Science.gov

Sample records for level natural background

  1. Assessment of natural background levels in potentially contaminated coastal aquifers.

    PubMed

    Molinari, A; Chidichimo, F; Straface, S; Guadagnini, A

    2014-04-01

    The estimation of natural background levels (NBLs) of dissolved concentrations of target chemical species in subsurface reservoirs relies on a proper assessment of the effects of forcing terms driving flow and transport processes taking place within the system and whose dynamics drive background concentration values. We propose coupling methodologies based on (a) global statistical analyses and (b) numerical modeling of system dynamics to distinguish between the impacts of different types of external forcing components influencing background concentration values. We focus on the joint application of a statistical methodology based on Component Separation and experimental/numerical modeling studies of groundwater flow and transport for the NBL estimation of selected chemical species in potentially contaminated coastal aquifers. We consider a site which is located in Calabria, Italy, and constitutes a typical example of a Mediterranean coastal aquifer which has been subject to intense industrial development. Our study is keyed to the characterization of NBLs of manganese and sulfate and is geared to the proper identification of the importance of a natural external forcing (i.e., seawater intrusion) on NBL assessment. Results from the Component Separation statistical approach are complemented by numerical simulations of the advective-dispersive processes that could influence the distribution of chemical species (i.e., sulfate) within the system. Estimated NBLs for manganese are consistent with the geochemical composition of soil samples. While Component Separation ascribes the largest detected sulfate concentrations to anthropogenic sources, our numerical modeling analysis suggests that they are mainly related to the natural process of seawater intrusion. Our results indicate that the use of statistical methodologies in complex groundwater systems should be assisted by a detailed characterization of the dynamics of natural (and/or induced) processes to distinguish

  2. Geochemistry, biota and natural background levels in an arsenic naturally contaminated volcanic aquifer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preziosi, Elisabetta; Amalfitano, Stefano; Di Lorenzo, Tiziana; Parrone, Daniele; Rossi, David; Ghergo, Stefano; Lungarini, Silvia; Zoppini, Anna Maria

    2015-04-01

    The tight links between chemical and ecological status are largely acknowledged as for surface water bodies, while aquifers are still considered as hidden groundwater reservoirs, rather than ecosystems to be preserved. Geochemical and biological interactions play a key role in all subterranean processes, including the dynamics of the fate of anthropogenic contaminants. Studies on groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDE) were mainly focused on karst aquifers so far, but an increased awareness on the importance of water-rock interactions and methodological improvements in microbial ecology are rapidly increasing the level of characterization of groundwater ecosystems in various hydrogeological contexts. Similarly, knowledge about groundwater biodiversity is still limited, especially if porous habitats are concerned. Yet, groundwater and GDEs are populated by a diverse and highly adapted biota, dominated by crustaceans, which provide important ecosystem services and act as biological indicators of chemical and quantitative impact on groundwater resources. In a previous research (Amalfitano et al. 2014), we reported that the microbial community heterogeneity may reflect the lithological and hydrogeological complexity within volcanic and alluvial facies transition in a groundwater body. The quantitative tracking of the microbial community structure allowed disentangling the natural biogeochemical processes evolving within the aquifer flow path. The analyses of groundwater crustaceans assemblages may contribute to shed more light upon the state and dynamics of such ecosystems. In the present research, a comprehensive study of a water table aquifer flowing through a quaternary volcanic district is being performed, including the geochemical (inorganic) composition, the microbial composition, and the analysis of crustacean assemblages . Groundwater samples are periodically collected from private wells and springs under a low anthropic impact. The key issues within the

  3. Cancer Mortality Among People Living in Areas With Various Levels of Natural Background Radiation.

    PubMed

    Dobrzyński, Ludwik; Fornalski, Krzysztof W; Feinendegen, Ludwig E

    2015-01-01

    There are many places on the earth, where natural background radiation exposures are elevated significantly above about 2.5 mSv/year. The studies of health effects on populations living in such places are crucially important for understanding the impact of low doses of ionizing radiation. This article critically reviews some recent representative literature that addresses the likelihood of radiation-induced cancer and early childhood death in regions with high natural background radiation. The comparative and Bayesian analysis of the published data shows that the linear no-threshold hypothesis does not likely explain the results of these recent studies, whereas they favor the model of threshold or hormesis. Neither cancers nor early childhood deaths positively correlate with dose rates in regions with elevated natural background radiation.

  4. Cancer Mortality Among People Living in Areas With Various Levels of Natural Background Radiation

    PubMed Central

    Fornalski, Krzysztof W.; Feinendegen, Ludwig E.

    2015-01-01

    There are many places on the earth, where natural background radiation exposures are elevated significantly above about 2.5 mSv/year. The studies of health effects on populations living in such places are crucially important for understanding the impact of low doses of ionizing radiation. This article critically reviews some recent representative literature that addresses the likelihood of radiation-induced cancer and early childhood death in regions with high natural background radiation. The comparative and Bayesian analysis of the published data shows that the linear no-threshold hypothesis does not likely explain the results of these recent studies, whereas they favor the model of threshold or hormesis. Neither cancers nor early childhood deaths positively correlate with dose rates in regions with elevated natural background radiation. PMID:26674931

  5. Hydrogeochemical characterization and Natural Background Levels in urbanized areas: Milan Metropolitan area (Northern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Caro, Mattia; Crosta, Giovanni B.; Frattini, Paolo

    2017-04-01

    Although aquifers in densely populated and industrialized areas are extremely valuable and sensitive to contamination, an estimate of the groundwater quality status relative to baseline conditions is lacking for many of them. This paper provides a hydrogeochemical characterization of the groundwater in the Milan metropolitan area, one of the most densely populated areas in Europe. First, a conceptual model of the study area based on the analysis of the spatial distribution of natural chemical species and indicator contaminants is presented. The hydrochemical facies of the study area depend on the lithology of catchments drained by the main contributing rivers and on the aquifer settings. The anthropogenic influence on the groundwater quality of superficial aquifers is studied by means of probability plots, concentration versus depth plots and spatial-temporal plots for nitrate, sulfate and chloride. These allow differentiation of contaminated superficial aquifers from deep confined aquifers with baseline water quality. Natural Background Levels (NBL) of selected species (Cl, Na, NH4, SO4, NO3, As, Fe, Mn and Zn) are estimated by means of the pre-selection (PS) and the component separation (CS) statistical approaches. The NBLs depend on hydrogeological settings of the study area; sodium, chloride, sulfate and zinc NBL values never exceed the environmental water quality standards. NBL values of ammonium, iron, arsenic and manganese exceed the environmental water quality standards in the anaerobic portion of the aquifers. On the basis of observations, a set of criteria and precautions are suggested for adoption with both PS and CS methods in the aquifer characterization of highly urbanized areas.

  6. Assessing Natural Background Levels of aquifers in the Metropolitan Area of Milan (Lombardy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Caro, Mattia; Crosta, Giovanni; Frattini, Paolo

    2016-04-01

    The European Water Framework Directive (WFD 2000/60/CE) requires Member States to evaluate the status of groundwater bodies in order to reach a good water quality for human consumption. One of the preliminary steps for defining the status of groundwater bodies consists in the definition and evaluation of the so-called Natural Background Levels (NBL). The NBL or Baseline level can be defined as "the range of concentration of a given element, isotope or chemical compound in solution, derived entirely from natural, geological, biological or atmospheric sources, under conditions not perturbed by anthropogenic activity" (Edmund and Shand, 2009). The qualitative analysis for a large area (ca 4500 Km2) of the Po Plain around the Milan Metropolitan area (Lombardy, Italy) is presented in this study. Despite the aquifers in the Milan metropolitan area are an incredible groundwater resource for a very large population (3.195.629 inhabitants in the metropolitan area, data at November 2014) and a highly industrialized area, a groundwater baseline characterization is still missing. In order to attain the hydro-geochemical characterization a complete geodatabase was built (120.655 chemical samples from 1980 to 2014). This database has been explored by classical and multivariate statistical analyses to provide relationships among the more influential lithological, hydrogeological and hydro-chemical variables. Finally, the NBLs of different chemical species which may be anthropogenic sensitive (Na, Cl, K, NO3, SO4, NH4, As, Fe, Cr, Fe, Mn, Zn) and for multiple aquifer bodies (phreatic, semi-confined and confined aquifer) are evaluated. Two different approaches are applied: the Pre-Selection method (BRIDGE, 2006) and the Component-Separation method. The first one (PS) consists in the exclusion of samples from the available dataset that could indicate human activities then deriving the NBL as the 90th percentile of the remaining data. The second one (CS) consists in the fitting of

  7. Teaching about Natural Background Radiation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al-Azmi, Darwish; Karunakara, N.; Mustapha, Amidu O.

    2013-01-01

    Ambient gamma dose rates in air were measured at different locations (indoors and outdoors) to demonstrate the ubiquitous nature of natural background radiation in the environment and to show that levels vary from one location to another, depending on the underlying geology. The effect of a lead shield on a gamma radiation field was also…

  8. Teaching about natural background radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Azmi, Darwish; Karunakara, N.; Mustapha, Amidu O.

    2013-07-01

    Ambient gamma dose rates in air were measured at different locations (indoors and outdoors) to demonstrate the ubiquitous nature of natural background radiation in the environment and to show that levels vary from one location to another, depending on the underlying geology. The effect of a lead shield on a gamma radiation field was also demonstrated to emphasize the important role of shielding in radiation protection. The measurements were carried out with a Geiger-Muller (GM)-based dosimeter and a NaI scintillation gamma-ray spectrometer, which are normally available in physics laboratories. Radioactivity in household materials was demonstrated using a gas mantle as an example.

  9. Quality assurance of temporal variability of natural decay chain and neutron induced background for low-level NORM analysis

    DOE PAGES

    Yoho, Michael; Porterfield, Donivan R.; Landsberger, Sheldon

    2015-09-22

    In this study, twenty-one high purity germanium (HPGe) background spectra were collected over 2 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory. A quality assurance methodology was developed to monitor spectral background levels from thermal and fast neutron flux levels and naturally occurring radioactive material decay series radionuclides. 238U decay products above 222Rn demonstrated minimal temporal variability beyond that expected from counting statistics. 238U and 232Th progeny below Rn gas displayed at most twice the expected variability. Further, an analysis of the 139 keV 74Ge(n, γ) and 691 keV 72Ge(n, n') spectral features demonstrated temporal stability for both thermal and fast neutronmore » fluxes.« less

  10. Quality assurance of temporal variability of natural decay chain and neutron induced background for low-level NORM analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Yoho, Michael; Porterfield, Donivan R.; Landsberger, Sheldon

    2015-09-22

    In this study, twenty-one high purity germanium (HPGe) background spectra were collected over 2 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory. A quality assurance methodology was developed to monitor spectral background levels from thermal and fast neutron flux levels and naturally occurring radioactive material decay series radionuclides. 238U decay products above 222Rn demonstrated minimal temporal variability beyond that expected from counting statistics. 238U and 232Th progeny below Rn gas displayed at most twice the expected variability. Further, an analysis of the 139 keV 74Ge(n, γ) and 691 keV 72Ge(n, n') spectral features demonstrated temporal stability for both thermal and fast neutron fluxes.

  11. Natural background levels and threshold values of chemical species in three large-scale groundwater bodies in Northern Italy.

    PubMed

    Molinari, Antonio; Guadagnini, Laura; Marcaccio, Marco; Guadagnini, Alberto

    2012-05-15

    We analyze natural background levels (NBLs) and threshold values (TVs) of spatially distributed chemical species (NH(4), B and As) which may be a potential pressure and concern in three large scale alluvial and fluvio-deltaic aquifers at different depths of the Apennines and Po river plains in Emilia-Romagna, Northern Italy. Our results are based on statistical methodologies designed to separate the natural and anthropogenic contributions in monitored concentrations by modeling the empirical distribution of the detected concentration with a mixture of probability density functions. Available chemical observations are taken over a 20 years period and are associated with different depths and cover planar investigation scales of the order of hundreds of kilometers. High concentration values detected for NH(4) and B appear to be related to high natural background levels. Due to interaction with the host rock in different geochemical environments we observed that concentration vary in time and space (including in depth) consistently with the hydrogeochemical features and the occurrence of natural attenuation mechanisms in the analyzed reservoirs. Conversely, estimated As NBLs are not consistent with the conceptual model of the hydrogeochemical behavior of the systems analyzed and experimental evidences of As content in aquifer cores. This is due to the inability of these techniques to incorporate the complex dynamics of the processes associated with the specific hydrogeochemical setting. Statistical analyses performed upon aggregating the concentration data according to different time observation windows allow identifying temporal dynamics of NBLs and TVs of target compounds within the observation time frame. Our results highlight the benefit of a dynamic monitoring process and analysis of well demarcated groundwater bodies to update the associated NBLs as a function of the temporal dependence of natural processes occurring in the subsurface. Monitoring protocols could

  12. Combining natural background levels (NBLs) assessment with indicator kriging analysis to improve groundwater quality data interpretation and management.

    PubMed

    Ducci, Daniela; de Melo, M Teresa Condesso; Preziosi, Elisabetta; Sellerino, Mariangela; Parrone, Daniele; Ribeiro, Luis

    2016-11-01

    The natural background level (NBL) concept is revisited and combined with indicator kriging method to analyze the spatial distribution of groundwater quality within a groundwater body (GWB). The aim is to provide a methodology to easily identify areas with the same probability of exceeding a given threshold (which may be a groundwater quality criteria, standards, or recommended limits for selected properties and constituents). Three case studies with different hydrogeological settings and located in two countries (Portugal and Italy) are used to derive NBL using the preselection method and validate the proposed methodology illustrating its main advantages over conventional statistical water quality analysis. Indicator kriging analysis was used to create probability maps of the three potential groundwater contaminants. The results clearly indicate the areas within a groundwater body that are potentially contaminated because the concentrations exceed the drinking water standards or even the local NBL, and cannot be justified by geogenic origin. The combined methodology developed facilitates the management of groundwater quality because it allows for the spatial interpretation of NBL values.

  13. A review on natural background radiation

    PubMed Central

    Shahbazi-Gahrouei, Daryoush; Gholami, Mehrdad; Setayandeh, Samaneh

    2013-01-01

    The world is naturally radioactive and approximately 82% of human-absorbed radiation doses, which are out of control, arise from natural sources such as cosmic, terrestrial, and exposure from inhalation or intake radiation sources. In recent years, several international studies have been carried out, which have reported different values regarding the effect of background radiation on human health. Gamma radiation emitted from natural sources (background radiation) is largely due to primordial radionuclides, mainly 232Th and 238U series, and their decay products, as well as 40K, which exist at trace levels in the earth's crust. Their concentrations in soil, sands, and rocks depend on the local geology of each region in the world. Naturally occurring radioactive materials generally contain terrestrial-origin radionuclides, left over since the creation of the earth. In addition, the existence of some springs and quarries increases the dose rate of background radiation in some regions that are known as high level background radiation regions. The type of building materials used in houses can also affect the dose rate of background radiations. The present review article was carried out to consider all of the natural radiations, including cosmic, terrestrial, and food radiation. PMID:24223380

  14. Role of light and heavy minerals on natural radioactivity level of high background radiation area, Kerala, India.

    PubMed

    Ramasamy, V; Sundarrajan, M; Suresh, G; Paramasivam, K; Meenakshisundaram, V

    2014-02-01

    Natural radionuclides ((238)U, (232)Th and (40)K) concentrations and eight different radiological parameters have been analyzed for the beach sediments of Kerala with an aim of evaluating the radiation hazards. Activity concentrations ((238)U and (232)Th) and all the radiological parameters in most of the sites have higher values than recommended values. The Kerala beach sediments pose significant radiological threat to the people living in the area and tourists going to the beaches for recreation or to the sailors and fishermen involved in their activities in the study area. In order to know the light mineral characterization of the present sediments, mineralogical analysis has been carried out using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic technique. The eight different minerals are identified and they are characterized. Among the various observed minerals, the minerals such as quartz, microcline feldspar, kaolinite and calcite are major minerals. The relative distribution of major minerals is determined by calculating extinction co-efficient and the values show that the amount of quartz is higher than calcite and much higher than microcline feldspar. Crystallinity index is calculated to know the crystalline nature of quartz present in the sediments. Heavy mineral separation analysis has been carried out to know the total heavy mineral (THM) percentage. This analysis revealed the presence of nine heavy minerals. The minerals such as monazite, zircon, magnetite and illmenite are predominant. Due to the rapid and extreme changes occur in highly dynamic environments of sandy beaches, quantities of major light and heavy minerals are widely varied from site to site. Granulometric analysis shows that the sand is major content. Multivariate statistical (Pearson correlation, cluster and factor) analysis has been carried out to know the effect of mineralogy on radionuclide concentrations. The present study concluded that heavy minerals induce the (238)U and (232)Th

  15. Estimating COCOM Natural Background Dormancy

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-04-01

    phenological stage, controls color and tex- ture of natural vegetation as it cycles through greenup, verdancy, senes- cence, and dormancy. For the Army... cycle patterns: (a) a single, complete growth cycle ; (b–d) two partial cycles ; (e) two complete growth cycles ; and (f–h) one complete cycle and two...incomplete cycles ............................................................................... 17 9 Maps of the mean MLD in days and standard

  16. Ambient background particulate composition, outdoor natural background: interferents/clutter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paterno, Dorothea

    2012-06-01

    It has proven a very difficult task to discriminate an actual BW threat from the natural occurring ambient particulate aerosol, which includes a significant fraction of particles consisting of mixed mineral and biological material. The interferent particles [clutter] (bio and non bio) concentration varies widely both by location, weather and season and diurnally. Naturally occurring background particulates are composed of fungal and bacterial spores both fragments and components, plant fragments and debris, animal fragments and debris, all of which may be associated with inert dust or combustion material. Some or all of which could also be considered to be an interferent to a biological warfare detector and cause these biodector systems to cause False Alarms by non specific BW bio detectors. I will share analysis of current long term background data sets.

  17. Peripheral blood lymphocyte micronucleus frequencies in men from areas of Kerala, India, with high vs normal levels of natural background ionizing radiation.

    PubMed

    Karuppasamy, C V; Ramachandran, E N; Kumar, V Anil; Kumar, P R Vivek; Koya, P K M; Jaikrishan, G; Das, Birajalaxmi

    2016-04-01

    We have measured the frequencies of micronuclei (MN) in adult male individuals living in areas of the Kerala coast, southwest India, with either high (HLNRA, >1.5mGy/year) or normal levels of natural ionizing radiation (NLNRA, ≤1.5mGy/year). Blood samples were obtained from 141 individuals, 94 from HLNRA and 47 from NLNRA, aged 18-72, and were subjected to the cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay. An average of 1835 binucleated (BN) cells per individual were scored. The overall frequency of MN (mean±SD) was 11.7±6.7 per 1000 BN cells. The frequencies of MN in the HLNRA (11.7±6.6) and NLNRA (11.6±6.7) were not statistically significantly different (P=0.59). However, a statistically significant (P<0.001) age-dependent increase in MN frequency was observed among individuals from both HLNRA and NLNRA. No natural background radiation dose-dependent increase in MN frequency was seen. MN frequency was not influenced by tobacco smoking or chewing but it was increased among individuals consuming alcohol. Chronic low-dose radiation in the Kerala coast did not have a significant effect on MN frequency among adult men.

  18. Speech Recognition in Natural Background Noise

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Julien; Dentel, Laure; Meunier, Fanny

    2013-01-01

    In the real world, human speech recognition nearly always involves listening in background noise. The impact of such noise on speech signals and on intelligibility performance increases with the separation of the listener from the speaker. The present behavioral experiment provides an overview of the effects of such acoustic disturbances on speech perception in conditions approaching ecologically valid contexts. We analysed the intelligibility loss in spoken word lists with increasing listener-to-speaker distance in a typical low-level natural background noise. The noise was combined with the simple spherical amplitude attenuation due to distance, basically changing the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Therefore, our study draws attention to some of the most basic environmental constraints that have pervaded spoken communication throughout human history. We evaluated the ability of native French participants to recognize French monosyllabic words (spoken at 65.3 dB(A), reference at 1 meter) at distances between 11 to 33 meters, which corresponded to the SNRs most revealing of the progressive effect of the selected natural noise (−8.8 dB to −18.4 dB). Our results showed that in such conditions, identity of vowels is mostly preserved, with the striking peculiarity of the absence of confusion in vowels. The results also confirmed the functional role of consonants during lexical identification. The extensive analysis of recognition scores, confusion patterns and associated acoustic cues revealed that sonorant, sibilant and burst properties were the most important parameters influencing phoneme recognition. . Altogether these analyses allowed us to extract a resistance scale from consonant recognition scores. We also identified specific perceptual consonant confusion groups depending of the place in the words (onset vs. coda). Finally our data suggested that listeners may access some acoustic cues of the CV transition, opening interesting perspectives for future studies

  19. Background radiation: natural and man-made.

    PubMed

    Thorne, M C

    2003-03-01

    A brief overview and comparison is given of dose rates arising from natural background radiation and the fallout from atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. Although there are considerable spatial variations in exposure to natural background radiation, it is useful to give estimates of worldwide average overall exposures from the various components of that background. Cosmic-ray secondaries of low linear energy transfer (LET), mainly muons and photons, deliver about 280 microSv a(-1). Cosmic-ray neutrons deliver about another 100 microSv a(-1). These low- and high-LET exposures are relatively uniform to the whole body. The effective dose rate from cosmogenic radionuclides is dominated by the contribution of 12 microSv a(-1) from 14C. This is due to relatively uniform irradiation of all organs and tissues from low-energy beta particles. Primordial radionuclides and their progeny (principally the 238U and 232Th series, and 40K) contribute about 480 microSv a(-1) of effective dose by external irradiation. This is relatively uniform photon irradiation of the whole body. Internally incorporated 40K contributes a further 165 microSv a(-1) of effective dose in adults, mainly from beta particles, but with a significant gamma component. Equivalent doses from 40K are somewhat higher in muscle than other soft tissues, but the distinction is less than a factor of three. Uranium and thorium series radionuclides give rise to an average effective dose rate of around 120 microSv a(-1). This includes a major alpha particle component, and exposures of radiosensitive tissues in lung, liver, kidney and the skeleton are recognised as important contributors to effective dose. Overall, these various sources give a worldwide average effective dose rate of about 1160 microSv a(-1). Exposure to 222Rn, 220Rn and their short-lived progeny has to be considered separately. This is very variable both within and between countries. For 222Rn and its progeny, a worldwide average effective dose

  20. Ambient Background Particulate Compositiion Outdoor Natural Background: Interferents/Clutter

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-08-01

    the biological warfare detection world), you must conduct long term ( seasonally ) particulate monitoring. Anecdotal short term monitoring attempts...particulates (interferents or clutter) in the lower atmosphere at four locations along a transect in the UK for 2 years. In addition, seasonal , diurnal...CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND 9 2. UK AEROSOL BIODIVERSITY STUDY-2 YEARS, FOUR LOCATIONS. FOUR SEASONS 10 3. DoD SPONSORED ANAL YSIS OF UK

  1. NATURAL RADIOACTIVITY LEVEL AND ELEMENTAL COMPOSITION OF SOIL SAMPLES FROM A HIGH BACKGROUND RADIATION AREA ON EASTERN COAST OF INDIA (ODISHA).

    PubMed

    Sahoo, S K; Kierepko, R; Sorimachi, A; Omori, Y; Ishikawa, T; Tokonami, S; Prasad, G; Gusain, G S; Ramola, R C

    2016-10-01

    A comprehensive study was carried out to determine the radioactivity concentration of soil samples from different sites of a high background radiation area in the eastern coast of India, Odisha state. The dose rate measured in situ varied from 0.25 to 1.2 µSv h(-1) The gamma spectrometry measurements indicated Th series elements as the main contributors to the enhanced level of radiation and allowed the authors to find the mean level of the activity concentration (±SD) for (226)Ra, (228)Th and (40)K as 130±97, 1110±890 and 360±140 Bq kg(-1), respectively. Human exposure from radionuclides occurring outdoor was estimated based on the effective dose rate, which ranged from 0.14±0.02 to 2.15±0.26 mSv and was higher than the UNSCEAR annual worldwide average value 0.07 mSv. Additionally, X-ray fluorescence analysis provided information about the content of major elements in samples and indicated the significant amount of Ti (7.4±4.9 %) in soils.

  2. Background compensation for a radiation level monitor

    DOEpatents

    Keefe, D.J.

    1975-12-01

    Background compensation in a device such as a hand and foot monitor is provided by digital means using a scaler. With no radiation level test initiated, a scaler is down-counted from zero according to the background measured. With a radiation level test initiated, the scaler is up-counted from the previous down-count position according to the radiation emitted from the monitored object and an alarm is generated if, with the scaler having crossed zero in the positive going direction, a particular number is exceeded in a specific time period after initiation of the test. If the test is initiated while the scale is down-counting, the background count from the previous down- count stored in a memory is used as the initial starting point for the up-count.

  3. ESTIMATION OF BACKGROUND LEVELS OF CONTAMINANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Samples from hazardous waste site investigations frequently come from two or more statistical populations. Assessment of "background" levels of contaminants can be a significant problem. This problem is being investigated at the US EPA's EMSL in Las Vegas. This paper describes a ...

  4. Chromo-natural model in anisotropic background

    SciTech Connect

    Maleknejad, Azadeh; Erfani, Encieh E-mail: eerfani@ipm.ir

    2014-03-01

    In this work we study the chromo-natural inflation model in the anisotropic setup. Initiating inflation from Bianchi type-I cosmology, we analyze the system thoroughly during the slow-roll inflation, from both analytical and numerical points of view. We show that the isotropic FRW inflation is an attractor of the system. In other words, anisotropies are damped within few e-folds and the chromo-natural model respects the cosmic no-hair conjecture. Furthermore, we demonstrate that in the slow-roll limit, the anisotropies in both chromo-natural and gauge-flation models share the same dynamics.

  5. Effect of natural background radiation on dermatoglyphic traits.

    PubMed

    Bhasin, M K; Malik, S L; Grewal, M S; Singh, I P; Sudarshan, K J; Kochupillai, N; Verma, I C

    1980-01-01

    Long term exposure to natural background radiation could cause gross abnormalities in individuals and at the population level. Studies conducted on the coastal Kerala population which is known to be receiving fifteen times the normal permissible dose of radiation support this. This study aims at understanding the deviations, if any, in the normal human variation as a result of such high natural radiation. A detailed quantitative and qualitative dermatoglyphic study was done on two communities i.e. Hindus and Christians, living separately in the radiation area. The significant differences were observed between control and exposed groups with regard to d-t ridge count, distances c-t and angle atd. The susceptibility of the axial triradius to environmental distrubances is discussed.

  6. Sinning against nature: the theory of background conditions

    PubMed Central

    Blackford, R

    2006-01-01

    Debates about the moral and political acceptability of particular sexual practices and new technologies often include appeals to a supposed imperative to follow nature. If nature is understood as the totality of all phenomena or as those things that are not artificial, there is little prospect of developing a successful argument to impugn interference with it or sinning against it. At the same time, there are serious difficulties with approaches that seek to identify "proper" human functioning. An alternative approach is to understand interference with nature as acting in a manner that threatens basic background conditions to human choice. Arguably, the theory of background conditions helps explain much of the hostility to practices and technologies that allegedly sin against nature. The theory does not, however, entail that appeals to nature are relevant or rational. Such appeals should be subjected to sceptical scrutiny. Indeed, the theory suggests that arguments against practices and technologies that can be seen as contrary to nature sometimes exercise a psychological attraction that is disproportional to their actual cogency. PMID:17074819

  7. Sinning against nature: the theory of background conditions.

    PubMed

    Blackford, R

    2006-11-01

    Debates about the moral and political acceptability of particular sexual practices and new technologies often include appeals to a supposed imperative to follow nature. If nature is understood as the totality of all phenomena or as those things that are not artificial, there is little prospect of developing a successful argument to impugn interference with it or sinning against it. At the same time, there are serious difficulties with approaches that seek to identify "proper" human functioning. An alternative approach is to understand interference with nature as acting in a manner that threatens basic background conditions to human choice. Arguably, the theory of background conditions helps explain much of the hostility to practices and technologies that allegedly sin against nature. The theory does not, however, entail that appeals to nature are relevant or rational. Such appeals should be subjected to sceptical scrutiny. Indeed, the theory suggests that arguments against practices and technologies that can be seen as contrary to nature sometimes exercise a psychological attraction that is disproportional to their actual cogency.

  8. Image Discrimination Models Predict Object Detection in Natural Backgrounds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahumada, Albert J., Jr.; Rohaly, A. M.; Watson, Andrew B.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    Object detection involves looking for one of a large set of object sub-images in a large set of background images. Image discrimination models only predict the probability that an observer will detect a difference between two images. In a recent study based on only six different images, we found that discrimination models can predict the relative detectability of objects in those images, suggesting that these simpler models may be useful in some object detection applications. Here we replicate this result using a new, larger set of images. Fifteen images of a vehicle in an other-wise natural setting were altered to remove the vehicle and mixed with the original image in a proportion chosen to make the target neither perfectly recognizable nor unrecognizable. The target was also rotated about a vertical axis through its center and mixed with the background. Sixteen observers rated these 30 target images and the 15 background-only images for the presence of a vehicle. The likelihoods of the observer responses were computed from a Thurstone scaling model with the assumption that the detectabilities are proportional to the predictions of an image discrimination model. Three image discrimination models were used: a cortex transform model, a single channel model with a contrast sensitivity function filter, and the Root-Mean-Square (RMS) difference of the digital target and background-only images. As in the previous study, the cortex transform model performed best; the RMS difference predictor was second best; and last, but still a reasonable predictor, was the single channel model. Image discrimination models can predict the relative detectabilities of objects in natural backgrounds.

  9. VIEW OF INTERIOR SPACE WITH MEZZANINE LEVEL IN BACKGROUND AND ...

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

    VIEW OF INTERIOR SPACE WITH MEZZANINE LEVEL IN BACKGROUND AND SMALL QUENCH TANK IN FOREGROUND, FACING NORTHEAST. - Douglas Aircraft Company Long Beach Plant, Aircraft Parts Shipping & Receiving Building, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, Long Beach, Los Angeles County, CA

  10. Support of low-level instrument background for HPGe detectors

    SciTech Connect

    Sokolov, A. D.; Starostin, A. S.; Kuzmenko, V. I.; Rozite, A. R.

    2011-07-01

    The development results for the cryostats with the low-level of instrument background supported by special design, the reduction of mass of the materials surrounding detector and application of the materials with very low content of radiation impurities are presented. The development results for HPGe detector with ultra low-level of instrument background for gamma spectrometer under the GEMMA project for investigation of the neutrino magnetic moment are presented. (authors)

  11. The ROSCOE MANUAL. Volume 27: Natural background radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamlin, D. A.; Schoonover, M. R.

    1980-07-01

    The Natural Background Radiation Module computes the Earth's natural upwelling spectral radiance (from 2 to 5 micrometers) by averaging over paths in an Earth-tangent cone with vertex at each selected altitude. The processes contributing to the radiance are emission from air, Earth's surface, and clouds and reflection of solar radiation from Earth's surface and clouds; attenuation is by molecules and aerosols. The Module integrates ROSCOE-IR models for atmosphere, atmospheric thermal emission, molecular transmittance, aerosols, clouds, Earth's surface characterization and radiance, solar radiation, and upwelling natural radiation. The last 3 models are documented fully; other models (three of which were developed by other organizations) are documented mainly in terms of functions performed, inputs, and outputs. The user selects the modeled Earth's surface from one of seven categories (with possibly an associated descriptor): Lambertian surface (and diffuse reflectance), wind-ruffled water (and wind speed), snow (and its age parameter), sand, soil, foliage, and urban material (and degree-of-urbanization parameter).

  12. Measurement of Acceptable Noise Level with Background Music

    PubMed Central

    Ahn, Hyun-Jung; Bahng, Junghwa

    2015-01-01

    Background and Objectives Acceptable noise level (ANL) is a measure of the maximum background noise level (BNL) that a person is willing to tolerate while following a target story. Although researchers have used various sources of target sound in ANL measures, a limited type of background noise has been used. Extending the previous study of Gordon-Hickey & Moore (2007), the current study determined the effect of music genre and tempo on ANLs as possible factors affecting ANLs. We also investigated the relationships between individual ANLs and the familiarity of music samples and between music ANLs and subjective preference. Subjects and Methods Forty-one participants were seperated into two groups according to their ANLs, 29 low-ANL listeners and 12 high-ANL listeners. Using Korean ANL material, the individual ANLs were measured based on the listeners' most comfortable listening level and BNL. The ANLs were measured in six conditions, with different music tempo (fast, slow) and genre (K-pop, pop, classical) in a counterbalanced order. Results Overall, ANLs did not differ by the tempo of background music, but music genre significantly affected individual ANLs. We observed relatively higher ANLs with K-pop music and relatively lower ANLs with classical music. This tendency was similar in both low-ANL and high-ANL groups. However, the subjective ratings of music familiarity and preference affected ANLs differently for low-ANL and high-ANL groups. In contrast to the low-ANL listeners, the ANLs of the high-ANL listeners were significantly affected by music familiarity and preference. Conclusions The genre of background music affected ANLs obtained using background music. The degree of music familiarity and preference appears to be associated with individual susceptibility to background music only for listeners who are greatly annoyed by background noise (high-ANL listeners). PMID:26413573

  13. Using epicenter location to differentiate events from natural background seismicity

    SciTech Connect

    Myers, S C; Walter, W R

    1999-07-26

    Efforts to more effectively monitor the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (commonly referred to as the CTBT) include research into methods of seismic discrimination. The most common seismic discriminants exploit differences in seismic amplitude for differing source types. Amplitude discriminants are quite effective when wave-propagation (a.k.a. path) effects are properly accounted for. However, because path effects can be exceedingly complex, path calibration is often accomplished empirically by spatially interpolating amplitude characteristics for a set of calibration earthquakes with techniques like Bayesian kriging. As a result, amplitude discriminants can be highly effective when natural seismicity provides sufficient event coverage to characterize a region. However, amplitude discrimination can become less effective for events that are far from historical (path-calibration) events. It is intuitive that events occurring at a distance from historical seismicity patterns are inherently suspect. However, quantifying the degree to which a particular event is unexpected could be of great utility in CTBT monitoring. Epicenter location is commonly used as a qualitative discriminant. For instance, if a seismic event is located in the deep ocean, then the event is generally considered to be an earthquake. Such qualitative uses of seismic location have great utility; however, a quantitative method to differentiate events from the natural pattern of seismicity could significantly advance the applicability of location as a discriminant for source type. Clustering of earthquake epicenters is the underlying aspect of earthquake seismicity that allows for an epicenter-based discriminant, and we explore the use of fractal characterization of clustering to characterize seismicity patters. We then evaluate the likelihood that an event at any given location is drawn from the background population. The use of this technique can help to identifying events that are inconsistent

  14. In-mine testing of a natural background sensor, part B

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martzloff, F. D.

    1981-01-01

    The capability of a natural background sensor for measuring the thickness of top coal on a longwall face was examined. The limitations on the time during which tests could be performed, and the roof conditions, did not produce readings of top coal measurements during the shearer operation. It was demonstrated that the system is capable to survive operating conditions in the mine environment, while the static tests confirmed that the natural background sensor approach is a valid method of measuring top coal thickness in mines where the roof rock provides a constant radiation level. It is concluded that the practical results will improve sequent development of an integrated vertical control system which is information from the natural background system.

  15. Development of a low-level background gamma-ray spectrometer by KRISS.

    PubMed

    Lee, K B; Park, Tae Soon; Lee, Jong Man; Oh, Phil-Je; Lee, Sang-Han

    2008-01-01

    A new low-level background and high-efficiency gamma-ray spectrometric system, to be used mainly for the activity certification of natural-matrix certified reference materials (CRMs) and environmental reference materials (RMs) that has been developed on the grounds of the Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS). The spectrometer consists of a low-background high-purity germanium detector with a relative efficiency of 120% and various shielding devices to reduce radiation background. The cabinet-shaped device made of 10ton of shielding materials encloses the germanium detector for protection against background from natural radioactivity and neutrons. Three plates of 50-mm-thick plastic scintillation detectors on top of the passive shielding cabinet suppress cosmogenic background by detecting high-energetic cosmic muons bombarding the germanium detector. The measured background rate of the spectrometer for the energy range 50-3000keV was 1.72s(-1).

  16. Is natural background or radiation from nuclear power plants leukemogenic

    SciTech Connect

    Cronkite, E.P.

    1989-01-01

    The objective in this review is to provide some facts about normal hemopoietic cell proliferation relevant to leukemogenesis, physical, chemical, and biological facts about radiation effects with the hope that each person will be able to decide for themselves whether background radiation or emissions from nuclear power plants and facilities significantly add to the spontaneous leukemia incidence. 23 refs., 1 tab.

  17. Natural background concentrations and threshold values of chemical species for groundwater in Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hyun, Y.; Lee, S.; Lee, H.

    2014-12-01

    We analyze natural background concentrations and determine threshold values of chemical species (NO3-N, Cl, As, Pb, Cr) for groundwater using Groundwater Quality Monitoring Network (GQMN) data operated by Korea Ministry of Environment (ME). GQMN data are divided into two groups, A and B. Group A consists of samples collected in aquifers where anthropogenic inputs are forced to be excluded by aquifer typology. Group B consists of samples in aquifers where purely anthropogenic chemicals (e.g., pesticide, PAC) are introduced at the downgradient. Group A is used to derive nationwide natural background concentrations for groundwater in specific aquifer geology under concern, which represents a reference system. Group B is used for deriving site-specific background concentrations for groundwater. For both groups of data, the samples with anthropogenic inputs are forced to be excluded, thus background concentrations are derived based on a pre-selection method accordingly. We determine threshold values according to EU GroundWater Daughter Directive(GWDD 2006/11/EC). For As, Pb, and Cr and some other trace elements, survival analyses are used for estimating background concentrations due to non-detect data. The results show that high concentration values of NO3-N and Cr are related to high natural background concentrations due to rock-water interactions for Group A. In particular, NO3-N concentrations vary with depth, which are consistent with natural attenuation processes. For Group B, some anthropogenic chemical species such as BTEX are observed and site-specific background concentrations of those elements are non-zero, which is apparently not naturally occurred at all. Natural background concentrations and threshold values derived from Group A can be used for setting up reference values for managing groundwater quality on a level of either domestic or drinking water stands. Meanwhile results from Group B provide a useful guidance for managing groundwater quality in

  18. Lead testing wipes contain measurable background levels of lead.

    PubMed

    Keenan, James J; Le, Matthew H; Paustenbach, Dennis J; Gaffney, Shannon H

    2010-03-01

    Lead is registered under the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65) as both a carcinogen and a reproductive hazard. As part of the process to determine if consumer products satisfy Proposition 65 with respect to lead, various wipe sampling strategies have been utilized. Four commonly used wipe materials (cotton gauze, cotton balls, ashless filter paper, and Ghost Wipes) were tested for background lead levels. Ghost Wipe material was found to have 0.43 +/- 0.11 microg lead/sample (0.14 microg/wipe). Wipe testing for lead using Ghost Wipes may therefore result in measurable concentrations of lead, regardless of whether or not the consumer product actually contains leachable lead.

  19. Trace gases over Northern Eurasia: background level and disturbing factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skorokhod, A.; Shumsky, R.; Pankratova, N.; Moiseenko, K.; Vasileva, A.; Berezina, E.; Elansky, N.

    2012-04-01

    Atmospheric air composition over the vast and low inhabited areas of Northern Eurasia is still poorly studied because of lack of the precise direct measurements. This harms to accuracy of both global and regional models which simulate climatological and ecosystem changes in that highly important region. In this work background trace gases (such as O3, NO, NO2, CO) concentrations and their variability are considered on base of results of continuous measurements at ZOTTO station in the middle of Siberia which have been carried out since March, 2007. Also factors implying background regime (like long-range transport, wild fires emissions) are analyzed. To compliment study data of TROICA train-based campaigns which have been regularly provided across Russia for many years (1995-2010) are used. The concentration of ozone has a pronounced seasonal variation with a clear peak in spring (40-45 ppbv in average and up to 80 ppbv in extreme cases) and minimum in winter. Average ozone level is about 20 ppbv that corresponds to the background conditions. Enhanced concentration in March-July is due to increased stratospheric-tropospheric exchange. In autumn and winter distribution of ozone is close to uniform. Photochemical processes under low light and air temperature does not cause the generation of ozone. Sink on the snow surface is very small, and therefore the diurnal variations are absent. In general, seasonal variations correspond to the average seasonal course, which is typical for Russia. The analysis of diurnal ozone variations in Zotino in different seasons showed that the maximum rate of ozone formation is observed in summer from 9 to 15 h local time and is 1-2 ppbv/hour. It correlates well with the data on the isoprene emissions and others biogenic VOC reacting with OH- radical. Thus they are biogenic VOC emissions that seem to be the main factor of the lower troposphere oxidation power in summer. In other seasons it is significantly lower. NOx concentration does

  20. Background in the context of land contaminated with naturally occurring radioactive material.

    PubMed

    Read, D; Read, G D; Thorne, M C

    2013-06-01

    The financial implications of choosing a particular threshold for clearance of radioactively contaminated land are substantial, particularly when one considers the volume of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) created each year by the production and combustion of fossil fuels and the exploitation of industrial minerals. Inevitably, a compromise needs to be reached between the level of environmental protection sought and the finite resources available for remediation. In the case of natural series radionuclides, any anthropogenic input is always superimposed on the inventory already present in the soil; this 'background' inventory is conventionally disregarded when assessing remediation targets. Unfortunately, the term is not well defined and the concept of 'background dose' is open to alternative interpretations. In this paper, we address the issue of natural background from a geochemical rather than from a solely radiological perspective, illustrating this with an example from the china clay industry. We propose a simple procedure for decision making based on activity concentrations of primordial radionuclides and their progeny. Subsequent calculations of dose need to take into account the mineralogical and chemical characteristics of the contamination, which in the case of NORM are invariably reflected in uranium series disequilibrium.

  1. natural background radiation dosimetry in the highest altitude region of Iran.

    PubMed

    Shahbazi-Gahrouei, Daryoush

    2003-09-01

    The natural background radiation has been measured in one of the highest altitude regions (Zagros Mountains), Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province, in the south west of Iran. The outdoors-environmental monitoring exposure rate of radiation was measured in 200 randomly chosen regions using portable Geiger-Muller and scintillation detectors. Eight measurements were made in each region and an average value was used to calculate the exposure rate from natural background radiation. The average exposure rate was found to be 0.246 microGy/h and the annual average effective dose equivalent was found to be 0.49 mSv. An overall population-weighted mean outdoor dose rate was calculated to be 49 nGy/h, which is higher than the world-wide mean value of 44 nGy/h, as reported by UNSCEAR in 1998, and is comparable to the annual effective dose equivalent of 0.38 mSv. A good correlation between the altitude and the exposure rate was observed, as the higher altitude regions have higher natural background radiation levels.

  2. Estimating natural background groundwater chemistry, Questa molybdenum mine, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Verplanck, Phillip L.; Nordstrom, D. Kirk; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Walker, Bruce M.; Morgan, Lisa A.; Quane, Steven L.

    2010-01-01

    This 2 1/2 day field trip will present an overview of a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) project whose objective was to estimate pre-mining groundwater chemistry at the Questa molybdenum mine, New Mexico. Because of intense debate among stakeholders regarding pre-mining groundwater chemistry standards, the New Mexico Environment Department and Chevron Mining Inc. (formerly Molycorp) agreed that the USGS should determine pre-mining groundwater quality at the site. In 2001, the USGS began a 5-year, multidisciplinary investigation to estimate pre-mining groundwater chemistry utilizing a detailed assessment of a proximal natural analog site and applied an interdisciplinary approach to infer pre-mining conditions. The trip will include a surface tour of the Questa mine and key locations in the erosion scar areas and along the Red River. The trip will provide participants with a detailed understanding of geochemical processes that influence pre-mining environmental baselines in mineralized areas and estimation techniques for determining pre-mining baseline conditions.

  3. Natural inflation: consistency with cosmic microwave background observations of Planck and BICEP2

    SciTech Connect

    Freese, Katherine; Kinney, William H. E-mail: whkinney@buffalo.edu

    2015-03-01

    Natural inflation is a good fit to all cosmic microwave background (CMB) data and may be the correct description of an early inflationary expansion of the Universe. The large angular scale CMB polarization experiment BICEP2 has announced a major discovery, which can be explained as the gravitational wave signature of inflation, at a level that matches predictions by natural inflation models. The natural inflation (NI) potential is theoretically exceptionally well motivated in that it is naturally flat due to shift symmetries, and in the simplest version takes the form V(φ) = Λ{sup 4} [1 ± cos(Nφ/f)]. A tensor-to-scalar ratio r > 0.1 as seen by BICEP2 requires the height of any inflationary potential to be comparable to the scale of grand unification and the width to be comparable to the Planck scale. The Cosine Natural Inflation model agrees with all cosmic microwave background measurements as long as f ≥ m{sub Pl} (where m{sub Pl} = 1.22 × 10{sup 19} GeV) and Λ ∼ m{sub GUT} ∼ 10{sup 16} GeV. This paper also discusses other variants of the natural inflation scenario: we show that axion monodromy with potential V∝ φ{sup 2/3} is inconsistent with the BICEP2 limits at the 95% confidence level, and low-scale inflation is strongly ruled out. Linear potentials V ∝ φ are inconsistent with the BICEP2 limit at the 95% confidence level, but are marginally consistent with a joint Planck/BICEP2 limit at 95%. We discuss the pseudo-Nambu Goldstone model proposed by Kinney and Mahanthappa as a concrete realization of low-scale inflation. While the low-scale limit of the model is inconsistent with the data, the large-field limit of the model is marginally consistent with BICEP2. All of the models considered predict negligible running of the scalar spectral index, and would be ruled out by a detection of running.

  4. Natural 'background' soil water repellency in conifer forests: its prediction and relationship to wildfire occurrence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doerr, Stefan; Woods, Scott; Martin, Deborah; Casimiro, Marta

    2013-04-01

    Soils under a wide range of vegetation types exhibit water repellency following the passage of a fire. This is viewed by many as one of the main causes for accelerated post-fire runoff and soil erosion and it has often been assumed that strong soil water repellency present after wildfire is fire-induced. However, high levels of repellency have also been reported under vegetation types not affected by fire, and the question arises to what degree the water repellency observed at burnt sites actually results from fire. This study aimed at determining 'natural background' water repellency in common coniferous forest types in the north-western USA. Mature or semi-mature coniferous forest sites (n = 81), which showed no evidence of recent fires and had at least some needle cast cover, were sampled across six states. After careful removal of litter and duff at each site, soil water repellency was examined in situ at the mineral soil surface using the Water Drop Penetration Time (WDPT) method for three sub-sites, followed by col- lecting near-surface mineral soil layer samples (0-3 cm depth). Following air-drying, samples were fur- ther analyzed for repellency using WDPT and contact angle (hsl) measurements. Amongst other variables examined were dominant tree type, ground vegetation, litter and duff layer depth, slope angle and aspect, elevation, geology, and soil texture, organic carbon content and pH. 'Natural background' water repellency (WDPT > 5 s) was detected in situ and on air-dry samples at 75% of all sites examined irrespective of dominant tree species (Pinus ponderosa, Pinus contorta, Picea engelma- nii and Pseudotsuga menziesii). These findings demonstrate that the soil water repellency commonly observed in these forest types following burning is not necessarily the result of recent fire but can instead be a natural characteristic. The notion of a low background water repellency being typical for long- unburnt conifer forest soils of the north-western USA is

  5. Methods for assessing background levels of radiation and radioactive materials in the environment around uranium mills

    SciTech Connect

    Wogman, N.A.; Silker, W.B.; Glissmeyer, J.A.; Endres, G.W.R.

    1980-04-01

    Techniques and costs for determining background levels and mill contributions to the environment are assessed. Three specific programs are identified for the determination of natural background and mill contributions to that background. Since the most significant radiological impact to man within 10 km of mill tailings occurs through airborne /sup 222/Rn and its daughters, their measurement is emphasized in the suggested procedures. The next major radiological impact from the mills occurs through airborne movement of particulates from the mill and its tailings piles. Thus, the more sophisticated measurement technologies presented include measurements of airborne radionuclide particulates, as well as methods to measure the dose from /sup 222/Rn and its daughters. The most expensive methods for assessing background levels of radioactive materials around uranium mills allow a determination of uranium, thorium, and radium in water, soil, and vegetation, as well as air. The methodologies are organized by their increasing capital and operating costs. The more expensive techniques provide a better evaluation of the mill contribution to the environment. There is no single universal technique that is applicable to all mills.

  6. Below background levels of blood lead impact cytokine levels in male and female mice

    SciTech Connect

    Iavicoli, I. . E-mail: iavicoli.ivo@rm.unicatt.it; Carelli, G. . E-mail: gcarelli@rm.unicatt.it; Stanek, E.J. . E-mail: stanek@schoolph.umass.edu; Castellino, N. . E-mail: iclml@rm.unicatt.it; Calabrese, E.J. . E-mail: edwardc@schoolph.umass.edu

    2006-01-15

    A number of studies have documented that Pb exerts immunotoxic effects on T lymphocytes. In studies designed to explore this general response over a broad dose range, female Swiss mice were administered six different diets containing Pb acetate 1 day after mating. During lactation, the mothers received the same feed given during pregnancy, and the same diets were administered to the offspring for 9 months after weaning. At the end of exposure, blood Pb level in the offspring was determined, and possible changes in two type 1 cytokines (IL-2, INF-{gamma}) and one type 2 cytokine (IL-4) in the serum were measured. At higher dietary Pb levels (40 and 400 ppm), a significant increase in IL-4 production was associated with a profound decrease in INF-{gamma} and IL-2 production. At the lowest Pb diet level (0.02 ppm), which resulted in a blood lead level of (0.8 {mu}g/dL), which is below background (2-3 {mu}g/dL) values in humans, increases in INF-{gamma} and IL-2 production along with a significant decrease in IL-4 production were observed. The findings provide evidence of a reversal of lead-induced cytokine skewing depending on the blood lead concentration. As blood lead concentration increases, there is a notable skewing toward Th2, while the pattern is reversed favoring Th1 development at lower blood lead values. The present findings are also notable since they indicate the potential for dietary Pb to have significant biological effects below normal background concentrations.

  7. Computational Assessment of Naturally Occurring Neutron and Photon Background Radiation Produced by Extraterrestrial Sources

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Thomas Martin; de Wet, Wouter C.; Patton, Bruce W.

    2015-10-28

    In this study, a computational assessment of the variation in terrestrial neutron and photon background from extraterrestrial sources is presented. The motivation of this assessment is to evaluate the practicality of developing a tool or database to estimate background in real time (or near–real time) during an experimental measurement or to even predict the background for future measurements. The extraterrestrial source focused on during this assessment is naturally occurring galactic cosmic rays (GCRs). The MCNP6 transport code was used to perform the computational assessment. However, the GCR source available in MCNP6 was not used. Rather, models developed and maintained by NASA were used to generate the GCR sources. The largest variation in both neutron and photon background spectra was found to be caused by changes in elevation on Earth's surface, which can be as large as an order of magnitude. All other perturbations produced background variations on the order of a factor of 3 or less. The most interesting finding was that ~80% and 50% of terrestrial background neutrons and photons, respectively, are generated by interactions in Earth's surface and other naturally occurring and man-made objects near a detector of particles from extraterrestrial sources and their progeny created in Earth's atmosphere. In conclusion, this assessment shows that it will be difficult to estimate the terrestrial background from extraterrestrial sources without a good understanding of a detector's surroundings. Therefore, estimating or predicting background during a measurement environment like a mobile random search will be difficult.

  8. Molecular Mechanisms of Drug Resistance in Natural Leishmania Populations Vary with Genetic Background

    PubMed Central

    Decuypere, Saskia; Vanaerschot, Manu; Brunker, Kirstyn; Imamura, Hideo; Müller, Sylke; Khanal, Basudha; Rijal, Suman; Dujardin, Jean-Claude; Coombs, Graham H.

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of drug-resistance in pathogens is a major global health threat. Elucidating the molecular basis of pathogen drug-resistance has been the focus of many studies but rarely is it known whether a drug-resistance mechanism identified is universal for the studied pathogen; it has seldom been clarified whether drug-resistance mechanisms vary with the pathogen's genotype. Nevertheless this is of critical importance in gaining an understanding of the complexity of this global threat and in underpinning epidemiological surveillance of pathogen drug resistance in the field. This study aimed to assess the molecular and phenotypic heterogeneity that emerges in natural parasite populations under drug treatment pressure. We studied lines of the protozoan parasite Leishmania (L.) donovani with differential susceptibility to antimonial drugs; the lines being derived from clinical isolates belonging to two distinct genetic populations that circulate in the leishmaniasis endemic region of Nepal. Parasite pathways known to be affected by antimonial drugs were characterised on five experimental levels in the lines of the two populations. Characterisation of DNA sequence, gene expression, protein expression and thiol levels revealed a number of molecular features that mark antimonial-resistant parasites in only one of the two populations studied. A final series of in vitro stress phenotyping experiments confirmed this heterogeneity amongst drug-resistant parasites from the two populations. These data provide evidence that the molecular changes associated with antimonial-resistance in natural Leishmania populations depend on the genetic background of the Leishmania population, which has resulted in a divergent set of resistance markers in the Leishmania populations. This heterogeneity of parasite adaptations provides severe challenges for the control of drug resistance in the field and the design of molecular surveillance tools for widespread applicability. PMID:22389733

  9. Background levels of carbon-13 reduced in breath and stool by new infant formula.

    PubMed

    Boutton, T W; Hopkinson, J M; Benton, D A; Klein, P D

    1988-01-01

    Studies of the absorption and bioavailability of nutrients naturally enriched with 13C require accurate measurements of small increases of 13C in respiratory CO2 and stool carbon. The sensitivity of these measurements would be increased if the natural background of 13C in these excreta were reduced. We have developed a 13C-depleted infant formula based on lactose, whey, and casein from New Zealand cows that consume only C3 vegetation naturally low in 13C. This formula, designated CNRC3, was produced by a commercial infant formula manufacturer and was comparable with a 60:40 whey/casein product. To test the ability of the formula to reduce baseline levels of 13C in infant excreta, 10 formula-fed infants 28-60 days old and free of metabolic disorders were enrolled in the 9-day study. Two stool samples were collected daily. Infants received their usual formula on days 1 and 2 and were switched to CNRC3 formula for days 3-9. On days 2 and 9, seven breath samples were collected at 30-min intervals with a face mask. Breath and stool samples were analyzed for 13C content by gas isotope ratio mass spectrometry. Infants consuming their commercial formula had breath delta 13C values of -21.1 +/- 0.6% over the 3-h collection period; stool values were -22.9 +/- 0.4%. After 7 days on the CNRC3 formula, delta 13C values of breath declined by 5.6% to -26.7 +/- 0.7%; stool values declined by 3.0% to -25.6 +/- 0.5%. The reduced background of 13C achieved by the CNRC3 formula can improve resolution of excess 13C from naturally enriched substrates in infant breath by approximately 50% and in stool by approximately 30%.

  10. Doses and risks from uranium are not increased significantly by interactions with natural background photon radiation.

    PubMed

    Tanner, R J; Eakins, J S; Jansen, J T M; Harrison, J D

    2012-08-01

    The impact of depleted uranium (DU) on human health has been the subject of much conjecture. Both the chemical and radiological aspects of its behaviour in the human body have previously been investigated in detail, with the radiological impact being assumed to be linked to the alpha decay of uranium. More recently, it has been proposed that the accumulation in tissue of high-Z materials, such as DU, may give rise to enhanced local energy deposition in the presence of natural background photon radiation due to the high photoelectric interaction cross sections of high-Z atoms. It is speculated that, in addition to producing short-range photoelectrons, these events will be followed by intense Auger and Coster-Kronig electron emission, thereby causing levels of cell damage that are unaccounted for in conventional models of radiological risk. In this study, the physical and biological bases of these claims are investigated. The potential magnitudes of any effect are evaluated and discussed, and compared with the risks from other radiological or chemical hazards. Monte Carlo calculations are performed to estimate likely energy depositions due to the presence of uranium in human tissues in photon fields: whole body doses, organ doses in anthropomorphic phantoms and nano-/micro-dosimetric scenarios are each considered. The proposal is shown generally to be based on sound physics, but overall the impact on human health is expected to be negligible.

  11. Computational Assessment of Naturally Occurring Neutron and Photon Background Radiation Produced by Extraterrestrial Sources

    DOE PAGES

    Miller, Thomas Martin; de Wet, Wouter C.; Patton, Bruce W.

    2015-10-28

    In this study, a computational assessment of the variation in terrestrial neutron and photon background from extraterrestrial sources is presented. The motivation of this assessment is to evaluate the practicality of developing a tool or database to estimate background in real time (or near–real time) during an experimental measurement or to even predict the background for future measurements. The extraterrestrial source focused on during this assessment is naturally occurring galactic cosmic rays (GCRs). The MCNP6 transport code was used to perform the computational assessment. However, the GCR source available in MCNP6 was not used. Rather, models developed and maintained bymore » NASA were used to generate the GCR sources. The largest variation in both neutron and photon background spectra was found to be caused by changes in elevation on Earth's surface, which can be as large as an order of magnitude. All other perturbations produced background variations on the order of a factor of 3 or less. The most interesting finding was that ~80% and 50% of terrestrial background neutrons and photons, respectively, are generated by interactions in Earth's surface and other naturally occurring and man-made objects near a detector of particles from extraterrestrial sources and their progeny created in Earth's atmosphere. In conclusion, this assessment shows that it will be difficult to estimate the terrestrial background from extraterrestrial sources without a good understanding of a detector's surroundings. Therefore, estimating or predicting background during a measurement environment like a mobile random search will be difficult.« less

  12. Calculating background levels for ecological risk parameters in toxic harbor sediment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leadon, C.J.; McDonnell, T.R.; Lear, J.; Barclift, D.

    2007-01-01

    Establishing background levels for biological parameters is necessary in assessing the ecological risks from harbor sediment contaminated with toxic chemicals. For chemicals in sediment, the term contaminated is defined as having concentrations above background and significant human health or ecological risk levels. For biological parameters, a site could be considered contaminated if levels of the parameter are either more or less than the background level, depending on the specific parameter. Biological parameters can include tissue chemical concentrations in ecological receptors, bioassay responses, bioaccumulation levels, and benthic community metrics. Chemical parameters can include sediment concentrations of a variety of potentially toxic chemicals. Indirectly, contaminated harbor sediment can impact shellfish, fish, birds, and marine mammals, and human populations. This paper summarizes the methods used to define background levels for chemical and biological parameters from a survey of ecological risk investigations of marine harbor sediment at California Navy bases. Background levels for regional biological indices used to quantify ecological risks for benthic communities are also described. Generally, background stations are positioned in relatively clean areas exhibiting the same physical and general chemical characteristics as nearby areas with contaminated harbor sediment. The number of background stations and the number of sample replicates per background station depend on the statistical design of the sediment ecological risk investigation, developed through the data quality objective (DQO) process. Biological data from the background stations can be compared to data from a contaminated site by using minimum or maximum background levels or comparative statistics. In Navy ecological risk assessments (ERA's), calculated background levels and appropriate ecological risk screening criteria are used to identify sampling stations and sites with contaminated

  13. Correlation between work concentration level and background music: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Shih, Yi-Nuo; Huang, Rong-Hwa; Chiang, Han-Sun

    2009-01-01

    It is a common phenomenon for office workers {to listen to music} while executing daily routines at their desks. The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between work concentration level and background music. This research would first follow examples in previous researches, and then explore the influence of background music on participants' scores on attention tests. We hope to gain a preliminary understanding of the possible influence of background music on people's focus and concentration when doing work. Thirty-two college students were separated into three controlled groups; all were given the attention test. Group [a] listened to background music while being tested for 10 minutes; group [b] had no background music at all; and group [c] listened to the music for 10 minutes prior to the attention test. The test was conducted in a "noise free" environment. The means and error rates for each group were then calculated. The findings showed that, in comparison with "no music at all", those who listened to music prior to testing obtained higher scores in attentiveness (most probably a supplemental effect of the music), whereas those who listened to music during attention test showed extremely high level of variation in attention test scoring. Background music does affect people's job-site behavior. In fact, all three test conditions - no background music at all, background music before the work shift, and background music during work - have affected worker performance on different levels.

  14. Contribution of the first galaxies to the cosmic far-infrared/sub-millimeter background - I. Mean background level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Rossi, María Emilia; Bromm, Volker

    2017-03-01

    We study the contribution of the first galaxies to the far-infrared/sub-millimeter (FIR/sub-mm) extragalactic background light (EBL) by implementing an analytical model for dust emission. We explore different dust models, assuming different grain-size distributions and chemical compositions. According to our findings, observed reradiated emission from dust in dwarf-size galaxies at z ∼ 10 would peak at a wavelength of ∼ 500 μm with observed fluxes of ∼10-3-10-2 nJy, which is below the capabilities of current observatories. In order to be detectable, model sources at these high redshifts should exhibit luminosities of ≳1012 L⊙, comparable to that of local ultraluminous systems. The FIR/sub-mm-EBL generated by primeval galaxies peaks at ∼ 500 μm, with an intensity ranging from ∼10-4 to 10-3 nW m-2 sr-1, depending on dust properties. These values are ∼3-4 orders of magnitude below the absolute measured cosmic background level, suggesting that the first galaxies would not contribute significantly to the observed FIR/sub-mm-EBL. Our model EBL exhibits a strong correlation with the dust-to-metal ratio, where we assume a fiducial value of D = 0.005, increasing almost proportionally to it. Thus, measurements of the FIR/sub-mm-EBL could provide constraints on the amount of dust in the early Universe. Even if the absolute signal from primeval dust emission may be undetectable, it might still be possible to obtain information about it by exploring angular fluctuations at ∼ 500 μm, close to the peak of dust emission from the first galaxies.

  15. Tensor Invariant Processing for Munitions/Clutter Classifications Interim Report on SNR and Background Leveling Requirements

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-12-01

    INTERIM REPORT Tensor Invariant Processing for Munitions/Clutter Classifications Interim Report on SNR and Background Leveling Requirements...00-00-2012 to 00-00-2012 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Tensor Invariant Processing for Munitions/Clutter Classifications Interim Report on SNR and...Camp Beale in 2011 and found no impact due to signal-to-noise ratio ( SNR ) and background leveling effects. However, the minimum polarizability

  16. Object detection in natural backgrounds predicted by discrimination performance and models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rohaly, A. M.; Ahumada, A. J. Jr; Watson, A. B.

    1997-01-01

    Many models of visual performance predict image discriminability, the visibility of the difference between a pair of images. We compared the ability of three image discrimination models to predict the detectability of objects embedded in natural backgrounds. The three models were: a multiple channel Cortex transform model with within-channel masking; a single channel contrast sensitivity filter model; and a digital image difference metric. Each model used a Minkowski distance metric (generalized vector magnitude) to summate absolute differences between the background and object plus background images. For each model, this summation was implemented with three different exponents: 2, 4 and infinity. In addition, each combination of model and summation exponent was implemented with and without a simple contrast gain factor. The model outputs were compared to measures of object detectability obtained from 19 observers. Among the models without the contrast gain factor, the multiple channel model with a summation exponent of 4 performed best, predicting the pattern of observer d's with an RMS error of 2.3 dB. The contrast gain factor improved the predictions of all three models for all three exponents. With the factor, the best exponent was 4 for all three models, and their prediction errors were near 1 dB. These results demonstrate that image discrimination models can predict the relative detectability of objects in natural scenes.

  17. Object Detection in Natural Backgrounds Predicted by Discrimination Performance and Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahumada, A. J., Jr.; Watson, A. B.; Rohaly, A. M.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    In object detection, an observer looks for an object class member in a set of backgrounds. In discrimination, an observer tries to distinguish two images. Discrimination models predict the probability that an observer detects a difference between two images. We compare object detection and image discrimination with the same stimuli by: (1) making stimulus pairs of the same background with and without the target object and (2) either giving many consecutive trials with the same background (discrimination) or intermixing the stimuli (object detection). Six images of a vehicle in a natural setting were altered to remove the vehicle and mixed with the original image in various proportions. Detection observers rated the images for vehicle presence. Discrimination observers rated the images for any difference from the background image. Estimated detectabilities of the vehicles were found by maximizing the likelihood of a Thurstone category scaling model. The pattern of estimated detectabilities is similar for discrimination and object detection, and is accurately predicted by a Cortex Transform discrimination model. Predictions of a Contrast- Sensitivity- Function filter model and a Root-Mean-Square difference metric based on the digital image values are less accurate. The discrimination detectabilities averaged about twice those of object detection.

  18. Background level of risk determines how prey categorize predators and non-predators

    PubMed Central

    Chivers, Douglas P.; McCormick, Mark I.; Mitchell, Matthew D.; Ramasamy, Ryan A.; Ferrari, Maud C. O.

    2014-01-01

    Much of the plasticity that prey exhibit in response to predators is linked to the prey's immediate background level of risk. However, we know almost nothing of how background risk influences how prey learn to categorize predators and non-predators. Learning non-predators probably represents one of the most underappreciated aspects of anti-predator decision-making. Here, we provide larval damselfish (Pomacentrus chrysurus) with a high or low background risk and then try to teach them to recognize a cue as non-threatening through the process of latent inhibition. Prey from the low-risk background that were pre-exposed to the novel odour cues in the absence of negative reinforcement for 3 days, and then provided the opportunity to learn to recognize the odour as threatening, failed to subsequently respond to the odour as a threat. Fish from the high-risk background showed a much different response. These fish did not learn the odour as non-threatening, probably because the cost of falsely learning an odour as non-threatening is higher when the background level of risk is higher. Our work highlights that background level of risk appears to drive plasticity in cognition of prey animals learning to discriminate threats in their environment. PMID:24898371

  19. Beryllium natural background concentration and mobility: a reappraisal examining the case of high Be-bearing pyroclastic rocks.

    PubMed

    Armiento, Giovanna; Bellatreccia, Fabio; Cremisini, Carlo; Della Ventura, Giancarlo; Nardi, Elisa; Pacifico, Renata

    2013-01-01

    Beryllium is widely distributed in soils at low levels, but it can also occur naturally in higher concentrations in a variety of materials exploited for many industrial applications. Beryllium is also one of the most toxic natural elements and is known to be a human carcinogen. A concise account of the literature data on baseline concentrations of Be in soils illustrates the possibility of worldwide presence of areas with a high natural background concentration of Be (up to 300 mg/kg), the crustal abundance of which is generally estimated to be in the range 2-6 mg/kg. Nevertheless, the number of available data is rather limited in comparison with those about other toxic elements such as Pb, Cd and Cr. This has probably caused the choice of low values of concentration level as the reference for the definition of soil contamination: these values are not always realistic and are not applicable to large areas. As a case study, we report and analyse a diffuse, unusually high (up to 80 mg/kg, average approximately 20 mg/kg), natural occurrence of beryllium in loose and poorly consolidated pyroclastic layers related to the Pleistocene activity of the Vico volcano. Additionally, the analysis of Be leachability has been carried out, providing evidence of a not negligible mobility in contrast with the scarce data presented in the literature that usually indicate beryllium as an element with low mobility in oxidising surface environmental conditions. This research marks the beginning of a possible reappraisal of beryllium geochemical behaviour and background levels, providing more realistic reference values for risk assessment and land management.

  20. The proportion of childhood leukaemia incidence in Great Britain that may be caused by natural background ionizing radiation.

    PubMed

    Wakeford, R; Kendall, G M; Little, M P

    2009-04-01

    The aetiology of childhood leukaemia remains generally unknown, although exposure to moderate and high levels of ionizing radiation, such as those experienced during the atomic bombings of Japan or from radiotherapy, is an established cause. Risk models based primarily on studies of the Japanese atomic bomb survivors imply that low-level exposure to ionizing radiation, including ubiquitous natural background radiation, also raises the risk of childhood leukaemia. Using two sets of recently published leukaemia risk models and estimates of natural background radiation red-bone-marrow doses received by children, about 20% of the cases of childhood leukaemia in Great Britain are predicted to be attributable to this source. However, for one of these sets of risk models this attributable fraction is materially dependent on how the radiation-induced risk is assumed to be transferred between the Japanese atomic bomb survivors and Western children. Over a range of annual doses representing the range (0.5-2.5 mSv/year) experienced by most populations, the attributable proportion for the preferred risk-transfer model varies between 8 and 30%, with small deviations from a linear relationship that are largely due to the saturation of the model, although again this range of attributable fractions depends on the assumed transfer of risk between populations.

  1. Effects of Reduced Natural Background Radiation on Drosophila melanogaster Growth and Development as Revealed by the FLYINGLOW Program.

    PubMed

    Morciano, P; Iorio, R; Iovino, D; Cipressa, F; Esposito, G; Porrazzo, A; Satta, L; Alesse, E; Tabocchini, M A; Cenci, G

    2017-03-06

    Natural background radiation of Earth and cosmic rays played a relevant role during the evolution of living organisms. However, how chronic low doses of radiation can affect biological processes is still unclear. Previous data have indicated that cells grown at the Gran Sasso Underground Laboratory (LNGS, L'Aquila) of National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) of Italy, where the dose rate of cosmic rays and neutrons is significantly reduced with respect to the external environment, elicited an impaired response against endogenous damage as compared to cells grown outside LNGS. This suggests that environmental radiation contributes to the development of defense mechanisms at cellular level. To further understand how environmental radiation affects metabolism of living organisms, we have recently launched the FLYINGLOW program that aims at exploiting Drosophila melanogaster as a model for evaluating the effects of low doses/dose rates of radiation at the organismal level. Here, we will present a comparative data set on lifespan, motility and fertility from different Drosophila strains grown in parallel at LNGS and in a reference laboratory at the University of L'Aquila. Our data suggest the reduced radiation environment can influence Drosophila development and, depending on the genetic background, may affect viability for several generations even when flies are moved back to normal background radiation. As flies are considered a valuable model for human biology, our results might shed some light on understanding the effect of low dose radiation also in humans. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  2. Impact of fertilizers on background radioactivity level in two newly developed desert areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmad, Fawzia

    A survey of soils and plants was carried out to determine the environmental gamma background radiation levels in two newly developed desert areas. The materials and the standards were analyzed by gamma spectroscopy; a shielded high purity germanium detector was used to measure the natural concentration of 238U, 232Th and 40K activities in the samples. The radionuclide content in some commercial fertilizers was determined. The results of the analysis of specific activities in the fertilizers under study were 1.27-950.09 Bq/kg for 238U, 0.73-162.16 Bq/kg for 232Th and 10.22-23845.24 Bq/kg for 40K. All natural soil samples showed low-activity concen-trations. The concentrations of 238U (6.13-38.84 Bq/kg) and 232Th (2.58-25.69 Bq/kg) are quite similar, whereas that of 40K (113.91-9314.11 Bq/kg) are much higher for plant samples. Some of the results obtained are larger than the permissible international radioactivity levels. It is suitable in this regard to compare the activity values of the imported fertilizers and that fabricated in Egypt. The absorbed dose rate was found to be 1.91-1027 nGy/h and the radium equivalent activity concentration was 4.02-1840.98 Bq/kg for fertilizer samples. Soil and plant sample results were 11.86-415E29 nGy/h and 24.20-750.52 Bq/kg for the absorbed dose rate and the radium equivalent activity concentration, respectively. Banana plant contains the largest values. This article presents actual data from investigations of the soil-plant transfer of the primordial radionuclides for some fruits growing on these soils. The transfer factors of 0.35-1.821 for 238U, 0.227-0.480 for 232Th and 1.95-31.85 for 40K were obtained. The increase of the transfer of 40K reflects its great uptake to the fruits. Observed soil-plant factors vary widely, mainly as a result of different soil, vegetation types and environmental conditions. Taking into account the transfer factors of 137Cs to plants, the measured activity concentrations of this isotope should not

  3. Measurement of speech levels in the presence of time varying background noise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pearsons, K. S.; Horonjeff, R.

    1982-01-01

    Short-term speech level measurements which could be used to note changes in vocal effort in a time varying noise environment were studied. Knowing the changes in speech level would in turn allow prediction of intelligibility in the presence of aircraft flyover noise. Tests indicated that it is possible to use two second samples of speech to estimate long term root mean square speech levels. Other tests were also performed in which people read out loud during aircraft flyover noise. Results of these tests indicate that people do indeed raise their voice during flyovers at a rate of about 3-1/2 dB for each 10 dB increase in background level. This finding is in agreement with other tests of speech levels in the presence of steady state background noise.

  4. Determining the Detection Efficiency and Background Level of ATIC Electron Observation from Flight Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chang, J.; Wu, J.; Guzik, T. G.; Wefel, J. P.; Isbert, J.; Adams, J. H., Jr.; Christl, M.; Watts, J.; Ahn, H. S.; Kim, K. C.; Seo, E. S.; Wu, J.; Bashindzhagyan, G. L.; Kouznetsov, E. N.; Panasyuk, M. I.; Sokolskaya, N. V.; Panov, A. D.; Zatsepin, V. I.

