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Sample records for jararaca serpentes viperidae

  1. A nesting of vipers: Phylogeny and historical biogeography of the Viperidae (Squamata: Serpentes).

    PubMed

    Wüster, Wolfgang; Peppin, Lindsay; Pook, Catharine E; Walker, Daniel E

    2008-11-01

    Despite their medical interest, the phylogeny of the snake family Viperidae remains inadequately understood. Previous studies have generally focused either on the pitvipers (Crotalinae) or on the Old World vipers (Viperinae), but there has been no comprehensive molecular study of the Viperidae as a whole, leaving the affinities of key taxa unresolved. Here, we infer the phylogenetic relationships among the extant genera of the Viperidae from the sequences of four mitochondrial genes (cytochrome b, NADH subunit 4, 16S and 12S rRNA). The results confirm Azemiops as the sister group of the Crotalinae, whereas Causus is nested within the Viperinae, and thus not a basal viperid or viperine. Relationships among the major clades of Viperinae remain poorly resolved despite increased sequence information compared to previous studies. Bayesian molecular dating in conjunction with dispersal-vicariance analysis suggests an early Tertiary origin in Asia for the crown group Viperidae, and rejects suggestions of a relatively recent, early to mid-Tertiary origin of the Caenophidia.

  2. 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.

  3. Annual cycle of plasma testosterone in male copperheads, Agkistrodon contortrix (Serpentes, Viperidae): relationship to timing of spermatogenesis, mating, and agonistic behavior.

    PubMed

    Schuett, G W; Harlow, H J; Rose, J D; Van Kirk, E A; Murdoch, W J

    1997-03-01

    Reproductive cycles of the majority of squamate reptiles remain undescribed. Few studies are available on seasonal patterns of circulating steroid hormones in snakes. The goal of this study was to document the annual cycle of plasma testosterone (T) in male copperheads Agkistrodon contortrix, a North American pitviper (Serpentes, Viperidae). Two experimental conditions were used in this laboratory study. One condition (repeat-test group) consisted of 10 adult males that were sampled once each month for 11 months. The other condition (single-test groups) consisted of 10 groups each with 5 males (N = 50), and each male was tested a single time. The single-test condition was used to evaluate whether or not repeated handling and sampling affected T levels. The study was conducted from February-December, 1992. A well-defined seasonal pattern of plasma T levels was detected; patterns were similar under both experimental conditions with the exception that the repeat-test group had slightly lower levels. Levels of T were lowest (baseline) in April-May, increased in early summer (June), and were highest in late summer (August). Thereafter, T levels declined up to the time of hibernation (early November) and changed little during hibernation (November-January). Upon emergence from hibernation in late winter (February), T levels increased sharply from February to March and then decreased from March to April. The results are discussed in the context of timing of spermatogenesis, mating, and male agonistic behavior.

  4. 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

    2016-04-04

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. The Evolutionary Implications of Hemipenial Morphology of Rattlesnake Crotalus durissus terrificus (Laurent, 1768) (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae)

    PubMed Central

    Porto, Marcovan; de Oliveira, Marco Antonio; Pissinatti, Lorenzo; Rodrigues, Renata Lopes; Rojas-Moscoso, Julio Alejandro; Cogo, José Carlos; Metze, Konradin; Antunes, Edson; Nahoum, César; Mónica, Fabíola Z.; De Nucci, Gilberto

    2013-01-01

    Most amniotes vertebrates have an intromittent organ to deliver semen. The reptile Sphenodon and most birds lost the ancestral penis and developed a cloaca-cloaca mating. Known as hemipenises, the copulatory organ of Squamata shows unique features between the amniotes intromittent organ. They are the only paired intromittent organs across amniotes and are fully inverted and encapsulated in the tail when not in use. The histology and ultrastructure of the hemipenes of Crotalus durissus rattlesnake is described as the evolutionary implications of the main features discussed. The organization of hemipenis of Crotalus durissus terrificus in two concentric corpora cavernosa is similar to other Squamata but differ markedly from the organization of the penis found in crocodilians, testudinata, birds and mammals. Based on the available data, the penis of the ancestral amniotes was made of connective tissue and the incorporation of smooth muscle in the framework of the sinusoids occurred independently in mammals and Crotalus durissus. The propulsor action of the muscle retractor penis basalis was confirmed and therefore the named should be changed to musculus hemipenis propulsor.The retractor penis magnus found in Squamata has no homology to the retractor penis of mammals, although both are responsible for the retraction of the copulatory organ. PMID:23840551

  7. The Evolutionary Implications of Hemipenial Morphology of Rattlesnake Crotalus durissus terrificus (Laurent, 1768) (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae).

    PubMed

    Porto, Marcovan; de Oliveira, Marco Antonio; Pissinatti, Lorenzo; Rodrigues, Renata Lopes; Rojas-Moscoso, Julio Alejandro; Cogo, José Carlos; Metze, Konradin; Antunes, Edson; Nahoum, César; Mónica, Fabíola Z; De Nucci, Gilberto

    2013-01-01

    Most amniotes vertebrates have an intromittent organ to deliver semen. The reptile Sphenodon and most birds lost the ancestral penis and developed a cloaca-cloaca mating. Known as hemipenises, the copulatory organ of Squamata shows unique features between the amniotes intromittent organ. They are the only paired intromittent organs across amniotes and are fully inverted and encapsulated in the tail when not in use. The histology and ultrastructure of the hemipenes of Crotalus durissus rattlesnake is described as the evolutionary implications of the main features discussed. The organization of hemipenis of Crotalus durissus terrificus in two concentric corpora cavernosa is similar to other Squamata but differ markedly from the organization of the penis found in crocodilians, testudinata, birds and mammals. Based on the available data, the penis of the ancestral amniotes was made of connective tissue and the incorporation of smooth muscle in the framework of the sinusoids occurred independently in mammals and Crotalus durissus. The propulsor action of the muscle retractor penis basalis was confirmed and therefore the named should be changed to musculus hemipenis propulsor.The retractor penis magnus found in Squamata has no homology to the retractor penis of mammals, although both are responsible for the retraction of the copulatory organ.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Richard Owen and the sea-serpent.

    PubMed

    Regal, Brian

    2012-06-01

    The well known naturalist, Richard Owen, had a career long engagement with monstrous creatures. In the 1830s he famously christened large fossil reptiles, Dinosauria. He investigated fossil marine reptiles as well as the giant moa. He also looked into the sea-serpents and sea monsters then drawing wide public attention. He actively collected letters and analyzed correspondence on the topic, consulted with the admiralty on reports of Royal Navy encounters and sightings, and commented in the public press. He concluded that such reports were based upon misidentifications of whales and other large marine mammals, and not run-ins with mythological creatures. His work on the sea-serpent shows that rather than discount the idea out of hand, a number of high profile naturalists were intrigued by monsters and attempted to understand what they were. His work is key to understanding the skepticism over monsters held by modern mainstream science. This skepticism opened the field to later amateur investigators.

  15. Kallikrein-kinin system in the plasma of the snake Bothrops jararaca.

    PubMed Central

    Abdalla, F. M.; Hiraichi, E.; Picarelli, Z. P.; Prezoto, B. C.

    1989-01-01

    1. Bothrops jararaca venom (BJV) caused a fall in the carotid artery blood pressure of the anaesthetized snake. This effect was tachyphylactic and was potentiated by captopril, a kininase II inhibitor; it was partially antagonized by promethazine plus cimetidine and was not affected by atropine. 2. Similar hypotensive effects were obtained by administration of trypsin or a partially purified BJV kininogenase to the snake. 3. Incubation of Bothrops jararaca plasma (BJP) with trypsin released a substance (or substances) that produced hypotension in the snake but not in the rat; this hypotensive effect was also potentiated by captopril. 4. The trypsinised plasma contracted Bothrops jararaca isolated uterus, a pharmacological preparation weakly sensitive to bradykinin. Trypsinised plasma was inactive on pigeon oviduct and rat uterus and displayed a weak action on the guinea-pig ileum. Similar effects were observed with incubates of a fraction of BJP, containing globulins, with a partially purified BJV kininogenase. 5. Like mammalian kinins, the substance(s) was(were) dialysable, thermostable in acid but not in alkaline pH, and inactivated by chymotrypsin but not by trypsin. Its(their) inactivation by BJP or BJP kininase II was inhibited by captopril. 6. These findings strongly suggest that, besides releasing histamine, BJV or trypsin release a kininlike substance (or substances) from the snake plasma. 7. Since BJV and other kininogenases active on mammalian plasma were shown to be unable to release kinins from BJP, in experiments conducted on pharmacological preparations suitable for the assay of mammalian kinins, these data also suggest that the snake Bothrops jararaca, like birds, may have developed its own kallikrein-kinin system. PMID:2804549

  16. A Transcriptomic View of the Proteome Variability of Newborn and Adult Bothrops jararaca Snake Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Zelanis, André; Andrade-Silva, Débora; Rocha, Marisa M.; Furtado, Maria F.; Serrano, Solange M. T.; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L. M.; Ho, Paulo Lee

    2012-01-01

    Background Snake bite is a neglected public health problem in communities in rural areas of several countries. Bothrops jararaca causes many snake bites in Brazil and previous studies have demonstrated that the pharmacological activities displayed by its venom undergo a significant ontogenetic shift. Similarly, the venom proteome of B. jararaca exhibits a considerable variation upon neonate to adult transition, which is associated with changes in diet from ectothermic prey in early life to endothermic prey in adulthood. Moreover, it has been shown that the Brazilian commercial antibothropic antivenom, which is produced by immunization with adult venom, is less effective in neutralizing newborn venom effects. On the other hand, venom gland transcripts of newborn snakes are poorly known since all transcriptomic studies have been carried out using mRNA from adult specimens. Methods/Principal Findings Here we analyzed venom gland cDNA libraries of newborn and adult B. jararaca in order to evaluate whether the variability demonstrated for its venom proteome and pharmacological activities was correlated with differences in the structure of toxin transcripts. The analysis revealed that the variability in B. jararaca venom gland transcriptomes is quantitative, as illustrated by the very high content of metalloproteinases in the newborn venom glands. Moreover, the variability is also characterized by the structural diversity of SVMP precursors found in newborn and adult transcriptomes. In the adult transcriptome, however, the content of metalloproteinase precursors considerably diminishes and the number of transcripts of serine proteinases, C-type lectins and bradykinin-potentiating peptides increase. Moreover, the comparison of the content of ESTs encoding toxins in adult male and female venom glands showed some gender-related differences. Conclusions/Significance We demonstrate a substantial shift in toxin transcripts upon snake development and a marked decrease in the

  17. An in-depth snake venom proteopeptidome characterization: Benchmarking Bothrops jararaca.

    PubMed

    Nicolau, Carolina A; Carvalho, Paulo C; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L M; Teixeira-Ferreira, André; Junqueira, Magno; Perales, Jonas; Neves-Ferreira, Ana Gisele C; Valente, Richard H

    2017-01-16

    A large-scale proteomic approach was devised to advance the understanding of venom composition. Bothrops jararaca venom was fractionated by OFFGEL followed by chromatography, generating peptidic and proteic fractions. The latter was submitted to trypsin digestion. Both fractions were separately analyzed by reversed-phase nanochromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry. This strategy allowed deeper and joint characterizations of the peptidome and proteome (proteopeptidome) of this venom. Our results lead to the identification of 46 protein classes (with several uniquely assigned proteins per class) comprising eight high-abundance bona fide venom components, and 38 additional classes in smaller quantities. This last category included previously described B. jararaca venom proteins, common Elapidae venom constituents (cobra venom factor and three-finger toxin), and proteins typically encountered in lysosomes, cellular membranes and blood plasma. Furthermore, this report is the most complete snake venom peptidome described so far, both in number of peptides and in variety of unique proteins that could have originated them. It is hypothesized that such diversity could enclose cryptides, whose bioactivities would contribute to envenomation in yet undetermined ways. Finally, we propose that the broad range screening of B. jararaca peptidome will facilitate the discovery of bioactive molecules, eventually leading to valuable therapeutical agents.

  18. 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

  19. 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)

  20. Comparative pathology of parasitic infections in free-ranging and captive pit vipers (Bothrops jararaca).

    PubMed

    Grego, K Fernandes; Gardiner, C H; Catão-Dias, J L

    2004-05-01

    Between June 1997 and May 1998, 47 pit vipers (Bothrops jararaca) (Group A) were euthanased when they were brought to the Instituto Butantan by farmers, and examined postmortem; during the same period, 91 snakes of the same species (group B) were examined after they had died in an outdoor serpentarium. The majority of the parasites encountered were nematodes; lungworms, Rhabdias vellardi, and the intestinal hookworm Kalicephalus inermis were the most common. Some of the snakes in group A were heavily infested, but their lesions were mild, whereas in group B the parasites were generally accompanied by severe lesions. The parasites with a direct life cycle were more common than those with obligatory intermediate hosts, and the snakes were more commonly infected during the hotter and more humid seasons.

  1. Effects of neutrophil depletion in the local pathological alterations and muscle regeneration in mice injected with Bothrops jararaca snake venom

    PubMed Central

    Teixeira, Catarina F P; Chaves, Fernando; Zamunér, Stella R; Fernandes, Cristina M; Zuliani, Juliana P; Cruz-Hofling, María Alice; Fernandes, Irene; Gutiérrez, José María

    2005-01-01

    In order to study the role of neutrophils in the acute local pathological alterations induced by Bothrops jararaca snake venom, and in the process of skeletal muscle regeneration that follows, an experimental model was developed in mice pretreated with either an anti-mouse granulocyte rat monoclonal immunoglobulin G, which induces a profound neutropenia, or an isotype-matched control antibody. B. jararaca venom induced prominent haemorrhage and oedema, but only a moderate myonecrosis. No significant differences were observed in the extent of local haemorrhage, oedema and myonecrosis between neutropenic and control mice, suggesting that neutrophils do not play a determinant role in the acute pathological alterations induced by B. jararaca venom in this experimental model. Moreover, no differences were observed in skeletal muscle regeneration between these two experimental groups. In both the cases, limited areas of myonecrosis were associated with a drastic damage to the microvasculature and a scarce inflammatory infiltrate, with the consequent lack of removal of necrotic debris during the first week, resulting in a poor regenerative response at this time interval. Subsequently, a similar regenerative process occurred in both groups, and by 30 days, necrotic areas were substituted by groups of small regenerating muscle fibres. It is suggested that the drastic effect exerted by B. jararaca venom in the microvasculature precludes an effective access of inflammatory cells to necrotic areas, thereby compromising an effective removal of necrotic debris; this explains the poor regenerative response observed during the first week and the fact that there were no differences between neutropenic and control mice. As neutropenia in this model lasted only 7 days, the successful regenerative process observed at 30 days is associated with revascularization of necrotic regions and with a successful removal by phagocytes of necrotic debris in both groups. PMID:15810982

  2. Morphometric and phylogenetic analyses of Serpentirhabdias viperidicus n. sp. (Nematoda: Rhabdiasidae) from the lancehead snake Bothrops moojeni Hoge, 1966 (Reptilia: Serpentes: Viperidae) in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Morais, D H; Aguiar, A; Müller, M I; Narciso, R B; da Silva, L A F; da Silva, R J

    2017-05-01

    Serpentirhabdias viperidicus n. sp. (Nematoda: Rhabdiasidae) is described from the lungs of the 'Brazilian lancehead' Bothrops moojeni (Hoge, 1966) from the savannah in São Paulo State, Brazil. The new species is the eighth species of Serpentirhabdias described in the Neotropical region, and differs from other species mainly by a combination of characters: lips slightly notable, presence of fine striations at posterior ends, presence of two parallel lines with intercalated pores, a pore-shaped phasmid situated at the level of the anal aperture and another two in the posterior half of the tail. It is the first species of Serpentirhabdias reported in this snake host and the second species of this genus found parasitizing South American viperidian snakes. Molecular phylogenetic analysis using ribosomal (ITS and 28S partial) genes confirms Serpentirhabdias viperidicus n. sp. as a new species that clustered in the Serpentirhabdias clade, sister taxon to Serpentirhabdias fuscovenosa and Serpentirhabdias elaphe. This is the first description of Serpentirhabdias species from Brazil using molecular approaches and morphological characters to confirm the monophyly of this recent genus.

  3. 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.

  4. Chromatin supraorganization, DNA fragmentation, and cell death in erythrocytes of the rattlesnake, Crotalus durissus terrificus (Serpentes, Viperidae), infected with the protozoan, Hepatozoon spp. (Apicomplexa, Hepatozoidae).

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, Maristela; Mello, Maria Luiza S

    2007-05-01

    Forms of the protozoan of the Hepatozoon genus are detected free in the circulation and also within some of the erythrocytes of infected snakes. In healthy snakes, DNA fragmentation and cell death usually affect a few circulating erythrocytes in agreement with the long life span expected for these cells. In the present study we investigated whether infection by Hepatozoon spp. affected the incidence of DNA fragmentation and cell death in erythrocytes from the rattlesnake, Crotalus durissus terrificus. Methods such as the kinetics of Feulgen-DNA hydrolysis, and the TUNEL and comet assays, previously used for the study of chromatin organization and DNA fragmentation in erythrocytes of healthy snakes, were used. The results indicated that Hepatozoon spp. increased the DNA fragmentation and chromatin condensation typical of cell death in circulating erythrocytes of C. d. terrificus, including cells that do not harbour the parasite. The Hepatozoon infection is thus suggested to accelerate destruction of erythrocytes in the rattlesnake, not only affecting cells harbouring the parasite, but also in those without it.

  5. Winter profile of plasma sex steroid levels in free-living male western diamond-backed rattlesnakes, Crotalus atrox (Serpentes: Viperidae).

    PubMed

    Schuett, Gordon W; Repp, Roger A; Taylor, Emily N; DeNardo, Dale F; Earley, Ryan L; Van Kirk, Edward A; Murdoch, William J

    2006-10-01

    Recent field studies on the reproductive ecology of western diamond-backed rattlesnakes (Crotalus atrox) from populations in southern Arizona showed significant differences in the concentration of plasma sex steroids (testosterone, T; 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone, DHT; and 17beta-estradiol, E2) throughout the active season (March-October), and peak levels were coincident with the two mating periods (late summer and early spring). There is, however, no information on levels of sex steroids during winter. Similar to most snakes, hibernating individuals of C. atrox are typically inaccessible, but in southern Arizona, where environmental conditions are typically mild during winter, adult males frequently bask at or near the entrances of communal dens. Basking activity, therefore, offers a unique logistical opportunity to assess the complete annual profile of plasma sex steroid levels in males of a temperate reptile in nature. From November to February, we measured levels of plasma T, DHT, and E2 in adult male C. atrox that were located basking at communal dens. Additionally, cloacal, core body, and ambient air temperatures were obtained to investigate potential relationships between body temperatures and levels of sex steroids. Mean levels of T, DHT, and E2 were relatively high, and the concentration hierarchy was T>DHT>E2. Mean levels of T, DHT, and E2 showed no significant variation across the four months of sampling; however, E2 levels decreased progressively. In the annul cycle, sex steroid levels during winter were not basal when compared to values obtained during the active season. Mean cloacal temperatures of basking males were significantly higher than core body temperatures of non-basking males (inside dens) from November-December, and in February, which suggests that one function of winter basking is to elevate body temperatures. Steroid levels, nonetheless, were not significantly correlated with cloacal temperatures. We suggest that future field studies of male C. atrox should: (a) investigate sex steroid levels in non-basking individuals and (b) test whether elevated levels of sex steroids during winter facilitate the large increases that occur in early spring, which are coincident with the second mating season. Our findings on the reproductive biology of C. atrox and other viperids are discussed in the context of the associated-dissociated model of reproduction.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Differences between renal effects of venom from two Bothrops jararaca populations from southeastern and southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Jorge, Roberta Jeane Bezerra; Jorge, Antônio Rafael Coelho; de Menezes, Ramon Róseo Paula Pessoa Bezerra; Mello, Clarissa Perdigão; Lima, Danya Bandeira; Silveira, João Alison de Moraes; Alves, Natacha Teresa Queiroz; Marinho, Aline Diogo; Ximenes, Rafael Matos; Corrêa-Netto, Carlos; Gonçalves Machado, Larissa; Zingali, Russolina Benedeta; Martins, Alice Maria Costa; Monteiro, Helena Serra Azul

    2017-01-01

    Components from animal venoms may vary according to the snake's age, gender and region of origin. Recently, we performed a proteomic analysis of Bothrops jararaca venom from southern (BjSv) and southeastern (BjSEv) Brazil, showing differences in the venom composition, as well as its biological activity. To continue the study, we report in this short communication the different effects induced by the BjSEv and BjSv on isolated kidney and MDCK renal cells. BjSEv decreased perfusion pressure (PP) and renal vascular resistance (RVR) and increased urinary flow (UF) and glomerular filtration rate (GFR), while BjSv did not alter PP and RVR and reduced UF and GFR. Both types of venom, more expressively BjSEv, reduced %TNa(+), %TK(+) and %Cl(-). In MDCK cells, the two types of venom showed cytotoxicity with IC50 of 1.22 μg/mL for BjSv and 1.18 μg/mL for BjSEv and caused different profiles of cell death, with BjSv being more necrotic. In conclusion, we suggest that BjSv is more nephrotoxic than BjSEv.

  10. Ultrastructure of five Euglena species positioned in the subdivision Serpentes.

    PubMed

    Kusel-Fetzmann, Elsa; Weidinger, Marieluise

    2008-11-01

    Within the genus Euglena, the subgroup "Serpentes" is characterised by species with long, slim cell bodies, which move without flagellum by snake-like locomotion in the detritus or in the mud, or swim freely in the water with a flagellum. Two major groups can be distinguished. The first is centred around the species Euglena satelles, with Euglena carterae, Euglena adhaerens and others, and is characterised by a straight-ended anterior part of the cell without a protruding flagellum. The second group is centred around the species Euglena deses, with its varieties, and Euglena ehrenbergii, and is characterised by a lateral canal opening at the anterior end with one flagellum protruding sideways. The representatives of the whole Serpentes group have various (15-30) large chloroplasts containing characteristic naked pyrenoids. The exception is Euglena ehrenbergii, which possesses innumerable small chloroplasts without pyrenoids. To better characterise this whole subgroup, to better taxonomically distinguish between the diverse species and to provide a basis for further molecular-genetic analysis of the phylogeny of and relationship between the Euglena species, we used transmission and scanning electron microscopy to investigate the five selected species. One important distinguishing feature among the species is the form of the pellicle. It can differ in thickness or cross-sectional shape (e.g. A-, M-or plateau-like shape) and can have various arrangements of microtubules and endoplasmic reticulum mucus vesicles. We show that the group is more heterogeneous than expected and that some species have very individual features that poorly fit into a common Serpentes group, particularly the above-mentioned Euglena ehrenbergii. Euglena carterae, formerly named Euglena deses var. carterae, with its typical straight-ended canal opening, does not fit into the Euglena deses varieties, as has already been confirmed by molecular genetic methods.

  11. A prothrombin activator from Bothrops erythromelas (jararaca-da-seca) snake venom: characterization and molecular cloning.

    PubMed

    Silva, Márcia B; Schattner, Mirta; Ramos, Celso R R; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L M; Guarnieri, Míriam C; Lazzari, María A; Sampaio, Claudio A M; Pozner, Roberto G; Ventura, Janaina S; Ho, Paulo L; Chudzinski-Tavassi, Ana M

    2003-01-01

    A novel prothrombin activator enzyme, which we have named 'berythractivase', was isolated from Bothrops erythromelas (jararaca-da-seca) snake venom. Berythractivase was purified by a single cation-exchange-chromatography step on a Resource S (Amersham Biosciences) column. The overall purification (31-fold) indicates that berythractivase comprises about 5% of the crude venom. It is a single-chain protein with a molecular mass of 78 kDa. SDS/PAGE of prothrombin after activation by berythractivase showed fragment patterns similar to those generated by group A prothrombin activators, which convert prothrombin into meizothrombin, independent of the prothrombinase complex. Chelating agents, such as EDTA and o -phenanthroline, rapidly inhibited the enzymic activity of berythractivase, like a typical metalloproteinase. Human fibrinogen A alpha-chain was slowly digested only after longer incubation with berythractivase, and no effect on the beta- or gamma-chains was observed. Berythractivase was also capable of triggering endothelial proinflammatory and procoagulant cell responses. von Willebrand factor was released, and the surface expression of both intracellular adhesion molecule-1 and E-selectin was up-regulated by berythractivase in cultured human umbilical-vein endothelial cells. The complete berythractivase cDNA was cloned from a B. erythromelas venom-gland cDNA library. The cDNA sequence possesses 2330 bp and encodes a preproprotein with significant sequence similarity to many other mature metalloproteinases reported from snake venoms. Berythractivase contains metalloproteinase, desintegrin-like and cysteine-rich domains. However, berythractivase did not elicit any haemorrhagic response. These results show that, although the primary structure of berythractivase is related to that of snake-venom haemorrhagic metalloproteinases and functionally similar to group A prothrombin activators, it is a prothrombin activator devoid of haemorrhagic activity. This is a feature

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Cell adhesion molecules involved in the leukocyte recruitment induced by venom of the snake Bothrops jararaca.

