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. Ecologically relevant levels of multiple, common marine stressors suggest antagonistic effects.

    PubMed

    Lange, Rolanda; Marshall, Dustin

    2017-07-24

    Stressors associated with global change will be experienced simultaneously and may act synergistically, so attempts to estimate the capacity of marine systems to cope with global change requires a multi-stressor approach. Because recent evidence suggests that stressor effects can be context-dependent, estimates of how stressors are experienced in ecologically realistic settings will be particularly valuable. To enhance our understanding of the interplay between environmental effects and the impact of multiple stressors from both natural and anthropogenic sources, we conducted a field experiment. We explored the impact of multiple, functionally varied stressors from both natural and anthropogenic sources experienced during early life history in a common sessile marine invertebrate, Bugula neritina. Natural spatial environmental variation induced differences in conspecific densities, allowing us to test for density-driven context-dependence of stressor effects. We indeed found density-dependent effects. Under high conspecific density, individual survival increased, which offset part of the negative effects of experiencing stressors. Experiencing multiple stressors early in life history translated to a decreased survival in the field, albeit the effects were not as drastic as we expected: our results are congruent with antagonistic stressor effects. We speculate that when individual stressors are more subtle, stressor synergies become less common.

  4. Ecological Soil Screening Level

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Eco-SSL derivation process is used to derive a set of risk-based ecological soil screening levels (Eco-SSLs) for many of the soil contaminants that are frequently of ecological concern for plants and animals at hazardous waste sites.

  5. Coastal urban lighting has ecological consequences for multiple trophic levels under the sea.

    PubMed

    Bolton, D; Mayer-Pinto, M; Clark, G F; Dafforn, K A; Brassil, W A; Becker, A; Johnston, E L

    2017-01-15

    Urban land and seascapes are increasingly exposed to artificial lighting at night (ALAN), which is a significant source of light pollution. A broad range of ecological effects are associated with ALAN, but the changes to ecological processes remain largely unstudied. Predation is a key ecological process that structures assemblages and responds to natural cycles of light and dark. We investigated the effect of ALAN on fish predatory behaviour, and sessile invertebrate prey assemblages. Over 21days fish and sessile assemblages were exposed to 3 light treatments (Day, Night and ALAN). An array of LED spotlights was installed under a wharf to create the ALAN treatments. We used GoPro cameras to film during the day and ALAN treatments, and a Dual frequency IDentification SONar (DIDSON) to film during the night treatments. Fish were most abundant during unlit nights, but were also relatively sedentary. Predatory behaviour was greatest during the day and under ALAN than at night, suggesting that fish are using structures for non-feeding purposes (e.g. shelter) at night, but artificial light dramatically increases their predatory behaviour. Altered predator behaviour corresponded with structural changes to sessile prey assemblages among the experimental lighting treatments. We demonstrate the direct effects of artificial lighting on fish behaviour and the concomitant indirect effects on sessile assemblage structure. Current and future projected use of artificial lights has the potential to significantly affect predator-prey interactions in marine systems by altering habitat use for both predators and prey. However, developments in lighting technology are a promising avenue for mitigation. This is among the first empirical evidence from the marine system on how ALAN can directly alter predation, a fundamental ecosystem process, and have indirect trophic consequences. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

  7. Decision-making in child protective services: Influences at multiple levels of the social ecology.

    PubMed

    Font, Sarah A; Maguire-Jack, Kathryn

    2015-09-01

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. 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

  9. Multiple ecological pathways to extinction in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Ana D.; Hamilton, Marcus J.; Boyer, Alison G.; Brown, James H.; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2009-01-01

    As human population and resource demands continue to grow, biodiversity conservation has never been more critical. About one-quarter of all mammals are in danger of extinction, and more than half of all mammal populations are in decline. A major priority for conservation science is to understand the ecological traits that predict extinction risk and the interactions among those predictors that make certain species more vulnerable than others. Here, using a new database of nearly 4,500 mammal species, we use decision-tree models to quantify the multiple interacting factors associated with extinction risk. We show that the correlates of extinction risk vary widely across mammals and that there are unique pathways to extinction for species with different lifestyles and combinations of traits. We find that risk is relative and that all kinds of mammals, across all body sizes, can be at risk depending on their specific ecologies. Our results increase the understanding of extinction processes, generate simple rules of thumb that identify species at greatest risk, and highlight the potential of decision-tree analyses to inform conservation efforts. PMID:19528635

  10. Field Level RNAi-Mediated Resistance to Cassava Brown Streak Disease across Multiple Cropping Cycles and Diverse East African Agro-Ecological Locations.

    PubMed

    Wagaba, Henry; Beyene, Getu; Aleu, Jude; Odipio, John; Okao-Okuja, Geoffrey; Chauhan, Raj Deepika; Munga, Theresia; Obiero, Hannington; Halsey, Mark E; Ilyas, Muhammad; Raymond, Peter; Bua, Anton; Taylor, Nigel J; Miano, Douglas; Alicai, Titus

    2016-01-01

    Cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) presents a serious threat to cassava production in East and Central Africa. Currently, no cultivars with high levels of resistance to CBSD are available to farmers. Transgenic RNAi technology was employed to combat CBSD by fusing coat protein (CP) sequences from Ugandan cassava brown streak virus (UCBSV) and Cassava brown streak virus (CBSV) to create an inverted repeat construct (p5001) driven by the constitutive Cassava vein mosaic virus promoter. Twenty-five plant lines of cultivar TME 204 expressing varying levels of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) were established in confined field trials (CFTs) in Uganda and Kenya. Within an initial CFT at Namulonge, Uganda, non-transgenic TME 204 plants developed foliar and storage root CBSD incidences at 96-100% by 12 months after planting. In contrast, 16 of the 25 p5001 transgenic lines showed no foliar symptoms and had less than 8% of their storage roots symptomatic for CBSD. A direct positive correlation was seen between levels of resistance to CBSD and expression of transgenic CP-derived siRNAs. A subsequent CFT was established at Namulonge using stem cuttings from the initial trial. All transgenic lines established remained asymptomatic for CBSD, while 98% of the non-transgenic TME 204 stake-derived plants developed storage roots symptomatic for CBSD. Similarly, very high levels of resistance to CBSD were demonstrated by TME 204 p5001 RNAi lines grown within a CFT over a full cropping cycle at Mtwapa, coastal Kenya. Sequence analysis of CBSD causal viruses present at the trial sites showed that the transgenic lines were exposed to both CBSV and UCBSV, and that the sequenced isolates shared >90% CP identity with transgenic CP sequences expressed by the p5001 inverted repeat expression cassette. These results demonstrate very high levels of field resistance to CBSD conferred by the p5001 RNAi construct at diverse agro-ecological locations, and across the vegetative cropping cycle.

  11. Field Level RNAi-Mediated Resistance to Cassava Brown Streak Disease across Multiple Cropping Cycles and Diverse East African Agro-Ecological Locations

    PubMed Central

    Wagaba, Henry; Beyene, Getu; Aleu, Jude; Odipio, John; Okao-Okuja, Geoffrey; Chauhan, Raj Deepika; Munga, Theresia; Obiero, Hannington; Halsey, Mark E.; Ilyas, Muhammad; Raymond, Peter; Bua, Anton; Taylor, Nigel J.; Miano, Douglas; Alicai, Titus

    2017-01-01

    Cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) presents a serious threat to cassava production in East and Central Africa. Currently, no cultivars with high levels of resistance to CBSD are available to farmers. Transgenic RNAi technology was employed to combat CBSD by fusing coat protein (CP) sequences from Ugandan cassava brown streak virus (UCBSV) and Cassava brown streak virus (CBSV) to create an inverted repeat construct (p5001) driven by the constitutive Cassava vein mosaic virus promoter. Twenty-five plant lines of cultivar TME 204 expressing varying levels of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) were established in confined field trials (CFTs) in Uganda and Kenya. Within an initial CFT at Namulonge, Uganda, non-transgenic TME 204 plants developed foliar and storage root CBSD incidences at 96–100% by 12 months after planting. In contrast, 16 of the 25 p5001 transgenic lines showed no foliar symptoms and had less than 8% of their storage roots symptomatic for CBSD. A direct positive correlation was seen between levels of resistance to CBSD and expression of transgenic CP-derived siRNAs. A subsequent CFT was established at Namulonge using stem cuttings from the initial trial. All transgenic lines established remained asymptomatic for CBSD, while 98% of the non-transgenic TME 204 stake-derived plants developed storage roots symptomatic for CBSD. Similarly, very high levels of resistance to CBSD were demonstrated by TME 204 p5001 RNAi lines grown within a CFT over a full cropping cycle at Mtwapa, coastal Kenya. Sequence analysis of CBSD causal viruses present at the trial sites showed that the transgenic lines were exposed to both CBSV and UCBSV, and that the sequenced isolates shared >90% CP identity with transgenic CP sequences expressed by the p5001 inverted repeat expression cassette. These results demonstrate very high levels of field resistance to CBSD conferred by the p5001 RNAi construct at diverse agro-ecological locations, and across the vegetative cropping cycle

  12. 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…

  13. Interactions between temperature and nutrients across levels of ecological organization.

    PubMed

    Cross, Wyatt F; Hood, James M; Benstead, Jonathan P; Huryn, Alexander D; Nelson, Daniel

    2015-03-01

    Temperature and nutrient availability play key roles in controlling the pathways and rates at which energy and materials move through ecosystems. These factors have also changed dramatically on Earth over the past century as human activities have intensified. Although significant effort has been devoted to understanding the role of temperature and nutrients in isolation, less is known about how these two factors interact to influence ecological processes. Recent advances in ecological stoichiometry and metabolic ecology provide a useful framework for making progress in this area, but conceptual synthesis and review are needed to help catalyze additional research. Here, we examine known and potential interactions between temperature and nutrients from a variety of physiological, community, and ecosystem perspectives. We first review patterns at the level of the individual, focusing on four traits--growth, respiration, body size, and elemental content--that should theoretically govern how temperature and nutrients interact to influence higher levels of biological organization. We next explore the interactive effects of temperature and nutrients on populations, communities, and food webs by synthesizing information related to community size spectra, biomass distributions, and elemental composition. We use metabolic theory to make predictions about how population-level secondary production should respond to interactions between temperature and resource supply, setting up qualitative predictions about the flows of energy and materials through metazoan food webs. Last, we examine how temperature-nutrient interactions influence processes at the whole-ecosystem level, focusing on apparent vs. intrinsic activation energies of ecosystem processes, how to represent temperature-nutrient interactions in ecosystem models, and patterns with respect to nutrient uptake and organic matter decomposition. We conclude that a better understanding of interactions between temperature and

  14. Integrated presentation of ecological risk from multiple stressors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

    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.

  15. Integrated presentation of ecological risk from multiple stressors.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-26

    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.

  16. 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

  17. Ecological Validity of Walking Capacity Tests in Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Stellmann, J. P.; Neuhaus, A.; Götze, N.; Briken, S.; Lederer, C.; Schimpl, M.; Heesen, C.; Daumer, M.

    2015-01-01

    Background Ecological validity implicates in how far clinical assessments refer to real life. Short clinical gait tests up to ten meters and 2- or 6-Minutes Walking Tests (2MWT/6MWT) are used as performance-based outcomes in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) studies and considered as moderately associated with real life mobility. Objective To investigate the ecological validity of 10 Meter Walking Test (10mWT), 2MWT and 6MWT. Methods Persons with MS performed 10mWT, 6MWT including 2MWT and 7 recorded days by accelerometry. Ecological validity was assumed if walking tests represented a typical walking sequence in real-life and correlations with accelerometry parameters were strong. Results In this cohort (n=28, medians: age=45, EDSS=3.2, disease duration=9 years), uninterrupted walking of 2 or 6 minutes occurred not frequent in real life (2.61 and 0.35 sequences/day). 10mWT correlated only with slow walking speed quantiles in real life. 2MWT and 6MWT correlated moderately with most real life walking parameters. Conclusion Clinical gait tests over a few meters have a poor ecological validity while validity is moderate for 2MWT and 6MWT. Mobile accelerometry offers the opportunity to control and improve the ecological validity of MS mobility outcomes. PMID:25879750

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Vitamin D Levels Predict Multiple Sclerosis Progression

    MedlinePlus

    ... Research Matters NIH Research Matters February 3, 2014 Vitamin D Levels Predict Multiple Sclerosis Progression Among people ... sclerosis (MS), those with higher blood levels of vitamin D had better outcomes during 5 years of ...

  1. 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.

  2. Screening-Level Ecological Risk Assessment Methods, Revision 3

    SciTech Connect

    Mirenda, Richard J.

    2012-08-16

    This document provides guidance for screening-level assessments of potential adverse impacts to ecological resources from release of environmental contaminants at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL or the Laboratory). The methods presented are based on two objectives, namely: to provide a basis for reaching consensus with regulators, managers, and other interested parties on how to conduct screening-level ecological risk investigations at the Laboratory; and to provide guidance for ecological risk assessors under the Environmental Programs (EP) Directorate. This guidance promotes consistency, rigor, and defensibility in ecological screening investigations and in reporting those investigation results. The purpose of the screening assessment is to provide information to the risk managers so informed riskmanagement decisions can be made. This document provides examples of recommendations and possible risk-management strategies.

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

    PubMed

    Burger, Joanna

    2015-06-01

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Integrating urbanization into landscape-level ecological assessments.

    Treesearch

    Jeffrey D. Kline; Alissa Moses; Ralph J. Alig

    2001-01-01

    Economists and ecologists are often asked to collaborate on landscape-level analyses designed to jointly assess economic and ecological conditions resulting from environmental policy scenarios. This trend toward multidisciplinary projects, coupled with the growing use of geographic information systems, has led to the development policy scenarios. This trend toward...

  9. ECOLOGICAL SOIL SCREENING LEVELS FOR SOIL INVERTEBRATES AND PLANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological Soil Screening Levels (Eco-SSLs) are being developed for 24 inorganic and inorganic chemicals for soil invertebrates and plants using procedures developed by a Task Group of the USEPA Eco-SSL Work Group. The Eco-SSL Work Group is a collaboration among USEPA, DoD, DOE, ...

  10. Multi-level human evolution: ecological patterns in hominin phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Parravicini, Andrea; Pievani, Telmo

    2016-06-20

    Evolution is a process that occurs at many different levels, from genes to ecosystems. Genetic variations and ecological pressures are hence two sides of the same coin; but due both to fragmentary evidence and to the influence of a gene-centered and gradualistic approach to evolutionary phenomena, the field of paleoanthropology has been slow to take the role of macro-evolutionary patterns (i.e. ecological and biogeographical at large scale) seriously. However, several very recent findings in paleoanthropology stress both climate instability and ecological disturbance as key factors affecting the highly branching hominin phylogeny, from the earliest hominins to the appearance of cognitively modern humans. Allopatric speciation due to geographic displacement, turnover-pulses of species, adaptive radiation, mosaic evolution of traits in several coeval species, bursts of behavioral innovation, serial dispersals out of Africa, are just some of the macro-evolutionary patterns emerging from the field. The multilevel approach to evolution proposed by paleontologist Niles Eldredge is adopted here as interpretative tool, and has yielded a larger picture of human evolution that integrates different levels of evolutionary change, from local adaptations in limited ecological niches to dispersal phenotypes able to colonize an unprecedented range of ecosystems. Changes in global climate and Earth's surface most greatly affected human evolution. Precisely because it is cognitively hard for us to appreciate the long-term common destiny we share with the whole biosphere, it is particularly valuable to highlight the accumulating evidence that human evolution has been deeply affected by global ecological changes that transformed our African continent of origin.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. Understanding multiple ecological responses to anthropogenic disturbance: rivers and potential flow regime change.

    PubMed

    Leigh, Catherine; Stewart-Koster, Ben; Sheldon, Fran; Burford, Michele A

    2012-01-01

    Human-induced alteration of the natural flow regime is a major threat to freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity. The effects of hydrological alteration on the structural and functional attributes of riverine communities are expected to be multiple and complex, and they may not be described easily by a single model. Based on existing knowledge of key hydrological and ecological attributes, we explored potential effects of a flow-regulation scenario on macroinvertebrate assemblage composition and diversity in two river systems in Australia's relatively undeveloped wet-dry tropics. We used a single Bayesian belief network (BBN) to model potential changes in multiple assemblage attributes within each river type during dry and wet seasons given two flow scenarios: the current, near-natural flow condition, and flow regulation. We then used multidimensional scaling (MDS) ordination to visually summarize and compare the most probable attributes of assemblages and their environment under the different scenarios. The flow-regulation scenario provided less certainty in the ecological responses of one river type during the dry season, which reduced the ability to make predictions from the BBN outputs directly. However, visualizing the BBN results in an ordination highlighted similarities and differences between the scenarios that may have been otherwise difficult to ascertain. In particular, the MDS showed that flow regulation would reduce the seasonal differentiation in hydrology and assemblage characteristics that is expected under the current low level of development. Our approach may have wider application in understanding ecosystem responses to different river management practices and should be transferred easily to other ecosystems or biotic assemblages to provide researchers, managers, and decision makers an enhanced understanding of ecological responses to potential anthropogenic disturbance.

  15. 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. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2014 British Ecological Society.

  16. 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.

  17. Ecology predicts levels of genetic differentiation in neotropical birds.

    PubMed

    Burney, Curtis W; Brumfield, Robb T

    2009-09-01

    Despite the theoretical link between the ecology and the population genetics of species, little empirical evidence is available that corroborates the association. Here, we examined genetic variation in 40 codistributed species of lowland Neotropical rain forest birds that have populations isolated on either side of the Andes, the Amazon River, and the Madeira River. We found widely varying levels of genetic divergence among these taxa across the same biogeographic barriers. Our investigation of the extent to which ecological traits predicted the amount of cross-barrier divergence revealed a strongly significant relationship between the forest stratum at which a species forages and the level of cross-barrier genetic differentiation. Canopy species had statistically lower genetic divergence values across the Andes and the two Amazonian rivers than did understory birds. We hypothesize that the association reflects an effect of dispersal propensity, which is greater in canopy birds, on the movement of alleles among demes (i.e., migration) and, consequently, on the interdemic proportion of the genetic variance. Differences in dispersal propensity may also explain the observation that understory species contain a significantly greater number of subspecies than do canopy species. This result indicates that higher rates of diversification may occur in lineages with lower dispersal propensity.

  18. ECOLOGICAL SOIL SCREENING LEVELS (ECO-SSLS) FOR SUPERFUND

    EPA Science Inventory

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has established ecological soil screening values for 24 soil contaminants frequently of ecological concern for terrestrial plants and animals at hazardous waste sites. The Eco-SSL derivation process represents the collaborative effor...

  19. Benchmarks for Developing Ecological Soil Screening Levels (ECO-SSL): Effects of Selenium on Soil Invertebrates

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-12-01

    use in developing an Eco -SSL for soil invertebrates; experimental design and results undergo quality assurance before inclusion of benchmarks in...BENCHMARKS FOR DEVELOPING ECOLOGICAL SOIL SCREENING LEVELS ( ECO -SSL): EFFECTS OF SELENIUM ON SOIL INVERTEBRATES Ronald T. Checkai, Michael...and Air Force, has established national guidance and SOPs for deriving Ecological Soil Screening Levels ( Eco -SSL) for ecological receptors

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. Disturbance patterns in a socio-ecological system at multiple scales

    Treesearch

    G. Zurlini; Kurt H. Riitters; N. Zaccarelli; I. Petrosillo; K.B. Jones; L. Rossi

    2006-01-01

    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 reflect, the spatial patterns and scales of constraining human interactions with the...

  3. Summary Report: Risk Assessment Forum Technical Workshop on Population-level Ecological Risk Assessment

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    2008 technical workshop regarding development of additional guidelines or best practices for planning, implementing and interpreting ecological risk assessments that involve population-level assessment endpoints.

  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. 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…

  6. Arsenic levels in ground water and cancer incidence in Idaho: an ecologic study.

    PubMed

    Han, Yueh-Ying; Weissfeld, Joel L; Davis, Devra L; Talbott, Evelyn O

    2009-07-01

    Long-term exposure to arsenic above 50 microg/L in drinking water has been related to multiple types of cancers. Few epidemiologic studies conducted in the US have detected an association between regional exposures below this level in drinking water and corresponding cancer occurrence rates. This county-level ecologic study evaluates arsenic levels in ground water and its association with targeted cancer incidence in Idaho, where some regions have been found to contain higher arsenic levels. Using cancer incidence data (1991-2005) from the Cancer Data Registry of Idaho and arsenic data (1991-2005) from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, we calculated the age-adjusted incidence rate for cancers of the urinary bladder, kidney and renal pelvis, liver and bile duct, lung and bronchus, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), and all malignant cancers according to arsenic levels in ground water. Multivariate regression analysis was applied to evaluate the relationship between arsenic levels in ground water and cancer incidence. For males, but not for females, age-adjusted incidence for lung cancer and all malignant cancers was significantly higher in the intermediate arsenic counties (2-9 microg/L, n = 16) and the high arsenic counties (>or=10 microg/L, n = 5) compared to the low arsenic counties (<2.0 microg/L, n = 23). When adjusted for race, gender, population density, smoking and body mass index (BMI), no relationship was found between arsenic levels in ground water and cancer incidence. In this ecological design, exposure to low-level arsenic in ground water is not associated with cancer incidence when adjusting for salient variables. For populations residing in southwestern Idaho, where arsenic has been found to exceed 10 microg/L in ground water, individual risk assessment is required in order to determine whether there is a link between long-term arsenic exposure at these levels and cancer risk.

  7. Flexible optical encryption with multiple users and multiple security levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishchal, Naveen K.; Naughton, Thomas J.

    2011-02-01

    We present a basic optical encryption architecture that admits several cryptography applications based on multiplexing. Users can decrypt different private images from the same encrypted image, a superuser can have a key that decrypts all encrypted images, and multiplexed images can be encrypted with different levels of security. This system is presented in the context of a general framework of optical encryption application development. We illustrate with a real-world three-dimensional scene, captured with digital holography, and encrypted using the fractional Fourier transform, where different users have access to different three-dimensional objects in the scene.

  8. An ecological method for the sampling of nonverbal signalling behaviours of young children with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD).

    PubMed

    Atkin, Keith; Lorch, Marjorie Perlman

    2016-08-01

    Profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) are a complex range of disabilities that affect the general health and well-being of the individual and their capacity to interact and learn. We developed a new methodology to capture the non-symbolic signalling behaviours of children with PMLD within the context of a face-to-face interaction with a caregiver to provide analysis at a micro-level of descriptive detail incorporating the use of the ELAN digital video software. The signalling behaviours of participants in a natural, everyday interaction can be better understood with the use of this innovation in methodology, which is predicated on the ecology of communication. Recognition of the developmental ability of the participants is an integral factor within that ecology. The method presented establishes an advanced account of the modalities through which a child affected by PMLD is able to communicate.

  9. Spill prevention using multiple level measurement technologies

    SciTech Connect

    Bahner, M.

    1995-12-31

    This paper demonstrates that for spill prevention of aboveground storage tanks, a multiple technology system gives the best security in avoiding costly spills. A combination of RF Admittance (Capacitance) switches and Ultrasonic Gap Switches gives the best available combination of high and high-high alarming. RF Admittance switches handle the widest range of process conditions while ultrasonic gap switches feature no calibration for added security. Both of these technologies may be equipped with self-checking diagnostics and full functional testing of the entire spill prevention control loop.

  10. mMWeb - An Online Platform for Employing Multiple Ecological Niche Modeling Algorithms

    PubMed Central

    Qiao, Huijie; Lin, Congtian; Ji, Liqiang; Jiang, Zhigang

    2012-01-01

    Background Predicting the ecological niche and potential habitat distribution of a given organism is one of the central domains of ecological and biogeographical research. A wide variety of modeling techniques have been developed for this purpose. In order to implement these models, the users must prepare a specific runtime environment for each model, learn how to use multiple model platforms, and prepare data in a different format each time. Additionally, often model results are difficult to interpret, and a standardized method for comparing model results across platforms does not exist. We developed a free and open source online platform, the multi-models web-based (mMWeb) platform, to address each of these problems, providing a novel environment in which the user can implement and compare multiple ecological niche model (ENM) algorithms. Methodology mMWeb combines 18 existing ENMs and their corresponding algorithms and provides a uniform procedure for modeling the potential habitat niche of a species via a common web browser. mMWeb uses Java Native Interface (JNI), Java R Interface to combine the different ENMs and executes multiple tasks in parallel on a super computer. The cross-platform, user-friendly interface of mMWeb simplifies the process of building ENMs, providing an accessible and efficient environment from which to explore and compare different model algorithms. PMID:22912854

  11. 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.

  12. Organism and population-level ecological models for ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Ecological risk assessment typically focuses on animal populations as endpoints for regulatory ecotoxicology. Scientists at USEPA are developing models for animal populations exposed to a wide range of chemicals from pesticides to emerging contaminants. Modeled taxa include aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, fish, amphibians, and birds, and employ a wide range of methods, from matrix-based projection models to mechanistic bioenergetics models and spatially explicit population models. not applicable

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Why are we not evaluating multiple competing hypotheses in ecology and evolution?

    PubMed Central

    Avgar, Tal; Fryxell, John M.

    2017-01-01

    The use of multiple working hypotheses to gain strong inference is widely promoted as a means to enhance the effectiveness of scientific investigation. Only 21 of 100 randomly selected studies from the ecological and evolutionary literature tested more than one hypothesis and only eight tested more than two hypotheses. The surprising rarity of application of multiple working hypotheses suggests that this gap between theory and practice might reflect some fundamental issues. Here, we identify several intellectual and practical barriers that discourage us from using multiple hypotheses in our scientific investigation. While scientists have developed a number of ways to avoid biases, such as the use of double-blind controls, we suspect that few scientists are fully aware of the potential influence of cognitive bias on their decisions and they have not yet adopted many techniques available to overcome intellectual and practical barriers in order to improve scientific investigation. PMID:28280578

  16. Constraining DALECv2 using multiple data streams and ecological constraints: analysis and application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delahaies, Sylvain; Roulstone, Ian; Nichols, Nancy

    2017-07-01

    We use a variational method to assimilate multiple data streams into the terrestrial ecosystem carbon cycle model DALECv2 (Data Assimilation Linked Ecosystem Carbon). Ecological and dynamical constraints have recently been introduced to constrain unresolved components of this otherwise ill-posed problem. Here we recast these constraints as a multivariate Gaussian distribution to incorporate them into the variational framework and we demonstrate their advantage through a linear analysis. Using an adjoint method we study a linear approximation of the inverse problem: firstly we perform a sensitivity analysis of the different outputs under consideration, and secondly we use the concept of resolution matrices to diagnose the nature of the ill-posedness and evaluate regularisation strategies. We then study the non-linear problem with an application to real data. Finally, we propose a modification to the model: introducing a spin-up period provides us with a built-in formulation of some ecological constraints which facilitates the variational approach.

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  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. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Constraining DALECv2 using multiple data streams and ecological constraints: analysis and application

    SciTech Connect

    Delahaies, Sylvain; Roulstone, Ian; Nichols, Nancy

    2017-01-01

    We use a variational method to assimilate multiple data streams into the terrestrial ecosystem carbon cycle model DALECv2 (Data Assimilation Linked Ecosystem Carbon). Ecological and dynamical constraints have recently been introduced to constrain unresolved components of this otherwise ill-posed problem. Here we recast these constraints as a multivariate Gaussian distribution to incorporate them into the variational framework and we demonstrate their advantage through a linear analysis. Using an adjoint method we study a linear approximation of the inverse problem: firstly we perform a sensitivity analysis of the different outputs under consideration, and secondly we use the concept of resolution matrices to diagnose the nature of the ill-posedness and evaluate regularisation strategies. We then study the non-linear problem with an application to real data. Finally, we propose a modification to the model: introducing a spin-up period provides us with a built-in formulation of some ecological constraints which facilitates the variational approach.

  9. Commercially available accelerometry as an ecologically valid measure of ambulation in individuals with multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Motl, Robert W; Sandroff, Brian M; Sosnoff, Jacob J

    2012-09-01

    Ambulatory impairment is a prevalent consequence of multiple sclerosis (MS) that is often measured in controlled contexts using performance tests that lack ecological validity. This underscores the importance of considering alternative, ecologically valid approaches, such as commercially available accelerometers, for measuring community ambulation in individuals with MS. This consideration is warranted based on problems with existing measures of ambulation in MS (e.g., poor responsiveness and patient-clinician discordance); conceptual associations among MS pathology, impairment and gait function with relevance for the signal detected by accelerometers; assumptions that are empirically supported for the application of commercially available accelerometers as a measure of community ambulation; and evidence supporting the output of commercially available accelerometers as a measure of ambulation. Collectively, the authors believe the time is ripe for the application of commercially available accelerometers as an outcome measure of community ambulation in MS. Such an application has the potential to maximize the understanding of ambulatory impairments in real-world conditions for clinical research and practice involving individuals with MS.

  10. Constraining DALECv2 using multiple data streams and ecological constraints: analysis and application

    DOE PAGES

    Delahaies, Sylvain; Roulstone, Ian; Nichols, Nancy

    2017-07-10

    We use a variational method to assimilate multiple data streams into the terrestrial ecosystem carbon cycle model DALECv2 (Data Assimilation Linked Ecosystem Carbon). Ecological and dynamical constraints have recently been introduced to constrain unresolved components of this otherwise ill-posed problem. We recast these constraints as a multivariate Gaussian distribution to incorporate them into the variational framework and we demonstrate their advantage through a linear analysis. By using an adjoint method we study a linear approximation of the inverse problem: firstly we perform a sensitivity analysis of the different outputs under consideration, and secondly we use the concept of resolution matricesmore » to diagnose the nature of the ill-posedness and evaluate regularisation strategies. We then study the non-linear problem with an application to real data. Finally, we propose a modification to the model: introducing a spin-up period provides us with a built-in formulation of some ecological constraints which facilitates the variational approach.« less

  11. Ecological validity of the Multiple Errands Test using predictive models of dysexecutive problems in everyday life.

    PubMed

    Cuberos-Urbano, Gustavo; Caracuel, Alfonso; Vilar-López, Raquel; Valls-Serrano, Carlos; Bateman, Andrew; Verdejo-García, Antonio

    2013-01-01

    The"dysexecutive syndrome" is composed of a range of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral deficits that are difficult to evaluate using traditional neuropsychological tests. The Multiple Errands Test (MET) was originally developed to systematize the assessment of the more elusive manifestations of the dysexecutive syndrome. The aims of this study were to examining the reliability of the MET and to investigate the predictive ability of its indices to explain a range of "dysexecutive"-related symptoms in everyday life. Thirty patients with acquired brain injury participated in this study. The MET showed an adequate inter-rater reliability and ecological validity. The main performance indices from the MET were able to significantly predict severity of everyday life executive problems, with different indices predicting particular manifestations of different components of executive functions.

  12. Toward a community ecology of landscapes: predicting multiple predator-prey interactions across geographic space.

    PubMed

    Schmitz, Oswald J; Miller, Jennifer R B; Trainor, Anne M; Abrahms, Briana

    2017-09-01

    Community ecology was traditionally an integrative science devoted to studying interactions between species and their abiotic environments in order to predict species' geographic distributions and abundances. Yet for philosophical and methodological reasons, it has become divided into two enterprises: one devoted to local experimentation on species interactions to predict community dynamics; the other devoted to statistical analyses of abiotic and biotic information to describe geographic distribution. Our goal here is to instigate thinking about ways to reconnect the two enterprises and thereby return to a tradition to do integrative science. We focus specifically on the community ecology of predators and prey, which is ripe for integration. This is because there is active, simultaneous interest in experimentally resolving the nature and strength of predator-prey interactions as well as explaining patterns across landscapes and seascapes. We begin by describing a conceptual theory rooted in classical analyses of non-spatial food web modules used to predict species interactions. We show how such modules can be extended to consideration of spatial context using the concept of habitat domain. Habitat domain describes the spatial extent of habitat space that predators and prey use while foraging, which differs from home range, the spatial extent used by an animal to meet all of its daily needs. This conceptual theory can be used to predict how different spatial relations of predators and prey could lead to different emergent multiple predator-prey interactions such as whether predator consumptive or non-consumptive effects should dominate, and whether intraguild predation, predator interference or predator complementarity are expected. We then review the literature on studies of large predator-prey interactions that make conclusions about the nature of multiple predator-prey interactions. This analysis reveals that while many studies provide sufficient information

  13. 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.

  14. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. 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…

  16. Embellishment of Student Leadership in Learning Multiplication at Primary Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Singaravelu, G.

    2006-01-01

    The present study enlightens the efficacy of Student Leadership method in learning Multiplication in Mathematics at primary level. Single group experimental method was adopted for the study. Forty learners studying in Standard III in Panchayat union primary School, Muthupettai in South Tamil Nadu, India have been selected as sample for the study.…

  17. Embellishment of Student Leadership in Learning Multiplication at Primary Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Singaravelu, G.

    2006-01-01

    The present study enlightens the efficacy of Student Leadership method in learning Multiplication in Mathematics at primary level. Single group experimental method was adopted for the study. Forty learners studying in Standard III in Panchayat union primary School, Muthupettai in South Tamil Nadu, India have been selected as sample for the study.…

  18. Marginal models for correlated binary responses with multiple classes and multiple levels of nesting.

    PubMed

    Qaqish, B F; Liang, K Y

    1992-09-01

    A model for correlated binary data is presented. Marginal probabilities and odds ratios are allowed to have general regression structures that include multiple classes and multiple levels of nesting. Estimation is done through the generalized estimating equations approach of Liang and Zeger (1986, Biometrika 73, 13-22). They are contrasted with conditional models and recommendations for choosing between the two are given. Examples from genetic epidemiology are presented.

