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Sample records for multiple ecological level

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woo, David James

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Integrated presentation of ecological risk from multiple stressors

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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, ...

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-19

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-03-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.…

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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, ...

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Del Carmen Alvarez, Maria; Fuiman, Lee A

    2006-05-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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).

  20. 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…

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  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. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. [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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Bréchignac, François

    2016-10-01

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

  3. 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

  4. [Ecology and ecologies].

    PubMed

    Valera, Luca

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

    2017-01-02

    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. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. [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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Longbiao, Li

    2015-12-01

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

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  5. "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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. [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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. The ecological module of BOATS-1.0: a bioenergetically-constrained model of marine upper trophic levels suitable for studies of fisheries and ocean biogeochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carozza, D. A.; Bianchi, D.; Galbraith, E. D.

    2015-12-01

    Environmental change and the exploitation of marine resources have had profound impacts on marine communities, with potential implications for ocean biogeochemistry and food security. In order to study such global-scale problems, it is helpful to have computationally efficient numerical models that predict the first-order features of fish biomass production as a function of the environment, based on empirical and mechanistic understandings of marine ecosystems. Here we describe the ecological module of the BiOeconomic mArine Trophic Size-spectrum (BOATS) model, which takes an Earth-system approach to modeling fish biomass at the global scale. The ecological model is designed to be used on an Earth System model grid, and determines size spectra of fish biomass by explicitly resolving life history as a function of local temperature and net primary production. Biomass production is limited by the availability of photosynthetic energy to upper trophic levels, following empirical trophic efficiency scalings, and by well-established empirical temperature-dependent growth rates. Natural mortality is calculated using an empirical size-based relationship, while reproduction and recruitment depend on both the food availability to larvae from net primary production and the production of eggs by mature adult fish. We describe predicted biomass spectra and compare them to observations, and conduct a sensitivity study to determine how the change as a function of net primary production and temperature. The model relies on a limited number of parameters compared to similar modeling efforts, while retaining realistic representations of biological and ecological processes, and is computationally efficient, allowing extensive parameter-space analyses even when implemented globally. As such, it enables the exploration of the linkages between ocean biogeochemistry, climate, and upper trophic levels at the global scale, as well as a representation of fish biomass for idealized studies

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  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. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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 stressors on microbial communities is a key challenge to our understanding and management of ecosystems. Advances in molecular techniques allow studying microbial communities in situ and with high taxonomic resolution. However, the taxonomic level which provides the best trade-off between our ability to detect multiple-stressor effects versus the goal of studying entire communities remains unknown. We used outdoor mesocosms simulating small streams to investigate the effects of four agricultural stressors (nutrient enrichment, the nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD), fine sediment and flow velocity reduction) on stream bacteria (phyla, orders, genera, and species represented by Operational Taxonomic Units with 97% sequence similarity). Community composition was assessed using amplicon sequencing (16S rRNA gene, V3-V4 region). DCD was the most pervasive stressor, affecting evenness and most abundant taxa, followed by sediment and flow velocity. Stressor pervasiveness was similar across taxonomic levels and lower levels did not perform better in detecting stressor effects. Community coverage decreased from 96% of all sequences for abundant phyla to 28% for species. Order-level responses were generally representative of responses of corresponding genera and species, suggesting that this level may represent the best compromise between stressor sensitivity and coverage of bacterial communities. PMID:28327636

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

    Disentangling the individual and interactive effects of multiple stressors on microbial communities is a key challenge to our understanding and management of ecosystems. Advances in molecular techniques allow studying microbial communities in situ and with high taxonomic resolution. However, the taxonomic level which provides the best trade-off between our ability to detect multiple-stressor effects versus the goal of studying entire communities remains unknown. We used outdoor mesocosms simulating small streams to investigate the effects of four agricultural stressors (nutrient enrichment, the nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD), fine sediment and flow velocity reduction) on stream bacteria (phyla, orders, genera, and species represented by Operational Taxonomic Units with 97% sequence similarity). Community composition was assessed using amplicon sequencing (16S rRNA gene, V3-V4 region). DCD was the most pervasive stressor, affecting evenness and most abundant taxa, followed by sediment and flow velocity. Stressor pervasiveness was similar across taxonomic levels and lower levels did not perform better in detecting stressor effects. Community coverage decreased from 96% of all sequences for abundant phyla to 28% for species. Order-level responses were generally representative of responses of corresponding genera and species, suggesting that this level may represent the best compromise between stressor sensitivity and coverage of bacterial communities.

  8. Reproducing system-level bulk current injection test in direct power injection setup for multiple-port DUTs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miropolsky, S.; Frei, S.

    2013-07-01

    Many investigations have been published on the transferability of RF immunity test results between system and IC-levels. The RF signal level at DUT (Device under Test) inputs, i.e. either RF voltage amplitude or RF input current, is used as a reference value for the load on the DUT. Existing approaches analyze the DUT response as a function of the RF signal level at a single input pin, e.g. supply voltage. Sufficient accuracy of such an approach could be shown in several cases, but results are not sufficient as a general solution for complex DUT. This paper proposes both theoretical analysis and practical implementation of a DPI setup, where a disturbance, equivalent to system-level BCI setup, can be delivered to multiple DUT input ports.

  9. SyStemCell: A Database Populated with Multiple Levels of Experimental Data from Stem Cell Differentiation Research

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Lingyao; Sun, Jiehuan; Li, Wei; Sun, Han; He, Ying; Li, Jing; Zhang, Guoqing; Wang, Chuan; Li, Yixue; Xie, Lu

    2012-01-01

    Elucidation of the mechanisms of stem cell differentiation is of great scientific interest. Increasing evidence suggests that stem cell differentiation involves changes at multiple levels of biological regulation, which together orchestrate the complex differentiation process; many related studies have been performed to investigate the various levels of regulation. The resulting valuable data, however, remain scattered. Most of the current stem cell-relevant databases focus on a single level of regulation (mRNA expression) from limited stem cell types; thus, a unifying resource would be of great value to compile the multiple levels of research data available. Here we present a database for this purpose, SyStemCell, deposited with multi-level experimental data from stem cell research. The database currently covers seven levels of stem cell differentiation-associated regulatory mechanisms, including DNA CpG 5-hydroxymethylcytosine/methylation, histone modification, transcript products, microRNA-based regulation, protein products, phosphorylation proteins and transcription factor regulation, all of which have been curated from 285 peer-reviewed publications selected from PubMed. The database contains 43,434 genes, recorded as 942,221 gene entries, for four organisms (Homo sapiens, Mus musculus, Rattus norvegicus, and Macaca mulatta) and various stem cell sources (e.g., embryonic stem cells, neural stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells). Data in SyStemCell can be queried by Entrez gene ID, symbol, alias, or browsed by specific stem cell type at each level of genetic regulation. An online analysis tool is integrated to assist researchers to mine potential relationships among different regulations, and the potential usage of the database is demonstrated by three case studies. SyStemCell is the first database to bridge multi-level experimental information of stem cell studies, which can become an important reference resource for stem cell researchers. The database

  10. Coseismic water level changes induced by two distant earthquakes in multiple wells of the Chinese mainland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Yuchuan; Huang, Fuqiong

    2017-01-01

    Coseismic water level oscillations, or step-like rises and step-like drops were recorded in 159 wells throughout the Chinese mainland due to the 2015 Nepal Mw 7.8 earthquake, and 184 wells for the 2011 Japan Mw 9.0 earthquake. The earthquake magnitude, and the associated dynamic stresses, has positive roles in both the sensitivity of water level to earthquake induced change, and the amplitude and duration of resulting coseismic water level changes. Wells whose water levels are sensitive to Earth tides have high potential to response to earthquakes. Polarities of step-like changes (rises or drops) are locally controlled and spatially variable, with artesian wells generally recording water-level rises. Permeability enhancement was assessed as a mechanism responsible for step-like changes by analyzing the tidal phase responses. Permeability variations are inferred for 17 out of 95 wells with step-like changes during the Nepal earthquake and for 32 out of 105 wells following the Japan earthquake; however, only 6 wells have permeability variations after both earthquakes.

  11. Parallel evolution at multiple levels in the origin of hummingbird pollinated flowers in Ipomoea.

    PubMed

    Des Marais, David L; Rausher, Mark D

    2010-07-01

    A transition in flower color accompanying a shift in pollinator guilds is a prominent and repeated adaptation in angiosperms. In many cases, shifts to similar pollinators are associated with similar flower-color transitions. The extent to which this parallelism at the phenotypic level results from parallel changes at the biochemical, developmental, and genetic levels, however, remains an open question. There have been few attempts to determine whether parallelism at these lower levels results from mutation bias or fixation bias of different classes of mutation. We address these issues by examining the biochemical, developmental, and genetic changes that have occurred in red-flowering species of the Mina lineage of morning glories (Ipomoea) and compare these to the changes reported for I. horsfalliae, which has independently evolved red flowers. Using transgenic techniques, we demonstrate that the transition from blue to red flowers in Mina species is due primarily to down-regulation of the enzyme flavonol-3'-hydroxylase (F3'H) in flowers but not in vegetative tissues, and that this down-regulation is at least partly due to cis-regulatory change in the gene for F3'H. These changes are similar to those exhibited by I. horsfalliae, indicating parallelism at the biochemical and developmental levels, and possibly at the genetic level.

  12. Identifying Multiple Levels of Discussion-Based Teaching Strategies for Constructing Scientific Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Grant; Clement, John

    2015-01-01

    This study sought to identify specific types of discussion-based strategies that two successful high school physics teachers using a model-based approach utilized in attempting to foster students' construction of explanatory models for scientific concepts. We found evidence that, in addition to previously documented dialogical strategies that teachers utilize to engage students in effectively communicating their scientific ideas in class, there is a second level of more cognitively focused model-construction-supporting strategies that these teachers utilized in attempting to foster students' learning. A further distinction between macro and micro strategy levels within the set of cognitive strategies is proposed. The relationships between the resulting three levels of strategies are portrayed in a diagramming system that tracks discussions over time. The study attempts to contribute to a clearer understanding of how discussion-leading strategies may be used to scaffold the development of conceptual understanding.

  13. Serum BAFF levels, Methypredsinolone therapy, Epstein-Barr Virus and Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection in Multiple Sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

    Mameli, Giuseppe; Cocco, Eleonora; Frau, Jessica; Arru, Giannina; Caggiu, Elisa; Marrosu, Maria Giovanna; Sechi, Leonardo A

    2016-07-07

    Elevated B lymphocyte activating factor BAFF levels have been reported in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients; moreover, disease-modifying treatments (DMT) have shown to influence blood BAFF levels in MS patients, although the significance of these changes is still controversial. In addition, BAFF levels were reported increased during infectious diseases. In our study, we wanted to investigate on the serum BAFF concentrations correlated to the antibody response against Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and their human homologous epitopes in MS and in patients affected with other neurological diseases (OND), divided in Inflammatory Neurological Diseases (IND), Non Inflammatory Neurological Diseases (NIND) and Undetermined Neurological Diseases (UND), in comparison to healthy controls (HCs). Our results confirmed a statistically significant high BAFF levels in MS and IND patients in comparison to HCs but not NIND and UND patients. Interestingly, BAFF levels were inversely proportional to antibodies level against EBV and MAP peptides and the BAFF levels significantly decreased in MS patients after methylprednisolone therapy. These results implicate that lower circulating BAFF concentrations were present in MS patients with humoral response against MAP and EBV. In conclusion MS patients with no IgGs against EBV and MAP may support the hypothesis that elevated blood BAFF levels could be associated with a more stable disease.

  14. Serum BAFF levels, Methypredsinolone therapy, Epstein-Barr Virus and Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection in Multiple Sclerosis patients

    PubMed Central

    Mameli, Giuseppe; Cocco, Eleonora; Frau, Jessica; Arru, Giannina; Caggiu, Elisa; Marrosu, Maria Giovanna; Sechi, Leonardo A.

    2016-01-01

    Elevated B lymphocyte activating factor BAFF levels have been reported in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients; moreover, disease-modifying treatments (DMT) have shown to influence blood BAFF levels in MS patients, although the significance of these changes is still controversial. In addition, BAFF levels were reported increased during infectious diseases. In our study, we wanted to investigate on the serum BAFF concentrations correlated to the antibody response against Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and their human homologous epitopes in MS and in patients affected with other neurological diseases (OND), divided in Inflammatory Neurological Diseases (IND), Non Inflammatory Neurological Diseases (NIND) and Undetermined Neurological Diseases (UND), in comparison to healthy controls (HCs). Our results confirmed a statistically significant high BAFF levels in MS and IND patients in comparison to HCs but not NIND and UND patients. Interestingly, BAFF levels were inversely proportional to antibodies level against EBV and MAP peptides and the BAFF levels significantly decreased in MS patients after methylprednisolone therapy. These results implicate that lower circulating BAFF concentrations were present in MS patients with humoral response against MAP and EBV. In conclusion MS patients with no IgGs against EBV and MAP may support the hypothesis that elevated blood BAFF levels could be associated with a more stable disease. PMID:27383531

  15. 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

  16. Deviation from strict homeostasis across multiple trophic levels in an invertebrate consumer assemblage exposed to high chronic phosphorus enrichment in a Neotropical stream.

    PubMed

    Small, Gaston E; Pringle, Catherine M

    2010-03-01

    A central tenet of ecological stoichiometry is that consumer elemental composition is relatively independent of food resource nutrient content. Although the P content of some invertebrate consumer taxa can increase as a consequence of P-enriched food resources, little is known about how ecosystem nutrient loading can affect the elemental composition of entire consumer assemblages. Here we examine the potential for P enrichment across invertebrate consumer assemblages in response to chronic high P loading. We measured elemental ratios in invertebrate consumers and basal food resources in a series of streams in lowland Costa Rica that range widely in P levels (2-135 microg l(-1) soluble reactive P). Streams with high P levels receive natural long-term (over millennia) inputs of solute-rich groundwater while low-P streams do not receive these solute-rich groundwater inputs. P content of leaf litter and epilithon increased fourfold across the natural P gradient, exceeding basal resource P content values reported in the literature from other nutrient-rich streams. Invertebrate consumers from the high-P study stream were elevated twofold in P content across multiple taxonomic and functional feeding groups, including predators. Our results strongly support the hypothesis that elevated P content in consumers feeding on P-enriched food resources is a consequence of deviation from strict homeostasis. In contrast to prior studies, we found that between-stream variation in P content of a given taxon greatly exceeded within-stream variation among different taxa, suggesting that environment may be as important as phylogeny in controlling consumer stoichiometry. Relaxing the assumption of strict homeostasis presents challenges and opportunities for advancing our understanding of how nutrient limitation affects consumer growth. Moreover, our findings may provide a window into the future of how chronic anthropogenic nutrient loading can alter stoichiometric relationships in food

  17. An Iterative Maximum a Posteriori Estimation of Proficiency Level to Detect Multiple Local Likelihood Maxima

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magis, David; Raiche, Gilles

    2010-01-01

    In this article the authors focus on the issue of the nonuniqueness of the maximum likelihood (ML) estimator of proficiency level in item response theory (with special attention to logistic models). The usual maximum a posteriori (MAP) method offers a good alternative within that framework; however, this article highlights some drawbacks of its…

  18. Activities for Differentiated Instruction Addressing All Levels of Bloom's Taxonomy and Eight Multiple Intelligences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rule, Audrey C., Ed.; Lord, Linda Hurley, Ed.

    This manuscript contains 13 curriculum units designed to enhance differentiated instruction for learners with special needs from grades 1-12, including gifted students. It integrates Benjamin S. Bloom's levels of cognitive understanding with Howard Gardner's eight domains of intelligence to provide a framework for individualized instruction. Each…

  19. Multiple Levels of Social Disadvantage and Links to Obesity in Adolescence and Young Adulthood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Hedwig; Harris, Kathleen M.; Lee, Joyce

    2013-01-01

    Background: The rise in adolescent obesity has become a public health concern, especially because of its impact on disadvantaged youth. This article examines the role of disadvantage at the family-, peer-, school-, and neighborhood-level, to determine which contexts are related to obesity in adolescence and young adulthood. Methods: We analyzed…

  20. The Response of Spartina Alterniflora to Multiple Stressors of Eutrophication, Precipitation Changes, and Sea Level Rise

    EPA Science Inventory

    A four month experiment using greenhouse mesocosms was conducted to analyze the effects of eutrophication, sea level rise, and precipitation changes on the salt marsh plant Spartina alterniflora. Pots containing plants were placed in six 600L tanks that received seawater pumped f...

  1. Zinc Levels Modulate Lifespan through Multiple Longevity Pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Jitendra; Barhydt, Tracy; Awasthi, Anjali; Lithgow, Gordon J.; Killilea, David W.; Kapahi, Pankaj

    2016-01-01

    Zinc is an essential trace metal that has integral roles in numerous biological processes, including enzymatic function, protein structure, and cell signaling pathways. Both excess and deficiency of zinc can lead to detrimental effects on development and metabolism, resulting in abnormalities and disease. We altered the zinc balance within Caenorhabditis elegans to examine how changes in zinc burden affect longevity and healthspan in an invertebrate animal model. We found that increasing zinc levels in vivo with excess dietary zinc supplementation decreased the mean and maximum lifespan, whereas reducing zinc levels in vivo with a zinc-selective chelator increased the mean and maximum lifespan in C. elegans. We determined that the lifespan shortening effects of excess zinc required expression of DAF-16, HSF-1 and SKN-1 proteins, whereas the lifespan lengthening effects of the reduced zinc may be partially dependent upon this set of proteins. Furthermore, reducing zinc levels led to greater nuclear localization of DAF-16 and enhanced dauer formation compared to controls, suggesting that the lifespan effects of zinc are mediated in part by the insulin/IGF-1 pathway. Additionally, zinc status correlated with several markers of healthspan in worms, including proteostasis, locomotion and thermotolerance, with reduced zinc levels always associated with improvements in function. Taken together, these data support a role for zinc in regulating both development and lifespan in C. elegans, and that suggest that regulation of zinc homeostasis in the worm may be an example of antagonistic pleiotropy. PMID:27078872

  2. 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. Accounting for Multiple Sources of Uncertainty in the Statistical Analysis of Holocene Sea Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cahill, N.; Parnell, A. C.; Kemp, A.; Horton, B.

    2014-12-01

    We perform a Bayesian statistical analysis on historical and late Holocene rates of sea-level change. The data that form the input to the statistical model are tide-gauge measurements and proxy reconstructions from cores of coastal sediment. The aims are to estimate rates of sea-level change, to determine when modern rates of rise began and to observe how these rates have evolved over time. Many current methods for doing this use simple linear regression to estimate rates. This is often inappropriate as it is too rigid and it can ignore uncertainties that arise as part of the data collection exercise. This can lead to over-confidence in the sea-level trends being characterized. The proposed model places a Gaussian process prior on the rate process (i.e. the process that determines how rates of sea-level are changing over time). The likelihood of the observed data is the integral of this process. When dealing with proxy reconstructions, the model is set in an errors-in-variables framework so as to take account of age uncertainty. It is also necessary to account for glacio-isostatic adjustment, which introduces a covariance between individual age and sea-level observations. This method allows for the estimation of the rate process with full consideration of all sources of uncertainty. The model captures the continuous and dynamic evolution of sea-level change and results show that modern rates of rise are consistently increasing. Analysis of a global tide-gauge record (Church and White, 2011) indicated that the rate of sea-level rise increased continuously since 1880AD and is currently 1.9mm/yr (95% credible interval of 1.84 to 2.03mm/yr). Applying the model to a proxy reconstruction from North Carolina (Kemp et al., 2011) indicated that the mean rate of rise in this locality since the middle of the 19th century (current rate of 2.44 mm/yr with a 95% credible interval of 1.91 to 3.01mm/yr) is unprecedented in at least the last 2000 years.

  4. Global 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine Levels Are Profoundly Reduced in Multiple Genitourinary Malignancies

    PubMed Central

    Munari, Enrico; Chaux, Alcides; Vaghasia, Ajay M.; Taheri, Diana; Karram, Sarah; Bezerra, Stephania M.; Gonzalez Roibon, Nilda; Nelson, William G.; Yegnasubramanian, Srinivasan; Netto, George J.; Haffner, Michael C.

    2016-01-01

    Solid tumors are characterized by a plethora of epigenetic changes. In particular, patterns methylation of cytosines at the 5-position (5mC) in the context of CpGs are frequently altered in tumors. Recent evidence suggests that 5mC can get converted to 5-hydroxylmethylcytosine (5hmC) in an enzymatic process involving ten eleven translocation (TET) protein family members, and this process appears to be important in facilitating plasticity of cytosine methylation. Here we evaluated the global levels of 5hmC using a validated immunohistochemical staining method in a large series of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (n = 111), urothelial cell carcinoma (n = 55) and testicular germ cell tumors (n = 84) and matched adjacent benign tissues. Whereas tumor-adjacent benign tissues were mostly characterized by high levels of 5hmC, renal cell carcinoma and urothelial cell carcinoma showed dramatically reduced staining for 5hmC. 5hmC levels were low in both primary tumors and metastases of clear cell renal cell carcinoma and showed no association with disease outcomes. In normal testis, robust 5hmC staining was only observed in stroma and Sertoli cells. Seminoma showed greatly reduced 5hmC immunolabeling, whereas differentiated teratoma, embryonal and yolk sack tumors exhibited high 5hmC levels. The substantial tumor specific loss of 5hmC, particularly in clear cell renal cell carcinoma and urothelial cell carcinoma, suggests that alterations in pathways involved in establishing and maintaining 5hmC levels might be very common in cancer and could potentially be exploited for diagnosis and treatment. PMID:26785262

  5. Global 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine Levels Are Profoundly Reduced in Multiple Genitourinary Malignancies.

    PubMed

    Munari, Enrico; Chaux, Alcides; Vaghasia, Ajay M; Taheri, Diana; Karram, Sarah; Bezerra, Stephania M; Gonzalez Roibon, Nilda; Nelson, William G; Yegnasubramanian, Srinivasan; Netto, George J; Haffner, Michael C

    2016-01-01

    Solid tumors are characterized by a plethora of epigenetic changes. In particular, patterns methylation of cytosines at the 5-position (5mC) in the context of CpGs are frequently altered in tumors. Recent evidence suggests that 5mC can get converted to 5-hydroxylmethylcytosine (5hmC) in an enzymatic process involving ten eleven translocation (TET) protein family members, and this process appears to be important in facilitating plasticity of cytosine methylation. Here we evaluated the global levels of 5hmC using a validated immunohistochemical staining method in a large series of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (n = 111), urothelial cell carcinoma (n = 55) and testicular germ cell tumors (n = 84) and matched adjacent benign tissues. Whereas tumor-adjacent benign tissues were mostly characterized by high levels of 5hmC, renal cell carcinoma and urothelial cell carcinoma showed dramatically reduced staining for 5hmC. 5hmC levels were low in both primary tumors and metastases of clear cell renal cell carcinoma and showed no association with disease outcomes. In normal testis, robust 5hmC staining was only observed in stroma and Sertoli cells. Seminoma showed greatly reduced 5hmC immunolabeling, whereas differentiated teratoma, embryonal and yolk sack tumors exhibited high 5hmC levels. The substantial tumor specific loss of 5hmC, particularly in clear cell renal cell carcinoma and urothelial cell carcinoma, suggests that alterations in pathways involved in establishing and maintaining 5hmC levels might be very common in cancer and could potentially be exploited for diagnosis and treatment.

  6. A cross-cultural investigation of multiple intelligences in university-level nutrition students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Short, Joy E.

    Effective strategies for the recruitment and retention of a diverse student body in undergraduate nutrition and dietetics programs are needed in order for graduates to effectively meet the health and nutrition needs of a diverse clientele. One way to promote diversity and improve teaching methods in dietetics education is through a framework based on Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI). The theory suggests that individuals possess varying degrees of eight different intelligences which are shaped by genetics and cultural context. Relatively little research has been conducted to investigate MI approaches in the areas of higher education, cross-cultural education, or dietetics education. Therefore, this study investigated the MI profiles of students within undergraduate nutrition programs at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, Mexico and Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Data were collected through the Multiple Intelligences Developmental Assessment Scales (MIDAS). The findings provide a profile of the intellectual dispositions for the study population and suggest that dietetics students in this cross-cultural study population score highest for the MIDAS scale measuring interpersonal intelligence, with significant differences occurring between scores for the eight intelligences measured by the MIDAS. Not only were there significant differences between scale scores when analyzing the population as a whole, there were also significant differences in scale scores when comparing American and Mexican students. This phenomenon was also true when scores were grouped into five ordinal categories. In addition, the findings suggest that differences exist among the particular skills associated with the intelligences for the students at each university. Results indicate that skills related to social sensitivity and persuasion are significantly higher than many other skills for dietetics students. Further, when comparing the

  7. Evolution of high-level, multiple anthelmintic resistance on a sheep farm in Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Chandrawathani, P; Waller, P J; Adnan, M; Höglund, J

    2003-02-01

    Anthelmintic resistance in nematode parasites of sheep and goats on a government farm in north Malaysia was monitored over a 3-year period (1997-2000). The faecal egg count reduction test (FECRT) was conducted on young sheep at the beginning and end of this period. Changes in management, designed to reduce the selection pressure for the development of anthelmintic resistance, were also implemented during this time. By far the most important parasite problem was Haemonchus contortus. In 1997, this nematode was found to be resistant to levamisole, with suspected resistance to closantel and moxidectin. However, when the FECRT was repeated 3 years later, its resistance status had become much more severe, with resistance to benzimidazole, levamisole and ivermectin, and suspected resistance to moxidectin. This rapid evolution to multiple anthelmintic resistance is a major concern that needs to be arrested. There is an urgent need to evaluate other control strategies that incorporate livestock management, the 'smart' use of drugs and non-chemotherapeutic approaches, such as biological control agents.

  8. Phylogeny of a Genomically Diverse Group of Elymus (Poaceae) Allopolyploids Reveals Multiple Levels of Reticulation

    PubMed Central

    Mason-Gamer, Roberta J.