    2009-01-01

    Observations of Cosmic-ray electrons are difficult due to the large flux of cosmic ray hadrons. The event selection efficiency and background levels can be estimated from flight data for the ATIC instrument. This reduces the dependence upon Monte Carlo simulations, which show differences between different codes, thereby reducing the systematic errors resulting from analyses that only use simulations. This paper discusses some of the methods used in the ATIC analysis to determine the detection efficiency and background level for the flight data.

  5. Investigation of background radiation levels and geologic unit profiles in Durango, Colorado

    SciTech Connect

    Triplett, G.H. ); Foutz, W.L.; Lesperance, L.R. )

    1989-11-01

    As part of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has performed radiological surveys on 435 vicinity properties (VPs) in the Durango area. This study was undertaken to establish the background radiation levels and geologic unit profiles in the Durango VP area. During the months of May through June, 1986, extensive radiometric measurements and surface soil samples were collected in the Durango VP area by personnel from ORNL's Grand Junction Office. A majority of the Durango VP surveys were conducted at sites underlain by Quaternary alluvium, older Quaternary gravels, and Cretaceous Lewis and Mancos shales. These four geologic units were selected to be evaluated. The data indicated no formation anomalies and established regional background radiation levels. Durango background radionuclide concentrations in surface soil were determined to be 20.3 {plus minus} 3.4 pCi/g for {sup 40}K, 1.6 {plus minus} 0.5 pCi/g for {sup 226}Ra, and 1.2 {plus minus} 0.3 pCi/g for {sup 232}Th. The Durango background gamma exposure rate was found to be 16.5 {plus minus} 1.3 {mu}R/h. Average gamma spectral count rate measurements for {sup 40}K, {sup 226}Ra and {sup 232}Th were determined to be 553, 150, and 98 counts per minute (cpm), respectively. Geologic unit profiles and Durango background radiation measurements are presented and compared with other areas. 19 refs., 15 figs., 5 tabs.

  6. Comparison of background levels of culturable fungal spore concentrations in indoor and outdoor air in southeastern Austria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haas, D.; Habib, J.; Luxner, J.; Galler, H.; Zarfel, G.; Schlacher, R.; Friedl, H.; Reinthaler, F. F.

    2014-12-01

    Background concentrations of airborne fungi are indispensable criteria for an assessment of fungal concentrations indoors and in the ambient air. The goal of this study was to define the natural background values of culturable fungal spore concentrations as reference values for the assessment of moldy buildings. The concentrations of culturable fungi were determined outdoors as well as indoors in 185 dwellings without visible mold, obvious moisture problems or musty odor. Samples were collected using the MAS-100® microbiological air sampler. The study shows a characteristic seasonal influence on the background levels of Cladosporium, Penicillium and Aspergillus. Cladosporium sp. had a strong outdoor presence, whereas Aspergillus sp. and Penicillium sp. were typical indoor fungi. For the region of Styria, the median outdoor concentrations are between 100 and 940 cfu/m³ for culturable xerophilic fungi in the course of the year. Indoors, median background levels are between 180 and 420 cfu/m³ for xerophilic fungi. The I/O ratios of the airborne fungal spore concentrations were between 0.2 and 2.0. For the assessment of indoor and outdoor air samples the dominant genera Cladosporium, Penicillium and Aspergillus should receive special consideration.

  7. Microplastic pollution in the Greenland Sea: Background levels and selective contamination of planktivorous diving seabirds.

    PubMed

    Amélineau, F; Bonnet, D; Heitz, O; Mortreux, V; Harding, A M A; Karnovsky, N; Walkusz, W; Fort, J; Grémillet, D

    2016-12-01

    Microplastics have been reported everywhere around the globe. With very limited human activities, the Arctic is distant from major sources of microplastics. However, microplastic ingestions have been found in several Arctic marine predators, confirming their presence in this region. Nonetheless, existing information for this area remains scarce, thus there is an urgent need to quantify the contamination of Arctic marine waters. In this context, we studied microplastic abundance and composition within the zooplankton community off East Greenland. For the same area, we concurrently evaluated microplastic contamination of little auks (Alle alle), an Arctic seabird feeding on zooplankton while diving between 0 and 50 m. The study took place off East Greenland in July 2005 and 2014, under strongly contrasted sea-ice conditions. Among all samples, 97.2% of the debris found were filaments. Despite the remoteness of our study area, microplastic abundances were comparable to those of other oceans, with 0.99 ± 0.62 m(-3) in the presence of sea-ice (2005), and 2.38 ± 1.11 m(-3) in the nearby absence of sea-ice (2014). Microplastic rise between 2005 and 2014 might be linked to an increase in plastic production worldwide or to lower sea-ice extents in 2014, as sea-ice can represent a sink for microplastic particles, which are subsequently released to the water column upon melting. Crucially, all birds had eaten plastic filaments, and they collected high levels of microplastics compared to background levels with 9.99 and 8.99 pieces per chick meal in 2005 and 2014, respectively. Importantly, we also demonstrated that little auks took more often light colored microplastics, rather than darker ones, strongly suggesting an active contamination with birds mistaking microplastics for their natural prey. Overall, our study stresses the great vulnerability of Arctic marine species to microplastic pollution in a warming Arctic, where sea-ice melting is expected to release vast

  8. Effect of background noise on neuronal coding of interaural level difference cues in rat inferior colliculus.

    PubMed

    Mokri, Yasamin; Worland, Kate; Ford, Mark; Rajan, Ramesh

    2015-07-01

    Humans can accurately localize sounds even in unfavourable signal-to-noise conditions. To investigate the neural mechanisms underlying this, we studied the effect of background wide-band noise on neural sensitivity to variations in interaural level difference (ILD), the predominant cue for sound localization in azimuth for high-frequency sounds, at the characteristic frequency of cells in rat inferior colliculus (IC). Binaural noise at high levels generally resulted in suppression of responses (55.8%), but at lower levels resulted in enhancement (34.8%) as well as suppression (30.3%). When recording conditions permitted, we then examined if any binaural noise effects were related to selective noise effects at each of the two ears, which we interpreted in light of well-known differences in input type (excitation and inhibition) from each ear shaping particular forms of ILD sensitivity in the IC. At high signal-to-noise ratios (SNR), in most ILD functions (41%), the effect of background noise appeared to be due to effects on inputs from both ears, while for a large percentage (35.8%) appeared to be accounted for by effects on excitatory input. However, as SNR decreased, change in excitation became the dominant contributor to the change due to binaural background noise (63.6%). These novel findings shed light on the IC neural mechanisms for sound localization in the presence of continuous background noise. They also suggest that some effects of background noise on encoding of sound location reported to be emergent in upstream auditory areas can also be observed at the level of the midbrain.

  9. Categorization of Natural Whistled Vowels by Naïve Listeners of Different Language Background

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Julien; Dentel, Laure; Meunier, Fanny

    2017-01-01

    Whistled speech in a non-tonal language consists of the natural emulation of vocalic and consonantal qualities in a simple modulated whistled signal. This special speech register represents a natural telecommunication system that enables high levels of sentence intelligibility by trained speakers and is not directly intelligible to naïve listeners. Yet, it is easily learned by speakers of the language that is being whistled, as attested by the current efforts of the revitalization of whistled Spanish in the Canary Islands. To better understand the relation between whistled and spoken speech perception, we look herein at how Spanish, French, and Standard Chinese native speakers, knowing nothing about whistled speech, categorized four Spanish whistled vowels. The results show that the listeners categorized differently depending on their native language. The Standard Chinese speakers demonstrated the worst performance on this task but were still able to associate a tonal whistle to vowel categories. Spanish speakers were the most accurate, and both Spanish and French participants were able to categorize the four vowels, although not as accurately as an expert whistler. These results attest that whistled speech can be used as a natural laboratory to test the perceptual processes of language. PMID:28174545

  10. Categorization of Natural Whistled Vowels by Naïve Listeners of Different Language Background.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Julien; Dentel, Laure; Meunier, Fanny

    2017-01-01

    Whistled speech in a non-tonal language consists of the natural emulation of vocalic and consonantal qualities in a simple modulated whistled signal. This special speech register represents a natural telecommunication system that enables high levels of sentence intelligibility by trained speakers and is not directly intelligible to naïve listeners. Yet, it is easily learned by speakers of the language that is being whistled, as attested by the current efforts of the revitalization of whistled Spanish in the Canary Islands. To better understand the relation between whistled and spoken speech perception, we look herein at how Spanish, French, and Standard Chinese native speakers, knowing nothing about whistled speech, categorized four Spanish whistled vowels. The results show that the listeners categorized differently depending on their native language. The Standard Chinese speakers demonstrated the worst performance on this task but were still able to associate a tonal whistle to vowel categories. Spanish speakers were the most accurate, and both Spanish and French participants were able to categorize the four vowels, although not as accurately as an expert whistler. These results attest that whistled speech can be used as a natural laboratory to test the perceptual processes of language.

  11. Measurement and reduction of low-level radon background in the KATRIN experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Fränkle, F. M.

    2013-08-08

    The KArlsruhe TRItium Neutrino (KATRIN) experiment is a next generation, model independent, large scale experiment to determine the mass of the electron anti-neutrino by investigating the kinematics of tritium beta decay with a sensitivity of 200 meV/c{sup 2}. The measurement setup consists of a high luminosity windowless gaseous molecular tritium source (WGTS), a differential and cryogenic pumped electron transport and tritium retention section, a tandem spectrometer section (pre-spectrometer and main spectrometer) for energy analysis, followed by a detector system for counting transmitted beta decay electrons. Measurements performed at the KATRIN pre-spectrometer test setup showed that the decay of radon (Rn) atoms in the volume of the KATRIN spectrometers is a major background source. Rn atoms from low-level radon emanation of materials inside the vacuum region of the KATRIN spectrometers are able to penetrate deep into the magnetic flux tube so that the alpha decay of Rn contributes to the background. Of particular importance are electrons emitted in processes accompanying the Rn alpha decay, such as shake-off, internal conversion of excited levels in the Rn daughter atoms and Auger electrons. Lowenergy electrons (< 100 eV) directly contribute to the background in the signal region. High-energy electrons can be stored magnetically inside the volume of the spectrometer and are able to create thousands of secondary electrons via subsequent ionization processes with residual gas molecules. In order to reduce the Rn induced background different active and passive counter measures were developed and tested. This proceeding will give an overview on Rn sources within the KATRIN spectrometer, describes how Rn decays inside the spectrometer produce background events at the detector and presents different counter measures to reduce the Rn induced background.

  12. Interval-Valued Model Level Fuzzy Aggregation-Based Background Subtraction.

    PubMed

    Chiranjeevi, Pojala; Sengupta, Somnath

    2016-07-29

    In a recent work, the effectiveness of neighborhood supported model level fuzzy aggregation was shown under dynamic background conditions. The multi-feature fuzzy aggregation used in that approach uses real fuzzy similarity values, and is robust for low and medium-scale dynamic background conditions such as swaying vegetation, sprinkling water, etc. The technique, however, exhibited some limitations under heavily dynamic background conditions, as features have high uncertainty under such noisy conditions and these uncertainties were not captured by real fuzzy similarity values. Our proposed algorithm is particularly focused toward improving the detection under heavy dynamic background conditions by modeling uncertainties in the data by interval-valued fuzzy set. In this paper, real-valued fuzzy aggregation has been extended to interval-valued fuzzy aggregation by considering uncertainties over real similarity values. We build up a procedure to calculate the uncertainty that varies for each feature, at each pixel, and at each time instant. We adaptively determine membership values at each pixel by the Gaussian of uncertainty value instead of fixed membership values used in recent fuzzy approaches, thereby, giving importance to a feature based on its uncertainty. Interval-valued Choquet integral is evaluated using interval similarity values and the membership values in order to calculate interval-valued fuzzy similarity between model and current. Adequate qualitative and quantitative studies are carried out to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed method in mitigating heavily dynamic background situations as compared to state-of-the-art.

  13. Sources and levels of background noise in the NASA Ames 40- by 80-foot wind tunnel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Soderman, Paul T.

    1988-01-01

    Background noise levels are measured in the NASA Ames Research Center 40- by 80-Foot Wind Tunnel following installation of a sound-absorbent lining on the test-section walls. Results show that the fan-drive noise dominated the empty test-section background noise at airspeeds below 120 knots. Above 120 knots, the test-section broadband background noise was dominated by wind-induced dipole noise (except at lower harmonics of fan blade-passage tones) most likely generated at the microphone or microphone support strut. Third-octave band and narrow-band spectra are presented for several fan operating conditions and test-section airspeeds. The background noise levels can be reduced by making improvements to the microphone wind screen or support strut. Empirical equations are presented relating variations of fan noise with fan speed or blade-pitch angle. An empirical expression for typical fan noise spectra is also presented. Fan motor electric power consumption is related to the noise generation. Preliminary measurements of sound absorption by the test-section lining indicate that the 152 mm thick lining will adequately absorb test-section model noise at frequencies above 300 Hz.

  14. Studies of Background Levels for the NIF Yield Diagnostics from Neutron and Gamma Radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Song, P; Eder, D; Moran, M; Landen, O; O'Brien, D; Hsing, W

    2007-08-27

    The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is nearing completion of construction and is preparing for the National Ignition Campaign (NIC) with potentially significant yield in 2010. The design of a wide range of yield diagnostics in and outside the target-bay of the NIF must consider scattered background neutrons and neutron-induced gamma rays to measure neutrons and x-rays from target. The large and complex target chamber and facility make the calculation of scattered neutrons and gamma rays extremely challenging. The NIF was designed with shielded locations for many of the yield diagnostics including the neutron alcove and four diagnostic mezzanines. Accurate calculation of the background levels in these shielded locations requires advanced Monte Carlo techniques, e.g., variance reduction. Placement, size, and materials of collimators on the line of sight (LOS) through the shielding must be evaluated to trade off signal levels and unwanted backgrounds. The background at these locations is also affected by neutrons that pass through the laser beam tubes and scatter off of structures and walls in the switch yards. Detailed 3D Monte Carlo analyses are performed to determine neutron and gamma fluxes for some of the yield diagnostics.

  15. Enhancement of natural background gamma-radiation dose around uranium microparticles in the human body.

    PubMed

    Pattison, John E; Hugtenburg, Richard P; Green, Stuart

    2010-04-06

    Ongoing controversy surrounds the adverse health effects of the use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions. The biological effects of gamma-radiation arise from the direct or indirect interaction between secondary electrons and the DNA of living cells. The probability of the absorption of X-rays and gamma-rays with energies below about 200 keV by particles of high atomic number is proportional to the third to fourth power of the atomic number. In such a case, the more heavily ionizing low-energy recoil electrons are preferentially produced; these cause dose enhancement in the immediate vicinity of the particles. It has been claimed that upon exposure to naturally occurring background gamma-radiation, particles of DU in the human body would produce dose enhancement by a factor of 500-1000, thereby contributing a significant radiation dose in addition to the dose received from the inherent radioactivity of the DU. In this study, we used the Monte Carlo code EGSnrc to accurately estimate the likely maximum dose enhancement arising from the presence of micrometre-sized uranium particles in the body. We found that although the dose enhancement is significant, of the order of 1-10, it is considerably smaller than that suggested previously.

  16. Enhancement of natural background gamma-radiation dose around uranium microparticles in the human body

    PubMed Central

    Pattison, John E.; Hugtenburg, Richard P.; Green, Stuart

    2010-01-01

    Ongoing controversy surrounds the adverse health effects of the use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions. The biological effects of gamma-radiation arise from the direct or indirect interaction between secondary electrons and the DNA of living cells. The probability of the absorption of X-rays and gamma-rays with energies below about 200 keV by particles of high atomic number is proportional to the third to fourth power of the atomic number. In such a case, the more heavily ionizing low-energy recoil electrons are preferentially produced; these cause dose enhancement in the immediate vicinity of the particles. It has been claimed that upon exposure to naturally occurring background gamma-radiation, particles of DU in the human body would produce dose enhancement by a factor of 500–1000, thereby contributing a significant radiation dose in addition to the dose received from the inherent radioactivity of the DU. In this study, we used the Monte Carlo code EGSnrc to accurately estimate the likely maximum dose enhancement arising from the presence of micrometre-sized uranium particles in the body. We found that although the dose enhancement is significant, of the order of 1–10, it is considerably smaller than that suggested previously. PMID:19776147

  17. Background scalar-level anisotropy caused by low-wave-number truncation in turbulent flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, L.

    2017-03-01

    We rigorously show that the truncation at low wave numbers always leads to background scalar-level anisotropy at large scales. Neither the resolution nor the spectral low-pass filter is dominant for this anisotropy, while the shape of the energy spectrum at low wave numbers is an important influence factor. Quantitative results are shown to provide references to the statistics in future postprocessing studies. Also, a simplified analytical model is introduced to explain the single-mode effects for this anisotropy.

  18. Source Apportionment of Background PAHs in the Peace-Athabasca Delta (Alberta, Canada) Using Molecular Level Radiocarbon Analysis.

    PubMed

    Jautzy, Josué J; Ahad, Jason M E; Hall, Roland I; Wiklund, Johan A; Wolfe, Brent B; Gobeil, Charles; Savard, Martine M

    2015-08-04

    The downstream accumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Peace-Athabasca Delta (PAD), an ecologically important landscape, is a key issue of concern given the rapid development of the oil sands industry in Northern Alberta, Canada. In addition to PAHs derived from industrial activity (i.e., oil sands mining) within the Athabasca watershed, however, forest fires and erosion of fossil fuel deposits within both the Athabasca and Peace watersheds are two potentially important natural sources of PAHs delivered to the PAD. Consequently, evaluating the environmental impact of mining activities requires a quantitative understanding of natural, background PAHs. Here, we utilize molecular-level natural-abundance radiocarbon measurements on an amalgamated sediment record from a Peace River flood-susceptible oxbow lake in the northern Peace sector of the PAD to quantitatively discriminate sources of naturally occurring alkylated PAHs (fossil and modern biomass). A radiocarbon mass balance quantified a predominantly natural petrogenic source (93% petrogenic, 7% forest fire) for alkylated PAHs during the past ∼50 years. Additionally, a significant petrogenic component determined for retene, a compound usually considered a biomarker for softwood combustion, suggests that its use as a unique forest fire indicator may not be suitable in PAD sediments receiving Peace watershed-derived fluvial inputs.

  19. Development of an Ultra-Low Background Liquid Scintillation Counter for Trace Level Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Erchinger, Jennifer L.; Orrell, John L.; Aalseth, Craig E.; Bernacki, Bruce E.; Douglas, Matthew; Finn, Erin C.; Fuller, Erin S.; Keillor, Martin E.; Morley, Shannon M.; Mullen, Crystal A.; Panisko, Mark E.; Shaff, Sarah M.; Warren, Glen A.; Wright, Michael E.

    2015-09-01

    Low-level liquid scintillation counting (LSC) has been established as one of the radiation detection techniques useful in elucidating environmental processes and environmental monitoring around nuclear facilities. The Ultra-Low Background Liquid Scintillation Counter (ULB-LSC) under construction in the Shallow Underground Laboratory at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory aims to further reduce the MDAs and/or required sample processing. Through layers of passive shielding in conjunction with an active veto and 30 meters water equivalent overburden, the background reduction is expected to be 10 to 100 times below typical analytic low-background liquid scintillation systems. Simulations have shown an expected background of around 14 counts per day. A novel approach to the light collection will use a coated hollow light guide cut into the inner copper shielding. Demonstration LSC measurements will show low-energy detection, spectral deconvolution, and alpha/beta discrimination capabilities, from trials with standards of tritium, strontium-90, and actinium-227, respectively. An overview of the system design and expected demonstration measurements will emphasize the potential applications of the ULB-LSC in environmental monitoring for treaty verification, reach-back sample analysis, and facility inspections.

  20. Impact of elevated CO2 background levels on the host-seeking behaviour of Aedes aegypti.

    PubMed

    Majeed, Shahid; Hill, Sharon Rose; Ignell, Rickard

    2014-02-15

    Mosquitoes rely on carbon dioxide (CO2) to detect and orient towards their blood hosts. However, the variable and rapid fluctuations of atmospheric CO2 concentrations may have an impact on the host-seeking behaviour of mosquitoes. In this study, we analysed the effect of transient elevated background levels of CO2 on the host-seeking behaviour and the physiological characteristics of the CO2-sensitive olfactory receptor neurones (ORNs) in female yellow fever mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti. We show that the take-off and source contact behaviour of A. aegypti is impeded at elevated background levels of CO2 as a result of masking of the stimulus signal. The mechanism underlying this masking during take-off behaviour is one of sensory constraint. We show that the net response of the CO2-ORNs regulates this CO2-related behaviour. Since these neurones themselves are not habituated or fatigued by the transient elevation of background CO2, we propose that habituation of second-order neurones in response to the elevated CO2-ORN activity could be one mechanism by which the net response is transduced by the olfactory system. The findings from this study may help to predict future shifts in mosquito-host interactions and consequently to predict vectorial capacity in the light of climate change.

  1. Levels and potential sources of atmospheric organochlorine pesticides at Korea background sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Guang-Zhu; Kim, Sang-Min; Lee, Su-Yeong; Park, Jin-Soo; Kim, Dong-Hoon; Lee, Min-Jin; Sim, Ki-Tae; Kang, Hak-Gu; Kim, Il-Gyu; Shin, Sun-Kyoung; Seok, Kwang-Seol; Hwang, Seung-Ryul

    2013-04-01

    Data are presented for 11 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) measured by high volume air samplers at three background sites (monthly for one site, seasonally for two sites) in South Korea during June 2008 and December 2009, and levels, seasonal variations and potential sources of high levels of OCPs and impact of long-range transport (LRT) were discussed. Geometric mean (GM) concentrations of OCPs in air samples (pg m-3) were highest for HCB (80, 15.0-256), HCH (71, 10.8-547), a currently used pesticide, DDT (3.50, ND-56.5), and Chlordane (1.15, ND-10.5). Other chemicals regularly detected included, Heptachlor (0.41, ND-2.59), Drins (0.61, ND-4.36) and Mirex (0.04, ND-0.78). Seasonal variation of OCPs was featured by higher concentrations in summer and lower in winter period. This could be associated with their temperature-driven re-volatilization from historical source and recent application of some OCPs (such as dicofol, HCH etc). Ratios of specific OCPs isomers suggest that dominant source of air HCHs in Korea background sites is technical HCH with a little input of lindane in recent time, and dominant source of air DDT is old and used technical DDT with a little bit of dicofol type DDT, and current air chlordane in Korean background sites mainly come from the source of historically used chlordane. The results from this study will provide comparable and scientifically sound data of OCP in background air and will contribute to further long-term POPs monitoring program in East Asia.

  2. Distinguishing Between Natural and Anthropogenic Part of Sea Level Trends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, M.; Karpytchev, M.; Lennartz-Sassinek, S.

    2014-12-01

    Detection and attribution of human influence on sea level rise are important topics that have not yet been explored in depth. From the perspective of assessing the contribution of human activities to climate changes, the sea level drivers can be partitioned in anthropogenic and natural forcing. In this study we try to answer the following two questions: (1) How large a sea level trend could be expected as result of natural internal variability? (2) Whether the sea level changes observed over the past century were natural in origin. We suppose that natural behavior of sea level consists of increases and decreases occurring with frequencies following a power law distribution and the monthly sea level records are power law long-term correlated time series. Then we search for the presence of unnatural external sea level trend by applying statistics of Lennartz and Bunde [2009]. We estimate the minimum anthropogenic sea level trend as a lower bound of statistically significant external sea level trend in the longest tide-gauge records worldwide. We apply this new method to distinguish between the trend-like natural oscillations and the external trends in the longest available sea level records and in global mean sea level reconstructions. The results show that the long-term persistence impacts strongly on sea level rise estimation. We provide statistical evidences that the observed sea level changes, at global and regional scales, are beyond its natural internal variability and cannot be explained without human influence. We found that sea level change during the past century contains an external component at 99% significance level in two thirds of the available longest tidal records worldwide. The anthropogenic sea level trend is about 1 mm/yr in global sea level reconstructions that is more than half of the total observed sea level trend during the XXth century, which is about 1.7 mm/yr. This work provides the first estimate of the minimal anthropogenic contribution

  3. Background Acoustics Levels in the 9x15 Wind Tunnel and Linear Array Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stephens, David

    2011-01-01

    The background noise level in the 9x15 foot wind tunnel at NASA Glenn has been documented, and the results compare favorably with historical measurements. A study of recessed microphone mounting techniques was also conducted, and a recessed cavity with a micronic wire mesh screen reduces hydrodynamic noise by around 10 dB. A three-microphone signal processing technique can provide additional benefit, rejecting up to 15 dB of noise contamination at some frequencies. The screen and cavity system offers considerable benefit to test efficiency, although there are additional calibration requirements.

  4. Current Background Noise Sources and Levels in the NASA Ames 40- by 80-Foot Wind Tunnel: A Status Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, Christopher S.; Jaeger, Stephen; Soderman, Paul; Koga, Dennis (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    Background noise measurements were made of the acoustic environment in the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex 40- by 80-Foot Wind Tunnel (40x80) at NASA Ames Research Center. The measurements were acquired subsequent to the 40x80 Aeroacoustic Modernization Project, which was undertaken to improve the anechoic characteristics of the 40x80's closed test section as well as reduce the levels of background noise in the facility. The resulting 40x80 anechoic environment was described by Soderman et. al., and the current paper describes the resulting 40x80 background noise, discusses the sources of the noise, and draws comparisons to previous 40x80 background noise levels measurements. At low wind speeds or low frequencies, the 40x80 background noise is dominated by the fan drive system. To obtain the lowest fan drive noise for a given tunnel condition, it is possible in the 40x80 to reduce the fans' rotational speed and adjust the fans' blade pitch, as described by Schmidtz et. al. This idea is not new, but has now been operationally implemented with modifications for increased power at low rotational speeds. At low to mid-frequencies and at higher wind speeds, the dominant noise mechanism was thought to be caused by the surface interface of the previous test section floor acoustic lining. In order to reduce this noise mechanism, the new test section floor lining was designed to resist the pumping of flow in and out of the space between the grating slats required to support heavy equipment. In addition, the lining/flow interface over the entire test section was designed to be smoother and quieter than the previous design. At high wind speeds or high frequencies, the dominant source of background noise in the 40x80 is believed to be caused by the response of the in-flow microphone probes (required by the nature of the closed test section) to the fluctuations in the freestream flow. The resulting background noise levels are also different for probes of various

  5. Outdoor (222)Rn-concentrations in Germany - part 1 - natural background.

    PubMed

    Kümmel, M; Dushe, C; Müller, S; Gehrcke, K

    2014-06-01

    To determine the natural radiation exposure due to outdoor radon ((222)Rn) and its short-lived decay products in Germany, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) conducted a measuring programme over three years. The annual mean radon concentration at 1.5 m above ground level was measured with solid-state track etch detectors at 173 measuring points in an even grid with a grid length of approx. 50 km. Furthermore, annual mean values of the equilibrium-equivalent radon concentration (EEC) and the equilibrium factor were estimated on the basis of the activity concentrations of (214)Pb and (214)Bi measured at 27 stations of the German Meteorological Service (DWD). Our study yielded a spatial mean outdoor radon concentration for Germany of 9 ± 1 Bq m(-3) (median: 8 (-0.5/+1.0) Bq m(-3)), with regional means varying from 4.5 Bq m(-3) in Hamburg to 14 Bq m(-3) in Bavaria. The determined EEC are in a range from 1.4 to 11 Bq m(-3).

  6. Levels of thoron and progeny in high background radiation area of southeastern coast of Odisha, India.

    PubMed

    Ramola, R C; Gusain, G S; Rautela, B S; Sagar, D V; Prasad, G; Shahoo, S K; Ishikawa, T; Omori, Y; Janik, M; Sorimachi, A; Tokonami, S

    2012-11-01

    Exposure to radon, (222)Rn, is assumed to be the most significant source of natural radiation to human beings in most cases. It is thought that radon and its progeny are major factors that cause cancer. The presence of thoron, (220)Rn, was often neglected because it was considered that the quantity of thoron in the environment is less than that of radon. However, recent studies have shown that a high thoron concentration was found in some regions and the exposure to (220)Rn and its progeny can equal or several time exceed that of (220)Rn and its progeny. The results of thoron and its progeny measurements in the houses of high background radiation area (HBRA) of the southeastern coast of Odisha, India presented here. This area is one of the high background radiation areas in India with a large deposit of monazite sand which is the probable source of thoron. Both active and passive methods were employed for the measurement of thoron and its progeny in cement, brick and mud houses in the study area. Thoron concentration was measured using RAD-7 and Raduet. A CR-39 track detector was employed for the measurement of environmental thoron progeny, both in active and passive modes. Thoron and its progeny concentrations were found to be comparatively high in the area. A comparison between the results obtained with various techniques is presented in this paper.

  7. Background values for essential and toxic elements in children's nails and correlation with hair levels.

    PubMed

    Carneiro, Maria Fernanda Hornos; Grotto, Denise; Batista, Bruno Lemos; Rhoden, Claudia Ramos; Barbosa, Fernando

    2011-12-01

    Human nails are an attractive matrix for assessing environmental exposures to toxic elements as well as the deficiency of essential elements since it is noninvasively collected and can be stored at room temperature. However, reference or baseline levels in nonexposed and healthy populations are not yet established. Then, the aims of this study were (a) to estimate background values for essential and toxic elements in nails from a healthy young population in southern Brazil and (b) to evaluate possible correlations between essential and toxic elements in nails. Furthermore, this report took part of a recent study of background values in the hair of a young population. Thus, correlations between chemical elements in nails and hair were also evaluated. Nails were collected from healthy children (n = 126), and element concentrations were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. This study provides new and reliable reference concentrations for toxic and essential elements in children's nails. The results can be used as reference values for epidemiological or clinical investigations based on trace elements in nails. Additionally, we also showed weak to strong correlations between Cu, Mg, Mn, Se, and Zn levels in nails and hair.

  8. Temporal Variability of the Bioaerosol Background at a Subway Station: Concentration Level, Size Distribution, and Diversity of Airborne Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Dybwad, Marius; Skogan, Gunnar

    2014-01-01

    Naturally occurring bioaerosol environments may present a challenge to biological detection-identification-monitoring (BIODIM) systems aiming at rapid and reliable warning of bioterrorism incidents. One way to improve the operational performance of BIODIM systems is to increase our understanding of relevant bioaerosol backgrounds. Subway stations are enclosed public environments which may be regarded as potential bioterrorism targets. This study provides novel information concerning the temporal variability of the concentration level, size distribution, and diversity of airborne bacteria in a Norwegian subway station. Three different air samplers were used during a 72-h sampling campaign in February 2011. The results suggested that the airborne bacterial environment was stable between days and seasons, while the intraday variability was found to be substantial, although often following a consistent diurnal pattern. The bacterial levels ranged from not detected to 103 CFU m−3 and generally showed increased levels during the daytime compared to the nighttime levels, as well as during rush hours compared to non-rush hours. The airborne bacterial levels showed rapid temporal variation (up to 270-fold) on some occasions, both consistent and inconsistent with the diurnal profile. Airborne bacterium-containing particles were distributed between different sizes for particles of >1.1 μm, although ∼50% were between 1.1 and 3.3 μm. Anthropogenic activities (mainly passengers) were demonstrated as major sources of airborne bacteria and predominantly contributed 1.1- to 3.3-μm bacterium-containing particles. Our findings contribute to the development of realistic testing and evaluation schemes for BIODIM equipment by providing information that may be used to simulate operational bioaerosol backgrounds during controlled aerosol chamber-based challenge tests with biological threat agents. PMID:24162566

  9. State background-radiation levels: results of measurements taken during 1975-1979

    SciTech Connect

    Myrick, T.E.; Berven, B.A.; Haywood, F.F.

    1981-11-01

    Background radiation levels across the United States have been measured by the Off-Site Pollutant Measurements Group of the Health and Safety Research Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). These measurements have been conducted as part of the ORNL program of radiological surveillance at inactive uranium mills and sites formerly utilized during Manhattan Engineer District and early Atomic Energy Commission projects. The measurements included determination of /sup 226/Ra, /sup 232/Th, and /sup 238/U concentrations in surface soil samples and measurement of external gamma-ray exposure rates at 1 m above the ground surface at the location of soil sampling. This information is being utilized for comparative purposes to determine the extent of contamination present at the survey sites and surrounding off-site areas. The sampling program to date has provided background information at 356 locations in 33 states. External gamma-ray exposure rates were found to range from less than 1 to 34 ..mu..R/h, with an US average of 8.5 ..mu..R/h. The nationwide average concentrations of /sup 226/Ra, /sup 232/Th, and /sup 238/U in surface soil were determined to be 1.1, 0.98, and 1.0 pCi/g, respectively.

  10. Estimation of background noise level on seismic station using statistical analysis for improved analysis accuracy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, S. M.; Hahm, I.

    2015-12-01

    We evaluated the background noise level of seismic stations in order to collect the observation data of high quality and produce accurate seismic information. Determining of the background noise level was used PSD (Power Spectral Density) method by McNamara and Buland (2004) in this study. This method that used long-term data is influenced by not only innate electronic noise of sensor and a pulse wave resulting from stabilizing but also missing data and controlled by the specified frequency which is affected by the irregular signals without site characteristics. It is hard and inefficient to implement process that filters out the abnormal signal within the automated system. To solve these problems, we devised a method for extracting the data which normally distributed with 90 to 99% confidence intervals at each period. The availability of the method was verified using 62-seismic stations with broadband and short-period sensors operated by the KMA (Korea Meteorological Administration). Evaluation standards were NHNM (New High Noise Model) and NLNM (New Low Noise Model) published by the USGS (United States Geological Survey). It was designed based on the western United States. However, Korean Peninsula surrounded by the ocean on three sides has a complicated geological structure and a high population density. So, we re-designed an appropriate model in Korean peninsula by statistically combined result. The important feature is that secondary-microseism peak appeared at a higher frequency band. Acknowledgements: This research was carried out as a part of "Research for the Meteorological and Earthquake Observation Technology and Its Application" supported by the 2015 National Institute of Meteorological Research (NIMR) in the Korea Meteorological Administration.

  11. Soil dioxins levels at agriculture sites and natural preserve areas of Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Jou, Jin-juh; Lin, Kae-Long; Chung, Jen-Chir; Liaw, Shu-Liang

    2007-08-17

    In this study, agriculture soil in Taiwan has been sampled and analyzed to determine the background level of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/DF) in the agricultural and nature preserve areas. Another objective is to investigate relationship between soil characteristics and air deposition in Taiwan. The results indicate that in nature preserve areas the topsoil shows an extraordinary profile of PCDD/DF compared to that in the air deposition. The PCDD/DF levels of the low-contaminated agricultural soils are compatible with those of the nature preserves soils. However, in the highly-contaminated agricultural soils, there is an abrupt jump in their concentrations, 10-100 times higher. The overall I-TEQ values of the background topsoils range from 0.101 to 15.2 ng I-TEQ/kg. Near industrial/urban areas in Taiwan the PCDD/DF are slightly higher compared to those in the low concentration group. Typically, the PCDD/DF background values found in this survey fall in the 90% confidence interval and can thus, be deemed the background levels in Taiwan. Ninety-five percent of these data are below the European and American soil standard of 10 ng I-TEQ/kg d.w. The PCDD/DF profile with one neighborhood soil sample was shown no significant difference.

  12. Measured Radiation and Background Levels During Transmission of Megawatt Electron Beams Through Millimeter Apertures

    SciTech Connect

    Alarcon, Ricardo; Balascuta, S.; Benson, Stephen V.; Bertozzi, William; Boyce, James R.; Cowan, Ray; Douglas, David R.; Evtushenko, Pavel; Fisher, P.; Ihloff, Ernest E.; Kalantarians, Narbe; Kelleher, Aidan Michael; Krossler, W. J.; Legg, Robert A.; Long, Elena; Milner, Richard; Neil, George R.; Ou, Longwu; Schmookler, Barack Abraham; Tennant, Christopher D.; Tschalar, C.; Williams, Gwyn P.; Zhang, Shukui

    2013-11-01

    We report measurements of photon and neutron radiation levels observed while transmitting a 0.43 MW electron beam through millimeter-sized apertures and during beam-off, but accelerating gradient RF-on, operation. These measurements were conducted at the Free-Electron Laser (FEL) facility of the Jefferson National Accelerator Laboratory (JLab) using a 100 MeV electron beam from an energy-recovery linear accelerator. The beam was directed successively through 6 mm, 4 mm, and 2 mm diameter apertures of length 127 mm in aluminum at a maximum current of 4.3 mA (430 kW beam power). This study was conducted to characterize radiation levels for experiments that need to operate in this environment, such as the proposed DarkLight Experiment. We find that sustained transmission of a 430 kW continuous-wave (CW) beam through a 2 mm aperture is feasible with manageable beam-related backgrounds. We also find that during beam-off, RF-on operation, multipactoring inside the niobium cavities of the accelerator cryomodules is the primary source of ambient radiation when the machine is tuned for 130 MeV operation.

  13. Level crossing analysis of cosmic microwave background radiation: a method for detecting cosmic strings

    SciTech Connect

    Movahed, M. Sadegh; Khosravi, Shahram E-mail: khosravi@ipm.ir

    2011-03-01

    In this paper we study the footprint of cosmic string as the topological defects in the very early universe on the cosmic microwave background radiation. We develop the method of level crossing analysis in the context of the well-known Kaiser-Stebbins phenomenon for exploring the signature of cosmic strings. We simulate a Gaussian map by using the best fit parameter given by WMAP-7 and then superimpose cosmic strings effects on it as an incoherent and active fluctuations. In order to investigate the capability of our method to detect the cosmic strings for the various values of tension, Gμ, a simulated pure Gaussian map is compared with that of including cosmic strings. Based on the level crossing analysis, the superimposed cosmic string with Gμ∼>4 × 10{sup −9} in the simulated map without instrumental noise and the resolution R = 1' could be detected. In the presence of anticipated instrumental noise the lower bound increases just up to Gμ∼>5.8 × 10{sup −9}.

  14. Gravitoinertial force background level affects adaptation to coriolis force perturbations of reaching movements.

    PubMed

    Lackner, J R; Dizio, P

    1998-08-01

    We evaluated the combined effects on reaching movements of the transient, movement-dependent Coriolis forces and the static centrifugal forces generated in a rotating environment. Specifically, we assessed the effects of comparable Coriolis force perturbations in different static force backgrounds. Two groups of subjects made reaching movements toward a just-extinguished visual target before rotation began, during 10 rpm counterclockwise rotation, and after rotation ceased. One group was seated on the axis of rotation, the other 2.23 m away. The resultant of gravity and centrifugal force on the hand was 1.0 g for the on-center group during 10 rpm rotation, and 1.031 g for the off-center group because of the 0.25 g centrifugal force present. For both groups, rightward Coriolis forces, approximately 0.2 g peak, were generated during voluntary arm movements. The endpoints and paths of the initial per-rotation movements were deviated rightward for both groups by comparable amounts. Within 10 subsequent reaches, the on-center group regained baseline accuracy and straight-line paths; however, even after 40 movements the off-center group had not resumed baseline endpoint accuracy. Mirror-image aftereffects occurred when rotation stopped. These findings demonstrate that manual control is disrupted by transient Coriolis force perturbations and that adaptation can occur even in the absence of visual feedback. An increase, even a small one, in background force level above normal gravity does not affect the size of the reaching errors induced by Coriolis forces nor does it affect the rate of reacquiring straight reaching paths; however, it does hinder restoration of reaching accuracy.

  15. Gravitoinertial force background level affects adaptation to coriolis force perturbations of reaching movements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lackner, J. R.; Dizio, P.

    1998-01-01

    We evaluated the combined effects on reaching movements of the transient, movement-dependent Coriolis forces and the static centrifugal forces generated in a rotating environment. Specifically, we assessed the effects of comparable Coriolis force perturbations in different static force backgrounds. Two groups of subjects made reaching movements toward a just-extinguished visual target before rotation began, during 10 rpm counterclockwise rotation, and after rotation ceased. One group was seated on the axis of rotation, the other 2.23 m away. The resultant of gravity and centrifugal force on the hand was 1.0 g for the on-center group during 10 rpm rotation, and 1.031 g for the off-center group because of the 0.25 g centrifugal force present. For both groups, rightward Coriolis forces, approximately 0.2 g peak, were generated during voluntary arm movements. The endpoints and paths of the initial per-rotation movements were deviated rightward for both groups by comparable amounts. Within 10 subsequent reaches, the on-center group regained baseline accuracy and straight-line paths; however, even after 40 movements the off-center group had not resumed baseline endpoint accuracy. Mirror-image aftereffects occurred when rotation stopped. These findings demonstrate that manual control is disrupted by transient Coriolis force perturbations and that adaptation can occur even in the absence of visual feedback. An increase, even a small one, in background force level above normal gravity does not affect the size of the reaching errors induced by Coriolis forces nor does it affect the rate of reacquiring straight reaching paths; however, it does hinder restoration of reaching accuracy.

  16. Levels and seasonal variations of organochlorine pesticides in urban and rural background air of southern Ghana.

    PubMed

    Adu-Kumi, Sam; Kareš, Radovan; Literák, Jaromír; Borůvková, Jana; Yeboah, Philip O; Carboo, Derick; Akoto, Osei; Darko, Godfred; Osae, Shiloh; Klánová, Jana

    2012-07-01

    Urban, suburban and rural background air samples were collected in southern Ghana in 2008 employing polyurethane foam disc passive air samplers (PAS). PAS were analysed for organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), namely hexachlorocyclohexanes (α-, β-, γ- and δ-hexachlorocyclohexane), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane including metabolites (o,p'- and p,p'-DDT, DDE and DDD), hexachlorobenzene, pentachlorobenzene, aldrin, dieldrin, endrins (endrin, endrin aldehyde and endrin ketone), isodrin, heptachlors (heptachlor, heptachlor epoxide A and heptachlor epoxide B), chlordanes (α-, β-chlordane, oxychlordane and trans-nonachlor), endosulfans (α- and β-endosulfan and endosulfan sulphate), methoxychlor and mirex using a gas chromatograph coupled to a mass spectrometer. The levels of OCPs ranged for the individual pesticides from below limit of quantification to 750 pg m(-3) (for α-endosulfan), and current agricultural application seemed to be the main primary source of most abundant pesticides. Re-volatilization of previously used pesticides from contaminated soils could not be ruled out either as potential secondary source of contamination, especially in warm and dry seasons and periods of intensive agricultural activities. Higher atmospheric concentrations were observed in November and December during the dry season compared to lower concentrations observed in June, July and August when the country experiences heavy rains. The highest seasonal variation was observed for currently used pesticides as α-endosulfan. A p,p'-DDT/p,p'-DDE ratio suggested recent inputs of fresh technical DDT.

  17. Supercritical Fluid Chromatography--Theoretical Background and Applications on Natural Products.

    PubMed

    Hartmann, Anja; Ganzera, Markus

    2015-11-01

    The use of supercritical fluid chromatography for natural product analysis as well as underlying theoretical mechanisms and instrumental requirements are summarized in this review. A short introduction focusing on the historical development of this interesting separation technique is followed by remarks on the current instrumental design, also describing possible detection modes and useable stationary phases. The overview on relevant applications is grouped based on their basic intention, may it be (semi)preparative or purely analytical. They indicate that supercritical fluid chromatography is still primarily considered for the analysis of nonpolar analytes like carotenoids, fatty acids, or terpenes. The low polarity of supercritical carbon dioxide, which is used with modifiers almost exclusively as a mobile phase today, combined with high efficiency and fast separations might explain the popularity of supercritical fluid chromatography for the analysis of these compounds. Yet, it has been shown that more polar natural products (e.g., xanthones, flavonoids, alkaloids) are separable too, with the same (if not superior) selectivity and reproducibility than established approaches like HPLC or GC.

  18. Does human activity impact the natural antibiotic resistance background? Abundance of antibiotic resistance genes in 21 Swiss lakes.

    PubMed

    Czekalski, Nadine; Sigdel, Radhika; Birtel, Julia; Matthews, Blake; Bürgmann, Helmut

    2015-08-01

    Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are emerging environmental contaminants, known to be continuously discharged into the aquatic environment via human and animal waste. Freshwater aquatic environments represent potential reservoirs for ARG and potentially allow sewage-derived ARG to persist and spread in the environment. This may create increased opportunities for an eventual contact with, and gene transfer to, human and animal pathogens via the food chain or drinking water. However, assessment of this risk requires a better understanding of the level and variability of the natural resistance background and the extent of the human impact. We have analyzed water samples from 21 Swiss lakes, taken at sampling points that were not under the direct influence of local contamination sources and analyzed the relative abundance of ARG using quantitative real-time PCR. Copy numbers of genes mediating resistance to three different broad-spectrum antibiotic classes (sulfonamides: sul1, sul2, tetracyclines: tet(B), tet(M), tet(W) and fluoroquinolones: qnrA) were normalized to copy numbers of bacterial 16S rRNA genes. We used multiple linear regression to assess if ARG abundance is related to human activities in the catchment, microbial community composition and the eutrophication status of the lakes. Sul genes were detected in all sampled lakes, whereas only four lakes contained quantifiable numbers of tet genes, and qnrA remained below detection in all lakes. Our data indicate higher abundance of sul1 in lakes with increasing number and capacity of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in the catchment. sul2 abundance was rather related to long water residence times and eutrophication status. Our study demonstrates the potential of freshwater lakes to preserve antibiotic resistance genes, and provides a reference for ARG abundance from lake systems with low human impact as a baseline for assessing ARG contamination in lake water.

  19. Natural hydrocarbon background in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound, Alaska: Oil vs coal

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Short, J.W.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Carlson, P.R.; Hostettler, F.D.; Rosenbauer, R.J.; Wright, B.A.

    1999-01-01

    The source of the background hydrocarbons in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound (PWS), AK, where the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) occurred, has been ascribed to oil seeps in coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). We present evidence that coal is a more plausible source, including (i) high concentrations of total PAH (TPAH), between 1670 and 3070 ng/g, in continental shelf sediments adjacent to the coastal region containing extensive coal deposits; (ii) PAH composition patterns of sediments along with predictive models that are consistent with coal but not oil; (iii) low ratios (<0.2) of triaromatic steranes to methylchrysenes found in sediments and coals, contrasting with the high ratios (11 and 13) found in seep oil; and (iv) bioaccumulation of PAH in salmon collected within 100 m of the Katalla oil seeps but not in filter-feeding mussels collected near oilfield drainages 9 km from the seeps, indicating negligible transport of bioavailable PAH from Katalla seeps to the GOA. In contrast with oil, PAH in coal are not bioavailable, so the presence of coal in these benthic sediments confers no adaptive benefit to biota of the marine ecosystem with respect to PAH insults from anthropogenic sources.The source of the background hydrocarbons in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound (PWS), AK, where the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) occurred, has been ascribed to oil seeps in coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). We present evidence that coal is a more plausible source, including (i) high concentrations of total PAH (TPAH), between 1670 and 3070 ng/g, in continental shelf sediments adjacent to the coastal region containing extensive coal deposits; (ii) PAH composition patterns of sediments along with predictive models that are consistent with coal but not oil; (iii) low ratios (<0.2) of triaromatic steranes to methylchrysenes found in sediments and coals, contrasting with the high ratios (11 and 13) found in seep oil; and (iv) bioaccumulation

  20. The Nature of the Unresolved Extragalactic Cosmic Soft X-Ray Background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cappelluti, N.; Ranalli, P.; Roncarelli, M.; Arevalo, P.; Zamorani, G.; Comastri, A.; Gilli, R.; Rovilos, E.; Vignali, C.; Allevato, V.; Finoguenov, A.; Miyaji, T.; Nicastro, F.; Georgantopoulos, I.; Kashlinsky, A.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we investigate the power spectrum of the unresolved 0.5-2 keV cosmic X-ray background (CXB) with deep Chandra 4-Msec (Ms) observations in the Chandra Deep Field South (CDFS). We measured a signal that, on scales >30 arcsec, is significantly higher than the shot noise and is increasing with angular scale. We interpreted this signal as the joint contribution of clustered undetected sources like active galactic nuclei (AGN), galaxies and the intergalactic medium (IGM). The power of unresolved cosmic source fluctuations accounts for approximately 12 per cent of the 0.5-2 keV extragalactic CXB. Overall, our modelling predicts that approximately 20 per cent of the unresolved CXB flux is produced by low-luminosity AGN, approximately 25 per cent by galaxies and approximately 55 per cent by the IGM. We do not find any direct evidence of the so-called 'warm hot intergalactic medium' (i.e. matter with 10(exp 5) less than T less than 10(exp 7) K and density contrast delta less than 1000), but we estimated that it could produce about 1/7 of the unresolved CXB. We placed an upper limit on the space density of postulated X-ray-emitting early black holes at z greater than 7.5 and compared it with supermassive black hole evolution models.

  1. Natural hydrocarbon background in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound, Alaska: Oil vs coal

    SciTech Connect

    Short, J.W.; Wright, B.A.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Carlson, P.R.; Hostettler, F.D.; Rosenbauer, R.J.

    1999-01-01

    The source of the background hydrocarbons in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound (PWS), AK, where the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) occurred, has been ascribed to oil seeps in coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The authors present evidence that coal is a more plausible source, including (i) high concentrations of total PAH (TPAH), between 1,670 and 3,070 ng/g, in continental shelf sediments adjacent to the coastal region containing extensive coal deposits; (ii) PAH composition patterns of sediments along with predictive models that are consistent with coal but not oil; (iii) low ratios of triaromatic steranes of methylchrysenes found in sediments and coals, contrasting with the high ratios found in seep oil; and (iv) bioaccumulation of PAH in salmon collected within 100 m of the Katalla oil seeps but not in filter-feeding mussels collected near oilfield drainages 9 km from the seeps, indicating negligible transport of bioavailable PAH from Katalla seeps to the GOA. In contrast with oil, PAH in coal are not bioavailable, so the presence of coal in these benthic sediments confers no adaptive benefit to biota of the marine ecosystem with respect to PAH insults from anthropogenic sources.

  2. Background noise levels and correlation with ship traffic in the Gulf of Catania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viola, Salvatore; Buscaino, Giuseppa; Caruso, Francesco; Chierici, Francesco; Embriaco, Davide; Favali, Paolo; Giovanetti, Gabriele; Grammauta, Roasario; Larosa, Giuseppina; Pavan, Gianni; Pellegrino, Carmelo; Pulvirenti, Sara; Riccobene, Giorgio; Sciacca, Virginia; Simeone, Francesco; Beranzoli, Laura; Marinaro, Giuditta

    2015-04-01

    In the last decades the growing interest in the evaluation of the underwater acoustic noise for studies in the fields of geology, biology and high-energy physics is driving the scientific community to collaborate towards a multidisciplinary approach to the topic. In June 2012 in the framework of the European project EMSO, a multidisciplinary underwater observatory, named NEMO-SN1, was installed 25 km off-shore the port of Catania, at a depth of 2100 m and operated until May 2013 by INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare) and INGV (Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia). NEMO-SN1 hosted aboard geophysical, oceanographic and acoustic sensors: among these a seismic hydrophone model SMID DT-405D(V). In this work, conducted within the activity of the SMO project, the results on the evaluation of the underwater acoustic pollution in the Gulf of Catania through SMID DT-405D(V) recordings are presented. The seismic hydrophone provided a data set of about 11 months of continuous (24/7) recordings. Underwater sounds have been continuously digitized at a sampling frequency of 2 kHz and the acquired data have been stored in 10min long files for off-line analysis. To describe one-year background noise levels, the mean integrated acoustic noise was measured every second (sampling frequency 2000, NFFT 2048) in the 1/3 octave bands with centre frequency 63 Hz and for each 10 minutes-long file the 5th, the 50th and the 98th percentiles were calculated. Measured noise was correlated with the shipping traffic in the area, thanks to the data provided by an AIS receiver installed at the INFN-Laboratori Nazionali del Sud. An acoustic noise increment was measured in coincidence with the passing of crafts in the area and it was possible to identify the characteristic spectrum of each ship. A simple model for the estimation of the acoustic noise induced by the ships passing through the area was developed. The model was applied by using AIS data acquired during the operation

  3. Patterns of population differentiation and natural selection on the celiac disease background risk network.

    PubMed

    Sams, Aaron; Hawks, John

    2013-01-01

    Celiac disease is a common small intestinal inflammatory condition induced by wheat gluten and related proteins from rye and barley. Left untreated, the clinical presentation of CD can include failure to thrive, malnutrition, and distension in juveniles. The disease can additionally lead to vitamin deficiencies, anemia, and osteoporosis. Therefore, CD potentially negatively affected fitness in past populations utilizing wheat, barley, and rye. Previous analyses of CD risk variants have uncovered evidence for positive selection on some of these loci. These studies also suggest the possibility that risk for common autoimmune conditions such as CD may be the result of positive selection on immune related loci in the genome to fight infection. Under this evolutionary scenario, disease phenotypes may be a trade-off from positive selection on immunity. If this hypothesis is generally true, we can expect to find a signal of natural selection when we survey across the network of loci known to influence CD risk. This study examines the non-HLA autosomal network of gene loci associated with CD risk in Europe. We reject the null hypothesis of neutrality on this network of CD risk loci. Additionally, we can localize evidence of selection in time and space by adding information from the genome of the Tyrolean Iceman. While we can show significant differentiation between continental regions across the CD network, the pattern of evidence is not consistent with primarily recent (Holocene) selection across this network in Europe. Further localization of ancient selection on this network may illuminate the ecological pressures acting on the immune system during this critically interesting phase of our evolution.

  4. Middle Level Mathematics Teachers' Self-Efficacy Growth through Professional Development: Differences Based on Mathematical Background

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevens, Tara; Aguirre-Munoz, Zenaida; Harris, Gary; Higgins, Raegan; Liu, Xun

    2013-01-01

    growth of teachers with more and less mathematics background as the teachers participated in professional development across two summers. Professional development activities were associated with increases in teachers' self-efficacy; however, without considering mathematics…

  5. The molecular through ecological genetics of abnormal abdomen in Drosophila mercatorum. V. Female phenotypic expression on natural genetic backgrounds and in natural environments.

    PubMed

    Templeton, A R; Hollocher, H; Johnston, J S

    1993-06-01

    The abnormal abdomen (aa) syndrome in Drosophila mercatorum depends on the presence of R1 inserts in a third or more of the X-linked 28S rDNA genes and the absence of selective underreplication of inserted repeats in polytene tissues that is controlled by an X-linked locus (ur) half a map unit from the rDNA complex. This syndrome affects both life history and morphology in the laboratory. Because abnormal morphologies are rarely encountered in nature, the purpose of this study is to see if the female life history traits are still affected under more natural genetic backgrounds and environmental conditions. Two outbred stocks were extracted from the natural population living near Kamuela, Hawaii: KaaX that has only X chromosomes with uraa alleles, and K+X that has only ur+ alleles. These two stocks have nonoverlapping distributions of insert proportions, indicating strong disequilibrium between the ur locus and the rDNA complex. The KaaX stock had almost no morphological penetrance of uraa, indicating that genetic background is important. KaaX expressed longer female egg-to-adult developmental times, increased early adult female fecundity, and decreased female adult longevity compared with K+X. By bagging natural rots of the cactus Opuntia megacantha near Kamuela, Hawaii, it was shown that egg-to-adult developmental time is slowed down by 0.92 days in females bearing uraa alleles in nature, with no detectable slowdown in uraa males. The bagged rot data also indicate that females bearing uraa alleles have a strong fecundity advantage in nature under some ecological conditions but not others.

  6. Natural radioactivity levels in building materials used in Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmad, Fawzia

    All building materials contain various amounts of radioactive nuclides. The levels of natural radioactivity in 43 selected typical building materials used in the construction of walls, windows and doors were determined. For the first time, the radioactivity of iron was measured, revealing the existence of 60Co. A shielded high-purity germanium detector was used to measure the abundance of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K. The materials examined in this work showed radioactivity levels below the limit estimated from radium equivalent activity for acceptable radiation doses attributable to building materials, except for the fact that one gypsum sample showed higher levels of activity than average world levels. The studied building materials were classified according to the radium equivalent activities, which varied from highest to lowest levels as follows: clay, cement, brick, gypsum except from Abu-Zaabal, sand, wood, iron, glass and hydrated lime The existence of the 137Cs isotope in some building materials was confirmed and its concentration levels were determined (ranging from 0.04 to 21.156 Bq kg-1). The alpha-activity of radon was measured in a number of building materials using CR-39 detectors.

  7. Natural radioactivity levels of granites used in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Cetin, E; Altinsoy, N; Orgün, Y

    2012-08-01

    Thirty granite samples commonly used in Turkey were surveyed for natural radioactivity. Concentrations of natural radionuclides in all samples were determined by gamma-ray spectroscopy with hyper-pure germanium detector. The activity concentrations measured for (226)Ra and (232)Th ranged from 0.7±0.1 to 186±1 Bq kg(-1), and from 0.5±0.1 to 249±2 Bq kg(-1), respectively. The activity concentrations obtained for (40)K varied from minimum detectable activity (0.4 Bq kg(-1)) to 1935±11 Bq kg(-1). The radium equivalent activity (Ra(eq)), the absorbed dose rate (D), the external hazard index (H(ex)) and the annual effective dose equivalent were also calculated and compared with the international recommended values. Granite samples were also analysed mineralogically. It was observed that the presence of large amount orthoclase and radiogenic accessory minerals are the sources of high activity concentration levels.

  8. Simulating the Impact of the Natural Radiation Background on Bacterial Systems: Implications for Very Low Radiation Biological Experiments.

    PubMed

    Lampe, Nathanael; Biron, David G; Brown, Jeremy M C; Incerti, Sébastien; Marin, Pierre; Maigne, Lydia; Sarramia, David; Seznec, Hervé; Breton, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    At very low radiation dose rates, the effects of energy depositions in cells by ionizing radiation is best understood stochastically, as ionizing particles deposit energy along tracks separated by distances often much larger than the size of cells. We present a thorough analysis of the stochastic impact of the natural radiative background on cells, focusing our attention on E. coli grown as part of a long term evolution experiment in both underground and surface laboratories. The chance per day that a particle track interacts with a cell in the surface laboratory was found to be 6 × 10-5 day-1, 100 times less than the expected daily mutation rate for E. coli under our experimental conditions. In order for the chance cells are hit to approach the mutation rate, a gamma background dose rate of 20 μGy hr-1 is predicted to be required.

  9. Simulating the Impact of the Natural Radiation Background on Bacterial Systems: Implications for Very Low Radiation Biological Experiments

    PubMed Central

    Lampe, Nathanael; Biron, David G.; Brown, Jeremy M. C.; Incerti, Sébastien; Marin, Pierre; Maigne, Lydia; Sarramia, David; Seznec, Hervé; Breton, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    At very low radiation dose rates, the effects of energy depositions in cells by ionizing radiation is best understood stochastically, as ionizing particles deposit energy along tracks separated by distances often much larger than the size of cells. We present a thorough analysis of the stochastic impact of the natural radiative background on cells, focusing our attention on E. coli grown as part of a long term evolution experiment in both underground and surface laboratories. The chance per day that a particle track interacts with a cell in the surface laboratory was found to be 6 × 10−5 day−1, 100 times less than the expected daily mutation rate for E. coli under our experimental conditions. In order for the chance cells are hit to approach the mutation rate, a gamma background dose rate of 20 μGy hr−1 is predicted to be required. PMID:27851794

  10. Optimized background reduction in low-level gamma-ray spectrometry at a surface laboratory.

    PubMed

    Hurtado, S; García-León, M; García-Tenorio, R

    2006-09-01

    The background of a coaxial Ge detector placed at a surface laboratory has been reduced by means of a background reduction setup consisting of a passive shield of low-activity lead, a simple radon suppression system and an active shield with a plastic scintillation plate. In particular, we have devoted our efforts to in-depth optimization of each parameter associated with different anticoincidence setups and to their subsequent intercomparison. The overall performance of the active shield was improved by using the optimum time parameters for each setup. The final objective is to decrease the cosmic-ray background and, by this way, to reduce the detection limits of gamma-ray spectrometers at conventional laboratories, and consequently make them competitive for different measurements like (210)Pb dating.

  11. Assessment of indoor radiation dose received by the residents of natural high background radiation areas of coastal villages of Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deva Jayanthi, D.; Maniyan, C. G.; Perumal, S.

    2011-07-01

    Radiation exposure and effective dose received through two routes of exposure, viz. external and internal, via inhalation, by residents of 10 villages belonging to Natural High Background Radiation Areas (NHBRA) of coastal regions of Kanyakumari District and Tamil Nadu in India were studied. While the indoor gamma radiation levels were monitored using Thermo Luminescent Dosimeters (TLDs), the indoor radon and thoron gas concentrations were measured using twin chamber dosimeters employing Solid State Nuclear Track Detectors (SSNTDs, LR-115-II). The average total annual effective dose was estimated and found to be varying from 2.59 to 8.76 mSv.

  12. Heritage Background, Motivation, and Reading Ability of Upper-Level Postsecondary Students of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kondo-Brown, Kimi

    2009-01-01

    In upper-level university foreign language (FL) courses, FL and heritage language (HL) students are often merged into the same classroom in a single-track system. This study investigates whether HL background is a critical factor that may prevent instructors from teaching reading effectively in single-track upper-level university courses. This…

  13. How should we be determining background and baseline antibiotic resistance levels in agroecosystem research?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although historically antibiotic resistance has occurred naturally in environmental bacteria, many questions remain regarding the specifics of how humans and animals contribute to the development and spread of antibiotic resistance in agroecosystems. Additional research is necessary to completely u...

  14. Simulation of background from low-level tritium and radon emanation in the KATRIN spectrometers

    SciTech Connect

    Leiber, B.; Collaboration: KATRIN Collaboration

    2013-08-08

    The KArlsruhe TRItium Neutrino (KATRIN) experiment is a large-scale experiment for the model independent determination of the mass of electron anti-neutrinos with a sensitivity of 200 meV/c{sup 2}. It investigates the kinematics of electrons from tritium beta decay close to the endpoint of the energy spectrum at 18.6 keV. To achieve a good signal to background ratio at the endpoint, a low background rate below 10{sup −2} counts per second is required. The KATRIN setup thus consists of a high luminosity windowless gaseous tritium source (WGTS), a magnetic electron transport system with differential and cryogenic pumping for tritium retention, and electro-static retarding spectrometers (pre-spectrometer and main spectrometer) for energy analysis, followed by a segmented detector system for counting transmitted beta-electrons. A major source of background comes from magnetically trapped electrons in the main spectrometer (vacuum vessel: 1240 m{sup 3}, 10{sup −11} mbar) produced by nuclear decays in the magnetic flux tube of the spectrometer. Major contributions are expected from short-lived radon isotopes and tritium. Primary electrons, originating from these decays, can be trapped for hours, until having lost almost all their energy through inelastic scattering on residual gas particles. Depending on the initial energy of the primary electron, up to hundreds of low energetic secondary electrons can be produced. Leaving the spectrometer, these electrons will contribute to the background rate. This contribution describes results from simulations for the various background sources. Decays of {sup 219}Rn, emanating from the main vacuum pump, and tritium from the WGTS that reaches the spectrometers are expected to account for most of the background. As a result of the radon alpha decay, electrons are emitted through various processes, such as shake-off, internal conversion and the Auger deexcitations. The corresponding simulations were done using the KASSIOPEIA

  15. Disruptive camouflage tricks the human eye: a study of detection times of two near-similar targets in natural backgrounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selj, Gorm K.

    2015-10-01

    Our understanding of camouflage, in military as well as in evolutionary perspectives, has been developing over the last 100 years. In that period of time several underlying principles have emerged. It has turned out in the recent decade that background pattern matching alone may not be sufficient to conceal targets because of the ubiquitous and revealing information contained by the edges of a target. In this paper we have studied one concealment strategy, the so-called disruptive coloration, further as it predicts that high contrast patches placed at the target's outline will impede detection, by creating false target edges when exposed to the observer. Such disruptive coloration is contra-intuitive as it may impede detection in spite of the fact that the patches themselves may be poorly concealed. In military environments the "disruptive approach" within camouflage has been textbook material for decades. Still, very little has been reported, supporting this idea, especially when it comes to the concealment of human targets in natural sceneries. We report here experimental evidence from a field study, containing detection data from 12 unique natural scenes (5 testing the disruptive effect, 7 as reference tests), with both human targets and human observers, showing that disruptively colored camouflage patches along a human's outline (its head) may increase detection time significantly as when compared to a similar (human) target concealed only with background matching. Hence, our results support the idea that disruptive coloration may impede detection and similarly that the best concealment is achieved when disruptive coloration is added to a target that matches the background (reasonably) well. This study raises important question to the current understanding of human vision and concealment as well as to any approach to describe the human visual system mathematically.

  16. Natural and artificial radioactivity levels in Livingston Island (Antarctic regions)

    SciTech Connect

    Baeza, A.; Miro, C.; Paniagua, J.M.; Navarro, E.; Rodriguez, M.J.; Sanchez, F.

    1994-01-01

    Radioactive contamination of the sea and land is due, on the one hand, to fallout from atmospheric atomic explosions since 1945, and, on the other, to emissions produced by nuclear and radioactive facilities. Given its geographic position far distant from the aforementioned main sources of radioactive contamination, Antarctica should have the lowest levels that can be measured on the Earth of artificial radionuclides in the various receptor media which are characteristic of the trophic chain. In the case of Antarctica, these are melt-water, sea-water, mosses, algae, and lichens. With the aim of contributing basic information on the radiation levels present in the Antarctic ecosystem, we have identified and measured for the first time the radioactive levels of natural emitters (of cosmic and terrestrial origin) and man-made emitters in the aforementioned receptor media, in the vicinity of the Spanish Antarctic Base, Juan Carlos I, situated on Livingston Island in the South Shetland archipelago, Antarctic region. 22 refs., 1 fig., 3 tabs.

  17. Employer Preferences for the Background of Entry-Level Accountants: Degree, Certification, Verification, Internship, and Experience.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oliver, Thomas W.; And Others

    1996-01-01

    Responses from 181 accountants and 74 human resources professionals (14.2% response rate) identified areas in which they feel entry-level accountants are deficient: verification of computations by hand and the level of job and internship experience, especially with computers. (SK)

  18. Natural background and anthropogenic inputs of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in sediments of South-Western Barents Sea.

    PubMed

    Boitsov, Stepan; Jensen, H K B; Klungsøyr, Jarle

    2009-12-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) were measured in sediment cores from 13 locations in South-Western Barents Sea as part of a detailed study of the Norwegian seabed under the MAREANO program. The generally low PAH levels found, an average around 200 ng g(-1) dry weight for sum PAH, indicate low inputs of petroleum hydrocarbons to the marine environment in the area. Differences in PAH composition and various PAH ratios indicate a natural, mostly petrogenic origin of PAH in sediments from the open sea locations, while the fjord locations show higher pyrogenic PAH contents with an increase towards upper sediment layers, indicating low inputs from human activities. Petrogenic PAH levels increase in deeper sediments at open sea locations, also when normalised to total organic carbon (TOC) contents, suggesting natural leakages of oil-related hydrocarbons in the area.

  19. Background information on sources of low-level radionuclide emissions to air

    SciTech Connect

    Corbit, C.D.; Herrington, W.N.; Higby, D.P.; Stout, L.A.; Corley, J.P.

    1983-09-01

    This report provides a general description and reported emissions for eight low-level radioactive source categories, including facilties that are licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Agreement States, and non-Department of Energy (DOE) federal facilities. The eight categories of low-level radioactive source facilities covered by this report are: research and test reactors, accelerators, the radiopharmaceutical industry, source manufacturers, medical facilities, laboratories, naval shipyards, and low-level commercial waste disposal sites. Under each category five elements are addressed: a general description, a facility and process description, the emission control systems, a site description, and the radionuclides released to air (from routine operations).

  20. Radiological background levels found on glass fiber filters used for low-level environmental surveillance air sampling

    SciTech Connect

    Althouse, P. E.

    1998-09-16

    Environmental surveillance of low-level radioactive particles in air requires a thorough understanding of low-level techniques and air sample collection media. High-volume air sampling for radioactive particles around Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) employs glass-fiber filters that are analyzed for gross alpha and gross beta activity and for specific isotopes. This study was conducted to determine the activities of radionuclides contained in blank glass-fiber filters. Data from this study provided a partial explanation of differences between current reported concentrations of radionuclides in air and those reported historically when cellulose filters were used in the LLNL monitoring effort.

  1. Levels of organization in biology: on the nature and nomenclature of ecology's fourth level.

    PubMed

    Lidicker, William Z

    2008-02-01

    Viewing the universe as being composed of hierarchically arranged systems is widely accepted as a useful model of reality. In ecology, three levels of organization are generally recognized: organisms, populations, and communities (biocoenoses). For half a century increasing numbers of ecologists have concluded that recognition of a fourth level would facilitate increased understanding of ecological phenomena. Sometimes the word "ecosystem" is used for this level, but this is arguably inappropriate. Since 1986, I and others have argued that the term "landscape" would be a suitable term for a level of organization defined as an ecological system containing more than one community type. However, "landscape" and "landscape level" continue to be used extensively by ecologists in the popular sense of a large expanse of space. I therefore now propose that the term "ecoscape" be used instead for this fourth level of organization. A clearly defined fourth level for ecology would focus attention on the emergent properties of this level, and maintain the spatial and temporal scale-free nature inherent in this hierarchy of organizational levels for living entities.

  2. Of the necessity of knowledge of the natural pedo-geochemical background content in the evaluation of the contamination of soils by trace elements.

    PubMed

    Baize, D; Sterckeman, T

    2001-01-08

    In order to evaluate the contamination of the Dornach (Switzerland) site within the framework of the CEEM-Soil project, each participating team was allowed to take a maximum of 15 samples. The French team's sampling was organized in such a way as to answer the following questions: (i) what is the natural concentration of the soils at this site (local pedo-geochemical background content)?; (ii) what are the levels of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn contamination of the soil?; (iii) what is the depth reached by the surface contamination that is derived from atmospheric fallout?; (iv) how is the contamination spread along the longest axis of the area under study? The relationships between total Fe and the trace metals have allowed local variations in the natural pedo-geochemical background content to be detected and thus permitted the anthropogenic contamination to be estimated. There would appear to be a low level of Pb contamination over all the site investigated (an increase of the order of 5-10 mg kg(-1) on the background level), limited to the surface humus-bearing layers. There is also a significant contamination by Cu over all of the site (an increase of the order of 30-40 mg kg(-1)). This contamination has remained in the surface horizons (0-20 cm). Very high Zn and Cd concentrations have been found in the four surface (0-4 cm) and deep horizons (15-70 cm) taken under the forest and very much lower values in the samples taken from cultivated soils. The most likely explanation is an unequal inheritance between the upper part of the site (wooded with thinner very clayey soils) and the lower cultivated part of the site (with thicker less clayey soils developed in a loamy material). For various reasons, it seems unlikely that a contamination of the wooded part should be so much higher than the cultivated part due to the interception of atmospheric dust by the trees. The local pedo-geochemical background Cd and Zn content of the upper wooded part proved to be clearly higher than

  3. Estimation of Equivalent Sea Level Cosmic Ray Exposure for Low Background Experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Greene, Austen T.; Orrell, John L.

    2012-08-25

    While scientists at CERN and other particle accelerators around the world explore the boundaries of high energy physics, the Majorana project investigates the other end of the spectrum with its extremely sensitive, low background, low energy detector. The MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR aims to detect neutrinoless double beta decay (0νββ), a rare theoretical process in which two neutrons decay into two protons and two electrons, without the emission of the two antineutrinos that are a product of a normal double beta decay. This process is only possible if – and therefore a detection would prove — the neutrino is a Majorana particle, meaning that it is its own antiparticle [Aaselth et al. 2004] . The existence of such a decay would also disprove lepton conservation and give information about the neutrino's mass.

  4. TISSUE CONCENTRATION OF PCBS IN ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS AS COMPARED WITH THOSE IN HUMANS WITH BACKGROUND-LEVEL EXPOSURE

    EPA Science Inventory

    TISSUE CONCENTRATION OF PCBS IN ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS AS COMPARED WITH THOSE IN HUMANS WITH BACKGROUND-LEVEL EXPOSURE. M J DeVito1 and M P Longnecker2. 1NHEERL, ORD, USEPA; Research Triangle Park, NC, USA; 2Epidemiology
    Branch, NIEHS, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA.

    To ...

  5. STS-33 Pilot Blaha on KSC LC Pad 39B 195 ft level with OV-103 in background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    STS-33 Pilot John E. Blaha, wearing launch and entry suit (LES), poses in front of Discovery, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 103, at the 195 ft level elevator entrance at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Launch Complex (LC) Pad 39B. Visible in the background is the catwalk to OV-103's side hatch and the Atlantic Ocean.

  6. STS-33 MS Thornton on KSC LC Pad 39B 195 ft level with OV-103 in background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    STS-33 Mission Specialist (MS) Kathryn C. Thornton, wearing launch and entry suit (LES) and holding file folder, poses in front of Discovery, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 103, at the 195 ft level elevator entrance at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Launch Complex (LC) Pad 39B. Visible in the background is the catwalk to OV-103's side hatch and the Atlantic Ocean.