  19. Ecological interactions affecting population-level responses to chemical stress in Mesocyclops leuckarti.

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, Devdutt; Hommen, Udo; Schäffer, Andreas; Preuss, Thomas G

    2014-10-01

    Higher tiers of ecological risk assessment (ERA) consider population and community-level endpoints. At the population level, the phenomenon of density dependence is one of the most important ecological processes that influence population dynamics. In this study, we investigated how different mechanisms of density dependence would influence population-level ERA of the cyclopoid copepod Mesocyclops leuckarti under toxicant exposure. We used a combined approach of laboratory experiments and individual-based modelling. An individual-based model was developed for M. leuckarti to simulate population dynamics under triphenyltin exposure based on individual-level ecological and toxicological data from laboratory experiments. The study primarily aimed to-(1) determine which life-cycle processes, based on feeding strategies, are most significant in determining density dependence (2) explore how these mechanisms of density dependence affect extrapolation from individual-level effects to the population level under toxicant exposure. Model simulations showed that cannibalism of nauplii that were already stressed by TPT exposure contributed to synergistic effects of biotic and abiotic factors and led to a twofold stress being exerted on the nauplii, thereby resulting in a higher population vulnerability compared to the scenario without cannibalism. Our results suggest that in population-level risk assessment, it is easy to underestimate toxicity unless underlying ecological interactions including mechanisms of population-level density regulation are considered. This study is an example of how a combined approach of experiments and mechanistic modelling can lead to a thorough understanding of ecological processes in ecotoxicology and enable a more realistic ERA.

  20. A note on the use of multiple linear regression in molecular ecology.

    PubMed

    Frasier, Timothy R

    2016-03-01

    Multiple linear regression analyses (also often referred to as generalized linear models--GLMs, or generalized linear mixed models--GLMMs) are widely used in the analysis of data in molecular ecology, often to assess the relative effects of genetic characteristics on individual fitness or traits, or how environmental characteristics influence patterns of genetic differentiation. However, the coefficients resulting from multiple regression analyses are sometimes misinterpreted, which can lead to incorrect interpretations and conclusions within individual studies, and can propagate to wider-spread errors in the general understanding of a topic. The primary issue revolves around the interpretation of coefficients for independent variables when interaction terms are also included in the analyses. In this scenario, the coefficients associated with each independent variable are often interpreted as the independent effect of each predictor variable on the predicted variable. However, this interpretation is incorrect. The correct interpretation is that these coefficients represent the effect of each predictor variable on the predicted variable when all other predictor variables are zero. This difference may sound subtle, but the ramifications cannot be overstated. Here, my goals are to raise awareness of this issue, to demonstrate and emphasize the problems that can result and to provide alternative approaches for obtaining the desired information.

  1. Multiple Levels of Influence That Impact Youth Tobacco Use.

    PubMed

    Cavazos-Rehg, Patricia A; Krauss, Melissa J; Sowles, Shaina J; Spitznagel, Edward L; Grucza, Richard; Chaloupka, Frank J; Bierut, Laura J

    2016-04-01

    Multiple levels of influence interplay to impact youth tobacco use. We work towards understanding important policy and environmental strategies that are associated with youth tobacco use behaviors. We utilized data from participants of the Monitoring the Future (MTF) study and linked national data from multiple sources to assess correlates of youth tobacco use behaviors across individual, family, school, community, and state-level policy influences. Higher cigarette prices had the strongest association with youth tobacco use behaviors. Demographic and socio-economic characteristics at the individual, familial, and community/school-levels were associated with youth tobacco use behaviors. In the present study, we confirm that higher cigarette prices could help to reduce youth tobacco use behaviors. Several states are still lagging behind in terms of their low cigarette tax and they should enact tax policies to reduce youth tobacco use.

  2. 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…

  3. Predicting Dropout Using Student- and School-Level Factors: An Ecological Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wood, Laura; Kiperman, Sarah; Esch, Rachel C.; Leroux, Audrey J.; Truscott, Stephen D.

    2017-01-01

    High school dropout has been associated with negative outcomes, including increased rates of unemployment, incarceration, and mortality. Dropout rates vary significantly depending on individual and environmental factors. The purpose of our study was to use an ecological perspective to concurrently explore student- and school-level predictors…

  4. 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...

  5. 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, ...

  6. 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...

  7. Deep-level stereoscopic multiple traps of acoustic vortices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yuzhi; Guo, Gepu; Ma, Qingyu; Tu, Juan; Zhang, Dong

    2017-04-01

    Based on the radiation pattern of a planar piston transducer, the mechanisms underlying the generation of axially controllable deep-level stereoscopic multiple traps of acoustic vortices (AV) using sparse directional sources were proposed with explicit formulae. Numerical simulations for the axial and cross-sectional distributions of acoustic pressure and phase were conducted for various ka (product of the wave number and the radius of transducer) values at the frequency of 1 MHz. It was demonstrated that, for bigger ka, besides the main-AV (M-AV) generated by the main lobes of the sources, cone-shaped side-AV (S-AV) produced by the side lobes were closer to the source plane at a relatively lower pressure. Corresponding to the radiation angles of pressure nulls between the main lobe and the side lobes of the sources, vortex valleys with nearly pressure zero could be generated on the central axis to form multiple traps, based on Gor'kov potential theory. The number and locations of vortex valleys could be controlled accurately by the adjustment of ka. With the established eight-source AV generation system, the existence of the axially controllable multiple traps was verified by the measured M-AV and S-AVs as well as the corresponding vortex valleys. The favorable results provided the feasibility of deep-level stereoscopic control of AV and suggested potential application of multiple traps for particle manipulation in the area of biomedical engineering.

  8. Central-place foraging and ecological effects of an invasive predator across multiple habitats.

    PubMed

    Benkwitt, Cassandra E

    2016-10-01

    Cross-habitat foraging movements of predators can have widespread implications for predator and prey populations, community structure, nutrient transfer, and ecosystem function. Although central-place foraging models and other aspects of optimal foraging theory focus on individual predator behavior, they also provide useful frameworks for understanding the effects of predators on prey populations across multiple habitats. However, few studies have examined both the foraging behavior and ecological effects of nonnative predators across multiple habitats, and none has tested whether nonnative predators deplete prey in a manner predicted by these foraging models. I conducted behavioral observations of invasive lionfish (Pterois volitans) to determine whether they exhibit foraging movements similar to other central-place consumers. Then, I used a manipulative field experiment to test whether their effects on prey populations are consistent with three qualitative predictions from optimal foraging models. Specifically, I predicted that the effects of invasive lionfish on native prey will (1) occur at central sites first and then in surrounding habitats, (2) decrease with increasing distance away from their shelter site, and (3) extend to greater distances when prey patches are spaced closer together. Approximately 40% of lionfish exhibited short-term crepuscular foraging movements into surrounding habitats from the coral patch reefs where they shelter during daylight hours. Over the course of 7 weeks, lionfish depleted native fish populations on the coral patch reefs where they reside, and subsequently on small structures in the surrounding habitat. However, their effects did not decrease with increasing distance from the central shelter site and the influence of patch spacing was opposite the prediction. Instead, lionfish always had the greatest effects in areas with the highest prey densities. The differences between the predicted and observed effects of lionfish

  9. Multiple successional pathways in human-modified tropical landscapes: new insights from forest succession, forest fragmentation and landscape ecology research.

    PubMed

    Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor; Melo, Felipe P L; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel; Bongers, Frans; Chazdon, Robin L; Meave, Jorge A; Norden, Natalia; Santos, Bráulio A; Leal, Inara R; Tabarelli, Marcelo

    2017-02-01

    Old-growth tropical forests are being extensively deforested and fragmented worldwide. Yet forest recovery through succession has led to an expansion of secondary forests in human-modified tropical landscapes (HMTLs). Secondary forests thus emerge as a potential repository for tropical biodiversity, and also as a source of essential ecosystem functions and services in HMTLs. Such critical roles are controversial, however, as they depend on successional, landscape and socio-economic dynamics, which can vary widely within and across landscapes and regions. Understanding the main drivers of successional pathways of disturbed tropical forests is critically needed for improving management, conservation, and restoration strategies. Here, we combine emerging knowledge from tropical forest succession, forest fragmentation and landscape ecology research to identify the main driving forces shaping successional pathways at different spatial scales. We also explore causal connections between land-use dynamics and the level of predictability of successional pathways, and examine potential implications of such connections to determine the importance of secondary forests for biodiversity conservation in HMTLs. We show that secondary succession (SS) in tropical landscapes is a multifactorial phenomenon affected by a myriad of forces operating at multiple spatio-temporal scales. SS is relatively fast and more predictable in recently modified landscapes and where well-preserved biodiversity-rich native forests are still present in the landscape. Yet the increasing variation in landscape spatial configuration and matrix heterogeneity in landscapes with intermediate levels of disturbance increases the uncertainty of successional pathways. In landscapes that have suffered extensive and intensive human disturbances, however, succession can be slow or arrested, with impoverished assemblages and reduced potential to deliver ecosystem functions and services. We conclude that: (i

  10. Designing multiple-choice test items at higher cognitive levels.

    PubMed

    Su, Whei Ming; Osisek, Paul J; Montgomery, Cynthia; Pellar, Suzanne

    2009-01-01

    In the midst of a nursing faculty shortage, many academic institutions hire clinicians who are not formally prepared for an academic role. These novice faculty face an immediate need to develop teaching skills. One area in particular is test construction. To address this need, the authors describe how faculty from one course designed multiple-choice test items at higher cognitive levels and simultaneously achieved congruence with critical-thinking learning objectives defined by the course.

  11. A Single-Granule-Level Approach Reveals Ecological Heterogeneity in an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket Reactor

    PubMed Central

    Mei, Ran; Narihiro, Takashi; Bocher, Benjamin T. W.; Yamaguchi, Takashi; Liu, Wen-Tso

    2016-01-01

    Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor has served as an effective process to treat industrial wastewater such as purified terephthalic acid (PTA) wastewater. For optimal UASB performance, balanced ecological interactions between syntrophs, methanogens, and fermenters are critical. However, much of the interactions remain unclear because UASB have been studied at a “macro”-level perspective of the reactor ecosystem. In reality, such reactors are composed of a suite of granules, each forming individual micro-ecosystems treating wastewater. Thus, typical approaches may be oversimplifying the complexity of the microbial ecology and granular development. To identify critical microbial interactions at both macro- and micro- level ecosystem ecology, we perform community and network analyses on 300 PTA–degrading granules from a lab-scale UASB reactor and two full-scale reactors. Based on MiSeq-based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of individual granules, different granule-types co-exist in both full-scale reactors regardless of granule size and reactor sampling depth, suggesting that distinct microbial interactions occur in different granules throughout the reactor. In addition, we identify novel networks of syntrophic metabolic interactions in different granules, perhaps caused by distinct thermodynamic conditions. Moreover, unseen methanogenic relationships (e.g. “Candidatus Aminicenantes” and Methanosaeta) are observed in UASB reactors. In total, we discover unexpected microbial interactions in granular micro-ecosystems supporting UASB ecology and treatment through a unique single-granule level approach. PMID:27936088

  12. A By-Level Analysis of Multiplicative Exponential Linear Logic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaboardi, Marco; Roversi, Luca; Vercelli, Luca

    We study the relations between Multiplicative Exponential Linear Logic ( mELL) and Baillot-Mazza Linear Logic by Levels ( mL 3). We design a decoration-based translation between propositional mELL and propositional mL 3. The translation preserves the cut elimination. Moreover, we show that there is a proof net {Pi} of second order mELL that cannot have a representative {Pi'} in second order mL 3 under any decoration. This suggests that levels can be an analytical tool in understanding the complexity of second order quantifier.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Screening level ecological risk assessment for phenols in surface water of the Taihu Lake.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Wenjue; Wang, Donghong; Xu, Xiaowei; Luo, Qian; Wang, Bingyi; Shan, Xiaoquan; Wang, Zijian

    2010-08-01

    A number of approaches have been proposed for screening level ecological risk assessment. In this paper, we first established a mass spectrum library including 50 phenols using retention time locking (RTL) technology and deconvolution reporting software (DRS). Distribution of phenols in surface water of the Taihu Lake was screened. Among the 22 identified phenols, 14 phenols were quantified. The concentrations of total phenols ranged 675.2-3346.1 ng L(-1). The distributions of ecological effect quotients (EEQs) of 14 phenols were characterized in terms of the exposure concentration distributions (ECDs) and species sensitivity distributions (SSDs). Those phenols with EEQs exceeding the threshold proposed by Water Environment Research Foundation of Alexandria were selected as priorities. As a result, 2-nitrophenol (2-NP), p-chloro-m-xylenol (PCMX) and pyrocatechol were determined as potential ecological risk stressors in surface water of the Taihu Lake. Results of the present study suggested that the proposed approach is feasible for the screening level ecological risk assessment.

  16. Multiple Object Based RFID System Using Security Level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jiyeon; Jung, Jongjin; Ryu, Ukjae; Ko, Hoon; Joe, Susan; Lee, Yongjun; Kim, Boyeon; Chang, Yunseok; Lee, Kyoonha

    2007-12-01

    RFID systems are increasingly applied for operational convenience in wide range of industries and individual life. However, it is uneasy for a person to control many tags because common RFID systems have the restriction that a tag used to identify just a single object. In addition, RFID systems can make some serious problems in violation of privacy and security because of their radio frequency communication. In this paper, we propose a multiple object RFID tag which can keep multiple object identifiers for different applications in a same tag. The proposed tag allows simultaneous access for their pair applications. We also propose an authentication protocol for multiple object tag to prevent serious problems of security and privacy in RFID applications. Especially, we focus on efficiency of the authentication protocol by considering security levels of applications. In the proposed protocol, the applications go through different authentication procedures according to security level of the object identifier stored in the tag. We implemented the proposed RFID scheme and made experimental results about efficiency and stability for the scheme.

  17. Multiple-level defect species evaluation from average carrier decay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debuf, Didier

    2003-10-01

    An expression for the average decay is determined by solving the the carrier continuity equations, which include terms for multiple defect recombination. This expression is the decay measured by techniques such as the contactless photoconductance decay method, which determines the average or volume integrated decay. Implicit in the above is the requirement for good surface passivation such that only bulk properties are observed. A proposed experimental configuration is given to achieve the intended goal of an assessment of the type of defect in an n-type Czochralski-grown silicon semiconductor with an unusually high relative lifetime. The high lifetime is explained in terms of a ground excited state multiple-level defect system. Also, minority carrier trapping is investigated.

  18. Watt-level wireless power transmission to multiple compact receivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garraud, A.; Munzer, D. J.; Althar, M.; Garraud, N.; Arnold, D. P.

    2015-12-01

    This paper reports an electrodynamic wireless power transmission (EWPT) system using a low-frequency (300 Hz) magnetic field to transmit watt-scale power levels to multiple compact receivers. As compared to inductively or resonantly coupled coils, EWPT facilitates transmission to multiple non-interacting receivers with little restriction on their orientation. A single 3.0 cm3 receiver achieves 1.25 W power transmission with 8% efficiency at a distance of 1 cm (350 mW/cm3 power density) from the transmitter. The same prototype achieves 9 mW at a distance of 9 cm. Moreover, we demonstrate simultaneous recharge of two wearable devices, using two receivers located in arbitrary positions and orientations.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Exploiting Multiple Levels of Parallelism in Sparse Matrix-Matrix Multiplication

    SciTech Connect

    Azad, Ariful; Ballard, Grey; Buluc, Aydin; Demmel, James; Grigori, Laura; Schwartz, Oded; Toledo, Sivan; Williams, Samuel

    2016-11-08

    Sparse matrix-matrix multiplication (or SpGEMM) is a key primitive for many high-performance graph algorithms as well as for some linear solvers, such as algebraic multigrid. The scaling of existing parallel implementations of SpGEMM is heavily bound by communication. Even though 3D (or 2.5D) algorithms have been proposed and theoretically analyzed in the flat MPI model on Erdös-Rényi matrices, those algorithms had not been implemented in practice and their complexities had not been analyzed for the general case. In this work, we present the first implementation of the 3D SpGEMM formulation that exploits multiple (intranode and internode) levels of parallelism, achieving significant speedups over the state-of-the-art publicly available codes at all levels of concurrencies. We extensively evaluate our implementation and identify bottlenecks that should be subject to further research.

  2. Exploiting Multiple Levels of Parallelism in Sparse Matrix-Matrix Multiplication

    DOE PAGES

    Azad, Ariful; Ballard, Grey; Buluc, Aydin; ...

    2016-11-08

    Sparse matrix-matrix multiplication (or SpGEMM) is a key primitive for many high-performance graph algorithms as well as for some linear solvers, such as algebraic multigrid. The scaling of existing parallel implementations of SpGEMM is heavily bound by communication. Even though 3D (or 2.5D) algorithms have been proposed and theoretically analyzed in the flat MPI model on Erdös-Rényi matrices, those algorithms had not been implemented in practice and their complexities had not been analyzed for the general case. In this work, we present the first implementation of the 3D SpGEMM formulation that exploits multiple (intranode and internode) levels of parallelism, achievingmore » significant speedups over the state-of-the-art publicly available codes at all levels of concurrencies. We extensively evaluate our implementation and identify bottlenecks that should be subject to further research.« less

  3. 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.

  4. Adrenomedullin protects from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis at multiple levels

    PubMed Central

    Pedreño, Marta; Morell, Maria; Robledo, Gema; Souza-Moreira, Luciana; Forte-Lago, Irene; Caro, Marta; O’Valle, Francisco; Ganea, Doina; Gonzalez-Rey, Elena

    2014-01-01

    Adrenomedullin is a neuropeptide known for its cardiovascular activities and anti-inflammatory effects. Here, we investigated the effect of adrenomedullin in a model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) that mirrors chronic progressive multiple sclerosis. A short-term systemic treatment with adrenomedullin reduced clinical severity and incidence of EAE, the appearance of inflammatory infiltrates in spinal cord and the subsequent demyelination and axonal damage. This effect was exerted at multiple levels affecting both early and late events of the disease. Adrenomedullin decreased the presence/activation of encephalitogenic Th1 and Th17 cells and down-regulated several inflammatory mediators in peripheral lymphoid organs and central nervous system. Noteworthy, adrenomedullin inhibited the production by encephalitogenic cells of osteopontin and of Granulocyte Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor (GM-CSF), two critical cytokines in the development of EAE. At the same time, adrenomedullin increased the number of IL-10-producing regulatory T cells with suppressive effects on the progression of EAE. Furthermore, adrenomedullin generated dendritic cells with a semi-mature phenotype that impaired encephalitogenic responses in vitro and in vivo. Finally, adrenomedullin regulated glial activity and favored an active program of neuroprotection/regeneration. Therefore, the use of adrenomedullin emerges as a novel multimodal therapeutic approach to treat chronic progressive multiple sclerosis. PMID:24321213

  5. Light, nutrients, and food-chain length constrain planktonic energy transfer efficiency across multiple trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Dickman, Elizabeth M; Newell, Jennifer M; González, María J; Vanni, Michael J

    2008-11-25

    The efficiency of energy transfer through food chains [food chain efficiency (FCE)] is an important ecosystem function. It has been hypothesized that FCE across multiple trophic levels is constrained by the efficiency at which herbivores use plant energy, which depends on plant nutritional quality. Furthermore, the number of trophic levels may also constrain FCE, because herbivores are less efficient in using plant production when they are constrained by carnivores. These hypotheses have not been tested experimentally in food chains with 3 or more trophic levels. In a field experiment manipulating light, nutrients, and food-chain length, we show that FCE is constrained by algal food quality and food-chain length. FCE across 3 trophic levels (phytoplankton to carnivorous fish) was highest under low light and high nutrients, where algal quality was best as indicated by taxonomic composition and nutrient stoichiometry. In 3-level systems, FCE was constrained by the efficiency at which both herbivores and carnivores converted food into production; a strong nutrient effect on carnivore efficiency suggests a carryover effect of algal quality across 3 trophic levels. Energy transfer efficiency from algae to herbivores was also higher in 2-level systems (without carnivores) than in 3-level systems. Our results support the hypothesis that FCE is strongly constrained by light, nutrients, and food-chain length and suggest that carryover effects across multiple trophic levels are important. Because many environmental perturbations affect light, nutrients, and food-chain length, and many ecological services are mediated by FCE, it will be important to apply these findings to various ecosystem types.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Aligning molecular studies of mycorrhizal fungal diversity with ecologically important levels of diversity in ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Sanders, Ian R; Rodriguez, Alia

    2016-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) occur in the roots of most plants and are an ecologically important component of the soil microbiome. Richness of AMF taxa is a strong driver of plant diversity and productivity, thus providing a rationale for characterizing AMF diversity in natural ecosystems. Consequently, a large number of molecular studies on AMF community composition are currently underway. Most published studies, at best, only address species or genera-level resolution. However, several experimental studies indicate that variation in plant performance is large among plants colonised by different individuals of one AMF species. Thus, there is a potential disparity between how molecular community ecologists are currently describing AMF diversity and the level of AMF diversity that may actually be ecologically relevant. We propose a strategy to find many polymorphic loci that can define within-species genetic variability within AMF, or at any level of resolution desired within the Glomermycota. We propose that allele diversity at the intraspecific level could then be measured for target AMF groups, or at other levels of resolution, in environmental DNA samples. Combining the use of such markers with experimental studies on AMF diversity would help to elucidate the most important level(s) of AMF diversity in plant communities. Our goal is to encourage ecologists who are trying to explain how mycorrhizal fungal communities are structured to take an approach that could also yield meaningful information that is relevant to the diversity, functioning and productivity of ecosystems. PMID:27128992

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Trace metal levels, sources, and ecological risk assessment in a densely agricultural area from Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    Al-Wabel, Mohammad I; Sallam, Abd El-Azeem S; Usman, Adel R A; Ahmad, Mahtab; El-Naggar, Ahmed Hamdy; El-Saeid, Mohammed Hamza; Al-Faraj, Abdulelah; El-Enazi, Khaled; Al-Romian, Fahad A

    2017-06-01

    The present study was conducted in one of the most densely cultivated area of Al-Qassim region in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to (i) monitor trace metal (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) contents in surface and subsurface soils, (ii) assess the pollution and potential ecological risk levels of trace metals, and (iii) identify trace metal sources using enrichment factor (EF), correlation matrix, and principal component analysis (PCA). The pollution levels of the analyzed trace metals calculated by the geoaccumulation index (I geo) and contamination factor (C f) suggested that the soils were highly contaminated with Cd and moderately contaminated with Pb. Based on the average values of EF, soil samples were found to present extremely high enrichment for Cd, significant enrichment for Pb, moderate enrichment for Zn, and deficient to minimal enrichment for other trace metals. Among the analyzed trace metals, a very high ecological risk was observed only in the case of Cd at some sampling sites. Meanwhile, other investigated trace metals had a low ecological risk. The results of PCA combined with correlation matrix suggested that Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Cr Ni, Cu, and Co represent natural abundance in soil, but Cd, Pb, and Cu are of anthropogenic inputs, mainly due to agrochemical and fertilizer applications. It could be generally concluded that the obtained results can be useful for assessing and conducting a future program for trace metal monitoring in agricultural areas of Saudi Arabia.

  13. Prediction of community mental health service utilization by individual and ecological level socio-economic factors.

    PubMed

    Donisi, Valeria; Tedeschi, Federico; Percudani, Mauro; Fiorillo, Andrea; Confalonieri, Linda; De Rosa, Corrado; Salazzari, Damiano; Tansella, Michele; Thornicroft, Graham; Amaddeo, Francesco

    2013-10-30

    Individuals with a more deprived socioeconomic status (SES) are more likely to have higher rates of psychiatric morbidity and use of psychiatric services. Such service use is also influenced by socioeconomic factors at the ecological level. The aim of this article is to investigate the influence of these variables on service utilization. All patients in contact with three Italian community psychiatric services (CPS) were included. Community and hospital contacts over 6 months were investigated. Socio-economic characteristics were described using a SES Index and two new Resources Accessibility Indexes. Low SES was found to be associated with more community service contacts. When other individual and ecological variables were controlled for, SES was negatively associated only with the number of home visits, which was about half the rate in deprived areas. An association between service utilization and the resources of the catchment area was also detected. The economic crisis in Europe is increasing inequality of access, so paying attention to SES characteristics at both the individual and the ecological levels is likely to become increasingly important in understanding patterns of psychiatric service utilization and planning care accordingly.

  14. 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.

  15. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Selenoprotein expression is regulated at multiple levels in prostate cells.

    PubMed

    Rebsch, Cheryl M; Penna, Frank J; Copeland, Paul R

    2006-12-01

    Selenium supplementation in a population with low basal blood selenium levels has been reported to decrease the incidence of several cancers including prostate cancer. Based on the clinical findings, it is likely that the antioxidant function of one or more selenoproteins is responsible for the chemopreventive effect, although low molecular weight seleno-compounds have also been posited to selectively induce apoptosis in transformed cells. To address the effects of selenium supplementation on selenoprotein expression in prostate cells, we have undertaken an analysis of antioxidant selenoprotein expression as well as selenium toxicity in non-tumorigenic prostate epithelial cells (RWPE-1) and prostate cancer cells (LNCaP and PC-3). Our results show that two of the glutathione peroxidase family members (GPX1 and GPX4) are highly induced by supplemental selenium in prostate cancer cells but only slightly induced in RWPE-1 cells. In addition, GPX1 levels are dramatically lower in PC-3 cells as compared to RWPE-1 or LNCaP cells. GPX2 protein and mRNA, however, are only detectable in RWPE-1 cells. Of the three selenium compounds tested (sodium selenite, sodium selenate and selenomethionine), only sodium selenite shows toxicity in a physiological range of selenium concentrations. Notably and in contrast to previous studies, RWPE-1 cells were significantly more sensitive to selenite than either of the prostate cancer cell lines. These results demonstrate that selenoproteins and selenium metabolism are regulated at multiple levels in prostate cells.

  17. Conceptual framework for indexing visual information at multiple levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaimes, Alejandro; Chang, Shih-Fu

    1999-12-01

    In this paper, we present a conceptual framework for indexing different aspects of visual information. Our framework unifies concepts from this literature in diverse fields such as cognitive psychology, library sciences, art, and the more recent content-based retrieval. We present multiple level structures for visual and non-visual and non- visual information. The ten-level visual structure presented provides a systematic way of indexing images based on syntax and semantics, and includes distinctions between general concept and visual concept. We define different types of relations at different levels of the visual structure, and also use a semantic information table to summarize important aspects related to an image. While the focus is on the development of a conceptual indexing structure, our aim is also to bring together the knowledge from various fields, unifying the issues that should be considered when building a digital image library. Our analysis stresses the limitations of state of the art content-based retrieval systems and suggests areas in which improvements are necessary.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Robust set-point regulation for ecological models with multiple management goals.

    PubMed

    Guiver, Chris; Mueller, Markus; Hodgson, Dave; Townley, Stuart

    2016-05-01

    Population managers will often have to deal with problems of meeting multiple goals, for example, keeping at specific levels both the total population and population abundances in given stage-classes of a stratified population. In control engineering, such set-point regulation problems are commonly tackled using multi-input, multi-output proportional and integral (PI) feedback controllers. Building on our recent results for population management with single goals, we develop a PI control approach in a context of multi-objective population management. We show that robust set-point regulation is achieved by using a modified PI controller with saturation and anti-windup elements, both described in the paper, and illustrate the theory with examples. Our results apply more generally to linear control systems with positive state variables, including a class of infinite-dimensional systems, and thus have broader appeal.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Exploring multiple intelligences theory at a community college level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berkemeier, Ginny Y. Hew

    The publication of "Frames of mind: The theory in practice", (Gardner, 1983) has been used by educators in a variety of ways to make teaching and learning more meaningful. However, little attention has been focused on the MI teaching and learning of science at the higher education level. Consequently, the purpose of this study was four fold. The first purpose was to investigate adult learning through Multiple Intelligence Theory (MI) at the community college level. The second purpose was to determine where there were any differences among students in their perceived MI with regard to age and gender. The third purpose was to investigate the relationship between perceived and tested MI strength with regard to science and non-science courses. The fourth purpose was to determine which MI teaching value relates best with science and non-science courses. Study participants were enrolled in science courses from a Midwestern community college, Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC). The research methodology of this research study consisted of a combination of quantitative analysis; using an inventory and qualitative analysis; through group interviews. Many positive outcomes resulted from the study in areas such as the relationships between tested MI and perceived MI, student learning in science and non-science courses, and their relationships to age and gender. This study suggested the need for a variety of education and curriculum reform that should start with students' attitudes instead of classroom instruction or methods of teaching.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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. The Influence of Multiple Ecological Assets on Substance Use Patterns of Diverse Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shekhtmeyster, Zhanna; Sharkey, Jill; You, Sukkyung

    2011-01-01

    Substance use among adolescents is a complex problem and an ongoing concern. Literature has identified a critical need to understand the role that schools can play in preventing adolescent substance use. Adopting an ecological perspective, we used multigroup logistic regression to determine the influence of school support and school meaningful…

  7. Integrating remote sensing data from multiple optical sensors for ecological and crop condition monitoring

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Ecological and crop condition monitoring requires high temporal and spatial resolution remote sensing data. Due to technical limitations and budget constraints, remote sensing instruments trade spatial resolution for swath width. As a result, it is difficult to acquire remotely sensed data with both...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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,...

  9. 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…

  10. 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...

  11. 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).

  12. Socio-ecological factors correlate with levels of stereotypic behavior in zoo-housed primates.

    PubMed

    Pomerantz, Ori; Meiri, Shai; Terkel, Joseph

    2013-09-01

    Stereotypic behavior often indicates poor welfare. It may develop when the animal's ability to carry out appropriate behavioral responses is limited, despite a high motivation to express them. Behavioral motivations vary across species. Consequently, under similar captive conditions, the sustained inability of animals to express certain behaviors is likely to affect some species more than others. We used a phylogenetic comparative approach to evaluate the socio-ecological factors affecting the manifestation of stereotypic behavior in 24 species of zoo-housed primates. We examined the relationship between two stereotypic behaviors: hair-pulling and pacing, and the species' natural socio-ecological factors and captivity conditions. The degree of stereotypic behaviors was unaffected by phylogenetic relatedness between species. Stereotypic hair-pulling behavior levels were positively correlated with natural group size. Stereotypic pacing levels were positively correlated with the animals' natural day journey length. These findings suggest large-group and wide-ranging primate species are more prone to suffer in captivity. Our findings facilitate the detection of species that are more susceptible to behaving stereotypically in captivity. We suggest that providing appropriate social stimuli, and increasing the complexity of the captive environment rather than enlarging it, are both attainable and expected to improve the animals' welfare. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Generalizing ecological site concepts of the Colorado Plateau for landscape-level applications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duniway, Michael C.; Nauman, Travis; Johanson, Jamin K.; Green, Shane; Miller, Mark E.; Bestelmeyer, Brandon T.

    2016-01-01

    Numerous ecological site descriptions in the southern Utah portion of the Colorado Plateau can be difficult to navigate, so we held a workshop aimed at adding value and functionality to the current ecological site system.We created new groups of ecological sites and drafted state-and-transition models for these new groups.We were able to distill the current large number of ecological sites in the study area (ca. 150) into eight ecological site groups that capture important variability in ecosystem dynamics.Several inventory and monitoring programs and landscape scale planning actions will likely benefit from more generalized ecological site group concepts.

  14. Host-parasitoid spatial ecology: a plea for a landscape-level synthesis.

    PubMed

    Cronin, James T; Reeve, John D

    2005-11-07

    A growing body of literature points to a large-scale research approach as essential for understanding population and community ecology. Many of our advances regarding the spatial ecology of predators and prey can be attributed to research with insect parasitoids and their hosts. In this review, we focus on the progress that has been made in the study of the movement and population dynamics of hosts and their parasitoids in heterogeneous landscapes, and how this research approach may be beneficial to pest management programs. To date, few studies have quantified prey and predator rates and ranges of dispersal and population dynamics at the patch level--the minimum of information needed to characterize population structure. From host-parasitoid studies with sufficient data, it is clear that the spatial scale of dispersal can differ significantly between a prey and its predators, local prey extinctions can be attributed to predators and predator extinction risk at the patch level often exceeds that of the prey. It is also evident that populations can be organized as a single, highly connected (patchy) population or as semi-independent extinction-prone local populations that collectively form a persistent metapopulation. A prey and its predators can also differ in population structure. At the landscape level, agricultural studies indicate that predator effects on its prey often spill over between the crop and surrounding area (matrix) and can depend strongly on landscape structure (e.g. the proportion of suitable habitat) at scales extending well beyond the crop margins. In light of existing empirical data, predator-prey models are typically spatially unrealistic, lacking important details on boundary responses and movement behaviour within and among patches. The tools exist for conducting empirical and theoretical research at the landscape level and we hope that this review calls attention to fertile areas for future exploration.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Multiple convergent evolution of arboreal life in oribatid mites indicates the primacy of ecology.

    PubMed

    Maraun, Mark; Erdmann, Georgia; Schulz, Garvin; Norton, Roy A; Scheu, Stefan; Domes, Katja

    2009-09-22

    Frequent convergent evolution in phylogenetically unrelated taxa points to the importance of ecological factors during evolution, whereas convergent evolution in closely related taxa indicates the importance of favourable pre-existing characters (pre-adaptations). We investigated the transitions to arboreal life in oribatid mites (Oribatida, Acari), a group of mostly soil-living arthropods. We evaluated which general force-ecological factors, historical constraints or chance-was dominant in the evolution of arboreal life in oribatid mites. A phylogenetic study of 51 oribatid mite species and four outgroup taxa, using the ribosomal 18S rDNA region, indicates that arboreal life evolved at least 15 times independently. Arboreal oribatid mite species are not randomly distributed in the phylogenetic tree, but are concentrated among strongly sclerotized, sexual and evolutionary younger taxa. They convergently evolved a capitate sensillus, an anemoreceptor that either precludes overstimulation in the exposed bark habitat or functions as a gravity receptor. Sexual reproduction and strong sclerotization were important pre-adaptations for colonizing the bark of trees that facilitated the exploitation of living resources (e.g. lichens) and served as predator defence, respectively. Overall, our results indicate that ecological factors are most important for the observed pattern of convergent evolution of arboreal life in oribatid mites, supporting an adaptationist view of evolution.