    PubMed Central

    Zamuner, Stella R; Teixeira, Catarina F P

    2002-01-01

    It has been shown that Bothrops jararaca venom (BjV) induces a significant leukocyte accumulation, mainly neutrophils, at the local of tissue damage. Therefore, the role of the adhesion molecules intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), LECAM-1, CD18, leukocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) and platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1) on the BjV-induced neutrophil accumulation and the correlation with release of LTB4, TXA2, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1 and IL-6 have been investigated. Anti-mouse LECAM-1, LFA-1, ICAM-1 and PECAM-1 monoclonal antibody injection resulted in a reduction of 42%, 80%, 66% and 67%, respectively, of neutrophil accumulation induced by BjV (250 microg/kg, intraperitoneal) injection in male mice compared with isotype-matched control injected animals. The anti-mouse CD18 monoclonal antibody had no significant effect on venom-induced neutrophil accumulation. Concentrations of LTB(4), TXA(2), IL-6 and TNF-alpha were significant increased in the peritoneal exudates of animals injected with venom, whereas no increment in IL-1 was detected. This results suggest that ICAM-1, LECAM-1, LFA-1 and PECAM-1, but not CD18, adhesion molecules are involved in the recruitment of neutrophils into the inflammatory site induced by BjV. This is the first in vivo evidence that snake venom is able to up-regulate the expression of adhesion molecules by both leukocytes and endothelial cells. This venom effect may be indirect, probably through the release of the inflammatory mediators evidenced in the present study. PMID:12581499

  15. 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.

  16. Inhibitory Effects of Hydroethanolic Leaf Extracts of Kalanchoe brasiliensis and Kalanchoe pinnata (Crassulaceae) against Local Effects Induced by Bothrops jararaca Snake Venom.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Júlia Morais; Félix-Silva, Juliana; da Cunha, Lorena Medeiros; Gomes, Jacyra Antunes Dos Santos; Siqueira, Emerson Michell da Silva; Gimenes, Luisa Possamai; Lopes, Norberto Peporine; Soares, Luiz Alberto Lira; Fernandes-Pedrosa, Matheus de Freitas; Zucolotto, Silvana Maria

    2016-01-01

    The species Kalanchoe brasiliensis and Kalanchoe pinnata, both known popularly as "Saião," are used interchangeably in traditional medicine for their antiophidic properties. Studies evaluating the anti-venom activity of these species are scarce. This study aims to characterize the chemical constituents and evaluate the inhibitory effects of hydroethanolic leaf extracts of K. brasiliensis and K. pinnata against local effects induced by Bothrops jararaca snake venom. Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) and High Performance Liquid Chromatography coupled with Diode Array Detection and Electrospray Mass Spectrometry (HPLC-DAD-MS/MS) were performed for characterization of chemical markers of the extracts from these species. For antiophidic activity evaluation, B. jararaca venom-induced paw edema and skin hemorrhage in mice were evaluated. In both models, hydroethanolic extracts (125-500 mg/kg) were administered intraperitoneally in different protocols. Inhibition of phospholipase enzymatic activity of B. jararaca was evaluated. The HPLC-DAD-MS/MS chromatographic profile of extracts showed some particularities in the chemical profile of the two species. K. brasileinsis exhibited major peaks that have UV spectra similar to flavonoid glycosides derived from patuletin and eupafolin, while K. pinnata showed UV spectra similar to flavonoids glycosides derived from quercetin and kaempferol. Both extracts significantly reduced the hemorrhagic activity of B. jararaca venom in pre-treatment protocol, reaching about 40% of inhibition, while only K. pinnata was active in post-treatment protocol (about 30% of inhibition). In the antiedematogenic activity, only K. pinnata was active, inhibiting about 66% and 30% in pre and post-treatment protocols, respectively. Both extracts inhibited phospholipase activity; however, K. pinnata was more active. In conclusion, the results indicate the potential antiophidic activity of Kalanchoe species against local effects induced by B. jararaca snake

  17. Inhibitory Effects of Hydroethanolic Leaf Extracts of Kalanchoe brasiliensis and Kalanchoe pinnata (Crassulaceae) against Local Effects Induced by Bothrops jararaca Snake Venom

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes, Júlia Morais; Félix-Silva, Juliana; da Cunha, Lorena Medeiros; Gomes, Jacyra Antunes dos Santos; Siqueira, Emerson Michell da Silva; Gimenes, Luisa Possamai; Lopes, Norberto Peporine; Soares, Luiz Alberto Lira; Fernandes-Pedrosa, Matheus de Freitas; Zucolotto, Silvana Maria

    2016-01-01

    The species Kalanchoe brasiliensis and Kalanchoe pinnata, both known popularly as “Saião,” are used interchangeably in traditional medicine for their antiophidic properties. Studies evaluating the anti-venom activity of these species are scarce. This study aims to characterize the chemical constituents and evaluate the inhibitory effects of hydroethanolic leaf extracts of K. brasiliensis and K. pinnata against local effects induced by Bothrops jararaca snake venom. Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) and High Performance Liquid Chromatography coupled with Diode Array Detection and Electrospray Mass Spectrometry (HPLC-DAD-MS/MS) were performed for characterization of chemical markers of the extracts from these species. For antiophidic activity evaluation, B. jararaca venom-induced paw edema and skin hemorrhage in mice were evaluated. In both models, hydroethanolic extracts (125–500 mg/kg) were administered intraperitoneally in different protocols. Inhibition of phospholipase enzymatic activity of B. jararaca was evaluated. The HPLC-DAD-MS/MS chromatographic profile of extracts showed some particularities in the chemical profile of the two species. K. brasileinsis exhibited major peaks that have UV spectra similar to flavonoid glycosides derived from patuletin and eupafolin, while K. pinnata showed UV spectra similar to flavonoids glycosides derived from quercetin and kaempferol. Both extracts significantly reduced the hemorrhagic activity of B. jararaca venom in pre-treatment protocol, reaching about 40% of inhibition, while only K. pinnata was active in post-treatment protocol (about 30% of inhibition). In the antiedematogenic activity, only K. pinnata was active, inhibiting about 66% and 30% in pre and post-treatment protocols, respectively. Both extracts inhibited phospholipase activity; however, K. pinnata was more active. In conclusion, the results indicate the potential antiophidic activity of Kalanchoe species against local effects induced by B. jararaca

  18. Ultrastructure of spermiogenesis in the Cottonmouth, Agkistrodon piscivorus (Squamata: Viperidae: Crotalinae).

    PubMed

    Gribbins, Kevin M; Rheubert, Justin L; Anzalone, Marla L; Siegel, Dustin S; Sever, David M

    2010-03-01

    To date multiple studies exist that examine the morphology of spermatozoa. However, there are limited numbers of data detailing the ontogenic characters of spermiogenesis within squamates. Testicular tissues were collected from Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorus) and tissues from spermiogenically active months were analyzed ultrastructurally to detail the cellular changes that occur during spermiogenesis. The major events of spermiogenesis (acrosome formation, nuclear elongation/DNA condensation, and flagellar development) resemble that of other squamates; however, specific ultrastructural differences can be observed between Cottonmouths and other squamates studied to date. During acrosome formation vesicles from the Golgi apparatus fuse at the apical surface of the nuclear membrane prior to making nuclear contact. At this stage, the acrosome granule can be observed in a centralized location within the vesicle. As elongation commences the acrosome complex becomes highly compartmentalized and migrates laterally along the nucleus. Parallel and circum-cylindrical microtubules (components of the manchette) are observed with parallel microtubules outnumbering the circum-cylindrical microtubules. Flagella, displaying the conserved 9 + 2 microtubule arrangement, sit in nuclear fossae that have electron lucent shoulders juxtaposed on either side of the spermatids basal plates. This study aims to provide developmental characters for squamates in the subfamily Crotalinae, family Viperidae, which may be useful for histopathological studies on spermatogenesis in semi-aquatic species exposed to pesticides. Furthermore, these data in the near future may provide morphological characters for spermiogenesis that can be added to morphological data matrices that may be used in phylogenetic analyses.

  19. Aqueous leaf extract of Jatropha gossypiifolia L. (Euphorbiaceae) inhibits enzymatic and biological actions of Bothrops jararaca snake venom.

    PubMed

    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

  20. 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

  1. Lachesis muta (Viperidae) cDNAs Reveal Diverging Pit Viper Molecules and Scaffolds Typical of Cobra (Elapidae) Venoms: Implications for Snake Toxin Repertoire Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L. M.; Ching, Ana T. C.; Carvalho, Eneas; Faria, Fernanda; Nishiyama, Milton Y.; Ho, Paulo L.; Diniz, Marcelo R. V.

    2006-01-01

    Efforts to describe toxins from the two major families of venomous snakes (Viperidae and Elapidae) usually reveal proteins belonging to few structural types, particular of each family. Here we carried on an effort to determine uncommon cDNAs that represent possible new toxins from Lachesis muta (Viperidae). In addition to nine classes of typical toxins, atypical molecules never observed in the hundreds of Viperidae snakes studied so far are highly expressed: a diverging C-type lectin that is related to Viperidae toxins but appears to be independently originated; an ohanin-like toxin, which would be the third member of the most recently described class of Elapidae toxins, related to human butyrophilin and B30.2 proteins; and a 3FTx-like toxin, a new member of the widely studied three-finger family of proteins, which includes major Elapidae neurotoxins and CD59 antigen. The presence of these common and uncommon molecules suggests that the repertoire of toxins could be more conserved between families than has been considered, and their features indicate a dynamic process of venom evolution through molecular mechanisms, such as multiple recruitments of important scaffolds and domain exchange between paralogs, always keeping a minimalist nature in most toxin structures in opposition to their nontoxin counterparts. PMID:16582429

  2. Lachesis muta (Viperidae) cDNAs reveal diverging pit viper molecules and scaffolds typical of cobra (Elapidae) venoms: implications for snake toxin repertoire evolution.

    PubMed

    Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L M; Ching, Ana T C; Carvalho, Eneas; Faria, Fernanda; Nishiyama, Milton Y; Ho, Paulo L; Diniz, Marcelo R V

    2006-06-01

    Efforts to describe toxins from the two major families of venomous snakes (Viperidae and Elapidae) usually reveal proteins belonging to few structural types, particular of each family. Here we carried on an effort to determine uncommon cDNAs that represent possible new toxins from Lachesis muta (Viperidae). In addition to nine classes of typical toxins, atypical molecules never observed in the hundreds of Viperidae snakes studied so far are highly expressed: a diverging C-type lectin that is related to Viperidae toxins but appears to be independently originated; an ohanin-like toxin, which would be the third member of the most recently described class of Elapidae toxins, related to human butyrophilin and B30.2 proteins; and a 3FTx-like toxin, a new member of the widely studied three-finger family of proteins, which includes major Elapidae neurotoxins and CD59 antigen. The presence of these common and uncommon molecules suggests that the repertoire of toxins could be more conserved between families than has been considered, and their features indicate a dynamic process of venom evolution through molecular mechanisms, such as multiple recruitments of important scaffolds and domain exchange between paralogs, always keeping a minimalist nature in most toxin structures in opposition to their nontoxin counterparts.

  3. [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.

  4. 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)

  5. An unexpected cell-penetrating peptide from Bothrops jararaca venom identified through a novel size exclusion chromatography screening.

    PubMed

    Sciani, Juliana Mozer; Vigerelli, Hugo; Costa, André Santos; Câmara, Diana Aparecida Dias; Junior, Paulo Luiz-de-Sá; Pimenta, Daniel Carvalho

    2017-01-01

    Efficient drug delivery systems are currently one of the greatest challenges in pharmacokinetics, and the transposition of the gap between in vitro candidate molecule and in vivo test drug is, sometimes, poles apart. In this sense, the cell-penetrating peptides (CPP) may be the bridge uniting these worlds. Here, we describe a technique to rapidly identify unlabeled CPPs after incubation with liposomes, based on commercial desalting (size exclusion) columns and liquid chromatography-MS/MS, for peptide de novo sequencing. Using this approach, we found it possible to identify one new CPP - interestingly, a classical bradykinin-potentiating peptide - in the peptide-rich low molecular mass fraction of the Bothrops jararaca venom, which was also able to penetrate live cell membranes, as confirmed by classical approaches employing fluorescence-labeled analogues of this CPP. Moreover, both the labeled and unlabeled CPPs caused no metabolic, cell-cycle or morphologic alterations, proving to be unmistakably cargo deliverers and not drugs themselves. In sum, we have developed and validated a method for screening label-free peptides for CPP activity, regardless of their biological origin, which could lead to the identification of new and more efficient drug delivery systems. Copyright © 2017 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  6. Differential efficiency of simvastatin and lipoic acid treatments on Bothrops jararaca envenomation-induced acute kidney injury in mice.

    PubMed

    Barone, Juliana Marton; Alponti, Rafaela Fadoni; Frezzatti, Rodrigo; Zambotti-Villela, Leonardo; Silveira, Paulo Flávio

    2011-01-01

    Snake bite accidents by Bothrops genus is an important public health issue in Brazil and one of its most serious complications is the acute kidney injury (AKI). Here we evaluated the effects of Bothrops jararaca venom (vBj) and the treatments with lipoic acid (LA) and simvastatin (SA) on renal function, aminopeptidase (AP) activities and renal redox status. Primordial events for establishment of AKI by vBj were hyperuricemia, hypercreatinemia, urinary hyperosmolality, renal oxidative stress and reduction of hematocrit and protein content in the membrane of renal cortex and medulla and in the plasma. In the renal cortex and medulla the changes caused by vBj in soluble and membrane-bound AP activities had a similar pattern. The beneficial effects of LA and SA on envenomed mice were similar on the hyperuricemia, renal oxidative stress and reduction of hematocrit. LA mitigated the hypercreatinemia, but exacerbated the urinary urea and creatinine, whereas SA mitigated the decrease of plasma urea, urinary hyperosmolality and hypercreatinuria induced by vBj. The beneficial effects of LA and especially of SA on renal effects of vBj open a new perspective for clinical investigations of these drugs as coadjuvant agents in the serotherapy of Bothrops envenomation.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Venom-related transcripts from Bothrops jararaca tissues provide novel molecular insights into the production and evolution of snake venom.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    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.

  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 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.

  12. 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

  13. Neuroprotective property of low molecular weight fraction from B. jararaca snake venom in H2O2-induced cytotoxicity in cultured hippocampal cells.

    PubMed

    Querobino, Samyr Machado; Carrettiero, Daniel Carneiro; Costa, Maricilia Silva; Alberto-Silva, Carlos

    2017-04-01

    In central nervous system cells, low molecular weight fractions (LMWF) from snake venoms can inhibit changes in mitochondrial membrane permeability, preventing the diffusion of cytochrome c to the cytoplasm, inhibiting the activation of pro-apoptotic factors. Here, we evaluated the neuroprotective activity of LMWF from Bothrops jararaca (Bj) snake venom in H2O2-induced cytotoxicity in cultured hippocampal cells. SDS-PAGE, FT-IR and MALDI-TOF analysis of LMWF (<14 kDa) confirmed the absence of high-molecular-weight proteins in the fraction. LMWF did not present cytotoxicity in all concentrations and time tested by MTT assay. Neuroprotection was evaluated in cells pretreated with LMWF for 4 h prior to the addition of 50 μM H2O2 for 20 h. We demonstrated that LMWF reduced the argininosuccinate synthase (AsS) and superoxide dismutase (SOD1) expressions, suggesting that this fraction as an effective neuroprotective compound that could increase the hippocampal cells viability by attenuation of oxidative stress. In addition, LMWF protects against apoptosis induced by H2O2, reducing the expression of caspase-3 and caspase-8. Overall, this study opens new perspectives for the identification of new molecules for the development of drugs applied to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

  14. Investigating possible biological targets of Bj-CRP, the first cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRISP) isolated from Bothrops jararaca snake venom.

    PubMed

    Lodovicho, Marina E; Costa, Tássia R; Bernardes, Carolina P; Menaldo, Danilo L; Zoccal, Karina F; Carone, Sante E; Rosa, José C; Pucca, Manuela B; Cerni, Felipe A; Arantes, Eliane C; Tytgat, Jan; Faccioli, Lúcia H; Pereira-Crott, Luciana S; Sampaio, Suely V

    2017-01-04

    Cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs) are commonly described as part of the protein content of snake venoms, nevertheless, so far, little is known about their biological targets and functions. Our study describes the isolation and characterization of Bj-CRP, the first CRISP isolated from Bothrops jararaca snake venom, also aiming at the identification of possible targets for its actions. Bj-CRP was purified using three chromatographic steps (Sephacryl S-200, Source 15Q and C18) and showed to be an acidic protein of 24.6kDa with high sequence identity to other snake venom CRISPs. This CRISP was devoid of proteolytic, hemorrhagic or coagulant activities, and it did not affect the currents from 13 voltage-gated potassium channel isoforms. Conversely, Bj-CRP induced inflammatory responses characterized by increase of leukocytes, mainly neutrophils, after 1 and 4h of its injection in the peritoneal cavity of mice, also stimulating the production of IL-6. Bj-CRP also acted on the human complement system, modulating some of the activation pathways and acting directly on important components (C3 and C4), thus inducing the generation of anaphylatoxins (C3a, C4a and C5a). Therefore, our results for Bj-CRP open up prospects for better understanding this class of toxins and its biological actions.

  15. Bothrops jararaca and Bothrops erythromelas Snake Venoms Promote Cell Cycle Arrest and Induce Apoptosis via the Mitochondrial Depolarization of Cervical Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Dayanne Lopes; Martelli Palomino, Gustavo; da Silva, Wilmar Dias; Gonçalves, Ana Katherine; Fernandes-Pedrosa, Matheus de Freitas; Crispim, Janaina Cristiana de Oliveira

    2016-01-01

    Bothrops jararaca (BJ) and Bothrops erythromelas (BE) are viper snakes found in South-Southeast and Northeast regions of Brazil, respectively. Snake venoms are bioactive neurotoxic substances synthesized and stored by venom glands, with different physiological and pharmacological effects, recently suggesting a possible preference for targets in cancer cells; however, mechanisms of snakes have been little studied. Here, we investigated the mechanism responsible for snake crude venoms toxicity in cultured cervical cancer cells SiHa and HeLa. We show that BJ and BE snake crude venoms exert cytotoxic effects to these cells. The percentage of apoptotic cells and cell cycle analysis and cell proliferation were assessed by flow cytometry and MTT assay. Detection of mitochondrial membrane potential (Rhodamine-123), nuclei morphological change, and DNA fragmentation were examined by staining with DAPI. The results showed that both the BJ and BE venoms were capable of inhibiting tumor cell proliferation, promoting cytotoxicity and death by apoptosis of target SiHa and HeLa cells when treated with BJ and BE venoms. Furthermore, data revealed that both BJ venoms in SiHa cell promoted nuclear condensation, fragmentation, and formation of apoptotic bodies by DAPI assay, mitochondrial damage by Rhodamine-123, and cell cycle block in the G1-G0 phase. BJ and BE venoms present anticancer potential, suggesting that both Bothrops venoms could be used as prototypes for the development of new therapies. PMID:28050190

  16. Effects of N-acetyl-L-cysteine on redox status and markers of renal function in mice inoculated with Bothrops jararaca and Crotalus durissus terrificus venoms.

    PubMed

    Barone, Juliana Marton; Frezzatti, Rodrigo; Silveira, Paulo Flavio

    2014-03-01

    Renal dysfunction is an important aggravating factor in accidents caused by Crotalus durissus terrificus (Cdt) and Bothrops jararaca (Bj) bites. N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) is well known as a nephroprotective antioxidant with low toxicity. The present study investigated the effects of NAC on redox status and markers of renal function in mice that received vehicle (controls) or venoms (v) of Cdt and Bj. In controls NAC promoted hypercreatinemia, hypouremia, hyperosmolality with decreased urea in urine, hyperproteinuria, decreased protein and increased dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPPIV) in membrane-bound fraction (MF) from renal cortex (RC) and medulla (RM). NAC ameliorated or normalized altered creatinuria, proteinemia and aminopeptidase (AP) acid in MF, AP basic (APB) in soluble fraction (SF), and neutral AP in SF and MF from RC and RM in vBj envenomation. NAC ameliorated or normalized altered neutral AP in SF from RC and RM, and DPPIV and protein in MF from RC in vCdt envenomation. NAC ameliorated or restored renal redox status respectively in vCdt and vBj, and normalized uricemia in both envenomations. These data are promising perspectives that recommend the clinical evaluation of NAC as potential coadjuvant in the anti venom serotherapy for accidents with these snake's genera.

  17. 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

  18. Avian pox infection in a free-living crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela) in southern Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Chen, C C; Pei, K J C; Lee, F R; Tzeng, M P; Chang, T C

    2011-03-01

    Avian pox viruses (APVs) have been reported to cause infection in diverse avian species worldwide. Herein we report the first case of APV infection in a free-living bird, a subadult crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela), in Taiwan. In addition to the typical wart-like lesions distributed on the cere, eyelid, and face, there were also yellowish nodules below the tongue and on the hard palate. Phylogenetic analysis of the 4b core protein gene showed that the APV is very close to that found in white-tailed sea eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) in Japan recently. Because both cases are located on the same major flyway for migratory birds, the impact of this virus with regard to the wild and migratory raptor species along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway and West Pacific Flyway requires immediate investigation.

  19. Generation of XS library for the reflector of VVER reactor core using Monte Carlo code Serpent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Usheva, K. I.; Kuten, S. A.; Khruschinsky, A. A.; Babichev, L. F.

    2017-01-01

    A physical model of the radial and axial reflector of VVER-1200-like reactor core has been developed. Five types of radial reflector with different material composition exist for the VVER reactor core and 1D and 2D models were developed for all of them. Axial top and bottom reflectors are described by the 1D model. A two-group XS library for diffusion code DYN3D has been generated for all types of reflectors by using Serpent 2 Monte Carlo code. Power distribution in the reactor core calculated in DYN3D is flattened in the core central region to more extent in the 2D model of the radial reflector than in its 1D model.

  20. 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.

  1. Hematocrit and plasma chemistry values in adult collared scops owls (Otus lettia) and crested serpent eagles (Spilornis cheela hoya).

    PubMed

    Chan, Fang-Tse; Lin, Pei-I; Chang, Geng-Ruei; Wang, Hsien-Chi; Hsu, Tien-Huan

    2012-07-01

    In this study, we report hematocrit and plasma chemistry values for adult captive collared scops owls (Otus lettia) and crested serpent eagles (Spilornis cheela hoya). In particular, we address the gender-specific differences within these values. We measured hematocrit (HCT) and plasma chemistry values for uric acid (UA), plasma urea nitrogen (BUN), total protein (TP), albumin (ALB), glucose (GLU), cholesterol (CHO), triglyceride (TG), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total bilirubin (TBIL), creatine (CRE), creatine phosphokinase (CPK), amylase (AMY), calcium (CA), ionic phosphorous (IP) and sodium (NA), potassium (K) and chloride ions (CL) in 37 adult captive collared scops owls and 39 adult captive crested serpent eagles. Significant differences between the sexes were found for UA, GLU and CPK in the collared scope owls. UA and GLU concentrations were significantly higher (P<0.01 and P<0.05) among males than females, while the CPK concentration was significantly lower (P<0.05) in males. There were no significant differences in of all of the measured parameters between male and female eagles. These finding suggested that HCT and plasma chemistry values of raptors vary individually according to species and sex. Our results provide the 1st available reference data for ranges of plasma values in adult captive collared scops owls and crested serpent eagles, making them a potentially useful complementary diagnostic tool for veterinary care of individuals for both species in captivity.

  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; ...

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Randomized comparative trial of three antivenoms in the treatment of envenoming by lance-headed vipers (Bothrops jararaca) in São Paulo, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, J L; Fan, H W; França, F O; Jorge, M T; Leite, R P; Nishioka, S A; Avila, A; Sano-Martins, I S; Tomy, S C; Santoro, M L

    1993-05-01

    In São Paulo City, Brazil, 121 patients with moderately severe envenoming by Bothrops snakes (principally B. jararaca) were randomized for treatment with Brazilian polyspecific Bothrops antivenoms: Instituto Butantan (39 patients), Instituto Vital Brazil (41), Fundação Ezequiel Dias (FUNED) (41). The initial dose was four ampoules (40 ml) in 89 patients with less severe envenoming and eight ampoules (80 ml) in 32 patients with more severe envenoming. A second dose of four ampoules was required in 20 patients. Patients receiving the three antivenoms were comparable in all respects before treatment. There were no deaths. The majority showed rapid clinical improvement, resolution of local envenoming, cessation of bleeding and restoration of blood coagulability. No differences in the efficacy of the three antivenoms were revealed by clinical or laboratory observations, including measures of haematological, haemostatic and biochemical abnormalities. Twelve patients developed abscesses (Butantan 1, Vital Brazil 6, FUNED 5) and seven developed local necrosis (3,1,3). Of 88 patients followed up 20-30 days after the bite 33 (37.5%) still had symptoms or signs of local envenoming, especially swelling. Early (anaphylactic) reactions were unexpectedly frequent after all three antivenoms but were significantly more frequent with Butantan (87%) than with Vital Brazil (37%) or FUNED (56%) antivenoms (p < 0.001). A possible explanation was the higher total protein content and percentage immunoglobulin of Butantan antivenom. The doses of antivenom recommended in Brazil and used in this study may be unnecessarily high, resulting in an unacceptably high incidence of reactions. Results of the study should prompt a critical re-evaluation of antivenom production techniques and dosage recommendations in Brazil.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Evaluation of sperm quality snakes Erythrolamprus poecilogyrus sublineatus (Cope, 1860) (Serpentes, Dipsadidae).

