Science.gov

Sample records for multiple ecological level

  1. Sewage impacts coral reefs at multiple levels of ecological organization.

    PubMed

    Reopanichkul, Pasinee; Schlacher, Thomas A; Carter, R W; Worachananant, Suchai

    2009-09-01

    Against a backdrop of rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification which pose global threats to coral reefs, excess nutrients and turbidity continue to be significant stressors at regional and local scales. Because interventions usually require local data on pollution impacts, we measured ecological responses to sewage discharges in Surin Marine Park, Thailand. Wastewater disposal significantly increased inorganic nutrients and turbidity levels, and this degradation in water quality resulted in substantial ecological shifts in the form of (i) increased macroalgal density and species richness, (ii) lower cover of hard corals, and (iii) significant declines in fish abundance. Thus, the effects of nutrient pollution and turbidity can cascade across several levels of ecological organization to change key properties of the benthos and fish on coral reefs. Maintenance or restoration of ecological reef health requires improved wastewater management and run-off control for reefs to deliver their valuable ecosystems services.

  2. Community Health Workers promoting physical activity: Targeting multiple levels of the Social Ecological Model

    PubMed Central

    Haughton, Jessica; Ayala, Guadalupe X.; Burke, Kari Herzog; Elder, John P.; Montañez, Jacqueline; Arredondo, Elva M.

    2015-01-01

    The effectiveness of Community Health Workers (CHWs) as health educators and health promoters among Latino populations is widely recognized. The Affordable Care Act created important opportunities to increase the role of CHWs in preventive health. This article describes the implementation of CHW-led, culturally specific, faith-based program to increase physical activity (PA) among churchgoing Latinas. The current study augments previous research by describing the recruitment, selection, training, and evaluation of CHWs for a PA intervention targeting multiple levels of the Social Ecological Model. PMID:26280587

  3. Understanding Children and Adolescents’ Victimizations at Multiple Levels: An Ecological Review of the Literature

    PubMed Central

    Sabri, Bushra; Hong, Jun Sung; Campbell, Jacquelyn C.; Cho, Hyunkag

    2013-01-01

    This article examines children and adolescent exposure to violence in various contexts. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to identify the definitions and types of violence reported in studies on victimization using the ecological systems framework. Sources included research studies and/or reports from scholarly journals (n = 140), books (n = 9), conference/workshops (n = 5), and web sources, such as Uniform Crime Reports (n = 23). The findings indicated that research differed in terminologies, conceptual and operational definitions, sample sizes and age group classification for children and adolescents. Further, studies lacked focus on the co-occurrence and inter-relatedness of victimization, and how these factors might affect the outcomes. Many studies employed a cross-sectional design, which limits strong conclusions about the temporal order of victimization experiences and outcomes. Future research efforts need more consistency among researchers in conceptual and operational definitions and the use of more rigorous designs. Increased holistic assessments are critical for effective prevention and intervention strategies for at-risk children and adolescents PMID:24065867

  4. Decision-making in Child Protective Services: Influences at multiple levels of the social ecology

    PubMed Central

    Font, Sarah A.; Maguire-Jack, Kathryn

    2015-01-01

    Decision-making in the child protection system is influenced by multiple factors; agency and geographic contexts, caseworker attributes, and families' unique circumstances all likely play a role. In this study, we use the second cohort of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being to explore how these factors are associated with two key case decisions—substantiation and removal to out-of-home care. Analyses are conducted using weighted hierarchical linear models. We find that substantiation is strongly influenced by agency factors, particularly constraints on service accessibility. Substantiation is less likely when agencies can provide services to unsubstantiated cases and when collaboration with other social institutions is high. This supports the concept that substantiation may be a gateway to services in some communities. Agency factors contributed less to the probability of removal among substantiated cases, though time resources and constraints on decision-making had some influence. For both substantiation and removal risks, county, caseworker, and child characteristics were less influential than agency characteristics and family risk factors. PMID:25726323

  5. Evaluation of a multiple ecological level child obesity prevention program: Switch® what you Do, View, and Chew

    PubMed Central

    Gentile, Douglas A; Welk, Greg; Eisenmann, Joey C; Reimer, Rachel A; Walsh, David A; Russell, Daniel W; Callahan, Randi; Walsh, Monica; Strickland, Sarah; Fritz, Katie

    2009-01-01

    Background Schools are the most frequent target for intervention programs aimed at preventing child obesity; however, the overall effectiveness of these programs has been limited. It has therefore been recommended that interventions target multiple ecological levels (community, family, school and individual) to have greater success in changing risk behaviors for obesity. This study examined the immediate and short-term, sustained effects of the Switch program, which targeted three behaviors (decreasing children's screen time, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, and increasing physical activity) at three ecological levels (the family, school, and community). Methods Participants were 1,323 children and their parents from 10 schools in two states. Schools were matched and randomly assigned to treatment and control. Measures of the key behaviors and body mass index were collected at baseline, immediately post-intervention, and 6 months post-intervention. Results The effect sizes of the differences between treatment and control groups ranged between small (Cohen's d = 0.15 for body mass index at 6 months post-intervention) to large (1.38; parent report of screen time at 6 months post-intervention), controlling for baseline levels. There was a significant difference in parent-reported screen time at post-intervention in the experimental group, and this effect was maintained at 6 months post-intervention (a difference of about 2 hours/week). The experimental group also showed a significant increase in parent-reported fruit and vegetable consumption while child-reported fruit and vegetable consumption was marginally significant. At the 6-month follow-up, parent-reported screen time was significantly lower, and parent and child-reported fruit and vegetable consumption was significantly increased. There were no significant effects on pedometer measures of physical activity or body mass index in the experimental group. The intervention effects were moderated by child

  6. Advancing Ecological Models to Compare Scale in Multi-Level Educational Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woo, David James

    2016-01-01

    Education systems as units of analysis have been metaphorically likened to ecologies to model change. However, ecological models to date have been ineffective in modelling educational change that is multi-scale and occurs across multiple levels of an education system. Thus, this paper advances two innovative, ecological frameworks that improve on…

  7. A multiple index integrating different levels of organization.

    PubMed

    Cortes, Rui; Hughes, Samantha; Coimbra, Ana; Monteiro, Sandra; Pereira, Vítor; Lopes, Marisa; Pereira, Sandra; Pinto, Ana; Sampaio, Ana; Santos, Cátia; Carrola, João; de Jesus, Joaquim; Varandas, Simone

    2016-10-01

    Many methods in freshwater biomonitoring tend to be restricted to a few levels of biological organization, limiting the potential spectrum of measurable of cause-effect responses to different anthropogenic impacts. We combined distinct organisational levels, covering biological biomarkers (histopathological and biochemical reactions in liver and fish gills), community based bioindicators (fish guilds, invertebrate metrics/traits and chironomid pupal exuviae) and ecosystem functional indicators (decomposition rates) to assess ecological status at designated Water Framework Directive monitoring sites, covering a gradient of human impact across several rivers in northern Portugal. We used Random Forest to rank the variables that contributed more significantly to successfully predict the different classes of ecological status and also to provide specific cut levels to discriminate each WFD class based on reference condition. A total of 59 Biological Quality Elements and functional indicators were determined using this procedure and subsequently applied to develop the integrated Multiple Ecological Level Index (MELI Index), a potentially powerful bioassessment tool. PMID:27344015

  8. Integrated presentation of ecological risk from multiple stressors

    PubMed Central

    Goussen, Benoit; Price, Oliver R.; Rendal, Cecilie; Ashauer, Roman

    2016-01-01

    Current environmental risk assessments (ERA) do not account explicitly for ecological factors (e.g. species composition, temperature or food availability) and multiple stressors. Assessing mixtures of chemical and ecological stressors is needed as well as accounting for variability in environmental conditions and uncertainty of data and models. Here we propose a novel probabilistic ERA framework to overcome these limitations, which focusses on visualising assessment outcomes by construct-ing and interpreting prevalence plots as a quantitative prediction of risk. Key components include environmental scenarios that integrate exposure and ecology, and ecological modelling of relevant endpoints to assess the effect of a combination of stressors. Our illustrative results demonstrate the importance of regional differences in environmental conditions and the confounding interactions of stressors. Using this framework and prevalence plots provides a risk-based approach that combines risk assessment and risk management in a meaningful way and presents a truly mechanistic alternative to the threshold approach. Even whilst research continues to improve the underlying models and data, regulators and decision makers can already use the framework and prevalence plots. The integration of multiple stressors, environmental conditions and variability makes ERA more relevant and realistic. PMID:27782171

  9. Spatially Explicit Landscape-Level Ecological Risks Induced by Land Use and Land Cover Change in a National Ecologically Representative Region in China.

    PubMed

    Gong, Jian; Yang, Jianxin; Tang, Wenwu

    2015-11-01

    Land use and land cover change is driven by multiple influential factors from environmental and social dimensions in a land system. Land use practices of human decision-makers modify the landscape of the land system, possibly leading to landscape fragmentation, biodiversity loss, or environmental pollution-severe environmental or ecological impacts. While landscape-level ecological risk assessment supports the evaluation of these impacts, investigations on how these ecological risks induced by land use practices change over space and time in response to alternative policy intervention remain inadequate. In this article, we conducted spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis in Ezhou City, China. Our study area is a national ecologically representative region experiencing drastic land use and land cover change, and is regulated by multiple policies represented by farmland protection, ecological conservation, and urban development. We employed landscape metrics to consider the influence of potential landscape-level disturbance for the evaluation of landscape ecological risks. Using spatiotemporal simulation, we designed scenarios to examine spatiotemporal patterns in landscape ecological risks in response to policy intervention. Our study demonstrated that spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis combined with simulation-driven scenario analysis is of particular importance for guiding the sustainable development of ecologically vulnerable land systems. PMID:26569270

  10. Spatially Explicit Landscape-Level Ecological Risks Induced by Land Use and Land Cover Change in a National Ecologically Representative Region in China

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Jian; Yang, Jianxin; Tang, Wenwu

    2015-01-01

    Land use and land cover change is driven by multiple influential factors from environmental and social dimensions in a land system. Land use practices of human decision-makers modify the landscape of the land system, possibly leading to landscape fragmentation, biodiversity loss, or environmental pollution—severe environmental or ecological impacts. While landscape-level ecological risk assessment supports the evaluation of these impacts, investigations on how these ecological risks induced by land use practices change over space and time in response to alternative policy intervention remain inadequate. In this article, we conducted spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis in Ezhou City, China. Our study area is a national ecologically representative region experiencing drastic land use and land cover change, and is regulated by multiple policies represented by farmland protection, ecological conservation, and urban development. We employed landscape metrics to consider the influence of potential landscape-level disturbance for the evaluation of landscape ecological risks. Using spatiotemporal simulation, we designed scenarios to examine spatiotemporal patterns in landscape ecological risks in response to policy intervention. Our study demonstrated that spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis combined with simulation-driven scenario analysis is of particular importance for guiding the sustainable development of ecologically vulnerable land systems. PMID:26569270

  11. Spatially Explicit Landscape-Level Ecological Risks Induced by Land Use and Land Cover Change in a National Ecologically Representative Region in China.

    PubMed

    Gong, Jian; Yang, Jianxin; Tang, Wenwu

    2015-11-09

    Land use and land cover change is driven by multiple influential factors from environmental and social dimensions in a land system. Land use practices of human decision-makers modify the landscape of the land system, possibly leading to landscape fragmentation, biodiversity loss, or environmental pollution-severe environmental or ecological impacts. While landscape-level ecological risk assessment supports the evaluation of these impacts, investigations on how these ecological risks induced by land use practices change over space and time in response to alternative policy intervention remain inadequate. In this article, we conducted spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis in Ezhou City, China. Our study area is a national ecologically representative region experiencing drastic land use and land cover change, and is regulated by multiple policies represented by farmland protection, ecological conservation, and urban development. We employed landscape metrics to consider the influence of potential landscape-level disturbance for the evaluation of landscape ecological risks. Using spatiotemporal simulation, we designed scenarios to examine spatiotemporal patterns in landscape ecological risks in response to policy intervention. Our study demonstrated that spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis combined with simulation-driven scenario analysis is of particular importance for guiding the sustainable development of ecologically vulnerable land systems.

  12. Current directions in screening-level ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Carlsen, T M; Efroymson, R A

    2000-12-11

    Ecological risk assessment (ERA) is a tool used by many regulatory agencies to evaluate the impact to ecological receptors from changes in environmental conditions. Widespread use of ERAs began with the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund program to assess the ecological impact from hazardous chemicals released to the environment. Many state hazardous chemical regulatory agencies have adopted the use of ERAs, and several state regulatory agencies are evaluating the use of ERAs to assess ecological impacts from releases of petroleum and gas-related products. Typical ERAs are toxicologically-based, use conservative assumptions with respect to ecological receptor exposure duration and frequency, often require complex modeling of transport and exposure and are very labor intensive. In an effort to streamline the ERA process, efforts are currently underway to develop default soil screening levels, to identify ecological screening criteria for excluding sites from formal risk assessment, and to create risk-based corrective action worksheets. This should help reduce the time spent on ERAs, at least for some sites. Work is also underway to incorporate bioavailability and spatial considerations into ERAs. By evaluating the spatial nature of contaminant releases with respect to the spatial context of the ecosystem under consideration, more realistic ERAs with respect to the actual impact to ecological receptors at the population, community or ecosystem scale should be possible. In addition, by considering the spatial context, it should be possible to develop mitigation and monitoring efforts to more appropriately address such sites within the context of an ecological framework.

  13. Ecological concerns following Superstorm Sandy: stressor level and recreational activity levels affect perceptions of ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Coastal habitats are vulnerable to storms, and with increasing urbanization, sea level rise, and storm frequency, some urban populations are at risk. This study examined perceptions of respondents in coastal and central New Jersey to Superstorm Sandy, including: 1) concerns about ecological resources and effects (open-ended question), 2) information sources for ecology of the coast (open-ended), and 3) ratings of a list of ecological services as a function of demographics, location (coastal, central Jersey), stressor level (power outages, high winds, flooding) and recreational rates. “Wildlife” and “fish” were the ecological concerns mentioned most often, while beaches and dunes were most often mentioned for environmental concerns. Television, radio, and web/internet were sources trusted for ecological information. The data indicate 1) stressor level was a better predictor of ratings of ecological services than geographical location, but days engaged in recreation contributed the most to variations in ratings, 2) ecological services were rated the highest by respondents with the highest stressor levels, and by those from the coast, compared to others, 3) Caucasians rated ecological services higher than all others, and 4) recreational rates were highest for coastal respondents, and ratings for ecological services increased with recreational rates. Only 20 % of respondents listed specific ecological services as one of their three most important environmental concerns. These data will be useful for increasing preparedness, enhancing educational strategies for shore protection, and providing managers and public policy makers with data essential to developing resiliency strategies. PMID:27011729

  14. The impacts of multiple stressors to model ecological structures

    SciTech Connect

    Landis, W.G.; Kelly, S.A.; Markiewicz, A.J.; Matthews, R.A.; Matthews, G.B.

    1995-12-31

    The basis of the community conditioning hypothesis is that ecological structures are the result of their unique etiology. Systems that have been exposed to a variety of stressors should reflect this history. The authors how conducted a series of microcosm experiments that can compare the effects of multiple stressors upon community dynamics. The microcosm protocols are derived from the Standardized Aquatic Microcosm (SAM) and have Lemma and additional protozoan species. Two multiple stressor experiments have been conducted. In an extended length SAM (ELSAM), two of four treatments were dosed with the turbine fuel JP-8 one week into the experiment. Two treatments were later exposed to the heat stress, one that had received jet fuel and one that had not. Similarly, an ELSAM was conducted with the second stressor being the further addition of JP-8 replacing the heat shock. Biological, physical and chemical data were analyzed with multivariate techniques including nonmetric clustering and association analysis. Space-time worms and phase diagrams were also employed to ascertain the dynamic relationships of variables identified as important by the multivariate techniques. The experiments do not result in a simple additive linear response to the additional stressor. Examination of the relative population dynamics reveal alterations in trajectories that suggest treatment related effects. As in previous single stressor experiments, recovery does not occur even after extended experimental periods. The authors are now attempting to measure the resulting trajectories, changes in similarity vectors and overall dynamics. However, community conditioning does appear to be an important framework in understanding systems with a heterogeneous array of stressors.

  15. Wildlife ecological screening levels for inhalation of volatile organic chemicals.

    PubMed

    Gallegos, Patricia; Lutz, Jill; Markwiese, James; Ryti, Randall; Mirenda, Rich

    2007-06-01

    For most chemicals, evaluation of ecological risk typically does not address inhalation because ingestion dominates exposure. However, burrowing ecological receptors have an increased exposure potential from inhalation at sites contaminated with volatile chemicals in the subsurface. Evaluation of ecological risk from contaminants like volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) is constrained by a lack of relevant ecological screening levels (ESLs). To address this need, inhalation ESLs were developed for 16 VOCs: Acetone, benzene, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, chloromethane, dichlorodifluoromethane, 1,1-dichloroethane, 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,1-dichloroethene, methylene chloride, tetrachloroethene, toluene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, trichloroethene, trichlorofluoromethane, and total xylene. These ESLs are based on Botta's pocket gopher (Thomomys bottae) as a representative fossorial receptor. The ESLs are presented with an emphasis on the process for developing inhalation toxicity reference values to illustrate the selection of suitable toxicity data and effect levels from the literature. The resulting ESLs provide a quantitative method for evaluating ecological risk of VOCs through comparison to relevant exposure data such as direct burrow-air measurements. The toxicity reference value development and ESL calculation processes and assumptions detailed here are provided as bases from which risk assessors can use or refine to suit site-specific needs with respect to toxicity and exposure inputs.

  16. DISTURBANCE PATTERNS IN A SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL SYSTEM AT MULTIPLE SCALES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological systems with hierarchical organization and non-equilibrium dynamics require multiple-scale analyses to comprehend how a system is structured and to formulate hypotheses about regulatory mechanisms. Characteristic scales in real landscapes are determined by, or at least...

  17. Multiple Cancer Cell Population Dynamics in a Complex Ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Ke-Chih; Targa, Gonzalo; Pienta, Kenneth; Sturm, James; Austin, Robert

    We have developed a technology for study of complex ecology cancer population dynamics. The technology includes complex drug gradients, full bright field/dark field/fluorescence imaging of areas of several square millimeters and thin gas-permable membranes which allow single cell extraction and analysis. We will present results of studies of prostate cancer cell dynamics.

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

    PubMed

    Lidicker, William Z

    2008-02-01

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

  19. A watershed-level approach to evaluating ecological impacts at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

    SciTech Connect

    Elias, M.C.; Thebeau, L.C.; Neubauer, J.; Drendel, G.; Paul, J.; Durda, J.L.

    1994-12-31

    Aberdeen Proving Ground is a US Army installation occupying approximately 32,400 hectares of relatively undeveloped coastal plain uplands, wetlands, and estuary on the upper Chesapeake Bay. The installation was established in 1917 and historically has been used for research, development, and testing of chemical warfare agents, conventional weapons, and other material. Past activities have resulted in several hundred known or suspected potential sources of contamination in numerous drainage basins of two main watersheds (the Gunpowder River watershed and the Bush River watershed) and several smaller watersheds. All of these watersheds discharge to the upper reaches of the Chesapeake Bay. Investigations are being conducted to evaluate risks to ecological resources in the drainage basins of these watersheds. Following these investigations, watershed-level risk assessments will be conducted to evaluate the individual and combined risks of these multiple sources of contamination to ecological resources within each watershed. Risks to ecological resources in the potentially affected regions of the upper Chesapeake Bay via the migration of contaminants from the watersheds will also be evaluated. The approach being used for the watershed-level ecological assessment is discussed along with the implications of applying this approach to the evaluation of hazardous waste sites.

  20. Quantifying the metabolic activities of human-associated microbial communities across multiple ecological scales

    PubMed Central

    Maurice, Corinne Ferrier; Turnbaugh, Peter James

    2013-01-01

    Humans are home to complex microbial communities, whose aggregate genomes and their encoded metabolic activities are referred to as the human microbiome. Recently, researchers have begun to appreciate that different human body habitats and the activities of their resident microorganisms can be better understood in ecological terms, as a range of spatial scales encompassing single cells, guilds of microorganisms responsive to a similar substrate, microbial communities, body habitats, and host populations. However, the bulk of the work to date has focused on studies of culturable microorganisms in isolation or on DNA sequencing-based surveys of microbial diversity in small to moderately sized cohorts of individuals. Here, we discuss recent work that highlights the potential for assessing the human microbiome at a range of spatial scales, and for developing novel techniques that bridge multiple levels: for example, through the combination of single cell methods and metagenomic sequencing. These studies promise to not only provide a much-needed epidemiological and ecological context for mechanistic studies of culturable and genetically tractable microorganisms, but may also lead to the discovery of fundamental rules that govern the assembly and function of host-associated microbial communities. PMID:23550823

  1. Ranking ecological risks of multiple chemical stressors on amphibians.

    PubMed

    Fedorenkova, Anastasia; Vonk, J Arie; Lenders, H J Rob; Creemers, Raymond C M; Breure, Anton M; Hendriks, A Jan

    2012-06-01

    Populations of amphibians have been declining worldwide since the late 1960s. Despite global concern, no studies have quantitatively assessed the major causes of this decline. In the present study, species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) were developed to analyze the sensitivity of anurans for ammonium, nitrate, heavy metals (cadmium, copper), pesticides (18 compounds), and acidification (pH) based on laboratory toxicity data. Ecological risk (ER) was calculated as the probability that a measured environmental concentration of a particular stressor in habitats where anurans were observed would exceed the toxic effect concentrations derived from the species sensitivity distributions. The assessment of ER was used to rank the stressors according to their potential risk to anurans based on a case study of Dutch freshwater bodies. The derived ERs revealed that threats to populations of anurans decreased in the sequence of pH, copper, diazinon, ammonium, and endosulfan. Other stressors studied were of minor importance. The method of deriving ER by combining field observation data and laboratory data provides insight into potential threats to species in their habitats and can be used to prioritize stressors, which is necessary to achieve effective management in amphibian conservation.

  2. Evaluation of ecological instream flow using multiple ecological indicators with consideration of hydrological alterations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Qiang; Gu, Xihui; Singh, Vijay P.; Chen, Xiaohong

    2015-10-01

    Dam-induced hydrological alterations and related ecological problems have been arousing considerable concern from hydrologists, ecologists, and policy-makers. The East River basin in China is the major provider of water resources for mega-cities within the Pearl River Delta and meets 80% of annual water demand of Hong Kong. In this study, ecodeficit and ecosurplus were analyzed to determine the ecological impact of water impoundments. Also, Do and DHRAM were employed to evaluate the degree of alteration of hydrological regimes, and ERHIs were analyzed to evaluate the influence of hydrological alterations on ecological diversity. Results indicate that: (1) the magnitude and frequency of high flows decrease and those of low flows increase due to the regulation of reservoirs; (2) variations of annual ecosurplus are mainly the result of precipitation changes and the annual ecodeficit is significantly influenced by reservoirs. However, ecodeficit and ecosurplus in other seasons, particularly autumn and winter, are more influenced by reservoir regulation; (3) impacts of reservoirs on hydrological regimes and eco-flow regimes are different from one station to another due to different degrees of influence of reservoirs on hydrological processes at different stations. The longer the distance between a reservoir and a hydrological station is, the weaker the influence the water reservoir has on the hydrological processes; (4) ecodeficit and ecosurplus can be accepted in the evaluation of alterations of hydrological processes at annual and seasonal time scales. Results of Shannon Index indicate decreasing biological diversity after the construction of water reservoirs, implying negative impacts of water reservoirs on biological diversity of a river basin and this should arouse considerable human concerns. This study provides a theoretical background for water resources management with consideration of eco-flow variations due to reservoir regulation in other highly

  3. Risk, Resilience, and Development: The Multiple Ecologies of Black Adolescents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nettles, Saundra Murray; Pleck, Joseph H.

    This report examines protective factors and the process of resilience as they apply to Black adolescents. The report reviews risk factors at the individual level and at the community level, and reviews the incidence of health- and life-compromising risk outcomes in Black adolescents. It then discusses protective factors and resilience and their…

  4. Multiple Intelligence Levels of Physical Education and Sports School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ekici, Summani

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this research is to analyze the multiple intelligence levels of academies of physical education and sports students according to some demographic factors. To obtain data about multiple intelligence levels in the research, the multiple intelligence inventory, developed by Ozden (2003), was applied to a total of 1.199 students, of…

  5. Gay-Straight Alliance Advisors: Negotiating Multiple Ecological Systems when Advocating for LGBTQ Youth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watson, Laurel B.; Varjas, Kris; Meyers, Joel; Graybill, Emily C.

    2010-01-01

    This qualitative study investigated the barriers and facilitators that advisors of gay-straight alliances encounter when advocating for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) youth within schools. Twenty-two advisors were interviewed, and data revealed that multiple ecological systems (e.g., sociocultural, school, and individual…

  6. Multi level ecological fitting: indirect life cycles are not a barrier to host switching and invasion.

    PubMed

    Malcicka, Miriama; Agosta, Salvatore J; Harvey, Jeffrey A

    2015-09-01

    Many invasive species are able to escape from coevolved enemies and thus enjoy a competitive advantage over native species. However, during the invasion phase, non-native species must overcome many ecological and/or physiological hurdles before they become established and spread in their new habitats. This may explain why most introduced species either fail to establish or remain as rare interstitials in their new ranges. Studies focusing on invasive species have been based on plants or animals where establishment requires the possession of preadapted traits from their native ranges that enables them to establish and spread in their new habitats. The possession of preadapted traits that facilitate the exploitation of novel resources or to colonize novel habitats is known as 'ecological fitting'. Some species have evolved traits and life histories that reflect highly intimate associations with very specific types of habitats or niches. For these species, their phenological windows are narrow, and thus the ability to colonize non-native habitats requires that a number of conditions need to be met in accordance with their more specialized life histories. Some of the strongest examples of more complex ecological fitting involve invasive parasites that require different animal hosts to complete their life cycles. For instance, the giant liver fluke, Fascioloides magna, is a major parasite of several species of ungulates in North America. The species exhibits a life cycle whereby newly hatched larvae must find suitable intermediate hosts (freshwater snails) and mature larvae, definitive hosts (ungulates). Intermediate and definitive host ranges of F. magna in its native range are low in number, yet this parasite has been successfully introduced into Europe where it has become a parasite of native European snails and deer. We discuss how the ability of these parasites to overcome multiple ecophysiological barriers represents an excellent example of 'multiple-level

  7. Genetics of multiple myeloma: another heterogeneity level?

    PubMed Central

    Corre, Jill; Munshi, Nikhil

    2015-01-01

    Our knowledge of myeloma genetics remained limited and lagged behind many other hematologic malignancies because of the inherent difficulties in generating metaphases within the malignant plasma cell clone. With the development of molecular techniques (microarrays and next-generation sequencing), our understanding has been highly improved in the past 5 years. These studies have not only confirmed the prevalence of wide heterogeneity in myeloma at the molecular level, but has also provided a much clearer picture of the disease pathogenesis and progression. Whether these data will enable improvements in the therapeutic approach is still a matter of debate. The next improvement will come from detailed analyses of these molecular features to try to move from a treatment fitted to every patient to individualized therapies, taking into account the complexity of the chromosomal changes, the mutation spectrum, and subclonality evolution. PMID:25628468

  8. Community-level demographic consequences of urbanization: an ecological network approach.

    PubMed

    Rodewald, Amanda D; Rohr, Rudolf P; Fortuna, Miguel A; Bascompte, Jordi

    2014-11-01

    Ecological networks are known to influence ecosystem attributes, but we poorly understand how interspecific network structure affect population demography of multiple species, particularly for vertebrates. Establishing the link between network structure and demography is at the crux of being able to use networks to understand population dynamics and to inform conservation. We addressed the critical but unanswered question, does network structure explain demographic consequences of urbanization? We studied 141 ecological networks representing interactions between plants and nesting birds in forests across an urbanization gradient in Ohio, USA, from 2001 to 2011. Nest predators were identified by video-recording nests and surveyed from 2004 to 2011. As landscapes urbanized, bird-plant networks were more nested, less compartmentalized and dominated by strong interactions between a few species (i.e. low evenness). Evenness of interaction strengths promoted avian nest survival, and evenness explained demography better than urbanization, level of invasion, numbers of predators or other qualitative network metrics. Highly uneven networks had approximately half the nesting success as the most even networks. Thus, nest survival reflected how urbanization altered species interactions, particularly with respect to how nest placement affected search efficiency of predators. The demographic effects of urbanization were not direct, but were filtered through bird-plant networks. This study illustrates how network structure can influence demography at the community level and further, that knowledge of species interactions and a network approach may be requisite to understanding demographic responses to environmental change.

  9. Exploring Multiple Intelligences Theory at a Community College Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berkemeier, Ginny Y. Hew

    Discusses multiple intelligence (a pluralized approach to understanding the intellect) teaching and learning of science at the higher education level, specifically within community colleges. The purpose of this study was four-fold. The first purpose was to investigate adult learning through Multiple Intelligence Theory (MI) at the community…

  10. Guidance Manual for Conducting Screening Level Ecological Risk Assessments at the INEL

    SciTech Connect

    R. L. VanHorn; N. L. Hampton; R. C. Morris

    1995-06-01

    This document presents reference material for conducting screening level ecological risk assessments (SLERAs)for the waste area groups (WAGs) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. Included in this document are discussions of the objectives of and processes for conducting SLERAs. The Environmental Protection Agency ecological risk assessment framework is closely followed. Guidance for site characterization, stressor characterization, ecological effects, pathways of contaminant migration, the conceptual site model, assessment endpoints, measurement endpoints, analysis guidance, and risk characterization are included.

  11. Multiple dimensions of transitions in complex socio-ecological systems - A case from China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Wei; Yang, Wu; Vina, Andres; Schröter, Dagmar; Liu, Jianguo

    2013-04-01

    Transitions in complex socio-ecological systems are intermediate phases between two successive and more stable periods or states and involve various societal, ecological, and biophysical changes that are often non-linear and inter-related. Understanding transitions is challenging but important for managing socio-ecological systems for achieving environmental sustainability and improving human well-being. Long-term and intensive research is warranted to disclose common patterns and mechanisms of socio-ecological transitions and to develop ideas and methods for studying and planning sustainable transitions. Based on a long-term research on human-nature relationships in Wolong Nature Reserve in China, we studied multiple concurrent social, economic, and ecological transitions during the last 15 years. As a UNESCO biosphere reserve, Wolong lies within a global biodiversity hotspot and a World Heritage site. It contains the largest populations of the world-famous endangered giant pandas and several thousand other animal and plant species. Like most nature reserves in China and many other developing countries, Wolong is also home to many local residents who undertake a variety of activities that involve interaction with ecosystem. For the majority of the 20th century, local people in Wolong lived under poverty line in a closed subsistence-based agricultural economy. Their demands on for wood (as fuel and raw materials) from the natural forests were high and resulted in severe deforestation, habitat degradation, and landslides. Since late 1990s, a series of major economic (e.g., tourism development) and environmental (e.g., payment for ecosystem services programs) policies have been implemented in the reserve as adaptive strategies to cope with poverty and ecological degradation. Within a decade, we have observed major transitions in land use (i.e., from extractive use to non-consumptive use), economic structure (i.e., from a subsistence-based agricultural economy to an

  12. Describing multiple levels of abstraction in the metabolism

    SciTech Connect

    Mavrovouniotis, M.L.

    1994-12-31

    We discuss some central issues that arise in the computer representation of the metabolism and its subsystems. We provide a framework for the representation of metabolites and bioreactions at multiple levels of detail. The framework is based on defining an explicit linear mapping of metabolites and reactions from one level of detail to another. A simple reaction mechanism serves as an illustration and shows the emergence of the concept of a catalyst from metabolic abstraction levels.

  13. 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

  14. Using multiple ecosystem components, in assessing ecological status in Spanish (Basque Country) Atlantic marine waters.

    PubMed

    Borja, Angel; Bald, Juan; Franco, Javier; Larreta, Joana; Muxika, Iñigo; Revilla, Marta; Rodríguez, J Germán; Solaun, Oihana; Uriarte, Ainhize; Valencia, Victoriano

    2009-01-01

    The European Water Framework and Marine Strategy Directives relate to the assessment of ecological quality, within estuarine and coastal systems. This legislation requires quality to be defined in an integrative way, using several biological elements (phytoplankton, benthos, algae, phanerogams, and fishes), together with physico-chemical elements (including pollutants). This contribution describes a methodology that integrates all of this information into a unique quality assessment for 51 stations from 18 water bodies, within the Basque Country. These water bodies are distributed into four typologies, including soft-bottom coastal areas and three types of estuaries. For each station, decision trees were used to integrate (i) water, sediment and biomonitor chemical data to achieve an integrated physico-chemical assessment and (ii) multiple biological ecosystem elements into an integrated biological assessment. Depending on the availability of ecological quality ratios or global quality values, different integration schemes were used to combine station assessments into water body assessments on a single scale. Several examples from each element have been selected, to illustrate their responses to different pressures; likewise, to establish how the assessed integrated quality has changed, over time. The results made biological and ecological sense and physico-chemical improvements were often correlated with improvements in the quality of benthos and fishes. These tools permit policy makers and managers to take decisions, based upon scientific knowledge, in water management, regarding the mitigation of human pressures and associated recovery processes.

  15. Using multiple ecosystem components, in assessing ecological status in Spanish (Basque Country) Atlantic marine waters.

    PubMed

    Borja, Angel; Bald, Juan; Franco, Javier; Larreta, Joana; Muxika, Iñigo; Revilla, Marta; Rodríguez, J Germán; Solaun, Oihana; Uriarte, Ainhize; Valencia, Victoriano

    2009-01-01

    The European Water Framework and Marine Strategy Directives relate to the assessment of ecological quality, within estuarine and coastal systems. This legislation requires quality to be defined in an integrative way, using several biological elements (phytoplankton, benthos, algae, phanerogams, and fishes), together with physico-chemical elements (including pollutants). This contribution describes a methodology that integrates all of this information into a unique quality assessment for 51 stations from 18 water bodies, within the Basque Country. These water bodies are distributed into four typologies, including soft-bottom coastal areas and three types of estuaries. For each station, decision trees were used to integrate (i) water, sediment and biomonitor chemical data to achieve an integrated physico-chemical assessment and (ii) multiple biological ecosystem elements into an integrated biological assessment. Depending on the availability of ecological quality ratios or global quality values, different integration schemes were used to combine station assessments into water body assessments on a single scale. Several examples from each element have been selected, to illustrate their responses to different pressures; likewise, to establish how the assessed integrated quality has changed, over time. The results made biological and ecological sense and physico-chemical improvements were often correlated with improvements in the quality of benthos and fishes. These tools permit policy makers and managers to take decisions, based upon scientific knowledge, in water management, regarding the mitigation of human pressures and associated recovery processes. PMID:19084879

  16. Ecological nanotoxicology: integrating nanomaterial hazard considerations across the subcellular, population, community, and ecosystems levels.

    PubMed

    Holden, Patricia A; Nisbet, Roger M; Lenihan, Hunter S; Miller, Robert J; Cherr, Gary N; Schimel, Joshua P; Gardea-Torresdey, Jorge L

    2013-03-19

    Research into the health and environmental safety of nanotechnology has seriously lagged behind its emergence in industry. While humans have often adopted synthetic chemicals without considering ancillary consequences, the lessons learned from worldwide pollution should motivate making nanotechnology compatible with environmental concerns. Researchers and policymakers need to understand exposure and harm of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs), currently nanotechnology's main products, to influence the ENM industry toward sustainable growth. Yet, how should research proceed? Standard toxicity testing anchored in single-organism, dose-response characterizations does not adequately represent real-world exposure and receptor scenarios and their complexities. Our approach is different: it derives from ecology, the study of organisms' interactions with each other and their environments. Our approach involves the characterization of ENMs and the mechanistic assessment of their property-based effects. Using high throughput/content screening (HTS/HCS) with cells or environmentally-relevant organisms, we measure the effects of ENMs on a subcellular or population level. We then relate those effects to mechanisms within dynamic energy budget (DEB) models of growth and reproduction. We reconcile DEB model predictions with experimental data on organism and population responses. Finally, we use microcosm studies to measure the potential for community- or ecosystem-level effects by ENMs that are likely to be produced in large quantities and for which either HTS/HCS or DEB modeling suggest their potential to harm populations and ecosystems. Our approach accounts for ecological interactions across scales, from within organisms to whole ecosystems. Organismal ENM effects, if propagated through populations, can alter communities comprising multiple populations (e.g., plant, fish, bacteria) within food webs. Altered communities can change ecosystem services: processes that cycle carbon

  17. Wait-Time and Multiple Representation Levels in Chemistry Lessons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Winnie Sim Siew; Arshad, Mohammad Yusof

    2014-01-01

    Wait-time is an important aspect in a teaching and learning process, especially after the teacher has posed questions to students, as it is one of the factors in determining quality of students' responses. This article describes the practices of wait-time one after teacher's questions at multiple representation levels among twenty three chemistry…

  18. Describing NAEP Achievement Levels with Multiple Domain Scores.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schulz, E. Matthew; Lee, Won-Chan

    This study was conducted to demonstrate the potential for using multiple domains to describe achievement levels in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) mathematics test. Mathematics items from the NAEP grade 8 assessment for the year 2000 were used. Curriculum experts provided ratings of when the skills required to answer the…

  19. Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of nine Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing teachers and students with informational reading on various ecological topics. The bulletins have these titles: Schoolyard Laboratories, Owls and Predators, The Forest Community, Life in Freshwater Marshes, Camouflage in the Animal World, Life in the Desert, The…

  20. Defining Acceptable Levels for Ecological Indicators: An Approach for Considering Social Values

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smyth, Robyn L.; Watzin, Mary C.; Manning, Robert E.

    2007-03-01

    Ecological indicators can facilitate an adaptive management approach, but only if acceptable levels for those indicators have been defined so that the data collected can be interpreted. Because acceptable levels are an expression of the desired state of the ecosystem, the process of establishing acceptable levels should incorporate not just ecological understanding but also societal values. The goal of this research was to explore an approach for defining acceptable levels of ecological indicators that explicitly considers social perspectives and values. We used a set of eight indicators that were related to issues of concern in the Lake Champlain Basin. Our approach was based on normative theory. Using a stakeholder survey, we measured respondent normative evaluations of varying levels of our indicators. Aggregated social norm curves were used to determine the level at which indicator values shifted from acceptable to unacceptable conditions. For seven of the eight indicators, clear preferences were interpretable from these norm curves. For example, closures of public beaches because of bacterial contamination and days of intense algae bloom went from acceptable to unacceptable at 7-10 days in a summer season. Survey respondents also indicated that the number of fish caught from Lake Champlain that could be safely consumed each month was unacceptably low and the number of streams draining into the lake that were impaired by storm water was unacceptably high. If indicators that translate ecological conditions into social consequences are carefully selected, we believe the normative approach has considerable merit for defining acceptable levels of valued ecological system components.

  1. The behavior of multiple independent managers and ecological traits interact to determine prevalence of weeds.

    PubMed

    Coutts, Shaun R; Yokomizo, Hiroyuki; Buckley, Yvonne M

    2013-04-01

    Management of damaging invasive plants is often undertaken by multiple decision makers, each managing only a small part of the invader's population. As weeds can move between properties and re-infest eradicated sites from unmanaged sources, the dynamics of multiple decision makers plays a significant role in weed prevalence and invasion risk at the landscape scale. We used a spatially explicit agent-based simulation to determine how individual agent behavior, in concert with weed population ecology, determined weed prevalence. We compared two invasive grass species that differ in ecology, control methods, and costs: Nassella trichotoma (serrated tussock) and Eragrostis curvula (African love grass). The way decision makers reacted to the benefit of management had a large effect on the extent of a weed. If benefits of weed control outweighed the costs, and either net benefit was very large or all agents were very sensitive to net benefits, then agents tended to act synchronously, reducing the pool of infested agents available to spread the weed. As N. trichotoma was more damaging than E. curvula and had more effective control methods, agents chose to manage it more often, which resulted in lower prevalence of N. trichotoma. A relatively low number of agents who were intrinsically less motivated to control weeds led to increased prevalence of both species. This was particularly apparent when long-distance dispersal meant each infested agent increased the invasion risk for a large portion of the landscape. In this case, a small proportion of land mangers reluctant to control, regardless of costs and benefits, could lead to the whole landscape being infested, even when local control stopped new infestations. Social pressure was important, but only if it was independent of weed prevalence, suggesting that early access to information, and incentives to act on that information, may be crucial in stopping a weed from infesting large areas. The response of our model to both

  2. Long-Term Ecological Research and Network-Level Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collins, Scott L.; Childers, Daniel L.

    2014-08-01

    With every passing year, the effects of global environmental change are becoming more pervasive and are occurring at a more accelerated pace. Climate change, land use change, atmospheric nitrogen deposition, ocean acidification and sea level rise, loss of biodiversity, and homogenization of Earth's ecosystems are all manifestations of human activities. These short- and long-term effects of environmental changes continue to mount.

  3. Threatened and endangered subspecies with vulnerable ecological traits Also have high susceptibility to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Benscoter, Allison M.; Reece, Joshua S.; Noss, Reed F.; Brandt, Laura B.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Romañach, Stephanie S.; Watling, James I.

    2013-01-01

    The presence of multiple interacting threats to biodiversity and the increasing rate of species extinction make it critical to prioritize management efforts on species and communities that maximize conservation success. We implemented a multi-step approach that coupled vulnerability assessments evaluating threats to Florida taxa such as climate change, sea-level rise, and habitat fragmentation with in-depth literature surveys of taxon-specific ecological traits. The vulnerability, adaptive capacity, and ecological traits of 12 threatened and endangered subspecies were compared to non-listed subspecies of the same parent species. Overall, the threatened and endangered subspecies showed high vulnerability and low adaptive capacity, in particular to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation. They also exhibited larger home ranges and greater dispersal limitation compared to non-endangered subspecies, which may inhibit their ability to track changing climate in fragmented landscapes. There was evidence for lower reproductive capacity in some of the threatened or endangered taxa, but not for most. Taxa located in the Florida Keys or in other low coastal areas were most vulnerable to sea level rise, and also showed low levels of adaptive capacity, indicating they may have a lower probability of conservation success. Our analysis of at-risk subspecies and closely related non-endangered subspecies demonstrates that ecological traits help to explain observed differences in vulnerability and adaptive capacity. This study points to the importance of assessing the relative contributions of multiple threats and evaluating conservation value at the species (or subspecies) level when resources are limited and several factors affect conservation success.

  4. Threatened and Endangered Subspecies with Vulnerable Ecological Traits Also Have High Susceptibility to Sea Level Rise and Habitat Fragmentation

    PubMed Central

    Benscoter, Allison M.; Reece, Joshua S.; Noss, Reed F.; Brandt, Laura A.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Romañach, Stephanie S.; Watling, James I.

    2013-01-01

    The presence of multiple interacting threats to biodiversity and the increasing rate of species extinction make it critical to prioritize management efforts on species and communities that maximize conservation success. We implemented a multi-step approach that coupled vulnerability assessments evaluating threats to Florida taxa such as climate change, sea-level rise, and habitat fragmentation with in-depth literature surveys of taxon-specific ecological traits. The vulnerability, adaptive capacity, and ecological traits of 12 threatened and endangered subspecies were compared to non-listed subspecies of the same parent species. Overall, the threatened and endangered subspecies showed high vulnerability and low adaptive capacity, in particular to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation. They also exhibited larger home ranges and greater dispersal limitation compared to non-endangered subspecies, which may inhibit their ability to track changing climate in fragmented landscapes. There was evidence for lower reproductive capacity in some of the threatened or endangered taxa, but not for most. Taxa located in the Florida Keys or in other low coastal areas were most vulnerable to sea level rise, and also showed low levels of adaptive capacity, indicating they may have a lower probability of conservation success. Our analysis of at-risk subspecies and closely related non-endangered subspecies demonstrates that ecological traits help to explain observed differences in vulnerability and adaptive capacity. This study points to the importance of assessing the relative contributions of multiple threats and evaluating conservation value at the species (or subspecies) level when resources are limited and several factors affect conservation success. PMID:23940614

  5. Threatened and endangered subspecies with vulnerable ecological traits also have high susceptibility to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation.

    PubMed

    Benscoter, Allison M; Reece, Joshua S; Noss, Reed F; Brandt, Laura A; Mazzotti, Frank J; Romañach, Stephanie S; Watling, James I

    2013-01-01

    The presence of multiple interacting threats to biodiversity and the increasing rate of species extinction make it critical to prioritize management efforts on species and communities that maximize conservation success. We implemented a multi-step approach that coupled vulnerability assessments evaluating threats to Florida taxa such as climate change, sea-level rise, and habitat fragmentation with in-depth literature surveys of taxon-specific ecological traits. The vulnerability, adaptive capacity, and ecological traits of 12 threatened and endangered subspecies were compared to non-listed subspecies of the same parent species. Overall, the threatened and endangered subspecies showed high vulnerability and low adaptive capacity, in particular to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation. They also exhibited larger home ranges and greater dispersal limitation compared to non-endangered subspecies, which may inhibit their ability to track changing climate in fragmented landscapes. There was evidence for lower reproductive capacity in some of the threatened or endangered taxa, but not for most. Taxa located in the Florida Keys or in other low coastal areas were most vulnerable to sea level rise, and also showed low levels of adaptive capacity, indicating they may have a lower probability of conservation success. Our analysis of at-risk subspecies and closely related non-endangered subspecies demonstrates that ecological traits help to explain observed differences in vulnerability and adaptive capacity. This study points to the importance of assessing the relative contributions of multiple threats and evaluating conservation value at the species (or subspecies) level when resources are limited and several factors affect conservation success.

  6. Efficient bit-level, word-level, and block-level systolic arrays for matrix-matrix multiplication

    SciTech Connect

    De Groot, A.J.; Parker, S.R.; Johansson, E.M.

    1988-02-01

    This paper investigates the mapping of matrix-matrix multiplication onto bit level, word level and block level systolic arrays. Highly efficient and regular bit level, word level and block level systolic arrays are described. Efficiencies of many block level and word level systolic arrays reported in this paper approach 100/percent/, three times the efficiencies of systolic arrays reported previously. Bit level systolic arrays reported in this paper require less computation time than do bit level systolic arrays reported previously and, for special matrices, require less cells. Execution times of block level systolic algorithms on sixty-four-element multiprocessor agree with theory.

  7. Ecological correlation between arsenic level in well water and age-adjusted mortality from malignant neoplasms

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, C.J.; Wang, C.J. )

    1990-09-01

    A significant dose-response relation between ingested arsenic and several cancers has recently been reported in four townships of the endemic area of blackfoot disease, a unique peripheral artery disease related to the chronic arsenic exposure in southwestern Taiwan. This study was carried out to examine ecological correlations between arsenic level of well water and mortality from various malignant neoplasms in 314 precincts and townships of Taiwan. The arsenic content in water of 83,656 wells was determined by a standard mercuric bromide stain method from 1974 to 1976, while mortality rates of 21 malignant neoplasms among residents in study precincts and townships from 1972 to 1983 were standardized to the world population in 1976. A significant association with the arsenic level in well water was observed for cancers of the liver, nasal cavity, lung, skin, bladder and kidney in both males and females as well as for the prostate cancer in males. These associations remained significant after adjusting for indices of urbanization and industrialization through multiple regression analyses. The multivariate-adjusted regression coefficient indicating an increase in age-adjusted mortality per 100,000 person-years for every 0.1 ppm increase in arsenic level of well water was 6.8 and 2.0, 0.7 and 0.4, 5.3 and 5.3, 0.9 and 1.0, 3.9 and 4.2, as well as 1.1 and 1.7, respectively, in males and females for cancers of the liver, nasal cavity, lung, skin, bladder and kidney. The multivariate-adjusted regression coefficient for the prostate cancer was 0.5. These weighted regression coefficients were found to increase or remain unchanged in further analyses in which only 170 southwestern townships were included.

  8. Ecological relevance of Sentinels' biomarker responses: a multi-level approach.

    PubMed

    Seabra Pereira, Camilo D; Abessa, Denis M S; Choueri, Rodrigo B; Almagro-Pastor, Victor; Cesar, Augusto; Maranho, Luciane A; Martín-Díaz, María Laura; Torres, Ronaldo J; Gusso-Choueri, Paloma K; Almeida, João E; Cortez, Fernando S; Mozeto, Antonio A; Silbiger, Helcy L N; Sousa, Eduinetty C P M; Del Valls, Tommas Angel; Bainy, Afonso C D

    2014-05-01

    In response to the need for more sensitive and rapid indicators of environmental quality, sublethal effects on the lowest levels of biological organization have been investigated. The ecological relevance of these responses assumes a prevailing role to assure effectiveness as indicator of ecological status. This study aimed to investigate the linkages between biomarker responses of caged bivalves and descriptive parameters of macrobenthic community structure. For this purpose a multi-level environmental assessment of marine and estuarine zones was performed in São Paulo coast, Brazil. Multivariate analysis was applied to identify linkages between biological responses and ecological indices, as well as to characterizing the studied stations. Individuals of the marine mussel Perna perna caged along Santos Bay showed signs of oxidative stress, lysosomal membrane destabilization, histological alterations and reduced embryonic development. The estuarine oyster Crassostrea rhizophorae caged along Santos Port Channel showed alterations on biotransformation enzymes and antioxidant system, DNA damage and lysosomal membrane destabilization. The benthic community analysis showed reduced richness and diversity in the same areas of the Santos bay and estuary where biomarker responses were altered. Our results revealed that xenobiotics are inducing physiological stress, which may lead to changes of the benthic community structure and deterioration of the ecological status over time. Integrating biomarker responses and ecological indexes improved certainty that alterations found at community level could be related to xenobiotic as stressors, which was very useful to improve the discriminatory power of the environmental assessment.

  9. Climate change and freshwater ecosystems: impacts across multiple levels of organization

    PubMed Central

    Woodward, Guy; Perkins, Daniel M.; Brown, Lee E.

    2010-01-01

    Fresh waters are particularly vulnerable to climate change because (i) many species within these fragmented habitats have limited abilities to disperse as the environment changes; (ii) water temperature and availability are climate-dependent; and (iii) many systems are already exposed to numerous anthropogenic stressors. Most climate change studies to date have focused on individuals or species populations, rather than the higher levels of organization (i.e. communities, food webs, ecosystems). We propose that an understanding of the connections between these different levels, which are all ultimately based on individuals, can help to develop a more coherent theoretical framework based on metabolic scaling, foraging theory and ecological stoichiometry, to predict the ecological consequences of climate change. For instance, individual basal metabolic rate scales with body size (which also constrains food web structure and dynamics) and temperature (which determines many ecosystem processes and key aspects of foraging behaviour). In addition, increasing atmospheric CO2 is predicted to alter molar CNP ratios of detrital inputs, which could lead to profound shifts in the stoichiometry of elemental fluxes between consumers and resources at the base of the food web. The different components of climate change (e.g. temperature, hydrology and atmospheric composition) not only affect multiple levels of biological organization, but they may also interact with the many other stressors to which fresh waters are exposed, and future research needs to address these potentially important synergies. PMID:20513717

  10. Physics of multiple level hairpin vortex structures in turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, YiQian; Al-Dujaly, Hassan; Yan, YongHua; Zhao, Ning; Liu, ChaoQun

    2016-02-01

    Previous experimental and numerical studies have revealed that the hairpin vortex is a basic flow element of transitional boundary layer. The hairpin vortex is believed to have legs, necks and a ring head. Based on our DNS study, the legs and the ring head are generated separately by different mechanisms. The legs function like an engine to generate low speed zones by rotation, create shear layers with surrounding high speed neighbor fluids, and further cause vortex ring formation through shear layer instability. In addition, the ring head is Ω-shaped and separated from quasi-streamwise legs from the beginning. Contrary to the classical concept of "vortex breakdown", we believe transition from laminar flow to turbulence is a "buildup" process of multiple level vortical structures. The vortex rings of first level hairpins are mostly responsible for positive spikes, which cause new vorticity rollup, second level vortex leg formation and finally smaller second level vortex ring generation. The third and lower level vortices are generated following the same mechanism. In this paper, the physical process from Λ-vortex to multi-level hairpin vortices is described in detail.

  11. Umweltverschmutzung. German Ecology Packet: Resource Units and Materials for German Classes at All Levels.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Archer, Julie; And Others

    Supplementary resource materials for use in upper level secondary school German classes are presented in this text. Teachers who are seeking new content and are willing to adapt these instructional materials on ecology in Germany will find three self-contained units on: The Plight of the Polar Bear, Polluted Swimming Pools in Germany, and Dead…

  12. DEVELOPMENT OF TOXICITY REFERENCE VALUES FOR ECOLOGICAL SOIL SCREENING LEVELS (ECO-SSLS) FOR TERRESTRIAL WILDLIFE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological Soil Screening Levels (Eco-SSLs) protective of terrestrial wildlife were developed by the USEPA Superfund. The wildlife Eco-SSL is the soil contaminant concentration where the Effect Dose (TRV) and Exposure Dose are equal (amount of contaminant in the diet that is take...

  13. DEVELOPMENT OF ECOLOGICAL SOIL SCREENING LEVELS FOR SOIL INVERTEBRATES AND PLANTS FROM PEER-REVIEWED LITERATURE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as part of a collaborative effort among government and industry representatives, is developing Ecologic Soil Screening Levels (Eco-SSLs) for approximately 25 of the most common pollutants found at Superfund sites. As part of this effort, ...

  14. Emergy evaluation of contrasting dairy systems at multiple levels.

    PubMed

    Vigne, Mathieu; Peyraud, Jean-Louis; Lecomte, Philippe; Corson, Michael S; Wilfart, Aurélie

    2013-11-15

    Emergy accounting (EmA) was applied to a range of dairy systems, from low-input smallholder systems in South Mali (SM), to intermediate-input systems in two regions of France, Poitou-Charentes (PC) and Bretagne (BR), to high-input systems on Reunion Island (RI). These systems were studied at three different levels: whole-farm (dairy system and cropping system), dairy-system (dairy herd and forage land), and herd (animals only). Dairy farms in SM used the lowest total emergy at all levels and was the highest user of renewable resources. Despite the low quality of resources consumed (crop residues and natural pasture), efficiency of their use was similar to that of industrialised inputs by intensive systems in RI, PC and BR. In addition, among the systems studied, SM dairy farms lay closest to environmental sustainability, contradicting the usual image of high environmental impact of cattle production in developing countries. EmA also revealed characteristics of the three intensive systems. Systems from RI and PC had lower resource transformation efficiency and higher environmental impacts than those from BR, due mainly to feeding strategies that differed due to differing socio-climatic constraints. Application of EmA at multiple levels revealed the importance of a multi-level analysis. While the whole-farm level assesses the overall contribution of the system to its environment, the dairy-system level is suitable for comparison of multi-product systems. In contrast, the herd level focuses on herd management and bypasses debates about definition of system boundaries by excluding land management. Combining all levels highlights the contribution of livestock to the global agricultural system and identifies inefficiencies and influences of system components on the environment. PMID:23792889

  15. Decreased Coenzyme Q10 Levels in Multiple System Atrophy Cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Barca, Emanuele; Kleiner, Giulio; Tang, Guomei; Ziosi, Marcello; Tadesse, Saba; Masliah, Eliezer; Louis, Elan D; Faust, Phyllis; Kang, Un J; Torres, Jose; Cortes, Etty P; Vonsattel, Jean-Paul G; Kuo, Sheng-Han; Quinzii, Catarina M

    2016-07-01

    In familial and sporadic multiple system atrophy (MSA) patients, deficiency of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has been associated with mutations in COQ2, which encodes the second enzyme in the CoQ10 biosynthetic pathway. Cerebellar ataxia is the most common presentation of CoQ10 deficiency, suggesting that the cerebellum might be selectively vulnerable to low levels of CoQ10 To investigate whether CoQ10 deficiency represents a common feature in the brains of MSA patients independent of the presence of COQ2 mutations, we studied CoQ10 levels in postmortem brains of 12 MSA, 9 Parkinson disease (PD), 9 essential tremor (ET) patients, and 12 controls. We also assessed mitochondrial respiratory chain enzyme activities, oxidative stress, mitochondrial mass, and levels of enzymes involved in CoQ biosynthesis. Our studies revealed CoQ10 deficiency in MSA cerebellum, which was associated with impaired CoQ biosynthesis and increased oxidative stress in the absence of COQ2 mutations. The levels of CoQ10 in the cerebella of ET and PD patients were comparable or higher than in controls. These findings suggest that CoQ10 deficiency may contribute to the pathogenesis of MSA. Because no disease modifying therapies are currently available, increasing CoQ10 levels by supplementation or upregulation of its biosynthesis may represent a novel treatment strategy for MSA patients.

  16. Multiple metals predict prolactin and thyrotropin (TSH) levels in men

    SciTech Connect

    Meeker, John D.; Rossano, Mary G.; Protas, Bridget; Diamond, Michael P.; Puscheck, Elizabeth; Daly, Douglas; Paneth, Nigel; Wirth, Julia J.

    2009-10-15

    Exposure to a number of metals can affect neuroendocrine and thyroid signaling, which can result in adverse effects on development, behavior, metabolism, reproduction, and other functions. The present study assessed the relationship between metal concentrations in blood and serum prolactin (PRL) and thyrotropin (TSH) levels, markers of dopaminergic, and thyroid function, respectively, among men participating in a study of environmental influences on male reproductive health. Blood samples from 219 men were analyzed for concentrations of 11 metals and serum levels of PRL and TSH. In multiple linear regression models adjusted for age, BMI and smoking, PRL was inversely associated with arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc, but positively associated with chromium. Several of these associations (Cd, Pb, Mo) are consistent with limited studies in humans or animals, and a number of the relationships (Cr, Cu, Pb, Mo) remained when additionally considering multiple metals in the model. Lead and copper were associated with non-monotonic decrease in TSH, while arsenic was associated with a dose-dependent increase in TSH. For arsenic these findings were consistent with recent experimental studies where arsenic inhibited enzymes involved in thyroid hormone synthesis and signaling. More research is needed for a better understanding of the role of metals in neuroendocrine and thyroid function and related health implications.

  17. Comparison of deterministic and probabilistic calculation of ecological soil screening levels.

    PubMed

    Regan, Helen M; Sample, Brad E; Ferson, Scott

    2002-04-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) is sponsoring development of ecological soil screening levels (Eco-SSLs) for terrestrial wildlife. These are intended to be used to identify chemicals of potential ecological concern at Superfund sites. Ecological soil screening levels represent concentrations of contaminants in soils that are believed to be protective of ecological receptors. An exposure model, based on soil- and food-ingestion rates and the relationship between the concentrations of contaminants in soil and food, has been developed for estimation of wildlife Eco-SSLs. It is important to understand how conservative and protective these values are, how parameterization of the model influences the resulting Eco-SSL, and how the treatment of uncertainty impacts results. The Eco-SSLs were calculated for meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) and northern short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) for lead and DDT using deterministic and probabilistic methods. Conclusions obtained include that use of central-tendency point estimates may result in hazard quotients much larger than one; that a Monte Carlo approach also leads to hazard quotients that can be substantially larger than one; that, if no hazard quotients larger than one are allowed, any probabilistic approach is identical to a worst-case approach; and that an improvement in the quality and amount of data is necessary to increase confidence that Eco-SSLs are protective at their intended levels of conservatism. PMID:11951965

  18. Current challenges in contaminant effects monitoring: Multiple stressors and ecological significance

    SciTech Connect

    Adams, S.M.; Ham, K.D.

    1996-09-01

    Aquatic ecosystems are complex entities that are controlled and regulated by a multitude of physicochemical and biological processes. In addition, aquatic organisms experience a variety of natural and man-induced stressors, both of which vary spatially and temporally. The high variability in environmental factors combined with synergistic and cumulative interactions of these factors in aquatic ecosystems complicate the interpretation and evaluation of the effects of contaminant-related stressors on organisms. With this in mind, some main challenges facing those concerned with assessing the effects of environmental contaminants on organisms are (1) the influence of multiple stressors on stress responses in biological systems, (2) determining causal relationships between various levels of biological response to stressors, and (3) identifying early warning indicators or measures of organism impairment that have biological significance before irreversible or serious disability occurs. In all these areas, the health of biological systems (from the individual level to the population and community levels) has as its basis the physiological performance of the organism. Therefore, aspects of contaminant effects monitoring which include physiological measures of health should not only be utilized as measures of deviations from normal function, but should also be applied in the larger context of helping to understand multiple stressor effects, causal relationships between different levels of biological response, and early warning indicators of biologically significant effects.

  19. Levels of chlorinated, brominated, and perfluorinated contaminants in birds of prey spanning multiple trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Yordy, Jennifer E; Rossman, Sam; Ostrom, Peggy H; Reiner, Jessica L; Bargnesi, Keely; Hughes, Stacy; Elliot, James D

    2013-04-01

    Birds of prey occupy high trophic levels and can consequently bioaccumulate high levels of environmental contaminants. To evaluate exposure to past- and current-use pollutants, we measured legacy contaminants (i.e., polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs]; organochlorine pesticides, e.g., DDT), contaminants of emerging concern (polybrominated diphenyl ethers [PBDEs]; perfluorinated compounds [PFCs]), and stable isotopes (δ(13)C, δ(15)N) in 26 birds of prey (10 species) from coastal South Carolina (USA) sampled in 2009 and 2010. Nitrogen isotope ratios (δ(15)N) ranged from 5.2% to 13.7%, indicating the birds of prey spanned two to three trophic levels. Legacy contaminant levels were highly variable but generally comparable to levels reported previously for birds of prey in the southeast US, suggesting exposure has not declined substantially over the past 40 yr. Despite their status as newly emerging environmental contaminants, PFC levels were within the same order of magnitude as legacy contaminants. Although PBDEs were less prevalent, levels were among the greatest observed in wildlife to date (∑PBDEs max. 200 μg/g lipid). Relative contaminant profiles also varied between birds of prey utilizing low and high trophic levels; specifically PFCs contributed to a larger proportion of the contaminant burden in birds utilizing high trophic levels, whereas the legacy pesticide mirex was a larger contributor in low-trophic-level birds, indicating that relative exposure is in part dependent on foraging ecology. This study demonstrates that birds of prey continue to face exposure to legacy contaminants as well as newly emerging contaminants at levels of concern. PMID:23568910

  20. [Ecologically tolerable levels of abiotic factors. Study of freshwater bodies in Asiatic part of Russia and Uzbekistan].

    PubMed

    Maksimov, V N; Abakumov, V A; Bulgakov, N G; Levich, A P; Terekhin, A T

    2002-01-01

    Ecologically tolerable levels (ETL) of environmental factors have been determined for freshwater ecosystems in Asiatic part of Russia and neighboring countries (basins of Ob, Yenisei, Lena, Amur, and Syr-Darya rivers). Inobservance of ecologically tolerable levels degrades ecological status of the ecosystems manifested as deviation from normal saprobic indices of phytoplankton, zooplankton, and periphyton as well as biotic indices of zoobenthos. The basins were compared by the calculated ETL values for over 40 physicochemical indices. The revealed ecologically tolerable levels were compared with the standard maximum tolerable concentrations.

  1. Ecological performance of red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) larvae exposed to environmental levels of the insecticide malathion.

    PubMed

    Del Carmen Alvarez, Maria; Fuiman, Lee A

    2006-05-01

    Malathion is a highly soluble organophosphate insecticide that is widely used in agriculture and mosquito eradication campaigns. Fish species, such as red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), that use seagrass beds as nursery areas could be affected by runoff waters contaminated with malathion. We exposed red drum larvae at the size they reach in estuarine nursery areas to environmentally realistic and sublethal levels of malathion (0, 1, and 10 microg/L). We evaluated the effects of such exposure on ecologically significant behaviors (routine swimming and predator evasion), growth, and resting metabolism. Malathion exposure to relatively low but ecologically realistic concentrations did not affect routine behavior, escape behavior, resting metabolic rate, or growth, indicating that reported environmental levels may be safe for young fishes. However, a recent substantial increase in the use of malathion may elevate surface-water concentrations to levels above those tested in the present study. PMID:16704078

  2. Exceptionally high levels of multiple mating in an army ant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denny, A. Jay; Franks, Nigel R.; Powell, Scott; Edwards, Keith J.

    Most species of social insects have singly mated queens, although there are notable exceptions. Competing hypotheses have been proposed to explain the evolution of high levels of multiple mating, but this issue is far from resolved. Here we use microsatellites to investigate mating frequency in the army ant Eciton burchellii and show that queens mate with an exceptionally large number of males, eclipsing all but one other social insect species for which data are available. In addition we present evidence that suggests that mating is serial, continuing throughout the lifetime of the queen. This is the first demonstration of serial mating among social hymenoptera. We propose that high paternity within colonies is most likely to have evolved to increase genetic diversity and to counter high pathogen and parasite loads.

  3. Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise: Advancing coastal management through integrated research and engagement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kidwell, D. M.

    2012-12-01

    Rising sea level represents a significant threat to coastal communities and ecosystems through land loss, altered habitats, and increased vulnerability to coastal storms and inundation. This threat is exemplified in the northern Gulf of Mexico where low topography, expansive marshes, and a prevalence of tropical storms have already resulted in extensive coastal impacts. The development of robust predictive capabilities that incorporate complex biological processes with physical dynamics are critical for informed planning and restoration efforts for coastal ecosystems. Looking to build upon existing predictive modeling capabilities and allow for use of multiple model (i.e., ensemble) approaches, NOAA initiated the Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise program in 2010 to advance physical/biological integrative modeling capabilities in the region with a goal to provide user friendly predictive tools for coastal ecosystem management. Focused on the northern Gulf of Mexico, this multi-disciplinary project led by the University of Central Florida will use in situ field studies to parameterize physical and biological models. These field studies will also result in a predictive capability for overland sediment delivery and transport that will further enhance marsh, oyster, and submerged aquatic vegetation models. Results from this integrated modeling effort are envisioned to inform management strategies for reducing risk, restoration and breakwater guidelines, and resource sustainability for project planning, among other uses. In addition to the science components, this project incorporates significant engagement of the management community through a management applications principle investigator and an advisory management committee. Routine engagement between the science team and the management committee, including annual workshops, are focused on ensuring the development of applicable, relevant, and useable products and tools at the conclusion of this project. Particular

  4. Using multiple ecological assessment techniques to screen for a wetlands reference site

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, B.M.; McNaughton, E.E.; Wagner, A.; Vig, A.; Zinky, L.; McCormick, S.

    1995-12-31

    Previous investigation of the landfill on the Concord Naval Weapons Station, located in a diked wetland, showed that the sediments exhibited elevated levels of inorganic analytes, as compared to national benchmarks, such as the NOAA ER-Ls. The need to identify a reference marsh was recognized because of the likelihood that these levels of inorganics were representative of ambient conditions, rather than associated with releases to the environment. A marsh location was selected that was upgradient of the landfill, and distant from sources of known contamination, such as roadways and railroad tracks. Sediment samples were analyzed for bulk sediment chemistry, toxicity, and benthic community structure. Bulk sediment chemistry results showed elevated concentrations of lead and petroleum-related organic compounds, perhaps associated with a historic pipeline break. Pore water was prepared from sediment collocated with the bulk chemistry samples and tested with the sea urchin development bioassay. Compared to the control, three of four sediment pore water samples were highly inhibitory of normal development. However, the benthic community survey from the same sampling stations showed a health assemblage of organisms, although one station that exhibited visible petroleum contamination also showed reduced abundance. The conflicting results demonstrate the necessity for taking more than one measure in developing the ecological assessment of a site.

  5. Multiple Level Crowding: Crowding at the Object Parts Level and at the Object Configural level.

    PubMed

    Kimchi, Ruth; Pirkner, Yossef

    2015-01-01

    In crowding, identification of a peripheral target in the presence of nearby flankers is worse than when the target appears alone. Prevailing theories hold that crowding occurs because of integration or "pooling" of low-level features at a single, relatively early stage of visual processing. Recent studies suggest that crowding can occur also between high-level object representations. The most relevant findings come from studies with faces and may be specific to faces. We examined whether crowding can occur at the object configural level in addition to part-level crowding, using nonface objects. Target (a disconnected square or diamond made of four elements) identification was measured at varying eccentricities. The flankers were similar either to the target parts or to the target configuration. The results showed crowding in both cases: Flankers interfered with target identification such that identification accuracy decreased with an increase in eccentricity, and no interference was observed at the fovea. Crowding by object parts, however, was weaker and had smaller spatial extent than crowding by object configurations; we related this finding to the relationship between crowding and perceptual organization. These results provide strong evidence that crowding occurs not only between object parts but also between configural representations of objects.

  6. Convergence in pigmentation at multiple levels: mutations, genes and function

    PubMed Central

    Manceau, Marie; Domingues, Vera S.; Linnen, Catherine R.; Rosenblum, Erica Bree; Hoekstra, Hopi E.

    2010-01-01

    Convergence—the independent evolution of the same trait by two or more taxa—has long been of interest to evolutionary biologists, but only recently has the molecular basis of phenotypic convergence been identified. Here, we highlight studies of rapid evolution of cryptic coloration in vertebrates to demonstrate that phenotypic convergence can occur at multiple levels: mutations, genes and gene function. We first show that different genes can be responsible for convergent phenotypes even among closely related populations, for example, in the pale beach mice inhabiting Florida's Gulf and Atlantic coasts. By contrast, the exact same mutation can create similar phenotypes in distantly related species such as mice and mammoths. Next, we show that different mutations in the same gene need not be functionally equivalent to produce similar phenotypes. For example, separate mutations produce divergent protein function but convergent pale coloration in two lizard species. Similarly, mutations that alter the expression of a gene in different ways can, nevertheless, result in similar phenotypes, as demonstrated by sister species of deer mice. Together these studies underscore the importance of identifying not only the genes, but also the precise mutations and their effects on protein function, that contribute to adaptation and highlight how convergence can occur at different genetic levels. PMID:20643733

  7. Images crossing borders: image and workflow sharing on multiple levels.

    PubMed

    Ross, Peeter; Pohjonen, Hanna

    2011-04-01

    Digitalisation of medical data makes it possible to share images and workflows between related parties. In addition to linear data flow where healthcare professionals or patients are the information carriers, a new type of matrix of many-to-many connections is emerging. Implementation of shared workflow brings challenges of interoperability and legal clarity. Sharing images or workflows can be implemented on different levels with different challenges: inside the organisation, between organisations, across country borders, or between healthcare institutions and citizens. Interoperability issues vary according to the level of sharing and are either technical or semantic, including language. Legal uncertainty increases when crossing national borders. Teleradiology is regulated by multiple European Union (EU) directives and legal documents, which makes interpretation of the legal system complex. To achieve wider use of eHealth and teleradiology several strategic documents were published recently by the EU. Despite EU activities, responsibility for organising, providing and funding healthcare systems remains with the Member States. Therefore, the implementation of new solutions requires strong co-operation between radiologists, societies of radiology, healthcare administrators, politicians and relevant EU authorities. The aim of this article is to describe different dimensions of image and workflow sharing and to analyse legal acts concerning teleradiology in the EU.