    2013-01-01

    The grass tribe Triticeae (=Hordeeae) comprises only about 300 species, but it is well known for the economically important crop plants wheat, barley, and rye. The group is also recognized as a fascinating example of evolutionary complexity, with a history shaped by numerous events of auto- and allopolyploidy and apparent introgression involving diploids and polyploids. The genus Elymus comprises a heterogeneous collection of allopolyploid genome combinations, all of which include at least one set of homoeologs, designated St, derived from Pseudoroegneria. The current analysis includes a geographically and genomically diverse collection of 21 tetraploid Elymus species, and a single hexaploid species. Diploid and polyploid relationships were estimated using four molecular data sets, including one that combines two regions of the chloroplast genome, and three from unlinked nuclear genes: phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase, β-amylase, and granule-bound starch synthase I. Four gene trees were generated using maximum likelihood, and the phylogenetic placement of the polyploid sequences reveals extensive reticulation beyond allopolyploidy alone. The trees were interpreted with reference to numerous phenomena known to complicate allopolyploid phylogenies, and introgression was identified as a major factor in their history. The work illustrates the interpretation of complicated phylogenetic results through the sequential consideration of numerous possible explanations, and the results highlight the value of careful inspection of multiple independent molecular phylogenetic estimates, with particular focus on the differences among them. PMID:24302986

  9. 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.

  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. Cumulative annoyance due to multiple aircraft flyover with differing peak noise levels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shepherd, K. P.

    1981-01-01

    A laboratory study in which 160 subjects judged the annoyance of 30 minute sessions of aircraft noise is described. Each session contained nine flyovers consisting of various combinations of three takeoff recordings of Boeing 727. The subjects were asked to judge their annoyance in the simulated living room environment of the laboratory and also to assess how annoyed they would be if they heard the noise in their home during the day, evening, and night periods. The standard deviation of the sound level did not improve the predictive ability of L sub eq (equivalent continuous sound level) which performed as well or better than other noise measured. Differences were found between the projected home responses for the day, evening, and nighttime periods. Time of day penalties derived from these results showed reasonable agreement with those currently used in community noise indices.

  12. A High-Level Symbolic Representation for Intelligent Agents Across Multiple Architectures

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-07-01

    benefit from the higher level, cross-platform abstraction that HLSR provides. HLSR would provide a common foundation for these tools, assuring that they...changed during execution. This allows for more flexible execution while retaining the primary benefits of typing. HLSR provides two constructs for... cider <self>.contents.content end end o s trqp RequeotSpeedChangenessage isa Messagei =t~,,um-eruaation SpeedRequestTokens"Message intece

  13. Co-seismic water level changes in response to multiple large earthquakes at the LGH well in Sichuan, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Guijuan; Jiang, Changsheng; Han, Libo; Sheng, Shuzhong; Ma, Yuchuan

    2016-06-01

    We examined the water level data at the LGH well in Sichuan, China, from December 2007 to July 2015 and their responses to multiple large earthquakes with seismic energy densities greater than 10- 4 J/m3. Co-seismic water level declines were observed in response to eleven earthquakes out of twelve in the farfield, and co-seismic water level increase was observed in one nearfield case. The water level declines in the farfield showed a linear relation with the common logarithm of the seismic energy densities, whereas the water level increase in the nearfield fell away from this relation, indicating that the farfield responses and the nearfield response were produced by distinct mechanisms. We used the phase shift of tidal responses as a proxy for permeability and found that permeability enhancements were observed both in the farfield and nearfield. The co-seismic water level declines in response to the distant earthquakes could be explained by permeability enhancements caused by the passage of seismic waves through the mobilization of colloidal particles; the co-seismic water level increase in response to the nearfield case could be caused both by the compression of the static stress and by the seismic waves.

  14. Level of education and multiple sclerosis risk after adjustment for known risk factors: The EnvIMS study

    PubMed Central

    Bjørnevik, Kjetil; Riise, Trond; Cortese, Marianna; Holmøy, Trygve; Kampman, Margitta T; Magalhaes, Sandra; Myhr, Kjell-Morten; Wolfson, Christina; Pugliatti, Maura

    2016-01-01

    Background: Several recent studies have found a higher risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) among people with a low level of education. This has been suggested to reflect an effect of smoking and lower vitamin D status in the social class associated with lower levels of education. Objective: The objective of this paper is to investigate the association between level of education and MS risk adjusting for the known risk factors smoking, infectious mononucleosis, indicators of vitamin D levels and body size. Methods: Within the case-control study on Environmental Factors In MS (EnvIMS), 953 MS patients and 1717 healthy controls from Norway reported educational level and history of exposure to putative environmental risk factors. Results: Higher level of education were associated with decreased MS risk (p trend = 0.001) with an OR of 0.53 (95% CI 0.41–0.68) when comparing those with the highest and lowest level of education. This association was only moderately reduced after adjusting for known risk factors (OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.44–0.83). The estimates remained similar when cases with disease onset before age 28 were excluded. Conclusion: These findings suggest that factors related to lower socioeconomic status other than established risk factors are associated with MS risk. PMID:26014605

  15. Human leukocyte telomere length is associated with DNA methylation levels in multiple subtelomeric and imprinted loci.

    PubMed

    Buxton, Jessica L; Suderman, Matthew; Pappas, Jane J; Borghol, Nada; McArdle, Wendy; Blakemore, Alexandra I F; Hertzman, Clyde; Power, Christine; Szyf, Moshe; Pembrey, Marcus

    2014-05-14

    In humans, leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is positively correlated with lifespan, and shorter LTL is associated with increased risk of age-related disease. In this study we tested for association between telomere length and methylated cytosine levels. Measurements of mean telomere length and DNA methylation at >450,000 CpG sites were obtained for both blood (N = 24) and EBV-transformed cell-line (N = 36) DNA samples from men aged 44-45 years. We identified 65 gene promoters enriched for CpG sites at which methylation levels are associated with leukocyte telomere length, and 36 gene promoters enriched for CpG sites at which methylation levels are associated with telomere length in DNA from EBV-transformed cell-lines. We observed significant enrichment of positively associated methylated CpG sites in subtelomeric loci (within 4 Mb of the telomere) (P < 0.01), and also at loci in imprinted regions (P < 0.001). Our results pave the way for further investigations to help elucidate the relationships between telomere length, DNA methylation and gene expression in health and disease.

  16. Speech perception and talker segregation: Effects of level, pitch, and tactile support with multiple simultaneous talkers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drullman, Rob; Bronkhorst, Adelbert W.

    2004-11-01

    Speech intelligibility was investigated by varying the number of interfering talkers, level, and mean pitch differences between target and interfering speech, and the presence of tactile support. In a first experiment the speech-reception threshold (SRT) for sentences was measured for a male talker against a background of one to eight interfering male talkers or speech noise. Speech was presented diotically and vibro-tactile support was given by presenting the low-pass-filtered signal (0-200 Hz) to the index finger. The benefit in the SRT resulting from tactile support ranged from 0 to 2.4 dB and was largest for one or two interfering talkers. A second experiment focused on masking effects of one interfering talker. The interference was the target talker's own voice with an increased mean pitch by 2, 4, 8, or 12 semitones. Level differences between target and interfering speech ranged from -16 to +4 dB. Results from measurements of correctly perceived words in sentences show an intelligibility increase of up to 27% due to tactile support. Performance gradually improves with increasing pitch difference. Louder target speech generally helps perception, but results for level differences are considerably dependent on pitch differences. Differences in performance between noise and speech maskers and between speech maskers with various mean pitches are explained by the effect of informational masking. .

  17. Melatonin in Plants – Diversity of Levels and Multiplicity of Functions

    PubMed Central

    Hardeland, Rüdiger

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin has been detected in numerous plant species. A particularly surprising finding concerns the highly divergent levels of melatonin that vary between species, organs and environmental conditions, from a few pg/g to over 20 μg/g, reportedly up to 200 μg/g. Highest values have been determined in oily seeds and in plant organs exposed to high UV radiation. The divergency of melatonin concentrations is discussed under various functional aspects and focused on several open questions. This comprises differences in precursor availability, catabolism, the relative contribution of isoenzymes of the melatonin biosynthetic pathway, and differences in rate limitation by either serotonin N-acetyltransferase or N-acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase. Other differences are related to the remarkable pleiotropy of melatonin, which exhibits properties as a growth regulator and morphogenetic factor, actually debated in terms of auxin-like effects, and as a signaling molecule that modulates pathways of ethylene, abscisic, jasmonic and salicylic acids and is involved in stress tolerance, pathogen defense and delay of senescence. In the context of high light/UV intensities, elevated melatonin levels exceed those required for signaling via stress-related phytohormones and may comprise direct antioxidant and photoprotectant properties, perhaps with a contribution of its oxidatively formed metabolites, such as N1-acetyl-N2-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine and its secondary products. High melatonin levels in seeds may also serve antioxidative protection and have been shown to promote seed viability and germination capacity. PMID:26925091

  18. Regulatory mechanisms of cAMP levels as a multiple target for antiplatelet activity and less bleeding risk.

    PubMed

    Fuentes, Eduardo; Palomo, Iván

    2014-08-01

    Platelet activation is a critical component of atherothrombosis. The multiple pathways of platelet activation limit the effect of specific receptor/pathway inhibitors, resulting in limited clinical efficacy. Recent research has confirmed that combination therapy results in enhanced antithrombotic efficacy without increasing bleeding risk. In this way, the best-known inhibitor and turn off signaling in platelet activation is cAMP. In this article we discuss the mechanisms of regulation of intraplatelet cAMP levels, a) platelet-dependent pathway: Gi/Gs protein-coupled receptors, phosphodiesterase inhibition and activation of PPARs and b) platelet-independent pathway: inhibition of adenosine uptake by erythrocytes. With respect to the association between intraplatelet cAMP levels and bleeding risk it is possible to establish that compounds/drugs with pleitropic effect for increased intraplatelet cAMP level could have an antithrombotic activity with less risk of bleeding.

  19. 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)

  20. Population-level differences in disease transmission: A Bayesian analysis of multiple smallpox epidemics

    PubMed Central

    Elderd, Bret D.; Dwyer, Greg; Dukic, Vanja

    2013-01-01

    Estimates of a disease’s basic reproductive rate R0 play a central role in understanding outbreaks and planning intervention strategies. In many calculations of R0, a simplifying assumption is that different host populations have effectively identical transmission rates. This assumption can lead to an underestimate of the overall uncertainty associated with R0, which, due to the non-linearity of epidemic processes, may result in a mis-estimate of epidemic intensity and miscalculated expenditures associated with public-health interventions. In this paper, we utilize a Bayesian method for quantifying the overall uncertainty arising from differences in population-specific basic reproductive rates. Using this method, we fit spatial and non-spatial susceptible-exposed-infected-recovered (SEIR) models to a series of 13 smallpox outbreaks. Five outbreaks occurred in populations that had been previously exposed to smallpox, while the remaining eight occurred in Native-American populations that were naïve to the disease at the time. The Native-American outbreaks were close in a spatial and temporal sense. Using Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC), we show that the best model includes population-specific R0 values. These differences in R0 values may, in part, be due to differences in genetic background, social structure, or food and water availability. As a result of these inter-population differences, the overall uncertainty associated with the “population average” value of smallpox R0 is larger, a finding that can have important consequences for controlling epidemics. In general, Bayesian hierarchical models are able to properly account for the uncertainty associated with multiple epidemics, provide a clearer understanding of variability in epidemic dynamics, and yield a better assessment of the range of potential risks and consequences that decision makers face. PMID:24021521

  1. Alendronate treatment alters bone tissues at multiple structural levels in healthy canine cortical bone.

    PubMed

    Acevedo, Claire; Bale, Hrishikesh; Gludovatz, Bernd; Wat, Amy; Tang, Simon Y; Wang, Mingyue; Busse, Björn; Zimmermann, Elizabeth A; Schaible, Eric; Allen, Matthew R; Burr, David B; Ritchie, Robert O

    2015-12-01

    Bisphosphonates are widely used to treat osteoporosis, but have been associated with atypical femoral fractures (AFFs) in the long term, which raises a critical health problem for the aging population. Several clinical studies have suggested that the occurrence of AFFs may be related to the bisphosphonate-induced changes of bone turnover, but large discrepancies in the results of these studies indicate that the salient mechanisms responsible for any loss in fracture resistance are still unclear. Here the role of bisphosphonates is examined in terms of the potential deterioration in fracture resistance resulting from both intrinsic (plasticity) and extrinsic (shielding) toughening mechanisms, which operate over a wide range of length-scales. Specifically, we compare the mechanical properties of two groups of humeri from healthy beagles, one control group comprising eight females (oral doses of saline vehicle, 1 mL/kg/day, 3 years) and one treated group comprising nine females (oral doses of alendronate used to treat osteoporosis, 0.2mg/kg/day, 3 years). Our data demonstrate treatment-specific reorganization of bone tissue identified at multiple length-scales mainly through advanced synchrotron x-ray experiments. We confirm that bisphosphonate treatments can increase non-enzymatic collagen cross-linking at molecular scales, which critically restricts plasticity associated with fibrillar sliding, and hence intrinsic toughening, at nanoscales. We also observe changes in the intracortical architecture of treated bone at microscales, with partial filling of the Haversian canals and reduction of osteon number. We hypothesize that the reduced plasticity associated with BP treatments may induce an increase in microcrack accumulation and growth under cyclic daily loadings, and potentially increase the susceptibility of cortical bone to atypical (fatigue-like) fractures.

  2. Population-level differences in disease transmission: a Bayesian analysis of multiple smallpox epidemics.

    PubMed

    Elderd, Bret D; Dwyer, Greg; Dukic, Vanja

    2013-09-01

    Estimates of a disease's basic reproductive rate R0 play a central role in understanding outbreaks and planning intervention strategies. In many calculations of R0, a simplifying assumption is that different host populations have effectively identical transmission rates. This assumption can lead to an underestimate of the overall uncertainty associated with R0, which, due to the non-linearity of epidemic processes, may result in a mis-estimate of epidemic intensity and miscalculated expenditures associated with public-health interventions. In this paper, we utilize a Bayesian method for quantifying the overall uncertainty arising from differences in population-specific basic reproductive rates. Using this method, we fit spatial and non-spatial susceptible-exposed-infected-recovered (SEIR) models to a series of 13 smallpox outbreaks. Five outbreaks occurred in populations that had been previously exposed to smallpox, while the remaining eight occurred in Native-American populations that were naïve to the disease at the time. The Native-American outbreaks were close in a spatial and temporal sense. Using Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC), we show that the best model includes population-specific R0 values. These differences in R0 values may, in part, be due to differences in genetic background, social structure, or food and water availability. As a result of these inter-population differences, the overall uncertainty associated with the "population average" value of smallpox R0 is larger, a finding that can have important consequences for controlling epidemics. In general, Bayesian hierarchical models are able to properly account for the uncertainty associated with multiple epidemics, provide a clearer understanding of variability in epidemic dynamics, and yield a better assessment of the range of potential risks and consequences that decision makers face.

  3. The Relationship between Multiplication Fact Speed-Recall and Fluency and Higher Level Mathematics Learning with Eighth Grade Middle School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Curry, Steven James

    2012-01-01

    This quantitative study investigated relationships between higher level mathematics learning and multiplication fact fluency, multiplication fact speed-recall, and reading grade equivalency of eighth grade students in Algebra I and Pre-Algebra. Higher level mathematics learning was indicated by an average score of 80% or higher on first and second…

  4. Serum 25(OH) Vitamin D levels is not associated with disability in multiple sclerosis patients: A case-control study

    PubMed Central

    Nikanfar, Masoud; Taheri-Aghdam, Ali Akbar; Yazdani, Maria; Shaafi, Sheida; Masoudian, Nooshin; Akbari, Hossein; Youhanaee, Parisa; Abbaszadeh, Hamzeh

    2015-01-01

    Background: It seems that serum vitamin D levels are one of the potential environmental factors affecting the severity of multiple sclerosis (MS). In this study, we aim to evaluate vitamin D levels in MS patients and healthy subjects and assess the relationship between vitamin D level and disability. Methods: In this case-control study, 168 rapid relapsing MS patients and 168 matched healthy controls were randomly included in this study. Demographic characteristics and serum vitamin D levels for patients and controls, as well as expanded disability status scale (EDSS), duration of disease and diagnostic lag for patients were evaluated. We followed up patients for 6 months and relapses were recorded. Results: The mean serum vitamin D levels were 19.16 ± 17.37 inpatients and 25.39 ± 19.67 in controls (P = 0.560). The mean serum vitamin D levels were 12.65 ± 13.3 in patients with relapses and 22.08 ± 18.22 in patients without any relapses (P < 0.001). There was no significant correlation between EDSS score and serum vitamin D levels (r = −0.08, P = 0.280). There was a significant positive correlation between EDSS score and disease duration (r = 0.52, P < 0.001). Conclusion: In conclusion, vitamin D level in patients with MS was significantly lower than the healthy subjects, but no significant relationship was found between vitamin D levels and disability. Our findings did not suggest a protective role for serum vitamin D levels against disability. PMID:25874052

  5. [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.

  6. Multiple Mechanisms Increase Levels of Resistance in Rapistrum rugosum to ALS Herbicides

    PubMed Central

    Hatami, Zahra M.; Gherekhloo, Javid; Rojano-Delgado, Antonia M.; Osuna, Maria D.; Alcántara, Ricardo; Fernández, Pablo; Sadeghipour, Hamid R.; De Prado, Rafael

    2016-01-01

    Rapistrum rugosum (turnip weed) is a common weed of wheat fields in Iran, which is most often controlled by tribenuron-methyl (TM), a sulfonylurea (SU) belonging to the acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibiting herbicides group. Several cases of unexplained control failure of R. rugosum by TM have been seen, especially in Golestan province-Iran. Hence, there is lack of research in evaluation of the level of resistance of the R. rugosum populations to TM, using whole plant dose-response and enzyme assays, then investigating some potential resistance mechanisms Results revealed that the resistance factor (RF) for resistant (R) populations was 2.5–6.6 fold higher than susceptible (S) plant. Neither foliar retention, nor 14C-TM absorption and translocation were the mechanisms responsible for resistance in turnip weed. Metabolism of TM was the second resistant mechanism in two populations (Ag-R5 and G-1), in which three metabolites were found. The concentration of TM for 50% inhibition of ALS enzyme activity in vitro showed a high level of resistance to the herbicide (RFs were from 28 to 38) and cross-resistance to sulfonyl-aminocarbonyl-triazolinone (SCT), pyrimidinyl-thiobenzoate (PTB) and triazolopyrimidine (TP), with no cross-resistance to imidazolinone (IMI). Substitution Pro 197 to Ser 197 provided resistance to four of five ALS-inhibiting herbicides including SU, TP, PTB, and SCT with no resistance to IMI. These results documented the first case of R. rugosum resistant population worldwide and demonstrated that both RST and NRST mechanisms are involved to the resistance level to TM. PMID:26941749

  7. van Eijck and Roth's Utilitarian Science Education: Why the Recalibration of Science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge Invokes Multiple Perspectives to Protect Science Education from Being Exclusive

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mueller, Michael P.; Tippins, Deborah J.

    2010-01-01

    This article is a philosophical analysis of van Eijck and Roth's ("2007") claim that science and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) should be recalibrated because they are incommensurate, particular to the local contexts in which they are practical. In this view, science maintains an incommensurate status as if it is a…

  8. Adverse Outcome Pathways and Ecological Risk Assessment: Bridging to Population Level Effects: Report of Pellston Workgroup 3

    EPA Science Inventory

    The continuing persistence and genetic diversity of populations is a key concern for environmental regulations. Population-level responses integrate the cumulative effects of chemical stressors on individuals as those individuals interact with and are affected by their con-speci...

  9. Examining the Dynamic Structure of Daily Internalizing and Externalizing Behavior at Multiple Levels of Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Aidan G. C.; Beltz, Adriene M.; Gates, Kathleen M.; Molenaar, Peter C. M.; Simms, Leonard J.

    2015-01-01

    Psychiatric diagnostic covariation suggests that the underlying structure of psychopathology is not one of circumscribed disorders. Quantitative modeling of individual differences in diagnostic patterns has uncovered several broad domains of mental disorder liability, of which the Internalizing and Externalizing spectra have garnered the greatest support. These dimensions have generally been estimated from lifetime or past-year comorbidity patters, which are distal from the covariation of symptoms and maladaptive behavior that ebb and flow in daily life. In this study, structural models are applied to daily diary data (Median = 94 days) of maladaptive behaviors collected from a sample (N = 101) of individuals diagnosed with personality disorders (PDs). Using multilevel and unified structural equation modeling, between-person, within-person, and person-specific structures were estimated from 16 behaviors that are encompassed by the Internalizing and Externalizing spectra. At the between-person level (i.e., individual differences in average endorsement across days) we found support for a two-factor Internalizing–Externalizing model, which exhibits significant associations with corresponding diagnostic spectra. At the within-person level (i.e., dynamic covariation among daily behavior pooled across individuals) we found support for a more differentiated, four-factor, Negative Affect-Detachment-Hostility-Disinhibition structure. Finally, we demonstrate that the person-specific structures of associations between these four domains are highly idiosyncratic. PMID:26732546

  10. Effects of multiple levels of social organization on survival and abundance.

    PubMed

    Ward, Eric J; Semmens, Brice X; Holmes, Elizabeth E; Balcomb Iii, Ken C

    2011-04-01

    Identifying how social organization shapes individual behavior, survival, and fecundity of animals that live in groups can inform conservation efforts and improve forecasts of population abundance, even when the mechanism responsible for group-level differences is unknown. We constructed a hierarchical Bayesian model to quantify the relative variability in survival rates among different levels of social organization (matrilines and pods) of an endangered population of killer whales (Orcinus orca). Individual killer whales often participate in group activities such as prey sharing and cooperative hunting. The estimated age-specific survival probabilities and survivorship curves differed considerably among pods and to a lesser extent among matrilines (within pods). Across all pods, males had lower life expectancy than females. Differences in survival between pods may be caused by a combination of factors that vary across the population's range, including reduced prey availability, contaminants in prey, and human activity. Our modeling approach could be applied to demographic rates for other species and for parameters other than survival, including reproduction, prey selection, movement, and detection probabilities.

  11. Assessing the Health of Puget Sound's Pelagic Food Web at Multiple Trophic Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhodes, L. D.; Greene, C. M.; Rice, C. A.; Hall, J. E.; Baxter, A. E.; Naman, S. M.; Chamberlin, J.

    2012-12-01

    Puget Sound is an estuarine fjord in the northwestern United State surrounded by variable upland uses, ranging from industrial and urban to agricultural to forested lands. The quality of Puget Sound's ecosystem is under scrutiny because of the biological resources that depend on its function. In 2011, we undertook a study of the Sound's pelagic food web that measured water quality, microbial parameters, and abundance of higher trophic levels including gelatinous zooplankton, forage fish, and salmon. More than 75 sites spanning the latitudinal expanse of Puget Sound and the range of developed and agricultural land uses were sampled monthly from April to October. Strong relationships between water quality and microbial parameters suggest that microbes may modulate water quality indicators, such as dissolved inorganic nitrogen and pH, and that land use may be an influential factor. Basins within Puget Sound exhibit distinct biological profiles at the microbial and macrobiotic levels, emphasizing that Puget Sound is not a homogenous water body and suggesting that informative food web indicators may vary across the basins.

  12. Root-level exposure reveals multiple physiological toxicity of triazine xenobiotics in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Alberto, Diana; Couée, Ivan; Sulmon, Cécile; Gouesbet, Gwenola

    2017-02-20

    Herbicides are pollutants of great concern due to environmental ubiquity resulting from extensive use in modern agriculture and persistence in soil and water. Studies at various spatial scales have also highlighted frequent occurrences of major herbicide breakdown products in the environment. Analysis of plant behavior toward such molecules and their metabolites under conditions of transient or persistent soil pollution is important for toxicity evaluation in the context of environmental risk assessment. In order to understand the mechanisms underlying the action of such environmental contaminants, the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, which has been shown to be highly responsive to pesticides and other xenobiotics, was confronted with varying levels of the widely-used herbicide atrazine and of two of its metabolites, desethylatrazine and hydroxyatrazine, which are both frequently detected in water streams of agriculturally-intensive areas. After 24h of exposure to varying concentrations covering the range of triazine concentrations detected in the environment, root-level contaminations of atrazine, desethylatrazine and hydroxyatrazine were found to affect early growth and development in various dose-dependent and differential manners. Moreover, these differential effects of atrazine, desethylatrazine and hydroxyatrazine pointed to the involvement of distinct mechanisms directly affecting respiration and root development. The consequences of the identification of additional targets, in addition to the canonical photosystem II target, are discussed in relation with the ecotoxicological assessment of environmental xenobiotic contamination.

  13. Examining the Dynamic Structure of Daily Internalizing and Externalizing Behavior at Multiple Levels of Analysis.

    PubMed

    Wright, Aidan G C; Beltz, Adriene M; Gates, Kathleen M; Molenaar, Peter C M; Simms, Leonard J

    2015-01-01

    Psychiatric diagnostic covariation suggests that the underlying structure of psychopathology is not one of circumscribed disorders. Quantitative modeling of individual differences in diagnostic patterns has uncovered several broad domains of mental disorder liability, of which the Internalizing and Externalizing spectra have garnered the greatest support. These dimensions have generally been estimated from lifetime or past-year comorbidity patters, which are distal from the covariation of symptoms and maladaptive behavior that ebb and flow in daily life. In this study, structural models are applied to daily diary data (Median = 94 days) of maladaptive behaviors collected from a sample (N = 101) of individuals diagnosed with personality disorders (PDs). Using multilevel and unified structural equation modeling, between-person, within-person, and person-specific structures were estimated from 16 behaviors that are encompassed by the Internalizing and Externalizing spectra. At the between-person level (i.e., individual differences in average endorsement across days) we found support for a two-factor Internalizing-Externalizing model, which exhibits significant associations with corresponding diagnostic spectra. At the within-person level (i.e., dynamic covariation among daily behavior pooled across individuals) we found support for a more differentiated, four-factor, Negative Affect-Detachment-Hostility-Disinhibition structure. Finally, we demonstrate that the person-specific structures of associations between these four domains are highly idiosyncratic.