    PubMed

    Silva, A C; Varela, A S; Cardoso, T F; Silva, E F; Loebmann, D; Corcini, C D

    2017-01-12

    Erythrolamprus poecilogyrus sublineatus (Cope, 1860), is a species widely distributed in the Pampa Domain, occurring in Rio Grande do Sul, Argentina and Uruguay, mainlyin the pampa region. In the coastal region of southern Brazil this is serpent is considered one of the most abundant. The purpose of the present study is to describe the techniques of sperm evaluation in vitro for E. poecilogyrus sublineatus in the coastal plain of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. After laparatomy the efferent vases were collected and the semen was diluted in 1ml Beltsville Thawing Solution. The characteristics of motility, membrane integrity, mitochondria, acrosome, DNA, cell viability and cellular functionality were evaluated. Fluorescent probes were used for the evaluation of sperm structure in epifluorescence microscope. With the techniques described, it was possible to identify intact and injured cells, enabling the determination of cell characteristics for the spring season (October and November). It was observed in the analyses that 80% of sperm cells were mobile and that 84.1 ± 8.0% of sperm membranes were intact. The standards found were of 48 ± 13.8% of intact acrosome, 73.6 ± 6.0 of perfect DNA and of 91.8 ± 4.0 of functional mitochondria. Thus, these values from the sperm analysis can be used as standards for the species Erythrolamprus poecilogyrus sublineatus.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Use of random amplified polymorphic DNA to identify several novel markers for sex identification in the crested serpent eagle and crested goshawk.

    PubMed

    Hsu, H A; Wang, P H; Chao, M C; Chan, F T; Wang, L M; Lin, P I; Chang, C H; Yuan, H W; Ding, S T

    2009-10-01

    The crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela hoya) has no distinct sexual dimorphic traits. In the current study, we report the results of an EE0.6 (EcoRI 0.6-kb fragment) sequence applied to S. cheela hoya and a novel random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) marker that can be used to sex individuals within the species S. cheela hoya and Accipiter trivigatus formosae (crested goshawk). We used sex-specific primers for the avian CHD1 (chromo-helicase-DNA-binding 1) gene and the EE0.6 sequence in PCR assays to determine sex. In addition, 120 random primers were used for RAPD fingerprinting to search for novel sex-specific fragments of S. cheela hoya. The OPBB08 random primer generated a 1241-bp sex-specific fragment in all female S. cheela hoya. From the nucleotide sequence, PCR primers were designed to amplify 553-, 895-, and 194-bp sex-specific fragments present in all female S. cheela hoya. One of these primer pairs (ScBB08-7F/R) also amplified a male/female common fragment that can be used as an internal control (543bp). Moreover, one of the primer pairs (ScBB08-5aF/5bR) could be used to identify genders of A. trivigatus formosae. In conclusion, we identified novel sex-specific DNA markers of S. cheela hoya and A. trivigatus formosae that can be used for rapid and accurate sex identification.

  16. Serpentoanisocladium sinense n. g., n. sp. (Digenea: Cryptogonimidae) from the eastern water snake Sinonatrix percarinata (Boulenger) (Serpentes: Colubridae) in Guizhou Province, China.

    PubMed

    Tkach, Vasyl V; Bush, Sarah E

    2010-07-01

    Serpentoanisocladium sinense n. g., n. sp. (Digenea: Cryptogonimidae) is described from the intestine of the eastern water snake Sinonatrix percarinata (Boulenger) (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Guizhou Province, China. This digenean is morphologically most similar to members of Anisocladium Looss, 1902 and, to a lesser extent, Anisocoelium Lühe, 1900, which are parasites of marine teleost fish in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. The new genus and species can be differentiated from the two known species of Anisocladium by the position of the vitellarium in relation to the gonads and seminal vesicle, a much longer oesophagus, a shorter caecum only reaching the anterior margin of the anterior testis, the presence of a muscular sucker-like gonotyl, the lack of circumoral spines and the peculiar position of the uterus, which is confined to the same half of the body as the longer caecum. The new genus and species can be differentiated from the only known species of Anisocoelium by the substantially higher body length to width ratio, a much longer oesophagus, the arrangement of the vitelline follicles, the postovarian versus pre-ovarian seminal receptacle, the presence of a well-defined muscular gonotyl and the length of the shorter caecum. A diagnosis of the new genus and a description of the new species are provided. This is the first cryptogonimid found in snakes from China and the first cryptogonimid reported from S. percarinata.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Complete mitochondrial genome of Sinovipera sichuanensis (Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae).

    PubMed

    Zhu, Fei; Liu, Qin; Zhong, Guanghui; Xiao, Rong; Fang, Min; Guo, Peng

    2016-09-01

    Sinovipera sichuanensis is one of the Asian green pit vipers with less concern. It is endemic to China and only known in Hejiang, Sichuan Province and Jiangkou, Guizhou Province. In this study, we report the complete mitochondrial genome and characterize each partition. The complete mitochondrial genome is 17 225 bp in length containing 2 rRNAs, 13 protein-coding genes, 2 control regions and 22 tRNAs. We use Bayesian Inference (BI) and Maximum Likelihood (ML) methods to infer the phylogenetic relationship of S. sichuanensis. Both BI and ML analyses strongly support that S. sichuanensis is independent from the other two Asian green pit vipers.

  20. Body Size Evolution in Insular Speckled Rattlesnakes (Viperidae: Crotalus mitchellii)

    PubMed Central

    Meik, Jesse M.; Lawing, A. Michelle; Pires-daSilva, André

    2010-01-01

    Background Speckled rattlesnakes (Crotalus mitchellii) inhabit multiple islands off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. Two of the 14 known insular populations have been recognized as subspecies based primarily on body size divergence from putative mainland ancestral populations; however, a survey of body size variation from other islands occupied by these snakes has not been previously reported. We examined body size variation between island and mainland speckled rattlesnakes, and the relationship between body size and various island physical variables among 12 island populations. We also examined relative head size among giant, dwarfed, and mainland speckled rattlesnakes to determine whether allometric differences conformed to predictions of gape size (and indirectly body size) evolving in response to shifts in prey size. Methodology/Principal Findings Insular speckled rattlesnakes show considerable variation in body size when compared to mainland source subspecies. In addition to previously known instances of gigantism on Ángel de la Guarda and dwarfism on El Muerto, various degrees of body size decrease have occurred frequently in this taxon, with dwarfed rattlesnakes occurring mostly on small, recently isolated, land-bridge islands. Regression models using the Akaike information criterion (AIC) showed that mean SVL of insular populations was most strongly correlated with island area, suggesting the influence of selection for different body size optima for islands of different size. Allometric differences in head size of giant and dwarf rattlesnakes revealed patterns consistent with shifts to larger and smaller prey, respectively. Conclusions/Significance Our data provide the first example of a clear relationship between body size and island area in a squamate reptile species; among vertebrates this pattern has been previously documented in few insular mammals. This finding suggests that selection for body size is influenced by changes in community dynamics that are related to graded differences in area over what are otherwise similar bioclimatic conditions. We hypothesize that in this system shifts to larger prey, episodic saturation and depression of primary prey density, and predator release may have led to insular gigantism, and that shifts to smaller prey and increased reproductive efficiency in the presence of intense intraspecific competition may have led to insular dwarfism. PMID:20209105

  1. Thrombotic microangiopathy due to Viperidae bite: Two case reports

    PubMed Central

    Dineshkumar, T.; Dhanapriya, J.; Sakthirajan, R.; Thirumalvalavan, K.; Kurien, A. A.; Balasubramaniyan, T.; Gopalakrishnan, N.

    2017-01-01

    Snake bite is mainly an occupational hazard and causes serious health problems in rural India. Acute kidney injury (AKI) occurs in 5-30% cases. Renal pathologic findings include acute tubular necrosis, cortical necrosis, interstitial nephritis, glomerulonephritis, and vasculitis. Thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) occurrence after a snake bite is reported rarely. Here, we present two patients who developed TMA after viper bite treated with hemodialysis and plasmapheresis. Renal biopsy showed fibrin thrombi in glomeruli and arterioles with cortical necrosis. One patient progressed to end-stage renal disease and other was lost to follow-up. TMA should be considered as a possible pathogenesis of AKI after snake bite. The role of plasma exchanges in snake bite TMA is yet to be defined. PMID:28356675

  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. Sperm storage in males of the snake Crotalus durissus terrificus (Crotalinae: Viperidae) in southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Almeida-Santos, Selma M; Laporta-Ferreira, Iara L; Antoniazzi, Marta M; Jared, Carlos

    2004-10-01

    Seasonal variations in spermatozoa numbers and in sperm motility along the vas deferens in Crotalus durissus terrificus from southeastern Brazil were analyzed. Our data demonstrate storage and motility of the spermatozoa along the vas deferens throughout the year. This is characteristic of a postnuptial reproductive cycle, usually found in snakes living in temperate climates. We describe similarities in reproductive cycle patterns found in the tropical nonhibernator C. durissus terrificus and in hibernator snakes from temperate zones. Our results show that in C. durissus terrificus, a significant difference in spermatozoa counts occurs between winter and summer. Higher numbers of spermatozoa in summer and autumn, due to intense spermiogenesis, coincides with the mating season in autumn. These data indicate that after spermiogenesis in summer, the males combine the peak of sperm storage to the period females are attractive. Mating, however, is not linked to ovulation, and the sperm is stored in the females during winter until fertilization occurs in spring. In the males, after mating, spermatozoon counts low. In spring, they gradually increase, turning again the highest in summer and autumn. During spermiogenesis in the convoluted vas deferens, spermatozoa gain motility, enhancing their performance along their way towards the distal portion.

  4. The in vitro toxicity of venoms from South Asian hump-nosed pit vipers (Viperidae: Hypnale).

    PubMed

    Maduwage, Kalana; Hodgson, Wayne C; Konstantakopoulos, Nicki; O'Leary, Margaret A; Gawarammana, Indika; Isbister, Geoffrey K

    2011-01-01

    Hump-nosed pit vipers (Genus Hypnale) are venomous snakes from South India and Sri Lanka. Envenoming by Hypnale species may cause significant morbidity and is characterized by local envenoming and less commonly coagulopathy and acute renal failure. Currently there are three nominal species of this genus: H. hypnale, H. zara and H. nepa. This study investigates the biochemical and pharmacological properties of the venoms from the three Hypnale species in Sri Lanka. The three Hypnale venoms had similar chromatographic profiles using reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography and fractions with procoagulant activity were identified. Hypnale venoms had potent cytotoxicity in cultured rat aorta smooth muscle cells with similar IC(50) values. The venoms had weak neurotoxic and myotoxic activity in the isolated chick biventer muscle preparation. They had mild procoagulant activity with close MCC(5) values and also phospholipase activity. Locally available polyvalent antivenom did not neutralise any venom effects. The study demonstrates that the three Hypnale venoms are similar and cytotoxicity appears to be the most potent effect, although they have mild procoagulant activity. These findings are consistent with clinical reports.

  5. Evolutionary relationships among the true vipers (Reptilia: Viperidae) inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Lenk, P; Kalyabina, S; Wink, M; Joger, U

    2001-04-01

    Nucleotide sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome b and 16S rRNA genes, totaling 946 bp, were used to reconstruct a molecular phylogeny of 42 species of the subfamily Viperinae representing 12 of the 13 recognized genera. Maximum-parsimony and maximum-likelihood were used as methods for phylogeny reconstruction with and without a posteriori weighting. When representatives of the Causinae were taken as outgroup, five major monophyletic groups were consistently identified: Bitis, Cerastes, Echis, the Atherini (Atheris s.l.), and the Eurasian viperines. Proatheris was affiliated with Atheris, and Adenorhinos clustered within Atheris. The African Bitis consisted of at least three monophyletic groups: (i) the B. gabonica group, (ii) the B. caudalis group, and (iii) the B. cornuta group. B. worthingtoni and B. arietans are not included in any of these lineages. Eurasian viperines could be unambiguously devided into four monophyletic groups: (i) Pseudocerastes and Eristicophis, (ii) European vipers (Vipera s.str.), (iii) Middle East Macrovipera plus Montivipera (Vipera xanthina group), and (iv) North African Macrovipera plus Vipera palaestinae and Daboia russelii. These evolutionary lineages are consistent with historical biogeographical patterns. According to our analyses, the viperines originated in the Oligocene in Africa and successively underwent a first radiation leading to the five basal groups. The radiation might have been driven by the possession of an effective venom apparatus and a foraging startegy (sit-wait-strike) superior in most African biomes and might have been adaptive. The next diversifications led to the Proatheris-Atheris furcation, the basal Bitis splitting, and the emergence of the basal lineages within the Eurasian stock. Thereafter, lineages within Echis, Atheris, and Cerastes evolved. The emergence of three groups within Vipera s.l. might have been forced by the existence of three land masses during the early Miocene in the area of the Paratethys and the Mediterranean Seas. Taxonomic consequences of these findings are discussed.

  6. Wound Myiasis due to Musca domestica (Diptera: Muscidae) in Persian Horned Viper, Pseudocerastes persicus (Squamata: Viperidae)

    PubMed Central

    Dehghani, R; Sedaghat, MM; Bidgoli, M Sabahi

    2012-01-01

    A case of myiasis due to Musca domestica describes in Pseudocerastes persicus for the first time. The snake was found in Bari Karafs, Kashan, Iran, with a lesion on its body. Fourteen live larvae of M. domestica removed from its wound. This is the first report of a new larval habitat of M. domestica. PMID:23293783

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-20

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Reproductive cycle of free-living male Saharan sand vipers, Cerastes vipera (Viperidae) in the Negev desert, Israel.

    PubMed

    Sivan, Jaim; Kam, Michael; Hadad, Shlomo; Allan Degen, A; Rozenboim, Israel; Rosenstrauch, Avi

    2012-11-01

    The Saharan sand viper, Cerastes vipera (Linnaeus, 1758), is distributed in all Saharan countries, being confined to sand and dune systems. This relatively small snake, up to 35 cm, is nocturnal, is active from spring to autumn (April to October) and hibernates during the winter (November to March). We predicted that C. vipera would have peak plasma testosterone concentration at mating and that the vas deferens would contain abundant spermatozoa at that time. To test our predictions, we collected information on the time of mating and measured monthly testosterone concentration, testes size and testicular activity in free-living male C. vipera during its active period from April to October. Mating occurred only during spring. The pattern of plasma testosterone concentration, testes volume, seminiferous tubule diameter and spermatogenesis all followed the general pattern of high values in autumn and spring and low values in early summer. Our predictions were partially supported. There was a high plasma testosterone concentration at mating in spring and the vas deferens contained abundant spermatozoa, as predicted, but there was also a high plasma testosterone concentration in autumn without mating. We concluded that: (1) males are both aestival in that they produce spermatozoa in autumn, which they store over the winter hibernation period, and vernal in that they produce spermatozoa in spring prior to mating; (2) matings are associated with spermatogenesis; and (3) the high plasma testosterone concentration is concomitant with both matings and spermatogenesis in spring and with spermatogenesis in autumn. We propose that C. vipera has a single peak of testicular activity and plasma testosterone concentration which start in autumn and end in spring. We also propose that spermatogenesis is prior to spring mating and, consequently, is prenuptial.

  12. 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.

  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. Sexual activity and plasma levels of sex steroids in the aspic viper Vipera aspis L. (Reptilia, Viperidae).

    PubMed

    Saint Girons, H; Bradshaw, S D; Bradshaw, F J

    1993-09-01

    Reproductive behavior and associated sexual activity was studied in individual male and female Vipera aspis over a 3-year period in western France in an attempt to correlate mating behavior with blood levels of gonadal sex steroids. Males had higher average levels of both testosterone (T) and 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) than females. Levels of progesterone (P) did not differ significantly between the two sexes but estradiol-17 beta (E2) concentrations were significantly higher in females during the season of mating. Spring mating behavior and copulation in males was associated with significantly increased levels of T and DHT, compared with postmating males; and a similar, but not significant trend, was evident with autumnal mating. The only statistically significant hormonal difference detected in males showing no sexual activity in autumn, was an elevated level of E2 at 0.52 +/- 0.20 ng/ml compared with 0.09 +/- 0.03 ng/ml in spring-breeding males (P = 0.05). Estrus in females is associated with increased levels of all four steroids but significant only for E2 and DHT. Levels of P were significantly reduced in females displaying seasonal anestrous in the spring immediately following reproduction. Females not displaying estrus in either spring or autumn had significantly lower plasma DHT and E2. Although mating behavior in males is associated statistically with elevated levels of T and DHT, a tight correlation is not obvious at the individual level, suggesting that increased concentrations of androgens are a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for mating. The data from V. aspis suggest that, as in a number of other reptilian species, high circulating levels of androgens function to "condition" or "organize" sexual behavior in males which may be displayed at some later time, well after actual levels have fallen, thus engendering the impression that reproductive behavior may be temporally dissociated from essential hormonal stimuli.

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

    PubMed Central

    Kordis, Dusan; Gubensek, Franc

    1998-01-01

    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. PMID:9724768

  16. 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.

  17. A check-list of the nematode parasites of South African Serpentes (snakes) and Sauria (lizards).

    PubMed

    Hering-Hagenbeck, S F; Boomker, J

    2000-03-01

    Published records, in combination with own data have been brought together to provide data on parasite/host relationships of reptiles that occur in the Republic of South Africa. A total of 62 nematode species belonging to 23 genera and 11 families are recorded from 20 snake and 21 lizard species. The genera Kalicephalus, Spauligodon, Ophidascaris and Abbreviata are especially well represented with between five and eight species per genus. The most nematode species were recorded from the flap-neck chameleon, Chamaeleo dilepis (eight), the puff-adder, Bitis arietans (eight) and the water monitor, Varanus niloticus (seven). All synonyms of parasites and hosts are given.

  18. 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.

  19. The Serpent in Our Garden: Al-Qa’Ida and The Long War

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-03-25

    9/11 attacks were momentous (mostly felt in tourism , financial markets, and the airline industry), debatably contributed to a national recession.92...of U.S. economic influence and tourism ) conducted by Al-Qa’ida in Iraq Jihadis, was intended to inflict terror toward a larger audience, the...economies, and tourism of both America and Jordon (Zarqawi’s place of birth). The attack was quickly and widely condemned both in Jordan and in other Arab

  20. 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

  1. '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.

  2. 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.

  3. Complex evolution in the Neotropics: the origin and diversification of the widespread genus Leptodeira (Serpentes: Colubridae).

    PubMed

    Daza, Juan M; Smith, Eric N; Páez, Vivian P; Parkinson, Christopher L

    2009-12-01

    Lineage diversification in the Neotropics is an interesting topic in evolutionary biology but is also one of the least understood. The abiotic and biotic complexity of the region precludes generalizations that can be drawn regarding the historical evolutionary processes responsible for the diversity observed. The snake genus Leptodeira provides an excellent opportunity to investigate such processes because it spans the entire Neotropical region. In this study, we infer the phylogenetic position of Leptodeira within Dipsadinae, estimate evolutionary relationships among and within Leptodeira species, and estimate the diversification time and biogeography of the genus. Three mitochondrial gene regions were sequenced for individuals representing all the Leptodeira species and most subspecies currently recognized. Additionally, two nuclear protein-coding gene regions were sequenced for representatives of each species and several genera within the Dipsadinae. We infer that several Leptodeira species are either paraphyletic or polyphyletic as currently recognized, and that most recognized subspecies are not monophyletic lineages. Despite the taxonomic discordance with evolutionary relationships, clades appear to correspond very well to major biogeographic regions of Mexico, Central America and South America. Our results thus highlight the important role of the Miocene and Pliocene for lineage diversification in the Neotropics. Additionally, our time estimates suggest that recent intraspecific phylogeographic structure is likely the result of habitat and climatic fluctuations during the Pleistocene. Cumulatively, our inferences of lineage diversification within Leptodeira suggest a complex evolutionary scenario in the Mexican transition zone and a north to south expansion with a final colonization of the tropics in South America.

  4. 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.

  5. A phylogenetic analysis of Pseudonaja (Hydrophiinae, Elapidae, Serpentes) based on mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Skinner, Adam; Donnellan, Stephen C; Hutchinson, Mark N; Hutchinson, Rhonda G

    2005-11-01

    A phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial ND4 and adjacent tRNA sequences for a geographically extensive series of specimens reveals nine major clades within Pseudonaja, of which six are largely coincident with nominal taxa (P. affinis, P. guttata, P. inframacula, P. ingrami, P. modesta, and P. textilis). The remaining three clades are composed of specimens presently referred to P. nuchalis. Two of these clades correspond with the "Darwin" and "Southern" morphs of previous authors, while the third clade incorporates the "Orange with black head" and "Pale head, grey nape" morphs. We are unable to confirm the presence of consistent karyotypic differences between "Orange with black head" and "Pale head, grey nape" specimens, however, P. inframacula, P. textilis, and P. nuchalis "Darwin" are found to exhibit distinctive karyotypes, as previously reported. These results, in conjunction with additional observations of karyotpic and morphological variation, are consistent with nine historically-independent lineages (i.e., species) within Pseudonaja. There is strong support for a clade composed of P. affinis, P. inframacula, P. ingrami, P. textilis, and the three P. nuchalis lineages, and for the relationships (P. inframacula, P. nuchalis "Southern") and (P. nuchalis "Darwin", P. nuchalis "Orange with black head"--"Pale head, grey nape" ).

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    Gower, David J; Wickramasinghe, L J Mendis

    2016-08-29

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. A new blind snake (Serpentes: Typhlopidae) from an endangered habitat in south-eastern Queensland, Australia.

    PubMed

    Venchi, Alberto; Wilson, Steve K; Borsboom, Adrian C

    2015-07-24

    A new species of blind snake is described from south-eastern Queensland, eastern Australia. Anilios insperatus sp. nov. differs from all of its congeners in having:16 scales around the body; 442 paravertebral scales; snout slightly trilobed from above and bluntly angular in profile; small, inconspicuous eyes, located within the ocular scale at its junction with the preocular and the supraocular scales; and uniform light colouration. The unique specimen was collected from pasture that was formally Queensland regional ecosystem 12.8.24, a eucalypt dominated ecosystem currently listed as endangered. The site is less than 100 km from Queensland's capital, Brisbane. Given the locality, habitat and absence of additional specimens, the species is probably of conservation concern.

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. Phylogenetics of Kingsnakes, Lampropeltis getula Complex (Serpentes: Colubridae), in Eastern North America.

    PubMed

    Krysko, Kenneth L; Nuñez, Leroy P; Newman, Catherine E; Bowen, Brian W

    2017-01-24

    Kingsnakes of the Lampropeltis getula complex range throughout much of temperate and subtropical North America. Studies over the last century have used morphology and color pattern to describe numerous subspecies. More recently, DNA analyses have made invaluable contributions to our understanding of their evolution and taxonomy. We use genetic and ecological methods to test previous hypotheses of distinct evolutionary lineages by examining 66 total snakes and 1) analyzing phylogeographic structure using 2 mtDNA loci and 1 nuclear locus, 2) estimating divergence dates and historical demography among lineages in a Bayesian coalescent framework, and 3) applying ecological niche modeling (ENM). Our molecular data and ENMs illustrate that 3 previously recognized subspecies in the eastern United States comprise well-supported monophyletic lineages that diverged during the Pleistocene. The geographic boundaries of these 3 lineages correspond closely to known biogeographic barriers (Florida peninsula, Appalachian Mountains, and Apalachicola River) previously identified for other plants and animals, indicating shared geographic influences on evolutionary history. We conclude that genetic, ecological, and morphological data support recognition of these 3 lineages as distinct species (Lampropeltis floridana, Lampropeltis getula, and Lampropeltis meansi).

  14. Sense-organ-like parietal pits found in Psammophiini (Serpentes, Colubridae).

    PubMed

    de Haan, Cornelius C

    2003-03-01

    In several psammophine snake species, small sense-organ-like pits have been discovered occurring on the top of the head. These pits show a heretofore non-described structure. In numbers of one to four per head, they are present in Dromophis lineatus, Malpolon monspessulanus, several Psammophis species and Rhamphiophis rubropunctatus, but not in all individuals which is unrelated to sex. The reason for their sporadic occurrence remains obscure. Their equally obscure function is discussed in relation to the presumed functions of already known upper-head 'pits' in snakes. A histological study is in preparation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Codes of professional conduct for Australian Defence Force military physicians: evenomating the serpent?

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Mike

    2010-09-01

    The scandal of health professionals' involvement in recent human rights abuses in United States military detention centres has prompted concern that Australian military physicians should be well protected against similar pressures to participate in harsh interrogations. A framework of military health ethics has been proposed. Would a code of professional conduct be a partial solution? This article examines the utility of professional codes: can they transform unethical behaviour or are they only of value to those who already behave ethically? How should such codes be designed, what support mechanisms should be in place and how should complaints be managed? A key recommendation is that codes of professional conduct should be accompanied by publicly transparent procedures for the investigation of serious infractions and appropriate disciplinary action when proven. The training of military physicians should also aim to develop a sound understanding of both humanitarian and human rights law. At present, both civil and military education of physicians generally lacks any component of human rights law. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) seems well placed to add codes of professional conduct to its existing ethical framework because of strong support at the highest executive levels.

  19. 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.