  8. Convergence in pigmentation at multiple levels: mutations, genes and function.

    PubMed

    Manceau, Marie; Domingues, Vera S; Linnen, Catherine R; Rosenblum, Erica Bree; Hoekstra, Hopi E

    2010-08-27

    Convergence--the independent evolution of the same trait by two or more taxa--has long been of interest to evolutionary biologists, but only recently has the molecular basis of phenotypic convergence been identified. Here, we highlight studies of rapid evolution of cryptic coloration in vertebrates to demonstrate that phenotypic convergence can occur at multiple levels: mutations, genes and gene function. We first show that different genes can be responsible for convergent phenotypes even among closely related populations, for example, in the pale beach mice inhabiting Florida's Gulf and Atlantic coasts. By contrast, the exact same mutation can create similar phenotypes in distantly related species such as mice and mammoths. Next, we show that different mutations in the same gene need not be functionally equivalent to produce similar phenotypes. For example, separate mutations produce divergent protein function but convergent pale coloration in two lizard species. Similarly, mutations that alter the expression of a gene in different ways can, nevertheless, result in similar phenotypes, as demonstrated by sister species of deer mice. Together these studies underscore the importance of identifying not only the genes, but also the precise mutations and their effects on protein function, that contribute to adaptation and highlight how convergence can occur at different genetic levels. PMID:20643733

  9. Images crossing borders: image and workflow sharing on multiple levels.

    PubMed

    Ross, Peeter; Pohjonen, Hanna

    2011-04-01

    Digitalisation of medical data makes it possible to share images and workflows between related parties. In addition to linear data flow where healthcare professionals or patients are the information carriers, a new type of matrix of many-to-many connections is emerging. Implementation of shared workflow brings challenges of interoperability and legal clarity. Sharing images or workflows can be implemented on different levels with different challenges: inside the organisation, between organisations, across country borders, or between healthcare institutions and citizens. Interoperability issues vary according to the level of sharing and are either technical or semantic, including language. Legal uncertainty increases when crossing national borders. Teleradiology is regulated by multiple European Union (EU) directives and legal documents, which makes interpretation of the legal system complex. To achieve wider use of eHealth and teleradiology several strategic documents were published recently by the EU. Despite EU activities, responsibility for organising, providing and funding healthcare systems remains with the Member States. Therefore, the implementation of new solutions requires strong co-operation between radiologists, societies of radiology, healthcare administrators, politicians and relevant EU authorities. The aim of this article is to describe different dimensions of image and workflow sharing and to analyse legal acts concerning teleradiology in the EU. PMID:22347943

  10. Impacts of nomad sedentarization on social and ecological systems at multiple scales in Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, China.

    PubMed

    Fan, Mingming; Li, Wenjun; Zhang, Chengcheng; Li, Lanhai

    2014-09-01

    China's government is now promoting the Nomad Sedentarization Project (NSP) in large areas of grassland as a solution for ecological restoration and poverty alleviation. To examine the effects of this policy, we conducted in-depth interviews at two of the project's sites and examined the social and ecological systems at village, county, and catchment scales in Jinghe County of Xinjiang. We found that (1) the NSP in one village greatly improved the household standard of living and changed their resource utilization modes; (2) the success in this village can be attributed to resources imported from the social and ecological systems at larger scales, and could not be repeated in a second nearby village with different constraints; and (3) the NSP is poorly adapted to local ecosystem characteristics, and may therefore have negative impacts at larger scales. To avoid these problems, holistic assessments are necessary to judge the NSP's impacts on social and ecological systems at multiple scales, and the program must be implemented cautiously to account for the potential risks in ecologically vulnerable areas. PMID:24092595

  11. Impacts of nomad sedentarization on social and ecological systems at multiple scales in Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, China.

    PubMed

    Fan, Mingming; Li, Wenjun; Zhang, Chengcheng; Li, Lanhai

    2014-09-01

    China's government is now promoting the Nomad Sedentarization Project (NSP) in large areas of grassland as a solution for ecological restoration and poverty alleviation. To examine the effects of this policy, we conducted in-depth interviews at two of the project's sites and examined the social and ecological systems at village, county, and catchment scales in Jinghe County of Xinjiang. We found that (1) the NSP in one village greatly improved the household standard of living and changed their resource utilization modes; (2) the success in this village can be attributed to resources imported from the social and ecological systems at larger scales, and could not be repeated in a second nearby village with different constraints; and (3) the NSP is poorly adapted to local ecosystem characteristics, and may therefore have negative impacts at larger scales. To avoid these problems, holistic assessments are necessary to judge the NSP's impacts on social and ecological systems at multiple scales, and the program must be implemented cautiously to account for the potential risks in ecologically vulnerable areas.

  12. De novo assembly of the transcriptome of an invasive snail and its multiple ecological applications.

    PubMed

    Sun, J; Wang, M; Wang, H; Zhang, H; Zhang, X; Thiyagarajan, V; Qian, P Y; Qiu, J W

    2012-11-01

    Studying how invasive species respond to environmental stress at the molecular level can help us assess their impact and predict their range expansion. Development of markers of genetic polymorphism can help us reconstruct their invasive route. However, to conduct such studies requires the presence of substantial amount of genomic resources. This study aimed to generate and characterize genomic resources using high throughput transcriptome sequencing for Pomacea canaliculata, a nonmodel gastropod indigenous to Argentina that has invaded Asia, Hawaii and southern United States. De novo assembly of the transcriptome resulted in 128,436 unigenes with an average length of 419 bp (range: 150-8556 bp). Many of the unigenes (2439) contained transposable elements, showing the existence of a source of genetic variability in response to stressful conditions. A total of 3196 microsatellites were detected in the transcriptome; among 20 of the randomly tested microsatellites, 10 were validated to exhibit polymorphism. A total of 15,412 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were detected in the ORFs. LC-MS/MS analysis of the proteome of juveniles revealed 878 proteins, of which many are stress related. This study has demonstrated the great potential of high throughput DNA sequencing for rapid development of genomic resources for a nonmodel organism. Such resources can facilitate various molecular ecological studies, such as stress physiology and range expansion.

  13. Individual characteristics and the multiple contexts of adolescent bullying: an ecological perspective.

    PubMed

    Barboza, Gia Elise; Schiamberg, Lawrence B; Oehmke, James; Korzeniewski, Steven J; Post, Lori A; Heraux, Cedrick G

    2009-01-01

    This paper uses an ecological perspective to explore the risk factors associated with bullying behaviors among a representative sample of adolescents aged 11-14 (n = 9816; X = 12.88; s = .9814). Data derived from the Health Behavior in School Children: WHO Cross-National Survey were used to model the relationship between bullying and media effects, peer and family support systems, self-efficacy, and school environment. Overall, the results of this study suggest that bullying increases among children who watch television frequently, lack teacher support, have themselves been bullied, attend schools with unfavorable environments, have emotional support from their peers, and have teachers and parents who do not place high expectations on their school performance. In addition, we found an inverse relationship between being Asian or African American, feeling left out of school activities and bullying. Our results lend support to the contention that bullying arises out of deficits in social climate, but that social support systems mediate bullying behavior irrespective of the student's racial/ethnic characteristics, parental income levels or media influences. Because the number of friends and the ability to talk to these friends increases the likelihood of bullying, we suggest that bullying is not simply an individual response to a particular environment but is a peer-group behavior. We conclude that limiting television viewing hours, improving student's abilities to access family support systems and improving school atmospheres are potentially useful interventions to limit bullying behavior. PMID:19636795

  14. Visualizing Tensor Normal Distributions at Multiple Levels of Detail.

    PubMed

    Abbasloo, Amin; Wiens, Vitalis; Hermann, Max; Schultz, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Despite the widely recognized importance of symmetric second order tensor fields in medicine and engineering, the visualization of data uncertainty in tensor fields is still in its infancy. A recently proposed tensorial normal distribution, involving a fourth order covariance tensor, provides a mathematical description of how different aspects of the tensor field, such as trace, anisotropy, or orientation, vary and covary at each point. However, this wealth of information is far too rich for a human analyst to take in at a single glance, and no suitable visualization tools are available. We propose a novel approach that facilitates visual analysis of tensor covariance at multiple levels of detail. We start with a visual abstraction that uses slice views and direct volume rendering to indicate large-scale changes in the covariance structure, and locations with high overall variance. We then provide tools for interactive exploration, making it possible to drill down into different types of variability, such as in shape or orientation. Finally, we allow the analyst to focus on specific locations of the field, and provide tensor glyph animations and overlays that intuitively depict confidence intervals at those points. Our system is demonstrated by investigating the effects of measurement noise on diffusion tensor MRI, and by analyzing two ensembles of stress tensor fields from solid mechanics. PMID:26529741

  15. Behavioural syndromes and social insects: personality at multiple levels.

    PubMed

    Jandt, Jennifer M; Bengston, Sarah; Pinter-Wollman, Noa; Pruitt, Jonathan N; Raine, Nigel E; Dornhaus, Anna; Sih, Andrew

    2014-02-01

    Animal personalities or behavioural syndromes are consistent and/or correlated behaviours across two or more situations within a population. Social insect biologists have measured consistent individual variation in behaviour within and across colonies for decades. The goal of this review is to illustrate the ways in which both the study of social insects and of behavioural syndromes has overlapped, and to highlight ways in which both fields can move forward through the synergy of knowledge from each. Here we, (i) review work to date on behavioural syndromes (though not always referred to as such) in social insects, and discuss mechanisms and fitness effects of maintaining individual behavioural variation within and between colonies; (ii) summarise approaches and principles from studies of behavioural syndromes, such as trade-offs, feedback, and statistical methods developed specifically to study behavioural consistencies and correlations, and discuss how they might be applied specifically to the study of social insects; (iii) discuss how the study of social insects can enhance our understanding of behavioural syndromes-research in behavioural syndromes is beginning to explore the role of sociality in maintaining or developing behavioural types, and work on social insects can provide new insights in this area; and (iv) suggest future directions for study, with an emphasis on examining behavioural types at multiple levels of organisation (genes, individuals, colonies, or groups of individuals).

  16. Personality, foraging behavior and specialization: integrating behavioral and food web ecology at the individual level.

    PubMed

    Toscano, Benjamin J; Gownaris, Natasha J; Heerhartz, Sarah M; Monaco, Cristián J

    2016-09-01

    Behavioral traits and diet were traditionally thought to be highly plastic within individuals. This view was espoused in the widespread use of optimality models, which broadly predict that individuals can modify behavioral traits and diet across ecological contexts to maximize fitness. Yet, research conducted over the past 15 years supports an alternative view; fundamental behavioral traits (e.g., activity level, exploration, sociability, boldness and aggressiveness) and diet often vary among individuals and this variation persists over time and across contexts. This phenomenon has been termed animal personality with regard to behavioral traits and individual specialization with regard to diet. While these aspects of individual-level phenotypic variation have been thus far studied in isolation, emerging evidence suggests that personality and individual specialization may covary, or even be causally related. Building on this work, we present the overarching hypothesis that animal personality can drive specialization through individual differences in various aspects of consumer foraging behavior. Specifically, we suggest pathways by which consumer personality traits influence foraging activity, risk-dependent foraging, roles in social foraging groups, spatial aspects of foraging and physiological drivers of foraging, which in turn can lead to consistent individual differences in food resource use. These pathways provide a basis for generating testable hypotheses directly linking animal personality to ecological dynamics, a major goal in contemporary behavioral ecology. PMID:27170290

  17. Personality, foraging behavior and specialization: integrating behavioral and food web ecology at the individual level.

    PubMed

    Toscano, Benjamin J; Gownaris, Natasha J; Heerhartz, Sarah M; Monaco, Cristián J

    2016-09-01

    Behavioral traits and diet were traditionally thought to be highly plastic within individuals. This view was espoused in the widespread use of optimality models, which broadly predict that individuals can modify behavioral traits and diet across ecological contexts to maximize fitness. Yet, research conducted over the past 15 years supports an alternative view; fundamental behavioral traits (e.g., activity level, exploration, sociability, boldness and aggressiveness) and diet often vary among individuals and this variation persists over time and across contexts. This phenomenon has been termed animal personality with regard to behavioral traits and individual specialization with regard to diet. While these aspects of individual-level phenotypic variation have been thus far studied in isolation, emerging evidence suggests that personality and individual specialization may covary, or even be causally related. Building on this work, we present the overarching hypothesis that animal personality can drive specialization through individual differences in various aspects of consumer foraging behavior. Specifically, we suggest pathways by which consumer personality traits influence foraging activity, risk-dependent foraging, roles in social foraging groups, spatial aspects of foraging and physiological drivers of foraging, which in turn can lead to consistent individual differences in food resource use. These pathways provide a basis for generating testable hypotheses directly linking animal personality to ecological dynamics, a major goal in contemporary behavioral ecology.

  18. Towards quantitative ecological risk assessment of elevated carbon dioxide levels in the marine environment.

    PubMed

    de Vries, Pepijn; Tamis, Jacqueline E; Foekema, Edwin M; Klok, Chris; Murk, Albertinka J

    2013-08-30

    The environmental impact of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels has become of more interest in recent years. This, in relation to globally rising CO2 levels and related considerations of geological CO2 storage as a mitigating measure. In the present study effect data from literature were collected in order to conduct a marine ecological risk assessment of elevated CO2 levels, using a Species Sensitivity Distribution (SSD). It became evident that information currently available from the literature is mostly insufficient for such a quantitative approach. Most studies focus on effects of expected future CO2 levels, testing only one or two elevated concentrations. A full dose-response relationship, a uniform measure of exposure, and standardized test protocols are essential for conducting a proper quantitative risk assessment of elevated CO2 levels. Improvements are proposed to make future tests more valuable and usable for quantitative risk assessment.

  19. Controlling periodontal bone levels with multiple LED irradiations.

    PubMed

    Chang, Po-Chun; Wang, Chen-Ying; Chong, Li Yen

    2015-02-01

    Because a single exposure to light-emitting diode (LED) irradiation at 660 nm only demonstrated a 3-day biostimulatory effect in recovering periodontal bone level (PBL), this study sought to evaluate whether the periodontal effect could be extended through the use of multiple LED irradiations. Experimental periodontitis was developed unilaterally in 48 Sprague-Dawley rats after the placement of a silk ligature plus Porphyromonas gingivalis lipopolysaccharide injections. The animals were divided into four groups (no irradiation, a single irradiation, or two or three irradiations per week) and exposed to LED light irradiation at a wavelength of 660 ± 25 nm and energy density of 10 J/cm(2) after debridement and detoxification. The animals were euthanized after 7 or 14 days, and the effect of irradiation was evaluated using micro-computed tomography and histology. By day 7, PBL was significantly reduced (p < 0.05), with significantly reduced inflammation (p < 0.05) and gingival hyperplasia (p < 0.001), in the animals receiving three irradiations per week. At day 14, the reduction in gingival hyperplasia was still significant (p < 0.05), and collagen matrix deposition and realignment appeared to be accelerated in the animals receiving three irradiations per week, despite a lack of significant difference in PBL. The treatment regimen receiving three LED light irradiations per week apparently extended the effects in reducing PBL and inflammation to 7 days. The inclusion of additional inflammation control measures or the addition of bioactive signals to mediate the repairing process is necessary to maintain long-term periodontal stability.

  20. The influence of variability in species trait data on community-level ecological prediction and inference.

    PubMed

    Alofs, Karen M

    2016-09-01

    Species trait data have been used to predict and infer ecological processes and the responses of biological communities to environmental changes. It has also been suggested that, in lieu of trait, data niche differences can be inferred from phylogenetic distance. It remains unclear how variation in trait data may influence the strength and character of ecological inference. Using species-level trait data in community ecology assumes intraspecific variation is small in comparison with interspecific variation. Intraspecific variation across species ranges or within populations may lead to variability in trait data derived from different scales (i.e., local or regional) and methods (i.e., mean or maximum values). Variation in trait data across species can affect community-level relationships. I examined variability in body size, a key trait often measured across taxa. I collected 12 metrics of fish species length (including common and maximum values) for 40 species from literature, online databases, museum collections, and field data. I then tested whether different metrics of fish length could consistently predict observed species range boundary shifts and the impacts of an introduced predator on inland lake fish communities across Ontario, Canada. I also investigated whether phylogenetic signal, an indicator of niche-conservativism, changed among measures. I found strong correlations between length metrics and limited variation across metrics. Accordingly, length was a consistently significant predictor of the response of fish communities to environmental change. Additionally, I found significant evidence of phylogenetic signal in fish length across metrics. Limited variation in length across metrics (within species), in comparison with variation within metrics (across species), made fish species length a reliable predictor at a community-level. When considering species-level trait data from different sources, researchers should examine the potential influence of

  1. The influence of variability in species trait data on community-level ecological prediction and inference.

    PubMed

    Alofs, Karen M

    2016-09-01

    Species trait data have been used to predict and infer ecological processes and the responses of biological communities to environmental changes. It has also been suggested that, in lieu of trait, data niche differences can be inferred from phylogenetic distance. It remains unclear how variation in trait data may influence the strength and character of ecological inference. Using species-level trait data in community ecology assumes intraspecific variation is small in comparison with interspecific variation. Intraspecific variation across species ranges or within populations may lead to variability in trait data derived from different scales (i.e., local or regional) and methods (i.e., mean or maximum values). Variation in trait data across species can affect community-level relationships. I examined variability in body size, a key trait often measured across taxa. I collected 12 metrics of fish species length (including common and maximum values) for 40 species from literature, online databases, museum collections, and field data. I then tested whether different metrics of fish length could consistently predict observed species range boundary shifts and the impacts of an introduced predator on inland lake fish communities across Ontario, Canada. I also investigated whether phylogenetic signal, an indicator of niche-conservativism, changed among measures. I found strong correlations between length metrics and limited variation across metrics. Accordingly, length was a consistently significant predictor of the response of fish communities to environmental change. Additionally, I found significant evidence of phylogenetic signal in fish length across metrics. Limited variation in length across metrics (within species), in comparison with variation within metrics (across species), made fish species length a reliable predictor at a community-level. When considering species-level trait data from different sources, researchers should examine the potential influence of

  2. Cascading ecological effects of low-level phosphorus enrichment in the Florida Everglades

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gaiser, E.E.; Trexler, J.C.; Richards, J.H.; Childers, D.L.; Lee, D.; Edwards, A.L.; Scinto, L.J.; Jayachandran, K.; Noe, G.B.; Jones, R.D.

    2005-01-01

    Few studies have examined long-term ecological effects of sustained low-level nutrient enhancement on wetland biota. To determine sustained effects of phosphorus (P) addition on Everglades marshes we added P at low levels (5, 15, and 30 ??g L-1 above ambient) for 5 yr to triplicate 100-m flow-through channels in pristine marsh. A cascade of ecological responses occurred in similar sequence among treatments. Although the rate of change increased with dosing level, treatments converged to similar enriched endpoints, characterized most notably by a doubling of plant biomass and elimination of native, calcareous periphyton mats. The full sequence of biological changes occurred without an increase in water total P concentration, which remained near ambient levels until Year 5. This study indicates that Everglades marshes have a near-zero assimilative capacity for P without a state change, that ecosystem responses to enrichment accumulate over time, and that downstream P transport mainly occurs through biota rather than the water column.

  3. MULTIVARIATE STATISTICAL APPLICATIONS FOR ADDRESSING MULTIPLE STRESSORS IN ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological risk managers more and more frequently are asking how specific risk factors act in the environment within the context of the large number of natural stressor amount of variability that always have occurred. They wish to manage for cologically relevant solutions that wi...

  4. Multi-scale ecosystem monitoring: an application of scaling data to answer multiple ecological questions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background/Question/Methods Standardized monitoring data collection efforts using a probabilistic sample design, such as in the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) Strategy, provide a core suite of ecological indicators, maximize data collection efficiency,...

  5. Multiscale ecosystem monitoring: an application of scaling data to answer multiple ecological questions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Standardized monitoring data collection efforts using a probabilistic sample design, such as in the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) Strategy, provide a core suite of ecological indicators, maximize data collection efficiency, and promote reuse of monitor...

  6. Individual Characteristics and the Multiple Contexts of Adolescent Bullying: An Ecological Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barboza, Gia Elise; Schiamberg, Lawrence B.; Oehmke, James; Korzeniewski, Steven J.; Post, Lori A.; Heraux, Cedrick G.

    2009-01-01

    This paper uses an ecological perspective to explore the risk factors associated with bullying behaviors among a representative sample of adolescents aged 11-14 (n = 9816, mean = 12.88, s = 0.9814). Data derived from the "Health Behavior in School Children: WHO Cross-National Survey" were used to model the relationship between bullying and media…

  7. Managing multiple diffuse pressures on water quality and ecological habitat: Spatially targeting effective mitigation actions at the landscape scale.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joyce, Hannah; Reaney, Sim

    2015-04-01

    Catchment systems provide multiple benefits for society, including: land for agriculture, climate regulation and recreational space. Yet, these systems also have undesirable externalities, such as flooding, and the benefits they create can be compromised through societal use. For example, agriculture, forestry and urban land use practices can increase the export of fine sediment and faecal indicator organisms (FIO) delivered to river systems. These diffuse landscape pressures are coupled with pressures on the in stream temperature environment from projected climate change. Such pressures can have detrimental impacts on water quality and ecological habitat and consequently the benefits they provide for society. These diffuse and in-stream pressures can be reduced through actions at the landscape scale but are commonly tackled individually. Any intervention may have benefits for other pressures and hence the challenge is to consider all of the different pressures simultaneously to find solutions with high levels of cross-pressure benefits. This research presents (1) a simple but spatially distributed model to predict the pattern of multiple pressures at the landscape scale, and (2) a method for spatially targeting the optimum location for riparian woodland planting as mitigation action against these pressures. The model follows a minimal information requirement approach along the lines of SCIMAP (www.scimap.org.uk). This approach defines the critical source areas of fine sediment diffuse pollution, rapid overland flow and FIOs, based on the analysis of the pattern of the pressure in the landscape and the connectivity from source areas to rivers. River temperature was modeled using a simple energy balance equation; focusing on temperature of inflowing and outflowing water across a catchment. The model has been calibrated using a long term observed temperature record. The modelling outcomes enabled the identification of the severity of each pressure in relative rather

  8. Detection and spatial distribution of multiple-contaminants in agro-ecological Mediterranean wetlands (Marjal de Pego-Oliva, Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pascual-Aguilar, Juan Antonio; Andreu, Vicente; Gimeno-García, Eugenia; Picó, Yolanda; Masia, Ana

    2015-04-01

    Socio economic activities are more and more producing amounts (in quantity and quality) of non desirable chemical substances (contaminants) that can be found in open air environments. As many of these products persist and may also circulate among environmental compartments, the cumulative incidence of such multiple contaminants combination may be a cause of treat that should not exists taking only in consideration concentrations of each contaminant individually because the number and the type of compounds are not known, as well as their cumulative and interaction effects. Thus prior to any further work analyzing the environmental risk of multiple contaminants their identification and level of concentration is required. In this work the potential presence of multiple contaminants of anthropogenic origin in a protected agro-ecological Mediterranean wetland is studied: the Pego-Oliva Marsh Natural Park (Valencian Community, Spain), which is characterized by a long history of human pressures, such as marsh transformation for agricultural uses. Two major groups of relevant pollutants have been targeted according o two distinct environmental matrices: seven heavy metals in soils (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn) and fourteen emerging contaminants /drugs of abuse in surface waters of the natural lagoon, rivers and artificial irrigation networks (6-ACMOR, AMP, BECG, COC, ECGME, HER, KET, MAMP, MDA, MDMA, MET, MOR, THC, THC-COOH). The wetland was divided in nine representative zones with different types of land cover and land use. For soils, 24 samples were collected and for waters 33 taking in consideration the spatial representativeness of the above mention nine environments. Spatial analysis applying Geographical Information Systems to determine areas with greater incidence of both types of contaminants were also performed. With regard to heavy metals, Zn showed values under the detection limits in all samples, the remainder metals appeared in concentrations surpassing the

  9. A social and ecological assessment of tropical land uses at multiple scales: the Sustainable Amazon Network

    PubMed Central

    Gardner, Toby A.; Ferreira, Joice; Barlow, Jos; Lees, Alexander C.; Parry, Luke; Vieira, Ima Célia Guimarães; Berenguer, Erika; Abramovay, Ricardo; Aleixo, Alexandre; Andretti, Christian; Aragão, Luiz E. O. C.; Araújo, Ivanei; de Ávila, Williams Souza; Bardgett, Richard D.; Batistella, Mateus; Begotti, Rodrigo Anzolin; Beldini, Troy; de Blas, Driss Ezzine; Braga, Rodrigo Fagundes; Braga, Danielle de Lima; de Brito, Janaína Gomes; de Camargo, Plínio Barbosa; Campos dos Santos, Fabiane; de Oliveira, Vívian Campos; Cordeiro, Amanda Cardoso Nunes; Cardoso, Thiago Moreira; de Carvalho, Déborah Reis; Castelani, Sergio André; Chaul, Júlio Cézar Mário; Cerri, Carlos Eduardo; Costa, Francisco de Assis; da Costa, Carla Daniele Furtado; Coudel, Emilie; Coutinho, Alexandre Camargo; Cunha, Dênis; D'Antona, Álvaro; Dezincourt, Joelma; Dias-Silva, Karina; Durigan, Mariana; Esquerdo, Júlio César Dalla Mora; Feres, José; Ferraz, Silvio Frosini de Barros; Ferreira, Amanda Estefânia de Melo; Fiorini, Ana Carolina; da Silva, Lenise Vargas Flores; Frazão, Fábio Soares; Garrett, Rachel; Gomes, Alessandra dos Santos; Gonçalves, Karoline da Silva; Guerrero, José Benito; Hamada, Neusa; Hughes, Robert M.; Igliori, Danilo Carmago; Jesus, Ederson da Conceição; Juen, Leandro; Junior, Miércio; Junior, José Max Barbosa de Oliveira; Junior, Raimundo Cosme de Oliveira; Junior, Carlos Souza; Kaufmann, Phil; Korasaki, Vanesca; Leal, Cecília Gontijo; Leitão, Rafael; Lima, Natália; Almeida, Maria de Fátima Lopes; Lourival, Reinaldo; Louzada, Júlio; Nally, Ralph Mac; Marchand, Sébastien; Maués, Márcia Motta; Moreira, Fátima M. S.; Morsello, Carla; Moura, Nárgila; Nessimian, Jorge; Nunes, Sâmia; Oliveira, Victor Hugo Fonseca; Pardini, Renata; Pereira, Heloisa Correia; Pompeu, Paulo Santos; Ribas, Carla Rodrigues; Rossetti, Felipe; Schmidt, Fernando Augusto; da Silva, Rodrigo; da Silva, Regina Célia Viana Martins; da Silva, Thiago Fonseca Morello Ramalho; Silveira, Juliana; Siqueira, João Victor; de Carvalho, Teotônio Soares; Solar, Ricardo R. C.; Tancredi, Nicola Savério Holanda; Thomson, James R.; Torres, Patrícia Carignano; Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Zagury; Veiga, Ruan Carlo Stulpen; Venturieri, Adriano; Viana, Cecília; Weinhold, Diana; Zanetti, Ronald; Zuanon, Jansen

    2013-01-01

    Science has a critical role to play in guiding more sustainable development trajectories. Here, we present the Sustainable Amazon Network (Rede Amazônia Sustentável, RAS): a multidisciplinary research initiative involving more than 30 partner organizations working to assess both social and ecological dimensions of land-use sustainability in eastern Brazilian Amazonia. The research approach adopted by RAS offers three advantages for addressing land-use sustainability problems: (i) the collection of synchronized and co-located ecological and socioeconomic data across broad gradients of past and present human use; (ii) a nested sampling design to aid comparison of ecological and socioeconomic conditions associated with different land uses across local, landscape and regional scales; and (iii) a strong engagement with a wide variety of actors and non-research institutions. Here, we elaborate on these key features, and identify the ways in which RAS can help in highlighting those problems in most urgent need of attention, and in guiding improvements in land-use sustainability in Amazonia and elsewhere in the tropics. We also discuss some of the practical lessons, limitations and realities faced during the development of the RAS initiative so far. PMID:23610172

  10. A social and ecological assessment of tropical land uses at multiple scales: the Sustainable Amazon Network.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Toby A; Ferreira, Joice; Barlow, Jos; Lees, Alexander C; Parry, Luke; Vieira, Ima Célia Guimarães; Berenguer, Erika; Abramovay, Ricardo; Aleixo, Alexandre; Andretti, Christian; Aragão, Luiz E O C; Araújo, Ivanei; de Ávila, Williams Souza; Bardgett, Richard D; Batistella, Mateus; Begotti, Rodrigo Anzolin; Beldini, Troy; de Blas, Driss Ezzine; Braga, Rodrigo Fagundes; Braga, Danielle de Lima; de Brito, Janaína Gomes; de Camargo, Plínio Barbosa; Campos dos Santos, Fabiane; de Oliveira, Vívian Campos; Cordeiro, Amanda Cardoso Nunes; Cardoso, Thiago Moreira; de Carvalho, Déborah Reis; Castelani, Sergio André; Chaul, Júlio Cézar Mário; Cerri, Carlos Eduardo; Costa, Francisco de Assis; da Costa, Carla Daniele Furtado; Coudel, Emilie; Coutinho, Alexandre Camargo; Cunha, Dênis; D'Antona, Álvaro; Dezincourt, Joelma; Dias-Silva, Karina; Durigan, Mariana; Esquerdo, Júlio César Dalla Mora; Feres, José; Ferraz, Silvio Frosini de Barros; Ferreira, Amanda Estefânia de Melo; Fiorini, Ana Carolina; da Silva, Lenise Vargas Flores; Frazão, Fábio Soares; Garrett, Rachel; Gomes, Alessandra dos Santos; Gonçalves, Karoline da Silva; Guerrero, José Benito; Hamada, Neusa; Hughes, Robert M; Igliori, Danilo Carmago; Jesus, Ederson da Conceição; Juen, Leandro; Junior, Miércio; de Oliveira Junior, José Max Barbosa; de Oliveira Junior, Raimundo Cosme; Souza Junior, Carlos; Kaufmann, Phil; Korasaki, Vanesca; Leal, Cecília Gontijo; Leitão, Rafael; Lima, Natália; Almeida, Maria de Fátima Lopes; Lourival, Reinaldo; Louzada, Júlio; Mac Nally, Ralph; Marchand, Sébastien; Maués, Márcia Motta; Moreira, Fátima M S; Morsello, Carla; Moura, Nárgila; Nessimian, Jorge; Nunes, Sâmia; Oliveira, Victor Hugo Fonseca; Pardini, Renata; Pereira, Heloisa Correia; Pompeu, Paulo Santos; Ribas, Carla Rodrigues; Rossetti, Felipe; Schmidt, Fernando Augusto; da Silva, Rodrigo; da Silva, Regina Célia Viana Martins; da Silva, Thiago Fonseca Morello Ramalho; Silveira, Juliana; Siqueira, João Victor; de Carvalho, Teotônio Soares; Solar, Ricardo R C; Tancredi, Nicola Savério Holanda; Thomson, James R; Torres, Patrícia Carignano; Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Zagury; Veiga, Ruan Carlo Stulpen; Venturieri, Adriano; Viana, Cecília; Weinhold, Diana; Zanetti, Ronald; Zuanon, Jansen

    2013-06-01

    Science has a critical role to play in guiding more sustainable development trajectories. Here, we present the Sustainable Amazon Network (Rede Amazônia Sustentável, RAS): a multidisciplinary research initiative involving more than 30 partner organizations working to assess both social and ecological dimensions of land-use sustainability in eastern Brazilian Amazonia. The research approach adopted by RAS offers three advantages for addressing land-use sustainability problems: (i) the collection of synchronized and co-located ecological and socioeconomic data across broad gradients of past and present human use; (ii) a nested sampling design to aid comparison of ecological and socioeconomic conditions associated with different land uses across local, landscape and regional scales; and (iii) a strong engagement with a wide variety of actors and non-research institutions. Here, we elaborate on these key features, and identify the ways in which RAS can help in highlighting those problems in most urgent need of attention, and in guiding improvements in land-use sustainability in Amazonia and elsewhere in the tropics. We also discuss some of the practical lessons, limitations and realities faced during the development of the RAS initiative so far. PMID:23610172

  11. Biodiversity at multiple trophic levels is needed for ecosystem multifunctionality.

    PubMed

    Soliveres, Santiago; van der Plas, Fons; Manning, Peter; Prati, Daniel; Gossner, Martin M; Renner, Swen C; Alt, Fabian; Arndt, Hartmut; Baumgartner, Vanessa; Binkenstein, Julia; Birkhofer, Klaus; Blaser, Stefan; Blüthgen, Nico; Boch, Steffen; Böhm, Stefan; Börschig, Carmen; Buscot, Francois; Diekötter, Tim; Heinze, Johannes; Hölzel, Norbert; Jung, Kirsten; Klaus, Valentin H; Kleinebecker, Till; Klemmer, Sandra; Krauss, Jochen; Lange, Markus; Morris, E Kathryn; Müller, Jörg; Oelmann, Yvonne; Overmann, Jörg; Pašalić, Esther; Rillig, Matthias C; Schaefer, H Martin; Schloter, Michael; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Sikorski, Johannes; Socher, Stephanie A; Solly, Emily F; Sonnemann, Ilja; Sorkau, Elisabeth; Steckel, Juliane; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stempfhuber, Barbara; Tschapka, Marco; Türke, Manfred; Venter, Paul C; Weiner, Christiane N; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Werner, Michael; Westphal, Catrin; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Wolters, Volkmar; Wubet, Tesfaye; Wurst, Susanne; Fischer, Markus; Allan, Eric

    2016-08-25

    Many experiments have shown that loss of biodiversity reduces the capacity of ecosystems to provide the multiple services on which humans depend. However, experiments necessarily simplify the complexity of natural ecosystems and will normally control for other important drivers of ecosystem functioning, such as the environment or land use. In addition, existing studies typically focus on the diversity of single trophic groups, neglecting the fact that biodiversity loss occurs across many taxa and that the functional effects of any trophic group may depend on the abundance and diversity of others. Here we report analysis of the relationships between the species richness and abundance of nine trophic groups, including 4,600 above- and below-ground taxa, and 14 ecosystem services and functions and with their simultaneous provision (or multifunctionality) in 150 grasslands. We show that high species richness in multiple trophic groups (multitrophic richness) had stronger positive effects on ecosystem services than richness in any individual trophic group; this includes plant species richness, the most widely used measure of biodiversity. On average, three trophic groups influenced each ecosystem service, with each trophic group influencing at least one service. Multitrophic richness was particularly beneficial for 'regulating' and 'cultural' services, and for multifunctionality, whereas a change in the total abundance of species or biomass in multiple trophic groups (the multitrophic abundance) positively affected supporting services. Multitrophic richness and abundance drove ecosystem functioning as strongly as abiotic conditions and land-use intensity, extending previous experimental results to real-world ecosystems. Primary producers, herbivorous insects and microbial decomposers seem to be particularly important drivers of ecosystem functioning, as shown by the strong and frequent positive associations of their richness or abundance with multiple ecosystem services

  12. Biodiversity at multiple trophic levels is needed for ecosystem multifunctionality.

    PubMed

    Soliveres, Santiago; van der Plas, Fons; Manning, Peter; Prati, Daniel; Gossner, Martin M; Renner, Swen C; Alt, Fabian; Arndt, Hartmut; Baumgartner, Vanessa; Binkenstein, Julia; Birkhofer, Klaus; Blaser, Stefan; Blüthgen, Nico; Boch, Steffen; Böhm, Stefan; Börschig, Carmen; Buscot, Francois; Diekötter, Tim; Heinze, Johannes; Hölzel, Norbert; Jung, Kirsten; Klaus, Valentin H; Kleinebecker, Till; Klemmer, Sandra; Krauss, Jochen; Lange, Markus; Morris, E Kathryn; Müller, Jörg; Oelmann, Yvonne; Overmann, Jörg; Pašalić, Esther; Rillig, Matthias C; Schaefer, H Martin; Schloter, Michael; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Sikorski, Johannes; Socher, Stephanie A; Solly, Emily F; Sonnemann, Ilja; Sorkau, Elisabeth; Steckel, Juliane; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stempfhuber, Barbara; Tschapka, Marco; Türke, Manfred; Venter, Paul C; Weiner, Christiane N; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Werner, Michael; Westphal, Catrin; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Wolters, Volkmar; Wubet, Tesfaye; Wurst, Susanne; Fischer, Markus; Allan, Eric

    2016-08-25

    Many experiments have shown that loss of biodiversity reduces the capacity of ecosystems to provide the multiple services on which humans depend. However, experiments necessarily simplify the complexity of natural ecosystems and will normally control for other important drivers of ecosystem functioning, such as the environment or land use. In addition, existing studies typically focus on the diversity of single trophic groups, neglecting the fact that biodiversity loss occurs across many taxa and that the functional effects of any trophic group may depend on the abundance and diversity of others. Here we report analysis of the relationships between the species richness and abundance of nine trophic groups, including 4,600 above- and below-ground taxa, and 14 ecosystem services and functions and with their simultaneous provision (or multifunctionality) in 150 grasslands. We show that high species richness in multiple trophic groups (multitrophic richness) had stronger positive effects on ecosystem services than richness in any individual trophic group; this includes plant species richness, the most widely used measure of biodiversity. On average, three trophic groups influenced each ecosystem service, with each trophic group influencing at least one service. Multitrophic richness was particularly beneficial for 'regulating' and 'cultural' services, and for multifunctionality, whereas a change in the total abundance of species or biomass in multiple trophic groups (the multitrophic abundance) positively affected supporting services. Multitrophic richness and abundance drove ecosystem functioning as strongly as abiotic conditions and land-use intensity, extending previous experimental results to real-world ecosystems. Primary producers, herbivorous insects and microbial decomposers seem to be particularly important drivers of ecosystem functioning, as shown by the strong and frequent positive associations of their richness or abundance with multiple ecosystem services

  13. Ecological and physiological factors affecting brood patch area and prolactin levels in arctic-nesting geese

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jonsson, J.E.; Afton, A.D.; Alisauskas, R.T.; Bluhm, C.K.; El Halawani, M.E.

    2006-01-01

    We investigated effects of ecological and physiological factors on brood patch area and prolactin levels in free-ranging Lesser Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens; hereafter "Snow Geese") and Ross's Geese (C. rossii). On the basis of the body-size hypothesis, we predicted that the relationships between prolactin levels, brood patch area, and body condition would be stronger in Ross's Geese than in the larger Snow Geese. We found that brood patch area was positively related to clutch volume and inversely related to prolactin levels in Ross's Geese, but not in Snow Geese. Nest size, nest habitat, and first egg date did not affect brood patch area in either species. Prolactin levels increased as incubation progressed in female Snow Geese, but this relationship was not significant in Ross's Geese. Prolactin levels and body condition (as indexed by size-adjusted body mass) were inversely related in Ross's Geese, but not in Snow Geese. Our findings are consistent with the prediction that relationships between prolactin levels, brood patch area, and body condition are relatively stronger in Ross's Geese, because they mobilize endogenous reserves at faster rates than Snow Geese. ?? The American Ornithologists' Union, 2006. Printed in USA.

  14. Evaluation of community-level end points used in ecological risk assessments for Rocky Mountain streams impacted by mining

    SciTech Connect

    Clements, W.H.; Kiffney, P.M.; Medley, N.

    1994-12-31

    The objective of this research was to measure sensitivity and variability of community-level end points (e.g., species diversity, richness, abundance of dominant taxa) used in ecological risk assessments for Rocky Mountain streams impacted by mining. The authors used results from stream microcosm experiments and field biomonitoring studies to examine community responses of periphyton and benthic macroinvertebrates to heavy metals. In addition, they measured effects of potential confounding variables (e.g., stream size, elevation, discharge) on these responses. Field studies were conducted at six metal-impacted streams in central Colorado. Although all community end points were significantly affected at stations with the highest metal levels, results of multiple regression analysis showed that most variables were also affected by elevation. To validate benthic community end points and to measure sensitivity of these end points to metals, exposed periphyton and benthic macroinvertebrate communities to Cd, Cu, and Zn in stream microcosms. Results support findings of field studies and show that abundance of sensitive macroinvertebrates and tolerant diatoms were most useful for distinguishing among reference, impacted, and recovery sites. Because stream elevation confounds benthic community responses to metals, the authors suggest that experimental studies are necessary to validate the usefulness of community end points.

  15. Ecological survey for the siting of the Mixed and Low-Level Waste Disposal Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Hoskinson, R.L.

    1994-05-01

    This report summarizes the results of field ecological surveys conducted by the Center for Integrated Environmental Technologies (CIET) on the Idaho National Engineering Lab. (INEL) at two candidate locations for the siting of the Mixed and Low-Level Waste Disposal Facility (MLLWDF). The purpose of these surveys was to comply with all Federal laws and Executive Orders to identify and evaluate any potential environmental impacts because of the project. The boundaries of the candidate locations were marked with blaze-orange lath survey marker stakes by the project management. Global Positioning in System (GPS) measurements of the marker stakes were made, and input to the Arc/Info geographic information system (GIS). Field surveys were conducted to assess any potential impact to any important species, important habitats, and to any environmental study areas. The GIS location data were overlayed onto the INEL vegetation map and an analysis of vegetation classes on the locations was done. Two species of rare vascular plants have previously been reported to occur in the vicinity of the candidate locations. Two C2 species, the ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis) and the loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) would also be expected to frequent the candidate locations. No significant ecological impact is anticipated if the MLLWDF were constructed on either candidate location. However, both candidate locations are in the central area of the INEL where there is minimal disturbance to the ecosystem by facilities or humans.

  16. Low levels of hybridization between sympatric Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and Dolly Varden char (Salvelinus malma) highlights their genetic distinctiveness and ecological segregation

    PubMed Central

    May-McNally, Shannan L; Quinn, Thomas P; Taylor, Eric B

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the extent of interspecific hybridization and how ecological segregation may influence hybridization requires comprehensively sampling different habitats over a range of life history stages. Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and Dolly Varden (S. malma) are recently diverged salmonid fishes that come into contact in several areas of the North Pacific where they occasionally hybridize. To better quantify the degree of hybridization and ecological segregation between these taxa, we sampled over 700 fish from multiple lake (littoral and profundal) and stream sites in two large, interconnected southwestern Alaskan lakes. Individuals were genotyped at 12 microsatellite markers, and genetic admixture (Q) values generated through Bayesian-based clustering revealed hybridization levels generally lower than reported in a previous study (<0.6% to 5% of samples classified as late-generation hybrids). Dolly Varden and Arctic char tended to make different use of stream habitats with the latter apparently abandoning streams for lake habitats after 2–3 years of age. Our results support the distinct biological species status of Dolly Varden and Arctic char and suggest that ecological segregation may be an important factor limiting opportunities for hybridization and/or the ecological performance of hybrid char. PMID:26356310

  17. Low levels of hybridization between sympatric Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and Dolly Varden char (Salvelinus malma) highlights their genetic distinctiveness and ecological segregation.

    PubMed

    May-McNally, Shannan L; Quinn, Thomas P; Taylor, Eric B

    2015-08-01

    Understanding the extent of interspecific hybridization and how ecological segregation may influence hybridization requires comprehensively sampling different habitats over a range of life history stages. Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and Dolly Varden (S. malma) are recently diverged salmonid fishes that come into contact in several areas of the North Pacific where they occasionally hybridize. To better quantify the degree of hybridization and ecological segregation between these taxa, we sampled over 700 fish from multiple lake (littoral and profundal) and stream sites in two large, interconnected southwestern Alaskan lakes. Individuals were genotyped at 12 microsatellite markers, and genetic admixture (Q) values generated through Bayesian-based clustering revealed hybridization levels generally lower than reported in a previous study (<0.6% to 5% of samples classified as late-generation hybrids). Dolly Varden and Arctic char tended to make different use of stream habitats with the latter apparently abandoning streams for lake habitats after 2-3 years of age. Our results support the distinct biological species status of Dolly Varden and Arctic char and suggest that ecological segregation may be an important factor limiting opportunities for hybridization and/or the ecological performance of hybrid char.

  18. Maternal Mortality in Colombia in 2011: A Two Level Ecological Study

    PubMed Central

    Cárdenas-Cárdenas, Luz Mery; Cotes-Cantillo, Karol; Chaparro-Narváez, Pablo Enrique; Fernández-Niño, Julián Alfredo; Paternina-Caicedo, Angel; Castañeda-Orjuela, Carlos; De la Hoz-Restrepo, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Objective Maternal mortality reduction is a Millennium Development Goal. In Colombia, there is a large disparity in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) between and into departments (states) and also between municipalities. We examined socioeconomics variables at the municipal and departmental levels which could be associated to the municipal maternal mortality in Colombia. Methods A multilevel ecology study was carried out using different national data sources in Colombia. The outcome variable was the MMR at municipal level in 2011 with multidimensional poverty at municipal and department level as the principal independent variables and other measures of the social and economic characteristics at municipal and departmental level were also considered explicative variables (overall fertility municipal rate, percentage of local rural population, health insurance coverage, per capita territorial participation allocated to the health sector, transparency index and Gini coefficient). The association between MMR and socioeconomic contextual conditions at municipal and departmental level was assessed using a multilevel Poisson regression model. Results The MMR in the Colombian municipalities was associated significantly with the multidimensional poverty (relative ratio of MMR: 3.52; CI 95%: 1.09-11.38). This association was stronger in municipalities from departments with the highest poverty (relative ratio of MMR: 7.14; CI 95%: 2.01-25.35). Additionally, the MMR at municipal level was marginally associated with municipally health insurance coverage (relative ratio of MMR: 0.99; CI 95%: 0.98-1.00), and significantly with transparency index at departmental level (relative ratio of MMR: 0.98; CI 95%: 0.97-0.99). Conclusion Poverty and transparency in a contextual level were associated with the increase of the municipal MMR in Colombia. The results of this study are useful evidence for informing the public policies discussion and formulation processes with a differential

  19. Ecological correlates of cortisol levels in two bat species with contrasting feeding habits.

    PubMed

    Lewanzik, Daniel; Kelm, Detlev H; Greiner, Sabine; Dehnhard, Martin; Voigt, Christian C

    2012-05-15

    The immediate release of adrenal glucocorticoids can be crucial for an animal's survival when facing a stressor, but constantly elevated or exceptionally high glucocorticoid levels are usually detrimental for health. Although baseline and maximal secretion of glucocorticoids are regulated within narrow ranges within species, plasma glucocorticoid levels vary largely across vertebrates. We asked what ecological factors affect baseline plasma cortisol levels (CortI) and maximum levels (CortMax) following a physiological challenge through administration of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Specifically, we studied whether seasonal fluctuations in food abundance correlate with the capacity of cortisol increases in two phyllostomid bat species with contrasting feeding habits: the sanguinivorous vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) and the frugivorous short-tailed fruit bat (Carollia perspicillata). Both species coexist in habitats with various levels of seasonality (dry and rainforest). On a seasonal basis, resource abundance is more stable for vampire than for fruit bats, but previous studies suggested that daily foraging success may vary more for vampire than for fruit bats. CortI and CortMax varied seasonally in C. perspicillata from dry and rainforests, with the exception of CortMax in rainforest bats. Although we expected food availability to be stable year-round for vampire bats, we found CortI and CortMax of vampires to be higher during the rainy season than during the dry season. Also, we found CortMax to be higher in vampires from the rainforest than in those from the dry forest. CortMax of vampires were among the highest measured for a free-ranging mammal; a pattern that could be related to the species' vulnerability to starvation. We conclude that food availability modulates cortisol levels in free-ranging species that face seasonally fluctuating resources; in species, however, that benefit from food which is constantly abundant, other factors than food may

  20. Ecological correlates of cortisol levels in two bat species with contrasting feeding habits.

    PubMed

    Lewanzik, Daniel; Kelm, Detlev H; Greiner, Sabine; Dehnhard, Martin; Voigt, Christian C

    2012-05-15

    The immediate release of adrenal glucocorticoids can be crucial for an animal's survival when facing a stressor, but constantly elevated or exceptionally high glucocorticoid levels are usually detrimental for health. Although baseline and maximal secretion of glucocorticoids are regulated within narrow ranges within species, plasma glucocorticoid levels vary largely across vertebrates. We asked what ecological factors affect baseline plasma cortisol levels (CortI) and maximum levels (CortMax) following a physiological challenge through administration of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Specifically, we studied whether seasonal fluctuations in food abundance correlate with the capacity of cortisol increases in two phyllostomid bat species with contrasting feeding habits: the sanguinivorous vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) and the frugivorous short-tailed fruit bat (Carollia perspicillata). Both species coexist in habitats with various levels of seasonality (dry and rainforest). On a seasonal basis, resource abundance is more stable for vampire than for fruit bats, but previous studies suggested that daily foraging success may vary more for vampire than for fruit bats. CortI and CortMax varied seasonally in C. perspicillata from dry and rainforests, with the exception of CortMax in rainforest bats. Although we expected food availability to be stable year-round for vampire bats, we found CortI and CortMax of vampires to be higher during the rainy season than during the dry season. Also, we found CortMax to be higher in vampires from the rainforest than in those from the dry forest. CortMax of vampires were among the highest measured for a free-ranging mammal; a pattern that could be related to the species' vulnerability to starvation. We conclude that food availability modulates cortisol levels in free-ranging species that face seasonally fluctuating resources; in species, however, that benefit from food which is constantly abundant, other factors than food may

  1. Remote sensing of landscape-level ecological attributes at Ray Roberts Lake in north Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, David P.

    measures or between MSS data and any vegetation measures. Remote sensing provided information suitable for large scale projects concerning landscape-level ecological issues. Rectification and classification accuracies were the primary factors influencing meaningful interpretation. Project goals should determine the scale of remotely sensed data and acceptable level of accuracy.

  2. Measuring Science Teachers' Stress Level Triggered by Multiple Stressful Conditions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halim, Lilia; Samsudin, Mohd Ali; Meerah, T. Subahan M.; Osman, Kamisah

    2006-01-01

    The complexity of science teaching requires science teachers to encounter a range of tasks. Some tasks are perceived as stressful while others are not. This study aims to investigate the extent to which different teaching situations lead to different stress levels. It also aims to identify the easiest and most difficult conditions to be regarded…

  3. Multiple Memory Systems Are Unnecessary to Account for Infant Memory Development: An Ecological Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rovee-Collier, Carolyn; Cuevas, Kimberly

    2009-01-01

    How the memory of adults evolves from the memory abilities of infants is a central problem in cognitive development. The popular solution holds that the multiple memory systems of adults mature at different rates during infancy. The "early-maturing system" (implicit or nondeclarative memory) functions automatically from birth, whereas the…

  4. Development of Vulnerability Indicators for Deltaic Social-Ecological Systems Facing Multiple Environmental and Anthropogenic Hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sebesvari, Z.; Hagenlocher, M.; Haas, S.; Renaud, F.

    2015-12-01

    Deltas are low-lying coastal areas that form where rivers flow into the ocean. Hosting dense populations, featuring rich biodiversity and being hot spots of both agricultural and industrial production, they are considered of great economic and ecological importance. Long-term sustainability of deltas is increasingly under threat due to the consequences of natural and man-made hazards, including large-scale human interventions such as dam construction and extraction of underground resources. Understanding prevailing vulnerabilities in these deltaic systems is becoming increasingly important for the development of spatially-targeted adaptation options at the sub-delta scale (coastal regions, floodplains etc.) which is imperative for the sustainability and in some cases even for the survival of deltaic social-ecological systems (SES). We developed an inclusive SES-centered framework for vulnerability assessments, allowing for different sets of vulnerability indicators to be identified which can then be combined for deltas globally in a modular way. The modular structure allows being responsive to the specific multi-hazard settings of a given delta SES while also considering the interactions between the hazards in one given location. It therefore represents a departure from the usual fixed set of indicators used in existing vulnerability assessments. We present (1) the methods applied for indicator development, including local stakeholder consultations and a systematic literature review, as well as (2) the resulting modular set of indicators to be used in future spatially explicit vulnerability assessments. The approach aims to provide a ʾblueprintʿ for delta vulnerability assessments worldwide. Due to its modular structure it fosters both transferability and reproducibility. This work is part of a global project on 'Catalyzing action towards sustainability of deltaic systems (DELTAS)' funded by the Belmont Forum and the 2015 Sustainable Deltas Initiative, endorsed

  5. The multiple levels of regulation by p53 ubiquitination

    PubMed Central

    Lee, JT; Gu, W

    2013-01-01

    p53 is a central integrator of a plethora of signals and outputs these signals in the form of tumor suppression. It is well accepted that ubiquitination plays a major part in p53 regulation. Nonetheless, the molecular mechanisms by which p53 activity is controlled by ubiquitination are complex. Mdm2, a RING oncoprotein, was once thought to be the sole E3 ubiquitin ligase for p53, however recent studies have shown that p53 is stabilized but still degraded in the cells of Mdm2-null mice. Although the essential role of Mdm2 in p53 regulation is well established, there are an increasing number of other E3 ligases implicated in Mdm2-independent regulation of p53 by ubiquitination. The different types of ubiquitination on p53 by various E3 ligases have been linked to its differential effects on p53-mediated stress responses. In addition to proteasome-mediated degradation, ubiquitination of p53 acts as signals for degradation-independent functions, such as nuclear export. The function of ubiquitinated p53 varies in the nucleus and cytosol underlying the many potential contributions ubiquitinated p53 may have in promoting cell proliferation or death. Thus, p53 requires multiple layers of regulatory control to ensure correct temporal and spatial functions. PMID:19543236

  6. Toward Guidelines for Population-level Ecological Risk Assessment: Results of a U.S. EPA Risk Assessment Forum Workshop

    EPA Science Inventory

    The choice of levels of biological organization reflected in ecological risk assessment (ERA) is receiving increasing attention. Most ERAs conducted for chemicals by the U.S. EPA, and indeed by most organizations worldwide, focus on organism-level attributes (e.g., survival, gro...

  7. Reproductive ecology of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) with high levels of polychlorinated biphenyl contamination

    SciTech Connect

    McCarty, J.P.; Secord, A.L.

    1999-07-01

    Tree swallows(Tachycineta bicolor) breeding along the Hudson River forage extensively on PCB-contaminated insects that emerge from the river. The authors studied the reproductive ecology and behavior of tree swallows breeding at several sites along the Hudson River. Related work has shown that PCB levels in both eggs and chicks were among the highest ever reported in this species, with concentrations comparable to those found in aquatic organisms in the Hudson River. In 1994, reproductive success at PCB-contaminated sites was significantly impaired relative to other sites in New York. Reduced reproductive success was largely due to high levels of nest abandonment during incubation and reduced hatchability of eggs. In 1995, reproductive output was normal, but higher than expected rates of abandonment and supernormal clutches persisted. Growth and development of nestlings was not significantly impaired. Given the levels of contamination in this population, the success of most Hudson River tree swallows reinforces the importance of understanding interspecific differences in the effects of contaminants.

  8. Melatonin in Plants - Diversity of Levels and Multiplicity of Functions.

    PubMed

    Hardeland, Rüdiger

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin has been detected in numerous plant species. A particularly surprising finding concerns the highly divergent levels of melatonin that vary between species, organs and environmental conditions, from a few pg/g to over 20 μg/g, reportedly up to 200 μg/g. Highest values have been determined in oily seeds and in plant organs exposed to high UV radiation. The divergency of melatonin concentrations is discussed under various functional aspects and focused on several open questions. This comprises differences in precursor availability, catabolism, the relative contribution of isoenzymes of the melatonin biosynthetic pathway, and differences in rate limitation by either serotonin N-acetyltransferase or N-acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase. Other differences are related to the remarkable pleiotropy of melatonin, which exhibits properties as a growth regulator and morphogenetic factor, actually debated in terms of auxin-like effects, and as a signaling molecule that modulates pathways of ethylene, abscisic, jasmonic and salicylic acids and is involved in stress tolerance, pathogen defense and delay of senescence. In the context of high light/UV intensities, elevated melatonin levels exceed those required for signaling via stress-related phytohormones and may comprise direct antioxidant and photoprotectant properties, perhaps with a contribution of its oxidatively formed metabolites, such as N (1)-acetyl-N (2)-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine and its secondary products. High melatonin levels in seeds may also serve antioxidative protection and have been shown to promote seed viability and germination capacity. PMID:26925091

  9. Increases in Mitochondrial Biogenesis Impair Carcinogenesis at Multiple Levels

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiao; Moraes, Carlos T.

    2011-01-01

    Although mitochondrial respiration is decreased in most cancer cells, the role of this decrease in carcinogenesis and cancer progression is still unclear. To better understand this phenomenon, instead of further inhibiting mitochondrial function, we induced mitochondrial biogenesis in transformed cells by activating the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs)/ peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator 1α (PGC-1α) pathways. This was achieved by treating the cells with bezafibrate, a PPARs panagonist that also enhances PGC-1α expression. We confirmed that bezafibrate treatment led to increased mitochondrial proteins and enzyme functions. We found that cells with increased mitochondrial biogenesis had decreased growth rates in glucose-containing medium. In addition, they became less invasive, which was directly linked to the reduced lactate levels. Surprisingly, even though bezafibrate-treated cells had higher levels of mitochondrial markers, total respiration was not significantly altered. However, respiratory coupling, and ATP levels were. Our data show that by increasing the efficiency of the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation system, cancer progression is hampered by decreases in cell proliferation and invasiveness. PMID:21855427

  10. Occam's shadow: levels of analysis in evolutionary ecology - where to next?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cooch, E.G.; Cam, E.; Link, W.A.

    2002-01-01

    Evolutionary ecology is the study of evolutionary processes, and the ecological conditions that influence them. A fundamental paradigm underlying the study of evolution is natural selection. Although there are a variety of operational definitions for natural selection in the literature, perhaps the most general one is that which characterizes selection as the process whereby heritable variation in fitness associated with variation in one or more phenotypic traits leads to intergenerational change in the frequency distribution of those traits. The past 20 years have witnessed a marked increase in the precision and reliability of our ability to estimate one or more components of fitness and characterize natural selection in wild populations, owing particularly to significant advances in methods for analysis of data from marked individuals. In this paper, we focus on several issues that we believe are important considerations for the application and development of these methods in the context of addressing questions in evolutionary ecology. First, our traditional approach to estimation often rests upon analysis of aggregates of individuals, which in the wild may reflect increasingly non-random (selected) samples with respect to the trait(s) of interest. In some cases, analysis at the aggregate level, rather than the individual level, may obscure important patterns. While there are a growing number of analytical tools available to estimate parameters at the individual level, and which can cope (to varying degrees) with progressive selection of the sample, the advent of new methods does not reduce the need to consider carefully the appropriate level of analysis in the first place. Estimation should be motivated a priori by strong theoretical analysis. Doing so provides clear guidance, in terms of both (i) assisting in the identification of realistic and meaningful models to include in the candidate model set, and (ii) providing the appropriate context under which the

  11. Permutation tests for analyzing cospeciation in multiple phylogenies: applications in tri-trophic ecology.

    PubMed

    Mramba, Lazarus K; Barber, Stuart; Hommola, Kerstin; Dyer, Lee A; Wilson, Joseph S; Forister, Matthew L; Gilks, Walter R

    2013-12-01

    There is a need for a reliable statistical test which is appropriate for assessing cospeciation of more than two phylogenies. We have developed an algorithm using a permutation method that can be used to test for and infer tri-trophic evolutionary relationships of organisms given both their phylogenies and pairwise interactions. An overall statistic has been developed based on the dominant eigenvalue of a covariance matrix, and compared to values of the statistic computed when tree labels are permuted. The resulting overall p-value is used to test for the presence or absence of cospeciation in a tri-trophic system. If cospeciation is detected, we propose new test statistics based on partial correlations to uncover more details about the relationships between multiple phylogenies. One of the strengths of our method is that it allows more parasites than hosts or more hosts than parasites, with multiple associations and more than one parasite attached to a host (or one parasite attached to multiple hosts). The new method does not require any parametric assumptions of the distribution of the data, and unlike the old methods, which utilize several pairwise steps, the overall statistic used is obtained in one step. We have applied our method to two published datasets where we obtained detailed information about the strength of associations among species with calculated partial p-values and one overall p-value from the dominant eigenvalue test statistic. Our permutation method produces reliable results with a clear procedure and statistics applied in an intuitive manner. Our algorithm is useful in testing evidence for three-way cospeciation in multiple phylogenies with tri-trophic associations and determining which phylogenies are involved in cospeciation. PMID:24114867

  12. Defining ecological and economical hydropoweroperations: a framework for managing dam releasesto meet multiple conflicting objectives

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Irwin, Elise R.

    2014-01-01

    Hydroelectric dams are a flexible source of power, provide flood control, and contribute to the economic growth of local communities through real-estate and recreation. Yet the impoundment of rivers can alter and fragment miles of critical riverine habitat needed for other competing needs such as downstream consumptive water use, fish and wildlife population viability, or other forms of recreation. Multiple conflicting interests can compromise progressive management especially with recognized uncertainties related to whether management actions will fulfill the objectives of policy makers, resource managers and/or facility owners. Decision analytic tools were used in a stakeholder-driven process to develop and implement a template for evaluation and prediction of the effects of water resource management of multiple-use systems under the context provided by R.L. Harris Dam on the Tallapoosa River, Alabama, USA. The approach provided a transparent and structured framework for decision-making and incorporated both existing and new data to meet multiple management objectives. Success of the template has been evaluated by the stakeholder governing body in an adaptive resource management framework since 2005 and is ongoing. Consequences of management of discharge at the dam were evaluated annually relative to stakeholder satisfaction to allow for adjustment of both management scenarios and objectives. This template can be applied to attempt to resolve conflict inherent in many dam-regulated systems where management decisions impact diverse values of stakeholders.

  13. Ecological feedbacks can reduce population-level efficacy of wildlife fertility control

    PubMed Central

    Ransom, Jason I; Powers, Jenny G; Thompson Hobbs, N; Baker, Dan L

    2014-01-01

    Anthropogenic stress on natural systems, particularly the fragmentation of landscapes and the extirpation of predators from food webs, has intensified the need to regulate abundance of wildlife populations with management. Controlling population growth using fertility control has been considered for almost four decades, but nearly all research has focused on understanding effects of fertility control agents on individual animals. Questions about the efficacy of fertility control as a way to control populations remain largely unanswered. Collateral consequences of contraception can produce unexpected changes in birth rates, survival, immigration and emigration that may reduce the effectiveness of regulating animal abundance. The magnitude and frequency of such effects vary with species-specific social and reproductive systems, as well as connectivity of populations. Developing models that incorporate static demographic parameters from populations not controlled by contraception may bias predictions of fertility control efficacy. Many population-level studies demonstrate that changes in survival and immigration induced by fertility control can compensate for the reduction in births caused by contraception. The most successful cases of regulating populations using fertility control come from applications of contraceptives to small, closed populations of gregarious and easily accessed species. Fertility control can result in artificial selection pressures on the population and may lead to long-term unintentional genetic consequences. The magnitude of such selection is dependent on individual heritability and behavioural traits, as well as environmental variation. Synthesis and applications. Understanding species' life-history strategies, biology, behavioural ecology and ecological context is critical to developing realistic expectations of regulating populations using fertility control. Before time, effort and funding are invested in wildlife contraception, managers

  14. Drawing ecological inferences from coincident patterns of population- and community-level biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Vellend, Mark; Lajoie, Geneviève; Bourret, Audrey; Múrria, Cesc; Kembel, Steven W; Garant, Dany

    2014-06-01

    Biodiversity is comprised of genetic and phenotypic variation among individual organisms, which might belong to the same species or to different species. Spatial patterns of biodiversity are of central interest in ecology and evolution for several reasons: to identify general patterns in nature (e.g. species-area relationships, latitudinal gradients), to inform conservation priorities (e.g. identifying hotspots, prioritizing management efforts) and to draw inferences about processes, historical or otherwise (e.g. adaptation, the centre of origin of particular clades). There are long traditions in ecology and evolutionary biology of examining spatial patterns of biodiversity among species (i.e. in multispecies communities) and within species, respectively, and there has been a recent surge of interest in studying these two types of pattern simultaneously. The idea is that examining both levels of diversity can materially advance the above-stated goals and perhaps lead to entirely novel lines of inquiry. Here, we review two broad categories of approach to merging studies of inter- and intraspecific variation: (i) the study of phenotypic trait variation along environmental gradients and (ii) the study of relationships between patterns of molecular genetic variation within species and patterns of distribution and diversity across species. For the latter, we report a new meta-analysis in which we find that correlations between species diversity and genetic diversity are generally positive and significantly stronger in studies with discrete sampling units (e.g. islands, lakes, forest fragments) than in studies with nondiscrete sampling units (e.g. equal-area study plots). For each topic, we summarize the current state of knowledge and key future directions. PMID:24750409

  15. Ecological feedbacks can reduce population-level efficacy of wildlife fertility control

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ransom, Jason I.; Powers, Jenny G.; Hobbs, N. Thompson; Baker, Dan L.

    2014-01-01

    1. Anthropogenic stress on natural systems, particularly the fragmentation of landscapes and the extirpation of predators from food webs, has intensified the need to regulate abundance of wildlife populations with management. Controlling population growth using fertility control has been considered for almost four decades, but nearly all research has focused on understanding effects of fertility control agents on individual animals. Questions about the efficacy of fertility control as a way to control populations remain largely unanswered. 2. Collateral consequences of contraception can produce unexpected changes in birth rates, survival, immigration and emigration that may reduce the effectiveness of regulating animal abundance. The magnitude and frequency of such effects vary with species-specific social and reproductive systems, as well as connectivity of populations. Developing models that incorporate static demographic parameters from populations not controlled by contraception may bias predictions of fertility control efficacy. 3. Many population-level studies demonstrate that changes in survival and immigration induced by fertility control can compensate for the reduction in births caused by contraception. The most successful cases of regulating populations using fertility control come from applications of contraceptives to small, closed populations of gregarious and easily accessed species. 4. Fertility control can result in artificial selection pressures on the population and may lead to long-term unintentional genetic consequences. The magnitude of such selection is dependent on individual heritability and behavioural traits, as well as environmental variation. 5. Synthesis and applications. Understanding species' life-history strategies, biology, behavioural ecology and ecological context is critical to developing realistic expectations of regulating populations using fertility control. Before time, effort and funding are invested in wildlife

  16. Multiple ancient origins of neoteny in Lycidae (Coleoptera): consequences for ecology and macroevolution

    PubMed Central

    Bocak, Ladislav; Bocakova, Milada; Hunt, Toby; Vogler, Alfried P

    2008-01-01

    Neoteny, the maintenance of larval features in sexually mature adults, is a radical way of generating evolutionary novelty through shifts in relative timing of developmental programmes. While controlled by the environment in facultative neotenics, retention of larval features is obligatory in many species of Lycidae (net-winged beetles). They are studied here as an example of how developmental shifts and ecology interact to produce macroevolutionary impacts. We conducted a phylogenetic analysis of Lycidae based on DNA sequences from nuclear (18S and 28S rRNA) and mitochondrial (rrnL, cox1, cob and nad5) genes from a representative set of lineages (73 species), including 17 neotenic taxa. Major changes of basal relationships compared with those implied in the current classification generally supported three independent origins of neotenics in Lycidae. The southeast Asian Lyropaeinae and Ateliinae were in basal positions indicating evolutionary antiquity, also confirmed by molecular clock estimates, unlike the neotropical leptolycines nested within Calopterini and presumably much younger. neotenics exhibit typical K-selected traits including slow development, large body size, high investment in offspring and low dispersal. This correlated with low species richness and restricted ranges of neotenic lineages compared with their sisters. Yet, these factors did not impede the evolutionary persistence of affected lineages, even without reversals to fully metamorphosed forms, contradicting earlier suggestions of recent evolution from dispersive non-neotenics. PMID:18477542

  17. UCP2, a mitochondrial protein regulated at multiple levels.

    PubMed

    Donadelli, Massimo; Dando, Ilaria; Fiorini, Claudia; Palmieri, Marta

    2014-04-01

    An ever-increasing number of studies highlight the role of uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) in a broad range of physiological and pathological processes. The knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of UCP2 regulation is becoming fundamental in both the comprehension of UCP2-related physiological events and the identification of novel therapeutic strategies based on UCP2 modulation. The study of UCP2 regulation is a fast-moving field. Recently, several research groups have made a great effort to thoroughly understand the various molecular mechanisms at the basis of UCP2 regulation. In this review, we describe novel findings concerning events that can occur in a concerted manner at various levels: Ucp2 gene mutation (single nucleotide polymorphisms), UCP2 mRNA and protein expression (transcriptional, translational, and protein turn-over regulation), UCP2 proton conductance (ligands and post-transcriptional modifications), and nutritional and pharmacological regulation of UCP2.

  18. Brain: a complex adaptive structure at multiple levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, Bradley G.

    2001-10-01

    The human brain is comprised of over 100 billion neurons organized into tracts, nuclei, circuits and systems. This provides innumerable elegant abilities that rely on the nervous system to act as a complex adaptive structure (CAS). This property is apparent with respect to overall function, the function of individual neurons and the function of sensory and motor systems. At the overall functional level, the nervous system monitors the environments and can alter that environment. Alterations such as turning on a light switch or changing the diameter of neural vasculature, can improve the performance or chance for survival of the nervous system. Individual neurons can alter the activity of their electrogenic pumps, their rate of transmitter synthesis, their neurotransmitter release and their receptor density in order to maintain optimal functioning in a circuit following changes in their micro-environment. At the systems level, the visual system adjusts the orientation of the eyes or pupillary diameter to receive the highest quality visual information. In the motor system, the myotatic reflex maintains muscle position in the face of changing load, and the gain of the muscle organ responsible for the myotatic reflex can also be automatically adjusted. Internal homeostasis, essential for optimal performance of the nervous system, can be achieved through complex behavioral actions such as feeding. The hypothalamus plays an important role in such behaviors and in the type of sensorimotor integration responsible for the CAS nature of overall nervous system function. Thinking about the CAS characteristics of the nervous system may lead to development of non-biological CAS prostheses for the brain.

  19. Congruent and Incongruent Corticospinal Activations at the Level of Multiple Effectors.

    PubMed

    Sartori, Luisa; Betti, Sonia; Perrone, Chiara; Castiello, Umberto

    2015-10-01

    Motor resonance is defined as the subliminal activation of the motor system while observing actions performed by others. However, resonating with another person's actions is not always an appropriate response: In real life, people do not just imitate but rather respond in a suitable fashion. A growing body of neurophysiologic studies has demonstrated that motor resonance can be overridden by complementary motor responses (such as preparing a precision grip on a small object when seeing an open hand in sign of request). In this study, we investigated the relationship between congruent and incongruent corticospinal activations at the level of multiple effectors. The modulation of motor evoked potentials evoked by single-pulse TMS over the motor cortex was assessed in upper and lower limb muscles of participants observing a soccer player performing a penalty kick straight in their direction. Study results revealed a double dissociation: Seeing the soccer player kicking the ball triggered a motor resonance in the observer's lower limb, whereas the upper limb response afforded by the object was overridden. On the other hand, seeing the ball approaching the observers elicited a complementary motor activation in upper limbs while motor resonance in lower limbs disappeared. Control conditions showing lateral kicks, mimicked kicks, and a ball in penalty area were also included to test the motor coding of object affordances. Results point to a modulation of motor responses in different limbs over the course of action and in function of their relevance in different contexts. We contend that ecologically valid paradigms are now needed to shed light on the motor system functioning in complex forms of interaction. PMID:26102231

  20. Effect of hypoxia and anoxia on invertebrate behaviour: ecological perspectives from species to community level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riedel, B.; Pados, T.; Pretterebner, K.; Schiemer, L.; Steckbauer, A.; Haselmair, A.; Zuschin, M.; Stachowitsch, M.

    2013-08-01

    Coastal hypoxia and anoxia have become a global key stressor to marine ecosystems, with almost 500 dead zones recorded wordwide. By triggering cascading effects from the individual organism to the community and ecosystem-level, oxygen depletions threat marine biodiversity and can alter ecosystem structure and function. By integrating both physiological function and ecological processes, animal behaviour is ideal for assessing the stress state of benthic macrofauna to low dissolved oxygen. The initial response of organisms can serve as an early-warning signal, while the successive behavioural reactions of key species indicate hypoxia levels and help assess community degradation. Here we document the behavioural responses of a representative spectrum of benthic macrofauna in the natural setting in the Northern Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean. We experimentally induced small-scale anoxia with a benthic chamber in 24 m depth to overcome the difficulties in predicting the onset of hypoxia, which often hinders full documentation in the field. The behavioural reactions were documented with a time-lapse camera. Oxygen depletion elicited significant and repeatable changes in general (visibility, locomotion, body movement and posture, location) and species-specific reactions in virtually all organisms (302 individuals from 32 species and 2 species groups). Most atypical (stress) behaviours were associated with specific oxygen thresholds: arm-tipping in the ophiuroid Ophiothrix quinquemaculata, for example, with the onset of mild hypoxia (< 2 mL O2 L-1), the emergence of polychates on the sediment surface with moderate hypoxia (< 1 mL O2 L-1), the emergence of the infaunal sea urchin Schizaster canaliferus on the sediment with severe hypoxia (< 0.5 mL O2 L-1) and heavy body rotations in sea anemones with anoxia. Other species changed their activity patterns, i.e. circadian rhythm in the hermit crab Paguristes eremita or the bioherm-associated crab Pisidia longimana. Intra- and

  1. Effect of hypoxia and anoxia on invertebrate behaviour: ecological perspectives from species to community level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riedel, B.; Pados, T.; Pretterebner, K.; Schiemer, L.; Steckbauer, A.; Haselmair, A.; Zuschin, M.; Stachowitsch, M.

