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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. Low level activity determination by means of gamma spectrometry with respect to the natural background fluctuation.

    PubMed

    Dragounová, Lenka; Rulík, Petr

    2013-11-01

    The determination of low level activities of natural radionuclides from the uranium and thorium series by gamma-spectrometry faces the problem of proper natural background subtraction. Background fluctuation can cause differences in activity determination. Also the minimum detectable activity (MDA) of natural and artificial radionuclides can be influenced by background fluctuation. In this paper, results of the background fluctuation of shielded HPGe detectors with relative efficiency of 50-150% are presented together with the assessment of its influence on the determination of natural and artificial radionuclides. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. 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

  4. Geostatistics as a tool to improve the natural background level definition: An application in groundwater.

    PubMed

    Dalla Libera, Nico; Fabbri, Paolo; Mason, Leonardo; Piccinini, Leonardo; Pola, Marco

    2017-11-15

    The Natural Background Level (NBL), suggested by UE BRIDGE project, is suited for spatially distributed datasets providing a regional value that could be higher than the Threshold Value (TV) set by every country. In hydro-geochemically dis-homogeneous areas, the use of a unique regional NBL, higher than TV, could arise problems to distinguish between natural occurrences and anthropogenic contaminant sources. Hence, the goal of this study is to improve the NBL definition employing a geostatistical approach, which reconstructs the contaminant spatial structure accounting geochemical and hydrogeological relationships. This integrated mapping is fundamental to evaluate the contaminant's distribution impact on the NBL, giving indications to improve it. We decided to test this method on the Drainage Basin of Venice Lagoon (DBVL, NE Italy), where the existing NBL is seven times higher than the TV. This area is notoriously affected by naturally occurring arsenic contamination. An available geochemical dataset collected by 50 piezometers was used to reconstruct the spatial distribution of arsenic in the densely populated area of the DBVL. A cokriging approach was applied exploiting the geochemical relationships among As, Fe and NH4+. The obtained spatial predictions of arsenic concentrations were divided into three different zones: i) areas with an As concentration lower than the TV, ii) areas with an As concentration between the TV and the median of the values higher than the TV, and iii) areas with an As concentration higher than the median. Following the BRIDGE suggestions, where enough samples were available, the 90th percentile for each zone was calculated to obtain a local NBL (LNBL). Differently from the original NBL, this local value gives more detailed water quality information accounting the hydrogeological and geochemical setting, and contaminant spatial variation. Hence, the LNBL could give more indications about the distinction between natural occurrence and

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Grounding a natural background level for fluoride in a potentially contaminated crystalline aquifer in south India.

    PubMed

    Sajil Kumar, P J

    2017-09-27

    Fluoride contamination is one of the most alarming issues for those countries that depend on groundwater drinking water supply. A careful examination of the hydrogeochemical conditions and routine monitoring of fluoride level are therefore quintessential. Estimation of natural background level (NBL) of fluoride becomes significant information for assessing the current and future contamination episodes. Vellore District in Tamil Nadu is a hard rock terrain known for its F-rich groundwater. In this study, we attempted to form a benchmark for fluoride using hydrochemical pre-selection (based on TDS and NO3) and cumulative probability plots (CPP). Principle components analysis is (PCA) applied to evaluate the corresponding factor grouping of the total of 68 samples, which is later mapped using geostatistical tool in ArcGIS. From the CPP, we derived the NBL of F as 0.75 mg/L. This value is compared with the observed concentration in each sample and they were spatially plotted based on the NBL. Resultant plot suggests that W-NW part of the study area has exceeded and E-EW regions are below the NBL of F. Spatial variation of the factor scores also supported this observation. Grounding an NBL and extending it to other parts of the potential contaminated aquifers are highly recommended for better understanding and management of the water supply systems.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Determination of environmental radioactivity (238U, 232Th and 40K) and indoor natural background radiation level in Chennai city (Tamilnadu State), India.

    PubMed

    Babai, K S; Poongothai, S; Punniyakotti, J

    2013-01-01

    An extensive study on the determination of the natural radioactivity ((238)U, (232)Th and (40)K) levels in soil samples of Chennai city, India has been undertaken and the results of the same are compared with the levels reported in other Indian cities as well as other parts of the world. The radioactivity content in the soil samples, the absorbed dose rate, annual effective dose equivalent, radium equivalent activity, internal and external hazard indices were calculated and compared with UNSCEAR 2000 recommended values. In addition to the above, mapping of indoor natural background gamma radiation levels has been made using thermo luminescent dosemeters throughout Chennai city and the same are reported.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Speech recognition in natural background noise.

    PubMed

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Exceedance probability map: a tool helping the definition of arsenic Natural Background Level (NBL) within the Drainage Basin to the Venice Lagoon (NE Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalla Libera, Nico; Fabbri, Paolo; Mason, Leonardo; Piccinini, Leonardo; Pola, Marco

    2017-04-01

    Arsenic groundwater contamination affects worldwide shallower groundwater bodies. Starting from the actual knowledges around arsenic origin into groundwater, we know that the major part of dissolved arsenic is naturally occurring through the dissolution of As-bearing minerals and ores. Several studies on the shallow aquifers of both the regional Venetian Plain (NE Italy) and the local Drainage Basin to the Venice Lagoon (DBVL) show local high arsenic concentration related to peculiar geochemical conditions, which drive arsenic mobilization. The uncertainty of arsenic spatial distribution makes difficult both the evaluation of the processes involved in arsenic mobilization and the stakeholders' decision about environmental management. Considering the latter aspect, the present study treats the problem of the Natural Background Level (NBL) definition as the threshold discriminating the natural contamination from the anthropogenic pollution. Actually, the UE's Directive 2006/118/EC suggests the procedures and criteria to set up the water quality standards guaranteeing a healthy status and reversing any contamination trends. In addition, the UE's BRIDGE project proposes some criteria, based on the 90th percentile of the contaminant's concentrations dataset, to estimate the NBL. Nevertheless, these methods provides just a statistical NBL for the whole area without considering the spatial variation of the contaminant's concentration. In this sense, we would reinforce the NBL concept using a geostatistical approach, which is able to give some detailed information about the distribution of arsenic concentrations and unveiling zones with high concentrations referred to the Italian drinking water standard (IDWS = 10 µg/liter). Once obtained the spatial information about arsenic distribution, we can apply the 90th percentile methods to estimate some Local NBL referring to every zones with arsenic higher than IDWS. The indicator kriging method was considered because it

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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 ...

  10. Tonic vibration reflexes and background force level

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lackner, James R.; Dizio, Paul; Fisk, John

    1992-01-01

    On earth, the functional stretch reflex is an important component in the maintenance of posture and muscle tone. In parabolic flight experiments, it is evaluated whether the functional stretch reflex, as reflected in the tonic vibration reflex, adjusts appropriately for changes in background gravitoinertial force level. Virtually immediate alterations of appropriate sign occurred.

  11. 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.

  12. Study of Natural Background Radiation around Gurvanbulag Uranium Deposit Area

    SciTech Connect

    Enkhbat, N.; Norov, N.; Khuukhenkhuu, G.; Otgooloi, B.; Bat-Erdene, B.

    2009-03-31

    In this work, we will show the study of natural background radiation level around the Gurvanbulag (GB) uranium deposit area in the eastern part of Mongolia. We collected environmental soil samples from 102 points around GB Uranium deposit. Collected samples were measured by HPGe gamma spectrometer at Nuclear Research Center, National University of Mongolia. The averaged activity concentrations of Ra-226, Th-232, K-40, and Cs-137 were 37.1, 29, 939, and 17.7 Bq/kg, respectively.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Statistical Modeling of Natural Backgrounds in Hyperspectral LWIR Data

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-09-06

    Statistical Modeling of Natural Backgrounds in Hyperspectral LWIR Data Eric Truslowa, Dimitris Manolakisa, Thomas Cooleyb, and Joseph Meolac aMIT...87117 cSensors Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433 Hyperspectral sensors operating in the long wave infrared (LWIR...investigated. In this paper, we investigate modeling hyperspectral LWIR data using a statistical mixture model for the emissivity and surface

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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)

  1. 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).

  2. Dynamic four-dimensional microscope system with automated background leveling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldstein, Goldie; Creath, Katherine

    2012-09-01

    This paper describes recent advances in developing an automatic background leveling algorithm for a new, novel interference microscope system and presents images and data of live biological samples. The specially designed optical system enables instantaneous 4-dimensional video measurements of dynamic motions within and among live cells without the need for contrast agents. "Label-free" measurements of biological objects in reflection using harmless light levels are possible without the need for scanning and vibration isolation. This instrument utilizes a pixelated phase mask enabling simultaneous measurement of multiple interference patterns taking advantage of the polarization properties of light enabling phase image movies in real time at video rates to track dynamic motions and volumetric changes. Optical thickness data are derived from phase images. This data is processed with an automatic background leveling routine which separates the objects from the background by thresholding the calculated gradient magnitude of the optical thickness data. Low-order Zernike surfaces are fit to the unmasked background pixels and the resulting background shape is removed. This method effectively eliminates background shape for datasets containing both large and small objects. By applying this method to many sequential frames, it results in all the frames having the same mean background value across all frames which is essential for quantitatively montoring time-dependent processes.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Measurement of Acceptable Noise Level with Background Music.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Hyun-Jung; Bahng, Junghwa; Lee, Jae Hee

    2015-09-01

    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. 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. 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. 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).

  6. 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.

  7. Natural background concentrations of nutrients in streams and rivers of the conterminous United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, R.A.; Alexander, R.B.; Schwarz, G.E.

    2003-01-01

    Determining natural background concentrations of nutrients in watersheds in the developed world has been hampered by a lack of pristine sampling sites covering a range of climatic conditions and basin sizes. Using data from 63 minimally impacted U.S. Geological Survey reference basins, we developed empirical models of the background yield of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) from small watersheds as functions of annual runoff, basin size, atmospheric nitrogen deposition rate, and region-specific factors. We applied previously estimated in-stream loss rates to yields from the small watershed models to obtain estimates of background TN and TP yield and concentration throughout the stream/river network in 14 ecoregions of the conterminous United States. Background TN concentration varies from less than 0.02 mg L-1 in the xeric west to more than 0.5 mg L-1 along the southeastern coastal plain. Background TP concentration varies from less than 0.006 mg L-1 in the xeric west to more than 0.08 mg L-1 in the great plains. TN concentrations in U.S. streams and rivers currently exceed natural background levels by a much larger factor (6.4) than do TP concentrations (2.0). Because of local variation in runoff and other factors, the range of background nutrient concentrations is very large within some nutrient ecoregions. It is likely that background concentrations in some streams in these regions exceed proposed nutrient criteria.

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Low-level background absorption in durable window materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, M. E.

    2017-05-01

    The understanding and characterization of low level absorption in window materials is important for applications involving high energy lasers and hot windows in front of detectors. Low concentration impurities are important as well as disorders and defects. Such mechanisms can produce weak absorption that can manifest itself as background continuum absorption between the band gap and the multiphonon absorption edges. This so called weak absorption tail has been characterized in amorphous semiconductors and glasses, but not as completely in crystalline or polycrystalline materials that are typical durable window materials. Low-level absorption in the visible and near infrared has been reported for single crystal o-ray sapphire and a limited set on other crystalline based material. A survey of reported measurements in regions of high transparency for such materials is presented.

  12. 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.

  13. [Hereditary background and natural history in glucose-intolerance group].

    PubMed

    Ito, C

    1996-10-01

    For non-obese IGT, frequency of 1st degree DM relatives was 29.9%, a rate higher than normal. NIDDM development rate was higher in IGT with family history of DM (86.9/1000 PY) than in IGT without family history (75.4/1000PY). For IGT-2 (2hr. PG > or = 170 mg/dl), the rate was higher in the group with family history (140.1/1000 PY) than that without family history (113.6/1000 PY). The odds ratio for NIDDM was 1.76 with obesity and 1.55 with family history. With regard to the natural course, plasma glucose (PG) increased slowly with rising of IRI over a long period, then PG increased suddenly without rising IRI and reached NIDDM onset. From these results, intervention trials for prevention of NIDDM are possible during long glucose-intolerance period.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Natural background dose and radium equivalent measurements at Ikogosi warm spring, Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Isinkaye, M O; Ajayi, I R

    2006-01-01

    The natural background dose and the radium equivalent due to the natural radioactivity levels in rocks and sediments collected around Ikogosi warm spring, Nigeria, has been determined in this study using a highly sensitive HpGe detector. The mean activity concentration of (40)K, (226)Ra and (228)Ac were measured to be 585.50 +/- 17.40 Bq kg(-1), 66.91 +/- 5.23 Bq kg(-1) and 48.91 +/- 2.10 Bq kg(-1), respectively, in rock samples while in sediment samples the activity concentrations were found to be 113.89 +/- 5.64 Bq kg(-1) for (40)K, 21.47 +/- 5.14 Bq kg(-1) for (226)Ra and 14.20 +/- 1.07 Bq kg(-1) for (228)Ac. This mean values give rise to average absorbed dose rate of 85.87 nGy h(-1) at a distance of 1.0 m above the ground level and a mean human effective dose equivalent of 0.53 man Sv y(-1) for rock samples. A radium equivalent of 50.55 Bq kg(-1) was measured for the sediment samples. The radium equivalent value is far less than the 370 Bq kg(-1) limit for materials that can be used as building materials while the human effective dose equivalent falls below the world average background dose of 2.4 man Sv y(-1).

  19. An automatic segmentation method for multi-tomatoes image under complicated natural background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Jianjun; Mao, Hanping; Hu, Yongguang; Wang, Xinzhong; Chen, Shuren

    2006-12-01

    It is a fundamental work to realize intelligent fruit-picking that mature fruits are distinguished from complicated backgrounds and determined their three-dimensional location. Various methods for fruit identification can be found from the literatures. However, surprisingly little attention has been paid to image segmentation of multi-fruits which growth states are separated, connected, overlapped and partially covered by branches and leaves of plant under the natural illumination condition. In this paper we present an automatic segmentation method that comprises of three main steps. Firstly, Red and Green component image are extracted from RGB color image, and Green component subtracted from Red component gives RG of chromatic aberration gray-level image. Gray-level value between objects and background has obviously difference in RG image. By the feature, Ostu's threshold method is applied to do adaptive RG image segmentation. And then, marker-controlled watershed segmentation based on morphological grayscale reconstruction is applied into Red component image to search boundary of connected or overlapped tomatoes. Finally, intersection operation is done by operation results of above two steps to get binary image of final segmentation. The tests show that the automatic segmentation method has satisfactory effect upon multi-tomatoes image of various growth states under the natural illumination condition. Meanwhile, it has very robust for different maturity of multi-tomatoes image.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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%.

  7. Human exposure to high natural background radiation: what can it teach us about radiation risks?

    PubMed Central

    Hendry, Jolyon H; Simon, Steven L; Wojcik, Andrzej; Sohrabi, Mehdi; Burkart, Werner; Cardis, Elisabeth; Laurier, Dominique; Tirmarche, Margot; Hayata, Isamu

    2014-01-01

    Natural radiation is the major source of human exposure to ionising radiation, and its largest contributing component to effective dose arises from inhalation of 222Rn and its radioactive progeny. However, despite extensive knowledge of radiation risks gained through epidemiologic investigations and mechanistic considerations, the health effects of chronic low-level radiation exposure are still poorly understood. The present paper reviews the possible contribution of studies of populations living in high natural background radiation (HNBR) areas (Guarapari, Brazil; Kerala, India; Ramsar, Iran; Yangjiang, China), including radon-prone areas, to low dose risk estimation. Much of the direct information about risk related to HNBR comes from case–control studies of radon and lung cancer, which provide convincing evidence of an association between long-term protracted radiation exposures in the general population and disease incidence. The success of these studies is mainly due to the careful organ dose reconstruction (with relatively high doses to the lung), and to the fact that large-scale collaborative studies have been conducted to maximise the statistical power and to ensure the systematic collection of information on potential confounding factors. In contrast, studies in other (non-radon) HNBR areas have provided little information, relying mainly on ecological designs and very rough effective dose categorisations. Recent steps taken in China and India to establish cohorts for follow-up and to conduct nested case–control studies may provide useful information about risks in the future, provided that careful organ dose reconstruction is possible and information is collected on potential confounding factors. PMID:19454802

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Reference levels of background radioactivity for beach sands and soils in İnebolu/Kastamonu-Turkey

    SciTech Connect

    Kurnaz, Aslı Türkdoğan, Savaş Hançerlioğulları, Aybaba Çetiner, M. Atıf

    2016-03-25

    This paper presents the measurement results of environmental radioactivity levels for İnebolu district (tourist area), Kastamonu-Turkey. The radioactivity concentrations of {sup 238}U, {sup 232}Th, {sup 40}K and the fission product {sup 137}Cs in soil samples collected from 13 region surroundings of study area and in 12 beach sand samples collected from along the coast of İnebolu were determined. To evaluate the radiological hazard of the natural radioactivity, based on the measured concentrations of these radionuclides, the mean absorbed gamma dose and the annual effective dose were evaluated separately, and found to be 112.90 nGy h-1 and 138.46 µSv y-1 for soil samples and 75.19 nGy h-1 and 92.22 µSv y-1 for beach sand samples, respectively. The results show that İnebolu does not have high background.

  11. 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

  12. Modeling the Effects of Atmospheric Propagation for Spectral Libraries of Natural Backgrounds

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-10-01

    Laboratory, 244 Wood Street, Lexington, MA 02420 dNational Air and Space Intelligence Center, 4180 Watson Way, Wright Patterson AFB, OH 45433 ’Air...Visible and Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) hyperspectral datacube collected over Fort AP Hill, VA, were used to demonstrate the effects of the...transmission/compensation doublet on the spectral variability of natural backgrounds. Specifically, statistics derived from Airborne Visible and Infrared

  13. The effects of natural variation in background radioactivity on humans, animals and other organisms.

    PubMed

    Møller, Anders P; Mousseau, Timothy A

    2013-02-01

    Natural levels of radioactivity on the Earth vary by more than a thousand-fold; this spatial heterogeneity may suffice to create heterogeneous effects on physiology, mutation and selection. We review the literature on the relationship between variation in natural levels of radioactivity and evolution. First, we consider the effects of natural levels of radiation on mutations, DNA repair and genetics. A total of 46 studies with 373 effect size estimates revealed a small, but highly significant mean effect that was independent of adjustment for publication bias. Second, we found different mean effect sizes when studies were based on broad categories like physiology, immunology and disease frequency; mean weighted effect sizes were larger for studies of plants than animals, and larger in studies conducted in areas with higher levels of radiation. Third, these negative effects of radiation on mutations, immunology and life history are inconsistent with a general role of hormetic positive effects of radiation on living organisms. Fourth, we reviewed studies of radiation resistance among taxa. These studies suggest that current levels of natural radioactivity may affect mutational input and thereby the genetic constitution and composition of natural populations. Susceptibility to radiation varied among taxa, and several studies provided evidence of differences in susceptibility among populations or strains. Crucially, however, these studies are few and scattered, suggesting that a concerted effort to address this lack of research should be made. © 2012 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2012 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Neutron inelastic scattering in natural Cu as a background in neutrinoless double-β decay experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boswell, M. S.; Elliott, S. R.; Perepelitsa, D. V.; Devlin, M.; Fotiades, N.; Nelson, R. O.; Kawano, T.; Guiseppe, V. E.

    2013-06-01

    Background: Experiments designed to study rare processes, such as neutrinoless double-β decay (0νββ), are crucial tests for physics beyond the standard model. These experiments rely on reducing the intrinsic radioactive background to unprecedented levels, while adequately shielding the detectors from external sources of radioactivity.Purpose: The purpose of this work is focused on understanding the background rates from neutron interactions in Cu shielding in regions around the Q values of many candidate 0νββ decay isotopes, as well as providing data for benchmarking Monte Carlo simulations of background events.Methods: Using the broad-spectrum neutron beam at Los Alamos Neutron Science Center, we have measured γ rays emitted from inelastic neutron scattering on natCu.Results: We extracted the level cross sections from the γ-production cross section for 46 energy levels in natCu. These level cross sections were compared with the available experimental data, as well as the ENDF/B-VII evaluation for discrete levels.Conclusions: For energy levels above 2 MeV we found significant discrepancies between the suggested level cross sections for both nuclei and our data. We found reasonable agreement between our measurement and the ENDF/B-VII evaluation for the total neutron inelastic cross section in 63Cu. Our measurement of the total neutron inelastic scattering cross section in 65Cu was 30% lower than the ENDF/B-VII evaluations, which we attribute to unobserved transitions in 65Cu. Furthermore, we found that the implementation of the ENDF/B-VII evaluation in simulations did not properly model the decay properties of the nucleus to the degree necessary for estimating backgrounds in rear-event searches. Finally, we examined the potential implications of our measurements on 0νββ measurements and found that many of the commonly studied 0νββ isotopes had Q values below the cutoff for ENDF/B-VII evaluated discrete levels in either Cu nucleus.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. How Should We Be Determining Background and Baseline Antibiotic Resistance Levels in Agroecosystem Research?

