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Sample records for natural background approach

  1. Teaching about Natural Background Radiation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Teaching about natural background radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

    Ambient gamma dose rates in air were measured at different locations (indoors and outdoors) to demonstrate the ubiquitous nature of natural background radiation in the environment and to show that levels vary from one location to another, depending on the underlying geology. The effect of a lead shield on a gamma radiation field was also demonstrated to emphasize the important role of shielding in radiation protection. The measurements were carried out with a Geiger-Muller (GM)-based dosimeter and a NaI scintillation gamma-ray spectrometer, which are normally available in physics laboratories. Radioactivity in household materials was demonstrated using a gas mantle as an example.

  3. Natural-background-oriented schlieren imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hargather, Michael John; Settles, Gary S.

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Ambient background particulate composition, outdoor natural background: interferents/clutter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paterno, Dorothea

    2012-06-01

    It has proven a very difficult task to discriminate an actual BW threat from the natural occurring ambient particulate aerosol, which includes a significant fraction of particles consisting of mixed mineral and biological material. The interferent particles [clutter] (bio and non bio) concentration varies widely both by location, weather and season and diurnally. Naturally occurring background particulates are composed of fungal and bacterial spores both fragments and components, plant fragments and debris, animal fragments and debris, all of which may be associated with inert dust or combustion material. Some or all of which could also be considered to be an interferent to a biological warfare detector and cause these biodector systems to cause False Alarms by non specific BW bio detectors. I will share analysis of current long term background data sets.

  5. Speech Recognition in Natural Background Noise

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Julien; Dentel, Laure; Meunier, Fanny

    2013-01-01

    In the real world, human speech recognition nearly always involves listening in background noise. The impact of such noise on speech signals and on intelligibility performance increases with the separation of the listener from the speaker. The present behavioral experiment provides an overview of the effects of such acoustic disturbances on speech perception in conditions approaching ecologically valid contexts. We analysed the intelligibility loss in spoken word lists with increasing listener-to-speaker distance in a typical low-level natural background noise. The noise was combined with the simple spherical amplitude attenuation due to distance, basically changing the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Therefore, our study draws attention to some of the most basic environmental constraints that have pervaded spoken communication throughout human history. We evaluated the ability of native French participants to recognize French monosyllabic words (spoken at 65.3 dB(A), reference at 1 meter) at distances between 11 to 33 meters, which corresponded to the SNRs most revealing of the progressive effect of the selected natural noise (−8.8 dB to −18.4 dB). Our results showed that in such conditions, identity of vowels is mostly preserved, with the striking peculiarity of the absence of confusion in vowels. The results also confirmed the functional role of consonants during lexical identification. The extensive analysis of recognition scores, confusion patterns and associated acoustic cues revealed that sonorant, sibilant and burst properties were the most important parameters influencing phoneme recognition. . Altogether these analyses allowed us to extract a resistance scale from consonant recognition scores. We also identified specific perceptual consonant confusion groups depending of the place in the words (onset vs. coda). Finally our data suggested that listeners may access some acoustic cues of the CV transition, opening interesting perspectives for future studies

  6. A review on natural background radiation

    PubMed Central

    Shahbazi-Gahrouei, Daryoush; Gholami, Mehrdad; Setayandeh, Samaneh

    2013-01-01

    The world is naturally radioactive and approximately 82% of human-absorbed radiation doses, which are out of control, arise from natural sources such as cosmic, terrestrial, and exposure from inhalation or intake radiation sources. In recent years, several international studies have been carried out, which have reported different values regarding the effect of background radiation on human health. Gamma radiation emitted from natural sources (background radiation) is largely due to primordial radionuclides, mainly 232Th and 238U series, and their decay products, as well as 40K, which exist at trace levels in the earth's crust. Their concentrations in soil, sands, and rocks depend on the local geology of each region in the world. Naturally occurring radioactive materials generally contain terrestrial-origin radionuclides, left over since the creation of the earth. In addition, the existence of some springs and quarries increases the dose rate of background radiation in some regions that are known as high level background radiation regions. The type of building materials used in houses can also affect the dose rate of background radiations. The present review article was carried out to consider all of the natural radiations, including cosmic, terrestrial, and food radiation. PMID:24223380

  7. Sinning against nature: the theory of background conditions.

    PubMed

    Blackford, R

    2006-11-01

    Debates about the moral and political acceptability of particular sexual practices and new technologies often include appeals to a supposed imperative to follow nature. If nature is understood as the totality of all phenomena or as those things that are not artificial, there is little prospect of developing a successful argument to impugn interference with it or sinning against it. At the same time, there are serious difficulties with approaches that seek to identify "proper" human functioning. An alternative approach is to understand interference with nature as acting in a manner that threatens basic background conditions to human choice. Arguably, the theory of background conditions helps explain much of the hostility to practices and technologies that allegedly sin against nature. The theory does not, however, entail that appeals to nature are relevant or rational. Such appeals should be subjected to sceptical scrutiny. Indeed, the theory suggests that arguments against practices and technologies that can be seen as contrary to nature sometimes exercise a psychological attraction that is disproportional to their actual cogency.

  8. Chromo-natural model in anisotropic background

    SciTech Connect

    Maleknejad, Azadeh; Erfani, Encieh E-mail: eerfani@ipm.ir

    2014-03-01

    In this work we study the chromo-natural inflation model in the anisotropic setup. Initiating inflation from Bianchi type-I cosmology, we analyze the system thoroughly during the slow-roll inflation, from both analytical and numerical points of view. We show that the isotropic FRW inflation is an attractor of the system. In other words, anisotropies are damped within few e-folds and the chromo-natural model respects the cosmic no-hair conjecture. Furthermore, we demonstrate that in the slow-roll limit, the anisotropies in both chromo-natural and gauge-flation models share the same dynamics.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  14. Background Subtraction Approach based on Independent Component Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Jiménez-Hernández, Hugo

    2010-01-01

    In this work, a new approach to background subtraction based on independent component analysis is presented. This approach assumes that background and foreground information are mixed in a given sequence of images. Then, foreground and background components are identified, if their probability density functions are separable from a mixed space. Afterwards, the components estimation process consists in calculating an unmixed matrix. The estimation of an unmixed matrix is based on a fast ICA algorithm, which is estimated as a Newton-Raphson maximization approach. Next, the motion components are represented by the mid-significant eigenvalues from the unmixed matrix. Finally, the results show the approach capabilities to detect efficiently motion in outdoors and indoors scenarios. The results show that the approach is robust to luminance conditions changes at scene. PMID:22219704

  15. Image Discrimination Models Predict Object Detection in Natural Backgrounds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahumada, Albert J., Jr.; Rohaly, A. M.; Watson, Andrew B.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    Object detection involves looking for one of a large set of object sub-images in a large set of background images. Image discrimination models only predict the probability that an observer will detect a difference between two images. In a recent study based on only six different images, we found that discrimination models can predict the relative detectability of objects in those images, suggesting that these simpler models may be useful in some object detection applications. Here we replicate this result using a new, larger set of images. Fifteen images of a vehicle in an other-wise natural setting were altered to remove the vehicle and mixed with the original image in a proportion chosen to make the target neither perfectly recognizable nor unrecognizable. The target was also rotated about a vertical axis through its center and mixed with the background. Sixteen observers rated these 30 target images and the 15 background-only images for the presence of a vehicle. The likelihoods of the observer responses were computed from a Thurstone scaling model with the assumption that the detectabilities are proportional to the predictions of an image discrimination model. Three image discrimination models were used: a cortex transform model, a single channel model with a contrast sensitivity function filter, and the Root-Mean-Square (RMS) difference of the digital target and background-only images. As in the previous study, the cortex transform model performed best; the RMS difference predictor was second best; and last, but still a reasonable predictor, was the single channel model. Image discrimination models can predict the relative detectabilities of objects in natural backgrounds.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Tombach, Ivar; Brewer, Patricia

    2005-11-01

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

  18. Using Natural Approach Teaching Techniques.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whitman, Charles

    1986-01-01

    Describes a beginning foreign language class applying the principles of Stephen Krashen's "Natural Approach" and James Asher's "Total Physical Response" method. Initially students carry out the instructor's commands in the form of actions rather than being required to speak. In later stages role play and simple discussions are introduced. (LMO)

  19. In-mine testing of a natural background sensor, part B

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martzloff, F. D.

    1981-01-01

    The capability of a natural background sensor for measuring the thickness of top coal on a longwall face was examined. The limitations on the time during which tests could be performed, and the roof conditions, did not produce readings of top coal measurements during the shearer operation. It was demonstrated that the system is capable to survive operating conditions in the mine environment, while the static tests confirmed that the natural background sensor approach is a valid method of measuring top coal thickness in mines where the roof rock provides a constant radiation level. It is concluded that the practical results will improve sequent development of an integrated vertical control system which is information from the natural background system.

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

    PubMed

    Germanskaia, Anna A

    2006-01-01

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

  1. Estimating natural background groundwater chemistry, Questa molybdenum mine, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Verplanck, Phillip L.; Nordstrom, D Kirk; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Walker, Bruce M.; Morgan, Lisa A.; Quane, Steven L.

    2010-01-01

    This 2 1/2 day field trip will present an overview of a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) project whose objective was to estimate pre-mining groundwater chemistry at the Questa molybdenum mine, New Mexico. Because of intense debate among stakeholders regarding pre-mining groundwater chemistry standards, the New Mexico Environment Department and Chevron Mining Inc. (formerly Molycorp) agreed that the USGS should determine pre-mining groundwater quality at the site. In 2001, the USGS began a 5-year, multidisciplinary investigation to estimate pre-mining groundwater chemistry utilizing a detailed assessment of a proximal natural analog site and applied an interdisciplinary approach to infer pre-mining conditions. The trip will include a surface tour of the Questa mine and key locations in the erosion scar areas and along the Red River. The trip will provide participants with a detailed understanding of geochemical processes that influence pre-mining environmental baselines in mineralized areas and estimation techniques for determining pre-mining baseline conditions.

  2. A novel approach to model EPIC variable background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marelli, M.; De Luca, A.; Salvetti, D.; Belfiore, A.; Pizzocaro, D.

    2016-06-01

    In the past years XMM-Newton revolutionized our way to look at the X-ray sky. With more than 200 Ms of exposure, it allowed for numerous discoveries in every field of astronomy. Unfortunately, about 35% of the observing time is badly affected by soft proton flares, with background increasing by orders of magnitudes hampering any classical analysis of field sources. One of the main aim of the EXTraS ("Exploring the X-ray Transient and variable Sky") project is to characterise the variability of XMM-Newton sources within each single observation, including periods of high background. This posed severe challenges. I will describe a novel approach that we implemented within the EXTraS project to produce background-subtracted light curves, that allows to treat the case of very faint sources and very large proton flares. EXTraS light curves will be soon released to the community, together with new tools that will allow the user to reproduce EXTraS results, as well as to extend a similar analysis to future data. Results of this work (including an unprecedented characterisation of the soft proton phenomenon and instrument response) will also serve as a reference for future missions and will be particularly relevant for the Athena observatory.

  3. Hidden in the background: a local approach to CMB anomalies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bueno Sánchez, Juan C.

    2016-09-01

    We investigate a framework aiming to provide a common origin for the large-angle anomalies detected in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), which are hypothesized as the result of the statistical inhomogeneity developed by different isocurvature fields of mass m~ H present during inflation. The inhomogeneity arises as the combined effect of (i) the initial conditions for isocurvature fields (obtained after a fast-roll stage finishing many e-foldings before cosmological scales exit the horizon), (ii) their inflationary fluctuations and (iii) their coupling to other degrees of freedom. Our case of interest is when these fields (interpreted as the precursors of large-angle anomalies) leave an observable imprint only in isolated patches of the Universe. When the latter intersect the last scattering surface, such imprints arise in the CMB. Nevertheless, due to their statistically inhomogeneous nature, these imprints are difficult to detect, for they become hidden in the background similarly to the Cold Spot. We then compute the probability that a single isocurvature field becomes inhomogeneous at the end of inflation and find that, if the appropriate conditions are given (which depend exclusively on the preexisting fast-roll stage), this probability is at the percent level. Finally, we discuss several mechanisms (including the curvaton and the inhomogeneous reheating) to investigate whether an initial statistically inhomogeneous isocurvature field fluctuation might give rise to some of the observed anomalies. In particular, we focus on the Cold Spot, the power deficit at low multipoles and the breaking of statistical isotropy.

  4. Is natural background or radiation from nuclear power plants leukemogenic

    SciTech Connect

    Cronkite, E.P.

    1989-01-01

    The objective in this review is to provide some facts about normal hemopoietic cell proliferation relevant to leukemogenesis, physical, chemical, and biological facts about radiation effects with the hope that each person will be able to decide for themselves whether background radiation or emissions from nuclear power plants and facilities significantly add to the spontaneous leukemia incidence. 23 refs., 1 tab.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wronski, Stanley P.

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

  6. Anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background: an analytic approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Wayne; Sugiyama, Naoshi

    1995-05-01

    We introduce a conceptually simple yet powerful analytic method which traces the structure of cosmic microwave background anisotropies to better than 5%-10% in temperature fluctuations on all scales. It is applicable to any model in which the gravitational potential is known and last scattering is sufficiently early. Moreover, it recovers and explains the presence of the 'Doppler peaks' at degree scales as driven acoustic oscillations of the photon-baryon fluid. We treat in detail such subtleties as the time dependence of the gravitational driving force, anisotropic stress from the neutrino quadrupole, and damping during the recombination process, again all from an analytic standpoint. We apply this formalism to the standard cold dark matter model to gain physical insight into the anisotropies, including the dependence of the peak locations and heights on cosmological parameters such as Omegab and h. Furthermore, the ionization history controls damping due to the finite thickness of the last scattering surface, which is in fact mianly caused by photon diffusion. In addition to being a powerful probe into the nature of anisotropies, this treatment can be used in place of the standard Boltzmann code where 5%-10% accuracy in temperature fluctuations is satisfactory and/or speed is essential. Equally importantly, it can be used as a portable standard by which numerical codes can be tested and compared.

  7. Natural approach to quantum dissipation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taj, David; Öttinger, Hans Christian

    2015-12-01

    The dissipative dynamics of a quantum system weakly coupled to one or several reservoirs is usually described in terms of a Lindblad generator. The popularity of this approach is certainly due to the linear character of the latter. However, while such linearity finds justification from an underlying Hamiltonian evolution in some scaling limit, it does not rely on solid physical motivations at small but finite values of the coupling constants, where the generator is typically used for applications. The Markovian quantum master equations we propose are instead supported by very natural thermodynamic arguments. They themselves arise from Markovian master equations for the system and the environment which preserve factorized states and mean energy and generate entropy at a non-negative rate. The dissipative structure is driven by an entropic map, called modular, which introduces nonlinearity. The generated modular dynamical semigroup (MDS) guarantees for the positivity of the time evolved state the correct steady state properties, the positivity of the entropy production, and a positive Onsager matrix with symmetry relations arising from Green-Kubo formulas. We show that the celebrated Davies Lindblad generator, obtained through the Born and the secular approximations, generates a MDS. In doing so we also provide a nonlinear MDS which is supported by a weak coupling argument and is free from the limitations of the Davies generator.

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

    PubMed

    Dragounová, Lenka; Rulík, Petr

    2013-11-01

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

  9. Pixel detectors in double beta decay experiments, a new approach for background reduction

    SciTech Connect

    Jose, J. M.; Čermák, P.; Štekl, I.; Rukhadze, E. N.; Rukhadze, N. I.; Brudanin, V. B.; Fiederle, M.; Fauler, A.; Loaiza, P.

    2013-08-08

    Double beta decay (ββ) experiments are challenging frontiers in contemporary physics. These experiments have the potential to investigate more about neutrinos (eg. nature and mass). The main challenge for these experiments is the reduction of background. The group at IEAP, CTU in Prague is investigating a new approach using pixel detectors Timepix. Pixel detector offer background reduction capabilities with its ability to identify the particle interaction (from the 2D signature it generates). However, use of pixel detectors has some challenges such as the presence of readout electronics near the sensing medium and heat dissipation. Different aspects of pixel setup (identification of radio-impurities, selection of radio-pure materials) and proposed experimental setup are presented. Also, results of preliminary background measurements (performed on the surface and in the underground laboratories) using the prototype setups are presented.

  10. The natural approach to osteoporosis.

    PubMed

    Bartolozzi, Emanuela

    2015-01-01

    Osteoporosis is normally the result of a wrong life-style (diet, physical inactivity, smoke, dental hygiene, intestinal dysbiosis,…) and environmental toxicity which stimulate the chronic expression of inflammatory genes and alter the immuno-endocrine balance. A natural approch should face all the factors involved, leading the patients to become aware of their own responsability, and helping them with natural therapies, healthy food and life-style which support their body in the process of self-healing. PMID:26604935

  11. Improved radiological/nuclear source localization in variable NORM background: An MLEM approach with segmentation data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penny, Robert D.; Crowley, Tanya M.; Gardner, Barbara M.; Mandell, Myron J.; Guo, Yanlin; Haas, Eric B.; Knize, Duane J.; Kuharski, Robert A.; Ranta, Dale; Shyffer, Ryan; Labov, Simon; Nelson, Karl; Seilhan, Brandon; Valentine, John D.

    2015-06-01

    A novel approach and algorithm have been developed to rapidly detect and localize both moving and static radiological/nuclear (R/N) sources from an airborne platform. Current aerial systems with radiological sensors are limited in their ability to compensate for variable naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) background. The proposed approach suppresses the effects of NORM background by incorporating additional information to segment the survey area into regions over which the background is likely to be uniform. The method produces pixelated Source Activity Maps (SAMs) of both target and background radionuclide activity over the survey area. The task of producing the SAMs requires (1) the development of a forward model which describes the transformation of radionuclide activity to detector measurements and (2) the solution of the associated inverse problem. The inverse problem is ill-posed as there are typically fewer measurements than unknowns. In addition the measurements are subject to Poisson statistical noise. The Maximum-Likelihood Expectation-Maximization (MLEM) algorithm is used to solve the inverse problem as it is well suited for under-determined problems corrupted by Poisson noise. A priori terrain information is incorporated to segment the reconstruction space into regions within which we constrain NORM background activity to be uniform. Descriptions of the algorithm and examples of performance with and without segmentation on simulated data are presented.

  12. The natural approach to osteoporosis

    PubMed Central

    Bartolozzi, Emanuela

    2015-01-01

    Summary Osteoporosis is normally the result of a wrong life-style (diet, physical inactivity, smoke, dental hygiene, intestinal dysbiosis,…) and environmental toxicity which stimulate the chronic expression of inflammatory genes and alter the immuno-endocrine balance. A natural approch should face all the factors involved, leading the patients to become aware of their own responsability, and helping them with natural therapies, healthy food and life-style which support their body in the process of self-healing. PMID:26604935

  13. An approach of reducing the background induced by neutrons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shen, C.; Gu, Y.; Sun, Y.; Ma, Y.; Dai, C.; Fan, Z.

    1985-01-01

    The background induced by interactions of neutrons with detector material (and shield material) is difficult to be rejected. It is one of the most important factors to affect the sensitivity of a balloon-borne gamma-ray astronomical telescope. The main component of neutron flux at the major detector of the telescope is incident neutrons, that consists of atmospheric neutrons and neutrons locally produced in the balloon platform. Therefore, shielding the detector from incident neutrons is a possible way to reduce the background. NaI (T1) crystal is very widely used in gamma-ray astronomical telescopes. Through balloon-borne experiment it is shown that up 6 LiF shield is effective to reduce the background in NaI crystal.

  14. Human Blood Typing: A Forensic Science Approach. Part I: Background.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kobilinsky, Lawrence; Sheehan, Francis X.

    1988-01-01

    In this article, part I of a series, the forensic methods used in "typing" human blood, which as physical evidence is often found in the dried state, are outlined. Background information about individualization, antibody typing, fresh blood, dried blood, and additional systems is provided. (CW)

  15. A Novel Approach to Deepen Understanding of Undergraduates' Environmental Backgrounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hvenegaard, Glen

    2007-01-01

    Universities often lack a detailed understanding of the environmental backgrounds of their students. One way to improve understanding is through segmentation, which breaks down a population into groups of people with similar characteristics. This study aims to use segmentation to determine groups within the student population, based on…

  16. GPR background removal using a directional total variation minimisation approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rashed, Essam A.

    2015-12-01

    Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is a leading geophysical subsurface imaging tool for various purposes. This efficiency, however, is compromised by the interference of different types of noise. Background noise (clutter) is one of the nagging types of noise that undermines the high-resolution imaging capabilities of GPR. This study presents the experience of applying a directional total variation minimisation (DTVM) filter to attenuate clutter in GPR data. The application of DTVM to both synthetic and field GPR data proves its great capability to attenuate clutter without affecting the features of interest of a GPR section. The results also show that the proposed DTVM method affords superior image quality than both the most commonly used and the most recently published background removal techniques.

  17. An efficient background modeling approach based on vehicle detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jia-yan; Song, Li-mei; Xi, Jiang-tao; Guo, Qing-hua

    2015-10-01

    The existing Gaussian Mixture Model(GMM) which is widely used in vehicle detection suffers inefficiency in detecting foreground image during the model phase, because it needs quite a long time to blend the shadows in the background. In order to overcome this problem, an improved method is proposed in this paper. First of all, each frame is divided into several areas(A, B, C and D), Where area A, B, C and D are decided by the frequency and the scale of the vehicle access. For each area, different new learning rate including weight, mean and variance is applied to accelerate the elimination of shadows. At the same time, the measure of adaptive change for Gaussian distribution is taken to decrease the total number of distributions and save memory space effectively. With this method, different threshold value and different number of Gaussian distribution are adopted for different areas. The results show that the speed of learning and the accuracy of the model using our proposed algorithm surpass the traditional GMM. Probably to the 50th frame, interference with the vehicle has been eliminated basically, and the model number only 35% to 43% of the standard, the processing speed for every frame approximately has a 20% increase than the standard. The proposed algorithm has good performance in terms of elimination of shadow and processing speed for vehicle detection, it can promote the development of intelligent transportation, which is very meaningful to the other Background modeling methods.

  18. Natural Resource Conservation: An Ecological Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Owen, Oliver S.

    As a text for college courses in the conservation of natural resources, this book employs a biological (ecological) approach to the environment and environmental problems. Objectives of the material are to bring out: (1) the value of natural resources; (2) the gravity of the environmental crisis; (3) the principles of ecology which underlie…

  19. Neurochemical background and approaches in the understanding of motion sickness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kohl, R. L.

    1982-01-01

    The problems and nature of space motion sickness were defined. The neurochemical and neurophysiological bases of vestibular system function and of the expression of motion sickness wre reviewed. Emphasis was given to the elucidation of the neuropharmacological mechanisms underlying the effects of scopolamine and amphetamine on motion sickness. Characterization of the ascending reticular activating system and the limbic system provided clues to the etiology of the side effects of scopolamine. The interrelationship between central cholinergic pathways and the peripheral (autonomic) expression of motion sickness was described. A correlation between the stress of excessive motion and a variety of hormonal responses to that stress was also detailed. The cholinergic system is involved in the efferent modulation of the vestibular hair cells, as an afferent modulator of the vestibular nuclei, in the activation of cortical and limbic structures, in the expression of motion sickness symptoms and most likely underscores a number of the hormonal changes that occur in stressful motion environments. The role of lecithin in the regulation of the levels of neurotransmitters was characterized as a possible means by which cholinergic neurochemistry can be modulated.

  20. General background and approach to multibody dynamics for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santini, Paolo; Gasbarri, Paolo

    2009-06-01

    Multibody dynamics for space applications is dictated by space environment such as space-varying gravity forces, orbital and attitude perturbations, control forces if any. Several methods and formulations devoted to the modeling of flexible bodies undergoing large overall motions were developed in recent years. Most of these different formulations were aimed to face one of the main problems concerning the analysis of spacecraft dynamics namely the reduction of computer simulation time. By virtue of this, the use of symbolic manipulation, recursive formulation and parallel processing algorithms were proposed. All these approaches fall into two categories, the one based on Newton/Euler methods and the one based on Lagrangian methods; both of them have their advantages and disadvantages although in general, Newtonian approaches lend to a better understanding of the physics of problems and in particular of the magnitude of the reactions and of the corresponding structural stresses. Another important issue which must be addressed carefully in multibody space dynamics is relevant to a correct choice of kinematics variables. In fact, when dealing with flexible multibody system the resulting equations include two different types of state variables, the ones associated with large (rigid) displacements and the ones associated with elastic deformations. These two sets of variables have generally two different time scales if we think of the attitude motion of a satellite whose period of oscillation, due to the gravity gradient effects, is of the same order of magnitude as the orbital period, which is much bigger than the one associated with the structural vibration of the satellite itself. Therefore, the numerical integration of the equations of the system represents a challenging problem. This was the abstract and some of the arguments that Professor Paolo Santini intended to present for the Breakwell Lecture; unfortunately a deadly disease attacked him and shortly took him

  1. Severe antenatally diagnosed renal disorders: background, prognosis and practical approach.

    PubMed

    Aulbert, Wiebke; Kemper, Markus J

    2016-04-01

    Nowadays most renal disorders, especially urinary tract malformations and renal cystic disease, are diagnosed antenatally. In cases of severe bilateral disease, intrauterine renal dysfunction may lead to renal oligohydramnios (ROH), resulting in pulmonary hypoplasia which affects perinatal mortality and morbidity as well as the long-term outcome. However, some infants may only have mild pulmonary and renal disease, and advances in postnatal and dialysis treatment have resulted in improved short- and long-term outcome even in those infants with severe ROH. Here, we review the current state of knowledge and clinical experience of patients presenting antenatally with severe bilateral renal disorders and ROH. By addressing underlying mechanisms, intrauterine tools of diagnosis and treatment as well as published outcome data, we hope to improve antenatal counselling and postnatal care. KEY SUMMARY POINTS: 1. Nowadays most renal disorders are diagnosed antenatally, especially urinary tract malformations and renal cystic disease. 2. Severe kidney dysfunction may lead to renal oligohydramnios, which can cause pulmonary hypoplasia and is a risk factor of perinatal mortality and postnatal renal outcome. However, as considerable clinical heterogeneity is present, outcome predictions need to be treated with caution. 3. Advances in postnatal and dialysis treatment have resulted in improved short- and long-term outcomes even in infants with severe renal oligohydramnios. 4. A multidisciplinary approach with specialist input is required when counselling a family with an ROH-affected fetus as the decision-making process is very challenging. PMID:26081158

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

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Thomas Martin; de Wet, Wouter C.; Patton, Bruce W.

    2015-10-28

    In this study, a computational assessment of the variation in terrestrial neutron and photon background from extraterrestrial sources is presented. The motivation of this assessment is to evaluate the practicality of developing a tool or database to estimate background in real time (or near–real time) during an experimental measurement or to even predict the background for future measurements. The extraterrestrial source focused on during this assessment is naturally occurring galactic cosmic rays (GCRs). The MCNP6 transport code was used to perform the computational assessment. However, the GCR source available in MCNP6 was not used. Rather, models developed and maintained by NASA were used to generate the GCR sources. The largest variation in both neutron and photon background spectra was found to be caused by changes in elevation on Earth's surface, which can be as large as an order of magnitude. All other perturbations produced background variations on the order of a factor of 3 or less. The most interesting finding was that ~80% and 50% of terrestrial background neutrons and photons, respectively, are generated by interactions in Earth's surface and other naturally occurring and man-made objects near a detector of particles from extraterrestrial sources and their progeny created in Earth's atmosphere. In conclusion, this assessment shows that it will be difficult to estimate the terrestrial background from extraterrestrial sources without a good understanding of a detector's surroundings. Therefore, estimating or predicting background during a measurement environment like a mobile random search will be difficult.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Fornalski, Krzysztof W.; Feinendegen, Ludwig E.

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Natural background concentrations and threshold values of chemical species for groundwater in Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hyun, Y.; Lee, S.; Lee, H.

    2014-12-01

    We analyze natural background concentrations and determine threshold values of chemical species (NO3-N, Cl, As, Pb, Cr) for groundwater using Groundwater Quality Monitoring Network (GQMN) data operated by Korea Ministry of Environment (ME). GQMN data are divided into two groups, A and B. Group A consists of samples collected in aquifers where anthropogenic inputs are forced to be excluded by aquifer typology. Group B consists of samples in aquifers where purely anthropogenic chemicals (e.g., pesticide, PAC) are introduced at the downgradient. Group A is used to derive nationwide natural background concentrations for groundwater in specific aquifer geology under concern, which represents a reference system. Group B is used for deriving site-specific background concentrations for groundwater. For both groups of data, the samples with anthropogenic inputs are forced to be excluded, thus background concentrations are derived based on a pre-selection method accordingly. We determine threshold values according to EU GroundWater Daughter Directive(GWDD 2006/11/EC). For As, Pb, and Cr and some other trace elements, survival analyses are used for estimating background concentrations due to non-detect data. The results show that high concentration values of NO3-N and Cr are related to high natural background concentrations due to rock-water interactions for Group A. In particular, NO3-N concentrations vary with depth, which are consistent with natural attenuation processes. For Group B, some anthropogenic chemical species such as BTEX are observed and site-specific background concentrations of those elements are non-zero, which is apparently not naturally occurred at all. Natural background concentrations and threshold values derived from Group A can be used for setting up reference values for managing groundwater quality on a level of either domestic or drinking water stands. Meanwhile results from Group B provide a useful guidance for managing groundwater quality in

  6. Review of approaches to the recording of background lesions in toxicologic pathology studies in rats.

    PubMed

    McInnes, E F; Scudamore, C L

    2014-08-17

    Pathological evaluation of lesions caused directly by xenobiotic treatment must always take into account the recognition of background (incidental) findings. Background lesions can be congenital or hereditary, histological variations, changes related to trauma or normal aging and physiologic or hormonal changes. This review focuses on the importance and correct approach to recording of background changes and includes discussion on sources of variability in background changes, the correct use of terminology, the concept of thresholds, historical control data, diagnostic drift, blind reading of slides, scoring and artifacts. The review is illustrated with background lesions in Sprague Dawley and Wistar rats.

  7. Genomic Approaches with Natural Fish Populations

    PubMed Central

    Oleksiak, M. F.

    2011-01-01

    Natural populations versus inbred stocks provide a much richer resource for identifying the effects of nucleotide substitutions because natural populations have greater polymorphism. Additionally, natural populations offer an advantage over most common research organisms because they are subject to natural selection, and analyses of these adaptations can be used to identify biologically important changes. Among fishes, these analyses are enhanced by having a wide diversity of species (> 28,000 species, more than any other group of vertebrates) living in a huge range of environments (from below freezing to > 46° C, in fresh water to salinities > 40 ppt.). Moreover, fishes exhibit many different life history and reproductive strategies and have many different phenotypes and social structures. While fishes provide numerous advantages over other vertebrate models, there is still a dearth of available genomic tools for fishes. Fish make up approximately half of all known vertebrate species, yet less than 0.2% of fish species have significant genomic resources. Nonetheless, genomic approaches with fishes have provided some of the first measures of individual variation in gene expression and insights in to environmental and ecological adaptations. Thus, genomic approaches with natural fish populations have the potential to revolutionize fundamental studies of diverse fish species that offer myriad ecological and evolutionary questions. PMID:20409163

  8. Geochemistry, biota and natural background levels in an arsenic naturally contaminated volcanic aquifer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preziosi, Elisabetta; Amalfitano, Stefano; Di Lorenzo, Tiziana; Parrone, Daniele; Rossi, David; Ghergo, Stefano; Lungarini, Silvia; Zoppini, Anna Maria

    2015-04-01

    The tight links between chemical and ecological status are largely acknowledged as for surface water bodies, while aquifers are still considered as hidden groundwater reservoirs, rather than ecosystems to be preserved. Geochemical and biological interactions play a key role in all subterranean processes, including the dynamics of the fate of anthropogenic contaminants. Studies on groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDE) were mainly focused on karst aquifers so far, but an increased awareness on the importance of water-rock interactions and methodological improvements in microbial ecology are rapidly increasing the level of characterization of groundwater ecosystems in various hydrogeological contexts. Similarly, knowledge about groundwater biodiversity is still limited, especially if porous habitats are concerned. Yet, groundwater and GDEs are populated by a diverse and highly adapted biota, dominated by crustaceans, which provide important ecosystem services and act as biological indicators of chemical and quantitative impact on groundwater resources. In a previous research (Amalfitano et al. 2014), we reported that the microbial community heterogeneity may reflect the lithological and hydrogeological complexity within volcanic and alluvial facies transition in a groundwater body. The quantitative tracking of the microbial community structure allowed disentangling the natural biogeochemical processes evolving within the aquifer flow path. The analyses of groundwater crustaceans assemblages may contribute to shed more light upon the state and dynamics of such ecosystems. In the present research, a comprehensive study of a water table aquifer flowing through a quaternary volcanic district is being performed, including the geochemical (inorganic) composition, the microbial composition, and the analysis of crustacean assemblages . Groundwater samples are periodically collected from private wells and springs under a low anthropic impact. The key issues within the

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Miller, Thomas Martin; de Wet, Wouter C.; Patton, Bruce W.

    2015-10-28

    In this study, a computational assessment of the variation in terrestrial neutron and photon background from extraterrestrial sources is presented. The motivation of this assessment is to evaluate the practicality of developing a tool or database to estimate background in real time (or near–real time) during an experimental measurement or to even predict the background for future measurements. The extraterrestrial source focused on during this assessment is naturally occurring galactic cosmic rays (GCRs). The MCNP6 transport code was used to perform the computational assessment. However, the GCR source available in MCNP6 was not used. Rather, models developed and maintained bymore » NASA were used to generate the GCR sources. The largest variation in both neutron and photon background spectra was found to be caused by changes in elevation on Earth's surface, which can be as large as an order of magnitude. All other perturbations produced background variations on the order of a factor of 3 or less. The most interesting finding was that ~80% and 50% of terrestrial background neutrons and photons, respectively, are generated by interactions in Earth's surface and other naturally occurring and man-made objects near a detector of particles from extraterrestrial sources and their progeny created in Earth's atmosphere. In conclusion, this assessment shows that it will be difficult to estimate the terrestrial background from extraterrestrial sources without a good understanding of a detector's surroundings. Therefore, estimating or predicting background during a measurement environment like a mobile random search will be difficult.« less

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cruz, J V; Andrade, C

    2015-07-01

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

  12. Synthetic Biological Approaches to Natural Product Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Winter, Jaclyn M; Tang, Yi

    2012-01-01

    Small molecules produced in Nature continue to be an inspiration for the development of new therapeutic agents. These natural products possess exquisite chemical diversity, which gives rise to their wide range of biological activities. In their host organism, natural products are assembled and modified by dedicated biosynthetic pathways that Nature has meticulously developed. Often times, the complex structures or chemical modifications instated by these pathways are difficult to replicate using traditional synthetic methods. An alternative approach for creating or enhancing the structural variation of natural products is through combinatorial biosynthesis. By rationally reprogramming and manipulating the biosynthetic machinery responsible for their production, unnatural metabolites that were otherwise inaccessible can be obtained. Additionally, new chemical structures can be synthesized or derivatized by developing the enzymes that carry out these complicated chemical reactions into biocatalysts. In this review, we will discuss a variety of combinatorial biosynthetic strategies, their technical challenges, and highlight some recent (since 2007) examples of rationally designed unnatural metabolites, as well as platforms that have been established for the production and modification of clinically important pharmaceutical compounds. PMID:22221832

  13. Technical note: An improved approach to determining background aerosol concentrations with PILS sampling on aircraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukami, Christine S.; Sullivan, Amy P.; Ryan Fulgham, S.; Murschell, Trey; Borch, Thomas; Smith, James N.; Farmer, Delphine K.

    2016-07-01

    Particle-into-Liquid Samplers (PILS) have become a standard aerosol collection technique, and are widely used in both ground and aircraft measurements in conjunction with off-line ion chromatography (IC) measurements. Accurate and precise background samples are essential to account for gas-phase components not efficiently removed and any interference in the instrument lines, collection vials or off-line analysis procedures. For aircraft sampling with PILS, backgrounds are typically taken with in-line filters to remove particles prior to sample collection once or twice per flight with more numerous backgrounds taken on the ground. Here, we use data collected during the Front Range Air Pollution and Photochemistry Éxperiment (FRAPPÉ) to demonstrate that not only are multiple background filter samples are essential to attain a representative background, but that the chemical background signals do not follow the Gaussian statistics typically assumed. Instead, the background signals for all chemical components analyzed from 137 background samples (taken from ∼78 total sampling hours over 18 flights) follow a log-normal distribution, meaning that the typical approaches of averaging background samples and/or assuming a Gaussian distribution cause an over-estimation of background samples - and thus an underestimation of sample concentrations. Our approach of deriving backgrounds from the peak of the log-normal distribution results in detection limits of 0.25, 0.32, 3.9, 0.17, 0.75 and 0.57 μg m-3 for sub-micron aerosol nitrate (NO3-), nitrite (NO2-), ammonium (NH4+), sulfate (SO42-), potassium (K+) and calcium (Ca2+), respectively. The difference in backgrounds calculated from assuming a Gaussian distribution versus a log-normal distribution were most extreme for NH4+, resulting in a background that was 1.58× that determined from fitting a log-normal distribution.

  14. Object detection in natural backgrounds predicted by discrimination performance and models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rohaly, A. M.; Ahumada, A. J. Jr; Watson, A. B.

    1997-01-01

    Many models of visual performance predict image discriminability, the visibility of the difference between a pair of images. We compared the ability of three image discrimination models to predict the detectability of objects embedded in natural backgrounds. The three models were: a multiple channel Cortex transform model with within-channel masking; a single channel contrast sensitivity filter model; and a digital image difference metric. Each model used a Minkowski distance metric (generalized vector magnitude) to summate absolute differences between the background and object plus background images. For each model, this summation was implemented with three different exponents: 2, 4 and infinity. In addition, each combination of model and summation exponent was implemented with and without a simple contrast gain factor. The model outputs were compared to measures of object detectability obtained from 19 observers. Among the models without the contrast gain factor, the multiple channel model with a summation exponent of 4 performed best, predicting the pattern of observer d's with an RMS error of 2.3 dB. The contrast gain factor improved the predictions of all three models for all three exponents. With the factor, the best exponent was 4 for all three models, and their prediction errors were near 1 dB. These results demonstrate that image discrimination models can predict the relative detectability of objects in natural scenes.

  15. Object Detection in Natural Backgrounds Predicted by Discrimination Performance and Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahumada, A. J., Jr.; Watson, A. B.; Rohaly, A. M.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    In object detection, an observer looks for an object class member in a set of backgrounds. In discrimination, an observer tries to distinguish two images. Discrimination models predict the probability that an observer detects a difference between two images. We compare object detection and image discrimination with the same stimuli by: (1) making stimulus pairs of the same background with and without the target object and (2) either giving many consecutive trials with the same background (discrimination) or intermixing the stimuli (object detection). Six images of a vehicle in a natural setting were altered to remove the vehicle and mixed with the original image in various proportions. Detection observers rated the images for vehicle presence. Discrimination observers rated the images for any difference from the background image. Estimated detectabilities of the vehicles were found by maximizing the likelihood of a Thurstone category scaling model. The pattern of estimated detectabilities is similar for discrimination and object detection, and is accurately predicted by a Cortex Transform discrimination model. Predictions of a Contrast- Sensitivity- Function filter model and a Root-Mean-Square difference metric based on the digital image values are less accurate. The discrimination detectabilities averaged about twice those of object detection.

  16. A Robust Approach for the Background Subtraction Based on Multi-Layered Self-Organizing Maps.

    PubMed

    Gemignani, Giorgio; Rozza, Alessandro

    2016-11-01

    Motion detection in video streams is a challenging task for several computer vision applications. Indeed, segmentation of moving and static elements in the scene allows to increase the efficiency of several challenging tasks, such as human-computer interface, robot visions, and intelligent surveillance systems. In this paper, we approach motion detection through a multi-layered artificial neural network, which is able to build for each background pixel a multi-modal color distribution evolving over time through self-organization. According to the winner-take-all rule, each layer of the network models an independent state of the background scene, in response to external disturbing conditions, such as illumination variations, moving backgrounds, and jittering. As a result, our background subtraction method exhibits high generalization capabilities that in combination with a post-processing filtering schema allow to produce accurate motion segmentation. Moreover, we propose an approach to detect anomalous events (such as camera motion) that require background model re-initialization. We describe our method in full details and we compare it against the most recent background subtraction approaches. Experimental results for video sequences from the 2012 and 2014 CVPR Change Detection data sets demonstrate how our methodology outperforms many state-of-the-art methods in terms of detection rate. PMID:27608458

  17. A Robust Approach for the Background Subtraction Based on Multi-Layered Self-Organizing Maps.

    PubMed

    Gemignani, Giorgio; Rozza, Alessandro

    2016-11-01

    Motion detection in video streams is a challenging task for several computer vision applications. Indeed, segmentation of moving and static elements in the scene allows to increase the efficiency of several challenging tasks, such as human-computer interface, robot visions, and intelligent surveillance systems. In this paper, we approach motion detection through a multi-layered artificial neural network, which is able to build for each background pixel a multi-modal color distribution evolving over time through self-organization. According to the winner-take-all rule, each layer of the network models an independent state of the background scene, in response to external disturbing conditions, such as illumination variations, moving backgrounds, and jittering. As a result, our background subtraction method exhibits high generalization capabilities that in combination with a post-processing filtering schema allow to produce accurate motion segmentation. Moreover, we propose an approach to detect anomalous events (such as camera motion) that require background model re-initialization. We describe our method in full details and we compare it against the most recent background subtraction approaches. Experimental results for video sequences from the 2012 and 2014 CVPR Change Detection data sets demonstrate how our methodology outperforms many state-of-the-art methods in terms of detection rate.

  18. Disruptive camouflage tricks the human eye: a study of detection times of two near-similar targets in natural backgrounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selj, Gorm K.

    2015-10-01

    Our understanding of camouflage, in military as well as in evolutionary perspectives, has been developing over the last 100 years. In that period of time several underlying principles have emerged. It has turned out in the recent decade that background pattern matching alone may not be sufficient to conceal targets because of the ubiquitous and revealing information contained by the edges of a target. In this paper we have studied one concealment strategy, the so-called disruptive coloration, further as it predicts that high contrast patches placed at the target's outline will impede detection, by creating false target edges when exposed to the observer. Such disruptive coloration is contra-intuitive as it may impede detection in spite of the fact that the patches themselves may be poorly concealed. In military environments the "disruptive approach" within camouflage has been textbook material for decades. Still, very little has been reported, supporting this idea, especially when it comes to the concealment of human targets in natural sceneries. We report here experimental evidence from a field study, containing detection data from 12 unique natural scenes (5 testing the disruptive effect, 7 as reference tests), with both human targets and human observers, showing that disruptively colored camouflage patches along a human's outline (its head) may increase detection time significantly as when compared to a similar (human) target concealed only with background matching. Hence, our results support the idea that disruptive coloration may impede detection and similarly that the best concealment is achieved when disruptive coloration is added to a target that matches the background (reasonably) well. This study raises important question to the current understanding of human vision and concealment as well as to any approach to describe the human visual system mathematically.

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

    PubMed

    Isinkaye, M O; Ajayi, I R

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  1. A self-organizing approach to background subtraction for visual surveillance applications.

    PubMed

    Maddalena, Lucia; Petrosino, Alfredo

    2008-07-01

    Detection of moving objects in video streams is the first relevant step of information extraction in many computer vision applications. Aside from the intrinsic usefulness of being able to segment video streams into moving and background components, detecting moving objects provides a focus of attention for recognition, classification, and activity analysis, making these later steps more efficient. We propose an approach based on self organization through artificial neural networks, widely applied in human image processing systems and more generally in cognitive science. The proposed approach can handle scenes containing moving backgrounds, gradual illumination variations and camouflage, has no bootstrapping limitations, can include into the background model shadows cast by moving objects, and achieves robust detection for different types of videos taken with stationary cameras. We compare our method with other modeling techniques and report experimental results, both in terms of detection accuracy and in terms of processing speed, for color video sequences that represent typical situations critical for video surveillance systems.

  2. Activating Student Background Knowledge in a Take Charge Approach to Foreign Language Reading.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Dolly Jesusita

    A guide for teachers of second language reading offers ideas for using authentic texts as instructional materials. The guide focuses on how to teach students to become strategic readers and use their background knowledge to enhance comprehension. Schema theory is proposed as a framework for approaching reading tasks, by providing relevant pre- and…

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Evaluation of Monitoring Approaches for Natural Attenuation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roll, L. L.; Labolle, E. M.; Fogg, G. E.

    2008-12-01

    Monitored natural attenuation (MNA) can be a useful alternative to active remediation, however, firm conclusions regarding effectiveness of MNA may be elusive because of multiple processes that can produce similar, apparent trends in chemical concentrations in the heterogeneous subsurface. Current monitoring approaches need to be critically evaluated for typical field settings, such as heterogeneous alluvial aquifer systems, because spatially varying aquifer properties create non uniform flow fields that greatly influence transport processes, producing complex plume behavior that may not be adequately depicted by monitoring networks. Highly-resolved simulations of flow and conservative transport in a typical alluvial aquifer system facilitate a critical review of three monitoring approaches including estimation of mass balance from sampling along the plume centerline, estimation of mass balance from fine grid sampling, and estimation of mass flux from sampling along cross sections. The simulation procedure involves generation of unconditional transition-probability fields of hydrofacies distributions, simulation of steady state flow followed by simulation of conservative transport using a highly accurate random walk particle method (RWHET). The results elucidate limitations and potential pitfalls of the monitoring methods and use of simple models in typically heterogeneous systems. For example, simulations show that because of the system complexity, apparent concentration trends in space and time can be falsely attributed to biodegradation when none is occurring if simplistic models are used to interpret the data. Measured concentrations alone are likely insufficient to judge effectiveness of MNA.

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

    PubMed

    Harley, N H

    2000-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Harley, N H

    2000-08-01

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

  7. Diffusion-assisted selective dynamical recoupling: A new approach to measure background gradients in magnetic resonance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Álvarez, Gonzalo A.; Shemesh, Noam; Frydman, Lucio

    2014-02-01

    Dynamical decoupling, a generalization of the original NMR spin-echo sequence, is becoming increasingly relevant as a tool for reducing decoherence in quantum systems. Such sequences apply non-equidistant refocusing pulses for optimizing the coupling between systems, and environmental fluctuations characterized by a given noise spectrum. One such sequence, dubbed Selective Dynamical Recoupling (SDR) [P. E. S. Smith, G. Bensky, G. A. Álvarez, G. Kurizki, and L. Frydman, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 109, 5958 (2012)], allows one to coherently reintroduce diffusion decoherence effects driven by fluctuations arising from restricted molecular diffusion [G. A. Álvarez, N. Shemesh, and L. Frydman, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 080404 (2013)]. The fully-refocused, constant-time, and constant-number-of-pulses nature of SDR also allows one to filter out "intrinsic" T1 and T2 weightings, as well as pulse errors acting as additional sources of decoherence. This article explores such features when the fluctuations are now driven by unrestricted molecular diffusion. In particular, we show that diffusion-driven SDR can be exploited to investigate the decoherence arising from the frequency fluctuations imposed by internal gradients. As a result, SDR presents a unique way of probing and characterizing these internal magnetic fields, given an a priori known free diffusion coefficient. This has important implications in studies of structured systems, including porous media and live tissues, where the internal gradients may serve as fingerprints for the system's composition or structure. The principles of this method, along with full analytical solutions for the unrestricted diffusion-driven modulation of the SDR signal, are presented. The potential of this approach is demonstrated with the generation of a novel source of MRI contrast, based on the background gradients active in an ex vivo mouse brain. Additional features and limitations of this new method are discussed.