  14. Increasing Public Access to Scientific Research through Stakeholder Involvement: Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagen, S. C.; Stephens, S. H.; DeLorme, D. E.; Ruple, D.; Graham, L.

    2013-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) has the potential to have a myriad of deleterious effects on coastal ecology and human infrastructure. Stakeholders, including managers of coastal resources, must be aware of potential consequences of SLR and adjust their plans accordingly to protect and preserve the resources under their care. Members of the public, particularly those who live or work in coastal areas, should also be informed about the results of scientific research on the effects of SLR. However, research results are frequently published in venues or formats to which resource managers and the broader public have limited access. It is imperative for scientists to move beyond traditional publication venues in order to more effectively disseminate the results of their research (Dennison, W. 2007, Estu. Coast. Shelf Sci. 77, 185). One potentially effective way to advance public access to research is to incorporate stakeholder involvement into the research project process in order to target study objectives and tailor communication products toward stakeholder needs (Lemos, M. & Morehouse, B. 2005, Glob. Env. Chg. 15, 57). However, it is important to manage communication and clarify participant expectations during this type of research (Gawith, M. et al. 2009, Glob. Env. Chg. 19, 113). This presentation describes the process being undertaken by an ongoing 5-year multi-disciplinary NOAA-funded project, Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (EESLR-NGOM), to improve accessibility and utility of scientific research results through stakeholder engagement. The EESLR-NGOM project is assessing the ecological risks from SLR along the Mississippi, Alabama and Florida Panhandle coasts, coastal habitats, and floodplains. It has incorporated stakeholder involvement throughout the research process so as to better target and tailor the emerging research products to meet resource managers' needs, as well as to facilitate eventual public dissemination of results. An

  15. Effect modification by drinking water hardness of the association between nitrate levels and gastric cancer: evidence from an ecological study.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Hui-Fen; Kuo, Chao-Hung; Tsai, Shang-Shyue; Chen, Chih-Cheng; Wu, Deng-Chuang; Wu, Trong-Neng; Yang, Chun-Yuh

    2012-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to (1) examine the relationship between nitrate levels in public water supplies and risk of death from gastric cancer and (2) determine whether calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) levels in drinking water might modify the effects of nitrate on the risk of gastric cancer development. A matched cancer case-control study was used to investigate the relationship between the risk of death attributed to gastric cancer and exposure to nitrate in drinking water in Taiwan. All deaths due to gastric cancer in Taiwan residents from 2006 through 2010 were obtained from the Bureau of Vital Statistics of the Taiwan Provincial Department of Health. Deaths from other causes served as controls and were pair-matched to cancer cases by gender, year of birth, and year of death. Information on the levels of nitrate-nitrogen (NO(3)-N), Ca, and Mg in drinking water were collected from Taiwan Water Supply Corporation (TWSC). The municipality of residence for cancer cases and controls was presumed to be the source of the subject's NO(3)-N, Ca, and Mg exposure via drinking water. Relative to individuals whose NO(3)-N exposure levels were <0.38 ppm, the adjusted odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for gastric cancer occurrence was 1.16 (1.05-1.29) for individuals who resided in municipalities served by drinking water with a NO(3)-N exposure ≥ 0.38 ppm. There was apparent evidence of an interaction between drinking water NO(3)-N levels and low Ca and Mg intake via drinking water. Our findings showed that the correlation between NO(3)-N exposure and risk of gastric cancer development was influenced by Ca and Mg levels in drinking water. This is the first study to report effects modification by Ca and Mg intake from drinking water on the relationship between NO(3)-N exposure and risk of gastric cancer occurrence. Increased knowledge of the mechanistic interactions between Ca, Mg, and NO(3)-N in reducing risk of gastric cancer development will aid in

  16. Understanding Physiology in the Continuum: Integration of Information from Multiple -Omics Levels

    PubMed Central

    Kamisoglu, Kubra; Acevedo, Alison; Almon, Richard R.; Coyle, Susette; Corbett, Siobhan; Dubois, Debra C.; Nguyen, Tung T.; Jusko, William J.; Androulakis, Ioannis P.

    2017-01-01

    In this paper, we discuss approaches for integrating biological information reflecting diverse physiologic levels. In particular, we explore statistical and model-based methods for integrating transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomics data. Our case studies reflect responses to a systemic inflammatory stimulus and in response to an anti-inflammatory treatment. Our paper serves partly as a review of existing methods and partly as a means to demonstrate, using case studies related to human endotoxemia and response to methylprednisolone (MPL) treatment, how specific questions may require specific methods, thus emphasizing the non-uniqueness of the approaches. Finally, we explore novel ways for integrating -omics information with PKPD models, toward the development of more integrated pharmacology models. PMID:28289389

  17. Leading bureaucracies to the tipping point: An alternative model of multiple stable equilibrium levels of corruption.

    PubMed

    Caulkins, Jonathan P; Feichtinger, Gustav; Grass, Dieter; Hartl, Richard F; Kort, Peter M; Novak, Andreas J; Seidl, Andrea

    2013-03-16

    We present a novel model of corruption dynamics in the form of a nonlinear optimal dynamic control problem. It has a tipping point, but one whose origins and character are distinct from that in the classic Schelling (1978) model. The decision maker choosing a level of corruption is the chief or some other kind of authority figure who presides over a bureaucracy whose state of corruption is influenced by the authority figure's actions, and whose state in turn influences the pay-off for the authority figure. The policy interpretation is somewhat more optimistic than in other tipping models, and there are some surprising implications, notably that reforming the bureaucracy may be of limited value if the bureaucracy takes its cues from a corrupt leader.

  18. Changes in Blood B Cell-Activating Factor (BAFF) Levels in Multiple Sclerosis: A Sign of Treatment Outcome

    PubMed Central

    Kannel, Karin; Alnek, Kristi; Vahter, Liina; Gross-Paju, Katrin; Uibo, Raivo; Kisand, Kalle V.

    2015-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is mediated primarily by autoreactive T cells. However, evidence suggesting the involvement of humoral immunity in brain diseases has increased interest in the role of B cells and their products during MS pathogenesis. The major survival factor for B cells, BAFF has been shown to play a role in several autoimmune conditions. Elevated BAFF levels have been reported in MS animal model and during MS relapse in patients. Moreover, disease-modifying treatments (DMT) reportedly influence blood BAFF levels in MS patients, but the significance of these changes remains unclear. The present study addresses how blood BAFF levels are associated with the clinical course of relapsing-remitting MS and the effectiveness of DMT and short-term steroid treatment. During a prospective longitudinal follow-up of 2.3 years, BAFF was measured in the blood of 170 MS patients in the stable phase and within 186 relapses. BAFF levels were significantly higher in MS patients compared to healthy controls. However, stable MS patients without relapses exhibited significantly higher BAFF levels than relapsing patients. Treatment with interferon-β and immunosuppressants raised BAFF blood levels. Interestingly, a similar effect was not seen in patients treated with glatiramer acetate. Short-term treatment with high doses of intravenous methylprednisolone did not significantly alter plasma BAFF levels in 65% of relapsing-remitting MS patients. BAFF were correlated weakly but significantly with monocyte and basophil counts, but not with other blood cell types (neutrophils, lymphocytes, or eosinophils) or inflammatory biomarkers. To our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating that higher blood BAFF levels may reflect a more stable and effective MS treatment outcome. These results challenge hypotheses suggesting that elevated blood BAFF levels are associated with more severe disease presentation and could explain the recent failure of pharmaceutical trials targeting

  19. Why infectious disease research needs community ecology

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Pieter T. J.; de Roode, Jacobus C.; Fenton, Andy

    2016-01-01

    Infectious diseases often emerge from interactions among multiple species and across nested levels of biological organization. Threats as diverse as Ebola virus, human malaria, and bat white-nose syndrome illustrate the need for a mechanistic understanding of the ecological interactions underlying emerging infections. We describe how recent advances in community ecology can be adopted to address contemporary challenges in disease research. These analytical tools can identify the factors governing complex assemblages of multiple hosts, parasites, and vectors, and reveal how processes link across scales from individual hosts to regions. They can also determine the drivers of heterogeneities among individuals, species, and regions to aid targeting of control strategies. We provide examples where these principles have enhanced disease management and illustrate how they can be further extended. PMID:26339035

  20. Screening level model for ecological risk assessment at EF-Site Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Alldredge, A.W.; Kirchner, T.B.; McLendon, T.

    1995-12-01

    In response to a paucity of data on the chemical toxicity of uranium to plants, a factorial experiment employing five uranium concentrations (0, 50, 500, 5000, 25000 ppm) and three moisture regimes (low, medium, high) was performed using three native grasses. Buchloe dactyloides (buffalograss-mid/late seral), Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem-late seral), and Aristida longiseta (purple threeawn-early/mid seral) were grown in monocultures and every mixture of two species under all combinations of uranium and moisture levels. This design allows for the analysis of uranium effects, as well as possible compound effects due to moisture stress. Several measures of plant health and viability were made, including: percent emergence, survivability of seedlings and mature plants, root and shoot biomass, and the number and mass of inflorescences. No significant differences between uranium levels were observed in terms of emergence and seedling survival. Effects are evident for plant biomass, fecundity, and long-term survivability.

  1. HELLE: Health Effects of Low Level Exposures/ Gezondheidseffecten van lage blootstellingniveaus [International workshop: Influence of low level exposures to chemicals and radiation on human and ecological health

    SciTech Connect

    Schoten, Eert

    1998-11-26

    The Health Council is closely involved in establishing the scientific foundation of exposure limits for substances and radiation in order to protect public health. Through the years, the Council has contributed to the formulation of principles and procedures, both for carcinogenic and for noncarcinogenic agents. As a rule, the discussion with regard to the derivation of health-based recommended exposure limits centers around the appropriateness of extrapolation methods (What can be inferred from data on high exposure levels and on experimental animals?). Generally speaking, there is a lack of direct information on the health effects of low levels of exposure. Effects at these levels cannot usually be detected by means of traditional animal experiments or epidemiological research. The capacity of these analytical instruments to distinguish between ''signal'' and ''noise'' is inadequate in most cases. Annex B of this report contains a brief outline of the difficulties and the established methods for tackling this problem. In spite of this, the hope exists that the posited weak signals, if they are indeed present, can be detected by other means. The search will have to take place on a deeper level. In other words, effort must be made to discover what occurs at underlying levels of biological organization when organisms are exposed to low doses of radiation or substances. Molecular and cell biology provide various methods and techniques which give an insight into the processes within the cell. This results in an increase in the knowledge about the molecular and cellular effects of exposure to agents, or stated differently, the working mechanisms which form the basis of the health effects. Last year, the Health Council considered that the time was ripe to take stock of the state of knowledge in this field. To this end, an international working conference was held from 19 to 21 October 1997, entitled ''Health Effects of Low Level Exposures: Scientific Developments and

  2. Cullin 1 functions as a centrosomal suppressor of centriole multiplication by regulating Polo-like kinase 4 protein levels

    PubMed Central

    Korzeniewski, Nina; Zheng, Leon; Cuevas, Rolando; Parry, Joshua; Chatterjee, Payel; Anderton, Brittany; Duensing, Anette; Münger, Karl; Duensing, Stefan

    2009-01-01

    Abnormal centrosome and centriole numbers are frequently detected in tumor cells where they can contribute to mitotic aberrations that cause chromosome missegregation and aneuploidy. The molecular mechanisms of centriole overduplication in malignant cells, however, are poorly characterized. Here, we show that the core SCF component CUL1 localizes to maternal centrioles and that CUL1 is critical for suppressing centriole overduplication through multiplication, a recently discovered mechanism whereby multiple daughter centrioles form concurrently at single maternal centrioles. We found that this activity of CUL1 involves the degradation of Polo-like kinase 4 (PLK4) at maternal centrioles. PLK4 is required for centriole duplication and strongly stimulates centriole multiplication when aberrantly expressed. We found that CUL1 is critical for the degradation of active PLK4 following deregulation of cyclin E/CDK2 activity, as is frequently observed in human cancer cells, as well as for baseline PLK4 protein stability. Collectively, our results suggest that CUL1 may function as a tumor suppressor by regulating PLK4 protein levels and thereby restraining excessive daughter centriole formation at maternal centrioles. PMID:19679553

  3. Effect of temperature, pH, and oxygen level on the multiplication of naturally occurring Legionella pneumophila in potable water.

    PubMed Central

    Wadowsky, R M; Wolford, R; McNamara, A M; Yee, R B

    1985-01-01

    A water culture containing naturally occurring Legionella pneumophila and associated microbiota was maintained in the laboratory by serially transferring the culture in tap water which had been sterilized by membrane filtration. Successful maintenance of the water culture depended upon transferring the culture when the growth of L. pneumophila was in the late-exponential to early-stationary phase. The water culture was used as a source of naturally occurring bacteria to determine some of the parameters which affect the multiplication of L. pneumophila in tap water. Naturally occurring L. pneumophila multiplied at a temperature between 25 and 37 degrees C, at pH levels of 5.5 to 9.2, and at concentrations of dissolved oxygen of 6.0 to 6.7 mg/liter. Multiplication did not occur in tap water which contained less than 2.2 mg of dissolved oxygen per liter. An association was observed between the multiplication of L. pneumophila and the non-Legionellaceae bacteria which were also present in the water culture. The method of preserving naturally occurring L. pneumophila and associated microbiota may facilitate studies on the symbiosis of L. pneumophila with other microorganisms. PMID:4004233

  4. No simple answers for ecological immunology: relationships among immune indices at the individual level break down at the species level in waterfowl

    PubMed Central

    Matson, Kevin D; Cohen, Alan A; Klasing, Kirk C; Ricklefs, Robert E; Scheuerlein, Alexander

    2005-01-01

    Understanding immune function in the context of other life-history traits is crucial to understand the evolution of life histories, at both the individual and species levels. As the interest in assessing immune function for these comparative purposes grows, an important question remains unanswered: can immune function be broadly characterized using one or two simple measures? Often, interpretation of individual assays is ambiguous and relationships among different measures of immune function remain poorly understood. Thus, we employed five protocols to measure 13 variables of immune function in ten species of waterfowl (Anseriformes). All assays were based on a single blood sample subdivided into leukocyte (blood smear) and plasma (frozen until analysis) components. All assays were run using samples from every individual, and a nested analysis was used to partition variation/covariation at the levels of species and individuals within species. We detected positive correlations between functionally related measures of immunity within species, but these were absent from comparisons between species. A canonical correlation analysis revealed no significant relationships between the plasma and leukocyte assays at the levels of both individual and species, suggesting that these measures of immunity are neither competitive nor synergistic. We conclude that one measure of each assay type may be required to maximally characterize immune function in studies of a single species, while the same is not true in studies among species. PMID:16618674

  5. Estimation of water table level and nitrate pollution based on geostatistical and multiple mass transport models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matiatos, Ioannis; Varouhakis, Emmanouil A.; Papadopoulou, Maria P.

    2015-04-01

    As the sustainable use of groundwater resources is a great challenge for many countries in the world, groundwater modeling has become a very useful and well established tool for studying groundwater management problems. Based on various methods used to numerically solve algebraic equations representing groundwater flow and contaminant mass transport, numerical models are mainly divided into Finite Difference-based and Finite Element-based models. The present study aims at evaluating the performance of a finite difference-based (MODFLOW-MT3DMS), a finite element-based (FEFLOW) and a hybrid finite element and finite difference (Princeton Transport Code-PTC) groundwater numerical models simulating groundwater flow and nitrate mass transport in the alluvial aquifer of Trizina region in NE Peloponnese, Greece. The calibration of groundwater flow in all models was performed using groundwater hydraulic head data from seven stress periods and the validation was based on a series of hydraulic head data for two stress periods in sufficient numbers of observation locations. The same periods were used for the calibration of nitrate mass transport. The calibration and validation of the three models revealed that the simulated values of hydraulic heads and nitrate mass concentrations coincide well with the observed ones. The models' performance was assessed by performing a statistical analysis of these different types of numerical algorithms. A number of metrics, such as Mean Absolute Error (MAE), Root Mean Square Error (RMSE), Bias, Nash Sutcliffe Model Efficiency (NSE) and Reliability Index (RI) were used allowing the direct comparison of models' performance. Spatiotemporal Kriging (STRK) was also applied using separable and non-separable spatiotemporal variograms to predict water table level and nitrate concentration at each sampling station for two selected hydrological stress periods. The predictions were validated using the respective measured values. Maps of water table

  6. Ecological perspectives in health research

    PubMed Central

    McLaren, L.; Hawe, P.

    2005-01-01

    An ecological perspective on health emphasises both individual and contextual systems and the interdependent relations between the two. Origins of this approach have emanated from multiple disciplines over the past century or more. This article provides a glossary of perspectives, processes, and settings that pertain to an ecological approach in health research. PMID:15598720

  7. Design and evaluation of multiple level data staging for Blue Gene systems.

    SciTech Connect

    Isaila, F.; Blas, J. G.; Carretero, J.; Latham, R.; Ross, R.

    2011-06-01

    Parallel applications currently suffer from a significant imbalance between computational power and available I/O bandwidth. Additionally, the hierarchical organization of current Petascale systems contributes to an increase of the I/O subsystem latency. In these hierarchies, file access involves pipelining data through several networks with incremental latencies and higher probability of congestion. Future Exascale systems are likely to share this trait. This paper presents a scalable parallel I/O software system designed to transparently hide the latency of file system accesses to applications on these platforms. Our solution takes advantage of the hierarchy of networks involved in file accesses, to maximize the degree of overlap between computation, file I/O-related communication, and file system access. We describe and evaluate a two-level hierarchy for Blue Gene systems consisting of client-side and I/O node-side caching. Our file cache management modules coordinate the data staging between application and storage through the Blue Gene networks. The experimental results demonstrate that our architecture achieves significant performance improvements through a high degree of overlap between computation, communication, and file I/O.

  8. Assimilation of benzene carbon through multiple trophic levels traced by different stable isotope probing methodologies.

    PubMed

    Bastida, Felipe; Jechalke, Sven; Bombach, Petra; Franchini, Alessandro G; Seifert, Jana; von Bergen, Martin; Vogt, Carsten; Richnow, Hans H

    2011-08-01

    The flow of benzene carbon along a food chain consisting of bacteria and eukaryotes, including larvae (Diptera: Chironomidae), was evaluated by total lipid fatty acids (TLFAs)-, amino acid- and protein-stable isotope probing (SIP). A coconut-fibre textile, colonized by a benzene-degrading biofilm, was sampled in a system established for the remediation of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX)-polluted groundwater and incubated with (12)C- and [(13)C(6)]-benzene (>99 at.%) in a batch-scale experiment for 2-8 days. After 8 days, Chironomus sp. larvae were added to study carbon flow to higher trophic levels. Gas chromatography-combustion-isotope ratio monitoring mass spectrometry of TLFA showed increased isotope ratios in the (13)C-benzene-incubated biofilm. A higher (13)C-enrichment was observed in TLFAs, indicative of Gram-negative bacteria than for Gram-positive. Fatty acid indicators of eukaryotes showed significant (13)C-incorporation, but to a lower extent than bacterial indicators. Fatty acids extracted from larvae feeding on (13)C-biofilm reached an isotopic ratio of 1.55 at.%, illustrating that the larvae feed, to some extent, on labelled biomass. No (13)C-incorporation was detectable in larval proteins after their separation by sodium-dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and analysis by nano-liquid-chromatography-mass spectrometry. The flow of benzene-derived carbon could be traced in a food web consisting of bacteria and eukaryotes.

  9. Efficient high light acclimation involves rapid processes at multiple mechanistic levels.

    PubMed

    Dietz, Karl-Josef

    2015-05-01

    Like no other chemical or physical parameter, the natural light environment of plants changes with high speed and jumps of enormous intensity. To cope with this variability, photosynthetic organisms have evolved sensing and response mechanisms that allow efficient acclimation. Most signals originate from the chloroplast itself. In addition to very fast photochemical regulation, intensive molecular communication is realized within the photosynthesizing cell, optimizing the acclimation process. Current research has opened up new perspectives on plausible but mostly unexpected complexity in signalling events, crosstalk, and process adjustments. Within seconds and minutes, redox states, levels of reactive oxygen species, metabolites, and hormones change and transmit information to the cytosol, modifying metabolic activity, gene expression, translation activity, and alternative splicing events. Signalling pathways on an intermediate time scale of several minutes to a few hours pave the way for long-term acclimation. Thereby, a new steady state of the transcriptome, proteome, and metabolism is realized within rather short time periods irrespective of the previous acclimation history to shade or sun conditions. This review provides a time line of events during six hours in the 'stressful' life of a plant.

  10. Plasma Levels of Monocyte Chemotactic Protein-1 Are Associated with Clinical Features and Angiogenesis in Patients with Multiple Myeloma

    PubMed Central

    Valković, Toni; Babarović, Emina; Lučin, Ksenija; Štifter, Sanja; Aralica, Merica; Seili-Bekafigo, Irena; Duletić-Načinović, Antica; Jonjić, Nives

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this pilot study was to determine the plasma levels of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) and possible associations with angiogenesis and the main clinical features of untreated patients with multiple myeloma (MM). ELISA was used to determine plasma MCP-1 levels in 45 newly diagnosed MM patients and 24 healthy controls. The blood vessels were highlighted by immunohistochemical staining, and computer-assisted image analysis was used for more objective and accurate determination of two parameters of angiogenesis: microvessel density (MVD) and total vascular area (TVA). The plasma levels of MCP-1 were compared to these parameters and the presence of anemia, renal dysfunction, and bone lesions. A significant positive correlation was found between plasma MCP-1 concentrations and TVA (p = 0.02). The MCP-1 levels were significantly higher in MM patients with evident bone lesions (p = 0.01), renal dysfunction (p = 0.02), or anemia (p = 0.04). Therefore, our preliminary results found a positive association between plasma MCP-1 levels, angiogenesis (expressed as TVA), and clinical features in patients with MM. However, additional prospective studies with a respectable number of patients should be performed to authenticate these results and establish MCP-1 as a possible target of active treatment. PMID:26925413

  11. Role of serum TRAIL level and TRAIL apoptosis gene expression in multiple sclerosis and relation to brain atrophy.

    PubMed

    Tawdy, Mohamed H; Abd El Nasser, Maged M; Abd El Shafy, Sanaa S; Nada, Mona A F; El Sirafy, Mohamed Nasr I; Magd, Amany Hussien Abol

    2014-09-01

    One of the presumed pathological mechanisms of multiple sclerosis (MS) is the failure of apoptosis of autoreactive T lymphocytes. This study aimed to determine the relationship of the tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) mRNA gene expression ratio and serum TRAIL levels with MS and brain atrophy. This study was conducted on 53 relapsing-remitting Egyptian MS patients and 25 matched healthy volunteers. The expression of TRAIL in peripheral blood lymphocytes was analyzed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, serum levels of soluble TRAIL (sTRAIL) were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and brain MRI measured "black holes" and the bicaudate ratio as a measure of brain atrophy in all patients. The serum TRAIL level was lower in MS patients compared to controls but no difference was seen in the TRAIL mRNA gene expression ratio. No significant correlation was detected between the serum TRAIL level and the TRAIL mRNA expression ratio in either group. No statistically significant correlation was found between serum TRAIL levels or the TRAIL mRNA expression ratio with the number of black holes or the bicaudate ratio on MRI. Apoptosis of T lymphocytes is decreased in MS patients, which could be useful when designing treatments. There was no difference in the TRAIL mRNA gene expression ratio between MS patients and controls.

  12. Elevated levels of a glycoprotein antigen (P-80) in gray and white matter of brain from victims of multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Cruz, T F; Quackenbush, E J; Letarte, M; Moscarello, M A

    1986-06-01

    The levels of a glycoprotein reactive with monoclonal antibody (MAb) 44D10 in white and gray matter from brains of victims of several neurological diseases, including Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases, were compared to that of normal individuals. The concentration of antigen reactive with MAb 44D10 was elevated in both gray and white matter of all MS brains examined, but not in brains with other neurological diseases. The increase in the concentration of antigen varied amongst the MS brains, such that the levels of antigen were only slightly increased in 2 of the 6 MS brains whereas 2 to 4 fold higher levels were found in the other 4 brains. Increased levels of antigen were detected in gray matter of MS brains, whereas this antigen was either not detected or present in very low levels in gray matter homogenates prepared from age-matched normal brains. MAb Leu 1, which reacts with T lymphocytes, was not absorbed by normal and MS brain tissue suggesting the increase in antigen reactive with MAb 44D10 in MS brain homogenates was not associated with non-specific infiltration by T lymphocytes. Comparison of the purified antigen from MS gray matter and normal white matter by gel electrophoresis demonstrated that MAb 44D10 was reacting with a similar protein in both tissues with an apparent molecular weight of 80K. We have named this molecule P-80 glycoprotein.

  13. Role of Therapeutic Plasma Exchange in Treatment of Tumefactive Multiple Sclerosis-Associated Low CD4 and CD8 Levels

    PubMed Central

    Lew, Kristen; Mewada, Nishith; Ramanujam, Sahana; Hassanzadeh, Bahareh; Donahue, John E.; Peddareddygari, Leema Reddy; Moser, Robert; Kososky, Charles; Grewal, Raji P.

    2016-01-01

    We report a 35-year-old healthy male who developed central nervous system inflammatory demyelinating disease consistent with tumefactive multiple sclerosis. About 2 weeks after onset of symptoms and prior to initiation of therapy, the patient had lymphopenia and low CD4 and CD8 levels. His lymphocyte count was 400 cells/µl (850–3,900 cells/µl), CD4 was 193 cells/µl (490–1,740 cells/µl) and CD8 was 103 cells/µl (180–1,170 cells/µl). He was treated with intravenous methylprednisolone followed by therapeutic plasma exchange, the levels of CD4 and CD8 normalized, and ultimately, he recovered completely. PMID:27721782

  14. The fourth level of social structure in a multi-level society: ecological and social functions of clans in hamadryas baboons.