    PubMed

    Rothrock, Michael J; Keen, Patricia L; Cook, Kimberly L; Durso, Lisa M; Franklin, Alison M; Dungan, Robert S

    2016-03-01

    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 understand the potential risks to human, animal, and ecological health in systems altered by antibiotic-resistance-related contamination. At present, analyzing and interpreting the effects of human and animal inputs on antibiotic resistance in agroecosystems is difficult, since standard research terminology and protocols do not exist for studying background and baseline levels of resistance in the environment. To improve the state of science in antibiotic-resistance-related research in agroecosystems, researchers are encouraged to incorporate baseline data within the study system and background data from outside the study system to normalize the study data and determine the potential impact of antibiotic-resistance-related determinants on a specific agroecosystem. Therefore, the aims of this review were to (i) present standard definitions for commonly used terms in environmental antibiotic resistance research and (ii) illustrate the need for research standards (normalization) within and between studies of antibiotic resistance in agroecosystems. To foster synergy among antibiotic resistance researchers, a new surveillance and decision-making tool is proposed to assist researchers in determining the most relevant and important antibiotic-resistance-related targets to focus on in their given agroecosystems. Incorporation of these components within antibiotic-resistance-related studies should allow for a more comprehensive and accurate picture of the current and future states of antibiotic resistance in the environment. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  4. Enumerating viruses by using fluorescence and the nature of the nonviral background fraction.

    PubMed

    Pollard, Peter C

    2012-09-01

    Bulk fluorescence measurements could be a faster and cheaper way of enumerating viruses than epifluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry, or transmission electron microscopy (TEM). However, since viruses are not imaged, the background fluorescence compromises the signal, and we know little about its nature. In this paper the size ranges of nucleotides that fluoresce in the presence of SYBR gold were determined for wastewater and a range of freshwater samples using a differential filtration method. Fluorescence excitation-emission matrices (FEEMs) showed that >70% of the SYBR fluorescence was in the <10-nm size fraction (background) and was not associated with intact viruses. This was confirmed using TEM. The use of FEEMs to develop a fluorescence-based method for counting viruses is an approach that is fundamentally different from the epifluorescence microscopy technique used for enumerating viruses. This high fluorescence background is currently overlooked, yet it has had a most pervasive influence on the development of a simple fluorescence-based method for quantifying viral abundance in water.

  5. 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

  6. Trichloromethyl compounds--natural background concentrations and fates within and below coniferous forests.

    PubMed

    Albers, Christian Nyrop; Hansen, Poul Erik; Jacobsen, Ole Stig

    2010-11-15

    Pollution with organochlorines has received major attention due to various environmental effects, but it is now increasingly recognized, that they also take part in biogeochemical cycles and that natural background concentrations exist for several chlorinated compounds. We here report the natural occurrence and cycling of organic compounds with a trichloromethyl moiety in common. The study areas are temperate coniferous forests. Trichloromethyl compounds can be found in all compartments of the forests (groundwater, soil, vegetation and throughfall), but not all compounds in all compartments. The atmospheric input of trichloromethyl compounds is found to be minor, with significant contributions for trichloroacetic acid (TCAA), only. In top soil, where the formation of the compounds is expected to occur, there is a clear positive relationship between chloroform and trichloroacetyl containing compounds. Other positive relations occur, which in combination with chlorination experiments performed in the laboratory, point to the fact that all the trichloromethyl compounds may be formed concurrently in the soil, and their subsequent fates then differ due to different physical, chemical and biological properties. TCAA cannot be detected in soil and groundwater, but sorption and mineralization experiments performed in the laboratory in combination with analyses of vegetation, show that TCAA is probably formed in the top soil and then partly taken up by the vegetation and partly mineralized in the soil. Based on this and previous studies, a conceptual model for the natural cycling of trichloromethyl compounds in forests is proposed. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. Effects of reduced natural background radiation on Drosophila melanogaster growth and development as revealed by the FLYINGLOW program.

    PubMed

    Morciano, Patrizia; Iorio, Roberto; Iovino, Daniela; Cipressa, Francesca; Esposito, Giuseppe; Porrazzo, Antonella; Satta, Luigi; Alesse, Edoardo; Tabocchini, Maria Antonella; Cenci, Giovanni

    2018-01-01

    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. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Particle in a self-dual dyon background: Hidden free nature and exotic superconformal symmetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plyushchay, Mikhail S.; Wipf, Andreas

    2014-02-01

    We show that a nonrelativistic particle in a combined field of a magnetic monopole and 1/r2 potential reveals a hidden, partially free dynamics when the strength of the central potential and the charge-monopole coupling constant are mutually fitted to each other. In this case the system admits both a conserved Laplace-Runge-Lenz vector and a dynamical conformal symmetry. The supersymmetrically extended system corresponds then to a background of a self-dual or anti-self-dual dyon. It is described by a quadratically extended Lie superalgebra D(2,1;α) with α=1/2, in which the bosonic set of generators is enlarged by a generalized Laplace-Runge-Lenz vector and its dynamical integral counterpart related to Galilei symmetry, as well as by the chiral Z2-grading operator. The odd part of the nonlinear superalgebra comprises a complete set of 24=2×3×4 fermionic generators. Here a usual duplication comes from the Z2-grading structure; the second factor can be associated with a triad of scalar integrals—the Hamiltonian, the generator of special conformal transformations, and the squared total angular momentum vector, while the quadruplication is generated by a chiral spin vector integral which exits due to the (anti-)self-dual nature of the electromagnetic background.

  10. The isotropic nature of the background turbulence spectra in the solar wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, X.; Tu, C. Y.; He, J.; Marsch, E.; Wang, L.

    2014-12-01

    At the high-frequency end of the inertial range, the solar wind turbulence power spectrum was recently found to be anisotropic with respect to the direction of local magnetic field, as an evidence for the presence of a "critical balance" style turbulence cascade. However, we find that the spectral anisotropy seems to result from intermittent structures. The following two independent studies corroborate this statement by showing that the power spectra of the background turbulence, in which there are no intermittent structures, have an isotropic nature. In Study 1, we remove the wavelet coefficients of the local intermittency with large partial variance increment (PVI), and find the spectral indices of the magnetic field are 1.63±0.02, independent of the angle θRB between the direction of the local background magnetic field and the radial direction. In Study 2, we make a statistical study on the magnetic field spectral indices obtained by using Fast Fourier Transform on 40 time series, in which no intermittent structures appear. We find that for the time series with 0o<θRB <6o, the probability distribution of the observed spectral indices peaks at -1.7, while the -2 index predicted by the "critical balance" theory rarely appears. For the time series with 84 o <θRB <90 o, the probability distribution of the indices peaks at -1.5. Considering the uncertainty of the statistics, these results show that the background-turbulence spectra are nearly isotropic with respect to θRB, which may be consistent with some explanations based on hydrodynamic turbulence theory.

  11. 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

  12. Top-down preparation modulates visual categorization but not subjective awareness of objects presented in natural backgrounds.

    PubMed

    Koivisto, Mika; Kahila, Ella

    2017-04-01

    Top-down processes are widely assumed to be essential in visual awareness, subjective experience of seeing. However, previous studies have not tried to separate directly the roles of different types of top-down influences in visual awareness. We studied the effects of top-down preparation and object substitution masking (OSM) on visual awareness during categorization of objects presented in natural scene backgrounds. The results showed that preparation facilitated categorization but did not influence visual awareness. OSM reduced visual awareness and impaired categorization. The dissociations between the effects of preparation and OSM on visual awareness and on categorization imply that they influence at different stages of cognitive processing. We propose that preparation influences at the top of the visual hierarchy, whereas OSM interferes with processes occurring at lower levels of the hierarchy. These lower level processes play an essential role in visual awareness. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Influence of the steady background turbulence level on second sound dynamics in He II II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalban-Canassy, M.; Hilton, D. K.; Sciver, S. W. Van

    2007-01-01

    We report complementary results to our previous publication [Dalban-Canassy M, Hilton DK, Van Sciver SW. Influence of the steady background turbulence level on second sound dynamics in He II. Adv Cryo Eng 2006;51:371-8], both of which are aimed at determining the influence of background turbulence on the breakpoint energy of second sound pulses in He II. The apparatus consists of a channel 175 mm long and 242 mm 2 in cross section immersed in a saturated bath of He II at 1.7 K. A heater at the bottom end generates both background turbulence, through a low level steady heat flux (up to qs = 2.6 kW/m 2), and high intensity square second sound pulses ( qp = 100 or 200 kW/m 2) of variable duration Δ t0 (up to 1 ms). Two superconducting filament sensors, located 25.4 mm and 127 mm above the heater, measure the temperature profiles of the traveling pulses. We present here an analysis of the measurements gathered on the top sensor, and compare them to similar results for the bottom sensor [1]. The strong dependence of the breakpoint energy on the background heat flux previously illustrated is also observed on the top sensor. The present work shows that the ratio of energy received at the top sensor to that at the bottom sensor diminishes with increasing background heat flux.

  19. Influence of the Steady Background Turbulence Level on Second Sound Dynamics in He II

    SciTech Connect

    Dalban-Canassy, M.; Van Sciver, S. W.; Hilton, D. K.

    2006-04-27

    We report measurements on the dependence of the second sound breakpoint energy on the steady background turbulence in He II at 1.7 K. We have determined the breakpoint energy for two pulsed heat flux values (100 and 200 kW/m2) at different steady background levels (up to 2.6 kW/m2). The experiment consists of a 175 mm long channel having a cross section of 242 mm2, which is equipped with a thin film Ni-Cr heater at its bottom end and two superconducting filament thermometers in the path of the heat pulses, respectively 25.4 and 127 mm above the heater. The heater both generates a steady heat flux producing background turbulence in the liquid column and transmits finite amplitude heat pulses by superposing them on the background heat flux. The second sound pulse travels through the He II in the channel and is detected by the thermometers. The breakpoint energy is determined by analyzing the raw pulse signals recorded. We can subsequently obtain the dependence of the breakpoint energy on the background heat flux. This determines the energy limit that second sound pulses can carry under different background turbulence conditions.

  20. Variations of gamma-ray background in the Belgrade shallow underground low-level laboratory.

    PubMed

    Banjanac, Radomir; Dragić, Aleksandar; Udovičić, Vladimir; Joković, Dejan; Maletić, Dimitrije; Veselinović, Nikola; Savić, Mihailo

    2014-05-01

    During the last three years we investigated the variations of background simultaneously in two laboratories, the ground level (GLL) and the underground laboratory. The Forbush-like effect from March 2010 was observed in the GLL using a Ge detector and plastic veto scintillator. The underground plastic scintillator saw the same effect but the coincident veto spectrum did not detect the decrease of cosmic-ray intensity. Using a time series analysis of prominent post-radon lines, a significant radon daily variability was detected in the Ge detector background spectrum, but only in the GLL. © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25865218

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Correlation between low level fluctuations in the x ray background and faint galaxies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tolstoy, Eline; Griffiths, R. E.

    1993-01-01

    A correlation between low-level x-ray fluctuations in the cosmic x-ray background flux and the large numbers of galaxies found in deep optical imaging, to m(sub v) is less than or equal to 24 - 26, is desired. These (faint) galaxies by their morphology and color in deep multi-color CCD images and plate material were optically identified. Statistically significant correlations between these galaxies and low-level x-ray fluctuations at the same positions in multiple deep Einstein HRI observations in PAVO and in a ROSAT PSPC field were searched for. Our aim is to test the hypothesis that faint 'star burst' galaxies might contribute significantly to the cosmic x-ray background (at approximately 1 keV).

  12. 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.

  13. The analysis on the extreme water shortage event in Hangzhou in 1247 AD and its natural and social backgrounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Haolong

    2017-04-01

    Yangtze River Delta locating in the north subtropics of China, is famous for numerous rivers and lakes. Because of East Asian monsoon rainfall, flood is always the most primary disaster in this area during the past 2000 years. However, there were also several extreme water shortage events in the history. Example in Hangzhou in 1247 AD was such a typical year in the area. In the paper, the severity of this extreme event and the closely tied spatiotemporal variation of drought in Yangtze River Delta was quantitatively analyzed on the basis of documentary records during Southern Song Dynasty. Furtherly, its natural and social backgrounds was discussed. The result s are summarized as follows: 1) Wells, canals and West Lake of Hangzhou dried up in 1247 AD. The water level of canals was about 1.32-2.64 m lower than that in the normal year. The reduction of storage capacity in West Lake was 21 million stere or so. 2) The droughts in Yangtze River Delta was moderate on the whole, but that in the west of Zhejiang Province was severe. The drought in Hangzhou lasted from the 2nd lunar month to the end of this year. 3) The water shortage event was closely related to the quick going north and farther northern location of summer rain belt. The descending sea-level weakening the tide in Qiantang River, can also reduce the supply of water resources. 4) The quick growth of urban population, excessive aquaculture, and ineffective government supervision played an important social role in the process of this event. In the all, this extreme water shortage event was the result of both natural and social factors. This research is very helpful for the futuristic water resource forecast in Yangtze River Delta, and it also affords us lessons on the risk management and heritage conservation that merit attention. Key Words: Hangzhou, 1247 AD, water shortage, canal, West Lake, natural factors, social factors

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. Analysis of selected volatile organic compounds at background level in South Africa.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ntsasa, Napo; Tshilongo, James; Lekoto, Goitsemang

    2017-04-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are measured globally at urban air pollution monitoring and background level at specific locations such as the Cape Point station. The urban pollution monitoring is legislated at government level; however, the background levels are scientific outputs of the World Meteorological Organisation Global Atmospheric Watch program (WMO/GAW). The Cape Point is a key station in the Southern Hemisphere which monitors greenhouse gases and halocarbons, with reported for over the past decade. The Cape Point station does not have the measurement capability VOC's currently. A joint research between the Cape Point station and the National Metrology Institute of South Africa (NMISA) objective is to perform qualitative and quantitative analysis of volatile organic compounds listed in the GAW program. NMISA is responsible for development, maintain and disseminate primary reference gas mixtures which are directly traceable to the International System of Units (SI) The results of some volatile organic compounds which where sampled in high pressure gas cylinders will be presented. The analysis of samples was performed on the gas chromatography with flame ionisation detector and mass selective detector (GC-FID/MSD) with a dedicate cryogenic pre-concentrator system. Keywords: volatile organic compounds, gas chromatography, pre-concentrator

  20. Interpretation of the variability of levels of regional background aerosols in the Western Mediterranean.

    PubMed

    Pérez, N; Pey, J; Castillo, S; Viana, M; Alastuey, A; Querol, X

    2008-12-15

    Results on interpretation of the variability of regional background PM levels in the Western Mediterranean basin (WMB) are presented. Mean PM levels recorded at Montseny, MSY (North-Eastern Spain) in the 2002--2007 period reached 17, 13 and 11 microg/m3 of PM10, PM2.5 and PM1, respectively. The daily evolution of PM levels is regulated by the breeze circulation (mountain and sea breezes). PM levels are lower at the rural sites at night owing to the nocturnal drainage flows and to the lowering of the mixing layer height below the MSY high. These nocturnal low levels allowed us to estimate the continental background PM levels. At midday, the atmospheric pollutants accumulated in the pre-coastal depression are transported upwards by the breeze, increasing PM levels. Maximum PM10 levels were recorded in summer, and February--March and November, and minimum values in the rest of the year coinciding with the highest frequency of Atlantic advection. PM peak episodes attributed to Saharan dust outbreaks were recorded in summer and February-March. In addition, anticyclonic situations (February--March and November) may impact in elevated rural areas by increasing hourly levels of PM1 up to 75 microg/m3. This scenario induces the stagnation of pollutants in the pre-coastal depression. Solar radiation activates mountain winds, transporting polluted air masses from the valleys to elevated areas resulting in an increase of fine PM levels in areas outside the boundary layer. A significant decrease in PM annual means (40% and 34% for the entire monitoring period, 7 microgPM10/m3 and 5 microgPM2.5/m3) was recorded at MSY between 2002 and 2007. There appears to be no single cause behind these trends. This could partially be ascribed to the varying frequency and intensity of Saharan dust episodes, but also to large-scale meteorological processes or cycles, and/or to local or meso-scale processes such as nearby anthropogenic emission sources.

  1. 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.

  2. On the possibility of tree-level leptogenesis from Kalb-Ramond torsion background.

    PubMed

    de Cesare, M; Mavromatos, Nick E; Sarkar, Sarben

    In this work we consider a phenomenological model for leptogenesis in the context of a Standard Model Extension with an axial-like background coupling to fermions that violates both Lorentz and CPT symmetries. The latter is motivated by a background geometry of the early Universe involving a particular kind of torsion, arising from the Kalb-Ramond antisymmetric tensor field which appears in the gravitational multiplet of string theory, although we do not restrict ourselves to this framework. It is shown that leptogenesis can occur even at tree level and with only one generation of right-handed heavy Majorana neutrinos, due to [Formula: see text] and CPT violation introduced by the background geometry. Important issues for the model, including (a) its compatibility with a conventional-like cosmology and (b) current-era phenomenology (characterised by very stringent bounds on the allowed amount of torsion) are pointed out, and potential ways of resolving them, within the framework of string-theory models, are discussed.

  3. 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.

  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. PM10 concentration levels at an urban and background site in Cyprus: the impact of urban sources and dust storms.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    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 in 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 ofdust storms and their increasing frequency over time, dust storms were responsible for a small fraction of the exceedances of the daily PM10 limit. Implications: This

  6. Protection Levels of Natural Vegetation Communities in the Conterminous USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henifin, K.; Comendant, T.

    2013-12-01

    Protected Areas are intended to provide in situ conservation and protection of natural communities, ecosystems and cultural resources. The Protected Areas Database of the United States, PAD-US (CBI Edition) and the National Conservation Easement Database portray protected lands across the country with standardized spatial geometry and attribution that are core to tracking land management and conservation actions in the US. Natural vegetation is critical to species habitat and ecosystem health, however, it is not well understood how well natural vegetation is protected by fee designation and easements. To better characterize the level of protection for various natural vegetation communities and the ecosystems within protected areas (fee and easement) relative to lands without protection, we intersected the PAD-US (CBI Edition), NCED and LANDFIRE EVT. We identified current levels of protection for natural vegetation communities across the conterminous US, summarized by TNC ecoregions to characterize regional differences and areas where greater protection is needed in the future.