  8. Diffusion-assisted selective dynamical recoupling: A new approach to measure background gradients in magnetic resonance

    SciTech Connect

    Álvarez, Gonzalo A.; Shemesh, Noam; Frydman, Lucio

    2014-02-28

    Dynamical decoupling, a generalization of the original NMR spin-echo sequence, is becoming increasingly relevant as a tool for reducing decoherence in quantum systems. Such sequences apply non-equidistant refocusing pulses for optimizing the coupling between systems, and environmental fluctuations characterized by a given noise spectrum. One such sequence, dubbed Selective Dynamical Recoupling (SDR) [P. E. S. Smith, G. Bensky, G. A. Álvarez, G. Kurizki, and L. Frydman, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 109, 5958 (2012)], allows one to coherently reintroduce diffusion decoherence effects driven by fluctuations arising from restricted molecular diffusion [G. A. Álvarez, N. Shemesh, and L. Frydman, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 080404 (2013)]. The fully-refocused, constant-time, and constant-number-of-pulses nature of SDR also allows one to filter out “intrinsic” T{sub 1} and T{sub 2} weightings, as well as pulse errors acting as additional sources of decoherence. This article explores such features when the fluctuations are now driven by unrestricted molecular diffusion. In particular, we show that diffusion-driven SDR can be exploited to investigate the decoherence arising from the frequency fluctuations imposed by internal gradients. As a result, SDR presents a unique way of probing and characterizing these internal magnetic fields, given an a priori known free diffusion coefficient. This has important implications in studies of structured systems, including porous media and live tissues, where the internal gradients may serve as fingerprints for the system's composition or structure. The principles of this method, along with full analytical solutions for the unrestricted diffusion-driven modulation of the SDR signal, are presented. The potential of this approach is demonstrated with the generation of a novel source of MRI contrast, based on the background gradients active in an ex vivo mouse brain. Additional features and limitations of this new method are discussed.

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

    PubMed

    Bindler, R

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-15

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

  11. Natural 'background' soil water repellency in conifer forests: its prediction and relationship to wildfire occurrence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doerr, Stefan; Woods, Scott; Martin, Deborah; Casimiro, Marta

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Supercritical Fluid Chromatography--Theoretical Background and Applications on Natural Products.

    PubMed

    Hartmann, Anja; Ganzera, Markus

    2015-11-01

    The use of supercritical fluid chromatography for natural product analysis as well as underlying theoretical mechanisms and instrumental requirements are summarized in this review. A short introduction focusing on the historical development of this interesting separation technique is followed by remarks on the current instrumental design, also describing possible detection modes and useable stationary phases. The overview on relevant applications is grouped based on their basic intention, may it be (semi)preparative or purely analytical. They indicate that supercritical fluid chromatography is still primarily considered for the analysis of nonpolar analytes like carotenoids, fatty acids, or terpenes. The low polarity of supercritical carbon dioxide, which is used with modifiers almost exclusively as a mobile phase today, combined with high efficiency and fast separations might explain the popularity of supercritical fluid chromatography for the analysis of these compounds. Yet, it has been shown that more polar natural products (e.g., xanthones, flavonoids, alkaloids) are separable too, with the same (if not superior) selectivity and reproducibility than established approaches like HPLC or GC. PMID:25905595

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

    Ongoing controversy surrounds the adverse health effects of the use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions. The biological effects of gamma-radiation arise from the direct or indirect interaction between secondary electrons and the DNA of living cells. The probability of the absorption of X-rays and gamma-rays with energies below about 200 keV by particles of high atomic number is proportional to the third to fourth power of the atomic number. In such a case, the more heavily ionizing low-energy recoil electrons are preferentially produced; these cause dose enhancement in the immediate vicinity of the particles. It has been claimed that upon exposure to naturally occurring background gamma-radiation, particles of DU in the human body would produce dose enhancement by a factor of 500-1000, thereby contributing a significant radiation dose in addition to the dose received from the inherent radioactivity of the DU. In this study, we used the Monte Carlo code EGSnrc to accurately estimate the likely maximum dose enhancement arising from the presence of micrometre-sized uranium particles in the body. We found that although the dose enhancement is significant, of the order of 1-10, it is considerably smaller than that suggested previously.

  18. Doses and risks from uranium are not increased significantly by interactions with natural background photon radiation.

    PubMed

    Tanner, R J; Eakins, J S; Jansen, J T M; Harrison, J D

    2012-08-01

    The impact of depleted uranium (DU) on human health has been the subject of much conjecture. Both the chemical and radiological aspects of its behaviour in the human body have previously been investigated in detail, with the radiological impact being assumed to be linked to the alpha decay of uranium. More recently, it has been proposed that the accumulation in tissue of high-Z materials, such as DU, may give rise to enhanced local energy deposition in the presence of natural background photon radiation due to the high photoelectric interaction cross sections of high-Z atoms. It is speculated that, in addition to producing short-range photoelectrons, these events will be followed by intense Auger and Coster-Kronig electron emission, thereby causing levels of cell damage that are unaccounted for in conventional models of radiological risk. In this study, the physical and biological bases of these claims are investigated. The potential magnitudes of any effect are evaluated and discussed, and compared with the risks from other radiological or chemical hazards. Monte Carlo calculations are performed to estimate likely energy depositions due to the presence of uranium in human tissues in photon fields: whole body doses, organ doses in anthropomorphic phantoms and nano-/micro-dosimetric scenarios are each considered. The proposal is shown generally to be based on sound physics, but overall the impact on human health is expected to be negligible.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    Ongoing controversy surrounds the adverse health effects of the use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions. The biological effects of gamma-radiation arise from the direct or indirect interaction between secondary electrons and the DNA of living cells. The probability of the absorption of X-rays and gamma-rays with energies below about 200 keV by particles of high atomic number is proportional to the third to fourth power of the atomic number. In such a case, the more heavily ionizing low-energy recoil electrons are preferentially produced; these cause dose enhancement in the immediate vicinity of the particles. It has been claimed that upon exposure to naturally occurring background gamma-radiation, particles of DU in the human body would produce dose enhancement by a factor of 500–1000, thereby contributing a significant radiation dose in addition to the dose received from the inherent radioactivity of the DU. In this study, we used the Monte Carlo code EGSnrc to accurately estimate the likely maximum dose enhancement arising from the presence of micrometre-sized uranium particles in the body. We found that although the dose enhancement is significant, of the order of 1–10, it is considerably smaller than that suggested previously. PMID:19776147

  20. Computational approaches to natural product discovery.

    PubMed

    Medema, Marnix H; Fischbach, Michael A

    2015-09-01

    Starting with the earliest Streptomyces genome sequences, the promise of natural product genome mining has been captivating: genomics and bioinformatics would transform compound discovery from an ad hoc pursuit to a high-throughput endeavor. Until recently, however, genome mining has advanced natural product discovery only modestly. Here, we argue that the development of algorithms to mine the continuously increasing amounts of (meta)genomic data will enable the promise of genome mining to be realized. We review computational strategies that have been developed to identify biosynthetic gene clusters in genome sequences and predict the chemical structures of their products. We then discuss networking strategies that can systematize large volumes of genetic and chemical data and connect genomic information to metabolomic and phenotypic data. Finally, we provide a vision of what natural product discovery might look like in the future, specifically considering longstanding questions in microbial ecology regarding the roles of metabolites in interspecies interactions.

  1. Computational approaches to natural product discovery

    PubMed Central

    Medema, Marnix H.; Fischbach, Michael A.

    2016-01-01

    From the earliest Streptomyces genome sequences, the promise of natural product genome mining has been captivating: genomics and bioinformatics would transform compound discovery from an ad hoc pursuit to a high-throughput endeavor. Until recently, however, genome mining has advanced natural product discovery only modestly. Here, we argue that the development of algorithms to mine the continuously increasing amounts of (meta)genomic data will enable the promise of genome mining to be realized. We review computational strategies that have been developed to identify biosynthetic gene clusters in genome sequences and predict the chemical structures of their products. We then discuss networking strategies that can systematize large volumes of genetic and chemical data, and connect genomic information to metabolomic and phenotypic data. Finally, we provide a vision of what natural product discovery might look like in the future, specifically considering long-standing questions in microbial ecology regarding the roles of metabolites in interspecies interactions. PMID:26284671

  2. State-Space-Based Approach to Quantum Field Theory for Arbitrary Observers in Electromagnetic Backgrounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dolby, Carl E.; Gull, Stephen F.

    2001-11-01

    A reformulation of fermionic QFT in electromagnetic backgrounds is presented which uses methods analogous to those of conventional multiparticle quantum mechanics. Emphasis is placed on the (Schrödinger picture) states of the system, described in terms of Slater determinants of Dirac states, and not on the field operator ψ̂(x) (which is superfluous in this approach). The vacuum state "at time τ" is defined as the Slater determinant of a basis for the span of the negative spectrum of the "first quantized" Hamiltonian H(τ), thus providing a concrete realisation of the Dirac Sea. The general S-matrix element of the theory is derived in terms of time-dependent Bogoliubov coefficients, demonstrating that the S-matrix follows directly from the definition of inner product between Slater determinants. The process of "Hermitian extension," inherited directly from conventional multiparticle quantum mechanics, allows second quantized operators to be defined without appealing to a complete set of orthonormal modes and provides an extremely straightforward derivation of the general expectation value of the theory. The concept of "radar time," advocated by Bondi in his work on k-calculus, is used to generalise the particle interpretation to an arbitrarily moving observer. A definition of particle results, which depends only on the observer's motion and the background present, not on any choice of coordinates or gauge, or of the particle detector. We relate this approach to conventional methods by comparing and contrasting various derivations. Our particle definition can be viewed as a generalisation to arbitrary observers of the approach of G. W. Gibbons (1975, Comm. Math. Phys.44, 245).

  3. A Natural Approach to the Number "e"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doerr, Helen M.; Meehan, Donna J.; O'Neil, AnnMarie H.

    2012-01-01

    In this article, the authors introduce the value of "e" by building on students' prior knowledge of slope and using their abilities to analyze, approximate, and interpret rates of change using graphs, symbols, and numerical data. This approach allows students to construct and interpret the value of "e" while laying the conceptual foundation for…

  4. Phylogenetic approaches to natural product structure prediction.

    PubMed

    Ziemert, Nadine; Jensen, Paul R

    2012-01-01

    Phylogenetics is the study of the evolutionary relatedness among groups of organisms. Molecular phylogenetics uses sequence data to infer these relationships for both organisms and the genes they maintain. With the large amount of publicly available sequence data, phylogenetic inference has become increasingly important in all fields of biology. In the case of natural product research, phylogenetic relationships are proving to be highly informative in terms of delineating the architecture and function of the genes involved in secondary metabolite biosynthesis. Polyketide synthases and nonribosomal peptide synthetases provide model examples in which individual domain phylogenies display different predictive capacities, resolving features ranging from substrate specificity to structural motifs associated with the final metabolic product. This chapter provides examples in which phylogeny has proven effective in terms of predicting functional or structural aspects of secondary metabolism. The basics of how to build a reliable phylogenetic tree are explained along with information about programs and tools that can be used for this purpose. Furthermore, it introduces the Natural Product Domain Seeker, a recently developed Web tool that employs phylogenetic logic to classify ketosynthase and condensation domains based on established enzyme architecture and biochemical function.

  5. A new line-of-sight approach to the non-linear Cosmic Microwave Background

    SciTech Connect

    Fidler, Christian; Koyama, Kazuya; Pettinari, Guido W. E-mail: kazuya.koyama@port.ac.uk

    2015-04-01

    We develop the transport operator formalism, a new line-of-sight integration framework to calculate the anisotropies of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) at the linear and non-linear level. This formalism utilises a transformation operator that removes all inhomogeneous propagation effects acting on the photon distribution function, thus achieving a split between perturbative collisional effects at recombination and non-perturbative line-of-sight effects at later times. The former can be computed in the framework of standard cosmological perturbation theory with a second-order Boltzmann code such as SONG, while the latter can be treated within a separate perturbative scheme allowing the use of non-linear Newtonian potentials. We thus provide a consistent framework to compute all physical effects contained in the Boltzmann equation and to combine the standard remapping approach with Boltzmann codes at any order in perturbation theory, without assuming that all sources are localised at recombination.

  6. US--EC fuel cycle study: Background document to the approach and issues

    SciTech Connect

    Cantor, Robin; Lee, Russell

    1992-11-01

    In February 1991, DOE and the Commission of the European Communities (EC), signed a joint statement regarding the external costs of fuel cycles. This 18-month agreement committed their respective organizations to ``develop a comparative analytical methodology and to develop the best range of estimates of external costs from secondary sources`` for eight fuel cycles and four conservation options. In our study, a fuel cycle is defined as the series of physical and chemical processes and activities that are required to generate electricity from a specific fuel or resource. This foundation phase of the study is primarily limited to developing and demonstrating methods for estimating impacts and their monetized value, what we term ``damages`` or ``benefits,`` leaving aside the extent to which such damages have been internalized. However, Appendix C provides the conceptual framework for evaluating the extent of internalization. This report is a background document to introduce the study approach and to discuss the major conceptual and practical issues entailed by the incremental damage problem. As a background document, the report seeks to communicate an overview of the study and the important methodological choices that were made to conduct the research. In successive sections of the report, the methodological tools used in the study are discussed; the ecological and health impacts are reviewed using the coal fuel cycle as a reference case; and, in the final chapter, the methods for valuing impacts are detailed.

  7. U.S. -- EC fuel cycle study: Background document to the approach and issues

    SciTech Connect

    Cantor, Robin; Russell, Lee; Krupnick, Alan; Smith, Hilary; Schaffhauser, Jr., A.; Barnthouse, Larry; Cada, Glen; Kroodsma, Roger; Turner, Robb; Easterly, Clay; Jones, Troyce; Burtraw, Dallas; Harrington, Winston; Freeman, A. Myrick

    1992-11-01

    In February 1991, DOE and the Commission of the European Communities (EC), signed a joint statement regarding the external costs of fuel cycles. This 18-month agreement committed their respective organizations to develop a comparative analytical methodology and to develop the best range of estimates of external costs from secondary sources'' for eight fuel cycles and four conservation options. In our study, a fuel cycle is defined as the series of physical and chemical processes and activities that are required to generate electricity from a specific fuel or resource. This foundation phase of the study is primarily limited to developing and demonstrating methods for estimating impacts and their monetized value, what we term damages'' or benefits,'' leaving aside the extent to which such damages have been internalized. However, Appendix C provides the conceptual framework for evaluating the extent of internalization. This report is a background document to introduce the study approach and to discuss the major conceptual and practical issues entailed by the incremental damage problem. As a background document, the report seeks to communicate an overview of the study and the important methodological choices that were made to conduct the research. In successive sections of the report, the methodological tools used in the study are discussed; the ecological and health impacts are reviewed using the coal fuel cycle as a reference case; and, in the final chapter, the methods for valuing impacts are detailed.

  8. Defining mental disorder. Exploring the 'natural function' approach

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Due to several socio-political factors, to many psychiatrists only a strictly objective definition of mental disorder, free of value components, seems really acceptable. In this paper, I will explore a variant of such an objectivist approach to defining metal disorder, natural function objectivism. Proponents of this approach make recourse to the notion of natural function in order to reach a value-free definition of mental disorder. The exploration of Christopher Boorse's 'biostatistical' account of natural function (1) will be followed an investigation of the 'hybrid naturalism' approach to natural functions by Jerome Wakefield (2). In the third part, I will explore two proposals that call into question the whole attempt to define mental disorder (3). I will conclude that while 'natural function objectivism' accounts fail to provide the backdrop for a reliable definition of mental disorder, there is no compelling reason to conclude that a definition cannot be achieved. PMID:21255405

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  10. A natural approach to soothing atopic skin.

    PubMed

    Epstein, Howard A

    2010-01-01

    Nature's solutions have been used to combat health problems since antiquity. A 60,000-year-old burial site excavated in Iraq was found to contain a variety of medicinal plants. Use of botanicals to treat diseases of the skin was documented 3000 years ago in the Egyptian papyrus of Ebers. The traditional description for use of medicinal plants, however, is usually not linked to topical application. It is not unusual to read about the claimed medicinal benefits of a botanical which is lacking appropriate in vitro and in vivo data to support the claims. The ability to identify new cosmetic uses for botanicals is enhanced when science is able to advance beyond anecdotal information to elucidation of the mechanism of activity.

  11. A natural approach to soothing atopic skin.

    PubMed

    Epstein, Howard A

    2010-01-01

    Nature's solutions have been used to combat health problems since antiquity. A 60,000-year-old burial site excavated in Iraq was found to contain a variety of medicinal plants. Use of botanicals to treat diseases of the skin was documented 3000 years ago in the Egyptian papyrus of Ebers. The traditional description for use of medicinal plants, however, is usually not linked to topical application. It is not unusual to read about the claimed medicinal benefits of a botanical which is lacking appropriate in vitro and in vivo data to support the claims. The ability to identify new cosmetic uses for botanicals is enhanced when science is able to advance beyond anecdotal information to elucidation of the mechanism of activity. PMID:20527141

  12. Natural products: a safest approach for obesity.

    PubMed

    Vasudeva, Neeru; Yadav, Neerja; Sharma, Surendra Kumar

    2012-06-01

    Obesity is recognized as a social problem, associated with serious health risks and increased mortality. Numerous trials have been conducted to find and develop new anti-obesity drugs through herbal sources to minimize adverse reactions associated with the present anti-obesity drugs. The use of natural products as medicine has been documented for hundreds of years in various traditional systems of medicines throughout the world. This review focuses on the medicinal plants such as Achyranthus aspera, Camellia sinensis, Emblica officinalis, Garcinia cambogia, Terminalia arjuna, etc., being used traditionally in Ayurvedic, Unani, Siddha and Chinese, etc., systems of medicine. The review also highlights recent reported phytochemicals such as escins, perennisosides, dioscin, gracillin, etc., and the various extracts of the plants like Nelumbo nucifera, Panax japonicas, Cichorium intybus, Cyperus rotundus, Paeonia suffruticosa, etc., which have been successfully identified for the treatment of obesity. PMID:22821661

  13. Avian cytokines - the natural approach to therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Lowenthal, J W; Lambrecht, B; van den Berg, T P; Andrew, M E; Strom, A D; Bean, A G

    2000-01-01

    While the effective use of antibiotics for the control of human disease has saved countless lives and has increased life expectancy over the past few decades, there are concerns arising from their usage in livestock. The use of antibiotic feed additives in food production animals has been linked to the emergence in the food chain of multiple drug-resistant bacteria that appear impervious to even the most powerful antimicrobial agents. Furthermore, the use of chemical antimicrobials has led to concerns involving environmental contamination and unwanted residues in food products. The imminent banning of antibiotic usage in livestock feed has intensified the search for environmentally-friendly alternative methods to control disease. Cytokines, as natural mediators and regulators of the immune response, offer exciting new alternatives to conventional chemical-based therapeutics. The utilisation of cytokines is becoming more feasible, particularly in poultry, with the recent cloning of a number of avian cytokine genes. Chickens offer an attractive small animal model system with which to study the effectiveness of cytokine therapy in the control of disease in intensive livestock. In this report we will review the status of avian cytokines and focus on our recent studies involving the therapeutic potential of chicken interferon gamma (ChIFN-gamma) as a vaccine adjuvant and a growth promoter. PMID:10717298

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1980-06-27

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

  17. Toxicological assessment of kretek cigarettes: Part 1: background, assessment approach, and summary of findings.

    PubMed

    Roemer, E; Dempsey, R; Schorp, M K

    2014-12-01

    This publication introduces a series of six other publications describing the toxicological assessment of kretek cigarettes, i.e., cigarettes characterized primarily by the use of a significant amount of cloves as an ingredient added to the tobacco. This paper presents background information on kretek cigarettes, describes the general approach of the in vitro and in vivo toxicological assessment of mainstream smoke from kretek cigarettes, presents the methodology used, and summarizes the results of the assessment program. In summary, the smoke from kretek cigarettes gives rise to the typical cigarette smoke-related effects known from American-blended cigarettes, does not reveal any novel toxicity, and exhibits an unexpected distinct attenuation of pulmonary inflammation. Based on equal amounts of smoke total particulate matter (TPM), kretek cigarettes deliver less toxicants when compared to American-blended cigarettes; when assessed in vitro, the smoke from kretek cigarettes is less cytotoxic (gas/vapor phase) and less mutagenic (TPM). When assessed in vivo, kretek cigarette smoke shows lower toxicity in the respiratory tract. When based on an equal nicotine basis, several of the toxicity endpoints in kretek cigarettes become equivalent to American-blended cigarettes. The data do not indicate an increased hazard potential of kreteks compared to American-blended cigarettes.

  18. A sitewide approach to the characterization and use of soil and groundwater background at the Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect

    Hoover, J.D.; Ruck, F.A.; LeGore, T.; Thompson, K.M.

    1993-10-01

    A Sitewide approach to the characterization and use of soil and groundwater background has been developed for use in environmental restoration activities on the Hanford Site. Sitewide background more accurately represents the range of background compositions that exist in soil and groundwater at the over 140 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 facilities and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 operable units, and provides a more consistent, credible, integrated, and efficient basis for identifying and evaluating contamination in these media than using unit-specific backgrounds.

  19. Pharmacokinetic Modeling of Manganese III. Physiological Approaches Accounting for Background and Tracer Kinetics

    SciTech Connect

    Teeguarden, Justin G.; Gearhart, Jeffrey; Clewell, III, H. J.; Covington, Tammie R.; Nong, Andy; Anderson, Melvin E.

    2007-01-01

    Manganese (Mn) is an essential nutrient. Mn deficiency is associated with altered lipid (Kawano et al. 1987) and carbohydrate metabolism (Baly et al. 1984; Baly et al. 1985), abnormal skeletal cartilage development (Keen et al. 2000), decreased reproductive capacity, and brain dysfunction. Occupational and accidental inhalation exposures to aerosols containing high concentrations of Mn produce neurological symptoms with Parkinson-like characteristics in workers. At present, there is also concern about use of the manganese-containing compound, methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT), in unleaded gasoline as an octane enhancer. Combustion of MMT produces aerosols containing a mixture of manganese salts (Lynam et al. 1999). These Mn particulates may be inhaled at low concentrations by the general public in areas using MMT. Risk assessments for essential elements need to acknowledge that risks occur with either excesses or deficiencies and the presence of significant amounts of these nutrients in the body even in the absence of any exogenous exposures. With Mn there is an added complication, i.e., the primary risk is associated with inhalation while Mn is an essential dietary nutrient. Exposure standards for inhaled Mn will need to consider the substantial background uptake from normal ingestion. Andersen et al. (1999) suggested a generic approach for essential nutrient risk assessment. An acceptable exposure limit could be based on some ‘tolerable’ change in tissue concentration in normal and exposed individuals, i.e., a change somewhere from 10 to 25 % of the individual variation in tissue concentration seen in a large human population. A reliable multi-route, multi-species pharmacokinetic model would be necessary for the implementation of this type of dosimetry-based risk assessment approach for Mn. Physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models for various xenobiotics have proven valuable in contributing to a variety of chemical specific risk

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-12-01

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

  1. Natural hydrocarbon background in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound, Alaska: Oil vs coal

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Short, J.W.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Carlson, P.R.; Hostettler, F.D.; Rosenbauer, R.J.; Wright, B.A.

    1999-01-01

    The source of the background hydrocarbons in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound (PWS), AK, where the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) occurred, has been ascribed to oil seeps in coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). We present evidence that coal is a more plausible source, including (i) high concentrations of total PAH (TPAH), between 1670 and 3070 ng/g, in continental shelf sediments adjacent to the coastal region containing extensive coal deposits; (ii) PAH composition patterns of sediments along with predictive models that are consistent with coal but not oil; (iii) low ratios (<0.2) of triaromatic steranes to methylchrysenes found in sediments and coals, contrasting with the high ratios (11 and 13) found in seep oil; and (iv) bioaccumulation of PAH in salmon collected within 100 m of the Katalla oil seeps but not in filter-feeding mussels collected near oilfield drainages 9 km from the seeps, indicating negligible transport of bioavailable PAH from Katalla seeps to the GOA. In contrast with oil, PAH in coal are not bioavailable, so the presence of coal in these benthic sediments confers no adaptive benefit to biota of the marine ecosystem with respect to PAH insults from anthropogenic sources.The source of the background hydrocarbons in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound (PWS), AK, where the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) occurred, has been ascribed to oil seeps in coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). We present evidence that coal is a more plausible source, including (i) high concentrations of total PAH (TPAH), between 1670 and 3070 ng/g, in continental shelf sediments adjacent to the coastal region containing extensive coal deposits; (ii) PAH composition patterns of sediments along with predictive models that are consistent with coal but not oil; (iii) low ratios (<0.2) of triaromatic steranes to methylchrysenes found in sediments and coals, contrasting with the high ratios (11 and 13) found in seep oil; and (iv) bioaccumulation

  2. Blurring the Inputs: A Natural Language Approach to Sensitivity Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kleb, William L.; Thompson, Richard A.; Johnston, Christopher O.

    2007-01-01

    To document model parameter uncertainties and to automate sensitivity analyses for numerical simulation codes, a natural-language-based method to specify tolerances has been developed. With this new method, uncertainties are expressed in a natural manner, i.e., as one would on an engineering drawing, namely, 5.25 +/- 0.01. This approach is robust and readily adapted to various application domains because it does not rely on parsing the particular structure of input file formats. Instead, tolerances of a standard format are added to existing fields within an input file. As a demonstration of the power of this simple, natural language approach, a Monte Carlo sensitivity analysis is performed for three disparate simulation codes: fluid dynamics (LAURA), radiation (HARA), and ablation (FIAT). Effort required to harness each code for sensitivity analysis was recorded to demonstrate the generality and flexibility of this new approach.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Natural hydrocarbon background in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound, Alaska: Oil vs coal

    SciTech Connect

    Short, J.W.; Wright, B.A.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Carlson, P.R.; Hostettler, F.D.; Rosenbauer, R.J.

    1999-01-01

    The source of the background hydrocarbons in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound (PWS), AK, where the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) occurred, has been ascribed to oil seeps in coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The authors present evidence that coal is a more plausible source, including (i) high concentrations of total PAH (TPAH), between 1,670 and 3,070 ng/g, in continental shelf sediments adjacent to the coastal region containing extensive coal deposits; (ii) PAH composition patterns of sediments along with predictive models that are consistent with coal but not oil; (iii) low ratios of triaromatic steranes of methylchrysenes found in sediments and coals, contrasting with the high ratios found in seep oil; and (iv) bioaccumulation of PAH in salmon collected within 100 m of the Katalla oil seeps but not in filter-feeding mussels collected near oilfield drainages 9 km from the seeps, indicating negligible transport of bioavailable PAH from Katalla seeps to the GOA. In contrast with oil, PAH in coal are not bioavailable, so the presence of coal in these benthic sediments confers no adaptive benefit to biota of the marine ecosystem with respect to PAH insults from anthropogenic sources.

  6. Cutaneous delivery of natural antioxidants: the enhancement approaches.

    PubMed

    Aljuffali, Ibrahim A; Hsu, Ching-Yun; Lin, Yin-Ku; Fang, Jia-You

    2015-01-01

    Topically applied natural antioxidants can be an effective treatment for inhibiting oxidative damage and photoaging of the skin. Due to the barrier function of the stratum corneum (SC), it is necessary to use an enhancement approach to promote the cutaneous absorption of natural antioxidants. Some factors that should be considered when developing delivery systems for natural antioxidants include increased solubility, enhanced storage stability, improved permeability and bioavailability, skin targeting, and minimal side effects. This review describes the skin delivery systems for natural antioxidant permeation that have been developed during the last decade. The antioxidants introduced include vitamins, polyphenols, and carotenoids. Various types of formulations are employed to improve the skin penetration of the antioxidants, such as hydrogels, cyclodextrin, microemulsions, nanoparticles, liposomes and niosomes. This review focuses on the introduction of natural antioxidants used in skin protection, the mechanisms of antioxidant activity on the skin, and formulation designs for enhancing absorption and efficacy. PMID:25925121

  7. Cutaneous delivery of natural antioxidants: the enhancement approaches.

    PubMed

    Aljuffali, Ibrahim A; Hsu, Ching-Yun; Lin, Yin-Ku; Fang, Jia-You

    2015-01-01

    Topically applied natural antioxidants can be an effective treatment for inhibiting oxidative damage and photoaging of the skin. Due to the barrier function of the stratum corneum (SC), it is necessary to use an enhancement approach to promote the cutaneous absorption of natural antioxidants. Some factors that should be considered when developing delivery systems for natural antioxidants include increased solubility, enhanced storage stability, improved permeability and bioavailability, skin targeting, and minimal side effects. This review describes the skin delivery systems for natural antioxidant permeation that have been developed during the last decade. The antioxidants introduced include vitamins, polyphenols, and carotenoids. Various types of formulations are employed to improve the skin penetration of the antioxidants, such as hydrogels, cyclodextrin, microemulsions, nanoparticles, liposomes and niosomes. This review focuses on the introduction of natural antioxidants used in skin protection, the mechanisms of antioxidant activity on the skin, and formulation designs for enhancing absorption and efficacy.

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

    PubMed Central

    Sams, Aaron; Hawks, John

    2013-01-01

    Celiac disease is a common small intestinal inflammatory condition induced by wheat gluten and related proteins from rye and barley. Left untreated, the clinical presentation of CD can include failure to thrive, malnutrition, and distension in juveniles. The disease can additionally lead to vitamin deficiencies, anemia, and osteoporosis. Therefore, CD potentially negatively affected fitness in past populations utilizing wheat, barley, and rye. Previous analyses of CD risk variants have uncovered evidence for positive selection on some of these loci. These studies also suggest the possibility that risk for common autoimmune conditions such as CD may be the result of positive selection on immune related loci in the genome to fight infection. Under this evolutionary scenario, disease phenotypes may be a trade-off from positive selection on immunity. If this hypothesis is generally true, we can expect to find a signal of natural selection when we survey across the network of loci known to influence CD risk. This study examines the non-HLA autosomal network of gene loci associated with CD risk in Europe. We reject the null hypothesis of neutrality on this network of CD risk loci. Additionally, we can localize evidence of selection in time and space by adding information from the genome of the Tyrolean Iceman. While we can show significant differentiation between continental regions across the CD network, the pattern of evidence is not consistent with primarily recent (Holocene) selection across this network in Europe. Further localization of ancient selection on this network may illuminate the ecological pressures acting on the immune system during this critically interesting phase of our evolution. PMID:23936230

  9. Patterns of population differentiation and natural selection on the celiac disease background risk network.

    PubMed

    Sams, Aaron; Hawks, John

    2013-01-01

    Celiac disease is a common small intestinal inflammatory condition induced by wheat gluten and related proteins from rye and barley. Left untreated, the clinical presentation of CD can include failure to thrive, malnutrition, and distension in juveniles. The disease can additionally lead to vitamin deficiencies, anemia, and osteoporosis. Therefore, CD potentially negatively affected fitness in past populations utilizing wheat, barley, and rye. Previous analyses of CD risk variants have uncovered evidence for positive selection on some of these loci. These studies also suggest the possibility that risk for common autoimmune conditions such as CD may be the result of positive selection on immune related loci in the genome to fight infection. Under this evolutionary scenario, disease phenotypes may be a trade-off from positive selection on immunity. If this hypothesis is generally true, we can expect to find a signal of natural selection when we survey across the network of loci known to influence CD risk. This study examines the non-HLA autosomal network of gene loci associated with CD risk in Europe. We reject the null hypothesis of neutrality on this network of CD risk loci. Additionally, we can localize evidence of selection in time and space by adding information from the genome of the Tyrolean Iceman. While we can show significant differentiation between continental regions across the CD network, the pattern of evidence is not consistent with primarily recent (Holocene) selection across this network in Europe. Further localization of ancient selection on this network may illuminate the ecological pressures acting on the immune system during this critically interesting phase of our evolution.

  10. Natural background levels and threshold values of chemical species in three large-scale groundwater bodies in Northern Italy.

    PubMed

    Molinari, Antonio; Guadagnini, Laura; Marcaccio, Marco; Guadagnini, Alberto

    2012-05-15

    We analyze natural background levels (NBLs) and threshold values (TVs) of spatially distributed chemical species (NH(4), B and As) which may be a potential pressure and concern in three large scale alluvial and fluvio-deltaic aquifers at different depths of the Apennines and Po river plains in Emilia-Romagna, Northern Italy. Our results are based on statistical methodologies designed to separate the natural and anthropogenic contributions in monitored concentrations by modeling the empirical distribution of the detected concentration with a mixture of probability density functions. Available chemical observations are taken over a 20 years period and are associated with different depths and cover planar investigation scales of the order of hundreds of kilometers. High concentration values detected for NH(4) and B appear to be related to high natural background levels. Due to interaction with the host rock in different geochemical environments we observed that concentration vary in time and space (including in depth) consistently with the hydrogeochemical features and the occurrence of natural attenuation mechanisms in the analyzed reservoirs. Conversely, estimated As NBLs are not consistent with the conceptual model of the hydrogeochemical behavior of the systems analyzed and experimental evidences of As content in aquifer cores. This is due to the inability of these techniques to incorporate the complex dynamics of the processes associated with the specific hydrogeochemical setting. Statistical analyses performed upon aggregating the concentration data according to different time observation windows allow identifying temporal dynamics of NBLs and TVs of target compounds within the observation time frame. Our results highlight the benefit of a dynamic monitoring process and analysis of well demarcated groundwater bodies to update the associated NBLs as a function of the temporal dependence of natural processes occurring in the subsurface. Monitoring protocols could

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-06-10

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

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2015-09-22

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-09-22

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

  14. Does a Nurturing Approach That Uses an Outdoor Play Environment Build Resilience in Children from a Challenging Background?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McArdle, Karen; Harrison, Terri; Harrison, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Children from challenging backgrounds were brought to a woodland for a programme that sought to promote resilience at Camphill School. This qualitative study of one programme uses an ethnographic approach to research the effectiveness of this type of intervention. Case studies of three of the children are used to illustrate the ways in which…

  15. Beryllium natural background concentration and mobility: a reappraisal examining the case of high Be-bearing pyroclastic rocks.

    PubMed

    Armiento, Giovanna; Bellatreccia, Fabio; Cremisini, Carlo; Della Ventura, Giancarlo; Nardi, Elisa; Pacifico, Renata

    2013-01-01

    Beryllium is widely distributed in soils at low levels, but it can also occur naturally in higher concentrations in a variety of materials exploited for many industrial applications. Beryllium is also one of the most toxic natural elements and is known to be a human carcinogen. A concise account of the literature data on baseline concentrations of Be in soils illustrates the possibility of worldwide presence of areas with a high natural background concentration of Be (up to 300 mg/kg), the crustal abundance of which is generally estimated to be in the range 2-6 mg/kg. Nevertheless, the number of available data is rather limited in comparison with those about other toxic elements such as Pb, Cd and Cr. This has probably caused the choice of low values of concentration level as the reference for the definition of soil contamination: these values are not always realistic and are not applicable to large areas. As a case study, we report and analyse a diffuse, unusually high (up to 80 mg/kg, average approximately 20 mg/kg), natural occurrence of beryllium in loose and poorly consolidated pyroclastic layers related to the Pleistocene activity of the Vico volcano. Additionally, the analysis of Be leachability has been carried out, providing evidence of a not negligible mobility in contrast with the scarce data presented in the literature that usually indicate beryllium as an element with low mobility in oxidising surface environmental conditions. This research marks the beginning of a possible reappraisal of beryllium geochemical behaviour and background levels, providing more realistic reference values for risk assessment and land management.

  16. Beryllium natural background concentration and mobility: a reappraisal examining the case of high Be-bearing pyroclastic rocks.

    PubMed

    Armiento, Giovanna; Bellatreccia, Fabio; Cremisini, Carlo; Della Ventura, Giancarlo; Nardi, Elisa; Pacifico, Renata

    2013-01-01

    Beryllium is widely distributed in soils at low levels, but it can also occur naturally in higher concentrations in a variety of materials exploited for many industrial applications. Beryllium is also one of the most toxic natural elements and is known to be a human carcinogen. A concise account of the literature data on baseline concentrations of Be in soils illustrates the possibility of worldwide presence of areas with a high natural background concentration of Be (up to 300 mg/kg), the crustal abundance of which is generally estimated to be in the range 2-6 mg/kg. Nevertheless, the number of available data is rather limited in comparison with those about other toxic elements such as Pb, Cd and Cr. This has probably caused the choice of low values of concentration level as the reference for the definition of soil contamination: these values are not always realistic and are not applicable to large areas. As a case study, we report and analyse a diffuse, unusually high (up to 80 mg/kg, average approximately 20 mg/kg), natural occurrence of beryllium in loose and poorly consolidated pyroclastic layers related to the Pleistocene activity of the Vico volcano. Additionally, the analysis of Be leachability has been carried out, providing evidence of a not negligible mobility in contrast with the scarce data presented in the literature that usually indicate beryllium as an element with low mobility in oxidising surface environmental conditions. This research marks the beginning of a possible reappraisal of beryllium geochemical behaviour and background levels, providing more realistic reference values for risk assessment and land management. PMID:22392615

  17. Preschool Teachers' Professional Background, Process Quality, and Job Attitudes: A Person-Centered Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jeon, Lieny; Buettner, Cynthia K.; Hur, Eunhye

    2016-01-01

    Research Findings: This exploratory study identified preschool teacher quality profiles in early childhood education settings using 9 indicators across teachers' professional background, observed process quality, and job attitudes toward teaching (e.g., job-related stress, satisfaction, and intention to leave the job). The sample consisted of 96…

  18. Drug development from natural resource: a systematic approach.

    PubMed

    Sharma, S B; Gupta, Richa

    2015-01-01

    Modern research in drug discovery from medicinal plants involves a multidimensional approach combining botanical, phytochemical, biochemical combinatorial chemistry and bioassay-guided fractionation approaches. Natural sources continue to provide an alternative as pharmacological leads against various devastating diseases such as diabetes, CVD, cancer etc. Nowadays, there is enormous requirement of safe and effective drugs in the world. This has prompted scientists to revert back towards natural resources as a potential source of therapeutics for treatment and management of such chronic and fatal diseases. However, there are certain serious challenges and limitations in this field including scale up and commercialization of active compounds which allow only one in thousand lead molecules to be developed as drug. A systematic and scientific approach is an essential requirement for drug development from natural resource. This mini review provides an overview of the methods involved in natural product research starting from crude plant extract to bioactive pharmacological lead. Moreover, it also discusses the limitations of working concerning the bioactivity of medicinal plants.

  19. The proportion of childhood leukaemia incidence in Great Britain that may be caused by natural background ionizing radiation.

    PubMed

    Wakeford, R; Kendall, G M; Little, M P

    2009-04-01

    The aetiology of childhood leukaemia remains generally unknown, although exposure to moderate and high levels of ionizing radiation, such as those experienced during the atomic bombings of Japan or from radiotherapy, is an established cause. Risk models based primarily on studies of the Japanese atomic bomb survivors imply that low-level exposure to ionizing radiation, including ubiquitous natural background radiation, also raises the risk of childhood leukaemia. Using two sets of recently published leukaemia risk models and estimates of natural background radiation red-bone-marrow doses received by children, about 20% of the cases of childhood leukaemia in Great Britain are predicted to be attributable to this source. However, for one of these sets of risk models this attributable fraction is materially dependent on how the radiation-induced risk is assumed to be transferred between the Japanese atomic bomb survivors and Western children. Over a range of annual doses representing the range (0.5-2.5 mSv/year) experienced by most populations, the attributable proportion for the preferred risk-transfer model varies between 8 and 30%, with small deviations from a linear relationship that are largely due to the saturation of the model, although again this range of attributable fractions depends on the assumed transfer of risk between populations. PMID:19151785

  20. Global Surface Water Delineation under Heterogeneous Backgrounds Based on A Fuzzy Clustering Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Y.

    2015-12-01

    An accurate and robust method to extract terrestrial water bodies is critical to effectively manage the fundamental resources for terrestrial life. Conventional methods are frequently limited in terms of the uncertainty related to the coarse resolution of remotely sensed images and insufficient robustness caused by regional reflectance heterogeneity. Fuzzy clustering method (FCM) with local spatial information has proven to be capable of accounting for these limitations. This technique is however susceptible to immense false noise in original optical bands. A systematic surface water extraction method by synthesizing the water index (WI) method and a modified FCM (WIMFCM) was therefore proposed to improve the water extraction accuracy, the rationale of which is a background reflectance bias correction. Applications and validations were performed to sixteen background-heterogeneous sites in different parts of the world using the Landsat-8 OLI (Operational Land Imager) images, which differed from previous research focusing on water bodies with specific morphological features (e.g., linear rivers or regular lakes). Results obtained demonstrated that the use of the proposed WIMFCM could improve the accuracy of surface water body extraction without regional or seasonal limitations in comparison to alternative methods at both pixel and sub-pixel level. Additional tests carried out on MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data proved that the WIMFCM could be extended to global scale, as well as be used in near-real time water monitoring. The findings of this study are able to improve land cover mapping accuracy when using the optical satellite images under heterogeneous environments.

  1. Inhibitory effect of natural organic matter or other background constituents on photocatalytic advanced oxidation processes: Mechanistic model development and validation.

    PubMed

    Brame, Jonathon; Long, Mingce; Li, Qilin; Alvarez, Pedro

    2015-11-01

    The ability of reactive oxygen species (ROS) to interact with priority pollutants is crucial for efficient water treatment by photocatalytic advanced oxidation processes (AOPs). However, background compounds in water such as natural organic matter (NOM) can significantly hinder targeted reactions and removal efficiency. This inhibition can be complex, interfering with degradation in solution and at the photocatalyst surface as well as hindering illumination efficiency and ROS production. We developed an analytical model to account for various inhibition mechanisms in catalytic AOPs, including competitive adsorption of inhibitors, scavenging of produced ROS at the surface and in solution, and the inner filtering of the excitation illumination, which combine to decrease ROS-mediated degradation. This model was validated with batch experiments using a variety of ROS producing systems (OH-generating TiO2 photocatalyst and H2O2-UV; (1)O2-generating photosensitive functionalized fullerenes and rose bengal) and inhibitory compounds (NOM, tert-butyl alcohol). Competitive adsorption by NOM and ROS scavenging were the most influential inhibitory mechanisms. Overall, this model enables accurate simulation of photocatalytic AOP performance when one or more inhibitory mechanisms are at work in a wide variety of application scenarios, and underscores the need to consider the effects of background constituents on degradation efficiency.

  2. Resolving structural uncertainty in natural resources management using POMDP approaches

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, B.K.

    2011-01-01

    In recent years there has been a growing focus on the uncertainties of natural resources management, and the importance of accounting for uncertainty in assessing management effectiveness. This paper focuses on uncertainty in resource management in terms of discrete-state Markov decision processes (MDP) under structural uncertainty and partial observability. It describes the treatment of structural uncertainty with approaches developed for partially observable resource systems. In particular, I show how value iteration for partially observable MDPs (POMDP) can be extended to structurally uncertain MDPs. A key difference between these process classes is that structurally uncertain MDPs require the tracking of system state as well as a probability structure for the structure uncertainty, whereas with POMDPs require only a probability structure for the observation uncertainty. The added complexity of the optimization problem under structural uncertainty is compensated by reduced dimensionality in the search for optimal strategy. A solution algorithm for structurally uncertain processes is outlined for a simple example in conservation biology. By building on the conceptual framework developed for POMDPs, natural resource analysts and decision makers who confront structural uncertainties in natural resources can take advantage of the rapid growth in POMDP methods and approaches, and thereby produce better conservation strategies over a larger class of resource problems. ?? 2011.

  3. Embedded-explicit emergent literacy intervention I: Background and description of approach.

    PubMed

    Justice, Laura M; Kaderavek, Joan N

    2004-07-01

    This article, the first of a two-part series, provides background information and a general description of an emergent literacy intervention model for at-risk preschoolers and kindergartners. The embedded-explicit intervention model emphasizes the dual importance of providing young children with socially embedded opportunities for meaningful, naturalistic literacy experiences throughout the day, in addition to regular structured therapeutic interactions that explicitly target critical emergent literacy goals. The role of the speech-language pathologist (SLP) in the embedded-explicit model encompasses both indirect and direct service delivery: The SLP consults and collaborates with teachers and parents to ensure the highest quality and quantity of socially embedded literacy-focused experiences and serves as a direct provider of explicit interventions using structured curricula and/or lesson plans. The goal of this integrated model is to provide comprehensive emergent literacy interventions across a spectrum of early literacy skills to ensure the successful transition of at-risk children from prereaders to readers. PMID:15248791

  4. Macondo oil in deep-sea sediments: Part 2 - Distribution and distinction from background and natural oil seeps.

    PubMed

    Stout, Scott A; Payne, James R; Ricker, Robert W; Baker, Gregory; Lewis, Christopher

    2016-10-15

    Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the spilled Macondo oil was severely weathered during its transport within the deep-sea plume as discrete particles, which were subsequently deposited on the seafloor. The Macondo oil deposited in deep-sea sediments was distinguished from ambient (background) hydrocarbons and naturally-seeped and genetically-similar oils in the Mississippi Canyon region using a forensic method based upon a systematic, multi-year study of 724 deep-sea sediment cores collected in late 2010 and 2011. The method relied upon: (1) chemical fingerprinting of the distinct features of the wax-rich, severely-weathered Macondo oil; (2) hydrocarbon concentrations, considering a core's proximity to the Macondo well or to known or apparent natural oil seeps, and also vertically within a core; and (3) results from proximal cores and flocculent material from core supernatants and slurp gun filters. The results presented herein establish the geographic extent of "fingerprintable" Macondo oil recognized on the seafloor in 2010/2011.

  5. Macondo oil in deep-sea sediments: Part 2 - Distribution and distinction from background and natural oil seeps.

    PubMed

    Stout, Scott A; Payne, James R; Ricker, Robert W; Baker, Gregory; Lewis, Christopher

    2016-10-15

    Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the spilled Macondo oil was severely weathered during its transport within the deep-sea plume as discrete particles, which were subsequently deposited on the seafloor. The Macondo oil deposited in deep-sea sediments was distinguished from ambient (background) hydrocarbons and naturally-seeped and genetically-similar oils in the Mississippi Canyon region using a forensic method based upon a systematic, multi-year study of 724 deep-sea sediment cores collected in late 2010 and 2011. The method relied upon: (1) chemical fingerprinting of the distinct features of the wax-rich, severely-weathered Macondo oil; (2) hydrocarbon concentrations, considering a core's proximity to the Macondo well or to known or apparent natural oil seeps, and also vertically within a core; and (3) results from proximal cores and flocculent material from core supernatants and slurp gun filters. The results presented herein establish the geographic extent of "fingerprintable" Macondo oil recognized on the seafloor in 2010/2011. PMID:27509822

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  7. A Coupled Human-Natural Systems Approach to Valuing Natural Capital

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenichel, E. P.; Abbott, J.; Fujitani, M.

