djebari, Fatima

    2016-01-01

    Cerastes cerastes and Vipera lebetina are the most medically important vipers in Algeria. Their bite induces several pathological effects on victims of accidental envenomation. In this study we analyzed the pathogenesis induced after an experimental envenomation. Indeed, we determined, in vitro, venom enzymatic activities and we analyzed, in vivo, pathological effects induced on liver, heart, lung and skin. In addition we investigated the neutralizing potency of four experimental antivenoms elicited against native and irradiated venoms. Results revealed that V. lebetina and Cerastes cerastes venoms presented strong hemorrhagic, oedematic and necrotic activities. Histopathological study showed that both venoms induced deep damage in tissue structures leading to organ dysfunction. They also increased cellular peroxidases activities, indicating an inflammatory process that is known to amplify tissue damage. Western-blot analysis evidenced that anti-irradiated venoms recognized most components of native venoms. Antivenoms were effective in neutralizing all tested activities, with an increased protective effect obtained with anti-irradiated venoms. Anti-irradiated venoms reduced cellular peroxidases activities indicating a reduction of the inflammatory response. These results may improve our understanding of Algerian Viperidae bite pathogenesis and would encourage further studies planning to provide more proofs on the effectiveness of anti-irradiated venoms administration in the treatment of envenomation. PMID:26678662

  15. High mortality from snakebite in south-eastern Senegal.

    PubMed

    Trape, J F; Pison, G; Guyavarch, E; Mane, Y

    2001-01-01

    Over 24 years, from 1976 to 1999, we conducted a prospective study of overall and cause-specific mortality among the population of 42 villages of south-eastern Senegal. Of 4228 deaths registered during this period, 26 were caused by snakebite, 4 by invertebrate stings and 8 by other wild or domestic animals. The average annual mortality rate from snakebite was 14 deaths per 100,000 population. Among persons aged > or = 1 year, 0.9% (26/2880) of deaths were caused by snakebite and this cause represented 28% (26/94) of total deaths by accidents. We also investigated the snake fauna of the area. Of 1280 snakes belonging to 34 species that were collected, one-third were dangerous and the proportion of Viperidae, Elapidae and Atractaspidae was 23%, 11% and 0.6%, respectively. The saw-scaled viper Echis ocellatus was the most abundant species (13.6%). Other venomous species were Causus maculatus (6.5%), Naja katiensis (5.5%), Bitis arietans (2.7%), Elapsoidea trapei (2.4%), Naja nigricollis (1.2%), Naja melanoleuca (1.1%), Atractaspis aterrima (0.4%), Dendroaspis polylepis (0.3%) and Naja haje (0.1%). PMID:11579888

  16. [Mortality from snake bites, wild and domestic animal bites and arthropod stings in the savannah zone of eastern Senegal].

    PubMed

    Trape, J F; Pison, G; Guyavarch, E; Mane, Y

    2002-08-01

    From 1976 to 1999, we conducted a prospective study of overall and cause-specific mortality among the population of 42 villages of south-eastern Senegal. Of 4,228 deaths registered during this period, 26 were brought on by snakebites, 4 by invertebrate stings and 8 by other wild or domestic animals. The average annual mortality rate from snakebite was 14 deaths per 100,000 population. Among persons aged 1 year or more, 0.9% (26/2,880) of deaths were caused by snakebite and this cause represented 28% (26/94) of the total number of deaths by accident. We also investigated the snake fauna of the area. Of 1,280 snakes belonging to 34 species that were collected, one-third were dangerous and the proportion of Viperidae, Elapidae and Atractaspididae was 23%, 11% and 0.6%, respectively. The saw-scaled viper Echis ocellatus was the most abundant species (13.6%). Other venomous species were Causus maculatus (6.5%), Naja katiensis (5.5%), Bitis arietans (2.7%), Elapsoidea trapei (2.4%), Naja nigricollis (1.2%), Naja melanoleuca (1.1%), Atractaspis aterrima (0.4%), Dendroaspis polylepis (0.3%) and Naja haje (0.1%). PMID:12404858

  17. Anti-Echis carinatus venom antibodies from chicken egg yolk: isolation, purification and neutralization efficacy.

    PubMed

    Paul, K; Manjula, J; Deepa, E P; Selvanayagam, Z E; Ganesh, K A; Subba Rao, P V

    2007-12-01

    High titer antibodies (IgY) were raised in egg yolk of white leghorn chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) by immunizing with the venom of Echis carinatus (Saw scaled viper or carpet viper), an Indian venomous snake belonging to the family Viperidae. The anti-snake venom antibodies (antivenom) were isolated from egg yolk by the water dilution method, enriched by 19% sodium sulfate precipitation and purified by immunoaffinity chromatography. A single, electrophoretically pure IgY band of 180-200 kDa was obtained on SDS-PAGE. Immunoblot analysis revealed not only the specific binding of the antivenom but also dose-dependent blocking of antivenom by venom proteins. In neutralization studies, a preincubated mixture of both affinity-purified (50 mg/kg body weight) as well as partially purified (210 mg/kg body weight) anti-E. carinatus IgY with 2 LD(50) dose of E. carinatus venom (2 x 6.65 mg/kg body weight) gave 100% protection in mice when administered subcutaneously. PMID:17681579

  18. Snake venom phospholipase A2 inhibitors: medicinal chemistry and therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Marcussi, Silvana; Sant'Ana, Carolina D; Oliveira, Clayton Z; Rueda, Aristides Quintero; Menaldo, Danilo L; Beleboni, Rene O; Stabeli, Rodrigo G; Giglio, José R; Fontes, Marcos R M; Soares, Andreimar M

    2007-01-01

    Phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) are commonly found in snake venoms from Viperidae, Hydrophidae and Elaphidae families and have been extensively studied due to their pharmacological and physiopathological effects in living organisms. This article reports a review on natural and artificial inhibitors of enzymatic, toxic and pharmacological effects induced by snake venom PLA2s. These inhibitors act on PLA2s through different mechanisms, most of them still not completely understood, including binding to specific domains, denaturation, modification of specific amino acid residues and others. Several substances have been evaluated regarding their effects against snake venoms and isolated toxins, including plant extracts and compounds from marine animals, mammals and snakes serum plasma, in addition to poly or monoclonal antibodies and several synthetic molecules. Research involving these inhibitors may be useful to understand the mechanism of action of PLA2s and their role in envenomations caused by snake bite. Furthermore, the biotechnological potential of PLA2 inhibitors may provide therapeutic molecular models with antiophidian activity to supplement the conventional serum therapy against these multifunctional enzymes. PMID:17456038

  19. Antigenic cross-reactivity and species-specific identification of Pseudocerastes persicus fieldi snake venom.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Nihal M; El-Kady, Ebtsam M

    2016-09-01

    In the present study, we recognized progressively high immunological cross-reactivity between Pseudocerastes persicus fieldi (Pf) venom and six other medically important Egyptian snake venoms belonging to families Viperidae and Elapidae. Antibodies with a range of bonding strengths were shown to be involved in such cross-reactivity. Two strategies have been tried to access specificity; (i) using affinity purified species-specific anti-Pf antivenom antibodies, (ii) conducting the assay in the presence of ammonium thiocyanate (NH4SCN). The discrimination power of the prepared species-specific antivenom was demonstrated by its ability to detect Pf venom over a range of Pf concentrations (2.5 ng-2.5 μg) in a variety of body fluids. The assay could distinguish circulating Pf antigens from other viper antigens in the whole blood of experimentally envenomed mice. What seems promising in our work is the use of the chaotrope, NH4SCN, which renders the reaction medium more favorable for the specific homologous antigen-antibody interactions, primarily via preventing lower avid antibodies to share and, to a bit lesser extent, by decreasing non-specific absorbance signals frequently encountered with ELISA assays. The ELISA described herein may be useful for clinicians for identification of snake bites inflicted by Pf snake species. Balancing between specificity and sensitivity has to be considered for best results. PMID:27319296

  20. The IAEA coordinated research programme on HTGR uncertainty analysis: Phase I status and Ex. I-1 prismatic reference results

    DOE PAGES

    Bostelmann, Friederike; Strydom, Gerhard; Reitsma, Frederik; Ivanov, Kostadin

    2016-01-11

    The quantification of uncertainties in design and safety analysis of reactors is today not only broadly accepted, but in many cases became the preferred way to replace traditional conservative analysis for safety and licensing analysis. The use of a more fundamental methodology is also consistent with the reliable high fidelity physics models and robust, efficient, and accurate codes available today. To facilitate uncertainty analysis applications a comprehensive approach and methodology must be developed and applied, in contrast to the historical approach where sensitivity analysis were performed and uncertainties then determined by a simplified statistical combination of a few important inputmore » parameters. New methodologies are currently under development in the OECD/NEA Light Water Reactor (LWR) Uncertainty Analysis in Best-Estimate Modelling (UAM) benchmark activity. High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) designs require specific treatment of the double heterogeneous fuel design and large graphite quantities at high temperatures. The IAEA has therefore launched a Coordinated Research Project (CRP) on HTGR Uncertainty Analysis in Modelling (UAM) in 2013 to study uncertainty propagation specifically in the HTGR analysis chain. Two benchmark problems are defined, with the prismatic design represented by the General Atomics (GA) MHTGR-350 and a 250 MW modular pebble bed design similar to the Chinese HTR-PM. Work has started on the first phase and the current CRP status is reported in the paper. A comparison of the Serpent and SCALE/KENO-VI reference Monte Carlo results for Ex. I-1 of the MHTGR-350 design is also included. It was observed that the SCALE/KENO-VI Continuous Energy (CE) k∞ values were 395 pcm (Ex. I-1a) to 803 pcm (Ex. I-1b) higher than the respective Serpent lattice calculations, and that within the set of the SCALE results, the KENO-VI 238 Multi-Group (MG) k∞ values were up to 800 pcm lower than the KENO-VI CE values. The use of the

  1. Crotalid snake venom subproteomes unraveled by the antiophidic protein DM43.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Surza L G; Neves-Ferreira, Ana G C; Trugilho, Monique R O; Chapeaurouge, Alex; León, Ileana R; Valente, Richard H; Domont, Gilberto B; Perales, Jonas

    2009-05-01

    Snake venoms are mixtures of proteins and peptides with different biological activities, many of which are very toxic. Several animals, including the opossum Didelphis aurita, are resistant to snake venoms due to the presence of neutralizing factors in their blood. An antihemorrhagic protein named DM43 was isolated from opossum serum. It inhibits snake venom metalloproteinases through noncovalent complex formation with these enzymes. In this study, we have used DM43 and proteomic techniques to explore snake venom subproteomes. Four crotalid venoms were chromatographed through an affinity column containing immobilized DM43. Bound fractions were analyzed by one- and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, followed by identification by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry. With this approach, we could easily visualize and compare the metalloproteinase compositions of Bothrops atrox, Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops insularis, and Crotalus atrox snake venoms. The important contribution of proteolytic processing to the complexity of this particular subproteome was demonstrated. Fractions not bound to DM43 column were similarly analyzed and were composed mainly of serine proteinases, C-type lectins, C-type lectin-like proteins, l-amino acid oxidases, nerve growth factor, cysteine-rich secretory protein, a few metalloproteinases (and their fragments), and some unidentified spots. Although very few toxin families were represented in the crotalid venoms analyzed, the number of protein spots detected was in the hundreds, indicating an important protein variability in these natural secretions. DM43 affinity chromatography and associated proteomic techniques proved to be useful tools to separate and identify proteins from snake venoms, contributing to a better comprehension of venom heterogeneity. PMID:19267469

  2. Biochemical and biological properties of phospholipases A(2) from Bothrops atrox snake venom.

    PubMed

    Kanashiro, Milton M; de Cássia M Escocard, Rita; Petretski, Jorge H; Prates, Maura V; Alves, Elias W; Machado, Olga L T; da Silva, Wilmar Dias; Kipnis, Thereza L

    2002-10-01

    Phospholipases A(2) (PLA(2)s), of molecular mass 13-15kDa, are commonly isolated from snake venom. Two myotoxins with PLA(2) activity, BaPLA(2)I and BaPLA(2)III, with estimated molecular masses of 15kDa were isolated from the venom of Bothrops atrox using Sephacryl S-100-HR and reverse-phase chromatography. BaPLA(2)I was basic, with a pI of 9.1, while BaPLA(2)III was neutral with a pI of 6.9. On a molecular basis, BaPLA(2)III exhibited higher catalytic activity on synthetic substrates than BaPLA(2)I. Comparison of the N-terminal residues of BaPLA(2)I with other PLA(2) proteins from snake venoms showed that it has the highest homology (94%) with B. asper myotoxin II and homology with a PLA(2) Lys(49) from B. atrox (89%). In contrast, BaPLA(2)III demonstrated 75, 72, and 71% homology with PLA(2) from Vipera ammodytes meridionalis, B. jararacussu, and B. jararaca, respectively. BaPLA(2)I and BaPLA(2)III were capable, in vitro, of inducing mast cell degranulation and, in vivo, of causing creatine kinase release, edema, and myonecrosis typical of PLA(2)s from snake venoms, characterized by rapid disruption of the plasma membrane as indicated by clumping of myofilaments and necrosis of affected skeletal muscle cells. BaPLA(2)I- and BaPLA(2)III-specific monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies, although incapable of neutralizing PLA(2) edematogenic activity, blocked myonecrosis efficiently in an in vivo neutralization assay. The results presented herein suggest that the biological active site responsible for edema induction by these two PLA(2) enzymes is distinct from the myonecrosis active site and is not dependent upon the catalytic activity of the PLA(2) enzyme. PMID:12234622

  3. A multifaceted analysis of viperid snake venoms by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis: an approach to understanding venom proteomics.

    PubMed

    Serrano, Solange M T; Shannon, John D; Wang, Deyu; Camargo, Antonio C M; Fox, Jay W

    2005-02-01

    The complexity of Viperid venoms has long been appreciated by investigators in the fields of toxinology and medicine. However, it is only recently that the depth of that complexity has become somewhat quantitatively and qualitatively appreciated. With the resurgence of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) and the advances in mass spectrometry virtually all venom components can be visualized and identified given sufficient effort and resources. Here we present the use of 2-DE for examining venom complexity as well as demonstrating interesting approaches to selectively delineate subpopulations of venom proteins based on particular characteristics of the proteins such as antibody cross-reactivity or enzymatic activities. 2-DE comparisons between venoms from different species of the same genus (Bothrops) of snake clearly demonstrated both the similarity as well as the apparent diversity among these venoms. Using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry we were able to identify regions of the two-dimensional gels from each venom in which certain classes of proteins were found. 2-DE was also used to compare venoms from Crotalus atrox and Bothrops jararaca. For these venoms a variety of staining/detection protocols was utilized to compare and contrast the venoms. Specifically, we used various stains to visualize subpopulations of the venom proteomes of these snakes, including Coomassie, Silver, Sypro Ruby and Pro-Q-Emerald. Using specific antibodies in Western blot analyses of 2-DE of the venoms we have examined subpopulations of proteins in these venoms including the serine proteinase proteome, the metalloproteinase proteome, and the phospholipases A2 proteome. A functional assessment of the gelatinolytic activity of these venoms was also performed by zymography. These approaches have given rise to a more thorough understanding of venom complexity and the toxins comprising these venoms and provide insights to investigators who wish to focus on these venom

  4. Comparison of indirect and direct approaches using ion-trap and Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry for exploring viperid venom proteomes.

    PubMed

    Fox, Jay W; Ma, Li; Nelson, Kristina; Sherman, Nicholas E; Serrano, Solange M T

    2006-05-01

    In a sense, the field of snake venom proteomics has been under investigation since the very earliest biochemical studies where it was soon recognized that venoms are comprised of complex mixtures of bioactive molecules, most of which are proteins. Only with the re-emergence of 2D polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D PAGE) and the recent developments in mass spectrometry for the identification/characterization of proteins coupled with venom gland transcriptomes has the field of snake venom proteomics began to flourish and provide exciting insights into the protein composition of venoms and subsequently their pathological activities. In this manuscript we will briefly discuss the state of snake venom proteomics followed by the presentation of several straightforward experiments designed to explore approaches to investigating venom proteomics. The first set of experiments used 1D gel electrophoresis (1D PAGE) of Crotalus atrox venom followed by slice-by-slice analysis of the proteins using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). In the second set of experiments, C. atrox and Bothrops jararaca venoms were subjected to in-solution digestion followed by Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) LC/MS/MS. The peptide ion-maps of these venoms were compared along with the proteins identified. In addition, the results were compared to the results observed from the 1D PAGE approach. From these studies it is clear that sample de-complexation/fractionation before mass spectrometry is still the best approach for maximum proteome coverage. Furthermore, comparison of venom proteomes based on tryptic peptide identities between the proteomes is not particularly effective since there does not appear to be a sufficient number of such identical peptides, derived from related proteins, present in venoms. Finally, as has previously been recognized without either better databases of venom protein sequences or facile and rapid de novo sequencing

  5. Fluorometric assay using naphthylamide substrates for assessing novel venom peptidase activities.

    PubMed

    Gasparello-Clemente, Elaine; Silveira, Paulo Flávio

    2002-11-01

    In the present study we examined the feasibility of using the fluorometry of naphthylamine derivatives for revealing peptidase activities in venoms of the snakes Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops alternatus, Bothrops atrox, Bothrops moojeni, Bothrops insularis, Crotalus durissus terrificus and Bitis arietans, of the scorpions Tityus serrulatus and Tityus bahiensis, and of the spiders Phoneutria nigriventer and Loxosceles intermedia. Neutral aminopeptidase (APN) and prolyl-dipeptidyl aminopeptidase IV (DPP IV) activities were presented in all snake venoms, with the highest levels in B. alternatus. Although all examined peptidase activities showed relatively low levels in arthropod venoms, basic aminopeptidase (APB) activity from P. nigriventer venom was the exception. Compared to the other peptidase activities, relatively high levels of acid aminopeptidase (APA) activity were restricted to B. arietans venom. B. arietans also exhibited a prominent content of APB activity which was lower in other venoms. Relatively low prolyl endopeptidase and proline iminopeptidase activities were, respectively, detectable only in T. bahiensis and B. insularis. Pyroglutamate aminopeptidase activity was undetectable in all venoms. All examined peptidase activities were undetectable in T. serrulatus venom. In this study, the specificities of a diverse array of peptidase activities from representative venoms were demonstrated for the first time, with a description of their distribution which may contribute to guiding further investigations. The expressive difference between snake and arthropod venoms was indicated by APN and DPP IV activities while APA and APB activities distinguished the venom of B. arietans from those of Brazilian snakes. The data reflected the relatively uniform qualitative distribution of the peptidase activities investigated, together with their unequal quantitative distribution, indicating the evolutionary divergence in the processing of peptides in these different

  6. Microbiological evaluation of different strategies for management of snakes in captivity.

    PubMed

    Campagner, M V; Bosco, S M G; Bagagli, E; Cunha, M L R S; Jeronimo, B C; Saad, E; Biscola, N P; Ferreira, R S; Barraviera, B

    2012-01-01

    Keeping snakes in captivity to produce venom for scientific research and production of inputs is now a worldwide practice. Maintaining snakes in captivity involves capture, infrastructure investments, management techniques, and appropriate qualified personnel. Further, the success of the project requires knowledge of habitat, nutrition, and reproduction, and control of opportunistic infections. This study evaluated the management of snakes in three types of captivity (quarantine, intensive, and semiextensive) and diagnosed bacterial and fungal contaminants. A bacteriological profile was obtained by swabbing the oral and cloacal cavities, scales, and venoms of healthy adult snakes from Bothrops jararaca (Bj) and Crotalus durissus terrificus (Cdt). There was predominance of Enterobacteriaceae, especially non-fermenting Gram-negative bacilli excluding Pseudomonas spp and Gram- positive bacteria. Statistically, intensive captivity resulted in the highest number of bacterial isolates, followed by recent capture (quarantine) and by semiextensive captivity. No statistical difference was found between Bj and Cdt bacterial frequency. In vitro bacterial susceptibility testing found the highest resistance against the semisynthetic penicillins (amoxicillin and ampicillin) and highest sensitivity to amicacin and tobramycin aminoglycosides. To evaluate mycological profile of snakes from intensive captivity, samples were obtained from two healthy Bj and one B. moojeni, one B. pauloensis, and one Cdt showing whitish lesions on the scales suggestive of ringworm. Using conventional methods and DNA-based molecular procedures, five samples of Trichosporon asahii were identified. Despite the traditional role of intense captivity in ophidian venom production, semiextensive captivity was more effective in the present study by virtue of presenting superior control of bacterial and fungal transmission, easier management, lowest cost, and decreased rate of mortality; therefore, it should be

  7. Isolation and characterization of cotiaractivase, a novel low molecular weight prothrombin activator from the venom of Bothrops cotiara.

    PubMed

    Senis, Yotis A; Kim, Paul Y; Fuller, Gemma L J; García, Angel; Prabhakar, Sripadi; Wilkinson, Mark C; Brittan, Helen; Zitzmann, Nicole; Wait, Robin; Warrell, David A; Watson, Steve P; Kamiguti, Aura S; Theakston, R David G; Nesheim, Michael E; Laing, Gavin D

    2006-05-01

    In this study, we isolated a novel prothrombin activator from the venom of Bothrops cotiara, a Brazilian lance-headed pit viper (Cotiara, Jararaca preta, Biocotiara), which we have designated "cotiaractivase" (prefix: cotiar- from B. cotiara; suffix: -activase, from prothrombin activating activity). Cotiaractivase was purified using a phenyl-Superose hydrophobic interaction column followed by a Mono-Q anion exchange column. It is a single-chain polypeptide with a molecular weight of 22,931 Da as measured by mass spectroscopy. Cotiaractivase generated active alpha-thrombin from purified human prothrombin in a Ca2+-dependent manner as assessed by S2238 chromogenic substrate assay and SDS-PAGE. Cotiaractivase cleaved prothrombin at positions Arg271-Thr272 and Arg320-Ile321, which are also cleaved by factor Xa. However, the rate of thrombin generation by cotiaractivase was approximately 60-fold less than factor Xa alone and 17 x 10(6)-fold less than the prothrombinase complex. The enzymatic activity of cotiaractivase was inhibited by the chelating agent EDTA, whereas the serine protease inhibitor PMSF had no effect on its activity, suggesting that it is a metalloproteinase. Interestingly, S2238 inhibited cotiaractivase activity non-competitively, suggesting that this toxin contains an exosite that allows it to bind prothrombin independently of its active site. Tandem mass spectrometry and N-terminal sequencing of purified cotiaractivase identified peptides that were identical to regions of the cysteine-rich and disintegrin-like domains of known snake venom metalloproteinases. Cotiaractivase is a unique low molecular weight snake venom prothrombin activator that likely belongs to the metalloproteinase family of proteins. PMID:16647309

  8. Argininosuccinate Synthetase Is a Functional Target for a Snake Venom Anti-hypertensive Peptide

    PubMed Central

    Guerreiro, Juliano R.; Lameu, Claudiana; Oliveira, Eduardo F.; Klitzke, Clécio F.; Melo, Robson L.; Linares, Edlaine; Augusto, Ohara; Fox, Jay W.; Lebrun, Ivo; Serrano, Solange M. T.; Camargo, Antonio C. M.

    2009-01-01

    Bj-BPP-10c is a bioactive proline-rich decapeptide, part of the C-type natriuretic peptide precursor, expressed in the brain and in the venom gland of Bothrops jararaca. We recently showed that Bj-BPP-10c displays a strong, sustained anti-hypertensive effect in spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHR), without causing any effect in normotensive rats, by a pharmacological effect independent of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition. Therefore, we hypothesized that another mechanism should be involved in the peptide activity. Here we used affinity chromatography to search for kidney cytosolic proteins with affinity for Bj-BPP-10c and demonstrate that argininosuccinate synthetase (AsS) is the major protein binding to the peptide. More importantly, this interaction activates the catalytic activity of AsS in a dose-de pend ent manner. AsS is recognized as an important player of the citrulline-NO cycle that represents a potential limiting step in NO synthesis. Accordingly, the functional interaction of Bj-BPP-10c and AsS was evidenced by the following effects promoted by the peptide: (i) increase of NO metabolite production in human umbilical vein endothelial cell culture and of arginine in human embryonic kidney cells and (ii) increase of arginine plasma concentration in SHR. Moreover, α-methyl-dl-aspartic acid, a specific AsS inhibitor, significantly reduced the anti-hypertensive activity of Bj-BPP-10c in SHR. Taken together, these results suggest that AsS plays a role in the anti-hypertensive action of Bj-BPP-10c. Therefore, we propose the activation of AsS as a new mechanism for the anti-hypertensive effect of Bj-BPP-10c in SHR and AsS as a novel target for the therapy of hypertension-related diseases. PMID:19491403

  9. Haematopoiesis and a new mechanism for the release of mature blood cells from the bone marrow into the circulation in snakes (Ophidia).

