Science.gov

Sample records for level natural background

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Fornalski, Krzysztof W.; Feinendegen, Ludwig E.

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Comparison of selection methods to deduce natural background levels for groundwater units.

    PubMed

    Griffioen, Jasper; Passier, Hilde F; Klein, Janneke

    2008-07-01

    Establishment of natural background levels (NBL) for groundwater is commonly performed to serve as reference when assessing the contamination status of groundwater units. We compare various selection methods to establish NBLs using groundwater quality data for four hydrogeologically different areas in the highly populated and developed subcatchment Western River Rhine, The Netherlands: selection of old groundwater (before 1945), of tritium-free groundwater (i.e., infiltrated before 1950), and of groundwater having no agricultural contamination by NO3 and SO4. Differences as well as similarities in percentile values for Cl, NH4, and SO4 concentrations are observed among the selection methods as well as the spatial units, pointing out that selection of the data setis a crucial step in deducing NBLs. The following general points of attention are deduced: (1) reference to composition of recharge water (rain or river infiltrate) is necessary to confirm the statistical outcomes, (2) old analyses are affected by conservation errors after sampling for redox-sensitive solutes and may be obtained by selective sampling, (3) old analyses are the only direct reference for NBLs for groundwater units having only anthropogenically influenced, young groundwater at present, and (4) establishment of a priori percentile values as maximum NBL is not right and confirmation by additional process-based insight in the controls on water composition is necessary.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  7. Teaching about Natural Background Radiation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Background level care.

    PubMed

    Pitts, N B

    2009-01-01

    The framework enabled by the International Caries Detection and Assessment System to allow appropriate, patient-centred caries management includes a frequently encountered scenario in which a comprehensive assessment of the teeth and the patient reveals no lesions in need of active preventive or operative care. The issue addressed here is: what background care is appropriate for patients attending a dental practice for routine caries care who, at present, appear to have no active or progressing caries lesions? It is proposed that, in addition to the use of criteria for lesion extent, treatment planning systems should also express the results of lesion assessments in terms of background level care (BLC), preventive treatment options and operative treatment options. The specific treatment options recommended for specific lesions and patients will depend upon a variety of other factors, including lesion activity, monitoring lesion behaviour over time and a range of other prognostic factors. Over recent decades, there has been comparatively little focus on appropriate BLC in a general practice setting. There are a range of issues around the need to support caries prevention and health maintenance from a behavioural and patient-focussed perspective. Even if a patient is deemed to be at low risk of future caries at a particular examination, there is a need for maintenance care. Intrinsic issues which need to be managed for both patients and their caries lesions in this patient group are: (1) the possibility of a change in caries risk status and (2) the impact of incorrect lesion assessments/diagnoses.

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2015-09-22

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-09-22

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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. PMID:27371772

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Plutonium measurements near background levels

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-01-01

    The Rocky Flats Plant (RFP) is part of a nationwide nuclear weapons research, development, and production complex administered by the United States Department of Energy (DOE). Low-levels of environmental Plutonium occurs in and about RFP as a result of plant operations. Plutonium is a key element in remediation investigations and surface water discharge limits. Most of the plutonium analyses at RFP measure concentrations at or near background levels. Measurements often show little, if any, plutonium in the media being sampled, except at known contamination sites. Many plutonium results are less than the calculated minimum detectable-level (MDL). (MDL is an a priori estimate of the activity concentration that can be practically achieved under a specified set of typical measurement conditions.) This paper investigates the relationship between plutonium concentrations and the counting uncertainty when measurements are near background, and suggests why the MDL should not be used as a criteria for limiting data. Issues with defining site background and determining attainment of standards are presented.

  17. Plutonium measurements near background levels

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-08-01

    The Rocky Flats Plant (RFP) is part of a nationwide nuclear weapons research, development, and production complex administered by the United States Department of Energy (DOE). Low-levels of environmental Plutonium occurs in and about RFP as a result of plant operations. Plutonium is a key element in remediation investigations and surface water discharge limits. Most of the plutonium analyses at RFP measure concentrations at or near background levels. Measurements often show little, if any, plutonium in the media being sampled, except at known contamination sites. Many plutonium results are less than the calculated minimum detectable-level (MDL). (MDL is an a priori estimate of the activity concentration that can be practically achieved under a specified set of typical measurement conditions.) This paper investigates the relationship between plutonium concentrations and the counting uncertainty when measurements are near background, and suggests why the MDL should not be used as a criteria for limiting data. Issues with defining site background and determining attainment of standards are presented.

  18. 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

  19. Natural-background-oriented schlieren imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hargather, Michael John; Settles, Gary S.

    2010-01-01

    The background-oriented schlieren (BOS) flow visualization method has the potential for large-scale flow imaging outside the laboratory by using natural backgrounds instead of the artificial patterns normally used indoors. The natural surroundings of an outdoor test site can sometimes be used as such a background, subject to criteria of fine scale, randomness and contrast that are developed here. Some natural backgrounds are more appropriate than others for a given application. Backgrounds used here to visualize both high- and low-speed schlieren disturbances include a sunlit cornfield and a backlit grove of trees. A range of image post-processing methods is considered for qualitative BOS. It is found that high sensitivity and a broad measuring range are in conflict here, much as they are in traditional schlieren instruments. Applications of natural-BOS include explosive characterization, firearms and artillery testing, chemical and natural-gas leak detection, and related phenomena.

  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. 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. PMID:27085474

  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. Extraction of Faces of More Than One Person From Natural Background Based on The Certainty Level Given to The Face Like Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikeda, Misuzu; Ebine, Hideyuki; Nakamura, Osamu

    In general, it is very difficult to extract human faces from a natural background. In conventional methods, several conditions, such as the number of people included in a picture, the size of a face or the texture of the background are assumed. In this paper, the extracting method of faces from more than one person’s facial area with a natural background is presented, however, in the proposed method, such conditions described above are not supposed. In this system, a facial area is extracted using only the information of skin color at the first frame. After the second frame, the facial area is extracted based on the moving information of a face in addition to the color information. Computer simulation using 605 frames shows more than 85% extracting accuracy. From the experimental results, the prospects of using this method for the human face identification, image coding or the recognition of facial expressions are very encouraging.

  4. Background noise levels in PC home environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doherty, Rina; Salskov, Eric; Corriveau, Philip J.; Sorenson, Paul; Gabel, Doug; Beltman, Willem M.

    2005-09-01

    A study was designed and conducted to determine the background noise levels in the home environment. This is an important factor in determining the acoustic performance of the computing devices that go into these environments. A specialized methodology was developed and measurements were carried out in homes in the United States, Sweden, Germany, and China. The sound levels in three rooms in 15-18 homes in each country were collected over 24-h periods. The results indicated that the background noise levels ranged between 30 and 40 dBA across the four countries. Variations in the background noise levels between the different rooms in the homes were minimal. No significant variations were found between home types (detached, semi-detached, and apartment) and community types (urban, suburban). However, European homes were quieter than United States and Chinese homes. The variations between countries were statistically significant. In addition to the background noise levels, the acoustical characteristics of the rooms were measured. The results indicated that the reverberation radius was typically below 1 m and was fairly consistent between geographies.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 ...

  7. An evaluation of background levels and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in naturally spawned embryos of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) from Puget Sound, Washington, USA.

    PubMed

    West, James E; O'Neill, Sandra M; Ylitalo, Gina M; Incardona, John P; Doty, Daniel C; Dutch, Margaret E

    2014-11-15

    Pacific herring embryos spawned in nearshore habitats may be exposed to toxic contaminants as they develop, from exogenous sources in spawning habitats and from maternal transfer. Determining baseline concentrations of these toxic contaminants is important for evaluating the health of this species, especially during this sensitive life stage. In this study we compared concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, in naturally spawned herring embryos from five spawning areas across Puget Sound. The summed values of 31 PAH analytes (Σ31PAH) in early- to late-stage development embryos ranged from 1.1 to 140 ng/g, wet weight. Σ31PAH concentrations increased with development time in embryos from one spawning area where the greatest concentrations were observed, and the relative abundance of PAH chemicals in late-stage embryos was similar to those in nearby sediments, suggesting accumulation from local environmental sources. PAHs in both sediments and late-stage embryos appeared to exhibit a pyrogenic pattern. Although maternal transfer of PAHs appeared to be a negligible source to embryos in spawning areas with the greatest embryo PAH concentrations, maternal transfer may have been the dominant source in embryos from spawning areas where the lowest levels of embryo-PAHs occurred. Chronic embryo mortality has been reported in spawning habitats where we observed the greatest concentration of PAHs in embryos, and necrotic tissue in herring embryos from one such location was similar in description to phototoxic PAH necrosis reported elsewhere for embryonic zebrafish.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-03-01

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Background levels of microelements in soils of Italy.

    PubMed

    Bini, C; Dall'aglio, M; Ferretti, O; Gragnani, R

    1988-06-01

    A systematic survey on the distribution of geochemically and texicologically relevant trace elements in the soils of Italy was carried out on 32 soil profiles, developed in different environmental and pedological conditions. The aim of this study was to collect basic information on the background levels of trace elements, their geochemical behaviour and the relationships between weathering and pedogenetic processes. The statistically processed analytical results led to the following conclusions: (i) Trace element distribution in the profiles studied is consistent with pedochemical behaviour and rock lithology. A comparison with the world soil means shows that there are no significant differences, except for those elements largely utilised in agriculture (Cu, Zn) or, because of pollution, (Pd, Cd), or natural accumulation (Ni, Cr); (ii) data processing by cluster analysis shows marked correlations between some elements, for example, Al-V, Ni-Cr, Mn-Co. Groups of geochemically homogeneous samples, which correspond to the great soil families characteristic of each pedological landscape, are also indicated; (iii) evidence of soil contamination is provided by the high levels of some elements, especially in the A horizon. Cu and Zn seem to be concentrated in the Ap horizon of cultivated soils, while Pd and Cd may be derived from the atmosphere.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Measurement of natural background radiation intensity on a train.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yen-Fu; Lin, Jeng-Wei; Sheu, Rong-Jiun; Lin, Uei-Tyng; Jiang, Shiang-Huei

    2011-03-01

    This work aims to measure different components of natural background radiation on a train. A radiation measurement system consisting of four types of radiation detectors, namely, a Berkeley Lab cosmic-ray detector, moderated (3)He detector, high-pressure ionisation chamber and NaI(Tl) spectrometer, associated with a global positioning system unit was established for this purpose. For the commissioning of the system, a test measurement on a train along the railway around the northern Taiwan coast from Hsinchu to Hualien with a distance of ∼ 275 km was carried out. No significant variation of the intensities of the different components of natural background radiation was observed, except when the train went underground or in the tunnels. The average external dose rate received by the crew of the train was estimated to be 62 nSv h(-1).

  14. Dynamic 4-dimensional microscope system with automated background leveling.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, Goldie; Creath, Katherine

    2012-09-13

    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. PMID:25309097

  15. 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.

  16. Simulation of natural radioactivity backgrounds in the JUNO central detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xin-Ying; Deng, Zi-Yan; Wen, Liang-Jian; Li, Wei-Dong; You, Zheng-Yun; Yu, Chun-Xu; Zhang, Yu-Mei; Lin, Tao

    2016-02-01

    The Jiangmen Underground Neutrino Observatory (JUNO) is an experiment proposed to determine the neutrino mass hierarchy and probe the fundamental properties of neutrino oscillation. The JUNO central detector is a spherical liquid scintillator detector with 20 kton fiducial mass. It is required to achieve a energy resolution with very low radioactive background, which is a big challenge to the detector design. In order to ensure the detector performance can meet the physics requirements, reliable detector simulation is necessary to provide useful information for the detector design. A simulation study of natural radioactivity backgrounds in the JUNO central detector has been performed to guide the detector design and set requirements for the radio-purity of the detector materials. The accidental background induced by natural radioactivity in the JUNO central detector is 1.1/day. The result is satisfied for the experiment. Supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA10010900), CAS Center for Excellence in Particle Physics (CCEPP), National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Large-Scale Scientific Facility Program, Joint Large-Scale Scientific Facility Funds of NSFC and CAS (U1332201)

  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. Background-oriented schlieren with natural background for quantitative visualization of open-air explosions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mizukaki, T.; Wakabayashi, K.; Matsumura, T.; Nakayama, K.

    2014-01-01

    This study describes an attempt of quantitative visualization of open-air explosions via the background-oriented schlieren method (BOS). The shock wave propagation curve and overpressure distribution were extracted from the obtained images and compared with the results of the numerical analysis. The potential of extracting the density distribution behind the shock front is also demonstrated. Two open-air explosions were conducted; one with a -kg emulsion explosive and the other with a -kg composition C4 explosive. A high-speed digital video camera was used with a frame rate of and a pixel size of . A natural background, including trees and grass, was used for BOS measurements instead of the random dots used in a laboratory. The overpressure distribution given by the passing shock was estimated from the visualized images. The estimated overpressures agreed with the values recorded by pressure transducers in the test field. The background displacement caused by light diffraction inside the spherical shock waves was in good agreement, except at the shock front. The results shown here suggest that the BOS method for open-air experiments could provide increasingly better quantitative and conventional visualization results with increasing spatial resolution of high-speed cameras.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Natural background radioactive carbon and the natural death rate of people.

    PubMed

    Germanskaia, Anna A

    2006-01-01

    A brief analysis of the known data on the potential danger of radiocarbon incorporation into DNA structure shows that the great genetic importance of transmutational transformations of DNA-incorporated 14C is theoretically and experimentally proved. This effect exists both in huge and small radiation doses (similar to doses of 14C natural background radiation). Therefore, the human death rate can be assumed to be dependent on natural and anthropogenous fluctuations of atmospheric 14C. Calculation methods of the age parameter dynamics of the natural human death rate are offered. It is shown that when calculating the parameters of the natural death rate, the use of Gompertz's formula is reasonable provided that the data on the general death rate are taken for the age interval "60 to 85 years." The ratios reflecting the regular and casual errors of the parameters R and a of Gompertz's equation, caused by people's casual deaths, were determined. A comparison of the historical dynamics of people's natural death rates in the last 150 years with the variations of 14C of the natural background during the same period showed that these are coordinated phenomena, the strong correlation of which indicates the possibility of their functional dependence. The 14C-concentration increase in an organism is the result of its increase in the surrounding biospheric composition, causing an increase in the natural death rate and vice versa: The increase of a person's life expectancy is caused by a decrease of 14C concentration. PMID:16706659

  2. 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. PMID:20087726

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Social Studies: Their Nature and Potential. Background Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wronski, Stanley P.

    The nature of the social studies and their international dimensions are examined. Discussion focuses on the definition of the social studies and the role of knowledge and ways of knowing in the social studies. In contrast to the social sciences, the social studies are designed primarily for instructional purposes. They include the substantive…

  6. 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.

  7. Background neutron spectrum at 2420 m above sea level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vega-Carrillo, Hector Rene; Manzanares-Acuña, Eduardo

    2004-05-01

    The ambient neutron spectrum was measured in-doors at ground level in Zacatecas Mexico at 2420 m above sea level. A Bonner sphere spectrometer with a 6LiI(Eu) scintillator was used to obtain the neutron spectrum. With the spectrum the ambient dose equivalent was calculated using the ICRP 74 neutron fluence-to-dose conversion factors. The neutron fluence rate was 65±3 cm -2 h -1, producing 13.7±0.6 nSv h -1 due to ambient dose equivalent.

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Natural Artificial Languages: Low-Level Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perlman, Gary

    This paper explores languages for communicating precise ideas within limited domains, which include mathematical notation and general purpose and high level computer programming languages. Low-level properties of such natural artificial languages are discussed, with emphasis on those in which names are chosen for concepts and symbols are chosen…

  13. Natural background visibility and regional haze goals in the Southeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Tombach, Ivar; Brewer, Patricia

    2005-11-01

    The goal of the regional haze mitigation program in the United States is to attain "natural conditions" in national parks and wilderness areas by 2064. Results of research investigations on background concentrations of sea salt and biogenic organic matter, of episodic Saharan and Asian dust, and of carbon from natural fires were reviewed to provide a basis for making site-specific estimates of what the concentrations of atmospheric fine particulate matter components might be under natural conditions in the Southeastern United States. Based on this review, rough estimates were made of potential contributions of these aerosol components to natural background visibility. Natural organic particles were the dominant influence on the rate of visibility improvement required to reach natural conditions at an inland, mountainous location, and organic particles and sea salt were the dominant influences on the rate at a coastal location. African dust also had a large episodic effect, but the current regulatory approach is not designed to address episodic background variations. Insufficient data exist to quantify the contributions of wildfires with any detail, although global air pollution modeling provides insight, and their emissions can be locally dominant. Conservative regional refinements to the default natural background estimates do not greatly alter the region-wide rates of reduction of ambient particulate matter concentrations that will be needed to accomplish the first phase of the regional haze program. However, refinements at specific Class I areas may have considerable influence on defining the nature (magnitude and spatial and temporal distribution) of local emission reduction efforts there.

  14. Potential health risk in areas with high naturally-occurring cadmium background in southwestern China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yizhang; Xiao, Tangfu; Baveye, Philippe C; Zhu, Jianming; Ning, Zengping; Li, Huajun

    2015-02-01

    In various parts of the world, high cadmium (Cd) concentrations in environment are not related to anthropogenic contamination but have natural origins. Less is known about health risks that arise under these conditions. This study aimed to discuss the pollution of Cd with natural sources, and to investigate the concentration of Cd in food crops and the urine of inhabitants in an area of southwestern China. The results showed that the arable soils are moderately contaminated by Cd (I(geo)=1.51) relative to the local background, with a high ecological risk (Er=218). The chemical fractions of Cd in soils with natural sources are probably controlled by parent materials and mostly in residual phase. The average Cd concentrations were 0.68 mg kg(-1) (fresh weight) in local vegetables, 0.04 mg kg(-1) in rice, and 0.14 μg L(-1) in water. Leafy vegetable tends to accumulate more Cd than the other crops. The calculated Target Hazard Quotient (THQ) had a much higher value (4.33) for Cd, suggesting that Cd represents a significant potential risk to the local population. The urinary Cd concentrations (mean at 3.92 μg L(-1) for male and 4.85 μg L(-1) for female) of inhabitants in the study area were significantly higher (p<0.05) than those from the control area (mean at 0.8 μg L(-1) for male and 0.42 μg L(-1) for female). Male and female test subjects had similar urinary Cd levels (p>0.05), but age seemed to lead to an increase in Cd in the urine. These findings show that naturally-occurring Cd in local soils is taken up appreciably by local food crops, and that dietary exposure of Cd through vegetable ingestion is a major exposure pathway for local populations, and a potential risk to public health in the study area.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurnaz, Aslı; Türkdoǧan, Savaş; Hançerlioǧulları, Aybaba; ćetiner, M. Atıf

    2016-03-01

    This paper presents the measurement results of environmental radioactivity levels for İnebolu district (tourist area), Kastamonu-Turkey. The radioactivity concentrations of 238U, 232Th, 40K and the fission product 137Cs 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Application Of The Thermoluminescent Dosemeters For The Measurement Of Low Level Background

    SciTech Connect

    Stochioiu, Ana I.; Sahagia, Maria C.; Mihai, Felicia S.; Tudor, Ion L.; Lupescu, Henrieta I.

    2007-04-23

    The results obtained in the measurement of the low level radiation background by using a thermoluminescent (TL) system, in a former salt mine, designed to be used as an underground laboratory , are presented.

  1. 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

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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

  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. PMID:27065388

  4. 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.

  5. Natural background groundwater composition in the Azores archipelago (Portugal): a hydrogeochemical study and threshold value determination.

    PubMed

    Cruz, J V; Andrade, C

    2015-07-01

    Groundwater discharges were sampled in selected springs from São Miguel (Furnas and Fogo trachytic central volcanoes) and Santa Maria islands (Azores, Portugal), in order to characterize natural background levels (NBLs) and proceed to the determination of threshold values (TVs). Besides being a key issue in order to fully assess the anthropogenic pressures, NBLs are also instrumental to derive TVs, therefore complying with requirements from the European Union Groundwater Directive. The composition of groundwater corresponds mainly to low mineralized Na-HCO3 to Na-Cl water types, the latter dominant in Santa Maria island, with a decreasing order of Na>Ca>Mg>K and Cl>HCO3>SO4>NO3 for cations and anion respectively. The majority of the samples are slightly acid to slightly alkaline (pH range of 5.45-7.43), and the electrical conductivity range between 180 and 1458 μS/cm. Groundwater composition is controlled by two major drivers, addition of sea salts and dissolution of silicate minerals. Results shown that TVs established along the present study are in general in the lower rank when compared to the range of values proposed by the several EU member states, with the main exception of NO3, reflecting the impact of agriculture activities over water quality in the Azores, and lower than the national ones. The comparison between the estimated NBL and TV with values derived with another dataset from the Azores, usually higher, depicts the effect of a larger and diverse number of groundwater sources over calculations. On the other hand, all samples which show a contribution from volcanic/hydrothermal systems were excluded from the dataset, which explains why the derived NBLs and TVs are lower comparing to other active volcanic areas, which is also a conservative approach on a subject that has regulatory implications. PMID:25813965

  6. Acceptance of background noise as a function of speech presentation level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franklin, Clifford A.; Nabelek, Anna K.; Burchfield, Samuel B.

    2003-04-01

    The acceptance of background noise while listening to speech (ANL) at different speech presentation levels was assessed. Twenty listeners (10 male) between 18-30 years with normal hearing listened to a narrative at speech presentation levels of 20, 34, 48, 62, and 76 dB HL, then adjusted the background noise to the highest intensity level that they would be willing to accept for an extended listening period. The ANL is the intensity of the speech presentation level minus the intensity level of the background noise. The group mean ANLs for presentation levels of 20, 34, 48, 62, and 76 dB HL were 10.60, 14.25, 17.10, 21.80, and 24.55 dB, respectively. The group mean ANLs differ by approximately three and one half decibels between each presentation level. This difference between adjacent speech presentation levels is representative of a linear function. The average MCL was 43 dB HL with a standard deviation of 6.7 dB. The group mean ANL for speech presented at MCL was 15.5 dB with a standard deviation of 7.27 dB. A MANOVA for repeated measures indicated a statistically significant main effect for speech presentation level (F=18.624, p=0.001). [Work partially supported by NIDCD (NIH) R01 DC 05018.

  7. The nature of the near-infrared interline sky background using fibre Bragg grating OH suppression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trinh, Christopher Q.; Ellis, Simon C.; Bland-Hawthorn, Joss; Horton, Anthony J.; Lawrence, Jon S.; Leon-Saval, Sergio G.

    2013-07-01

    We analyse the near-infrared interline sky background, OH and O2 emission in 19 h of H-band observations with the GNOSIS OH-suppression unit and the IRIS2 spectrograph at the 3.9-m Anglo-Australian Telescope. We find that the long-term behaviour of OH emission is best described by a gradual decrease during the first half of the night followed by a gradual increase during the second half of the night following the behaviour of the solar elevation angle. We measure the interline background at 1.520 μm where the instrumental thermal background is very low and study its variation with zenith distance, time after sunset, ecliptic latitude, lunar zenith distance and lunar distance to determine the presence of non-thermal atmospheric emission, zodiacal scattered light and scattered moonlight. Zodiacal scattered light is too faint to be detected in the summed observations. Scattered moonlight due to Mie scattering by atmospheric aerosols is seen at small lunar distances (ρ ≲ 11°), but is otherwise too faint to detect. Except at very small lunar distances the interline background at a resolving power of R ≈ 2400 when using OH-suppression fibres is dominated by a non-thermal atmospheric source with a temporal behaviour that resembles atmospheric OH emission, suggesting that the interline background contains instrumentally scattered OH. However, the interline background dims more rapidly than OH early in the night, suggesting contributions from rapid dimming molecules. The absolute interline background is 560 ± 120 photons s-1 m-2 μm- 1 arcsec-2 under dark conditions. This value is similar to previous measurements without OH suppression, suggesting that non-suppressed atmospheric emission is responsible for the interline background level. Future OH-suppression fibre designs may address this by the suppression of more sky lines using more accurate sky-line measurements taken from high-resolution spectra.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Empirical Confirmation of the Critical Level for Zero and Near Zero Background Measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Hickman, D P; Simpson, T

    2001-06-01

    The alpha spectroscopy system of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Hazards Control Department evaluates electroplated samples, typically urine and feces, for alpha emitting radionuclides. Most of the samples processed by the alpha spectroscopy system are evaluated for Plutonium-239 (Pu-239), an important radionuclide used in research. This paper evaluates the Pu-239 background response of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Hazards Control Department's alpha spectroscopy system. Background measurements of the alpha spectroscopy system have been studied to determine an appropriate method for establishing the a postori critical level for detection of plutonium alpha activity. Several methods of establishing the 95% confidence interval for over 4,900 background measurements were evaluated. Two methods appear to provide reasonable results so as to assure an appropriate 95% confidence interval. This report provides the results of this evaluation and the comparison of the various methods tested to establish an empirical evaluation of the critical level using a commercially available analysis program.

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:22392615

  16. Population study in the high natural background radiation area in Kerala, India.

    PubMed

    Nair, M K; Nambi, K S; Amma, N S; Gangadharan, P; Jayalekshmi, P; Jayadevan, S; Cherian, V; Reghuram, K N

    1999-12-01

    A comprehensive survey of the population exposed to high-level natural radiation is presented. The population living in Karunagappally taluk in Kerala, India, presents a unique opportunity for studies on the health effects of chronic exposure to low-level radiation. The environmental radiation emanates largely from the thorium deposited mostly along coastal areas. In certain locations on the coast, it is as high as 70 mGy/year and on average is 7.5 times the level seen in interior areas. Using portable scintillometers, radiation levels in more than 66,306 houses were measured; outside levels were also measured in the same house compound. Of the total population of 400,000, 100,000 lived in areas with high natural radiation. Information on lifestyle, socio-demographic features, occupation, housing, residence history, and tobacco and alcohol use was obtained by house-to-house visits and enumeration of every resident individual. A population cancer registry system has been established to obtain cancer incidence rates. In this preliminary analysis, there is no evidence that cancer occurrence is consistently higher because of the levels of external gamma-radiation exposure in the area. Further dosimetry-level studies are needed along with biological studies. Studies of soil, thoron-in-breath, and the radon-thoron levels in houses are ongoing, and further case-control analyses are continuing.

  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. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Car-borne survey of natural background gamma dose rate in Çanakkale region, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Turhan, S; Arıkan, I H; Oğuz, F; Özdemir, T; Yücel, B; Varinlioğlu, A; Köse, A

    2012-01-01

    Natural background gamma radiation was measured along roads in the environs of Çanakkale region by using a car-borne spectrometer system with a plastic gamma radiation detector. In addition, activity concentrations of ²³⁸U, ²²⁶Ra, ²³²Th and ⁴⁰K in soil samples from the Çanakkale region were determined by using a gamma spectrometer with an HPGe detector. A total of 92,856 data of the background gamma dose rate were collected for the Çanakkale region. The background gamma dose rate of the Çanakkale region was mapped using ArcGIS software, applying the geostatistical inverse distance-weighted method. The average and population-weighted average of the gamma dose are 55.4 and 40.6 nGy h⁻¹, respectively. The corresponding average annual effective dose to the public ranged from 26.6 to 96.8 µSv. PMID:21362693

  1. Fluorescence determination of polyaromatic hydrocarbons against a background of self-fluorescence of natural, drinking, and waste waters

    SciTech Connect

    Romanovskaya, G.I.; Lebedeva, N.A.

    1994-06-10

    At the present time the monitoring of trace amounts of organic substances of technogenic origin (petroleums, petroleum products) in natural, drinking, and waste waters is taking on increasing significance in solving problems of environmental protection. Fluorescence methods of analysis are used to detect contamination by petroleums and petroleum products. It is known that the visible fluorescence of petroleums and petroleum products is due to the presence of aromatic and heterocyclic compounds, which adsorb in the UV region of the spectrum. However, one should mention that modern spectrofluorometric methods of detection of traces of petroleum products in water involve a long sample preparation (extraction, sorption) for the isolation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). In natural water samples the fluorescence of PAH is detected against a background of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and the signal of the spontaneous Raman effect (SRE) of exciting radiation on water molecules, which makes it impossible to determine trace amounts of PAH directly in the matrix (natural, drinking, and waste waters) without their preliminary isolation. Exceptions are methods of synchronous spectrofluorometry, but their use requires the presence of expensive instruments, which can be serviced only by highly qualified specialists. The problem of rapid detection and quantitative estimation of the combination level is essentially reduced to distinguishment of the fluorescence signal of the PAH against a background of the fluorescence of the DOM. This work is devoted to the development of a rapid laser-fluorescence method, permitting spectral fractionation of PAH contaminants without supplementary treatment of water samples.

  2. The 1999 Lauriston S. Taylor lecture--back to background: natural radiation and radioactivity exposed.

    PubMed

    Harley, N H

    2000-08-01

    I am profoundly grateful for being chosen as the twenty-third presenter of the Lauriston S. Taylor Lecture, and I share this honor with a list of distinguished scientists, including my husband, who pay tribute to the premier leader in radiation protection. In 1938, Laurie was working for the National Bureau of Standards and chaired the Advisory Committee on X-ray and Radium Protection, a group of 8 persons, who set the pace for all forthcoming radiation standards. NBS had, since 1913, been standardizing essentially all of the radium offered for sale in the U.S., and the problem arose to revise the handbook on proper conditions for handling radium based on the then current knowledge. This resulted in Handbook 23 (1938) superseding the 1934 work. At the time Laurie was a scientist working in the measurements side of radiation and though he contributed much to that field, his name is inseparably linked with guidance in radiation protection. Today we pay tribute for his leadership that he carried out with intelligence, grace, and personal warmth. My talk today deals mostly with measured data for naturally occurring internal radiation emitters and how these data can be used for predictive purposes in estimating the dose and risk from internal body contamination. This stresses the "and Measurements" part of the Council's title. The topic of this year's NCRP Annual Meeting is "Radiation Protection in Medicine: Contemporary Issues." I believe that physicians and State and Federal agencies will have to cope with complaints following various exposure situations resulting from the cleanup of background radionuclides during closure at nuclear facilities, military use of radioactivity, and occurrences of high natural background in some locations. They will find comfort in the knowledge that existing background radiation data can be the basis for predictions of realistic dose and risk in most situations.

  3. The 1999 Lauriston S. Taylor lecture--back to background: natural radiation and radioactivity exposed.

    PubMed

    Harley, N H

    2000-08-01

    I am profoundly grateful for being chosen as the twenty-third presenter of the Lauriston S. Taylor Lecture, and I share this honor with a list of distinguished scientists, including my husband, who pay tribute to the premier leader in radiation protection. In 1938, Laurie was working for the National Bureau of Standards and chaired the Advisory Committee on X-ray and Radium Protection, a group of 8 persons, who set the pace for all forthcoming radiation standards. NBS had, since 1913, been standardizing essentially all of the radium offered for sale in the U.S., and the problem arose to revise the handbook on proper conditions for handling radium based on the then current knowledge. This resulted in Handbook 23 (1938) superseding the 1934 work. At the time Laurie was a scientist working in the measurements side of radiation and though he contributed much to that field, his name is inseparably linked with guidance in radiation protection. Today we pay tribute for his leadership that he carried out with intelligence, grace, and personal warmth. My talk today deals mostly with measured data for naturally occurring internal radiation emitters and how these data can be used for predictive purposes in estimating the dose and risk from internal body contamination. This stresses the "and Measurements" part of the Council's title. The topic of this year's NCRP Annual Meeting is "Radiation Protection in Medicine: Contemporary Issues." I believe that physicians and State and Federal agencies will have to cope with complaints following various exposure situations resulting from the cleanup of background radionuclides during closure at nuclear facilities, military use of radioactivity, and occurrences of high natural background in some locations. They will find comfort in the knowledge that existing background radiation data can be the basis for predictions of realistic dose and risk in most situations. PMID:10910381

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:19151785

  6. Background- versus event-level biotic variability: Hyperthermals of the late Paleocene and early Eocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibbs, S.; Murphy, B. H.; Pälike, H.

    2009-12-01

    The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) was an abrupt global warming event 55 million years ago (Ma) which has received much attention in recent years as an analogue for anthropogenic carbon emissions. We now know that the PETM was not unique, but was perhaps the most extreme of a number of abrupt carbon cycle perturbations throughout the late Paleocene and early Eocene. These inferred transient warming events, or ‘hyperthermals’, all have characteristic negative carbon isotope excursions (CIE). Unlike the PETM, it is currently unclear whether there was a significant biotic response to these additional CIEs, and if so, whether the amplitude of response varied systematically with excursion magnitude. Here, we present high-resolution nannofossil records from a two million year interval spanning the Paleocene-Eocene boundary at Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 1209 in the paleo-subequatorial Pacific. This interval, from ~55 to 53 Ma, includes the PETM, a second hyperthermal named the Eocene Thermal Maximum 2 (ETM2 or ‘Elmo’), and a further number of smaller excursions. These data allow us to look for common biotic signatures and to document the level of assemblage variability relative to the inferred levels of environmental change associated with each CIE. We use this dataset as a case-study for investigating different statistical means of quantifying and comparing biotic responses to background and event-level perturbation. Preliminary analyses suggest that, as expected, the PETM exhibited the greatest level of assemblage variability, well above background levels, followed in order of CIE magnitude by the ETM2. Several of the smaller excursions have no significant assemblage variability above background levels, pointing to a critical threshold level of environmental perturbation.

  7. 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.

  8. Estimating the natural background atmospheric deposition rate of mercury utilizing ombrotrophic bogs in southern Sweden.

    PubMed

    Bindler, R

    2003-01-01

    A critical gap in the understanding of the global cycling of mercury is the limited data describing the natural background atmospheric deposition rate of mercury before the advent of pollution. Existing estimates of the natural deposition rate are typically about 2-5 microg of Hg m(-2) year(-1) (see, for example, Swain et al. Science 1992, 257, 784-787), based on studies that generally rely on short, 210Pb-dated lake sediment and peat cores that span the past 150 years. Analyses of mercury in long peat cores in southcentral Sweden indicate that natural mercury deposition rates in the period 4000-500 BP were lower, about 0.5-1 microg of Hg m(-2) year(-1). This suggests that recent mercury accumulation rates in the peat (15-25 microg of Hg m(-2) year(-1)) and measured atmospheric deposition rates of mercury in Sweden over the past 3 decades (5-30 microg of Hg m(-2) year(-1)) (Munthe et al. Water, Air, Soil Pollut.: Focus 2001, 1, 299-310) are at least an order of magnitude greater than the prepollution deposition rate, rather than representing only a 3-5-fold increase, as has generally been estimated.

  9. 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.

  10. Possibilities of background-radiation-level reduction in proton-therapy rooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov, N. A.; Lebedeva, Zh. S.

    2014-08-01

    The system of proton-beam formation for proton ophthalmology has been numerically simulated using the Geant4 program package. Data on the efficiency of narrow- ("pencil") and wide proton-beam transport are presented. It is established that the use of a wide beam transport is advantageous, since it makes a significant decrease in the background-radiation level in a proton-therapy room possible and simplifies the beam-formation system.

  11. 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

    2015-08-01

    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. PMID:26115178

  12. 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

    2015-08-01

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. [Influence of atmospheric transport on air pollutant levels at a mountain background site of East China].

    PubMed

    Su, Bin-Bin; Xu, Ju-Yang; Zhang, Ruo-Yu; Ji, Xian-Xin

    2014-08-01

    Transport characteristics of air pollutants transported to the background atmosphere of East China were investigated using HYSPLIT (Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory) 4.8 model driven by NCEP reanalysis data during June 2011 to May 2012. Based on the air pollutants monitoring data collected at the National atmospheric background monitoring station (Wuyishan station) in Fujian Province, characteristics of different clustered air masses as well as the origins of highly polluted air masses were further examined. The results showed that 65% of all the trajectories, in which air masses mainly passed over highly polluted area of East China, Jiangxi province and upper air in desert areas of Northwest China, carried polluted air to the station, while the rest of trajectories (35%) with air masses originated from ocean could effectively remove air pollutants at the Wuyishan station. However, the impact on the air pollutants for each air mass group varied with seasons. Elevated SO2 concentrations observed at the background station were mainly influenced by coal burning activities in Northern China during heating season. The high CO concentrations were likely associated with the pollutants emission in the process of coal production and consumption in Anhui province. The elevated NO(x), O3, PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations were mostly impacted by East China with high levels of air pollutants.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Secondary particle in background levels and effects on detectors at future hadron colliders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pal, T.