    2012-12-01

    The idea that geological and biological natural resources provide ecosystem services and that the physical geological and biological stocks, referred to as ecological stocks, are forms of capital is not new, but has attracted increased attention since the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment was released in 2005. Yet, the exact meaning of these terms, the connection between natural capital and ecosystem services, and the broader links between biophysical science and economics is often vague. The conceptual connection between ecosystem services and natural capital is that ecosystem services are the flow of goods and services that people receive from natural resources, and these flows are generated by an endowment of ecological stocks. While individuals derive benefits from a flow of services, the extent that people value the underlying natural capital asset depends on institutional arrangements in addition to the ecological properties of the stocks, because the value of capital relates to the future flow of services. A coupled human-natural systems modeling approach can help understand the value of natural capital in addition to helping scientist and policy makers better manage earth's resources. The value of a capital asset is the net present value of the flow of service, often calculated by the NPV rule. The NPV rule almost always assumes perfectly functioning markets for services and capital, but for many important ecosystem services such markets simply do not exist. The NPV rule can be derived by maximizing the net present value of capital. Indeed, the NPV rule comes from the adjoint condition of an optimal control problem where the flow of services from the capital asset are the benefits, and the dynamics of the capital stock are the constraints. Yet, trying to apply the traditional NPV rule to ecosystem services and natural capital can be frustrated by not knowing where pieces of the puzzle fit. We compare the standard NPV rule with a modified NPV rule derived by

  8. U.S.-EC Fuel Cycle Study: Background Document to the Approach and Issues

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, R.

    1992-11-01

    Introducing social costs into utility decision making is not the first best policy for internalizing damages associated with energy use. If this approach is applied to electric utilities only, energy markets could become distorted. It introduces possible anti-new source bias if applied to only new sources. It requires that other policies, such as potentially inefficient environmental laws, be taken as a given. It offers an inappropriate jurisdictional control for many issues, such as global warming or foreign policy, which will be a source of frustration for many advocates. And it could even result in increases in pollution. It would be preferable for federal and state laws to be set and designed efficiently affecting all sectors of the economy. Nonetheless, application and investment of the concept of social costing of electricity can lead to more efficient electricity generation choices. While the piecemeal problem is potentially significant, so are the benefits of social costing.

  9. Research on tracking approach to weak small targets under sky background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jinling; Miao, Dong; Zhou, Wensheng; Shen, Jiarui; Chen, Nao; Kang, Bo

    2014-09-01

    The infrared (IR) target recognizing and tracking technique is widely applied to many fields such as industries, navigation, weapon controlling and guiding and so on. Its application in military field has become the research hotspot. The stability of target tracking is the most important in military applications. However, it is difficult to track the aerial target because of the complex background and noise interference, especially from long distance, which make tracking targets even harder. In this paper, a novel image tracking system is designed, which uses template matching algorithm combined with Kalman filter. Because of the noise in image, the presence of occlusion, and the deformation of tracked target, some tracking algorithms may fail. So it is the main idea in this paper to merge the advantages from the tracking algorithms, and track the target real time. The algorithm for weak small targets from the image is based on template matching algorithm. In order to overcome the problems related to the changes of unpredictable circumstance, Kalman filter tracking algorithm is used. For the disadvantage of template matching algorithm towards occasions in target tracking, such as target occlusion, drastic change of image intensity, the relevant solutions are proposed. In cases when the target is occluded or moves more than the operational limits of the tracking module, Kalman filter is used to predict the object location. Thus, automatic detection and tracking of target in real-time is achieved and the proposed method is more robust in target tracking. The results show that the algorithm can realize target tracking under complicated scenes. It also improves the tracking stability, capacity of anti-interfering and running efficiency.

  10. A Systematic Approach to Discover and Characterize Natural Plant Biostimulants

    PubMed Central

    Povero, Giovanni; Mejia, Juan F.; Di Tommaso, Donata; Piaggesi, Alberto; Warrior, Prem

    2016-01-01

    The use of natural plant biostimulants is proposed as an innovative solution to address the challenges to sustainable agriculture, to ensure optimal nutrient uptake, crop yield, quality, and tolerance to abiotic stress. However, the process of selection and characterization of plant biostimulant matrices is complex and involves a series of rigorous evaluations customized to the needs of the plant. Here, we propose a highly differentiated plant biostimulant development and production platform, which involves a combination of technology, processes, and know-how. Chemistry, biology and omic concepts are combined/integrated to investigate and understand the specific mode(s) of action of bioactive ingredients. The proposed approach allows to predict and characterize the function of natural compounds as biostimulants. By managing and analyzing massive amounts of complex data, it is therefore possible to discover, evaluate and validate new product candidates, thus expanding the uses of existing products to meet the emerging needs of agriculture. PMID:27092156

  11. A Systematic Approach to Discover and Characterize Natural Plant Biostimulants.

    PubMed

    Povero, Giovanni; Mejia, Juan F; Di Tommaso, Donata; Piaggesi, Alberto; Warrior, Prem

    2016-01-01

    The use of natural plant biostimulants is proposed as an innovative solution to address the challenges to sustainable agriculture, to ensure optimal nutrient uptake, crop yield, quality, and tolerance to abiotic stress. However, the process of selection and characterization of plant biostimulant matrices is complex and involves a series of rigorous evaluations customized to the needs of the plant. Here, we propose a highly differentiated plant biostimulant development and production platform, which involves a combination of technology, processes, and know-how. Chemistry, biology and omic concepts are combined/integrated to investigate and understand the specific mode(s) of action of bioactive ingredients. The proposed approach allows to predict and characterize the function of natural compounds as biostimulants. By managing and analyzing massive amounts of complex data, it is therefore possible to discover, evaluate and validate new product candidates, thus expanding the uses of existing products to meet the emerging needs of agriculture. PMID:27092156

  12. Sensitivity analysis approach to multibody systems described by natural coordinates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xiufeng; Wang, Yabin

    2014-03-01

    The classical natural coordinate modeling method which removes the Euler angles and Euler parameters from the governing equations is particularly suitable for the sensitivity analysis and optimization of multibody systems. However, the formulation has so many principles in choosing the generalized coordinates that it hinders the implementation of modeling automation. A first order direct sensitivity analysis approach to multibody systems formulated with novel natural coordinates is presented. Firstly, a new selection method for natural coordinate is developed. The method introduces 12 coordinates to describe the position and orientation of a spatial object. On the basis of the proposed natural coordinates, rigid constraint conditions, the basic constraint elements as well as the initial conditions for the governing equations are derived. Considering the characteristics of the governing equations, the newly proposed generalized-α integration method is used and the corresponding algorithm flowchart is discussed. The objective function, the detailed analysis process of first order direct sensitivity analysis and related solving strategy are provided based on the previous modeling system. Finally, in order to verify the validity and accuracy of the method presented, the sensitivity analysis of a planar spinner-slider mechanism and a spatial crank-slider mechanism are conducted. The test results agree well with that of the finite difference method, and the maximum absolute deviation of the results is less than 3%. The proposed approach is not only convenient for automatic modeling, but also helpful for the reduction of the complexity of sensitivity analysis, which provides a practical and effective way to obtain sensitivity for the optimization problems of multibody systems.

  13. A Parametric Approach To Mirror Natural Frequency Calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nowak, William J.

    1984-01-01

    A hybrid analytical/graphical method is presented to calculate the fundamental natural frequency of rectangular mirrors mounted at 3 points. A NASTRAN assisted parametric approach was used to calculate the characteristic roots of the plate vibration equation for mirrors with aspect ratios ranging from 1.0 x 1.0 to 10.0 x 1.0. Also considered were simply supported boundary conditions at three mirror corner points or at two corner points on one edge and one point along the opposite edge. Experimental varification within 6.0% was achieved for the extreme case tested with approximately a +2.0% average experimental error overall.

  14. Speakers urge a unified approach to mitigating natural hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, M. Catherine

    On November 3, while wildfires consumed acres of coastal land in California, the U.S. Natural Hazards Symposium in Washington, D.C., addressed the threat of natural hazards in the United States, disaster mitigation and recovery, and the need to consider natural hazards in land development plans. Several of the scheduled speakers were unable to participate because they were called to California to investigate the fires, including keynote speaker James Witt, the new director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).Substitute keynote speaker Harvey Ryland, Witt's senior adviser at FEMA, emphasized that “we must sell mitigation as an effective means of protecting people and property.” He discussed FEMA's new “National Mitigation Strategy,” which will serve as the basis for its emergency management program. The strategy is expected to be in place by January 1995. As part of the approach, FEMA will establish a mitigation directorate to organize various disaster mitigation efforts in one office. Ryland also discussed the idea of creating risk reduction enterprise zones, designated high risk areas that would offer incentives to property owners who take proper mitigation measures. “Such incentives would be offset by reduced disaster assistance costs,” Ryland added.

  15. Combining natural background levels (NBLs) assessment with indicator kriging analysis to improve groundwater quality data interpretation and management.

    PubMed

    Ducci, Daniela; de Melo, M Teresa Condesso; Preziosi, Elisabetta; Sellerino, Mariangela; Parrone, Daniele; Ribeiro, Luis

    2016-11-01

    The natural background level (NBL) concept is revisited and combined with indicator kriging method to analyze the spatial distribution of groundwater quality within a groundwater body (GWB). The aim is to provide a methodology to easily identify areas with the same probability of exceeding a given threshold (which may be a groundwater quality criteria, standards, or recommended limits for selected properties and constituents). Three case studies with different hydrogeological settings and located in two countries (Portugal and Italy) are used to derive NBL using the preselection method and validate the proposed methodology illustrating its main advantages over conventional statistical water quality analysis. Indicator kriging analysis was used to create probability maps of the three potential groundwater contaminants. The results clearly indicate the areas within a groundwater body that are potentially contaminated because the concentrations exceed the drinking water standards or even the local NBL, and cannot be justified by geogenic origin. The combined methodology developed facilitates the management of groundwater quality because it allows for the spatial interpretation of NBL values. PMID:27371772

  16. Combining natural background levels (NBLs) assessment with indicator kriging analysis to improve groundwater quality data interpretation and management.

    PubMed

    Ducci, Daniela; de Melo, M Teresa Condesso; Preziosi, Elisabetta; Sellerino, Mariangela; Parrone, Daniele; Ribeiro, Luis

    2016-11-01

    The natural background level (NBL) concept is revisited and combined with indicator kriging method to analyze the spatial distribution of groundwater quality within a groundwater body (GWB). The aim is to provide a methodology to easily identify areas with the same probability of exceeding a given threshold (which may be a groundwater quality criteria, standards, or recommended limits for selected properties and constituents). Three case studies with different hydrogeological settings and located in two countries (Portugal and Italy) are used to derive NBL using the preselection method and validate the proposed methodology illustrating its main advantages over conventional statistical water quality analysis. Indicator kriging analysis was used to create probability maps of the three potential groundwater contaminants. The results clearly indicate the areas within a groundwater body that are potentially contaminated because the concentrations exceed the drinking water standards or even the local NBL, and cannot be justified by geogenic origin. The combined methodology developed facilitates the management of groundwater quality because it allows for the spatial interpretation of NBL values.

  17. Oil and Gas Drilling and Operations in Cave and Karst area: Background and development of a BLM approach

    SciTech Connect

    Goodbar, J.R. )

    1994-03-01

    Karst lands pose a unique set of problems for the oil and gas industry, as well as for the cave and karst environments. Since 1987, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been working with the oil and gas industry to develop acceptable practices for drilling and operation in karst lands. The mutual goals of industry and of the BLM is to minimize the potential of encountering those problems and reduce the extent of the problems, if they are encountered. BLM's approach is described in their [open quotes]Draft Guide for Oil and Gas Drilling and Operations in Cave and Karst Areas.[close quotes] This paper discusses the background and development of this guide with an emphasis on the conflict resolution approach of the BLM.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. Bundle Data Approach at GES DISC Targeting Natural Hazards

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shie, Chung-Lin; Shen, Suhung; Kempler, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Severe natural phenomena such as hurricane, volcano, blizzard, flood and drought have the potential to cause immeasurable property damages, great socioeconomic impact, and tragic loss of human life. From searching to assessing the Big, i.e., massive and heterogeneous scientific data (particularly, satellite and model products) in order to investigate those natural hazards, it has, however, become a daunting task for Earth scientists and applications researchers, especially during recent decades. The NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Service Center (GES DISC) has served Big Earth science data, and the pertinent valuable information and services to the aforementioned users of diverse communities for years. In order to help and guide our users to online readily (i.e., with a minimum effort) acquire their requested data from our enormous resource at GES DISC for studying their targeted hazard event, we have thus initiated a Bundle Data approach in 2014, first targeting the hurricane event topic. We have recently worked on new topics such as volcano and blizzard. The bundle data of a specific hazard event is basically a sophisticated integrated data package consisting of a series of proper datasets containing a group of relevant (knowledge--based) data variables readily accessible to users via a system-prearranged table linking those data variables to the proper datasets (URLs). This online approach has been developed by utilizing a few existing data services such as Mirador as search engine; Giovanni for visualization; and OPeNDAP for data access, etc. The online Data Cookbook site at GES DISC is the current host for the bundle data. We are now also planning on developing an Automated Virtual Collection Framework that shall eventually accommodate the bundle data, as well as further improve our management in Big Data.

  20. "Bundle Data" Approach at GES DISC Targeting Natural Hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shie, C. L.; Shen, S.; Kempler, S. J.

    2015-12-01

    Severe natural phenomena such as hurricane, volcano, blizzard, flood and drought have the potential to cause immeasurable property damages, great socioeconomic impact, and tragic loss of human life. From searching to assessing the "Big", i.e., massive and heterogeneous scientific data (particularly, satellite and model products) in order to investigate those natural hazards, it has, however, become a daunting task for Earth scientists and applications researchers, especially during recent decades. The NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Service Center (GES DISC) has served "Big" Earth science data, and the pertinent valuable information and services to the aforementioned users of diverse communities for years. In order to help and guide our users to online readily (i.e., with a minimum effort) acquire their requested data from our enormous resource at GES DISC for studying their targeted hazard/event, we have thus initiated a "Bundle Data" approach in 2014, first targeting the hurricane event/topic. We have recently worked on new topics such as volcano and blizzard. The "bundle data" of a specific hazard/event is basically a sophisticated integrated data package consisting of a series of proper datasets containing a group of relevant ("knowledge-based") data variables readily accessible to users via a system-prearranged table linking those data variables to the proper datasets (URLs). This online approach has been developed by utilizing a few existing data services such as Mirador as search engine; Giovanni for visualization; and OPeNDAP for data access, etc. The online "Data Cookbook" site at GES DISC is the current host for the "bundle data". We are now also planning on developing an "Automated Virtual Collection Framework" that shall eventually accommodate the "bundle data", as well as further improve our management in "Big Data".

  1. Fungal communities as an experimental approach to Darwin's naturalization hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Morales, María Camila; Verdejo, Valentina; Orlando, Julieta; Carú, Margarita

    2016-01-01

    Darwin's naturalization hypothesis suggests that the success of an invasive species will be lower when colonizing communities are formed by phylogenetically related rather than unrelated species due to increased competition. Although microbial invasions are involved in both natural and anthropogenic processes, factors affecting the success of microbial invaders are unknown. A biological invasion assay was designed using Trichoderma cf. harzianum as the invader and two types of recipient communities assembled in microcosm assays: communities phylogenetically related to the invader, and communities phylogenetically unrelated to it. Both types of communities were invaded by T. cf. harzianum, and the success of colonization was monitored by qPCR; its effect on the genetic structure of recipient fungal communities was then assessed by DGGE profiles. T. cf. harzianum established itself in both communities, reaching 1000-10,000 times higher copy numbers in the non-related communities. However, invader establishment does not affect the structure of the invaded communities. These results suggest that the composition of recipient communities and their phylogenetic relationship to the invader affect the success of colonization by T. cf. harzianum. While this approach represents a very simplified assay, these microcosms enable an experimental test of Darwin's hypothesis in order to understand the biological invasion process in microbial communities. PMID:26506029

  2. Fungal communities as an experimental approach to Darwin's naturalization hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Morales, María Camila; Verdejo, Valentina; Orlando, Julieta; Carú, Margarita

    2016-01-01

    Darwin's naturalization hypothesis suggests that the success of an invasive species will be lower when colonizing communities are formed by phylogenetically related rather than unrelated species due to increased competition. Although microbial invasions are involved in both natural and anthropogenic processes, factors affecting the success of microbial invaders are unknown. A biological invasion assay was designed using Trichoderma cf. harzianum as the invader and two types of recipient communities assembled in microcosm assays: communities phylogenetically related to the invader, and communities phylogenetically unrelated to it. Both types of communities were invaded by T. cf. harzianum, and the success of colonization was monitored by qPCR; its effect on the genetic structure of recipient fungal communities was then assessed by DGGE profiles. T. cf. harzianum established itself in both communities, reaching 1000-10,000 times higher copy numbers in the non-related communities. However, invader establishment does not affect the structure of the invaded communities. These results suggest that the composition of recipient communities and their phylogenetic relationship to the invader affect the success of colonization by T. cf. harzianum. While this approach represents a very simplified assay, these microcosms enable an experimental test of Darwin's hypothesis in order to understand the biological invasion process in microbial communities.

  3. Proteogenomic Approaches for the Molecular Characterization of Natural Microbial Communities

    SciTech Connect

    Banfield, Jillian F.; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L; Thelen, Michael P.

    2005-01-01

    At the present time we know little about how microbial communities function in their natural habitats. For example, how do microorganisms interact with each other and their physical and chemical surroundings and respond to environmental perturbations? We might begin to answer these questions if we could monitor the ways in which metabolic roles are partitioned amongst members as microbial communities assemble, determine how resources such as carbon, nitrogen, and energy are allocated into metabolic pathways, and understand the mechanisms by which organisms and communities respond to changes in their surroundings. Because many organisms cannot be cultivated, and given that the metabolisms of those growing in monoculture are likely to differ from those of organisms growing as part of consortia, it is vital to develop methods to study microbial communities in situ. Chemoautotrophic biofilms growing in mine tunnels hundreds of meters underground drive pyrite (FeS2) dissolution and acid and metal release, creating habitats that select for a small number of organism types. The geochemical and microbial simplicity of these systems, the significant biomass, and clearly defined biological-inorganic feedbacks make these ecosystem microcosms ideal for development of methods for the study of uncultivated microbial consortia. Our approach begins with the acquisition of genomic data from biofilms that are sampled over time and in different growth conditions. We have demonstrated that it is possible to assemble shotgun sequence data to reveal the gene complement of the dominant community members and to use these data to confidently identify a significant fraction of proteins from the dominant organisms by mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics. However, there are technical obstacles currently restricting this type of "proteogenomic" analysis. Composite genomic sequences assembled from environmental data from natural microbial communities do not capture the full range of genetic

  4. Educating for and through Nature: A Merleau-Pontian Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hung, Ruyu

    2008-01-01

    This paper aims to explore the relationship between humans and nature and the implied intimacy, so-call "ecophilia," in light of the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty. It is revealed from the Merleau-Pontian view of body and nature that there may be a more harmonious relationship between humankind and nature than the commonly assumed, and…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikeda, Misuzu; Ebine, Hideyuki; Nakamura, Osamu

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

  6. Global Natural Disaster Risk Hotspots: Transition to a Regional Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lerner-Lam, A.; Chen, R.; Dilley, M.

    2005-12-01

    The "Hotspots Project" is a collaborative study of the global distribution and occurrence of multiple natural hazards and the associated exposures of populations and their economic output. In this study we assess the global risks of two disaster-related outcomes: mortality and economic losses. We estimate risk levels by combining hazard exposure with historical vulnerability for two indicators of elements at risk-gridded population and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per unit area - for six major natural hazards: earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, floods, drought, and cyclones. By calculating relative risks for each grid cell rather than for countries as a whole, we are able to estimate risk levels at sub-national scales. These can then be used to estimate aggregate relative multiple hazard risk at regional and national scales. Mortality-related risks are assessed on a 2.5' x 2.5' latitude-longitude grid of global population (GPW Version 3). Economic risks are assessed at the same resolution for gridded GDP per unit area, using World Bank estimates of GDP based on purchasing power parity. Global hazard data were compiled from multiple sources. The project collaborated directly with UNDP and UNEP, the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI) at Columbia, and the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) in the creation of data sets for several hazards for which global data sets did not previously exist. Drought, flood and volcano hazards are characterized in terms of event frequency, storms by frequency and severity, earthquakes by frequency and ground acceleration exceedance probability, and landslides by an index derived from probability of occurrence. The global analysis undertaken in this project is clearly limited by issues of scale as well as by the availability and quality of data. For some hazards, there exist only 15- to 25-year global records with relatively crude spatial information. Data on historical disaster losses, and particularly on

  7. Early Intervention Practitioner Approaches To Natural Environment Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raab, Melinda; Dunst, Carl J.

    2004-01-01

    Practitioner beliefs about and understanding of natural environment interventions were examined. Sixteen early intervention practitioners from two programs in a southeastern state were interviewed about their understanding and use of natural environments as sources of learning opportunities for young children. Practitioners in one program had…

  8. Early Intervention Practitioner Approaches to Natural Environment Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raab, Melinda; Dunst, Carl J.

    2004-01-01

    Practitioner beliefs about and understanding of natural environment interventions were examined. Sixteen early intervention practitioners from two programs in a southeastern state were interviewed about their understanding and use of natural environments as sources of learning opportunities for young children. Practitioners in one program had…

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

    PubMed

    Ligon, D; Wetmore, A; Gillespie, P

    2002-09-01

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

  10. A Geographic Approach to the Study of Natural Gas.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheskin, Ira M.

    1980-01-01

    Provides information, tips, references, and materials to high school and college level geography teachers on developing a unit on natural gas. Data are presented in the form of tables, maps, figures, and textual analysis. (Author/DB)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-06-01

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

  12. Monitoring Perinatal Gut Microbiota in Mouse Models by Mass Spectrometry Approaches: Parental Genetic Background and Breastfeeding Effects

    PubMed Central

    Levi Mortera, Stefano; Del Chierico, Federica; Vernocchi, Pamela; Rosado, Maria M.; Cavola, Agnese; Chierici, Marco; Pieroni, Luisa; Urbani, Andrea; Carsetti, Rita; Lante, Isabella; Dallapiccola, Bruno; Putignani, Lorenza

    2016-01-01

    At birth, contact with external stimuli, such as nutrients derived from food, is necessary to modulate the symbiotic balance between commensal and pathogenic bacteria, protect against bacterial dysbiosis, and initiate the development of the mucosal immune response. Among a variety of different feeding patterns, breastfeeding represents the best modality. In fact, the capacity of breast milk to modulate the composition of infants’ gut microbiota leads to beneficial effects on their health. In this study, we used newborn mice as a model to evaluate the effect of parental genetic background (i.e., IgA-producing mice and IgA-deficient mice) and feeding modulation (i.e., maternal feeding and cross-feeding) on the onset and shaping of gut microbiota after birth. To investigate these topics, we used either a culturomic approach that employed Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MS), or bottom–up Liquid Chromatography, with subsequent MSMS shotgun metaproteomic analysis that compared and assembled results of the two techniques. We found that the microbial community was enriched by lactic acid bacteria when pups were breastfed by wild-type (WT) mothers, while IgA-deficient milk led to an increase in the opportunistic bacterial pathogen (OBP) population. Cross-feeding results suggested that IgA supplementation promoted the exclusion of some OBPs and the temporary appearance of beneficial species in pups fed by WT foster mothers. Our results show that both techniques yield a picture of microbiota from different angles and with varying depths. In particular, our metaproteomic pipeline was found to be a reliable tool in the description of microbiota. Data from these studies are available via ProteomeXchange, with identifier PXD004033. PMID:27725814

  13. Natural background and anthropogenic inputs of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in sediments of South-Western Barents Sea.

    PubMed

    Boitsov, Stepan; Jensen, H K B; Klungsøyr, Jarle

    2009-12-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) were measured in sediment cores from 13 locations in South-Western Barents Sea as part of a detailed study of the Norwegian seabed under the MAREANO program. The generally low PAH levels found, an average around 200 ng g(-1) dry weight for sum PAH, indicate low inputs of petroleum hydrocarbons to the marine environment in the area. Differences in PAH composition and various PAH ratios indicate a natural, mostly petrogenic origin of PAH in sediments from the open sea locations, while the fjord locations show higher pyrogenic PAH contents with an increase towards upper sediment layers, indicating low inputs from human activities. Petrogenic PAH levels increase in deeper sediments at open sea locations, also when normalised to total organic carbon (TOC) contents, suggesting natural leakages of oil-related hydrocarbons in the area. PMID:19643470

  14. Novel approaches for stability improvement in natural medicines

    PubMed Central

    Thakur, Lovely; Ghodasra, Umang; Patel, Nilesh; Dabhi, Mahesh

    2011-01-01

    Natural product market has seen tremendous growth in the last few years. It results in the formulation of a number of proprietary herbal products, majority of them being multi-component formulations. With the advancement of herbal drug treatments, it has now been observed that many of the constituents present in the drug may react with each other, raising the serious concern about the stability of such formulations which is an important issue in the field of phytochemistry and natural medicines. Natural products are often prone to deterioration, especially during storage, leading to loss of active component, production of metabolites with no activity and, in extreme cases, production of toxic metabolites. This area needs to be addressed in order to determine the efficacy of the formulation. Understanding the problems related to natural product stability can give the idea of dealing with the stability issues. Modifications of the conventional herbal formulations can deal with the stability problems to a large extent. This article deals with the stability problems and is aimed to provide some tools and techniques to increase stability of natural medicines and herbal formulations. PMID:22096318

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  16. Approaching Nature and Science through Outdoor Experience and Drama.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karvonen-Lee, Vireo

    1997-01-01

    Unit of study about rocks and the layers of the Earth focuses on building children's respect for nature by developing feelings of intimate relationship. Lesson plans include science activities (rock gathering, Earth models); "drama from the outside" (ritual to promote respect); literature readings; and "dramas from the inside" (guided imagery,…

  17. Natural Environment Exploration Approach: The Case Study in Department of Biology, Universitas Negeri Semarang

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alimah, Siti; Susilo, Herawati; Amin, Moh

    2016-01-01

    The study reports the evaluation and analysis of the implementation of the Nature Environment Exploration approach in the Department of Biology, Universitas Negeri Semarang State University. The method used was survey method. The results showed that the implementation of the Nature Environment Exploration approach was still far from optimal…

  18. Role of light and heavy minerals on natural radioactivity level of high background radiation area, Kerala, India.

    PubMed

    Ramasamy, V; Sundarrajan, M; Suresh, G; Paramasivam, K; Meenakshisundaram, V

    2014-02-01

    Natural radionuclides ((238)U, (232)Th and (40)K) concentrations and eight different radiological parameters have been analyzed for the beach sediments of Kerala with an aim of evaluating the radiation hazards. Activity concentrations ((238)U and (232)Th) and all the radiological parameters in most of the sites have higher values than recommended values. The Kerala beach sediments pose significant radiological threat to the people living in the area and tourists going to the beaches for recreation or to the sailors and fishermen involved in their activities in the study area. In order to know the light mineral characterization of the present sediments, mineralogical analysis has been carried out using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic technique. The eight different minerals are identified and they are characterized. Among the various observed minerals, the minerals such as quartz, microcline feldspar, kaolinite and calcite are major minerals. The relative distribution of major minerals is determined by calculating extinction co-efficient and the values show that the amount of quartz is higher than calcite and much higher than microcline feldspar. Crystallinity index is calculated to know the crystalline nature of quartz present in the sediments. Heavy mineral separation analysis has been carried out to know the total heavy mineral (THM) percentage. This analysis revealed the presence of nine heavy minerals. The minerals such as monazite, zircon, magnetite and illmenite are predominant. Due to the rapid and extreme changes occur in highly dynamic environments of sandy beaches, quantities of major light and heavy minerals are widely varied from site to site. Granulometric analysis shows that the sand is major content. Multivariate statistical (Pearson correlation, cluster and factor) analysis has been carried out to know the effect of mineralogy on radionuclide concentrations. The present study concluded that heavy minerals induce the (238)U and (232)Th

  19. The approaches for the decision support in case natural hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vyazilov, Evgeny; Chunyaev, Nikita

    2013-04-01

    In spite of using highly automated systems of measurement, collecting, storing, handling, prediction and delivery of information on the marine environment, including natural hazards, the amount of damage from natural phenomena increases. Because information on the marine environment delivered to the industrial facilities not effectively used. To such information pays little attention by individual decision-makers and not always perform preventive measures necessary for reduce and prevent damage. Automation of information support will improve the efficiency management of the marine activities. In Russia develops "The Unified system of the information about World ocean" (ESIMO, http://esimo.ru/), that integrates observation, analysis, prognostic and climate data. Necessary to create tools to automatic selection natural disasters through all integrated data; notification decision-makers about arising natural hazards - software agent; provision of information in a compact form for the decision-makers; assessment of possible damage and costs to the preventive measures; providing information on the impacts of environment on economic facilities and recommendations for decision-making; the use of maps, diagrams, tables for reporting. Tools for automatic selection designed for identification of natural phenomena based on the resources ESIMO and corresponding critical values of the indicators environment. The result of this module will be constantly updated database of critical situations of environment for each object or technological process. To operational notify and provide current information about natural hazards proposes using a software agent that is installed on the computer decision-makers, which is activated in case critical situations and provides a minimum of information. In the event of natural disaster software agent should be able to inform decision-makers about this, providing information on the current situation, and the possibility for more and detailed

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

    PubMed

    Scott, Bobby R; Di Palma, Jennifer

    2007-01-01

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

  1. Ion mobility spectrometry nuisance alarm threshold analysis for illicit narcotics based on environmental background and a ROC-curve approach.

    PubMed

    Forbes, Thomas P; Najarro, Marcela

    2016-07-21

    The discriminative potential of an ion mobility spectrometer (IMS) for trace detection of illicit narcotics relative to environmental background was investigated with a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve framework. The IMS response of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), and Δ(9)-tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC) was evaluated against environmental background levels derived from the screening of incoming delivery vehicles at a federal facility. Over 20 000 samples were collected over a multiyear period under two distinct sets of instrument operating conditions, a baseline mode and an increased desorption/drift tube temperature and sampling time mode. ROC curves provided a quantifiable representation of the interplay between sensitivity (true positive rate, TPR) and specificity (1 - false positive rate, FPR). A TPR of 90% and minimized FPR were targeted as the detection limits of IMS for the selected narcotics. MDMA, THC, and cocaine demonstrated single nanogram sensitivity at 90% TPR and <10% FPR, with improvements to both MDMA and cocaine in the elevated temperature/increased sampling mode. Detection limits in the tens of nanograms with poor specificity (FPR ≈ 20%) were observed for methamphetamine and heroin under baseline conditions. However, elevating the temperature reduced the background in the methamphetamine window, drastically improving its response (90% TPR and 3.8% FPR at 1 ng). On the contrary, the altered mode conditions increased the level of background for THC and heroin, partially offsetting observed enhancements to desorption. The presented framework demonstrated the significant effect environmental background distributions have on sensitivity and specificity.

  2. Ion mobility spectrometry nuisance alarm threshold analysis for illicit narcotics based on environmental background and a ROC-curve approach.

    PubMed

    Forbes, Thomas P; Najarro, Marcela

    2016-07-21

    The discriminative potential of an ion mobility spectrometer (IMS) for trace detection of illicit narcotics relative to environmental background was investigated with a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve framework. The IMS response of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), and Δ(9)-tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC) was evaluated against environmental background levels derived from the screening of incoming delivery vehicles at a federal facility. Over 20 000 samples were collected over a multiyear period under two distinct sets of instrument operating conditions, a baseline mode and an increased desorption/drift tube temperature and sampling time mode. ROC curves provided a quantifiable representation of the interplay between sensitivity (true positive rate, TPR) and specificity (1 - false positive rate, FPR). A TPR of 90% and minimized FPR were targeted as the detection limits of IMS for the selected narcotics. MDMA, THC, and cocaine demonstrated single nanogram sensitivity at 90% TPR and <10% FPR, with improvements to both MDMA and cocaine in the elevated temperature/increased sampling mode. Detection limits in the tens of nanograms with poor specificity (FPR ≈ 20%) were observed for methamphetamine and heroin under baseline conditions. However, elevating the temperature reduced the background in the methamphetamine window, drastically improving its response (90% TPR and 3.8% FPR at 1 ng). On the contrary, the altered mode conditions increased the level of background for THC and heroin, partially offsetting observed enhancements to desorption. The presented framework demonstrated the significant effect environmental background distributions have on sensitivity and specificity. PMID:27206280

  3. Parents' Experiences of the Provision of Community-Based Family Support and Therapy Services Utilizing the Strengths Approach and Natural Learning Environments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlson, Glenys; Armitstead, Clare; Rodger, Sylvia; Liddle, Gwen

    2010-01-01

    Background: In recent years, community based therapy service providers have explored different service delivery models to optimize child and family outcomes. This qualitative study aimed to explore parents' experiences of one particular service team that adopted a strengths approach, utilizing natural learning environments. Materials and methods:…

  4. Natural rubber latex allergy: spectrum, diagnostic approach, and therapy.

    PubMed

    Woods, J A; Lambert, S; Platts-Mills, T A; Drake, D B; Edlich, R F

    1997-01-01

    Latex allergy has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and is increasingly recognized as a significant contributor to morbidity and mortality during medical and surgical procedures. Ultimately, many of the affected patients with recognized latex sensitivity and those who are not yet diagnosed will receive treatment for their allergic reactions to latex in emergency departments. Consequently, emergency physicians must have a comprehensive understanding of the etiology, epidemiology, pathogenesis, treatment, and management of these challenging patients. Groups at high risk include spina bifida cystica patients, health care workers, latex industry workers, specific food-allergy patients, and patients with a history of atopy or multiple surgical procedures. Sensitization to latex antigens is commonly encountered in health care workers wearing latex gloves with high latex allergen concentrations and in workers using powdered latex surgical gloves. Exposure to air-borne allergens and water-soluble IgE reactive latex antigens from natural rubber latex products in sensitized individuals can result in type I (immediate) hypersensitivity reactions. Clinical manifestations include contact urticaria, dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis, asthma, angioedema, and anaphylaxis. Diagnostic tools include serological assays and skin prick testing. At present, latex avoidance is the only available treatment and is the key to preventing allergic reactions in latex-sensitized individuals. Health care worker sensitization to latex antigens in natural rubber products is becoming an increasing contributor to workers' liability and disability claims. Specific action can be taken to reduce occupational and patient exposure to latex antigens. PMID:9017491

  5. Gastroesophageal reflux: natural evolution, diagnostic approach and treatment.

    PubMed

    Hegar, Badriul; Vandenplas, Yvan

    2013-01-01

    Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is a normal physiologic process occurring several times per day in healthy infants. Regurgitation is defined as the passage of refluxed gastric contents into the pharynx or mouth, sometimes with expulsion out of the mouth. There are only a few studies that have been performed to determine the prevalence of regurgitation and its natural course in infants, and some of them were cross-sectional and retrospective. However, evaluation of the natural evolution of GER becomes difficult, since the emergence of widespread self-treatment and/or therapeutic interventions. It is important to determine which children have GER disease to offer optimal treatment and to avoid costly and potentially invasive diagnostic testing. Symptoms due to GER are troublesome when they have an adverse effect on the well-being of the pediatric patient. In regurgitating infants, decreasing the amount of regurgitation is often seen by the parents as the most welcomed intervention that physicians can provide. Many medications have been attempted to overcome GER in infants, each with their own advantages and limitations.

  6. Systems Biology Approaches to Understand Natural Products Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Licona-Cassani, Cuauhtemoc; Cruz-Morales, Pablo; Manteca, Angel; Barona-Gomez, Francisco; Nielsen, Lars K.; Marcellin, Esteban

    2015-01-01

    Actinomycetes populate soils and aquatic sediments that impose biotic and abiotic challenges for their survival. As a result, actinomycetes metabolism and genomes have evolved to produce an overwhelming diversity of specialized molecules. Polyketides, non-ribosomal peptides, post-translationally modified peptides, lactams, and terpenes are well-known bioactive natural products with enormous industrial potential. Accessing such biological diversity has proven difficult due to the complex regulation of cellular metabolism in actinomycetes and to the sparse knowledge of their physiology. The past decade, however, has seen the development of omics technologies that have significantly contributed to our better understanding of their biology. Key observations have contributed toward a shift in the exploitation of actinomycete’s biology, such as using their full genomic potential, activating entire pathways through key metabolic elicitors and pathway engineering to improve biosynthesis. Here, we review recent efforts devoted to achieving enhanced discovery, activation, and manipulation of natural product biosynthetic pathways in model actinomycetes using genome-scale biological datasets. PMID:26697425

  7. Systems Biology Approaches to Understand Natural Products Biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Licona-Cassani, Cuauhtemoc; Cruz-Morales, Pablo; Manteca, Angel; Barona-Gomez, Francisco; Nielsen, Lars K; Marcellin, Esteban

    2015-01-01

    Actinomycetes populate soils and aquatic sediments that impose biotic and abiotic challenges for their survival. As a result, actinomycetes metabolism and genomes have evolved to produce an overwhelming diversity of specialized molecules. Polyketides, non-ribosomal peptides, post-translationally modified peptides, lactams, and terpenes are well-known bioactive natural products with enormous industrial potential. Accessing such biological diversity has proven difficult due to the complex regulation of cellular metabolism in actinomycetes and to the sparse knowledge of their physiology. The past decade, however, has seen the development of omics technologies that have significantly contributed to our better understanding of their biology. Key observations have contributed toward a shift in the exploitation of actinomycete's biology, such as using their full genomic potential, activating entire pathways through key metabolic elicitors and pathway engineering to improve biosynthesis. Here, we review recent efforts devoted to achieving enhanced discovery, activation, and manipulation of natural product biosynthetic pathways in model actinomycetes using genome-scale biological datasets. PMID:26697425

  8. Systematic approaches to comprehensive analyses of natural organic matter

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leenheer, Jerry A.

    2009-01-01

    The more that is learned of the chemistry of aquatic natural organic matter (NOM) the greater is the scientific appreciation of the vast complexity of this subject. This complexity is due not only to a multiplicity of precursor molecules in any environment but to their associations with each other and with other components of local environments such as clays, mineral acids and dissolved metals. In addition, this complex system is subject to constant change owing to environmental variables and microbial action. Thus, there is a good argument that no two NOM samples are exactly the same even from the same source at nearly the same time. When ubiquity of occurrence, reaction with water treatment chemicals, and subsequent human exposure are added to the list of NOM issues, one can understand the appeal that this subject holds for a wide variety of environmental scientists.

  9. Rill erosion in natural and disturbed forests: 2. Modeling Approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagenbrenner, J. W.; Robichaud, P. R.; Elliot, W. J.

    2010-10-01

    As forest management scenarios become more complex, the ability to more accurately predict erosion from those scenarios becomes more important. In this second part of a two-part study we report model parameters based on 66 simulated runoff experiments in two disturbed forests in the northwestern U.S. The 5 disturbance classes were natural, 10-month old and 2-week old low soil burn severity, high soil burn severity, and logging skid trails. In these environments the erosion rates were clearly detachment limited, and the rill erodibility parameters calculated from four hydraulic variables increased by orders of magnitude. The soil shear stress based erodibility parameter, Kr, was 1.5 × 10-6 s m-1in the natural plots, 2.0 × 10-4 s m-1 in the high soil burn severity plots, and 1.7 × 10-3 s m-1 in the skid trail plots; Kr values for the low soil burn severity plots had negative sign. The erodibility value for the skid trail plots fell within ranges reported for tilled agricultural fields and also for forest roads. The Kr values decreased as erosion occurred in the plots and therefore should not be a constant parameter. The stream power produced the largest R2 value (0.41) when hydraulic predictors and the sediment flux were log-transformed, but none of the four hydraulic variables (soil shear stress, stream power, unit stream power, and unit length shear force) explained much of the variability in sediment flux rates across the five levels of disturbance when evaluated in the linear form of the erosion models under consideration.

  10. Evaluation of natural language processing systems: Issues and approaches

    SciTech Connect

    Guida, G.; Mauri, G.

    1986-07-01

    This paper encompasses two main topics: a broad and general analysis of the issue of performance evaluation of NLP systems and a report on a specific approach developed by the authors and experimented on a sample test case. More precisely, it first presents a brief survey of the major works in the area of NLP systems evaluation. Then, after introducing the notion of the life cycle of an NLP system, it focuses on the concept of performance evaluation and analyzes the scope and the major problems of the investigation. The tools generally used within computer science to assess the quality of a software system are briefly reviewed, and their applicability to the task of evaluation of NLP systems is discussed. Particular attention is devoted to the concepts of efficiency, correctness, reliability, and adequacy, and how all of them basically fail in capturing the peculiar features of performance evaluation of an NLP system is discussed. Two main approaches to performance evaluation are later introduced; namely, black-box- and model-based, and their most important characteristics are presented. Finally, a specific model for performance evaluation proposed by the authors is illustrated, and the results of an experiment with a sample application are reported. The paper concludes with a discussion on research perspective, open problems, and importance of performance evaluation to industrial applications.

  11. COMPARISON OF NATURAL BACKGROUND DOSE RATES FOR RESIDENTS OF THE AMARGOSA VALLEY, NV, TO THOSE IN LEADVILLE, CO, AND THE STATES OF COLORADO AND NEVADA

    SciTech Connect

    D. Moeller and L. C. Sun

    2006-02-24

    In the latter half of 2005, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) published a Proposed Rule (40 CFR Part 197) for establishing a dose rate standard for limiting radionuclide releases from the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste repository during the time period from 10{sup 4} to 10{sup 6} years after closure. The proposed standard was based on the difference in the estimated total dose rate from natural background in the Amargosa Valley and the ''average annual background radiation'' for the State of Colorado. As defined by the USEPA, ''natural background radiation consists of external exposures from cosmic and terrestrial sources, and internal exposures from indoor exposures to naturally-occurring radon''. On the basis of its assessments, the USEPA estimated that the difference in the dose rate in the two identified areas was 3.5 mSv y{sup -1}. The purpose of this review was to provide an independent evaluation and review of this estimate. One of the first observations was that, because site-specific dose rate measurements for the Amargosa Valley ''were not available'', the dose rates for various sources of natural background in that area, used by the USEPA in its assessment, were based on modifications of the average values for the State of Nevada. A second observation was that the conversion factor applied in estimating the dose rates due to exposures to indoor radon and its decay products was a factor of 2 higher than the currently accepted value. Further review revealed that site-specific data for many natural background sources in the Amargosa Valley were available. One particularly important observation was that about 91% of the residents of that area live in mobile homes which, due to their construction and design, have indoor radon concentrations comparable to, or less than, those outdoors. For that reason, alone, the USEPA estimate of the average dose rate for residents of the Amargosa Valley, due to indoor radon, was not valid

  12. Diversity in Intensive English Language Centres in South Australia: Sociocultural Approaches to Education for Students with Migrant or Refugee Backgrounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Due, Clemence; Riggs, Damien W.; Augoustinos, Martha

    2016-01-01

    While there is a body of research concerning the education of students with migrant or refugee backgrounds, little of this research focuses on primary school-aged children. In order to address this gap, the current paper utilises data gained from an ethnographic study to consider the challenges and opportunities associated with diverse classrooms…

  13. A combined approach of Kullback-Leibler divergence and background subtraction for moving object detection in thermal video

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yadav, Dileep Kumar; Singh, Karan

    2016-05-01

    In this work, a robust method for moving object detection in thermal video frames has been proposed by including Kullback-Leibler divergence (KLD) based threshold and background subtraction (BGS) technique. A trimmed-mean based background model has been developed that is capable enough to reduce noise or dynamic component of the background. This work assumed that each pixel has normally distributed. The KLD has computed between background pixel and a current pixel with the help of Gaussian mixture model. The proposed threshold is useful enough to classify the state of each pixel. The post-processing step uses morphological tool for edge linking, and then the flood-fill algorithm has applied for hole-filling, and finally the silhouette of targeted object has generated. The proposed methods run faster and have validated over various real-time based problematic thermal video sequences. In the experimental results, the average value of F1-score, area under the curve, the percentage of correct classification, Matthew's correlation coefficient show higher values whereas total error and percentage of the wrong classification show minimum values. Moreover, the proposed-1 method achieved higher accuracy and execution speed with minimum false alarm rate that has been compared with proposed-2 as well as considered peer methods in the real-time thermal video.

  14. Introducing OVAL Writing: A New Approach to Chinese Character Retention for Secondary Non-Chinese-Speaking Background Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ren, Guanxin

    2004-01-01

    One of the difficulties secondary non-Chinese-speaking background (NCSB) learners are facing is to remember the characters learned in order to recall them when necessary. The traditional way of teaching secondary NCSB learners to remember Chinese characters is through mere repetition, e.g. writing out each single character by following its stroke…

  15. Five C Framework: A Student-Centered Approach for Teaching Programming Courses to Students with Diverse Disciplinary Background

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tom, Mary

    2015-01-01

    The already existing complexities of teaching and learning computer programming are increased where students are diverse in their disciplinary backgrounds, language skills, and culture. Learners experience emotional issues of anxiety, fear or boredom. Identifying opportunities for improvement and applying theoretical and empirical evidence found…

  16. Assessment of indoor radiation dose received by the residents of natural high background radiation areas of coastal villages of Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deva Jayanthi, D.; Maniyan, C. G.; Perumal, S.

    2011-07-01

    Radiation exposure and effective dose received through two routes of exposure, viz. external and internal, via inhalation, by residents of 10 villages belonging to Natural High Background Radiation Areas (NHBRA) of coastal regions of Kanyakumari District and Tamil Nadu in India were studied. While the indoor gamma radiation levels were monitored using Thermo Luminescent Dosimeters (TLDs), the indoor radon and thoron gas concentrations were measured using twin chamber dosimeters employing Solid State Nuclear Track Detectors (SSNTDs, LR-115-II). The average total annual effective dose was estimated and found to be varying from 2.59 to 8.76 mSv.

  17. A New Approach for Estimating Background Rates of Erosion Using Concentration of Meteoric 10-Be Adhered to River Sediment: Application to the Rapidly Eroding Waipaoa Basin, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reusser, L. J.; Bierman, P. R.; Pavich, M.; Finkel, R.

    2007-12-01

    -day sediment yields are at least seven times higher than natural rates of sediment generation. This finding is in tight agreement with other estimates of pre-settlement sediment discharge from the Waipaoa Basin derived from middle shelf and nearby lake cores (Kettner et al., 2007; Page and Trustrum, 1997). Tributary basins (n=4) draining portions of the Waipaoa Basin dominated by landsliding in shallow soils yield an average background sediment generation rate of 106 ± 105 kg/(km2 * yr), assuming a deposition rate of 1.3 million atoms 10-Be/(cm2 * yr). Conversely, sediment shed from a basin dominated by severe gullying contains ~four times less 10-Be due to the contribution of deeply sourced material containing little or no meteoric 10-Be. Large basins to the north and south of the Waipaoa (n=3) yield similar background rates of sediment generation ranging from 0.25 to 1.6 million kg/(km2 * yr). Meteoric analysis of an additional 40 samples, as well as cross-calibration between in situ produced and meteoric 10-Be in 19 quartz-bearing samples will further test the robustness of this new approach for estimating natural rates of sediment generation and erosion.

  18. Of the necessity of knowledge of the natural pedo-geochemical background content in the evaluation of the contamination of soils by trace elements.