    2014-03-01

    Coastal hypoxia and anoxia have become a global key stressor to marine ecosystems, with almost 500 dead zones recorded worldwide. By triggering cascading effects from the individual organism to the community- and ecosystem level, oxygen depletions threaten marine biodiversity and can alter ecosystem structure and function. By integrating both physiological function and ecological processes, animal behaviour is ideal for assessing the stress state of benthic macrofauna to low dissolved oxygen. The initial response of organisms can serve as an early warning signal, while the successive behavioural reactions of key species indicate hypoxia levels and help assess community degradation. Here we document the behavioural responses of a representative spectrum of benthic macrofauna in the natural setting in the Northern Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean). We experimentally induced small-scale anoxia with a benthic chamber in 24 m depth to overcome the difficulties in predicting the onset of hypoxia, which often hinders full documentation in the field. The behavioural reactions were documented with a time-lapse camera. Oxygen depletion elicited significant and repeatable changes in general (visibility, locomotion, body movement and posture, location) and species-specific reactions in virtually all organisms (302 individuals from 32 species and 2 species groups). Most atypical (stress) behaviours were associated with specific oxygen thresholds: arm-tipping in the ophiuroid Ophiothrix quinquemaculata, for example, with the onset of mild hypoxia (< 2 mL O2 L-1), the emergence of polychaetes on the sediment surface with moderate hypoxia (< 1 mL O2 L-1), the emergence of the infaunal sea urchin Schizaster canaliferus on the sediment with severe hypoxia (< 0.5 mL O2 L-1) and heavy body rotations in sea anemones with anoxia. Other species changed their activity patterns, for example the circadian rhythm in the hermit crab Paguristes eremita or the bioherm-associated crab Pisidia

  2. Ecologically relevant geomorphic attributes of streams are impaired by even low levels of watershed effective imperviousness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vietz, Geoff J.; Sammonds, Michael J.; Walsh, Christopher J.; Fletcher, Tim D.; Rutherfurd, Ian D.; Stewardson, Michael J.

    2014-02-01

    Urbanization almost inevitably results in changes to stream morphology. Understanding the mechanisms for such impacts is a prerequisite to minimizing stream degradation and achieving restoration goals. However, investigations of urban-induced changes to stream morphology typically use indicators of watershed urbanization that may not adequately represent degrading mechanisms and commonly focus on geomorphic attributes such as channel dimensions that may be of little significance to the ecological goals for restoration. We address these shortcomings by testing if a measure characterizing urban stormwater drainage system connections to streams (effective imperviousness, EI) is a better predictor of change to ecologically relevant geomorphic attributes than a more general measure of urban density (total imperviousness, TI). We test this for 17 sites in independent watersheds across a gradient of urbanization. We found that EI was a better predictor of all geomorphic variables tested than was TI. Bank instability was positively correlated with EI, while width/depth (a measure of channel incision), bedload sediment depth, and frequency of bars, benches, and large wood were negatively correlated. Large changes in all geomorphic variables were detected at very low levels of EI (< 2-3%). Excess urban stormwater runoff, as represented by EI, drives geomorphic change in urban streams, highlighting the dominant role of the stormwater drainage system in efficiently transferring stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces to the stream, as found for ecological indicators. It is likely that geomorphic condition of streams in urbanizing watersheds, particularly those attributes of ecological relevance, can only be maintained if excess urban stormwater flows are kept out of streams through retention and harvesting. The extent to which EI can be reduced within urban and urbanizing watersheds, through techniques such as distributed stormwater harvesting and infiltration, and the

  3. Training Teachers to Use New Technologies Impacts Multiple Ecologies: Evidence from a National Initiative

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Niki; Preston, Christina; Sahin, Ismail

    2009-01-01

    A pair of papers re-examined the evidence from a national initiative to train all teachers in England to bring them up to the level of newly qualified teachers, who are required to know when to use and when not to use information and communication technologies (ICT) in their professional practice. The first paper confirmed that multilevel…

  4. From stem cell to erythroblast: regulation of red cell production at multiple levels by multiple hormones.

    PubMed

    Lodish, Harvey; Flygare, Johan; Chou, Song

    2010-07-01

    This article reviews the regulation of production of red blood cells at several levels: (1) the ability of erythropoietin and adhesion to a fibronectin matrix to stimulate the rapid production of red cells by inducing terminal proliferation and differentiation of committed erythroid CFU-E progenitors; (2) the regulated expansion of the pool of earlier BFU-E erythroid progenitors by glucocorticoids and other factors that occurs during chronic anemia or inflammation; and (3) the expansion of thehematopoietic cell pool to produce more progenitors of all hematopoietic lineages.

  5. Earthworms, as ecosystem engineers, influence multiple aspects of a salamander's ecology.

    PubMed

    Ransom, Tami S

    2011-03-01

    Ecosystem engineers create habitat that can be used by other species in multiple ways, such as refugees from predators, places to breed, or areas with increased prey resources. I conducted a series of enclosure experiments to: (1) determine if salamanders use earthworm burrows, and (2) examine the potential influence of earthworm burrow use and indirect effects on salamander intra- and interspecific competition, predator avoidance, and seasonal performance. I found that one species of woodland salamander, Plethodon cinereus, used earthworm burrows 50% of the time when burrows were present. Neither adults nor juveniles of the congeneric P. glutinosus used earthworm burrows. Intraspecific, but not interspecific, competition by P. cinereus affected salamander behavior when earthworms were absent, with P. cinereus found under cover objects >70% of the time when alone or with a P. glutinosus, but only 40% of the time when with another P. cinereus. When earthworms were present, the behavior of P. cinereus was similar across salamander treatments. Earthworms decreased the amount of leaf litter and microinvertebrates, although this did not affect salamander mass. In subsequent experiments using only P. cinereus, the refuge provided by earthworm burrows increased the survival of P. cinereus over the winter and allowed P. cinereus to avoid being consumed by the common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). Because earthworm burrows provide a refuge for P. cinereus during intraspecific encounters, in the presence of a predator and over the winter, they may serve as an important belowground-aboveground linkage in eastern forests where salamanders are common.

  6. A Comparison of Item-Level and Scale-Level Multiple Imputation for Questionnaire Batteries

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gottschall, Amanda C.; West, Stephen G.; Enders, Craig K.

    2012-01-01

    Behavioral science researchers routinely use scale scores that sum or average a set of questionnaire items to address their substantive questions. A researcher applying multiple imputation to incomplete questionnaire data can either impute the incomplete items prior to computing scale scores or impute the scale scores directly from other scale…

  7. Performance on Multiple Levels: Seeing the Forest "and" the Trees. Innovative Session 1. [AHRD Conference, 2001].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Susan Reynolds; Short, Darren; Sleezer, Catherine M.

    A team of three organizers and a panel of five experts representing scholars and practitioners from multiple disciplines participated in an innovative session that explored performance at multiple levels in organizations. The session objectives were as follows: (1) raise participants' awareness of multilevel approaches to the study of…

  8. Effects of Multiple Simulation Presentation among Students of Different Anxiety Levels in the Learning of Probability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fong, Soon Fook; Por, Fei Ping; Tang, Ai Ling

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of multiple simulation presentation in interactive multimedia are on the achievement of students with different levels of anxiety in the learning of Probability. The interactive multimedia courseware was developed in two different modes, which were Multiple Simulation Presentation (MSP) and…

  9. Panglobalism and pandemics: ecological and ethical concerns.

    PubMed Central

    Rolston, Holmes

    2005-01-01

    A pandemic is a human medical problem but must be understood at multiple levels. Analysis of social and commercial forces is vital, and, more comprehensively, an ecological framework is necessary for an inclusive picture. Ecological health webworked with political and social determinants surrounds issues of human health. In this constellation of both natural and social factors, ethical concerns will arise at these multiple levels, from human health to the conservation and health of wild nature. PMID:17132337

  10. Assessing Interchangeability at Cluster-Levels with Multiple-Informant Data

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Zhehui; Breslau, Joshua; Gardiner, Joseph C.; Chen, Qiaoling; Breslau, Naomi

    2013-01-01

    Studies examining the relationship between neighborhood social disorder and health often rely on multiple informants. Such studies assume interchangeability of the latent constructs derived from multiple-informant data. Existing methods examining this assumption do not clearly delineate the uncertainty at individual levels from that at neighborhood levels. We propose a multi-level variance component factor model that allows this delineation. Data come from a survey of a representative sample of children born between 1983 and 1985 in the inner city of Detroit and nearby middle-class suburbs. Results indicate that the informant-level models tend to exaggerate the effect of places due to differences between persons. Our evaluations of different methodologies lead to the recommendation of the multi-level variance component factor model whenever multiple-informant reports can be aggregated at a neighborhood level. PMID:24038232

  11. Levels and ecological risk assessment of metals in soils from a typical e-waste recycling region in southeast China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Weituo; Ding, Lei; Gu, Xiaowen; Luo, Jie; Liu, Yunlang; Guo, Li; Shi, Yi; Huang, Ting; Cheng, Shenggao

    2015-11-01

    Due to the high threat to human health and the ecosystem from metals, the levels and distribution of As, Hg, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, Mn, V, Sn, Sb, Li and Be in various layers of soil from an e-waste recycling area in Guiyu, China were investigated. The extent of pollution from the metals in soil was assessed using enrichment factors (EFs) and the Nemerow pollution index (P N ). To determine the metals' integrated potential ecological risks, the potential ecological risk index (RI) was chosen. The concentrations of Hg, Ni, Cu, Cd, Pb, Sn and Sb were mainly enriched in the topsoil. EF values (2-5) of the elements Hg, Co, Ni, Zn, Sn, Li and Be revealed their moderate enrichment status in the topsoil, derived from e-waste recycling activities. P N presented a decreasing trend in different layers in the order topsoil (0-20 cm) > deep soil (100-150 cm) > middle soil (50-100 cm) > shallow soil (20-50 cm). With higher potential ecological risk factor (E(i)), Hg and Cd are the main contributors to the potential ecological risk. With respect to the RI, all the values in soil from the study area exceeded 300, especially for the soil at sites S2, S4, S5, S7 and S8, where RI was greater than 600. Therefore, immediate remediation of the contaminated soil is necessary to prevent the release of metals and potential ecological harm.

  12. Correlates between Feeding Ecology and Mercury Levels in Historical and Modern Arctic Foxes (Vulpes lagopus)

    PubMed Central

    Krone, Oliver; Stefanski, Volker; Wibbelt, Gudrun; Unnsteinsdóttir, Ester Rut; Hersteinsson, Páll; Schares, Gereon; Doronina, Lilia; Goltsman, Mikhail; Greenwood, Alex D.

    2013-01-01

    Changes in concentration of pollutants and pathogen distribution can vary among ecotypes (e.g. marine versus terrestrial food resources). This may have important implications for the animals that reside within them. We examined 1) canid pathogen presence in an endangered arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) population and 2) relative total mercury (THg) level as a function of ecotype (‘coastal’ or ‘inland’) for arctic foxes to test whether the presence of pathogens or heavy metal concentration correlate with population health. The Bering Sea populations on Bering and Mednyi Islands were compared to Icelandic arctic fox populations with respect to inland and coastal ecotypes. Serological and DNA based pathogen screening techniques were used to examine arctic foxes for pathogens. THg was measured by atomic absorption spectrometry from hair samples of historical and modern collected arctic foxes and samples from their prey species (hair and internal organs). Presence of pathogens did not correlate with population decline from Mednyi Island. However, THg concentration correlated strongly with ecotype and was reflected in the THg concentrations detected in available food sources in each ecotype. The highest concentration of THg was found in ecotypes where foxes depended on marine vertebrates for food. Exclusively inland ecotypes had low THg concentrations. The results suggest that absolute exposure to heavy metals may be less important than the feeding ecology and feeding opportunities of top predators such as arctic foxes which may in turn influence population health and stability. A higher risk to wildlife of heavy metal exposure correlates with feeding strategies that rely primarily on a marine based diet. PMID:23671561

  13. The ecology of prescription opioid abuse in the USA: geographic variation in patients’ use of multiple prescribers (“doctor shopping”)

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, Douglas C.; Carlson, Kenneth E.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose This study estimates the prevalence in US counties of opioid patients who use large numbers of prescribers, the amounts of opioids they obtain, and the extent to which their prevalence is predicted by ecological attributes of counties, including general medical exposure to opioids. Methods Finite mixture models were used to estimate the size of an outlier subpopulation of patients with suspiciously large numbers of prescribers (probable doctor shoppers), using a sample of 146 million opioid prescriptions dispensed during 2008. Ordinary least squares regression models of county-level shopper rates included independent variables measuring ecological attributes of counties, including rates of patients prescribed opioids, socioeconomic characteristics of the resident population, supply of physicians, and measures of healthcare service utilization. Results The prevalence of shoppers varied widely by county, with rates ranging between 0.6 and 2.5 per 1000 residents. Shopper prevalence was strongly correlated with opioid prescribing for the general population, accounting for 30% of observed county variation in shopper prevalence, after adjusting for physician supply, emergency department visits, in-patient hospital days, poverty rates, percent of county residents living in urban areas, and racial/ethnic composition of resident populations. Approximately 30% of shoppers obtained prescriptions in multiple states. Conclusions The correlation between prevalence of doctor shoppers and opioid patients in a county could indicate either that easy access to legitimate medical treatment raises the risk of abuse or that drug abusers take advantage of greater opportunities in places where access is easy. Approaches to preventing excessive use of different prescribers are discussed. PMID:25111716

  14. Will the effects of sea-level rise create ecological traps for Pacific Island seabirds?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, Michelle H.; Courtot, Karen; Berkowitz, Paul; Storlazzi, Curt; Moore, Janet; Flint, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    More than 18 million seabirds nest on 58 Pacific islands protected within vast U.S. Marine National Monuments (1.9 million km2). However, most of these seabird colonies are on low-elevation islands and sea-level rise (SLR) and accompanying high-water perturbations are predicted to escalate with climate change. To understand how SLR may impact protected islands and insular biodiversity, we modeled inundation and wave-driven flooding of a globally important seabird rookery in the subtropical Pacific. We acquired new high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and used the Delft3D wave model and ArcGIS to model wave heights and inundation for a range of SLR scenarios (+0.5, +1.0, +1.5, and +2.0 m) at Midway Atoll. Next, we classified vegetation to delineate habitat exposure to inundation and identified how breeding phenology, colony synchrony, and life history traits affect species-specific sensitivity. We identified 3 of 13 species as highly vulnerable to SLR in the Hawaiian Islands and quantified their atoll-wide distribution (Laysan albatross, Phoebastria immutabilis; black-footed albatross, P. nigripes; and Bonin petrel, Pterodroma hypoleuca). Our models of wave-driven flooding forecast nest losses up to 10% greater than passive inundation models at +1.0 m SLR. At projections of + 2.0 m SLR, approximately 60% of albatross and 44% of Bonin petrel nests were overwashed displacing more than 616,400 breeding albatrosses and petrels. Habitat loss due to passive SLR may decrease the carrying capacity of some islands to support seabird colonies, while sudden high-water events directly reduce survival and reproduction. This is the first study to simulate wave-driven flooding and the combined impacts of SLR, groundwater rise, and storm waves on seabird colonies. Our results highlight the need for early climate change planning and restoration of higher elevation seabird refugia to prevent low-lying protected islands from becoming ecological traps in the face of

  15. Will the Effects of Sea-Level Rise Create Ecological Traps for Pacific Island Seabirds?

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, Michelle H.; Courtot, Karen N.; Berkowitz, Paul; Storlazzi, Curt D.; Moore, Janet; Flint, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    More than 18 million seabirds nest on 58 Pacific islands protected within vast U.S. Marine National Monuments (1.9 million km2). However, most of these seabird colonies are on low-elevation islands and sea-level rise (SLR) and accompanying high-water perturbations are predicted to escalate with climate change. To understand how SLR may impact protected islands and insular biodiversity, we modeled inundation and wave-driven flooding of a globally important seabird rookery in the subtropical Pacific. We acquired new high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and used the Delft3D wave model and ArcGIS to model wave heights and inundation for a range of SLR scenarios (+0.5, +1.0, +1.5, and +2.0 m) at Midway Atoll. Next, we classified vegetation to delineate habitat exposure to inundation and identified how breeding phenology, colony synchrony, and life history traits affect species-specific sensitivity. We identified 3 of 13 species as highly vulnerable to SLR in the Hawaiian Islands and quantified their atoll-wide distribution (Laysan albatross, Phoebastria immutabilis; black-footed albatross, P. nigripes; and Bonin petrel, Pterodroma hypoleuca). Our models of wave-driven flooding forecast nest losses up to 10% greater than passive inundation models at +1.0 m SLR. At projections of + 2.0 m SLR, approximately 60% of albatross and 44% of Bonin petrel nests were overwashed displacing more than 616,400 breeding albatrosses and petrels. Habitat loss due to passive SLR may decrease the carrying capacity of some islands to support seabird colonies, while sudden high-water events directly reduce survival and reproduction. This is the first study to simulate wave-driven flooding and the combined impacts of SLR, groundwater rise, and storm waves on seabird colonies. Our results highlight the need for early climate change planning and restoration of higher elevation seabird refugia to prevent low-lying protected islands from becoming ecological traps in the face of rising

  16. Integrated Modeling for the Assessment of Ecological Impacts of Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagen, S. C.; Lewis, G.; Bartel, R.; Batten, B.; Huang, W.; Morris, J.; Slinn, D. N.; Sparks, J.; Walters, L.; Wang, D.; Weishampel, J.; Yeh, G.

    2010-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) has the potential to affect a variety of coastal habitats with a myriad of deleterious ecological effects and to overwhelm human settlements along the coast. SLR should be given serious consideration when more than half of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of the coast. SLR effects will be felt along coastal beaches and in estuarine waters, with consequences to barrier islands, submerged aquatic vegetation beds, sand and mud flats, oyster reefs, and tidal and freshwater wetlands. Managers of these coastal resources must be aware of potential consequences of SLR and adjust their plans accordingly to protect and preserve the resources under their care. The Gulf Coast provides critical habitats for a majority of the commercially important species in the Gulf of Mexico, which depend on inshore waters for either permanent residence or nursery area. The ecosystem services provided by these coastal habitats are at risk from rising sea level. Our team will assess the risk to coasts and coastal habitats from SLR in a 5-year project. We will apply existing models of circulation and transport from the watershed to the sea. The ultimate prediction will be of sediment loadings to the estuary as a result of overland flow, shoreline and barrier island erosion, and salinity transport, all of which will be used to model the evolution of intertidal marshes (MEM II). Over the five-year course of our research we will be simulating hydrodynamics and transport for all three NERRS reserves, including: Apalachicola, Weeks Bay and Grand Bay. The project will result in products whereby managers will be able to assess marshes, oyster reefs, submerged aquatic vegetation, predict wetland stability and indentify restoration locations for marsh and oyster habitats. In addition, we will produce Decision Support tools that will enable managers to predict future coastal erosion rates for management-specified shorelines. Project outcomes will enable the management

  17. Will the Effects of Sea-Level Rise Create Ecological Traps for Pacific Island Seabirds?

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Michelle H; Courtot, Karen N; Berkowitz, Paul; Storlazzi, Curt D; Moore, Janet; Flint, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    More than 18 million seabirds nest on 58 Pacific islands protected within vast U.S. Marine National Monuments (1.9 million km2). However, most of these seabird colonies are on low-elevation islands and sea-level rise (SLR) and accompanying high-water perturbations are predicted to escalate with climate change. To understand how SLR may impact protected islands and insular biodiversity, we modeled inundation and wave-driven flooding of a globally important seabird rookery in the subtropical Pacific. We acquired new high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and used the Delft3D wave model and ArcGIS to model wave heights and inundation for a range of SLR scenarios (+0.5, +1.0, +1.5, and +2.0 m) at Midway Atoll. Next, we classified vegetation to delineate habitat exposure to inundation and identified how breeding phenology, colony synchrony, and life history traits affect species-specific sensitivity. We identified 3 of 13 species as highly vulnerable to SLR in the Hawaiian Islands and quantified their atoll-wide distribution (Laysan albatross, Phoebastria immutabilis; black-footed albatross, P. nigripes; and Bonin petrel, Pterodroma hypoleuca). Our models of wave-driven flooding forecast nest losses up to 10% greater than passive inundation models at +1.0 m SLR. At projections of + 2.0 m SLR, approximately 60% of albatross and 44% of Bonin petrel nests were overwashed displacing more than 616,400 breeding albatrosses and petrels. Habitat loss due to passive SLR may decrease the carrying capacity of some islands to support seabird colonies, while sudden high-water events directly reduce survival and reproduction. This is the first study to simulate wave-driven flooding and the combined impacts of SLR, groundwater rise, and storm waves on seabird colonies. Our results highlight the need for early climate change planning and restoration of higher elevation seabird refugia to prevent low-lying protected islands from becoming ecological traps in the face of rising

  18. Examining the full effects of landscape heterogeneity on spatial genetic variation: a multiple matrix regression approach for quantifying geographic and ecological isolation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ian J

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the effects of landscape heterogeneity on spatial genetic variation is a primary goal of landscape genetics. Ecological and geographic variables can contribute to genetic structure through geographic isolation, in which geographic barriers and distances restrict gene flow, and ecological isolation, in which gene flow among populations inhabiting different environments is limited by selection against dispersers moving between them. Although methods have been developed to study geographic isolation in detail, ecological isolation has received much less attention, partly because disentangling the effects of these mechanisms is inherently difficult. Here, I describe a novel approach for quantifying the effects of geographic and ecological isolation using multiple matrix regression with randomization. I explored the parameter space over which this method is effective using a series of individual-based simulations and found that it accurately describes the effects of geographic and ecological isolation over a wide range of conditions. I also applied this method to a set of real-world datasets to show that ecological isolation is an often overlooked but important contributor to patterns of spatial genetic variation and to demonstrate how this analysis can provide new insights into how landscapes contribute to the evolution of genetic variation in nature.

  19. Regime shift indicators fail under noise levels commonly observed in ecological systems.

    PubMed

    Perretti, Charles T; Munch, Stephan B

    2012-09-01

    Ecological regime shifts are rapid, potentially devastating changes in ecosystem state that last for extended periods of time. Previous theoretical work has generated numerous early-warning indicators of regime shifts, some of which have been empirically demonstrated in closed ecological systems. Here we evaluated a suite of indicators using a previously studied three-species model under conditions likely to be observed in field studies of open ecological systems. Simulations included large correlated fluctuations in extrinsic noise and a rapidly changing driving variable, while indicators were calculated using sparsely sampled time series. All indicators performed poorly under these conditions, particularly during the beginning of the regime shift. Overall, the best performing indicator was a rise in variance. Future research should focus on methods for setting benchmark values of early warning indicators and for identifying indicators that work for sparsely sampled data sets.

  20. Rational allocation of water resources based on ecological groundwater levels:a case study in Jinghui Irrigation District in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, H.; Zhou, W. B.; Dong, Q. G.; Liu, B. Y.; Ma, C.

    2016-08-01

    Aimed at the hydrogeological environmental problems caused by over-exploitation and unreasonable utilization of water resources in Jinghui Irrigation District, this paper discusses the ecological groundwater level of the study area and establishes a three-layer optimal allocation model of water resources based on the theory of large scale systems. Then, the genetic algorithm method was employed to optimize the model and obtain the optimal allocation of crop irrigation schedule and water resources under the condition of a 75% assurance rate. Finally, the numerical simulation model of the groundwater was applied to analyze the balance of the groundwater on the basis of the optimal allocation scheme. The results show that the upper limitation of the ecological groundwater in Jinghui Irrigation District ranged from 1.8m to 4.2m, while the lower limitation level ranged from 8m to 28m. By 2020, the condition of the groundwater imbalance that results from adopting the optimal allocation scheme will be much better than that caused by current water utilization scheme. With the exception of only a few areas, the groundwater level in most parts of Jinghui Irrigation District will not exceed the lower limitation of ecological groundwater level.

  1. A FORTRAN IV Program for Multiple-choice Tests with Predetermined Minimal Acceptable Performance Levels

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Noe, Michael J.

    1976-01-01

    A Fortran IV multiple choice test scoring program for an IBM 370 computer is described that computes minimally acceptable performance levels and compares student scores to these levels. The program accomodates up to 500 items with no more than nine alternatives from a group of examinees numbering less than 10,000. (Author)

  2. Ecology of the City: Urban Environmental Awareness Teacher's Guide, Intermediate Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Courreges, Eugenie; Scudder, Elizabeth

    This guide was developed for teachers to use in helping students understand components of the urban ecosystem. The guide is based on sequentially arranged performance objectives for each concept. Organization of the guide includes activities designed to link the urban units with the forest ecology unit which overlap in concepts and philosophy. A…

  3. Influence of ecological factors and of land use on mercury levels in fish in the Tapajós River basin, Amazon.

    PubMed

    Sampaio da Silva, D; Lucotte, M; Paquet, S; Davidson, R

    2009-05-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination of riparian communities and of environmental compartments of the Amazon can be directly related to the occupation of the territory. The objective of this study was to identify the characteristics of aquatic environments that are associated with high levels of Hg in ichthyofauna. Our research aimed at determining the influence of variables related to fish ecology, types of aquatic environment, fishing activities by local riparian populations, and watershed use on the levels of contamination of ichthyofauna. Six sites were sampled during two distinct periods of the hydrological cycle: at the beginning of descending waters and during low waters. We focused on ten dominant fish species representing four trophic levels: Curimata inornata, Geophagus proximus, Schizodon vittatum, Leporinus fasciatus, Anostomoides laticeps, Hemiodus unimaculatus, Caenotropus labyrinthicus, Hoplias malabaricus, Plagioscion squamosissimus, Acestrorhynchus falcirostris. The study sites, which included lotic and lentic habitats, are exploited year-round by local riparian communities. Spatial variations in Hg contamination in ichthyofauna were determined by factorial analysis of variance taking into account fish diets, seasons, and sampling sites. Multiple regressions were used to check the influence of ecological and anthropogenic variables and variables related to watershed uses, on Hg levels in key species representing the four trophic groups. Each variable was checked independently. Next, multiple regressions were used to verify the concomitant influence of selected variables. Independently of the study site and the phase of the hydrologic cycle, fish Hg contamination followed the trend piscivores>omnivores>herbivores>detritivores. In all the aquatic study sites, Hg levels measured in predatory species were often higher than the 500 ng/g fresh weight threshold. Mean Hg levels in key species were significantly higher during descending waters in lotic environments

  4. Multiple Group Analysis in Multilevel Structural Equation Model Across Level 1 Groups.

    PubMed

    Ryu, Ehri

    2015-01-01

    This article introduces and evaluates a procedure for conducting multiple group analysis in multilevel structural equation model across Level 1 groups (MG1-MSEM; Ryu, 2014). When group membership is at Level 1, multiple group analysis raises two issues that cannot be solved by a simple extension of the standard multiple group analysis in single-level structural equation model. First, the Level 2 data are not independent between Level 1 groups. Second, the standard procedure fails to take into account the dependency between members of different Level 1 groups within the same cluster. The MG1-MSEM approach provides solutions to these problems. In MG1-MSEM, the Level 1 mean structure is necessary to represent the differences between Level 1 groups within clusters. The Level 2 model is the same regardless of Level 1 group membership. A simulation study examined the performance of MUML (Muthén's maximum likelihood) estimation in MG1-MSEM. The MG1-MSEM approach is illustrated for both a multilevel path model and a multilevel factor model using empirical data sets.

  5. Phylogeny, Seed Trait, and Ecological Correlates of Seed Germination at the Community Level in a Degraded Sandy Grassland

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhengning; Wang, Lixin; Liu, Zhimin; Li, Yanjuan; Liu, Qingqing; Liu, Bo

    2016-01-01

    Seed germination strongly affects plant population growth and persistence, and it can be dramatically influenced by phylogeny, seed traits, and ecological factors. In this study, we examined the relationships among seed mass, seed shape, and germination percentage (GP), and assessed the extent to which phylogeny, seed traits (seed mass, shape, and color) and ecological factors (ecotype, life form, adult longevity, dispersal type, and onset of flowering) influence GP at the community level. All analyses were conducted on the log-transformed values of seed mass and arcsine square root-transformed values of GP. We found that seed mass and GP were significantly negatively correlated, whereas seed shape and GP were significantly positively correlated. The three major factors contributing to differences in GP were phylogeny, dispersal type, and seed shape (explained 5.8, 4.9, and 3.1% of the interspecific variations independently, respectively), but GP also influenced by seed mass and onset of flowering. Thus, GP was constrained not only by phylogeny but also by seed traits and ecological factors. These results indicated that GP is shaped by short-term selective pressures, and long-term phylogenetic constrains. We suggest that correlates of phylogeny, seed traits, and ecology should be taken into account in comparative studies on seed germination strategies. PMID:27799934

  6. A Study On The Effect Of Multiple Intelligences Theory Upon The Success Level Of Genders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oral, Imran

    2007-04-01

    In this study, the effects of Multiple Intelligences theory upon the success level of genders were investigated at three high schools in Konya. In conclusion, a significant difference has not been found between groups for multiple intelligences and groups for pre-tests. In general, the female student groups were more successful than the male student groups regarding post-test. However, this result did not cause a significant difference between the groups.

  7. Emergence of elevated levels of multiple infections in spatial host-virus dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Bradford; Penington, Catherine; Weitz, Joshua

    Bacteria are subject to infection and potentially to multiple simultaneous infections by viruses. Multiply infected hosts have altered life-history traits (e.g., viral burst size) and evolutionary rates (e.g., viral recombination). Yet our understanding of multiple infections of microbes is limited to lab settings where the ratio of inoculant viruses to hosts is controlled. In contrast, rates of multiple infection in natural environments are unknown. Here, we develop an individual based model to quantify rates of multiple infections by a single viral type. We explore different dispersal regimes by varying the viral adsorption rate. High dispersal regimes lead to spatial dynamics and rates of multiple infection equivalent to predictions from mean field models. Local clustering of bacterial hosts occurs for low dispersal. Comparing to mean field, the clustering leads to increased rates of multiple infection and fatter tails in the distribution of the number of internal viruses. The emergence of increased colocalization of viruses with infected hosts leads to these deviations. We show these deviations result from the wave-like spread of viruses when invading clusters of bacteria. Our work represents a key step in understanding the population-level effects of multiple infections.

  8. A comparative analysis reveals weak relationships between ecological factors and beta diversity of stream insect metacommunities at two spatial levels.

    PubMed

    Heino, Jani; Melo, Adriano S; Bini, Luis Mauricio; Altermatt, Florian; Al-Shami, Salman A; Angeler, David G; Bonada, Núria; Brand, Cecilia; Callisto, Marcos; Cottenie, Karl; Dangles, Olivier; Dudgeon, David; Encalada, Andrea; Göthe, Emma; Grönroos, Mira; Hamada, Neusa; Jacobsen, Dean; Landeiro, Victor L; Ligeiro, Raphael; Martins, Renato T; Miserendino, María Laura; Md Rawi, Che Salmah; Rodrigues, Marciel E; Roque, Fabio de Oliveira; Sandin, Leonard; Schmera, Denes; Sgarbi, Luciano F; Simaika, John P; Siqueira, Tadeu; Thompson, Ross M; Townsend, Colin R

    2015-03-01

    The hypotheses that beta diversity should increase with decreasing latitude and increase with spatial extent of a region have rarely been tested based on a comparative analysis of multiple datasets, and no such study has focused on stream insects. We first assessed how well variability in beta diversity of stream insect metacommunities is predicted by insect group, latitude, spatial extent, altitudinal range, and dataset properties across multiple drainage basins throughout the world. Second, we assessed the relative roles of environmental and spatial factors in driving variation in assemblage composition within each drainage basin. Our analyses were based on a dataset of 95 stream insect metacommunities from 31 drainage basins distributed around the world. We used dissimilarity-based indices to quantify beta diversity for each metacommunity and, subsequently, regressed beta diversity on insect group, latitude, spatial extent, altitudinal range, and dataset properties (e.g., number of sites and percentage of presences). Within each metacommunity, we used a combination of spatial eigenfunction analyses and partial redundancy analysis to partition variation in assemblage structure into environmental, shared, spatial, and unexplained fractions. We found that dataset properties were more important predictors of beta diversity than ecological and geographical factors across multiple drainage basins. In the within-basin analyses, environmental and spatial variables were generally poor predictors of variation in assemblage composition. Our results revealed deviation from general biodiversity patterns because beta diversity did not show the expected decreasing trend with latitude. Our results also call for reconsideration of just how predictable stream assemblages are along ecological gradients, with implications for environmental assessment and conservation decisions. Our findings may also be applicable to other dynamic systems where predictability is low.

  9. A comparative analysis reveals weak relationships between ecological factors and beta diversity of stream insect metacommunities at two spatial levels

    PubMed Central

    Heino, Jani; Melo, Adriano S; Bini, Luis Mauricio; Altermatt, Florian; Al-Shami, Salman A; Angeler, David G; Bonada, Núria; Brand, Cecilia; Callisto, Marcos; Cottenie, Karl; Dangles, Olivier; Dudgeon, David; Encalada, Andrea; Göthe, Emma; Grönroos, Mira; Hamada, Neusa; Jacobsen, Dean; Landeiro, Victor L; Ligeiro, Raphael; Martins, Renato T; Miserendino, María Laura; Md Rawi, Che Salmah; Rodrigues, Marciel E; Roque, Fabio de Oliveira; Sandin, Leonard; Schmera, Denes; Sgarbi, Luciano F; Simaika, John P; Siqueira, Tadeu; Thompson, Ross M; Townsend, Colin R

    2015-01-01

    The hypotheses that beta diversity should increase with decreasing latitude and increase with spatial extent of a region have rarely been tested based on a comparative analysis of multiple datasets, and no such study has focused on stream insects. We first assessed how well variability in beta diversity of stream insect metacommunities is predicted by insect group, latitude, spatial extent, altitudinal range, and dataset properties across multiple drainage basins throughout the world. Second, we assessed the relative roles of environmental and spatial factors in driving variation in assemblage composition within each drainage basin. Our analyses were based on a dataset of 95 stream insect metacommunities from 31 drainage basins distributed around the world. We used dissimilarity-based indices to quantify beta diversity for each metacommunity and, subsequently, regressed beta diversity on insect group, latitude, spatial extent, altitudinal range, and dataset properties (e.g., number of sites and percentage of presences). Within each metacommunity, we used a combination of spatial eigenfunction analyses and partial redundancy analysis to partition variation in assemblage structure into environmental, shared, spatial, and unexplained fractions. We found that dataset properties were more important predictors of beta diversity than ecological and geographical factors across multiple drainage basins. In the within-basin analyses, environmental and spatial variables were generally poor predictors of variation in assemblage composition. Our results revealed deviation from general biodiversity patterns because beta diversity did not show the expected decreasing trend with latitude. Our results also call for reconsideration of just how predictable stream assemblages are along ecological gradients, with implications for environmental assessment and conservation decisions. Our findings may also be applicable to other dynamic systems where predictability is low. PMID:25859329

  10. Complex distribution patterns, ecology and coexistence of ploidy levels of Allium oleraceum (Alliaceae) in the Czech Republic

    PubMed Central

    Duchoslav, Martin; Šafářová, Lenka; Krahulec, František

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Despite extensive study of polyploidy, its origin, and ecogeographical differences between polyploids and their diploid progenitors, few studies have addressed ploidy-level structure and patterns of ecogeographical differentiation at various spatial scales using detailed sampling procedures. The pattern of coexistence of polyploids in the geophyte Allium oleraceum at the landscape and locality scale and their ecology were studied. Methods Flow cytometry and root-tip squashes were used to identify the ploidy level of 4347 plants from 325 populations sampled from the Czech Republic using a stratified random sampling procedure. Ecological differentiation among ploidy levels was tested by comparing sets of environmental variables recorded at each locality. Key Results Across the entire sampling area, pentaploids (2n = 5x = 40) predominated, while hexaploids (2n = 6x = 48) and tetraploids (2n = 4x = 32) were less frequent. The distribution of tetra- and hexaploids was partially sympatric (in the eastern part) to parapatric (in the western part of the Czech Republic) whereas pentaploids were sympatric with other cytotypes. Plants of different ploidy levels were found to be ecologically differentiated and the ruderal character of cytotypes increased in the direction 4x → 5x → 6x with the largest realized niche differences between tetra- and hexaploids. Most populations contained only one ploidy level (77 %), 22 % had two (all possible combinations) and 1 % were composed of three ploidy levels. The majority of 4x + 5x and 5x + 6x mixed populations occurred in sympatry with uniform populations of the participating cytotypes in sites with ecologically heterogeneous or marginal environment, suggesting secondary contact between cytotypes. Some mixed 4x + 6x populations dominated by tetraploids being sympatric and intermixed with uniform 4x populations might represent primary zones of cytotype contact. Almost no mixed accessions were observed on the fine

  11. White Paper: Summary of the NOAA Workshop - Ecological Effect of Sea Level Rise in the Florida Panhandle and Coastal Alabama: Research and Modeling Needs

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (CSCOR) is addressing current and future impacts to ecological systems due to the long term effect of sea level rise due to climate change and subsidence on coastal ecosystems through the peer-reviewed research program, the Ecologic...

  12. Coh-Metrix Measures Text Characteristics at Multiple Levels of Language and Discourse

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Graesser, Arthur C.; McNamara, Danielle S.; Cai, Zhiqang; Conley, Mark; Li, Haiying; Pennebaker, James

    2014-01-01

    Coh-Metrix analyzes texts on multiple measures of language and discourse that are aligned with multilevel theoretical frameworks of comprehension. Dozens of measures funnel into five major factors that systematically vary as a function of types of texts (e.g., narrative vs. informational) and grade level: narrativity, syntactic simplicity, word…

  13. Multiple-Choice Exams: An Obstacle for Higher-Level Thinking in Introductory Science Classes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stanger-Hall, Kathrin F.

    2012-01-01

    Learning science requires higher-level (critical) thinking skills that need to be practiced in science classes. This study tested the effect of exam format on critical-thinking skills. Multiple-choice (MC) testing is common in introductory science courses, and students in these classes tend to associate memorization with MC questions and may not…

  14. Nested Levels of Adaptive Divergence: The Genetic Basis of Craniofacial Divergence and Ecological Sexual Dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    Parsons, Kevin J.; Wang, Jason; Anderson, Graeme; Albertson, R. Craig

    2015-01-01

    Exemplary systems for adaptive divergence are often characterized by their large degrees of phenotypic variation. This variation represents the outcome of generations of diversifying selection. However, adaptive radiations can also contain a hierarchy of differentiation nested within them where species display only subtle phenotypic differences that still have substantial effects on ecology, function, and ultimately fitness. Sexual dimorphisms are also common in species displaying adaptive divergence and can be the result of differential selection between sexes that produce ecological differences between sexes. Understanding the genetic basis of subtle variation (between certain species or sexes) is therefore important for understanding the process of adaptive divergence. Using cichlids from the dramatic adaptive radiation of Lake Malawi, we focus on understanding the genetic basis of two aspects of relatively subtle phenotypic variation. This included a morphometric comparison of the patterns of craniofacial divergence between two ecologically similar species in relation to the larger adaptive radiation of Malawi, and male–female morphological divergence between their F2 hybrids. We then genetically map craniofacial traits within the context of sex and locate several regions of the genome that contribute to variation in craniofacial shape that is relevant to sexual dimorphism within species and subtle divergence between closely related species, and possibly to craniofacial divergence in the Malawi radiation as a whole. To enhance our search for candidate genes we take advantage of population genomic data and a genetic map that is anchored to the cichlid genome to determine which genes within our QTL regions are associated with SNPs that are alternatively fixed between species. This study provides a holistic understanding of the genetic underpinnings of adaptive divergence in craniofacial shape. PMID:26038365

  15. Sensitivity of ecological soil-screening levels for metals to exposure model parameterization and toxicity reference values.

    PubMed

    Sample, Bradley E; Fairbrother, Anne; Kaiser, Ashley; Law, Sheryl; Adams, Bill

    2014-10-01

    Ecological soil-screening levels (Eco-SSLs) were developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for the purposes of setting conservative soil screening values that can be used to eliminate the need for further ecological assessment for specific analytes at a given site. Ecological soil-screening levels for wildlife represent a simplified dietary exposure model solved in terms of soil concentrations to produce exposure equal to a no-observed-adverse-effect toxicity reference value (TRV). Sensitivity analyses were performed for 6 avian and mammalian model species, and 16 metals/metalloids for which Eco-SSLs have been developed. The relative influence of model parameters was expressed as the absolute value of the range of variation observed in the resulting soil concentration when exposure is equal to the TRV. Rank analysis of variance was used to identify parameters with greatest influence on model output. For both birds and mammals, soil ingestion displayed the broadest overall range (variability), although TRVs consistently had the greatest influence on calculated soil concentrations; bioavailability in food was consistently the least influential parameter, although an important site-specific variable. Relative importance of parameters differed by trophic group. Soil ingestion ranked 2nd for carnivores and herbivores, but was 4th for invertivores. Different patterns were exhibited, depending on which parameter, trophic group, and analyte combination was considered. The approach for TRV selection was also examined in detail, with Cu as the representative analyte. The underlying assumption that generic body-weight-normalized TRVs can be used to derive protective levels for any species is not supported by the data. Whereas the use of site-, species-, and analyte-specific exposure parameters is recommended to reduce variation in exposure estimates (soil protection level), improvement of TRVs is more problematic.

  16. Sensitivity of ecological soil-screening levels for metals to exposure model parameterization and toxicity reference values

    PubMed Central

    Sample, Bradley E; Fairbrother, Anne; Kaiser, Ashley; Law, Sheryl; Adams, Bill

    2014-01-01

    Ecological soil-screening levels (Eco-SSLs) were developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for the purposes of setting conservative soil screening values that can be used to eliminate the need for further ecological assessment for specific analytes at a given site. Ecological soil-screening levels for wildlife represent a simplified dietary exposure model solved in terms of soil concentrations to produce exposure equal to a no-observed-adverse-effect toxicity reference value (TRV). Sensitivity analyses were performed for 6 avian and mammalian model species, and 16 metals/metalloids for which Eco-SSLs have been developed. The relative influence of model parameters was expressed as the absolute value of the range of variation observed in the resulting soil concentration when exposure is equal to the TRV. Rank analysis of variance was used to identify parameters with greatest influence on model output. For both birds and mammals, soil ingestion displayed the broadest overall range (variability), although TRVs consistently had the greatest influence on calculated soil concentrations; bioavailability in food was consistently the least influential parameter, although an important site-specific variable. Relative importance of parameters differed by trophic group. Soil ingestion ranked 2nd for carnivores and herbivores, but was 4th for invertivores. Different patterns were exhibited, depending on which parameter, trophic group, and analyte combination was considered. The approach for TRV selection was also examined in detail, with Cu as the representative analyte. The underlying assumption that generic body-weight–normalized TRVs can be used to derive protective levels for any species is not supported by the data. Whereas the use of site-, species-, and analyte-specific exposure parameters is recommended to reduce variation in exposure estimates (soil protection level), improvement of TRVs is more problematic. Environ Toxicol Chem 2014

  17. Geomagnetic disturbances may be environmental risk factor for multiple sclerosis: an ecological study of 111 locations in 24 countries

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background We noticed that a hypothesis based on the effect of geomagnetic disturbances (GMD) has the ability to explain special features of multiple sclerosis (MS). Areas around geomagnetic 60 degree latitude (GM60L) experience the greatest amount of GMD. The easiest way to evaluate our hypothesis was to test the association of MS prevalence (MSP) with angular distance to geomagnetic 60 degree latitude (AMAG60) and compare it with the known association of MS with geographical latitude (GL). We did the same with angular distance to geographic 60 degree latitude (AGRAPH60) as a control. Methods English written papers with MSP keywords, done in Europe (EUR), North America (NA) or Australasia (AUS) were retrieved from the PubMed. Geomagnetic coordinates were determined for each location and AMAG60 was calculated as absolute value of numerical difference between its geomagnetic latitude from GM60L. By an ecological study with using meta-regression analyses, the relationship of MSP with GL, AMAG60 and AGRAPH60 were evaluated separately. MSP data were weighted by square root of number of prevalent cases. Models were compared by their adjusted R square (AR2) and standard error of estimate (SEE). Results 111 MSP data were entered in the study. In each continent, AMAG60 had the best correlation with MSP, the largest AR2 (0.47, 0.42 and 0.84 for EUR, NA and AUS, respectively) and the least SEE. Merging both hemispheres data, AMAG60 explained 56% of MSP variations with the least SEE (R = 0.75, AR2 = 0.56, SEE = 57), while GL explained 17% (R = 0.41, AR2 = 0.17, SEE = 78.5) and AGRAPH60 explained 12% of that variations with the highest SEE (R = 0.35, AR2 = 0.12, SEE = 80.5). Conclusions Our results confirmed that AMAG60 is the best describer of MSP variations and has the strongest association with MSP distribution. They clarified that the well-known latitudinal gradient of MSP may be actually a gradient related to GM60L. Moreover, the

  18. Multiple Stressors in a Top Predator Seabird: Potential Ecological Consequences of Environmental Contaminants, Population Health and Breeding Conditions.

    PubMed

    Bustnes, Jan O; Bourgeon, Sophie; Leat, Eliza H K; Magnusdóttir, Ellen; Strøm, Hallvard; Hanssen, Sveinn A; Petersen, Aevar; Olafsdóttir, Kristin; Borgå, Katrine; Gabrielsen, Geir W; Furness, Robert W

    2015-01-01

    Environmental contaminants may have impacts on reproduction and survival in wildlife populations suffering from multiple stressors. This study examined whether adverse effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) increased with poor population health and breeding conditions in three colonies (60-74°N) of great skua (Stercorarius skua) in the north-eastern Atlantic (Shetland, Iceland and Bjørnøya [Bear Island]). POPs (organochlorines [OCs] and polybrominated diphenyl ethers [BDEs]) were measured in plasma of incubating birds (n = 222), concentrations differing nearly tenfold among colonies: Bjørnøya (2009) > Bjørnøya (2010) > Iceland (2009) > Shetland (2009). Reproductive success (hatching success and chick survival) showed that breeding conditions were favourable in Shetland and at Bjørnøya (2010), but were very poor in Iceland and at Bjørnøya (2009). Biomarkers indicated that health was poor in the Shetland population compared to the other populations. Females whose chicks hatched late had high POP concentrations in all colonies except at Bjørnøya (2010), and females losing their eggs at Bjørnøya (2009) tended to have higher concentrations than those hatching. Moreover, there was a negative relationship between female POP concentrations and chick body condition at hatching in Iceland and at Bjørnøya (2010). Supplementary feeding experiments were conducted, and in Iceland where feeding conditions were poor, significant negative relationships were found between female POP concentrations and daily growth-rate in first-hatched chicks of control nests, but not in food supplemented nests. This suggests that negative impacts of POPs were mitigated by improved feeding conditions. For second-chicks, there was a strong negative relationship between the female POP concentrations and growth-rate, but no effects of supplementary feeding. Lowered adult return-rate between breeding seasons with increasing POP loads were found both at Bjørnøya (2009) and in

  19. Multiple Stressors in a Top Predator Seabird: Potential Ecological Consequences of Environmental Contaminants, Population Health and Breeding Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Bustnes, Jan O.; Bourgeon, Sophie; Leat, Eliza H. K.; Magnusdóttir, Ellen; Strøm, Hallvard; Hanssen, Sveinn A.; Petersen, Aevar; Olafsdóttir, Kristin; Borgå, Katrine; Gabrielsen, Geir W.; Furness, Robert W.

    2015-01-01

    Environmental contaminants may have impacts on reproduction and survival in wildlife populations suffering from multiple stressors. This study examined whether adverse effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) increased with poor population health and breeding conditions in three colonies (60–74°N) of great skua (Stercorarius skua) in the north-eastern Atlantic (Shetland, Iceland and Bjørnøya [Bear Island]). POPs (organochlorines [OCs] and polybrominated diphenyl ethers [BDEs]) were measured in plasma of incubating birds (n = 222), concentrations differing nearly tenfold among colonies: Bjørnøya (2009) > Bjørnøya (2010) > Iceland (2009) > Shetland (2009). Reproductive success (hatching success and chick survival) showed that breeding conditions were favourable in Shetland and at Bjørnøya (2010), but were very poor in Iceland and at Bjørnøya (2009). Biomarkers indicated that health was poor in the Shetland population compared to the other populations. Females whose chicks hatched late had high POP concentrations in all colonies except at Bjørnøya (2010), and females losing their eggs at Bjørnøya (2009) tended to have higher concentrations than those hatching. Moreover, there was a negative relationship between female POP concentrations and chick body condition at hatching in Iceland and at Bjørnøya (2010). Supplementary feeding experiments were conducted, and in Iceland where feeding conditions were poor, significant negative relationships were found between female POP concentrations and daily growth-rate in first-hatched chicks of control nests, but not in food supplemented nests. This suggests that negative impacts of POPs were mitigated by improved feeding conditions. For second-chicks, there was a strong negative relationship between the female POP concentrations and growth-rate, but no effects of supplementary feeding. Lowered adult return-rate between breeding seasons with increasing POP loads were found both at Bjørnøya (2009) and

  20. Multiple Stressors in a Top Predator Seabird: Potential Ecological Consequences of Environmental Contaminants, Population Health and Breeding Conditions.

    PubMed

    Bustnes, Jan O; Bourgeon, Sophie; Leat, Eliza H K; Magnusdóttir, Ellen; Strøm, Hallvard; Hanssen, Sveinn A; Petersen, Aevar; Olafsdóttir, Kristin; Borgå, Katrine; Gabrielsen, Geir W; Furness, Robert W

    2015-01-01

    Environmental contaminants may have impacts on reproduction and survival in wildlife populations suffering from multiple stressors. This study examined whether adverse effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) increased with poor population health and breeding conditions in three colonies (60-74°N) of great skua (Stercorarius skua) in the north-eastern Atlantic (Shetland, Iceland and Bjørnøya [Bear Island]). POPs (organochlorines [OCs] and polybrominated diphenyl ethers [BDEs]) were measured in plasma of incubating birds (n = 222), concentrations differing nearly tenfold among colonies: Bjørnøya (2009) > Bjørnøya (2010) > Iceland (2009) > Shetland (2009). Reproductive success (hatching success and chick survival) showed that breeding conditions were favourable in Shetland and at Bjørnøya (2010), but were very poor in Iceland and at Bjørnøya (2009). Biomarkers indicated that health was poor in the Shetland population compared to the other populations. Females whose chicks hatched late had high POP concentrations in all colonies except at Bjørnøya (2010), and females losing their eggs at Bjørnøya (2009) tended to have higher concentrations than those hatching. Moreover, there was a negative relationship between female POP concentrations and chick body condition at hatching in Iceland and at Bjørnøya (2010). Supplementary feeding experiments were conducted, and in Iceland where feeding conditions were poor, significant negative relationships were found between female POP concentrations and daily growth-rate in first-hatched chicks of control nests, but not in food supplemented nests. This suggests that negative impacts of POPs were mitigated by improved feeding conditions. For second-chicks, there was a strong negative relationship between the female POP concentrations and growth-rate, but no effects of supplementary feeding. Lowered adult return-rate between breeding seasons with increasing POP loads were found both at Bjørnøya (2009) and in

  1. Higher levels of multiple paternities increase seedling survival in the long-lived tree Eucalyptus gracilis.

    PubMed

    Breed, Martin F; Christmas, Matthew J; Lowe, Andrew J

    2014-01-01

    Studying associations between mating system parameters and fitness in natural populations of trees advances our understanding of how local environments affect seed quality, and thereby helps to predict when inbreeding or multiple paternities should impact on fitness. Indeed, for species that demonstrate inbreeding avoidance, multiple paternities (i.e. the number of male parents per half-sib family) should still vary and regulate fitness more than inbreeding--named here as the 'constrained inbreeding hypothesis'. We test this hypothesis in Eucalyptus gracilis, a predominantly insect-pollinated tree. Fifty-eight open-pollinated progeny arrays were collected from trees in three populations. Progeny were planted in a reciprocal transplant trial. Fitness was measured by family establishment rates. We genotyped all trees and their progeny at eight microsatellite loci. Planting site had a strong effect on fitness, but seed provenance and seed provenance × planting site did not. Populations had comparable mating system parameters and were generally outcrossed, experienced low biparental inbreeding and high levels of multiple paternity. As predicted, seed families that had more multiple paternities also had higher fitness, and no fitness-inbreeding correlations were detected. Demonstrating that fitness was most affected by multiple paternities rather than inbreeding, we provide evidence supporting the constrained inbreeding hypothesis; i.e. that multiple paternity may impact on fitness over and above that of inbreeding, particularly for preferentially outcrossing trees at life stages beyond seed development.

  2. Instantiating the multiple levels of analysis perspective in a program of study on externalizing behavior.

    PubMed

    Beauchaine, Theodore P; Gatzke-Kopp, Lisa M

    2012-08-01

    During the last quarter century, developmental psychopathology has become increasingly inclusive and now spans disciplines ranging from psychiatric genetics to primary prevention. As a result, developmental psychopathologists have extended traditional diathesis-stress and transactional models to include causal processes at and across all relevant levels of analysis. Such research is embodied in what is known as the multiple levels of analysis perspective. We describe how multiple levels of analysis research has informed our current thinking about antisocial and borderline personality development among trait impulsive and therefore vulnerable individuals. Our approach extends the multiple levels of analysis perspective beyond simple Biology × Environment interactions by evaluating impulsivity across physiological systems (genetic, autonomic, hormonal, neural), psychological constructs (social, affective, motivational), developmental epochs (preschool, middle childhood, adolescence, adulthood), sexes (male, female), and methods of inquiry (self-report, informant report, treatment outcome, cardiovascular, electrophysiological, neuroimaging). By conducting our research using any and all available methods across these levels of analysis, we have arrived at a developmental model of trait impulsivity that we believe confers a greater understanding of this highly heritable trait and captures at least some heterogeneity in key behavioral outcomes, including delinquency and suicide.

  3. Instantiating the multiple levels of analysis perspective in a program of study on externalizing behavior

    PubMed Central

    Beauchaine, Theodore P.; Gatzke-Kopp, Lisa M.

    2014-01-01

    During the last quarter century, developmental psychopathology has become increasingly inclusive and now spans disciplines ranging from psychiatric genetics to primary prevention. As a result, developmental psychopathologists have extended traditional diathesis–stress and transactional models to include causal processes at and across all relevant levels of analysis. Such research is embodied in what is known as the multiple levels of analysis perspective. We describe how multiple levels of analysis research has informed our current thinking about antisocial and borderline personality development among trait impulsive and therefore vulnerable individuals. Our approach extends the multiple levels of analysis perspective beyond simple Biology × Environment interactions by evaluating impulsivity across physiological systems (genetic, autonomic, hormonal, neural), psychological constructs (social, affective, motivational), developmental epochs (preschool, middle childhood, adolescence, adulthood), sexes (male, female), and methods of inquiry (self-report, informant report, treatment outcome, cardiovascular, electrophysiological, neuroimaging). By conducting our research using any and all available methods across these levels of analysis, we have arrived at a developmental model of trait impulsivity that we believe confers a greater understanding of this highly heritable trait and captures at least some heterogeneity in key behavioral outcomes, including delinquency and suicide. PMID:22781868

  4. The initial rise method extended to multiple trapping levels in thermoluminescent materials.

    PubMed

    Furetta, C; Guzmán, S; Ruiz, B; Cruz-Zaragoza, E

    2011-02-01

    The well known Initial Rise Method (IR) is commonly used to determine the activation energy when only one glow peak is presented and analysed in the phosphor materials. However, when the glow peak is more complex, a wide peak and some holders appear in the structure. The application of the Initial Rise Method is not valid because multiple trapping levels are considered and then the thermoluminescent analysis becomes difficult to perform. This paper shows the case of a complex glow curve structure as an example and shows that the calculation is also possible using the IR method. The aim of the paper is to extend the well known Initial Rise Method (IR) to the case of multiple trapping levels. The IR method is applied to minerals extracted from Nopal cactus and Oregano spices because the thermoluminescent glow curve's shape suggests a trap distribution instead of a single trapping level. PMID:21051238

  5. Topology-optimized multiple-disk resonators obtained using level set expression incorporating surface effects.

    PubMed

    Fujii, Garuda; Ueta, Tsuyoshi; Mizuno, Mamoru; Nakamura, Masayuki

    2015-05-01

    Topology-optimized designs of multiple-disk resonators are presented using level-set expression that incorporates surface effects. Effects from total internal reflection at the surfaces of the dielectric disks are precisely simulated by modeling clearly defined dielectric boundaries during topology optimization. The electric field intensity in optimal resonators increases to more than four and a half times the initial intensity in a resonant state, whereas in some cases the Q factor increases by three and a half times that for the initial state. Wavelength-scale link structures between neighboring disks improve the performance of the multiple-disk resonators. PMID:25969226

  6. Comparison of Single-Level and Multiple-Level Outcomes of Total Disc Arthroplasty: 24-Month Results

    PubMed Central

    Ritter-Lang, Karsten; Gössel, Lutz; Dreßler, Nadine

    2015-01-01

    Background Low back pain is one of the most prevalent problems in industrialized countries, affecting as many as 80% of all adults at some time in their lives. Among the significant contributors to low back pain is degenerative disc disease (DDD). Although fusion has been well accepted for treatment of DDD, high rates of complications and stress to adjacent segments remain a concern. Lumbar total disc replacement (TDR) was developed with a goal of preserving motion and avoiding various fusion-related complications, but the relative merits of single vs. multiple level arthroplasty remain unclear. Methods This is a multi-center, single arm, prospective post-market registry of the M6-L, consisting of consecutive patients presenting with lumbar DDD who agreed to participate. This paper reports on those patients who have completed at least 24 months of followup to date. Clinical outcome measures include the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and back and leg Visual Analogue Scales (VAS). Radiographic analysis of disc angle and range of motion (ROM) was also performed. Results Results for 83 patients comprising 121 implants in two cohorts (49 single level (SL), 34 multiple levels (ML)) are reported. Both cohorts experienced significant improvement at 24 months including significant decreases in ODI and VAS. Relative to SL procedures, ML procedures demonstrated either comparable results, or results that trended favorably towards the ML procedures. Index and global ROM at 24 months were not significantly different between the two cohorts, while the disc angles were larger in the SL cohort regardless of index level. Conclusions This is the first study to report clinical and radiographic outcomes of TDR with the M6-L in SL vs ML procedures with two years of followup. The results suggest initial device safety and effectiveness when used for the treatment of lumbar degenerative disc disease at one or more levels. PMID:26056629

  7. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) concentration in soil from San Luis Potosi, Mexico: levels and ecological and human health risk characterization.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Vázquez, Francisco J; Orta-García, Sandra T; Ochoa-Martínez, Ángeles C; Pruneda-Álvarez, Lucia G; Ruiz-Vera, Tania; Jiménez-Avalos, Jorge Armando; González-Palomo, Ana K; Pérez-Maldonado, Iván N

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in soils from the city of San Luis Potosi in Mexico and perform an ecological and human health risk characterization. In order to confirm the presence of PBDEs, outdoor surface soil samples were collected and the concentrations of PBDEs in urban, industrial, agricultural, and brick kiln industry areas were determined. The mean total PBDEs levels obtained in the study sites were 25.0 ± 39.5 μg/kg (geometric mean ± standard deviation) in the brick kiln industry zone; 34.5 ± 36.0 μg/kg in the urban zone; 8.00 ± 7.10 μg/kg in the industrial zone and 16.6 ± 15.3 μg/kg in the agricultural zone. The ecological and human health risk characterization showed relatively low-hazard quotient values. However, the moderately high PBDEs levels found in soils highlight the necessity to establish a systematic monitoring process for PBDEs in environmental and biological samples. PMID:26566197

  8. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) concentration in soil from San Luis Potosi, Mexico: levels and ecological and human health risk characterization.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Vázquez, Francisco J; Orta-García, Sandra T; Ochoa-Martínez, Ángeles C; Pruneda-Álvarez, Lucia G; Ruiz-Vera, Tania; Jiménez-Avalos, Jorge Armando; González-Palomo, Ana K; Pérez-Maldonado, Iván N

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in soils from the city of San Luis Potosi in Mexico and perform an ecological and human health risk characterization. In order to confirm the presence of PBDEs, outdoor surface soil samples were collected and the concentrations of PBDEs in urban, industrial, agricultural, and brick kiln industry areas were determined. The mean total PBDEs levels obtained in the study sites were 25.0 ± 39.5 μg/kg (geometric mean ± standard deviation) in the brick kiln industry zone; 34.5 ± 36.0 μg/kg in the urban zone; 8.00 ± 7.10 μg/kg in the industrial zone and 16.6 ± 15.3 μg/kg in the agricultural zone. The ecological and human health risk characterization showed relatively low-hazard quotient values. However, the moderately high PBDEs levels found in soils highlight the necessity to establish a systematic monitoring process for PBDEs in environmental and biological samples.

  9. Levels of uninvolved immunoglobulins predict clinical status and progression-free survival for multiple myeloma patients.

    PubMed

    Harutyunyan, Nika M; Vardanyan, Suzie; Ghermezi, Michael; Gottlieb, Jillian; Berenson, Ariana; Andreu-Vieyra, Claudia; Berenson, James R

    2016-07-01

    Multiple myeloma (MM) is characterized by the enhanced production of the same monoclonal immunoglobulin (M-Ig or M protein). Techniques such as serum protein electrophoresis and nephelometry are routinely used to quantify levels of this protein in the serum of MM patients. However, these methods are not without their shortcomings and problems accurately quantifying M proteins remain. Precise quantification of the types and levels of M-Ig present is critical to monitoring patient response to therapy. In this study, we investigated the ability of the HevyLite (HLC) immunoassay to correlate with clinical status based on levels of involved and uninvolved antibodies. In our cohort of MM patients, we observed that significantly higher ratios and greater differences of involved HLC levels compared to uninvolved HLC levels correlated with a worse clinical status. Similarly, higher absolute levels of involved HLC antibodies and lower levels of uninvolved HLC antibodies also correlated with a worse clinical status and a shorter progression-free survival. These findings suggest that the HLC assay is a useful and a promising tool for determining the clinical status and survival time for patients with multiple myeloma.

  10. Beyond the basics: preschool children label objects flexibly at multiple hierarchical levels.

    PubMed

    Waxman, S R; Hatch, T

    1992-02-01

    Although preschoolers typically accept the basic level label for an object (e.g. dog) and tend to resist all others (e.g. collie, animal), this tendency is not inviolable. Under certain circumstances, children accept more than one label per object. In this experiment, with 20 three- and 20 four-year-old children, we extended this body of research in three ways. We examined (I) children's production of multiple, hierarchically related labels; (2) the pragmatic consequences of the inherent asymmetry of inclusion relations; and (3) the influence of morphology (modifier+noun constructions vs. simple lexemes) at the subordinate level. Children labelled objects most frequently at the basic level, but also readily produced many non-basic level terms. Children, like adults, may prefer to label objects at the basic level, but they exhibit no general prohibition against also labelling at other, non-basic levels. Their performance challenges the notion that the ability to label objects flexibly at multiple levels is beyond the young child's capacity.

  11. Studies on the ecology of aquatic bacteria of the lower Niger Delta: multiple antibiotic resistance among the standard plate count organisms.

    PubMed

    Ogan, M T; Nwiika, D E

    1993-05-01

    The ecology of multiple antibiotic resistant (MAR) bacteria in the fresh-waters of the lower Niger Delta was studied in the Port Harcourt area, Rivers State. On the basis of decreasing pollution levels three zones, A, B, C, were recognized. Cell recovery by two viable count media, casein-peptone-starch (CPS) and plate count (PC) agar containing chloramphenicol, tetracycline, penicillin, streptomycin or ampicillin were compared in an initial study. Higher numbers of antibiotic resistant (AR) bacteria were recovered on CPS containing tetracycline, penicillin, streptomycin and ampicillin from the faecally-polluted New Calabar River (zone A) than on SPC agar containing similar antibiotics but the reverse was observed for forest stream (zone B) samples. Differences between the two media were also observed at individual sample sites. The proportions of strains of AR bacteria resistant to their primary isolation antibiotic varied from 55% (zone B) to 72% in the least polluted Isiokpo and Elele-Alimini streams (zone C), for ampicillin, and mostly < 50% for the other drugs in each zone. Thirty bacterial strains purified from the prevent colonial types on the count media without antibiotics included mainly species of Bacillus (12) and enterobacteria (18). Between five and 10 strains were resistant to > or = three antibiotics; seven were resistant to all five. The antibiograms of most strains were variable and depended on the method of drug application (discs or incorporation into agar), media and temperature of incubation (25 degrees, 37 degrees or 44.5 degrees C). Twenty-one strains were consistently resistant to ampicillin by the two methods; 10 to 19 were consistent for chloramphenicol, tetracycline and penicillin.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  12. Serum Vitamin B12 and thyroid hormone levels in Saudi patients with multiple sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Al-Khamis, Fahd A.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: To determine the relationship between Vitamin B12 levels and thyroid hormones in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Materials and Methods: One hundred and ten patients with MS were recruited for this study after Institutional Review Board approval. All patients signed a written informed consent form and donated a single blood sample. Plasma Vitamin B12 levels, triiodothyronine (T3), and thyroxine (T4) hormone levels were measured. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software. Results: Analysis of Vitamin B12 levels in 110 patients with MS revealed that 65% had normal levels of Vitamin B12 (200–900 pg/ml), 30% had low levels of Vitamin B12 (<200 pg/ml), and 5% high levels of Vitamin B12 (higher than 900 pg/ml). Further analysis of patients with low levels of Vitamin B12 revealed that this cohort exhibited a significantly high number of patients with low levels of the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) (P < 0.005). Conclusion: This study suggests a relationship between Vitamin B12 levels and thyroid hormones. This opens the possibility that the use of therapies that increase triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) levels might be beneficial to patients with MS.

  13. Serum Vitamin B12 and thyroid hormone levels in Saudi patients with multiple sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Al-Khamis, Fahd A.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: To determine the relationship between Vitamin B12 levels and thyroid hormones in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Materials and Methods: One hundred and ten patients with MS were recruited for this study after Institutional Review Board approval. All patients signed a written informed consent form and donated a single blood sample. Plasma Vitamin B12 levels, triiodothyronine (T3), and thyroxine (T4) hormone levels were measured. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software. Results: Analysis of Vitamin B12 levels in 110 patients with MS revealed that 65% had normal levels of Vitamin B12 (200–900 pg/ml), 30% had low levels of Vitamin B12 (<200 pg/ml), and 5% high levels of Vitamin B12 (higher than 900 pg/ml). Further analysis of patients with low levels of Vitamin B12 revealed that this cohort exhibited a significantly high number of patients with low levels of the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) (P < 0.005). Conclusion: This study suggests a relationship between Vitamin B12 levels and thyroid hormones. This opens the possibility that the use of therapies that increase triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) levels might be beneficial to patients with MS. PMID:27625581

  14. Contrasting levels of clonal and within-population genetic diversity between the 2 ecologically different herbs Polygonatum stenophyllum and Polygonatum inflatum (Liliaceae).

    PubMed

    Chung, Mi Yoon; López-Pujol, Jordi; Chung, Jae Min; Kim, Ki-Joong; Chung, Myong Gi

    2014-01-01

    Comparative studies on clonal and genetic structure between ecologically contrasting congeners may provide valuable insights into the mechanisms promoting the maintenance of genetic diversity in clonal plant species. Polygonatum stenophyllum has long rhizomes (ca. 30-40 cm long) and largely occurs on sandy soils in open river banks, whereas its congener Polygonatum inflatum has short ones (ca. 5-10 cm long) and occurs on humic soils under deciduous forests. Using 21 allozyme loci, we comparatively assessed levels of clonal and genetic diversity in the 2 clonal species. Seven populations of P. stenophyllum consisted of single clones, and levels of within-population clonal and genetic variation were considerably lower than those of P. inflatum. However, when samples were pooled, P. stenophyllum harbored higher genetic variation than P. inflatum, which is due to higher among-population genetic differentiation in the former species compared with the latter (FST=0.636 vs. FST=0.165). Our data suggest that populations of P. stenophyllum have been mainly founded by a single seed or rhizome (through river water) or by a few seeds, whereas populations of P. inflatum would have been established through multiple, repeated seedling recruitment. Moderate levels of genetic diversity in a population of P. stenophyllum located at the foot of the Baekdudaegan Mountains and in all the populations of P. inflatum are consistent with the previous hypothesis that these mountains served as a glacial refugium for many boreal species of the Korean Peninsula.

  15. Is serum vitamin D levels associated with disability in patients with newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis?

    PubMed Central

    Hatamian, Hamidreza; Bidabadi, Elham; Saadat, Seyed Mohammad Seyed; Saadat, Niloufar Seyed; Kazemnezhad, Ehsan; Ramezani, Hamed

    2013-01-01

    Background Although the precise etiology of multiple sclerosis (MS) is unknown, it seems that both genetic and environmental factors are important. Recent studies suggest that low serum vitamin D levels are important environmental factor in MS. The aim of this study was to compare the serum levels of vitamin D between MS patients and healthy subjects, and to determine its association with disability in MS patients. Methods In this cross-sectional study, a total of 52 patients with MS were randomly recruited and matched for age and sex with 52 healthy subjects. Demographic characteristics and serum vitamin D levels for both groups, as well as duration of disease Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) for MS patients were evaluated. Statistical analysis was performed by independent samples t-test and multiple linear regression analysis. Results The mean serum vitamin D levels were 26.5 ± 16.3 ng/ml in MS patients vs. 37.1 ±19.7 in healthy subjects (P = 0.003). A linear regression analysis showed no significant association between vitamin D levels and EDSS score of patients with MS (P = 0.345), after adjusting for the covariates. Conclusion Our findings did not suggest a protective association for serum vitamin D levels against disability in MS patients. PMID:24250900

  16. The human dimensions of climate change: A micro-level assessment of views from the ecological modernization, political economy and human ecology perspectives.

    PubMed

    Adua, Lazarus; York, Richard; Schuelke-Leech, Beth-Anne

    2016-03-01

    Understanding the manifold human and physical dimensions of climate change has become an area of great interest to researchers in recent decades. Using a U.S. nationally-representative data set and drawing on the ecological modernization, political economy, and human ecology perspectives, this study examines the impacts of energy efficiency technologies, affluence, household demographics, and biophysical characteristics on residential CO2 emissions. Overall, the study provides mixed support for the ecological modernization perspective. While several findings are consistent with the theory's expectation that modern societies can harness technology to mitigate human impacts on the environment, others directly contradict it. Also, the theory's prediction of an inverted U-shaped relationship between affluence and environmental impacts is contradicted. The evidence is somewhat more supportive of the political economy and human ecology perspectives, with affluence, some indicators of technology, household demographics, and biophysical characteristics emerging as important drivers of residential CO2 emissions.

  17. Formation of multiple levels of porous silicon for buried insulators and conductors in silicon device technologies

    DOEpatents

    Blewer, Robert S.; Gullinger, Terry R.; Kelly, Michael J.; Tsao, Sylvia S.

    1991-01-01

    A method of forming a multiple level porous silicon substrate for semiconductor integrated circuits including anodizing non-porous silicon layers of a multi-layer silicon substrate to form multiple levels of porous silicon. At least one porous silicon layer is then oxidized to form an insulating layer and at least one other layer of porous silicon beneath the insulating layer is metallized to form a buried conductive layer. Preferably the insulating layer and conductive layer are separated by an anodization barrier formed of non-porous silicon. By etching through the anodization barrier and subsequently forming a metallized conductive layer, a fully or partially insulated buried conductor may be fabricated under single crystal silicon.