    PubMed

    Sano-Martins, I Sigueko; Dabrowski, Z; Tabarowski, Z; Witkowska-Pelc, E; Spadacci Morena, D Denelle; Spodaryk, K

    2002-10-01

    This is the first description of haematopoiesis in snakes. Studies were carried out on the following species belonging to Ophidia: Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops jararacusu, Waglerophis merremii, Elaphe taeniura taeniura, Boa constrictor,and Python reticulatus. Smears of the peripheral blood and histological preparations from the vertebrae, ribs, liver, and spleen were studied under a light and electron microscope. Myeloid cells were present in the following locations in the vertebrae: the neural spine, zygoapophysial processes, floor of the neural canal, lacunae in the bodies of vertebrae and also inside the ribs. Although the vascular system was well developed, especially around the ribs, vessels inside the marrow cavities were scarce, both in the ribs and elsewhere where haematopoiesis was found. Venous sinuses were well developed in the vertebrae and in the rib regions from their costal head towards the middle area. They consisted of one layer of fine endothelial cells. Mature cells in the process of migration into the general circulation were only sporadically encountered when venous sinuses were studied on perfusion-fixed specimens. In contrast, almost every sinus venosus contained protrusions directed towards the lumen, filled mostly with mature and immature blood cells. Various stages of their formation were seen in the cross sections of venous sinuses ranging from small, newly formed to large, elongated ones, filled with many fully developed and some maturing blood cells. In many cases the apices of the protrusions were ruptured, and mature blood cells, as well as a few immature ones, were seen in their vicinity. This observation led us to a new hypothesis that blood cells are released from the extravascular space into the lumen of venous sinuses. In snakes, these cells are released into the systemic circulation mainly via the rupture of protrusions filled with mature blood cells and, to a lesser degree, by transcytosis as known in mammals. In the spleens

  10. Practical applications of snake venom toxins in haemostasis.

    PubMed

    Marsh, N A; Fyffe, T L

    1996-01-01

    Snake venom toxins have an established role in the coagulation laboratory for the assay of haemostatic parameters and a potential role for therapeutic treatment of thrombotic disorders. In the laboratory, snake venom thrombin-like enzymes (SVTLEs) are used for the assay of fibrinogen and detection of fibrinogen breakdown products and dysfibrinogenaemias. Importantly, because SVTLEs are not inhibited by heparin, they can be used for assaying antithrombin III and other parameters in samples which contain heparin. Prothrombin activators occur in many snake venoms and these have become established in the assay of prothrombin, in the study of dysprothrombinaemias and in the preparation of meizothrombin and non enzymic forms of prothrombin. Russell's viper (Daboia russelli) venom contains a number of useful compounds including toxins which can be used to assay blood clotting factors V, VII, X, platelet factor 3 and lupus anticoagulants (LA). More recently, activators from the taipan, Australian brown snake and saw-scaled viper have been used to assay LA. Proteins C and S can be measured by means of protac, a fast acting inhibitor from Southern copperhead snake venom and von Willebrand factor can be studied with botrocetin from Bothrops jararaca venom. The disintegrins, a large family of Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD)-containing proteins found in snake venoms, show great potential for the study of platelet glycoprotein receptors, notably, GPIIb/IIIa and Ib, and in the treatment of arterial thrombotic disease. Established SVTLEs used in clinical practice include ancrod and defibrase although success with these agents has been limited. A further group of enzymes under consideration as thrombolytic agents are the fibrinogenases. PMID:9425723

  11. Practical applications of snake venom toxins in haemostasis.

    PubMed

    Marsh, Neville; Williams, Vaughan

    2005-06-15

    Snake venom toxins affecting haemostasis have facilitated extensively the routine assays of haemostatic parameters in the coagulation laboratory. Snake venom thrombin-like enzymes (SVTLE) are used for fibrinogen/fibrinogen breakdown product assay and for the detection of fibrinogen dysfunction. SVTLE are not inhibited by heparin and can thus can be used for assaying antithrombin III and other haemostatic variables in heparin-containing samples. Snake venoms are a rich source of prothrombin activators and these are utilised in prothrombin assays, for studying dysprothrombinaemias and for preparing meizothrombin and non-enzymic forms of prothrombin. Russell's viper (Daboia russelli) venom (RVV) contains toxins which have been used to assay blood clotting factors V, VII, X, platelet factor 3 and, importantly, lupus anticoagulants (LA). Other prothrombin activators (from the taipan, Australian brown snake and saw-scaled viper) have now been used to assay LA. Protein C and activated protein C resistance can be measured by means of RVV and Protac, a fast acting inhibitor from Southern copperhead snake venom and von Willebrand factor can be studied with botrocetin from Bothrops jararaca venom. The disintegrins, a large family of Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD)-containing snake venom proteins, show potential for studying platelet glycoprotein receptors, notably, GPIIb/IIIa and Ib. Snake venom toxins affecting haemostasis are also used in the therapeutic setting: Ancrod (from the Malayan pit viper, Calloselasma rhodostoma), in particular, has been used as an anticoagulant to achieve 'therapeutic defibrination'. Other snake venom proteins show promise in the treatment of a range of haemostatic disorders. PMID:15922782

  12. Molecular evolution of vertebrate neurotrophins: co-option of the highly conserved nerve growth factor gene into the advanced snake venom arsenalf.

    PubMed

    Sunagar, Kartik; Fry, Bryan Grieg; Jackson, Timothy N W; Casewell, Nicholas R; Undheim, Eivind A B; Vidal, Nicolas; Ali, Syed A; King, Glenn F; Vasudevan, Karthikeyan; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2013-01-01

    Neurotrophins are a diverse class of structurally related proteins, essential for neuronal development, survival, plasticity and regeneration. They are characterized by major family members, such as the nerve growth factors (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), which have been demonstrated here to lack coding sequence variations and follow the regime of negative selection, highlighting their extremely important conserved role in vertebrate homeostasis. However, in stark contrast, venom NGF secreted as part of the chemical arsenal of the venomous advanced snake family Elapidae (and to a lesser extent Viperidae) have characteristics consistent with the typical accelerated molecular evolution of venom components. This includes a rapid rate of diversification under the significant influence of positive-selection, with the majority of positively-selected sites found in the secreted β-polypeptide chain (74%) and on the molecular surface of the protein (92%), while the core structural and functional residues remain highly constrained. Such focal mutagenesis generates active residues on the toxin molecular surface, which are capable of interacting with novel biological targets in prey to induce a myriad of pharmacological effects. We propose that caenophidian NGFs could participate in prey-envenoming by causing a massive release of chemical mediators from mast cells to mount inflammatory reactions and increase vascular permeability, thereby aiding the spread of other toxins and/or by acting as proapoptotic factors. Despite their presence in reptilian venom having been known for over 60 years, this is the first evidence that venom-secreted NGF follows the molecular evolutionary pattern of other venom components, and thus likely participates in prey-envenomation.

  13. Genetic Identification of Spirometra decipiens Plerocercoids in Terrestrial Snakes from Korea and China

    PubMed Central

    Jeon, Hyeong-Kyu; Park, Hansol; Lee, Dongmin; Choe, Seongjun; Kim, Kyu-Heon; Sohn, Woon-Mok; Eom, Keeseon S.

    2016-01-01

    Human sparganosis is a zoonotic disease caused by infection with larval forms (procercoid/plerocercoid) of Spirometra spp. The purpose of this study was to identify Spirometra spp. of infected snakes using a multiplex PCR assay and phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequence data from the spargana of terrestrial snakes obtained from Korea and China. A total of 283 snakes were obtained that included 4 species of Colubridae comprising Rhabdophis tigrinus tigrinus (n=150), Dinodon rufozonatum rufozonatum (n=64), Elaphe davidi (n=2), and Elaphe schrenkii (n=7), and 1 species of Viperidae, Agkistrodon saxatilis (n=60). The snakes were collected from the provinces of Chungbuk, Chungnam, and Gyeongbuk in Korea (n=161), and from China (n=122). The overall infection rate with spargana was 83% (235/283). The highest was recorded for D. rufozonatum rufozonatum (100%), followed by A. saxatilis (85%) and R. tigrinus tigrinus (80%), with a negative result for E. davidi (0%) and E. schrenkii (0%). The sequence identities between the spargana from snakes (n=50) and Spirometra erinaceieuropaei (KJ599680) or S. decipiens (KJ599679) control specimens were 90.8% and 99.2%, respectively. Pairwise genetic distances between spargana (n=50) and S. decipiens ranged from 0.0080 to 0.0107, while those between spargana and S. erinaceieuropaei ranged from 0.1070 to 0.1096. In this study, all of the 904 spargana analyzed were identified as S. decipiens either by a multiplex PCR assay (n=854) or mitochondrial cox1 sequence analysis (n=50). PMID:27180576

  14. Clinical toxinology--where are we now?

    PubMed

    White, Julian; Warrell, David; Eddleston, Michael; Currie, Bart J; Whyte, Ian M; Isbister, Geoffrey K

    2003-01-01

    Clinical toxinology encompasses a broad range of medical conditions resulting from envenomation by venomous terrestrial and marine organisms, and also poisoning from ingestion of animal and plant toxins. Toxin-related disease is an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, particularly in the tropical and subtropical continents. Snake bite is the single most important toxin-related disease, causing substantial mortality in many parts of Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The most important snake families are Viperidae and Elapidae, causing a range of clinical effects including local necrosis, neurotoxicity, coagulopathy and hemorrhage, myotoxicity and renal toxicity. These effects vary according to geography and group of snake. Arachnid envenomation results mainly in morbidity, particularly scorpion stings which can cause severe systemic envenomation. Spider bite is far less of a problem, and the majority of medically important cases can be attributed to widow spiders (Latrodectus spp.) and recluse spiders (Loxosceles spp.). Marine-related envenomations are common, but severe effects are less so. Plant and mushroom poisoning occur in most parts of the world, but the types and methods of poisoning vary considerably between continents. Management of toxin-related disease is often difficult, and in many cases meticulous supportive care is all that is available. The mainstay of treatment is the use of antivenoms for many envenomations and poisoning, although these do not exist for all dangerous organisms. Unfortunately antivenoms are not an economically viable product, so development and manufacture of these agents have been limited. This is now further worsened by a current shortage of antivenom. There is a need for improvement in the preventionand management of toxin-related disease. This will require well-designed studies to define the extent of the problem, initiatives to improve the prevention and management of these conditions, and development of new

  15. Molecular evolution of vertebrate neurotrophins: co-option of the highly conserved nerve growth factor gene into the advanced snake venom arsenalf.

    PubMed

    Sunagar, Kartik; Fry, Bryan Grieg; Jackson, Timothy N W; Casewell, Nicholas R; Undheim, Eivind A B; Vidal, Nicolas; Ali, Syed A; King, Glenn F; Vasudevan, Karthikeyan; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2013-01-01

    Neurotrophins are a diverse class of structurally related proteins, essential for neuronal development, survival, plasticity and regeneration. They are characterized by major family members, such as the nerve growth factors (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), which have been demonstrated here to lack coding sequence variations and follow the regime of negative selection, highlighting their extremely important conserved role in vertebrate homeostasis. However, in stark contrast, venom NGF secreted as part of the chemical arsenal of the venomous advanced snake family Elapidae (and to a lesser extent Viperidae) have characteristics consistent with the typical accelerated molecular evolution of venom components. This includes a rapid rate of diversification under the significant influence of positive-selection, with the majority of positively-selected sites found in the secreted β-polypeptide chain (74%) and on the molecular surface of the protein (92%), while the core structural and functional residues remain highly constrained. Such focal mutagenesis generates active residues on the toxin molecular surface, which are capable of interacting with novel biological targets in prey to induce a myriad of pharmacological effects. We propose that caenophidian NGFs could participate in prey-envenoming by causing a massive release of chemical mediators from mast cells to mount inflammatory reactions and increase vascular permeability, thereby aiding the spread of other toxins and/or by acting as proapoptotic factors. Despite their presence in reptilian venom having been known for over 60 years, this is the first evidence that venom-secreted NGF follows the molecular evolutionary pattern of other venom components, and thus likely participates in prey-envenomation. PMID:24312363

  16. Biochemical characterization of a factor X activator protein purified from Walterinnesia aegyptia venom.

    PubMed

    Khan, Sami U; Al-Saleh, Saad S

    2015-10-01

    Factor X of blood coagulation cascade can be activated by both intrinsic and extrinsic activating complex, trypsin and some kind of snake venom. A factor X activator protein is reported in Elapidae snake venom. The aim of this study was to evaluate biochemical properties of factor X activator protein because of its prospective application in biochemical research and therapeutics. Crude venom was fractionated on a HPLC system Gold 126/1667 using a combination of Protein PAK 125 and Protein PAK 60 Columns. Molecular weight was determined using SDS-PAGE. Walterinnesia aegyptia venom was fractionated into several protein peaks, but procoagulant and factor X activation activity coexisted into peak no.6. It appeared as single band on native PAGE and molecular weight was 60,000 ± 3. Purified up to 37-fold over crude venom. It shortened recalcification time, effect was dose-dependent and strictly Ca(2++)-dependent. Factor X activator seems to be able to activate factor X specifically because it showed no activation activity on human prothrombin, plasminogen, or protein C. It did not hydrolyze factor Xa substrate S-2222, thrombin substrate S-2238, plasmin substrate S-2251 or S-2302 and kalikrein substrate S-2266. It did not hydrolyze synthetic ester benzoyl arginine ethyl ester. Procoagulant activity was completely inhibited by irreversible serine protease inhibitors phenylmethylsulphonyl fluoride and N-p-tosylphenylalanine chloromethyl ketone. This study illustrates that factor X activator from W. aegyptia is though different in many aspects from factor X activators of Viperidae and Crotalidae venoms, but shows several properties identical to factor X activators from Elapidae venoms. PMID:26407136

  17. Evaluation of cytotoxic activities of snake venoms toward breast (MCF-7) and skin cancer (A-375) cell lines.

    PubMed

    Bradshaw, Michael J; Saviola, Anthony J; Fesler, Elizabeth; Mackessy, Stephen P

    2016-08-01

    Snake venoms are mixtures of bioactive proteins and peptides that exhibit diverse biochemical activities. This wide array of pharmacologies associated with snake venoms has made them attractive sources for research into potentially novel therapeutics, and several venom-derived drugs are now in use. In the current study we performed a broad screen of a variety of venoms (61 taxa) from the major venomous snake families (Viperidae, Elapidae and "Colubridae") in order to examine cytotoxic effects toward MCF-7 breast cancer cells and A-375 melanoma cells. MTT cell viability assays of cancer cells incubated with crude venoms revealed that most venoms showed significant cytotoxicity. We further investigated venom from the Red-bellied Blacksnake (Pseudechis porphyriacus); venom was fractionated by ion exchange fast protein liquid chromatography and several cytotoxic components were isolated. SDS-PAGE and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry were used to identify the compounds in this venom responsible for the cytotoxic effects. In general, viper venoms were potently cytotoxic, with MCF-7 cells showing greater sensitivity, while elapid and colubrid venoms were much less toxic; notable exceptions included the elapid genera Micrurus, Naja and Pseudechis, which were quite cytotoxic to both cell lines. However, venoms with the most potent cytotoxicity were often not those with low mouse LD50s, including some dangerously venomous viperids and Australian elapids. This study confirmed that many venoms contain cytotoxic compounds, including catalytic PLA2s, and several venoms also showed significant differential toxicity toward the two cancer cell lines. Our results indicate that several previously uncharacterized venoms could contain promising lead compounds for drug development.

  18. Oxygenation properties and isoform diversity of snake hemoglobins.

    PubMed

    Storz, Jay F; Natarajan, Chandrasekhar; Moriyama, Hideaki; Hoffmann, Federico G; Wang, Tobias; Fago, Angela; Malte, Hans; Overgaard, Johannes; Weber, Roy E

    2015-11-01

    Available data suggest that snake hemoglobins (Hbs) are characterized by a combination of unusual structural and functional properties relative to the Hbs of other amniote vertebrates, including oxygenation-linked tetramer-dimer dissociation. However, standardized comparative data are lacking for snake Hbs, and the Hb isoform composition of snake red blood cells has not been systematically characterized. Here we present the results of an integrated analysis of snake Hbs and the underlying α- and β-type globin genes to characterize 1) Hb isoform composition of definitive erythrocytes, and 2) the oxygenation properties of isolated isoforms as well as composite hemolysates. We used species from three families as subjects for experimental studies of Hb function: South American rattlesnake, Crotalus durissus (Viperidae); Indian python, Python molurus (Pythonidae); and yellow-bellied sea snake, Pelamis platura (Elapidae). We analyzed allosteric properties of snake Hbs in terms of the Monod-Wyman-Changeux model and Adair four-step thermodynamic model. Hbs from each of the three species exhibited high intrinsic O2 affinities, low cooperativities, small Bohr factors in the absence of phosphates, and high sensitivities to ATP. Oxygenation properties of the snake Hbs could be explained entirely by allosteric transitions in the quaternary structure of intact tetramers, suggesting that ligation-dependent dissociation of Hb tetramers into αβ-dimers is not a universal feature of snake Hbs. Surprisingly, the major Hb isoform of the South American rattlesnake is homologous to the minor HbD of other amniotes and, contrary to the pattern of Hb isoform differentiation in birds and turtles, exhibits a lower O2 affinity than the HbA isoform. PMID:26354849

  19. Oxygenation properties and isoform diversity of snake hemoglobins.

    PubMed

    Storz, Jay F; Natarajan, Chandrasekhar; Moriyama, Hideaki; Hoffmann, Federico G; Wang, Tobias; Fago, Angela; Malte, Hans; Overgaard, Johannes; Weber, Roy E

    2015-11-01

    Available data suggest that snake hemoglobins (Hbs) are characterized by a combination of unusual structural and functional properties relative to the Hbs of other amniote vertebrates, including oxygenation-linked tetramer-dimer dissociation. However, standardized comparative data are lacking for snake Hbs, and the Hb isoform composition of snake red blood cells has not been systematically characterized. Here we present the results of an integrated analysis of snake Hbs and the underlying α- and β-type globin genes to characterize 1) Hb isoform composition of definitive erythrocytes, and 2) the oxygenation properties of isolated isoforms as well as composite hemolysates. We used species from three families as subjects for experimental studies of Hb function: South American rattlesnake, Crotalus durissus (Viperidae); Indian python, Python molurus (Pythonidae); and yellow-bellied sea snake, Pelamis platura (Elapidae). We analyzed allosteric properties of snake Hbs in terms of the Monod-Wyman-Changeux model and Adair four-step thermodynamic model. Hbs from each of the three species exhibited high intrinsic O2 affinities, low cooperativities, small Bohr factors in the absence of phosphates, and high sensitivities to ATP. Oxygenation properties of the snake Hbs could be explained entirely by allosteric transitions in the quaternary structure of intact tetramers, suggesting that ligation-dependent dissociation of Hb tetramers into αβ-dimers is not a universal feature of snake Hbs. Surprisingly, the major Hb isoform of the South American rattlesnake is homologous to the minor HbD of other amniotes and, contrary to the pattern of Hb isoform differentiation in birds and turtles, exhibits a lower O2 affinity than the HbA isoform.

  20. Stable isotope tracer reveals that viviparous snakes transport amino acids to offspring during gestation.

    PubMed

    Van Dyke, James U; Beaupre, Steven J

    2012-03-01

    Viviparity and placentation have evolved from oviparity over 100 times in squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes). The independent origins of placentation have resulted in a variety of placental morphologies in different taxa, ranging from simple apposition of fetal and maternal tissues to endotheliochorial implantation that is homoplasious with mammalian placentation. Because the eggs of oviparous squamates transport gases and water from the environment and calcium from the eggshell, the placentae of viviparous squamates are thought to have initially evolved to accomplish these functions from within the maternal oviduct. Species with complex placentae have also been shown to rely substantially, or even primarily, on placental transport of organic nutrients for embryonic nutrition. However, it is unclear whether species with only simple placentae are also capable of transporting organic nutrients to offspring. Among viviparous squamates, all of the snakes that have been studied thus far have been shown to have simple placentae. However, most studies of snake placentation are limited to a single lineage, the North American Natricinae. We tested the abilities of four species of viviparous snakes - Agkistrodon contortrix (Viperidae), Boa constrictor (Boidae), Nerodia sipedon (Colubridae: Natricinae) and Thamnophis sirtalis (Colubridae: Natricinae) - to transport diet-derived amino acids to offspring during gestation. We fed [(15)N]leucine to pregnant snakes, and compared offspring (15)N content with that of unlabeled controls. Labeled females allocated significantly more (15)N to offspring than did controls, but (15)N allocation did not differ among species. Our results indicate that viviparous snakes are capable of transporting diet-derived amino acids to their offspring during gestation, possibly via placentation.

  1. Endocannabinoid signaling mechanisms in the substantia nigra pars reticulata modulate GABAergic nigrotectal pathways in mice threatened by urutu-cruzeiro venomous pit viper.

    PubMed

    Almada, R C; Roncon, C M; Elias-Filho, D H; Coimbra, N C

    2015-09-10

    The substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNpr) is rich in γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic neurons and connected to the mesencephalic tectum (MT) structures, such as the superior colliculus and dorsal periaqueductal gray matter. The SNpr presents a high density of cannabinoid receptors (CBRs), suggesting a possible regulatory role that is played by endocannabinoids (eCBs) in the ventral mesencephalon. The present study investigated the involvement of SNpr eCB mechanisms in nigrotectal pathways in the expression of defensive behavior associated with instinctive fear and panic reactions in mice that are confronted with the venomous Viperidae snake Bothrops alternatus. The localization of CB1 receptors (CB1RS) and synaptophysin glycoprotein in the SNpr was also evaluated. Administration of the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline in the MT increased defensive responses to the snake that are related to panic, such as freezing and non-oriented escape reactions, sometimes toward the snake itself. Mice that were pretreated with anandamide (5 or 50pmol) in the SNpr, followed by an injection of physiological saline or bicuculline in the MT, exhibited significant decreases in the expression of alertness, freezing, and escape responses. Immunofluorescence showed the presence of fibers that were rich in CB1RS and synaptophysin in the SNpr, indicating that these receptors appear to be located mainly in presynaptic terminals in the striatonigral pathway. These findings suggest that eCB mechanisms in the SNpr facilitate the activity of nigrotectal GABAergic pathways, modulating the activity of striatonigral links during the elaboration and organization of innate fear and panic-like responses in threatening situations.

  2. Full-Length Venom Protein cDNA Sequences from Venom-Derived mRNA: Exploring Compositional Variation and Adaptive Multigene Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Modahl, Cassandra M.; Mackessy, Stephen P.

    2016-01-01

    Envenomation of humans by snakes is a complex and continuously evolving medical emergency, and treatment is made that much more difficult by the diverse biochemical composition of many venoms. Venomous snakes and their venoms also provide models for the study of molecular evolutionary processes leading to adaptation and genotype-phenotype relationships. To compare venom complexity and protein sequences, venom gland transcriptomes are assembled, which usually requires the sacrifice of snakes for tissue. However, toxin transcripts are also present in venoms, offering the possibility of obtaining cDNA sequences directly from venom. This study provides evidence that unknown full-length venom protein transcripts can be obtained from the venoms of multiple species from all major venomous snake families. These unknown venom protein cDNAs are obtained by the use of primers designed from conserved signal peptide sequences within each venom protein superfamily. This technique was used to assemble a partial venom gland transcriptome for the Middle American Rattlesnake (Crotalus simus tzabcan) by amplifying sequences for phospholipases A2, serine proteases, C-lectins, and metalloproteinases from within venom. Phospholipase A2 sequences were also recovered from the venoms of several rattlesnakes and an elapid snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus), and three-finger toxin sequences were recovered from multiple rear-fanged snake species, demonstrating that the three major clades of advanced snakes (Elapidae, Viperidae, Colubridae) have stable mRNA present in their venoms. These cDNA sequences from venom were then used to explore potential activities derived from protein sequence similarities and evolutionary histories within these large multigene superfamilies. Venom-derived sequences can also be used to aid in characterizing venoms that lack proteomic profiles and identify sequence characteristics indicating specific envenomation profiles. This approach, requiring only venom, provides

  3. Isolation and characterization of two disintegrins inhibiting ADP-induced human platelet aggregation from the venom of Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus (Mohave Rattlesnake)

    SciTech Connect

    Sanchez, Elda E.; Galan, Jacob A.; Russell, William K.; Soto, Julio G.; Russell, David H.; Perez, John C. . E-mail: kfjcp00@tamuk.edu

    2006-04-01

    Disintegrins and disintegrin-like proteins are molecules found in the venom of four snake families (Atractaspididae, Elapidae, Viperidae, and Colubridae). The disintegrins are nonenzymatic proteins that inhibit cell-cell interactions, cell-matrix interactions, and signal transduction, and may have potential in the treatment of strokes, heart attacks, cancers, and osteoporosis. Prior to 1983, the venom of Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus (Mohave Rattlesnake) was known to be only neurotoxic; however, now there is evidence that these snakes can contain venom with: (1) neurotoxins; (2) hemorrhagins; and (3) both neurotoxins and hemorrhagins. In this study, two disintegrins, mojastin 1 and mojastin 2, from the venom of a Mohave rattlesnake collected in central Arizona (Pinal County), were isolated and characterized. The disintegrins in these venoms were identified by mass-analyzed laser desorption ionization/time-of-flight/time-of-flight (MALDI/TOF/TOF) mass spectrometry as having masses of 7.436 and 7.636 kDa. Their amino acid sequences are similar to crotratroxin, a disintegrin isolated from the venom of the western diamondback rattlesnake (C. atrox). The amino acid sequence of mojastin 1 was identical to the amino acid sequence of a disintegrin isolated from the venom of the Timber rattlesnake (C. horridus). The disintegrins from the Mohave rattlesnake venom were able to inhibit ADP-induced platelet aggregation in whole human blood both having IC{sub 5}s of 13.8 nM, but were not effective in inhibiting the binding of human urinary bladder carcinoma cells (T24) to fibronectin.