    1993-06-01

    The next generation of hadron colliders, the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), will operate at high center-of-mass energies and luminosities. Namely, for the SSC (LHC) the square root of s = 40 TeV (the square root of s = 16 TeV) and L = 10(exp 33) cm(exp -2)s(exp -1) (L = 3 x 10(exp 34) cm(exp -2)s(exp -1)). These conditions will result in the production of large backgrounds as well as radiation environments. Ascertaining the backgrounds, in terms of the production of secondary charged and neutral particles, and the radiation environments are important considerations for the detectors proposed for these colliders. An initial investigation of the radiation levels in the SSC detectors was undertaken by D. Groom and colleagues, in the context of the 'task force on radiation levels in the SSC interaction regions.' The method consisted essentially of an analytic approach, using standard descriptions of average events in conjunction with simulations of secondary processes. Following Groom's work, extensive Monte Carlo simulations were performed to address the issues of backgrounds and radiation environments for the GEM and SD C3 experiments proposed at the SSC and for the ATLAS and CMS experiments planned for the LHC. The purpose of the present article is to give a brief summary of some aspects of the methods, assumptions, and calculations performed to date (principally for the SSC detectors) and to stress the relevance of such calculations to the detectors proposed for the study of B-physics in particular.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Spatial variations in natural background radiation: absorbed dose rates in air in Colorado.

    PubMed

    Stone, J M; Whicker, R D; Ibrahim, S A; Whicker, F W

    1999-05-01

    Large and small-scale spatial variations in natural ambient background radiation dose rates in Colorado were investigated at 1,150 specific locations with particular attention to 40 of the more populated areas along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Total dose rates (including cosmic and terrestrial components) in Front Range communities below 2,000 m elevation averaged 135 nGy h(-1). Terrestrial dose rates had a coefficient of variation of 17%. Communities above 2,000 m had a mean total dose rate of 196 nGy h(-1), and a terrestrial dose rate coefficient of variation of 17%. Across all Front Range communities, the coefficient of variation for terrestrial dose rates was 22%. Within individual communities, coefficient of variation values for terrestrial dose rates ranged from 3 to 21%. Smaller-scale spatial variability (to within a few meters) was relatively small (coefficient of variation values generally ranged from 3 to 7%). A significant linear relationship (r2 = 0.83) between the size of area surveyed (km2) and coefficient of variation value for terrestrial dose rates was found. West of the Continental Divide, the terrestrial component accounted for roughly 60% of total measured dose rates, while east of the Continental Divide, where enriched granitic source rocks and associated soils are prevalent, the terrestrial component generally accounted for two-thirds or more of total dose rates. PMID:10201565

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

    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.

  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. 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

  6. A comparison of background noise levels and reverberation times measured in unoccupied elementary classrooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godfrey, Richard D.

    2003-04-01

    The key performance criteria listed in ANSI S12.60-2002, Acoustical Performance Criteria, Design Requirements and Guidelines for Schools, are that the maximum background noise is limited 35 dBA, and that the maximum reverberation time is limited to 0.6 seconds in the most common classroom size. Limits on sound transmission properties of the room envelope are also made. If these performance criteria are met, each student, no matter where he or she sits in the classroom, will be in an environment that affords adequate speech intelligibility, i.e., an adequate opportunity to understand the teacher's words correctly. During the standard development process, the author had the opportunity to work with his colleges at The Ohio State University. The OSU group made measures in 34 classrooms in the Columbus area (inter-city, suburbs, and rural; public and private). The author analyzed these data, and compared the results with ANSI S12.60-2002 performance criteria. It was found that the background noise levels were around 50 dBA. This is 15 dBA above the standard requirement. A majority of the reverberation times were in line with the 0.6-second criteria, but a significant number had reverberation times around 1 second.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Natural radionuclides in soil near a coal-fired power plant in the high background radiation area, South China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guoqing; Luo, Qi; Ding, Mingxia; Feng, Jiangping

    2015-06-01

    In this study, soil samples around Mawan coal-fired power plant (CFPP) in Shenzhen, a high background radiation area in South China, were analyzed for natural radionuclides. The activity concentration of (226)Ra, (232)Th, and (40)K in soils around Mawan CFPP ranged from approximately 72 to 358 Bq kg(-1) (averaged 204 Bq kg(-1)), 118 to 432 Bq kg(-1) (averaged 265 Bq kg(-1)), and 101 to 2168 Bq kg(-1) (averaged 1269 Bq kg(-1)), respectively, being found to be significantly higher than the world range values. The levels of these radionuclides in soil largely decreased with increasing distance from the CFPP, indicating a technologically enhanced natural radiation near the CFPP. The Raeq values for the soil samples around Mawan CFPP ranged from 346 to 878 Bq kg(-1), most of which exceeded the allowed maximum Raeq value of 370 Bq kg(-1). The operating of CFPP has increased the total radioactive dose received for the nearby population. PMID:25975236

  10. 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}.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Background levels of key biomarkers of chemical exposure within the UK general population--pilot study.

    PubMed

    Levy, L S; Jones, K; Cocker, J; Assem, F L; Capleton, A C

    2007-05-01

    The use of biomarkers is now an accepted measure of chemical uptake (possibly exposure) in risk assessment. However, information on background exposures and biomarker concentrations of many environmental chemicals in the general UK population is limited. This study aims to determine reference ranges for eleven biomarkers of chemical exposure, measurable in urine, within the general adult UK population. The study will involve 400 volunteers throughout the UK and is currently underway. Described here is a pilot study, carried out during August and September 2005 to test the study methodology. The initial results of the postal survey and urinary concentrations for cadmium (UCd) and mercury (UHg) are reported. A total of 78 individuals were recruited by post from the UK Electoral Register, to take part in the pilot study. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire and provide a urine sample. The overall response rate was 16%, of which 60.3% were female and 39.7% male. Those living in suburban areas accounted for 60% of respondents, current smokers 12.8% and vegetarians 1.3%. Levels of UCd were higher in females compared to males and smoking status influenced levels; smokers displayed higher levels of UCd than individuals who had previously smoked or who had never smoked. The mean, median and range of UHg was 1.12, 0.55 (

  15. Long-term sea level trends: Natural or anthropogenic?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

    Detection and attribution of human influence on sea level rise are important topics that have not yet been explored in depth. We question whether the sea level changes (SLC) over the past century were natural in origin. SLC exhibit power law long-term correlations. By estimating Hurst exponent through Detrended Fluctuation Analysis and by applying statistics of Lennartz and Bunde, we search the lower bounds of statistically significant external sea level trends in longest tidal records worldwide. We provide statistical evidences that the observed SLC, at global and regional scales, is beyond its natural internal variability. The minimum anthropogenic sea level trend (MASLT) contributes to the observed sea level rise more than 50% in New York, Baltimore, San Diego, Marseille, and Mumbai. A MASLT 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Classification accuracy of a single tri-axial accelerometer for training background and experience level in runners.

    PubMed

    Kobsar, Dylan; Osis, Sean T; Hettinga, Blayne A; Ferber, Reed

    2014-07-18

    Accelerometers are increasingly used tools for gait analysis, but there remains a lack of research on their application to running and their ability to classify running patterns. The purpose of this study was to conduct an exploratory examination into the capability of a tri-axial accelerometer to classify runners of different training backgrounds and experience levels, according to their 3-dimensional (3D) accelerometer data patterns. Training background was examined with 14 competitive soccer players and 12 experienced marathon runners, and experience level was examined with 16 first-time and the same 12 experienced marathon runners. Discrete variables were extracted from 3D accelerations during a short run using root mean square, wavelet transformation, and autocorrelation procedures. A principal component analysis (PCA) was conducted on all variables, including gait speed to account for covariance. Eight PCs were retained, explaining 88% of the variance in the data. A stepwise discriminant analysis of PCs was used to determine the binary classification accuracy for training background and experience level, with and without the PC of Speed. With Speed, the accelerometer correctly classified 96% of runners for both training background and experience level. Without Speed, the accelerometer correctly classified 85% of runners based on training background, but only 68% based on experience level. These findings suggest that the accelerometer is effective in classifying athletes of different training backgrounds, but is less effective for classifying runners of different experience levels where gait speed is the primary discriminator. PMID:24837221

  19. Hydrochemical diversity of semi-natural water system on the background of environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Cudowski, Adam; Górniak, Andrzej Stefan; Więcko, Adam

    2015-06-01

    Research carried out from 2007 to 2011 showed that a tested semi-natural water system with a diverse catchment (peat, peat-mineral and mineral) has a very varied quality of water, as evidenced by a the large range of conductivity (174-828 μS/cm) and pH (6.34-9.92). Natural lake parts of the semi-natural water system were similar to the artificial parts in terms of physico-chemical parameters, as evidenced by the lack of statistically significant differences between the water quality in both of these ecosystems. Taking into account the quality of various types of water in this semi-natural system, it can be seen that the river waters differed significantly (p < 0.001) in concentrations of biogenic elements (nitrogen, phosphorus) from another type of ecosystems. In addition, rivers poor in organic matter (TOC < 10.0 mg/L) which directly supplied the water system contributed to higher values of many tested parameters (EC, pH, TC, TN, SO4 (2-) or Cl(-)) in waters of the canal. In contrast, rivers with high values of concentrations of organic matter (TOC > 10.0 mg/L) contributed to a decline in values of those parameters. Moreover, lake waters within the tested semi-natural water system showed a "cleansing" function, because they caused a decrease in conductivity, pH or the concentration of carbon, total nitrogen, sulphate(VI) and chloride in waters of the canal.

  20. Assessment of occupational exposure to uranium by indirect methods needs information on natural background variations.

    PubMed

    Muikku, M; Heikkinen, T; Puhakainen, M; Rahola, T; Salonen, L

    2007-01-01

    Urine monitoring is the preferred method to determine exposure to soluble compounds of uranium in workplaces. The interpretation of uranium contents in workers bioassay samples requires knowledge on uranium excretion and its dependence on intake by diet. Exceptionally high concentrations of natural uranium in private drinking water sources have been measured in the granite areas of Southern Finland. Consequently, high concentrations of natural uranium have been observed in the urine and hair samples of people using water from their own drilled wells. Natural uranium content in urine and hair samples of family members, who use uranium-rich household water, have been analyzed by using ICP-MS. The uranium concentrations both in urine and hair samples of the study subjects were significantly higher than the world-wide average values. In addition, gammaspectrometric methods have been tested for determining uranium in hair samples. This method can be used only for samples with highly elevated uranium concentrations.

  1. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. 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

  5. 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. PMID:25905595

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. The Relative and Absolute Risks of Disadvantaged Family Background and Low Levels of School Resources on Student Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nonoyama-Tarumi, Yuko; Willms, J. Douglas

    2010-01-01

    There has been a long-lasting debate of whether the effects of family background are larger than those of school resources, and whether these effects are a function of national income level. In this study, we bring a new perspective to the debate by using the concepts of relative risk and population attributable risk in estimating family and…

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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. PMID:19820473

  3. Automatic unattended sampling and analysis of background levels of C 2;C 5 hydrocarbons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mowrer, Jacques; Lindskog, Anne

    As part of the European program for monitoring anthropogenic air pollutants (EUROTRAC), C 2C 5 hydrocarbons (gas phase) are being routinely measured at a background station at Rörvik, Sweden. A 2 ℓ air sample is taken every 4 h, and a compressed air standard and helium blank are analysed daily. The method is based on adsorption of the hydrocarbons onto an active charcoal based adsorbent, desorption/crofocusing onto a capillary trap, and analysis using capillary gas chromatography with a flame ionization detector. A Perma Pure dryer is used to remove water from the sample, and hydrocarbons > C 6 are removed using a Tenax adsorbent. The analytical instrument can be left unattended for up to 2 weeks at a time, depending on the consumption of liquid nitrogen and the compressed gases. Baseline or near baseline resolution is obtained for the 23 hydrocarbons monitored in this study. Reproducibility for the C 2C 4 isomers is 1-2%, and 2-15% for the C 5 isomers. The detection limit is 1-7 pptv. Preliminary mean hydrocarbon concentrations are presented for the period 21 February-9 April 1989.

  4. 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.

  5. PBDEs in European background soils: levels and factors controlling their distribution.

    PubMed

    Hassanin, Ashraf; Breivik, Knut; Meijer, Sandra N; Steinnes, Eiliv; Thomas, Gareth O; Jones, Kevin C

    2004-02-01

    Surface soils (0-5 cm) from remote/rural woodland (coniferous and deciduous) and grassland locations on a latitudinal transectthrough the United Kingdom and Norway were analyzed for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Concentrations ranged between 65 and 12 000 sigma(ALL)PBDE ng kg(-1) dry weight. PBDE-47, -99, -100, -153, and -154-the major constituents of the penta-BDE technical product-dominated the average congener pattern of the soils. Indeed, the average congener composition and distribution measured in these European background soils closely matched that reported in the technical penta-BDE product. This is interpreted as evidence that transfer of the congeners present in penta-BDE-treated products from source-air-soil occurs with broadly similar efficiency, perhaps because there has been little weathering/degradation/alteration of the congener source pattern by processes operating during atmospheric transport or within the soil itself. BDE-183, a marker for the octa-BDE mix, was detected at concentrations ranging from <9 to 7000 (median approximately 50 ng kg(-1)). In most soils, it made a minor contribution to the sigma(ALL)PBDE concentration, but it was a major component in some samples from northern England. Forest soils tended to have higher concentrations than grasslands. Underlying the average soil composition, some differences in the congener pattern were observed. Notably, there was evidence of latitudinal fractionation, with the relative contribution of PBDE-47 and lighter congeners to the sigmaPBDE increasing northwards (with increasing distance from source areas), while the proportion of PBDE-99 and heavier congeners decreased. Plots of concentration against percentage soil organic matter had different slopes for different congeners. Higher slopes were generally seen for the lighter PBDEs (e.g., PBDE-47), indicating that they have undergone some air-surface exchange (hopping), while the slopes of heavier congeners (e.g., PBDE-153) were close

  6. Natural radioactivity levels in building materials used in Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmad, Fawzia

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

  7. Natural radioactivity levels of granites used in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Cetin, E; Altinsoy, N; Orgün, Y

    2012-08-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:26365501

  13. 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. PMID:19643470

  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

    2001-01-01

    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. 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

    2001-01-01

    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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Effects of Signal Level and Background Noise on Spectral Representations in the Auditory Nerve of the Domestic Cat

    PubMed Central

    Ramachandran, Ramnarayan; May, Bradford J.

    2010-01-01

    Background noise poses a significant obstacle for auditory perception, especially among individuals with hearing loss. To better understand the physiological basis of this perceptual impediment, the present study evaluated the effects of background noise on the auditory nerve representation of head-related transfer functions (HRTFs). These complex spectral shapes describe the directional filtering effects of the head and torso. When a broadband sound passes through the outer ear en route to the tympanic membrane, the HRTF alters its spectrum in a manner that establishes the perceived location of the sound source. HRTF-shaped noise shares many of the acoustic features of human speech, while communicating biologically relevant localization cues that are generalized across mammalian species. Previous studies have used parametric manipulations of random spectral shapes to elucidate HRTF coding principles at various stages of the cat’s auditory system. This study extended that body of work by examining the effects of sound level and background noise on the quality of spectral coding in the auditory nerve. When fibers were classified by their spontaneous rates, the coding properties of the more numerous low-threshold, high-spontaneous rate fibers were found to degrade at high presentation levels and in low signal-to-noise ratios. Because cats are known to maintain accurate directional hearing under these challenging listening conditions, behavioral performance may be disproportionally based on the enhanced dynamic range of the less common high-threshold, low-spontaneous rate fibers. PMID:20824483

  19. The assessment of cytotoxic T cell and natural killer cells activity in residents of high and ordinary background radiation areas of Ramsar-Iran.

    PubMed

    Borzoueisileh, Sajad; Monfared, Ali Shabestani; Abediankenari, Saeid; Mostafazadeh, Amrollah

    2013-01-01

    The effective radiation dose of human from natural sources is about 2.4 mSv/y and the dose limit for radiation workers is 20 mSv/y. Ramsar, a city in Iran, has been the subject of concern in the last forty years for a high level of radiation measured in some spots as high as 260 mSv/y. Carcinogenesis is one of the most studied effects of radiation especially in high doses. Recent studies showed that the high level of natural radiation received by inhabitants of this area, paradoxically don't have significant health effect. Natural killer (NK) cells and cytotoxic T cells are the most important cells in tumor immune surveillance and CD107a is a widely expressed intracellular protein located in the lysosomal/endosomal membrane. CD107a transiently located on the cell membrane can be used as a marker of CD8 + T cell degranulation following stimulation. It is also expressed, to a lower extent, on activated NK cells. In this study, 60 healthy people were selected randomly and their consent obtained and confounding factors such as sex, age, life-styles was matched then the count of activated NK and CD8 + cells was compared in high and normal background radiation areas inhabitants of Ramsar. After filling the questionnaire and measurement of background radiation, blood samples of 30 healthy people from each region were analyzed immediately by means of flowcytometry. The leukocytes and their subsets were not significantly different between two groups and the count of active cells was higher in control group. The result shows that the changes in immune system occur due to radiation and maybe it is as a result of higher radiosensitivity of activated cells. PMID:23531635

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Lidicker, William Z

    2008-02-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:27509822

  6. Emission Measurements from Natural Gas Development and Regional Background Characterization of Ambient Air Quality in the Marcellus Shale Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeCarlo, P. F.; Goetz, J.; Shaw, S. L.; Knipping, E. M.; Fortner, E.; Wormhoudt, J.; Massoli, P.; Floerchinger, C.; Brooks, B.; Herndon, S. C.; Kolb, C. E.; Knighton, W. B.

    2012-12-01

    Production of natural gas in the Marcellus shale formation is increasing rapidly due to the vast quantities of natural gas in the formation. Natural gas is liberated from the Marcellus Shale using horizontal drilling techniques, followed by hydraulic fracturing. Activities associated with preparation of a well pad, drilling of a well pad, fracturing of a well, and transport of materials (e.g. water, drilling equipment) to and from a well site, all have associated air emissions. Steady state gas production at well sites may also have additional contribution to air emissions of methane and NOx from gas transport infrastructure. A joint study with the Drexel University, Aerodyne Research and the Electric Power Research institute was conducted in the summer of 2012 to measure both the emissions from various stages of well development and to characterize current levels of air pollutants in the Marcellus Region. To achieve this, the Aerodyne mobile laboratory was deployed and measured in situ concentrations of a multitude of gas-phase and aerosol chemical components with state of the art instrumentation including quantum cascade laser systems, proton transfer mass spectrometry, tunable diode lasers and a soot particle aerosol mass spectrometer. Species quantified include CH4, C2H6, NO, NO2, CO, CO2, SO2, HONO, HOCO, HCOOH and many volatile organic compounds, and aerosol size and chemical composition. Real-time characterization of the air emissions from hydraulic fracturing and other shale gas operations allow for the estimation of emission factors that can be used in predictive air quality modeling for the region. Within the Marcellus Shale both areas of dry gas (>95% methane) and wet gas (contains higher levels of ethane and propane) are found. Measurements were conducted in two regions of Pennsylvania: the NE region that is predominantly dry gas, and the SW region where wet gas is found. A comparison of these two regions and associated impacts will be discussed

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Does short-term exposure to elevated levels of natural gamma radiation in Ramsar cause oxidative stress?

    PubMed Central

    Mortazavi, SMJ; Niroomand-Rad, A; Roshan-Shomal, P; Razavi-Toosi, SMT; Mossayeb-Zadeh, M; Moghadam, M

    2014-01-01

    Background: Ramsar, a city in northern Iran, has areas with some of the highest recorded levels of natural radiation among inhabited areas measured on the earth. Aims: To determine whether short-term exposure to extremely high levels of natural radiation induce oxidative stress. Materials and Methods: In this study, 53 Wistar rats were randomly divided into five groups of 10-12 animals. Animals in the 1st group were kept for 7 days in an outdoor area with normal background radiation while the 2nd , 3rd , 4th and 5th groups were kept in four different outdoor areas with naturally elevated levels of gamma radiation in Ramsar. A calibrated RDS-110 survey meter, mounted on a tripod approximately 1 m above the ground, was used to measure exposure rate at each location. On days 7 and 9 blood sampling was performed to assess the serum levels of catalase (CAT) and malondialdehyde (MDA). On day 8, all animals were exposed to a lethal dose of 8 Gy gamma radiations emitted by a Theratron Phoenix (Theratronics, Canada) Cobalt-60 (55 cGy/min) at Radiotherapy Department of Razi Hospital in Rasht, Iran. Results: Findings obtained in this study indicate that high levels of natural radiation cannot induce oxidative stress. CAT and MDA levels in almost all groups were not significantly different (P = 0.69 and P = 0.05, respectively). After exposure to the lethal dose, CAT and MDA levels in all groups were not significantly different (P = 0.054 and P = 0.163, respectively). Conclusions: These findings indicate that short-term exposure to extremely high levels of natural radiation (up to 196 times higher than the normal background) does not induce oxidative stress. PMID:25143879

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  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. The simulation of natural low level light under lab's condition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Wanyi; Wang, Jinsong; Wang, Xuan; An, Zhiyong; Jiang, Hong

    2014-02-01

    Considering the needs of glimmer night vision system experiment, this paper has analyzed the working environment of glimmer night vision system, and based on this analysis the paper adopted double integrating sphere and collimator to simulate natural shimmer environment under the laboratory condition. By further analysis, we can conclude that as long as the field of collimator is larger than the field of night vision system, the natural micro light of night vision system testing can be simulated under the laboratory conditions, And the feasibility of this method is verified by experiment.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  15. [Genetic variance in Vicia cracca cenopopulation inhabiting site with enhanced level of natural radioactivity].

    PubMed

    Evseeva, T I; Maĭstrenko, T A; Geras'kin, S A; Belykh, E S

    2007-01-01

    The contribution of low dose rate ionizing radiation into genetic variance in Vicia cracca L. cenopopulation inhabiting high natural background territories more then 40 years quantity estimation was made. Incorporated in the aboveground parts of Vicia cracca 230Th determine both the level of intrapopulation genetic variance and the adaptive possibility. Significantly increased frequency of double fragments was revealed in root tips of plants inhabiting all experimental plots. This type of damages depends on 226Ra concentrations accumulated in the aboveground parts of Vicia cracca. External irradiation influences the embryonic lethals. It was found that the relative contribution on mutagenesis induced by ionizing radiation was significant and was about 3-5% of the total variance.

  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. PMID:27664678

  17. Concentration of trace metals in sediments and soils from protected lands in south Florida: background levels and risk evaluation.

    PubMed

    Castro, Joffre E; Fernandez, Adolfo M; Gonzalez-Caccia, Valentina; Gardinali, Piero R

    2013-08-01

    A comprehensive environmental evaluation was completed on 20 metals: two reference metals (Fe, Al) and several minor trace metals (As, Ba, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, V, and Zn) for surface soils and sediments collected from 50 sites in Everglades National Park (ENP), the coastal fringes of Biscayne National Park (BNP), and Big Cypress National Preserve. Samples were prepared by acid digestion (EPA3050) and analyzed by ICP/MS detection (EPA6020). Although no widespread contamination was detected across the two parks and one preserve, there were some specific areas where metal concentrations exceeded Florida's ecological thresholds, suggesting that some metals were of concern. A screening-level evaluation based on a proposed effect index grouped trace metals by their potential for causing negligible, possible, and probable effects on the biota. For example, Cu in BNP and Cr and Pb in ENP were considered of concern because their adverse effect likelihood to biota was assessed as probable; consequently, these trace metals were selected for further risk characterization. Also, stations were ranked based on a proposed overall contamination index that showed that: site BB10 in BNP and sites E3 and E5 in ENP had the highest scores. The first site was located in a marina in BNP, and the other two sites were along the eastern boundary of ENP adjacent to current or former agricultural lands. An assessment tool for south Florida protected lands was developed for evaluating impacts from on-going Everglades restoration projects and to assist State and Federal agencies with resource management. The tool consists of enrichment plots and statistically derived background concentrations based on soil/sediment data collected from the two national parks and one preserve. Finally, an equally accurate but much simplified approach is offered for developing enrichment plots for other environmental settings.

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. Simulation of the passive infrared spectral signatures of bioaerosol and natural fog clouds immersed in the background atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Ligon, D; Wetmore, A; Gillespie, P

    2002-09-01

    At first glance, an examination of the bulk refractive indices for the 8-12 microm waveband of various bioaerosols suggests differentiation with respect to common background aerosols based upon the spectral characteristics of the absorption. The question of whether there is a spectral signature of bioaerosol clouds when those clouds are immersed in a typical atmosphere, including the boundary layer background aerosols, has been addressed in a simulation using the Weather and Atmospheric Visualization Effects for Simulation (WAVES) suite of codes. Using measured values of the refractive index for common bacterial spores, and their typical size distributions, the single-scattering, ensemble-averaged optical properties such as extinction/absorption coefficients, albedo, and the scattering phase function was computed for bioaerosol clouds at a resolution of 1 cm-1. WAVES was then used to calculate the radiative transfer for a finite sized cloud immersed in background. Results of this simulation indicate that, for a passive remote sensing measurement, it is unlikely that bioaerosol clouds can be identified from the spectral signature alone.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Amos, W; Harwood, J

    1998-02-28

    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

  4. The influence of the nature of background anions on the buffer capacity of glycine-containing electrolytes for nickel electroplating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dolgikh, O. V.; Zuen, Vu Tkhi; Sotskaya, N. V.

    2009-06-01

    The buffer properties of acetate, sulfate, and chloride glycine-containing electrolytes for nickel electroplating were studied. Various forms of the amino acid and background anions were shown to act in solution as two buffer systems related by competitive complex formation. The buffer capacity of a solution was then the result of the joint action of these systems. The contribution of each of them was determined by its absolute concentration in solution on the one hand and changes in this concentration caused by the addition of H+ or OH- ions on the other.

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. Reliable detection of predator cues in afferent spike trains of a katydid under high background noise levels

    PubMed Central

    Hartbauer, Manfred; Radspieler, Gerald; Römer, Heiner

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Katydid receivers face the problem of detecting behaviourally relevant predatory cues from echolocating bats in the same frequency domain as their own conspecific mating signals. We therefore tested the hypothesis that katydids are able to detect the presence of insectivorous bats in spike discharges at early stages of nervous processing in the auditory pathway by using the temporal details characteristic for responses to echolocation sequences. Spike activity was recorded from an identified nerve cell (omega neuron) under both laboratory and field conditions. In the laboratory, the preparation was stimulated with sequences of bat calls at different repetition rates typical for the guild of insectivorous bats, in the presence of background noise. The omega cell fired brief high-frequency bursts of action potentials in response to each bat sound pulse. Repetition rates of 18 and 24 Hz of these pulses resulted in a suppression of activity resulting from background noise, thus facilitating the detection of bat calls. The spike activity typical for responses to bat echolocation contrasts to responses to background noise, producing different distributions of inter-spike intervals. This allowed development of a ‘neuronal bat detector’ algorithm, optimized to detect responses to bats in afferent spike trains. The algorithm was applied to more than 24 hours of outdoor omega-recordings performed either at a rainforest clearing with high bat activity or in rainforest understory, where bat activity was low. In 95% of cases, the algorithm detected a bat reliably, even under high background noise, and correctly rejected responses when an electronic bat detector showed no response. PMID:20709932

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. Sparsely ionizing diagnostic and natural background radiations are likely preventing cancer and other genomic-instability-associated diseases.

    PubMed

    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 apoptosis-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

  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. 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

  16. 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

  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. School Achievement and Personality. Description of School Achievement in Terms of Ability, Trait, Situational and Background Variables. II: Operations at the Variable Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niskanen, Erkki A.

    This monograph contains the second section, operations at the variable level, of a report of studies done in Helsinki, Finland, describing school achievement in terms of ability, trait, situational, and background variables. The report (1) investigates the structure of school achievement, (2) describes school achievement in terms of selected…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

    2016-03-01

    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 Al0.2Ga0.8N 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.

  5. 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…

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  7. 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…

  8. [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. PMID:27548943

  9. [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.

  10. Mesopredator Release by an Emergent Superpredator: A Natural Experiment of Predation in a Three Level Guild

    PubMed Central

    Chakarov, Nayden; Krüger, Oliver

    2010-01-01

    Background 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. Methodology/Principal Findings 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. Conclusions/Significance 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. PMID:21151912

  11. 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

  12. 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. PMID:25810398

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Impacts of natural gas mining on regional methane levels in Pennsylvania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lembeck-Edens, A. M.; Fuentes, J. D.; Martins, D. K.; Grannas, A. M.

    2013-12-01

    Increased natural gas exploration has been hypothesized to be a strong source of atmospheric methane, leading to enhanced regional methane levels. Fugitive methane emissions can result from leaky natural gas wells and pipelines. Pennsylvania is experiencing rapid natural gas well development and operation. In the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale region, the density of natural gas wells is increasing. Therefore, a field study took place during 8 June to 6 August 2013 to investigate the magnitude of fugitive methane emissions near well sites and along established pipelines, as well as the spatial distribution of methane throughout Pennsylvania. The necessary instruments were mounted on a mobile platform (six-passenger van) to make transects running from southwestern to northeastern Pennsylvania where the highest density of wells is already established. Methane and carbon dioxide mixing ratios and their respective 13C isotopes were detected using a cavity ring-down spectrometer while the van was moving along pipelines or near natural gas well sites. Air sampling was done in areas away from natural well sites to establish the baseline of methane levels in the rural atmosphere. Also, air sampling took place around barns to distinguish the contribution of cattle to the atmospheric loading of methane. In the rural atmosphere, away from natural gas wells, methane levels remained around (baseline) 1.75 parts per millions (ppm). Methane levels in areas impacted by natural gas wells were higher than the baseline. Along pipelines, methane levels ranged from baseline levels of 1.75 ppm to 5.00 ppm. Near wells, plumes of methane-enriched air reached as high as 15.30 ppm. Although leaks from wells have been noted in previous studies, this investigation suggested that wells intermittently leaked methane. The main conclusion from the present study is that fugitive emissions from natural gas wells and pipelines contribute to enhancing the regional methane levels during daytime

  17. Determining the background levels of bismuth in tissues of wild game birds: a first step in addressing the environmental consequences of using bismuth shotshells.

    PubMed

    Jayasinghe, R; Tsuji, L J S; Gough, W A; Karagatzides, J D; Perera, D; Nieboer, E

    2004-11-01

    Bismuth shotshells have been approved as a "nontoxic" alternative to lead in North America. Approval was based on a limited number of studies; even background levels of bismuth in wildfowl were unknown. We report on the concentration of bismuth (and lead) in muscle and liver tissues of wildfowl (Anas platyrhynchos, Anas acuta, Anas crecca, Branta canadensis, Chen caerulescens) harvested with lead shotshell. Average liver-bismuth levels detected in the present study (e.g., teal, 0.05 microg/g dw; mallard, 0.09 microg/g dw) suggest analytical error in other studies examining the effects of bismuth in birds. Significant positive relationships between bismuth- and lead-tissue levels for muscle when all species were combined (and for B. canadensis and C. caerulescens separately) can be explained by noting that bismuth is a contaminant of lead. Thus, more research is recommended to confirm the appropriateness of bismuth as a "nontoxic" shot alternative.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. A Cross-sectional Assessment of Biomarker Levels around Implants Versus Natural Teeth in Periodontal Maintenance Patients

    PubMed Central

    Recker, Erica N.; Avila-Ortiz, Gustavo; Fischer, Carol L.; Pagan-Rivera, Keyla; Brogden, Kim A.; Dawson, Deborah V.; Elangovan, Satheesh

    2015-01-01

    Background Recent studies point to the clinical utility of using peri-implant sulcular fluid (PISF) as a valuable diagnostic aid for monitoring peri-implant tissue health. The objectives of this study were to determine the levels of key biomarkers in PISF in periodontal maintenance participants and compare them to their corresponding levels in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) obtained from the same participants. Methods PISF and GCF were collected from an implant and a contralateral natural tooth, after the clinical examination of 73 participants. The levels of interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12, IL-17A, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, C-reactive protein (CRP), osteoprotegerin (OPG), leptin, and adiponectin were determined using multiplex proteomic immunoassays. The correlation of biomarker concentrations between GCF versus PISF, within GCF or PISF, and with several covariates (age, brushing frequency, days since professional cleaning, probing depth and plaque index) were also determined. Results Significantly higher levels of IL-17A (p=0.02) and TNF-α (p=0.03) were noted in PISF, when compared to their levels in GCF. Significant positive correlations were noted between the concentrations of cytokines in PISF versus their levels in GCF. Among the covariates, significant positive correlation was noted between mean probing depths around implants and levels of IL-1β (p < 0.05) and IL-8 levels (p < 0.05) in PISF. Conclusions The results of this study point to the differential expression of specific biomarkers in GCF versus their levels in PISF in periodontal maintenance patients, which is critical information prior to establishing PISF as a diagnostic fluid to monitor peri-implant health. PMID:25269523

  1. 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…

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. Establishing geochemical background levels of selected trace elements in areas having geochemical anomalies: The case study of the Orbetello lagoon (Tuscany, Italy).

    PubMed

    Romano, Elena; Bergamin, Luisa; Croudace, Ian W; Ausili, Antonella; Maggi, Chiara; Gabellini, Massimo

    2015-07-01

    The determination of background concentration values (BGVs) in areas, characterised by the presence of natural geochemical anomalies and anthropogenic impact, appears essential for a correct pollution assessment. For this purpose, it is necessary to establish a reliable method for determination of local BGVs. The case of the Orbetello lagoon, a geologically complex area characterized by Tertiary volcanism, is illustrated. The vertical concentration profiles of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb and Zn were studied in four sediment cores. Local BGVs were determined considering exclusively samples not affected by anthropogenic influence, recognized by means of multivariate statistics and radiochronological dating ((137)Cs and (210)Pb). Results showed BGVs well-comparable with mean crustal or shale values for most of the considered elements except for Hg (0.87 mg/kg d.w.) and As (16.87 mg/kg d.w.), due to mineralization present in the catchment basin draining into the lagoon.

  4. [Vegetative cardiac rhythm regulation as a function of the morning melatonin levels in teenagers-northerners on a background of mental effort].

    PubMed

    Poskotinova, L V; Krivonogova, E V; Demin, D B

    2008-01-01

    Seventy normal 12-15 y.o. teenagers in the Arkhangelsk oblast of Russia (in latitude 61 north) were investigated in the pubertal period (June, September, December). Immune-enzyme analysis was used to determine melatonin levels in blood serum at 8.30-9.30 a.m. In the daytime, cardiac rhythm variability was assessed on a background of mental calculation. It was shown that morning melatonin in blood serum of teenagers-northerners may be indicative of sympathetic cardiac rhythm regulation, particularly during mental effort. In June (the longest light period) the vegetative regulation had a minimal effect on mental effort. Dependence of the sympathetic activity on the level of morning melatonin in teenagers was conspicuous in September when the light period shortens. PMID:19055010

  5. Dephasing-Induced Control of Interference Nature in Three-Level Electromagnetically Induced Tansparency Systems

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yong; Yang, Yaping; Chen, Hong; Zhu, Shiyao

    2015-01-01

    The influence of the dephasing on interference is investigated theoretically and experimentally in three-level electromagnetically induced transparency systems. The nature of the interference, constructive, no interference or destructive, can be controlled by adjusting the dephasing rates. This new phenomenon is experimentally observed in meta-atoms. The physics behind the dephasing-induced control of interference nature is the competing between stimulated emission and spontaneous emission. The random phase fluctuation due to the dephasing will result in the correlation and anti-correlation between the two dressed states, which will enhance and reduce the stimulated emission, respectively. PMID:26567708

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Levels of naturally occurring gamma radiation measured in British homes and their prediction in particular residences.

    PubMed

    Kendall, G M; Wakeford, R; Athanson, M; Vincent, T J; Carter, E J; McColl, N P; Little, M P

    2016-03-01

    Gamma radiation from natural sources (including directly ionising cosmic rays) is an important component of background radiation. In the present paper, indoor measurements of naturally occurring gamma rays that were undertaken as part of the UK Childhood Cancer Study are summarised, and it is shown that these are broadly compatible with an earlier UK National Survey. The distribution of indoor gamma-ray dose rates in Great Britain is approximately normal with mean 96 nGy/h and standard deviation 23 nGy/h. Directly ionising cosmic rays contribute about one-third of the total. The expanded dataset allows a more detailed description than previously of indoor gamma-ray exposures and in particular their geographical variation. Various strategies for predicting indoor natural background gamma-ray dose rates were explored. In the first of these, a geostatistical model was fitted, which assumes an underlying geologically determined spatial variation, superimposed on which is a Gaussian stochastic process with Matérn correlation structure that models the observed tendency of dose rates in neighbouring houses to correlate. In the second approach, a number of dose-rate interpolation measures were first derived, based on averages over geologically or administratively defined areas or using distance-weighted averages of measurements at nearest-neighbour points. Linear regression was then used to derive an optimal linear combination of these interpolation measures. The predictive performances of the two models were compared via cross-validation, using a randomly selected 70 % of the data to fit the models and the remaining 30 % to test them. The mean square error (MSE) of the linear-regression model was lower than that of the Gaussian-Matérn model (MSE 378 and 411, respectively). The predictive performance of the two candidate models was also evaluated via simulation; the OLS model performs significantly better than the Gaussian-Matérn model.