  19. 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

    2013-06-05

    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.

  20. 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

  1. Multiple convergent evolution of arboreal life in oribatid mites indicates the primacy of ecology

    PubMed Central

    Maraun, Mark; Erdmann, Georgia; Schulz, Garvin; Norton, Roy A.; Scheu, Stefan; Domes, Katja

    2009-01-01

    Frequent convergent evolution in phylogenetically unrelated taxa points to the importance of ecological factors during evolution, whereas convergent evolution in closely related taxa indicates the importance of favourable pre-existing characters (pre-adaptations). We investigated the transitions to arboreal life in oribatid mites (Oribatida, Acari), a group of mostly soil-living arthropods. We evaluated which general force—ecological factors, historical constraints or chance—was dominant in the evolution of arboreal life in oribatid mites. A phylogenetic study of 51 oribatid mite species and four outgroup taxa, using the ribosomal 18S rDNA region, indicates that arboreal life evolved at least 15 times independently. Arboreal oribatid mite species are not randomly distributed in the phylogenetic tree, but are concentrated among strongly sclerotized, sexual and evolutionary younger taxa. They convergently evolved a capitate sensillus, an anemoreceptor that either precludes overstimulation in the exposed bark habitat or functions as a gravity receptor. Sexual reproduction and strong sclerotization were important pre-adaptations for colonizing the bark of trees that facilitated the exploitation of living resources (e.g. lichens) and served as predator defence, respectively. Overall, our results indicate that ecological factors are most important for the observed pattern of convergent evolution of arboreal life in oribatid mites, supporting an adaptationist view of evolution. PMID:19535377

  2. Feeding ecology of Rhabdosargus holubi (family Sparidae) in multiple vegetated refugia of selected warm temperate estuaries in South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nel, L.; Strydom, N. A.; Perissinotto, R.; Adams, J. B.; Lemley, D. A.

    2017-10-01

    Estuarine marine-dependent species, such as Rhabdosargus holubi, depend greatly on structured sheltered environments and important feeding areas provided by estuaries. In this study, we investigate the ecological feeding niches of the estuarine marine-dependent sparid, R. holubi, by using conventional stomach contents and stable isotope methods (δ13C and δ15N signatures). The study has been carried out in five temperate estuaries in order to understand how fish feed in multiple intertidal vegetated habitats. These habitats included the submerged seagrass, Zostera capensis, and both previously unexplored small intertidal cord grass, Spartina maritima, and the common reed, Phragmites australis. The diet varied amongst habitats, estuaries and fish sizes and data consistently confirmed their omnivorous diet relating to ontogenetic niche shifts. Stomach contents revealed the importance of benthic prey within both the S. maritima and P. australis habitats in the absence of large intertidal vegetation, available during low tides. Similarly, isotopic mixing models showed that R. holubi from these habitats have a greater isotopic niche compared to the Z. capensis habitat, due to their limited availability during the falling tide, suggesting migration between available habitats. Stable isotopes confirmed that R. holubi actively feeds on the epiphytic algae (especially diatoms) covering the leaves and stalks of plant matter, as supported by Bayesian mixing models. These findings add to the current knowledge regarding habitat partitioning in multiple aquatic vegetation types critical to fish ecology and the effective management and conservation of estuaries.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Maternal mortality in Colombia in 2011: a two level ecological study.

    PubMed

    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

    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. 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. 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). 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 approach.

  6. 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

  7. Homicide and impunity: an ecological analysis at state level in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Nadanovsky, Paulo; Celeste, Roger Keller; Wilson, Margo; Daly, Martin

    2009-10-01

    To assess a new impunity index and variables that have been found to predict variation in homicide rates in other geographical levels as predictive of state-level homicide rates in Brazil. This was a cross-sectional ecological study. Data from the mortality information system relating to the 27 Brazilian states for the years 1996 to 2005 were analyzed. The outcome variables were taken to be homicide victim rates in 2005, for the entire population and for men aged 20-29 years. Measurements of economic and social development, economic inequality, demographic structure and life expectancy were analyzed as predictors. An 'impunity index', calculated as the total number of homicides between 1996 and 2005 divided by the number of individuals in prison in 2007, was constructed. The data were analyzed by means of simple linear regression and negative binomial regression. In 2005, state-level crude total homicide rates ranged from 11 to 51 per 100,000; for young men, they ranged from 39 to 241. The impunity index ranged from 0.4 to 3.5 and was the most important predictor of this variability. From negative binomial regression, it was estimated that the homicide victim rate among young males increased by 50% for every increase of one point in this ratio. Classic predictive factors were not associated with homicides in this analysis of state-level variation in Brazil. However, the impunity index indicated that the greater the impunity, the higher the homicide rate.

  8. How phylogeny and foraging ecology drive the level of chemosensory exploration in lizards and snakes.

    PubMed

    Baeckens, S; Van Damme, R; Cooper, W E

    2017-03-01

    The chemical senses are crucial for squamates (lizards and snakes). The extent to which squamates utilize their chemosensory system, however, varies greatly among taxa and species' foraging strategies, and played an influential role in squamate evolution. In lizards, 'Scleroglossa' evolved a state where species use chemical cues to search for food (active foragers), whereas 'Iguania' retained the use of vision to hunt prey (ambush foragers). However, such strict dichotomy is flawed as shifts in foraging modes have occurred in all clades. Here, we attempted to disentangle effects of foraging ecology from phylogenetic trait conservatism as leading cause of the disparity in chemosensory investment among squamates. To do so, we used species' tongue-flick rate (TFR) in the absence of ecological relevant chemical stimuli as a proxy for its fundamental level of chemosensory investigation, that is baseline TFR. Based on literature data of nearly 100 species and using phylogenetic comparative methods, we tested whether and how foraging mode and diet affect baseline TFR. Our results show that baseline TFR is higher in active than ambush foragers. Although baseline TFRs appear phylogenetically stable in some lizard taxa, that is a consequence of concordant stability of foraging mode: when foraging mode shifts within taxa, so does baseline TFR. Also, baseline TFR is a good predictor of prey chemical discriminatory ability, as we established a strong positive relationship between baseline TFR and TFR in response to prey. Baseline TFR is unrelated to diet. Essentially, foraging mode, not phylogenetic relatedness, drives convergent evolution of similar levels of squamate chemosensory investigation. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Interaction between a rough boundary layer and multiple cylinders wakes: application to ecological restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotel, Aline; Eiff, Olivier; Moulin, Frederic

    2009-11-01

    Among many ecologically important aspects of fish locomotion, turbulence is thought to create large stability challenges for fishes. Turbulence is a ubiquitous, highly variable feature of aquatic habitats (Denny, 1988). Species that are more prevalent in ``energetic water'' have more effective control systems and greater ability to generate propulsive power to maneuver. Understanding fish responses and interactions with turbulence is an important biological issue pertinent to evolution of swimming mechanisms and capabilities, and ecological roles and distributions of fishes. There is a current lack of quantitative evaluation of such systems. In most natural systems, sediments and various factors in streambed topography create a rough turbulent boundary layer along the bottom. This work used complimentary laboratory experimental studies and previous field observations (Cotel et al. 2005) to determine how a rough turbulent boundary layer interacts with flow structures created by obstacles in a channel using PIV. Preliminary analysis shows a strong interaction between the turbulent boundary layer created by roughness elements and the wakes behind cylinder arrays.

  12. Multiple-site and-year analyses of stream insect emergence: a test of ecological theory.

    PubMed

    Statzner, Bernhard; Resh, Vincent H

    1993-10-01

    The use of existing data sets to test applicability of existing ecological theory is an uncommon but potentially cost-effective approach for exploitation of previously accumulated knowledge. Studies on the emergence of insects from small streams have been a major research topic in aquatic ecology, particularly in Austria and Germany; the availability of emergence data from these two countries, covering over 1 million identified specimens, from 18 sites, and for 32 collection years is an example of such exploitable information. Concurrent estimates of annual emergence biomass and annual benthic secondary production for 18 aquatic insect populations showed a statistically significant relationship, contradicting the premise that emergence data do not provide any quantitative measure for a given stream area. Therefore, the emergence data were examined to test various predictions from ecological theory. Observed richness of emerging species of three orders of lotic insects - the Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) - over 15 years at one site did not agree with predictions based on either flow predictability or change in flow and the "habitat templet concept". Trends in observed richness of emerging EPT species over 1 year at 18 sites agreed weakly with predictions using either pH values or the annual temperature amplitude and the "intermediate disturbance hypothesis", or using either annual temperature amplitude or total biomass of EPT emergence and the "disturbance-productivity-diversity model". A prediction of the "river continuum concept" that abundance of the shredder functional-feeding group should decrease and that of grazers should increase along a dense- to open-canopy gradient was not consistently supported by the emergence biomass data. For shredders and grazers of all insects (12 sites) and EPT (18 sites), this trend was apparent (but not significant) only if sites with intermediate canopy density were omitted. We identified three critical

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    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 may

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  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. Stable isotopes as ecological tracers: an efficient method for assessing the contribution of multiple sources to mixtures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bugalho, M. N.; Barcia, P.; Caldeira, M. C.; Cerdeira, J. O.

    2008-09-01

    Stable isotopes are increasingly being used as tracers of ecological processes potentially providing relevant information to environmental management issues. An application of the methodology consists in relating the stable isotopic composition of a sample mixture to that of sources. The number of stable isotopes, however, is usually lower than that of potential sources existing in an ecosystem, which creates mathematical difficulties in correctly tracing sources. We discuss a linear programming model which efficiently derives information on the contribution of sources to mixtures for any number of stable isotopes and any number of sources by addressing multiple sources simultaneously. The model identifies which sources are present in all, present in a subset of the samples or absent from all samples simultaneously and calculates minimum and maximum values of each source in the mixtures. We illustrate the model using a data set consisting of the isotopic signatures of different plant sources ingested by primary consumers in tropical riverine habitat in Asia. The model discussed may contribute to extend the scope of stable isotopes methodology to a range of new problems dealing with multiple sources and multiple tracers. For instance, in food web studies, if particular organic matter sources disappear or decrease in availability (e.g. climate change scenarios) the model allows simulation of alternative diets of the consumers providing potentially relevant information for managers and decision makers.

  5. Stable isotopes as ecological tracers: an efficient method for assessing the contribution of multiple sources to mixtures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bugalho, M. N.; Barcia, P.; Caldeira, M. C.; Cerdeira, J. O.

    2008-06-01

    Stable isotopes are increasingly being used as tracers of ecological processes potentially providing relevant information to environmental management issues. An application of the methodology consists in relating the stable isotopic composition of a sample mixture to that of sources. The number of stable isotopes, however, is usually lower than that of potential sources existing in an ecosystem, which creates mathematical difficulties in correctly tracing sources. We discuss a linear programming model which efficiently derives information on the contribution of sources to mixtures for any number of stable isotopes and any number of sources by addressing multiple sources simultaneously. The model identifies which sources are present in all, present in a subset of the samples or absent from all samples simultaneously and calculates minimum and maximum values of each source in the mixtures. We illustrate the model using a data set consisting on the isotopic signatures of different plant sources ingested by primary consumers in tropical riverine habitat in Asia. The model discussed may contribute to extend the scope of stable isotopes methodology to a range of new problems dealing with multiple sources and multiple tracers. For instance, in food web studies, if particular organic matter sources disappear or decrease in availability (e.g. climate change scenarios) the model allows simulation of alternative diets of the consumers providing potentially relevant information for managers and decision makers.

  6. Air manganese levels and chronic liver disease mortality in North Carolina counties: an ecological study.

    PubMed

    Spangler, John G

    2012-09-05

    Manganese is an essential trace element which is toxic in high doses. Over the past several decades, manganese has replaced lead as the anti-knock agent in gasoline, raising concern about air and road-side contamination with this element. In addition, manganese is absorbed by the liver, making specific populations (e.g., pregnant women, infants and children, and patients with liver disease) susceptible to its toxic effects. Using data from the US Census Bureau, the North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics, and the US Environmental Protection Agency, this ecological study evaluated chronic liver disease mortality rates in North Carolina's 100 counties. It correlated these rates with county-level demographics as well as on-road and non-road air borne manganese concentrations. Median income by county was inversely associated with chronic liver disease mortality, while the logarithmically transformed airborne concentrations of on-road manganese were positively correlated with county-level chronic liver disease mortality. Because environmental manganese near roads is likely to increase over time, these pilot findings potentially have regulatory implications and argue for further research.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Plant toxicity testing to derive ecological soil screening levels for cobalt and nickel.

    PubMed

    Kapustka, Lawrence A; Eskew, David; Yocum, Joan M

    2006-03-01

    Phytotoxicity tests were performed to set ecological soil screening levels for cobalt (Co) and nickel (Ni) following the American Society for Testing and Materials international E1963-98 Standard Guide for Conducting Terrestrial Plant Toxicity Tests. Two soils (a modified artificial soil mixed with 5% organic matter, pH 5.01, and a native riverine sandy soil with 0.1% organic matter, pH 6.3) were treated with cobalt(II) chloride or nickel chloride and allowed to age for four weeks before initiating tests. Alfalfa, barley, radish, perennial rye, and brassica were used to determine the appropriate range of concentrations and to select the most sensitive plant species for definitive tests. The tests were designed to have one to three test concentrations below the 20% effects concentration (EC20), and five to six test concentrations above the EC20. Definitive tests for each chemical used two soil matrices, three plant species, and replicates at 10 nominal concentrations, including negative control. Soil chemical concentrations were determined before planting and on completion of the phytotoxicity tests. Threshold responses interpreted as the EC20 for each species endpoint were calculated from regression analyses. The geometric mean of the EC20 values (excluding emergence, mortality, and nodule numbers) for each species resulted in values of 30.6 mg/kg for Co and 27.9 mg/kg for Ni.

  13. PROJECTING POPULATION-LEVEL RESPONSE OF PURPLE SEA URCHINS TO LEAD CONTAMINATION FOR AN ESTUARINE ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    As part of an ecological risk assessment case study at the Portsmouth naval Shipyard (PNS), Kittery, Maine, USA, the population level effects of lead exposure to purple sea urchin, Arbacia punctulata, were investigated using a stage-classified matrix population model. The model d...

  14. PROJECTING POPULATION-LEVEL RESPONSE OF PURPLE SEA URCHINS TO LEAD CONTAMINATION FOR AN ESTUARINE ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    As part of an ecological risk assessment case study at the Portsmouth naval Shipyard (PNS), Kittery, Maine, USA, the population level effects of lead exposure to purple sea urchin, Arbacia punctulata, were investigated using a stage-classified matrix population model. The model d...

  15. 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…

  16. Patients with multiple sclerosis present low levels of empathy.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Marcos Barbosa de; Going, Luana Carramilo; Fragoso, Yara Dadalti

    2016-12-01

    This is a single center, cross-sectional study, of 34 patients with MS and 34 matched control subjects. A specific questionnaire (empathy quotient) was used. Patients with MS showed significantly lower levels of empathy. This finding was not correlated with disease duration, degree of disability, drugs for treating MS or lesion load on resonance magnetic imaging. Decreased empathy is a frequent condition in patients with MS and should be addressed in order to diminish the psychosocial burden of this neurological disease.

  17. Organism and population-level ecological models for chemical risk assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological risk assessment typically focuses on animal populations as endpoints for regulatory ecotoxicology. Scientists at USEPA are developing models for animal populations exposed to a wide range of chemicals from pesticides to emerging contaminants. Modeled taxa include aquat...

  18. Organism and population-level ecological models for chemical risk assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological risk assessment typically focuses on animal populations as endpoints for regulatory ecotoxicology. Scientists at USEPA are developing models for animal populations exposed to a wide range of chemicals from pesticides to emerging contaminants. Modeled taxa include aquat...

  19. 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

  20. Multiple Levels of Degradation Diminish Hemostatic Potential of Thawed Plasma

    PubMed Central

    Matijevic, Nena; Kostousov, Vadim; Wang, Yao-Wei W.; Wade, Charles E.; Wang, Weiwei; Letourneau, Phillip; Hartwell, Elizabeth; Kozar, Rosemary; Ko, Tien; Holcomb, John B.

    2011-01-01

    Background Severe bleeding after injury requires transfusion of blood products, including fresh frozen plasma (FFP). Many centers are keeping thawed plasma (TP) ready for massively transfused patients. According to the American Association of Blood Banks Standards, TP is approved for transfusion up to 5 days after thawing, when stored at 1°C to 6°C. However, there are no clinical data analyzing the effects of the approved 5-day storage on plasma. We hypothesize that the hemostatic potential (HP) of freshly thawed (FFP-0) was superior to plasma stored for 5 days (FFP-5). Methods FFP from 30 single donors were thawed at 37°C and kept at 1°C to 6°C for 5 days. HP was evaluated at day 0 and 5 by measuring kinetics of thrombin generation (TG), kinetics of clot formation by thromboelastography, clotting factors and inhibitors, and cell-derived microparticles (MPs) by flow cytometry. Results When comparing FFP-5 to FFP-0, FFP-5 exhibited only 40% of the potential of FFP-0 for TG (6.2 nM/min vs. 14.3 nM/min, p < 0.0001), a slower clotting response via thromboelastography (reaction time: 4.3 minutes vs. 3.2 minutes, p < 0.0001) and a longer delay in reaching maximum thrombus generation (5.7 minutes vs. 4.6 minutes, p < 0.01). Diminished HP was accompanied by a significant decline in multiple coagulation proteins, including FV, VII, VIII, von Willebrand factor, and free Protein S, by up to 30%, and a decrease of 50% in MP counts. Conclusion The HP and clot forming ability of TP significantly declined with storage. Hence, freshly TP may have a greater ability to restore hemostasis and correct coagulopathy compared with FFP-5. The clinical consequences for transfused patients deserve further exploration. PMID:21217484

  1. 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.

  2. The learning continuum of ecology based on teachers' opinion about student's level of competence and specific pedagogical learning material

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pramesti, Indah Cahaya; Subali, Bambang

    2017-08-01

    This study aims at designing learning continuum for developing a curriculum based on teachers' opinion about student's level of competence and specific pedagogical learning material on ecological aspect targeted for students of Primary and Secondary Education. This research is a descriptive research using survey methods. The researchers conducted a census by distributing questionnaires that had been validated from the aspects of construct validity and experts judgements to 147 natural science teachers at junior high school and 134 Biology teachers at senior high school as a population throughout 4 regencies and 1 city in Yogyakarta Special Region.. Data analysis techniques used descriptive analysis. In conclusion, teacher's opinion is influenced by curriculum that exist today. According to the opinions of Natural Science teachers at Junior High School, most of the ecological aspects such as characteristics of biomes, characteristics of ecosystems, characteristics of communities, characteristics of populations, etc. should be taught in grade VII with the level of competence: to understand (C2), while Biology teachers at Senior High School state that the ecological aspect should be taught in class X with the level of competence: to understand (C2), apply (C3) and analyze (C4). Teachers should be a privy in the formulation of the curriculum, so they're not only accept and apply the existing curriculum but also give opinions to improve the curriculum, especially in terms of ecology.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Correlates between feeding ecology and mercury levels in historical and modern arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus).

    PubMed

    Bocharova, Natalia; Treu, Gabriele; Czirják, Gábor Árpád; 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.

  7. 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

  8. Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women in Physics at Multiple Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greco, Shannon; Dominguez, Arturo; Ortiz, Deedee; Zwicker, Andrew

    2016-10-01

    APS provides support to several universities and research institutions to host Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP). The goal of these Conferences is to provide practical tools and a community to help women persist in physics and STEM careers. This is particularly relevant for the DPP where women make up only 7% of the membership. In January 2017, Princeton University and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) will host a CUWiP. CUWiP and the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program expose undergraduates to the variety of possible careers in plasma physics and fusion energy in academia, government labs or private industry. We will report on the success of a number of PPPL programs to engage women at all levels in physics and highlight how programs such as CUWiP and SULI contribute to this goal. Special thanks to the Department of Energy for supporting PPPL's education programs and to APS for supporting the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  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. Stochastic modeling of Lake Van water level time series with jumps and multiple trends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aksoy, H.; Unal, N. E.; Eris, E.; Yuce, M. I.

    2013-06-01

    In the 1990s, water level in the closed-basin Lake Van located in the Eastern Anatolia, Turkey, has risen up about 2 m. Analysis of the hydrometeorological data shows that change in the water level is related to the water budget of the lake. In this study, stochastic models are proposed for simulating monthly water level data. Two models considering mono- and multiple-trend time series are developed. The models are derived after removal of trend and periodicity in the dataset. Trend observed in the lake water level time series is fitted by mono- and multiple-trend lines. In the so-called mono-trend model, the time series is treated as a whole under the hypothesis that the lake water level has an increasing trend. In the second model (so-called multiple-trend), the time series is divided into a number of segments to each a linear trend can be fitted separately. Application on the lake water level data shows that four segments, each fitted with a trend line, are meaningful. Both the mono- and multiple-trend models are used for simulation of synthetic lake water level time series under the hypothesis that the observed mono- and multiple-trend structure of the lake water level persist during the simulation period. The multiple-trend model is found better for planning the future infrastructural projects in surrounding areas of the lake as it generates higher maxima for the simulated lake water level.

  15. 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.

  16. Integration of the Problem of Medical Ecology on the Level of the Highly Urbanized Region

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rozenberg, Gennadiy S.; Lazareva, Natalya V.; Simonov, Yury V.; Lifirenko, Natalya G.; Sarapultseva, Lilija A.

    2016-01-01

    The urgency of the analyzed issue is due to the study of the basic issues of medical ecology: the dynamics of demographic indicators, the correlation of somatic and reproductive public health, depending on the influence of physical factors of the urban environment on public health on the basis of medical and geographic mapping. The article aims at…

  17. 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

  18. Landowners' Perspectives on Coordinated, Landscape-Level Invasive Species Control: The Role of Social and Ecological Context.

    PubMed

    Niemiec, Rebecca M; Pech, Roger P; Norbury, Grant L; Byrom, Andrea E

    2017-03-01

    To achieve biodiversity gains, landowner engagement in coordinated invasive species control programs across private lands is needed. Understanding landowners' perspectives toward such coordinated control efforts is crucial to facilitating engagement. We conducted in person and mail surveys of 68 landowners in and adjacent to the area of a proposed invasive predator control program in New Zealand. We find that, similar to previous studies, landowners consider the potential socioeconomic and ecological benefits of invasive species control and express a strong desire to enhance native biodiversity. However, we also find that landowners take into account the complexity of the local social and ecological context in which a program will unfold in three ways: they consider (1) the level of contribution by other landowners and urban residents who are benefiting from collective control efforts; (2) the potential for the program to upset the local "ecological balance", leading to increases in other pests; and (3) the probability that the program will be successful given the likelihood of others participating and control tactics being effective. We suggest that managers of coordinated invasive species control efforts may benefit from devoting time and resources toward addressing beliefs about social and ecological context, rather than solely providing financial subsidies and information about control tactics or the impacts of invasive species.

  19. Landowners' Perspectives on Coordinated, Landscape-Level Invasive Species Control: The Role of Social and Ecological Context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niemiec, Rebecca M.; Pech, Roger P.; Norbury, Grant L.; Byrom, Andrea E.

    2017-03-01

    To achieve biodiversity gains, landowner engagement in coordinated invasive species control programs across private lands is needed. Understanding landowners' perspectives toward such coordinated control efforts is crucial to facilitating engagement. We conducted in person and mail surveys of 68 landowners in and adjacent to the area of a proposed invasive predator control program in New Zealand. We find that, similar to previous studies, landowners consider the potential socioeconomic and ecological benefits of invasive species control and express a strong desire to enhance native biodiversity. However, we also find that landowners take into account the complexity of the local social and ecological context in which a program will unfold in three ways: they consider (1) the level of contribution by other landowners and urban residents who are benefiting from collective control efforts; (2) the potential for the program to upset the local "ecological balance", leading to increases in other pests; and (3) the probability that the program will be successful given the likelihood of others participating and control tactics being effective. We suggest that managers of coordinated invasive species control efforts may benefit from devoting time and resources toward addressing beliefs about social and ecological context, rather than solely providing financial subsidies and information about control tactics or the impacts of invasive species.

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Multiple Intelligence Approach to Curriculum Transaction in Achieving the Educational Objectives at Secondary School Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Francis, Reni

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to foster learning through the Multiple Intelligence Approach in achieving educational objectives across the levels of Revised Bloom's Taxonomy. Multiple intelligences approach facilitates ways for students by ensuring that curriculum and instruction validate the strengths and build on the assets that students possess…

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. Stochastic modeling of Lake Van water level time series with jumps and multiple trends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aksoy, H.; Unal, N. E.; Eris, E.; Yuce, M. I.

    2013-02-01

    In 1990s, water level in the closed-basin Lake Van located in the Eastern Anatolia, Turkey has risen up about 2 m. Analysis of the hydrometeorological shows that change in the water level is related to the water budget of the lake. In this study, a stochastic model is generated using the measured monthly water level data of the lake. The model is derived after removal of trend and periodicity in the data set. Trend observed in the lake water level time series is fitted by mono- and multiple-trend lines. For the multiple-trend, the time series is first divided into homogeneous segments by means of SEGMENTER, segmentation software. Four segments are found meaningful practically each fitted with a trend line. Two models considering mono- and multiple-trend time series are developed. The multiple-trend model is found better for planning future development in surrounding areas of the lake.

  6. 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

  7. Extracting fingerprint of wireless devices based on phase noise and multiple level wavelet decomposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Weichen; Sun, Zhuo; Kong, Song

    2016-10-01

    Wireless devices can be identified by the fingerprint extracted from the signal transmitted, which is useful in wireless communication security and other fields. This paper presents a method that extracts fingerprint based on phase noise of signal and multiple level wavelet decomposition. The phase of signal will be extracted first and then decomposed by multiple level wavelet decomposition. The statistic value of each wavelet coefficient vector is utilized for constructing fingerprint. Besides, the relationship between wavelet decomposition level and recognition accuracy is simulated. And advertised decomposition level is revealed as well. Compared with previous methods, our method is simpler and the accuracy of recognition remains high when Signal Noise Ratio (SNR) is low.

  8. Physiological Stress Responses in Amphibian Larvae to Multiple Stressors Reveal Marked Anthropogenic Effects even below Lethal Levels.

    PubMed

    Burraco, Pablo; Gomez-Mestre, Ivan

    Natural and anthropogenic disturbances cause profound alterations in organisms, inducing physiological adjustments to avoid, reduce, or remedy the impact of disturbances. In vertebrates, the stress response is regulated via neuroendocrine pathways, including the hypothalamic-pituitary-interrenal axis that regulates the secretion of glucocorticoids. Glucocorticoids have cascading effects on multiple physiological pathways, affecting the metabolic rate, reactive oxygen species production, or immune system. Determining the extent to which natural and anthropogenic environmental factors induce stress responses in vertebrates is of great importance in ecology and conservation biology. Here we study the physiological stress response in spadefoot toad tadpoles (Pelobates cultripes) against three levels of a series of natural and anthropogenic stressors common to many aquatic systems: salinity (0, 6, and 9 ppt), herbicide (0, 1, and 2 mg/L acid equivalent of glyphosate), water acidity (pH 4.5, 7.0, and 9.5), predators (absent, native, and invasive), and temperature (21°, 25°, and 29°C). The physiological stress response was assessed examining corticosterone levels, standard metabolic rate, activity of antioxidant enzymes, oxidative cellular damage in lipids, and immunological status. We found that common stressors substantially altered the physiological state of tadpoles. In particular, salinity and herbicides cause dramatic physiological changes in tadpoles. Moreover, tadpoles reduced corticosterone levels in the presence of natural predators but did not do so against invasive predators, indicating a lack of innate recognition. Corticosterone and the antioxidant enzyme glutathione reductase were the most sensitive parameters to stress in this study. Anthropogenic perturbations of aquatic systems pose serious threats to larval amphibians even at nonlethal concentrations, judging from the marked physiological stress responses generated, and reveal the importance of

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Identifying multiple gestation groups using state-level birth and fetal death certificate data.

    PubMed

    Lazar, Jane; Kotelchuck, Milton; Nannini, Angela; Barger, Mary

    2006-05-01

    Birth and fetal death certificates classify individuals as twins or higher order multiples, but do not identify multiple gestation groups. As a result, multiple gestations are consistently excluded from maternal and child health research studies despite the surge in multiple births since the early 1980s and the health risks associated with them. A standardized methodology for states to identify multiple gestation groups is proposed to allow researchers to account for multiple gestations in analyses, improve the accuracy of the incidence of multiple gestations and further knowledge of the impact of multiple gestations on birth outcomes. Using 3 years of Massachusetts birth and fetal death certificate data from 1998 to 2000 (247,959 births and 1358 fetal deaths), we assigned matching multiple gestation group numbers to records with identical combinations of mother's first name, last name, date of birth, and month of delivery. To validate our methodology, we calculated plurality and compared it to plurality reported on the existing birth and fetal death data. This method correctly identified 10,765 records out of 10,795 validated multiple gestation deliveries (99.8%). Our method identified 71 additional multiple gestation deliveries, which were not identified by the birth and fetal death files. This method resulted in only 4 false positives and 51 false negatives over 3 years. This algorithm provides much needed information on multiple gestation groupings, and as an additional benefit, improves the identification of multiple gestation deliveries. This method has proven easy to use, employs state-level data, and offers numerous new analytic opportunities.

  15. 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

  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. Polychlorinated biphenyls and Hudson River white perch: implications for population-level ecological risk assessment and risk management.

    PubMed

    Barnthouse, Lawrence W; Glaser, David; DeSantis, Liane

    2009-07-01

    Risk assessments and risk management decisions concerning risks to wild fish populations resulting from exposures to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and related chemicals have been based primarily on observations of effects of chemicals on individual organisms. Although the development and application of population-level ecological risk-assessment methods is proceeding at a rapid pace, the organism-level approach is still being justified by arguments that population-level ecological risk assessment is in an early stage of development and has not been shown to be reliable. This article highlights the importance of including population-level effects in risk-management decision-making, by examining the effects of exposures to PCBs on fish populations inhabiting the Hudson River, New York, USA, a system in which data have been collected for approximately 30 y concerning both concentrations of PCBs in sediment and fish tissue and the abundance and reproduction of exposed fish populations. We previously tested hypotheses concerning the effects of PCBs on the striped bass population of the Hudson River, and found that the available data conflicted with all of these hypotheses. Here, we report results of similar analyses of effects of historic PCB exposures on the Hudson River white perch population, using an extended data set that recently became available. As with striped bass, we found no correlation between maternal PCB tissue concentrations and any measure of reproductive success in Hudson River white perch during the 30-y period covered by the data set. Together with results of studies performed on fish populations exposed to PCBs at other sites, our results clearly demonstrate that physiological and genetic adaptation, biological compensation, and other ecological processes influence responses of fish populations to PCB exposures and should be considered in risk management decision-making.

  18. 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.

  19. Using Multiple FPGA Architectures for Real-time Processing of Low-level Machine Vision Functions

    Treesearch

    Thomas H. Drayer; William E. King; Philip A. Araman; Joseph G. Tront; Richard W. Conners

    1995-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate the use of multiple Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) architectures for real-time machine vision processing. The use of FPGAs for low-level processing represents an excellent tradeoff between software and special purpose hardware implementations. A library of modules that implement common low-level machine vision operations is presented...

  20. Acceptance and Accuracy of Multiple Choice, Confidence-Level, and Essay Question Formats for Graduate Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swartz, Stephen M.

    2006-01-01

    The confidence level (information-referenced testing; IRT) design is an attempt to improve upon the multiple choice format by allowing students to express a level of confidence in the answers they choose. In this study, the author evaluated student perceptions of the ease of use and accuracy of and general preference for traditional multiple…

  1. Population-level ecological risk assessment of planar polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons in great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) around Tokyo Bay, Japan.

    PubMed

    Murata, Mariko; Masunaga, Shigeki; Nakanishi, Junko

    2003-10-01

    Assessment of population-level ecological risk posed by planar polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons (p-PCAHs; including polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, and dioxintike polychlorinated biphenyls) in sediment of Tokyo Bay (Japan) and rivers via fish ingestion to the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) population was conducted by means of a probabilistic approach. Population decline risk was used as an indicator of population-level effects and compared with other indicators of effects. The increment of egg mortality risk posed by current p-PCAH levels was estimated to be 11.7%. This risk was interpreted in terms of both the increase of the risk of population decline in a 10-year period on a recently abundant cormorant population, and the reduction in population growth rate (r). Population decline risks of 20% and below were estimated to be 16% for the reference population and 32% for the exposed population, whereas the reduction in r was estimated to be 10%. The risk expressed in terms of population viability is a more susceptible measure and a more easily understandable indicator than both egg mortality risk as an individual-level risk and the reduction in r. Translating the effects due to pollutants into the risk on population viability will make ecological risk assessment more conductive to risk management.

  2. Using the MitoB method to assess levels of reactive oxygen species in ecological studies of oxidative stress

    PubMed Central

    Salin, Karine; Auer, Sonya K.; Villasevil, Eugenia M.; Anderson, Graeme J.; Cairns, Andrew G.; Mullen, William; Hartley, Richard C.; Metcalfe, Neil B.