    PubMed

    Schreier, Amy L; Swedell, Larissa

    2009-11-01

    Hamadryas baboons are known for their complex, multi-level social structure consisting of troops, bands, and one-male units (OMUs) [Kummer, 1968. Social organization of hamadryas baboons. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 189p]. Abegglen [1984. On socialization in hamadryas baboons: a field study. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press. 207p.] observed a fourth level of social structure comprising several OMUs that rested near one another on sleeping cliffs, traveled most closely together during daily foraging, and sometimes traveled as subgroups independently from the rest of the band. Abegglen called these associations "clans" and suggested that they consisted of related males. Here we confirm the existence of clans in a second wild hamadryas population, a band of about 200 baboons at the Filoha site in lowland Ethiopia. During all-day follows from December 1997 through September 1998 and March 2005 through February 2006, data were collected on activity patterns, social interactions, nearest neighbors, band fissions, and takeovers. Association indices were computed for each dyad of leader males, and results of cluster analyses indicated that in each of the two observation periods this band comprised two large clans ranging in size from 7 to 13 OMUs. All band fissions occurred along clan lines, and most takeovers involved the transfer of females within the same clan. Our results support the notion that clans provide an additional level of flexibility to deal with the sparse distribution of resources in hamadryas habitats. The large clan sizes at Filoha may simply be the largest size that the band can split into and still obtain enough food during periods of food scarcity. Our results also suggest that both male and female relationships play a role in the social cohesion of clans and that males exchange females within clans but not between them.

  15. Farm-level feasibility of bioenergy depends on variations across multiple sectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myhre, Mitchell; Barford, Carol

    2013-03-01

    The potential supply of bioenergy from farm-grown biomass is uncertain due to several poorly understood or volatile factors, including land availability, yield variability, and energy prices. Although biomass production for liquid fuel has received more attention, here we present a case study of biomass production for renewable heat and power in the state of Wisconsin (US), where heating constitutes at least 30% of total energy demand. Using three bioenergy systems (50 kW, 8.8 MW and 50 MW) and Wisconsin farm-level data, we determined the net farm income effect of producing switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) as a feedstock, either for on-farm use (50 kW system) or for sale to an off-farm energy system operator (8.8 and 50 MW systems). In southern counties, where switchgrass yields approach 10 Mg ha-1 yr-1, the main determinants of economic feasibility were the available land area per farm, the ability to utilize bioheat, and opportunity cost assumptions. Switchgrass yield temporal variability was less important. For the state median farm size and switchgrass yield, at least 25% (50 kW system) or 50% (8.8 MW system) bioheat utilization was required to economically offset propane or natural gas heat, respectively, and purchased electricity. Offsetting electricity only (50 MW system) did not generate enough revenue to meet switchgrass production expenses. Although the opportunity cost of small-scale (50 kW) on-farm bioenergy generation was higher, it also held greater opportunity for increasing farm net income, especially by replacing propane-based heat.

  16. A Comparative Analysis of Feeding and Trophic Level Ecology in Stingrays (Rajiformes; Myliobatoidei) and Electric Rays (Rajiformes: Torpedinoidei)

    PubMed Central

    Jacobsen, Ian P.; Bennett, Mike B.

    2013-01-01

    Standardised diets and trophic level (TL) estimates were calculated for 75 ray species from the suborders Myliobatoidei (67 spp.) and Torpedinoidei (8 spp.). Decapod crustaceans (31.71±3.92%) and teleost fishes (16.45±3.43%) made the largest contribution to the standardised diet of the Myliobatoidei. Teleost fishes (37.40±16.09%) and polychaete worms (31.96±14.22%) were the most prominent prey categories in the standardised diet of the suborder Torpedinoidei. Cluster analysis identified nine major trophic guilds the largest of which were decapod crustaceans (24 species), teleost fishes (11 species) and molluscs (11 species). Trophic level estimates for rays ranged from 3.10 for Potamotrygon falkneri to 4.24 for Gymnura australis, Torpedo marmorata and T. nobiliana. Secondary consumers with a TL <4.00 represented 84% of the species examined, with the remaining 12 species (16%) classified as tertiary consumers (TL ≥4.00). Tertiary consumers included electric rays (Torpedo, 3 spp. and Hypnos, 1 sp.), butterfly rays (Gymnura, 4 spp.), stingrays (2 spp.) and Potamotrygonid stingrays (2 spp.). Feeding strategies were identified as the primary factor of influence with respect to Myliobatoidei and Torpedinoidei TL estimates with inter-family comparisons providing the greatest insight into Myliobatoidei and Torpedinoidei relationships. PMID:23936503

  17. The hierarchical structure of common mental disorders: Connecting multiple levels of comorbidity, bifactor models, and predictive validity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyunsik; Eaton, Nicholas R

    2015-11-01

    Studies of mental disorder comorbidity have produced an unsynthesized literature with multiple competing transdiagnostic models. The current study attempted to (a) integrate these models into an overarching comorbidity hierarchy, (b) link the resulting transdiagnostic factors to the bifactor model of psychopathology, and (c) investigate predictive validity of transdiagnostic factors for important future outcomes. A series of exploratory structural equation models (ESEMs) was conducted on 12 common mental disorders from a large, 2-wave nationally representative sample, using the bass-ackwards method to explore the hierarchical structure of transdiagnostic comorbidity factors. These Wave 1 factors were then linked with the bifactor model and with mental disorders at Wave 2. Results indicated that common mental disorder comorbidity was structured into an interpretable hierarchy. Connections between the hierarchy's general factor of psychopathology (denoted p), internalizing, and distress were very strong; these factors also linked strongly with the bifactor model's p factor. Predictive validity analyses prospectively predicting subsequent diagnoses indicated that, overall: (a) transdiagnostic factors outperformed disorder-specific variance; (b) within hierarchy levels, transdiagnostic factors where disorders optimally loaded outperformed other transdiagnostic factors, but this differed by disorder type; and (c) between hierarchy levels, transdiagnostic factors where disorders optimally loaded showed similar predictive validity. We discuss implications for hierarchical structure modeling, the integration of multiple competing comorbidity models, and benefits of transdiagnostic factors for understanding the continuity of mental disorders over time.

  18. Latitude has more significant impact on prevalence of multiple sclerosis than ultraviolet level or sunshine duration in Japanese population.

    PubMed

    Kinoshita, Masako; Obata, Kaoru; Tanaka, Masami

    2015-07-01

    Higher latitude is known to be associated with higher prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS). We investigated the degree of impact of latitude, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and sunshine on the prevalence of MS in Japan, which has 47 prefectures with a variety of climates. MS prevalence in each prefecture was collected from database of the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare of Japan. Latitude of each prefecture was represented by that of the capital city. Data of UV radiation level and annual actual sunshine duration were obtained from databases of Japan Meteorological Agency. We performed linear correlation analyses of MS prevalence against latitude, UV radiation, and annual actual sunshine duration. MS prevalence significantly correlated to latitude (Pearson's correlation, r = 0.69, p < 0.001) and UV radiation level (r = -0.65, p < 0.001) but not to annual actual sunshine duration (r = -0.37, p = 0.011). Stepwise multiple linear regression analyses revealed significant correlation between MS prevalence and only latitude (p < 0.001). While our result shows that both latitude and the UV intensity have significant relationship to MS prevalence, the stronger relevance of the former suggests an existence of risk factors other than UV radiation.

  19. Forest fragmentation reduces parasitism via species loss at multiple trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Fenoglio, Maria Silvina; Srivastava, Diane; Valladares, Graciela; Cagnolo, Luciano; Salvo, Adriana

    2012-11-01

    Although there is accumulating evidence from artificially assembled communities that reductions of species diversity result in diminished ecosystem functioning, it is not yet clear how real-world changes in diversity affect the flow of energy between trophic levels in multi-trophic contexts. In central Argentina, forest fragmentation has led to species loss of plants, herbivore and parasitoid insects, decline in trophic processes (herbivory and parasitism), and food web contraction. Here we examine if and how loss of parasitoid species following fragmentation causes decreased parasitism rates, by analyzing food webs of leaf miners and parasitoids from 19 forest fragments of decreasing size. We asked three questions: Do reductions in parasitoid richness following fragmentation directly or indirectly affect parasitism rate? Are changes in community parasitism rate driven by changes in the parasitism rate of individual leaf miner species, or changes in leaf miner composition, or both? Which traits of species determine the effects of food web change on parasitism rates? We found that habitat loss initiated a bottom-up cascade of extinctions from plants to leaf miners to parasitoids, with reductions in parasitoid richness ultimately driving decreases in parasitism rates. This relationship between parasitoid richness and parasitism depended on changes in the relative abundance (but not occurrence) of leaf miners such that parasitoid-rich fragments were dominated by leaf miner species that supported high rates of parasitism. Surprisingly, we found that only a small subset of species in the food web could account for much of the increase in parasitism with parasitoid richness: lepidopteran miners that attained exceptionally high densities in some fragments and their largely specialist parasitoids. How specialized a parasitoid is, and the relative abundance of leaf miners, had important effects on the diversity-parasitism rate relationship, but not other leaf miner traits

  20. Population-level effects and recovery of aquatic invertebrates after multiple applications of an insecticide.

    PubMed

    Dohmen, G Peter; Preuss, Thomas G; Hamer, Mick; Galic, Nika; Strauss, Tido; van den Brink, Paul J; De Laender, Frederik; Bopp, Stephanie

    2016-01-01

    Standard risk assessment of plant protection products (PPP) combines "worst-case" exposure scenarios with effect thresholds using assessment (safety) factors to account for uncertainties. If needed, risks can be addressed applying more realistic conditions at higher tiers, which refine exposure and/or effect assessments using additional data. However, it is not possible to investigate the wide range of potential scenarios experimentally. In contrast, ecotoxicological mechanistic effect models do allow for addressing a multitude of scenarios. Furthermore, they may aid the interpretation of experiments such as mesocosm studies, allowing extrapolation to conditions not covered in experiments. Here, we explore how to use mechanistic effect models in the aquatic risk assessment of a model insecticide (Modelmethrin), applied several times per season but rapidly dissipating between applications. The case study focuses on potential effects on aquatic arthropods, the most sensitive group for this substance. The models provide information on the impact of a number of short exposure pulses on sensitive and/or vulnerable populations and, when impacted, assess recovery. The species to model were selected based on their sensitivity in laboratory and field (mesocosm) studies. The general unified threshold model for survival (GUTS) model, which describes the toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics of chemicals in individuals, was linked to 3 individual-based models (IBM), translating individual survival of sensitive organisms into population-level effects. The impact of pulsed insecticide exposures on populations were modeled using the spatially explicit IBM metapopulation model for assessing spatial and temporal effects of pesticides (MASTEP) for Gammarus pulex, the Chaoborus IBM for populations of Chaoborus crystallinus, and the "IdamP" model for populations of Daphnia magna. The different models were able to predict the potential effects of Modelmethrin applications to key arthropod

  1. Ground level environmental protein concentrations in various ecuadorian environments: potential uses of aerosolized protein for ecological research

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Staton, Sarah J.R.; Woodward, Andrea; Castillo, Josemar A.; Swing, Kelly; Hayes, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    Large quantities of free protein in the environment and other bioaerosols are ubiquitous throughout terrestrial ground level environments and may be integrative indicators of ecosystem status. Samples of ground level bioaerosols were collected from various ecosystems throughout Ecuador, including pristine humid tropical forest (pristine), highly altered secondary humid tropical forest (highly altered), secondary transitional very humid forest (regrowth transitional), and suburban dry montane deforested (suburban deforested). The results explored the sensitivity of localized aerosol protein concentrations to spatial and temporal variations within ecosystems, and their value for assessing environmental change. Ecosystem specific variations in environmental protein concentrations were observed: pristine 0.32 ± 0.09 μg/m3, highly altered 0.07 ± 0.05 μg/m3, regrowth transitional 0.17 ± 0.06 μg/m3, and suburban deforested 0.09 ± 0.04 μg/m3. Additionally, comparisons of intra-environmental differences in seasonal/daily weather (dry season 0.08 ± 0.03 μg/m3 and wet season 0.10 ± 0.04 μg/m3), environmental fragmentation (buffered 0.19 ± 0.06 μg/m3 and edge 0.15 ± 0.06 μg/m3), and sampling height (ground level 0.32 ± 0.09 μg/m3 and 10 m 0.24 ± 0.04 μg/m3) demonstrated the sensitivity of protein concentrations to environmental conditions. Local protein concentrations in altered environments correlated well with satellite-based spectral indices describing vegetation productivity: normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) (r2 = 0.801), net primary production (NPP) (r2 = 0.827), leaf area index (LAI) (r2 = 0.410). Moreover, protein concentrations distinguished the pristine site, which was not differentiated in spectral indices, potentially due to spectral saturation typical of highly vegetated environments. Bioaerosol concentrations represent an inexpensive method to increase understanding of environmental changes, especially in densely vegetated

  2. Using ecological production functions to link ecological ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Ecological production functions (EPFs) link ecosystems, stressors, and management actions to ecosystem services (ES) production. Although EPFs are acknowledged as being essential to improve environmental management, their use in ecological risk assessment has received relatively little attention. Ecological production functions may be defined as usable expressions (i.e., models) of the processes by which ecosystems produce ES, often including external influences on those processes. We identify key attributes of EPFs and discuss both actual and idealized examples of their use to inform decision making. Whenever possible, EPFs should estimate final, rather than intermediate, ES. Although various types of EPFs have been developed, we suggest that EPFs are more useful for decision making if they quantify ES outcomes, respond to ecosystem condition, respond to stressor levels or management scenarios, reflect ecological complexity, rely on data with broad coverage, have performed well previously, are practical to use, and are open and transparent. In an example using pesticides, we illustrate how EPFs with these attributes could enable the inclusion of ES in ecological risk assessment. The biggest challenges to ES inclusion are limited data sets that are easily adapted for use in modeling EPFs and generally poor understanding of linkages among ecological components and the processes that ultimately deliver the ES. We conclude by advocating for the incorporation into E

  3. Heavy metal levels in dune sands from Matanzas urban resorts and Varadero beach (Cuba): Assessment of contamination and ecological risks.

    PubMed

    Díaz Rizo, Oscar; Buzón González, Fran; Arado López, Juana O; Denis Alpízar, Otoniel

    2015-12-30

    Concentrations of chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and lead (Pb) in dune sands from six urban and suburban Matanzas (Cuba) resorts and Varadero beach were estimated by X-ray fluorescence analysis. Ranges of metal contents in dune sands show a strong variation across the studied locations (in mg/kg(-1)): 20-2964 for Cr, 17-183 for Ni, 17-51 for Cu, 18-88 for Zn and 5-29 for Pb. The values of contamination factors and contamination degrees how that two of the studied Matanzas's resorts (Judio and Chirry) are strongly polluted. The comparison with Sediment Quality Guidelines shows that dune sands from Judio resort represent a serious risk for humans, due to polluted Cr and Ni levels, while sands from the rest of the studied resorts, including Varadero beach, do not represent any risk for public use.

  4. Ecological niche modeling of coastal dune plants and future potential distribution in response to climate change and sea level rise.

    PubMed

    Mendoza-González, Gabriela; Martínez, M Luisa; Rojas-Soto, Octavio R; Vázquez, Gabriela; Gallego-Fernández, Juan B

    2013-08-01

    Climate change (CC) and sea level rise (SLR) are phenomena that could have severe impacts on the distribution of coastal dune vegetation. To explore this we modeled the climatic niches of six coastal dunes plant species that grow along the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula, and projected climatic niches to future potential distributions based on two CC scenarios and SLR projections. Our analyses suggest that distribution of coastal plants will be severely limited, and more so in the case of local endemics (Chamaecrista chamaecristoides, Palafoxia lindenii, Cakile edentula). The possibilities of inland migration to the potential 'new shoreline' will be limited by human infrastructure and ecosystem alteration that will lead to a 'coastal squeeze' of the coastal habitats. Finally, we identified areas as future potential refuges for the six species in central Gulf of Mexico, and northern Yucatán Peninsula especially under CC and SLR scenarios.

  5. Soil Microarthropods and Their Relationship to Higher Trophic Levels in the Pedregal de San Angel Ecological Reserve, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Callejas-Chavero, Alicia; Castaño-Meneses, Gabriela; Razo-González, María; Pérez-Velázquez, Daniela; Palacios-Vargas, José G.; Flores-Martínez, Arturo

    2015-01-01

    Soil fauna is essential for ecosystem dynamics as it is involved in biogeochemical processes, promotes nutrient availability, and affects the animal communities associated with plants. In this study, we examine the possible relationship between the soil microarthropod community on foliage production and quality of the shrub Pittocaulon praecox. We also examine the arthropods associated to its foliage, particularly the size of the main herbivores and of their natural enemies, at two sites with contrasting vegetation cover and productivity. The diversity of soil microarthropods was assessed from soil samples collected monthly under P. praecox individuals over 13 mo. Specimens collected were identified to species or morphospecies. Shrub foliage productivity was evaluated through the amount of litter produced. Resource quality was assessed by the mean content (percentage by weight) of N, C, S, and P of 30 leaves from each shrub. The mean size of herbivores and their natural enemies were determined by measuring 20 adult specimens of each of the most abundant species. We found a higher species richness of soil microarthropods and foliar arthropods in the open site, although the diversity of foliage arthropods was lower in the closed site. Shrubs growing in the closed site tend to produce more, larger, and nutritionally poorer (lower nitrogen content) leaves than open site. Herbivores and their natural enemies were also larger in the closed site. We found a significant positive relationship between the diversity and species richness of foliar arthropods and the nitrogen content of leaves. In general, species richness and diversity of both the foliar and soil fauna, as well as the size of organisms belonging to higher trophic levels, were affected by vegetation cover and primary productivity at each site. These findings highlight the need to simultaneously consider at least four trophic levels (soil organisms, plants, herbivores, and natural enemies) to better understand

  6. Salmon carcasses increase stream productivity more than inorganic fertilizer pellets: A test on multiple trophic levels in streamside experimental channels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wipfli, Mark S.; Hudson, John P.; Caouette, John P.; Mitchell, N.L.; Lessard, Joanna L.; Heintz, Ron A.; Chaloner, D.T.

    2010-01-01

    Inorganic nutrient amendments to streams are viewed as possible restoration strategies for re-establishing nutrients and stream productivity throughout the western coast of North America, where salmon runs and associated marine-derived nutrient subsidies have declined. In a mesocosm experiment, we examined the short-term (6 weeks) comparative effects of artificial nutrient pellets and salmon carcasses, alone (low and high amounts) and in combination, on stream food webs. Response variables included dissolved nutrient concentrations, biofilm ash-free dry mass (AFDM) and chlorophyll-alevels, macroinvertebrate density, growth and body condition of juvenile coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch, and whole-body lipid content of invertebrates and juvenile coho salmon. Most of the response variables were significantly influenced by carcass treatment; the only response variable significantly influenced by fertilizer pellet treatment was soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) concentration. Ammonium-nitrogen concentration was the only response variable affected by both (low and high) levels of carcass treatment; all others showed no significant response to the two carcass treatment levels. Significant treatment × time interactions were observed for all responses except nitrate; for most responses, significant treatment effects were detected at certain time periods and not others. For example, significantly higher SRP concentrations were recorded earlier in the experiment, whereas significant fish responses were observed later. These results provide evidence that inorganic nutrient additions do not have the same ecological effects in streams as do salmon carcasses, potentially because inorganic nutrient additions lack carbon-based biochemicals and macromolecules that are sequestered directly or indirectly by consumers. Salmon carcasses, preferably deposited naturally during spawning migrations, appear to be far superior to inorganic nutrient amendments for sustaining and restoring

  7. Multiple rare variants in NPC1L1 associated with reduced sterol absorption and plasma low-density lipoprotein levels

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Jonathan C.; Pertsemlidis, Alexander; Fahmi, Saleemah; Esmail, Sophie; Vega, Gloria L.; Grundy, Scott M.; Hobbs, Helen H.

    2006-01-01

    An approach to understand quantitative traits was recently proposed based on the finding that nonsynonymous (NS) sequence variants in certain genes are preferentially enriched at one extreme of the population distribution. The NS variants, although individually rare, are cumulatively frequent and influence quantitative traits, such as plasma lipoprotein levels. Here, we use the NS variant technique to demonstrate that genetic variation in NPC1L1 contributes to variability in cholesterol absorption and plasma levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs). The ratio of plasma campesterol (a plant sterol) to lathosterol (a cholesterol precursor) was used to estimate relative cholesterol absorption in a population-based study. Nonsynonymous sequence variations in NPC1L1 were five times more common in low absorbers (n = 26 of 256) than in high absorbers (n = 5 of 256) (P < 0.001). The rare variants identified in low absorbers were found in 6% of 1,832 African-Americans and were associated with lower plasma levels of LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) (96 ± 36 mg/dl vs. 105 ± 36 mg/dl; P = 0.005). These data, together with prior findings, reveal a genetic architecture for LDL-C levels that does not conform to current models for quantitative traits and indicate that a significant fraction of genetic variance in LDL-C is due to multiple alleles with modest effects that are present at low frequencies in the population. PMID:16449388

  8. [Application of land economic ecological niche in landscape pattern analysis at county level: A case study of Jinghe County in Xinjiang, China].

    PubMed

    Yu, Hai-yang; Zhang, Fei; Wang, Juan; Zhou, Mei

    2015-12-01

    The theory of land economic ecological niche was used to analyze the regional landscape pattern in this article, with an aim to provide a new method for the characterization and representation of landscape pattern. The Jinghe County region, which is ecologically fragile, was selected as an example for the study, and the Landsat images of 1990, 1998, 2011 and 2013 were selected as remote sensing data. The land economic ecological niche of land use types calculated by ecostate-ecorole theory, combined with landscape ecology theory, was discussed in application of land economic ecological niche in county landscape pattern analysis. The results showed that, during the study period, the correlations between land economic ecological niche of farmland, construction land, and grassland with the parameters, including landscape patch number (NP), aggregated index (AI), fragmented index (FN) and fractal dimension (FD), were significant. Regional landscape was driven by the changes of land economic ecological niche, and the trend of economic development could be represented by land economic ecological niche change in Jinghe County. Land economic ecological niche was closely related with the land use types which could yield direct economic benefits, which could well explain the landscape pattern characteristics in Jinghe County when combined with the landscape indices.

  9. High level multiple antibiotic resistance among fish surface associated bacterial populations in non-aquaculture freshwater environment.

    PubMed

    Ozaktas, Tugba; Taskin, Bilgin; Gozen, Ayse G

    2012-12-01

    Freshwater fish, Alburnus alburnus (bleak), were captured from Lake Mogan, situated in Ankara, during spring. The surface mucus of the fish was collected and associated bacteria were cultured and isolated. By sequencing PCR-amplified 16S RNA encoding genes, the isolates were identified as members of 12 different genera: Acinetobacter, Aeromonas, Bacillus, Brevundimonas, Gordonia, Kocuria, Microbacterium, Mycobacterium, Pseudomonas, Rhodococcus, and Staphylococcus, in addition to one strain that was unidentified. The mucus-dwelling bacterial isolates were tested for resistance against ampicillin, kanamycin, streptomycin and chloramphenicol. About 95% of the isolates were found to be resistant to ampicillin, 93% to chloramphenicol, and 88% to kanamycin and streptomycin. A Microbacterium oxydans and the unidentified environmental isolate were resistant to all four antibiotics tested at very high levels (>1600 μg/ml ampicillin and streptomycin; >1120 μg/ml kanamycin; >960 μg/ml chloramphenicol). Only a Kocuria sp. was sensitive to all four antibiotics at the lowest concentrations tested (3.10 μg/ml ampicillin and streptomycin; 2.15 μg/ml kanamycin; 1.85 μg/ml chloramphenicol). The rest of the isolates showed different resistance levels. Plasmid isolations were carried out to determine if the multiple antibiotic resistance could be attributed to the presence of plasmids. However, no plasmid was detected in any of the isolates. The resistance appeared to be mediated by chromosome-associated functions. This study indicated that multiple antibiotic resistance at moderate to high levels is common among the current phenotypes of the fish mucus-dwelling bacterial populations in this temperate, shallow lake which has not been subjected to any aquaculturing so far but under anthropogenic effect being in a recreational area.

  10. [Ecological risk assessment and its management of Bailongjiang watershed, southern Gansu based on landscape pattern].

    PubMed

    Gong, Jie; Zhao, Cai-Xia; Xie, Yu-Chu; Gao, Yan-Jing

    2014-07-01

    Watershed ecological risk assessment is an important research subject of watershed ecological protection and environmental management. Research on the ecological risk focuses on addressing the influence of human activities and its spatial variation at watershed scale is vital to policy-making to control the impact of human activity and protocols for sustainable economic and societal development. A comprehensive ecological environment index, incorporating a landscape index and an assessment of ecological vulnerability, was put forward to assess the spatio-temporal characteristics of ecological risk of the Bailongjiang watershed, southern Gansu Province, Northwest China. Using ArcGIS and Fragstats software and a land use map of 2010, an ecological risk map was obtained through spatial sampling and disjunctive Kriging interpolation. The results indicated that there were some obvious spatial differences of ecological risk levels in the watershed. The ecological risk level of the north and northwest of the Bailongjiang was higher than that of the western and southern extremities of the watershed. Ecological risk index (ERI) of Wudu and Tanchang was higher than that of Wenxian and Diebu. Some measures for ecological risk management were put forward on the basis of ERI of Bailongjiang watershed. To strengthen the integrated management of human activities and land use in the watershed, to carry out the vegetation restoration and ecological reconstruction, and to reduce the ecological risks and hazards of irrational human disturbance, are vital to the realization 'multiple-win' of the economic, social and ecological protection and for the sustainable development in the hilly area in southern Gansu.

  11. Multiple kernel based feature and decision level fusion of iECO individuals for explosive hazard detection in FLIR imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, Stanton R.; Murray, Bryce; Hu, Lequn; Anderson, Derek T.; Havens, Timothy C.; Luke, Robert H.; Keller, James M.