  7. STS-33 MS Carter on KSC LC Pad 39B 195 ft level with OV-103 in background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    STS-33 Mission Specialist (MS) Manley L. Carter, Jr, wearing launch and entry suit (LES), poses in front of Discovery, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 103, at the 195 ft level elevator entrance at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Launch Complex (LC) Pad 39B. Visible in the background is the catwalk to OV-103's side hatch and the Atlantic Ocean.

  8. STS-33 MS Musgrave on KSC LC Pad 39B 195 ft level with OV-103 in background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    STS-33 Mission Specialist (MS) F. Story Musgrave, wearing launch and entry suit (LES), poses in front of Discovery, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 103, at the 195 ft level elevator entrance at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Launch Complex (LC) Pad 39B. Visible in the background is the catwalk to OV-103's side hatch and the Atlantic Ocean.

  9. Genome-wide association study of serum minerals levels in children of different ethnic background.

    PubMed

    Chang, Xiao; Li, Jin; Guo, Yiran; Wei, Zhi; Mentch, Frank D; Hou, Cuiping; Zhao, Yan; Qiu, Haijun; Kim, Cecilia; Sleiman, Patrick M A; Hakonarson, Hakon

    2015-01-01

    Calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chloride and phosphorus are the major dietary minerals involved in various biological functions and are commonly measured in the blood serum. Sufficient mineral intake is especially important for children due to their rapid growth. Currently, the genetic mechanisms influencing serum mineral levels are poorly understood, especially for children. We carried out a genome-wide association (GWA) study on 5,602 European-American children and 4,706 African-American children who had mineral measures available in their electronic medical records (EMR). While no locus met the criteria for genome-wide significant association, our results demonstrated a nominal association of total serum calcium levels with a missense variant in the calcium -sensing receptor (CASR) gene on 3q13 (rs1801725, P = 1.96 × 10(-3)) in the African-American pediatric cohort, a locus previously reported in Caucasians. We also confirmed the association result in our pediatric European-American cohort (P = 1.38 × 10(-4)). We further replicated two other loci associated with serum calcium levels in the European-American cohort (rs780094, GCKR, P = 4.26 × 10(-3); rs10491003, GATA3, P = 0.02). In addition, we replicated a previously reported locus on 1q21, demonstrating association of serum magnesium levels with MUC1 (rs4072037, P = 2.04 × 10(-6)). Moreover, in an extended gene-based association analysis we uncovered evidence for association of calcium levels with the previously reported gene locus DGKD in both European-American children and African-American children. Taken together, our results support a role for CASR and DGKD mediated calcium regulation in both African-American and European-American children, and corroborate the association of calcium levels with GCKR and GATA3, and the association of magnesium levels with MUC1 in the European-American children.

  10. The interaction of natural background gamma radiation with depleted uranium micro-particles in the human body.

    PubMed

    Pattison, John E

    2013-03-01

    In this study, some characteristics of the photo-electrons produced when natural background gamma radiation interacts with micron-sized depleted uranium (DU) particles in the human body have been estimated using Monte Carlo simulations. In addition, an estimate has been made of the likelihood of radiological health effects occurring due to such an exposure. Upon exposure to naturally occurring background gamma radiation, DU particles in the body will produce an enhancement of the dose to the tissue in the immediate vicinity of the particles due to the photo-electric absorption of the radiation in the particle. In this study, the photo-electrons produced by a 10 μm-size particle embedded in tissue at the centre of the human torso have been investigated. The mean energies of the photo-electrons in the DU particle and in the two consecutive immediately surrounding 2 μm-wide tissue shells around the particle were found to be 38, 49 and 50 keV, respectively, with corresponding ranges of 1.3, 38 and 39 μm, respectively. The total photo-electron fluence-rates in the two consecutive 2 μm-wide tissue layers were found to be 14% and 7% of the fluence-rate in the DU particle, respectively. The estimated dose enhancement due to one 10 μm-sized DU particle in 1 cm(3) of tissue was less than 2 in 10 million of the dose received by the tissue without a particle being present. The increase in risk of death from cancer due to this effect is consequently insignificant.

  11. Acetylene in breath: background levels and real-time elimination kinetics after smoking.

    PubMed

    Metsälä, M; Schmidt, F M; Skyttä, M; Vaittinen, O; Halonen, L

    2010-12-01

    We have measured the acetylene concentration in the exhaled breath of 40 volunteers (31 non-smokers, nine smokers) using near-infrared cavity ring-down spectroscopy. The acetylene levels were found to be the same as in ambient air for non-smokers, whereas elevated levels were observed for smokers. Real-time measurements with sub-second time resolution have been applied to measure the elimination kinetics of acetylene in breath after exposure to tobacco smoke. Three exponential time constants can be distinguished from the data and these can be used to define the residence times for different compartments, according to the multi-compartment model of the human body.

  12. Inhibitory effect of natural organic matter or other background constituents on photocatalytic advanced oxidation processes: Mechanistic model development and validation.

    PubMed

    Brame, Jonathon; Long, Mingce; Li, Qilin; Alvarez, Pedro

    2015-11-01

    The ability of reactive oxygen species (ROS) to interact with priority pollutants is crucial for efficient water treatment by photocatalytic advanced oxidation processes (AOPs). However, background compounds in water such as natural organic matter (NOM) can significantly hinder targeted reactions and removal efficiency. This inhibition can be complex, interfering with degradation in solution and at the photocatalyst surface as well as hindering illumination efficiency and ROS production. We developed an analytical model to account for various inhibition mechanisms in catalytic AOPs, including competitive adsorption of inhibitors, scavenging of produced ROS at the surface and in solution, and the inner filtering of the excitation illumination, which combine to decrease ROS-mediated degradation. This model was validated with batch experiments using a variety of ROS producing systems (OH-generating TiO2 photocatalyst and H2O2-UV; (1)O2-generating photosensitive functionalized fullerenes and rose bengal) and inhibitory compounds (NOM, tert-butyl alcohol). Competitive adsorption by NOM and ROS scavenging were the most influential inhibitory mechanisms. Overall, this model enables accurate simulation of photocatalytic AOP performance when one or more inhibitory mechanisms are at work in a wide variety of application scenarios, and underscores the need to consider the effects of background constituents on degradation efficiency.

  13. Motor performance of tongue with a computer-integrated system under different levels of background physical exertion

    PubMed Central

    Huo, Xueliang; Johnson-Long, Ashley N.; Ghovanloo, Maysam; Shinohara, Minoru

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare the motor performance of tongue, using Tongue Drive System, to hand operation for relatively complex tasks under different levels of background physical exertion. Thirteen young able-bodied adults performed tasks that tested the accuracy and variability in tracking a sinusoidal waveform, and the performance in playing two video games that require accurate and rapid movements with cognitive processing using tongue and hand under two levels of background physical exertion. Results show additional background physical activity did not influence rapid and accurate displacement motor performance, but compromised the slow waveform tracking and shooting performances in both hand and tongue. Slow waveform tracking performance by the tongue was compromised with an additional motor or cognitive task, but with an additional motor task only for the hand. Practitioner Summary We investigated the influence of task complexity and background physical exertion on the motor performance of tongue and hand. Results indicate the task performance degrades with an additional concurrent task or physical exertion due to the limited attentional resources available for handling both the motor task and background exertion. PMID:24003900

  14. Determination of background levels on water quality of groundwater bodies: a methodological proposal applied to a Mediterranean River basin (Guadalhorce River, Málaga, southern Spain).

    PubMed

    Urresti-Estala, Begoña; Carrasco-Cantos, Francisco; Vadillo-Pérez, Iñaki; Jiménez-Gavilán, Pablo

    2013-03-15

    Determine background levels are a key element in the further characterisation of groundwater bodies, according to Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC and, more specifically, Groundwater Directive 2006/118/EC. In many cases, these levels present very high values for some parameters and types of groundwater, which is significant for their correct estimation as a prior step to establishing thresholds, assessing the status of water bodies and subsequently identifying contaminant patterns. The Guadalhorce River basin presents widely varying hydrogeological and hydrochemical conditions. Therefore, its background levels are the result of the many factors represented in the natural chemical composition of water bodies in this basin. The question of determining background levels under objective criteria is generally addressed as a statistical problem, arising from the many aspects involved in its calculation. In the present study, we outline the advantages of applying two statistical techniques applied specifically for this purpose: (1) the iterative 2σ technique and (2) the distribution function, and examine whether the conclusions reached by these techniques are similar or whether they differ considerably. In addition, we identify the specific characteristics of each approach and the circumstances under which they should be used.

  15. Background for Community Level Work on Educational Adjustment in Adolescence: Reviewing the Literature on Contributing Factors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Redd, Zakia; Brooks, Jennifer; McGarvey, Ayelish M.

    Given the importance of adolescents' educational adjustment, a key question for those concerned with improving adolescent functioning is what can be done to increase adolescents' levels of educational functioning. This review addresses a number of broad facets of adolescents' educational functioning, including those in the psychological…

  16. 'Natural background' soil water repellency in conifer forests of the north-western USA: Its prediction and relationship to wildfire occurrence

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Doerr, S.H.; Woods, S.W.; Martin, D.A.; Casimiro, M.

    2009-01-01

    Soils under a wide range of vegetation types exhibit water repellency following the passage of a fire. This is viewed by many as one of the main causes for accelerated post-fire runoff and soil erosion and it has often been assumed that strong soil water repellency present after wildfire is fire-induced. However, high levels of repellency have also been reported under vegetation types not affected by fire, and the question arises to what degree the water repellency observed at burnt sites actually results from fire. This study aimed at determining 'natural background' water repellency in common coniferous forest types in the north-western USA. Mature or semi-mature coniferous forest sites (n = 81), which showed no evidence of recent fires and had at least some needle cast cover, were sampled across six states. After careful removal of litter and duff at each site, soil water repellency was examined in situ at the mineral soil surface using the Water Drop Penetration Time (WDPT) method for three sub-sites, followed by collecting near-surface mineral soil layer samples (0-3 cm depth). Following air-drying, samples were further analyzed for repellency using WDPT and contact angle (??sl) measurements. Amongst other variables examined were dominant tree type, ground vegetation, litter and duff layer depth, slope angle and aspect, elevation, geology, and soil texture, organic carbon content and pH. 'Natural background' water repellency (WDPT > 5 s) was detected in situ and on air-dry samples at 75% of all sites examined irrespective of dominant tree species (Pinus ponderosa, Pinus contorta, Picea engelmanii and Pseudotsuga menziesii). These findings demonstrate that the soil water repellency commonly observed in these forest types following burning is not necessarily the result of recent fire but can instead be a natural characteristic. The notion of a low background water repellency being typical for long-unburnt conifer forest soils of the north-western USA is

  17. Macondo oil in deep-sea sediments: Part 2 - Distribution and distinction from background and natural oil seeps.

    PubMed

    Stout, Scott A; Payne, James R; Ricker, Robert W; Baker, Gregory; Lewis, Christopher

    2016-10-15

    Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the spilled Macondo oil was severely weathered during its transport within the deep-sea plume as discrete particles, which were subsequently deposited on the seafloor. The Macondo oil deposited in deep-sea sediments was distinguished from ambient (background) hydrocarbons and naturally-seeped and genetically-similar oils in the Mississippi Canyon region using a forensic method based upon a systematic, multi-year study of 724 deep-sea sediment cores collected in late 2010 and 2011. The method relied upon: (1) chemical fingerprinting of the distinct features of the wax-rich, severely-weathered Macondo oil; (2) hydrocarbon concentrations, considering a core's proximity to the Macondo well or to known or apparent natural oil seeps, and also vertically within a core; and (3) results from proximal cores and flocculent material from core supernatants and slurp gun filters. The results presented herein establish the geographic extent of "fingerprintable" Macondo oil recognized on the seafloor in 2010/2011.

  18. COMPARISON OF NATURAL BACKGROUND DOSE RATES FOR RESIDENTS OF THE AMARGOSA VALLEY, NV, TO THOSE IN LEADVILLE, CO, AND THE STATES OF COLORADO AND NEVADA

    SciTech Connect

    D. Moeller and L. C. Sun

    2006-02-24

    In the latter half of 2005, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) published a Proposed Rule (40 CFR Part 197) for establishing a dose rate standard for limiting radionuclide releases from the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste repository during the time period from 10{sup 4} to 10{sup 6} years after closure. The proposed standard was based on the difference in the estimated total dose rate from natural background in the Amargosa Valley and the ''average annual background radiation'' for the State of Colorado. As defined by the USEPA, ''natural background radiation consists of external exposures from cosmic and terrestrial sources, and internal exposures from indoor exposures to naturally-occurring radon''. On the basis of its assessments, the USEPA estimated that the difference in the dose rate in the two identified areas was 3.5 mSv y{sup -1}. The purpose of this review was to provide an independent evaluation and review of this estimate. One of the first observations was that, because site-specific dose rate measurements for the Amargosa Valley ''were not available'', the dose rates for various sources of natural background in that area, used by the USEPA in its assessment, were based on modifications of the average values for the State of Nevada. A second observation was that the conversion factor applied in estimating the dose rates due to exposures to indoor radon and its decay products was a factor of 2 higher than the currently accepted value. Further review revealed that site-specific data for many natural background sources in the Amargosa Valley were available. One particularly important observation was that about 91% of the residents of that area live in mobile homes which, due to their construction and design, have indoor radon concentrations comparable to, or less than, those outdoors. For that reason, alone, the USEPA estimate of the average dose rate for residents of the Amargosa Valley, due to indoor radon, was not valid

  19. Microsatellites: Evolutionary and methodological background and empirical applications at individual, population, and phylogenetic levels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scribner, Kim T.; Pearce, John M.; Baker, Allan J.

    2000-01-01

    The recent proliferation and greater accessibility of molecular genetic markers has led to a growing appreciation of the ecological and evolutionary inferences that can be drawn from molecular characterizations of individuals and populations (Burke et al. 1992, Avise 1994). Different techniques have the ability to target DNA sequences which have different patterns of inheritance, different modes and rates of evolution and, concomitantly, different levels of variation. In the quest for 'the right marker for the right job', microsatellites have been widely embraced as the marker of choice for many empirical genetic studies. The proliferation of microsatellite loci for various species and the voluminous literature compiled in very few years associated with their evolution and use in various research applications, exemplifies their growing importance as a research tool in the biological sciences.The ability to define allelic states based on variation at the nucleotide level has afforded unparalleled opportunities to document the actual mutational process and rates of evolution at individual microsatellite loci. The scrutiny to which these loci have been subjected has resulted in data that raise issues pertaining to assumptions formerly stated, but largely untestable for other marker classes. Indeed this is an active arena for theoretical and empirical work. Given the extensive and ever-increasing literature on various statistical methodologies and cautionary notes regarding the uses of microsatellites, some consideration should be given to the unique characteristics of these loci when determining how and under what conditions they can be employed.

  20. Examination of Libby, Montana, Fill Material for Background Levels of Amphibole from the Rainy Creek Complex Using Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Microanalysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adams, David T.; Langer, William H.; Hoefen, Todd M.; Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Meeker, Gregory P.

    2010-01-01

    Natural background levels of Libby-type amphibole in the sediment of the Libby valley in Montana have not, up to this point, been determined. The purpose of this report is to provide the preliminary findings of a study designed by both the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and performed by the U.S. Geological Survey. The study worked to constrain the natural background levels of fibrous amphiboles potentially derived from the nearby Rainy Creek Complex. The material selected for this study was sampled from three localities, two of which are active open-pit sand and gravel mines. Seventy samples were collected in total and examined using a scanning electron microscope equipped with an energy dispersive x-ray spectrometer. All samples contained varying amounts of feldspars, ilmenite, magnetite, quartz, clay minerals, pyroxene minerals, and non-fibrous amphiboles such as tremolite, actinolite, and magnesiohornblende. Of the 70 samples collected, only three had detectable levels of fibrous amphiboles compatible with those found in the rainy creek complex. The maximum concentration, identified here, of the amphiboles potentially from the Rainy Creek Complex is 0.083 percent by weight.

  1. Trace metal variability in coastal waters of San Jorge Bay, Antofagasta, Chile: An environmental evaluation and statistical approach to propose local background levels.

    PubMed

    Valdés, J; Román, D; Guiñez, M; Rivera, L; Ávila, J; Cortés, P; Castillo, A

    2015-11-15

    Between 2008 and 2011, twelve metals from 384 coastal waters samples from San Jorge Bay (Antofagasta, northern Chile) were collected and analyzed. The goal was to evaluate the quality of the bay's water bodies according to the current Chilean Quality Guideline and to establish background levels for these metals. The result suggests that the coastal waters of San Jorge Bay are of very good quality suitable for recreational activities involving human body contact. The natural background thresholds established for this bay were significantly lower than primary and secondary water quality guidelines. The distribution of Cu, Zn and Pb, along the bay's coastline provides evidence of the effects of industrial activity. Both situations suggest that the threshold indicated in the environmental guidelines of the Chilean legislation may be overestimated and do not represent pollution-free environments.

  2. Tritium and 14C background levels in pristine aquatic systems and their potential sources of variability.

    PubMed

    Eyrolle-Boyer, Frédérique; Claval, David; Cossonnet, Catherine; Zebracki, Mathilde; Gairoard, Stéphanie; Radakovitch, Olivier; Calmon, Philippe; Leclerc, Elisabeth

    2015-01-01

    Tritium and (14)C are currently the two main radionuclides discharged by nuclear industry. Tritium integrates into and closely follows the water cycle and, as shown recently the carbon cycle, as does (14)C (Eyrolle-Boyer et al., 2014a, b). As a result, these two elements persist in both terrestrial and aquatic environments according to the recycling rates of organic matter. Although on average the organically bound tritium (OBT) activity of sediments in pristine rivers does not significantly differ today (2007-2012) from the mean tritiated water (HTO) content on record for rainwater (2.4 ± 0.6 Bq/L and 1.6 ± 0.4 Bq/L, respectively), regional differences are expected depending on the biomass inventories affected by atmospheric global fallout from nuclear testing and the recycling rate of organic matter within watersheds. The results obtained between 2007 and 2012 for (14)C show that the levels varied between 94.5 ± 1.5 and 234 ± 2.7 Bq/kg of C for the sediments in French rivers and across a slightly higher range of 199 ± 1.3 to 238 ± 3.1 Bq/kg of C for fish. This variation is most probably due to preferential uptake of some organic carbon compounds by fish restraining (14)C dilution with refractory organic carbon and/or with old carbonates both depleted in (14)C. Overall, most of these ranges of values are below the mean baseline value for the terrestrial environment (232.0 ± 1.8 Bq/kg of C in 2012, Roussel-Debet, 2014a) in relation to dilution by the carbonates and/or fossil organic carbon present in aquatic systems. This emphasises yet again the value of establishing regional baseline value ranges for these two radionuclides in order to account for palaeoclimatic and lithological variations. Besides, our results obtained from sedimentary archive investigation have confirmed the delayed contamination of aquatic sediments by tritium from the past nuclear tests atmospheric fallout, as recently demonstrated from data chronicles (Eyrolle

  3. The background levels of atmospheric tritium concentration in the environment at NIFS Toki site of Japan

    SciTech Connect

    Uda, T.; Tanaka, M.; Sugiyama, T.; Yamaguchi, T.; Momoshima, N.

    2008-07-15

    Atmospheric tritium concentrations at the National Inst. for Fusion Science (NIFS) Toki site of Japan, where the Large Helical Device (LHD) has been operating, were measured considering future deuterium plasma experiments and environmental safety. The major chemical forms of atmospheric tritium are water (HTO), hydrogen (HT) and methane (CH{sub 3}T). Average tritium concentrations of HTO, HT and CH{sub 3}T observed from January 2003 to March 2006 were 9.0 mBq/m{sup 3}, 9.0 mBq/m{sup 3} and 2.0 mBq/m{sup 3}, respectively. To examine about the systematic error of the air sampling device, we cross-checked with the sampling device of Kumamoto Univ.. The values obtained with both devices were almost consistent. The HTO concentration principally depends on humidity in air. The HTO concentration in the collected water and the HT concentration tend to show seasonal variation. The atmospheric tritium levels measured at Toki were consistent comparing with another environmental values measured in Japan. The present atmospheric tritium monitoring would be useful for safety consideration. (authors)

  4. Assessment of natural radioactivity concentrations and gamma dose levels around Shorapur, Karnataka

    SciTech Connect

    Rajesh, S.; Avinash, P.; Kerur, B. R.; Anilkumar, S.

    2015-08-28

    This study assesses the level of background radiation around Shorapur. The study region locates the western part of the Yadgir district of Karnataka. Shorapur and Shahapur talukas are mostly composed of clay, shale sandstone, granite rock and part of study area is black soil. Thirty sample locations were selected along the length and breadth of Shorapur and Shahapur taluka. Natural radionuclide activity concentrations in soil samples were determined using 4'X4' NaI (Tl) gamma spectroscopy. Outdoor gamma dose measurements in air at 1 m above ground level were determined using Rad Eye PRD survey meter. Estimated dose values are compared with the survey meter values and found to be good agreement between them and also with the data obtained from different other areas of Karnataka and India. The average values were found to be slightly higher in the present investigation.

  5. Peat: a natural repository for low-level radioactive waste

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, E.D.

    1985-12-01

    A study has been initiated to evaluate the possibility of using peat as a natural repository for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste. One aspect of this study was to determine the retentive properties of the peat through measurements of the distribution coefficients (K/sub d/) for Am-241, Ru-106, Cs-137, Co-57, and Sr-85 in two layers of mountain top peat bogs from Lefgren's, NY, and Spruce Flats, PA. These K/sub d/ values were then compared to literature values of various sediment/water systems at similar environmental conditions. Am-241, Ru-106, Co-57, and Sr-85 attained distribution coefficients in the organic rich layers of the bogs two orders of magnitude greater than those obtained previously at pH 4.0. Although, the Cs-137 sorbed strongly to the inorganic rich layer of the Spruce Flats, PA, bog, the K/sub d/ values obtained for this isotope were, again, comparable or higher than those reported previously at pH 4.0, indicating the greater retentive properties of the peat. A chromatographic ''theoretical plate'' model was used to describe the field migration of Cs-137. The advection and diffusion coefficients were higher in the Lefgren's Bog, NY, than those obtained for the Spruce Flats Bog, PA. These field data were substantiated by the lower Cs-137 K/sub d/ values determined in the laboratory for the Lefgren's Bog, NY, compared to the Spruce Flats Bog. Although this model gave a good indication of the field migration, it neglected the process of sorption as defined by the sorption isotherm. Based on the time series data on distribution ratio measurements, a Cameron-Klute type of sorption isotherm was indicated, with rapid equilibrium initially superimposed onto a slower first order linear reversible equilibrium. This sorption isotherm can then be used in the final form of a model to describe the migration of radionuclides in a peat bog. 19 refs., 15 figs., 10 tabs.

  6. Community-level net spillover of natural enemies from managed to natural forest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Edge effects in fragmented natural habitats may be exacerbated by intensive land-use in the surrounding landscape. Given that most managed systems have higher productivity than adjacent natural systems, theory suggests that subsidised consumers are likely to spill over from managed to natural habita...

  7. Ambient air benzene at background sites in China's most developed coastal regions: exposure levels, source implications and health risks.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhou; Wang, Xinming; Zhang, Yanli; Lü, Sujun; Huang, Zhonghui; Huang, Xinyu; Wang, Yuesi

    2015-04-01

    Benzene is a known human carcinogen causing leukemia, yet ambient air quality objectives for benzene are not available in China. The ambient benzene levels at four background sites in China's most developed coastal regions were measured from March 2012 to February 2013. The sites are: SYNECP, in the Northeast China Plain (NECP); YCNCP, in the North China Plain (NCP); THYRD, in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) and DHPRD, in the Pearl River Delta (PRD). It was found that the mean annual benzene levels (578-1297 ppt) at the background sites were alarmingly higher, especially when compared to those of 60-480 pptv monitored in 28 cities in the United States. Wintertime benzene levels were significantly elevated at both sites (SYNECP and YCNCP) in northern China due to heating with coal/biofuels. Even at these background sites, the lifetime cancer risks of benzene (1.7-3.7E-05) all exceeded 1E-06 set by USEPA as acceptable for adults. At both sites in northern China, good correlations between benzene and CO or chloromethane, together with much lower toluene/benzene (T/B) ratios, suggested that benzene was largely related to coal combustion and biomass/biofuel burning. At the DHPRD site in the PRD, benzene revealed a highly significant correlation with methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), indicating that its source was predominantly from vehicle emissions. At the THYRD site in the YRD, higher T/B ratios and correlations between benzene and tetrachloroethylene, or MTBE, implied that benzene levels were probably affected by both traffic-related and industrial emissions.

  8. STS-33 crewmembers on KSC LC Pad 39B 195 ft level with OV-103 in background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    STS-33 crewmembers, wearing launch and entry suit (LES), take a break from training activities to pose for group portrait in front of Discovery, Orbiter Vehicle (OV) 103, at the 195 ft level elevator entrance at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Launch Complex (LC) Pad 39B. Left to right are Pilot John E. Blaha, Mission Specialist (MS) Kathryn C. Thornton, MS Manley L. Carter, Jr, Commander Frederick D. Gregory, and MS F. Story Musgrave. Visible in the background is the catwalk to OV-103's side hatch.

  9. Natural variation in folate levels among tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) accessions.

    PubMed

    Upadhyaya, Pallawi; Tyagi, Kamal; Sarma, Supriya; Tamboli, Vajir; Sreelakshmi, Yellamaraju; Sharma, Rameshwar

    2017-02-15

    Folate content was estimated in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) accessions using microbiological assay (MA) and by LC-MS. The MA revealed that in red-ripe fruits folate levels ranged from 4 to 60μg/100g fresh weight. The LC-MS estimation of red-ripe fruits detected three folate forms, 5-CH3-THF, 5-CHO-THF, 5,10-CH(+)THF and folate levels ranged from 14 to 46μg/100g fresh weight. In mature green and red ripe fruit, 5-CH3-THF was the most abundant folate form. Comparison of LC-MS with MA revealed that MA inaccurately estimates folate levels. The accumulation of folate forms and their distribution varied among accessions. The single nucleotide polymorphism was examined in the key genes of the folate pathway to understand its linkage with folate levels. Despite the significant variation in folate levels among tomato accessions, little polymorphism was found in folate biosynthesis genes. Our results indicate that variation in folate level is governed by a more complex regulation at cellular homeostasis level.

  10. Effect of the genetic background on recombination frequency in the cn-vg region of the second chromosome of natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Hofmanová, J

    1975-01-01

    Newly established test stocks made it possible to follow the effect of three different defined genetic backgrounds (first and third chromosomes) on recombination frequency in the cn-vg region of the second chromosomes isolated from four natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. One background was composed of the chromosomes with inversions obtained from the stock (see article) and another two backgrounds were of the standard type consisting one-half of the original chromosomes from the natural population and one-half of the chromosomes of the stocks Oregon R or Samarkand. Using the analysis of variance significant differences in RF values were found between and within populations and especially between the different backgrounds. Some simple and double interactions between the above factors played a role. The highest RF values were obtained on the background [corrected] with inversions. The effect of the different genetic backgrounds [corrected] by the action of the genetic modifiers of RF. The different genetic backgrounds affected the variations in RF values in individual populations and the different populations reacted differentially to the changed genetic background. The design of the experiment permitted an estimation of the causal compoenents of variance and heritability of RF from the sib analysis. The additive component of variance was present in only two of the populations under test; the respective estimates of heritability were very low.

  11. PM10 Concentration levels at an urban and background site in Cyprus: The impact of urban sources and dust storms

    PubMed Central

    Achilleos, Souzana; Evans, John S.; Yiallouros, Panayiotis K.; Kleanthous, Savvas; Schwartz, Joel; Koutrakis, Petros

    2016-01-01

    Air quality in Cyprus is influenced by both local and transported pollution including desert dust storms. We examined PM10 concentration data collected in Nicosia (urban representative) from April 1, 1993 through December 11, 2008, and Ayia Marina (rural background representative) from January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2008. Measurements were conducted using a Tapered Element Oscillating Micro-balance (TEOM). PM10 concentrations, meteorological records and satellite data were used to identify dust storm days. We investigated long term trends using a Generalized Additive Model (GAM) after controlling for day of week, month, temperature, wind speed, and relative humidity. In Nicosia, annual PM10 concentrations ranged from 50.4 to 63.8 μg/m3 and exceeded the EU annual standard limit enacted in 2005 of 40 μg/m3 every year. A large, statistically significant impact of urban sources (defined as the difference between urban and background levels) was seen in Nicosia over the period 2000–2008, and was highest during traffic hours, weekdays, cold months, and low wind conditions. Our estimate of the mean (standard error) contribution of urban sources to the daily ambient PM10 was 24.0 (0.4) μg/m3. The study of yearly trends showed that PM10 levels in Nicosia decreased from 59.4 μg/m3 in 1993 to 49.0 μg/m3 in 2008, probably in part as a result of traffic emission control policies in Cyprus. In Ayia Marina, annual concentrations ranged from 27.3 to 35.6 μg/m3, and no obvious time trends were observed. The levels measured at the Cyprus background site are comparable to background concentrations reported in other Eastern Mediterranean countries. Average daily PM10 concentrations during desert dust storms were around 100 μg/m3 since 2000 and much higher in earlier years. Despite the large impact of dust storms and their increasing frequency over time, dust storms were responsible for a small fraction of the exceedances of the daily PM10 limit. PMID:25562931

  12. Background levels of some major, trace, and rare earth elements in indigenous plant species growing in Norway and the influence of soil acidification, soil parent material, and seasonal variation on these levels.

    PubMed

    Gjengedal, Elin; Martinsen, Thomas; Steinnes, Eiliv

    2015-06-01

    Baseline levels of 43 elements, including major, trace, and rare earth elements (REEs) in several native plant species growing in boreal and alpine areas, are presented. Focus is placed on species metal levels at different soil conditions, temporal variations in plant tissue metal concentrations, and interspecies variation in metal concentrations. Vegetation samples were collected at Sogndal, a pristine site in western Norway, and at Risdalsheia, an acidified site in southernmost Norway. Metal concentrations in the different species sampled in western Norway are compared with relevant literature data from Norway, Finland, and northwest Russia, assumed to represent natural conditions. Except for aluminium (Al) and macronutrients, the levels of metals were generally lower in western Norway than in southern Norway and may be considered close to natural background levels. In southern Norway, the levels of cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) in particular appear to be affected by air pollution, either by direct atmospheric supply or through soil acidification. Levels of some elements show considerable variability between as well as within plant species. Calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and potassium (K) are higher in most species at Sogndal compared to Risdalsheia, despite increased extractable concentrations in surface soil in the south, probably attributed to different buffer mechanisms in surface soil. Antagonism on plant uptake is suggested between Ca, Mg, and K on one hand and Al on the other. Tolerance among calcifuges to acid conditions and a particular ability to detoxify or avoid uptake of Al ions are noticeable for Vaccinium vitis-idaea.

  13. Natural gas odor level testing: Instruments and applications

    SciTech Connect

    Roberson, E.H.

    1995-12-01

    An odor in natural and LP gases is necessary. The statistics are overwhelming; when gas customers can smell a leak before the percentage of gas in air reaches a combustible mixture, the chances of an accident are greatly reduced. How do gas companies determine if there is sufficient odor reaching every gas customers home? Injection equipment is important. The rate and quality of odorant is important. Nevertheless, precision odorization alone does not guarantee that customers` homes always have gas with a readily detectable odor. To secure that goal, odor monitoring instruments are necessary.

  14. Elevated Aspartate and Alanine Aminotransferase Levels and Natural Death among Patients with Methamphetamine Dependence

    PubMed Central

    Kuo, Chian-Jue; Tsai, Shang-Ying; Liao, Ya-Tang; Conwell, Yeates; Lee, Wen-Chung; Huang, Ming-Chyi; Lin, Shih-Ku; Chen, Chiao-Chicy; Chen, Wei J.

    2012-01-01

    Background Methamphetamine is one of the fastest growing illicit drugs worldwide, causing multiple organ damage and excessive natural deaths. The authors aimed to identify potential laboratory indices and clinical characteristics associated with natural death through a two-phase study. Methods Methamphetamine-dependent patients (n = 1,254) admitted to a psychiatric center in Taiwan between 1990 and 2007 were linked with a national mortality database for causes of death. Forty-eight subjects died of natural causes, and were defined as the case subjects. A time-efficient sex- and age-matched nested case-control study derived from the cohort was conducted first to explore the potential factors associated with natural death through a time-consuming standardized review of medical records. Then the identified potential factors were evaluated in the whole cohort to validate the findings. Results In phase I, several potential factors associated with natural death were identified, including aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), comorbid alcohol use disorder, and the prescription of antipsychotic drugs. In phase II, these factors were confirmed in the whole cohort using survival analysis. For the characteristics at the latest hospital admission, Cox proportional hazards models showed that the adjusted hazard ratios for natural death were 6.75 (p<0.001) in the group with markedly elevated AST (>80 U/L) and 2.66 (p<0.05) in the group with mildly elevated AST (40–80 U/L), with reference to the control group (<40 U/L). As for ALT, the adjusted hazard ratios were 5.41 (p<0.001), and 1.44 (p>0.05). Comorbid alcohol use disorder was associated with an increased risk of natural death, whereas administration of antipsychotic drugs was not associated with lowered risk. Conclusions This study highlights the necessity of intensive follow-up for those with elevated AST and ALT levels and comorbid alcohol use disorder for preventing excessive natural

  15. Community-level net spillover of natural enemies from managed to natural forest.

    PubMed

    Frost, Carol M; Didham, Raphael K; Rand, Tatyana A; Peralta, Guadalupe; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2015-01-01

    Edge effects in fragmented natural habitats may De exaceroateci by intensive land use in the surrounding landscape. Given that most managed systems have higher primary productivity than adjacent natural systems, theory suggests that bottom-up subsidized consumers are likely to spill over from managed to natural habitats. Furthermore, the magnitude of spillover is likely to differ between generalist and specialist consumers, because of differences in their ability to use the full spectrum of resources. However, it is unknown whether there is indeed asymmetrical spillover of consumers between managed and natural habitats, and whether this is related to resource abundance or the trophic specialization of the consumer. We used flight intercept traps to measure spillover of generalist predators (Vespula wasps, Vespidae) and more specialist predators (106 species of parasitoids, Ichneumonidae and Braconidae) across habitat edges between native New Zealand forest and exotic plantation forest over a summer season. We found net spillover of both generalist and specialist predators from plantation to native forest, and that this was greater for generalists. To test whether natural enemy spillover from managed habitats was related to prey (caterpillar) abundance (i.e., whether it was bottom-up productivity driven, due to increased primary productivity), we conducted a large-scale herbivore reduction experiment at half of our plantation sites, by helicopter spraying caterpillar-specific insecticide over 2.5 ha per site. We monitored bidirectional natural enemy spillover and found that herbivore reduction reduced generalist but not specialist predator spillover. Trophic generalists may benefit disproportionately from high resource productivity in a habitat, and their cross-habitat spillover effects on natural food webs may be an important source of consumer pressure in mosaic landscapes.

  16. Plasma Melatonin Levels in Relation to the Light-Dark Cycle and Parental Background in Domestic Pigs

    PubMed Central

    Andersson, H

    2001-01-01

    To study porcine melatonin secretion in a stable environment 3 daytime (10.00 – 15.00) and 3 nighttime (22.00 – 03.00) plasma samples were collected by jugular venipuncture from 15 gilts, 16 sows, 3 boars and 48 piglets (24 females and 24 males from 8 litters) and analysed for melatonin content. Nighttime melatonin concentrations were higher than daytime melatonin concentrations (p < 0.001), whereas no effect of sampling order could be discerned. The 3 adult Hampshire boars had higher melatonin concentrations during the day and the night, than the 31 adult Yorkshire females (p < 0.05). There was no clear difference between gilts and sows in plasma melatonin. The gilts from one of the litters had higher plasma melatonin concentrations than the gilts in 3 other litters (p < 0.05). Among the 48 piglets, the increase of nocturnal melatonin secretion differed between litters (p < 0.01), whereas the influence of father was not quite significant (p = 0.12). No difference in daytime melatonin concentrations between litters could be found, and there was no difference in melatonin levels between the male and female piglets. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that domestic pigs express a nocturnal increase of melatonin secretion in a standard stable environment. For some animals the amplitude of nighttime melatonin secretion was very low, although always higher than the daytime base levels. Furthermore, the levels of nighttime melatonin secretion differed between litters, which suggests a genetic background. PMID:11503374

  17. What is the influence of background noise and exercise on the listening levels of iPod users?

    PubMed

    Hodgetts, William; Szarko, Ryan; Rieger, Jana

    2009-12-01

    The widespread use of portable listening devices (PLDs) has increased concern about the potential for hearing impairment caused by their use. The current study investigated the effects of external noise and exercise on the use of PLDs. The 24 participants listened to the same song on an iPod during rest-in-quiet, rest-in-noise, and exercise-in-noise conditions. Preferred listening levels (PLLs) were recorded and participants' maximum noise doses were calculated. Participants selected significantly higher listening levels in both noise conditions than in the quiet condition. The variability of volume selection was reduced significantly in the noise conditions. The maximum daily noise dose would have been exceeded by seven participants in the rest-in-noise condition and by eight in the exercise-in-noise condition compared to one participant in the rest-in-quiet condition. These results indicated that increased background noise causes individuals to increase the volume on their PLDs to potentially dangerous levels and that increased noise alone was not the only factor affecting the participants as the addition of exercise induced even further increases in PLLs.

  18. The level and nature of autistic intelligence III: Inspection time.

    PubMed

    Barbeau, Elise B; Soulières, Isabelle; Dawson, Michelle; Zeffiro, Thomas A; Mottron, Laurent

    2013-02-01

    Across the autism spectrum, level of intelligence is highly dependent on the psychometric instrument used for assessment, and there are conflicting views concerning which measures best estimate autistic cognitive abilities. Inspection time is a processing speed measure associated with general intelligence in typical individuals. We therefore investigated autism spectrum performance on inspection time in relation to two different general intelligence tests. Autism spectrum individuals were divided into autistic and Asperger subgroups according to speech development history. Compared to a typical control group, mean inspection time for the autistic subgroup but not the Asperger subgroup was significantly shorter (by 31%). However, the shorter mean autistic inspection time was evident only when groups were matched on Wechsler IQ and disappeared when they were matched using Raven's Progressive Matrices. When autism spectrum abilities are compared to typical abilities, results may be influenced by speech development history as well as by the instrument used for intelligence matching.

  19. Factors affecting levels of genetic diversity in natural populations.

    PubMed Central

    Amos, W; Harwood, J

    1998-01-01

    Genetic variability is the clay of evolution, providing the base material on which adaptation and speciation depend. It is often assumed that most interspecific differences in variability are due primarily to population size effects, with bottlenecked populations carrying less variability than those of stable size. However, we show that population bottlenecks are unlikely to be the only factor, even in classic case studies such as the northern elephant seal and the cheetah, where genetic polymorphism is virtually absent. Instead, we suggest that the low levels of variability observed in endangered populations are more likely to result from a combination of publication biases, which tend to inflate the level of variability which is considered 'normal', and inbreeding effects, which may hasten loss of variability due to drift. To account for species with large population sizes but low variability we advance three hypotheses. First, it is known that certain metapopulation structures can result in effective population sizes far below the census size. Second, there is increasing evidence that heterozygous sites mutate more frequently than equivalent homozygous sites, plausibly because mismatch repair between homologous chromosomes during meiosis provides extra opportunities to mutate. Such a mechanism would undermine the simple relationship between heterozygosity and effective population size. Third, the fact that related species that differ greatly in variability implies that large amounts of variability can be gained or lost rapidly. We argue that such cases are best explained by rapid loss through a genome-wide selective sweep, and suggest a mechanism by which this could come about, based on forced changes to a control gene inducing coevolution in the genes it controls. Our model, based on meiotic drive in mammals, but easily extended to other systems, would tend to facilitate population isolation by generating molecular incompatabilities. Circumstances can even be

  20. Background noise levels measured in the NASA Lewis 9- by 15-foot low-speed wind tunnel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woodward, Richard P.; Dittmar, James H.; Hall, David G.; Kee-Bowling, Bonnie

    1994-01-01

    The acoustic capability of the NASA Lewis 9 by 15 Foot Low Speed Wind Tunnel has been significantly improved by reducing the background noise levels measured by in-flow microphones. This was accomplished by incorporating streamlined microphone holders having a profile developed by researchers at the NASA Ames Research Center. These new holders were fabricated for fixed mounting on the tunnel wall and for an axially traversing microphone probe which was mounted to the tunnel floor. Measured in-flow noise levels in the tunnel test section were reduced by about 10 dB with the new microphone holders compared with those measured with the older, less refined microphone holders. Wake interference patterns between fixed wall microphones were measured and resulted in preferred placement patterns for these microphones to minimize these effects. Acoustic data from a model turbofan operating in the tunnel test section showed that results for the fixed and translating microphones were equivalent for common azimuthal angles, suggesting that the translating microphone probe, with its significantly greater angular resolution, is preferred for sideline noise measurements. Fixed microphones can provide a local check on the traversing microphone data quality, and record acoustic performance at other azimuthal angles.

  1. Platinum levels in natural and urban soils from Rome and Latium (Italy): significance for pollution by automobile catalytic converter.

    PubMed

    Cinti, D; Angelone, M; Masi, U; Cremisini, C

    2002-07-03

    Platinum concentrations in topsoil samples collected in 1992 (48) and in 2001 (16) from the urban area of Rome have been determined by ICP-MS. Concentrations in 47 soil samples collected in 1992 from natural sites of Latium (an area around Rome) have been determined for a first assessment of natural background levels. The Pt concentrations in Rome urban soils collected in 1992 range from 0.8 to 6.3 ng/g (mean = 3.8 +/- 1.0) overlapping the concentration range of natural soils from Latium (mean = 3.1 +/- 2.1 ng/g). No significant correlation has generally been found between Pt contents in the 'natural' soils and related bedrock or major pedogenetic parameters. These results suggest that there is no evidence of Pt pollution in Rome urban soils at that time, because the massive use of the automobile catalytic converter has only just started. Higher (up to six times more) Pt concentrations, than those measured in the 1992 samples, have been measured, in some cases, in Rome urban soils collected in 2001, suggesting a possible start of Pt accumulation because of the large-scale use in the last decade of automobile catalytic converters. At the same time, a clear decrease of lead levels in Rome urban soils with respect to the levels measured in 1992 has been observed, paralleling the decreasing number of lead gasoline-fuelled cars. Here we present one of the first systematic studies for defining background levels of Pt in Italian natural soils, thus allowing for monitoring, in the future, should any possible Pt pollution caused by the use of automobile catalytic converter, especially in urban soils, occur.

  2. The Perception of Naturalness Correlates with Low-Level Visual Features of Environmental Scenes

    PubMed Central

    Berman, Marc G.; Hout, Michael C.; Kardan, Omid; Hunter, MaryCarol R.; Yourganov, Grigori; Henderson, John M.; Hanayik, Taylor; Karimi, Hossein; Jonides, John

    2014-01-01

    Previous research has shown that interacting with natural environments vs. more urban or built environments can have salubrious psychological effects, such as improvements in attention and memory. Even viewing pictures of nature vs. pictures of built environments can produce similar effects. A major question is: What is it about natural environments that produces these benefits? Problematically, there are many differing qualities between natural and urban environments, making it difficult to narrow down the dimensions of nature that may lead to these benefits. In this study, we set out to uncover visual features that related to individuals' perceptions of naturalness in images. We quantified naturalness in two ways: first, implicitly using a multidimensional scaling analysis and second, explicitly with direct naturalness ratings. Features that seemed most related to perceptions of naturalness were related to the density of contrast changes in the scene, the density of straight lines in the scene, the average color saturation in the scene and the average hue diversity in the scene. We then trained a machine-learning algorithm to predict whether a scene was perceived as being natural or not based on these low-level visual features and we could do so with 81% accuracy. As such we were able to reliably predict subjective perceptions of naturalness with objective low-level visual features. Our results can be used in future studies to determine if these features, which are related to naturalness, may also lead to the benefits attained from interacting with nature. PMID:25531411

  3. Four basic levels of the interactions between humanity and the imbalanced Nature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kontar, V. A.

    2013-12-01

    There are the clearly distinguishable four basic levels of interaction the humanity with the imbalanced Nature: 1 Level - Naivety: Self-healing Nature in defiance of the humanity activities. 2 Level - Collaboration: Restoration of Nature in cooperation with humanity. 3 Level - Conflict: The resistance of Nature against the humanity's interference. 4 Level - Disappearance: Nature destroys humanity as the trouble maker. On the first level the people were afraid and respected Nature and are taking from Nature only what Nature gave willingly. Therefore Nature could easy regenerate itself. So it was thousands of years and people become under the false impression that it will be forever. The first signs the end of this period was visible in the era of industrialization. It turned out that resources are not infinite, and the waste of humanity grows much faster than Nature can utilize or dispose it. But in the world still had plenty of the untouched places and industrialization continued to develop rapidly. Thus problems with Nature were dislocated into the colonies rather far off from the prosperous metropolitan countries. The false impression about the man's victory over Nature has increased. Very soon the main untouched place was used, and the global circulations bring the pollutions from colonies to the metropolis. The second level was started as processes to creating the national parks, natural reservations, etc. It was some beginning of the cooperation humanity with Nature. The invasion into the Nature of the colonies was intensified. In addition start increasing the pollution in the metropolis from the waste of resources which have been imported from the colonies. The third level was started and Nature began to resist and revenge to the self-confident man. But man didn't stop and continued create more and more aggressive processes which provoked some avalanches-looks reactions of Nature. Now people can start these avalanches, but cannot stop it. One of these man

  4. Nitrate retention in riparian ground water at natural and elevated nitrate levels in north central Minnesota.

    PubMed

    Duff, John H; Jackman, Alan P; Triska, Frank J; Sheibley, Richard W; Avanzino, Ronald J

    2007-01-01

    The relationship between local ground water flows and NO(3)(-) transport to the channel was examined in three well transects from a natural, wooded riparian zone adjacent to the Shingobee River, MN. The hillslope ground water originated as recharge from intermittently grazed pasture up slope of the site. In the hillslope transect perpendicular to the stream, ground water NO(3)(-) concentrations decreased from approximately 3 mg N L(-1) beneath the ridge (80 m from the channel) to 0.01 to 1.0 mg N L(-1) at wells 1 to 3 m from the channel. The Cl(-) concentrations and NO(3)/Cl ratios decreased toward the channel indicating NO(3)(-) dilution and biotic retention. In the bankside well transect parallel to the stream, two distinct ground water environments were observed: an alluvial environment upstream of a relict beaver dam influenced by stream water and a hillslope environment downstream of the relict beaver dam. Nitrate was elevated to levels representative of agricultural runoff in a third well transect located approximately 5 m from the stream to assess the effectiveness of the riparian zone as a NO(3)(-) sink. Subsurface NO(3)(-) injections revealed transport of up to 15 mg N L(-1) was nearly conservative in the alluvial riparian environment. Addition of glucose stimulated dissolved oxygen uptake and promoted NO(3)(-) retention under both background and elevated NO(3)(-) levels in summer and winter. Disappearance of added NO(3)(-) was followed by transient NO(2)(-) formation and, in the presence of C(2)H(2), by N(2)O formation, demonstrating potential denitrification. Under current land use, most NO(3)(-) associated with local ground water is biotically retained or diluted before reaching the channel. However, elevating NO(3)(-) levels through agricultural cultivation would likely result in increased NO(3)(-) transport to the channel.

  5. Nitrate retention in riparian ground water at natural and elevated nitrate levels in North Central Minnesota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duff, J.H.; Jackman, A.P.; Triska, F.J.; Sheibley, R.W.; Avanzino, R.J.

    2007-01-01

    The relationship between local ground water flows and NO3- transport to the channel was examined in three well transects from a natural, wooded riparian zone adjacent to the Shingobee River, MN. The hillslope ground water originated as recharge from intermittently grazed pasture up slope of the site. In the hillslope transect perpendicular to the stream, ground water NO3- concentrations decreased from ???3 mg N L-1 beneath the ridge (80 m from the channel) to 0.01 to 1.0 mg N L-1 at wells 1 to 3 m from the channel. The Cl- concentrations and NO3/Cl ratios decreased toward the channel indicating NO3- dilution and biotic retention. In the bankside well transect parallel to the stream, two distinct ground water environments were observed: an alluvial environment upstream of a relict beaver dam influenced by stream water and a hillslope environment downstream of the relict beaver dam. Nitrate was elevated to levels representative of agricultural runoff in a third well transect looted ???5 m from the stream to assess the effectiveness of the riparian zone as a NO3- sink. Subsurface NO3- injections revealed transport of up to 15 mg N L-1 was nearly conservative in the alluvial riparian environment. Addition of glucose stimulated dissolved oxygen uptake and promoted NO3- retention under both background and elevated NO 3- levels in summer and winter. Disappearance of added NO3- was followed by transient NO2- formation and, in the presence of C2H2, by N2O formation, demonstrating potential denitrification. Under current land use, most NO3- associated with local ground water is biotically retained or diluted before reaching the channel. However, elevating NO 3- levels through agricultural cultivation would likely result in increased NO3- transport to the channel. ?? ASA, CSSA, SSSA.

  6. Accumulation of background levels of persistent organochlorine and organobromine pollutants through the soil-earthworm-hedgehog food chain.

    PubMed

    Vermeulen, Frouke; Covaci, Adrian; D'Havé, Helga; Van den Brink, Nico W; Blust, Ronny; De Coen, Wim; Bervoets, Lieven

    2010-10-01

    The bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and DDT and metabolites, was investigated in the soil-earthworm-hedgehog food chain. Concentrations of selected POPs were measured in soil and earthworms collected in grassland and open woodland and in hair and blood of hedgehogs foraging in two parks containing these habitats. Despite background concentrations in soil (ranging from 1.3 to 9.3 ng/g for DDTs, 2.3 to 6.5 ng/g for PCBs and 0.08 to 0.20 ng/g for PBDEs), biota-soil accumulation factors (BSAFs) indicated that earthworms accumulated POPs (0.48-1.70 for DDTs, 1.09-2.76 for PCBs and 1.99-5.67 for PBDEs) and that animals feeding on earthworms are potentially exposed to higher concentrations of pollutants. BSAFs decreased with increasing soil concentrations for the three groups of compounds, suggesting that steady-state equilibrium was not reached in soil or earthworms. Positive, but low, log-linear relationships were found for DDT (r(2)=0.23, p<0.05 for Brasschaat and r(2)=0.63, p<0.01 for Hoboken) and PCB (r(2)=0.13, p<0.05 for both parks) concentrations between soil and earthworms. In order to relate earthworm to hedgehog POP concentrations, the foraging behavior of each individual was taken into account. The use of hair as a potential biomonitoring tissue in exposure and risk assessment of POPs was evaluated by examining the relationship between PCB and p,p'-DDE levels in hedgehogs' hair and blood. Contaminant profiles were used to gain insight into biotransformation of the studied compounds in each step of the investigated food chain and in the blood of hedgehogs, as well as the consequences thereof for their incorporation in hair. The absence of a discernable relationship between POP concentrations in earthworms and hair is possible due to variation in individual foraging behavior and POP uptake. Our results suggest that POPs in tissues should be measured from an

  7. Comparison of different methods to assess natural backgrond levels in groundwater bodies in southern Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preziosi, Elisabetta; Parrone, Daniele; Ghergo, Stefano; Ducci, Daniela; Sellerino, Mariangela; Condesso de Melo, Maria Teresa; Oliveira, Juana; Ribeiro, Luis

    2014-05-01

    The assessment of the natural background levels (NBLs) of a substance or element is important to distinguish anthropogenic pollution from contamination of natural origin in groundwater bodies. NBLs are the result of different atmospheric, geological, chemical and biological interaction processes during groundwater infiltration and circulation. Rainfall composition, water-rock interactions in both vadose and saturated zone, exchanges with other water bodies and residence time also contribute to determine the groundwater natural composition. Nowadays there are different methods to assess NBLs but the main concern is that they may provide different results. In the European legislative context, the Groundwater Directive (2006/118/EC) requests to EU Member States to derive appropriate threshold values (TV) for several potentially harmful substances, taking into account NBLs when necessary, in order to assess the chemical status of groundwater bodies. In the framework of a common project between Italy (CNR) and Portugal (FCT), several groundwater bodies were taken into account in different regions of Italy (Latium and Campania) and Portugal. The general objective is the definition of a sound comprehensive methodology for NBL assessment at groundwater body scale, suitable to different hydrogeological settings through comparing diverse case studies and different approaches. The Italian case studies are located in volcanic or volcano-sedimentary geological contexts, where high concentrations of substances such as As, F, Fe, Mn among others in groundwater are well known. The Portuguese case studies are located in carbonate and porous media aquifers. Several data sets were explored with the use of statistical as well as mathematical procedures in order to determine a threshold between natural and anthropogenic concentration. Today essentially two groups of methods are proposed, the first ascribed to the probability plots (PP method), the second based on the selection of the

  8. Sunlight-Exposed Biofilm Microbial Communities Are Naturally Resistant to Chernobyl Ionizing-Radiation Levels

    PubMed Central

    Ragon, Marie; Restoux, Gwendal; Moreira, David; Møller, Anders Pape; López-García, Purificación

    2011-01-01

    Background The Chernobyl accident represents a long-term experiment on the effects of exposure to ionizing radiation at the ecosystem level. Though studies of these effects on plants and animals are abundant, the study of how Chernobyl radiation levels affect prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial communities is practically non-existent, except for a few reports on human pathogens or soil microorganisms. Environments enduring extreme desiccation and UV radiation, such as sunlight exposed biofilms could in principle select for organisms highly resistant to ionizing radiation as well. Methodology/Principal Findings To test this hypothesis, we explored the diversity of microorganisms belonging to the three domains of life by cultivation-independent approaches in biofilms developing on concrete walls or pillars in the Chernobyl area exposed to different levels of radiation, and we compared them with a similar biofilm from a non-irradiated site in Northern Ireland. Actinobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Acidobacteria and Deinococcales were the most consistently detected bacterial groups, whereas green algae (Chlorophyta) and ascomycete fungi (Ascomycota) dominated within the eukaryotes. Close relatives to the most radio-resistant organisms known, including Rubrobacter species, Deinococcales and melanized ascomycete fungi were always detected. The diversity of bacteria and eukaryotes found in the most highly irradiated samples was comparable to that of less irradiated Chernobyl sites and Northern Ireland. However, the study of mutation frequencies in non-coding ITS regions versus SSU rRNA genes in members of a same actinobacterial operational taxonomic unit (OTU) present in Chernobyl samples and Northern Ireland showed a positive correlation between increased radiation and mutation rates. Conclusions/Significance Our results show that biofilm microbial communities in the most irradiated samples are comparable to non-irradiated samples in terms of general

  9. Human serum levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) in Uyghurs from Sinkiang-Uighur Autonomous Region, China: background levels study.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xiao-Wen; Qian, Zhengmin; Vaughn, Michael; Xian, Hong; Elder, Keith; Rodemich, Eugene; Bao, Jia; Jin, Yi-He; Dong, Guang-Hui

    2015-03-01

    Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), are a family of commonly used industrial chemicals whose persistence and ubiquity in blood samples of humans and wildlife have become a growing concern. Despite PFOS and PFOA having been found in human blood and tissue samples from occupationally exposed workers and the general worldwide population, little systematic knowledge has accrued with respect to exposure levels in Uyghurs in the Sinkiang-Uighur Autonomous Region of China, which is predominantly agricultural and pastoral. Our goal was to provide background data for biological monitoring in the general population of this region. In this study, 110 self-reported healthy human serum samples were collected from nonoccupationally exposed Uyghurs volunteers and analyzed by microbore HPLC-electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. Among the 110 blood specimens, PFOS was detected in 102 samples (93%) and ranged from the lower limit of quantification of 0.01 to 22.63 μg/L with a median of 1.93 μg/L (interquartile range 1.00-3.43 μg/L). The median was higher among males (2.39 μg/L; interquartile range 1.23-4.40 μg/L) than that among females (1.20 μg/L; interquartile range 0.83-2.77 μg/L). No significant difference was observed with respect to age. The concentration of PFOA was lower than that of PFOS and was found only in seven samples (6%) at concentrations above the limit of quantification. This study is the first investigation to reveal serum PFOS and PFOA levels in the general population of Uyghurs. PFOS and PFOA concentrations found in the present investigation were lower than those found in recent studies consisting of subjects from different geographic locations (PFOS 5.0-44.7 μg/L, PFOA 1.5-10 μg/L).

  10. The effects of natural zeolite on salinity level of poultry litter compost.

    PubMed

    Turan, N Gamze

    2008-05-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the salinity uptake by natural zeolite when used as an ingredient during the composting process. The amounts of 5% and 10% of natural zeolite were applied to poultry litter as volume and compared with the compost made with no amendment. The results clearly showed that the salinity level of poultry litter was too high. It was found that the salinity level in the end compost decreases with increasing the amount of natural zeolite used. Salinity uptake efficiencies were 66.64% and 88.92% for end product containing 5% and 10% natural zeolite, respectively. Significantly, the addition of natural zeolite to poultry litter compost was found to have a beneficial effect on the characteristics of the end product.

  11. Evaluating Music Teachers: A Comparison of Evaluations by Observers with Varied Levels of Musical and Observational Background

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hirokawa, Joy Ondra

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this research was to examine the differences in the evaluations of music teachers conducted by individuals with varying backgrounds in music and observation techniques. Part I compared evaluations completed by school administrators and music department leadership. Part II utilized the findings of Part I to create focused and…

  12. Exploratory and spatial data analysis (EDA-SDA) for determining regional background levels and anomalies of potentially toxic elements in soils from Catorce-Matehuala, Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chiprés, J.A.; Castro-Larragoitia, J.; Monroy, M.G.

    2009-01-01

    The threshold between geochemical background and anomalies can be influenced by the methodology selected for its estimation. Environmental evaluations, particularly those conducted in mineralized areas, must consider this when trying to determinate the natural geochemical status of a study area, quantifying human impacts, or establishing soil restoration values for contaminated sites. Some methods in environmental geochemistry incorporate the premise that anomalies (natural or anthropogenic) and background data are characterized by their own probabilistic distributions. One of these methods uses exploratory data analysis (EDA) on regional geochemical data sets coupled with a geographic information system (GIS) to spatially understand the processes that influence the geochemical landscape in a technique that can be called a spatial data analysis (SDA). This EDA-SDA methodology was used to establish the regional background range from the area of Catorce-Matehuala in north-central Mexico. Probability plots of the data, particularly for those areas affected by human activities, show that the regional geochemical background population is composed of smaller subpopulations associated with factors such as soil type and parent material. This paper demonstrates that the EDA-SDA method offers more certainty in defining thresholds between geochemical background and anomaly than a numeric technique, making it a useful tool for regional geochemical landscape analysis and environmental geochemistry studies.

  13. Landscape complexity differentially benefits generalist fourth, over specialized third, trophic level natural enemies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The differential loss of higher trophic levels in the face of natural habitat loss can result in the disruption of important ecosystem services such as pollination and biological control. Landscape- level conservation biological control aims to mitigate these negative impacts by conserving or resto...

  14. Human-Level Natural Language Understanding: False Progress and Real Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bignoli, Perrin G.

    2013-01-01

    The field of Natural Language Processing (NLP) focuses on the study of how utterances composed of human-level languages can be understood and generated. Typically, there are considered to be three intertwined levels of structure that interact to create meaning in language: syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Not only is a large amount of…

  15. Impact of natural gas extraction on Pah levels in ambient air

    PubMed Central

    Paulik, L. Blair; Donald, Carey E.; Smith, Brian W.; Tidwell, Lane G.; Hobbie, Kevin A.; Kincl, Laurel; Haynes, Erin N.; Anderson, Kim A.

    2015-01-01

    Natural gas extraction, often referred to as “fracking,” has increased rapidly in the U.S. in recent years. To address potential health impacts, passive air samplers were deployed in a rural community heavily affected by the natural gas boom. Samplers were analyzed for 62 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Results were grouped based on distance from each sampler to the nearest active well. PAH levels were highest when samplers were closest to active wells. Additionally, PAH levels closest to natural gas activity were an order of magnitude higher than levels previously reported in rural areas. Sourcing ratios indicate that PAHs were predominantly petrogenic, suggesting that elevated PAH levels were influenced by direct releases from the earth. Quantitative human health risk assessment estimated the excess lifetime cancer risks associated with exposure to the measured PAHs. Closest to active wells, the risk estimated for maximum residential exposure was 2.9 in 10,000, which is above the U.S. EPA's acceptable risk level. Overall, risk estimates decreased 30% when comparing results from samplers closest to active wells to those farthest. This work suggests that natural gas extraction may be contributing significantly to PAHs in air, at levels that are relevant to human health. PMID:25810398

  16. Impact of natural gas extraction on PAH levels in ambient air.

    PubMed

    Paulik, L Blair; Donald, Carey E; Smith, Brian W; Tidwell, Lane G; Hobbie, Kevin A; Kincl, Laurel; Haynes, Erin N; Anderson, Kim A

    2015-04-21

    Natural gas extraction, often referred to as "fracking," has increased rapidly in the U.S. in recent years. To address potential health impacts, passive air samplers were deployed in a rural community heavily affected by the natural gas boom. Samplers were analyzed for 62 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Results were grouped based on distance from each sampler to the nearest active well. PAH levels were highest when samplers were closest to active wells. Additionally, PAH levels closest to natural gas activity were an order of magnitude higher than levels previously reported in rural areas. Sourcing ratios indicate that PAHs were predominantly petrogenic, suggesting that elevated PAH levels were influenced by direct releases from the earth. Quantitative human health risk assessment estimated the excess lifetime cancer risks associated with exposure to the measured PAHs. Closest to active wells, the risk estimated for maximum residential exposure was 2.9 in 10 000, which is above the U.S. EPA's acceptable risk level. Overall, risk estimates decreased 30% when comparing results from samplers closest to active wells to those farthest. This work suggests that natural gas extraction may be contributing significantly to PAHs in air, at levels that are relevant to human health.

  17. Background contamination by coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in trace level high resolution gas chromatography/high resolution mass spectrometry (HRGC/HRMS) analytical procedures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferrario, J.; Byrne, C.; Dupuy, A. E. Jr

    1997-01-01

    The addition of the "dioxin-like" polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners to the assessment of risk associated with the 2,3,7,8-chlorine substituted dioxins and furans has dramatically increased the number of laboratories worldwide that are developing analytical procedures for their detection and quantitation. Most of these procedures are based on established sample preparation and analytical techniques employing high resolution gas chromatography/high resolution mass spectrometry (HRGC/HRMS), which are used for the analyses of dioxin/furans at low parts-per-trillion (ppt) levels. A significant and widespread problem that arises when using these sample preparation procedures for the analysis of coplanar PCBs is the presence of background levels of these congeners. Industrial processes, urban incineration, leaking electrical transformers, hazardous waste accidents, and improper waste disposal practices have released appreciable quantities of PCBs into the environment. This contamination has resulted in the global distribution of these compounds via the atmosphere and their ubiquitous presence in ambient air. The background presence of these compounds in method blanks must be addressed when determining the exact concentrations of these and other congeners in environmental samples. In this study reliable procedures were developed to accurately define these background levels and assess their variability over the course of the study. The background subtraction procedures developed and employed increase the probability that the values reported accurately represent the concentrations found in the samples and were not biased due to this background contamination.

  18. Workshop on the role of natural analogs in geologic disposal of high-level nuclear waste

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, W.M.; Kovach, L.A.

    1995-09-01

    A workshop on the Role of Natural Analogs in Geologic Disposal of High-Level Nuclear Waste (HLW) was held in San Antonio, Texas, on July 22-25, 1991. It was sponsored by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses (CNWRA). Invitations to the workshop were extended to a large number of individuals with a variety of technical and professional interests related to geologic disposal of nuclear waste and natural analog studies. The objective of the workshop was to examine the role of natural analog studies in performance assessment, site characterization, and prioritization of research related to geologic disposal of HLW.

  19. Determination of an Environmental Background Level of Sr-90 in Urine for the Hanford Bioassay Program Determination of an Environmental Background Level of Sr-90 in Urine for the Hanford Bioassay Program

    SciTech Connect

    Antonio, Cheryl L.; Rivard, James W.

    2009-11-01

    During the decommissioning and maintenance of some of the facilities at the U.S. Department of Energy Hanford Site in Washington State, workers have potential for a 90Sr intake. However, because of worldwide radioactive fallout, 90Sr is present in our environment, and can be detectable in routine urine bioassay samples. It is important for the Hanford Site bioassay program to discern an occupational intake from a non-occupational environmental one. A detailed study of the background 90Sr in the urine of unexposed Hanford workers was performed. A survey of the Hanford Site bioassay database found 128 Hanford workers who were hired between 1997 and 2002 and who had a very low potential for an occupational exposure prior to the baseline strontium urinalysis. Each urinalysis sample represented excretion during an approximate 24-hr period. The arithmetic mean value for the 128 pre-exposure baselines was 3.6 ± 5.1 mBq d-1. The 90Sr activities in urine varied from -12 to 20 mBq. The 99th percentile result was 16.4 mBqd-1, which was interpreted to mean that 1% of Hanford workers not occupationally exposed to strontium might exceed 16.4 mBq d-1.

  20. Parent-of-origin genetic background affects the transcriptional levels of circadian and neuronal plasticity genes following sleep loss

    PubMed Central

    Tinarelli, Federico; Garcia-Garcia, Celina; Nicassio, Francesco; Tucci, Valter

    2014-01-01

    Sleep homoeostasis refers to a process in which the propensity to sleep increases as wakefulness progresses and decreases as sleep progresses. Sleep is tightly organized around the circadian clock and is regulated by genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. The homoeostatic response of sleep, which is classically triggered by sleep deprivation, is generally measured as a rebound effect of electrophysiological measures, for example delta sleep. However, more recently, gene expression changes following sleep loss have been investigated as biomarkers of sleep homoeostasis. The genetic background of an individual may affect this sleep-dependent gene expression phenotype. In this study, we investigated whether parental genetic background differentially modulates the expression of genes following sleep loss. We tested the progeny of reciprocal crosses of AKR/J and DBA/2J mouse strains and we show a parent-of-origin effect on the expression of circadian, sleep and neuronal plasticity genes following sleep deprivation. Thus, we further explored, by in silico, specific functions or upstream mechanisms of regulation and we observed that several upstream mechanisms involving signalling pathways (i.e. DICER1, PKA), growth factors (CSF3 and BDNF) and transcriptional regulators (EGR2 and ELK4) may be differentially modulated by parental effects. This is the first report showing that a behavioural manipulation (e.g. sleep deprivation) in adult animals triggers specific gene expression responses according to parent-of-origin genomic mechanisms. Our study suggests that the same mechanism may be extended to other behavioural domains and that the investigation of gene expression following experimental manipulations should take seriously into account parent-of-origin effects. PMID:24446504

  1. Parent-of-origin genetic background affects the transcriptional levels of circadian and neuronal plasticity genes following sleep loss.

    PubMed

    Tinarelli, Federico; Garcia-Garcia, Celina; Nicassio, Francesco; Tucci, Valter

    2014-03-05

    Sleep homoeostasis refers to a process in which the propensity to sleep increases as wakefulness progresses and decreases as sleep progresses. Sleep is tightly organized around the circadian clock and is regulated by genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. The homoeostatic response of sleep, which is classically triggered by sleep deprivation, is generally measured as a rebound effect of electrophysiological measures, for example delta sleep. However, more recently, gene expression changes following sleep loss have been investigated as biomarkers of sleep homoeostasis. The genetic background of an individual may affect this sleep-dependent gene expression phenotype. In this study, we investigated whether parental genetic background differentially modulates the expression of genes following sleep loss. We tested the progeny of reciprocal crosses of AKR/J and DBA/2J mouse strains and we show a parent-of-origin effect on the expression of circadian, sleep and neuronal plasticity genes following sleep deprivation. Thus, we further explored, by in silico, specific functions or upstream mechanisms of regulation and we observed that several upstream mechanisms involving signalling pathways (i.e. DICER1, PKA), growth factors (CSF3 and BDNF) and transcriptional regulators (EGR2 and ELK4) may be differentially modulated by parental effects. This is the first report showing that a behavioural manipulation (e.g. sleep deprivation) in adult animals triggers specific gene expression responses according to parent-of-origin genomic mechanisms. Our study suggests that the same mechanism may be extended to other behavioural domains and that the investigation of gene expression following experimental manipulations should take seriously into account parent-of-origin effects.

  2. Spatial Patterns of Sea Level Variability Associated with Natural Internal Climate Modes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Weiqing; Meehl, Gerald A.; Stammer, Detlef; Hu, Aixue; Hamlington, Benjamin; Kenigson, Jessica; Palanisamy, Hindumathi; Thompson, Philip

    2017-01-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) can exert significant stress on highly populated coastal societies and low-lying island countries around the world. Because of this, there is huge societal demand for improved decadal predictions and future projections of SLR, particularly on a local scale along coastlines. Regionally, sea level variations can deviate considerably from the global mean due to various geophysical processes. These include changes of ocean circulations, which partially can be attributed to natural, internal modes of variability in the complex Earth's climate system. Anthropogenic influence may also contribute to regional sea level variations. Separating the effects of natural climate modes and anthropogenic forcing, however, remains a challenge and requires identification of the imprint of specific climate modes in observed sea level change patterns. In this paper, we review our current state of knowledge about spatial patterns of sea level variability associated with natural climate modes on interannual-to-multidecadal timescales, with particular focus on decadal-to-multidecadal variability. Relevant climate modes and our current state of understanding their associated sea level patterns and driving mechanisms are elaborated separately for the Pacific, the Indian, the Atlantic, and the Arctic and Southern Oceans. We also discuss the issues, challenges and future outlooks for understanding the regional sea level patterns associated with climate modes. Effects of these internal modes have to be taken into account in order to achieve more reliable near-term predictions and future projections of regional SLR.

  3. Spatial Patterns of Sea Level Variability Associated with Natural Internal Climate Modes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Weiqing; Meehl, Gerald A.; Stammer, Detlef; Hu, Aixue; Hamlington, Benjamin; Kenigson, Jessica; Palanisamy, Hindumathi; Thompson, Philip

    2016-10-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) can exert significant stress on highly populated coastal societies and low-lying island countries around the world. Because of this, there is huge societal demand for improved decadal predictions and future projections of SLR, particularly on a local scale along coastlines. Regionally, sea level variations can deviate considerably from the global mean due to various geophysical processes. These include changes of ocean circulations, which partially can be attributed to natural, internal modes of variability in the complex Earth's climate system. Anthropogenic influence may also contribute to regional sea level variations. Separating the effects of natural climate modes and anthropogenic forcing, however, remains a challenge and requires identification of the imprint of specific climate modes in observed sea level change patterns. In this paper, we review our current state of knowledge about spatial patterns of sea level variability associated with natural climate modes on interannual-to-multidecadal timescales, with particular focus on decadal-to-multidecadal variability. Relevant climate modes and our current state of understanding their associated sea level patterns and driving mechanisms are elaborated separately for the Pacific, the Indian, the Atlantic, and the Arctic and Southern Oceans. We also discuss the issues, challenges and future outlooks for understanding the regional sea level patterns associated with climate modes. Effects of these internal modes have to be taken into account in order to achieve more reliable near-term predictions and future projections of regional SLR.

  4. Am I "That" Talented? The Experiences of Gifted Individuals from Diverse Educational Backgrounds at the Postsecondary Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gómez-Arízaga, María P.; Conejeros-Solar, M. Leonor

    2013-01-01

    The experiences of gifted students at the postsecondary level have not been studied widely. The goal of the present study was to explore and describe gifted students' perceptions of their first year after high school regarding experiences of success and failure. Two focus groups were conducted with 12 students (8 males, 4 females) from different…

  5. Predominant anthropogenic sources and rates of atmospheric mercury accumulation in southern Ontario recorded by peat cores from three bogs: comparison with natural "background" values (past 8000 years).

    PubMed

    Givelet, Nicolas; Roos-Barraclough, Fiona; Shotyk, William

    2003-12-01

    Peat cores from three bogs in southern Ontario provide a complete, quantitative record of net rates of atmospheric Hg accumulation since pre-industrial times. For comparison with modern values, a peat core extending back 8000 years was used to quantify the natural variations in Hg fluxes for this region, and their dependence on climatic change and land use history. The net mercury accumulation rates were separated into "natural" and "excess" components by comparing the Hg/Br ratios of modern samples with the long-term, pre-anthropogenic average Hg/Br. The average background mercury accumulation rate during the pre-anthropogenic period (from 5700 years BC to 1470 AD) was 1.4 +/- 1.0 microg m(-2) per year (n = 197). The beginning of Hg contamination from anthropogenic sources dates from AD 1475 at the Luther Bog, corresponding to biomass burning for agricultural activities by Native North Americans. During the late 17th and 18th centuries, deposition of anthropogenic Hg was at least equal to that of Hg from natural sources. Anthropogenic inputs of Hg to the bogs have dominated continuously since the beginning of the 19th century. The maximum Hg accumulation rates decrease in the order Sifton Bog, in the City of London, Ontario (141 microg Hg m(-2) per year), Luther Bog in an agricultural region (89 microg Hg m(-2) per year), and Spruce Bog which is in a comparatively remote, forested region (54 microg Hg m(-2) per year). Accurate age dating of recent peat samples using the bomb pulse curve of 14C shows that the maximum rate of atmospheric Hg accumulation occurred during AD 1956 and 1959 at all sites. In these (modern) samples, the Hg concentration profiles resemble those of Pb, an element which is known to be immobile in peat bogs. The correlation between these two metals, together with sulfur, suggests that the predominant anthropogenic source of Hg (and Pb) was coal burning. While Hg accumulation rates have gone into strong decline since the late 1950's, Hg

  6. Coping with naturally high levels of soil salinity and boron in the westside of central California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the Westside of central California, over 200,000 ha exhibit naturally high levels of salinity and boron (B). The Coast Ranges of the west central California evolved from complex folding and faulting of sedimentary and igneous rocks of Mesozoic and Tertiary age. Cretaceous and Tertiary marine sedi...