  18. Structural invariance of multiple intelligences, based on the level of execution.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Leandro S; Prieto, María Dolores; Ferreira, Arístides; Ferrando, Mercedes; Ferrandiz, Carmen; Bermejo, Rosario; Hernández, Daniel

    2011-11-01

    The independence of multiple intelligences (MI) of Gardner's theory has been debated since its conception. This article examines whether the one- factor structure of the MI theory tested in previous studies is invariant for low and high ability students. Two hundred ninety-four children (aged 5 to 7) participated in this study. A set of Gardner's Multiple Intelligence assessment tasks based on the Spectrum Project was used. To analyze the invariance of a general dimension of intelligence, the different models of behaviours were studied in samples of participants with different performance on the Spectrum Project tasks with Multi-Group Confirmatory Factor Analysis (MGCFA). Results suggest an absence of structural invariance in Gardner's tasks. Exploratory analyses suggest a three-factor structure for individuals with higher performance levels and a two-factor structure for individuals with lower performance levels.

  19. Structural invariance of multiple intelligences, based on the level of execution.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Leandro S; Prieto, María Dolores; Ferreira, Arístides; Ferrando, Mercedes; Ferrandiz, Carmen; Bermejo, Rosario; Hernández, Daniel

    2011-11-01

    The independence of multiple intelligences (MI) of Gardner's theory has been debated since its conception. This article examines whether the one- factor structure of the MI theory tested in previous studies is invariant for low and high ability students. Two hundred ninety-four children (aged 5 to 7) participated in this study. A set of Gardner's Multiple Intelligence assessment tasks based on the Spectrum Project was used. To analyze the invariance of a general dimension of intelligence, the different models of behaviours were studied in samples of participants with different performance on the Spectrum Project tasks with Multi-Group Confirmatory Factor Analysis (MGCFA). Results suggest an absence of structural invariance in Gardner's tasks. Exploratory analyses suggest a three-factor structure for individuals with higher performance levels and a two-factor structure for individuals with lower performance levels. PMID:22047880

  20. Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera) have low infestation levels of the mite Varroa destructor in different ecological regions in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Medina-Flores, C A; Guzmán-Novoa, E; Hamiduzzaman, M M; Aréchiga-Flores, C F; López-Carlos, M A

    2014-02-21

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies of African and European descent were compared for levels of Varroa destructor infestation in 3 different ecological regions in Mexico. The 300 colonies that were studied were located in subtropical, temperate sub-humid, and temperate dry climates. The morphotype and mitotype of adult bees as well as their rates of infestation by varroa mites were determined. Additionally, the number of combs with brood and covered with bees was recorded for each colony. The highest frequency of colonies that were classified as African-derived was found in the subtropical environment, whereas the lowest occurred in the temperate dry region. Overall, the colonies of African genotype had significantly lower mite infestation rates (3.5±0.34%) than the colonies of European genotype (4.7±0.49%) regardless of the region sampled. Significant effects of genotype and region on Varroa infestation rates were evident, and there were no differences in bee population or capped brood between genotypes. Mite infestation levels were significantly lower in the colonies of the temperate dry region than in the colonies of the other 2 regions. These results are discussed within the context of results from studies that were previously conducted in Brazil. This is the first study that demonstrates the effects of Africanization and ecological environment on V. destructor infestation rates in honey bee colonies in North America.

  1. Adverse Outcome Pathways and Ecological Risk Assessment: Bridging to Population-Level Effects

    SciTech Connect

    Kramer, Vincent J.; Etterson, Matthew A.; Hecker, Markus; Murphy, Cheryl A.; Roesijadi, Guritno; Spade, Daniel J.; Spromberg, Julann A.; Wang, Magnus; Ankley, Gerald T.

    2010-11-24

    The viability of populations of plants and animals is a key focus for environmental regulation. Population-level responses integrate the cumulative effects of chemical stressors on individuals as those individuals interact with and are affected by their con-specifics, competitors, predators, prey, habitat and other biotic and abiotic factors. Models of population-level effects of contaminants can integrate information from lower levels of biological organization and feed that information into higher-level community and ecosystem models. As individual-level endpoints are utilized to predict population responses, this requires that biological responses at lower levels of organization be translated into a form that is useable by the population modeler. In this paper we describe how mechanistic data, as captured in adverse outcome pathways, can be translated into modeling focused on population-level risk assessments. First, we present a succinct overview of different approaches to population modeling, and discuss the types of data needed for these models. Then we discuss how toxicity data are used currently for population modeling, and provide recommendations as to how testing might be modified to better generate information to support modeling. From this we describe how different key processes measured at the level of the individual serve as the bridge between mechanistic toxicology data and predictions of population status, and provide case examples of how this linkage has been/can be achieved.

  2. PATTERNS OF EMOTIONAL AVAILABILITY IN MOTHER-INFANT DYADS: ASSOCIATIONS WITH MULTIPLE LEVELS OF CONTEXT.

    PubMed

    Mingo, M Verónica; Easterbrooks, M Ann

    2015-01-01

    This study explored emotional availability (EA)- an individual's emotional responsiveness and attunement to another's needs and goals (R.N. Emde, 1980)- among a high social risk group of 226 adolescent mothers and their infants (average = 12 months old). The aim was to identify dyadic patterns of EA and to examine their association with multiple indicators of the ecological context. Maternal sensitivity, maternal nonhostility, and child responsiveness were assessed with the Emotional Availability Scales, Third Edition (Z. Biringen, J. Robinson, & R.N. Emde, 1998) during free play and teaching observations at home. Four EA patterns were identified using k-means cluster analysis: (a) "low functioning," (b) "high functioning," (c) "low functioning dyads with nonhostile mothers," and (d) "inconsistently sensitive mother and responsive child." These patterns had distinct associations with (a) mothers' parenting attitudes regarding children's power and independence and parent-child role reversal, (b) mothers' strategies in conflict resolution with their partners and their children, and (c) the dyads' living arrangements. This study makes a contribution to the understanding of the mother-child relationship from a systemic and relational perspective and explores the association of EA patterns with the dyads' relational context. Implications for programs and treatment approaches aimed at supporting dyads at social risk are discussed.

  3. Electromagnetically induced transparency in an inhomogeneously broadened {Lambda} transition with multiple excited levels

    SciTech Connect

    Mishina, O. S.; Scherman, M.; Lombardi, P.; Ortalo, J.; Bramati, A.; Laurat, J.; Giacobino, E.; Felinto, D.; Sheremet, A. S.; Kupriyanov, D. V.

    2011-05-15

    Electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) has mainly been modeled for three-level systems. In particular, considerable interest has been dedicated to the {Lambda} configuration, with two ground states and one excited state. However, in the alkali-metal atoms, which are commonly used, the hyperfine interaction in the excited state introduces several levels which simultaneously participate in the scattering process. When the Doppler broadening is comparable with the hyperfine splitting in the upper state, the three-level {Lambda} model does not reproduce the experimental results. Here we theoretically investigate the EIT in a hot vapor of alkali-metal atoms and demonstrate that it can be strongly reduced by the presence of multiple excited levels. Given this model, we also show that well-designed optical pumping enables us to significantly recover the transparency.

  4. Physically feasible three-level transitionless quantum driving with multiple Schrödinger dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Xue-Ke; Ai, Qing; Qiu, Jing; Deng, Fu-Guo

    2016-05-01

    Three-level quantum systems, which possess some unique characteristics beyond two-level ones, such as electromagnetically induced transparency, coherent trapping, and Raman scatting, play important roles in solid-state quantum information processing. Here, we introduce an approach to implement the physically feasible three-level transitionless quantum driving with multiple Schrödinger dynamics (MSDs). It can be used to control accurately population transfer and entanglement generation for three-level quantum systems in a nonadiabatic way. Moreover, we propose an experimentally realizable hybrid architecture, based on two nitrogen-vacancy-center ensembles coupled to a transmission line resonator, to realize our transitionless scheme which requires fewer physical resources and simple procedures, and it is more robust against environmental noises and control parameter variations than conventional adiabatic passage techniques. All these features inspire the further application of MSDs on robust quantum information processing in experiment.

  5. Temporal artery biopsy: is there any value in examining biopsies at multiple levels?

    PubMed Central

    Chakrabarty, A; Franks, A

    2000-01-01

    Aims—To analyse the cost-effectiveness of three strategies for examining temporal artery biopsies based on data from cases examined over the past 10 years. Methods—Of a total of 172 temporal artery biopsies, five were unsuitable for further analysis, 47 had already had levels cut, and 120 had levels cut as part of the study. All the biopsies were examined blind before and after levels. A tree with eventual diagnostic outcomes for different strategies was constructed and economic and sensitivity analyses performed. Welcan units were used to assess technical workload. Results—Only one of the 132 initially normal cases and two of 14 diagnosed with periarterial lymphocytic infiltration (PALI) revealed giant cell arteritis after examining the tissue at multiple levels. Fifteen cases (8.9%) showed PALI not previously observed. The marginal cost for each extra case of giant cell arteritis detected was 83.5 Welcan units for a strategy of routine levels on all sections, and 21 Welcan units for a strategy of only cutting levels if PALI was present on the initial section. These costs were sensitive to the frequency of giant cell arteritis in cases with PALI and to the relative extra cost of moving from cutting single section to routine levels. Conclusions—Routinely examining a temporal artery biopsy at multiple levels does not increase the diagnostic yield of the test, although selective further examination may be indicated in some cases. The significance of PALI is uncertain. The cost-benefit of the different strategies in terms of clinical decision making revolve around the perceived risk inherent in not making a diagnosis of giant cell arteritis. Key Words: temporal artery biopsy • economic analysis • decision analysis PMID:10767829

  6. Dietary Leucine - An Environmental Modifier of Insulin Resistance Acting on Multiple Levels of Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Macotela, Yazmin; Emanuelli, Brice; Bång, Anneli M.; Espinoza, Daniel O.; Boucher, Jeremie; Beebe, Kirk; Gall, Walter; Kahn, C. Ronald

    2011-01-01

    Environmental factors, such as the macronutrient composition of the diet, can have a profound impact on risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. In the present study we demonstrate how a single, simple dietary factor—leucine—can modify insulin resistance by acting on multiple tissues and at multiple levels of metabolism. Mice were placed on a normal or high fat diet (HFD). Dietary leucine was doubled by addition to the drinking water. mRNA, protein and complete metabolomic profiles were assessed in the major insulin sensitive tissues and serum, and correlated with changes in glucose homeostasis and insulin signaling. After 8 weeks on HFD, mice developed obesity, fatty liver, inflammatory changes in adipose tissue and insulin resistance at the level of IRS-1 phosphorylation, as well as alterations in metabolomic profile of amino acid metabolites, TCA cycle intermediates, glucose and cholesterol metabolites, and fatty acids in liver, muscle, fat and serum. Doubling dietary leucine reversed many of the metabolite abnormalities and caused a marked improvement in glucose tolerance and insulin signaling without altering food intake or weight gain. Increased dietary leucine was also associated with a decrease in hepatic steatosis and a decrease in inflammation in adipose tissue. These changes occurred despite an increase in insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of p70S6 kinase indicating enhanced activation of mTOR, a phenomenon normally associated with insulin resistance. These data indicate that modest changes in a single environmental/nutrient factor can modify multiple metabolic and signaling pathways and modify HFD induced metabolic syndrome by acting at a systemic level on multiple tissues. These data also suggest that increasing dietary leucine may provide an adjunct in the management of obesity-related insulin resistance. PMID:21731668

  7. Seasonal ecological changes and water level variations in the Sélingué Reservoir (Mali, West Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arfi, R.

    This work investigates the ecological modifications induced by the annual water level change as a consequence of hydrological regime and power production in Sélingué, a monomictic reservoir in Mali (West Africa). High waters occur from November, after the flood, while low waters occur from June, at the end of the dry season. Decrease of water level is linked to environmental factors (marked hydrological pattern, both for river flow and rain) and to human management of the reservoir during the dry season (irrigation, high hydropower demand). Difference in elevation between the high water and the low water phases is 9 m. To assess the ecological impact of such water level variations, environmental and biological descriptors were studied on water sampled biweekly from November 2000 to November 2001 in stations representative of the north part of this water body. As a consequence of high water and of regional meteorology (NE trade winds), the water column in Sélingué is stratified from March to May. Stratification can act as a trap for nutrients in the hypolimnion, preventing the euphotic epilimnion to be realimented in dissolved P and N mineral components. This process lasts until the beginning of the monsoon (SW trade winds) when progressive warming and energetic inputs through storms allow vertical mixing. The sink-phase is then replaced by a spring-phase when the water column is not anymore stratified and when the water level is low enough to allow wind-induced resuspension and vertical mixing. At the end of the low water phase, phytoplankton blooms are observed, allowed by the proximity of the productive euphotic layer and the deep mineralization layer and their possible mixing. Water level is also important for fisheries, since fishes are “diluted” in high water (i.e., more difficult to catch with the artisanal tools operated by the local fishermen) but are “concentrated” in low water (i.e., more easily over fished in the minor riverbed, where most

  8. Planar UWB Filter with Multiple Notched Band and Stopband with Improved Rejection Level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghazali, Abu Nasar; Pal, Srikanta

    2015-05-01

    Analysis and realization of a microstrip-based planar ultra-wideband (UWB) filter with integrated multiple notch elimination property and simultaneously extended upper stopband is proposed. Initially, a UWB filter based on back-to-back microstrip-to-CPW technology is designed. Later, multiple spiral defected ground structures (DGS) are embedded to obtain multiple passband notches. Further, double equilateral U (DEU)-type DGS are used to improve upon the rejection level in upper stopband. The multiple passband notches are results of embedded spiral-shaped DGS (SDGS), while extended upper stopband is the outcome of suppressed higher-order spurious harmonics. The flexible dual-attenuation poles of DEU-shaped DGS suppress the stopband harmonics and widen the stopband. An approximate lumped equivalent circuit model of the proposed filter is modelled. The filter is compact and its layout measures 25.26 mm × 11.01 mm. The measured result is in good agreement with the full-wave electromagnetic (EM) simulation and circuit simulation.

  9. A multiple lines of evidence approach for the ecological risk assessment of an accidental bitumen release from a steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) well in the Athabasca oil sands region.

    PubMed

    Berger, Robert G; Aslund, Melissa Whitfield; Sanders, Greg; Charlebois, Michael; Knopper, Loren D; Bresee, Karl E

    2016-01-15

    To assess the ecological impacts of two independent accidental bitumen releases from two steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) wells in the Athabasca oil sands region, a multiple lines of evidence (LOE) approach was developed. Following the release in 2010, action was taken to minimize environmental impact, including the selective removal of the most highly impacted vegetation and the use of oil socks to minimize possible runoff. An ecological risk assessment (ERA) was then conducted based on reported concentrations of bitumen related contaminants in soil, vegetation, and water. Results of biological assessments conducted at the site were also included in the risk characterization. Overall, the conclusion of the ERA was that the likelihood of long-term adverse health effects to ecological receptors in the area was negligible. To provide evidence for this conclusion, a small mammal sampling plan targeting Southern red-back voles (Myodes gapperi) was carried out at two sites and two relevant reference areas. Voles were readily collected at all locations and no statistically significant differences in morphometric measurements (i.e., body mass, length, foot length, and adjusted liver weight) were found between animals collected from impact zones of varying levels of coverage. Additionally, no trends corresponding with bitumen coverage were observed with respect to metal body burden in voles for metals that were previously identified in the source bitumen. Hepatic ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity was statistically significantly elevated in voles collected from the high impact zones of sites compared to those collected from the reference areas, a finding that is indicative of continued exposure to contaminants. However, this increase in EROD was not correlated with any observable adverse population-wide biological outcomes. Therefore the biological sampling program supported the conclusion of the initial ERA and supported the hypothesis of no significant

  10. A multiple lines of evidence approach for the ecological risk assessment of an accidental bitumen release from a steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) well in the Athabasca oil sands region.

    PubMed

    Berger, Robert G; Aslund, Melissa Whitfield; Sanders, Greg; Charlebois, Michael; Knopper, Loren D; Bresee, Karl E

    2016-01-15

    To assess the ecological impacts of two independent accidental bitumen releases from two steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) wells in the Athabasca oil sands region, a multiple lines of evidence (LOE) approach was developed. Following the release in 2010, action was taken to minimize environmental impact, including the selective removal of the most highly impacted vegetation and the use of oil socks to minimize possible runoff. An ecological risk assessment (ERA) was then conducted based on reported concentrations of bitumen related contaminants in soil, vegetation, and water. Results of biological assessments conducted at the site were also included in the risk characterization. Overall, the conclusion of the ERA was that the likelihood of long-term adverse health effects to ecological receptors in the area was negligible. To provide evidence for this conclusion, a small mammal sampling plan targeting Southern red-back voles (Myodes gapperi) was carried out at two sites and two relevant reference areas. Voles were readily collected at all locations and no statistically significant differences in morphometric measurements (i.e., body mass, length, foot length, and adjusted liver weight) were found between animals collected from impact zones of varying levels of coverage. Additionally, no trends corresponding with bitumen coverage were observed with respect to metal body burden in voles for metals that were previously identified in the source bitumen. Hepatic ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity was statistically significantly elevated in voles collected from the high impact zones of sites compared to those collected from the reference areas, a finding that is indicative of continued exposure to contaminants. However, this increase in EROD was not correlated with any observable adverse population-wide biological outcomes. Therefore the biological sampling program supported the conclusion of the initial ERA and supported the hypothesis of no significant

  11. Estimation of the discharges of the multiple water level stations by multi-objective optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsumoto, Kazuhiro; Miyamoto, Mamoru; Yamakage, Yuzuru; Tsuda, Morimasa; Yanami, Hitoshi; Anai, Hirokazu; Iwami, Yoichi

    2016-04-01

    This presentation shows two aspects of the parameter identification to estimate the discharges of the multiple water level stations by multi-objective optimization. One is how to adjust the parameters to estimate the discharges accurately. The other is which optimization algorithms are suitable for the parameter identification. Regarding the previous studies, there is a study that minimizes the weighted error of the discharges of the multiple water level stations by single-objective optimization. On the other hand, there are some studies that minimize the multiple error assessment functions of the discharge of a single water level station by multi-objective optimization. This presentation features to simultaneously minimize the errors of the discharges of the multiple water level stations by multi-objective optimization. Abe River basin in Japan is targeted. The basin area is 567.0km2. There are thirteen rainfall stations and three water level stations. Nine flood events are investigated. They occurred from 2005 to 2012 and the maximum discharges exceed 1,000m3/s. The discharges are calculated with PWRI distributed hydrological model. The basin is partitioned into the meshes of 500m x 500m. Two-layer tanks are placed on each mesh. Fourteen parameters are adjusted to estimate the discharges accurately. Twelve of them are the hydrological parameters and two of them are the parameters of the initial water levels of the tanks. Three objective functions are the mean squared errors between the observed and calculated discharges at the water level stations. Latin Hypercube sampling is one of the uniformly sampling algorithms. The discharges are calculated with respect to the parameter values sampled by a simplified version of Latin Hypercube sampling. The observed discharge is surrounded by the calculated discharges. It suggests that it might be possible to estimate the discharge accurately by adjusting the parameters. In a sense, it is true that the discharge of a water

  12. The impact of multiple low-level BCR-ABL1 mutations on response to ponatinib

    PubMed Central

    Yeung, David T. O.; Yeoman, Alexandra L.; Altamura, Haley K.; Jamison, Bronte A.; Field, Chani R.; Hodgson, J. Graeme; Lustgarten, Stephanie; Rivera, Victor M.; Hughes, Timothy P.; Branford, Susan

    2016-01-01

    The third-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) ponatinib shows activity against all common BCR-ABL1 single mutants, including the highly resistant BCR-ABL1-T315I mutant, improving outcome for patients with refractory chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). However, responses are variable, and causal baseline factors have not been well-studied. The type and number of low-level BCR-ABL1 mutations present after imatinib resistance has prognostic significance for subsequent treatment with nilotinib or dasatinib as second-line therapy. We therefore investigated the impact of low-level mutations detected by sensitive mass-spectrometry before ponatinib initiation (baseline) on treatment response in 363 TKI-resistant patients enrolled in the PONATINIB for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Evaluation and Ph+ Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia trial, including 231 patients in chronic phase (CP-CML). Low-level mutations were detected in 53 patients (15%, including low-level T315I in 14 patients); most, however, did not undergo clonal expansion during ponatinib treatment and, moreover, no specific individual mutations were associated with inferior outcome. We demonstrate however, that the number of mutations detectable by mass spectrometry after TKI resistance is associated with response to ponatinib treatment and could be used to refine the therapeutic approach. Although CP-CML patients with T315I (63/231, 27%) had superior responses overall, those with multiple mutations detectable by mass spectrometry (20, 32%) had substantially inferior responses compared with those with T315I as the sole mutation detected (43, 68%). In contrast, for CP-CML patients without T315I, the inferior responses previously observed with nilotinib/dasatinib therapy for imatinib-resistant patients with multiple mutations were not seen with ponatinib treatment, suggesting that ponatinib may prove to be particularly advantageous for patients with multiple mutations detectable by mass spectrometry after TKI resistance

  13. Income, income inequality, dental caries and dental care levels: an ecological study in rich countries.

    PubMed

    Bernabé, E; Sheiham, A; Sabbah, W

    2009-01-01

    Research has shown that beyond a certain level of absolute income, there is a weak relationship between income and population health. On the other hand, relative income or income inequality is more strongly related to health than absolute income in rich countries. The objective of this study was to assess the relationships of income and income inequality with dental caries and dental care levels in 35- to 44-year-old adults among rich countries. Income was assessed by gross domestic product and gross national income, income inequality by Gini coefficient and the ratio between the income of the richest and poorest 20% of the population, dental caries by DMFT and dental care levels by the care, restorative and treatment indices. Pearson and partial correlation were used to examine the relationships between income, income inequality, caries experience and dental care. Income measures were not related to either dental caries or dental care levels. However, income inequality measures were inversely and significantly related to number of filled teeth, DMFT, care index and restorative index, but not to number of decayed or missing teeth. It is concluded that DMFT scores were higher in more equal countries and may be explained by greater levels of restorative care in those countries.

  14. Biologically Motivated Novel Localization Paradigm by High-Level Multiple Object Recognition in Panoramic Images

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Sungho; Shim, Min-Sheob

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents the novel paradigm of a global localization method motivated by human visual systems (HVSs). HVSs actively use the information of the object recognition results for self-position localization and for viewing direction. The proposed localization paradigm consisted of three parts: panoramic image acquisition, multiple object recognition, and grid-based localization. Multiple object recognition information from panoramic images is utilized in the localization part. High-level object information was useful not only for global localization, but also for robot-object interactions. The metric global localization (position, viewing direction) was conducted based on the bearing information of recognized objects from just one panoramic image. The feasibility of the novel localization paradigm was validated experimentally. PMID:26457323

  15. Larval ecology, geographic range, and species survivorship in Cretaceous mollusks: organismic versus species-level explanations.

    PubMed

    Jablonski, David; Hunt, Gene

    2006-10-01

    The observation that geographic range size in Cretaceous mollusks is correlated with species survivorship and is heritable at the species level has figured repeatedly in discussions of species selection over the past two decades. However, some authors have suggested that the relationship between mode of larval development and geographic range supports the reduction of this example to selection on organismic properties. Our reanalysis of Jablonski's work on heritability at the species level finds that geographic range is significantly heritable (using a randomization test) in both bivalves and gastropods, even within a single larval mode. Further, generalized linear models show that geographic range size is more important than larval mode in predicting extinction probability in both gastropods and bivalves. These results reaffirm the role and heritability of geographic range as a species-level property that can promote species selection; the model-based approach applied here may help to operationalize "screening off " and related approaches to evaluating hierarchical explanations in evolution.

  16. The photorefractive effect at large modulation depth in semiconductors with multiple defect levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, N. D.; Schmeits, M.

    The photorefractive effect in semiconducting materials with multiple defects is studied in the case of modulation depth m=1. The basic equations are Poisson's equation and the continuity equations for electrons, holes and occupied defect levels. They include all recombination and optical generation mechanisms between the defect levels and valence and conduction bands. Their explicit numerical solution yields microscopic quantities such as space- and time-dependent electrical field profiles, carrier concentrations, as well as generation and recombination rates. The fundamental Fourier component of the electric field yields the two-wave-mixing gain. Application is made for InP with two levels in the forbidden gap, for which steady-state and transient resulting quantities are shown. The resulting features at large modulation depth are of non-sinusoidal shape. Due to the complexity of the system, the final results strongly depend on all parameters intervening in the models used, as is illustrated for several typical cases.

  17. Measuring the engagement level of children for multiple intelligence test using Kinect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Dongjin; Yun, Woo han; Park, Chan kyu; Yoon, H.; Kim, Jaehong; Park, C. H.

    2015-02-01

    In this paper, we present an affect recognition system for measuring the engagement level of children using the Kinect while performing a multiple intelligence test on a computer. First of all, we recorded 12 children while solving the test and manually created a ground truth data for the engagement levels of each child. For a feature extraction, Kinect for Windows SDK provides support for a user segmentation and skeleton tracking so that we can get 3D joint positions of an upper-body skeleton of a child. After analyzing movement of children, the engagement level of children's responses is classified into two classes: High or Low. We present the classification results using the proposed features and identify the significant features in measuring the engagement.

  18. Genetic variants are major determinants of CSF antibody levels in multiple sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Pauwels, Ine; Gustavsen, Marte W.; van Son, Brechtje; Hilven, Kelly; Bos, Steffan D.; Celius, Elisabeth Gulowsen; Berg-Hansen, Pål; Aarseth, Jan; Myhr, Kjell-Morten; D’Alfonso, Sandra; Barizzone, Nadia; Leone, Maurizio A.; Martinelli Boneschi, Filippo; Sorosina, Melissa; Liberatore, Giuseppe; Kockum, Ingrid; Olsson, Tomas; Hillert, Jan; Alfredsson, Lars; Bedri, Sahl Khalid; Hemmer, Bernhard; Buck, Dorothea; Berthele, Achim; Knier, Benjamin; Biberacher, Viola; van Pesch, Vincent; Sindic, Christian; Bang Oturai, Annette; Søndergaard, Helle Bach; Sellebjerg, Finn; Jensen, Poul Erik H.; Comabella, Manuel; Montalban, Xavier; Pérez-Boza, Jennifer; Malhotra, Sunny; Lechner-Scott, Jeannette; Broadley, Simon; Slee, Mark; Taylor, Bruce; Kermode, Allan G.; Gourraud, Pierre-Antoine; Sawcer, Stephen J.; Andreassen, Bettina Kullle; Dubois, Bénédicte; Harbo, Hanne F.

    2015-01-01

    Immunological hallmarks of multiple sclerosis include the production of antibodies in the central nervous system, expressed as presence of oligoclonal bands and/or an increased immunoglobulin G index—the level of immunoglobulin G in the cerebrospinal fluid compared to serum. However, the underlying differences between oligoclonal band-positive and -negative patients with multiple sclerosis and reasons for variability in immunoglobulin G index are not known. To identify genetic factors influencing the variation in the antibody levels in the cerebrospinal fluid in multiple sclerosis, we have performed a genome-wide association screen in patients collected from nine countries for two traits, presence or absence of oligoclonal bands (n = 3026) and immunoglobulin G index levels (n = 938), followed by a replication in 3891 additional patients. We replicate previously suggested association signals for oligoclonal band status in the major histocompatibility complex region for the rs9271640*A-rs6457617*G haplotype, correlated with HLA-DRB1*1501, and rs34083746*G, correlated with HLA-DQA1*0301 (P comparing two haplotypes = 8.88 × 10−16). Furthermore, we identify a novel association signal of rs9807334, near the ELAC1/SMAD4 genes, for oligoclonal band status (P = 8.45 × 10−7). The previously reported association of the immunoglobulin heavy chain locus with immunoglobulin G index reaches strong evidence for association in this data set (P = 3.79 × 10−37). We identify two novel associations in the major histocompatibility complex region with immunoglobulin G index: the rs9271640*A-rs6457617*G haplotype (P = 1.59 × 10−22), shared with oligoclonal band status, and an additional independent effect of rs6457617*G (P = 3.68 × 10−6). Variants identified in this study account for up to 2-fold differences in the odds of being oligoclonal band positive and 7.75% of the variation in immunoglobulin G index. Both traits are associated with clinical features of disease such

  19. Genetic variants are major determinants of CSF antibody levels in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Goris, An; Pauwels, Ine; Gustavsen, Marte W; van Son, Brechtje; Hilven, Kelly; Bos, Steffan D; Celius, Elisabeth Gulowsen; Berg-Hansen, Pål; Aarseth, Jan; Myhr, Kjell-Morten; D'Alfonso, Sandra; Barizzone, Nadia; Leone, Maurizio A; Martinelli Boneschi, Filippo; Sorosina, Melissa; Liberatore, Giuseppe; Kockum, Ingrid; Olsson, Tomas; Hillert, Jan; Alfredsson, Lars; Bedri, Sahl Khalid; Hemmer, Bernhard; Buck, Dorothea; Berthele, Achim; Knier, Benjamin; Biberacher, Viola; van Pesch, Vincent; Sindic, Christian; Bang Oturai, Annette; Søndergaard, Helle Bach; Sellebjerg, Finn; Jensen, Poul Erik H; Comabella, Manuel; Montalban, Xavier; Pérez-Boza, Jennifer; Malhotra, Sunny; Lechner-Scott, Jeannette; Broadley, Simon; Slee, Mark; Taylor, Bruce; Kermode, Allan G; Gourraud, Pierre-Antoine; Sawcer, Stephen J; Andreassen, Bettina Kullle; Dubois, Bénédicte; Harbo, Hanne F

    2015-03-01

    Immunological hallmarks of multiple sclerosis include the production of antibodies in the central nervous system, expressed as presence of oligoclonal bands and/or an increased immunoglobulin G index-the level of immunoglobulin G in the cerebrospinal fluid compared to serum. However, the underlying differences between oligoclonal band-positive and -negative patients with multiple sclerosis and reasons for variability in immunoglobulin G index are not known. To identify genetic factors influencing the variation in the antibody levels in the cerebrospinal fluid in multiple sclerosis, we have performed a genome-wide association screen in patients collected from nine countries for two traits, presence or absence of oligoclonal bands (n = 3026) and immunoglobulin G index levels (n = 938), followed by a replication in 3891 additional patients. We replicate previously suggested association signals for oligoclonal band status in the major histocompatibility complex region for the rs9271640*A-rs6457617*G haplotype, correlated with HLA-DRB1*1501, and rs34083746*G, correlated with HLA-DQA1*0301 (P comparing two haplotypes = 8.88 × 10(-16)). Furthermore, we identify a novel association signal of rs9807334, near the ELAC1/SMAD4 genes, for oligoclonal band status (P = 8.45 × 10(-7)). The previously reported association of the immunoglobulin heavy chain locus with immunoglobulin G index reaches strong evidence for association in this data set (P = 3.79 × 10(-37)). We identify two novel associations in the major histocompatibility complex region with immunoglobulin G index: the rs9271640*A-rs6457617*G haplotype (P = 1.59 × 10(-22)), shared with oligoclonal band status, and an additional independent effect of rs6457617*G (P = 3.68 × 10(-6)). Variants identified in this study account for up to 2-fold differences in the odds of being oligoclonal band positive and 7.75% of the variation in immunoglobulin G index. Both traits are associated with clinical features of disease such

  20. Adverse Outcome Pathways and Ecological Risk Assessment: Bridging to Population Level Effects

    EPA Science Inventory

    The viability of populations of plants and animals is a key focus for environmental regulation. Population-level responses integrate the cumulative effects of chemical stressors on individuals as those individuals interact with and are affected by their con-specifics, competitor...

  1. Adverse Outcome Pathways and Ecological Risk Assessment: Bridging to Population Level Effects, Journal Article

    EPA Science Inventory

    The viability of populations of plants and animals is a key focus for environmental regulation. Population-level responses integrate the cumulative effects of chemical stressors on individuals as those individuals interact with and are affected by their con-specifics, competitor...

  2. Effect of Dietary Protein Levels on Composition of Odorous Compounds and Bacterial Ecology in Pig Manure.

    PubMed

    Cho, Sungback; Hwang, Okhwa; Park, Sungkwon

    2015-09-01

    This study was performed to investigate the effect of different levels of dietary crude protein (CP) on composition of odorous compounds and bacterial communities in pig manure. A total of 48 male pigs (average initial body weight 45 kg) fed diets containing three levels of dietary CP (20%, 17.5%, and 15%) and their slurry samples were collected from the pits under the floor every week for one month. Changes in composition of odorous compounds and bacterial communities were analyzed by gas chromatography and 454 FLX titanium pyrosequencing systems, respectively. Levels of phenols, indoles, short chain fatty acid and branched chain fatty acid were lowest (p<0.05) in CP 15% group among three CP levels. Relative abundance of Bacteroidetes phylum and bacterial genera including Leuconostoc, Bacillus, Atopostipes, Peptonphilus, Ruminococcaceae_uc, Bacteroides, and Pseudomonas was lower (p<0.05) in CP 15% than in CP 20% group. There was a positive correlation (p<0.05) between odorous compounds and bacterial genera: phenol, indole, iso-butyric acid, and iso-valeric acid with Atopostipes, p-cresol and skatole with Bacteroides, acetic acid and butyric acid with AM982595_g of Porphyromonadaceae family, and propionic acid with Tissierella. Taken together, administration of 15% CP showed less production of odorous compounds than 20% CP group and this result might be associated with the changes in bacterial communities especially whose roles in protein metabolism. PMID:26194219

  3. Effect of Dietary Protein Levels on Composition of Odorous Compounds and Bacterial Ecology in Pig Manure

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Sungback; Hwang, Okhwa; Park, Sungkwon

    2015-01-01

    This study was performed to investigate the effect of different levels of dietary crude protein (CP) on composition of odorous compounds and bacterial communities in pig manure. A total of 48 male pigs (average initial body weight 45 kg) fed diets containing three levels of dietary CP (20%, 17.5%, and 15%) and their slurry samples were collected from the pits under the floor every week for one month. Changes in composition of odorous compounds and bacterial communities were analyzed by gas chromatography and 454 FLX titanium pyrosequencing systems, respectively. Levels of phenols, indoles, short chain fatty acid and branched chain fatty acid were lowest (p<0.05) in CP 15% group among three CP levels. Relative abundance of Bacteroidetes phylum and bacterial genera including Leuconostoc, Bacillus, Atopostipes, Peptonphilus, Ruminococcaceae_uc, Bacteroides, and Pseudomonas was lower (p<0.05) in CP 15% than in CP 20% group. There was a positive correlation (p<0.05) between odorous compounds and bacterial genera: phenol, indole, iso-butyric acid, and iso-valeric acid with Atopostipes, p-cresol and skatole with Bacteroides, acetic acid and butyric acid with AM982595_g of Porphyromonadaceae family, and propionic acid with Tissierella. Taken together, administration of 15% CP showed less production of odorous compounds than 20% CP group and this result might be associated with the changes in bacterial communities especially whose roles in protein metabolism. PMID:26194219

  4. Student Conceptions of Assessment by Level of Schooling: Further Evidence for Ecological Rationality in Belief Systems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Gavin; Harris, Lois

    2012-01-01

    Student beliefs about assessment may vary according to the level of schooling. The "Students Conceptions of Assessment" version 6 (SCoA-VI) inventory elicits attitudes towards four beliefs (assessment: improves teaching and learning, measures external factors, has affective impact/benefit, is irrelevant). Using multi-group confirmatory factor…

  5. Ecological, Pedagogical, Public Rhetoric

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rivers, Nathaniel A.; Weber, Ryan P.

    2011-01-01

    Public rhetoric pedagogy can benefit from an ecological perspective that sees change as advocated not through a single document but through multiple mundane and monumental texts. This article summarizes various approaches to rhetorical ecology, offers an ecological read of the Montgomery bus boycotts, and concludes with pedagogical insights on a…

  6. Simultaneous Determination of Multiple microRNA Levels Utilizing Biotinylated Dideoxynucleotides and Mass Spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sobin; Park, Jungyun; Na, Jeongkyeong; Jung, Gyoo Yeol; Hwang, Jungwook

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of gene translation and have been suggested as potent biomarkers in various disease states. In this study, we established an efficient method for simultaneous determination of multiple miRNA levels, employing the previously developed SPC-SBE (solid phase capture-single base extension) approach and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry (MS). In this approach, we first perform reverse transcription of miRNAs extracted using stem-loop primers. Then the cDNA is co-amplified with competitors, synthetic oligonucleotides whose sequences precisely match cDNA except for one base, and the amplicons serve as templates for a multiplexed SBE reaction. Extension products are isolated using SPC and quantitatively analyzed with MALDI-TOF MS to determine multiple miRNA levels. Here we demonstrated concurrent analysis of four miRNA levels utilizing the approach. Furthermore, we showed the presented method significantly facilitated MS analysis of peak area ratio owing to SPC. The SPC process allowed effective removal of irrelevant reaction components prior to MS and promoted MS sample purification. Data obtained in this study was verified with RT-qPCR and agreement was shown on one order of magnitude scale, suggesting the SPC-SBE and MS approach has strong potential as a viable tool for high throughput miRNA analysis. PMID:27380276

  7. Simultaneous Determination of Multiple microRNA Levels Utilizing Biotinylated Dideoxynucleotides and Mass Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Sobin; Park, Jungyun; Na, Jeongkyeong; Jung, Gyoo Yeol; Hwang, Jungwook

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of gene translation and have been suggested as potent biomarkers in various disease states. In this study, we established an efficient method for simultaneous determination of multiple miRNA levels, employing the previously developed SPC-SBE (solid phase capture-single base extension) approach and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry (MS). In this approach, we first perform reverse transcription of miRNAs extracted using stem-loop primers. Then the cDNA is co-amplified with competitors, synthetic oligonucleotides whose sequences precisely match cDNA except for one base, and the amplicons serve as templates for a multiplexed SBE reaction. Extension products are isolated using SPC and quantitatively analyzed with MALDI-TOF MS to determine multiple miRNA levels. Here we demonstrated concurrent analysis of four miRNA levels utilizing the approach. Furthermore, we showed the presented method significantly facilitated MS analysis of peak area ratio owing to SPC. The SPC process allowed effective removal of irrelevant reaction components prior to MS and promoted MS sample purification. Data obtained in this study was verified with RT-qPCR and agreement was shown on one order of magnitude scale, suggesting the SPC-SBE and MS approach has strong potential as a viable tool for high throughput miRNA analysis. PMID:27380276

  8. Studying morphological integration and modularity at multiple levels: concepts and analysis

    PubMed Central

    Klingenberg, Christian Peter

    2014-01-01

    Although most studies on integration and modularity have focused on variation among individuals within populations or species, this is not the only level of variation for which integration and modularity exist. Multiple levels of biological variation originate from distinct sources: genetic variation, phenotypic plasticity resulting from environmental heterogeneity, fluctuating asymmetry from random developmental variation and, at the interpopulation or interspecific levels, evolutionary change. The processes that produce variation at all these levels can impart integration or modularity on the covariance structure among morphological traits. In turn, studies of the patterns of integration and modularity can inform about the underlying processes. In particular, the methods of geometric morphometrics offer many advantages for such studies because they can characterize the patterns of morphological variation in great detail and maintain the anatomical context of the structures under study. This paper reviews biological concepts and analytical methods for characterizing patterns of variation and for comparing across levels. Because research comparing patterns across level has only just begun, there are relatively few results, generalizations are difficult and many biological and statistical questions remain unanswered. Nevertheless, it is clear that research using this approach can take advantage of an abundance of new possibilities that are so far largely unexplored. PMID:25002695

  9. Relationship between Prolactin Plasma Levels and White Matter Volume in Women with Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    De Giglio, L.; Marinelli, F.; Prosperini, L.; Contessa, G. M.; Gurreri, F.; Piattella, M. C.; De Angelis, F.; Barletta, V. T.; Tomassini, V.; Pantano, P.; Pozzilli, C.

    2015-01-01

    Background. The role of prolactin (PRL) on tissue injury and repair mechanisms in multiple sclerosis (MS) remains unclear. The aim of this work was to investigate the relationship between PRL plasma levels and brain damage as measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Methods. We employed a chemiluminescence immunoassay for measuring plasma levels of PRL. We used a 1.5 T scanner to acquire images and Jim 4.0 and SIENAX software to analyse them. Results. We included 106 women with relapsing remitting (RR) MS and stable disease in the last two months. There was no difference in PRL plasma levels between patients with and without gadolinium enhancement on MRI. PRL plasma levels correlated with white matter volume (WMV) (rho = 0.284, p = 0.014) but not with grey matter volume (GMV). Moreover, PRL levels predicted changes in WMV (Beta: 984, p = 0.034). Conclusions. Our data of a positive association between PRL serum levels and WMV support the role of PRL in promoting myelin repair as documented in animal models of demyelination. The lack of an increase of PRL in the presence of gadolinium enhancement, contrasts with the view considering this hormone as an immune-stimulating and detrimental factor in the inflammatory process associated with MS. PMID:26236110

  10. A Three-Level Mixed-Effects Location Scale Model With An Application To Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) Data

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xue; Hedeker, Donald

    2013-01-01

    In studies using Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA), or other intensive longitudinal data collection methods, interest frequently centers on changes in the variances, both within-subjects (WS) and between-subjects (BS). For this, Hedeker et al. (Biometrics 2008; 64: 627-634) developed an extended two-level mixed-effects model that treats observations as being nested within subjects and allows covariates to influence both the WS and BS variance, beyond their influence on means. However, in EMA studies, subjects often provide many responses within and across days. To account for the possible systematic day-to-day variation, we developed a more flexible three-level mixed-effects location scale model that treats observations within days within subjects, and allows covariates to influence the variance at the subject, day, and observation level (over and above their usual effects on means) using a log-linear representation throughout. We provide details of a maximum likelihood (ML) solution and demonstrate how SAS PROC NLMIXED can be used to achieve ML estimates in an alternative parameterization of our proposed three-level model. The accuracy of this approach using NLMIXED was verified by a series of simulation studies. Data from an adolescent mood study using EMA was analyzed to demonstrate this approach. The analyses clearly show the benefit of the proposed three-level model over the existing two-level approach. The proposed model has useful applications in many studies with three-level structures where interest centers on the joint modeling of the mean and variance structure. PMID:22865663

  11. Predation on multiple trophic levels shapes the evolution of pathogen virulence.

    PubMed

    Friman, Ville-Petri; Lindstedt, Carita; Hiltunen, Teppo; Laakso, Jouni; Mappes, Johanna

    2009-01-01

    The pathogen virulence is traditionally thought to co-evolve as a result of reciprocal selection with its host organism. In natural communities, pathogens and hosts are typically embedded within a web of interactions with other species, which could affect indirectly the pathogen virulence and host immunity through trade-offs. Here we show that selection by predation can affect both pathogen virulence and host immune defence. Exposing opportunistic bacterial pathogen Serratia marcescens to predation by protozoan Tetrahymena thermophila decreased its virulence when measured as host moth Parasemia plantaginis survival. This was probably because the bacterial anti-predatory traits were traded off with bacterial virulence factors, such as motility or resource use efficiency. However, the host survival depended also on its allocation to warning signal that is used against avian predation. When infected with most virulent ancestral bacterial strain, host larvae with a small warning signal survived better than those with an effective large signal. This suggests that larval immune defence could be traded off with effective defence against bird predators. However, the signal size had no effect on larval survival when less virulent control or evolved strains were used for infection suggesting that anti-predatory defence against avian predators, might be less constrained when the invading pathogen is rather low in virulence. Our results demonstrate that predation can be important indirect driver of the evolution of both pathogen virulence and host immunity in communities with multiple species interactions. Thus, the pathogen virulence should be viewed as a result of both past evolutionary history, and current ecological interactions.

  12. Examining Ecological and Ecosystem Level Impacts of Aquatic Invasive Species in Lake Michigan Using An Ecosystem Productivity Model, LM-Eco

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological and ecosystem-level impacts of aquatic invasive species in Lake Michigan were examined using the Lake Michigan Ecosystem Model (LM-Eco). The LM-Eco model includes a detailed description of trophic levels and their interactions within the lower food web of Lake Michiga...

  13. Managing multiple non-point pressures on water quality and ecological habitat: Spatially targeting effective mitigation actions at the landscape scale.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reaney, S. M.

    2014-12-01

    Catchment systems deliver many benefits to society and ecology but also produce a range of undesirable externalities including flooding, diffuse pollution from agriculture, forestry and urban areas and the export of FIOs. These diffuse pressures are coupled with increasing stream temperature pressures on river from projected climate change. These pressures can be reduced through actions at the landscape scale but are often tackled individually. Any intervention may have benefits for other pressures and hence the challenge is to consider all of the different pressures simultaneously to find solutions with high levels of cross-pressure benefits. The general approach taken within this research has been to use simple but spatially distributed models to predict the pattern of each of the pressures at the landscape scale. These models follow a minimum information requirement approach along the lines of the SCIMAP modelling approach (www.scimap.org.uk). This approach aims to capture the key features of the processes in relative rather than an absolute sense and hence is good at determining key locations to act within a landscape for maximum benefit. The core of the approach is to define the critical sources areas for each pressure based on the analysis of the pattern of the pressure in the landscape and the connectivity from the sources areas to the rivers and lakes. To identify the optimal locations with the landscape for mitigation actions, the benefit of a mitigation action at each location in the landscape needs to be considered. However, as one action has been made, it may change the suitability of other locations in the landscape. For example, as tree cover reduces the temperature in one river reach, the impacts of this cooling are transported downstream with the flow. Therefore, actions need to be considered in sets across multiple sites and objectives to identify the optimal actions set. These modelling results are integrated into a decision support tool which

  14. The pros and cons of ecological risk assessment based on data from different levels of biological organization.

    PubMed

    Rohr, Jason R; Salice, Christopher J; Nisbet, Roger M

    2016-10-01

    Ecological risk assessment (ERA) is the process used to evaluate the safety of manufactured chemicals to the environment. Here we review the pros and cons of ERA across levels of biological organization, including suborganismal (e.g., biomarkers), individual, population, community, ecosystem and landscapes levels. Our review revealed that level of biological organization is often related negatively with ease at assessing cause-effect relationships, ease of high-throughput screening of large numbers of chemicals (it is especially easier for suborganismal endpoints), and uncertainty of the ERA because low levels of biological organization tend to have a large distance between their measurement (what is quantified) and assessment endpoints (what is to be protected). In contrast, level of biological organization is often related positively with sensitivity to important negative and positive feedbacks and context dependencies within biological systems, and ease at capturing recovery from adverse contaminant effects. Some endpoints did not show obvious trends across levels of biological organization, such as the use of vertebrate animals in chemical testing and ease at screening large numbers of species, and other factors lacked sufficient data across levels of biological organization, such as repeatability, variability, cost per study and cost per species of effects assessment, the latter of which might be a more defensible way to compare costs of ERAs than cost per study. To compensate for weaknesses of ERA at any particular level of biological organization, we also review mathematical modeling approaches commonly used to extrapolate effects across levels of organization. Finally, we provide recommendations for next generation ERA, submitting that if there is an ideal level of biological organization to conduct ERA, it will only emerge if ERA is approached simultaneously from the bottom of biological organization up as well as from the top down, all while employing

  15. Comparison of serum levels of copper and zinc among multiple sclerosis patients and control group

    PubMed Central

    Sedighi, Behnaz; Ebrahimi, Hossein Ali; Haghdoost, Ali Akbar

    2013-01-01

    Background There have been several studies done on the role of metals in the occurrence of multiple sclerosis (MS) disease, but their roles have not been confirmed yet. Because of the lack of information on this issue, this study compared the serum level of copper and zinc in MS patients with their levels in a control group. Methods This was an analytical, cross-sectional study conducted in Kerman (a medium size city), Iran. We assessed the serum level of copper and zinc in 58 MS patients and 39 healthy individuals, who were selected from the relatives of cases and matched for age and sex. Results The average serum level of Copper in cases and controls were 93.7 and 88.9 ml/dl, respectively. The corresponding numbers for Zinc were 36.7 and 40.9 ml/dl, respectively. There was no significant difference between the two groups (copper: P = 0.459; zinc: P = 0.249). Conclusion The groups were matched for age, sex, and family. However, we did not find a considerable difference between the level of these metals in MS patients and controls. PMID:24250921

  16. Ecological genomics meets community-level modelling of biodiversity: mapping the genomic landscape of current and future environmental adaptation.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Matthew C; Keller, Stephen R

    2015-01-01

    Local adaptation is a central feature of most species occupying spatially heterogeneous environments, and may factor critically in responses to environmental change. However, most efforts to model the response of species to climate change ignore intraspecific variation due to local adaptation. Here, we present a new perspective on spatial modelling of organism-environment relationships that combines genomic data and community-level modelling to develop scenarios regarding the geographic distribution of genomic variation in response to environmental change. Rather than modelling species within communities, we use these techniques to model large numbers of loci across genomes. Using balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera) as a case study, we demonstrate how our framework can accommodate nonlinear responses of loci to environmental gradients. We identify a threshold response to temperature in the circadian clock gene GIGANTEA-5 (GI5), suggesting that this gene has experienced strong local adaptation to temperature. We also demonstrate how these methods can map ecological adaptation from genomic data, including the identification of predicted differences in the genetic composition of populations under current and future climates. Community-level modelling of genomic variation represents an important advance in landscape genomics and spatial modelling of biodiversity that moves beyond species-level assessments of climate change vulnerability.

  17. Decision-level fusion approach to face recognition with multiple cameras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yeom, Seokwon

    2014-05-01

    Face classification of multiple cameras has wide applications in surveillance. In this paper, the efficacy of a multi-frame decision-level fusion scheme for face classification based on the photon-counting linear discriminant analysis is investigated. The photon-counting linear discriminant analysis method is able to realize Fisher's criterion without preprocessing for dimensionality reduction. The decision-level fusion scheme is comprised of three stages: score normalization, score validation, and score combination. After normalization, the candidate scores are selected and combined by means of a score validation process and a fusion rule, respectively, in order to generate a final score. In the experiments, out-of-focus and motion blurs are rendered on test images simulating harsh conditions.

  18. Changes in cerebrospinal fluid levels of malondialdehyde and glutathione reductase activity in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Calabrese, V; Raffaele, R; Cosentino, E; Rizza, V

    1994-01-01

    The chemical composition of human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is considered to reflect brain metabolism. In this study we measured malondialdehyde (MDA) levels and the activity of enzymes involved in antioxidative processes, glutathione reductase and glutathione peroxidase, in human cerebrospinal fluid of multiple-sclerosis (MS) patients and normal healthy volunteers. Our results indicated that the cerebrospinal fluid in MS showed significantly higher endogenous levels of MDA than the control, as well as a much greater resistance to in-vitro stimulation test. In addition, we found the activity of GSH reductase significantly increased, about twice the control values, whereas the activity of glutathione peroxidase was markedly decreased as compared to control values. Our findings suggest that in MS the activity of antioxidant enzymes is modified, and indicates the conceivable possibility of a pathogenic role of oxidative stress in the determinism of the disease. PMID:7607784

  19. Contrasting effects of rising CO2 on primary production and ecological stoichiometry at different nutrient levels.

    PubMed

    Verspagen, Jolanda M H; Van de Waal, Dedmer B; Finke, Jan F; Visser, Petra M; Huisman, Jef

    2014-08-01

    Although rising CO2 concentrations are thought to promote the growth and alter the carbon : nutrient stoichiometry of primary producers, several studies have reported conflicting results. To reconcile these contrasting results, we tested the following hypotheses: rising CO2 levels (1) will increase phytoplankton biomass more at high nutrient loads than at low nutrient loads, but (2) will increase their carbon : nutrient stoichiometry more at low than at high nutrient loads. We formulated a mathematical model to predict dynamic changes in phytoplankton population density, elemental stoichiometry and inorganic carbon chemistry in response to rising CO2 . The model was tested in chemostat experiments with the freshwater cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa. The model predictions and experimental results confirmed the hypotheses. Our findings provide a novel theoretical framework to understand and predict effects of rising CO2 concentrations on primary producers and their nutritional quality as food for herbivores under different nutrient conditions.

  20. Multiple cell and population-level interactions with mouse embryonic stem cell heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Cannon, Danielle; Corrigan, Adam M; Miermont, Agnes; McDonel, Patrick; Chubb, Jonathan R

    2015-08-15

    Much of development and disease concerns the generation of gene expression differences between related cells sharing similar niches. However, most analyses of gene expression only assess population and time-averaged levels of steady-state transcription. The mechanisms driving differentiation are buried within snapshots of the average cell, lacking dynamic information and the diverse regulatory history experienced by individual cells. Here, we use a quantitative imaging platform with large time series data sets to determine the regulation of developmental gene expression by cell cycle, lineage, motility and environment. We apply this technology to the regulation of the pluripotency gene Nanog in mouse embryonic stem cells. Our data reveal the diversity of cell and population-level interactions with Nanog dynamics and heterogeneity, and how this regulation responds to triggers of pluripotency. Cell cycles are highly heterogeneous and cycle time increases with Nanog reporter expression, with longer, more variable cycle times as cells approach ground-state pluripotency. Nanog reporter expression is highly stable over multiple cell generations, with fluctuations within cycles confined by an attractor state. Modelling reveals an environmental component to expression stability, in addition to any cell-autonomous behaviour, and we identify interactions of cell density with both cycle behaviour and Nanog. Rex1 expression dynamics showed shared and distinct regulatory effects. Overall, our observations of multiple partially overlapping dynamic heterogeneities imply complex cell and environmental regulation of pluripotent cell behaviour, and suggest simple deterministic views of stem cell states are inappropriate.

  1. Photon drag in single and multiple two-level quantum wells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Xin; Keller, Ole

    1997-06-01

    Starting from a density-matrix operator description we derive an expression for the photon-drag response tensor of a quantum-well system containing an arbitrary number of subbands. Subsequently we analyze the structure of the nonlinear response tensor and make a specialization to the case of a two-level quantum well. In the wake of a self-consistent calculation of the local fields in a two-level well and in multiple quantum wells the photon-drag currents are determined. We illustrate the main ingredients of our theory by carrying out a number of numerical calculations of the drag current in a 15-Å wide niobium quantum well deposited on a crystalline quartz substrate and a GaAs/AlxGa1-xAs multiple-quantum-well structure. In particular we pay attention to the frequency, angle of incidence, and number of wells dependencies of the current, and we demonstrate that local-field effects may give rise to a significant blueshift and an asymmetric form of the resonance peak.

  2. Multiple cell and population-level interactions with mouse embryonic stem cell heterogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Cannon, Danielle; Corrigan, Adam M.; Miermont, Agnes; McDonel, Patrick; Chubb, Jonathan R.

    2015-01-01

    Much of development and disease concerns the generation of gene expression differences between related cells sharing similar niches. However, most analyses of gene expression only assess population and time-averaged levels of steady-state transcription. The mechanisms driving differentiation are buried within snapshots of the average cell, lacking dynamic information and the diverse regulatory history experienced by individual cells. Here, we use a quantitative imaging platform with large time series data sets to determine the regulation of developmental gene expression by cell cycle, lineage, motility and environment. We apply this technology to the regulation of the pluripotency gene Nanog in mouse embryonic stem cells. Our data reveal the diversity of cell and population-level interactions with Nanog dynamics and heterogeneity, and how this regulation responds to triggers of pluripotency. Cell cycles are highly heterogeneous and cycle time increases with Nanog reporter expression, with longer, more variable cycle times as cells approach ground-state pluripotency. Nanog reporter expression is highly stable over multiple cell generations, with fluctuations within cycles confined by an attractor state. Modelling reveals an environmental component to expression stability, in addition to any cell-autonomous behaviour, and we identify interactions of cell density with both cycle behaviour and Nanog. Rex1 expression dynamics showed shared and distinct regulatory effects. Overall, our observations of multiple partially overlapping dynamic heterogeneities imply complex cell and environmental regulation of pluripotent cell behaviour, and suggest simple deterministic views of stem cell states are inappropriate. PMID:26209649

  3. Multiple cell and population-level interactions with mouse embryonic stem cell heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Cannon, Danielle; Corrigan, Adam M; Miermont, Agnes; McDonel, Patrick; Chubb, Jonathan R

    2015-08-15

    Much of development and disease concerns the generation of gene expression differences between related cells sharing similar niches. However, most analyses of gene expression only assess population and time-averaged levels of steady-state transcription. The mechanisms driving differentiation are buried within snapshots of the average cell, lacking dynamic information and the diverse regulatory history experienced by individual cells. Here, we use a quantitative imaging platform with large time series data sets to determine the regulation of developmental gene expression by cell cycle, lineage, motility and environment. We apply this technology to the regulation of the pluripotency gene Nanog in mouse embryonic stem cells. Our data reveal the diversity of cell and population-level interactions with Nanog dynamics and heterogeneity, and how this regulation responds to triggers of pluripotency. Cell cycles are highly heterogeneous and cycle time increases with Nanog reporter expression, with longer, more variable cycle times as cells approach ground-state pluripotency. Nanog reporter expression is highly stable over multiple cell generations, with fluctuations within cycles confined by an attractor state. Modelling reveals an environmental component to expression stability, in addition to any cell-autonomous behaviour, and we identify interactions of cell density with both cycle behaviour and Nanog. Rex1 expression dynamics showed shared and distinct regulatory effects. Overall, our observations of multiple partially overlapping dynamic heterogeneities imply complex cell and environmental regulation of pluripotent cell behaviour, and suggest simple deterministic views of stem cell states are inappropriate. PMID:26209649

  4. Intelligent query by humming system based on score level fusion of multiple classifiers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pyo Nam, Gi; Thu Trang Luong, Thi; Ha Nam, Hyun; Ryoung Park, Kang; Park, Sung-Joo

    2011-12-01

    Recently, the necessity for content-based music retrieval that can return results even if a user does not know information such as the title or singer has increased. Query-by-humming (QBH) systems have been introduced to address this need, as they allow the user to simply hum snatches of the tune to find the right song. Even though there have been many studies on QBH, few have combined multiple classifiers based on various fusion methods. Here we propose a new QBH system based on the score level fusion of multiple classifiers. This research is novel in the following three respects: three local classifiers [quantized binary (QB) code-based linear scaling (LS), pitch-based dynamic time warping (DTW), and LS] are employed; local maximum and minimum point-based LS and pitch distribution feature-based LS are used as global classifiers; and the combination of local and global classifiers based on the score level fusion by the PRODUCT rule is used to achieve enhanced matching accuracy. Experimental results with the 2006 MIREX QBSH and 2009 MIR-QBSH corpus databases show that the performance of the proposed method is better than that of single classifier and other fusion methods.

  5. [Urban ecological risk assessment: a review].

    PubMed

    Wang, Mei-E; Chen, Wei-Ping; Peng, Chi

    2014-03-01

    With the development of urbanization and the degradation of urban living environment, urban ecological risks caused by urbanization have attracted more and more attentions. Based on urban ecology principles and ecological risk assessment frameworks, contents of urban ecological risk assessment were reviewed in terms of driven forces, risk resources, risk receptors, endpoints and integrated approaches for risk assessment. It was suggested that types and degrees of urban economical and social activities were the driven forces for urban ecological risks. Ecological functional components at different levels in urban ecosystems as well as the urban system as a whole were the risk receptors. Assessment endpoints involved in changes of urban ecological structures, processes, functional components and the integrity of characteristic and function. Social-ecological models should be the major approaches for urban ecological risk assessment. Trends for urban ecological risk assessment study should focus on setting a definite protection target and criteria corresponding to assessment endpoints, establishing a multiple-parameter assessment system and integrative assessment approaches.

  6. Possible Evidence of Multiple Sea Level Oscillations in the Seychelles During the Last Interglacial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutton, A. L.; Vyverberg, K.; Webster, J.; Dechnik, B.; Zwartz, D.; Lambeck, K.

    2013-12-01

    observations ostensibly support the notion that the last interglacial period was characterized by ice sheet instability, causing multiple sea level oscillations.

  7. Increased plasma homocysteine levels in patients with multiple sclerosis and depression

    PubMed Central

    Triantafyllou, Nikolaos; Evangelopoulos, Maria-Eleftheria; Kimiskidis, Vasilios K; Kararizou, Evangelia; Boufidou, Fotini; Fountoulakis, Konstantinos N; Siamouli, Melina; Nikolaou, Chrysoula; Sfagos, Constantinos; Vlaikidis, Nikolaos; Vassilopoulos, Dimitrios

    2008-01-01

    Background The aim of the study was to assess the plasma levels of homocysteine in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and to investigate whether an association with depression exists. Methods Plasma homocysteine (Hcy), vitamin B12 and plasma folate were measured in 65 moderately disabled patients with relapsing/remitting MS (RR-MS) and 60 healthy controls. All subjects were assessed with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Results Hcy levels were significantly increased in MS patients compared to controls (13.5 ± 4.7 μmol/l vs 8.5 ± 3.1, p < 0.001). A significant correlation was found between Hcy levels and BDI scores (Pearson r = 0.3025, p < 0.05). Plasma Hcy was not related to Extended Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score, age, disease duration or vitamin B12 and folate. Conclusion Moderately disabled MS patients with elevated Hcy levels are particularly prone to develop depressive symptomatology. Further study is warranted in order to elucidate the prognostic and therapeutic implications of this novel finding. PMID:18782433

  8. Understanding multiple levels of norms about teen pregnancy and their relationships to teens' sexual behaviors.

    PubMed

    Mollborn, Stefanie; Domingue, Benjamin W; Boardman, Jason D

    2014-06-01

    Researchers seeking to understand teen sexual behaviors often turn to age norms, but they are difficult to measure quantitatively. Previous work has usually inferred norms from behavioral patterns or measured group-level norms at the individual level, ignoring multiple reference groups. Capitalizing on the multilevel design of the Add Health survey, we measure teen pregnancy norms perceived by teenagers, as well as average norms at the school and peer network levels. School norms predict boys' perceived norms, while peer network norms predict girls' perceived norms. Peer network and individually perceived norms against teen pregnancy independently and negatively predict teens' likelihood of sexual intercourse. Perceived norms against pregnancy predict increased likelihood of contraception among sexually experienced girls, but sexually experienced boys' contraceptive behavior is more complicated: When both the boy and his peers or school have stronger norms against teen pregnancy he is more likely to contracept, and in the absence of school or peer norms against pregnancy, boys who are embarrassed are less likely to contracept. We conclude that: (1) patterns of behavior cannot adequately operationalize teen pregnancy norms, (2) norms are not simply linked to behaviors through individual perceptions, and (3) norms at different levels can operate independently of each other, interactively, or in opposition. This evidence creates space for conceptualizations of agency, conflict, and change that can lead to progress in understanding age norms and sexual behaviors.

  9. Rapid multiple-level coevolution in experimental populations of yeast killer and nonkiller strains.

    PubMed

    Pieczynska, Magdalena D; Wloch-Salamon, Dominika; Korona, Ryszard; de Visser, J Arjan G M

    2016-06-01

    Coevolution between different biological entities is considered an important evolutionary mechanism at all levels of biological organization. Here, we provide evidence for coevolution of a yeast killer strain (K) carrying cytoplasmic dsRNA viruses coding for anti-competitor toxins and an isogenic toxin-sensitive strain (S) during 500 generations of laboratory propagation. Signatures of coevolution developed at two levels. One of them was coadaptation of K and S. Killing ability of K first increased quickly and was followed by the rapid invasion of toxin-resistant mutants derived from S, after which killing ability declined. High killing ability was shown to be advantageous when sensitive cells were present but costly when they were absent. Toxin resistance evolved via a two-step process, presumably involving the fitness-enhancing loss of one chromosome followed by selection of a recessive resistant mutation on the haploid chromosome. The other level of coevolution occurred between cell and killer virus. By swapping the killer viruses between ancestral and evolved strains, we could demonstrate that changes observed in both host and virus were beneficial only when combined, suggesting that they involved reciprocal changes. Together, our results show that the yeast killer system shows a remarkable potential for rapid multiple-level coevolution.

  10. Serum Gelatinases Levels in Multiple Sclerosis Patients during 21 Months of Natalizumab Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Bellini, Tiziana; Trentini, Alessandro; Delbue, Serena; Elia, Francesca; Gastaldi, Matteo; Franciotta, Diego; Bergamaschi, Roberto; Manfrinato, Maria Cristina; Volta, Carlo Alberto; Granieri, Enrico; Fainardi, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    Background. Natalizumab is a highly effective treatment approved for multiple sclerosis (MS). The opening of the blood-brain barrier mediated by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) is considered a crucial step in MS pathogenesis. Our goal was to verify the utility of serum levels of active MMP-2 and MMP-9 as biomarkers in twenty MS patients treated with Natalizumab. Methods. Serum levels of active MMP-2 and MMP-9 and of specific tissue inhibitors TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 were determined before treatment and for 21 months of therapy. Results. Serum levels of active MMP-2 and MMP-9 and of TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 did not differ during the treatment. The ratio between MMP-9 and MMP-2 was increased at the 15th month compared with the 3rd, 6th, and 9th months, greater at the 18th month than at the 3rd and 6th months, and higher at the 21st than at the 3rd and 6th months. Discussion. Our data indicate that an imbalance between active MMP-9 and active MMP-2 can occur in MS patients after 15 months of Natalizumab therapy; however, they do not support the use of serum active MMP-2 and active MMP-9 and TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 levels as biomarkers for monitoring therapeutic response to Natalizumab. PMID:27340316

  11. Nocturnal plasma melatonin and alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone levels during exacerbation of multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Sandyk, R; Awerbuch, G I

    1992-01-01

    The pineal gland has been implicated recently in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). To investigate this hypothesis further, we studied nocturnal plasma melatonin levels and the presence or absence of pineal calcification (PC) on CT scan in a cohort of 25 patients (5 men, 20 women; mean age: 41.1 years; SD = 11.1; range: 27-72) who were admitted to a hospital Neurology service for exacerbation of symptoms. Plasma alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) estimations were included in the study since there is evidence for a feedback inhibition between alpha-MSH and melatonin secretion. Abnormal melatonin levels were found in 13 patients (52.0%), 11 of whom had nocturnal levels which were below the daytime values (i.e., < 25 pg/ml). Although melatonin levels were unrelated to the patient's age and sex, there was a positive correlation with age of onset of symptoms (p < .0001) and an inverse correlation with the duration of illness (p < .05). PC was noted in 24 of 25 patients (96%) underscoring the pathogenetic relationship between MS and the pineal gland. Alpha-MSH levels were undetectable in 15 patients (60.0%), low in two patients (8.0%), normal in seven patients (28.0%), and elevated in one patient (4.0%). Collectively, abnormal alpha-MSH levels were found in over 70% of patients. These findings support the hypothesis that MS may be associated with pineal failure and suggest, furthermore, that alterations in the secretion of alpha-MSH also occur during exacerbation of symptoms. The relevance of these findings to the pathogenesis of MS are discussed. PMID:1305632

  12. Changes in Serum Ceruloplasmin Levels Based on Immunomodulatory Treatments and Melatonin Supplementation in Multiple Sclerosis Patients

    PubMed Central

    Adamczyk-Sowa, Monika; Sowa, Paweł; Mucha, Sebastian; Zostawa, Jacek; Mazur, Bogdan; Owczarek, Maciej; Pierzchała, Krystyna

    2016-01-01

    Background The cause of multiple sclerosis (MS) is currently unknown, but it is thought that oxidative damage and iron metabolism mechanisms are involved. The aim of this study was to examine ceruloplasmin concentration in MS patients based on various immunomodifying therapies and to test the effect of antioxidative melatonin on ceruloplasmin levels. Material/Methods This prospective study included 102 MS patients and 15 healthy controls. Patients were divided into groups according to different immunomodifying therapies: interferons beta 1a, interferons beta 1b, glatiramer acetate, mitoxantrone, and immunomodifying pre-treatment (A, B, G, Mx, and P groups, respectively), and the relapse R group. MS patients were supplemented with melatonin for 3 months. Serum ceruloplasmin concentrations, EDSS, brain MRI, serum C-reactive protein level, and white blood cell count were examined. Results The results indicated significantly increased levels of ceruloplasmin in MS patients. No differences in ceruloplasmin concentrations between the relapse group and controls were observed. In A and G groups, ceruloplasmin levels before and after melatonin were similar to levels in controls. In group B, ceruloplasmin concentration was significantly higher vs. control and relapse groups. After melatonin administration in group B, ceruloplasmin levels decreased. Ceruloplasmin concentrations in the Mx group were significantly higher compared to controls. Conclusions We found for the first time that ceruloplasmin concentration in MS patients varies depending on different immunomodulatory treatment and decrease after 3 months of melatonin administration. Ceruloplasmin could be a valuable serum marker for the chronic demyelinating process participating in oxidative stress mechanisms, as well as a neurodegenerative marker, but not a marker of acute-phase MS. PMID:27420299

  13. Resonance fluorescence of strongly driven two-level system coupled to multiple dissipative reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Yiying; Lü, Zhiguo; Zheng, Hang

    2016-08-01

    We present a theoretical formalism for resonance fluorescence radiating from a two-level system (TLS) driven by any periodic driving and coupled to multiple reservoirs. The formalism is derived analytically based on the combination of Floquet theory and Born-Markov master equation. The formalism allows us to calculate the spectrum when the Floquet states and quasienergies are analytically or numerically solved for simple or complicated driving fields. We can systematically explore the spectral features by implementing the present formalism. To exemplify this theory, we apply the unified formalism to comprehensively study a generic model that a harmonically driven TLS is simultaneously coupled to a radiative reservoir and a dephasing reservoir. We demonstrate that the significant features of the fluorescence spectra, the driving-induced asymmetry and the dephasing-induced asymmetry, can be attributed to the violation of detailed balance condition, and explained in terms of the driving-related transition quantities between Floquet-states and their steady populations. In addition, we find the distinguished features of the fluorescence spectra under the biharmonic and multiharmonic driving fields in contrast with that of the harmonic driving case. In the case of the biharmonic driving, we find that the spectra are significantly different from the result of the RWA under the multiple resonance conditions. By the three concrete applications, we illustrate that the present formalism provides a routine tool for comprehensively exploring the fluorescence spectrum of periodically strongly driven TLSs.

  14. Enhancement of optical Kerr effect in quantum-cascade lasers with multiple resonance levels.

    PubMed

    Bai, Jing; Citrin, D S

    2008-08-18

    In this paper, we investigated the optical Kerr lensing effect in quantum-cascade lasers with multiple resonance levels. The Kerr refractive index n2 is obtained through the third-order susceptibility at the fundamental frequency chi(3)( omega; omega, omega,-omega). Resonant two-photon processes are found to have almost equal contributions to chi(3)( omega; omega, omega,-omega) as the single-photon processes, which result in the predicted enhancement of the positive nonlinear (Kerr) refractive index, and thus may enhance mode-locking of quantum-cascade lasers. Moreover, we also demonstrate an isospectral optimization strategy for further improving n2 through the band-structure design, in order to boost the multimode performance of quantum-cascade lasers. Simulation results show that the optimized stepwise multiple-quantum-well structure has n2 approximately 10-8 cm2/W, a twofold enhancement over the original flat quantum-well structure. This leads to a refractive-index change (delta)n of about 0.01, which is at the upper bound of those reported for typical Kerr medium. This stronger Kerr refractive index may be important for quantum-cascade lasers ultimately to demonstrate self-mode-locking.

  15. CYLD Inhibits Tumorigenesis and Metastasis by Blocking JNK/AP1 Signaling at Multiple Levels

    PubMed Central

    de Marval, Paula Miliani; Lutfeali, Shazia; Jin, Jane Y.; Leshin, Benjamin; Selim, M. Angelica; Zhang, Jennifer Y.

    2011-01-01

    CYLD has been recognized as a tumor suppressor due to its dominant genetic linkage to multiple types of epidermal tumors and a range of other cancers. The molecular mechanisms governing CYLD control of skin cancer are still unclear. Here, we demonstrated that K14-driven epidermal expression of a patient relevant and catalytically deficient CYLD truncation mutant (CYLDm) sensitized mice to skin tumor development in response to DMBA/TPA-challenge. Tumors developed on transgenic mice were prone to malignant progression and lymph node metastasis, and displayed increased activation of JNK and the downstream c-Jun and c-Fos proteins. Most importantly, topical application of a pharmacological JNK inhibitor significantly reduced tumor development and abolished metastasis in the transgenic mice. Further in line with these animal data, exogenous expression of CYLDm in A431, a human squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cell line, markedly enhanced cell growth, migration and subcutaneous tumor growth in an AP1-depdendent manner. In contrast, expression of the wild type CYLD inhibited SCC tumorigenesis and AP1 function. Most importantly, CYLDm not only increased JNK activation but also induced an upregulation of K63-ubiquitination on both c-Jun and c-Fos, leading to sustained AP1 activation. Our findings uncovered c-Jun and c-Fos as novel CYLD-targets and underscore that CYLD controls epidermal tumorigenesis through blocking the JNK/AP1 signaling pathway at multiple levels. PMID:21478324

  16. Asymmetric signal amplification for simultaneous SERS detection of multiple cancer markers with significantly different levels.