  20. Cases of human envenoming caused by Philodryas olfersii and Philodryas patagoniensis (Serpentes: Colubridae).

    PubMed

    de Araújo, M E; dos Santos, A C

    1997-01-01

    The present paper reports two cases of human envenoming by colubrid snakes of Philodryas, considered as not poisonous, showing evidence of the clinical aspects and the evolution of the symptoms of envenoming. The similarity of these cases with those caused by Bothrops suggests a more careful evaluation on the victims considering the medical treatment to be adopted.

  1. Is the Serpent Eating Its Tail? The Digital Divide and African Americans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horton, Jacqueline

    2004-01-01

    The Digital Divide is alive and well in America. What this means is the technology haves and the have-nots are continually growing further apart. Due to the pace of change in the field of computer technology, this divide widens faster in less time. Playing catch-up becomes an increasingly more difficult game to endure, with the government, public,…

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-03

    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. 

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Functional morphology of the palato-maxillary apparatus in "Palatine dragging" snakes (Serpentes: Elapidae: Acanthophis, Oxyuranus).

    PubMed

    Deufel, Alexandra; Cundall, David

    2010-01-01

    Elapid snakes have previously been divided into two groups (palatine erectors and palatine draggers) based on the morphology and inferred movements of their palatine bone during prey transport (swallowing). We investigated the morphology and the functioning of the feeding apparatus of several palatine draggers (Acanthophis antarcticus, Oxyuranus scutellatus, Pseudechis australis) and compared them to published records of palatine erectors. We found that the palatine in draggers does not move as a straight extension of the pterygoid as originally proposed. The dragger palato-pterygoid joint flexes laterally with maxillary rotation when the mouth opens and the jaw apparatus is protracted and slightly ventrally during mouth closing. In contrast, in palatine erectors, the palato-pterygoid joint flexes ventrally during upper jaw protraction. In draggers, the anterior end of the palatine also projects rostrally during protraction, unlike the stability of the anterior end seen in erectors. Palatine draggers differ from palatine erectors in four structural features of the palatine and its relationships to surrounding elements. The function of the palato-pterygoid bar in both draggers and erectors can be explained by a typical colubroid muscle contraction pattern, which acts on a set of core characters shared among all derived snakes. Although palatine dragging elapids share a fundamental design of the palato-maxillary apparatus with all higher snakes, they provide yet another demonstration of minor structural modifications producing functional variants.

  7. 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

    2015-08-28

    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.

  8. Unique features of myogenesis in Egyptian cobra (Naja haje) (Squamata: Serpentes: Elapidae).

    PubMed

    Khannoon, Eraqi R; Rupik, Weronika; Lewandowski, Damian; Dubińska-Magiera, Magda; Swadźba, Elwira; Daczewska, Małgorzata

    2016-03-01

    During early stages of myotomal myogenesis, the myotome of Egyptian cobra (Naja haje) is composed of homogenous populations of mononucleated primary myotubes. At later developmental phase, primary myotubes are accompanied by closely adhering mononucleated cells. Based on localization and morphology, we assume that mononucleated cells share features with satellite cells involved in muscle growth. An indirect morphological evidence of the fusion of mononucleated cells with myotubes is the presence of numerous vesicles in the subsarcolemmal region of myotubes adjacent to mononucleated cell. As differentiation proceeded, secondary muscle fibres appeared with considerably smaller diameter as compared to primary muscle fibre. Studies on N. haje myotomal myogenesis revealed some unique features of muscle differentiation. TEM analysis showed in the N. haje myotomes two classes of muscle fibres. The first class was characterized by typical for fast muscle fibres regular distribution of myofibrils which fill the whole volume of muscle fibre sarcoplasm. White muscle fibres in studied species were a prominent group of muscles in the myotome. The second class showed tightly paced myofibrils surrounding the centrally located nucleus accompanied by numerous vesicles of different diameter. The sarcoplasm of these cells was characterized by numerous lipid droplets. Based on morphological features, we believe that muscle capable of lipid storage belong to slow muscle fibres and the presence of lipid droplets in the sarcoplasm of these muscles during myogenesis might be a crucial adaptive mechanisms for subsequent hibernation in adults. This phenomenon was, for the first time, described in studies on N. haje myogenesis.

  9. DISCOVERY OF THE MADAGASCAR SERPENT-EAGLE, EUTRIORCHIS ASTUR, IN CENTRAL AND SOUTHEASTERN MADAGASCAR. (U915543)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  10. The transvestite serpent: why do male garter snakes court (some) other males?

    PubMed

    Shine; Harlow; LeMaster; Moore; Mason

    2000-02-01

    In large mating aggregations of red-sided garter snakes, Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis, in Manitoba, male courtship is directed not only to females, but also to other males with female-like skin lipids ('she-males'). We show that 'she-maleness' is an intrinsic property of a male rather than an artefact of lipid transfer from females, and that male-male courtship is very common in the field. She-males were distinctive in terms of appearance (they were heavier than other males and more often covered with mud), behaviour (they were inactive and rarely courted females) and performance (they were slow crawlers, ineffective courters and easily outcompeted by other males in mating trials). 'She-maleness' was not a characteristic of a particular subset of males, as envisaged in previous work; instead, it was a transitory phase that most (perhaps all) male snakes passed through soon after they first emerged from the winter den. Recently emerged males spent their first day or two relatively inactive, while restoring physiological functions (including locomotor performance and courtship ability). Experimental application of female skin lipids on to males dramatically decreased courtship levels of the recipient snakes. Thus, recently emerged males may derive two kinds of benefit from mimicking female skin lipids. First, female mimicry 'switches off' the male's own (energetically expensive) courtship at a time when that courtship would be unproductive. Second, it may disadvantage his rivals by distracting them from females, and increasing their energy expenditure. Copyright 2000 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  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. 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

  13. 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.

  14. A cryptic palm-pitviper species (Squamata: Viperidae: Bothriechis) from the Costa Rican highlands, with notes on the variation within B. nigroviridis.

    PubMed

    Doan, Tiffany M; Mason, Andrew J; Castoe, Todd A; Sasa, Mahmood; Parkinson, Christopher L

    2016-07-15

    Middle America is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, harboring an exceptional number of rare and endemic species. This is especially true of Middle American cloud forests, where montane specialists occupy restricted, high-elevation ranges making them attractive candidates for investigating historical biogeography and speciation. One such highland-restricted species, the black speckled palm-pitviper (Bothriechis nigroviridis), occupies the Central, Tilarán, and Talamanca Cordilleras in Costa Rica and Panama. In this study, we investigate the genetic and morphological variation among populations of B. nigroviridis by inferring a multilocus phylogeny (21 individuals) and analyzing meristic scale characters with a principal component analysis (64 individuals). We find B. nigroviridis sensu stricto to be composed of two deeply divergent lineages, one with a restricted range in the northern and central Cordillera Talamanca and the other ranging throughout the Central, Tilarán, and Talamanca Cordilleras. Furthermore, these two lineages are morphologically distinct, with previously unrecognized differences in several characters allowing us to name and diagnose a new species B. nubestris sp. nov. We also examine the genetic and morphological variation within B. nigroviridis and discuss biogeographic hypotheses that may have led to the diversification of Bothriechis lineages.

  15. Nuclear markers support the mitochondrial phylogeny of Vipera ursinii-renardi complex (Squamata: Viperidae) and species status for the Greek meadow viper.

    PubMed

    Mizsei, Edvárd; Jablonski, Daniel; Roussos, Stephanos A; Dimaki, Maria; Ioannidis, Yannis; Nilson, Göran; Nagy, Zoltán T

    2017-01-31

    Meadow vipers (Vipera ursinii-renardi complex) are small-bodied snakes that live in either lowland grasslands or montane subalpine-alpine meadows spanning a distribution from France to western China. This complex has previously been the focus of several taxonomic studies which were based mainly on morphological, allozyme or immunological characters and did not clearly resolve the relationships between the various taxa. Recent mitochondrial DNA analyses found unexpected relationships within the complex which had taxonomical consequences for the detected lineages. The most surprising was the basal phylogenetic position of Vipera ursinii graeca, a taxon described almost 30 years ago from the mountains of Greece. We present here new analyses of three nuclear markers (BDNF, NT3, PRLR; a first for studies of meadow and steppe vipers) as well as analyses of newly obtained mitochondrial DNA sequences (CYT B, ND4).Our Bayesian analyses of nuclear sequences are concordant with previous studies of mitochondrial DNA, in that the phylogenetic position of the graeca clade is a clearly distinguished and distinct lineage separated from all other taxa in the complex. These phylogenetic results are also supported by a distinct morphology, ecology and isolated distribution of this unique taxon. Based on several data sets and an integrative species concept we recommend to elevate this taxon to species level: Vipera graeca Nilson & Andrén, 1988 stat. nov.

  16. Domain loss facilitates accelerated evolution and neofunctionalization of duplicate snake venom metalloproteinase toxin genes.

    PubMed

    Casewell, Nicholas R; Wagstaff, Simon C; Harrison, Robert A; Renjifo, Camila; Wüster, Wolfgang

    2011-09-01

    Gene duplication is a key mechanism for the adaptive evolution and neofunctionalization of gene families. Large multigene families often exhibit complex evolutionary histories as a result of frequent gene duplication acting in concordance with positive selection pressures. Alterations in the domain structure of genes, causing changes in the molecular scaffold of proteins, can also result in a complex evolutionary history and has been observed in functionally diverse multigene toxin families. Here, we investigate the role alterations in domain structure have on the tempo of evolution and neofunctionalization of multigene families using the snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) as a model system. Our results reveal that the evolutionary history of viperid (Serpentes: Viperidae) SVMPs is repeatedly punctuated by domain loss, with the single loss of the cysteine-rich domain, facilitating the formation of P-II class SVMPs, occurring prior to the convergent loss of the disintegrin domain to form multiple P-I SVMP structures. Notably, the majority of phylogenetic branches where domain loss was inferred to have occurred exhibited highly significant evidence of positive selection in surface-exposed amino acid residues, resulting in the neofunctionalization of P-II and P-I SVMP classes. These results provide a valuable insight into the mechanisms by which complex gene families evolve and detail how the loss of domain structures can catalyze the accelerated evolution of novel gene paralogues. The ensuing generation of differing molecular scaffolds encoded by the same multigene family facilitates gene neofunctionalization while presenting an evolutionary advantage through the retention of multiple genes capable of encoding functionally distinct proteins.

  17. A revision and key for the tribe Diaphorolepidini (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) and checklist for the genus Synophis.

    PubMed

    Pyron, R Alexander; Arteaga, Alejandro; Echevarría, Lourdes Y; Torres-Carvajal, Omar

    2016-09-28

    The genus Synophis contains a number of enigmatic species, distributed primarily in the Andean highlands of northern South America. Their extreme crypsis and rarity has precluded detailed study of most species. A recent flurry of collection activity resulted in the accession of many new specimens, and the description of 4 new species in 2015, doubling the number of described taxa. However, lingering questions remain regarding the assignment of many new and historical specimens, the morphological limits and geographical ranges of the species, and their phylogenetic relationships. We analyze new and existing morphological and molecular data to produce a new molecular phylogeny and revised morphological descriptions. We validate the previously unavailable tribe name Diaphorolepidini Jenner, Pyron, Arteaga, Echevarría, & Torres-Carvajal tribe nov., describe a 9th species Synophis niceforomariae Pyron, Arteaga, Echevarría, & Torres-Carvajal sp. nov., and offer new Standard Names in English and Spanish for the group: Andean Shadow Snakes and Culebras Andinas de la Sombra, respectively. A variety of features such as vertebrae and hemipenes show an interesting range of variation in the group, which should be evaluated in future studies, to refine species limits and diagnoses further. Cryptic and undiscovered diversity undoubtedly remains, and we hope this summary provides a robust basis for future work.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. 

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Multi-locus phylogeny and species delimitation of Australo-Papuan blacksnakes (Pseudechis Wagler, 1830: Elapidae: Serpentes).

    PubMed

    Maddock, Simon T; Childerstone, Aaron; Fry, Bryan Grieg; Williams, David J; Barlow, Axel; Wüster, Wolfgang

    2017-02-01

    Genetic analyses of Australasian organisms have resulted in the identification of extensive cryptic diversity across the continent. The venomous elapid snakes are among the best-studied organismal groups in this region, but many knowledge gaps persist: for instance, despite their iconic status, the species-level diversity among Australo-Papuan blacksnakes (Pseudechis) has remained poorly understood due to the existence of a group of cryptic species within the P. australis species complex, collectively termed "pygmy mulga snakes". Using two mitochondrial and three nuclear loci we assess species boundaries within the genus using Bayesian species delimitation methods and reconstruct their phylogenetic history using multispecies coalescent approaches. Our analyses support the recognition of 10 species, including all of the currently described pygmy mulga snakes and one undescribed species from the Northern Territory of Australia. Phylogenetic relationships within the genus are broadly consistent with previous work, with the recognition of three major groups, the viviparous red-bellied black snake P. porphyriacus forming the sister species to two clades consisting of ovoviviparous species.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. "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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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. 

  20. Plio-pleistocene diversification and connectivity between mainland and Tasmanian populations of Australian snakes (Drysdalia, Elapidae, Serpentes).

    PubMed

    Dubey, Sylvain; Keogh, J Scott; Shine, Richard

    2010-09-01

    The genus Drysdalia contains three recognised species of elapid (front-fanged) snakes, distributed across south-eastern Australia (including Tasmania). Here we aim to clarify the biogeography and phylogeographical relationships of this poorly documented region. We conducted molecular phylogenetic and dating analyses, using mitochondrial genes (ND4 and cyt-b). Our analyses suggest that divergence events among the three extant species, and among major lineages within those species, are congruent with Plio-pleistocene climatic variations. Two highly divergent genetic lineages within Drysdalia coronoides occur in Tasmania. Molecular dating suggests that these lineages were isolated from the mainland in the Pleistocene.

  1. Serpent: Magnetic signatures of serpentinized mantle and mesoscale oceanic variability along the Alaska/Aleutian subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purucker, Michael; Serpent Team

    2010-05-01

    NASA recently solicited suborbital missions as a part of its new Earth Venture program element. These missions are designed as complete PI-led investigations to conduct innovative, integrated, hypothesis or scientific question driven approaches to pressing questions in Earth System science. The missions should require sustained observations (<5 years) and significant resources (<30 million USD). The submitted mission proposals have been under evaluation since last November, and NASA is scheduled to make a decision in April. We, a team led by Raytheon's Photon Research Associates, propose to carry out a suborbital magnetic survey of the Aleutian subduction zone using NASA's Global Hawk to test the magnetic serpentinite hypothesis. This hypothesis states that dewatering of the descending slab within subduction zones produces an observable static magnetic signature through the formation of serpentinite in the overriding mantle. This signature may serve as a predictor of the location of large megathrust earthquakes and their associated tsunamis. Magnetic field measurements from 20 km (sub-orbital) altitude are essential to the testing of this hypothesis; analysis shows orbital and/or near-surface measurements are not likely to provide sufficient sensitivity and uniform calibration to confirm or reject the hypothesis, nor to consistently map its presence around the world. Static and dynamic magnetic signatures from the motion of seawater in the earth's magnetic field have the potential to confound an evaluation of the magnetic serpentinite hypothesis. Through a combination of modeling and exact repeat surveys over the subduction zone, spaced weeks to as much as six months apart, we can study the magnetic signature of the motion that characterizes the mesoscale oceanic circulation in order to develop the best possible corrections for lithospheric imaging, and elucidating the intrinsic and unique oceanic information content in the magnetic fields for the first time ever. The role of water in subduction zones, and in the overlying ocean, can be traced by sustained suborbital observations of the magnetic field. At critical depths of 40 to 50 km, subducting ocean crust goes through important metamorphic changes that release large amounts of water into overriding mantle rocks. Introduction of water into the mantle produces serpentinite, a highly magnetic, low-density rock. Thermal models indicate that, in many of the world's subduction zones, this part of the mantle is cooler than the Curie temperature of magnetite, the most important magnetic mineral in serpentinite, and thus large volumes of mantle in subduction-margin settings should be magnetic. Indeed, analysis of magnetic data from some subduction zones indicates that magnetic mantle can be detected in long-wavelength magnetic anomalies. The presence of serpentinite in subduction margins has two important links to large within-slab and giant megathrust earthquakes, and associated tsunamis. First, release of water from the subducting slab is thought to embrittle the slab, thereby promoting within-slab earthquakes (M 7-8). Thus, we expect to see a spatial association between this type of earthquake and mantle magnetic anomalies. Second, in cool subduction margins, the down-dip limit of megathrust earthquakes (M 8.0-9.6) is controlled by the slab's first encounter with serpentinized mantle. Again, we expect to see a spatial association between these devastating earthquakes and magnetic anomalies. The magnetic serpentinite hypothesis can be tested by comparison to free-air gravity, geologic, topographic, and bathymetric data of comparable resolution. Significant static and dynamic magnetic fields also originate as a consequence of oceanic flow in electrically conducting ocean water above the subduction zone. Although these signals are of much lower amplitude than the magnetic field associated with serpentinite, they can have significant power at short spatial scales, and thus have the potential to confound estimated magnetic source depths that rely on inferences from the horizontal magnetic gradient. Although a source of noise from the perspective of imaging the lithosphere, the motionally induced magnetic fields also present new opportunities for remote sensing in ocean and climate studies.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

    2016-03-04

    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.

  5. Geographic genetic structure in two laticaudine sea kraits, Laticauda laticaudata and Laticauda semifasciata (Serpentes: Elapidae), in the Ryukyu-Taiwan region as inferred from mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences.

    PubMed

    Tandavanitj, Nontivich; Ota, Hidetoshi; Cheng, Yuan-Cheng; Toda, Mamoru

    2013-08-01

    The Ryukyu-Taiwan region is an island arch with intervening waters of varying distances and depths. This study examines the geographic genetic structure of two sympatric sea kraits, Laticauda laticaudata and L. semifasciata, in the region, to infer factors affecting the extent of dispersal and other biogeographical traits of these amphibious reptiles. Sequence analyses of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene revealed four and 16 haplotypes for L. laticaudata (136 individuals) and L. semifasciata (177 individuals), respectively. For both species, population pairwise F ST analyses revealed significant genetic differentiations among islands and island groups, which are separated by deep straits, suggesting that deep waters serve as obstacles for dispersal in both species. Significant genetic differentiation was detected even among islands of the same basin in L. laticaudata, but not in L. semifasciata, and the isolation by distance analyses revealed no significant correlation between geographic and genetic distances in the former species. These results further suggest that L. laticaudata has stronger site fidelity or degree of philopatry than L. semifasciata. Based on the geographic genetic patterns, the historical biogeography of the two species in the Ryukyu-Taiwan region is also discussed.

  6. 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.

  7. "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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    2016-03-31

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Snakes across the Strait: trans-Torresian phylogeographic relationships in three genera of Australasian snakes (Serpentes: Elapidae: Acanthophis, Oxyuranus, and Pseudechis).

    PubMed

    Wüster, Wolfgang; Dumbrell, Alex J; Hay, Chris; Pook, Catharine E; Williams, David J; Fry, Bryan Grieg

    2005-01-01

    We analyze the phylogeny of three genera of Australasian elapid snakes (Acanthophis-death adders; Oxyuranus-taipans; Pseudechis-blacksnakes), using parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analysis of sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b and ND4 genes. In Acanthophis and Pseudechis, we find evidence of multiple trans-Torresian sister-group relationships. Analyses of the timing of cladogenic events suggest crossings of the Torres Strait on several occasions between the late Miocene and the Pleistocene. These results support a hypothesis of repeated land connections between Australia and New Guinea in the late Cenozoic. Additionally, our results reveal undocumented genetic diversity in Acanthophis and Pseudechis, supporting the existence of more species than previously believed, and provide a phylogenetic framework for a reinterpretation of the systematics of these genera. In contrast, our Oxyuranus scutellatus samples from Queensland and two localities in New Guinea share a single haplotype, suggesting very recent (late Pleistocene) genetic exchange between New Guinean and Australian populations.

  12. The phylogeny of cobras inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences: evolution of venom spitting and the phylogeography of the African spitting cobras (Serpentes: Elapidae: Naja nigricollis complex).

    PubMed

    Wüster, Wolfgang; Crookes, Steven; Ineich, Ivan; Mané, Youssouph; Pook, Catharine E; Trape, Jean-François; Broadley, Donald G

    2007-11-01

    We use phylogenetic analysis of 1333 bp of mitochondrial DNA sequence to investigate the phylogeny and historical biogeography of the cobra-like elapid snakes, with special reference to the evolution of spitting and the phylogeography of the African spitting cobras, a radiation widespread in open vegetational formations throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Our results suggest that spitting adaptations appear to have evolved three times in cobras, but alternative scenarios cannot be rejected. The Asiatic Naja are monophyletic and originate from a single colonization of Asia from Africa. The radiation of the African spitting Naja appears to date back to the early Miocene and many speciation events in the group predate the Pliocene expansion of grasslands and the radiation of large grazing mammals in Africa. The cladogenic events in this complex appear to have been triggered by both ecological changes and tectonic events associated with the formation and expansion of the African Rift Valley. Taxonomically, our data confirm the inclusion of Boulengerina and Paranaja within Naja, and reveal a clade of African rainforest cobras including N. melanoleuca, Paranaja multifasciata and Boulengerina that constitutes the sister clade of the African open-formation non-spitting cobras. Naja nigricollis is polyphyletic, and we therefore recognize N. nigricincta as a separate species, more closely related to N. ashei and N. mossambica than to N. nigricollis.

  13. 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.

  14. Command and Control of Special Operations Aviation: Time for a Change

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-01-24

    coordination or aircraft deconfliction as a significant issue. The actions of TF Ranger during Operation GOTHIC SERPENT in Somalia is the final...examples. However, a significant difference between the previous two operations listed and GOTHIC SERPENT was the time sensitive and dynamic nature of... GOTHIC SERPENT proved essential for prosecuting time sensitive targets (TSTs). A command relationship of ARSOA as a subordinate element in the JSOTF also

  15. 77 FR 4614 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Children of the Plumed...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-30

    ... Legacy of Quetzalcoatl in Ancient Mexico'' SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given of the following... exhibition ``Children of the Plumed Serpent: The Legacy of Quetzalcoatl in Ancient Mexico,'' imported...

  16. A taxonomic mystery for more than 150 years: Identity, systematic position and Malagasy origin of the snake Elapotinus picteti Jan, 1862, and synonymy of Exallodontophis Cadle, 1999 (Serpentes: Lamprophiidae).

    PubMed

    Kucharzewski, Christoph; Raselimanana, Achille P; Wang, Cynthia; Glaw, Frank

    2014-08-14

    Elapotinus picteti Jan, 1862 is an enigmatic snake taxon that has been described without locality data. Genus and species, both based on the unique holotype, were considered to belong to the venomous African Aparallactinae for more than a century, but although this taxon was never rediscovered it was accepted as a valid species until present. To clarify the taxonomic status of E. picteti its characters were compared with literature and determination keys for the whole world. This literature survey and the subsequent study of type specimens revealed that the monotypic Elapotinus is a subjective senior synonym of the monotypic Malagasy pseudoxyrhophiine snake genus Exallodontophis Cadle, 1999 which is characterized by its unique aglyphous dentition. We therefore transfer Elapotinus from the lamprophiid subfamily Aparallactinae to the subfamily Pseudoxyrhophiinae. Furthermore, Elapotinus picteti strongly resembles the Malagasy species Exallodontophis albignaci (Domergue, 1984) in external morphology, coloration and dentition. As a consequence we consider Elapotinus picteti a subjective senior synonym of Exallodontophis albignaci. 

  17. 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.

  18. In the Pursuit of Representative Governance and Peace Development

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-03-01

    unattainable with military forces. However, the lessons of Vietnam were unfortunately relearned in October 1993 during Operation GOTHIC SERPENT when we lost...finance, small business, medicine, agriculture, education, justice, corrections, intelligence, military art , practical politics and leadership.103

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Development of a Multifaceted Ovarian Cancer Therapeutic and Imaging Agent

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-04-01

    a production method for a recombinant disintegrin vicrostatin (VN), whose structure is based on the snake venom disintegrin contortrostatin (CN... venom disintegrin contortrostatin (CN), which has shown impressive antitumor and antiangiogenic activities in models of human ovarian cancer. OC cells...Jararhagin, a metallopreoteinase with a disintegrin domain isolated from Bothrops jararaca, a venomous pit viper found in Brazil, Paraguay and northern

  3. Inhibition of the myotoxic and hemorrhagic activities of crotalid venoms by Eclipta prostrata (Asteraceae) extracts and constituents.

    PubMed

    Melo, P A; do Nascimento, M C; Mors, W B; Suarez-Kurtz, G

    1994-05-01

    The antimyotoxic and antihemorrhagic effects of Eclipta prostrata (EP) and three of its constituents (wedelolactone, WE; stigmaterol, ST; and sitosterol, SI) were investigated. The myotoxicity of crotalid venoms (Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops jararacussu and Lachesis muta), purified myotoxins (bothropstoxin, BthTX; bothropasin; and crotoxin), and polylysine was quantified in vitro by the release rate of creatine kinase (CK) from rat or mouse extensor digitorum muscles, and in vivo by the plasma CK activity in mice. The in vitro myotoxicity of the crotalid venoms and myotoxins was neutralized by simultaneous exposure of the muscles to an aqueous extract of EP or to WE. ST and SI were less effective than WE, but interacted synergistically with it. Both the EP extract and WE failed to neutralize the in vitro myotoxic effects of polylysine. The in vivo myotoxicity of venoms and myotoxins was neutralized by their preincubation with the EP extract or WE. Intravenous administration of the plant extract or WE attenuated the increase in plasma CK activity induced by subsequent intramuscular injections of the crotalid venoms or the myotoxins. EP and WE inhibited the hemorrhagic effect of B. jararaca venom, as well as the phospholipase A2 activity of crotoxin and the proteolytic activity of B. jararaca venom. The data provide direct evidence for antimyotoxic and antihemorrhagic effects of EP and WE against the crotalid venoms responsible for most cases of envenomation by snakebites in Brazil. These effects are interpreted as consequences of antiproteolytic and antiphospholipase A2 activities of EP and its constituents.