  7. Social Networks and Social Support: Implications for Natural Helper and Community Level Interventions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Israel, Barbara A.

    1985-01-01

    Focuses on the linkage between social support and social networks and health educational programs that involve interventions at the network and community level. Addresses programs enhancing entire networks through natural helpers; and programs strengthening overlapping networks/communities through key opinion and informal leaders who are engaged…

  8. Nature of Environmental Education in Bangladesh: A School Level Assessment with Reference to the National Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chowdhury, M. A. Taiyeb

    2014-01-01

    This paper attempts to identify the nature of formal environmental education in Bangladesh at school level with particular reference to the national curriculum. The main objective of the study is to assess the contents of the school textbooks for each standard, and to see whether the diversified themes covered are a good representation of…

  9. Measurements of background radiation levels around Indian station Bharati, during 33rd Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Bakshi, A K; Prajith, Rama; Chinnaesakki, S; Pal, Rupali; Sathian, Deepa; Dhar, Ajay; Selvam, T Palani; Sapra, B K; Datta, D

    2017-02-01

    A comprehensive measurement of radioactivity concentrations of the primordial radionuclides (238)U, (232)Th and (40)K and their decay products in the soil samples collected from the sites of Indian research stations, Bharati and Maitri, at Antarctica was carried out using gamma spectrometric method. The activity concentrations in the soil samples of Bharati site were observed to be few times higher than of Maitri site. The major contributor to radioactivity content in the soil at Bharati site is (232)Th radionuclide in higher concentration. The gamma radiation levels based on the measured radioactivity of soil samples were calculated using the equation given in UNSCEAR 2000. The calculated radiation levels were compared with the measured values and found to correlate reasonably well. The study could be useful for the scientists working at Antarctica especially those at Indian station to take decision to avoid areas with higher radioactivity before erecting any facility for long term experiment or use.

  10. Formaldehyde columns from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument: Urban versus background levels and evaluation using aircraft data and a global model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boeke, Nicholas L.; Marshall, Julian D.; Alvarez, Sergio; Chance, Kelly V.; Fried, Alan; Kurosu, Thomas P.; Rappenglück, Bernhard; Richter, Dirk; Walega, James; Weibring, Petter; Millet, Dylan B.

    2011-03-01

    We combine aircraft measurements (Second Texas Air Quality Study, Megacity Initiative: Local and Global Research Observations, Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment: Phase B) over the United States, Mexico, and the Pacific with a 3-D model (GEOS-Chem) to evaluate formaldehyde column (ΩHCHO) retrievals from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) and assess the information they provide on HCHO across local to regional scales and urban to background regimes. OMI ΩHCHO correlates well with columns derived from aircraft measurements and GEOS-Chem (R = 0.80). For the full data ensemble, OMI's mean bias is -3% relative to aircraft-derived ΩHCHO (-17% where ΩHCHO > 5 × 1015 molecules cm-2) and -8% relative to GEOS-Chem, within expected uncertainty for the retrieval. Some negative bias is expected for the satellite and model, given the plume sampling of many flights and averaging over the satellite and model footprints. Major axis regression for OMI versus aircraft and model columns yields slopes (95% confidence intervals) of 0.80 (0.62-1.03) and 0.98 (0.73-1.35), respectively, with no significant intercept. Aircraft measurements indicate that the normalized vertical HCHO distribution, required by the satellite retrieval, is well captured by GEOS-Chem, except near Mexico City. Using measured HCHO profiles in the retrieval algorithm does not improve satellite-aircraft agreement, suggesting that use of a global model to specify shape factors does not substantially degrade retrievals over polluted areas. While the OMI measurements show that biogenic volatile organic compounds dominate intra-annual and regional ΩHCHO variability across the United States, smaller anthropogenic ΩHCHO gradients are detectable at finer spatial scales (˜20-200 km) near many urban areas.

  11. Personal exposure to ultrafine particles: Two-level statistical modeling of background exposure and time-activity patterns during three seasons.

    PubMed

    Deffner, Veronika; Küchenhoff, Helmut; Maier, Verena; Pitz, Mike; Cyrys, Josef; Breitner, Susanne; Schneider, Alexandra; Gu, Jianwei; Geruschkat, Uta; Peters, Annette

    2016-01-01

    Personal exposure to air pollution is associated with time- and location-specific factors including indoor and outdoor air pollution, meteorology and time activities. Our investigation aims at the description and identification of factors determining personal exposure to particle number concentration (PNC) in everyday situations. Ten volunteers recorded their personal exposure to PNC and kept an activity diary in three different seasons besides stationary measurements of ambient air pollution and meteorology. Background exposure to PNC was modelled using the most predictive variables. In a second step, the effects of the activities were calculated adjusted for the background exposure. The average personal PNC level was highest in winter and was three times higher than the mean stationary PNC level while staying indoors and two times higher while staying outdoors. Personal indoor PNC levels were significantly increased during the use of candles, cooking and the occurrence of smell of food. High stationary outdoor PNC levels and low dew point temperatures were associated with increased personal outdoor PNC levels. Times spent in public transport were associated with lower personal PNC levels than other times spent in transportation. Personal PNC levels in everyday situations exhibited a large variability because of seasonal, microenvironment-specific and activity-specific influences.

  12. Radioactivity levels in the mostly local foodstuff consumed by residents of the high level natural radiation areas of Ramsar, Iran.

    PubMed

    Fathabadi, Nasrin; Salehi, Ali Akbar; Naddafi, Kazem; Kardan, Mohammad Reza; Yunesian, Masud; Nodehi, Ramin Nabizadeh; Deevband, Mohammad Reza; Shooshtari, Molood Gooniband; Hosseini, Saeedeh Sadat; Karimi, Mahtab

    2017-04-01

    Among High Level Natural Radiation Areas (HLNRAs) all over the world, the northern coastal city of Ramsar has been considered enormously important. Many studies have measured environmental radioactivity in Ramsar, however, no survey has been undertaken to measure concentrations in the diets of residents. This study determined the (226)Ra activity concentration in the daily diet of people of Ramsar. The samples were chosen from both normal and high level natural radiation areas and based on the daily consumption patterns of residents. About 150 different samples, which all are local and have the highest consumption, were collected during the four seasons. In these samples, after washing and drying and pretreatment, the radionuclide was determined by α-spectrometry. The mean radioactivity concentration of (226)Ra ranged between 5 ± 1 mBq kg(-1) wet weight (chino and meat) to 725 ± 480 mBq kg(-1) for tea dry leaves. The (226)Ra activity concentrations compared with the reference values of UNSCEAR appear to be higher in leafy vegetables, milk and meat product. Of the total daily dietary (226)Ra exposure for adults in Ramsar, the largest percentage was from eggs. The residents consuming eggs from household chickens may receive an elevated dose in the diet.

  13. A review of background dioxin concentrations in urban/suburban and rural soils across the United States: implications for site assessments and the establishment of soil cleanup levels.

    PubMed

    Urban, Jonathan D; Wikoff, Daniele S; Bunch, Alea T G; Harris, Mark A; Haws, Laurie C

    2014-01-01

    Over the last several decades, dioxin releases have decreased >90%, leading to a corresponding decrease in human body burdens. In addition, the weight-of-evidence indicates that soil exposures have little impact on human body burdens of dioxin-like compounds (DLCs), with dietary sources being the greatest contributor. In spite of this, USEPA recently proposed substantially lower preliminary remediation goals (PRGs) for soil based on their new oral reference dose (RfD) for dioxin. As such, it is important to understand how these lower soil PRGs compare to background concentrations in urban/suburban and rural soils. The objective of this evaluation was to conduct a comprehensive review of available data concerning background levels of DLCs in U.S. soils. There was substantial variability in how the soil dioxin data were presented (e.g., raw vs. summary data, congener vs. toxic equivalency [TEQ] concentration, number of DLC congeners reported, etc.). In cases where TEQ estimates were based on outdated TEFs and congener-specific data was provided, TEQ concentrations were recalculated using the current WHO2006 TEFs. The data available for rural soils were generally more robust than for urban/suburban soils. Not surprisingly, background levels of DLCs in urban/suburban soils were higher and more variable than in rural soils: 0.1-186 vs. 0.1-22.9 ng/kg TEQ, respectively. In several cases, incomplete soil DLC data were available (e.g., DL-PCBs not included) and, as such, calculated TEQ concentrations likely underestimate actual background levels. Though the current data are somewhat limited, these findings indicate that background DLC concentrations in urban/suburban soils may exceed the USEPA's updated PRGs based on the oral RfD, and are expected to substantially exceed future PRGs to be developed based on the forthcoming dioxin cancer slope factor. This demonstrates a need to characterize anthropogenic background DLCs in non-rural areas across the US to avoid

  14. [Monitoring Atmospheric CO2 and delta(13)C (CO2) Background Levels at Shangdianzi Station in Beijing, China].

    PubMed

    Xia, Ling-ju; Zhou, Ling-xi; Liu, Li-xin; Zhang, Gen

    2016-04-15

    The study presented time series of atmospheric CO2 concentrations from flask sampling at SDZ regional station in Beijing during 2007 and 2013, together with delta(13)CO2) values during 2009 and 2013. The "representative data" of CO2 and delta(13)C (CO2) were selected from the complete data for further analysis. Annual CO2 concentrations increased from 385.6 x 10(-6) in 2007 to 398.1 x 10(-6) in 2013, with an average growth rate of 2.0 x 10(-6) a(-1), while the delta(13)C values decreased from -8.38% per hundred in 2009 to -8.52% per hundred in 2013, with a mean growth rate of -0.03% per hundred x a(-1). The absolute increase of CO2 from 2007 to 2008 reached the lowest level during 2007 and 2013, possibly due to relatively less carbon emissions during the 2008 Olympic Games period. The peak-to-peak amplitudes of atmospheric CO2 and delta(13)C seasonal variations were 23. 9 x 10 -6 and 1. 03%o, respectively. The isotopic signatures of CO2 sources/sinks were also discussed in this study. The delta8 value for heating season I (Jan. 01-Mar. 14) was -21.30% per hundred, while -25.39% per hundred for heating season 11 (Nov. 15-Dec.31) , and for vegetative season (Mar. 15-Nov. 14) the delta(bio) value was estimated to be -21.28% per hundred, likely suggesting the significant impact of fossil fuel and corn straw combustions during winter heating season and biological activities during vegetative season.

  15. Lessons from Natural Analog Studies for Geologic Disposal of High-Level Nuclear Waste (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, W. M.

    2009-12-01

    For over fifty years natural analog studies have provided lessons addressing scientific, technical, and social problems concerning geologic disposal of high-level nuclear waste. Idealized concepts for permanent disposal environments evolved from an understanding of the geological, geochemical and hydrological characteristics of analogous rocks including natural salt deposits (as advocated by the US National Academy of Sciences in 1957), ancient cratonic rocks (as investigated at Lac du Bonnet, Canada, Aspö, Sweden, and Vienne, France), and marine sedimentary rock formations (as studied at Mol, Belgium, and Bure, France). Additional multidisciplinary studies have been conducted at natural sites that bear characteristics analogous to potential repository systems, notably at natural uranium (and thorium) deposits including Poços de Caldas, Brazil, Alligator Rivers, Australia, Peña Blanca, Mexico, and Oklo, Gabon. Researchers of natural analogs for geologic disposal have addressed technical uncertainties regarding processes that have transpired over large time and space scales, which are generally inaccessible to laboratory studies. Principal questions for nuclear waste disposal include the geochemical stability and alteration rates of radionuclide bearing minerals and the mechanisms and rates of transport of radionuclides in groundwater. In their most direct applications, natural analogs studies have been devoted to testing specific models for repository performance and the experimental data that support those models. Parameters used in predictive performance assessment modeling have been compared to natural system data, including mineral solubilities, sorption coefficients, diffusion rates, and colloid transport properties. For example, the rate of uraninite oxidation and the natural paragenesis of uranium mineral alteration at Peña Blanca have been compared favorably to results of experimental studies of spent fuel alteration related to the proposed repository

  16. Air pollution critical levels in central México protected natural areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz Suarez, L.; Andraca Ayala, G.; Mar Morales, B.; Garcia-reynoso, J.; Torres-JArdon, R.

    2013-05-01

    All the Natural Protected Areas (NPA) within the Central Mexico City Belt comprising five metropolitan areas including MCMA are under strong impact from air pollution. Ozone, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide exceed critical levels for several types of vegetation. In this work we show the critical level maps for ozone, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide for Sierra of Chichinautzin, the mountain that acts as the physical barrier to air pollution dispersion south of Mexico City Metropolitan Area, what makes of it a receptor area to MCMA pollution. Maps were made combining model outputs from WRF-Chem and passive samplers. We also describe a proposal to extend the observation network to all natural protected areas within the Central Mexico City Belt.

  17. Environmental geochemistry of shale-hosted Ag-Pb-Zn massive sulfide deposits in northwest Alaska: Natural background concentrations of metals in water from mineralized areas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kelley, K.D.; Taylor, C.D.

    1997-01-01

    Red Dog, Lik and Drenchwater are shale-hosted stratiform Ag-Pb-Zn massive sulfide deposits in the northwestern Brooks Range. Natural background concentrations of metals in waters from the undisturbed (unmined) Drenchwater prospect and Lik deposit were compared to pre-mining baseline studies conducted at Red Dog. The primary factors affecting water chemistry are the extent of exposure of the deposits, the grade of mineralization, the presence of carbonate reeks in the section, and the proportion of Fe-sulfide in the ore. Surface water samples from the Drenchwater prospect, which has pyrite-dominant mineralization exposed in outcrop, have pH values as low as 2.8 and high dissolved concentrations of metals including as much as 95 mg 1-1 Al, 270 mg 1-1 Fe, 8 ??1-1 Cd, 10 ??1-1 Pb, and 2600 ??1-1 Zn, with As up to 26 ??g1-1. Surface waters from the Red Dog deposit prior to mining were also acidic and metal-rich, however, dissolved metal concentrations in Red Dog waters were many times greater. The higher metal concentrations in Red Dog waters reflect the high Zn grades and the abundant sphalerite, pyrite, and galena that were present in outcrop prior to mining. In contrast, despite significant mineralization at the Lik deposit, carbonate rocks in the section buffer the system, resulting in less acidic, mostly near-neutral pH values with low concentrations of most metals except Zn.

  18. Distribution of uranium, thorium and some stable trace and toxic elements in human hair and nails in Niška Banja Town, a high natural background radiation area of Serbia (Balkan Region, South-East Europe).

    PubMed

    Sahoo, S K; Žunić, Z S; Kritsananuwat, R; Zagrodzki, P; Bossew, P; Veselinovic, N; Mishra, S; Yonehara, H; Tokonami, S

    2015-07-01

    Human hair and nails can be considered as bio-indicators of the public exposure to certain natural radionuclides and other toxic metals over a long period of months or even years. The level of elements in hair and nails usually reflect their levels in other tissues of body. Niška Banja, a spa town located in southern Serbia, with locally high natural background radiation was selected for the study. To assess public exposure to the trace elements, hair and nail samples were collected and analyzed. The concentrations of uranium, thorium and some trace and toxic elements (Mn, Ni, Cu, Sr, Cd, and Cs) were determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). U and Th concentrations in hair varied from 0.0002 to 0.0771 μg/g and from 0.0002 to 0.0276 μg/g, respectively. The concentrations in nails varied from 0.0025 to 0.0447 μg/g and from 0.0023 to 0.0564 μg/g for U and Th, respectively. We found significant correlations between some elements in hair and nails. Also indications of spatial clustering of high values could be found. However, this phenomenon as well as the large variations in concentrations of heavy metals in hair and nail could not be explained. As hypotheses, we propose possible exposure pathways which may explain the findings, but the current data does not allow testing them.

  19. Limitations of STIRAP-like population transfer in extended systems: the three-level system embedded in a web of background states.

    PubMed

    Jakubetz, Werner

    2012-12-14

    This paper presents a systematic numerical investigation of background state participation in STIRAP (stimulated Raman-adiabatic passage) population transfer among vibrational states, focusing on the consequences for the robustness of the method. The simulations, which are performed over extended grids in the parameter space of the Stokes- and pump pulses (frequencies, field strengths, and pulse lengths), involve hierarchies of (3 + N)-level systems of increasing complexity, ranging from the standard three-level STIRAP setup, (N = 0) in Λ-configuration, up to N = 446. A strongly coupled three-level core system is selected from the full Hamiltonian of the double-well HCN∕HNC system, and the couplings connecting this core system to the remaining states are (re-) parameterized in different ways, from very weak to very strong. The systems so obtained represent a three-level system embedded in various ways in webs of cross-linked vibrational background states and incorporate typical molecular properties. We first summarize essential properties of population transfer in the standard three-level system and quantify the robustness of the method and its dependence on the pulse parameters. Against these reference results, we present results obtained for four (3 + 446)-level systems and several subsystems. For pulse lengths of at most few picoseconds the intrinsic robustness of STIRAP with respect to variations in the field strength disappears as soon as the largest core-background couplings exceed about one tenth of the STIRAP couplings. In such cases robustness with respect to variations in the field strength is entirely lost, since at higher field strengths, except for irregularly spaced narrow frequency ranges, transfer probabilities are strongly reduced. STIRAP-like population transfer is maintained, with some restrictions, at low field strengths near the onset of adiabatic transfer. The suppression of STIRAP is traced back to different mechanisms based on a

  20. Characterizing the natural radiation levels throughout the main geological units of Sabkhat al Jabboul area, northern Syria.

    PubMed

    Al-Hilal, Mohamed; Aissa, Mosa

    2015-02-01

    The concentrations of equivalent eU, eTh, and K% were determined together with soil gas radon values and carborne gamma-ray survey in order to define the natural radioactivity levels throughout main geological units of Sabkhat al Jabboul region. Forty five soil and rock samples were collected from various lithofacies in each geological unit, and analyzed by γ-ray spectrometric technique for determining the concentration values of major radioelements. Such radiometric data could be used to differentiate between various lithologies of the investigated rocks. Although no distinct radioactive anomalies were found in the area, the radiometric profiles showed some minor variations with slightly higher values than the normal level. Despite the low radioactivity and the lack of rocks diversity in the surveyed area, it was possible to classify some certain rock types based on their radiometric response. The relationships between eU, eTh and their ratios were discussed for the Quaternary, Neogene and Paleogene formations, in order to evaluate the degree of uranium distribution and remobilization. The overall results of this radiometric survey were generally low, and lying within the range of the normal background levels in Syrian.

  1. Antioxidant activities of cold-nature Tibetan herbs are signifcantly greater than hot-nature ones and are associated with their levels of total phenolic components.

    PubMed

    Bao, Yan-Fang; Li, Ji-Yu; Zheng, Li-Fang; Li, Hong-Yu

    2015-08-01

    Tibetan medicinal plants have been used for more than 2 000 years. In order to find their differences in antioxidant activity, total phenolics and total flavonoids between "hot-nature" and "cold-nature" herbs, we investigated the antioxidant activities of 40 Tibetan herbs from Qinghai plateau, with 20 herbs in cold-nature and 20 herbs in hot-nature. Antioxidant capacities were evaluated by the following methods: scavenging ABTS•(+) (2, 2'azinobis-(3-ethylbenz-thiazoline-6-sulfonic acid), scavenging O2•(-), and Ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP). The effects on inhibition of mitochondrion lipid peroxidation were determined by measuring the formation of TBARS (Thiobarbituric acid reactive substrates). Total phenolics and flavonoids were estimated by Folin-Ciocalteu and NaNO2-Al(NO3)3-NaOH colorimetric methods. Interestingly, the cold-nature herbs displayed higher antioxidant activities than the hot-nature ones, corresponding to nearly three-fold higher total phenolic contents in the cold-nature herbs. Moreover, the antioxidant activities correlated linearly with the levels of total phenolics for both cold-nature and hot-nature herbs, but only with the levels of total flavonoids for the hot-nature herbs. The results suggested that the phenolic compounds, but not the flavonoids, play the major role in antioxidant capacities of the cold-nature herbs. These findings could shed new lights on the study the theory of Tibetan medicine.

  2. Evaluation of circulating levels and renal clearance of natural amino acids in patients with Cushing's disease.

    PubMed

    Faggiano, A; Pivonello, R; Melis, D; Alfieri, R; Filippella, M; Spagnuolo, G; Salvatore, F; Lombardi, G; Colao, A

    2002-02-01

    Although the hypercortisolism-induced impairment of protein homeostasis is object of several studies, a detailed evaluation of the complete amino acid profile of patients with Cushing's syndrome (CS) has never been performed. The aim of the current open transversal controlled study was to evaluate serum and urinary concentrations as well as renal clearance of the complete series of natural amino acids and their relationship with glucose tolerance in patients with Cushing's disease (CD). Twenty patients with CD (10 active and 10 cured) and 20 sex- and age-matched healthy controls entered the study. Measurement of serum and urinary levels of the complete series of natural amino acids was performed in all patients analyzed by cationic exchange high performance liquid cromatography (HPLC) after 2 weeks of a standardized protein intake regimen. The renal clearance (renal excretion rate) of each amino acid was calculated on the basis of the serum and urinary concentrations of creatinine and the specific amino acid. Fasting glucose and insulin levels, glucose and insulin response to standard glucose load, insulinogenic and homeostasis model insulin resistance (Homa-R) indexes were also evaluated and correlated to the circulating levels and renal clearances of each amino acid. Significantly higher serum (p<0.01) and urinary (p<0.05) levels of alanine and cystine, lower serum and higher urinary levels of leucine, isoleucine and valine (p<0.05) and higher renal excretion rates of leucine, isoleucine and valine (p<0.01) were found in patients with active CD than in patients cured from the disease and in controls. No difference was found between cured patients and controls. Creatinine clearance was similar in active and cured patients and in controls. In patients with active CD, urinary cortisol levels were significantly correlated to urinary cystine levels (r=0.85; p<0.01) and renal excretion rate of leucine (r=-0.76; p<0.05), isoleucine (r=-0.76; p<0.05) and valine (r=-0

  3. Effect of dibutyltin on ATP levels in human natural killer cells.

    PubMed

    Dudimah, Fred D; Gibson, Constance; Whalen, Margaret M

    2007-04-01

    This study investigates the role that decreased ATP levels may play in dibutyltin (DBT)-induced decreases in the tumor-cell-lysing (lytic) function of natural killer (NK) cells. NK cells are a subset of lymphocytes capable of killing tumor cells, virally infected cells, and antibody coated cells. DBT is used as stabilizer in PVC plastics and has also been used as a deworming product in poultry. NK cells were exposed to various concentrations of DBT for 1 h, 24 h, 48 h, and 6 days before determining ATP levels and lytic function. ATP levels and lytic function were also determined in NK cells that were exposed to DBT for 1 h followed by 24 h, 48 h, and 6 days in DBT-free media. The results indicated that exposure of NK cells to 10 muM DBT for 1 h did not cause any significant decrease in NK cell ATP levels but did cause a very significant loss in lytic function. NK cells exposed to 500 nM DBT for 24 h showed significant loss of lytic function but showed no decrease in ATP levels. However, 48 h and 6 days exposures to those concentrations of DBT that caused decreases in tumor lysing function also caused significant decreases in ATP levels. Exposures of NK cells to varying DBT concentrations for 1 h followed by 24 h, 48 h, and 6 days in DBT free media produced effects on lytic function and ATP levels that were similar to those seen with continuous DBT exposures. The results indicate that DBT exposures decrease ATP levels in NK cells but that tumor lysing function can be reduced independent of any decreases in ATP levels. Additionally the results show that the effects of a range of DBT concentrations on ATP levels and tumor lysing function are irreversible.

  4. High-level aspects of oculomotor control during viewing of natural-task images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canosa, Roxanne L.; Pelz, Jeff B.; Mennie, Neil R.; Peak, Joseph

    2003-06-01

    Eye movements are an external manifestation of selective attention and can play an important role in indicating which attributes of a scene carry the most pertinent information. Models that predict gaze distribution often define a local conspicuity value that relies on low-level image features to indicate the perceived salience of an image region. While such bottom-up models have some success in predicting fixation densities in simple 2D images, success with natural scenes requires an understanding of the goals of the observer, including the perceived usefulness of an object in the context of an explicit or implicit task. In the present study, observers viewed natural images while their eye movements were recorded. Eye movement patterns revealed that subjects preferentially fixated objects relevant for potential actions implied by the gist of the scene, rather than selecting targets based purely on image features. A proto-object map is constructed that is based on highly textured regions of the image that predict the location of potential objects. This map is used as a mask to inhibit the unimportant low-level features and enhance the important features to constrain the regions of potential interest. The resulting importance map correlates well to subject fixations on natural-task images.

  5. Low-level contrast statistics are diagnostic of invariance of natural textures.

    PubMed

    Groen, Iris I A; Ghebreab, Sennay; Lamme, Victor A F; Scholte, H Steven

    2012-01-01

    Texture may provide important clues for real world object and scene perception. To be reliable, these clues should ideally be invariant to common viewing variations such as changes in illumination and orientation. In a large image database of natural materials, we found textures with low-level contrast statistics that varied substantially under viewing variations, as well as textures that remained relatively constant. This led us to ask whether textures with constant contrast statistics give rise to more invariant representations compared to other textures. To test this, we selected natural texture images with either high (HV) or low (LV) variance in contrast statistics and presented these to human observers. In two distinct behavioral categorization paradigms, participants more often judged HV textures as "different" compared to LV textures, showing that textures with constant contrast statistics are perceived as being more invariant. In a separate electroencephalogram (EEG) experiment, evoked responses to single texture images (single-image ERPs) were collected. The results show that differences in contrast statistics correlated with both early and late differences in occipital ERP amplitude between individual images. Importantly, ERP differences between images of HV textures were mainly driven by illumination angle, which was not the case for LV images: there, differences were completely driven by texture membership. These converging neural and behavioral results imply that some natural textures are surprisingly invariant to illumination changes and that low-level contrast statistics are diagnostic of the extent of this invariance.

  6. Perceived depth in natural images reflects encoding of low-level luminance statistics.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Emily A; Norcia, Anthony M

    2014-08-27

    Sighted animals must survive in an environment that is diverse yet highly structured. Neural-coding models predict that the visual system should allocate its computational resources to exploit regularities in the environment, and that this allocation should facilitate perceptual judgments. Here we use three approaches (natural scenes statistical analysis, a reanalysis of single-unit data from alert behaving macaque, and a behavioral experiment in humans) to address the question of how the visual system maximizes behavioral success by taking advantage of low-level regularities in the environment. An analysis of natural scene statistics reveals that the probability distributions for light increments and decrements are biased in a way that could be exploited by the visual system to estimate depth from relative luminance. A reanalysis of neurophysiology data from Samonds et al. (2012) shows that the previously reported joint tuning of V1 cells for relative luminance and binocular disparity is well matched to a predicted distribution of binocular disparities produced by natural scenes. Finally, we show that a percept of added depth can be elicited in images by exaggerating the correlation between luminance and depth. Together, the results from these three approaches provide further evidence that the visual system allocates its processing resources in a way that is driven by the statistics of the natural environment.

  7. Indoor pollutant levels from the use of unvented natural gas fireplaces in Boulder, Colorado.

    PubMed

    Dutton, S J; Hannigan, M P; Miller, S L

    2001-12-01

    High CO and NO2 concentrations have been documented in homes with unvented combustion appliances, such as natural gas fireplaces. In addition, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are emitted from incomplete natural gas combustion. The acute health risks of CO and NO2 exposure have been well established for the general population and for certain high-risk groups, including infants, the elderly, and people with heart disease or asthma. Health effects from PAH exposure are less well known, but may include increased risk of cancer. We monitored CO emissions during the operation of unvented natural gas fireplaces in two residences in Boulder, CO, at various times between 1997 and 2000. During 1999, we expanded our tests to include measurements of NO2 and PAH. Results show significant pollutant accumulation indoors when the fireplaces were used for extended periods of time. In one case, CO concentrations greater than 100 ppm accumulated in under 2 hr of operation; a person at rest exposed for 10 hr to this environment would get a mild case of CO poisoning with an estimated 10% carboxyhemoglobin level. Appreciable NO2 concentrations were also detected, with a 4-hr time average reaching 0.36 ppm. Similar time-average total PAH concentrations reached 35 ng/m3. The results of this study provide preliminary insights to potential indoor air quality problems in homes operating unvented natural gas fireplaces in Boulder.

  8. Changes in Metallothionein Level in Rat Hepatic Tissue after Administration of Natural Mouldy Wheat

    PubMed Central

    Vasatkova, Anna; Krizova, Sarka; Adam, Vojtech; Zeman, Ladislav; Kizek, Rene

    2009-01-01

    Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by microfungi that are capable of causing disease and death in humans and other animals. This work was aimed at investigation of influence of mouldy wheat contaminated by pathogenic fungi producing mycotoxins on metallothionein levels in hepatic tissue of rats. The rats were administrating feed mixtures with different contents of vitamins or naturally mouldy wheat for 28 days. It was found that the wheat contained deoxynivalenol (80 ± 5 μg per kg of mouldy wheat), zearalenone (56 ± 3 μg/kg), T2-toxin (20 ± 2 μg/kg) and aflatoxins as a sum of B1, B2, G1 and G2 (3.9 ± 0.2 μg/kg). Rats were fed diets containing 0, 33, 66 and 100% naturally moulded wheat. Control group 0, 33, 66 and 100% contained vitamins according to Nutrient Requirements of Rats (NRC). Other four groups (control group with vitamins, vit33, vit66 and vit100%) were fed on the same levels of mouldy wheat, also vitamins at levels 100% higher than the previous mixtures. We determined weight, feed conversion and performed dissection to observe pathological processes. Changes between control group and experimental groups exposed to influence of mouldy wheat and experimental groups supplemented by higher concentration of vitamins and mouldy wheat were not observed. Livers were sampled and did not demonstrate significant changes in morphology compared to control either. In the following experiments the levels of metallothionein as a marker of oxidative stress was determined. We observed a quite surprising trend in metallothionein levels in animals supplemented with increased concentration of vitamins. Its level enhanced with increasing content of mouldy wheat. It was possible to determine a statistically significant decline (p<0.05) between control group and groups of animals fed with 33, 66 and 100% mouldy wheat. It is likely that some mycotoxins presented in mouldy wheat are able to block the mechanism of metallothionein synthesis. PMID:19399242

  9. Natural geochemical analogues of the near field of high-level nuclear waste repositories

    SciTech Connect

    Apps, J.A.

    1995-09-01

    United States practice has been to design high-level nuclear waste (HLW) geological repositories with waste densities sufficiently high that repository temperatures surrounding the waste will exceed 100{degrees}C and could reach 250{degrees}C. Basalt and devitrified vitroclastic tuff are among the host rocks considered for waste emplacement. Near-field repository thermal behavior and chemical alteration in such rocks is expected to be similar to that observed in many geothermal systems. Therefore, the predictive modeling required for performance assessment studies of the near field could be validated and calibrated using geothermal systems as natural analogues. Examples are given which demonstrate the need for refinement of the thermodynamic databases used in geochemical modeling of near-field natural analogues and the extent to which present models can predict conditions in geothermal fields.

  10. Ocean Turbulence V: Mesoscale Modeling in Level Coordinates. The Effect of Random Nature of Density

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Canuto, V. M.; Dubovikov, M. S.

    1998-01-01

    The main result of this paper is the derivation of a new expression for the tracer subgrid term in level coordinates S(l) to be employed in O-GCM. The novel feature is the proper account of the random nature of the density field which strongly affects the transformation from isopycnal to level coordinates of the variables of interest, velocity and tracer fields, their correlation functions and ultimately the subgrid terms. In deriving our result we made use of measured properties of vertical ocean turbulence. The major new results are: 1) the new subgrid expression is different from that of the heuristic GM model, 2) u++(tracer)=1/2u+(thickness), where u++ and u+ are the tracer and thickness bolus velocities. In previous models, u++ = u+, 2) the subgrid for a tracer tau is not the same as that for the density rho even when one accounts for the obvious absence of a diffusion term in the latter. The difference stems from a new treatment of the stochastic nature of the density, 3) the mesoscale diffusivity enters both locally and non-locally, as the integral over all z's from the bottom of the ocean to the level z.

  11. A study of the effect of flight density and background noise on V/STOL acceptability. [effective perceived noise level as measure of annoyance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sternfeld, H., Jr.; Hinterkeuser, E. G.; Hackman, R. B.; Davis, J.

    1974-01-01

    A study was conducted in which test subjects evaluated the sounds of a helicopter, a turbofan STOL and a turbojet airplane while engaged in work and leisure activities. Exposure to a high repetitive density of the aircraft sounds did not make the individual sounds more annoying but did create an unacceptable environment. The application of a time duration term to db(A) resulted in a measure which compared favorably with EPNL as a predictor of annoyance. Temporal variations in background noise level had no significant effect on the rated annoyance.

  12. Natural radioactivity levels of some medicinal plants commonly used in Ghana.

    PubMed

    Tettey-Larbi, Lordford; Darko, Emmanuel Ofori; Schandorf, Cyril; Appiah, Alfred Ampomah

    2013-12-01

    Natural radioactivity levels in some selected medicinal plants commonly used in Ghana from the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine were investigated to determine the activity concentration and the annual committed effective dose due to naturally occurring radionuclides of (238)U, (232)Th and (40)K. The activity concentration was determined using gamma-ray spectrometry. The results of the analysis indicated an average activity concentration of (238)U, (232)Th and (40)K in the medicinal plants to be 31.8±2.8 Bq kg(-1), 56.2±2.3 Bq kg(-1) and 839.8±11.9 Bq kg(-1) respectively. Khaya ivorensis recorded the highest activity concentration of (238)U and (232)Th while Lippia multiflora recorded the highest activity concentrations of (40)K. The total annual committed effective doses ranged from 0.026±0.001 to 0.042±0.002 mSv a(-1) with an average value of 0.035±0.001 mSv a(-1). The average annual committed effective dose due to ingestion of the natural radionuclides in the medicinal plant samples were far below the world average annual committed effective dose of 0.3 mSv a(-1) for ingestion of natural radionuclides provided in UNSCEAR 2000 report. Therefore, the radiological hazard associated with intake of the natural radionuclides in the medicinal plants is insignificant. The results provide baseline values which may be useful in establishing rules and regulations relating to radiation protection as well as developing standards and guidelines for the use of medicinal or herbal plants to the appropriate authorities.

  13. Natural inflation: Particle physics models, power-law spectra for large-scale structure, and constraints from the Cosmic Background Explorer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, Fred C.; Bond, J. Richard; Freese, Katherine; Frieman, Joshua A.; Olinto, Angela V.

    1993-01-01

    We discuss the particle physics basis for models of natural inflation with pseudo Nambu-Goldstone bosons and study the consequences for large-scale structure of the nonscale-invariant density fluctuation spectra that arise in natural inflation and other models. A pseudo Nambu-Goldstone boson, with a potential of the form V(φ)=Λ4[1+/-cos(φ/f)], can naturally give rise to an epoch of inflation in the early Universe, if f~MPl and Λ~MGUT. Such mass scales arise in particle physics models with a gauge group that becomes strongly interacting at the grand unified theory scale. We work out a specific particle physics example based on the multiple gaugino condensation scenario in superstring theory. We then study the cosmological evolution of and constraints upon these inflation models numerically and analytically. To obtain sufficient inflation with a probability of order 1 and a high enough post-inflation reheat temperature for baryogenesis, we require f>~0.3MPl. The primordial density fluctuation spectrum generated by quantum fluctuations in φ is a non-scale-invariant power law P(k)~kns, with ns~=1-(M2Pl/8πf2) leading to more power on large length scales than the ns=1 Harrison-Zeldovich spectrum. (For the reader primarily interested in large-scale structure, the discussion of this topic is presented in Sec. IV and is intended to be nearly self-contained.) We pay special attention to the prospects of using the enhanced power to explain the otherwise puzzling large-scale clustering of galaxies and clusters and their flows. We find that the standard cold dark matter (CDM) model with 0<~ns<~0.6 could in principle explain these data. However, the microwave background anisotropies recently detected by the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) imply such low primordial amplitudes for these CDM models (that is, bias factors b8>~2 for ns<~0.6) that galaxy formation would occur too late to be viable and the large-scale galaxy velocities would be too small. In fact, combining the

  14. Impacts of natural emission sources on particle pollution levels in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liora, Natalia; Poupkou, Anastasia; Giannaros, Theodore M.; Kakosimos, Konstantinos E.; Stein, Olaf; Melas, Dimitrios

    2016-07-01

    The main objective of this work is the study of the impact of windblown dust, sea-salt aerosol and biogenic emissions on particle pollution levels in Europe. The Natural Emissions MOdel (NEMO) and the modelling system consisted of the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) and the Comprehensive Air Quality model with extensions (CAMx) were applied in a 30 km horizontal resolution grid, which covered Europe and the adjacent areas for the year 2009. Air quality simulations were performed for different emission scenarios in order to study the contribution of each natural emission source individually and together to air quality levels in Europe. The simulations reveal that the exclusion of windblown dust emissions decreases the mean seasonal PM10 levels by more than 3.3 μg/m3 (∼20%) in the Eastern Mediterranean during winter while an impact of 3 μg/m3 was also found during summer. The results suggest that sea-salt aerosol has a significant effect on PM levels and composition. Eliminating sea-salt emissions reduces PM10 seasonal concentrations by around 10 μg/m3 in Mediterranean Sea during summer while a decrease of up to 6 μg/m3 is found in Atlantic Ocean during autumn. Sea-salt particles also interact with the anthropogenic component and therefore their absence in the atmosphere decreases significantly the nitrates in aerosols where shipping activities are present. The exclusion of biogenic emissions in the model runs leads to a significant reduction of secondary organic aerosols of more than 90% while an increase in PM2.5 levels in central Europe and Eastern Mediterranean is found due to their interaction with anthropogenic component.

  15. Bigger is better: Improved nature conservation and economic returns from landscape-level mitigation

    PubMed Central

    Kennedy, Christina M.; Miteva, Daniela A.; Baumgarten, Leandro; Hawthorne, Peter L.; Sochi, Kei; Polasky, Stephen; Oakleaf, James R.; Uhlhorn, Elizabeth M.; Kiesecker, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Impact mitigation is a primary mechanism on which countries rely to reduce environmental externalities and balance development with conservation. Mitigation policies are transitioning from traditional project-by-project planning to landscape-level planning. Although this larger-scale approach is expected to provide greater conservation benefits at the lowest cost, empirical justification is still scarce. Using commercial sugarcane expansion in the Brazilian Cerrado as a case study, we apply economic and biophysical steady-state models to quantify the benefits of the Brazilian Forest Code (FC) under landscape- and property-level planning. We find that FC compliance imposes small costs to business but can generate significant long-term benefits to nature: supporting 32 (±37) additional species (largely habitat specialists), storing 593,000 to 2,280,000 additional tons of carbon worth $69 million to $265 million ($ pertains to U.S. dollars), and marginally improving surface water quality. Relative to property-level compliance, we find that landscape-level compliance reduces total business costs by $19 million to $35 million per 6-year sugarcane growing cycle while often supporting more species and storing more carbon. Our results demonstrate that landscape-level mitigation provides cost-effective conservation and can be used to promote sustainable development. PMID:27419225

  16. Radiometric assessment of natural radioactivity levels of agricultural soil samples collected in Dakahlia, Egypt.

    PubMed

    Issa, Shams A M

    2013-01-01

    Determination of the natural radioactivity has been carried out, by using a gamma-ray spectrometry [NaI (Tl) 3″ × 3″] system, in surface soil samples collected from various locations in Dakahlia governorate, Egypt. These locations form the agriculturally important regions of Egypt. The study area has many industries such as chemical, paper, organic fertilisers and construction materials, and the soils of the study region are used as a construction material. Therefore, it becomes necessary to study the natural radioactivity levels in soil to assess the dose for the population in order to know the health risks. The activity concentrations of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K in the soil ranged from 5.7 ± 0.3 to 140 ± 7, from 9.0 ± 0.4 to 139 ± 7 and from 22 ± 1 to 319 ± 16 Bq kg(-1), respectively. The absorbed dose rate, annual effective dose rate, radium equivalent (Req), excess lifetime cancer risk, hazard indices (Hex and Hin) and annual gonadal dose equivalent, which resulted from the natural radionuclides in the soil were calculated.

  17. High levels of natural radioactivity in biota from deep-sea hydrothermal vents: a preliminary communication.

    PubMed

    Charmasson, Sabine; Sarradin, Pierre-Marie; Le Faouder, Antoine; Agarande, Michèle; Loyen, Jeanne; Desbruyères, Daniel

    2009-06-01

    Hydrothermal deep-sea vent fauna is naturally exposed to a peculiar environment enriched in potentially toxic species such as sulphides, heavy metals and natural radionuclides. It is now well established that some of the organisms present in such an environment accumulate metals during their lifespan. Though only few radionuclide measurements are available, it seems likely that hydrothermal vent communities are exposed to high natural radiation doses. Various archived biological samples collected on the East Pacific Rise and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in 1996, 2001 and 2002 were analysed by ICP-MS in order to determine their uranium contents ((238)U, (235)U and (234)U). In addition (210)Po-Pb were determined in 2 samples collected in 2002. Vent organisms are characterized by high U, and Po-Pb levels compared to what is generally encountered in organisms from outside hydrothermal vent ecosystems. Though the number of data is low, the results reveal various trends in relation to the site, the location within the mixing zone and/or the organisms' trophic regime.

  18. Decreased apolipoprotein A-I level indicates poor prognosis in extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type

    PubMed Central

    Quan, Qi; Chen, Qi; Chen, Ping; Jiang, Li; Li, Tingwei; Qiu, Huijuan; Zhang, Bei

    2016-01-01

    Background Extranodal natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type (ENKTL) is an invasive lymphoid malignancy with unfavorable survival, for which a prognostic model has not yet been validated. We hypothesized that serum apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I) may serve as a novel prognostic marker for ENKTL. Patients and methods A total of 236 newly diagnosed cases of ENKTL were analyzed retrospectively. Results The optimal cutoff value for the serum ApoA-I level was determined to be 0.95 g/L. A total of 154 and 82 cases were assigned to the high and low ApoA-I groups, respectively. Patients in the low ApoA-I group tended to present with poorer clinical features, a lower complete remission rate (P=0.001), and poor median progression-free survival (P<0.001) and overall survival (P<0.001). Multivariate analysis using Cox model showed that the serum ApoA-I level was an independent prognostic marker of overall survival (P<0.001) and progression-free survival (P<0.001) for ENKTL patients. For cases in the low-risk group, as assessed by International Prognostic Index, Prognosis Index for peripheral T-cell lymphoma, unspecified, and Korean Prognostic Index, the serum ApoA-I level was able to differentiate cases with poor outcomes from cases with good outcomes. Conclusion Our results showed that the baseline serum ApoA-I level was helpful for predicting ENKTL prognosis. PMID:27051293

  19. Semiparametric Modeling of Daily Ammonia Levels in Naturally Ventilated Caged-Egg Facilities

    PubMed Central

    Gutiérrez-Zapata, Diana María; Galeano-Vasco, Luis Fernando; Cerón-Muñoz, Mario Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Ammonia concentration (AMC) in poultry facilities varies depending on different environmental conditions and management; however, this is a relatively unexplored subject in Colombia (South America). The objective of this study was to model daily AMC variations in a naturally ventilated caged-egg facility using generalized additive models. Four sensor nodes were used to record AMC, temperature, relative humidity and wind speed on a daily basis, with 10 minute intervals for 12 weeks. The following variables were included in the model: Heat index, Wind, Hour, Location, Height of the sensor to the ground level, and Period of manure accumulation. All effects included in the model were highly significant (p<0.001). The AMC was higher during the night and early morning when the wind was not blowing (0.0 m/s) and the heat index was extreme. The average and maximum AMC were 5.94±3.83 and 31.70 ppm, respectively. Temperatures above 25°C and humidity greater than 80% increased AMC levels. In naturally ventilated caged-egg facilities the daily variations observed in AMC primarily depend on cyclic variations of the environmental conditions and are also affected by litter handling (i.e., removal of the bedding material). PMID:26812150

  20. Semiparametric Modeling of Daily Ammonia Levels in Naturally Ventilated Caged-Egg Facilities.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Zapata, Diana María; Galeano-Vasco, Luis Fernando; Cerón-Muñoz, Mario Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Ammonia concentration (AMC) in poultry facilities varies depending on different environmental conditions and management; however, this is a relatively unexplored subject in Colombia (South America). The objective of this study was to model daily AMC variations in a naturally ventilated caged-egg facility using generalized additive models. Four sensor nodes were used to record AMC, temperature, relative humidity and wind speed on a daily basis, with 10 minute intervals for 12 weeks. The following variables were included in the model: Heat index, Wind, Hour, Location, Height of the sensor to the ground level, and Period of manure accumulation. All effects included in the model were highly significant (p<0.001). The AMC was higher during the night and early morning when the wind was not blowing (0.0 m/s) and the heat index was extreme. The average and maximum AMC were 5.94±3.83 and 31.70 ppm, respectively. Temperatures above 25°C and humidity greater than 80% increased AMC levels. In naturally ventilated caged-egg facilities the daily variations observed in AMC primarily depend on cyclic variations of the environmental conditions and are also affected by litter handling (i.e., removal of the bedding material).

  1. HLA-C levels impact natural killer cell subset distribution and function.

    PubMed

    Sips, Magdalena; Liu, Qingquan; Draghi, Monia; Ghebremichael, Musie; Berger, Christoph T; Suscovich, Todd J; Sun, Yongtao; Walker, Bruce D; Carrington, Mary; Altfeld, Marcus; Brouckaert, Peter; De Jager, Philip L; Alter, Galit

    2016-12-01

    Differences in HLA-C expression are inversely correlated with HIV viral load set-point and slower progression to AIDS, linked to enhanced cytotoxic T cell immunity. Yet, beyond T cells, HLA-C serves as a dominant ligand for natural killer (NK) cell killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR). Thus, we speculated that HLA-C expression levels may also impact NK activity, thereby modulating HIV antiviral control. Phenotypic and functional profiling was performed on freshly isolated PBMCs. HLA-C expression was linked to changes in NK subset distribution and licensing, particularly in HLA-C1/C1, KIR2DL3+2DL2-individuals. Moreover, high levels of HLA-C, were associated with reduced frequencies of anergic CD56(neg) NKs and lower frequencies of KIR2DL1/2/3+ NK cells, pointing to an HLA-C induced influence on the NK cell development in the absence of disease. In HIV infection, several spontaneous controllers, that expressed higher levels of HLA-C demonstrated robust NK-IFN-γ secretion in response to target cells, highlighting a second disease induced licensing phenotype. Thus this population study points to a potential role for HLA-C levels both in NK cell education and development.

  2. Assessment of natural radioactivity levels in soil samples from some areas in Assiut, Egypt.

    PubMed

    El-Gamal, Hany; Farid, M El-Azab; Abdel Mageed, A I; Hasabelnaby, M; Hassanien, Hassanien M

    2013-12-01

    The natural radioactivity of soil samples from Assiut city, Egypt, was studied. The activity concentrations of 28 samples were measured with a NaI(Tl) detector. The radioactivity concentrations of (226)Ra, (232)Th, and (40)K showed large variations, so the results were classified into two groups (A and B) to facilitate the interpretation of the results. Group A represents samples collected from different locations in Assiut and characterized by low activity concentrations with average values of 46.15 ± 9.69, 30.57 ± 4.90, and 553.14 ± 23.19 for (226)Ra, (232)Th, and (40)K, respectively. Group B represents samples mainly collected from the area around Assiut Thermal Power Plant and characterized by very high activity concentrations with average values of 3,803 ± 145, 1,782 ± 98, and 1,377 ± 78 for (226)Ra, (232)Th, and (40)K, respectively. In order to evaluate the radiological hazard of the natural radioactivity, the radium equivalent activity (Raeq), the absorbed dose rate (D), the annual effective dose rate (E), the external hazard index (H ex), and the annual gonadal dose equivalent (AGDE) have been calculated and compared with the internationally approved values. For group A, the calculated averages of these parameters are in good agreement with the international recommended values except for the absorbed dose rate and the AGDE values which are slightly higher than the international recommended values. However, for group B, all obtained averages of these parameters are much higher by several orders of magnitude than the international recommended values. The present work provides a background of radioactivity concentrations in the soil of Assiut.

  3. Scaling greenhouse gas fluxes in a natural and restored wetland from microsites to ecosystem level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schafer, Karina V. R.; Renninger, Heidi J.; Pal, David S.; Jaffe, Peter R.

    2015-04-01

    Current methane emission models are employing a top down approach in which methane emissions are estimated. However, meteorological, hydrological and ecological drivers of methane and carbon dioxide fluxes in wetlands operate on different spatial and temporal scales, thus necessitating bottom-up and top down assessments to refine model outcomes. Fast methane (CH4) gas analyzers such as the LI7700 are now enabling continuous ecosystem scale (eddy flux) measurements and assessment in conjunction with traditional chamber measurements and localized belowground measurements for microsite contribution (bottom-up) analysis. Here, we have set up two locations, one in a natural and one in a restored tidal salt marsh in the Meadowlands of New Jersey (MNJ) USA, in order to compare ecosystem level methane fluxes with scaled microscale measurements. Continuous methane fluxes were measured at the ecosystem level with the Licor7700 using eddy flux measurements over three growing seasons at the restored site and two growing seasons at the natural wetland site. Concurrently, measurements were collected from chambers and subsurface dialysis samplers, at several microsites in each site as well. Methane and carbon dioxide emissions, and their belowground pools, were highly variable in space and time over the two growing seasons. The temporal dynamics of methane and carbon dioxide fluxes in each of the locations suggest small-scale site-specific controls on methane emissions, but ubiquitous, non-specific controls on carbon dioxide uptake and release. Methane emissions as measured at the ecosystem scale, and confirmed by chamber measurements, increased at the restored site from 2012 to 2013, despite no corresponding increases in dissolved organic carbon or belowground pool measurements. Scaled belowground pool measurements from non-vegetated microsites can estimate the measured chamber methane fluxes, but this is not possible in vegetated microsites. Additionally, methane emissions from

  4. Toxicodynamic modeling of 137Cs to estimate white-tailed deer background levels for the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site.

    PubMed

    Gaines, Karen F; Novak, James M; Bobryk, Christopher W; Blas, Susan A

    2014-04-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy's (USDOE) Savannah River Site (SRS) is a former nuclear weapon material production and current research facility adjacent to the Savannah River in South Carolina, USA. The purpose of this study was to determine the background radiocesium ((137)Cs) body burden (e.g., from global fallout) for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) inhabiting the SRS. To differentiate what the background burden is for the SRS versus (137)Cs obtained from SRS nuclear activities, data were analyzed spatially, temporally and compared to other off-site hunting areas near the SRS. The specific objectives of this study were: to compare SRS and offsite deer herds based on time and space; to interpret comparisons based on how data were collected as well as the effect of environmental and anthropogenic influences; to determine what the ecological half-life/decay rate is for (137)Cs in the SRS deer herd; and to give a recommendation to what should be considered the background (137)Cs level in the SRS deer herd. Based on the available information and analyses, it is recommended that the determination of what is considered background for the SRS deer herd be derived from data collected from the SRS deer herd itself and not offsite collections for a variety of reasons. Offsite data show extreme variability most likely due to environmental factors such as soil type and land-use patterns (e.g., forest, agriculture, residential activities). This can be seen from results where samples from offsite military bases (Fort Jackson and Fort Stewart) without anthropogenic (137)Cs sources were much higher than both the SRS and a nearby (Sandhills) study site. Moreover, deer from private hunting grounds have the potential to be baited with corn, thus artificially lowering their (137)Cs body burdens compared to other free-ranging deer. Additionally, sample size for offsite collections were not robust enough to calculate a temporal decay curve with an upper confidence level to

  5. The Volitional Nature of Nicotine Exposure Alters Anandamide and Oleoylethanolamide Levels in the Ventral Tegmental Area

    PubMed Central

    Buczynski, Matthew W; Polis, Ilham Y; Parsons, Loren H

    2013-01-01

    Cannabinoid-1 receptors (CB1) have an important role in nicotine reward and their function is disrupted by chronic nicotine exposure, suggesting nicotine-induced alterations in endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling. However, the effects of nicotine on brain eCB levels have not been rigorously evaluated. Volitional intake of nicotine produces physiological and behavioral effects distinct from forced drug administration, although the mechanisms underlying these effects are not known. This study compared the effects of volitional nicotine self-administration (SA) and forced nicotine exposure (yoked administration (YA)) on levels of eCBs and related neuroactive lipids in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and other brain regions. Brain lipid levels were indexed both by in vivo microdialysis in the VTA and lipid extractions from brain tissues. Nicotine SA, but not YA, reduced baseline VTA dialysate oleoylethanolamide (OEA) levels relative to nicotine-naïve controls, and increased anandamide (AEA) release during nicotine intake. In contrast, all nicotine exposure paradigms increased VTA dialysate 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) levels. Thus, nicotine differentially modulates brain lipid (2-AG, AEA, and OEA) signaling, and these modulations are influenced by the volitional nature of the drug exposure. Corresponding bulk tissue analysis failed to identify these lipid changes. Nicotine exposure had no effect on fatty acid amide hydrolase activity in the VTA, suggesting that changes in AEA and OEA signaling result from alterations in their nicotine-induced biosynthesis. Both CB1 (by AEA and 2-AG) and non-CB1 (by OEA) targets can alter the excitability and activity of the dopaminergic neurons in the VTA. Collectively, these findings implicate disrupted lipid signaling in the motivational effects of nicotine. PMID:23169348

  6. A Specific Association between Facial Disgust Recognition and Estradiol Levels in Naturally Cycling Women

    PubMed Central

    Kamboj, Sunjeev K.; Krol, Kathleen M.; Curran, H. Valerie

    2015-01-01

    Subtle changes in social cognition are associated with naturalistic fluctuations in estrogens and progesterone over the course of the menstrual cycle. Using a dynamic emotion recognition task we aimed to provide a comprehensive description of the association between ovarian hormone levels and emotion recognition performance using a variety of performance metrics. Naturally cycling, psychiatrically healthy women attended a single experimental session during a follicular (days 7–13; n = 16), early luteal (days 15–19; n = 14) or late luteal phase (days 22–27; n = 14) of their menstrual cycle. Correct responses and reaction times to dynamic facial expressions were recorded and a two-high threshold analysis was used to assess discrimination and response bias. Salivary progesterone and estradiol were assayed and subjective measures of premenstrual symptoms, anxiety and positive and negative affect assessed. There was no interaction between cycle phase (follicular, early luteal, late luteal) and facial expression (sad, happy, fearful, angry, neutral and disgusted) on any of the recognition performance metrics. However, across the sample as a whole, progesterone levels were positively correlated with reaction times to a variety of facial expressions (anger, happiness, sadness and neutral expressions). In contrast, estradiol levels were specifically correlated with disgust processing on three performance indices (correct responses, response bias and discrimination). Premenstrual symptoms, anxiety and positive and negative affect were not associated with emotion recognition indices or hormone levels. The study highlights the role of naturalistic variations in ovarian hormone levels in modulating emotion recognition. In particular, progesterone seems to have a general slowing effect on facial expression processing. Our findings also provide the first behavioural evidence of a specific role for estrogens in the processing of disgust in humans. PMID:25874795

  7. The volitional nature of nicotine exposure alters anandamide and oleoylethanolamide levels in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Buczynski, Matthew W; Polis, Ilham Y; Parsons, Loren H

    2013-03-01

    Cannabinoid-1 receptors (CB(1)) have an important role in nicotine reward and their function is disrupted by chronic nicotine exposure, suggesting nicotine-induced alterations in endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling. However, the effects of nicotine on brain eCB levels have not been rigorously evaluated. Volitional intake of nicotine produces physiological and behavioral effects distinct from forced drug administration, although the mechanisms underlying these effects are not known. This study compared the effects of volitional nicotine self-administration (SA) and forced nicotine exposure (yoked administration (YA)) on levels of eCBs and related neuroactive lipids in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and other brain regions. Brain lipid levels were indexed both by in vivo microdialysis in the VTA and lipid extractions from brain tissues. Nicotine SA, but not YA, reduced baseline VTA dialysate oleoylethanolamide (OEA) levels relative to nicotine-naïve controls, and increased anandamide (AEA) release during nicotine intake. In contrast, all nicotine exposure paradigms increased VTA dialysate 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) levels. Thus, nicotine differentially modulates brain lipid (2-AG, AEA, and OEA) signaling, and these modulations are influenced by the volitional nature of the drug exposure. Corresponding bulk tissue analysis failed to identify these lipid changes. Nicotine exposure had no effect on fatty acid amide hydrolase activity in the VTA, suggesting that changes in AEA and OEA signaling result from alterations in their nicotine-induced biosynthesis. Both CB(1) (by AEA and 2-AG) and non-CB(1) (by OEA) targets can alter the excitability and activity of the dopaminergic neurons in the VTA. Collectively, these findings implicate disrupted lipid signaling in the motivational effects of nicotine.

  8. White shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei that have received fucoidan exhibit a defense against Vibrio alginolyticus and WSSV despite their recovery of immune parameters to background levels.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yu-Yuan; Kitikiew, Suwaree; Yeh, Su-Tuen; Chen, Jiann-Chu

    2016-12-01

    White shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei receiving fucoidan at 2, 6, and 10 μg g(-1) after 0-144 h or 0-120 h were examined for immune parameters (haemograms, phenoloxidase activity, respiratory burst, and superoxide dismutase activity), proliferation of haemocyte in the haematopoietic tissue (HPT), gene expression, and phagocytic activity and clearance efficiency to Vibrio alginolyticus. Immune parameters and mitotic index of HPT increased after 3-24 h, reached their maxima after 48-72 h, and returned to background values after 144 h. Transcripts of lipopolysaccharide and β-1,3-glucan binding protein (LGBP), peroxinectin (PX), prophenoloxidase (proPO) I, proPO II, astakine, and haemocyte homeostasis-associated protein (HHAP) were up-regulated to a maximum after 48-72 h and returned to background values after 144 h. Phagocytic activity and clearance efficiency to V. alginolyticus increased after 12 h, reached its maximum after 48 h, and continued to remain higher after 120 h. In another experiment, shrimp receiving fucoidan after 48 h and 144 h were respectively challenged with V. alinolyticus at 6 × 10(6) colony-forming units (cfu) shrimp(-1) or challenged with WSSV at 1.2 × 10(5) copies shrimp(-1) and then placed in seawater. The survival rate of shrimp receiving fucoidan was significantly higher than in controls. In conclusion, shrimp receiving fucoidan showed a proliferation of HPT, increased immune parameters, and up-regulated transcripts of LGBP, PX, proPO I, proPO II, astakine, and HHAP after 48 h. Shrimp receiving fucoidan exhibited a defense against V. alginolyticus and WSSV, even after immune parameters recovered to background levels.

  9. Impact of Natural Gas Appliances on Pollutant Levels in California Homes

    SciTech Connect

    Mullen, Nasim A.; Li, Jina; Singer, Brett C.

    2012-12-01

    This report presents results from the first year of a 2-year study, investigating associations of five air pollutants (CO, NO2, NOX, formaldehyde and acetaldehyde) with the presence of natural gas appliances in California homes. From November 2011 to March 2012, pollutant concentration and occupant activity data were collected in 155 homes for 6-day periods. The sample population included both single-family (68%) and multi-family (32%) dwellings, with 87% having at least one gas appliance and 77% having an unvented gas cooking appliance. The geometric mean (GM) NO2 levels measured in the kitchen, bedroom and outside of homes were similar at values of 15, 12 and 11 ppb, respectively. In contrast, the GM NOx levels measured in the kitchen and bedroom of homes were much higher than levels measured outdoors, at levels of 42 and 41 ppb, compared to 19 ppb, respectively. Roughly 10% of sampled homes had 6-day average NO2 levels that exceeded the outdoor annual average limit set by the California Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQS) (30 ppb). The GMs of the highest 1-h and 8-h CO level measured in homes were 2.5 and 1.1 ppm, respectively. Four homes had a 1-h or 8-h concentration that exceeded the outdoor limits set by the CAAQS. The GM formaldehyde and acetaldehyde concentrations measured in homes were 15 and 7 ppb, respectively. Roughly 95% of homes had average formaldehyde levels indoors that exceeded the Chronic Reference Exposure Level set by the California EPA (7 ppb). Concentrations of NO2 and NOx, and to a lesser extent CO were associated with use of gas appliances, particularly unvented gas cooking appliances. Based on first principles, it is expected that effective venting of cooking pollutant emissions at the source will lead to a reduction of pollutant concentrations. However, no statistical association was detected between kitchen exhaust fan use and pollutant concentrations in homes in this study where gas cooking occurred frequently. The lack of

  10. Resonant nature of intrinsic defect energy levels in PbTe revealed by infrared photoreflectance spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Bingpo; Cai, Chunfeng; Jin, Shuqiang; Ye, Zhenyu; Wu, Huizhen; Qi, Zhen

    2014-07-01

    Step-scan Fourier-transform infrared photoreflectance and modulated photoluminescence spectroscopy were used to characterize the optical transitions of the epitaxial PbTe thin film grown by molecular beam epitaxy on BaF2 (111) substrate in the vicinity of energy gap of lead telluride at 77 K. It is found that the intrinsic defect energy levels in the electronic structure are of resonant nature. The Te-vacancy energy level is located above the conduction band minimum by 29.1 meV. Another defect (VX) energy level situated below valance band maximum by 18.1 meV is also revealed. Whether it is associated with the Pb vacancy is still not clear. It might also be related to the misfit dislocations stemming from the lattice mismatch between PbTe and BaF2 substrate. The experimental results support the theory prediction (N. J. Parada and G. W. Pratt, Jr., Phys. Rev. Lett. 22, 180 (1969), N. J. Parada, Phys. Rev. B 3, 2042 (1971)) and are consistent with the reported Hall experimental results (G. Bauer, H. Burkhard, H. Heinrich, and A. Lopez-Otero, J. Appl. Phys. 47, 1721 (1976)).

  11. Levels of financial responsibility for liquefied-natural-gas and liquefied-petroleum-gas facilities

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-05-30

    Pursuant to Section 7(a) of the Pipeline Safety Act of 1979, a study was conducted of the risks associated with liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) facilities, and of methods of assuring adequate levels of financial responsibility for those who own and/or operate facilities. The main purpose of the study is to provide a basis for determining general levels of financial responsibility for LNG and LPG facilities, as measured by the risk they represent to the public. It must be emphasized that the quantification of risk is a complicated subject. As used in this study, risk is defined as the occurrence of a maximum credible accident and the consequences that would result from such an accident. Part I of the study describes in detail the methodology used in the report to estimate the magnitude of the financial responsibility requirements associated with nine major facility types - e.g., tankships, pipelines, barges, rail tank car, tank truck, etc. - used to store and transport LNG and LPG under 48 separate operational and storage containment modes. Parts II and III of the study, in addition to providing estimates of the risks and corresponding levels of financial responsibility, contain information on the historical safety record and structure of the LNG facilities and LPG facilities.

  12. Biomarkers of oxidative stress to nucleic acids: background levels and effects of body mass index and life-style factors in an urban paediatric population.

    PubMed

    Protano, Carmela; Andreoli, Roberta; Mutti, Antonio; Petti, Stefano; Vitali, Matteo

    2014-12-01

    The aims of the present study were to establish the background levels of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodGuo), 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanosine (8-oxoGuo), 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine (8-oxoGua) among a group of healthy Italian children, and to evaluate the contribution of some potential interfering/confounding factors to the urinary (u) levels of these biomarkers of oxidised guanine derivatives. The levels of 8-oxodGuo, 8-oxoGuo, 8-oxoGua, and u-cotinine in urine samples from 159 healthy children (5-11years) recruited in a cross-sectional study were measured via liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Data regarding the anthropometric and life-style characteristics of the participants were obtained from questionnaires. The 5th-95th percentiles of the levels of 8-oxodGuo, 8-oxoGuo, and 8-oxoGua for all children were 2.4-13.9, 3.8-19.9 and 5.4-79.5μg/L and 2.9-12.6, 4.8-15.2, and 5.1-93.4μg/g creatinine, respectively. Significant correlations were found between the level of 8-oxoGuo and that of 8-oxoGua and 8-oxodGuo but not between the level of 8-oxoGua and that of 8-oxodGuo in all children and in both the male and female subgroups. Multiple linear regression analyses revealed the independent effect of the investigated variables on 8-oxodGuo, 8-oxoGuo, and 8-oxoGua. u-Creatinine was the most significant predictor of the urinary excretion of both 8-oxoGuo and 8-oxodGuo, age displayed a significant positive independent effect on the level of 8-oxoGuo, whereas the weight status according to the BMI was negatively associated with the level of 8-oxodGuo. None of the chosen independent variables influenced the levels of 8-oxoGua.

  13. Natural Disaster Induced Losses at Household Level: A Study on the Disaster Affected Migrants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishtiaque, A.; Nazem, N. I.; Jerin, T.

    2015-12-01

    Given its geographical location Bangladesh frequently confronts natural disasters. Disaster induced losses often obligate socio-economic dislocation from rural areas to large urban centers. After incurring what type/amount of losses people migrate is still unknown. In this paper we focus on migrants who migrated due to natural disasters. Thus, the objectives of this paper are, first, ascertaining the proportion of disaster migrants in Dhaka city; second, determining types of natural disasters which compel rural out-migration; third, assessing the resource and economic losses stem from these disasters at household level. Using the slum database (N = 4966), we select eight slums randomly with a purpose to include migrants from maximum districts available. In order to identify the proportion of disaster affected migrants a census is conducted in 407 households of those 8 slums and the result demonstrates that 18.43% of the migrants are disaster affected, which was only 5% in 1993. Out of all hydro-meteorological disasters, river bank erosion (RBE), followed by flood, drives most people out of their abode. However, unlike RBE migrants, migrants affected by flood usually return to their origin after certain period. In-depth interviews on the disaster migrants reveal that RBE claims total loss of homestead land & agricultural land while flood causes 20% and 23% loss respectively. Agricultural income decreases 96% because of RBE whereas flood victims encounter 98% decrease. People also incur 79% & 69% loss in livestock owing to RBE and flood severally. These disasters cause more than eighty percent reduction in total monthly income. Albeit RBE appears more vigorous but total economic loss is greater in flood- on average each household experiences a loss of BDT 350,555 due to flood and BDT 300,000 on account of RBE. Receiving no substantial support from community or government the affected people are compelled to migrate.

  14. Spatial and vertical distributions of heavy metals and their potential toxicity levels in various beach sediments from high-background-radiation area, Kerala, India.

    PubMed

    Suresh, G; Ramasamy, V; Sundarrajan, M; Paramasivam, K

    2015-02-15

    The spatial and vertical distribution of heavy metals and the sediment characteristics of beaches in Kerala, India (the upper surface sediments and the first, second and third one-foot-thick strata) were assessed in this study. The concentrations of most of the studied metals were highest at sampling site S1 (Cochin). The measured concentrations were compared with background and toxicological reference values. The results show that definite adverse biological effects are possible at most of the sampling sites due to the high Pb levels. Three different indexes were calculated to investigate the potential toxicity level. Most of the studied metals and all calculated indexes were highest in the third foot of sediment. Multivariate statistical analyses were performed and suggested that particular heavy metals, e.g., Pb, Cd, Cr and Ni, may represent contamination from a common source. The Cd and Pb concentrations and all the calculated index values show a relationship with the content of organic matter. The results of the present study suggest the recommendation that a systematic analysis is needed to monitor heavy metal levels in the studied area.

  15. The effects of air mass transport, seasonality, and meteorology on pollutant levels at the Iskrba regional background station (1996-2014)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poberžnik, Matevž; Štrumbelj, Erik

    2016-06-01

    Our main goal was to estimate the effects of long-range air transport on pollutant concentrations measured at the Iskrba regional background station (Slovenia). We cluster back-trajectories into categories and simultaneously model the effects of meteorology, seasonality, trends, and air mass trajectory clusters using a Bayesian statistical approach. This simplifies the interpretation of results and allows us to better identify the effects of individual variables, which is important, because pollutant concentrations, meteorology, and trajectories are seasonal and correlated. Similar to related work from other European sites, we find that slow and faster moving trajectories from eastern Europe and the northern part of the Balkan peninsula are associated with higher pollutant levels, while fast-moving trajectories from the Atlantic are associated with lower pollutant concentration. Overall, pollutant concentrations have decreased in the studied period.

  16. Effects of iron concentration level in extracting solutions from contaminated soils on the determination of zinc by flame atomic absorption spectrometry with two background correctors.

    PubMed

    Waterlot, Christophe; Pelfrêne, Aurélie; Douay, Francis

    2012-01-01

    Zinc and iron concentrations were determined after digestion, water, and three-step sequential extractions of contaminated soils. Analyses were carried out using flame absorption spectrometry with two background correctors: a deuterium lamp used as the continuum light source (D(2) method) and the high-speed self-reversal method (HSSR method). Regarding the preliminary results obtained with synthetic solutions, the D(2) method often emerged as an unsuitable configuration for compensating iron spectral interferences. In contrast, the HSSR method appeared as a convenient and powerful configuration and was tested for the determination of zinc in contaminated soils containing high amounts of iron. Simple, fast, and interference-free method, the HSSR method allows zinc determination at the ppb level in the presence of large amounts of iron with high stability, sensitivity, and reproducibility of results. Therefore, the HSSR method is described here as a promising approach for monitoring zinc concentrations in various iron-containing samples without any pretreatment.

  17. A new method for the identification of the origin of natural products. Quantitative /sup 2/H NMR at the natural abundance level applied to the characterization of anetholes

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, G.J.; Martin, M.L.; Mabon, F.; Bricont, J.

    1982-05-05

    We have shown by high-field /sup 2/H NMR spectrometry at the natural abundance level that very spectacular differences exist in the interal distribution of /sup 2/H in organic molecules. This phenomenon has been exemplified in particular by the case of ethyl and vinyl derivatives. We show in this study of various anethole samples the potential of this new method as a very powerful tool for the characterization and identification of natural products from different origins.

  18. High levels of blood lead in griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) from Cazorla Natural Park (southern Spain).

    PubMed

    Garcia-Fernandez, A J; Martinez-Lopez, E; Romero, D; Maria-Mojica, P; Godino, A; Jimenez, P

    2005-08-01

    The blood lead of 23 griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) trapped in 2003 was analyzed in order to evaluate exposure to lead in the vulture population of Cazorla Natural Park (in southern Spain). In 2001 the use of leaded gasoline in vehicles was banned in the European Union; however, lead ammunition is still used in Spain in big-game hunting for red deer, fallow deer, mouflon, and wild boar, which are ingested by vultures from September to March. The mean concentration of lead in blood was 43.07 +/- 31.96 microg/dL with a range of 17.39-144.80 microg/dL. Only two vultures had lead levels below 20 microg/dL, and two others had blood lead concentrations close to 150 microg/dL. In view of the results, we think the population of vultures from Cazorla Natural Park is suffering subclinical exposure to lead, with some individuals exposed to high toxicity risk. We concluded that ingestion of lead in the metallic form alone is sufficient to produce these blood lead concentrations, and we recommend the prohibition of lead ammunition for big-game hunting in order to preserve the vulture population.

  19. Enhancing the natural folate level in wine using bioengineering and stabilization strategies.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yazheng; Walkey, Christopher J; Green, Timothy J; van Vuuren, Hennie J J; Kitts, David D

    2016-03-01

    Folate deficiency is linked to many diseases, some of which may have higher probability in individuals with alcohol-induced alterations in one-carbon metabolism. Our study shows that folate content in commercial wine is not related to white or red varieties, but associated with the yeast that is used to produce the wine. The stability of folate in these wines, once opened for consumption, did not correlate with total phenolic or sulfite content. In addition, we employed yeast bioengineering to fortify wine with folate. We confirmed by overexpression that FOL2 was the key gene encoding the rate-limiting step of folate biosynthesis in wine yeast. In this study, we also show that overexpression of other folate biosynthesis genes, including ABZ1, ABZ2, DFR1, FOL1 and FOL3, had no effect on folate levels in wine. Ensuring stability of the increased natural folate in all wines was achieved by the addition of ascorbate.

  20. Quantifying Urban Natural Gas Leaks from Street-level Methane Mapping: Measurements and Uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Fischer, J. C.; Ham, J. M.; Griebenow, C.; Schumacher, R. S.; Salo, J.