    PubMed

    Ye, Sujuan; Wu, Yanying; Zhai, Xiaomo; Tang, Bo

    2015-08-18

    Simultaneous detection of cancer biomarkers holds great promise for the early diagnosis of different cancers. However, in the presence of high-concentration biomarkers, the signals of lower-expression biomarkers are overlapped. Existing techniques are not suitable for simultaneously detecting multiple biomarkers at concentrations with significantly different orders of magnitude. Here, we propose an asymmetric signal amplification method for simultaneously detecting multiple biomarkers with significantly different levels. Using the bifunctional probe, a linear amplification mode responds to high-concentration markers, and quadratic amplification mode responds to low-concentration markers. With the combined biobarcode probe and hybridization chain reaction (HCR) amplification method, the detection limits of microRNA (miRNA) and ATP via surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) detection are 0.15 fM and 20 nM, respectively, with a breakthrough of detection concentration difference over 11 orders of magnitude. Furthermore, successful determination of miRNA and ATP in cancer cells supports the practicability of the assay. This methodology promises to open an exciting new avenue for the detection of various types of biomolecules. PMID:26218034

  17. Increased serum levels of C21 steroids in female patients with multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Kanceva, R; Stárka, L; Kancheva, L; Hill, M; Veliková, M; Havrdová, E

    2015-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common neurological diseases. This neurodegenerative autoimmune disease manifests as inflammatory and demyelinating impairment of the central nervous system (CNS). Although some studies demonstrated associations between altered steroidogenesis and pathophysiology of MS as well as the importance of steroids in the pathophysiology of MS, the knowledge concerning the steroid metabolome in female patients is limited. Hence, 51 steroids and steroid polar conjugates were measured in the serum of 12 women with MS, untreated with steroids and 6 age-corresponding female controls with the use of gas chromatography - mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The data were processed using age adjusted ANCOVA, receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis and orthogonal projections to latent structures (OPLS). Our data show higher levels of circulating C21 steroids including steroid modulators of ionotropic type A gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA A) receptors and glutamate receptors. Furthermore, the levels of GABAergic androsterone and 5-androsten-3beta,7alpha,17beta-triol were also higher in the female MS patients. In conclusion, the data demonstrate higher levels of circulating C21 steroids and their polar conjugates and some bioactive C19 steroids in women with MS, which may influence neuronal activity and affect the balance between neuroprotection and excitotoxicity. PMID:26680486

  18. Increased serum levels of C21 steroids in female patients with multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Kanceva, R; Stárka, L; Kancheva, L; Hill, M; Veliková, M; Havrdová, E

    2015-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common neurological diseases. This neurodegenerative autoimmune disease manifests as inflammatory and demyelinating impairment of the central nervous system (CNS). Although some studies demonstrated associations between altered steroidogenesis and pathophysiology of MS as well as the importance of steroids in the pathophysiology of MS, the knowledge concerning the steroid metabolome in female patients is limited. Hence, 51 steroids and steroid polar conjugates were measured in the serum of 12 women with MS, untreated with steroids and 6 age-corresponding female controls with the use of gas chromatography - mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The data were processed using age adjusted ANCOVA, receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis and orthogonal projections to latent structures (OPLS). Our data show higher levels of circulating C21 steroids including steroid modulators of ionotropic type A gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA A) receptors and glutamate receptors. Furthermore, the levels of GABAergic androsterone and 5-androsten-3beta,7alpha,17beta-triol were also higher in the female MS patients. In conclusion, the data demonstrate higher levels of circulating C21 steroids and their polar conjugates and some bioactive C19 steroids in women with MS, which may influence neuronal activity and affect the balance between neuroprotection and excitotoxicity.

  19. Association of Children's Urinary CC16 Levels with Arsenic Concentrations in Multiple Environmental Media.

    PubMed

    Beamer, Paloma I; Klimecki, Walter T; Loh, Miranda; Van Horne, Yoshira Ornelas; Sugeng, Anastasia J; Lothrop, Nathan; Billheimer, Dean; Guerra, Stefano; Lantz, Robert Clark; Canales, Robert A; Martinez, Fernando D

    2016-01-01

    Arsenic exposure has been associated with decreased club cell secretory protein (CC16) levels in adults. Further, both arsenic exposure and decreased levels of CC16 in childhood have been associated with decreased adult lung function. Our objective was to determine if urinary CC16 levels in children are associated with arsenic concentrations in environmental media collected from their homes. Yard soil, house dust, and tap water were taken from 34 homes. Urine and toenail samples were collected from 68 children. All concentrations were natural log-transformed prior to data analysis. There were associations between urinary CC16 and arsenic concentration in soil (b = -0.43, p = 0.001, R² = 0.08), water (b = -0.22, p = 0.07, R² = 0.03), house dust (b = -0.37, p = 0.07, R² = 0.04), and dust loading (b = -0.21, p = 0.04, R² = 0.04). In multiple analyses, only the concentration of arsenic in soil was associated with urinary CC16 levels (b = -0.42, p = 0.02, R² = 0.14 (full model)) after accounting for other factors. The association between urinary CC16 and soil arsenic may suggest that localized arsenic exposure in the lungs could damage the airway epithelium and predispose children for diminished lung function. Future work to assess this possible mechanism should examine potential associations between airborne arsenic exposures, CC16 levels, lung function, and other possible confounders in children in arsenic-impacted communities. PMID:27223295

  20. Anti-annexin antibodies, cholesterol levels and disability in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Mandoj, Chiara; Renna, Rosaria; Plantone, Domenico; Sperduti, Isabella; Cigliana, Giovanni; Conti, Laura; Koudriavtseva, Tatiana

    2015-10-01

    So far, no studies have been conducted to evaluate possible correlations between lipid/lipoprotein levels and the anti-phospholipid antibody (aPL) positivity in multiple sclerosis (MS). In this cross-sectional study, we aimed to investigate the relationships between serum lipid profile and aPL positivity rates in MS patients, and their possible differences among secondary-progressive MS (SPMS) patients, relapsing-remitting MS patients in remission (REM) and in relapse (REL). We included 16 SPMS, 58 REM and 26 REL. Their sera were tested for aPL (anti-cardiolipin, anti-β2glycoproteinI, anti-prothrombin, anti-annexinV), total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides (TG) and lipoprotein(a) levels. High TC levels were more frequent in SPMS patients than other groups (p=0.05). The REL had significantly higher rates of positivity for anti-β2glycoproteinI IgM (p<0.0001), anti-prothrombin IgG and IgM (both p=0.05) than the other groups. A significant positive correlation was found between age and both TC and LDL-C, disability and both TC and LDL-C, disease duration and LDL-C. TC levels were significantly higher (p=0.007) in anti-annexinV-IgG positive patients. The anti-annexinV-IgG positivity significantly associated with high levels of TC (p=0.002) and LDL-C (p=0.03). Our results support the hypothesis that both thrombogenic and neurodegenerative mechanisms associated with an abnormal cholesterol homeostasis might contribute to MS progression. Our study may have interesting practical implications, which could potentially open new therapeutic approaches in the context of appropriately designed clinical trials.

  1. Association of Children’s Urinary CC16 Levels with Arsenic Concentrations in Multiple Environmental Media

    PubMed Central

    Beamer, Paloma I.; Klimecki, Walter T.; Loh, Miranda; Van Horne, Yoshira Ornelas; Sugeng, Anastasia J.; Lothrop, Nathan; Billheimer, Dean; Guerra, Stefano; Lantz, Robert Clark; Canales, Robert A.; Martinez, Fernando D.

    2016-01-01

    Arsenic exposure has been associated with decreased club cell secretory protein (CC16) levels in adults. Further, both arsenic exposure and decreased levels of CC16 in childhood have been associated with decreased adult lung function. Our objective was to determine if urinary CC16 levels in children are associated with arsenic concentrations in environmental media collected from their homes. Yard soil, house dust, and tap water were taken from 34 homes. Urine and toenail samples were collected from 68 children. All concentrations were natural log-transformed prior to data analysis. There were associations between urinary CC16 and arsenic concentration in soil (b = −0.43, p = 0.001, R2 = 0.08), water (b = −0.22, p = 0.07, R2 = 0.03), house dust (b = −0.37, p = 0.07, R2 = 0.04), and dust loading (b = −0.21, p = 0.04, R2 = 0.04). In multiple analyses, only the concentration of arsenic in soil was associated with urinary CC16 levels (b = −0.42, p = 0.02, R2 = 0.14 (full model)) after accounting for other factors. The association between urinary CC16 and soil arsenic may suggest that localized arsenic exposure in the lungs could damage the airway epithelium and predispose children for diminished lung function. Future work to assess this possible mechanism should examine potential associations between airborne arsenic exposures, CC16 levels, lung function, and other possible confounders in children in arsenic-impacted communities. PMID:27223295

  2. Estimating DNA methylation levels by joint modeling of multiple methylation profiles from microarray data

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Tao; Chen, Mengjie; Zhao, Hongyu

    2015-01-01

    Summary DNA methylation studies have been revolutionized by the recent development of high throughput array-based platforms. Most of the existing methods analyze microarray methylation data on a probe-by-probe basis, ignoring probe-specific effects and correlations among methylation levels at neighboring genomic locations. These methods can potentially miss functionally relevant findings associated with genomic regions. In this paper, we propose a statistical model that allows us to pool information on the same probe across multiple samples to estimate the probe affinity effect, and to borrow strength from the neighboring probe sites to better estimate the methylation values. Using a simulation study we demonstrate that our method can provide accurate model-based estimates. We further use the proposed method to develop a new procedure for detecting differentially methylated regions, and compare it with a state-of-the-art approach via a data application. PMID:26433612

  3. Estimating DNA methylation levels by joint modeling of multiple methylation profiles from microarray data.

    PubMed

    Wang, Tao; Chen, Mengjie; Zhao, Hongyu

    2016-06-01

    DNA methylation studies have been revolutionized by the recent development of high throughput array-based platforms. Most of the existing methods analyze microarray methylation data on a probe-by-probe basis, ignoring probe-specific effects and correlations among methylation levels at neighboring genomic locations. These methods can potentially miss functionally relevant findings associated with genomic regions. In this article, we propose a statistical model that allows us to pool information on the same probe across multiple samples to estimate the probe affinity effect, and to borrow strength from the neighboring probe sites to better estimate the methylation values. Using a simulation study, we demonstrate that our method can provide accurate model-based estimates. We further use the proposed method to develop a new procedure for detecting differentially methylated regions, and compare it with a state-of-the-art approach via a data application.

  4. A multivariate model for the meta-analysis of study level survival data at multiple times.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Dan; Rollins, Katie; Coughlin, Patrick

    2014-09-01

    Motivated by our meta-analytic dataset involving survival rates after treatment for critical leg ischemia, we develop and apply a new multivariate model for the meta-analysis of study level survival data at multiple times. Our data set involves 50 studies that provide mortality rates at up to seven time points, which we model simultaneously, and we compare the results to those obtained from standard methodologies. Our method uses exact binomial within-study distributions and enforces the constraints that both the study specific and the overall mortality rates must not decrease over time. We directly model the probabilities of mortality at each time point, which are the quantities of primary clinical interest. We also present I(2) statistics that quantify the impact of the between-study heterogeneity, which is very considerable in our data set.

  5. Identification of the source of elevated hepatocyte growth factor levels in multiple myeloma patients

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a pleiotropic cytokine which can lead to cancer cell proliferation, migration and metastasis. In multiple myeloma (MM) patients it is an abundant component of the bone marrow. HGF levels are elevated in 50% of patients and associated with poor prognosis. Here we aim to investigate its source in myeloma. Methods HGF mRNA levels in bone marrow core biopsies from healthy individuals and myeloma patients were quantified by real-time PCR. HGF gene expression profiling in CD138+ cells isolated from bone marrow aspirates of healthy individuals and MM patients was performed by microarray analysis. HGF protein concentrations present in peripheral blood of MM patients were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Cytogenetic status of CD138+ cells was determined by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and DNA sequencing of the HGF gene promoter. HGF secretion in co-cultures of human myeloma cell lines and bone marrow stromal cells was measured by ELISA. Results HGF gene expression profiling in both bone marrow core biopsies and CD138+ cells showed elevated HGF mRNA levels in myeloma patients. HGF mRNA levels in biopsies and in myeloma cells correlated. Quantification of HGF protein levels in serum also correlated with HGF mRNA levels in CD138+ cells from corresponding patients. Cytogenetic analysis showed myeloma cell clones with HGF copy numbers between 1 and 3 copies. There was no correlation between HGF copy number and HGF mRNA levels. Co-cultivation of the human myeloma cell lines ANBL-6 and JJN3 with bone marrow stromal cells or the HS-5 cell line resulted in a significant increase in secreted HGF. Conclusions We here show that in myeloma patients HGF is primarily produced by malignant plasma cells, and that HGF production by these cells might be supported by the bone marrow microenvironment. Considering the fact that elevated HGF serum and plasma levels predict poor prognosis, these findings are of

  6. Occurrence, distribution and ecological risk assessment of multiple classes of UV filters in marine sediments in Hong Kong and Japan.

    PubMed

    Tsui, Mirabelle M P; Leung, H W; Kwan, Billy K Y; Ng, Ka-Yan; Yamashita, Nobuyoshi; Taniyasu, Sachi; Lam, Paul K S; Murphy, Margaret B

    2015-07-15

    Organic ultraviolet (UV) filters are used widely in various personal care products and their ubiquitous occurrence in the aquatic environment has been reported in recent years. However, data on their fate and potential impacts in marine sediments is limited. This study reports the occurrence and risk assessment of eleven widely used organic UV filters in marine sediment collected in Hong Kong and Tokyo Bay. Seven of the 11 target UV filters were detected in all sediment samples (median concentrations: ecological risk assessment showed that the likelihood of EHMC causing toxic effects on reproduction in snails was over 84% and 32% based on toxicity data for two species, respectively, suggesting potential risks of UV filters to benthic organisms and possible wider effects on the marine food web. However, more toxicity data for sediment organisms is necessary for better risk assessment of these compounds in benthic communities. PMID:25804793

  7. Occurrence, distribution and ecological risk assessment of multiple classes of UV filters in marine sediments in Hong Kong and Japan.

    PubMed

    Tsui, Mirabelle M P; Leung, H W; Kwan, Billy K Y; Ng, Ka-Yan; Yamashita, Nobuyoshi; Taniyasu, Sachi; Lam, Paul K S; Murphy, Margaret B

    2015-07-15

    Organic ultraviolet (UV) filters are used widely in various personal care products and their ubiquitous occurrence in the aquatic environment has been reported in recent years. However, data on their fate and potential impacts in marine sediments is limited. This study reports the occurrence and risk assessment of eleven widely used organic UV filters in marine sediment collected in Hong Kong and Tokyo Bay. Seven of the 11 target UV filters were detected in all sediment samples (median concentrations: ecological risk assessment showed that the likelihood of EHMC causing toxic effects on reproduction in snails was over 84% and 32% based on toxicity data for two species, respectively, suggesting potential risks of UV filters to benthic organisms and possible wider effects on the marine food web. However, more toxicity data for sediment organisms is necessary for better risk assessment of these compounds in benthic communities.

  8. Higher minor hemoglobin A2 levels in multiple sclerosis patients correlate with lesser disease severity

    PubMed Central

    Ozcan, Muhammed Emin; Ince, Bahri; Karadeli, Hasan Huseyin; Gedikbasi, Asuman; Asil, Talip; Altinoz, Meric A

    2016-01-01

    Objective To define whether minor adult hemoglobin A2 (HbA2, α2δ2) exerts any protective activity in multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods HbA2 levels were measured in 146 MS patients with high performance liquid chromatography and association with MS Severity Scores (MSSS) were determined. HbA2 associations with blood count parameters were also studied using blood counts evaluated on the same day of high performance liquid chromatography sampling. Routine biochemical parameters were also determined to rule out elusively influential factors, such as anemia and thyroid disorders. Results HbA2 levels negatively correlated with MSSS (Spearman correlation, R: −0.186, P=0.025). Exclusion of confounding factors with a generalized linear model revealed an even stronger negative correlation between HbA2 and MSSS (P<0.001). HbA2 positively correlated with red blood cells (RBCs) (R=0.350, P<0.001) and in turn, RBCs negatively correlated with MSSS (R=−0.180, P=0.031). Average HbA2 levels were highest among patients treated with interferon β1a. Conclusion RBC fragility is increased in MS, and recent data suggest that circulating free Hb contributes to neural injury in MS. HbA2 and its oxidative denaturation product hemichrome A2 enhance RBC membrane stability to a greater extent than do major HbA or hemichrome A. Reductions in ischemic cerebrovascular vascular events are reported in β-thalassemia carriers and HbA2 levels are considerably higher in this population. Episodic declines of cerebral blood flow were shown in bipolar disorder, and we have recently shown a protective role of HbA2 against postpartum episodes in females with bipolar disorder. HbA2’s erythroprotective functions may reduce free Hb and long-term neural injury in MS. PMID:27578976

  9. Level and Contamination Assessment of Soil along an Expressway in an Ecologically Valuable Area in Central Poland.

    PubMed

    Radziemska, Maja; Fronczyk, Joanna

    2015-10-01

    Express roads are a potential source of heavy metal contamination in the surrounding environment. The Warsaw Expressway (E30) is one of the busiest roads in the capital of Poland and cuts through the ecologically valuable area (Mazowiecki Natural Landscape Park). Soil samples were collected at distances of 0.5, 4.5 and 25 m from the expressway. The concentrations of cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) were determined in the soils by the flame atomic absorption spectrometry method (FAAS). Soils located in the direct proximity of the analyzed stretch of road were found to have the highest values of pH and electrical conductivity (EC), which decreased along with an increase in the distance from the expressway. The contents of Cd, Cu and Zn were found to be higher than Polish national averages, whereas the average values of Ni and Pb were not exceeded. The pollution level was estimated based on the geo-accumulation index (Igeo), and the pollution index (PI). The results of Igeo and PI indexes revealed the following orders: Cu < Zn < Ni < Cd < Pb and Cu < Ni < Cd < Zn < Pb, and comparison with geochemical background values showed higher concentration of zinc, lead and cadmium. PMID:26512684

  10. Level and Contamination Assessment of Soil along an Expressway in an Ecologically Valuable Area in Central Poland

    PubMed Central

    Radziemska, Maja; Fronczyk, Joanna

    2015-01-01

    Express roads are a potential source of heavy metal contamination in the surrounding environment. The Warsaw Expressway (E30) is one of the busiest roads in the capital of Poland and cuts through the ecologically valuable area (Mazowiecki Natural Landscape Park). Soil samples were collected at distances of 0.5, 4.5 and 25 m from the expressway. The concentrations of cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) were determined in the soils by the flame atomic absorption spectrometry method (FAAS). Soils located in the direct proximity of the analyzed stretch of road were found to have the highest values of pH and electrical conductivity (EC), which decreased along with an increase in the distance from the expressway. The contents of Cd, Cu and Zn were found to be higher than Polish national averages, whereas the average values of Ni and Pb were not exceeded. The pollution level was estimated based on the geo-accumulation index (Igeo), and the pollution index (PI). The results of Igeo and PI indexes revealed the following orders: Cu < Zn < Ni < Cd < Pb and Cu < Ni < Cd < Zn < Pb, and comparison with geochemical background values showed higher concentration of zinc, lead and cadmium. PMID:26512684

  11. Level and Contamination Assessment of Soil along an Expressway in an Ecologically Valuable Area in Central Poland.

    PubMed

    Radziemska, Maja; Fronczyk, Joanna

    2015-10-23

    Express roads are a potential source of heavy metal contamination in the surrounding environment. The Warsaw Expressway (E30) is one of the busiest roads in the capital of Poland and cuts through the ecologically valuable area (Mazowiecki Natural Landscape Park). Soil samples were collected at distances of 0.5, 4.5 and 25 m from the expressway. The concentrations of cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) were determined in the soils by the flame atomic absorption spectrometry method (FAAS). Soils located in the direct proximity of the analyzed stretch of road were found to have the highest values of pH and electrical conductivity (EC), which decreased along with an increase in the distance from the expressway. The contents of Cd, Cu and Zn were found to be higher than Polish national averages, whereas the average values of Ni and Pb were not exceeded. The pollution level was estimated based on the geo-accumulation index (Igeo), and the pollution index (PI). The results of Igeo and PI indexes revealed the following orders: Cu < Zn < Ni < Cd < Pb and Cu < Ni < Cd < Zn < Pb, and comparison with geochemical background values showed higher concentration of zinc, lead and cadmium.

  12. Contrasting patterns of survival and dispersal in multiple habitats reveal an ecological trap in a food-caching bird.

    PubMed

    Norris, D Ryan; Flockhart, D T Tyler; Strickland, Dan

    2013-11-01

    A comprehensive understanding of how natural and anthropogenic variation in habitat influences populations requires long-term information on how such variation affects survival and dispersal throughout the annual cycle. Gray jays Perisoreus canadensis are widespread boreal resident passerines that use cached food to survive over the winter and to begin breeding during the late winter. Using multistate capture-recapture analysis, we examined apparent survival and dispersal in relation to habitat quality in a gray jay population over 34 years (1977-2010). Prior evidence suggests that natural variation in habitat quality is driven by the proportion of conifers on territories because of their superior ability to preserve cached food. Although neither adults (>1 year) nor juveniles (<1 year) had higher survival rates on high-conifer territories, both age classes were less likely to leave high-conifer territories and, when they did move, were more likely to disperse to high-conifer territories. In contrast, survival rates were lower on territories that were adjacent to a major highway compared to territories that did not border the highway but there was no evidence for directional dispersal towards or away from highway territories. Our results support the notion that natural variation in habitat quality is driven by the proportion of coniferous trees on territories and provide the first evidence that high-mortality highway habitats can act as an equal-preference ecological trap for birds. Reproductive success, as shown in a previous study, but not survival, is sensitive to natural variation in habitat quality, suggesting that gray jays, despite living in harsh winter conditions, likely favor the allocation of limited resources towards self-maintenance over reproduction.

  13. The nuclear receptor LXR modulates interleukin-18 levels in macrophages through multiple mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Pourcet, Benoit; Gage, Matthew C.; León, Theresa E.; Waddington, Kirsty E.; Pello, Oscar M.; Steffensen, Knut R.; Castrillo, Antonio; Valledor, Annabel F.; Pineda-Torra, Inés

    2016-01-01

    IL-18 is a member of the IL-1 family involved in innate immunity and inflammation. Deregulated levels of IL-18 are involved in the pathogenesis of multiple disorders including inflammatory and metabolic diseases, yet relatively little is known regarding its regulation. Liver X receptors or LXRs are key modulators of macrophage cholesterol homeostasis and immune responses. Here we show that LXR ligands negatively regulate LPS-induced mRNA and protein expression of IL-18 in bone marrow-derived macrophages. Consistent with this being an LXR-mediated process, inhibition is abolished in the presence of a specific LXR antagonist and in LXR-deficient macrophages. Additionally, IL-18 processing of its precursor inactive form to its bioactive state is inhibited by LXR through negative regulation of both pro-caspase 1 expression and activation. Finally, LXR ligands further modulate IL-18 levels by inducing the expression of IL-18BP, a potent endogenous inhibitor of IL-18. This regulation occurs via the transcription factor IRF8, thus identifying IL-18BP as a novel LXR and IRF8 target gene. In conclusion, LXR activation inhibits IL-18 production through regulation of its transcription and maturation into an active pro-inflammatory cytokine. This novel regulation of IL-18 by LXR could be applied to modulate the severity of IL-18 driven metabolic and inflammatory disorders. PMID:27149934

  14. CO2 and nutrient-driven changes across multiple levels of organization in Zostera noltii ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-Crego, B.; Olivé, I.; Santos, R.

    2014-04-01

    Increasing evidence emphasizes that the effects of human impacts on ecosystems must be investigated using designs that incorporate the responses across levels of biological organization as well as the effects of multiple stressors. Here we implemented a mesocosm experiment to investigate how the effects of CO2 enrichment and its interaction with eutrophication, scale-up from changes in primary producers at the individual- (biochemistry) or population-level (production, reproduction, and/or abundance) to higher levels of community (macroalgae abundance, herbivory, and global metabolism) and ecosystem organization (detritus release and carbon sink capacity). The responses of Zostera noltii seagrass meadows growing in low- and high- nutrient field conditions were compared. In both meadows, the effect of elevated CO2 levels was mediated by epiphyte proliferation (mostly the cyanobacterium Microcoleus spp.), but not through changes in plant biochemistry or population-level traits. In the low-nutrient meadow, epiphyte proliferation suppressed the CO2 benefits on Z. noltii leaf production and led to increased detritus and decreased organic matter in sediment. Faster and stronger responses to nutrients than to CO2 were observed. Nutrient addition enhanced the nutritional quality of Z. noltii (high N, low C : N and phenolics) and the loss of leaves and shoots, while promoted the proliferation of pennate diatoms and purple bacteria. These changes led to a reduced sediment organic matter, but had no significant effects on herbivory nor on community metabolism. Interestingly, the interaction with CO2 attenuated eutrophication effects. In the high-nutrient meadow, a striking shoot decline caused by amphipod overgrazing was observed, with no response to CO2 and nutrient additions. Our results reveal that under future scenarios of CO2, the responses of seagrass ecosystems will be complex, being mediated by epiphyte proliferation rather than by effects on plant biochemistry. The

  15. CO2 and nutrient-driven changes across multiple levels of organization in Zostera noltii ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-Crego, B.; Olivé, I.; Santos, R.

    2014-12-01

    Increasing evidence emphasizes that the effects of human impacts on ecosystems must be investigated using designs that incorporate the responses across levels of biological organization as well as the effects of multiple stressors. Here we implemented a mesocosm experiment to investigate how the individual and interactive effects of CO2 enrichment and eutrophication scale-up from changes in primary producers at the individual (biochemistry) or population level (production, reproduction, and/or abundance) to higher levels of community (macroalgae abundance, herbivory, and global metabolism), and ecosystem organization (detritus release and carbon sink capacity). The responses of Zostera noltii seagrass meadows growing in low- and high-nutrient field conditions were compared. In both meadows, the expected CO2 benefits on Z. noltii leaf production were suppressed by epiphyte overgrowth, with no direct CO2 effect on plant biochemistry or population-level traits. Multi-level meadow response to nutrients was faster and stronger than to CO2. Nutrient enrichment promoted the nutritional quality of Z. noltii (high N, low C : N and phenolics), the growth of epiphytic pennate diatoms and purple bacteria, and shoot mortality. In the low-nutrient meadow, individual effects of CO2 and nutrients separately resulted in reduced carbon storage in the sediment, probably due to enhanced microbial degradation of more labile organic matter. These changes, however, had no effect on herbivory or on community metabolism. Interestingly, individual effects of CO2 or nutrient addition on epiphytes, shoot mortality, and carbon storage were attenuated when nutrients and CO2 acted simultaneously. This suggests CO2-induced benefits on eutrophic meadows. In the high-nutrient meadow, a striking shoot decline caused by amphipod overgrazing masked the response to CO2 and nutrient additions. Our results reveal that under future scenarios of CO2, the responses of seagrass ecosystems will be complex and

  16. Ecological effects of cell-level processes: genome size, functional traits and regional abundance of herbaceous plant species

    PubMed Central

    Herben, Tomáš; Suda, Jan; Klimešová, Jitka; Mihulka, Stanislav; Říha, Pavel; Šímová, Irena

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Genome size is known to be correlated with a number of phenotypic traits associated with cell sizes and cell-division rates. Genome size was therefore used as a proxy for them in order to assess how common plant traits such as height, specific leaf area and seed size/number predict species regional abundance. In this study it is hypothesized that if there is residual correlation between genome size and abundance after these traits are partialled out, there must be additional ecological effects of cell size and/or cell-division rate. Methods Variation in genome size, plant traits and regional abundance were examined in 436 herbaceous species of central European flora, and relationships were sought for among these variables by correlation and path analysis. Key Results Species regional abundance was weakly but significantly correlated with genome size; the relationship was stronger for annuals (R2 = 0·145) than for perennials (R2 = 0·027). In annuals, genome size was linked to abundance via its effect on seed size, which constrains seed number and hence population growth rate. In perennials, it weakly affected (via height and specific leaf area) competitive ability. These relationships did not change qualitatively after phylogenetic correction. In both annuals and perennials there was an unresolved effect of genome size on abundance. Conclusions The findings indicate that additional predictors of regional abundance should be sought among variables that are linked to cell size and cell-division rate. Signals of these cell-level processes remain identifiable even at the landscape scale, and show deep differences between perennials and annuals. Plant population biology could thus possibly benefit from more systematic use of indicators of cell-level processes. PMID:22628380

  17. CONTRIBUTIONS OF ESTUARINE HABITAT TYPES TO THE ECOLOGICAL INTEGRITY OF A SMALL COVE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. EPA, NHEERL, Atlantic Ecology Division, is investigating ecosystem-level approaches to evaluate ecological integrity at multiple scales. The ultimate goal of our project is to develop an ecosystem-level tool to examine impacts of nitrogen pollution on biological integrit...

  18. The need to integrate laboratory- and ecosystem-level research for assessment of the ecological impact of radiation.

    PubMed

    Bréchignac, François

    2016-10-01

    Despite the fact that the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents have both stimulated research on the environmental impact of radiation, interpretations about the occurrence of ecological effects in the contaminated areas still do not converge. In an effort to improve the situation and progress toward better general scientific understanding of ecological impacts of radiation, reasons that may explain the disagreements and discrepancies are explored. The divergence in interpretations of the impacts from both nuclear accidents arises from differences in methodological and conceptual inference strategies (a cultural issue) more so than fundamental differences in the processes governing ecological harm. Improved integration of scientific communities that use different study approaches should be encouraged to better understand and monitor the determination of the ecological impacts of radiation. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2016;12:673-676. © 2016 SETAC. PMID:27640414

  19. The need to integrate laboratory- and ecosystem-level research for assessment of the ecological impact of radiation.

    PubMed

    Bréchignac, François

    2016-10-01

    Despite the fact that the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents have both stimulated research on the environmental impact of radiation, interpretations about the occurrence of ecological effects in the contaminated areas still do not converge. In an effort to improve the situation and progress toward better general scientific understanding of ecological impacts of radiation, reasons that may explain the disagreements and discrepancies are explored. The divergence in interpretations of the impacts from both nuclear accidents arises from differences in methodological and conceptual inference strategies (a cultural issue) more so than fundamental differences in the processes governing ecological harm. Improved integration of scientific communities that use different study approaches should be encouraged to better understand and monitor the determination of the ecological impacts of radiation. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2016;12:673-676. © 2016 SETAC.

  20. Using level data to estimate inflow hydrographs in ungauged sites of multiple reach systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Oria, M.; Mignosa, P.; Tanda, M.

    2013-12-01

    Considering a natural river system, usually only few sites are monitored and equipped to measure discharge over time. However, the knowledge of the discharge hydrograph in a specific station is important for many purposes: calibration of rainfall-runoff model, building of new structures, flood frequency analysis, water resource management, etc.. In addition, continuous direct measurement of discharges in open channels can be impossible and in any way difficult to assess. Therefore, most frequently, only level gauges are used for monitoring the system. In this work we propose a methodology to estimate a flow hydrograph in completely ungauged upstream sites of multiple reach systems by means of level data available at monitored stations downstream. In particular, a Bayesian approach is proposed to solve this kind of inverse problem. Prior information, in terms of geostatistical models and tools, is used to represent the structure of the unknowns and to regularize the solution. The methodology requires a forward hydraulic model of the considered river system able to reproduce the routing process and to account for all the reach characteristics: roughness, bed slope, cross sections, confluences, structures, etc.. In this work, the forward model is the widely known HEC-RAS river analysis system. The methodology has been tested through synthetic examples of river confluences, that differ in the available water level data, in the boundary conditions and in the number of the estimated inflow time series. Known inflow time-series were routed downstream by means of HEC-RAS to obtain the downstream stage hydrographs used as observations to test the reverse procedure. In almost all cases, the observed water levels were corrupted with random errors to highlight the reliability of the methodology in preventing instabilities and overfitting. The procedure has been also tested on a real case study of a river confluence located at the city of Parma (Italy) to assess the tributary

  1. Physical modelling of granular flows at multiple-scales and stress levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Take, Andy; Bowman, Elisabeth; Bryant, Sarah

    2015-04-01

    The rheology of dry granular flows is an area of significant focus within the granular physics, geoscience, and geotechnical engineering research communities. Studies performed to better understand granular flows in manufacturing, materials processing or bulk handling applications have typically focused on the behavior of steady, continuous flows. As a result, much of the research on relating the fundamental interaction of particles to the rheological or constitutive behaviour of granular flows has been performed under (usually) steady-state conditions and low stress levels. However, landslides, which are the primary focus of the geoscience and geotechnical engineering communities, are by nature unsteady flows defined by a finite source volume and at flow depths much larger than typically possible in laboratory experiments. The objective of this paper is to report initial findings of experimental studies currently being conducted using a new large-scale landslide flume (8 m long, 2 m wide slope inclined at 30° with a 35 m long horizontal base section) and at elevated particle self-weight in a 10 m diameter geotechnical centrifuge to investigate the granular flow behavior at multiple-scales and stress levels. The transparent sidewalls of the two flumes used in the experimental investigation permit the combination of observations of particle-scale interaction (using high-speed imaging through transparent vertical sidewalls at over 1000 frames per second) with observations of the distal reach of the landslide debris. These observations are used to investigate the applicability of rheological models developed for steady state flows (e.g. the dimensionless inertial number) in landslide applications and the robustness of depth-averaged approaches to modelling dry granular flow at multiple scales. These observations indicate that the dimensionless inertial number calculated for the flow may be of limited utility except perhaps to define a general state (e.g. liquid

  2. The Periaqueductal Gray Orchestrates Sensory and Motor Circuits at Multiple Levels of the Neuraxis

    PubMed Central

    Koutsikou, Stella; Watson, Thomas C.; Crook, Jonathan J.; Leith, J. Lianne; Lawrenson, Charlotte L.; Lumb, Bridget M.

    2015-01-01

    The periaqueductal gray (PAG) coordinates behaviors essential to survival, including striking changes in movement and posture (e.g., escape behaviors in response to noxious stimuli vs freezing in response to fear-evoking stimuli). However, the neural circuits underlying the expression of these behaviors remain poorly understood. We demonstrate in vivo in rats that activation of the ventrolateral PAG (vlPAG) affects motor systems at multiple levels of the neuraxis through the following: (1) differential control of spinal neurons that forward sensory information to the cerebellum via spino-olivo-cerebellar pathways (nociceptive signals are reduced while proprioceptive signals are enhanced); (2) alterations in cerebellar nuclear output as revealed by changes in expression of Fos-like immunoreactivity; and (3) regulation of spinal reflex circuits, as shown by an increase in α-motoneuron excitability. The capacity to coordinate sensory and motor functions is demonstrated in awake, behaving rats, in which natural activation of the vlPAG in fear-conditioned animals reduced transmission in spino-olivo-cerebellar pathways during periods of freezing that were associated with increased muscle tone and thus motor outflow. The increase in spinal motor reflex excitability and reduction in transmission of ascending sensory signals via spino-olivo-cerebellar pathways occurred simultaneously. We suggest that the interactions revealed in the present study between the vlPAG and sensorimotor circuits could form the neural substrate for survival behaviors associated with vlPAG activation. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neural circuits that coordinate survival behaviors remain poorly understood. We demonstrate in rats that the periaqueductal gray (PAG) affects motor systems at the following multiple levels of the neuraxis: (1) through altering transmission in spino-olivary pathways that forward sensory signals to the cerebellum, reducing and enhancing transmission of nociceptive and

  3. From stem cell to red cell: regulation of erythropoiesis at multiple levels by multiple proteins, RNAs, and chromatin modifications.

    PubMed

    Hattangadi, Shilpa M; Wong, Piu; Zhang, Lingbo; Flygare, Johan; Lodish, Harvey F

    2011-12-01

    This article reviews the regulation of production of RBCs at several levels. We focus on the regulated expansion of burst-forming unit-erythroid erythroid progenitors by glucocorticoids and other factors that occur during chronic anemia, inflammation, and other conditions of stress. We also highlight the rapid production of RBCs by the coordinated regulation of terminal proliferation and differentiation of committed erythroid colony-forming unit-erythroid progenitors by external signals, such as erythropoietin and adhesion to a fibronectin matrix. We discuss the complex intracellular networks of coordinated gene regulation by transcription factors, chromatin modifiers, and miRNAs that regulate the different stages of erythropoiesis.

  4. [Ecology and ecologies].

    PubMed

    Valera, Luca

    2011-01-01

    Ecology (from the Greek words οιχοσ, "house" and λογια "study of") is the science of the "house", since it studies the environments where we live. There are three main ways of thinking about Ecology: Ecology as the study of interactions (between humans and the environment, between humans and living beings, between all living beings, etc.), Ecology as the statistical study of interactions, Ecology as a faith, or rather as a science that requires a metaphysical view. The history of Ecology shows us how this view was released by the label of "folk sense" to gain the epistemological status of science, a science that strives to be interdisciplinary. So, the aim of Ecology is to study, through a scientific methodology, the whole natural world, answering to very different questions, that arise from several fields (Economics, Biology, Sociology, Philosophy, etc.). The plurality of issues that Ecology has to face led, during the Twentieth-century, to branch off in several different "ecologies". As a result, each one of these new approaches chose as its own field a more limited and specific portion of reality.

  5. Latent Variable Regression 4-Level Hierarchical Model Using Multisite Multiple-Cohorts Longitudinal Data. CRESST Report 801

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Choi, Kilchan

    2011-01-01

    This report explores a new latent variable regression 4-level hierarchical model for monitoring school performance over time using multisite multiple-cohorts longitudinal data. This kind of data set has a 4-level hierarchical structure: time-series observation nested within students who are nested within different cohorts of students. These…

  6. Ecological Issues Related to Children's Health and Safety

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aldridge, Jerry; Kohler, Maxie

    2009-01-01

    Issues concerning the health and safety of children and youth occur at multiple levels. Bronfenbrenner (1995) proposed an ecological systems approach in which multiple systems interact to enhance or diminish children's development. The same systems are at work in health promotion. The authors present and review articles that reflect the multiple…

  7. Ecology and life history of an amoebomastigote, Paratetramitus jugosus, from a microbial mat: new evidence for multiple fission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Enzien, M.; McKhann, H. I.; Margulis, L.

    1989-01-01

    Five microbial habitats (gypsum crust, gypsum photosynthetic community, Microcoleus mat, Thiocapsa scum, and black mud) were sampled for the presence of the euryhaline, rapidly growing amoebomastigote, Paratetramitus jugosus. Field investigations of microbial mats from Baja California Norte, Mexico, and Salina Bido near Matanzas, Cuba, reveal that P. jugosus is most frequently found in the Thiocapsa layer of microbial mats. Various stages of the life history were studied using phase-contrast, differential-interference, and transmission electron microscopy. Mastigote stages were induced and studied by electron microscopy; mastigotes that actively feed on bacteria bear two or more undulipodia. A three-dimensional drawing of the kinetid ("basal apparatus") based on electron micrographs is presented. Although promitoses were occasionally observed, it is unlikely that they can account for the rapid growth of P. jugosus populations on culture media. Dense, refractile, spherical, and irregular-shaped bodies were seen at all times in all cultures along with small mononucleate (approximately 2-7 micrometers diameter) amoebae. Cytochemical studies employing two different fluorescent stains for DNA (DAPI, mithramycin) verified the presence of DNA in these small bodies. Chromatin-like material seen in electron micrographs within the cytoplasm and blebbing off nuclei were interpreted to the chromatin bodies. Our interpretation, consistent with the data but not proven, is that propagation by multiple fission of released chromatin bodies that become small amoebae may occur in Paratetramitus jugosus. These observations are consistent with descriptions of amoeba propagules in the early literature (Hogue, 1914).

  8. Unraveling the disease pathogenesis behind lethal hydrolethalus syndrome revealed multiple changes in molecular and cellular level

    PubMed Central

    Honkala, Heli; Lahtela, Jenni; Fox, Heli; Gentile, Massimiliano; Pakkasjärvi, Niklas; Salonen, Riitta; Wartiovaara, Kirmo; Jauhiainen, Matti; Kestilä, Marjo

    2009-01-01

    Background Hydrolethalus syndrome (HLS) is a severe fetal malformation syndrome characterized by multiple developmental anomalies, including central nervous system (CNS) malformation such as hydrocephaly and absent midline structures of the brain, micrognathia, defective lobation of the lungs and polydactyly. Microscopically, immature cerebral cortex, abnormalities in radial glial cells and hypothalamic hamartoma are among key findings in the CNS of HLS fetuses. HLS is caused by a substitution of aspartic acid by glycine in the HYLS1 protein, whose function was previously unknown. Results To provide insight into the disease mechanism(s) of this lethal disorder we have studied different aspects of HLS and HYLS1. A genome-wide gene expression analysis indicated several upregulated genes in cell cycle regulatory cascades and in specific signal transduction pathways while many downregulated genes were associated with lipid metabolism. These changes were supported by findings in functional cell biology studies, which revealed an increased cell cycle rate and a decreased amount of apoptosis in HLS neuronal progenitor cells. Also, changes in lipid metabolism gene expression were reflected by a significant increase in the cholesterol levels of HLS liver tissues. In addition, based on our functional studies of HYLS1, we propose that HYLS1 is a transcriptional regulator that shuffles between the cytoplasm and the nucleus, and that when HYLS1 is mutated its function is significantly altered. Conclusion In this study, we have shown that the HYLS1 mutation has significant consequences in the cellular and tissue levels in HLS fetuses. Based on these results, it can be suggested that HYLS1 is part of the cellular transcriptional regulatory machinery and that the genetic defect has a widespread effect during embryonic and fetal development. These findings add a significant amount of new information to the pathogenesis of HLS and strongly suggest an essential role for HYLS1 in

  9. Long-Term In Vivo Imaging of Multiple Organs at the Single Cell Level

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Albert Y.; Pitt, Geoffrey S.; Deoliveira, Divino; Drago, Nicholas; Ye, Tong; Liu, Chen; Chao, Nelson J.

    2013-01-01

    Two-photon microscopy has enabled the study of individual cell behavior in live animals. Many organs and tissues cannot be studied, especially longitudinally, because they are located too deep, behind bony structures or too close to the lung and heart. Here we report a novel mouse model that allows long-term single cell imaging of many organs. A wide variety of live tissues were successfully engrafted in the pinna of the mouse ear. Many of these engrafted tissues maintained the normal tissue histology. Using the heart and thymus as models, we further demonstrated that the engrafted tissues functioned as would be expected. Combining two-photon microscopy with fluorescent tracers, we successfully visualized the engrafted tissues at the single cell level in live mice over several months. Four dimensional (three-dimensional (3D) plus time) information of individual cells was obtained from this imaging. This model makes long-term high resolution 4D imaging of multiple organs possible. PMID:23300962

  10. Levels and Rates of Physical Activity in Older Adults with Multiple Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Klaren, Rachel E; Sebastiao, Emerson; Chiu, Chung-Yi; Kinnett-Hopkins, Dominique; McAuley, Edward; Motl, Robert W

    2016-05-01

    There is much evidence supporting the safety and benefits of physical activity in adults with multiple sclerosis (MS) and recent evidence of beneficial effects on physical function in older adults with MS. However, there is very little known about physical activity participation in older adults with conditions such as MS. This study compared levels of physical activity (i.e., sedentary behavior, light physical activity (LPA), and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA)) and rates of meeting public health guidelines for MVPA (i.e., ≥30 min/day) among young (i.e., ages 20-39 years), middle-aged (i.e., ages 40-59 years) and older adults (i.e., ages ≥60 years) with MS. The sample included 963 persons with MS who provided demographic and clinical information and wore an accelerometer for a 7-day period. The primary analysis involved a between-subjects ANOVA on accelerometer variables (i.e., accelerometer wear time; number of valid days; sedentary behavior in min/day; LPA in min/day; and MVPA in min/day). Collectively, our data indicated that older adults with MS engaged in less MVPA and more sedentary behavior than middle-aged and young adults with MS. Such results highlight the importance of developing physical activity interventions as an effective means for managing the progression and consequences of MS in older adults. PMID:27330842

  11. Modeling Stochastic Kinetics of Molecular Machines at Multiple Levels: From Molecules to Modules

    PubMed Central

    Chowdhury, Debashish

    2013-01-01

    A molecular machine is either a single macromolecule or a macromolecular complex. In spite of the striking superficial similarities between these natural nanomachines and their man-made macroscopic counterparts, there are crucial differences. Molecular machines in a living cell operate stochastically in an isothermal environment far from thermodynamic equilibrium. In this mini-review we present a catalog of the molecular machines and an inventory of the essential toolbox for theoretically modeling these machines. The tool kits include 1), nonequilibrium statistical-physics techniques for modeling machines and machine-driven processes; and 2), statistical-inference methods for reverse engineering a functional machine from the empirical data. The cell is often likened to a microfactory in which the machineries are organized in modular fashion; each module consists of strongly coupled multiple machines, but different modules interact weakly with each other. This microfactory has its own automated supply chain and delivery system. Buoyed by the success achieved in modeling individual molecular machines, we advocate integration of these models in the near future to develop models of functional modules. A system-level description of the cell from the perspective of molecular machinery (the mechanome) is likely to emerge from further integrations that we envisage here. PMID:23746505

  12. Modeling stochastic kinetics of molecular machines at multiple levels: from molecules to modules.

    PubMed

    Chowdhury, Debashish

    2013-06-01

    A molecular machine is either a single macromolecule or a macromolecular complex. In spite of the striking superficial similarities between these natural nanomachines and their man-made macroscopic counterparts, there are crucial differences. Molecular machines in a living cell operate stochastically in an isothermal environment far from thermodynamic equilibrium. In this mini-review we present a catalog of the molecular machines and an inventory of the essential toolbox for theoretically modeling these machines. The tool kits include 1), nonequilibrium statistical-physics techniques for modeling machines and machine-driven processes; and 2), statistical-inference methods for reverse engineering a functional machine from the empirical data. The cell is often likened to a microfactory in which the machineries are organized in modular fashion; each module consists of strongly coupled multiple machines, but different modules interact weakly with each other. This microfactory has its own automated supply chain and delivery system. Buoyed by the success achieved in modeling individual molecular machines, we advocate integration of these models in the near future to develop models of functional modules. A system-level description of the cell from the perspective of molecular machinery (the mechanome) is likely to emerge from further integrations that we envisage here.

  13. Variants in ELL2 influencing immunoglobulin levels associate with multiple myeloma

    PubMed Central

    Swaminathan, Bhairavi; Thorleifsson, Guðmar; Jöud, Magnus; Ali, Mina; Johnsson, Ellinor; Ajore, Ram; Sulem, Patrick; Halvarsson, Britt-Marie; Eyjolfsson, Guðmundur; Haraldsdottir, Vilhelmina; Hultman, Christina; Ingelsson, Erik; Kristinsson, Sigurður Y.; Kähler, Anna K.; Lenhoff, Stig; Masson, Gisli; Mellqvist, Ulf-Henrik; Månsson, Robert; Nelander, Sven; Olafsson, Isleifur; Sigurðardottir, Olof; Steingrimsdóttir, Hlif; Vangsted, Annette; Vogel, Ulla; Waage, Anders; Nahi, Hareth; Gudbjartsson, Daniel F.; Rafnar, Thorunn; Turesson, Ingemar; Gullberg, Urban; Stefánsson, Kári; Hansson, Markus; Thorsteinsdóttir, Unnur; Nilsson, Björn

    2015-01-01

    Multiple myeloma (MM) is characterized by an uninhibited, clonal growth of plasma cells. While first-degree relatives of patients with MM show an increased risk of MM, the genetic basis of inherited MM susceptibility is incompletely understood. Here we report a genome-wide association study in the Nordic region identifying a novel MM risk locus at ELL2 (rs56219066T; odds ratio (OR)=1.25; P=9.6 × 10−10). This gene encodes a stoichiometrically limiting component of the super-elongation complex that drives secretory-specific immunoglobulin mRNA production and transcriptional regulation in plasma cells. We find that the MM risk allele harbours a Thr298Ala missense variant in an ELL2 domain required for transcription elongation. Consistent with a hypomorphic effect, we find that the MM risk allele also associates with reduced levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA) and G (IgG) in healthy subjects (P=8.6 × 10−9 and P=6.4 × 10−3, respectively) and, potentially, with an increased risk of bacterial meningitis (OR=1.30; P=0.0024). PMID:26007630

  14. Levels and Rates of Physical Activity in Older Adults with Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Klaren, Rachel E.; Sebastiao, Emerson; Chiu, Chung-Yi; Kinnett-Hopkins, Dominique; McAuley, Edward; Motl, Robert W.

    2016-01-01

    There is much evidence supporting the safety and benefits of physical activity in adults with multiple sclerosis (MS) and recent evidence of beneficial effects on physical function in older adults with MS. However, there is very little known about physical activity participation in older adults with conditions such as MS. This study compared levels of physical activity (i.e., sedentary behavior, light physical activity (LPA), and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA)) and rates of meeting public health guidelines for MVPA (i.e., ≥30 min/day) among young (i.e., ages 20-39 years), middle-aged (i.e., ages 40-59 years) and older adults (i.e., ages ≥60 years) with MS. The sample included 963 persons with MS who provided demographic and clinical information and wore an accelerometer for a 7-day period. The primary analysis involved a between-subjects ANOVA on accelerometer variables (i.e., accelerometer wear time; number of valid days; sedentary behavior in min/day; LPA in min/day; and MVPA in min/day). Collectively, our data indicated that older adults with MS engaged in less MVPA and more sedentary behavior than middle-aged and young adults with MS. Such results highlight the importance of developing physical activity interventions as an effective means for managing the progression and consequences of MS in older adults. PMID:27330842

  15. Serum prolactin level in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis during relapse.

    PubMed

    Moshirzadeh, Sasan; Ghareghozli, Kourosh; Harandi, Ali Amini; Pakdaman, Hossien

    2012-04-01

    It has been hypothesized that hyperprolactinemia may contribute to the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). In a case-control study, 58 patients with definite relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) during relapse and 58 sex-matched and age-matched healthy controls were assessed for serum prolactin (PRL) concentration. Mean serum PRL levels (± standard deviation) were significantly higher in patients with MS (501.3 ± 232.6 mIU/L) than in healthy control patients (233.3 ± 142.7 mIU/L; p < 0.0001). Furthermore, these differences were consistent in each sex: females with MS (704.4 ± 119.6 mIU/L) compared to female controls (305.5 ± 156.9 mIU/L p < 0.001); and in males with MS (358.0 ± 180.0 mIU/L) compared to male controls (182.3 ± 107.5 mIU/L; p < 0.001). Our findings provided more evidence to support the hypothesis that patients with RRMS, regardless of gender, are in a hyperprolactinemic state. PMID:22341909

  16. Eutrophic lichens respond to multiple forms of N: implications for critical levels and critical loads research.

    PubMed

    Jovan, Sarah; Riddell, Jennifer; Padgett, Pamela E; Nash, Thomas H

    2012-10-01

    Epiphytic lichen communities are highly sensitive to excess nitrogen (N), which causes the replacement of native floras by N-tolerant, "weedy" eutrophic species. This shift is commonly used as the indicator of ecosystem "harm" in studies developing empirical critical levels (CLE) for ammonia (NH3) and critical loads (CLO) for N. To be most effective, empirical CLE and/or CLO must firmly link lichen response to causal pollutant(s), which is difficult to accomplish in field studies in part because the high cost of N measurements limits their use. For this case study we synthesized an unprecedented array of atmospheric N measurements across 22 long-term monitoring sites in the Los Angeles Basin, California, USA: gas concentrations of NH3, nitric acid (HNO3), nitrogen dioxide, and ozone (n = 10 sites); N deposition in throughfall (n = 8 sites); modeled estimates of eight different forms of N (n = 22 sites); and nitrate deposition accumulated on oak twigs (n = 22 sites). We sampled lichens on black oak (Quercus kelloggii Newb.), and scored plots using two indices of eutroph (N tolerant species) abundance to characterize the community-level response to N. Our results contradict two common assertions about the lichen-N response: (1) that eutrophs respond specifically to NH3 and (2) that the response necessarily depends upon the increased pH of lichen substrates. Eutroph abundance related significantly but weakly to NH3 (r2 = 0.48). Total N deposition as measured in canopy throughfall was by far the best predictor of eutroph abundance (r2 = 0.94), indicating that eutrophs respond to multiple forms of N. Most N variables had significant correlations to eutroph abundance (r2 = 0.36-0.62) as well as to each other (r2 = 0.61-0.98), demonstrating the risk of mistaken causality in CLE/CLO field studies that lack sufficient calibration data. Our data furthermore suggest that eutroph abundance is primarily driven by N inputs, not substrate pH, at least at the high-pH values found

  17. ATRAZINE ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS ASSESSMENT FOR OPP LEVEL OF CONCERN AND OW WATER QUALITY CRITERION FOR AQUATIC LIFE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Atrazine is a relatively water-soluble and persistent herbicide that can reach concentrations of possible ecological concern for aquatic plants in vulnerable watersheds in regions with high agricultural usage of atrazine. As a consequence, the U.S. EPA Office of Water is current...

  18. Animal behaviour shapes the ecological effects of ocean acidification and warming: moving from individual to community-level responses.

    PubMed

    Nagelkerken, Ivan; Munday, Philip L

    2016-03-01

    Biological communities are shaped by complex interactions between organisms and their environment as well as interactions with other species. Humans are rapidly changing the marine environment through increasing greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in ocean warming and acidification. The first response by animals to environmental change is predominantly through modification of their behaviour, which in turn affects species interactions and ecological processes. Yet, many climate change studies ignore animal behaviour. Furthermore, our current knowledge of how global change alters animal behaviour is mostly restricted to single species, life phases and stressors, leading to an incomplete view of how coinciding climate stressors can affect the ecological interactions that structure biological communities. Here, we first review studies on the effects of warming and acidification on the behaviour of marine animals. We demonstrate how pervasive the effects of global change are on a wide range of critical behaviours that determine the persistence of species and their success in ecological communities. We then evaluate several approaches to studying the ecological effects of warming and acidification, and identify knowledge gaps that need to be filled, to better understand how global change will affect marine populations and communities through altered animal behaviours. Our review provides a synthesis of the far-reaching consequences that behavioural changes could have for marine ecosystems in a rapidly changing environment. Without considering the pervasive effects of climate change on animal behaviour we will limit our ability to forecast the impacts of ocean change and provide insights that can aid management strategies. PMID:26700211

  19. Animal behaviour shapes the ecological effects of ocean acidification and warming: moving from individual to community-level responses.

    PubMed

    Nagelkerken, Ivan; Munday, Philip L

    2016-03-01

    Biological communities are shaped by complex interactions between organisms and their environment as well as interactions with other species. Humans are rapidly changing the marine environment through increasing greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in ocean warming and acidification. The first response by animals to environmental change is predominantly through modification of their behaviour, which in turn affects species interactions and ecological processes. Yet, many climate change studies ignore animal behaviour. Furthermore, our current knowledge of how global change alters animal behaviour is mostly restricted to single species, life phases and stressors, leading to an incomplete view of how coinciding climate stressors can affect the ecological interactions that structure biological communities. Here, we first review studies on the effects of warming and acidification on the behaviour of marine animals. We demonstrate how pervasive the effects of global change are on a wide range of critical behaviours that determine the persistence of species and their success in ecological communities. We then evaluate several approaches to studying the ecological effects of warming and acidification, and identify knowledge gaps that need to be filled, to better understand how global change will affect marine populations and communities through altered animal behaviours. Our review provides a synthesis of the far-reaching consequences that behavioural changes could have for marine ecosystems in a rapidly changing environment. Without considering the pervasive effects of climate change on animal behaviour we will limit our ability to forecast the impacts of ocean change and provide insights that can aid management strategies.

  20. Future Directions in Vulnerability to Depression among Youth: Integrating Risk Factors and Processes across Multiple Levels of Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Hankin, Benjamin L.

    2014-01-01

    Depression is a developmental phenomenon. Considerable progress has been made in describing the syndrome, establishing its prevalence and features, providing clues as to its etiology, and developing evidence-based treatment and prevention options. Despite considerable headway in distinct lines of vulnerability research, there is an explanatory gap in the field ability to more comprehensively explain and predict who is likely to become depressed, when, and why. Still, despite clear success in predicting moderate variance for future depression, especially with empirically rigorous methods and designs, the heterogeneous and multi-determined nature of depression suggests that additional etiologies need to be included to advance knowledge on developmental pathways to depression. This paper advocates for a multiple levels of analysis approach to investigating vulnerability to depression across the lifespan and providing a more comprehensive understanding of its etiology. One example of a multiple levels of analysis model of vulnerabilities to depression is provided that integrates the most accessible, observable factors (e.g., cognitive and temperament risks), intermediate processes and endophenotypes (e.g., information processing biases, biological stress physiology, and neural activation and connectivity), and genetic influences (e.g., candidate genes and epigenetics). Evidence for each of these factors as well as their cross-level integration is provided. Methodological and conceptual considerations important for conducting integrative, multiple levels of depression vulnerability research are discussed. Finally, translational implications for how a multiple levels of analysis perspective may confer additional leverage to reduce the global burden of depression and improve care are considered. PMID:22900513

  1. Multiple knickpoints in an alluvial river generated by a single instantaneous drop in base level: experimental investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cantelli, A.; Muto, T.

    2014-05-01

    Knickpoints often form in bedrock rivers in response to base-level lowering. These knickpoints can migrate upstream without dissipating. In the case of alluvial rivers, an impulsive lowering of base level due to, for example, a fault associated with an earthquake or dam removal commonly produces smooth, upstream-progressing degradation; the knickpoint associated with suddenly lowered base level quickly dissipates. Here, however, we use experiments to demonstrate that under conditions of Froude-supercritical flow over an alluvial bed, an instantaneous drop in base level can lead to the formation of upstream-migrating knickpoints that do not dissipate. The base-level fall can generate a single knickpoint, or multiple knickpoints. Multiple knickpoints take the form of cyclic steps, that is, trains of upstream-migrating bedforms, each bounded by a hydraulic jump upstream and downstream. In our experiments, trains of knickpoints were transient, eventually migrating out of the alluvial reach as the bed evolved to a new equilibrium state regulated with lowered base level. Thus the allogenic perturbation of base-level fall can trigger the autogenic generation of multiple knickpoints which are sustained until the alluvial reach recovers a graded state.

  2. Multi-floor cascading ferroelectric nanostructures: multiple data writing-based multi-level non-volatile memory devices.

    PubMed

    Hyun, Seung; Kwon, Owoong; Lee, Bom-Yi; Seol, Daehee; Park, Beomjin; Lee, Jae Yong; Lee, Ju Hyun; Kim, Yunseok; Kim, Jin Kon

    2016-01-21

    Multiple data writing-based multi-level non-volatile memory has gained strong attention for next-generation memory devices to quickly accommodate an extremely large number of data bits because it is capable of storing multiple data bits in a single memory cell at once. However, all previously reported devices have failed to store a large number of data bits due to the macroscale cell size and have not allowed fast access to the stored data due to slow single data writing. Here, we introduce a novel three-dimensional multi-floor cascading polymeric ferroelectric nanostructure, successfully operating as an individual cell. In one cell, each floor has its own piezoresponse and the piezoresponse of one floor can be modulated by the bias voltage applied to the other floor, which means simultaneously written data bits in both floors can be identified. This could achieve multi-level memory through a multiple data writing process. PMID:26695561

  3. Student Interactions with CD-ROM Storybooks: A Look at Potential Relationships between Multiple Intelligence Strengths and Levels of Interaction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huffman, Celia A.

    2012-01-01

    This study looked at the potential relationship that may exist between students' intelligence strengths, in particular their spatial and kinesthetic strengths, and their combined cognitive and metacognitive levels of interaction with a CD-ROM storybook. The multiple intelligence strengths of a sample of students, measured via the MIDAS/My…

  4. A Comparative Analysis of Multiple Intelligence Theory with Relationship to Gender and Grade Level in Selected Schools in Ghana

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oteng, Ellen N.

    2012-01-01

    This dissertation examined the relationships between Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory and students' gender, age, grade level, and enrollment into a public or private school. The research determined students' dominant intelligences and investigated whether students' intelligences may be influenced by demographic…

  5. Modeling for Fatigue Hysteresis Loops of Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Ceramic-Matrix Composites under Multiple Loading Stress Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Longbiao, Li

    2015-12-01

    In this paper, the fatigue hysteresis loops of fiber-reinforced ceramic-matrix composites (CMCs) under multiple loading stress levels considering interface wear has been investigated using micromechanical approach. Under fatigue loading, the fiber/matrix interface shear stress decreases with the increase of cycle number due to interface wear. Upon increasing of fatigue peak stress, the interface debonded length would propagate along the fiber/matrix interface. The difference of interface shear stress existed in the new and original debonded region would affect the interface debonding and interface frictional slipping between the fiber and the matrix. Based on the fatigue damage mechanism of fiber slipping relative to matrix in the interface debonded region upon unloading and subsequent reloading, the interface slip lengths, i.e., the interface debonded length, interface counter-slip length and interface new-slip length, are determined by fracture mechanics approach. The fatigue hysteresis loops models under multiple loading stress levels have been developed. The effects of single/multiple loading stress levels and different loading sequences on fatigue hysteresis loops have been investigated. The fatigue hysteresis loops of unidirectional C/SiC composite under multiple loading stress levels have been predicted.

  6. A Socio-Ecological Approach for Identifying and Contextualising Spatial Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Priorities at the Sub-National Level.

    PubMed

    Bourne, Amanda; Holness, Stephen; Holden, Petra; Scorgie, Sarshen; Donatti, Camila I; Midgley, Guy

    2016-01-01

    Climate change adds an additional layer of complexity to existing sustainable development and biodiversity conservation challenges. The impacts of global climate change are felt locally, and thus local governance structures will increasingly be responsible for preparedness and local responses. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) options are gaining prominence as relevant climate change solutions. Local government officials seldom have an appropriate understanding of the role of ecosystem functioning in sustainable development goals, or access to relevant climate information. Thus the use of ecosystems in helping people adapt to climate change is limited partially by the lack of information on where ecosystems have the highest potential to do so. To begin overcoming this barrier, Conservation South Africa in partnership with local government developed a socio-ecological approach for identifying spatial EbA priorities at the sub-national level. Using GIS-based multi-criteria analysis and vegetation distribution models, the authors have spatially integrated relevant ecological and social information at a scale appropriate to inform local level political, administrative, and operational decision makers. This is the first systematic approach of which we are aware that highlights spatial priority areas for EbA implementation. Nodes of socio-ecological vulnerability are identified, and the inclusion of areas that provide ecosystem services and ecological resilience to future climate change is innovative. The purpose of this paper is to present and demonstrate a methodology for combining complex information into user-friendly spatial products for local level decision making on EbA. The authors focus on illustrating the kinds of products that can be generated from combining information in the suggested ways, and do not discuss the nuance of climate models nor present specific technical details of the model outputs here. Two representative case studies from rural South Africa

  7. A Socio-Ecological Approach for Identifying and Contextualising Spatial Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Priorities at the Sub-National Level.

    PubMed

    Bourne, Amanda; Holness, Stephen; Holden, Petra; Scorgie, Sarshen; Donatti, Camila I; Midgley, Guy

    2016-01-01

    Climate change adds an additional layer of complexity to existing sustainable development and biodiversity conservation challenges. The impacts of global climate change are felt locally, and thus local governance structures will increasingly be responsible for preparedness and local responses. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) options are gaining prominence as relevant climate change solutions. Local government officials seldom have an appropriate understanding of the role of ecosystem functioning in sustainable development goals, or access to relevant climate information. Thus the use of ecosystems in helping people adapt to climate change is limited partially by the lack of information on where ecosystems have the highest potential to do so. To begin overcoming this barrier, Conservation South Africa in partnership with local government developed a socio-ecological approach for identifying spatial EbA priorities at the sub-national level. Using GIS-based multi-criteria analysis and vegetation distribution models, the authors have spatially integrated relevant ecological and social information at a scale appropriate to inform local level political, administrative, and operational decision makers. This is the first systematic approach of which we are aware that highlights spatial priority areas for EbA implementation. Nodes of socio-ecological vulnerability are identified, and the inclusion of areas that provide ecosystem services and ecological resilience to future climate change is innovative. The purpose of this paper is to present and demonstrate a methodology for combining complex information into user-friendly spatial products for local level decision making on EbA. The authors focus on illustrating the kinds of products that can be generated from combining information in the suggested ways, and do not discuss the nuance of climate models nor present specific technical details of the model outputs here. Two representative case studies from rural South Africa

  8. A Socio-Ecological Approach for Identifying and Contextualising Spatial Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Priorities at the Sub-National Level

    PubMed Central

    Bourne, Amanda; Holness, Stephen; Holden, Petra; Scorgie, Sarshen; Donatti, Camila I.; Midgley, Guy

    2016-01-01

    Climate change adds an additional layer of complexity to existing sustainable development and biodiversity conservation challenges. The impacts of global climate change are felt locally, and thus local governance structures will increasingly be responsible for preparedness and local responses. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) options are gaining prominence as relevant climate change solutions. Local government officials seldom have an appropriate understanding of the role of ecosystem functioning in sustainable development goals, or access to relevant climate information. Thus the use of ecosystems in helping people adapt to climate change is limited partially by the lack of information on where ecosystems have the highest potential to do so. To begin overcoming this barrier, Conservation South Africa in partnership with local government developed a socio-ecological approach for identifying spatial EbA priorities at the sub-national level. Using GIS-based multi-criteria analysis and vegetation distribution models, the authors have spatially integrated relevant ecological and social information at a scale appropriate to inform local level political, administrative, and operational decision makers. This is the first systematic approach of which we are aware that highlights spatial priority areas for EbA implementation. Nodes of socio-ecological vulnerability are identified, and the inclusion of areas that provide ecosystem services and ecological resilience to future climate change is innovative. The purpose of this paper is to present and demonstrate a methodology for combining complex information into user-friendly spatial products for local level decision making on EbA. The authors focus on illustrating the kinds of products that can be generated from combining information in the suggested ways, and do not discuss the nuance of climate models nor present specific technical details of the model outputs here. Two representative case studies from rural South Africa

  9. Tolerable Levels of Nonclinical Vehicles and Formulations Used in Studies by Multiple Routes in Multiple Species With Notes on Methods to Improve Utility.

    PubMed

    Gad, Shayne Cox; Spainhour, Charles B; Shoemake, Catherine; Pallman, Danielle R Stackhouse; Stricker-Krongrad, Alain; Downing, Philip A; Seals, Richard E; Eagle, Leslie Anne; Polhamus, Kara; Daly, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    Formulation of nonclinical evaluations is a challenge, with the fundamental need to achieve multiples of the clinical exposure complicated by differences in species and routes of administration-specific tolerances, depending on concentrations, volumes, dosing regimen, duration of each administration, and study duration. Current practice to approach these differences is based on individual experience and scattered literature with no comprehensive data source (the most notable exception being our 2006 publication on this same subject). Lack of formulation tolerance data results in excessive animal use, unplanned delays in the evaluation and development of drugs, and vehicle-dependent results. A consulting firm, a chemical company, and 4 contract research organizations conducted a rigorous data mining operation of vehicle data from studies dating from 1991 to 2015, enhancing the data from this author's 2006 publication (3 of the six 2015 contributors were also 2006 contributors). Additional data were found in the published literature. The results identified 108 single-component vehicles (and 305 combination formulations) used in more than 1,040 studies across multiple species (dog, primate, rat, mouse, rabbit, guinea pig, minipig, pig, chick embryo, and cat) by multiple routes for a wide range of study durations. The tabulated data include maximum tolerated use levels by species, route, duration of study, dose-limiting toxicity where reported, review of the available literature on each vehicle, guidance on syringe selection, volume and pH limits by route with basic guidance on nonclinical formulation development, and guidance on factors to be considered in nonclinical route selection.

  10. Administrative Ecology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGarity, Augustus C., III; Maulding, Wanda

    2007-01-01

    This article discusses how all four facets of administrative ecology help dispel the claims about the "impossibility" of the superintendency. These are personal ecology, professional ecology, organizational ecology, and community ecology. Using today's superintendency as an administrative platform, current literature describes a preponderance of…

  11. An Assessment of Students' Understanding of Ecosystem Concepts: Conflating Ecological Systems and Cycles

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jordan, Rebecca; Gray, Steven; Demeter, Marylee; Lui, Lei; Hmelo-Silver, Cindy E.

    2009-01-01

    Teaching ecological concepts in schools is important in promoting natural science and environmental education for young learners. Developing educational programs is difficult, however, because of complicated ecological processes operating on multiple levels, the unlimited nature of potential system interactions (given the openness of systems), and…

  12. A Multicultural-Ecological Assessment Tool: Conceptualization and Practice with an Asian Indian Immigrant Woman

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roysircar, Gargi; Pignatiello, Vincent

    2011-01-01

    A multicultural-ecological (M-Eco) method assesses multiple levels of a client's presentation, such as individual, micro-, meso-, exo-, macro-, and chronosystems. An M-Eco method is a culturally sensitive practice of Bronfenbrenner's (1995) ecological perspective that focuses on behavior's contextual and interactional nature and an individual's…

  13. Weighted Hashing with Multiple Cues for Cell-Level Analysis of Histopathological Images.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaofan; Su, Hai; Yang, Lin; Zhang, Shaoting

    2015-01-01

    Recently, content-based image retrieval has been investigated for histopathological image analysis, focusing on improving the accuracy and scalability. The main motivation is to interpret a new image (i.e., query image) by searching among a potentially large-scale database of training images in real-time. Hashing methods have been employed because of their promising performance. However, most previous works apply hashing algorithms on the whole images, while the important information of histopathological images usually lies in individual cells. In addition, they usually only hash one type of features, even though it is often necessary to inspect multiple cues of cells. Therefore, we propose a probabilistic-based hashing framework to model multiple cues of cells for accurate analysis of histopathological images. Specifically, each cue of a cell is compressed as binary codes by kernelized and supervised hashing, and the importance of each hash entry is determined adaptively according to its discriminativity, which can be represented as probability scores. Given these scores, we also propose several feature fusion and selection schemes to integrate their strengths. The classification of the whole image is conducted by aggregating the results from multiple cues of all cells. We apply our algorithm on differentiating adenocarcinoma and squamous carcinoma, i.e., two types of lung cancers, using a large dataset containing thousands of lung microscopic tissue images. It achieves 90.3% accuracy by hashing and retrieving multiple cues of half-million cells.

  14. Structured Arrangement Supporting the Development of Splitting Level in Doing Multiplication by Number up to 20

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meryansumayeka; Darmawijoyo; Ilma, Ratu; den Hertog, Jaap

    2011-01-01

    In guiding students to construct a mathematical concept themselves, learning process should be started by a context which is suit with the concept. In this research, we focused on structured arrangement which was believed to be able to support students ages 8-9 years old developing splitting strategy in doing multiplication. This study was a…

  15. Acute effects of single and multiple level thoracic manipulations on chronic mechanical neck pain: a randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Puntumetakul, Rungthip; Suvarnnato, Thavatchai; Werasirirat, Phurichaya; Uthaikhup, Sureeporn; Yamauchi, Junichiro; Boucaut, Rose

    2015-01-01

    Background Thoracic spine manipulation has become a popular alternative to local cervical manipulative therapy for mechanical neck pain. This study investigated the acute effects of single-level and multiple-level thoracic manipulations on chronic mechanical neck pain (CMNP). Methods Forty-eight patients with CMNP were randomly allocated to single-level thoracic manipulation (STM) at T6–T7 or multiple-level thoracic manipulation (MTM), or to a control group (prone lying). Cervical range of motion (CROM), visual analog scale (VAS), and the Thai version of the Neck Disability Index (NDI-TH) scores were measured at baseline, and at 24-hour and at 1-week follow-up. Results At 24-hour and 1-week follow-up, neck disability and pain levels were significantly (P<0.05) improved in the STM and MTM groups compared with the control group. CROM in flexion and left lateral flexion were increased significantly (P<0.05) in the STM group when compared with the control group at 1-week follow-up. The CROM in right rotation was increased significantly after MTM compared to the control group (P<0.05) at 24-hour follow-up. There were no statistically significant differences in neck disability, pain level at rest, and CROM between the STM and MTM groups. Conclusion These results suggest that both single-level and multiple-level thoracic manipulation improve neck disability, pain levels, and CROM at 24-hour and 1-week follow-up in patients with CMNP. PMID:25624764

  16. van Eijck and Roth's utilitarian science education: why the recalibration of science and traditional ecological knowledge invokes multiple perspectives to protect science education from being exclusive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller, Michael P.; Tippins, Deborah J.