  4. 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.

  5. The complete mitochondrial DNA sequence of Crotalus horridus (timber rattlesnake).

    PubMed

    Hall, Jacob B; Cobb, Vincent A; Cahoon, A Bruce

    2013-04-01

    The complete mitogenome of the timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) was completed using Sanger sequencing. It is 17,260 bp with 13 protein-coding genes, 21 tRNAs, two rRNAs and two control regions. Gene synteny is consistent with other snakes with the exception of a missing redundant tRNA (Ser) . This mitogenome should prove to be a useful addition of a well-known member of the Viperidae snake family.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. The symbol of modern medicine: why one snake is more than two.

    PubMed

    Wilcox, Robert A; Whitham, Emma M

    2003-04-15

    Today, two serpent motifs are commonly used to symbolize the practice and profession of medicine. Internationally, the most popular symbol of medicine is the single serpent-entwined staff of Asklepios (Latin, Aesculapius), the ancient Greco-Roman god of medicine. However, in the United States, the staff of Asklepios (the Asklepian) and a double serpent-entwined staff with surmounting wings (the caduceus) are both popular medical symbols. The latter symbol is often designated as the "medical caduceus" and is equated with the ancient caduceus, the double serpent-entwined staff of the Greco-Roman god Hermes (Latin, Mercury). Many physicians would be surprised to learn that the medical caduceus has a quite modern origin: Its design is derived not from the ancient caduceus of Hermes but from the printer's mark of a popular 19th-century medical publisher. Furthermore, this modern caduceus became a popular medical symbol only after its adoption by the U.S. Army Medical Corps at the beginning of the 20th century. This paper describes the ancient origin of the Asklepian and how a misunderstanding of ancient mythology and iconography seems to have led to the inappropriate popularization of the modern caduceus as a medical symbol.

  9. 78 FR 14539 - Notice of Receipt of Pesticide Products; Registration Applications To Register New Uses

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-06

    ... (bulb), garlic (bulbs of common, great-headed, serpent), lily (bulb), onion (bulbs of common, Chinese... (leaves), kurrat, leek, wild leek, lady's leek, Beltsville bunching onion, fresh onion, green onion, macrostem onion, tree onion tops, Welsh onion tops, shallot fresh leaves plus cultivars, varieties...

  10. Global Scouts

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-11-01

    Battle of Mogadishu was a battle that was part of Operation Gothic Serpent that was fought on October 3 and 4, 1993 in Mogadishu, Somalia...SAA The Future of ARSOF TCCC State-of-the- Art Family of SOF Medical Equipment Sets (MESs) and Supplements designed by the Medical Operators to meet

  11. 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)

  12. The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations NWP 9 (REV.A)/ FMFM 1-10. Annotated Supplement

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-01-01

    and Komodo Islands. many (Andaman Islands) rocks in channel 63371-1 96,290 73041 -1 212.660 131 ’Ten Degree Channel 77 1.000.+’ 10 India 145. *Sumba...Bab al Mandeb Nicaragua Entrance to Gulf of Fonseca Yemen (Sanaa) Bab a1 Mandeb Trinidad and Tobago Serpent’s Mouth Yemen (Aden) Bab-el Mandeb Dragons

  13. High Performing Teams: The Moderating Effects of Communication Channels

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-03-01

    3 LITERATURE REVIEW ............................................................................................................................ 4...in Mogadishu, Somalia, Operation GOTHIC SERPENT quickly ran into several complications before turning into a rescue operation (Bowden, 1999). For...have on verbal team member communication and team performance? 3 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Collaborative Environments Because

  14. 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

  15. Neuronal Adaptive Mechanisms Underlying Intelligent Information Processing

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-05-01

    Simposio: "Aplicacao de venenos das serpentes em Problemas de Farmacologia e Bioquimica cellular". Ribeirao Preto S.P. Brazil. AJ PAGE 33 Allon, N. and... bined by means of a function 12 to obtain the value, i. The problems to be resolved ate: 1. How can arrays of this sort be organized to permit a

  16. Effect of suramin on myotoxicity of some crotalid snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Arruda, E Z; Silva, N M V; Moraes, R A M; Melo, P A

    2002-06-01

    We investigated the protective effect of suramin, an enzyme inhibitor and an uncoupler of G protein from receptors, on the myotoxic activity in mice of different crotalid snake venoms (A.c. laticinctus, C.v. viridis, C.d. terrificus, B. jararacussu, B. moojeni, B. alternatus, B. jararaca, L. muta). Myotoxicity was evaluated in vivo by injecting im the venoms (0.5 or 1.0 mg/kg) dissolved in physiological saline solution (0.1 ml) and measuring plasma creatine kinase (CK) activity. Two experimental approaches were used in mice (N = 5 for each group). In protocol A, 1 mg of each venom was incubated with 1.0 mg suramin (15 min, 37 degrees C, in vitro), and then injected im into the mice at a dose of 1.0 mg/kg (in vivo). In protocol B, venoms, 1.0 mg/kg, were injected im 15 min prior to suramin (1.0 mg/kg, iv). Before and 2 h after the im injection blood was collected by orbital puncture. Plasma was separated and stored at 4 degrees C for determination of CK activity using a diagnostic kit from Sigma. Preincubation of some venoms (C.v. viridis, A.c. laticinctus, C.d. terrificus and B. jararacussu) with suramin reduced (37-76%) the increase in plasma CK, except for B. alternatus, B. jararaca or L. muta venoms. Injection of suramin after the venom partially protected (34-51%) against the myotoxicity of B. jararacussu, A.c. laticinctus and C.d. terrificus venom, and did not protect against C.v. viridis, L. muta, B. moojeni, B. alternatus or B. jararaca venoms. These results show that suramin has an antimyotoxic effect against some, but not all the North and South American crotalid snake venoms studied here.

  17. Crystal structure of a phospholipase A2 from Bothrops asper venom: Insights into a new putative "myotoxic cluster".

    PubMed

    Salvador, Guilherme H M; Dos Santos, Juliana I; Lomonte, Bruno; Fontes, Marcos R M

    2017-02-01

    Snake venoms from the Viperidae and Elapidae families often have several phospholipases A2 (PLA2s), which may display different functions despite having a similar structural scaffold. These proteins are considered an important target for the development of drugs against local myotoxic damage because they are not efficiently neutralized by conventional serum therapy. PLA2s from these venoms are generally divided into two classes: (i) catalytic PLA2s (or Asp49-PLA2s) and (ii) non-catalytic PLA2-like toxins (or Lys49-PLA2s). In many Viperidae venoms, a subset of the basic Asp49-PLA2s displays some functional and structural characteristics of PLA2-like proteins and group within the same phylogenetic clade, but their myotoxic mechanism is still largely unknown. In the present study, we have crystallized and solved the structure of myotoxin I (MT-I), a basic myotoxic Asp49-PLA2 isolated from Bothrops asper venom. The structure presents a dimeric conformation that is compatible with that of previous dimers found for basic myotoxic Asp49-PLA2s and Lys49-PLA2s and has been confirmed by other biophysical and bioinformatics techniques. This arrangement suggests a possible cooperative action between both monomers to exert myotoxicity via two different sites forming a putative membrane-docking site (MDoS) and a putative membrane disruption site (MDiS). This mechanism would resemble that proposed for Lys49-PLA2s, but the sites involved appear to be situated in a different region. Thus, as both sites are close to one another, they form a "myotoxic cluster", which is also found in two other basic myotoxic Asp49-PLA2s from Viperidae venoms. Such arrangement may represent a novel structural strategy for the mechanism of muscle damage exerted by the group of basic, Asp49-PLA2s found in viperid snake venoms.

  18. 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.

  19. [A survey on the venomous snakes of the vicinity of Kindia (Guinea) and considerations on the treatment of snakebite].

    PubMed

    Baldé, M C; Mané, Y; Trape, J F

    2009-02-01

    Between June and December 2004, snake collections were undertaken in eight villages of the vicinity of Kindia, an area of Guinea Conakry where the incidence of snakebite is among the highest reported in the world. A total of 916 specimens were collected, including 90 Elapidae (9.8 %) and 174 Viperidae (19.0%). The Black Mamba Dendroaspis polylepis was represented by eight specimens, i.e. almost 1% of the snakes collected. This species, which is considered as very rare in West Africa, appears common in this area of Guinea. The current difficulties for the treatment of snakebite due to the high increase of the cost of antivenom therapy are discussed.

  20. Inhibition of Hemorragic Snake Venom Components: Old and New Approaches

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:22069593

  1. [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.

  2. [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.

  3. Does the Jet Stream Indicate the Presence of Transient EMFs also Detected by Native American Environmental Scientists? These Variable EMFs May Impact Regional Power Failures.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pawa Matagamon, Sagamo; Balam Matagmaon, Chan

    2003-10-01

    Ohios Serpent Mound, and other instruments like a schist-like-slate serpent effigy may be monitors that detect transient and periodic electromagnetic field (EMF) effects. Physics courses show that ionic beams transversely entering magnetic fields are deflected at constant velocity into circular paths. Our abstracts of earlier APS/AAPT meetings used this analysis as the basis for tornado and hurricane modeling. Ionized jet streams will be deflected if they penetrate a new, transient region of magnetic fields. Clockwise horizontal deflection of a positively ionized jet stream requires this time-varying magnetic field to be directed perpendicularly away from the earth. One model is that a north magnetic field from a secondary magnetic dipole acts within an anthropomorphized Mother Earth, (M E). Power grid failures are influenced by M Es predictable voltages superposed onto grid frequencies via Faradays Law! Mayan youth and rulers seem to have detected the equivalent.

  4. Considerations for Employment of Marine Helicopters in Future Conflicts: How Much Risk is Acceptable?

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-01-01

    time color video . Additionally, in many instances support helicopters flying different missions were part of the intelligence gathering effort. The...Affairs Online. http://ciaonet.org/cbr/cbrOO/ video /cbcctd/cbcctd_52.html (accessed November 27,2007). 44 Prior to 1986, the mujahedeen’s most effective...Operation ENDURING FREEDOM ROK· Republic Of Korea GS· Operation GOTHIC SERPENT (Somalia) OS· Operation DESERT STORM JC- Operation JUST CAUS~ UFo

  5. Five in situ observations of live oarfish Regalecus glesne (Regalecidae) by remotely operated vehicles in the oceanic waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Benfield, M C; Cook, S; Sharuga, S; Valentine, M M

    2013-07-01

    As part of the SERPENT Project, five observations of apparently healthy oarfish Regalecus glesne by remotely operated vehicles are reported from the northern Gulf of Mexico. Regalecus glesne were observed between 2008 and 2011 at depths from within the epipelagic and mesopelagic zones. These observations include the deepest verified record of R. glesne (463-492 m) and the first record of an arthropod ectoparasite (isopod).

  6. Ability of a synthetic coumestan to antagonize Bothrops snake venom activities.

    PubMed

    Melo, Paulo A; Pinheiro, Diogo A; Ricardo, Hilmar Dias; Fernandes, Fabrício F A; Tomaz, Marcelo A; El-Kik, Camila Z; Strauch, Marcelo A; da Fonseca, Tatiane F; Sifuentes, Daniel N; Calil-Elias, Sabrina; Buarque, Camilla D; Brito, Flávia V; Costa, Paulo R R; Da Silva, Alcides J M

    2010-01-01

    We investigated a synthetic coumestan named LQB93 and similar compounds abilities to antagonize activities of Bothrops jararacussu and Bothrops jararaca crude venoms in different protocols. The antimyotoxic activity was evaluated in vitro by the rate of release of creatine kinase (CK) from isolated mouse extensor digitorum longus muscle (EDL) induced by B. jararacussu (25 g/ml). For in vivo studies, B. jararacussu venom (1.0 mg/kg) was preincubated with LQB93 (0.1-30 mg/kg), during 30 min, for later injection in mouse tight and evaluation of the antimyotoxic and anti-edematogenic effects. LQB93 antagonized in vitro, the increase of CK release from the EDL muscle (IC(50)=0.0291 M). It also showed in vivo, antimyotoxic and anti-edematogenic effects that were dose-dependent with ID50 of 0.17 mg/kg and 0.14 mg/kg, respectively. The hemorrhage induced by B. jararaca (1.0 mg/kg) venom in the mouse skin, was abolished by LQB93 (10.0 mg/kg) preincubated with venom. Like wedelolactone, LQB93 protected rat isolated heart on a Langendorff preparation, from the cardiotoxicity of B. jararacussu venom. LQB93 inhibit the effects of Bothrops venoms like wedelolactone, a natural compound isolated from the plant Eclipta prostrata.

  7. Evaluation of three Brazilian antivenom ability to antagonize myonecrosis and hemorrhage induced by Bothrops snake venoms in a mouse model.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Noelson M V; Arruda, Emerson Z; Murakami, Yugo L B; Moraes, Raphael A M; El-Kik, Camila Z; Tomaz, Marcelo A; Fernandes, Fabrício F A; Oliveira, Clayton Z; Soares, Andreimar M; Giglio, Jose R; Melo, Paulo A

    2007-08-01

    Despite preventing death after snakebites, there is little evidence that polyvalent antivenoms (PAVs) protect against myotoxicity and local damages. We evaluated antibothropic Brazilian PAVs from three manufacturers against the myotoxicity and hemorrhagic activity of Bothrops jararacussu and B. jararaca venoms, respectively, by using two protocols: preincubation of PAVs with venom, and i.v. pretreatment with PAVs, prior to the venom inoculation. In this investigation, we used doses of PAVs ranging from 0.4 to 4.0mL/mg of venom equivalent up to 10 times the amount recommended by the producers for the clinical practice in Brazil. In our preincubation protocol in vivo, PAVs antagonized myotoxicity of B. jararacussu venom by 40-95%, while our pretreatment protocol antagonized myotoxic activity by 0-60%. Preincubation of antivenoms with B. jararaca venom antagonized its hemorrhagic activity by 70-95%, while pretreatment antagonized hemorrhagic activity by 10-50%. Although all PAVs demonstrated partial antagonism against both venoms, the magnitude of these effects varied greatly among the manufactures. The results suggest that the current clinical doses of these PAVs may have negligible antimyotoxic effect.

  8. Bradykinin-potentiating peptides: beyond captopril.

    PubMed

    Camargo, Antonio C M; Ianzer, Danielle; Guerreiro, Juliano R; Serrano, Solange M T

    2012-03-15

    The identification of novel endogenous and exogenous molecules acting in the complex mechanism of regulating the vascular tonus has always been of great interest. The discovery of bradykinin (1949) and the bradykinin-potentiating peptides (1965) had a pivotal influence in the field, respectively, in understanding cardiovascular pathophysiology and in the development of captopril, the first active-site directed inhibitor of angiotensin-converting enzyme, and used worldwide to treat human hypertension. Both discoveries originated from studies of envenoming by the snake Bothrops jararaca. The aim of the present article is to reveal that the snake proline-rich oligopeptides, known as bradykinin-potentiating peptides, are still a source of surprising scientific discoveries, some of them useful not only to reveal potential new targets but also to introduce prospective lead molecules for drug development. In particular, we emphasize argininosuccinate synthetase as a new functional target for one of bradykinin-potentiating peptides found in B. jararaca, Bj-BPP-10c. This decapeptide leads to argininosuccinate synthetase activation, consequently sustaining increased nitric oxide production, a critical endogenous molecule to reduce the arterial blood pressure.

  9. Extremely low nerve growth facior (NGF) activity of sea snake (Hydrophiidae) venoms.

    PubMed

    Mariam, Khafizova; Tu, Anthony T

    2002-12-01

    Sea snake venoms contain less protein than those of land snakes (Toom et al., 1969). Sea snake venoms lack arginine ester hydrolyzing activity, whereas those of Crotalidae and Viperidae have such activity (Tu et al., 1966). Sea snakes live in salty water, and their venoms may be different from those of land snakes. Because of the difficulty in obtaining sea snake venoms, information about sea snake venoms is quite incomplete. NGF is commonly present in the venoms of land snakes such as Elapidae, Viperidae, and Crotalidae (Cohen and Levi-Montalcini, 1956; Lipps, 2002). It is therefore of interest to investigate the presence or absence of NGF in sea snake venoms. In order to investigate the presence or absence of NGF, five sea snake venoms were selected. Lapemis hardwickii (Hardwick's sea snake) and Acalyptophis peronii venom were obtained from the Gulf of Thailand. Hydrophis cyanocinctus (common sea snake) and Enhydrina schistosa (beaked sea snake) venom were obtained from the Strait of Malacca. Laticauda semifasciata (broad band blue sea snake) venom was also examined and the venom was obtained from Gato Island in the Philippines.

  10. Malformations in neotropical viperids: qualitative and quantitative analysis.

    PubMed

    Sant'Anna, S S; Grego, K F; Lorigados, C A B; Fonseca-Pinto, A C B C; Fernandes, W; Sá-Rocha, L C; Catão-Dias, J L

    2013-11-01

    Malformations can occur in all living species, but there is little information about anomalies that occur in snakes and their frequency. This study assessed malformations in newborn South American pit vipers (Bothrops jararaca) and South American rattlesnakes (Crotalus durissus) from wild captured pregnant females (240 and 35 litters, respectively). Newborn snakes were measured, weighed, sexed and studied grossly and by radiography for the presence of malformations. Ninety-five malformed pit vipers were identified from 4,087 births (2.3%), while 36 malformed rattlesnakes were found from 324 births (11.1%). Spinal abnormalities were the most common in both species, followed by fusion of ventral scales. Pit vipers showed a greater range of malformations including schistosomia (22.1%), kinked tail (13.7%), bicephaly (3.1%) and hydrocephaly (2.1%).

  11. On the modeling of snake venom serine proteinase interactions with benzamidine-based thrombin inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Henriques, Elsa S.; Fonseca, Nelson; Ramos, Maria João

    2004-01-01

    Pit viper venoms contain a number of serine proteinases that exhibit one or more thrombin-like activities on fibrinogen and platelets, this being the case for the kinin-releasing and fibrinogen-clotting KN-BJ from the venom of Bothrops jararaca. A three-dimensional structural model of the KN-BJ2 serine proteinase was built by homology modeling using the snake venom plasminogen activator TSV-PA as a major template and porcine kallikrein as additional structural support. A set of intrinsic buried waters was included in the model and its behavior under dynamic conditions was molecular dynamics simulated, revealing a most interesting similarity pattern to kallikrein. The benzamidine-based thrombin inhibitors α-NAPAP, 3-TAPAP, and 4-TAPAP were docked into the refined model, allowing for a more insightful functional characterization of the enzyme and a better understanding of the reported comparatively low affinity of KN-BJ2 toward those inhibitors. PMID:15322279

  12. 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.

  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. Spatial and spectral effects in subcritical system pulsed experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Dulla, S.; Nervo, M.; Ravetto, P.; Carta, M.

    2013-07-01

    Accurate neutronic models are needed for the interpretation of pulsed experiments in subcritical systems. In this work, the extent of spatial and spectral effects in the pulse propagation phenomena is investigated and the analysis is applied to the GUINEVERE experiment. The multigroup cross section data is generated by the Monte Carlo SERPENT code and the neutronic evolution following the source pulse is simulated by a kinetic diffusion code. The results presented show that important spatial and spectral aspects need to be properly accounted for and that a detailed energy approach may be needed to adequately capture the physical features of the system to the pulse injection. (authors)

  16. 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.

  17. Proteomic Analyses of Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix Venom Using 2D Electrophoresis and MS Techniques.

    PubMed

    Bocian, Aleksandra; Urbanik, Małgorzata; Hus, Konrad; Łyskowski, Andrzej; Petrilla, Vladimír; Andrejčáková, Zuzana; Petrillová, Monika; Legáth, Jaroslav

    2016-12-13

    Snake venom is a complex mixture of proteins and peptides which in the Viperidae is mainly hemotoxic. The diversity of these components causes the venom to be an extremely interesting object of study. Discovered components can be used in search for new pharmaceuticals used primarily in the treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system. In order to determine the protein composition of the southern copperhead venom, we have used high resolution two dimensional electrophoresis and MALDI ToF/ToF MS-based identification. We have identified 10 groups of proteins present in the venom, of which phospholipase A₂ and metalloprotease and serine proteases constitute the largest groups. For the first time presence of 5'-nucleotidase in venom was found in this group of snakes. Three peptides present in the venom were also identified. Two of them as bradykinin-potentiating agents and one as an inhibitor.

  18. Proteomic Analyses of Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix Venom Using 2D Electrophoresis and MS Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Bocian, Aleksandra; Urbanik, Małgorzata; Hus, Konrad; Łyskowski, Andrzej; Petrilla, Vladimír; Andrejčáková, Zuzana; Petrillová, Monika; Legáth, Jaroslav

    2016-01-01

    Snake venom is a complex mixture of proteins and peptides which in the Viperidae is mainly hemotoxic. The diversity of these components causes the venom to be an extremely interesting object of study. Discovered components can be used in search for new pharmaceuticals used primarily in the treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system. In order to determine the protein composition of the southern copperhead venom, we have used high resolution two dimensional electrophoresis and MALDI ToF/ToF MS-based identification. We have identified 10 groups of proteins present in the venom, of which phospholipase A2 and metalloprotease and serine proteases constitute the largest groups. For the first time presence of 5′-nucleotidase in venom was found in this group of snakes. Three peptides present in the venom were also identified. Two of them as bradykinin-potentiating agents and one as an inhibitor. PMID:27983581

  19. Histology of the Skin of Three Limbless Squamates Dwelling in Mesic and Arid Environments.

    PubMed

    Allam, Ahmed A; Daza, Juan D; Abo-Eleneen, Rasha E

    2016-07-01

    The skin of limbless squamates has an increased contact with the substrate compared with limbed counterparts. Comparatively, the contact with the substrate is intensified in fossorial species, where the whole circumference of the body interacts with the soil during underground locomotion. Although fossoriality in Squamata, specifically lizards and snakes, has been studied ecologically and morphologically (e.g., osteological changes), not enough detail is yet available regarding changes in organs critical for underground lifestyle such as the skin. Here we used histological and microscopical techniques (scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy) to uncover the structural detail of the epidermis and dermis in three limbless reptiles, the amphisbaenian Diplometopon zarudnyi, and two snakes, Indotyphlops braminus (Typhlopidae) and Cerastes cerastes (Viperidae). The skin of these taxa shows pronounced morphological diversity, which is likely associated to different environmental and functional demands upon these reptiles. Anat Rec, 299:979-989, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Bionic research of pit vipers on infrared imaging.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhigang; Zhang, Yong; Zhang, Qingchuan; Cheng, Teng; Wu, Xiaoping

    2015-07-27

    The members of viperidae crotalinae (pit viper) family have special pit organs to detect infrared radiation in normal room conditions, whereas most artificial uncooled infrared focal plane arrays (FPAs) operate only in a vacuum chamber. Dissection shows that the pit membrane is a unique substrate-free structure. The temperature rise advantage of this pit organ was verified in comparison with an assumed substrate pit organ (as an artificial FPA structure). Inspired by the pit viper, we introduced this structure to infrared FPA, replacing the conventional substrate FPA. The substrate-free FPA was fabricated by micro-elctromechanical systems (MEMS) process and placed into an infrared imaging system to obtain thermal images of the human body in atmosphere and vacuum working conditions. We show that the infrared capability of the substrate-free pit organ was achieved.

  1. 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).

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Comparative Sex Chromosome Genomics in Snakes: Differentiation, Evolutionary Strata, and Lack of Global Dosage Compensation

    PubMed Central

    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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Diversification in vipers: Phylogenetic relationships, time of divergence and shifts in speciation rates.

    PubMed

    Alencar, Laura R V; Quental, Tiago B; Grazziotin, Felipe G; Alfaro, Michael L; Martins, Marcio; Venzon, Mericien; Zaher, Hussam

    2016-12-01

    Snakes of the cosmopolitan family Viperidae comprise around 329 venomous species showing a striking heterogeneity in species richness among lineages. While the subfamily Azemiopinae comprises only two species, 70% of all viper species are arranged in the subfamily Crotalinae or the "pit vipers". The radiation of the pit vipers was marked by the evolution of the heat-sensing pits, which has been suggested to be a key innovation for the successful diversification of the group. Additionally, only crotalines were able to successfully colonize the New World. Here, we present the most complete molecular phylogeny for the family to date that comprises sequences from nuclear and mitochondrial genes representing 79% of all living vipers. We also investigated the time of divergence between lineages, using six fossils to calibrate the tree, and explored the hypothesis that crotalines have undergone an explosive radiation. Our phylogenetic analyses retrieved high support values for the monophyly of the family Viperidae, subfamilies Viperinae and Crotalinae, and 22 out of 27 genera, as well as well-supported intergeneric relationships throughout the family. We were able to recover a strongly supported sister clade to the New World pit vipers that comprises Gloydius, Ovophis, Protobothrops and Trimeresurus gracilis. Our results agree in many aspects with other studies focusing on the phylogenetics of vipers, but we recover new relationships as well. Despite the addition of new sequences we were not able to resolve some of the poor supported relationships previously suggested. Time of divergence estimates suggested that vipers started to radiate around the late Paleocene to middle Eocene with subfamilies most likely dating back to the Eocene. The invasion of the New World might have taken place sometime close to the Oligocene/Miocene boundary. Diversification analyses suggested a shift in speciation rates during the radiation of a sub-clade of pit vipers where speciation rates

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. On the Asclepian spirit and the future of psychoanalysis.