    2016-05-01

    A serious threat to civilians and soldiers is buried and above ground explosive hazards. The automatic detection of such threats is highly desired. Many methods exist for explosive hazard detection, e.g., hand-held based sensors, downward and forward looking vehicle mounted platforms, etc. In addition, multiple sensors are used to tackle this extreme problem, such as radar and infrared (IR) imagery. In this article, we explore the utility of feature and decision level fusion of learned features for forward looking explosive hazard detection in IR imagery. Specifically, we investigate different ways to fuse learned iECO features pre and post multiple kernel (MK) support vector machine (SVM) based classification. Three MK strategies are explored; fixed rule, heuristics and optimization-based. Performance is assessed in the context of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves on data from a U.S. Army test site that contains multiple target and clutter types, burial depths and times of day. Specifically, the results reveal two interesting things. First, the different MK strategies appear to indicate that the different iECO individuals are all more-or-less important and there is not a dominant feature. This is reinforcing as our hypothesis was that iECO provides different ways to approach target detection. Last, we observe that while optimization-based MK is mathematically appealing, i.e., it connects the learning of the fusion to the underlying classification problem we are trying to solve, it appears to be highly susceptible to over fitting and simpler, e.g., fixed rule and heuristics approaches help us realize more generalizable iECO solutions.

  12. The Ecological Education of Preschool Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nikolaeva, S. N.

    2008-01-01

    The system of ecological education of preschool children includes multiple interconnected blocks that cover all aspects of the ecological pedagogical process in a preschool institution: the content of the ecological education, the ways it is conducted (methods and technologies), and the organization and management of the process.

  13. Evaluation of TNF-α serum level in patients with recalcitrant multiple common warts, treated by lipid garlic extract.

    PubMed

    Kenawy, Soha; Mohammed, Ghada Farouk; Younes, Soha; Elakhras, Atef Ibrahim

    2014-01-01

    No universal consensus about optimal modality for treating the recalcitrant multiple common warts (RMCW). The objective of the study was to evaluate the immunological mechanisms and clinical therapeutic effect of using lipid garlic extract (LGE) in the treatment of RMCW. The study included 50 patients with RMCW. They were randomly assigned into two groups: the first group (25 patients) received LGE, and the second group (25 patients) received saline as a control group. In both groups, treatments were made to single lesions, or largest wart in case of multiple lesions, until complete clearance of lesions or for a maximum of 4 weeks. Blood serum was taken at pre-study and at the fourth week to measure tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) level. A significant difference was found between the therapeutic responses of RMCW to LGE antigen and saline control group (p < 0.001). In the LGE group, complete response was achieved in 96% of patients presenting with RMCW. There was a statistically nonsignificant increase in TNF-α of LGE group versus saline group. No recurrence was observed in the LGE group. LGE as an immunotherapy is an inexpensive, effective, and safe modality with good cure rates for treatment of RMCWs, when other topical or physical therapies have failed.

  14. Physiological ecology meets climate change.

    PubMed

    Bozinovic, Francisco; Pörtner, Hans-Otto

    2015-03-01

    In this article, we pointed out that understanding the physiology of differential climate change effects on organisms is one of the many urgent challenges faced in ecology and evolutionary biology. We explore how physiological ecology can contribute to a holistic view of climate change impacts on organisms and ecosystems and their evolutionary responses. We suggest that theoretical and experimental efforts not only need to improve our understanding of thermal limits to organisms, but also to consider multiple stressors both on land and in the oceans. As an example, we discuss recent efforts to understand the effects of various global change drivers on aquatic ectotherms in the field that led to the development of the concept of oxygen and capacity limited thermal tolerance (OCLTT) as a framework integrating various drivers and linking organisational levels from ecosystem to organism, tissue, cell, and molecules. We suggest seven core objectives of a comprehensive research program comprising the interplay among physiological, ecological, and evolutionary approaches for both aquatic and terrestrial organisms. While studies of individual aspects are already underway in many laboratories worldwide, integration of these findings into conceptual frameworks is needed not only within one organism group such as animals but also across organism domains such as Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya. Indeed, development of unifying concepts is relevant for interpreting existing and future findings in a coherent way and for projecting the future ecological and evolutionary effects of climate change on functional biodiversity. We also suggest that OCLTT may in the end and from an evolutionary point of view, be able to explain the limited thermal tolerance of metazoans when compared to other organisms.

  15. New Frontiers in Nematode Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Ferris, Howard

    1993-01-01

    Future areas of emphasis for research and scholarship in nematode ecology are indicated by pressing agricultural and environmental issues, by new directions in applied nematology, and by current technological advances. Studies in nematode ecology must extend beyond observation, counting, and simple statistical analysis. Experimentation and the testing of hypotheses are needed for understanding the biological mechanisms of ecological systems. Opportunities for fruitful experimentation in nematode ecology are emerging at the ecosystem, community, population, and individual levels. Nematode ecologists will best promote their field of study by closely monitoring and participating in the advances, initiatives, developments, and directions in the larger field of ecology. PMID:19279783

  16. Bone Marrow Urokinase Plasminogen Activator Receptor Levels are Associated with the Progress of Multiple Myeloma(△).

    PubMed

    Shou, Li-Hong; Cao, Dan; Dong, Xiao-Hui; Fang, Qiu; Xu, Bao-Lian; Fei, Ju-Ping

    2016-09-20

    Objective To determine the mRNA and protein levels of urokinase plasminogen activator receptors (uPAR) in bone marrow fluid and bone marrow tissue from multiple myeloma (MM) patients and assess association of uPAR level with prognosis of MM. Methods uPAR levels in bone marrow fluid of 22 MM patients at the stable and progressive stages and 18 iron deficiency anemia patients with normal bone marrow (control) were examined by ELISA. Furthermore, uPAR expression in bone marrow tissue was investigated by RT-PCR and Western blot, respectively. The distribution of uPAR in MM cells was examined using immunofluorescence staining. The pathological changes in different stages of MM patients were studied by HE staining. Results uPAR level in bone marrow fluid of MM patients (1.52±0.32 μg/ml) was found to be higher than that in the control group (0.98±0.15 μg/ml). Interestingly, uPAR protein (0.686±0.075 vs. 0.372±0.043, P<0.05) and mRNA (2.51±0.46 vs. 4.46±1.15, P<0.05) expression levels of MM patients at the progressive stage were significantly higher than those at the stable stage. The expression of uPAR in MM bone marrow was confirmed by immunofluorescence staining. Moreover, HE staining revealed a great increased number of nucleated cells and severe impairment of hematopoietic function in the bone marrow of patients with progressive-stage myeloma. Conclusion Our study reveals that uPAR expression is positively correlated with the development and progress of MM.

  17. A New Less Invasive Technique for Multiple-Level Spontaneous Spinal Epidural Hematomas: Wash-and-Go Technique.

    PubMed

    Tanriverdi, Osman; Gungor, Abuzer; Coban, Mustafa Kemal; Okay, Onder; Kamaci, Umit

    2017-03-01

    Aim Spinal epidural hematomas are rare entity in neurosurgery practice. Most of them are spontaneous due to anticoagulant therapy and called spontaneous spinal epidural hematomas (SSEHs). Laminectomy or hemilaminectomy for affected levels is still the first choice in the operative treatment of an SSEH. We describe a new less invasive surgical technique, performing single-level laminectomy and washing with 0.9% sodium chloride through a thin soft catheter for a 12-level thoracic-cervical SSEH in a patient under anticoagulant therapy. Patient and Operative Technique A 55-year-old woman was brought to the emergency department with a rapid onset of pain in her upper back and both legs with weakness of her lower extremities. An urgent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the whole spine showed a SEH. During the operation, after T2 laminectomy, a thin soft catheter was epidurally placed under the T1 lamina and gently pushed forward rostrally. Then continuous saline irrigation was utilized and aspiration made via the catheter to wash out the hematoma. Drainage of blood was observed. The procedure was performed for 15 minutes. Then the catheter was epidurally placed under the T3 lamina, and the procedure for the hematoma in the lower segment was repeated. Decompression of spinal cord and nerve roots was observed. Result Postoperative early MRI of the thoracic-cervical spine showed gross total evacuation of the SEH. Accordingly, the patient's muscle strength improved. Conclusion Although multiple laminectomy or hemilaminectomy for affected levels to evacuate the hematoma and decompress the spinal cord is the main choice of surgical treatment, single-level laminectomy and irrigation plus aspiration via a thin soft catheter can be performed successfully with good results in SSEH.

  18. An internal ribosome entry site (IRES) mutant library for tuning expression level of multiple genes in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Koh, Esther Y C; Ho, Steven C L; Mariati; Song, Zhiwei; Bi, Xuezhi; Bardor, Muriel; Yang, Yuansheng

    2013-01-01

    A set of mutated Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) internal ribosome entry site (IRES) elements with varying strengths is generated by mutating the translation initiation codons of 10(th), 11(th), and 12(th) AUG to non-AUG triplets. They are able to control the relative expression of multiple genes over a wide range in mammalian cells in both transient and stable transfections. The relative strength of each IRES mutant remains similar in different mammalian cell lines and is not gene specific. The expressed proteins have correct molecular weights. Optimization of light chain over heavy chain expression by these IRES mutants enhances monoclonal antibody expression level and quality in stable transfections. Uses of this set of IRES mutants can be extended to other applications such as synthetic biology, investigating interactions between proteins and its complexes, cell engineering, multi-subunit protein production, gene therapy, and reprogramming of somatic cells into stem cells.

  19. Soil Ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Killham, Ken

    1994-04-01

    Soil Ecology is designed to meet the increasing challenge faced by today's environmental scientists, ecologists, agriculturalists, and biotechnologists for an integrated approach to soil ecology. It emphasizes the interrelations among plants, animals, and microbes, by first establishing the fundamental physical and chemical properties of the soil habitat and then functionally characterizing the major components of the soil biota and some of their most important interactions. The fundamental principles underpinning soil ecology are established and this then enables an integrated approach to explore and understand the processes of soil nutrient (carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus) cycling and the ecology of extreme soil conditions such as soil-water stress. Two of the most topical aspects of applied soil ecology are then selected. First, the ecology of soil pollution is examined, focusing on acid deposition and radionuclide pollution. Second, manipulation of soil ecology through biotechnology is discussed, illustrating the use of pesticides and microbial inocula in soils and pointing toward the future by considering the impact of genetically modified inocula on soil ecology.

  20. The increased level of COX-dependent arachidonic acid metabolism in blood platelets from secondary progressive multiple sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

    Morel, Agnieszka; Miller, Elzbieta; Bijak, Michal; Saluk, Joanna

    2016-09-01

    Platelet activation is increasingly postulated as a possible component of the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS), especially due to the increased risk of cardiovascular events in MS. Arachidonic acid cascade metabolized by cyclooxygenase (COX) is a key pathway of platelet activation. The aim of our study was to investigate the COX-dependent arachidonic acid metabolic pathway in blood platelets from secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SP MS) patients. The blood samples were obtained from 50 patients (man n = 22; female n = 28), suffering from SP MS, diagnosed according to the revised McDonald criteria. Platelet aggregation was measured in platelet-rich plasma after arachidonic acid stimulation. The level of COX activity and thromboxane B2 concentration were determined by ELISA method. Lipid peroxidation was assessed by measuring the level of malondialdehyde. The results were compared with a control group of healthy volunteers. We found that blood platelets obtained from SP MS patients were more sensitive to arachidonic acid and their response measured as platelet aggregation was stronger (about 14 %) relative to control. We also observed a significantly increased activity of COX (about 40 %) and synthesis of thromboxane B2 (about 113 %). The generation of malondialdehyde as a marker of lipid peroxidation was about 10 % higher in SP MS than in control. Cyclooxygenase-dependent arachidonic acid metabolism is significantly increased in blood platelets of patients with SP MS. Future clinical studies are required to recommend the use of low-dose aspirin, and possibly other COX inhibitors in the prevention of cardiovascular risk in MS.

  1. Clade-level Spatial Modelling of HPAI H5N1 Dynamics in the Mekong Region Reveals New Patterns and Associations with Agro-Ecological Factors.

    PubMed

    Artois, Jean; Newman, Scott H; Dhingra, Madhur S; Chaiban, Celia; Linard, Catherine; Cattoli, Giovanni; Monne, Isabella; Fusaro, Alice; Xenarios, Ioannis; Engler, Robin; Liechti, Robin; Kuznetsov, Dmitri; Pham, Thanh Long; Nguyen, Tung; Pham, Van Dong; Castellan, David; Von Dobschuetz, Sophie; Claes, Filip; Dauphin, Gwenaëlle; Inui, Ken; Gilbert, Marius

    2016-07-25

    The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus has been circulating in Asia since 2003 and diversified into several genetic lineages, or clades. Although the spatial distribution of its outbreaks was extensively studied, differences in clades were never previously taken into account. We developed models to quantify associations over time and space between different HPAI H5N1 viruses from clade 1, 2.3.4 and 2.3.2 and agro-ecological factors. We found that the distribution of clades in the Mekong region from 2004 to 2013 was strongly regionalised, defining specific epidemiological zones, or epizones. Clade 1 became entrenched in the Mekong Delta and was not supplanted by newer clades, in association with a relatively higher presence of domestic ducks. In contrast, two new clades were introduced (2.3.4 and 2.3.2) in northern Viet Nam and were associated with higher chicken density and more intensive chicken production systems. We suggest that differences in poultry production systems in these different epizones may explain these associations, along with differences in introduction pressure from neighbouring countries. The different distribution patterns found at the clade level would not be otherwise apparent through analysis treating all outbreaks equally, which requires improved linking of disease outbreak records and genetic sequence data.

  2. Environmental extremes versus ecological extremes: impact of a massive iceberg on the population dynamics of a high-level Antarctic marine predator†

    PubMed Central

    Chambert, Thierry; Rotella, Jay J.; Garrott, Robert A.

    2012-01-01

    Extreme events have been suggested to play a disproportionate role in shaping ecological processes, but our understanding of the types of environmental conditions that elicit extreme consequences in natural ecosystems is limited. Here, we investigated the impact of a massive iceberg on the dynamics of a population of Weddell seals. Reproductive rates of females were reduced, but survival appeared unaffected. We also found suggestive evidence for a prolonged shift towards higher variability in reproductive rates. The annual number of females attending colonies showed unusual swings during the iceberg period, a pattern that was apparently the consequence of changes in sea-ice conditions. In contrast to the dramatic effects that were recorded in nearby populations of emperor penguins, our results suggest that this unusual environmental event did not have an extreme impact on the population of seals in the short-term, as they managed to avoid survival costs and were able to rapidly re-achieve high levels of reproduction by the end of the perturbation. Nevertheless, population projections suggest that even this modest impact on reproductive rates could negatively affect the population in the long run if such events were to occur more frequently, as is predicted by models of climate change. PMID:23015628

  3. Clade-level Spatial Modelling of HPAI H5N1 Dynamics in the Mekong Region Reveals New Patterns and Associations with Agro-Ecological Factors

    PubMed Central

    Artois, Jean; Newman, Scott H.; Dhingra, Madhur S.; Chaiban, Celia; Linard, Catherine; Cattoli, Giovanni; Monne, Isabella; Fusaro, Alice; Xenarios, Ioannis; Engler, Robin; Liechti, Robin; Kuznetsov, Dmitri; Pham, Thanh Long; Nguyen, Tung; Pham, Van Dong; Castellan, David; Von Dobschuetz, Sophie; Claes, Filip; Dauphin, Gwenaëlle; Inui, Ken; Gilbert, Marius

    2016-01-01

    The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus has been circulating in Asia since 2003 and diversified into several genetic lineages, or clades. Although the spatial distribution of its outbreaks was extensively studied, differences in clades were never previously taken into account. We developed models to quantify associations over time and space between different HPAI H5N1 viruses from clade 1, 2.3.4 and 2.3.2 and agro-ecological factors. We found that the distribution of clades in the Mekong region from 2004 to 2013 was strongly regionalised, defining specific epidemiological zones, or epizones. Clade 1 became entrenched in the Mekong Delta and was not supplanted by newer clades, in association with a relatively higher presence of domestic ducks. In contrast, two new clades were introduced (2.3.4 and 2.3.2) in northern Viet Nam and were associated with higher chicken density and more intensive chicken production systems. We suggest that differences in poultry production systems in these different epizones may explain these associations, along with differences in introduction pressure from neighbouring countries. The different distribution patterns found at the clade level would not be otherwise apparent through analysis treating all outbreaks equally, which requires improved linking of disease outbreak records and genetic sequence data. PMID:27453195

  4. Preserved levels of uninvolved immunoglobulins are independently associated with favorable outcome in patients with symptomatic multiple myeloma.

    PubMed

    Kastritis, E; Zagouri, F; Symeonidis, A; Roussou, M; Sioni, A; Pouli, A; Delimpasi, S; Katodritou, E; Michalis, E; Michael, M; Hatzimichael, E; Vassou, A; Repousis, P; Christophoridou, A; Kartasis, Z; Stefanoudaki, E; Megalakaki, C; Giannouli, S; Kyrtsonis, M-C; Konstantopoulos, K; Spyroupoulou-Vlachou, M; Terpos, E; Dimopoulos, M A

    2014-10-01

    Suppression of uninvolved immunoglobulins is common in multiple myeloma (MM) but the prognostic significance of this phenomenon has not been assessed. We evaluated the prognostic significance of the preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins in 1755 consecutive, unselected, patients with newly diagnosed, symptomatic MM with pre-therapy immunoglobulin levels measured by nephelometry. Suppression of at least one uninvolved immunoglobulin was observed in 87% of patients and was more common in patients with immunoglobulin A myeloma, those aged over 65 years, in patients with advanced-International Staging System (ISS) stage, extensive-bone marrow infiltration, anemia, low platelet counts, high levels of serum M-monoclonal protein or renal dysfunction. Patients with preserved immunoglobulins had a better survival than patients with suppressed immunoglobulins (median survival 55 vs 41.5 months, P<0.001). In multivariate analysis, preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins was independently associated with better survival (hazard ratio: 0.781, 95% confidence interval: 0.618-0.987, P=0.039); irrespective of the treatment. In a subset of 500 patients, which were strictly followed for disease progression, preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins was associated with a significantly longer progression-free survival (60 vs 25 months, P<0.001), independently of other common prognostic factors. In conclusion, preservation of uninvolved immunoglobulins in newly diagnosed patients with symptomatic MM was independently associated with long term disease control and improved survival.

  5. A genome-wide study of DNA methylation patterns and gene expression levels in multiple human and chimpanzee tissues.

    PubMed

    Pai, Athma A; Bell, Jordana T; Marioni, John C; Pritchard, Jonathan K; Gilad, Yoav

    2011-02-01

    The modification of DNA by methylation is an important epigenetic mechanism that affects the spatial and temporal regulation of gene expression. Methylation patterns have been described in many contexts within and across a range of species. However, the extent to which changes in methylation might underlie inter-species differences in gene regulation, in particular between humans and other primates, has not yet been studied. To this end, we studied DNA methylation patterns in livers, hearts, and kidneys from multiple humans and chimpanzees, using tissue samples for which genome-wide gene expression data were also available. Using the multi-species gene expression and methylation data for 7,723 genes, we were able to study the role of promoter DNA methylation in the evolution of gene regulation across tissues and species. We found that inter-tissue methylation patterns are often conserved between humans and chimpanzees. However, we also found a large number of gene expression differences between species that might be explained, at least in part, by corresponding differences in methylation levels. In particular, we estimate that, in the tissues we studied, inter-species differences in promoter methylation might underlie as much as 12%-18% of differences in gene expression levels between humans and chimpanzees.

  6. Modeling the reliability of a class of fault-tolerant VLSI/WSI systems based on multiple-level redundancy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yung-Yuan; Upadhyaya, Shambhu J.

    1994-06-01

    A class of fault-tolerant Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) and Wafer Scale Integration (WSI) schemes, called the multiple-level redundancy, which incorporates both hierarchical and element level redundancy has been proposed for the design of high yield and high reliability large area array processors. The residual redundancy left unused after successfully reconfiguring and eliminating the manufacturing defects can be used to improve the operational reliability of a system. Since existing techniques for the analysis of the effect of residual redundancy on reliability improvement are not applicable, we present a new hierarchical model to estimate the reliability of the systems designed by our approach. Our model emphasizes the effect of support circuit (interconnection) failures on system reliability, leading to more accurate analysis. We discuss two area prediction models, one based on the regular WSI process, another based on the advanced WSI process, to estimate the area-related parameters. This analysis gives an insight into the practical implementations of fault-tolerant schemes in VLSI/WSI technology. Results of a computer experiment conducted to validate our models are also discussed.

  7. Ecological Inference

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, Gary; Rosen, Ori; Tanner, Martin A.

    2004-09-01

    This collection of essays brings together a diverse group of scholars to survey the latest strategies for solving ecological inference problems in various fields. The last half-decade has witnessed an explosion of research in ecological inference--the process of trying to infer individual behavior from aggregate data. Although uncertainties and information lost in aggregation make ecological inference one of the most problematic types of research to rely on, these inferences are required in many academic fields, as well as by legislatures and the Courts in redistricting, by business in marketing research, and by governments in policy analysis.

  8. Linking stressors and ecological responses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gentile, J.H.; Solomon, K.R.; Butcher, J.B.; Harrass, M.; Landis, W.G.; Power, M.; Rattner, B.A.; Warren-Hicks, W.J.; Wenger, R.; Foran, Jeffery A.; Ferenc, Susan A.

    1999-01-01

    To characterize risk, it is necessary to quantify the linkages and interactions between chemical, physical and biological stressors and endpoints in the conceptual framework for ecological risk assessment (ERA). This can present challenges in a multiple stressor analysis, and it will not always be possible to develop a quantitative stressor-response profile. This review commences with a conceptual representation of the problem of developing a linkage analysis for multiple stressors and responses. The remainder of the review surveys a variety of mathematical and statistical methods (e.g., ranking methods, matrix models, multivariate dose-response for mixtures, indices, visualization, simulation modeling and decision-oriented methods) for accomplishing the linkage analysis for multiple stressors. Describing the relationships between multiple stressors and ecological effects are critical components of 'effects assessment' in the ecological risk assessment framework.

  9. Cognitive ecology.

    PubMed

    Hutchins, Edwin

    2010-10-01

    Cognitive ecology is the study of cognitive phenomena in context. In particular, it points to the web of mutual dependence among the elements of a cognitive ecosystem. At least three fields were taking a deeply ecological approach to cognition 30 years ago: Gibson's ecological psychology, Bateson's ecology of mind, and Soviet cultural-historical activity theory. The ideas developed in those projects have now found a place in modern views of embodied, situated, distributed cognition. As cognitive theory continues to shift from units of analysis defined by inherent properties of the elements to units defined in terms of dynamic patterns of correlation across elements, the study of cognitive ecosystems will become an increasingly important part of cognitive science.

  10. A hybrid semi-automatic method for liver segmentation based on level-set methods using multiple seed points.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaopeng; Yu, Hee Chul; Choi, Younggeun; Lee, Wonsup; Wang, Baojian; Yang, Jaedo; Hwang, Hongpil; Kim, Ji Hyun; Song, Jisoo; Cho, Baik Hwan; You, Heecheon

    2014-01-01

    The present study developed a hybrid semi-automatic method to extract the liver from abdominal computerized tomography (CT) images. The proposed hybrid method consists of a customized fast-marching level-set method for detection of an optimal initial liver region from multiple seed points selected by the user and a threshold-based level-set method for extraction of the actual liver region based on the initial liver region. The performance of the hybrid method was compared with those of the 2D region growing method implemented in OsiriX using abdominal CT datasets of 15 patients. The hybrid method showed a significantly higher accuracy in liver extraction (similarity index, SI=97.6 ± 0.5%; false positive error, FPE = 2.2 ± 0.7%; false negative error, FNE=2.5 ± 0.8%; average symmetric surface distance, ASD=1.4 ± 0.5mm) than the 2D (SI=94.0 ± 1.9%; FPE = 5.3 ± 1.1%; FNE=6.5 ± 3.7%; ASD=6.7 ± 3.8mm) region growing method. The total liver extraction time per CT dataset of the hybrid method (77 ± 10 s) is significantly less than the 2D region growing method (575 ± 136 s). The interaction time per CT dataset between the user and a computer of the hybrid method (28 ± 4 s) is significantly shorter than the 2D region growing method (484 ± 126 s). The proposed hybrid method was found preferred for liver segmentation in preoperative virtual liver surgery planning.

  11. High levels of mercury contamination in multiple media of the Carson River drainage basin of Nevada: implications for risk assessment.

    PubMed Central

    Gustin, M S; Taylor, G E; Leonard, T L

    1994-01-01

    Approximately 5.5 x 109 g (4.0 x 105) of mercury was discharged into the Carson River Drainage Basin of west-central Nevada during processing of the gold- and silver-rich Comstock ore in the late 1800s. For the past 13 decades, mercury has been redistributed throughout 500 km2 of the basin, and concentrations are some of the highest reported values in North America. This article documents the concentrations of mercury in the air, water, and substrate at both contaminated and noncontaminated sites within the basin and discusses the implications for risk assessment. At contaminated areas, the range of mercury concentrations are as follows: mill tailings, 3-1610 micrograms/g; unfiltered reservoir water, 53-591 ng/l; atmospheric vapor, 2-294 ng/m3. These values are three to five orders of magnitude greater than natural background. In all media at contaminated sites, concentrations are spatially variable, and air and water mercury concentrations vary temporally. The study are in situated in a natural mercuriferous belt, and regional background mercury concentrations in all environmental media are higher than values typically cited for natural background. As a mercury-contaminated site in North America, the Carson River Drainage Basin is unusual for a number of reasons, including its location in a natural mercuriferous belt, high and sustained levels of anthropogenic mercury inputs, long exposure time, aridity of the climate, and the riparian setting in an arid landscape, where biological activity is concentrated in the same areas that contain high levels of mercury in multiple media. Images Figure 1. Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4. Figure 4. Figure 4. PMID:9657709

  12. Seasonal variations of 25-OH vitamin D serum levels are associated with clinical disease activity in multiple sclerosis patients.