    2017-01-01

    In recent years evolutionary ecologists have become increasingly interested in the effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on the life-histories of animals. ROS levels have mostly been inferred indirectly due to the limitations of estimating ROS from in vitro methods. However, measuring ROS (hydrogen peroxide, H2O2) content in vivo is now possible using the MitoB probe. Here, we extend and refine the MitoB method to make it suitable for ecological studies of oxidative stress using the brown trout Salmo trutta as model. The MitoB method allows an evaluation of H2O2 levels in living organisms over a timescale from hours to days. The method is flexible with regard to the duration of exposure and initial concentration of the MitoB probe, and there is no transfer of the MitoB probe between fish. H2O2 levels were consistent across subsamples of the same liver but differed between muscle subsamples and between tissues of the same animal. The MitoB method provides a convenient method for measuring ROS levels in living animals over a significant period of time. Given its wide range of possible applications, it opens the opportunity to study the role of ROS in mediating life history trade-offs in ecological settings. PMID:28117373

  3. Level of sFas/APO 1 in serum and cerebrospinal fluid in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Mahovic, Darija; Petravic, Damir; Petelin, Zeljka; Zurak, Niko; Horvat, Gordana; Hajnsek, Sanja

    2004-06-01

    The aim of the study was to measure sFas/APO 1 serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) during relapses, as an index of inhibition of apoptosis of activated lymphocytes in eight patients with clinically definite multiple sclerosis, and 12 healthy controls. The level of serum and CSF sFas/APO 1 was determined by commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits. No significant differences were detected in the sFas/APO 1 serum level between patients and controls, but the levels in CSF was lower in the former. Our results suggest the possibility of Fas mediated apoptosis as a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis.

  4. An Integrated Ecological Modeling System for Assessing Impacts of Multiple Stressors on Stream and Riverine Ecosystem Services Within River Basins

    EPA Science Inventory

    We demonstrate a novel, spatially explicit assessment of the current condition of aquatic ecosystem services, with limited sensitivity analysis for the atmospheric contaminant mercury. The Integrated Ecological Modeling System (IEMS) forecasts water quality and quantity, habitat ...

  5. IL-21 and other serum proinflammatory cytokine levels in patients with multiple myeloma at diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Mehtap, O; Atesoglu, E B; Tarkun, P; Hacihanefioglu, A; Dolasik, I; Musul, M M

    2014-01-01

    IL-6, IL1-β, TNF-α and IL-21 have been identified in the growth, progression and dissemination of multiple myeloma. To dte, there is no published data about serum levels of IL-21 in patients with multiple myeloma. In the present study we have investigated circulating levels of cytokines, such as IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-21 and the association of these levels with the disease stage in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients. Twenty healthy controls and 44 newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients were evaluated. Patients were classified according to Durie-Salmon criteria, international staging system (ISS) and bone disease. Quantification of cytokine levels in serum were performed by using ELISA. The levels of cytokines in patients' serum are found elevated than healthy controls. However, only the serum levels of IL-1β and TNF-α were found statistically significant. TNF-α levels of patients with ISS stage 3 were significantly higher than patients with ISS stage 1 and 2 (P 0.000). IL-1β was significantly elevated in advanced stage patients (stage II-III) (P 0.040). There was no correlation between IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-21 levels and bone lesions. IL-6 levels were significantly elevated who have at least three visible lytic bone lesions and/or bone fracture in comparison to patients who have one or two visible or no visible lytic bone lesions (P 0.048). It appears that there is no association of serum IL-21 level with multiple myeloma in contrast to the other cytokines such as IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. Optimising threshold levels for information transmission in binary threshold networks: Independent multiplicative noise on each threshold

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Bingchang; McDonnell, Mark D.

    2015-02-01

    The problem of optimising the threshold levels in multilevel threshold system subject to multiplicative Gaussian and uniform noise is considered. Similar to previous results for additive noise, we find a bifurcation phenomenon in the optimal threshold values, as the noise intensity changes. This occurs when the number of threshold units is greater than one. We also study the optimal thresholds for combined additive and multiplicative Gaussian noise, and find that all threshold levels need to be identical to optimise the system when the additive noise intensity is a constant. However, this identical value is not equal to the signal mean, unlike the case of additive noise. When the multiplicative noise intensity is instead held constant, the optimal threshold levels are not all identical for small additive noise intensity but are all equal to zero for large additive noise intensity. The model and our results are potentially relevant for sensor network design and understanding neurobiological sensory neurons such as in the peripheral auditory system.

  10. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. Small area-level variation in the incidence of psychotic disorders in an urban area in France: an ecological study.

    PubMed

    Szoke, Andrei; Pignon, Baptiste; Baudin, Grégoire; Tortelli, Andrea; Richard, Jean-Romain; Leboyer, Marion; Schürhoff, Franck

    2016-07-01

    We sought to determine whether significant variation in the incidence of clinically relevant psychoses existed at an ecological level in an urban French setting, and to examine possible factors associated with this variation. We aimed to advance the literature by testing this hypothesis in a novel population setting and by comparing a variety of spatial models. We sought to identify all first episode cases of non-affective and affective psychotic disorders presenting in a defined urban catchment area over a 4 years period, over more than half a million person-years at-risk. Because data from geographic close neighbourhoods usually show spatial autocorrelation, we used for our analyses Bayesian modelling. We included small area neighbourhood measures of deprivation, migrants' density and social fragmentation as putative explanatory variables in the models. Incidence of broad psychotic disorders shows spatial patterning with the best fit for models that included both strong autocorrelation between neighbouring areas and weak autocorrelation between areas further apart. Affective psychotic disorders showed similar spatial patterning and were associated with the proportion of migrants/foreigners in the area (inverse correlation). In contrast, non-affective psychoses did not show spatial patterning. At ecological level, the variation in the number of cases and the factors that influence this variation are different for non-affective and affective psychotic disorders. Important differences in results-compared with previous studies in different settings-point to the importance of the context and the necessity of further studies to understand these differences.

  13. 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.

  14. Changes in B- and T-lymphocyte and chemokine levels with rituximab treatment in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Piccio, Laura; Naismith, Robert T; Trinkaus, Kathryn; Klein, Robyn S; Parks, Becky J; Lyons, Jeri A; Cross, Anne H

    2010-06-01

    B cells are implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. A beneficial effect of B-cell depletion using rituximab has been shown, but the complete mechanism of action for this drug is unclear. To determine the relationship between T and B cells and changes in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) chemokine levels with rituximab, a monoclonal antibody that targets CD20. Phase 2 trial of rituximab as an add-on therapy. The John L. Trotter Multiple Sclerosis Center, Washington University. Participants and Intervention Thirty subjects who had relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis with clinical and magnetic resonance imaging activity despite treatment with an immunomodulatory drug received 4 weekly doses of rituximab (375 mg/m(2)). Lumbar puncture was performed before and after rituximab infusions in 26 subjects. Levels of B and T lymphocytes in the CSF were enumerated by flow cytometry, and chemoattractant levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. After rituximab administration, CSF B-cell levels were decreased or undetectable in all subjects, and CSF T-cell levels were reduced in 21 subjects (81%). The mean reduction in CSF cellularity was 95% for B cells and 50% for T cells. After rituximab infusion, CSF CXCL13 and CCL19 levels decreased (P = .002 and P = .03, respectively). The proportional decline in CSF T-cell levels correlated with the proportional decrease in CXCL13 levels (r = 0.45; P = .03), suggesting a possible relationship. The CSF IgG index, IgG concentration, and oligoclonal band number were unchanged following treatment. In subjects with multiple sclerosis, B cells are critical for T-cell trafficking into the central nervous system and may alter the process by influencing chemokine production within the central nervous system.

  15. 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…

  16. A Multivariate Model for the Meta-Analysis of Study Level Survival Data at Multiple Times

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Dan; Rollins, Katie; Coughlin, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    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…

  17. Beyond the Basics: Preschool Children Label Objects Flexibly at Multiple Hierarchical Levels.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waxman, Sandra R.; Hatch, Thomas

    1992-01-01

    Examines (1) preschool 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 plus noun constructions vs. simple lexemes) at the subordinate level. Performance shows an inability to label objects flexibly at…

  18. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Graesser, Arthur C.; McNamara, Danielle S.; Cai, Zhiqiang; 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…

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Higher Levels of Multiple Paternities Increase Seedling Survival in the Long-Lived Tree Eucalyptus gracilis

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24587373

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Multiple external hazards compound level 3 PSA methods research of nuclear power plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Handing; Liang, Xiaoyu; Zhang, Xiaoming; Yang, Jianfeng; Liu, Weidong; Lei, Dina

    2017-01-01

    2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant severe accident was caused by both earthquake and tsunami, which results in large amount of radioactive nuclides release. That accident has caused the radioactive contamination on the surrounding environment. Although this accident probability is extremely small, once such an accident happens that is likely to release a lot of radioactive materials into the environment, and cause radiation contamination. Therefore, studying accidents consequences is important and essential to improve nuclear power plant design and management. Level 3 PSA methods of nuclear power plant can be used to analyze radiological consequences, and quantify risk to the public health effects around nuclear power plants. Based on multiple external hazards compound level 3 PSA methods studies of nuclear power plant, and the description of the multiple external hazards compound level 3 PSA technology roadmap and important technical elements, as well as taking a coastal nuclear power plant as the reference site, we analyzed the impact of off-site consequences of nuclear power plant severe accidents caused by multiple external hazards. At last we discussed the impact of off-site consequences probabilistic risk studies and its applications under multiple external hazards compound conditions, and explained feasibility and reasonableness of emergency plans implementation.

  8. Improving the Readability of ASR Results for Lectures Using Multiple Hypotheses and Sentence-Level Knowledge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujii, Yasuhisa; Yamamoto, Kazumasa; Nakagawa, Seiichi

    This paper presents a novel method for improving the readability of automatic speech recognition (ASR) results for classroom lectures. Because speech in a classroom is spontaneous and contains many ill-formed utterances with various disfluencies, the ASR result should be edited to improve the readability before presenting it to users, by applying some operations such as removing disfluencies, determining sentence boundaries, inserting punctuation marks and repairing dropped words. Owing to the presence of many kinds of domain-dependent words and casual styles, even state-of-the-art recognizers can only achieve a 30-50% word error rate for speech in classroom lectures. Therefore, a method for improving the readability of ASR results is needed to make it robust to recognition errors. We can use multiple hypotheses instead of the single-best hypothesis as a method to achieve a robust response to recognition errors. However, if the multiple hypotheses are represented by a lattice (or a confusion network), it is difficult to utilize sentence-level knowledge, such as chunking and dependency parsing, which are imperative for determining the discourse structure and therefore imperative for improving readability. In this paper, we propose a novel algorithm that infers clean, readable transcripts from spontaneous multiple hypotheses represented by a confusion network while integrating sentence-level knowledge. Automatic and manual evaluations showed that using multiple hypotheses and sentence-level knowledge is effective to improve the readability of ASR results, while preserving the understandability.

  9. Level and ecological risk of four common metals in surface water along the Qinhuangdao coastal areas, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Liping; Lei, Kun; Qiao, Yanzhen; Hao, Chenlin

    2017-01-01

    Heavy metals have been a widespread environmental contamination. Due to their associated ecological risk, the presence in water environment has attracted broad attention to public. Here 4 most common metals including copper (Cu), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd) and zinc (Zn) were determined in surface water along the Qinhuangdao coastal areas, China. And their ecological risk was assessed using species sensitivity distribution (SSD) method. Total 12 stations were designed near the main estuary in the study area. The results showed that the concentrations of Cu, Pb, Cd and Zn of surface water were in the range of 847.81-1602.81µg/L, 0.42-1.59µg/L, 1.82-7.99µg/L and 26.9 -59.36µg/L, respectively. According to the National Seawater Quality Standard of China (GB3097-1997), Cu concentration in each station was much higher than the standard value of IV level (50µg/L), thus Cu could not even met the lowest level of water quality. In contrast, Pb met the I or II level of water quality, Cd and Zn met the II or III level. The HC5 (hazardous concentration for 5% of species) of each metal was obtained from their corresponding SSD curve. In case of Cu and Zn, the concentration at all sites exceeded their HC5 values, suggesting both of them had adverse effect on the aquatic organism, especially Cu. While Pb concentration at all sites was much lower than its HC5 value, thus Pb had no negative effect on aquatic life. In case of Cd, the concentration at 5 sites was higher than its HC5 value, and the other 7 sites was lower than its HC5 value, suggesting that adverse effect only occur at partial region in the study area. The RQ (risk quotient) value of Cu varied between 1355.41 and 2621.28, far larger than 1, indicating that 100% of sites had a much higher risk. The RQ of Zn varied between 6.06 and 13.88 (>1) indicating that Zn had a high risk in the study area. In case of Cd, the RQ ranged from 0.94 to 4.41 and about 92% of sites were larger than 1, suggesting that Cd had a high risk

  10. Effect of exit spacing in a multiple-jet nozzle on noise levels at audible frequencies.

    PubMed

    Sheen, Shaw-Ching

    2011-06-01

    This work investigated the effect of exit spacing on audible noise levels generated by a multiple-jet nozzle, which replaces the single exit in a common nozzle with multiple smaller exits to reduce the risk of hearing damage. Sound measurements and 1/3-octave band analyses were performed for multiple-jet nozzles with varying exit diameters and exit spacings. Results show that the effect of exit spacing is evident below a certain frequency range, which falls in the relatively low frequency part of the sound spectrum. The frequency range affected by exit spacing was found to extend to higher frequencies if the exits were more closely distributed. It was found that decreasing the exit spacing will shift the sound spectrum toward the low frequency side, which has been shifted toward the high frequency side by the use of smaller exits, and will increase the sound pressure levels at lower frequencies. When the exits were confined in a limited area, to maintain a constant total exit area, decreasing the exit diameters will increase the number of exits and reduce the exit spacing. Smaller exit diameters will increase the sound frequency and shift the sound spectrum toward the high frequency side, while decreased exit spacing has the opposite effect of shifting the spectrum toward the low frequency side. Due to these two opposing effects, for a multiple-jet nozzle with a limited size, there is an optimum exit diameter that, depending on the method used to evaluate the overall sound pressure level, generates the lowest sound pressure levels in the audible frequency range. If there is no limit to its physical size, a multiple-jet nozzle should avoid using an exit spacing that is too small. The minimum exit spacing required to avoid the adverse effects of a small exit spacing requires more extensive studies.

  11. 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. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. Levels of Influence: Applying an Ecological Model in Pediatric Primary Care

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buchholz, Melissa; Ehmer, Amy; Noniyeva, Yuliana; Stein, Rachel; Ashby, Bethany; Talmi, Ayelet

    2017-01-01

    Young children are influenced by the world around them and they, in turn, have an impact on their environment. Clinicians must consider all levels of influence on a young child's development when implementing interventions for young children and their families. Infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) clinicians integrated into primary…

  17. 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...

  18. 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…

  19. Constructing ecologies.

    PubMed

    Cropp, Roger; Norbury, John

    2012-02-07

    We synthesize the generic properties of ecologically realistic multi-trophic level models and define criteria for ecological realism. We define an "ecospace" in which all ecologically realistic dynamics are confined, and construct "resource rays" that define the resources available to each species at every point in the ecospace. Resource rays for a species are lines from a vertex of maximum resource to the opposite boundary where no resources are available. The growth functions of all biota normally decrease along their resource rays, and change sign from positive to negative. This property prescribes that each species must have a zero isosurface within the ecospace. We illustrate our conditions on a highly cited three trophic level model from population dynamics, showing how to extend this system biologically consistently to a closed ecological system. Our synthesis extends the concept of carrying capacity of population models to explicitly include exhaustion of limiting resources, and so allows for population biology models to be considered as ecologically closed systems with respect to a key limiting nutrient. This approach unifies many theoretical and applied models in a common biogeochemical framework, facilitates better understanding of the key structures of complex ecologies, and suggests strategies for efficient design of experiments.

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

    PubMed

    Al-Khamis, Fahd A

    2016-01-01

    To determine the relationship between Vitamin B12 levels and thyroid hormones in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). 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. 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). 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.

  1. 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

  2. [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.

  3. Multiple-Objective Optimal Designs for Studying the Dose Response Function and Interesting Dose Levels

    PubMed Central

    Hyun, Seung Won; Wong, Weng Kee

    2016-01-01

    We construct an optimal design to simultaneously estimate three common interesting features in a dose-finding trial with possibly different emphasis on each feature. These features are (1) the shape of the dose-response curve, (2) the median effective dose and (3) the minimum effective dose level. A main difficulty of this task is that an optimal design for a single objective may not perform well for other objectives. There are optimal designs for dual objectives in the literature but we were unable to find optimal designs for 3 or more objectives to date with a concrete application. A reason for this is that the approach for finding a dual-objective optimal design does not work well for a 3 or more multiple-objective design problem. We propose a method for finding multiple-objective optimal designs that estimate the three features with user-specified higher efficiencies for the more important objectives. We use the flexible 4-parameter logistic model to illustrate the methodology but our approach is applicable to find multiple-objective optimal designs for other types of objectives and models. We also investigate robustness properties of multiple-objective optimal designs to mis-specification in the nominal parameter values and to a variation in the optimality criterion. We also provide computer code for generating tailor made multiple-objective optimal designs. PMID:26565557

  4. On the relationship between productivity and food chain length at different ecological levels.

    PubMed

    Arim, Matías; Marquet, Pablo A; Jaksic, Fabian M

    2007-01-01

    The effects of energy on food web structure have been debated for at least 80 years. Nevertheless, the empirical evidence is meager, especially from terrestrial ecosystems. We analyzed long-term temporal variation in food chain length in a semiarid continental ecosystem, where productivity shows large interannual variations. Incidence of nonherbivorous prey in predator diet was used as a proxy of trophic position, allowing us to analyze the effect of productivity on food chain length within the assemblage of top predators (which comprises the most abundant and persistent top predators in the system) and to compare observed patterns at the species and assemblage levels. At the species level, the relationship between trophic position and productivity took different forms, varying in magnitude and shape. This pattern contrasts with the consistent increase in food chain length, with productivity observed at the assemblage level. Our results indicate that productivity can be a main determinant of food chain length, but not necessarily because of energy limitation. Further, the increase in food chain length with available energy probably represents an aggregate attribute, driven to a large extent by predators with higher consumption rates, rather than being the result of compensatory responses among predators.

  5. 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

  6. Physicians, clinics, and neighborhoods: multiple levels of influence on colorectal cancer screening.

    PubMed

    Pruitt, Sandi L; Leonard, Tammy; Zhang, Song; Schootman, Mario; Halm, Ethan A; Gupta, Samir

    2014-07-01

    We (i) described variability in colorectal cancer (CRC) test use across multiple levels, including physician, clinic, and neighborhood; and (ii) compared the performance of novel cross-classified models versus traditional hierarchical models. We examined multilevel variation in CRC test use among patients not up-to-date with screening in a large, urban safety net health system (2011-2012). Outcomes included: (i) fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or (ii) colonoscopy and were ascertained using claims data during a 1-year follow-up. We compared Bayesian (i) cross-classified four-level logistic models nesting patients within separate, nonoverlapping "levels" (physicians, clinics, and census tracts) versus (ii) three hierarchical two-level models using deviance information criterion. Models were adjusted for covariates (patient sociodemographic factors, driving time to clinic, and census tract poverty rate). Of 3,195 patients, 157 (4.9%) completed FOBT and 292 (9.1%) completed colonoscopy during the study year. Patients attended 19 clinics, saw 177 physicians, and resided in 332 census tracts. Significant variability was observed across all levels in both hierarchical and cross-classified models that was unexplained by measured covariates. For colonoscopy, variance was similar across all levels. For FOBT, physicians, followed by clinics, demonstrated the largest variability. Model fit using cross-classified models was superior or similar to 2-level hierarchical models. Significant and substantial variability was observed across neighborhood, physician, and clinic levels in CRC test use, suggesting the importance of factors at each of these levels on CRC testing. Future multilevel research and intervention should consider the simultaneous influences of multiple levels, including clinic, physician, and neighborhood. ©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. High apelin levels could be used as a diagnostic marker in multiple myeloma: A comparative study.

    PubMed

    Maden, Muhammet; Pamuk, Omer Nuri; Pamuk, Gulsum Emel

    2016-01-01

    Apelin/APJ system regulates angiogenesis and is overexpressed in some malignancies. Apelin can induce lymphangiogenesis and lymph node metastasis. We evaluated apelin levels in multiple myeloma (MM) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL); and analyzed the association between apelin levels and clinical findings. We included consecutive 29 MM, 31 NHL patients, and 19 healthy controls. Patients' demographic and clinical features, treatment modalities, and responses were recorded from hospital records. Plasma apelin was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). MM patients had significantly higher plasma apelin level than NHL and healthy control groups (p< 0.001). Apelin level in NHL group was similar to controls (p> 0.05). ROC curve analysis showed that the area under the curve value for apelin level in MM was 0.842 ng/ml (95%CI: 0.739-0.945, p< 0.001). Plasma apelin level ≥ 0.827 ng/ml had 76% sensitivity and 86% specificity for the diagnosis of MM. Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that MM patients with high apelin level had better prognosis and patients with advanced stage of disease (ISS-3) had significantly poor prognosis when compared to others. In the MM group, apelin level correlated negatively with LDH (r = -0.39, p= 0.038). In MM, plasma apelin level was significantly higher than in NHL and control groups. Apelin could be playing a role in MM pathogenesis; and apelin level could be used as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in MM.

  10. 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.

  11. Composition profiles, levels, distributions and ecological risk assessments of trihalomethanes in surface water from a typical estuary of Bohai Bay, China.

    PubMed

    Niu, Zhiguang; Li, Xiaonan; Zhang, Ying

    2017-01-31

    To characterize the spatiotemporal distribution and potential ecological risk for trihalomethanes (THMs) in the surface water of a river estuary, surface water samples were collected over five consecutive months (from March to July 2016) from four sites in the Haihe River estuary of Bohai Bay. The potential ecological risks of THMs were evaluated quantitatively based on a species sensitivity distribution (SSD) model. The results demonstrate that trichloromethane (TCM) was the predominant THM in surface water of the Haihe River estuary (2.93±1.98μg/L) followed by tribromomethane (TBM) (0.42±0.33μg/L), bromodichloromethane (BDCM) (0.14±0.06μg/L) and dibromochloromethane (DBCM) (0.09±0.10μg/L). The concentration of TCM was higher in summer than that in spring, while TBM displayed the opposite trend. The TCM concentration decreased from the estuary to the adjacent sea. However, the levels of TBM and DBCM in the adjacent sea were higher than those in the estuary. The ecological risks of THMs in surface water of Haihe River were notably low, and the ecological risks of THMs in freshwater were generally higher than those in seawater. Compared with other contaminants in water and surface sediment from rivers and coastal areas, the ecological risk levels of THMs in surface water can be considered low. This study is a contribution to the progress of ecological risk assessment of THMs.

  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. 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...

  14. Influences of population-level factors on suicides in older adults: a national ecological study from Australia.

    PubMed

    Law, Chi-Kin; Kõlves, Kairi; De Leo, Diego

    2016-04-01

    The relationship between older adult suicide rates and population-level variables has been examined in a few studies. Therefore, the objective of the present study is to analyse the extent to which population-level factors are associated with suicide by older persons in Australia, from an ecological perspective. Suicide rates for older adults aged 65 years and over were calculated for 68 observation units at Statistical Areas Level 4 in Australia for 2002-2011. The 2011 Census of Population and Housing was used for population-level variables. Analysis on standardised suicide mortality ratios and Poisson regression were performed to examine geographical and gender differences. Between 2002 and 2011, a total of 3133 suicides of persons aged 65 years and above (men: n = 2418, 77.1%) was identified with an average annual rate of 10.1 per 100,000 persons. Suicide rates in older adults vary widely between different geographical regions in Australia. The multivariate estimates of contextual factors showed that the risk of suicide was positively associated with the sex ratio (incidence risk ratio (IRR) = 1.053, 95%CI = 1.016-1.092), the proportion of those in tenant household (IRR = 1.120, 95%CI = 1.081-1.160) and Australian residents born in North-West Europe (IRR = 1.058, 95%CI = 1.022-1.095). Significant gender variations were found. Specific factors increasing risk of suicide for older adults on SA4 level in Australia were living in areas with a higher proportion of male population, a higher proportion of tenant household dwellers and a higher proportion of immigrants from North-West Europe. The different influences of population-level factor on suicide between older men and women indicate the need for targeted suicide prevention activities. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  15. 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. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  16. Global Coastal Exposure due to Sea-level Rise beyond Tipping Points with Multiple Warming Pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tawatari, R.; Iseri, Y.; Kiguchi, M.; Kanae, S.

    2016-12-01

    Sea-level is observed and estimated to continue rising. In the future, the rise could be abrupt and irreversible in century to millennial timescale even if we conduct strong reduction of greenhouse gas emission. Greenland ice sheet and West Antarctic ice sheet are considered as attributable climate systems which would significantly enhance presently-projected sea-level rise by several meters if global mean temperature passes certain "Tipping points" which would exist around +1-5 degree Celsius above present temperature (1980-1999 average). Therefore, vulnerable coastal low-lying area, especially small islands, deltas or poor developing countries, would suffer from semi-permanent inundation and forced to counteract due to the enhanced sea-level rise. This study estimate range of sea-level rise until the year 2300 and 3000 considering excess of tipping points with using multiple levels of temperature scenarios which consist of excess tipping points and non-excess tipping points pathways. We extract state-of-the-art knowledge of tipping elements from paper reviewing to express reasonable relationship between temperature and abruptly-changing sea-level transition across the ages. This study also calculate coastal exposure globally as affected population, area and asset below the estimated sea-level for each countries with overlaying 30 arc-second gridded topography, population distribution and the sea-level. The result indicates which country would be critically affected if we follow overshooting pathways. Furthermore, this study visualize uncertain coastal exposure due to sea-level rise in the future from the multiple warming pathways. This estimation of possible future beyond tipping point would be useful information for decision-makers to establish new planning of defense, migration or mitigation for the future societies.

  17. Physicians, Clinics, and Neighborhoods: Multiple Levels of Influence on Colorectal Cancer Screening

    PubMed Central

    Pruitt, Sandi L.; Leonard, Tammy; Zhang, Song; Schootman, Mario; Halm, Ethan A.; Gupta, Samir

    2014-01-01

    Background We 1) Described variability in colorectal cancer (CRC) test use across multiple levels, including physician, clinic, and neighborhood; and 2) Compared the performance of novel cross-classified vs. traditional hierarchical models. Methods We examined multilevel variation in CRC test use among patients not up-to-date with screening in a large, urban safety net health system (2011–2012). Outcomes included: 1) fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or 2) colonoscopy and were ascertained using claims data during a 1-year follow-up. We compared Bayesian 1) Cross-classified 4-level logistic models nesting patients within separate, non-overlapping “levels” (physicians, clinics, and census tracts) vs. 2) Three hierarchical 2-level models using deviance information criterion. Models adjusted for covariates (patient sociodemographic factors, driving time to clinic, and census tract poverty rate). Results Of 3,195 patients, 157 (4.9%) completed FOBT and 292 (9.1%) completed colonoscopy during the study year. Patients attended 19 clinics, saw 177 physicians, and resided in 332 census tracts. Significant variability was observed across all levels in both hierarchical and cross-classified models that was unexplained by measured covariates. For colonoscopy, variance was similar across all levels. For FOBT, physicians, followed by clinics, demonstrated the largest variability. Model fit using cross-classified models was superior or similar to 2-level hierarchical models. Conclusions Significant and substantial variability was observed across neighborhood, physician, and clinic levels in CRC test use, suggesting the importance of factors at each of these levels on CRC testing. Impact Future multilevel research and intervention should consider the simultaneous influences of multiple levels, including clinic, physician, and neighborhood. PMID:24732630

  18. 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

  19. Temporal variation in the biochemical ecology of lower trophic levels in the Northern California Current

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, J. A.; Peterson, W. T.; Copeman, L. A.; Du, X.; Morgan, C. A.; Litz, M. N. C.

    2017-06-01

    There is strong correlative evidence that variation in the growth and survival of secondary consumers is related to the copepod species composition within the Northern California Current. Potential mechanisms driving these correlations include: (1) enhanced growth and survival of secondary consumers when lipid-rich, boreal copepod species are abundant, with cascading effects on higher trophic levels; (2) the regulation of growth and condition of primary and secondary consumers by the relative proportion of certain essential fatty acids (FAs) in primary producers; or (3) a combination of these factors. Disentangling the relative importance of taxonomic composition, lipid quantity, and FA composition on the nutritional quality of copepods requires detailed information on both the consumer and primary producers. Therefore, we collected phytoplankton and copepods at an oceanographic station for 19 months and completed species community analyses and generated detailed lipid profiles, including lipid classes and FAs, for both groups. There was strong covariation between species and biochemistry within and across trophic levels and distinct seasonal differences. The amount of total lipid within both the phytoplankton and copepod communities was twice as high in spring and summer than in fall and winter, and certain FAs, such as diatom indicators 20:5ω3 and 16:1ω7, comprised a greater proportion of the FA pool in spring and summer. Indicators of bacterial production within the copepod community were proportionally twice as high during fall and winter than spring and summer. Seasonal transitions in copepod FA composition were consistently offset from transitions in copepod species composition by approximately two weeks. The timing of the seasonal transition in copepod FAs reflected seasonal shifts in the species composition and/or biochemistry of primary producers more than seasonal shifts in the copepod species composition. These results emphasize the importance of

  20. 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.

  1. Holocene Changes in Climate and Ecological Gradients across the Alaskan Arctic Assessed with Multiple Organic Geochemical and Paleoecological Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nichols, J. E.; Peteet, D. M.

    2014-12-01

    There is a strong climate gradient across the Alaskan Arctic, with important implications for ecology, carbon and nutrient cycling, terrestrial hydrology and permafrost. Hydrogen isotopes of precipitation are important tool for measuring this climate gradient, as it summarizes variability in precipitation, temperature, and other parameters of the ocean-atmosphere system-all important for understanding the rapidly changing climate of the Arctic. We reconstructed D/H ratios of precipitation along with other hydrological and ecological parameters in a series of peatlands throughout the Alaskan Arctic. We reconstruct climate parameters using the hydrogen isotope ratios of leaf wax n-alkanes and paleoecology using distributions of lipid biomarkers and macrofossil identification. By reconstructing D/H ratios at all sites, we are able to compare disparate environments to robustly establish changing precipitation isotope gradients over the Holocene and in the Late Glacial. We investigated four sites in a southeast-northwest transect of the Alaskan arctic, each with stratigraphies covering the Holocene, and two extending into the Late Glacial. We used data from this transect to identify temporal changes in the gradient of precipitation D/H ratios. We also assessed the impact of these changes in the context of Arctic peatland and permafrost carbon accumulation, as these impacts are key to our understanding of the interactions and feedbacks of the terrestrial carbon cycle on recent and future Arctic warming.

  2. 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. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Understanding epigenetic regulation: Tracking protein levels across multiple generations of cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rowat, A. C.; Weitz, D. A.

    2009-11-01

    Cells and organisms are remarkably robust: they alter the variety and levels of expressed genes and proteins in response to environmental stimuli, including temperature, chemicals, and the stiffness of their surroundings. Ultimately changes in gene and protein expression can result in a distinct phenotypic state, which in some cases is maintained over multiple generations; the ability to pass on a particular phenotypic state to progeny cells is critical for differentiation. Moreover, epigenetic regulation of phenotype is also thought to provide an evolutionary advantage for a population of cells adapting to a fluctuating environment on faster timescales than the occurrence of genetic mutations. However, simple methods to study patterns of gene and protein expression on multi-generational timescales are sparse. Here we describe a technique to study lineages of single cells over multiple generations using a microfluidic device; this reveals patterns of expression where protein levels are correlated across multiple generations. Such quantitative information of protein expression in the context of pedigree remains hidden when studying the population as an ensemble.

  7. Effect of dried rumen digesta pellet levels on feed use, rumen ecology, and blood metabolite in swamp buffalo.

    PubMed

    Seankamsorn, Anuthida; Cherdthong, Anusorn; Wanapat, Metha; Supapong, Chanadol; Khonkhaeng, Benjamad; Uriyapongson, Sutipong; Gunun, Nirawan; Gunun, Pongsatron; Chanjula, Pin

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this experiment was to determine the effect of dried rumen digesta pellet levels on feed intake, digestibility, rumen ecology, and blood metabolites in swamp buffalo. Four 2-year-old male swamp buffalo with an initial body weight (BW) of 150 ± 10.0 kg were randomly assigned according to a 4 × 4 Latin square design to receive four levels of dried rumen digesta pellets (DRDPs). The dietary treatments were supplementation of DRDP at 0, 50, 100, and 150 g dry matter/day, respectively. Total feed intake was significantly different among treatments (p < 0.05) and was highest in the 150 g/day DRDP supplement (2.68 kg/day). Intakes of neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber did not affect DRDP levels, while intakes of organic matter and crude protein (CP) were altered significantly when 150 g of DRDP was used (p < 0.05). Buffalo fed with DRDP at 150 g/day had the highest CP and NDF digestibility (p < 0.05). DRDP supplementation did not affect rumen pH, and temperature and the concentration of ruminal ammonia-nitrogen and blood urea nitrogen were not altered among the treatments. The mean value of fungal zoospores in the buffalo was significantly different among treatments and was highest in supplementation with DRDP at 150 g. The mean value of propionic acid was significantly different at various levels of DRDP; it was highest in the group fed with 150 g DRDP (p < 0.05). Thus, supplementation of DRDP at 150 g improved feed use and increased fungal zoospore population. In addition, DRDP feeding is recommended, since it has positive economic impacts and helps control environmental pollution.