    PubMed

    Whitehead, Clay C

    2002-01-01

    The dynamics of the Asclepian myth are analyzed, and generic dynamics of the healing imperative are illustrated. The story teaches much about the early theories and practice of ancient medicine, and originated the healing symbol of the staff and serpent which appears on the emblem of the American Academy. The multi-modal therapeutic approach used at the Asclepia was often climaxed by dream incubation as a centerpiece of the treatment. Dreams from modern physicians in analysis will be introduced to show that while our practice has changed in external trappings, the underlying dynamics of ancient and modern healers reflect a common humanity. Modern therapists have reacquired the use of dreams and invented a new set of explanatory myths. Consideration of future developments leads to linking the "psychosomatic model" of antiquity with the psychopharmacological interventions which are now common-place in psychodynamic psychotherapy. The Asclepian emphasis on spirituality is also finding increasing recognition among psychoanalysts and other scientists.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. [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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Dynamics in Restructuring Active Regions Observed During Soho/Yohkoh/Gbo Campaigns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmieder, B.; Deng, Y.; Mandrini, C. H.; Rudawy, P.; Nitta, N.; Mason, H.; Fletcher, L.; Martens, P.; Brynildsen, N.

    JOP17 and JOP 33 are SOHO Joint Observing Programs in collaboration with Yohkoh/SXT and ground based observatories (GBO's), dedicated to observe dynamical events through the atmosphere. During runs of these programs we observed in restructuring active regions (ARs), surges, subflares, bright knots, but not large flares and jets. From these observations we have been able to derive some of the responses of the coronal and chromospheric plasma to the evolution of the photospheric magnetic field. Emerging flux in an AR led to the formation of Arch Filament Systems in the chromosphere, hot loops and knots in the transition region, and X-ray loops. Frequent surges have been observed in relation to parasitic or mixed polarities, but coronal jets have not yet been found. We discuss the possible mechanisms acting during the restructuring of the active regions (reconnection or ``sea-serpent'' geometries)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Nechvatal, James; Barker, Elaine; Bassham, Lawrence; Burr, William; Dworkin, Morris; Foti, James; Roback, Edward

    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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Low-power lead-cooled fast reactor loaded with MOX-fuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sitdikov, E. R.; Terekhova, A. M.

    2017-01-01

    Fast reactor for the purpose of implementation of research, education of undergraduate and doctoral students in handling innovative fast reactors and training specialists for atomic research centers and nuclear power plants (BRUTs) was considered. Hard neutron spectrum achieved in the fast reactor with compact core and lead coolant. Possibility of prompt neutron runaway of the reactor is excluded due to the low reactivity margin which is less than the effective fraction of delayed neutrons. The possibility of using MOX fuel in the BRUTs reactor was examined. The effect of Keff growth connected with replacement of natural lead coolant to 208Pb coolant was evaluated. The calculations and reactor core model were performed using the Serpent Monte Carlo code.

  12. Bioengineering and Cybernetics: A Modern Caduceus.

    PubMed

    Magin, Richard L

    2017-01-01

    Like the caduceus, a medical symbol of entwined serpents, bioengineering and cybernetics have interwoven together ideas and concepts for over 50 years. Half a century is a long time, and whether we are talking about an academic discipline, our lives, or an old car, achieving 50 is a number that brings pause to the conversation. In books, wine, or collectibles, 50 years is termed vintage, which carries the connotation of depth and maturity. Certainly, in the case of the discipline of bioengineering, 50 years is a milestone of growth and development. By all academic measures (number of departments, current enrollment and graduates, size of faculty, and impact factor for its publications), bioengineering is a mature discipline. Presently, there are almost 100 ABET-certified bioengineering degree programs in the United States alone.

  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. 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.

  15. STEADY STATE MODELING OF THE MINIMUM CRITICAL CORE OF THE TRANSIENT REACTOR TEST FACILITY

    SciTech Connect

    Anthony L. Alberti; Todd S. Palmer; Javier Ortensi; Mark D. DeHart

    2016-05-01

    With the advent of next generation reactor systems and new fuel designs, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has identified the need for the resumption of transient testing of nuclear fuels. The DOE has decided that the Transient Reactor Test Facility (TREAT) at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is best suited for future testing. TREAT is a thermal neutron spectrum, air-cooled, nuclear test facility that is designed to test nuclear fuels in transient scenarios. These specific scenarios range from simple temperature transients to full fuel melt accidents. DOE has expressed a desire to develop a simulation capability that will accurately model the experiments before they are irradiated at the facility. It is the aim for this capability to have an emphasis on effective and safe operation while minimizing experimental time and cost. The multi physics platform MOOSE has been selected as the framework for this project. The goals for this work are to identify the fundamental neutronics properties of TREAT and to develop an accurate steady state model for future multiphysics transient simulations. In order to minimize computational cost, the effect of spatial homogenization and angular discretization are investigated. It was found that significant anisotropy is present in TREAT assemblies and to capture this effect, explicit modeling of cooling channels and inter-element gaps is necessary. For this modeling scheme, single element calculations at 293 K gave power distributions with a root mean square difference of 0.076% from those of reference SERPENT calculations. The minimum critical core configuration with identical gap and channel treatment at 293 K resulted in a root mean square, total core, radial power distribution 2.423% different than those of reference SERPENT solutions.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Pioneers of anti-venomous serotherapy: Dr Vital Brazil (1865-1950).

    PubMed

    Hawgood, B J

    1992-01-01

    Dr Vital Brazil was a great humanitarian and pioneer of medical science. His main work arose from his concern with poisonous snakebite accidents to labourers working the land. Vital Brazil estimated that, at the beginning of this century, deaths due to crotaline snakebites in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, were nearly 3000 per year, representing a mortality rate of about 25%, the majority being due to bothropic envenomation. After reading a report of Calmette's anti-Naja serum, Vital Brazil raised monovalent serum against the venom of Bothrops jararaca and the venom of Crotalus durissus terrificus. In 1989 this led to the first demonstration of the specificity of anti-venomous serum and later, the first production of polyvalent serum for therapeutic use. As Director of the newly founded Institute Butantan in São Paulo, Vital Brazil was actively engaged in every aspect of serotherapeutic treatment. This included organizing a unique system of exchanging anti-ophidic serum for snakes as well as a wide-ranging teaching programme. His many outstanding contributions to the fields of immunology, public health, toxinology and herpetology required not only a very high level of observational, deductive and practical ability but also an unswerving vision and sense of duty; this was allied to great administrative skill and exceptional energy.

  19. 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).

  20. Aqueous Leaf Extract of Jatropha mollissima (Pohl) Bail Decreases Local Effects Induced by Bothropic Venom

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Jacyra Antunes dos Santos; Geraldo Amaral, Juliano; Lopes, Norberto Peporine; Tabosa do Egito, Eryvaldo Sócrates; da Silva-Júnior, Arnóbio Antônio; Maria Zucolotto, Silvana

    2016-01-01

    Snakebites are a serious worldwide public health problem. In Brazil, about 90% of accidents are attributed to snakes from the Bothrops genus. The specific treatment consists of antivenom serum therapy, which has some limitations such as inability to neutralize local effects, difficult access in some regions, risk of immunological reactions, and high cost. Thus, the search for alternative therapies to treat snakebites is relevant. Jatropha mollissima (Euphorbiaceae) is a medicinal plant popularly used in folk medicine as an antiophidic remedy. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate the effect of the aqueous leaf extract from J. mollissima on local effects induced by Bothrops venoms. High Performance Liquid Chromatography with Diode Array Detection analysis and Mass Spectrometry analysis of aqueous leaf extract confirmed the presence of the flavonoids isoschaftoside, schaftoside, isoorientin, orientin, vitexin, and isovitexin. This extract, at 50–200 mg/kg doses administered by intraperitoneal route, showed significant inhibitory potential against local effects induced by Bothrops erythromelas and Bothrops jararaca snake venoms. Local skin hemorrhage, local edema, leukocyte migration, and myotoxicity were significantly inhibited by the extract. These results demonstrate that J. mollissima extract possesses inhibitory potential, especially against bothropic venoms, suggesting its potential as an adjuvant in treatment of snakebites. PMID:27847818

  1. 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

    2016-08-05

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. Complete amino-acid sequence, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction studies of leucurolysin-a, a nonhaemorrhagic metalloproteinase from Bothrops leucurus snake venom

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Rodrigo Novaes; Rates, Breno; Richardson, Michael; Guimarães, Beatriz Gomes; Sanchez, Eládio Oswaldo Flores; de Castro Pimenta, Adriano Monteiro; Nagem, Ronaldo Alves Pinto

    2009-01-01

    Leucurolysin-a (leuc-a) is a class P-I snake-venom metalloproteinase isolated from the venom of the South American snake Bothrops leucurus (white-tailed jararaca). The mature protein is composed of 202 amino-acid residues in a single polypeptide chain. It contains a blocked N-terminus and is not glycosylated. In vitro studies revealed that leuc-a dissolves clots made either from purified fibrinogen or from whole blood. Unlike some other venom fibrinolytic metalloproteinases, leuc-a has no haemorrhagic activity. Leuc-a was sequenced and was crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion technique. Crystals were obtained using PEG 6000 or PEG 1500. Diffraction data to 1.80 and 1.60 Å resolution were collected from two crystals (free enzyme and the endogenous ligand–protein complex, respectively). They both belonged to space group P212121, with very similar unit-cell parameters (a = 44.0, b = 56.2, c = 76.3 Å for the free-enzyme crystal). PMID:19652343

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Cysteine-rich secretory proteins in snake venoms form high affinity complexes with human and porcine beta-microseminoproteins.

    PubMed

    Hansson, Karin; Kjellberg, Margareta; Fernlund, Per

    2009-08-01

    BETA-microseminoprotein (MSP), a 10 kDa protein in human seminal plasma, binds human cysteine-rich secretory protein-3 (CRISP-3) with high affinity. CRISP-3 is a member of the family of CRISPs, which are widespread among animals. In this work we show that human as well as porcine MSP binds catrin, latisemin, pseudecin, and triflin, which are CRISPs present in the venoms of the snakes Crotalus atrox, Laticauda semifasciata, Pseudechis porphyriacus, and Trimeresurus flavoviridis, respectively. The CRISPs were purified from the venoms by affinity chromatography on a human MSP column and their identities were settled by gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. Their interactions with human and porcine MSPs were studied with size exclusion chromatography and surface plasmon resonance measurements. The binding affinities at 25 degrees C were between 10(-10)M and 10(-7)M for most of the interactions, with higher affinities for the interactions with porcine MSP compared to human MSP and with Elapidae CRISPs compared to Viperidae CRISPs. The high affinities of the bindings in spite of the differences in amino acid sequence between the MSPs as well as between the CRISPs indicate that the binding is tolerant to amino acid sequence variation and raise the question how universal this cross-species reaction between MSPs and CRISPs is.

  7. 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.

  8. 'Offensive' snakes: cultural beliefs and practices related to snakebites in a Brazilian rural settlement.

    PubMed

    Fita, Dídac S; Costa Neto, Eraldo M; Schiavetti, Alexandre

    2010-03-26

    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.

  9. Functional and numerical responses of predators: where do vipers fit in the traditional paradigms?

    PubMed

    Nowak, Erika M; Theimer, Tad C; Schuett, Gordon W

    2008-11-01

    Snakes typically are not considered top carnivores, yet in many ecosystems they are a major predatory influence. A literature search confirmed that terrestrial ectotherms such as snakes are largely absent in most discussions of predator-prey dynamics. Here, we review classical functional and numerical responses of predator-prey relationships and then assess whether these traditional views are consistent with what we know of one group of snakes (true vipers and pitvipers: Viperidae). Specifically, we compare behavioural and physiological characteristics of vipers with those of more commonly studied mammalian (endothermic) predators and discuss how functional and numerical responses of vipers are fundamentally different. Overall, when compared to similar-sized endotherms, our analysis showed that vipers have: (i) lower functional responses owing primarily to longer prey handling times resulting from digestive limitations of consuming large prey and, for some adults, tolerance of fasting; (ii) stronger numerical responses resulting from higher efficiency of converting food into fitness currency (progeny), although this response often takes longer to be expressed; and (iii) reduced capacity for rapid numerical responses to short-term changes in prey abundance. Given these factors, the potential for viperids to regulate prey populations would most likely occur when prey populations are low. We provide suggestions for future research on key issues in predator-prey relationships of vipers, including their position within the classical paradigms of functional and numerical responses.

  10. 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.

  11. Capillary damage in the area postrema by venom of the northern black-tailed rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus molossus).

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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

  13. Molecular Cloning, Characterization, and Chromosome Mapping of Reptilian Estrogen Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Katsu, Yoshinao; Matsubara, Kazumi; Kohno, Satomi; Matsuda, Yoichi; Toriba, Michihisa; Oka, Kaori; Guillette, Louis J.; Ohta, Yasuhiko; Iguchi, Taisen

    2010-01-01

    In many vertebrates, steroid hormones are essential for ovarian differentiation during a critical developmental stage as well as promoting the growth and differentiation of the adult female reproductive system. Although studies have been extensively conducted in mammals and a few fish, amphibians, and bird species, the molecular mechanisms of sex steroid hormone (estrogens) action have been poorly examined in reptiles. Here, we evaluate hormone receptor and ligand interactions in two species of snake, the Okinawa habu (Protobothrops flavoviridis, Viperidae) and the Japanese four-striped rat snake (Elaphe quadrivirgata, Colubridae) after the isolation of cDNAs encoding estrogen receptor α (ESR1) and estrogen receptor β (ESR2). Using a transient transfection assay with mammalian cells, the transcriptional activity of reptilian (Okinawa habu, Japanese four-striped rat snake, American alligator, and Florida red-belly freshwater turtle) ESR1 and ESR2 was examined. All ESR proteins displayed estrogen-dependent activation of transcription via an estrogen-response element-containing promoter; however, the responsiveness to various estrogens was different. Further, we determined the chromosomal locations of the snake steroid hormone receptor genes. ESR1 and ESR2 genes were localized to the short and long arms of chromosome 1, respectively, whereas androgen receptor was localized to a pair of microchromosomes in the two snake species examined. These data provide basic tools that allow future studies examining receptor-ligand interactions and steroid endocrinology in snakes and also expands our knowledge of sex steroid hormone receptor evolution. PMID:20926589

  14. Differentiation of Sex Chromosomes and Karyotype Characterisation in the Dragonsnake Xenodermus javanicus (Squamata: Xenodermatidae).

    PubMed

    Rovatsos, Michail; Johnson Pokorná, Martina; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2015-01-01

    Highly differentiated heteromorphic ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes with a heterochromatic W are a basic principle among advanced snakes of the lineage Colubroidea, while other snake lineages generally lack these characteristics. For the first time, we cytogenetically examined the dragonsnake, Xenodermus javanicus, a member of the family Xenodermatidae, which is phylogenetically nested between snake lineages with and without differentiated sex chromosomes. Although most snakes have a karyotype with a stable chromosomal number of 2n = 36, the dragonsnake has an unusual, derived karyotype with 2n = 32 chromosomes. We found that heteromorphic ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes with a heterochromatic W are present in the dragonsnake, which suggests that the emergence of a highly differentiated W sex chromosome within snakes predates the split of Xenodermatidae and the clade including families Pareatidae, Viperidae, Homalopsidae, Lamprophiidae, Elapidae, and Colubridae. Although accumulations of interstitial telomeric sequences have not been previously reported in snakes, by using FISH with a telomeric probe we discovered them in 6 pairs of autosomes as well as in the W sex chromosome of the dragonsnake. Similarly to advanced snakes, the sex chromosomes of the dragonsnake have a significant accumulation of repeats containing a (GATA)n sequence. The results facilitate the dating of the differentiation of sex chromosomes within snakes back to the split between Xenodermatidae and other advanced snakes, i.e. around 40-75 mya.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Hemorrhagic metalloproteinase, Cc HSM-III, isolated from Cerastes cerastes venom: Purification and biochemical characterization.

    PubMed

    Tachoua, Wafa; Boukhalfa-Abib, Hinda; Laraba-Djebari, Fatima

    2017-02-28

    Snake venom metalloproteinases are the most abundant toxins in Viperidae venoms. In this study, a new hemorrhagin, Cc HSM-III (66 kDa), was purified from Cerastes cerastes venom by gel filtration, ion exchange, and reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatographies. The analysis of Cc HSM-III by liquid chromatography with a tandem mass spectrometry revealed 32 peptides sharing a homology with P-III metalloproteinases from Echis ocellatus snake venom. Cc HSM-III displays hemorrhagic activity with a minimal hemorrhagic dose of 5 μg, which is abolished by ethylene diamine tetracetic acid but not by phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride. The mechanism underlying Cc HSM-III hemorrhagic activity is probably due to its extensive proteolytic activity against type IV collagen. Cc HSM-III induces local tissue damage and an inflammatory response by upregulating both matrix metalloproteinase 2 and 9 in skin of mice. Thus, Cc HSM-III may play a key role in the pathogenesis of C. cerastes envenomation.

  18. Evolutionary dynamics of the gametologous CTNNB1 gene on the Z and W chromosomes of snakes.

    PubMed

    Laopichienpong, Nararat; Muangmai, Narongrit; Chanhome, Lawan; Suntrarachun, Sunutcha; Twilprawat, Panupon; Peyachoknagul, Surin; Srikulnath, Kornsorn

    2016-10-14

    Snakes exhibit genotypic sex determination with female heterogamety (ZZ males and ZW females), and the state of sex chromosome differentiation also varies among lineages. To investigate the evolutionary history of homologous genes located in the non-recombining region of differentiated sex chromosomes in snakes, partial sequences of the gametologous CTNNB1 gene were analyzed for 12 species belonging to henophid (Cylindrophiidae, Xenopeltidae, and Pythonidae) and caenophid snakes (Viperidae, Elapidae, and Colubridae). Nonsynonymous/synonymous substitution ratios (Ka/Ks) in coding sequences were low (Ka/Ks < 1) between CTNNB1Z and CTNNB1W, suggesting that these two genes may have similar functional properties. However, frequencies of intron sequence substitutions and insertion-deletions were higher in CTNNB1Z than CTNNB1W, suggesting that Z-linked sequences evolved faster than W-linked sequences. Molecular phylogeny based on both intron and exon sequences showed the presence of two major clades: (1) Z-linked sequences of Caenophidia, and (2) W-linked sequences of Caenophidia clustered with Z-linked sequences of Henophidia, which suggests that the sequence divergence between CTNNB1Z and CTNNB1W in Caenophidia may have occurred by the cessation of recombination after the split from Henophidia.

  19. Evolutionary stability of sex chromosomes in snakes

    PubMed Central

    Rovatsos, Michail; Vukić, Jasna; Lymberakis, Petros; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26702042

  20. 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).

  1. '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

  2. NMR structure of bitistatin – a missing piece in the evolutionary pathway of snake venom disintegrins.

    PubMed

    Carbajo, Rodrigo J; Sanz, Libia; Perez, Alicia; Calvete, Juan J

    2015-01-01

    Extant disintegrins, as found in the venoms of Viperidae and Crotalidae snakes (vipers and rattlesnakes, represent a family of polypeptides that block the function of β1 and β3 integrin receptors, both potently and with a high degree of selectivity. This toxin family owes its origin to the neofunctionalization of the extracellular region of an ADAM (a disintegrin and metalloprotease) molecule recruited into the snake venom gland proteome in the Jurassic. The evolutionary structural diversification of the disintegrin scaffold, from the ancestral long disintegrins to the more recently evolved medium-sized, dimeric and short disintegrins, involved the stepwise loss of pairs of class-specific disulfide linkages and the processing of the N-terminal region. NMR and crystal structures of medium-sized, dimeric and short disintegrins have been solved. However, the structure of a long disintegrin remained unknown. The present study reports the NMR solution structures of two disulfide bond conformers of the long disintegrin bitistatin from the African puff adder Bitis arietans. The findings provide insight into how a structural domain of the extracellular region of an ADAM molecule, recruited into and selectively expressed in the snake venom gland proteome as a PIII metalloprotease in the Jurassic, has subsequently been tranformed into a family of integrin receptor antagonists.

  3. Jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi) (Geoffroy, 1803) (Carnivora, Felidae) food habits in a mosaic of Atlantic Rainforest and eucalypt plantations of southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Tófoli, C F; Rohe, F; Setz, E Z F

    2009-08-01

    Food habits of jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi) (Geoffroy, 1803) (Carnivora, Felidae) were studied between November 2000 and November 2001, in a 24.9 km(2) area of secondary Atlantic Rainforest and eucalypt plantation, in the Serra de Paranapiacaba, São Paulo State, Brazil. Analyses of 26 fecal and regurgitate samples, obtained over a stretch of 570.1 km, showed the consumption of 19 prey items and 74 prey occurrences. Small mammals were the most frequent food item (42.5%), followed by birds (21%), reptiles (14%) and medium-sized mammals (3%). The percent occurrence (PO) suggests that the diet consisted mainly of small rodents (30%) and birds (21%). We recorded for the first time the predation of Viperidae snakes by P. yagouaroundi. Although having a large list of items and range of dietary niche breadths (Bsta = 0.76), our data show that jaguarundi prey mainly on small vertebrates (mammals, birds or reptiles), and even in tall tropical forests or eucalypt plantations, it preys mostly on animals that come to, or live on, the ground.

  4. Isolation: analysis and properties of three bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPP-II, BPP-III, and BPP-V) from Bothrops neuwiedi venom.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, L A; Galle, A; Raida, M; Schrader, M; Lebrun, I; Habermehl, G

    1998-04-01

    In the course of systematic investigations on low-molecular-weight compounds from the venom of Crotalidae and Viperidae, we have isolated and characterized at least three bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPP-II, BPP-III, and BPP-V) from Bothrops neuwiedi venom by gel filtration on Sephadex G-25 M, Sephadex G-10 followed by HPLC. The peptides showed bradykinin-potentiating action on isolated guinea-pig ileum, for which the BPP-V was more active than of BPP-II, and BPP-III, rat arterial blood pressure, and a relevant angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) competitive inhibiting activity. The kinetic studies showed a Ki of the order of 9.7 x 10(-3) microM to BPP-II, 7 x 10(-3) microM to BPP-III, and 3.3 x 10(-3) microM to BPP-V. The amino acid sequence of the BPP-III has been determined to be pGlu-Gly-Gly-Trp-Pro-Arg-Pro-Gly-Pro-Glu-Ile-Pro-Pro, and the amino acid compositions of the BPP-II and BPP-V by amino acid analysis were 2Glu-2Gly-1Arg-4Pro-1Ile and 2Glu-2Gly-1Ser-3Pro-2Val-1Ile, with molecular weight of 1372, 1046, and 1078, respectively.

  5. 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

  6. BbMP-1, a new metalloproteinase isolated from Bothrops brazili snake venom with in vitro antiplasmodial properties.

    PubMed

    Kayano, Anderson M; Simões-Silva, Rodrigo; Medeiros, Patrícia S M; Maltarollo, Vinícius G; Honorio, Kathia M; Oliveira, Eliandre; Albericio, Fernando; da Silva, Saulo L; Aguiar, Anna Caroline C; Krettli, Antoniana U; Fernandes, Carla F C; Zuliani, Juliana P; Calderon, Leonardo A; Stábeli, Rodrigo G; Soares, Andreimar M

    2015-11-01

    This study describes the biochemical and functional characterization of a new metalloproteinase named BbMP-1, isolated from Bothrops brazili venom. BbMP-1 was homogeneous on SDS-PAGE, presented molecular mass of 22,933Da and pI 6.4. The primary structure was partially elucidated with high identity with others metalloproteinases from Viperidae venoms. The enzymatic activity on azocasein was evaluated in different experimental conditions (pH, temperature). A significant reduction in enzyme activity after exposure to chelators of divalent cations (EDTA), reducing agents (DTT), pH less than 5.0 or temperatures higher than 45 °C was observed. BbMP-1 showed activity on fibrinogen degrading Aα chain quickly and to a lesser extent the Bβ chain. Also demostrated to be weakly hemorrhagic, presenting however, significant myotoxic and edematogenic activity. The in vitro activity of BbMP-1 against Plasmodium falciparum showed an IC50 of 3.2 ± 2.0 μg/mL. This study may help to understand the pathophysiological effects induced by this group of toxin and their participation in the symptoms observed in cases of snake envenomation. Moreover, this result is representative for this group of proteins and shows the biotechnological potential of BbMP-1 by the demonstration of its antiplasmodial activity.