    PubMed

    Hartl, Christina; Obermeier, Viola; Gerdes, Lisa Ann; Brügel, Mathias; von Kries, Rüdiger; Kümpfel, Tania

    2017-04-15

    Low 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25-[OH]-D) serum concentrations have been associated with higher disease activity in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. In a large cross-sectional study we assessed the vitamin D status in MS patients in relation to seasonality and relapse rate. 415 MS-patients (355 relapsing-remitting MS and 60 secondary-progressive, 282 female, mean age 39.1years) of whom 25-(OH)-D serum concentrations were determined at visits between 2010 and 2013 were included in the study. All clinical data including relapse at visit and expanded disability status scale were recorded in a standardized manner by an experienced neurologist. Seasonal variations of 25-(OH)-D serum concentrations were modelled by sinusoidal regression and seasonal variability in the prevalence of relapse by cubic regression. The mean 25-(OH)-D serum concentration was 24.8ng/ml (range 8.3-140ng/ml) with peak levels of 32.2ng/ml in July/August and nadir in January/February (17.2ng/ml). The lowest modelled prevalence of relapse was in September/October (28%) and the highest modelled prevalence in March/April (47%). The nadir of 25-(OH)-D serum concentrations preceded the peak in prevalence of relapses by two months. In summary, seasonal variation of 25-(OH)-D serum levels were inversely associated with clinical disease activity in MS patients. Future studies should investigate whether vitamin D supplementation in MS patients may decrease the seasonal risk for MS relapses.

  13. Enhanced high-level Petri nets with multiple colors for knowledge verification/validation of rule-based expert systems.

    PubMed

    Wu, C H; Lee, S J

    1997-01-01

    Exploring the properties of rule-based expert systems through Petri net models has received a lot of attention. Traditional Petri nets provide a straightforward but inadequate method for knowledge verification/validation of rule-based expert systems. We propose an enhanced high-level Petri net model in which variables and negative information can be represented and processed properly. Rule inference is modeled exactly and some important aspects in rule-based systems (RBSs), such as conservation of facts, refraction, and closed-world assumption, are considered in this model. With the coloring scheme proposed in this paper, the tasks involved in checking the logic structure and output correctness of an RES are formally investigated. We focus on the detection of redundancy, conflicts, cycles, unnecessary conditions, dead ends, and unreachable goals in an RES. These knowledge verification/validation (KVV) tasks are formulated as the reachability problem and improper knowledge can be detected by solving a set of equations with respect to multiple colors. The complexity of our method is discussed and a comparison of our model with other Petri net models is presented.

  14. The Synthetic Immunomodulator Murabutide Controls Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Replication at Multiple Levels in Macrophages and Dendritic Cells

    PubMed Central

    Darcissac, Edith C. A.; Truong, Marie-José; Dewulf, Joëlle; Mouton, Yves; Capron, André; Bahr, George M.

    2000-01-01

    Macrophages and dendritic cells are known to play an important role in the establishment and persistence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Besides antiretroviral therapy, several immune-based interventions are being evaluated with the aim of achieving better control of virus replication in reservoir cells. Murabutide is a safe synthetic immunomodulator presenting a capacity to enhance nonspecific resistance against viral infections and to target cells of the reticuloendothelial system. In this study, we have examined the ability of Murabutide to control HIV type 1 (HIV-1) replication in acutely infected monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) and dendritic cells (MDDCs). Highly significant suppression of viral replication was consistently observed in Murabutide-treated cultures of both cell types. Murabutide did not affect virus entry, reverse transcriptase activity, or early proviral DNA formation in the cytoplasm of infected cells. However, treated MDMs and MDDCs showed a dramatic reduction in nuclear viral two-long terminal repeat circular form and viral mRNA transcripts. This HIV-1-suppressive activity was not mediated by inhibiting cellular DNA synthesis or by activating p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. Furthermore, Murabutide-stimulated cells expressed reduced CD4 and CCR5 receptors and secreted high levels of β-chemokines, although neutralization of the released chemokines did not alter the HIV-1-suppressive activity of Murabutide. These results provide evidence that a clinically acceptable immunomodulator can activate multiple effector pathways in macrophages and in dendritic cells, rendering them nonpermissive for HIV-1 replication. PMID:10933686

  15. Application of the soil-ecological multiplicative index to assess suitability of Cis-Ural chernozems for cultivation with due account for economic parameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levykin, S. V.; Chibilev, A. A.; Kazachkov, G. V.; Petrishchev, V. P.

    2017-02-01

    The evolution of Russian concepts concerning the assessment of soil suitability for cultivation in relation to several campaigns on large-scale plowing of virgin steppe soils is examined. The major problems of agricultural land use in steppe areas—preservation of rainfed farming in the regions with increasing climatic risks, underestimation of the potential of arable lands in land cadaster assessments, and much lower factual yields in comparison with potential yields—are considered. It is suggested that the assessments of arable lands should be performed on the basis of the soil-ecological index (SEI) developed by I. Karmanov with further conversion of SEI values into nominal monetary values. Under conditions of land reforms and economic reforms, it is important to determine suitability of steppe chernozems for plowing and economic feasibility of their use for crop growing in dependence on macroeconomic parameters. This should support decisions on optimization of land use in the steppe zone on the basis of the principles suggested by V. Dokuchaev. The developed approach for assessing soil suitability for cultivation was tested in the subzone of herbaceous-fescue-feather grass steppes in the Cis-Ural part of Orenburg oblast and used for the assessment of soil suitability for cultivation in the southern and southeastern regions of Orenburg oblast.

  16. No effect of seed source on multiple aspects of ecosystem functioning during ecological restoration: cultivars compared to local ecotypes of dominant grasses

    PubMed Central

    Baer, Sara G; Gibson, David J; Gustafson, Danny J; Benscoter, Allison M; Reed, Lewis K; Campbell, Ryan E; Klopf, Ryan P; Willand, Jason E; Wodika, Ben R

    2014-01-01

    Genetic principles underlie recommendations to use local seed, but a paucity of information exists on the genetic distinction and ecological consequences of using different seed sources in restorations. We established a field experiment to test whether cultivars and local ecotypes of dominant prairie grasses were genetically distinct and differentially influenced ecosystem functioning. Whole plots were assigned to cultivar and local ecotype grass sources. Three subplots within each whole plot were seeded to unique pools of subordinate species. The cultivar of the increasingly dominant grass, Sorghastrum nutans, was genetically different than the local ecotype, but genetic diversity was similar between the two sources. There were no differences in aboveground net primary production, soil carbon accrual, and net nitrogen mineralization rate in soil between the grass sources. Comparable productivity of the grass sources among the species pools for four years shows functional equivalence in terms of biomass production. Subordinate species comprised over half the aboveground productivity, which may have diluted the potential for documented trait differences between the grass sources to influence ecosystem processes. Regionally developed cultivars may be a suitable alternative to local ecotypes for restoration in fragmented landscapes with limited gene flow between natural and restored prairie and negligible recruitment by seed. PMID:24567751

  17. Ecological survey for the siting of the Mixed and Low-Level Waste Treatment Facility and the Idaho Waste Processing Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Hoskinson, R.L.

    1994-05-01

    This report summarizes the results of field ecological surveys conducted by the Center for Integrated Environmental Technologies (CIET) on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) at four candidate locations for the siting of the Mixed and Low-Level Waste Treatment Facility (MLLWTF) and the Idaho Waste Processing Facility (IWPF). The purpose of these surveys was to comply with all Federal laws and Executive Orders to identify and evaluate any potential environmental impacts because of the project. The boundaries of the candidate location were marked with blaze-orange lath survey marker stakes by the project management. Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements of the marker stakes were made, and input to the Arc/Info{reg_sign} geographic information system (GIS). Field surveys were conducted to assess any potential impact to any important species, important habitats, and to any environmental study areas. The GIS location data was overlayed onto the INEL vegetation map and an analysis of vegetation classes on the locations was done. Results of the field surveys indicate use of Candidate Location {number_sign}1 by pygmy rabbits (Sylvilagus idahoensis) and expected use by them of Candidate Locations {number_sign}3 and {number_sign}9. Pygmy rabbits are categorized as a C2 species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Two other C2 species, the ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis) and the loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) would also be expected to frequent the candidate locations. Candidate Location {number_sign}5 at the north end of the INEL is in the winter range of a large number of pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana).

  18. What Happened to Gray Whales during the Pleistocene? The Ecological Impact of Sea-Level Change on Benthic Feeding Areas in the North Pacific Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Pyenson, Nicholas D.; Lindberg, David R.

    2011-01-01

    Background Gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) undertake long migrations, from Baja California to Alaska, to feed on seasonally productive benthos of the Bering and Chukchi seas. The invertebrates that form their primary prey are restricted to shallow water environments, but global sea-level changes during the Pleistocene eliminated or reduced this critical habitat multiple times. Because the fossil record of gray whales is coincident with the onset of Northern Hemisphere glaciation, gray whales survived these massive changes to their feeding habitat, but it is unclear how. Methodology/Principal Findings We reconstructed gray whale carrying capacity fluctuations during the past 120,000 years by quantifying gray whale feeding habitat availability using bathymetric data for the North Pacific Ocean, constrained by their maximum diving depth. We calculated carrying capacity based on modern estimates of metabolic demand, prey availability, and feeding duration; we also constrained our estimates to reflect current population size and account for glaciated and non-glaciated areas in the North Pacific. Our results show that key feeding areas eliminated by sea-level lowstands were not replaced by commensurate areas. Our reconstructions show that such reductions affected carrying capacity, and harmonic means of these fluctuations do not differ dramatically from genetic estimates of carrying capacity. Conclusions/Significance Assuming current carrying capacity estimates, Pleistocene glacial maxima may have created multiple, weak genetic bottlenecks, although the current temporal resolution of genetic datasets does not test for such signals. Our results do not, however, falsify molecular estimates of pre-whaling population size because those abundances would have been sufficient to survive the loss of major benthic feeding areas (i.e., the majority of the Bering Shelf) during glacial maxima. We propose that gray whales survived the disappearance of their primary feeding ground

  19. Ecological epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Kilvitis, Holly J; Alvarez, Mariano; Foust, Christy M; Schrey, Aaron W; Robertson, Marta; Richards, Christina L

    2014-01-01

    Biologists have assumed that heritable variation due to DNA sequence differences (i.e., genetic variation) allows populations of organisms to be both robust and adaptable to extreme environmental conditions. Natural selection acts on the variation among different genotypes and ultimately changes the genetic composition of the population. While there is compelling evidence about the importance of genetic polymorphisms, evidence is accumulating that epigenetic mechanisms (e.g., chromatin modifications, DNA methylation) can affect ecologically important traits, even in the absence of genetic variation. In this chapter, we review this evidence and discuss the consequences of epigenetic variation in natural populations. We begin by defining the term epigenetics, providing a brief overview of various epigenetic mechanisms, and noting the potential importance of epigenetics in the study of ecology. We continue with a review of the ecological epigenetics literature to demonstrate what is currently known about the amount and distribution of epigenetic variation in natural populations. Then, we consider the various ecological contexts in which epigenetics has proven particularly insightful and discuss the potential evolutionary consequences of epigenetic variation. Finally, we conclude with suggestions for future directions of ecological epigenetics research.

  20. Towards an ecological understanding of mutual-help groups: the social ecology of "fit".

    PubMed

    Maton, K I

    1989-12-01

    Adopted an ecological framework to view mutual-help groups, and illustrated its usefulness by examining aspects of the social ecology of "fit" among 163 members of Compassionate Friends (bereaved parents; CF), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and Overeaters Anonymous (OA) groups. Concerning person-group fit, personal Spirituality was positively related to (a) Providing Support, and to (b) Group Satisfaction for members of a group whose helping ecology emphasized "reliance on a higher power" (OA). (Contrary to prediction, the relationship with Group Satisfaction was also manifest for members of MS). Furthermore, OA members reported higher levels of Spirituality than CF members. Concerning helping mechanism-focal problem fit, Friendship Development was positively related to Group Satisfaction only for individuals with a focal problem characterized by high levels of social network disruption (MS). In addition, Time in Group was inversely related to Depression for members of life stress (CF) and medical disorder (MS) groups, but not for members of a "behavioral control" type group (OA). The implications of the ecological perspective for future research are discussed.

  1. Particulate air pollution and chronic ischemic heart disease in the eastern United States: a county level ecological study using satellite aerosol data

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background There are several known factors that cause ischemic heart disease. However, the part played by air pollution still remains something of a mystery. Recent attention has focused on the chronic effect of particulate matter on heart disease. Satellite-derived aerosol optical depth (AOD) was found to be correlated with PM2.5 in the eastern US. The objective of this study was to examine if there is an association between aerosol air pollution as indicated by AOD and chronic ischemic heart disease (CIHD) in the eastern US. Methods An ecological geographic study method was employed. Race and age standardized mortality rate (SMR) of CIHD was computed for each of the 2306 counties for the time period 2003–2004. A mean AOD raster grid for the same period was derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) aerosol data and the average AOD was calculated for each county. A bivariate Moran's I scatter plot, a map of local indicator of spatial association (LISA) clusters, and three regression models (ordinary least square, spatial lag, and spatial error) were used to analyze the relationship between AOD and CIHD SMR. Results The global Moran's I value is 0.2673 (p = 0.001), indicating an overall positive spatial correlation of CIHD SMR and AOD. The entire study area is dominated by spatial clusters of AOD against SMR (high AOD and high SMR in the east, and low AOD and low SMR in the west) (permutations = 999, p = 0.05). Of the three regression models, the spatial error model achieved the best fit (R2 = 0.28). The effect of AOD is positive and significant (beta = 0.7774, p = 0.01). Conclusion Aerosol particle pollution has adverse effect on CIHD mortality risk in the eastern US. High risk of CIHD mortality was found in areas with elevated levels of outdoor aerosol air pollution as indicated by satellite derived AOD. The evidence of the association would support targeting of policy interventions on such areas to reduce air pollution levels. Remote sensing

  2. The differential algebra based multiple level fast multipole algorithm for 3D space charge field calculation and photoemission simulation

    SciTech Connect

    None, None

    2015-09-28

    Coulomb interaction between charged particles inside a bunch is one of the most importance collective effects in beam dynamics, becoming even more significant as the energy of the particle beam is lowered to accommodate analytical and low-Z material imaging purposes such as in the time resolved Ultrafast Electron Microscope (UEM) development currently underway at Michigan State University. In addition, space charge effects are the key limiting factor in the development of ultrafast atomic resolution electron imaging and diffraction technologies and are also correlated with an irreversible growth in rms beam emittance due to fluctuating components of the nonlinear electron dynamics. In the short pulse regime used in the UEM, space charge effects also lead to virtual cathode formation in which the negative charge of the electrons emitted at earlier times, combined with the attractive surface field, hinders further emission of particles and causes a degradation of the pulse properties. Space charge and virtual cathode effects and their remediation are core issues for the development of the next generation of high-brightness UEMs. Since the analytical models are only applicable for special cases, numerical simulations, in addition to experiments, are usually necessary to accurately understand the space charge effect. In this paper we will introduce a grid-free differential algebra based multiple level fast multipole algorithm, which calculates the 3D space charge field for n charged particles in arbitrary distribution with an efficiency of O(n), and the implementation of the algorithm to a simulation code for space charge dominated photoemission processes.

  3. The differential algebra based multiple level fast multipole algorithm for 3D space charge field calculation and photoemission simulation

    DOE PAGES

    None, None

    2015-09-28

    Coulomb interaction between charged particles inside a bunch is one of the most importance collective effects in beam dynamics, becoming even more significant as the energy of the particle beam is lowered to accommodate analytical and low-Z material imaging purposes such as in the time resolved Ultrafast Electron Microscope (UEM) development currently underway at Michigan State University. In addition, space charge effects are the key limiting factor in the development of ultrafast atomic resolution electron imaging and diffraction technologies and are also correlated with an irreversible growth in rms beam emittance due to fluctuating components of the nonlinear electron dynamics.more » In the short pulse regime used in the UEM, space charge effects also lead to virtual cathode formation in which the negative charge of the electrons emitted at earlier times, combined with the attractive surface field, hinders further emission of particles and causes a degradation of the pulse properties. Space charge and virtual cathode effects and their remediation are core issues for the development of the next generation of high-brightness UEMs. Since the analytical models are only applicable for special cases, numerical simulations, in addition to experiments, are usually necessary to accurately understand the space charge effect. In this paper we will introduce a grid-free differential algebra based multiple level fast multipole algorithm, which calculates the 3D space charge field for n charged particles in arbitrary distribution with an efficiency of O(n), and the implementation of the algorithm to a simulation code for space charge dominated photoemission processes.« less

  4. Higher level phylogeny and the first divergence time estimation of Heteroptera (Insecta: Hemiptera) based on multiple genes.

    PubMed

    Li, Min; Tian, Ying; Zhao, Ying; Bu, Wenjun

    2012-01-01

    Heteroptera, or true bugs, are the largest, morphologically diverse and economically important group of insects with incomplete metamorphosis. However, the phylogenetic relationships within Heteroptera are still in dispute and most of the previous studies were based on morphological characters or with single gene (partial or whole 18S rDNA). Besides, so far, divergence time estimates for Heteroptera totally rely on the fossil record, while no studies have been performed on molecular divergence rates. Here, for the first time, we used maximum parsimony (MP), maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference (BI) with multiple genes (18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, 16S rDNA and COI) to estimate phylogenetic relationships among the infraorders, and meanwhile, the Penalized Likelihood (r8s) and Bayesian (BEAST) molecular dating methods were employed to estimate divergence time of higher taxa of this suborder. Major results of the present study included: Nepomorpha was placed as the most basal clade in all six trees (MP trees, ML trees and Bayesian trees of nuclear gene data and four-gene combined data, respectively) with full support values. The sister-group relationship of Cimicomorpha and Pentatomomorpha was also strongly supported. Nepomorpha originated in early Triassic and the other six infraorders originated in a very short period of time in middle Triassic. Cimicomorpha and Pentatomomorpha underwent a radiation at family level in Cretaceous, paralleling the proliferation of the flowering plants. Our results indicated that the higher-group radiations within hemimetabolous Heteroptera were simultaneously with those of holometabolous Coleoptera and Diptera which took place in the Triassic. While the aquatic habitat was colonized by Nepomorpha already in the Triassic, the Gerromorpha independently adapted to the semi-aquatic habitat in the Early Jurassic.

  5. Automated experimentation in ecological networks

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background In ecological networks, natural communities are studied from a complex systems perspective by representing interactions among species within them in the form of a graph, which is in turn analysed using mathematical tools. Topological features encountered in complex networks have been proved to provide the systems they represent with interesting attributes such as robustness and stability, which in ecological systems translates into the ability of communities to resist perturbations of different kinds. A focus of research in community ecology is on understanding the mechanisms by which these complex networks of interactions among species in a community arise. We employ an agent-based approach to model ecological processes operating at the species' interaction level for the study of the emergence of organisation in ecological networks. Results We have designed protocols of interaction among agents in a multi-agent system based on ecological processes occurring at the interaction level between species in plant-animal mutualistic communities. Interaction models for agents coordination thus engineered facilitate the emergence of network features such as those found in ecological networks of interacting species, in our artificial societies of agents. Conclusions Agent based models developed in this way facilitate the automation of the design an execution of simulation experiments that allow for the exploration of diverse behavioural mechanisms believed to be responsible for community organisation in ecological communities. This automated way of conducting experiments empowers the study of ecological networks by exploiting the expressive power of interaction models specification in agent systems. PMID:21554669

  6. Human Ecology: Curriculum Review.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bybee, Rodger W.

    1984-01-01

    Describes nine commercially available programs which represent one aspect or a portion of the human ecology theme. Other information supplied for each program includes: program objectives; methods of instruction; specific subjects, grade, and ability levels; materials produced and purchasable; program implementation; teacher preparation; program…

  7. Leveling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    1966-01-01

    Geodetic leveling by the U.S. Geological Survey provides a framework of accurate elevations for topographic mapping. Elevations are referred to the Sea Level Datum of 1929. Lines of leveling may be run either with automatic or with precise spirit levels, by either the center-wire or the three-wire method. For future use, the surveys are monumented with bench marks, using standard metal tablets or other marking devices. The elevations are adjusted by least squares or other suitable method and are published in lists of control.

  8. Ecology, Microbial

    SciTech Connect

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-03-19

    Microbial ecology is a relatively young discipline within the field of microbiology. Its modern history spans just the past 60 years, and the field is defined by its emphasis on understanding the interactions of microbes with their environment, rather than their behavior under artificial laboratory conditions. Because microbes are ubiquitous, microbial ecologists study a broad diversity of habitats that range from aquatic to terrestrial to plant- or animal-associated. This has made it a challenge to identify unifying principles within the field. One approach is to recognize that although the activity of microbes in nature have effects at the macroscale, they interact with their physical, chemical and biological milieu at a scale of micrometers. At this scale, several different microbial ecosystems can be defined, based upon association with particles, the presence of environmental gradients and the continuous availability of water. Principles applicable to microbial ecology reflect not only their population ecology and physiological ecology, but also their broad versatility and quantitative importance in the biosphere as biogeochemical catalysts and capacity for rapid physiological and evolutionary responses.

  9. Defending Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Margolis, Brian

    2000-01-01

    Explains how non-native species' problems in the ecosystem can introduce fundamental ecological principles in the classroom. Provides background information on damages caused by non-native species. Discusses how educators can use this environmental issue in the classroom and gives the example of zebra mussels. Lists instructional strategies for…

  10. Trash Ecology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lind, Georgia J.

    2004-01-01

    A hands on activity involving density, frequency and biomass using transects, quadrats and a local good deed by cleaning up the neighborhood while practicing important techniques in ecology is detailed. The activity is designed for KCC-STEP, whose primary goal is to expand the scientific knowledge and research experiences of their students, who…

  11. Ecology, Microbial

    SciTech Connect

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-05-15

    Microbial ecology is a relatively young discipline within the field of microbiology. Its modern history spans just the past 60 years, and the field is defined by its emphasis on understanding the interactions of microbes with their environment, rather than their behavior under artificial laboratory conditions. Because microbes are ubiquitous, microbial ecologists study a broad diversity of habitats that range from aquatic to terrestrial to plant- or animal-associated. This has made it a challenge to identify unifying principles within the field. One approach is to recognize that although the activity of microbes in nature have effects at the macroscale, they interact with their physical, chemical and biological milieu at a scale of micrometers. At this scale, several different microbial ecosystems can be defined, based upon association with particles, the presence of environmental gradients and the continuous availability of water. Principles applicable to microbial ecology reflect not only their population ecology and physiological ecology, but also their broad versatility and quantitative importance in the biosphere as biogeochemical catalysts and capacity for rapid physiological and evolutionary responses.

  12. An Ecological Study of Community-Level Correlates of Suicide Mortality Rates in the Flemish Region of Belgium, 1996-2005

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hooghe, Marc; Vanhoutte, Bram

    2011-01-01

    An ecological study of age-standardized suicide rates in Belgian communities (1996-2005) was conducted using spatial regression techniques. Community characteristics were significantly related to suicide rates. There was mixed support for the social integration perspective: single person households were associated with higher suicide rates, while…

  13. Functional Molecular Ecological Networks

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Jizhong; Deng, Ye; Luo, Feng; He, Zhili; Tu, Qichao; Zhi, Xiaoyang

    2010-01-01

    Biodiversity and its responses to environmental changes are central issues in ecology and for society. Almost all microbial biodiversity research focuses on “species” richness and abundance but not on their interactions. Although a network approach is powerful in describing ecological interactions among species, defining the network structure in a microbial community is a great challenge. Also, although the stimulating effects of elevated CO2 (eCO2) on plant growth and primary productivity are well established, its influences on belowground microbial communities, especially microbial interactions, are poorly understood. Here, a random matrix theory (RMT)-based conceptual framework for identifying functional molecular ecological networks was developed with the high-throughput functional gene array hybridization data of soil microbial communities in a long-term grassland FACE (free air, CO2 enrichment) experiment. Our results indicate that RMT is powerful in identifying functional molecular ecological networks in microbial communities. Both functional molecular ecological networks under eCO2 and ambient CO2 (aCO2) possessed the general characteristics of complex systems such as scale free, small world, modular, and hierarchical. However, the topological structures of the functional molecular ecological networks are distinctly different between eCO2 and aCO2, at the levels of the entire communities, individual functional gene categories/groups, and functional genes/sequences, suggesting that eCO2 dramatically altered the network interactions among different microbial functional genes/populations. Such a shift in network structure is also significantly correlated with soil geochemical variables. In short, elucidating network interactions in microbial communities and their responses to environmental changes is fundamentally important for research in microbial ecology, systems microbiology, and global change. PMID:20941329

  14. The Autoimmune Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Anaya, Juan-Manuel; Ramirez-Santana, Carolina; Alzate, Maria A.; Molano-Gonzalez, Nicolas; Rojas-Villarraga, Adriana

    2016-01-01

    Autoimmune diseases (ADs) represent a heterogeneous group of disorders that affect specific target organs or multiple organ systems. These conditions share common immunopathogenic mechanisms (i.e., the autoimmune tautology), which explain the clinical similarities they have among them as well as their familial clustering (i.e., coaggregation). As part of the autoimmune tautology, the influence of environmental exposure on the risk of developing ADs is paramount (i.e., the autoimmune ecology). In fact, environment, more than genetics, shapes immune system. Autoimmune ecology is akin to exposome, that is all the exposures – internal and external – across the lifespan, interacting with hereditary factors (both genetics and epigenetics) to favor or protect against autoimmunity and its outcomes. Herein, we provide an overview of the autoimmune ecology, focusing on the immune response to environmental agents in general, and microbiota, cigarette smoking, alcohol and coffee consumption, socioeconomic status (SES), gender and sex hormones, vitamin D, organic solvents, and vaccines in particular. Inclusion of the autoimmune ecology in disease etiology and health will improve the way personalized medicine is currently conceived and applied. PMID:27199979

  15. An Ecological Understanding of Kinship Foster Care in the United States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hong, Jun Sung; Algood, Carl L.; Chiu, Yu-Ling; Lee, Stephanie Ai-Ping

    2011-01-01

    We review empirical studies on kinship foster care in the United States. We conceptualize kinship foster care within the context of Urie Bronfenbrenner's (1994) most recent ecological systems theory. Because there are multiple levels of influences on the developmental outcomes of children placed in kinship foster home, understanding the…

  16. A geometric sequence that accurately describes allowed multiple conductance levels of ion channels: the "three-halves (3/2) rule".