  4. Molecular Characterization of Three Novel Phospholipase A2 Proteins from the Venom of Atheris chlorechis, Atheris nitschei and Atheris squamigera

    PubMed Central

    Wang, He; Chen, Xiaole; Zhou, Mei; Wang, Lei; Chen, Tianbao; Shaw, Chris

    2016-01-01

    Secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) is known as a major component of snake venoms and displays higher-order catalytic hydrolysis functions as well as a wide range of pathological effects. Atheris is not a notoriously dangerous genus of snakes although there are some reports of fatal cases after envenomation due to the effects of coagulation disturbances and hemorrhaging. Molecular characterization of Atheris venom enzymes is incomplete and there are only a few reports in the literature. Here, we report, for the first time, the cloning and characterization of three novel cDNAs encoding phospholipase A2 precursors (one each) from the venoms of the Western bush viper (Atheris chlorechis), the Great Lakes bush viper (Atheris nitschei) and the Variable bush viper (Atheris squamigera), using a “shotgun cloning” strategy. Open-reading frames of respective cloned cDNAs contained putative 16 residue signal peptides and mature proteins composed of 121 to 123 amino acid residues. Alignment of mature protein sequences revealed high degrees of structural conservation and identity with Group II venom PLA2 proteins from other taxa within the Viperidae. Reverse-phase High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) profiles of these three snake venoms were obtained separately and chromatographic fractions were assessed for phospholipase activity using an egg yolk suspension assay. The molecular masses of mature proteins were all identified as approximately 14 kDa. Mass spectrometric analyses of the fractionated oligopeptides arising from tryptic digestion of intact venom proteins, was performed for further structural characterization. PMID:27258312

  5. Genetic Identification of Spirometra decipiens Plerocercoids in Terrestrial Snakes from Korea and China.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Hyeong-Kyu; Park, Hansol; Lee, Dongmin; Choe, Seongjun; Kim, Kyu-Heon; Sohn, Woon-Mok; Eom, Keeseon S

    2016-04-01

    Human sparganosis is a zoonotic disease caused by infection with larval forms (procercoid/plerocercoid) of Spirometra spp. The purpose of this study was to identify Spirometra spp. of infected snakes using a multiplex PCR assay and phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequence data from the spargana of terrestrial snakes obtained from Korea and China. A total of 283 snakes were obtained that included 4 species of Colubridae comprising Rhabdophis tigrinus tigrinus (n=150), Dinodon rufozonatum rufozonatum (n=64), Elaphe davidi (n=2), and Elaphe schrenkii (n=7), and 1 species of Viperidae, Agkistrodon saxatilis (n=60). The snakes were collected from the provinces of Chungbuk, Chungnam, and Gyeongbuk in Korea (n=161), and from China (n=122). The overall infection rate with spargana was 83% (235/283). The highest was recorded for D. rufozonatum rufozonatum (100%), followed by A. saxatilis (85%) and R. tigrinus tigrinus (80%), with a negative result for E. davidi (0%) and E. schrenkii (0%). The sequence identities between the spargana from snakes (n=50) and Spirometra erinaceieuropaei (KJ599680) or S. decipiens (KJ599679) control specimens were 90.8% and 99.2%, respectively. Pairwise genetic distances between spargana (n=50) and S. decipiens ranged from 0.0080 to 0.0107, while those between spargana and S. erinaceieuropaei ranged from 0.1070 to 0.1096. In this study, all of the 904 spargana analyzed were identified as S. decipiens either by a multiplex PCR assay (n=854) or mitochondrial cox1 sequence analysis (n=50). PMID:27180576

  6. Molecular Evolution of Vertebrate Neurotrophins: Co-Option of the Highly Conserved Nerve Growth Factor Gene into the Advanced Snake Venom Arsenalf

    PubMed Central

    Sunagar, Kartik; Fry, Bryan Grieg; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Casewell, Nicholas R.; Undheim, Eivind A. B.; Vidal, Nicolas; Ali, Syed A.; King, Glenn F.; Vasudevan, Karthikeyan; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2013-01-01

    Neurotrophins are a diverse class of structurally related proteins, essential for neuronal development, survival, plasticity and regeneration. They are characterized by major family members, such as the nerve growth factors (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), which have been demonstrated here to lack coding sequence variations and follow the regime of negative selection, highlighting their extremely important conserved role in vertebrate homeostasis. However, in stark contrast, venom NGF secreted as part of the chemical arsenal of the venomous advanced snake family Elapidae (and to a lesser extent Viperidae) have characteristics consistent with the typical accelerated molecular evolution of venom components. This includes a rapid rate of diversification under the significant influence of positive-selection, with the majority of positively-selected sites found in the secreted β-polypeptide chain (74%) and on the molecular surface of the protein (92%), while the core structural and functional residues remain highly constrained. Such focal mutagenesis generates active residues on the toxin molecular surface, which are capable of interacting with novel biological targets in prey to induce a myriad of pharmacological effects. We propose that caenophidian NGFs could participate in prey-envenoming by causing a massive release of chemical mediators from mast cells to mount inflammatory reactions and increase vascular permeability, thereby aiding the spread of other toxins and/or by acting as proapoptotic factors. Despite their presence in reptilian venom having been known for over 60 years, this is the first evidence that venom-secreted NGF follows the molecular evolutionary pattern of other venom components, and thus likely participates in prey-envenomation. PMID:24312363

  7. Categorization of venoms according to bonding properties: An immunological overview.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Nihal M; El-Kady, Ebtsam M; Asker, Mohsen S

    2016-02-01

    In this report, we present a study on the antigenic cross-reactivity of various venoms from the most dangerous Egyptian snakes and scorpions belonging to families Elapidae, Viperidae and Buthidae. The study was carried out with special reference to bonding properties between venoms and antivenoms and their involvement in the formation of specific and/or cross-reactive interactions. The homologous polyclonal antivenoms showed high reactivity to the respective venoms and cross-reacted with varying degrees to other non-homologous venoms. Assorting the antivenoms according to their susceptibility to dissociation by different concentrations of NH4SCN revealed that most of the antibodies involved in homologous venom-antivenom interactions were highly avid; building up strong venom-antivenom bonding. Whereas cross-reactions due to heterologous interactions were mediated by less avid antibodies that ultimately led to the formation of venom-antivenom bonding of different power strengths depending on the antigenic similarity and hence on the phylogenetic relationship of the tested venom. A new parameter evaluating high and low avid interactions, designated as H/L value, for each antigen-antibody bonding was initiated and used as an indicator of bonding strength between different venom-antivenom partners. H/L values were many folds higher than 1 for homologous and closely related venoms, 1 or around 1 for cross-reactive venoms, whereas venoms from unrelated remote sources recorded H/L values far less than 1. Using well defined polyclonal antivenoms, H/L value was successfully used to assign eight unknown venoms to their animal families and the results were confirmed by species-specific ELISA and immunoblotting assays. PMID:26690707

  8. Snake mitochondrial genomes: phylogenetic relationships and implications of extended taxon sampling for interpretations of mitogenomic evolution

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Snake mitochondrial genomes are of great interest in understanding mitogenomic evolution because of gene duplications and rearrangements and the fast evolutionary rate of their genes compared to other vertebrates. Mitochondrial gene sequences have also played an important role in attempts to resolve the contentious phylogenetic relationships of especially the early divergences among alethinophidian snakes. Two recent innovative studies found dramatic gene- and branch-specific relative acceleration in snake protein-coding gene evolution, particularly along internal branches leading to Serpentes and Alethinophidia. It has been hypothesized that some of these rate shifts are temporally (and possibly causally) associated with control region duplication and/or major changes in ecology and anatomy. Results The near-complete mitochondrial (mt) genomes of three henophidian snakes were sequenced: Anilius scytale, Rhinophis philippinus, and Charina trivirgata. All three genomes share a duplicated control region and translocated tRNALEU, derived features found in all alethinophidian snakes studied to date. The new sequence data were aligned with mt genome data for 21 other species of snakes and used in phylogenetic analyses. Phylogenetic results agreed with many other studies in recovering several robust clades, including Colubroidea, Caenophidia, and Cylindrophiidae+Uropeltidae. Nodes within Henophidia that have been difficult to resolve robustly in previous analyses remained uncompellingly resolved here. Comparisons of relative rates of evolution of rRNA vs. protein-coding genes were conducted by estimating branch lengths across the tree. Our expanded sampling revealed dramatic acceleration along the branch leading to Typhlopidae, particularly long rRNA terminal branches within Scolecophidia, and that most of the dramatic acceleration in protein-coding gene rate along Serpentes and Alethinophidia branches occurred before Anilius diverged from other

  9. The complete mitochondrial genome of a gecko and the phylogeneticposition of the Middle Eastern teratoscincus keyserlingii

    SciTech Connect

    Macey, J. Robert; Fong, Jonathan J.; Kuehl, Jennifer V.; Shafiei,Soheila; Ananjeva, Natalia B.; Papenfuss, Theodore J.; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-04-22

    Sqamate reptiles are traditionally divided into six groups: Iguania, Anguimorpha, Scincomorpha, Gekkota (these four are lizards), Serpentes (snakes), and Amphisbaenia (the so-called worm lizards). Currently there are complete mitochondrial genomes from two representatives of the Iguania (Janke et al., 2001; Kumazawa, 2004), three from the Anguimorpha (Kumazawa, 2004; Kumazawa and Endo, 2004), two from the Scincomorpha (Kumazawa and Nishida, 1999; Kumazawa, 2004), two from Serpentes (Kumazawa et al., 1998; Kumazawa, 2004) and 12 from Amphisbaenia (Macey et al., 2004). The only traditional group of Squamata from which a complete mitochondrial genome has not been sequenced is the Gekkota. Here we report the complete mitochondrial genome of Teratoscincus keyserlingii, a Middle Eastern representative of the Gekkota. The gekkonid lizard genus Teratoscincus is distributed throughout the deserts of central and southwest Asia as shown in figure 1, with five species currently recognized (Macey et al. 1997a, 1999b). Included in this figure are the positions of mountain ranges discussed in the text; see also figure 1 in Macey et al. (1999b). Two species, T. bedriagai and T. microlepis, are restricted to Southwest Asia south of the Kopet Dagh and Hindu Kush in Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (Anderson, 1999). Two species are found in the deserts of western China and Mongolia, with T. przewalskii occurring in the Taklimakan and lowland Gobi deserts, and T. roborowskii restricted to the Turpan Depression. The fifth species, T. scincus, is sometimes considered to be restricted to the Caspian Basin in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzistan, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Alternatively, Teratoscincus populations in Southwest Asia, primarily on the Iranian Plateau, situated directly north of the Arabian Plate, are sometimes considered to be a subspecies of T. scincus or, otherwise, to constitute a sixth species, T. keyserlingii. Macey et al. (1999b) assessed the phylogenetic

  10. Marine electromagnetic experiment across the Nicaragua Trench: Imaging water-rich faults and melt-rich asthenosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naif, Samer Nasri

    Electromagnetic (EM) methods have been widely applied in exploration geophysics and to study tectonics for several decades. Electrical resistivity, or its reciprocal conductivity, is a physical quantity that varies by several orders of magnitude. Bulk resistivity is highly dependent on the presence of fluids and ore bodies. While EM is primarily used to map the geoelectrical structures of terrestrial environments, advances over the last two decades in instrument technology and computing software have not only made marine EM experiments viable but also routine and reliable. In this dissertation, I explore the utility of the marine magnetotelluric and controlled-source electromagnetic techniques for probing subduction zone processes. In the Spring of 2010, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Marine EM group ventured on the R/V Melville to conduct the Serpentinite, Extension and Regional Porosity Experiment across the Nicaragua Trench (SERPENT). Over the course of 28 days, 54 sites of broadband marine magnetotelluric (MT) and 800 km of marine controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) data were collected, culminating in the first CSEM survey and the largest marine EM dataset at a subduction zone to date. In this dissertation, I perform regularized two-dimensional inversions on the marine MT and CSEM data from SERPENT to model the electrical resistivity structure of the crust and upper mantle. The MT data revealed an unexpected conductive channel at a depth interval of 45-70 km. I apply measurements from laboratory studies and find that only partial melt can account for the electrical signature of the conductor. I conclude that the anomalous channel is a sheared partial melt layer at the lithosphere- asthenosphere boundary that decouples the lithosphere from the deeper mantle. The CSEM data image sub-vertical conductive channels that correlate with outer rise fault scarps, providing the first observation to confirm bending faults behave as fluid pathways. I use

  11. Nova Scotia: ``Feu Follet" At Cheticamp, and Also the Phenomena At L'Sitkuk of the Mi'Kmaw, May Be Electromagnetic In Nature.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ochs, Michael Ann; McLeod, Roger D.

    2001-11-01

    There is a strong tradition that ``feu follet" exists at the cemetery associated with the Acadian French at Cheticamp. It is described as a blue light, and may actually be the equivalent of an ascending, positively charged stream of ions in the atmosphere, just like the blue-light column that is often a precursor of a storm's lightning-strike. Similar phenomena are at America's Stonehenge, at a stone serpent effigy site in Ohio, and just north of the Lakes Memphremagog and Magog of Vermont and Canada. At the Bear River L'sitkuk Reservation area, which seems to us to have been a most unsuitable site, was deliberately chosen by the Mi'kmaw for their living area. Was this because certain properties of the electromagnetic field (EMF) are evident to them there, which also seem to be reflected in their legends? We hope to establish that these disparate cultures and their separate worldviews can be confirmed by the presence of particular EMF signatures. *This paper does not represent the views of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

  12. Did Indians of the Americas Preserve Linguistic Place-names Like Willimantic, CT, Indicating Some Islamic Interactions and Applied Physics Use, Before Columbus?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crory, Erica; Mc Leod, Roger D.

    2007-10-01

    Modern Peruvians document: ``Ñari Huallac is the name of the town in the north of Peru (Piura) where our families come from. The words Ñari Huallac mean Serpent God, [editorial emphasis by underlining script is added], and are some of the few words which remain from the ancient Tallan civilization.'' Tallan seems related to The God, Allah, of Islam, as are Alaska, Allagash, Illinois, Willimantic, CT, and, in Maine, Metallak, Mollocket and Millinocket, Allahpatah, of Florida, and Allegheny of Pennsylvania. With this significance lies the partially concealed evidence that all three monotheistic faiths, during the times indicated by the language, understood there was a fundamental connection between The God, and what we would call today the electromagnetic field, EMF, of Mother Earth. Metallak: Doctor (at) The God (Spirit-signal, EMF), an ecclesiastical title, like Willimantic, The God Spirit-signal (where there is a) doctor. Alaska: The God Jesus Christ Spirit-signal (EMF). Millinocket: Adherent of The God monk Cathar, provides a reference date of about 1250 A.D. Illinois: The God Spirit-signal (EMF-detecting) monk. Mollocket asserted ownership of western Maine, until 1816. What did she know of importance from her war-hostage days in Boston?

  13. Consecutive virgin births in the new world boid snake, the Colombian rainbow Boa, Epicrates maurus.

    PubMed

    Booth, Warren; Million, Larry; Reynolds, R Graham; Burghardt, Gordon M; Vargo, Edward L; Schal, Coby; Tzika, Athanasia C; Schuett, Gordon W

    2011-01-01

    Until recently, facultative automictic parthenogenesis within the squamate reptiles exhibiting ZZ:ZW genetic sex determination has resulted in single reproductive events producing male (ZZ) or female (ZW) offspring. With the recent discovery of viable parthenogenetically produced female (WW) Boa constrictors, the existence of further parthenogenetic events resulting in WW females was questioned. Here, we provide genetic evidence for consecutive virgin births by a female Colombian rainbow boa (Epicrates maurus), resulting in the production of WW females likely through terminal fusion automixis. Samples were screened at 22 microsatellite loci with 12 amplifying unambiguous products. Of these, maternal heterozygosity was observed in 4, with the offspring differentially homozygous at each locus. This study documents the first record of parthenogenesis within the genus Epicrates, a second within the serpent lineage Boidae, and the third genetically confirmed case of consecutive virgin births of viable offspring within any vertebrate lineage. Unlike the recent record in Boa constrictors, the female described here was isolated from conspecifics from birth, demonstrating that males are not required to stimulate parthenogenetic reproduction in this species and possibly other Boas.

  14. Commiphora molmol in human welfare (review article).

    PubMed

    Al-Mathal, Ebtsam M

    2007-08-01

    The origins of myrrh and frankincense are traced to the Arabian Peninsula. According to Herodotus (5th century BC): "Arabia is the only country which produces frankincense, myrrh, cassia and cinnamon ... the trees bearing the frankincense are guarded by winged serpents of small size and various colors." Diodorus Siculus writes, in the second half of the first century BC, that "all of Arabia exudes a most delicate fragrance; even the seamen passing by Arabia can smell the strong fragrance that gives health and vigor." He also mentioned gold mines so pure that no smelting was necessary. The Magi, carrying myrrh, frankincense, and gold, came from the East: Arabia. The frankincense trade route, with transport by donkeys and later by camel caravans, reached Jerusalem and Egypt from the Dhofar region of what is today Oman, through Yemen, turning north to follow the Red Sea coast. It is likely that the same or similar species of the resin-bearing plants grew across the Red Sea in the area that is now Somalia and Ethiopia, while the collection of the gum resins was initiated in Arabia. Myrrh contributed much in the human welfare. This review selected some but not all of the value application of myrrh (Commiphora molmol). PMID:17985580

  15. Genome-wide transcription analysis of clinal genetic variation in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ying; Lee, Siu F; Blanc, Eric; Reuter, Caroline; Wertheim, Bregje; Martinez-Diaz, Pedro; Hoffmann, Ary A; Partridge, Linda

    2012-01-01

    Clinal variation in quantitative traits is widespread, but its genetic basis awaits identification. Drosophila melanogaster shows adaptive, clinal variation in traits such as body size along latitudinal gradients on multiple continents. To investigate genome wide transcription differentiation between North and South that might contribute to the clinal phenotypic variation, we compared RNA expression patterns during development of D. melanogaster from tropical northern and temperate southern populations using whole genome tiling arrays. We found that genes that were differentially expressed between the cline ends were generally associated with metabolism and growth, and experimental alteration of expression of a sample of them generally resulted in altered body size in the predicted direction, sometimes significantly so. We further identified the serpent (srp) transcription factor binding sites to be enriched near genes up-regulated in expression in the south. Analysis of clinal populations revealed a significant cline in the expression level of srp. Experimental over-expression of srp increased body size, as predicted from its clinal expression pattern, suggesting that it may be involved in regulating adaptive clinal variation in Drosophila. This study identified a handful of genes that contributed to clinal phenotypic variation through altered gene expression level, yet misexpression of individual gene led to modest body size change. PMID:22514645

  16. Did Secret, Sacred Science: ``Kokopelli/Pamola,'' Motivate the Tarratines' Assassination of the Penobscots' Bashaba ca 1615, and Does ``Orono'' Yield Direct Physics Insights?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ataide, Italani; de Souza, Beatriz; Pawa Matagamon, Sagamo

    2007-04-01

    ``Tarratine'' may share cognate phonetics with Tatoosh, (Makah, Pacific NE), Tuitan, Totonac, (coastal ``neighbors'' of the Aztec), Teedyuscung/Tatiuskundt, (Penn.), Teotihuacan, Tomtomhegan, (``ME'' ca 1781-2), Titikaka/Titicaca, and Tantaquidgeon, (Conn.); the military action that led to the assassination of the Penobscots' Bashaba has explanatory roots tying it to the last raid involving `Indian' military action of the Revolutionary War. ``Turf'' rights influenced conflict imperatives. Preserved linguistic roots have it best: Ñari Huallac, coupled with Arizona, Allagash, Allahpatah, and Orono/Orinoco, indicate traditionalists' information, by recognizing Kokopelli/Pamola/Pele/electromagnetics/EMF, says how nature behaves. Penobscots and modern Peruvian descendants of the Incas have it right: the concealed ``Serpent God'' of their EMF alter ego(s), says their science, (applied physics) is sacred because it ``predicts'' nature, even tinnitus, via ``Rawandagon''! To cite this abstract, use the following reference: http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2007.NES07.C2.8

  17. Changes in deep-water epibenthic megafaunal assemblages in relation to seabed slope on the Nigerian margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Daniel O. B.; Mrabure, Charles O.; Gates, Andrew R.

    2013-08-01

    Local-scale habitat heterogeneity associated with changes in slope is a ubiquitous feature of bathyal continental margins. The response of deep-sea species to high habitat heterogeneity is poorly known and slope can be used as a proxy for many important ecological variables, such as current flow, sedimentation and substratum type. This study determines how slope angle effects megafaunal species density and diversity at the Usan field, offshore Nigeria, between 740 and 760 m depth. This deep-water area is increasingly exploited for hydrocarbons, yet lacking in baseline biological information. Replicated remotely operated vehicle video transect surveys were carried out using industry infrastructure (through the SERPENT Project) at a representative range of slopes (1°, 3°, 11° and 29°). Twenty-four species of benthic megafaunal invertebrate were found, numerically dominated by the echinoid Phormosoma placenta, and nine species of fish were observed. Megafaunal invertebrate deposit feeder density decreased significantly with increasing slope (density range 0.503-0.081 individuals m-2). Densities of megafaunal suspension feeders were very low except at the highest slope site (mean density 0.17 m-2). Overall species richness was greater on steeper slopes, although the richness of deposit feeders was not affected. Reduced labile organic matter in sediments on steeper slopes likely reduced deposit feeder densities, but increased current flow at higher slopes allowed both increased richness and density of suspension feeders.

  18. Fabrication and Evaluation of a Graphene Oxide-Based Capacitive Humidity Sensor †

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Jinfeng; Kang, Xiaoxu; Zuo, Qingyun; Yuan, Chao; Wang, Weijun; Zhao, Yuhang; Zhu, Limin; Lu, Hanwei; Chen, Juying

    2016-01-01

    In this study, a CMOS compatible capacitive humidity sensor structure was designed and fabricated on a 200 mm CMOS BEOL Line. A top Al interconnect layer was used as an electrode with a comb/serpent structure, and graphene oxide (GO) was used as sensing material. XRD analysis was done which shows that GO sensing material has a strong and sharp (002) peak at about 10.278°, whereas graphite has (002) peak at about 26°. Device level CV and IV curves were measured in mini-environments at different relative humidity (RH) level, and saturated salt solutions were used to build these mini-environments. To evaluate the potential value of GO material in humidity sensor applications, a prototype humidity sensor was designed and fabricated by integrating the sensor with a dedicated readout ASIC and display/calibration module. Measurements in different mini-environments show that the GO-based humidity sensor has higher sensitivity, faster recovery time and good linearity performance. Compared with a standard humidity sensor, the measured RH data of our prototype humidity sensor can match well that of the standard product. PMID:26938538

  19. Does the Corona Borealis Supercluster form a giant binary-like system?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baiesi Pillastrini, Giovanni C.

    2016-05-01

    The distribution of local gravitational potentials generated by a complete volume-limited sample of galaxy groups and clusters filling the Corona Borealis region has been derived to search for new gravitational hints in the context of clustering analysis unrevealed by alternative methodologies. Mapping such a distribution as a function of spatial positions, the deepest potential wells in the sample trace unambiguously the locations of the densest galaxy cluster clumps providing the physical keys to bring out gravitational features connected to the formation, composition and evolution of the major clustered structures filling that region. As expected, the three deepest potential wells found at Equatorial coordinates: (˜230°, ˜28°, z ˜ 0.075), (˜240°, ˜27°, z ˜ 0.09) and, (227°, 5.8°, z ˜ 0.0788) correspond to massive superclusters of galaxy groups and clusters identified as the Corona Borealis, A2142 and Virgo-Serpent, respectively. However, the deepest isopotential contours around the Corona Borealis and A2142 superclusters seem to suggest a gravitational feature similar to a giant binary-like system connected by a filamentary structure. To a first approximation, it seems unlikely that this hypothesized system could be gravitationally bound.

  20. A GATA/RUNX cis-regulatory module couples Drosophila blood cell commitment and differentiation into crystal cells.

    PubMed

    Ferjoux, Géraldine; Augé, Benoit; Boyer, Karène; Haenlin, Marc; Waltzer, Lucas

    2007-05-15

    Members of the RUNX and GATA transcription factor families play critical roles during hematopoiesis from Drosophila to mammals. In Drosophila, the formation of the crystal cell hematopoietic lineage depends on the continuous expression of the lineage-specific RUNX factor Lozenge (Lz) and on its interaction with the GATA factor Serpent (Srp). Crystal cells are the main source of prophenoloxidases (proPOs), the enzymes required for melanization. By analyzing the promoter regions of several insect proPOs, we identify a conserved GATA/RUNX cis-regulatory module that ensures the crystal cell-specific expression of the three Drosophila melanogaster proPO. We demonstrate that activation of this module requires the direct binding of both Srp and Lz. Interestingly, a similar GATA/RUNX signature is over-represented in crystal cell differentiation markers, allowing us to identify new Srp/Lz target genes by genome-wide screening of Drosophila promoter regions. Finally, we show that the expression of lz in the crystal cells also relies on Srp/Lz-mediated activation via a similar module, indicating that crystal cell fate choice maintenance and activation of the differentiation program are coupled. Based on our observations, we propose that this GATA/RUNX cis-regulatory module may be reiteratively used during hematopoietic development through evolution.