  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. 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

  9. Background levels of persistent organic pollutants in humans from Taiwan: perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Jen-Yi; Hsu, Jing-Fang; Ho, Hsin-Hui; Chiang, Chow-Feng; Liao, Pao-Chi

    2013-09-01

    Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) have recently received attention due to their widespread contamination of the environment. PFOS and PFOA are stable in the environment and resistant to metabolism, hydrolysis, photolysis and biodegradation. PFOS and PFOA have been found in human blood and tissue samples from both occupationally exposed workers and the general worldwide population. This study aimed to determine the background levels of PFOS and PFOA in the Taiwanese population, investigate related factors, and compare exposure in Taiwan to that in other countries. The concentration of PFOS in the 59 serum samples collected from the general population in Taiwan ranged from 3.45 to 25.65ngmL(-1) (median: 8.52), and the concentration of PFOA ranged from 1.55 to 7.69ngmL(-1) (median: 3.22). There was a significant positive correlation (r=0.51; p<0.0001) between PFOS and PFOA concentrations. Males had higher concentrations of PFOA and PFOS than females. PFOS levels in serum increased with age. This study is the first investigation to reveal the PFOS and PFOA levels of serum samples in the general population of Taiwan. The levels of PFOS and PFOA in Taiwanese serum samples were comparable with those from other countries (PFOS: 5.0-35ngmL(-1), PFOA: 1.5-10ngmL(-1)). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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

  11. Leptin levels distribution and ethnic background in two populations from Chile: Caucasian and Mapuche groups.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Bravo, F; Albala, C; Santos, J L; Yañez, M; Carrasco, E

    1998-10-01

    Leptin, the product of the human ob gene is increased in obese individuals, suggesting resistance to its effect. We examined the relationship of serum leptin levels with respect to obesity, gender and insulin levels in two populations with different ethnic compositions in Chile. Leptin and insulin levels were determined by radioimmunoassay (RIA) and correlated with body mass index (BMI), gender and ethnic background. 79 Caucasian subjects from Santiago and 65 Mapuche natives from the Araucania region, Chile, were included in this study. Leptin concentrations in obese subjects were significantly increased in both ethnic groups in relation to lean status: Caucasian and Mapuche obese 19.3 +/- 11.6 and 10.1 +/- 5.8 (P < 0.001), respectively vs Caucasian and Mapuche lean 10.4 +/- 5.8 and 4.7 +/- 2.9 (P < 0.001, respectively). When we compared Mapuche and Caucasian groups, similar leptin levels were observed among the males of the two populations in both metabolic states (lean and obese). In contrast, the leptin level distributions between women showed a marked difference, having a minor value in the Mapuche women with a comparable value with the male group in this ethnic population. The leptin concentrations are associated with obesity in both ethnic groups in Chile. However, the leptin levels between the Mapuche natives were significantly decreased compared to the Caucasian group. The gender distribution does not seem to be important in the Mapuche natives. The ethnic composition seems to be important in the leptin distribution in the analysed populations.

  12. Medical students from natural science and nonscience undergraduate backgrounds. Similar academic performance and residency selection.

    PubMed

    Dickman, R L; Sarnacki, R E; Schimpfhauser, F T; Katz, L A

    1980-06-27

    The majority of matriculating US medical students continue to major in the natural sciences as college undergraduates in the belief that this will enhance their chances of admission to and their performance in medical school. The present study compared the academic performance and residency selection of natural science and nonscience majors in three separate medical school classes at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Statistical analysis of grades in the first two years of medical school, clinical performance in the third year, and part I and part II National Board Medical Examination scores revealed no significant differences across three class replications. Residency selection among graduating seniors was also independent of undergraduate major. It is suggested that admissions committees, premedical advisors, and students reconsider their attitudes about the necessity of concentration in the natural sciences before entering medical school.

  13. 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.

  14. On the stability of Einstein static universe at background level in massive bigravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mousavi, M.; Darabi, F.

    2017-06-01

    We study the static cosmological solutions and their stability at background level in the framework of massive bigravity theory with Friedmann-Robertson-Walker (FRW) metrics. By the modification proposed in the cosmological equations subject to a perfect fluid we obtain new solutions interpreted as the Einstein static universe. It turns out that the non-vanishing size of initial scale factor of Einstein static universe depends on the non-vanishing three-dimensional spatial curvature of FRW metrics and also the graviton's mass. By dynamical system approach and numerical analysis, we find that the extracted solutions for closed and open universes can be stable for some viable ranges of equation of state parameter, viable values of fraction of two scale factors, and viable values of graviton's mass obeying the hierarchy m <

  15. 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.

  16. Dissolved metal background levels in marine waters, for the assessment of the physico-chemical status, within the European Water Framework Directive.

    PubMed

    Tueros, I; Rodríguez, J G; Borja, A; Solaun, O; Valencia, V; Millán, E

    2008-12-15

    The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) has, as its ultimate aim, a reduction in the concentrations of hazardous substances in the marine environment, i.e. 'background' values. Hence, the determination of natural background levels of heavy metals, to distinguish between natural element concentrations and anthropogenically-influenced concentrations, is highly relevant. Some studies have shown the convenience in the derivation of local background levels, especially if they are necessary for environmental assessment. Nevertheless, although such studies exist for sediments, there are only a few previous investigations on metal background values in sea water. Likewise, there is not any standard procedure to determine such levels in waters, nor general agreement on the statistical methodologies to be applied. In this contribution, background levels of heavy metals (As, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn), in estuarine and coastal waters within the Basque Country (northern Spain), according to ranges in salinity, are estimated using statistical tools. Ni and Pb have been considered elsewhere (2455/2001/EC) as priority substances under the WFD. Hence, this approach can assist further in the determination of water reference conditions, to assess chemical and physico-chemical status in other European countries; this, affects, ultimately, the ecological status, as defined within the WFD.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadegh Movahed, M.; Khosravi, Shahram

    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 Gμgtrsim4 × 10-9 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 Gμgtrsim5.8 × 10-9.

  18. 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}.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Natural radionuclide and radiological assessment of building materials in high background radiation areas of Ramsar, Iran

    PubMed Central

    Bavarnegin, Elham; Moghaddam, Masoud Vahabi; Fathabadi, Nasrin

    2013-01-01

    Building materials, collected from different sites in Ramsar, a northern coastal city in Iran, were analyzed for their natural radionuclide contents. The measurements were carried out using a high resolution high purity Germanium (HPGe) gamma-ray spectrometer system. The activity concentration of 226Ra, 232Th, and 40K content varied from below the minimum detection limit up to 86,400 Bqkg-1, 187 Bqkg-1, and 1350 Bqkg-1, respectively. The radiological hazards incurred from the use of these building materials were estimated through various radiation hazard indices. The result of this survey shows that values obtained for some samples are more than the internationally accepted maximum limits and as such, the use of them as a building material pose significant radiation hazard to individuals. PMID:23776313

  7. Natural radionuclide and radiological assessment of building materials in high background radiation areas of Ramsar, Iran.

    PubMed

    Bavarnegin, Elham; Moghaddam, Masoud Vahabi; Fathabadi, Nasrin

    2013-04-01

    Building materials, collected from different sites in Ramsar, a northern coastal city in Iran, were analyzed for their natural radionuclide contents. The measurements were carried out using a high resolution high purity Germanium (HPGe) gamma-ray spectrometer system. The activity concentration of (226)Ra, (232)Th, and (40)K content varied from below the minimum detection limit up to 86,400 Bqkg(-1), 187 Bqkg(-1), and 1350 Bqkg(-1), respectively. The radiological hazards incurred from the use of these building materials were estimated through various radiation hazard indices. The result of this survey shows that values obtained for some samples are more than the internationally accepted maximum limits and as such, the use of them as a building material pose significant radiation hazard to individuals.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.; hide

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Patterns of Population Differentiation and Natural Selection on the Celiac Disease Background Risk Network

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23936230

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Lignin-derived phenols in Houston aerosols: implications for natural background sources.

    PubMed

    Shakya, Kabindra M; Louchouarn, Patrick; Griffin, Robert J

    2011-10-01

    Solvent-extractable monomeric methoxyphenols in aerosol samples conventionally have been used to indicate the influence of biomass combustion. In addition, the presence of lignin oxidation products (LOP), derived from the CuO oxidation of vascular plant organic matter, can help trace the source and inputs of primary biological particles in aerosols. Ambient aerosols (coarse and fine) collected in Houston during summer 2010 were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to characterize monomeric and polymeric sources of LOPs. This is the first time polymeric forms of the LOPs have been characterized in ambient aerosols. The absence or small concentrations of solvent-extractable monomeric LOPs and levoglucosan isomers point to the limited influence of biomass burning during the sampling period. The trace levels of anhydrosugar concentrations most likely result from long-range transport. This observation is supported by the absence of co-occurring lignin monomers that undergo photochemical degradation during transport. The larger concentration (142 ng m(-3)) of lignin polymers in coarse aerosols shows the relative importance of primary biological aerosol particles, even in the urban atmosphere. The LOP parameters suggest a predominant influence from woody tissue of angiosperms, with minor influence from soft tissues, gymnosperms, and soil organic matter.

  16. 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

  17. BiTS: a biologically-inspired target screener for detecting manmade objects in natural clutter backgrounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlotto, Mark J.

    2010-04-01

    Motivated by biologically-inspired architectures for video analysis and object recognition, a new single band electro-optical (EO) object detector is described for aerial reconnaissance and surveillance applications. Our bio-inspired target screener (BiTS) uses a bank of Gabor filters to compute a vector of texture features over a range of scales and orientations. The filters are designed to exploit the spatial anisotropy of manmade objects relative to the background. The background, which is assumed to be predominantly natural clutter, is modeled by its global mean and covariance. The Mahalanobis distance measures deviations from the background model on a pixel-by-pixel basis. Possible manmade objects occur at peaks in the distance image. We measured the performance of BiTS on a set of 100 ground-truthed images taken under different operating conditions (resolution, sensor geometry, object spacings, background clutter, etc.) and found its probability of detection (PD) was 12% higher than a RX anomaly detector, with half the number of false alarms at a PD of 80%.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Flat tree-level inflationary potentials in the light of cosmic microwave background and large scale structure data

    SciTech Connect

    Ballesteros, G; Casas, J A; Espinosa, J R; Ruiz de Austri, R

    2008-03-15

    We use cosmic microwave background (CMB) and large scale structure (LSS) data to test a broad and physically well-motivated class of inflationary models: those with flat tree-level potentials (typical in supersymmetry). The non-trivial features of the potential arise from radiative corrections which give a simple logarithmic dependence on the inflaton field, making the models very predictive. We also consider a modified scenario with new physics beyond a certain high energy cut-off showing up as non-renormalizable operators (NRO) in the inflaton field. We find that both kinds of models fit CMB and LSS data remarkably well, with very few free parameters. Besides, many of these models naturally predict a reasonable number of e-folds. A robust feature of these scenarios is the smallness of tensor perturbations (r{approx}<10{sup -3}). The NRO case can give a sizable running of the spectral index while achieving a sufficient number of e-folds. We use Bayesian model comparison tools to assess the relative performance of the models. We believe that these scenarios can be considered as a standard physical class of inflationary models, on a similar footing to monomial potentials.

  4. Multiple factors impact the contents of heavy metals in vegetables in high natural background area of China.

    PubMed

    Gan, Yandong; Wang, Lihong; Yang, Guiqiang; Dai, Jiulan; Wang, Renqing; Wang, Wenxing

    2017-10-01

    A field survey was conducted to investigate the concentrations of chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) in vegetables, corresponding cultivated soils and irrigation waters from 36 open sites in high natural background area of Wuzhou, South China. Redundancy analysis, Spearman's rho correlation analysis and multiple regression analysis were adopted to evaluate the contributions of impacting factors on metal contents in the edible parts of vegetables. This study concluded that leafy and root vegetables had relatively higher metal concentrations and adjusted transfer factor values compared to fruiting vegetables according to nonparametric tests. Plant species, total soil metal content and soil pH value were affirmed as three critical factors with the highest contribution rate among all the influencing factors. The bivariate curve equation models for heavy metals in the edible vegetable tissues were well fitted to predict the metal concentrations in vegetables. The results from this case study also suggested that it could be one of efficient strategies for clean agricultural production and food safety in high natural background area to breed vegetable varieties with low heavy metal accumulation and to enlarge planting scale of these varieties. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. Predicting changes in dormancy level in natural seed soil banks.

    PubMed

    Batlla, Diego; Benech-Arnold, Roberto Luis

    2010-05-01

    The possibility of accurately predicting timing and extent of seedling emergence from natural seed soil banks has long been an objective of both ecologist and agriculturalist. However, as dormancy is a common attribute of many wild seed populations, we should first be able to predict dormancy changes if we intend to predict seedling emergence in the field. In this paper, we discuss the most relevant environmental factors affecting seed dormancy of natural seed soil banks, and present a conceptual framework as an attempt to understand how these factors affect seed-bank dormancy level. Based on this conceptual framework we show approaches that can be used to establish quantitative functional relationship between environmental factors regulating dormancy and changes in the seed-bank dormancy status. Finally, we briefly explain how we can utilize population-based threshold models as a framework to characterize and quantify changes in seed sensitivity to environmental factors as a consequence of dormancy loss and/or induction.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Using background air pollutants levels correlation analysis to identify periods of long-range transport of anthropogenic pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konkova, Elizaveta S.; Burtseva, Larisa V.; Gromov, Sergey A.; Gromov, Sergey S.

    2017-04-01

    Increasing trends of airborne lead and cadmium at background station within the central region of European Russia have been identified previously (e.g., Gromov & Konkova, 2016). In order to reveal the possible drivers of these trends, a deeper investigation of correlation among these heavy metals (HM) and other co-measured pollutants is done in this study. Based on the data for the 2001-2012 period, calculations have been carried out for the period from 2006 onwards, when the growth of HM concentrations is observed. Pairwise correlations of individual species abundances were derived for the entire time series and subsets for each calendar year, including warm (April to September) and cold seasons (October to March). The calculated values for the seasons and the whole years vary substantially, suggesting that that variable ratios of atmospheric HM emission sources could affect the final air concentrations at measurement site in these periods. To distinguish the events of predominant influence of natural and anthropogenic sources, we assume that correlation between lead and cadmium levels must be greater in the case of natural sources being in effect. High values of the correlation coefficient are expected in cases when HM air abundances are induced by the long-range transport from the regions of anthropogenic sources (co-emission of these metals results from a number of same sources, and both of them are also present on same matrix aerosols). The results demonstrate a substantial correlation between Pb and Cd, with higher values for individual seasons (70% of 0.5 and higher) than for whole years. Higher mass concentrations of airborne dust (TSP) in remote areas are to large extent promoted by large particles blown away from the surface at local surroundings. Captured better by filters, such events could be a particular indicator of local (mostly natural) sources. Low or insignificant correlation with HM indicates prevalence of long-range transport of them and could

  1. '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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. 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 ...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  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. A record-based case-control study of natural background radiation and the incidence of childhood leukaemia and other cancers in Great Britain during 1980-2006.

    PubMed

    Kendall, G M; Little, M P; Wakeford, R; Bunch, K J; Miles, J C H; Vincent, T J; Meara, J R; Murphy, M F G

    2013-01-01

    We conducted a large record-based case-control study testing associations between childhood cancer and natural background radiation. Cases (27,447) born and diagnosed in Great Britain during 1980-2006 and matched cancer-free controls (36,793) were from the National Registry of Childhood Tumours. Radiation exposures were estimated for mother's residence at the child's birth from national databases, using the County District mean for gamma rays, and a predictive map based on domestic measurements grouped by geological boundaries for radon. There was 12% excess relative risk (ERR) (95% CI 3, 22; two-sided P=0.01) of childhood leukaemia per millisievert of cumulative red bone marrow dose from gamma radiation; the analogous association for radon was not significant, ERR 3% (95% CI -4, 11; P=0.35). Associations for other childhood cancers were not significant for either exposure. Excess risk was insensitive to adjustment for measures of socio-economic status. The statistically significant leukaemia risk reported in this reasonably powered study (power ~50%) is consistent with high-dose rate predictions. Substantial bias is unlikely, and we cannot identify mechanisms by which confounding might plausibly account for the association, which we regard as likely to be causal. The study supports the extrapolation of high-dose rate risk models to protracted exposures at natural background exposure levels.

  13. A record-based case-control study of natural background radiation and the incidence of childhood leukaemia and other cancers in Great Britain during 1980–2006

    PubMed Central

    Kendall, Gerald M.; Little, Mark P.; Wakeford, Richard; Bunch, Kathryn J.; Miles, Jon C.H.; Vincent, Timothy J.; Meara, Jill R.; Murphy, Michael F.G.

    2014-01-01

    We conducted a large record-based case-control study testing associations between childhood cancer and natural background radiation. Cases (27 447) born and diagnosed in Great Britain during 1980–2006 and matched cancer-free controls (36 793) were from the National Registry of Childhood Tumours. Radiation exposures were estimated for mother’s residence at the child’s birth from national databases, using the County District mean for gamma-rays, and a predictive map based on domestic measurements grouped by geological boundaries for radon. There was 12% excess relative risk (95% CI 3, 22; 2-sided p=0.01) of childhood leukaemia per millisievert of cumulative red-bone-marrow dose from gamma-radiation; the analogous association for radon was not significant, excess relative risk 3% (95% CI −4, 11; p=0.35). Associations for other childhood cancers were not significant for either exposure. Excess risk was insensitive to adjustment for measures of socio-economic status. The statistically significant leukaemia risk reported in this reasonably-powered study (power ~50%) is consistent with high dose-rate predictions. Substantial bias is unlikely, and we cannot identify mechanisms by which confounding might plausibly account for the association, which we regard as likely to be causal. The study supports the extrapolation of high dose-rate risk models to protracted exposures at natural background exposure levels. PMID:22766784

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. Determination of an environmental background level of 90Sr in urine for the Hanford bioassay program.

    PubMed

    Antonio, C L; Rivard, J 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 Sr intake. However, because of worldwide radioactive fallout, Sr is present in our environment and can be detectable in routine urine bioassay samples. It is important for the Hanford Site bioassay program to discriminate an occupational intake from a non-occupational environmental one. A detailed study of the background Sr 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-h period. The arithmetic mean value for the 128 pre-exposure baselines was 3.6 +/- 5.1 mBq d. The 99 percentile result was 17 mBq d, which was interpreted to mean that 1% of Hanford workers not occupationally exposed to strontium might exceed 17 mBq d.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Atmospheric tritium concentrations under influence of AREVA NC La Hague reprocessing plant (France) and background levels.

    PubMed

    Connan, O; Hébert, D; Solier, L; Maro, D; Pellerin, G; Voiseux, C; Lamotte, M; Laguionie, P

    2017-10-01

    In-air tritium measurements were conducted around the AREVA NC La Hague reprocessing plant, as well as on other sites that are not impacted by the nuclear industry in northwest of France. The results indicate that the dominant tritium form around the AREVA site is HT (86%). HT and HTO levels are lower than 5 and 1 Bq. m(-3) for hourly samples taken in the plume. No tritiated organic molecules (TOM) were detected. 26 measurement campaigns were performed and links were established between near-field (85)Kr, HT and HTO activities. Environmental measurements are in line with those taken at the discharge stack, and tend to demonstrate that there are no rapid changes in the tritium forms released. Out of the influence of any nuclear activities, the levels measured were below 13 mBq.m(-3) for HT and 5 mBq.m(-3) for HTO (<0.5 Bq. L(-1)). HTO level in air seems to be influenced by HTO activities in surrounding seawater. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Background Music Playback in the Preoperative Setting: Does It Reduce the Level of Preoperative Anxiety Among Candidates for Elective Surgery?

    PubMed

    Kipnis, Galina; Tabak, Nili; Koton, Silvia

    2016-06-01

    Contemporary medicine and nursing use music to stabilize mood, relieve tension and anxiety, and achieve higher treatment efficiency. Preoperative anxiety may be responsible for cognitive and behavioral changes affecting treatment efficiency. To evaluate the effect of background music on preoperative anxiety in elective surgery patients and on noise levels in the surgery waiting room. One hundred fifty-nine elective surgery patients were divided into an intervention group (n = 82) and a control group (n = 77). Data were collected and evaluated on the evening before surgery in the department, on entering the waiting room, and 30 minutes later in the preoperative setting. Data were gathered using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory scale and by measuring vital signs. Daily noise levels in the preoperative waiting room were recorded as well. Exposure to background music was associated with decreased levels of state anxiety irrespective of age, sex, and previous exposure to surgery or anesthesia (P < .001). Background music was also related to environmental noise reduction in the surgery waiting room (P < .0001). Background music can be useful as a means of decreasing preoperative anxiety. Copyright © 2016 American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Changes of polybrominated diphenyl ether concentrations in ducks with background exposure level and time.