  7. Isolation and Biochemical Characterization of a New Thrombin-Like Serine Protease from Bothrops pirajai Snake Venom

    PubMed Central

    Zaqueo, Kayena D.; Kayano, Anderson M.; Simões-Silva, Rodrigo; Moreira-Dill, Leandro S.; Fernandes, Carla F. C.; Fuly, André L.; Maltarollo, Vinícius G.; Honório, Kathia M.; da Silva, Saulo L.; Acosta, Gerardo; Caballol, Maria Antonia O.; de Oliveira, Eliandre; Albericio, Fernando; Calderon, Leonardo A.; Soares, Andreimar M.; Stábeli, Rodrigo G.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a novel serine protease (SP) isolated from Bothrops pirajai, a venomous snake found solely in Brazil that belongs to the Viperidae family. The identified SP, named BpirSP-39, was isolated by three chromatographic steps (size exclusion, bioaffinity, and reverse phase chromatographies). The molecular mass of BpirSP-39 was estimated by SDS-PAGE and confirmed by mass spectrometry (39,408.32 Da). The protein was able to form fibrin networks, which was not observed in the presence of serine protease inhibitors, such as phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF). Furthermore, BpirSP-39 presented considerable thermal stability and was apparently able to activate factor XIII of the blood coagulation cascade, unlike most serine proteases. BpirSP-39 was capable of hydrolyzing different chromogenic substrates tested (S-2222, S-2302, and S-2238) while Cu2+ significantly diminished BspirSP-39 activity on the three tested substrates. The enzyme promoted platelet aggregation and also exhibited fibrinogenolytic, fibrinolytic, gelatinolytic, and amidolytic activities. The multiple alignment showed high sequence similarity to other thrombin-like enzymes from snake venoms. These results allow us to conclude that a new SP was isolated from Bothrops pirajai snake venom. PMID:24719874

  8. Isolation and biochemical characterization of a new thrombin-like serine protease from Bothrops pirajai snake venom.

    PubMed

    Zaqueo, Kayena D; Kayano, Anderson M; Simões-Silva, Rodrigo; Moreira-Dill, Leandro S; Fernandes, Carla F C; Fuly, André L; Maltarollo, Vinícius G; Honório, Kathia M; da Silva, Saulo L; Acosta, Gerardo; Caballol, Maria Antonia O; de Oliveira, Eliandre; Albericio, Fernando; Calderon, Leonardo A; Soares, Andreimar M; Stábeli, Rodrigo G

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a novel serine protease (SP) isolated from Bothrops pirajai, a venomous snake found solely in Brazil that belongs to the Viperidae family. The identified SP, named BpirSP-39, was isolated by three chromatographic steps (size exclusion, bioaffinity, and reverse phase chromatographies). The molecular mass of BpirSP-39 was estimated by SDS-PAGE and confirmed by mass spectrometry (39,408.32 Da). The protein was able to form fibrin networks, which was not observed in the presence of serine protease inhibitors, such as phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF). Furthermore, BpirSP-39 presented considerable thermal stability and was apparently able to activate factor XIII of the blood coagulation cascade, unlike most serine proteases. BpirSP-39 was capable of hydrolyzing different chromogenic substrates tested (S-2222, S-2302, and S-2238) while Cu(2+) significantly diminished BspirSP-39 activity on the three tested substrates. The enzyme promoted platelet aggregation and also exhibited fibrinogenolytic, fibrinolytic, gelatinolytic, and amidolytic activities. The multiple alignment showed high sequence similarity to other thrombin-like enzymes from snake venoms. These results allow us to conclude that a new SP was isolated from Bothrops pirajai snake venom.

  9. 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; ...

    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

  10. The IAEA coordinated research programme on HTGR uncertainty analysis: Phase I status and Ex. I-1 prismatic reference results

    SciTech Connect

    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 input 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

  11. [Epidemiological and clinical aspects of snake bites in the municipalities of the state of Amazonas, Brazil].

    PubMed

    Campos Borges, C; Sadahiro, M; dos Santos, M C

    1999-01-01

    In the State of Amazonas, accidents with snakes are a public health problem. For this reasons, the objective of this work was to carry out a descriptive study of the snake accidents attended in the health units of 34 municipalities, one district and two border platoons in the State of Amazonas. The characteristics most commonly observed among those involved in snake accidents were: farmers (50. 4%), male (81.3%), belonging to the working age-group (72.1%), bitten on an upper limb (88.5%) by a "jararaca" (48.6%) or a "surucucu" (46.8%) in the rural part of the municipality (70.2%). The local signs and symptoms most frequently observed in those who received medical care more than 6 hours after the accident (57.3%) were edema (76.9%), pain (68.7%), erithema (10.2%) and hemorrhage (9. 3%). The systemic manifestation most frequently observed was hemorrhage (18.8%). Serotherapy was administered in only 65.9% of patients, the intravenous route being the route most commonly used to administer the antivenin (52.3%), while other non- recommended routes were widely used. In the majority of patients the antivenin given was antibotropic. The most frequent complications were: abscess 13.7%, necrosis 12.3%, secondary infection 8.3%, renal insufficiency 2.5% and gangrene 2.5%. The medical procedures most used in the treatment of these complications were drainage 52.6%, debridement 28.9%, amputation 10.5%, surgical cleaning 5.3% and peritoneal dialysis 2.6%. The fatality rate was 1%.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. A novel family of RGD-containing disintegrin (Tablysin-15) from the salivary gland of the horsefly Tabanus yao targets integrins αIIbβ3 and αVβ3 and inhibits platelet aggregation and angiogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Dongying; Xu, Xueqing; An, Su; Liu, Huan; Yang, Xuening; Andersen, John F.; Wang, Yipeng; Tokumasu, Fuyuki; Ribeiro, José M. C.; Francischetti, Ivo M. B.; Lai, Ren

    2012-01-01

    A novel family of RGD-containing molecule (Tablysin-15) has been molecularly characterized from the salivary gland of the hematophagous horsefly Tabanus yao. Tablysin-15 does not share primary sequence homology to any disintegrin discovered so far, and displays an RGD motif in the N-terminus of the molecule. It is also distinct from disintegrins from Viperidae since its mature form is not released from a metalloproteinase precursor. Tablysin-15 exhibits high affinity for platelet αIIbβ3 and endothelial cell αvβ3 integrins, but not for α5β1 or α2β1. Accordingly, it blocks endothelial cell adhesion to vitronectin (IC50 ~ 1 nM) and marginally to fibronectin (IC50 ~ 1 µM), but not to collagen. It also inhibits FGF-induced endothelial cell proliferation, and attenuates tube formation in vitro. In platelets, Tablysin-15 inhibits aggregation induced by collagen, ADP and convulxin, and prevents static platelet adhesion to immobilized fibrinogen. In addition, solid-phase assays and flow cytometry demonstrates that αIIbβ3 binds to Tablysin-15. Moreover, immobilized Tablysin-15 supports platelet adhesion by a mechanism which was blocked by anti-integrin αIIbβ3 monoclonal antibody (e.g. abciximab) or by EDTA. Furthermore, Tablysin-15 dose-dependently attenuates thrombus formation to collagen under flow, without affecting platelet adhesion to collagen fibrils. Consistent with these findings, Tablysin-15 displays antithrombotic properties in vivo suggesting that it is a useful tool to block αIIbβ3, or as a prototype to develop antithrombotics. The RGD motif in the unique sequence of Tablysin-15 represents a novel template for studying the structure-function relationship of the disintegrin family of inhibitors. PMID:21475772

  18. 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

  19. A survey of hemoparasite infections in free-ranging mammals and reptiles in French Guiana.

    PubMed

    de Thoisy, B; Michel, J C; Vogel, I; Vié, J C

    2000-10-01

    Blood smears of 1,353 free-ranging mammals (35 species) and 112 reptiles (31 species) from French Guiana were examined for hemoparasites. Parasites from 3 major groups were recorded: Apicomplexa (including hemogregarines, piroplasms, and Plasmodium spp.), Trypanosomatidae, and Filaroidea. Fifty percent of the individuals (86% of the species) were infected by parasites from at least 1 group. Hemogregarines, identified as Hepatozoon sp., infected numerous snakes with high prevalences (30-100%); infection is reported for the first time in 5 host genera of snakes: Clelia, Oxybelis, Pseustes, Rhinobotryum, and Bothriopsis. Infections were also observed in 4 marsupial species and 1 rodent. Hepatozoon spp. recorded in Didelphis albiventris (Marsupialia) and Coendou prehensilis (Rodentia) may be new species. Plasmodium sp. were observed in 2 snake species, Dipsas indica (Colubridae) and Bothrops atrox (Viperidae). Plasmodium brasilianum was recorded in all 5 primate species examined. Piroplasms were observed in all mammal orders except primates. Large terrestrial rodents were the main hosts of members of the Babesidae; 42% of Myoprocta acouchy, 36% of Dasyprocta agouti, and 44% of Agouti paca were infected. Trypanosomes were common in mammals and were recorded in 70% of the examined genera. Trypanosoma cruzi-like infections were reported in 21 mammal species, including sloths, rodents, carnivores, and primates. Microfilariae were also widespread, with higher prevalences in sloths, anteaters, and porcupines (>40% of the individuals infected) and in tamarins (95% infected). This survey highlights some potential anthropozoonotic risks due to the recent further evidence of Plasmodium brasilianum and P. malariae as a single species and to the increased diversity of hosts for Trypanosoma cruzi.

  20. Snake bite in Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Habib, A G; Gebi, U I; Onyemelukwe, G C

    2001-09-01

    Four families of venomous snakes are found in Nigeria--Viperidae, Elapidae, Colubridae and Actraspididae but three species carpet viper (Echis ocellatus), black-necked spitting cobra (Naja nigricollis) and puff adder (Bitis arietans), belonging to the first two families, are the most important snakes associated with envenoming in Nigeria. The incidence of bites has been reported as 497 per 100,000 population per year with a 12 percent natural mortality, with Echis ocellatus accounting for at least 66 percent in certain foci. Bites occur more often while victims were farming, herding or walking although the spitting cobra may bite victims who roll upon it in their sleep. Carpet viper venom contains a prothrombin activating procoagulant, haemorrhagin and cytolytic fractions which cause haemorrhage, incoagulable blood, shock and local reactions/ necrosis. The spitting cobra bite manifests with local tissue reaction and occassionally with bleeding from the site of bite, but no classic neurotoxic feature has been observed except following Egyptian cobra (N. haje) bites. Cardiotoxicity and renal failure may occassionally occur following bites by the carpet viper and the puff adder. In the laboratory, haematological and other features are noted and immunodiagnosis has a role in species identification. Immobilisation of the bitten limb is probably the single most important first aid measure. Antivenom should be used cautiously when indicated. As only 8.5 percent of snake bite victims attend hospitals in Nigeria, health education should be the main preventive measure, mean-while, the study of immunisation of occupationally predisposed individuals in endemic areas should be intensified. A new Fab fragment antivenom specific to Nigerian Echis ocellatus was investigated clinically, just as the local herbs-Aristolochia spp, Guiera spp and Schummaniophyton spp are investigated experimentally.

  1. Oxygenation properties and isoform diversity of snake hemoglobins

    PubMed Central

    Natarajan, Chandrasekhar; Moriyama, Hideaki; Hoffmann, Federico G.; Wang, Tobias; Fago, Angela; Malte, Hans; Overgaard, Johannes; Weber, Roy E.

    2015-01-01

    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

  2. Global richness patterns of venomous snakes reveal contrasting influences of ecology and history in two different clades.

    PubMed

    Terribile, Levi Carina; Olalla-Tárraga, Miguel Angel; Morales-Castilla, Ignacio; Rueda, Marta; Vidanes, Rosa M; Rodríguez, Miguel Angel; Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre Felizola

    2009-03-01

    Recent studies addressing broad-scale species richness gradients have proposed two main primary drivers: contemporary climate and evolutionary processes (differential balance between speciation and extinction). Here, we analyze the global richness patterns of two venomous snake clades, Viperidae and Elapidae. We used ordinary least squares multiple regression (OLS) and partial regression analysis to investigate to what extent actual evapotranspiration (AET; summarizing current environmental conditions) and biogeographical regions (representing evolutionary effects) were associated with species richness. For viperids, AET explained 45.6% of the variance in richness whereas the effect of this variable for elapids was almost null (0.5%). On the other hand, biogeographic regions were the best predictors of elapid richness (56.5%), against its relatively small effect (25.9%) in viperid richness. Partial regressions also revealed similar patterns for independent effects of climate and history in both clades. However, the independent historical effect in Elapidae decreased from 45.2 to 17.8% when we excluded Australia from the analyses, indicating that the strong historical effect that had emerged for the global richness pattern was reflecting the historical process of elapid radiation into Australia. Even after excluding Australia, the historical signal in elapid richness in the rest of the globe was still significant and much higher than that observed in viperid richness at a global scale (2.7% after controlling for AET effects). Differences in the evolutionary age of these two clades can be invoked to explain these contrasting results, in that viperids probably had more time for diversification, generating richness responses to environmental gradients, whereas the pattern of distribution of elapid richness can be more directly interpreted in an evolutionary context. Moreover, these results show the importance of starting to adopt deconstructive approaches to species

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Full-Length Venom Protein cDNA Sequences from Venom-Derived mRNA: Exploring Compositional Variation and Adaptive Multigene Evolution.

    PubMed

    Modahl, Cassandra M; Mackessy, Stephen P

    2016-06-01

    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

  8. 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

  9. Distribution of RPTLN Genes Across Reptilia: Hypothesized Role for RPTLN in the Evolution of SVMPs.

    PubMed

    Sanz-Soler, Raquel; Sanz, Libia; Calvete, Juan J

    2016-11-01

    We report the cloning, full-length sequencing, and broad distribution of reptile-specific RPTLN genes across a number of Anapsida (Testudines), Diapsida (Serpentes, Sauria), and Archosauria (Crocodylia) taxa. The remarkable structural conservation of RPTLN genes in species that had a common ancestor more than 250 million years ago, their low transcriptional level, and the lack of evidence for RPTLN translation in any reptile organ investigated, suggest for this ancient gene family a yet elusive function as long noncoding RNAs. The high conservation in extant snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) of the signal peptide sequence coded for by RPTLN genes strongly suggests that this region may have played a key role in the recruitment and restricted expression of SVMP genes in the venom gland of Caenophidian snakes, some 60-50 Mya. More recently, 23-16 Mya, the neofunctionalization of an RPTLN copy in the venom gland of snakes of the genera Macrovipera and Daboia marked the beginning of the evolutionary history of a new family of disintegrins, the α1β1-collagen binding antagonists, short-RTS/KTS disintegrins. This evolutionary scenario predicts that venom gland RPTLN and SVMP genes may share tissue-specific regulatory elements. Future genomic studies should support or refute this hypothesis.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. The life and viper of Dr Patrick Russell MD FRS (1727-1805): physician and naturalist.

    PubMed

    Hawgood, B J

    1994-11-01

    It is nearly two hundred years since the publication in 1796 of An Account of Indian Serpents collected on the Coast of Coromandel by Patrick Russell. Within the folio is a drawing and description of the venomous snake called Katuka Rekula Poda in the local Telugu language, whose venom was shown experimentally by Dr Russell to be nearly as lethal as that of Cobra de Capello. The snake is now known as Vipera russelli or Russell's viper. Dr Russell was representative of the naturalistic tendency of British medicine in the late 18th century. He was a keen observer and skilled doctor in clinical practice, particularly in Aleppo, Syria, during an outbreak of the plague, and indefatigable in his study of plant and animal life both in Aleppo and later in the Madras Province of India. As a physician as well as Naturalist to the East India Company in the Carnatic he was concerned with the problem of snakebite. His first aim was to find a means whereby the non-specialist could distinguish between poisonous and harmless snakes and so combat the terrible notion that all bites were mortal. His writing, encompassing social and natural histories and climaxed by a study of snakes, has left a rich legacy. Dr Patrick Russell was a man of the highest integrity and ability, a physician and naturalist par excellence.

  13. 226Ra and other radionuclides in water, vegetation, and tissues of beavers (Castor canadensis) from a watershed containing U tailings near Elliot Lake, Canada.

    PubMed

    Clulow, F V; Mirka, M A; Davé, N K; Lim, T P

    1991-01-01

    Radionuclide levels were measured in tissues, gut contents, diet items, and water at site of capture, of adult beavers from the Serpent River drainage basin which contains U tailings at Elliot Lake, Ontario, and from nearby control sites. Levels of (226)Ra in beaver bone, muscle and kidney were highest in animals from locations close to U tailings; liver levels did not vary by site. Environmental (226)Ra levels were within ranges previously reported at these or similar locations elsewhere; levels in beaver gut contents reflected levels in diet items. Concentration ratios exceeded unity only between some vegetation items and beaver bone at the Elliot Lake site and were less than 0.19 between vegetation and other tissues. In two beavers with tissue levels of (226)Ra higher than other sampled, neither (232)Th nor (230)Th were detected in bone, muscle or liver tissues. U-238 was measurable in bone, muscle and liver, (228)Th in bone, (210)Po bone, muscle and liver; and (210)Pb was measurable only in bone. Estimated yearly intakes of radionuclides by people eating beavers were calculated to be below current allowable levels set by the Canadian regulatory authorities.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. [Secreted phospholipases A2 (sPLA2): friends or foes? Are they actors in antibacterial and anti-HIV resistance?].

    PubMed

    Villarrubia, Vicente G; Costa, Luis A; Díez, Roberto A

    2004-11-27

    In this paper the authors update on the deletereous or beneficial roles of human and animal secretory phospholipases A2 (sPLA2). Although human sPLA2-IIA (inflammatory) was initially thought as a foe because its pathogenic implication in sepsis, multiorganic failure or other related syndromes, recent data indicates its role in in the antiinfectious host resistance. Thus, sPLA2-IIA exhibits potent bactericidal activities against gram-negative and gram-positive (in this case, together with other endogenous inflammatory factors) bacteria. Surprisingly, human sPLA-IIA does not show in vitro anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) activity, whilst several sPLA2-IA isolated from bee and serpent venons do it: this is the case for crotoxin, a sPLA2-IA isolated from the venon of Crotalus durissus terrificus (sPLA2-Cdt). The mechanism for the in vitro anti-HIV activity of sPLA2-Cdt (inhibition of Gag p24) appears to be related to the ability of the drug to desestabilize ancorage (heparans) and fusion (cholesterol) receptors on HIV target cells.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Conservation of chromosomes syntenic with avian autosomes in squamate reptiles revealed by comparative chromosome painting.

    PubMed

    Pokorná, Martina; Giovannotti, Massimo; Kratochvíl, Lukáš; Caputo, Vincenzo; Olmo, Ettore; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Rens, Willem

    2012-08-01

    In contrast to mammals, birds exhibit a slow rate of chromosomal evolution. It is not clear whether high chromosome conservation is an evolutionary novelty of birds or was inherited from an earlier avian ancestor. The evolutionary conservatism of macrochromosomes between birds and turtles supports the latter possibility; however, the rate of chromosomal evolution is largely unknown in other sauropsids. In squamates, we previously reported strong conservatism of the chromosomes syntenic with the avian Z, which could reflect a peculiarity of this part of the genome. The chromosome 1 of iguanians and snakes is largely syntenic with chromosomes 3, 5 and 7 of the avian ancestral karyotype. In this project, we used comparative chromosome painting to determine how widely this synteny is conserved across nine families covering most of the main lineages of Squamata. The results suggest that the association of the avian ancestral chromosomes 3, 5 and 7 can be dated back to at least the early Jurassic and could be an ancestral characteristic for Unidentata (Serpentes, Iguania, Anguimorpha, Laterata and Scinciformata). In Squamata chromosome conservatism therefore also holds for the parts of the genome which are homologous to bird autosomes, and following on from this, a slow rate of chromosomal evolution could be a common characteristic of all sauropsids. The large evolutionary stasis in chromosome organization in birds therefore seems to be inherited from their ancestors, and it is particularly striking in comparison with mammals, probably the only major tetrapod lineage with an increased rate of chromosomal rearrangements as a whole.

  1. 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.

  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. [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.

  4. Specifications for a coupled neutronics thermal-hydraulics SFR test case

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tassone, A.; Smirnov, A. D.; Tikhomirov, G. V.

    2017-01-01

    Coupling neutronics/thermal-hydraulics calculations for the design of nuclear reactors are a growing trend in the scientific community. This approach allows to properly represent the mutual feedbacks between the neutronic distribution and the thermal-hydraulics properties of the materials composing the reactor, details which are often lost when separate analysis are performed. In this work, a test case for a generation IV sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR), based on the ASTRID concept developed by CEA, is proposed. Two sub-assemblies (SA) characterized by different fuel enrichment and layout are considered. Specifications for the test case are provided including geometrical data, material compositions, thermo-physical properties and coupling scheme details. Serpent and ANSYS-CFX are used as reference in the description of suitable inputs for the performing of the benchmark, but the use of other code combinations for the purpose of validation of the results is encouraged. The expected outcome of the test case are the axial distribution of volumetric power generation term (q‴), density and temperature for the fuel, the cladding and the coolant.

  5. 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.

  6. Large Cretaceous sphenodontian from Patagonia provides insight into lepidosaur evolution in Gondwana.

    PubMed

    Apesteguía, Sebastián; Novas, Fernando E

    2003-10-09

    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. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Snakes antibodies.

    PubMed

    Gambón-Deza, Francisco; Sánchez-Espinel, Christian; Mirete-Bachiller, Serafín; Magadán-Mompó, Susana

    2012-09-01

    Immunoglobulins are basic molecules of the immune system of vertebrates. In previous studies we described the immunoglobulins found in two squamata reptiles, Anolis carolinensis and Eublepharis macularius. Snakes are squamata reptiles too but they have undergone an extreme evolutionary process. We therefore wanted to know how these changes affected their immunoglobulin coding genes. To perform this analysis we studied five snake transcriptomes and two genome draft sequences. Sequences coding for immunoglobulin M (IgM), immunoglobulin D (IgD) and two classes of immunoglobulin Y (IgY - named IgYa and IgYb-) were found in all of them. Moreover, the Thamnophis elegans transcriptome and Python molurus genome draft sequences showed a third class of IgY, the IgYc, whose constant region only presents three domains and lacks the CH2. All data suggest that the IgYb is the evolutionary origin of this IgYc. An exhaustive search of the light chains were carried out, being lambda the only light chain found in snakes. The results provide a clear picture of the immunoglobulins present in the suborder Serpentes.

  12. Lethal envenomation: medicolegal aspects of snakebites and religious snake handlers in Kentucky: a report of three cases with comment on medical, legal, and public policy ramifications.

    PubMed

    Hunsaker, Donna M; Hunsaker, John C; Clayton, Tara; Spiller, Henry A

    2005-11-01

    Ritualistic serpent qua snake handling, which rests upon inveterate religious conviction arising out of literal interpretation of selected passages of the New Testament, is a rare ceremony practiced by a distinct minority of Christians predominantly in rural Appalachian regions of the United States commonly referred to as the Bible belt. The fervent, frenzied pursuit by anointed "sign-followers" of intimate contact with a variety of poisonous snakes, however, puts the handler together with sect members or bystanders at risk for lethal envenomation, particularly when prompt medical attention is held by the congregation of faith to contravene God's will. The authors report three separate cases of death due to envenomation by snakebite during a church service and the handler's faith-based refusal to seek treatment. Postmortem examination of each yielded similar physical findings attributable to various toxic sequelae of the complex venoms. A review of the injurious constituents of these chemical toxins also includes a discussion of complex pathophysiological mechanisms causing death. In addition, the authors review the history of representative legislative and judicial responses to the sensationally mortal phenomenon, all of which ineluctably grapple with fundamental Constitutional issues devolving from such controversial religious practices. We underscore the view that a thoroughly documented medicolegal investigation and autopsy are indispensable to both inform matters of public health and thereby contribute to the formulation of sound public policy.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Performance and accuracy of criticality calculations performed using WARP – A framework for continuous energy Monte Carlo neutron transport in general 3D geometries on GPUs

    DOE PAGES

    Bergmann, Ryan M.; Rowland, Kelly L.; Radnović, Nikola; ...

    2017-05-01

    In this companion paper to "Algorithmic Choices in WARP - A Framework for Continuous Energy Monte Carlo Neutron Transport in General 3D Geometries on GPUs" (doi:10.1016/j.anucene.2014.10.039), the WARP Monte Carlo neutron transport framework for graphics processing units (GPUs) is benchmarked against production-level central processing unit (CPU) Monte Carlo neutron transport codes for both performance and accuracy. We compare neutron flux spectra, multiplication factors, runtimes, speedup factors, and costs of various GPU and CPU platforms running either WARP, Serpent 2.1.24, or MCNP 6.1. WARP compares well with the results of the production-level codes, and it is shown that on the newestmore » hardware considered, GPU platforms running WARP are between 0.8 to 7.6 times as fast as CPU platforms running production codes. Also, the GPU platforms running WARP were between 15% and 50% as expensive to purchase and between 80% to 90% as expensive to operate as equivalent CPU platforms performing at an equal simulation rate.« less

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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?

  19. 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?

  20. 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.

  1. Combining Total Monte Carlo and Benchmarks for Nuclear Data Uncertainty Propagation on a Lead Fast Reactor's Safety Parameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alhassan, E.; Sjöstrand, H.; Duan, J.; Gustavsson, C.; Koning, A. J.; Pomp, S.; Rochman, D.; Österlund, M.