    2013-12-01

    Leaks from the natural gas pipeline system are a significant source of anthropogenic methane in urban settings. Detecting and repairing these leaks will reduce the energy and carbon footprints of our cities. Gas leaks can be detected from spikes in street-level methane concentrations measured by analyzers deployed on vehicles. While a spike in methane concentration indicates a leak, an algorithm (e.g., inverse model) must be used to estimate the size of the leak (i.e., flux) from concentration data and supporting meteorological information. Unfortunately, this drive-by approach to leak quantification is confounded by the complexity of urban roughness, changing weather conditions, and other incidental factors (e.g., traffic, vehicle speed, etc.). Furthermore, the vehicle might only pass through the plume one to three times during routine mapping. The objective of this study was to conduct controlled release experiments to better quantify the relationship between mobile methane concentration measurements and the size and location of the emission source (e.g., pipeline leakage) in an urban environment. A portable system was developed that could release methane at known rates between 10 and 40 LPM while maintaining concentrations below the lower explosive limit. A mapping vehicle was configured with fast response methane analyzers, GPS, and meteorological instruments. Portable air-sampling tripods were fabricated that could be deployed at defined distances downwind from the release point and automatically-triggered to collect grab samples. The experimental protocol was as follows: (1) identify an appropriate release point within a city, (2) release methane at a known rate, (3) measure downwind street-level concentrations with the vehicle by making multiple passes through the plume, and (4) collect supporting concentration and meteorological data with the static tripod samplers deployed in the plume. Controlled release studies were performed at multiple locations and

  1. An evaluation of the level of naturally occurring radioactive material in soil samples along the Chao Phraya river basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santawamaitre, T.; Regan, P. H.; Bradley, D. A.; Matthews, M.; Malain, D.; Al-Sulaiti, H. A.

    2010-07-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the level of natural radioactivity in river sediments and riverbank surface soils collected along the Chao Phraya River and its tributaries in Thailand. The activity concentrations of radionuclides in 238U and 232Th decay chains as well as 40K in all samples have been determined by means of a gamma-ray spectrometry system using a hyper-pure germanium detector in a low background configuration. The ranges of specific activity for 226Ra, 232Th and 40K were found to be 15.2-67.0, 16.8-73.3 and 204.6-656.5 Bq kg -1, respectively. Additionally, evaluations have been made of the absorbed gamma dose rate in air and the annual effective dose equivalent from outdoor terrestrial gamma radiation in order to assess any excess radiological risk from agricultural usage of fertilizers. In this study, the absorbed dose rate was observed to vary from 30.5 to 102.6 nGy h -1 and the outdoor annual effective dose equivalent to range from 37.4 to 125.8 μSv yr -1.

  2. Effect of different levels of alcohol consumption on natural killer and lymphokine activated killer cells

    SciTech Connect

    Klassen, L.W.; DeVasure, J.M.; Lemley-Gillespie, S.D.; Thiele, G.M. Omaha VA Hospital, NE )

    1991-03-11

    The effect of alcohol consumption on natural killer (NK) cell activity is controversial as both increased and decreased levels have been reported. It was the purpose of this study to determine the effects of feeding BDF1 mice different levels of alcohol on NK and lymphokine activated killer (LAK) cell activity. After four-six weeks of chronic alcohol feeding, mice were sacrificed, spleen cells obtained and assayed for NK and IL-2 boosted NK activity against YAC-1 cells in a traditional {sup 51}chromium release assay. Cells were also cultured in the presence of IL-2 for five days and tested for cytolytic activity using P815 cells as targets. Cells from each group were passed over a nylon wool column and the adherent (AD) and nonadherent (NAD) populations collected and tested as above. Increased NK, 24 hour IL-2 boosted NK and 5 day LAK activity were observed only in the spleen cells obtained from mice on 20% alcohol. Also, NAD populations had a 2-4 fold higher lytic unit values (LU{sub 20}) at all levels of alcohol consumption and in all assays, as compared with the unseparated spleen cells. Analysis of cell surface markers on these three populations of cells show that there were differences in MAC-2, Asialo GM-1, Thy 1.2, B220 and NK 1.1 that may correlate with the differences observed in the cytolytic assays. These data suggest that different levels of alcohol affect the cytolytic activity of NK and LAK cells and may result from alterations in the cell subset populations.

  3. Assessment of natural radioactivity levels and radiation hazards due to cement industry.

    PubMed

    El-Taher, A; Makhluf, S; Nossair, A; Abdel Halim, A S

    2010-01-01

    The cement industry is considered as one of the basic industries that plays an important role in the national economy of developing countries. Activity concentrations of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K in Assiut cement and other local cement types from different Egyptian factories has been measured by using gamma-ray spectrometry. From the measured gamma-ray spectra, specific activities were determined. The measured activity concentrations for these natural radionuclides were compared with the reported data for other countries. The average values obtained for (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K activity concentration in different types of cement are lower than the corresponding global values reported in UNSCEAR publications. The obtained results show that the averages of radiation hazard parameters for Assiut cement factory are lower than the acceptable level of 370Bqkg(-1) for radium equivalent Ra(eq), 1 for level index Igammar, the external hazard index Hex

  4. Getting ready for invasions: can background level of risk predict the ability of naïve prey to survive novel predators?

    PubMed Central

    Ferrari, Maud C. O.; Crane, Adam L.; Brown, Grant E.; Chivers, Douglas P.

    2015-01-01

    Factors predicting the outcome of predator invasions on native prey communities are critical to our understanding of invasion ecology. Here, we tested whether background level of risk affected the survival of prey to novel predators, both native and invasive, predicting that high-risk environments would better prepare prey for invasions. We used naïve woodfrog as our prey and exposed them to a high or low risk regime either as embryos (prenatal exposure) or as larvae (recent exposure). Tadpoles were then tested for their survival in the presence of 4 novel predators: two dytiscid beetles, crayfish and trout. Survival was affected by both risk level and predator type. High risk was beneficial to prey exposed to the dytiscids larvae (ambush predators), but detrimental to prey exposed to crayfish or trout (pursuit predators). No effect of ontogeny of risk was found. We further documented that high-risk tadpoles were overall more active than their low-risk counterparts, explaining the patterns found with survival. Our results provide insights into the relationship between risk and resilience to predator invasions. PMID:25655436

  5. Naturally and stimulated levels of reactive oxygen species in cooled stallion semen destined for artificial insemination.

    PubMed

    Johannisson, A; Lundgren, A; Humblot, P; Morrell, J M

    2014-10-01

    The decrease in foaling rates after artificial insemination with cooled semen warrants the search for new predictors of fertility. The objectives were to investigate levels of naturally occurring reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cooled, stored stallion semen doses for artificial insemination (AI), and their relationship with parameters of semen quality and with pregnancy rate. Semen was collected from warmblood stallions (n=15) and used to prepare commercial semen doses for AI. Sperm quality was evaluated after cooled transport to the laboratory overnight. The results were correlated with observed foaling and pregnancy rates. Hydroethidine and dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate were used as indicators for the ROS superoxide and hydrogen peroxide, respectively. Sperm morphology, motility, plasma membrane integrity and chromatin integrity were also evaluated. These variables were correlated with each other and with pregnancy rates. We found a high inter-individual variation in the ROS levels between stallions. The proportion of live, hydrogen peroxide-negative spermatozoa was correlated with progressive motility, whereas live hydrogen peroxide-negative spermatozoa and chromatin damage were negatively correlated, indicating that low levels of hydrogen peroxide were correlated with good chromatin integrity. The percentage of dead hydrogen peroxide-positive sperm was negatively related to the foaling rate. The negative relationships were stronger when combining results from both assays for ROS. These results for stored semen samples indicate that high individual variation exists for superoxide and hydrogen peroxide measurements, and that ROS status can influence sperm quality. Thus, ROS may be some of the factors influencing fertility. Moreover, combinations of ROS variables improved the correlation with fertility, indicating the usefulness of including these variables in a future model for prediction of the fertility of a semen sample.

  6. Indexing cortical entrainment to natural speech at the phonemic level: Methodological considerations for applied research.

    PubMed

    Di Liberto, Giovanni M; Lalor, Edmund C

    2017-02-27

    Speech is central to human life. As such, any delay or impairment in receptive speech processing can have a profoundly negative impact on the social and professional life of a person. Thus, being able to assess the integrity of speech processing in different populations is an important goal. Current standardized assessment is mostly based on psychometric measures that do not capture the full extent of a person's speech processing abilities and that are difficult to administer in some subjects groups. A potential alternative to these tests would be to derive "direct", objective measures of speech processing from cortical activity. One such approach was recently introduced and showed that it is possible to use electroencephalography (EEG) to index cortical processing at the level of phonemes from responses to continuous natural speech. However, a large amount of data was required for such analyses. This limits the usefulness of this approach for assessing speech processing in particular cohorts for whom data collection is difficult. Here, we used EEG data from 10 subjects to assess whether measures reflecting phoneme-level processing could be reliably obtained using only 10 min of recording time from each subject. This was done successfully using a generic modeling approach wherein the data from a training group composed of 9 subjects were combined to derive robust predictions of the EEG signal for new subjects. This allowed the derivation of indices of cortical activity at the level of phonemes and the disambiguation of responses to specific phonetic features (e.g., stop, plosive, and nasal consonants) with limited data. This objective approach has the potential to complement psychometric measures of speech processing in a wide variety of subjects.

  7. What Does It Take to Synergistically Combine Sub-Potent Natural Products into Drug-Level Potent Combinations?

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Chu; Tan, Kai Leng; Zhang, Cun Long; Tan, Chun Yan; Chen, Yu Zong; Jiang, Yu Yang

    2012-01-01

    There have been renewed interests in natural products as drug discovery sources. In particular, natural product combinations have been extensively studied, clinically tested, and widely used in traditional, folk and alternative medicines. But opinions about their therapeutic efficacies vary from placebo to synergistic effects. The important questions are whether synergistic effects can sufficiently elevate therapeutic potencies to drug levels, and by what mechanisms and at what odds such combinations can be assembled. We studied these questions by analyzing literature-reported cell-based potencies of 190 approved anticancer and antimicrobial drugs, 1378 anticancer and antimicrobial natural products, 99 natural product extracts, 124 synergistic natural product combinations, and 122 molecular interaction profiles of the 19 natural product combinations with collective potency enhanced to drug level or by >10-fold. Most of the evaluated natural products and combinations are sub-potent to drugs. Sub-potent natural products can be assembled into combinations of drug level potency at low probabilities by distinguished multi-target modes modulating primary targets, their regulators and effectors, and intracellular bioavailability of the active natural products. PMID:23209627

  8. Assessment of natural radioactivity levels in rocks and their relationships with the geological structure of Johor state, Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Alnour, I A; Wagiran, H; Ibrahim, N; Hamzah, S; Elias, M S; Laili, Z; Omar, M

    2014-01-01

    The distribution of natural radionuclides ((238)U, (232)Th and (40)K) and their radiological hazard effect in rocks collected from the state of Johor, Malaysia were determined by gamma spectroscopy using a high-purity germanium detector. The highest values of (238)U, (232)Th and (40)K activity concentrations (67±6, 85±7 and 722±18 Bg kg(-1), respectively) were observed in the granite rock. The lowest concentrations of (238)U and (232)Th (2±0.1 Bq kg(-1) for (238)U and 2±0.1 Bq kg(-1) for (232)Th) were observed in gabbro rock. The lowest concentration of (40)K (45±2 Bq kg(-1)) was detected in sandstone. The radium equivalent activity concentrations for all rock samples investigated were lower than the internationally accepted value of 370 Bq kg(-1). The highest value of radium equivalent in the present study (239±17 Bq kg(-1)) was recorded in the area of granite belonging to an acid intrusive rock geological structure. The absorbed dose rate was found to range from 4 to 112 nGy h(-1). The effective dose ranged from 5 to 138 μSv h(-1). The internal and external hazard index values were given in results lower than unity. The purpose of this study is to provide information related to radioactivity background levels and the effects of radiation on residents in the study area under investigation. Moreover, the relationships between the radioactivity levels in the rocks within the geological structure of the studied area are discussed.

  9. Trace metal variability, background levels and pollution status assessment in line with the water framework and Marine Strategy Framework EU Directives in the waters of a heavily impacted Mediterranean Gulf.

    PubMed

    Paraskevopoulou, V; Zeri, C; Kaberi, H; Chalkiadaki, O; Krasakopoulou, E; Dassenakis, M; Scoullos, M

    2014-10-15

    The aim of this work is to assess trace metal pollution status (Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn) in the waters of Saronikos Gulf, Greece, in line with the WFD and MSFD European Directives, based on data collected over a decade (2000-2010). Dissolved metal background levels are estimated for the first time for Greek marine waters and the upper limits are: Cd: 0.574 nmol L(-1); Cu: 8.26 nmol L(-1); Ni: 7.94 nmol L(-1); Pb: 2.60 nmol L(-1); Zn: 115 nmol L(-1). The variability of dissolved and particulate metals reflected the presence of several point sources and revealed the importance of natural mechanisms acting as non-point sources. The status of Saronikos Gulf is classified as 'High' for most metals studied. An exception to this is the enclosed Elefsis Bay where Cu, Ni and Zn concentrations are found above background. Our work will assist the implementation of WFD and MSFD directives in Greece.

  10. Task 23 - background report on subsurface environmental issues relating to natural gas sweetening and dehydration operations. Topical report, February 1, 1994--February 28, 1996

    SciTech Connect

    Sorensen, J.A.

    1998-12-31

    This report describes information pertaining to environmental issues, toxicity, environmental transport, and fate of alkanolamines and glycols associated with natural gas sweetening and dehydration operations. Waste management associated with the operations is also discussed.

  11. Exploring How Second Grade Elementary Teachers Translate Their Nature of Science Views into Classroom Practice after a Graduate Level Nature of Science Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deniz, Hasan; Adibelli, Elif

    2015-01-01

    The main purpose of this study was to explore the factors mediating the translation of second grade teachers' nature of science (NOS) views into classroom practice after completing a graduate level NOS course. Four second grade in-service elementary teachers comprised the sample of this study. Data were collected from several sources during the…

  12. The Athena Background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piro, Luigi; Lotti, Simone; Macculi, Claudio; Molendi, Silvano; Eraerds, Tanja; Laurent, Philippe

    2015-09-01

    Estimating, reducing and controlling the residual particle background is fundamental for achieving the objectives of several science topics of Athena, in particular those connected with background dominated observations of faint and/or diffuse sources. This requires assessing the particle environment in L2, propagating the various particle components throughout the mirror, spacecraft, and instruments via proper modelling and simulations of various physical processes, implementing design and h/w measures at instrument and mission level to reduce the un-rejected background and identifying proper calibration methods to control the background variations. Likewise, an adequate knowledge of the XRB, made of components that may vary spatially or temporally, is required as well. Here we will review the present status of the background knowledge, and summarize the activities on-going within Athena at various levels.

  13. Natural radioactivity levels in mineral, therapeutic and spring waters in Tunisia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labidi, S.; Mahjoubi, H.; Essafi, F.; Ben Salah, R.

    2010-12-01

    Radioactivity measurements were carried out in 26 groundwater samples from Tunisia. Activity concentrations of uranium were studied by radiochemical separation procedures followed by alpha spectrometry and that for radium isotopes by gamma-ray spectrometry. The results show that, the concentrations in water samples range from 1.2 to 69 mBq/L.1, 1.3 to 153.4 mBq/L, 2.0 to 1630.0 mBq/L and 2.0 to 1032.0 mBq/L for 238U, 234U, 226Ra and 228Ra, respectively. The U and Ra activity concentrations are low and similar to those published for other regions in the world. The natural radioactivity levels in the investigated samples are generally increased from mineral waters through therapeutic to the spring waters. The results show that a correlation between total dissolved solids (TDS) values and the 226Ra concentrations was found to be high indicating that 266Ra has a high affinity towards the majority of mineral elements dissolved in these waters. High correlation coefficients were also observed between 226Ra content and chloride ions for Cl --Na + water types. This can be explained by the fact that radium forms a complex with chloride and in this form is more soluble. The isotopic ratio of 234U/ 238U and 226Ra/ 234U varies in the range from 0.8 to 2.6 and 0.6 to 360.8, respectively, in all investigated waters, which means that there is no radioactive equilibrium between the two members of the 238U series. The fractionation of isotopes of a given element may occur because of preferential leaching of one, or by the direct action of recoil during radioactive decay. The annual effective doses due to ingestion of the mineral waters have been estimated to be well below the 0.1 mSv/y reference dose level.

  14. The Oral Microbiome of Denture Wearers Is Influenced by Levels of Natural Dentition

    PubMed Central

    O’Donnell, Lindsay E.; Robertson, Douglas; Nile, Christopher J.; Cross, Laura J.; Riggio, Marcello; Sherriff, Andrea; Bradshaw, David; Lambert, Margaret; Malcolm, Jennifer; Buijs, Mark J.; Zaura, Egija; Crielaard, Wim; Brandt, Bernd W.; Ramage, Gordon

    2015-01-01

    Objectives The composition of dental plaque has been well defined, whereas currently there is limited understanding of the composition of denture plaque and how it directly influences denture related stomatitis (DS). The aims of this study were to compare the microbiomes of denture wearers, and to understand the implications of these towards inter-kingdom and host-pathogen interactions within the oral cavity. Methods Swab samples were obtained from 123 participants wearing either a complete or partial denture; the bacterial composition of each sample was determined using bar-coded illumina MiSeq sequencing of the bacterial hypervariable V4 region of 16S rDNA. Sequencing data processing was undertaken using QIIME, clustered in Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) and assigned to taxonomy. The dentures were sonicated to remove the microbial flora residing on the prosthesis, sonicate was then cultured using diagnostic colorex Candida media. Samples of unstimulated saliva were obtained and antimicrobial peptides (AMP) levels were measured by ELISA. Results We have shown that dental and denture plaques are significantly distinct both in composition and diversity and that the oral microbiome composition of a denture wearer is variable and is influenced by the location within the mouth. Dentures and mucosa were predominantly made up of Bacilli and Actinobacteria. Moreover, the presence of natural teeth has a significant impact on the overall microbial composition, when compared to the fully edentulous. Furthermore, increasing levels of Candida spp. positively correlate with Lactobacillus spp. AMPs were quantified, though showed no specific correlations. Conclusions This is the first study to provide a detailed understanding of the oral microbiome of denture wearers and has provided evidence that DS development is more complex than simply a candidal infection. Both fungal and bacterial kingdoms clearly play a role in defining the progression of DS, though we were unable to

  15. Flexible natural language parser based on a two-level representation of syntax

    SciTech Connect

    Lesmo, L.; Torasso, P.

    1983-01-01

    In this paper the authors present a parser which allows to make explicit the interconnections between syntax and semantics, to analyze the sentences in a quasi-deterministic fashion and, in many cases, to identify the roles of the various constituents even if the sentence is ill-formed. The main feature of the approach on which the parser is based consists in a two-level representation of the syntactic knowledge: a first set of rules emits hypotheses about the constituents of the sentence and their functional role and another set of rules verifies whether a hypothesis satisfies the constraints about the well-formedness of sentences. However, the application of the second set of rules is delayed until the semantic knowledge confirms the acceptability of the hypothesis. If the semantics reject it, a new hypothesis is obtained by applying a simple and relatively inexpensive natural modification; a set of these modifications is predefined and only when none of them is applicable a real backup is performed: in most cases this situation corresponds to a case where people would normally garden path. 19 references.

  16. Investigation of the activity level and radiological impacts of naturally occurring radionuclides in blast furnace slag.

    PubMed

    Uğur, F A; Turhan, S; Sahan, H; Sahan, M; Gören, E; Gezer, F; Yeğingil, Z

    2013-01-01

    The activity level and possible radiological impacts of naturally occurring radionuclides on the health of workers and members of the public, as a result of utilisation of blast furnace slag (BFS) samples as a substitute for aggregate in road construction were investigated by using a gamma-ray spectrometer and potential exposure scenarios given in Radiation Protection 122. The mean activity concentrations of the (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K in BFS samples were found to be 152.4, 54.9 and 183.1 Bq kg(-1), respectively. These values are compared with typical values measured in BFS samples from the European Union countries, which are 270, 70 and 240 Bq kg(-1) for (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K, respectively. The values of radium equivalent activity index calculated for BFS samples were within the recommended safety limits. The highest total annual effective doses evaluated as 0.9 and 0.4 mSv y(-1) for members of the public and workers, respectively, were lower than the annual limit of 1 mSv y(-1).

  17. Phosphorus speciation by coupled HPLC-ICPMS: low level determination of reduced phosphorus in natural materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atlas, Zachary; Pasek, Matthew; Sampson, Jacqueline

    2015-04-01

    Phosphorus is a geologically important minor element in the Earth's crust commonly found as relatively insoluble apatite. This constraint causes phosphorus to be a key limiting nutrient in biologic processes. Despite this, phosphorus plays a direct role in the formation of DNA, RNA and other cellular materials. Recent works suggest that since reduced phosphorus is considerably more soluble than oxidized phosphorus that it was integrally involved in the development of life on the early Earth and may continue to play a role in biologic productivity to this day. This work examines a new method for quantification and identification of reduced phosphorus as well as applications to the speciation of organo-phosphates separated by coupled HPLC - ICP-MS. We show that reduced phosphorus species (P1+, P3+ and P5+) are cleanly separated in the HPLC and coupled with the ICPMS reaction cell, using oxygen as a reaction gas to effectively convert elemental P to P-O. Analysis at M/Z= 47 producing lower background and flatter baseline chromatography than analyses performed at M/Z = 31. Results suggest very low detection limits (0.05 μM) for P species analyzed as P-O. Additionally we show that this technique has potential to speciate at least 5 other forms of phosphorus compounds. We verified the efficacy of method on numerous materials including leached Archean rocks, suburban retention pond waters, blood and urine samples and most samples show small but detectible levels of reduced phosphorus and or organo-phaospates. This finding in nearly all substances analyzed supports the assumption that the redox processing of phosphorus has played a significant role throughout the history of the Earth and it's presence in the present environment is nearly ubiquitous with the reduced oxidation state phosphorus compounds, phosphite and hypophosphite, potentially acting as significant constituents in the anaerobic environment.

  18. Changes in Plasma Levels of Natural Anticoagulants in Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation: High Prognostic Value of Antithrombin and Protein C in Patients with Underlying Sepsis or Severe Infection

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Qute; Hong, Ki Ho; Kim, Ji-Eun

    2014-01-01

    Background Dysfunctional natural anticoagulant systems enhance intravascular fibrin for mation in disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), and plasma levels of natural anti coagulants can be used in the diagnosis and prognosis of DIC. Herein, the diagnostic value of 4 natural anticoagulants was assessed, and the prognostic value of antithrombin and protein C were validated in a large population. Methods Part 1 study included 126 patients with clinically suspected DIC and estimated plasma levels of 4 candidate anticoagulant proteins: antithrombin, protein C, protein S, and protein Z. Part 2 comprised 1,846 patients, in whom plasma antithrombin and protein C levels were compared with other well-known DIC markers according to the underlying dis eases. The 28-day mortality rate was used to assess prognostic outcome. Results Antithrombin and protein C showed higher areas under the ROC curve than pro tein S and protein Z. In part 2 of the study, antithrombin and protein C levels significantly correlated with DIC score, suggesting that these factors are good indicators of DIC severity. Antithrombin and protein C showed significant prognostic power in Kaplan-Meier analyses. In patients with sepsis/severe infection, antithrombin and protein C showed higher hazard ratios than D-dimer. Platelet count showed the highest hazard ratio in patients with hemato logic malignancy. In patients with liver disease, the hazard ratio for antithrombin levels was significantly high. Conclusions Decreased plasma anticoagulant levels reflect florid consumption of the phys iologic defense system against DIC-induced hypercoagulation. Plasma antithrombin and protein C levels are powerful prognostic markers of DIC, especially in patients with sepsis/severe infection. PMID:24624342

  19. Understanding the Nature of Small Business. PACE Revised. Level 1. Unit 1. Research & Development Series No. 240AB1.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ashmore, M. Catherine; Pritz, Sandra G.

    This lesson on the nature of small business, the first in a series of 18 units, is part of the first level of a comprehensive entrepreneurship curriculum entitled: A Program for Acquiring Competence in Entrepreneurship (PACE). (Designed for use with secondary students, the first level of PACE introduces students to the concepts involved in…

  20. Musical Instrument Choice and Playing History in Post-Secondary Level Music Students: Some Descriptive Data, Some Causes and Some Background Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Simy Meng-Yu; Howard, Robert W.

    2004-01-01

    Why do musicians specialize in the specific instruments that they do? Research has shown effects of such factors as the perceived masculinity/femininity of instruments and musician's personality but there are little background data on other factors. The present study had two major aims. The first aim was to gather some useful background data on…

  1. Hanford Site background: Part 1, Soil background for nonradioactive analytes. Revision 1, Volume 1

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-04-01

    The determination of soil background is one of the most important activities supporting environmental restoration and waste management on the Hanford Site. Background compositions serve as the basis for identifying soil contamination, and also as a baseline in risk assessment processes used to determine soil cleanup and treatment levels. These uses of soil background require an understanding of the extent to which analytes of concern occur naturally in the soils. This report documents the results of sampling and analysis activities designed to characterize the composition of soil background at the Hanford Site, and to evaluate the feasibility for use as Sitewide background. The compositions of naturally occurring soils in the vadose Zone have been-determined for-nonradioactive inorganic and organic analytes and related physical properties. These results confirm that a Sitewide approach to the characterization of soil background is technically sound and is a viable alternative to the determination and use of numerous local or area backgrounds that yield inconsistent definitions of contamination. Sitewide soil background consists of several types of data and is appropriate for use in identifying contamination in all soils in the vadose zone on the Hanford Site. The natural concentrations of nearly every inorganic analyte extend to levels that exceed calculated health-based cleanup limits. The levels of most inorganic analytes, however, are well below these health-based limits. The highest measured background concentrations occur in three volumetrically minor soil types, the most important of which are topsoils adjacent to the Columbia River that are rich in organic carbon. No organic analyte levels above detection were found in any of the soil samples.

  2. Vitamin D Levels, Natural H1N1 Infection and Response to H1N1 Vaccine among HIV-Infected Individuals.

    PubMed

    Momplaisir, Florence; Frank, Ian; Meyer, Wa; Kim, Deborah; Kappes, Rosemary; Tebas, Pablo

    2012-05-20

    BACKGROUND: Beyond its role in calcium homeostasis, vitamin D plays a critical role in immunological responses to pathogens. We evaluated the relationship between 25-OH vitamin D levels and susceptibility to natural H1N1 infection and H1N1 vaccine responses in HIV infected individuals. METHODS: This was a sub study of an H1N1 vaccine trial conducted at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009/10. We compared the 25-OH vitamin D levels among individuals with and without baseline evidence of prior H1N1 infection and between vaccine responders and non-responders. RESULTS: 120 participants enrolled in the trial, 71% male, 68% African American, median age 46 years. The majority had controlled HIV disease. At baseline, 86% had 25-OH vitamin D levels < 30 ng/ml and 54% had levels < 20 ng/ml. Thirty participants (25%) had evidence of prior H1N1 exposure. There was no difference in mean 25-OH vitamin D levels among patients with or without prior natural H1N1 infection (21 ng/ml vs 20 ng/ml, p=0.72). Among participants without previous H1N1 exposure, only 61% developed protective antibody titers following vaccination. 25-OH vitamin D levels were similar between vaccine responders (20 ng/ml) and non-responders (20 ng/ml) (p=0.83). CONCLUSION: Although 25-OH vitamin D deficiency was very common among HIV-infected individuals, it was not associated with natural susceptibility to H1N1 or to vaccine responses.

  3. Background Underground at WIPP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esch, Ernst-Ingo; Hime, A.; Bowles, T. J.

    2001-04-01

    Recent interest to establish a dedicated underground laboratory in the United States prompted an experimental program at to quantify the enviromental backgrounds underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, New Mexico. An outline of this program is provided along with recent experimental data on the cosmic ray muon flux at the 650 meter level of WIPP. The implications of the cosmic ray muon and fast neutron background at WIPP will be discussed in the context of new generation, low background experiments envisioned in the future.

  4. Head Strap Double Fluid Level Device: An Innovative and User Friendly Design to Record Natural Head Position (NHP)

    PubMed Central

    Jose, Nidhin Philip; Shetty, Siddarth

    2015-01-01

    Head positions can be oriented in a standardized position when the patient stands upright and focusses his/her eyes into a point in infinity. This is the natural head position. This position offers the maximum reproducibility and correlates well with the clinical picture offered to the diagnostician. This article describes an innovative and user friendly method to record natural head position using the head strap double fluid level device, a design modified from the popular fluid level device by Showfety, Vig and Matteson. PMID:25738103

  5. Effect of Increased Levels of Liquefied Natural Gas Exports on U.S. Energy Markets

    EIA Publications

    2014-01-01

    This report responds to a May 29, 2014 request from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy (DOE/FE) for an update of the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) January 2012 study of liquefied natural gas (LNG) export scenarios. This updated study, like the prior one, is intended to serve as an input to be considered in the evaluation of applications to export LNG from the United States under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act, which requires DOE to grant a permit to export domestically produced natural gas unless it finds that such action is not consistent with the public interest. Appendix A provides a copy of the DOE/FE request letter.

  6. Investigating variations in background response in measurements of downhole natural gamma in a banded iron formation in the Pilbara, Western Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, Richard J.; Silversides, Katherine L.

    2017-02-01

    Measurements of downhole natural gamma radiation (NGR) provide important information about the location of shale or clay bands within stratigraphical sequences (e.g. in Banded Iron Formations; BIF). An ability to link NGR with other kinds of measurements that are acquired at greater spatial and stratigraphic resolution, such as those acquired by hyperspectral sensing, would open up possibilities for improving the resolution of boundary models. To do this, measurements made by NGR and hyperspectral sensing must be highly correlated and any inconsistencies between these data must be understood. Observations made from the literature and from NGR measurements made in a BIF formation of the Hamersley Group, Pilbara, Western Australia, suggest that NGR measurements in some sections of ore or BIF are elevated compared with other sections; laboratory assays of drill chips do not however suggest the presence of shale or clay. These apparent inconsistencies were investigated using hyperspectral measurements and chemical assays of rock cores in the laboratory and NGR measurements made in the field. We show that the patterns of elevated NGR were a consistent feature of the stratigraphy for this region. Comparison of NGR and Al2O3 made by laboratory assay and from hyperspectral sensing show that elevated NGR measurements were caused by Uranium which was not associated with the presence of shale. Neither Thorium nor Potassium contributed to the elevated gamma signal in the ore. Thorium was strongly correlated with Al2O3 and was found to provide the best indicator of the presence of shale in the stratigraphy.

  7. Comparing Scientists' Views of Nature of Science within and across Disciplines, and Levels of Expertise

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tira, Praweena

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to understand how Thai scientists from four disciplines viewed nature of science (NOS). The sixteen participating scientists were chosen from the areas of chemistry, physics, biology/life sciences, and geology/earth sciences and were separated into novice and expert groups. The scientists' understandings about NOS…

  8. Young Scientists Explore the World of Nature. Book 1 Primary Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Penn, Linda

    Designed to present interesting facts about science and to heighten the curiosity of primary age students, this book contains activities about the natural world and numerous black and white illustrations. The first section focuses on trees and investigates types common to all states and climates. A tiny seed mascot, known as Ollie Acorn,…

  9. Young Scientists Explore Nature. Book 10--Intermediate Level. A Good Apple Activity Book.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeBruin, Jerry

    Designed to develop creativity in young learners, this book contains interdisciplinary activities which focus on the theme of nature. Activity pages are provided that can serve as front and back covers of a student booklet and the suggested activities can be duplicated for insertion between the covers resulting in a booklet for each student. A…

  10. Developing a Graduate Level Science Education Course on the Nature of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eichinger, David C.; Abell, Sandra K.; Dagher, Zoubeida R.

    1997-01-01

    Outlines the authors' experiences with designing and teaching a course on the nature of science to science education graduate students. Addresses questions on the creation of a new university course, the design of the course syllabus, and the transformation of the syllabus into instruction. (AIM)

  11. OZONATION BYPRODUCTS: IDENTIFICATION OF BROMOHYDRINS FROM THE OZONATION OF NATURAL WATERS WITH ENHANCED BROMIDE LEVELS

    EPA Science Inventory

    When ozone is used in the treatment of drinking water, it reacts with both inorganic and organic compounds to form byproducts. f bromide is present, it may be oxidized to hydrobromous acid, which may than react with natural organic matter to form brominated organic compounds. he ...

  12. UNCOVERING THE WAVE NATURE OF THE EIT WAVE FOR THE 2010 JANUARY 17 EVENT THROUGH ITS CORRELATION TO THE BACKGROUND MAGNETOSONIC SPEED

    SciTech Connect

    Zhao, X. H.; Feng, X. S.; Jiang, C. W.; Wu, S. T.; Wang, A. H.; Vourlidas, A. E-mail: wus@uah.edu

    2011-12-01

    An EIT wave, which typically appears as a diffuse brightening that propagates across the solar disk, is one of the major discoveries of the Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope on board the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. However, the physical nature of the so-called EIT wave continues to be debated. In order to understand the relationship between an EIT wave and its associated coronal wave front, we investigate the morphology and kinematics of the coronal mass ejection (CME)-EIT wave event that occurred on 2010 January 17. Using the observations of the SECCHI EUVI, COR1, and COR2 instruments on board the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observation-B, we track the shape and movements of the CME fronts along different radial directions to a distance of about 15 solar radii (R{sub s} ); for the EIT wave, we determine the propagation of the wave front on the solar surface along different propagating paths. The relation between the EIT wave speed, the CME speed, and the local fast-mode characteristic speed is also investigated. Our results demonstrate that the propagation of the CME front is much faster than that of the EIT wave on the solar surface, and that both the CME front and the EIT wave propagate faster than the fast-mode speed in their local environments. Specifically, we show a significant positive correlation between the EIT wave speed and the local fast-mode wave speed in the propagation paths of the EIT wave. Our findings support that the EIT wave under study is a fast-mode magnetohydrodynamic wave.

  13. 'Natural experiment' demonstrates top-down control of spiders by birds on a landscape level.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Haldre; Hille Ris Lambers, Janneke; Miller, Ross; Tewksbury, Joshua J

    2012-01-01

    The combination of small-scale manipulative experiments and large-scale natural experiments provides a powerful approach for demonstrating the importance of top-down trophic control on the ecosystem scale. The most compelling natural experiments have come from studies examining the landscape-scale loss of apex predators like sea otters, wolves, fish and land crabs. Birds are dominant apex predators in terrestrial systems around the world, yet all studies on their role as predators have come from small-scale experiments; the top-down impact of bird loss on their arthropod prey has yet to be examined at a landscape scale. Here, we use a unique natural experiment, the extirpation of insectivorous birds from nearly all forests on the island of Guam by the invasive brown tree snake, to produce the first assessment of the impacts of bird loss on their prey. We focused on spiders because experimental studies showed a consistent top-down effect of birds on spiders. We conducted spider web surveys in native forest on Guam and three nearby islands with healthy bird populations. Spider web densities on the island of Guam were 40 times greater than densities on islands with birds during the wet season, and 2.3 times greater during the dry season. These results confirm the general trend from manipulative experiments conducted in other systems however, the effect size was much greater in this natural experiment than in most manipulative experiments. In addition, bird loss appears to have removed the seasonality of spider webs and led to larger webs in at least one spider species in the forests of Guam than on nearby islands with birds. We discuss several possible mechanisms for the observed changes. Overall, our results suggest that effect sizes from smaller-scale experimental studies may significantly underestimate the impact of bird loss on spider density as demonstrated by this large-scale natural experiment.

  14. An Exploratory Study of the Effects of Mindfulness on Perceived Levels of Stress among School-Children from Lower Socioeconomic Backgrounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Costello, Elizabeth; Lawler, Margaret

    2014-01-01

    Children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are at increased risk of experiencing stress and associated social-emotional difficulties and behavioural problems, which can undermine academic performance and lead to school drop-out. Previous studies investigating the effects of mindfulness have evidenced positive outcomes among children pertaining…

  15. The Correlation between Sex, Age, Educational Background, and Hours of Service on Vigilance Level of ATC Officers in Air Nav Surabaya, Indonesia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saleh, Lalu Muhammad; Suwandi, Tjipto; Hamidah

    2016-01-01

    The vigilance of an Air Traffic Control (ATC) officer determines aviation safety. The number of aviation accidents tends to be increasing in recent years. Aviation accidents may be caused by human errors (i.e. errors made by pilot or ATC officer) or unsafe work condition. Sex, age, educational background, and hours of service might affect…

  16. Ethnic Background and the Transition from Vocational Education to Work: A Multi-Level Analysis of the Differences in Labour Market Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brekke, Idunn

    2007-01-01

    This article focuses on the impact of ethnic background on employment and earnings among people with a vocational education in Norway. I differentiate between three different groups: majority, first-generation non-Westerners and second-generation non-Westerners. Panel data from several public register databases of the entire population of…

  17. Social Background, Personality and Attitudinal Factors Influencing the Decision to Volunteer and Level of Involvement among Adult 4-H Leaders. Summary of Research 39.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rohs, Frederick R.; Warmbrod, J. Robert

    A study was conducted to investigate, using a portion of Smith's Sequential Specificity Model, the relationship between social background, personality, and attitudinal factors and the participation of adult volunteers in the 4-H program in Ohio. Data were collected from a sample of 300 adult 4-H volunteers in Ohio through a mailed questionnaire; a…

  18. Utilizing Culture to Improve Communication and School Involvement with Parents from Diverse Backgrounds as a Means to Improve Student Achievement Levels in the United States: A National Focus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacobs, Karen Dupre; Kritsonis, William Allan

    2007-01-01

    School leadership in communicating to parents and students from diverse backgrounds is a problem in education that must be addressed. As the population of the United States is becoming more and more diverse, school administrators must develop new ways to reach their stakeholders. All families must be involved in their children's academic progress…

  19. Understanding how roadside concentrations of NOx are influenced by the background levels, traffic density, and meteorological conditions using Boosted Regression Trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sayegh, Arwa; Tate, James E.; Ropkins, Karl

    2016-02-01

    Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) is a major component of photochemical smog and its constituents are considered principal traffic-related pollutants affecting human health. This study investigates the influence of background concentrations of NOx, traffic density, and prevailing meteorological conditions on roadside concentrations of NOx at UK urban, open motorway, and motorway tunnel sites using the statistical approach Boosted Regression Trees (BRT). BRT models have been fitted using hourly concentration, traffic, and meteorological data for each site. The models predict, rank, and visualise the relationship between model variables and roadside NOx concentrations. A strong relationship between roadside NOx and monitored local background concentrations is demonstrated. Relationships between roadside NOx and other model variables have been shown to be strongly influenced by the quality and resolution of background concentrations of NOx, i.e. if it were based on monitored data or modelled prediction. The paper proposes a direct method of using site-specific fundamental diagrams for splitting traffic data into four traffic states: free-flow, busy-flow, congested, and severely congested. Using BRT models, the density of traffic (vehicles per kilometre) was observed to have a proportional influence on the concentrations of roadside NOx, with different fitted regression line slopes for the different traffic states. When other influences are conditioned out, the relationship between roadside concentrations and ambient air temperature suggests NOx concentrations reach a minimum at around 22 °C with high concentrations at low ambient air temperatures which could be associated to restricted atmospheric dispersion and/or to changes in road traffic exhaust emission characteristics at low ambient air temperatures. This paper uses BRT models to study how different critical factors, and their relative importance, influence the variation of roadside NOx concentrations. The paper

  20. Response to Natural Hazards: Multi-Level Governance Challenges in Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catto, N.; Tomblin, S.

    2009-04-01

    Newfoundland and Labrador's perspective on emergency measures in response to natural hazards is shaped by several factors. Climate, meteorology, and terrain are the dominant factors both in the occurrence of events and the responses to them. The economy, dominated by resource-based activities, is a significant influence in accentuating exposure to natural hazards. In this situation, the role of earth scientists is critical. However, effective input from geographers, geomorphologists, and climatologists requires an understanding of the governance regime. For emergency services, both formal public policy responses, informal mechanisms, and the interfacing that exists between public policy mechanisms and social forces are significant. In an era where more and more problems are considered as "interdependent", and require different governmental, social, and professional expertise forces to come together to address objectives, there is interest in exploring and analyzing patterns of communication, interactions and policy learning across inherited silos. A major political-policy struggle is the challenge of managing rural-urban differences in capacity and perspective. Another challenge involves finding ways for professions to merge their protocols and cultures. Embracing best practices associated with natural hazards and emergency preparedness is influenced by the power and independence of various groups involved. Critical events provide windows of opportunity for urging new approaches, but whether these become institutionalized or not normally depends on the interplay of ideas, interests, individuals, and institutions. In coping with natural hazards, renewing governance required finding new incentives to integrate across jurisdictions and disciplinary and governmental-society boundaries. Perception and response to natural hazards is very much connected with the historical-policy context. The pace of effective response indicates the impact of culture, capacity

  1. Natural widths and blackbody radiation induced shift and broadening of Rydberg levels in magnesium ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glukhov, Igor L.; Mokhnenko, Sergey N.; Nikitina, Elizaveta A.; Ovsiannikov, Vitaly D.

    2015-01-01

    Theoretical analysis is presented of the natural lifetimes and blackbody-radiation (BBR)-induced shifts and widths of Rydberg states with small and large angular momenta l. Asymptotic presentations in elementary functions are derived for matrix elements of bound-bound, bound-free and threshold radiative transitions from hydrogenic-type states with large angular momenta, applicable to both hydrogen-like and many-electron atoms and ions. For states with small angular momenta two numerical methods based on the quantum defects were used and corresponding data are compared with one another and with the most reliable data of the literature. Asymptotic approximations are derived for natural lifetimes, thermal shifts and broadening of Rydberg states of small and high l and principal quantum numbers n ≫ 1.

  2. [Regeneration of photoreceptor organs in freshwater planarians at different levels of accumulation of natural methylmercury compounds].

    PubMed

    Medvedev, I V; Gremiachikh, V A; Zheltov, S V; Bogdanenko, O V; Aksenova, I A

    2006-01-01

    The effects of natural methylmercury compounds on regeneration of photoreceptor organs were studied in three freshwater planarians: Polycelis tenuis, Dugesia lugubris, and D. tigrina. Accumulation of methyl mercury in the planarian body suppressed regeneration of P. tenuis with numerous photoreceptor organs to a greater extent than in two other planarians that have only two eyes. High methyl mercury concentrations inhibited the restoration of photoreceptor organs in asexual and sexual D. tigrina races.

  3. Determination of lithium isotopes at natural abundance levels by atomic absorption spectrometry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meier, A.L.

    1982-01-01

    The relationships of the absorption of 6Li and 7Li hollow cathode lamp emissions are used to determine lithium isotopic composition in the natural abundance range of geologic materials. Absorption was found to have a nonlinear dependence upon total lithium concentration and isotopic composition. A method using nonlinear equations to describe the relationship of the absorption of 6Li and 7Li lamp radiation is proposed as a means of calculating isotopic composition that is independent of total lithium concentration.

  4. Precisely Determining Ultralow level UO22+ in Natural Water with Plasmonic Nanowire Interstice Sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwak, Raekeun; Kim, Hongki; Yoo, Seung Min; Lee, Sang Yup; Lee, Gyoung-Ja; Lee, Min-Ku; Rhee, Chang-Kyu; Kang, Taejoon; Kim, Bongsoo

    2016-01-01

    Uranium is an essential raw material in nuclear energy generation; however, its use raises concerns about the possibility of severe damage to human health and the natural environment. In this work, we report an ultrasensitive uranyl ion (UO22+) detection method in natural water that uses a plasmonic nanowire interstice (PNI) sensor combined with a DNAzyme-cleaved reaction. UO22+ induces the cleavage of DNAzymes into enzyme strands and released strands, which include Raman-active molecules. A PNI sensor can capture the released strands, providing strong surface-enhanced Raman scattering signal. The combination of a PNI sensor and a DNAzyme-cleaved reaction significantly improves the UO22+ detection performance, resulting in a detection limit of 1 pM and high selectivity. More importantly, the PNI sensor operates perfectly, even in UO22+-contaminated natural water samples. This suggests the potential usefulness of a PNI sensor in practical UO22+-sensing applications. We anticipate that diverse toxic metal ions can be detected by applying various ion-specific DNA-based ligands to PNI sensors.

  5. Precisely Determining Ultralow level UO2(2+) in Natural Water with Plasmonic Nanowire Interstice Sensor.

    PubMed

    Gwak, Raekeun; Kim, Hongki; Yoo, Seung Min; Lee, Sang Yup; Lee, Gyoung-Ja; Lee, Min-Ku; Rhee, Chang-Kyu; Kang, Taejoon; Kim, Bongsoo

    2016-01-21

    Uranium is an essential raw material in nuclear energy generation; however, its use raises concerns about the possibility of severe damage to human health and the natural environment. In this work, we report an ultrasensitive uranyl ion (UO2(2+)) detection method in natural water that uses a plasmonic nanowire interstice (PNI) sensor combined with a DNAzyme-cleaved reaction. UO2(2+) induces the cleavage of DNAzymes into enzyme strands and released strands, which include Raman-active molecules. A PNI sensor can capture the released strands, providing strong surface-enhanced Raman scattering signal. The combination of a PNI sensor and a DNAzyme-cleaved reaction significantly improves the UO2(2+) detection performance, resulting in a detection limit of 1 pM and high selectivity. More importantly, the PNI sensor operates perfectly, even in UO2(2+)-contaminated natural water samples. This suggests the potential usefulness of a PNI sensor in practical UO2(2+)-sensing applications. We anticipate that diverse toxic metal ions can be detected by applying various ion-specific DNA-based ligands to PNI sensors.

  6. High-level antimicrobial efficacy of representative Mediterranean natural plant extracts against oral microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Karygianni, Lamprini; Cecere, Manuel; Skaltsounis, Alexios Leandros; Argyropoulou, Aikaterini; Hellwig, Elmar; Aligiannis, Nektarios; Wittmer, Annette; Al-Ahmad, Ali

    2014-01-01

    Nature is an unexplored reservoir of novel phytopharmaceuticals. Since biofilm-related oral diseases often correlate with antibiotic resistance, plant-derived antimicrobial agents could enhance existing treatment options. Therefore, the rationale of the present report was to examine the antimicrobial impact of Mediterranean natural extracts on oral microorganisms. Five different extracts from Olea europaea, mastic gum, and Inula viscosa were tested against ten bacteria and one Candida albicans strain. The extraction protocols were conducted according to established experimental procedures. Two antimicrobial assays--the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) assay and the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) assay--were applied. The screened extracts were found to be active against each of the tested microorganisms. O. europaea presented MIC and MBC ranges of 0.07-10.00 mg mL(-1) and 0.60-10.00 mg mL(-1), respectively. The mean MBC values for mastic gum and I. viscosa were 0.07-10.00 mg mL(-1) and 0.15-10.00 mg mL(-1), respectively. Extracts were less effective against C. albicans and exerted bactericidal effects at a concentration range of 0.07-5.00 mg mL(-1) on strict anaerobic bacteria (Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, Fusobacterium nucleatum, and Parvimonas micra). Ethyl acetate I. viscosa extract and total mastic extract showed considerable antimicrobial activity against oral microorganisms and could therefore be considered as alternative natural anti-infectious agents.

  7. Precisely Determining Ultralow level UO22+ in Natural Water with Plasmonic Nanowire Interstice Sensor

    PubMed Central

    Gwak, Raekeun; Kim, Hongki; Yoo, Seung Min; Lee, Sang Yup; Lee, Gyoung-Ja; Lee, Min-Ku; Rhee, Chang-Kyu; Kang, Taejoon; Kim, Bongsoo

    2016-01-01

    Uranium is an essential raw material in nuclear energy generation; however, its use raises concerns about the possibility of severe damage to human health and the natural environment. In this work, we report an ultrasensitive uranyl ion (UO22+) detection method in natural water that uses a plasmonic nanowire interstice (PNI) sensor combined with a DNAzyme-cleaved reaction. UO22+ induces the cleavage of DNAzymes into enzyme strands and released strands, which include Raman-active molecules. A PNI sensor can capture the released strands, providing strong surface-enhanced Raman scattering signal. The combination of a PNI sensor and a DNAzyme-cleaved reaction significantly improves the UO22+ detection performance, resulting in a detection limit of 1 pM and high selectivity. More importantly, the PNI sensor operates perfectly, even in UO22+-contaminated natural water samples. This suggests the potential usefulness of a PNI sensor in practical UO22+-sensing applications. We anticipate that diverse toxic metal ions can be detected by applying various ion-specific DNA-based ligands to PNI sensors. PMID:26791784

  8. Effects of Natural Osmolytes on the Protein Structure in Supercritical CO2: Molecular Level Evidence.

    PubMed

    Monhemi, Hassan; Housaindokht, Mohammad Reza; Nakhaei Pour, Ali

    2015-08-20

    Protein instability in supercritical CO2 limits the application of this green solvent in enzyme-catalyzed reactions. CO2 molecules act as a protein denaturant at high pressure under supercritical conditions. Here, for the first time, we show that natural osmolytes could stabilize protein conformation in supercritical CO2. Molecular dynamics simulation is used to monitor the effects of adding different natural osmolytes on the conformation and dynamics of chymotrypsin inhibitor 2 (CI2) in supercritical CO2. Simulations showed that CI2 is denatured at 200 bar in supercritical CO2, which is in agreement with experimental observations. Interestingly, the protein conformation remains native after addition of ∼1 M amino acid- and sugar-based osmolyte models. These molecules stabilize protein through the formation of supramolecular self-assemblies resulting from macromolecule-osmolyte hydrogen bonds. Nevertheless, trimethylamine N-oxide, which is known as a potent osmolyte for protein stabilization in aqueous solutions, amplifies protein denaturation in supercritical CO2. On the basis of our structural analysis, we introduce a new mechanism for the osmolyte effect in supercritical CO2, an "inclusion mechanism". To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that introduces the application of natural osmolytes in a supercritical fluid and describes mechanistic insights into osmolyte action in nonaqueous media.

  9. Human-Nature Interaction in the Eastern Pamirs of Tajikistan - Ecosystem services against the background of pasture use and energy consumption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanselow, K. A.; Samimi, C.; Kraudzun, T.; Kreutzmann, H.

    2012-04-01

    , and explanatory variables derived from remotely sensed data. Phytomass availability was estimated using a point-intercept method (Mueller-Dombois & Ellenberg 1974). Forage quality of the most important fodder plants was analyzed according to van Soest (1994). By combining the results the availability of metabolizable energy throughout the study area was estimated. Spatiotemporal variations of pasture use were mapped by repeatedly visiting all pasture camps from 2007 until 2009 and 280 pastoralist were interviewed. Furthermore, the development of usage rights, and the size and ownership of the herds since the Soviet era were assessed through archive work and topic-specific expert interviews. It could be shown that the mono-seasonal pasture utilization on the state farms contrasts with a distinct multi-seasonal present-day use. Consequently, pastures close to villages are permanently used, particularly in winter, and are heavily overgrazed. In contrast, grazing pressure on summer pastures is much less. However, also several distant summer pastures show high livestock numbers, which indicates that they are not underused, as it is often argued. Furthermore, it could be demonstrated that the actual degradation of dwarf shrub vegetation is not yet as severe as stated in reports and literature. These results can help to advise stakeholders (e.g. local administration, herders, NGOs) about sustainable management of the natural resources.

  10. Workshop on the role of natural analogs in geologic disposal of high-level nuclear waste: Proceedings

    SciTech Connect

    Kovach, L.A.; Murphy, W.M.

    1995-09-01

    A Workshop on the Role of Natural Analogs in Geologic Disposal of High-Level Nuclear Waste was held in San Antonio, Texas on July 22--25, 1991. The proceedings comprise seventeen papers submitted by participants at the workshop. A series of papers addresses the relation of natural analog studies to the regulation, performance assessment, and licensing of a geologic repository. Applications of reasoning by analogy are illustrated in papers on the role of natural analogs in studies of earthquakes, petroleum, and mineral exploration. A summary is provided of a recently completed, internationally coordinated natural analog study at Pocos de Caldas, Brazil. Papers also cover problems and applications of natural analog studies in four technical areas of nuclear waste management-. waste form and waste package, near-field processes and environment, far-field processes and environment, and volcanism and tectonics. Summaries of working group deliberations in these four technical areas provide reviews and proposals for natural analog applications. Individual papers have been cataloged separately.

  11. High-resolution phenotypic profiling of natural products-induced effects on the single-cell level

    PubMed Central

    Kremb, Stephan; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2017-01-01

    Natural products (NPs) are highly evolved molecules making them a valuable resource for new therapeutics. Here we demonstrate the usefulness of broad-spectrum phenotypic profiling of NP-induced perturbations on single cells with imaging-based High-Content Screening to inform on physiology, mechanisms-of-actions, and multi-level toxicity. Our technology platform aims at broad applicability using a comprehensive marker panel with standardized settings streamlined towards an easy implementation in laboratories dedicated to natural products research. PMID:28295057

  12. Seasonal forecasting of groundwater levels in natural aquifers in the United Kingdom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackay, Jonathan; Jackson, Christopher; Pachocka, Magdalena; Brookshaw, Anca; Scaife, Adam

    2014-05-01

    Groundwater aquifers comprise the world's largest freshwater resource and provide resilience to climate extremes which could become more frequent under future climate changes. Prolonged dry conditions can induce groundwater drought, often characterised by significantly low groundwater levels which may persist for months to years. In contrast, lasting wet conditions can result in anomalously high groundwater levels which result in flooding, potentially at large economic cost. Using computational models to produce groundwater level forecasts allows appropriate management strategies to be considered in advance of extreme events. The majority of groundwater level forecasting studies to date use data-based models, which exploit the long response time of groundwater levels to meteorological drivers and make forecasts based only on the current state of the system. Instead, seasonal meteorological forecasts can be used to drive hydrological models and simulate groundwater levels months into the future. Such approaches have not been used in the past due to a lack of skill in these long-range forecast products. However systems such as the latest version of the Met Office Global Seasonal Forecast System (GloSea5) are now showing increased skill up to a 3-month lead time. We demonstrate the first groundwater level ensemble forecasting system using a multi-member ensemble of hindcasts from GloSea5 between 1996 and 2009 to force 21 simple lumped conceptual groundwater models covering most of the UK's major aquifers. We present the results from this hindcasting study and demonstrate that the system can be used to forecast groundwater levels with some skill up to three months into the future.

  13. [Serum AMH level is not a predictive value for IVF in modified natural cycle: analysis of 342 cycles].

    PubMed

    Lamazou, F; Genro, V; Fuchs, F; Grynberg, M; Gallot, V; Achour-Frydman, N; Fanchin, R; Frydman, R

    2011-05-01

    The objective is to compare the IVF procedures in modified natural cycle outcomes according to serum anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) levels. We included in this retrospective study 342 patients undergoing their first IVF in modified natural cycle. Patients were regrouped in three groups according to their serum AMH level: group 1 was defined by patients with AMH level<0.97 ng/mL (<25th percentile), group 2, patients with AMH level between 0.97 ng/mL and 2.60 ng/mL (25-75th percentile), and group 3, patients with AMH level between 2.61 ng/mL and 6.99 ng/mL (>75th percentile). The main outcomes were cancellation rate, embryo transfer rate and clinical pregnancy rate, ongoing pregnancy rate and implantation rate. No difference has been observed on cancellation rate, embryo transfer rate, clinical pregnancy rate and implantation rate. The ongoing pregnancy rate per IVF cycle was respectively: 12.8±3.6% for AMH inferior to 0.97 ng/mL versus 12.5±2.5% for AMH between 0.97 to 2.60 ng/mL and 13.4±4.2% for AMH between 2.61 ng/mL and 6.99 ng/mL. In conclusion, IVF in modified natural cycles procedures should be considered as an option for patients with an altered ovarian reserve defined by a serum AMH inferior to 1 ng/mL. Serum AMH level seems a quantitative marker of the ovary but not a quality factor. Serum AMH level does not seem to be a prognostic factor for ongoing pregnancy rated in IVF modified cycles.

  14. High-Level Antimicrobial Efficacy of Representative Mediterranean Natural Plant Extracts against Oral Microorganisms

    PubMed Central

    Cecere, Manuel; Skaltsounis, Alexios Leandros; Argyropoulou, Aikaterini; Hellwig, Elmar; Aligiannis, Nektarios

    2014-01-01

    Nature is an unexplored reservoir of novel phytopharmaceuticals. Since biofilm-related oral diseases often correlate with antibiotic resistance, plant-derived antimicrobial agents could enhance existing treatment options. Therefore, the rationale of the present report was to examine the antimicrobial impact of Mediterranean natural extracts on oral microorganisms. Five different extracts from Olea europaea, mastic gum, and Inula viscosa were tested against ten bacteria and one Candida albicans strain. The extraction protocols were conducted according to established experimental procedures. Two antimicrobial assays—the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) assay and the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) assay—were applied. The screened extracts were found to be active against each of the tested microorganisms. O. europaea presented MIC and MBC ranges of 0.07–10.00 mg mL−1 and 0.60–10.00 mg mL−1, respectively. The mean MBC values for mastic gum and I. viscosa were 0.07–10.00 mg mL−1 and 0.15–10.00 mg mL−1, respectively. Extracts were less effective against C. albicans and exerted bactericidal effects at a concentration range of 0.07–5.00 mg mL−1 on strict anaerobic bacteria (Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, Fusobacterium nucleatum, and Parvimonas micra). Ethyl acetate I. viscosa extract and total mastic extract showed considerable antimicrobial activity against oral microorganisms and could therefore be considered as alternative natural anti-infectious agents. PMID:25054150

  15. Sponge halogenated natural products found at parts-per-million levels in marine mammals.

    PubMed

    Vetter, Walter; Stoll, Elke; Garson, Mary J; Fahey, Shireen J; Gaus, Caroline; Müller, Jochen F

    2002-10-01

    Several unknown, abundant brominated compounds (BCs) were recently detected in the blubber of dolphins and other marine mammals from Queensland (northeast Australia). The BCs were interpreted as potential natural products due to the lack of anthropogenic sources for these compounds. This study investigated whether some of the BCs accumulated by diverse marine mammal species are identical with natural BCs previously isolated from sponges (Dysidea sp.) living in the same habitat. Isolates from sponges and mollusks (Asteronotus cespitosus) were compared with the signals detected in the mammals' tissue. Mass spectra and gas chromatography retention times on four different capillary columns of the isolates from sponges and mammals were identical in all respects. This proves that the chemical name of the compound previously labeled BC-2 is 4,6-dibromo-2-(2',4'-dibromo)phenoxyanisole and that the chemical name of BC-11 is 3,5-dibromo-2-(3',5'-dibromo,2'-methoxy)phenoxyanisole. Using a quantitative reference solution of BC-2, we established that the concentrations of the brominated metabolites found in the marine mammals are frequently >1 mg/kg. The highest concentration (3.8 mg/kg), found in a sample of pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps), indicates that BC-2 is a bioaccumulative, natural organohalogen compound. This is supported by the concentrations of the BCs in our samples being equal to the highest concentrations of anthropogenic BCs in any environmental sample. The quantitative determination of BC-2 in blubber of marine mammals from Africa and the Antarctic suggests that BC-2 is widespread. These results are direct proof that marine biota can produce persistent organic chemicals that accumulate to substantial concentrations in higher trophic organisms.

  16. Natural versus anthropogenic factors affecting low-level cloud albedo over the North Atlantic

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Falkowski, Paul G.; Kim, Yongseung; Kolber, Zbigniew; Wilson, Cara; Wirick, Creighton; Cess, Robert

    1992-01-01

    Cloud albedo plays a key role in regulating earth's climate. Cloud albedo depends on column-integrated liquid water content and the density of cloud condensation nuclei, which consists primarily of submicrometer-sized aerosol sulfate particles. A comparison of two independent satellite data sets suggests that, although anthropogenic sulfate emissions may enhance cloud albedo immediately adjacent to the east coast of the United States, over the central North Atlantic Ocean the variability in albedo can be largely accounted for by natural marine and atmospheric processes that probably have remained relatively constant since the beginning of the industrial revolution.

  17. Contrasts in Relationships Between School Achievement and Background, Ability and Personality Factors for Groups Differing in Sex and Race at the Primary School Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Landsberger, Betty H.

    The position advanced in this paper is that the nature of the confrontation between the institution of school and the children who attend it is different and is experienced differently by the four sex-color groups: white girls, white boys, black girls, and black boys. Data for this study were collected from approximately 475 children at the…

  18. Natural radioactivity levels of geothermal waters and their influence on soil and agricultural activities.

    PubMed

    Murat Saç, Müslim; Aydemir, Sercan; Içhedef, Mutlu; Kumru, Mehmet N; Bolca, Mustafa; Ozen, Fulsen

    2014-01-01

    All over the world geothermal sources are used for different purposes. The contents of these waters are important to understand positive/negative effects on human life. In this study, natural radioactivity concentrations of geothermal waters were investigated to evaluate the effect on soils and agricultural activities. Geothermal water samples were collected from the Seferihisar Geothermal Region, and the radon and radium concentrations of these waters were analysed using a collector chamber method. Also soil samples, which are irrigated with geothermal waters, were collected from the surroundings of geothermal areas, and natural radioactivity concentrations of collected samples (U, Th and K) were determined using an NaI(Tl) detector system. The activity concentrations of radon and radium were found to be 0.6-6.0 and 0.1-1.0 Bq l(-1), respectively. Generally, the obtained results are not higher compared with the geothermal waters of the world. The activity concentrations in soils were found to be in the range of 3.3-120.3 Bq kg(-1) for (226)Ra (eU), 0.3-108.5 Bq kg(-1) for (232)Th (eTh), 116.0-850.0 Bq kg(-1) for (40)K (% K).

  19. Low-Level Contrast Statistics of Natural Images Can Modulate the Frequency of Event-Related Potentials (ERP) in Humans.

    PubMed

    Ghodrati, Masoud; Ghodousi, Mahrad; Yoonessi, Ali

    2016-01-01

    Humans are fast and accurate in categorizing complex natural images. It is, however, unclear what features of visual information are exploited by brain to perceive the images with such speed and accuracy. It has been shown that low-level contrast statistics of natural scenes can explain the variance of amplitude of event-related potentials (ERP) in response to rapidly presented images. In this study, we investigated the effect of these statistics on frequency content of ERPs. We recorded ERPs from human subjects, while they viewed natural images each presented for 70 ms. Our results showed that Weibull contrast statistics, as a biologically plausible model, explained the variance of ERPs the best, compared to other image statistics that we assessed. Our time-frequency analysis revealed a significant correlation between these statistics and ERPs' power within theta frequency band (~3-7 Hz). This is interesting, as theta band is believed to be involved in context updating and semantic encoding. This correlation became significant at ~110 ms after stimulus onset, and peaked at 138 ms. Our results show that not only the amplitude but also the frequency of neural responses can be modulated with low-level contrast statistics of natural images and highlights their potential role in scene perception.

  20. Low-Level Contrast Statistics of Natural Images Can Modulate the Frequency of Event-Related Potentials (ERP) in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Ghodrati, Masoud; Ghodousi, Mahrad; Yoonessi, Ali

    2016-01-01

    Humans are fast and accurate in categorizing complex natural images. It is, however, unclear what features of visual information are exploited by brain to perceive the images with such speed and accuracy. It has been shown that low-level contrast statistics of natural scenes can explain the variance of amplitude of event-related potentials (ERP) in response to rapidly presented images. In this study, we investigated the effect of these statistics on frequency content of ERPs. We recorded ERPs from human subjects, while they viewed natural images each presented for 70 ms. Our results showed that Weibull contrast statistics, as a biologically plausible model, explained the variance of ERPs the best, compared to other image statistics that we assessed. Our time-frequency analysis revealed a significant correlation between these statistics and ERPs' power within theta frequency band (~3–7 Hz). This is interesting, as theta band is believed to be involved in context updating and semantic encoding. This correlation became significant at ~110 ms after stimulus onset, and peaked at 138 ms. Our results show that not only the amplitude but also the frequency of neural responses can be modulated with low-level contrast statistics of natural images and highlights their potential role in scene perception. PMID:28018197

  1. Analysis of Assessment Practice and Subsequent Performance of Third Year Level Students in Natural Sciences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lucas, K. C.; Dippenaar, S. M.; Du Toit, P. H.

    2014-01-01

    Summative assessment qualifies the achievement of a student in a particular field of specialization at a given time. Questions should include a range of cognitive levels from Bloom's taxonomy and be consistent with the learning outcomes of the module in question. Furthermore, a holistic approach to assessment, such as the application of the…

  2. Probing the Natural World, Level III, Teacher's Edition: Environmental Science. Intermediate Science Curriculum Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonar, John R., Ed.; Hathway, James A., Ed.

    This is the teacher's edition of one of the eight units of the Intermediate Science Curriculum Study (ISCS) for level III students (grade 9). This unit and its activities focuses on environmental pollution and hazards. Optional excursions are suggested for students who wish to study an area in greater depth. An introduction describes the problem…

  3. Probing the Natural World, Level III, Teacher's Edition: In Orbit. Intermediate Science Curriculum Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonar, John R., Ed.; Hathway, James A., Ed.

    This is the teacher's edition of one of the eight units of the Intermediate Science Curriculum Study (ISCS) for level III students (grade 9). This unit focuses on the properties of sunlight, the use of spectrums and spectroscopes, the heat and energy of the sun, the measurement of astronomical distances, and the size of the sun. Optimal…

  4. Probing the Natural World, Level III, Student Guide: In Orbit. Intermediate Science Curriculum Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonar, John R., Ed.; Hathway, James A., Ed.

    This is the student's text of one unit of the Intermediate Science Curriculum Study (ISCS) for level III students (grade 9). This unit focuses on the properties of sunlight, the use of spectrums and spectroscopes, the heat and energy of the sun, the measurement of astronomical distances, and the size of the sun. Activities are student-centered and…

  5. Probing the Natural World, Level III, Record Book, Student Guide: In Orbit. Intermediate Science Curriculum Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonar, John R., Ed.; Hathway, James A., Ed.

    This is the student's edition of the Record Book which accompanies the unit "In Orbit" of the Intermediate Science Curriculum Study (ISCS) for level III students (grade 9). Space is provided for answers to the questions from the student text as well as for the optional excursions and the self evaluation. An introductory note to the…

  6. Probing the Natural World, Level III, Record Book, Teacher's Edition: In Orbit. Intermediate Science Curriculum Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonar, John R., Ed.; Hathway, James A., Ed.

    This is the teacher's edition of the Record Book for the unit "In Orbit" of the Intermediate Science Curriculum Study (ISCS) for level III students (grade 9). The correct answers to the questions from the text are recorded. An introductory note to the student explains how to use the book and is followed by the notes to the teacher.…

  7. Probing the Natural World, Level III, Teacher's Edition: Well-Being. Intermediate Science Curriculum Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonar, John R., Ed.; Hathway, James A., Ed.

    This is the teacher's edition of one of the eight units of the Intermediate Science Curriculum Study (ISCS) for level III students (grade 9). This unit focuses on hazards to the body from drug use. Activities are given that relate to the topic. Optional excursions are suggested for students who wish to study an area in greater depth. An…

  8. Probing the Natural World, Level III, Student Guide: What's Up? Intermediate Science Curriculum Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonar, John R., Ed.; Hathway, James A., Ed.

    This is the student's text of one unit of the Intermediate Science Curriculum Study (ISCS) for level III students (grade 9). The chapters contain basic information about rockets, space, and principles of physics, as well as activities related to the subject and optional excursions. A section of introductory notes to the student discusses how the…

  9. Probing the Natural World, Level III, Teacher's Edition: Crusty Problems. Intermediate Science Curriculum Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonar, John R., Ed.; Hathway, James A., Ed.

    This is the teacher's edition of one of the eight units of the Intermediate Science Curriculum Study (ISCS) for level III students (grade 9). This unit focuses on processes that shape the earth. Optional excursions, in addition to the activities, are suggested for students who wish to study an area in greater depth on an individualized basis. An…

  10. Protein levels and colony development of Africanized and European honey bees fed natural and artificial diets.

    PubMed

    Morais, M M; Turcatto, A P; Pereira, R A; Francoy, T M; Guidugli-Lazzarini, K R; Gonçalves, L S; de Almeida, J M V; Ellis, J D; De Jong, D

    2013-12-19

    Pollen substitute diets are a valuable resource for maintaining strong and health honey bee colonies. Specific diets may be useful in one region or country and inadequate or economically unviable in others. We compared two artificial protein diets that had been formulated from locally-available ingredients in Brazil with bee bread and a non-protein sucrose diet. Groups of 100 newly-emerged, adult workers of Africanized honey bees in Brazil and European honey bees in the USA were confined in small cages and fed on one of four diets for seven days. The artificial diets included a high protein diet made of soy milk powder and albumin, and a lower protein level diet consisting of soy milk powder, brewer's yeast and rice bran. The initial protein levels in newly emerged bees were approximately 18-21 µg/µL hemolymph. After feeding on the diets for seven days, the protein levels in the hemolymph were similar among the protein diet groups (~37-49 µg/µL after seven days), although Africanized bees acquired higher protein levels, increasing 145 and 100% on diets D1 and D2, respectively, versus 83 and 60% in the European bees. All the protein diets resulted in significantly higher levels of protein than sucrose solution alone. In the field, the two pollen substitute diets were tested during periods of low pollen availability in the field in two regions of Brazil. Food consumption, population development, colony weight, and honey production were evaluated to determine the impact of the diets on colony strength parameters. The colonies fed artificial diets had a significant improvement in all parameters, while control colonies dwindled during the dearth period. We conclude that these two artificial protein diets have good potential as pollen substitutes during dearth periods and that Africanized bees more efficiently utilize artificial protein diets than do European honey bees.

  11. Natural Variability of Allergen Levels in Conventional Soybeans: Assessing Variation across North and South America from Five Production Years.

    PubMed

    Geng, Tao; Stojšin, Duška; Liu, Kang; Schaalje, Bruce; Postin, Cody; Ward, Jason; Wang, Yongcheng; Liu, Zi Lucy; Li, Bin; Glenn, Kevin

    2017-01-18

    Soybean (Glycine max L. Merrill) is one of eight major allergenic foods with endogenous proteins identified as allergens. To better understand the natural variability of five soybean allergens (Gly m 4, Gly m 5, Gly m 6, Gly m Bd 28k, and Gly m Bd 30k), validated enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) were developed. These ELISAs measured allergens in 604 soybean samples collected from locations in North and South America over five growing seasons (2009-2013/2014) and including 37 conventional varieties. Levels of these five allergens varied 5-19-fold. Multivariate statistical analyses and pairwise comparisons show that environmental factors have a larger effect on allergen levels than genetic factors. Therefore, from year to year, consumers are exposed to highly variable levels of allergens in soy-based foods, bringing into question whether quantitative comparison of endogenous allergen levels of new genetically modified soybean adds meaningful information to their overall safety risk assessment.

  12. Nonthermal cosmic neutrino background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Mu-Chun; Ratz, Michael; Trautner, Andreas

    2015-12-01

    We point out that, for Dirac neutrinos, in addition to the standard thermal cosmic neutrino background (C ν B ), there could also exist a nonthermal neutrino background with comparable number density. As the right-handed components are essentially decoupled from the thermal bath of standard model particles, relic neutrinos with a nonthermal distribution may exist until today. The relic density of the nonthermal (nt) background can be constrained by the usual observational bounds on the effective number of massless degrees of freedom Neff and can be as large as nν nt≲0.5 nγ. In particular, Neff can be larger than 3.046 in the absence of any exotic states. Nonthermal relic neutrinos constitute an irreducible contribution to the detection of the C ν B and, hence, may be discovered by future experiments such as PTOLEMY. We also present a scenario of chaotic inflation in which a nonthermal background can naturally be generated by inflationary preheating. The nonthermal relic neutrinos, thus, may constitute a novel window into the very early Universe.

  13. Multi-choice stochastic bi-level programming problem in cooperative nature via fuzzy programming approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maiti, Sumit Kumar; Roy, Sankar Kumar

    2016-05-01

    In this paper, a Multi-Choice Stochastic Bi-Level Programming Problem (MCSBLPP) is considered where all the parameters of constraints are followed by normal distribution. The cost coefficients of the objective functions are multi-choice types. At first, all the probabilistic constraints are transformed into deterministic constraints using stochastic programming approach. Further, a general transformation technique with the help of binary variables is used to transform the multi-choice type cost coefficients of the objective functions of Decision Makers(DMs). Then the transformed problem is considered as a deterministic multi-choice bi-level programming problem. Finally, a numerical example is presented to illustrate the usefulness of the paper.

  14. Metabolic engineering of seeds can achieve levels of omega-7 fatty acids comparable to the highest levels found in natural plant sources

    SciTech Connect

    Nguyen, H.T.; Shanklin, J.; Mishra, G.; Whittle, E.; Bevan, S. A.; Merlo, A. O.; Walsh, T. A.