    PubMed

    Baize, D; Sterckeman, T

    2001-01-01

    In order to evaluate the contamination of the Dornach (Switzerland) site within the framework of the CEEM-Soil project, each participating team was allowed to take a maximum of 15 samples. The French team's sampling was organized in such a way as to answer the following questions: (i) what is the natural concentration of the soils at this site (local pedo-geochemical background content)?; (ii) what are the levels of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn contamination of the soil?; (iii) what is the depth reached by the surface contamination that is derived from atmospheric fallout?; (iv) how is the contamination spread along the longest axis of the area under study? The relationships between total Fe and the trace metals have allowed local variations in the natural pedo-geochemical background content to be detected and thus permitted the anthropogenic contamination to be estimated. There would appear to be a low level of Pb contamination over all the site investigated (an increase of the order of 5-10 mg kg(-1) on the background level), limited to the surface humus-bearing layers. There is also a significant contamination by Cu over all of the site (an increase of the order of 30-40 mg kg(-1)). This contamination has remained in the surface horizons (0-20 cm). Very high Zn and Cd concentrations have been found in the four surface (0-4 cm) and deep horizons (15-70 cm) taken under the forest and very much lower values in the samples taken from cultivated soils. The most likely explanation is an unequal inheritance between the upper part of the site (wooded with thinner very clayey soils) and the lower cultivated part of the site (with thicker less clayey soils developed in a loamy material). For various reasons, it seems unlikely that a contamination of the wooded part should be so much higher than the cultivated part due to the interception of atmospheric dust by the trees. The local pedo-geochemical background Cd and Zn content of the upper wooded part proved to be clearly higher than

  19. Of the necessity of knowledge of the natural pedo-geochemical background content in the evaluation of the contamination of soils by trace elements.

    PubMed

    Baize, D; Sterckeman, T

    2001-01-01

    In order to evaluate the contamination of the Dornach (Switzerland) site within the framework of the CEEM-Soil project, each participating team was allowed to take a maximum of 15 samples. The French team's sampling was organized in such a way as to answer the following questions: (i) what is the natural concentration of the soils at this site (local pedo-geochemical background content)?; (ii) what are the levels of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn contamination of the soil?; (iii) what is the depth reached by the surface contamination that is derived from atmospheric fallout?; (iv) how is the contamination spread along the longest axis of the area under study? The relationships between total Fe and the trace metals have allowed local variations in the natural pedo-geochemical background content to be detected and thus permitted the anthropogenic contamination to be estimated. There would appear to be a low level of Pb contamination over all the site investigated (an increase of the order of 5-10 mg kg(-1) on the background level), limited to the surface humus-bearing layers. There is also a significant contamination by Cu over all of the site (an increase of the order of 30-40 mg kg(-1)). This contamination has remained in the surface horizons (0-20 cm). Very high Zn and Cd concentrations have been found in the four surface (0-4 cm) and deep horizons (15-70 cm) taken under the forest and very much lower values in the samples taken from cultivated soils. The most likely explanation is an unequal inheritance between the upper part of the site (wooded with thinner very clayey soils) and the lower cultivated part of the site (with thicker less clayey soils developed in a loamy material). For various reasons, it seems unlikely that a contamination of the wooded part should be so much higher than the cultivated part due to the interception of atmospheric dust by the trees. The local pedo-geochemical background Cd and Zn content of the upper wooded part proved to be clearly higher than

  20. Rethinking Natural Environment Practice: Implications from Examining Various Interpretations and Approaches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chai, Angie Y.; Zhang, Chun; Bisberg, Marilyn

    2006-01-01

    Early intervention professionals have implemented natural environment practices for over a decade, despite the continued debate on how to interpret and implement this practice. This article reviews several theoretical frameworks for understanding natural environment practice, and also summarizes different approaches for implementation. The authors…

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. The inextricable axis of targeted diagnostic imaging and therapy: An immunological natural history approach.

    PubMed

    Cope, Frederick O; Abbruzzese, Bonnie; Sanders, James; Metz, Wendy; Sturms, Kristyn; Ralph, David; Blue, Michael; Zhang, Jane; Bracci, Paige; Bshara, Wiam; Behr, Spencer; Maurer, Toby; Williams, Kenneth; Walker, Joshua; Beverly, Allison; Blay, Brooke; Damughatla, Anirudh; Larsen, Mark; Mountain, Courtney; Neylon, Erin; Parcel, Kaeli; Raghuraman, Kapil; Ricks, Kevin; Rose, Lucas; Sivakumar, Akhilesh; Streck, Nicholas; Wang, Bryan; Wasco, Christopher; Williams, Amifred; McGrath, Michael

    2016-03-01

    In considering the challenges of approaches to clinical imaging, we are faced with choices that sometimes are impacted by rather dogmatic notions about what is a better or worse technology to achieve the most useful diagnostic image for the patient. For example, is PET or SPECT most useful in imaging any particular disease dissemination? The dictatorial approach would be to choose PET, all other matters being equal. But is such a totalitarian attitude toward imaging selection still valid? In the face of new receptor targeted SPECT agents one must consider the remarkable specificity and sensitivity of these agents. (99m)Tc-Tilmanocept is one of the newest of these agents, now approved for guiding sentinel node biopsy (SLNB) in several solid tumors. Tilmanocept has a Kd of 3×10(-11)M, and it specificity for the CD206 receptor is unlike any other agent to date. This coupled with a number of facts, that specific disease-associated macrophages express this receptor (100 to 150 thousand receptors), that the receptor has multiple binding sites for tilmanocept (>2 sites per receptor) and that these receptors are recycled every 15 min to bind more tilmanocept (acting as intracellular "drug compilers" of tilmanocept into non-degraded vesicles), gives serious pause as to how we select our approaches to diagnostic imaging. Clinically, the size of SLNs varies greatly, some, anatomically, below the machine resolution of SPECT. Yet, with tilmanocept targeting, the SLNs are highly visible with macrophages stably accruing adequate (99m)Tc-tilmanocept counting statistics, as high target-to-background ratios can compensate for spatial resolution blurring. Importantly, it may be targeted imaging agents per se, again such as tilmanocept, which may significantly shrink any perceived chasm between the imaging technologies and anchor the diagnostic considerations in the targeting and specificity of the agent rather than any lingering dogma about the hardware as the basis for imaging

  3. Learning Nature of Science Concepts through a Research Apprenticeship Program: A Comparative Study of Three Approaches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burgin, Stephen R.; Sadler, Troy D.

    2016-01-01

    The merits of three approaches (explicit, reflective and implicit) to Nature of Science (NOS) teaching and learning in the context of a summer research experience on high school student participants' NOS ideas were explored in this study. The effectiveness of explicit over implicit approaches has been demonstrated in school contexts, but less…

  4. How to Use Historical Approach to Teach Nature of Science in Chemistry Education?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tolvanen, Simo; Jansson, Jan; Vesterinen, Veli-Matti; Aksela, Maija

    2014-01-01

    Successful implementation of historical approach to teach nature of science (NOS) requires suitable curriculum material. Several research and development projects have produced lesson plans for science teachers. 25 lesson plans from four different projects involved in creating curriculum material utilizing historical approach in chemistry…

  5. Psychological linguistics: A natural science approach to the study of language interactions

    PubMed Central

    Bijou, Sidney W.; Umbreit, John; Ghezzi, Patrick M.; Chao, Chia-Chen

    1986-01-01

    Kantor's theoretical analysis of “psychological linguistics” offers a natural science approach to the study of linguistic behavior and interactions. This paper includes brief descriptions of (a) some of the basic assumptions of the approach, (b) Kantor's conception of linguistic behavior and interactions, (c) a compatible research method and sample research data, and (d) some areas of research and application. PMID:22477507

  6. Teaching Nature of Science to Pre-Service Early Childhood Teachers through an Explicit Reflective Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cil, Emine

    2014-01-01

    In this study, fifteen pre-service early childhood teachers' views of nature of science (NOS) were analysed. The student teachers took a course where NOS was taught via explicit reflective approach. The explicit reflective approach advocates that goal of improving students' NOS views should be planned for instead of being anticipated as…

  7. Microcomputer-Based Approaches for Preventing Drug and Alcohol Abuse Among Adolescents from Ethnic-Racial Minority Backgrounds

    PubMed Central

    Moncher, Michael S.; Parms, Clifford A.; Orlandi, Mario A.; Schinke, Steven P.; Miller, Samuel O.; Palleja, Josephine; Schinke, Mary B.

    2006-01-01

    This study was designed to empirically assess the potential of microcomputer-based intervention with black adolescents from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Subjects were 26, 11 through 14-year-old black females and males recruited from three boroughs in New York City. A sample task was administered via microcomputer system followed by a postintervention measurement battery. Observational measures were also employed to assess interactional variables. Subjects’ attitudes toward educational content in general, and toward drug and alcohol information delivery in particular, appeared to be a significant intervening variable that could alter the overall efficacy of computer-delivered interventions. Both observational and postintervention measures indicated an overall positive subject response to computer-administered instruction. In contrast, however, respondents indicated a negative response to microcomputer delivery of drug and alcohol related materials. Results of the experiment are discussed along with rationales and future research directions. PMID:17387376

  8. Development of lingual brachet technique. (Esthetic and hygienic approach to orthodontic treatment) (Part 1) Background and design.

    PubMed

    Fujita, K

    1978-04-01

    The present study relates to a development of the new technique and the new appliances, for the treatment of malocclusion and minor tooth movement. The primary purpose of the present study consists in to reduce mental burden of the patients receiving orthodontic treatment and to improve effect of the treatment further by making the appliance invisible when mouth is opened. The second purpose of the study is in orthodontic treatment carried out from lingual side, to control all teeth movement in oral cavity in three dimensions so that the normal occlusion may be operated. The third purpose of the present study is to make the exchange of wire readily when the wire with bigger elasticity is exchanged by turns during the process of the treatment. The background and the design of appliances for the lingual-bracker technique(lingual-bracket mushroom arch wire technique) is found out in this report.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Predominant anthropogenic sources and rates of atmospheric mercury accumulation in southern Ontario recorded by peat cores from three bogs: comparison with natural "background" values (past 8000 years).

    PubMed

    Givelet, Nicolas; Roos-Barraclough, Fiona; Shotyk, William

    2003-12-01

    Peat cores from three bogs in southern Ontario provide a complete, quantitative record of net rates of atmospheric Hg accumulation since pre-industrial times. For comparison with modern values, a peat core extending back 8000 years was used to quantify the natural variations in Hg fluxes for this region, and their dependence on climatic change and land use history. The net mercury accumulation rates were separated into "natural" and "excess" components by comparing the Hg/Br ratios of modern samples with the long-term, pre-anthropogenic average Hg/Br. The average background mercury accumulation rate during the pre-anthropogenic period (from 5700 years BC to 1470 AD) was 1.4 +/- 1.0 microg m(-2) per year (n = 197). The beginning of Hg contamination from anthropogenic sources dates from AD 1475 at the Luther Bog, corresponding to biomass burning for agricultural activities by Native North Americans. During the late 17th and 18th centuries, deposition of anthropogenic Hg was at least equal to that of Hg from natural sources. Anthropogenic inputs of Hg to the bogs have dominated continuously since the beginning of the 19th century. The maximum Hg accumulation rates decrease in the order Sifton Bog, in the City of London, Ontario (141 microg Hg m(-2) per year), Luther Bog in an agricultural region (89 microg Hg m(-2) per year), and Spruce Bog which is in a comparatively remote, forested region (54 microg Hg m(-2) per year). Accurate age dating of recent peat samples using the bomb pulse curve of 14C shows that the maximum rate of atmospheric Hg accumulation occurred during AD 1956 and 1959 at all sites. In these (modern) samples, the Hg concentration profiles resemble those of Pb, an element which is known to be immobile in peat bogs. The correlation between these two metals, together with sulfur, suggests that the predominant anthropogenic source of Hg (and Pb) was coal burning. While Hg accumulation rates have gone into strong decline since the late 1950's, Hg

  11. A direct approach for instantaneous 3D density field reconstruction from background-oriented schlieren (BOS) measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolas, F.; Todoroff, V.; Plyer, A.; Le Besnerais, G.; Donjat, D.; Micheli, F.; Champagnat, F.; Cornic, P.; Le Sant, Y.

    2016-01-01

    We present a new numerical method for reconstruction of instantaneous density volume from 3D background-oriented schlieren (3DBOS) measurements, with a validation on a dedicated flexible experimental BOS bench. In contrast to previous works, we use a direct formulation where density is estimated from measured deviation fields without the intermediate step of density gradient reconstruction. Regularization techniques are implemented to deal with the ill-posed problem encountered. The resulting high-dimensional optimization is conducted by conjugate gradient techniques. A parallel algorithm, implemented on graphics processing unit, helps to speed up the calculation. The resulting software is validated on synthetic BOS images of a 3D density field issued from a numerical simulation. Then, we describe a dedicated 3DBOS experimental facility which has been built to study various BOS settings and to assess the performance of the proposed numerical reconstruction process. Results on various datasets illustrate the potential of the method for flow characterization and measurement in real-world conditions.

  12. Exploring the background features of acidic and basic air pollutants around an industrial complex using data mining approach.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ho-Wen; Tsai, Ching-Tsan; She, Chin-Wen; Lin, Yo-Chen; Chiang, Chow-Feng

    2010-11-01

    Air pollution data around a monitored site are normally difficult to analyze due to highly inter-related meteorological and topographical factors on top of many complicated atmospheric chemical interactions occurred in local and regional wind fields. The challenge prompts this study to develop a comprehensive data-mining algorithm of cluster analysis followed by meteorological and interspecies correlations to mitigate the inherent data complexity and dissimilarity. This study investigated the background features of acidic and basic air pollutants around a high-tech industrial park in Taiwan. Monthly samplings were taken at 10 sites around the park in a year. The temporal distribution plots show a baseline with two characteristic groups of high and low peaks. Hierarchical cluster analysis confirms that high peaks were primarily associated with low speed south wind in summer for all the chemical species, except for F(-), Cl(-), NH(3) and HF. Crosschecking with the topographical map identifies several major external sources in south and southwest. Further meteorological correlation suggests that HCl is highly positively associated with humidity, while Cl(-) is highly negatively associated with temperature, both for most stations. Interestingly, HNO(3) is highly negatively associated with wind speed for most stations and the hotspot was found in summer and around the foothill of Da-Tu Mountain in the northwest, a stagnant pocket on the study site. However, F(-) is highly positively associated with wind speed at downwind stations to the prevailing north wind in winter, indicating an internal source from the north. The presence of NH(4)(+) stimulates the formation of NO(3)(-), SO(4)(-2) (R=0.7), and HNO(3), H(2)SO(4), NH(3) (R=0.3-0.4). As H(2)SO(4) could be elevated to a level as high as 40% of the regulated standard, species interactions may be a dominate mechanism responsible for the substantial increase in summer from external sources.

  13. Peripheral blood lymphocyte micronucleus frequencies in men from areas of Kerala, India, with high vs normal levels of natural background ionizing radiation.

    PubMed

    Karuppasamy, C V; Ramachandran, E N; Kumar, V Anil; Kumar, P R Vivek; Koya, P K M; Jaikrishan, G; Das, Birajalaxmi

    2016-04-01

    We have measured the frequencies of micronuclei (MN) in adult male individuals living in areas of the Kerala coast, southwest India, with either high (HLNRA, >1.5mGy/year) or normal levels of natural ionizing radiation (NLNRA, ≤1.5mGy/year). Blood samples were obtained from 141 individuals, 94 from HLNRA and 47 from NLNRA, aged 18-72, and were subjected to the cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay. An average of 1835 binucleated (BN) cells per individual were scored. The overall frequency of MN (mean±SD) was 11.7±6.7 per 1000 BN cells. The frequencies of MN in the HLNRA (11.7±6.6) and NLNRA (11.6±6.7) were not statistically significantly different (P=0.59). However, a statistically significant (P<0.001) age-dependent increase in MN frequency was observed among individuals from both HLNRA and NLNRA. No natural background radiation dose-dependent increase in MN frequency was seen. MN frequency was not influenced by tobacco smoking or chewing but it was increased among individuals consuming alcohol. Chronic low-dose radiation in the Kerala coast did not have a significant effect on MN frequency among adult men. PMID:27085474

  14. Multi-Site Application of the Geomechanical Approach for Natural Fracture Exploration

    SciTech Connect

    R. L. Billingsley; V. Kuuskraa

    2006-03-31

    In order to predict the nature and distribution of natural fracturing, Advanced Resources Inc. (ARI) incorporated concepts of rock mechanics, geologic history, and local geology into a geomechanical approach for natural fracture prediction within mildly deformed, tight (low-permeability) gas reservoirs. Under the auspices of this project, ARI utilized and refined this approach in tight gas reservoir characterization and exploratory activities in three basins: the Piceance, Wind River and the Anadarko. The primary focus of this report is the knowledge gained on natural fractural prediction along with practical applications for enhancing gas recovery and commerciality. Of importance to tight formation gas production are two broad categories of natural fractures: (1) shear related natural fractures and (2) extensional (opening mode) natural fractures. While arising from different origins this natural fracture type differentiation based on morphology is sometimes inter related. Predicting fracture distribution successfully is largely a function of collecting and understanding the available relevant data in conjunction with a methodology appropriate to the fracture origin. Initially ARI envisioned the geomechanical approach to natural fracture prediction as the use of elastic rock mechanics methods to project the nature and distribution of natural fracturing within mildly deformed, tight (low permeability) gas reservoirs. Technical issues and inconsistencies during the project prompted re-evaluation of these initial assumptions. ARI's philosophy for the geomechanical tools was one of heuristic development through field site testing and iterative enhancements to make it a better tool. The technology and underlying concepts were refined considerably during the course of the project. As with any new tool, there was a substantial learning curve. Through a heuristic approach, addressing these discoveries with additional software and concepts resulted in a stronger set of

  15. Trace metal variability in coastal waters of San Jorge Bay, Antofagasta, Chile: An environmental evaluation and statistical approach to propose local background levels.

    PubMed

    Valdés, J; Román, D; Guiñez, M; Rivera, L; Ávila, J; Cortés, P; Castillo, A

    2015-11-15

    Between 2008 and 2011, twelve metals from 384 coastal waters samples from San Jorge Bay (Antofagasta, northern Chile) were collected and analyzed. The goal was to evaluate the quality of the bay's water bodies according to the current Chilean Quality Guideline and to establish background levels for these metals. The result suggests that the coastal waters of San Jorge Bay are of very good quality suitable for recreational activities involving human body contact. The natural background thresholds established for this bay were significantly lower than primary and secondary water quality guidelines. The distribution of Cu, Zn and Pb, along the bay's coastline provides evidence of the effects of industrial activity. Both situations suggest that the threshold indicated in the environmental guidelines of the Chilean legislation may be overestimated and do not represent pollution-free environments.

  16. Trace metal variability in coastal waters of San Jorge Bay, Antofagasta, Chile: An environmental evaluation and statistical approach to propose local background levels.

    PubMed

    Valdés, J; Román, D; Guiñez, M; Rivera, L; Ávila, J; Cortés, P; Castillo, A

    2015-11-15

    Between 2008 and 2011, twelve metals from 384 coastal waters samples from San Jorge Bay (Antofagasta, northern Chile) were collected and analyzed. The goal was to evaluate the quality of the bay's water bodies according to the current Chilean Quality Guideline and to establish background levels for these metals. The result suggests that the coastal waters of San Jorge Bay are of very good quality suitable for recreational activities involving human body contact. The natural background thresholds established for this bay were significantly lower than primary and secondary water quality guidelines. The distribution of Cu, Zn and Pb, along the bay's coastline provides evidence of the effects of industrial activity. Both situations suggest that the threshold indicated in the environmental guidelines of the Chilean legislation may be overestimated and do not represent pollution-free environments. PMID:26365501

  17. Climate impacts on arctic freshwater ecosystems and fisheries: background, rationale and approach of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA).

    PubMed

    Wrona, Frederick J; Prowse, Terry D; Reist, James D; Hobbie, John E; Lévesque, Lucie M J; Vincent, Warwick F

    2006-11-01

    Changes in climate and ultraviolet radiation levels in the Arctic will have far-reaching impacts, affecting aquatic species at various trophic levels, the physical and chemical environment that makes up their habitat, and the processes that act on and within freshwater ecosystems. Interactions of climatic variables, such as temperature and precipitation, with freshwater ecosystems are highly complex and can propagate through the ecosystem in ways that are difficult to project. This is partly due to a poor understanding of arctic freshwater systems and their basic interrelationships with climate and other environmental variables, and partly due to a paucity of long-term freshwater monitoring sites and integrated hydro-ecological research programs in the Arctic. The papers in this special issue are an abstraction of the analyses performed by 25 international experts and their associated networks on Arctic freshwater hydrology and related aquatic ecosystems that was initially published by the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) in 2005 as "Chapter 8--Freshwater Ecosystems and Fisheries". The papers provide a broad overview of the general hydrological and ecological features of the various freshwater ecosystems in the Arctic, including descriptions of each ACIA region, followed by a review of historical changes in freshwater systems during the Holocene. This is followed by an assessment of the effects of climate change on broad-scale hydro-ecology; aquatic biota and ecosystem structure and function; and arctic fish and fisheries. Potential synergistic and cumulative effects are also discussed, as are the roles of ultraviolet radiation and contaminants. The nature and complexity of many of the effects are illustrated using case studies from around the circumpolar north, together with a discussion of important threshold responses (i.e., those that produce stepwise and/or nonlinear effects). The issue concludes with summary the key findings, a list of gaps in

  18. Access to "Jiggasha program: a family planning communication approach" and its exposure to the selected background characteristics.

    PubMed

    Hossain, M W; Khan, H T; Begum, A

    1999-06-01

    This paper studies the effectiveness of "Jiggasha," an innovative communication approach for the promotion of family planning in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Data from the 1996 Jiggasha follow-up survey were used, which gathered information by interviewing a network sample of 1862 married women and a subsample of 608 men. The study used the sample constituted by women respondents and included data on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the respondents and their knowledge, attitude and practice relating to contraceptives. Findings showed that Jiggasha respondents have more access to radio than television. All respondents reported having a radio in their homes and they emphasized the importance of broadcasting more family planning messages via both electronic media. Only 16% of the women in the study setting were exposed to group meetings. Of the respondents reporting participation in group meetings, 38.25% joined in a Jiggasha meeting, 23.15% in a Grameen Bank group meeting, and 4.70% in a Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee group meeting. Logistic regression analysis indicated more access to Jiggashas among women over 30 years of age than among the younger age groups. Religion and education levels of respondents have significant impact on access to Jiggashas. Husbands' approval plays an important role among the Jiggasha respondents in using family planning method. This study provides important information for policy-makers to make family planning program a success. PMID:12179658

  19. Selection of background electrolyte for CZE analysis by a chemometric approach. Part I. Separation of a mixture of acidic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

    PubMed

    Furlanetto, Sandra; Lanteri, Silvia; Orlandini, Serena; Gotti, Roberto; Giannini, Iacopo; Pinzauti, Sergio

    2007-03-12

    This paper is the first part of the presentation of a chemometric approach for the rapid selection of a suitable background electrolyte (BGE) in CZE analysis of small drug molecules. The strategy is based on principal component analysis and experimental design. In this first section, the approach is applied to the analysis of a mixture of six arylpropionic anti-inflammatory drugs. Initially, 222 possible aqueous background electrolytes (objects) were characterized using as descriptors pH, conductivity, ionic strength and relative viscosity. In order to allow the dissociation of the acidic analytes, this original data set was reduced to 154 background electrolytes with pH values higher than or equal to 5. Principal component analysis made it possible to graphically represent the new set of objects, described by the four variables, in a two-dimensional space. Among these electrolytes, Kennard-Stone algorithm selected ten objects to be tested by CZE, covering homogeneously principal component space. CZE analyses were carried out with the selected electrolytes, and 0.1 M borax was identified as the most suitable one for the specified application. Finally, the characteristics of the analysis were finely tuned by means of a response surface study, which allowed the best conditions to be determined: borax concentration, 0.09 M; methanol, 6% (v/v); temperature, 24 degrees C, voltage, 20 kV. Applying these conditions, a baseline resolution among the six compounds was obtained in less than 10 min.

  20. Affinity Crystallography: A New Approach to Extracting High-Affinity Enzyme Inhibitors from Natural Extracts.

    PubMed

    Aguda, Adeleke H; Lavallee, Vincent; Cheng, Ping; Bott, Tina M; Meimetis, Labros G; Law, Simon; Nguyen, Nham T; Williams, David E; Kaleta, Jadwiga; Villanueva, Ivan; Davies, Julian; Andersen, Raymond J; Brayer, Gary D; Brömme, Dieter

    2016-08-26

    Natural products are an important source of novel drug scaffolds. The highly variable and unpredictable timelines associated with isolating novel compounds and elucidating their structures have led to the demise of exploring natural product extract libraries in drug discovery programs. Here we introduce affinity crystallography as a new methodology that significantly shortens the time of the hit to active structure cycle in bioactive natural product discovery research. This affinity crystallography approach is illustrated by using semipure fractions of an actinomycetes culture extract to isolate and identify a cathepsin K inhibitor and to compare the outcome with the traditional assay-guided purification/structural analysis approach. The traditional approach resulted in the identification of the known inhibitor antipain (1) and its new but lower potency dehydration product 2, while the affinity crystallography approach led to the identification of a new high-affinity inhibitor named lichostatinal (3). The structure and potency of lichostatinal (3) was verified by total synthesis and kinetic characterization. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of isolating and characterizing a potent enzyme inhibitor from a partially purified crude natural product extract using a protein crystallographic approach. PMID:27498895

  1. S-matrix decomposition, natural reaction channels, and the quantum transition state approach to reactive scattering.

    PubMed

    Manthe, Uwe; Ellerbrock, Roman

    2016-05-28

    A new approach for the quantum-state resolved analysis of polyatomic reactions is introduced. Based on the singular value decomposition of the S-matrix, energy-dependent natural reaction channels and natural reaction probabilities are defined. It is shown that the natural reaction probabilities are equal to the eigenvalues of the reaction probability operator [U. Manthe and W. H. Miller, J. Chem. Phys. 99, 3411 (1993)]. Consequently, the natural reaction channels can be interpreted as uniquely defined pathways through the transition state of the reaction. The analysis can efficiently be combined with reactive scattering calculations based on the propagation of thermal flux eigenstates. In contrast to a decomposition based straightforwardly on thermal flux eigenstates, it does not depend on the choice of the dividing surface separating reactants from products. The new approach is illustrated studying a prototypical example, the H + CH4 → H2 + CH3 reaction. The natural reaction probabilities and the contributions of the different vibrational states of the methyl product to the natural reaction channels are calculated and discussed. The relation between the thermal flux eigenstates and the natural reaction channels is studied in detail.

  2. Natural resource assessment: an approach to science based planning in national parks.

    PubMed

    Mahan, Carolyn G; Vanderhorst, James P; Young, John A

    2009-06-01

    We conducted a natural resource assessment at two national parks, New River Gorge National River and Shenandoah National Park, to help meet the goals of the Natural Resource Challenge--a program to help strengthen natural resource management at national parks. We met this challenge by synthesizing and interpreting natural resource information for planning purposes and we identified information gaps and natural significance of resources. We identified a variety of natural resources at both parks as being globally and/or nationally significant, including large expanses of unfragmented, mixed-mesophytic forests that qualify for wilderness protection, rare plant communities, diverse assemblages of neotropical migratory birds and salamanders, and outstanding aquatic recreational resources. In addition, these parks function, in part, as ecological reserves for plants in and wildlife. With these significant natural resources in mind, we also developed a suite of natural resource management recommendations in light of increasing threats from within and outside park boundaries. We hope that our approach can provide a blueprint for natural resource conservation at publically owned lands.

  3. Natural resource assessment: an approach to science based planning in national parks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mahan, C.G.; Vanderhorst, J.P.; Young, J.A.

    2009-01-01

    We conducted a natural resource assessment at two national parks, New River Gorge National River and Shenandoah National Park, to help meet the goals of the Natural Resource Challenge-a program to help strengthen natural resource management at national parks. We met this challenge by synthesizing and interpreting natural resource information for planning purposes and we identified information gaps and natural significance of resources. We identified a variety of natural resources at both parks as being globally and/or nationally significant, including large expanses of unfragmented, mixed-mesophytic forests that qualify for wilderness protection, rare plant communities, diverse assemblages of neotropical migratory birds and salamanders, and outstanding aquatic recreational resources. In addition, these parks function, in part, as ecological reserves for plants in and wildlife. With these significant natural resources in mind, we also developed a suite of natural resource management recommendations in light of increasing threats from within and outside park boundaries. We hope that our approach can provide a blueprint for natural resource conservation at publically owned lands.

  4. Natural Resource Assessment: An Approach to Science Based Planning in National Parks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahan, Carolyn G.; Vanderhorst, James P.; Young, John A.

    2009-06-01

    We conducted a natural resource assessment at two national parks, New River Gorge National River and Shenandoah National Park, to help meet the goals of the Natural Resource Challenge—a program to help strengthen natural resource management at national parks. We met this challenge by synthesizing and interpreting natural resource information for planning purposes and we identified information gaps and natural significance of resources. We identified a variety of natural resources at both parks as being globally and/or nationally significant, including large expanses of unfragmented, mixed-mesophytic forests that qualify for wilderness protection, rare plant communities, diverse assemblages of neotropical migratory birds and salamanders, and outstanding aquatic recreational resources. In addition, these parks function, in part, as ecological reserves for plants in and wildlife. With these significant natural resources in mind, we also developed a suite of natural resource management recommendations in light of increasing threats from within and outside park boundaries. We hope that our approach can provide a blueprint for natural resource conservation at publically owned lands.

  5. Natural resource assessment: an approach to science based planning in national parks.

    PubMed

    Mahan, Carolyn G; Vanderhorst, James P; Young, John A

    2009-06-01

    We conducted a natural resource assessment at two national parks, New River Gorge National River and Shenandoah National Park, to help meet the goals of the Natural Resource Challenge--a program to help strengthen natural resource management at national parks. We met this challenge by synthesizing and interpreting natural resource information for planning purposes and we identified information gaps and natural significance of resources. We identified a variety of natural resources at both parks as being globally and/or nationally significant, including large expanses of unfragmented, mixed-mesophytic forests that qualify for wilderness protection, rare plant communities, diverse assemblages of neotropical migratory birds and salamanders, and outstanding aquatic recreational resources. In addition, these parks function, in part, as ecological reserves for plants in and wildlife. With these significant natural resources in mind, we also developed a suite of natural resource management recommendations in light of increasing threats from within and outside park boundaries. We hope that our approach can provide a blueprint for natural resource conservation at publically owned lands. PMID:19365671

  6. Traditional, Natural, and TPR Approaches to ESL: A Study of Japanese Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Furuhata, Hamako

    1999-01-01

    Reports a study of Japanese students' perception of traditional methods versus the natural approach and total physical response (TPR) methods for learning English, and their preferred styles of learning. Subjects were Japanese students attending intensive language schools in the U.S. Students generally preferred innovative methods, such as…

  7. A New Computerized Approach for Teaching the Nature of Membrane Potentials.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vazquez, Jesus

    1991-01-01

    Presents a BASIC program that can be useful in explaining physicochemical phenomena underlying the generation of membrane potential in excitable cells. Its simplicity allows students to understand the nature of these processes through a direct, hands-on approach. Also, the simulated voltage and concentration kinetics agree well with those…

  8. Understanding Nature-Related Behaviors among Children through a Theory of Reasoned Action Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gotch, Chad; Hall, Troy

    2004-01-01

    The Theory of Reasoned Action has proven to be a valuable tool for predicting and understanding behavior and, as such, provides a potentially important basis for environmental education program design. This study used a Theory of Reasoned Action approach to examine a unique type of behavior (nature-related activities) and a unique population…

  9. Environmental geochemistry of shale-hosted Ag-Pb-Zn massive sulfide deposits in northwest Alaska: Natural background concentrations of metals in water from mineralized areas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kelley, K.D.; Taylor, C.D.

    1997-01-01

    Red Dog, Lik and Drenchwater are shale-hosted stratiform Ag-Pb-Zn massive sulfide deposits in the northwestern Brooks Range. Natural background concentrations of metals in waters from the undisturbed (unmined) Drenchwater prospect and Lik deposit were compared to pre-mining baseline studies conducted at Red Dog. The primary factors affecting water chemistry are the extent of exposure of the deposits, the grade of mineralization, the presence of carbonate reeks in the section, and the proportion of Fe-sulfide in the ore. Surface water samples from the Drenchwater prospect, which has pyrite-dominant mineralization exposed in outcrop, have pH values as low as 2.8 and high dissolved concentrations of metals including as much as 95 mg 1-1 Al, 270 mg 1-1 Fe, 8 ??1-1 Cd, 10 ??1-1 Pb, and 2600 ??1-1 Zn, with As up to 26 ??g1-1. Surface waters from the Red Dog deposit prior to mining were also acidic and metal-rich, however, dissolved metal concentrations in Red Dog waters were many times greater. The higher metal concentrations in Red Dog waters reflect the high Zn grades and the abundant sphalerite, pyrite, and galena that were present in outcrop prior to mining. In contrast, despite significant mineralization at the Lik deposit, carbonate rocks in the section buffer the system, resulting in less acidic, mostly near-neutral pH values with low concentrations of most metals except Zn.

  10. A Time-Critical Adaptive Approach for Visualizing Natural Scenes on Different Devices

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Tianyang; Liu, Siyuan; Xia, Jiajia; Fan, Jing; Zhang, Ling

    2015-01-01

    To automatically adapt to various hardware and software environments on different devices, this paper presents a time-critical adaptive approach for visualizing natural scenes. In this method, a simplified expression of a tree model is used for different devices. The best rendering scheme is intelligently selected to generate a particular scene by estimating the rendering time of trees based on their visual importance. Therefore, this approach can ensure the reality of natural scenes while maintaining a constant frame rate for their interactive display. To verify its effectiveness and flexibility, this method is applied in different devices, such as a desktop computer, laptop, iPad and smart phone. Applications show that the method proposed in this paper can not only adapt to devices with different computing abilities and system resources very well but can also achieve rather good visual realism and a constant frame rate for natural scenes. PMID:25723177

  11. Models in physics teaching: an approach to highlight the nature of knowledge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Botelho Kneubil, Fabiana

    2016-11-01

    In this work we show an approach based on models, for an usual subject in an introductory physics course, in order to foster discussions on the nature of physical knowledge. The introduction of elements of the nature of knowledge in physics lessons has been emphasised by many educators and one uses the case of metals to show the theoretical and phenomenological dimensions of physics. The discussion is made by means of four questions whose answers cannot be reached neither for theoretical elements nor experimental measurements. Between these two dimensions it is necessary to realise a series of reasoning steps to deepen the comprehension of microscopic concepts, such as electrical resistivity, drift velocity and free electrons. When this approach is highlighted, beyond the physical content, aspects of its nature become explicit and may improve the structuring of knowledge for learners on this subject.

  12. A Family Resemblance Approach to the Nature of Science for Science Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irzik, Gürol; Nola, Robert

    2011-07-01

    Although there is universal consensus both in the science education literature and in the science standards documents to the effect that students should learn not only the content of science but also its nature, there is little agreement about what that nature is. This led many science educators to adopt what is sometimes called "the consensus view" about the nature of science (NOS), whose goal is to teach students only those characteristics of science on which there is wide consensus. This is an attractive view, but it has some shortcomings and weaknesses. In this article we present and defend an alternative approach based on the notion of family resemblance. We argue that the family resemblance approach is superior to the consensus view in several ways, which we discuss in some detail.

  13. An approach for estimating toxic releases of H2S-containing natural gas.

    PubMed

    Jianwen, Zhang; Da, Lei; Wenxing, Feng

    2014-01-15

    China is well known being rich in sulfurous natural gas with huge deposits widely distributed all over the country. Due to the toxic nature, the release of hydrogen sulfide-containing natural gas from the pipelines intends to impose serious threats to the human, society and environment around the release sources. CFD algorithm is adopted to simulate the dispersion process of gas, and the results prove that Gaussian plume model is suitable for determining the affected region of the well blowout of sulfide hydrogen-containing natural gas. In accordance with the analysis of release scenarios, the present study proposes a new approach for estimating the risk of hydrogen sulfide poisoning hazards, as caused by sulfide-hydrogen-containing natural gas releases. Historical accident-statistical data from the EGIG (European Gas Pipeline Incident Data Group) and the Britain Gas Transco are integrated into the approach. Also, the dose-load effect is introduced to exploit the hazards' effects by two essential parameters - toxic concentration and exposure time. The approach was applied to three release scenarios occurring on the East-Sichuan Gas Transportation Project, and the individual risk and societal risk are classified and discussed. Results show that societal risk varies significantly with different factors, including population density, distance from pipeline, operating conditions and so on. Concerning the dispersion process of hazardous gas, available safe egress time was studied from the perspective of individual fatality risks. The present approach can provide reliable support for the safety management and maintenance of natural gas pipelines as well as evacuations that may occur after release incidents.

  14. Chemical proteomics approaches for identifying the cellular targets of natural products.

    PubMed

    Wright, M H; Sieber, S A

    2016-05-01

    Covering: 2010 up to 2016Deconvoluting the mode of action of natural products and drugs remains one of the biggest challenges in chemistry and biology today. Chemical proteomics is a growing area of chemical biology that seeks to design small molecule probes to understand protein function. In the context of natural products, chemical proteomics can be used to identify the protein binding partners or targets of small molecules in live cells. Here, we highlight recent examples of chemical probes based on natural products and their application for target identification. The review focuses on probes that can be covalently linked to their target proteins (either via intrinsic chemical reactivity or via the introduction of photocrosslinkers), and can be applied "in situ" - in living systems rather than cell lysates. We also focus here on strategies that employ a click reaction, the copper-catalysed azide-alkyne cycloaddition reaction (CuAAC), to allow minimal functionalisation of natural product scaffolds with an alkyne or azide tag. We also discuss 'competitive mode' approaches that screen for natural products that compete with a well-characterised chemical probe for binding to a particular set of protein targets. Fuelled by advances in mass spectrometry instrumentation and bioinformatics, many modern strategies are now embracing quantitative proteomics to help define the true interacting partners of probes, and we highlight the opportunities this rapidly evolving technology provides in chemical proteomics. Finally, some of the limitations and challenges of chemical proteomics approaches are discussed.

  15. Chemical proteomics approaches for identifying the cellular targets of natural products

    PubMed Central

    Sieber, S. A.

    2016-01-01

    Covering: 2010 up to 2016 Deconvoluting the mode of action of natural products and drugs remains one of the biggest challenges in chemistry and biology today. Chemical proteomics is a growing area of chemical biology that seeks to design small molecule probes to understand protein function. In the context of natural products, chemical proteomics can be used to identify the protein binding partners or targets of small molecules in live cells. Here, we highlight recent examples of chemical probes based on natural products and their application for target identification. The review focuses on probes that can be covalently linked to their target proteins (either via intrinsic chemical reactivity or via the introduction of photocrosslinkers), and can be applied “in situ” – in living systems rather than cell lysates. We also focus here on strategies that employ a click reaction, the copper-catalysed azide–alkyne cycloaddition reaction (CuAAC), to allow minimal functionalisation of natural product scaffolds with an alkyne or azide tag. We also discuss ‘competitive mode’ approaches that screen for natural products that compete with a well-characterised chemical probe for binding to a particular set of protein targets. Fuelled by advances in mass spectrometry instrumentation and bioinformatics, many modern strategies are now embracing quantitative proteomics to help define the true interacting partners of probes, and we highlight the opportunities this rapidly evolving technology provides in chemical proteomics. Finally, some of the limitations and challenges of chemical proteomics approaches are discussed. PMID:27098809

  16. New concepts, experimental approaches, and dereplication strategies for the discovery of novel phytoestrogens from natural sources.

    PubMed

    Michel, Thomas; Halabalaki, Maria; Skaltsounis, Alexios-Leandros

    2013-05-01

    Phytoestrogens constitute an attractive research topic due to their estrogenic profile and their biological involvement in woman's health. Therefore, numerous studies are currently performed in natural products chemistry area aiming at the discovery of novel phytoestrogens. The main classes of phytoestrogens are flavonoids (flavonols, flavanones), isoflavonoids (isoflavones, coumestans), lignans, stilbenoids as well as miscellaneous chemical groups abundant in several edible and/or medicinal plants, belonging mostly to the Leguminosae family. As for other bioactives, the detection of new structures and more potent plant-derived phytoestrogens typically follows the general approaches currently available in the natural product discovery process. Plant-based approaches selected from traditional medicine knowledge and bioguided concepts are routinely employed. However, these approaches are associated with serious disadvantages such as time-consuming, repeated, and labor intensive processes as well as lack of specificity and reproducibility. In recent years, the natural products chemistry became more technology-driven, and several different strategies have been developed. Structure-oriented procedures and miniaturized approaches employing advanced hyphenated analytical platforms have recently emerged. They facilitate significantly not only the discovery of novel phytoestrogens but also the dereplication procedure leading to the anticipation of major drawbacks in natural products discovery. In this review, apart from the traditional concepts followed in phytochemistry for the discovery of novel biologically active compounds, recent applications in the field of extraction, analysis, fractionation, and identification of phytoestrogens will be discussed. Moreover, specific methodologies combining identification of actives and biological evaluation in parallel, such as liquid chromatography-biochemical detection, frontal affinity chromatography-mass spectrometry and pulsed

  17. Target identification of natural and traditional medicines with quantitative chemical proteomics approaches.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jigang; Gao, Liqian; Lee, Yew Mun; Kalesh, Karunakaran A; Ong, Yong Siang; Lim, Jaehong; Jee, Joo-Eun; Sun, Hongyan; Lee, Su Seong; Hua, Zi-Chun; Lin, Qingsong

    2016-06-01

    Natural and traditional medicines, being a great source of drugs and drug leads, have regained wide interests due to the limited success of high-throughput screening of compound libraries in the past few decades and the recent technology advancement. Many drugs/bioactive compounds exert their functions through interaction with their protein targets, with more and more drugs showing their ability to target multiple proteins, thus target identification has an important role in drug discovery and biomedical research fields. Identifying drug targets not only furthers the understanding of the mechanism of action (MOA) of a drug but also reveals its potential therapeutic applications and adverse side effects. Chemical proteomics makes use of affinity chromatography approaches coupled with mass spectrometry to systematically identify small molecule-protein interactions. Although traditional affinity-based chemical proteomics approaches have made great progress in the identification of cellular targets and elucidation of MOAs of many bioactive molecules, nonspecific binding remains a major issue which may reduce the accuracy of target identification and may hamper the drug development process. Recently, quantitative proteomics approaches, namely, metabolic labeling, chemical labeling, or label-free approaches, have been implemented in target identification to overcome such limitations. In this review, we will summarize and discuss the recent advances in the application of various quantitative chemical proteomics approaches for the identification of targets of natural and traditional medicines. PMID:26808165

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. Omics and Environmental Science Genomic Approaches With Natural Fish Populations From Polluted Environments

    PubMed Central

    Bozinovic, Goran; Oleksiak, Marjorie F.

    2010-01-01

    Transcriptomics and population genomics are two complementary genomic approaches that can be used to gain insight into pollutant effects in natural populations. Transcriptomics identify altered gene expression pathways while population genomics approaches more directly target the causative genomic polymorphisms. Neither approach is restricted to a pre-determined set of genes or loci. Instead, both approaches allow a broad overview of genomic processes. Transcriptomics and population genomic approaches have been used to explore genomic responses in populations of fish from polluted environments and have identified sets of candidate genes and loci that appear biologically important in response to pollution. Often differences in gene expression or loci between polluted and reference populations are not conserved among polluted populations suggesting a biological complexity that we do not yet fully understand. As genomic approaches become less expensive with the advent of new sequencing and genotyping technologies, they will be more widely used in complimentary studies. However, while these genomic approaches are immensely powerful for identifying candidate gene and loci, the challenge of determining biological mechanisms that link genotypes and phenotypes remains. PMID:21072843

  20. A Modeling Approach for Burn Scar Assessment Using Natural Features and Elastic Property

    SciTech Connect

    Tsap, L V; Zhang, Y; Goldgof, D B; Sarkar, S

    2004-04-02

    A modeling approach is presented for quantitative burn scar assessment. Emphases are given to: (1) constructing a finite element model from natural image features with an adaptive mesh, and (2) quantifying the Young's modulus of scars using the finite element model and the regularization method. A set of natural point features is extracted from the images of burn patients. A Delaunay triangle mesh is then generated that adapts to the point features. A 3D finite element model is built on top of the mesh with the aid of range images providing the depth information. The Young's modulus of scars is quantified with a simplified regularization functional, assuming that the knowledge of scar's geometry is available. The consistency between the Relative Elasticity Index and the physician's rating based on the Vancouver Scale (a relative scale used to rate burn scars) indicates that the proposed modeling approach has high potentials for image-based quantitative burn scar assessment.

  1. A modeling approach for burn scar assessment using natural features and elastic property.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yong; Goldgof, Dmitry B; Sarkar, Sudeep; Tsap, Leonid V

    2004-10-01

    A modeling approach is presented for quantitative burn scar assessment. Emphases are given to: 1) constructing a finite-element model from natural image features with an adaptive mesh and 2) quantifying the Young's modulus of scars using the finite-element model and regularization method. A set of natural point features is extracted from the images of burn patients. A Delaunay triangle mesh is then generated that adapts to the point features. A three-dimensional finite-element model is built on top of the mesh with the aid of range images providing the depth information. The Young's modulus of scars is quantified with a simplified regularization functional, assuming that the knowledge of the scar's geometry is available. The consistency between the relative elasticity index and the physician's rating based on the Vancouver scale (a relative scale used to rate burn scars) indicates that the proposed modeling approach has high potential for image-based quantitative burn scar assessment.

  2. Characterization and Monitoring of Natural Attenuation of Chlorinated Solvents in Ground Water: A Systems Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cutshall, N. H.; Gilmore, T.; Looney, B. B.; Vangelas, K. M.; Adams, K. M.; Sink, C. H.

    2006-05-01

    Like many US industries and businesses, the Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for remediation and restoration of soils and ground water contaminated with chlorinated ethenes. Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) is an attractive remediation approach and is probably the universal end-stage technology for removing such contamination. Since 2003 we have carried out a multifaceted program at the Savannah River Site designed to advance the state of the art for MNA of chlorinated ethenes in soils and groundwater. Three lines of effort were originally planned: 1) Improving the fundamental science for MNA, 2) Promoting better characterization and monitoring (CM) techniques, and 3) Advancing the regulatory aspects of MNA management. A fourth line, developing enhanced attenuation methods based on sustainable natural processes, was added in order to deal with sites where the initial natural attenuation capacity cannot offset contaminant loading rates. These four lines have been pursued in an integrated and mutually supportive fashion. Many DOE site-cleanup program managers view CM as major expenses, especially for natural attenuation where measuring attenuation is complex and the most critical attenuation mechanisms cannot be determined directly. We have reviewed new and developing approaches to CM for potential application in support of natural attenuation of chlorinated hydrocarbons in ground water at DOE sites (Gilmore, Tyler, et al., 2006 WSRC-TR- 2005-00199). Although our project is focused on chlorinated ethenes, many of the concepts and strategies are also applicable to a wider range of contaminants including radionuclides and metals. The greatest savings in CM are likely to come from new management approaches. New approaches can be based, for example, on conceptual models of attenuation capacity, the ability of a formation to reduce risks caused by contaminants. Using the mass balance concept as a guide, the integrated mass flux of contaminant is compared to

  3. An approach for detecting changes related to natural disasters using Synthetic Aperture Radar data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milisavljevic, N.; Closson, D.; Holecz, F.; Collivignarelli, F.; Pasquali, P.