  10. Levels of naturally occurring gamma radiation measured in British homes and their prediction in particular residences.

    PubMed

    Kendall, G M; Wakeford, R; Athanson, M; Vincent, T J; Carter, E J; McColl, N P; Little, M P

    2016-03-01

    Gamma radiation from natural sources (including directly ionising cosmic rays) is an important component of background radiation. In the present paper, indoor measurements of naturally occurring gamma rays that were undertaken as part of the UK Childhood Cancer Study are summarised, and it is shown that these are broadly compatible with an earlier UK National Survey. The distribution of indoor gamma-ray dose rates in Great Britain is approximately normal with mean 96 nGy/h and standard deviation 23 nGy/h. Directly ionising cosmic rays contribute about one-third of the total. The expanded dataset allows a more detailed description than previously of indoor gamma-ray exposures and in particular their geographical variation. Various strategies for predicting indoor natural background gamma-ray dose rates were explored. In the first of these, a geostatistical model was fitted, which assumes an underlying geologically determined spatial variation, superimposed on which is a Gaussian stochastic process with Matérn correlation structure that models the observed tendency of dose rates in neighbouring houses to correlate. In the second approach, a number of dose-rate interpolation measures were first derived, based on averages over geologically or administratively defined areas or using distance-weighted averages of measurements at nearest-neighbour points. Linear regression was then used to derive an optimal linear combination of these interpolation measures. The predictive performances of the two models were compared via cross-validation, using a randomly selected 70 % of the data to fit the models and the remaining 30 % to test them. The mean square error (MSE) of the linear-regression model was lower than that of the Gaussian-Matérn model (MSE 378 and 411, respectively). The predictive performance of the two candidate models was also evaluated via simulation; the OLS model performs significantly better than the Gaussian-Matérn model. PMID:26880257

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Antibody to Hepatitis B Core Antigen Levels in the Natural History of Chronic Hepatitis B

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Wei; Song, Liu-Wei; Fang, Yu-Qing; Wu, Xiao-Feng; Liu, Dan-Yang; Xu, Chun; Wang, Xiao-Mei; Wang, Wen; Lv, Dong-Xia; Li, Jun; Deng, Yong-Qiong; Wang, Yan; Huo, Na; Yu, Min; Xi, Hong-Li; Liu, Dan; Zhou, Yi-Xing; Wang, Gui-Qiang; Xia, Ning-Shao; Zhang, Ming-Xiang

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Previous studies have revealed antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) levels as a predictor of treatment response in hepatitis B early antigen (HBeAg)-positive chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients in both interferon and nucleos(t)ide analog therapy cohorts. However, there is no information about anti-HBc levels in the natural history of CHB. This study aimed to define anti-HBc levels of different phases in the natural history of CHB. Two hundred eleven treatment-naive CHB patients were included in the study. They were classified into 4 phases: immune tolerance (IT) phase (n = 39), immune clearance (IC) phase (n = 48), low or no-replicative (LR) phase (n = 55), and HBeAg-negative hepatitis (ENH, n = 69). Fifty patients who were HBsAg negative and anti-HBc positive were also recruited as past HBV infection (PBI) control group. Anti-HBc levels were measured by a newly developed double-sandwich immunoassay. Correlation of anti-HBc levels with alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and other HBV-related markers within each phase was performed. Serum anti-HBc levels were statistically significant between patients in different phases of CHB (P < 0.001). The median anti-HBc levels were: IT (3.17 log10 IU/mL), IC (4.39 log10 IU/mL), LR (3.29 log10 IU/mL), ENH (4.12 log10 IU/mL), and PBI (0.61 log10 IU/mL). There existed a strong correlation in IC (r = 0.489, P < 0.001), a poor correlation in ENH (r = 0.275, P = 0.042), and no correlation in patients with ALT reached 5 times upper limit of normal (r = 0.120, P = 0.616). Anti-HBc levels show significant differences during the natural course of CHB. These results may provide some potentially useful insights into hepatitis B pathogenesis and immune activation against hepatitis B virus. PMID:25546679

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-06

    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.

  19. 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

  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. PMID:22701419

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. An investigation of the meteorological and photochemical factors influencing the background rural and marine surface ozone levels in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalabokas, P. D.; Mihalopoulos, N.; Ellul, R.; Kleanthous, S.; Repapis, C. C.

    A study on the spatial distribution as well as an investigation of the possible factors influencing the observed variations of summer (JJA) rural and marine surface ozone background in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean is performed, following observations showing that the 60 ppb EU Air Quality Standard for Human Health Protection is frequently exceeded in the area. For this purpose the measurements of the following four Eastern Mediterranean stations are analyzed: Giordan Lighthouse-Gozo, Malta; Aliartos-Central Greece; Finokalia-Crete, Greece and Ag. Marina, Cyprus. The measured summer afternoon rural and marine ozone levels in Central Greece and on Crete Island are quite comparable, but are found to be significantly higher (by about 15-20%) than the corresponding levels in Malta and Cyprus. After investigating the characteristic meteorological conditions associated with high and low rural and marine surface ozone concentrations, it appears that an important factor leading to high tropospheric ozone values in the Eastern Mediterranean area is the anticyclonic influence of the high-pressure domination over the Central Mediterranean and the Balkans. The rural and marine surface ozone stations located across the Aegean Channel are also influenced by the long-range transport of polluted air masses from the European continent in the boundary layer during summer and the subsequent photochemical ozone production. This characteristic northern flow during summer is created by the combination of the Central Mediterranean anticyclone with the Middle-East low-pressure system. On the other hand, the lowest ozone levels, particularly in the Crete and Cyprus stations, are associated with an extension to the west of the Middle-East low and weak pressure gradients over the Eastern Mediterranean and an upper air trough in the North Eastern Europe.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Integrated Global Background Monitoring Network

    SciTech Connect

    Wiersma, G.B.; Franklin, J.F.; Kohler, A.; Croze, H.; Boelcke, C.

    1986-12-01

    One of the more significant problems when trying to determine what impact is having on global cycles is not knowing what ''natural'' levels should be for both abiotic (gases, trace elements) and biotic (ecosystem functions) processes. The authors believe that a well designed, coordinated network of baseline stations in remote areas around the world can provide a data base will allow best current estimates to be made of biotic and abiotic baseline conditions. These baseline conditions will then help us make better comparisons with more impacted areas, and thus help us more fully understand the impact man is having on his world. This paper examines the history of background pollution monitoring at the international level, describes current activities in the field of ''integrated'' background monitoring, and proposes criteria for the development of a global network of baseline stations to coordinate background monitoring for the presence, accumulation and behavior of pollutants in remote ecosystems. In this paper, this network is called the Integrated Global Background Monitoring Network.

  8. 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.

  9. EFFECTS OF A SERIES OF TRIORGANOTINS ON ATP LEVELS IN HUMAN NATURAL KILLER CELLS

    PubMed Central

    Holloway, Laurin N.; Pannell, Keith H.; Whalen, Margaret M.

    2008-01-01

    Natural killer (NK) cells are our initial immune defense against viral infections and cancer development. Thus, agents that are able to interfere with their function increase the risk of cancer and/or infection. A series of triorganotins, (trimethyltin (TMT), dimethylphenyltin (DMPT), methyldiphenyltin (MDPT), and triphenyltin (TPT)) have been shown to decrease the lytic function of human NK cells. TPT and MDPT were much more effective than DMPT or TMT at reducing lytic function. This study investigates the role that decreased ATP levels may play in decreases in the lytic function of NK cells induced by these OTs. A 24 h exposure to as high as 10 μM TMT caused no decrease in ATP levels even though this level of TMT caused a greater than 75% loss of lytic function. TPT at 200 nM caused a decrease in ATP levels of about 20% while decreasing lytic function by greater than 85%. There was no association between ATP levels and lytic function for any of the compounds when NK cells were exposed for 1h or 24 h. However, after a 48 h exposure to both DMPT and TPT decreased lytic function was associated with decreased ATP levels. There was an association between decreased lytic function and decreased ATP levels after a 6 day exposure to each of the four compounds. These studies indicate that the loss of lytic function seen after 1 h and 24 h exposures to this series of organotins cannot be accounted for by decreases in ATP. However, after longer exposures loss of lytic function may be in part be attributable to inadequate ATP levels. PMID:19122738

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:27419225

  13. 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.

  14. Importance of long-term cycles for predicting water level dynamics in natural lakes.

    PubMed

    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.

  15. 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

  16. 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).

  17. 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). PMID:26812150

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. Increased levels of invariant natural killer T lymphocytes worsen metabolic abnormalities and atherosclerosis in obese mice.

    PubMed

    Subramanian, Savitha; Turner, Michael S; Ding, Yilei; Goodspeed, Leela; Wang, Shari; Buckner, Jane H; O'Brien, Kevin; Getz, Godfrey S; Reardon, Catherine A; Chait, Alan

    2013-10-01

    Obesity is a chronic inflammatory state characterized by infiltration of adipose tissue by immune cell populations, including T lymphocytes. Natural killer T (NKT) cells, a specialized lymphocyte subset recognizing lipid antigens, can be pro- or anti-inflammatory. Their role in adipose inflammation continues to be inconclusive and contradictory. In obesity, the infiltration of tissues by invariant NKT (iNKT) cells is decreased. We therefore hypothesized that an excess iNKT cell complement might improve metabolic abnormalities in obesity. Vα14 transgenic (Vα14tg) mice, with increased iNKT cell numbers, on a LDL receptor-deficient (Ldlr(-/-)) background and control Ldlr(-/-) mice were placed on an obesogenic diet for 16 weeks. Vα14tg.Ldlr(-/-) mice gained 25% more weight and had increased adiposity than littermate controls. Transgenic mice also developed greater dyslipidemia, hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, and hepatic triglyceride accumulation. Increased macrophage Mac2 immunostaining and proinflammatory macrophage gene expression suggested worsened adipose inflammation. Concurrently, these mice had increased atherosclerotic lesion area and aortic inflammation. Thus, increasing the complement of iNKT cells surprisingly exacerbated the metabolic, inflammatory, and atherosclerotic features of obesity. These findings suggest that the reduction of iNKT cells normally observed in obesity may represent a physiological attempt to compensate for this inflammatory condition.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. INCREASES IN CYTOSOLIC CALCIUM ION LEVELS IN HUMAN NATURAL KILLER CELLS IN RESPONSE TO BUTYLTIN EXPOSURE

    PubMed Central

    Lane, Rhonda; Ghazi, Sabah O.; Whalen, Margaret M.

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated whether exposures to butyltins (BTs), tributylin (TBT) and dibutyltin (DBT) were able to alter cytosolic calcium levels in human natural killer (NK) cells. Additionally, the effects of cytosolic calcium ion increases on the activation state of mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in NK cells were also investigated. NK cells are an intital immune defense against the development of tumors or viral infections. TBT and DBT are widespread environmental contaminants, due to their various industrial applications. Both TBT and DBT have been shown to decrease the ability of NK cells to lyse tumor cells (lytic function). TBT has also been shown to activate MAPKs in NK cells. The results of this study indicated that TBT increased cytosolic calcium levels by as much as 100% after a 60 min exposure to 500 nM TBT while DBT increased cytosolic calcium levels to a much smaller extent (and required higher concentrations). The results also indicated that increases in cytosolic calcium could activate MAPKs but only for a short period of time (5 min), while previous studies showed that activation of MAPKs by TBT last for at least 6 hours. Thus, it appears that TBT stimulated increases in cytosolic calcium may contribute to, but are not fully responsible for, TBT-induced activation of MAPKs. PMID:19365649

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-07-14

    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 BaF{sub 2} (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 (V{sub X}) 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 BaF{sub 2} 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)).

  8. 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)).

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Isomeric and ground state energy level measurements of natural tellurium isotopes via (γ,n) reaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamkas, M.; Akcali, O.; Durusoy, A.

    2015-04-01

    We have planned to measure isomeric and ground state energy levels in 120Te(γ,n)119m,gTe, 122Te(γ,n)121m,gTe, 128Te(γ,n)127m,gTe, 130Te(γ,n)129m,gTe photonuclear reactions of natural tellurium induced by bremsstrahlung photons with end-point energy at 18 MeV. The sample was irradiated in the clinical linear electron accelerator (Philips SLi-25) at Akdeniz University Hospital. The gamma spectrum of the tellurium sample was measured using HP(Ge) semiconductor detector (ORTEC) and multi channel analyzer. We used both MAESTRO (ORTEC) and home made root based gui program (Theia) for data analyzing. The obtained experimental data values are compared with NUDAT energy values.

  12. Neotectonics, sea level change, and Quaternary natural gas occurrence in coastal Maine

    SciTech Connect

    Kelly, J.T.; Belknap, D.F.; Shipp, C.R.

    1985-02-01

    The glaciated, passive continental margin of northern New England is not a likely location for either tectonic activity or hydrocarbon accumulation, but neotectonic action has played a role in creating favorable stratigraphic traps for natural gas in the Quaternary inner-shelf and estuarine deposits of Maine. During late glacial time (13,000 year B.P.), a marine inundation accompanied ice retreat across the isostatically depressed lowlands of coastal Maine and blanketed the area with marine sediment (Presumpscot Formation) up to 50 m thick. Unloading of the ice led to rapid coastal rebound within a few thousand years, and the former sea floor became emergent to present depths of -65 m. A gullied and weathered lag surface on the muddy Presumpscot Formation marks the regression that followed deposition. Since about 8000 years B.P., sea level has risen in Maine, and within historic times it has been accompanied by seismicity and subsidence rates up to 9 mm/yr. Examinations of over 1500 km of seismic reflection profiles and limited coring reveal the presence of abundant natural gas in Holocene sediments filling ravines cut into the Presumpscot Formation during emergence. It appears that the gas is derived from and trapped by mud deposited in estuarine depocenters that migrated landward during the Holocene transgression.

  13. Natural hazards in the Great Caucasus range on the background of climate change - risk maps for the Kazbegi and Mleta areas (Georgia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, Tatjana; Gaprindashvili, George; Gobejishvili, Ramin; Keggenhoff, Ina; Elizbarashvili, Mariam; Kalandadze, Besik; Lomidze, Nino; King, Lorenz

    2013-04-01

    features of the subsurface materials, and possibly by lowering the movement persistence up to a critical level in the aeration zone. Kazbegi and Mleta belong to an extremely complex mountainous area of Georgia according to its geology and the scale and frequency of natural disaster processes. Since the year 2000, the activation of these processes results in increased damage for population, farm lands and engineering facilities that can be observed almost every year. The occurrence intervals are becoming significantly shorter. As a result, more populated areas, engineering facilities and industrial objects have to be included in the risk zones.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  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. 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. PMID:23965286

  18. 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.

  19. Cosmogenic radionuclides and noble gases in Antarctic H chondrites with high and normal natural thermoluminescence levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mokos, Jennifer L.; Franke, Luitgard; Scherer, Peter; Schultz, Ludolf; Lipschutz, Michael E.

    2000-07-01

    We report noble gas data for 37 H chondrites collected from the Allan Hills by EUROMET in the 1988/1989 Field Season. Among these are 16 specimens with high levels (>100 krad) of natural thermoluminescence (NTL), originally interpreted as signaling their derivation from a single meteoroid with an orbit that became Earth-crossing -~100 ka ago. One of these 16 is an H3 with a cosmic ray exposure age of ~33 Ma and clearly represents a separate fall. The other 15 H4-6 chondrites derive from 3 separate meteoroids, each of which is represented by a 5- or 6-member group. These groups have mean exposure ages of 3.7, 4.1 and 6.6 Ma: the middle-group members all contain solar Ne. The 2 younger groups also seem to each include a few H chondrites with normal NTL levels. Measurements of cosmogenic 10Be (1.5 Ma), 26Al (710 ka) and 36Cl (301 ka) in 14 of the high NTL chondrites indicate that all reflect a simple irradiation history. In contrast, many of a different, 38-member, randomly-selected suite of Antarctic H chondrites seem to have different cosmic ray irradiation histories. The 3.7 and 6.6 Ma groups from the 37-member Allan Hills suite come, respectively, from about 5-30 cm and about 5-10 cm depths in 80-125 cm and 60-125 cm-radius meteoroids.

  20. Relationships of Preservice Early Childhood Teachers' Cultural Values, Ethical and Cognitive Developmental Levels, and Views of Nature of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akerson, Valarie L.; Buzzelli, Cary A.

    2007-01-01

    This study explored relationships between preservice early childhood teachers' views of nature of science (NOS), cognitive developmental levels, and their cultural values. Using the Views of Nature of Science Questionnaire (VNOS-B) and interviews, we assessed views of NOS. The Learning Context Questionnaire (LCQ) was used to determine the…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Social networks and social support: implications for natural helper and community level interventions.

    PubMed

    Israel, B A

    1985-01-01

    The convincing evidence of the relationship between social support, social networks, and health status has influenced the development of program strategies which are relevant to health education. This article focuses on the linkage between social support and social networks and health education programs which involve interventions at the network and community level. Two broad strategies are addressed: programs enhancing entire networks through natural helpers; and programs strengthening overlapping networks/communities through key opinion and informal leaders who are engaged in the process of community wide problem-solving. Following a brief overview of definitions, this article highlights several network characteristics which are often found to be related to physical and mental health status. Suggestions are made for how these network characteristics can be applied to the two program strategies. Principles of practice for the health educator, and some of the limitations of a social network approach are delineated. The article concludes with a recommendation for engaging in action research--a perspective highly consistent with both the strategies discussed and the concepts of social networks and social support. This approach not only recognizes, but also acts to strengthen indigenous skills and resources. PMID:3980242

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Organic Matter of the Troposphere—II.. Natural Background of biogenic lipid matter in aerosols over the rural western United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simoneit, Bernd R. T.; Mazurek, Monica A.

    Higher plant waxes are the predominant natural components in the lipid fractions (> C 15) of aerosols sampled over rural and oceanic regions. Hydrocarbon, fatty acid, ketone and fatty alcohol fractions of the lipids were characterized in terms of their contents of homologous compound series and specific biogenic molecular markers. Particulate samples from the rural western United States have been analyzed and compared with samples from urban Los Angeles and remote areas over the Atlantic Ocean. The samples from rural sites contained predominantly vascular plant wax and lesser amounts of higher plant sterols and resin residues. Urban samples and, to varying degrees, some rural samples contained primarily higher weight residues of petroleum products. The loadings of hydrocarbons derived from higher plant waxes ranged approximately from 10 to 160 ng m -3 of air (for fatty acids, 10-100 ng m -3 and for fatty alcohols, 10-200 ng m -3). Higher molecular weight lipids (i.e. plant epicuticular wax, terpenes, etc.) from flora comprise a significant component of the organic carbon in rural aerosols. Primary biogenic residues are major components of aerosols in all areas and they are important components in the global cycling of organic carbon.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    John, Lijo; 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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"…

  18. [Meteorological mechanism for the formation of a serious pollution case in Beijing in the background of northerly flow at upper levels].

    PubMed

    Liao, Xiao-nong; Sun, Zhao-bin; Tang, Yi-Xi; Pu, Wei-wei; Li, Zi-ming; Lu, Bing

    2015-03-01

    There is a kind of serious air pollution case occurring in the situation of northerly flow at the levels above 850 hPa in Beijing area. Meteorological data, NCEP reanalysis data and PM2.5 concentration survey were used to analyze the roles of meteorological mechanism in this kind of air pollution case. The results showed that the stable stratification did not exist all the time during the gradual increase of PM2.5 concentration. The favorable meteorological conditions in PM2.5 accumulation came from the layered structure of vertical speed and convergence in vertical direction. From the surface to the middle level of troposphere, the vertical velocity showed an updraft-downdraft-updraft distribution. And the divergence displayed a convergence-divergence-convergence structure. The convergence at lower levels led to the gathering of the polluted air from the surrounding and the ascending current brought it upwards. However, the polluted air could not go further up due to the prolonged downdraft layer above. As the result, PM2.5 near the surface was concentrated gradually. The vertical speed in layer structure was attributed to the high level northerly flow without invading into the boundary layer. In such case, the wind was still in southerly direction or kept calm at the surface. The weak cold air or no cold air at all was the main reason that the northerly flow could not hit the surface. The developed downdraft layer was relative to the convergence above which was resulted from the wind speed pulses in the northerly flow at upper levels. In conclusion, the air dynamical effect played a key role in the pollution type of northerly flow at upper levels. Therefore, it will be beneficial to enhance our capability in the analysis and forecasting of this kind of pollution case by focusing on 24 hours temperature variation at the middle and lower troposphere as well as the vertical distribution of vertical velocity and divergence.

  19. Chlorine Is an Oxide, Heat Causes Molecules to Melt, and Sodium Reacts Badly in Chlorine: A Survey of the Background Knowledge of One A-Level Chemistry Class.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taber, Keith S.

    1996-01-01

    Argues that surveying what new students understand about the basics of a subject can be illuminating. Presents a case study of A-level chemistry students and suggests that, although the details of what was uncovered are idiosyncratic, the paucity of understanding of fundamental concepts may be common. Presents suggestions for responding to such a…

  20. Analysis of hepatic deiodinase 2 mRNA levels in natural fish lake populations exposed to different levels of putative thyroid disrupters.

    PubMed

    Jarque, Sergio; Bosch, Carme; Casado, Marta; Grimalt, Joan O; Raldúa, Demetrio; Piña, Benjamin

    2014-04-01

    Hepatic mRNA levels of the dio2 gene (deiodinase 2), implicated in thyroid hormone homeostasis, were analyzed in trout from six remote lakes in the Pyrenees (Spain) and the Tatra Mountains (Slovakia). Highest levels corresponded to fish from the two coldest lakes in Pyrenees, whereas relatively low levels were found in the Tatra lakes. These values correlated with the presence of highly-brominated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) congeners in the muscle of the same animals, reflecting the distribution of these compounds across European mountain ranges. In contrast, cyp1a expression levels, diagnostic for the presence of dioxin-like pollutants, mirrored the distribution of semi-volatile organochlorine compounds, indicating the specificity of the two types of biological responses. Exposure to PDBEs is known to increase transcription of dio2 and other thyroid-related genes in laboratory experiments; we propose that our data reflects the same phenomenon in natural populations, driven by anthropogenic pollutants at the environmental concentrations.

  1. Cross sections for {sup 68}Ge production in natural- and enriched-germanium targets irradiated with protons of energy 100 MeV and background in experiments devoted to searches for the 2{beta}0{nu} decay of {sup 76}Ge

    SciTech Connect

    Barabanov, I. R. Bezrukov, L. B.; Kianovsky, S. V.; Kornoukhov, V. N.

    2010-11-15

    The rate of {sup 68}Ge production at sea level under the effect of the nuclear component of cosmic rays is calculated. The calculation is based on the experimental values of the cross sections for {sup 68}Ge production in natural- and enriched-germanium targets (enrichment in {sup 76}Ge) irradiated with high-energy protons. The background from the decays of {sup 68}Ge can be a serious problem in new-generation experiments devoted to searches for the 2{beta}0{nu} decay of {sup 76}Ge.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. Relation between residential magnetic fields, light-at-night, and nocturnal urine melatonin levels in women: Volume 1 -- Background and purpose, methods, results, discussion. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Kaune, W.; Davis, S.; Stevens, R.

    1997-11-01

    Scientists have postulated a link between exposure to magnetic fields and reduced blood melatonin levels. This EPRI study was designed to supplement a National Cancer Institute study (NCI-BC) of magnetic fields, light-at-night, and the risk of breast cancer. By expanding the exposure assessment of the NCI-BC and collecting data on urine melatonin levels, this project provides new insight into a possible magnetic field-melatonin link. It has been proposed that exposure to 60-Hz (power frequency) magnetic fields may increase the risk of breast cancer by suppressing the normal nocturnal rise in melatonin production in the pineal gland. It remains unknown whether the human pineal gland is reproducibly responsive or sensitive to magnetic field exposure, and whether such exposures could alter elements of the endogenous hormonal environment in women that might be important in the etiology of breast cancer. The objective of this research was to investigate whether exposure to power-frequency magnetic fields and/or light-at-night is associated with levels of the primary urinary melatonin metabolite in women without a history of breast cancer.

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

    EIA Publications

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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,…

  11. The response of fluid-saturated reservoirs to lunisolar tides: Part 1. Background parameters of tidal components in ground displacements and groundwater level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Besedina, A. N.; Vinogradov, E. A.; Gorbunova, E. M.; Kabychenko, N. V.; Svintsov, I. S.; Pigulevskiy, P. I.; Svistun, V. K.; Shcherbina, S. V.

    2015-01-01

    The first part of this work is dedicated to the response of different-age structures to lunisolar tides, which can be considered as a sounding signal for monitoring the state of fluid-saturated reservoirs. The complex approach to processing the data obtained at the testing sites of the Institute of Geosphere Dynamics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Geophysics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and KIEV station of the IRIS seismic network is applied for recognizing the tides against the hydrogeological, barometric, and seismic series. The comparative analysis of the experimental and theoretical values of the diurnal and semidiurnal tidal components in the time series of ground displacements is carried out. The tidal variations in the groundwater level are compared with the tidal components revealed in the ground displacement of the different-age structure of the Moscow Basin and Ukrainian Shield, which are parts of the East European artesian region. The differences in the tidal responses of the groundwater level and ground displacement probably suggest that the state of the massif is affected by certain additional factors associated, e.g., with the passage of earthquake-induced seismic waves and the changes in the hydrogeodynamic environment.

  12. '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. PMID:22970126

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Peripheral Foxp3+ regulatory T cells and natural killer group 2, member D expression levels in natural killer cells of patients with colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Shen, Yajuan; Wang, Qian; Qi, Yuanying; Cui, Bin; Zhang, Zhifen; Su, Jingran; Liu, Xiaowen; Lu, Chao; Ye, Hui; Ju, Ying; Lu, Zhiming

    2014-08-01

    Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) and natural killer group 2, member D (NKG2D)-positive natural killer (NK) cells are considered to be important in the immune escape of colorectal cancer (CRC). However, the association between these two variables remains obscure. Therefore, in the present study, the levels of peripheral Tregs and NKG2D expression in NK cells and the associations in CRC patients were investigated. A total of 35 CRC patients and 16 healthy controls were enrolled in this study. Flow cytometry was performed to assay Treg numbers and NKG2D expression levels in NK cells in peripheral blood samples. Serum carcino-embryonic antigen (CEA) protein was assayed by electrochemiluminescence. Peripheral Treg numbers were significantly increased (P<0.05), while NKG2D expression levels in NK cells were significantly reduced (P<0.01) in CRC patients compared with healthy controls. However, no significant differences were identified in Treg numbers between CRC patients with and without lymph node metastases and between CRC patients with different clinical stages of CRC. Similarly, no significant differences were detected in NKG2D expression levels in NK cells between the different patient groups. Statistical analysis revealed that increased Treg numbers were not correlated with reduced NKG2D expression levels in NK cells from CRC patients. In addition, no statistical correlation was observed between Treg numbers and serum CEA protein in CRC patients. In conclusion, the upregulation of Tregs was not significantly correlated with the downregulation of NKG2D expression in NK cells in peripheral blood from CRC patients.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. [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.

  18. 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.

  19. System-level multi-target drug discovery from natural products with applications to cardiovascular diseases.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Chunli; Wang, Jinan; Liu, Jianling; Pei, Mengjie; Huang, Chao; Wang, Yonghua

    2014-08-01

    The term systems pharmacology describes a field of study that uses computational and experimental approaches to broaden the view of drug actions rooted in molecular interactions and advance the process of drug discovery. The aim of this work is to stick out the role that the systems pharmacology plays across the multi-target drug discovery from natural products for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Firstly, based on network pharmacology methods, we reconstructed the drug-target and target-target networks to determine the putative protein target set of multi-target drugs for CVDs treatment. Secondly, we reintegrated a compound dataset of natural products and then obtained a multi-target compounds subset by virtual-screening process. Thirdly, a drug-likeness evaluation was applied to find the ADME-favorable compounds in this subset. Finally, we conducted in vitro experiments to evaluate the reliability of the selected chemicals and targets. We found that four of the five randomly selected natural molecules can effectively act on the target set for CVDs, indicating the reasonability of our systems-based method. This strategy may serve as a new model for multi-target drug discovery of complex diseases.

  20. 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

  1. 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

    2016-01-01

    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 (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. PMID:26791784

  2. Background level of risk and the survival of predator-naive prey: can neophobia compensate for predator naivety in juvenile coral reef fishes?

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Maud C O; McCormick, Mark I; Meekan, Mark G; Chivers, Douglas P

    2015-01-22

    Neophobia--the generalized fear response to novel stimuli--provides the first potential strategy that predator-naive prey may use to survive initial predator encounters. This phenotype appears to be highly plastic and present in individuals experiencing high-risk environments, but rarer in those experiencing low-risk environments. Despite the appeal of this strategy as a 'solution' for prey naivety, we lack evidence that this strategy provides any fitness benefit to prey. Here, we compare the relative effect of environmental risk (high versus low) and predator-recognition training (predator-naive versus predator-experienced individuals) on the survival of juvenile fish in the wild. We found that juveniles raised in high-risk conditions survived better than those raised in low-risk conditions, providing the first empirical evidence that environmental risk, in the absence of any predator-specific information, affects the way naive prey survive in a novel environment. Both risk level and experience affected survival; however, the two factors did not interact, indicating that the information provided by both factors did not interfere or enhance each other. From a mechanistic viewpoint, this indicates that the combination of the two factors may increase the intensity, and hence efficacy, of prey evasion strategies, or that both factors provide qualitatively separate benefits that would result in an additive survival success.

  3. Background level of risk and the survival of predator-naive prey: can neophobia compensate for predator naivety in juvenile coral reef fishes?

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Maud C O; McCormick, Mark I; Meekan, Mark G; Chivers, Douglas P

    2015-01-22

    Neophobia--the generalized fear response to novel stimuli--provides the first potential strategy that predator-naive prey may use to survive initial predator encounters. This phenotype appears to be highly plastic and present in individuals experiencing high-risk environments, but rarer in those experiencing low-risk environments. Despite the appeal of this strategy as a 'solution' for prey naivety, we lack evidence that this strategy provides any fitness benefit to prey. Here, we compare the relative effect of environmental risk (high versus low) and predator-recognition training (predator-naive versus predator-experienced individuals) on the survival of juvenile fish in the wild. We found that juveniles raised in high-risk conditions survived better than those raised in low-risk conditions, providing the first empirical evidence that environmental risk, in the absence of any predator-specific information, affects the way naive prey survive in a novel environment. Both risk level and experience affected survival; however, the two factors did not interact, indicating that the information provided by both factors did not interfere or enhance each other. From a mechanistic viewpoint, this indicates that the combination of the two factors may increase the intensity, and hence efficacy, of prey evasion strategies, or that both factors provide qualitatively separate benefits that would result in an additive survival success. PMID:25621337

  4. Estimation of the local and long-range contributions to particulate matter levels using continuous measurements in a single urban background site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diamantopoulou, Marianna; Skyllakou, Ksakousti; Pandis, Spyros N.

    2016-06-01

    The Particulate Matter Source Apportionment Technology (PSAT) algorithm is used together with PMCAMx, a regional chemical transport model, to develop a simple observation-based method (OBM) for the estimation of local and regional contributions of sources of primary and secondary pollutants in urban areas. We test the hypothesis that the minimum of the diurnal average concentration profile of the pollutant is a good estimate of the average contribution of long range transport levels. We use PMCAMx to generate "pseudo-observations" for four different European cities (Paris, London, Milan, and Dusseldorf) and PSAT to estimate the corresponding "true" local and regional contributions. The predictions of the proposed OBM are compared to the "true" values for different definitions of the source area. During winter, the estimates by the OBM for the local contributions to the concentrations of total PM2.5, primary pollutants, and sulfate are within 25% of the "true" contributions of the urban area sources. For secondary organic aerosol the OBM overestimates the importance of the local sources and it actually estimates the contributions of sources within 200 km from the receptor. During summer for primary pollutants and cities with low nearby emissions (ratio of emissions in an area extending 100 km from the city over local emissions lower than 10) the OBM estimates correspond to the city emissions within 25% or so. For cities with relatively high nearby emissions the OBM estimates correspond to emissions within 100 km from the receptor. For secondary PM2.5 components like sulfate and secondary organic aerosol the OBM's estimates correspond to sources within 200 km from the receptor. Finally, for total PM2.5 the OBM provides approximately the contribution of city emissions during the winter and the contribution of sources within 100 km from the receptor during the summer.

  5. Levels of alpha-toxin correlate with distinct phenotypic response profiles of blood mononuclear cells and with agr background of community-associated Staphylococcus aureus isolates.

    PubMed

    Mairpady Shambat, Srikanth; Haggar, Axana; Vandenesch, Francois; Lina, Gerard; van Wamel, Willem J B; Arakere, Gayathri; Svensson, Mattias; Norrby-Teglund, Anna

    2014-01-01

    Epidemiological studies of Staphylococcus aureus have shown a relation between certain clones and the presence of specific virulence genes, but how this translates into virulence-associated functional responses is not fully elucidated. Here we addressed this issue by analyses of community-acquired S. aureus strains characterized with respect to antibiotic resistance, ST types, agr types, and virulence gene profiles. Supernatants containing exotoxins were prepared from overnight bacterial cultures, and tested in proliferation assays using human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). The strains displayed stable phenotypic response profiles, defined by either a proliferative or cytotoxic response. Although, virtually all strains elicited superantigen-mediated proliferative responses, the strains with a cytotoxic profile induced proliferation only in cultures with the most diluted supernatants. This indicated that the superantigen-response was masked by a cytotoxic effect which was also confirmed by flow cytometry analysis. The cytotoxic supernatants contained significantly higher levels of α-toxin than did the proliferative supernatants. Addition of α-toxin to supernatants characterized as proliferative switched the response into cytotoxic profiles. In contrast, no effect of Panton Valentine Leukocidin, δ-toxin or phenol soluble modulin α-3 was noted in the proliferative assay. Furthermore, a significant association between agr type and phenotypic profile was found, where agrII and agrIII strains had predominantly a proliferative profile whereas agrI and IV strains had a predominantly cytotoxic profile. The differential response profiles associated with specific S. aureus strains with varying toxin production could possibly have an impact on disease manifestations, and as such may reflect specific pathotypes.

  6. Estimation of the local and long-range contributions to particulate matter levels using continuous measurements in a single urban background site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diamantopoulou, Marianna; Skyllakou, Ksakousti; Pandis, Spyros N.

    2016-06-01

    The Particulate Matter Source Apportionment Technology (PSAT) algorithm is used together with PMCAMx, a regional chemical transport model, to develop a simple observation-based method (OBM) for the estimation of local and regional contributions of sources of primary and secondary pollutants in urban areas. We test the hypothesis that the minimum of the diurnal average concentration profile of the pollutant is a good estimate of the average contribution of long range transport levels. We use PMCAMx to generate "pseudo-observations" for four different European cities (Paris, London, Milan, and Dusseldorf) and PSAT to estimate the corresponding "true" local and regional contributions. The predictions of the proposed OBM are compared to the "true" values for different definitions of the source area. During winter, the estimates by the OBM for the local contributions to the concentrations of total PM2.5, primary pollutants, and sulfate are within 25% of the "true" contributions of the urban area sources. For secondary organic aerosol the OBM overestimates the importance of the local sources and it actually estimates the contributions of sources within 200 km from the receptor. During summer for primary pollutants and cities with low nearby emissions (ratio of emissions in an area extending 100 km from the city over local emissions lower than 10) the OBM estimates correspond to the city emissions within 25% or so. For cities with relatively high nearby emissions the OBM estimates correspond to emissions within 100 km from the receptor. For secondary PM2.5 components like sulfate and secondary organic aerosol the OBM's estimates correspond to sources within 200 km from the receptor. Finally, for total PM2.5 the OBM provides approximately the contribution of city emissions during the winter and the contribution of sources within 100 km from the receptor during the summer.