    2010-12-01

    Plant oils containing {omega}-7 fatty acids (FAs; palmitoleic 16:1{Delta}{sup 9} and cis-vaccenic 18:1{Delta}{sup 11}) have potential as sustainable feedstocks for producing industrially important octene via metathesis chemistry. Engineering plants to produce seeds that accumulate high levels of any unusual FA has been an elusive goal. We achieved high levels of {omega}-7 FA accumulation by systematic metabolic engineering of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). A plastidial 16:0-ACP desaturase has been engineered to convert 16:0 to 16:1{Delta}{sup 9} with specificity >100-fold than that of naturally occurring paralogs, such as that from cat's claw vine (Doxantha unguis-cati). Expressing this engineered enzyme (Com25) in seeds increased {omega}-7 FA accumulation from <2% to 14%. Reducing competition for 16:0-ACP by down-regulating the {beta}-ketoacyl-ACP synthase II 16:0 elongase further increased accumulation of {omega}-7 FA to 56%. The level of 16:0 exiting the plastid without desaturation also increased to 21%. Coexpression of a pair of fungal 16:0 desaturases in the cytosol reduced the 16:0 level to 11% and increased {omega}-7 FA to as much as 71%, equivalent to levels found in Doxantha seeds.

  15. Metabolic Engineering of Seeds Can Achieve Levels of ω-7 Fatty Acids Comparable with the Highest Levels Found in Natural Plant Sources1[OA

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Huu Tam; Mishra, Girish; Whittle, Edward; Pidkowich, Mark S.; Bevan, Scott A.; Merlo, Ann Owens; Walsh, Terence A.; Shanklin, John

    2010-01-01

    Plant oils containing ω-7 fatty acids (FAs; palmitoleic 16:1Δ9 and cis-vaccenic 18:1Δ11) have potential as sustainable feedstocks for producing industrially important octene via metathesis chemistry. Engineering plants to produce seeds that accumulate high levels of any unusual FA has been an elusive goal. We achieved high levels of ω-7 FA accumulation by systematic metabolic engineering of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). A plastidial 16:0-ACP desaturase has been engineered to convert 16:0 to 16:1Δ9 with specificity >100-fold than that of naturally occurring paralogs, such as that from cat's claw vine (Doxantha unguis-cati). Expressing this engineered enzyme (Com25) in seeds increased ω-7 FA accumulation from <2% to 14%. Reducing competition for 16:0-ACP by down-regulating the β-ketoacyl-ACP synthase II 16:0 elongase further increased accumulation of ω-7 FA to 56%. The level of 16:0 exiting the plastid without desaturation also increased to 21%. Coexpression of a pair of fungal 16:0 desaturases in the cytosol reduced the 16:0 level to 11% and increased ω-7 FA to as much as 71%, equivalent to levels found in Doxantha seeds. PMID:20943853

  16. Detection of indoxyl sulfate levels in dogs and cats suffering from naturally occurring kidney diseases.

    PubMed

    Cheng, F P; Hsieh, M J; Chou, C C; Hsu, W L; Lee, Y J

    2015-09-01

    Indoxyl sulfate (IS), a protein-bound uraemic toxin, has been found to accumulate in the serum of people with renal diseases and is associated with free radical induction, nephrotoxicity cardiovascular toxicity, and osteoblast cytotoxicity. Although IS has been studied in humans and in experimental models, the role of IS in dogs and cats with kidney disease has not been investigated. A high performance liquid chromatography system was applied to detect plasma IS concentrations in non-azotaemic animals (63 dogs, 16 cats) and in animals with renal azotaemia (66 dogs, 69 cats). The IS levels of azotaemic animals were significantly higher (P <0.01) than those of non-azotaemic animals (median [IQR] 20.4 (9.5) mg/L vs. 7.2 (8.8) mg/L for dogs; median [IQR] 21 (18.9) mg/L vs. 14.8 (12.3) mg/L for cats). The IS level was significantly correlated with blood urea nitrogen, serum creatinine and phosphate concentrations. Dogs with acute kidney injury had significantly higher IS levels (P <0.01) than those with chronic kidney diseases (CKD) (median [IQR] 57.7 (40.8) mg/L vs. 17.7 (25.1) mg/L). When CKD was graded using the International Renal Interest Society (IRIS) staging system, IS levels were correlated with CKD severity in both dogs and cats. The IS concentration is directly related to loss of renal function. Further studies are necessary to determine whether measurement of IS provides any additional diagnostic or prognostic information in dogs and cats with kidney disease.

  17. Critical loads of nitrogen deposition and critical levels of atmospheric ammonia for semi-natural Mediterranean evergreen woodlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinho, P.; Theobald, M. R.; Dias, T.; Tang, Y. S.; Cruz, C.; Martins-Loução, M. A.; Máguas, C.; Sutton, M.; Branquinho, C.

    2012-03-01

    Nitrogen (N) has emerged in recent years as a key factor associated with global changes, with impacts on biodiversity, ecosystems functioning and human health. In order to ameliorate the effects of excessive N, safety thresholds such as critical loads (deposition fluxes) and levels (concentrations) can be established. Few studies have assessed these thresholds for semi-natural Mediterranean ecosystems. Our objective was therefore to determine the critical loads of N deposition and long-term critical levels of atmospheric ammonia for semi-natural Mediterranean evergreen woodlands. We have considered changes in epiphytic lichen communities, one of the most sensitive comunity indicators of excessive N in the atmosphere. Based on a classification of lichen species according to their tolerance to N we grouped species into response functional groups, which we used as a tool to determine the critical loads and levels. This was done for a Mediterranean climate in evergreen cork-oak woodlands, based on the relation between lichen functional diversity and modelled N deposition for critical loads and measured annual atmospheric ammonia concentrations for critical levels, evaluated downwind from a reduced N source (a cattle barn). Modelling the highly significant relationship between lichen functional groups and annual atmospheric ammonia concentration showed the critical level to be below 1.9 μg m-3, in agreement with recent studies for other ecosystems. Modelling the highly significant relationship between lichen functional groups and N deposition showed that the critical load was lower than 26 kg (N) ha-1 yr-1, which is within the upper range established for other semi-natural ecosystems. Taking into account the high sensitivity of lichen communities to excessive N, these values should aid development of policies to protect Mediterranean woodlands from the initial effects of excessive N.

  18. Research Frontiers in Bioinspired Energy: Molecular-Level Learning from Natural Systems: A Workshop

    SciTech Connect

    Zolandz, Dorothy

    2012-03-28

    An interactive, multidisciplinary, public workshop, organized by a group of experts in biochemistry, biophysics, chemical and biomolecular engineering, chemistry, microbial metabolism, and protein structure and function, was held on January 6-7, 2011 in Washington, DC. Fundamental insights into the biological energy capture, storage, and transformation processes provided by speakers was featured in this workshop which included topics such as microbes living in extreme environments such as hydrothermal vents or caustic soda lakes (extremophiles) provided a fascinating basis for discussing the exploration and development of new energy systems. Breakout sessions and extended discussions among the multidisciplinary groups of participants in the workshop fostered information sharing and possible collaborations on future bioinspired research. Printed and web-based materials that summarize the committee's assessment of what transpired at the workshop were prepared to advance further understanding of fundamental chemical properties of biological systems within and between the disciplines. In addition, webbased materials (including two animated videos) were developed to make the workshop content more accessible to a broad audience of students and researchers working across disciplinary boundaries. Key workshop discussion topics included: Exploring and identifying novel organisms; Identifying patterns and conserved biological structures in nature; Exploring and identifying fundamental properties and mechanisms of known biological systems; Supporting current, and creating new, opportunities for interdisciplinary education, training, and outreach; and Applying knowledge from biology to create new devices and sustainable technology.

  19. Geochemistry of uranium and thorium and natural radioactivity levels of the western Anatolian plutons, Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papadopoulos, Argyrios; Altunkaynak, Şafak; Koroneos, Antonios; Ünal, Alp; Kamaci, Ömer

    2017-01-01

    Seventy samples from major plutons (mainly granitic) of Western Anatolia (Turkey) have been analyzed by γ-ray spectrometry to determine the specific activities of 238U, 226Ra, 232Th and 40K (Bq/kg). Τhe natural radioactivity ranged up to 264 Bq/kg for 238U, 229.62 Bq/kg for 226Ra, up to 207.32 Bq/kg for 232Th and up to 2541.95 Bq/kg for 40K. Any possible relationship between the specific activities of 226Ra, 238U, 232Th and 40K and some characteristics of the studied samples (age, rock-type, colour, grain size, occurrence, chemical and mineralogical composition) was investigated. Age, major and trace element geochemistry, color, pluton location and mineralogical composition are likely to affect the concentrations of the measured radionuclides. The range of the Th/U ratio was large (0.003-11.374). The latter, along with 226Ra/238U radioactive secular disequilibrium, is also discussed and explained by magmatic processes during differentiation.

  20. The Behaviour of Naturally Debonded Composites Due to Bending Using a Meso-Level Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lord, C. E.; Rongong, J. A.; Hodzic, A.

    2012-06-01

    Numerical simulations and analytical models are increasingly being sought for the design and behaviour prediction of composite materials. The use of high-performance composite materials is growing in both civilian and defence related applications. With this growth comes the necessity to understand and predict how these new materials will behave under their exposed environments. In this study, the displacement behaviour of naturally debonded composites under out-of-plane bending conditions has been investigated. An analytical approach has been developed to predict the displacement response behaviour. The analytical model supports multi-layered composites with full and partial delaminations. The model can be used to extract bulk effective material properties in which can be represented, later, as an ESL (Equivalent Single Layer). The friction between each of the layers is included in the analytical model and is shown to have distinct behaviour for these types of composites. Acceptable agreement was observed between the model predictions, the ANSYS finite element model, and the experiments.

  1. [Maximum permissible levels of asbestos and other natural minerals with fibrous structure--necessity of verification].

    PubMed

    Woźniak, H; Wiecek, E

    1991-01-01

    MACs of asbestos are from 2 to 20 times higher in Poland than in other Western Europe countries. The analysis of occupational diseases reported between 1983 and 1988 among workers of asbestos-cement plants has showed that Polish MAC values do not protect people from work-related asbestosis. Asbestosis was frequently diagnosed in workers employed at mining and processing of nickel ore containing admixtures of fibrous antigorite. The risk of asbestosis in workers of a nickel++ metallurgical plant was 8 times higher that in those employed at an asbestos-cement plant. In an animal study, fibrogenic, carcinogenic and mutagenic activity of antigorite was similar to the biological aggressiveness of crocidolite. Based on own studies and literature data, the following MACs for asbestos and other natural fibrous minerals were established: a) for dusts containing asbestos and other fibrous minerals except crocidolite and fibrous antigorite, total dust concentration equals 1 mg/m3 and concentration of fibres longer than 5 microns = 0.5 fibre/cm3 b) for dusts containing crocidolite and fibrous antigorite total dust concentration = 0.5 mg/m3 and concentration of fibres longer than 5 microns = 0.2 fibre/cm3.

  2. Natural levels of abnormalities in the trilling frog (neobactrachus centralis) at the Olympic dam mine

    SciTech Connect

    Read, J.L. ); Tyler, M.J. )

    1994-07-01

    Frogs are more susceptible than most vertebrates to environmental contaminants. Unlike amniotes, the frog egg is not protected by a semi-impervious shell, and hence is readily exposed to pollutants. In addition, tadpoles develop in wetlands to which many noxious substances drain from the surrounding landscape. Coupled with this high exposure rate, frogs are also very sensitive to trace elements, some pesticides, heavy metals especially when coupled with exposure to low pH and ionizing radiation. Frogs commonly exhibit discernible deformities following exposure to teratogenic contaminants, and therefore are valuable indicators of the existence of noxious substances in the environment. The abundance and ease of sampling of frogs, along with their sensitivity to environmental contaminants, makes them ideal organisms for environmental monitoring in the Australian arid zone. The study of abnormalities in frogs has become an integral part of the Environmental Management Programme of the Olympic Dam Operations (ODO) copper-uranium-gold-silver mine in northern South Australia. The Trilling Frog (Neobatrachus centralis) is the only frog species which has been recorded at Olympic Dam. It is likely that these frogs, are relatively sedentary, thus enhancing their value as indicator organisms. A pilot survey in 1989 documented frog deformity levels comparable to those found at undisturbed sites in Australia and in other countries. This paper reports on larger study conducted in February and March 1992 when heavy rains provided another opportunity to survey the frog population. The low levels of abnormalities support the conclusion that N. centralis at Olympic Dam does not appear to be accumulating or being influenced by the very low levels of radionuclides present here.

  3. Social baggrund, intellektuelt niveau og placering i skolesystemet (The Relationship between Social Background, the Intellectual Level of Pupils, and Their Situation in the School System at the Age of 14).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Orum, Bente

    This document is an English-language abstract (approximately 1,500 words) of a report whose aim was to investigate the relationship between intellectual level, social background, and the personal circumstances of the pupil within the school system at the age of 14. Their parents answered a questionnaire, and this, coupled with IQ tests given to…

  4. Self-Injurious Thoughts and Behaviors among Youth in an Underserved Area of the Southern United States: Exploring the Moderating Roles of Gender, Racial/Ethnic Background, and School-Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Latzman, Robert D.; Gratz, Kim L.; Young, John; Heiden, Laurie J.; Damon, John D.; Hight, Terry L.

    2010-01-01

    Despite the clinical relevance of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITB) among youth, little is known about the subset of youth most at-risk for SITB. This study examined the moderating roles of gender, racial/ethnic background, and school-level (and their interactions) on rates of SITB within a large (N = 2638, 52.2% female),…

  5. An Assessment of Different Educational Background of Students Performance in Engineering Mathematics and on the Class of Award Obtained at the Higher National Diploma (HND) Level at Cape Coast Polytechnic, Ghana

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Asirifi, Michael Kwabena; Mensah, Kweku Abeeku; Amoako, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this research article is to find out an assessment of different educational background of students performance in engineering mathematics and on the class of award obtained at the Higher National Diploma (HND) level at Cape Coast Polytechnic. A descriptive survey was conducted on students of the Electricals/Electronics Department…

  6. Background Information for Educators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    US Environmental Protection Agency, 2001

    2001-01-01

    Mercury is a naturally occurring and widely used element that can cause health and ecological problems when released to the environment through human activities. Though a national and even international issue, the health and environmental impacts of mercury are best understood when studied at the local level. "Mercury: An Educator's Toolkit"…

  7. Effect of natural gas exsolution on specific storage in a confined aquifer undergoing water level decline

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yager, R.M.; Fountain, J.C.

    2001-01-01

    The specific storage of a porous medium, a function of the compressibility of the aquifer material and the fluid within it, is essentially constant under normal hydrologic conditions. Gases dissolved in ground water can increase the effective specific storage of a confined aquifer, however, during water level declines. This causes a reduction in pore pressure that lowers the gas solubility and results in exsolution. The exsolved gas then displaces water from storage, and the specific storage increases because gas compressibility is typically much greater than that of water or aquifer material. This work describes the effective specific storage of a confined aquifer exsolving dissolved gas as a function of hydraulic head and the dimensionless Henry's law constant for the gas. This relation is applied in a transient simulation of ground water discharge from a confined aquifer system to a collapsed salt mine in the Genesee Valley in western New York. Results indicate that exsolution of gas significantly increased the effective specific storage in the aquifer system, thereby decreasing the water level drawdown.

  8. Effect of natural gas exsolution on specific storage in a confined aquifer undergoing water level decline.

    PubMed

    Yager, R M; Fountain, J C

    2001-01-01

    The specific storage of a porous medium, a function of the compressibility of the aquifer material and the fluid within it, is essentially constant under normal hydrologic conditions. Gases dissolved in ground water can increase the effective specific storage of a confined aquifer, however, during water level declines. This causes a reduction in pore pressure that lowers the gas solubility and results in exsolution. The exsolved gas then displaces water from storage, and the specific storage increases because gas compressibility is typically much greater than that of water or aquifer material. This work describes the effective specific storage of a confined aquifer exsolving dissolved gas as a function of hydraulic head and the dimensionless Henry's law constant for the gas. This relation is applied in a transient simulation of ground water discharge from a confined aquifer system to a collapsed salt mine in the Genesee Valley in western New York. Results indicate that exsolution of gas significantly increased the effective specific storage in the aquifer system, thereby decreasing the water level drawdown.

  9. The dynamic nature of relative sea level in Southeast Asia: tectonic effects and human impacts (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, E.; Qiu, Q.; Feng, L.; Lubis, A.; Meltzner, A. J.; Tsang, L. L.; Daly, P.; McCaughey, J.; Banerjee, P.; Rubin, C. M.; Sieh, K.

    2013-12-01

    Tectonic changes can have significant effects on crustal deformation, the geoid, and relative sea level (RSL). Indeed, the tectonic impacts on RSL in some regions can be greater than those predicted as a result of climate change. In the case of earthquakes, these changes can occur suddenly, as coastlines uplift or subside by up to many meters. The changes can also occur over many decades as a result of interseismic or postseismic processes, or periodically in the form of transient slow-slip events. Although these effects are (mostly) recovered elastically over the course of the earthquake cycle, they are occurring in the context of ever-increasing populations living along affected coastlines, particularly the case in areas such as SE Asia. The societal effects of these tectonic-induced sea-level changes are therefore becoming increasingly significant, and important to consider in future projections for sea-level change. Additionally, tide-gauge and gravity measurements made in tectonically active areas cannot be interpreted without consideration and modeling of the tectonic setting. These facts highlight the need for accurate geodetic measurements of land-height change. Along the Sumatra subduction zone, a series of great earthquakes have occurred over the last decade, along with numerous moderate and smaller earthquakes. These, and their ensuing postseismic deformation, have reshaped regional coastlines. We will show visualization of land height changes using a decade of Sumatra GPS Array (SuGAr) data, and related tectonic models, that demonstrate dramatically the ups and downs of land elevation close to the earthquake sources. Vertical coseismic displacements as large as ~2.9 m have been recorded by the SuGAr (an uplift at Nias, during the 2005 Mw 8.6 earthquake), and vertical postseismic rates on the order of tens of mm/yr or greater (e.g., in northern Aceh, one station has been uplifting at a rate of ~34 mm/yr since the 2004 Mw 9.2 earthquake, while in southern

  10. A robust method for ammonium nitrogen isotopic analysis in freshwater and seawater at natural abundance levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, L.; Altabet, M. A.; Wu, T.; Hadas, O.

    2006-12-01

    Natural ammonium N isotopic abundance has been increasingly used in studies of marine and freshwater biogeochemistry. However, current methods are time-consuming, subject to interference from DON, and not reliable at low concentrations. Our new method for determining the δ15N of ammonium overcomes these difficulties by employing the oxidation of ammonium to nitrite followed by conversion of nitrite to nitrous oxide. In the first step, ammonium is quantitatively oxidized by hypobromite at pH~12. After the addition of sodium arsenite to consume excess hypobromite, yield is verified by colorimetric NO2-measurement using sulfanilamide and naphthyl ethylenediamine (NED). Nitrite is further reduced to N2O by a 1:1 sodium azide and acetic acid buffer solution using previously established procedures. Buffer concentration can be varied according to sample matrix to ensure that a reaction pH between 2 and 4 is reached. The product nitrous oxide is then isotopically analyzed using a continuous flow purge and cryogenic trap system coupled to an isotope ratio mass spectrometer. Reliable δ15N values (±0.31‰) are obtained over a concentration range of 0.5 μM to 20 μM using 20 ml volumes of either fresh or seawater samples. Reagent blanks are very low, about 0.05 μM. There is no interference from any of the nitrogen containing compounds tested except short chain aliphatic amino acid (i.e. glycine) which typically are not present at sufficiently high environmental concentrations to pose a problem.

  11. Effects of chemical elements in the trophic levels of natural salt marshes.

    PubMed

    Kamiński, Piotr; Barczak, Tadeusz; Bennewicz, Janina; Jerzak, Leszek; Bogdzińska, Maria; Aleksandrowicz, Oleg; Koim-Puchowska, Beata; Szady-Grad, Małgorzata; Klawe, Jacek J; Woźniak, Alina

    2016-06-01

    The relationships between the bioaccumulation of Na, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Cu, Mn, Co, Cd, and Pb, acidity (pH), salinity (Ec), and organic matter content within trophic levels (water-soil-plants-invertebrates) were studied in saline environments in Poland. Environments included sodium manufactures, wastes utilization areas, dumping grounds, and agriculture cultivation, where disturbed Ca, Mg, and Fe exist and the impact of Cd and Pb is high. We found Zn, Cu, Mn, Co, and Cd accumulation in the leaves of plants and in invertebrates. Our aim was to determine the selectivity exhibited by soil for nutrients and heavy metals and to estimate whether it is important in elucidating how these metals are available for plant/animal uptake in addition to their mobility and stability within soils. We examined four ecological plant groups: trees, shrubs, minor green plants, and water macrophytes. Among invertebrates, we sampled breastplates Malacostraca, small arachnids Arachnida, diplopods Diplopoda, small insects Insecta, and snails Gastropoda. A higher level of chemical elements was found in saline polluted areas (sodium manufactures and anthropogenic sites). Soil acidity and salinity determined the bioaccumulation of free radicals in the trophic levels measured. A pH decrease caused Zn and Cd to increase in sodium manufactures and an increase in Ca, Zn, Cu, Cd, and Pb in the anthropogenic sites. pH increase also caused Na, Mg, and Fe to increase in sodium manufactures and an increase in Na, Fe, Mn, and Co in the anthropogenic sites. There was a significant correlation between these chemical elements and Ec in soils. We found significant relationships between pH and Ec, which were positive in saline areas of sodium manufactures and negative in the anthropogenic and control sites. These dependencies testify that the measurement of the selectivity of cations and their fluctuation in soils provide essential information on the affinity and binding strength in these environments. The

  12. Toxicity evaluation of natural samples from the vicinity of rice fields using two trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Marques, Catarina R; Pereira, Ruth; Gonçalves, Fernando

    2011-09-01

    An ecotoxicological screening of environmental samples collected in the vicinity of rice fields followed a combination of physical and chemical measurements and chronic bioassays with two freshwater trophic levels (microalgae: Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata and Chlorella vulgaris; daphnids: Daphnia longispina and Daphnia magna). As so, water and sediment/soil elutriate samples were obtained from three sites: (1) in a canal reach crossing a protected wetland upstream, (2) in a canal reach surrounded by rice fields and (3) in a rice paddy. The sampling was performed before and during the rice culture. During the rice cropping, the whole system quality decreased comparatively to the situation before that period (e.g. nutrient overload, the presence of pesticides in elutriates from sites L2 and L3). This was reinforced by a significant inhibition of both microalgae growth, especially under elutriates. Contrary, the life-history traits of daphnids were significantly stimulated with increasing concentrations of water and elutriates, for both sampling periods.

  13. Holocene Sea-Level Rise in New Jersey and W. North Atlantic Reefs: Untangling Natural and Anthropogenic Effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanley, A. M.; Miller, K. G.; Sugarman, P. J.; Browning, J. V.

    2004-12-01

    The history of pre-anthropogenic Holocene global sea level has not been well constrained. We provide Holocene sea-level estimates for five new boreholes on the New Jersey (NJ) coast (Rainbow Island, Great Bay I, Great Bay II, Cape May, and Island Beach). We analyzed facies, radiocarbon dated marsh deposits, and derived a sea-level record by compiling new and previously published NJ data. Our sea-level record shows a constant rise of ˜2 mm/yr from ˜7000 yrBP to present. This contrasts sharply with previous NJ estimates that suggested a slowing in rise since 2000 yrBP. Comparison with other NJ locations suggests surprising uniformity in the rate of rise amongst sites as far flung as Cape May and Cheesequake (200 km apart), suggesting a far-field response to the Laurentide ice sheet. The "Barbados/western North Atlantic reefs sea-level" record shows a major decrease in the rate of rise from 12 mm/yr to ˜2 mm/yr between 7000 and 8000 yrBP. Data from NJ and western North Atlantic reefs indicate a constant rate of rise of ˜2 mm/yr since ˜7000 yrBP. This suggests a background, pre-anthropogenic sea-level rise of 2 mm/yr for the entire east coast of the U.S. This background includes both the global (water volume) rise and far-field geoidal subsidence due to removal of the Laurentide ice sheet and water loading (estimated as 1 mm/yr in the modern). Applying the modern subsidence rate to the Holocene suggests a eustatic rise of ˜1 mm/yr since 7000 yrBP. Based on tide gauge data, regional sea-level rise averaged 3 mm/yr from 1900-1995, with higher rates (4 mm/yr) locally due to compaction and groundwater withdrawal. We conclude that the anthropogenically induced rise in sea level was ˜1 mm/yr from 1900-1995.

  14. Low level measurements of natural radionuclides in soil samples around a coal-fired power plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosner, G.; Bunzl, K.; Hötzl, H.; Winkler, R.

    1984-06-01

    To detect a possible contribution of airborne radioactivity from stack effluents to the soil radioactivity, several radionuclides in the soil around a coal-fired power plant have been determined. A plant situated in a rural region of Bavaria was selected to minimize contributions from other civilisatory sources. The soil sampling network consisted of 5 concentric circles with diameters between 0.4 and 5.2 km around the plant, 16 sampling points being distributed regularly on each circle. Radiochemical analysis techniques for 210Pb and 210Po in soil samples of several grams had to be developed. They include a wet dissolution procedure, simultaneous precipitation of lead and polonium as the sulfides, purification via lead sulfate, counting of the lead as the chromate in a low-level beta counter and alpha spectrometric determination of the 210Po in a gridded ionization chamber. The 238U, 226Ra, 232Th and 40K were counted by low level gamma spectrometry. Specific activities found were in the range of 0.7 to 2.0 pCi g -1 for 210Pb and 0.3 to 1.6 pCi g -1 for 226Ra. The distribution patterns of 210Po and 210Pb around the plant were found to be similar. They were different, however, from that of 226Ra. The highest 210Pb/ 226Ra activity ratio was 3.9 at a distance of 0.76 km SSE from the plant. Nevertheless, the evidence is not considered to be sufficient to attribute these observations unambiguously to plant releases.

  15. Achieved Level of Living in a Mississippi Delta County: A Step-wise Multiple Regression Model with Emphasis on Race and Related Background Characteristics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCoy, John L.

    Washington County, Mississippi was selected as the site for this study because it manifested many of the rural social problems of the larger 11 county Yazoo Mississippi Delta region. During the spring of 1971 a sample of 418 males, 45 years of age and younger, were interviewed to investigate achieved level of living. The sample was about evenly…

  16. Chlorine Is an Oxide, Heat Causes Molecules to Melt, and Sodium Reacts Badly in Chlorine: A Survey of the Background Knowledge of One A-Level Chemistry Class.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taber, Keith S.

    1996-01-01

    Argues that surveying what new students understand about the basics of a subject can be illuminating. Presents a case study of A-level chemistry students and suggests that, although the details of what was uncovered are idiosyncratic, the paucity of understanding of fundamental concepts may be common. Presents suggestions for responding to such a…

  17. Evaluation of spontaneous DNA damage in lymphocytes of healthy adult individuals from high-level natural radiation areas of Kerala in India.

    PubMed

    Kumar, P R Vivek; Cheriyan, V D; Seshadri, M

    2012-05-01

    Inhabitants of the high-level natural radiation areas (>1 mSv year(-1)) of Kerala in southwest India were evaluated for basal damage (spontaneous DNA strand breaks and alkali-labile sites) by the alkaline comet assay and oxidative DNA damage (ENDO III- and hOGG1-sensitive sites) by the enzyme-modified comet assay. Of the 67 adult male subjects studied, 45 were from high-level natural radiation areas and 22 subjects were from a nearby normal-level natural radiation area (≤1 mSv year(-1)). Basal damage due to the age and residential area (normal-level natural radiation area/high-level natural radiation areas) of the donors showed significant interaction (P < 0.001) when all subjects were analyzed using a general linear model (GLM). In subgroup analysis, basal damage increased with age in subjects from the normal-level natural radiation area (P = 0.02), while a significant negative correlation (P = 0.002) was observed in subjects from high-level natural radiation areas. Further, basal damage in elderly subjects from high-level natural radiation areas was significantly (P < 0.001) lower compared to the subjects from the normal-level natural radiation area. Oxidative DNA damage was not influenced by age, smoking habit or residential area in the entire sample. However, in a subgroup analysis, hOGG1-sensitive sites showed a significant increase with age in subjects from high-level natural radiation areas (P = 0.005). ENDO III-sensitive sites increased with natural radiation exposure in subjects from high-level natural radiation areas (P = 0.02), but when stratified according to smoking, a significant increase was observed only in smokers (P = 0.01). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study on basal and oxidative DNA damage in healthy adults of this population. However, our findings need more validation in a larger study population.

  18. Distribution of low-level natural radioactivity in a populated marine region of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Evangeliou, Nikolaos; Florou, Heleny; Kritidis, Panayotis

    2012-12-01

    The levels of natural radioactivity have been evaluated in the water column of an eastern Mediterranean region (Saronikos Gulf), with respect to the relevant environmental parameters. A novel methodology was used for the determination of natural radionuclides, which substitutes the time-consuming radiochemical analysis, based on an in situ sample preconcentration using ion-selective manganese fibres placed on pumping systems. With regard to the results obtained, (238)U-series radionuclides were found at the same level or lower than those observed previously in Mediterranean regions indicating the absence of technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material (TENORM) activities in the area. Similar results were observed for the (232)Th-series radionuclides and (40)K in the water column in comparison with the relevant literature on the Mediterranean Sea. The calculated ratios of (238)U-(232)Th and (40)K-(232)Th verified the lack of TENORM contribution in the Saronikos Gulf. Finally, a rough estimation was attempted concerning the residence times of fresh water inputs from a treatment plant of domestic wastes (Waste Water Treatment Plant of Psitalia) showing that fresh waters need a maximum of 15.7±7.6 d to be mixed with the open sea water.

  19. Strategy for identifying natural analogs of the long-term performance of low-level waste disposal sites

    SciTech Connect

    Chatters, J.C.; Waugh, W.J.; Foley, M.G.; Kincaid, C.T.

    1990-07-01

    The US Department of Energy's Low-Level Waste (LLW) Management Program has asked Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) to explore the feasibility of using natural analogs of anticipated waste site and conditions to help validate predictions of the performance of LLW disposal sites. Current regulations require LLW facilities to control the spread of hazardous substances into the environment for at least the next 500 years. Natural analog studies can provide information about processes affecting waste containment that cannot be fully explored through laboratory experimentation and modeling because of the extended period of required performance. For LLW applications, natural analogs include geochemical systems, pedogenic (soil formation) indicators, proxy climate data, and ecological and archaeological settings that portray long-term changes in disposal site environments and the survivability of proposed waste containment materials and structures. Analog data consist of estimates of performance assessment (PA) model input parameters that define possible future environmental states of waste sites, validation parameters that can be predicted by PA models, and descriptive information that can build public confidence in waste disposal practices. This document describes PNL's overall stategy for identifying analogs for LLW disposal systems, reviews lessons learned from past analogs work, outlines the findings of the workshop, and presents examples of analog studies that workshop participants found to be applicable to LLW performance assessment. The lessons from the high-level waste analogs experience and workshop discussions will be used to develop detailed study plans during FY 1990. 39 refs.

  20. Consumer attitude and purchase intention towards processed meat products with natural compounds and a reduced level of nitrite.

    PubMed

    Hung, Yung; de Kok, Theo M; Verbeke, Wim

    2016-11-01

    This study investigates consumer attitude and purchase intention towards processed meat products with added natural compounds and a reduced level of nitrite. The rationale for such innovation relates to nitrite's negative health image as a chemical additive among consumers, versus the perception of compounds from fruits and vegetables as being natural and healthy. Cross-sectional data were collected through online questionnaires on knowledge about, interest in, attitude and intentions towards such new type of processed meat products in Belgium, The Netherlands, Italy and Germany (n=2057). Consumers generally had limited knowledge about nitrite being added to meat products. Yet, they expressed favourable attitudes and purchase intentions towards the new processed meat products. Purchase intention associated positively with: attitude; preference for natural over chemical additives; perceived harmfulness of chemical additives; risk importance; domain specific innovativeness; awareness of nitrite added; education; general health interest; and processed meat consumption frequency. Consumers from Italy and Germany had a lower level of purchase intention compared to Belgium. Four consumer segments were identified based on attitude and purchase intention: 'enthusiasts' (39.3% of the sample), 'accepters' (11.9%), 'half-hearted' (42.3%) and 'uninterested' (6.6%). This study provides valuable insight for further product development and effective tailoring of marketing communication strategies of innovative processed meat products.

  1. Field observations of the effects of protracted low levels of ionizing radiation on natural aquatic population by using a cytogenetic tool.

    PubMed

    Florou, H; Tsytsugina, V; Polikarpov, G G; Trabidou, G; Gorbenko, V; Chaloulou, C H

    2004-01-01

    In the present study, an effort is attempted to record the impact of chronic radiation on natural aquatic populations exposed to protracted doses (lower if compared to intervention levels but higher if compared to typical background) and to chemical pollution. The methodology is based on the analyses of chromosome aberrations observed in cells. Therefore, some preliminary research results on the cytogenetic effects on aquatic organisms of various taxa, in coastal ecosystems are presented, considering some selective regions of elevated natural gamma radiation and conventional pollution. These areas are the geothermal spring areas in the island of Ikaria-Eastern Aegean Sea and the port of Pireus, in Greece. The data are compared to the findings recorded in some organisms collected from the North Aegean Sea the early period after the Chernobyl accident. With regard to the different species examined, a first evaluation of the results is made using the reported field findings for the wide area of Chernobyl. The environmental assessment of the studied areas in terms of radiation impact is based on the cytogenetic injuries observed, and evidence of ecosystem disturbance is also pointed out. The final environmental assessment based on the quantified effects observed in the organisms from the studied areas takes into account a published conceptual model of zones of radiation dose rates and the resulting organism responses in a step function scale.

  2. Antimicrobial activity of various immunomodulators: independence from normal levels of circulating monocytes and natural killer cells. Technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Morahan, P.S.; Dempsey, W.L.; Volkman, A.; Connor, J.

    1986-01-01

    The effects of /sup 89/Sr treatment on the natural host resistance of CD-1 mice and the enhancement of resistance by immunomodulators to infection with Listeria monocytogenes or herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) were determined. In the CD-1 mouse, single-dose treatment with /sup 89/Sr caused a profound decrease in the number of circulating monocytes (Mo), lymphocytes, and polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) within 1 week. There was also marked functional impairment of the Mo inflammatory response, as well as markedly decreased spontaneous and activatable cytoxicity by splenic natural killer (NK) cells. Despite this profound cellular suppression, there was no significant change in natural resistance of CD-1 mice to L. monocytogenes of HSV-2 infection. Furthermore, prophylactic treatment of mice with the biologic immunomodulator Corynebacterium parvum or the synthetic immunomodulators maleic anhydride-divinyl ether or avridine in liposomes resulted in comparable enhancement of resistance in /sup 89/Sr-treated and normal mice. These data indicate that natural and immunomodulator-enhanced resistance of CD-1 mice to microbail infections do not depend on normal levels of Mo, PMN, or NK cells. The resistance enhancement may rely on activated tissue macrophages. In contrast to the early changes in circulating leukocytes, the residenet peritoneal cell populations were not markedly altered until after day 30. There then was a distinct decline in lymphocytes and a gradual decline in activated tissue macrophages.

  3. Effect of temperature, pH, and oxygen level on the multiplication of naturally occurring Legionella pneumophila in potable water.

    PubMed Central

    Wadowsky, R M; Wolford, R; McNamara, A M; Yee, R B

    1985-01-01

    A water culture containing naturally occurring Legionella pneumophila and associated microbiota was maintained in the laboratory by serially transferring the culture in tap water which had been sterilized by membrane filtration. Successful maintenance of the water culture depended upon transferring the culture when the growth of L. pneumophila was in the late-exponential to early-stationary phase. The water culture was used as a source of naturally occurring bacteria to determine some of the parameters which affect the multiplication of L. pneumophila in tap water. Naturally occurring L. pneumophila multiplied at a temperature between 25 and 37 degrees C, at pH levels of 5.5 to 9.2, and at concentrations of dissolved oxygen of 6.0 to 6.7 mg/liter. Multiplication did not occur in tap water which contained less than 2.2 mg of dissolved oxygen per liter. An association was observed between the multiplication of L. pneumophila and the non-Legionellaceae bacteria which were also present in the water culture. The method of preserving naturally occurring L. pneumophila and associated microbiota may facilitate studies on the symbiosis of L. pneumophila with other microorganisms. PMID:4004233

  4. Background Rejection in the ARA Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfendner, Carl

    2017-03-01

    The Askaryan Radio Array (ARA) is a radio frequency observatory under construction at the South Pole that is searching for ultrahigh energy neutrinos via the Askaryan effect. Thermal fluctuations currently dominate the trigger-level background for the observatory and anthropogenic sources also introduce a significant source of noise. By taking advantage of the observatory's regular geometry and the expected coincident nature of the RF signals arriving from neutrino-induced events, this background can be filtered efficiently. This contribution will discuss techniques developed for the ARA analyses to reject these thermal signals, to reject anthropogenic backgrounds, and to search for neutrino-induced particle showers in the Antarctic ice. The results of a search for neutrinos from GRBs using the prototype station using some of these techniques will be presented.

  5. Presence of neutrons in the low-level background environment estimated by the analysis of the 595.8 keV gamma peak

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anđelić, Brankica; Knežević, David; Jovančević, Nikola; Krmar, Miodrag; Petrović, Jovana; Toth, Arpad; Medić, Žarko; Hansman, Jan

    2017-04-01

    In order to explore possible improvements of the existing techniques developed to estimate the neutron fluence in low-background Ge-spectroscopy systems, gamma spectra were collected by a HPGe detector in the presence of the 252Cf spontaneous fission neutron source. The spectra were taken with and without a Cd envelope on the detector dipstick, with different thicknesses of plastic used to slow down neutrons. We have analyzed the complex 595.8 keV gamma peak, as well as several more gamma peaks following the neutron interactions in the detector itself and surroundings materials. The investigation shows that some changes of the initial neutron spectra can be monitored by the analysis of the 595.8 keV gamma peak. We have found good agreement in the intensity changes between the long-tail component of the 595.8 keV and the 691 keV gamma peak (72Ge(n,n‧)72Ge reaction), usually used for the estimation of the fast neutron fluence. Results also suggest that the thermal neutrons can have a stronger influence on creation of the Gaussian-like part of 595.8 keV peak, than on the 139 keV one following 74Ge(n,γ)75mGe reaction and used in the standard methods (Škoro et al., 1992) [8] for determination of the thermal neutron flux.

  6. Sebum and Hydration Levels in Specific Regions of Human Face Significantly Predict the Nature and Diversity of Facial Skin Microbiome

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Souvik; Mitra, Rupak; Maitra, Arindam; Gupta, Satyaranjan; Kumaran, Srikala; Chakrabortty, Amit; Majumder, Partha P.

    2016-01-01

    The skin microbiome varies across individuals. The causes of these variations are inadequately understood. We tested the hypothesis that inter-individual variation in facial skin microbiome can be significantly explained by variation in sebum and hydration levels in specific facial regions of humans. We measured sebum and hydration from forehead and cheek regions of healthy female volunteers (n = 30). Metagenomic DNA from skin swabs were sequenced for V3-V5 regions of 16S rRNA gene. Altogether, 34 phyla were identified; predominantly Actinobacteria (66.3%), Firmicutes (17.7%), Proteobacteria (13.1%) and Bacteroidetes (1.4%). About 1000 genera were identified; predominantly Propionibacterium (58.6%), Staphylococcus (8.6%), Streptococcus (4.0%), Corynebacterium (3.6%) and Paracoccus (3.3%). A subset (n = 24) of individuals were sampled two months later. Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that cheek sebum level was the most significant predictor of microbiome composition and diversity followed by forehead hydration level; forehead sebum and cheek hydration levels were not. With increase in cheek sebum, the prevalence of Actinobacteria (p = 0.001)/Propionibacterium (p = 0.002) increased, whereas microbiome diversity decreased (Shannon Index, p = 0.032); this was opposite for other phyla/genera. These trends were reversed for forehead hydration levels. Therefore, the nature and diversity of facial skin microbiome is jointly determined by site-specific lipid and water levels in the stratum corneum. PMID:27786295

  7. Elevated lead levels and adverse effects on natural killer cells in children from an electronic waste recycling area.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yu; Huo, Xia; Cao, Junjun; Yang, Tian; Xu, Long; Xu, Xijin

    2016-06-01

    Lead (Pb) has been proved to exert immunotoxicity to influence immune homeostasis in humans. To monitor the internal Pb level and evaluate its effect on natural killer (NK) cells and cytokine/chemokine concentrations, we recruited 285 preschool children from Guiyu, one of the largest electronic waste (e-waste) destinations and recycling areas in the world, and known to have high concentrations of Pb in the air, soil, water, sediment and plants. A total of 126 preschool children were selected from Haojiang as a reference group. Results showed that children in Guiyu, the exposed area, had higher blood Pb levels and lower percentages of NK cells than children from the reference area. A significantly negative association was found between the percentage of NK cells and increasing Pb levels. Moreover, children in Guiyu area had higher platelet counts and IL-1β concentrations, and lower levels of IL-2, IL-27, MIP-1α and MIP-1β were observed in the exposed children. These changes might not be conducive to the development and differentiation of NK cells. Taken together, the elevated Pb levels result in the lower percentages of NK cells, but also alter the levels of platelets, IL-1β and IL-27, which might be unconducive to the activity and function of NK cells.

  8. The level and nature of autistic intelligence II: what about Asperger syndrome?

    PubMed

    Soulières, Isabelle; Dawson, Michelle; Gernsbacher, Morton Ann; Mottron, Laurent

    2011-01-01

    A distinctively uneven profile of intelligence is a feature of the autistic spectrum. Within the spectrum, Asperger individuals differ from autistics in their early speech development and in being less likely to be characterized by visuospatial peaks. While different specific strengths characterize different autistic spectrum subgroups, all such peaks of ability have been interpreted as deficits: isolated, aberrant, and irreconcilable with real human intelligence. This view has recently been challenged by findings of autistic strengths in performance on Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM), an important marker of general and fluid intelligence. We investigated whether these findings extend to Asperger syndrome, an autistic spectrum subgroup characterized by verbal peaks of ability, and whether the cognitive mechanisms underlying autistic and Asperger RPM performance differ. Thirty-two Asperger adults displayed a significant advantage on RPM over Wechsler Full-Scale and Performance scores relative to their typical controls, while in 25 Asperger children an RPM advantage was found over Wechsler Performance scores only. As previously found with autistics, Asperger children and adults achieved RPM scores at a level reflecting their Wechsler peaks of ability. Therefore, strengths in RPM performance span the autistic spectrum and imply a common mechanism advantageously applied to different facets of cognition. Autistic spectrum intelligence is atypical, but also genuine, general, and underestimated.

  9. The Level and Nature of Autistic Intelligence II: What about Asperger Syndrome?

    PubMed Central

    Soulières, Isabelle; Dawson, Michelle; Gernsbacher, Morton Ann; Mottron, Laurent

    2011-01-01

    A distinctively uneven profile of intelligence is a feature of the autistic spectrum. Within the spectrum, Asperger individuals differ from autistics in their early speech development and in being less likely to be characterized by visuospatial peaks. While different specific strengths characterize different autistic spectrum subgroups, all such peaks of ability have been interpreted as deficits: isolated, aberrant, and irreconcilable with real human intelligence. This view has recently been challenged by findings of autistic strengths in performance on Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM), an important marker of general and fluid intelligence. We investigated whether these findings extend to Asperger syndrome, an autistic spectrum subgroup characterized by verbal peaks of ability, and whether the cognitive mechanisms underlying autistic and Asperger RPM performance differ. Thirty-two Asperger adults displayed a significant advantage on RPM over Wechsler Full-Scale and Performance scores relative to their typical controls, while in 25 Asperger children an RPM advantage was found over Wechsler Performance scores only. As previously found with autistics, Asperger children and adults achieved RPM scores at a level reflecting their Wechsler peaks of ability. Therefore, strengths in RPM performance span the autistic spectrum and imply a common mechanism advantageously applied to different facets of cognition. Autistic spectrum intelligence is atypical, but also genuine, general, and underestimated. PMID:21991394

  10. Postprandial levels of the natural vitamin E tocotrienol in human circulation.

    PubMed

    Khosla, Pramod; Patel, Viren; Whinter, Janice M; Khanna, Savita; Rakhkovskaya, Marina; Roy, Sashwati; Sen, Chandan K

    2006-01-01

    Compared to tocopherols, tocotrienols are poorly understood. The postabsorptive fate of tocotrienol isomers and their association with lipoprotein subfractions was examined. Normocholesterolemic women were subjected to an oral fat challenge supplemented with vitamin E (capsule containing 77 mg alpha-tocotrienol, 96 mg alpha-tocotrienol, 3 mg gamma-tocotrienol, 62 mg alpha-tocopherol, and 96 mg gamma-tocopherol). Plasma samples were collected at every 2 h intervals for up to 8 h following a one-time supplementation. Lipoproteins were measured by NMR spectroscopy, and subfractions of lipoproteins were isolated by density gradient ultracentrifugation. The maximal alpha-tocotrienol concentrations in supplemented individuals averaged approximately 3 microM in blood plasma, 1.7 microM in LDL, 0.9 microM in triglyceride-rich lipoprotein, and 0.5 microM in HDL. The peak plasma level corresponded to 12- to 30-fold more than the concentration of alpha-tocotrienol required to completely prevent stroke-related neurodegeneration. Tocotrienols were detected in the blood plasma and all lipoprotein subfractions studied postprandially.

  11. Relationship between Platelet PPARs, cAMP Levels, and P-Selectin Expression: Antiplatelet Activity of Natural Products.

    PubMed

    Fuentes, Eduardo; Palomo, Iván

    2013-01-01

    Platelets are no longer considered simply as cells participating in thrombosis. In atherosclerosis, platelets are regulators of multiple processes, with the recruitment of inflammatory cells towards the lesion sites, inflammatory mediators release, and regulation of endothelial function. The antiplatelet therapy has been used for a long time in an effort to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases. However, limited efficacy in some patients, drug resistance, and side effects are limitations of current antiplatelet therapy. In this context, a large number of natural products (polyphenols, terpenoids, alkaloids, and fatty acids) have been reported with antiplatelet activity. In this sense, the present paper describes mechanisms of antiplatelet action of natural products on platelet P-selectin expression through cAMP levels and its role as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors agonists.

  12. Relationship between Platelet PPARs, cAMP Levels, and P-Selectin Expression: Antiplatelet Activity of Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Fuentes, Eduardo; Palomo, Iván

    2013-01-01

    Platelets are no longer considered simply as cells participating in thrombosis. In atherosclerosis, platelets are regulators of multiple processes, with the recruitment of inflammatory cells towards the lesion sites, inflammatory mediators release, and regulation of endothelial function. The antiplatelet therapy has been used for a long time in an effort to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases. However, limited efficacy in some patients, drug resistance, and side effects are limitations of current antiplatelet therapy. In this context, a large number of natural products (polyphenols, terpenoids, alkaloids, and fatty acids) have been reported with antiplatelet activity. In this sense, the present paper describes mechanisms of antiplatelet action of natural products on platelet P-selectin expression through cAMP levels and its role as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors agonists. PMID:24324520

  13. Calibration with MCNP of NaI detector for the determination of natural radioactivity levels in the field.

    PubMed

    Cinelli, Giorgia; Tositti, Laura; Mostacci, Domiziano; Baré, Jonathan

    2016-05-01

    In view of assessing natural radioactivity with on-site quantitative gamma spectrometry, efficiency calibration of NaI(Tl) detectors is investigated. A calibration based on Monte Carlo simulation of detector response is proposed, to render reliable quantitative analysis practicable in field campaigns. The method is developed with reference to contact geometry, in which measurements are taken placing the NaI(Tl) probe directly against the solid source to be analyzed. The Monte Carlo code used for the simulations was MCNP. Experimental verification of the calibration goodness is obtained by comparison with appropriate standards, as reported. On-site measurements yield a quick quantitative assessment of natural radioactivity levels present ((40)K, (238)U and (232)Th). On-site gamma spectrometry can prove particularly useful insofar as it provides information on materials from which samples cannot be taken.

  14. The DNA methylation level against the background of the genome size and t-heterochromatin content in some species of the genus Secale L

    PubMed Central

    Kalinka, Anna; Poter, Paulina

    2017-01-01

    Methylation of cytosine in DNA is one of the most important epigenetic modifications in eukaryotes and plays a crucial role in the regulation of gene activity and the maintenance of genomic integrity. DNA methylation and other epigenetic mechanisms affect the development, differentiation or the response of plants to biotic and abiotic stress. This study compared the level of methylation of cytosines on a global (ELISA) and genomic scale (MSAP) between the species of the genus Secale. We analyzed whether the interspecific variation of cytosine methylation was associated with the size of the genome (C-value) and the content of telomeric heterochromatin. MSAP analysis showed that S. sylvestre was the most distinct species among the studied rye taxa; however, the results clearly indicated that these differences were not statistically significant. The total methylation level of the studied loci was very similar in all taxa and ranged from 60% in S. strictum ssp. africanum to 66% in S. cereale ssp. segetale, which confirmed the lack of significant differences in the sequence methylation pattern between the pairs of rye taxa. The level of global cytosine methylation in the DNA was not significantly associated with the content of t-heterochromatin and did not overlap with the existing taxonomic rye relationships. The highest content of 5-methylcytosine was found in S. cereale ssp. segetale (83%), while very low in S. strictum ssp. strictum (53%), which was significantly different from the methylation state of all taxa, except for S. sylvestre. The other studied taxa of rye had a similar level of methylated cytosine ranging from 66.42% (S. vavilovii) to 74.41% in (S. cereale ssp. afghanicum). The results obtained in this study are evidence that the percentage of methylated cytosine cannot be inferred solely based on the genome size or t-heterochromatin. This is a significantly more complex issue. PMID:28149679

  15. Relation between residential magnetic fields, light-at-night, and nocturnal urine melatonin levels in women: Volume 1 -- Background and purpose, methods, results, discussion. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Kaune, W.; Davis, S.; Stevens, R.

    1997-11-01

    Scientists have postulated a link between exposure to magnetic fields and reduced blood melatonin levels. This EPRI study was designed to supplement a National Cancer Institute study (NCI-BC) of magnetic fields, light-at-night, and the risk of breast cancer. By expanding the exposure assessment of the NCI-BC and collecting data on urine melatonin levels, this project provides new insight into a possible magnetic field-melatonin link. It has been proposed that exposure to 60-Hz (power frequency) magnetic fields may increase the risk of breast cancer by suppressing the normal nocturnal rise in melatonin production in the pineal gland. It remains unknown whether the human pineal gland is reproducibly responsive or sensitive to magnetic field exposure, and whether such exposures could alter elements of the endogenous hormonal environment in women that might be important in the etiology of breast cancer. The objective of this research was to investigate whether exposure to power-frequency magnetic fields and/or light-at-night is associated with levels of the primary urinary melatonin metabolite in women without a history of breast cancer.

  16. Fasciola hepatica: effect of the natural light level on cercarial emergence from temperature-challenged Galba truncatula

    PubMed Central

    Vignoles, Philippe; Titi, Amal; Rondelaud, Daniel; Mekroud, Abdeslam; Dreyfuss, Gilles

    2014-01-01

    As abrupt changes in water temperature (thermal shock) triggered a significantly greater cercarial emergence of Fasciola hepatica from experimentally infected Galba truncatula, laboratory investigations were carried out to study the influence of light on cercarial emergence in snails subjected to a thermal shock every week (a mean of 12 °C for 3 h) during the patent period. Thermal shock for these temperature-challenged (TC) snails was carried out outdoors under artificial or natural light, or indoors under constant artificial light. Compared with the infected control snails always reared indoors at 20 °C, the number of cercariae in TC snails subjected to a thermal shock and natural light outdoors was significantly greater. The repetition of this experiment by subjecting TC snails to the same thermal shock indoors under an artificial light level ranging from 600 to 3000 lux did not show any significant difference among the numbers of cercariae in the different subgroups. A detailed analysis of the results noted in the TC snails subjected to natural light during the thermal shock demonstrated that the number of cercariae-releasing snails was significantly higher between 601 and 1200 lux and for the highest nebulosity values (7–8 octas, which corresponds to a sufficiently or completely overcast sky). Contrary to the intensity of artificial light, which did not influence cercarial emergence, the natural light level had a significant effect on this process when F. hepatica-infected snails were subjected to a regular thermal shock during the patent period. PMID:24572174

  17. Sex ratio at birth: scenario from normal- and high-level natural radiation areas of Kerala coast in south-west India.

    PubMed

    Koya, P K M; Jaikrishan, G; Sudheer, K R; Andrews, V J; Madhusoodhanan, M; Jagadeesan, C K; Das, Birajalaxmi

    2015-11-01

    Newborns were monitored for congenital malformations in four government hospitals located in high-level (ambient dose >1.5 mGy/year) and normal-level (≤ 1.5 mGy/year) natural radiation areas of Kerala, India, from August 1995 to December 2012. Sex ratio at birth (SRB) among live singleton newborns and among previous children, if any, of their mothers without history of any abortion, stillbirth or twins is reported here. In the absence of environmental stress or selective abortion of females, global average of SRB is about 1050 males to 1000 females. A total of 151,478 singleton, 1031 twins, 12 triplets and 1 quadruplet deliveries were monitored during the study period. Sex ratio among live singleton newborns was 1046 males (95 % CI 1036-1057) for 1000 females (77,153 males:73,730 females) and was comparable to the global average. It was similar in high-level and normal-level radiation areas of Kerala with SRB of 1050 and 1041, respectively. It was consistently more than 1000 and had no association with background radiation levels, maternal and paternal age at birth, parental age difference, gravida status, ethnicity, consanguinity or year of birth. Analysis of SRB of the children of 139,556 women whose reproductive histories were available suggested that couples having male child were likely to opt for more children and this, together with enhanced rate of males at all birth order, was skewing the overall SRB in favour of male children. Though preference for male child was apparent, extreme steps of sex-selective abortion or infanticide were not prevalent.

  18. Oxidation Stability of Pig Liver Pâté with Increasing Levels of Natural Antioxidants (Grape and Tea)

    PubMed Central

    Pateiro, Mirian; Lorenzo, José M.; Vázquez, José A.; Franco, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated the effect of the addition of increasing levels of the natural antioxidants tea (TEA) and grape seed extracts (GRA) on the physiochemical and oxidative stability of refrigerated stored pig pâtés. In addition, a synthetic antioxidant and a control batch were used, thus a total of eight batches of liver pâté were prepared: CON, BHT, TEA (TEA50, TEA200 and TEA1000) and GRA (GRA50, GRA200 and GRA1000). Pâté samples were analyzed following 0, 4, 8 and 24 weeks of storage. Color parameters were affected by storage period and level of antioxidant extract. Samples with TEA200 and GRA1000 levels of extracts showed lower total color difference between 0 and 24 weeks. At the end of storage period, the lower TBARs values were obtained in samples with the highest concentration on natural extract. Overall, the evolution of volatile compounds showed an increase in those ones that arise from the lipid oxidation and samples with TEA1000 extract showed the lowest values. PMID:26785340

  19. Oxidation Stability of Pig Liver Pâté with Increasing Levels of Natural Antioxidants (Grape and Tea).

    PubMed

    Pateiro, Mirian; Lorenzo, José M; Vázquez, José A; Franco, Daniel

    2015-01-27

    The present study investigated the effect of the addition of increasing levels of the natural antioxidants tea (TEA) and grape seed extracts (GRA) on the physiochemical and oxidative stability of refrigerated stored pig pâtés. In addition, a synthetic antioxidant and a control batch were used, thus a total of eight batches of liver pâté were prepared: CON, BHT, TEA (TEA50, TEA200 and TEA1000) and GRA (GRA50, GRA200 and GRA1000). Pâté samples were analyzed following 0, 4, 8 and 24 weeks of storage. Color parameters were affected by storage period and level of antioxidant extract. Samples with TEA200 and GRA1000 levels of extracts showed lower total color difference between 0 and 24 weeks. At the end of storage period, the lower TBARs values were obtained in samples with the highest concentration on natural extract. Overall, the evolution of volatile compounds showed an increase in those ones that arise from the lipid oxidation and samples with TEA1000 extract showed the lowest values.

  20. Effects of redecoration of a hospital isolation room with natural materials on stress levels of denizens in cold season

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohta, Hiromi; Maruyama, Megumi; Tanabe, Yoko; Hara, Toshiko; Nishino, Yoshihiko; Tsujino, Yoshio; Morita, Eishin; Kobayashi, Shotai; Shido, Osamu

    2008-05-01

    We investigated the effects of redecoration of a hospital isolation room with natural materials on thermoregulatory, cardiovascular and hormonal parameters of healthy subjects staying in the room. Two isolation rooms with almost bilaterally-symmetrical arrangements were used. One room (RD) was redecorated with wood paneling and Japanese paper, while the other (CN) was unchanged (with concrete walls). Seven healthy male subjects stayed in each room for over 24 h in the cold season. Their rectal temperature (Tre) and heart rate, and the room temperature (Ta) and relative humidity were continuously measured. Arterial blood pressures, arterial vascular compliance, thermal sensation and thermal comfort were measured every 4 h except during sleeping. Blood was sampled after the stay in the rooms. In RD, Ta was significantly higher by about 0.4°C and relative humidity was lower by about 5% than in CN. Diurnal Tre levels of subjects in RD significantly differed from those in CN, i.e., Tres were significantly higher in RD than in CN especially in the evening. In RD, the subjects felt more thermally-comfortable than in CN. Redecoration had minimal effects on cardiovascular parameters. Plasma levels of catecholamines and antidiuretic hormone did not differ, while plasma cortisol level was significantly lower after staying in RD than in CN by nearly 20%. The results indicate that, in the cold season, redecoration with natural materials improves the thermal environment of the room and contributes to maintaining core temperature of denizens at preferable levels. It also seems that redecoration of room could attenuate stress levels of isolated subjects.

  1. Effects of redecoration of a hospital isolation room with natural materials on stress levels of denizens in cold season.

    PubMed

    Ohta, Hiromi; Maruyama, Megumi; Tanabe, Yoko; Hara, Toshiko; Nishino, Yoshihiko; Tsujino, Yoshio; Morita, Eishin; Kobayashi, Shotai; Shido, Osamu

    2008-05-01

    We investigated the effects of redecoration of a hospital isolation room with natural materials on thermoregulatory, cardiovascular and hormonal parameters of healthy subjects staying in the room. Two isolation rooms with almost bilaterally-symmetrical arrangements were used. One room (RD) was redecorated with wood paneling and Japanese paper, while the other (CN) was unchanged (with concrete walls). Seven healthy male subjects stayed in each room for over 24 h in the cold season. Their rectal temperature (T(re)) and heart rate, and the room temperature (T(a)) and relative humidity were continuously measured. Arterial blood pressures, arterial vascular compliance, thermal sensation and thermal comfort were measured every 4 h except during sleeping. Blood was sampled after the stay in the rooms. In RD, T(a) was significantly higher by about 0.4 degrees C and relative humidity was lower by about 5% than in CN. Diurnal T(re) levels of subjects in RD significantly differed from those in CN, i.e., T(re)s were significantly higher in RD than in CN especially in the evening. In RD, the subjects felt more thermally-comfortable than in CN. Redecoration had minimal effects on cardiovascular parameters. Plasma levels of catecholamines and antidiuretic hormone did not differ, while plasma cortisol level was significantly lower after staying in RD than in CN by nearly 20%. The results indicate that, in the cold season, redecoration with natural materials improves the thermal environment of the room and contributes to maintaining core temperature of denizens at preferable levels. It also seems that redecoration of room could attenuate stress levels of isolated subjects.

  2. Natural radioactivity levels in soils, rocks and water at a mining concession of Perseus gold mine and surrounding towns in Central Region of Ghana.

    PubMed

    Faanu, A; Adukpo, O K; Tettey-Larbi, L; Lawluvi, H; Kpeglo, D O; Darko, E O; Emi-Reynolds, G; Awudu, R A; Kansaana, C; Amoah, P A; Efa, A O; Ibrahim, A D; Agyeman, B; Kpodzro, R; Agyeman, L

    2016-01-01

    Levels of naturally occurring radioactive materials prior to processing of gold ore within and around the new eastern concession area of Perseus Mining (Ghana) Limited were carried out to ascertain the baseline radioactivity levels. The study was based on situ measurements of external gamma dose rate at 1 m above ground level as well as laboratory analysis by direct gamma spectrometry to quantify the radionuclides of interest namely; (238)U, (232)Th and (40)K in soil, rock, ore samples and gross alpha/beta analysis in water samples. The average absorbed dose rate in air at 1 m above sampling point using a radiation survey metre was determined to be 0.08 ± 0.02 μGyh(-1) with a corresponding average annual effective dose calculated to be 0.093 ± 0.028 mSv. The average activity concentrations of (238)U, (232)Th, and (40)K in the soil, rock, and ore samples were 65.1 ± 2.2, 71.8 ± 2.2 and 1168.3 Bqkg(-1) respectively resulting in an average annual effective dose of 0.91 ± 0.32 mSv. The average Radium equivalent activity value was 257.8 ± 62.4 Bqkg(-1) in the range of 136.6-340.2 Bqkg(-1). The average values of external and internal indices were 0.7 ± 0.2 and 0.9 ± 0.2 respectively. The average gross alpha and gross beta activity concentrations in the water samples were determined to be 0.0032 ± 0.0024 and 0.0338 ± 0.0083 Bql(-1) respectively. The total annual effective dose from the pathways considered for this study (gamma ray from the soil, rock and ore samples as well as doses determined from the gross alpha/beta activity concentration in water samples) was calculated to be 0.918 mSv. The results obtained in this study shows that the radiation levels are within the natural background radiation levels found in literature and compare well with similar studies for other countries and the total annual effective dose is below the ICRP recommended level of 1 mSv for public exposure control.

  3. Evaluation of hydraulic characteristics of a deep artesian aquifer from natural water-level fluctuations, Miami, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meyer, Frederick W.

    1974-01-01

    Knowledge of tho hydraulic characteristics of aquifer systems is fundamental to defining the vertical and horizontal controls on fluid movement, information which is needed for assessing the environmental impact of subsurface waste storage. To meet this objective, natural water-level fluctuations in the 2,947-foot deep Peninsula Utilities disposal well near Miami, Florida were analyzed to obtain estimates of the hydraulic diffusivity, hydraulic conductivity, specific storage, transmissivity, and the storage coefficient of the Boulder Zone. The fluctuations are caused chiefly by oceanic and earth tides, and by changes in atmospheric pressure. The oceanic tidal fluctuations probably result from loading due to tides in Biscayne Bay.

  4. The response of fluid-saturated reservoirs to lunisolar tides: Part 1. Background parameters of tidal components in ground displacements and groundwater level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Besedina, A. N.; Vinogradov, E. A.; Gorbunova, E. M.; Kabychenko, N. V.; Svintsov, I. S.; Pigulevskiy, P. I.; Svistun, V. K.; Shcherbina, S. V.

    2015-01-01

    The first part of this work is dedicated to the response of different-age structures to lunisolar tides, which can be considered as a sounding signal for monitoring the state of fluid-saturated reservoirs. The complex approach to processing the data obtained at the testing sites of the Institute of Geosphere Dynamics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Geophysics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and KIEV station of the IRIS seismic network is applied for recognizing the tides against the hydrogeological, barometric, and seismic series. The comparative analysis of the experimental and theoretical values of the diurnal and semidiurnal tidal components in the time series of ground displacements is carried out. The tidal variations in the groundwater level are compared with the tidal components revealed in the ground displacement of the different-age structure of the Moscow Basin and Ukrainian Shield, which are parts of the East European artesian region. The differences in the tidal responses of the groundwater level and ground displacement probably suggest that the state of the massif is affected by certain additional factors associated, e.g., with the passage of earthquake-induced seismic waves and the changes in the hydrogeodynamic environment.

  5. A long-term, multitrophic level study to assess pulp and paper mill effluent effects on aquatic communities in four US receiving waters: background and status.

    PubMed

    Hall, Timothy J; Fisher, Robert P; Rodgers, John H; Minshall, G Wayne; Landis, Wayne G; Kovacs, Tibor G; Firth, Barry K; Dubé, Monique G; Deardorff, Thomas L; Borton, Dennis L

    2009-04-01

    An industry-funded, long-term, receiving water study was initiated in 1998/1999 to adress questions about the potential effects of pulp and paper mill effluent discharges on US receiving waters. Although the study continues, the knowledge gained to date provides an opportunity to reflect on the study development process, its progress, and its outcomes. As a backdrop to a series of articles in this special issue describing study results, this article describes the process by which study information objectives were identified as well as the process by which the experimental design was developed. A review of past literature and research identified gaps in long-term population/community data about effluent effects and that, consequently, emerged as a primary information objective. The selected streams for study included 1) Codorus Creek (Pennsylvania, USA), 2) Leaf River (Mississippi, USA), 3) McKenzie River (Oregon, USA), and 4) Willamette River (Oregon) represent a blend of mill process types, coldwater and warmwater stream types, and a range of effluent concentrations. Measurements included numbers of periphyton, macroinvertebrate, and fish communities; the assessment of water and effluent quality; laboratory bioassays; and fish full-life-cycle assays. Information objectives included addressing natural variability and, consequently, the study included long-term temporal (>10 y) and watershed-scale spatial frameworks. Regional-scale ecological risk assessments were performed for each site that aided in placing each site in an ecological and regulatory context. An adaptive-management process is described that allowed for modifications over time as a result of lessons learned as the study progressed. Results from the initial 7 to 8 y of monitoring, as described in the series of articles in this special issue, provide a unique data set with respect to addressing point-source pulp and paper mill effluent discharge concerns and may serve as a template for others to use in

  6. Underground statistical measurements of the world-wide magnetic-background level in the millihertz frequency range with the [SQUID]2 magnetometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pozzo di Borgo, E.; Marfaing, J.; Waysand, G.

    2012-04-01

    The passive ground sensor system [SQUID]2 (SQUID with Shielding QUalified for Ionosphere Detection) is a three-axis cryogenically cooled magnetometer installed within the LSBB (Laboratoire Souterrain à Bas Bruit) in the South-East of France. This permanent operating device is sheltered by a unique underground shielded cell buried under 518m of karstic rock in a low noise environment, leading to a noise level lower than 3 fT/√Hz above 40Hz. Various phenomena, mainly linked to earthquakes contributions, have been identified at the local scale through a magneto-hydrodynamic correlation or at the global ones, resulting from the Earth-ionosphere coupling. As standing waves altering the surface of the Earth, free oscillations of Earth consecutive to earthquake events can also contribute to the magnetic field variation. Because the ionosphere is a complex and nonlinear system affected by a large number of independent parameters, it appears obvious to constrain the number of sources. Investigation of the ULF magnetic pulsations detected by [SQUID]2 over very quiet seismic and ionospheric conditions allows to defined a first experimental baseline of ionosphere magnetic noise [Marfaing et al. 2009]. Here, the analysis is performed to a set of 24 magnetically quiet days in order to establish a statistical baseline for the "global minimal magnetic level" in the site. The mean magnetic spectrum obtained in the millihertz range is characterized by several pulsations of noticeable amplitude above the flicker noise. An attempt of discrimination of the seismogenic contribution has been proposed through the polarization analysis proposed by Hayakawa et al. [2007]. Some frequencies coincide with the Earth's eigenmodes with less than 1% deviation; this includes the possibility of the superposition of several interplaying signals in the spectra of ionospheric or Earth's origin, assumed by the weak turbulence theory. These results provide complementary analysis to validate the

  7. The nature of professional and relational self-aspects at the goal and narrative levels of personality.

    PubMed

    Dunlop, William L; Walker, Lawrence J; Wiens, Thomas K

    2014-09-01

    The self-concept is constituted by a series of context-specific self-aspects. Researchers have considered the manner in which personality traits vary across these self-aspects. Here, we examined self-aspects corresponding to professional and relational contexts at the goal and narrative levels of personality. In each of two studies, participants provided lists of goals and recounted self-defining narratives, corresponding to the aforementioned contexts. Goals and narratives were coded for themes of agency and communion. At both descriptive levels, agency more characterized the professional self-aspect and communion, the relational self-aspect. A consideration of context-specific goals and narratives informs understanding regarding the nature of the self in its multifaceted form.

  8. Study of stillbirth and major congenital anomaly among newborns in the high-level natural radiation areas of Kerala, India.

    PubMed

    Jaikrishan, G; Sudheer, K R; Andrews, V J; Koya, P K M; Madhusoodhanan, M; Jagadeesan, C K; Seshadri, M

    2013-01-01

    Monitoring newborns for adverse outcomes like stillbirth and major congenital anomalies (MCA) is being carried out in government hospitals since 1995 in and around high-level natural radiation areas, a narrow strip of land on the southwest coast of Kerala, India. Natural deposits of monazite sand containing thorium and its daughter products account for elevated levels of natural radiation. Among 141,540 newborns [140,558 deliveries: 139,589 singleton, 957 twins (6.81 ‰), 11 triplets (0.078 ‰), and one quadruplet] screened, 615 (4.35 ‰) were stillbirth and MCA were seen in 1,370 (9.68 ‰) newborns. Clubfoot (404, 2.85 ‰) was the most frequent MCA followed by hypospadias (152, 2.10 ‰ among male newborns), congenital heart disease (168, 1.19 ‰), cleft lip/palate (149, 1.05 ‰), Down syndrome (104, 0.73 ‰), and neural tube defects (72, 0.51 ‰). Newborns with MCA among stillbirths were about 20-fold higher at 190.24 ‰ (117/615) compared to 8.89 ‰ (1,253/140,925) among live births (P < .001). Logistic regression was carried out to compare stillbirth, overall, and specific MCA among newborns from areas with dose levels of ≤1.5, 1.51-3.0, 3.01-6.0 and >6 mGy/year after controlling for maternal age at birth, gravida, consanguinity, ethnicity, and gender of the baby. Clubfoot showed higher prevalence of 3.26 ‰ at dose level of 1.51-3.0 mGy/year compared to 2.33 ‰ at ≤1.5 mGy/year (OR = 1.39; 95 % CI, 1.12-1.72), without indication of any clear dose-response. Prevalences of stillbirth, overall MCA, and other specific MCA were similar across different dose levels and were relatively lower than that reported elsewhere in India, probably due to better literacy, health awareness, and practices in the study population.

  9. Function of minerals in the natural radioactivity level of Vaigai River sediments, Tamilnadu, India--spectroscopical approach.

    PubMed

    Ramasamy, V; Paramasivam, K; Suresh, G; Jose, M T

    2014-01-03

    Using Gamma ray and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic techniques, level of natural radioactivity ((238)U, (232)Th and (40)K) and mineralogical characterization of Vaigai River sediments have been analyzed with the view of evaluating the radiation risk and its relation to available minerals. Different radiological parameters are calculated to know the entire radiological characterization. The average of activity concentrations and all radiological parameters are lower than the recommended safety limit. However, some sites are having higher radioactivity values than the safety limit. From the FTIR spectroscopic technique, the minerals such as quartz, microcline feldspar, orthoclase feldspar, kaolinite, gibbsite, calcite, montmorillonite and organic carbon are identified and they are characterized. The extinction co-efficient values are calculated to know the relative distribution of major minerals such as quartz, microcline feldspar, orthoclase feldspar and kaolinite. The calculated values indicate that the amount of quartz is higher than orthoclase feldspar, microcline feldspar and much higher than kaolinite. Crystallinity index is calculated to know the crystalline nature of quartz and the result indicates that the presence of ordered crystalline quartz in the present sediment. The role of minerals in the level of radioactivity is assessed by multivariate statistical analysis (Pearson's correlation and Cluster analysis). The statistical analysis confirms that the clay mineral kaolinite is the major factor than other major minerals to induce the important radioactivity variables such as absorbed dose rate and concentrations of (232)Th and (238)U.

  10. Background level of risk and the survival of predator-naive prey: can neophobia compensate for predator naivety in juvenile coral reef fishes?

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Maud C O; McCormick, Mark I; Meekan, Mark G; Chivers, Douglas P

    2015-01-22

    Neophobia--the generalized fear response to novel stimuli--provides the first potential strategy that predator-naive prey may use to survive initial predator encounters. This phenotype appears to be highly plastic and present in individuals experiencing high-risk environments, but rarer in those experiencing low-risk environments. Despite the appeal of this strategy as a 'solution' for prey naivety, we lack evidence that this strategy provides any fitness benefit to prey. Here, we compare the relative effect of environmental risk (high versus low) and predator-recognition training (predator-naive versus predator-experienced individuals) on the survival of juvenile fish in the wild. We found that juveniles raised in high-risk conditions survived better than those raised in low-risk conditions, providing the first empirical evidence that environmental risk, in the absence of any predator-specific information, affects the way naive prey survive in a novel environment. Both risk level and experience affected survival; however, the two factors did not interact, indicating that the information provided by both factors did not interfere or enhance each other. From a mechanistic viewpoint, this indicates that the combination of the two factors may increase the intensity, and hence efficacy, of prey evasion strategies, or that both factors provide qualitatively separate benefits that would result in an additive survival success.