    2015-04-01

    Land-cover changes occur naturally in a progressive and gradual way, but they may happen rapidly and abruptly sometimes. Very high resolution remote sensed data acquired at different time intervals can help in analyzing the rate of changes and the causal factors. In this paper, we present an approach for detecting changes related to disasters such as an earthquake and for mapping of the impact zones. The approach is based on the pieces of information coming from SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) and on their combination. The case study is the 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The identification of damaged or destroyed buildings using SAR data is a challenging task. The approach proposed here consists in finding amplitude changes as well as coherence changes before and after the earthquake and then combining these changes in order to obtain richer and more robust information on the origin of various types of changes possibly induced by an earthquake. This approach does not need any specific knowledge source about the terrain, but if such sources are present, they can be easily integrated in the method as more specific descriptions of the possible classes. A special task in our approach is to develop a scheme that translates the obtained combinations of changes into ground information. Several algorithms are developed and validated using optical remote sensing images of the city two days after the earthquake, as well as our own ground-truth data. The obtained validation results show that the proposed approach is promising.

  4. Learning from nature – novel synthetic biology approaches for biomaterial design

    PubMed Central

    Bryksin, Anton V.; Brown, Ashley C.; Baksh, Michael M.; Finn, M.G.; Barker, Thomas H.

    2014-01-01

    Many biomaterials constructed today are complex chemical structures that incorporate biologically active components derived from nature, but the field can still be said to be in its infancy. The need for materials that bring sophisticated properties of structure, dynamics, and function to medical and non-medical applications will only grow. Increasing appreciation of the functionality of biological systems has caused biomaterials researchers to consider nature for design inspiration, and many examples exist of the use of biomolecular motifs. Yet, evolution, nature's only engine for the creation of new designs, has been largely ignored by the biomaterials community. Molecular evolution is an emerging tool that enables one to apply nature's engineering principles to non-natural situations using variation and selection. The purpose of this review is to highlight the most recent advances in the use of molecular evolution in synthetic biology applications for biomaterial engineering, and to discuss some of the areas in which this approach may be successfully applied in the future. PMID:24463066

  5. Evaluation of exploration and monitoring methods for verification of natural attenuation using the virtual aquifer approach.

    PubMed

    Schäferl, Dirk; Schlenz, Bastian; Dahmke, Andreas

    2004-12-01

    Though natural attenuation (NA) is increasingly considered as a remediation technology, the methods for proper identification and quantification of NA are still under discussion. Here the "Virtual Aquifer" approach is used to demonstrate problems which may arise during measurement of concentrations in observation wells and for interpolation of locally measured concentrations in contaminated heterogeneous aquifers. The misinterpretation of measured concentrations complicates the identification and quantification of natural attenuation processes. The "Virtual Aquifer" approach accepts the plume simulated with a numerical model for a heterogeneous aquifer as "virtual reality". This virtual plume is investigated in the model with conventional methods like observations wells. The results of the investigation can be compared to the virtual "reality", evaluating the monitoring method. Locally determined concentrations are interpolated using various interpolation methods and different monitoring set-ups. The interpolation results are compared to the simulated plume to evaluate the quality of interpolation. This evaluation is not possible in nature, since concentrations in a heterogeneous aquifer are never known in detail.

  6. Drug scheduling of cancer chemotherapy based on natural actor-critic approach.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Inkyung; Park, Jooyoung

    2011-11-01

    Recently, reinforcement learning methods have drawn significant interests in the area of artificial intelligence, and have been successfully applied to various decision-making problems. In this paper, we study the applicability of the NAC (natural actor-critic) approach, a state-of-the-art reinforcement learning method, to the drug scheduling of cancer chemotherapy for an ODE (ordinary differential equation)-based tumor growth model. ODE-based cancer dynamics modeling is an active research area, and many different mathematical models have been proposed. Among these, we use the model proposed by de Pillis and Radunskaya (2003), which considers the growth of tumor cells and their interaction with normal cells and immune cells. The NAC approach is applied to this ODE model with the goal of minimizing the tumor cell population and the drug amount while maintaining the adequate population levels of normal cells and immune cells. In the framework of the NAC approach, the drug dose is regarded as the control input, and the reward signal is defined as a function of the control input and the cell populations of tumor cells, normal cells, and immune cells. According to the control policy found by the NAC approach, effective drug scheduling in cancer chemotherapy for the considered scenarios has turned out to be close to the strategy of continuing drug injection from the beginning until an appropriate time. Also, simulation results showed that the NAC approach can yield better performance than conventional pulsed chemotherapy. PMID:21839140

  7. Investigating the Relationship between Test-Taker Background Characteristics and Test Performance in a Heterogeneous English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) Test Population: A Factor Analytic Approach. Research Report. ETS RR-15-25

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manna, Venessa F.; Yoo, Hanwook

    2015-01-01

    This study examined the heterogeneity in the English-as-a-second-language (ESL) test population by modeling the relationship between test-taker background characteristics and test performance as measured by the "TOEFL iBT"® using a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) with covariate approach. The background characteristics studied…

  8. Historical background.

    PubMed Central

    Epstein, M A

    2001-01-01

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

  9. An Amphibious Being: How Maritime Surveying Reshaped Darwin's Approach to Natural History.

    PubMed

    Sponsel, Alistair

    2016-06-01

    This essay argues that Charles Darwin's distinctive approach to studying distribution and diversity was shaped by his face-to-face interactions with maritime surveyors during the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-1836). Introducing their hydrographic surveying methods into natural history enabled him to compare fossil and living marine organisms, to compare sedimentary rocks to present-day marine sediments, and to compare landscapes to submarine topology, thereby realizing Charles Lyell's fanciful ambition for a superior form of geology that might be practiced by an "amphibious being." Darwin's theories of continental uplift, coral reef formation, and the origin of species all depended on his amphibious natural history. This essay contributes to our understanding of theorizing in nineteenth-century natural history by illustrating that specific techniques of observing and collecting could themselves help to generate a particular theoretical orientation and, indeed, that such practical experiences were a more proximate source of Darwin's "Humboldtian" interest in distribution and diversity than Alexander von Humboldt's writings themselves. Darwin's debt to the hydrographers became obscured in two ways: through the "funneling" of credit produced by single-authorship publication in natural history and the "telescoping" of memory by which Darwin's new theories made him recall his former researches as though he had originally undertaken them for the very purpose of producing the later theory. PMID:27439285

  10. An Amphibious Being: How Maritime Surveying Reshaped Darwin's Approach to Natural History.

    PubMed

    Sponsel, Alistair

    2016-06-01

    This essay argues that Charles Darwin's distinctive approach to studying distribution and diversity was shaped by his face-to-face interactions with maritime surveyors during the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-1836). Introducing their hydrographic surveying methods into natural history enabled him to compare fossil and living marine organisms, to compare sedimentary rocks to present-day marine sediments, and to compare landscapes to submarine topology, thereby realizing Charles Lyell's fanciful ambition for a superior form of geology that might be practiced by an "amphibious being." Darwin's theories of continental uplift, coral reef formation, and the origin of species all depended on his amphibious natural history. This essay contributes to our understanding of theorizing in nineteenth-century natural history by illustrating that specific techniques of observing and collecting could themselves help to generate a particular theoretical orientation and, indeed, that such practical experiences were a more proximate source of Darwin's "Humboldtian" interest in distribution and diversity than Alexander von Humboldt's writings themselves. Darwin's debt to the hydrographers became obscured in two ways: through the "funneling" of credit produced by single-authorship publication in natural history and the "telescoping" of memory by which Darwin's new theories made him recall his former researches as though he had originally undertaken them for the very purpose of producing the later theory.

  11. An Efficient, Modular Approach for the Synthesis of (+)-Strictifolione and a Related Natural Product

    PubMed Central

    Jayasinghe, Susanthi; Venukadasula, Phanindra K. M.

    2014-01-01

    An efficient, library amenable, “pot economical” total synthesis of (+)-strictifolione and the related natural product, (6R)-6[(E,4R,6R)-4,6-dihydroxy-10-phenyl-1-decenyl]-5,6-dihydro-2H-2-pyrone are reported. This modular approach takes advantage of two consecutive phosphate tether-mediated, one-pot, sequential protocols, followed by a final cross metathesis to deliver both antifungal natural products in a three-pot process from the respective enantiomeric (R,R)- and (S,S)-trienes with minimal purification. A salient feature of this route is that additional protecting groups are not required as a result of the orthogonal protecting- and leaving-group properties innate to phosphate triesters. PMID:24294936

  12. Ultrasensitive Negative Feedback Control: A Natural Approach for the Design of Synthetic Controllers

    PubMed Central

    Montefusco, Francesco; Akman, Ozgur E.; Soyer, Orkun S.; Bates, Declan G.

    2016-01-01

    Many of the most important potential applications of Synthetic Biology will require the ability to design and implement high performance feedback control systems that can accurately regulate the dynamics of multiple molecular species within the cell. Here, we argue that the use of design strategies based on combining ultrasensitive response dynamics with negative feedback represents a natural approach to this problem that fully exploits the strongly nonlinear nature of cellular information processing. We propose that such feedback mechanisms can explain the adaptive responses observed in one of the most widely studied biomolecular feedback systems—the yeast osmoregulatory response network. Based on our analysis of such system, we identify strong links with a well-known branch of mathematical systems theory from the field of Control Engineering, known as Sliding Mode Control. These insights allow us to develop design guidelines that can inform the construction of feedback controllers for synthetic biological systems. PMID:27537373

  13. Natural vibration of circular and annular thin plates by Hamiltonian approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Z. H.; Wong, K. W.; Xu, X. S.; Leung, A. Y. T.

    2011-02-01

    The present paper deals with the natural vibration of thin circular and annular plates using Hamiltonian approach. It is based on the conservation principle of mixed energy and is constructed in a new symplectic space. A set of Hamiltonian dual equations with derivatives with respect to the radial coordinate on one side of the equations and to the angular coordinate on the other side are obtained by using the variational principle of mixed energy. The separation of variables is employed to solve Hamiltonian dual equations of eigenvalue problem. Analytical frequency equations are obtained based on different cases of boundary conditions. The natural frequencies are the roots of the frequency equations and corresponding mode functions are in terms of the dual variables q1( r, θ). Three basic edge-constraint cases for circular plates and nine edge-constraint cases for annular plates are calculated and the results are compared well with existing ones.

  14. Ultrasensitive Negative Feedback Control: A Natural Approach for the Design of Synthetic Controllers.

    PubMed

    Montefusco, Francesco; Akman, Ozgur E; Soyer, Orkun S; Bates, Declan G

    2016-01-01

    Many of the most important potential applications of Synthetic Biology will require the ability to design and implement high performance feedback control systems that can accurately regulate the dynamics of multiple molecular species within the cell. Here, we argue that the use of design strategies based on combining ultrasensitive response dynamics with negative feedback represents a natural approach to this problem that fully exploits the strongly nonlinear nature of cellular information processing. We propose that such feedback mechanisms can explain the adaptive responses observed in one of the most widely studied biomolecular feedback systems-the yeast osmoregulatory response network. Based on our analysis of such system, we identify strong links with a well-known branch of mathematical systems theory from the field of Control Engineering, known as Sliding Mode Control. These insights allow us to develop design guidelines that can inform the construction of feedback controllers for synthetic biological systems. PMID:27537373

  15. Task 23 - background report on subsurface environmental issues relating to natural gas sweetening and dehydration operations. Topical report, February 1, 1994--February 28, 1996

    SciTech Connect

    Sorensen, J.A.

    1998-12-31

    This report describes information pertaining to environmental issues, toxicity, environmental transport, and fate of alkanolamines and glycols associated with natural gas sweetening and dehydration operations. Waste management associated with the operations is also discussed.

  16. Temporal naturalism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smolin, Lee

    2015-11-01

    Two people may claim both to be naturalists, but have divergent conceptions of basic elements of the natural world which lead them to mean different things when they talk about laws of nature, or states, or the role of mathematics in physics. These disagreements do not much affect the ordinary practice of science which is about small subsystems of the universe, described or explained against a background, idealized to be fixed. But these issues become crucial when we consider including the whole universe within our system, for then there is no fixed background to reference observables to. I argue here that the key issue responsible for divergent versions of naturalism and divergent approaches to cosmology is the conception of time. One version, which I call temporal naturalism, holds that time, in the sense of the succession of present moments, is real, and that laws of nature evolve in that time. This is contrasted with timeless naturalism, which holds that laws are immutable and the present moment and its passage are illusions. I argue that temporal naturalism is empirically more adequate than the alternatives, because it offers testable explanations for puzzles its rivals cannot address, and is likely a better basis for solving major puzzles that presently face cosmology and physics. This essay also addresses the problem of qualia and experience within naturalism and argues that only temporal naturalism can make a place for qualia as intrinsic qualities of matter.

  17. Human-Nature Interaction in the Eastern Pamirs of Tajikistan - Ecosystem services against the background of pasture use and energy consumption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanselow, K. A.; Samimi, C.; Kraudzun, T.; Kreutzmann, H.

    2012-04-01

    Mountains play an important role in the world's sustainable development. Despite the acquired knowledge about their importance the Global Environment Outlook 3 (UNEP 2002) states that most "mountain commons are ecologically under-managed and suffer from the classic 'commons syndrome': while all seek to benefit, stakeholders lack coordination, incentives and instruments for joint care." For the Eastern Pamirs, a dry (< 100 mm/a) and high (3,500-5,500 m asl) mountain plateau in the east of Tajikistan, grazing and fuel-wood are identified as key ecosystem services. Extensive pastoralism is a prime adapted land use strategy. Therefore, the Soviet administration allocated the production of meat on collective and state farms as the region's main task. Elaborate management plans, usually with four seasonal pasture camps, and additional imports of fuel and forage, led to a well-balanced utilization of all pastures. The dissolution of the USSR resulted in significant structural changes in the region. Most notably, the end of the subsidy system stopped the provisioning from outside. Without external inputs bridging long distances between the seasonal pastures poses a major problem to most smallholders. Furthermore, the limited supply and high cost of imported fossil fuels induced the increased use of dwarf shrubs as an energy resource. However, they are also important forage plants, particularly in winter. This study aims to provide a well-founded overview of the pasture and fuel-wood resources and the spatiotemporal variability of the actual pasture use with associated livestock numbers to make assertions on overuse in particular areas. Therefore, an interdisciplinary approach was used, combining geoecological and socio-economic methods. To assess the pasture potential information about land cover, phytomass availability, and forage quality were collected. Vegetation classes were modeled with a Random Forest (Breiman 2001), based on land cover information of 262 test plots

  18. Rational biosynthetic approaches for the production of new-to-nature compounds in fungi.

    PubMed

    Boecker, Simon; Zobel, Sophia; Meyer, Vera; Süssmuth, Roderich D

    2016-04-01

    Filamentous fungi have the ability to produce a wide range of secondary metabolites some of which are potent toxins whereas others are exploited as food additives or drugs. Fungal natural products still play an important role in the discovery of new chemical entities for potential use as pharmaceuticals. However, in most cases they cannot be directly used as drugs due to toxic side effects or suboptimal pharmacokinetics. To improve drug-like properties, including bioactivity and stability or to produce better precursors for semi-synthetic routes, one needs to generate non-natural derivatives from known fungal secondary metabolites. In this minireview, we describe past and recent biosynthetic approaches for the diversification of fungal natural products, covering examples from precursor-directed biosynthesis, mutasynthesis, metabolic engineering and biocombinatorial synthesis. To illustrate the current state-of-the-art, challenges and pitfalls, we lay particular emphasis on the class of fungal cyclodepsipeptides which have been studied longtime for product diversification and which are of pharmaceutical relevance as drugs.

  19. Recent advances in natural product-based anti-biofilm approaches to control infections.

    PubMed

    Buommino, Elisabetta; Scognamiglio, Monica; Donnarumma, Giovanna; Fiorentino, Antonio; D'Abrosca, Brigida

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial biofilms are highly organized surface-associated communities of bacteria encased within an extracellular matrix produced by themselves, capable of growing in connection with different biological or inert surfaces such as artificial joints or catheters. Biofilms are commonly associated with many health problems, such as endocarditis, otitis media, periodontitis, prostatitis, and urinary tract infections. Several bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus mutans, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, or fungal pathogen as Candida albicans, can form biofilms in the body tissues, leading to different infections. The inherently defensive character of the biofilm is demonstrated by enhanced persistence of bacteria grown in the sessile mode respect to bacteria grown planktonically. This makes most biofilm- associated infections difficult to eradicate, thus contributing to disease chronicity. Since natural products provide a diverse array of chemical structures and possess a wide variety of biological properties, natural resources are worldwide exploited in the search of new pharmaceuticals. In this context bioactive secondary metabolites from natural sources, useful for the new antimicrobial and anti-biofilm drugs, are of interest. In this review, the role of small molecules from plants and marine organisms in inhibiting and/or dispersing bacterial biofilms is discussed, as well as the approaches that have been applied to the discovery of lead small molecules that mediate biofilm development. Molecules inhibiting the formation of biofilm may have therapeutic potential. Several candidates, as halogenated furanones, 2-amminoimidazole alkaloids and flavonoids have been already isolated and characterized from many plants and from marine organisms. PMID:25553429

  20. Two approaches for incorporating climate change into natural resource management planning at Wind Cave National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Symstad, Amy; Long, Andrew J.; Stamm, John; King, David A.; Bachelet, Dominque M.; Norton, Parker A.

    2014-01-01

    Wind Cave National Park (WICA) protects one of the world’s longest caves, has large amounts of high quality, native vegetation, and hosts a genetically important bison herd. The park’s relatively small size and unique purpose within its landscape requires hands-on management of these and other natural resources, all of which are interconnected. Anthropogenic climate change presents an added challenge to WICA natural resource management because it is characterized by large uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of park and National Park Service (NPS) staff. When uncertainty is high and control of this uncertainty low, scenario planning is an appropriate tool for determining future actions. In 2009, members of the NPS obtained formal training in the use of scenario planning in order to evaluate it as a tool for incorporating climate change into NPS natural resource management planning. WICA served as one of two case studies used in this training exercise. Although participants in the training exercise agreed that the scenario planning process showed promise for its intended purpose, they were concerned that the process lacked the scientific rigor necessary to defend the management implications derived from it in the face of public scrutiny. This report addresses this concern and others by (1) providing a thorough description of the process of the 2009 scenario planning exercise, as well as its results and management implications for WICA; (2) presenting the results of a follow-up, scientific study that quantitatively simulated responses of WICA’s hydrological and ecological systems to specific climate projections; (3) placing these climate projections and the general climate scenarios used in the scenario planning exercise in the broader context of available climate projections; and (4) comparing the natural resource management implications derived from the two approaches. Wind Cave National Park (WICA) protects one of the world’s longest caves

  1. How to Use Historical Approach to Teach Nature of Science in Chemistry Education?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tolvanen, Simo; Jansson, Jan; Vesterinen, Veli-Matti; Aksela, Maija

    2014-08-01

    Successful implementation of historical approach to teach nature of science (NOS) requires suitable curriculum material. Several research and development projects have produced lesson plans for science teachers. 25 lesson plans from four different projects involved in creating curriculum material utilizing historical approach in chemistry education were analyzed to describe NOS content included as well as the historical experiments and narratives used. Based on the results of descriptive content analysis of existing curriculum materials, several suggestions on the successful design of lesson plans utilizing historical approach are made. To increase the coherence and clarity of learning objectives and instruction, each lesson plan should focus on the limited amount of specific NOS issues instead of several overtly general NOS aspects. To support explicit classroom discussion on the selected NOS issues, historical narratives used in the lesson plans should illustrate these issues. The lesson plans should also include instructions on how to facilitate classroom discussion, such as questions for students to discuss and reflect. Recommendations are also made concerning the appropriate use of historical experiments and narrative elements such as viewpoint characters and conflicts.

  2. A Bayesian approach to modelling the natural history of a chronic condition from observations with intervention.

    PubMed

    Craig, B A; Fryback, D G; Klein, R; Klein, B E

    1999-06-15

    To assess the costs and benefits of screening and treatment strategies, it is important to know what would have happened had there been no intervention. In today's ethical climate, however, it is almost impossible to observe this directly and therefore must be inferred from observations with intervention. In this paper, we illustrate a Bayesian approach to this situation when the observations are at separated and unequally spaced time points and the time of intervention is interval censored. We develop a discrete-time Markov model which combines a non-homogeneous Markov chain, used to model the natural progression, with mechanisms that describe the possibility of both treatment intervention and death. We apply this approach to a subpopulation of the Wisconsin Epidemiologic Study of Diabetic Retinopathy, a population-based cohort study to investigate prevalence, incidence, and progression of diabetic retinopathy. In addition, posterior predictive distributions are discussed as a prognostic tool to assist researchers in evaluating costs and benefits of treatment protocols. While we focus this approach on diabetic retinopathy cohort data, we believe this methodology can have wide application. PMID:10399201

  3. An Approach to Teaching General Chemistry II that Highlights the Interdisciplinary Nature of Science*,†

    PubMed Central

    Sumter, Takita Felder; Owens, Patrick M.

    2012-01-01

    The need for a revised curriculum within the life sciences has been well-established. One strategy to improve student preparation in the life sciences is to redesign introductory courses like biology, chemistry, and physics so that they better reflect their disciplinary interdependence. We describe a medically relevant, context-based approach to teaching second semester general chemistry that demonstrates the interdisciplinary nature of biology and chemistry. Our innovative method provides a model in which disciplinary barriers are diminished early in the undergraduate science curriculum. The course is divided into three principle educational modules: 1) Fundamentals of General Chemistry, 2) Medical Approaches to Inflammation, and 3) Neuroscience as a connector of chemistry, biology, and psychology. We accurately anticipated that this modified approach to teaching general chemistry would enhance student interest in chemistry and bridge the perceived gaps between biology and chemistry. The course serves as a template for context-based, interdisciplinary teaching that lays the foundation needed to train 21st century scientists. PMID:21445902

  4. An approach to teaching general chemistry II that highlights the interdisciplinary nature of science.

    PubMed

    Sumter, Takita Felder; Owens, Patrick M

    2011-01-01

    The need for a revised curriculum within the life sciences has been well-established. One strategy to improve student preparation in the life sciences is to redesign introductory courses like biology, chemistry, and physics so that they better reflect their disciplinary interdependence. We describe a medically relevant, context-based approach to teaching second semester general chemistry that demonstrates the interdisciplinary nature of biology and chemistry. Our innovative method provides a model in which disciplinary barriers are diminished early in the undergraduate science curriculum. The course is divided into three principle educational modules: 1) Fundamentals of General Chemistry, 2) Medical Approaches to Inflammation, and 3) Neuroscience as a connector of chemistry, biology, and psychology. We accurately anticipated that this modified approach to teaching general chemistry would enhance student interest in chemistry and bridge the perceived gaps between biology and chemistry. The course serves as a template for context-based, interdisciplinary teaching that lays the foundation needed to train 21st century scientists.

  5. A proteomics approach to decipher the molecular nature of planarian stem cells

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background In recent years, planaria have emerged as an important model system for research into stem cells and regeneration. Attention is focused on their unique stem cells, the neoblasts, which can differentiate into any cell type present in the adult organism. Sequencing of the Schmidtea mediterranea genome and some expressed sequence tag projects have generated extensive data on the genetic profile of these cells. However, little information is available on their protein dynamics. Results We developed a proteomic strategy to identify neoblast-specific proteins. Here we describe the method and discuss the results in comparison to the genomic high-throughput analyses carried out in planaria and to proteomic studies using other stem cell systems. We also show functional data for some of the candidate genes selected in our proteomic approach. Conclusions We have developed an accurate and reliable mass-spectra-based proteomics approach to complement previous genomic studies and to further achieve a more accurate understanding and description of the molecular and cellular processes related to the neoblasts. PMID:21356107

  6. Risk Governance of Multiple Natural Hazards: Centralized versus Decentralized Approach in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komendantova, Nadejda; Scolobig, Anna; Vinchon, Charlotte

    2014-05-01

    The multi-risk approach is a relatively new field and its definition includes the need to consider multiple hazards and vulnerabilities in their interdependency (Selva, 2013) and the current multi-hazards disasters, such as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and nuclear catastrophe, showed the need for a multi-risk approach in hazard mitigation and management. Our knowledge about multi-risk assessment, including studies from different scientific disciplines and developed assessment tools, is constantly growing (White et al., 2001). However, the link between scientific knowledge, its implementation and the results in terms of improved governance and decision-making have gained significantly less attention (IRGC, 2005; Kappes et al., 2012), even though the interest to risk governance, in general, has increased significantly during the last years (Verweiy and Thompson, 2006). Therefore, the key research question is how risk assessment is implemented and what is the potential for the implementation of a multi-risk approach in different governance systems across Europe. More precisely, how do the characteristics of risk governance, such as the degree of centralization versus decentralization, influence the implementation of a multi-risk approach. The methodology of this research includes comparative case study analysis of top-down and bottom-up interactions in governance in the city of Naples, (Italy), where the institutional landscape is marked by significant autonomy of Italian regions in decision-making processes for assessing the majority of natural risks, excluding volcanic, and in Guadeloupe, French West Indies, an overseas department of France, where the decision-making process is marked by greater centralization in decision making associated with a well established state governance within regions, delegated to the prefect and decentralised services of central ministries. The research design included documentary analysis and extensive empirical work involving

  7. Multi-period natural gas market modeling Applications, stochastic extensions and solution approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egging, Rudolf Gerardus

    This dissertation develops deterministic and stochastic multi-period mixed complementarity problems (MCP) for the global natural gas market, as well as solution approaches for large-scale stochastic MCP. The deterministic model is unique in the combination of the level of detail of the actors in the natural gas markets and the transport options, the detailed regional and global coverage, the multi-period approach with endogenous capacity expansions for transportation and storage infrastructure, the seasonal variation in demand and the representation of market power according to Nash-Cournot theory. The model is applied to several scenarios for the natural gas market that cover the formation of a cartel by the members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, a low availability of unconventional gas in the United States, and cost reductions in long-distance gas transportation. 1 The results provide insights in how different regions are affected by various developments, in terms of production, consumption, traded volumes, prices and profits of market participants. The stochastic MCP is developed and applied to a global natural gas market problem with four scenarios for a time horizon until 2050 with nineteen regions and containing 78,768 variables. The scenarios vary in the possibility of a gas market cartel formation and varying depletion rates of gas reserves in the major gas importing regions. Outcomes for hedging decisions of market participants show some significant shifts in the timing and location of infrastructure investments, thereby affecting local market situations. A first application of Benders decomposition (BD) is presented to solve a large-scale stochastic MCP for the global gas market with many hundreds of first-stage capacity expansion variables and market players exerting various levels of market power. The largest problem solved successfully using BD contained 47,373 variables of which 763 first-stage variables, however using BD did not result in

  8. A Test of the Optimality Approach to Modelling Canopy gas Exchange by Natural Vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schymanski, S. J.; Sivapalan, M.; Roderick, M. L.; Beringer, J.; Hutley, L. B.

    2005-12-01

    Natural vegetation has co-evolved with its environment over a long period of time and natural selection has led to a species composition that is most suited for the given conditions. Part of this adaptation is the vegetation's water use strategy, which determines the amount and timing of water extraction from the soil. Knowing that water extraction by vegetation often accounts for over 90% of the annual water balance in some places, we need to understand its controls if we want to properly model the hydrologic cycle. Water extraction by roots is driven by transpiration from the canopy, which in turn is an inevitable consequence of CO2 uptake for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis provides plants with their main building material, carbohydrates, and with the energy necessary to thrive and prosper in their environment. Therefore we expect that natural vegetation would have evolved an optimal water use strategy to maximise its `net carbon profit' (the difference between carbon acquired by photosynthesis and carbon spent on maintenance of the organs involved in its uptake). Based on this hypothesis and on an ecophysiological gas exchange and photosynthesis model (Cowan and Farquhar 1977; von Caemmerer 2000), we model the optimal vegetation for a site in Howard Springs (N.T., Australia) and compare the modelled fluxes with measurements by Beringer, Hutley et al. (2003). The comparison gives insights into theoretical and real controls on transpiration and photosynthesis and tests the optimality approach to modelling gas exchange of natural vegetation with unknown properties. The main advantage of the optimality approach is that no assumptions about the particular vegetation on a site are needed, which makes it very powerful for predicting vegetation response to long-term climate- or land use change. Literature: Beringer, J., L. B. Hutley, et al. (2003). "Fire impacts on surface heat, moisture and carbon fluxes from a tropical savanna in northern Australia." International

  9. Investigating natural variation in Drosophila courtship song by the evolve and resequence approach.

    PubMed

    Turner, Thomas L; Miller, Paige M

    2012-06-01

    A primary goal of population genetics is to determine the genetic basis of natural trait variation. We could significantly advance this goal by developing comprehensive genome-wide approaches to link genotype and phenotype in model organisms. Here we combine artificial selection with population-based resequencing to investigate the genetic basis of variation in the interpulse interval (IPI) of Drosophila melanogaster courtship song. We performed divergent selection on replicate populations for only 14 generations, but had considerable power to differentiate alleles that evolved due to selection from those that evolved stochastically. We identified a large number of variants that changed frequency in response to selection for this simple behavior, and they are highly underrepresented on the X chromosome. Though our power was adequate using this experimental technique, the ability to differentiate causal variants from those affected by linked selection requires further development.

  10. General and Stereocontrolled Approach to the Chemical Synthesis of Naturally Occurring Cyanogenic Glucosides.

    PubMed

    Møller, Birger L; Olsen, Carl E; Motawia, Mohammed S

    2016-04-22

    An effective method for the chemical synthesis of cyanogenic glucosides has been developed as demonstrated by the synthesis of dhurrin, taxiphyllin, prunasin, sambunigrin, heterodendrin, and epiheterodendrin. O-Trimethylsilylated cyanohydrins were prepared and subjected directly to glucosylation using a fully acetylated glucopyranosyl fluoride donor with boron trifluoride-diethyl etherate as promoter to afford a chromatographically separable epimeric mixture of the corresponding acetylated cyanogenic glucosides. The isolated epimers were deprotected using a triflic acid/MeOH/ion-exchange resin system without any epimerization of the cyanohydrin function. The method is stereocontrolled and provides an efficient approach to chemical synthesis of other naturally occurring cyanogenic glucosides including those with a more complex aglycone structure.

  11. Evolutionary genetics in wild primates: combining genetic approaches with field studies of natural populations

    PubMed Central

    Tung, Jenny; Alberts, Susan C; Wray, Gregory A

    2010-01-01

    Ecological and evolutionary studies of wild primates hold important keys to understanding both the shared characteristics of primate biology and the genetic and phenotypic differences that make specific lineages, including our own, unique. Although complementary genetic research on nonhuman primates has long been of interest, recent technological and methodological advances now enable functional and population genetic studies in an unprecedented manner. In the past several years, novel genetic data sets have revealed new information about the demographic history of primate populations and the genetics of adaptively important traits. In combination with the rich history of behavioral, ecological, and physiological work on natural primate populations, genetic approaches promise to provide a compelling picture of primate evolution in the past and in the present day. PMID:20580115

  12. Improvements in chronic diseases with a comprehensive natural medicine approach: a review and case series.

    PubMed

    Nader, T; Rothenberg, S; Averbach, R; Charles, B; Fields, J Z; Schneider, R H

    2000-01-01

    Approximately 40% of the US population report using complementary and alternative medicine, including Maharishi Vedic Medicine (MVM), a traditional, comprehensive system of natural medicine, for relief from chronic and other disorders. Although many reports suggest health benefits from individual MVM techniques, reports on integrated holistic approaches are rare. This case series, designed to investigate the effectiveness of an integrated, multimodality MVM program in an ideal clinical setting, describes the outcomes in four patients: one with sarcoidosis; one with Parkinson's disease; a third with renal hypertension; and a fourth with diabetes/essential hypertension/anxiety disorder. Standard symptom reports and objective markers of disease were evaluated before, during, and after the treatment period. Results suggested substantial improvements as indicated by reductions in major signs, symptoms, and use of conventional medications in the four patients during the 3-week in-residence treatment phase and continuing through the home follow-up program.

  13. Overview of the Enhanced Natural Gestures Instructional Approach and Illustration of Its Use with Three Students with Angelman Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Calculator, Stephen; Diaz-Caneja Sela, Patricia

    2015-01-01

    Background: This investigation details procedures used to teach enhanced natural gestures (ENGs) and illustrates its use with three students with Angelman syndrome (AS). Materials and Methods: Themes were extracted, using a process of content analysis, to organize individuals' feedback pertaining to previous versions of the instructional…

  14. Identification of serum biomarkers in dogs naturally infected with Babesia canis canis using a proteomic approach

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Canine babesiosis is a tick-borne disease that is caused by the haemoprotozoan parasites of the genus Babesia. There are limited data on serum proteomics in dogs, and none of the effect of babesiosis on the serum proteome. The aim of this study was to identify the potential serum biomarkers of babesiosis using proteomic techniques in order to increase our understanding about disease pathogenesis. Results Serum samples were collected from 25 dogs of various breeds and sex with naturally occurring babesiosis caused by B. canis canis. Blood was collected on the day of admission (day 0), and subsequently on the 1st and 6th day of treatment. Two-dimensional electrophoresis (2DE) of pooled serum samples of dogs with naturally occurring babesiosis (day 0, day 1 and day 6) and healthy dogs were run in triplicate. 2DE image analysis showed 64 differentially expressed spots with p ≤ 0.05 and 49 spots with fold change ≥2. Six selected spots were excised manually and subjected to trypsin digest prior to identification by electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry on an Amazon ion trap tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Mass spectrometry data was processed using Data Analysis software and the automated Matrix Science Mascot Daemon server. Protein identifications were assigned using the Mascot search engine to interrogate protein sequences in the NCBI Genbank database. A number of differentially expressed serum proteins involved in inflammation mediated acute phase response, complement and coagulation cascades, apolipoproteins and vitamin D metabolism pathway were identified in dogs with babesiosis. Conclusions Our findings confirmed two dominant pathogenic mechanisms of babesiosis, haemolysis and acute phase response. These results may provide possible serum biomarker candidates for clinical monitoring of babesiosis and this study could serve as the basis for further proteomic investigations in canine babesiosis. PMID:24885808

  15. The Effect of Explicit-Reflective and Historical Approach on Preservice Elementary Teachers' Views of Nature of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pekbay, Canay; Yilmaz, Serkan

    2015-01-01

    This study aims to explore the influence of nature of science (NOS) activities based on explicit-reflective and historical approach on preservice elementary teachers' views of NOS aspects. Mixed-method approach including both qualitative and quantitative methods was used. The sample consisted of 83 preservice elementary teachers of a public…

  16. Turn on the super-elastic collision nature of coronal mass ejections through low approaching speed

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Fang; Wang, Yuming; Shen, Chenglong; Feng, Xueshang

    2016-01-01

    It has been proved from the observations and numerical simulations that the collision between solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs), the largest plasmoids in the heliosphere, could be super-elastic. This finding suggests that the CMEs’ magnetic energy and thermal energy could be converted into kinetic energy through a more efficient way. However CME collisions are not always super-elastic, which means that this distinct property of plasmoids is probably excited conditionally. As the first attempt, we carry out a series of three-dimensional numerical experiments, and establish a diagram showing the dependence of the collision nature on the CME speed and k-number, the ratio of the CME’s kinetic energy to the CME’s total energy. It is found that the super-elastic nature of CMEs appears at the relatively low approaching speed, and most of the previous case studies are in agreement with this diagram. Our study firmly advances the understanding of the super-elastic property of plasmoids, and does give us new clues to deeply understand why and how the magnetic energy and/or thermal energy of the colliding plasmoids can be converted into kinetic energy in such an efficient way. PMID:26791543

  17. Natural Organic Matter Transport Modeling with a Continuous Time Random Walk Approach

    PubMed Central

    McInnis, Daniel P.; Bolster, Diogo; Maurice, Patricia A.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract In transport experiments through columns packed with naturally Fe/Al oxide-coated quartz sand, breakthrough curves (BTCs) of natural organic matter (NOM) displayed strong and persistent power law tailing that could not be described by the classical advection–dispersion equation. Tailing was not observed in BTCs for a nonreactive tracer (sulforhodamine B); therefore, the anomalous transport is attributed to diverse adsorptive behavior of the polydisperse NOM sample rather than to physical heterogeneity of the porous medium. NOM BTC tailing became more pronounced with decreases in pH and increases in ionic strength, conditions previously shown to be associated with enhanced preferential adsorption of intermediate to high molecular weight NOM components. Drawing from previous work on anomalous solute transport, we develop an approach to model NOM transport within the framework of a continuous time random walk (CTRW) and show that under all conditions examined, the CTRW model is able to capture tailing of NOM BTCs by accounting for differences in transport rates of NOM fractions through a distribution of effective retardation factors. These results demonstrate the importance of considering effects of adsorptive fractionation on NOM mobility, and illustrate the ability of the CTRW model to describe transport of a multicomponent solute. PMID:24596449

  18. Structure elucidation and DNA binding specificity of natural compounds from Cassia siamea leaves: A biophysical approach.

    PubMed

    Parveen, Mehtab; Ahmad, Faheem; Malla, Ali Mohammed; Khan, Mohd Sohrab; Rehman, Sayeed Ur; Tabish, Mohammad; Silva, Manuela Ramos; Silva, P S Pereira

    2016-06-01

    A novel isoflavone, 5,6,7-trimethoxy-3-(3',4',5'-trimethoxyphenyl)-4H-chromen-4-one (1) along with a known pyranocoumarin, Seselin (2) have been isolated from the ethanolic extract of the leaves of Cassia siamea (Family: Fabaceae). Compound 1 has been reported for the first time from any natural source and has not been synthesized so far. Their structures were elucidated on the basis of chemical and physical evidences viz. elemental analysis, UV, FT-IR, (1)H-NMR, (13)C-NMR and mass spectral analysis. Structure of compound (1) was further authenticated by single-crystal X-ray analysis and density functional theory (DFT) calculations. A multi-technique approach employing UV-Visible spectroscopy, fluorescence, KI quenching studies, competitive displacement assay, circular dichroism and viscosity studies have been utilized to probe the extent of interaction and possible binding modes of isolated compounds (1-2) with calf thymus DNA (CT-DNA). Both the compounds were found to interact with DNA via non-intercalative binding mode with moderate proficiencies. Groove binding was the major interaction mode in the case of compound 2 while compound 1 probably interacts with DNA through electrostatic interactions. These studies provide deeper insight in understanding of DNA-drug (natural products) interaction which could be helpful to improve their bioavailability for therapeutic purposes. PMID:27085054

  19. A natural diet versus modern Western diets? A new approach to prevent "well-being syndromes".

    PubMed

    Gasbarrini, Antonio; Piscaglia, Anna Chiara

    2005-01-01

    Obesity is the most common nutritional disorder in the Western world. Actually, 250 million adults are obese, and 500 million adults and 22 million children under 5 years of age are overweight. Obesity is a complex trait, depending upon interactions between multiple genes and the environment, but its recent rise and "epidemic proportions" are, above all, the consequences of dramatic changes in lifestyle, socioeconomic progress, and political and cultural trends. Eating behavior has strong extraphysiological determinants, being influenced by neuroendocrine, nutritional, environmental, and cognitive stimuli, able to modify the body weight set-point. Health care professionals should be concerned about obesity, because of the well-established relations between excess body weight and pathologies such as type II diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, osteoarthritis, dyslipidemia, and cancer, which afflict more and more people in the Western world--sort of "well-being syndromes." An overview of modern Western diets--the American, Mediterranean, Atkins, and Zone diets--reveals the contradictions existing about the correct and healthy approach to human nutrition and suggests a "return to Nature." From the actual artificial nutrition systems, based on cereals, milk, and their products, irrespective of our genome and metabolic attitudes, a simple diet based on natural food can be an ally in health maintenance and restoration.

  20. The Nature of Elementary Student Science Discourse in the Context of the Science Writing Heuristic Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavagnetto, Andy; Hand, Brian M.; Norton-Meier, Lori

    2010-03-01

    This case study aimed to determine the nature of student interactions in small groups in an elementary classroom utilizing the Science Writing Heuristic approach. Fifth grade students were audio-recorded over four units of study while working in small groups to generate knowledge claims after conducting student-directed investigations. Analysis consisted of (1) identifying amount of on/off task talk, (2) categorizing on-task talk as generative (talk associated with generating an argument) or representational (talk associated with representing an argument in a final written form), (3) characterizing the generative components of argument, and (4) determining the functions of language used. Results indicate that students were on task 98% of the time. Students engaged in generative talk an average of 25% of the time and representational talk an average of 71% of the time. Students engaged in components of Toulmin's model of argument, but challenging of each other's ideas was not commonplace. Talk was dominated by the informative function (representing one's ideas) of language as it was found 78.3% of the time and to a lesser extent (11.7%) the heuristic function (inquiring through questions). These functions appear to be intimately tied to the task of generating knowledge claims in small groups. The results suggest that both talking and writing are critical to using science discourse as an embedded strategy to learning science. Further, nature and structure of the task are important pedagogical considerations when moving students toward participation in science discourse.

  1. Hanford Site background: Part 1, Soil background for nonradioactive analytes. Revision 1, Volume 1

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-04-01

    The determination of soil background is one of the most important activities supporting environmental restoration and waste management on the Hanford Site. Background compositions serve as the basis for identifying soil contamination, and also as a baseline in risk assessment processes used to determine soil cleanup and treatment levels. These uses of soil background require an understanding of the extent to which analytes of concern occur naturally in the soils. This report documents the results of sampling and analysis activities designed to characterize the composition of soil background at the Hanford Site, and to evaluate the feasibility for use as Sitewide background. The compositions of naturally occurring soils in the vadose Zone have been-determined for-nonradioactive inorganic and organic analytes and related physical properties. These results confirm that a Sitewide approach to the characterization of soil background is technically sound and is a viable alternative to the determination and use of numerous local or area backgrounds that yield inconsistent definitions of contamination. Sitewide soil background consists of several types of data and is appropriate for use in identifying contamination in all soils in the vadose zone on the Hanford Site. The natural concentrations of nearly every inorganic analyte extend to levels that exceed calculated health-based cleanup limits. The levels of most inorganic analytes, however, are well below these health-based limits. The highest measured background concentrations occur in three volumetrically minor soil types, the most important of which are topsoils adjacent to the Columbia River that are rich in organic carbon. No organic analyte levels above detection were found in any of the soil samples.

  2. Natural Atomic Orbital Representation for Optical Spectra Calculations in the Exciton Scattering Approach.

    PubMed

    Li, Hao; Chernyak, Vladimir Y; Tretiak, Sergei

    2012-12-20

    The exciton scattering (ES) method allows efficient calculations of spectroscopic observables in large low-dimensional conjugated molecular systems. To compute the transition dipoles between the ground and excited electronic states, we should extract the ES dipole parameters from quantum chemistry calculations in simple molecular fragments. In this manuscript, we show how to retrieve these parameters from any reference quantum chemistry model that uses an arbitrary nonorthogonal and possibly overcomplete atomic orbital basis set. Our approach relies on the natural atomic orbital (NAO) representation, in which the basis functions are orthonormal and the atom-like character is preserved. We apply the ES approach, combined with the NAO analysis to optical spectra of branched phenylacetylene oligomers. Absorption spectra predicted by the ES method demonstrate close agreement with the results of direct quantum chemistry calculations, when the Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory (TD-DFT) being used as a reference. This testifies applicability of a variety of quantum-chemical techniques, where the NAO population analysis can be conducted, for the ES framework. PMID:26291103

  3. Sensorimotor event: an approach to the dynamic, embodied, and embedded nature of sensorimotor cognition.

    PubMed

    Vilarroya, Oscar

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, I explore the notion of sensorimotor event as the building block of sensorimotor cognition. A sensorimotor event is presented here as a neurally controlled event that recruits those processes and elements that are necessary to address the demands of the situation in which the individual is involved. The notion of sensorimotor event is intended to subsume the dynamic, embodied, and embedded nature of sensorimotor cognition, in agreement with the satisficing and bricoleur approach to sensorimotor cognition presented elsewhere (Vilarroya, 2012). In particular, the notion of sensorimotor event encompasses those relevant neural processes, but also those bodily and environmental elements, that are necessary to deal with the situation in which the individual is involved. This continuum of neural processes as well as bodily and environmental elements can be characterized, and this characterization is considered the basis for the identification of the particular sensorimotor event. Among other consequences, the notion of sensorimotor event suggests a different approach to the classical account of sensory-input mapping onto a motor output. Instead of characterizing how a neural system responds to an external input, the idea defended here is to characterize how system-in-an-environment responds to its antecedent situation.

  4. Blind image quality assessment: a natural scene statistics approach in the DCT domain.

    PubMed

    Saad, Michele A; Bovik, Alan C; Charrier, Christophe

    2012-08-01

    We develop an efficient, general-purpose, blind/noreference image quality assessment (NR-IQA) algorithm using a natural scene statistics (NSS) model of discrete cosine transform (DCT) coefficients. The algorithm is computationally appealing, given the availability of platforms optimized for DCT computation. The approach relies on a simple Bayesian inference model to predict image quality scores given certain extracted features. The features are based on an NSS model of the image DCT coefficients. The estimated parameters of the model are utilized to form features that are indicative of perceptual quality. These features are used in a simple Bayesian inference approach to predict quality scores. The resulting algorithm, which we name BLIINDS-II, requires minimal training and adopts a simple probabilistic model for score prediction. Given the extracted features from a test image, the quality score that maximizes the probability of the empirically determined inference model is chosen as the predicted quality score of that image. When tested on the LIVE IQA database, BLIINDS-II is shown to correlate highly with human judgments of quality, at a level that is competitive with the popular SSIM index.

  5. Natural Atomic Orbital Representation for Optical Spectra Calculations in the Exciton Scattering Approach.

    PubMed

    Li, Hao; Chernyak, Vladimir Y; Tretiak, Sergei

    2012-12-20

    The exciton scattering (ES) method allows efficient calculations of spectroscopic observables in large low-dimensional conjugated molecular systems. To compute the transition dipoles between the ground and excited electronic states, we should extract the ES dipole parameters from quantum chemistry calculations in simple molecular fragments. In this manuscript, we show how to retrieve these parameters from any reference quantum chemistry model that uses an arbitrary nonorthogonal and possibly overcomplete atomic orbital basis set. Our approach relies on the natural atomic orbital (NAO) representation, in which the basis functions are orthonormal and the atom-like character is preserved. We apply the ES approach, combined with the NAO analysis to optical spectra of branched phenylacetylene oligomers. Absorption spectra predicted by the ES method demonstrate close agreement with the results of direct quantum chemistry calculations, when the Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory (TD-DFT) being used as a reference. This testifies applicability of a variety of quantum-chemical techniques, where the NAO population analysis can be conducted, for the ES framework.