  7. Levels of Alpha-Toxin Correlate with Distinct Phenotypic Response Profiles of Blood Mononuclear Cells and with agr Background of Community-Associated Staphylococcus aureus Isolates

    PubMed Central

    Mairpady Shambat, Srikanth; Haggar, Axana; Vandenesch, Francois; Lina, Gerard; van Wamel, Willem J. B.; Arakere, Gayathri; Svensson, Mattias; Norrby-Teglund, Anna

    2014-01-01

    Epidemiological studies of Staphylococcus aureus have shown a relation between certain clones and the presence of specific virulence genes, but how this translates into virulence-associated functional responses is not fully elucidated. Here we addressed this issue by analyses of community-acquired S. aureus strains characterized with respect to antibiotic resistance, ST types, agr types, and virulence gene profiles. Supernatants containing exotoxins were prepared from overnight bacterial cultures, and tested in proliferation assays using human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). The strains displayed stable phenotypic response profiles, defined by either a proliferative or cytotoxic response. Although, virtually all strains elicited superantigen-mediated proliferative responses, the strains with a cytotoxic profile induced proliferation only in cultures with the most diluted supernatants. This indicated that the superantigen-response was masked by a cytotoxic effect which was also confirmed by flow cytometry analysis. The cytotoxic supernatants contained significantly higher levels of α-toxin than did the proliferative supernatants. Addition of α-toxin to supernatants characterized as proliferative switched the response into cytotoxic profiles. In contrast, no effect of Panton Valentine Leukocidin, δ-toxin or phenol soluble modulin α-3 was noted in the proliferative assay. Furthermore, a significant association between agr type and phenotypic profile was found, where agrII and agrIII strains had predominantly a proliferative profile whereas agrI and IV strains had a predominantly cytotoxic profile. The differential response profiles associated with specific S. aureus strains with varying toxin production could possibly have an impact on disease manifestations, and as such may reflect specific pathotypes. PMID:25166615

  8. Background Reduction in Cryogenic Detectors

    SciTech Connect

    Bauer, Daniel A.

    2005-09-08

    This paper discusses the background reduction and rejection strategy of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) experiment. Recent measurements of background levels from CDMS II at Soudan are presented, along with estimates for future improvements in sensitivity expected for a proposed SuperCDMS experiment at SNOLAB.

  9. Background reduction in cryogenic detectors

    SciTech Connect

    Bauer, Daniel A.; /Fermilab

    2005-04-01

    This paper discusses the background reduction and rejection strategy of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) experiment. Recent measurements of background levels from CDMS II at Soudan are presented, along with estimates for future improvements in sensitivity expected for a proposed SuperCDMS experiment at SNOLAB.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. [No increased urinary arsenic levels in children living on naturally arsenic-rich soil].

    PubMed

    van den Hazel, P J; ten Hove, M; Peerenboom, P B

    1993-08-14

    In order to assess the health effect of environmental exposure to arsenic, the urinary arsenic concentrations were determined in 25 children aged 2-5 yr in the De Huet quarter in Doetinchem, an area with an increased amount of naturally occurring arsenic in the upper soil, and in 25 children from the other quarters of Doetinchem. With a questionnaire information was obtained regarding playing outdoors and eating fish (also a source of arsenic intake). There were no statistically significant differences in urinary arsenic concentrations between the subgroups of children.

  13. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Nguyen, H.T.; Shanklin, J.; Mishra, G.; Whittle, E.; Bevan, S. A.; Merlo, A. O.; Walsh, T. A.

    2010-12-01

    Plant oils containing {omega}-7 fatty acids (FAs; palmitoleic 16:1{Delta}{sup 9} and cis-vaccenic 18:1{Delta}{sup 11}) have potential as sustainable feedstocks for producing industrially important octene via metathesis chemistry. Engineering plants to produce seeds that accumulate high levels of any unusual FA has been an elusive goal. We achieved high levels of {omega}-7 FA accumulation by systematic metabolic engineering of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). A plastidial 16:0-ACP desaturase has been engineered to convert 16:0 to 16:1{Delta}{sup 9} with specificity >100-fold than that of naturally occurring paralogs, such as that from cat's claw vine (Doxantha unguis-cati). Expressing this engineered enzyme (Com25) in seeds increased {omega}-7 FA accumulation from <2% to 14%. Reducing competition for 16:0-ACP by down-regulating the {beta}-ketoacyl-ACP synthase II 16:0 elongase further increased accumulation of {omega}-7 FA to 56%. The level of 16:0 exiting the plastid without desaturation also increased to 21%. Coexpression of a pair of fungal 16:0 desaturases in the cytosol reduced the 16:0 level to 11% and increased {omega}-7 FA to as much as 71%, equivalent to levels found in Doxantha seeds.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deniz, Hasan; Adibelli, Elif

    2015-12-01

    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 course of this study. The primary data sources were (a) assessment of the elementary teachers' NOS views before and after the graduate level NOS course using the Views of Nature of Science Questionnaire Version B (VNOS-B) (Lederman et al., 2002) coupled with interviews, and (b) a classroom observation and videotaped recording of the elementary teachers' best NOS lessons coupled with interview. We identified three distinct but related factors that mediated the translation of NOS views into classroom practice: the teachers' perspectives about the developmental appropriateness of the NOS aspect, the teachers' selection of target NOS aspects, and the relative importance placed by teachers on each NOS aspect.

  16. 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. PMID:27564573

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:27564573

  19. Natural gamma radiation map (MARNA) and indoor radon levels in Spain.

    PubMed

    Quindós Poncela, L S; Fernández, P L; Gómez Arozamena, J; Sainz, C; Fernández, J A; Suarez Mahou, E; Martin Matarranz, J L; Cascón, M C

    2004-02-01

    During the last decade, the Department of Applied and Medical Physics has been involved in the development of a radiation protection programme. In the framework of this programme, measurements of indoor radon, principally, have been carried out nationwide. Geometric mean radon concentrations of 45 Bq m(-3) in the whole country and 130 Bq m(-3) in the high natural radiation area have been estimated. On the other hand, the so-called MARNA Project is developed into the framework of an agreement subscribed between the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) and the National Uranium (ENUSA), the first phase of which has been the elaboration of the Natural Gamma Radiation Map of Spain on the scale of 1:1,000,000 using radiometric data generated in the 30 years of the lifetime of the ancient National Uranium Exploration and Investigation Plan mainly through airborne, carborne, and by foot surveys, within the MARNA Project itself. The lowest averaged dose rate from external gamma radiation (19.3 nGyh(-1)) was found in carbonate bedrock and the highest (87.7 nGyh(-1)) was found in granite and clay bedrock. This paper summarizes the main results obtained from the measurements performed in both projects, with special interest in those concerning the correlation between the data reported in order to conclude about the potential benefit of the MARNA maps in the definition of affected areas in the country.

  20. 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).

  1. 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.

  2. Natural radioactivity levels and radiation hazard indices in granite from Aswan to Wadi El-Allaqi southeastern desert, Egypt.

    PubMed

    El-Taher, A; Uosif, M A M; Orabi, A A

    2007-01-01

    Studies on radiation level and radionuclide distribution in granite from Aswan to Wadi El-Allaqi area that is located in southeastern desert of Egypt were undertaken. The samples collected from five locations: Gabal El Mesala, Umm Hibal, Abu Herigle, Abu Marw and Deneibit El Quleib. The purpose of this study is to provide a baseline map of radioactivity background levels in the investigated area environment, and this study will be used as reference information to assess any changes in the radioactive background level due to geological processes. The highest average values of 226Ra and 232Th concentrations (24.00 and 31.28 Bq kg(-1), respectively) were observed at Abu Herigle region, whereas the highest average value of 40K concentration, 589.95 Bq kg(-1), was detected in Umm Hibal. The absorbed dose rate in air was found to be in the range between 5.40 and 45.11 nGy h(-1), and radium equivalent activity concentration was found in the range between 29.57 and 71.85 Bq kg(-1). Also the representative external hazard index values for the corresponding samples were also estimated and given.

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. Protein levels and colony development of Africanized and European honey bees fed natural and artificial diets.

    PubMed

    Morais, M M; Turcatto, A P; Pereira, R A; Francoy, T M; Guidugli-Lazzarini, K R; Gonçalves, L S; de Almeida, J M V; Ellis, J D; De Jong, D

    2013-12-19

    Pollen substitute diets are a valuable resource for maintaining strong and health honey bee colonies. Specific diets may be useful in one region or country and inadequate or economically unviable in others. We compared two artificial protein diets that had been formulated from locally-available ingredients in Brazil with bee bread and a non-protein sucrose diet. Groups of 100 newly-emerged, adult workers of Africanized honey bees in Brazil and European honey bees in the USA were confined in small cages and fed on one of four diets for seven days. The artificial diets included a high protein diet made of soy milk powder and albumin, and a lower protein level diet consisting of soy milk powder, brewer's yeast and rice bran. The initial protein levels in newly emerged bees were approximately 18-21 µg/µL hemolymph. After feeding on the diets for seven days, the protein levels in the hemolymph were similar among the protein diet groups (~37-49 µg/µL after seven days), although Africanized bees acquired higher protein levels, increasing 145 and 100% on diets D1 and D2, respectively, versus 83 and 60% in the European bees. All the protein diets resulted in significantly higher levels of protein than sucrose solution alone. In the field, the two pollen substitute diets were tested during periods of low pollen availability in the field in two regions of Brazil. Food consumption, population development, colony weight, and honey production were evaluated to determine the impact of the diets on colony strength parameters. The colonies fed artificial diets had a significant improvement in all parameters, while control colonies dwindled during the dearth period. We conclude that these two artificial protein diets have good potential as pollen substitutes during dearth periods and that Africanized bees more efficiently utilize artificial protein diets than do European honey bees.

  11. Natural fluoride and trace metal levels of ground and surface waters in the greater Accra region of Ghana.

    PubMed

    Botchway, C A; Ansa-Asare, O D; Antwi, L A

    1996-01-01

    In a study of levels of fluoride and trace metals in ten different stations of both surface and groundwaters in the Greater Accra Region, Ghana, groundwaters were found to have lower pH than surface water, resulting in groundwaters having higher concentrations of dissolved ions. Groundwaters had higher fluoride levels than surface waters. The correlation coefficient for fluoride on total alkalinity and for fluoride on sodium were 0.56 and 0.27 respectively which implied that rock weathering played a minor role in the recorded fluoride enrichment of the underground waters. A likely mechanism for the higher underground fluoride levels could be bacterial decay of plant materials resulting in the release of fluoride to the underground waters. The levels of Cu, Cd, Pb and Zn fell within the expected background ranges. 90% of the sites had Mn levels above the detection limits in both underground and surface waters. 70% of boreholes in Accra plains had Fe levels higher than the WHO recommended limits of 0.3 mg/l for drinking water. Generally, underground waters had higher concentration of fluoride and trace metals than surface waters.

  12. 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.

  13. Analysis of hepatic deiodinase 2 mRNA levels in natural fish lake populations exposed to different levels of putative thyroid disrupters.

    PubMed

    Jarque, Sergio; Bosch, Carme; Casado, Marta; Grimalt, Joan O; Raldúa, Demetrio; Piña, Benjamin

    2014-04-01

    Hepatic mRNA levels of the dio2 gene (deiodinase 2), implicated in thyroid hormone homeostasis, were analyzed in trout from six remote lakes in the Pyrenees (Spain) and the Tatra Mountains (Slovakia). Highest levels corresponded to fish from the two coldest lakes in Pyrenees, whereas relatively low levels were found in the Tatra lakes. These values correlated with the presence of highly-brominated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) congeners in the muscle of the same animals, reflecting the distribution of these compounds across European mountain ranges. In contrast, cyp1a expression levels, diagnostic for the presence of dioxin-like pollutants, mirrored the distribution of semi-volatile organochlorine compounds, indicating the specificity of the two types of biological responses. Exposure to PDBEs is known to increase transcription of dio2 and other thyroid-related genes in laboratory experiments; we propose that our data reflects the same phenomenon in natural populations, driven by anthropogenic pollutants at the environmental concentrations. PMID:24530182

  14. Natural levels of abnormalities in the trilling frog (neobactrachus centralis) at the Olympic dam mine

    SciTech Connect

    Read, J.L. ); Tyler, M.J. )

    1994-07-01

    Frogs are more susceptible than most vertebrates to environmental contaminants. Unlike amniotes, the frog egg is not protected by a semi-impervious shell, and hence is readily exposed to pollutants. In addition, tadpoles develop in wetlands to which many noxious substances drain from the surrounding landscape. Coupled with this high exposure rate, frogs are also very sensitive to trace elements, some pesticides, heavy metals especially when coupled with exposure to low pH and ionizing radiation. Frogs commonly exhibit discernible deformities following exposure to teratogenic contaminants, and therefore are valuable indicators of the existence of noxious substances in the environment. The abundance and ease of sampling of frogs, along with their sensitivity to environmental contaminants, makes them ideal organisms for environmental monitoring in the Australian arid zone. The study of abnormalities in frogs has become an integral part of the Environmental Management Programme of the Olympic Dam Operations (ODO) copper-uranium-gold-silver mine in northern South Australia. The Trilling Frog (Neobatrachus centralis) is the only frog species which has been recorded at Olympic Dam. It is likely that these frogs, are relatively sedentary, thus enhancing their value as indicator organisms. A pilot survey in 1989 documented frog deformity levels comparable to those found at undisturbed sites in Australia and in other countries. This paper reports on larger study conducted in February and March 1992 when heavy rains provided another opportunity to survey the frog population. The low levels of abnormalities support the conclusion that N. centralis at Olympic Dam does not appear to be accumulating or being influenced by the very low levels of radionuclides present here.

  15. Research Frontiers in Bioinspired Energy: Molecular-Level Learning from Natural Systems: A Workshop

    SciTech Connect

    Zolandz, Dorothy

    2012-03-28

    An interactive, multidisciplinary, public workshop, organized by a group of experts in biochemistry, biophysics, chemical and biomolecular engineering, chemistry, microbial metabolism, and protein structure and function, was held on January 6-7, 2011 in Washington, DC. Fundamental insights into the biological energy capture, storage, and transformation processes provided by speakers was featured in this workshop which included topics such as microbes living in extreme environments such as hydrothermal vents or caustic soda lakes (extremophiles) provided a fascinating basis for discussing the exploration and development of new energy systems. Breakout sessions and extended discussions among the multidisciplinary groups of participants in the workshop fostered information sharing and possible collaborations on future bioinspired research. Printed and web-based materials that summarize the committee's assessment of what transpired at the workshop were prepared to advance further understanding of fundamental chemical properties of biological systems within and between the disciplines. In addition, webbased materials (including two animated videos) were developed to make the workshop content more accessible to a broad audience of students and researchers working across disciplinary boundaries. Key workshop discussion topics included: Exploring and identifying novel organisms; Identifying patterns and conserved biological structures in nature; Exploring and identifying fundamental properties and mechanisms of known biological systems; Supporting current, and creating new, opportunities for interdisciplinary education, training, and outreach; and Applying knowledge from biology to create new devices and sustainable technology.

  16. The Behaviour of Naturally Debonded Composites Due to Bending Using a Meso-Level Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lord, C. E.; Rongong, J. A.; Hodzic, A.

    2012-06-01

    Numerical simulations and analytical models are increasingly being sought for the design and behaviour prediction of composite materials. The use of high-performance composite materials is growing in both civilian and defence related applications. With this growth comes the necessity to understand and predict how these new materials will behave under their exposed environments. In this study, the displacement behaviour of naturally debonded composites under out-of-plane bending conditions has been investigated. An analytical approach has been developed to predict the displacement response behaviour. The analytical model supports multi-layered composites with full and partial delaminations. The model can be used to extract bulk effective material properties in which can be represented, later, as an ESL (Equivalent Single Layer). The friction between each of the layers is included in the analytical model and is shown to have distinct behaviour for these types of composites. Acceptable agreement was observed between the model predictions, the ANSYS finite element model, and the experiments.

  17. Effect of natural gas exsolution on specific storage in a confined aquifer undergoing water level decline

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yager, R.M.; Fountain, J.C.

    2001-01-01

    The specific storage of a porous medium, a function of the compressibility of the aquifer material and the fluid within it, is essentially constant under normal hydrologic conditions. Gases dissolved in ground water can increase the effective specific storage of a confined aquifer, however, during water level declines. This causes a reduction in pore pressure that lowers the gas solubility and results in exsolution. The exsolved gas then displaces water from storage, and the specific storage increases because gas compressibility is typically much greater than that of water or aquifer material. This work describes the effective specific storage of a confined aquifer exsolving dissolved gas as a function of hydraulic head and the dimensionless Henry's law constant for the gas. This relation is applied in a transient simulation of ground water discharge from a confined aquifer system to a collapsed salt mine in the Genesee Valley in western New York. Results indicate that exsolution of gas significantly increased the effective specific storage in the aquifer system, thereby decreasing the water level drawdown.

  18. The dynamic nature of relative sea level in Southeast Asia: tectonic effects and human impacts (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, E.; Qiu, Q.; Feng, L.; Lubis, A.; Meltzner, A. J.; Tsang, L. L.; Daly, P.; McCaughey, J.; Banerjee, P.; Rubin, C. M.; Sieh, K.

    2013-12-01

    Tectonic changes can have significant effects on crustal deformation, the geoid, and relative sea level (RSL). Indeed, the tectonic impacts on RSL in some regions can be greater than those predicted as a result of climate change. In the case of earthquakes, these changes can occur suddenly, as coastlines uplift or subside by up to many meters. The changes can also occur over many decades as a result of interseismic or postseismic processes, or periodically in the form of transient slow-slip events. Although these effects are (mostly) recovered elastically over the course of the earthquake cycle, they are occurring in the context of ever-increasing populations living along affected coastlines, particularly the case in areas such as SE Asia. The societal effects of these tectonic-induced sea-level changes are therefore becoming increasingly significant, and important to consider in future projections for sea-level change. Additionally, tide-gauge and gravity measurements made in tectonically active areas cannot be interpreted without consideration and modeling of the tectonic setting. These facts highlight the need for accurate geodetic measurements of land-height change. Along the Sumatra subduction zone, a series of great earthquakes have occurred over the last decade, along with numerous moderate and smaller earthquakes. These, and their ensuing postseismic deformation, have reshaped regional coastlines. We will show visualization of land height changes using a decade of Sumatra GPS Array (SuGAr) data, and related tectonic models, that demonstrate dramatically the ups and downs of land elevation close to the earthquake sources. Vertical coseismic displacements as large as ~2.9 m have been recorded by the SuGAr (an uplift at Nias, during the 2005 Mw 8.6 earthquake), and vertical postseismic rates on the order of tens of mm/yr or greater (e.g., in northern Aceh, one station has been uplifting at a rate of ~34 mm/yr since the 2004 Mw 9.2 earthquake, while in southern

  19. A global perspective on the timing and nature of sub-orbital sea level oscillations during MIS 5e

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutton, A.; Webster, J.

    2015-12-01

    Although multiple, sub-orbital peaks in sea level during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5e have a long history in the literature, there is still debate regarding the number, timing, and magnitude of sea-level peaks. A wide range of competing scenarios have been proposed based on observations from individual field sites including: (i) a stable sea level, (ii) a stable sea level punctuated by an ephemeral drop in sea level (2 peaks), (iii) a stable sea level followed by a rapid rise (2 peaks), or (iv) several (3-4) peaks in sea level that define an oscillating trend during the highstand. While some field sites appear to have conflicting evidence regarding the timing and nature of relative sea-level changes that cannot be reconciled through glacial isostatic processes alone, clearly there must be one global mean sea level (GMSL) reconstruction that gave rise to the evidence that is presently observed in the geologic record. We take a holistic approach to understanding the evolution of sea level during the MIS 5e highstand by integrating sedimentary, floral, faunal, and geochemical evidence from coral reef sites around the globe. Our aim is to develop a scenario for sea-level change during the MIS 5e highstand that satisfies the global observational dataset. Several conclusions emerge from this analysis: (1) there are many sites that preserve clear sedimentary evidence for two distinct sub-orbital peaks in sea level, and fewer that have possible evidence for more than two peaks; (2) there is conflicting evidence as to whether these two peaks are separated by an ephemeral sea-level fall, or whether they are defined by a stable sea level followed by a rapid rise; (3) multiple sites demonstrate significantly different geochemical signatures associated with distinct generations of reef growth as defined by their U-series geochemistry, indicating different post-depositional histories that may be related to differences in post-depositional marine submergence and exposure

  20. Distribution of low-level natural radioactivity in a populated marine region of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Evangeliou, Nikolaos; Florou, Heleny; Kritidis, Panayotis

    2012-12-01

    The levels of natural radioactivity have been evaluated in the water column of an eastern Mediterranean region (Saronikos Gulf), with respect to the relevant environmental parameters. A novel methodology was used for the determination of natural radionuclides, which substitutes the time-consuming radiochemical analysis, based on an in situ sample preconcentration using ion-selective manganese fibres placed on pumping systems. With regard to the results obtained, (238)U-series radionuclides were found at the same level or lower than those observed previously in Mediterranean regions indicating the absence of technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material (TENORM) activities in the area. Similar results were observed for the (232)Th-series radionuclides and (40)K in the water column in comparison with the relevant literature on the Mediterranean Sea. The calculated ratios of (238)U-(232)Th and (40)K-(232)Th verified the lack of TENORM contribution in the Saronikos Gulf. Finally, a rough estimation was attempted concerning the residence times of fresh water inputs from a treatment plant of domestic wastes (Waste Water Treatment Plant of Psitalia) showing that fresh waters need a maximum of 15.7±7.6 d to be mixed with the open sea water.

  1. Strategy for identifying natural analogs of the long-term performance of low-level waste disposal sites

    SciTech Connect

    Chatters, J.C.; Waugh, W.J.; Foley, M.G.; Kincaid, C.T.

    1990-07-01

    The US Department of Energy's Low-Level Waste (LLW) Management Program has asked Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) to explore the feasibility of using natural analogs of anticipated waste site and conditions to help validate predictions of the performance of LLW disposal sites. Current regulations require LLW facilities to control the spread of hazardous substances into the environment for at least the next 500 years. Natural analog studies can provide information about processes affecting waste containment that cannot be fully explored through laboratory experimentation and modeling because of the extended period of required performance. For LLW applications, natural analogs include geochemical systems, pedogenic (soil formation) indicators, proxy climate data, and ecological and archaeological settings that portray long-term changes in disposal site environments and the survivability of proposed waste containment materials and structures. Analog data consist of estimates of performance assessment (PA) model input parameters that define possible future environmental states of waste sites, validation parameters that can be predicted by PA models, and descriptive information that can build public confidence in waste disposal practices. This document describes PNL's overall stategy for identifying analogs for LLW disposal systems, reviews lessons learned from past analogs work, outlines the findings of the workshop, and presents examples of analog studies that workshop participants found to be applicable to LLW performance assessment. The lessons from the high-level waste analogs experience and workshop discussions will be used to develop detailed study plans during FY 1990. 39 refs.

  2. Consumer attitude and purchase intention towards processed meat products with natural compounds and a reduced level of nitrite.

    PubMed

    Hung, Yung; de Kok, Theo M; Verbeke, Wim

    2016-11-01

    This study investigates consumer attitude and purchase intention towards processed meat products with added natural compounds and a reduced level of nitrite. The rationale for such innovation relates to nitrite's negative health image as a chemical additive among consumers, versus the perception of compounds from fruits and vegetables as being natural and healthy. Cross-sectional data were collected through online questionnaires on knowledge about, interest in, attitude and intentions towards such new type of processed meat products in Belgium, The Netherlands, Italy and Germany (n=2057). Consumers generally had limited knowledge about nitrite being added to meat products. Yet, they expressed favourable attitudes and purchase intentions towards the new processed meat products. Purchase intention associated positively with: attitude; preference for natural over chemical additives; perceived harmfulness of chemical additives; risk importance; domain specific innovativeness; awareness of nitrite added; education; general health interest; and processed meat consumption frequency. Consumers from Italy and Germany had a lower level of purchase intention compared to Belgium. Four consumer segments were identified based on attitude and purchase intention: 'enthusiasts' (39.3% of the sample), 'accepters' (11.9%), 'half-hearted' (42.3%) and 'uninterested' (6.6%). This study provides valuable insight for further product development and effective tailoring of marketing communication strategies of innovative processed meat products. PMID:27310600

  3. Consumer attitude and purchase intention towards processed meat products with natural compounds and a reduced level of nitrite.

    PubMed

    Hung, Yung; de Kok, Theo M; Verbeke, Wim

    2016-11-01

    This study investigates consumer attitude and purchase intention towards processed meat products with added natural compounds and a reduced level of nitrite. The rationale for such innovation relates to nitrite's negative health image as a chemical additive among consumers, versus the perception of compounds from fruits and vegetables as being natural and healthy. Cross-sectional data were collected through online questionnaires on knowledge about, interest in, attitude and intentions towards such new type of processed meat products in Belgium, The Netherlands, Italy and Germany (n=2057). Consumers generally had limited knowledge about nitrite being added to meat products. Yet, they expressed favourable attitudes and purchase intentions towards the new processed meat products. Purchase intention associated positively with: attitude; preference for natural over chemical additives; perceived harmfulness of chemical additives; risk importance; domain specific innovativeness; awareness of nitrite added; education; general health interest; and processed meat consumption frequency. Consumers from Italy and Germany had a lower level of purchase intention compared to Belgium. Four consumer segments were identified based on attitude and purchase intention: 'enthusiasts' (39.3% of the sample), 'accepters' (11.9%), 'half-hearted' (42.3%) and 'uninterested' (6.6%). This study provides valuable insight for further product development and effective tailoring of marketing communication strategies of innovative processed meat products.

  4. Effects of chemical elements in the trophic levels of natural salt marshes.

    PubMed

    Kamiński, Piotr; Barczak, Tadeusz; Bennewicz, Janina; Jerzak, Leszek; Bogdzińska, Maria; Aleksandrowicz, Oleg; Koim-Puchowska, Beata; Szady-Grad, Małgorzata; Klawe, Jacek J; Woźniak, Alina

    2016-06-01

    The relationships between the bioaccumulation of Na, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Cu, Mn, Co, Cd, and Pb, acidity (pH), salinity (Ec), and organic matter content within trophic levels (water-soil-plants-invertebrates) were studied in saline environments in Poland. Environments included sodium manufactures, wastes utilization areas, dumping grounds, and agriculture cultivation, where disturbed Ca, Mg, and Fe exist and the impact of Cd and Pb is high. We found Zn, Cu, Mn, Co, and Cd accumulation in the leaves of plants and in invertebrates. Our aim was to determine the selectivity exhibited by soil for nutrients and heavy metals and to estimate whether it is important in elucidating how these metals are available for plant/animal uptake in addition to their mobility and stability within soils. We examined four ecological plant groups: trees, shrubs, minor green plants, and water macrophytes. Among invertebrates, we sampled breastplates Malacostraca, small arachnids Arachnida, diplopods Diplopoda, small insects Insecta, and snails Gastropoda. A higher level of chemical elements was found in saline polluted areas (sodium manufactures and anthropogenic sites). Soil acidity and salinity determined the bioaccumulation of free radicals in the trophic levels measured. A pH decrease caused Zn and Cd to increase in sodium manufactures and an increase in Ca, Zn, Cu, Cd, and Pb in the anthropogenic sites. pH increase also caused Na, Mg, and Fe to increase in sodium manufactures and an increase in Na, Fe, Mn, and Co in the anthropogenic sites. There was a significant correlation between these chemical elements and Ec in soils. We found significant relationships between pH and Ec, which were positive in saline areas of sodium manufactures and negative in the anthropogenic and control sites. These dependencies testify that the measurement of the selectivity of cations and their fluctuation in soils provide essential information on the affinity and binding strength in these environments. The

  5. Antimicrobial activity of various immunomodulators: independence from normal levels of circulating monocytes and natural killer cells. Technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Morahan, P.S.; Dempsey, W.L.; Volkman, A.; Connor, J.

    1986-01-01

    The effects of /sup 89/Sr treatment on the natural host resistance of CD-1 mice and the enhancement of resistance by immunomodulators to infection with Listeria monocytogenes or herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) were determined. In the CD-1 mouse, single-dose treatment with /sup 89/Sr caused a profound decrease in the number of circulating monocytes (Mo), lymphocytes, and polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) within 1 week. There was also marked functional impairment of the Mo inflammatory response, as well as markedly decreased spontaneous and activatable cytoxicity by splenic natural killer (NK) cells. Despite this profound cellular suppression, there was no significant change in natural resistance of CD-1 mice to L. monocytogenes of HSV-2 infection. Furthermore, prophylactic treatment of mice with the biologic immunomodulator Corynebacterium parvum or the synthetic immunomodulators maleic anhydride-divinyl ether or avridine in liposomes resulted in comparable enhancement of resistance in /sup 89/Sr-treated and normal mice. These data indicate that natural and immunomodulator-enhanced resistance of CD-1 mice to microbail infections do not depend on normal levels of Mo, PMN, or NK cells. The resistance enhancement may rely on activated tissue macrophages. In contrast to the early changes in circulating leukocytes, the residenet peritoneal cell populations were not markedly altered until after day 30. There then was a distinct decline in lymphocytes and a gradual decline in activated tissue macrophages.

  6. Natural tritium levels in tender and ripe coconut fruit (Cocos nucifera L.): a preliminary examination.

    PubMed

    Narayan, K K; Deo, J V; Abani, M C

    2000-07-10

    Tissue Free Water Tritium concentrations (TFWT) were determined in tender coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) water, ripe coconut water, and kernel milk water, and compared with the same in groundwater collected from the vicinity of the trees. Samples with a very low tritium content were enriched by the alkaline electrolysis method. All of the samples were analyzed for tritium content in an ultra-low level liquid scintillation spectrometer. The TFWT in kernel milk water was found to be approximately 20-40 times higher than that in the groundwater. The tritium concentration in descending order in these samples is: kernel milk water, ripe coconut water, tender coconut water, and groundwater. The concentration of tritium increases as the fruit grows and the significantly high concentration in the kernel milk water suggests enrichment during the growth of the fruit. PMID:10902850

  7. Low level measurements of natural radionuclides in soil samples around a coal-fired power plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosner, G.; Bunzl, K.; Hötzl, H.; Winkler, R.

    1984-06-01

    To detect a possible contribution of airborne radioactivity from stack effluents to the soil radioactivity, several radionuclides in the soil around a coal-fired power plant have been determined. A plant situated in a rural region of Bavaria was selected to minimize contributions from other civilisatory sources. The soil sampling network consisted of 5 concentric circles with diameters between 0.4 and 5.2 km around the plant, 16 sampling points being distributed regularly on each circle. Radiochemical analysis techniques for 210Pb and 210Po in soil samples of several grams had to be developed. They include a wet dissolution procedure, simultaneous precipitation of lead and polonium as the sulfides, purification via lead sulfate, counting of the lead as the chromate in a low-level beta counter and alpha spectrometric determination of the 210Po in a gridded ionization chamber. The 238U, 226Ra, 232Th and 40K were counted by low level gamma spectrometry. Specific activities found were in the range of 0.7 to 2.0 pCi g -1 for 210Pb and 0.3 to 1.6 pCi g -1 for 226Ra. The distribution patterns of 210Po and 210Pb around the plant were found to be similar. They were different, however, from that of 226Ra. The highest 210Pb/ 226Ra activity ratio was 3.9 at a distance of 0.76 km SSE from the plant. Nevertheless, the evidence is not considered to be sufficient to attribute these observations unambiguously to plant releases.

  8. Sebum and Hydration Levels in Specific Regions of Human Face Significantly Predict the Nature and Diversity of Facial Skin Microbiome

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Souvik; Mitra, Rupak; Maitra, Arindam; Gupta, Satyaranjan; Kumaran, Srikala; Chakrabortty, Amit; Majumder, Partha P.

    2016-01-01

    The skin microbiome varies across individuals. The causes of these variations are inadequately understood. We tested the hypothesis that inter-individual variation in facial skin microbiome can be significantly explained by variation in sebum and hydration levels in specific facial regions of humans. We measured sebum and hydration from forehead and cheek regions of healthy female volunteers (n = 30). Metagenomic DNA from skin swabs were sequenced for V3-V5 regions of 16S rRNA gene. Altogether, 34 phyla were identified; predominantly Actinobacteria (66.3%), Firmicutes (17.7%), Proteobacteria (13.1%) and Bacteroidetes (1.4%). About 1000 genera were identified; predominantly Propionibacterium (58.6%), Staphylococcus (8.6%), Streptococcus (4.0%), Corynebacterium (3.6%) and Paracoccus (3.3%). A subset (n = 24) of individuals were sampled two months later. Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that cheek sebum level was the most significant predictor of microbiome composition and diversity followed by forehead hydration level; forehead sebum and cheek hydration levels were not. With increase in cheek sebum, the prevalence of Actinobacteria (p = 0.001)/Propionibacterium (p = 0.002) increased, whereas microbiome diversity decreased (Shannon Index, p = 0.032); this was opposite for other phyla/genera. These trends were reversed for forehead hydration levels. Therefore, the nature and diversity of facial skin microbiome is jointly determined by site-specific lipid and water levels in the stratum corneum. PMID:27786295

  9. Elevated lead levels and adverse effects on natural killer cells in children from an electronic waste recycling area.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yu; Huo, Xia; Cao, Junjun; Yang, Tian; Xu, Long; Xu, Xijin

    2016-06-01

    Lead (Pb) has been proved to exert immunotoxicity to influence immune homeostasis in humans. To monitor the internal Pb level and evaluate its effect on natural killer (NK) cells and cytokine/chemokine concentrations, we recruited 285 preschool children from Guiyu, one of the largest electronic waste (e-waste) destinations and recycling areas in the world, and known to have high concentrations of Pb in the air, soil, water, sediment and plants. A total of 126 preschool children were selected from Haojiang as a reference group. Results showed that children in Guiyu, the exposed area, had higher blood Pb levels and lower percentages of NK cells than children from the reference area. A significantly negative association was found between the percentage of NK cells and increasing Pb levels. Moreover, children in Guiyu area had higher platelet counts and IL-1β concentrations, and lower levels of IL-2, IL-27, MIP-1α and MIP-1β were observed in the exposed children. These changes might not be conducive to the development and differentiation of NK cells. Taken together, the elevated Pb levels result in the lower percentages of NK cells, but also alter the levels of platelets, IL-1β and IL-27, which might be unconducive to the activity and function of NK cells.

  10. Elevated lead levels and adverse effects on natural killer cells in children from an electronic waste recycling area.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yu; Huo, Xia; Cao, Junjun; Yang, Tian; Xu, Long; Xu, Xijin

    2016-06-01

    Lead (Pb) has been proved to exert immunotoxicity to influence immune homeostasis in humans. To monitor the internal Pb level and evaluate its effect on natural killer (NK) cells and cytokine/chemokine concentrations, we recruited 285 preschool children from Guiyu, one of the largest electronic waste (e-waste) destinations and recycling areas in the world, and known to have high concentrations of Pb in the air, soil, water, sediment and plants. A total of 126 preschool children were selected from Haojiang as a reference group. Results showed that children in Guiyu, the exposed area, had higher blood Pb levels and lower percentages of NK cells than children from the reference area. A significantly negative association was found between the percentage of NK cells and increasing Pb levels. Moreover, children in Guiyu area had higher platelet counts and IL-1β concentrations, and lower levels of IL-2, IL-27, MIP-1α and MIP-1β were observed in the exposed children. These changes might not be conducive to the development and differentiation of NK cells. Taken together, the elevated Pb levels result in the lower percentages of NK cells, but also alter the levels of platelets, IL-1β and IL-27, which might be unconducive to the activity and function of NK cells. PMID:26895538

  11. Calibration with MCNP of NaI detector for the determination of natural radioactivity levels in the field.

    PubMed

    Cinelli, Giorgia; Tositti, Laura; Mostacci, Domiziano; Baré, Jonathan

    2016-05-01

    In view of assessing natural radioactivity with on-site quantitative gamma spectrometry, efficiency calibration of NaI(Tl) detectors is investigated. A calibration based on Monte Carlo simulation of detector response is proposed, to render reliable quantitative analysis practicable in field campaigns. The method is developed with reference to contact geometry, in which measurements are taken placing the NaI(Tl) probe directly against the solid source to be analyzed. The Monte Carlo code used for the simulations was MCNP. Experimental verification of the calibration goodness is obtained by comparison with appropriate standards, as reported. On-site measurements yield a quick quantitative assessment of natural radioactivity levels present ((40)K, (238)U and (232)Th). On-site gamma spectrometry can prove particularly useful insofar as it provides information on materials from which samples cannot be taken.

  12. Relationship between Platelet PPARs, cAMP Levels, and P-Selectin Expression: Antiplatelet Activity of Natural Products.

    PubMed

    Fuentes, Eduardo; Palomo, Iván

    2013-01-01

    Platelets are no longer considered simply as cells participating in thrombosis. In atherosclerosis, platelets are regulators of multiple processes, with the recruitment of inflammatory cells towards the lesion sites, inflammatory mediators release, and regulation of endothelial function. The antiplatelet therapy has been used for a long time in an effort to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases. However, limited efficacy in some patients, drug resistance, and side effects are limitations of current antiplatelet therapy. In this context, a large number of natural products (polyphenols, terpenoids, alkaloids, and fatty acids) have been reported with antiplatelet activity. In this sense, the present paper describes mechanisms of antiplatelet action of natural products on platelet P-selectin expression through cAMP levels and its role as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors agonists.