    PubMed Central

    Pollard, J R; Arispe, N; Rojas, E; Pollard, H B

    1994-01-01

    Ion channels can express multiple conductance levels that are not integer multiples of some unitary conductance, and that interconvert among one another. We report here that for 26 different types of multiple conductance channels, all allowed conductance levels can be calculated accurately using the geometric sequence gn = g(o) (3/2)n, where gn is a conductance level and n is an integer > or = 0. We refer to this relationship as the "3/2 Rule," because the value of any term in the sequence of conductances (gn) can be calculated as 3/2 times the value of the preceding term (gn-1). The experimentally determined average value for "3/2" is 1.491 +/- 0.095 (sample size = 37, average +/- SD). We also verify the choice of a 3/2 ratio on the basis of error analysis over the range of ratio values between 1.1 and 2.0. In an independent analysis using Marquardt's algorithm, we further verified the 3/2 ratio and the assignment of specific conductances to specific terms in the geometric sequence. Thus, irrespective of the open time probability, the allowed conductance levels of these channels can be described accurately to within approximately 6%. We anticipate that the "3/2 Rule" will simplify description of multiple conductance channels in a wide variety of biological systems and provide an organizing principle for channel heterogeneity and differential effects of channel blockers. PMID:7524712

  17. The Effects of Multiple Intelligences Instructional Strategy on the Environmental Awareness Knowledge and Environmental Attitude Levels of Elementary Students in Science Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bas, Gökhan

    2010-01-01

    The aim of the research was to investigate the effects of Multiple Intelligences strategy and traditional methods of instruction on elementary students' environmental awareness knowledge levels and their attitudes towards the environment. The pre/post-test control group research model was used in this study. The research was carried out in…

  18. The Impact of Item Position in Multiple-Choice Test on Student Performance at the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ollennu, Sam Nii Nmai; Etsey, Y. K. A.

    2015-01-01

    The study investigated the impact of item position in multiple-choice test on student performance at the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) level in Ghana. The sample consisted of 810 Junior Secondary School (JSS) Form 3 students selected from 12 different schools. A quasi-experimental design was used. The instrument for the project…

  19. Analysis of the Difficulty and Discrimination Indices of Multiple-Choice Questions According to Cognitive Levels in an Open and Distance Learning Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koçdar, Serpil; Karadag, Nejdet; Sahin, Murat Dogan

    2016-01-01

    This is a descriptive study which intends to determine whether the difficulty and discrimination indices of the multiple-choice questions show differences according to cognitive levels of the Bloom's Taxonomy, which are used in the exams of the courses in a business administration bachelor's degree program offered through open and distance…

  20. Mitonuclear Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Geoffrey E.

    2015-01-01

    Eukaryotes were born of a chimeric union between two prokaryotes—the progenitors of the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. Early in eukaryote evolution, most mitochondrial genes were lost or transferred to the nucleus, but a core set of genes that code exclusively for products associated with the electron transport system remained in the mitochondrion. The products of these mitochondrial genes work in intimate association with the products of nuclear genes to enable oxidative phosphorylation and core energy production. The need for coadaptation, the challenge of cotransmission, and the possibility of genomic conflict between mitochondrial and nuclear genes have profound consequences for the ecology and evolution of eukaryotic life. An emerging interdisciplinary field that I call “mitonuclear ecology” is reassessing core concepts in evolutionary ecology including sexual reproduction, two sexes, sexual selection, adaptation, and speciation in light of the interactions of mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. PMID:25931514

  1. Effects of Multiple Intelligences Supported Project-Based Learning on Students' Achievement Levels and Attitudes towards English Lesson

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bas, Gökhan; Beyhan, Ömer

    2010-01-01

    The aim of the research was to investigate the effects of multiple intelligences supported project-based learning and traditional foreign language-teaching environment on students' achievement and their attitude towards English lesson. The research was carried out in 2009-2010 education-instruction year in Karatli Sehit Sahin Yilmaz Elementary…

  2. The Relationship between Multiple Intelligences and Iranian EFL Learners' Level of L2 Lexical Knowledge: The Case of Gender

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Biria, Reza; Boshrabadi, Abbas Mehrabi; Nikbakht, Elham

    2014-01-01

    Human cognitive competence represents individuals' subconscious knowledge of abilities, talents, and mental skills collectively called "multiple intelligences (MIs)", which play a pivotal role in facilitating human learning. Thus, the main objective of the present study was to determine the magnitude of the relationship existing between…

  3. Stimulus-response bindings code both abstract and specific representations of stimuli: evidence from a classification priming design that reverses multiple levels of response representation.

    PubMed

    Horner, A J; Henson, R N

    2011-11-01

    Repetition priming can be caused by the rapid retrieval of previously encoded stimulus-response (S-R) bindings. S-R bindings have recently been shown to simultaneously code multiple levels of response representation, from specific Motor-actions to more abstract Decisions ("yes"/"no") and Classifications (e.g., "man-made"/"natural"). Using an experimental design that reverses responses at all of these levels, we assessed whether S-R bindings also code multiple levels of stimulus representation. Across two experiments, we found effects of response reversal on priming when switching between object pictures and object names, consistent with S-R bindings that code stimuli at an abstract level. Nonetheless, the size of this reversal effect was smaller for such across-format (e.g., word-picture) repetition than for within-format (e.g., picture-picture) repetition, suggesting additional coding of format-specific stimulus representations. We conclude that S-R bindings simultaneously represent both stimuli and responses at multiple levels of abstraction.

  4. The ecology of spatial memory in four lemur species.

    PubMed

    Rosati, Alexandra G; Rodriguez, Kerri; Hare, Brian

    2014-07-01

    Evolutionary theories suggest that ecology is a major factor shaping cognition in primates. However, there have been few systematic tests of spatial memory abilities involving multiple primate species. Here, we examine spatial memory skills in four strepsirrhine primates that vary in level of frugivory: ruffed lemurs (Varecia sp.), ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta), mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz), and Coquerel's sifakas (Propithecus coquereli). We compare these species across three studies targeting different aspects of spatial memory: recall after a long-delay, learning mechanisms supporting memory and recall of multiple locations in a complex environment. We find that ruffed lemurs, the most frugivorous species, consistently showed more robust spatial memory than the other species across tasks-especially in comparison with sifakas, the most folivorous species. We discuss these results in terms of the importance of considering both ecological and social factors as complementary explanations for the evolution of primate cognitive skills.

  5. Is Our Classroom an Ecological Place?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xia, Wang

    2006-01-01

    The essence of ecology is life and its diversity, integrity, openness and coexistence. When one contemplates and analyzes classroom from the perspective of ecology, classroom should contain open-ended and multiple goals instead of a single and pre-set goal; classroom is more flexible, allowing great diversity instead of being narrow-minded,…

  6. Ecological assessment of a southeastern Brazil reservoir

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract: Reservoirs are artificial ecosystems with multiple functions having direct and indirect benefits to humans; however, they also cause ecological changes and influence the composition and structure of aquatic biota. Our objectives were to: (1) assess the environmen...

  7. Efficacy of multiple exposure with low level He-Ne laser dose on acute wound healing: a pre-clinical study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prabhu, Vijendra; Rao, Bola Sadashiva S.; Mahato, Krishna Kishore

    2014-02-01

    Investigations on the use of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) for wound healing especially with the red laser light have demonstrated its pro-healing potential on a variety of pre-clinical and surgical wounds. However, until now, in LLLT the effect of multiple exposure of low dose laser irradiation on acute wound healing on well-designed pre-clinical model is not much explored. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of multiple exposure of low dose Helium Neon laser on healing progression of full thickness excision wounds in Swiss albino mice. Further, the efficacy of the multiple exposure of low dose laser irradiation was compared with the single exposure of optimum dose. Full thickness excision wounds (circular) of 15 mm diameter were created, and subsequently illuminated with the multiple exposures (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 exposure/ week until healing) of He-Ne (632.8 nm, 4.02 mWcm-2) laser at 0.5 Jcm-2 along with single exposure of optimum laser dose (2 J/cm-2) and un-illuminated controls. Classical biophysical parameters such as contraction kinetics, area under the curve and the mean healing time were documented as the assessment parameters to examine the efficacy of multiple exposures with low level laser dose. Experimental findings substantiated that either single or multiple exposures of 0.5 J/cm2 failed to produce any detectable alterations on wound contraction, area under the curve and mean healing time compared to single exposure of optimum dose (2 Jcm-2) and un-illuminated controls. Single exposure of optimum, laser dose was found to be ideal for acute wound healing.

  8. Effect of glatiramer acetate on peripheral blood brain-derived neurotrophic factor and phosphorylated TrkB levels in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Vacaras, Vitalie; Major, Zsigmond Z; Muresanu, Dafin F; Krausz, Tibor L; Marginean, Ioan; Buzoianu, Dana A

    2014-01-01

    Glatiramer acetate (GA) is one of the most widely used disease-modifying drugs for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis; is assumed to have inductor effects on neurotrophic factor expression. One of these neurotrophic factor systems is the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/receptor tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) pathway. Peripheral blood is thought to contain soluble BDNF, and some blood cells express TrkB. We attempted to determine whether GA treatment leads to changes in plasma BDNF levels and TrkB activation. Such a phenomenon are relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients is significantly reduced; GA treatment is not influencing peripheral BDNF levels, after one year of sustained therapy, not from the point of view of total free BDNF nor the phosphorylated TrkB.

  9. Bioaccumulation of five pharmaceuticals at multiple trophic levels in an aquatic food web - Insights from a field experiment.

    PubMed

    Lagesson, A; Fahlman, J; Brodin, T; Fick, J; Jonsson, M; Byström, P; Klaminder, J

    2016-10-15

    Pharmaceuticals derived from manufacturing and human consumption contaminate surface waters worldwide. To what extent such pharmaceutical contamination accumulates and disperses over time in different compartments of aquatic food webs is not well known. In this study we assess to what extent five pharmaceuticals (diphenhydramine, oxazepam, trimethoprim, diclofenac, and hydroxyzine) are taken up by fish (European perch) and four aquatic invertebrate taxa (damselfly larvae, mayfly larvae, waterlouse, and ramshorn snail), by tracing their bioconcentrations over several months in a semi-natural large-scale (pond) system. The results suggest both significant differences among drugs in their capacity to bioaccumulate and differences among species in uptake. While no support for in situ uptake of diclofenac and trimethoprim was found, oxazepam, diphenhydramine, and hydroxyzine were detected in all analyzed species. Here, the highest bioaccumulation factor (tissue:water ratio) was found for hydroxyzine. In the food web, the highest concentrations were found in the benthic species ramshorn snail and waterlouse, indicating that bottom-living organism at lower trophic positions are the prime receivers of the pharmaceuticals. In general, concentrations in the biota decreased over time in response to decreasing water concentrations. However, two interesting exceptions to this trend were noted. First, mayfly larvae (primarily grazers) showed peak concentrations (a fourfold increase) of oxazepam, diphenhydramine, and hydroxyzine about 30days after initial addition of pharmaceuticals. Second, perch (top-predator) showed an increase in concentrations of oxazepam throughout the study period. Our results show that drugs can remain bioavailable for aquatic organism for long time periods (weeks to months) and even re-enter the food web at a later time. As such, for an understanding of accumulation and dispersion of pharmaceuticals in aquatic food webs, detailed ecological knowledge is

  10. Signal-on electrochemical detection of antibiotics at zeptomole level based on target-aptamer binding triggered multiple recycling amplification.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hongzhi; Wang, Yu; Liu, Su; Yu, Jinghua; Guo, Yuna; Xu, Ying; Huang, Jiadong

    2016-06-15

    In the work, a signal-on electrochemical DNA sensor based on multiple amplification for ultrasensitive detection of antibiotics has been reported. In the presence of target, the ingeniously designed hairpin probe (HP1) is opened and the polymerase-assisted target recycling amplification is triggered, resulting in autonomous generation of secondary target. It is worth noting that the produced secondary target could not only hybridize with other HP1, but also displace the Helper from the electrode. Consequently, methylene blue labeled HP2 forms a "close" probe structure, and the increase of signal is monitored. The increasing current provides an ultrasensitive electrochemical detection for antibiotics down to 1.3 fM. To our best knowledge, such work is the first report about multiple recycling amplification combing with signal-on sensing strategy, which has been utilized for quantitative determination of antibiotics. It would be further used as a general strategy associated with more analytical techniques toward the detection of a wide spectrum of analytes. Thus, it holds great potential for the development of ultrasensitive biosensing platform for the applications in bioanalysis, disease diagnostics, and clinical biomedicine.

  11. Minimizing systematic errors from atmospheric multiple scattering and satellite viewing geometry in coastal zone color scanner level IIA imagery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, D. L.; Perry, M. J.

    1994-01-01

    Water-leaving radiances and phytoplankton pigment concentrations are calculated from coastal zone color scanner (CZCS) radiance measurements by removing atmospheric Rayleigh and aerosol radiances from the total radiance signal measured at the satellite. The single greatest source of error in CZCS atmospheric correction algorithms in the assumption that these Rayleigh and aerosol radiances are separable. Multiple-scattering interactions between Rayleigh and aerosol components cause systematic errors in calculated aerosol radiances, and the magnitude of these errors is dependent on aerosol type and optical depth and on satellite viewing geometry. A technique was developed which extends the results of previous radiative transfer modeling by Gordon and Castano to predict the magnitude of these systematic errors for simulated CZCS orbital passes in which the ocean is viewed through a modeled, physically realistic atmosphere. The simulated image mathematically duplicates the exact satellite, Sun, and pixel locations of an actual CZCS image. Errors in the aerosol radiance at 443 nm are calculated for a range of aerosol optical depths. When pixels in the simulated image exceed an error threshhold, the corresponding pixels in the actual CZCS image are flagged and excluded from further analysis or from use in image compositing or compilation of pigment concentration databases. Studies based on time series analyses or compositing of CZCS imagery which do not address Rayleigh-aerosol multiple scattering should be interpreted cautiously, since the fundamental assumption used in their atmospheric correction algorithm is flawed.

  12. Antioxidant status and levels of different vitamins determined by high performance liquid chromatography in diabetic subjects with multiple complications.

    PubMed

    Merzouk, S; Hichami, A; Madani, S; Merzouk, H; Berrouiguet, A Y; Prost, J; Moutairou, K; Chabane-Sari, N; Khan, N A

    2003-03-01

    Plasma vitamin A, C and E levels and erythrocyte antioxidant enzyme activities were investigated in type I and type II diabetic subjects with and without complications, i.e., hypertension, coronary artery disease and renal failure. Reverse phase HPLC was used to quantify vitamin A and E levels. We observed that the vitamin C levels were not significantly different between control and diabetic subjects. However, vitamin A and E levels were significantly lower in type I and type II diabetic subjects compared to controls. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was significantly lower in type II, but not in type I, diabetic patients compared to controls. Interestingly, glutathione reductase and peroxidase activities were diminished in type I, but not in type II, diabetic subjects as compared to controls. Catalase activity was lower in both types of diabetic patients in comparison with their respective controls. Altogether these results suggest that diabetes mellitus may be associated with altered antioxidant status regardless to various complications.

  13. Network Ecology and Adolescent Social Structure

    PubMed Central

    McFarland, Daniel A.; Moody, James; Diehl, David; Smith, Jeffrey A.; Thomas, Reuben J.

    2014-01-01

    Adolescent societies—whether arising from weak, short-term classroom friendships or from close, long-term friendships—exhibit various levels of network clustering, segregation, and hierarchy. Some are rank-ordered caste systems and others are flat, cliquish worlds. Explaining the source of such structural variation remains a challenge, however, because global network features are generally treated as the agglomeration of micro-level tie-formation mechanisms, namely balance, homophily, and dominance. How do the same micro-mechanisms generate significant variation in global network structures? To answer this question we propose and test a network ecological theory that specifies the ways features of organizational environments moderate the expression of tie-formation processes, thereby generating variability in global network structures across settings. We develop this argument using longitudinal friendship data on schools (Add Health study) and classrooms (Classroom Engagement study), and by extending exponential random graph models to the study of multiple societies over time. PMID:25535409

  14. Rat uterine oxytocin receptor and estrogen receptor α and β mRNA levels are regulated by estrogen through multiple estrogen receptors.

    PubMed

    Murata, Takuya; Narita, Kazumi; Ichimaru, Toru

    2014-03-07

    Estrogen action is mediated through several types of receptors (ERs), such as ERα, ERβ and putative membrane ERs. Oxytocin receptor (OTR) and ER expression levels in the rat uterus are regulated by estrogen; however, which types of ERs are involved has not been elucidated. This study examined OTR, ERα and ERβ levels in ovariectomized rats treated with 17β-estradiol (E2), an ERα agonist (PPT), an ERβ agonist (DPN) or estren (Es). E2 and PPT increased OTR mRNA levels and decreased ERα and ERβ mRNA levels 3 and 6 h posttreatment. DPN decreased ERα and ERβ mRNA levels at 3 and 6 h, while OTR mRNA levels increased at 3 h and decreased at 6 h. OTR mRNA levels increased 3 h after the Es treatment and then declined until 6 h. ERα and ERβ mRNA levels decreased by 3 h and remained low until 6 h posttreatment with Es. The ER antagonist ICI182,780 (ICI) suppressed the increases in OTR mRNA levels induced 3 h after the Es treatment. However, ICI and tamoxifen (Tam) had no significant effect on ERα and ERβ mRNA levels in the Es-treated or vehicle-treated group. In intact rats, proestrus-associated increases in OTR mRNA levels were antagonized by both ICI and Tam. However, decreases in ERα and ERβ mRNA levels were not antagonized by Tam and ICI, respectively. Therefore, uterine OTR gene expression is upregulated by estrogen through the classical nuclear (or non-nuclear) ERs, ERα and ERβ, while the levels of these ERs are downregulated by estrogen through multiple pathways including Es-sensitive nonclassical ERs.

  15. Efficient emission facilitated by multiple energy level transitions in uniform graphitic carbon nitride films deposited by thermal vapor condensation.

    PubMed

    Bian, Juncao; Li, Jianfu; Kalytchuk, Sergii; Wang, Yu; Li, Qian; Lau, Tsz Chun; Niehaus, Thomas A; Rogach, Andrey L; Zhang, Rui-Qin

    2015-04-07

    Graphitic carbon nitride (g-CN) films are important components of optoelectronic devices, but current techniques for their production, such as drop casting and spin coating, fail to deliver uniform and pinhole-free g-CN films on solid substrates. Here, versatile, cost-effective, and large-area growth of uniform and pinhole-free g-CN films is achieved by using a thermal vapor condensation method under atmospheric pressure. A comparison of the X-ray diffraction and Fourier transform infrared data with the calculated infrared spectrum confirmed the graphitic build-up of films composed of tri-s-triazine units. These g-CN films possess multiple active energy states including π*, π, and lone-pair states, which facilitate their efficient (6% quantum yield in the solid state) photoluminescence, as confirmed by both experimental measurements and theoretical calculations.

  16. A multiple-method approach to flood assessment at a low-level radioactive waste site in southern Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, J.J.; Gustafson, D.L.; Schmeltzer, J.S.

    1994-12-31

    Flood hazard analysis on alluvial fans using Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) method are not limited to the FEMA Alluvial Fan Methodology (FEMA AFM). Flood hazard delineations using a combination of methods provide a more thorough assessment that using only the FEMA AFM. Other FEMA-accepted methods, such as the HEC-2 model for shallow concentrated flow and the Manning Equation for sheetflow, may be more appropriate. A flood assessment using a multiple-method approach was performed to determine the 100-year flood hazard in this arid region. Understanding the limitations and assumptions of these methods is important to determine which method is applicable and when a method can provide reasonable results.

  17. Effects of season and agro-ecological zone on the microbial quality of raw milk along the various levels of the value chain in Uganda.

    PubMed

    Grimaud, Patrice; Sserunjogi, Mohamed; Wesuta, Milton; Grillet, Nelly; Kato, Moses; Faye, Bernard

    2009-08-01

    Dairy production in Uganda is pasture-based and traditional Ankole cattle make up 80% of the cattle herd, reared in both pastoral and agro-pastoral ecological zones. Regardless of the zone, milk quality is lowest in production basin during the dry season when ambient temperatures are highest and water is scarce. Poor hygiene and quality management contributed to the deterioration of raw milk quality during its storage and delivery to the final consumer, and concealed the seasonal effect when milk reached urban consumption areas. Poor milk quality is a challenge for the Ugandan Dairy Development Authorities who wish to make the milk value chain safe. This study provides baseline information for the implementation of an HACCP-based system to ensure the hygienic quality of milk from the farm to the market place.

  18. Large-scale comparative phenotypic and genomic analyses reveal ecological preferences of shewanella species and identify metabolic pathways conserved at the genus level.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Jorge L M; Serres, Margrethe H; Tiedje, James M

    2011-08-01

    The use of comparative genomics for the study of different microbiological species has increased substantially as sequence technologies become more affordable. However, efforts to fully link a genotype to its phenotype remain limited to the development of one mutant at a time. In this study, we provided a high-throughput alternative to this limiting step by coupling comparative genomics to the use of phenotype arrays for five sequenced Shewanella strains. Positive phenotypes were obtained for 441 nutrients (C, N, P, and S sources), with N-based compounds being the most utilized for all strains. Many genes and pathways predicted by genome analyses were confirmed with the comparative phenotype assay, and three degradation pathways believed to be missing in Shewanella were confirmed as missing. A number of previously unknown gene products were predicted to be parts of pathways or to have a function, expanding the number of gene targets for future genetic analyses. Ecologically, the comparative high-throughput phenotype analysis provided insights into niche specialization among the five different strains. For example, Shewanella amazonensis strain SB2B, isolated from the Amazon River delta, was capable of utilizing 60 C compounds, whereas Shewanella sp. strain W3-18-1, isolated from deep marine sediment, utilized only 25 of them. In spite of the large number of nutrient sources yielding positive results, our study indicated that except for the N sources, they were not sufficiently informative to predict growth phenotypes from increasing evolutionary distances. Our results indicate the importance of phenotypic evaluation for confirming genome predictions. This strategy will accelerate the functional discovery of genes and provide an ecological framework for microbial genome sequencing projects.