    PubMed

    Liu, Peng-Yan; Chen, Xiao-Ran; Zhao, Ya-Xian; Li, Yuan-Yuan; Qin, Xiao-Fei; Qin, Zhan-Fen

    2015-01-01

    To reveal what degree bioaccumulation of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) depends on exposure time and other factors, we conducted a semi-field experiment for a year (June 2008-June 2009) in a village in an e-waste recycling site in Taizhou, China. Approximately one hundred of juvenile ducks (Anas domestica Linnaeus) were entrusted to a villager. The ducks lived and forged in a PBDE-polluted pond from the late March to the end of November. Fish and mudsnails that were heavily polluted by PBDEs were main food. In cold days (from December to the middle March), the ducks lived in the villager' house, and mainly fed on paddy, which contained lower concentrations of PBDEs than fish and mudsnails. The female ducks were sampled for PBDE analysis every three months. We found that the ∑PBDE concentrations in duck liver, muscle, lung and brain fluctuated greatly with the changes of exposure levels that were determined by the environment and diets, but the ∑PBDE concentrations in fat tissue increased successively with time. Congener analysis demonstrated that the successive increase in the ∑PBDE concentrations with time in fat tissue was due to the successive increase in BDE-209, -183 and -153 concentrations, with large fluctuations of low brominated congeners. The results show that PBDE concentrations in liver, muscle, lung and brain tissues heavily depends on exposure levels rather than exposure time. In fat tissue, by contrast, PBDE concentrations (mainly high brominated congeners) slightly depends on exposure levels but heavily depend on time relative to other tissues, implying that high brominated congeners seem to have longer half-lives than low brominated congeners in fat tissue. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Low Background Levels of Mars Methane at Gale Crater Indicate Seasonal Cycle: Updated Results from TLS-SAM on Curiosity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webster, C. R.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Atreya, S. K.

    2016-12-01

    In situ measurements of atmospheric methane have been made over a 3-year period at Gale Crater on Mars using the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) instrument in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite on the Curiosity rover. We have reported two important observations: (i) a background level of 0.5 ppbv that is about five times lower than some model predictions based on generation from UV degradation of micro-meteorites or interplanetary dust delivered to the martian surface; (ii) a "spike" of elevated levels of 7 ppbv that were seen1 on four sequential observations over a 2-month period before dropping to background levels. This spike was attributed to an episodic release from a small local source, probably to the north of Gale crater. While the elevated levels of the spike did not return (repeat) one Mars year later, we have seen what appears to be a seasonal variation to the background levels that are all < 1ppbv. The variation ranges from a low of 0.2 ppbv in the northern hemisphere spring to 0.9 ppbv in the northern hemisphere late summer, a change in mixing ratio over a range larger than expected from our current understanding of methane sources and sinks. We will present recent atmospheric methane measurements, and their correlations with a variety of environmental conditions at the location of Curiosity, and discuss the mechanisms that are believed to be contributing to the low background methane signals and their variation. 1 "Mars Methane Detection and Variability at Gale Crater", C. R. Webster et al., Science, 347, 415-417 (2015) and references therein. The research described here was carried out in part at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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)

  8. Variations of the Hydrothermal Characteristics over the Baikal Natural Territory on the Background of Global Climate Changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shulgina, T. M.; Voropai, N. N.; Maksyutova, E.

    2014-12-01

    In recent decades studying of climate changes on the globe became one of the most important researches. From this point of view, Siberia is particular climatically interest region in Eurasia because of its complicated bioclimatic structure. Climatic changed observed over the region substantially contributes into global climate processes. In particular, temperature trends in the second half of the 20th century were quite high (>0.2 oC/10 yr). The aim of the present work is to estimate intensity of hydrothermal characteristics changes for 1961-2008 over the Baikal Natural Territory on the background of global climate change. Most of the area is characterized by extreme continental climate while the climate of the Baikal coast is close to the seaside. Winter temperature at the shores of Lake Baikal is 5oC higher than at the central areas, but summer air temperature is lower. The annual average temperature is negative almost at the whole area. Annual trends of air temperature are positive and ranged from 0.24 to 0,52 °C per 10 yrs. Trends for individual months are also positive. They vary from 0.33 (September) to 0.99 °C per 10 years (February). Precipitations over the territory are distributed irregularly. A highest precipitation observes within the Khamar-Daban ridge and on the windward slopes of the ridges bordering the Baikal Lake (up to 1400 mm), at the hinterland highlands (400-700 mm), and in the central part of the Transbaikal steppe (200-250 mm). Minimal amount of precipitation observes in winter, the highest in July and August. Precipitation trends are not statistically significant. The most important extreme hydrothermal phenomena occurring at the study area are droughts. Months and years were revealed when more than 60% of the territory was occupied by the drought. The highest frequency of these events was registered in the period of 1990-2008. Increased droughts intensity observed at coastal stations of the Baikal Lake in May-June, Predbajkale - in July

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Simulating the performance of the OMPS-LP during periods of stratospheric aerosol loadings above background levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flittner, D. E.; Sage, K. H.

    2005-12-01

    When launched, the Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite (OMPS) will carry forward the record of atmospheric ozone begun by the TOMS/SBUV and SAGE series of instruments. The ozone profile will be derived from the Limb Profiler (LP) measurements of light scattered from the limb of the atmosphere using the spectral range 290-1000 nm. The limb scatter technique has some heritage from the Solar Mesospheric Explorer UV Spectrometer, however measurements in the mid-visible (near 600 nm) needed to probe the lower stratosphere have only recently been acquired by sensors such as SOLSE/LORE on STS 87 and 107, OSIRIS, Sciamachy, and SAGE III. The OMPS-LP has been designed to operate under conditions of background stratospheric aerosol loading, similar to that seen in 1991 prior to the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in July 1991. While the recent limb scatter results lend support to the expected performance of the OMPS-LP, the historic small stratospheric aerosol loading during the period of the new measurements has not allowed clear insight into how the OMPS-LP will perform in the time period following a Mt. Pinatubo-like eruption. Knowledge of the OMPS-LP performance during aerosol loadings above background levels is key to understanding the ozone trending capabilities of the OMPS-LP and the ability to monitor the vertical profile of ozone in the future. To this end, retrievals using simulated OMPS-LP data have been performed using atmospheric conditions during the time period 1991 - 1996. The atmospheric state is defined by a combination of data from NMC, SAGE II, and various ozone sondes. In general, the simulations show little degradation in performance for altitudes above approximately 22 km and biases below this altitude returning to the pre-eruption levels about 5 years after eruption. Details of the evolution of the biases will be presented.

  4. Elevated hypermutation levels in HIV-1 natural viral suppressors✰

    PubMed Central

    Eyzaguirre, Lindsay M.; Charurat, Manhattan; Redfield, Robert R.; Blattner, William A.; Carr, Jean K.; Sajadi, Mohammad M.

    2013-01-01

    Mutations in the HIV-1 proviral genomes delay the progression of the disease. We compared the mutation status in full-length proviral genomes of 23 HIV-infected patients with undetectable viral loads in the absence of therapy named natural viral suppressors (NVS) or Elite Controllers with 23 HIV-infected controls (10 patients on HAART treatment and 13 untreated patients). Provirus DNA was extracted from PBMC for amplification and sequencing to determine the mutation status. Nine (39 %) of the 23 NVS patients had defective proviral genomes, compared to 4 of the treated controls (40%, p=0.96) and only one of the untreated controls (8%, p=0.059). Most of the defective genomes resulted from Gto-A hypermutation. Among patients with hypermutation, the rate ratio for mutation was significantly higher for the NVS compared to treated controls (p=0.043). Our data suggests that inactivation of the virus through the APOBEC3G system may contribute to the NVS phenotype. PMID:23791226

  5. Level of natural hepatotoxin (Indospicine) contamination in Australian camel meat.

    PubMed

    Tan, Eddie T T; Al Jassim, Rafat; D'Arcy, Bruce R; Fletcher, Mary T

    2016-10-01

    Camel meat production for human consumption and pet food manufacture accounts for a relatively small part of overall red meat production in Australia. Reliable statistical data for the Australian production and consumption of camel meat are not available; however, it is estimated that 300,000 feral camels roam within the desert of central Australia, with an annual usage of more than 3000 camels for human consumption, 2000 for pet food manufacture and a smaller number for live export. Despite a small Australian camel meat production level, the usage of camel meat for pet food has been restricted in recent years due to reports of serious liver disease and death in dogs consuming camel meat. This camel meat was found to contain residues of indospicine, a non-proteinogenic amino acid found in certain Indigofera spp., and associated with mild to severe liver disease in diverse animals after dietary exposure to this hepatotoxin. The extent of indospicine-contaminated Australian camel meat was previously unknown, and this study ascertains the prevalence of such residue in Australian camel meat. In this study, indospicine levels in ex situ (95 samples collected from an abattoir in Queensland) and in situ (197 samples collected from camels after field culling in central Australia) camel meat samples were quantitated using a validated ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). The quantitation results showed 46.7% of the in situ- and 20.0% of the ex situ-collected camel meat samples were contaminated by indospicine (more than the limit of detection (LOD) of 0.05 mg kg(-1) fresh weight). The overall indospicine concentration was higher (p < 0.05) in the in situ-collected samples. Indospicine levels detected in the present study are considered to be low; however, a degree of caution must still be exercised, since the tolerable daily intake for indospicine is currently not available for risk estimation.

  6. Vowel representations in the ventral cochlear nucleus of the cat: effects of level, background noise, and behavioral state.

    PubMed

    May, B J; Prell, G S; Sachs, M B

    1998-04-01

    Single-unit responses were studied in the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN) of cats as formant and trough features of the vowel /epsilon/ were shifted in the frequency domain to each unit's best frequency (BF; the frequency of greatest sensitivity). Discharge rates sampled with this spectrum manipulation procedure (SMP) were used to estimate vowel representations provided by populations of VCN neurons. In traditional population measures, a good representation of a vowel's formant structure is based on relatively high discharge rates among units with BFs near high-energy formant features and low rates for units with BFs near low-energy spectral troughs. At most vowel levels and in the presence of background noise, chopper units exhibited formant-to-trough rate differences that were larger than VCN primary-like units and auditory-nerve fibers. By contrast, vowel encoding by primary-like units resembled auditory nerve representations for most stimulus conditions. As is seen in the auditory nerve, primary-like units with low spontaneous rates (SR <18 spikes/s) produced better representations than high SR primary-like units at all but the lowest vowel levels. Awake cats exhibited the same general response properties as anesthetized cats but larger between-subject differences in vowel driven rates. The vowel encoding properties of VCN chopper units support previous interpretations that patterns of auditory nerve convergence on cochlear nucleus neurons compensate for limitations in the dynamic range of peripheral neurons.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Radon exhalation rate and natural radionuclide content in building materials of high background areas of Ramsar, Iran.

    PubMed

    Bavarnegin, E; Fathabadi, N; Vahabi Moghaddam, M; Vasheghani Farahani, M; Moradi, M; Babakhni, A

    2013-03-01

    Radon exhalation rates from building materials used in high background radiation areas (HBRA) of Ramsar were measured using an active radon gas analyzer with an emanation container. Radon exhalation rates from these samples varied from below the lower detection limit up to 384 Bq.m(-2) h(-1). The (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K contents were also measured using a high resolution HPGe gamma- ray spectrometer system. The activity concentration of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K content varied from below the minimum detection limit up to 86,400 Bq kg(-1), 187 Bq kg(-1) and 1350 Bq kg(-1), respectively. The linear correlation coefficient between radon exhalation rate and radium concentration was 0.90. The result of this survey shows that radon exhalation rate and radium content in some local stones used as basements are extremely high and these samples are main sources of indoor radon emanation as well as external gamma radiation from uranium series. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Sparsely Ionizing Diagnostic and Natural Background Radiations are Likely Preventing Cancer and Other Genomic-Instability-Associated Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Bobby R.; Di Palma, Jennifer

    2007-01-01

    Routine diagnostic X-rays (e.g., chest X-rays, mammograms, computed tomography scans) and routine diagnostic nuclear medicine procedures using sparsely ionizing radiation forms (e.g., beta and gamma radiations) stimulate the removal of precancerous neo-plastically transformed and other genomically unstable cells from the body (medical radiation hormesis). The indicated radiation hormesis arises because radiation doses above an individual-specific stochastic threshold activate a system of cooperative protective processes that include high-fidelity DNA repair/apoptosis (presumed p53 related), an auxiliary apoptosis process (PAM process) that is presumed p53-independent, and stimulated immunity. These forms of induced protection are called adapted protection because they are associated with the radiation adaptive response. Diagnostic X-ray sources, other sources of sparsely ionizing radiation used in nuclear medicine diagnostic procedures, as well as radioisotope-labeled immunoglobulins could be used in conjunction with apopto-sis-sensitizing agents (e.g., the natural phenolic compound resveratrol) in curing existing cancer via low-dose fractionated or low-dose, low-dose-rate therapy (therapeutic radiation hormesis). Evidence is provided to support the existence of both therapeutic (curing existing cancer) and medical (cancer prevention) radiation hormesis. Evidence is also provided demonstrating that exposure to environmental sparsely ionizing radiations, such as gamma rays, protect from cancer occurrence and the occurrence of other diseases via inducing adapted protection (environmental radiation hormesis). PMID:18648608

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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).

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Assessment of natural radioactivity concentrations and gamma dose rate levels in Kayseri, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Otansev, Pelin; Karahan, Gürsel; Kam, Erol; Barut, Ipek; Taskin, Halim

    2012-01-01

    This study assesses the level of background radiation for Kayseri province of Turkey. Natural radionuclide activity concentrations in soil samples were determined using high-resolution gamma spectroscopy. Outdoor gamma dose measurements in air at 1 m above ground level were determined using a portable gamma scintillation detector. The obtained results of uranium and thorium series as well as potassium ((40)K) are discussed. The present data were compared with the data obtained from different areas in Turkey. From the measured gamma-ray spectra, the average activity concentrations were determined for (238)U (range from 3.91 to 794.25 Bq kg(-1)), (232)Th (range from 0.68 to 245.55 Bq kg(-1)) and (40)K (range from 23.68 to 2718.71 Bq kg(-1)). The average activity concentrations of (238)U, (232)Th and (40)K were found to be 35.51, 37.27 and 429.66 Bq kg(-1), respectively, and 11.53 Bq kg(-1) for the fission product (137)Cs. The highest values of (238)U, (232)Th and (40)K concentrations (794.25 Bq kg(-1), 245.55 Bq kg(-1), 2718.71 Bq kg(-1), respectively) were observed in abnormal samples at Hayriye village. The average outdoor gamma dose rate in air at 1 m above the ground was determined as 114.43 nGy h(-1). Using the data obtained in this study, the average annual effective dose for a person living in Kayseri was found to be about 140.34 µSv.

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. Estimating COCOM Natural Background Dormancy

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-04-01

    did not include in this analysis areas that are evergreen, such as the Congo Basin and Amazon Basin tropical rainforests . We weighted the dormant...dormancy decreas- es to the southwest to a minimum of about 25 days as the conditions to support tropical rainforest , with sufficient moisture in all...months to sup- port plant growth, become more dominant (Ryerson et al. 2013b). 5.2.3 SOUTHCOM The tropical rainforest in SOUTHCOM is perennially green

  6. 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.

  7. Color scaling of discs and natural objects at different luminance levels.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Thorsten; Gegenfurtner, Karl R

    2006-01-01

    Assigning a basic color name to an object and rating the amount of a particular hue is a fundamental visual capability. Traditional color scaling studies have used increment flashes or isoluminant stimuli of a homogeneous color. Natural objects, however, do not contain a single color but are characterized by a distribution of different chromatic hues. Here we study color scaling using photographs of natural fruit objects. Stimuli were either homogeneous spots, digital photographs of fruit objects (e.g., banana), or outline shapes of the fruit objects. Stimuli were displayed on a CRT monitor on a homogeneous white background; its luminance was varied above and below the medium gray. The chromaticity of the stimuli was varied in 36 equally spaced chromatic directions in the isoluminant plane of the Derrington-Krauskopf-Lennie (DKL) color space. For each stimuli, subjects rated the amount of red, green, blue, and yellow in the stimulus on a scale from 0-8. In agreement with earlier studies we found that the positions of the peak ratings for each color do not coincide with the cardinal axis of DKL color space and are largely invariant under changes of the background luminance. For the average rating we found a dependence on background luminance for all colors: yellow ratings increase with darker backgrounds, whereas ratings for the other colors, in particular green, decrease. For the fruit objects, we found a selective increase in the average color rating for the natural fruit color. For example, the average rating for yellow was 1.7 times higher for the banana images compared to disc stimuli. No such selective increase was found for outline shapes. We conclude that the distribution of hues in natural objects with a characteristic object color can have a profound effect on color scaling and color appearance.

  8. 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…

  9. Students' Conceptions of the Particulate Nature of Matter at Secondary and Tertiary Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ayas, Alipasa; Ozmen, Haluk; Calik, Muammer

    2010-01-01

    The aim of the present study is to elicit students' understanding of the particulate nature of matter via a cross-age study ranging from secondary to tertiary educational levels. A questionnaire with five-item open-ended questions was administered to 166 students from the secondary to tertiary levels of education. In light of the findings, it can…

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  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. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Intelligence, Socioeconomic Background, Emotional Capacity, and Level of Education as Predictors of Attained Socioeconomic Position in a Cohort of Swedish Men

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sorjonen, Kimmo; Hemmingsson, Tomas; Lundin, Andreas; Falkstedt, Daniel; Melin, Bo

    2012-01-01

    The question whether a person's attained socioeconomic position is mainly due to hers/his intelligence, socioeconomic background, or level of education, has sparked some controversy. In the present study, the effects of these three variables, as well as emotional capacity, on attained occupational position and on income were analyzed with…

  2. Different levels of UV-B resistance in Vaccinium corymbosum cultivars reveal distinct backgrounds of phenylpropanoid metabolites.

    PubMed

    Luengo Escobar, Ana; Magnum de Oliveira Silva, Franklin; Acevedo, Patricio; Nunes-Nesi, Adriano; Alberdi, Miren; Reyes-Díaz, Marjorie

    2017-09-01

    UV-B radiation induces several physiological and biochemical effects that can influence regulatory plant processes. Vaccinium corymbosum responds differently to UV-B radiation depending on the UV-B resistance of cultivars, according to their physiological and biochemical features. In this work, the effect of two levels of UV-B radiation during long-term exposure on the phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, and the expression of genes associated with flavonoid biosynthesis as well as the absolute quantification of secondary metabolites were studied in two contrasting UV-B-resistant cultivars (Legacy, resistant and Bluegold, sensitive). Multivariate analyses were performed to understand the role of phenylpropanoids in UV-B defense mechanisms. The amount of phenylpropanoid compounds was generally higher in Legacy than in Bluegold. Different expression levels of flavonoid biosynthetic genes for both cultivars were transiently induced, showing that even in longer period of UV-B exposure; plants are still adjusting their phenylpropanoids at the transcription levels. Multivariate analysis in Legacy indicated no significant correlation between gene expression and the levels of the flavonoids and phenolic acids. By contrast, in the Bluegold cultivar higher number of correlations between secondary metabolite and transcript levels was found. Taken together, the results indicated different adjustments between the cultivars for a successful UV-B acclimation. While the sensitive cultivar depends on metabolite adjustments to respond to UV-B exposure, the resistant cultivar also possesses an intrinsically higher antioxidant and UV-B screening capacity. Thus, we conclude that UV-B resistance involves not only metabolite level adjustments during the acclimation period, but also depends on the intrinsic metabolic status of the plant and metabolic features of the phenylpropanoid compounds. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  3. 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…

  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. Seasonal changes in background levels of deuterium and oxygen-18 proves water drinking by harp seals, which affects the use of the DLW method.

    PubMed

    Nordøy, Erling S; Lager, Anne R; Schots, Pauke C

    2017-10-05

    The aim of the study was to monitor seasonal changes in stable isotopes of pool freshwater, and harp seal (Phoca groenlandica) body water, and to study if these potential seasonal changes might bias results of using the doubly labeled water (DLW) method when measuring energy expenditure in animals with access to fresh water. Seasonal changes in the background levels of deuterium and oxygen-18 in the body water of four captive harp seals and in the freshwater pool in which they were kept, were measured over a time period of one year. The seals were offered daily amounts of capelin and kept under a seasonal photoperiod of 69° N. Large seasonal variations of deuterium and oxygen-18 in the pool water was measured, and the isotope abundance in body water showed similar seasonal changes as the pool water. This shows that the seals were continuously equilibrating with surrounding water due to significant daily water drinking.Variations in background levels of deuterium and oxygen-18 in freshwater sources may be due to seasonal changes in physical processes such as precipitation and evaporation that may cause fractionation of isotopes. Rapid and abrupt changes in the background levels of deuterium and oxygen-18 may complicate calculation of energy expenditure by use of the DLW method. It is therefore strongly recommended to perform analysis of seasonal changes in background levels of isotopes before the DLW method is applied on (free-ranging) animals, and to use a control group in order to correct for changes in background levels. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Natural hemolytic activity of snake serum. II. Heterogeneity of putative natural antibody and levels of hemolytic activity.