  13. Relationship between Platelet PPARs, cAMP Levels, and P-Selectin Expression: Antiplatelet Activity of Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Fuentes, Eduardo; Palomo, Iván

    2013-01-01

    Platelets are no longer considered simply as cells participating in thrombosis. In atherosclerosis, platelets are regulators of multiple processes, with the recruitment of inflammatory cells towards the lesion sites, inflammatory mediators release, and regulation of endothelial function. The antiplatelet therapy has been used for a long time in an effort to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases. However, limited efficacy in some patients, drug resistance, and side effects are limitations of current antiplatelet therapy. In this context, a large number of natural products (polyphenols, terpenoids, alkaloids, and fatty acids) have been reported with antiplatelet activity. In this sense, the present paper describes mechanisms of antiplatelet action of natural products on platelet P-selectin expression through cAMP levels and its role as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors agonists. PMID:24324520

  14. Calibration with MCNP of NaI detector for the determination of natural radioactivity levels in the field.

    PubMed

    Cinelli, Giorgia; Tositti, Laura; Mostacci, Domiziano; Baré, Jonathan

    2016-05-01

    In view of assessing natural radioactivity with on-site quantitative gamma spectrometry, efficiency calibration of NaI(Tl) detectors is investigated. A calibration based on Monte Carlo simulation of detector response is proposed, to render reliable quantitative analysis practicable in field campaigns. The method is developed with reference to contact geometry, in which measurements are taken placing the NaI(Tl) probe directly against the solid source to be analyzed. The Monte Carlo code used for the simulations was MCNP. Experimental verification of the calibration goodness is obtained by comparison with appropriate standards, as reported. On-site measurements yield a quick quantitative assessment of natural radioactivity levels present ((40)K, (238)U and (232)Th). On-site gamma spectrometry can prove particularly useful insofar as it provides information on materials from which samples cannot be taken. PMID:26913974

  15. Natural radioactivity levels in soils, rocks and water at a mining concession of Perseus gold mine and surrounding towns in Central Region of Ghana.

    PubMed

    Faanu, A; Adukpo, O K; Tettey-Larbi, L; Lawluvi, H; Kpeglo, D O; Darko, E O; Emi-Reynolds, G; Awudu, R A; Kansaana, C; Amoah, P A; Efa, A O; Ibrahim, A D; Agyeman, B; Kpodzro, R; Agyeman, L

    2016-01-01

    Levels of naturally occurring radioactive materials prior to processing of gold ore within and around the new eastern concession area of Perseus Mining (Ghana) Limited were carried out to ascertain the baseline radioactivity levels. The study was based on situ measurements of external gamma dose rate at 1 m above ground level as well as laboratory analysis by direct gamma spectrometry to quantify the radionuclides of interest namely; (238)U, (232)Th and (40)K in soil, rock, ore samples and gross alpha/beta analysis in water samples. The average absorbed dose rate in air at 1 m above sampling point using a radiation survey metre was determined to be 0.08 ± 0.02 μGyh(-1) with a corresponding average annual effective dose calculated to be 0.093 ± 0.028 mSv. The average activity concentrations of (238)U, (232)Th, and (40)K in the soil, rock, and ore samples were 65.1 ± 2.2, 71.8 ± 2.2 and 1168.3 Bqkg(-1) respectively resulting in an average annual effective dose of 0.91 ± 0.32 mSv. The average Radium equivalent activity value was 257.8 ± 62.4 Bqkg(-1) in the range of 136.6-340.2 Bqkg(-1). The average values of external and internal indices were 0.7 ± 0.2 and 0.9 ± 0.2 respectively. The average gross alpha and gross beta activity concentrations in the water samples were determined to be 0.0032 ± 0.0024 and 0.0338 ± 0.0083 Bql(-1) respectively. The total annual effective dose from the pathways considered for this study (gamma ray from the soil, rock and ore samples as well as doses determined from the gross alpha/beta activity concentration in water samples) was calculated to be 0.918 mSv. The results obtained in this study shows that the radiation levels are within the natural background radiation levels found in literature and compare well with similar studies for other countries and the total annual effective dose is below the ICRP recommended level of 1 mSv for public exposure control.

  16. Natural radioactivity levels in soils, rocks and water at a mining concession of Perseus gold mine and surrounding towns in Central Region of Ghana.

    PubMed

    Faanu, A; Adukpo, O K; Tettey-Larbi, L; Lawluvi, H; Kpeglo, D O; Darko, E O; Emi-Reynolds, G; Awudu, R A; Kansaana, C; Amoah, P A; Efa, A O; Ibrahim, A D; Agyeman, B; Kpodzro, R; Agyeman, L

    2016-01-01

    Levels of naturally occurring radioactive materials prior to processing of gold ore within and around the new eastern concession area of Perseus Mining (Ghana) Limited were carried out to ascertain the baseline radioactivity levels. The study was based on situ measurements of external gamma dose rate at 1 m above ground level as well as laboratory analysis by direct gamma spectrometry to quantify the radionuclides of interest namely; (238)U, (232)Th and (40)K in soil, rock, ore samples and gross alpha/beta analysis in water samples. The average absorbed dose rate in air at 1 m above sampling point using a radiation survey metre was determined to be 0.08 ± 0.02 μGyh(-1) with a corresponding average annual effective dose calculated to be 0.093 ± 0.028 mSv. The average activity concentrations of (238)U, (232)Th, and (40)K in the soil, rock, and ore samples were 65.1 ± 2.2, 71.8 ± 2.2 and 1168.3 Bqkg(-1) respectively resulting in an average annual effective dose of 0.91 ± 0.32 mSv. The average Radium equivalent activity value was 257.8 ± 62.4 Bqkg(-1) in the range of 136.6-340.2 Bqkg(-1). The average values of external and internal indices were 0.7 ± 0.2 and 0.9 ± 0.2 respectively. The average gross alpha and gross beta activity concentrations in the water samples were determined to be 0.0032 ± 0.0024 and 0.0338 ± 0.0083 Bql(-1) respectively. The total annual effective dose from the pathways considered for this study (gamma ray from the soil, rock and ore samples as well as doses determined from the gross alpha/beta activity concentration in water samples) was calculated to be 0.918 mSv. The results obtained in this study shows that the radiation levels are within the natural background radiation levels found in literature and compare well with similar studies for other countries and the total annual effective dose is below the ICRP recommended level of 1 mSv for public exposure control. PMID:26877896

  17. Oxidation Stability of Pig Liver Pâté with Increasing Levels of Natural Antioxidants (Grape and Tea)

    PubMed Central

    Pateiro, Mirian; Lorenzo, José M.; Vázquez, José A.; Franco, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated the effect of the addition of increasing levels of the natural antioxidants tea (TEA) and grape seed extracts (GRA) on the physiochemical and oxidative stability of refrigerated stored pig pâtés. In addition, a synthetic antioxidant and a control batch were used, thus a total of eight batches of liver pâté were prepared: CON, BHT, TEA (TEA50, TEA200 and TEA1000) and GRA (GRA50, GRA200 and GRA1000). Pâté samples were analyzed following 0, 4, 8 and 24 weeks of storage. Color parameters were affected by storage period and level of antioxidant extract. Samples with TEA200 and GRA1000 levels of extracts showed lower total color difference between 0 and 24 weeks. At the end of storage period, the lower TBARs values were obtained in samples with the highest concentration on natural extract. Overall, the evolution of volatile compounds showed an increase in those ones that arise from the lipid oxidation and samples with TEA1000 extract showed the lowest values. PMID:26785340

  18. Monitoring of learning at the category level when learning a natural concept: will task experience improve its resolution?

    PubMed

    Tauber, Sarah K; Dunlosky, John

    2015-02-01

    Researchers have recently begun to investigate people's ability to monitor their learning of natural categories. For concept learning tasks, a learner seeks to accurately monitor learning at the category level - i.e., to accurately judge whether exemplars will be correctly classified into the appropriate category on an upcoming test. Our interest was in whether monitoring resolution at the category level would improve as participants gain task experience across multiple study-test blocks, as well as within each block. In four experiments, exemplar birds (e.g., American Goldfinch, Cassin's Finch) paired with each family name (e.g., Finch) were studied, and participants made a judgment of learning (JOL) for each exemplar. Of most interest, before and after studying the exemplars, participants made category learning judgments (CLJs), which involved predicting the likelihood of correctly classifying novel birds into each family. Tests included exemplars that had been studied or exemplars that had not been studied (novel). This procedure was repeated for either one or two additional blocks. The relative accuracy of CLJs did not improve across blocks even when explicit feedback was provided, whereas item-by-item JOL accuracy improved across blocks. Category level resolution did improve from pre-study to post-study on an initial block, but it did not consistently increase within later blocks. The stable accuracy of CLJs across blocks poses a theoretical and empirical challenge for identifying techniques to improve people's ability to judge their learning of natural categories.

  19. Oxidation Stability of Pig Liver Pâté with Increasing Levels of Natural Antioxidants (Grape and Tea).

    PubMed

    Pateiro, Mirian; Lorenzo, José M; Vázquez, José A; Franco, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated the effect of the addition of increasing levels of the natural antioxidants tea (TEA) and grape seed extracts (GRA) on the physiochemical and oxidative stability of refrigerated stored pig pâtés. In addition, a synthetic antioxidant and a control batch were used, thus a total of eight batches of liver pâté were prepared: CON, BHT, TEA (TEA50, TEA200 and TEA1000) and GRA (GRA50, GRA200 and GRA1000). Pâté samples were analyzed following 0, 4, 8 and 24 weeks of storage. Color parameters were affected by storage period and level of antioxidant extract. Samples with TEA200 and GRA1000 levels of extracts showed lower total color difference between 0 and 24 weeks. At the end of storage period, the lower TBARs values were obtained in samples with the highest concentration on natural extract. Overall, the evolution of volatile compounds showed an increase in those ones that arise from the lipid oxidation and samples with TEA1000 extract showed the lowest values. PMID:26785340

  20. Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) natural diets: comparing iron levels across seasons and geographical locations.

    PubMed

    Helary, Stephane F; Shaw, Joanne A; Brown, Derek; Clauss, Marcus; Owen-Smith, Norman

    2012-09-01

    Although excessive iron storage in black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) has been a cause for continuous concern over the last four decades and differences in the iron content of diet items fed in captivity and in the wild have been documented, no reports exist on the iron content of the total diet ingested by free-ranging animals. Here, the results of field studies using backtracking to record the ingested diets of black rhinoceros from three habitats across three seasons are reported. Levels of iron and of condensed tannins, which might reduce iron availability, averaged at 91 +/- 41 ppm dry matter and 3.0 +/- 1.0% dry matter, respectively, across all habitats and seasons. Although geographic and seasonal variation was significant, these differences are of a much lower magnitude than differences between the averages of these diets and those fed to black rhinoceros in captivity. The results can provide guidelines for the iron content of diets designed for black rhinoceros and suggest that the effect of tannins in these species should be further investigated.

  1. The level and nature of autistic intelligence II: what about Asperger syndrome?

    PubMed

    Soulières, Isabelle; Dawson, Michelle; Gernsbacher, Morton Ann; Mottron, Laurent

    2011-01-01

    A distinctively uneven profile of intelligence is a feature of the autistic spectrum. Within the spectrum, Asperger individuals differ from autistics in their early speech development and in being less likely to be characterized by visuospatial peaks. While different specific strengths characterize different autistic spectrum subgroups, all such peaks of ability have been interpreted as deficits: isolated, aberrant, and irreconcilable with real human intelligence. This view has recently been challenged by findings of autistic strengths in performance on Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM), an important marker of general and fluid intelligence. We investigated whether these findings extend to Asperger syndrome, an autistic spectrum subgroup characterized by verbal peaks of ability, and whether the cognitive mechanisms underlying autistic and Asperger RPM performance differ. Thirty-two Asperger adults displayed a significant advantage on RPM over Wechsler Full-Scale and Performance scores relative to their typical controls, while in 25 Asperger children an RPM advantage was found over Wechsler Performance scores only. As previously found with autistics, Asperger children and adults achieved RPM scores at a level reflecting their Wechsler peaks of ability. Therefore, strengths in RPM performance span the autistic spectrum and imply a common mechanism advantageously applied to different facets of cognition. Autistic spectrum intelligence is atypical, but also genuine, general, and underestimated.

  2. The Backgrounds Data Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, W. A.; Gursky, H.; Heckathorn, H. M.; Lucke, R. L.; Berg, S. L.; Dombrowski, E. G.; Kessel, R. A.

    1993-01-01

    The Strategic Defense Initiative Organization has created data centers for midcourse, plumes, and backgrounds phenomenologies. The Backgrounds Data Center (BDC) has been designated as the prime archive for data collected by SDIO programs. The BDC maintains a Summary Catalog that contains 'metadata,' that is, information about data, such as when the data were obtained, what the spectral range of the data is, and what region of the Earth or sky was observed. Queries to this catalog result in a listing of all data sets (from all experiments in the Summary Catalog) that satisfy the specified criteria. Thus, the user can identify different experiments that made similar observations and order them from the BDC for analysis. On-site users can use the Science Analysis Facility (SAFE for this purpose. For some programs, the BDC maintains a Program Catalog, which can classify data in as many ways as desired (rather than just by position, time, and spectral range as in the Summary Catalog). For example, data sets could be tagged with such diverse parameters as solar illumination angle, signal level, or the value of a particular spectral ratio, as long as these quantities can be read from the digital record or calculated from it by the ingest program. All unclassified catalogs and unclassified data will be remotely accessible.

  3. Background radiation measurements at high power research reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Ashenfelter, J.; Balantekin, B.; Baldenegro, C. X.; Band, H. R.; Barclay, G.; Bass, C. D.; Berish, D.; Bowden, N. S.; Bryan, C. D.; Cherwinka, J. J.; Chu, R.; Classen, T.; Davee, D.; Dean, D.; Deichert, G.; Dolinski, M. J.; Dolph, J.; Dwyer, D. A.; Fan, S.; Gaison, J. K.; Galindo-Uribarri, A.; Gilje, K.; Glenn, A.; Green, M.; Han, K.; Hans, S.; Heeger, K. M.; Heffroni, B.; Jaffe, D. E.; Kettell, S.; Langford, T. J.; Littlejohn, B. R.; Martinez, D.; McKeown, R. D.; Morrell, S.; Mueller, P. E.; Mumm, H. P.; Napolitano, J.; Norcini, D.; Pushin, D.; Romero, E.; Rosero, R.; Saldana, L.; Seilhan, B. S.; Sharma, R.; Stemen, N. T.; Surukuchi, P. T.; Thompson, S. J.; Varner, R. L.; Wang, W.; Watson, S. M.; White, B.; White, C.; Wilhelmi, J.; Williams, C.; Wise, T.; Yao, H.; Yeh, M.; Yen, Y. -R.; Zhang, C.; Zhang, X.

    2015-10-23

    Research reactors host a wide range of activities that make use of the intense neutron fluxes generated at these facilities. Recent interest in performing measurements with relatively low event rates, e.g. reactor antineutrino detection, at these facilities necessitates a detailed understanding of background radiation fields. Both reactor-correlated and naturally occurring background sources are potentially important, even at levels well below those of importance for typical activities. Here we describe a comprehensive series of background assessments at three high-power research reactors, including -ray, neutron, and muon measurements. For each facility we describe the characteristics and identify the sources of the background fields encountered. Furthermore, the general understanding gained of background production mechanisms and their relationship to facility features will prove valuable for the planning of any sensitive measurement conducted therein.

  4. Background radiation measurements at high power research reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Ashenfelter, J.; Yeh, M.; Balantekin, B.; Baldenegro, C. X.; Band, H. R.; Barclay, G.; Bass, C. D.; Berish, D.; Bowden, N. S.; Bryan, C. D.; Cherwinka, J. J.; Chu, R.; Classen, T.; Davee, D.; Dean, D.; Deichert, G.; Dolinski, M. J.; Dolph, J.; Dwyer, D. A.; Fan, S.; Gaison, J. K.; Galindo-Uribarri, A.; Gilje, K.; Glenn, A.; Green, M.; Han, K.; Hans, S.; Heeger, K. M.; Heffron, B.; Jaffe, D. E.; Kettell, S.; Langford, T. J.; Littlejohn, B. R.; Martinez, D.; McKeown, R. D.; Morrell, S.; Mueller, P. E.; Mumm, H. P.; Napolitano, J.; Norcini, D.; Pushin, D.; Romero, E.; Rosero, R.; Saldana, L.; Seilhan, B. S.; Sharma, R.; Stemen, N. T.; Surukuchi, P. T.; Thompson, S. J.; Varner, R. L.; Wang, W.; Watson, S. M.; White, B.; White, C.; Wilhelmi, J.; Williams, C.; Wise, T.; Yao, H.; Yen, Y. -R.; Zhang, C.; Zhang, X.

    2015-10-23

    Research reactors host a wide range of activities that make use of the intense neutron fluxes generated at these facilities. Recent interest in performing measurements with relatively low event rates, e.g. reactor antineutrino detection, at these facilities necessitates a detailed understanding of background radiation fields. Both reactor-correlated and naturally occurring background sources are potentially important, even at levels well below those of importance for typical activities. Here we describe a comprehensive series of background assessments at three high-power research reactors, including γ-ray, neutron, and muon measurements. For each facility we describe the characteristics and identify the sources of the background fields encountered. Furthermore, the general understanding gained of background production mechanisms and their relationship to facility features will prove valuable for the planning of any sensitive measurement conducted therein.

  5. Effects of redecoration of a hospital isolation room with natural materials on stress levels of denizens in cold season

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohta, Hiromi; Maruyama, Megumi; Tanabe, Yoko; Hara, Toshiko; Nishino, Yoshihiko; Tsujino, Yoshio; Morita, Eishin; Kobayashi, Shotai; Shido, Osamu

    2008-05-01

    We investigated the effects of redecoration of a hospital isolation room with natural materials on thermoregulatory, cardiovascular and hormonal parameters of healthy subjects staying in the room. Two isolation rooms with almost bilaterally-symmetrical arrangements were used. One room (RD) was redecorated with wood paneling and Japanese paper, while the other (CN) was unchanged (with concrete walls). Seven healthy male subjects stayed in each room for over 24 h in the cold season. Their rectal temperature (Tre) and heart rate, and the room temperature (Ta) and relative humidity were continuously measured. Arterial blood pressures, arterial vascular compliance, thermal sensation and thermal comfort were measured every 4 h except during sleeping. Blood was sampled after the stay in the rooms. In RD, Ta was significantly higher by about 0.4°C and relative humidity was lower by about 5% than in CN. Diurnal Tre levels of subjects in RD significantly differed from those in CN, i.e., Tres were significantly higher in RD than in CN especially in the evening. In RD, the subjects felt more thermally-comfortable than in CN. Redecoration had minimal effects on cardiovascular parameters. Plasma levels of catecholamines and antidiuretic hormone did not differ, while plasma cortisol level was significantly lower after staying in RD than in CN by nearly 20%. The results indicate that, in the cold season, redecoration with natural materials improves the thermal environment of the room and contributes to maintaining core temperature of denizens at preferable levels. It also seems that redecoration of room could attenuate stress levels of isolated subjects.

  6. Stress-Induced In Vivo Recruitment of Human Cytotoxic Natural Killer Cells Favors Subsets with Distinct Receptor Profiles and Associates with Increased Epinephrine Levels

    PubMed Central

    Bigler, Marc B.; Egli, Simon B.; Hysek, Cédric M.; Hoenger, Gideon; Schmied, Laurent; Baldin, Fabian S.; Marquardsen, Florian A.; Recher, Mike; Liechti, Matthias E.; Hess, Christoph; Berger, Christoph T.

    2015-01-01

    Background Acute stress drives a ‘high-alert’ response in the immune system. Psychoactive drugs induce distinct stress hormone profiles, offering a sought-after opportunity to dissect the in vivo immunological effects of acute stress in humans. Methods 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), methylphenidate (MPH), or both, were administered to healthy volunteers in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover-study. Lymphocyte subset frequencies, natural killer (NK) cell immune-phenotypes, and changes in effector function were assessed, and linked to stress hormone levels and expression of CD62L, CX3CR1, CD18, and stress hormone receptors on NK cells. Results MDMA/MPH > MDMA > MPH robustly induced an epinephrine-dominant stress response. Immunologically, rapid redistribution of peripheral blood lymphocyte-subsets towards phenotypically mature NK cells occurred. NK cytotoxicity was unaltered, but they expressed slightly reduced levels of the activating receptor NKG2D. Preferential circulation of mature NK cells was associated with high epinephrine receptor expression among this subset, as well as expression of integrin ligands previously linked to epinephrine-induced endothelial detachment. Conclusion The acute epinephrine-induced stress response was characterized by rapid accumulation of mature and functional NK cells in the peripheral circulation. This is in line with studies using other acute stressors and supports the role of the acute stress response in rapidly mobilizing the innate immune system to counteract incoming threats. PMID:26700184

  7. Serum Estradiol and Testosterone Levels in Kidney Stones Disease with and without Calcium Oxalate Components in Naturally Postmenopausal Women

    PubMed Central

    Ou, Lili; Duan, Xiaolu; Zeng, Guohua

    2013-01-01

    Objective Epidemiological data reveal that the overall risk for kidney stones disease is lower for women compared to age-matched men. However, the beneficial effect for the female sex is lost upon menopause, a time corresponding to the onset of fall in estrogen levels. The aim of this study was to describe the serum estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) characteristics of naturally postmenopausal women with kidney stones. Methods 113 naturally postmenopausal women with newly diagnosed kidney stones (aged 57.4±4.98 years) and 84 age frequency matched stone-free controls (56.9±4.56 years) were validly recruited in the case-control study. The odds ratios (ORs) for the associations between sex hormones and kidney stones were estimated with logistic regression models, adjusting for demographic data and medical history. Patients were also stratified analyzed according to stone components (calcium oxalate stones [COS]; non-calcium oxalate stones [NCOS]). Results Serum E2 (21.1 vs. 31.1 pg/ml) was significantly lower in kidney stones patients compared to controls. Post-hoc analysis demonstrated that this effect was driven by COS patients (p<0.001). According to tertiles of the E2 levels, a significant higher frequency of COS was seen in the lowest E2 group (p <0.001). Multiple logistic regression analysis identified E2 level as a strong factor that was independently associated with the risk for COS (per 1 SD increase, OR=0.951, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.919-0.985; highest: lowest tertile, OR=0.214, 95%CI = 0.069-0.665). However, serum T levels did not significantly differ among the groups. Conclusions Naturally postmenopausal women with higher remaining estradiol levels appear less likely to suffer from kidney calcium oxalate stones. However, no correlation was found between serum T level and kidney stones. These findings support the hypothesis that higher postmenopausal endogenous estrogens may protect against kidney stones with ageing. PMID:24086550

  8. Cosmic microwave background theory.

    PubMed

    Bond, J R

    1998-01-01

    A long-standing goal of theorists has been to constrain cosmological parameters that define the structure formation theory from cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropy experiments and large-scale structure (LSS) observations. The status and future promise of this enterprise is described. Current band-powers in -space are consistent with a DeltaT flat in frequency and broadly follow inflation-based expectations. That the levels are approximately (10(-5))2 provides strong support for the gravitational instability theory, while the Far Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer (FIRAS) constraints on energy injection rule out cosmic explosions as a dominant source of LSS. Band-powers at 100 suggest that the universe could not have re-ionized too early. To get the LSS of Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE)-normalized fluctuations right provides encouraging support that the initial fluctuation spectrum was not far off the scale invariant form that inflation models prefer: e.g., for tilted Lambda cold dark matter sequences of fixed 13-Gyr age (with the Hubble constant H0 marginalized), ns = 1.17 +/- 0.3 for Differential Microwave Radiometer (DMR) only; 1.15 +/- 0.08 for DMR plus the SK95 experiment; 1.00 +/- 0.04 for DMR plus all smaller angle experiments; 1.00 +/- 0.05 when LSS constraints are included as well. The CMB alone currently gives weak constraints on Lambda and moderate constraints on Omegatot, but theoretical forecasts of future long duration balloon and satellite experiments are shown which predict percent-level accuracy among a large fraction of the 10+ parameters characterizing the cosmic structure formation theory, at least if it is an inflation variant.

  9. Antioxidant responses in the polar marine sea-ice amphipod Gammarus wilkitzkii to natural and experimentally increased UV levels.

    PubMed

    Krapp, Rupert H; Baussant, Thierry; Bassinet, Thievery; Berge, Jørgen; Pampanin, Daniela M; Camus, Lionel

    2009-08-13

    Polar marine surface waters are characterized by high levels of dissolved oxygen, seasonally intense UV irradiance and high levels of dissolved organic carbon. Therefore, the Arctic sea-ice habitat is regarded as a strongly pro-oxidant environment, even though its significant ice cover protects the ice-associated (=sympagic) fauna from direct irradiation to a large extent. In order to investigate the level of resistance to oxyradical stress, we sampled the sympagic amphipod species Gammarus wilkitzkii during both winter and summer conditions, as well as exposed specimens to simulated levels of near-natural and elevated levels of UV irradiation. Results showed that this amphipod species possessed a much stronger antioxidant capacity during summer than during winter. Also, the experimental UV exposure showed a depletion in antioxidant defences, indicating a negative effect of UV exposure on the total oxyradical scavenging capacity. Another sympagic organism, Onisimus nanseni, was sampled during summer conditions. When compared to G. wilkitzkii, the species showed even higher antioxidant scavenging capacity. PMID:19524308

  10. Estimating background precipitation quality from network data.

    PubMed

    Hicks, B B; Artz, R S

    1992-01-01

    Assessments of the relative merits of alternative acid-rain control strategies revolve around considerations of potential benefit per unit effort and/or cost. A question that often arises concerns the changes in deposition that would follow if all industrial (or societal) emissions were eliminated, in which case precipitation chemistry would be dominated by emissions from natural sources. Estimates of the 'natural background' of precipitation chemistry can be based on (a) measurements made at distant locations, (b) reducing emissions to zero in numerical simulations, or (c) examinations of existing data. Each alternative is flawed because (a) of the assumption that natural emissions in one location are like those in another, (b) no existing model contains descriptions of chemical processes involving all of the chemical species of importance, and (c) all contemporary data records or relevance are affected by precisely the emissions we wish to reduce. Here, the third alternative is explored in detail, using event precipitation chemistry data from North America. The analysis reveals a background pH level that varies from site to site, but always lies in the range 5.0-5.3.

  11. Spatial variations of groundwater background concentrations in coastal aquifers, Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hyun, Yunjung; Lee, Soojae

    2014-05-01

    In coastal aquifers the mixing between fresh terrestrial water and seawater occurs, which influences groundwater quality. Due to mixing elevated chloride concentrations are often observed in coastal aquifers. In coastal areas terrestrial water-seawater mixing can be caused by anthropogenic activities or natural factors such as tides and sea level changes. Therefore, it is difficult or even impossible to characterize groundwater background concentrations in coastal aquifers. Although it is usual to exclude coastal aquifer when characterizing background concentrations, it is essential to accurately characterize naturally-affected groundwater quality in coastal areas because groundwater is a major water resource for potable, irrigation, domestic uses. So in this work we define groundwater background concentrations as naturally occurring ambient concentrations with excluding groundwater abstraction. Based on this definition, we evaluate groundwater background concentrations in various geologic formations and analyze characteristics of groundwater quality in coastal aquifers by utilizing Groundwater Quality Monitoring System (GQMS) data. The results show that high concentrations of chloride are observed in some coastal areas but not always. Tidal effects and topographical characteristics are thought to be as factors affecting such spatial variations. In some coastal areas high concentrations of chloride are observed with high nitrate concentrations. This means that agricultural practices can attribute to anthropogenic background, leading to elevated concentrations of nitrate. These results provide some essential information for groundwater resources management in coastal areas. Further data collection and analysis is required for evaluating the effect of tide and sea level changes on groundwater quality.

  12. Background environmental pollution of the Eurasian continent.

    PubMed

    Rovinsky, F Y; Afanasjev, M I; Burtseva, L V; Yegorov, V I

    1982-12-01

    (1) The interest to studying pollution of environmental media on the background level has grown in the recent years. There arose a necessity to establish a specialized observational system for conducting observations of changes in the state of the environment, and of ecological consequences of pollution as well as to produce assessments of the current and predicted states. The realized program of background monitoring and first results of integrated background measurements have already been published. The paper presented illustrates time-and-space features of the background pollution of natural environmental media according to data from various background stations. (2) Long-term systematic measurements at the 'Borovoe' station (Kazakh SSR) commenced in 1976 have been supplemented with the results of the background pollution studies carried out in Berezinskyi, Caucasian, Central-Chernozem, Sary-Chelek, and Repetek Biosphere Reserves and in locations of the background stations in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. The data from the Hungarian and Czechoslovak stations were obtained during joint expeditions. Details are given in the relevant publications. (3) Ozone. Ozone measurements show the diurnal variation with the day-time maxima from 35 up to 160 μg m(-3). The correlation between day-time and nocturnal concentrations is a good indicator of the anthropogenic effect. (4) Sulphur dioxide and sulphates. The annual variation of sulphur dioxide characterised by winter maximum and summer minimum indicates the direct dependence on the amount of fuel burnt in the given region. Mean values of the sulphur dioxide content in the surface layer of the atmosphere correlates with the extent of the region urbanization and varies within 0.2-12.5 μg m(-3). The value of sulphur dioxide and sulphates correlation in the atmosphere is rather stable and varies within 0.18-0.37 μg m(-3). (5) Heavy metals. The annual cycle of the atmospheric content of lead, cadmium and arsenic is well

  13. Function of minerals in the natural radioactivity level of Vaigai River sediments, Tamilnadu, India--spectroscopical approach.

    PubMed

    Ramasamy, V; Paramasivam, K; Suresh, G; Jose, M T

    2014-01-01

    Using Gamma ray and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic techniques, level of natural radioactivity ((238)U, (232)Th and (40)K) and mineralogical characterization of Vaigai River sediments have been analyzed with the view of evaluating the radiation risk and its relation to available minerals. Different radiological parameters are calculated to know the entire radiological characterization. The average of activity concentrations and all radiological parameters are lower than the recommended safety limit. However, some sites are having higher radioactivity values than the safety limit. From the FTIR spectroscopic technique, the minerals such as quartz, microcline feldspar, orthoclase feldspar, kaolinite, gibbsite, calcite, montmorillonite and organic carbon are identified and they are characterized. The extinction co-efficient values are calculated to know the relative distribution of major minerals such as quartz, microcline feldspar, orthoclase feldspar and kaolinite. The calculated values indicate that the amount of quartz is higher than orthoclase feldspar, microcline feldspar and much higher than kaolinite. Crystallinity index is calculated to know the crystalline nature of quartz and the result indicates that the presence of ordered crystalline quartz in the present sediment. The role of minerals in the level of radioactivity is assessed by multivariate statistical analysis (Pearson's correlation and Cluster analysis). The statistical analysis confirms that the clay mineral kaolinite is the major factor than other major minerals to induce the important radioactivity variables such as absorbed dose rate and concentrations of (232)Th and (238)U.

  14. Aberrant levels of natural IgM antibodies in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis patients in comparison to healthy controls.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Tue G; McKelvey, Kelly J; March, Lyn M; Hunter, David J; Xue, Meilang; Jackson, Christopher J; Morris, Jonathan M

    2016-02-01

    Natural IgM antibodies (nIgM) are polyreactive autoantibodies that have diverse roles in regulating autoimmunity, systemic inflammation and removal of oxidized low-density lipoproteins (oxLDL). We hypothesized that aberrant states of nIgM may exist in persons with osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Herein, we characterized and compared the levels of nIgM specific for phosphorylcholine (anti-PC), double-stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA), and galactosyl (anti-Gal) in persons with OA, RA and healthy controls (HC). Levels of anti-PC nIgM in OA patients were significantly lower than both HC and RA patients in an age-adjusted analysis (P<0.05). In contrast, anti-Gal nIgM levels were significantly higher in RA patients than OA patients (P<0.05) and markedly increased in comparison to HC. Anti-PC nIgM significantly correlated with anti-dsDNA and anti-Gal nIgM levels in HC and RA (P<0.05) but not in OA patients. Elevated CRP levels were associated with RA conditions and old ages in general. There was no significant correlation between anti-PC nIgM and CRP or oxLDL levels. Our study highlights for the first time the evidence of aberrant state of nIgM in human OA compared to healthy individuals that implicates a deficiency in immune responses to oxLDL which may contribute to the metabolic syndromes in the development of OA.

  15. Building Background Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neuman, Susan B.; Kaefer, Tanya; Pinkham, Ashley

    2014-01-01

    This article make a case for the importance of background knowledge in children's comprehension. It suggests that differences in background knowledge may account for differences in understanding text for low- and middle-income children. It then describes strategies for building background knowledge in the age of common core standards.

  16. Assessment of natural and anthropogenic radioactivity levels in soils, rocks and water in the vicinity of Chirano Gold Mine in Ghana.

    PubMed

    Faanu, A; Lawluvi, H; Kpeglo, D O; Darko, E O; Emi-Reynolds, G; Awudu, A R; Adukpo, O K; Kansaana, C; Ali, I D; Agyeman, B; Agyeman, L; Kpodzro, R

    2014-01-01

    Studies have been carried out within and around the operational area of the Chirano Gold Mine Ltd of Ghana to ascertain the baseline radioactivity levels of naturally occurring radioactive materials as well as artificial radionuclides in the surface and underground mines. The analysis was carried out by using gamma spectrometry to quantify the radionuclides of interest, namely (238)U, (232)Th, (137)Cs and (40)K in soil, ore, waste rock and water samples. The average activity concentrations of (238)U, (232)Th, (40)K and (137)Cs in the soil/rock samples were 9.79±5.39, 9.18±7.06, 237.40±144.34 and 0.64±0.57 Bq kg(-1), respectively. For the water samples, the average activity concentrations were 0.86±0.67, 0.97±1.33 and 9.05±10.45 Bq l(-1) for (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K, respectively. The total annual effective dose to the public was estimated to be 0.13 mSv, which is below the International Commission on Radiological Protection recommended level of 1 mSv for public exposure control. The study also assessed the elemental concentrations of U, Th and K in the soil/rock samples from the gold mine and surrounding communities. The average concentrations of the U, Th and K were 0.82±0.48, 2.18±1.77 µg g(-1) and 0.77±0.47 %, respectively. The concentrations of U, Th and K were variable in soil and rock samples taken from different locations in the study area with values varying in the range 0.28-2.21, 0.24-6.50 µg g(-1) and 0.28-1.87 %, respectively. The concentrations of U, Th and K are far lower than the world average values but comparable with the range of similar studies for different countries. The concentration values of gross-alpha and gross-beta for all the water samples were below the Ghana Standards Authority and World Health Organisation recommended guideline values for drinking water quality. The results obtained in this study also show that radiation levels are within the natural background radiation levels found in the literature and compare well

  17. Lack of increased DNA double-strand breaks in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of individuals from high level natural radiation areas of Kerala coast in India.

    PubMed

    Jain, Vinay; Kumar, P R Vivek; Koya, P K M; Jaikrishan, G; Das, Birajalaxmi

    2016-06-01

    The high level natural radiation area (HLNRA) of Kerala is a 55km long and 0.5km wide strip in south west coast of India. The level of background radiation in this area varies from <1.0mGy/year to 45.0mGy/year. It offers unique opportunity to study the effect of chronic low dose/low dose-rate radiation directly on human population. Spontaneous level of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) was quantified in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of 91 random individuals from HLNRA (N=61, mean age: 36.1±7.43years) and normal level natural radiation area (NLNRA) (N=30, mean age: 35.5±6.35years) using gamma-H2AX as a marker. The mean annual dose received by NLNRA and HLNRA individuals was 1.28±0.086mGy/year and 8.28±4.96mGy/year, respectively. The spontaneous frequency of DSBs in terms of gamma-H2AX foci among NLNRA and HLNRA individuals were 0.095±0.009 and 0.084±0.004 per cell (P=0.22). The individuals from HLNRA were further classified as low dose group (LDG, 1.51-5.0mGy/year, mean dose: 2.63±0.76mGy/year) and high dose group (HDG, >5.0mGy/year, mean dose: 11.04±3.57mGy/year). The spontaneous frequency of gamma-H2AX foci per cell in NLNRA, LDG and HDG was observed to be 0.095±0.009, 0.096±0.008 and 0.078±0.004 respectively. Individuals belonging to HDG of HLNRA showed marginally lower frequency of DSBs as compared to NLNRA and LDG of HLNRA. This could be suggestive of either lower induction or better repair of DSBs in individuals from HDG of HLNRA. The present study indicated that 5.0mGy/year could be a possible threshold dose for DSB induction at chronic low-dose radiation exposure in vivo. However, further studies on DNA damage induction and repair kinetics are required to draw firm conclusions.