    2010-12-01

    This article is a philosophical analysis of van Eijck and Roth's (2007) claim that science and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) should be recalibrated because they are incommensurate, particular to the local contexts in which they are practical. In this view, science maintains an incommensurate status as if it is a "fundamental" basis for the relative comparison of other cultural knowledges, which reduces traditional knowledge to a status of in relation to the prioritized (higher)-status of natural sciences. van Eijck and Roth reject epistemological Truth as a way of thinking about sciences in science education. Rather they adopt a utilitarian perspective of cultural-historical activity theory to demonstrate when traditional knowledge is considered science and when it is not considered science, for the purposes of evaluating what should be included in U.S. science education curricula. There are several challenges for evaluating what should be included in science education when traditional knowledges and sciences are considered in light of a utilitarian analysis. Science as diverse, either practically local or theoretically abstract, is highly uncertain, which provides opportunities for multiple perspectives to enlarge and protect the natural sciences from exclusivity. In this response to van Eijck and Roth, we make the case for considering dialectical relationships between science and TEK in order to ensure cultural diversity in science education, as a paradigm. We also emphasize the need to (re)dissolve the hierarchies and dualisms that may emerge when science is elevated in status in comparison with other knowledges. We conclude with a modification to van Eijck and Roth's perspective by recommending a guiding principle of cultural diversity in science education as a way to make curriculum choices. We envision this principle can be applied when evaluating science curricula worldwide.

  17. Illustrating the multiple facets and levels of fidelity of implementation to a teacher classroom management intervention.

    PubMed

    Reinke, Wendy M; Herman, Keith C; Stormont, Melissa; Newcomer, Lori; David, Kimberly

    2013-11-01

    Many school-based interventions to promote student mental health rely on teachers as implementers. Thus, understanding the interplay between the multiple domains of fidelity to the intervention and intervention support systems such as coaching and teacher implementation of new skills is an important aspect of implementation science. This study describes a systematic process for assessing multiple domains of fidelity. Data from a larger efficacy trial of the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management (IY TCM) program are utilized. Data on fidelity to the IY TCM workshop training sessions and onsite weekly coaching indicate that workshop leaders and the IY TCM coach implemented the training and coaching model with adequate adherence. Further, workshop leaders' ratings of engagement were associated with teacher implementation of specific praise, following training on this content. Lastly, the IY TCM coach differentiation of teacher exposure to coaching was evaluated and found to be associated with teacher implementation of classroom management practices and student disruptive behavior.

  18. Assisted ambulation and activities for persons with profound multiple disabilities: assessing different ambulation levels.

    PubMed

    Lancioni, G E; Mantini, M; Groeneweg, J

    2001-06-01

    Two participants with profound multiple disabilities were exposed to two occupational situations, which included 1-min. and 3-min. robot-assisted ambulation prior to each activity, respectively. Analysis showed participants' mean percentages of engagement time (session time they spent ambulating or manipulating objects) were well above 90 in both situations. The amount of deviant behavior was somewhat higher in the latter occupational situation for one participant. Implications of the findings were discussed.

  19. Lemurs in a complex landscape: mapping species density in subtropical dry forests of southwestern Madagascar using data at multiple levels.

    PubMed

    Axel, Anne C; Maurer, Brian A

    2011-01-01

    The study of southern dry forest lemurs has been largely restricted to small reserves; yet, the majority of the region's lemur populations reside outside protected areas. Lemur catta and Propithecus verreauxi occupy the same forests but have different dietary preferences. This study assessed L. catta and P. verreauxi population densities across a 3-km dry forest gradient (1,539 ha) in southern Madagascar. The study was designed to allow lemur densities to be related to particular forest types. A particular aim of this study was to collect lemur data in both protected and unprotected areas. Density estimates were calculated using point transect distance sampling in a study area that contained the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve and the adjacent disturbed forests. The highest densities recorded for each species were in the protected area where the two species were most segregated in their distribution, with L. catta density highest in gallery forest type and P. verreauxi density highest in dry deciduous. Densities of both species varied widely outside the protected area, but P. verreauxi density was more uniform than was L. catta. Results of this study indicate that patterns of lemur density in protected areas are not representative of patterns in disturbed forests; this also suggests that we cannot fully understand the ecological constraints facing primate species by studying them only in protected areas. This research highlights the value of pairing the study of landscape-level patterns of species distribution with both local ground-level ecological interpretations and broad-scale satellite data; information from only one level may give an incomplete view of the community.

  20. Ecological Schoolyards.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danks, Sharon Gamson

    2000-01-01

    Presents design guidelines and organizational and site principles for creating schoolyards where students can learn about ecology. Principles for building schoolyard ecological systems are described. (GR)

  1. Focusing ecological research for conservation.

    PubMed

    Cristescu, Bogdan; Boyce, Mark S

    2013-11-01

    Ecologists are increasingly actively involved in conservation. We identify five key topics from a broad sweep of ecology that merit research attention to meet conservation needs. We examine questions from landscape ecology, behavioral ecology, ecosystem dynamics, community ecology, and nutrient cycling related to key topics. Based on literature review and publication trend assessment, consultation with colleagues, and roundtable discussions at the 24th International Congress for Conservation Biology, focused research on the following topics could benefit conservation while advancing ecological understanding: 1. Carbon sequestration, requiring increased linkages to biodiversity conservation; 2. Ecological invasiveness, challenging our ability to find solutions to ecological aliens; 3. Individual variation, having applications in the conservation of rare species; 4. Movement of organisms, integrating ecological processes across landscapes and scales and addressing habitat fragmentation; and 5. Trophic-level interactions, driving ecological dynamics at the ecosystem-level. Addressing these will require cross-disciplinary research under the overarching framework of conservation ecology.

  2. The measurement of the normal thorax using the Haller index methodology at multiple vertebral levels.

    PubMed

    Archer, James E; Gardner, Adrian; Berryman, Fiona; Pynsent, Paul

    2016-10-01

    The Haller index is a ratio of thoracic width and height, measured from an axial CT image and used to describe the internal dimensions of the thoracic cage. Although the Haller index for a normal thorax has been established (Haller et al. 1987; Daunt et al. 2004), this is only at one undefined vertebral level in the thorax. What is not clear is how the Haller index describes the thorax at every vertebral level in the absence of sternal deformity, or how this is affected by age. This paper documents the shape of the thorax using the Haller index calculated from the thoracic width and height at all vertebral levels of the thorax between 8 and 18 years of age. The Haller Index changes with vertebral level, with the largest ratio seen in the most cranial levels of the thorax. Increasing age alters the shape of the thorax, with the most cranial vertebral levels having a greater Haller index over the mid thorax, which does not change. A slight increase is seen in the more caudal vertebral levels. These data highlight that a 'one size fits all' rule for chest width and depth ratio at all ages and all thoracic levels is not appropriate. The normal range for width to height ratio should be based on a patient's age and vertebral level.

  3. The measurement of the normal thorax using the Haller index methodology at multiple vertebral levels.

    PubMed

    Archer, James E; Gardner, Adrian; Berryman, Fiona; Pynsent, Paul

    2016-10-01

    The Haller index is a ratio of thoracic width and height, measured from an axial CT image and used to describe the internal dimensions of the thoracic cage. Although the Haller index for a normal thorax has been established (Haller et al. 1987; Daunt et al. 2004), this is only at one undefined vertebral level in the thorax. What is not clear is how the Haller index describes the thorax at every vertebral level in the absence of sternal deformity, or how this is affected by age. This paper documents the shape of the thorax using the Haller index calculated from the thoracic width and height at all vertebral levels of the thorax between 8 and 18 years of age. The Haller Index changes with vertebral level, with the largest ratio seen in the most cranial levels of the thorax. Increasing age alters the shape of the thorax, with the most cranial vertebral levels having a greater Haller index over the mid thorax, which does not change. A slight increase is seen in the more caudal vertebral levels. These data highlight that a 'one size fits all' rule for chest width and depth ratio at all ages and all thoracic levels is not appropriate. The normal range for width to height ratio should be based on a patient's age and vertebral level. PMID:27240848

  4. PhD-level education in Wageningen: the approach at graduate school Production Ecology and Resource Conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Temme, Arnaud; van de Vijver, Claudius; Jetten, Theo; Suselbeek, Lennart

    2016-04-01

    Wageningen University's PhD programme is organized by Graduate Schools that are defined based on topics. The C.T. de Wit Graduate School for Production Ecology and Resource Conservation (PE&RC) focussed on topics ranging from ecology and soil science to crop modelling. The Graduate School's offering of PhD courses comprises methodological courses, topical courses, skills courses and international on-site courses. All courses are characterized by a high degree of ownership by PhD candidates themselves. In many cases, candidates apply the skills that they learn on datasets from their own studies, during the course. This allows them to get hands-on experience while working towards their own results. The international on-site courses uniquely bring together Wageningen PhD candidates from a wide range of disciplines to jointly discuss and learn with local PhD candidates. Candidates also highly value the extensive attention for candidates' wellbeing during their time in Wageningen, for instance through PhD weekends.

  5. Multiple tests for wind turbine fault detection and score fusion using two- level multidimensional scaling (MDS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, Xiang; Gao, Weihua; Yan, Yanjun; Osadciw, Lisa A.

    2010-04-01

    Wind is an important renewable energy source. The energy and economic return from building wind farms justify the expensive investments in doing so. However, without an effective monitoring system, underperforming or faulty turbines will cause a huge loss in revenue. Early detection of such failures help prevent these undesired working conditions. We develop three tests on power curve, rotor speed curve, pitch angle curve of individual turbine. In each test, multiple states are defined to distinguish different working conditions, including complete shut-downs, under-performing states, abnormally frequent default states, as well as normal working states. These three tests are combined to reach a final conclusion, which is more effective than any single test. Through extensive data mining of historical data and verification from farm operators, some state combinations are discovered to be strong indicators of spindle failures, lightning strikes, anemometer faults, etc, for fault detection. In each individual test, and in the score fusion of these tests, we apply multidimensional scaling (MDS) to reduce the high dimensional feature space into a 3-dimensional visualization, from which it is easier to discover turbine working information. This approach gains a qualitative understanding of turbine performance status to detect faults, and also provides explanations on what has happened for detailed diagnostics. The state-of-the-art SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) system in industry can only answer the question whether there are abnormal working states, and our evaluation of multiple states in multiple tests is also promising for diagnostics. In the future, these tests can be readily incorporated in a Bayesian network for intelligent analysis and decision support.

  6. Multiple drivers of Holocene lake level changes at a lowland lake in northeastern Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dietze, Elisabeth; Słowiński, Michał; Zawiska, Izabela; Veh, Georg; Brauer, Achim

    2016-04-01

    Many northeastern German lakes experienced significant water level drops in the recent past, which were attributed to global climate change, but due to the short observation period not fully understood. At lake Fürstenseer See, a groundwater-fed lake with complex basin morphology within the Müritz national park, an acoustic sub-bottom profile was analyzed together with a transect of four sediment cores to assess full Holocene water level amplitudes and the evolution of lake level changes during the Holocene. At core sites in 10 and 15 m water depth, past shifts in the sediment limit, i.e. the limit between preferential sand and mud deposition depending on absolute lake level, allowed to quantify an 8 m maximum Holocene amplitude of lake level changes (+4 m higher to -4 m lower stands), which clearly exceeded the observed fluctuations of 1.3 m between 1973 and 2013. At sites in 20 and 23 m water depth, changes in sediment facies reflected lake level changes qualitatively. During high lake stands massive organic muds were deposited in the deepest part of the lake basin, whereas during lower lake levels sub-basins became isolated causing an exceedance of the thresholds for carbonate accumulation. The highly-resolved continuous m-XRF-Calcium record of the longest core resembles these sediment facies shifts and allows to determine a relative Holocene lake level history. However, temporal interpretation of the causes and conditions that link carbonate preservation with local water level changes was rather complex and non-stationary. Apart from glaciological and climatic reasons also eco-hydrological feedbacks (i.e. vegetation composition affecting groundwater recharge) and anthropogenic triggers will be discussed in detail. This is a contribution to the Virtual Institute of Integrated Climate and Landscape Evolution Analysis (ICLEA) and the Terrestrial Environmental Observatories network (TERENO) financed by the Helmholtz Association.

  7. In-gel multiple displacement amplification of long DNA fragments diluted to the single molecule level.

    PubMed

    Michikawa, Yuichi; Sugahara, Keisuke; Suga, Tomo; Ohtsuka, Yoshimi; Ishikawa, Kenichi; Ishikawa, Atsuko; Shiomi, Naoko; Shiomi, Tadahiro; Iwakawa, Mayumi; Imai, Takashi

    2008-12-15

    The isolation and multiple genotyping of long individual DNA fragments are needed to obtain haplotype information for diploid organisms. Limiting dilution of sample DNA followed by multiple displacement amplification is a useful technique but is restricted to short (<5 kb) DNA fragments. In the current study, a novel modification was applied to overcome these problems. A limited amount of cellular DNA was carefully released from intact cells into a mildly heated alkaline agarose solution and mixed thoroughly. The solution was then gently aliquoted and allowed to solidify while maintaining the integrity of the diluted DNA. Exogenously provided Phi29 DNA polymerase was used to perform consistent genomic amplification with random hexameric oligonucleotides within the agarose gels. Simple heat melting of the gel allowed recovery of the amplified materials in a solution of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-ready form. The haplotypes of seven SNPs spanning 240 kb of the DNA surrounding the human ATM gene region on chromosome 11 were determined for 10 individuals, demonstrating the feasibility of this new method.

  8. Using Algal Metrics and Biomass to Evaluate Multiple Ways of Defining Concentration-Based Nutrient Criteria in Streams and their Ecological Relevance

    EPA Science Inventory

    We examined the utility of nutrient criteria derived solely from total phosphorus (TP) concentrations in streams (regression models and percentile distributions) and evaluated their ecological relevance to diatom and algal biomass responses. We used a variety of statistics to cha...

  9. Climate Change, Sea-Level Rise and Implications for Coastal and Estuarine Shoreline Management with Particular Reference to the Ecology of Intertidal Benthic Macrofauna in NW Europe

    PubMed Central

    Fujii, Toyonobu

    2012-01-01

    In many European estuaries, extensive areas of intertidal habitats consist of bare mudflats and sandflats that harbour a very high abundance and biomass of macrobenthic invertebrates. The high stocks of macrobenthos in turn provide important food sources for the higher trophic levels such as fish and shorebirds. Climate change and associated sea-level rise will have potential to cause changes in coastal and estuarine physical properties in a number of ways and thereby influence the ecology of estuarine dependent organisms. Although the mechanisms involved in biological responses resulting from such environmental changes are complex, the ecological effects are likely to be significant for the estuarine benthic macrofauna and hence the consumers they support. This paper reviews the utilisation patterns of estuarine intertidal habitats by shorebirds, fish and crustaceans, as well as factors affecting the distribution, abundance and biomass of estuarine macrobenthos that is known to be important food source for these estuarine predators. This study also provides simple conceptual models of the likely impacts of sea-level rise on the physical and biological elements of estuarine intertidal habitats, and implications of these results are discussed in the context of sustainable long term flood and coastal management in estuarine environments. PMID:24832510

  10. Climate Change, Sea-Level Rise and Implications for Coastal and Estuarine Shoreline Management with Particular Reference to the Ecology of Intertidal Benthic Macrofauna in NW Europe.

    PubMed

    Fujii, Toyonobu

    2012-11-05

    In many European estuaries, extensive areas of intertidal habitats consist of bare mudflats and sandflats that harbour a very high abundance and biomass of macrobenthic invertebrates. The high stocks of macrobenthos in turn provide important food sources for the higher trophic levels such as fish and shorebirds. Climate change and associated sea-level rise will have potential to cause changes in coastal and estuarine physical properties in a number of ways and thereby influence the ecology of estuarine dependent organisms. Although the mechanisms involved in biological responses resulting from such environmental changes are complex, the ecological effects are likely to be significant for the estuarine benthic macrofauna and hence the consumers they support. This paper reviews the utilisation patterns of estuarine intertidal habitats by shorebirds, fish and crustaceans, as well as factors affecting the distribution, abundance and biomass of estuarine macrobenthos that is known to be important food source for these estuarine predators. This study also provides simple conceptual models of the likely impacts of sea-level rise on the physical and biological elements of estuarine intertidal habitats, and implications of these results are discussed in the context of sustainable long term flood and coastal management in estuarine environments.

  11. Levels of Beta-Microseminoprotein in Blood and Risk of Prostate Cancer in Multiple Populations

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background A common genetic variant (rs10993994) in the 5’ region of the gene encoding β-microseminoprotein (MSP) is associated with circulating levels of MSP and prostate cancer risk. Whether MSP levels are predictive of prostate cancer risk has not been evaluated. Methods We investigated the prospective relationship between circulating plasma levels of MSP and prostate cancer risk in a nested case–control study of 1503 case subjects and 1503 control subjects among black, Latino, Japanese, Native Hawaiian, and white men from the Multiethnic Cohort study. We also examined the ability of MSP to serve as a biomarker for discriminating prostate cancer case subjects from control subjects. All statistical tests are two-sided. Results In all racial and ethnic groups, men with lower MSP levels were at greater risk of developing prostate cancer (odds ratio = 1.02 per one unit decrease in MSP, P < .001 in the prostate-specific antigen [PSA]–adjusted analysis). Compared with men in the highest decile of MSP, the multivariable PSA-adjusted odds ratio was 3.64 (95% confidence interval = 2.41 to 5.49) for men in the lowest decile. The positive association with lower MSP levels was observed consistently across racial and ethnic populations, by disease stage and Gleason score, for men with both high and low levels of PSA and across all genotype classes of rs10993994. However, we did not detect strong evidence of MSP levels in improving prostate cancer prediction beyond that of PSA. Conclusions Regardless of race and ethnicity or rs10993994 genotype, men with low blood levels of MSP have increased risk of prostate cancer. PMID:23213189

  12. Multiple Geodetic Observations for Identifying Glacial Isostatic Adjustment and the Causes of Sea-Level Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamisiea, M. E.; Williams, S. D. P.; Hughes, C. W.; Bingley, R.; Blewitt, G.; Hammond, W. C.; Kreemer, C.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the Earth's and ocean's response to past changes in global ice extent and ocean volume, collectively termed glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), is necessary for interpreting observations of present-day sea level change. GIA has the largest effect on sea-level observations nearest the locations of the former ice sheets. Under the former loading centers, crustal uplift contributes to a local relative sea-level fall while the collapsing forebulge surrounding these centers accentuates a local sea-level rise. Some of the longest tide gauge records are in these regions. However, GIA also causes global deformation and geoid changes that introduce systematic differences between global averages of tide gauge and altimetry observations. Clearly accounting for the GIA contribution to sea-level change while identifying other present-day contributors is greatly assisted by additional geodetic measurements. Time-variable satellite gravity observations highlight the regional GIA signal, on length scales of hundreds of kilometers, while also locating water mass changes on the continents and the oceans. As the spatial density of GNSS observations has increased, it has become easier to discern the regional characteristics of crustal deformation (e.g. Blewitt et al. abstract in U009). Combined, these two observations allow for greater separation of GIA and water mass changes. More importantly for society, though, the regional crustal estimates could be combined with coastal altimetry products to create regional estimates of relative sea-level change, the observation most relevant for coastal planning. In this presentation we discuss how the various geodetic measurements complement each other and allow us to identify various components of sea level change, including GIA. We illustrate how the weakness of any individual observation component can be overcome by comparison with the other components. A sustained and global geodetic observing system is essential for

  13. Subunits of the Drosophila actin-capping protein heterodimer regulate each other at multiple levels.

    PubMed

    Amândio, Ana Rita; Gaspar, Pedro; Whited, Jessica L; Janody, Florence

    2014-01-01

    The actin-Capping Protein heterodimer, composed of the α and β subunits, is a master F-actin regulator. In addition to its role in many cellular processes, Capping Protein acts as a main tumor suppressor module in Drosophila and in humans, in part, by restricting the activity of Yorkie/YAP/TAZ oncogenes. We aimed in this report to understand how both subunits regulate each other in vivo. We show that the levels and capping activities of both subunits must be tightly regulated to control F-actin levels and consequently growth of the Drosophila wing. Overexpressing capping protein α and β decreases both F-actin levels and tissue growth, while expressing forms of Capping Protein that have dominant negative effects on F-actin promote tissue growth. Both subunits regulate each other's protein levels. In addition, overexpressing one of the subunit in tissues knocked-down for the other increases the mRNA and protein levels of the subunit knocked-down and compensates for its loss. We propose that the ability of the α and β subunits to control each other's levels assures that a pool of functional heterodimer is produced in sufficient quantities to restrict the development of tumor but not in excess to sustain normal tissue growth.

  14. Genetic mapping with multiple levels of phenotypic information reveals determinants of lymphocyte glucocorticoid sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Maranville, Joseph C; Baxter, Shaneen S; Witonsky, David B; Chase, Meredith A; Di Rienzo, Anna

    2013-10-01

    Clinical response to glucocorticoids, steroid hormones widely used as pharmaceuticals, varies extensively in that many individuals (∼30%) show a weak response to treatment. Although little is known about the molecular basis of this variation, regulatory polymorphisms are likely to play a key role given that glucocorticoids act largely through activation of a transcription factor, the glucocorticoid receptor. In an effort to characterize the molecular basis of variation in glucocorticoid sensitivity, we measured in vitro lymphocyte glucocorticoid sensitivity and transcriptome-wide response to glucocorticoids in peripheral-blood mononuclear cells from African American healthy donors. We found that variation in lymphocyte glucocorticoid sensitivity was correlated with transcriptional response at 27 genes (false-discovery rate < 0.1). Furthermore, a genome-wide association scan revealed a quantitative trait locus (QTL) for lymphocyte glucocorticoid sensitivity (rs11129354, p = 4 × 10(-8)); it was also associated with transcriptional response at multiple genes, including many (14/27) where transcriptional response was correlated with lymphocyte glucocorticoid sensitivity. Using allelic-imbalance assays, we show that this QTL is a glucocorticoid-dependent cis-regulatory polymorphism for RBMS3, which encodes an RNA-binding protein known as a tumor suppressor. We found that siRNA-mediated knockdown of RBMS3 expression increased cellular proliferation in PBMCs, consistent with the role of the gene as a negative regulator of proliferation. We propose that differences in lymphocyte glucocorticoid sensitivity reflect variation in transcriptional response, which is influenced by a glucocorticoid-dependent regulatory polymorphism that acts in cis relative to RBMS3 and in trans to affect the transcriptional response of multiple distant genes.

  15. High atmospheric NO(x) levels and multiple photochemical steady states

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, J. F.; Ackerman, T. P.

    1985-01-01

    The rate of removal of atmospheric NO(x) compounds at different NO(x) levels is estimated using a one-dimensional photochemical model. NO(x) removal by wet deposition, surface deposition, and thermochemical processes is examined. NO(x) removal rates at different surface NO mixing ratios are calculated and the data are analyzed. It is revealed that at low NO(x) levels NO(x) is photochemically converted to HNO3 by either wet or dry deposition; however, at high NO(x) levels formation of HNO3 is inhibited due to the disappearance of tropospheric ozone and OH, and the NO(x) is removed by rainout of N2O4 and N2O5, surface deposition of NO and NO2, and direct dissolution of NO and NO2 in rainwater. The effects of NO(x) mixing ratios greater than 10 to the -7th on the ozone and climate are investigated.

  16. The ecological module of BOATS-1.0: a bioenergetically-constrained model of marine upper trophic levels suitable for studies of fisheries and ocean biogeochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carozza, D. A.; Bianchi, D.; Galbraith, E. D.

    2015-12-01

    Environmental change and the exploitation of marine resources have had profound impacts on marine communities, with potential implications for ocean biogeochemistry and food security. In order to study such global-scale problems, it is helpful to have computationally efficient numerical models that predict the first-order features of fish biomass production as a function of the environment, based on empirical and mechanistic understandings of marine ecosystems. Here we describe the ecological module of the BiOeconomic mArine Trophic Size-spectrum (BOATS) model, which takes an Earth-system approach to modeling fish biomass at the global scale. The ecological model is designed to be used on an Earth System model grid, and determines size spectra of fish biomass by explicitly resolving life history as a function of local temperature and net primary production. Biomass production is limited by the availability of photosynthetic energy to upper trophic levels, following empirical trophic efficiency scalings, and by well-established empirical temperature-dependent growth rates. Natural mortality is calculated using an empirical size-based relationship, while reproduction and recruitment depend on both the food availability to larvae from net primary production and the production of eggs by mature adult fish. We describe predicted biomass spectra and compare them to observations, and conduct a sensitivity study to determine how the change as a function of net primary production and temperature. The model relies on a limited number of parameters compared to similar modeling efforts, while retaining realistic representations of biological and ecological processes, and is computationally efficient, allowing extensive parameter-space analyses even when implemented globally. As such, it enables the exploration of the linkages between ocean biogeochemistry, climate, and upper trophic levels at the global scale, as well as a representation of fish biomass for idealized studies

  17. The ecological module of BOATS-1.0: a bioenergetically constrained model of marine upper trophic levels suitable for studies of fisheries and ocean biogeochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carozza, David Anthony; Bianchi, Daniele; Galbraith, Eric Douglas

    2016-04-01

    Environmental change and the exploitation of marine resources have had profound impacts on marine communities, with potential implications for ocean biogeochemistry and food security. In order to study such global-scale problems, it is helpful to have computationally efficient numerical models that predict the first-order features of fish biomass production as a function of the environment, based on empirical and mechanistic understandings of marine ecosystems. Here we describe the ecological module of the BiOeconomic mArine Trophic Size-spectrum (BOATS) model, which takes an Earth-system approach to modelling fish biomass at the global scale. The ecological model is designed to be used on an Earth-system model grid, and determines size spectra of fish biomass by explicitly resolving life history as a function of local temperature and net primary production. Biomass production is limited by the availability of photosynthetic energy to upper trophic levels, following empirical trophic efficiency scalings, and by well-established empirical temperature-dependent growth rates. Natural mortality is calculated using an empirical size-based relationship, while reproduction and recruitment depend on both the food availability to larvae from net primary production and the production of eggs by mature adult fish. We describe predicted biomass spectra and compare them to observations, and conduct a sensitivity study to determine how they change as a function of net primary production and temperature. The model relies on a limited number of parameters compared to similar modelling efforts, while retaining reasonably realistic representations of biological and ecological processes, and is computationally efficient, allowing extensive parameter-space analyses even when implemented globally. As such, it enables the exploration of the linkages between ocean biogeochemistry, climate, and upper trophic levels at the global scale, as well as a representation of fish biomass for

  18. Serum BAFF levels, Methypredsinolone therapy, Epstein-Barr Virus and Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection in Multiple Sclerosis patients

    PubMed Central

    Mameli, Giuseppe; Cocco, Eleonora; Frau, Jessica; Arru, Giannina; Caggiu, Elisa; Marrosu, Maria Giovanna; Sechi, Leonardo A.

    2016-01-01

    Elevated B lymphocyte activating factor BAFF levels have been reported in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients; moreover, disease-modifying treatments (DMT) have shown to influence blood BAFF levels in MS patients, although the significance of these changes is still controversial. In addition, BAFF levels were reported increased during infectious diseases. In our study, we wanted to investigate on the serum BAFF concentrations correlated to the antibody response against Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and their human homologous epitopes in MS and in patients affected with other neurological diseases (OND), divided in Inflammatory Neurological Diseases (IND), Non Inflammatory Neurological Diseases (NIND) and Undetermined Neurological Diseases (UND), in comparison to healthy controls (HCs). Our results confirmed a statistically significant high BAFF levels in MS and IND patients in comparison to HCs but not NIND and UND patients. Interestingly, BAFF levels were inversely proportional to antibodies level against EBV and MAP peptides and the BAFF levels significantly decreased in MS patients after methylprednisolone therapy. These results implicate that lower circulating BAFF concentrations were present in MS patients with humoral response against MAP and EBV. In conclusion MS patients with no IgGs against EBV and MAP may support the hypothesis that elevated blood BAFF levels could be associated with a more stable disease. PMID:27383531

  19. Serum BAFF levels, Methypredsinolone therapy, Epstein-Barr Virus and Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection in Multiple Sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

    Mameli, Giuseppe; Cocco, Eleonora; Frau, Jessica; Arru, Giannina; Caggiu, Elisa; Marrosu, Maria Giovanna; Sechi, Leonardo A

    2016-01-01

    Elevated B lymphocyte activating factor BAFF levels have been reported in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients; moreover, disease-modifying treatments (DMT) have shown to influence blood BAFF levels in MS patients, although the significance of these changes is still controversial. In addition, BAFF levels were reported increased during infectious diseases. In our study, we wanted to investigate on the serum BAFF concentrations correlated to the antibody response against Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and their human homologous epitopes in MS and in patients affected with other neurological diseases (OND), divided in Inflammatory Neurological Diseases (IND), Non Inflammatory Neurological Diseases (NIND) and Undetermined Neurological Diseases (UND), in comparison to healthy controls (HCs). Our results confirmed a statistically significant high BAFF levels in MS and IND patients in comparison to HCs but not NIND and UND patients. Interestingly, BAFF levels were inversely proportional to antibodies level against EBV and MAP peptides and the BAFF levels significantly decreased in MS patients after methylprednisolone therapy. These results implicate that lower circulating BAFF concentrations were present in MS patients with humoral response against MAP and EBV. In conclusion MS patients with no IgGs against EBV and MAP may support the hypothesis that elevated blood BAFF levels could be associated with a more stable disease. PMID:27383531

  20. Activities for Differentiated Instruction Addressing All Levels of Bloom's Taxonomy and Eight Multiple Intelligences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rule, Audrey C., Ed.; Lord, Linda Hurley, Ed.

    This manuscript contains 13 curriculum units designed to enhance differentiated instruction for learners with special needs from grades 1-12, including gifted students. It integrates Benjamin S. Bloom's levels of cognitive understanding with Howard Gardner's eight domains of intelligence to provide a framework for individualized instruction. Each…

  1. Zinc Levels Modulate Lifespan through Multiple Longevity Pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Jitendra; Barhydt, Tracy; Awasthi, Anjali; Lithgow, Gordon J.; Killilea, David W.; Kapahi, Pankaj

    2016-01-01

    Zinc is an essential trace metal that has integral roles in numerous biological processes, including enzymatic function, protein structure, and cell signaling pathways. Both excess and deficiency of zinc can lead to detrimental effects on development and metabolism, resulting in abnormalities and disease. We altered the zinc balance within Caenorhabditis elegans to examine how changes in zinc burden affect longevity and healthspan in an invertebrate animal model. We found that increasing zinc levels in vivo with excess dietary zinc supplementation decreased the mean and maximum lifespan, whereas reducing zinc levels in vivo with a zinc-selective chelator increased the mean and maximum lifespan in C. elegans. We determined that the lifespan shortening effects of excess zinc required expression of DAF-16, HSF-1 and SKN-1 proteins, whereas the lifespan lengthening effects of the reduced zinc may be partially dependent upon this set of proteins. Furthermore, reducing zinc levels led to greater nuclear localization of DAF-16 and enhanced dauer formation compared to controls, suggesting that the lifespan effects of zinc are mediated in part by the insulin/IGF-1 pathway. Additionally, zinc status correlated with several markers of healthspan in worms, including proteostasis, locomotion and thermotolerance, with reduced zinc levels always associated with improvements in function. Taken together, these data support a role for zinc in regulating both development and lifespan in C. elegans, and that suggest that regulation of zinc homeostasis in the worm may be an example of antagonistic pleiotropy. PMID:27078872

  2. Two-year-olds readily learn multiple labels for the same basic-level category.

    PubMed

    Mervis, C B; Golinkoff, R M; Bertrand, J

    1994-08-01

    2 basic frameworks for lexical principles have been proposed (Golinkoff, Mervis, & Hirsh-Pasek; Markman). In many types of situations, these frameworks make the same predictions regarding 2-year-olds' interpretation of novel terms. However, the predictions diverge in some cases. 3 experiments were conducted to address 1 such situation: the case in which the child hears a novel term but already knows a label for each of the objects present. Results of all 3 studies converged on the same outcome: The new term was most likely to be treated as a second basic-level name for the category to which the object belonged. Analyses of individual patterns of responding revealed that, of the 58 subjects, 50 made more basic-level responses than part responses, 1 made equal numbers of basic-level and part responses, and 7 made more part responses than basic-level responses. Implications of these findings for models of early lexical development are discussed. PMID:7956472

  3. Zinc Levels Modulate Lifespan through Multiple Longevity Pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Jitendra; Barhydt, Tracy; Awasthi, Anjali; Lithgow, Gordon J; Killilea, David W; Kapahi, Pankaj

    2016-01-01

    Zinc is an essential trace metal that has integral roles in numerous biological processes, including enzymatic function, protein structure, and cell signaling pathways. Both excess and deficiency of zinc can lead to detrimental effects on development and metabolism, resulting in abnormalities and disease. We altered the zinc balance within Caenorhabditis elegans to examine how changes in zinc burden affect longevity and healthspan in an invertebrate animal model. We found that increasing zinc levels in vivo with excess dietary zinc supplementation decreased the mean and maximum lifespan, whereas reducing zinc levels in vivo with a zinc-selective chelator increased the mean and maximum lifespan in C. elegans. We determined that the lifespan shortening effects of excess zinc required expression of DAF-16, HSF-1 and SKN-1 proteins, whereas the lifespan lengthening effects of the reduced zinc may be partially dependent upon this set of proteins. Furthermore, reducing zinc levels led to greater nuclear localization of DAF-16 and enhanced dauer formation compared to controls, suggesting that the lifespan effects of zinc are mediated in part by the insulin/IGF-1 pathway. Additionally, zinc status correlated with several markers of healthspan in worms, including proteostasis, locomotion and thermotolerance, with reduced zinc levels always associated with improvements in function. Taken together, these data support a role for zinc in regulating both development and lifespan in C. elegans, and that suggest that regulation of zinc homeostasis in the worm may be an example of antagonistic pleiotropy.

  4. An Iterative Maximum a Posteriori Estimation of Proficiency Level to Detect Multiple Local Likelihood Maxima

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magis, David; Raiche, Gilles

    2010-01-01

    In this article the authors focus on the issue of the nonuniqueness of the maximum likelihood (ML) estimator of proficiency level in item response theory (with special attention to logistic models). The usual maximum a posteriori (MAP) method offers a good alternative within that framework; however, this article highlights some drawbacks of its…

  5. Individual differences in ensemble perception reveal multiple, independent levels of ensemble representation.

    PubMed

    Haberman, Jason; Brady, Timothy F; Alvarez, George A

    2015-04-01

    Ensemble perception, including the ability to "see the average" from a group of items, operates in numerous feature domains (size, orientation, speed, facial expression, etc.). Although the ubiquity of ensemble representations is well established, the large-scale cognitive architecture of this process remains poorly defined. We address this using an individual differences approach. In a series of experiments, observers saw groups of objects and reported either a single item from the group or the average of the entire group. High-level ensemble representations (e.g., average facial expression) showed complete independence from low-level ensemble representations (e.g., average orientation). In contrast, low-level ensemble representations (e.g., orientation and color) were correlated with each other, but not with high-level ensemble representations (e.g., facial expression and person identity). These results suggest that there is not a single domain-general ensemble mechanism, and that the relationship among various ensemble representations depends on how proximal they are in representational space. PMID:25844624

  6. Multiple Levels of Social Disadvantage and Links to Obesity in Adolescence and Young Adulthood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Hedwig; Harris, Kathleen M.; Lee, Joyce

    2013-01-01

    Background: The rise in adolescent obesity has become a public health concern, especially because of its impact on disadvantaged youth. This article examines the role of disadvantage at the family-, peer-, school-, and neighborhood-level, to determine which contexts are related to obesity in adolescence and young adulthood. Methods: We analyzed…

  7. Achieving Scale at the District Level: A Longitudinal Multiple Case Study of a Partnership Reform

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sanders, Mavis G.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: Coburn's (2003) multidimensional conception of scale includes four interrelated dimensions--depth, sustainability, spread, and ownership--that provide a framework to understand scale at both the school and district levels. This study was conducted to understand how reform leaders in four districts implementing the National Network of…

  8. The Response of Spartina Alterniflora to Multiple Stressors of Eutrophication, Precipitation Changes, and Sea Level Rise

    EPA Science Inventory

    A four month experiment using greenhouse mesocosms was conducted to analyze the effects of eutrophication, sea level rise, and precipitation changes on the salt marsh plant Spartina alterniflora. Pots containing plants were placed in six 600L tanks that received seawater pumped f...

  9. Accounting for Multiple Sources of Uncertainty in the Statistical Analysis of Holocene Sea Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cahill, N.; Parnell, A. C.; Kemp, A.; Horton, B.

    2014-12-01

    We perform a Bayesian statistical analysis on historical and late Holocene rates of sea-level change. The data that form the input to the statistical model are tide-gauge measurements and proxy reconstructions from cores of coastal sediment. The aims are to estimate rates of sea-level change, to determine when modern rates of rise began and to observe how these rates have evolved over time. Many current methods for doing this use simple linear regression to estimate rates. This is often inappropriate as it is too rigid and it can ignore uncertainties that arise as part of the data collection exercise. This can lead to over-confidence in the sea-level trends being characterized. The proposed model places a Gaussian process prior on the rate process (i.e. the process that determines how rates of sea-level are changing over time). The likelihood of the observed data is the integral of this process. When dealing with proxy reconstructions, the model is set in an errors-in-variables framework so as to take account of age uncertainty. It is also necessary to account for glacio-isostatic adjustment, which introduces a covariance between individual age and sea-level observations. This method allows for the estimation of the rate process with full consideration of all sources of uncertainty. The model captures the continuous and dynamic evolution of sea-level change and results show that modern rates of rise are consistently increasing. Analysis of a global tide-gauge record (Church and White, 2011) indicated that the rate of sea-level rise increased continuously since 1880AD and is currently 1.9mm/yr (95% credible interval of 1.84 to 2.03mm/yr). Applying the model to a proxy reconstruction from North Carolina (Kemp et al., 2011) indicated that the mean rate of rise in this locality since the middle of the 19th century (current rate of 2.44 mm/yr with a 95% credible interval of 1.91 to 3.01mm/yr) is unprecedented in at least the last 2000 years.

  10. Global 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine Levels Are Profoundly Reduced in Multiple Genitourinary Malignancies.

    PubMed

    Munari, Enrico; Chaux, Alcides; Vaghasia, Ajay M; Taheri, Diana; Karram, Sarah; Bezerra, Stephania M; Gonzalez Roibon, Nilda; Nelson, William G; Yegnasubramanian, Srinivasan; Netto, George J; Haffner, Michael C

    2016-01-01

    Solid tumors are characterized by a plethora of epigenetic changes. In particular, patterns methylation of cytosines at the 5-position (5mC) in the context of CpGs are frequently altered in tumors. Recent evidence suggests that 5mC can get converted to 5-hydroxylmethylcytosine (5hmC) in an enzymatic process involving ten eleven translocation (TET) protein family members, and this process appears to be important in facilitating plasticity of cytosine methylation. Here we evaluated the global levels of 5hmC using a validated immunohistochemical staining method in a large series of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (n = 111), urothelial cell carcinoma (n = 55) and testicular germ cell tumors (n = 84) and matched adjacent benign tissues. Whereas tumor-adjacent benign tissues were mostly characterized by high levels of 5hmC, renal cell carcinoma and urothelial cell carcinoma showed dramatically reduced staining for 5hmC. 5hmC levels were low in both primary tumors and metastases of clear cell renal cell carcinoma and showed no association with disease outcomes. In normal testis, robust 5hmC staining was only observed in stroma and Sertoli cells. Seminoma showed greatly reduced 5hmC immunolabeling, whereas differentiated teratoma, embryonal and yolk sack tumors exhibited high 5hmC levels. The substantial tumor specific loss of 5hmC, particularly in clear cell renal cell carcinoma and urothelial cell carcinoma, suggests that alterations in pathways involved in establishing and maintaining 5hmC levels might be very common in cancer and could potentially be exploited for diagnosis and treatment. PMID:26785262

  11. A cross-cultural investigation of multiple intelligences in university-level nutrition students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Short, Joy E.

    Effective strategies for the recruitment and retention of a diverse student body in undergraduate nutrition and dietetics programs are needed in order for graduates to effectively meet the health and nutrition needs of a diverse clientele. One way to promote diversity and improve teaching methods in dietetics education is through a framework based on Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI). The theory suggests that individuals possess varying degrees of eight different intelligences which are shaped by genetics and cultural context. Relatively little research has been conducted to investigate MI approaches in the areas of higher education, cross-cultural education, or dietetics education. Therefore, this study investigated the MI profiles of students within undergraduate nutrition programs at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, Mexico and Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Data were collected through the Multiple Intelligences Developmental Assessment Scales (MIDAS). The findings provide a profile of the intellectual dispositions for the study population and suggest that dietetics students in this cross-cultural study population score highest for the MIDAS scale measuring interpersonal intelligence, with significant differences occurring between scores for the eight intelligences measured by the MIDAS. Not only were there significant differences between scale scores when analyzing the population as a whole, there were also significant differences in scale scores when comparing American and Mexican students. This phenomenon was also true when scores were grouped into five ordinal categories. In addition, the findings suggest that differences exist among the particular skills associated with the intelligences for the students at each university. Results indicate that skills related to social sensitivity and persuasion are significantly higher than many other skills for dietetics students. Further, when comparing the

  12. Comparison of pollution levels on the Mississippi Gulf Coast during the 2010 Gulf BP oil spill to ecological and health-based standards.

    PubMed

    Beasley, Jerry; Reddy, Ramata S; Tchounwou, Paul; Kafoury, Ramzi

    2012-01-01

    To evaluate the possible impact that the BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill might have had on pollution levels in the State of Mississippi, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analyzed surface water and ambient air quality pollutant data taken from MDEQ and EPA monitoring sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The data were compared with acute, chronic, and human health air and water quality standards to determine whether the pollutant levels occurring during the oil spill could cause ecological and/or human health effects. The water quality data indicated levels of nickel, vanadium, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and semivolatile organic compounds analyzed remained below acute and chronic levels for both aquatic life and human health. The air quality sampling data showed that the levels of VOCs and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons associated with the oil spill were well below EPA chronic and human health screening levels. A comparison of the air quality monitoring data taken before and after the oil spill showed that the concentrations of ozone and fine particulate matter were elevated for brief periods but remained below actionable levels.

  13. Comparison of pollution levels on the Mississippi Gulf Coast during the 2010 Gulf BP oil spill to ecological and health-based standards.

    PubMed

    Beasley, Jerry; Reddy, Ramata S; Tchounwou, Paul; Kafoury, Ramzi

    2012-01-01

    To evaluate the possible impact that the BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill might have had on pollution levels in the State of Mississippi, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analyzed surface water and ambient air quality pollutant data taken from MDEQ and EPA monitoring sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The data were compared with acute, chronic, and human health air and water quality standards to determine whether the pollutant levels occurring during the oil spill could cause ecological and/or human health effects. The water quality data indicated levels of nickel, vanadium, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and semivolatile organic compounds analyzed remained below acute and chronic levels for both aquatic life and human health. The air quality sampling data showed that the levels of VOCs and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons associated with the oil spill were well below EPA chronic and human health screening levels. A comparison of the air quality monitoring data taken before and after the oil spill showed that the concentrations of ozone and fine particulate matter were elevated for brief periods but remained below actionable levels. PMID:23109537

  14. Assessments of levels, potential ecological risk, and human health risk of heavy metals in the soils from a typical county in Shanxi Province, China.

    PubMed

    Pan, Libo; Ma, Jin; Hu, Yu; Su, Benying; Fang, Guangling; Wang, Yue; Wang, Zhanshan; Wang, Lei; Xiang, Bao

    2016-10-01

    A total of 128 surface soil samples were collected, and eight heavy metals, including As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni, Zn, and Hg, were analyzed for their concentrations, potential ecological risks, and human health risks. The mean concentrations of these eight metals were lower than the soil environmental quality standards in China, while they were slightly higher than the background values in Shanxi Province. The enrichment factor, coefficient variation, and potential ecological risk index were used to assess the pollution and eco-risk level of heavy metals, among which, Cd and Hg showed higher pollution levels and potential risks than the others in the studied area. Moreover, multivariate geostatistical analysis suggested that Hg originated mainly from point sources such as industrial emissions, while agricultural activity is the predominant factor for Cd. The human health risk assessment indicated that non-carcinogenic values were below the threshold values. The total carcinogenic risks due to As, Cr, and Ni were within the acceptable range for adults, while for children, they were higher than the threshold value (1.0E-04), indicating that children are facing higher threat to heavy metals in soils. These results provide basic information on heavy metal pollution control and human health risk assessment management in the study regions. PMID:27370534

  15. Phylogeny of a Genomically Diverse Group of Elymus (Poaceae) Allopolyploids Reveals Multiple Levels of Reticulation

    PubMed Central

    Mason-Gamer, Roberta J.

    2013-01-01

    The grass tribe Triticeae (=Hordeeae) comprises only about 300 species, but it is well known for the economically important crop plants wheat, barley, and rye. The group is also recognized as a fascinating example of evolutionary complexity, with a history shaped by numerous events of auto- and allopolyploidy and apparent introgression involving diploids and polyploids. The genus Elymus comprises a heterogeneous collection of allopolyploid genome combinations, all of which include at least one set of homoeologs, designated St, derived from Pseudoroegneria. The current analysis includes a geographically and genomically diverse collection of 21 tetraploid Elymus species, and a single hexaploid species. Diploid and polyploid relationships were estimated using four molecular data sets, including one that combines two regions of the chloroplast genome, and three from unlinked nuclear genes: phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase, β-amylase, and granule-bound starch synthase I. Four gene trees were generated using maximum likelihood, and the phylogenetic placement of the polyploid sequences reveals extensive reticulation beyond allopolyploidy alone. The trees were interpreted with reference to numerous phenomena known to complicate allopolyploid phylogenies, and introgression was identified as a major factor in their history. The work illustrates the interpretation of complicated phylogenetic results through the sequential consideration of numerous possible explanations, and the results highlight the value of careful inspection of multiple independent molecular phylogenetic estimates, with particular focus on the differences among them. PMID:24302986

  16. Multiple resistance mechanisms among Aspergillus fumigatus mutants with high-level resistance to itraconazole.

    PubMed

    Nascimento, Adriana M; Goldman, Gustavo H; Park, Steven; Marras, Salvatore A E; Delmas, Guillaume; Oza, Uma; Lolans, Karen; Dudley, Michael N; Mann, Paul A; Perlin, David S

    2003-05-01

    A collection of Aspergillus fumigatus mutants highly resistant to itraconazole (RIT) at 100 micro g ml(-1) were selected in vitro (following UV irradiation as a preliminary step) to investigate mechanisms of drug resistance in this clinically important pathogen. Eight of the RIT mutants were found to have a mutation at Gly54 (G54E, -K, or -R) in the azole target gene CYP51A. Primers designed for highly conserved regions of multidrug resistance (MDR) pumps were used in reverse transcriptase PCR amplification reactions to identify novel genes encoding potential MDR efflux pumps in A. fumigatus. Two genes, AfuMDR3 and AfuMDR4, showed prominent changes in expression levels in many RIT mutants and were characterized in more detail. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence encoded by AfuMDR3 revealed high similarity to major facilitator superfamily transporters, while AfuMDR4 was a typical member of the ATP-binding cassette superfamily. Real-time quantitative PCR with molecular beacon probes was used to assess expression levels of AfuMDR3 and AfuMDR4. Most RIT mutants showed either constitutive high-level expression of both genes or induction of expression upon exposure to itraconazole. Our results suggest that overexpression of one or both of these newly identified drug efflux pump genes of A. fumigatus and/or selection of drug target site mutations are linked to high-level itraconazole resistance and are mechanistic considerations for the emergence of clinical resistance to itraconazole.

  17. Level of education and multiple sclerosis risk after adjustment for known risk factors: The EnvIMS study

    PubMed Central

    Bjørnevik, Kjetil; Riise, Trond; Cortese, Marianna; Holmøy, Trygve; Kampman, Margitta T; Magalhaes, Sandra; Myhr, Kjell-Morten; Wolfson, Christina; Pugliatti, Maura

    2016-01-01

    Background: Several recent studies have found a higher risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) among people with a low level of education. This has been suggested to reflect an effect of smoking and lower vitamin D status in the social class associated with lower levels of education. Objective: The objective of this paper is to investigate the association between level of education and MS risk adjusting for the known risk factors smoking, infectious mononucleosis, indicators of vitamin D levels and body size. Methods: Within the case-control study on Environmental Factors In MS (EnvIMS), 953 MS patients and 1717 healthy controls from Norway reported educational level and history of exposure to putative environmental risk factors. Results: Higher level of education were associated with decreased MS risk (p trend = 0.001) with an OR of 0.53 (95% CI 0.41–0.68) when comparing those with the highest and lowest level of education. This association was only moderately reduced after adjusting for known risk factors (OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.44–0.83). The estimates remained similar when cases with disease onset before age 28 were excluded. Conclusion: These findings suggest that factors related to lower socioeconomic status other than established risk factors are associated with MS risk. PMID:26014605

  18. Co-seismic water level changes in response to multiple large earthquakes at the LGH well in Sichuan, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Guijuan; Jiang, Changsheng; Han, Libo; Sheng, Shuzhong; Ma, Yuchuan

    2016-06-01

    We examined the water level data at the LGH well in Sichuan, China, from December 2007 to July 2015 and their responses to multiple large earthquakes with seismic energy densities greater than 10- 4 J/m3. Co-seismic water level declines were observed in response to eleven earthquakes out of twelve in the farfield, and co-seismic water level increase was observed in one nearfield case. The water level declines in the farfield showed a linear relation with the common logarithm of the seismic energy densities, whereas the water level increase in the nearfield fell away from this relation, indicating that the farfield responses and the nearfield response were produced by distinct mechanisms. We used the phase shift of tidal responses as a proxy for permeability and found that permeability enhancements were observed both in the farfield and nearfield. The co-seismic water level declines in response to the distant earthquakes could be explained by permeability enhancements caused by the passage of seismic waves through the mobilization of colloidal particles; the co-seismic water level increase in response to the nearfield case could be caused both by the compression of the static stress and by the seismic waves.

  19. Melatonin in Plants – Diversity of Levels and Multiplicity of Functions

    PubMed Central

    Hardeland, Rüdiger

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin has been detected in numerous plant species. A particularly surprising finding concerns the highly divergent levels of melatonin that vary between species, organs and environmental conditions, from a few pg/g to over 20 μg/g, reportedly up to 200 μg/g. Highest values have been determined in oily seeds and in plant organs exposed to high UV radiation. The divergency of melatonin concentrations is discussed under various functional aspects and focused on several open questions. This comprises differences in precursor availability, catabolism, the relative contribution of isoenzymes of the melatonin biosynthetic pathway, and differences in rate limitation by either serotonin N-acetyltransferase or N-acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase. Other differences are related to the remarkable pleiotropy of melatonin, which exhibits properties as a growth regulator and morphogenetic factor, actually debated in terms of auxin-like effects, and as a signaling molecule that modulates pathways of ethylene, abscisic, jasmonic and salicylic acids and is involved in stress tolerance, pathogen defense and delay of senescence. In the context of high light/UV intensities, elevated melatonin levels exceed those required for signaling via stress-related phytohormones and may comprise direct antioxidant and photoprotectant properties, perhaps with a contribution of its oxidatively formed metabolites, such as N1-acetyl-N2-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine and its secondary products. High melatonin levels in seeds may also serve antioxidative protection and have been shown to promote seed viability and germination capacity. PMID:26925091

  20. Human leukocyte telomere length is associated with DNA methylation levels in multiple subtelomeric and imprinted loci.

    PubMed

    Buxton, Jessica L; Suderman, Matthew; Pappas, Jane J; Borghol, Nada; McArdle, Wendy; Blakemore, Alexandra I F; Hertzman, Clyde; Power, Christine; Szyf, Moshe; Pembrey, Marcus

    2014-05-14

    In humans, leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is positively correlated with lifespan, and shorter LTL is associated with increased risk of age-related disease. In this study we tested for association between telomere length and methylated cytosine levels. Measurements of mean telomere length and DNA methylation at >450,000 CpG sites were obtained for both blood (N = 24) and EBV-transformed cell-line (N = 36) DNA samples from men aged 44-45 years. We identified 65 gene promoters enriched for CpG sites at which methylation levels are associated with leukocyte telomere length, and 36 gene promoters enriched for CpG sites at which methylation levels are associated with telomere length in DNA from EBV-transformed cell-lines. We observed significant enrichment of positively associated methylated CpG sites in subtelomeric loci (within 4 Mb of the telomere) (P < 0.01), and also at loci in imprinted regions (P < 0.001). Our results pave the way for further investigations to help elucidate the relationships between telomere length, DNA methylation and gene expression in health and disease.

  1. Treated municipal sewage discharge affects multiple levels of biological organization in fish.

    PubMed

    Porter, Clint M; Janz, David M

    2003-02-01

    The objectives of this study were to examine cellular-, organ-, and organism-level responses in longear sunfish (Lepomis megalotis) and fish community structure in a stream in which treated municipal sewage effluent is discharged and in a nearby reference stream with little surrounding land use. A modified version of the U.S.E.P.A. Rapid Bioassessment Protocol V, which combines a habitat assessment with Karr's index of biotic integrity, was used on 400-m reaches of each stream. The study site had a higher proportion of tolerant species and omnivores and a lower proportion of top predators, suggesting alterations in the fish community and a slight level of water quality impairment. Significant increases in condition factor, hepatosomatic index, serum testosterone, and plasma vitellogenin concentrations were observed in male sunfish collected from the study stream in comparison to fish collected from the reference stream. There were no differences between sites in hepatic expression of the 70-kDa stress protein (HSP70). In conclusion, effects were observed at cellular, organ, organism, and community levels of biological organization in fishes exposed to treated municipal sewage effluent.

  2. Observations of ice multiplication in a weakly convective cell embedded in supercooled mid-level stratus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crosier, J.; Bower, K. N.; Choularton, T. W.; Westbrook, C. D.; Connolly, P. J.; Cui, Z. Q.; Crawford, I. P.; Capes, G. L.; Coe, H.; Dorsey, J. R.; Williams, P. I.; Illingworth, A. J.; Gallagher, M. W.; Blyth, A. M.

    2010-08-01

    Simultaneous observations of cloud microphysical properties were obtained by in-situ aircraft measurements and ground based Radar/Lidar. Widespread mid-level stratus cloud was present below a temperature inversion (~5 °C magnitude) at 3.6 km altitude. Localised convection (peak updraft 1.5 m s-1) was observed 20 km west of the Radar station. This was associated with convergence at 2.5 km altitude. The convection was unable to penetrate the inversion capping the mid-level stratus. The mid-level stratus cloud was vertically thin (~400 m), horizontally extensive (covering 100 s of km) and persisted for more than 24 h. The cloud consisted of supercooled water droplets and small concentrations of large (~1 mm) stellar/plate like ice which slowly precipitated out. This ice was nucleated at temperatures greater than -12.2 °C and less than -10.0 °C, (cloud top and cloud base temperatures, respectively). No ice seeding from above the cloud layer was observed. This ice was formed by primary nucleation, either through the entrainment of efficient ice nuclei from above/below cloud, or by the slow stochastic activation of immersion freezing ice nuclei contained within the supercooled drops. Above cloud top significant concentrations of sub-micron aerosol were observed and consisted of a mixture of sulphate and carbonaceous material, a potential source of ice nuclei. Precipitation from the mid-level stratus evaporated before reaching the surface, whereas rates of up to 1 mm h-1 were observed below the convective feature. There is strong evidence for the Hallett-Mossop (HM) process of secondary ice particle production leading to the formation of the precipitation observed. This includes (1) Ice concentrations in the convective feature were more than an order of magnitude greater than the concentration of primary ice in the overlaying stratus, (2) Large concentrations of small pristine columns were observed at the ~-5 °C level together with liquid water droplets and a few

  3. ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ecological Soil Screening Level (Eco-SSL) Work Group, composed of scientists and risk assessors from EPA, Environment Canada, DOE, Army, Navy, Air Force, states, industry, academia, and consulting companies, has been working on the development of scientifically sound, ecologi...

  4. Effective science teachers' professional development: A multiple-case study of district-level science supervisors' perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaben, Chris Jay

    At its heart, science teachers' professional development is about continual growth and improvement (Yager, 2005). Conducting research to understand what constitutes effective professional development is inherently complex (Hewson, 2007). The imperative to link research on professional development to student achievement (Fishman, Marx, Best, & Tal, 2003) increases complexity of research on the topic. These complexities require multiple research approaches and indicate that all stakeholders could provide insights to identify what constitutes effective professional development. District-level science supervisors' voices are missing from the data on effective science teachers' professional development and this provides a potential gap in the literature (Banilower, Heck, & Weiss, 2007; Elmore & Burney, 1999; Shroyer, Miller, Hernandez, & Dunn, 2007). The purpose of this multiple-case study was to gather information from six district-level science supervisors from six different school districts in six different states to gain a deeper understanding of their insights on what constitutes effective professional development. The empirical data examined in this study resulted from interviews, participant drawings, observations, and document review. The major finding was that the district-level science supervisors mostly confirmed what was known in the field. However, this finding could be used in a variety of ways to support future research; such as providing a potential data source to corroborate self-reported teacher survey data. The findings from this study also identified a few nuances to what is known about effective science teachers' professional development research. Specifically, a finding suggests that researchers may need to reconceptualize the amount of time before which science teachers' professional development can impact student achievement. Another nuance identified relates to the, already known, understanding that district-level science supervisors' beliefs

  5. The Relationship between Multiplication Fact Speed-Recall and Fluency and Higher Level Mathematics Learning with Eighth Grade Middle School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Curry, Steven James

    2012-01-01

    This quantitative study investigated relationships between higher level mathematics learning and multiplication fact fluency, multiplication fact speed-recall, and reading grade equivalency of eighth grade students in Algebra I and Pre-Algebra. Higher level mathematics learning was indicated by an average score of 80% or higher on first and second…

  6. Population-level differences in disease transmission: A Bayesian analysis of multiple smallpox epidemics

    PubMed Central

    Elderd, Bret D.; Dwyer, Greg; Dukic, Vanja

    2013-01-01

    Estimates of a disease’s basic reproductive rate R0 play a central role in understanding outbreaks and planning intervention strategies. In many calculations of R0, a simplifying assumption is that different host populations have effectively identical transmission rates. This assumption can lead to an underestimate of the overall uncertainty associated with R0, which, due to the non-linearity of epidemic processes, may result in a mis-estimate of epidemic intensity and miscalculated expenditures associated with public-health interventions. In this paper, we utilize a Bayesian method for quantifying the overall uncertainty arising from differences in population-specific basic reproductive rates. Using this method, we fit spatial and non-spatial susceptible-exposed-infected-recovered (SEIR) models to a series of 13 smallpox outbreaks. Five outbreaks occurred in populations that had been previously exposed to smallpox, while the remaining eight occurred in Native-American populations that were naïve to the disease at the time. The Native-American outbreaks were close in a spatial and temporal sense. Using Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC), we show that the best model includes population-specific R0 values. These differences in R0 values may, in part, be due to differences in genetic background, social structure, or food and water availability. As a result of these inter-population differences, the overall uncertainty associated with the “population average” value of smallpox R0 is larger, a finding that can have important consequences for controlling epidemics. In general, Bayesian hierarchical models are able to properly account for the uncertainty associated with multiple epidemics, provide a clearer understanding of variability in epidemic dynamics, and yield a better assessment of the range of potential risks and consequences that decision makers face. PMID:24021521

  7. Alendronate treatment alters bone tissues at multiple structural levels in healthy canine cortical bone.

    PubMed

    Acevedo, Claire; Bale, Hrishikesh; Gludovatz, Bernd; Wat, Amy; Tang, Simon Y; Wang, Mingyue; Busse, Björn; Zimmermann, Elizabeth A; Schaible, Eric; Allen, Matthew R; Burr, David B; Ritchie, Robert O

    2015-12-01

    Bisphosphonates are widely used to treat osteoporosis, but have been associated with atypical femoral fractures (AFFs) in the long term, which raises a critical health problem for the aging population. Several clinical studies have suggested that the occurrence of AFFs may be related to the bisphosphonate-induced changes of bone turnover, but large discrepancies in the results of these studies indicate that the salient mechanisms responsible for any loss in fracture resistance are still unclear. Here the role of bisphosphonates is examined in terms of the potential deterioration in fracture resistance resulting from both intrinsic (plasticity) and extrinsic (shielding) toughening mechanisms, which operate over a wide range of length-scales. Specifically, we compare the mechanical properties of two groups of humeri from healthy beagles, one control group comprising eight females (oral doses of saline vehicle, 1 mL/kg/day, 3 years) and one treated group comprising nine females (oral doses of alendronate used to treat osteoporosis, 0.2mg/kg/day, 3 years). Our data demonstrate treatment-specific reorganization of bone tissue identified at multiple length-scales mainly through advanced synchrotron x-ray experiments. We confirm that bisphosphonate treatments can increase non-enzymatic collagen cross-linking at molecular scales, which critically restricts plasticity associated with fibrillar sliding, and hence intrinsic toughening, at nanoscales. We also observe changes in the intracortical architecture of treated bone at microscales, with partial filling of the Haversian canals and reduction of osteon number. We hypothesize that the reduced plasticity associated with BP treatments may induce an increase in microcrack accumulation and growth under cyclic daily loadings, and potentially increase the susceptibility of cortical bone to atypical (fatigue-like) fractures.

  8. Multiple target tracking and classification improvement using data fusion at node level using acoustic signals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Damarla, T. R.; Whipps, Gene

    2005-05-01

    Target tracking and classification using passive acoustic signals is difficult at best as the signals are contaminated by wind noise, multi-path effects, road conditions, and are generally not deterministic. In addition, microphone characteristics, such as sensitivity, vary with the weather conditions. The problem is further compounded if there are multiple targets, especially if some are measured with higher signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) than the others and they share spectral information. At the U. S. Army Research Laboratory we have conducted several field experiments with a convoy of two, three, four and five vehicles traveling on different road surfaces, namely gravel, asphalt, and dirt roads. The largest convoy is comprised of two tracked vehicles and three wheeled vehicles. Two of the wheeled vehicles are heavy trucks and one is a light vehicle. We used a super-resolution direction-of-arrival estimator, specifically the minimum variance distortionless response, to compute the bearings of the targets. In order to classify the targets, we modeled the acoustic signals emanated from the targets as a set of coupled harmonics, which are related to the engine-firing rate, and subsequently used a multivariate Gaussian classifier. Independent of the classifier, we find tracking of wheeled vehicles to be intermittent as the signals from vehicles with high SNR dominate the much quieter wheeled vehicles. We used several fusion techniques to combine tracking and classification results to improve final tracking and classification estimates. We will present the improvements (or losses) made in tracking and classification of all targets. Although improvements in the estimates for tracked vehicles are not noteworthy, significant improvements are seen in the case of wheeled vehicles. We will present the fusion algorithm used.

  9. Bayesian change-point analyses in ecology.

    PubMed

    Beckage, Brian; Joseph, Lawrence; Belisle, Patrick; Wolfson, David B; Platt, William J

    2007-01-01

    Ecological and biological processes can change from one state to another once a threshold has been crossed in space or time. Threshold responses to incremental changes in underlying variables can characterize diverse processes from climate change to the desertification of arid lands from overgrazing. Simultaneously estimating the location of thresholds and associated ecological parameters can be difficult: ecological data are often 'noisy', which can make the identification of the locations of ecological thresholds challenging. We illustrate this problem using two ecological examples and apply a class of statistical models well-suited to addressing this problem. We first consider the case of estimating allometric relationships between tree diameter and height when the trees have distinctly different growth modes across life-history stages. We next estimate the effects of canopy gaps and dense understory vegetation on tree recruitment in transects that transverse both canopy and gap conditions. The Bayesian change-point models that we present estimate both threshold locations and the slope or level of ecological quantities of interest, while incorporating uncertainty in the change-point location into these estimates. This class of models is suitable for problems with multiple thresholds and can account for spatial or temporal autocorrelation. PMID:17388908

  10. Serum 25(OH) Vitamin D levels is not associated with disability in multiple sclerosis patients: A case-control study

    PubMed Central

    Nikanfar, Masoud; Taheri-Aghdam, Ali Akbar; Yazdani, Maria; Shaafi, Sheida; Masoudian, Nooshin; Akbari, Hossein; Youhanaee, Parisa; Abbaszadeh, Hamzeh

    2015-01-01

    Background: It seems that serum vitamin D levels are one of the potential environmental factors affecting the severity of multiple sclerosis (MS). In this study, we aim to evaluate vitamin D levels in MS patients and healthy subjects and assess the relationship between vitamin D level and disability. Methods: In this case-control study, 168 rapid relapsing MS patients and 168 matched healthy controls were randomly included in this study. Demographic characteristics and serum vitamin D levels for patients and controls, as well as expanded disability status scale (EDSS), duration of disease and diagnostic lag for patients were evaluated. We followed up patients for 6 months and relapses were recorded. Results: The mean serum vitamin D levels were 19.16 ± 17.37 inpatients and 25.39 ± 19.67 in controls (P = 0.560). The mean serum vitamin D levels were 12.65 ± 13.3 in patients with relapses and 22.08 ± 18.22 in patients without any relapses (P < 0.001). There was no significant correlation between EDSS score and serum vitamin D levels (r = −0.08, P = 0.280). There was a significant positive correlation between EDSS score and disease duration (r = 0.52, P < 0.001). Conclusion: In conclusion, vitamin D level in patients with MS was significantly lower than the healthy subjects, but no significant relationship was found between vitamin D levels and disability. Our findings did not suggest a protective role for serum vitamin D levels against disability. PMID:25874052

  11. Maximal yields from multispecies fisheries systems: rules for systems with multiple trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Matsuda, Hiroyuki; Abrams, Peter A

    2006-02-01

    Increasing centralization of the control of fisheries combined with increased knowledge of food-web relationships is likely to lead to attempts to maximize economic yield from entire food webs. With the exception of predator-prey systems, we lack any analysis of the nature of such yield-maximizing strategies. We use simple food-web models to investigate the nature of yield- or profit-maximizing exploitation of communities including two types of three-species food webs and a variety of six-species systems with as many as five trophic levels. These models show that, for most webs, relatively few species are harvested at equilibrium and that a significant fraction of the species is lost from the web. These extinctions occur for two reasons: (1) indirect effects due to harvesting of species that had positive effects on the extinct species, and (2) intentional eradication of species that are not themselves valuable, but have negative effects on more valuable species. In most cases, the yield-maximizing harvest involves taking only species from one trophic level. In no case was an unharvested top predator part of the yield-maximizing strategy. Analyses reveal that the existence of direct density dependence in consumers has a large effect on the nature of the optimal harvest policy, typically resulting in harvest of a larger number of species. A constraint that all species must be retained in the system (a "constraint of biodiversity conservation") usually increases the number of species and trophic levels harvested at the yield-maximizing policy. The reduction in total yield caused by such a constraint is modest for most food webs but can be over 90% in some cases. Independent harvesting of species within the web can also cause extinctions but is less likely to do so. PMID:16705975

  12. Multiple Mechanisms Increase Levels of Resistance in Rapistrum rugosum to ALS Herbicides

    PubMed Central

    Hatami, Zahra M.; Gherekhloo, Javid; Rojano-Delgado, Antonia M.; Osuna, Maria D.; Alcántara, Ricardo; Fernández, Pablo; Sadeghipour, Hamid R.; De Prado, Rafael

    2016-01-01

    Rapistrum rugosum (turnip weed) is a common weed of wheat fields in Iran, which is most often controlled by tribenuron-methyl (TM), a sulfonylurea (SU) belonging to the acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibiting herbicides group. Several cases of unexplained control failure of R. rugosum by TM have been seen, especially in Golestan province-Iran. Hence, there is lack of research in evaluation of the level of resistance of the R. rugosum populations to TM, using whole plant dose-response and enzyme assays, then investigating some potential resistance mechanisms Results revealed that the resistance factor (RF) for resistant (R) populations was 2.5–6.6 fold higher than susceptible (S) plant. Neither foliar retention, nor 14C-TM absorption and translocation were the mechanisms responsible for resistance in turnip weed. Metabolism of TM was the second resistant mechanism in two populations (Ag-R5 and G-1), in which three metabolites were found. The concentration of TM for 50% inhibition of ALS enzyme activity in vitro showed a high level of resistance to the herbicide (RFs were from 28 to 38) and cross-resistance to sulfonyl-aminocarbonyl-triazolinone (SCT), pyrimidinyl-thiobenzoate (PTB) and triazolopyrimidine (TP), with no cross-resistance to imidazolinone (IMI). Substitution Pro 197 to Ser 197 provided resistance to four of five ALS-inhibiting herbicides including SU, TP, PTB, and SCT with no resistance to IMI. These results documented the first case of R. rugosum resistant population worldwide and demonstrated that both RST and NRST mechanisms are involved to the resistance level to TM. PMID:26941749

  13. Multiple levels of impaired neural plasticity and cellular resilience in bipolar disorder: Developing treatments using an integrated translational approach

    PubMed Central

    Machado-Vieira, Rodrigo; Soeiro-De-Souza, Marcio G.; Richards, Erica M.; Teixeira, Antonio L.; Zarate, Carlos A.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives This paper reviews the neurobiology of bipolar disorder (BD), particularly findings associated with impaired cellular resilience and plasticity. Methods PubMed/Medline articles and book chapters published over the last 20 years were identified using the following keyword combinations: BD, calcium, cytokines, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), genetics, glucocorticoids, glutamate, imaging, ketamine, lithium, mania, mitochondria, neuroplasticity, neuroprotection, neurotrophic, oxidative stress, plasticity, resilience, and valproate. Results BD is associated with impaired cellular resilience and synaptic dysfunction at multiple levels, associated with impaired cellular resilience and plasticity. These findings were partially prevented or even reversed with the use of mood stabilizers, but longitudinal studies associated with clinical outcome remain scarce. Conclusions Evidence consistently suggests that BD involves impaired neural plasticity and cellular resilience at multiple levels. This includes the genetic and intra- and intercellular signalling levels, their impact on brain structure and function, as well as the final translation into behaviour/cognitive changes. Future studies are expected to adopt integrated translational approaches using a variety of methods (e.g., microarray approaches, neuroimaging, genetics, electrophysiology, and the new generation of –omics techniques). These studies will likely focus on more precise diagnoses and a personalized medicine paradigm in order to develop better treatments for those who need them most. PMID:23998912

  14. Examining the Dynamic Structure of Daily Internalizing and Externalizing Behavior at Multiple Levels of Analysis.

    PubMed

    Wright, Aidan G C; Beltz, Adriene M; Gates, Kathleen M; Molenaar, Peter C M; Simms, Leonard J

    2015-01-01

    Psychiatric diagnostic covariation suggests that the underlying structure of psychopathology is not one of circumscribed disorders. Quantitative modeling of individual differences in diagnostic patterns has uncovered several broad domains of mental disorder liability, of which the Internalizing and Externalizing spectra have garnered the greatest support. These dimensions have generally been estimated from lifetime or past-year comorbidity patters, which are distal from the covariation of symptoms and maladaptive behavior that ebb and flow in daily life. In this study, structural models are applied to daily diary data (Median = 94 days) of maladaptive behaviors collected from a sample (N = 101) of individuals diagnosed with personality disorders (PDs). Using multilevel and unified structural equation modeling, between-person, within-person, and person-specific structures were estimated from 16 behaviors that are encompassed by the Internalizing and Externalizing spectra. At the between-person level (i.e., individual differences in average endorsement across days) we found support for a two-factor Internalizing-Externalizing model, which exhibits significant associations with corresponding diagnostic spectra. At the within-person level (i.e., dynamic covariation among daily behavior pooled across individuals) we found support for a more differentiated, four-factor, Negative Affect-Detachment-Hostility-Disinhibition structure. Finally, we demonstrate that the person-specific structures of associations between these four domains are highly idiosyncratic.