  8. 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

  9. Computing multiple aggregation levels and contextual features for road facilities recognition using mobile laser scanning data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Bisheng; Dong, Zhen; Liu, Yuan; Liang, Fuxun; Wang, Yongjun

    2017-04-01

    In recent years, updating the inventory of road infrastructures based on field work is labor intensive, time consuming, and costly. Fortunately, vehicle-based mobile laser scanning (MLS) systems provide an efficient solution to rapidly capture three-dimensional (3D) point clouds of road environments with high flexibility and precision. However, robust recognition of road facilities from huge volumes of 3D point clouds is still a challenging issue because of complicated and incomplete structures, occlusions and varied point densities. Most existing methods utilize point or object based features to recognize object candidates, and can only extract limited types of objects with a relatively low recognition rate, especially for incomplete and small objects. To overcome these drawbacks, this paper proposes a semantic labeling framework by combing multiple aggregation levels (point-segment-object) of features and contextual features to recognize road facilities, such as road surfaces, road boundaries, buildings, guardrails, street lamps, traffic signs, roadside-trees, power lines, and cars, for highway infrastructure inventory. The proposed method first identifies ground and non-ground points, and extracts road surfaces facilities from ground points. Non-ground points are segmented into individual candidate objects based on the proposed multi-rule region growing method. Then, the multiple aggregation levels of features and the contextual features (relative positions, relative directions, and spatial patterns) associated with each candidate object are calculated and fed into a SVM classifier to label the corresponding candidate object. The recognition performance of combining multiple aggregation levels and contextual features was compared with single level (point, segment, or object) based features using large-scale highway scene point clouds. Comparative studies demonstrated that the proposed semantic labeling framework significantly improves road facilities recognition

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Cerebrospinal fluid levels of alpha-tocopherol in patients with multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Jiménez, F J; de Bustos, F; Molina, J A; de Andrés, C; Gasalla, T; Ortí-Pareja, M; Zurdo, M; Porta, J; Castellano-Millán, F; Arenas, J; Enríquez de Salamanca, R

    1998-06-12

    We compared cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum levels, and the CSF/serum ratio of alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), measured by HPLC, in 36 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and 32 matched controls. The mean CSF vitamin E levels and the CSF/serum vitamin E ratio did not differ significantly between the two study groups. The serum levels of vitamin E and the serum vitamin E/cholesterol ratio were significantly lower in MS patients when compared with controls (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively). These values were not correlated with age, age at onset and duration of the disease in the patients group. These results suggest that CSF vitamin E concentrations are not a marker of activity of MS activity.

  13. Serum levels of coenzyme Q10 in patients with multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    de Bustos, F; Jiménez-Jiménez, F J; Molina, J A; Gómez-Escalonilla, C; de Andrés, C; del Hoyo, P; Zurdo, M; Tallón-Barranco, A; Berbel, A; Porta-Etessam, J; Parrilla, G; Arenas, J

    2000-03-01

    To elucidate whether serum coenzyme Q10 levels are related with the risk for multiple sclerosis (MS) or are a marker for the activity of the disease, we compared serum levels of coenzyme Q10 and the coenzyme Q10/cholesterol ratio, in 31 patients with MS (during exacerbations) and 19 matched controls using a high performance liquid chromatography technique. The mean serum coenzyme Q10 levels and the coenzyme Q10/cholesterol ratio did not differ significantly between the 2 study groups. The values did not correlate with age, age at onset, and duration of the disease. These results suggest that serum coenzyme Q10 concentrations are unrelated with the risk for MS and are not a useful marker of activity of the disease.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Increased serum level of IL-37 in patients with multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica.

    PubMed

    Farrokhi, Mehrdad; Rezaei, Ali; Amani-Beni, Ali; Etemadifar, Masoud; Kouchaki, Ebrahim; Zahedi, Abolfazl

    2015-12-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a common autoimmune disease of central nervous system in which neurodegenerative and inflammatory mechanisms cause alternate neurological impairments. Many inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines were suggested as contributor in MS pathogenesis, and the balance between these opposing cytokines can regulate MS severity. IL-37, an anti-inflammatory cytokine, is the most recently identified member of IL-1 family, which acts as a natural inhibitor of innate immunity. However, the role of IL-37 in MS has not investigated so far. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to measure serum level of IL-37 in patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and neuromyelitis optica (NMO). In a case-control study, plasma was collected from healthy controls (n = 49) and also patients with RRMS (n = 122) and NMO (n = 31). Serum level measurement of IL-37 was performed using enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) method. The serum levels of IL-37 were 247.46 ± 74.02 and 312.00 ± 86.72 and 114.63 ± 20.58 in RRMS and NMO patients and healthy controls, respectively, showing statistically significant difference between them (P = 0.00). Furthermore, we found a positive correlation between the serum levels of IL-37 and EDSS of patients (r = +0.31 and P = 0.00). In summary, the serum level of IL-37 was found to be significantly increased in MS patients compared to healthy controls. Furthermore, the mean serum level of IL-37 was correlated with disease severity. This suggests that IL-37 may be part of a feed-back loop to control underlying inflammation in MS pathogenesis. However, further studies will be required to indicate exact role of IL-37 in the MS pathomechanisms.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-25

    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.

  19. Multiple Levels of Family Factors and Oppositional Defiant Disorder Symptoms Among Chinese Children.

    PubMed

    Lin, Xiuyun; Li, Longfeng; Heath, Melissa A; Chi, Peilian; Xu, Shousen; Fang, Xiaoyi

    2016-11-30

    Family factors are closely associated with child developmental outcomes. This study examined the relationship of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) symptoms and factors at whole family, dyadic, and individual levels in Chinese children. Participants, who were recruited from 14 primary schools in north, east, and south-west China, included 80 father-child dyads and 169 mother-child dyads. Children in the participating dyads were previously diagnosed with ODD. Results revealed that family cohesion/adaptability was indirectly associated with ODD symptoms via parent-child relationship and child emotion regulation. Parent-child relationship affected ODD symptoms directly and indirectly through child emotion regulation. In addition, the effects of family cohesion/adaptability on parent emotion regulation and child emotion regulation were mediated by the parent-child relationship. The tested model provides a comprehensive framework of how family factors at multiple levels are related to child ODD symptoms and highlights the importance of understanding child emotional and behavioral problems within the family context, more specifically within the multiple levels of family relationships. © 2016 Family Process Institute.

  20. Low-Level Exposure to Multiple Chemicals: Reason for Human Health Concerns?

    PubMed Central

    Kortenkamp, Andreas; Faust, Michael; Scholze, Martin; Backhaus, Thomas

    2007-01-01

    Background A key question in the risk assessment of exposures to multiple chemicals is whether mixture effects may occur when chemicals are combined at low doses which individually do not induce observable effects. However, a systematic evaluation of experimental studies addressing this issue is missing. Objectives With this contribution, we wish to bridge this gap by providing a systematic assessment of published studies against well-defined quality criteria. Results On reviewing the low-dose mixture literature, we found good evidence demonstrating significant mixture effects with combinations of chemicals well below their individual no observable adverse effect levels (NOAELs), both with mixtures composed of similarly and dissimilarly acting agents. Conclusions The widely held view that mixtures of dissimilarly acting chemicals are “safe” at levels below NOAELs is not supported by empirical evidence. We show that this view is also based on the erroneous assumption that NOAELs can be equated with zero-effect levels. Thus, on the basis of published evidence, it is difficult to rule out the possibility of mixture effects from low-dose multiple exposures. PMID:18174958

  1. Natalizumab Modifies Catecholamines Levels Present in Patients with Relapsing- Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Escribano, Begona M; Aguilar-Luque, Macarena; Bahamonde, Carmen; Conde, Cristina; Lillo, Rafael; Sanchez-Lopez, Fernando; Giraldo, Ana I; Cruz, Antonio H; Luque, Evelio; Gascon, Felix; Aguera, Eduardo; Tunez, Isaac

    2016-01-01

    The main aim of this study was to verify the effect of natalizumab on the levels of circulating catecholamines and indolamine and their possible relation with MS. For this purpose, 12 healthy individuals (control group) and 12 relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients (RR-MS) were selected. The patients were treated with 300 mg of natalizumab during 56 weeks (1 dose/4 weeks) (MS-56). This selection was based on the McDonalds revision criterion and scheduled to star treatment with natalizumab. Blood samples were taken before treatment (basal level) and after 56 weeks of using natalizumab. Melatonin was measured in serum and in plasma, catecholamines (dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine), carbonylated proteins, 8-hydroxy-2'deoxyguanosine (8OH-dG) and the ratio reduced glutathione/oxidised glutathione (GSH/GSSG). The epinephrine and dopamine levels diminished in the basal group with respect to the control and did not recover normal levels with the treatment. The melatonin was decreased in RR-MS patients and went back to its normal levels with natalizumab. Norepinephrine was increased in RR-MS and decreased in MS-56 until it equalled the control group. Natalizumab normalizes altered melatonin and norepinephrine levels in MS.

  2. Performance of mean-level detector in presence of multiple-tone interference plus noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Hussaini, E. K.

    1988-05-01

    Performance of the adaptive mean-level constant false alarm rate detector is derived in the presence of multiple-tone interference plus Gaussian noise. Such signals may result from jamming, interference, or multipath propagation. A square-law envelope detector is employed and a single sweep or hit is processed. The target signal envelope fluctuates according to a Rayleigh probability density function. The results show that the probability of a false alarm decreases monotonically with increasing interfering tonal SNR per pulse for one tone. The probability is unaffected when there is an infinite number of tones.

  3. Extremely high HDL levels in a patient with multiple symmetric lipomatosis.

    PubMed

    Deiana, L; Pes, G M; Carru, C; Campus, G V; Tidore, M G; Cherchi, G M

    1993-12-31

    An extreme form of hyperalphalipoproteinemia was studied in a patient affected by multiple symmetric lipomatosis (MSL); four relatives and three MSL controls were also evaluated. Plasma lipids and apolipoproteins were measured and overall lipoprotein profile was assessed by density gradient ultracentrifugation. The patient showed a plasma HDL-cholesterol of 138 mg/dl and an apo A-I of 218 mg/dl; moreover significantly high HDL levels were found in two unaffected relatives. The hypobetalipoproteinemia trait was also found both in the patient and in one of his daughters. We suggest that some pre-existing conditions may enhance lipoprotein metabolism alterations in this lipid storage disease.

  4. Multiplicity

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-04-01

    practice as a "[descent] into that inner circle of the Inferno where the damned endlessly degate multiplicity for sentencing." United States v. Barnard...select the charges to be brought in a particular case"). 19 Brown v. Ohio, 432 U.S. 161, 165 (1977). 20 Whalen v. United States, 445 U.S. at 689. 21...parte Lange, 8-5 U.S. (19 Wall.) 163 (1874). Cf. Brown v. Ohio, 432 U.S. at 165 ("once the legislature has acted courts may not impose more than one

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Concentration Levels and Ecological Risks of Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Surface Sediments of Tianjin Coastal Area, China

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Xiaoxia; Chen, Chaoqi; Zhang, Shu; Hou, Zhen; Yang, Junjun

    2013-01-01

    Sediments were sampled from different surface water bodies in Tianjin coastal area, China, and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were measured using GC/MS or GC/ECD. The purposes were to investigate the concentration levels of the POPs and to assess their ecological risks. The results showed that all the 16 priority PAHs were detected from the 10 sediments sampled with the total concentrations of the 16 PAHs ranging from 274.06 μg/kg to 2656.65 μg/kg, while the concentrations of the halogenated POPs were generally low except in the Dagu waste discharging river where the total concentrations of 24 OCPs, 35 PCBs, and 14 PBDEs were 3103.36 μg/kg, 87.31 μg/kg, and 13.88 μg/kg, respectively. In the studied sediments, PAHs exhibited risks to benthonic organisms; particularly the concentrations of naphthalene and/or acenaphthene exceeded their probable effect concentrations in several locations. In comparison, only in the Dagu waste discharging river, OCPs exhibited risks with the concentrations of heptachlor epoxide and lindane exceeding their probable effect concentrations. PCBs and PBDEs posed rare risks in the studied area. PMID:23401668

  8. Concentration levels and ecological risks of persistent organic pollutants in the surface sediments of Tianjin coastal area, China.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xiaoxia; Chen, Chaoqi; Zhang, Shu; Hou, Zhen; Yang, Junjun

    2013-01-01

    Sediments were sampled from different surface water bodies in Tianjin coastal area, China, and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were measured using GC/MS or GC/ECD. The purposes were to investigate the concentration levels of the POPs and to assess their ecological risks. The results showed that all the 16 priority PAHs were detected from the 10 sediments sampled with the total concentrations of the 16 PAHs ranging from 274.06 μg/kg to 2656.65 μg/kg, while the concentrations of the halogenated POPs were generally low except in the Dagu waste discharging river where the total concentrations of 24 OCPs, 35 PCBs, and 14 PBDEs were 3103.36 μg/kg, 87.31 μg/kg, and 13.88 μg/kg, respectively. In the studied sediments, PAHs exhibited risks to benthonic organisms; particularly the concentrations of naphthalene and/or acenaphthene exceeded their probable effect concentrations in several locations. In comparison, only in the Dagu waste discharging river, OCPs exhibited risks with the concentrations of heptachlor epoxide and lindane exceeding their probable effect concentrations. PCBs and PBDEs posed rare risks in the studied area.

  9. An ecologic analysis of county-level PM2.5 concentrations and lung cancer incidence and mortality.

    PubMed

    Vinikoor-Imler, Lisa C; Davis, J Allen; Luben, Thomas J

    2011-06-01

    Few studies have explored the relationship between PM2.5 and lung cancer incidence. Although results are mixed, some studies have demonstrated a positive relationship between PM2.5 and lung cancer mortality. Using an ecologic study design, we examined the county-level associations between PM2.5 concentrations (2002-2005) and lung cancer incidence and mortality in North Carolina (2002-2006). Positive trends were observed between PM2.5 concentrations and lung cancer incidence and mortality; however, the R2 for both were <0.10. The slopes for the relationship between PM2.5 and lung cancer incidence and mortality were 1.26 (95% CI 0.31, 2.21, p-value 0.01) and 0.73 (95% CI 0.09, 1.36, p-value 0.03) per 1 μg/m3 PM2.5, respectively. These associations were slightly strengthened with the inclusion of variables representing socioeconomic status and smoking. Although variability is high, thus reflecting the importance of tobacco smoking and other etiologic agents that influence lung cancer incidence and mortality besides PM2.5, a positive trend is observed between PM2.5 and lung cancer incidence and mortality. This suggests the possibility of an association between PM2.5 concentrations and lung cancer incidence and mortality.

  10. [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.

  11. An Integrated Ecological Modeling System for Assessing Impacts of Multiple Stressors on Stream and Riverine Ecosystem Services within River Basins.

    PubMed

    Johnston, John M; Barber, M Craig; Wolfe, Kurt; Galvin, Mike; Cyterski, Mike; Parmar, Rajbir

    2017-06-24

    We demonstrate a novel, spatially explicit assessment of the current condition of aquatic ecosystem services, with limited sensitivity analysis for the atmospheric contaminant mercury. The Integrated Ecological Modeling System (IEMS) forecasts water quality and quantity, habitat suitability for aquatic biota, fish biomasses, population densities, productivities, and contamination by methylmercury across headwater watersheds. We applied this IEMS to the Coal River Basin (CRB), West Virginia (USA), an 8-digit hydrologic unit watershed, by simulating a network of 97 stream segments using the SWAT watershed model, a watershed mercury loading model, the WASP water quality model, the PiSCES fish community estimation model, a fish habitat suitability model, the BASS fish community and bioaccumulation model, and an ecoservices post-processer. Model application was facilitated by automated data retrieval and model setup and updated model wrappers and interfaces for data transfers between these models from a prior study. This companion study evaluates baseline predictions of ecoservices provided for 1990 - 2010 for the population of streams in the CRB and serves as a foundation for future model development.

  12. Serum Prolactin Levels in Multiple Sclerosis, Neuromyelitis Optica, and Clinically Isolated Syndrome Patients

    PubMed Central

    TÜRKOĞLU, Recai; GİRİŞ, Murat; GENCER, Mehmet; AKCAN, Uğur; ÖRÇEN, Arda

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Prolactin has been discussed as a factor likely to play a mediating role in multiple sclerosis (MS). Our aim was to investigate the possible association between prolactin production and clinical features of autoimmune demyelinating central nervous system disorders. Methods Serum prolactin levels of 255 MS patients, 19 neuromyelitis optica (NMO) patients, 15 clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) patients, and 240 healthy controls were measured by a heterogeneous sandwich magnetic separation assay. Results MS and NMO cohorts had a significantly higher number of patients with hyperprolactinemia than healthy controls. Sera obtained during attacks of both MS and NMO patients displayed higher prolactin levels than those collected during remission. Prolactin level elevations were found to be more prominent in myelitis attacks in MS. No significant correlation was found between prolactin levels and age, disease duration, disability status, number of attacks, and oligoclonal band positivity. CIS patients who converted to MS had higher prolactin levels than those who did not. Conclusion Our findings support the possible mediating role of prolactin in the immunopathogenesis of MS, NMO, and conversion from CIS to MS.

  13. Circulating N-cadherin levels are a negative prognostic indicator in patients with multiple myeloma.

    PubMed

    Vandyke, Kate; Chow, Annie W S; Williams, Sharon A; To, Luen B; Zannettino, Andrew C W

    2013-05-01

    N-cadherin (cadherin 2, type 1, N-cadherin (neuronal); CDN2) is a homotypic adhesion molecule that is upregulated in breast, prostate and bladder cancer. Here we investigated the prognostic significance of upregulated N-cadherin expression in multiple myeloma (MM). Our results indicate that N-cadherin protein and gene expression is abnormally increased in trephine biopsies and CD38(++) /CD138(+) plasma cells from MM patients, when compared with those of normal donors. In addition, levels of circulating N-cadherin were elevated in a subset of patients with MM (n = 81; mean: 14·50 ng/ml, range: 0-146·78 ng/ml), relative to age-matched controls (n = 27; mean: 2·66 ng/ml, range: 0-5·96 ng/ml), although this did not reach statistical significance. Notably, patients with abnormally high levels of N-cadherin (>6 ng/ml) had decreased progression-free survival (P = 0·036; hazard ratio: 1·94) and overall survival (P = 0·002; hazard ratio: 3·15), when compared with patients with normal N-cadherin levels (≤6 ng/ml). Furthermore, multivariate analyses revealed that the combination of N-cadherin levels and International Staging System (ISS) was a more powerful prognostic indicator than using ISS alone. Collectively, our studies demonstrate that circulating N-cadherin levels are a viable prognostic marker for high-risk MM patients. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Feature-level fusion of multiple target detection results in hyperspectral image based on RX detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Xu; Zhang, Bing; Yang, Lina; Gao, Lianru; Zhang, Wenjuan

    2012-05-01

    Target detection is an important research content in hyperspectral remote sensing technology, which is widely used in securities and defenses. Nowadays, many target detection algorithm have been proposed. One of the key evaluation indicators of these algorithms performance is false-alarm rate. The feature-level fusion of different target detection results is a simple and effective method to reduce false-alarm rate. But the different value ranges of different algorithms bring difficulties for data fusion. This paper proposed a feature-level fusion method based on RXD detector, which is to integrate multiple target detection results into a multi-bands image, and fuse detection results using principal theory of abnormal detection. Experiments revealed that, this method is not restricted by the quantity of target detection algorithms and not influenced by different value ranges of different algorithms, which can reduce false-alarm rate effectively.

  15. Comparison of Multiple Carrier Disposition PWM Techniques Applied for Multi-Level Shunt Active Filter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kathalingam, Sebasthi Rani; Karantharaj, Porkumaran

    2012-07-01

    This work presents the simulation of a shunt active filter using seven-level cascaded inverter. The ultimate objective is to bring out the influence of multiple carrier level shifted PWM techniques on the performance of a shunt active filter. Classical disposition PWM techniques such as PD, POD and APOD have been used to generate the gating signals for the inverter active switches. A comparison is presented to substantiate the effect of these techniques in filtering. The comparison is made from the perspective of reduction in THD of source currents after filtering. For compensation current extraction synchronous detection method has been used. The harmonic reduction is achieved in source currents as well as source voltages.

  16. Toward a practical method for setting screening-level, ecological risk-based water temperature criteria and monitoring compliance.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Sean W; Quilty, Edward J

    2007-08-01

    We integrated basic concepts from fisheries science and toxicological risk assessment to form a potential method for setting screening-level, risk-based, site-specific water quality objectives for temperature. In summary, the proposed approach: (a) uses temperature impacts upon specific growth as a measure of chronic (cumulative) temperature effects; (b) explicitly incorporates the consequences of both magnitude and cumulative duration of exposures; (c) adjusts the result for local watershed conditions, reducing the likelihood that naturally warm systems are identified as thermally polluted while helping to ensure that naturally cool systems are closely monitored for ecologically harmful changes in thermal regime; and (d) expresses the net result both graphically and as a risk quotient, RQ, closely analogous to that used in toxicological risk assessments. The latter yields a site-specific, risk-based water quality objective and may serve as a straightforward decision rule for environmental managers. The method was applied to historical data from a small British Columbia stream subject to increasing urban development pressures. We also illustrate how the technique might be used to explore potential climatic change impacts, using coupled general circulation model predictions in conjunction with empirical downscaling. Overall, the method and results are presented as an introduction and illustration of concept, intended as a step toward the development of a logistically feasible risk-based approach to establishing screening-level, site-specific water temperature objectives, and monitoring compliance, in the context of large-scale, many-site, environmental monitoring networks. With further work, the technique offers potential to fill the gap between the temperature threshold-based targets typically specified in regulatory guidelines, which may be hydroecologically unrealistic, and detailed biophysical modelling, which typically is logistically infeasible in a day

  17. A tractable probabilistic model for Affymetrix probe-level analysis across multiple chips.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xuejun; Milo, Marta; Lawrence, Neil D; Rattray, Magnus

    2005-09-15

    Affymetrix GeneChip arrays are currently the most widely used microarray technology. Many summarization methods have been developed to provide gene expression levels from Affymetrix probe-level data. Most of the currently popular methods do not provide a measure of uncertainty for the expression level of each gene. The use of probabilistic models can overcome this limitation. A full hierarchical Bayesian approach requires the use of computationally intensive MCMC methods that are impractical for large datasets. An alternative computationally efficient probabilistic model, mgMOS, uses Gamma distributions to model specific and non-specific binding with a latent variable to capture variations in probe affinity. Although promising, the main limitations of this model are that it does not use information from multiple chips and does not account for specific binding to the mismatch (MM) probes. We extend mgMOS to model the binding affinity of probe-pairs across multiple chips and to capture the effect of specific binding to MM probes. The new model, multi-mgMOS, provides improved accuracy, as demonstrated on some bench-mark datasets and a real time-course dataset, and is much more computationally efficient than a competing hierarchical Bayesian approach that requires MCMC sampling. We demonstrate how the probabilistic model can be used to estimate credibility intervals for expression levels and their log-ratios between conditions. Both mgMOS and the new model multi-mgMOS have been implemented in an R package, which is available at http://www.bioinf.man.ac.uk/resources/puma.

  18. 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.

  19. [Conduction disorders at multiple levels during the acute phase of a myocardial infarct: an electrophysiological study].

    PubMed

    García Burgos, A; Rangel Abundis, A; Castaño, R; Ramos, M A; Badui, E

    1993-01-01

    Forty patients with a diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction (anterior 24, and inferior 16) were studied. Of these patients, 37.5% manifested second and third degree atrioventricular (AV) block as a complication; another 30% showed complete right bundle branch and left anterior hemiblock. Right bundle branch and left posterior hemiblock were evidenced in 12.5% of the subjects. There was 20% with complete left bundle branch block. Electrophysiologic studies were performed in all patients to assess the site of block. A direct relation was found between the surface ECG and the His bundle electrogram studies in patients with an inferior myocardial infarction and AV block, both procedures located the conduction disturbances at the AV node (suprahisian block), in contrast to patients with anteroseptal myocardial infarction whose surface ECG only showed bundle branch block or fascicular block. The His bundle electrogram registered multiple levels of AV block, 70% with troncular and infrahisian block that gave way to sudden AV block. The mechanism responsible for this block was considered to be a functional longitudinal dissociation of conduction system due to an acute ischemic injury of the His bundle, more than a sudden and simultaneous failure of all the bundle branch of His. We conclude that electrophysiologic studies are a useful procedure for identification of a group of patients with multiple AV conduction disturbances that have a less favorable prognosis than those with only suprahisian level of block.

  20. 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...

  1. Elevated plasma homocysteine levels in patients with multiple sclerosis are associated with male gender.

    PubMed

    Zoccolella, Stefano; Tortorella, Carla; Iaffaldano, Pietro; Direnzo, Vita; D'Onghia, Mariangela; Paolicelli, Damiano; Livrea, Paolo; Trojano, Maria

    2012-10-01

    Elevated homocysteine (Hcy) levels exert several neurotoxic actions and vascular dysfunctions that may be involved in pathogenesis and progression of multiple sclerosis (MS). The effective role of Hcy in MS however remains to be determined. The aim of this work was to compare plasma Hcy levels in MS patients and neurological disease controls (NDC) and to evaluate their relationships with clinical and demographic variables. In this cross-sectional study, we examined plasma Hcy levels in 217 patients with MS [53 clinically isolated syndromes (CIS) suggestive of MS, 134 relapsing remitting (RR), 23 secondary progressive (SP) and seven primary progressive (PP) MS], recruited among patients attending a tertiary clinical center in southern Italy and in 219 age/sex-matched controls. Median Hcy levels were slightly higher in MS patients compared to NDC (9.1 μmol/l; range, 3.4-35.9 vs. 8.6, range 3.5-27.4; p = 0.02). Median Hcy concentrations were increased in males more than in females in the MS population (10.4 vs. 8.4; p < 0.0001), whereas no differences across genders were found in NDC (9.1 vs. 8.5). Hcy levels were higher in male MS patients compared to the male NDC patients (p = 0.001). Patients with CIS had lower Hcy (7.5 μmol/l; p = 0.004) compared to patients with RR (9.5 μmol/l), SP (10.1 μmol/l) and PP (9.9 μmol/l). Median Hcy concentration was higher in patients with disease duration longer than 22 months (9.7 vs. 8.6 μmol/l; p = 0.02). Plasma Hcy levels are increased in patients with definite MS. Higher Hcy levels are associated with male sex, suggesting a role of Hcy in neurodegenerative processes of MS, which are prominent in male patients.

  2. Feasibility and utility of mapping disease risk at the neighbourhood level within a Canadian public health unit: an ecological study.

    PubMed

    Holowaty, Eric J; Norwood, Todd A; Wanigaratne, Susitha; Abellan, Juanjo J; Beale, Linda

    2010-05-10

    We conducted spatial analyses to determine the geographic variation of cancer at the neighbourhood level (dissemination areas or DAs) within the area of a single Ontario public health unit, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, covering a population of 238,326 inhabitants. Cancer incidence data between 1999 and 2003 were obtained from the Ontario Cancer Registry and were geocoded down to the level of DA using the enhanced Postal Code Conversion File. The 2001 Census of Canada provided information on the size and age-sex structure of the population at the DA level, in addition to information about selected census covariates, such as average neighbourhood income. Age standardized incidence ratios for cancer and the prevalence of census covariates were calculated for each of 331 dissemination areas in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph. The standardized incidence ratios (SIR) for cancer varied dramatically across the dissemination areas. However, application of the Moran's I statistic, a popular index of spatial autocorrelation, suggested significant spatial patterns for only two cancers, lung and prostate, both in males (p < 0.001 and p = 0.002, respectively). Employing Bayesian hierarchical models, areas in the urban core of the City of Guelph had significantly higher SIRs for male lung cancer than the remainder of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph; and, neighbourhoods in the urban and surrounding rural areas of Orangeville exhibited significantly higher SIRs for prostate cancer. After adjustment for age and spatial dependence, average household income attenuated much of the spatial pattern of lung cancer, but not of prostate cancer. This paper demonstrates the feasibility and utility of a systematic approach to identifying neighbourhoods, within the area served by a public health unit, that have significantly higher risks of cancer. This exploratory, ecologic study suggests several hypotheses for these spatial patterns that warrant further investigations. To the best of our knowledge, this

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25104920

  5. 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.

  6. Dysregulated Homeostasis of Acetylcholine Levels in Immune Cells of RR-Multiple Sclerosis Patients

    PubMed Central

    Di Bari, Maria; Reale, Marcella; Di Nicola, Marta; Orlando, Viviana; Galizia, Sabrina; Porfilio, Italo; Costantini, Erica; D’Angelo, Chiara; Ruggieri, Serena; Biagioni, Stefano; Gasperini, Claudio; Tata, Ada Maria

    2016-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Acetylcholine (ACh) contributes to the modulation of central and peripheral inflammation. We studied the homeostasis of the cholinergic system in relation to cytokine levels in immune cells and sera of relapsing remitting-MS (RR-MS) patients. We demonstrated that lower ACh levels in serum of RR-MS patients were inversely correlated with the increased activity of the hydrolyzing enzymes acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE). Interestingly, the expression of the ACh biosynthetic enzyme and the protein carriers involved in non-vesicular ACh release were found overexpressed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of MS patients. The inflammatory state of the MS patients was confirmed by increased levels of TNFα, IL-12/IL-23p40, IL-18. The lower circulating ACh levels in sera of MS patients are dependent on the higher activity of cholinergic hydrolyzing enzymes. The smaller ratio of ACh to TNFα, IL-12/IL-23p40 and IL-18 in MS patients, with respect to healthy donors (HD), is indicative of an inflammatory environment probably related to the alteration of cholinergic system homeostasis. PMID:27916909

  7. Circulating resistin levels and risk of multiple myeloma in three prospective cohorts.

    PubMed

    Santo, Loredana; Teras, Lauren R; Giles, Graham G; Weinstein, Stephanie J; Albanes, Demetrius; Wang, Ye; Pfeiffer, Ruth M; Lan, Qing; Rothman, Nathaniel; Birmann, Brenda M; Colditz, Graham A; Pollak, Michael N; Purdue, Mark P; Hofmann, Jonathan N

    2017-10-10

    Resistin is a polypeptide hormone secreted by adipose tissue. A prior hospital-based case-control study reported serum resistin levels to be inversely associated with risk of multiple myeloma (MM). To date, this association has not been investigated prospectively. We measured resistin concentrations for pre-diagnosis peripheral blood samples from 178 MM cases and 358 individually matched controls from three cohorts participating in the MM cohort consortium. In overall analyses, higher resistin levels were weakly associated with reduced MM risk. For men, we observed a statistically significant inverse association between resistin levels and MM (odds ratio, 0.44; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.24-0.83 and 0.54; 95% CI 0.29-0.99, for the third and fourth quartiles, respectively, vs the lowest quartile; Ptrend=0.03). No association was observed for women. This study provides the first prospective evidence that low circulating resistin levels may be associated with an increased risk of MM, particularly for men.

  8. 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. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  9. Dysregulated Homeostasis of Acetylcholine Levels in Immune Cells of RR-Multiple Sclerosis Patients.

    PubMed

    Di Bari, Maria; Reale, Marcella; Di Nicola, Marta; Orlando, Viviana; Galizia, Sabrina; Porfilio, Italo; Costantini, Erica; D'Angelo, Chiara; Ruggieri, Serena; Biagioni, Stefano; Gasperini, Claudio; Tata, Ada Maria

    2016-11-30

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Acetylcholine (ACh) contributes to the modulation of central and peripheral inflammation. We studied the homeostasis of the cholinergic system in relation to cytokine levels in immune cells and sera of relapsing remitting-MS (RR-MS) patients. We demonstrated that lower ACh levels in serum of RR-MS patients were inversely correlated with the increased activity of the hydrolyzing enzymes acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE). Interestingly, the expression of the ACh biosynthetic enzyme and the protein carriers involved in non-vesicular ACh release were found overexpressed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of MS patients. The inflammatory state of the MS patients was confirmed by increased levels of TNFα, IL-12/IL-23p40, IL-18. The lower circulating ACh levels in sera of MS patients are dependent on the higher activity of cholinergic hydrolyzing enzymes. The smaller ratio of ACh to TNFα, IL-12/IL-23p40 and IL-18 in MS patients, with respect to healthy donors (HD), is indicative of an inflammatory environment probably related to the alteration of cholinergic system homeostasis.

  10. Comparing multiple imputation methods for systematically missing subject-level data.

    PubMed

    Kline, David; Andridge, Rebecca; Kaizar, Eloise

    2015-12-17

    When conducting research synthesis, the collection of studies that will be combined often do not measure the same set of variables, which creates missing data. When the studies to combine are longitudinal, missing data can occur on the observation-level (time-varying) or the subject-level (non-time-varying). Traditionally, the focus of missing data methods for longitudinal data has been on missing observation-level variables. In this paper, we focus on missing subject-level variables and compare two multiple imputation approaches: a joint modeling approach and a sequential conditional modeling approach. We find the joint modeling approach to be preferable to the sequential conditional approach, except when the covariance structure of the repeated outcome for each individual has homogenous variance and exchangeable correlation. Specifically, the regression coefficient estimates from an analysis incorporating imputed values based on the sequential conditional method are attenuated and less efficient than those from the joint method. Remarkably, the estimates from the sequential conditional method are often less efficient than a complete case analysis, which, in the context of research synthesis, implies that we lose efficiency by combining studies. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  11. Cockles, barnacles and ascidians compose a subtidal facilitation cascade with multiple hierarchical levels of foundation species.