  18. The Concept of Visual Acuity Ratio to the Maximum Level of Individual Visual Acuity—The Evaluation Method of Background Luminance and Visual Distance on Visibility Taking into Account of Individual Visual Acuity—

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akizuki, Yuki; Inoue, Youko

    We use the maximum level of individual visual acuity (MVA) as an index for the individual visual ability. Also, we define the concept of the ratio of visual acuity under various environmental conditions for the MVA as Visual Acuity Ratio (VAR), in order to describe differences between individual visibilities. An experiment was carried out using various levels of background luminance and visual distance. The visual acuity of subjects in two age groups (Young and Aged) was measured by using Landolt’s eye chart (luminance contrast: 0.93). The Aged subjects’ vision was corrected by two kinds of spectacles: ones for myopia / presbyopia. Under conditions providing sufficient visual acuity, the subjects’ order of individual visual acuity was unchanged. Therefore, MVA can be used as an index for the visual ability of the individual. Regardless of corrected conditions, the individual visual acuity reaches the maximum level under 800cd/m2 and the corrected position. The results of the eyesight test can be used as a substitution for MVA. Visual acuity is changing under environmental conditions, and a degree of the changes varies with age, corrected conditions, and differences in visual acuity. Under the corrected position, the relationship between background luminance and VAR is constant regardless of age group, corrected conditions and differences of visual acuity. The relationship between visual distance and VAR differs by age and corrected conditions. However, in the neighborhood of the corrected position, the relationship between visual distance and VAR is constant regardless of differences between individual visibilities. The concept of VAR is applicable to past studies.

  19. Exploring the nature of governance at the level of implementation for health system strengthening: the DIALHS experience.

    PubMed

    Scott, Vera; Schaay, Nikki; Olckers, Patti; Nqana, Nomsa; Lehmann, Uta; Gilson, Lucy

    2014-09-01

    Health system governance has been recognized as a critical element of the health system strengthening agenda. To date, health governance research often focuses at national or global levels, adopting a macro-perspective that deals with governance structures, forms and principles. Little attention has been given to a micro-perspective which recognizes the role of health system actors in governance, or to considering the operational level of the health system. This article presents a South African case study of an intervention to address conflict in roles and responsibilities between multiple actors supporting service delivery at the local level, and explores the broader insights this experience generates about the nature of local health system governance. In an embedded case study, action learning and reflection theory were used to design and implement the intervention. Data in this article were drawn from minutes, observations and recorded reflections of the meetings and workshops that comprised the intervention. A theoretical governance framework was used both to understand the context of the intervention and to analyse the dimensions of governance relevant in the experience. The study shows how, through action learning and reflection, local managers in two organizations came to understand how the higher level misalignment of organizational structures and processes imposed governance constraints on them, and to see the impact this had on their organizational relationships. By re-framing the conflict as organizational, they were then able to create opportunities for staff to understand their context and participate in negotiating principles for communication and collaborative work. The result reduced conflict between staff in the two organizations, leading to improved implementation of programme support. Strengthening relationships among those working at local level by building collaborative norms and values is an important part of local health system governance for

  20. Exploring the nature of governance at the level of implementation for health system strengthening: the DIALHS experience

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Vera; Schaay, Nikki; Olckers, Patti; Nqana, Nomsa; Lehmann, Uta; Gilson, Lucy

    2014-01-01

    Health system governance has been recognized as a critical element of the health system strengthening agenda. To date, health governance research often focuses at national or global levels, adopting a macro-perspective that deals with governance structures, forms and principles. Little attention has been given to a micro-perspective which recognizes the role of health system actors in governance, or to considering the operational level of the health system. This article presents a South African case study of an intervention to address conflict in roles and responsibilities between multiple actors supporting service delivery at the local level, and explores the broader insights this experience generates about the nature of local health system governance. In an embedded case study, action learning and reflection theory were used to design and implement the intervention. Data in this article were drawn from minutes, observations and recorded reflections of the meetings and workshops that comprised the intervention. A theoretical governance framework was used both to understand the context of the intervention and to analyse the dimensions of governance relevant in the experience. The study shows how, through action learning and reflection, local managers in two organizations came to understand how the higher level misalignment of organizational structures and processes imposed governance constraints on them, and to see the impact this had on their organizational relationships. By re-framing the conflict as organizational, they were then able to create opportunities for staff to understand their context and participate in negotiating principles for communication and collaborative work. The result reduced conflict between staff in the two organizations, leading to improved implementation of programme support. Strengthening relationships among those working at local level by building collaborative norms and values is an important part of local health system governance for

  1. Exploring the nature of governance at the level of implementation for health system strengthening: the DIALHS experience.

    PubMed

    Scott, Vera; Schaay, Nikki; Olckers, Patti; Nqana, Nomsa; Lehmann, Uta; Gilson, Lucy

    2014-09-01

    Health system governance has been recognized as a critical element of the health system strengthening agenda. To date, health governance research often focuses at national or global levels, adopting a macro-perspective that deals with governance structures, forms and principles. Little attention has been given to a micro-perspective which recognizes the role of health system actors in governance, or to considering the operational level of the health system. This article presents a South African case study of an intervention to address conflict in roles and responsibilities between multiple actors supporting service delivery at the local level, and explores the broader insights this experience generates about the nature of local health system governance. In an embedded case study, action learning and reflection theory were used to design and implement the intervention. Data in this article were drawn from minutes, observations and recorded reflections of the meetings and workshops that comprised the intervention. A theoretical governance framework was used both to understand the context of the intervention and to analyse the dimensions of governance relevant in the experience. The study shows how, through action learning and reflection, local managers in two organizations came to understand how the higher level misalignment of organizational structures and processes imposed governance constraints on them, and to see the impact this had on their organizational relationships. By re-framing the conflict as organizational, they were then able to create opportunities for staff to understand their context and participate in negotiating principles for communication and collaborative work. The result reduced conflict between staff in the two organizations, leading to improved implementation of programme support. Strengthening relationships among those working at local level by building collaborative norms and values is an important part of local health system governance for

  2. Levels of natural IgM antibodies against phosphorylcholine in healthy individuals and in patients undergoing isolated limb perfusion.

    PubMed

    Padilla, Niubel Diaz; Ciurana, Caroline; van Oers, Joep; Ogilvie, Aernout C; Hack, C Erik

    2004-10-01

    Natural IgM antibodies against phosphorylcholine (anti-Pc IgM) resemble C-reactive protein (CRP) regarding specificity and have gained increasing attention because of their supposed role in clearance of damaged cells and in cardiovascular disease. In order to quantify these antibodies in human plasma, we have developed an ELISA system, in which p-aminophenylphosphorylcholine (PCH) coupled to human serum albumin (HSA) was coated on microtiters plates. Human plasma or serum samples were incubated in the plates, after which bound anti-Pc IgM was detected with mouse anti-human IgM-HRP. Pre-incubation of plasma with competitors such as phosphorylcholine, phosphorylethanolamine, phosphorylserine or glycine-HSA, confirmed that the ELISA was specific for anti PC IgM. Levels of anti Pc IgM in a cohort of healthy donors differed by more than 100-fold, whereas the fluctuation of anti-Pc IgM levels in individuals over time was small (coefficient of variation between 6% to 25%). Furthermore, there was no correlation between CRP and anti-Pc IgM in this cohort. Levels of anti-Pc IgM in the normal donors correlated significantly with IgM binding to apoptotic cells. To test the hypothesis that anti-Pc IgM can bind to neo-antigens expressed on necrotic or apoptotic cells, anti-Pc IgM was also quantified in patients with tumors undergoing isolated limb perfusion with tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). Following this procedure, a significant decrease of circulating anti-Pc IgM relative to total IgM was found in all five patients tested. In conclusion, we have developed a specific and reproducible ELISA for anti Pc IgM quantification. Fluctuation of levels of these natural antibodies over time in healthy individuals was limited, although the variation among individuals was large. Significant decreases of levels of anti-Pc IgM were found to occur during tissue damage.

  3. Groundwater level response in U.S. Principal Aquifers to natural climate variability on interannual to multidecadal timescales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Velasco, E.; Gurdak, J. J.; Dickinson, J.; Hanson, R. T.; Ferré, T. P. A.; Maurer, E. P.

    2014-12-01

    Natural climate variability on interannual to multidecadal timescales are important controls on precipitation, drought, evapotranspiration, streamflow, and groundwater recharge. Climate variability can also augment or diminish human stresses on water resources. Thus, understanding climate variability has particular relevance for groundwater management. Findings will be presented from a national scale study of groundwater level response to natural climate variability in principal aquifers (PAs) of the U.S., including the California Coastal Basin, Rio Grande, Coastal Lowlands, Mississippi Embayment, Floridan, and Glacial aquifer systems. We use the U.S. Geological Survey hydroclimatic analysis toolkit HydroClimATe to perform singular spectrum analysis and identify quasi-periodic signals in precipitation and groundwater time series that are coincident with the Arctic Oscillation (AO) (6-12 mo cycle), Pacific/North American oscillation (PNA) (<1-4 yr cycle), El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) (2-7 yr cycle), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) (3-6 yr cycle), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) (15-30 yr cycle), and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) (50-70 yr cycle). Nearly all of the quasi-periodic signals in the precipitation and groundwater levels have a statistically significant lag correlation (95% confidence interval) with the AO, PNA, ENSO, NAO, PDO, and AMO indices. The largest amount of variance in precipitation and groundwater levels was attributed to the PDO, accounting for more than 90% of the variance in many PAs. The next largest amount of variance in precipitation and groundwater levels was attributed to ENSO, accounting for more than 50% of the variance in many PAs. The AMO was the least frequently detected signal in all time series but accounted for as much as 95% of the variance when detected. Thus, climate variability on interannual to multidecadal timescales has a statistically significant and measurable effect on the lagged responses of

  4. IMPAIRED NATURAL KILLER CELL LYSIS IN BREAST CANCER PATIENTS WITH HIGH LEVELS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS IS ASSOCIATED WITH ALTERED EXPRESSION OF KILLER IMMUNOGLOBULIN-LIKE RECEPTORS

    PubMed Central

    Varker, Kimberly A.; Terrell, Catherine E.; Welt, Marilyn; Suleiman, Samer; Thornton, Lisa; Andersen, Barbara L.; Carson, William E.

    2007-01-01

    Background We previously reported that cancer-related psychological stress is associated with reduced natural killer (NK) cell lysis. We hypothesized that reduced NK cell cytotoxicity in patients with increased levels of stress would correlate with alterations in the expression of inhibitory NK cell receptors (killer immunoglobulin-like receptors, or KIRs). The specific aim of this study was to examine KIR expression in patients with high or low levels of psychologic stress and correlate alterations in KIR expression with NK cell function. Materials and Methods 227 patients underwent baseline evaluation of cancer-related psychological stress and were randomized to psychosocial intervention versus observation. From this population, two groups were defined based on pre-treatment measurements of NK lytic activity, stress levels, and the availability of cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Group I (n = 9) had low stress by the Impact of Events Scale (IES), and high NK cell lysis at the 50:1 effector: target ratio (NK50 = 52–89%). Group II (n = 8) had high stress and low NK50 (27–52%). Lymphokine activated killer (LAK) activity, antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), and expression of cytokine receptors, adhesion molecules, and killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) were assessed in PBMC. Results Incubation of PBMC with NK-stimulatory cytokines (IL-2, IL-12, or IL-15) led to significant increases in cytotoxic activity regardless of IES/NK50 scores. There were no significant group differences in NK cell surface expression of the IL-2 receptor components CD25 and CD122, antibody-dependent lysis of HER2/neu-positive SKBr3 cells treated with an anti-HER2/neu monoclonal antibody, expression of adhesion molecules (CD2, CD11a, CD18) and markers of activation (CD69), or expression of the KIRs CD158a, NKG2a, NKB1, and CD161. However, levels of CD158b were significantly higher in Group I after incubation in media alone or with IL-2, and CD94

  5. The COMPASS study: a longitudinal hierarchical research platform for evaluating natural experiments related to changes in school-level programs, policies and built environment resources

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Few researchers have the data required to adequately understand how the school environment impacts youth health behaviour development over time. Methods/Design COMPASS is a prospective cohort study designed to annually collect hierarchical longitudinal data from a sample of 90 secondary schools and the 50,000+ grade 9 to 12 students attending those schools. COMPASS uses a rigorous quasi-experimental design to evaluate how changes in school programs, policies, and/or built environment (BE) characteristics are related to changes in multiple youth health behaviours and outcomes over time. These data will allow for the quasi-experimental evaluation of natural experiments that will occur within schools over the course of COMPASS, providing a means for generating “practice based evidence” in school-based prevention programming. Discussion COMPASS is the first study with the infrastructure to robustly evaluate the impact that changes in multiple school-level programs, policies, and BE characteristics within or surrounding a school might have on multiple youth health behaviours or outcomes over time. COMPASS will provide valuable new insight for planning, tailoring and targeting of school-based prevention initiatives where they are most likely to have impact. PMID:24712314

  6. Low Background Micromegas in CAST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garza, J. G.; Aune, S.; Aznar, F.; Calvet, D.; Castel, J. F.; Christensen, F. E.; Dafni, T.; Davenport, M.; Decker, T.; Ferrer-Ribas, E.; Galán, J.; García, J. A.; Giomataris, I.; Hill, R. M.; Iguaz, F. J.; Irastorza, I. G.; Jakobsen, A. C.; Jourde, D.; Mirallas, H.; Ortega, I.; Papaevangelou, T.; Pivovaroff, M. J.; Ruz, J.; Tomás, A.; Vafeiadis, T.; Vogel, J. K.

    2015-11-01

    Solar axions could be converted into x-rays inside the strong magnetic field of an axion helioscope, triggering the detection of this elusive particle. Low background x-ray detectors are an essential component for the sensitivity of these searches. We report on the latest developments of the Micromegas detectors for the CERN Axion Solar Telescope (CAST), including technological pathfinder activities for the future International Axion Observatory (IAXO). The use of low background techniques and the application of discrimination algorithms based on the high granularity of the readout have led to background levels below 10-6 counts/keV/cm2/s, more than a factor 100 lower than the first generation of Micromegas detectors. The best levels achieved at the Canfranc Underground Laboratory (LSC) are as low as 10-7 counts/keV/cm2/s, showing good prospects for the application of this technology in IAXO. The current background model, based on underground and surface measurements, is presented, as well as the strategies to further reduce the background level. Finally, we will describe the R&D paths to achieve sub-keV energy thresholds, which could broaden the physics case of axion helioscopes.

  7. Computer-Aided TRIZ Ideality and Level of Invention Estimation Using Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, Christopher; Tate, Derrick

    Patent textual descriptions provide a wealth of information that can be used to understand the underlying design approaches that result in the generation of novel and innovative technology. This article will discuss a new approach for estimating Degree of Ideality and Level of Invention metrics from the theory of inventive problem solving (TRIZ) using patent textual information. Patent text includes information that can be used to model both the functions performed by a design and the associated costs and problems that affect a design’s value. The motivation of this research is to use patent data with calculation of TRIZ metrics to help designers understand which combinations of system components and functions result in creative and innovative design solutions. This article will discuss in detail methods to estimate these TRIZ metrics using natural language processing and machine learning with the use of neural networks.

  8. Evidence of the nature of core-level photoemission satellites using angle-resolved photoemission extended fine structure

    SciTech Connect

    Moler, E.J.; Kellar, S.A.; Huff, W.R.A.

    1997-04-01

    The authors present a unique method of experimentally determining the angular momentum and intrinsic/extrinsic origin of core-level photoemission satellites by examining the satellite diffraction pattern in the Angle Resolved Photoemission Extended Fine Structure (ARPEFS) mode. They show for the first time that satellite peaks not associated with chemically differentiated atomic species display an ARPEFS intensity oscillation. They present ARPEFS data for the carbon 1s from ({radical}3x{radical}3)R30 CO/Cu(111) and p2mg(2xl)CO/Ni(110), nitrogen 1s from c(2x2) N{sub 2}/Ni(100), cobalt 1s from p(1x1)Co/Cu(100), and nickel 3p from clean nickel (111). The satellite peaks and tails of the Doniach-Sunjic line shapes in all cases exhibit ARPEFS curves which indicate an angular momentum identical to the main peak and are of an intrinsic nature.

  9. Detrimental Effects of Natural Vertical Head Gradients on Chemical and Water Level Measurements in Observation Wells: Identification and Control

    SciTech Connect

    Flach, G.P.

    2002-12-19

    It is well known that vertical head gradients exist in natural aquifer systems, and borehole flowmeter data have shown that such gradients commonly set up spontaneous vertical flows in monitoring wells, often called ambient flows. What has not been fully appreciated until recently is the serious detrimental effects such flows can have on solute concentration and hydraulic head measurements in monitoring wells. This communication explores the possibilities of diminishing ambient flows by increasing the hydraulic resistance to vertical flow within monitoring wells and limiting the penetration of such wells. Analyzed also are the surprising effects that vertical gradients may have on the equilibrium water level in a monitoring well. Results are based on collected data, numerical flow simulations, and hydraulic analysis in the near-well vicinity.

  10. Natural Functional SNPs in miR-155 Alter Its Expression Level, Blood Cell Counts, and Immune Responses.

    PubMed

    Li, Congcong; He, Huabin; Liu, An; Liu, Huazhen; Huang, Haibo; Zhao, Changzhi; Jing, Lu; Ni, Juan; Yin, Lilin; Hu, Suqin; Wu, Hui; Li, Xinyun; Zhao, Shuhong

    2016-01-01

    miR-155 has been confirmed to be a key factor in immune responses in humans and other mammals. Therefore, investigation of variations in miR-155 could be useful for understanding the differences in immunity between individuals. In this study, four SNPs in miR-155 were identified in mice (Mus musculus) and humans (Homo sapiens). In mice, the four SNPs were closely linked and formed two miR-155 haplotypes (A and B). Ten distinct types of blood parameters were associated with miR-155 expression under normal conditions. Additionally, 4 and 14 blood parameters were significantly different between these two genotypes under normal and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation conditions, respectively. Moreover, the expression levels of miR-155, the inflammatory response to LPS stimulation, and the lethal ratio following Salmonella typhimurium infection were significantly increased in mice harboring the AA genotype. Further, two SNPs, one in the loop region and the other near the 3' terminal of pre-miR-155, were confirmed to be responsible for the differential expression of miR-155 in mice. Interestingly, two additional SNPs, one in the loop region and the other in the middle of miR-155*, modulated the function of miR-155 in humans. Predictions of secondary RNA structure using RNAfold showed that these SNPs affected the structure of miR-155 in both mice and humans. Our results provide novel evidence of the natural functional SNPs of miR-155 in both mice and humans, which may affect the expression levels of mature miR-155 by modulating its secondary structure. The SNPs of human miR-155 may be considered as causal mutations for some immune-related diseases in the clinic. The two genotypes of mice could be used as natural models for studying the mechanisms of immune diseases caused by abnormal expression of miR-155 in humans. PMID:27532002

  11. Natural Functional SNPs in miR-155 Alter Its Expression Level, Blood Cell Counts, and Immune Responses

    PubMed Central

    Li, Congcong; He, Huabin; Liu, An; Liu, Huazhen; Huang, Haibo; Zhao, Changzhi; Jing, Lu; Ni, Juan; Yin, Lilin; Hu, Suqin; Wu, Hui; Li, Xinyun; Zhao, Shuhong

    2016-01-01

    miR-155 has been confirmed to be a key factor in immune responses in humans and other mammals. Therefore, investigation of variations in miR-155 could be useful for understanding the differences in immunity between individuals. In this study, four SNPs in miR-155 were identified in mice (Mus musculus) and humans (Homo sapiens). In mice, the four SNPs were closely linked and formed two miR-155 haplotypes (A and B). Ten distinct types of blood parameters were associated with miR-155 expression under normal conditions. Additionally, 4 and 14 blood parameters were significantly different between these two genotypes under normal and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation conditions, respectively. Moreover, the expression levels of miR-155, the inflammatory response to LPS stimulation, and the lethal ratio following Salmonella typhimurium infection were significantly increased in mice harboring the AA genotype. Further, two SNPs, one in the loop region and the other near the 3′ terminal of pre-miR-155, were confirmed to be responsible for the differential expression of miR-155 in mice. Interestingly, two additional SNPs, one in the loop region and the other in the middle of miR-155*, modulated the function of miR-155 in humans. Predictions of secondary RNA structure using RNAfold showed that these SNPs affected the structure of miR-155 in both mice and humans. Our results provide novel evidence of the natural functional SNPs of miR-155 in both mice and humans, which may affect the expression levels of mature miR-155 by modulating its secondary structure. The SNPs of human miR-155 may be considered as causal mutations for some immune-related diseases in the clinic. The two genotypes of mice could be used as natural models for studying the mechanisms of immune diseases caused by abnormal expression of miR-155 in humans. PMID:27532002

  12. Natural radioactivity levels and heavy metals in chemical and organic fertilizers used in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    El-Taher, A; Althoyaib, S S

    2012-01-01

    The present work deals with identifying and determining the activity levels of natural occuring radionuclides, (226)Ra and (232)Th series, their decay products and (40)K, in chemical and organic fertilizers used in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A total of 30 samples: 20 phosphatic fertilizers (single super-phosphate SSP and triple super-phosphate,TSP) and 10 organic fertilizers (cow, sheep and chicken) collected from markets and farms. The gamma-ray spectrometer consists of NaI(Tl) detector and its electronic circuit was used for measuring γ-ray spectra. The ranges of radioactivity levels of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K in chemical fertilizers are 51.5±5.2-106.3±7.5, 5.1±1.6-9.9±3.2. and 462.6±21-607.3±14Bqkg(-1), respectively. The activities of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K in natural fertilizers (cow, sheep and chicken) are lower than the activities in chemical fertilizers. The obtained data are compared with available reported data from other countries in literature. The Ra(eq) in chemical fertilizer ranges from 100.37 to 161.43Bqkg(-1) and in organic fertilizer ranges from 34.07 to 102.19Bqkg(-1), which are lower than the limit of 370Bqkg(-1) adopted from NEA-OECD (1979). The average heavy metal (Pb, Cd, Ni, Co and Cr) contents of the fertilizers marketed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are also determined and within the limits of those used worldwide.

  13. Neural network approach to background modeling for video object segmentation.

    PubMed

    Culibrk, Dubravko; Marques, Oge; Socek, Daniel; Kalva, Hari; Furht, Borko

    2007-11-01

    This paper presents a novel background modeling and subtraction approach for video object segmentation. A neural network (NN) architecture is proposed to form an unsupervised Bayesian classifier for this application domain. The constructed classifier efficiently handles the segmentation in natural-scene sequences with complex background motion and changes in illumination. The weights of the proposed NN serve as a model of the background and are temporally updated to reflect the observed statistics of background. The segmentation performance of the proposed NN is qualitatively and quantitatively examined and compared to two extant probabilistic object segmentation algorithms, based on a previously published test pool containing diverse surveillance-related sequences. The proposed algorithm is parallelized on a subpixel level and designed to enable efficient hardware implementation.

  14. Background radiation measurements at high power research reactors

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Ashenfelter, J.; Balantekin, B.; Baldenegro, C. X.; Band, H. R.; Barclay, G.; Bass, C. D.; Berish, D.; Bowden, N. S.; Bryan, C. D.; Cherwinka, J. J.; et al

    2015-10-23

    Research reactors host a wide range of activities that make use of the intense neutron fluxes generated at these facilities. Recent interest in performing measurements with relatively low event rates, e.g. reactor antineutrino detection, at these facilities necessitates a detailed understanding of background radiation fields. Both reactor-correlated and naturally occurring background sources are potentially important, even at levels well below those of importance for typical activities. Here we describe a comprehensive series of background assessments at three high-power research reactors, including -ray, neutron, and muon measurements. For each facility we describe the characteristics and identify the sources of the backgroundmore » fields encountered. Furthermore, the general understanding gained of background production mechanisms and their relationship to facility features will prove valuable for the planning of any sensitive measurement conducted therein.« less

  15. Background radiation measurements at high power research reactors

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Ashenfelter, J.; Yeh, M.; Balantekin, B.; Baldenegro, C. X.; Band, H. R.; Barclay, G.; Bass, C. D.; Berish, D.; Bowden, N. S.; Bryan, C. D.; et al

    2015-10-23

    Research reactors host a wide range of activities that make use of the intense neutron fluxes generated at these facilities. Recent interest in performing measurements with relatively low event rates, e.g. reactor antineutrino detection, at these facilities necessitates a detailed understanding of background radiation fields. Both reactor-correlated and naturally occurring background sources are potentially important, even at levels well below those of importance for typical activities. Here we describe a comprehensive series of background assessments at three high-power research reactors, including γ-ray, neutron, and muon measurements. For each facility we describe the characteristics and identify the sources of the backgroundmore » fields encountered. Furthermore, the general understanding gained of background production mechanisms and their relationship to facility features will prove valuable for the planning of any sensitive measurement conducted therein.« less

  16. The Cosmic Background Explorer.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gulkis, Samuel; And Others

    1990-01-01

    Outlines the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) mission to measure celestial radiation. Describes the instruments used and experiments involving differential microwave radiometers, and a far infrared absolute spectrophotometer. (YP)

  17. Regional Background Fine Particulate Matter

    EPA Science Inventory

    A modeling system composed of the global model GEOS-Chem providing hourly lateral boundary conditions to the regional model CMAQ was used to calculate the policy relevant background level of fine particulate: matter. Simulations were performed for the full year of 2004 over the d...

  18. Naturally occurring IgG antibody levels to the Staphylococcus aureus protein IsdB in humans.

    PubMed

    Zorman, Julie K; Esser, Mark; Raedler, Michael; Kreiswirth, Barry N; Ala'Aldeen, Dlawer A A; Kartsonis, Nicholas; Smugar, Steven S; Anderson, Annaliesa S; McNeely, Tessie; Arduino, Jean Marie

    2013-09-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a well-recognized, clinically important cause of nosocomial infections, and as such, a vaccine to prevent S. aureus infections would be an important achievement. A Phase IIB/III study of V710, a vaccine containing iron-regulated surface determinant B (IsdB), demonstrated significant sero-conversion rates in cardiovascular surgery patients following a single pre-surgery immunization. However, the vaccine was not efficacious in preventing bacteremia or deep sternal wound infection post-surgery, thus raising the possibility that IsdB might not be available for immune recognition during infection. The purpose of the work described herein was to evaluate and quantify the naturally occurring anti-IsdB levels at baseline and over time during infection, to understand whether IsdB is expressed during a S. aureus infection in hospitalized non-vaccinated patients. We evaluated baseline and follow-up titers in 3 populations: (1) healthy subjects, (2) hospitalized patients with non-S. aureus infections, and (3) hospitalized patients with S. aureus infections. Baseline anti-IsdB levels generally overlapped between the 3 groups, but were highly variable within each group. In healthy subjects, baseline and follow-up levels were highly correlated (Spearman's rho = 0.93), and the geometric mean fold-rise (GMFR) in anti-IsdB levels between study entry and last value was 0.9-fold (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.8 to 1.0 ; p = 0.09), showing no trend over time. The convalescent GMFR in anti-IsdB levels from baseline was 1.7-fold (95% CI: 1.3 to 2.2, p = 0.0008) during S. aureus infection, significantly different from the 1.0-fold GMFR (95% CI: 0.9-1.2, p = 0.60) in non-S. aureus infection, p = 0.005. Additionally, S. aureus isolates (51) obtained from the hospitalized patient group expressed the IsdB protein in vitro. Collectively, these data suggest that IsdB expression levels rise substantially following infection with S. aureus, but not with other pathogens

  19. Hematological changes and nitric oxide levels accompanying high-dose artemether-lumefantrine administration in male guinea pigs: Effect of unsweetened natural cocoa powder

    PubMed Central

    Asiedu-Gyekye, Isaac Julius; Antwi-Boasiako, Charles; Oppong, Seth; Arthur, Stella; Sarkodie, Joseph Edusei

    2016-01-01

    Background: Unsweetened natural cocoa powder (UNCP), prepared after removal of the cocoa butter, is a common beverage in Ghana. It possesses antimalarial prophylactic property and has a beneficial effect on blood components. Aim: The aim of this study was to determine whether regular dietary supplement of UNCP mitigates high-dose (HD) artemether-lumefantrine (A-L)-induced hematological disorders and to determine the effect on nitric oxide (NO) levels. Materials and Methods: Adult male guinea pigs (300 g - 350 g) were randomly divided into 5 groups of 6 guinea pigs each. Among the 5 groups, 3 groups were treated with UNCP (300, 900, and 1500 mg/kg body weight) for 14 days. A-L (75 mg/kg) was administered from the 12th to 14th day. One of the remaining 2 groups received distilled water only, i.e., vehicle control group (VCG) while the other received 75 mg/kg A-L only, i.e., negative control group (NCG). Blood samples from all groups were obtained by cardiac puncture (day 15) followed by hematological and NO analysis. Results: A-L reduced white blood cells (WBC) by 31.87%, lymphocyte count by 45.99%, hemoglobin by 11.72%, hematocrit by 18.56%, and platelet count by 33.08% in the NCG. Administration of various doses of UNCP increased WBC and lymphocyte count (P > 0.05) compared to the NCG. UNCP and A-L combination caused an increase in NO levels when compared to the VCG. Conclusion: Regular consumption of UNCP by guinea pigs increases plasma NO and restores some hematological disorders induced by a 3-day HD A-L administration. PMID:27757264

  20. Can natural levels of Al influence Cu speciation and toxicity to Daphnia magna in a Swedish soft water lake?

    PubMed

    Hoppe, S; Gustafsson, J-P; Borg, H; Breitholtz, M

    2015-11-01

    It is well known that chemical parameters, such as natural organic matter (NOM), cation content and pH may influence speciation and toxicity of metals in freshwaters. Advanced bioavailability models, e.g. Biotic Ligand Models (BLMs), can use these and other chemical parameters to calculate site specific recommendations for metals in the aquatic environment. However, since Al is not an input parameter in the BLM v.2.2.3, used in this study, there could be a discrepancy between calculated and measured results in Al rich waters. The aim of this study was to evaluate if the presence of Al in a circumneutral (pH ∼6) soft humic freshwater, Lake St. Envättern, will affect the Cu speciation and thereby the toxicity to the cladoceran Daphnia magna. The results show a statistically significant increase in the free Cu(2+) concentration with Al additions and that measured levels of Cu(2+) significantly differed from BLM calculated levels of Cu(2+). Furthermore, there was also a statistically significant elevated acute toxic response to D. magna at low additions of Al (10 μg/L). However, since the large difference between calculated and measured Cu(2+) resulted in a significant but minor (factor of 2.3) difference between calculated and measured toxicity, further studies should be conducted in Al rich soft waters to evaluate the importance of adding Al as an input parameter into the BLM software.

  1. The enzymatic nature of an anonymous protein sequence cannot reliably be inferred from superfamily level structural information alone.

    PubMed

    Roche, Daniel Barry; Brüls, Thomas

    2015-05-01

    As the largest fraction of any proteome does not carry out enzymatic functions, and in order to leverage 3D structural data for the annotation of increasingly higher volumes of sequence data, we wanted to assess the strength of the link between coarse grained structural data (i.e., homologous superfamily level) and the enzymatic versus non-enzymatic nature of protein sequences. To probe this relationship, we took advantage of 41 phylogenetically diverse (encompassing 11 distinct phyla) genomes recently sequenced within the GEBA initiative, for which we integrated structural information, as defined by CATH, with enzyme level information, as defined by Enzyme Commission (EC) numbers. This analysis revealed that only a very small fraction (about 1%) of domain sequences occurring in the analyzed genomes was found to be associated with homologous superfamilies strongly indicative of enzymatic function. Resorting to less stringent criteria to define enzyme versus non-enzyme biased structural classes or excluding highly prevalent folds from the analysis had only modest effect on this proportion. Thus, the low genomic coverage by structurally anchored protein domains strongly associated to catalytic activities indicates that, on its own, the power of coarse grained structural information to infer the general property of being an enzyme is rather limited. PMID:25559918

  2. Study of heat-stress levels in naturally ventilated sheep barns during heat waves: development and assessment of regression models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papanastasiou, D. K.; Bartzanas, T.; Panagakis, P.; Zhang, G.; Kittas, C.

    2016-03-01

    It is well documented that heat-stress burdens sheep welfare and productivity. Peak heat-stress levels are observed when high temperatures prevail, i.e. during heat waves; however, continuous measurements inside livestock buildings are not usually available for long periods so as to study the variation of summer heat-stress levels for several years, especially during extreme hot weather. Α methodology to develop a long time series of summer temperature and relative humidity inside naturally ventilated sheep barns is proposed. The accuracy and the transferability of the developed linear regression models were verified. Temperature Humidity Index (THI) was used to assess sheep's potential heat-stress. Τhe variation of THI inside a barn during heat wave and non-heat wave days was examined, and the results were comparatively assessed. The analysis showed that sheep were exposed to moderate, severe, and extreme severe heat-stress in 10, 21 and 66 % of hours, respectively, during heat wave days, while the corresponding values during non-heat wave days were 14, 33 and 43 %, respectively. The heat load on sheep was much higher during heat wave events than during non-heat wave periods. Additionally, based on the averaged diurnal variation of THI, it was concluded that extreme severe heat-stress conditions were prevailing between 1000 and 2400 hours local time during heat wave days. Cool off night periods were never and extremely rarely detected during heat wave and non-heat wave days, respectively.

  3. Sarcopenia, obesity, and natural killer cell immune senescence in aging: altered cytokine levels as a common mechanism.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Charles T; Quinn, LeBris S

    2012-08-01

    Human aging is characterized by both physical and physiological frailty. A key feature of frailty, sarcopenia is the age-associated decline in skeletal muscle mass, strength, and endurance that characterize even the healthy elderly. Increases in adiposity, particularly in visceral adipose tissue, are almost universal in aging individuals and can contribute to sarcopenia and insulin resistance by increasing levels of inflammatory cytokines known collectively as adipokines. Aging also is associated with declines in adaptive and innate immunity, known as immune senescence, which are risk factors for cancer and all-cause mortality. The cytokine interleukin-15 (IL-15) is highly expressed in skeletal muscle tissue and declines in aging rodent models. IL-15 inhibits fat deposition and insulin resistance, is anabolic for skeletal muscle in certain situations, and is required for the development and survival of natural killer (NK) lymphocytes. We review the effect that adipokines and myokines have on NK cells, with special emphasis on IL-15. We posit that increased adipokine and decreased IL-15 levels during aging constitute a common mechanism for sarcopenia, obesity, and immune senescence.

  4. Biochemical and histopathological effects of administration various levels of Pomposia (Syzygium cumini) fruit juice as natural antioxidant on rat health.

    PubMed

    El-Anany, Ayman M; Ali, Rehab F M

    2013-06-01

    The aim of the current investigation was to evaluate the effects of administration various levels (400, 800 and 1,200 ppm) of pomposia extracts as natural antioxidant in comparison with BHT as synthetic antioxidant on some biochemical activities and histopathological examination of rats. Some of biochemical tests i.e. Alkaline phosphatase, transaminases]Aspartate transferase (AST) and alanine transferase (ALT) [,bilirubin, urea and uric acid were conducted. Histopathological examinations were carried out on the liver and kidney tissue of rats administrated tested substances. The biochemical results indicated that the administration of polyphenolic compounds present in pomposia juice did not cause any significant (p ≥ 0.05) changes in the biochemical parameters whereas the administration of BHT at 200 ppm caused significant (p ≤ 0.05) increase in the activities of enzymes relevant to the functions of liver and kidney. Microscopically examinations of liver and kidney of rat administered various levels of pomposia juice had the same character as that of control rats (this means that the polyphenolic compounds present in pomposia juice did not cause any adverse affect in liver and kidney), in contrast the administration of 200 ppm of BHT caused marked pathological changes in liver and kidney of rats. The results of the current investigation suggest using pomposia juice as safe food grade substance. PMID:24425943

  5. Towards tributyltin quantification in natural water at the Environmental Quality Standard level required by the Water Framework Directive.