  6. Resolving the chemical nature of nanodesigned silica surface obtained via a bottom-up approach.

    PubMed

    Rahma, Hakim; Buffeteau, Thierry; Belin, Colette; Le Bourdon, Gwenaëlle; Degueil, Marie; Bennetau, Bernard; Vellutini, Luc; Heuzé, Karine

    2013-08-14

    The covalent grafting on silica surfaces of a functional dendritic organosilane coupling agent inserted, in a long alkyl chain monolayer, is described. In this paper, we show that depending on experimental parameters, particularly the solvent, it is possible to obtain a nanodesigned surface via a bottom-up approach. Thus, we succeed in the formation of both homogeneous dense monolayer and a heterogeneous dense monolayer, the latter being characterized by a nanosized volcano-type pattern (4-6 nm of height, 100 nm of width, and around 3 volcanos/μm(2)) randomly distributed over the surface. The dendritic attribute of the grafted silylated coupling agent affords enough anchoring sites to immobilize covalently functional gold nanoparticles (GNPs), coated with amino PEG polymer to resolve the chemical nature of the surfaces and especially the volcano type nanopattern structures of the heterogeneous monolayer. Thus, the versatile surface chemistry developed herein is particularly challenging as the nanodesign is straightforward achieved in a bottom-up approach without any specific lithography device. PMID:23855987

  7. CHARACTERIZATION AND MONITORING OF NATURAL ATTENUATION OF CHLORINATED SOLVENTS IN GROUNDWATER: A SYSTEMS APPROACH

    SciTech Connect

    Looney, B; Michael Heitkamp, M; Gary Wein , G; Christopher Bagwell, C; Karen Vangelas, K; Karen-M Adams, K; Tyler Gilmore; Norman Cutshall; David Major; Mike Truex; Todd Wiedemeier; Francis H. Chapelle; Tom Early; Jody Waugh; David Peterson; Mark Ankeny; Claire H. Sink

    2006-08-10

    The objective of this document is to examine the use of a phased approach to characterizing and monitoring (C&M) natural attenuation processes and enhanced attenuation processes and to identify promising tools and techniques by which to accomplish the C&M. We will investigate developing techniques, such as molecular-based assessment tools, and existing tools that traditionally have not been used for monitoring the performance of environmental remediation technologies. Case studies will be used to provide examples of how non-traditional methods are being employed as characterization and monitoring tools to support MNA and EA. The document is not focused on a specific group of readers but rather is broadly directed with the intent that readers may gain information useful to their purposes. Thus, regulators may see some future characterization and monitoring techniques; end users may find novel ways to make MNA or EA more effective or efficient at their site; researchers may identify new areas for development or new and better combinations of existing methods. One consequence of this broad approach is that some readers may find certain sections either too rudimentary or too advanced for their needs. Hopefully, all will be able to use at least some of the document.

  8. Sensorimotor event: an approach to the dynamic, embodied, and embedded nature of sensorimotor cognition

    PubMed Central

    Vilarroya, Oscar

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, I explore the notion of sensorimotor event as the building block of sensorimotor cognition. A sensorimotor event is presented here as a neurally controlled event that recruits those processes and elements that are necessary to address the demands of the situation in which the individual is involved. The notion of sensorimotor event is intended to subsume the dynamic, embodied, and embedded nature of sensorimotor cognition, in agreement with the satisficing and bricoleur approach to sensorimotor cognition presented elsewhere (Vilarroya, 2012). In particular, the notion of sensorimotor event encompasses those relevant neural processes, but also those bodily and environmental elements, that are necessary to deal with the situation in which the individual is involved. This continuum of neural processes as well as bodily and environmental elements can be characterized, and this characterization is considered the basis for the identification of the particular sensorimotor event. Among other consequences, the notion of sensorimotor event suggests a different approach to the classical account of sensory-input mapping onto a motor output. Instead of characterizing how a neural system responds to an external input, the idea defended here is to characterize how system-in-an-environment responds to its antecedent situation. PMID:24427133

  9. Risk Governance of Multiple Natural Hazards: Centralized versus Decentralized Approach in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komendantova, Nadejda; Scolobig, Anna; Vinchon, Charlotte

    2014-05-01

    The multi-risk approach is a relatively new field and its definition includes the need to consider multiple hazards and vulnerabilities in their interdependency (Selva, 2013) and the current multi-hazards disasters, such as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and nuclear catastrophe, showed the need for a multi-risk approach in hazard mitigation and management. Our knowledge about multi-risk assessment, including studies from different scientific disciplines and developed assessment tools, is constantly growing (White et al., 2001). However, the link between scientific knowledge, its implementation and the results in terms of improved governance and decision-making have gained significantly less attention (IRGC, 2005; Kappes et al., 2012), even though the interest to risk governance, in general, has increased significantly during the last years (Verweiy and Thompson, 2006). Therefore, the key research question is how risk assessment is implemented and what is the potential for the implementation of a multi-risk approach in different governance systems across Europe. More precisely, how do the characteristics of risk governance, such as the degree of centralization versus decentralization, influence the implementation of a multi-risk approach. The methodology of this research includes comparative case study analysis of top-down and bottom-up interactions in governance in the city of Naples, (Italy), where the institutional landscape is marked by significant autonomy of Italian regions in decision-making processes for assessing the majority of natural risks, excluding volcanic, and in Guadeloupe, French West Indies, an overseas department of France, where the decision-making process is marked by greater centralization in decision making associated with a well established state governance within regions, delegated to the prefect and decentralised services of central ministries. The research design included documentary analysis and extensive empirical work involving

  10. Naturalizing Sense of Agency with a Hierarchical Event-Control Approach

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Devpriya; Srinivasan, Narayanan

    2014-01-01

    Unraveling the mechanisms underlying self and agency has been a difficult scientific problem. We argue for an event-control approach for naturalizing the sense of agency by focusing on the role of perception-action regularities present at different hierarchical levels and contributing to the sense of self as an agent. The amount of control at different levels of the control hierarchy determines the sense of agency. The current study investigates this approach in a set of two experiments using a scenario containing multiple agents sharing a common goal where one of the agents is partially controlled by the participant. The participant competed with other agents for achieving the goal and subsequently answered questions on identification (which agent was controlled by the participant), the degree to which they are confident about their identification (sense of identification) and the degree to which the participant believed he/she had control over his/her actions (sense of authorship). Results indicate a hierarchical relationship between goal-level control (higher level) and perceptual-motor control (lower level) for sense of agency. Sense of identification ratings increased with perceptual-motor control when the goal was not completed but did not vary with perceptual-motor control when the goal was completed. Sense of authorship showed a similar interaction effect only in experiment 2 that had only one competing agent unlike the larger number of competing agents in experiment 1. The effect of hierarchical control can also be seen in the misidentification pattern and misidentification was greater with the agent affording greater control. Results from the two studies support the event-control approach in understanding sense of agency as grounded in control. The study also offers a novel paradigm for empirically studying sense of agency and self. PMID:24642834

  11. An ensemble approach to simulate CO2 emissions from natural fires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eliseev, A. V.; Mokhov, I. I.; Chernokulsky, A. V.

    2014-06-01

    This paper presents ensemble simulations with the global climate model developed at the A. M. Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences (IAP RAS CM). These simulations are forced by historical reconstructions of concentrations of well-mixed greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, and N2O), sulfate aerosols (both in the troposphere and stratosphere), extent of crops and pastures, and total solar irradiance for AD 850-2005 (hereafter all years are taken as being AD) and by the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios for the same forcing agents until the year 2300. Our model implements GlobFIRM (Global FIRe Model) as a scheme for calculating characteristics of natural fires. Comparing to the original GlobFIRM model, in our implementation, the scheme is extended by a module accounting for CO2 release from soil during fires. The novel approach of our paper is to simulate natural fires in an ensemble fashion. Different ensemble members in the present paper are constructed by varying the values of parameters of the natural fires module. These members are constrained by the GFED-3.1 data set for the burnt area and CO2 release from fires and further subjected to Bayesian averaging. Our simulations are the first coupled model assessment of future changes in gross characteristics of natural fires. In our model, the present-day (1998-2011) global area burnt due to natural fires is (2.1 ± 0.4) × 106 km2 yr-1 (ensemble mean and intra-ensemble standard deviation are presented), and the respective CO2 emissions to the atmosphere are (1.4 ± 0.2) Pg C yr-1. The latter value is in agreement with the corresponding GFED estimates. The area burnt by natural fires is generally larger than the GFED estimates except in boreal Eurasia, where it is realistic, and in Australia, where it is smaller than these estimates. Regionally, the modelled CO2 emissions are larger (smaller) than the GFED estimates in Europe (in the tropics and north-eastern Eurasia). From

  12. A new approach to thermodynamic modelling of peridotite melting in synthetic and natural systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, P. M.; McKenzie, D. P.

    2002-12-01

    Parameterisations of peridotite melting have been very important in understanding magma generation in various tectonic settings. Most have made simplifying assumptions that limit their applicability. As the available experimental data set and computer power increase rapidly an accurate model of (near) fractional melting over a range of P, T and source composition is becoming a realistic possibility. We are developing software for a new thermodynamic model of peridotite melting, with the principal aim that the scheme can easily accommodate new data as it becomes available. Numerous previous thermodynamic models exist for synthetic systems with limited components. Often these cover a very wide composition space but are limited to 1-atm. In contrast, the widely used models of Ghiorso and Sack (1995; MELTS) and Ghiorso (1998; pMELTS) for the natural system extend over a wide range of pressures and concentrate on a relatively restricted range of compositions. Our intermediate approach is for peridotite melting only but the calibration is suitable for synthetic and natural systems. Although simultaneous modelling of synthetic and natural systems may not be possible, calibration of systems with fewer components should give useful estimates of parameters for the natural system. The software we present here has several features designed to overcome known problems with MELTS and pMELTS, as well as difficulties encountered in previous work in CMAS (Smith and Holland 1999; AGU abstract) and also to make maximum use of the data and error estimates. A `forward' model calculates P, T, and composition of coexisting phases for a given set of parameters by optimising the fit to the bulk composition subject to a set of energy and mass balance constraints. Interaction parameters for phases that exhibit solution are derived by minimising the misfit between calculated and observed P, T, and composition (the `inverse' model). Pure phase end-member data may be varied, if necessary, and

  13. Three approaches to investigating the multidimensional nature of a science assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gokiert, Rebecca Jayne

    The purpose of this study was to investigate a multi-method approach for collecting validity evidence about the underlying knowledge and skills measured by a large-scale science assessment. The three approaches included analysis of dimensionality, differential item functioning (DIF), and think-aloud interviews. The specific research questions addressed were: (1) Does the 4-factor model previously found by Hamilton et al. (1995) for the grade 8 sample explain the data? (2) Do the performances of male and female students systematically differ? Are these performance differences captured in the dimensions? (3) Can think-aloud reports aid in the generation of hypotheses about the underlying knowledge and skills that are measured by this test? A confirmatory factor analysis of the 4-factor model revealed good model data fit for both the AB and AC tests. Twenty-four of the 83 AB test items and 16 of the 77 AC test items displayed significant DIF, however, items were found, on average, to favour both males and females equally. There were some systematic differences found across the 4-factors; items favouring males tended to be related to earth and space sciences, stereotypical male related activities, and numerical operations. Conversely, females were found to outperform males on items that required careful reading and attention to detail. Concurrent and retrospective verbal reports (Ericsson & Simon, 1993) were collected from 16 grade 8 students (9 male and 7 female) while they solved 12 DIF items. Four general cognitive processing themes were identified from the student protocols that could be used to explain male and female problem solving. The themes included comprehension (verbal and visual), visualization, background knowledge/experience (school or life), and strategy use. There were systematic differences in cognitive processing between the students that answered the items correctly and the students who answered the items incorrectly; however, this did not always

  14. Nonthermal cosmic neutrino background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Mu-Chun; Ratz, Michael; Trautner, Andreas

    2015-12-01

    We point out that, for Dirac neutrinos, in addition to the standard thermal cosmic neutrino background (C ν B ), there could also exist a nonthermal neutrino background with comparable number density. As the right-handed components are essentially decoupled from the thermal bath of standard model particles, relic neutrinos with a nonthermal distribution may exist until today. The relic density of the nonthermal (nt) background can be constrained by the usual observational bounds on the effective number of massless degrees of freedom Neff and can be as large as nν nt≲0.5 nγ. In particular, Neff can be larger than 3.046 in the absence of any exotic states. Nonthermal relic neutrinos constitute an irreducible contribution to the detection of the C ν B and, hence, may be discovered by future experiments such as PTOLEMY. We also present a scenario of chaotic inflation in which a nonthermal background can naturally be generated by inflationary preheating. The nonthermal relic neutrinos, thus, may constitute a novel window into the very early Universe.

  15. A natural approach to extended Newtonian gravity: tests and predictions across astrophysical scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendoza, S.; Hernandez, X.; Hidalgo, J. C.; Bernal, T.

    2011-02-01

    In the pursuit of a general formulation for a modified gravitational theory at the non-relativistic level and as an alternative to the dark matter hypothesis, we construct a model valid over a wide variety of astrophysical scales. Through the inclusion of Milgrom's acceleration constant into a gravitational theory, we show that very general formulae can be constructed for the acceleration felt by a particle. Dimensional analysis shows that this inclusion naturally leads to the appearance of a mass-length scale in gravity, breaking its scale invariance. A particular form of the modified gravitational force is constructed and tested for consistency with observations over a wide range of astrophysical environments, from Solar system to extragalactic scales. We show that over any limited range of physical parameters, which define a specific class of astrophysical objects, the dispersion velocity of a system must be a power law of its mass and size. These powers appear linked together through a natural constraint relation of the theory. This yields a generalized gravitational equilibrium relation valid for all astrophysical systems. A general scheme for treating spherical symmetrical density distributions is presented, which in particular shows that the Fundamental Plane of elliptical galaxies, the Newtonian virial equilibrium, the Tully-Fisher and the Faber-Jackson relations, as well as the scalings observed in local dwarf spheroidal galaxies, are nothing but particular cases of that relation when applied to the appropriate mass-length scales. We discuss the implications of this approach for a modified theory of gravity and emphasize the advantages of working with the force, instead of altering Newton's second law of motion, in the formulation of a gravitational theory.

  16. A global approach to analysis and interpretation of metabolic data for plant natural product discovery†

    PubMed Central

    Hur, Manhoi; Campbell, Alexis Ann; Almeida-de-Macedo, Marcia; Li, Ling; Ransom, Nick; Jose, Adarsh; Crispin, Matt; Nikolau, Basil J.

    2013-01-01

    Discovering molecular components and their functionality is key to the development of hypotheses concerning the organization and regulation of metabolic networks. The iterative experimental testing of such hypotheses is the trajectory that can ultimately enable accurate computational modelling and prediction of metabolic outcomes. This information can be particularly important for understanding the biology of natural products, whose metabolism itself is often only poorly defined. Here, we describe factors that must be in place to optimize the use of metabolomics in predictive biology. A key to achieving this vision is a collection of accurate time-resolved and spatially defined metabolite abundance data and associated metadata. One formidable challenge associated with metabolite profiling is the complexity and analytical limits associated with comprehensively determining the metabolome of an organism. Further, for metabolomics data to be efficiently used by the research community, it must be curated in publically available metabolomics databases. Such databases require clear, consistent formats, easy access to data and metadata, data download, and accessible computational tools to integrate genome system-scale datasets. Although transcriptomics and proteomics integrate the linear predictive power of the genome, the metabolome represents the nonlinear, final biochemical products of the genome, which results from the intricate system(s) that regulate genome expression. For example, the relationship of metabolomics data to the metabolic network is confounded by redundant connections between metabolites and gene-products. However, connections among metabolites are predictable through the rules of chemistry. Therefore, enhancing the ability to integrate the metabolome with anchor-points in the transcriptome and proteome will enhance the predictive power of genomics data. We detail a public database repository for metabolomics, tools and approaches for statistical

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-15

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

  19. A novel approach to characterization of effective permeability for naturally fractured reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, G.

    2013-12-01

    Fractured formations have been the important targets for hydrocarbon exploration, groundwater supply, geothermal heat storage exploitation, and storage for sequestrated carbon dioxide, etc. However, accurate modeling of effective permeability of fractured reservoir has been a challenging task because the presence of fracture network may significantly alter the reservoir hydrologic properties in that interconnected fractures can enhance the reservoir heterogeneity in several orders of magnitude. Previous fractured simulation models can be divided into continuum and discrete fracture network (DFN) approaches. In the continuum approaches such as dual porosity/permeability model, fractures are assumed to be infinitely long and distributed in a regular pattern which resulted in the ignorance of actual fracture geometry. The discrete fracture model considers fracture dimension and transmissivity of each individual fracture but has an inherent disadvantage of its high computation-intensive nature and extreme difficulty in domain discretization, which severely limit its practical applications to problems with hundreds of thousands of fractures. In this paper we proposed a new approach to calculate the effective permeability for fractured network which integrates the DFN method while still honoring the geometrical pattern of each individual fracture. A full permeability matrix for each fracture is expressed as a second rank tensor composed of three parts: a unit permeability matrix defined by fracture orientation, a scalar absolute permeability from fracture aperture based on cubic law, and a shape factor defined by fracture size. The equivalent element permeability of a cell in a model is the component-wise aggregations of the permeability tensors from each interconnected fracture within that cell. This process is repeated for every cell in the entire model domain once a DFN model is generated based on the actual fracture statistics from field investigations, core

  20. Two different approaches in skin cancer therapy: using a photosensitizer/a natural product

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abraham, Annie; Gayathri, Devi D.; Cibin, T. R.; Ramaiah, D.

    2010-02-01

    This paper deals with two potential modes for the treatment of skin cancer-one a novel approach using a squaraine dye and the other using a natural product- the flavonoid fraction of Saraca asoka. Squaraine dye is a photosensitizing agent, which is preferentially taken up and retained by the tumor cells and when irradiated with high power visible light results in the selective destruction of the tumor cells by photodynamic therapy. The uniqueness of this mode of treatment lies in the selective destruction of tumor cells without affecting the neighbouring normal cells, which is much advantageous over radiation therapy now frequently used. The chemopreventive and therapeutic effects of the plant component are explored as well. The experimental models were Swiss albino mice in which skin tumor was induced by DMBA. Marked reduction in tumor volume and burden in the treated groups were observed. The reversal of biochemical enzyme markers like rhodanese, myeloperoxidase, β-D glucuronidase, lactate dehydrogenase, hexokinase and sialic acid to near normal levels were observed in the PDT and flavonoid fraction treated groups. The live photographs of the experimental animals and histopathological data further support the obtained results. The study assumes importance as it combines a traditional treatment mode and a novel aspect in cancer therapy using the same experimental models. Also this is the first report on PDT using a squaraine dye for skin cancer therapy in vivo.

  1. Demography and natural selection have shaped genetic variation in Drosophila melanogaster: a multi-locus approach.

    PubMed

    Glinka, Sascha; Ometto, Lino; Mousset, Sylvain; Stephan, Wolfgang; De Lorenzo, David

    2003-11-01

    Demography and selection have been recognized for their important roles in shaping patterns of nucleotide variability. To investigate the relative effects of these forces in the genome of Drosophila melanogaster, we used a multi-locus scan (105 fragments) of X-linked DNA sequence variation in a putatively ancestral African and a derived European population. Surprisingly, we found evidence for a recent size expansion in the African population, i.e., a significant excess of singletons at a chromosome-wide level. In the European population, such an excess was not detected. In contrast to the African population, we found evidence for positive natural selection in the European sample: (i) a large number of loci with low levels of variation and (ii) a significant excess of derived variants at the low-variation loci that are fixed in the European sample but rare in the African population. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the European population has experienced frequent selective sweeps in the recent past during its adaptation to new habitats. Our study shows the advantages of a genomic approach (over a locus-specific analysis) in disentangling demographic and selective forces.

  2. Theoretical simulations on the antioxidant mechanism of naturally occurring flavonoid: A DFT approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Praveena, R.; Sadasivam, K.

    2016-05-01

    Synthetic antioxidants such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are found to be toxic, hence non-carcinogenic naturally occurring radical scavengers especially flavonoids have gained considerable importance in the past two decades. In the present investigation, the radical scavenging activity of C-glycosyl flavonoids is evaluated using theoretical approach which could broaden its scope in therapeutic applications. Gas and solvent phase studies of structural and molecular characteristics of C-glycosyl flavonoid, isovitexin is investigated through hydrogen atom transfer mechanism (HAT), Electron transfer-proton transfer (ET-PT) and Sequential proton loss electron transfer (SPLET) by Density functional theory (DFT) using hybrid parameters. The computed values of the adiabatic ionization potential, electron affinity, hardness, softness, electronegativity and electrophilic index indicate that isovitexin possess good radical scavenging activity. The behavior of different -OH groups in polyphenolic compounds is assessed by considering electronic effects of the neighbouring groups and the overall geometry of molecule which in turn helps in analyzing the antioxidant capacity of the polyphenolic molecule. The studies indicate that the H-atom abstraction from 4'-OH site is preferred during the radical scavenging process. From Mulliken spin density analysis and FMOs, B-ring is found to be more delocalized center and capable of electron donation. Comparison of antioxidant activity of vitexin and isovitexin leads to the conclusion that isovitexin acts as a better radical scavenger. This is an evidence for the importance of position of glucose unit in the flavonoid.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  4. An Approach for Evaluating the Progress of Natural Attenuation in Groundwater

    EPA Science Inventory

    Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) remedies monitor the results of natural processes and utilize these data to predict future conditions in the aquifer. Performance monitoring to evaluate MNA effectiveness is a critical element for MNA remedies. Monitoring over time insures th...

  5. The Concept of Human Nature in Three Cultures: A Developmental Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oerter, Rolf

    This study compares the concept of human nature in Germany, Java, and the United States. The study assumes cross-cultural similarities in the formal structure of the concept of human nature, while hypothesizing variation in content, for example, in the value systems. Four components of the concept of human nature were presented (personality…

  6. Taming the Wild: Approaches to Nature in Japanese Early Childhood Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burke, Rachael S.

    2014-01-01

    The Japanese early childhood curriculum provides ample opportunities for children to interact with nature and to learn about natural phenomena. However, using Kalland (1995) and Martinez's (2008) theories about Japanese constructions of nature, this paper argues that most Japanese early childhood experiences do not constitute direct contact with…

  7. Mapping Natural Terroir Units using a multivariate approach and legacy data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Priori, Simone; Barbetti, Roberto; L'Abate, Giovanni; Bucelli, Piero; Storchi, Paolo; Costantini, Edoardo A. C.

    2014-05-01

    Natural Terroir Unit (NTU) is a volume of earth's biosphere that is characterized by a stable set of variables related to the topography, climate, geology and soil. Methods to study the association soil-climate-vines are numerous, but the main question is always: which variables are actually important for the quality and the typicality of grapevines, and then wine, for a particular scale? This work aimed to setting up a multivariate methodology to define viticultural terroirs at the province scale (1:125,000), using viticultural and oenological legacy data. The study area was the Siena province in the Tuscany region (Central Italy). The reference grapevine cultivar was "Sangiovese", which is the most important cultivar of the region. The methodology was based upon the creation of a GIS storing several viticultural and oenological legacy data of 55 experimental vineyards (vintages between 1989-2009), the long term climate data, the digital elevation model, the soil-landscapes (land systems) and the soil profiles with the soil analysis. The selected viticultural and oenological parameters were: must sugar content, sugar accumulation rate from veraison to harvest, must titratable acidity, grape yield per vine, number of bunches for vine, mean bunch weight, and mean weight of berries. The environmental parameters related to viticulture, selected by an explorative PCA, were: elevation, mean annual temperature, mean soil temperature, annual precipitation, clay, sand and gravel content of soils, soil water availability, redoximorphic features and rooting depth. The geostatistical models of the variables interpolation were chosen on the best of mean standardize error, obtained by the cross-validation, between "Simple cokriging with varying local mean", "Multicollocated simple cokriging with varying local mean" and "Regression kriging". These variables were used for a k-means clustering aimed to map the Natural Terroirs Units (NTUs). The viticultural areas of Siena province

  8. Improving structural similarity based virtual screening using background knowledge

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Virtual screening in the form of similarity rankings is often applied in the early drug discovery process to rank and prioritize compounds from a database. This similarity ranking can be achieved with structural similarity measures. However, their general nature can lead to insufficient performance in some application cases. In this paper, we provide a link between ranking-based virtual screening and fragment-based data mining methods. The inclusion of binding-relevant background knowledge into a structural similarity measure improves the quality of the similarity rankings. This background knowledge in the form of binding relevant substructures can either be derived by hand selection or by automated fragment-based data mining methods. Results In virtual screening experiments we show that our approach clearly improves enrichment factors with both applied variants of our approach: the extension of the structural similarity measure with background knowledge in the form of a hand-selected relevant substructure or the extension of the similarity measure with background knowledge derived with data mining methods. Conclusion Our study shows that adding binding relevant background knowledge can lead to significantly improved similarity rankings in virtual screening and that even basic data mining approaches can lead to competitive results making hand-selection of the background knowledge less crucial. This is especially important in drug discovery and development projects where no receptor structure is available or more frequently no verified binding mode is known and mostly ligand based approaches can be applied to generate hit compounds. PMID:24341870

  9. Insightful monitoring of natural flood risk management features using a low-cost and participatory approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starkey, Eleanor; Barnes, Mhari; Quinn, Paul; Large, Andy

    2016-04-01

    Pressures associated with flooding and climate change have significantly increased over recent years. Natural Flood Risk Management (NFRM) is now seen as being a more appropriate and favourable approach in some locations. At the same time, catchment managers are also encouraged to adopt a more integrated, evidence-based and bottom-up approach. This includes engaging with local communities. Although NFRM features are being more readily installed, there is still limited evidence associated with their ability to reduce flood risk and offer multiple benefits. In particular, local communities and land owners are still uncertain about what the features entail and how they will perform, which is a huge barrier affecting widespread uptake. Traditional hydrometric monitoring techniques are well established but they still struggle to successfully monitor and capture NFRM performance spatially and temporally in a visual and more meaningful way for those directly affected on the ground. Two UK-based case studies are presented here where unique NFRM features have been carefully designed and installed in rural headwater catchments. This includes a 1km2 sub-catchment of the Haltwhistle Burn (northern England) and a 2km2 sub-catchment of Eddleston Water (southern Scotland). Both of these pilot sites are subject to prolonged flooding in winter and flash flooding in summer. This exacerbates sediment, debris and water quality issues downstream. Examples of NFRM features include ponds, woody debris and a log feature inspired by the children's game 'Kerplunk'. They have been tested and monitored over the 2015-2016 winter storms using low-cost techniques by both researchers and members of the community ('citizen scientists'). Results show that monitoring techniques such as regular consumer specification time-lapse cameras, photographs, videos and 'kite-cams' are suitable for long-term and low-cost monitoring of a variety of NFRM features. These techniques have been compared against

  10. The Self-Evolving Cosmos: A Phenomenological Approach to Nature's Unity-in-Diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosen, Steven M.

    ch. 1. Introduction: individuation and the quest for unity -- ch. 2. The obstacle to unification in modern physics. 2.1. Introduction. 2.2. Does contemporary mathematical physics actually depart from the classical formulation? -- ch. 3. The phenomenological challenge to the classical formula -- ch. 4. Topological phenomenology. 4.1. Introduction. 4.2. Phenomenological intuition, topology, and the Klein bottle. 4.3. The physical significance of the Klein bottle -- ch. 5. The dimensional family of topological spinors. 5.1. Generalization of intuitive topology. 5.2. Topodimensional spin matrix -- ch. 6. Basic principles of dimensional transformation. 6.1. Synsymmetry and the self-transformation of space. 6.2. From symmetry breaking to dimensional generation. 6.3. The three basic stages of dimensional generation. 6.4. Kleinian topogeny -- ch. 7. Waves carrying waves: the co-evolution of lifeworlds -- ch. 8. The forces of nature. 8.1. The phenomenon of light. 8.2. Phenomenological Kaluza-Klein theory. 8.3. Summary comparison of conventional and topo-phenomenological approaches to Kaluza-Klein theory -- ch. 9. Cosmogony, symmetry, and phenomenological intuition. 9.1. Conventional view of the evolving cosmos. 9.2. The problem of symmetry. 9.3. A new kind of clarity -- ch. 10. The self-evolving cosmos. 10.1. Introduction to the cosmogonic matrix. 10.2. Overview of cosmic evolution. 10.3. The role of the fermions in dimensional generation. 10.4. Projective stages of cosmogony: dimensional divergence. 10.5. Proprioceptive stages of cosmogony: dimensional convergence. 10.6. Conclusion: wider horizons of cosmic evolution -- ch. 11. The psychophysics of cosmogony. 11.1. Psychical aspects of the fundamental particles. 11.2. Toward a reflexive physics. 11.3. Concretization of the self-evolving cosmos.

  11. Do Pre-Service Science Teachers Have Understanding of the Nature of Science?: Explicit-Reflective Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Örnek, Funda; Turkey, Kocaeli

    2014-01-01

    Current approaches in Science Education attempt to enable students to develop an understanding of the nature of science, develop fundamental scientific concepts, and develop the ability to structure, analyze, reason, and communicate effectively. Students pose, solve, and interpret scientific problems, and eventually set goals and regulate their…

  12. Complementary Approaches to Teaching Nature of Science: Integrating Student Inquiry, Historical Cases, and Contemporary Cases in Classroom Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allchin, Douglas; Andersen, Hanne Moller; Nielsen, Keld

    2014-01-01

    Research has now demonstrated that students can learn nature of science concepts variously through student-led investigations, contemporary cases, and historical cases. Here we articulate more precisely the merits, deficits, and context of each approach and begin to profile how to integrate them as complementary methods. Emphasis now needs to…

  13. Action with Friction: A Transactional Approach to Toddlers' Physical Meaning Making of Natural Phenomena and Processes in Preschool

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klaar, Susanne; Ohman, Johan

    2012-01-01

    Research into preschool education has paid a lot of attention to investigating children's conceptual development and cognitive learning about nature, with methods based on observations and verbal interviews before and after a teaching period. The purpose of this study has been to present and illustrate an approach that facilitates the analysis of…

  14. Field survey of Canadian background soils: Implications for a new mathematical gas chromatography-flame ionization detection approach for resolving false detections of petroleum hydrocarbons in clean soils.

    PubMed

    Kelly-Hooper, Francine; Farwell, Andrea J; Pike, Glenna; Kennedy, Jocelyn; Wang, Zhendi; Grunsky, Eric C; Dixon, D George

    2014-08-01

    The reference method for the Canada-wide standard (CWS) for petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) in soil provides laboratories with methods for generating accurate and reproducible soil analysis results. The CWS PHC tier 1 generic soil-quality guidelines apply to 4 carbon ranges/fractions: F1 (C6-C10), F2 (C10-C16), F3 (C16-C34), and F4 (>C34). The methods and guidelines were developed and validated for soils with approximately 5% total organic carbon (TOC). However, organic soils have much higher TOC levels because of biogenic organic compounds (BOCs) originating from sources such as plant waxes and fatty acids. Coextracted BOCs can have elevated F2-F4 concentrations, which can cause false exceedances of PHC soil guidelines. The present study evaluated false PHC detections in soil samples collected from 34 background sites. The list of analytes included soil type, TOC, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), F2, F3, F4, F3a (C16-C22), and F3b (C22-C34). Soils with 3% to 41% TOC falsely exceeded the CWS PHC 300 mg/kg F3 coarse soil guideline. It was previously demonstrated that clean peat had F2:F3b ratios of less than 0.10, while crude oil spiked peat and spiked sand had higher ratios of greater than 0.10. In the present background study, all of the clean organic soils with at least 300 mg/kg F3 had F2:F3b ratios of less than 0.10, which indicated false guideline exceedances. Clean inorganic soils had low F3 concentrations, resulting in high F2:F3b ratios of greater than 0.10. Validation field studies are required to determine if the F2:F3b 0.10 PHC presence versus absence threshold value is applicable to crude oil- and diesel-contaminated sites.

  15. A Family Resemblance Approach to the Nature of Science for Science Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Irzik, Gurol; Nola, Robert

    2011-01-01

    Although there is universal consensus both in the science education literature and in the science standards documents to the effect that students should learn not only the content of science but also its nature, there is little agreement about what that nature is. This led many science educators to adopt what is sometimes called "the consensus…

  16. An observation-based approach to identify local natural dust events from routine aerosol ground monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tong, D. Q.; Dan, M.; Wang, T.; Lee, P.

    2012-02-01

    Dust is a major component of atmospheric aerosols in many parts of the world. Although there exist many routine aerosol monitoring networks, it is often difficult to obtain dust records from these networks, because these monitors are either deployed far away from dust active regions (most likely collocated with dense population) or contaminated by anthropogenic sources and other natural sources, such as wildfires and vegetation detritus. Here we propose a new approach to identify local dust events relying solely on aerosol mass and composition from general-purpose aerosol measurements. Through analyzing the chemical and physical characteristics of aerosol observations during satellite-detected dust episodes, we select five indicators to be used to identify local dust records: (1) high PM10 concentrations; (2) low PM2.5/PM10 ratio; (3) higher concentrations and percentage of crustal elements; (4) lower percentage of anthropogenic pollutants; and (5) low enrichment factors of anthropogenic elements. After establishing these identification criteria, we conduct hierarchical cluster analysis for all validated aerosol measurement data over 68 IMPROVE sites in the Western United States. A total of 182 local dust events were identified over 30 of the 68 locations from 2000 to 2007. These locations are either close to the four US Deserts, namely the Great Basin Desert, the Mojave Desert, the Sonoran Desert, and the Chihuahuan Desert, or in the high wind power region (Colorado). During the eight-year study period, the total number of dust events displays an interesting four-year activity cycle (one in 2000-2003 and the other in 2004-2007). The years of 2003, 2002 and 2007 are the three most active dust periods, with 46, 31 and 24 recorded dust events, respectively, while the years of 2000, 2004 and 2005 are the calmest periods, all with single digit dust records. Among these deserts, the Chihuahua Desert (59 cases) and the Sonoran Desert (62 cases) are by far the most active

  17. A mass spectrometry-guided genome mining approach for natural product peptidogenomics.

    PubMed

    Kersten, Roland D; Yang, Yu-Liang; Xu, Yuquan; Cimermancic, Peter; Nam, Sang-Jip; Fenical, William; Fischbach, Michael A; Moore, Bradley S; Dorrestein, Pieter C

    2011-10-09

    Peptide natural products show broad biological properties and are commonly produced by orthogonal ribosomal and nonribosomal pathways in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. To harvest this large and diverse resource of bioactive molecules, we introduce here natural product peptidogenomics (NPP), a new MS-guided genome-mining method that connects the chemotypes of peptide natural products to their biosynthetic gene clusters by iteratively matching de novo tandem MS (MS(n)) structures to genomics-based structures following biosynthetic logic. In this study, we show that NPP enabled the rapid characterization of over ten chemically diverse ribosomal and nonribosomal peptide natural products of previously unidentified composition from Streptomycete bacteria as a proof of concept to begin automating the genome-mining process. We show the identification of lantipeptides, lasso peptides, linardins, formylated peptides and lipopeptides, many of which are from well-characterized model Streptomycetes, highlighting the power of NPP in the discovery of new peptide natural products from even intensely studied organisms.

  18. From Sequential Extraction to Transport Modeling, Monitored Natural Attenuation as a Remediation Approach for Inorganic Contaminants

    SciTech Connect

    POWELL, KIMBERLYR.

    2004-05-25

    Implementation of monitored natural attenuation (MNA) as a remediation method requires a mechanistic understanding of the natural attenuation processes occurring at a given site. For inorganic contaminants, natural attenuation typically involves a decrease in metal toxicity and/or mobility. These natural processes include dilution, dispersion, sorption (including adsorption, absorption, and precipitation), and redox processes. In order to better quantify these processes in terms of metal availability, sequential extraction experiments were carried out on subsurface soil samples impacted by a low pH, high sulfate, metals (Be, Ni, U, As) plume associated with the long-term operation of a coal plant at the Savannah River Site. These laboratory scale studies provide mechanistic information regarding the solid phases in the soils associated with natural attenuation of the contaminant metals. This data provides input to be evaluated in the definition of the contaminant source term as well as transport of contaminants for site transport models.

  19. Emerging Approach of Natural Language Processing in Opinion Mining: A Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Tai-Hoon

    Natural language processing (NLP) is a subfield of artificial intelligence and computational linguistics. It studies the problems of automated generation and understanding of natural human languages. This paper outlines a framework to use computer and natural language techniques for various levels of learners to learn foreign languages in Computer-based Learning environment. We propose some ideas for using the computer as a practical tool for learning foreign language where the most of courseware is generated automatically. We then describe how to build Computer Based Learning tools, discuss its effectiveness, and conclude with some possibilities using on-line resources.

  20. Approach to the organization of knowledge and its use in natural language recall tasks

    SciTech Connect

    Mccalla, G.I.

    1983-01-01

    The viewpoint espoused in this paper is that natural language understanding and production is the action of a number of highly integrated domain-specific specialists. Described first is an object oriented representation scheme which allows these specialists to be built. Discussed next is the organization of these specialists into a four-level goal hierarchy that enables the modelling of natural language conversation. It is shown how the representation and natural language structures can be used to facilitate the recall of earlier natural language conversations. Six specific kinds of recall tasks are outlined in terms of these structures and their occurrence in several legal dialogues is examined. Finally, the need for intelligent garbage collection of old episodic information is pointed out. 38 references.

  1. An Approach for Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) at a LUST Site

    EPA Science Inventory

    The primary mechanism for natural attenuation of fuel components in ground water is aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation of the components. Biodegradation reduces the concentration of oxygen, nitrate and sulfate, and increases the concentrations of iron(II) and methane. Changes...

  2. Control approaches for intelligent material systems -- What can we learn from nature?

    SciTech Connect

    Robertshaw, H.H.

    1994-12-31

    Three natural systems (human thermoregulation, enzyme-catalyzed biochemical reactions, and rivers) are examined with the intent of finding commonalties in control among these systems which may offer inspiration or guidance to the task of controlling the behavior of Intelligent Material Systems. It is observed that these natural systems act in ways not seen in technological control systems. The observations of a lack of (feedback) control, the predominance of regulation, the extremely local nature of the apparent goals, the storage of information in form (in structure), and non-numerical processing, produce a strong impression of coupled open-loop processes amidst seeming chaos almost passively producing what the author calls natural system control.

  3. Mimicking nature: a novel peptide-based bio-inspired approach for solar energy conversion.

    PubMed

    Gatto, Emanuela; Quatela, Alessia; Caruso, Mario; Tagliaferro, Roberto; De Zotti, Marta; Formaggio, Fernando; Toniolo, Claudio; Di Carlo, Aldo; Venanzi, Mariano

    2014-01-13

    A bioinspired approach is applied to photoelectric conversion devices. A 3(10)-helical hexapeptide bearing a pyrene unit is immobilized on a gold-covered TiO2 surface. The device is integrated for the first time in a dye-sensitized solar cell, exhibiting stability after several measurements. The approach could have promising applications in the field of optoelectronics.

  4. Internet-Based Approaches to Building Stakeholder Networks for Conservation and Natural Resource Management.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Social network analysis (SNA) is based on a conceptual network representation of social interactions and is an invaluable tool for conservation professionals to increase collaboration, improve information flow, and increase efficiency. We present two approaches to constructing in...

  5. Internet-Based Approaches to Building Stakeholder Networks for Conservation and Natural Resource Management

    EPA Science Inventory

    Social network analysis (SNA) is based on a conceptual network representation of social interactions and is an invaluable tool for conservation professionals to increase collaboration, improve information flow, and increase efficiency. We present two approaches to constructing i...

  6. Generative electronic background music system

    SciTech Connect

    Mazurowski, Lukasz

    2015-03-10

    In this short paper-extended abstract the new approach to generation of electronic background music has been presented. The Generative Electronic Background Music System (GEBMS) has been located between other related approaches within the musical algorithm positioning framework proposed by Woller et al. The music composition process is performed by a number of mini-models parameterized by further described properties. The mini-models generate fragments of musical patterns used in output composition. Musical pattern and output generation are controlled by container for the mini-models - a host-model. General mechanism has been presented including the example of the synthesized output compositions.

  7. Distribution of uranium, thorium and some stable trace and toxic elements in human hair and nails in Niška Banja Town, a high natural background radiation area of Serbia (Balkan Region, South-East Europe).

    PubMed

    Sahoo, S K; Žunić, Z S; Kritsananuwat, R; Zagrodzki, P; Bossew, P; Veselinovic, N; Mishra, S; Yonehara, H; Tokonami, S

    2015-07-01

    Human hair and nails can be considered as bio-indicators of the public exposure to certain natural radionuclides and other toxic metals over a long period of months or even years. The level of elements in hair and nails usually reflect their levels in other tissues of body. Niška Banja, a spa town located in southern Serbia, with locally high natural background radiation was selected for the study. To assess public exposure to the trace elements, hair and nail samples were collected and analyzed. The concentrations of uranium, thorium and some trace and toxic elements (Mn, Ni, Cu, Sr, Cd, and Cs) were determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). U and Th concentrations in hair varied from 0.0002 to 0.0771 μg/g and from 0.0002 to 0.0276 μg/g, respectively. The concentrations in nails varied from 0.0025 to 0.0447 μg/g and from 0.0023 to 0.0564 μg/g for U and Th, respectively. We found significant correlations between some elements in hair and nails. Also indications of spatial clustering of high values could be found. However, this phenomenon as well as the large variations in concentrations of heavy metals in hair and nail could not be explained. As hypotheses, we propose possible exposure pathways which may explain the findings, but the current data does not allow testing them.

  8. Undergraduate Students' Conceptions of Natural and Anthropogenic Climate Change: A Case Study Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trenbath, Thien-Kim Leckie

    2012-01-01

    This dissertation shows the evolution of five undergraduate students' ideas of natural and anthropogenic climate change throughout a lecture hall course on climate change. This research was informed by conceptual change theory and students' inaccurate ideas of climate change. Subjects represented different levels of climate change understanding at…

  9. Beyond Exemplars and Prototypes as Memory Representations of Natural Concepts: A Clustering Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Verbeemen, Timothy; Vanpaemel, Wolf; Pattyn, Sven; Storms, Gert; Verguts, Tom

    2007-01-01

    Categorization in well-known natural concepts is studied using a special version of the Varying Abstraction Framework (Vanpaemel, W., & Storms, G. (2006). A varying abstraction framework for categorization. Manuscript submitted for publication; Vanpaemel, W., Storms, G., & Ons, B. (2005). A varying abstraction model for categorization. In B. Bara,…

  10. Longitudinal, Educational Design Research Investigation of the Temporal Nature of Learning: Taking a Vygotskian Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cook, John

    2010-01-01

    The nature of learning is being augmented by new digital tools, particularly by mobile devices and the networks and structures to which they connect people. In this paper I examine some longitudinal research "threads" that have pervaded my work over the last two decades: (i) the powerful perspectives on learning and development put forward by…

  11. An Approach for Evaluating the Progress of Natural Attenuation in Groundwater (Web Conference)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) is widely applied to ground water contamination at hazardous waste sites. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), MNA is considered to be a remedy like any other remedy. When MNA has been select...

  12. Teaching Science Rhetorically: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Natural History, 1948-1985.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DePaolo, Charles

    1987-01-01

    Considers the different analogies used by James Rettie, Teilhard de Chardin, Robert Ardrey, Jacob Bronowski, Richard Leakey, Steven Weinberg, Heinz Pagels, and Carl Sagan to make concepts related to time and natural history accessible to the layperson. Suggests that these analogies be used at the undergraduate level in both humanities and science…

  13. A Fuzzy Set Approach to Modifiers and Vagueness in Natural Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hersh, Harry M.; Caramazza, Alfonso

    1976-01-01

    The proposition that natural language concepts are represented as fuzzy sets, a generalization of the traditional theory of sets, of meaning components and that language operators--adverbs, negative markers, and adjectives--can be considered as operators on fuzzy sets was assessed empirically. (Editor/RK)

  14. Polymer Selection Approach for Commonly and Uncommonly Used Natural Fibers Under Uncertainty Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    AL-Oqla, Faris M.; Sapuan, S. M.

    2015-07-01

    Factors like awareness of the scarcity of non-renewable natural resources, high petroleum prices, and demands for environmental sustainability, as well as reducing the amount of environmental pollution, have led to a renewed interest in natural fiber reinforced polymer composites as a potential bio-based material type. The best polymer matrix type in view of the wide range of conflicting criteria to form a polymeric-based composite material suitable for sustainable industry under an uncertainty environment has still not been sufficiently determined. This work introduces a selection model to evaluate the available polymers for natural fibers to enhance the industrial sustainability theme. The model built was developed to evaluate various polymer types and to determine their relative merits taking account of various conflicting criteria for both commonly used and uncommonly used natural fibers utilizing the analytical hierarchy process technique. It was found that the choice of the best polymer type for a certain fiber type depends strongly on the polymers' intrinsic desirable conflicting characteristics. Polymers evaluations are illustrated for different technical criteria in order to facilitate the polymer selection process for various industrial applications with high confidence levels.

  15. Science Teachers' Thinking about the Nature of Science: A New Methodological Approach to Its Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vazquez-Alonso, Angel; Garcia-Carmona, Antonio; Manassero-Mas, Maria Antonia; Bennassar-Roig, Antoni

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes Spanish science teachers' thinking about issues concerning the nature of science (NOS) and the relationships connecting science, technology, and society (STS). The sample consisted of 774 in-service and pre-service teachers. The participants responded to a selection of items from the Questionnaire of Opinions on Science,…

  16. The Natural Approach to Adult Learning and Teaching of L2 Grammar

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scheffler, Pawel

    2008-01-01

    Learning a language in a natural way is normally understood to involve the development of implicit knowledge of that language. The acquisition of such knowledge takes place through communication and is driven by learner-internal mechanisms which cannot be directly influenced by formal instruction. In the case of foreign or second language (L2)…

  17. “Biospherics” approach for studies of natural and artificial ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pechurkin, N. S.; Somova, L. A.

    The main unifying feature of natural and artificial ecosystems is their biotic turnover (cycling) of substances which is induced with energy fluxes. A new integrating scientific discipline Biospherics studies biotic cycles (both in experiments and in mathematical models) of different degree of closure and complexity. By its origin, Biospherics is to be connected with extensive studies of Biosphere by Russian academician Vladimir Vernadsky. He developed and used “empirical generalizations” based on innumerous observations, comparisons and reflections. His “bio-geo-chemical principles” of Biosphere and ecosystems development have more qualitative than quantitative nature. Quantitative criteria to evaluate the efficiency of natural and artificial ecosystems are to take into account energy fluxes and their use in ecosystems of different types. At least, three of them are of value for estimation of natural and artificial ecosystems’ functional activities. Energy principle of extensive development (EPED), energy principle of intensive development (EPID) and main universal (generalized) criterion (MUC). The last criterion (Principle) characterizes the specific cycling rate of limiting chemical elements in multi-organism systems, developing under external energy fluxes. Its value can be a quantitative measure of effectiveness for every ecosystem functioning, including our global Biosphere. Different examples of these (above-mentioned) integrated criteria actions are presented and analyzed in the paper.