  1. Do Cross-circle Designs, the Mayan World Tree, Chitto Tustenuggee's, and Miami's Tequesta, Sites have Analogs in Brazil as they have in Peru, Europe, and Africa?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ataide, Jade; Mc Leod, Roger; Mc Leod, David

    2007-04-01

    Florida's Miami Tequesta site conveys information about potential tornadoes, hurricanes, and even earthquakes. It is visually analogous to cross-circle designs, like other equivalent sites we have located, as in Maine, New Hampshire, in Medicine Wheels, and elsewhere. We focus on the detectable effects of time-and-place dependent electromagnetic signals. Non-technologic societies, and individuals, still find and use them, even today, especially in places like Cuzco, Peru. Modes of detection involve senses, such as sensitive, observant eyesight, and electromagnetically induced nerve signals interpreted as tinnitus, as traditionally indicated by ``Kokopelli's'' flute-playing, ``pins and needles,'' or even odor sensations. Recorded events show that youthful children are sometimes involved, as by Pacal's Classic-Mayan-era son, who became Kan Balum, Serpent Jaguar. Our intent is to check whether similar signals can be technologically identified in Brazil and New England. Site information investigated by us seems to be driven by the electromagnetic field. Enigmatic Brazilian locations should be technologically investigated with site correlations to other possible analogs, such as Florida's Chitto Tustenuggee site at Miramar. To cite this abstract, use the following reference: http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2007.NES07.C2.6

  2. The story of the condom.

    PubMed

    Khan, Fahd; Mukhtar, Saheel; Dickinson, Ian K; Sriprasad, Seshadri

    2013-01-01

    Condoms have been a subject of curiosity throughout history. The idea of safer sex has been explored in ancient and modern history, and has been used to prevent venereal diseases. We conducted a historical and medical review of condoms using primary and secondary sources as well as using the RSM library and the internet. These resources show that the first use of a condom was that of King Minos of Crete. Pasiphae, his wife, employed a goat's bladder in the vagina so that King Minos would not be able to harm her as his semen was said to contain "scorpions and serpents" that killed his mistresses. To Egyptians, condom-like glans caps were dyed in different colours to distinguish between different classes of people and to protect themselves against bilharzia. The Ancient Romans used the bladders of animals to protect the woman; they were worn not to prevent pregnancy but to prevent contraction of venereal diseases. Charles Goodyear, the inventor, utilized vulcanization, the process of transforming rubber into malleable structures, to produce latex condoms. The greater use of condoms all over the world in the 20(th) and 21(st) centuries has been related to HIV. This account of the use of condoms demonstrates how a primitive idea turned into an object that is used globally with a forecast estimated at 18 billion condoms to be used in 2015 alone. PMID:23671357

  3. Large Cretaceous sphenodontian from Patagonia provides insight into lepidosaur evolution in Gondwana.

    PubMed

    Apesteguía, Sebastián; Novas, Fernando E

    2003-10-01

    Sphenodontian reptiles successfully radiated during Triassic and Jurassic times, but were driven almost to extinction during the Cretaceous period. The sparse Early Cretaceous record of sphenodontians has been interpreted as reflecting the decline of the group in favour of lizards, their suspected ecological successors. However, recent discoveries in Late Cretaceous beds in Patagonia partially modify this interpretation. Numerous skeletons of a new sphenodontian, Priosphenodon avelasi gen. et sp. nov., were collected from a single locality in the Cenomanian-Turonian Candeleros Formation, where it is more abundant than any other tetrapod group recorded in the quarry (for example, Crocodyliformes, Serpentes, Dinosauria and Mammalia). Adult specimens of Priosphenodon reached one metre in length, larger than any previously known terrestrial sphenodontian. Here we propose, using available evidence, that sphenodontians were not a minor component of the Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems of South America, and that their ecological replacement by squamates was delayed until the early Tertiary. The new discovery helps to bridge the considerable gap in the fossil record (around 120 million years) that separates the Early Cretaceous sphenodontians from their living relatives (Sphenodon). PMID:14534584

  4. Mitochondrial introgression via ancient hybridization, and systematics of the Australian endemic pygopodid gecko genus Delma.

    PubMed

    Brennan, Ian G; Bauer, Aaron M; Jackman, Todd R

    2016-01-01

    Of the more than 1500 species of geckos found across six continents, few remain as unfamiliar as the pygopodids - Family Pygopodidae (Gray, 1845). These gekkotans are limited to Australia (44 species) and New Guinea (2 species), but have diverged extensively into the most ecologically diverse limbless radiation save Serpentes. Current phylogenetic understanding of the family has relied almost exclusively on two works, which have produced and synthesized an immense amount of morphological, geographical, and molecular data. However, current interspecific relationships within the largest genus Delma Gray 1831 are based chiefly upon data from two mitochondrial loci (16s, ND2). Here, we reevaluate the interspecific relationships within the genus Delma using two mitochondrial and four nuclear loci (RAG1, MXRA5, MOS, DYNLL1), and identify points of strong conflict between nuclear and mitochondrial genomic data. We address mito-nuclear discordance, and remedy this conflict by recognizing several points of mitochondrial introgression as the result of ancient hybridization events. Owing to the legacy value and intraspecific informativeness, we suggest the continued use of ND2 as a phylogenetic marker. Results identify strong support for species groups, but relationships among these clades, and the placement of several enigmatic taxa remain uncertain. We suggest a more careful review of Delma australis and the 'northwest Australia' clade. Accurately assessing and addressing species richness and relationships within this endemic Australian Gekkotan genus is relevant for understanding patterns of squamate speciation across the region. PMID:26505536

  5. Chimeric creatures in Greek mythology and reflections in science.

    PubMed

    Bazopoulou-Kyrkanidou, E

    2001-04-15

    "The Chimaera" in Homer's Iliad, "was of divine stock, not of men, in the forepart a lion, in the hinder a serpent, and in the midst a goat, ellipsis Bellerophon slew her, trusting in the signs of the gods." In Hesiod's Theogony it is emphasized that "Chimaera ellipsis had three heads, one of a grim-eyed lion, another of a goat, and another of a snakeellipsis". In addition to this interspecies animal chimera, human/animal chimeras are referred to in Greek mythology, preeminent among them the Centaurs and the Minotaur. The Centaurs, as horse/men, first appear in Geometric and early Archaic art, but in the literature not until early in the fifth century B.C. The bullheaded-man Minotaur, who is not certainly attested in the literary evidence until circa 500 B.C., first appears in art about 650 B.C. Attempts, in the fourth century B.C. and thereafter, to rationalize their mythical appearance were in vain; their chimeric nature retained its fascinating and archetypal form over the centuries. Early in the 1980s, experimental sheep/goat chimeras were produced removing the reproductive barrier between these two animal species. Late in the 1990s, legal, political, ethical, and moral fights loomed over a patent bid on human/animal chimeras. Chimeric technology is recently developed; however, the concept of chimerism has existed in literary and artistic form in ancient mythology. This is yet another example where art and literature precede scientific research and development.

  6. Large Cretaceous sphenodontian from Patagonia provides insight into lepidosaur evolution in Gondwana.

    PubMed

    Apesteguía, Sebastián; Novas, Fernando E

    2003-10-01

    Sphenodontian reptiles successfully radiated during Triassic and Jurassic times, but were driven almost to extinction during the Cretaceous period. The sparse Early Cretaceous record of sphenodontians has been interpreted as reflecting the decline of the group in favour of lizards, their suspected ecological successors. However, recent discoveries in Late Cretaceous beds in Patagonia partially modify this interpretation. Numerous skeletons of a new sphenodontian, Priosphenodon avelasi gen. et sp. nov., were collected from a single locality in the Cenomanian-Turonian Candeleros Formation, where it is more abundant than any other tetrapod group recorded in the quarry (for example, Crocodyliformes, Serpentes, Dinosauria and Mammalia). Adult specimens of Priosphenodon reached one metre in length, larger than any previously known terrestrial sphenodontian. Here we propose, using available evidence, that sphenodontians were not a minor component of the Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems of South America, and that their ecological replacement by squamates was delayed until the early Tertiary. The new discovery helps to bridge the considerable gap in the fossil record (around 120 million years) that separates the Early Cretaceous sphenodontians from their living relatives (Sphenodon).

  7. EVOLUTION. A four-legged snake from the Early Cretaceous of Gondwana.

    PubMed

    Martill, David M; Tischlinger, Helmut; Longrich, Nicholas R

    2015-07-24

    Snakes are a remarkably diverse and successful group today, but their evolutionary origins are obscure. The discovery of snakes with two legs has shed light on the transition from lizards to snakes, but no snake has been described with four limbs, and the ecology of early snakes is poorly known. We describe a four-limbed snake from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian) Crato Formation of Brazil. The snake has a serpentiform body plan with an elongate trunk, short tail, and large ventral scales suggesting characteristic serpentine locomotion, yet retains small prehensile limbs. Skull and body proportions as well as reduced neural spines indicate fossorial adaptation, suggesting that snakes evolved from burrowing rather than marine ancestors. Hooked teeth, an intramandibular joint, a flexible spine capable of constricting prey, and the presence of vertebrate remains in the guts indicate that this species preyed on vertebrates and that snakes made the transition to carnivory early in their history. The structure of the limbs suggests that they were adapted for grasping, either to seize prey or as claspers during mating. Together with a diverse fauna of basal snakes from the Cretaceous of South America, Africa, and India, this snake suggests that crown Serpentes originated in Gondwana.

  8. Adaptive evolution of the venom-targeted vWF protein in opossums that eat pitvipers.

    PubMed

    Jansa, Sharon A; Voss, Robert S

    2011-01-01

    The rapid evolution of venom toxin genes is often explained as the result of a biochemical arms race between venomous animals and their prey. However, it is not clear that an arms race analogy is appropriate in this context because there is no published evidence for rapid evolution in genes that might confer toxin resistance among routinely envenomed species. Here we report such evidence from an unusual predator-prey relationship between opossums (Marsupialia: Didelphidae) and pitvipers (Serpentes: Crotalinae). In particular, we found high ratios of replacement to silent substitutions in the gene encoding von Willebrand Factor (vWF), a venom-targeted hemostatic blood protein, in a clade of opossums known to eat pitvipers and to be resistant to their hemorrhagic venom. Observed amino-acid substitutions in venom-resistant opossums include changes in net charge and hydrophobicity that are hypothesized to weaken the bond between vWF and one of its toxic snake-venom ligands, the C-type lectin-like protein botrocetin. Our results provide the first example of rapid adaptive evolution in any venom-targeted molecule, and they support the notion that an evolutionary arms race might be driving the rapid evolution of snake venoms. However, in the arms race implied by our results, venomous snakes are prey, and their venom has a correspondingly defensive function in addition to its usual trophic role.

  9. Histological analysis of spermatogenesis and the germ cell development strategy within the testis of the male Western Cottonmouth Snake, Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma.

    PubMed

    Gribbins, Kevin M; Rheubert, Justin L; Collier, Matthew H; Siegel, Dustin S; Sever, David M

    2008-11-20

    Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma) testes were examined histologically to determine the germ cell development strategy employed during spermatogenesis. Testicular tissues from Cottonmouths were collected monthly from swamps around Hammond, Louisiana. Pieces of testis were fixed in Trump's fixative, dehydrated in ethanol, embedded in Spurr's plastic, sectioned with an ultramicrotome, and stained with toluidine blue and basic fuchsin. Spermatogenesis within Cottonmouths occurs in two independent events within a single calendar year. The testes are active during the months of March-June and August-October with spermiation most heavily observed during April-May and October. To our knowledge, this is the first study that describes bimodal spermatogenesis occurring in the same year within the subfamily Crotalinae. During spermatogenesis, no consistent spatial relationships are observed between germ cell generations. Typically, either certain cell types were missing (spermatocytes) or the layering of 3-5 spermatids and/or spermatocytes within the same cross-section of seminiferous tubule prevented consistent spatial stages from occurring. This temporal pattern of sperm development is different from the spatial development found within birds and mammals, being more reminiscent of that seen in amphibians, and has now been documented within every major clade of reptile (Chelonia, Serpentes, Sauria, Crocodylia). This primitive-like sperm development, within a testis structurally similar to mammals and birds, may represent an intermediate testicular model within the basally positioned (phylogenetically) reptiles that may be evolutionarily significant.

  10. Origins of the ancient constellations: II. The Mediterranean traditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, J. H.

    1998-04-01

    The classical map of the sky, with the 48 Greek constellations, was derived from at least two different pre-Greek traditions. One tradition comprised the 12 signs of the zodiac, with several associated animal constellations, all of which developed over ~3200-500 BC in Mesopotamia in a religious or ritual tradition. These were taken over by the Greeks around 500 BC. However the other Babylonian constellations, their farming-calendar tradition, were not adopted. The other tradition was not Mesopotamian; it comprised large constellations which appear to date from ~2800 BC, probably from the Mediterranean region, devised for the navigators of ships. They include huge bears and serpents which marked the celestial pole and equator at that time, and probably the four anonymous giants which we know as Hercules, Ophiuchus, Bootes, and Auriga, as well as some of the large southern 'marine' constellations. The origins of some other constellations, including the Perseus tableau and various animals, are unknown; they may have been new creations of the Greeks. The Greeks assembled the classical sky-map from these different sources between 540-370 BC, but many of the familiar legends were only applied to the constellations later.

  11. Neutronics and Fuel Performance Evaluation of Accident Tolerant Fuel under Normal Operation Conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Xu Wu; Piyush Sabharwall; Jason Hales

    2014-07-01

    This report details the analysis of neutronics and fuel performance analysis for enhanced accident tolerance fuel, with Monte Carlo reactor physics code Serpent and INL’s fuel performance code BISON, respectively. The purpose is to evaluate two of the most promising candidate materials, FeCrAl and Silicon Carbide (SiC), as the fuel cladding under normal operating conditions. Substantial neutron penalty is identified when FeCrAl is used as monolithic cladding for current oxide fuel. From the reactor physics standpoint, application of the FeCrAl alloy as coating layer on surface of zircaloy cladding is possible without increasing fuel enrichment. Meanwhile, SiC brings extra reactivity and the neutron penalty is of no concern. Application of either FeCrAl or SiC could be favorable from the fuel performance standpoint. Detailed comparison between monolithic cladding and hybrid cladding (cladding + coating) is discussed. Hybrid cladding is more practical based on the economics evaluation during the transition from current UO2/zircaloy to Accident Tolerant Fuel (ATF) system. However, a few issues remain to be resolved, such as the creep behavior of FeCrAl, coating spallation, inter diffusion with zirconium, etc. For SiC, its high thermal conductivity, excellent creep resistance, low thermal neutron absorption cross section, irradiation stability (minimal swelling) make it an excellent candidate materials for future nuclear fuel/cladding system.

  12. Maine's MOLLOCKET and METALLAK: Adherents of God's Secret Spirit Signal, SSS, Applied Physicists of the EMF/Manitou, Doctors, Reincarnationists, "Potlachers," Confidants of the Powerful, and, they Did Own the Land.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrade, Jennifer; Ferreira, Nadja; Mc Leod, Roger D.

    2007-04-01

    Northeastern ``Indians,'' reputed to ``make the weather,'' actually, from youth, observed earth phenomena, including SSS. These are subtle and barely detectable visual artifacts of the electromagnetic field, special information that led/leads to their spiritual belief in reincarnation, which came from the EMF/SSS communication, backward and forward, (up to) seven generations. It commands communal, democratic, ``potlatch'' redistribution of accumulated wealth, Mother Earth's bounty, from their land, gifted by ``The Great Spirit,'' Manitou, Peru's Ñari Huallac, ``Serpent God.'' Genetics established the non-Asian origins of 1/3 of North American Indians. Linguistics indicates a major impact westwards to us. MILLInocket is ``Adherent of God (Spirit-signal) monk Cathar.'' Katahdin, with a shared root, has Manitou. After 1820, Gov. E. Lincoln and at least one US senator went westward to MetALLAk; his biography is by a Rumford, ME Knight of Pythias. Why? MOLLOCKET frequently asserted ownership of western Maine. ``Great Council Fires,'' religious ``Law Things,'' were at Merrymeeting Bay in pre-Colonial times. ``Medicine men/priests'' often participated as their applied scientist-statesmen. To cite this abstract, use the following reference: http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2007.NES07.C2.1

  13. Propagation of Nuclear Data Uncertainties for ELECTRA Burn-up Calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sjöstrand, H.; Alhassan, E.; Duan, J.; Gustavsson, C.; Koning, A. J.; Pomp, S.; Rochman, D.; Österlund, M.

    2014-04-01

    The European Lead-Cooled Training Reactor (ELECTRA) has been proposed as a training reactor for fast systems within the Swedish nuclear program. It is a low-power fast reactor cooled by pure liquid lead. In this work, we propagate the uncertainties in 239Pu transport data to uncertainties in the fuel inventory of ELECTRA during the reactor lifetime using the Total Monte Carlo approach (TMC). Within the TENDL project, nuclear models input parameters were randomized within their uncertainties and 740 239Pu nuclear data libraries were generated. These libraries are used as inputs to reactor codes, in our case SERPENT, to perform uncertainty analysis of nuclear reactor inventory during burn-up. The uncertainty in the inventory determines uncertainties in: the long-term radio-toxicity, the decay heat, the evolution of reactivity parameters, gas pressure and volatile fission product content. In this work, a methodology called fast TMC is utilized, which reduces the overall calculation time. The uncertainty of some minor actinides were observed to be rather large and therefore their impact on multiple recycling should be investigated further. It was also found that, criticality benchmarks can be used to reduce inventory uncertainties due to nuclear data. Further studies are needed to include fission yield uncertainties, more isotopes, and a larger set of benchmarks.

  14. Comets in Indian Scriptures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das Gupta, P.

    2016-01-01

    The Indo-Aryans of ancient India observed stars and constellations for ascertaining auspicious times in order to conduct sacrificial rites ordained by the Vedas. Naturally, they would have sighted comets and referred to them in the Vedic texts. In Rigveda (circa 1700-1500 BC) and Atharvaveda (circa 1150 BC), there are references to dhumaketus and ketus, which stand for comets in Sanskrit. Rigveda speaks of a fig tree whose aerial roots spread out in the sky (Parpola 2010). Had this imagery been inspired by the resemblance of a comet's tail with long and linear roots of a banyan tree (ficus benghalensis)? Varahamihira (AD 550) and Ballal Sena (circa AD 1100-1200) described a large number of comets recorded by ancient seers, such as Parashara, Vriddha Garga, Narada, and Garga, to name a few. In this article, we propose that an episode in Mahabharata in which a radiant king, Nahusha, who rules the heavens and later turns into a serpent after he kicked the seer Agastya (also the star Canopus), is a mythological retelling of a cometary event.

  15. Fabrication and Evaluation of a Graphene Oxide-Based Capacitive Humidity Sensor.

    PubMed

    Feng, Jinfeng; Kang, Xiaoxu; Zuo, Qingyun; Yuan, Chao; Wang, Weijun; Zhao, Yuhang; Zhu, Limin; Lu, Hanwei; Chen, Juying

    2016-03-01

    In this study, a CMOS compatible capacitive humidity sensor structure was designed and fabricated on a 200 mm CMOS BEOL Line. A top Al interconnect layer was used as an electrode with a comb/serpent structure, and graphene oxide (GO) was used as sensing material. XRD analysis was done which shows that GO sensing material has a strong and sharp (002) peak at about 10.278°, whereas graphite has (002) peak at about 26°. Device level CV and IV curves were measured in mini-environments at different relative humidity (RH) level, and saturated salt solutions were used to build these mini-environments. To evaluate the potential value of GO material in humidity sensor applications, a prototype humidity sensor was designed and fabricated by integrating the sensor with a dedicated readout ASIC and display/calibration module. Measurements in different mini-environments show that the GO-based humidity sensor has higher sensitivity, faster recovery time and good linearity performance. Compared with a standard humidity sensor, the measured RH data of our prototype humidity sensor can match well that of the standard product.

  16. The Right Scuff

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this image on the 72nd martian day, or sol, of its mission (March 15, 2004) with the left eye of its front hazard-identification camera after digging its wheel into the drift dubbed 'Serpent.' Creating the commands that would generate this scar was not an easy task for rover controllers. Essentially, they had to choreograph an intricate dance for Spirit, maneuvering it up the side of the dune, shimmying its left front wheel a number of times to create the scuff, and then reversing to attain proper positioning for miniature thermal emission spectrometer observations. Before the task was finished, Spirit moved forward to put the scuff within proper reach of the rover's arm.

    This scar allows the rover's instruments to see below the drift surface, to determine the composition of its materials. Initial results indicate that the drift material is similar to the basaltic sands that have been seen throughout Spirit's journey to the large crater dubbed 'Bonneville.' The material does not seem to be the same as that inside the crater.

    Two questions raised by these results are: Why is the dark sand in the crater not the same as the dark sand in the drift? And why are there two different dark soil-type deposits in such a small place?

  17. Spirit Digs In

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this navigation camera image on the 72nd martian day, or sol, of its mission (March 15, 2004), after digging its wheel into the drift dubbed 'Serpent.' Creating the commands that would generate this 'scar' was not an easy task for rover controllers. Essentially, they had to choreograph an intricate dance for Spirit, maneuvering it up the side of the dune, shimmying its left front wheel a number of times to create the scuff, and then reversing to attain proper positioning for miniature thermal emission spectrometer observations. Before the task was finished, Spirit moved forward to put the scuff within proper reach of the rover's arm.

    This scar allows the rover's instruments to see below the drift surface, to determine the composition of the materials. Initial results indicate that the drift material is similar to the basaltic sands that have been seen throughout Spirit's journey to the large crater dubbed 'Bonneville.' The material does not seem to be the same as that inside the crater.

    Scientists are now looking to answer two questions: Why is the dark sand in the crater not the same as the dark sand in the drift? And why are there two different dark soil-type deposits in such a small place?

  18. Mitochondrial introgression via ancient hybridization, and systematics of the Australian endemic pygopodid gecko genus Delma.

    PubMed

    Brennan, Ian G; Bauer, Aaron M; Jackman, Todd R

    2016-01-01

    Of the more than 1500 species of geckos found across six continents, few remain as unfamiliar as the pygopodids - Family Pygopodidae (Gray, 1845). These gekkotans are limited to Australia (44 species) and New Guinea (2 species), but have diverged extensively into the most ecologically diverse limbless radiation save Serpentes. Current phylogenetic understanding of the family has relied almost exclusively on two works, which have produced and synthesized an immense amount of morphological, geographical, and molecular data. However, current interspecific relationships within the largest genus Delma Gray 1831 are based chiefly upon data from two mitochondrial loci (16s, ND2). Here, we reevaluate the interspecific relationships within the genus Delma using two mitochondrial and four nuclear loci (RAG1, MXRA5, MOS, DYNLL1), and identify points of strong conflict between nuclear and mitochondrial genomic data. We address mito-nuclear discordance, and remedy this conflict by recognizing several points of mitochondrial introgression as the result of ancient hybridization events. Owing to the legacy value and intraspecific informativeness, we suggest the continued use of ND2 as a phylogenetic marker. Results identify strong support for species groups, but relationships among these clades, and the placement of several enigmatic taxa remain uncertain. We suggest a more careful review of Delma australis and the 'northwest Australia' clade. Accurately assessing and addressing species richness and relationships within this endemic Australian Gekkotan genus is relevant for understanding patterns of squamate speciation across the region.

  19. Carbon Isotope Systematics in Mineral-Catalyzed Hydrothermal Organic Synthesis Processes at High Temperature and Pressures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fu, Qi; Socki, R. A.; Niles, Paul B.

    2011-01-01

    Observation of methane in the Martian atmosphere has been reported by different detection techniques. Reduction of CO2 and/or CO during serpentization by mineral surface catalyzed Fischer-Tropsch Type (FTT) synthesis may be one possible process responsible for methane generation on Mars. With the evidence a recent study has discovered for serpentinization in deeply buried carbon rich sediments, and more showing extensive water-rock interaction in Martian history, it seems likely that abiotic methane generation via serpentinization reactions may have been common on Mars. Experiments involving mineral-catalyzed hydrothermal organic synthesis processes were conducted at 750 C and 5.5 Kbars. Alkanes, alcohols and carboxylic acids were identified as organic compounds. No "isotopic reversal" of delta C-13 values was observed for alkanes or carboxylic acids, suggesting a different reaction pathway than polymerization. Alcohols were proposed as intermediaries formed on mineral surfaces at experimental conditions. Carbon isotope data were used in this study to unravel the reaction pathways of abiotic formation of organic compounds in hydrothermal systems at high temperatures and pressures. They are instrumental in constraining the origin and evolution history of organic compounds on Mars and other planets.

  20. Art exhibit focuses on African astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2012-07-01

    Connections between Africans and astronomy are the focus of a new exhibition in the National Museum of African Art in Washington, D. C. "African Cosmos: Stellar Arts," which includes artwork, cultural items, and scientific displays from ancient to contemporary times, is the first major exhibit "that brings together arts and science focused on Africa's contribution to keen observations of the heavens over time," curator Christine Mullen Kreamer said at a 20 June news briefing. Among the exhibit's nearly 100 objects are an ancient Egyptian mummy board that includes a representation of the sky goddess Nut, sculptures by the Dogon people of Mali depicting figures in relation to the cosmos, a video that uses data from two square degrees of the Hubble Space Telescope Cosmic Evolution Survey, and a nearly floor-to-ceiling "Rainbow Serpent" constructed of plastic containers by Benin artist Hazoume. An untitled acrylic painting (Figure 1) by South African Gavin Jantjes evokes a myth of the Khoi San people of southern Africa, as it portrays a girl throwing evening fire embers into the night sky, where they remained as the Milky Way.

  1. [Theriac: medicine and antidote].

    PubMed

    Parojcic, Dusanka; Stupar, Dragan; Mirica, Milica

    2003-06-01

    Theriac was an ancient multi-ingredient preparation; originating as a cure for the bites of serpents, mad dogs and wild beasts, it later became an antidote to all known poisons. The name theriac (treacle), (Greek theriake, Latin theriaca, French thériaque) was derived from the Greek for wild beast - theriakos. The first formula was created by Mithridates Vl, King of Pontus, a skillful ruler but a monster of cruelty, who, living in such a fear of being poisoned, took a great interest in toxicology. In the 1st century AD, Nero's personal physician Andromachus improved the formula of Antidotum Mithridatium by adding flesh of vipers, which was commonly believed to be the best antidote against snakebite, and by increasing the proportion of opium. It became known as Theriac of Andromachus, and contained 64 ingredients including various minerals, herbals, poisons and animal flesh and blood, all combined with honey in the form of electuarium. Later it became the cure-all medicine which, accumulating all the simples into one form, was supposed to be a universal panacea against all diseases. In the Middle Ages this famous electuarium become a patent medicine and entered official dispensaries and pharmacopoeias. The most famous and expensive Theriac in Europe was that of Venice. It was not until the l8th century that it was excluded from medical use.