    PubMed

    Kawaguchi, S; Muramatsu, S; Mitsuhashi, S

    1978-07-01

    The erythrocytes of various vertebrates, such as mice, rabbits, sheep, chickens, bullfrogs, and toads are lysed by normal snake sera. However, snake erythrocytes were not lysed by serum from different snake species. Putative natural antibody seems with different specificities to comprise heterogeneous antibodies. Thus, absorption of snake serum with mouse erythrocytes, for example, abrogated hemolytic activity for mice but not for rabbit or sheep erythrocytes. We observed no significant intraspecies individual differences in serum hemolytic titer, but interspecies differences were obvious. Immunization of snakes with sheep erythrocytes caused no further elevation of hemolytic activity, though high titer antibody was produced in response to certain bacterial antigens. Even the sera of newly-hatched snakes showed hemolytic activity at modestly high levels. No seasonal change in hemolytic activity was observed.

  10. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Estimation of the radiological background and dose assessment in areas with naturally occurring uranium geochemical anomalies--a case study in the Iberian Massif (Central Portugal).

    PubMed

    Pereira, A J S C; Neves, L J P F

    2012-10-01

    Naturally occurring uranium geochemical anomalies, representative of the several thousand recognized in the Portuguese section of the Iberian Massif and outcropping in three target areas with a total of a few thousand square metres, were subjected to a detailed study (1:1000 scale) to evaluate the radiological health-risk on the basis of a dose assessment. To reach this goal some radioactive isotopes from the uranium, thorium and potassium radioactive series were measured in 52 samples taken from different environmental compartments: soils, stream sediments, water, foodstuff (vegetables) and air; external radiation was also measured through a square grid of 10×10 m, with a total of 336 measurements. The results show that some radioisotopes have high activities in all the environmental compartments as well as a large variability, namely for those of the uranium decay chain, which is a common situation in the regional geological setting. Isotopic disequilibrium is also common and led to an enrichment of several isotopes in the different pathways, as is the case of (226)Ra; maximum values of 1.76 Bq L(-1) (water), 986 Bq kg(-1) (soils) and 18.9 Bq kg(-1) (in a turnip sample) were measured. On the basis of a realistic scenario combined with the experimental data, the effective dose from exposure to ionizing radiation for two groups of the population (rural and urban) was calculated; the effective dose is variable between 8.0 and 9.5 mSv year(-1), which is 3-4 times higher than the world average. Thus, the radiological health-risk for these populations could be significant and the studied uranium anomalies must be taken into account in the assessment of the geochemical background. The estimated effective dose can also be used as typical of the background of the Beiras uranium metalogenetic province and therefore as a "benchmark" in the remediation of the old uranium mining sites. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The thickness design of unintentionally doped GaN interlayer matched with background doping level for InGaN-based laser diodes

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, P.; Zhao, D. G. Jiang, D. S.; Zhu, J. J.; Liu, Z. S.; Yang, J.; Li, X.; Le, L. C.; He, X. G.; Liu, W.; Li, X. J.; Liang, F.; Zhang, B. S.; Yang, H.; Zhang, Y. T.; Du, G. T.

    2016-03-15

    In order to reduce the internal optical loss of InGaN laser diodes, an unintentionally doped GaN (u-GaN) interlayer is inserted between InGaN/GaN multiple quantum well active region and Al{sub 0.2}Ga{sub 0.8}N electron blocking layer. The thickness design of u-GaN interlayer matching up with background doping level for improving laser performance is studied. It is found that a suitably chosen u-GaN interlayer can well modulate the optical absorption loss and optical confinement factor. However, if the value of background doping concentration of u-GaN interlayer is too large, the output light power may decrease. The analysis of energy band diagram of a LD structure with 100 nm u-GaN interlayer shows that the width of n-side depletion region decreases when the background concentration increases, and may become even too small to cover whole MQW, resulting in a serious decrease of the output light power. It means that a suitable interlayer thickness design matching with the background doping level of u-GaN interlayer is significant for InGaN-based laser diodes.

  18. Spatial distribution of ground-level urban background O3 concentrations in the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Pineda Rojas, Andrea L; Venegas, Laura E

    2013-12-01

    In this work, a recently developed urban-scale atmospheric dispersion model (DAUMOD-GRS) is applied to evaluate the ground-level ozone (O3) concentrations resulting from anthropogenic area sources of NOx and VOC in the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires (MABA). The statistical comparison of model results with observations (including new available data from seventeen sites) shows a good model performance. Estimated summer highest diurnal O3 1-h concentrations in the MABA vary between 15 ppb in the most urbanised area and 53 ppb in the suburbs. All values are below the air quality standard. Several runs are performed to evaluate the impact of possible future emission reductions on O3 concentrations. Under all hypothetical scenarios, the maximum diurnal O3 1-h concentration obtained for the area is slightly reduced (up to 4%). However, maximum diurnal O3 concentrations could increase at some less urbanised areas of MABA depending on the relative reductions of the emissions of NOx and VOC. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. [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.

  20. 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.

  1. Elevated aspartate and alanine aminotransferase levels and natural death among patients with methamphetamine dependence.

    PubMed

    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

    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. 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. 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. 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 deaths.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Effect of naturally mouldy wheat or fungi administration on metallothioneins level in brain tissues of rats.

    PubMed

    Vasatkova, Anna; Krizova, Sarka; Krystofova, Olga; Adam, Vojtech; Zeman, Ladislav; Beklova, Miroslava; Kizek, Rene

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this study is to determine level of metallothioneins (MTs) in brain tissues of rats administered by feed mixtures with different content of mouldy wheat or fungi. Selected male laboratory rats of Wistar albino at age of 28 days were used in our experiments. The rats were administered by feed mixtures with different content of vitamins, naturally mouldy wheat or fungi for 28 days. At the very end of the experiment, the animals were put to death and brains were sampled. MT level was determined by differential pulse voltammetry Brdicka reaction. We found that MTs' level in brain tissues from rats administered by standard feed mixtures was significantly higher compared to the level of MTs in rats supplemented by vitamins. Further we studied the effect of supplementation of naturally mouldy wheat on MTs level in rats. In mouldy wheat we detected the presence of following fungi species: Mucor spp., Absidia spp., Penicillium spp., Aspergillus spp. and Fusarium spp. Moreover we also identified and quantified following mycotoxins - deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, T2-toxin and aflatoxins. Level of MTs determined in rats treated with 33 or 66% of mouldy wheat was significantly lower compared to control ones. On the other hand rats treated with 100% of mouldy wheat had less MTs but not significantly. Supplementation of vitamins to rats fed by mouldy wheat had adverse effect on MTs level compared to rats with no other supplementation by vitamins. Moreover vitamins supplementation has no effect on MTs level in brain tissues of rats treated or non-treated with Ganoderma lucidum L. Both mycotoxins and vitamins have considerable effect on level of MTs in brain tissues. It can be assumed that the administered substances markedly influence redox metabolism, which could negatively influence numerous biochemical pathways including those closely related with MTs.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Natural phenolic acids may increase serum estradiol level in ovariectomized rats.

    PubMed

    Zych, Maria; Folwarczna, Joanna; Trzeciak, Henryk I

    2009-01-01

    Natural phenolic acids are commonly present in plants consumed in the diet. Recently we have observed that different natural phenolic acids exert differential effects on the body mass gain in ovariectomized and non-ovariectomized female rats. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of ferulic, caffeic, p-coumaric and chlorogenic acids on serum estradiol and total cholesterol levels in ovariectomized and non-ovariectomized rats. The experiments were carried out on 3-month old female Wistar Cmd:(WI)WU rats, divided into following groups (n=8 in each group): non-ovariectomized control rats and non-ovariectomized rats receiving ferulic, caffeic, p-coumaric or chlorogenic acids, sham-operated control rats, ovariectomized control rats and ovariectomized rats receiving the same phenolic acids. The phenolic acids were administered at a dose of 10 mg/kg p.o. daily for 4 weeks. Serum estradiol and total cholesterol levels on the next day after the last administration of the phenolic acids were examined. The phenolic acids did not affect serum estradiol or total cholesterol levels in non-ovariectomized rats. In ovariectomized rats, caffeic acid and to a lesser extent p-coumaric acid increased serum estradiol level, which effect correlated with a decreased body mass gain. All the phenolic acids decreased serum cholesterol level in ovariectomized rats. Concluding, the anti-obesity activity of some phenolic acids may be, at least partially, connected with estrogenic pathways.

  9. Serum hepatitis B surface antigen levels in the natural history of chronic hepatitis B infection.

    PubMed

    Jang, J W; Yoo, S H; Kwon, J H; You, C R; Lee, S; Lee, J H; Chung, K W

    2011-12-01

    BACKGROUND  The production of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) may evolve during long-lasting virus-host interactions in chronic hepatitis B (CHB). The impact of age on HBsAg production remains unclear. AIM  To determine the age-specific distribution patterns of HBsAg and related factors during the natural course of CHB infection. METHODS  Seven hundred and sixty-eight untreated HBsAg carriers were enrolled in the study. The parameters and distribution patterns of HBsAg were evaluated in relation to age and immune phases. RESULTS  The HBsAg levels were significantly lower in the HBeAg-negative stage, with the lowest levels in inactive carriers. The HBsAg tended to decrease from hepatitis to cirrhosis and to hepatocellular carcinoma, and from Child-Pugh class A to B and to C. Age and HBV DNA were independently associated with HBsAg levels. In HBeAg-positive patients, the HBsAg levels were distributed in a triphasic-like decline pattern by 2 logs across age strata. For HBeAg-negative patients, the titres in inactive carriers exhibited a 2-log reduction, but remained unchanged over age strata in patients with HBeAg-negative hepatitis. The ratios of HBsAg/HBV-DNA were highest, but steadily decreased with age in inactive carriers, whereas the levels remained largely unchanged over the entire age strata in patients with HBeAg-negative hepatitis. CONCLUSIONS  Age and HBV DNA levels are independent parameters of HBsAg levels. During the natural course of CHB infection, HBsAg levels decrease with age and disease progression, but the patterns are significantly different between the immune phases of CHB. This information may contribute to our understanding of the immunopathogenesis of chronic hepatitis B and management involving HBsAg quantification. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  10. 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

  11. Variations in voice level and fundamental frequency with changing background noise level and talker-to-listener distance while wearing hearing protectors: A pilot study.

    PubMed

    Bouserhal, Rachel E; Macdonald, Ewen N; Falk, Tiago H; Voix, Jérémie

    2016-01-01

    Speech production in noise with varying talker-to-listener distance has been well studied for the open ear condition. However, occluding the ear canal can affect the auditory feedback and cause deviations from the models presented for the open-ear condition. Communication is a main concern for people wearing hearing protection devices (HPD). Although practical, radio communication is cumbersome, as it does not distinguish designated receivers. A smarter radio communication protocol must be developed to alleviate this problem. Thus, it is necessary to model speech production in noise while wearing HPDs. Such a model opens the door to radio communication systems that distinguish receivers and offer more efficient communication between persons wearing HPDs. This paper presents the results of a pilot study aimed to investigate the effects of occluding the ear on changes in voice level and fundamental frequency in noise and with varying talker-to-listener distance. Twelve participants with a mean age of 28 participated in this study. Compared to existing data, results show a trend similar to the open ear condition with the exception of the occluded quiet condition. This implies that a model can be developed to better understand speech production for the occluded ear.

  12. 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.

  13. Cattle naturally infected by Eurytrema coelomaticum: Relation between adenosine deaminase activity and zinc levels.

    PubMed

    Grosskopf, Hyolanda M; Schwertz, Claiton I; Machado, Gustavo; Bottari, Nathieli B; da Silva, Ester S; Gabriel, Mateus E; Lucca, Neuber J; Alves, Mariana S; Schetinger, Maria Rosa C; Morsch, Vera M; Mendes, Ricardo E; da Silva, Aleksandro S

    2017-02-01

    The enzyme adenosine deaminase (ADA) is critical for modulating the immune system, and in the presence of zinc, its activity is catalyzed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ADA activity in pancreas of cattle naturally infected by Eurytrema coelomaticum in relation to the results of zinc levels, pathological findings and parasite load. For this study 51 slaughtered cattle were used. The animals were divided into two groups: Group A consisting of animals naturally infected by E. coelomaticum (n=33) and Group B of uninfected animals (n=18). Blood and pancreas were collected of each animal for analysis of zinc and ADA, respectively. Infected cattle showed a reduction on seric levels of zinc, and decreased ADA activity in the pancreas (P>0.05). A positive correlation between zinc levels and ADA activity was observed. Thus, high parasite load and severity of histopathologic lesions affect the ADA activity in pancreas, as well as the zinc levels in serum of infected animals (negative correlation between these variables). Therefore, we can conclude that cattle infected by E. coelomaticum have low ADA activity in pancreas, which can be directly related to zinc reduction, responsible for ADA activation and catalyzes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Seven-year time trends in energy balance-related behaviours according to educational level and ethnic background among 14-year-old adolescents.

    PubMed

    Meijerink, Frederika J; van Vuuren, C Leontine; Wijnhoven, Hanneke A H; van Eijsden, Manon

    2016-04-01

    To assess seven-year time trends in energy balance-related behaviours in 14-year-old adolescents living in an urban area and to examine the influence of educational level and ethnicity on these time trends. Second grade students (mean age 13·6 years) filled in questionnaires about the energy balance-related behaviours of breakfast consumption, fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity and screen-time behaviour from school years 2006-2007 to 2012-2013. Energy balance-related behaviours were dichotomized and logistic regression analyses were used to examine time trends in healthy energy balance-related behaviours, including interaction terms for educational level and ethnicity. Secondary schools in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Per school year, 2185-3331 children participated. The total sample included 19 244 students of Dutch, Surinamese, Turkish and Moroccan ethnic background. A significant linear increase was found for positive screen-time behaviour (<2 h/d; OR per year=1·04; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·06). For daily vegetable consumption a non-linear negative trend was observed (school year 2012-2013 v. 2006-2007: OR=0·90; 95 % CI 0·80, 1·00). Time trends in screen time were significantly different across educational levels (P-interaction=0·002) and ethnic backgrounds (P<0·001), as were time trends in daily fruit consumption (P=0·017 and P=0·018, respectively) and, for ethnicity, trends in daily vegetable consumption (P<0·001). The increase in positive screen-time behaviour is a positive finding. However, discouraging screen time and promoting other healthy behaviours, more specifically daily fruit and vegetable consumption, remain important particularly among adolescents enrolled in pre-vocational education and of non-Dutch ethnic background.

  15. Natural radioactivity levels and associated health hazards from the terrestrial ecosystem in Rosetta branch of the River Nile, Egypt.

    PubMed

    Abdellah, W M; Diab, H M; El-Kameesy, S U; Salama, E; El-Framawy, S

    2017-08-01

    Twenty soil and 25 sediment samples were collected from the banks and bottom of the River Nile in the surroundings of biggest cities located close to it. Natural radioactivity concentrations of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K have been evaluated for all samples by means of γ spectrometric analysis. The radioactivity levels of soil and sediment samples fall within the internationally recommended values. Nevertheless, high natural background radiation zones are detected in the Kafr El-Zayat region due to the presence of a fertilizer factory, and in the Rosetta region due to the presence of black sand deposits. The absorbed dose rate, the γ index and excess life time cancer risk are calculated. High values for some of the radiation health parameters are detected in the Kafr El-Zayat and Rosetta regions representing a serious problem to public health because the soil and sediment are used as constructing material for buildings. Furthermore, the isotope analysis of uranium for representative collected sediment samples via α spectrometry showed average specific activities of 18.7 ± 3.6, 0.087 ± 0.0038 and 18.6 ± 3.8 Bq kg(-1) for (234)U, (235)U and (238)U, respectively. In general, these values confirm the balance in the isotopic abundance of U isotopes.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22701419

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Study of the influence of temperature and precipitations on the levels of BTEX in natural waters.

    PubMed

    Moliner-Martínez, Y; Herraez-Hernandez, R; Verdú-Andres, J; Campíns-Falcó, P; Garrido-Palanca, C; Molins-Legua, C; Seco, A

    2013-12-15

    Assessment of seasonal changes in surface water quality is an important aspect for evaluating temporal variation of water due to natural or anthropogenic inputs of point and non-point sources. The objective of this paper was to investigate the influence of seasonal temperature fluctuations and precipitations on the levels of BTEX in natural waters. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to evaluate the seasonal correlations of BTEX levels in water and to extract the parameters that are most important in assessing seasonal variations of water quality. This study was carried out as a part of VOCs monitoring program in natural water samples from Mediterranean coast. To carry out this project, a multiresidue analytical method was used. The method was based on headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) followed by gas chromatography coupled to flame ionization detector (FID). The limits of detection LODs found for the tested analyte tested were in the 0.001-1 μg/L range. These values were adequate for the analysis of these compounds in water samples according to the regulated values. Water samples from different points of the Mediterranean coast were analyzed during a period of three years, and were taken four times per year. Most of the compounds were below the limit established by the legislation. The results obtained by a chemometric study indicated that temperature and precipitations can be related on the BTEX levels found in water. A regression model between temperature or precipitations and BTEX concentration was obtained, thus these models can be used as predictive model for detection any non-normal concentration level. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  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. Natural decrease of the intensity level of artificial radioactive isotopes in the Barents Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matishov, G. G.; Matishov, D. G.; Solatie, D.; Kasatkina, N. E.; Leppanen, A.

    2009-08-01

    The results of radioecological investigations carried out within the framework of the Russian-Finnish high-latitude expedition in 2007 are presented. The characteristics of the present-day accumulation level of the significant radioecological isotopes 137Cs, 90Sr and 239,240Pu in the Barents Sea are described. The comparative analysis is performed for the radiation pollution of the environment in the 1980s and 1990s and in the first decade of the 21st century. Natural purification processes in the marine environment are the main factors of the decrease in the intensity level of artificial radioactive isotopes. These processes include repeated dilution, nuclear decay, occlusion by sediments and suspended solid material, and accumulation by aquatic inhabitants. A stable decreasing trend is observed for the intensity level of artificial radioactive isotopes in the Barents Sea.

  5. 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.

  6. Campylobacter coli naturally resistant to elevated levels of gentamicin as a marker strain in poultry research.

    PubMed

    Cox, N A; Richardson, L J; Berrang, M E; Fedorka-Cray, R J; Buhr, R J

    2009-06-01

    Campylobacter inoculation studies are limited without a suitable marker strain. The lurpose of this study was to screen Campylobacter strains (n=2073) obtained from poultry carcass rinses through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Antimicrobial Resistant Monitoring System for resistance to gentamicin and evaluate one strain's efficacy as a marker. A C. coli strain was found resistant to gentamicin at >32 microg/ml. Gentamicin was incorporated into media (Campy-Cefex agar, Brucella agar, and blood agar) from 0 to 1000 microg/ml, and the upper level of gentamicin resistance was determined. C. coli strain's upper level of growth on Campy-Cefex plates, blood agar plates, and Brucella agar plates was 400, 300, and 200 pg/ml, respectively. Ceca and postpick carcass rinses were obtained and streaked onto Campy-Cefex agar at the above gentamicin levels to evaluate background microflora exclusion. Campy-Cefex agar containing gentamicin at 100 ag/ml prevented from the ceca, and reduced from the rinse, background microflora. The C. coli strain was orally or intracloacally inoculated into chicks. At 1, 3, and 6 weeks of age, inoculated broilers were removed and several tissue types sampled for the presence of the marker strain. At 6 weeks of age, 10 additional noninoculated penmates were sampled. The C. coli strain colonized chicks, disseminated to body tissues, colonized penmates, and persisted throughout the 6-week grow-out. The C. coli strain's unique characteristic, being resistant to high levels of gentamicin, allows for a marker that can be used in a wide range of Campylobacter research projects.