  15. Effects of multiple levels of social organization on survival and abundance.

    PubMed

    Ward, Eric J; Semmens, Brice X; Holmes, Elizabeth E; Balcomb Iii, Ken C

    2011-04-01

    Identifying how social organization shapes individual behavior, survival, and fecundity of animals that live in groups can inform conservation efforts and improve forecasts of population abundance, even when the mechanism responsible for group-level differences is unknown. We constructed a hierarchical Bayesian model to quantify the relative variability in survival rates among different levels of social organization (matrilines and pods) of an endangered population of killer whales (Orcinus orca). Individual killer whales often participate in group activities such as prey sharing and cooperative hunting. The estimated age-specific survival probabilities and survivorship curves differed considerably among pods and to a lesser extent among matrilines (within pods). Across all pods, males had lower life expectancy than females. Differences in survival between pods may be caused by a combination of factors that vary across the population's range, including reduced prey availability, contaminants in prey, and human activity. Our modeling approach could be applied to demographic rates for other species and for parameters other than survival, including reproduction, prey selection, movement, and detection probabilities. PMID:21054527

  16. Single-cell analysis of population context advances RNAi screening at multiple levels

    PubMed Central

    Snijder, Berend; Sacher, Raphael; Rämö, Pauli; Liberali, Prisca; Mench, Karin; Wolfrum, Nina; Burleigh, Laura; Scott, Cameron C; Verheije, Monique H; Mercer, Jason; Moese, Stefan; Heger, Thomas; Theusner, Kristina; Jurgeit, Andreas; Lamparter, David; Balistreri, Giuseppe; Schelhaas, Mario; De Haan, Cornelis A M; Marjomäki, Varpu; Hyypiä, Timo; Rottier, Peter J M; Sodeik, Beate; Marsh, Mark; Gruenberg, Jean; Amara, Ali; Greber, Urs; Helenius, Ari; Pelkmans, Lucas

    2012-01-01

    Isogenic cells in culture show strong variability, which arises from dynamic adaptations to the microenvironment of individual cells. Here we study the influence of the cell population context, which determines a single cell's microenvironment, in image-based RNAi screens. We developed a comprehensive computational approach that employs Bayesian and multivariate methods at the single-cell level. We applied these methods to 45 RNA interference screens of various sizes, including 7 druggable genome and 2 genome-wide screens, analysing 17 different mammalian virus infections and four related cell physiological processes. Analysing cell-based screens at this depth reveals widespread RNAi-induced changes in the population context of individual cells leading to indirect RNAi effects, as well as perturbations of cell-to-cell variability regulators. We find that accounting for indirect effects improves the consistency between siRNAs targeted against the same gene, and between replicate RNAi screens performed in different cell lines, in different labs, and with different siRNA libraries. In an era where large-scale RNAi screens are increasingly performed to reach a systems-level understanding of cellular processes, we show that this is often improved by analyses that account for and incorporate the single-cell microenvironment. PMID:22531119

  17. Examining the Dynamic Structure of Daily Internalizing and Externalizing Behavior at Multiple Levels of Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Aidan G. C.; Beltz, Adriene M.; Gates, Kathleen M.; Molenaar, Peter C. M.; Simms, Leonard J.

    2015-01-01

    Psychiatric diagnostic covariation suggests that the underlying structure of psychopathology is not one of circumscribed disorders. Quantitative modeling of individual differences in diagnostic patterns has uncovered several broad domains of mental disorder liability, of which the Internalizing and Externalizing spectra have garnered the greatest support. These dimensions have generally been estimated from lifetime or past-year comorbidity patters, which are distal from the covariation of symptoms and maladaptive behavior that ebb and flow in daily life. In this study, structural models are applied to daily diary data (Median = 94 days) of maladaptive behaviors collected from a sample (N = 101) of individuals diagnosed with personality disorders (PDs). Using multilevel and unified structural equation modeling, between-person, within-person, and person-specific structures were estimated from 16 behaviors that are encompassed by the Internalizing and Externalizing spectra. At the between-person level (i.e., individual differences in average endorsement across days) we found support for a two-factor Internalizing–Externalizing model, which exhibits significant associations with corresponding diagnostic spectra. At the within-person level (i.e., dynamic covariation among daily behavior pooled across individuals) we found support for a more differentiated, four-factor, Negative Affect-Detachment-Hostility-Disinhibition structure. Finally, we demonstrate that the person-specific structures of associations between these four domains are highly idiosyncratic. PMID:26732546

  18. Assessing the Health of Puget Sound's Pelagic Food Web at Multiple Trophic Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhodes, L. D.; Greene, C. M.; Rice, C. A.; Hall, J. E.; Baxter, A. E.; Naman, S. M.; Chamberlin, J.

    2012-12-01

    Puget Sound is an estuarine fjord in the northwestern United State surrounded by variable upland uses, ranging from industrial and urban to agricultural to forested lands. The quality of Puget Sound's ecosystem is under scrutiny because of the biological resources that depend on its function. In 2011, we undertook a study of the Sound's pelagic food web that measured water quality, microbial parameters, and abundance of higher trophic levels including gelatinous zooplankton, forage fish, and salmon. More than 75 sites spanning the latitudinal expanse of Puget Sound and the range of developed and agricultural land uses were sampled monthly from April to October. Strong relationships between water quality and microbial parameters suggest that microbes may modulate water quality indicators, such as dissolved inorganic nitrogen and pH, and that land use may be an influential factor. Basins within Puget Sound exhibit distinct biological profiles at the microbial and macrobiotic levels, emphasizing that Puget Sound is not a homogenous water body and suggesting that informative food web indicators may vary across the basins.

  19. Observations of ice multiplication in a weakly convective cell embedded in supercooled mid-level stratus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crosier, J.; Bower, K. N.; Choularton, T. W.; Westbrook, C. D.; Connolly, P. J.; Cui, Z. Q.; Crawford, I. P.; Capes, G. L.; Coe, H.; Dorsey, J. R.; Williams, P. I.; Illingworth, A. J.; Gallagher, M. W.; Blyth, A. M.

    2011-01-01

    Simultaneous observations of cloud microphysical properties were obtained by in-situ aircraft measurements and ground based Radar/Lidar. Widespread mid-level stratus cloud was present below a temperature inversion (~5 °C magnitude) at 3.6 km altitude. Localised convection (peak updraft 1.5 m s-1) was observed 20 km west of the Radar station. This was associated with convergence at 2.5 km altitude. The convection was unable to penetrate the inversion capping the mid-level stratus. The mid-level stratus cloud was vertically thin (~400 m), horizontally extensive (covering 100 s of km) and persisted for more than 24 h. The cloud consisted of supercooled water droplets and small concentrations of large (~1 mm) stellar/plate like ice which slowly precipitated out. This ice was nucleated at temperatures greater than -12.2 °C and less than -10.0 °C, (cloud top and cloud base temperatures, respectively). No ice seeding from above the cloud layer was observed. This ice was formed by primary nucleation, either through the entrainment of efficient ice nuclei from above/below cloud, or by the slow stochastic activation of immersion freezing ice nuclei contained within the supercooled drops. Above cloud top significant concentrations of sub-micron aerosol were observed and consisted of a mixture of sulphate and carbonaceous material, a potential source of ice nuclei. Particle number concentrations (in the size range 0.1level stratus evaporated before reaching the surface, whereas rates of up to 1 mm h-1 were observed below the convective feature. There is strong evidence for the Hallett-Mossop (HM) process of secondary ice particle production leading to the

  20. Population-level metrics of trophic structure based on stable isotopes and their application to invasion ecology.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Michelle C; Donohue, Ian; Jackson, Andrew L; Britton, J Robert; Harper, David M; Grey, Jonathan

    2012-01-01

    Biological invasions are a significant driver of human-induced global change and many ecosystems sustain sympatric invaders. Interactions occurring among these invaders have important implications for ecosystem structure and functioning, yet they are poorly understood. Here we apply newly developed metrics derived from stable isotope data to provide quantitative measures of trophic diversity within populations or species. We then use these to test the hypothesis that sympatric invaders belonging to the same functional feeding group occupy a smaller isotopic niche than their allopatric counterparts. Two introduced, globally important, benthic omnivores, Louisiana swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and carp (Cyprinus carpio), are sympatric in Lake Naivasha, Kenya. We applied our metrics to an 8-year data set encompassing the establishment of carp in the lake. We found a strong asymmetric interaction between the two invasive populations, as indicated by inverse correlations between carp abundance and measures of crayfish trophic diversity. Lack of isotopic niche overlap between carp and crayfish in the majority of years indicated a predominantly indirect interaction. We suggest that carp-induced habitat alteration reduced the diversity of crayfish prey, resulting in a reduction in the dietary niche of crayfish. Stable isotopes provide an integrated signal of diet over space and time, offering an appropriate scale for the study of population niches, but few isotope studies have retained the often insightful information revealed by variability among individuals in isotope values. Our population metrics incorporate such variation, are robust to the vagaries of sample size and are a useful additional tool to reveal subtle dietary interactions among species. Although we have demonstrated their applicability specifically using a detailed temporal dataset of species invasion in a lake, they have a wide array of potential ecological applications.

  1. Leading bureaucracies to the tipping point: An alternative model of multiple stable equilibrium levels of corruption.

    PubMed

    Caulkins, Jonathan P; Feichtinger, Gustav; Grass, Dieter; Hartl, Richard F; Kort, Peter M; Novak, Andreas J; Seidl, Andrea

    2013-03-16

    We present a novel model of corruption dynamics in the form of a nonlinear optimal dynamic control problem. It has a tipping point, but one whose origins and character are distinct from that in the classic Schelling (1978) model. The decision maker choosing a level of corruption is the chief or some other kind of authority figure who presides over a bureaucracy whose state of corruption is influenced by the authority figure's actions, and whose state in turn influences the pay-off for the authority figure. The policy interpretation is somewhat more optimistic than in other tipping models, and there are some surprising implications, notably that reforming the bureaucracy may be of limited value if the bureaucracy takes its cues from a corrupt leader.

  2. Behavioral inhibition and anxiety disorders: multiple levels of a resilience process.

    PubMed

    Degnan, Kathryn Amey; Fox, Nathan A

    2007-01-01

    Behavioral inhibition is reported to be one of the most stable temperamental characteristics in childhood. However, there is also evidence for discontinuity of this trait, with infants and toddlers who were extremely inhibited displaying less withdrawn social behavior as school-age children or adolescents. There are many possible explanations for the discontinuity in this temperament over time. They include the development of adaptive attention and regulatory skills, the influence of particular styles of parenting or caregiving contexts, and individual characteristics of the child such as their level of approach-withdrawal motivation or their gender. These discontinuous trajectories of behaviorally inhibited children and the factors that form them are discussed as examples of the resilience process.

  3. Leading bureaucracies to the tipping point: An alternative model of multiple stable equilibrium levels of corruption

    PubMed Central

    Caulkins, Jonathan P.; Feichtinger, Gustav; Grass, Dieter; Hartl, Richard F.; Kort, Peter M.; Novak, Andreas J.; Seidl, Andrea

    2013-01-01

    We present a novel model of corruption dynamics in the form of a nonlinear optimal dynamic control problem. It has a tipping point, but one whose origins and character are distinct from that in the classic Schelling (1978) model. The decision maker choosing a level of corruption is the chief or some other kind of authority figure who presides over a bureaucracy whose state of corruption is influenced by the authority figure’s actions, and whose state in turn influences the pay-off for the authority figure. The policy interpretation is somewhat more optimistic than in other tipping models, and there are some surprising implications, notably that reforming the bureaucracy may be of limited value if the bureaucracy takes its cues from a corrupt leader. PMID:23565027

  4. Factors influencing the prevalence and infestation levels of Varroa destructor in honeybee colonies in two highland agro-ecological zones of Uganda.

    PubMed

    Chemurot, Moses; Akol, Anne M; Masembe, Charles; de Smet, Lina; Descamps, Tine; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2016-04-01

    Varroa mites are ecto-parasites of honeybees and are a threat to the beekeeping industry. We identified the haplotype of Varroa mites and evaluated potential factors that influence their prevalence and infestation levels in the eastern and western highland agro-ecological zones of Uganda. This was done by collecting samples of adult worker bees between December 2014 and September 2015 in two sampling moments. Samples of bees were screened for Varroa using the ethanol wash method and the mites were identified by molecular techniques. All DNA sequences obtained from sampled mite populations in the two zones were 100 % identical to the Korean Haplotype (AF106899). Mean mite prevalence in the apiaries was 40 and 53 % for the western and eastern zones, respectively, during the first sampling. Over the second sampling, mean mite prevalence increased considerably in the western (59 %) but not in the eastern (51 %) zone. Factors that were associated with Varroa mite infestation levels include altitude, nature of apiary slope and apiary management practices during the first sampling. Our results further showed that Varroa mites were spreading from lower to higher elevations. Feral colonies were also infested with Varroa mites at infestation levels not significantly different from those in managed colonies. Colony productivity and strength were not correlated to mite infestation levels. We recommend a long-term Varroa mite monitoring strategy in areas of varying landscape and land use factors for a clear understanding of possible changes in mite infestation levels among African honeybees for informed decision making.

  5. Factors influencing the prevalence and infestation levels of Varroa destructor in honeybee colonies in two highland agro-ecological zones of Uganda.

    PubMed

    Chemurot, Moses; Akol, Anne M; Masembe, Charles; de Smet, Lina; Descamps, Tine; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2016-04-01

    Varroa mites are ecto-parasites of honeybees and are a threat to the beekeeping industry. We identified the haplotype of Varroa mites and evaluated potential factors that influence their prevalence and infestation levels in the eastern and western highland agro-ecological zones of Uganda. This was done by collecting samples of adult worker bees between December 2014 and September 2015 in two sampling moments. Samples of bees were screened for Varroa using the ethanol wash method and the mites were identified by molecular techniques. All DNA sequences obtained from sampled mite populations in the two zones were 100 % identical to the Korean Haplotype (AF106899). Mean mite prevalence in the apiaries was 40 and 53 % for the western and eastern zones, respectively, during the first sampling. Over the second sampling, mean mite prevalence increased considerably in the western (59 %) but not in the eastern (51 %) zone. Factors that were associated with Varroa mite infestation levels include altitude, nature of apiary slope and apiary management practices during the first sampling. Our results further showed that Varroa mites were spreading from lower to higher elevations. Feral colonies were also infested with Varroa mites at infestation levels not significantly different from those in managed colonies. Colony productivity and strength were not correlated to mite infestation levels. We recommend a long-term Varroa mite monitoring strategy in areas of varying landscape and land use factors for a clear understanding of possible changes in mite infestation levels among African honeybees for informed decision making. PMID:26801158

  6. Estimation of water table level and nitrate pollution based on geostatistical and multiple mass transport models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matiatos, Ioannis; Varouhakis, Emmanouil A.; Papadopoulou, Maria P.

    2015-04-01

    As the sustainable use of groundwater resources is a great challenge for many countries in the world, groundwater modeling has become a very useful and well established tool for studying groundwater management problems. Based on various methods used to numerically solve algebraic equations representing groundwater flow and contaminant mass transport, numerical models are mainly divided into Finite Difference-based and Finite Element-based models. The present study aims at evaluating the performance of a finite difference-based (MODFLOW-MT3DMS), a finite element-based (FEFLOW) and a hybrid finite element and finite difference (Princeton Transport Code-PTC) groundwater numerical models simulating groundwater flow and nitrate mass transport in the alluvial aquifer of Trizina region in NE Peloponnese, Greece. The calibration of groundwater flow in all models was performed using groundwater hydraulic head data from seven stress periods and the validation was based on a series of hydraulic head data for two stress periods in sufficient numbers of observation locations. The same periods were used for the calibration of nitrate mass transport. The calibration and validation of the three models revealed that the simulated values of hydraulic heads and nitrate mass concentrations coincide well with the observed ones. The models' performance was assessed by performing a statistical analysis of these different types of numerical algorithms. A number of metrics, such as Mean Absolute Error (MAE), Root Mean Square Error (RMSE), Bias, Nash Sutcliffe Model Efficiency (NSE) and Reliability Index (RI) were used allowing the direct comparison of models' performance. Spatiotemporal Kriging (STRK) was also applied using separable and non-separable spatiotemporal variograms to predict water table level and nitrate concentration at each sampling station for two selected hydrological stress periods. The predictions were validated using the respective measured values. Maps of water table

  7. van Eijck and Roth's Utilitarian Science Education: Why the Recalibration of Science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge Invokes Multiple Perspectives to Protect Science Education from Being Exclusive

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mueller, Michael P.; Tippins, Deborah J.

    2010-01-01

    This article is a philosophical analysis of van Eijck and Roth's ("2007") claim that science and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) should be recalibrated because they are incommensurate, particular to the local contexts in which they are practical. In this view, science maintains an incommensurate status as if it is a "fundamental" basis for…

  8. Tools for determining critical levels of atmospheric ammonia under the influence of multiple disturbances.

    PubMed

    Pinho, P; Llop, E; Ribeiro, M C; Cruz, C; Soares, A; Pereira, M J; Branquinho, C

    2014-05-01

    Critical levels (CLEs) of atmospheric ammonia based on biodiversity changes have been mostly calculated using small-scale single-source approaches, to avoid interference by other factors, which also influence biodiversity. Thus, it is questionable whether these CLEs are valid at larger spatial scales, in a multi- disturbances context. To test so, we sampled lichen diversity and ammonia at 80 sites across a region with a complex land-cover including industrial and urban areas. At a regional scale, confounding factors such as industrial pollutants prevailed, masking the CLEs. We propose and use a new tool to calculate CLEs by stratifying ammonia concentrations into classes, and focusing on the highest diversity values. Based on the significant correlations between ammonia and biodiversity, we found the CLE of ammonia for Mediterranean evergreen woodlands to be 0.69 μg m(-3), below the previously accepted value of 1.9 μg m(-3), and below the currently accepted pan-European CLE of 1.0 μg m(-3).

  9. Assimilation of benzene carbon through multiple trophic levels traced by different stable isotope probing methodologies.

    PubMed

    Bastida, Felipe; Jechalke, Sven; Bombach, Petra; Franchini, Alessandro G; Seifert, Jana; von Bergen, Martin; Vogt, Carsten; Richnow, Hans H

    2011-08-01

    The flow of benzene carbon along a food chain consisting of bacteria and eukaryotes, including larvae (Diptera: Chironomidae), was evaluated by total lipid fatty acids (TLFAs)-, amino acid- and protein-stable isotope probing (SIP). A coconut-fibre textile, colonized by a benzene-degrading biofilm, was sampled in a system established for the remediation of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX)-polluted groundwater and incubated with (12)C- and [(13)C(6)]-benzene (>99 at.%) in a batch-scale experiment for 2-8 days. After 8 days, Chironomus sp. larvae were added to study carbon flow to higher trophic levels. Gas chromatography-combustion-isotope ratio monitoring mass spectrometry of TLFA showed increased isotope ratios in the (13)C-benzene-incubated biofilm. A higher (13)C-enrichment was observed in TLFAs, indicative of Gram-negative bacteria than for Gram-positive. Fatty acid indicators of eukaryotes showed significant (13)C-incorporation, but to a lower extent than bacterial indicators. Fatty acids extracted from larvae feeding on (13)C-biofilm reached an isotopic ratio of 1.55 at.%, illustrating that the larvae feed, to some extent, on labelled biomass. No (13)C-incorporation was detectable in larval proteins after their separation by sodium-dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and analysis by nano-liquid-chromatography-mass spectrometry. The flow of benzene-derived carbon could be traced in a food web consisting of bacteria and eukaryotes.

  10. Carbon emissions from cities and urban regions at multiple levels (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dhakal, S.

    2010-12-01

    The role of urban areas in global carbon emissions is expected to be significant and thus crucial for the global climate change mitigation. Accordingly, in this paper, consolidate and present the existing knowledge and information on the urban carbon emissions at global, regional and city levels. This is built on a consolidated knowledge from author’s organized and co-edited special issue in Energy Policy Journal titled Carbon Emissions and Carbon Management in Cities published in 2010, other of author’s own work in China, Thailand and North-East Asian cities, and the existing literatures on cities. In particular, we present and clarify the contribution of urban areas in the global and respective regional CO2 emissions and the CO2 emissions from the global cities including their inter-comparisons. In those discussions, we present the trends and patterns of CO2 emissions from cities and highlight the points of caution and uncertainties in CO2 estimation imposed by the definitions of urban areas and cities, the scope and approach of estimations, and the methodological limitations. We will pay a special attention to the carbon attribution challenges since urban area is essentially an open system with intense interactions outside its physical boundaries. Their responsibilities for carbon emissions and mitigation vary depending on the choice of the system boundary of urban activities and how carbon emissions are attributed. We show example of such phenomenon quantitatively thorough a case study of Tokyo.

  11. Efficient high light acclimation involves rapid processes at multiple mechanistic levels.

    PubMed

    Dietz, Karl-Josef

    2015-05-01

    Like no other chemical or physical parameter, the natural light environment of plants changes with high speed and jumps of enormous intensity. To cope with this variability, photosynthetic organisms have evolved sensing and response mechanisms that allow efficient acclimation. Most signals originate from the chloroplast itself. In addition to very fast photochemical regulation, intensive molecular communication is realized within the photosynthesizing cell, optimizing the acclimation process. Current research has opened up new perspectives on plausible but mostly unexpected complexity in signalling events, crosstalk, and process adjustments. Within seconds and minutes, redox states, levels of reactive oxygen species, metabolites, and hormones change and transmit information to the cytosol, modifying metabolic activity, gene expression, translation activity, and alternative splicing events. Signalling pathways on an intermediate time scale of several minutes to a few hours pave the way for long-term acclimation. Thereby, a new steady state of the transcriptome, proteome, and metabolism is realized within rather short time periods irrespective of the previous acclimation history to shade or sun conditions. This review provides a time line of events during six hours in the 'stressful' life of a plant.

  12. The nuclear receptor steroidogenic factor 1 acts at multiple levels of the reproductive axis.

    PubMed

    Ingraham, H A; Lala, D S; Ikeda, Y; Luo, X; Shen, W H; Nachtigal, M W; Abbud, R; Nilson, J H; Parker, K L

    1994-10-01

    Steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1), an orphan nuclear receptor, regulates the enzymes that produce sex steroids, and disruption of the Ftz-F1 gene encoding SF-1 precludes adrenal and gonadal development. We now study the role of SF-1 at other levels of the hypothalamic/pituitary/gonadal axis. In Ftz-F1-disrupted mice, immunohistochemical analyses with antibodies against pituitary trophic hormones showed a selective loss of gonadotrope-specific markers, supporting the role of SF-1 in gonadotrope function. In situ hybridization analyses confirmed these results; pituitaries from Ftz-F1-disrupted mice lacked transcripts for three gonadotrope-specific markers (LH beta, FSH beta, and the receptor for gonadotropin-releasing hormone), whereas they exhibited decreased but detectable expression of the alpha-subunit of glycoprotein hormones. SF-1 transcripts in the developing mouse pituitary, which first became detectable at embryonic day 13.5-14.5, preceded the appearance of FSH beta and LH beta transcripts. In adult rat pituitary cells, SF-1 transcripts colocalized with immunoreactivity for the gonadotrope-specific LH. Finally, SF-1 interacted with a previously defined promoter element in the glycoprotein hormone alpha-subunit gene, providing a possible mechanism for the impaired gonadotropin expression in Ftz-F1-disrupted mice. These studies establish novel roles of this orphan nuclear receptor in reproductive function.

  13. Design and evaluation of multiple level data staging for Blue Gene systems.

    SciTech Connect

    Isaila, F.; Blas, J. G.; Carretero, J.; Latham, R.; Ross, R.

    2011-06-01

    Parallel applications currently suffer from a significant imbalance between computational power and available I/O bandwidth. Additionally, the hierarchical organization of current Petascale systems contributes to an increase of the I/O subsystem latency. In these hierarchies, file access involves pipelining data through several networks with incremental latencies and higher probability of congestion. Future Exascale systems are likely to share this trait. This paper presents a scalable parallel I/O software system designed to transparently hide the latency of file system accesses to applications on these platforms. Our solution takes advantage of the hierarchy of networks involved in file accesses, to maximize the degree of overlap between computation, file I/O-related communication, and file system access. We describe and evaluate a two-level hierarchy for Blue Gene systems consisting of client-side and I/O node-side caching. Our file cache management modules coordinate the data staging between application and storage through the Blue Gene networks. The experimental results demonstrate that our architecture achieves significant performance improvements through a high degree of overlap between computation, communication, and file I/O.

  14. High Levels of Multiple Infections, Recombination and Horizontal Transmission of Wolbachia in the Andricus mukaigawae (Hymenoptera; Cynipidae) Communities

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xiao-Hui; Zhu, Dao-Hong; Liu, Zhiwei; Zhao, Ling; Su, Cheng-Yuan

    2013-01-01

    levels of multiple Wolbachia infections observed in A. mukaigawae and S. japonicus. PMID:24250820

  15. Role of Therapeutic Plasma Exchange in Treatment of Tumefactive Multiple Sclerosis-Associated Low CD4 and CD8 Levels

    PubMed Central

    Lew, Kristen; Mewada, Nishith; Ramanujam, Sahana; Hassanzadeh, Bahareh; Donahue, John E.; Peddareddygari, Leema Reddy; Moser, Robert; Kososky, Charles; Grewal, Raji P.

    2016-01-01

    We report a 35-year-old healthy male who developed central nervous system inflammatory demyelinating disease consistent with tumefactive multiple sclerosis. About 2 weeks after onset of symptoms and prior to initiation of therapy, the patient had lymphopenia and low CD4 and CD8 levels. His lymphocyte count was 400 cells/µl (850–3,900 cells/µl), CD4 was 193 cells/µl (490–1,740 cells/µl) and CD8 was 103 cells/µl (180–1,170 cells/µl). He was treated with intravenous methylprednisolone followed by therapeutic plasma exchange, the levels of CD4 and CD8 normalized, and ultimately, he recovered completely. PMID:27721782

  16. Farm-level feasibility of bioenergy depends on variations across multiple sectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myhre, Mitchell; Barford, Carol

    2013-03-01

    The potential supply of bioenergy from farm-grown biomass is uncertain due to several poorly understood or volatile factors, including land availability, yield variability, and energy prices. Although biomass production for liquid fuel has received more attention, here we present a case study of biomass production for renewable heat and power in the state of Wisconsin (US), where heating constitutes at least 30% of total energy demand. Using three bioenergy systems (50 kW, 8.8 MW and 50 MW) and Wisconsin farm-level data, we determined the net farm income effect of producing switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) as a feedstock, either for on-farm use (50 kW system) or for sale to an off-farm energy system operator (8.8 and 50 MW systems). In southern counties, where switchgrass yields approach 10 Mg ha-1 yr-1, the main determinants of economic feasibility were the available land area per farm, the ability to utilize bioheat, and opportunity cost assumptions. Switchgrass yield temporal variability was less important. For the state median farm size and switchgrass yield, at least 25% (50 kW system) or 50% (8.8 MW system) bioheat utilization was required to economically offset propane or natural gas heat, respectively, and purchased electricity. Offsetting electricity only (50 MW system) did not generate enough revenue to meet switchgrass production expenses. Although the opportunity cost of small-scale (50 kW) on-farm bioenergy generation was higher, it also held greater opportunity for increasing farm net income, especially by replacing propane-based heat.

  17. Backyard Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elser, Monica; Musheno, Birgit; Saltz, Charlene

    2003-01-01

    Describes the Ecology Explorers, the community education component of Arizona State University's Central Arizona Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research project, which offers teacher internship programs that link university researchers, K-12 teachers, and students in studying urban ecology. Explains that student neighborhoods are dynamic ecosystems…

  18. [Case of submucosal esophageal carcinoma with multiple liver metastasis showing high serum levels of CEA and CA19-9].

    PubMed

    Kurihara, Toshikazu; Ishii, Shigeaki; Ozawa, Tatsuo; Tsubo, Katsurou; Fukushima, Yoshitaka; Funatomi, Hitoshi; Kagaya, Toshitaka; Ohike, Nobuyuki; Takahashi, Manabu

    2007-01-01

    A 57-year-old man was admitted because of abdominal fullness. An abdominal ultrasonographic study disclosed multiple space-occupying lesions (SOL) in the liver. On blood examinationC the serum levels of CEA and CA19-9 were significantly high while those of AFP and SCC were within normal ranges. Endoscopically biopsied specimens of the lower esophagus histologically revealed poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma. Pathohistologically similar findings were obtained from the needle biopsied specimen of the SOL in the liver. Thus the patient was diagnosed as having squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus with liver metastasis. On the 41st hospital day the patient died and an autopsy was performed. Although multiple metastases were recognized, cancer cells were limited within the submucosa of the esophagus. Immunostaining of CEA and CA19-9 was positive on the carcinoma cells both in the esophagus and the liver. Thus a relation between the biological malignancy of esophageal cancer and serum levels of CEA and CA19-9 was suggested.

  19. A scalable visualization environment for the correlation of radiological and histopathological data at multiple levels of resolution.

    PubMed

    Annese, Jacopo; Weber, Philip

    2009-01-01

    Until the introduction of non-invasive imaging techniques, the representation of anatomy and pathology relied solely on gross dissection and histological staining. Computerized Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) protocols allow for the clinical evaluation of anatomical images derived from complementary modalities, thereby increasing reliability of the diagnosis and the prognosis of disease. Despite the significant improvements in image contrast and resolution of MRI, autopsy and classical histopathological analysis are still indispensable for the correct diagnosis of specific disease. It is therefore important to be able to correlate multiple images from different modalities, in vivo and postmortem, in order to validate non-invasive imaging markers of disease. To that effect, we have developed a methodological pipeline and a visualization environment that allow for the concurrent observation of both macroscopic and microscopic image data relative to the same patient. We describe these applications and sample data relative to the study of the anatomy and disease of the Central Nervous System (CNS). The brain is approached as an organ with a complex 3-dimensional (3-D) architecture that can only be effectively studied combining observation and analysis at the system level as well as at the cellular level. Our computational and visualization environment allows seamless navigation through multiple layers of neurological data that are accessible quickly and simultaneously. PMID:19377104

  20. Latitude has more significant impact on prevalence of multiple sclerosis than ultraviolet level or sunshine duration in Japanese population.

    PubMed

    Kinoshita, Masako; Obata, Kaoru; Tanaka, Masami

    2015-07-01

    Higher latitude is known to be associated with higher prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS). We investigated the degree of impact of latitude, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and sunshine on the prevalence of MS in Japan, which has 47 prefectures with a variety of climates. MS prevalence in each prefecture was collected from database of the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare of Japan. Latitude of each prefecture was represented by that of the capital city. Data of UV radiation level and annual actual sunshine duration were obtained from databases of Japan Meteorological Agency. We performed linear correlation analyses of MS prevalence against latitude, UV radiation, and annual actual sunshine duration. MS prevalence significantly correlated to latitude (Pearson's correlation, r = 0.69, p < 0.001) and UV radiation level (r = -0.65, p < 0.001) but not to annual actual sunshine duration (r = -0.37, p = 0.011). Stepwise multiple linear regression analyses revealed significant correlation between MS prevalence and only latitude (p < 0.001). While our result shows that both latitude and the UV intensity have significant relationship to MS prevalence, the stronger relevance of the former suggests an existence of risk factors other than UV radiation.

  1. Population-level effects and recovery of aquatic invertebrates after multiple applications of an insecticide.

    PubMed

    Dohmen, G Peter; Preuss, Thomas G; Hamer, Mick; Galic, Nika; Strauss, Tido; van den Brink, Paul J; De Laender, Frederik; Bopp, Stephanie

    2016-01-01

    Standard risk assessment of plant protection products (PPP) combines "worst-case" exposure scenarios with effect thresholds using assessment (safety) factors to account for uncertainties. If needed, risks can be addressed applying more realistic conditions at higher tiers, which refine exposure and/or effect assessments using additional data. However, it is not possible to investigate the wide range of potential scenarios experimentally. In contrast, ecotoxicological mechanistic effect models do allow for addressing a multitude of scenarios. Furthermore, they may aid the interpretation of experiments such as mesocosm studies, allowing extrapolation to conditions not covered in experiments. Here, we explore how to use mechanistic effect models in the aquatic risk assessment of a model insecticide (Modelmethrin), applied several times per season but rapidly dissipating between applications. The case study focuses on potential effects on aquatic arthropods, the most sensitive group for this substance. The models provide information on the impact of a number of short exposure pulses on sensitive and/or vulnerable populations and, when impacted, assess recovery. The species to model were selected based on their sensitivity in laboratory and field (mesocosm) studies. The general unified threshold model for survival (GUTS) model, which describes the toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics of chemicals in individuals, was linked to 3 individual-based models (IBM), translating individual survival of sensitive organisms into population-level effects. The impact of pulsed insecticide exposures on populations were modeled using the spatially explicit IBM metapopulation model for assessing spatial and temporal effects of pesticides (MASTEP) for Gammarus pulex, the Chaoborus IBM for populations of Chaoborus crystallinus, and the "IdamP" model for populations of Daphnia magna. The different models were able to predict the potential effects of Modelmethrin applications to key arthropod

  2. Population-level effects and recovery of aquatic invertebrates after multiple applications of an insecticide.

    PubMed

    Dohmen, G Peter; Preuss, Thomas G; Hamer, Mick; Galic, Nika; Strauss, Tido; van den Brink, Paul J; De Laender, Frederik; Bopp, Stephanie

    2016-01-01

    Standard risk assessment of plant protection products (PPP) combines "worst-case" exposure scenarios with effect thresholds using assessment (safety) factors to account for uncertainties. If needed, risks can be addressed applying more realistic conditions at higher tiers, which refine exposure and/or effect assessments using additional data. However, it is not possible to investigate the wide range of potential scenarios experimentally. In contrast, ecotoxicological mechanistic effect models do allow for addressing a multitude of scenarios. Furthermore, they may aid the interpretation of experiments such as mesocosm studies, allowing extrapolation to conditions not covered in experiments. Here, we explore how to use mechanistic effect models in the aquatic risk assessment of a model insecticide (Modelmethrin), applied several times per season but rapidly dissipating between applications. The case study focuses on potential effects on aquatic arthropods, the most sensitive group for this substance. The models provide information on the impact of a number of short exposure pulses on sensitive and/or vulnerable populations and, when impacted, assess recovery. The species to model were selected based on their sensitivity in laboratory and field (mesocosm) studies. The general unified threshold model for survival (GUTS) model, which describes the toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics of chemicals in individuals, was linked to 3 individual-based models (IBM), translating individual survival of sensitive organisms into population-level effects. The impact of pulsed insecticide exposures on populations were modeled using the spatially explicit IBM metapopulation model for assessing spatial and temporal effects of pesticides (MASTEP) for Gammarus pulex, the Chaoborus IBM for populations of Chaoborus crystallinus, and the "IdamP" model for populations of Daphnia magna. The different models were able to predict the potential effects of Modelmethrin applications to key arthropod

  3. Adverse Outcome Pathways and Ecological Risk Assessment: Bridging to Population Level Effects: Report of Pellston Workgroup 3

    EPA Science Inventory

    The continuing persistence and genetic diversity of populations is a key concern for environmental regulations. Population-level responses integrate the cumulative effects of chemical stressors on individuals as those individuals interact with and are affected by their con-speci...

  4. Muscular cholinesterase activities and lipid peroxidation levels as biomarkers in several Mediterranean marine fish species and their relationship with ecological variables.

    PubMed

    Solé, Montserrat; Baena, Miguel; Arnau, Susana; Carrasson, Maite; Maynou, Francesc; Cartes, Joan E

    2010-02-01

    Muscular cholinesterase activities, as potential markers of neurotoxic exposure, and lipid peroxidation levels, indicative of oxidative stress damage, both currently used in early-warning pollution monitoring, were characterised in eighteen fish species of ecologic and/or economic importance. These species comprise five orders and eleven families of teleosts and two species of elasmobranchs, feed using different strategies (benthic, epibenthic, endobenthic and pelagic), belong to different trophic levels and express different swimming behaviour. Their habitat ranges from 50 to 60 m (shallow or continental shelf) and 600 to 850 m (middle continental slope). Sampling took place in front of the Barcelona coast (NW Mediterranean) during four seasonal cruises in 2007. In the summer sampling, another site potentially exposed to a different pollution load (Vilanova) was included for comparison. Species, seasonal and site differences were tested and discussed in relation to chemical analysis of the local sediment, systematic position, habitat depth, feeding strategy, trophic level and swimming activity. Greater inter species differences rather than seasonal or site trends were seen in accordance to little pollution fluctuations. Higher cholinesterase activities were recorded in suprabenthos feeders, regardless of depth habitat, whereas LP levels were similar in all species except for the shark Scyliorhinus canicula in which they were consistently elevated. This study confirms and broadens former observations carried out with a more reduced number of fish species (Solé et al., 2008a). PMID:20022635

  5. Screening level model for ecological risk assessment at EF-Site Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Alldredge, A.W.; Kirchner, T.B.; McLendon, T.

    1995-12-01

    In response to a paucity of data on the chemical toxicity of uranium to plants, a factorial experiment employing five uranium concentrations (0, 50, 500, 5000, 25000 ppm) and three moisture regimes (low, medium, high) was performed using three native grasses. Buchloe dactyloides (buffalograss-mid/late seral), Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem-late seral), and Aristida longiseta (purple threeawn-early/mid seral) were grown in monocultures and every mixture of two species under all combinations of uranium and moisture levels. This design allows for the analysis of uranium effects, as well as possible compound effects due to moisture stress. Several measures of plant health and viability were made, including: percent emergence, survivability of seedlings and mature plants, root and shoot biomass, and the number and mass of inflorescences. No significant differences between uranium levels were observed in terms of emergence and seedling survival. Effects are evident for plant biomass, fecundity, and long-term survivability.

  6. Increasing Public Access to Scientific Research through Stakeholder Involvement: Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagen, S. C.; Stephens, S. H.; DeLorme, D. E.; Ruple, D.; Graham, L.

    2013-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) has the potential to have a myriad of deleterious effects on coastal ecology and human infrastructure. Stakeholders, including managers of coastal resources, must be aware of potential consequences of SLR and adjust their plans accordingly to protect and preserve the resources under their care. Members of the public, particularly those who live or work in coastal areas, should also be informed about the results of scientific research on the effects of SLR. However, research results are frequently published in venues or formats to which resource managers and the broader public have limited access. It is imperative for scientists to move beyond traditional publication venues in order to more effectively disseminate the results of their research (Dennison, W. 2007, Estu. Coast. Shelf Sci. 77, 185). One potentially effective way to advance public access to research is to incorporate stakeholder involvement into the research project process in order to target study objectives and tailor communication products toward stakeholder needs (Lemos, M. & Morehouse, B. 2005, Glob. Env. Chg. 15, 57). However, it is important to manage communication and clarify participant expectations during this type of research (Gawith, M. et al. 2009, Glob. Env. Chg. 19, 113). This presentation describes the process being undertaken by an ongoing 5-year multi-disciplinary NOAA-funded project, Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (EESLR-NGOM), to improve accessibility and utility of scientific research results through stakeholder engagement. The EESLR-NGOM project is assessing the ecological risks from SLR along the Mississippi, Alabama and Florida Panhandle coasts, coastal habitats, and floodplains. It has incorporated stakeholder involvement throughout the research process so as to better target and tailor the emerging research products to meet resource managers' needs, as well as to facilitate eventual public dissemination of results. An

  7. HELLE: Health Effects of Low Level Exposures/ Gezondheidseffecten van lage blootstellingniveaus [International workshop: Influence of low level exposures to chemicals and radiation on human and ecological health

    SciTech Connect

    Schoten, Eert

    1998-11-26

    The Health Council is closely involved in establishing the scientific foundation of exposure limits for substances and radiation in order to protect public health. Through the years, the Council has contributed to the formulation of principles and procedures, both for carcinogenic and for noncarcinogenic agents. As a rule, the discussion with regard to the derivation of health-based recommended exposure limits centers around the appropriateness of extrapolation methods (What can be inferred from data on high exposure levels and on experimental animals?). Generally speaking, there is a lack of direct information on the health effects of low levels of exposure. Effects at these levels cannot usually be detected by means of traditional animal experiments or epidemiological research. The capacity of these analytical instruments to distinguish between ''signal'' and ''noise'' is inadequate in most cases. Annex B of this report contains a brief outline of the difficulties and the established methods for tackling this problem. In spite of this, the hope exists that the posited weak signals, if they are indeed present, can be detected by other means. The search will have to take place on a deeper level. In other words, effort must be made to discover what occurs at underlying levels of biological organization when organisms are exposed to low doses of radiation or substances. Molecular and cell biology provide various methods and techniques which give an insight into the processes within the cell. This results in an increase in the knowledge about the molecular and cellular effects of exposure to agents, or stated differently, the working mechanisms which form the basis of the health effects. Last year, the Health Council considered that the time was ripe to take stock of the state of knowledge in this field. To this end, an international working conference was held from 19 to 21 October 1997, entitled ''Health Effects of Low Level Exposures: Scientific Developments and

  8. Comparison of PCDD/F levels and profiles in fly ash samples from multiple industrial thermal sources.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guorui; Jiang, Xiaoxu; Wang, Mei; Dong, Shujun; Zheng, Minghui

    2015-08-01

    A comprehensive comparison of the levels and profiles of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/F) in fly ash samples from multiple industrial sources may help to prioritize sources and to understand discrepancies in profiles. In this study, PCDD/F data from 113 fly ash samples from 14 sources reported in previous studies were summarized and compared. The highest PCDD/F levels occurred in samples from secondary copper smelting (SCu). Although PCDD/F levels from secondary zinc smelting (SZn) were slightly lower than those of SCu, the PCDD/F profiles varied widely between the two sources. For SCu, more chlorinated homologs were dominant, with highest degrees of chlorination being 6.6 for PCDF and 7.2 for PCDD. For SZn, less chlorinated homologs were dominant, with lowest degrees of chlorination being 4.4 for PCDF and 4.8 for PCDD. We speculate that copper and zinc might promote PCDD/F formation by catalyzing different pathways of thermal reactions. Diagnostic ratios of specific PCDD/F congeners for different sources were suggested to identify potential sources of PCDD/Fs in the environment. Equations describing correlations between congeners and PCDD/F toxic equivalents were established, which may be useful for rapid and inexpensive screening of the toxic levels of PCDD/Fs in fly ash samples.

  9. Satellite estimation of ground-level particulate matters in China: methodology, uncertainties and multiple-scale applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Z.; Chen, L.; Minghui, T.; Tao, J.

    2013-12-01

    Satellite remote sensing has great potentials in supplementing the routine air quality monitoring, particularly in those developing countries or regions where air pollution is worsening day by day yet the surface monitoring sites are insufficient to depict the spatial patterns and long-range transport of major pollutants. Although many investigations have used space-based aerosol optical depth (AOD) to estimate ground-level particulate matters (PM) in China, comprehensive studies that analyze the mechanism, applicability and uncertainties of PM retrieving algorithms are still limited compared to those in North America and Europe. This study develops a clear physical methodology which employs surface aerosol extinction coefficients as a connector to correlate satellite AOD with ground-level PM concentrations. Under this methodology, major uncertainties involved in PM retrievals, namely AOD accuracies, aerosol vertical distributions as well as hygroscopic growth impacts, will be discussed. Through combination of satellite data, model simulations and in-situ climatological observations, ground-level PM estimations are achieved at multiple spatial scales. Using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) AOD of fine resolution (1km) and in-situ measurements of aerosol vertical distribution and hygrosocpicity, detailed PM distribution in Beijing urban area is retrieved. By integrating operational MODIS AOD product (10km) and the simulations from regional (CMAQ) and global (GEOS-Chem) chemical and transport models, ground-level PM are also estimated for Pearl River Delta region and the eastern China, respectively. The validation results against in-situ PM observations are also presented.

  10. No simple answers for ecological immunology: relationships among immune indices at the individual level break down at the species level in waterfowl

    PubMed Central

    Matson, Kevin D; Cohen, Alan A; Klasing, Kirk C; Ricklefs, Robert E; Scheuerlein, Alexander

    2005-01-01

    Understanding immune function in the context of other life-history traits is crucial to understand the evolution of life histories, at both the individual and species levels. As the interest in assessing immune function for these comparative purposes grows, an important question remains unanswered: can immune function be broadly characterized using one or two simple measures? Often, interpretation of individual assays is ambiguous and relationships among different measures of immune function remain poorly understood. Thus, we employed five protocols to measure 13 variables of immune function in ten species of waterfowl (Anseriformes). All assays were based on a single blood sample subdivided into leukocyte (blood smear) and plasma (frozen until analysis) components. All assays were run using samples from every individual, and a nested analysis was used to partition variation/covariation at the levels of species and individuals within species. We detected positive correlations between functionally related measures of immunity within species, but these were absent from comparisons between species. A canonical correlation analysis revealed no significant relationships between the plasma and leukocyte assays at the levels of both individual and species, suggesting that these measures of immunity are neither competitive nor synergistic. We conclude that one measure of each assay type may be required to maximally characterize immune function in studies of a single species, while the same is not true in studies among species. PMID:16618674

  11. Why infectious disease research needs community ecology.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Pieter T J; de Roode, Jacobus C; Fenton, Andy

    2015-09-01

    Infectious diseases often emerge from interactions among multiple species and across nested levels of biological organization. Threats as diverse as Ebola virus, human malaria, and bat white-nose syndrome illustrate the need for a mechanistic understanding of the ecological interactions underlying emerging infections. We describe how recent advances in community ecology can be adopted to address contemporary challenges in disease research. These analytical tools can identify the factors governing complex assemblages of multiple hosts, parasites, and vectors, and reveal how processes link across scales from individual hosts to regions. They can also determine the drivers of heterogeneities among individuals, species, and regions to aid targeting of control strategies. We provide examples where these principles have enhanced disease management and illustrate how they can be further extended. PMID:26339035

  12. Why infectious disease research needs community ecology

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Pieter T. J.; de Roode, Jacobus C.; Fenton, Andy

    2016-01-01

    Infectious diseases often emerge from interactions among multiple species and across nested levels of biological organization. Threats as diverse as Ebola virus, human malaria, and bat white-nose syndrome illustrate the need for a mechanistic understanding of the ecological interactions underlying emerging infections. We describe how recent advances in community ecology can be adopted to address contemporary challenges in disease research. These analytical tools can identify the factors governing complex assemblages of multiple hosts, parasites, and vectors, and reveal how processes link across scales from individual hosts to regions. They can also determine the drivers of heterogeneities among individuals, species, and regions to aid targeting of control strategies. We provide examples where these principles have enhanced disease management and illustrate how they can be further extended. PMID:26339035

  13. Salmon carcasses increase stream productivity more than inorganic fertilizer pellets: A test on multiple trophic levels in streamside experimental channels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wipfli, Mark S.; Hudson, John P.; Caouette, John P.; Mitchell, N.L.; Lessard, Joanna L.; Heintz, Ron A.; Chaloner, D.T.

    2010-01-01

    Inorganic nutrient amendments to streams are viewed as possible restoration strategies for re-establishing nutrients and stream productivity throughout the western coast of North America, where salmon runs and associated marine-derived nutrient subsidies have declined. In a mesocosm experiment, we examined the short-term (6 weeks) comparative effects of artificial nutrient pellets and salmon carcasses, alone (low and high amounts) and in combination, on stream food webs. Response variables included dissolved nutrient concentrations, biofilm ash-free dry mass (AFDM) and chlorophyll-alevels, macroinvertebrate density, growth and body condition of juvenile coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch, and whole-body lipid content of invertebrates and juvenile coho salmon. Most of the response variables were significantly influenced by carcass treatment; the only response variable significantly influenced by fertilizer pellet treatment was soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) concentration. Ammonium-nitrogen concentration was the only response variable affected by both (low and high) levels of carcass treatment; all others showed no significant response to the two carcass treatment levels. Significant treatment × time interactions were observed for all responses except nitrate; for most responses, significant treatment effects were detected at certain time periods and not others. For example, significantly higher SRP concentrations were recorded earlier in the experiment, whereas significant fish responses were observed later. These results provide evidence that inorganic nutrient additions do not have the same ecological effects in streams as do salmon carcasses, potentially because inorganic nutrient additions lack carbon-based biochemicals and macromolecules that are sequestered directly or indirectly by consumers. Salmon carcasses, preferably deposited naturally during spawning migrations, appear to be far superior to inorganic nutrient amendments for sustaining and restoring

  14. High level multiple antibiotic resistance among fish surface associated bacterial populations in non-aquaculture freshwater environment.

    PubMed

    Ozaktas, Tugba; Taskin, Bilgin; Gozen, Ayse G

    2012-12-01

    Freshwater fish, Alburnus alburnus (bleak), were captured from Lake Mogan, situated in Ankara, during spring. The surface mucus of the fish was collected and associated bacteria were cultured and isolated. By sequencing PCR-amplified 16S RNA encoding genes, the isolates were identified as members of 12 different genera: Acinetobacter, Aeromonas, Bacillus, Brevundimonas, Gordonia, Kocuria, Microbacterium, Mycobacterium, Pseudomonas, Rhodococcus, and Staphylococcus, in addition to one strain that was unidentified. The mucus-dwelling bacterial isolates were tested for resistance against ampicillin, kanamycin, streptomycin and chloramphenicol. About 95% of the isolates were found to be resistant to ampicillin, 93% to chloramphenicol, and 88% to kanamycin and streptomycin. A Microbacterium oxydans and the unidentified environmental isolate were resistant to all four antibiotics tested at very high levels (>1600 μg/ml ampicillin and streptomycin; >1120 μg/ml kanamycin; >960 μg/ml chloramphenicol). Only a Kocuria sp. was sensitive to all four antibiotics at the lowest concentrations tested (3.10 μg/ml ampicillin and streptomycin; 2.15 μg/ml kanamycin; 1.85 μg/ml chloramphenicol). The rest of the isolates showed different resistance levels. Plasmid isolations were carried out to determine if the multiple antibiotic resistance could be attributed to the presence of plasmids. However, no plasmid was detected in any of the isolates. The resistance appeared to be mediated by chromosome-associated functions. This study indicated that multiple antibiotic resistance at moderate to high levels is common among the current phenotypes of the fish mucus-dwelling bacterial populations in this temperate, shallow lake which has not been subjected to any aquaculturing so far but under anthropogenic effect being in a recreational area. PMID:23039919

  15. The fourth level of social structure in a multi-level society: ecological and social functions of clans in hamadryas baboons.

    PubMed

    Schreier, Amy L; Swedell, Larissa

    2009-11-01

    Hamadryas baboons are known for their complex, multi-level social structure consisting of troops, bands, and one-male units (OMUs) [Kummer, 1968. Social organization of hamadryas baboons. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 189p]. Abegglen [1984. On socialization in hamadryas baboons: a field study. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press. 207p.] observed a fourth level of social structure comprising several OMUs that rested near one another on sleeping cliffs, traveled most closely together during daily foraging, and sometimes traveled as subgroups independently from the rest of the band. Abegglen called these associations "clans" and suggested that they consisted of related males. Here we confirm the existence of clans in a second wild hamadryas population, a band of about 200 baboons at the Filoha site in lowland Ethiopia. During all-day follows from December 1997 through September 1998 and March 2005 through February 2006, data were collected on activity patterns, social interactions, nearest neighbors, band fissions, and takeovers. Association indices were computed for each dyad of leader males, and results of cluster analyses indicated that in each of the two observation periods this band comprised two large clans ranging in size from 7 to 13 OMUs. All band fissions occurred along clan lines, and most takeovers involved the transfer of females within the same clan. Our results support the notion that clans provide an additional level of flexibility to deal with the sparse distribution of resources in hamadryas habitats. The large clan sizes at Filoha may simply be the largest size that the band can split into and still obtain enough food during periods of food scarcity. Our results also suggest that both male and female relationships play a role in the social cohesion of clans and that males exchange females within clans but not between them.

  16. Ecological perspectives in health research

    PubMed Central

    McLaren, L.; Hawe, P.

    2005-01-01

    An ecological perspective on health emphasises both individual and contextual systems and the interdependent relations between the two. Origins of this approach have emanated from multiple disciplines over the past century or more. This article provides a glossary of perspectives, processes, and settings that pertain to an ecological approach in health research. PMID:15598720

  17. A comparative analysis of feeding and trophic level ecology in stingrays (Rajiformes; Myliobatoidei) and electric rays (Rajiformes: Torpedinoidei).

    PubMed

    Jacobsen, Ian P; Bennett, Mike B

    2013-01-01

    Standardised diets and trophic level (T L) estimates were calculated for 75 ray species from the suborders Myliobatoidei (67 spp.) and Torpedinoidei (8 spp.). Decapod crustaceans (31.71 ± 3.92%) and teleost fishes (16.45 ± 3.43%) made the largest contribution to the standardised diet of the Myliobatoidei. Teleost fishes (37.40 ± 16.09%) and polychaete worms (31.96 ± 14.22%) were the most prominent prey categories in the standardised diet of the suborder Torpedinoidei. Cluster analysis identified nine major trophic guilds the largest of which were decapod crustaceans (24 species), teleost fishes (11 species) and molluscs (11 species). Trophic level estimates for rays ranged from 3.10 for Potamotrygon falkneri to 4.24 for Gymnura australis, Torpedo marmorata and T. nobiliana. Secondary consumers with a T L <4.00 represented 84% of the species examined, with the remaining 12 species (16%) classified as tertiary consumers (T L ≥ 4.00). Tertiary consumers included electric rays (Torpedo, 3 spp. and Hypnos, 1 sp.), butterfly rays (Gymnura, 4 spp.), stingrays (2 spp.) and Potamotrygonid stingrays (2 spp.). Feeding strategies were identified as the primary factor of influence with respect to Myliobatoidei and Torpedinoidei T L estimates with inter-family comparisons providing the greatest insight into Myliobatoidei and Torpedinoidei relationships.

  18. A Comparative Analysis of Feeding and Trophic Level Ecology in Stingrays (Rajiformes; Myliobatoidei) and Electric Rays (Rajiformes: Torpedinoidei)

    PubMed Central

    Jacobsen, Ian P.; Bennett, Mike B.

    2013-01-01

    Standardised diets and trophic level (TL) estimates were calculated for 75 ray species from the suborders Myliobatoidei (67 spp.) and Torpedinoidei (8 spp.). Decapod crustaceans (31.71±3.92%) and teleost fishes (16.45±3.43%) made the largest contribution to the standardised diet of the Myliobatoidei. Teleost fishes (37.40±16.09%) and polychaete worms (31.96±14.22%) were the most prominent prey categories in the standardised diet of the suborder Torpedinoidei. Cluster analysis identified nine major trophic guilds the largest of which were decapod crustaceans (24 species), teleost fishes (11 species) and molluscs (11 species). Trophic level estimates for rays ranged from 3.10 for Potamotrygon falkneri to 4.24 for Gymnura australis, Torpedo marmorata and T. nobiliana. Secondary consumers with a TL <4.00 represented 84% of the species examined, with the remaining 12 species (16%) classified as tertiary consumers (TL ≥4.00). Tertiary consumers included electric rays (Torpedo, 3 spp. and Hypnos, 1 sp.), butterfly rays (Gymnura, 4 spp.), stingrays (2 spp.) and Potamotrygonid stingrays (2 spp.). Feeding strategies were identified as the primary factor of influence with respect to Myliobatoidei and Torpedinoidei TL estimates with inter-family comparisons providing the greatest insight into Myliobatoidei and Torpedinoidei relationships. PMID:23936503

  19. Multiple kernel based feature and decision level fusion of iECO individuals for explosive hazard detection in FLIR imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, Stanton R.; Murray, Bryce; Hu, Lequn; Anderson, Derek T.; Havens, Timothy C.; Luke, Robert H.; Keller, James M.

    2016-05-01

    A serious threat to civilians and soldiers is buried and above ground explosive hazards. The automatic detection of such threats is highly desired. Many methods exist for explosive hazard detection, e.g., hand-held based sensors, downward and forward looking vehicle mounted platforms, etc. In addition, multiple sensors are used to tackle this extreme problem, such as radar and infrared (IR) imagery. In this article, we explore the utility of feature and decision level fusion of learned features for forward looking explosive hazard detection in IR imagery. Specifically, we investigate different ways to fuse learned iECO features pre and post multiple kernel (MK) support vector machine (SVM) based classification. Three MK strategies are explored; fixed rule, heuristics and optimization-based. Performance is assessed in the context of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves on data from a U.S. Army test site that contains multiple target and clutter types, burial depths and times of day. Specifically, the results reveal two interesting things. First, the different MK strategies appear to indicate that the different iECO individuals are all more-or-less important and there is not a dominant feature. This is reinforcing as our hypothesis was that iECO provides different ways to approach target detection. Last, we observe that while optimization-based MK is mathematically appealing, i.e., it connects the learning of the fusion to the underlying classification problem we are trying to solve, it appears to be highly susceptible to over fitting and simpler, e.g., fixed rule and heuristics approaches help us realize more generalizable iECO solutions.

  20. Microbial ecology on the microcosm level: Activity and population dynamics of methanotrophic bacteria during early succession in a flooded rice field soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krause, S.; Frenzel, P.

    2009-04-01

    Methane oxidizing bacteria (methanotrophs) play an important role in natural wetlands and rice fields preventing large amounts of methane from escaping into the atmosphere. The occurrence of both type I and type II methanotrophs in the soil surface layer has been demonstrated in many studies. However, there is no profound understanding which of them are responsible for the oxidizing activity and how they differ ecologically. Hence, a gradient microcosm system was applied simulating oxic-anoxic interfaces of water saturated soils to unravel population dynamics in early succession of methanotrophs in a flooded rice paddy. Additionally, environmental parameters were analyzed to link environment, populations, and their specific activity. We measured pmoA-based (particulate methane monooxygenase) terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) profiles both on transcription and population level. DNA T-RFLP patterns showed no major differences in the methanotrophic community structure remaining relatively constant over time. In contrast the active methanotrophic community structure as detected by pmoA mRNA T-RFLP analysis clearly demonstrated a distinct pattern from DNA T-RFLP profiles. While type II represented the most prominent group on the population level it seems to play a minor role on the transcription level. Furthermore there were no clear implications towards a link between soil parameters (e.g. NH4+ concentration) and methanotrophic community structure.

  1. Ground level environmental protein concentrations in various ecuadorian environments: potential uses of aerosolized protein for ecological research

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Staton, Sarah J.R.; Woodward, Andrea; Castillo, Josemar A.; Swing, Kelly; Hayes, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    Large quantities of free protein in the environment and other bioaerosols are ubiquitous throughout terrestrial ground level environments and may be integrative indicators of ecosystem status. Samples of ground level bioaerosols were collected from various ecosystems throughout Ecuador, including pristine humid tropical forest (pristine), highly altered secondary humid tropical forest (highly altered), secondary transitional very humid forest (regrowth transitional), and suburban dry montane deforested (suburban deforested). The results explored the sensitivity of localized aerosol protein concentrations to spatial and temporal variations within ecosystems, and their value for assessing environmental change. Ecosystem specific variations in environmental protein concentrations were observed: pristine 0.32 ± 0.09 μg/m3, highly altered 0.07 ± 0.05 μg/m3, regrowth transitional 0.17 ± 0.06 μg/m3, and suburban deforested 0.09 ± 0.04 μg/m3. Additionally, comparisons of intra-environmental differences in seasonal/daily weather (dry season 0.08 ± 0.03 μg/m3 and wet season 0.10 ± 0.04 μg/m3), environmental fragmentation (buffered 0.19 ± 0.06 μg/m3 and edge 0.15 ± 0.06 μg/m3), and sampling height (ground level 0.32 ± 0.09 μg/m3 and 10 m 0.24 ± 0.04 μg/m3) demonstrated the sensitivity of protein concentrations to environmental conditions. Local protein concentrations in altered environments correlated well with satellite-based spectral indices describing vegetation productivity: normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) (r2 = 0.801), net primary production (NPP) (r2 = 0.827), leaf area index (LAI) (r2 = 0.410). Moreover, protein concentrations distinguished the pristine site, which was not differentiated in spectral indices, potentially due to spectral saturation typical of highly vegetated environments. Bioaerosol concentrations represent an inexpensive method to increase understanding of environmental changes, especially in densely vegetated

  2. Ecological niche modeling of coastal dune plants and future potential distribution in response to climate change and sea level rise.

    PubMed

    Mendoza-González, Gabriela; Martínez, M Luisa; Rojas-Soto, Octavio R; Vázquez, Gabriela; Gallego-Fernández, Juan B

    2013-08-01

    Climate change (CC) and sea level rise (SLR) are phenomena that could have severe impacts on the distribution of coastal dune vegetation. To explore this we modeled the climatic niches of six coastal dunes plant species that grow along the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula, and projected climatic niches to future potential distributions based on two CC scenarios and SLR projections. Our analyses suggest that distribution of coastal plants will be severely limited, and more so in the case of local endemics (Chamaecrista chamaecristoides, Palafoxia lindenii, Cakile edentula). The possibilities of inland migration to the potential 'new shoreline' will be limited by human infrastructure and ecosystem alteration that will lead to a 'coastal squeeze' of the coastal habitats. Finally, we identified areas as future potential refuges for the six species in central Gulf of Mexico, and northern Yucatán Peninsula especially under CC and SLR scenarios. PMID:23625760

  3. Heavy metal levels in dune sands from Matanzas urban resorts and Varadero beach (Cuba): Assessment of contamination and ecological risks.

    PubMed

    Díaz Rizo, Oscar; Buzón González, Fran; Arado López, Juana O; Denis Alpízar, Otoniel

    2015-12-30

    Concentrations of chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and lead (Pb) in dune sands from six urban and suburban Matanzas (Cuba) resorts and Varadero beach were estimated by X-ray fluorescence analysis. Ranges of metal contents in dune sands show a strong variation across the studied locations (in mg/kg(-1)): 20-2964 for Cr, 17-183 for Ni, 17-51 for Cu, 18-88 for Zn and 5-29 for Pb. The values of contamination factors and contamination degrees how that two of the studied Matanzas's resorts (Judio and Chirry) are strongly polluted. The comparison with Sediment Quality Guidelines shows that dune sands from Judio resort represent a serious risk for humans, due to polluted Cr and Ni levels, while sands from the rest of the studied resorts, including Varadero beach, do not represent any risk for public use. PMID:26481414

  4. Ecological niche modeling of coastal dune plants and future potential distribution in response to climate change and sea level rise.

    PubMed

    Mendoza-González, Gabriela; Martínez, M Luisa; Rojas-Soto, Octavio R; Vázquez, Gabriela; Gallego-Fernández, Juan B

    2013-08-01

    Climate change (CC) and sea level rise (SLR) are phenomena that could have severe impacts on the distribution of coastal dune vegetation. To explore this we modeled the climatic niches of six coastal dunes plant species that grow along the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula, and projected climatic niches to future potential distributions based on two CC scenarios and SLR projections. Our analyses suggest that distribution of coastal plants will be severely limited, and more so in the case of local endemics (Chamaecrista chamaecristoides, Palafoxia lindenii, Cakile edentula). The possibilities of inland migration to the potential 'new shoreline' will be limited by human infrastructure and ecosystem alteration that will lead to a 'coastal squeeze' of the coastal habitats. Finally, we identified areas as future potential refuges for the six species in central Gulf of Mexico, and northern Yucatán Peninsula especially under CC and SLR scenarios.

  5. Heavy metal levels in dune sands from Matanzas urban resorts and Varadero beach (Cuba): Assessment of contamination and ecological risks.

    PubMed

    Díaz Rizo, Oscar; Buzón González, Fran; Arado López, Juana O; Denis Alpízar, Otoniel

    2015-12-30

    Concentrations of chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and lead (Pb) in dune sands from six urban and suburban Matanzas (Cuba) resorts and Varadero beach were estimated by X-ray fluorescence analysis. Ranges of metal contents in dune sands show a strong variation across the studied locations (in mg/kg(-1)): 20-2964 for Cr, 17-183 for Ni, 17-51 for Cu, 18-88 for Zn and 5-29 for Pb. The values of contamination factors and contamination degrees how that two of the studied Matanzas's resorts (Judio and Chirry) are strongly polluted. The comparison with Sediment Quality Guidelines shows that dune sands from Judio resort represent a serious risk for humans, due to polluted Cr and Ni levels, while sands from the rest of the studied resorts, including Varadero beach, do not represent any risk for public use.

  6. Evaluation of TNF-α serum level in patients with recalcitrant multiple common warts, treated by lipid garlic extract.

    PubMed

    Kenawy, Soha; Mohammed, Ghada Farouk; Younes, Soha; Elakhras, Atef Ibrahim

    2014-01-01

    No universal consensus about optimal modality for treating the recalcitrant multiple common warts (RMCW). The objective of the study was to evaluate the immunological mechanisms and clinical therapeutic effect of using lipid garlic extract (LGE) in the treatment of RMCW. The study included 50 patients with RMCW. They were randomly assigned into two groups: the first group (25 patients) received LGE, and the second group (25 patients) received saline as a control group. In both groups, treatments were made to single lesions, or largest wart in case of multiple lesions, until complete clearance of lesions or for a maximum of 4 weeks. Blood serum was taken at pre-study and at the fourth week to measure tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) level. A significant difference was found between the therapeutic responses of RMCW to LGE antigen and saline control group (p < 0.001). In the LGE group, complete response was achieved in 96% of patients presenting with RMCW. There was a statistically nonsignificant increase in TNF-α of LGE group versus saline group. No recurrence was observed in the LGE group. LGE as an immunotherapy is an inexpensive, effective, and safe modality with good cure rates for treatment of RMCWs, when other topical or physical therapies have failed. PMID:24910383

  7. Soil Microarthropods and Their Relationship to Higher Trophic Levels in the Pedregal de San Angel Ecological Reserve, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Callejas-Chavero, Alicia; Castaño-Meneses, Gabriela; Razo-González, María; Pérez-Velázquez, Daniela; Palacios-Vargas, José G.; Flores-Martínez, Arturo

    2015-01-01

    Soil fauna is essential for ecosystem dynamics as it is involved in biogeochemical processes, promotes nutrient availability, and affects the animal communities associated with plants. In this study, we examine the possible relationship between the soil microarthropod community on foliage production and quality of the shrub Pittocaulon praecox. We also examine the arthropods associated to its foliage, particularly the size of the main herbivores and of their natural enemies, at two sites with contrasting vegetation cover and productivity. The diversity of soil microarthropods was assessed from soil samples collected monthly under P. praecox individuals over 13 mo. Specimens collected were identified to species or morphospecies. Shrub foliage productivity was evaluated through the amount of litter produced. Resource quality was assessed by the mean content (percentage by weight) of N, C, S, and P of 30 leaves from each shrub. The mean size of herbivores and their natural enemies were determined by measuring 20 adult specimens of each of the most abundant species. We found a higher species richness of soil microarthropods and foliar arthropods in the open site, although the diversity of foliage arthropods was lower in the closed site. Shrubs growing in the closed site tend to produce more, larger, and nutritionally poorer (lower nitrogen content) leaves than open site. Herbivores and their natural enemies were also larger in the closed site. We found a significant positive relationship between the diversity and species richness of foliar arthropods and the nitrogen content of leaves. In general, species richness and diversity of both the foliar and soil fauna, as well as the size of organisms belonging to higher trophic levels, were affected by vegetation cover and primary productivity at each site. These findings highlight the need to simultaneously consider at least four trophic levels (soil organisms, plants, herbivores, and natural enemies) to better understand

  8. Soil microarthropods and their relationship to higher trophic levels in the Pedregal de San Angel Ecological Reserve, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Callejas-Chavero, Alicia; Castaño-Meneses, Gabriela; Razo-González, María; Pérez-Velázquez, Daniela; Palacios-Vargas, José G; Flores-Martínez, Arturo

    2015-01-01

    Soil fauna is essential for ecosystem dynamics as it is involved in biogeochemical processes, promotes nutrient availability, and affects the animal communities associated with plants. In this study, we examine the possible relationship between the soil microarthropod community on foliage production and quality of the shrub Pittocaulon praecox. We also examine the arthropods associated to its foliage, particularly the size of the main herbivores and of their natural enemies, at two sites with contrasting vegetation cover and productivity. The diversity of soil microarthropods was assessed from soil samples collected monthly under P. praecox individuals over 13 mo. Specimens collected were identified to species or morphospecies. Shrub foliage productivity was evaluated through the amount of litter produced. Resource quality was assessed by the mean content (percentage by weight) of N, C, S, and P of 30 leaves from each shrub. The mean size of herbivores and their natural enemies were determined by measuring 20 adult specimens of each of the most abundant species. We found a higher species richness of soil microarthropods and foliar arthropods in the open site, although the diversity of foliage arthropods was lower in the closed site. Shrubs growing in the closed site tend to produce more, larger, and nutritionally poorer (lower nitrogen content) leaves than open site. Herbivores and their natural enemies were also larger in the closed site. We found a significant positive relationship between the diversity and species richness of foliar arthropods and the nitrogen content of leaves. In general, species richness and diversity of both the foliar and soil fauna, as well as the size of organisms belonging to higher trophic levels, were affected by vegetation cover and primary productivity at each site. These findings highlight the need to simultaneously consider at least four trophic levels (soil organisms, plants, herbivores, and natural enemies) to better understand

  9. The Sox2-Oct4 Connection: Critical players in a much larger interdependent network integrated at multiple levels

    PubMed Central

    Rizzino, Angie

    2013-01-01

    The transcription factors Sox2 and Oct4 have been a major focus of stem cell biology since the discovery, more than 10 years ago, that they play critical roles during embryogenesis. Early work established that these two transcription factors work together to regulate genes required for the self-renewal and pluripotency of embryonic stem cells (ESC). Surprisingly, small changes (~2-fold) in the levels of either Oct4 or Sox2 induces the differentiation of ESC. Consequently, ESC must maintain the levels of these two transcription factors within narrow limits. Genome-wide binding studies and unbiased proteomic screens have been conducted to decipher the complex roles played by Oct4 and Sox2 in the transcriptional circuitry of ESC. Together, these and other studies provide a comprehensive understanding of the molecular machinery that sustains the self-renewal of ESC and restrains their differentiation. Importantly, these studies paint a landscape in which Oct4 and Sox2 are part of a much larger interdependent network composed of many transcription factors that are interconnected at multiple levels of function. PMID:23401375

  10. An internal ribosome entry site (IRES) mutant library for tuning expression level of multiple genes in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Koh, Esther Y C; Ho, Steven C L; Mariati; Song, Zhiwei; Bi, Xuezhi; Bardor, Muriel; Yang, Yuansheng

    2013-01-01

    A set of mutated Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) internal ribosome entry site (IRES) elements with varying strengths is generated by mutating the translation initiation codons of 10(th), 11(th), and 12(th) AUG to non-AUG triplets. They are able to control the relative expression of multiple genes over a wide range in mammalian cells in both transient and stable transfections. The relative strength of each IRES mutant remains similar in different mammalian cell lines and is not gene specific. The expressed proteins have correct molecular weights. Optimization of light chain over heavy chain expression by these IRES mutants enhances monoclonal antibody expression level and quality in stable transfections. Uses of this set of IRES mutants can be extended to other applications such as synthetic biology, investigating interactions between proteins and its complexes, cell engineering, multi-subunit protein production, gene therapy, and reprogramming of somatic cells into stem cells. PMID:24349195

  11. The increased level of COX-dependent arachidonic acid metabolism in blood platelets from secondary progressive multiple sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

    Morel, Agnieszka; Miller, Elzbieta; Bijak, Michal; Saluk, Joanna

    2016-09-01

    Platelet activation is increasingly postulated as a possible component of the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS), especially due to the increased risk of cardiovascular events in MS. Arachidonic acid cascade metabolized by cyclooxygenase (COX) is a key pathway of platelet activation. The aim of our study was to investigate the COX-dependent arachidonic acid metabolic pathway in blood platelets from secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SP MS) patients. The blood samples were obtained from 50 patients (man n = 22; female n = 28), suffering from SP MS, diagnosed according to the revised McDonald criteria. Platelet aggregation was measured in platelet-rich plasma after arachidonic acid stimulation. The level of COX activity and thromboxane B2 concentration were determined by ELISA method. Lipid peroxidation was assessed by measuring the level of malondialdehyde. The results were compared with a control group of healthy volunteers. We found that blood platelets obtained from SP MS patients were more sensitive to arachidonic acid and their response measured as platelet aggregation was stronger (about 14 %) relative to control. We also observed a significantly increased activity of COX (about 40 %) and synthesis of thromboxane B2 (about 113 %). The generation of malondialdehyde as a marker of lipid peroxidation was about 10 % higher in SP MS than in control. Cyclooxygenase-dependent arachidonic acid metabolism is significantly increased in blood platelets of patients with SP MS. Future clinical studies are required to recommend the use of low-dose aspirin, and possibly other COX inhibitors in the prevention of cardiovascular risk in MS. PMID:27507559

  12. Which population level environmental factors are associated with asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema? Review of the ecological analyses of ISAAC Phase One

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) Phase One showed large worldwide variations in the prevalence of symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema, up to 10 to 20 fold between countries. Ecological analyses were undertaken with ISAAC Phase One data to explore factors that may have contributed to these variations, and are summarised and reviewed here. In ISAAC Phase One the prevalence of symptoms in the past 12 months of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema were estimated from studies in 463,801 children aged 13 - 14 years in 155 centres in 56 countries, and in 257,800 children aged 6-7 years in 91 centres in 38 countries. Ecological analyses were undertaken between symptom prevalence and the following: Gross National Product per capita (GNP), food intake, immunisation rates, tuberculosis notifications, climatic factors, tobacco consumption, pollen, antibiotic sales, paracetamol sales, and outdoor air pollution. Symptom prevalence of all three conditions was positively associated with GNP, trans fatty acids, paracetamol, and women smoking, and inversely associated with food of plant origin, pollen, immunisations, tuberculosis notifications, air pollution, and men smoking. The magnitude of these associations was small, but consistent in direction between conditions. There were mixed associations of climate and antibiotic sales with symptom prevalence. The potential causality of these associations warrant further investigation. Factors which prevent the development of these conditions, or where there is an absence of a positive correlation at a population level may be as important from the policy viewpoint as a focus on the positive risk factors. Interventions based on small associations may have the potential for a large public health benefit. PMID:20092649

  13. Is income inequality 'toxic for mental health'? An ecological study on municipal level risk factors for depression.

    PubMed

    Hiilamo, Heikki

    2014-01-01

    Most inequality research on the relationship between inequality and mental health has focused on cross-country variation. Findings from within-country data are mixed. We examined whether changes in municipal Gini index or in the share of people living in relative poverty were linked to changes in the use of antidepressants in several Finnish municipalities between 1995 and 2010. We found that more young adult females used antidepressants in municipalities where relative poverty had increased. Changes in municipal-level Gini index were not positively associated with changes in the use of antidepressants in the municipalities between 1995 and 2010. However, fewer elderly females used antidepressants in municipalities where the Gini index increased. In addition, more young adults used antidepressants in municipalities where the number of those not being educated or trained had also increased. An increase in the number of persons over 65 years of age living alone was positively associated with an increase in the use of antidepressants among elderly females.