  2. Carbon Isotope Measurements of Experimentally-Derived Hydrothermal Mineral-Catalyzed Organic Products by Pyrolysis-Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Socki, Richard A.; Fu, Qi; Niles, Paul B.

    2011-01-01

    We report results of experiments to measure the C isotope composition of mineral catalyzed organic compounds derived from high temperature and high pressure synthesis. These experiments make use of an innovative pyrolysis technique designed to extract and measure C isotopes. To date, our experiments have focused on the pyrolysis and C isotope ratio measurements of low-molecular weight intermediary hydrocarbons (organic acids and alcohols) and serve as a proof of concept for making C and H isotope measurements on more complicated mixtures of solid-phase hydrocarbons and intermediary products produced during high temperature and high pressure synthesis on mineral-catalyzed surfaces. The impetus for this work stems from recently reported observations of methane detected within the Martian atmosphere [1-4], coupled with evidence showing extensive water-rock interaction during Martian history [5-7]. Methane production on Mars could be the result of synthesis by mineral surface-catalyzed reduction of CO2 and/or CO by Fischer-Tropsch Type (FTT) reactions during serpentization reactions [8,9]. Others have conducted experimental studies to show that FTT reactions are plausible mechanisms for low-molecular weight hydrocarbon formation in hydrothermal systems at mid-ocean ridges [10-12]. Further, recent experiments by Fu et al. [13] focus on examining detailed C isotope measurements of hydrocarbons produced by surface-catalyzed mineral reactions. Work described in this paper details the experimental techniques used to measure intermediary organic reaction products (alcohols and organic acids).

  3. [Assessment and correlation analysis of heavy metals pollution in soil of Dajinshan Island].

    PubMed

    Cheng, Fang; Cheng, Jin-Ping; Sang, Heng-Chun; Yu, Jin-Lian; Xi, Lei; Pi, Shuai-Shuai

    2013-03-01

    The Dajinshan Island is the highest altitude point in the nature land of Shanghai. In order to find out the status of soil heavy metals pollution of the Dajinshan Island and its correlation, this paper used the methods of grid and serpents sampling to collect samples, and applied the single factor pollution index method and potential ecological harm index method to assess the pollutions status. The results showed that the main contributor of soil heavy metal pollution in Dajinshan Island was Cd, with an over-standard rate of 85.4%, followed by Pb, with an over-standard rate of 26.8%, whereas Zn and Cu were not excessive. In addition, there was significant positive correlation between Pb-Cu, Pb-Zn and Cu-Zn at the level of P = 0.05, suggesting that they had high homology and were easily influenced by the soil forming materials. This was an indirect evidence that the Dajinshan Island was well protected and not much affected by human activities.

  4. Insights into cardiovascular effects of proline-rich oligopeptide (Bj-PRO-10c) revealed by structure-activity analyses: dissociation of antihypertensive and bradycardic effects.

    PubMed

    Paschoal, Juliana F B; Yamaguchi, Juliana; Miranda, José R R; Carretero, Gustavo; Melo, Robson L; Santos, Robson A S; Xavier, Carlos H; Schreier, Shirley; Camargo, Antonio C M; Ianzer, Danielle

    2014-02-01

    We have previously reported that the proline-rich decapeptide from Bothrops jararaca (Bj-PRO-10c) causes potent and sustained antihypertensive and bradycardic effects in SHR. These activities are independent of ACE inhibition. In the present study, we used the Ala-scan approach to evaluate the importance of each amino acid within the sequence of Bj-PRO-10c (Pyr(1)-Asn(2)-Trp(3)-Pro(4)-His(5)-Pro(6)-Gln(7)-Ile(8)-Pro(9)-Pro(10)). The antihypertensive and bradycardic effects of the analogues Bj-PRO-10c Ala(3), Bj-PRO-10c Ala(7), Bj-PRO-10c Ala(8) were similar to those of Bj-PRO-10c, whereas the analogues Bj-PRO-10c Ala(2), Bj-PRO-10c Ala(4), Bj-PRO-10c Ala(5), Bj-PRO-10c Ala(9), and Bj-PRO-10c Ala(10) kept the antihypertensive activity and lost bradycardic activity considerably. In contrast, Bj-PRO-10c Ala(1) and Bj-PRO-10c Ala(6) were unable to provoke any cardiovascular activity. In summary, we demonstrated that (1) the Pyr(1) and Pro(6) residues are essential for both, the antihypertensive and bradycardic effects of Bj-PRO-10c; (2) Ala-scan approach allowed dissociating blood pressure reduction and bradycardic effects. Conformational properties of the peptides were examined by means of circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. The different Ala-scan analogues caused either an increase or decrease in the type II polyproline helix content compared to Bj-PRO-10c. The complete loss of activity of the Pro(6) → Ala(6) mutant is probably due to the fact that in the parent peptide the His(5)-Pro(6) bond can exist in the cis configuration, which could correspond to the conformation of this bond in the bound state. Current data support the Bj-PRO-10c as a promising leader prototype to develop new agents to treat cardiovascular diseases and its co-morbidities.

  5. Dexamethasone antagonizes the in vivo myotoxic and inflammatory effects of Bothrops venoms.

    PubMed

    Patrão-Neto, Fernando Chagas; Tomaz, Marcelo Amorim; Strauch, Marcelo Abrahão; Monteiro-Machado, Marcos; Rocha, José Roberto Da Silva; Borges, Paula Alvarenga; Calil-Elias, Sabrina; Melo, Paulo A

    2013-07-01

    In the present work we investigated the toxic activities of two Bothrops snake venoms using in vivo and in vitro experimental protocols in mice and tested the protective effect of dexamethasone (DEXA) in different conditions, comparing it with the polyvalent antivenom. We also expanded the investigations on the antiophidic effect of the Eclipta prostrata (EP) crude extract. The administration of Bothrops jararaca and Bothrops jararacussu snake venoms induced muscle damage demonstrated in vivo by the elevation on plasma creatine kinase (CK) activity in mice and by the decrease in CK content in the extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle of these animals, and in vitro by the increase in the rate of CK release from the isolated EDL muscle. We also observed inflammatory response following perimuscular injection of B. jararacussu venom (1.0 mg/kg). Treatment with DEXA (1.0 mg/kg) preserved over 50% of the EDL muscle CK content in vivo when evaluated 24 and 72 h after the injection of B. jararacussu venom in mice, and likewise reduced about 20% of the edema induced by this venom. DEXA reduced in 50% the presence of inflammatory cells and their activity in EDL muscle. The EP extract (50 mg/kg) showed similar ability in preventing the induction of edema and the decrease in muscle CK content, and its association with DEXA showed additive effect. EP reduced over 77% of the plasma CK activity induced by the B. jararacussu venom. In the in vitro experiments, DEXA was not able to change the rate of CK release from EDL muscles exposed to 25 μg/mL of B. jararacussu venom, neither to prevent the fall in the amplitude of the indirectly evoked twitch at the phrenic-diaphragm preparation. EP extract showed otherwise a protective effect on these protocols, reaching up to 100% of protection when concentrations of 50.0 and 100.0 μg/mL were used. Altogether our results show that inflammation is at least in part responsible for the tissue damage induced by Bothrops snake

  6. [Epidemiology of accidents due to bites of poisonous snakes: a study of cases attended in 1988].

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, L A; Jorge, M T; Iversson, L B

    1995-10-01

    The attendance given to patients by ta specialized Hospital, in S. Paulo, Brazil, during 1988 is studied. The study is based on the medical records of 322 patients and on questionnaires filled out by author during interviews with 209 patients or their companions. The 322 snake-bites occurred mainly between October and April, in the diurnal period, mainly in the afternoon. Most of patients were adult males, mainly between 10 and 20 years of age. The parts of the body most frequently affected were the feet, hands and legs. The snakes of the genera Bothrops, Crotalus and Micrurus were responsible, respectively, for 306 (95.0%) 14 (4.4%) and 2 (0.6%) of the accidents under study. Among the 160 snakes that were classified at the Herpetological Section of the IB, 152 were Bothrops; 142 B. Jararaca, mostly young reptiles, and 8 were of the genus Crotalus. Of the patients, 90.4% recovered completely, 2.2% presented sequelae, 7.5% were transferred and thus it was impossible to follow them up. Of the 209 persons interviewed, the occupational group most prone to snake bites was agricultural workers, followed by studentes; nearly 60% of the accidents ocurred during work; most of the patients had their inferior extremities unprotected at the moment of the bite. On hundred and sixty patients (76.6%) submitted to some from of treatment before coming to the HVB-IB, the more common being the use of a tourniquet (50.2%), local squeezing in an attempt to remove part of the venom (33.5), application of substances on the site of the snake bite (36.8%) and the ingestion of others (12.9%). Slightly over a quarter of the patients underwent some kind of medical treatment before coming to the HVB-IB, the most common being antissepsis (8.2%), administration of antivenom (6.2%), antihistamines (5.7%) and analgesics (5.3%). The snake was seen before it struch by 187 (89.5%) of the 209 persons interviewed and in most cases it adopted the strike posture just before the first bite. PMID:8731278

  7. Occurrence of sulfated fucose branches in fucosylated chondroitin sulfate are essential for the polysaccharide effect preventing muscle damage induced by toxins and crude venom from Bothrops jararacussu snake.

    PubMed

    Monteiro-Machado, Marcos; Tomaz, Marcelo A; Fonseca, Roberto J C; Strauch, Marcelo A; Cons, Bruno L; Borges, Paula A; Patrão-Neto, Fernando C; Tavares-Henriques, Matheus S; Teixeira-Cruz, Jhonatha M; Calil-Elias, Sabrina; Cintra, Adélia C O; Martinez, Ana Maria B; Mourão, Paulo A S; Melo, Paulo A

    2015-05-01

    Snake envenoming is an important public health problem around the world, particularly in tropics. Beyond deaths, morbidity induced by snake venoms, such as myotoxicity, is of pivotal consequence to population. Bothrops jararacussu is the main venomous snake in southeast region of Brazil, and particularly presents strong myotoxic effect. The only available therapy, antibothropic antivenom, poorly affects venom-induced myotoxicity. The aim of this study is to assess the ability of fucosylated chondroitin sulfate (fucCS), a glycosaminoglycan with anticoagulant and antithrombotic properties, and its derivatives to inhibit toxic activities of B. jararacussu crude venom and its isolated toxins, named bothropstoxins (BthTX-I and BthTX-II). The in vitro myotoxic activities induced by crude venom, by BthTX-I alone and by toxins together were abolished by fucCS. Carboxyl reduction (fucCS-CR) kept this ability whereas defucosilation (defucCS) abrogates myoprotection. We observed the same pattern in the response of these polysaccharides in antagonizing the increase in plasma creatine kinase (CK) levels, the reduction of skeletal muscle CK content and the rise of myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity induced by crude venom and isolated toxins. FucCS inhibited edematogenic activity and partially prevented the reduction of total leukocytes in blood when pre-incubated with crude venom. Furthermore, the venom procoagulant effect was completely antagonized by increasing concentrations of fucCS, although this polyanion could stop neither the tail bleeding nor the skin hemorrhage induced by Bothrops jararaca venom. The B. jararacussu phospholipase, hyaluronidase, proteolytic and collagenase activities were inhibited in vitro. The results suggest that fucCS could be able to interact with both toxins, and it is able to inhibit BthTX-II phospholipase activity. Light microscopy of extensor digitorum longus muscle (EDL) muscle showed myoprotection by fucCS, once necrotic areas, edema and

  8. Income breeding allows an aquatic snake Seminatrix pygaea to reproduce normally following prolonged drought-induced aestivation.

    PubMed

    Winne, Christopher T; Willson, John D; Gibbons, J Whitfield

    2006-11-01

    1. Capital breeding is an ideal reproductive strategy for many ectotherms because it provides a disassociation between feeding and reproduction, a necessary requirement for animals that become anorexic during pregnancy. Among ectotherms, some viviparous snakes (e.g. Viperidae) exemplify the capital breeding strategy because many species (i) do not feed during pregnancy due to behavioural conflicts between reproduction and foraging, and (ii) take more than one season to accumulate sufficient energetic stores for reproduction. 2. Isolated wetlands often exhibit extreme annual fluctuations in environmental conditions with prolonged droughts periodically leaving wetlands completely dry and devoid of prey. Following droughts, however, wetlands can be extremely productive, rendering prey resources virtually unlimited for some species. 3. This study examines drought survival strategy and reproductive ecology of a small aquatic snake Seminatrix pygaea (Cope) in an isolated wetland. Seminatrix pygaea are atypical from most sympatric snake species in that (i) their small body size, reliance on aquatic prey, and high rates of evaporative water loss make them ill-suited to overland movement, and (ii) they may not be subject to costs typically associated with feeding during pregnancy. 4. We hypothesized that S. pygaea would survive periodic multiyear droughts by aestivating within the dried wetland, a survival strategy heretofore undocumented in snakes. Further, we hypothesized that if S. pygaea rely on 'typical' snake reproductive strategies of 'adaptive anorexia' and capital breeding, reproductive output would be reduced in the first wet year following drought. 5. By encircling a 10-ha wetland with a continuous drift fence before it refilled we were able to demonstrate that S. pygaea were present within the dried wetland prior to the onset of spring rains that refilled the wetland in 2003. Our results suggest that S. pygaea are capable of surviving multiyear droughts by

  9. Evaluation of the lethal potency of scorpion and snake venoms and comparison between intraperitoneal and intravenous injection routes.

    PubMed

    Oukkache, Naoual; El Jaoudi, Rachid; Ghalim, Noreddine; Chgoury, Fatima; Bouhaouala, Balkiss; Mdaghri, Naima El; Sabatier, Jean-Marc

    2014-06-12

    Scorpion stings and snake bites are major health hazards that lead to suffering of victims and high mortality. Thousands of injuries associated with such stings and bites of venomous animals occur every year worldwide. In North Africa, more than 100,000 scorpion stings and snake bites are reported annually. An appropriate determination of the 50% lethal doses (LD₅₀) of scorpion and snake venoms appears to be an important step to assess (and compare) venom toxic activity. Such LD₅₀ values are also commonly used to evaluate the neutralizing capacity of specific anti-venom batches. In the present work, we determined experimentally the LD₅₀ values of reference scorpion and snake venoms in Swiss mice, and evaluated the influence of two main venom injection routes (i.e., intraperitoneal (IP) versus intravenous (IV)). The analysis of experimental LD₅₀ values obtained with three collected scorpion venoms indicates that Androctonus mauretanicus (Am) is intrinsically more toxic than Androctonus australis hector (Aah) species, whereas the latter is more toxic than Buthus occitanus (Bo). Similar analysis of three representative snake venoms of the Viperidae family shows that Cerastes cerastes (Cc) is more toxic than either Bitis arietans (Ba) or Macrovipera lebetina (Ml) species. Interestingly, the venom of Elapidae cobra snake Naja haje (Nh) is far more toxic than viper venoms Cc, Ml and Ba, in agreement with the known severity of cobra-related envenomation. Also, our data showed that viper venoms are about three-times less toxic when injected IP as compared to IV, distinct from cobra venom Nh which exhibited a similar toxicity when injected IP or IV. Overall, this study clearly highlights the usefulness of procedure standardization, especially regarding the administration route, for evaluating the relative toxicity of individual animal venoms. It also evidenced a marked difference in lethal activity between venoms of cobra and vipers, which, apart from the

  10. The crucial role of the MyD88 adaptor protein in the inflammatory response induced by Bothrops atrox venom.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Vanessa; Teixeira, Catarina; Borges da Silva, Henrique; D'Império Lima, Maria Regina; Dos-Santos, Maria Cristina

    2013-06-01

    Most snake accidents in North Brazil are attributed to Bothrops atrox, a snake species of the Viperidae family whose venom simultaneously induces local and systemic effects in the victims. The former are clinically more important than the latter, as they cause severe tissue lesions associated with strong inflammatory responses. Although several studies have shown that inflammatory mediators are produced in response to B. atrox venom (BaV), there is little information concerning the molecular pathways involved in innate immune system signaling. Myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) is an adaptor molecule responsible for transmitting intracellular signals from most toll-like receptors (TLRs) after they interact with pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) or other stimuli such as endogenous damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs). The MyD88-dependent pathway leads to activation of transcription factors, which in turn induce synthesis of inflammatory mediators such as eicosanoids, cytokines and chemokines. The aim of this study was to investigate the involvement of MyD88 on the acute inflammatory response induced by BaV. Wild-type (WT) C57BL/6 mice and MyD88 knockout (MyD88(-/-)) mice were intraperitoneally injected with BaV. Compared to WT mice, MyD88(-/-) animals showed an impaired inflammatory response to BaV, with lower influx of polymorphonuclear and mononuclear cells to the peritoneal cavity. Furthermore, peritoneal leukocytes from BaV-injected MyD88(-/-) mice did not induce COX-2 or LTB4 protein expression and released low concentrations of PGE2. These mice also failed to produce Th1 and Th17 cytokines and CCL-2, but IL-10 levels were similar to those of BaV-injected WT mice. Our results indicate that MyD88 signaling is required for activation of the inflammatory response elicited by BaV, raising the possibility of developing new therapeutic targets to treat Bothrops sp. poisoning. PMID:23474268

  11. Diversity, natural history, and geographic distribution of snakes in the Caatinga, Northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Guedes, Thaís B; Nogueira, Cristiano; Marques, Otavio A V

    2014-09-19

    The present study is a synthesis on snake diversity and distribution in the Caatinga region of northeastern Brazil, providing an updated species list and data on natural history and geographic distribution. Our study is based on the careful revision of 7,102 voucher specimens, housed in 17 herpetological collections, complemented by data on taxonomic literature. We recorded a total of 112 snake species in the Caatinga, belonging to nine families: Anomalepididae, Leptotyphlopidae, Typhlopidae, Aniliidae, Boidae, Viperidae, Elapidae, Colubridae, and Dipsadidae. Our list includes at least 13 never recorded species for this region, as well as distribution records for all species known from the Caatinga (including expansion and new records of distribution). The snake assemblage of the Caatinga is complex, sharing species with other continental open areas (38.4%), forested areas (27.7%), and both open and forested areas (32.1%). The richest areas were isolated plateaus, followed by contact areas, semi-arid caatinga, and sandy dunes of the São Franscisco River. We identified 22 Caatinga endemic species with the sandy dunes of São Franscico River showing the highest endemism level (12 species, with six endemic species restricted to the area) followed by semi-arid caatinga, and isolated plateaus (eight endemic species each, and six and three endemic species with restricted distribution to each area, respectively). Most species show relatively restricted ranges in parts of the Caatinga. The snake assemblage in Caatinga includes mainly terrestrial species (38.4%), followed by fossorial/cryptozoic (26.8%), arboreal/semi-arboreal (26.8%), and aquatic/semi-aquatic (7.1%) species. Vertebrates are the most important dietary item (80.4%), with 56.6% of species being generalist consumers of this kind of prey; 24.4% are frog-eaters, 7.8% prey on caecilians/amphisbaenians, 6.7% lizard-eaters, 3.3% mammal-eaters, and 1.1% are fish-eaters. Only 18.7% of the snakes eat invertebrate

  12. Evaluation of the Lethal Potency of Scorpion and Snake Venoms and Comparison between Intraperitoneal and Intravenous Injection Routes

    PubMed Central

    Oukkache, Naoual; Jaoudi, Rachid El; Ghalim, Noreddine; Chgoury, Fatima; Bouhaouala, Balkiss; Mdaghri, Naima El; Sabatier, Jean-Marc

    2014-01-01

    Scorpion stings and snake bites are major health hazards that lead to suffering of victims and high mortality. Thousands of injuries associated with such stings and bites of venomous animals occur every year worldwide. In North Africa, more than 100,000 scorpion stings and snake bites are reported annually. An appropriate determination of the 50% lethal doses (LD50) of scorpion and snake venoms appears to be an important step to assess (and compare) venom toxic activity. Such LD50 values are also commonly used to evaluate the neutralizing capacity of specific anti-venom batches. In the present work, we determined experimentally the LD50 values of reference scorpion and snake venoms in Swiss mice, and evaluated the influence of two main venom injection routes (i.e., intraperitoneal (IP) versus intravenous (IV)). The analysis of experimental LD50 values obtained with three collected scorpion venoms indicates that Androctonus mauretanicus (Am) is intrinsically more toxic than Androctonus australis hector (Aah) species, whereas the latter is more toxic than Buthus occitanus (Bo). Similar analysis of three representative snake venoms of the Viperidae family shows that Cerastes cerastes (Cc) is more toxic than either Bitis arietans (Ba) or Macrovipera lebetina (Ml) species. Interestingly, the venom of Elapidae cobra snake Naja haje (Nh) is far more toxic than viper venoms Cc, Ml and Ba, in agreement with the known severity of cobra-related envenomation. Also, our data showed that viper venoms are about three-times less toxic when injected IP as compared to IV, distinct from cobra venom Nh which exhibited a similar toxicity when injected IP or IV. Overall, this study clearly highlights the usefulness of procedure standardization, especially regarding the administration route, for evaluating the relative toxicity of individual animal venoms. It also evidenced a marked difference in lethal activity between venoms of cobra and vipers, which, apart from the nature of toxins

  13. Snake venomics and venom gland transcriptomic analysis of Brazilian coral snakes, Micrurus altirostris and M. corallinus.

    PubMed

    Corrêa-Netto, Carlos; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio de L M; Silva, Débora A; Ho, Paulo L; Leitão-de-Araújo, Moema; Alves, Maria Lúcia M; Sanz, Libia; Foguel, Débora; Zingali, Russolina Benedeta; Calvete, Juan J

    2011-08-24

    The venom proteomes of Micrurus altirostris and M. corallinus were analyzed by combining snake venomics and venom gland transcriptomic surveys. In both coral snake species, 3FTx and PLA(2) were the most abundant and diversified toxin families. 33 different 3FTxs and 13 PLA(2) proteins, accounting respectively for 79.5% and 13.7% of the total proteins, were identified in the venom of M. altirostris. The venom of M. corallinus comprised 10 3FTx (81.7% of the venom proteome) and 4 (11.9%) PLA(2) molecules. Transcriptomic data provided the full-length amino acid sequences of 18 (M. altirostris) and 10 (M. corallinus) 3FTxs, and 3 (M. altirostris) and 1 (M. corallinus) novel PLA(2) sequences. In addition, venom from each species contained single members of minor toxin families: 3 common (PIII-SVMP, C-type lectin-like, L-amino acid oxidase) and 4 species-specific (CRISP, Kunitz-type inhibitor, lysosomal acid lipase in M. altirostris; serine proteinase in M. corallinus) toxin classes. The finding of a lipase (LIPA) in the venom proteome and in the venom gland transcriptome of M. altirostris supports the view of a recruitment event predating the divergence of Elapidae and Viperidae more than 60 Mya. The toxin profile of both M. altirostris and M. corallinus venoms points to 3FTxs and PLA(2) molecules as the major players of the envenoming process. In M. altirostris venom, all major, and most minor, 3FTxs display highest similarity to type I α-neurotoxins, suggesting that these postsynaptically acting toxins may play the predominant role in the neurotoxic effect leading to peripheral paralysis, respiratory arrest, and death. M. corallinus venom posesses both, type I α-neurotoxins and a high-abundance (26% of the venom proteome) protein of subfamily XIX of 3FTxs, exhibiting similarity to bucandin from Malayan krait, Bungarus candidus, venom, which enhances acetylcholine release presynaptically. This finding may explain the presynaptic neurotoxicity of M. corallinus venom

  14. Structural and Functional Studies of a Bothropic Myotoxin Complexed to Rosmarinic Acid: New Insights into Lys49-PLA2 Inhibition

    PubMed Central

    dos Santos, Juliana I.; Cardoso, Fábio F.; Soares, Andreimar M.; dal Pai Silva, Maeli; Gallacci, Márcia; Fontes, Marcos R. M.

    2011-01-01

    Snakebite envenoming is an important public health problem in many tropical and subtropical countries, and is considered a neglected tropical disease by the World Health Organization. Most severe cases are inflicted by species of the families Elapidae and Viperidae, and lead to a number of systemic and local effects in the victim. One of the main problems regarding viperidic accidents is prominent local tissue damage whose pathogenesis is complex and involves the combined actions of a variety of venom components. Phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) are the most abundant muscle-damaging components of these venoms. Herein, we report functional and structural studies of PrTX-I, a Lys49-PLA2 from Bothops pirajai snake venom, and the influence of rosmarinic acid (RA) upon this toxin's activities. RA is a known active component of some plant extracts and has been reported as presenting anti-myotoxic properties related to bothopic envenomation. The myotoxic activity of Lys49-PLA2s is well established in the literature and although no in vivo neurotoxicity has been observed among these toxins, in vitro neuromuscular blockade has been reported for some of these proteins. Our in vitro studies show that RA drastically reduces both the muscle damage and the neuromuscular blockade exerted by PrTX-I on mice neuromuscular preparations (by ∼80% and ∼90%, respectively). These results support the hypothesis that the two effects are closely related and lead us to suggest that they are consequences of the muscle membrane-destabilizing activity of the Lys49-PLA2. Although the C-terminal region of these proteins has been reported to comprise the myotoxic site, we demonstrate by X-ray crystallographic studies that RA interacts with PrTX-I in a different region. Consequently, a new mode of Lys49-PLA2 inhibition is proposed. Comparison of our results with others in the literature suggests possible new ways to inhibit bothropic snake venom myotoxins and improve serum therapy. PMID:22205953

  15. Involvement of Nitric Oxide on Bothropoides insularis Venom Biological Effects on Murine Macrophages In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    de Menezes, Ramon R. P. P. B.; Mello, Clarissa P.; Lima, Dânya B.; Tessarolo, Louise D.; Sampaio, Tiago Lima; Paes, Lívia C. F.; Alves, Natacha T. Q.; Assis Junior, Eudmar M.; Lima Junior, Roberto C. P.; Toyama, Marcos H.; Martins, Alice M. C.