  11. Efficient removal of cesium from low-level radioactive liquid waste using natural and impregnated zeolite minerals.

    PubMed

    Borai, E H; Harjula, R; Malinen, Leena; Paajanen, Airi

    2009-12-15

    The objective of the proposed work was focused to provide promising solid-phase materials that combine relatively inexpensive and high removal capacity of some radionuclides from low-level radioactive liquid waste (LLRLW). Four various zeolite minerals including natural clinoptilolite (NaNCl), natural chabazite (NaNCh), natural mordenite (NaNM) and synthetic mordenite (NaSM) were investigated. The effective key parameters on the sorption behavior of cesium (Cs-134) were investigated using batch equilibrium technique with respect to the waste solution pH, contacting time, potassium ion concentration, waste solution volume/sorbent weight ratio and Cs ion concentration. The obtained results revealed that natural chabazite (NaNCh) has the higher distribution coefficients and capacity towards Cs ion rather than the other investigated zeolite materials. Furthermore, novel impregnated zeolite material (ISM) was prepared by loading Calix [4] arene bis(-2,3 naphtho-crown-6) onto synthetic mordenite to combine the high removal uptake of the mordenite with the high selectivity of Calix [4] arene towards Cs radionuclide. Comparing the obtained results for both NaSM and the impregnated synthetic mordenite (ISM-25), it could be observed that the impregnation process leads to high improvement in the distribution coefficients of Cs+ ion (from 0.52 to 27.63 L/g). The final objective in all cases was aimed at determining feasible and economically reliable solution to the management of LLRLW specifically for the problems related to the low decontamination factor and the effective recovery of monovalent cesium ion.

  12. Community-level response of coastal microbial biofilms to ocean acidification in a natural carbon dioxide vent ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Lidbury, Ian; Johnson, Vivienne; Hall-Spencer, Jason M; Munn, Colin B; Cunliffe, Michael

    2012-05-01

    The impacts of ocean acidification on coastal biofilms are poorly understood. Carbon dioxide vent areas provide an opportunity to make predictions about the impacts of ocean acidification. We compared biofilms that colonised glass slides in areas exposed to ambient and elevated levels of pCO(2) along a coastal pH gradient, with biofilms grown at ambient and reduced light levels. Biofilm production was highest under ambient light levels, but under both light regimes biofilm production was enhanced in seawater with high pCO(2). Uronic acids are a component of biofilms and increased significantly with high pCO(2). Bacteria and Eukarya denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis profile analysis showed clear differences in the structures of ambient and reduced light biofilm communities, and biofilms grown at high pCO(2) compared with ambient conditions. This study characterises biofilm response to natural seabed CO(2) seeps and provides a baseline understanding of how coastal ecosystems may respond to increased pCO(2) levels.

  13. Estimation of the local and long-range contributions to particulate matter levels using continuous measurements in a single urban background site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diamantopoulou, Marianna; Skyllakou, Ksakousti; Pandis, Spyros N.

    2016-06-01

    The Particulate Matter Source Apportionment Technology (PSAT) algorithm is used together with PMCAMx, a regional chemical transport model, to develop a simple observation-based method (OBM) for the estimation of local and regional contributions of sources of primary and secondary pollutants in urban areas. We test the hypothesis that the minimum of the diurnal average concentration profile of the pollutant is a good estimate of the average contribution of long range transport levels. We use PMCAMx to generate "pseudo-observations" for four different European cities (Paris, London, Milan, and Dusseldorf) and PSAT to estimate the corresponding "true" local and regional contributions. The predictions of the proposed OBM are compared to the "true" values for different definitions of the source area. During winter, the estimates by the OBM for the local contributions to the concentrations of total PM2.5, primary pollutants, and sulfate are within 25% of the "true" contributions of the urban area sources. For secondary organic aerosol the OBM overestimates the importance of the local sources and it actually estimates the contributions of sources within 200 km from the receptor. During summer for primary pollutants and cities with low nearby emissions (ratio of emissions in an area extending 100 km from the city over local emissions lower than 10) the OBM estimates correspond to the city emissions within 25% or so. For cities with relatively high nearby emissions the OBM estimates correspond to emissions within 100 km from the receptor. For secondary PM2.5 components like sulfate and secondary organic aerosol the OBM's estimates correspond to sources within 200 km from the receptor. Finally, for total PM2.5 the OBM provides approximately the contribution of city emissions during the winter and the contribution of sources within 100 km from the receptor during the summer.

  14. Aberrant levels of natural IgM antibodies in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis patients in comparison to healthy controls.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Tue G; McKelvey, Kelly J; March, Lyn M; Hunter, David J; Xue, Meilang; Jackson, Christopher J; Morris, Jonathan M

    2016-02-01

    Natural IgM antibodies (nIgM) are polyreactive autoantibodies that have diverse roles in regulating autoimmunity, systemic inflammation and removal of oxidized low-density lipoproteins (oxLDL). We hypothesized that aberrant states of nIgM may exist in persons with osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Herein, we characterized and compared the levels of nIgM specific for phosphorylcholine (anti-PC), double-stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA), and galactosyl (anti-Gal) in persons with OA, RA and healthy controls (HC). Levels of anti-PC nIgM in OA patients were significantly lower than both HC and RA patients in an age-adjusted analysis (P<0.05). In contrast, anti-Gal nIgM levels were significantly higher in RA patients than OA patients (P<0.05) and markedly increased in comparison to HC. Anti-PC nIgM significantly correlated with anti-dsDNA and anti-Gal nIgM levels in HC and RA (P<0.05) but not in OA patients. Elevated CRP levels were associated with RA conditions and old ages in general. There was no significant correlation between anti-PC nIgM and CRP or oxLDL levels. Our study highlights for the first time the evidence of aberrant state of nIgM in human OA compared to healthy individuals that implicates a deficiency in immune responses to oxLDL which may contribute to the metabolic syndromes in the development of OA.

  15. Background reduction in cryogenic detectors

    SciTech Connect

    Bauer, Daniel A.; /Fermilab

    2005-04-01

    This paper discusses the background reduction and rejection strategy of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) experiment. Recent measurements of background levels from CDMS II at Soudan are presented, along with estimates for future improvements in sensitivity expected for a proposed SuperCDMS experiment at SNOLAB.

  16. Virus transcript levels and cell growth rates after naturally occurring HPV16 integration events in basal cervical keratinocytes.

    PubMed

    Scarpini, Cinzia G; Groves, Ian J; Pett, Mark R; Ward, Dawn; Coleman, Nicholas

    2014-07-01

    Cervical carcinogenesis is characterized by a clonal selection process in which the high-risk human papillomavirus (HRHPV) genome usually changes from the extra-chromosomal (episomal) state seen in productive infections to DNA that is integrated into host chromosomes. However, it is not clear whether all HRHPV integration events provide cells with a selective growth advantage compared with the episome-containing cells from which they originate. It is also unclear whether selection of cells containing a particular integrant from a mixed population simply reflects the highest levels of virus oncogene expression or has additional determinants. These early events in cervical carcinogenesis cannot readily be addressed by cross-sectional studies of clinical samples. We used the W12 model system to generate a panel of cervical squamous cell clones that were derived from an identical background under non-competitive conditions and differed only by the genomic site of HPV16 integration. Compared with the 'baseline' episome-containing cells from which they were isolated, only 9/17 clones (53%) showed significantly greater growth rates and only 7/17 (41%) showed significantly greater expression of the major virus oncogenes E7/E6. There were significant variations in levels of HPV16 transcription per DNA template, changes that were associated with histone modifications in the integrated virus chromatin. Cell growth rates showed only weak and non-significant associations with protein and mRNA levels for E7, E6, and the mean E7/E6 values. We conclude that HPV16 integration in basal cervical cells does not necessarily lead to increased levels of virus oncogenes, or to a competitive growth advantage, when compared with the initiating episome-containing cells.

  17. Leveling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    1966-01-01

    Geodetic leveling by the U.S. Geological Survey provides a framework of accurate elevations for topographic mapping. Elevations are referred to the Sea Level Datum of 1929. Lines of leveling may be run either with automatic or with precise spirit levels, by either the center-wire or the three-wire method. For future use, the surveys are monumented with bench marks, using standard metal tablets or other marking devices. The elevations are adjusted by least squares or other suitable method and are published in lists of control.

  18. Lack of increased DNA double-strand breaks in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of individuals from high level natural radiation areas of Kerala coast in India.

    PubMed

    Jain, Vinay; Kumar, P R Vivek; Koya, P K M; Jaikrishan, G; Das, Birajalaxmi

    2016-06-01

    The high level natural radiation area (HLNRA) of Kerala is a 55km long and 0.5km wide strip in south west coast of India. The level of background radiation in this area varies from <1.0mGy/year to 45.0mGy/year. It offers unique opportunity to study the effect of chronic low dose/low dose-rate radiation directly on human population. Spontaneous level of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) was quantified in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of 91 random individuals from HLNRA (N=61, mean age: 36.1±7.43years) and normal level natural radiation area (NLNRA) (N=30, mean age: 35.5±6.35years) using gamma-H2AX as a marker. The mean annual dose received by NLNRA and HLNRA individuals was 1.28±0.086mGy/year and 8.28±4.96mGy/year, respectively. The spontaneous frequency of DSBs in terms of gamma-H2AX foci among NLNRA and HLNRA individuals were 0.095±0.009 and 0.084±0.004 per cell (P=0.22). The individuals from HLNRA were further classified as low dose group (LDG, 1.51-5.0mGy/year, mean dose: 2.63±0.76mGy/year) and high dose group (HDG, >5.0mGy/year, mean dose: 11.04±3.57mGy/year). The spontaneous frequency of gamma-H2AX foci per cell in NLNRA, LDG and HDG was observed to be 0.095±0.009, 0.096±0.008 and 0.078±0.004 respectively. Individuals belonging to HDG of HLNRA showed marginally lower frequency of DSBs as compared to NLNRA and LDG of HLNRA. This could be suggestive of either lower induction or better repair of DSBs in individuals from HDG of HLNRA. The present study indicated that 5.0mGy/year could be a possible threshold dose for DSB induction at chronic low-dose radiation exposure in vivo. However, further studies on DNA damage induction and repair kinetics are required to draw firm conclusions.

  19. Assessment of natural and anthropogenic radioactivity levels in soils, rocks and water in the vicinity of Chirano Gold Mine in Ghana.

    PubMed

    Faanu, A; Lawluvi, H; Kpeglo, D O; Darko, E O; Emi-Reynolds, G; Awudu, A R; Adukpo, O K; Kansaana, C; Ali, I D; Agyeman, B; Agyeman, L; Kpodzro, R

    2014-01-01

    Studies have been carried out within and around the operational area of the Chirano Gold Mine Ltd of Ghana to ascertain the baseline radioactivity levels of naturally occurring radioactive materials as well as artificial radionuclides in the surface and underground mines. The analysis was carried out by using gamma spectrometry to quantify the radionuclides of interest, namely (238)U, (232)Th, (137)Cs and (40)K in soil, ore, waste rock and water samples. The average activity concentrations of (238)U, (232)Th, (40)K and (137)Cs in the soil/rock samples were 9.79±5.39, 9.18±7.06, 237.40±144.34 and 0.64±0.57 Bq kg(-1), respectively. For the water samples, the average activity concentrations were 0.86±0.67, 0.97±1.33 and 9.05±10.45 Bq l(-1) for (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K, respectively. The total annual effective dose to the public was estimated to be 0.13 mSv, which is below the International Commission on Radiological Protection recommended level of 1 mSv for public exposure control. The study also assessed the elemental concentrations of U, Th and K in the soil/rock samples from the gold mine and surrounding communities. The average concentrations of the U, Th and K were 0.82±0.48, 2.18±1.77 µg g(-1) and 0.77±0.47 %, respectively. The concentrations of U, Th and K were variable in soil and rock samples taken from different locations in the study area with values varying in the range 0.28-2.21, 0.24-6.50 µg g(-1) and 0.28-1.87 %, respectively. The concentrations of U, Th and K are far lower than the world average values but comparable with the range of similar studies for different countries. The concentration values of gross-alpha and gross-beta for all the water samples were below the Ghana Standards Authority and World Health Organisation recommended guideline values for drinking water quality. The results obtained in this study also show that radiation levels are within the natural background radiation levels found in the literature and compare well

  20. Exploring the nature of governance at the level of implementation for health system strengthening: the DIALHS experience.

    PubMed

    Scott, Vera; Schaay, Nikki; Olckers, Patti; Nqana, Nomsa; Lehmann, Uta; Gilson, Lucy

    2014-09-01

    Health system governance has been recognized as a critical element of the health system strengthening agenda. To date, health governance research often focuses at national or global levels, adopting a macro-perspective that deals with governance structures, forms and principles. Little attention has been given to a micro-perspective which recognizes the role of health system actors in governance, or to considering the operational level of the health system. This article presents a South African case study of an intervention to address conflict in roles and responsibilities between multiple actors supporting service delivery at the local level, and explores the broader insights this experience generates about the nature of local health system governance. In an embedded case study, action learning and reflection theory were used to design and implement the intervention. Data in this article were drawn from minutes, observations and recorded reflections of the meetings and workshops that comprised the intervention. A theoretical governance framework was used both to understand the context of the intervention and to analyse the dimensions of governance relevant in the experience. The study shows how, through action learning and reflection, local managers in two organizations came to understand how the higher level misalignment of organizational structures and processes imposed governance constraints on them, and to see the impact this had on their organizational relationships. By re-framing the conflict as organizational, they were then able to create opportunities for staff to understand their context and participate in negotiating principles for communication and collaborative work. The result reduced conflict between staff in the two organizations, leading to improved implementation of programme support. Strengthening relationships among those working at local level by building collaborative norms and values is an important part of local health system governance for

  1. Exploring the nature of governance at the level of implementation for health system strengthening: the DIALHS experience

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Vera; Schaay, Nikki; Olckers, Patti; Nqana, Nomsa; Lehmann, Uta; Gilson, Lucy

    2014-01-01

    Health system governance has been recognized as a critical element of the health system strengthening agenda. To date, health governance research often focuses at national or global levels, adopting a macro-perspective that deals with governance structures, forms and principles. Little attention has been given to a micro-perspective which recognizes the role of health system actors in governance, or to considering the operational level of the health system. This article presents a South African case study of an intervention to address conflict in roles and responsibilities between multiple actors supporting service delivery at the local level, and explores the broader insights this experience generates about the nature of local health system governance. In an embedded case study, action learning and reflection theory were used to design and implement the intervention. Data in this article were drawn from minutes, observations and recorded reflections of the meetings and workshops that comprised the intervention. A theoretical governance framework was used both to understand the context of the intervention and to analyse the dimensions of governance relevant in the experience. The study shows how, through action learning and reflection, local managers in two organizations came to understand how the higher level misalignment of organizational structures and processes imposed governance constraints on them, and to see the impact this had on their organizational relationships. By re-framing the conflict as organizational, they were then able to create opportunities for staff to understand their context and participate in negotiating principles for communication and collaborative work. The result reduced conflict between staff in the two organizations, leading to improved implementation of programme support. Strengthening relationships among those working at local level by building collaborative norms and values is an important part of local health system governance for

  2. Impact of natural gas development in the Marcellus and Utica shales on regional ozone and fine particulate matter levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roohani, Yusuf H.; Roy, Anirban A.; Heo, Jinhyok; Robinson, Allen L.; Adams, Peter J.

    2017-04-01

    The Marcellus and Utica shale formations have recently been the focus of intense natural gas development and production, increasing regional air pollutant emissions. Here we examine the effects of these emissions on regional ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels using the chemical transport model, CAMx, and estimate the public health costs with BenMAP. Simulations were performed for three emissions scenarios for the year 2020 that span a range potential development storylines. In areas with the most gas development, the 'Medium Emissions' scenario, which corresponds to an intermediate level of development and widespread adoption of new equipment with lower emissions, is predicted to increase 8-hourly ozone design values by up to 2.5 ppbv and average annual PM2.5 concentrations by as much as 0.27 μg/m3. These impacts could range from as much as a factor of two higher to a factor of three lower depending on the level of development and the adoption of emission controls. Smaller impacts (e.g. 0.1-0.5 ppbv of ozone, depending on the emissions scenario) are predicted for non-attainment areas located downwind of the Marcellus region such as New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Premature deaths for the 'Medium Emissions' scenario are predicted to increase by 200-460 annually. The health impacts as well as the changes in ozone and PM2.5 were all driven primarily by NOx emissions.

  3. Evidence of the nature of core-level photoemission satellites using angle-resolved photoemission extended fine structure

    SciTech Connect

    Moler, E.J.; Kellar, S.A.; Huff, W.R.A.

    1997-04-01

    The authors present a unique method of experimentally determining the angular momentum and intrinsic/extrinsic origin of core-level photoemission satellites by examining the satellite diffraction pattern in the Angle Resolved Photoemission Extended Fine Structure (ARPEFS) mode. They show for the first time that satellite peaks not associated with chemically differentiated atomic species display an ARPEFS intensity oscillation. They present ARPEFS data for the carbon 1s from ({radical}3x{radical}3)R30 CO/Cu(111) and p2mg(2xl)CO/Ni(110), nitrogen 1s from c(2x2) N{sub 2}/Ni(100), cobalt 1s from p(1x1)Co/Cu(100), and nickel 3p from clean nickel (111). The satellite peaks and tails of the Doniach-Sunjic line shapes in all cases exhibit ARPEFS curves which indicate an angular momentum identical to the main peak and are of an intrinsic nature.

  4. Computer-Aided TRIZ Ideality and Level of Invention Estimation Using Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, Christopher; Tate, Derrick

    Patent textual descriptions provide a wealth of information that can be used to understand the underlying design approaches that result in the generation of novel and innovative technology. This article will discuss a new approach for estimating Degree of Ideality and Level of Invention metrics from the theory of inventive problem solving (TRIZ) using patent textual information. Patent text includes information that can be used to model both the functions performed by a design and the associated costs and problems that affect a design’s value. The motivation of this research is to use patent data with calculation of TRIZ metrics to help designers understand which combinations of system components and functions result in creative and innovative design solutions. This article will discuss in detail methods to estimate these TRIZ metrics using natural language processing and machine learning with the use of neural networks.

  5. Natural radioactivity levels and heavy metals in chemical and organic fertilizers used in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    El-Taher, A; Althoyaib, S S

    2012-01-01

    The present work deals with identifying and determining the activity levels of natural occuring radionuclides, (226)Ra and (232)Th series, their decay products and (40)K, in chemical and organic fertilizers used in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A total of 30 samples: 20 phosphatic fertilizers (single super-phosphate SSP and triple super-phosphate,TSP) and 10 organic fertilizers (cow, sheep and chicken) collected from markets and farms. The gamma-ray spectrometer consists of NaI(Tl) detector and its electronic circuit was used for measuring γ-ray spectra. The ranges of radioactivity levels of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K in chemical fertilizers are 51.5±5.2-106.3±7.5, 5.1±1.6-9.9±3.2. and 462.6±21-607.3±14Bqkg(-1), respectively. The activities of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K in natural fertilizers (cow, sheep and chicken) are lower than the activities in chemical fertilizers. The obtained data are compared with available reported data from other countries in literature. The Ra(eq) in chemical fertilizer ranges from 100.37 to 161.43Bqkg(-1) and in organic fertilizer ranges from 34.07 to 102.19Bqkg(-1), which are lower than the limit of 370Bqkg(-1) adopted from NEA-OECD (1979). The average heavy metal (Pb, Cd, Ni, Co and Cr) contents of the fertilizers marketed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are also determined and within the limits of those used worldwide.

  6. Total effective dose equivalent assessment after exposure to high-level natural radiation using the RESRAD code.

    PubMed

    Ziajahromi, Shima; Khanizadeh, Meysam; Nejadkoorki, Farhad

    2014-03-01

    The current work reports the activity concentrations of several natural radionuclides ((226)Ra, (232)Th, and (40)K) in Khak-Sefid area of Ramsar, Iran. An evaluation of total effective dose equivalent (TEDE) from exposure to high-level natural radiations is also presented. Soil samples were analyzed using a high-purity germanium detector with 80 % relative efficiency. The TEDE was calculated on a land area of 40,000 m(2) with 1.5-m thickness of contaminated zone for the member of three critical groups of farmer, construction worker, and resident using Residual Radioactive Material Guidelines (RESRAD) modeling program. It was found that the mean activity concentrations (in Bq/kg) were 23,118 ± 468, 25.8 ± 2.3, and 402.6 ± 16.5 for (226)Ra, (232)Th, and (40)K, respectively. The maximum calculated TEDE during 1,000 years was 107.1 mSv/year at year 90, 92.42 mSv/year at year 88, and 22.09 mSv/year at year 46 for farmer, resident, and construction worker scenarios, respectively. The maximum TEDE in farmer scenario can be reduced to the level below the dose limit of 1 mSv/year which is safe for public health using soil cover with thickness of 50 cm or more on the contaminated zone. According to RESRAD prediction, the TEDE received by individuals for all exposure scenarios considerably exceed the set dose limit, and it is mainly due to (226)Ra.

  7. The COMPASS study: a longitudinal hierarchical research platform for evaluating natural experiments related to changes in school-level programs, policies and built environment resources

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Few researchers have the data required to adequately understand how the school environment impacts youth health behaviour development over time. Methods/Design COMPASS is a prospective cohort study designed to annually collect hierarchical longitudinal data from a sample of 90 secondary schools and the 50,000+ grade 9 to 12 students attending those schools. COMPASS uses a rigorous quasi-experimental design to evaluate how changes in school programs, policies, and/or built environment (BE) characteristics are related to changes in multiple youth health behaviours and outcomes over time. These data will allow for the quasi-experimental evaluation of natural experiments that will occur within schools over the course of COMPASS, providing a means for generating “practice based evidence” in school-based prevention programming. Discussion COMPASS is the first study with the infrastructure to robustly evaluate the impact that changes in multiple school-level programs, policies, and BE characteristics within or surrounding a school might have on multiple youth health behaviours or outcomes over time. COMPASS will provide valuable new insight for planning, tailoring and targeting of school-based prevention initiatives where they are most likely to have impact. PMID:24712314

  8. IMPAIRED NATURAL KILLER CELL LYSIS IN BREAST CANCER PATIENTS WITH HIGH LEVELS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS IS ASSOCIATED WITH ALTERED EXPRESSION OF KILLER IMMUNOGLOBULIN-LIKE RECEPTORS

    PubMed Central

    Varker, Kimberly A.; Terrell, Catherine E.; Welt, Marilyn; Suleiman, Samer; Thornton, Lisa; Andersen, Barbara L.; Carson, William E.

    2007-01-01

    Background We previously reported that cancer-related psychological stress is associated with reduced natural killer (NK) cell lysis. We hypothesized that reduced NK cell cytotoxicity in patients with increased levels of stress would correlate with alterations in the expression of inhibitory NK cell receptors (killer immunoglobulin-like receptors, or KIRs). The specific aim of this study was to examine KIR expression in patients with high or low levels of psychologic stress and correlate alterations in KIR expression with NK cell function. Materials and Methods 227 patients underwent baseline evaluation of cancer-related psychological stress and were randomized to psychosocial intervention versus observation. From this population, two groups were defined based on pre-treatment measurements of NK lytic activity, stress levels, and the availability of cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Group I (n = 9) had low stress by the Impact of Events Scale (IES), and high NK cell lysis at the 50:1 effector: target ratio (NK50 = 52–89%). Group II (n = 8) had high stress and low NK50 (27–52%). Lymphokine activated killer (LAK) activity, antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), and expression of cytokine receptors, adhesion molecules, and killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) were assessed in PBMC. Results Incubation of PBMC with NK-stimulatory cytokines (IL-2, IL-12, or IL-15) led to significant increases in cytotoxic activity regardless of IES/NK50 scores. There were no significant group differences in NK cell surface expression of the IL-2 receptor components CD25 and CD122, antibody-dependent lysis of HER2/neu-positive SKBr3 cells treated with an anti-HER2/neu monoclonal antibody, expression of adhesion molecules (CD2, CD11a, CD18) and markers of activation (CD69), or expression of the KIRs CD158a, NKG2a, NKB1, and CD161. However, levels of CD158b were significantly higher in Group I after incubation in media alone or with IL-2, and CD94

  9. Circadian rhythm in circulating CD16-positive natural killer (NK) cells in macaque monkeys, implication of plasma cortisol levels.

    PubMed

    Terao, Keiji; Suzuki, Juri; Ohkura, Satoshi

    2002-10-01

    The daily change in both percentage and absolute number of circulating major lymphocyte subset was determined with young Japanese monkeys and rhesus monkeys. The blood sample was collected at four hour-intervals beginning at 16:00 for 24 hours under the condition of applying tethering system by which blood samples could be collected without restraint. During the dark period (from 20:00 to 08:00), the number of peripheral lymphocytes increased and that of granulocytes decreased, resulting in no significant change in the number of total peripheral white blood cells. The absolute number of CD4+ T, CD8+ T, and CD20+ B cells showed the significant daily change similar to that in number of peripheral lymphocytes, indicating no proportional change in these subsets. The typical proportional change was observed in CD16+ natural killer (NK) cells and the percentage of CD16+ cells decreased during dark period (from 20:00 to 04:00) and increased in the morning (from 08:00 to 12:00). The NK activity determined by killing K562 target cells showed the same changing pattern as that of percentage in CD16+ NK cells. The changing pattern of both percentage and activity of NK cells was consistent with that of plasma cortisol levels. In addition, the intravenous injection of 300 g/kg of cortisol induced increase in plasma cortisol levels and decrease in percentage of CD16+ NK cells during the first 60 min after cortisol injection. These results strongly suggest that the levels of peripheral functional CD16+ NK cells might be directly regulated by plasma cortisol level in macaque monkeys.

  10. Evidence of metabolic microevolution of the limpet Nacella concinna to naturally high heavy metal levels in Antarctica.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Mariana Feijó; Rodrigues Júnior, Edson; Suda, Cecilia Nahomi Kawagoe; Vani, Gannabathula Sree; Donatti, Lucélia; Rodrigues, Edson; Lavrado, Helena Passeri

    2017-01-01

    The gastropod Nacella concinna is the most conspicuous macroinvertebrate of the intertidal zone of the Antarctic Peninsula and adjacent islands. Naturally high levels of copper and cadmium in coastal marine ecosystems are accumulated in N. concinna tissues. We aimed to study the effects of metal cations on N. concinna arginase in the context of possible adaptive microevolution. Gills and muscle had the highest argininolytic activity, which was concentrated in the cytosol in both tissues. Gills had the highest levels of arginase and may be involved in the systemic control of l-arginine levels. The relatively high argininolytic activity of the N. concinna muscular foot, with KM=25.3±3.4mmolL(-1), may be involved in the control of l-arginine levels during phosphagen breakdown. N. concinna arginases showed the following preferences for metal cations: Ni(2+)>Mn(2+)>Co(2+)>Cu(2+) in muscle and Mn(2+)>Cu(2+) in gills. Cu(2+) activation is a unique characteristic of N. concinna arginases, as copper is a potent arginase inhibitor. Cu(2+) partly neutralized N. concinna arginase inhibition by Cd(2+), worked synergistically in muscle arginase activation by Co(2+) and neutralized muscle arginase activation by Ni(2+). Mn(2+) was able to activate muscle arginase in the presence of Fe(3+) and Pb(2+). The selection of arginases that are activated by Cu(2+) and resistant to inhibition by Cd(2+) in the presence of Cu(2+) over evolutionary timescales may have favored N. concinna occupation of copper- and cadmium-rich niches.

  11. Naturally occurring IgG antibody levels to the Staphylococcus aureus protein IsdB in humans.

    PubMed

    Zorman, Julie K; Esser, Mark; Raedler, Michael; Kreiswirth, Barry N; Ala'Aldeen, Dlawer A A; Kartsonis, Nicholas; Smugar, Steven S; Anderson, Annaliesa S; McNeely, Tessie; Arduino, Jean Marie

    2013-09-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a well-recognized, clinically important cause of nosocomial infections, and as such, a vaccine to prevent S. aureus infections would be an important achievement. A Phase IIB/III study of V710, a vaccine containing iron-regulated surface determinant B (IsdB), demonstrated significant sero-conversion rates in cardiovascular surgery patients following a single pre-surgery immunization. However, the vaccine was not efficacious in preventing bacteremia or deep sternal wound infection post-surgery, thus raising the possibility that IsdB might not be available for immune recognition during infection. The purpose of the work described herein was to evaluate and quantify the naturally occurring anti-IsdB levels at baseline and over time during infection, to understand whether IsdB is expressed during a S. aureus infection in hospitalized non-vaccinated patients. We evaluated baseline and follow-up titers in 3 populations: (1) healthy subjects, (2) hospitalized patients with non-S. aureus infections, and (3) hospitalized patients with S. aureus infections. Baseline anti-IsdB levels generally overlapped between the 3 groups, but were highly variable within each group. In healthy subjects, baseline and follow-up levels were highly correlated (Spearman's rho = 0.93), and the geometric mean fold-rise (GMFR) in anti-IsdB levels between study entry and last value was 0.9-fold (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.8 to 1.0 ; p = 0.09), showing no trend over time. The convalescent GMFR in anti-IsdB levels from baseline was 1.7-fold (95% CI: 1.3 to 2.2, p = 0.0008) during S. aureus infection, significantly different from the 1.0-fold GMFR (95% CI: 0.9-1.2, p = 0.60) in non-S. aureus infection, p = 0.005. Additionally, S. aureus isolates (51) obtained from the hospitalized patient group expressed the IsdB protein in vitro. Collectively, these data suggest that IsdB expression levels rise substantially following infection with S. aureus, but not with other pathogens

  12. Aluminum as a source of background in low background experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majorovits, B.; Abt, I.; Laubenstein, M.; Volynets, O.

    2011-08-01

    Neutrinoless double beta decay would be a key to understanding the nature of neutrino masses. The next generation of High Purity Germanium experiments will have to be operated with a background rate of better than 10 -5 counts/(kg y keV) in the region of interest around the Q-value of the decay. Therefore, so far irrelevant sources of background have to be considered. The metalization of the surface of germanium detectors is in general done with aluminum. The background from the decays of 22Na, 26Al, 226Ra and 228Th introduced by this metalization is discussed. It is shown that only a special selection of aluminum can keep these background contributions acceptable.

  13. Sarcopenia, obesity, and natural killer cell immune senescence in aging: altered cytokine levels as a common mechanism.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Charles T; Quinn, LeBris S

    2012-08-01

    Human aging is characterized by both physical and physiological frailty. A key feature of frailty, sarcopenia is the age-associated decline in skeletal muscle mass, strength, and endurance that characterize even the healthy elderly. Increases in adiposity, particularly in visceral adipose tissue, are almost universal in aging individuals and can contribute to sarcopenia and insulin resistance by increasing levels of inflammatory cytokines known collectively as adipokines. Aging also is associated with declines in adaptive and innate immunity, known as immune senescence, which are risk factors for cancer and all-cause mortality. The cytokine interleukin-15 (IL-15) is highly expressed in skeletal muscle tissue and declines in aging rodent models. IL-15 inhibits fat deposition and insulin resistance, is anabolic for skeletal muscle in certain situations, and is required for the development and survival of natural killer (NK) lymphocytes. We review the effect that adipokines and myokines have on NK cells, with special emphasis on IL-15. We posit that increased adipokine and decreased IL-15 levels during aging constitute a common mechanism for sarcopenia, obesity, and immune senescence.

  14. Study of heat-stress levels in naturally ventilated sheep barns during heat waves: development and assessment of regression models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papanastasiou, D. K.; Bartzanas, T.; Panagakis, P.; Zhang, G.; Kittas, C.

    2016-11-01

    It is well documented that heat-stress burdens sheep welfare and productivity. Peak heat-stress levels are observed when high temperatures prevail, i.e. during heat waves; however, continuous measurements inside livestock buildings are not usually available for long periods so as to study the variation of summer heat-stress levels for several years, especially during extreme hot weather. Α methodology to develop a long time series of summer temperature and relative humidity inside naturally ventilated sheep barns is proposed. The accuracy and the transferability of the developed linear regression models were verified. Temperature Humidity Index (THI) was used to assess sheep's potential heat-stress. Τhe variation of THI inside a barn during heat wave and non-heat wave days was examined, and the results were comparatively assessed. The analysis showed that sheep were exposed to moderate, severe, and extreme severe heat-stress in 10, 21 and 66 % of hours, respectively, during heat wave days, while the corresponding values during non-heat wave days were 14, 33 and 43 %, respectively. The heat load on sheep was much higher during heat wave events than during non-heat wave periods. Additionally, based on the averaged diurnal variation of THI, it was concluded that extreme severe heat-stress conditions were prevailing between 1000 and 2400 hours local time during heat wave days. Cool off night periods were never and extremely rarely detected during heat wave and non-heat wave days, respectively.

  15. Biochemical and histopathological effects of administration various levels of Pomposia (Syzygium cumini) fruit juice as natural antioxidant on rat health.

    PubMed

    El-Anany, Ayman M; Ali, Rehab F M

    2013-06-01

    The aim of the current investigation was to evaluate the effects of administration various levels (400, 800 and 1,200 ppm) of pomposia extracts as natural antioxidant in comparison with BHT as synthetic antioxidant on some biochemical activities and histopathological examination of rats. Some of biochemical tests i.e. Alkaline phosphatase, transaminases]Aspartate transferase (AST) and alanine transferase (ALT) [,bilirubin, urea and uric acid were conducted. Histopathological examinations were carried out on the liver and kidney tissue of rats administrated tested substances. The biochemical results indicated that the administration of polyphenolic compounds present in pomposia juice did not cause any significant (p ≥ 0.05) changes in the biochemical parameters whereas the administration of BHT at 200 ppm caused significant (p ≤ 0.05) increase in the activities of enzymes relevant to the functions of liver and kidney. Microscopically examinations of liver and kidney of rat administered various levels of pomposia juice had the same character as that of control rats (this means that the polyphenolic compounds present in pomposia juice did not cause any adverse affect in liver and kidney), in contrast the administration of 200 ppm of BHT caused marked pathological changes in liver and kidney of rats. The results of the current investigation suggest using pomposia juice as safe food grade substance.

  16. Effects of various Eleutherococcus senticosus cortex on swimming time, natural killer activity and corticosterone level in forced swimming stressed mice.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Yoshiyuki; Sumiyoshi, Maho

    2004-12-01

    The cortex of Eleutherococcus senticosus (Rupr. & Maxim.) Maxim. has been used extensively in Russia, China, Korea and Japan as an adaptogen whose properties are the ability to increase as non-specific body resistance to stress and fatigue. Although it has been reported that Eleutherococcus senticosus has anti-fatigue and anti-stress actions, their actions are still unclear on the relationship between immune system, especially natural killer (NK) activity and endocrine system (corticosterone level). We compared the effects of the water extracts (A, B, C, D and E) of five Eleutherococcus senticosus cortex on the swimming time, NK activity and blood corticosterone level using forced swimming stressed mice. Among five kinds, C, D and E extracts significantly prolonged the swimming time. C and D extracts inhibited the reduction of NK activity and the corticosterone elevation induced by forced swimming. The contents of eleutheroside E, isoflaxidin and eleutherosides B plus E were in the order C > D > E > B > A and C > E > D > A > B extracts, respectively. Therefore, it is suggested that eleutheroside E may be contributed to the anti-fatigue action, the recovery of the reduction of NK activity and the inhibition of corticosterone elevation induced by swimming stress.

  17. Background radiation measurements at high power research reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Ashenfelter, J.; Yeh, M.; Balantekin, B.; Baldenegro, C. X.; Band, H. R.; Barclay, G.; Bass, C. D.; Berish, D.; Bowden, N. S.; Bryan, C. D.; Cherwinka, J. J.; Chu, R.; Classen, T.; Davee, D.; Dean, D.; Deichert, G.; Dolinski, M. J.; Dolph, J.; Dwyer, D. A.; Fan, S.; Gaison, J. K.; Galindo-Uribarri, A.; Gilje, K.; Glenn, A.; Green, M.; Han, K.; Hans, S.; Heeger, K. M.; Heffron, B.; Jaffe, D. E.; Kettell, S.; Langford, T. J.; Littlejohn, B. R.; Martinez, D.; McKeown, R. D.; Morrell, S.; Mueller, P. E.; Mumm, H. P.; Napolitano, J.; Norcini, D.; Pushin, D.; Romero, E.; Rosero, R.; Saldana, L.; Seilhan, B. S.; Sharma, R.; Stemen, N. T.; Surukuchi, P. T.; Thompson, S. J.; Varner, R. L.; Wang, W.; Watson, S. M.; White, B.; White, C.; Wilhelmi, J.; Williams, C.; Wise, T.; Yao, H.; Yen, Y. -R.; Zhang, C.; Zhang, X.

    2015-10-23

    Research reactors host a wide range of activities that make use of the intense neutron fluxes generated at these facilities. Recent interest in performing measurements with relatively low event rates, e.g. reactor antineutrino detection, at these facilities necessitates a detailed understanding of background radiation fields. Both reactor-correlated and naturally occurring background sources are potentially important, even at levels well below those of importance for typical activities. Here we describe a comprehensive series of background assessments at three high-power research reactors, including γ-ray, neutron, and muon measurements. For each facility we describe the characteristics and identify the sources of the background fields encountered. Furthermore, the general understanding gained of background production mechanisms and their relationship to facility features will prove valuable for the planning of any sensitive measurement conducted therein.

  18. Study of Background Rejection Systems for the IXO Mission.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laurent, Philippe; Limousin, O.; Tatischeff, V.

    2009-01-01

    The scientific performances of the IXO mission will necessitate a very low detector background level. This will imply thorough background simulations, and efficient background rejection systems. It necessitates also a very good knowledge of the detectors to be shielded. In APC, Paris, and CEA, Saclay, we got experience on these activities by conceiving and optimising in parallel the high energy detector and the active and passive background rejection system of the Simbol-X mission. Considering that this work may be naturally extended to other X-ray missions, we have initiated with CNES a R&D project on the study of background rejection systems mainly in view the IXO project. We will detail this activity in the poster.

  19. Background radiation measurements at high power research reactors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashenfelter, J.; Balantekin, B.; Baldenegro, C. X.; Band, H. R.; Barclay, G.; Bass, C. D.; Berish, D.; Bowden, N. S.; Bryan, C. D.; Cherwinka, J. J.; Chu, R.; Classen, T.; Davee, D.; Dean, D.; Deichert, G.; Dolinski, M. J.; Dolph, J.; Dwyer, D. A.; Fan, S.; Gaison, J. K.; Galindo-Uribarri, A.; Gilje, K.; Glenn, A.; Green, M.; Han, K.; Hans, S.; Heeger, K. M.; Heffron, B.; Jaffe, D. E.; Kettell, S.; Langford, T. J.; Littlejohn, B. R.; Martinez, D.; McKeown, R. D.; Morrell, S.; Mueller, P. E.; Mumm, H. P.; Napolitano, J.; Norcini, D.; Pushin, D.; Romero, E.; Rosero, R.; Saldana, L.; Seilhan, B. S.; Sharma, R.; Stemen, N. T.; Surukuchi, P. T.; Thompson, S. J.; Varner, R. L.; Wang, W.; Watson, S. M.; White, B.; White, C.; Wilhelmi, J.; Williams, C.; Wise, T.; Yao, H.; Yeh, M.; Yen, Y.-R.; Zhang, C.; Zhang, X.

    2016-01-01

    Research reactors host a wide range of activities that make use of the intense neutron fluxes generated at these facilities. Recent interest in performing measurements with relatively low event rates, e.g. reactor antineutrino detection, at these facilities necessitates a detailed understanding of background radiation fields. Both reactor-correlated and naturally occurring background sources are potentially important, even at levels well below those of importance for typical activities. Here we describe a comprehensive series of background assessments at three high-power research reactors, including γ-ray, neutron, and muon measurements. For each facility we describe the characteristics and identify the sources of the background fields encountered. The general understanding gained of background production mechanisms and their relationship to facility features will prove valuable for the planning of any sensitive measurement conducted therein.

  20. Enzymatic Activity of Glutathione S-Transferase and Dental Fluorosis Among Children Receiving Two Different Levels of Naturally Fluoridated Water.

    PubMed

    Bonola-Gallardo, Irvin; Irigoyen-Camacho, María Esther; Vera-Robles, Liliana; Campero, Antonio; Gómez-Quiroz, Luis

    2017-03-01

    This study was conducted to measure the activity of the enzyme glutathione S-transferase (GST) in saliva and to compare the activity of this enzyme in children with and without dental fluorosis in communities with different concentrations of naturally fluoridated water. A total of 141 schoolchildren participated in this cross-sectional study. Children were selected from two communities: one with a low (0.4 ppm) and the other with a high (1.8 ppm) water fluoride concentration. Dental fluorosis was evaluated by applying the Thylstrup and Fejerskov Index (TFI) criteria. Stimulated saliva was obtained, and fluoride concentration and GST activity were measured. The GST activity was compared among children with different levels of dental fluorosis using multinomial logistic regression models and odds ratios (OR). The mean age of the children was 10.6 (±1.03) years. Approximately half of the children showed dental fluorosis (52.5 %). The average GST activity was 0.5678 (±0.1959) nmol/min/μg. A higher concentration of fluoride in the saliva was detected in children with a higher GST activity (p = 0.039). A multinomial logistic regression model used to evaluate the GST activity and the dental fluorosis score identified a strong association between TFI = 2-3 (OR = 15.44, p = 0.007) and TFI ≥ 4 (OR = 55.40, p = 0.026) and the GST activity level, compared with children showing TFI = 0-1, adjusted for age and sex. Schoolchildren with higher levels of dental fluorosis and a higher fluoride concentration in the saliva showed greater GST activity. The increased GST activity most likely was the result of the body's need to inactivate free radicals produced by exposure to fluoride.

  1. Hematological changes and nitric oxide levels accompanying high-dose artemether-lumefantrine administration in male guinea pigs: Effect of unsweetened natural cocoa powder

    PubMed Central

    Asiedu-Gyekye, Isaac Julius; Antwi-Boasiako, Charles; Oppong, Seth; Arthur, Stella; Sarkodie, Joseph Edusei

    2016-01-01

    Background: Unsweetened natural cocoa powder (UNCP), prepared after removal of the cocoa butter, is a common beverage in Ghana. It possesses antimalarial prophylactic property and has a beneficial effect on blood components. Aim: The aim of this study was to determine whether regular dietary supplement of UNCP mitigates high-dose (HD) artemether-lumefantrine (A-L)-induced hematological disorders and to determine the effect on nitric oxide (NO) levels. Materials and Methods: Adult male guinea pigs (300 g - 350 g) were randomly divided into 5 groups of 6 guinea pigs each. Among the 5 groups, 3 groups were treated with UNCP (300, 900, and 1500 mg/kg body weight) for 14 days. A-L (75 mg/kg) was administered from the 12th to 14th day. One of the remaining 2 groups received distilled water only, i.e., vehicle control group (VCG) while the other received 75 mg/kg A-L only, i.e., negative control group (NCG). Blood samples from all groups were obtained by cardiac puncture (day 15) followed by hematological and NO analysis. Results: A-L reduced white blood cells (WBC) by 31.87%, lymphocyte count by 45.99%, hemoglobin by 11.72%, hematocrit by 18.56%, and platelet count by 33.08% in the NCG. Administration of various doses of UNCP increased WBC and lymphocyte count (P > 0.05) compared to the NCG. UNCP and A-L combination caused an increase in NO levels when compared to the VCG. Conclusion: Regular consumption of UNCP by guinea pigs increases plasma NO and restores some hematological disorders induced by a 3-day HD A-L administration. PMID:27757264

  2. The Backgrounds Data Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, W. A.; Gursky, H.; Heckathorn, H. M.; Lucke, R. L.; Berg, S. L.; Dombrowski, E. G.; Kessel, R. A.

    1993-01-01

    The Strategic Defense Initiative Organization has created data centers for midcourse, plumes, and backgrounds phenomenologies. The Backgrounds Data Center (BDC) has been designated as the prime archive for data collected by SDIO programs. The BDC maintains a Summary Catalog that contains 'metadata,' that is, information about data, such as when the data were obtained, what the spectral range of the data is, and what region of the Earth or sky was observed. Queries to this catalog result in a listing of all data sets (from all experiments in the Summary Catalog) that satisfy the specified criteria. Thus, the user can identify different experiments that made similar observations and order them from the BDC for analysis. On-site users can use the Science Analysis Facility (SAFE for this purpose. For some programs, the BDC maintains a Program Catalog, which can classify data in as many ways as desired (rather than just by position, time, and spectral range as in the Summary Catalog). For example, data sets could be tagged with such diverse parameters as solar illumination angle, signal level, or the value of a particular spectral ratio, as long as these quantities can be read from the digital record or calculated from it by the ingest program. All unclassified catalogs and unclassified data will be remotely accessible.

  3. Extragalactic Backgrounds after Planck

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dore, Olivier

    offers a direct probe of the relation between light and matter. We will also revisit long-standing questions such as the nature of the extragalactic gamma-ray background and the active galactic nuclei contribution to the CIB. The astrophysical implications of our program are quite unique and far-reaching. As such, this proposal is essential to NASA objectives. Cross-cutting among different frequencies, we will be able to analyze in a synergic way a huge amount of data from current NASA surveys and projects, and we will directly address three of the seven key questions identified in the Astro2010 report ``New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics'' : What is the fossil record of galaxy assembly from the first stars to present?, What are the connections between dark and luminous matter? How do cosmic structures form and evolve?

  4. Determination of the natural radioactivity levels in north west of Dukhan, Qatar using high-resolution gamma-ray spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Al-Sulaiti, Huda; Nasir, Tabassum; Al Mugren, K S; Alkhomashi, N; Al-Dahan, N; Al-Dosari, M; Bradley, D A; Bukhari, S; Matthews, M; Regan, P H; Santawamaitre, T; Malain, D; Habib, A

    2012-07-01

    This study is aimed at the determination of the activity concentrations of naturally occuring and technologically enhanced levels of radiation in 34 representative soil samples that have been collected from an inshore oil field area which was found to have, in a previous study, the highest observed value of 226Ra concentration among 129 soil samples. The activity concentrations of 238U and 226Ra have been inferred from gamma-ray transitions associated with their decay progenies and measured using a hyper-pure germanium detector. Details of the sample preparation and the gamma-ray spectroscopic analysis techniques are presented, together with the values of the activity concentrations associated with the naturally occuring radionuclide chains for all the samples collected from NW Dukhan. Discrete-line, gamma-ray energy transitions from spectral lines ranging in energy from ∼100 keV up to 2.6 MeV have been associated with characteristic decays of the various decay products within the 235.8U and 232Th radioactive decay chains. These data have been analyzed, under the assumption of secular equilibrium for the U and Th decay chains. Details of the sample preparation and the gamma-ray spectroscopic analysis techniques are presented. The weighted mean value of the activity concentrations of 226Ra in one of the samples was found to be around a factor of 2 higher than the values obtained in the previous study and approximately a factor of 10 higher than the accepted worldwide average value of 35 Bq/kg. The weighted mean values of the activity concentrations of 232Th and 40K were also deduced and found to be within the worldwide average values of 30 and 400 Bq/kg, respectively. Our previous study reported a value of 201.9±1.5Stat.±13Syst.Bq/kg for 226Ra in one sample and further investigation in the current work determined a measured value for 226Ra of 342.00±1.9Stat.±25Syst.Bq/kg in a sample taken from the same locality. This is significantly higher than all the other

  5. Spatial variations of groundwater background concentrations in coastal aquifers, Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hyun, Yunjung; Lee, Soojae

    2014-05-01

    In coastal aquifers the mixing between fresh terrestrial water and seawater occurs, which influences groundwater quality. Due to mixing elevated chloride concentrations are often observed in coastal aquifers. In coastal areas terrestrial water-seawater mixing can be caused by anthropogenic activities or natural factors such as tides and sea level changes. Therefore, it is difficult or even impossible to characterize groundwater background concentrations in coastal aquifers. Although it is usual to exclude coastal aquifer when characterizing background concentrations, it is essential to accurately characterize naturally-affected groundwater quality in coastal areas because groundwater is a major water resource for potable, irrigation, domestic uses. So in this work we define groundwater background concentrations as naturally occurring ambient concentrations with excluding groundwater abstraction. Based on this definition, we evaluate groundwater background concentrations in various geologic formations and analyze characteristics of groundwater quality in coastal aquifers by utilizing Groundwater Quality Monitoring System (GQMS) data. The results show that high concentrations of chloride are observed in some coastal areas but not always. Tidal effects and topographical characteristics are thought to be as factors affecting such spatial variations. In some coastal areas high concentrations of chloride are observed with high nitrate concentrations. This means that agricultural practices can attribute to anthropogenic background, leading to elevated concentrations of nitrate. These results provide some essential information for groundwater resources management in coastal areas. Further data collection and analysis is required for evaluating the effect of tide and sea level changes on groundwater quality.

  6. Mass casualty following unprecedented tornadic events in the Southeast: natural disaster outcomes at a Level I trauma center.

    PubMed

    Hartmann, Elizabeth H; Creel, Nathan; Lepard, Jacob; Maxwell, Robert A

    2012-07-01

    On April 27, 2011, an EF4 (enhanced Fujita scale) tornado struck a 48-mile path across northwest Georgia and southeast Tennessee. Traumatic injuries sustained during this tornado and others in one of the largest tornado outbreaks in history presented to the regional Level I trauma center, Erlanger Health System, in Chattanooga, TN. Patients were triaged per mass casualty protocols through an incident command center and triage officer. Medical staffing was increased to anticipate a large patient load. Records of patients admitted as a result of tornado-related injury were retrospectively reviewed and characterized by the injury patterns, demographics, procedures performed, length of stay, and complications. One hundred four adult patients were treated in the emergency department; of these, 28 (27%) patients required admission to the trauma service. Of those admitted, 16 (57%) were male with an age range of 21 to 87 years old and an average length of stay of 10.9 ± 11.8 days. Eleven (39%) patients required intensive care unit admissions. The most common injuries seen were those of soft tissue, bony fractures, and the chest. Interventions included tube thoracostomies, exploratory laparotomies, orthopedic fixations, soft tissue reconstructions, and craniotomy. All 28 patients admitted survived to discharge. Nineteen (68%) patients were discharged home, six (21%) went to a rehabilitation hospital, and three (11%) were transferred to skilled nursing facilities. Emergency preparedness and organization are key elements in effectively treating victims of natural disasters. Those victims who survive the initial tornadic event and present to a Level I trauma center have low mortality. Like in our experience, triage protocols need to be implemented to quickly and effectively manage mass injuries.

  7. Natural genetic variation impacts expression levels of coding, non-coding, and antisense transcripts in fission yeast

    PubMed Central

    Clément-Ziza, Mathieu; Marsellach, Francesc X; Codlin, Sandra; Papadakis, Manos A; Reinhardt, Susanne; Rodríguez-López, María; Martin, Stuart; Marguerat, Samuel; Schmidt, Alexander; Lee, Eunhye; Workman, Christopher T; Bähler, Jürg; Beyer, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Our current understanding of how natural genetic variation affects gene expression beyond well-annotated coding genes is still limited. The use of deep sequencing technologies for the study of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) has the potential to close this gap. Here, we generated the first recombinant strain library for fission yeast and conducted an RNA-seq-based QTL study of the coding, non-coding, and antisense transcriptomes. We show that the frequency of distal effects (trans-eQTLs) greatly exceeds the number of local effects (cis-eQTLs) and that non-coding RNAs are as likely to be affected by eQTLs as protein-coding RNAs. We identified a genetic variation of swc5 that modifies the levels of 871 RNAs, with effects on both sense and antisense transcription, and show that this effect most likely goes through a compromised deposition of the histone variant H2A.Z. The strains, methods, and datasets generated here provide a rich resource for future studies. PMID:25432776

  8. A natural analogue for high-level waste in tuff: Chemical analysis and modeling of the Valles site

    SciTech Connect

    Stockman, H.W.; Krumhansl, J.L.; Ho, C.K.; Kovach, L.; McConnell, V.S.

    1995-03-01

    The contact between an obsidian flow and a steep-walled tuff canyon was examined as an analogue for a high-level waste repository. The analogue site is located in the Valles Caldera in New Mexico, where a massive obsidian flow filled a paleocanyon in the Battleship Rock Tuff. The obsidian flow provided a heat source, analogous to waste panels or an igneous intrusion in a repository, and caused evaporation and migration of water. The tuff and obsidian samples were analyzed for major and trace elements and mineralogy by INAA, XRF, x-ray diffraction, and scanning electron microscopy and electron microprobe. Samples were also analyzed for D/H and {sup 39}Ar/{sup 40}Ar isotopic composition. Overall, the effects of the heating event seem to have been slight and limited to the tuff nearest the contact. There is some evidence of devitrification and migration of volatiles in the tuff within 10 m of the contact, but variations in major and trace element chemistry are small and difficult to distinguish from the natural (pre-heating) variability of the rocks.

  9. Thermoluminescence study of X-ray and UV irradiated natural calcite and analysis of its trap and recombination level.

    PubMed

    Kalita, J M; Wary, G

    2014-05-05

    Thermoluminescence (TL) of natural light-orange color calcite (CaCO3) mineral in micro-grain powder form was studied at room temperature X-ray and UV irradiation under various irradiation times. TL was recorded in linear heating rate (2 K/s) from room temperature (300 K) to 523 K. Trapping parameters such as activation energy, order of kinetics, frequency factor have been evaluated by Computerized Glow Curve Deconvolution technique. Three electron trap centers had been estimated at depth 0.70, 1.30 and 1.49 eV from the conduction band. Investigation of emission spectra recorded at various temperatures showed single recombination center at depth 2.74 eV from the conduction band. Due to thermally assisted tunneling of electron and subsequent center-to-center recombination, a distinct peak of lower activation energy (0.60 eV) was observed at relatively higher temperature (~360 K) for X-ray irradiated sample. In UV excitation, there was an indication of photo-transfer phenomenon, where low TL intensity might have been observed; but due to simultaneous excitation of electrons from valence band to the trap level, TL intensity was found to increase with UV irradiation time. The results obtained within temperature range 300-523 K were explained by considering a band diagram.

  10. Women's Education Level, Maternal Health Facilities, Abortion Legislation and Maternal Deaths: A Natural Experiment in Chile from 1957 to 2007

    PubMed Central

    Koch, Elard; Thorp, John; Bravo, Miguel; Gatica, Sebastián; Romero, Camila X.; Aguilera, Hernán; Ahlers, Ivonne

    2012-01-01

    Background The aim of this study was to assess the main factors related to maternal mortality reduction in large time series available in Chile in context of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Methods Time series of maternal mortality ratio (MMR) from official data (National Institute of Statistics, 1957–2007) along with parallel time series of education years, income per capita, fertility rate (TFR), birth order, clean water, sanitary sewer, and delivery by skilled attendants were analysed using autoregressive models (ARIMA). Historical changes on the mortality trend including the effect of different educational and maternal health policies implemented in 1965, and legislation that prohibited abortion in 1989 were assessed utilizing segmented regression techniques. Results During the 50-year study period, the MMR decreased from 293.7 to 18.2/100,000 live births, a decrease of 93.8%. Women's education level modulated the effects of TFR, birth order, delivery by skilled attendants, clean water, and sanitary sewer access. In the fully adjusted model, for every additional year of maternal education there was a corresponding decrease in the MMR of 29.3/100,000 live births. A rapid phase of decline between 1965 and 1981 (−13.29/100,000 live births each year) and a slow phase between 1981 and 2007 (−1.59/100,000 live births each year) were identified. After abortion was prohibited, the MMR decreased from 41.3 to 12.7 per 100,000 live births (−69.2%). The slope of the MMR did not appear to be altered by the change in abortion law. Conclusion Increasing education level appears to favourably impact the downward trend in the MMR, modulating other key factors such as access and utilization of maternal health facilities, changes in women's reproductive behaviour and improvements of the sanitary system. Consequently, different MDGs can act synergistically to improve maternal health. The reduction in the MMR is not related to the legal status of

  11. A Multi-Level Approach to Modeling Rapidly Growing Mega-Regions as a Coupled Human-Natural System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, J. A.; Tang, W.; Meentemeyer, R. K.

    2013-12-01

    The FUTure Urban-Regional Environment Simulation (FUTURES) integrates information on nonstationary drivers of land change (per capita land area demand, site suitability, and spatial structure of conversion events) into spatial-temporal projections of changes in landscape patterns (Meentemeyer et al., 2013). One striking feature of FUTURES is its patch-growth algorithm that includes feedback effects of former development events across several temporal and spatial scales: cell-level transition events are aggregated into patches of land change and their further growth is based on empirically derived parameters controlling its size, shape, and dispersion. Here, we augment the FUTURES modeling framework by expanding its multilevel structure and its representation of human decision making. The new modeling framework is hierarchically organized as nested subsystems including the latest theory on telecouplings in coupled human-natural systems (Liu et al., 2013). Each subsystem represents a specific level of spatial scale and embraces agents that have decision making authority at a particular level. The subsystems are characterized with regard to their spatial representation and are connected via flows of information (e.g. regulations and policies) or material (e.g. population migration). To provide a modeling framework that is applicable to a wide range of settings and geographical regions and to keep it computationally manageable, we implement a 'zooming factor' that allows to enable or disable subsystems (and hence the represented processes), based on the extent of the study region. The implementation of the FUTURES modeling framework for a specific case study follows the observational modeling approach described in Grimm et al. (2005), starting from the analysis of empirical data in order to capture the processes relevant for specific scales and to allow a rigorous calibration and validation of the model application. In this paper, we give an introduction to the basic

  12. Background sources at PEP

    SciTech Connect

    Lynch, H.; Schwitters, R.F.; Toner, W.T.

    1988-01-01

    Important sources of background for PEP experiments are studied. Background particles originate from high-energy electrons and positrons which have been lost from stable orbits, ..gamma..-rays emitted by the primary beams through bremsstrahlung in the residual gas, and synchrotron radiation x-rays. The effect of these processes on the beam lifetime are calculated and estimates of background rates at the interaction region are given. Recommendations for the PEP design, aimed at minimizing background are presented. 7 figs., 4 tabs.

  13. A Science Faculty's Transformation of Nature of Science Understanding into His Teaching Graduate Level Chemistry Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aydin, Sevgi

    2015-01-01

    This is an interpretive case study to examine the teaching of an experienced science faculty who had a strong interest in teaching undergraduate and graduate science courses and nature of science specifically. It was interested in how he transformed knowledge from his experience as a scientist and his ideas about nature of science into forms…

  14. Influence of Student Beliefs about Nature of School Mathematics on Their Achievement at Secondary Level in Kerala

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gafoor, Kunnathodi Abdul; Sarabi, M. K.

    2016-01-01

    This study probes students' beliefs about nature of mathematics, difficulty in learning mathematics sourcing from these and their influence on achievement in mathematics. Questionnaire survey on 458, 9th standard students randomly selected from schools of Malappuram district elicited data on nature of school mathematics and difficulty arising out…

  15. An Analysis on the Level of Leisure Satisfaction and the Level of Satisfaction with Life of Young People Who Attend Sport Education Camps in Nature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ercan, Polat

    2016-01-01

    This study analyzes the influence of leisure satisfaction on young people who attended the sport education camp in Bolu city. Target group of the study are students who have participated in the activities called "Nature Camp for Youth" which is held annually by Youth and Sport Ministry. The age range of the target group is between 17 and…

  16. Context, accuracy, and level of inclusion of nature of science concepts in current high school physics textbooks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alshamrani, Saeed Mohammed

    To improve K-12 students' images of the nature of science (NOS) through science textbooks, two issues must be addressed: (a) the level of NOS that ought to be included in science textbooks and (b) the treatment of this level in those textbooks. Science educators achieved a consensus level of agreement regarding what NOS aspects should be taught for K-12 science learners; however, there is a need for more clarification regarding the actual treatment of NOS in science textbooks. The purpose of this study is to investigate the NOS inclusion in high school physics textbooks. To be specific, this study examines the included NOS aspects, the frequency of NOS inclusion, the contexts exist for NOS inclusion, and the accuracy of NOS inclusion. This study utilized 12 science education studies to develop the Master Aspects of Nature of Science [MA-NOS] which includes 12 NOS aspects that ought to be included in K-12 science curriculum. The analyzed textbooks in this study are seven textbooks identified by The American Institute of Physics as the most widely used high school physics textbooks in the United States in 2005. These textbooks were used in teaching five academic levels: (a) Regular First-Year Physics, (b) Physics for Non-Science Students, (c) Honors Physics, (d) AP-B Physics, and (e) AP-C Physics. The researcher selected exclusively physics textbooks because physics is his main interest. To facilitate the content analysis of the selected textbooks, the study developed The Collection Data Coding Guide which includes six parts describing the MA-NOS aspects and the process of identifying and collecting data. For each NOS aspect, a description and one or more selected ideal indicators were provided to facilitate data collecting and judging the accuracy of NOS inclusion. This coding guide was reviewed for its content validity by two science educators who specialize in NOS. However, two types of reliability were conducted to identify the consistency of selecting NOS units

  17. Background radiation measurements at high power research reactors

    DOE PAGES

    Ashenfelter, J.; Yeh, M.; Balantekin, B.; ...

    2015-10-23

    Research reactors host a wide range of activities that make use of the intense neutron fluxes generated at these facilities. Recent interest in performing measurements with relatively low event rates, e.g. reactor antineutrino detection, at these facilities necessitates a detailed understanding of background radiation fields. Both reactor-correlated and naturally occurring background sources are potentially important, even at levels well below those of importance for typical activities. Here we describe a comprehensive series of background assessments at three high-power research reactors, including γ-ray, neutron, and muon measurements. For each facility we describe the characteristics and identify the sources of the backgroundmore » fields encountered. Furthermore, the general understanding gained of background production mechanisms and their relationship to facility features will prove valuable for the planning of any sensitive measurement conducted therein.« less

  18. Application of stable isotopes (δ³⁴S-SO₄, δ¹⁸O-SO₄, δ¹⁵N-NO ₃, δ¹⁸O-NO ₃) to determine natural background and contamination sources in the Guadalhorce River Basin (southern Spain).

    PubMed

    Urresti-Estala, Begoña; Vadillo-Pérez, Iñaki; Jiménez-Gavilán, Pablo; Soler, Albert; Sánchez-García, Damián; Carrasco-Cantos, Francisco

    2015-02-15

    The integrated use of isotopes (δ(34)S-SO4, δ(18)O-SO4, δ(15)N-NO3, δ(18)O-NO3), taking into account existing hydrogeological knowledge of the study area (mainly hydrochemical), was applied in the Guadalhorce River Basin (southern Spain) to characterise SO4(2-) and NO3(-) sources, and to quantify natural background levels (NBLs) in groundwater bodies. According to Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC and, more recently, Groundwater Directive 2006/118/EC, it is important to determine NBLs, as their correct assessment is the first, essential step to characterising groundwater bodies, establishing threshold values, assessing chemical status and identifying trends in pollutant concentrations. In many cases, NBLs are high for some parameters and types of groundwater, making it difficult to distinguish clearly between factors of natural or human origin. The main advantages of using stable isotopes in a complex area like the Guadalhorce River Basin that exhibits widely varying hydrogeological and hydrochemical conditions and longstanding anthropogenic influences (mainly agriculture, but also many others) is accurate determination of pollution sources and precise quantification of NBLs. Since chemical analyses only provides the concentration of pollutants in water and not the source, three isotopic sampling campaigns for sulphates (δ(34)S-SO4, δ(18)O-SO4) were carried out, in 2006, 2007 and 2012, and another one was conducted for nitrates (δ(15)N-NO3, δ(18)O-NO3), in 2009, in groundwater bodies in order to trace the origins of each pollutant. The present study identified different pollution sources of dissolved NO3(-) in groundwater using an isotopic composition and quantified the percentage of natural (lithology, chemical and biological processes) and anthropogenic (fertilisers, manure and sewage) SO4(2-) and matched a concentration associated with the percentage in order to determine the NBLs in the basin.

  19. The Cosmic Background Explorer.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gulkis, Samuel; And Others

    1990-01-01

    Outlines the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) mission to measure celestial radiation. Describes the instruments used and experiments involving differential microwave radiometers, and a far infrared absolute spectrophotometer. (YP)

  20. The effect of high level natural ionizing radiation on expression of PSA, CA19-9 and CEA tumor markers in blood serum of inhabitants of Ramsar, Iran.

    PubMed

    Heidari, Mohammad Hassan; Porghasem, Mohsen; Mirzaei, Nazanin; Mohseni, Jafar Hesam; Heidari, Matine; Azargashb, Eznollah; Movafagh, Abolfazl; Heidari, Reihane; Molouki, Aidin; Larijani, Leila

    2014-02-01

    Since several high level natural radiation areas (HLNRAs) exist on our planet, considerable attention has been drawn to health issues that may develop as the result of visiting or living in such places. City of Ramsar in Iran is an HNLRA, and is a tourist attraction mainly due to its hot spas. However, the growing awareness over its natural radiation sources has prompted widespread scientific investigation at national level. In this study, using an ELISA method, the level of expression of three tumor markers known as carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and carcino antigen 19-9 (CA19-9) in blood serum of 40 local men of Ramsar (subject group) was investigated and compared to 40 men from the city of Noshahr (control group). Noshahr was previously identified as a normal level natural radiation area (NLNRA) that is some 85 km far from Ramsar. According to statistical analysis, there was a significant difference in the levels of PSA and CA19-9 markers between the two groups (p < 0.001) with those of Ramsar being considerably higher. CEA level did not show any difference. Although some of the volunteers tested positive to the markers, they were in good health as confirmed by the physician. Moreover, the high number of positive markers in Noshahr was considerable. Therefore, future study is needed to further validate this result and to determine the level of positivity to tumor markers in both cities.

  1. Correlators in nontrivial backgrounds

    SciTech Connect

    Mello Koch, Robert de; Ives, Norman; Stephanou, Michael

    2009-01-15

    Operators in N=4 super Yang-Mills theory with an R-charge of O(N{sup 2}) are dual to backgrounds which are asymtotically AdS{sub 5}xS{sup 5}. In this article we develop efficient techniques that allow the computation of correlation functions in these backgrounds. We find that (i) contractions between fields in the string words and fields in the operator creating the background are the field theory accounting of the new geometry, (ii) correlation functions of probes in these backgrounds are given by the free field theory contractions but with rescaled propagators and (iii) in these backgrounds there are no open string excitations with their special end point interactions; we have only closed string excitations.

  2. Low-level properties of natural images predict topographic patterns of neural response in the ventral visual pathway

    PubMed Central

    Andrews, Timothy J.; Watson, David M.; Rice, Grace E.; Hartley, Tom

    2015-01-01

    Neuroimaging research over the past 20 years has begun to reveal a picture of how the human visual system is organized. A key distinction that has arisen from these studies is the difference in the organization of low-level and high-level visual regions. Low-level regions contain topographic maps that are tightly linked to properties of the image. In contrast, high-level visual areas are thought to be arranged in modules that are tightly linked to categorical or semantic information in the image. To date, an unresolved question has been how the strong functional selectivity for object categories in high-level visual regions might arise from the image-based representations found in low-level visual regions. Here, we review recent evidence suggesting that patterns of response in high-level visual areas may be better explained by response to image properties that are characteristic of different object categories. PMID:26024512

  3. Radiation dose due to radon and thoron progeny inhalation in high-level natural radiation areas of Kerala, India.

    PubMed

    Omori, Yasutaka; Tokonami, Shinji; Sahoo, Sarata Kumar; Ishikawa, Tetsuo; Sorimachi, Atsuyuki; Hosoda, Masahiro; Kudo, Hiromi; Pornnumpa, Chanis; Nair, Raghu Ram K; Jayalekshmi, Padmavaty Amma; Sebastian, Paul; Akiba, Suminori

    2017-03-20

    In order to evaluate internal exposure to radon and thoron, concentrations for radon, thoron, and thoron progeny were measured for 259 dwellings located in high background radiation areas (HBRAs, outdoor external dose: 3-5 mGy y(-1)) and low background radiation areas (control areas, outdoor external dose: 1 mGy y(-1)) in Karunagappally Taluk, Kerala, India. The measurements were conducted using passive-type radon-thoron detectors and thoron progeny detectors over two six-month measurement periods from June 2010 to June 2011. The results showed no major differences in radon and thoron progeny concentrations between the HBRAs and the control areas. The geometric mean of the annual effective dose due to radon and thoron was calculated as 0.10 and 0.44 mSv, respectively. The doses were small, but not negligible compared with the external dose in the two areas.

  4. Conference Report: ESF-COST High-Level Research Conference Natural Products Chemistry, Biology and Medicine III.

    PubMed

    Catino, Arthur

    2010-12-01

    Natural Products Chemistry, Biology and Medicine III was the third conference in a series of events sponsored by the European Science Foundation (ESF) and the European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research (COST). Scientists came together from within and outside the EU to present cutting-edge developments in chemical synthesis. Research areas included the synthesis of natural products, methods development, isolation/structural elucidation and chemical biology. As our capacity to produce new chemotherapeutic agents relies on chemical synthesis, this year's conference has never been so timely. This report highlights several of the scientific contributions presented during the meeting.

  5. Background Studies for the pn-CCD Detector of CAST

    SciTech Connect

    Rodriguez, A.; Beltran, B.; Cebrian, S.; Gomez, H.; Irastorza, I. G.; Luzon, G.; Morales, J.; Ruz, J.; Villar, J. A.; Hartmann, R.; Kotthaus, R.; Klose, C.; Kuster, M.; Strueder, L.

    2007-03-28

    The CERN Axion Solar Telescope (CAST) experiment searches for axions from the Sun converted into photons with energies up to around 10 keV via the inverse Primakoff effect in the high magnetic field of a superconducting Large Hadron Collider (LHC) prototype magnet. A backside illuminated pn-CCD detector in conjunction with an X-ray mirror optics is one of the three detectors used in CAST to register the expected photon signal. Since this signal is very rare a detailed study of the detector background has been undertaken with the aim to understand and further reduce the background level of the detector. The analysis is based on measured data taken during the data taking period of 2003 and 2004 of CAST and on Monte Carlo simulations of background with different origin. The background study performed for this detector show that the level of background (8.00{+-}0.07)x10-5 counts cm-2 s-1 keV-1 between 1 and 7 keV is dominated by the external gamma background due to natural activities at the experimental site, while radioactive impurities in the detector itself and cosmic neutrons contribute with a smaller fraction.

  6. Characterizing the Nature of Students' Feature Noticing-and-Using with Respect to Mathematical Symbols across Different Levels of Algebra Exposure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sullivan, Patrick

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the nature of what students notice about symbols and use as they solve unfamiliar algebra problems based on familiar algebra concepts and involving symbolic inscriptions. The researcher conducted a study of students at three levels of algebra exposure: (a) students enrolled in a high school pre-calculus…

  7. The Nature of Small Business. Unit 2. Level 3. Instructor Guide. PACE: Program for Acquiring Competence in Entrepreneurship. Third Edition. Research & Development Series No. 303-02.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ohio State Univ., Columbus. Center on Education and Training for Employment.

    This instructor guide for a unit on the nature of small business in the PACE (Program for Acquiring Competence in Entrepreneurship) curriculum includes the full text of the student module and lesson plans, instructional suggestions, and other teacher resources. The competencies that are incorporated into this module are at Level 3 of…

  8. The cosmic neutrino background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dar, Arnon

    1991-01-01

    The cosmic neutrino background is expected to consist of relic neutrinos from the big bang, of neutrinos produced during nuclear burning in stars, of neutrinos released by gravitational stellar collapse, and of neutrinos produced by cosmic ray interactions with matter and radiation in the interstellar and intergalactic medium. Formation of baryonic dark matter in the early universe, matter-antimatter annihilation in a baryonic symmetric universe, and dark matter annihilation could have also contributed significantly to the cosmic neutrino background. The purpose of this paper is to review the properties of these cosmic neutrino backgrounds, the indirect evidence for their existence, and the prospects for their detection.

  9. Natural experiment’ Demonstrates Top-Down Control of Spiders by Birds on a Landscape Level

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Haldre; Hille Ris Lambers, Janneke; Miller, Ross; Tewksbury, Joshua J.