  14. Is Income Inequality ‘Toxic for Mental Health’? An Ecological Study on Municipal Level Risk Factors for Depression

    PubMed Central

    Hiilamo, Heikki

    2014-01-01

    Most inequality research on the relationship between inequality and mental health has focused on cross-country variation. Findings from within-country data are mixed. We examined whether changes in municipal Gini index or in the share of people living in relative poverty were linked to changes in the use of antidepressants in several Finnish municipalities between 1995 and 2010. We found that more young adult females used antidepressants in municipalities where relative poverty had increased. Changes in municipal-level Gini index were not positively associated with changes in the use of antidepressants in the municipalities between 1995 and 2010. However, fewer elderly females used antidepressants in municipalities where the Gini index increased. In addition, more young adults used antidepressants in municipalities where the number of those not being educated or trained had also increased. An increase in the number of persons over 65 years of age living alone was positively associated with an increase in the use of antidepressants among elderly females. PMID:24676058

  15. A high-level specification for adaptive ecological momentary assessment: real-time assessment of drug craving, use and abstinence.

    PubMed

    Lin, Jia-Ling; Vahabzadeh, Massoud; Mezghanni, Mustapha; Epstein, David H; Preston, Kenzie L

    2005-01-01

    In psychological research, efforts to capture day-to-day human experience traditionally relied on pen-and-paper diaries and questionnaires. Some current studies, however, incorporate handheld computers, which provide researchers with many options and advantages in addition to providing more reliable data. One advantage of using handheld computers is the programmability of the electronic diary, which, compared to old-fashioned paper diaries, affords the researchers with a wealth of possibilities. An important possibility is to construct a built-in mechanism in the computer-administered questionnaires that would allow transparent branching, in which question presentation is contingent on participants' answers to previous questions. The major hurdle in implementing such an approach is the limitations of the platform used for such assessments: inexpensive "low-end" handheld devices. We propose a high-level specification which enables non-programming researchers to "branch" their questionnaires without modifications to the source code in a highly user-friendly fashion, with backtracking capability and very modest hardware requirements. A finite state automaton approach was implemented, we believe for the first time, to create an auto-trigger mechanism for the real-time evaluation of the conditions. This solution provides our investigators with the capacity to administer efficient assessments that are dynamically customized to reflect participants' behaviors without the need for any post-production programming.

  16. Occurrence and persistence of water level/salinity states and the ecological impacts for St Lucia estuarine lake, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawrie, Robynne A.; Stretch, Derek D.

    2011-11-01

    The St Lucia estuarine lake in South Africa forms part of a World Heritage Site and is an important local source of biodiversity. Like many estuarine systems worldwide, St Lucia has experienced significant anthropogenic impacts over the past century. Abstractions have decreased fresh water inflows from the lake catchments by about 20%. Furthermore the Mfolozi river, which previously shared a common inlet with St Lucia and contributed additional fresh water during droughts, was diverted from the system in 1952 because of its high silt loads. The separated St Lucia mouth was subsequently kept artificially open until the onset of a dry period in 2002 when the mouth was left to close naturally. These changes and the current drought have placed the system under severe stress with unprecedented hypersaline conditions coupled with desiccation of large portions of the lake. Long-term simulations of the water and salt balance were used to estimate the occurrence and persistence of water levels and salinities for different management scenarios. The risks of desiccation and hyper-salinity were assessed for each case. The results show that the configuration of the Mfolozi/St Lucia inlets plays a key role in the physicochemical environment of the system. Without the Mfolozi link desiccation (of about 50% of the lake area) would occur for 32% of the time for an average duration of 15 months. Artificially maintaining an open mouth would decrease the chance of desiccation but salinities would exceed 65 about 17% of the time. Restoring the Mfolozi link would reduce the occurrence of both desiccation and hypersaline conditions and a mostly open mouth state would occur naturally. Integrating these modeled scenarios with observed biological responses due to changes in salinity and water depth suggests that large long-term changes in the biological structure can be expected in the different management scenarios.

  17. Ecological assessment of the direct and indirect effects of routine rotavirus vaccination in Merseyside, UK using data from multiple health systems: a study protocol

    PubMed Central

    Hungerford, Daniel; Vivancos, Roberto; French, Neil; Iturriza-Gomara, Miren; Cunliffe, Nigel

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis in infants and young children worldwide. Currently 67 countries include rotavirus vaccine in childhood immunisation programmes, but uptake in Western Europe has been slow. In July 2013, rotavirus vaccine was introduced into the UK's routine childhood immunisation programme. Prior to vaccine introduction in the UK, rotavirus was estimated to result in 750 000 diarrhoea episodes and 80 000 general practice (GP) consultations each year, together with 45% and 20% of hospital admissions and emergency department attendances for acute gastroenteritis, in children under 5 years of age. This paper describes a protocol for an ecological study that will assess rotavirus vaccine impact in the UK, to inform rotavirus immunisation policy in the UK and in other Western European countries. Methods and analysis In Merseyside, UK, we will conduct an ecological study using a ‘before and after’ approach to examine changes in gastroenteritis and rotavirus incidence following the introduction of rotavirus vaccination. Data will be collected on mortality, hospital admissions, nosocomial infection, emergency department attendances, GP consultations and community health consultations to capture all healthcare providers in the region. We will assess both the direct and indirect effects of the vaccine on the study population. Comparisons of outcome indicator rates will be made in relation to vaccine uptake and socioeconomic status. Ethics and dissemination The study has been approved by NHS Research Ethics Committee, South Central-Berkshire REC Reference: 14/SC/1140. Study outputs will be disseminated through scientific conferences and peer-reviewed publications. The study will demonstrate the impact of rotavirus vaccination on the burden of disease from a complete health system perspective. It will identify key areas that require improved data collection tools to maximise the usefulness of this surveillance

  18. [Application of land economic ecological niche in landscape pattern analysis at county level: A case study of Jinghe County in Xinjiang, China].

    PubMed

    Yu, Hai-yang; Zhang, Fei; Wang, Juan; Zhou, Mei

    2015-12-01

    The theory of land economic ecological niche was used to analyze the regional landscape pattern in this article, with an aim to provide a new method for the characterization and representation of landscape pattern. The Jinghe County region, which is ecologically fragile, was selected as an example for the study, and the Landsat images of 1990, 1998, 2011 and 2013 were selected as remote sensing data. The land economic ecological niche of land use types calculated by ecostate-ecorole theory, combined with landscape ecology theory, was discussed in application of land economic ecological niche in county landscape pattern analysis. The results showed that, during the study period, the correlations between land economic ecological niche of farmland, construction land, and grassland with the parameters, including landscape patch number (NP), aggregated index (AI), fragmented index (FN) and fractal dimension (FD), were significant. Regional landscape was driven by the changes of land economic ecological niche, and the trend of economic development could be represented by land economic ecological niche change in Jinghe County. Land economic ecological niche was closely related with the land use types which could yield direct economic benefits, which could well explain the landscape pattern characteristics in Jinghe County when combined with the landscape indices.

  19. Risk and response in watershed ecosystems: Expanding the value of ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Marcy, S.K.M.

    1995-12-31

    Ecological risk assessments have primarily been used to either predict, or retrospectively evaluate, the adverse effects of chemical stressors on selected ecological resources. While useful in many applications, this focus has limited value when ecological resources are simultaneously impacted by diverse chemical, physical and biological stressors, a situation typical in watersheds. With an increased emphasis on ecosystem management and watershed protection, it is critical to provide a scientific basis for evaluating and prioritizing risk and predicting the response of resources to management efforts. An expanded ecological risk assessment methodology can provide this scientific framework for improving watershed assessments by: (1) predicting both the risk and response of ecological resources to a potential range of management options, (2) including retrospective, current status, and predictive evaluations, and (3) addressing multiple diverse stressors. The effectiveness of using ecological risk assessments to improve management and decision making at the watershed level will be discussed based on the development of five watershed case studies.

  20. Ecological niches of Arctic deep-sea copepods: Vertical partitioning, dietary preferences and different trophic levels minimize inter-specific competition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laakmann, Silke; Kochzius, Marc; Auel, Holger

    2009-05-01

    The biodiversity of pelagic deep-sea ecosystems has received growing scientific interest in the last decade, especially in the framework of international marine biodiversity initiatives, such as Census of Marine Life (CoML). While a growing number of deep-sea zooplankton species has been identified and genetically characterized, little information is available on the mechanisms minimizing inter-specific competition and thus allowing closely related species to co-occur in the deep-sea pelagic realm. Focussing on the two dominant calanoid copepod families Euchaetidae and Aetideidae in Fram Strait, Arctic Ocean, the present study strives to characterize ecological niches of co-occurring species, with regard to vertical distribution, dietary composition as derived from lipid biomarkers, and trophic level on the basis of stable isotope signatures. Closely related species were usually restricted to different depth layers, resulting in a multi-layered vertical distribution pattern. Thus, vertical partitioning was an important mechanism to avoid inter-specific competition. Species occurring in the same depth strata usually belonged to different genera. They differed in fatty acid composition and trophic level, indicating different food preferences. Herbivorous Calanus represent major prey items for many omnivorous and carnivorous species throughout the water column. The seasonal and ontogenetic vertical migration of Calanus acts as a short-cut in food supply for pelagic deep-sea ecosystems in the Arctic.

  1. Increased serum levels of MIP-1alpha correlate with bone disease and angiogenic cytokines in patients with multiple myeloma.

    PubMed

    Tsirakis, George; Roussou, Parascevi; Pappa, Constantina A; Kolovou, Anna; Vasilokonstantaki, Chrysoula; Miminas, Ioannis; Kyriakaki, Stavroula; Alegakis, Athanasios; Alexandrakis, Michael G

    2014-01-01

    Many cytokines possess variable roles in the pathogenesis of multiple myeloma. Macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha (MIP-1alpha) is an osteoclast-activating factor with a major role in myeloma bone disease. The aim of the study was to examine its participation in the angiogenic process of the disease. We measured, by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, its serum levels in 56 newly diagnosed myeloma patients, in several skeletal grades and stages of the disease and in 25 healthy controls. Concurrently, we measured serum levels of the angiogenic cytokines basic-fibroblast growth factor, hepatocyte growth factor and interleukin-18. All the above cytokines were higher in myeloma patients (p < 0.001 for all cases) and were increasing in parallel with disease stage (p < 0.001 for all cases) and skeletal grade (p < 0.04 for MIP-1alpha and p < 0.001 for the other cases). Moreover, positive correlations between MIP-1alpha and all the angiogenic cytokines were noted (p < 0.001 for all cases). MIP-1alpha seems to be a predominant factor responsible for the enhancement of bone resorption and increased angiogenesis. The positive correlation between MIP-1alpha and the angiogenic chemoattractants supports the involvement of these factors in the biology of myeloma cell growth. Moreover, they could be used as possible therapeutic targets as well as markers of disease activity.

  2. Higher-level phylogeny of new world vireos (aves: vireonidae) based on sequences of multiple mitochondrial DNA genes.

    PubMed

    Cicero, C; Johnson, N K

    2001-07-01

    Interfamilial relationships of the New World songbird family Vireonidae are uncertain. Thus, we sequenced 3069 bp of four mitochondrial genes (cyt b, ND2, ND3, COI) from 19 taxa in five families and two outgroups, to examine higher-level alliances with proposed relatives. We also sequenced cyt b and ND2 from an additional five vireonids to examine intergeneric relationships within the Vireonidae and incorporated 14 sequences of cyt b from GenBank to test the effects of taxon sampling on gene tree resolution. Families appeared monophyletic in all analyses, and the affinity of vireonids to Old World corvoids was corroborated. However, relationships among the Vireonidae and other families were not resolved. Sequences of vireonids revealed high levels of divergence within and between genera, with either Cyclarhis or Vireolanius positioned basally, depending on the analysis. On the basis of mitochondrial DNA and biogeographic evidence, vireonids represent a deep lineage derived from an Old World ancestor that colonized the New World, most likely via Beringia, with subsequent radiation in the Middle American tropics. We hypothesize postcolonization dispersal of the ancestor into Middle America, followed by extinction of the ancestor in North America. This extinction event left the North Temperate Zone unoccupied by any vireonid until northward reinvasion by some species of Vireo. Although the closest living relative of vireonids remains unidentified, broad-scale sequencing of additional extant corvoids with multiple molecular markers should further elucidate Old World alliances. PMID:11421646

  3. Multiple intervention research programs in community health.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Nancy; Mill, Judy; Kothari, Anita R

    2004-03-01

    The authors describe an organizing framework for multiple interventions in community health. The framework provides a foundation for programmatic research on multiple interventions and poses critical questions that need to be addressed in the next generation of research in this field. Multiple intervention programs are characterized by the use of multiple strategies targeted at multiple levels of the socio-ecological system and delivered to multiple target audiences. Consequently, they complement the growing literature on the broad determinants of health and health promotion. The authors describe a 4-stage framework and identify gaps and challenges in this field of research. There are 5 key research areas requiring concerted action; researchers must: examine nested determinants, develop integrated conceptual frameworks, examine ways to optimize synergies among interventions, describe spin-offs from multiple intervention programs, and monitor the sustainability of their impact.

  4. [Ecological risk assessment and its management of Bailongjiang watershed, southern Gansu based on landscape pattern].

    PubMed

    Gong, Jie; Zhao, Cai-Xia; Xie, Yu-Chu; Gao, Yan-Jing

    2014-07-01

    Watershed ecological risk assessment is an important research subject of watershed ecological protection and environmental management. Research on the ecological risk focuses on addressing the influence of human activities and its spatial variation at watershed scale is vital to policy-making to control the impact of human activity and protocols for sustainable economic and societal development. A comprehensive ecological environment index, incorporating a landscape index and an assessment of ecological vulnerability, was put forward to assess the spatio-temporal characteristics of ecological risk of the Bailongjiang watershed, southern Gansu Province, Northwest China. Using ArcGIS and Fragstats software and a land use map of 2010, an ecological risk map was obtained through spatial sampling and disjunctive Kriging interpolation. The results indicated that there were some obvious spatial differences of ecological risk levels in the watershed. The ecological risk level of the north and northwest of the Bailongjiang was higher than that of the western and southern extremities of the watershed. Ecological risk index (ERI) of Wudu and Tanchang was higher than that of Wenxian and Diebu. Some measures for ecological risk management were put forward on the basis of ERI of Bailongjiang watershed. To strengthen the integrated management of human activities and land use in the watershed, to carry out the vegetation restoration and ecological reconstruction, and to reduce the ecological risks and hazards of irrational human disturbance, are vital to the realization 'multiple-win' of the economic, social and ecological protection and for the sustainable development in the hilly area in southern Gansu.

  5. The Ecological Education of Preschool Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nikolaeva, S. N.

    2008-01-01

    The system of ecological education of preschool children includes multiple interconnected blocks that cover all aspects of the ecological pedagogical process in a preschool institution: the content of the ecological education, the ways it is conducted (methods and technologies), and the organization and management of the process.

  6. Physiological ecology meets climate change

    PubMed Central

    Bozinovic, Francisco; Pörtner, Hans-Otto

    2015-01-01

    In this article, we pointed out that understanding the physiology of differential climate change effects on organisms is one of the many urgent challenges faced in ecology and evolutionary biology. We explore how physiological ecology can contribute to a holistic view of climate change impacts on organisms and ecosystems and their evolutionary responses. We suggest that theoretical and experimental efforts not only need to improve our understanding of thermal limits to organisms, but also to consider multiple stressors both on land and in the oceans. As an example, we discuss recent efforts to understand the effects of various global change drivers on aquatic ectotherms in the field that led to the development of the concept of oxygen and capacity limited thermal tolerance (OCLTT) as a framework integrating various drivers and linking organisational levels from ecosystem to organism, tissue, cell, and molecules. We suggest seven core objectives of a comprehensive research program comprising the interplay among physiological, ecological, and evolutionary approaches for both aquatic and terrestrial organisms. While studies of individual aspects are already underway in many laboratories worldwide, integration of these findings into conceptual frameworks is needed not only within one organism group such as animals but also across organism domains such as Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya. Indeed, development of unifying concepts is relevant for interpreting existing and future findings in a coherent way and for projecting the future ecological and evolutionary effects of climate change on functional biodiversity. We also suggest that OCLTT may in the end and from an evolutionary point of view, be able to explain the limited thermal tolerance of metazoans when compared to other organisms. PMID:25798220

  7. Physiological ecology meets climate change.

    PubMed

    Bozinovic, Francisco; Pörtner, Hans-Otto

    2015-03-01

    In this article, we pointed out that understanding the physiology of differential climate change effects on organisms is one of the many urgent challenges faced in ecology and evolutionary biology. We explore how physiological ecology can contribute to a holistic view of climate change impacts on organisms and ecosystems and their evolutionary responses. We suggest that theoretical and experimental efforts not only need to improve our understanding of thermal limits to organisms, but also to consider multiple stressors both on land and in the oceans. As an example, we discuss recent efforts to understand the effects of various global change drivers on aquatic ectotherms in the field that led to the development of the concept of oxygen and capacity limited thermal tolerance (OCLTT) as a framework integrating various drivers and linking organisational levels from ecosystem to organism, tissue, cell, and molecules. We suggest seven core objectives of a comprehensive research program comprising the interplay among physiological, ecological, and evolutionary approaches for both aquatic and terrestrial organisms. While studies of individual aspects are already underway in many laboratories worldwide, integration of these findings into conceptual frameworks is needed not only within one organism group such as animals but also across organism domains such as Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya. Indeed, development of unifying concepts is relevant for interpreting existing and future findings in a coherent way and for projecting the future ecological and evolutionary effects of climate change on functional biodiversity. We also suggest that OCLTT may in the end and from an evolutionary point of view, be able to explain the limited thermal tolerance of metazoans when compared to other organisms.

  8. Physiological ecology meets climate change.

    PubMed

    Bozinovic, Francisco; Pörtner, Hans-Otto

    2015-03-01

    In this article, we pointed out that understanding the physiology of differential climate change effects on organisms is one of the many urgent challenges faced in ecology and evolutionary biology. We explore how physiological ecology can contribute to a holistic view of climate change impacts on organisms and ecosystems and their evolutionary responses. We suggest that theoretical and experimental efforts not only need to improve our understanding of thermal limits to organisms, but also to consider multiple stressors both on land and in the oceans. As an example, we discuss recent efforts to understand the effects of various global change drivers on aquatic ectotherms in the field that led to the development of the concept of oxygen and capacity limited thermal tolerance (OCLTT) as a framework integrating various drivers and linking organisational levels from ecosystem to organism, tissue, cell, and molecules. We suggest seven core objectives of a comprehensive research program comprising the interplay among physiological, ecological, and evolutionary approaches for both aquatic and terrestrial organisms. While studies of individual aspects are already underway in many laboratories worldwide, integration of these findings into conceptual frameworks is needed not only within one organism group such as animals but also across organism domains such as Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya. Indeed, development of unifying concepts is relevant for interpreting existing and future findings in a coherent way and for projecting the future ecological and evolutionary effects of climate change on functional biodiversity. We also suggest that OCLTT may in the end and from an evolutionary point of view, be able to explain the limited thermal tolerance of metazoans when compared to other organisms. PMID:25798220

  9. Alterations in the cholinesterase and adenosine deaminase activities and inflammation biomarker levels in patients with multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Polachini, C R N; Spanevello, R M; Casali, E A; Zanini, D; Pereira, L B; Martins, C C; Baldissareli, J; Cardoso, A M; Duarte, M F; da Costa, P; Prado, A L C; Schetinger, M R C; Morsch, V M

    2014-04-25

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the main chronic inflammatory diseases of the CNS that cause functional disability in young adults. It has unknown etiology characterized by the infiltration of lymphocytes and macrophages into the brain. The aim of this study was to evaluate the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in lymphocytes and whole blood, as well as butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) and adenosine deaminase (ADA) activities in serum. We also checked the levels of nucleotides, nucleosides, biomarkers of inflammation such as cytokines (interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, interferon (IFN)-γ, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and IL-10) and C-reactive protein (CRP) in serum from 29 patients with the relapsing-remitting form of MS (RRMS) and 29 healthy subjects as the control group. Results showed that AChE in lymphocytes and whole blood as well as BChE, and ADA activities in serum were significantly increased in RRMS patients when compared to the control group (P<0.05). In addition, we observed a decrease in ATP levels and a significant increase in the levels of ADP, AMP, adenosine and inosine in serum from RRMS patients in relation to the healthy subjects (P<0.05). Results also demonstrated an increase in the IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-1, IL-6 and CRP (P<0.05) and a significant decrease in the IL-10 (P<0.0001) in RRMS patients when compared to control. Our results suggest that alterations in the biomarkers of inflammation and hydrolysis of nucleotides and nucleosides may contribute to the understanding of the neurological dysfunction of RRMS patients.

  10. Definitions of state variables and state space for brain-computer interface : Part 1. Multiple hierarchical levels of brain function.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Walter J

    2007-03-01

    Neocortical state variables are defined and evaluated at three levels: microscopic using multiple spike activity (MSA), mesoscopic using local field potentials (LFP) and electrocorticograms (ECoG), and macroscopic using electroencephalograms (EEG) and brain imaging. Transactions between levels occur in all areas of cortex, upwardly by integration (abstraction, generalization) and downwardly by differentiation (speciation). The levels are joined by circular causality: microscopic activity upwardly creates mesoscopic order parameters, which downwardly constrain the microscopic activity that creates them. Integration dominates in sensory cortices. Microscopic activity evoked by receptor input in sensation induces emergence of mesoscopic activity in perception, followed by integration of perceptual activity into macroscopic activity in concept formation. The reverse process dominates in motor cortices, where the macroscopic activity embodying the concepts supports predictions of future states as goals. These macroscopic states are conceived to order mesoscopic activity in patterns that constitute plans for actions to achieve the goals. These planning patterns are conceived to provide frames in which the microscopic activity evolves in trajectories that adapted to the immediate environmental conditions detected by new stimuli. This circular sequence forms the action-perception cycle. Its upward limb is understood through correlation of sensory cortical activity with behavior. Now brain-machine interfaces (BMI) offer a means to understand the downward sequence through correlation of behavior with motor cortical activity, beginning with macroscopic goal states and concluding with recording of microscopic MSA trajectories that operate neuroprostheses. Part 1 develops a hypothesis that describes qualitatively the neurodynamics that supports the action-perception cycle and derivative reflex arc. Part 2 describes episodic, "cinematographic" spatial pattern formation and

  11. Ecological Consultancy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Scott McG.; Tattersfield, Peter

    2004-01-01

    This is the first of a new regular feature on careers, designed to provide those who teach biology with some inspiration when advising their students. In this issue, two consultant ecologists explain how their career paths developed. It is a misconception that there are few jobs in ecology. Over the past 20 or 30 years ecological consultancy has…

  12. Soil Ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Killham, Ken

    1994-04-01

    Soil Ecology is designed to meet the increasing challenge faced by today's environmental scientists, ecologists, agriculturalists, and biotechnologists for an integrated approach to soil ecology. It emphasizes the interrelations among plants, animals, and microbes, by first establishing the fundamental physical and chemical properties of the soil habitat and then functionally characterizing the major components of the soil biota and some of their most important interactions. The fundamental principles underpinning soil ecology are established and this then enables an integrated approach to explore and understand the processes of soil nutrient (carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus) cycling and the ecology of extreme soil conditions such as soil-water stress. Two of the most topical aspects of applied soil ecology are then selected. First, the ecology of soil pollution is examined, focusing on acid deposition and radionuclide pollution. Second, manipulation of soil ecology through biotechnology is discussed, illustrating the use of pesticides and microbial inocula in soils and pointing toward the future by considering the impact of genetically modified inocula on soil ecology.

  13. Clade-level Spatial Modelling of HPAI H5N1 Dynamics in the Mekong Region Reveals New Patterns and Associations with Agro-Ecological Factors.

    PubMed

    Artois, Jean; Newman, Scott H; Dhingra, Madhur S; Chaiban, Celia; Linard, Catherine; Cattoli, Giovanni; Monne, Isabella; Fusaro, Alice; Xenarios, Ioannis; Engler, Robin; Liechti, Robin; Kuznetsov, Dmitri; Pham, Thanh Long; Nguyen, Tung; Pham, Van Dong; Castellan, David; Von Dobschuetz, Sophie; Claes, Filip; Dauphin, Gwenaëlle; Inui, Ken; Gilbert, Marius

    2016-07-25

    The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus has been circulating in Asia since 2003 and diversified into several genetic lineages, or clades. Although the spatial distribution of its outbreaks was extensively studied, differences in clades were never previously taken into account. We developed models to quantify associations over time and space between different HPAI H5N1 viruses from clade 1, 2.3.4 and 2.3.2 and agro-ecological factors. We found that the distribution of clades in the Mekong region from 2004 to 2013 was strongly regionalised, defining specific epidemiological zones, or epizones. Clade 1 became entrenched in the Mekong Delta and was not supplanted by newer clades, in association with a relatively higher presence of domestic ducks. In contrast, two new clades were introduced (2.3.4 and 2.3.2) in northern Viet Nam and were associated with higher chicken density and more intensive chicken production systems. We suggest that differences in poultry production systems in these different epizones may explain these associations, along with differences in introduction pressure from neighbouring countries. The different distribution patterns found at the clade level would not be otherwise apparent through analysis treating all outbreaks equally, which requires improved linking of disease outbreak records and genetic sequence data.

  14. Environmental extremes versus ecological extremes: impact of a massive iceberg on the population dynamics of a high-level Antarctic marine predator†

    PubMed Central

    Chambert, Thierry; Rotella, Jay J.; Garrott, Robert A.

    2012-01-01

    Extreme events have been suggested to play a disproportionate role in shaping ecological processes, but our understanding of the types of environmental conditions that elicit extreme consequences in natural ecosystems is limited. Here, we investigated the impact of a massive iceberg on the dynamics of a population of Weddell seals. Reproductive rates of females were reduced, but survival appeared unaffected. We also found suggestive evidence for a prolonged shift towards higher variability in reproductive rates. The annual number of females attending colonies showed unusual swings during the iceberg period, a pattern that was apparently the consequence of changes in sea-ice conditions. In contrast to the dramatic effects that were recorded in nearby populations of emperor penguins, our results suggest that this unusual environmental event did not have an extreme impact on the population of seals in the short-term, as they managed to avoid survival costs and were able to rapidly re-achieve high levels of reproduction by the end of the perturbation. Nevertheless, population projections suggest that even this modest impact on reproductive rates could negatively affect the population in the long run if such events were to occur more frequently, as is predicted by models of climate change. PMID:23015628

  15. Clade-level Spatial Modelling of HPAI H5N1 Dynamics in the Mekong Region Reveals New Patterns and Associations with Agro-Ecological Factors

    PubMed Central

    Artois, Jean; Newman, Scott H.; Dhingra, Madhur S.; Chaiban, Celia; Linard, Catherine; Cattoli, Giovanni; Monne, Isabella; Fusaro, Alice; Xenarios, Ioannis; Engler, Robin; Liechti, Robin; Kuznetsov, Dmitri; Pham, Thanh Long; Nguyen, Tung; Pham, Van Dong; Castellan, David; Von Dobschuetz, Sophie; Claes, Filip; Dauphin, Gwenaëlle; Inui, Ken; Gilbert, Marius

    2016-01-01

    The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus has been circulating in Asia since 2003 and diversified into several genetic lineages, or clades. Although the spatial distribution of its outbreaks was extensively studied, differences in clades were never previously taken into account. We developed models to quantify associations over time and space between different HPAI H5N1 viruses from clade 1, 2.3.4 and 2.3.2 and agro-ecological factors. We found that the distribution of clades in the Mekong region from 2004 to 2013 was strongly regionalised, defining specific epidemiological zones, or epizones. Clade 1 became entrenched in the Mekong Delta and was not supplanted by newer clades, in association with a relatively higher presence of domestic ducks. In contrast, two new clades were introduced (2.3.4 and 2.3.2) in northern Viet Nam and were associated with higher chicken density and more intensive chicken production systems. We suggest that differences in poultry production systems in these different epizones may explain these associations, along with differences in introduction pressure from neighbouring countries. The different distribution patterns found at the clade level would not be otherwise apparent through analysis treating all outbreaks equally, which requires improved linking of disease outbreak records and genetic sequence data. PMID:27453195

  16. Environmental extremes versus ecological extremes: impact of a massive iceberg on the population dynamics of a high-level Antarctic marine predator.

    PubMed

    Chambert, Thierry; Rotella, Jay J; Garrott, Robert A

    2012-11-22

    Extreme events have been suggested to play a disproportionate role in shaping ecological processes, but our understanding of the types of environmental conditions that elicit extreme consequences in natural ecosystems is limited. Here, we investigated the impact of a massive iceberg on the dynamics of a population of Weddell seals. Reproductive rates of females were reduced, but survival appeared unaffected. We also found suggestive evidence for a prolonged shift towards higher variability in reproductive rates. The annual number of females attending colonies showed unusual swings during the iceberg period, a pattern that was apparently the consequence of changes in sea-ice conditions. In contrast to the dramatic effects that were recorded in nearby populations of emperor penguins, our results suggest that this unusual environmental event did not have an extreme impact on the population of seals in the short-term, as they managed to avoid survival costs and were able to rapidly re-achieve high levels of reproduction by the end of the perturbation. Nevertheless, population projections suggest that even this modest impact on reproductive rates could negatively affect the population in the long run if such events were to occur more frequently, as is predicted by models of climate change.

  17. Clade-level Spatial Modelling of HPAI H5N1 Dynamics in the Mekong Region Reveals New Patterns and Associations with Agro-Ecological Factors.

    PubMed

    Artois, Jean; Newman, Scott H; Dhingra, Madhur S; Chaiban, Celia; Linard, Catherine; Cattoli, Giovanni; Monne, Isabella; Fusaro, Alice; Xenarios, Ioannis; Engler, Robin; Liechti, Robin; Kuznetsov, Dmitri; Pham, Thanh Long; Nguyen, Tung; Pham, Van Dong; Castellan, David; Von Dobschuetz, Sophie; Claes, Filip; Dauphin, Gwenaëlle; Inui, Ken; Gilbert, Marius

    2016-01-01

    The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus has been circulating in Asia since 2003 and diversified into several genetic lineages, or clades. Although the spatial distribution of its outbreaks was extensively studied, differences in clades were never previously taken into account. We developed models to quantify associations over time and space between different HPAI H5N1 viruses from clade 1, 2.3.4 and 2.3.2 and agro-ecological factors. We found that the distribution of clades in the Mekong region from 2004 to 2013 was strongly regionalised, defining specific epidemiological zones, or epizones. Clade 1 became entrenched in the Mekong Delta and was not supplanted by newer clades, in association with a relatively higher presence of domestic ducks. In contrast, two new clades were introduced (2.3.4 and 2.3.2) in northern Viet Nam and were associated with higher chicken density and more intensive chicken production systems. We suggest that differences in poultry production systems in these different epizones may explain these associations, along with differences in introduction pressure from neighbouring countries. The different distribution patterns found at the clade level would not be otherwise apparent through analysis treating all outbreaks equally, which requires improved linking of disease outbreak records and genetic sequence data. PMID:27453195

  18. An Ecological Perspective on Deafness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harvey, Michael A.; Dym, Barry

    1988-01-01

    The article offers an ecological view of deafness through identification of the hierarchically arranged, bio-psych-social levels which influence development and the sequences of interaction within and between levels. The organization of ecological fields is described by a cybernetic model from family therapy. A detailed case example is presented.…

  19. A hybrid semi-automatic method for liver segmentation based on level-set methods using multiple seed points.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaopeng; Yu, Hee Chul; Choi, Younggeun; Lee, Wonsup; Wang, Baojian; Yang, Jaedo; Hwang, Hongpil; Kim, Ji Hyun; Song, Jisoo; Cho, Baik Hwan; You, Heecheon

    2014-01-01

    The present study developed a hybrid semi-automatic method to extract the liver from abdominal computerized tomography (CT) images. The proposed hybrid method consists of a customized fast-marching level-set method for detection of an optimal initial liver region from multiple seed points selected by the user and a threshold-based level-set method for extraction of the actual liver region based on the initial liver region. The performance of the hybrid method was compared with those of the 2D region growing method implemented in OsiriX using abdominal CT datasets of 15 patients. The hybrid method showed a significantly higher accuracy in liver extraction (similarity index, SI=97.6 ± 0.5%; false positive error, FPE = 2.2 ± 0.7%; false negative error, FNE=2.5 ± 0.8%; average symmetric surface distance, ASD=1.4 ± 0.5mm) than the 2D (SI=94.0 ± 1.9%; FPE = 5.3 ± 1.1%; FNE=6.5 ± 3.7%; ASD=6.7 ± 3.8mm) region growing method. The total liver extraction time per CT dataset of the hybrid method (77 ± 10 s) is significantly less than the 2D region growing method (575 ± 136 s). The interaction time per CT dataset between the user and a computer of the hybrid method (28 ± 4 s) is significantly shorter than the 2D region growing method (484 ± 126 s). The proposed hybrid method was found preferred for liver segmentation in preoperative virtual liver surgery planning.

  20. Molecular dynamics at the receptor level of immunodominant myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein 35-55 epitope implicated in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Yannakakis, Mary Patricia; Tzoupis, Haralambos; Michailidou, Elena; Mantzourani, Efthimia; Simal, Carmen; Tselios, Theodore

    2016-07-01

    Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a common autoimmune disease whereby myelin is destroyed by the immune system. The disease is triggered by the stimulation of encephalitogenic T-cells via the formation of a trimolecular complex between the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA), an immunodominant epitope of myelin proteins and T-cell Receptor (TCR). Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein (MOG) is located on the external surface of myelin and has been implicated in MS induction. The immunodominant 35-55 epitope of MOG is widely used for in vivo biological evaluation and immunological studies that are related with chronic Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE, animal model of MS), inflammatory diseases and MS. In this report, Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations were used to explore the interactions of MOG35-55 at the receptor level. A detailed mapping of the developed interactions during the creation of the trimolecular complex is reported. This is the first attempt to gain an understanding of the molecular recognition of the MOG35-55 epitope by the HLA and TCR receptors. During the formation of the trimolecular complex, the residues Arg(41) and Arg(46) of MOG35-55 have been confirmed to serve as TCR anchors while Tyr(40) interacts with HLA. The present structural findings indicate that the Arg at positions 41 and 46 is a key residue for the stimulation of the encephalitogenic T-cells. PMID:27388119

  1. Linking stressors and ecological responses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gentile, J.H.; Solomon, K.R.; Butcher, J.B.; Harrass, M.; Landis, W.G.; Power, M.; Rattner, B.A.; Warren-Hicks, W.J.; Wenger, R.; Foran, Jeffery A.; Ferenc, Susan A.

    1999-01-01

    To characterize risk, it is necessary to quantify the linkages and interactions between chemical, physical and biological stressors and endpoints in the conceptual framework for ecological risk assessment (ERA). This can present challenges in a multiple stressor analysis, and it will not always be possible to develop a quantitative stressor-response profile. This review commences with a conceptual representation of the problem of developing a linkage analysis for multiple stressors and responses. The remainder of the review surveys a variety of mathematical and statistical methods (e.g., ranking methods, matrix models, multivariate dose-response for mixtures, indices, visualization, simulation modeling and decision-oriented methods) for accomplishing the linkage analysis for multiple stressors. Describing the relationships between multiple stressors and ecological effects are critical components of 'effects assessment' in the ecological risk assessment framework.

  2. No effect of seed source on multiple aspects of ecosystem functioning during ecological restoration: cultivars compared to local ecotypes of dominant grasses.

    PubMed

    Baer, Sara G; Gibson, David J; Gustafson, Danny J; Benscoter, Allison M; Reed, Lewis K; Campbell, Ryan E; Klopf, Ryan P; Willand, Jason E; Wodika, Ben R

    2014-02-01

    Genetic principles underlie recommendations to use local seed, but a paucity of information exists on the genetic distinction and ecological consequences of using different seed sources in restorations. We established a field experiment to test whether cultivars and local ecotypes of dominant prairie grasses were genetically distinct and differentially influenced ecosystem functioning. Whole plots were assigned to cultivar and local ecotype grass sources. Three subplots within each whole plot were seeded to unique pools of subordinate species. The cultivar of the increasingly dominant grass, Sorghastrum nutans, was genetically different than the local ecotype, but genetic diversity was similar between the two sources. There were no differences in aboveground net primary production, soil carbon accrual, and net nitrogen mineralization rate in soil between the grass sources. Comparable productivity of the grass sources among the species pools for four years shows functional equivalence in terms of biomass production. Subordinate species comprised over half the aboveground productivity, which may have diluted the potential for documented trait differences between the grass sources to influence ecosystem processes. Regionally developed cultivars may be a suitable alternative to local ecotypes for restoration in fragmented landscapes with limited gene flow between natural and restored prairie and negligible recruitment by seed. PMID:24567751

  3. No effect of seed source on multiple aspects of ecosystem functioning during ecological restoration: cultivars compared to local ecotypes of dominant grasses

    PubMed Central

    Baer, Sara G; Gibson, David J; Gustafson, Danny J; Benscoter, Allison M; Reed, Lewis K; Campbell, Ryan E; Klopf, Ryan P; Willand, Jason E; Wodika, Ben R

    2014-01-01

    Genetic principles underlie recommendations to use local seed, but a paucity of information exists on the genetic distinction and ecological consequences of using different seed sources in restorations. We established a field experiment to test whether cultivars and local ecotypes of dominant prairie grasses were genetically distinct and differentially influenced ecosystem functioning. Whole plots were assigned to cultivar and local ecotype grass sources. Three subplots within each whole plot were seeded to unique pools of subordinate species. The cultivar of the increasingly dominant grass, Sorghastrum nutans, was genetically different than the local ecotype, but genetic diversity was similar between the two sources. There were no differences in aboveground net primary production, soil carbon accrual, and net nitrogen mineralization rate in soil between the grass sources. Comparable productivity of the grass sources among the species pools for four years shows functional equivalence in terms of biomass production. Subordinate species comprised over half the aboveground productivity, which may have diluted the potential for documented trait differences between the grass sources to influence ecosystem processes. Regionally developed cultivars may be a suitable alternative to local ecotypes for restoration in fragmented landscapes with limited gene flow between natural and restored prairie and negligible recruitment by seed. PMID:24567751

  4. Ecological functions of tetrodotoxin in a deadly polyclad flatworm

    PubMed Central

    Ritson-Williams, Raphael; Yotsu-Yamashita, Mari; Paul, Valerie J.

    2006-01-01

    The deadly neurotoxin tetrodotoxin (TTX) is found in a variety of animal phyla and, because of its toxicity, is most often assumed to deter predation. On the tropical Pacific island of Guam, we found an undescribed flatworm (planocerid sp. 1) that contains high levels of TTX and its analogs. Through ecological experiments, we show that TTXs do not protect these flatworms from some predators but instead are used to capture mobile prey. TTX is known to have multiple ecological functions, which has probably led to its widespread presence among prokaryotes and at least 10 metazoan phyla. PMID:16492790

  5. Cognitive ecology.

    PubMed

    Hutchins, Edwin

    2010-10-01

    Cognitive ecology is the study of cognitive phenomena in context. In particular, it points to the web of mutual dependence among the elements of a cognitive ecosystem. At least three fields were taking a deeply ecological approach to cognition 30 years ago: Gibson's ecological psychology, Bateson's ecology of mind, and Soviet cultural-historical activity theory. The ideas developed in those projects have now found a place in modern views of embodied, situated, distributed cognition. As cognitive theory continues to shift from units of analysis defined by inherent properties of the elements to units defined in terms of dynamic patterns of correlation across elements, the study of cognitive ecosystems will become an increasingly important part of cognitive science.

  6. The differential algebra based multiple level fast multipole algorithm for 3D space charge field calculation and photoemission simulation

    DOE PAGES

    None, None

    2015-09-28

    Coulomb interaction between charged particles inside a bunch is one of the most importance collective effects in beam dynamics, becoming even more significant as the energy of the particle beam is lowered to accommodate analytical and low-Z material imaging purposes such as in the time resolved Ultrafast Electron Microscope (UEM) development currently underway at Michigan State University. In addition, space charge effects are the key limiting factor in the development of ultrafast atomic resolution electron imaging and diffraction technologies and are also correlated with an irreversible growth in rms beam emittance due to fluctuating components of the nonlinear electron dynamics.more » In the short pulse regime used in the UEM, space charge effects also lead to virtual cathode formation in which the negative charge of the electrons emitted at earlier times, combined with the attractive surface field, hinders further emission of particles and causes a degradation of the pulse properties. Space charge and virtual cathode effects and their remediation are core issues for the development of the next generation of high-brightness UEMs. Since the analytical models are only applicable for special cases, numerical simulations, in addition to experiments, are usually necessary to accurately understand the space charge effect. In this paper we will introduce a grid-free differential algebra based multiple level fast multipole algorithm, which calculates the 3D space charge field for n charged particles in arbitrary distribution with an efficiency of O(n), and the implementation of the algorithm to a simulation code for space charge dominated photoemission processes.« less

  7. The differential algebra based multiple level fast multipole algorithm for 3D space charge field calculation and photoemission simulation

    SciTech Connect

    None, None

    2015-09-28

    Coulomb interaction between charged particles inside a bunch is one of the most importance collective effects in beam dynamics, becoming even more significant as the energy of the particle beam is lowered to accommodate analytical and low-Z material imaging purposes such as in the time resolved Ultrafast Electron Microscope (UEM) development currently underway at Michigan State University. In addition, space charge effects are the key limiting factor in the development of ultrafast atomic resolution electron imaging and diffraction technologies and are also correlated with an irreversible growth in rms beam emittance due to fluctuating components of the nonlinear electron dynamics. In the short pulse regime used in the UEM, space charge effects also lead to virtual cathode formation in which the negative charge of the electrons emitted at earlier times, combined with the attractive surface field, hinders further emission of particles and causes a degradation of the pulse properties. Space charge and virtual cathode effects and their remediation are core issues for the development of the next generation of high-brightness UEMs. Since the analytical models are only applicable for special cases, numerical simulations, in addition to experiments, are usually necessary to accurately understand the space charge effect. In this paper we will introduce a grid-free differential algebra based multiple level fast multipole algorithm, which calculates the 3D space charge field for n charged particles in arbitrary distribution with an efficiency of O(n), and the implementation of the algorithm to a simulation code for space charge dominated photoemission processes.

  8. Higher level phylogeny and the first divergence time estimation of Heteroptera (Insecta: Hemiptera) based on multiple genes.

    PubMed

    Li, Min; Tian, Ying; Zhao, Ying; Bu, Wenjun

    2012-01-01

    Heteroptera, or true bugs, are the largest, morphologically diverse and economically important group of insects with incomplete metamorphosis. However, the phylogenetic relationships within Heteroptera are still in dispute and most of the previous studies were based on morphological characters or with single gene (partial or whole 18S rDNA). Besides, so far, divergence time estimates for Heteroptera totally rely on the fossil record, while no studies have been performed on molecular divergence rates. Here, for the first time, we used maximum parsimony (MP), maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference (BI) with multiple genes (18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, 16S rDNA and COI) to estimate phylogenetic relationships among the infraorders, and meanwhile, the Penalized Likelihood (r8s) and Bayesian (BEAST) molecular dating methods were employed to estimate divergence time of higher taxa of this suborder. Major results of the present study included: Nepomorpha was placed as the most basal clade in all six trees (MP trees, ML trees and Bayesian trees of nuclear gene data and four-gene combined data, respectively) with full support values. The sister-group relationship of Cimicomorpha and Pentatomomorpha was also strongly supported. Nepomorpha originated in early Triassic and the other six infraorders originated in a very short period of time in middle Triassic. Cimicomorpha and Pentatomomorpha underwent a radiation at family level in Cretaceous, paralleling the proliferation of the flowering plants. Our results indicated that the higher-group radiations within hemimetabolous Heteroptera were simultaneously with those of holometabolous Coleoptera and Diptera which took place in the Triassic. While the aquatic habitat was colonized by Nepomorpha already in the Triassic, the Gerromorpha independently adapted to the semi-aquatic habitat in the Early Jurassic.

  9. Higher Level Phylogeny and the First Divergence Time Estimation of Heteroptera (Insecta: Hemiptera) Based on Multiple Genes

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Ying; Bu, Wenjun

    2012-01-01

    Heteroptera, or true bugs, are the largest, morphologically diverse and economically important group of insects with incomplete metamorphosis. However, the phylogenetic relationships within Heteroptera are still in dispute and most of the previous studies were based on morphological characters or with single gene (partial or whole 18S rDNA). Besides, so far, divergence time estimates for Heteroptera totally rely on the fossil record, while no studies have been performed on molecular divergence rates. Here, for the first time, we used maximum parsimony (MP), maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference (BI) with multiple genes (18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, 16S rDNA and COI) to estimate phylogenetic relationships among the infraorders, and meanwhile, the Penalized Likelihood (r8s) and Bayesian (BEAST) molecular dating methods were employed to estimate divergence time of higher taxa of this suborder. Major results of the present study included: Nepomorpha was placed as the most basal clade in all six trees (MP trees, ML trees and Bayesian trees of nuclear gene data and four-gene combined data, respectively) with full support values. The sister-group relationship of Cimicomorpha and Pentatomomorpha was also strongly supported. Nepomorpha originated in early Triassic and the other six infraorders originated in a very short period of time in middle Triassic. Cimicomorpha and Pentatomomorpha underwent a radiation at family level in Cretaceous, paralleling the proliferation of the flowering plants. Our results indicated that the higher-group radiations within hemimetabolous Heteroptera were simultaneously with those of holometabolous Coleoptera and Diptera which took place in the Triassic. While the aquatic habitat was colonized by Nepomorpha already in the Triassic, the Gerromorpha independently adapted to the semi-aquatic habitat in the Early Jurassic. PMID:22384163

  10. Higher level phylogeny and the first divergence time estimation of Heteroptera (Insecta: Hemiptera) based on multiple genes.

    PubMed

    Li, Min; Tian, Ying; Zhao, Ying; Bu, Wenjun

    2012-01-01

    Heteroptera, or true bugs, are the largest, morphologically diverse and economically important group of insects with incomplete metamorphosis. However, the phylogenetic relationships within Heteroptera are still in dispute and most of the previous studies were based on morphological characters or with single gene (partial or whole 18S rDNA). Besides, so far, divergence time estimates for Heteroptera totally rely on the fossil record, while no studies have been performed on molecular divergence rates. Here, for the first time, we used maximum parsimony (MP), maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference (BI) with multiple genes (18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, 16S rDNA and COI) to estimate phylogenetic relationships among the infraorders, and meanwhile, the Penalized Likelihood (r8s) and Bayesian (BEAST) molecular dating methods were employed to estimate divergence time of higher taxa of this suborder. Major results of the present study included: Nepomorpha was placed as the most basal clade in all six trees (MP trees, ML trees and Bayesian trees of nuclear gene data and four-gene combined data, respectively) with full support values. The sister-group relationship of Cimicomorpha and Pentatomomorpha was also strongly supported. Nepomorpha originated in early Triassic and the other six infraorders originated in a very short period of time in middle Triassic. Cimicomorpha and Pentatomomorpha underwent a radiation at family level in Cretaceous, paralleling the proliferation of the flowering plants. Our results indicated that the higher-group radiations within hemimetabolous Heteroptera were simultaneously with those of holometabolous Coleoptera and Diptera which took place in the Triassic. While the aquatic habitat was colonized by Nepomorpha already in the Triassic, the Gerromorpha independently adapted to the semi-aquatic habitat in the Early Jurassic. PMID:22384163

  11. What Happened to Gray Whales during the Pleistocene? The Ecological Impact of Sea-Level Change on Benthic Feeding Areas in the North Pacific Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Pyenson, Nicholas D.; Lindberg, David R.

    2011-01-01

    Background Gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) undertake long migrations, from Baja California to Alaska, to feed on seasonally productive benthos of the Bering and Chukchi seas. The invertebrates that form their primary prey are restricted to shallow water environments, but global sea-level changes during the Pleistocene eliminated or reduced this critical habitat multiple times. Because the fossil record of gray whales is coincident with the onset of Northern Hemisphere glaciation, gray whales survived these massive changes to their feeding habitat, but it is unclear how. Methodology/Principal Findings We reconstructed gray whale carrying capacity fluctuations during the past 120,000 years by quantifying gray whale feeding habitat availability using bathymetric data for the North Pacific Ocean, constrained by their maximum diving depth. We calculated carrying capacity based on modern estimates of metabolic demand, prey availability, and feeding duration; we also constrained our estimates to reflect current population size and account for glaciated and non-glaciated areas in the North Pacific. Our results show that key feeding areas eliminated by sea-level lowstands were not replaced by commensurate areas. Our reconstructions show that such reductions affected carrying capacity, and harmonic means of these fluctuations do not differ dramatically from genetic estimates of carrying capacity. Conclusions/Significance Assuming current carrying capacity estimates, Pleistocene glacial maxima may have created multiple, weak genetic bottlenecks, although the current temporal resolution of genetic datasets does not test for such signals. Our results do not, however, falsify molecular estimates of pre-whaling population size because those abundances would have been sufficient to survive the loss of major benthic feeding areas (i.e., the majority of the Bering Shelf) during glacial maxima. We propose that gray whales survived the disappearance of their primary feeding ground

  12. Advances in low level uranium and plutonium isotope mass spectrometry using multiple ion counting and filament carburization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richter, S.; Jakopic, R.; Kuehn, H.; Alonso, A.; Aregbe, Y.

    2008-12-01

    After upgrading IRMM's mass spectrometric capabilities for certification measurements for uranium and plutonium using large sample sizes during the previous years, in 2006-2007 we focused on necessary improvements in the area of low-level isotopic analyses for uranium and plutonium. This project was driven firstly by the need for reliable verification measurements for the Nuclear Signatures Measurement Evaluation Programme (NUSIMEP) samples at IRMM, secondly by the need for verification measurements on single uranium oxide reference particles and thirdly by the request from the IAEA's Safeguards Analytical Laboratory (SAL) to provide assistance for this type of analyses through the EC support programme. Improving low-level isotope mass spectrometry for uranium and plutonium at IRMM consisted of three steps. First a new thermal ionization mass spectrometer was acquired in order to have an instrument which can be used for peak-jumping measurements in ion counting mode, and which can be subsequently upgraded with a "Multiple Ion Counting" (MIC) system. This detector system allows the simultaneous detection of up to seven small ion beams with currents of 10-19 - 10-14 Ampere in ion counting mode, corresponding to count rates of 1-60.000 counts per second. As a result of test measurements with the MIC system it turned out that static measurements using the MIC system with a sample-versus-standard type external calibration can be associated with uncertainties even higher than in peak-jumping mode. The second step of improvement to tackle this situation was to implement the principle of "multi-dynamic" measurements for both uranium and plutonium measurements. This "multi- dynamic" measurement procedure provides an internal calibration of the MIC system and therefore circumvents the need for complicated inter-calibration routines. As a third step, a filament carburization procedure was implemented by which the ionization efficiencies for uranium and plutonium were improved

  13. Ecological survey for the siting of the Mixed and Low-Level Waste Treatment Facility and the Idaho Waste Processing Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Hoskinson, R.L.

    1994-05-01

    This report summarizes the results of field ecological surveys conducted by the Center for Integrated Environmental Technologies (CIET) on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) at four candidate locations for the siting of the Mixed and Low-Level Waste Treatment Facility (MLLWTF) and the Idaho Waste Processing Facility (IWPF). The purpose of these surveys was to comply with all Federal laws and Executive Orders to identify and evaluate any potential environmental impacts because of the project. The boundaries of the candidate location were marked with blaze-orange lath survey marker stakes by the project management. Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements of the marker stakes were made, and input to the Arc/Info{reg_sign} geographic information system (GIS). Field surveys were conducted to assess any potential impact to any important species, important habitats, and to any environmental study areas. The GIS location data was overlayed onto the INEL vegetation map and an analysis of vegetation classes on the locations was done. Results of the field surveys indicate use of Candidate Location {number_sign}1 by pygmy rabbits (Sylvilagus idahoensis) and expected use by them of Candidate Locations {number_sign}3 and {number_sign}9. Pygmy rabbits are categorized as a C2 species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Two other C2 species, the ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis) and the loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) would also be expected to frequent the candidate locations. Candidate Location {number_sign}5 at the north end of the INEL is in the winter range of a large number of pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana).

  14. Levels of linoleate and arachidonate in red blood cells of healthy individuals and patients with multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed Central

    Homa, S T; Belin, J; Smith, A D; Monro, J A; Zilkha, K J

    1980-01-01

    The major fatty acids were measured in total lipid extracts of red blood cells from 23 control subjects and 31 patients with multiple sclerosis. In the healthy control subjects an inverse correlation (r = -0.83) was found between the percentages of linoleate and arachidonate. In the patients such an inverse correlation was not found. The results suggest an abnormality in the red blood cells of patients with multiple sclerosis specifically with regard to the regulation of the relative amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, and this has implications for the possible treatment of multiple sclerosis with dietary supplements. PMID:7359147

  15. A geometric sequence that accurately describes allowed multiple conductance levels of ion channels: the "three-halves (3/2) rule".

    PubMed Central

    Pollard, J R; Arispe, N; Rojas, E; Pollard, H B

    1994-01-01

    Ion channels can express multiple conductance levels that are not integer multiples of some unitary conductance, and that interconvert among one another. We report here that for 26 different types of multiple conductance channels, all allowed conductance levels can be calculated accurately using the geometric sequence gn = g(o) (3/2)n, where gn is a conductance level and n is an integer > or = 0. We refer to this relationship as the "3/2 Rule," because the value of any term in the sequence of conductances (gn) can be calculated as 3/2 times the value of the preceding term (gn-1). The experimentally determined average value for "3/2" is 1.491 +/- 0.095 (sample size = 37, average +/- SD). We also verify the choice of a 3/2 ratio on the basis of error analysis over the range of ratio values between 1.1 and 2.0. In an independent analysis using Marquardt's algorithm, we further verified the 3/2 ratio and the assignment of specific conductances to specific terms in the geometric sequence. Thus, irrespective of the open time probability, the allowed conductance levels of these channels can be described accurately to within approximately 6%. We anticipate that the "3/2 Rule" will simplify description of multiple conductance channels in a wide variety of biological systems and provide an organizing principle for channel heterogeneity and differential effects of channel blockers. PMID:7524712

  16. The Effects of Multiple Intelligences Instructional Strategy on the Environmental Awareness Knowledge and Environmental Attitude Levels of Elementary Students in Science Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bas, Gökhan

    2010-01-01

    The aim of the research was to investigate the effects of Multiple Intelligences strategy and traditional methods of instruction on elementary students' environmental awareness knowledge levels and their attitudes towards the environment. The pre/post-test control group research model was used in this study. The research was carried out in…

  17. Ecological niche

    SciTech Connect

    Shugart, H.H.

    1980-01-01

    The ecological niche of an organism is the set of environmental conditions under which the particular functions of the organism could be expected to assure its survival. It comprises both the set of conditions where the organism lives (often termed the habitat of the organism) and the functional role of the organism in the ecosystem. Recent works in niche theory have enabled ecologists to develop predictions and actual applications. The history of the niche concept, applications of niche theory, and ecological differences between similar species are discussed.

  18. Automated experimentation in ecological networks

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background In ecological networks, natural communities are studied from a complex systems perspective by representing interactions among species within them in the form of a graph, which is in turn analysed using mathematical tools. Topological features encountered in complex networks have been proved to provide the systems they represent with interesting attributes such as robustness and stability, which in ecological systems translates into the ability of communities to resist perturbations of different kinds. A focus of research in community ecology is on understanding the mechanisms by which these complex networks of interactions among species in a community arise. We employ an agent-based approach to model ecological processes operating at the species' interaction level for the study of the emergence of organisation in ecological networks. Results We have designed protocols of interaction among agents in a multi-agent system based on ecological processes occurring at the interaction level between species in plant-animal mutualistic communities. Interaction models for agents coordination thus engineered facilitate the emergence of network features such as those found in ecological networks of interacting species, in our artificial societies of agents. Conclusions Agent based models developed in this way facilitate the automation of the design an execution of simulation experiments that allow for the exploration of diverse behavioural mechanisms believed to be responsible for community organisation in ecological communities. This automated way of conducting experiments empowers the study of ecological networks by exploiting the expressive power of interaction models specification in agent systems. PMID:21554669

  19. An Ecological Study of Community-Level Correlates of Suicide Mortality Rates in the Flemish Region of Belgium, 1996-2005

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hooghe, Marc; Vanhoutte, Bram

    2011-01-01

    An ecological study of age-standardized suicide rates in Belgian communities (1996-2005) was conducted using spatial regression techniques. Community characteristics were significantly related to suicide rates. There was mixed support for the social integration perspective: single person households were associated with higher suicide rates, while…

  20. Explaining diversity of livestock-farming management strategies of multiple-job holders: importance of level of production objectives and role of farming in the household.

    PubMed

    Fiorelli, C; Dedieu, B; Pailleux, J-Y

    2007-09-01

    We characterised the livestock-farming management strategies of multiple-job holders and identified which variables contributed most to the differentiation of these strategies. We hypothesised that they would mainly be differentiated by the contribution of the farming income to the total household income and the availability of the household members for farming. The multiple-job holding livestock-farmer's motivations, decisions and actions about both multiple-job holding and livestock farming were obtained in semi-directed interviews of 35 sheep farmers who held multiple jobs, on farm and off farm. They were synthesised into six variables characterising the diversity of the livestock-farming objectives and management guidelines. Thanks to a multiple factorial analysis, we showed that the diversity of the sheep-farming management strategies of multiple-job holders was better explained by two factors 'level of motivation of the farmer to get high technical results' and 'more personal fulfilling v. the family business conception of farming', than the factors we hypothesised. Within our sample, the performances ranged from 0.7 to 1.4 weaned lambs per ewe per year. Six sheep-farming management strategies were identified. They illustrated the importance of the level of production objectives and of farming income expectation, which were found to be independent, in explaining diversity. No direct relationship between farm work organisation and sheep-farming management strategy was identified. Explaining the diversity of the livestock-farming management strategies of multiple-job holders appears to require that all the benefits expected from farming and their hierarchy be identified before analysing how they are translated into production objectives and management guidelines.

  1. Trash Ecology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lind, Georgia J.

    2004-01-01

    A hands on activity involving density, frequency and biomass using transects, quadrats and a local good deed by cleaning up the neighborhood while practicing important techniques in ecology is detailed. The activity is designed for KCC-STEP, whose primary goal is to expand the scientific knowledge and research experiences of their students, who…

  2. Ecology, Microbial

    SciTech Connect

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-05-15

    Microbial ecology is a relatively young discipline within the field of microbiology. Its modern history spans just the past 60 years, and the field is defined by its emphasis on understanding the interactions of microbes with their environment, rather than their behavior under artificial laboratory conditions. Because microbes are ubiquitous, microbial ecologists study a broad diversity of habitats that range from aquatic to terrestrial to plant- or animal-associated. This has made it a challenge to identify unifying principles within the field. One approach is to recognize that although the activity of microbes in nature have effects at the macroscale, they interact with their physical, chemical and biological milieu at a scale of micrometers. At this scale, several different microbial ecosystems can be defined, based upon association with particles, the presence of environmental gradients and the continuous availability of water. Principles applicable to microbial ecology reflect not only their population ecology and physiological ecology, but also their broad versatility and quantitative importance in the biosphere as biogeochemical catalysts and capacity for rapid physiological and evolutionary responses.

  3. Ecology, Microbial

    SciTech Connect

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-03-19

    Microbial ecology is a relatively young discipline within the field of microbiology. Its modern history spans just the past 60 years, and the field is defined by its emphasis on understanding the interactions of microbes with their environment, rather than their behavior under artificial laboratory conditions. Because microbes are ubiquitous, microbial ecologists study a broad diversity of habitats that range from aquatic to terrestrial to plant- or animal-associated. This has made it a challenge to identify unifying principles within the field. One approach is to recognize that although the activity of microbes in nature have effects at the macroscale, they interact with their physical, chemical and biological milieu at a scale of micrometers. At this scale, several different microbial ecosystems can be defined, based upon association with particles, the presence of environmental gradients and the continuous availability of water. Principles applicable to microbial ecology reflect not only their population ecology and physiological ecology, but also their broad versatility and quantitative importance in the biosphere as biogeochemical catalysts and capacity for rapid physiological and evolutionary responses.

  4. Defending Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Margolis, Brian

    2000-01-01

    Explains how non-native species' problems in the ecosystem can introduce fundamental ecological principles in the classroom. Provides background information on damages caused by non-native species. Discusses how educators can use this environmental issue in the classroom and gives the example of zebra mussels. Lists instructional strategies for…

  5. Effects of Multiple Intelligences Supported Project-Based Learning on Students' Achievement Levels and Attitudes towards English Lesson

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bas, Gökhan; Beyhan, Ömer

    2010-01-01

    The aim of the research was to investigate the effects of multiple intelligences supported project-based learning and traditional foreign language-teaching environment on students' achievement and their attitude towards English lesson. The research was carried out in 2009-2010 education-instruction year in Karatli Sehit Sahin Yilmaz…

  6. Implementing Standards-Based Multiple Measures for IASA, Title I Accountability Using Sacramento Achievement Levels Test (SALT).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Law, Nancy

    Under the Improving America's Schools Act (IASA), Title I programs are evaluated using standards-based multiple measures. In California, school systems would like to use state standards for the evaluation, but state performance standards are still under development and content standards are very new. The Sacramento City Schools (California) has…

  7. The Autoimmune Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Anaya, Juan-Manuel; Ramirez-Santana, Carolina; Alzate, Maria A.; Molano-Gonzalez, Nicolas; Rojas-Villarraga, Adriana

    2016-01-01

    Autoimmune diseases (ADs) represent a heterogeneous group of disorders that affect specific target organs or multiple organ systems. These conditions share common immunopathogenic mechanisms (i.e., the autoimmune tautology), which explain the clinical similarities they have among them as well as their familial clustering (i.e., coaggregation). As part of the autoimmune tautology, the influence of environmental exposure on the risk of developing ADs is paramount (i.e., the autoimmune ecology). In fact, environment, more than genetics, shapes immune system. Autoimmune ecology is akin to exposome, that is all the exposures – internal and external – across the lifespan, interacting with hereditary factors (both genetics and epigenetics) to favor or protect against autoimmunity and its outcomes. Herein, we provide an overview of the autoimmune ecology, focusing on the immune response to environmental agents in general, and microbiota, cigarette smoking, alcohol and coffee consumption, socioeconomic status (SES), gender and sex hormones, vitamin D, organic solvents, and vaccines in particular. Inclusion of the autoimmune ecology in disease etiology and health will improve the way personalized medicine is currently conceived and applied. PMID:27199979

  8. The Autoimmune Ecology.

    PubMed

    Anaya, Juan-Manuel; Ramirez-Santana, Carolina; Alzate, Maria A; Molano-Gonzalez, Nicolas; Rojas-Villarraga, Adriana

    2016-01-01

    Autoimmune diseases (ADs) represent a heterogeneous group of disorders that affect specific target organs or multiple organ systems. These conditions share common immunopathogenic mechanisms (i.e., the autoimmune tautology), which explain the clinical similarities they have among them as well as their familial clustering (i.e., coaggregation). As part of the autoimmune tautology, the influence of environmental exposure on the risk of developing ADs is paramount (i.e., the autoimmune ecology). In fact, environment, more than genetics, shapes immune system. Autoimmune ecology is akin to exposome, that is all the exposures - internal and external - across the lifespan, interacting with hereditary factors (both genetics and epigenetics) to favor or protect against autoimmunity and its outcomes. Herein, we provide an overview of the autoimmune ecology, focusing on the immune response to environmental agents in general, and microbiota, cigarette smoking, alcohol and coffee consumption, socioeconomic status (SES), gender and sex hormones, vitamin D, organic solvents, and vaccines in particular. Inclusion of the autoimmune ecology in disease etiology and health will improve the way personalized medicine is currently conceived and applied.

  9. An Ecological Understanding of Kinship Foster Care in the United States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hong, Jun Sung; Algood, Carl L.; Chiu, Yu-Ling; Lee, Stephanie Ai-Ping

    2011-01-01

    We review empirical studies on kinship foster care in the United States. We conceptualize kinship foster care within the context of Urie Bronfenbrenner's (1994) most recent ecological systems theory. Because there are multiple levels of influences on the developmental outcomes of children placed in kinship foster home, understanding the…

  10. Functional Molecular Ecological Networks

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Jizhong; Deng, Ye; Luo, Feng; He, Zhili; Tu, Qichao; Zhi, Xiaoyang

    2010-01-01

    Biodiversity and its responses to environmental changes are central issues in ecology and for society. Almost all microbial biodiversity research focuses on “species” richness and abundance but not on their interactions. Although a network approach is powerful in describing ecological interactions among species, defining the network structure in a microbial community is a great challenge. Also, although the stimulating effects of elevated CO2 (eCO2) on plant growth and primary productivity are well established, its influences on belowground microbial communities, especially microbial interactions, are poorly understood. Here, a random matrix theory (RMT)-based conceptual framework for identifying functional molecular ecological networks was developed with the high-throughput functional gene array hybridization data of soil microbial communities in a long-term grassland FACE (free air, CO2 enrichment) experiment. Our results indicate that RMT is powerful in identifying functional molecular ecological networks in microbial communities. Both functional molecular ecological networks under eCO2 and ambient CO2 (aCO2) possessed the general characteristics of complex systems such as scale free, small world, modular, and hierarchical. However, the topological structures of the functional molecular ecological networks are distinctly different between eCO2 and aCO2, at the levels of the entire communities, individual functional gene categories/groups, and functional genes/sequences, suggesting that eCO2 dramatically altered the network interactions among different microbial functional genes/populations. Such a shift in network structure is also significantly correlated with soil geochemical variables. In short, elucidating network interactions in microbial communities and their responses to environmental changes is fundamentally important for research in microbial ecology, systems microbiology, and global change. PMID:20941329

  11. Efficacy of multiple exposure with low level He-Ne laser dose on acute wound healing: a pre-clinical study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prabhu, Vijendra; Rao, Bola Sadashiva S.; Mahato, Krishna Kishore

    2014-02-01

    Investigations on the use of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) for wound healing especially with the red laser light have demonstrated its pro-healing potential on a variety of pre-clinical and surgical wounds. However, until now, in LLLT the effect of multiple exposure of low dose laser irradiation on acute wound healing on well-designed pre-clinical model is not much explored. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of multiple exposure of low dose Helium Neon laser on healing progression of full thickness excision wounds in Swiss albino mice. Further, the efficacy of the multiple exposure of low dose laser irradiation was compared with the single exposure of optimum dose. Full thickness excision wounds (circular) of 15 mm diameter were created, and subsequently illuminated with the multiple exposures (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 exposure/ week until healing) of He-Ne (632.8 nm, 4.02 mWcm-2) laser at 0.5 Jcm-2 along with single exposure of optimum laser dose (2 J/cm-2) and un-illuminated controls. Classical biophysical parameters such as contraction kinetics, area under the curve and the mean healing time were documented as the assessment parameters to examine the efficacy of multiple exposures with low level laser dose. Experimental findings substantiated that either single or multiple exposures of 0.5 J/cm2 failed to produce any detectable alterations on wound contraction, area under the curve and mean healing time compared to single exposure of optimum dose (2 Jcm-2) and un-illuminated controls. Single exposure of optimum, laser dose was found to be ideal for acute wound healing.

  12. Mitonuclear Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Geoffrey E.

    2015-01-01

    Eukaryotes were born of a chimeric union between two prokaryotes—the progenitors of the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. Early in eukaryote evolution, most mitochondrial genes were lost or transferred to the nucleus, but a core set of genes that code exclusively for products associated with the electron transport system remained in the mitochondrion. The products of these mitochondrial genes work in intimate association with the products of nuclear genes to enable oxidative phosphorylation and core energy production. The need for coadaptation, the challenge of cotransmission, and the possibility of genomic conflict between mitochondrial and nuclear genes have profound consequences for the ecology and evolution of eukaryotic life. An emerging interdisciplinary field that I call “mitonuclear ecology” is reassessing core concepts in evolutionary ecology including sexual reproduction, two sexes, sexual selection, adaptation, and speciation in light of the interactions of mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. PMID:25931514

  13. The ecology of spatial memory in four lemur species.

    PubMed

    Rosati, Alexandra G; Rodriguez, Kerri; Hare, Brian

    2014-07-01

    Evolutionary theories suggest that ecology is a major factor shaping cognition in primates. However, there have been few systematic tests of spatial memory abilities involving multiple primate species. Here, we examine spatial memory skills in four strepsirrhine primates that vary in level of frugivory: ruffed lemurs (Varecia sp.), ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz), and Coquerel's sifakas (Propithecus coquereli). We compare these species across three studies targeting different aspects of spatial memory: recall after a long-delay, learning mechanisms support