    2016-01-01

    Viperidae venom has several local and systemic effects, such as pain, edema, inflammation, kidney failure and coagulopathy. Additionally, bothropic venom and its isolated components directly interfere on cellular metabolism, causing alterations such as cell death and proliferation. Inflammatory cells are particularly involved in pathological envenomation mechanisms due to their capacity of releasing many mediators, such as nitric oxide (NO). NO has many effects on cell viability and it is associated to the development of inflammation and tissue damage caused by Bothrops and Bothropoides venom. Bothropoides insularis is a snake found only in Queimada Grande Island, which has markedly toxic venom. Thus, the aim of this work was to evaluate the biological effects of Bothropoides insularis venom (BiV) on RAW 264.7 cells and assess NO involvement. The venom was submitted to colorimetric assays to identify the presence of some enzymatic components. We observed that BiV induced H2O2 production and showed proteolytic and phospholipasic activities. RAW 264.7 murine macrophages were incubated with different concentrations of BiV and then cell viability was assessed by MTT reduction assay after 2, 6, 12 and 24 hours of incubation. A time- and concentration-dependent effect was observed, with a tendency to cell proliferation at lower BiV concentrations and cell death at higher concentrations. The cytotoxic effect was confirmed after lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) measurement in the supernatant from the experimental groups. Flow cytometry analyses revealed that necrosis is the main cell death pathway caused by BiV. Also, BiV induced NO release. The inhibition of both proliferative and cytotoxic effects with L-NAME were demonstrated, indicating that NO is important for these effects. Finally, BiV induced an increase in iNOS expression. Altogether, these results demonstrate that B. insularis venom have proliferative and cytotoxic effects on macrophages, with necrosis participation

  16. Diversity, natural history, and geographic distribution of snakes in the Caatinga, Northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Guedes, Thaís B; Nogueira, Cristiano; Marques, Otavio A V

    2014-01-01

    The present study is a synthesis on snake diversity and distribution in the Caatinga region of northeastern Brazil, providing an updated species list and data on natural history and geographic distribution. Our study is based on the careful revision of 7,102 voucher specimens, housed in 17 herpetological collections, complemented by data on taxonomic literature. We recorded a total of 112 snake species in the Caatinga, belonging to nine families: Anomalepididae, Leptotyphlopidae, Typhlopidae, Aniliidae, Boidae, Viperidae, Elapidae, Colubridae, and Dipsadidae. Our list includes at least 13 never recorded species for this region, as well as distribution records for all species known from the Caatinga (including expansion and new records of distribution). The snake assemblage of the Caatinga is complex, sharing species with other continental open areas (38.4%), forested areas (27.7%), and both open and forested areas (32.1%). The richest areas were isolated plateaus, followed by contact areas, semi-arid caatinga, and sandy dunes of the São Franscisco River. We identified 22 Caatinga endemic species with the sandy dunes of São Franscico River showing the highest endemism level (12 species, with six endemic species restricted to the area) followed by semi-arid caatinga, and isolated plateaus (eight endemic species each, and six and three endemic species with restricted distribution to each area, respectively). Most species show relatively restricted ranges in parts of the Caatinga. The snake assemblage in Caatinga includes mainly terrestrial species (38.4%), followed by fossorial/cryptozoic (26.8%), arboreal/semi-arboreal (26.8%), and aquatic/semi-aquatic (7.1%) species. Vertebrates are the most important dietary item (80.4%), with 56.6% of species being generalist consumers of this kind of prey; 24.4% are frog-eaters, 7.8% prey on caecilians/amphisbaenians, 6.7% lizard-eaters, 3.3% mammal-eaters, and 1.1% are fish-eaters. Only 18.7% of the snakes eat invertebrate

  17. Development of Equine IgG Antivenoms against Major Snake Groups in Mozambique

    PubMed Central

    Guidolin, Felipe Raimondi; Caricati, Celso Pereira; Marcelino, José Roberto; da Silva, Wilmar Dias

    2016-01-01

    Background Snake envenoming is a significant public health problem in underdeveloped and developing countries. In sub-Saharan Africa, it is estimated that 90,000–400,000 envenomations occur each year, resulting in 3,500–32,000 deaths. Envenomings are caused by snakes from the Viperidae (Bitis spp. and Echis spp.) and Elapidae (Naja spp. and Dendroaspis spp.) families. The African continent has been suffering from a severe antivenom crisis and current antivenom production is only sufficient to treat 25% of snakebite cases. Our aim is to develop high-quality antivenoms against the main snake species found in Mozambique. Methods Adult horses primed with the indicated venoms were divided into 5 groups (B. arietans; B. nasicornis + B. rhinoceros; N. melanoleuca; N. mossambica; N. annulifera + D. polylepis + D. angusticeps) and reimmunized two times for antivenom production. Blood was collected, and plasma was separated and subjected to antibody purification using caprylic acid. Plasmas and antivenoms were subject to titration, affinity determination, cross-recognition assays and in vivo venom lethality neutralization. A commercial anti-Crotalic antivenom was used for comparison. Results The purified antivenoms exhibited high titers against B. arietans, B. nasicornis and B. rhinoceros (5.18 x 106, 3.60 x 106 and 3.50 x 106 U-E/mL, respectively) and N. melanoleuca, N. mossambica and N. annulifera (7.41 x 106, 3.07 x 106 and 2.60 x 106 U-E/mL, respectively), but lower titers against the D. angusticeps and D. polylepis (1.87 x 106 and 1.67 x 106 U-E/mL). All the groups, except anti-N. melanoleuca, showed significant differences from the anti-Crotalic antivenom (7.55 x 106 U-E/mL). The affinity index of all the groups was high, ranging from 31% to 45%. Cross-recognition assays showed the recognition of proteins with similar molecular weight in the venoms and may indicate the possibility of paraspecific neutralization. The three monospecific antivenoms were able to

  18. Advanced Test Reactor Core Modeling Update Project Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2012

    SciTech Connect

    David W. Nigg, Principal Investigator; Kevin A. Steuhm, Project Manager

    2012-09-01

    depletion HELIOS calculations for all ATR cycles since August 2009, Cycle 145A through Cycle 151B, was successfully completed during 2012. This major effort supported a decision late in the year to proceed with the phased incorporation of the HELIOS methodology into the ATR Core Safety Analysis Package (CSAP) preparation process, in parallel with the established PDQ-based methodology, beginning late in Fiscal Year 2012. Acquisition of the advanced SERPENT (VTT-Finland) and MC21 (DOE-NR) Monte Carlo stochastic neutronics simulation codes was also initiated during the year and some initial applications of SERPENT to ATRC experiment analysis were demonstrated. These two new codes will offer significant additional capability, including the possibility of full-3D Monte Carlo fuel management support capabilities for the ATR at some point in the future. Finally, a capability for rigorous sensitivity analysis and uncertainty quantification based on the TSUNAMI system has been implemented and initial computational results have been obtained. This capability will have many applications as a tool for understanding the margins of uncertainty in the new models as well as for validation experiment design and interpretation.

  19. Development of 3D full-core ERANOS-2.2/MCNPX-2.7.0 models and neutronic analysis of the BFS-2 zero-power facility

    SciTech Connect

    Girardin, G.; Alonso, M.; Mikityuk, K.

    2012-07-01

    The present paper is addressing the development and validation against experimental data of 3D full-core models of the BFS-2 zero-power fast-reactor using both the deterministic system code ERANOS-2.2 and the stochastic code MCNPX-2.7.0. The model configuration of BFS considered for analysis is the BFS-62-3A benchmark. To extend the - deterministic/stochastic - code-to-code comparison, neutronic parameters, i.e. reactivity, neutron spectrum and reaction rates, were also simulated at the cell level with the Monte Carlo code SERPENT-1.1.7 with two modern data libraries, ENDF-B/VII and JEFF-3.1.1. The BFS-2 critical zero-power facility at the Inst. of Physics and Power Engineering (IPPE) was designed for simulations of the core and shielding of sodium-cooled, fast reactors, for neutron data validation and comparison with experimental results. At the BFS-2 facility, the BFS-62-3A critical benchmark experiment was set-up as a mock-up of the BN-600 reactor, with hybrid MOX fuel and stainless steel reflectors. A UO{sub 2} blanket and a large non-homogeneous stainless-steel reflector surround the core. The lattice is hexagonal of pitch 5.1 cm and metallic dowels are used to keep in central position cylindrical rods made of different types of material (fissile, fertile, blanket, plenum, shielding and absorber). A typical subassembly is formed in piling up various pellets of about 1 cm in height and 4.6 cm in diameter, conferring large heterogeneity in the axial direction. The full-core model development was a complex task due to the large number of subassemblies and the axial subassembly heterogeneity. In ERANOS-2.2, it was necessary to homogenize axially per region the pellets used to form the subassembly. The self-shielded macroscopic cross-sections were calculated using the cell code ECCO in association with JEFF-3.1 and ENDF/B-VI.8 data libraries. The core calculations were performed with broad cross-sections data in 33 neutron energy groups with the solver AVNM in the

  20. Phylogeography of the Mekong mud snake (Enhydris subtaeniata): the biogeographic importance of dynamic river drainages and fluctuating sea levels for semiaquatic taxa in Indochina.

    PubMed

    Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi; Osterhage, Jennifer L; Karns, Daryl R; Murphy, John C; Voris, Harold K

    2011-11-01

    During the Cenozoic, Southeast Asia was profoundly affected by plate tectonic events, dynamic river systems, fluctuating sea levels, shifting coastlines, and climatic variation, which have influenced the ecological and evolutionary trajectories of the Southeast Asian flora and fauna. We examined the role of these paleogeographic factors on shaping phylogeographic patterns focusing on a species of semiaquatic snake, Enhydris subtaeniata (Serpentes: Homalopsidae) using sequence data from three mitochondrial fragments (cytochrome b, ND4, and ATPase-2785 bp). We sampled E. subtaeniata from seven locations in three river drainage basins that encompassed most of this species' range. Genetic diversities were typically low within locations but high across locations. Moreover, each location had a unique suite of haplotypes not shared among locations, and pairwise φ(ST) values (0.713-0.998) were highly significant between all location pairs. Relationships among phylogroups were well resolved and analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed strong geographical partitioning of genetic variance among the three river drainage basins surveyed. The genetic differences observed among the populations of E. subtaeniata were likely shaped by the Quaternary landscapes of Indochina and the Sunda Shelf. Historically, the middle and lower Mekong consisted of strongly dissected river valleys separated by low mountain ranges and much of the Sunda Shelf consisted of lowland river valleys that served to connect faunas associated with major regional rivers. It is thus likely that the contemporary genetic patterns observed among populations of E. subtaeniata are the result of their histories in a complex terrain that created abundant opportunities for genetic isolation and divergence yet also provided lowland connections across now drowned river valleys.

  1. Transmutation Analysis of Enriched Uranium and Deep Burn High Temperature Reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Michael A. Pope

    2012-07-01

    High temperature reactors (HTRs) have been under consideration for production of electricity, process heat, and for destruction of transuranics for decades. As part of the transmutation analysis efforts within the Fuel Cycle Research and Development (FCR&D) campaign, a need was identified for detailed discharge isotopics from HTRs for use in the VISION code. A conventional HTR using enriched uranium in UCO fuel was modeled having discharge burnup of 120 GWd/MTiHM. Also, a deep burn HTR (DB-HTR) was modeled burning transuranic (TRU)-only TRU-O2 fuel to a discharge burnup of 648 GWd/MTiHM. For each of these cases, unit cell depletion calculations were performed with SCALE/TRITON. Unit cells were used to perform this analysis using SCALE 6.1. Because of the long mean free paths (and migration lengths) of neutrons in HTRs, using a unit cell to represent a whole core can be non-trivial. The sizes of these cells were first set by using Serpent calculations to match a spectral index between unit cell and whole core domains. In the case of the DB-HTR, the unit cell which was arrived at in this way conserved the ratio of fuel to moderator found in a single block of fuel. In the conventional HTR case, a larger moderator-to-fuel ratio than that of a single block was needed to simulate the whole core spectrum. Discharge isotopics (for 500 nuclides) and one-group cross-sections (for 1022 nuclides) were delivered to the transmutation analysis team. This report provides documentation for these calculations. In addition to the discharge isotopics, one-group cross-sections were provided for the full list of 1022 nuclides tracked in the transmutation library.

  2. Evolution of the mitochondrial genome in snakes: Gene rearrangements and phylogenetic relationships

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Jie; Li, Hongdan; Zhou, Kaiya

    2008-01-01

    Background Snakes as a major reptile group display a variety of morphological characteristics pertaining to their diverse behaviours. Despite abundant analyses of morphological characters, molecular studies using mitochondrial and nuclear genes are limited. As a result, the phylogeny of snakes remains controversial. Previous studies on mitochondrial genomes of snakes have demonstrated duplication of the control region and translocation of trnL to be two notable features of the alethinophidian (all serpents except blindsnakes and threadsnakes) mtDNAs. Our purpose is to further investigate the gene organizations, evolution of the snake mitochondrial genome, and phylogenetic relationships among several major snake families. Results The mitochondrial genomes were sequenced for four taxa representing four different families, and each had a different gene arrangement. Comparative analyses with other snake mitochondrial genomes allowed us to summarize six types of mitochondrial gene arrangement in snakes. Phylogenetic reconstruction with commonly used methods of phylogenetic inference (BI, ML, MP, NJ) arrived at a similar topology, which was used to reconstruct the evolution of mitochondrial gene arrangements in snakes. Conclusion The phylogenetic relationships among the major families of snakes are in accordance with the mitochondrial genomes in terms of gene arrangements. The gene arrangement in Ramphotyphlops braminus mtDNA is inferred to be ancestral for snakes. After the divergence of the early Ramphotyphlops lineage, three types of rearrangements occurred. These changes involve translocations within the IQM tRNA gene cluster and the duplication of the CR. All phylogenetic methods support the placement of Enhydris plumbea outside of the (Colubridae + Elapidae) cluster, providing mitochondrial genomic evidence for the familial rank of Homalopsidae. PMID:19038056

  3. Organization and operation of the marine ornamental fish and invertebrate export fishery in Puerto Rico.

    PubMed

    Legorel, Richard S; Hardin, Mark P; Ter-Ghazaryan, Diana

    2005-05-01

    This fishery was examined utilizing public records, stakeholder interviews, and operational site visits to describe the fishery for the Puerto Rico Coral Reef Advisory Committee as a first step toward development of policies for the effective management of these natural resources. The fishery is not large, including fewer than 20 licensed fishers operating primarily on the west end of the island. Only three operators export product, with the remaining fishers providing specimens to the exporters based upon customer orders. Most collection of coral reef species occurs over hard rubble zones mixed with relic reef structures and rock, or on the sides and frontal areas of active reefs. Other species are collected from among mangrove prop root zones, tidal flats, and seagrass beds. Collections are made using simple barrier and dip nets for fish and motile invertebrates such as shrimp. Invertebrates such as crabs, starfish, and sea cucumbers are commonly collected by overturning small rocks, gathering the specimens, and then replacing the rocks in their original positions. Specimens are carried to the boat and transferred to individual cup holders to maximize survival. Although statements concerning former use of chemicals to assist capture were noted, no evidence of current chemical use was observed. Specimens are held in re-circulating seawater systems onshore until collections are aggregated and shipped. The fishery strives to operate with mortality of<1%, as mortalities of>3% are described as unacceptable to customers. More than 100 fish species are collected in this fishery, but the top ten species account for >70% of the total numbers and >60% of the total value of the fishery, with a single species, Gramma loreto (Royal Gramma), comprising >40% of the numbers. More than 100 species of invertebrates are collected, but this fishery is also dominated by a handful of species, including anemones, hermit crabs, turbo snails, serpent starfish, and feather duster

  4. STELLAR 'EGGS' EMERGE FROM MOLECULAR CLOUD (Star-Birth Clouds in M16)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This eerie, dark structure, resembling an imaginary sea serpent's head, is a column of cool molecular hydrogen gas (two atoms of hydrogen in each molecule) and dust that is an incubator for new stars. The stars are embedded inside finger-like protrusions extending from the top of the nebula. Each 'fingertip' is somewhat larger than our own solar system. The pillar is slowly eroding away by the ultraviolet light from nearby hot stars, a process called 'photoevaporation'. As it does, small globules of especially dense gas buried within the cloud is uncovered. These globules have been dubbed 'EGGs' -- an acronym for 'Evaporating Gaseous Globules'. The shadows of the EGGs protect gas behind them, resulting in the finger-like structures at the top of the cloud. Forming inside at least some of the EGGs are embryonic stars -- stars that abruptly stop growing when the EGGs are uncovered and they are separated from the larger reservoir of gas from which they were drawing mass. Eventually the stars emerge, as the EGGs themselves succumb to photoevaporation. The stellar EGGS are found, appropriately enough, in the 'Eagle Nebula' (also called M16 -- the 16th object in Charles Messier's 18th century catalog of 'fuzzy' permanent objects in the sky), a nearby star-forming region 6,500 light-years away in the constellation Serpens. The picture was taken on April 1, 1995 with the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. The color image is constructed from three separate images taken in the light of emission from different types of atoms. Red shows emission from singly-ionized sulfur atoms. Green shows emission from hydrogen. Blue shows light emitted by doubly- ionized oxygen atoms. Credit: Jeff Hester and Paul Scowen (Arizona State University), and NASA Image files in GIF and JPEG format and captions may be accessed on Internet via anonymous ftp from oposite.stsci.edu in /pubinfo:

  5. Optimizing the implementation of the target motion sampling temperature treatment technique - How fast can it get?

    SciTech Connect

    Tuomas, V.; Jaakko, L.

    2013-07-01

    This article discusses the optimization of the target motion sampling (TMS) temperature treatment method, previously implemented in the Monte Carlo reactor physics code Serpent 2. The TMS method was introduced in [1] and first practical results were presented at the PHYSOR 2012 conference [2]. The method is a stochastic method for taking the effect of thermal motion into account on-the-fly in a Monte Carlo neutron transport calculation. It is based on sampling the target velocities at collision sites and then utilizing the 0 K cross sections at target-at-rest frame for reaction sampling. The fact that the total cross section becomes a distributed quantity is handled using rejection sampling techniques. The original implementation of the TMS requires 2.0 times more CPU time in a PWR pin-cell case than a conventional Monte Carlo calculation relying on pre-broadened effective cross sections. In a HTGR case examined in this paper the overhead factor is as high as 3.6. By first changing from a multi-group to a continuous-energy implementation and then fine-tuning a parameter affecting the conservativity of the majorant cross section, it is possible to decrease the overhead factors to 1.4 and 2.3, respectively. Preliminary calculations are also made using a new and yet incomplete optimization method in which the temperature of the basis cross section is increased above 0 K. It seems that with the new approach it may be possible to decrease the factors even as low as 1.06 and 1.33, respectively, but its functionality has not yet been proven. Therefore, these performance measures should be considered preliminary. (authors)

  6. Stellar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    This eerie, dark structure, resembling an imaginary sea serpent's head, is a column of cool molecular hydrogen gas (two atoms of hydrogen in each molecule) and dust that is an incubator for new stars. The stars are embedded inside finger-like protrusions extending from the top of the nebula. Each 'fingertip' is somewhat larger than our own solar system. The pillar is slowly eroding away by the ultraviolet light from nearby hot stars, a process called 'photoevaporation.' As it does, small globules of especially dense gas buried within the cloud is uncovered. These globules have been dubbed 'EGGs' -- an acronym for 'Evaporating Gaseous Globules.' The shadows of the EGGs protect gas behind them, resulting in the finger-like structures at the top of the cloud. Forming inside at least some of the EGGs are embryonic stars -- stars that abruptly stop growing when the EGGs are uncovered and they are separated from the larger reservoir of gas from which they were drawing mass. Eventually the stars emerge, as the EGGs themselves succumb to photoevaporation. The stellar EGGS are found, appropriately enough, in the 'Eagle Nebula' (also called M16 -- the 16th object in Charles Messier's 18th century catalog of 'fuzzy' permanent objects in the sky), a nearby star-forming region 7,000 light-years away in the constellation Serpens. The picture was taken on April 1, 1995 with the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. The color image is constructed from three separate images taken in the light of emission from different types of atoms. Red shows emission from singly-ionized sulfur atoms. Green shows emission from hydrogen. Blue shows light emitted by doubly-ionized oxygen atoms.

  7. Phylogeography of the Mekong mud snake (Enhydris subtaeniata): the biogeographic importance of dynamic river drainages and fluctuating sea levels for semiaquatic taxa in Indochina

    PubMed Central

    Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi; Osterhage, Jennifer L; Karns, Daryl R; Murphy, John C; Voris, Harold K

    2011-01-01

    During the Cenozoic, Southeast Asia was profoundly affected by plate tectonic events, dynamic river systems, fluctuating sea levels, shifting coastlines, and climatic variation, which have influenced the ecological and evolutionary trajectories of the Southeast Asian flora and fauna. We examined the role of these paleogeographic factors on shaping phylogeographic patterns focusing on a species of semiaquatic snake, Enhydris subtaeniata (Serpentes: Homalopsidae) using sequence data from three mitochondrial fragments (cytochrome b, ND4, and ATPase—2785 bp). We sampled E. subtaeniata from seven locations in three river drainage basins that encompassed most of this species’ range. Genetic diversities were typically low within locations but high across locations. Moreover, each location had a unique suite of haplotypes not shared among locations, and pairwise φST values (0.713–0.998) were highly significant between all location pairs. Relationships among phylogroups were well resolved and analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed strong geographical partitioning of genetic variance among the three river drainage basins surveyed. The genetic differences observed among the populations of E. subtaeniata were likely shaped by the Quaternary landscapes of Indochina and the Sunda Shelf. Historically, the middle and lower Mekong consisted of strongly dissected river valleys separated by low mountain ranges and much of the Sunda Shelf consisted of lowland river valleys that served to connect faunas associated with major regional rivers. It is thus likely that the contemporary genetic patterns observed among populations of E. subtaeniata are the result of their histories in a complex terrain that created abundant opportunities for genetic isolation and divergence yet also provided lowland connections across now drowned river valleys. PMID:22393504

  8. CURRENT BUILDUP IN EMERGING SERPENTINE FLUX TUBES

    SciTech Connect

    Pariat, E.; Masson, S.; Aulanier, G.

    2009-08-20

    The increase of magnetic flux in the solar atmosphere during active-region formation involves the transport of the magnetic field from the solar convection zone through the lowest layers of the solar atmosphere, through which the plasma {beta} changes from >1 to <1 with altitude. The crossing of this magnetic transition zone requires the magnetic field to adopt a serpentine shape also known as the sea-serpent topology. In the frame of the resistive flux-emergence model, the rising of the magnetic flux is believed to be dynamically driven by a succession of magnetic reconnections which are commonly observed in emerging flux regions as Ellerman bombs. Using a data-driven, three-dimensional (3D) magnetohydrodynamic numerical simulation of flux emergence occurring in active region 10191 on 2002 November 16-17, we study the development of 3D electric current sheets. We show that these currents buildup along the 3D serpentine magnetic-field structure as a result of photospheric diverging horizontal line-tied motions that emulate the observed photospheric evolution. We observe that reconnection can not only develop following a pinching evolution of the serpentine field line, as usually assumed in two-dimensional geometry, but can also result from 3D shearing deformation of the magnetic structure. In addition, we report for the first time on the observation in the UV domain with the Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) of extremely transient loop-like features, appearing within the emerging flux domain, which link several Ellermam bombs with one another. We argue that these loop transients can be explained as a consequence of the currents that build up along the serpentine magnetic field.

  9. [Relationships between venomous function and innate immune function].