    PubMed

    Alasonati, Enrica; Fettig, Ina; Richter, Janine; Philipp, Rosemarie; Milačič, Radmila; Sčančar, Janez; Zuliani, Tea; Tunç, Murat; Bilsel, Mine; Gören, Ahmet Ceyhan; Fisicaro, Paola

    2016-11-01

    The European Union (EU) has included tributyltin (TBT) and its compounds in the list of priority water pollutants. Quality standards demanded by the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) require determination of TBT at so low concentration level that chemical analysis is still difficult and further research is needed to improve the sensitivity, the accuracy and the precision of existing methodologies. Within the frame of a joint research project "Traceable measurements for monitoring critical pollutants under the European Water Framework Directive" in the European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP), four metrological and designated institutes have developed a primary method to quantify TBT in natural water using liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) and species-specific isotope dilution mass spectrometry (SSIDMS). The procedure has been validated at the Environmental Quality Standard (EQS) level (0.2ngL(-1) as cation) and at the WFD-required limit of quantification (LOQ) (0.06ngL(-1) as cation). The LOQ of the methodology was 0.06ngL(-1) and the average measurement uncertainty at the LOQ was 36%, which agreed with WFD requirements. The analytical difficulties of the method, namely the presence of TBT in blanks and the sources of measurement uncertainties, as well as the interlaboratory comparison results are discussed in detail. PMID:27591644

  6. What Third-Grade Students of Differing Ability Levels Learn about Nature of Science after a Year of Instruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akerson, Valarie; Nargund-Joshi, Vanashri; Weiland, Ingrid; Pongsanon, Khemmawadee; Avsar, Banu

    2014-01-01

    This study explored third-grade elementary students' conceptions of nature of science (NOS) over the course of an entire school year as they participated in explicit-reflective science instruction. The Views of NOS-D (VNOS-D) was administered pre instruction, during mid-school year, and at the end of the school year to track growth in understanding over time. The Young Children's Views of Science was used to describe how students conversed about NOS among themselves. All science lessons were videotaped, student work collected, and a researcher log was maintained. Data were analyzed by a team of researchers who sorted the students into low-, medium-, and high-achieving levels of NOS understandings based on VNOS-D scores and classwork. Three representative students were selected as case studies to provide an in-depth picture of how instruction worked differentially and how understandings changed for the three levels of students. Three different learning trajectories were developed from the data describing the differences among understandings for the low-, medium-, and high-achieving students. The low-achieving student could discuss NOS ideas, the medium-achieving student discussed and wrote about NOS ideas, the high-achieving student discussed, wrote, and raised questions about NOS ideas.

  7. Correlators in nontrivial backgrounds

    SciTech Connect

    Mello Koch, Robert de; Ives, Norman; Stephanou, Michael

    2009-01-15

    Operators in N=4 super Yang-Mills theory with an R-charge of O(N{sup 2}) are dual to backgrounds which are asymtotically AdS{sub 5}xS{sup 5}. In this article we develop efficient techniques that allow the computation of correlation functions in these backgrounds. We find that (i) contractions between fields in the string words and fields in the operator creating the background are the field theory accounting of the new geometry, (ii) correlation functions of probes in these backgrounds are given by the free field theory contractions but with rescaled propagators and (iii) in these backgrounds there are no open string excitations with their special end point interactions; we have only closed string excitations.

  8. Determination of the natural radioactivity levels in north west of Dukhan, Qatar using high-resolution gamma-ray spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Al-Sulaiti, Huda; Nasir, Tabassum; Al Mugren, K S; Alkhomashi, N; Al-Dahan, N; Al-Dosari, M; Bradley, D A; Bukhari, S; Matthews, M; Regan, P H; Santawamaitre, T; Malain, D; Habib, A

    2012-07-01

    This study is aimed at the determination of the activity concentrations of naturally occuring and technologically enhanced levels of radiation in 34 representative soil samples that have been collected from an inshore oil field area which was found to have, in a previous study, the highest observed value of 226Ra concentration among 129 soil samples. The activity concentrations of 238U and 226Ra have been inferred from gamma-ray transitions associated with their decay progenies and measured using a hyper-pure germanium detector. Details of the sample preparation and the gamma-ray spectroscopic analysis techniques are presented, together with the values of the activity concentrations associated with the naturally occuring radionuclide chains for all the samples collected from NW Dukhan. Discrete-line, gamma-ray energy transitions from spectral lines ranging in energy from ∼100 keV up to 2.6 MeV have been associated with characteristic decays of the various decay products within the 235.8U and 232Th radioactive decay chains. These data have been analyzed, under the assumption of secular equilibrium for the U and Th decay chains. Details of the sample preparation and the gamma-ray spectroscopic analysis techniques are presented. The weighted mean value of the activity concentrations of 226Ra in one of the samples was found to be around a factor of 2 higher than the values obtained in the previous study and approximately a factor of 10 higher than the accepted worldwide average value of 35 Bq/kg. The weighted mean values of the activity concentrations of 232Th and 40K were also deduced and found to be within the worldwide average values of 30 and 400 Bq/kg, respectively. Our previous study reported a value of 201.9±1.5Stat.±13Syst.Bq/kg for 226Ra in one sample and further investigation in the current work determined a measured value for 226Ra of 342.00±1.9Stat.±25Syst.Bq/kg in a sample taken from the same locality. This is significantly higher than all the other

  9. Neutron background characterization of deep underground laboratories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Best, Andreas; Görres, Joachim; Long, Alex; Smith, Karl; Stech, Ed; Wiescher, Michael

    2012-10-01

    Low-energy (,) reactions in stellar helium and carbon burning provide the neutrons for the formation of elements beyond iron by the slow neutron capture process. The very low cross sections at stellar energies necessitate the use of high-efficiency detectors as well as measuring in a very low neutron background environment. By going deep underground the neutron flux can be reduced by orders of magnitude compared to surface levels, enabling the measurement of reactions for nuclear astrophysics at previously inaccessible energies. The remaining neutron flux is mostly due to spontaneous fission of ^238U in the cavity walls and (,) reactions induced by α-particles from the natural radioactivity of the underground environment. Using a portable setup consisting of 4 ^3He counters and polyethylene moderators the DIANA collaboration is conducting neutron background measurements at various deep underground laboratories in the US. We present first results from the Kimballton Underground Research Facility, the Soudan Underground Laboratory and the 4100 feet level of the Sanford Undeground Research Facility (SURF). Measurements at other depths in SURF and at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant are in planning.

  10. Mass casualty following unprecedented tornadic events in the Southeast: natural disaster outcomes at a Level I trauma center.

    PubMed

    Hartmann, Elizabeth H; Creel, Nathan; Lepard, Jacob; Maxwell, Robert A

    2012-07-01

    On April 27, 2011, an EF4 (enhanced Fujita scale) tornado struck a 48-mile path across northwest Georgia and southeast Tennessee. Traumatic injuries sustained during this tornado and others in one of the largest tornado outbreaks in history presented to the regional Level I trauma center, Erlanger Health System, in Chattanooga, TN. Patients were triaged per mass casualty protocols through an incident command center and triage officer. Medical staffing was increased to anticipate a large patient load. Records of patients admitted as a result of tornado-related injury were retrospectively reviewed and characterized by the injury patterns, demographics, procedures performed, length of stay, and complications. One hundred four adult patients were treated in the emergency department; of these, 28 (27%) patients required admission to the trauma service. Of those admitted, 16 (57%) were male with an age range of 21 to 87 years old and an average length of stay of 10.9 ± 11.8 days. Eleven (39%) patients required intensive care unit admissions. The most common injuries seen were those of soft tissue, bony fractures, and the chest. Interventions included tube thoracostomies, exploratory laparotomies, orthopedic fixations, soft tissue reconstructions, and craniotomy. All 28 patients admitted survived to discharge. Nineteen (68%) patients were discharged home, six (21%) went to a rehabilitation hospital, and three (11%) were transferred to skilled nursing facilities. Emergency preparedness and organization are key elements in effectively treating victims of natural disasters. Those victims who survive the initial tornadic event and present to a Level I trauma center have low mortality. Like in our experience, triage protocols need to be implemented to quickly and effectively manage mass injuries. PMID:22748536

  11. Mass casualty following unprecedented tornadic events in the Southeast: natural disaster outcomes at a Level I trauma center.

    PubMed

    Hartmann, Elizabeth H; Creel, Nathan; Lepard, Jacob; Maxwell, Robert A

    2012-07-01

    On April 27, 2011, an EF4 (enhanced Fujita scale) tornado struck a 48-mile path across northwest Georgia and southeast Tennessee. Traumatic injuries sustained during this tornado and others in one of the largest tornado outbreaks in history presented to the regional Level I trauma center, Erlanger Health System, in Chattanooga, TN. Patients were triaged per mass casualty protocols through an incident command center and triage officer. Medical staffing was increased to anticipate a large patient load. Records of patients admitted as a result of tornado-related injury were retrospectively reviewed and characterized by the injury patterns, demographics, procedures performed, length of stay, and complications. One hundred four adult patients were treated in the emergency department; of these, 28 (27%) patients required admission to the trauma service. Of those admitted, 16 (57%) were male with an age range of 21 to 87 years old and an average length of stay of 10.9 ± 11.8 days. Eleven (39%) patients required intensive care unit admissions. The most common injuries seen were those of soft tissue, bony fractures, and the chest. Interventions included tube thoracostomies, exploratory laparotomies, orthopedic fixations, soft tissue reconstructions, and craniotomy. All 28 patients admitted survived to discharge. Nineteen (68%) patients were discharged home, six (21%) went to a rehabilitation hospital, and three (11%) were transferred to skilled nursing facilities. Emergency preparedness and organization are key elements in effectively treating victims of natural disasters. Those victims who survive the initial tornadic event and present to a Level I trauma center have low mortality. Like in our experience, triage protocols need to be implemented to quickly and effectively manage mass injuries.

  12. Background Studies for the pn-CCD Detector of CAST

    SciTech Connect

    Rodriguez, A.; Beltran, B.; Cebrian, S.; Gomez, H.; Irastorza, I. G.; Luzon, G.; Morales, J.; Ruz, J.; Villar, J. A.; Hartmann, R.; Kotthaus, R.; Klose, C.; Kuster, M.; Strueder, L.

    2007-03-28

    The CERN Axion Solar Telescope (CAST) experiment searches for axions from the Sun converted into photons with energies up to around 10 keV via the inverse Primakoff effect in the high magnetic field of a superconducting Large Hadron Collider (LHC) prototype magnet. A backside illuminated pn-CCD detector in conjunction with an X-ray mirror optics is one of the three detectors used in CAST to register the expected photon signal. Since this signal is very rare a detailed study of the detector background has been undertaken with the aim to understand and further reduce the background level of the detector. The analysis is based on measured data taken during the data taking period of 2003 and 2004 of CAST and on Monte Carlo simulations of background with different origin. The background study performed for this detector show that the level of background (8.00{+-}0.07)x10-5 counts cm-2 s-1 keV-1 between 1 and 7 keV is dominated by the external gamma background due to natural activities at the experimental site, while radioactive impurities in the detector itself and cosmic neutrons contribute with a smaller fraction.

  13. The GLAST Background Model

    SciTech Connect

    Ormes, J.F.; Atwood, W.; Burnett, T.; Grove, E.; Longo, F.; McEnery, J.; Mizuno, T.; Ritz, S.; /NASA, Goddard

    2007-10-17

    In order to estimate the ability of the GLAST/LAT to reject unwanted background of charged particles, optimize the on-board processing, size the required telemetry and optimize the GLAST orbit, we developed a detailed model of the background particles that would affect the LAT. In addition to the well-known components of the cosmic radiation, we included splash and reentrant components of protons, electrons (e+ and e-) from 10 MeV and beyond as well as the albedo gamma rays produced by cosmic ray interactions with the atmosphere. We made estimates of the irreducible background components produced by positrons and hadrons interacting in the multilayered micrometeorite shield and spacecraft surrounding the LAT and note that because the orbital debris has increased, the shielding required and hence the background are larger than were present in EGRET. Improvements to the model are currently being made to include the east-west effect.

  14. A natural analogue for high-level waste in tuff: Chemical analysis and modeling of the Valles site

    SciTech Connect

    Stockman, H.W.; Krumhansl, J.L.; Ho, C.K.; Kovach, L.; McConnell, V.S.

    1995-03-01

    The contact between an obsidian flow and a steep-walled tuff canyon was examined as an analogue for a high-level waste repository. The analogue site is located in the Valles Caldera in New Mexico, where a massive obsidian flow filled a paleocanyon in the Battleship Rock Tuff. The obsidian flow provided a heat source, analogous to waste panels or an igneous intrusion in a repository, and caused evaporation and migration of water. The tuff and obsidian samples were analyzed for major and trace elements and mineralogy by INAA, XRF, x-ray diffraction, and scanning electron microscopy and electron microprobe. Samples were also analyzed for D/H and {sup 39}Ar/{sup 40}Ar isotopic composition. Overall, the effects of the heating event seem to have been slight and limited to the tuff nearest the contact. There is some evidence of devitrification and migration of volatiles in the tuff within 10 m of the contact, but variations in major and trace element chemistry are small and difficult to distinguish from the natural (pre-heating) variability of the rocks.

  15. Thermoluminescence study of X-ray and UV irradiated natural calcite and analysis of its trap and recombination level.

    PubMed

    Kalita, J M; Wary, G

    2014-05-01

    Thermoluminescence (TL) of natural light-orange color calcite (CaCO3) mineral in micro-grain powder form was studied at room temperature X-ray and UV irradiation under various irradiation times. TL was recorded in linear heating rate (2 K/s) from room temperature (300 K) to 523 K. Trapping parameters such as activation energy, order of kinetics, frequency factor have been evaluated by Computerized Glow Curve Deconvolution technique. Three electron trap centers had been estimated at depth 0.70, 1.30 and 1.49 eV from the conduction band. Investigation of emission spectra recorded at various temperatures showed single recombination center at depth 2.74 eV from the conduction band. Due to thermally assisted tunneling of electron and subsequent center-to-center recombination, a distinct peak of lower activation energy (0.60 eV) was observed at relatively higher temperature (~360 K) for X-ray irradiated sample. In UV excitation, there was an indication of photo-transfer phenomenon, where low TL intensity might have been observed; but due to simultaneous excitation of electrons from valence band to the trap level, TL intensity was found to increase with UV irradiation time. The results obtained within temperature range 300-523 K were explained by considering a band diagram.

  16. Women's Education Level, Maternal Health Facilities, Abortion Legislation and Maternal Deaths: A Natural Experiment in Chile from 1957 to 2007

    PubMed Central

    Koch, Elard; Thorp, John; Bravo, Miguel; Gatica, Sebastián; Romero, Camila X.; Aguilera, Hernán; Ahlers, Ivonne

    2012-01-01

    Background The aim of this study was to assess the main factors related to maternal mortality reduction in large time series available in Chile in context of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Methods Time series of maternal mortality ratio (MMR) from official data (National Institute of Statistics, 1957–2007) along with parallel time series of education years, income per capita, fertility rate (TFR), birth order, clean water, sanitary sewer, and delivery by skilled attendants were analysed using autoregressive models (ARIMA). Historical changes on the mortality trend including the effect of different educational and maternal health policies implemented in 1965, and legislation that prohibited abortion in 1989 were assessed utilizing segmented regression techniques. Results During the 50-year study period, the MMR decreased from 293.7 to 18.2/100,000 live births, a decrease of 93.8%. Women's education level modulated the effects of TFR, birth order, delivery by skilled attendants, clean water, and sanitary sewer access. In the fully adjusted model, for every additional year of maternal education there was a corresponding decrease in the MMR of 29.3/100,000 live births. A rapid phase of decline between 1965 and 1981 (−13.29/100,000 live births each year) and a slow phase between 1981 and 2007 (−1.59/100,000 live births each year) were identified. After abortion was prohibited, the MMR decreased from 41.3 to 12.7 per 100,000 live births (−69.2%). The slope of the MMR did not appear to be altered by the change in abortion law. Conclusion Increasing education level appears to favourably impact the downward trend in the MMR, modulating other key factors such as access and utilization of maternal health facilities, changes in women's reproductive behaviour and improvements of the sanitary system. Consequently, different MDGs can act synergistically to improve maternal health. The reduction in the MMR is not related to the legal status of

  17. A Multi-Level Approach to Modeling Rapidly Growing Mega-Regions as a Coupled Human-Natural System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, J. A.; Tang, W.; Meentemeyer, R. K.

    2013-12-01

    The FUTure Urban-Regional Environment Simulation (FUTURES) integrates information on nonstationary drivers of land change (per capita land area demand, site suitability, and spatial structure of conversion events) into spatial-temporal projections of changes in landscape patterns (Meentemeyer et al., 2013). One striking feature of FUTURES is its patch-growth algorithm that includes feedback effects of former development events across several temporal and spatial scales: cell-level transition events are aggregated into patches of land change and their further growth is based on empirically derived parameters controlling its size, shape, and dispersion. Here, we augment the FUTURES modeling framework by expanding its multilevel structure and its representation of human decision making. The new modeling framework is hierarchically organized as nested subsystems including the latest theory on telecouplings in coupled human-natural systems (Liu et al., 2013). Each subsystem represents a specific level of spatial scale and embraces agents that have decision making authority at a particular level. The subsystems are characterized with regard to their spatial representation and are connected via flows of information (e.g. regulations and policies) or material (e.g. population migration). To provide a modeling framework that is applicable to a wide range of settings and geographical regions and to keep it computationally manageable, we implement a 'zooming factor' that allows to enable or disable subsystems (and hence the represented processes), based on the extent of the study region. The implementation of the FUTURES modeling framework for a specific case study follows the observational modeling approach described in Grimm et al. (2005), starting from the analysis of empirical data in order to capture the processes relevant for specific scales and to allow a rigorous calibration and validation of the model application. In this paper, we give an introduction to the basic

  18. Leukocyte numbers and function in subjects eating n-3 enriched foods: selective depression of natural killer cell levels

    PubMed Central

    Mukaro, Violet R; Costabile, Maurizio; Murphy, Karen J; Hii, Charles S; Howe, Peter R; Ferrante, Antonio

    2008-01-01

    Introduction While consumption of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA) has been recommended for those at risk of inflammatory disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, the mechanism of their anti-inflammatory effect remains to be clearly defined, particularly in relation to the dose and type of n-3 LCPUFA. The objective of this study was to determine whether varying the levels of n-3 LCPUFA in erythrocyte membrane lipids, following dietary supplementation, is associated with altered numbers and function of circulating leukocytes conducive to protection against inflammation. Methods In a double-blind and placebo-controlled study, 44 healthy subjects aged 23 to 63 years consumed either standard or n-3 LCPUFA-enriched versions of typical processed foods, the latter allowing a target daily consumption of 1 gram n-3 LCPUFA. After six months, peripheral blood leukocyte and subpopulation proportions and numbers were assessed by flow cytometry. Leukocytes were also examined for lymphoproliferation and cytokine production, neutrophil chemotaxis, chemokinesis, bactericidal, adherence and iodination activity. Erythrocytes were analyzed for fatty-acid content. Results Erythrocyte n-3 LCPUFA levels were higher and absolute leukocyte and lymphocyte numbers were lower in subjects consuming n-3 enriched foods than in controls. There were no changes in the number of neutrophils, monocytes, T cells (CD3+), T-cell subsets (CD4+, CD8+) and B cells (CD19+). However, natural killer (NK) (CD3-CD16+CD56+) cell numbers were lower in n-3 supplemented subjects than in controls and were inversely related to the amount of eicosapentaenoic acid or docosahexaenoic acid in erythrocytes. No significant correlations were found with respect to lymphocyte lymphoproliferation and production of IFN-γ and IL-2, but lymphotoxin production was higher with greater n-3 LCPUFA membrane content. Similarly, neutrophil chemotaxis, chemokinesis, bactericidal activity and adherence did not

  19. Application of stable isotopes (δ³⁴S-SO₄, δ¹⁸O-SO₄, δ¹⁵N-NO ₃, δ¹⁸O-NO ₃) to determine natural background and contamination sources in the Guadalhorce River Basin (southern Spain).

    PubMed

    Urresti-Estala, Begoña; Vadillo-Pérez, Iñaki; Jiménez-Gavilán, Pablo; Soler, Albert; Sánchez-García, Damián; Carrasco-Cantos, Francisco

    2015-02-15

    The integrated use of isotopes (δ(34)S-SO4, δ(18)O-SO4, δ(15)N-NO3, δ(18)O-NO3), taking into account existing hydrogeological knowledge of the study area (mainly hydrochemical), was applied in the Guadalhorce River Basin (southern Spain) to characterise SO4(2-) and NO3(-) sources, and to quantify natural background levels (NBLs) in groundwater bodies. According to Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC and, more recently, Groundwater Directive 2006/118/EC, it is important to determine NBLs, as their correct assessment is the first, essential step to characterising groundwater bodies, establishing threshold values, assessing chemical status and identifying trends in pollutant concentrations. In many cases, NBLs are high for some parameters and types of groundwater, making it difficult to distinguish clearly between factors of natural or human origin. The main advantages of using stable isotopes in a complex area like the Guadalhorce River Basin that exhibits widely varying hydrogeological and hydrochemical conditions and longstanding anthropogenic influences (mainly agriculture, but also many others) is accurate determination of pollution sources and precise quantification of NBLs. Since chemical analyses only provides the concentration of pollutants in water and not the source, three isotopic sampling campaigns for sulphates (δ(34)S-SO4, δ(18)O-SO4) were carried out, in 2006, 2007 and 2012, and another one was conducted for nitrates (δ(15)N-NO3, δ(18)O-NO3), in 2009, in groundwater bodies in order to trace the origins of each pollutant. The present study identified different pollution sources of dissolved NO3(-) in groundwater using an isotopic composition and quantified the percentage of natural (lithology, chemical and biological processes) and anthropogenic (fertilisers, manure and sewage) SO4(2-) and matched a concentration associated with the percentage in order to determine the NBLs in the basin.

  20. Background radiation of the territory of some military objectives in Georgia.

    PubMed

    Jorbenadze, M

    2005-01-01

    Background radiation on the territory of some military objects in Georgia has been investigated with the help of "DRPB-03" (dosimeter-radiometer) according to the specially created instruction. Background radiation of investigated objects varied from 0,09 to 0,28 mkZv/h; in average 0,18 mkZv/h. The maximal level was measured on the 8th object -0,28 mkZv/h, minimal on the 2nd object -0,09 mkZv/h, in average near the - 0,18 mkZv/h. The maximal level of the annual doze of radiation was measured on the 8th object -0,49 mZv/y; and minimal on the 2nd -0,15 mZv/y. The analysis of investigations showed, that the level of background radiation on the territory of the investigated military objects exceeds the level of European countries and South Caucasus (except Armenia). This could be explained by the peculiarities of our country: geomorphological structure and disposition of soil (altitude, latitude). These reasons could cause the high levels of natural background radiation. The level of background radiation is higher in Black Sea coast area, which may be the result of the Chernobyl Accident (contamination with artificial radionuclides). The comparatively high level of background radiation indicates that the personnel sustain relatively high radiation doses from natural radiation origins. PMID:15821332

  1. WFC3/UVIS Sky Backgrounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baggett, Sylvia; Anderson, Jay

    2012-06-01

    This report summarizes the on-orbit background levels present in WFC3/UVIS full-frame images. The results are based on nearly all standard readout images taken since the installation of WFC3 on HST in May 2009, with a relatively small number of exclusions e.g. images with obvious anomalous backgrounds (such as extended targets filling the field of view) or those taken with the quad filters (different bandpass in each amp). Comparisons are provided to estimates from the Exposure Time Calculator (ETC). We anticipate these results to be helpful in fine-tuning the level of post-flash required to achieve the optimum balance of charge transfter efficiency (CTE) loss mitigation versus noise penalty. Observers considering the use of post-flash should refer to the White Paper (MacKenty & Smith 2012) on the CTE WWW page (http://www.stsci.edu/hst/wfc3/ins_performance/CTE/).

  2. An Analysis on the Level of Leisure Satisfaction and the Level of Satisfaction with Life of Young People Who Attend Sport Education Camps in Nature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ercan, Polat

    2016-01-01

    This study analyzes the influence of leisure satisfaction on young people who attended the sport education camp in Bolu city. Target group of the study are students who have participated in the activities called "Nature Camp for Youth" which is held annually by Youth and Sport Ministry. The age range of the target group is between 17 and…

  3. The Cosmic Background Explorer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gulkis, Samuel; Lubin, Philip M.; Meyer, Stephan S.; Silverberg, Robert F.

    1990-01-01

    The Cosmic Background Explorer (CBE), NASA's cosmological satellite which will observe a radiative relic of the big bang, is discussed. The major questions connected to the big bang theory which may be clarified using the CBE are reviewed. The satellite instruments and experiments are described, including the Differential Microwave Radiometer, which measures the difference between microwave radiation emitted from two points on the sky, the Far-Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer, which compares the spectrum of radiation from the sky at wavelengths from 100 microns to one cm with that from an internal blackbody, and the Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment, which searches for the radiation from the earliest generation of stars.

  4. The cosmic microwave background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Silk, Joseph

    1991-01-01

    Recent limits on spectral distortions and angular anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background are reviewed. The various backgrounds are described, and the theoretical implications are assessed. Constraints on inflationary cosmology dominated by cold dark matter (CDM) and on open cosmological models dominated by baryonic dark matter (BDM), with, respectively, primordial random phase scale-invariant curvature fluctuations or non-gaussian isocurvature fluctuations are described. More exotic theories are addressed, and I conclude with the 'bottom line': what theorists expect experimentalists to be measuring within the next two to three years without having to abandon their most cherished theories.

  5. A Science Faculty's Transformation of Nature of Science Understanding into His Teaching Graduate Level Chemistry Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aydin, Sevgi

    2015-01-01

    This is an interpretive case study to examine the teaching of an experienced science faculty who had a strong interest in teaching undergraduate and graduate science courses and nature of science specifically. It was interested in how he transformed knowledge from his experience as a scientist and his ideas about nature of science into forms…

  6. Early Childhood Teachers' Views of Nature of Science: The Influence of Intellectual Levels, Cultural Values, and Explicit Reflective Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akerson, Valarie L.; Buzzelli, Cary A.; Donnelly, Lisa A.

    2008-01-01

    This study tracked the influence of explicit reflective instructional methods on cultural values, ethical and intellectual development, and the relationship of these with preservice teachers' views of nature of science (NOS). The researchers used the Views of Nature of Science Form B (VNOS B) to describe NOS views, the Learning Context…

  7. Deleterious background selection with recombination

    SciTech Connect

    Hudson, R.R.; Kaplan, N.L.

    1995-12-01

    An analytic expression for the expected nucleotide diversity is obtained for a neutral locus in a region with deleterious mutation and recombination. Our analytic results are used to predict levels of variation for the entire third chromosome of Drosophila melanogaster. The predictions are consistent with the low levels of variation that have been observed at loci near the centromeres of the third chromosome of D. melanogaster. However, the low levels of variation observed near the tips of this chromosome are not predicted using currently available estimates of the deleterious mutation rate and of selection coefficients. If considerably smaller selection coefficients are assumed, the low observed levels of variation at the tips of the third chromosome are consistent with the background selection model. 33 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  8. Low Background Counting At SNOLAB

    SciTech Connect

    Lawson, Ian; Cleveland, Bruce

    2011-04-27

    It is a continuous and ongoing effort to maintain radioactivity in materials and in the environment surrounding most underground experiments at very low levels. These low levels are required so that experiments can achieve the required detection sensitivities for the detection of low-energy neutrinos, searches for dark matter and neutrinoless double-beta decay. SNOLAB has several facilities which are used to determine these low background levels in the materials and the underground environment. This proceedings will describe the SNOLAB High Purity Germanium Detector which has been in continuous use for the past five years and give results of many of the items that have been counted over that period. Brief descriptions of SNOLAB's alpha-beta and electrostatic counters will be given, and the radon levels at SNOLAB will be discussed.

  9. Berkeley Low Background Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, K. J.; Norman, E. B.; Smith, A. R.; Poon, A. W. P.; Chan, Y. D.; Lesko, K. T.

    2015-08-17

    The Berkeley Low Background Facility (BLBF) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in Berkeley, California provides low background gamma spectroscopy services to a wide array of experiments and projects. The analysis of samples takes place within two unique facilities; locally within a carefully-constructed, low background laboratory on the surface at LBNL and at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, SD. These facilities provide a variety of gamma spectroscopy services to low background experiments primarily in the form of passive material screening for primordial radioisotopes (U, Th, K) or common cosmogenic/anthropogenic products; active screening via neutron activation analysis for U,Th, and K as well as a variety of stable isotopes; and neutron flux/beam characterization measurements through the use of monitors. A general overview of the facilities, services, and sensitivities will be presented. Recent activities and upgrades will also be described including an overview of the recently installed counting system at SURF (recently relocated from Oroville, CA in 2014), the installation of a second underground counting station at SURF in 2015, and future plans. The BLBF is open to any users for counting services or collaboration on a wide variety of experiments and projects.

  10. School Law: Background Checks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Splitt, David A.

    1988-01-01

    In an Oklahoma case, the district court ruled that the school district had failed to investigate the background of a teacher convicted of a second sexual abuse charge. School districts should examine personnel polices and practices, and the school lawyer should review state laws, regulations, and court cases. (MLF)

  11. Foregrounding the Background.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robbins, Bruce

    1998-01-01

    Argues that when introductory activities to the classics begin with background information, it can upstage or confine the life of the story, and shows little faith in the students as readers or in the literature itself. Suggests sometimes letting the literature begin, and then helping students make sense of it. Discusses examples from "To Kill a…

  12. China: Background Notes Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reams, Joanne Reppert

    Concise background information on the People's Republic of China is provided. The publication begins with a profile of the country, outlining the people, geography, economy, and membership in international organizations. The bulk of the document then discusses in more detail China's people, geography, history, government, education, economy, and…

  13. Thermal background noise limitations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gulkis, S.

    1982-01-01

    Modern detection systems are increasingly limited in sensitivity by the background thermal photons which enter the receiving system. Expressions for the fluctuations of detected thermal radiation are derived. Incoherent and heterodyne detection processes are considered. References to the subject of photon detection statistics are given.

  14. From image statistics to scene gist: evoked neural activity reveals transition from low-level natural image structure to scene category.

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-27

    The visual system processes natural scenes in a split second. Part of this process is the extraction of "gist," a global first impression. It is unclear, however, how the human visual system computes this information. Here, we show that, when human observers categorize global information in real-world scenes, the brain exhibits strong sensitivity to low-level summary statistics. Subjects rated a specific instance of a global scene property, naturalness, for a large set of natural scenes while EEG was recorded. For each individual scene, we derived two physiologically plausible summary statistics by spatially pooling local contrast filter outputs: contrast energy (CE), indexing contrast strength, and spatial coherence (SC), indexing scene fragmentation. We show that behavioral performance is directly related to these statistics, with naturalness rating being influenced in particular by SC. At the neural level, both statistics parametrically modulated single-trial event-related potential amplitudes during an early, transient window (100-150 ms), but SC continued to influence activity levels later in time (up to 250 ms). In addition, the magnitude of neural activity that discriminated between man-made versus natural ratings of individual trials was related to SC, but not CE. These results suggest that global scene information may be computed by spatial pooling of responses from early visual areas (e.g., LGN or V1). The increased sensitivity over time to SC in particular, which reflects scene fragmentation, suggests that this statistic is actively exploited to estimate scene naturalness.

  15. From image statistics to scene gist: evoked neural activity reveals transition from low-level natural image structure to scene category.

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-27

    The visual system processes natural scenes in a split second. Part of this process is the extraction of "gist," a global first impression. It is unclear, however, how the human visual system computes this information. Here, we show that, when human observers categorize global information in real-world scenes, the brain exhibits strong sensitivity to low-level summary statistics. Subjects rated a specific instance of a global scene property, naturalness, for a large set of natural scenes while EEG was recorded. For each individual scene, we derived two physiologically plausible summary statistics by spatially pooling local contrast filter outputs: contrast energy (CE), indexing contrast strength, and spatial coherence (SC), indexing scene fragmentation. We show that behavioral performance is directly related to these statistics, with naturalness rating being influenced in particular by SC. At the neural level, both statistics parametrically modulated single-trial event-related potential amplitudes during an early, transient window (100-150 ms), but SC continued to influence activity levels later in time (up to 250 ms). In addition, the magnitude of neural activity that discriminated between man-made versus natural ratings of individual trials was related to SC, but not CE. These results suggest that global scene information may be computed by spatial pooling of responses from early visual areas (e.g., LGN or V1). The increased sensitivity over time to SC in particular, which reflects scene fragmentation, suggests that this statistic is actively exploited to estimate scene naturalness. PMID:24285888

  16. The effect of high level natural ionizing radiation on expression of PSA, CA19-9 and CEA tumor markers in blood serum of inhabitants of Ramsar, Iran.

    PubMed

    Heidari, Mohammad Hassan; Porghasem, Mohsen; Mirzaei, Nazanin; Mohseni, Jafar Hesam; Heidari, Matine; Azargashb, Eznollah; Movafagh, Abolfazl; Heidari, Reihane; Molouki, Aidin; Larijani, Leila

    2014-02-01

    Since several high level natural radiation areas (HLNRAs) exist on our planet, considerable attention has been drawn to health issues that may develop as the result of visiting or living in such places. City of Ramsar in Iran is an HNLRA, and is a tourist attraction mainly due to its hot spas. However, the growing awareness over its natural radiation sources has prompted widespread scientific investigation at national level. In this study, using an ELISA method, the level of expression of three tumor markers known as carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and carcino antigen 19-9 (CA19-9) in blood serum of 40 local men of Ramsar (subject group) was investigated and compared to 40 men from the city of Noshahr (control group). Noshahr was previously identified as a normal level natural radiation area (NLNRA) that is some 85 km far from Ramsar. According to statistical analysis, there was a significant difference in the levels of PSA and CA19-9 markers between the two groups (p < 0.001) with those of Ramsar being considerably higher. CEA level did not show any difference. Although some of the volunteers tested positive to the markers, they were in good health as confirmed by the physician. Moreover, the high number of positive markers in Noshahr was considerable. Therefore, future study is needed to further validate this result and to determine the level of positivity to tumor markers in both cities.

  17. Diffuse UV Background Radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conn Henry, Richard; Murthy, J.

    2012-01-01

    The diffuse UV sky is expected to glow with significant amounts of starlight that is scattered from the interstellar dust. The albedo and scattering pattern of the dust in the ultraviolet are both well established, and are both fairly independent of wavelength from 912 Å to 3000 Å. We present 1943 Voyager spectra of the diffuse cosmic background radiation from 500 Å to 1200 Å, and we compare their brightnesses, and their distribution on the sky, to those observed (Murthy et al., ApJ 724, 1389, 2010) from the GALEX mission at longer wavelengths (1530 Å). Significant differences appear, suggesting that background radiation components in addition to dust-scattered starlight may be present in both spectral regions.

  18. The cosmic microwave background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Silk, Joseph

    1989-01-01

    Recent observational and theoretical investigations of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR) are reviewed. Particular attention is given to spectral distortions and CMBR temperature anisotropies at large, intermediate, and small angular scales. The implications of the observations for inflationary cosmological models with curvature fluctuation are explored, and it is shown that the limits determined for intermediate-scale CMBR anisotropy almost rule out a baryon-dominated cosmology.

  19. Executive Summary: Background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    Background information on, and the objectives of, the NASA Global Biology Research Program are given. The following issues were addressed: (1) geographic distribution of wetland parameters, (2) the processes of wetland material fluxes, and (3) the relation of local fluxes with global processes. Wetland inventorying and categorizing, gas-phase exchanges with the atmosphere, material exchange with the aquatic environment, and material storage in wetland sediments were identified as topics requiring further research.

  20. Background independence in a background dependent renormalization group

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Labus, Peter; Morris, Tim R.; Slade, Zöe H.

    2016-07-01

    Within the derivative expansion of conformally reduced gravity, the modified split Ward identities are shown to be compatible with the flow equations if and only if either the anomalous dimension vanishes or the cutoff profile is chosen to have a power-law form. No solutions exist if the Ward identities are incompatible. In the compatible case, a clear reason is found for why Ward identities can still forbid the existence of fixed points; however, for any cutoff profile, a background independent (and parametrization independent) flow equation is uncovered. Finally, expanding in vertices, the combined equations are shown generically to become either overconstrained or highly redundant beyond the six-point level.

  1. The cosmic microwave background radiation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Silk, J.

    1981-01-01

    Because angular anisotropies and spectral distortions of the cosmic microwave background radiation are judged to be inevitable at some level, in a realistic cosmological model, the evidence for spectral distortions and its theoretical implications are described. The evidence for anisotropy is then discussed, and theoretical predictions of radiation anisotropy are summarized and compared with the data available. It is found that spectral distortions at the 3-sigma level near the peak of the blackbody spectrum, although inconsistent with the predicted distortions due to Compton scattering in the early universe, are elegantly interpreted in terms of radiation from an early, pregalactic generation of massive stars which had been thermalized by a modest amount of dust at high redshift. The quadrupole anisotropy at the 4-sigma level is most simply interpreted in terms of the large-scale structure of the universe.

  2. Backgrounder: The MAB Programme.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, Paris (France). Office of Public Information.