  7. Changes in metallothionein level in rat hepatic tissue after administration of natural mouldy wheat.

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-01

    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 microg per kg of mouldy wheat), zearalenone (56 +/- 3 microg/kg), T2-toxin (20 +/- 2 microg/kg) and aflatoxins as a sum of B1, B2, G1 and G2 (3.9 +/- 0.2 microg/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.

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Stevia, cyclamate and saccharin - natural and artificial sweeteners - exert no effect on sulfane levels in tissues.

    PubMed

    Wilinski, Bogdan; Opoka, Wlodzimierz; Somogyi, Eugeniusz; Piotrowska, Joanna; Wilinski, Jerzy

    2013-01-01

    The interactions among natural and artificial sweeteners and endogenous sulfur metabolism have never been investigated. CBA strain mice were administered orally stevia, cyclamate or saccharin in doses of 5 mg/kg of body weight in water solutions each. The measurements of the free and acid-labile sulfane (H2S) tissue concentrations in brain, heart, liver and kidney were performed with Siegel spectrophotometric modified method. No differences in comparisons between hydrogen sulfide concentrations in the control group and each sweetener group within every tissue type were noted. In conclusion, stevia, cyclamate and saccharine do not change the endogenous sulfur metabolism to the extent of causing sulfane tissue levels alterations.

  14. 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

  15. Analysis of natural ground-water level variations for hydrogeologic conceptualization, Hanford Site, Washington

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nevulis, Richard H.; Davis, Donald R.; Sorooshian, Soroosh

    1989-07-01

    This study involves the analysis of groundwater level time series for the purpose of obtaining details for a conceptual hydrogeologic model at a time when conventional hydraulic stress testing was not feasible due to regulatory considerations. The study area is located in south central Washington in the Pasco Basin which was a candidate site for underground disposal of high-level radioactive nuclear wastes. Advantages of such passive methods of analysis may include relative simplicity, low cost, and avoidance of disturbances typically associated with stress testing of aquifers. Through this approach, natural and incidental man-made groundwater level variations, most of which are quite small, are examined by statistical and analytical methods in conjunction with hydrogeologic models to draw inferences on the hydrogeology. Vertical connectivity of the hydrostratigraphic units is also examined by analyzing groundwater level time series of five units at three piezometer nests. It is concluded that a combination of statistical/analytical approaches used in a complementary fashion can provide useful information about the hydrogeology of a given area. A meaningful analysis requires that there is (1) a source of influence on the groundwater levels, (2) a response to that influence, (3) a sufficiently long data record, and (4) measurement and analytical techniques which allow the detection and identification of the influence and response.

  16. Characterizing the high-level content of natural images using lexical basis functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Black, John A., Jr.; Kahol, Kanav; Kuchi, Prem; Fahmy, Gamal F.; Panchanathan, Sethuraman

    2003-06-01

    The performance of content-based image retrieval using low-level visual content has largely been judged to be unsatisfactory. Perceived performance could probably be improved if retrieval were based on higher-level content. However, researchers have not been very successful in bridging what is now called the "semantic gap" between low-level content detectors and higher-level visual content. This paper describes a novel "top-down" approach to bridging this semantic gap. A list of primitive words (which we call "lexical basis functions") are selected from a lexicon of the English language, and are used to characterize the higher-level content of natural outdoor images. Visual similarity between pairs of images are then "computed" based on the degree of similarity between their respective word lists. These "computed" similarities are then shown to correlate with subjectively perceived similarities between pairs of images. This demonstrates that the chosen set of lexical basis functions is able to characterize the multidimensional content (and similarity) of these image pairs in a manner that parallels their subjectively perceived content (and similarity). If a retrieval system could be designed to automatically detect the visual content represented by these basis functions, it could compute a similarity measure that would correlate with human subjective similarity rankings.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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).

  4. Importance of Long-Term Cycles for Predicting Water Level Dynamics in Natural Lakes

    PubMed Central

    García Molinos, Jorge; Viana, Mafalda; Brennan, Michael; Donohue, Ian

    2015-01-01

    Lakes are disproportionately important ecosystems for humanity, containing 77% of the liquid surface freshwater on Earth and comprising key contributors to global biodiversity. With an ever-growing human demand for water and increasing climate uncertainty, there is pressing need for improved understanding of the underlying patterns of natural variability of water resources and consideration of their implications for water resource management and conservation. Here we use Bayesian harmonic regression models to characterise water level dynamics and study the influence of cyclic components in confounding estimation of long-term directional trends in water levels in natural Irish lakes. We found that the lakes were characterised by a common and well-defined annual seasonality and several inter-annual and inter-decadal cycles with strong transient behaviour over time. Importantly, failing to account for the longer-term cyclic components produced a significant overall underestimation of the trend effect. Our findings demonstrate the importance of contextualising lake water resource management to the specific physical setting of lakes. PMID:25757071

  5. Multi-level parallel clocking of CCDs for: improving charge transfer efficiency, clearing persistence, clocked anti-blooming, and generating low-noise backgrounds for pumping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, Neil J.; Burt, David J.; Holland, Andrew D.; Stefanov, Konstantin D.; Gow, Jason P. D.; MacCormick, Calum; Dryer, Ben J.; Allanwood, Edgar A. H.

    2013-09-01

    A multi-level clocking scheme has been developed to improve the parallel CTE of four-phase CCDs by suppressing the effects of traps located in the transport channel under barrier phases by inverting one of these phases throughout the transfer sequence. In parallel it was apparent that persistence following optical overload in Euclid VIS detectors would lead to undesirable signal released in subsequent rows and frames and that a suitable scheme for flushing this signal would be required. With care, the negatively biased electrodes during the multi-level transfer sequence can be made to pin the entire surface, row-by-row, and annihilate the problematic charges. This process can also be extended for use during integration to significantly reduce the unusable area of the detector, as per the clocked anti-blooming techniques developed many years ago; however, with the four-phase electrodes architecture of modern CCDs, we can take precautionary measures to avoid the problem of charge pumping and clock induced charge within the science frames. Clock induced charge is not all bad! We also propose the use of on-orbit trap-pumping for Euclid VIS to provide calibration input to ground based correction algorithms and as such a uniform, low noise background is require. Clock induced charge can be manipulated to provide a very suitable, low signal and noise background to the imaging array. Here we describe and present results of multi-level parallel clocking schemes for use in four-phase CCDs that could improve performance of high precision astronomy applications such as Euclid VIS.

  6. Vision Is Adapted to the Natural Level of Blur Present in the Retinal Image

    PubMed Central

    Sawides, Lucie; de Gracia, Pablo; Dorronsoro, Carlos; Webster, Michael A.; Marcos, Susana

    2011-01-01

    Background The image formed by the eye's optics is inherently blurred by aberrations specific to an individual's eyes. We examined how visual coding is adapted to the optical quality of the eye. Methods and Findings We assessed the relationship between perceived blur and the retinal image blur resulting from high order aberrations in an individual's optics. Observers judged perceptual blur in a psychophysical two-alternative forced choice paradigm, on stimuli viewed through perfectly corrected optics (using a deformable mirror to compensate for the individual's aberrations). Realistic blur of different amounts and forms was computer simulated using real aberrations from a population. The blur levels perceived as best focused were close to the levels predicted by an individual's high order aberrations over a wide range of blur magnitudes, and were systematically biased when observers were instead adapted to the blur reproduced from a different observer's eye. Conclusions Our results provide strong evidence that spatial vision is calibrated for the specific blur levels present in each individual's retinal image and that this adaptation at least partly reflects how spatial sensitivity is normalized in the neural coding of blur. PMID:22073247

  7. 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.

  8. Antioxidant effect of mono- and dihydroxyphenols in sunflower oil with different levels of naturally present tocopherols.

    PubMed

    Hrádková, Iveta; Merkl, Roman; Smidrkal, Jan; Kyselka, Jan; Filip, Vladimír

    2013-07-01

    Antioxidant properties of mono- and dihydroxyphenolic acids and their alkyl esters were examined, with emphasis on the relationship between their molecular structure and antioxidant activity. Test media with different tocopherol level were used for determining the oxidative stability: original refined sunflower oil (total tocopherols 149.0 mg/kg), partially tocopherol-stripped sunflower oil (total tocopherols 8.7 mg/kg) and distilled fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) as a tocopherol-free medium. The chemical reaction of tocopherols with diazomethane tested for the purpose to eliminate their antioxidant activity failed due to the negligible degree of methylation of hydroxyl group in the tocopherol molecule. Caffeic acid and protocatechuic acid (3,4-dihydroxyphenolic acids) and their alkyl esters were found to be more active antioxidants than monohydroxyphenolic acid (p-hydroxybenzoic acid), 2,5-dihydroxyphenolic acid (gentisic acid), 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenolic acids (vanillic and ferulic acids) and their corresponding alkyl esters. Naturally present tocopherols in refined sunflower oil proved to have a synergistic effect on gentisic acid but not on its alkyl esters. In contrast, tocopherols showed an antagonistic effect on alkyl esters of caffeic acid, because their protection factors decreased with increasing level of tocopherols in the test medium. Moreover, the antioxidant activity of these alkyl esters decreased with increasing length of their alkyl chain in conformity with the polar paradox hypothesis. Tocopherols as naturally present antioxidants influence considerably the antioxidant activity of other antioxidants added to plant oils used as a test medium. Distilled fatty acid methyl esters prepared from refined sunflower oil may serve as an optimal tocopherol-free test medium. Some alkyl esters of phenolic acids were evaluated to be applicable as natural more lipophilic antioxidants in comparison with phenolic acids.

  9. Antioxidant effect of mono- and dihydroxyphenols in sunflower oil with different levels of naturally present tocopherols

    PubMed Central

    Hrádková, Iveta; Merkl, Roman; Šmidrkal, Jan; Kyselka, Jan; Filip, Vladimír

    2013-01-01

    Antioxidant properties of mono- and dihydroxyphenolic acids and their alkyl esters were examined, with emphasis on the relationship between their molecular structure and antioxidant activity. Test media with different tocopherol level were used for determining the oxidative stability: original refined sunflower oil (total tocopherols 149.0 mg/kg), partially tocopherol-stripped sunflower oil (total tocopherols 8.7 mg/kg) and distilled fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) as a tocopherol-free medium. The chemical reaction of tocopherols with diazomethane tested for the purpose to eliminate their antioxidant activity failed due to the negligible degree of methylation of hydroxyl group in the tocopherol molecule. Caffeic acid and protocatechuic acid (3,4-dihydroxyphenolic acids) and their alkyl esters were found to be more active antioxidants than monohydroxyphenolic acid (p-hydroxybenzoic acid), 2,5-dihydroxyphenolic acid (gentisic acid), 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenolic acids (vanillic and ferulic acids) and their corresponding alkyl esters. Naturally present tocopherols in refined sunflower oil proved to have a synergistic effect on gentisic acid but not on its alkyl esters. In contrast, tocopherols showed an antagonistic effect on alkyl esters of caffeic acid, because their protection factors decreased with increasing level of tocopherols in the test medium. Moreover, the antioxidant activity of these alkyl esters decreased with increasing length of their alkyl chain in conformity with the polar paradox hypothesis. Practical applications: Tocopherols as naturally present antioxidants influence considerably the antioxidant activity of other antioxidants added to plant oils used as a test medium. Distilled fatty acid methyl esters prepared from refined sunflower oil may serve as an optimal tocopherol-free test medium. Some alkyl esters of phenolic acids were evaluated to be applicable as natural more lipophilic antioxidants in comparison with phenolic acids. PMID:23997655

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Soil CO2 Flux Monitoring for Geologic Carbon Storage: Assessing the Background CO2 Levels Prior to Artificial CO2 Release Experiment in Eumsung, Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yun, H. M.; Kim, S.; Park, M. J.; Han, S. H.; Son, Y.

    2015-12-01

    With potential risks of CO2 leakage and subsequent impacts on surrounding abiotic and biotic environments, development of adequate monitoring strategies is essential for successful geologic carbon storage (GCS). To accomplish such goal, a controlled artificial CO2 release experiment site has been established in Eumsung, Korea. Prior to the scheduled release in fall 2015 at the depth of 2.5 m, grid measurements of soil CO2 fluxes at the surface and shallow subsoil CO2 concentrations at various depths were conducted periodically in order to assess the background soil respiration fluxes. Following the installation of automated soil flux chambers, the mean flux was found to be 2.1 μmol m-2 s-1 over the period of June to August 2015. However, as expected, spatial and temporal variations of the CO2 flux among the chambers were observed, ranging from about 0.5 to 4.0 μmol m-2 s-1. In addition, it was found that rainfalls, including few incidents of heavy monsoonal rain, have hindered the collection of reliable data. Spatiotemporal variability of soil CO2 flux is due to its strong dependence on surrounding soil conditions (i.e. temperature and soil moisture content) and meteorological conditions. Hence by integrating the results obtained by portable accumulation flux chamber method and subsoil CO2 concentration measurements along with environmental data, we expect to produce a more reliable background value. In addition to expanding the sampling area, subsoil CO2 concentration measurements at various depths is also expected to provide valuable observations on the evolution and vertical movement of CO2 through the soil profile to the surface. Carefully assessed background CO2 flux level, from monitoring over a sufficiently long-term site characterization period and when its spatiotemporal variability is well understood, will be the key to successful leakage detection in GCS facilities. ※ This subject is supported by Korea Ministry of Environment (MOE) as "K

  14. Sunlight-exposed biofilm microbial communities are naturally resistant to chernobyl ionizing-radiation levels.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    -OTU level. Therefore, biofilm communities growing in sunlight exposed substrates are capable of coping with increased mutation rates and appear pre-adapted to levels of ionizing radiation in Chernobyl due to their natural adaptation to periodical desiccation and ambient UV radiation.

  15. 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. Copyright © 2015 China Pharmaceutical University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Natural analogues for processes affecting disposal of high-level radioactive waste in the vadose zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stuckless, J. S.

    2003-04-01

    Natural analogues can contribute to understanding and predicting the performance of subsystems and processes affecting a mined geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste in several ways. Most importantly, analogues provide tests for various aspects of systems of a repository at dimensional scales and time spans that cannot be attained by experimental study. In addition, they provide a means for the general public to judge the predicted performance of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository in familiar terms such that the average person can assess the anticipated long-term performance and other scientific conclusions. Hydrologists working on the Yucca Mountain Project (currently the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Repository Development) have modeled the flow of water through the vadose zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada and particularly the interaction of vadose-zone water with mined openings. Analogues from both natural and anthropogenic examples confirm the prediction that most of the water moving through the vadose zone will move through the host rock and around tunnels. This can be seen both quantitatively where direct comparison between seepage and net infiltration has been made and qualitatively by the excellent degree of preservation of archaeologic artifacts in underground openings. The latter include Paleolithic cave paintings in southwestern Europe, murals and artifacts in Egyptian tombs, painted subterranean Buddhist temples in India and China, and painted underground churches in Cappadocia, Turkey. Natural analogues also suggest that this diversion mechanism is more effective in porous media than in fractured media. Observations from natural analogues are also consistent with the modeled decrease in the percentage of infiltration that becomes seepage with a decrease in amount of infiltration. Finally, analogues, such as tombs that have ben partially filled by mud flows, suggest that the same capillary forces that keep water in the

  18. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Transition to Kindergarten: Negative Associations between the Emotional Availability in Mother-Child Relationships and Elevated Cortisol Levels in Children with an Immigrant Background.

    PubMed

    Rickmeyer, Constanze; Lebiger-Vogel, Judith; Leuzinger-Bohleber, Marianne

    2017-01-01

    Background: The transition to child care is a challenging time in a child's life and leads to elevated levels of cortisol. These elevations may be influenced by the quality of the mother-child relationship. However, remarkably little is known about cortisol production in response to the beginning of child care among children-at-risk such as children with an immigrant background. However, attending kindergarten or any other child day-care institution can for example have a compensating effect on potential language deficits thus improving the educational opportunities of these children. Method: Data of a subsample of N = 24 "hard-to-reach" mother-child dyads was collected in the context of the psychoanalytic early prevention project FIRST STEPS. The project focuses on the earliest integration of children with an immigrant background by supporting parenting capacities in the critical phase of migration and early parenthood. Children's hair cortisol concentration (HCC) was assessed 1 week before (mean age = 38.77 months) and 3 months after kindergarten entry (mean age = 42.26 months). Hair analysis was conducted for both times of measurement, reflecting the first 3 months after kindergarten entry and 3 months prior. Furthermore, the emotional quality of the mother-child relationship was assessed with the help of the Emotional Availability Scales (EAS; Biringen, 2008) shortly before kindergarten entry when the children were about 3 years old (mean age = 37.2). Results and Conclusion: Children's mean cumulated HCC was higher after kindergarten entry than before. The increase correlated negatively with several dimensions of the EAS. Repeated measures ANCOVA revealed that particularly responsive children and children who had experienced less intrusive mother-child relationships demonstrated lower elevations in HCC after kindergarten entry. Furthermore, a decreased EA score was found in all EA dimensions, besides the dimension "mother's non-hostility," indicating

  2. Transition to Kindergarten: Negative Associations between the Emotional Availability in Mother–Child Relationships and Elevated Cortisol Levels in Children with an Immigrant Background

    PubMed Central

    Rickmeyer, Constanze; Lebiger-Vogel, Judith; Leuzinger-Bohleber, Marianne

    2017-01-01

    Background: The transition to child care is a challenging time in a child’s life and leads to elevated levels of cortisol. These elevations may be influenced by the quality of the mother–child relationship. However, remarkably little is known about cortisol production in response to the beginning of child care among children-at-risk such as children with an immigrant background. However, attending kindergarten or any other child day-care institution can for example have a compensating effect on potential language deficits thus improving the educational opportunities of these children. Method: Data of a subsample of N = 24 “hard-to-reach” mother–child dyads was collected in the context of the psychoanalytic early prevention project FIRST STEPS. The project focuses on the earliest integration of children with an immigrant background by supporting parenting capacities in the critical phase of migration and early parenthood. Children’s hair cortisol concentration (HCC) was assessed 1 week before (mean age = 38.77 months) and 3 months after kindergarten entry (mean age = 42.26 months). Hair analysis was conducted for both times of measurement, reflecting the first 3 months after kindergarten entry and 3 months prior. Furthermore, the emotional quality of the mother–child relationship was assessed with the help of the Emotional Availability Scales (EAS; Biringen, 2008) shortly before kindergarten entry when the children were about 3 years old (mean age = 37.2). Results and Conclusion: Children’s mean cumulated HCC was higher after kindergarten entry than before. The increase correlated negatively with several dimensions of the EAS. Repeated measures ANCOVA revealed that particularly responsive children and children who had experienced less intrusive mother–child relationships demonstrated lower elevations in HCC after kindergarten entry. Furthermore, a decreased EA score was found in all EA dimensions, besides the dimension “mother’s non

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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)).