    PubMed

    Goyffon, Max; Saul, Frederick; Faure, Grazyna

    2015-01-01

    Venomous function is investigated in relation to innate immune function in two cases selected from scorpion venom and serpent venom. In the first case, structural analysis of scorpion toxins and defensins reveals a close interrelation between both functions (toxic and innate immune system function). In the second case, structural and functional studies of natural inhibitors of toxic snake venom phospholipases A2 reveal homology with components of the innate immune system, leading to a similar conclusion. Although there is a clear functional distinction between neurotoxins, which act by targeting membrane ion channels, and the circulating defensins which protect the organism from pathogens, the scorpion short toxins and defensins share a common protein folding scaffold with a conserved cysteine-stabilized alpha-beta motif of three disulfide bridges linking a short alpha helix and an antiparallel beta sheet. Genomic analysis suggests that these proteins share a common ancestor (long venom toxins were separated from an early gene family which gave rise to separate short toxin and defensin families). Furthermore, a scorpion toxin has been experimentally synthetized from an insect defensin, and an antibacterial scorpion peptide, androctonin (whose structure is similar to that of a cone snail venom toxin), was shown to have a similar high affinity for the postsynaptic acetylcholine receptor of Torpedo sp. Natural inhibitors of phospholipase A2 found in the blood of snakes are associated with the resistance of venomous snakes to their own highly neurotoxic venom proteins. Three classes of phospholipases A2 inhibitors (PLI-α, PLI-β, PLI-γ) have been identified. These inhibitors display diverse structural motifs related to innate immune proteins including carbohydrate recognition domains (CRD), leucine rich repeat domains (found in Toll-like receptors) and three finger domains, which clearly differentiate them from components of the adaptive immune system. Thus, in

  10. Depletion Analysis of Modular High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor Loaded with LEU/Thorium Fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Sonat Sen; Gilles Youinou

    2013-02-01

    Thorium based fuel has been considered as an option to uranium-based fuel, based on considerations of resource utilization (Thorium is more widely available when compared to Uranium). The fertile isotope of Thorium (Th-232) can be converted to fissile isotope U-233 by neutron capture during the operation of a suitable nuclear reactor such as High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR). However, the fertile Thorium needs a fissile supporter to start and maintain the conversion process such as U-235 or Pu-239. This report presents the results of a study that analyzed the thorium utilization in a prismatic HTGR, namely Modular High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor (MHTGR) that was designed by General Atomics (GA). The collected for the modeling of this design come from Chapter 4 of MHTGR Preliminary Safety Information Document that GA sent to Department of Energy (DOE) on 1995. Both full core and unit cell models were used to perform this analysis using SCALE 6.1 and Serpent 1.1.18. Because of the long mean free paths (and migration lengths) of neutrons in HTRs, using a unit cell to represent a whole core can be non-trivial. The sizes of these cells were set to match the spectral index between unit cell and full core domains. It was found that for the purposes of this study an adjusted unit cell model is adequate. Discharge isotopics and one-group cross-sections were delivered to the transmutation analysis team. This report provides documentation for these calculations

  11. Hydrogen Isotope Measurements of Organic Acids and Alcohols by Pyrolysis-GC-MS-TC-IRMS: Application to Analysis of Experimentally Derived Hydrothermal Mineral-Catalyzed Organic Products

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Socki, Richard A.; Fu, Qi; Niles, Paul B.; Gibson, Everett K., Jr.

    2012-01-01

    We report results of experiments to measure the H isotope composition of organic acids and alcohols. These experiments make use of a pyroprobe interfaced with a GC and high temperature extraction furnace to make quantitative H isotope measurements. This work compliments our previous work that focused on the extraction and analysis of C isotopes from the same compounds [1]. Together with our carbon isotope analyses our experiments serve as a "proof of concept" for making C and H isotope measurements on more complex mixtures of organic compounds on mineral surfaces in abiotic hydrocarbon formation processes at elevated temperatures and pressures. Our motivation for undertaking this work stems from observations of methane detected within the Martian atmosphere [2-5], coupled with evidence showing extensive water-rock interaction during Mars history [6-8]. Methane production on Mars could be the result of synthesis by mineral surface-catalyzed reduction of CO2 and/or CO by Fischer-Tropsch Type (FTT) reactions during serpentization [9,10]. Others have conducted experimental studies to show that FTT reactions are plausible mechanisms for low-molecular weight hydrocarbon formation in hydrothermal systems at mid-ocean ridges [11-13]. Our H isotope measurements utilize an analytical technique combining Pyrolysis-Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometry-High Temperature Conversion-Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (Py-GC-MS-TC-IRMS). This technique is designed to carry a split of the pyrolyzed GC-separated product to a Thermo DSQII quadrupole mass spectrometer as a means of making qualitative and semi-quantitative compositional measurements of separated organic compounds, therefore both chemical and isotopic measurements can be carried out simultaneously on the same sample.

  12. Effect of the Target Motion Sampling Temperature Treatment Method on the Statistics and Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viitanen, Tuomas; Leppänen, Jaakko

    2014-06-01

    Target Motion Sampling (TMS) is a stochastic on-the-fly temperature treatment technique that is being developed as a part of the Monte Carlo reactor physics code Serpent. The method provides for modeling of arbitrary temperatures in continuous-energy Monte Carlo tracking routines with only one set of cross sections stored in the computer memory. Previously, only the performance of the TMS method in terms of CPU time per transported neutron has been discussed. Since the effective cross sections are not calculated at any point of a transport simulation with TMS, reaction rate estimators must be scored using sampled cross sections, which is expected to increase the variances and, consequently, to decrease the figures-of-merit. This paper examines the effects of the TMS on the statistics and performance in practical calculations involving reaction rate estimation with collision estimators. Against all expectations it turned out that the usage of sampled response values has no practical effect on the performance of reaction rate estimators when using TMS with elevated basis cross section temperatures (EBT), i.e. the usual way. With 0 Kelvin cross sections a significant increase in the variances of capture rate estimators was observed right below the energy region of unresolved resonances, but at these energies the figures-of-merit could be increased using a simple resampling technique to decrease the variances of the responses. It was, however, noticed that the usage of the TMS method increases the statistical deviances of all estimators, including the flux estimator, by tens of percents in the vicinity of very strong resonances. This effect is actually not related to the usage of sampled responses, but is instead an inherent property of the TMS tracking method and concerns both EBT and 0 K calculations.

  13. Isotopic change in the tissues of Bothrops atrox in captivity collected from environments of the eastern Amazon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez, M. G.; Chalkidis, H. D.; Amazonas, D. R.; da Silva, A. M.; De Oliveira, R., Jr.; Camargo, P. B.

    2013-12-01

    The Bothrops atrox is little studied because it is sympatric Amazonian animals, and very little is known about the ecology and natural history of this species. It has a generalist diet and the distribution of this species is very wide. The adult animals forage mostly on the ground, while the younger animals prefer to stay on the vegetation. They are easily find in the rainy months in areas near lakes and seasonally flooded and are difficult to find in the driest months, a period where there is less availability of preys in these environments. Due to its aggressiveness, is considered one of the most feared snakes in South America and in the eastern Amazon, being responsible for the largest number of snakebites in the region. Through stable isotope carbon-13 and nitrogen-15, is intended to characterize the variations of the feeding habits of these collected animals in different environments and also when they are kept in captivity, feeding the animal's bioterium. The serpents were collected in environments with different land uses, such as native forest, savannah, pasture and have been brought to the serpentarium Integrated College Tapajos (FIT), being retained in order to Samplings throughout the experiment with feeding mice's own bioterium. When these snakes came from different locations, samples were collected scales and blood (T0), before receiving the new supply (captive), and every time we fed the mice the vivarium, new tissue samples were collected, (T1, T2, T3) to exchange all the nature of food for the food captivity.Based on the results of δ13C and δ15N, the samples collected in the tissues of snakes of different environments (nature and captivity), it was observed that changes in food sources reflect changes in tissues (blood and scales), also reflecting the production of poison different periods of turnover of absorbed material in those tissues, contributing to the study of animal ecology and behavior in relation to habitat.

  14. Isotopic analysis of Bothrops atrox in Amazonian forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez, M. G.; Silva, A. M.; Chalkidis, H.; de Oliveira Júnior, R. C.; Camargo, P. B.

    2012-12-01

    The poisoning of snakes is considered a public health problem, especially in populations from rural areas of tropical and subtropical countries. In Brazil, the 26,000 snakebites, 90% are of the genus Bothrops, and Bothrops atrox species predominant in the Amazon region including all the Brazilian Amazon. Research shows that using stable isotopes, we can verify the isotopic composition of tissues of animals that depend mainly on food, water ingested and inhaled gases. For this study, samples taken from Bothrops atrox (B. atrox), in forest using pitfall traps and fall ("Pitt-fall traps with drift fence"). The analyzes were performed by mass spectrometry, where the analytical error is 0.3‰ for carbon and 0.5‰ to nitrogen. The results of the forest animals are significantly different from results of animal vivarium. The average values of the tissues and venoms of snakes of the forest for carbon-13 and nitrogen-15 are: δ13C = -24.68‰ and δ15N = 14.22‰ and mean values of tissue and poisons snakes vivarium (Instituto Butantan) to carbon-13 and nitrogen-15 are δ13C = -20.47‰ and δ15N = 8.36‰, with a significantly different due to different sources of food animals. Based on all results isotopic δ13C and δ15N, we can suggest that changes as the power of the serpent, (nature and captivity), changes occur in relation to diet and environment as the means of the isotopic data are quite distinct, showing that these changes can also cause metabolic changes in the body of the animal itself and the different periods of turnover of each tissue analyzed.

  15. Detecting Mantle Anisotropy with Marine CSEM Sounding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Constable, S.; Key, K. W.; Behrens, J. P.; MacGregor, L.; Evans, R. L.

    2010-12-01

    We can detect transverse electrical anisotropy in the oceanic crust and upper mantle using circular transmitter tows around a pair of highly sensitive controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) receivers. Our long-wire electromagnetic (LEM) receivers, equipped with 100-200 m antennas, improve signal to noise by about an order of magnitude over standard EM receivers using 8-10 m antennas. LEMs work well in deep water where voltage noise from electrodes and amplifiers dominates, and electric field noise from magnetotelluric signals and water motion is low. When combined with SUESI, our marine EM transmitter, which emits 300 amps across a 250 m antenna, noise floors of 10-17~V/Am2 may be obtained at 2-4 Hz over 40-minute stacks. Towing a transmitter in a 30 km circle around an orthogonal pair of LEMs samples propagation though the crust and upper mantle in all horizontal directions. This purely azimuthal geometry generates linearly polarized data for an isotropic earth, but in the presence of anisotropy the minor axis of the polarization ellipse develops a characteristic clover-leaf pattern when plotted against source-receiver direction, and the major axis becomes elongated. We have conducted such experiments on 40 Ma lithosphere offshore California (the APPLE experiment), and 24 Ma lithosphere as it subducts into the Nicaraguan trench (part of the SERPENT expedition). Both regions produce remarkably similar results, with increased conductivity in the fossil ridge-parallel directions, which we interpret to be caused by serpentinized mantle-penetrating faults. This pattern of anisotropy is modified in the outer rise of the trench, as the lithosphere bends and shallower (crustal) fractures develop.

  16. Carbon Isotopes of Alkanes in Hydrothermal Abiotic Organic Synthesis Processes at High Temperatures and Pressures: An Experimental Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fu, Qi; Socki, Richard A.; Niles, Paul B.

    2010-01-01

    Observation of methane in the Martian atmosphere has been reported by different detection techniques [1-4]. With more evidence showing extensive water-rock interaction in Martian history [5-7], abiotic formation by Fischer-Tropsch Type (FTT) synthesis during serpentization reactions may be one possible process responsible for methane generation on Mars [8, 9]. While the experimental studies performed to date leave little doubt that chemical reactions exist for the abiotic synthesis of organic compounds by mineral surface-catalyzed reactions [10-12], little is known about the reaction pathways by which CO2 and/or CO are reduced under hydrothermal conditions. Carbon and hydrogen isotope measurements of alkanes have been used as an effective tool to constrain the origin and reaction pathways of hydrocarbon formation. Alkanes generated by thermal breakdown of high molecular weight organic compounds have carbon and hydrogen isotopic signatures completely distinct from those formed abiotically [13-15]. Recent experimental studies, however, showed that different abiogenic hydrocarbon formation processes (e.g., polymerization vs. depolymerization) may have different carbon and hydrogen isotopic patterns [16]. Results from previous experiments studying decomposition of higher molecular weight organic compounds (lignite) also suggested that pressure could be a crucial factor affecting fractionation of carbon isotopes [17]. Under high pressure conditions, no experimental data are available describing fractionation of carbon isotope during mineral catalyzed FTT synthesis. Thus, hydrothermal experiments present an excellent opportunity to provide the requisite carbon isotope data. Such data can also be used to identify reaction pathways of abiotic organic synthesis under experimental conditions.

  17. Action of the Caenorhabditis elegans GATA factor END-1 in Xenopus suggests that similar mechanisms initiate endoderm development in ecdysozoa and vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Shoichet, Sarah A.; Malik, Talat H.; Rothman, Joel H.; Shivdasani, Ramesh A.

    2000-01-01

    In ecdysozoan protostomes, including arthropods and nematodes, transcription factors of the GATA family specify the endoderm: Drosophila dGATAb (ABF/Serpent) and Caenorhabditis elegans END-1 play important roles in generating this primary germ layer. end-1 is the earliest expressed endoderm-specific gene known in C. elegans and appears to initiate the program of gene expression required for endoderm differentiation, including a cascade of GATA factors required for development and maintenance of the intestine. Among vertebrate GATA proteins, the GATA-4/5/6 subfamily regulates aspects of late endoderm development, but a role for GATA factors in establishing the endoderm is unknown. We show here that END-1 binds to the canonical target DNA sequence WGATAR with specificity similar to that of vertebrate GATA-1 and GATA-4, and that it functions as a transcriptional activator. We exploited this activity of END-1 to demonstrate that establishment of the vertebrate endoderm, like that of invertebrate species, also appears to involve GATA transcriptional activity. Like the known vertebrate endoderm regulators Mixer and Sox17, END-1 is a potent activator of endoderm differentiation in isolated Xenopus ectoderm. Moreover, a dominant inhibitory GATA-binding fusion protein abrogates endoderm differentiation in intact embryos. By examining these effects in conjunction with those of Mixer- and Sox17β-activating and dominant inhibitory constructs, we further establish the likely relationships between GATA activity and these regulators in early development of the vertebrate endoderm. These results suggest that GATA factors may function sequentially to regulate endoderm differentiation in both protostomes and deuterostomes. PMID:10760276

  18. Tsetse immune system maturation requires the presence of obligate symbionts in larvae.

    PubMed

    Weiss, Brian L; Wang, Jingwen; Aksoy, Serap

    2011-05-01

    Beneficial microbial symbionts serve important functions within their hosts, including dietary supplementation and maintenance of immune system homeostasis. Little is known about the mechanisms that enable these bacteria to induce specific host phenotypes during development and into adulthood. Here we used the tsetse fly, Glossina morsitans, and its obligate mutualist, Wigglesworthia glossinidia, to investigate the co-evolutionary adaptations that influence the development of host physiological processes. Wigglesworthia is maternally transmitted to tsetse's intrauterine larvae through milk gland secretions. We can produce flies that lack Wigglesworthia (Gmm(Wgm-) yet retain their other symbiotic microbes. Such offspring give rise to adults that exhibit a largely normal phenotype, with the exception being that they are reproductively sterile. Our results indicate that when reared under normal environmental conditions Gmm(Wgm-) adults are also immuno-compromised and highly susceptible to hemocoelic E. coli infections while age-matched wild-type individuals are refractory. Adults that lack Wigglesworthia during larval development exhibit exceptionally compromised cellular and humoral immune responses following microbial challenge, including reduced expression of genes that encode antimicrobial peptides (cecropin and attacin), hemocyte-mediated processes (thioester-containing proteins 2 and 4 and prophenoloxidase), and signal-mediating molecules (inducible nitric oxide synthase). Furthermore, Gmm(Wgm-) adults harbor a reduced population of sessile and circulating hemocytes, a phenomenon that likely results from a significant decrease in larval expression of serpent and lozenge, both of which are associated with the process of early hemocyte differentiation. Our results demonstrate that Wigglesworthia must be present during the development of immature progeny in order for the immune system to function properly in adult tsetse. This phenomenon provides evidence of yet

  19. Chimeric creatures in Greek mythology and reflections in science.

    PubMed

    Bazopoulou-Kyrkanidou, E

    2001-04-15

    "The Chimaera" in Homer's Iliad, "was of divine stock, not of men, in the forepart a lion, in the hinder a serpent, and in the midst a goat, ellipsis Bellerophon slew her, trusting in the signs of the gods." In Hesiod's Theogony it is emphasized that "Chimaera ellipsis had three heads, one of a grim-eyed lion, another of a goat, and another of a snakeellipsis". In addition to this interspecies animal chimera, human/animal chimeras are referred to in Greek mythology, preeminent among them the Centaurs and the Minotaur. The Centaurs, as horse/men, first appear in Geometric and early Archaic art, but in the literature not until early in the fifth century B.C. The bullheaded-man Minotaur, who is not certainly attested in the literary evidence until circa 500 B.C., first appears in art about 650 B.C. Attempts, in the fourth century B.C. and thereafter, to rationalize their mythical appearance were in vain; their chimeric nature retained its fascinating and archetypal form over the centuries. Early in the 1980s, experimental sheep/goat chimeras were produced removing the reproductive barrier between these two animal species. Late in the 1990s, legal, political, ethical, and moral fights loomed over a patent bid on human/animal chimeras. Chimeric technology is recently developed; however, the concept of chimerism has existed in literary and artistic form in ancient mythology. This is yet another example where art and literature precede scientific research and development. PMID:11337752

  20. Introduction to the symposium "New frontiers from marine snakes to marine ecosystems".

    PubMed

    Lillywhite, Harvey B; Brischoux, François

    2012-08-01

    Interest in sea snakes and mythological "sea serpents" dates to ancient times and is represented in the writings of Aristotle, early voyagers, and explorers, and references in the Bible. Since then, awareness of the myriad species of snakes inhabiting the oceans has grown at a gradual pace. Scientific investigations into the biology of marine snakes-especially those in behavior, physiology, and other disciplines requiring living animals or tissues-have been comparatively challenging owing to difficulties in acquiring, transporting, handling, and husbanding these secondarily marine vertebrates. A broadening perspective with increasing interest in these animals peaked during the 1960s and 1970s, and literature from this period contributed to a growing knowledge that marine snakes comprise a very diverse fauna and are a significant part of marine ecosystems. Two persons figured prominently as influential drivers of research on sea snakes during this period, namely William Dunson and Harold Heatwole, and this symposium recognizes the contributions of these two individuals. Following a decline in scientific publications on sea snakes during the 1980s and 1990s, there has been a renaissance of scientific interest in recent years, and a wealth of new research findings has improved the understanding of phylogeny and diversity of marine snakes while simultaneously recognizing threats to marine ecosystems arising from climate change and other anthropogenic causes. The purposes of the symposium are to (1) illustrate the importance and relevance of sea snakes as contributors to better understanding a range of issues in marine biology, (2) establish and promote the use of marine systems as models for investigating conceptual issues related to environment, changing climate, and persistence of biological communities, with focus on marine snakes as novel or useful examples, (3) promote interest in sea snakes as useful organisms for study by scientists in a range of disciplines who

  1. A new species of Australotaenia (Cestoda: Proteocephalidea) from a snake in Cambodia: host switching or postcyclic parasitism in a distant region?

    PubMed

    de Chambrier, Alain; Scholz, Tomás

    2012-12-01

    Australotaenia de Chambrier et de Chambrier, 2010 has been proposed to accommodate two species of proteocephalidean cestodes from hylid frogs (Litoria spp.) in Australia. Recently, apparently congeneric cestode, for which the name A. bunthangi sp. n. is proposed, was found in the homalopsid snake Enhydris enhydris (Schneider) (Serpentes: Homalopsidae) from South-East Asia (Cambodia). This finding indicates a much wider range of definitive hosts of species of this genus, i.e. amphibians and reptiles, which is exceptional among proteocephalideans. Postcyclic parasitism, i.e. predation of the definitive host infected with sexually mature parasites, cannot be excluded but does not seem to be probable. In addition, the occurrence of A. bunthangi in the former Indochina extends the range of the geographical distribution of the genus to another zoogeographical region. The new species differs from both species of Australotaenia in the relative size of an apical organ, the diameter of which equals to that of suckers (versus much smaller in the remaining species, in which the width of the apical organ represents less than 2/3 of the diameter of the suckers), much smaller scolex and suckers (width 150 microm and diameter of suckers 50-55 microm versus 245-420 microm and 100-140 microm, respectively), and longer body (224 mm versus 57-121 mm). In addition, A. bunthangi differs from A. hylae (Johnston, 1912) (type-species of the genus) by the number of testes (46-64 versus 74-106 in A. hylae) and by the ovary width/proglottis width ratio (55-65% versus 68-71% in A. hylae). Australotaenia bunthangi differs from A. grobeli de Chambrier et de Chambrier, 2010 by relative size of the cirrus-sac (its length represents 18-24% of the width of the proglottis versus 27-33% in A. grobeli) and by the diameter of the embryophore (25-27 microm versus 18-23 microm in A. grobeli). PMID:23327009

  2. Magnetic tension of sunspot fine structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Venkatakrishnan, P.; Tiwari, Sanjiv Kumar

    2010-06-01

    Context. The equilibrium structure of sunspots depends critically on its magnetic topology and is dominated by magnetic forces. Tension force is one component of the Lorentz force, which balances the gradient of magnetic pressure in force-free configurations. Aims: We employ the tension term of the Lorentz force to clarify the structure of sunspot features like penumbral filaments, umbral light bridges, and outer penumbral fine structures. Methods: We computed the vertical component of the tension term of Lorentz force over two active regions, NOAA AR 10933 and NOAA AR 10930 observed on 5 January 2007 and 12 December 2006, respectively. The former is a simple active region while the latter is a complex one with highly sheared polarity inversion line (PIL). We obtained the vector magnetograms from Hinode(SOT/SP). Results: We find an inhomogeneous distribution of tension with both positive and negative signs in various features of the sunspots. The existence of positive tension at locations of lower field strength and higher inclination is compatible with the uncombed model of the penumbral structure. Positive tension is also seen in umbral light bridges, which could be indication of uncombed structure of the light bridge. Likewise, the upwardly directed tension associated with bipolar regions in the penumbra could be a direct confirmation of the sea serpent model of penumbral structures. Upwardly directed tension at the PIL of AR 10930 seems to be related to flux emergence. The magnitude of the tension force is greater than the force of gravity in some places, implying a nearly force-free configuration for these sunspot features. Conclusions: From our study, magnetic tension emerges as a useful diagnostic of the local equilibrium of the sunspot fine structures. Figures A.1-A.3 are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  3. pha-4 is Ce-fkh-1, a fork head/HNF-3alpha,beta,gamma homolog that functions in organogenesis of the C. elegans pharynx.

    PubMed

    Kalb, J M; Lau, K K; Goszczynski, B; Fukushige, T; Moons, D; Okkema, P G; McGhee, J D

    1998-06-01

    is regulated by elt-2, a C. elegans gut-specific GATA-factor and possible homolog of the Drosophila gene serpent, which influences fork head expression in the fly gut. Overall, our results provide evidence for a highly conserved pathway regulating formation of the digestive tract in all (triploblastic) metazoa.

  4. Deterministic Modeling of the High Temperature Test Reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Ortensi, J.; Cogliati, J. J.; Pope, M. A.; Ferrer, R. M.; Ougouag, A. M.

    2010-06-01

    Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is tasked with the development of reactor physics analysis capability of the Next Generation Nuclear Power (NGNP) project. In order to examine INL’s current prismatic reactor deterministic analysis tools, the project is conducting a benchmark exercise based on modeling the High Temperature Test Reactor (HTTR). This exercise entails the development of a model for the initial criticality, a 19 column thin annular core, and the fully loaded core critical condition with 30 columns. Special emphasis is devoted to the annular core modeling, which shares more characteristics with the NGNP base design. The DRAGON code is used in this study because it offers significant ease and versatility in modeling prismatic designs. Despite some geometric limitations, the code performs quite well compared to other lattice physics codes. DRAGON can generate transport solutions via collision probability (CP), method of characteristics (MOC), and discrete ordinates (Sn). A fine group cross section library based on the SHEM 281 energy structure is used in the DRAGON calculations. HEXPEDITE is the hexagonal z full core solver used in this study and is based on the Green’s Function solution of the transverse integrated equations. In addition, two Monte Carlo (MC) based codes, MCNP5 and PSG2/SERPENT, provide benchmarking capability for the DRAGON and the nodal diffusion solver codes. The results from this study show a consistent bias of 2–3% for the core multiplication factor. This systematic error has also been observed in other HTTR benchmark efforts and is well documented in the literature. The ENDF/B VII graphite and U235 cross sections appear to be the main source of the error. The isothermal temperature coefficients calculated with the fully loaded core configuration agree well with other benchmark participants but are 40% higher than the experimental values. This discrepancy with the measurement stems from the fact that during the experiments the

  5. Hubble Unveils Colorful and Turbulent Star-Birth Region on 100,000th Orbit Milestone

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for orientation annotation

    In commemoration of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope completing its 100,000th orbit in its 18th year of exploration and discovery, scientists at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., have aimed Hubble totake a snapshot of a dazzling region of celestial birth and renewal.

    Hubble peered into a small portion of the nebula near the star cluster NGC 2074 (upper, left). The region is a firestorm of raw stellar creation, perhaps triggered by a nearby supernova explosion. It lies about 170,000 light-years away near the Tarantula nebula, one of the most active star-forming regions in our Local Group of galaxies.

    The three-dimensional-looking image reveals dramatic ridges and valleys of dust, serpent-head 'pillars of creation,' and gaseous filaments glowing fiercely under torrential ultraviolet radiation. The region is on the edge of a dark molecular cloud that is an incubator for the birth of new stars.

    The high-energy radiation blazing out from clusters of hot young stars already born in NGC 2074 is sculpting the wall of the nebula by slowly eroding it away. Another young cluster may be hidden beneath a circle of brilliant blue gas at center, bottom.

    In this approximately 100-light-year-wide fantasy-like landscape, dark towers of dust rise above a glowing wall of gases on the surface of the molecular cloud. The seahorse-shaped pillar at lower, right is approximately 20 light-years long, roughly four times the distance between our Sun and the nearest star, Alpha Centauri.

    The region is in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite of our Milky Way galaxy. It is a fascinating laboratory for observing star-formation regions and their evolution. Dwarf galaxies like the LMC are considered to be the primitive building blocks of larger galaxies.

    This representative color image was taken on August 10, 2008, with Hubble's Wide

  6. Ophiolite suture in Central Anatolia: New insights from the Sivas Basin (Turkey)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Legeay, Etienne; Ringenbach, Jean-Claude; Mohn, Geoffroy; Kergaravat, Charlie; Callot, Jean-Paul

    2015-04-01

    -extended domains derived ophiolites. We interpret the parent body as related to the exhumation of mantle rocks along low angle detachment faults either during the rifting or the oceanic accretion. The peridotites record a high serpentization degree, increasing toward the surface. Outcropping of the mantle rocks at the sea floor is responsible for the reworking of materials as tectonosedimentary breccias (ophicalcites). The emplacement of the gabbro will be constrained by U-Pb zircon geochronology.