  18. Long-term assessment of natural attenuation: statistical approach on soils with aged PAH contamination.

    PubMed

    Ouvrard, Stéphanie; Chenot, Elodie-Denise; Masfaraud, Jean-François; Schwartz, Christophe

    2013-07-01

    Natural attenuation processes valorization for PAH-contaminated soil remediation has gained increasing interest from site owners. A misunderstanding of this method and a small amount of data available does not encourage its development. However, monitored natural attenuation (MNA) offers a valuable, cheaper and environmentally friendly alternative to more classical options such as physico-chemical treatments (e.g., chemical oxidation, thermal desorption). The present work proposes the results obtained during a long-term natural attenuation assessment of historically contaminated industrial soils under real climatic conditions. This study was performed after a 10 year natural attenuation period on 60 off-ground lysimeters filled with contaminated soils from different former industrial sites (coking industry, manufactured gas plants) whose initial concentration of PAH varied between 380 and 2,077 mg kg(-1). The analysed parameters included leached water characterization, soil PAH concentrations, evaluation of vegetation cover quality and quantity. Results showed a good efficiency of the PAH dissipation and limited transfer of contaminants to the environment. It also highlighted the importance of the fine soil fractions in controlling PAH reactivity. PAH dissipation through water leaching was limited and did not present a significant risk for the environment. This PAH water concentration appeared however as a good indicator of overall dissipation rate, thereby illustrating the importance of pollutant availability in predicting its degradation potential.

  19. Integrated approaches to natural resources management in practice: the catalyzing role of National Adaptation Programmes for Action.

    PubMed

    Stucki, Virpi; Smith, Mark

    2011-06-01

    The relationship of forests in water quantity and quality has been debated during the past years. At the same time, focus on climate change has increased interest in ecosystem restoration as a means for adaptation. Climate change might become one of the key drivers pushing integrated approaches for natural resources management into practice. The National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) is an initiative agreed under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. An analysis was done to find out how widely ecosystem restoration and integrated approaches have been incorporated into NAPA priority adaptation projects. The data show that that the NAPAs can be seen as potentially important channel for operationalizing various integrated concepts. Key challenge is to implement the NAPA projects. The amount needed to implement the NAPA projects aiming at ecosystem restoration using integrated approaches presents only 0.7% of the money pledged in Copenhagen for climate change adaptation.

  20. Undergraduate students' conceptions of natural and anthropogenic climate change: A case study approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trenbath, Thien-Kim Leckie

    This dissertation shows the evolution of five undergraduate students' ideas of natural and anthropogenic climate change throughout a lecture hall course on climate change. This research was informed by conceptual change theory and students' inaccurate ideas of climate change. Subjects represented different levels of climate change understanding at the beginning of the course and were selected based on their scores on a climate change questionnaire. The study was designed to research how students' ideas changed throughout the course and compare trajectories of lower and higher achieving students. At the beginning, students had different levels of understanding, but as the semester continued, the lower-performing students progressed more than the higher-performing students. At the end of the course, all students described more ideas than they did at the beginning; however some of these ideas were inconsistent with the professors' instruction. Lower-performing students struggled more than the higher-performing students. Struggles included differentiating climate change and its causes, effects, and consequences from other environmental problems. Students also struggled with the idea that climate change is anthropogenic despite it being natural in the past. In order to understand that climate change is impacted by human forcings in addition to natural forcings, students developed the relationship that climate change is natural and humans are "speeding it up." They took time to integrate this relationship into their prior ideas. Three of the students constructed a definition of climate change that was different than the professor's. Two students defined "climate change" as only the natural aspects of climate change and reserved the anthropogenic changes for the term "global warming". For a third student, "climate change" included damming rivers, eutrophication, frog mutations, ozone depletion, and overfishing, which are environmental ailments but not climate change.

  1. Bioactive Structure of Membrane Lipids and Natural Products Elucidated by a Chemistry-Based Approach.

    PubMed

    Murata, Michio; Sugiyama, Shigeru; Matsuoka, Shigeru; Matsumori, Nobuaki

    2015-08-01

    Determining the bioactive structure of membrane lipids is a new concept, which aims to examine the functions of lipids with respect to their three-dimensional structures. As lipids are dynamic by nature, their "structure" does not refer solely to a static picture but also to the local and global motions of the lipid molecules. We consider that interactions with lipids, which are completely defined by their structures, are controlled by the chemical, functional, and conformational matching between lipids and between lipid and protein. In this review, we describe recent advances in understanding the bioactive structures of membrane lipids bound to proteins and related molecules, including some of our recent results. By examining recent works on lipid-raft-related molecules, lipid-protein interactions, and membrane-active natural products, we discuss current perspectives on membrane structural biology.

  2. Simple green approach to reinforce natural rubber with bacterial cellulose nanofibers.

    PubMed

    Trovatti, Eliane; Carvalho, Antonio J F; Ribeiro, Sidney J L; Gandini, Alessandro

    2013-08-12

    Natural rubber (NR) is a renewable polymer with a wide range of applications, which is constantly tailored, further increasing its utilizations. The tensile strength is one of its most important properties susceptible of being enhanced by the simple incorporation of nanofibers. The preparation and characterization of natural-rubber based nanocomposites reinforced with bacterial cellulose (BC) and bacterial cellulose coated with polystyrene (BCPS), yielded high performance materials. The nanocomposites were prepared by a simple and green process, and characterized by tensile tests, dynamical mechanical analysis (DMA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and swelling experiments. The effect of the nanofiber content on morphology, static, and dynamic mechanical properties was also investigated. The results showed an increase in the mechanical properties, such as Young's modulus and tensile strength, even with modest nanofiber loadings. PMID:23782026

  3. Natural polyphenols down-regulate universal stress protein in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: An in-silico approach.

    PubMed

    Aanandhi, M Vijey; Bhattacherjee, Debojit; George, P Samuel Gideon; Ray, Anirban

    2014-10-01

    Universal stress protein (USP) is a novel target to overcome the tuberculosis resistance. Our present study enlightens the possibilities of some natural polyphenols as an antioxidant for USP. The study has shown some molecular simulations of some selected natural antioxidants with USP. We have considered USP (Rv1636) strain for homology modeling and the selected template was taken for the docking study. Curcumin, catechin, reservetrol has shown ARG 136 (1.8Å) hydrogen bonding and two ionic bonding with carboxyl group of curcumin with LEU 130 (3.3Å) and ASN 144 (3.4Å) respectively. INH was taken for the standard molecule to perform molecular simulation. It showed poor binding interaction with the target, that is, -5.18 kcal, and two hydrogen bonding with SER 140 (1.887Å), ARG 147 (2.064Å) respectively. The study indicates possible new generation curcumin analogue for future therapy to down-regulate USP. PMID:25364695

  4. Nonlocal Nature of the Viscous Transport in Supercooled Liquids: Complex Fluid Approach to Supercooled Liquids

    SciTech Connect

    Furukawa, Akira; Tanaka, Hajime

    2009-09-25

    Using molecular dynamics simulations, we show clear evidence for the nonlocal mesoscopic nature of the anomalous viscous transport in a supercooled liquid and its direct link to dynamic heterogeneity: (i) a distinct crossover from the microscopic to macroscopic viscosity at a mesoscopic length scale, which is comparable to the correlation length of dynamic heterogeneity and grows with an increase in the degree of supercooling; (ii) a strong anisotropic decay of the shear-stress autocorrelation at a finite wave number, which indicates intrinsic decoupling between the longitudinal and transverse dynamics. Our findings suggest the fundamental importance of the growing dynamic correlation in anomalous transport and shed new light on the nature of slow dynamics.

  5. Technical approaches of a natural dye extracted from Phytolacca americana L.-berries with chemical mordants.

    PubMed

    Park, Su-Youn; Jung, Suk-Yul

    2014-01-01

    Phytolacca americana L. is a large semi-succulent herbaceous plant which reaches three meters in height. It is native to eastern North America, the Midwest, and the Gulf Coast, with more scattered populations in the far West. It is imported into Korea and has been frequently used as a traditional natural drug for diseases such as systemic edema and nephritis. Its berries, that is, fruits are shiny dark purple held in racemous clusters on pink pedicels with a pink peduncle. They are round with a flat indented top and bottom. Immature berries are green, maturing into white and then blackish purple. It is not well known how the berries are used for a natural staining yet. In this study, using Phytolacca americana L.-berries, a natural staining was analyzed. Moreover, due to the broad use of chemical mordants, five different mordants including copper acetate, aluminum potassium sulfate, sodium tartrate plus citric acid, Iron II sulfate and potassium dichromate were combined. Extracted dye from the berries stained silk fabrics with ivory. The original purple color from the berries disappeared and transformed into ivory. Although the silk fabrics were differentially stained by the berries that were combined with mordants of aluminum potassium sulfate, sodium tartrate plus citric acid and potassium dichromate, only differences in lightness and darkness were observed. Interestingly, the combination of the dye from the berries with a mordant of copper acetate and Iron II sulfate induced the staining of the silk fabrics into khaki and dark khaki, respectively. This study is the first systemic report on staining silk fabrics with Phytolacca americana L.-berries and chemical mordants and suggests application of natural products to the fiber industry.

  6. Synthesis of Several Cleistrioside and Cleistetroside Natural Products via a Divergent De Novo Asymmetric Approach

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Bulan; Li, Miaosheng; O’Doherty, George A.

    2010-01-01

    The de novo asymmetric syntheses of several partially acylated dodecanyl tri- and tetra-rhamnoside natural products (cleistriosides-5 & 6 and cleistetrosides-2 to 7) have been achieved (19 to 24 steps). The divergent route requires the use of three or less protecting groups. The asymmetry was derived via Noyori reduction of an acylfuran. The rhamno-stereochemistry was installed by a diastereoselective palladium-catalyzed glycosylation, ketone reduction and dihydroxylation. PMID:21038879

  7. Technical approaches of a natural dye extracted from Phytolacca americana L.-berries with chemical mordants.

    PubMed

    Park, Su-Youn; Jung, Suk-Yul

    2014-01-01

    Phytolacca americana L. is a large semi-succulent herbaceous plant which reaches three meters in height. It is native to eastern North America, the Midwest, and the Gulf Coast, with more scattered populations in the far West. It is imported into Korea and has been frequently used as a traditional natural drug for diseases such as systemic edema and nephritis. Its berries, that is, fruits are shiny dark purple held in racemous clusters on pink pedicels with a pink peduncle. They are round with a flat indented top and bottom. Immature berries are green, maturing into white and then blackish purple. It is not well known how the berries are used for a natural staining yet. In this study, using Phytolacca americana L.-berries, a natural staining was analyzed. Moreover, due to the broad use of chemical mordants, five different mordants including copper acetate, aluminum potassium sulfate, sodium tartrate plus citric acid, Iron II sulfate and potassium dichromate were combined. Extracted dye from the berries stained silk fabrics with ivory. The original purple color from the berries disappeared and transformed into ivory. Although the silk fabrics were differentially stained by the berries that were combined with mordants of aluminum potassium sulfate, sodium tartrate plus citric acid and potassium dichromate, only differences in lightness and darkness were observed. Interestingly, the combination of the dye from the berries with a mordant of copper acetate and Iron II sulfate induced the staining of the silk fabrics into khaki and dark khaki, respectively. This study is the first systemic report on staining silk fabrics with Phytolacca americana L.-berries and chemical mordants and suggests application of natural products to the fiber industry. PMID:24704646

  8. Enantioselective Syntheses of Heteroyohimbine Natural Products: A Unified Approach through Cooperative Catalysis.

    PubMed

    Younai, Ashkaan; Zeng, Bi-Shun; Meltzer, Herbert Y; Scheidt, Karl A

    2015-06-01

    Alstonine and serpentine are pentacyclic indoloquinolizidine alkaloids (referred to as "anhydronium bases") containing three contiguous stereocenters. Each possesses interesting biological activity, with alstonine being the major component of a plant-based remedy to treat psychosis and other nervous system disorders. This work describes the enantioselective total syntheses of these natural products with a cooperative hydrogen bonding/enamine-catalyzed Michael addition as the key step.

  9. A Phenomenographic Approach to Developing Academics' Understanding of the Nature of Teaching and Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akerlind, Gerlese S.

    2008-01-01

    Phenomenography is best known as an empirical research approach for investigating variation in conceptions of different educational phenomena--including learning, teaching and particular disciplinary concepts such as price in economics and motion in physics. It is less well-known for its theoretical basis, in terms of its epistemological and…

  10. An Empirical-Experimental Approach to the Nature and Remediation of Conduct Disorders of Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quay, Herbert C.

    This conference paper stresses that children's behavior disorders can be modified in the classroom if they are considered as a constellation of specific behaviors rather than as deviant personality traits or disease entities. To do so, however, the children must be approached within the framework of an empirically-based classification system. A…

  11. An Approach to Teaching General Chemistry II that Highlights the Interdisciplinary Nature of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sumter, Takita Felder; Owens, Patrick M.

    2011-01-01

    The need for a revised curriculum within the life sciences has been well-established. One strategy to improve student preparation in the life sciences is to redesign introductory courses like biology, chemistry, and physics so that they better reflect their disciplinary interdependence. We describe a medically relevant, context-based approach to…

  12. The Natural Selection: Identifying Student Misconceptions through an Inquiry-Based, Critical Approach to Evolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robbins, Jennifer R.; Roy, Pamela

    2007-01-01

    We invited 141 non-science major undergraduates to share and then challenge their preconceptions about evolution in a four-lesson inquiry lab unit that integrated diverse topics with rigorous assessment. Our experience suggests that an inquiring approach to evolutionary theory can be highly persuasive.

  13. Generalized approach to inverse problems in tomography: Image reconstruction for spatially variant systems using natural pixels

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, J.R.; Budinger, T.F.; Huesman, R.H.

    1992-10-01

    A major limitation in tomographic inverse problems is inadequate computation speed, which frequently impedes the application of engineering ideas and principles in medical science more than in the physical and engineering sciences. Medical problems are computationally taxing because a minimum description of the system often involves 5 dimensions (3 space, 1 energy, 1 time), with the range of each space coordinate requiring up to 512 samples. The computational tasks for this problem can be simply expressed by posing the problem as one in which the tomograph system response function is spatially invariant, and the noise is additive and Gaussian. Under these assumptions, a number of reconstruction methods have been implemented with generally satisfactory results for general medical imaging purposes. However, if the system response function of the tomograph is assumed more realistically to be spatially variant and the noise to be Poisson, the computational problem becomes much more difficult. Some of the algorithms being studied to compensate for position dependent resolution and statistical fluctuations in the data acquisition process, when expressed in canonical form, are not practical for clinical applications because the number of computations necessary exceeds the capabilities of high performance computer systems currently available. Reconstruction methods based on natural pixels, specifically orthonormal natural pixels, preserve symmetries in the data acquisition process. Fast implementations of orthonormal natural pixel algorithms can achieve orders of magnitude speedup relative to general implementations. Thus, specialized thought in algorithm development can lead to more significant increases in performance than can be achieved through hardware improvements alone.

  14. A new approach to evaluate natural zeolite ability to sorb lead (Pb) from aqueous solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drosos, Evangelos I. P.; Karapanagioti, Hrissi K.

    2013-04-01

    Lead (Pb) is a hazardous pollutant commonly found in aquatic ecosystems. Among several methods available, the addition of sorbent amendments to soils or sediments is attractive, since its application is relatively simple, while it can also be cost effective when a low cost and re-usable sorbent is used; e.g. natural zeolites. Zeolites are crystalline aluminosilicates with a three-dimensional structure composed of a set of cavities occupied by large ions and water molecules. Zeolites can accommodate a wide variety of cations, such as Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, which are rather loosely held and can readily be exchanged for others in an aqueous solution. Natural zeolites are capable of removing cations, such as lead, from aqueous solutions by ion exchange. There is a wide variation in the cation exchange capacity (CEC) of natural zeolites because of the different nature of various zeolites cage structures, natural structural defects, adsorbed ions, and their associated gangue minerals. Naturally occurring zeolites are rarely pure and are contaminated to varying degrees by other minerals, such as clays and feldspars, metals, quartz, or other zeolites as well. These impurities affect the CEC even for samples originated from the same region but from a different source. CEC of the material increases with decreasing impurity content. Potentially exchangeable ions in such impurities do not necessarily participate in ion exchange mechanism, while, in some cases, impurities may additionally block the access to active sites. For zeoliferous rocks having the same percentage of a zeolitic phase, the CEC increases with decreasing Si/Al ratio, as the more Si ions are substituted by Al ions, the more negative the valence of the matrix becomes. Sodium seems to be the most effective exchangeable ion for lead. On the contrary, it is unlikely that the potassium content of the zeolite would be substituted. A pretreatment with high concentration solutions of Na, such as 2 M NaCl, can

  15. New frontiers in pharmaceutical analysis: A metabolomic approach to check batch compliance of complex products based on natural substances.

    PubMed

    Mattoli, L; Burico, M; Fodaroni, G; Tamimi, S; Bedont, S; Traldi, P; Stocchero, M

    2016-07-15

    Natural substances, particularly medicinal plants and their extracts, are still today intended as source for new Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs). Alternatively they can be validly employed to prepare medicines, food supplements or medical devices. The most adopted analytical approach used to verify quality of natural substances like medicinal plants is based still today on the traditional quantitative determination of marker compounds and/or active ingredients, besides the acquisition of a fingerprint by TLC, NIR, HPLC, GC. Here a new analytical approach based on untargeted metabolomic fingerprinting by means of Mass Spectrometry (MS) to verify the quality of grinTuss adulti syrup, a complex products based on medicinal plants, is proposed. Recently, untargeted metabolomic has been successfully applied to assess quality of natural substances, plant extracts, as well as corresponding formulated products, being the complexity a resource but not necessarily a limit. The untargeted metabolomic fingerprinting includes the monitoring of the main constituents, giving weighted relevance to the most abundant ones, but also considering minor components, that might be notable in view of an integrated - often synergistic - effect on the biological system. Two different years of production were investigated. The collected samples were analyzed by Flow Injection ElectroSpray Ionization Mass Spectrometry Analysis (FIA-ESI-MS) and a suitable data processing procedure was developed to transform the MS spectra into robust fingerprints. Multivariate Statistical Process Control (MSPC) was applied in order to obtain multivariate control charts that were validated to prove the effectiveness of the proposed method. PMID:27155737

  16. A combined telemetry - tag return approach to estimate fishing and natural mortality rates of an estuarine fish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bacheler, N.M.; Buckel, J.A.; Hightower, J.E.; Paramore, L.M.; Pollock, K.H.

    2009-01-01

    A joint analysis of tag return and telemetry data should improve estimates of mortality rates for exploited fishes; however, the combined approach has thus far only been tested in terrestrial systems. We tagged subadult red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) with conventional tags and ultrasonic transmitters over 3 years in coastal North Carolina, USA, to test the efficacy of the combined telemetry - tag return approach. There was a strong seasonal pattern to monthly fishing mortality rate (F) estimates from both conventional and telemetry tags; highest F values occurred in fall months and lowest levels occurred during winter. Although monthly F values were similar in pattern and magnitude between conventional tagging and telemetry, information on F in the combined model came primarily from conventional tags. The estimated natural mortality rate (M) in the combined model was low (estimated annual rate ?? standard error: 0.04 ?? 0.04) and was based primarily upon the telemetry approach. Using high-reward tagging, we estimated different tag reporting rates for state agency and university tagging programs. The combined telemetry - tag return approach can be an effective approach for estimating F and M as long as several key assumptions of the model are met.

  17. A Collaborative Approach for Scoping Ecosystem Services with Stakeholders: The Case of Arrábida Natural Park.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Rita; Videira, Nuno

    2016-08-01

    This paper presents an innovative approach for conducting collaborative scoping processes aiming to elicit multiple values of ecosystem services. The proposed methodology rests on three steps combining different participatory tools that promote a comprehensive examination of the perceptions hold by relevant stakeholder groups. The first step consists of an institutional and stakeholder analysis developed in the study area. The second includes a participatory workshop, where a sequence of scoping exercises is conducted with the active collaboration of the invited stakeholders. The final step aims to validate scoping results and develop dependency networks between organizations and the identified ecosystem services. The approach was tested in the Arrábida Natural Park, a marine and coastal protected area in Portugal. Invited participants were able to identify an extensive list of ecosystem services in the natural area, establish linkages between those services and human wellbeing, identify drivers of change and perform a preliminary screening of the associated ecological, social, and economic values. The case study evaluation provided positive feedback on the usefulness of the approach, which advances the existing set of methods for participatory identification of ecosystem services and sets the scene for involvement of stakeholder groups in assessment and management processes.

  18. A Collaborative Approach for Scoping Ecosystem Services with Stakeholders: The Case of Arrábida Natural Park

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopes, Rita; Videira, Nuno

    2016-08-01

    This paper presents an innovative approach for conducting collaborative scoping processes aiming to elicit multiple values of ecosystem services. The proposed methodology rests on three steps combining different participatory tools that promote a comprehensive examination of the perceptions hold by relevant stakeholder groups. The first step consists of an institutional and stakeholder analysis developed in the study area. The second includes a participatory workshop, where a sequence of scoping exercises is conducted with the active collaboration of the invited stakeholders. The final step aims to validate scoping results and develop dependency networks between organizations and the identified ecosystem services. The approach was tested in the Arrábida Natural Park, a marine and coastal protected area in Portugal. Invited participants were able to identify an extensive list of ecosystem services in the natural area, establish linkages between those services and human wellbeing, identify drivers of change and perform a preliminary screening of the associated ecological, social, and economic values. The case study evaluation provided positive feedback on the usefulness of the approach, which advances the existing set of methods for participatory identification of ecosystem services and sets the scene for involvement of stakeholder groups in assessment and management processes.

  19. Internet-Based Approaches to Building Stakeholder Networks for Conservation and Natural Resource Management.

    PubMed

    Kreakie, B J; Hychka, K C; Belaire, J A; Minor, E; Walker, H A

    2016-02-01

    Social network analysis (SNA) is based on a conceptual network representation of social interactions and is an invaluable tool for conservation professionals to increase collaboration, improve information flow, and increase efficiency. We present two approaches to constructing internet-based social networks, and use an existing traditional (survey-based) case study to illustrate in a familiar context the deviations in methods and results. Internet-based approaches to SNA offer a means to overcome institutional hurdles to conducting survey-based SNA, provide unique insight into an institution's web presences, allow for easy snowballing (iterative process that incorporates new nodes in the network), and afford monitoring of social networks through time. The internet-based approaches differ in link definition: hyperlink is based on links on a website that redirect to a different website and relatedness links are based on a Google's "relatedness" operator that identifies pages "similar" to a URL. All networks were initiated with the same start nodes [members of a conservation alliance for the Calumet region around Chicago (n = 130)], but the resulting networks vary drastically from one another. Interpretation of the resulting networks is highly contingent upon how the links were defined.

  20. An objective and parsimonious approach for classifying natural flow regimes at a continental scale

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Archfield, Stacey A.; Kennen, Jonathan G.; Carlisle, Daren M.; Wolock, David M.

    2014-01-01

    Hydro-ecological stream classification-the process of grouping streams by similar hydrologic responses and, by extension, similar aquatic habitat-has been widely accepted and is considered by some to be one of the first steps towards developing ecological flow targets. A new classification of 1543 streamgauges in the contiguous USA is presented by use of a novel and parsimonious approach to understand similarity in ecological streamflow response. This novel classification approach uses seven fundamental daily streamflow statistics (FDSS) rather than winnowing down an uncorrelated subset from 200 or more ecologically relevant streamflow statistics (ERSS) commonly used in hydro-ecological classification studies. The results of this investigation demonstrate that the distributions of 33 tested ERSS are consistently different among the classification groups derived from the seven FDSS. It is further shown that classification based solely on the 33 ERSS generally does a poorer job in grouping similar streamgauges than the classification based on the seven FDSS. This new classification approach has the additional advantages of overcoming some of the subjectivity associated with the selection of the classification variables and provides a set of robust continental-scale classes of US streamgauges. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  1. Internet-Based Approaches to Building Stakeholder Networks for Conservation and Natural Resource Management.

    PubMed

    Kreakie, B J; Hychka, K C; Belaire, J A; Minor, E; Walker, H A

    2016-02-01

    Social network analysis (SNA) is based on a conceptual network representation of social interactions and is an invaluable tool for conservation professionals to increase collaboration, improve information flow, and increase efficiency. We present two approaches to constructing internet-based social networks, and use an existing traditional (survey-based) case study to illustrate in a familiar context the deviations in methods and results. Internet-based approaches to SNA offer a means to overcome institutional hurdles to conducting survey-based SNA, provide unique insight into an institution's web presences, allow for easy snowballing (iterative process that incorporates new nodes in the network), and afford monitoring of social networks through time. The internet-based approaches differ in link definition: hyperlink is based on links on a website that redirect to a different website and relatedness links are based on a Google's "relatedness" operator that identifies pages "similar" to a URL. All networks were initiated with the same start nodes [members of a conservation alliance for the Calumet region around Chicago (n = 130)], but the resulting networks vary drastically from one another. Interpretation of the resulting networks is highly contingent upon how the links were defined. PMID:26503113

  2. Internet-Based Approaches to Building Stakeholder Networks for Conservation and Natural Resource Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kreakie, B. J.; Hychka, K. C.; Belaire, J. A.; Minor, E.; Walker, H. A.

    2016-02-01

    Social network analysis (SNA) is based on a conceptual network representation of social interactions and is an invaluable tool for conservation professionals to increase collaboration, improve information flow, and increase efficiency. We present two approaches to constructing internet-based social networks, and use an existing traditional (survey-based) case study to illustrate in a familiar context the deviations in methods and results. Internet-based approaches to SNA offer a means to overcome institutional hurdles to conducting survey-based SNA, provide unique insight into an institution's web presences, allow for easy snowballing (iterative process that incorporates new nodes in the network), and afford monitoring of social networks through time. The internet-based approaches differ in link definition: hyperlink is based on links on a website that redirect to a different website and relatedness links are based on a Google's "relatedness" operator that identifies pages "similar" to a URL. All networks were initiated with the same start nodes [members of a conservation alliance for the Calumet region around Chicago ( n = 130)], but the resulting networks vary drastically from one another. Interpretation of the resulting networks is highly contingent upon how the links were defined.

  3. Fluorescent diagnostics of organic pollution in natural waters: A neural network approach

    SciTech Connect

    Orlov, Y.V.; Persiantsev, I.G.; Rebrik, S.P.

    1995-12-31

    Rapid diagnosis of pollution is one of the key tasks in the field of ecological monitoring of natural and technogeneous environment. One of the promising methods of fluorescent diagnosis of organic pollution of water environment is the registration and analysis of two-dimensional Spectral Fluorescent Signatures (SFS). The neural networks - based system suggested in this paper is intended for solving the problem of detection, identification, and concentration measurement of water environmental pollution. The suggested system uses SFS as input pattern and allows one to build a rapid diagnosis system for ecological monitoring.

  4. The cause of complexity in nature: An analytical and computational approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mainzer, Klaus

    2012-09-01

    This work is going to present the cause of complexity in nature from an analytical and computational point of view. The cause of complex pattern formation is explained by the local activity of cells in complex systems which are analytically modeled by nonlinear reaction-diffusion equations in physics, chemistry, biology and brain research. There are not only rigorous analytical criteria of local activity and the edge of chaos, but also constructive procedures to visualize them by computer simulations. In technology, the question arises whether these criteria and procedures can be used to construct artificial life and artificial minds.

  5. ENHANCED ATTENUATION: A REFERENCE GUIDE ON APPROACHES TO INCREASE THE NATURAL TREATMENT CAPACITY OF A SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    Looney, B; Michael Heitkamp, M; Gary Wein , G; Karen Vangelas, K; Karen-M Adams, K; Tom Early; Bob Borden; David Major; W. Jody Waugh; Todd Wiedemeier; Claire H. Sink

    2006-08-10

    The objective of this document is to explore the realm of enhancements to natural attenuation processes for cVOCs and review examples that have been proposed, modeled, and implemented. We will identify lessons learned from these case studies to confirm that enhancements are technically feasible and have the potential to achieve a favorable, cost-effective contaminant mass balance. Furthermore, we hope to determine if opportunities for further improvement of the enhancements exist and suggest areas where new and innovative types of enhancements might be possible.

  6. Enhanced Attenuation: A Reference Guide On Approaches To Increase The Natural Treatment Capacity Of A System

    SciTech Connect

    Vangelas, K

    2006-01-30

    The objective of this document is to explore the realm of enhancements to natural attenuation processes for cVOCs and review examples that have been proposed, modeled, and implemented. We will identify lessons learned from these case studies to confirm that enhancements are technically feasible and have the potential to achieve a favorable, cost-effective contaminant mass balance. Furthermore, we hope to determine if opportunities for further improvement of the enhancements exist and suggest areas where new and innovative types of enhancements might be possible.

  7. Building Background Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Forecast of natural aquifer discharge using a data-driven, statistical approach.

    PubMed

    Boggs, Kevin G; Van Kirk, Rob; Johnson, Gary S; Fairley, Jerry P

    2014-01-01

    In the Western United States, demand for water is often out of balance with limited water supplies. This has led to extensive water rights conflict and litigation. A tool that can reliably forecast natural aquifer discharge months ahead of peak water demand could help water practitioners and managers by providing advanced knowledge of potential water-right mitigation requirements. The timing and magnitude of natural aquifer discharge from the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer (ESPA) in southern Idaho is accurately forecast 4 months ahead of the peak water demand, which occurs annually in July. An ARIMA time-series model with exogenous predictors (ARIMAX model) was used to develop the forecast. The ARIMAX model fit to a set of training data was assessed using Akaike's information criterion to select the optimal model that forecasts aquifer discharge, given the previous year's discharge and values of the predictor variables. Model performance was assessed by application of the model to a validation subset of data. The Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency for model predictions made on the validation set was 0.57. The predictor variables used in our forecast represent the major recharge and discharge components of the ESPA water budget, including variables that reflect overall water supply and important aspects of water administration and management. Coefficients of variation on the regression coefficients for streamflow and irrigation diversions were all much less than 0.5, indicating that these variables are strong predictors. The model with the highest AIC weight included streamflow, two irrigation diversion variables, and storage.

  9. Emerging Approaches in Synchrotron Studies of Materials from Cultural and Natural History Collections.

    PubMed

    Bertrand, Loïc; Bernard, Sylvain; Marone, Federica; Thoury, Mathieu; Reiche, Ina; Gourrier, Aurélien; Sciau, Philippe; Bergmann, Uwe

    2016-02-01

    Synchrotrons have provided significant methods and instruments to study ancient materials from cultural and natural heritages. New ways to visualise (surfacic or volumic) morphologies are developed on the basis of elemental, density and refraction contrasts. They now apply to a wide range of materials, from historic artefacts to paleontological specimens. The tunability of synchrotron beams owing to the high flux and high spectral resolution of photon sources is at the origin of the main chemical speciation capabilities of synchrotron-based techniques. Although, until recently, photon-based speciation was mainly applicable to inorganic materials, novel developments based, for instance, on STXM and deep UV photoluminescence bring new opportunities to study speciation in organic and hybrid materials, such as soaps and organometallics, at a submicrometric spatial resolution over large fields of view. Structural methods are also continuously improved and increasingly applied to hierarchically structured materials for which organisation results either from biological or manufacturing processes. High-definition (spectral) imaging appears as the main driving force of the current trend for new synchrotron techniques for research on cultural and natural heritage materials.

  10. Wintering Waterbirds and Recreationists in Natural Areas: A Sociological Approach to the Awareness of Bird Disturbance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Corre, Nicolas; Peuziat, Ingrid; Brigand, Louis; Gélinaud, Guillaume; Meur-Férec, Catherine

    2013-10-01

    Disturbance to wintering birds by human recreational activities has become a major concern for managers of many natural areas. Few studies have examined how recreationists perceive their effects on birds, although this impacts their behavior on natural areas. We surveyed 312 users on two coastal ornithological sites in Brittany, France, to investigate their perception of the effects of human activities on wintering birds. The results show that the awareness of environmental issues and knowledge of bird disturbance depends on the socioeconomic characteristics of each user group, both between the two sites and within each site. Results also indicate that, whatever the site and the user group, the vast majority of the respondents (77.6 %) believed that their own presence had no adverse effects on the local bird population. Various arguments were put forward to justify the users' own harmlessness. Objective information on recreationists' awareness of environmental issues, and particularly on their own impact on birds, is important to guide managers in their choice of the most appropriate visitor educational programs. We recommend developing global but also specific educational information for each type of user to raise awareness of their own impact on birds.

  11. Emerging Approaches in Synchrotron Studies of Materials from Cultural and Natural History Collections.

    PubMed

    Bertrand, Loïc; Bernard, Sylvain; Marone, Federica; Thoury, Mathieu; Reiche, Ina; Gourrier, Aurélien; Sciau, Philippe; Bergmann, Uwe

    2016-02-01

    Synchrotrons have provided significant methods and instruments to study ancient materials from cultural and natural heritages. New ways to visualise (surfacic or volumic) morphologies are developed on the basis of elemental, density and refraction contrasts. They now apply to a wide range of materials, from historic artefacts to paleontological specimens. The tunability of synchrotron beams owing to the high flux and high spectral resolution of photon sources is at the origin of the main chemical speciation capabilities of synchrotron-based techniques. Although, until recently, photon-based speciation was mainly applicable to inorganic materials, novel developments based, for instance, on STXM and deep UV photoluminescence bring new opportunities to study speciation in organic and hybrid materials, such as soaps and organometallics, at a submicrometric spatial resolution over large fields of view. Structural methods are also continuously improved and increasingly applied to hierarchically structured materials for which organisation results either from biological or manufacturing processes. High-definition (spectral) imaging appears as the main driving force of the current trend for new synchrotron techniques for research on cultural and natural heritage materials. PMID:27572990

  12. Analysis of liquid natural gas as a truck fuel: a system dynamics approach

    SciTech Connect

    Bray, M.A.; Sebo, D.E.; Mason, T.L.; Mills, J.I.; Rice, R.E.

    1996-10-01

    The purpose of this analysis is to evaluate the potential for growth in use of liquid natural gas (LNG) fueled trucks. . A system dynamics model was constructed for the analysis and a variety of scenarios were investigated. The analysis considers the economics of LNG fuel in the context of the trucking industry to identify barriers to the increased use of LNG trucks and potential interventions or leverage points which may overcome these barriers. The study showed that today, LNG use in trucks is not yet economically viable. A large change in the savings from fuel cost or capital cost is needed for the technology to take off. Fleet owners have no way now to benefit from the environmental benefits of LNG fuel nor do they benefit from the clean burning nature of the fuel. Changes in the fuel cost differential between diesel and LNG are not a research issue. However, quantifying the improvements in reliability and wear from the use of clean fuel could support increased maintenance and warranty periods. Many people involved in the use of LNG for trucks believe that LNG has the potential to occupy a niche within the larger diesel truck business. But if LNG in trucks can become economic, the spread of fuel stations and technology improvements could lead to LNG trucks becoming the dominant technology. An assumption in our simulation work is that LNG trucks will be purchased when economically attractive. None of the simulation results show LNG becoming economic but then only to the level of a niche market.

  13. From Sequential Extraction to Transport Modeling: Monitored Natural Attenuation as a Remediation Approach for Inorganic Contaminants

    SciTech Connect

    Crapse, Kimberly P.; Serkiz, Steven M.; Pishko, Adrian L.; Kaplan, Daniel L.; Lee, Cindy M.; Schank, Anja

    2005-08-18

    To quantify metal natural attenuation processes in terms of environmental availability, sequential extraction experiments were carried out on subsurface soil samples impacted by a low pH, high sulfate, metals (Be, Ni, U, As) plume associated with the long-term operation of a coal plant at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. Despite significant heterogeneity resulting both from natural and anthropogenic factors, sequential extraction results demonstrate that pH is a controlling factor in the prediction of the distribution of metal contaminants within the solid phases in soils at the site as well as the contaminant partitioning between the soil and the soil solution. Results for beryllium, the most mobile metal evaluated, exhibit increasing attenuation along the plume flow path which corresponds to an increasing plume pH. These laboratory- and field-scale studies provide mechanistic information regarding partitioning of metals to soils at the site (one of the major attenuation mechanisms for the metals at the field site). Subsequently, these data have been used in the definition of the contaminant source terms and contaminant transport factors in risk modeling for the site.

  14. Testing Local Adaptation in a Natural Great Tit-Malaria System: An Experimental Approach

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Tania; Delhaye, Jessica; Christe, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Finding out whether Plasmodium spp. are coevolving with their vertebrate hosts is of both theoretical and applied interest and can influence our understanding of the effects and dynamics of malaria infection. In this study, we tested for local adaptation as a signature of coevolution between malaria blood parasites, Plasmodium spp. and its host, the great tit, Parus major. We conducted a reciprocal transplant experiment of birds in the field, where we exposed birds from two populations to Plasmodium parasites. This experimental set-up also provided a unique opportunity to study the natural history of malaria infection in the wild and to assess the effects of primary malaria infection on juvenile birds. We present three main findings: i) there was no support for local adaptation; ii) there was a male-biased infection rate; iii) infection occurred towards the end of the summer and differed between sites. There were also site-specific effects of malaria infection on the hosts. Taken together, we present one of the few experimental studies of parasite-host local adaptation in a natural malaria system, and our results shed light on the effects of avian malaria infection in the wild. PMID:26555892

  15. Pore space characteristics vs. stress-strain markers: two contrasting approaches on how to predict durability of porous natural stone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prikryl, Richard; Weishauptova, Zuzana; Lokajicek, Tomas

    2016-04-01

    Pore space characteristics, specifically its textural properties derived from mercury porosimetry present useful data that are often employed as one of the proxies for the evaluation of the durability of porous construction materials, specifically of natural stone or bricks. Interconnected pore spaces present pathways for migration of moisture, water, or water-soluble salts in porous materials, but do not provide direct evidence on mechanical properties including resistance to brittle damage caused by various physical weathering processes. On contrary, experimentally derived rock mechanical properties are used very rarely for the estimation of the durability of natural stone. This concerns not only basic rock mechanical properties (strength) but also deformation (stress-strain behaviour) and energetic parameters derived from it. In the recent study, we are discussing both these approaches and looking for possible correlation or for mutual use of data from both types of tests.

  16. Reducing Onshore Natural Gas and Oil Exploration and Production Impacts Using a Broad-Based Stakeholder Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Amy Childers

    2011-03-30

    Never before has the reduction of oil and gas exploration and production impacts been as important as it is today for operators, regulators, non-governmental organizations and individual landowners. Collectively, these stakeholders are keenly interested in the potential benefits from implementing effective environmental impact reducing technologies and practices. This research project strived to gain input and insight from such a broad array of stakeholders in order to identify approaches with the potential to satisfy their diverse objectives. The research team examined three of the most vital issue categories facing onshore domestic production today: (1) surface damages including development in urbanized areas, (2) impacts to wildlife (specifically greater sage grouse), and (3) air pollution, including its potential contribution to global climate change. The result of the research project is a LINGO (Low Impact Natural Gas and Oil) handbook outlining approaches aimed at avoiding, minimizing, or mitigating environmental impacts. The handbook identifies technical solutions and approaches which can be implemented in a practical and feasible manner to simultaneously achieve a legitimate balance between environmental protection and fluid mineral development. It is anticipated that the results of this research will facilitate informed planning and decision making by management agencies as well as producers of oil and natural gas. In 2008, a supplemental task was added for the researchers to undertake a 'Basin Initiative Study' that examines undeveloped and/or underdeveloped oil and natural gas resources on a regional or geologic basin scope to stimulate more widespread awareness and development of domestic resources. Researchers assessed multi-state basins (or plays), exploring state initiatives, state-industry partnerships and developing strategies to increase U.S. oil and gas supplies while accomplishing regional economic and environmental goals.

  17. Poly(ADP-ribose)--a unique natural polymer structural features, biological role and approaches to the chemical synthesis.

    PubMed

    Drenichev, Mikhail S; Mikhailov, Sergey N

    2015-01-01

    Poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) is a natural polymer, taking part in numerous important cellular processes. Several enzymes are involved in biosynthesis and degradation of PAR. One of them, poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase-1 (PARP-1) is considered to be a perspective target for the design of new drugs, affecting PAR metabolism. The structure of PAR was established by enzymatic hydrolysis and further analysis of the products, but total chemical synthesis of PAR hasn't been described yet. Several approaches have been developed on the way to chemical synthesis of this unique biopolymer.

  18. Traditional and non-traditional approaches to the prediction of natural disasters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sapunov, Valentin; Glazyrina, Tatiana

    2016-04-01

    Since the beginning of the 21st century the number of disasters in the world increased approximately two times. Damage from disasters cost an average of 230 billion dollars per year. Recently, the death toll in the disaster has reached 230,000 - 1 000,000 per year. Along with earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, increased the number of forest and steppe fires. These processes are not fully known global, geophysical and space reasons. Of great importance are perennial not until the end of the study of natural cycles. There is evidence that the state of the planet's surface affect processes in the Earth's core. Understanding the causes and prediction of the tragic events require an integrated effort based on the synthesis of various sciences as well as history which has knowledge about the disasters of the past. Factor that reduces the risk is constant monitoring, including both distant and contact methods. However, its possibility is limited. Firstly, due to the high cost of global, especially space monitoring. Secondly, due to the unpredictability of some processes. In December 2004, the countries of Southeast Asia hit by the tsunami. The death gotten 250 000 people. Animals in this cataclysm appeared to stay safety and advance left the danger zone. Animals are able to predict hazards having no materials predecessors. Participants nuclear tests show - a day before the explosion of the animals escape dangerous zone. This means that animals have the ability to predict the catastrophic events. The most important abiotic factor, the physical nature of which is still not clear is time. One of the scientists, who achieved some success in the study of time, was N.Kozyrev (1908-1983). He devoted his life to the study of the phenomenon of time and attempt to systematize the knowledge of him as a physical substance. Kozyrev in his theoretical calculations and experiments found the new field - the field of time (chrono-information). Through it can instantly and accurately transmit

  19. Characterization of Natural Organic Matter in Alluvial Aquifer Sediments: Approaches and Implications for Reactivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox, P. M.; Nico, P. S.; Hao, Z.; Gilbert, B.; Tfaily, M. M.; Devadoss, J.

    2015-12-01

    Sediment-associated natural organic matter (NOM) is an extremely complex assemblage of organic molecules with a wide range of sizes, functional groups, and structures, which is intricately associated with mineral particles. The chemical nature of NOM may control its' reactivity towards metals, minerals, enzymes, and bacteria. Organic carbon concentrations in subsurface sediments are typically much lower than in surface soils, posing a distinct challenge for characterization. In this study, we investigated NOM associated with shallow alluvial aquifer sediments in a floodplain of the Colorado River. Total organic carbon (TOC) contents in these subsurface sediments are typically around 0.1%, but can range from 0.03% up to approximately 1.5%. Even at the typical TOC values of 0.1%, the mass of sediment-associated OC is approximately 5000 times higher than the mass of dissolved OC, representing a large pool of carbon that may potentially be mobilized or degraded under changing environmental conditions. Sediment-associated OC is much older than both the depositional age of the alluvial sediments and dissolved OC in the groundwater, indicating that the vast majority of NOM was sequestered by the sediment long before it was deposited in the floodplain. We have characterized the sediment-bound NOM from two locations within the floodplain with differing physical and geochemical properties. One location has relatively low organic carbon (<0.2%) and is considered suboxic [dissolved oxygen is low or absent, but no dissolved Fe(II) observed], while the other is a naturally reducing zone with higher organic carbon (0.2-1.5%) and Fe(II)-reducing conditions. An extraction scheme was developed using a combination of sequential extraction [water and sodium pyrophosphate (pH 10)] and purification in order to isolate different fractions of sediment-associated NOM. Analysis of these different NOM fractions was then carried out by FTIR and ESI-FTICR-MS to allow for comparison of NOM

  20. Impact of textural anisotropy on syn-kinematic partial melting of natural gneisses: an experimental approach.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ganzhorn, Anne-Céline; Trap, Pierre; Arbaret, Laurent; Champallier, Rémi; Fauconnier, Julien; Labrousse, Loic; Prouteau, Gaëlle

    2015-04-01

    Partial melting of continental crust is a strong weakening process controlling its rheological behavior and ductile flow of orogens. This strength weakening due to partial melting is commonly constrained experimentally on synthetic starting material with derived rheological law. Such analog starting materials are preferentially used because of their well-constrained composition to test the impact of melt fraction, melt viscosity and melt distribution upon rheology. In nature, incipient melting appears in particular locations where mineral and water contents are favorable, leading to stromatic migmatites with foliation-parallel leucosomes. In addition, leucosomes are commonly located in dilatants structural sites like boudin-necks, in pressure shadows, or in fractures within more competent layers of migmatites. The compositional layering is an important parameter controlling melt flow and rheological behavior of migmatite but has not been tackled experimentally for natural starting material. In this contribution we performed in-situ deformation experiments on natural rock samples in order to test the effect of initial gneissic layering on melt distribution, melt flow and rheological response. In-situ deformation experiments using a Paterson apparatus were performed on two partially melted natural gneissic rocks, named NOP1 & PX28. NOP1, sampled in the Western Gneiss Region (Norway), is biotite-muscovite bearing gneiss with a week foliation and no gneissic layering. PX28, sampled from the Sioule Valley series (French Massif Central), is a paragneiss with a very well pronounced layering with quartz-feldspar-rich and biotite-muscovite-rich layers. Experiments were conducted under pure shear condition at axial strain rate varying from 5*10-6 to 10-3 s-1. The main stress component was maintained perpendicular to the main plane of anisotropy. Confining pressure was 3 kbar and temperature ranges were 750°C and 850-900°C for NOP1 and PX28, respectively. For the 750

  1. Science Teachers' Thinking About the Nature of Science: A New Methodological Approach to Its Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vázquez-Alonso, Ángel; García-Carmona, Antonio; Manassero-Mas, María Antonia; Bennàssar-Roig, Antoni

    2013-04-01

    This paper describes Spanish science teachers' thinking about issues concerning the nature of science (NOS) and the relationships connecting science, technology, and society (STS). The sample consisted of 774 in-service and pre-service teachers. The participants responded to a selection of items from the Questionnaire of Opinions on Science, Technology & Society in a multiple response model. These data were processed to generate the invariant indices that are used as the bases for subsequent quantitative and qualitative analyses. The overall results reflect moderately informed conceptions, and a detailed analysis by items, categories, and positions reveals a range of positive and negative conceptions about the topics of NOS dealt with in the questionnaire items. The implications of the findings for teaching and teacher training on the themes of NOS are discussed.

  2. Gauging the societal impacts of natural disasters using a capability approach.

    PubMed

    Gardoni, Paolo; Murphy, Colleen

    2010-07-01

    There is a widely acknowledged need for a single composite index that provides a comprehensive picture of the societal impact of disasters. A composite index combines and logically organizes important information policy-makers need to allocate resources for the recovery from natural disasters; it can also inform hazard mitigation strategies. This paper develops a Disaster Impact Index (DII) to gauge the societal impact of disasters on the basis of the changes in individuals' capabilities. The DII can be interpreted as the disaster impact per capita. Capabilities are dimensions of individual well-being and refer to the genuine opportunities individuals have to achieve valuable states and activities (such as being adequately nourished or being mobile). After discussing the steps required to construct the DII, this article computes and compares the DIIs for two earthquakes of similar magnitude in two societies at different levels of development and of two disasters (earthquake and wind storm) in the same society.

  3. An approach to the constrained design of natural laminar flow airfoils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Green, Bradford Earl

    1995-01-01

    A design method has been developed by which an airfoil with a substantial amount of natural laminar flow can be designed, while maintaining other aerodynamic and geometric constraints. After obtaining the initial airfoil's pressure distribution at the design lift coefficient using an Euler solver coupled with an integml turbulent boundary layer method, the calculations from a laminar boundary layer solver are used by a stability analysis code to obtain estimates of the transition location (using N-Factors) for the starting airfoil. A new design method then calculates a target pressure distribution that will increase the larninar flow toward the desired amounl An airfoil design method is then iteratively used to design an airfoil that possesses that target pressure distribution. The new airfoil's boundary layer stability characteristics are determined, and this iterative process continues until an airfoil is designed that meets the laminar flow requirement and as many of the other constraints as possible.