    PubMed

    Yakovis, Eugeniy; Artemieva, Anna

    2017-03-22

    Facilitation cascades occur when multiple foundation species in a community are involved in a hierarchy of positive interactions, and consist of a primary facilitator which positively affects secondary facilitators, each supporting a suit of dependent species. There is no theoretical limit to the number of levels in a facilitation cascade, yet the existence of more than two has rarely been examined. We manipulated biogenic substrate produced by a primary facilitator (cockle shells) and a secondary facilitator (barnacles and their empty tests) in a space-limited subtidal community to test the hypothesis that solitary ascidians would be the third-level facilitator. In the field, most ascidians were found on barnacles, and most barnacles occupied cockle shells. To produce this pattern, barnacles could nurse ascidians (a longer 'facilitation chain') or outcompete them from cockle shells (a shorter chain). Experimental results clearly supported the nursing hypothesis providing evidence for a facilitation cascade with three hierarchical levels of foundation species. Our findings confirm that like predation and competition, positive interspecific interactions nest into multi-tier hierarchies with numerous levels. While the number of foundation species should increase community stability and resilience as it increases diversity and reduces environmental stress, facilitation chain length may have the opposite effect.

  12. Reduced GABA levels correlate with cognitive impairment in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Cao, Guanmei; Edden, Richard A E; Gao, Fei; Li, Hao; Gong, Tao; Chen, Weibo; Liu, Xiaohui; Wang, Guangbin; Zhao, Bin

    2017-10-06

    To investigate if brain gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) are abnormal compared with healthy controls, and their relationship to cognitive function in RRMS. Twenty-eight RRMS patients and twenty-six healthy controls underwent magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) at 3-T to detect GABA signals from posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and left hippocampus using the 'MEGAPoint Resolved Spectroscopy Sequence' (MEGA-PRESS) technique. All subjects also underwent a cognitive assessment. In RRMS patients, GABA+ were lower in the PCC (p = 0.036) and left hippocampus (p = 0.039) compared with controls, decreased GABA+ in the PCC and left hippocampus were associated with specific cognitive functions (r = -0.452, p = 0.016 and r = 0.451, p = 0.016 respectively); GABA+ in the mPFC were not significantly decreased or related to any cognitive scores (p > 0.05). This study demonstrates that abnormalities of the GABAergic system may be present in the pathogenesis of RRMS and suggests a potential link between regional GABA levels and cognitive impairment in patients with RRMS. • GABA levels may decrease in patients with RRMS. • Lower GABA levels correlated with worse cognitive performance in patients with RRMS. • Dysfunctional GABAergic neurotransmission may have a role in cognitive impairment in RRMS.

  13. 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

  14. Neurophysiological analysis of the suprachiasmatic nucleus: a challenge at multiple levels.

    PubMed

    Meijer, Johanna H; Michel, Stephan

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the neurophysiology of the circadian timing system requires investigation at multiple levels of organization. Neurons of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) function as autonomous single-cell oscillators, which warrant studies at the single-cell level. Combining patch-clamp recordings of ion channels with imaging techniques to measure clock gene expression and intracellular calcium has proven extremely valuable to study cellular properties. To achieve and maintain rhythmic activity, SCN neurons require sufficient stimulation (i.e., input) from surrounding cells. At the network level, SCN rhythms are robust and can be measured in vitro, for example, in brain slices that contain the SCN. These recordings revealed that the collective behavior of the SCN neuronal network is strongly determined by the phase dispersal of the neurons. This phase dispersal is plastic, with high synchronization in short photoperiod, desynchronization in long photoperiod, and antiphase oscillations in aging and/or continuous light. In vivo recordings are needed in order to study the SCN as part of a larger network (i.e., interacting with other brain centers) and to study the SCN's response to light. Interestingly, superimposed on the circadian waveform are higher frequency fluctuations that are present in vivo but not in vitro. These fluctuations are attributed to input from other brain centers and computational analyses suggest that these fluctuations are beneficial to the system. Hence, the SCN's properties arise from several organizational levels, and a combination of approaches is needed in order to fully understand the circadian system.

  15. Multiple cervical levels: increased risk of dysphagia and dysphonia during anterior cervical discectomy.

    PubMed

    Danto, Joseph; DiCapua, John; Nardi, Dominic; Pekmezaris, Renee; Moise, Gregory; Lesser, Martin; Dimarzio, Paola

    2012-10-01

    Anterior cervical discectomy (ACD) is widely used for symptomatic cervical spine pathologies. The most common complications associated with this type of surgery are dysphagia and dysphonia; however, the risk factors associated with them have not been adequately elucidated. The purpose of this study is to assess the incidence of self-reported dysphagia and dysphonia and the associated risk factors after ACD. This study used a retrospective chart review of 149 patients who underwent ACD at a tertiary care facility operating in the New York metropolitan area over a period of 2½ years. Charts for ACD patients were reviewed by 6 trained researchers. Incidence rates for self-reported dysphagia and dysphonia were calculated using 95% exact confidence intervals (CI). Risk factors such as age, sex, surgical hours, number of disc levels, airway class, American Society of Anesthesiologists class, fiberoptic intubation, and intubation difficulty were assessed using logistic regression. The incidence of self-reported dysphagia was 12.1% (95% exact CI, 7.3%-18.4%); for dysphonia the self-reported incidence was 5.4% (95% exact CI, 2.3%-10.3%). Patients who underwent surgery at ≥4 cervical levels had a significant 4-fold increased risk (odds ratio=4; 95% CI, 1.1-13.8) of developing dysphonia and/or dysphagia compared with patients who underwent surgery at a single surgical level. This study confirms previous findings that the risk of developing dysphagia and/or dysphonia increases with the number of surgical levels, with multiple cervical levels representing a significantly higher postoperative risk, as compared with surgery at 1 level.

  16. Limited pattern of TCR delta chain gene rearrangement on the RNA level in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Nowak, J; Januszkiewicz, D; Pernak, M; Hertmanowska, H; Nowicka-Kujawska, K; Rembowska, J; Lewandowski, K; Nowak, T; Wender, M

    2001-01-01

    Susceptibility to multiple sclerosis (MS) is most likely affected by a number of genes, including HLA and T-cell receptor (TCR) genes. T cells expressing gamma/delta receptors seem to contribute to autoagression in MS, as evidenced by their localization in the MS plaques in the brain. The aim of this study was to analyse the TCRdelta chain gene rearrangement at the RNA (cDNA) level and compare to the DNA pattern rearrangement. TCRdelta gene rearrangement was analysed in MS patients and healthy individuals with the use of primers specific for Vdelta1-6 and Jdelta1 genes (at the DNA level) and specific for Vdelta1-6 and Cdelta1 genes (at the cDNA level). The size of PCR products was analysed on agarose gel and by ALF-Express (Pharmacia). Additionally, the lymphocyte surface immunophenotype was studied with specific monoclonal antibodies. At the DNA level a restricted pattern of Vdelta3-Jdelta1 and Vdelta5-Jdelta1 was found only in MS patients. Contrary to DNA, mono-, oligoclonal RNA (cDNA) rearrangements were limited to Vdelta1-Cdelta1, Vdelta2-Cdelta1 and Vdelta3-Cdelta1 only in MS patients as well. Surface immunophenotype analysis revealed in MS a much higher frequency of activated gamma/delta T lymphocytes, i.e. expressing HLA-DR and CD25. An elevated level of CD56 positive cells in MS was recorded. Mono-oligoclonal pattern of TCRdelta gene rearrangement at the RNA level, along with increase in activated gamma/delta T cells, strongly argue for a significant role of gamma/delta T lymphocytes in the pathogenesis of MS.

  17. Molecular genetic analysis and ecological evidence reveals multiple cryptic species among thynnine wasp pollinators of sexually deceptive orchids.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Kate E; Trueman, John W H; Brown, Graham R; Peakall, Rod

    2011-04-01

    Sexually deceptive Chiloglottis orchids lure their male thynnine wasp pollinators to the flower by emitting semiochemicals that mimic the specific sex pheromone of the wasp. Sexual deception is possible because chemical rather than visual cues play the key role in wasp mate search, suggesting that cryptic wasp species may be frequent. We investigated this prospect among Neozeleboria wasp pollinators of Chiloglottis orchids, drawing on evidence from molecular phylogenetic analysis at three genes (CO1, rhodopsin and wingless), population genetic and statistical parsimony analysis at CO1, orchid associations and their semiochemicals, and geographic ranges. We found a compelling relationship between genetically defined wasp groups, orchid associations, semiochemicals and geographic range, despite a frequent lack of detectable morphological differences. Our findings reveal multiple cryptic species among orchid pollinators and indicate that chemical changes are important for wasp reproductive isolation and speciation. The diversity of Neozeleboria may have enabled, rather than constrained, pollinator-driven speciation in these orchids.

  18. Serum phosphorylated neurofilament-heavy chain levels in multiple sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

    Gresle, M M; Liu, Y; Dagley, L F; Haartsen, J; Pearson, F; Purcell, A W; Laverick, L; Petzold, A; Lucas, R M; Van der Walt, A; Prime, H; Morris, D R; Taylor, B V; Shaw, G; Butzkueven, H

    2014-11-01

    We evaluated whether the measurement of serum phosphorylated neurofilament heavy chain (pNF-H) titre is likely to be a valid biomarker of axonal injury in multiple sclerosis (MS). Serum pNF-H concentrations were measured by ELISA in cases with relapsing-remitting (RR)-MS (n=81), secondary progressive (SP) MS (n=13) and primary progressive (PP)-MS; n=6) MS; first demyelinating event (FDE; n=82); and unaffected controls (n=135). A subset of MS cases (n=45) were re-sampled on one or multiple occasions. The Multiple Sclerosis Severity Score (MSSS) and MRI measures were used to evaluate associations between serum pNF-H status, disease severity and cerebral lesion load and activity. We confirmed the presence of pNF-H peptides in serum by ELISA. We showed that a high serum pNF-H titre was detectable in 9% of RR-MS and FDE cases, and 38.5% of SP-MS cases. Patients with a high serum pNF-H titre had higher average MSSS scores and T2 lesion volumes than patients with a low serum pNF-H titre. Repeated sampling of a subset of MS cases showed that pNF-H levels can fluctuate over time, likely reflecting temporal dynamics of axonal injury in MS. A subset of FDE/MS cases was found to have a high serum pNF-H titre, and this was associated with changes in clinical outcome measures. We propose that routine measurement of serum pNF-H should be further investigated for monitoring axonal injury in MS. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

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

    SciTech Connect

    Yan, Yiying Lü, Zhiguo Zheng, Hang

    2016-08-15

    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.

  2. High levels of multiple paternity in Littorina saxatilis: hedging the bets?

    PubMed

    Mäkinen, Tuuli; Panova, Marina; André, Carl

    2007-01-01

    The mating system of a species can have great effects on its genetic structure and evolution. We studied the extent of multiple paternity in a gastropod with internal fertilization, the intertidal snail Littorina saxatilis. Paternal genotype reconstruction based on microsatellite markers was performed on the offspring of wild, naturally fertilized females from 2 populations. The numbers of males contributing to the offspring per female were among the highest detected in invertebrates so far, with the exception of social insects. No reproductive skew in favor of males that were genetically more distant from the females was detected, and the pattern of fertilization appeared random. The result fits a hypothesis of indiscriminate mating, with genetic bet hedging as the most likely explanation. Bet hedging may have evolved as a form of inbreeding avoidance, if the snails are not able to recognize relatives. However, nutritional benefits from sperm or sexual conflict with males are additional possibilities that remain to be assessed in this species. Whatever the causes, such high levels of multiple paternity are remarkable and are likely to have a large impact on population structure and dynamics in a species in which migration between populations is spurious.

  3. 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.

  4. Disability weight for each level of the Expanded Disability Status Scale in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Cho, Joong-Yang; Hong, Keun-Sik; Kim, Ho Jin; Kim, Su-Hyun; Min, Ju-Hong; Kim, Nam-Hee; Ahn, Suk-Won; Park, Min Su; An, Jae-Young; Kim, Byung-Jo; Kim, Woojun

    2014-08-01

    The Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) is the most widely employed ordinal disability scale in multiple sclerosis (MS). However, how far apart the individual EDSS levels are along the disability spectrum has not been formally quantified. The objective of this paper is to generate refined disability weights (DWs) for each of the ordinal EDSS levels. We performed the person trade-off (PTO) procedure to derive DWs of five representative EDSS categories (2, 4, 6, 7 and 9), and DWs of the remaining EDSS categories were assigned by linear interpolation. The modified Delphi process was used to achieve consensus among raters. DWs were 0.021 for EDSS 2, 0.199 for EDSS 4, 0.313 for EDSS 6, 0.617 for EDSS 7, and 0.926 for EDSS 9. Panel members achieved a high degree of consensus for each DW, as indicated by low coefficients of variation. Our DWs confirmed that EDSS is an ordinal scale with highly variable intervals. The availability of DW for each EDSS level allows direct comparison of each MS outcome state with other health states and provides a foundation for the estimation of the disability-adjusted life-years lost of individual patients. © The Author(s) 2013.

  5. 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.

  6. Diffusion tensor imaging detects corticospinal tract involvement at multiple levels in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Toosy, A; Werring, D; Orrell, R; Howard, R; King, M; Barker, G; Miller, D; Thompson, A

    2003-01-01

    Background: Histopathological studies of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are of end stage disease. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) provides the opportunity to investigate indirectly corticospinal tract pathology of ALS in vivo. Methods: DTI was used to study the water diffusion characteristics of the corticospinal tracts in 21 patients with ALS and 14 normal controls. The authors measured the fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) along the pyramidal tracts from the internal capsules down to the pyramids. A mixed model regression analysis was used to compare FA and MD between the ALS and control groups. Results: FA showed a downward linear trend from the cerebral peduncles to the pyramids and was lower in the ALS group than controls at multiple levels of the corticospinal tract. At the internal capsules, FA was higher on the right. MD showed an upward trend, progressing caudally from the internal capsules to the pyramids. MD was higher at the level of the internal capsule in the ALS group, but caudally this difference was not maintained. No correlations were found between clinical markers of disability and water diffusion indices. Conclusions: These findings provide insights into the pathological processes of ALS. Differences in diffusion characteristics at different anatomical levels may relate to underlying tract architecture or the distribution of pathological damage in ALS. Further development may permit monitoring of progression and treatment of disease. PMID:12933929

  7. A Compendium of Caenorhabditis elegans RNA Binding Proteins Predicts Extensive Regulation at Multiple Levels

    PubMed Central

    Tamburino, Alex M.; Ryder, Sean P.; Walhout, Albertha J. M.

    2013-01-01

    Gene expression is regulated at multiple levels, including transcription and translation, as well as mRNA and protein stability. Although systems-level functions of transcription factors and microRNAs are rapidly being characterized, few studies have focused on the posttranscriptional gene regulation by RNA binding proteins (RBPs). RBPs are important to many aspects of gene regulation. Thus, it is essential to know which genes encode RBPs, which RBPs regulate which gene(s), and how RBP genes are themselves regulated. Here we provide a comprehensive compendium of RBPs from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (wRBP1.0). We predict that as many as 887 (4.4%) of C. elegans genes may encode RBPs ~250 of which likely function in a gene-specific manner. In addition, we find that RBPs, and most notably gene-specific RBPs, are themselves enriched for binding and modification by regulatory proteins, indicating the potential for extensive regulation of RBPs at many different levels. wRBP1.0 will provide a significant contribution toward the comprehensive delineation of posttranscriptional regulatory networks and will provide a resource for further studies regulation by RBPs. PMID:23390605

  8. Systemic inflammatory response and serum lipopolysaccharide levels predict multiple organ failure and death in alcoholic hepatitis.

    PubMed

    Michelena, Javier; Altamirano, José; Abraldes, Juan G; Affò, Silvia; Morales-Ibanez, Oriol; Sancho-Bru, Pau; Dominguez, Marlene; García-Pagán, Juan Carlos; Fernández, Javier; Arroyo, Vicente; Ginès, Pere; Louvet, Alexandre; Mathurin, Philippe; Mehal, Wajahat Z; Caballería, Juan; Bataller, Ramón

    2015-09-01

    Alcoholic hepatitis (AH) frequently progresses to multiple organ failure (MOF) and death. However, the driving factors are largely unknown. At admission, patients with AH often show criteria of systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) even in the absence of an infection. We hypothesize that the presence of SIRS may predispose to MOF and death. To test this hypothesis, we studied a cohort including 162 patients with biopsy-proven AH. The presence of SIRS and infections was assessed in all patients, and multivariate analyses identified variables independently associated with MOF and 90-day mortality. At admission, 32 (19.8%) patients were diagnosed with a bacterial infection, while 75 (46.3%) fulfilled SIRS criteria; 58 patients (35.8%) developed MOF during hospitalization. Short-term mortality was significantly higher among patients who developed MOF (62.1% versus 3.8%, P < 0.001). The presence of SIRS was a major predictor of MOF (odds ratio = 2.69, P = 0.025) and strongly correlated with mortality. Importantly, the course of patients with SIRS with and without infection was similar in terms of MOF development and short-term mortality. Finally, we sought to identify serum markers that differentiate SIRS with and without infection. We studied serum levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, and lipopolysaccharide at admission. All of them predicted mortality. Procalcitonin, but not high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, serum levels identified those patients with SIRS and infection. Lipopolysaccharide serum levels predicted MOF and the response to prednisolone. In the presence or absence of infections, SIRS is a major determinant of MOF and mortality in AH, and the mechanisms involved in the development of SIRS should be investigated; procalcitonin serum levels can help to identify patients with infection, and lipopolysaccharide levels may help to predict mortality and the response to steroids. © 2015 by the American Association

  9. Systemic Inflammatory Response and Serum Lipopolysaccharide Levels Predict Multiple Organ Failure and Death in Alcoholic Hepatitis

    PubMed Central

    Michelena, Javier; Altamirano, José; Abraldes, Juan G.; Affò, Silvia; Morales-Ibanez, Oriol; Sancho-Bru, Pau; Dominguez, Marlene; García-Pagán, Juan Carlos; Fernández, Javier; Arroyo, Vicente; Ginès, Pere; Louvet, Alexandre; Mathurin, Philippe; Mehal, Wajahat Z.; Caballería, Juan; Bataller, Ramón

    2015-01-01

    Alcoholic hepatitis (AH) frequently progresses to multiple organ failure (MOF) and death. However, the driving factors are largely unknown. At admission, patients with AH often show criteria of systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) even in the absence of an infection. We hypothesize that the presence of SIRS may predispose to MOF and death. To test this hypothesis, we studied a cohort including 162 patients with biopsy-proven AH. The presence of SIRS and infections was assessed in all patients, and multivariate analyses identified variables independently associated with MOF and 90-day mortality. At admission, 32 (19.8%) patients were diagnosed with a bacterial infection, while 75 (46.3%) fulfilled SIRS criteria; 58 patients (35.8%) developed MOF during hospitalization. Short-term mortality was significantly higher among patients who developed MOF (62.1% versus 3.8%, P <0.001). The presence of SIRS was a major predictor of MOF (odds ratio = 2.69, P=0.025) and strongly correlated with mortality. Importantly, the course of patients with SIRS with and without infection was similar in terms of MOF development and short-term mortality. Finally, we sought to identify serum markers that differentiate SIRS with and without infection. We studied serum levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, and lipopolysaccharide at admission. All of them predicted mortality. Procalcitonin, but not high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, serum levels identified those patients with SIRS and infection. Lipopolysaccharide serum levels predicted MOF and the response to prednisolone. Conclusion In the presence or absence of infections, SIRS is a major determinant of MOF and mortality in AH, and the mechanisms involved in the development of SIRS should be investigated; procalcitonin serum levels can help to identify patients with infection, and lipopolysaccharide levels may help to predict mortality and the response to steroids. PMID:25761863

  10. Decreased Endothelin-1 Plasma Levels in Multiple Sclerosis Patients: A Possible Factor of Vascular Dysregulation?

    PubMed Central

    Jankowska-Lech, Irmina; Terelak-Borys, Barbara; Grabska-Liberek, Iwona; Palasik, Witold; Bik, Wojciech; Wolińska-Witort, Ewa

    2015-01-01

    Background Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating autoimmune disease of the central nervous system with possible involvement of vascular dysregulation secondary to endothelial dysfunction caused by destruction of the vessel wall. Vascular dysregulation leads to excessive vasoconstriction or insufficient vasodilatation, resulting in vasospasm mediated by endothelin-1 (ET-1), the most potent and long-lasting mediator. Vascular dysregulation can play an important role in the pathogenesis of some eye disorders and it has been hypothesized that it is a vascular risk factor for glaucomatous optic neuropathy. The aim of this study was to estimate endothelin-1 (ET-1) plasma levels in patients with MS. Material/Methods The MS group consisted of 39 patients (9 males, 30 females), mean age: 38.8±10.02 years, range: 22–62. The control group consisted of 27 healthy volunteers (3 males and 24 females), mean age: 37.4±10.88 years, range: 20–62; clinically, in a non-active stage of the disease. ET-1 plasma levels were measured using the Endothelin-1 ELISA Kit (Immuno-Biological Laboratories Co., Japan). Statistical analysis was performed with the nonparametric Mann-Whitney U test for independent groups. Results Endothelin-1 (ET-1) plasma levels were significantly lower in MS patients compared to healthy controls: mean value 0.55±0.44 pg/ml (146.05±118.27 fmol/ml) vs. 0.95±0.48 pg/ml (252.83±127.16 fmol/ml); P=0.012. Conclusions Significantly decreased ET-1 plasma levels in the MS patients could reflect the non-active disease at the time of ET-1 measurements or the effects of immunomodulatory treatment, but it cannot be excluded that decreased ET-1 plasma levels in these patients might result from vascular dysregulation. PMID:25864450

  11. 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

    2015-10-08

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Depression from childhood through adolescence: Risk mechanisms across multiple systems and levels of analysis

    PubMed Central

    Hankin, Benjamin L.

    2015-01-01

    This paper selectively reviews recent research, especially in the last two years (2012-2014) in preschool, child, and adolescent depression. In particular, attention is paid to developmental epidemiology as well as risk factors and processes that contribute to depression trajectories over time. Emphasis is placed on a developmental psychopathology perspective in which risks are instantiated across multiple systems and levels of analysis, including genetics, stress contexts and processes, biological stress mechanisms, temperament, emotion, reward, cognitive factors and processes, and interpersonal influences. These risks dynamically transact over time, as they emerge and stabilize into relatively trait-like vulnerabilities that confer risk for the increasing rates of depression observed in adolescence. Overall, this summary illustrates that considerable progress has been made recently in understanding the complex developmental processes contributing to depression. Finally, a few gaps are highlighted as opportunities for future research. PMID:25692174

  15. Modulation of C. elegans Touch Sensitivity Is Integrated at Multiple Levels

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xiaoyin

    2014-01-01

    Sensory systems can adapt to different environmental signals. Here we identify four conditions that modulate anterior touch sensitivity in Caenorhabditis elegans after several hours and demonstrate that such sensory modulation is integrated at multiple levels to produce a single output. Prolonged vibration involving integrin signaling directly sensitizes the touch receptor neurons (TRNs). In contrast, hypoxia, the dauer state, and high salt reduce touch sensitivity by preventing the release of long-range neuroregulators, including two insulin-like proteins. Integration of these latter inputs occurs at upstream neurohormonal cells and at the insulin signaling cascade within the TRNs. These signals and those from integrin signaling converge to modulate touch sensitivity by regulating AKT kinases and DAF-16/FOXO. Thus, activation of either the integrin or insulin pathways can compensate for defects in the other pathway. This modulatory system integrates conflicting signals from different modalities, and adapts touch sensitivity to both mechanical and non-mechanical conditions. PMID:24806678

  16. Are income-related differences in active travel associated with physical environmental characteristics? A multi-level ecological approach.

    PubMed

    Rind, Esther; Shortt, Niamh; Mitchell, Richard; Richardson, Elizabeth A; Pearce, Jamie

    2015-06-05

    Rates of active travel vary by socio-economic position, with higher rates generally observed among less affluent populations. Aspects of both social and built environments have been shown to affect active travel, but little research has explored the influence of physical environmental characteristics, and less has examined whether physical environment affects socio-economic inequality in active travel. This study explored income-related differences in active travel in relation to multiple physical environmental characteristics including air pollution, climate and levels of green space, in urban areas across England. We hypothesised that any gradient in the relationship between income and active travel would be least pronounced in the least physically environmentally-deprived areas where higher income populations may be more likely to choose active transport as a means of travel. Adults aged 16+ living in urban areas (n = 20,146) were selected from the 2002 and 2003 waves of the UK National Travel Survey. The mode of all short non-recreational trips undertaken by the sample was identified (n = 205,673). Three-level binary logistic regression models were used to explore how associations between the trip being active (by bike/walking) and three income groups, varied by level of multiple physical environmental deprivation. Likelihood of making an active trip among the lowest income group appeared unaffected by physical environmental deprivation; 15.4% of their non-recreational trips were active in both the least and most environmentally-deprived areas. The income-related gradient in making active trips remained steep in the least environmentally-deprived areas because those in the highest income groups were markedly less likely to choose active travel when physical environment was 'good', compared to those on the lowest incomes (OR = 0.44, 95% CI = 0.22 to 0.89). The socio-economic gradient in active travel seems independent of physical environmental

  17. 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

  18. Comparing cluster-level dynamic treatment regimens using sequential, multiple assignment, randomized trials: Regression estimation and sample size considerations.

    PubMed

    NeCamp, Timothy; Kilbourne, Amy; Almirall, Daniel

    2017-08-01

    Cluster-level dynamic treatment regimens can be used to guide sequential treatment decision-making at the cluster level in order to improve outcomes at the individual or patient-level. In a cluster-level dynamic treatment regimen, the treatment is potentially adapted and re-adapted over time based on changes in the cluster that could be impacted by prior intervention, including aggregate measures of the individuals or patients that compose it. Cluster-randomized sequential multiple assignment randomized trials can be used to answer multiple open questions preventing scientists from developing high-quality cluster-level dynamic treatment regimens. In a cluster-randomized sequential multiple assignment randomized trial, sequential randomizations occur at the cluster level and outcomes are observed at the individual level. This manuscript makes two contributions to the design and analysis of cluster-randomized sequential multiple assignment randomized trials. First, a weighted least squares regression approach is proposed for comparing the mean of a patient-level outcome between the cluster-level dynamic treatment regimens embedded in a sequential multiple assignment randomized trial. The regression approach facilitates the use of baseline covariates which is often critical in the analysis of cluster-level trials. Second, sample size calculators are derived for two common cluster-randomized sequential multiple assignment randomized trial designs for use when the primary aim is a between-dynamic treatment regimen comparison of the mean of a continuous patient-level outcome. The methods are motivated by the Adaptive Implementation of Effective Programs Trial which is, to our knowledge, the first-ever cluster-randomized sequential multiple assignment randomized trial in psychiatry.

  19. The multiple stressor ecological risk assessment for the mercury-contaminated South River and upper Shenandoah River using the Bayesian network-relative risk model.

    PubMed

    Landis, Wayne G; Ayre, Kimberley K; Johns, Annie F; Summers, Heather M; Stinson, Jonah; Harris, Meagan J; Herring, Carlie E; Markiewicz, April J

    2017-01-01

    We have conducted a regional scale risk assessment using the Bayesian Network Relative Risk Model (BN-RRM) to calculate the ecological risks to the South River and upper Shenandoah River study area. Four biological endpoints (smallmouth bass, white sucker, Belted Kingfisher, and Carolina Wren) and 4 abiotic endpoints (Fishing River Use, Swimming River Use, Boating River Use, and Water Quality Standards) were included in this risk assessment, based on stakeholder input. Although mercury (Hg) contamination was the original impetus for the site being remediated, other chemical and physical stressors were evaluated. There were 3 primary conclusions from the BN-RRM results. First, risk varies according to location, type and quality of habitat, and exposure to stressors within the landscape. The patterns of risk can be evaluated with reasonable certitude. Second, overall risk to abiotic endpoints was greater than overall risk to biotic endpoints. By including both biotic and abiotic endpoints, we are able to compare risk to endpoints that represent a wide range of stakeholder values. Third, whereas Hg reduction is the regulatory priority for the South River, Hg is not the only stressor driving risk to the endpoints. Ecological and habitat stressors contribute risk to the endpoints and should be considered when managing this site. This research provides the foundation for evaluating the risks of multiple stressors of the South River to a variety of endpoints. From this foundation, tools for the evaluation of management options and an adaptive management tools have been forged. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2017;13:85-99. © 2016 SETAC. © 2016 SETAC.

  20. Outdoor air pollution, subtypes and severity of ischemic stroke – a small-area level ecological study

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Evidence linking outdoor air pollution and incidence of ischemic stroke subtypes and severity is limited. We examined associations between outdoor PM10 and NO2 concentrations modeled at a fine spatial resolution and etiological and clinical ischemic stroke subtypes and severity of ischemic stroke. Methods We used a small-area level ecological study design and a stroke register set up to capture all incident cases of first ever stroke (1995–2007) occurring in a defined geographical area in South London (948 census output areas; population of 267839). Modeled PM10 and NO2 concentrations were available at a very fine spatial scale (20 meter by 20 meter grid point resolution) and were aggregated to output area level using postcode population weighted averages. Ischemic stroke was classified using the Oxford clinical classification, the Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment (TOAST) etiological classification, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score and a pragmatic clinical severity classification based on Glasgow coma score, ability to swallow, urinary continence and death <2 days of stroke onset. Results Mean (SD) concentrations were 25.1 (1.2) ug/m3 (range 23.3-36.4) for PM10 and 41.4 (3.0) ug/m3 (range 35.4-68.0) for NO2. There were 2492 incident cases of ischemic stroke. We found no evidence of association between these pollutants and the incidence of ischemic stroke subtypes classified using the Oxford and TOAST classifications. We found no significant association with stroke severity using NIHSS severity categories. However, we found that outdoor concentrations of both PM10 and NO2 appeared to be associated with increased incidence of mild but not severe ischemic stroke, classified using the pragmatic clinical severity classification. For mild ischemic stroke, the rate ratio in the highest PM10 category by tertile was 1.20 (1.05-1.38) relative to the lowest category. The rate ratio in the highest NO2 category was 1.22 (1

  1. 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).

  2. Eliciting and Representing High-Level Knowledge Requirements to Discover Ecological Knowledge in Flower-Visiting Data

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Observations of individual organisms (data) can be combined with expert ecological knowledge of species, especially causal knowledge, to model and extract from flower–visiting data useful information about behavioral interactions between insect and plant organisms, such as nectar foraging and pollen transfer. We describe and evaluate a method to elicit and represent such expert causal knowledge of behavioral ecology, and discuss the potential for wider application of this method to the design of knowledge-based systems for knowledge discovery in biodiversity and ecosystem informatics. PMID:27851814

  3. Low Serum Urate Levels Are Associated to Female Gender in Multiple Sclerosis Patients

    PubMed Central

    Zoccolella, Stefano; Tortorella, Carla; Iaffaldano, Pietro; Direnzo, Vita; D’Onghia, Mariangela; Luciannatelli, Elena; Paolicelli, Damiano; Livrea, Paolo; Trojano, Maria

    2012-01-01

    Background Urate is a natural antioxidant and may prevent CNS tissue damage and the clinical manifestations of experimental autoimmune encephalitis. Results from clinical studies are conflicting and the contribution of urate to the pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) remains uncertain. Objective To evaluate serum urate levels in MS patients and their relationships with clinical, demographic and MRI variables. Methods Levels of non-fasting serum uric acid and creatinine were determined by an automated enzymatic assay and glomerular filtration rate was assessed in 245 MS patients, in 252 age/sex-matched neurological controls (NC) and in 59 Healthy controls (HC). Results Median serum urate levels did not differ between MS patients (3.8 mg/dL), HC (4.0 mg/dl) and NC (4.0 mg/dL). Serum urate levels were lower in females than in males in all groups (p = <0.0001). In female-MS, serum urate levels (3.2 mg/dL) were lower compared to those in female HC (3.8; p = 0.01) and NC (3.5 mg/dL; p = 0.02), whereas in male-MS they(4.8 mg/dL) did not differ from those in male HC (4.5 mg/dl) and NC (4.8 mg/dL). Urate concentrations trended to be lower in Clinically isolated syndromes suggestive of MS (3.7 mg/dL) and in relapsing MS (3.7 mg/dL), compared to patients with progressive MS (4.4 mg/dL; p = 0.06), and in patients with an annual relapse rate (ARR) >2 (3.3 mg/dL) than in those with an ARR ≤2: 3.9 mg/dL; p = 0.05). Significant lower serum urate levels were found in females than in males in all clinical MS subtypes (p<0.01), separately evaluated. Female sex (beta: −0.53; p<0.00001) was the most significant determinant of serum urate concentrations in MS patients on multivariate regression analysis. Conclusions Our findings suggest that low urate levels could be of significance in predominantly inflammatory phases of MS even at the early stage and mainly in females. PMID:22848387

  4. 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

  5. Meralgia paraesthetica: Ultrasound-guided injection at multiple levels with 12-month follow-up.

    PubMed

    Klauser, Andrea S; Abd Ellah, Mohamed M H; Halpern, Ethan J; Sporer, Isabella; Martinoli, Carlo; Tagliafico, Alberto; Sojer, Martin; Taljanovic, Mihra S; Jaschke, Werner R

    2016-03-01

    To evaluate the efficacy of ultrasound (US)-guided injections around the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LFCN) at different levels in meralgia paraesthetica (MP) patients. The study was approved by the university ethics committee and informed oral and written consent were obtained from all patients. Between June 2008 and August 2013, 20 patients with symptoms of MP, including nine men (mean age, 61.33 years) and 11 women (mean age 61.18 years), were treated with US-guided injection of steroids along the LFCN at three different levels in a mean of 2.25 sessions. A visual analogue scale (VAS) was used to measure symptoms before, immediately after and 12 months after treatment. Complete resolution of symptoms was documented in 15/20 patients (mean VAS decreased from 82 to 0), and partial resolution in the remaining five (mean VAS decreased from 92 to 42), which was confirmed at 12-month follow-up. By using the different levels of injection approach overall significantly better symptom relief was obtained (p < 0.05). The outcome of US-guided injection along the LFCN can be further improved by injections at different levels (p < 0.05), which was confirmed at 12-month long-term follow-up. Meralgia paraesthetica is an entrapment neuropathy of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve. Ultrasound proved effective in diagnosis and in guiding injection therapy. Injection at the anterior superior iliac spine has been used previously. Multiple injections along the nerve course were used in this study. Long-term follow-up (12 months) confirmed the results.