  19. Interior Least Tern (Sternula antillarum) breeding distribution and ecology: implications for population-level studies and the evaluation of alternative management strategies on large, regulated rivers

    PubMed Central

    Lott, Casey A; Wiley, Robert L; Fischer, Richard A; Hartfield, Paul D; Scott, J Michael

    2013-01-01

    Interior Least Terns (Sternula antillarum) (ILT) are colonial, fish-eating birds that breed within active channels of large sand bed rivers of the Great Plains and in the Lower Mississippi Valley. Multipurpose dams, irrigation structures, and engineered navigation systems have been present on these rivers for many decades. Despite severe alteration of channels and flow regimes, regulation era floods have remained effective at maintaining bare sandbar nesting habitat on many river segments and ILT populations have been stable or expanding since they were listed as endangered in 1985. We used ILT breeding colony locations from 2002 to 2012 and dispersal information to identify 16 populations and 48 subpopulations. More than 90% of ILT and >83% of river km with suitable nesting habitat occur within the two largest populations. However, replicate populations remain throughout the entire historical, geophysical, and ecological range of ILT. Rapid colonization of anthropogenic habitats in areas that were not historically occupied suggests metapopulation dynamics. The highest likelihood of demographic connectivity among ILT populations occurs across the Southern Plains and the Lower Mississippi River, which may be demographically connected with Least Tern populations on the Gulf Coast. Paired ecological and bird population models are needed to test whether previously articulated threats limit ILT population growth and to determine if management intervention is necessary and where. Given current knowledge, the largest sources of model uncertainty will be: (1) uncertainty in relationships between high flow events and subsequent sandbar characteristics and (2) uncertainty regarding the frequency of dispersal among population subunits. We recommend research strategies to reduce these uncertainties. PMID:24223295

  20. MZDASoft-A Software Architecture that Enables Large Scale Comparison of Protein Expression Levels over Multiple Samples Based on LC-MS/MS

    PubMed Central

    Bari, Mehrab Ghanat; Ramirez, Nelson; Wang, Zhiwei; Zhang, Jianqiu (Michelle)

    2015-01-01

    RATIONALE Without accurate peak linking/alignment, only the expression levels of a small percentage of proteins can be compared across multiple samples in Liquid-Chromatography Mass Spectrometry/Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) due to the selective nature of tandem MS peptide identification. This greatly hampers biomedical research that aims at finding biomarkers for disease diagnosis, treatment, and the understanding of disease mechanisms. A recent algorithm, PeakLink, has allowed the accurate linking of LC-MS peaks without tandem MS identifications to their corresponding ones with identifications across multiple samples collected from different instruments, tissues and labs, which greatly enhanced the ability of comparing proteins. However, PeakLink cannot be implemented practically for large number of samples based on existing software architectures, because it requires access to peak elution profiles from multiple LC-MS/MS samples simultaneously. METHODS We propose a new architecture based on parallel processing, which extracts LC-MS peak features, and saves them in database files to enable the implementation of PeakLink for multiple samples. The software has been deployed in High Performance Computing (HPC) environments. The core part of the software, MZDASoft Parallel Peak Extractor (PPE), can be downloaded with users and developer’s guide, and it can be run on HPC centers directly. The quantification applications, MZDASoft TandemQuant and MZDASoft PeakLink are written in Matlab, which are compiled with Matlab runtime compiler. A sample script that incorporates all necessary processing steps of MZDASoft for LC-MS/MS quantification in a parallel processing environment is available. The project webpage is http://compgenomics.utsa.edu/zgroup/MZDASoft. RESULTS The proposed architecture enables the implementation of PeakLink for multiple samples. Significantly more (100%–500%) proteins can be compared over multiple samples with better quantification

  1. Chemical interactions between amino acid and RNA: multiplicity of the levels of specificity explains origin of the genetic code

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seligmann, Hervé; Amzallag, Nissim

    2002-11-01

    The emergence of the genetic code remains an enigma. Proposed mechanisms are based on random, historical, thermodynamic and natural selection. However, they introduce chance as a key factor for overcoming the difficulties encountered by the model. We propose here a model in which three successive levels of chemical specificity generated the nucleotide assignments of amino acids in the genetic code. The first level results from hydrophobic and stereospecific interactions between amino acids and short oligonucleotides (termed oligons). The second and third levels of specificity are determined by conditions of energy transfer from loaded oligons (amino acid-oligomer covalently linked) to formation of phosphodiester bond (second level of specificity) and peptidic bond (third level of specificity), while these reactions are catalyzed by RNA templates. This model is sustained by the relationships observed between dipole moments of the nucleotides (forming the anticodon) and reactivity of the amino acyl linkage of the loaded oligon. Moreover, analysis of modern tRNAs reveals that they were probably generated by loose duplication of the nucleotide sequence forming the oligons, after emergence of the 'genetic code.' Indeed, the similarity of nucleotide composition with that of the anticodon decreases with the tRNA domain's distance from the anticodon, but the acceptor stem is relatively more similar to the anticodon than other stems closer to it. This would be because energy transfer constraints that existed between anticodon and amino acid in prebiotic loaded oligonucleotides still affect the structures of modern tRNA acceptor stems. In the model presented, the genetic code is inherent to the most archaic 'molecular physiology' in protolife, even before emergence of a functional 'protein world.' Simple physical processes, in which a level of specificity is integrated in an emerging meta-structure expressing new properties, generate a parsimonious and realistic explanation

  2. Induction of the SHARP-2 mRNA level by insulin is mediated by multiple signaling pathways.

    PubMed

    Kanai, Yukiko; Asano, Kosuke; Komatsu, Yoshiko; Takagi, Katsuhiro; Ono, Moe; Tanaka, Takashi; Tomita, Koji; Haneishi, Ayumi; Tsukada, Akiko; Yamada, Kazuya

    2017-02-01

    The rat enhancer of split- and hairy-related protein-2 (SHARP-2) is an insulin-inducible transcription factor which represses transcription of the rat phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase gene. In this study, a regulatory mechanism of the SHARP-2 mRNA level by insulin was analyzed. Insulin rapidly induced the level of SHARP-2 mRNA. This induction was blocked by inhibitors for phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-K), protein kinase C (PKC), and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), actinomycin D, and cycloheximide. Whereas an adenovirus infection expressing a dominant negative form of atypical PKC lambda (aPKCλ) blocked the insulin-induction of the SHARP-2 mRNA level, insulin rapidly activated the mTOR. Insulin did not enhance transcriptional activity from a 3.7 kb upstream region of the rat SHARP-2 gene. Thus, we conclude that insulin induces the expression of the rat SHARP-2 gene at the transcription level via both a PI 3-K/aPKCλ- and a PI 3-K/mTOR- pathways and that protein synthesis is required for this induction.

  3. DEVELOPING SITE-SPECIFIC DERIVED CONCENTRATION GUIDELINE LEVELS FOR MULTIPLE MEDIA AT THE CONNECTICUT YANKEE HADDAM NECK PLANT

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor, S.W.; Smith, L.C.; Carr, R.K.; Carson, A.; Darois, E.

    2003-02-27

    As part of the license termination process, site-specific Derived Concentration Guideline Levels for the Haddam Neck Plant site are developed for soil, groundwater, concrete left standing, and concrete demolished that satisfy the radiological criteria for unrestricted use as defined in 10 CFR 20.1402. Background information on the license termination process and characteristics of the Haddam Neck Plant site are presented. The dose models and associated resident farmer and building occupancy scenarios, applicable pathways, and critical groups developed to establish the Derived Concentration Guideline Levels are described. A parameter assignment process is introduced wherein general population values are used to establish behavioral and metabolic parameters representative of an average member of the critical group, while the uncertainty associated with important physical parameters is considered. A key element of the parameter assignment process is the use of sensitivity analysis to identify the dose sensitive physical parameters and to ensure that such parameters are assigned conservative values. Structuring the parameter assignment process, completing the formal sensitivity analyses, and assigning conservative values to the sensitive physical parameters in a consistent way establishes a calculation framework that lead to Derived Concentration Guideline Levels with a uniform level of conservatism across all media and all radionuclides.

  4. ELEVATED LEVELS OF MULTIPLE CYTOCHROME P450 FORMS IN TILAPIA FROM BILLINGS RESERVOIR-SAO PAULO, BRAZIL. (R827102)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) levels in tissues of fish inhabiting polluted areas have been used extensively in biomonitoring studies in Europe and North America. However, little information is available about the extent of CYP1A expression in fish from South American waters, nor on ...

  5. An on-line learning tracking of non-rigid target combining multiple-instance boosting and level set

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Mingming; Cai, Jingju

    2013-10-01

    Visual tracking algorithms based on online boosting generally use a rectangular bounding box to represent the position of the target, while actually the shape of the target is always irregular. This will cause the classifier to learn the features of the non-target parts in the rectangle region, thereby the performance of the classifier is reduced, and drift would happen. To avoid the limitations of the bounding-box, we propose a novel tracking-by-detection algorithm involving the level set segmentation, which ensures the classifier only learn the features of the real target area in the tracking box. Because the shape of the target only changes a little between two adjacent frames and the current level set algorithm can avoid the re-initialization of the signed distance function, it only takes a few iterations to converge to the position of the target contour in the next frame. We also make some improvement on the level set energy function so that the zero level set would have less possible to converge to the false contour. In addition, we use gradient boost to improve the original multi-instance learning (MIL) algorithm like the WMILtracker, which greatly speed up the tracker. Our algorithm outperforms the original MILtracker both on speed and precision. Compared with the WMILtracker, our algorithm runs at a almost same speed, but we can avoid the drift caused by background learning, so the precision is better.

  6. Holocene sea level and climate change in the Black Sea: Multiple marine incursions related to freshwater discharge events

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, R.E.; Leorri, E.; McLaughlin, P.P.

    2007-01-01

    Repeated marine invasions of the Black Sea during the Holocene have been inferred by many eastern scientists as resulting from episodes of marine inflow from the Mediterranean beneath a brackish outflow from the Black Sea. We support this scenario but a fundamental question remains: What caused the repeated marine invasions? We offer an hypothesis for the repeated marine invasions of the Black Sea based on: (1) the overall similarity of sea-level curves from both tectonically quiescent and active margins of the Black Sea and their similarity to a sequence stratigraphic record from the US mid-Atlantic coast. The similarity of the records from two widely-separated regions suggests their common response to documented Holocene climate ocean-atmosphere reorganizations (coolings); (2) the fact that in the modern Black Sea, freshwater runoff from surrounding rivers dominates over evaporation, so that excess runoff might have temporarily raised Black Sea level (although the Black Sea would have remained brackish). Following the initial invasion of the Black Sea by marine Mediterranean waters (through the Marmara Sea) in the early Holocene, repeated marine incursions were modulated, or perhaps even caused, by freshwater discharge to the Black Sea. Climatic amelioration (warming) following each documented ocean-atmosphere reorganization during the Holocene likely shifted precipitation patterns in the surrounding region and caused mountain glaciers to retreat, increasing freshwater runoff above modern values and temporarily contributing to an increase of Black Sea level. Freshwater-to-brackish water discharges into the Black Sea initially slowed marine inflow but upon mixing of runoff with more marine waters beneath them and their eventual exit through the Bosphorus, marine inflow increased again, accounting for the repeated marine invasions. The magnitude of the hydrologic and sea-level fluctuations became increasingly attenuated through the Holocene, as reflected by Black

  7. Organic pollutant levels in an agricultural watershed: the importance of analyzing multiple matrices for assessing stream water pollution.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, Mariana; Miglioranza, Karina S B; Grondona, Sebastían I; Silva Barni, Maria Florencia; Martinez, Daniel E; Peña, Aránzazu

    2013-04-01

    This study is aimed at analyzing the occurrence and transport of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in the Quequén Grande river basin, as representative of a catchment under diffuse pollution sources. Pollutant levels in soils, river bottom sediments (RBS), streamwater (Sw), suspended particle materials (SPMs), macrophytes and muscle of silverside were determined by GC-ECD. Soil K(d) values for the current-used insecticides, endosulfans and cypermethrin, were established. Total levels (ng g(-1) dry weight) in soil ranged between 0.07–0.9 for OCPs, 0.03–0.37 for PCBs and 0.01–0.05 for PBDEs. Endosulfan insecticide (α- + b- + sulfate metabolite) represented up to 72.5% of OCPs. The low soil retention for α-endosulfan (K(d): 77) and endosulfan sulfate (K(d): 100) allows their transport to Sw, SPM and RBS. Levels of endosulfan in Sw in some cases exceeded the value postulated by international guidelines for aquatic biota protection (3 ng L(-1)). PCB and PBDE pollution was related to harbour, dumping sites and pile tire burning. Tri and hexa PCB congeners predominated in all matrices and exceeded the quality guideline value of 0.04 ng L(-1) in Sw. Considering levels in silverside muscle, none of the oral reference doses were exceeded, however, PCBs accounted for 18.6% of the total daily allowed ingest for a 70 kg individual. Although the levels of PCBs and OCPs in soil and RBS were low and did not go beyond quality guidelines, these compounds could still represent a risk to aquatic biota and humanbeings, and thus actions towards preventing this situation should be undertaken.

  8. Multiple stressors and complex life cycles: insights from a population-level assessment of breeding site contamination and terrestrial habitat loss in an amphibian.

    PubMed

    Salice, Christopher J; Rowe, Christopher L; Pechmann, Joseph H K; Hopkins, William A

    2011-12-01

    Understanding the effects of chemical contaminants on natural populations is challenging, as multiple anthropogenic and natural stressors may individually and interactively influence responses. Population models can be used to evaluate the impacts of multiple stressors and to provide insight into population-level effects and/or data gaps. For amphibians with complex life cycles, population models may be useful in understanding impacts of stressors that are unique to the habitat type (aquatic, terrestrial) and that operate at different times in the life cycle. We investigated the population-level effects of aquatic contaminants (coal combustion residues, CCR) and terrestrial habitat loss on the eastern narrowmouth toad, Gastrophryne carolinensis, using existing empirical data that demonstrated negative reproductive and developmental effects of CCR and a series of population models that incorporated density dependence and environmental stochasticity. Results of deterministic models indicated that when terrestrial habitat was abundant, CCR-exposed toads had a larger population size compared to the reference population as a result of reduced density-dependent effects on larval survival. However, when stochasticity in the form of catastrophic reproductive failure was included, CCR-exposed toads were more susceptible to decline and extinction compared to toads from the reference populations. The results highlight the complexities involved in assessing the effects of anthropogenic factors on natural populations, especially for species that are exposed to multiple biotic and abiotic stressors during different periods in the life cycle.

  9. The Ecological Culture of Russian and American College Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ermolaeva, P. O.

    2014-01-01

    Comparative research data show that there is both a high level of ecological concern and a high level of ecological passivity among students in Russia, indicating that their ecological culture exists only on the symbolic level. The "green" culture of American college students, in contrast to that of Russia's college students, has become…

  10. Multiple, correlated covariates associated with differential item functioning (DIF): Accounting for language DIF when education levels differ across languages.

    PubMed

    Gibbons, Laura E; Crane, Paul K; Mehta, Kala M; Pedraza, Otto; Tang, Yuxiao; Manly, Jennifer J; Narasimhalu, Kaavya; Teresi, Jeanne; Jones, Richard N; Mungas, Dan

    2011-04-28

    Differential item functioning (DIF) occurs when a test item has different statistical properties in subgroups, controlling for the underlying ability measured by the test. DIF assessment is necessary when evaluating measurement bias in tests used across different language groups. However, other factors such as educational attainment can differ across language groups, and DIF due to these other factors may also exist. How to conduct DIF analyses in the presence of multiple, correlated factors remains largely unexplored. This study assessed DIF related to Spanish versus English language in a 44-item object naming test. Data come from a community-based sample of 1,755 Spanish- and English-speaking older adults. We compared simultaneous accounting, a new strategy for handling differences in educational attainment across language groups, with existing methods. Compared to other methods, simultaneously accounting for language- and education-related DIF yielded salient differences in some object naming scores, particularly for Spanish speakers with at least 9 years of education. Accounting for factors that vary across language groups can be important when assessing language DIF. The use of simultaneous accounting will be relevant to other cross-cultural studies in cognition and in other fields, including health-related quality of life.

  11. Ecological risk assessments for watersheds: Lessons learned from case studies

    SciTech Connect

    Marcy, S.K.M.

    1994-12-31

    The USEPA Office of Water and Risk Assessment Forum are co-sponsoring the development of watershed level ecological risk assessments in Big Darby Creek, OH, Clinch River, VA, Middle Platte River Wetlands, NE, Snake River, ID, and Waquoit Bay Estuary, MA. The case studies are testing the Agency`s Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment at a watershed scale for multiple stressors. During case study development much has been learned about how to apply and modify the principles in the Framework to landscape scale risk assessments. Insights include how to select appropriate assessment endpoints to drive the risk assessment, how to effectively increase involvement by risk management teams, and provide decision opportunities for managers throughout development. The case studies demonstrate diverse ways to conduct watershed risk assessments, and illustrate the importance of multiple risk hypotheses in conceptual models addressing the combined and relative risk of chemical, physical and biological stressors. Issues the case studies highlight include the need for a process to determine when watershed risk assessments are appropriate and at what level of complexity they should be performed, how to increase the use of the ecological risk assessments in management decision-making and how to determine the best risk reduction strategy. An update on the watershed case studies will be provided and the insights and issues stated above, discussed.

  12. Determination of 3-hydroxyisovalerylcarnitine and other acylcarnitine levels using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry in serum and urine of a patient with multiple carboxylase deficiency.

    PubMed

    Maeda, Yasuhiro; Ito, Tetsuya; Ohmi, Hironori; Yokoi, Kyoko; Nakajima, Yoko; Ueta, Akihito; Kurono, Yukihisa; Togari, Hajime; Sugiyama, Naruji

    2008-07-15

    Due to its increased concentration in blood, 3-hydroxyisovalerylcarnitine (C5OH-I) is an important indicator for the diagnosis of organic acidemias in newborns. However, C5OH-I has not been used as a standard in tandem mass spectrometric (MS/MS) assays because its isolation is difficult. We developed a new synthesis of C5OH-I and investigated its behavior by MS/MS. A method using the multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode of MS/MS with HPLC was developed which provides high accuracy, precision and reproducibility. Acylcarnitine profiles in the serum and urine of a patient with multiple carboxylase deficiency (MCD) showed increased levels compared to a healthy patient.

  13. Guide to using Multiple Regression in Excel (MRCX v.1.1) for Removal of River Stage Effects from Well Water Levels

    SciTech Connect

    Mackley, Rob D.; Spane, Frank A.; Pulsipher, Trenton C.; Allwardt, Craig H.

    2010-09-01

    A software tool was created in Fiscal Year 2010 (FY11) that enables multiple-regression correction of well water levels for river-stage effects. This task was conducted as part of the Remediation Science and Technology project of CH2MHILL Plateau Remediation Company (CHPRC). This document contains an overview of the correction methodology and a user’s manual for Multiple Regression in Excel (MRCX) v.1.1. It also contains a step-by-step tutorial that shows users how to use MRCX to correct river effects in two different wells. This report is accompanied by an enclosed CD that contains the MRCX installer application and files used in the tutorial exercises.

  14. Development of computer program ENAUDIBL for computation of the sensation levels of multiple, complex, intrusive sounds in the presence of residual environmental masking noise

    SciTech Connect

    Liebich, R. E.; Chang, Y.-S.; Chun, K. C.

    2000-03-31

    The relative audibility of multiple sounds occurs in separate, independent channels (frequency bands) termed critical bands or equivalent rectangular (filter-response) bandwidths (ERBs) of frequency. The true nature of human hearing is a function of a complex combination of subjective factors, both auditory and nonauditory. Assessment of the probability of individual annoyance, community-complaint reaction levels, speech intelligibility, and the most cost-effective mitigation actions requires sensation-level data; these data are one of the most important auditory factors. However, sensation levels cannot be calculated by using single-number, A-weighted sound level values. This paper describes specific steps to compute sensation levels. A unique, newly developed procedure is used, which simplifies and improves the accuracy of such computations by the use of maximum sensation levels that occur, for each intrusive-sound spectrum, within each ERB. The newly developed program ENAUDIBL makes use of ERB sensation-level values generated with some computational subroutines developed for the formerly documented program SPECTRAN.

  15. Adding Multiple Adipokines into the Model do not Improve Weight Gain Prediction by Leptin Levels in Newborns

    PubMed Central

    Treviño-Garza, Consuelo; Estrada-Zúñiga, Cynthia M.; Mancillas-Adame, Leonardo; Villarreal-Martínez, Laura; Villarreal-Pérez, Jesús Z.; Rodríguez-Balderrama, Isaías; Montes-Tapia, Fernando F.; de la O. Cavazos, Manuel E.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: Most adipose tissue programming is realized in early life. Also, the postnatal three months, rather than the later phases of infancy, may be more relevant in the development of an adverse cardiometabolic risk profile. The adipokines phenotype, as a predictor of early-life weight gain, has been recently explored in cord blood. To determine whether in addition to leptin levels in cord samples, adiponectin, interleukin-6 (IL-6), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), resistin, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) levels improve weight gain prediction during the first three months of life. Methods: Adiponectin, IL-6, MCP-1, leptin, resistin, PAI-1, and TNF-α were measured by multiplex immunoassay in a subsample of 86 healthy term newborns. Results: Leptin levels significantly predicted weight gain at 3 months of follow-up (r2=0.09, p=0.006). In the multivariate analysis, including additional adipokines in the model, stepwise or all at once, did not increase the prediction of weight gain after the first three months of life. Conclusion: Adding adiponectin, IL-6, MCP-1, resistin, PAI-1, and TNF-α to the prediction model of weight gain in healthy newborns did not prove to be useful. It is probable that their relative contribution to weight gain is not important. Only leptin was relevant as a predictor of weight gain at the 3-month endpoint. PMID:27087431

  16. Multiple Levels of Social Influence on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Decision-Making and Behaviors in Ghana.

    PubMed

    Challa, Sneha; Manu, Abubakar; Morhe, Emmanuel; Dalton, Vanessa K; Loll, Dana; Dozier, Jessica; Zochowski, Melissa K; Boakye, Andrew; Adanu, Richard; Hall, Kelli Stidham

    2017-03-15

    Little is known about the multi-level social determinants of adolescent sexual and reproductive health (SRH) that shape the use of family planning (FP) among young women in Africa. We conducted in-depth, semi-structured, qualitative interviews with 63 women aged 15-24 years in Accra and Kumasi, Ghana. We used purposive, stratified sampling to recruit women from community-based sites. Interviews were conducted in English or local languages, recorded, and transcribed verbatim. Grounded theory-guided thematic analysis identified salient themes. Three primary levels of influence emerged as shaping young women's SRH experiences, decision-making, and behaviors. Interpersonal influences (peers, partners, and parents) were both supportive and unsupportive influences on sexual debut, contraceptive (non)use, and pregnancy resolution. Community influences included perceived norms about acceptability/unacceptability of adolescent sexual activity and its consequences (pregnancy, childbearing, abortion). Macro-social influences involved religion and abstinence and teachings about premarital sex, lack of comprehensive sex education, and limited access to confidential, quality SRH care. The willingness and ability of young women in our study to use FP methods and services were affected, often negatively, by factors operating within and across each level. These findings have implications for research, programs, and policies to address social determinants of adolescent SRH.

  17. Cooperative enhancement of water binding to crownophane by multiple hydrogen bonds: analysis by high level ab initio calculations.

    PubMed

    Tsuzuki, S; Houjou, H; Nagawa, Y; Goto, M; Hiratani, K

    2001-05-09

    The intermolecular interaction energy of the model system of the water-crownophane complex was analyzed. The water molecule has four hydrogen bonds, with the two hydrogen-donating phenolic hydroxy groups and two hydrogen-accepting oxygen atoms of the poly-oxyethylene chain of the crownophane in the complex. The MP2/6-311G(2d,2p) level calculations of the model system of the complex (hydrogen donating unit + hydrogen accepting unit + water) indicate that the binding energy of the water is 21.85 kcal/mol and that the hydrogen bond cooperativity increases the binding energy as much as 3.67 kcal/mol. The calculated interaction energies depend on the basis set, while the basis set dependence of the cooperative increment is negligible. Most of the cooperative increment is covered by the HF level calculation, which suggests that the major source of the hydrogen bond cooperativity in this system has its origin in induction. The BLYP/6-311G** and PW91/6-311G** level interaction energies of the model system are close to the MP2/6-311G** interaction energies, which suggests that the DFT calculations with these functionals are useful methods to evaluated the interactions of hydrogen bonded systems.

  18. [Inter-Occupational Cooperation Levels in a Day Care Service and Its Subjects - From the Viewpoint of Multiple Occupations].

    PubMed

    Ugai, Chizuru; Hata, Kiyomi

    2016-12-01

    We clarified the role of cooperation of nursing personnel who work in day care services, to precede our examination of inter-occupational cooperation. The study results revealed that there were four cooperation levels. Subjects for the cooperation included:"difficulty in sharing information,"difficulty in understanding the whole picture,"difficulty in finding directions, "and"difficulty in dealing with emergency cases."The purpose of this study was to clarify the inter-occupational cooperation levels in a day care service and its subjects. We also conducted semi-structured interviews with 13 persons of differing occupations(other than nurses), and who worked in day-care services in A prefecture. As a result, it was revealed that there were three inter-occupational cooperation levels and its subjects included:"difficulty in sharing information" (which was answered the same as the nurses),"difficulty in sharing goals"(which were different among individual occupations), "lack of consistency in care,"necessity of learning because of insufficient knowledge,"and"hesitation to notify."

  19. Visual Search in Ecological and Non-Ecological Displays: Evidence for a Non-Monotonic Effect of Complexity on Performance

    PubMed Central

    Chassy, Philippe; Gobet, Fernand

    2013-01-01

    Considerable research has been carried out on visual search, with single or multiple targets. However, most studies have used artificial stimuli with low ecological validity. In addition, little is known about the effects of target complexity and expertise in visual search. Here, we investigate visual search in three conditions of complexity (detecting a king, detecting a check, and detecting a checkmate) with chess players of two levels of expertise (novices and club players). Results show that the influence of target complexity depends on level of structure of the visual display. Different functional relationships were found between artificial (random chess positions) and ecologically valid (game positions) stimuli: With artificial, but not with ecologically valid stimuli, a “pop out” effect was present when a target was visually more complex than distractors but could be captured by a memory chunk. This suggests that caution should be exercised when generalising from experiments using artificial stimuli with low ecological validity to real-life stimuli. PMID:23320084

  20. The Level of Testosterone, Vitamin D, and Irregular Menstruation More Important than Omega-3 in Non-Symptomatic Women Will Define the Fate of Multiple Scleroses in Future.

    PubMed

    Tavakol, Shima; Shakibapour, Sahar; Bidgoli, Sepideh Arbabi

    2016-12-13

    Multiple sclerosis is one of the most salient degenerative disorders of CNS with dysregulated immune process that resulted in axonal damage and demyelination. In the present investigation, the serum level of testosterone was assessed in women who were struggling with multiple sclerosis (MS). Also, the level of omega-3, vitamin D, and the irregular menstruation in women 5 years before the onset MS symptoms were surveyed. Although the levels of omega-3 and vitamin D in women MS patients were non-significant and significantly less than the healthy ones, they were significantly less in the whole population of MS patients. However, the MS patients more experienced more irregular menstruation some years before the onset of MS with the low level of testosterone. Based on the presented findings, it might be said that the vitamin D intake has significant protective role in women and men MS patients unlike the omega-3 that had significant protective role just in men. However, vitamin D metabolism encoding genes of CYP27B1 and CYP24A1 and predicting MS risk gene of HLA-DRB1*15:01 define its fate as well. Besides, vitamin D intake, through the proliferation decrement of pro-inflammatory cells, decreases of pro-inflammatory markers (IL-6, TNF-α, INF-γ) and auto-immune pathways have potential role in recovery of irregular menstruation in women with the low level of testosterone as a red warning factor of MS development. The low level of testosterone and vitamin D consumption increase the neural damage and pro-inflammatory pathways in MS patients, and the difference among the investigations is related to the long-standing history of MS that influences severity of damage to the neural cells and biomolecules and complicate its recovery.

  1. Monitoring In Vivo Changes in Tonic Extracellular Dopamine Level by Charge-Balancing Multiple Waveform Fast-Scan Cyclic Voltammetry.

    PubMed

    Oh, Yoonbae; Park, Cheonho; Kim, Do Hyoung; Shin, Hojin; Kang, Yu Min; DeWaele, Mark; Lee, Jeyeon; Min, Hoon-Ki; Blaha, Charles D; Bennet, Kevin E; Kim, In Young; Lee, Kendall H; Jang, Dong Pyo

    2016-11-15

    Dopamine (DA) modulates central neuronal activity through both phasic (second to second) and tonic (minutes to hours) terminal release. Conventional fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV), in combination with carbon fiber microelectrodes, has been used to measure phasic DA release in vivo by adopting a background subtraction procedure to remove background capacitive currents. However, measuring tonic changes in DA concentrations using conventional FSCV has been difficult because background capacitive currents are inherently unstable over long recording periods. To measure tonic changes in DA concentrations over several hours, we applied a novel charge-balancing multiple