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Natural Circulation Level Optimization and the Effect during ULOF Accident in the SPINNOR Reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Abdullah, Ade Gafar; Su'ud, Zaki; Kurniadi, Rizal; Kurniasih, Neny; Yulianti, Yanti

    2010-12-23

    Natural circulation level optimization and the effect during loss of flow accident in the 250 MWt MOX fuelled small Pb-Bi Cooled non-refueling nuclear reactors (SPINNOR) have been performed. The simulation was performed using FI-ITB safety code which has been developed in ITB. The simulation begins with steady state calculation of neutron flux, power distribution and temperature distribution across the core, hot pool and cool pool, and also steam generator. When the accident is started due to the loss of pumping power the power distribution and the temperature distribution of core, hot pool and cool pool, and steam generator change. Then the feedback reactivity calculation is conducted, followed by kinetic calculation. The process is repeated until the optimum power distribution is achieved. The results show that the SPINNOR reactor has inherent safety capability against this accident.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Natural zeolites chabazite/phillipsite/analcime increase blood levels of antioxidant enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Dogliotti, Giada; Malavazos, Alexis E.; Giacometti, Sonia; Solimene, Umberto; Fanelli, Mauro; Corsi, Massimiliano M.; Dozio, Elena

    2012-01-01

    Imbalance between reactive oxygen species generation and antioxidant capacity induces a condition known as oxidative stress which is implicated in numerous pathological processes. In this study we evaluated whether natural zeolites chabazite/phillipsite/analcime may affect the levels of different antioxidant enzymes (gluthatione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, gluthatione reductase), total antioxidant status and oxidative stress in 25 clinically healthy men, both non-smokers and smokers. Measurements were performed on whole blood or on plasma samples before (T0) and after 4-weeks zeolites intake (T1). At T1, gluthatione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and gluthatione reductase increased compared to T0 levels, both considering all subjects as joint and after subdivision in non-smokers and smokers. Differently, a reduction in total antioxidant status was observed at T1. Anyway, total antioxidant status resulted higher than the reference values in both groups at each time point. A decrease in lipid peroxidation, a major indicator of oxidative stress assessed by monitoring thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, was also observed in all subjects at T1. Our results suggested that chabazite/phillipsite/analcime may help to counteract oxidative stress in apparently healthy subjects exposed to different oxidative stress risk factors, such as smoking, thus representing a particular kind of food with potential antioxidant properties. PMID:22573920

  1. Natural zeolites chabazite/phillipsite/analcime increase blood levels of antioxidant enzymes.

    PubMed

    Dogliotti, Giada; Malavazos, Alexis E; Giacometti, Sonia; Solimene, Umberto; Fanelli, Mauro; Corsi, Massimiliano M; Dozio, Elena

    2012-05-01

    Imbalance between reactive oxygen species generation and antioxidant capacity induces a condition known as oxidative stress which is implicated in numerous pathological processes. In this study we evaluated whether natural zeolites chabazite/phillipsite/analcime may affect the levels of different antioxidant enzymes (gluthatione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, gluthatione reductase), total antioxidant status and oxidative stress in 25 clinically healthy men, both non-smokers and smokers. Measurements were performed on whole blood or on plasma samples before (T0) and after 4-weeks zeolites intake (T1). At T1, gluthatione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and gluthatione reductase increased compared to T0 levels, both considering all subjects as joint and after subdivision in non-smokers and smokers. Differently, a reduction in total antioxidant status was observed at T1. Anyway, total antioxidant status resulted higher than the reference values in both groups at each time point. A decrease in lipid peroxidation, a major indicator of oxidative stress assessed by monitoring thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, was also observed in all subjects at T1. Our results suggested that chabazite/phillipsite/analcime may help to counteract oxidative stress in apparently healthy subjects exposed to different oxidative stress risk factors, such as smoking, thus representing a particular kind of food with potential antioxidant properties.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  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. Hepatitis B surface antigen levels during natural history of chronic hepatitis B: a Chinese perspective study.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Lin-Yan; Lian, Jiang-Shan; Chen, Jian-Yang; Jia, Hong-Yu; Zhang, Yi-Min; Xiang, Dai-Rong; Yu, Liang; Hu, Jian-Hua; Lu, Ying-Feng; Zheng, Lin; Li, Lan-Juan; Yang, Yi-Da

    2014-07-21

    To determine the baseline hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) levels during the different phases of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients in China. Six hundred and twenty-three hepatitis B virus or un-infected patients not receiving antiviral therapy were analyzed in a cross-sectional study. The CHB patients were classified into five phases: immune-tolerant (IT, n = 108), immune-clearance (IC, n = 161), hepatitis B e antigen negative hepatitis (ENH, n = 149), low-replicative (LR, n = 135), and liver cirrhosis (LC, n = 70). HBsAg was quantified (Abbott ARCHITECT assay) and correlated with hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA, and serum alanine aminotransferase/aspartate aminotransferase (ALT/AST) in each phase of CHB was also determined. Median HBsAg titers were different in each phase of CHB (P < 0.001): IT (4.85 log10 IU/mL), IC (4.36 log10 IU/mL), ENH (2.95 log10 IU/mL), LR (3.18 log10 IU/mL) and LC (2.69 log10 IU/mL). HBsAg titers were highest in the IT phase and lowest in the LC phase. Serum HBsAg titers showed a strong correlation with HBV viral load in the IC phase (r = 0.683, P < 0.001). No correlation between serum HBsAg level and ALT/AST was observed. The mean baseline HBsAg levels differ significantly during the five phases of CHB, providing evidence on the natural history of HBV infection. HBsAg quantification may predict the effects of immune-modulator or oral nucleos(t)ide analogue therapy.

  7. 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.

  8. Beyond the cancer cell: progression-level determinants highlight the multiscale nature of carcinogenesis risk.

    PubMed

    Hlatky, Lynn; Hahnfeldt, Philip

    2014-02-01

    Over the last several decades, improved awareness of the prevalence of carcinogens in the environment, along with a growing appreciation of the complexity of the carcinogenesis process, has shifted policy on cancer risk from one of strict avoidance of carcinogens to one of adherence to exposure limits deemed "safe" based on quantitative risk estimation. Meanwhile, given the mutagenic nature of most carcinogens, attention has gravitated to developing a genetic rationale for measuring and comparing risks. This focus has culminated in the now well-established multistage mutational paradigm, which holds that a stepwise sequence of mutations drives cell "initiation" and the subsequent "transformation" of an initiated cell into a cancer cell, and that, once created, a cancer cell will inevitably undergo "progression" to become overt disease. Unanticipated by this paradigm is the effect progression-phase population- and tissue-level bottleneck events may have on this process. Attesting to this is the prevalence of tumor dormancy, a state of arrested growth of an otherwise fully malignant, often microscopic cancer mass, maintained by interactions among cancer cells and between cancer and host cells. The proper inclusion of such progression-modifying influences would clearly behoove risk estimation and improve our understanding of the natural history of cancer by accounting for the less-than-certain risk of eventual cancer disease even when cancer cells are present. Such an improved understanding, in turn, stands to better inform policy-making and influence such clinical practice decisions as whether to treat the increasingly smaller tumors detectable with advancing technologies.

  9. Nature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinhorst, Sabine; Cannon, Gordon

    1997-01-01

    The fact that two of the original articles by this year's Nobel laureates were published in Nature bears witness to the pivotal role of this journal in documenting pioneering discoveries in all areas of science. The prize for Physiology or Medicine was awarded to immunologists Peter C. Doherty (University of Tennessee) and Rolf M. Zinkernagel (University of Zurich, Switzerland), honoring work that, in the 1970s, laid the foundation for our current understanding of the way in which our immune system differentiates between healthy cells and virus-infected ones that are targeted for destruction (p 465 in the October 10 issue of vol. 383). Three researchers share the Chemistry award for their discovery of C60 buckminsterfullerenes. The work by Robert Curl, Richard Smalley (both at Rice University), and Harry Kroto (University of Sussex, UK) has led to a burst of new approaches to materials development and in carbon chemistry (p 561 of the October 17 issue of vol. 383). This year's Nobel prize in physics went to three U.S. researchers, Douglas Osheroff (Stanford University) and David M. Lee and Robert C. Richardson (Cornell University), who were honored for their work on superfluidity, a frictionless liquid state, of supercooled 3He (p 562 of the October 17 issue of vol. 383).

  10. 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…

  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. Bayesian background estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, R.; Dose, V.; Hanson, K. M.; von der Linden, W.

    2001-05-01

    The ubiquitous problem of estimating the background of a measured spectrum is solved with Bayesian probability theory. A mixture model is used to capture the defining characteristics of the problem, namely that the background is smoother than the signal. The smoothness property is quantified in terms of a cubic spline basis where a variable degree of smoothness is attained by allowing the number of knots and the knot positions to be adaptively chosen on the basis of the data. The fully Bayesian approach taken provides a natural way to handle knot adaptivity, allows uncertainties in the background to be estimated and data points to be classified in groups containing only background and groups with additional signal contribution. Our technique is demonstrated on a PIXE spectrum from a geological sample and an Auger spectrum from an 10 monolayer iron film on tungsten.

  13. Historical background.

    PubMed Central

    Epstein, M A

    2001-01-01

    The persisting ancient view of cancer as a contagious disease ended with 19th century scientific investigations which seemed to show it was not. The resulting dogma against an infectious cause for cancer produced great prejudice in the scientific community against the first report of an oncogenic virus by Rous early in the 20th century and, even in the 1950s, against Gross's finding of a murine leukaemia virus and a murine virus causing solid tumours. The Lucké frog renal carcinoma virus was the first cancer-associated herpesvirus. Intriguingly, an environmental factor, ambient temperature, determines virus genome expression in the poikilothermic frog cells. Although an alpha-herpesvirus, Marek's disease virus of chickens shares some aspects of biological behaviour with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) of man. Very significantly, its lymphomas are the first naturally occurring malignancy to be controlled by an antiviral vaccine, with implications for human virus-associated cancers. The circumstances and climate of opinion in which successive gamma-herpesviruses were discovered are described. The identification of EBV involved two unconventionalities: its finding in cultured Burkitt's lymphoma cells when no human lymphoid cell had ever been maintained in vitro, and its recognition in the absence of biological activity by the then new technique of electron microscopy. These factors engendered hostility to its acceptance as a new human tumour-associated virus. The EBV-like agents of Old World apes and monkeys and the T-lymphotropic gamma-herpesviruses of New World monkeys were found at about the same time, not long after the discovery of EBV. For many years these were thought to be the only gamma-herpesviruses of non-human primates; however, very recently B-lymphotropic EBV-like agents have been identified in New World species as well. Mouse herpesvirus 68 came to light by chance during a search for arboviruses and has become important as a laboratory model because of its

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-08-01

    bacterial spores , fragments and components, plant fragments and debris, and animal fragments and debris, all of which may be associated with inert...routinely other than for health effects. Allergy caused by pollen (>15 urn) and mold is monitored for health effects by National Allergy 9...occurrence. To achieve this, measurement of pollens, bacteria, and fungal spores and dust particulates were undertaken for weekly periods at four

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Carbon fluxes in natural plankton communities under elevated CO2 levels: a stable isotope labeling study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Kluijver, A.; Soetaert, K.; Schulz, K. G.; Riebesell, U.; Bellerby, R. G. J.; Middelburg, J. J.

    2010-05-01

    The potential impact of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) on carbon fluxes in natural plankton communities was investigated during the 2005 PeECE III mesocosm study in Bergen, Norway. Triplicate mesocosms, in which a phytoplankton bloom was induced by nutrient addition, were incubated with 1×(~350 μatm), 2×(~700 μatm), and 3× present day CO2(~1050 μatm) levels for 3 weeks. 13C labeled bicarbonate was added to all mesocosms to follow the transfer of carbon from dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) into phytoplankton and subsequently heterotrophic bacteria, zooplankton, and settling particles. Isotope ratios of polar lipid fatty acids (PLFA) were used to infer the biomass and production of phytoplankton and bacteria. Phytoplankton PLFA were enriched within one day after label addition, while it took another 3 days before bacteria showed substantial enrichment. Group-specific primary production measurements revealed that coccolithophores grew faster than green algae and diatoms. Elevated CO2 had a significant positive effect on post-bloom biomass of green algae, diatoms, and bacteria. A simple model based on measured isotope ratios of phytoplankton and bacteria revealed that CO2 had no significant effect on the carbon transfer efficiency from phytoplankton to bacteria. There was no indication of enhanced settling based on isotope mixing models during the phytoplankton bloom. Our results suggest that CO2 effects are most pronounced in the post-bloom phase, under nutrient limitation.

  19. 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).

  20. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. Characteristics and background level detection of atmospheric CO2 at GAW Global Station Zugspitze-Schneefernerhaus based on 35 years of continuous observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Ye; Ries, Ludwig; Trickl, Thomas; Menzel, Annette

    2017-04-01

    35 years (1981-2015) continuous measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) at Zugspitze mountain station about 90 km south of Munich, Germany are investigated in this study. For the first 21 years (1981-2001) observation was conducted at Zugspitze summit (ZUG, 2962 m a.s.l.), while CO2 measurement was performed at Zugspitze Schneefernerhaus Environment Research Station (ZSF, 2671 m a.s.l.) since 2002. The mean annual growth rate is 1.58 ± 1.25 ppm per year during the first 21 years from 1981 to 2001 at ZUG, and 2.07 ± 1.12 ppm per year for the last 15 years from 2002 to 2015 at ZSF. The average seasonal peak-to-peak amplitude increases slightly from 11.60 ± 2.62 ppm (ZUG, 1981-2001) to 12.61 ± 1.90 ppm (ZSF, 2002-2015). Regarding CO2 weekly cycle, clear differences are found during weekends between ZUG and ZSF, while weekdays perform similar. As a high altitude observatory situated remotely from urban areas, CO2 concentration at both ZUG and ZSF can still be influenced and contaminated by local/regional anthropogenic and biogenic sources and sinks. In order to remove the external influences and extract the real "background" level of CO2 from measured data sets, a novel and efficient data selection method based on diurnal variation is performed. Performance of data selection is intensively discussed and compared with synoptical data as well as simultaneous radon measurement. Besides, nine months of parallel atmospheric CO2 measurements at the Zugspitze ridge right above ZSF (2825 m a.s.l.) are also included for a short-term comparison with measured CO2 at ZSF for the same period. Acknowledgement to Dr. H.E. Scheel from KIT Institute (former IFU), Garmisch-Partenkirchen for his highly qualitative measurement of data until 2001 on Zugspitze summit (ZUG). Throughout a very long time Dr. Scheel has accompanied the program on Zugspitze summit with his high level expertise and responsiveness.

  9. Mesopredator release by an emergent superpredator: a natural experiment of predation in a three level guild.

    PubMed

    Chakarov, Nayden; Krüger, Oliver

    2010-12-06

    Intraguild predation (IGP) is widespread but it is often neglected that guilds commonly include many layers of dominance within. This could obscure the effects of IGP making unclear whether the intermediate or the bottom mesopredator will bear higher costs from the emergence of a new top predator. In one of the most extensive datasets of avian IGP, we analyse the impact of recolonization of a superpredator, the eagle owl Bubo bubo on breeding success, territorial dynamics and population densities of two mesopredators, the northern goshawk Accipiter gentilis and its IG prey, the common buzzard Buteo buteo. The data covers more than two decades and encompass three adjacent plots. Eagle owls only recolonized the central plot during the second decade, thereby providing a natural experiment. Both species showed a decrease in standardized reproductive success and an increase in brood failure within 1.5 km of the superpredator. During the second decade, territory dynamics of goshawks was significantly higher in the central plot compared to both other plots. No such pattern existed in buzzards. Goshawk density in the second decade decreased in the central plot, while it increased in both other plots. Buzzard density in the second decade rapidly increased in the north, remained unchanged in the south and increased moderately in the center in a probable case of mesopredator release. Our study finds support for top-down control on the intermediate mesopredator and both top-down and bottom-up control of the bottom mesopredator. In the face of considerable costs of IGP, both species probably compete to breed in predator-free refugia, which get mostly occupied by the dominant raptor. Therefore for mesopredators the outcome of IGP might depend directly on the number of dominance levels which supersede them.

  10. 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.

  11. Rapid, Long-term Monitoring of CO2 Concentration and δ13CO2 at CCUS Sites Allows Discrimination of Leakage Patterns from Natural Background Values

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galfond, B.; Riemer, D. D.; Swart, P. K.

    2014-12-01

    In order for Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) to gain wide acceptance as a method for mitigating atmospheric CO2 concentrations, schemes must be devised to ensure that potential leakage is detected. New regulations from the US Environmental Protection Agency require monitoring and accounting for Class VI injection wells, which will remain a barrier to wide scale CCUS deployment until effective and efficient monitoring techniques have been developed and proven. Monitoring near-surface CO2 at injection sites to ensure safety and operational success requires high temporal resolution CO2 concentration and carbon isotopic (δ13C) measurements. The only technologies currently capable of this rapid measurement of δ13C are optical techniques such as Cavity Ringdown Spectroscopy (CRDS). We have developed a comprehensive remote monitoring approach using CRDS and a custom manifold system to obtain accurate rapid measurements from a large sample area over an extended study period. Our modified Picarro G1101-i CRDS allows for automated rapid and continuous field measurement of δ13CO2 and concentrations of relevant gas species. At our field site, where preparations have been underway for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) operations, we have been able to measure biogenic effects on a diurnal scale, as well as variation due to precipitation and seasonality. Taking these background trends into account, our statistical treatment of real data has been used to improve signal-to-noise ratios by an order of magnitude over published models. Our system has proven field readiness for the monitoring of sites with even modest CO2 fluxes.

  12. 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.

  13. Estimating the concentration of gold nanoparticles incorporated on natural rubber membranes using multi-level starlet optimal segmentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Siqueira, A. F.; Cabrera, F. C.; Pagamisse, A.; Job, A. E.

    2014-12-01

    This study consolidates multi-level starlet segmentation (MLSS) and multi-level starlet optimal segmentation (MLSOS) techniques for photomicrograph segmentation, based on starlet wavelet detail levels to separate areas of interest in an input image. Several segmentation levels can be obtained using MLSS; after that, Matthews correlation coefficient is used to choose an optimal segmentation level, giving rise to MLSOS. In this paper, MLSOS is employed to estimate the concentration of gold nanoparticles with diameter around 47 nm, reduced on natural rubber membranes. These samples were used for the construction of SERS/SERRS substrates and in the study of the influence of natural rubber membranes with incorporated gold nanoparticles on the physiology of Leishmania braziliensis. Precision, recall, and accuracy are used to evaluate the segmentation performance, and MLSOS presents an accuracy greater than 88 % for this application.

  14. 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.

  15. Uncovering the Wave Nature of the EIT Wave for the 2010 January 17 Event through Its Correlation to the Background Magnetosonic Speed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, X. H.; Wu, S. T.; Wang, A. H.; Vourlidas, A.; Feng, X. S.; Jiang, C. W.

    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 (Rs ); 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.

  16. Exploring the Relationships Among Level of Contact, Nature of Contact, and Mental Illness Stigma in Adolescent Girls.

    PubMed

    Greenblatt, Amy M; Pinto, Melissa D; Higgins, Melinda K; Berg, Carla J

    2016-01-01

    This study explored the relationship of individuals' level of contact with someone with mental illness, and the nature of that contact, to mental illness stigma in adolescent females (N = 156). There were no significant associations among stigma and level of contact. The nature of the contact was significantly associated with stigma, such that those who knew someone who received treatment in a psychiatric facility had lower stigma, and those who attributed a deterioration of a past personal relationship to mental illness reported greater stigma.

  17. 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

  18. Integrated background monitoring in the USSR.

    PubMed

    Izrael, Y A; Rovinsky, F Y

    1988-01-01

    The whole biosphere of the Earth is faced with an increasing anthropogenic pressure. Mankind uses natural resources for its physical and spiritual demands so widely that undesirable effects appear not only in separate regions but embrace the whole biosphere as well. As a rule, such processes develop slowly. They have an irreversible character and to avoid them, preventive decisions are needed. For that purpose, comprehensive and systematic information on the state of the biosphere is needed.The integrated background monitoring system has been implemented and is in operation in the USSR. Structurally, the integrated background monitoring system is divided into three groups: background stations on land; background stations on fresh water; and background stations on inland and periphery seas.All of the data received from these stations are analyzed and correlated at the Natural Environment and Climate Monitoring Laboratory of the USSR State Committee for Hydrometeorology and Control of the Natural Environment, the USSR Academy of Sciences, and in other scientific institutes of the State Committee. The information serves for the assessment of the state of the environment, prediction of anthropogenic effects, and for evaluation of the measures taken to prevent pollution of the biosphere at national and international levels.The information is shared in a wide international exchange within the framework of several international organizations (UNEP, WMO, UNESCO, ECE, CMEA, and others) and of the bilateral agreements on cooperation in the field of environmental protection (USA, France, Sweden, FRG, CMEA Member Countries).