    The Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) was launched in November 1971 under the auspices of Unesco. Its aim is to help to develop scientific knowledge with a view to the rational management and conservation of natural resources, to train qualified personnel in this field, and to disseminate the knowledge acquired both to the decision-makers and…

  3. Low-level properties of natural images predict topographic patterns of neural response in the ventral visual pathway

    PubMed Central

    Andrews, Timothy J.; Watson, David M.; Rice, Grace E.; Hartley, Tom

    2015-01-01

    Neuroimaging research over the past 20 years has begun to reveal a picture of how the human visual system is organized. A key distinction that has arisen from these studies is the difference in the organization of low-level and high-level visual regions. Low-level regions contain topographic maps that are tightly linked to properties of the image. In contrast, high-level visual areas are thought to be arranged in modules that are tightly linked to categorical or semantic information in the image. To date, an unresolved question has been how the strong functional selectivity for object categories in high-level visual regions might arise from the image-based representations found in low-level visual regions. Here, we review recent evidence suggesting that patterns of response in high-level visual areas may be better explained by response to image properties that are characteristic of different object categories. PMID:26024512

  4. Characterizing the Nature of Students' Feature Noticing-and-Using with Respect to Mathematical Symbols across Different Levels of Algebra Exposure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sullivan, Patrick

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the nature of what students notice about symbols and use as they solve unfamiliar algebra problems based on familiar algebra concepts and involving symbolic inscriptions. The researcher conducted a study of students at three levels of algebra exposure: (a) students enrolled in a high school pre-calculus…

  5. Hierarchical and cybernetic nature of biologic systems and their relevance to homeostatic adaptation to low-level exposures to oxidative stress-inducing agents.

    PubMed Central

    Trosko, J E

    1998-01-01

    During evolution in an aerobic environment, multicellular organisms survived by adaptive responses to both the endogenous oxidative metabolism in the cells of the organism and the chemicals and low-level radiation to which they had been exposed. The defense repertoire exists at all levels of the biological hierarchy--from the molecular and biochemical level to the cellular and tissue level to the organ and organ system level. Cells contain preventive antioxidants to suppress oxidative damage to membranes. Cells also contain proteins and DNA; built-in redundancies for damaged molecules and organelles; tightly coupled redox systems; pools of reductants; antioxidants; DNA repair mechanisms and sensitive sensor molecules such as nuclear factor kappa beta; and signal transduction mechanisms affecting both transcription and post-translational modification of proteins needed to cope with oxidative stress. The biologic consequences of the low-level radiation that exceeds the background level of oxidative damage could be necrosis or apoptosis, cell proliferation, or cell differentiation. These effects are triggered by oxidative stress-induced signal transduction mechanisms--an epigenetic, not genotoxic, process. If the end points of cell proliferation, differentiation, or cell death are not seen at frequencies above background levels in an organism, it is unlikely that low-level radiation would play a role in the multistep processes of chronic diseases such as cancer. The mechanism linked to homeostatic regulation of proliferation and adaptive functions in a multicellular organism could provide protection of any one cell receiving deposited energy by the radiation tract through the sharing of reductants and by triggering apoptosis of target stem cells. Examples of the role of gap junctional intercellular communication in the adaptive response of cells and the bystander effect illustrate how the interaction of cells can modulate the effect of radiation on the single cell

  6. Backgrounds Data Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snyder, William A.; Gursky, Herbert; Heckathorn, Harry M.; Lucke, Bob L.; Dorland, Bryan N.; Kessel, R. A.; Berg, S. L.; Dombrowski, E. G.

    1994-09-01

    The Backgrounds Data Center (BDC) is the designated archive for backgrounds data collected by Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) programs, some of which include ultraviolet sensors. Currently, the BDC holds ultraviolet data from the IBSS, UVPI, UVLIM, and FUVCAM sensors. The BDC will also be the prime archive for Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) data and is prepared to negotiate with program managers to handle other datasets. The purpose of the BDC is to make data accessible to users and to assist them in analyzing it. The BDC maintains the Science Catalog Information Exchange System (SCIES) allowing remote users to log in, read or post notices about current programs, search the catalogs for datasets of interest, and submit orders for data. On-site facilities are also available for the analysis of data, and consist of VMS and UNIX workstations with access to software analysis packages such as IDL, IRAF, and Khoros. Either on-site or remotely, users can employ the BDC-developed graphical user interface called the Visual Interface for Space and Terrestrial Analysis (VISTA) to generate catalog queries and to display and analyze data. SCIES and VISTA permit nearly complete access to BDC services and capabilities without the need to be physically present at the data center.

  7. Identification of anthropogenic and natural dust sources using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Deep Blue level 2 data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ginoux, Paul; Garbuzov, Dmitri; Hsu, N. Christina

    2010-03-01

    Mineral dust interacts with radiation and impacts both the regional and global climate. The relative contribution of natural and anthropogenic dust sources, however, remains largely uncertain. Although human activities disturb soils and therefore enhance wind erosion, their contribution to global dust emission has never been directly evaluated because of a lack of data. The retrieval of aerosol properties over land, including deserts, using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Deep Blue algorithm makes the first direct characterization of the origin of individual sources possible. In order to separate freshly emitted dust from other aerosol types and aged dust particles, the spectral dependence of the single scattering albedo and the Angstrom wavelength exponent are used. Four years of data from the eastern part of West Africa, which includes one of the most active natural dust sources and the highest population density on the continent, are processed. Sources are identified on the basis of the persistence of significant aerosol optical depth from freshly emitted dust, and the origin is characterized as natural or anthropogenic on the basis of a land use data set. Our results indicate that although anthropogenic dust is observed less frequently and with lower optical depth than dust from natural sources in this particular region, it occupies a large area covering most of northern Nigeria and southern Chad, around Lake Chad. In addition, smaller anthropogenic sources are found as far south as 5° of latitude north, well outside the domain of most dust source inventories.

  8. What Third-Grade Students of Differing Ability Levels Learn about Nature of Science after a Year of Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akerson, Valarie; Nargund-Joshi, Vanashri; Weiland, Ingrid; Pongsanon, Khemmawadee; Avsar, Banu

    2014-01-01

    This study explored third-grade elementary students' conceptions of nature of science (NOS) over the course of an entire school year as they participated in explicit-reflective science instruction. The "Views of" NOS-D (VNOS-D) was administered pre instruction, during mid-school year, and at the end of the school year to track…

  9. The isotropic radio background revisited

    SciTech Connect

    Fornengo, Nicolao; Regis, Marco; Lineros, Roberto A.

    2014-04-01

    We present an extensive analysis on the determination of the isotropic radio background. We consider six different radio maps, ranging from 22 MHz to 2.3 GHz and covering a large fraction of the sky. The large scale emission is modeled as a linear combination of an isotropic component plus the Galactic synchrotron radiation and thermal bremsstrahlung. Point-like and extended sources are either masked or accounted for by means of a template. We find a robust estimate of the isotropic radio background, with limited scatter among different Galactic models. The level of the isotropic background lies significantly above the contribution obtained by integrating the number counts of observed extragalactic sources. Since the isotropic component dominates at high latitudes, thus making the profile of the total emission flat, a Galactic origin for such excess appears unlikely. We conclude that, unless a systematic offset is present in the maps, and provided that our current understanding of the Galactic synchrotron emission is reasonable, extragalactic sources well below the current experimental threshold seem to account for the majority of the brightness of the extragalactic radio sky.

  10. Natural experiment’ Demonstrates Top-Down Control of Spiders by Birds on a Landscape Level

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    The combination of small-scale manipulative experiments and large-scale natural experiments provides a powerful approach for demonstrating the importance of top-down trophic control on the ecosystem scale. The most compelling natural experiments have come from studies examining the landscape-scale loss of apex predators like sea otters, wolves, fish and land crabs. Birds are dominant apex predators in terrestrial systems around the world, yet all studies on their role as predators have come from small-scale experiments; the top-down impact of bird loss on their arthropod prey has yet to be examined at a landscape scale. Here, we use a unique natural experiment, the extirpation of insectivorous birds from nearly all forests on the island of Guam by the invasive brown tree snake, to produce the first assessment of the impacts of bird loss on their prey. We focused on spiders because experimental studies showed a consistent top-down effect of birds on spiders. We conducted spider web surveys in native forest on Guam and three nearby islands with healthy bird populations. Spider web densities on the island of Guam were 40 times greater than densities on islands with birds during the wet season, and 2.3 times greater during the dry season. These results confirm the general trend from manipulative experiments conducted in other systems however, the effect size was much greater in this natural experiment than in most manipulative experiments. In addition, bird loss appears to have removed the seasonality of spider webs and led to larger webs in at least one spider species in the forests of Guam than on nearby islands with birds. We discuss several possible mechanisms for the observed changes. Overall, our results suggest that effect sizes from smaller-scale experimental studies may significantly underestimate the impact of bird loss on spider density as demonstrated by this large-scale natural experiment. PMID:22970126

  11. Effect of Computer Simulations at the Particulate and Macroscopic Levels on Students' Understanding of the Particulate Nature of Matter

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tang, Hui; Abraham, Michael R.

    2016-01-01

    Computer-based simulations can help students visualize chemical representations and understand chemistry concepts, but simulations at different levels of representation may vary in effectiveness on student learning. This study investigated the influence of computer activities that simulate chemical reactions at different levels of representation…

  12. Background Suppression Effects on Signal Estimation

    SciTech Connect

    Burr, Tom

    2008-01-01

    Gamma detectors at border crossings are intended to detect illicit nuclear material. One performance challenge involves the fact that vehicles suppress the natural background, thus potentially reducing detection probability for threat items. Methods to adjust for background suppression have been considered in related but different settings. Here, methods to adjust for background suppression are tested in the context of signal estimation. Adjustment methods include several clustering options. We find that for the small-to-moderate suppression magnitudes exhibited in the analyzed data, suppression adjustment is only moderatel helpful in locating the signal peak, and in estimating its width or magnitude.

  13. The role of natural glasses as analogues in projecting the long-term alteration of high-level nuclear waste glasses: Part 1

    SciTech Connect

    Mazer, J.J.

    1993-12-31

    The common observation of glasses persisting in natural environments for long periods of time (up to tens of millions of years) provides compelling evidence that these materials can be kinetically stable in a variety of subsurface environments. This paper reviews how natural and historical synthesized glasses can be employed as natural analogues for understanding and projecting the long-term alteration of high-level nuclear waste glasses. The corrosion of basaltic glass results in many of the same alteration features found in laboratory testing of the corrosion of high-level radioactive waste glasses. Evidence has also been found indicating similarities in the rate controlling processes, such as the effects of silica concentration on corrosion in groundwater and in laboratory leachates. Naturally altered rhyolitic glasses and tektites provide additional evidence that can be used to constrain estimates of long-term waste glass alteration. When reacted under conditions where water is plentiful, the corrosion for these glasses is dominated by network hydrolysis, while the corrosion is dominated by molecular water diffusion and secondary mineral formation under conditions where water contact is intermittent or where water is relatively scarce. Synthesized glasses that have been naturally altered result in alkali-depleted alteration features that are similar to those found for natural glasses and for nuclear waste glasses. The characteristics of these alteration features appear to be dependent on the alteration conditions which affect the dominant reaction processes during weathering. In all cases, care must be taken to ensure that the information being provided by natural analogues is related to nuclear waste glass corrosion in a clear and meaningful way.

  14. Ultraviolet Background Radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henry, R. C.; Murthy, J.

    1993-12-01

    The UVX experiment was carried on the Space Shuttle Columbia between 1986 January 12 and 19 (STS-61C). Several ultraviolet spectrometers were used to obtain measurements of the diffuse ultraviolet background at 8 locations in the sky. We have reanalysed the UVX measurements of the surface brightness of the diffuse ultraviolet background above b = 40 using the dust-scattering model of Onaka & Kodaira (1991), which explicitly takes into account the variation of the source function with galactic longitude. The range of allowed values of interstellar grain albedoJa, and scattering asymmetry parameter g, is considerably expanded over those of a previous analysis. The new chi square probability contours come close to, but do not include, the values of a and g found for the interstellar grains by Witt et al. (1992) using the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UIT) on the Astro mission. If we hypothesize in additon to the dust-scattered light an extragalactic component, of 300 1 100 photons cm-2 s-1 sr-1 A-1, attenuated by a cosecant b law, the new reduction of the UVX data gives complete consistency with the Witt et al. determination of the optical parameters of the grains in the ultraviolet. This work was supported by United States Air Force Contract F19628-93-K-0004, and by National Aeronautics and Space Administration grant NASA NAG5-619. We are grateful for the encouragement of Dr. Stephan Price, and we thank Dr. L. Danly for information. Onaka, T., & Kodaira, K. 1991, ApJ, 379, 532 Witt, A. N., Petersohn, J. K., Bohlin, R. C., O'Connell, R. W., Roberts, M. S., Smith, A. M., & Stecher, T. P. 1992, ApJ, 395, L5

  15. Background noise model development for seismic stations of KMA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeon, Youngsoo

    2010-05-01

    The background noise recorded at seismometer is exist at any seismic signal due to the natural phenomena of the medium which the signal passed through. Reducing the seismic noise is very important to improve the data quality in seismic studies. But, the most important aspect of reducing seismic noise is to find the appropriate place before installing the seismometer. For this reason, NIMR(National Institution of Meteorological Researches) starts to develop a model of standard background noise for the broadband seismic stations of the KMA(Korea Meteorological Administration) using a continuous data set obtained from 13 broadband stations during the period of 2007 and 2008. We also developed the model using short period seismic data from 10 stations at the year of 2009. The method of Mcmara and Buland(2004) is applied to analyse background noise of Korean Peninsula. The fact that borehole seismometer records show low noise level at frequency range greater than 1 Hz compared with that of records at the surface indicate that the cultural noise of inland Korean Peninsula should be considered to process the seismic data set. Reducing Double Frequency peak also should be regarded because the Korean Peninsula surrounded by the seas from eastern, western and southern part. The development of KMA background model shows that the Peterson model(1993) is not applicable to fit the background noise signal generated from Korean Peninsula.

  16. Historical background of itch.

    PubMed

    Weisshaar, Elke; Eckart, Wolfgang U; Bernhard, Jeffrey D

    2015-01-01

    Itch as a disease, and especially as a symptom, was the object of medical and scientific curiosity for centuries. The reluctance of historians to focus on the history of itch relates to its nature as a subjective symptom. After all, how can historians have known what itch really felt like in previous centuries? Since the establishment of dermatology as an independent discipline of medicine in the middle of the nineteenth century, itch has become a subject of investigation in its own right. This chapter summarises research we conducted on the medical history of itch in ancient medicine and up through the twentieth century. PMID:25861771

  17. Galileons on cosmological backgrounds

    SciTech Connect

    Goon, Garrett; Hinterbichler, Kurt; Trodden, Mark E-mail: kurthi@physics.upenn.edu

    2011-12-01

    We construct four-dimensional effective field theories of a generalized DBI galileon field, the dynamics of which naturally take place on a Friedmann-Robertson-Walker spacetime. The theories are invariant under non-linear symmetry transformations, which can be thought of as being inherited from five-dimensional bulk Killing symmetries via the probe brane technique through which they are constructed. The resulting model provides a framework in which to explore the cosmological role that galileons may play as the universe evolves.

  18. High Pretreatment D-Dimer Levels Correlate with Adverse Clinical Features and Predict Poor Survival in Patients with Natural Killer/T-Cell Lymphoma

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Peng; Yan, Shu-mei; Liu, Pan-pan; Li, Zhi-ming; Jiang, Wen-qi

    2016-01-01

    Pretreatment plasma D-dimer levels have been reported to predict survival in several types of malignancies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic value of D-dimer levels in patients with newly diagnosed natural killer/T-cell lymphoma (NKTCL). The cut-off value of D-dimer to predict survival was set as 1.2 μg/mL based on the receiver operating curve analysis. Patients with a D-dimer level ≥ 1.2 μg/mL had significantly more adverse clinical features, including poor performance status, advanced stage diseases, B symptoms, elevated serum lactic dehydrogenase levels, involvement of regional lymph nodes, more extranodal diseases, and higher International Prognostic Index and natural killer/T-cell lymphoma prognostic index scores. A D-dimer level ≥ 1.2 μg/mL was significantly associated with inferior 3-year overall survival (OS, 13.0 vs. 68.5%, P < 0.001). In the multivariate analysis, a D-dimer level ≥ 1.2 μg/mL remained an independent predictor for worse OS (HR: 3.13, 95% CI: 1.47–6.68, P = 0.003) after adjusting for other confounding prognostic factors. Among patients with Ann Arbor stage I-II diseases, those with a D-dimer level ≥ 1.2 μg/mL had a significantly worse survival than those with a D-dimer level < 1.2 μg/mL (3 year-OS: 76.2 vs. 22.2%, P < 0.001). Survival of early-stage patients with a high D-dimer level was similar to that of the advanced-stage patients. In conclusion, pretreatment plasma D-dimer level may serve as a simple but effective predictor of prognosis in patients with NKTCL. PMID:27032016

  19. High Pretreatment D-Dimer Levels Correlate with Adverse Clinical Features and Predict Poor Survival in Patients with Natural Killer/T-Cell Lymphoma.

    PubMed

    Bi, Xi-wen; Wang, Liang; Zhang, Wen-wen; Sun, Peng; Yan, Shu-mei; Liu, Pan-pan; Li, Zhi-ming; Jiang, Wen-qi

    2016-01-01

    Pretreatment plasma D-dimer levels have been reported to predict survival in several types of malignancies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic value of D-dimer levels in patients with newly diagnosed natural killer/T-cell lymphoma (NKTCL). The cut-off value of D-dimer to predict survival was set as 1.2 μg/mL based on the receiver operating curve analysis. Patients with a D-dimer level ≥ 1.2 μg/mL had significantly more adverse clinical features, including poor performance status, advanced stage diseases, B symptoms, elevated serum lactic dehydrogenase levels, involvement of regional lymph nodes, more extranodal diseases, and higher International Prognostic Index and natural killer/T-cell lymphoma prognostic index scores. A D-dimer level ≥ 1.2 μg/mL was significantly associated with inferior 3-year overall survival (OS, 13.0 vs. 68.5%, P < 0.001). In the multivariate analysis, a D-dimer level ≥ 1.2 μg/mL remained an independent predictor for worse OS (HR: 3.13, 95% CI: 1.47-6.68, P = 0.003) after adjusting for other confounding prognostic factors. Among patients with Ann Arbor stage I-II diseases, those with a D-dimer level ≥ 1.2 μg/mL had a significantly worse survival than those with a D-dimer level < 1.2 μg/mL (3 year-OS: 76.2 vs. 22.2%, P < 0.001). Survival of early-stage patients with a high D-dimer level was similar to that of the advanced-stage patients. In conclusion, pretreatment plasma D-dimer level may serve as a simple but effective predictor of prognosis in patients with NKTCL.

  20. Bromide levels in natural waters: its relationship to levels of both chloride and total dissolved solids and the implications for water treatment.

    PubMed

    Magazinovic, Rodney S; Nicholson, Brenton C; Mulcahy, Dennis E; Davey, David E

    2004-10-01

    South Australian freshwaters from a wide variety of environments were analysed for bromide and the results correlated with both chloride and total dissolved solids (TDS) concentrations. A linear relationship was obtained which allows chloride data to be successfully used to estimate bromide concentrations. Bromide displayed a slightly better correlation with TDS indicating that an improved estimate of bromide could be made by reference to TDS data which is more easily and commonly obtained, and generally available extensively as historical data. The bromide content in relation to its ratio with both chloride and TDS contents was around seventy percent of the corresponding ratios found in seawater, a finding reported in other published data. The ability to estimate bromide concentrations is a potentially useful tool in the drinking water industry as it enables the assessment of the extent of bromate formation (predicted through the use of mathematical models and other water quality data) which is an important factor when ozonation is being considered as a treatment option, particularly as many water industry regulatory bodies have imposed stringent limits on the levels of acceptable bromate.

  1. In the Background

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garibay, Pat

    2007-01-01

    Educators and administrators are looking for new ways to boost student performance and eliminate barriers to learning. When working to improve the classroom environment, facility managers typically target the physical structure, temperature controls, humidity levels and ventilation. Many heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) consultants…

  2. Low energy neutron background in deep underground laboratories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Best, Andreas; Görres, Joachim; Junker, Matthias; Kratz, Karl-Ludwig; Laubenstein, Matthias; Long, Alexander; Nisi, Stefano; Smith, Karl; Wiescher, Michael

    2016-03-01

    The natural neutron background influences the maximum achievable sensitivity in most deep underground nuclear, astroparticle and double-beta decay physics experiments. Reliable neutron flux numbers are an important ingredient in the design of the shielding of new large-scale experiments as well as in the analysis of experimental data. Using a portable setup of 3He counters we measured the thermal neutron flux at the Kimballton Underground Research Facility, the Soudan Underground Laboratory, on the 4100 ft and the 4850 ft levels of the Sanford Underground Research Facility, at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory. Absolute neutron fluxes at these laboratories are presented.

  3. Historical Background and Introduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vial, Jean-Claude

    Forty and twenty years after the two books published by Einar Tandberg-Hanssen (Solar prominences (Geophysics and astrophysics monographs), Vol. 12. Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Co., 1974; The nature of solar prominences, astrophysics and space science library, Vol. 199. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1995) on solar prominences, it is time to update our knowledge and understanding of these fascinating solar structures. After a brief history which overviews first eclipse observations (drawings and then photography), spectrographic, coronagraphic and later on polarimetric measurements, the chapter presents samples of the most spectacular results of the last two decades, obtained whether from space or on the ground. It discusses the contents of the book in order to encourage the reader to dip into the following 17 chapters which provide comprehensive and detailed observations, information about the methods used, and interpretation of the results on the basis of the latest theoretical and modelling works.

  4. Calcifying invertebrates succeed in a naturally CO2-rich coastal habitat but are threatened by high levels of future acidification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomsen, J.; Gutowska, M. A.; Saphörster, J.; Heinemann, A.; Trübenbach, K.; Fietzke, J.; Hiebenthal, C.; Eisenhauer, A.; Körtzinger, A.; Wahl, M.; Melzner, F.

    2010-11-01

    CO2 emissions are leading to an acidification of the oceans. Predicting marine community vulnerability towards acidification is difficult, as adaptation processes cannot be accounted for in most experimental studies. Naturally CO2 enriched sites thus can serve as valuable proxies for future changes in community structure. Here we describe a natural analogue site in the Western Baltic Sea. Seawater pCO2 in Kiel Fjord is elevated for large parts of the year due to upwelling of CO2 rich waters. Peak pCO2 values of >230 Pa (>2300 μatm) and pHNBS values of <7.5 are encountered during summer and autumn, average pCO2 values are ~70 Pa (~700 μatm). In contrast to previously described naturally CO2 enriched sites that have suggested a progressive displacement of calcifying auto- and heterotrophic species, the macrobenthic community in Kiel Fjord is dominated by calcifying invertebrates. We show that blue mussels from Kiel Fjord can maintain control rates of somatic and shell growth at a pCO2 of 142 Pa (1400 μatm, pHNBS = 7.7). Juvenile mussel recruitment peaks during the summer months, when high water pCO2 values of ~100 Pa (~1000 μatm) prevail. Our findings indicate that calcifying keystone species may be able to cope with surface ocean pHNBS values projected for the end of this century when food supply is sufficient. However, owing to non-linear synergistic effects of future acidification and upwelling of corrosive water, peak seawater pCO2 in Kiel Fjord and many other productive estuarine habitats could increase to values >400 Pa (>4000 μatm). These changes will most likely affect calcification and recruitment, and increase external shell dissolution.

  5. Calcifying invertebrates succeed in a naturally CO2 enriched coastal habitat but are threatened by high levels of future acidification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomsen, J.; Gutowska, M. A.; Saphörster, J.; Heinemann, A.; Trübenbach, K.; Fietzke, J.; Hiebenthal, C.; Eisenhauer, A.; Körtzinger, A.; Wahl, M.; Melzner, F.

    2010-07-01

    CO2 emissions are leading to an acidification of the oceans. Predicting marine community vulnerability towards acidification is difficult, as adaptation processes cannot be accounted for in most experimental studies. Naturally CO2 enriched sites thus can serve as valuable proxies for future changes in community structure. Here we describe a natural analogue site in the Western Baltic Sea. Seawater pCO2 in Kiel Fjord is elevated for large parts of the year due to upwelling of CO2 rich waters. Peak pCO2 values of >230 Pa (>2300 μatm) and pH values of <7.5 are encountered during summer and autumn, average pCO2 values are ~70 Pa (~700 μatm). In contrast to previously described naturally CO2 enriched sites that have suggested a progressive displacement of calcifying auto- and heterotrophic species, the macrobenthic community in Kiel Fjord is dominated by calcifying invertebrates. We show that blue mussels from Kiel Fjord can maintain control rates of somatic and shell growth at a pCO2 of 142 Pa (1400 μatm, pH=7.7). Juvenile mussel recruitment peaks during the summer months, when high water pCO2 values of ~100 Pa (~1000 μatm) prevail. Our findings indicate that calcifying keystone species may be able to cope with surface ocean pH values projected for the end of this century. However, owing to non-linear synergistic effects of future acidification and upwelling of corrosive water, peak seawater pCO2 in Kiel Fjord and many other productive estuarine habitats could increase to values >400 Pa (>4000 μatm). These changes will most likely affect calcification and recruitment, and increase external shell dissolution.

  6. Genetical background of intelligence.

    PubMed

    Junkiert-Czarnecka, Anna; Haus, Olga

    2016-01-01

    Intelligence as an ability to reason, think abstractly and adapt effectively to the environment is a subject of research in the field of psychology, neurobiology, and in the last twenty years genetics as well. Genetical testing of twins carried out from XX century indicated heritebility of intelligence, therefore confirmed an influence of genetic factor on cognitive processes. Studies on genetic background of intelligence focus on dopaminergic (DRD2, DRD4, COMT, SLC6A3, DAT1, CCKAR) and adrenergic system (ADRB2, CHRM2) genes as well as, neutrofins (BDNF) and oxidative stress genes (LTF, PRNP). Positive effect of investigated gene polymorphism was indicated by variation c.957C>T DRD2 gene (if in polymorphic site is thymine), polymorphism c.472G>A COMT gene (presence of adenine) and also gene ADRB2 c.46A->G (guanine), CHRM2 (thymine in place c.1890A>T) and BDNF (guanine in place c.472G>A) Obtained results indicate that intelligence is a feature dependent not only on genetic but also an environmental factor. PMID:27333929

  7. The cosmic background explorer

    SciTech Connect

    Gulkis, G. ); Lubin, P.M. ); Meyer, S.S. ); Silverberg, R.F.

    1990-01-01

    Late last year the National Aeronautics and Space Administration launched its first satellite dedicated to the study of phenomena related to the origins of the universe. The satellite, called the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), carries three complementary detectors that will make fundamental measurements of the celestial radiation. Part of that radiation is believed to have originated in processes that occurred at the very dawn of the universe. By measuring the remnant radiation at wavelengths from one micrometer to one centimeter across the entire sky, scientists hope to be able to solve many mysteries regarding the origin and evolution of the early universe. Unfortunately, these radiative relics of the early universe are weak and veiled by local astrophysical and terrestrial sources of radiation. The wavelengths of the various cosmic components may also overlap, thereby making the understanding of the diffuse celestial radiation a challenge. Nevertheless, the COBE instruments, with their full-sky coverage, high sensitivity to a wide range of wavelengths and freedom from interference from the earth's atmosphere, will constitute for astrophysicists an observatory of unprecedented sensitivity and scope. The interesting cosmic signals will then be separated from one another and from noncosmic radiation sources by a comprehensive analysis of the data.

  8. Biological aerosol background characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blatny, Janet; Fountain, Augustus W., III

    2011-05-01

    To provide useful information during military operations, or as part of other security situations, a biological aerosol detector has to respond within seconds or minutes to an attack by virulent biological agents, and with low false alarms. Within this time frame, measuring virulence of a known microorganism is extremely difficult, especially if the microorganism is of unknown antigenic or nucleic acid properties. Measuring "live" characteristics of an organism directly is not generally an option, yet only viable organisms are potentially infectious. Fluorescence based instruments have been designed to optically determine if aerosol particles have viability characteristics. Still, such commercially available biological aerosol detection equipment needs to be improved for their use in military and civil applications. Air has an endogenous population of microorganisms that may interfere with alarm software technologies. To design robust algorithms, a comprehensive knowledge of the airborne biological background content is essential. For this reason, there is a need to study ambient live bacterial populations in as many locations as possible. Doing so will permit collection of data to define diverse biological characteristics that in turn can be used to fine tune alarm algorithms. To avoid false alarms, improving software technologies for biological detectors is a crucial feature requiring considerations of various parameters that can be applied to suppress alarm triggers. This NATO Task Group will aim for developing reference methods for monitoring biological aerosol characteristics to improve alarm algorithms for biological detection. Additionally, they will focus on developing reference standard methodology for monitoring biological aerosol characteristics to reduce false alarm rates.

  9. Persistent organic pollutants in the natural environments of the city of Bratsk (Irkutsk Oblast): Levels and risk assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mamontova, E. A.; Tarasova, E. N.; Mamontov, A. A.

    2014-11-01

    The contents of persistent organic pollutants (POPs)—polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs)—in the natural environments of an industrial city (Bratsk) of Irkutsk oblast have been studied. Features of the spatial and seasonal distribution of the PCBs and OCPs in the soils and the atmospheric air have been revealed. The structure of the homological and congeneric composition of the PCBs in the soils and the atmospheric air has been shown. Parameters of the carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic risks for human health from the impact of the PCBs and OCPs present in the soils and the atmospheric air have been determined.

  10. [IMPACT OF CASPIAN SEA LEVEL FLUCTUATIONS ON THE EPIZOOTIC ACTIVITY OF THE CASPIAN SANDY NATURAL PLAGUE FOCUS].

    PubMed

    Popov, N V; Udovikov, A I; Eroshenko, G A; Karavaeva, T B; Yakovlev, S A; Porshakov, A M; Zenkevich, E S; Kutyrev, V V

    2016-01-01

    There is evidence that in 1923-2014 the sharp aggravations of the epizootic situation of plague in the area of its Caspian sandy natural focus after long interepizootic periods are in time with the ups of the Caspian Sea in the extrema of 11-year solar cycles. There were cases of multiple manifestations of plague in the same areas in the epizootic cycles of 1946-1954, 1979-1996, 2001, and 2013-2014. The paper considers the possible role of amebae of the genus Acanthamoeba and nematodes, the representatives of the orders Rhabditida and Tylenchida in the microfocal pattern of plague manifestations. PMID:27029140

  11. [IMPACT OF CASPIAN SEA LEVEL FLUCTUATIONS ON THE EPIZOOTIC ACTIVITY OF THE CASPIAN SANDY NATURAL PLAGUE FOCUS].

    PubMed

    Popov, N V; Udovikov, A I; Eroshenko, G A; Karavaeva, T B; Yakovlev, S A; Porshakov, A M; Zenkevich, E S; Kutyrev, V V

    2016-01-01

    There is evidence that in 1923-2014 the sharp aggravations of the epizootic situation of plague in the area of its Caspian sandy natural focus after long interepizootic periods are in time with the ups of the Caspian Sea in the extrema of 11-year solar cycles. There were cases of multiple manifestations of plague in the same areas in the epizootic cycles of 1946-1954, 1979-1996, 2001, and 2013-2014. The paper considers the possible role of amebae of the genus Acanthamoeba and nematodes, the representatives of the orders Rhabditida and Tylenchida in the microfocal pattern of plague manifestations.

  12. Network analysis reveals the relationship among wood properties, gene expression levels and genotypes of natural Populus trichocarpa accessions.

    PubMed

    Porth, Ilga; Klápště, Jaroslav; Skyba, Oleksandr; Friedmann, Michael C; Hannemann, Jan; Ehlting, Juergen; El-Kassaby, Yousry A; Mansfield, Shawn D; Douglas, Carl J

    2013-11-01

    High-throughput approaches have been widely applied to elucidate the genetic underpinnings of industrially important wood properties. Wood traits are polygenic in nature, but gene hierarchies can be assessed to identify the most important gene variants controlling specific traits within complex networks defining the overall wood phenotype. We tested a large set of genetic, genomic, and phenotypic information in an integrative approach to predict wood properties in Populus trichocarpa. Nine-yr-old natural P. trichocarpa trees including accessions with high contrasts in six traits related to wood chemistry and ultrastructure were profiled for gene expression on 49k Nimblegen (Roche NimbleGen Inc., Madison, WI, USA) array elements and for 28,831 polymorphic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Pre-selected transcripts and SNPs with high statistical dependence on phenotypic traits were used in Bayesian network learning procedures with a stepwise K2 algorithm to infer phenotype-centric networks. Transcripts were pre-selected at a much lower logarithm of Bayes factor (logBF) threshold than SNPs and were not accommodated in the networks. Using persistent variables, we constructed cross-validated networks for variability in wood attributes, which contained four to six variables with 94-100% predictive accuracy. Accommodated gene variants revealed the hierarchy in the genetic architecture that underpins substantial phenotypic variability, and represent new tools to support the maximization of response to selection.

  13. Trace level determination of beryllium in natural and flavored mineral waters after pre-concentration using activated carbon.

    PubMed

    Kılınç, Ersin; Bakırdere, Sezgin; Yaman, Mehmet

    2011-04-01

    The concentrations of beryllium (Be) in natural and flavored mineral water samples were determined by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (FAAS) after pre-concentration based on the complexation of Be(+2) with a mixture of acetylacetone (pentane-2,4-dione) plus morin (3,5,7,2',4'-pentaoxyflavone) and adsorption on activated carbon. The adsorbed complex was eluted with 1.5 ml of 2.0 M HNO(3) and evaporated to dryness. After adding 1.5 ml of 2 M HNO(3) and centrifuging, Be in acid solution was determined by FAAS. To remove a number of metals present in water, EDTA was used as a chelating agent. Beryllium in mineral water samples was pre-concentrated by 500-fold, taking 750 ml as initial sample and 1.5 ml as the final volume. The relative standard deviations were sufficiently low for practical purposes and recoveries were up to 85%. Spiking experiments were performed in real samples to establish accuracy and recoveries. The limits of detection and quantification were 0.01 and 0.03 ng ml(-1), respectively. Twenty samples were analyzed for their beryllium content using optimum parameters. The highest concentration of beryllium was found to be 0.94 ± 0.15 ng ml(-1) in a natural mineral water, while beryllium was not detected in five samples.

  14. Effect of epoxidation level on thermal properties and ionic conductivity of epoxidized natural rubber solid polymer nanocomposite electrolytes

    SciTech Connect

    Harun, Fatin; Chan, Chin Han; Winie, Tan; Sim, Lai Har; Zainal, Nurul Fatahah Asyqin

    2015-08-28

    Effect of epoxide content on the thermal and conductivity properties of epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) solid polymer nanocomposite electrolytes was investigated. Commercial available epoxidized natural rubber having 25 (ENR25) and 50 mole% (ENR50) epoxide, respectively were incorporated with lithium perchlorate (LiClO{sub 4}) salt and titanium dioxide (TiO{sub 2}) nanofiller via solution casting method. The solid polymer nanocomposite electrolytes were characterized by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and impedance spectroscopy (IS) for their thermal properties and conductivity, respectively. It was evident that introduction of LiClO{sub 4} causes a greater increase in glass transition temperature (T{sub g}) and ionic conductivity of ENR50 as compared to ENR25. Upon addition of TiO{sub 2} in ENR/LiClO{sub 4} system, a remarkable T{sub g} elevation was observed for both ENRs where ENR50 reveals a more pronounced changes. It is interesting to note that they exhibit different phenomenon in ionic conductivity with TiO{sub 2} loading where ENR25 shows enhancement of conductivity while ENR50 shows declination.

  15. Effect of epoxidation level on thermal properties and ionic conductivity of epoxidized natural rubber solid polymer nanocomposite electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harun, Fatin; Chan, Chin Han; Sim, Lai Har; Winie, Tan; Zainal, Nurul Fatahah Asyqin

    2015-08-01

    Effect of epoxide content on the thermal and conductivity properties of epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) solid polymer nanocomposite electrolytes was investigated. Commercial available epoxidized natural rubber having 25 (ENR25) and 50 mole% (ENR50) epoxide, respectively were incorporated with lithium perchlorate (LiClO4) salt and titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanofiller via solution casting method. The solid polymer nanocomposite electrolytes were characterized by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and impedance spectroscopy (IS) for their thermal properties and conductivity, respectively. It was evident that introduction of LiClO4 causes a greater increase in glass transition temperature (Tg) and ionic conductivity of ENR50 as compared to ENR25. Upon addition of TiO2 in ENR/LiClO4 system, a remarkable Tg elevation was observed for both ENRs where ENR50 reveals a more pronounced changes. It is interesting to note that they exhibit different phenomenon in ionic conductivity with TiO2 loading where ENR25 shows enhancement of conductivity while ENR50 shows declination.