  7. Profiling the venom gland transcriptomes of Costa Rican snakes by 454 pyrosequencing

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background A long term research goal of venomics, of applied importance for improving current antivenom therapy, but also for drug discovery, is to understand the pharmacological potential of venoms. Individually or combined, proteomic and transcriptomic studies have demonstrated their feasibility to explore in depth the molecular diversity of venoms. In the absence of genome sequence, transcriptomes represent also valuable searchable databases for proteomic projects. Results The venom gland transcriptomes of 8 Costa Rican taxa from 5 genera (Crotalus, Bothrops, Atropoides, Cerrophidion, and Bothriechis) of pitvipers were investigated using high-throughput 454 pyrosequencing. 100,394 out of 330,010 masked reads produced significant hits in the available databases. 5.165,220 nucleotides (8.27%) were masked by RepeatMasker, the vast majority of which corresponding to class I (retroelements) and class II (DNA transposons) mobile elements. BLAST hits included 79,991 matches to entries of the taxonomic suborder Serpentes, of which 62,433 displayed similarity to documented venom proteins. Strong discrepancies between the transcriptome-computed and the proteome-gathered toxin compositions were obvious at first sight. Although the reasons underlaying this discrepancy are elusive, since no clear trend within or between species is apparent, the data indicate that individual mRNA species may be translationally controlled in a species-dependent manner. The minimum number of genes from each toxin family transcribed into the venom gland transcriptome of each species was calculated from multiple alignments of reads matched to a full-length reference sequence of each toxin family. Reads encoding ORF regions of Kazal-type inhibitor-like proteins were uniquely found in Bothriechis schlegelii and B. lateralis transcriptomes, suggesting a genus-specific recruitment event during the early-Middle Miocene. A transcriptome-based cladogram supports the large divergence between A. mexicanus

  8. Results for Phase I of the IAEA Coordinated Research Program on HTGR Uncertainties

    SciTech Connect

    Strydom, Gerhard; Bostelmann, Friederike; Yoon, Su Jong

    2015-01-01

    results. The status on the Monte Carlo modeling of the experimental VHTRC facility is also discussed. Reference results were obtained for the neutronics stand-alone cases (Ex. I-1 and Ex. I-2) using the (relatively new) Monte Carlo code Serpent, and comparisons were performed with the more established Monte Carlo codes MCNP and KENO-VI. For the thermal-fluids stand-alone cases (Ex. I-3 and I-4) the commercial CFD code CFX was utilized to obtain reference results that can be compared with lower fidelity tools.

  9. Protrusive intrusion, dehydration and polymorphism in minerals as possible reason of seismic activity, relation between ophiolite belts and seismic zonation of the territory of Armenia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harutyunyan, A. V.; Petrosyan, H. M.

    2010-05-01

    seismic zonation, location of the ophiolite belts and petrophisical section three-dimensional model of the Earth crust has been created. The full coincidence of both most seismic hazardous zones (M= 7.0-7,5) and both ophiolite belts with deep faults is noted. Comparing the results of research at high temperatures and pressures, and seismological data may somewhat highlight the formation of earthquake sources at deep horizons of the crust in the territory of Armenia. In ophiolite belts the earthquake sources up to depth of 35km (roof of serpentizied layer) may be caused by permanent protrusive intrusion of serpentized masses and their dehydration. In other regions of Armenia especially in the central flexur the earthquake sources located at the depth of 10-20km may be triggered by polymorphous transformations in minerals. Therefore, there is the possibility of earthquake source physics definition which understanding may allow to bring nearer the solution of earthquake prediction problem.

  10. Decrypting the Formation Conditions of the Basement Carbonate-Bearing Rocks at Nili Fossae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, A. J.

    2015-12-01

    The Nili Fossae region is the site of a number of proposed Landing Sites for the Mars 2020 Rover. A distinguishing feature of many of these sites is the access to large exposures of carbonate (Ehlmann et al. 2008). Serpentinization has been proposed as a formation mechanism of these carbonates, including carbonated (Brown et al. 2010, Viviano, et al. 2013) and low temperature, near surface serpentinization. The potential for carbonated serpentization at Nili Fossae links the region to Earth analogs in terrestrial greenstone belts such as the Pilbara in Western Australia, where talc-carbonate bearing komatiite cumulate units of the Dresser Formation overlie the siliceous, stromatolite-bearing Strelley Pool Chert unit (Van Kranendonk and Pirajno, 2004). If a similar relationship exists on Mars, investigations of rocks stratigraphically beneath the carbonate-bearing units at Nili Fossae ("the basement rocks") may provide the best chance to examine well preserved organic material from the Noachian. This hypothesis is testable by Mars 2020. In preparation for the the Mars 2020 landing site, we are examining the thermodynamic relationships that favor formation of serpentine and talc-carbonate and different pressures and temperatures in the crust (Barnes 2007). This will allow us to constrain the low grade metamorphism required to replicate the proposed models of serpentinisation and help us understand the regional metamophic gradient that is critical to furthering our knowledge of the ancient rocks of Nili Fossae. Refs:Barnes, S. J. "Komatiites: Petrology, Volcanology, Metamorphism, and Geochemistry." S.E.G. 13 (2007): 13. Brown, A. J., et al.. "Hydrothermal Formation of Clay-Carbonate Alteration Assemblages in the Nili Fossae Region of Mars." EPSL 297 (2010): 174-82. Ehlmann, B. L. et al. "Orbital Identification of Carbonate-Bearing Rocks on Mars." Science 322, no. 5909 1828-32. Van Kranendonk, M.J., and F. Pirajno. "Geochemistry of Metabasalts and Hydrothermal

  11. How to Steal a Million Stars?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2006-02-01

    Based on observations with ESO's Very Large Telescope, a team of Italian astronomers reports [1] that the stellar cluster Messier 12 must have lost to our Milky Way galaxy close to one million low-mass stars. ESO PR Photo 04a/06 ESO PR Photo 04a/06 The Central Part of Messier 12 "In the solar neighbourhood and in most stellar clusters, the least massive stars are the most common, and by far", said Guido De Marchi (ESA), lead author of the study. "Our observations with ESO's VLT show this is not the case for Messier 12." The team, which also includes Luigi Pulone and Francesco Paresce (INAF, Italy), measured the brightness and colours of more than 16,000 stars within the globular cluster Messier 12 [2] with the FORS1 multi-mode instrument attached to one of the Unit Telescopes of ESO's VLT at Cerro Paranal (Chile). The astronomers could study stars that are 40 million times fainter than what the unaided eye can see (magnitude 25). Located at a distance of 23,000 light years in the constellation Ophiuchus (The Serpent-holder), Messier 12 got its name by being the 12th entry in the catalogue of nebulous objects compiled in 1774 by French astronomer and comet chaser Charles Messier. It is also known to astronomers as NGC 6218 and contains about 200,000 stars, most of them having a mass between 20 and 80 percent of the mass of the Sun. "It is however clear that Messier 12 is surprisingly devoid of low-mass stars", said De Marchi. "For each solar-like star, we would expect roughly four times as many stars with half that mass. Our VLT observations only show an equal number of stars of different masses." ESO PR Photo 04b/06 ESO PR Photo 04b/06 Loosing Stars in the Milky Way Globular clusters move in extended elliptical orbits that periodically take them through the densely populated regions of our Galaxy, the plane, then high above and below, in the 'halo'. When venturing too close to the innermost and denser regions of the Milky Way, the 'bulge', a globular cluster can be

  12. The Thousand-Ruby Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2008-09-01

    ESO's Wide Field Imager has captured the intricate swirls of the spiral galaxy Messier 83, a smaller look-alike of our own Milky Way. Shining with the light of billions of stars and the ruby red glow of hydrogen gas, it is a beautiful example of a barred spiral galaxy, whose shape has led to it being nicknamed the Southern Pinwheel. Messier 83, M83 ESO PR Photo 25/08 Spiral Galaxy Messier 83 This dramatic image of the galaxy Messier 83 was captured by the Wide Field Imager at ESO's La Silla Observatory, located high in the dry desert mountains of the Chilean Atacama Desert. Messier 83 lies roughly 15 million light-years away towards the huge southern constellation of Hydra (the sea serpent). It stretches over 40 000 light-years, making it roughly 2.5 times smaller than our own Milky Way. However, in some respects, Messier 83 is quite similar to our own galaxy. Both the Milky Way and Messier 83 possess a bar across their galactic nucleus, the dense spherical conglomeration of stars seen at the centre of the galaxies. This very detailed image shows the spiral arms of Messier 83 adorned by countless bright flourishes of ruby red light. These are in fact huge clouds of glowing hydrogen gas. Ultraviolet radiation from newly born, massive stars is ionising the gas in these clouds, causing the great regions of hydrogen to glow red. These star forming regions are contrasted dramatically in this image against the ethereal glow of older yellow stars near the galaxy's central hub. The image also shows the delicate tracery of dark and winding dust streams weaving throughout the arms of the galaxy. Messier 83 was discovered by the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in the mid 18th century. Decades later it was listed in the famous catalogue of deep sky objects compiled by another French astronomer and famous comet hunter, Charles Messier. Recent observations of this enigmatic galaxy in ultraviolet light and radio waves have shown that even its outer desolate regions

  13. Clear New View of a Classic Spiral

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-05-01

    ESO is releasing a beautiful image of the nearby galaxy Messier 83 taken by the HAWK-I instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. The picture shows the galaxy in infrared light and demonstrates the impressive power of the camera to create one of the sharpest and most detailed pictures of Messier 83 ever taken from the ground. The galaxy Messier 83 (eso0825) is located about 15 million light-years away in the constellation of Hydra (the Sea Serpent). It spans over 40 000 light-years, only 40 percent the size of the Milky Way, but in many ways is quite similar to our home galaxy, both in its spiral shape and the presence of a bar of stars across its centre. Messier 83 is famous among astronomers for its many supernovae: vast explosions that end the lives of some stars. Over the last century, six supernovae have been observed in Messier 83 - a record number that is matched by only one other galaxy. Even without supernovae, Messier 83 is one of the brightest nearby galaxies, visible using just binoculars. Messier 83 has been observed in the infrared part of the spectrum using HAWK-I [1], a powerful camera on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). When viewed in infrared light most of the obscuring dust that hides much of Messier 83 becomes transparent. The brightly lit gas around hot young stars in the spiral arms is also less prominent in infrared pictures. As a result much more of the structure of the galaxy and the vast hordes of its constituent stars can be seen. This clear view is important for astronomers looking for clusters of young stars, especially those hidden in dusty regions of the galaxy. Studying such star clusters was one of the main scientific goals of these observations [2]. When compared to earlier images, the acute vision of HAWK-I reveals far more stars within the galaxy. The combination of the huge mirror of the VLT, the large field of view and great sensitivity of the camera, and the superb observing conditions

  14. Application de la methode des sous-groupes au calcul Monte-Carlo multigroupe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Nicolas

    effects of the scattering reaction consistent with the subgroup method. In this study, we generalize the Discrete Angle Technique, already proposed for homogeneous, multigroup cross sections, to isotopic cross sections on the form of probability tables. In this technique, the angular density is discretized into probability tables. Similarly to the cross-section case, a moment approach is used to compute the probability tables for the scattering cosine. (4) The introduction of a leakage model based on the B1 fundamental mode approximation. Unlike deterministic lattice packages, most Monte Carlo-based lattice physics codes do not include leakage models. However the generation of homogenized and condensed group constants (cross sections, diffusion coefficients) require the critical flux. This project has involved the development of a program into the DRAGON framework, written in Fortran 2003 and wrapped with a driver in C, the GANLIB 5. Choosing Fortran 2003 has permitted the use of some modern features, such as the definition of objects and methods, data encapsulation and polymorphism. The validation of the proposed code has been performed by comparison with other numerical methods: (1) The continuous-energy Monte Carlo method of the SERPENT code. (2) The Collision Probability (CP) method and the discrete ordinates (SN) method of the DRAGON lattice code. (3) The multigroup Monte Carlo code MORET, coupled with the DRAGON code. Benchmarks used in this work are representative of some industrial configurations encountered in reactor and criticality-safety calculations: (1)Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR) cells and assemblies. (2) Canada-Deuterium Uranium Reactors (CANDU-6) clusters. (3) Critical experiments from the ICSBEP handbook (International Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Program).

  15. The Development of WARP - A Framework for Continuous Energy Monte Carlo Neutron Transport in General 3D Geometries on GPUs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergmann, Ryan

    general 3D geometries on GPUs, but compared to production codes like Serpent and MCNP, WARP ha

  16. Latest climate changes in Romania :tornadoes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pop, Elena

    2014-05-01

    Latest climate changes in Romania :tornadoes As climate change has been considered a research priority in the European Strategy for enduring development , I have done a detailed research with my students of the new climate change that has been going on in Romania for the past decade. More precisely I have studied together with my students the phenomenon of tornadoes that have seriously affected on some occasions some our our country's locations, such as Facaeni, in the county of Ialomita, in August 2002. A quite unusual phenomenon occurred on that location situated at 44.56 degrees northern latitude and at 27.89 degrees eastern longitude, that caused severe damage to the local environment and three persons lost their lives in the process, as well as other thirty people suffering from bad injuries. The magnitude of that strong phenomenon rose on the Fujita scale at level F3 which implied wing gusts between 252-300 km/ hour . A main cause of occurrence of such a severe weather was the difference in temperature of two huge air masses, one of Polar origin, and other coming from tropical latitudes . Their crossroads was on that precise territory of Romania. The duration of the worst part of the tornado path lasted only for two minutes, but the consequences of its passage were colossal : total destruction of 33 households, and other 395 were partially damaged, 1,000 people afflicted by the devastation and 100 acres of acacia tree forest ripped off the ground. The first ever recorded tornado phenomenon in Romania was around 1894-1896, considered at that time " a freak of nature" was seen as a cloud formation abnormality , an uncontrolled force of nature that had a huge impact , and at the same time, it vanished into "thin air " fast. The most affected areas in Romania by tornadoes are the south-eastern planes where the cloud formations can create fast columns of air rotating up to 500 km/hour. The local people compared the cloud funnels created on the planes to "serpents

  17. First Super-Earth Atmosphere Analysed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-12-01

    The atmosphere around a super-Earth exoplanet has been analysed for the first time by an international team of astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope. The planet, which is known as GJ 1214b, was studied as it passed in front of its parent star and some of the starlight passed through the planet's atmosphere. We now know that the atmosphere is either mostly water in the form of steam or is dominated by thick clouds or hazes. The results will appear in the 2 December 2010 issue of the journal Nature. The planet GJ 1214b was confirmed in 2009 using the HARPS instrument on ESO's 3.6-metre telescope in Chile (eso0950) [1]. Initial findings suggested that this planet had an atmosphere, which has now been confirmed and studied in detail by an international team of astronomers, led by Jacob Bean (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), using the FORS instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope. "This is the first super-Earth to have its atmosphere analysed. We've reached a real milestone on the road toward characterising these worlds," said Bean. GJ 1214b has a radius of about 2.6 times that of the Earth and is about 6.5 times as massive, putting it squarely into the class of exoplanets known as super-Earths. Its host star lies about 40 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Ophiuchus (the Serpent Bearer). It is a faint star [2], but it is also small, which means that the size of the planet is large compared to the stellar disc, making it relatively easy to study [3]. The planet travels across the disc of its parent star once every 38 hours as it orbits at a distance of only two million kilometres: about seventy times closer than the Earth orbits the Sun. To study the atmosphere, the team observed the light coming from the star as the planet passed in front of it [4]. During these transits, some of the starlight passes through the planet's atmosphere and, depending on the chemical composition and weather on the planet, specific wavelengths of light are

  18. An update review on Commiphora molmol and related species.

    PubMed

    Tonkal, Abdulkader M D; Morsy, Tosson A

    2008-12-01

    The origins of myrrh and frankincense are traced to the Arabian Peninsula. According to Herodotus (5th century BC): "Arabia is the only country which produces frankincense, myrrh, cassia, and cinnamon.., the trees bearing the frankincense are guarded by winged serpents of small size and various colors." Diodorus Siculus wrote, in the second half of the first century BC, that "all of Arabia exudes a most delicate fragrance; even the seamen passing by Arabia can smell the strong fragrance that gives health and vigor." He also mentioned gold mines so pure that no smelting was necessary. The Magi, carrying myrrh, frankincense, and gold, came from the East: Arabia. The frankincense trade route, with transport by donkeys and later by camel caravans, reached Jerusalem and Egypt from the Dhofar region of what is today Oman, through Yemen, turning north to follow the Red Sea coast. It is likely that the same or similar species of the resin-bearing plants grew across the Red Sea in the area that is now Somalia and Ethiopia, while the collection of the gum resins was initiated in Arabia. Myrrh contributed much in the human welfare. Schistosomiasis was known in ancient Egypt since remote times. Haematuria with urinary bladder disturbances was mentioned in four Papyrus papers dated back to 1950-1900 BC, and Schistosoma ova was detected in a cirrhotic liver of a mummy from 1200 BC (Ruffer, 1910). Also, Fasciola eggs were detected in a mummy (Looss, 1896). Fascioliasis infected over 17 million people worldwide causing marked morbidity and mortality (Haseeb et al., 2002). Schistosomiasis affected over 200 million people in 74 countries and territories worldwide (WHO, 1999) causing several chronic complications. Both were incriminated to predispose or accompanied human hepatitis and predisposed to HCV (Wahib et al., 2006). Most zoonotic helminthes induced immune response (Nutman, 2001) characterized by producing of type 2 cytokines, Ig G1, IgG2, IgE antibodies and eosinophil and

  19. A Vanishing Star Revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-07-01

    unsual star in question is designated NN Serpentis , or just NN Ser . As the name indicates, it is located in the constellation of Serpens (The Serpent), about 12° north of the celestial equator. A double letter, here "NN", is used to denote variable stars [2]. It is a rather faint object of magnitude 17, about 25,000 times fainter than what can be perceived with the unaided eye. The distance is about 600 light-years (180 pc). In July 1988, Reinhold Häfner performed observations of NN Ser (at that time still known by its earlier name PG 1550+131 ) with the Danish 1.54-m telescope at La Silla. He was surprised, but also very pleased to discover that it underwent a very deep eclipse every 187 minutes. Within less than 2 minutes, the brightness dropped by a factor of more than 100 (5 magnitudes). During the next 9 minutes, the star completely disappeared from view - it was too faint to be observed with this telescope. It then again reappeared and the entire event was over after just 11 minutes. Why eclipses are so important for stellar studies An eclipse occurs when one of the stars in a binary stellar system moves in front of the other, as seen by the observer. The effect is similar to what happens during a solar eclipse when the Moon moves in front of the Sun. In both cases, the eclipse may be partial or total , depending on whether or not the eclipsed star (or the Sun) is completely hidden from view. The occurence of eclipses in stellar systems, as seen from the Earth, depends on the spatial orientation of the orbital plane and the sizes of the two stars. Two eclipses take place during one orbital revolution, but they may not both be observable. The physical properties of the two stars in a binary system (e.g., the sizes of the stars, the size and shape of the orbit, the distribution of the light on the surfaces of the stars, their temperatures etc.) can be determined from the measured "light-curve" of the system (a plot of brightness vrs. time). The stars are always

  20. An update review on Commiphora molmol and related species.

    PubMed

    Tonkal, Abdulkader M D; Morsy, Tosson A

    2008-12-01

    The origins of myrrh and frankincense are traced to the Arabian Peninsula. According to Herodotus (5th century BC): "Arabia is the only country which produces frankincense, myrrh, cassia, and cinnamon.., the trees bearing the frankincense are guarded by winged serpents of small size and various colors." Diodorus Siculus wrote, in the second half of the first century BC, that "all of Arabia exudes a most delicate fragrance; even the seamen passing by Arabia can smell the strong fragrance that gives health and vigor." He also mentioned gold mines so pure that no smelting was necessary. The Magi, carrying myrrh, frankincense, and gold, came from the East: Arabia. The frankincense trade route, with transport by donkeys and later by camel caravans, reached Jerusalem and Egypt from the Dhofar region of what is today Oman, through Yemen, turning north to follow the Red Sea coast. It is likely that the same or similar species of the resin-bearing plants grew across the Red Sea in the area that is now Somalia and Ethiopia, while the collection of the gum resins was initiated in Arabia. Myrrh contributed much in the human welfare. Schistosomiasis was known in ancient Egypt since remote times. Haematuria with urinary bladder disturbances was mentioned in four Papyrus papers dated back to 1950-1900 BC, and Schistosoma ova was detected in a cirrhotic liver of a mummy from 1200 BC (Ruffer, 1910). Also, Fasciola eggs were detected in a mummy (Looss, 1896). Fascioliasis infected over 17 million people worldwide causing marked morbidity and mortality (Haseeb et al., 2002). Schistosomiasis affected over 200 million people in 74 countries and territories worldwide (WHO, 1999) causing several chronic complications. Both were incriminated to predispose or accompanied human hepatitis and predisposed to HCV (Wahib et al., 2006). Most zoonotic helminthes induced immune response (Nutman, 2001) characterized by producing of type 2 cytokines, Ig G1, IgG2, IgE antibodies and eosinophil and

  1. The Development of WARP - A Framework for Continuous Energy Monte Carlo Neutron Transport in General 3D Geometries on GPUs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergmann, Ryan

    general 3D geometries on GPUs, but compared to production codes like Serpent and MCNP, WARP has limited capabilities. Despite WARP's lack of features, its novel algorithm implementations show that high performance can be achieved on a GPU despite the inherently divergent program flow and sparse data access patterns. WARP is not ready for everyday nuclear reactor calculations, but is a good platform for further development of GPU-accelerated Monte Carlo neutron transport. In it's current state, it may be a useful tool for multiplication factor searches, i.e. determining reactivity coefficients by perturbing material densities or temperatures, since these types of calculations typically do not require many flux tallies. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

  2. A Vanishing Star Revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-07-01

    unsual star in question is designated NN Serpentis , or just NN Ser . As the name indicates, it is located in the constellation of Serpens (The Serpent), about 12° north of the celestial equator. A double letter, here "NN", is used to denote variable stars [2]. It is a rather faint object of magnitude 17, about 25,000 times fainter than what can be perceived with the unaided eye. The distance is about 600 light-years (180 pc). In July 1988, Reinhold Häfner performed observations of NN Ser (at that time still known by its earlier name PG 1550+131 ) with the Danish 1.54-m telescope at La Silla. He was surprised, but also very pleased to discover that it underwent a very deep eclipse every 187 minutes. Within less than 2 minutes, the brightness dropped by a factor of more than 100 (5 magnitudes). During the next 9 minutes, the star completely disappeared from view - it was too faint to be observed with this telescope. It then again reappeared and the entire event was over after just 11 minutes. Why eclipses are so important for stellar studies An eclipse occurs when one of the stars in a binary stellar system moves in front of the other, as seen by the observer. The effect is similar to what happens during a solar eclipse when the Moon moves in front of the Sun. In both cases, the eclipse may be partial or total , depending on whether or not the eclipsed star (or the Sun) is completely hidden from view. The occurence of eclipses in stellar systems, as seen from the Earth, depends on the spatial orientation of the orbital plane and the sizes of the two stars. Two eclipses take place during one orbital revolution, but they may not both be observable. The physical properties of the two stars in a binary system (e.g., the sizes of the stars, the size and shape of the orbit, the distribution of the light on the surfaces of the stars, their temperatures etc.) can be determined from the measured "light-curve" of the system (a plot of brightness vrs. time). The stars are always

  3. SINFONI Opens with Upbeat Chords

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2004-08-01

    displays very broad lines of ionized hydrogen (the Brackett-gamma line) and helium. This emission arises in the "Broad-Line" region which is still unresolved, as shown by the Brackett-gamma image. On the other hand, the molecular hydrogen extends up to 650 light-years from the centre and shows an ordered rotation. In contrast, the image obtained in the light of CO-molecules - which directly traces late-type stars typical for starbursts - appears very compact. These results confirm those obtained by means of earlier AO observations, but with the new SINFONI data corresponding to various spectral lines, the detailed, two-dimensional structure and motions close to the central black hole are now clearly revealed for the first time. Appendix F: The Galaxy Merger NGC 6240 ESO PR Photo 24n/04 ESO PR Photo 24n/04 SINFONI Observations of NGC 6240 [Preview - JPEG: 506 x 400 pix - 96k] [Normal - JPEG: 1011 x 800 pix - 277k] Caption: ESO PR Photo 24n/04: The galaxy merger system NGC 6240 was observed with SINFONI in the K-band (wavelength 2 µm). This object has two nuclei; the image of the southern one is also shown enlarged, together with the corresponding spectrum. The width of each slitlet was 0.025 arcsec and the seeing was 0.8 arcsec. The total integration time on the galaxy was 80 min. The false-colours in the images represent regions of different surface brightness. The infrared-luminous galaxy NGC 6240 in the constellation Ophiuchus (The Serpent-holder) is in many ways the prototype of a gas-rich, infrared-(ultra-)luminous galaxy merger. This system has two rapidly rotating, massive bulges/nuclei at a projected angular separation of 1.6 arcsec. Each of them contains a powerful starburst region and a luminous, highly obscured, X-ray-emitting supermassive black hole. As such, NGC 6240 is probably a nearby example of dust and gas-rich galaxy merger systems seen at larger distances. NGC6240 is also the most luminous, nearby source of molecular hydrogen emission. It was observed