  6. Vulnerability to coastal cholera ecology.

    PubMed

    Collins, Andrew E

    2003-10-01

    The battle to completely control cholera continues. Multiple strains, high levels of morbidity in some regions of the world, and a complex of influences on its distribution in people and the environment are accompanied by only rough resolution prediction of outbreaks. Uncertainty as to the most effective array of interventions for one of the most researched infectious diseases thwarts further progress in providing cost-effective solutions. Progress on the research front consistently points towards the importance of disease ecology, coastal environments, and the sea. However, evaluation of the link between cholera in people and environment can only be effective with analysis of human vulnerability to variable coastal cholera ecologies. As there are some clear links between the organism, cholera incidence and the sea, it is appropriate that cholera research should examine the nature of coastal population vulnerability to the disease. The paper reviews the cholera risks of human-environment interactions in coastal areas as one component of the evaluation of cholera management. This points to effective intervention through integrative knowledge of changing human and environmental ecologies, requiring improved detection, but also an acceptance of complex causality. The challenge is to identify indicators and interventions for case specific ecologies in variable locales of human vulnerability and disease hazard. Further work will therefore aim to explore improved surveillance and intervention across the socio-behavioural and ecological spectrum. Furthermore, the story of cholera continues to inform us about how we should more effectively view emergent and resurgent infectious disease hazards more generally.

  7. Caregiver burden, quality of life and walking ability in different disability levels of multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Ertekin, Özge; Özakbaş, Serkan; İdiman, Egemen

    2014-01-01

    The caregivers of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) individuals are usually burdened with a wide range of MS-related caregiving tasks which may result in damages of their daily life and quality of life (QOL). This study was designed to compare according to the disability level (1) the walking ability, quality of life (QOL), and disease impact of the MS patients (2) and the burden, QOL, self-efficacy and life satisfaction of their caregivers; (3) to determine the relationship between these outcome results, disease duration and caregivers' age. 772 MS patients were recruited, 47 MS patients and their 47 caregivers finished the study. Disability, walking ability, QOL, disease impact of the MS participants; the burden, QOL, self-efficacy, life satisfaction of the caregivers were evaluated. MS Patients with higher disability had significantly worse scores on the MSWS-12, MUSIQOL, MSIS-29, and PDSS (p < 0.01). The caregivers facing with higher disability had significantly worse scores on CBI and CAREQOL (p < 0.01). The impairments on disability level, walking and QOL of MS patients were related to OQL declines and increased burden of their caregivers. Therefore, it may be important to provide acceptable education and support strategies with individual intervention while defining the needs and goals of the MS patients and their caregivers to improve the rehabilitation success.

  8. DataSHIELD: an ethically robust solution to multiple-site individual-level data analysis.

    PubMed

    Budin-Ljøsne, Isabelle; Burton, Paul; Isaeva, Julia; Gaye, Amadou; Turner, Andrew; Murtagh, Madeleine J; Wallace, Susan; Ferretti, Vincent; Harris, Jennifer R

    2015-01-01

    DataSHIELD (Data Aggregation Through Anonymous Summary-statistics from Harmonised Individual levEL Databases) has been proposed to facilitate the co-analysis of individual-level data from multiple studies without physically sharing the data. In a previous paper, we investigated whether DataSHIELD could protect participant confidentiality in accordance with UK law. In this follow-up paper, we investigate whether DataSHIELD addresses a broader range of ethics-related data-sharing concerns. Ethics-related data-sharing concerns of Institutional Review Boards, ethics experts, international research consortia and research participants were identified through a literature search and systematically examined at a multidisciplinary workshop to determine whether DataSHIELD proposes mechanisms which can address these concerns. DataSHIELD addresses several ethics-related data-sharing concerns related to privacy, confidentiality, and the protection of the research participant's rights while sharing data and after the data have been shared. The data remain entirely under the direct management of the study that collected them. Data processing commands are strictly supervised, and the data are queried in a protected environment. Issues related to the return of individual research results when data are shared are eliminated; the responsibility for return remains at the study of origin. DataSHIELD can provide an innovative and robust solution for addressing commonly encountered ethics-related data-sharing concerns. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  9. Coenzyme Q10 Levels Are Decreased in the Cerebellum of Multiple-System Atrophy Patients

    PubMed Central

    Schottlaender, Lucia V.; Bettencourt, Conceição; Kiely, Aoife P.; Chalasani, Annapurna; Neergheen, Viruna; Holton, Janice L.; Hargreaves, Iain; Houlden, Henry

    2016-01-01

    Background The objective of this study was to evaluate whether the levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in brain tissue of multiple system atrophy (MSA) patients differ from those in elderly controls and in patients with other neurodegenerative diseases. Methods Flash frozen brain tissue of a series of 20 pathologically confirmed MSA patients [9 olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA) type, 6 striatonigral degeneration (SND) type, and 5 mixed type] was used for this study. Elderly controls (n = 37) as well as idiopathic Parkinson's disease (n = 7), dementia with Lewy bodies (n = 20), corticobasal degeneration (n = 15) and cerebellar ataxia (n = 18) patients were used as comparison groups. CoQ10 was measured in cerebellar and frontal cortex tissue by high performance liquid chromatography. Results We detected a statistically significant decrease (by 3–5%) in the level of CoQ10 in the cerebellum of MSA cases (P = 0.001), specifically in OPCA (P = 0.001) and mixed cases (P = 0.005), when compared to controls as well as to other neurodegenerative diseases [dementia with Lewy bodies (P<0.001), idiopathic Parkinson's disease (P<0.001), corticobasal degeneration (P<0.001), and cerebellar ataxia (P = 0.001)]. Conclusion Our results suggest that a perturbation in the CoQ10 biosynthetic pathway is associated with the pathogenesis of MSA but the mechanism behind this finding remains to be elucidated. PMID:26894433

  10. 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

  11. Month of birth and level of insolation as risk factors for multiple sclerosis in Poland.

    PubMed

    Dobrakowski, Paweł; Bogocz, Michał; Cholewa, Kamil; Rajchel, Mateusz; Kapica-Topczewska, Katarzyna; Wawrzyniak, Sławomir; Bartosik-Psujek, Halina; Kułakowska, Alina; Koziarska, Dorota; Adamczyk-Sowa, Monika

    2017-01-01

    Many studies have shown that people born in the spring are at a higher risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). This may be associated with lower levels of sun exposure, and consequently, lower levels of vitamin D3 during pregnancy. However, these relationships have not been verified thus far in any countries in Central Europe. The aim of our study was to determine the frequency distribution of births for each calendar month in patients suffering from MS in Poland. We analyzed data for 2574 patients diagnosed with MS (1758 women, 816 men) living in Poland for an extended period. We added corrections resulting from the frequency distribution of births for the years in which the patients were born. We applied the Hewitt test for seasonality with Rogerson modification for 3-, 4-, or 6-month pulses or periods. Moreover, we examined the average number hours of sunshine in every month of the year. The rank-sums for successive 3- and 4-month segments indicated the period from September to December and from October to December as having a significantly lower incidence (p = 0.027 and p = 0.054, respectively). We did not find a correlation between with hours of sunshine in the first trimester of pregnancy, the child's birth month, and the child developing MS. We were able to confirm a seasonal variation in the risk of MS in Poland. However, these findings did not correlate with hours of sunshine during the first trimester of pregnancy.

  12. Self-reported levels of education and disability progression in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    D'hooghe, M B; Haentjens, P; Van Remoortel, A; De Keyser, J; Nagels, G

    2016-12-01

    The purpose of our study is to investigate whether socioeconomic indicators such as education, financial concerns, employment, and living status are associated with disease progression in relapsing-onset and progressive-onset Multiple Sclerosis (MS). We performed a cross-sectional survey among individuals with MS, registered by the Flemish MS society and included socioeconomic indicators. A Cox proportional hazard regression was performed with the time from MS onset and from birth to reach an ambulatory disability milestone corresponding to Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) 6 (requiring a cane) as outcome measure, adjusted for gender, age at MS onset, and immunomodulatory treatment. Among the participants with relapsing-onset MS, subjects reporting education for more than 12 years had a reduced risk of reaching EDSS 6 compared to subjects reporting education for less than 12 years [HR from onset 0.68 (95% CI 0.49-0.95); HR from birth 0.71 (95% CI 0.51-0.99)]. In progressive-onset MS, longer education was associated with an increased hazard to reach EDSS 6 [HR from onset 1.25 (95% CI 0.91-1.70); HR from birth 1.39 (95% CI 1.02-1.90)]. Our study shows an association of self-reported levels of education with disability progression in MS, with the highest level being protective in relapsing-onset MS. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. 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

  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.

    2014-12-01

    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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  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. Molecular evolution of multiple-level control of heme biosynthesis pathway in animal kingdom.

    PubMed

    Tzou, Wen-Shyong; Chu, Ying; Lin, Tzung-Yi; Hu, Chin-Hwa; Pai, Tun-Wen; Liu, Hsin-Fu; Lin, Han-Jia; Cases, Ildeofonso; Rojas, Ana; Sanchez, Mayka; You, Zong-Ye; Hsu, Ming-Wei

    2014-01-01

    Adaptation of enzymes in a metabolic pathway can occur not only through changes in amino acid sequences but also through variations in transcriptional activation, mRNA splicing and mRNA translation. The heme biosynthesis pathway, a linear pathway comprised of eight consecutive enzymes in animals, provides researchers with ample information for multiple types of evolutionary analyses performed with respect to the position of each enzyme in the pathway. Through bioinformatics analysis, we found that the protein-coding sequences of all enzymes in this pathway are under strong purifying selection, from cnidarians to mammals. However, loose evolutionary constraints are observed for enzymes in which self-catalysis occurs. Through comparative genomics, we found that in animals, the first intron of the enzyme-encoding genes has been co-opted for transcriptional activation of the genes in this pathway. Organisms sense the cellular content of iron, and through iron-responsive elements in the 5' untranslated regions of mRNAs and the intron-exon boundary regions of pathway genes, translational inhibition and exon choice in enzymes may be enabled, respectively. Pathway product (heme)-mediated negative feedback control can affect the transport of pathway enzymes into the mitochondria as well as the ubiquitin-mediated stability of enzymes. Remarkably, the positions of these controls on pathway activity are not ubiquitous but are biased towards the enzymes in the upstream portion of the pathway. We revealed that multiple-level controls on the activity of the heme biosynthesis pathway depend on the linear depth of the enzymes in the pathway, indicating a new strategy for discovering the molecular constraints that shape the evolution of a metabolic pathway.

  19. Fast and robust brain tumor segmentation using level set method with multiple image information.

    PubMed

    Lok, Ka Hei; Shi, Lin; Zhu, Xianlun; Wang, Defeng

    2017-01-01

    Brain tumor segmentation is a challenging task for its variation in intensity. The phenomenon is caused by the inhomogeneous content of tumor tissue and the choice of imaging modality. In 2010 Zhang developed the Selective Binary Gaussian Filtering Regularizing Level Set (SBGFRLS) model that combined the merits of edge-based and region-based segmentation. To improve the SBGFRLS method by modifying the singed pressure force (SPF) term with multiple image information and demonstrate effectiveness of proposed method on clinical images. In original SBGFRLS model, the contour evolution direction mainly depends on the SPF. By introducing a directional term in SPF, the metric could control the evolution direction. The SPF is altered by statistic values enclosed by the contour. This concept can be extended to jointly incorporate multiple image information. The new SPF term is expected to bring a solution for blur edge problem in brain tumor segmentation. The proposed method is validated with clinical images including pre- and post-contrast magnetic resonance images. The accuracy and robustness is compared with sensitivity, specificity, DICE similarity coefficient and Jaccard similarity index. Experimental results show improvement, in particular the increase of sensitivity at the same specificity, in segmenting all types of tumors except for the diffused tumor. The novel brain tumor segmentation method is clinical-oriented with fast, robust and accurate implementation and a minimal user interaction. The method effectively segmented homogeneously enhanced, non-enhanced, heterogeneously-enhanced, and ring-enhanced tumor under MR imaging. Though the method is limited by identifying edema and diffuse tumor, several possible solutions are suggested to turn the curve evolution into a fully functional clinical diagnosis tool.

  20. Correlation of Fatigue with Depression, Disability Level and Quality of Life in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    KAYA AYGÜNOĞLU, Selma; ÇELEBİ, Arif; VARDAR, Nilgün; GÜRSOY, Esra

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Fatigue is a subjective and non-specific symptom; therefore, evaluation of fatigue is quite difficult. Fatigue has been reported in 75%–87% of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and two-thirds of these patients indicated fatigue as one of the worst three common symptoms that they experienced. This study was conducted to measure the intensity, frequency and the characteristics of fatigue in patients with MS. Moreover, the effect of fatigue on the quality of life and its association with depression and disability were evaluated. Methods One hundred and twenty patients with multiple sclerosis (84 women and 36 men) were included in our study. The patients’ sociodemographic characteristics and their experiences on symptoms of fatigue were questioned. Presence and degree of fatigue were assessed using the fatigue severity scale (FSS). Disability status was detected with expanded disability status scale (EDSS). The Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life (MSQoL-54) survey was conducted to evaluate the quality of life of patients and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was used to determine the current depression status. Patients were grouped into fatigue and non-fatigue groups based on FSS. Both groups were compared according to their age, sex, MS clinical types, course of the disease and scores of EDSS, BDI and MSQoL-54. Results Seventy percent of patients reported fatigue and 38% of these patients defined fatigue as their most disabling symptom. There was no correlation of fatigue with age, sex and disease duration. The correlation of fatigue and educational level was negative and weak (p<.05, r=−.214) and the correlation between fatigue and MS clinical types were significant but weak (p<.01, r=.228). Patients with fatigue had higher EDSS and BDI scores. In addition, FSS scores were found to be statistically meaningful and positively correlated with both EDSS and BDI scores (r=.404, r=.476, p<.01). Furthermore, our findings revealed that the quality of life

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Cognitive and cortical plasticity deficits correlate with altered amyloid-β CSF levels in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Mori, Francesco; Rossi, Silvia; Sancesario, Giulia; Codecà, Claudia; Mataluni, Giorgia; Monteleone, Fabrizia; Buttari, Fabio; Kusayanagi, Hajime; Castelli, Maura; Motta, Caterina; Studer, Valeria; Bernardi, Giorgio; Koch, Giacomo; Bernardini, Sergio; Centonze, Diego

    2011-02-01

    Cognitive dysfunction is of frequent observation in multiple sclerosis (MS). It is associated with gray matter pathology, brain atrophy, and altered connectivity, and recent evidence showed that acute inflammation can exacerbate mental deficits independently of the primary functional system involved. In this study, we measured cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of amyloid-β(1-42) and τ protein in MS and in clinically isolated syndrome patients, as both proteins have been associated with cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease (AD). In AD, amyloid-β(1-42) accumulates in the brain as insoluble extracellular plaques, possibly explaining why soluble amyloid-β(1-42) is reduced in the CSF of these patients. In our sample of MS patients, amyloid-β(1-42) levels were significantly lower in patients cognitively impaired (CI) and were inversely correlated with the number of Gadolinium-enhancing (Gd+) lesions at the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Positive correlations between amyloid-β(1-42) levels and measures of attention and concentration were also found. Furthermore, abnormal neuroplasticity of the cerebral cortex, explored with θ burst stimulation (TBS), was observed in CI patients, and a positive correlation was found between amyloid-β(1-42) CSF contents and the magnitude of long-term potentiation-like effects induced by TBS. No correlation was conversely found between τ protein concentrations and MRI findings, cognitive parameters, and TBS effects in these patients. Together, our results indicate that in MS, central inflammation is able to alter amyloid-β metabolism by reducing its concentration in the CSF and leading to impairment of synaptic plasticity and cognitive function.

  4. Astragaloside IV attenuates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis of mice by counteracting oxidative stress at multiple levels.

    PubMed

    He, Yixin; Du, Min; Gao, Yan; Liu, Hongshuai; Wang, Hongwei; Wu, Xiaojun; Wang, Zhengtao

    2013-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune neuroinflammatory disease found mostly in young adults in the western world. Oxidative stress induced neuronal apoptosis plays an important role in the pathogenesis of MS. In current study, astragaloside IV (ASI), a natural saponin molecule isolated from Astragalus membranceus, given at 20 mg/kg daily attenuated the severity of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in mice significantly. Further studies disclosed that ASI treatment inhibited the increase of ROS and pro-inflammatory cytokine levels, down-regulation of SOD and GSH-Px activities, and elevation of iNOS, p53 and phosphorylated tau in central nervous system (CNS) as well as the leakage of BBB of EAE mice. Meanwhile, the decreased ratio of Bcl-2/Bax was reversed by ASI. Moreover, ASI regulated T-cell differentiation and infiltration into CNS. In neuroblast SH-SY5Y cells, ASI dose-dependently reduced cellular ROS level and phosphorylation of tau in response to hydrogen peroxide challenge by modulation of Bcl-2/Bax ratio. ASI also inhibited activation of microglia both in vivo and in vitro. iNOS up-regulation induced by IFNγ stimulation was abolished by ASI dose-dependently in BV-2 cells. In summary, ASI prevented the severity of EAE progression possibly by counterbalancing oxidative stress and its effects via reduction of cellular ROS level, enhancement of antioxidant defense system, increase of anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory pathways, as well as modulation of T-cell differentiation and infiltration into CNS. The study suggested ASI may be effective for clinical therapy/prevention of MS.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-21

    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. 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 proprioceptive information

  7. 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

  8. Occurrence, distribution and ecological risk assessment of multiple classes of UV filters in surface waters from different countries.

    PubMed

    Tsui, Mirabelle M P; Leung, H W; Wai, Tak-Cheung; Yamashita, Nobuyoshi; Taniyasu, Sachi; Liu, Wenhua; Lam, Paul K S; Murphy, Margaret B

    2014-12-15

    Organic UV filters are common ingredients of personal care products (PCPs), but little is known about their distribution in and potential impacts to the marine environment. This study reports the occurrence and risk assessment of twelve widely used organic UV filters in surface water collected in eight cities in four countries (China, the United States, Japan, and Thailand) and the North American Arctic. The number of compounds detected, Hong Kong (12), Tokyo (9), Bangkok (9), New York (8), Los Angeles (8), Arctic (6), Shantou (5) and Chaozhou (5), generally increased with population density. Median concentrations of all detectable UV filters were <250 ng/L. The presence of these compounds in the Arctic is likely due to a combination of inadequate wastewater treatment and long-range oceanic transport. Principal component analysis (PCA) and two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were conducted to explore spatiotemporal patterns and difference in organic UV filter levels in Hong Kong. In general, spatial patterns varied with sampling month and all compounds showed higher concentrations in the wet season except benzophenone-4 (BP-4). Probabilistic risk assessment showed that 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC) posed greater risk to algae, while benzophenone-3 (BP-3) and ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (EHMC) were more likely to pose a risk to fishes and also posed high risk of bleaching in hard corals in aquatic recreational areas in Hong Kong. This study is the first to report the occurrence of organic UV filters in the Arctic and provides a wider assessment of their potential negative impacts in the marine environment.

  9. Managing for No Net Loss of Ecological Services: An Approach for Quantifying Loss of Coastal Wetlands due to Sea Level Rise.

    PubMed

    Kassakian, Jennifer; Jones, Ann; Martinich, Jeremy; Hudgens, Daniel

    2017-05-01

    Sea level rise has the potential to substantially alter the extent and nature of coastal wetlands and the critical ecological services they provide. In making choices about how to respond to rising sea level, planners are challenged with weighing easily quantified risks (e.g., loss of property value due to inundation) against those that are more difficult to quantify (e.g., loss of primary production or carbon sequestration services provided by wetlands due to inundation). Our goal was to develop a cost-effective, appropriately-scaled, model-based approach that allows planners to predict, under various sea level rise and response scenarios, the economic cost of wetland loss-with the estimates proxied by the costs of future restoration required to maintain the existing level of wetland habitat services. Our approach applies the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model to predict changes in wetland habitats over the next century, and then applies Habitat Equivalency Analysis to predict the cost of restoration projects required to maintain ecological services at their present, pre-sea level rise level. We demonstrate the application of this approach in the Delaware Bay estuary and in the Indian River Lagoon (Florida), and discuss how this approach can support future coastal decision-making.

  10. Managing for No Net Loss of Ecological Services: An Approach for Quantifying Loss of Coastal Wetlands due to Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kassakian, Jennifer; Jones, Ann; Martinich, Jeremy; Hudgens, Daniel

    2017-05-01

    Sea level rise has the potential to substantially alter the extent and nature of coastal wetlands and the critical ecological services they provide. In making choices about how to respond to rising sea level, planners are challenged with weighing easily quantified risks (e.g., loss of property value due to inundation) against those that are more difficult to quantify (e.g., loss of primary production or carbon sequestration services provided by wetlands due to inundation). Our goal was to develop a cost-effective, appropriately-scaled, model-based approach that allows planners to predict, under various sea level rise and response scenarios, the economic cost of wetland loss—with the estimates proxied by the costs of future restoration required to maintain the existing level of wetland habitat services. Our approach applies the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model to predict changes in wetland habitats over the next century, and then applies Habitat Equivalency Analysis to predict the cost of restoration projects required to maintain ecological services at their present, pre-sea level rise level. We demonstrate the application of this approach in the Delaware Bay estuary and in the Indian River Lagoon (Florida), and discuss how this approach can support future coastal decision-making.

  11. 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

    2011-12-08

    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.

  12. Physiological ecology of overwintering in the hatchling painted turtle: multiple-scale variation in response to environmental stress.

    PubMed

    Costanzo, Jon P; Dinkelacker, Stephen A; Iverson, John B; Lee, Richard E

    2004-01-01

    We integrated field and laboratory studies in an investigation of water balance, energy use, and mechanisms of cold-hardiness in hatchling painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) indigenous to west-central Nebraska (Chrysemys picta bellii) and northern Indiana (Chrysemys picta marginata) during the winters of 1999-2000 and 2000-2001. We examined 184 nests, 80 of which provided the hatchlings (n=580) and/or samples of soil used in laboratory analyses. Whereas winter 1999-2000 was relatively dry and mild, the following winter was wet and cold; serendipitously, the contrast illuminated a marked plasticity in physiological response to environmental stress. Physiological and cold-hardiness responses of turtles also varied between study locales, largely owing to differences in precipitation and edaphics and the lower prevailing and minimum nest temperatures (to -13.2 degrees C) encountered by Nebraska turtles. In Nebraska, winter mortality occurred within 12.5% (1999-2000) and 42.3% (2000-2001) of the sampled nests; no turtles died in the Indiana nests. Laboratory studies of the mechanisms of cold-hardiness used by hatchling C. picta showed that resistance to inoculative freezing and capacity for freeze tolerance increased as winter approached. However, the level of inoculation resistance strongly depended on the physical characteristics of nest soil, as well as its moisture content, which varied seasonally. Risk of inoculative freezing (and mortality) was greatest in midwinter when nest temperatures were lowest and soil moisture and activity of constituent organic ice nuclei were highest. Water balance in overwintering hatchlings was closely linked to dynamics of precipitation and soil moisture, whereas energy use and the size of the energy reserve available to hatchlings in spring depended on the winter thermal regime. Acute chilling resulted in hyperglycemia and hyperlactemia, which persisted throughout winter; this response may be cryoprotective. Some physiological

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    Chowdhury, Debashish

    2013-06-04

    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. Copyright © 2013 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. 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

  20. Simplified analytical model for sound level prediction at shielded urban locations involving multiple diffraction and reflections.

    PubMed

    Wei, Weigang; Van Renterghem, Timothy; Botteldooren, Dick

    2015-11-01

    Accurate and efficient prediction of the sound field in shadow zones behind obstacles is a challenging task but essential to produce urban noise maps. A simplified method is presented to predict sound levels at shielded urban locations, including multi-edge diffraction over successive buildings and multiple reflections between parallel façades. The model is essentially based on Pierce's diffraction theory, where the Fresnel Integral is approximated by trigonometric functions for efficient evaluation, and parameterized for urban environments. The model has been validated for idealized urban configurations by comparing to the results of Pierce's theory and a full-wave numerical method. In case of multi-edge diffraction over buildings in absence of a source or receiver canyon, deviations from the full-wave simulations are smaller than 2 dB for the octave bands with central frequencies ranging from 125 to 1000 Hz. However, larger errors are made when receivers are close to the extension line from the diffraction edge closest to the receiver. In case of combining the simplified multi-edge diffraction model with an efficient approach for including the series of mirror sources and mirror receivers, based on the Hurwitz-Lerch transcendent, this same accuracy is obtained.

  1. Multiple-choice exams: an obstacle for higher-level thinking in introductory science classes.

    PubMed

    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 see the need to modify their study strategies for critical thinking, because the MC exam format has not changed. To test the effect of exam format, I used two sections of an introductory biology class. One section was assessed with exams in the traditional MC format, the other section was assessed with both MC and constructed-response (CR) questions. The mixed exam format was correlated with significantly more cognitively active study behaviors and a significantly better performance on the cumulative final exam (after accounting for grade point average and gender). There was also less gender-bias in the CR answers. This suggests that the MC-only exam format indeed hinders critical thinking in introductory science classes. Introducing CR questions encouraged students to learn more and to be better critical thinkers and reduced gender bias. However, student resistance increased as students adjusted their perceptions of their own critical-thinking abilities.

  2. Multiple Levels of Bilingual Language Control: Evidence from Language Intrusions in Reading Aloud

    PubMed Central

    Gollan, Tamar H.; Schotter, Elizabeth R.; Gomez, Joanne; Murillo, Mayra; Rayner, Keith

    2013-01-01

    Bilinguals rarely produce words in an unintended language. However, we induced such intrusion errors (e.g., saying el instead of he) in 32 Spanish-English bilinguals who read aloud language-selective and language-mixed paragraphs with English or Spanish word order. Bilinguals produced language intrusions almost exclusively in language-mixed paragraphs, and most often when attempting to produce dominant-language targets (accent-only errors also exhibited reversed language dominance effects). Most intrusion errors occurred for function word targets, especially when they did not match paragraph language word order. Eye movements showed that fixating a word in the non-target language increased intrusion errors only for function word targets. Together, these results imply multiple mechanisms of language control, including (a) inhibition of the dominant language at both lexical (Green, 1998) and sublexical processing levels, (b) special retrieval mechanisms for function words in mixed-language utterances (Myers-Scotton, 1993), and (c) attention’s role in monitoring target language for match with intended language. PMID:24367061

  3. Mediators of Physical Activity on Neurocognitive Function: A Review at Multiple Levels of Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Stillman, Chelsea M.; Cohen, Jamie; Lehman, Morgan E.; Erickson, Kirk I.

    2016-01-01

    Physical activity (PA) is known to maintain and improve neurocognitive health. However, there is still a poor understanding of the mechanisms by which PA exerts its effects on the brain and cognition in humans. Many of the most widely discussed mechanisms of PA are molecular and cellular and arise from animal models. While information about basic cellular and molecular mechanisms is an important foundation from which to build our understanding of how PA promotes cognitive health in humans, there are other pathways that could play a role in this relationship. For example, PA-induced changes to cellular and molecular pathways likely initiate changes to macroscopic properties of the brain and/or to behavior that in turn influence cognition. The present review uses a more macroscopic lens to identify potential brain and behavioral/socioemotional mediators of the association between PA and cognitive function. We first summarize what is known regarding cellular and molecular mechanisms, and then devote the remainder of the review to discussing evidence for brain systems and behavioral/socioemotional pathways by which PA influences cognition. It is our hope that discussing mechanisms at multiple levels of analysis will stimulate the field to examine both brain and behavioral mediators. Doing so is important, as it could lead to a more complete characterization of the processes by which PA influences neurocognitive function, as well as a greater variety of targets for modifying neurocognitive function in clinical contexts. PMID:28018195

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

    PubMed Central

    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 see the need to modify their study strategies for critical thinking, because the MC exam format has not changed. To test the effect of exam format, I used two sections of an introductory biology class. One section was assessed with exams in the traditional MC format, the other section was assessed with both MC and constructed-response (CR) questions. The mixed exam format was correlated with significantly more cognitively active study behaviors and a significantly better performance on the cumulative final exam (after accounting for grade point average and gender). There was also less gender-bias in the CR answers. This suggests that the MC-only exam format indeed hinders critical thinking in introductory science classes. Introducing CR questions encouraged students to learn more and to be better critical thinkers and reduced gender bias. However, student resistance increased as students adjusted their perceptions of their own critical-thinking abilities. PMID:22949426

  5. 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)

  6. 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)

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. [Brief Neuropsychological Battery for multiple sclerosis. Normative data stratified by age and educational level].

    PubMed

    Duque, P; Oltra-Cucarella, J; Fernandez, O; Sepulcre, J; Grupo de Estudio de la Bateria Neuropsicologica Breve En la Esclerosis Multiple, Grupo de Estudio de la Bateria Neuropsicologica Breve En la Esclerosis Multiple

    2017-02-01

    Introduccion. La interpretacion del rendimiento en los tests cognitivos utilizados en la evaluacion neuropsicologica de pacientes con esclerosis multiple difiere en funcion del nivel educativo del evaluado. Objetivos. Aportar datos normativos de la bateria neuropsicologica breve (BNB) en la esclerosis multiple, estratificados por edad y nivel educativo, y demostrar la utilidad de la bateria para discriminar entre sujetos sanos y pacientes con esclerosis multiple. Sujetos y metodos. Se utilizaron los datos de 701 controles sanos de la muestra de baremacion original de la BNB en la esclerosis multiple, y se estratificaron por edad y nivel educativo mediante analisis de regresion de puntuaciones escalares. Se comparo el rendimiento del grupo control con un grupo de 112 pacientes con esclerosis multiple. Resultados. Se hallaron diferencias significativas entre los grupos en las variables de la BNB, en especial en tareas de velocidad de procesamiento, memoria de trabajo y memoria verbal. La edad y el sexo no mostraron efectos relevantes. Conclusiones. Los datos indican que la BNB en la esclerosis multiple es una herramienta sensible para identificar alteraciones cognitivas en la esclerosis multiple, con especial enfasis en las tareas de memoria de trabajo.

  10. [Ecological footprint and available ecological capacity in Chongqing region].

    PubMed

    Sun, Fan; Mong, Linbing

    2005-07-01

    Based on the statistical data of Chongqing, the ecological footprint of Chongqing was calculated in this paper. The results showed that the per capita ecological footprint was 1.653566 hm2, per capita ecological capacity was 0.280393 hm2, and ecological surplus of deficit was 1.373173 hm2. The per capita ecological footprint was 0.5335 hm2 (47.64%) higher but the per capita ecological capacity was 0.5196 hm2 (64.95%) lower, and the ecological surplus of deficit was about 3.43 times of the average national level. These results showed that the ecological footprint of Chongqing was beyond the available ecological capacity, and its social and economic development was not sustainable. The strategies on reducing ecological deficit in this region, such as reducing ecosystem population, increasing public finance income, and controlling environmental pollution, were also put forward.

  11. 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.

  12. Spatial ecology across scales.

    PubMed

    Hastings, Alan; Petrovskii, Sergei; Morozov, Andrew

    2011-04-23

    The international conference 'Models in population dynamics and ecology 2010: animal movement, dispersal and spatial ecology' took place at the University of Leicester, UK, on 1-3 September 2010, focusing on mathematical approaches to spatial population dynamics and emphasizing cross-scale issues. Exciting new developments in scaling up from individual level movement to descriptions of this movement at the macroscopic level highlighted the importance of mechanistic approaches, with different descriptions at the microscopic level leading to different ecological outcomes. At higher levels of organization, different macroscopic descriptions of movement also led to different properties at the ecosystem and larger scales. New developments from Levy flight descriptions to the incorporation of new methods from physics and elsewhere are revitalizing research in spatial ecology, which will both increase understanding of fundamental ecological processes and lead to tools for better management.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Variational level set approach for automatic correction of multiplicative and additive intensity inhomogeneities in brain MR Images.

    PubMed

    Verma, Nishant; Cowperthwaite, Matthew C; Markey, Mia K

    2012-01-01

    Retrospective correction of intensity inhomogeneities in magnetic resonance images of the brain is an essential pre-processing step before any sophisticated image analysis task can be performed. A popular choice when defining the degradation model in MR images is to use multiplicative intensity inhomogeneities that slowly varying across the image domain; this approach has been extensively used for bias field estimation. However, such a multiplicative model is often insufficient given that some of the most dominant physical causes of intensity inhomogeneities in MRI (such as nonuniform excitation strength) have a non-linear relationship with the receptor signal intensity. In this study, we consider a linear image degradation model with multiplicative and additive intensity inhomogeneity components. We propose a variational level sets approach that combines estimation of intensity inhomogeneity components during the image segmentation process. The evaluation of proposed approach on real MR image datasets demonstrate accurate estimation of multiplicative and additive intensity inhomogeneities improving brain tissue segmentation.