    2012-01-01

    The combination of small-scale manipulative experiments and large-scale natural experiments provides a powerful approach for demonstrating the importance of top-down trophic control on the ecosystem scale. The most compelling natural experiments have come from studies examining the landscape-scale loss of apex predators like sea otters, wolves, fish and land crabs. Birds are dominant apex predators in terrestrial systems around the world, yet all studies on their role as predators have come from small-scale experiments; the top-down impact of bird loss on their arthropod prey has yet to be examined at a landscape scale. Here, we use a unique natural experiment, the extirpation of insectivorous birds from nearly all forests on the island of Guam by the invasive brown tree snake, to produce the first assessment of the impacts of bird loss on their prey. We focused on spiders because experimental studies showed a consistent top-down effect of birds on spiders. We conducted spider web surveys in native forest on Guam and three nearby islands with healthy bird populations. Spider web densities on the island of Guam were 40 times greater than densities on islands with birds during the wet season, and 2.3 times greater during the dry season. These results confirm the general trend from manipulative experiments conducted in other systems however, the effect size was much greater in this natural experiment than in most manipulative experiments. In addition, bird loss appears to have removed the seasonality of spider webs and led to larger webs in at least one spider species in the forests of Guam than on nearby islands with birds. We discuss several possible mechanisms for the observed changes. Overall, our results suggest that effect sizes from smaller-scale experimental studies may significantly underestimate the impact of bird loss on spider density as demonstrated by this large-scale natural experiment. PMID:22970126

  10. Robust background modelling in DIALS

    PubMed Central

    Parkhurst, James M.; Winter, Graeme; Waterman, David G.; Fuentes-Montero, Luis; Gildea, Richard J.; Murshudov, Garib N.; Evans, Gwyndaf

    2016-01-01

    A method for estimating the background under each reflection during integration that is robust in the presence of pixel outliers is presented. The method uses a generalized linear model approach that is more appropriate for use with Poisson distributed data than traditional approaches to pixel outlier handling in integration programs. The algorithm is most applicable to data with a very low background level where assumptions of a normal distribution are no longer valid as an approximation to the Poisson distribution. It is shown that traditional methods can result in the systematic underestimation of background values. This then results in the reflection intensities being overestimated and gives rise to a change in the overall distribution of reflection intensities in a dataset such that too few weak reflections appear to be recorded. Statistical tests performed during data reduction may mistakenly attribute this to merohedral twinning in the crystal. Application of the robust generalized linear model algorithm is shown to correct for this bias. PMID:27980508

  11. Notification: Background Investigation Services

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Project #OA-FY15-0029, February 26, 2015. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to begin field work for our audit of background investigation services.

  12. The GLAST Background Model

    SciTech Connect

    Ormes, J. F.; Atwood, W.; Burnett, T.; Grove, E.; Longo, F.; McEnery, J.; Ritz, S.; Mizuno, T.

    2007-07-12

    In order to estimate the ability of the GLAST/LAT to reject unwanted background of charged particles, optimize the on-board processing, size the required telemetry and optimize the GLAST orbit, we developed a detailed model of the background particles that would affect the LAT. In addition to the well-known components of the cosmic radiation, we included splash and reentrant components of protons, electrons (e+ and e-) from 10 MeV and beyond as well as the albedo gamma rays produced by cosmic ray interactions with the atmosphere. We made estimates of the irreducible background components produced by positrons and hadrons interacting in the multilayered micrometeorite shield and spacecraft surrounding the LAT and note that because the orbital debris has increased, the shielding required and hence the background are larger than were present in EGRET. Improvements to the model are currently being made to include the east-west effect.

  13. The GLAST Background Model

    SciTech Connect

    Ormes, J.F.; Atwood, W.; Burnett, T.; Grove, E.; Longo, F.; McEnery, J.; Mizuno, T.; Ritz, S.; /NASA, Goddard

    2007-10-17

    In order to estimate the ability of the GLAST/LAT to reject unwanted background of charged particles, optimize the on-board processing, size the required telemetry and optimize the GLAST orbit, we developed a detailed model of the background particles that would affect the LAT. In addition to the well-known components of the cosmic radiation, we included splash and reentrant components of protons, electrons (e+ and e-) from 10 MeV and beyond as well as the albedo gamma rays produced by cosmic ray interactions with the atmosphere. We made estimates of the irreducible background components produced by positrons and hadrons interacting in the multilayered micrometeorite shield and spacecraft surrounding the LAT and note that because the orbital debris has increased, the shielding required and hence the background are larger than were present in EGRET. Improvements to the model are currently being made to include the east-west effect.

  14. Effect of Computer Simulations at the Particulate and Macroscopic Levels on Students' Understanding of the Particulate Nature of Matter

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tang, Hui; Abraham, Michael R.

    2016-01-01

    Computer-based simulations can help students visualize chemical representations and understand chemistry concepts, but simulations at different levels of representation may vary in effectiveness on student learning. This study investigated the influence of computer activities that simulate chemical reactions at different levels of representation…

  15. A Mixed-Methods Trial of Broad Band Noise and Nature Sounds for Tinnitus Therapy: Group and Individual Responses Modeled under the Adaptation Level Theory of Tinnitus

    PubMed Central

    Durai, Mithila; Searchfield, Grant D.

    2017-01-01

    Objectives: A randomized cross-over trial in 18 participants tested the hypothesis that nature sounds, with unpredictable temporal characteristics and high valence would yield greater improvement in tinnitus than constant, emotionally neutral broadband noise. Study Design: The primary outcome measure was the Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI). Secondary measures were: loudness and annoyance ratings, loudness level matches, minimum masking levels, positive and negative emotionality, attention reaction and discrimination time, anxiety, depression and stress. Each sound was administered using MP3 players with earbuds for 8 continuous weeks, with a 3 week wash-out period before crossing over to the other treatment sound. Measurements were undertaken for each arm at sound fitting, 4 and 8 weeks after administration. Qualitative interviews were conducted at each of these appointments. Results: From a baseline TFI score of 41.3, sound therapy resulted in TFI scores at 8 weeks of 35.6; broadband noise resulted in significantly greater reduction (8.2 points) after 8 weeks of sound therapy use than nature sounds (3.2 points). The positive effect of sound on tinnitus was supported by secondary outcome measures of tinnitus, emotion, attention, and psychological state, but not interviews. Tinnitus loudness level match was higher for BBN at 8 weeks; while there was little change in loudness level matches for nature sounds. There was no change in minimum masking levels following sound therapy administration. Self-reported preference for one sound over another did not correlate with changes in tinnitus. Conclusions: Modeled under an adaptation level theory framework of tinnitus perception, the results indicate that the introduction of broadband noise shifts internal adaptation level weighting away from the tinnitus signal, reducing tinnitus magnitude. Nature sounds may modify the affective components of tinnitus via a secondary, residual pathway, but this appears to be less important

  16. Determining the explosion risk level and the explosion hazard area for a group of natural gas wells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gligor, A.; Petrescu, V.; Deac, C.; Bibu, M.

    2016-11-01

    Starting from the fact that the natural gas engineering profession is generally associated with a high occupational risk, the current paper aims to help increase the safety of natural gas wells and reduce the risk of work-related accidents, as well as the occurrence of professional illnesses, by applying an assessment method that has proven its efficiency in other industrial areas in combination with a computer-aided design software. More specifically, the paper focuses on two main research directions: assessing the explosion risk for employees working at natural gas wells and indicating areas with a higher explosion hazard by using a modern software that allows their presentation in 3D. The appropriate zoning of industrial areas allows to group the various functional areas function of the probability of the occurrence of a dangerous element, such as an explosive atmosphere and subsequently it allows also to correctly select the electrical and mechanical equipment that will be used in that area, since electrical apparatuses that are otherwise found in normal work environments cannot generally be used in areas with explosion hazard, because of the risk that an electric spark, an electrostatic discharge etc. ignites the explosive atmosphere.

  17. 23 CFR 777.3 - Background.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... NATURAL HABITAT § 777.3 Background. (a) Executive Order 11990 (42 FR 26961, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 121... natural habitats which result from projects funded pursuant to title 23, U.S. Code, as eligible for... consultation procedures relative to impacts to species listed under the authority of the Act and their...

  18. 23 CFR 777.3 - Background.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... NATURAL HABITAT § 777.3 Background. (a) Executive Order 11990 (42 FR 26961, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 121... natural habitats which result from projects funded pursuant to title 23, U.S. Code, as eligible for... consultation procedures relative to impacts to species listed under the authority of the Act and their...

  19. 23 CFR 777.3 - Background.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... NATURAL HABITAT § 777.3 Background. (a) Executive Order 11990 (42 FR 26961, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 121... natural habitats which result from projects funded pursuant to title 23, U.S. Code, as eligible for... consultation procedures relative to impacts to species listed under the authority of the Act and their...

  20. 23 CFR 777.3 - Background.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... NATURAL HABITAT § 777.3 Background. (a) Executive Order 11990 (42 FR 26961, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 121... natural habitats which result from projects funded pursuant to title 23, U.S. Code, as eligible for... consultation procedures relative to impacts to species listed under the authority of the Act and their...

  1. 23 CFR 777.3 - Background.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... NATURAL HABITAT § 777.3 Background. (a) Executive Order 11990 (42 FR 26961, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 121... natural habitats which result from projects funded pursuant to title 23, U.S. Code, as eligible for... consultation procedures relative to impacts to species listed under the authority of the Act and their...

  2. The role of natural glasses as analogues in projecting the long-term alteration of high-level nuclear waste glasses: Part 1

    SciTech Connect

    Mazer, J.J.

    1993-12-31

    The common observation of glasses persisting in natural environments for long periods of time (up to tens of millions of years) provides compelling evidence that these materials can be kinetically stable in a variety of subsurface environments. This paper reviews how natural and historical synthesized glasses can be employed as natural analogues for understanding and projecting the long-term alteration of high-level nuclear waste glasses. The corrosion of basaltic glass results in many of the same alteration features found in laboratory testing of the corrosion of high-level radioactive waste glasses. Evidence has also been found indicating similarities in the rate controlling processes, such as the effects of silica concentration on corrosion in groundwater and in laboratory leachates. Naturally altered rhyolitic glasses and tektites provide additional evidence that can be used to constrain estimates of long-term waste glass alteration. When reacted under conditions where water is plentiful, the corrosion for these glasses is dominated by network hydrolysis, while the corrosion is dominated by molecular water diffusion and secondary mineral formation under conditions where water contact is intermittent or where water is relatively scarce. Synthesized glasses that have been naturally altered result in alkali-depleted alteration features that are similar to those found for natural glasses and for nuclear waste glasses. The characteristics of these alteration features appear to be dependent on the alteration conditions which affect the dominant reaction processes during weathering. In all cases, care must be taken to ensure that the information being provided by natural analogues is related to nuclear waste glass corrosion in a clear and meaningful way.

  3. Issues and progress in determining background ozone and particle concentrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinto, J. P.

    2011-12-01

    Exposure to ambient ozone is associated with a variety of health outcomes ranging from mild breathing discomfort to mortality. For the purpose of health risk and policy assessments EPA evaluates the anthropogenic increase in ozone above background concentrations and has defined the North American (NA) background concentration of O3 as that which would occur in the U.S. in the absence of anthropogenic emissions of precursors in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Monthly average NA background ozone has been used to evaluate health risks, but EPA and state air quality managers must also estimate day specific ozone background levels for high ozone episodes as part of urban scale photochemical modeling efforts to support ozone regulatory programs. The background concentration of O3 is of more concern than other air pollutants because it typically represents a much larger fraction of observed O3 than do the backgrounds of other criteria pollutants (particulate matter (PM), CO, NO2, SO2). NA background cannot be determined directly from ambient monitoring data because of the influence of NA precursor emissions on formation of ozone within NA. Instead, estimates of NA background O3 have been based on GEOS-Chem using simulations in which NA anthropogenic precursor emissions are zeroed out. Thus, modeled NA background O3 includes contributions from natural sources of precursors (including CH4, NMVOCs, NOx, and CO) everywhere in the world, anthropogenic sources of precursors outside of NA, and downward transport of O3 from the stratosphere. Although monitoring data cannot determine NA background directly, measurements by satellites, aircraft, ozonesondes and surface monitors have proved to be highly useful for identifying sources of background O3 and for evaluating the performance of the GEOS-Chem model. Model simulated NA background concentrations are strong functions of location and season with large inter-day variability and with values increasing with elevation and higher in

  4. WFC3/UVIS Sky Backgrounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baggett, Sylvia; Anderson, Jay

    2012-06-01

    This report summarizes the on-orbit background levels present in WFC3/UVIS full-frame images. The results are based on nearly all standard readout images taken since the installation of WFC3 on HST in May 2009, with a relatively small number of exclusions e.g. images with obvious anomalous backgrounds (such as extended targets filling the field of view) or those taken with the quad filters (different bandpass in each amp). Comparisons are provided to estimates from the Exposure Time Calculator (ETC). We anticipate these results to be helpful in fine-tuning the level of post-flash required to achieve the optimum balance of charge transfter efficiency (CTE) loss mitigation versus noise penalty. Observers considering the use of post-flash should refer to the White Paper (MacKenty & Smith 2012) on the CTE WWW page (http://www.stsci.edu/hst/wfc3/ins_performance/CTE/).

  5. High Pretreatment D-Dimer Levels Correlate with Adverse Clinical Features and Predict Poor Survival in Patients with Natural Killer/T-Cell Lymphoma.

    PubMed

    Bi, Xi-wen; Wang, Liang; Zhang, Wen-wen; Sun, Peng; Yan, Shu-mei; Liu, Pan-pan; Li, Zhi-ming; Jiang, Wen-qi

    2016-01-01

    Pretreatment plasma D-dimer levels have been reported to predict survival in several types of malignancies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic value of D-dimer levels in patients with newly diagnosed natural killer/T-cell lymphoma (NKTCL). The cut-off value of D-dimer to predict survival was set as 1.2 μg/mL based on the receiver operating curve analysis. Patients with a D-dimer level ≥ 1.2 μg/mL had significantly more adverse clinical features, including poor performance status, advanced stage diseases, B symptoms, elevated serum lactic dehydrogenase levels, involvement of regional lymph nodes, more extranodal diseases, and higher International Prognostic Index and natural killer/T-cell lymphoma prognostic index scores. A D-dimer level ≥ 1.2 μg/mL was significantly associated with inferior 3-year overall survival (OS, 13.0 vs. 68.5%, P < 0.001). In the multivariate analysis, a D-dimer level ≥ 1.2 μg/mL remained an independent predictor for worse OS (HR: 3.13, 95% CI: 1.47-6.68, P = 0.003) after adjusting for other confounding prognostic factors. Among patients with Ann Arbor stage I-II diseases, those with a D-dimer level ≥ 1.2 μg/mL had a significantly worse survival than those with a D-dimer level < 1.2 μg/mL (3 year-OS: 76.2 vs. 22.2%, P < 0.001). Survival of early-stage patients with a high D-dimer level was similar to that of the advanced-stage patients. In conclusion, pretreatment plasma D-dimer level may serve as a simple but effective predictor of prognosis in patients with NKTCL.

  6. Persistent organic pollutants in the natural environments of the city of Bratsk (Irkutsk Oblast): Levels and risk assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mamontova, E. A.; Tarasova, E. N.; Mamontov, A. A.

    2014-11-01

    The contents of persistent organic pollutants (POPs)—polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs)—in the natural environments of an industrial city (Bratsk) of Irkutsk oblast have been studied. Features of the spatial and seasonal distribution of the PCBs and OCPs in the soils and the atmospheric air have been revealed. The structure of the homological and congeneric composition of the PCBs in the soils and the atmospheric air has been shown. Parameters of the carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic risks for human health from the impact of the PCBs and OCPs present in the soils and the atmospheric air have been determined.

  7. [IMPACT OF CASPIAN SEA LEVEL FLUCTUATIONS ON THE EPIZOOTIC ACTIVITY OF THE CASPIAN SANDY NATURAL PLAGUE FOCUS].

    PubMed

    Popov, N V; Udovikov, A I; Eroshenko, G A; Karavaeva, T B; Yakovlev, S A; Porshakov, A M; Zenkevich, E S; Kutyrev, V V

    2016-01-01

    There is evidence that in 1923-2014 the sharp aggravations of the epizootic situation of plague in the area of its Caspian sandy natural focus after long interepizootic periods are in time with the ups of the Caspian Sea in the extrema of 11-year solar cycles. There were cases of multiple manifestations of plague in the same areas in the epizootic cycles of 1946-1954, 1979-1996, 2001, and 2013-2014. The paper considers the possible role of amebae of the genus Acanthamoeba and nematodes, the representatives of the orders Rhabditida and Tylenchida in the microfocal pattern of plague manifestations.

  8. The Cosmic Background Explorer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gulkis, Samuel; Lubin, Philip M.; Meyer, Stephan S.; Silverberg, Robert F.

    1990-01-01

    The Cosmic Background Explorer (CBE), NASA's cosmological satellite which will observe a radiative relic of the big bang, is discussed. The major questions connected to the big bang theory which may be clarified using the CBE are reviewed. The satellite instruments and experiments are described, including the Differential Microwave Radiometer, which measures the difference between microwave radiation emitted from two points on the sky, the Far-Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer, which compares the spectrum of radiation from the sky at wavelengths from 100 microns to one cm with that from an internal blackbody, and the Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment, which searches for the radiation from the earliest generation of stars.

  9. Effect of epoxidation level on thermal properties and ionic conductivity of epoxidized natural rubber solid polymer nanocomposite electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harun, Fatin; Chan, Chin Han; Sim, Lai Har; Winie, Tan; Zainal, Nurul Fatahah Asyqin

    2015-08-01

    Effect of epoxide content on the thermal and conductivity properties of epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) solid polymer nanocomposite electrolytes was investigated. Commercial available epoxidized natural rubber having 25 (ENR25) and 50 mole% (ENR50) epoxide, respectively were incorporated with lithium perchlorate (LiClO4) salt and titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanofiller via solution casting method. The solid polymer nanocomposite electrolytes were characterized by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and impedance spectroscopy (IS) for their thermal properties and conductivity, respectively. It was evident that introduction of LiClO4 causes a greater increase in glass transition temperature (Tg) and ionic conductivity of ENR50 as compared to ENR25. Upon addition of TiO2 in ENR/LiClO4 system, a remarkable Tg elevation was observed for both ENRs where ENR50 reveals a more pronounced changes. It is interesting to note that they exhibit different phenomenon in ionic conductivity with TiO2 loading where ENR25 shows enhancement of conductivity while ENR50 shows declination.

  10. Trace level determination of beryllium in natural and flavored mineral waters after pre-concentration using activated carbon.

    PubMed

    Kılınç, Ersin; Bakırdere, Sezgin; Yaman, Mehmet

    2011-04-01

    The concentrations of beryllium (Be) in natural and flavored mineral water samples were determined by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (FAAS) after pre-concentration based on the complexation of Be(+2) with a mixture of acetylacetone (pentane-2,4-dione) plus morin (3,5,7,2',4'-pentaoxyflavone) and adsorption on activated carbon. The adsorbed complex was eluted with 1.5 ml of 2.0 M HNO(3) and evaporated to dryness. After adding 1.5 ml of 2 M HNO(3) and centrifuging, Be in acid solution was determined by FAAS. To remove a number of metals present in water, EDTA was used as a chelating agent. Beryllium in mineral water samples was pre-concentrated by 500-fold, taking 750 ml as initial sample and 1.5 ml as the final volume. The relative standard deviations were sufficiently low for practical purposes and recoveries were up to 85%. Spiking experiments were performed in real samples to establish accuracy and recoveries. The limits of detection and quantification were 0.01 and 0.03 ng ml(-1), respectively. Twenty samples were analyzed for their beryllium content using optimum parameters. The highest concentration of beryllium was found to be 0.94 ± 0.15 ng ml(-1) in a natural mineral water, while beryllium was not detected in five samples.

  11. Effect of epoxidation level on thermal properties and ionic conductivity of epoxidized natural rubber solid polymer nanocomposite electrolytes

    SciTech Connect

    Harun, Fatin; Chan, Chin Han; Winie, Tan; Sim, Lai Har; Zainal, Nurul Fatahah Asyqin

    2015-08-28

    Effect of epoxide content on the thermal and conductivity properties of epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) solid polymer nanocomposite electrolytes was investigated. Commercial available epoxidized natural rubber having 25 (ENR25) and 50 mole% (ENR50) epoxide, respectively were incorporated with lithium perchlorate (LiClO{sub 4}) salt and titanium dioxide (TiO{sub 2}) nanofiller via solution casting method. The solid polymer nanocomposite electrolytes were characterized by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and impedance spectroscopy (IS) for their thermal properties and conductivity, respectively. It was evident that introduction of LiClO{sub 4} causes a greater increase in glass transition temperature (T{sub g}) and ionic conductivity of ENR50 as compared to ENR25. Upon addition of TiO{sub 2} in ENR/LiClO{sub 4} system, a remarkable T{sub g} elevation was observed for both ENRs where ENR50 reveals a more pronounced changes. It is interesting to note that they exhibit different phenomenon in ionic conductivity with TiO{sub 2} loading where ENR25 shows enhancement of conductivity while ENR50 shows declination.

  12. Network analysis reveals the relationship among wood properties, gene expression levels and genotypes of natural Populus trichocarpa accessions.

    PubMed

    Porth, Ilga; Klápště, Jaroslav; Skyba, Oleksandr; Friedmann, Michael C; Hannemann, Jan; Ehlting, Juergen; El-Kassaby, Yousry A; Mansfield, Shawn D; Douglas, Carl J

    2013-11-01

    High-throughput approaches have been widely applied to elucidate the genetic underpinnings of industrially important wood properties. Wood traits are polygenic in nature, but gene hierarchies can be assessed to identify the most important gene variants controlling specific traits within complex networks defining the overall wood phenotype. We tested a large set of genetic, genomic, and phenotypic information in an integrative approach to predict wood properties in Populus trichocarpa. Nine-yr-old natural P. trichocarpa trees including accessions with high contrasts in six traits related to wood chemistry and ultrastructure were profiled for gene expression on 49k Nimblegen (Roche NimbleGen Inc., Madison, WI, USA) array elements and for 28,831 polymorphic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Pre-selected transcripts and SNPs with high statistical dependence on phenotypic traits were used in Bayesian network learning procedures with a stepwise K2 algorithm to infer phenotype-centric networks. Transcripts were pre-selected at a much lower logarithm of Bayes factor (logBF) threshold than SNPs and were not accommodated in the networks. Using persistent variables, we constructed cross-validated networks for variability in wood attributes, which contained four to six variables with 94-100% predictive accuracy. Accommodated gene variants revealed the hierarchy in the genetic architecture that underpins substantial phenotypic variability, and represent new tools to support the maximization of response to selection.

  13. Deleterious background selection with recombination

    SciTech Connect

    Hudson, R.R.; Kaplan, N.L.

    1995-12-01

    An analytic expression for the expected nucleotide diversity is obtained for a neutral locus in a region with deleterious mutation and recombination. Our analytic results are used to predict levels of variation for the entire third chromosome of Drosophila melanogaster. The predictions are consistent with the low levels of variation that have been observed at loci near the centromeres of the third chromosome of D. melanogaster. However, the low levels of variation observed near the tips of this chromosome are not predicted using currently available estimates of the deleterious mutation rate and of selection coefficients. If considerably smaller selection coefficients are assumed, the low observed levels of variation at the tips of the third chromosome are consistent with the background selection model. 33 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  14. Reasoning Using Particulate Nature of Matter: An Example of a Sociochemical Norm in a University-Level Physical Chemistry Class

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Becker, Nicole; Rasmussen, Chris; Sweeney, George; Wawro, Megan; Towns, Marcy; Cole, Renee

    2013-01-01

    In college level chemistry courses, reasoning using molecular and particulate descriptions of matter becomes central to understanding physical and chemical properties. In this study, we used a qualitative approach to analyzing classroom discourse derived from Toulmin's model of argumentation in order to describe the ways in which students develop…

  15. Probing the Natural World, Level III, Teacher's Edition: Why You're You. Intermediate Science Curriculum Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonar, John R., Ed.; Hathway, James A., Ed.

    This is the teacher's edition of one of the eight units of the Intermediate Science Curriculum Study (ISCS) for level III students (grade 9). The chapters include basic information about heredity, activities, and optional "excursions." The answers to all activities are included. An introduction describes the work of Gregor Mendel and his…

  16. Radon levels in groundwaters and natural radioactivity in soils of the volcanic region of La Garrotxa, Spain.

    PubMed

    Moreno, V; Bach, J; Baixeras, C; Font, Ll

    2014-02-01

    Groundwater radon level and soil radionuclide concentration have been measured in the volcanic region of La Garrotxa (Catalonia, Spain) to further research on the origin and dynamics of high radon levels over volcanic materials found in this region. Water samples from different aquifers have been collected from wells and springs and the water radon levels obtained have been lower than 30 Bq l(-1). Soil samples have been collected from different geological formations (volcanic and non-volcanic), being Quaternary sedimentary deposits those that have presented the highest mean values of (40)K, (226)Ra and (232)Th concentrations (448 ± 70 Bq kg(-1), 35 ± 5 Bq kg(-1) and 38 ± 5 Bq kg(-1), respectively). Additionally, indoor/outdoor terrestrial radiation absorbed dose rate in air have been measured to better characterize the region from the radiological point of view. Terrestrial radiation absorbed dose rates measurement points have been chosen on the basis of geological and demographical considerations and the results obtained, from 27 to 91 nGy h(-1), show a clear relation with geological formation materials. The highest terrestrial gamma absorbed dose rate is observed over Quaternary sedimentary deposits as well. All these results help to better understand previous surveys related with indoor and outdoor radon levels and to reinforce the hypotheses of a radon transport through the fissure network.

  17. Berkeley Low Background Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, K. J.; Norman, E. B.; Smith, A. R.; Poon, A. W. P.; Chan, Y. D.; Lesko, K. T.

    2015-08-17

    The Berkeley Low Background Facility (BLBF) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in Berkeley, California provides low background gamma spectroscopy services to a wide array of experiments and projects. The analysis of samples takes place within two unique facilities; locally within a carefully-constructed, low background laboratory on the surface at LBNL and at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, SD. These facilities provide a variety of gamma spectroscopy services to low background experiments primarily in the form of passive material screening for primordial radioisotopes (U, Th, K) or common cosmogenic/anthropogenic products; active screening via neutron activation analysis for U,Th, and K as well as a variety of stable isotopes; and neutron flux/beam characterization measurements through the use of monitors. A general overview of the facilities, services, and sensitivities will be presented. Recent activities and upgrades will also be described including an overview of the recently installed counting system at SURF (recently relocated from Oroville, CA in 2014), the installation of a second underground counting station at SURF in 2015, and future plans. The BLBF is open to any users for counting services or collaboration on a wide variety of experiments and projects.

  18. China: Background Notes Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reams, Joanne Reppert

    Concise background information on the People's Republic of China is provided. The publication begins with a profile of the country, outlining the people, geography, economy, and membership in international organizations. The bulk of the document then discusses in more detail China's people, geography, history, government, education, economy, and…

  19. Building Background Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Douglas; Ross, Donna; Grant, Maria

    2010-01-01

    Too often, students enter our classrooms with insufficient knowledge of physical science. As a result, they have a difficult time understanding content in texts, lectures, and laboratory activities. This lack of background knowledge can have an impact on their ability to ask questions and wonder--both key components of inquiry. In this article,…

  20. The midlatitude North American background aerosol and global aerosol variation.

    PubMed

    Hidy, George M; Blanchard, Charles L

    2005-11-01

    Protocols for the particulate matter (PM) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), and the Regional Haze Rule (RHR) give two complementary definitions for "natural" background airborne particle concentrations in the United States. The definition for the NAAQS derives largely from reported annual averages, whereas the definition for the RHR takes into account the frequency of occurrence of a range of visibility conditions estimated using fine particle composition. These definitions are simple, static representations of background or "unmanageable" aerosol conditions in the United States. An accumulation of data from rural-remote sites representing global conditions indicates that the airborne particle concentrations are highly variable. Observational campaigns show weather-related variations, including incidents of regional or intercontinental transport of pollution that influence background aerosol levels over midlatitude North America. Defining a background in North America based on long-term observations relies mainly on the remote-rural IMPROVE network in the United States, with a few additional measurements from Canada. Examination of the frequency of occurrence of mass concentrations and particle components provides insight not only about annual median conditions but also the variability of apparent background conditions. The results of this analysis suggest that a more elaborate approach to defining an unmanageable background could improve the present approach taken for information input into the U.S. regulatory process. An approach interpreting the continental gradients in fine PM (PM2.5) concentrations and composition may be warranted.

  1. Assessment of natural and anthropogenic radioactivity levels in rocks and soils in the environments of Juban town in Yemen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abd El-mageed, A. I.; El-Kamel, A. H.; Abbady, A.; Harb, S.; Youssef, A. M. M.; Saleh, I. I.

    2011-06-01

    The natural radioactivities of 40K, 226Ra, and 232Th and the fallout of 137Cs in rock and soil samples collected around Juban town in Yemen (south west of Asia) were measured. Concentrations of radionuclides in samples were determined by gamma-ray spectrometer using HPGe detector with specially designed shield. The average radioactivity concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th, and 40K were determined expressed in Bq/kg. The results show that these radionuclides were present in concentrations of (53.6±4, 127±6.7, and 1742.8±62 Bq/kg), (55±4, 121±6.6, and 2341±78 Bq/kg), (212.8±8.7, 109 ±5.5, and 32.4±4.7 Bq/kg), and (32.1±3, 22.3±2.9 and 190.9±15 Bq/kg) for granite, gneiss, siltstone, and sandstone rocks, respectively. For soil the corresponding values were 44.4±4.5, 58.2±5.1, and 822.7±31 Bq/kg. Low deposits of 137Cs were noted in investigation area, where the activity concentrations ranged from 0.1±0.1 to 23.2±1.2 Bq/kg. Also the radiological hazard of the natural radionuclides content, radium equivalent activity, total dose rates, external hazard index, and gamma activity concentration index of the (rocks/soils) samples in the area under consideration were calculated. The data were discussed and compared with those given in the literature.

  2. Digital volume correlation can be used to estimate local strains in natural and augmented vertebrae: An organ-level study.

    PubMed

    Palanca, Marco; Cristofolini, Luca; Dall'Ara, Enrico; Curto, Marco; Innocente, Federica; Danesi, Valentina; Tozzi, Gianluca

    2016-12-08

    Digital Volume Correlation (DVC) has become popular for measuring the strain distribution inside bone structures. A number of methodological questions are still open: the reliability of DVC to investigate augmented bone tissue, the variability of the errors between different specimens of the same type, the distribution of measurement errors inside a bone, and the possible presence of preferential directions. To address these issues, five augmented and five natural porcine vertebrae were subjected to repeated zero-strain micro-CT scan (39μm voxel size). The acquired images were processed with two independent DVC approaches (a local and a global one), considering different computation sub-volume sizes, in order to assess the strain measurement uncertainties. The systematic errors generally ranged within ±100 microstrain and did not depend on the computational sub-volume. The random error was higher than 1000 microstrain for the smallest sub-volume and rapidly decreased: with a sub-volume of 48 voxels the random errors were typically within 200 microstrain for both DVC approaches. While these trends were rather consistent within the sample, two individual specimens had unpredictably larger errors. For this reason, a zero-strain check on each specimen should always be performed before any in-situ micro-CT testing campaign. This study clearly shows that, when sufficient care is dedicated to preliminary methodological work, different DVC computation approaches allow measuring the strain with a reduced overall error (approximately 200 microstrain). Therefore, DVC is a viable technique to investigate strain in the elastic regime in natural and augmented bones.

  3. Simple field-based automated dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction of trace level phthalate esters in natural waters with gas chromatography and mass spectrometric analysis.

    PubMed

    Leng, Geng; Chen, Wenjin; Wang, Yong

    2016-09-01

    A small, simple, and field-based automated dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction method followed by gas chromatography mass spectrometric analysis was developed for trace level phthalate esters analysis in natural waters. With a single syringe pump that is coupled with a multiposition valve, the whole extraction procedure including cleaning, sampling, mixing of extractant and disperser solvents, extraction, phase separation, and analytes collection was carried out in a totally automated way with a sample throughput of 21 h(-1) . Key factors, such as type and ratio of the extractant and disperser solvent, aspiration flow rate, extraction time, and matrix effect, were thoroughly investigated. Under the optimum conditions, linearity was found in the range from 0.03 to 60 μg/L. Limits of detection ranged from 0.0015 to 0.003 μg/L. Enrichment factors were in a range of 106-141. Reproducibility and recoveries were assessed by testing a series of three natural water samples that were spiked with different concentration levels. Finally, the proposed method was successfully applied in analysis of real surface waters. The developed system is inexpensive, light (2.6 kg), simple to use, applicable in the field, with high sample throughput, and sensitive enough for trace level phthalate esters analysis in natural waters.

  4. Crop uptake and extractability of cadmium in soils naturally high in metals at different pH levels

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, B.R.; Almas, A.; Narwal, R.P.; Jeng, A.S.

    1995-12-01

    A greenhouse experiment was conducted for three years to study the effect of different pH levels on metal concentrations in plants and the cadmium (Cd) extractability by DTPA and NH{sub 4}NO{sub 3}. The soils used were an alum shale (clay loam) and a moraine (loam), which were adjusted to pH levels of 5.5, 6.5, 7.0, and 7.5. Wheat (Triticum aestivum), carrot (Daucus carota L.), and lettuce (Lactuca sativa) were grown as test crops. Crop yields were not consistently affected at increasing soil pH levels. The concentration of Cd in plant species decreased with increasing soil pH in both soils and in all three years. Significant concentration differences between soil pH levels were only seen in wheat and carrot crops. Increasing soil pH also decreased the nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn) concentrations in plants in the first year crop but the copper (Cu) concentration was not consistently affected by soil pH. The effect of pH was more pronounced in the moraine then the alum shale soil. The DTPA-and NH{sub 4}NO{sub 3}-extractable Cd was decreased with the increasing soil pH and the pH effect was more pronounced with NH{sub 4}NO{sub 3} extractable Cd. Both extractants were found equally effective in relation to the Cd concentration in plants in this study. 33 refs., 2 figs., 7 tabs.

  5. The cosmic infrared background experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bock, James; Battle, John; Cooray, Asantha; Kawada, Mitsunobu; Keating, Brian; Lange, Andrew; Lee, Dae-Hea; Matsumoto, Toshio; Matsuura, Shuji; Pak, Soojong; Renbarger, Tom; Sullivan, Ian; Tsumura, Kohji; Wada, Takehiko; Watabe, Toyoki

    2006-03-01

    The extragalactic background, based on absolute measurements reported by DIRBE and IRTS at 1.2 and 2.2 μm, exceeds the brightness derived from galaxy counts by up to a factor 5. Furthermore, both DIRBE and the IRTS report fluctuations in the near-infrared sky brightness that appear to have an extra-galactic origin, but are larger than expected from local ( z = 1-3) galaxies. These observations have led to speculation that a new class of high-mass stars or mini-quasars may dominate primordial star formation at high-redshift ( z ˜ 10-20), which, in order to explain the excess in the near-infrared background, must be highly luminous but produce a limited amount of metals and X-ray photons. Regardless of the nature of the sources, if a significant component of the near-infrared background comes from first-light galaxies, theoretical models generically predict a prominent near-infrared spectral feature from the redshifted Lyman cutoff, and a distinctive fluctuation power spectrum. We are developing a rocket-borne instrument (the Cosmic Infrared Background ExpeRiment, or CIBER) to search for signatures of primordial galaxy formation in the cosmic near-infrared extra-galactic background. CIBER consists of a wide-field two-color camera, a low-resolution absolute spectrometer, and a high-resolution narrow-band imaging spectrometer. The cameras will search for spatial fluctuations in the background on angular scales from 7″ to 2°, where a first-light galaxy signature is expected to peak, over a range of angular scales poorly covered by previous experiments. CIBER will determine if the fluctuations reported by the IRTS arise from first-light galaxies or have a local origin. In a short rocket flight CIBER has sensitivity to probe fluctuations 100× fainter than IRTS/DIRBE, with sufficient resolution to remove local-galaxy correlations. By jointly observing regions of the sky studied by Spitzer and ASTRO-F, CIBER will build a multi-color view of the near

  6. Heart rate and energy expenditure of incubating wandering albatrosses: basal levels, natural variation, and the effects of human disturbance.

    PubMed

    Weimerskirch, Henri; Shaffer, Scott A; Mabille, Geraldine; Martin, Julien; Boutard, Olivier; Rouanet, Jean Louis

    2002-02-01

    We studied the changes in heart rate (HR) associated with metabolic rate of incubating and resting adult wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) on the Crozet Islands. Metabolic rates of resting albatrosses fitted with external HR recorders were measured in a metabolic chamber to calibrate the relationship between HR and oxygen consumption (V(O(2))) (V(O(2))=0.074 x HR+0.019, r(2)=0.567, P<0.001, where V(O(2)) is in ml kg(-1) min(-1) and HR is in beats min(-1)). Incubating albatrosses were then fitted with HR recorders to estimate energy expenditure of albatrosses within natural field conditions. We also examined the natural variation in HR and the effects of human disturbance on nesting birds by monitoring the changes in HR. Basal HR was positively related to the mass of the individual. The HR of incubating birds corresponded to a metabolic rate that was 1.5-fold (males) and 1.8-fold (females) lower than basal metabolic rate (BMR) measured in this and a previous study. The difference was probably attributable to birds being stressed while they were held in the metabolic chamber or wearing a mask. Thus, previous measurements of metabolic rate under basal conditions or for incubating wandering albatrosses are likely to be overestimates. Combining the relationship between HR and metabolic rate for both sexes, we estimate that wandering albatrosses expend 147 kJ kg(-1) day(-1) to incubate their eggs. In addition, the cost of incubation was assumed to vary because (i) HR was higher during the day than at night, and (ii) there was an effect of wind chill (<0 degrees C) on basal HR. The presence of humans in the vicinity of the nest or after a band control was shown to increase HR for extended periods (2-3 h), suggesting that energy expenditure was increased as a result of the disturbance. Lastly, males and females reacted differently to handling in terms of HR response: males reacted more strongly than females before handling, whereas females took longer to recover

  7. Disparities in built and natural features of urban parks: comparisons by neighborhood level race/ethnicity and income.

    PubMed

    Bruton, Candice M; Floyd, Myron F

    2014-10-01

    Known associations between the built environment and health outcomes have accelerated research examining racial/ethnic and income disparities in access to parks and other community features that support physical activity. Currently, it cannot be concluded that park characteristics are equal in quantity or condition across areas of disparate race/ethnicity and income composition. This study examined natural and built park characteristics across areas of different race/ethnicity and income composition to identify potential disparities. Twenty-one parks in Greensboro, NC (USA), located in minority or non-minority areas and in low or medium-high income areas were inventoried using a park audit tool and GIS. Parks were compared on number of activity areas, features, amenities, size, percent tree canopy, cleanliness, and condition. Independent sample t tests and Mann-Whitney tests were used to compare means of outcome variables. Fisher's exact tests were applied for categorical variables. Fewer wooded areas and more trash cans were found in low-income and minority areas as compared to medium-high income and non-minority areas. Low-income areas were found to have more picnic areas than their counterparts. Sitting and resting features in non-minority areas were found to be cleaner than those in minority areas. Results showed some evidence of disparities in park characteristics. Findings can inform park policy and design as well as renovations and maintenance procedures, particularly in specific areas where existing disparities were identified.

  8. Assessment of natural radiation exposure levels and mass attenuation coefficients of lime and gypsum samples used in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Damla, Nevzat; Cevik, Uğur; Kobya, Ali Ihsan; Celik, Ahmet; Celik, Necati

    2010-11-01

    The activity concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th, and 40K in lime and gypsum samples used as building materials in Turkey were measured using gamma spectrometry. The mean activity concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th, and 40K were found to be 38±16, 20±9, and 156±54 Bq kg(-1) for lime and found to be 17±6, 13±5, and 429±24 Bq kg(-1) for gypsum, respectively. The radiological hazards due to the natural radioactivity in the samples were inferred from calculations of radium equivalent activities (Raeq), indoor absorbed dose rate in the air, the annual effective dose, and gamma and alpha indices. These radiological parameters were evaluated and compared with the internationally recommended limits. The experimental mass attenuation coefficients (μ/ρ) of the samples were determined in the energy range 81-1,332 keV. The experimental mass attenuation coefficients were compared with theoretical values obtained using XCOM. It is found that the calculated values and the experimental results are in good agreement.

  9. Roles of Natural Compounds from Medicinal Plants in Cancer Treatment: Structure and Mode of Action at Molecular Level.

    PubMed

    Rasool, Mahmood; Malik, Arif; Manan, Abdul; Arooj, Mahwish; Qazi, Mahmood Husain; Kamal, Mohammad Amjad; Sheikh, Ishfaq Ahmed; Gan, Siew Hua; Asif, Muhammad; Naseer, Muhammad Imran

    2015-01-01

    Every year, cancer takes the life of millions of people. Conventional treatments have produced unsatisfactory results for some types of cancer, and the side effects are extensive, leading to a shift in the focus of treatment towards alternative medicines. Indeed, medicinal plants have long been investigated by scientists for their anti-cancer properties. Some phytochemicals that are important active constituents of plants, including catechins, ursolic acid, silymarin, glycyrrhizin, ellagic acid, gallic acid and various types of flavonoids, have shown promise in future cancer management. The current review covers various aspects of cancer treatment based on medicinal plants at molecular level and sheds light on their structures and modes of action.

  10. Species-specific control of external superoxide levels by the coral holobiont during a natural bleaching event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diaz, Julia M.; Hansel, Colleen M.; Apprill, Amy; Brighi, Caterina; Zhang, Tong; Weber, Laura; McNally, Sean; Xun, Liping

    2016-12-01

    The reactive oxygen species superoxide (O2.-) is both beneficial and detrimental to life. Within corals, superoxide may contribute to pathogen resistance but also bleaching, the loss of essential algal symbionts. Yet, the role of superoxide in coral health and physiology is not completely understood owing to a lack of direct in situ observations. By conducting field measurements of superoxide produced by corals during a bleaching event, we show substantial species-specific variation in external superoxide levels, which reflect the balance of production and degradation processes. Extracellular superoxide concentrations are independent of light, algal symbiont abundance and bleaching status, but depend on coral species and bacterial community composition. Furthermore, coral-derived superoxide concentrations ranged from levels below bulk seawater up to ~120 nM, some of the highest superoxide concentrations observed in marine systems. Overall, these results unveil the ability of corals and/or their microbiomes to regulate superoxide in their immediate surroundings, which suggests species-specific roles of superoxide in coral health and physiology.

  11. Species-specific control of external superoxide levels by the coral holobiont during a natural bleaching event

    PubMed Central

    Diaz, Julia M.; Hansel, Colleen M.; Apprill, Amy; Brighi, Caterina; Zhang, Tong; Weber, Laura; McNally, Sean; Xun, Liping

    2016-01-01

    The reactive oxygen species superoxide (O2·−) is both beneficial and detrimental to life. Within corals, superoxide may contribute to pathogen resistance but also bleaching, the loss of essential algal symbionts. Yet, the role of superoxide in coral health and physiology is not completely understood owing to a lack of direct in situ observations. By conducting field measurements of superoxide produced by corals during a bleaching event, we show substantial species-specific variation in external superoxide levels, which reflect the balance of production and degradation processes. Extracellular superoxide concentrations are independent of light, algal symbiont abundance and bleaching status, but depend on coral species and bacterial community composition. Furthermore, coral-derived superoxide concentrations ranged from levels below bulk seawater up to ∼120 nM, some of the highest superoxide concentrations observed in marine systems. Overall, these results unveil the ability of corals and/or their microbiomes to regulate superoxide in their immediate surroundings, which suggests species-specific roles of superoxide in coral health and physiology. PMID:27924868

  12. Background independence in a background dependent renormalization group

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labus, Peter; Morris, Tim R.; Slade, Zöe H.

    2016-07-01

    Within the derivative expansion of conformally reduced gravity, the modified split Ward identities are shown to be compatible with the flow equations if and only if either the anomalous dimension vanishes or the cutoff profile is chosen to have a power-law form. No solutions exist if the Ward identities are incompatible. In the compatible case, a clear reason is found for why Ward identities can still forbid the existence of fixed points; however, for any cutoff profile, a background independent (and parametrization independent) flow equation is uncovered. Finally, expanding in vertices, the combined equations are shown generically to become either overconstrained or highly redundant beyond the six-point level.

  13. Backgrounder: The MAB Programme.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, Paris (France). Office of Public Information.

    The Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) was launched in November 1971 under the auspices of Unesco. Its aim is to help to develop scientific knowledge with a view to the rational management and conservation of natural resources, to train qualified personnel in this field, and to disseminate the knowledge acquired both to the decision-makers and…

  14. Sedimentation and response to sea-level rise of a restored marsh with reduced tidal exchange: Comparison with a natural tidal marsh

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vandenbruwaene, W.; Maris, T.; Cahoon, D.R.; Meire, P.; Temmerman, S.

    2011-01-01

    Along coasts and estuaries, formerly embanked land is increasingly restored into tidal marshes in order to re-establish valuable ecosystem services, such as buffering against flooding. Along the Scheldt estuary (Belgium), tidal marshes are restored on embanked land by allowing a controlled reduced tide (CRT) into a constructed basin, through a culvert in the embankment. In this way tidal water levels are significantly lowered (ca. 3 m) so that a CRT marsh can develop on formerly embanked land with a ca. 3 m lower elevation than the natural tidal marshes. In this study we compared the long-term change in elevation (ΔE) within a CRT marsh and adjacent natural tidal marsh. Over a period of 4 years, the observed spatio-temporal variations in ΔE rate were related to variations in inundation depth, and this relationship was not significantly different for the CRT marsh and natural tidal marsh. A model was developed to simulate the ΔE over the next century. (1) Under a scenario without mean high water level (MHWL) rise in the estuary, the model shows that the marsh elevation-ΔE feedback that is typical for a natural tidal marsh (i.e. rising marsh elevation results in decreasing inundation depth and therefore a decreasing increase in elevation) is absent in the basin of the CRT marsh. This is because tidal exchange of water volumes between the estuary and CRT marsh are independent from the CRT marsh elevation but dependent on the culvert dimensions. Thus the volume of water entering the CRT remains constant regardless of the marsh elevation. Consequently the CRT MHWL follows the increase in CRT surface elevation, resulting after 75 years in a 2–2.5 times larger elevation gain in the CRT marsh, and a faster reduction of spatial elevation differences. (2) Under a scenario of constant MHWL rise (historical rate of 1.5 cm a-1), the equilibrium elevation (relative to MHWL) is 0.13 m lower in the CRT marsh and is reached almost 2 times faster. (3) Under a scenario of

  15. Shoot-level terpenoids emission in Norway spruce (Picea abies) under natural field and manipulated laboratory conditions.

    PubMed

    Esposito, Raffaela; Lusini, Ilaria; Kristýna Večeřová; Petra Holišová; Pallozzi, Emanuele; Guidolotti, Gabriele; Urban, Otmar; Calfapietra, Carlo

    2016-11-01

    Norway spruce (Picea abies) is a strong emitter of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs). In the present study we investigated how shoot canopy position and high levels of stressors such as high temperature and ozone concentration, affect BVOC emission rates by means of in-situ and ex-situ experimental measurements. Therefore, BVOC emission from current-year spruce shoots was investigated under field and manipulated (temperature, ozone) laboratory conditions. Emitted BVOCs were sampled on desorption tubes, coupled with gas-exchange measurements of CO2 assimilation rate and stomatal conductance, and detected by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. Total BVOC emission rates from sun shoots under standard conditions were higher than those from shade shoots, although this was significant only in July, on the contrary, only α-pinene and γ-terpinene emission rates showed significant differences between sun and shade acclimated shoots in August. Limonene, α-pinene, β-pinene, and myrcene were identified as the most abundant BVOCs in both campaigns with emission rates above 0.2 nmol m(-2) s(-1). Ex-situ measurements revealed a significantly higher total BVOC emissions under high temperature level (40 °C) by ca. 175% as compared with standard temperature (30 °C), while a short-term fumigation of acute O3 concentration (200 ppb) had no effect on BVOC emissions and its spectrum. These findings might have a relevance considering the role of these compounds in protecting against oxidative stress and their possible stimulation in particular stressful conditions. Implication of such results into emission models may contribute to a more accurate estimation of BVOC emissions for Central European mountain regions dominated by Norway spruce forests and their rate under predicted climate change.

  16. Changes in groundwater levels and the response of natural vegetation to transfer of water to the lower reaches of the Tarim River.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hai-liang; Ye, Mao; Li, Ji-mei

    2007-01-01

    Restoration and reconstruction of the degraded Tarim River ecosystem is an important challenge. A goal of an ecological water conveyance project is to protect and restore the natural vegetation in the lower reaches of Tarim River by transferring water from Bosten Lake, through the river channel, to the lower reaches. This study describes the changes in groundwater depth during the water transfer and the respondence of riparian vegetation to alterations in groundwater levels. The results indicate that groundwater depth along the Tarim River channel has a significant spatial-temporal component. Groundwater levels closest to the river channel show the most immediate and pronounced changes as a response to water transfer while those further away respond more slowly, although the observed change appears to be longer in duration. With a rise in the groundwater level, natural vegetation responded with higher growth rates, biomass and biodiversity. These favorable changes show that it is feasible to protect and restore the degraded natural vegetation by raising the groundwater depth. Plant communities are likely to reflect the hysteresis phenomenon, requiring higher water levels to initiate and stimulate desired growth than what may be needed to maintain the plant community. Because different species have different ecologies, including different root depths and densities and water needs, their response to increasing water availability will be spatially and temporally heterogenous. The response of vegetation is also influenced by microtopography and watering style. This paper discusses strategies for the protection and restoration of the degraded vegetation in the lower reaches of the Tarim River and provides information to complement ongoing theoretical research into ecological restoration in arid or semi-arid ecosystems.

  17. Ultraviolet Background Radiation (Preprint)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-03-01

    5.4 Apollo-Soyuz 3 5 5.5 Evidence for Scattering From Dust ? 3 8 5.6 More Evidence For Scattering From Dust ? 4 0 5.7 More Observations 4 2...Emission from cold interstellar dust . This has been observed by IRAS as the 100 u.m cosmic cirrus (64). The existence of such dust at moderate and... DUST 4 6 CONCLUSIONS 4 7 6.1 Spectral Structure in the Diffuse 4 7 Ultraviolet Background 6.2 Is There Light Scattered From Dust ? 4 7 6.3

  18. Cosmic Background Radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sidharth, B. G.; Valluri, S. R.

    2015-08-01

    It is shown that a collection of photons with nearly the same frequency exhibits a "condensation" type of phenomenon corresponding to a peak intensity. The observed cosmic background radiation can be explained from this standpoint. We have obtained analogous results by extremization of the occupation number for photons with the use of the Lambert W function. Some of the interesting applications of this function are briefly discussed in the context of graphene which exhibits an interesting two dimensional structure with several characteristic properties and diverse practical applications.

  19. Warping Background Subtraction

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-06-01

    significant motion, as demonstrated on image sequences of birds at a feeder station and more general, [11]. Fur- thermore, the implicit warping model...motion compared to (2-4) and is less blurred than (5). The relative difference between birds and the swinging feeder station is larger as well for our...when the camera is not moving. Natural environments, such as the forest canopy, present a significant challenge because of the complex occlusion

  20. Analysis of Precipitation (Rain and Snow) Levels and Straight-line Wind Speeds in Support of the 10-year Natural Phenomena Hazards Review for Los Alamos National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Kelly, Elizabeth J.; Dewart, Jean Marie; Deola, Regina

    2015-12-10

    This report provides site-specific return level analyses for rain, snow, and straight-line wind extreme events. These analyses are in support of the 10-year review plan for the assessment of meteorological natural phenomena hazards at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). These analyses follow guidance from Department of Energy, DOE Standard, Natural Phenomena Hazards Analysis and Design Criteria for DOE Facilities (DOE-STD-1020-2012), Nuclear Regulatory Commission Standard Review Plan (NUREG-0800, 2007) and ANSI/ ANS-2.3-2011, Estimating Tornado, Hurricane, and Extreme Straight-Line Wind Characteristics at Nuclear Facility Sites. LANL precipitation and snow level data have been collected since 1910, although not all years are complete. In this report the results from the more recent data (1990–2014) are compared to those of past analyses and a 2004 National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration report. Given the many differences in the data sets used in these different analyses, the lack of statistically significant differences in return level estimates increases confidence in the data and in the modeling and analysis approach.

  1. Heterozygous Mutation in IκBNS Leads to Reduced Levels of Natural IgM Antibodies and Impaired Responses to T-Independent Type 2 Antigens

    PubMed Central

    Pedersen, Gabriel K.; Ádori, Monika; Stark, Julian M.; Khoenkhoen, Sharesta; Arnold, Carrie; Beutler, Bruce; Karlsson Hedestam, Gunilla B.

    2016-01-01

    Mice deficient in central components of classical NF-κB signaling have low levels of circulating natural IgM antibodies and fail to respond to immunization with T-independent type 2 (TI-2) antigens. A plausible explanation for these defects is the severely reduced numbers of B-1 and marginal zone B (MZB) cells in such mice. By using an ethyl-N-nitrosourea mutagenesis screen, we identified a role for the atypical IκB protein IκBNS in humoral immunity. IκBNS-deficient mice lack B-1 cells and have severely reduced numbers of MZB cells, and thus resemble several other strains with defects in classical NF-κB signaling. We analyzed mice heterozygous for the identified IκBNS mutation and demonstrate that these mice have an intermediary phenotype in terms of levels of circulating IgM antibodies and responses to TI-2 antigens. However, in contrast to mice that are homozygous for the IκBNS mutation, the heterozygous mice had normal frequencies of B-1 and MZB cells. These results suggest that there is a requirement for IκBNS expression from two functional alleles for maintaining normal levels of circulating natural IgM antibodies and responses to TI-2 antigens. PMID:26973645

  2. Background illumination and automated perimetry.

    PubMed

    Klewin, K M; Radius, R L

    1986-03-01

    Visual field function in the right and left eyes of 31 normal volunteers was evaluated with an automated projection perimeter (OCTOPUS). Serial visual field evaluations were repeated in these same eyes with neutral filters of increasing optical density. We compared the results of threshold determinations with the different neutral filters in place before the examined eye. Significant reduction in threshold sensitivity at several test spots throughout the central 30 degrees visual field was seen with neutral density filters of 0.5 log units or greater. The low level of background illumination of the OCTOPUS perimeter (4.0 apostilbs) may allow relatively minor reduction in light transmission by the ocular media to produce significant changes in the recorded level of threshold sensitivity during visual field evaluation.

  3. Historical background of itch.

    PubMed

    Weisshaar, Elke; Eckart, Wolfgang U; Bernhard, Jeffrey D

    2015-01-01

    Itch as a disease, and especially as a symptom, was the object of medical and scientific curiosity for centuries. The reluctance of historians to focus on the history of itch relates to its nature as a subjective symptom. After all, how can historians have known what itch really felt like in previous centuries? Since the establishment of dermatology as an independent discipline of medicine in the middle of the nineteenth century, itch has become a subject of investigation in its own right. This chapter summarises research we conducted on the medical history of itch in ancient medicine and up through the twentieth century.

  4. Galileons on cosmological backgrounds

    SciTech Connect

    Goon, Garrett; Hinterbichler, Kurt; Trodden, Mark E-mail: kurthi@physics.upenn.edu

    2011-12-01

    We construct four-dimensional effective field theories of a generalized DBI galileon field, the dynamics of which naturally take place on a Friedmann-Robertson-Walker spacetime. The theories are invariant under non-linear symmetry transformations, which can be thought of as being inherited from five-dimensional bulk Killing symmetries via the probe brane technique through which they are constructed. The resulting model provides a framework in which to explore the cosmological role that galileons may play as the universe evolves.

  5. Cigarettes, genetic background, and menopausal timing: the presence of single nucleotide polymorphisms in cytochrome P450 genes is associated with increased risk of natural menopause in European-American smokers

    PubMed Central

    Butts, Samantha F.; Sammel, Mary D.; Greer, Christine; Rebbeck, Timothy R.; Boorman, David W.; Freeman, Ellen W.

    2016-01-01

    Objective This study aims to evaluate associations between variations in genes involved in the metabolism of environmental chemicals and steroid hormones and risk of menopause in smokers. Methods Survival analysis was performed on 410 eligible participants from the Penn Ovarian Aging study (ongoing for 14 years), a cohort study of late-reproductive-age women. Single nucleotide polymorphisms at the following loci were studied: COMT Val158Met, CYP1B1*4 Asn452Ser, CYP1B1*3 Leu432Val, and CYP3A4*1B. Results Significant interactions between smoking and single nucleotide polymorphisms were observed in European-American carriers of CYP3A4*1B and CYP1B1*3, supporting a greater risk of menopause entry compared with those not carrying these alleles. Among CYP1B1*3 carriers, smokers had a greater risk of menopause entry than nonsmokers (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 2.26; 95% CI, 1.4–3.67; median time to menopause, 10.42 and 11.07 y, respectively). No association between smoking and menopause was identified in CYP1B1 wild types. Among CYP3A4*1B carriers, smokers were at greater risk for menopause entry than nonsmokers (adjusted HR, 15.1; 95% CI, 3.31–69.2; median time to menopause, 11.36 and 13.91 y, respectively). Risk of menopause entry in CYP3A4 wild types who smoked was far lower (adjusted HR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.03–2.44). Heavily smoking CYP1B1*3 carriers (adjusted HR, 3.0; 95% CI, 1.54–5.84; median time to menopause, 10.41 y) and heavily smoking CYP3A4*1B carriers (adjusted HR, 17.79; 95% CI, 3.21–98.65; median time to menopause, 5.09 y) had the greatest risk of menopause entry. Conclusions Our finding that the risk of menopause entry in European-American smokers varies depending on genetic background represents a novel gene-environment interaction in reproductive aging. PMID:24448104

  6. Natural polyamines and synthetic analogs modify the growth and the morphology of Pyrus communis pollen tubes affecting ROS levels and causing cell death.

    PubMed

    Aloisi, Iris; Cai, Giampiero; Tumiatti, Vincenzo; Minarini, Anna; Del Duca, Stefano

    2015-10-01

    Polyamines (PAs) are small molecules necessary for pollen maturation and tube growth. Their role is often controversial, since they may act as pro-survival factors as well as factors promoting Programmed Cell Death (PCD). The aim of the present work was to evaluate the effect of exogenous PAs on the apical growth of pear (Pyrus communis) pollen tube and to understand if PAs and reactive oxygen species (ROS) are interconnected in the process of tip-growth. In the present study besides natural PAs, also aryl-substituted spermine and methoctramine (Met 6-8-6) analogs were tested. Among the natural PAs, Spm showed strongest effects on tube growth. Spm entered through the pollen tube tip, then diffused in the sub-apical region that underwent drastic morphological changes, showing enlarged tip. Analogs were mostly less efficient than natural PAs but BD23, an asymmetric synthetic PAs bearing a pyridine ring, showed similar effects. These effects were related to the ability of PAs to cause the decrease of ROS level in the apical zone, leading to cell death, counteracted by the caspase-3 inhibitor Ac-DEVD-CHO (DEVD). In conclusions, ROS are essential for pollen germination and a strict correlation between ROS regulation and PA concentration is reported. Moreover, an imbalance between ROS and PAs can be detrimental thereby driving pollen toward cell death.

  7. Environmental assessment for the natural fluctuation of water level in Par Pond and reduced water flow in Steel Creek below L-Lake at the Savannah River Site

    SciTech Connect

    1995-08-01

    The Savannah River Operations Office Strategic Plan directs Savannah River Site (SRS) to find ways to reduce operating costs, and to determine what site infrastructure must be maintained and what infrastructure is surplus. Because of the mission change, L-Lake, Par Pond, and the river water system are no longer needed to support current missions and therefore provide an opportunity for operating cost reduction. If SRS determines that L-Lake, Par Pond, and the river water system are no longer needed to support future missions and are considered surplus, appropriate NEPA documentation will be prepared. The purpose of the proposed action in this Environmental Assessment is to begin an examination of the need for the Site`s river water system by (1) developing data needed to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of further reducing or eliminating the flow demands from the Site`s river water system and; (2) evaluating the potential of reducing operating costs by allowing the water level in Par Pond to fluctuate naturally through reduced pumping. This action also includes reducing the current flow rates from L-Lake to Steel Creek to natural stream flows while maintaining full pool. The recently approved Par Pond CERCLA Interim Action Proposed Plan (IAPP) committed to evaluate in a NEPA document the environmental consequences of this proposed action. This document evaluated the remediation of human health and ecological risks associated with the three year drawdown of Par Pond. Should any of the parameters sampled in the reservoir and streams (e.g., water quality, biota, etc.) exceed established threshold levels during the implementation of the proposed action, water would again be pumped into the reservoir to minimize any impacts by bringing the water level back to an appropriate level about 58.2 m (195 ft).

  8. In the Background

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garibay, Pat

    2007-01-01

    Educators and administrators are looking for new ways to boost student performance and eliminate barriers to learning. When working to improve the classroom environment, facility managers typically target the physical structure, temperature controls, humidity levels and ventilation. Many heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) consultants…

  9. Impact of oral consumption of heat-treated Bacteroides xylanisolvens DSM 23964 on the level of natural TFα-specific antibodies in human adults.

    PubMed

    Ulsemer, P; Toutounian, K; Kressel, G; Goletz, C; Schmidt, J; Karsten, U; Hahn, A; Goletz, S

    2016-09-01

    It is now generally accepted that the human body exists in close synergy with the gut microbiome and that this cross-talk plays an essential role in human health and disease. One facet from the many interactions between the microbiome and the immune system is the induction of natural antibodies to commensal bacterial glycans, such as blood group antigens, the alpha-Gal epitope or the Thomsen-Friedenreich (TFα) antigen. Since we have observed that certain species of the commensal genus Bacteroides express the TFα antigen, we examined whether the oral dietary supplementation of a pasteurised Bacteroides xylanisolvens strain might be able to enhance the level of natural anti-TFα antibodies in healthy adults. The data obtained from a double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving 140 healthy volunteers and lasting 8 weeks revealed that the oral uptake of this strain was indeed able to increase the level of TFα-specific immunoglobulin M serum antibodies. The effect was dose-dependent but remained - at any doses - within the physiological range determined before intervention. Furthermore, the effect reverted after stopping the intake. The results support the idea of the microbiome inducing the generation of systemic antigen-specific antibodies against sugar epitopes. They also demonstrate the possibility to modulate essential regulatory or defence processes through dietary supplementation of selected commensal bacteria with the aim to assist human health.

  10. Radiation-Induced Defects in Kaolinite as Tracers of Past Occurrence of Radionuclides in a Natural Analogue of High Level Nuclear Waste Repository

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allard, T.; Fourdrin, C.; Calas, G.

    2007-05-01

    Understanding the processes controlling migrations of radioelements at the Earth's surface is an important issue for the long-term safety assessment of high level nuclear waste repositories (HLNWR). Evidence of past occurrence and transfer of radionuclides can be found using radiation-induced defects in minerals. Clay minerals are particularly relevant because of their widespread occurrence at the Earth's surface and their finely divided nature which provides high contact area with radioactive fluids. Owing to its sensitivity to radiations, kaolinite can be used as natural, in situ dosimeter. Kaolinite is known to contain radiation-induced defects which are detected by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance. They are differentiated by their nature, their production kinetics and their thermal stability. One of these defects is stable at the scale of geological periods and provides a record of past radionuclide occurrence. Based on artificial irradiations, a methodology has been subsequently proposed to determine paleodose cumulated by kaolinite since its formation. The paleodose can be used to derive equivalent radioelement concentrations, provided that the age of kaolinite formation can be constrained. This allows quantitative reconstruction of past transfers of radioelements in natural systems. An example is given for the Nopal I U-deposit (Chihuahua, Mexico), hosted in hydrothermally altered volcanic tufs and considered as analogue of the Yucca Mountain site. The paleodoses experienced by kaolinites were determined from the concentration of defects and dosimetry parameters of experimental irradiations. Using few geochemical assumption, a equivalent U-content responsible for defects in kaolinite was calculated from the paleodose, a dose rate balance and model ages of kaolinites constrained by tectonic phases. In a former study, the ages were assumptions derived from regional tectonic events. In thepresent study, ages of mineralization events are measured from U

  11. The cosmic background explorer

    SciTech Connect

    Gulkis, G. ); Lubin, P.M. ); Meyer, S.S. ); Silverberg, R.F.

    1990-01-01

    Late last year the National Aeronautics and Space Administration launched its first satellite dedicated to the study of phenomena related to the origins of the universe. The satellite, called the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), carries three complementary detectors that will make fundamental measurements of the celestial radiation. Part of that radiation is believed to have originated in processes that occurred at the very dawn of the universe. By measuring the remnant radiation at wavelengths from one micrometer to one centimeter across the entire sky, scientists hope to be able to solve many mysteries regarding the origin and evolution of the early universe. Unfortunately, these radiative relics of the early universe are weak and veiled by local astrophysical and terrestrial sources of radiation. The wavelengths of the various cosmic components may also overlap, thereby making the understanding of the diffuse celestial radiation a challenge. Nevertheless, the COBE instruments, with their full-sky coverage, high sensitivity to a wide range of wavelengths and freedom from interference from the earth's atmosphere, will constitute for astrophysicists an observatory of unprecedented sensitivity and scope. The interesting cosmic signals will then be separated from one another and from noncosmic radiation sources by a comprehensive analysis of the data.

  12. 45 CFR 650.16 - Background rights.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare (Continued) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION PATENTS § 650.16 Background rights. The Foundation will acquire rights to a research performer's pre-existing technology only in exceptional circumstances where, due to the nature of the research being supported, the...

  13. 45 CFR 650.16 - Background rights.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Background rights. 650.16 Section 650.16 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare (Continued) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION PATENTS § 650.16... in exceptional circumstances where, due to the nature of the research being supported, the...

  14. 45 CFR 650.16 - Background rights.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Background rights. 650.16 Section 650.16 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare (Continued) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION PATENTS § 650.16... in exceptional circumstances where, due to the nature of the research being supported, the...

  15. The inception of pulsed discharges in air: simulations in background fields above and below breakdown

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Anbang; Teunissen, Jannis; Ebert, Ute

    2014-11-01

    We investigate discharge inception in air, in uniform background electric fields above and below the breakdown threshold. We perform 3D particle simulations that include a natural level of background ionization in the form of positive and \\text{O}2- ions. In background fields below breakdown, we use a strongly ionized seed of electrons and positive ions to enhance the field locally. In the region of enhanced field, we observe the growth of positive streamers, as in previous simulations with 2D plasma fluid models. The inclusion of background ionization has little effect in this case. When the background field is above the breakdown threshold, the situation is very different. Electrons can then detach from \\text{O}2- and start ionization avalanches in the whole volume. These avalanches together create one extended discharge, in contrast to the ‘double-headed’ streamers found in many fluid simulations.

  16. Radio-adaptive response in peripheral blood lymphocytes of individuals residing in high-level natural radiation areas of Kerala in the southwest coast of India.

    PubMed

    Ramachandran, E N; Karuppasamy, C V; Kumar, V Anil; Soren, D C; Kumar, P R Vivek; Koya, P K M; Jaikrishan, G; Das, Birajalaxmi

    2016-11-09

    The present study investigates whether the chronic low-dose radiation exposure induces an in vivo radio-adaptive response in individuals from high-level natural radiation areas (HLNRA) of the Kerala coast. Peripheral blood samples from 54 adult male individuals aged between 26 and 65 years were collected for the study with written informed consent. Each of the whole blood sample was divided into three, one was sham irradiated, second and third was exposed to challenging doses of 1.0 and 2.0 Gy gamma radiation, respectively. Cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay was employed to study the radio-adaptive response. Seventeen individuals were from normal-level natural radiation area (NLNRA ≤1.5 mGy/year) and 37 from HLNRA (> 1.5 mGy/year). Based on the annual dose received, individuals from HLNRA were further classified into low-dose group (LDG, 1.51-5.0 mGy/year, N = 19) and high-dose group (HDG >5.0 mGy/year, N = 18). Basal frequency of micronucleus (MN) was comparable across the three dose groups (NLNRA, LDG and HDG, P = 0.64). Age of the individuals showed a significant effect on the frequency of MN after challenging dose exposures. The mean frequency of MN was significantly lower in elder (>40 years) individuals from HDG of HLNRA as compared to the young (≤40 years) individuals after 1.0 Gy (P < 0.001) and 2.0 Gy (P = 0.002) of challenging doses. However, young and elder individuals within NLNRA and LDG of HLNRA showed similar frequency of MN after the challenging dose exposures. Thus, increased level of chronic low-dose radiation (>5.0 mGy/year) seems to act as a priming dose resulting in the induction of an in vivo radio-adaptive response in elder individuals of the Kerala coast.

  17. Effect of tributyltin (TBT) on ATP levels in human natural killer (NK) cells: relationship to TBT-induced decreases in NK function.

    PubMed

    Dudimah, Fred D; Odman-Ghazi, Sabah O; Hatcher, Frank; Whalen, Margaret M

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the role that tributyltin (TBT)-induced decreases in ATP levels may play in TBT-induced decreases in the tumor lysing (lytic) function of natural killer (NK) cells. NK cells are a subset of lymphocytes that act as an initial immune defense against tumor cells and virally infected cells. TBT is an environmental contaminant that has been detected in human blood, which has been shown to interfere with ATP synthesis. Previous studies have shown that TBT is able to decrease very significantly the lytic function of NK cells. In this study NK cells were exposed to various concentrations of TBT and to two other compounds that interfere with ATP synthesis (rotenone a complex I inhibitor and oligomycin an ATP synthase inhibitor) for various lengths of time before determining the levels of ATP and lytic function. Exposures of NK cells to 10, 25, 50 and 100 nm TBT did not significantly reduce ATP levels after 24 h. However, these same exposures caused significant decreases in cytotoxic function. Studies of brief 1 h exposures to a range of TBT, rotenone and oligomycin concentrations followed by 24 h, 48 h and 6 day periods in compound-free media prior to assaying for ATP levels or cytotoxic function showed that each of the compounds caused persistent decreases in ATP levels and lytic function of NK cells. Exposures to 0.05-5 microm rotenone or oligomycin for 1 h reduced ATP levels by 20-25% but did not have any measurable effect on the ability of NK cells to lyse tumor cells. ATP levels were also decreased by about 20-25% after 24 h or 48 h exposures to rotenone or oligomycin (0.5 microm ), and the lytic function was decreased by about 50%. The results suggest that TBT-induced decreases in ATP levels were not responsible for the loss of cytotoxic function seen at 1 h and 24 h. However, TBT-induced decreases of NK-ATP levels may be at least in part responsible for losses of NK-cytotoxic function seen after 48 h and 6 day exposures.

  18. Absorption coefficient instrument for turbid natural waters.

    PubMed

    Friedman, E; Poole, L; Cherdak, A; Houghton, W

    1980-05-15

    An instrument has been developed that directly measures the multispectral absorption coefficient of turbid natural water. The design incorporates methods for compensation of variation in the internal light source intensity, correction of the spectrally dependent nature of the optical elements, and correction for variation in background light level. When used in conjunction with a spectrally matched total attenuation instrument, the spectrally dependent scattering coefficient can also be derived. Systematic errors associated with multiple scattering have been estimated using Monte Carlo techniques.

  19. Probing Inflation via Cosmic Microwave Background Polarimetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chuss, David T.

    2008-01-01

    The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) has been a rich source of information about the early Universe. Detailed measurements of its spectrum and spatial distribution have helped solidify the Standard Model of Cosmology. However, many questions still remain. Standard Cosmology does not explain why the early Universe is geometrically flat, expanding, homogenous across the horizon, and riddled with a small anisotropy that provides the seed for structure formation. Inflation has been proposed as a mechanism that naturally solves these problems. In addition to solving these problems, inflation is expected to produce a spectrum of gravitational waves that will create a particular polarization pattern on the CMB. Detection of this polarized signal is a key test of inflation and will give a direct measurement of the energy scale at which inflation takes place. This polarized signature of inflation is expected to be -9 orders of magnitude below the 2.7 K monopole level of the CMB. This measurement will require good control of systematic errors, an array of many detectors having the requisite sensitivity, and a reliable method for removing polarized foregrounds, and nearly complete sky coverage. Ultimately, this measurement is likely to require a space mission. To this effect, technology and mission concept development are currently underway.

  20. Integrable Background Geometries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calderbank, David M. J.

    2014-03-01

    This work has its origins in an attempt to describe systematically the integrable geometries and gauge theories in dimensions one to four related to twistor theory. In each such dimension, there is a nondegenerate integrable geometric structure, governed by a nonlinear integrable differential equation, and each solution of this equation determines a background geometry on which, for any Lie group G, an integrable gauge theory is defined. In four dimensions, the geometry is selfdual conformal geometry and the gauge theory is selfdual Yang-Mills theory, while the lower-dimensional structures are nondegenerate (i.e., non-null) reductions of this. Any solution of the gauge theory on a k-dimensional geometry, such that the gauge group H acts transitively on an ℓ-manifold, determines a (k+ℓ)-dimensional geometry (k+ℓ≤4) fibering over the k-dimensional geometry with H as a structure group. In the case of an ℓ-dimensional group H acting on itself by the regular representation, all (k+ℓ)-dimensional geometries with symmetry group H are locally obtained in this way. This framework unifies and extends known results about dimensional reductions of selfdual conformal geometry and the selfdual Yang-Mills equation, and provides a rich supply of constructive methods. In one dimension, generalized Nahm equations provide a uniform description of four pole isomonodromic deformation problems, and may be related to the {SU}(∞) Toda and dKP equations via a hodograph transformation. In two dimensions, the {Diff}(S^1) Hitchin equation is shown to be equivalent to the hyperCR Einstein-Weyl equation, while the {SDiff}(Σ^2) Hitchin equation leads to a Euclidean analogue of Plebanski's heavenly equations. In three and four dimensions, the constructions of this paper help to organize the huge range of examples of Einstein-Weyl and selfdual spaces in the literature, as well as providing some new ! ones. The nondegenerate reductions have a long ancestry. More ! recently