    2014-04-01

    Analyses are carried out to assess the impact of nuclear data uncertainties on keff for the European Lead Cooled Training Reactor (ELECTRA) using the Total Monte Carlo method. A large number of 239Pu random ENDF-formatted libraries generated using the TALYS based system were processed into ACE format with NJOY-99.336 code and used as input into the Serpent Monte Carlo neutron transport code to obtain distribution in keff. The mean of the keff distribution obtained was compared with the major nuclear data libraries, JEFF-3.1.1, ENDF/B-VII.1 and JENDL-4.0. A method is proposed for the selection of benchmarks for specific applications using the Total Monte Carlo approach. Finally, an accept/reject criterion was investigated based on χ2 values obtained using the 239Pu Jezebel criticality benchmark. It was observed that nuclear data uncertainties in keff were reduced considerably from 748 to 443 pcm by applying a more rigid acceptance criteria for accepting random files.

  2. On the Formation of a Stable Penumbra in a Region of Flux Emergence in the Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murabito, M.; Romano, P.; Guglielmino, S. L.; Zuccarello, F.

    2017-01-01

    We studied the formation of the first penumbral sector around a pore in the following polarity of the NOAA Active Region (AR) 11490. We used a high spatial, spectral, and temporal resolution data set acquired by the Interferometric BIdimensional Spectrometer operating at the NSO/Dunn Solar Telescope, as well as data taken by the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite. On the side toward the leading polarity, elongated granules in the photosphere and an arch filament system (AFS) in the chromosphere are present, while the magnetic field shows a sea-serpent configuration, indicating a region of magnetic flux emergence. We found that the formation of a stable penumbra in the following polarity of the AR begins in the area facing the opposite polarity located below the AFS in the flux emergence region, different from what was found by Schlichenmaier and colleagues. Moreover, during the formation of the first penumbral sector, the area characterized by magnetic flux density larger than 900 G and the area of the umbra increase.

  3. Peptidomics of Three Bothrops Snake Venoms: Insights Into the Molecular Diversification of Proteomes and Peptidomes*

    PubMed Central

    Tashima, Alexandre K.; Zelanis, André; Kitano, Eduardo S.; Ianzer, Danielle; Melo, Robson L.; Rioli, Vanessa; Sant'anna, Sávio S.; Schenberg, Ana C. G.; Camargo, Antônio C. M.; Serrano, Solange M. T.

    2012-01-01

    Snake venom proteomes/peptidomes are highly complex and maintenance of their integrity within the gland lumen is crucial for the expression of toxin activities. There has been considerable progress in the field of venom proteomics, however, peptidomics does not progress as fast, because of the lack of comprehensive venom sequence databases for analysis of MS data. Therefore, in many cases venom peptides have to be sequenced manually by MS/MS analysis or Edman degradation. This is critical for rare snake species, as is the case of Bothrops cotiara (BC) and B. fonsecai (BF), which are regarded as near threatened with extinction. In this study we conducted a comprehensive analysis of the venom peptidomes of BC, BF, and B. jararaca (BJ) using a combination of solid-phase extraction and reversed-phase HPLC to fractionate the peptides, followed by nano-liquid chromatography-tandem MS (LC-MS/MS) or direct infusion electrospray ionization-(ESI)-MS/MS or MALDI-MS/MS analyses. We detected marked differences in the venom peptidomes and identified peptides ranging from 7 to 39 residues in length by de novo sequencing. Forty-four unique sequences were manually identified, out of which 30 are new peptides, including 17 bradykinin-potentiating peptides, three poly-histidine-poly-glycine peptides and interestingly, 10 l-amino acid oxidase fragments. Some of the new bradykinin-potentiating peptides display significant bradykinin potentiating activity. Automated database search revealed fragments from several toxins in the peptidomes, mainly from l-amino acid oxidase, and allowed the determination of the peptide bond specificity of proteinases and amino acid occurrences for the P4-P4′ sites. We also demonstrate that the venom lyophilization/resolubilization process greatly increases the complexity of the peptidome because of the imbalance caused to the venom proteome and the consequent activity of proteinases on venom components. The use of proteinase inhibitors clearly showed

  4. A new structurally atypical bradykinin-potentiating peptide isolated from Crotalus durissus cascavella venom (South American rattlesnake).

    PubMed

    Lopes, Denise M; Junior, Norberto E G; Costa, Paula P C; Martins, Patrícia L; Santos, Cláudia F; Carvalho, Ellaine D F; Carvalho, Maria D F; Pimenta, Daniel C; Cardi, Bruno A; Fonteles, Manassés C; Nascimento, Nilberto R F; Carvalho, Krishnamurti M

    2014-11-01

    Venom glands of some snakes synthesize bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPP's) which increase bradykinin-induced hypotensive effect and decrease angiotensin I vasopressor effect by angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition. The present study shows a new BPP (BPP-Cdc) isolated from Crotalus durissus cascavella venom: Pro-Asn-Leu-Pro-Asn-Tyr-Leu-Gly-Ile-Pro-Pro. Although BPP-Cdc presents the classical sequence IPP in the C-terminus, it has a completely atypical N-terminal sequence, which shows very low homology with all other BPPs isolated to date. The pharmacological effects of BPP-Cdc were compared to BBP9a from Bothrops jararaca and captopril. BPP-Cdc (1 μM) significantly increased BK-induced contractions (BK; 1 μM) on the guinea pig ileum by 267.8% and decreased angiotensin I-induced contractions (AngI; 10 nM) by 62.4% and these effects were not significantly different from those of BPP9a (1 μM) or captopril (200 nM). Experiments with 4-week hypertensive 2K-1C rats show that the vasopressor effect of AngI (10 ng) was decreased by 50 μg BPP-Cdc (69.7%), and this result was similar to that obtained with 50 μg BPP9a (69.8%). However, the action duration of BPP-Cdc (60 min) was 2 times greater than that of BPP-9a (30 min). On the other hand, the hypotensive effect of BK (250 ng) was significantly increased by 176.6% after BPP-Cdc (50 μg) administration, value 2.5 times greater than that obtained with BPP9a administered at the same doses (71.4%). In addition, the duration of the action of BPP-Cdc (120 min) was also at least 4 times greater than that of BPP-9a (30 min). Taken together, these results suggest that BPP-Cdc presents more selective action on arterial blood system than BPP9a. Besides the inhibition of ACE, it may present other mechanisms of action yet to be elucidated.

  5. 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

  6. Evolution of CRISPs associated with toxicoferan-reptilian venom and mammalian reproduction.

    PubMed

    Sunagar, Kartik; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Vasconcelos, Vítor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2012-07-01

    mechanism employed by the organism. CRISPs in Elapidae, which mostly employ neurotoxins, have experienced less positive selection pressure (ω = 2.86) compared with the "nonvenomous" colubrids (ω = 4.10) that rely on grip and constriction to capture the prey, and the Viperidae, a lineage that mostly employs haemotoxins (ω = 4.19). Relatively lower omega estimates in Anguimorph lizards (ω = 2.33) than snakes (ω = 3.84) suggests that lizards probably depend more on pace and powerful jaws for predation than venom.

  7. 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

  8. Neurotoxic and myotoxic actions from Lachesis muta muta (surucucu) whole venom on the mouse and chick nerve-muscle preparations.

    PubMed

    Damico, Daniela C S; Bueno, Lilian G F; Rodrigues-Simioni, Léa; Marangoni, Sérgio; da Cruz-Höfling, Maria Alice; Novello, José Camillo

    2005-08-01

    Lachesis genus is one of the less studied among others from Viperidae's genera, mainly due to difficulties in obtaining the venom. Accidents by Lachesis snakes cause severe envenoming syndrome, eventually leading victims to shock. This work is part of a comprehensive study aimed at studying the venom and its effects. Herein the neurotoxicity and myotoxicity of L. muta muta venom were investigated on mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm (PNDp) and chick biventer cervicis (BCp) preparations. For both preparations the time required to venom produces 50% neuromuscular blockade was indirectly concentration-dependent, being for PNDp: 117.6+/-6.5 min (20 microg/ml), 70.1+/-8.6 min (50 microg/ml) and 43.6+/-3.8 min (100 microg/ml), and for BCp: 28+/-1.8 min (50 microg/ml), 30.4+/-2.3 min (10 microg/ml), 50.4+/-4.3 min (5 microg/ml) and 75.2+/-0.7 min (2 microg/ml), (n=5/dose). In BCp, a venom dose of 50 microg/ml significantly reduced contractures elicited by exogenous acetylcholine (55 microM) and KCl (20 mM), as well as increased the release of creatine kinase (442.7+/-39.8 IU/l in controls vs 4322.6+/-395.2 IU/l, after 120 min of venom incubation (P<0.05). Quantification of myonecrosis in BCp indicated the doses 50 and 10 microg/ml as significantly myotoxic affecting 59.7+/-6.2%, and 20.8+/-1.2% of fibers, respectively, whereas 5 and 2 microg/ml that affected 13.5+/-0.8% and 5.4+/-0.6% of fibers, were considered weakly- and non-myotoxic, respectively. We concluded that there are neurotoxins present in the venom, the concentration of which governs its pre- (if low) or postsynaptic (if high) activity. Since myotoxicity in the avian preparation is negligible at lower venom doses, but not neurotoxicity, we suggest that this effect may contribute minimum to the venom neurotoxic effect. The BCp is more sensible than PNDp to Lachesis m. muta venom.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  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. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Developmental sequences of squamate reptiles are taxon specific.

    PubMed

    Andrews, Robin M; Brandley, Matthew C; Greene, Virginia W

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies in comparative vertebrate embryology have focused on two related questions. One concerns the existence of a phylotypic period, or indeed any period, during development in which sequence variation among taxa is constrained. The second question concerns the degree to which developmental characters exhibit a phylogenetic signal. These questions are important because they underpin attempts to understand the evolution of developmental characters and their links to adult morphology. To address these questions, we compared the sequence of developmental events spanning the so-called phylotypic period of vertebrate development in squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes), from the formation of the primary optic placode to the first appearance of scale anlagen. We used Bayesian phylogenetic ancestral state reconstruction analyses and estimates of Bayesian posterior probabilities of the rank order of developmental events to determine the level of support for phylogenetically associated variation in development. We assessed the amount of variation in event sequences by plotting the proportions of reconstructed ranks (excluding unlikely events, PP < 0.05) associated with each event. Sequence variability was the lowest towards the middle of the phylotypic period and involved three events (allantois contacts chorion, maximum number of pharyngeal slits, and appearance of the apical epidermal ridge [AER]); these events each had only two reconstructed ranks. Squamate clades also differed in the rank order of developmental events. Of the 20 events in our analyses, 12 had strongly supported (PP ≥ 0.95) sequence ranks that differed at two or more internal nodes of the tree. For example, gekkotans are distinguished by the late appearance of the allantois bud compared to all other squamates (ranks 7 and 8 vs. rank 3, respectively) and Serpentes are distinguished by the earlier completion of torsion (rank 3) compared to acrodonts and pleurodonts (ranks 7 and 5

  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. 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

  18. 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.

  19. The Resurrection Peninsula ophiolite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, Steven W.; Miller, M.L.; Dumoulin, Julie A.; Nelson, Steven W.; Hamilton, Thomas D.

    1989-01-01

    The Resurrection Peninsula forms the east side of Resurrection Bay (fig. 3). Relief ranges from 437 m (1,434 ft) at the southern end of the peninsula to more than 1,463 m (4,800 ft) opposite the head of the bay. All rock units composing the informally named Resurrection Peninsula ophiolite of Nelson and others (1987) are visible or accessible by boat."Ophiolite" has been a geologic term since 1827 (Coleman, 1977). The term "ophiolite" initially referred to the rock serpentinite; the Greek root "ophi" (meaning snake or serpent) alluded to the greenish, mottled, and shiny appearance of serpentinites. In 1927, Steinmann described a rock association in the Alps, sometimes known as the "Steinmann Trinity', consisting of serpentine, diabase and spilitic lavas, and chert. Recognition of this suite led to the idea that ophiolites represent submarine magmatism that took place early in the development of a eugeosyncline. In the early 1970s the Steinmann Trinity was reconsidered in light of the plate tectonic theory, new petrologic studies, and the recognition of abducted oceanic lithosphere in orogenic belts of the world. In 1972 at a Geological Society of America Penrose Conference (Anonymous, 1972) the term "ophiolite" was defined as a distinctive assemblage of mafic to ultramafic rocks, with no emphasis on their origin. A complete ophiolite should contain, from bottom to top:1) Tectonized ultramafic rocks (more or less serpentinized)2) Gabbro complex containing cumulus textures and commonly cumulus peridotites3) Mafic sheeted-dike complex, grading upward into;4) Submarine pillow lavas of basaltic composition. Common associated rock types include plagiogranite (Na-rich) and an overlying sedimentary section typically dominated by chert.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Release of Oceanic Intraplate Magmatic CO2, Carbonatization, and Decarbonatization Reactions in the Lower Oceanic Lithosphere and Subducting Slabs and Associated Intraplate and Intraslab Earthquakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirby, S. H.

    2011-12-01

    Release of free CO2 from ascending mafic magmas is thought to be important for intraplate magmatic systems under the ocean basins and gives insight into the cause of deep mantle earthquakes such as those that occur under the Island of Hawai'i at depths of 20 to 60 km via pore-pressure effects. Moreover, this hypothesis is consistent with the occurrence of CO2-filled inclusions along healed fractures in mantle xenoliths in Hawai'ian in ultramafic xenoliths of presumed mantle or deep-crustal origin. The positive pressure effect on CO2 solubility in mafic melts implies that this volatile boils out of such magmas as they ascend and enables fracture and frictional sliding at mantle depths by reducing the effective normal stresses. It is likely that such CO2 is stored along such fractures and faults during the active stage of plume magmatic activity and that during cooling, this CO2 reacts with mantle silicates to form magnesite and dolomite as oceanic lithosphere cools. Such carbonates are much weaker than mantle peridotites (Holyoke and Kronenberg, this session) and are therefore expected to localize strain along such carbonated zones where the oceanic plate is under tectonic stresses. Such conditions are found in the zone of bending near trenches and within subducting slabs where double zones of seismicity are locally present. Localized plastic deformation and viscous heating leading to free CO2 release through decarbonatization and perhaps melting may enable seismogenesis at such depths in mantle lithosphere. This model for the lower zones of double seismic zones where the enabling fluid comes from below the plate from plume magmatic processes (Kirby, 1995; Seno and Yamanaka, 1996) is much more appealing than positing fluid penetration and serpentization downward through the entire oceanic lithosphere from the ocean floor followed by serpentinite dehydration upon subsequent heating during slab descent.

  3. Proteomics and antivenomics of Papuan black snake (Pseudechis papuanus) venom with analysis of its toxicological profile and the preclinical efficacy of Australian antivenoms.

    PubMed

    Pla, Davinia; Bande, Benjamin W; Welton, Ronelle E; Paiva, Owen K; Sanz, Libia; Segura, Álvaro; Wright, Christine E; Calvete, Juan J; Gutiérrez, José María; Williams, David J

    2017-01-06

    The Papuan black snake (Pseudechis papuanus Serpentes: Elapidae) is endemic to Papua New Guinea, Indonesian Papua and Australia's Torres Strait Islands. We have investigated the biological activity and proteomic composition of its venom. The P. papuanus venom proteome is dominated by a variety (n≥18) of PLA2s, which together account for ~90% of the venom proteins, and a set of low relative abundance proteins, including a short-neurotoxic 3FTx (3.1%), 3-4 PIII-SVMPs (2.8%), 3 cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISP; 2.3%) 1-3 l-amino acid oxidase (LAAO) molecules (1.6%). Probing of a P. papuanus cDNA library with specific primers resulted in the elucidation of the full-length nucleotide sequences of six new toxins, including vespryn and NGF not found in the venom proteome, and a calglandulin protein involved in toxin expression with the venom glands. Intravenous injection of P. papuanus venom in mice induced lethality, intravascular haemolysis, pulmonary congestion and oedema, and anticoagulation after intravenous injection, and these effects are mainly due to the action of PLA2s. This study also evaluated the in vivo preclinical efficacy of Australian black snake and polyvalent Seqirus antivenoms. These antivenoms were effective in neutralising the lethal, PLA2 and anticoagulant activities of P. papuanus venom in mice. On the other hand, all of the Seqirus antivenoms tested using an antivenomic approach exhibited strong immunorecognition of all the venom components. These preclinical results suggest that Australian Seqirus(1) antivenoms may provide paraspecific protection against P. papuanus venom in humans.

  4. 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.

  5. Plant chimeras: The good, the bad, and the 'Bizzaria'.

    PubMed

    Frank, Margaret H; Chitwood, Daniel H

    2016-11-01

    Chimeras - organisms that are composed of cells of more than one genotype - captured the human imagination long before they were formally described and used in the laboratory. These organisms owe their namesake to a fire-breathing monster from Greek mythology that has the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and the tail of a serpent. The first description of a non-fictional chimera dates back to the middle of the seventeenth century when the Florentine gardener Pietro Nati discovered an adventitious shoot growing from the graft junction between sour orange (Citrus aurantium) and citron (Citrus medica). This perplexing chimera that grows with sectors phenotypically resembling each of the citrus progenitors inspired discussion and wonder from the scientific community and was fittingly named the 'Bizzaria'. Initially, the 'Bizzaria' was believed to be an asexual hybrid that formed from a cellular fusion between the grafted parents; however, in-depth cellular analyses carried out centuries later demonstrated that the 'Bizzaria', along with other chimeras, owe their unique sectored appearance to a conglomeration of cells from the two donors. Since this pivotal discovery at the turn of the twentieth century, chimeras have served both as tools and as unique biological phenomena that have contributed to our understanding of plant development at the cellular, tissue, and organismal level. Rapid advancements in genome sequencing technologies have enabled the establishment of new model species with novel morphological and developmental features that enable the generation of chimeric organisms. In this review, we show that genetic mosaic and chimera studies provide a technologically simple way to delve into the organismal, genetic, and genomic inner workings underlying the development of diverse model organisms. Moreover, we discuss the unique opportunity that chimeras present to explore universal principles governing intercellular communication and the coordination of

  6. 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

  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. 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:

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. Purification and characterization of islet hormones (insulin, glucagon, pancreatic, polypeptide and somatostatin) from the Burmese python, Python molurus.

    PubMed

    Conlon, J M; Secor, S M; Adrian, T E; Mynarcik, D C; Whittaker, J

    1997-08-29

    Insulin was purified from an extract of the pancreas of the Burmese python, Python molurus (Squamata:Serpentes) and its primary structure established as: A Chain: Gly-Ile-Val-Glu-Gln-Cys-Cys-Glu-Asn-Thr10-Cys-Ser-Leu-Tyr-Glu-Leu- Glu-Asn-Tyr-Cys20-Asn. B-Chain: Ala-Pro-Asn-Gln-His-Leu-Cys-Gly-Ser-His10-Leu-Val-Glu-Ala-Leu-Tyr- Leu-Val-Cys-Gly20-Asp-Arg-Gly-Phe-Tyr-Tyr-Ser-Pro-Arg-Ser30. With the exception of the conservative substitution Phe --> Tyr at position B25, those residues in human insulin that comprise the receptor-binding and those residues involved in dimer and hexamer formation are fully conserved in python insulin. Python insulin was slightly more potent (1.8-fold) than human insulin in inhibiting the binding of [125I-Tyr-A14] insulin to the soluble full-length recombinant human insulin receptor but was slightly less potent (1.5-fold) than human insulin for inhibiting binding to the secreted extracellular domain of the receptor. The primary structure of python glucagon contains only one amino acid substitution (Ser28 --> Asn) compared with turtle/duck glucagon and python somatostatin is identical to that of mammalian somatostatin-14. In contrast, python pancreatic polypeptide (Arg-Ile-Ala-Pro-Val-Phe-Pro-Gly-Lys-Asp10-Glu-Leu-Ala-Lys-Phe- Tyr20-Thr-Glu-Leu-Gln-Gln-Tyr-Leu-Asn-Ser-Ile30-Asn-Arg-Pro-Arg -Phe.NH2) contains only 35 instead of the customary 36 residues and the amino acid sequence of this peptide has been poorly conserved between reptiles and birds (18 substitutions compared with alligator and 20 substitutions compared with chicken).

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Broken formations, melanges and olistostromes in Puerto Plata area (Northern Dominican Republic) as a record of subduction and collisional processes between the Caribbean and North-American plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernaiz Huerta, Pedro Pablo; Valera Fernando, Pérez; de Los Santos Manuel, Abad; Jacques, Monthel; de Neira Alberto, Díaz

    2010-05-01

    debris. These last ones typically incorporate fragments of serpentized peridotites and blocks of the volcanic rocks identified in the PPBC. The Imbert Fm is also internally disrupted and although not a single clear contact can be observed in the field, it is considered to rest unconformably over the complex, so postdating its exhumation. A separate mappable unit of serpentinitic brecchias has recently been identified mainly distributed along the outer limits of the PPBC but also in several scattered outcrops inside it. The unit is dominantly made of fragments and blocks of serpentinized peridotites, embedded in an abundant matrix of the same composition and includes also blocks of Los Caños and Imbert Fm, as well as other exotic blocks of unknown origin. In the southeastern limit of the complex, close to the Camu fault, there is a particular high concentration of exotic blocks derived from metamorphic rocks (greenschists, anfibolites, marbles and even blueschists) not exposed in any neighbouring areas and thus suggesting a deep-sited, subduction-related, feeding. The basal contact of this unit with the rocks of the PPBC is usually faulted and difficult to observe in the field, but cartographic patterns suggest that it is an unconformity. Outcrops of serpentinitic breccias show a wide variety of internal chaotic organization, from pods of tectonic melanges to the most frequent block-in matrix fabric, but most of them also show evidences of sedimentary rework. In the easternmost part of the PPBC, the serpentinitic brecchias are, in turn, the base of an olistostromic complex widely represented in the region, the San Marcos Fm. The olistostrome includes similar exotic blocks than observed in the serpentinitic brecchias and blocks and olistolithes derived from the PPBC but, mainly, from the Imbert Fm. According to the described relationships, the serpentinitic breccias and San Marcos olistostrome are considered partially coeval and laterally equivalent to the Imbert Fm.

  20. 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

  1. Prise en compte des conditions des materiaux et du couplage axial le long d'un canal du reacteur refroidi a eau supercritique canadien

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrisson, Genevieve

    This research project has established a simulation strategy capable of taking into account the conditions of the materials and the axial coupling along a fuel channel of the Canadian Supercritical-Water-Cooled Reactor (SCWR). The proposed simulation strategy solves the transport equation for the complete channel defined in exact geometry without having to make three-dimensional calculation. The proposed simulation strategy consists of making a series of two-dimensional lattice cell calculations followed by a one-dimensional slab geometry calculation. It has been shown that the proposed simulation strategy is equivalent to a three-dimensional channel calculation within reasonable limits. For this demonstration, SERPENT 1.1.16 is used to perform the three-dimensional channel calculations and the two-dimensional lattice cell calculations while DRAGON 3.06 is used to perform the one-dimensional slab geometry calculations. From three-dimensional complete and partial channels with axial reflector, this research project has assessed the impact of the axial reflector on the channel neutronic properties and inversely, the impact of the fuel planes on the axial reflector neutronic properties. It was observed that the axial reflector affects mainly the neutronic properties of the fuel planes adjacent to the axial reflector and that the accuracy of the axial reflector neutronic properties increases as the number of fuel planes in the partial channels increases. In the second part, this research project has demonstrated the applicability of the proposed simulation strategy in the calculation chain conventionally used in neutronics and has evaluated its impact on the SCWR core neutronic properties. To do this, the proposed simulation strategy was entirely modeled using DRAGON 3.06 and the complete SCWR core was modeled with DONJON 3.02. Four models of reactor database were developed. The model of the isolated unit cell uses only one unit cell and changes only the fuel

  2. 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

  3. 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).

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.)

  7. The development of a thermal hydraulic feedback mechanism with a quasi-fixed point iteration scheme for control rod position modeling for the TRIGSIMS-TH application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karriem, Veronica V.

    heterogeneous temperature distribution throughout the core. Each of these codes is written in its own computer language performing its function and outputs a set of data. TRIGSIMS-TH provides an effective use and data manipulation and transfer between different codes. With the implementation of feedback and control- rod-position modeling methodologies, the TRIGSIMS-TH calculations are more accurate and in a better agreement with measured data. The PSBR is unique in many ways and there are no "off-the-shelf" codes, which can model this design in its entirety. In particular, PSBR has an open core design, which is cooled by natural convection. Combining several codes into a unique system brings many challenges. It also requires substantial knowledge of both operation and core design of the PSBR. This reactor is in operation decades and there is a fair amount of studies and developments in both PSBR thermal hydraulics and neutronics. Measured data is also available for various core loadings and can be used for validation activities. The previous studies and developments in PSBR modeling also aids as a guide to assess the findings of the work herein. In order to incorporate new methods and codes into exiting TRIGSIMS, a re-evaluation of various components of the code was performed to assure the accuracy and efficiency of the existing CTF/MCNP5/ADMARC-H multi-physics coupling. A new set of ADMARC-H diffusion coefficients and cross sections was generated using the SERPENT code. This was needed as the previous data was not generated with thermal hydraulic feedback and the ARO position was used as the critical rod position. The B4C was re-evaluated for this update. The data exchange between ADMARC-H and MCNP5 was modified. The basic core model is given a flexibility to allow for various changes within the core model, and this feature was implemented in TRIGSIMS-TH. The PSBR core in the new code model can be expanded and changed. This allows the new code to be used as a modeling tool for

  8. 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

  9. 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