  16. The effects of deprivation and relative deprivation on self-reported morbidity in England: an area-level ecological study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Socioeconomic status gradients in health outcomes are well recognised and may operate in part through the psychological effect of observing disparities in affluence. At an area-level, we explored whether the deprivation differential between neighbouring areas influenced self-reported morbidity over and above the known effect of the deprivation of the area itself. Methods Deprivation differentials between small areas (population size approximately 1,500) and their immediate neighbours were derived (from the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD)) for Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) in the whole of England (n=32482). Outcome variables were self-reported from the 2001 UK Census: the proportion of the population suffering Limiting Long-Term Illness (LLTI) and ‘not good health’. Linear regression was used to identify the effect of the deprivation differential on morbidity in different segments of the population, controlling for the absolute deprivation. The population was segmented using IMD tertiles and P2 People and Places geodemographic classification. P2 is a commercial market segmentation tool, which classifies small areas according to the characteristics of the population. The classifications range in deprivation, with the most affluent type being ‘Mature Oaks’ and the least being ‘Urban Challenge’. Results Areas that were deprived compared to their immediate neighbours suffered higher rates of ‘not good health’ (β=0.312, p<0.001) and LLTI (β=0.278, p<0.001), after controlling for the deprivation of the area itself (‘not good health’—ß=0.655, p<0.001; LLTI—ß=0.548, p<0.001). The effect of the deprivation differential relative to the effect of deprivation was strongest in least deprived segments (e.g., for ‘not good health’, P2 segments ‘Mature Oaks’—β=0.638; ‘Rooted Households’—β=0.555). Conclusions Living in an area that is surrounded by areas of greater affluence has a negative impact on health in England. A

  17. The effects of deprivation and relative deprivation on self-reported morbidity in England: an area-level ecological study.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xin; Cook, Penny A; Lisboa, Paulo J; Jarman, Ian H; Bellis, Mark A

    2013-01-29

    Socioeconomic status gradients in health outcomes are well recognised and may operate in part through the psychological effect of observing disparities in affluence. At an area-level, we explored whether the deprivation differential between neighbouring areas influenced self-reported morbidity over and above the known effect of the deprivation of the area itself. Deprivation differentials between small areas (population size approximately 1,500) and their immediate neighbours were derived (from the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD)) for Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) in the whole of England (n=32482). Outcome variables were self-reported from the 2001 UK Census: the proportion of the population suffering Limiting Long-Term Illness (LLTI) and 'not good health'. Linear regression was used to identify the effect of the deprivation differential on morbidity in different segments of the population, controlling for the absolute deprivation. The population was segmented using IMD tertiles and P2 People and Places geodemographic classification. P2 is a commercial market segmentation tool, which classifies small areas according to the characteristics of the population. The classifications range in deprivation, with the most affluent type being 'Mature Oaks' and the least being 'Urban Challenge'. Areas that were deprived compared to their immediate neighbours suffered higher rates of 'not good health' (β=0.312, p<0.001) and LLTI (β=0.278, p<0.001), after controlling for the deprivation of the area itself ('not good health'-ß=0.655, p<0.001; LLTI-ß=0.548, p<0.001). The effect of the deprivation differential relative to the effect of deprivation was strongest in least deprived segments (e.g., for 'not good health', P2 segments 'Mature Oaks'-β=0.638; 'Rooted Households'-β=0.555). Living in an area that is surrounded by areas of greater affluence has a negative impact on health in England. A possible explanation for this phenomenon is that negative social comparisons

  18. Phylogeographic analysis and environmental niche modeling of the plain-bellied watersnake (Nerodia erythrogaster) reveals low levels of genetic and ecological differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Makowsky, Robert; Marshall, John C.; McVay, John; Chippindale, Paul T.; Rissler, Leslie J.

    2012-01-01

    Species that exhibit geographically defined phenotypic variation traditionally have been divided into subspecies. Subspecies based on phenotypic features may not comprise monophyletic groups due to selection, gene flow, and/or convergent evolution. In many taxonomic groups the number of species once designated as widespread is dwindling rapidly, and many workers reject the concept of subspecies altogether. We tested whether currently recognized subspecies in the plain-bellied watersnake Nerodia erythrogaster are concordant with relationships based on mitochondrial markers, and whether it represents a single widespread species. The range of this taxon spans multiple potential biogeographic barriers (especially the Mississippi and Apalachicola Rivers) that correspond with lineage breaks in many species, including other snakes. We sequenced three mitochondrialgenes (NADH-II, Cyt-b, Cox-I) from 156 geo-referenced specimens and developed ecological niche models using Maxent and spatially-explicit climate data to examine historical and ecological factors affecting variation in N. erythrogaster across its range. Overall, we found little support for the recognized subspecies as either independent evolutionary lineages or geographically circumscribed units and conclude that although some genetic and niche differentiation has occurred, most populations assigned to N. erythrogaster appear to represent a single, widespread species. However, additional sampling and application of nuclear markers are necessary to clarify the status of the easternmost populations. PMID:20302955

  19. Current levels, composition profiles, source identification and potentially ecological risks of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in the surface sediments from Bohai Sea.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guoguang; Peng, Jialin; Yang, Dandan; Zhang, Dahai; Li, Xianguo

    2015-12-30

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were analyzed to assess the environmental quality in the surface sediments from Bohai Sea (BS), China. Concentrations of ∑37PCBs, ∑7PBDEs and BDE-209 were 0.157-1.699, 0.100-0.479 and 0.464-6.438 ng/g (dry weight), respectively. All of these concentrations decreased generally from the coastal areas towards the outer sea, indicating intensive influences of anthropogenic activities. Principal component analysis (PCA) coupled with multiple linear regression (MLR) revealed that 82.1% of the PCBs in BS came from direct discharge of local anthropogenic activities, 16.3% from surface runoff of contaminated soils and 1.6% from atmospheric deposition. PBDEs were mainly derived from the usage and dismantling of products containing commercial Penta-, Octa- and Deca-BDEs. According to sediment quality guidelines (SQGs), the ecological risks of PCBs could be negligible, and penta- and deca-BDE homologs might be the major contributors of ecological risks in the BS sediments.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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 variables such as…

  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 variables such as…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. Development of multiple scattering polarization lidar to observe depolarization ratio of optically thick low level clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okamoto, Hajime; Sato, Kaori; Nishizawa, Tomoaki; Sugimoto, Nobuo; Jin, Yoshitaka

    2017-02-01

    We have examined the characteristic of backscattering coefficient and depolarization ratio that are affected by multiple scattering in optically thick water clouds. We used observations obtained by the Multiple Field of view Multiple Scattering Polarization Lidar (MFMSPL) system. The MFMSPL was the first ground-based lidar that can detect depolarization ratio of optically thick clouds and it has 8 channels, i.e., 4 for parallel channels and another 4 for perpendicular ones and achieved total FOV of 70mrad. The MFMSPL offers a unique opportunity to simulate and study space-borne lidar signals including depolarization ratio such as from Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) lidar. It was shown that the attenuated backscattering coefficient and depolarization ratio constructed by using 8 channel observations by MFMSPL were comparable to the values obtained by CALIPSO lidar.

  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. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. Association between arsenic, cadmium, manganese, and lead levels in private wells and birth defects prevalence in North Carolina: a semi-ecologic study.

    PubMed

    Sanders, Alison P; Desrosiers, Tania A; Warren, Joshua L; Herring, Amy H; Enright, Dianne; Olshan, Andrew F; Meyer, Robert E; Fry, Rebecca C

    2014-09-15

    Toxic metals including arsenic, cadmium, manganese, and lead are known human developmental toxicants that are able to cross the placental barrier from mother to fetus. In this population-based study, we assess the association between metal concentrations in private well water and birth defect prevalence in North Carolina. A semi-ecologic study was conducted including 20,151 infants born between 2003 and 2008 with selected birth defects (cases) identified by the North Carolina Birth Defects Monitoring Program, and 668,381 non-malformed infants (controls). Maternal residences at delivery and over 10,000 well locations measured for metals by the North Carolina Division of Public Health were geocoded. The average level of each metal was calculated among wells sampled within North Carolina census tracts. Individual exposure was assigned as the average metal level of the census tract that contained the geocoded maternal residence. Prevalence ratios (PR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated to estimate the association between the prevalence of birth defects in the highest category (≥90th percentile) of average census tract metal levels and compared to the lowest category (≤50th percentile). Statewide, private well metal levels exceeded the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) or secondary MCL for arsenic, cadmium, manganese, and lead in 2.4, 0.1, 20.5, and 3.1 percent of wells tested. Elevated manganese levels were statistically significantly associated with a higher prevalence of conotruncal heart defects (PR: 1.6 95% CI: 1.1-2.5). These findings suggest an ecologic association between higher manganese concentrations in drinking water and the prevalence of conotruncal heart defects.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. "School" Reading and Multiple Texts: Examining the Metacognitive Development of Secondary-Level Preservice Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lesley, Mellinee; Watson, Patricia; Elliot, Susan

    2007-01-01

    This practitioner-research study investigated the reading behaviors of preservice teachers from diverse content disciplines as they engaged in reading multiple texts pertaining to a historical topic. Through participant-observer field notes, reader response journals, reflective essays, and participant debriefing, the authors examined the…

  16. Assessment of leptin and resistin levels in non-obese multiple myeloma patients and their relation with Ig level and disease stage.

    PubMed

    Esheba, Noha E; Shahba, Abeer; El Shora, Ola

    2014-06-01

    Multiple myeloma (MM) accounts for approximately 0.8% of all cancer diagnoses and 0.9% of cancer deaths. Leptin receptors were expressed on CD34(+) cells. Resistin receptors were expressed on inflammatory cells and pro-inflammatory cytokines increase the expression of resistin on monocytes. To assess the level of leptin and resistin in non-obese multiple myeloma patients and to study their relation with Ig level and disease stage. 32 subjects were included; 16 patients diagnosed with MM and 16 healthy individuals served as control. All were subjected to history taking, clinical examination, routine laboratory investigations and leptin & resistin blood level. Laboratory investigations were done for diagnosis and staging for MM patients. Leptin was significantly higher in MM patients compared with the control group, unlike resistin which showed no significant difference between the two groups. A significant positive relation was found between IgG level & leptin. Similarly, a significant difference in leptin level has been observed between stage I & stage II (higher in II). Leptin may play a role in the pathogenesis of MM and its level may be changed in different stages. Copyright © 2014. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V.

  17. Controller design for a class of nonlinear MIMO coupled system using multiple models and second level adaptation.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Vinay Kumar; Kar, Indrani; Mahanta, Chitralekha

    2017-07-01

    In this paper, an adaptive control method using multiple models with second level adaptation is proposed for a class of nonlinear multi-input multi-output (MIMO) coupled systems. Multiple estimation models are used to tune the unknown parameters at the first level. The second level adaptation provides a single parameter vector for the controller. A feedback linearization technique is used to design a state feedback control. The efficacy of the designed controller is validated by conducting real time experiment on a laboratory setup of twin rotor MIMO system (TRMS). The TRMS setup is discussed in detail and the experiments were performed for regulation and tracking problem for pitch and yaw control using different reference signals. An Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) has been used to observe the unavailable states of the TRMS. Copyright © 2017 ISA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Featured Article: Serum [Met(5)]-enkephalin levels are reduced in multiple sclerosis and restored by low-dose naltrexone.

    PubMed

    Ludwig, Michael D; Zagon, Ian S; McLaughlin, Patricia J

    2017-09-01

    Low-dose naltrexone is a widely used off-label therapeutic prescribed for a variety of immune-related disorders. The mechanism underlying low-dose naltrexone's efficacy for fatigue, Crohn's disease, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis is, in part, intermittent blockade of opioid receptors followed by upregulation of endogenous opioids. Short, intermittent blockade by naltrexone specifically blocks the opioid growth factor receptor resulting in biofeedback events that increase production of the endogenous opioid growth factor (OGF) (chemically termed [Met(5)]-enkephalin) facilitating interactions between opioid growth factor and opioid growth factor receptor that ultimately, result in inhibited cell proliferation. Preclinical studies have reported that enkephalin levels are deficient in animal models of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. Our hypothesis is that serum enkephalin levels are diminished in humans with multiple sclerosis and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis mice, and that change in serum opioid growth factor levels may serve as a reasonable candidate biomarker for the onset of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and response to therapy. To address this, we designed a two-part study to measure endogenous opioids in multiple sclerosis patients, and to investigate the temporal pattern of decline in serum enkephalin concentrations in mice with chronic progressive experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and treated with low-dose naltrexone. For comparison, we investigated whether low-dose naltrexone exposure in normal mice also resulted in altered enkephalin levels. In both animal models, we monitored tactile and heat sensitivity, as well as differential white blood cell counts as indicators of inflammation. Serum [Met(5)]-enkephalin levels were lower in humans with multiple sclerosis relative to non-multiple sclerosis patients, and low-dose naltrexone restored their levels. In experimental

  19. Violent relationships at the social-ecological level: A multi-mediation model to predict adolescent victimization by peers, bullying and depression in early and late adolescence.

    PubMed

    Oriol, Xavier; Miranda, Rafael; Amutio, Alberto; Acosta, Hedy C; Mendoza, Michelle C; Torres-Vallejos, Javier

    2017-01-01

    From the social-ecological perspective, exposure to violence at the different developmental levels is fundamental to explain the dynamics of violence and victimization in educational centers. The following study aims at analyzing how these relationships are produced in the Peruvian context, where structural violence situations exist. A multi-mediation structural model with 21,416 Peruvian adolescents (M = 13.69; SD = 0.71) was conducted to determine the influence of violence in the school environment on violence perceived within school and violence exercised by teachers. In addition, it was also intended to determine whether these violent relationships predict depression through loneliness, and bullying through peer victimization. The existence of differences between early and late adolescence was also verified. Results confirm that violence in the school setting has high influence on violence exercised by adolescents and teachers within the school. Teacher violence is the most important predictor of depression through loneliness, and encourages peer victimization and the emergence of aggressive behavior. Exposure to violence exercised by support sources-teachers and classmates-explains more than 90% of the total variance explained in bullying behavior. Differences were found between early and late adolescence models. The high prevalence of structural violence in school settings facilitates the bullying/victimization dynamics within school. From a social-ecological perspective, this result suggests the importance of network cooperation at a mesosystem level, with teachers from educational centers playing a crucial role in the prevention of bullying/victimization.

  20. Violent relationships at the social-ecological level: A multi-mediation model to predict adolescent victimization by peers, bullying and depression in early and late adolescence

    PubMed Central

    Oriol, Xavier; Miranda, Rafael; Acosta, Hedy C.; Mendoza, Michelle C.; Torres-Vallejos, Javier

    2017-01-01

    Background From the social-ecological perspective, exposure to violence at the different developmental levels is fundamental to explain the dynamics of violence and victimization in educational centers. The following study aims at analyzing how these relationships are produced in the Peruvian context, where structural violence situations exist. Methods A multi-mediation structural model with 21,416 Peruvian adolescents (M = 13.69; SD = 0.71) was conducted to determine the influence of violence in the school environment on violence perceived within school and violence exercised by teachers. In addition, it was also intended to determine whether these violent relationships predict depression through loneliness, and bullying through peer victimization. The existence of differences between early and late adolescence was also verified. Results Results confirm that violence in the school setting has high influence on violence exercised by adolescents and teachers within the school. Teacher violence is the most important predictor of depression through loneliness, and encourages peer victimization and the emergence of aggressive behavior. Exposure to violence exercised by support sources—teachers and classmates—explains more than 90% of the total variance explained in bullying behavior. Differences were found between early and late adolescence models. Conclusion The high prevalence of structural violence in school settings facilitates the bullying/victimization dynamics within school. From a social-ecological perspective, this result suggests the importance of network cooperation at a mesosystem level, with teachers from educational centers playing a crucial role in the prevention of bullying/victimization. PMID:28358905

  1. Screening-level ecological and human health risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in stormwater detention pond sediments of Coastal South Carolina, USA.

    PubMed

    Weinstein, John E; Crawford, Kevin D; Garner, Thomas R; Flemming, Alan J

    2010-06-15

    Screening-level ecological and human health assessments were performed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination in the sediments of 19 stormwater detention ponds located in coastal South Carolina. For ecological screening benchmarks, we used threshold and probable effect concentrations (TEC and PEC) derived from consensus-based sediment quality guidelines for individual PAH analytes and equilibrium partitioning sediment benchmarks-toxic units (SigmaESB-TU) derived for PAH mixtures. For human health benchmarks, we used preliminary remediation goals (PRGs). Sediments of five stormwater ponds (four commercial ponds and one residential pond with a large drainage area) exceeded PEC values for several PAH analytes and the SigmaESB-TU safe value of 1 for PAH mixtures. These same five stormwater ponds also exceeded the PRG values for five carcinogenic PAH analytes. These results suggest that the PAH levels in sediments from certain commercial and residential ponds have the potential to pose moderate to high risks for adverse, chronic effects to benthic organisms in situ and an increased risk of cancer to humans ex situ following excavation and on-site disposal. We recommend that sediment from these stormwater ponds be tested prior to excavation to determine the appropriate method of disposal. We also recommend that regulatory agencies enforce guidelines for periodic sediment removal as this should reduce both in situ and ex situ risks resulting from sediment PAH exposure.

  2. Ecological Misconceptions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munson, Bruce H.

    1994-01-01

    Presents a summary of the research literature on students' ecological conceptions and the implications of misconceptions. Topics include food webs, ecological adaptation, carrying capacity, ecosystem, and niche. (Contains 35 references.) (MKR)

  3. Ecological Misconceptions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munson, Bruce H.

    1994-01-01

    Presents a summary of the research literature on students' ecological conceptions and the implications of misconceptions. Topics include food webs, ecological adaptation, carrying capacity, ecosystem, and niche. (Contains 35 references.) (MKR)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Lenalidomide affect expression level of cereblon protein in multiple myeloma cell line RPMI8226.

    PubMed

    Yang, D Y; Ren, J H; Guo, X N; Guo, X L; Cai, X Y; Guo, X F; Zhang, J N

    2015-10-29

    We investigated the mechanisms of action of immuno-modulatory drug (lenalidomide) on the protein expression of cereblon (CRBN) and their therapeutic targets in the multiple myeloma cell line RPMI8226. The multiple myeloma cell line RPMI8226 was cultured and treated with different concentrations of lenalidomide and bortezomib to determine the proliferation inhibition rate, apoptosis rate, and protein expression of CRBN. The results revealed that both lenalidomide and bortezomib inhibited the proliferation of RPMI8226 and promoted cell apoptosis. However, the protein expression of CRBN decreased signifi-cantly after treatment with lenalidomide, while bortezomib had no effect on the expression of CRBN. We confirmed that CRBN may be a target of lenalidomide.

  7. Optimizing line intercept sampling and estimation for feral swine damage levels in ecologically sensitive wetland plant communities.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Jacob F; Engeman, Richard M; Tillman, Eric A; Fischer, Justin W; Orzell, Steve L; Glueck, Deborah H; Felix, Rodney K; Avery, Michael L

    2013-03-01

    Ecological sampling can be labor intensive, and logistically impractical in certain environments. We optimize line intercept sampling and compare estimation methods for assessing feral swine damage within fragile wetland ecosystems in Florida. Sensitive wetland sites, and the swine damage within them, were mapped using GPS technology. Evenly spaced parallel transect lines were simulated across a digital map of each site. The length of each transect and total swine damage under each transect were measured and percent swine damage within each site was estimated by two methods. The total length method (TLM) combined all transects as a single long transect, dividing the sum of all damage lengths across all transects by the combined length of all transect lines. The equal weight method (EWM) calculated the damage proportion for each transect line and averaged these proportions across all transects. Estimation was evaluated using transect spacings of 1, 3, 5, 10, 15, and 20 m. Based on relative root mean squared error and relative bias measures, the TLM produced higher quality estimates than EWM at all transect spacings. Estimation quality decreased as transect spacing increased, especially for TLM. Estimation quality also increased as the true proportion of swine damage increased. Diminishing improvements in estimation quality as transect spacings decreased suggested 5 m as an optimal tradeoff between estimation quality and labor. An inter-transect spacing of 5 m with TLM estimation appeared an optimal starting point when designing a plan for estimating swine damage, with practical, logistical, economic considerations determining final design details.

  8. Using Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) to Assess Situation-Level Predictors of Alcohol Use and Alcohol-Related Consequences.

    PubMed

    Wray, Tyler B; Merrill, Jennifer E; Monti, Peter M

    2014-01-01

    Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) has afforded several important advances in the field of alcohol research, including testing prominent models of alcohol abuse etiology in "high resolution." Using high-tech methods for signaling and/or assessment, such as mobile electronic diaries, personal data assistants, and smartphones, EMA approaches potentially can improve understanding of precipitants of drinking, drinking patterns, and consequences. For example, EMA has been used to study complex drinking patterns and dynamic predictors of drinking in near-real time. Compared with other methods, EMA can better sample and capture changes in these phenomena that occur in relatively short time frames. EMA also has several potential applications in studying the consequences of alcohol use, including physical, interpersonal, behavioral, and legal problems. However, even with all these potential capabilities, EMA research in the alcohol field still is associated with some limitations, including the potential for measurement reactivity and problems with acceptability and compliance. Despite these limitations, electronically based EMA methods are versatile and are capable of capturing data relevant to a variety of momentary influences on both alcohol use and consequences. Therefore, it will be exciting to fully realize the potential of future applications of EMA technologies, particularly if the associated costs can be reduced.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Enhanced levels of mitochondrial enzyme 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 10 in patients with Alzheimer disease and multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Kristofiková, Zdena; Bocková, Markéta; Hegnerová, Katerina; Bartos, Ales; Klaschka, Jan; Rícný, Jan; Rípová, Daniela; Homola, Jirí

    2009-10-01

    The multifunctional mitochondrial enzyme 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 10 might play a role in the development of Alzheimer disease via its high-affinity binding to amyloid beta peptides and its neuronal over-expression. It is suggested that the cerebrospinal fluid levels of the enzyme, free or bound to amyloid beta peptides, are a potential specific biomarker of Alzheimer disease. However, mitochondrial dysfunction seems to play a role in many neurological diseases including multiple sclerosis. In this study, the specificity of changes in relation to the enzyme over-expression was evaluated using enzyme-linked immunosorbent and surface plasmon resonance sensors. The data indicated pronounced increases in the enzyme levels, specifically to 179% in multiple sclerosis and to 573% in Alzheimer disease when compared to the age-matched controls. Although the differences between both diseases were statistically significant, enzyme levels do not appear to be a highly specific biomarker of Alzheimer disease. On the other hand, enhancement in levels of the enzyme bound to amyloid beta peptides was only observed in people with Alzheimer disease, which suggests that the complex should be further considered as a possible biomarker. In patients with multiple sclerosis, our results are the first to demonstrate significant changes in enzyme expression and to suggest possible alterations in amyloid beta peptides.

  12. Application of the LUminometric Methylation Assay to ecological species: tissue quality requirements and a survey of DNA methylation levels in animals.

    PubMed

    Head, Jessica A; Mittal, Krittika; Basu, Niladri

    2014-09-01

    The LUminometric Methylation Assay (LUMA) measures global DNA methylation. LUMA depends on digestion of DNA with methyl-sensitive and methyl-insensitive restriction enzymes, followed by pyrosequencing. Until recently, LUMA has been principally used for biomedical research. Here, we use chickens as a model to investigate sample quality issues relating to LUMA and then apply the method to ecological species. First, we assessed the effect of tissue storage conditions on DNA methylation values. This is an important consideration for ecological species because samples are not always ideally preserved and LUMA is sensitive to poor DNA quality. We found that good quality LUMA data could be obtained from chicken liver and brain tissues stored at 21 °C for at least 2 and 12 h, respectively. Longer storage times introduced nonspecific peaks to pyrograms which were associated with reduced DNA methylation. Repeatedly, freezing and thawing the tissues did not affect LUMA data. Second, we measured DNA methylation in 12 species representing five animal classes: amphibians (African and Western clawed frog), reptiles (green anole lizard), fish (yellow perch, goldfish, lake trout), mammals (American mink, polar bear, short-beaked common dolphin, Atlantic white-sided dolphin) and birds (chicken, Japanese quail). We saw a pattern of high DNA methylation in fish (84-87%), and intermediate levels in mammals (68-72%) and birds (52-71%). This pattern corresponds well with previous measures of DNA methylation generated by HPLC. Our data represent the first CpG methylation values to be reported in several species and provide a basis for studying patterns of epigenetic inheritance in an ecological context. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. 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. © 2016 Anatomical Society.

  14. Population-Level Metrics of Trophic Structure Based on Stable Isotopes and Their Application to Invasion Ecology

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22363724

  15. Topology of Awareness: Therapeutic Implications of Logical Modalities of Multiple Levels of Awareness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levine, Shellie

    2000-01-01

    Describes a theory of a topology of awareness, in which higher levels organize reality through dialectical logic, whereas lower levels construct reality based on Aristotelian logic, binary oppositions, and experiencing entities as discreet and independent. Argues that metaphor, poetry, and narrative are linguistic tools that enable clients to…

  16. 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.

  17. The Social-Ecological Ideal.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gaidamak, A.; Tiittanen, T.

    1992-01-01

    Argues that it is essential for preschool education to explore environmental and ecological values. Discusses cognitive development of socio-ecological knowledge at three age levels. Asserts that folk tales provide good examples of ecological values because beauty usually triumphs over ugliness and good over evil. (CFR)

  18. [Ecological monitoring in agro-ecological systems].

    PubMed

    Baĭkov, B D

    1983-01-01

    The fundamental principles of the ecologic monitoring in the antropogenic ecosystems are dealt with. Analyzed are the structure and function of the agroecologic systems, and, on the basis of the particular aspects established a concept is developed of the ecologic control at autoecologic and biocoenologic level. An analysis is likewise made of the ecologic sequelae resulting from the chemical war launched by the American aggressors in Vietnam and the specific trends therefrom in the substantiation of the ecologic monitoring. Stated is the necessity of profound investigations to establish the bioaccumulation of dioxine, a poisonous agent which was contained in herbicides and defoliants used in the war, and which was distinguished by exclusively high toxicity, producing teratogenic and cancerogenic effects and possessing high resistance in the environment.

  19. RedeR: R/Bioconductor package for representing modular structures, nested networks and multiple levels of hierarchical associations

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Visualization and analysis of molecular networks are both central to systems biology. However, there still exists a large technological gap between them, especially when assessing multiple network levels or hierarchies. Here we present RedeR, an R/Bioconductor package combined with a Java core engine for representing modular networks. The functionality of RedeR is demonstrated in two different scenarios: hierarchical and modular organization in gene co-expression networks and nested structures in time-course gene expression subnetworks. Our results demonstrate RedeR as a new framework to deal with the multiple network levels that are inherent to complex biological systems. RedeR is available from http://bioconductor.org/packages/release/bioc/html/RedeR.html. PMID:22531049

  20. 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.

  1. Impacts of education level and employment status on health-related quality of life in multiple sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

    Šabanagić-Hajrić, Selma; Alajbegović, Azra

    2015-02-01

    To evaluate the impacts of education level and employment status on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in multiple sclerosis patients. This study included 100 multiple sclerosis patients treated at the Department of Neurology, Clinical Center of the University of Sarajevo. Inclusion criteria were the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score between 1.0 and 6.5, age between 18 and 65 years, stable disease on enrollment. Quality of life (QoL) was evaluated by the Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life-54 questionnaire (MSQoL-54). Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis test were used for comparisons. Linear regression analyses were performed to evaluate prediction value of educational level and employment status in predicting MSQOL-54 physical and mental composite scores. Full employment status had positive impact on physical health (54.85 vs. 37.90; p les than 0.001) and mental health (59.55 vs. 45.90; p les than 0.001) composite scores. Employment status retained its independent predictability for both physical (r(2)=0.105) and mental (r(2)=0.076) composite scores in linear regression analysis. Patients with college degree had slightly higher median value of physical (49.36 vs. 45.30) and mental health composite score (66.74 vs. 55.62) comparing to others, without statistically significant difference. Employment proved to be an important factor in predicting quality of life in multiple sclerosis patients. Higher education level may determine better QOL but without significant predictive value. Sustained employment and development of vocational rehabilitation programs for MS patients living in the country with high unemployment level is an important factor in improving both physical and mental health outcomes in MS patients.

  2. Ecological analysis examining the association between census tract-level incarceration and reported chlamydia incidence among female adolescents and young adults in San Francisco.

    PubMed

    Stoltey, Juliet E; Li, Ye; Bernstein, Kyle T; Philip, Susan S

    2015-08-01

    Incarceration has been linked to increased risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We conducted a census tract-level ecological analysis to explore the relationship between neighbourhood incarceration rates and chlamydia incidence among adolescent girls and young women under age 25 in San Francisco in 2010 to focus public health efforts in neighbourhoods at risk. Female chlamydial cases under age 25 that were reported to the San Francisco Department of Public Health in 2010 were geocoded to census tract, and chlamydia incidence was calculated. Addresses of incarcerated individuals were geocoded, and census tract-specific incarceration was estimated. American Community Survey data from 2005 to 2009 provided tract-specific survey estimates of demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of communities to allow for evaluation of potential census tract-level confounders. A Poisson mixed model was used to assess the relationship of census tract-level incarceration rate with chlamydial case rate. Accounting for spatial dependence in neighbouring regions, there was a positive association between incarceration rates and chlamydia incidence in young women under age 25 in San Francisco, and this association decreased as poverty increased, after controlling for other risk factors in the model. This ecological analysis supports the neighbourhood role of incarceration in the risk of chlamydia among young women. These results have important implications for directing limited public health resources to local areas at risk in order to geographically focus prevention interventions and provide improved access to STI services in specific neighbourhoods with high incarceration rates. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  3. Serum soluble Talin-1 levels are elevated in patients with multiple sclerosis, reflecting its disease activity.

    PubMed

    Muto, Mayumi; Mori, Masahiro; Liu, Jia; Uzawa, Akiyuki; Uchida, Tomohiko; Masuda, Hiroki; Ohtani, Ryohei; Sugimoto, Kazuo; Kuwabara, Satoshi

    2017-04-15

    Previously, we identified anti-Talin-1 antibodies in the serum of MS. In this case, we measured the serum soluble Talin-1 (sTalin-1) levels by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The serum sTalin-1 levels were significantly higher in 40 patients with MS than in 43 normal controls and in the acute phase of disease than in the remission phase. Interestingly, serum sTalin-1 levels were associated with a sustained increase in disability after MS attack but not with serum anti-Talin-1 antibody levels. sTalin-1 may be a biomarker for the acute phase of MS and may be used for the short-term prognosis of MS. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  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. The relationship between the location of pediatric intensive care unit facilities and child death from trauma: a county-level ecologic study.

    PubMed

    Odetola, Folafoluwa O; Miller, William C; Davis, Matthew M; Bratton, Susan L

    2005-07-01

    To describe the relationship between the location of Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) facilities and county-level child death from trauma in the contiguous USA. We conducted a cross-sectional ecologic study using county-level data on death due to trauma in children 0 to 14 years of age from 1996 to 1998. These data were linked to 1997 county-level data on availability of PICU facilities. In 1997, PICU facilities were present in 9% of USA counties. There were 18,337 childhood deaths from trauma in the study period. The presence of PICU facilities in a county was associated with lower mortality from trauma (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 0.72; 95% CI 0.67-0.78) compared to counties without PICU facilities. After controlling for residence in rural and low-income counties, and the presence of adult medicosurgical intensive care units, the presence of PICU facilities in a county remained associated with lower rates of death from trauma (IRR = 0.82; 95% CI 0.75-0.89). The presence of PICU facilities is related to lower mortality rates due to traumatic injuries at the county level. This finding may reflect the concentration of pediatric subspecialty care in counties with PICUs. This association merits further study with individual-level observations.

  6. 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

  7. Significant reduction of homocysteine level with multiple B vitamins in atrophic glossitis patients.

    PubMed

    Sun, A; Wang, Y-P; Lin, H-P; Chen, H-M; Cheng, S-J; Chiang, C-P

    2013-07-01

    This study evaluated whether supplementations of different vitamins and iron could reduce the serum homocysteine levels in 91 atrophic glossitis (AG) patients. Atrophic glossitis (AG) patients with concomitant deficiencies of vitamin B12 only (n = 39, group I), folic acid only (n = 10, group II), iron only (n = 9, group III), or vitamin B12 plus iron (n = 19, group IV) were treated with vitamin BC capsules plus deficient hematinics. AG patients without definite hematinic deficiencies (n = 14, group V) were treated with vitamin BC capsules only. The blood homocysteine and hematinic levels at baseline and after treatment till all oral symptoms had disappeared were measured and compared by paired t-test. Supplementations with vitamin BC capsules plus corresponding deficient hematinics for groups I, II, III, IV patients and with vitamin BC capsules only for group V patients could reduce the high serum homocysteine levels to significantly lower levels after a mean treatment period of 8.3-11.6 months (all P-values < 0.05). Supplementations with vitamin BC capsules plus corresponding deficient hematinics or with vitamin BC capsules only can reduce the high serum homocysteine levels to significantly lower levels in AG patients. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Thyroid storm with multiple organ failure, disseminated intravascular coagulation, and stroke with a normal serum FT3 level.

    PubMed

    Harada, Yuko; Akiyama, Hisanao; Yoshimoto, Tatsuji; Urao, Yasuko; Ryuzaki, Munekazu; Handa, Michiko

    2012-01-01

    Thyroid storm is a rare disorder with a sudden onset, rapid progression and high mortality. We experienced a case of thyroid storm which had a devastating course, including multiple organ failure (MOF), severe hypoglycemia, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), and stroke. It was difficult to make a diagnosis of thyroid storm in the present patient, because she did not have a history of thyroid disease and her serum FT3 level was normal. Clinicians should be aware that thyroid storm can occur even when there is an almost normal level of thyroid hormones, and that intensive anticoagulation is required for patients with atrial fibrillation to prevent stroke after thyroid storm.

  9. High-throughput amplicon sequencing and stream benthic bacteria: identifying the best taxonomic level for multiple-stressor research

    PubMed Central

    Salis, R. K.; Bruder, A.; Piggott, J. J.; Summerfield, T. C.; Matthaei, C. D.

    2017-01-01

    Disentangling the individual and interactive effects of multiple st