  19. From paid work to volunteerism during one case of natural disaster: interacting micro and macro level transitions.

    PubMed

    Brzozowski, Jennifer Colleen

    2013-01-01

    To examine micro and macro influences on transitions from paid work to volunteerism. Narrative life stories from the people of Chile after a natural disaster. Personal reflection on lived experiences in work transitions and theoretical concepts in occupational transitions. Tensions at the micro and macro levels influence transitions and decisions to make significant transitions in work. Unexpected and unanticipated work transitions open the door to personal reflection and in this case an individual's sense of perceived inaction on the institutional level directed action on the individual level. Thus, confirming suggestion that a dialectical relationship of mutual influence exists between micro and macro level occupational transitions when unanticipated major life and work transitions transpire.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. Who Studies STEM Subjects at a Level and Degree in England? An Investigation into the Intersections between Students' Family Background, Gender and Ethnicity in Determining Choice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Codiroli Mcmaster, Natasha

    2017-01-01

    The relative lack of students studying post-compulsory STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects is a key policy concern. A particular issue is the disparities in uptake by students' family background, gender and ethnicity. It remains unclear whether the relationship between student characteristics and choice can be…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. Understanding the Nature of Small Business. PACE Revised. Level 2. Unit 1. Research & Development Series No. 240BB1.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ashmore, M. Catherine; Pritz, Sandra G.

    This unit on understanding the nature of small business, the first in a series of 18 modules, is on the second level of the revised PACE (Program for Acquiring Competence in Entrepreneurship) comprehensive curriculum. Geared to advanced secondary and beginning postsecondary or adult students, the modules provide an opportunity to learn about and…

  10. 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…

  11. 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,…

  12. 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,…

  13. 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…

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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…

  16. 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)

  17. 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 ...

  18. '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.

  19. 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

  20. Signal Transduction at the Single-Cell Level: Approaches to Study the Dynamic Nature of Signaling Networks.

    PubMed

    Handly, L Naomi; Yao, Jason; Wollman, Roy

    2016-09-25

    Signal transduction, or how cells interpret and react to external events, is a fundamental aspect of cellular function. Traditional study of signal transduction pathways involves mapping cellular signaling pathways at the population level. However, population-averaged readouts do not adequately illuminate the complex dynamics and heterogeneous responses found at the single-cell level. Recent technological advances that observe cellular response, computationally model signaling pathways, and experimentally manipulate cells now enable studying signal transduction at the single-cell level. These studies will enable deeper insights into the dynamic nature of signaling networks. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Determination of natural 32P and 33P in rainwater, marine particles and plankton by low-level beta counting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waser, N. A.; Fleer, A. P.; Hammar, T. R.; Buesseler, K. O.; Bacon, M. P.

    1994-01-01

    Methods were developed for determining the natural levels of 32P and 33P in samples of rainwater, marine particulate matter and plankton. Preconcentration from rainwater consists of the extraction of radiophosphorus on alumina. Filtration of large volumes of seawater is required to obtain sufficient quantities of suspended particulate matter. The radiochemical scheme, which consists of a series of precipitations and a column separation, results in a pure source containing the two beta emitters. The activities of 32P and 33P in the source are determined separately by an external absorber method on low-level beta counters. The yields are monitored by the addition of stable phosphate in rainwater samples and by the natural levels of stable phosphate in marine particulate matter and plankton. The methods allow the specific activities and the activity ratio to be determined with a 10% precision.

  2. 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.

  3. [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.

  4. 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.

  5. Natural Assurance Scheme: A level playing field framework for Green-Grey infrastructure development.

    PubMed

    Denjean, Benjamin; Altamirano, Mónica A; Graveline, Nina; Giordano, Raffaele; van der Keur, Peter; Moncoulon, David; Weinberg, Josh; Máñez Costa, María; Kozinc, Zdravko; Mulligan, Mark; Pengal, Polona; Matthews, John; van Cauwenbergh, Nora; López Gunn, Elena; Bresch, David N

    2017-07-29

    This paper proposes a conceptual framework to systematize the use of Nature-based solutions (NBS) by integrating their resilience potential into Natural Assurance Scheme (NAS), focusing on insurance value as corner stone for both awareness-raising and valuation. As such one of its core goal is to align research and pilot projects with infrastructure development constraints and priorities. Under NAS, the integrated contribution of natural infrastructure to Disaster Risk Reduction is valued in the context of an identified growing need for climate robust infrastructure. The potential of NAS benefits and trade-off are explored by through the alternative lens of Disaster Resilience Enhancement (DRE). Such a system requires a joint effort of specific knowledge transfer from research groups and stakeholders to potential future NAS developers and investors. We therefore match the knowledge gaps with operational stages of the development of NAS from a project designer perspective. We start by highlighting the key role of the insurance industry in incentivizing and assessing disaster and slow onset resilience enhancement strategies. In parallel we place the public sector as potential kick-starters in DRE initiatives through the existing initiatives and constraints of infrastructure procurement. Under this perspective the paper explores the required alignment of Integrated Water resources planning and Public investment systems. Ultimately this will provide the possibility for both planners and investors to design no regret NBS and mixed Grey-Green infrastructures systems. As resources and constraints are widely different between infrastructure development contexts, the framework does not provide explicit methodological choices but presents current limits of knowledge and know-how. In conclusion the paper underlines the potential of NAS to ease the infrastructure gap in water globally by stressing the advantages of investment in the protection, enhancement and restoration of

  6. Quantitative hepatitis B core antibody levels in the natural history of hepatitis B virus infection.

    PubMed

    Song, L-W; Liu, P-G; Liu, C-J; Zhang, T-Y; Cheng, X-D; Wu, H-L; Yang, H-C; Hao, X-K; Yuan, Q; Zhang, J; Kao, J-H; Chen, D-S; Chen, P-J; Xia, N-S

    2015-02-01

    We previously demonstrated that pretreatment quantitative anti-hepatitis B core protein (qAnti-HBc) levels can predict the treatment response for both interferon and nucleoside analogue therapy, but the characteristics of qAnti-HBc during chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remain poorly understood. To understand this issue, the qAnti-HBc levels were evaluated in individuals with past HBV infection, occult HBV infection and chronic HBV infection in the immune tolerance phase, immune clearance phase, low-replicative phase and hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-negative hepatitis phase. Individuals with hepatitis B surface antigen (n = 598, 3.74 ± 0.90 log10 IU/mL) had significantly higher (p < 0.001, approximately 1000-fold) serum qAnti-HBc levels than those who had occult HBV, and serum qAnti-HBc levels were significantly higher in the occult HBV group than in the past HBV infection group (p < 0.001). qAnti-HBc levels were positively correlated with alanine aminotransferase levels (R = 0.663, p < 0.001), and subjects with an abnormal alanine aminotransferase level had a higher qAnti-HBc level (p < 0.001). Serum qAnti-HBc level varied in different phases of HBV infection, as determined by host immune status. Serum qAnti-HBc level is strongly associated with hepatitis activity in subjects with chronic HBV infection. Copyright © 2014 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Comparison of the effects of surgical and natural menopause on carotid intima media thickness, osteoporosis, and homocysteine levels.

    PubMed

    Özkaya, Enis; Cakir, Evrim; Okuyan, Erhan; Cakir, Caner; Ustün, Gülnihal; Küçüközkan, Tuncay

    2011-01-01

    Menopause is associated with increased cardiovascular risk factors. We designed this study to compare common carotid artery intima media thickness (IMT) and homocysteine level between women who had natural menopause and those who had surgical menopause and to correlate IMT, bone mineral density (BMD), and homocysteine level with time since menopause. Ninety healthy postmenopausal women aged 50 to 78 years who were not on hormone therapy (45 women who did not have a prior hysterectomy or oophorectomy and 45 women who had undergone hysterectomy with bilateral oophorectomy) were included in the study. B-mode ultrasonography of the carotid artery, BMD, and serum homocysteine level analysis were completed to evaluate the relationship between type of menopause, time since menopause, and subclinical atherosclerosis. Mean ± SD carotid artery IMT measurements were 0.72 ± 0.002 mm among women experiencing natural menopause and 0.88 ± 0.003 mm among women having bilateral oophorectomy (P = 0.002). After adjusting for time since menopause and age, the mean IMT also differed between the two groups: 0.76 ± 0.003 mm in the natural menopause group and 0.84 ± 0.003 mm in the bilateral oophorectomy group (P = 0.038). The age-adjusted carotid IMT was significantly positively associated with years since menopause (P = 0.001). Mean homocysteine measurements were 10.3 ± 5 μmol/L among women experiencing natural menopause and 9.1 ± 4 μmol/L among women who had bilateral oophorectomy (P = 0.216). Age-adjusted femur total, trochanter, and shaft BMDs were significantly lower in the surgical menopause group (P = 0.041, P = 0.034, and P = 0.046, respectively). Oophorectomy before natural menopause increases IMT but not homocysteine levels independent of age and time since menopause and is associated with lower BMD values after adjustment for age.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. [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.

  3. Quantifying the Industrial Facility-Level Emission Rate of Methane in Various Segments of the Natural Gas Industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herndon, S. C.; Roscioli, J. R.; Yacovitch, T. I.; Floerchinger, C. R.; Mitchell, A.; Tkacik, D. S.; Subramanian, R.; Robinson, A. L.; Martinez, D. M.; Vaughn, T. L.; Williams, L.; Zimmerle, D.; Marchese, A.

    2014-12-01

    Methane, the dominant component in natural gas, is a potent short-lived radiative forcer. Recent technological advances in the extraction of oil and gas have increased the production rate dramatically since early 2000. In the context of CO2 emissions per energy generated, natural gas promises a tantalizing thermodynamic advantage over coal and other hydrocarbons. Natural gas emissions to the atmosphere along the entire path from well to customer, however, can wipe out the radiative forcing advantage once they surpass a threshold fraction of distributed gas. Recent studies have been undertaken to assess the methane emissions at various types of facilities within different sectors of the oil and gas industry. The distribution of observed facility level emission rates along with other results and conclusions from those studies will be presented. The implications that these findings have on the emissions inventories from these sectors will be discussed.

  4. 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"…

  5. 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).

  6. Assessment of Myeloperoxidase and Nitric Levels around Dental Implants and Natural Teeth as a Marker of Inflammation: A Comparative Study.

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, Gayithri H; Jadhav, Prashant; Kulkarni, Kiran; Shinde, Sachin V; Patil, Yojana B; Kumar, Manish

    2016-11-01

    Dental implants form the mainstay of dental treatment involving rehabilitation of missing teeth. One of the major concerns for the clinicians doing dental implants is the postsurgical failure of dental implants. Success of dental implants is dependent upon the skills of the surgeon and the amount and quality of the bone remaining at the edentulous area where dental implant has to be placed. Myeloperoxidase (MPO) and nitrites are few of the enzymes and molecules which are said to be altered in inflammation. However, their exact role in the inflammatory processes around natural tooth and dental implant is still unclear. Hence we comparatively evaluated the levels of MPO and nitrites in the areas around the dental implants and natural teeth. The present study comprises 42 patients who underwent prosthetic rehabilitation by dental implants from 2011 to 2014. Depth of probing value (DP), score of plaque index (SPI), gingival index (GI), and index of gingival bleeding time (GBT) were evaluated for the assessment of the periimplant soft tissue changes. Assessment of inflammation around the dental implant surface and around natural tooth was done based on the readings of these parameters. For the measurement of the MPO levels, spectrophotometric MPO assay was used. All the results were analyzed by Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software. The mean plaque index values were 1.56 and 0.97 in periodontitis cases of natural teeth and inflamed cases of dental implants respectively. While comparing mean plaque index, mean probing depth, and mean gingival bleeding index in between the two groups, significant difference was obtained. Mean MPO concentration in periodontitis and gingivitis cases in natural teeth were 0.683 and 0.875 U/μL, while in inflamed dental implant cases, the mean value was 0.622 U/μL. While comparing the total MPO levels, total nitrite levels, and total nitrite concentration in between two study groups, significant difference was obtained

  7. Extreme levels of the lake Khanka: natural variations or antropogenics impact?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolgov, Mikhail; Korobkina, Elena

    2017-04-01

    In report factors and regularities of forming of water balance of the trans boundary Lake Khanka in which water levels reached extreme values for all period of observations in recent years are considered. The task of the analysis and forecasting of fluctuations of level is solved by means of probabilistic models a components of its water balance and dynamic-stochastic modeling of the hydrological regime of the lake. It is shown that the important factor influencing the hydrological regime of the Lake Khanka are anthropogenous changes of water resources as a result of development of the irrigated agriculture, especially on the Chinese part of the watershed. Assessment of a role of the created technical systems in extreme rise in level of the lake, and efficiency of possible actions for decrease in risk of flooding of the coastal territories, is executed by method of multiple imitating experiments with model of hydrological system of the lake.

  8. The nature of the Fe-graphene interface at the nanometer level

    SciTech Connect

    Cattelan, Mattia Artiglia, Luca; Favaro, Marco; Agnoli, Stefano Granozzi, Gaetano; Peng, Guowen; Roling, Luke T.; Mavrikakis, Manos; Cavaliere, Emanuele; Gavioli, Luca; Barinov, Alexey; Píš, Igor; Nappini, Silvia; Magnano, Elena; Bondino, Federica

    2016-07-27

    The emerging fields of graphene-based magnetic and spintronic devices require a deep understanding of the interface between graphene and ferromagnetic metals. This work reports a detailed investigation at the nanometer level of the Fe–graphene interface carried out by angle-resolved photoemission, high-resolution photoemission from core levels, and scanning tunnelling microscopy. Quasi-freestanding graphene was grown on Pt(111), and the iron film was either deposited atop or intercalated beneath graphene. Calculations and experimental results show that iron strongly modifies the graphene band structure and lifts its π band spin degeneracy.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Influences of High-Level Features, Gaze, and Scene Transitions on the Reliability of BOLD Responses to Natural Movie Stimuli.

    PubMed

    Lu, Kun-Han; Hung, Shao-Chin; Wen, Haiguang; Marussich, Lauren; Liu, Zhongming

    2016-01-01

    Complex, sustained, dynamic, and naturalistic visual stimulation can evoke distributed brain activities that are highly reproducible within and across individuals. However, the precise origins of such reproducible responses remain incompletely understood. Here, we employed concurrent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and eye tracking to investigate the experimental and behavioral factors that influence fMRI activity and its intra- and inter-subject reproducibility during repeated movie stimuli. We found that widely distributed and highly reproducible fMRI responses were attributed primarily to the high-level natural content in the movie. In the absence of such natural content, low-level visual features alone in a spatiotemporally scrambled control stimulus evoked significantly reduced degree and extent of reproducible responses, which were mostly confined to the primary visual cortex (V1). We also found that the varying gaze behavior affected the cortical response at the peripheral part of V1 and in the oculomotor network, with minor effects on the response reproducibility over the extrastriate visual areas. Lastly, scene transitions in the movie stimulus due to film editing partly caused the reproducible fMRI responses at widespread cortical areas, especially along the ventral visual pathway. Therefore, the naturalistic nature of a movie stimulus is necessary for driving highly reliable visual activations. In a movie-stimulation paradigm, scene transitions and individuals' gaze behavior should be taken as potential confounding factors in order to properly interpret cortical activity that supports natural vision.

  12. Migration of impurity level reflected in the electrical conductivity variation for natural pyrite at high temperature and high pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Kaixiang; Dai, Lidong; Li, Heping; Hu, Haiying; Wu, Lei; Zhuang, Yukai; Pu, Chang; Yang, Linfei

    2017-06-01

    This report presents the variations of the electrical conductivity and the migration of natural pyrite impurity levels at temperatures range from 298 to 573 K and pressures range from 1 atm. to 20.9 GPa. The electrical conductivity increases with temperature at a fixed pressure, displaying the semiconductor behavior of the sample. In spite of the positive correlations of electrical conductivity and pressure, there exists an acceleration in the rate of conductivity increase after 13 GPa. No indication of a chemical reaction or structural phase transition of pyrite was detected by Raman spectroscopy. The main trace elements that affect the electrical properties of pyrite are determined by inductively coupled plasma with mass spectrometry (ICPMS). The transport activation energy of natural pyrite is 0.045 eV at ambient pressure, which corresponds to the activation of the CoFe donor level ( 1/2 E D), and decreases with increasing pressure.

  13. Probing the Natural World, Level III, Teacher's Edition: Winds and Weather. 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 eight units of the Intermediate Science Curriculum Study (ISCS) for level III students (grade 9). This unit focuses on weather, its measurement and prediction. Optional excursions are given for students who wish to study a topic in greater depth on an individualized basis. An introduction describes the…

  14. Probing the Natural World, Level III, Student Guide: Winds and Weather. 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 of the units of the Intermediate Science Curriculum Study (ISCS) for level III students (grade 9). The chapters contain basic information about weather, its measurement and predictions, activities related to the subject, and optional excursions. A section of introductory notes to the student discusses how to use…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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.…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Probing the Natural World, Level III, Student Guide: Environmental Science. Intermediate Science Curriculum Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    This is the student's edition of one of the Intermediate Science Curriculum Study (ISCS) units for level III students (grade 9). The chapters contain basic information about environmental pollution and hazards, activities related to the subject, and optional excursions. A section on introductory notes to the student discusses how to use the book…

  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, 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. The Nature of Global Large-scale Sea Level Variability in Relation to Atmospheric Forcing: A Modeling Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fukumori, I.; Raghunath, R.; Fu, L. L.

    1996-01-01

    The relation between large-scale sea level variability and ocean circulation is studied using a numerical model. A global primitive equaiton model of the ocean is forced by daily winds and climatological heat fluxes corresponding to the period from January 1992 to February 1996. The physical nature of the temporal variability from periods of days to a year, are examined based on spectral analyses of model results and comparisons with satellite altimetry and tide gauge measurements.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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),…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  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. The nature of the Fe–graphene interface at the nanometer level

    SciTech Connect

    Cattelan, M.; Peng, G. W.; Cavaliere, E.; Artiglia, L.; Barinov, A.; Roling, L. T.; Favaro, M.; Pis, I.; Nappini, S.; Magnano, E.; Bondino, F.; Gavioli, L.; Agnoli, Stefano; Mavrikakis, M.; Granozzi, G.

    2014-12-22

    The emerging fields of graphene-based magnetic and spintronic devices require a deep understanding of the interface between graphene and ferromagnetic metals. This paper reports a detailed investigation at the nanometer level of the Fe–graphene interface carried out by angle-resolved photoemission, high-resolution photoemission from core levels, near edge X-ray absorption fine structure, scanning tunnelling microscopy and spin polarized density functional theory calculations. Quasi-free-standing graphene was grown on Pt(111), and the iron film was either deposited atop or intercalated beneath graphene. Here, calculations and experimental results show that iron strongly modifies the graphene band structure and lifts its π band spin degeneracy.

  15. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Evaluation of the effects of dexamethasone-induced stress on levels of natural antibodies in immunized laying hens.

    PubMed

    Cecchini, Stefano; Rossetti, Michele; Tomaso, Francesco Di; Caputo, Anna Rocchina

    2016-09-01

    Natural antibodies (NAb) are an important humoral component of innate immunity, playing a pivotal role as first line of defence against pathogens even without prior antigen-specific activation or antigen-driven selection. The levels of NAb in plasma of young laying hens were explored in more detail and identified 2,4,6-trinitrophenyl bovine serum albumin (TNP-BSA), as the non-self antigen showing the highest levels of IgΥ- and IgM-NAb. Subsequently, the relation between specific antibody (SpAb) levels and NAb levels, and the effect of dexamethasone (DEX)-induced stress on the acquired Ab response and on NAb levels were examined. According to obtained results, the affinity of NAb and SpAb, measured using the thiocyanate elution method, resulted higher in SpAb than in NAb. After stress induction, IgM-NAb and SpAb levels showed a transient decrease, whereas the levels of IgΥ-NAb were not changed. Moreover, statistical analysis showed positive correlations between IgΥ- and IgM-NAb levels and between IgM-NAb and SpAb levels that are lost as stress has been induced, whereas no correlation was observed between IgΥ-NAb and SpAb levels, neither before nor after the DEX-administration. This indicates that IgM-NAb assessment could be a valid tool to estimate the potential of the acquired Ab response and that the dexamethasone-induced stress condition causes depression of IgM-NAb levels and the acquired Ab response, but it has no evaluable effects on IgΥ-NAb levels. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Metabolic engineering of seeds can achieve levels of omega-7 fatty acids comparable with the highest levels found in natural plant sources.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Huu Tam; Mishra, Girish; Whittle, Edward; Pidkowich, Mark S; Bevan, Scott A; Merlo, Ann Owens; Walsh, Terence A; Shanklin, John

    2010-12-01

    Plant oils containing ω-7 fatty acids (FAs; palmitoleic 16:1Δ(9) and cis-vaccenic 18:1Δ(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 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 16:1Δ(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 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.