  4. An Approach to the Constrained Design of Natural Laminar Flow Airfoils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Green, Bradford E.

    1997-01-01

    A design method has been developed by which an airfoil with a substantial amount of natural laminar flow can be designed, while maintaining other aerodynamic and geometric constraints. After obtaining the initial airfoil's pressure distribution at the design lift coefficient using an Euler solver coupled with an integral turbulent boundary layer method, the calculations from a laminar boundary layer solver are used by a stability analysis code to obtain estimates of the transition location (using N-Factors) for the starting airfoil. A new design method then calculates a target pressure distribution that will increase the laminar flow toward the desired amount. An airfoil design method is then iteratively used to design an airfoil that possesses that target pressure distribution. The new airfoil's boundary layer stability characteristics are determined, and this iterative process continues until an airfoil is designed that meets the laminar flow requirement and as many of the other constraints as possible.

  5. Bacillus aryabhattai BA03: a novel approach to the production of natural value-added compounds.

    PubMed

    Paz, Alicia; Carballo, Julia; Pérez, María José; Domínguez, José Manuel

    2016-10-01

    A strain designated as BA03, with the ability to transform ferulic acid into vanillin and 4-vinylguaiacol, was isolated from contaminated cryovials. The production of natural value-added compounds was dependent on the media employed. The morphological and physiological characteristics of this strain were compared with those of the typical vanillin-producer strain Amycolatopsis sp. ATCC 39116. According to a partial 16S rRNA sequence, we determined that BA03 belonged to Bacillus aryabhattai. In addition, analysis of the results showed that this strain exhibited interesting enzymatic activity, including cellulases, laccases, lipases and pectinases. In light of this, we propose new functions for this multitasking microorganism. We suggest that it may be used for converting lignocellulosic wastes into byproducts with industrial uses, and also for treating disposal residues such as dyes in the textile industry. Hence, the possibility for novel research with B. aryabhattai opens up in the fields of biodegradation and/or revalorization of wastes.

  6. Multistep approach to microscopic models for frustrated quantum magnets: the case of the natural mineral azurite.

    PubMed

    Jeschke, Harald; Opahle, Ingo; Kandpal, Hem; Valentí, Roser; Das, Hena; Saha-Dasgupta, Tanusri; Janson, Oleg; Rosner, Helge; Brühl, Andreas; Wolf, Bernd; Lang, Michael; Richter, Johannes; Hu, Shijie; Wang, Xiaoqun; Peters, Robert; Pruschke, Thomas; Honecker, Andreas

    2011-05-27

    The natural mineral azurite Cu(3)(CO(3))(2)(OH)(2) is a frustrated magnet displaying unusual and controversially discussed magnetic behavior. Motivated by the lack of a unified description for this system, we perform a theoretical study based on density functional theory as well as state-of-the-art numerical many-body calculations. We propose an effective generalized spin-1/2 diamond chain model which provides a consistent description of experiments: low-temperature magnetization, inelastic neutron scattering, nuclear magnetic resonance measurements, magnetic susceptibility as well as new specific heat measurements. With this study we demonstrate that the balanced combination of first principles with powerful many-body methods successfully describes the behavior of this frustrated material.

  7. Estimating the hatchery fraction of a natural population: a Bayesian approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barber, Jarrett J.; Gerow, Kenneth G.; Connolly, Patrick J.; Singh, Sarabdeep

    2011-01-01

    There is strong and growing interest in estimating the proportion of hatchery fish that are in a natural population (the hatchery fraction). In a sample of fish from the relevant population, some are observed to be marked, indicating their origin as hatchery fish. The observed proportion of marked fish is usually less than the actual hatchery fraction, since the observed proportion is determined by the proportion originally marked, differential survival (usually lower) of marked fish relative to unmarked hatchery fish, and rates of mark retention and detection. Bayesian methods can work well in a setting such as this, in which empirical data are limited but for which there may be considerable expert judgment regarding these values. We explored a Bayesian estimation of the hatchery fraction using Monte Carlo–Markov chain methods. Based on our findings, we created an interactive Excel tool to implement the algorithm, which we have made available for free.

  8. Plant natural products active against snake bite--the molecular approach.

    PubMed

    Mors, W B; Nascimento, M C; Pereira, B M; Pereira, N A

    2000-11-01

    The article surveys the substances identified in plants reputed to neutralize the effects of snake venoms. Protective activity of many of them against the lethal action of the venom of the jararaca (Bothrops jararaca) snake was confirmed by biological assays. It was shown that all belong to chemical classes capable of interacting with macromolecular targets--receptors and enzymes. In a few cases it has been shown that exogenous natural micromolecules can mimic the biological activity of endogenous macromolecules. From the evidence presented, it can be inferred that micromolecules which neutralize the action of snake venoms mechanistically replace endogenous antitoxic serum proteins with venom neutralizing capacity such as produced by some animals. PMID:11130675

  9. El Dorado Air Quality Management District's Approach to Dealing With Naturally Occurring Asbestos (NOA) Hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, C.

    2012-12-01

    In 2005, Naturally Occurring Asbestos (NOA) in El Dorado County made headlines with the discovery significant amounts of tremolite/actinolite asbestos in areas where residents had built, or were in the process of building, homes and residences. The El Dorado Air Quality Management District has been involved in all aspects of dealing with NOA from the very beginning of its discovery, from overseeing the rehabilitation of school sites to expanding and rewriting fugitive dust rules at construction sites. A discussion of best management practices which have been developed will be given, as well as how the El Dorado Air Quality Management District has worked to educate members of the public, as well as workers in the field, about NOA to aid in maintaining the health and safety of the public.

  10. Pulsed gas injection: a minimum effort approach for enhanced natural attenuation of chlorobenzene in contaminated groundwater.

    PubMed

    Balcke, Gerd Ulrich; Paschke, Heidrun; Vogt, Carsten; Schirmer, Mario

    2009-07-01

    Chlorobenzene-contaminated groundwater was used to assess pulsed gas sparging as a minimum effort aeration strategy to enhance intrinsic natural attenuation. In contrast to existing biosparging operations, oxygen was supplied at minimum rate by reducing the gas injection frequency to 0.33 day(-1). Field tests in a model aquifer were conducted in a 12 m long reactor, filled with indigenous aquifer material and continuously recharged with polluted groundwater over 3 years. The closed arrangement allowed yield balances, cost accounting as well as the investigation of spatial distributions of parameters which are sensitive to the biodegradation process. Depending on the injection frequency and on the gas chosen for injection (pure oxygen or air) oxygen-deficient conditions prevailed in the aquifer. Despite the limiting availability of dissolved oxygen in the groundwater, chlorobenzene degradation under oxygen-deficient conditions proved to be more effective than under conditions with dissolved oxygen being available in high concentrations.

  11. Forecast of natural aquifer discharge using a data-driven, statistical approach.

    PubMed

    Boggs, Kevin G; Van Kirk, Rob; Johnson, Gary S; Fairley, Jerry P

    2014-01-01

    In the Western United States, demand for water is often out of balance with limited water supplies. This has led to extensive water rights conflict and litigation. A tool that can reliably forecast natural aquifer discharge months ahead of peak water demand could help water practitioners and managers by providing advanced knowledge of potential water-right mitigation requirements. The timing and magnitude of natural aquifer discharge from the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer (ESPA) in southern Idaho is accurately forecast 4 months ahead of the peak water demand, which occurs annually in July. An ARIMA time-series model with exogenous predictors (ARIMAX model) was used to develop the forecast. The ARIMAX model fit to a set of training data was assessed using Akaike's information criterion to select the optimal model that forecasts aquifer discharge, given the previous year's discharge and values of the predictor variables. Model performance was assessed by application of the model to a validation subset of data. The Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency for model predictions made on the validation set was 0.57. The predictor variables used in our forecast represent the major recharge and discharge components of the ESPA water budget, including variables that reflect overall water supply and important aspects of water administration and management. Coefficients of variation on the regression coefficients for streamflow and irrigation diversions were all much less than 0.5, indicating that these variables are strong predictors. The model with the highest AIC weight included streamflow, two irrigation diversion variables, and storage. PMID:24571388

  12. An explicit and reflective approach to the use of history to promote understanding of the nature of science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rudge, David W.; Howe, Eric M.

    2009-05-01

    Monk and Osborne (Sci Educ 81:405-424, 1997) provide a rigorous justification for why history and philosophy of science should be incorporated as an integral component of instruction and a model for how history of science should be used to promote learning of and about science. In the following essay we critique how history of science is used on this model, and in particular, their advocacy of a direct comparison of students’ conceptions of scientific phenomena with those of past scientists. We propose instead an alternative approach that promotes a more active engagement by inviting students to engage in the sort of reasoning that led past scientists to reach insights about scientific phenomena. As an example we describe in detail two lesson plans taken from an eight-class unit developed with reference to the history of research on sickle-cell anemia. These lessons demonstrate how an open-ended, problem-solving approach can be used to help students deepen their understanding of science. Throughout the unit students are invited to explicitly and reflectively consider the implications of their reasoning about the disease for their understanding of nature of science issues. The essay draws attention to how this alternative approach actually more closely aligns with the constructivist rationale Monk and Osborne have articulated. It concludes with a brief summary of empirical research demonstrating the efficacy of this approach.

  13. Experimental approaches to studying the nature and impact of splicing variation in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Keightley, M C; Markmiller, S; Love, C G; Rasko, J E J; Lieschke, G J; Heath, J K

    2016-01-01

    From a fixed number of genes carried in all cells, organisms create considerable diversity in cellular phenotype through differential regulation of gene expression. One prevalent source of transcriptome diversity is alternative pre-mRNA splicing, which is manifested in many different forms. Zebrafish models of splicing dysfunction due to mutated spliceosome components provide opportunity to link biochemical analyses of spliceosome structure and function with whole organism phenotypic outcomes. Drawing from experience with two zebrafish mutants: cephalophŏnus (a prpf8 mutant, isolated for defects in granulopoiesis) and caliban (a rnpc3 mutant, isolated for defects in digestive organ development), we describe the use of glycerol gradient sedimentation and native gel electrophoresis to resolve components of aberrant splicing complexes. We also describe how RNAseq can be employed to examine relatively rare alternative splicing events including intron retention. Such experimental approaches in zebrafish can promote understanding of how splicing variation and dysfunction contribute to phenotypic diversity and disease pathogenesis.

  14. Experimental approaches to studying the nature and impact of splicing variation in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Keightley, M C; Markmiller, S; Love, C G; Rasko, J E J; Lieschke, G J; Heath, J K

    2016-01-01

    From a fixed number of genes carried in all cells, organisms create considerable diversity in cellular phenotype through differential regulation of gene expression. One prevalent source of transcriptome diversity is alternative pre-mRNA splicing, which is manifested in many different forms. Zebrafish models of splicing dysfunction due to mutated spliceosome components provide opportunity to link biochemical analyses of spliceosome structure and function with whole organism phenotypic outcomes. Drawing from experience with two zebrafish mutants: cephalophŏnus (a prpf8 mutant, isolated for defects in granulopoiesis) and caliban (a rnpc3 mutant, isolated for defects in digestive organ development), we describe the use of glycerol gradient sedimentation and native gel electrophoresis to resolve components of aberrant splicing complexes. We also describe how RNAseq can be employed to examine relatively rare alternative splicing events including intron retention. Such experimental approaches in zebrafish can promote understanding of how splicing variation and dysfunction contribute to phenotypic diversity and disease pathogenesis. PMID:27443930

  15. Lessons from Nature: A Bio-Inspired Approach to Molecular Design.

    PubMed

    Cook, Sarah A; Hill, Ethan A; Borovik, A S

    2015-07-14

    Metalloproteins contain actives sites with intricate structures that perform specific functions with high selectivity and efficiency. The complexity of these systems complicates the study of their function and the understanding of the properties that give rise to their reactivity. One approach that has contributed to the current level of understanding of their biological function is the study of synthetic constructs that mimic one or more aspects of the native metalloproteins. These systems allow individual contributions to the structure and function to be analyzed and also permit spectroscopic characterization of the metal cofactors without complications from the protein environment. This Current Topic is a review of synthetic constructs as probes for understanding the biological activation of small molecules. These topics are developed from the perspective of seminal molecular design breakthroughs from the past that provide the foundation for the systems used today.

  16. Economic optimization of natural hazard protection - conceptual study of existing approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spackova, Olga; Straub, Daniel

    2013-04-01

    Risk-based planning of protection measures against natural hazards has become a common practice in many countries. The selection procedure aims at identifying an economically efficient strategy with regard to the estimated costs and risk (i.e. expected damage). A correct setting of the evaluation methodology and decision criteria should ensure an optimal selection of the portfolio of risk protection measures under a limited state budget. To demonstrate the efficiency of investments, indicators such as Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR), Marginal Costs (MC) or Net Present Value (NPV) are commonly used. However, the methodologies for efficiency evaluation differ amongst different countries and different hazard types (floods, earthquakes etc.). Additionally, several inconsistencies can be found in the applications of the indicators in practice. This is likely to lead to a suboptimal selection of the protection strategies. This study provides a general formulation for optimization of the natural hazard protection measures from a socio-economic perspective. It assumes that all costs and risks can be expressed in monetary values. The study regards the problem as a discrete hierarchical optimization, where the state level sets the criteria and constraints, while the actual optimization is made on the regional level (towns, catchments) when designing particular protection measures and selecting the optimal protection level. The study shows that in case of an unlimited budget, the task is quite trivial, as it is sufficient to optimize the protection measures in individual regions independently (by minimizing the sum of risk and cost). However, if the budget is limited, the need for an optimal allocation of resources amongst the regions arises. To ensure this, minimum values of BCR or MC can be required by the state, which must be achieved in each region. The study investigates the meaning of these indicators in the optimization task at the conceptual level and compares their

  17. α-glucosidase inhibitors from plants: A natural approach to treat diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Sunil; Narwal, Smita; Kumar, Vipin; Prakash, Om

    2011-01-01

    Diabetes is a common metabolic disease characterized by abnormally high plasma glucose levels, leading to major complications, such as diabetic neuropathy, retinopathy, and cardiovascular diseases. One of the effective managements of diabetes mellitus, in particular, non–insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) to decrease postprandial hyperglycemia, is to retard the absorption of glucose by inhibition of carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzymes, such as α-glucosidase and α-amylase, in the digestive organs. α-Glucosidase is the key enzyme catalyzing the final step in the digestive process of carbohydrates. Hence, α-glucosidase inhibitors can retard the liberation of d-glucose from dietary complex carbohydrates and delay glucose absorption, resulting in reduced postprandial plasma glucose levels and suppression of postprandial hyperglycemia. In recent years, many efforts have been made to identify effective α-glucosidase inhibitors from natural sources in order to develop a physiologic functional food or lead compounds for use against diabetes. Many α-glucosidase inhibitors that are phytoconstituents, such as flavonoids, alkaloids, terpenoids,anthocyanins, glycosides, phenolic compounds, and so on, have been isolated from plants. In the present review, we focus on the constituents isolated from different plants having α-glucosidase inhibitory potency along with IC50 values. PMID:22096315

  18. A multibiomarker approach in Coris julis living in a natural environment.

    PubMed

    Fasulo, Salvatore; Marino, Sergio; Mauceri, Angela; Maisano, Maria; Giannetto, Alessia; D'Agata, Alessia; Parrino, Vincenzo; Minutoli, Roberta; De Domenico, Elena

    2010-10-01

    To monitor the health of aquatic organisms, biomarkers have been used as effective tools in assessing environmental risk. In this study was examined the teleost Coris julis, sampled in two marine sites in Messina (Italy) at different pollution degree, Milazzo, characterized by a strong anthropogenic impact, and Marinello, the natural reserve. C. julis is a species particularly suitable to biomonitoring because its feeding habits favor bio-accumulation of xenobiotics. The following biomarkers were used to estimate the impact of highly persistent pollutants: cellular localization of cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) in the liver, their hepatic expression at the mRNA level, the enzymatic activity (EROD and BPMO), the micronucleus and comet assays in the blood, esterases (AChE in the brain and BChE in the blood) activity and evaluation of PAH metabolites in the bile. The present findings provide evidence of statistically significant differences in parameters between individuals collected in two sites. PMID:20132985

  19. Natural orbitals renormalization group approach to the two-impurity Kondo critical point

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Rong-Qiang; Dai, Jianhui; Lu, Zhong-Yi

    2015-04-01

    The problem of two magnetic impurities in a normal metal exposes the two opposite tendencies in the formation of a singlet ground state, driven respectively by the single-ion Kondo effect with conduction electrons to screen impurity spins or the Ruderman-Kittel-Kasuya-Yosida interaction between the two impurities to directly form impurity spin singlet. However, whether the competition between these two tendencies can lead to a quantum critical point has been debated over more than two decades. Here, we study this problem by applying the newly proposed natural orbitals renormalization group method to a lattice version of the two-impurity Kondo model with a direct exchange K between the two impurity spins. The method allows for unbiased access to the ground state wave functions and low-lying excitations for sufficiently large system sizes. We demonstrate the existence of a quantum critical point, characterized by the power-law divergence of impurity staggered susceptibility with critical exponent γ =0.60 (1 ) , on the antiferromagnetic side of K when the interimpurity distance R is even lattice spacing, while a crossover behavior is recovered when R is odd lattice spacing. These results have ultimately resolved the long-standing discrepancy between the numerical renormalization group and quantum Monte Carlo studies, confirming a link of this two-impurity Kondo critical point to a hidden particle-hole symmetry predicted by the local Fermi liquid theory.

  20. Hydro-geomorphic approaches to designing nature-based flood and drought management schemes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hetherington, David; Large, Andy; Quinn, Paul

    2016-04-01

    The need for nature-based solutions to runoff management is more pressing than ever. If it is possible to calculate how much water needs to be managed and where the opportunities are in the landscape, then it would be a significant step forward in water resources management. Here we will show how basic hydro-geomorphic indices can guide a catchment manager in identifying the types of intervention that are appropriate at different scales. Using runoff management zones can provide key ecosystems services that make the whole catchment system function better. The key indicators are: a) The Topographic Wetness Index, for use in small catchment and on hillslopes for identifying overland flow pathways that can be managed to store and disconnect fast runoff; b) Strahler stream order to show which small channels can be directly managed to slow, store and filter flow and c) Geomorphic Indices that estimate the floodplain extent, related to stream order, where flood storage zones could be created to hold back large amounts of water. Estimating how much flood water and sediment can be managed by the addition of runoff attenuation features in a landscape could be very important to policy makers. If enough water can be stored in small, medium and extreme events, then the more severe issues of floods, pollution and drought could potentially be addressed, obviating calls for ever bigger and more complex flood protection schemes.

  1. U.S. natural resources and climate change: concepts and approaches for management adaptation.

    PubMed

    West, Jordan M; Julius, Susan H; Kareiva, Peter; Enquist, Carolyn; Lawler, Joshua J; Petersen, Brian; Johnson, Ayana E; Shaw, M Rebecca

    2009-12-01

    Public lands and waters in the United States traditionally have been managed using frameworks and objectives that were established under an implicit assumption of stable climatic conditions. However, projected climatic changes render this assumption invalid. Here, we summarize general principles for management adaptations that have emerged from a major literature review. These general principles cover many topics including: (1) how to assess climate impacts to ecosystem processes that are key to management goals; (2) using management practices to support ecosystem resilience; (3) converting barriers that may inhibit management responses into opportunities for successful implementation; and (4) promoting flexible decision making that takes into account challenges of scale and thresholds. To date, the literature on management adaptations to climate change has mostly focused on strategies for bolstering the resilience of ecosystems to persist in their current states. Yet in the longer term, it is anticipated that climate change will push certain ecosystems and species beyond their capacity to recover. When managing to support resilience becomes infeasible, adaptation may require more than simply changing management practices--it may require changing management goals and managing transitions to new ecosystem states. After transitions have occurred, management will again support resilience--this time for a new ecosystem state. Thus, successful management of natural resources in the context of climate change will require recognition on the part of managers and decisions makers of the need to cycle between "managing for resilience" and "managing for change."

  2. An approach to biomimetics: the natural CAD/CAM restoration: a clinical report.

    PubMed

    Schlichting, Luís Henrique; Schlichting, Kathryn Klemz; Stanley, Kyle; Magne, Michel; Magne, Pascal

    2014-02-01

    Those in the dental field have always pursued the perfect dental material for the treatment of compromised teeth. Gold, amalgam, composite resin, glass ionomer, and porcelain have been used. Tooth-like restorative materials (composite resin and porcelain) combined with an effective hard tissue bond have met the growing demand for esthetic or metal-free restorations in the past 15 to 20 years. However, none of those materials can fully mimic the unique properties of dentin (compliance and crack-stopping behavior) and enamel (wear resistance, function). The aim of this article is to report the restoration of an extensively damaged tooth with a natural restoration obtained by milling an extracted third molar tooth with a computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) system. The main benefit of this novel technique is the replacement of lost tissues by actual enamel and dentin, with the potential to recover mechanical, esthetic, and biologic properties. The indication for extracting third molars and premolars because of impaction or for orthodontic reasons makes these posterior teeth readily available. The innovation of the method presented here is the optimal use of the extracted tooth substrate thanks to its positioning technique in the CAD/CAM milling chamber.

  3. A simple unified approach for estimating natural direct and indirect effects.

    PubMed

    Lange, Theis; Vansteelandt, Stijn; Bekaert, Maarten

    2012-08-01

    An important problem within both epidemiology and many social sciences is to break down the effect of a given treatment into different causal pathways and to quantify the importance of each pathway. Formal mediation analysis based on counterfactuals is a key tool when addressing this problem. During the last decade, the theoretical framework for mediation analysis has been greatly extended to enable the use of arbitrary statistical models for outcome and mediator. However, the researcher attempting to use these techniques in practice will often find implementation a daunting task, as it tends to require special statistical programming. In this paper, the authors introduce a simple procedure based on marginal structural models that directly parameterize the natural direct and indirect effects of interest. It tends to produce more parsimonious results than current techniques, greatly simplifies testing for the presence of a direct or an indirect effect, and has the advantage that it can be conducted in standard software. However, its simplicity comes at the price of relying on correct specification of models for the distribution of mediator (and exposure) and accepting some loss of precision compared with more complex methods. Web Appendixes 1 and 2, which are posted on the Journal's Web site (http://aje.oupjournals.org/), contain implementation examples in SAS software (SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, North Carolina) and R language (R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria). PMID:22781427

  4. A simple approach for morphology tailoring of alginate particles by manipulation ionic nature of polyurethanes.

    PubMed

    Daemi, Hamed; Barikani, Mehdi; Barmar, Mohammad

    2014-05-01

    A number of different ionic aqueous polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) were synthesized based on NCO-terminated prepolymers. Two different anionic and cationic polyurethane samples were synthesized using dimethylol propionic acid and N-methyldiethanolamine emulsifiers, respectively. Then, proper amounts of PUDs and sodium alginate were mixed to obtain a number of aqueous polyurethane dispersions-sodium alginate (PUD/SA) elastomers. The chemical structure, thermal, morphological, thermo-mechanical and mechanical properties, and hydrophilicity content of the prepared samples were studied by FTIR, EDX, DSC, TGA, SEM, DMTA, tensile testing and contact angle techniques. The cationic polyurethanes and their blends with sodium alginate showed excellent miscibility and highly stretchable properties, while the samples containing anionic polyurethanes and alginate illustrated a poor compatibility and no significant miscibility. The morphology of alginate particles shifted from nanoparticles to microparticles by changing the nature of PUDs from cationic to anionic types. The final cationic elastomers not only showed better mechanical properties but also were formulated easier than anionic samples.

  5. Bacillus aryabhattai BA03: a novel approach to the production of natural value-added compounds.

    PubMed

    Paz, Alicia; Carballo, Julia; Pérez, María José; Domínguez, José Manuel

    2016-10-01

    A strain designated as BA03, with the ability to transform ferulic acid into vanillin and 4-vinylguaiacol, was isolated from contaminated cryovials. The production of natural value-added compounds was dependent on the media employed. The morphological and physiological characteristics of this strain were compared with those of the typical vanillin-producer strain Amycolatopsis sp. ATCC 39116. According to a partial 16S rRNA sequence, we determined that BA03 belonged to Bacillus aryabhattai. In addition, analysis of the results showed that this strain exhibited interesting enzymatic activity, including cellulases, laccases, lipases and pectinases. In light of this, we propose new functions for this multitasking microorganism. We suggest that it may be used for converting lignocellulosic wastes into byproducts with industrial uses, and also for treating disposal residues such as dyes in the textile industry. Hence, the possibility for novel research with B. aryabhattai opens up in the fields of biodegradation and/or revalorization of wastes. PMID:27562593

  6. α-glucosidase inhibitors from plants: A natural approach to treat diabetes.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Sunil; Narwal, Smita; Kumar, Vipin; Prakash, Om

    2011-01-01

    Diabetes is a common metabolic disease characterized by abnormally high plasma glucose levels, leading to major complications, such as diabetic neuropathy, retinopathy, and cardiovascular diseases. One of the effective managements of diabetes mellitus, in particular, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) to decrease postprandial hyperglycemia, is to retard the absorption of glucose by inhibition of carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzymes, such as α-glucosidase and α-amylase, in the digestive organs. α-Glucosidase is the key enzyme catalyzing the final step in the digestive process of carbohydrates. Hence, α-glucosidase inhibitors can retard the liberation of d-glucose from dietary complex carbohydrates and delay glucose absorption, resulting in reduced postprandial plasma glucose levels and suppression of postprandial hyperglycemia. In recent years, many efforts have been made to identify effective α-glucosidase inhibitors from natural sources in order to develop a physiologic functional food or lead compounds for use against diabetes. Many α-glucosidase inhibitors that are phytoconstituents, such as flavonoids, alkaloids, terpenoids,anthocyanins, glycosides, phenolic compounds, and so on, have been isolated from plants. In the present review, we focus on the constituents isolated from different plants having α-glucosidase inhibitory potency along with IC50 values. PMID:22096315

  7. Predictions and simulations of cortical dynamics during natural sleep using a continuum approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, M. T.; Steyn-Ross, M. L.; Steyn-Ross, D. A.; Sleigh, J. W.

    2005-11-01

    In this paper we use a continuum model in two spatial dimensions to study the dynamics of the cortex during natural sleep, including explicitly the effects of two key neuromodulators. The model predicts that a number of states could be available to the cortex. We identify two of these with slow-wave sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and focus on the transition between the two. Eigenvalue analysis of the linearized model, together with simulations on a two-dimensional grid, show that a number of oscillatory states exist; the occurrence of these is particularly dependent upon the duration in time of the inhibitory postsynaptic potential. These oscillatory states are similar to the cortical slow oscillation and certain types of seizure. Power spectra are evaluated for different parameter sets and compare favorably with experiment. Grid simulations show that transitions between cortical states (e.g., slow-wave to REM) can be seeded at any point in space by random fluctuations in subcortical input.

  8. Interaction of Glucagon G-Protein Coupled Receptor with Known Natural Antidiabetic Compounds: Multiscoring In Silico Approach

    PubMed Central

    Baig, M. H.; Ahmad, K.; Hasan, Q.; Khan, M. K. A.; Rao, N. S.; Kamal, M. A.; Choi, I.

    2015-01-01

    Glucagon receptor (GCGR) is a secretin-like (class B) family of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) in humans that plays an important role in elevating the glucose concentration in blood and has thus become one of the promising therapeutic targets for treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. GCGR based inhibitors for the treatment of type 2 diabetes are either glucagon neutralizers or small molecular antagonists. Management of diabetes without any side effects is still a challenge to the medical system, and the search for a new and effective natural GCGR antagonist is an important area for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In the present study, a number of natural compounds containing antidiabetic properties were selected from the literature and their binding potential against GCGR was determined using molecular docking and other in silico approaches. Among all selected natural compounds, curcumin was found to be the most effective compound against GCGR followed by amorfrutin 1 and 4-hydroxyderricin. These compounds were rescored to confirm the accuracy of binding using another scoring function (x-score). The final conclusions were drawn based on the results obtained from the GOLD and x-score. Further experiments were conducted to identify the atomic level interactions of selected compounds with GCGR. PMID:26236379

  9. [A new strategy for preventive and functional therapeutic methods for dementia--approach using natural products].

    PubMed

    Ohizumi, Yasushi

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) has become a serious social problem in Japan. However, effective preventive and fundamental therapeutic methods for AD have not yet been developed. Using a new strategy in the course of our survey of numerous natural resouces having neurotrophic activity, we isolated a variety of active constituents and proved their pharmacological properties. As a result, we successfully found nobiletin, a compound with anti-dementia activity that comes from citrus peels. Also, we have demonstrated that nobiletin ameliorates cognitive impairment in several dementia model animals such as chronically amyloid β(Aβ) infused rats, amyloid precursor protein transgenic (APPTg) mice, olfactory-bulbectomized (OBX) mice, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist (MK-801)-treated mice, senescence-accelated mice and bilaterial common carotid arteries occlusion mice. In a APPTg mouse of AD, nobiletin greatly improved memory impairment, and this was accompanied by a marked decrease in Aβ deposition. Also, in OBX mice memory impairment was markedly recoverd by nobiletin, accompanied by improvement of a decrease indensity of cholinergic neurons. Interestingly, nobiletin improves age-related congnitive impairment and decreased hyperphosphorylation of tau as well as oxidative stress in senescence-accelerated mice. In cultured cells, nobiletin reversed the Aβ-induced inhibition of glutamate-induced increases in cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation and modulated gen expression of thioredoxin-interacting protein and NMDA resceptor subunits. These results suggest that nobiletin prevents memory impairment and exhibits a protecting action against neurodgeneration in AD model animals. Nobiletin and citrus peels thus have potential as functional foods for prevention of dementia.

  10. [A new strategy for preventive and functional therapeutic methods for dementia--approach using natural products].

    PubMed

    Ohizumi, Yasushi

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) has become a serious social problem in Japan. However, effective preventive and fundamental therapeutic methods for AD have not yet been developed. Using a new strategy in the course of our survey of numerous natural resouces having neurotrophic activity, we isolated a variety of active constituents and proved their pharmacological properties. As a result, we successfully found nobiletin, a compound with anti-dementia activity that comes from citrus peels. Also, we have demonstrated that nobiletin ameliorates cognitive impairment in several dementia model animals such as chronically amyloid β(Aβ) infused rats, amyloid precursor protein transgenic (APPTg) mice, olfactory-bulbectomized (OBX) mice, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist (MK-801)-treated mice, senescence-accelated mice and bilaterial common carotid arteries occlusion mice. In a APPTg mouse of AD, nobiletin greatly improved memory impairment, and this was accompanied by a marked decrease in Aβ deposition. Also, in OBX mice memory impairment was markedly recoverd by nobiletin, accompanied by improvement of a decrease indensity of cholinergic neurons. Interestingly, nobiletin improves age-related congnitive impairment and decreased hyperphosphorylation of tau as well as oxidative stress in senescence-accelerated mice. In cultured cells, nobiletin reversed the Aβ-induced inhibition of glutamate-induced increases in cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation and modulated gen expression of thioredoxin-interacting protein and NMDA resceptor subunits. These results suggest that nobiletin prevents memory impairment and exhibits a protecting action against neurodgeneration in AD model animals. Nobiletin and citrus peels thus have potential as functional foods for prevention of dementia. PMID:25759053

  11. Confusing Placebo Effect with Natural History in Epilepsy: A Big Data Approach

    PubMed Central

    Goldenholz, Daniel M.; Moss, Robert; Scott, Jonathan; Auh, Sungyoung; Theodore, William H.

    2015-01-01

    For unknown reasons, placebos reduce seizures in clinical trials in many patients. It is also unclear why some drugs showing statistical superiority to placebo in one trial may fail to do so in another. Using Seizuretracker.com, a patient-centered database of 684,825 seizures, we simulated “placebo” and “drug” trials. These simulations were employed to clarify the sources of placebo effects in epilepsy, and to identify methods of diminishing placebo effects. Simulation 1 included 9 trials with a 6-week baseline and 6-week test period, starting at time 0, 3, 6…24 months. Here, “placebo” reduced seizures regardless of study start time. Regression-to-the-mean persisted only for 3–6 months. Simulation 2 comprised a 6-week baseline and then 2 years of follow-up. Seizure-frequencies continued to improve throughout follow-up. Although the group improved, individuals switched from improvement to worsening and back. Simulation 3 involved a placebo-controlled “drug” trial, to explore methods of placebo-response reduction. An efficacious “drug” failed to demonstrate a significant effect compared with “placebo” (p=0.12), though modifications either in study start-time (p=0.025) or baseline population reduction (p=0.0028) allowed the drug to achieve a statistically significant effect compared with placebo. In epilepsy clinical trials, some seizure reduction traditionally attributed to placebo effect may reflect the natural course of the disease itself. Understanding these dynamics will allow future investigations into optimal clinical trial design and may lead to identification of more effective therapies. PMID:26150090

  12. Approaches to Climate Literacy at the American Museum of Natural History

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steiner, R. V.

    2015-12-01

    The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) offers a suite of courses, workshops and special events in climate change education for audiences ranging from young children to adults and utilizing both online and in-person formats. These offerings are supported by rich digital resources including video, animations and data visualizations. These efforts have the potential to raise awareness of climate change, deepen understandings and improve public discourse and decision-making on this critical issue. For adult audiences, Our Earth's Future offers participants a five-week course at AMNH that focuses on climate change science, impacts and communication, taking advantage of both AMNH expertise and exhibitry. Online versions of this course include both a ten-week course as well as three different three-week thematic courses. (The longer course is now available as a MOOC in Coursera.) These activities have been supported by a grant from IMLS. The results of independent evaluation provide insight into participant needs and how they might be addressed. For K-12 educators, the Museum's Seminars on Science program of online teacher professional development offers, in collaboration with its higher education partners, a graduate course in climate change that is authored by both an AMNH curator and leading NASA scientists. Developed with support from both NASA and NSF, the course provides a semester-equivalent introduction to climate change science for educators, including digital resources, assignments and discussions for classroom use. The results of independent evaluation will be presented. For younger audiences, the presentation will highlight resources from the AMNH Ology site; television programming conducted in partnership with HBO; Science Bulletinsvideos that include current climate change research; resources related to the GRACE mission for tracking water from space; and special event programming at the Museum on climate change. This presentation will address the

  13. The nature and dynamics of world religions: a life-history approach

    PubMed Central

    Baumard, Nicolas; Chevallier, Coralie

    2015-01-01

    In contrast with tribal and archaic religions, world religions are characterized by a unique emphasis on extended prosociality, restricted sociosexuality, delayed gratification and the belief that these specific behaviours are sanctioned by some kind of supernatural justice. Here, we draw on recent advances in life history theory to explain this pattern of seemingly unrelated features. Life history theory examines how organisms adaptively allocate resources in the face of trade-offs between different life-goals (e.g. growth versus reproduction, exploitation versus exploration). In particular, recent studies have shown that individuals, including humans, adjust their life strategy to the environment through phenotypic plasticity: in a harsh environment, organisms tend to adopt a ‘fast' strategy, pursuing smaller but more certain benefits, while in more affluent environments, organisms tend to develop a ‘slow' strategy, aiming for larger but less certain benefits. Reviewing a range of recent research, we show that world religions are associated with a form of ‘slow' strategy. This framework explains both the promotion of ‘slow' behaviours such as altruism, self-regulation and monogamy in modern world religions, and the condemnation of ‘fast' behaviours such as selfishness, conspicuous sexuality and materialism. This ecological approach also explains the diffusion pattern of world religions: why they emerged late in human history (500–300 BCE), why they are currently in decline in the most affluent societies and why they persist in some places despite this overall decline. PMID:26511055

  14. Neurolinguistic approach to natural language processing with applications to medical text analysis.

    PubMed

    Duch, Włodzisław; Matykiewicz, Paweł; Pestian, John

    2008-12-01

    Understanding written or spoken language presumably involves spreading neural activation in the brain. This process may be approximated by spreading activation in semantic networks, providing enhanced representations that involve concepts not found directly in the text. The approximation of this process is of great practical and theoretical interest. Although activations of neural circuits involved in representation of words rapidly change in time snapshots of these activations spreading through associative networks may be captured in a vector model. Concepts of similar type activate larger clusters of neurons, priming areas in the left and right hemisphere. Analysis of recent brain imaging experiments shows the importance of the right hemisphere non-verbal clusterization. Medical ontologies enable development of a large-scale practical algorithm to re-create pathways of spreading neural activations. First concepts of specific semantic type are identified in the text, and then all related concepts of the same type are added to the text, providing expanded representations. To avoid rapid growth of the extended feature space after each step only the most useful features that increase document clusterization are retained. Short hospital discharge summaries are used to illustrate how this process works on a real, very noisy data. Expanded texts show significantly improved clustering and may be classified with much higher accuracy. Although better approximations to the spreading of neural activations may be devised a practical approach presented in this paper helps to discover pathways used by the brain to process specific concepts, and may be used in large-scale applications. PMID:18614334

  15. Species richness and temperature influence mussel biomass: a partitioning approach applied to natural communities.

    PubMed

    Spooner, Daniel E; Vaughn, Caryn C

    2009-03-01

    To increase the generality of biodiversity-ecosystem function theory, studies must be expanded to include real communities in a variety of systems. We modified J. W. Fox's approach to partition the influence of species richness on standing crop biomass (net biodiversity effect) of 21 freshwater mussel communities into trait-independent complementarity, trait-dependent complementarity (species with particular traits dominate without impacting other species), and dominance effects (species with particular traits dominate at the expense of others). Overall, species-rich mussel communities have greater biomass than predicted based on average biomass across the region. This effect is largely due to trait-independent complementarity with less abundant species having higher body condition and reduced metabolic rates in species-rich communities. These measures are positively correlated with spatial and temporal thermal variation, suggesting that use of thermal niches as habitat may be important to species coexistence and performance, and emphasizing that knowledge of species traits and environmental context are important to understanding biodiversity-ecosystem function dynamics.

  16. The nature and dynamics of world religions: a life-history approach.

    PubMed

    Baumard, Nicolas; Chevallier, Coralie

    2015-11-01

    In contrast with tribal and archaic religions, world religions are characterized by a unique emphasis on extended prosociality, restricted sociosexuality, delayed gratification and the belief that these specific behaviours are sanctioned by some kind of supernatural justice. Here, we draw on recent advances in life history theory to explain this pattern of seemingly unrelated features. Life history theory examines how organisms adaptively allocate resources in the face of trade-offs between different life-goals (e.g. growth versus reproduction, exploitation versus exploration). In particular, recent studies have shown that individuals, including humans, adjust their life strategy to the environment through phenotypic plasticity: in a harsh environment, organisms tend to adopt a 'fast' strategy, pursuing smaller but more certain benefits, while in more affluent environments, organisms tend to develop a 'slow' strategy, aiming for larger but less certain benefits. Reviewing a range of recent research, we show that world religions are associated with a form of 'slow' strategy. This framework explains both the promotion of 'slow' behaviours such as altruism, self-regulation and monogamy in modern world religions, and the condemnation of 'fast' behaviours such as selfishness, conspicuous sexuality and materialism. This ecological approach also explains the diffusion pattern of world religions: why they emerged late in human history (500-300 BCE), why they are currently in decline in the most affluent societies and why they persist in some places despite this overall decline.

  17. The nature and dynamics of world religions: a life-history approach.

    PubMed

    Baumard, Nicolas; Chevallier, Coralie

    2015-11-01

    In contrast with tribal and archaic religions, world religions are characterized by a unique emphasis on extended prosociality, restricted sociosexuality, delayed gratification and the belief that these specific behaviours are sanctioned by some kind of supernatural justice. Here, we draw on recent advances in life history theory to explain this pattern of seemingly unrelated features. Life history theory examines how organisms adaptively allocate resources in the face of trade-offs between different life-goals (e.g. growth versus reproduction, exploitation versus exploration). In particular, recent studies have shown that individuals, including humans, adjust their life strategy to the environment through phenotypic plasticity: in a harsh environment, organisms tend to adopt a 'fast' strategy, pursuing smaller but more certain benefits, while in more affluent environments, organisms tend to develop a 'slow' strategy, aiming for larger but less certain benefits. Reviewing a range of recent research, we show that world religions are associated with a form of 'slow' strategy. This framework explains both the promotion of 'slow' behaviours such as altruism, self-regulation and monogamy in modern world religions, and the condemnation of 'fast' behaviours such as selfishness, conspicuous sexuality and materialism. This ecological approach also explains the diffusion pattern of world religions: why they emerged late in human history (500-300 BCE), why they are currently in decline in the most affluent societies and why they persist in some places despite this overall decline. PMID:26511055

  18. The Cosmic Background Explorer.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gulkis, Samuel; And Others

    1990-01-01

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

  19. Systems biology approach to developing S(2)RM-based "systems therapeutics" and naturally induced pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Maguire, Greg; Friedman, Peter

    2015-05-26

    The degree to, and the mechanisms through, which stem cells are able to build, maintain, and heal the body have only recently begun to be understood. Much of the stem cell's power resides in the release of a multitude of molecules, called stem cell released molecules (SRM). A fundamentally new type of therapeutic, namely "systems therapeutic", can be realized by reverse engineering the mechanisms of the SRM processes. Recent data demonstrates that the composition of the SRM is different for each type of stem cell, as well as for different states of each cell type. Although systems biology has been successfully used to analyze multiple pathways, the approach is often used to develop a small molecule interacting at only one pathway in the system. A new model is emerging in biology where systems biology is used to develop a new technology acting at multiple pathways called "systems therapeutics". A natural set of healing pathways in the human that uses SRM is instructive and of practical use in developing systems therapeutics. Endogenous SRM processes in the human body use a combination of SRM from two or more stem cell types, designated as S(2)RM, doing so under various state dependent conditions for each cell type. Here we describe our approach in using state-dependent SRM from two or more stem cell types, S(2)RM technology, to develop a new class of therapeutics called "systems therapeutics." Given the ubiquitous and powerful nature of innate S(2)RM-based healing in the human body, this "systems therapeutic" approach using S(2)RM technology will be important for the development of anti-cancer therapeutics, antimicrobials, wound care products and procedures, and a number of other therapeutics for many indications.

  20. Systems biology approach to developing S2RM-based “systems therapeutics” and naturally induced pluripotent stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Maguire, Greg; Friedman, Peter

    2015-01-01

    The degree to, and the mechanisms through, which stem cells are able to build, maintain, and heal the body have only recently begun to be understood. Much of the stem cell’s power resides in the release of a multitude of molecules, called stem cell released molecules (SRM). A fundamentally new type of therapeutic, namely “systems therapeutic”, can be realized by reverse engineering the mechanisms of the SRM processes. Recent data demonstrates that the composition of the SRM is different for each type of stem cell, as well as for different states of each cell type. Although systems biology has been successfully used to analyze multiple pathways, the approach is often used to develop a small molecule interacting at only one pathway in the system. A new model is emerging in biology where systems biology is used to develop a new technology acting at multiple pathways called “systems therapeutics”. A natural set of healing pathways in the human that uses SRM is instructive and of practical use in developing systems therapeutics. Endogenous SRM processes in the human body use a combination of SRM from two or more stem cell types, designated as S2RM, doing so under various state dependent conditions for each cell type. Here we describe our approach in using state-dependent SRM from two or more stem cell types, S2RM technology, to develop a new class of therapeutics called “systems therapeutics.” Given the ubiquitous and powerful nature of innate S2RM-based healing in the human body, this “systems therapeutic” approach using S2RM technology will be important for the development of anti-cancer therapeutics, antimicrobials, wound care products and procedures, and a number of other therapeutics for many indications. PMID:26029345

  1. Neurolinguistic Approach to Natural Language Processing with Applications to Medical Text Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Matykiewicz, Paweł; Pestian, John

    2008-01-01

    Understanding written or spoken language presumably involves spreading neural activation in the brain. This process may be approximated by spreading activation in semantic networks, providing enhanced representations that involve concepts that are not found directly in the text. Approximation of this process is of great practical and theoretical interest. Although activations of neural circuits involved in representation of words rapidly change in time snapshots of these activations spreading through associative networks may be captured in a vector model. Concepts of similar type activate larger clusters of neurons, priming areas in the left and right hemisphere. Analysis of recent brain imaging experiments shows the importance of the right hemisphere non-verbal clusterization. Medical ontologies enable development of a large-scale practical algorithm to re-create pathways of spreading neural activations. First concepts of specific semantic type are identified in the text, and then all related concepts of the same type are added to the text, providing expanded representations. To avoid rapid growth of the extended feature space after each step only the most useful features that increase document clusterization are retained. Short hospital discharge summaries are used to illustrate how this process works on a real, very noisy data. Expanded texts show significantly improved clustering and may be classified with much higher accuracy. Although better approximations to the spreading of neural activations may be devised a practical approach presented in this paper helps to discover pathways used by the brain to process specific concepts, and may be used in large-scale applications. PMID:18614334

  2. Map Your Hazards! - an Interdisciplinary, Place-Based Educational Approach to Assessing Natural Hazards, Social Vulnerability, Risk and Risk Perception.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brand, B. D.; McMullin-Messier, P. A.; Schlegel, M. E.

    2014-12-01

    'Map your Hazards' is an educational module developed within the NSF Interdisciplinary Teaching about Earth for a Sustainable Future program (InTeGrate). The module engages students in place-based explorations of natural hazards, social vulnerability, and the perception of natural hazards and risk. Students integrate geoscience and social science methodologies to (1) identify and assess hazards, vulnerability and risk within their communities; (2) distribute, collect and evaluate survey data (designed by authors) on the knowledge, risk perception and preparedness within their social networks; and (3) deliver a PPT presentation to local stakeholders detailing their findings and recommendations for development of a prepared, resilient community. 'Map your Hazards' underwent four rigorous assessments by a team of geoscience educators and external review before being piloted in our classrooms. The module was piloted in a 300-level 'Volcanoes and Society' course at Boise State University, a 300-level 'Environmental Sociology' course at Central Washington University, and a 100-level 'Natural Disasters and Environmental Geology' course at the College of Western Idaho. In all courses students reported a fascination with learning about the hazards around them and identifying the high risk areas in their communities. They were also surprised at the low level of knowledge, inaccurate risk perception and lack of preparedness of their social networks. This successful approach to engaging students in an interdisciplinary, place-based learning environment also has the broad implications of raising awareness of natural hazards (survey participants are provided links to local hazard and preparedness information). The data and preparedness suggestions can be shared with local emergency managers, who are encouraged to attend the student's final presentations. All module materials are published at serc.carleton.edu/integrate/ and are appropriate to a wide range of classrooms.

  3. Perspectives for the information approach application to natural and artificial ecosystems investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lankin, Yuliy

    As a methodological matter, all modern conceptions of life development can be subdivided into the substrate (S), the energetic (E) and the informational (I). The S-conception is based on biochemical, genetic and morphological ideas. The E-conception deals with an idea of development of complicated open systems (COS) which are characterized by energy getting constantly from the outside, by improvement of substance cycles and as speeding-up and increasing of "power" of them as well, and by increasing of energy intensity transformation by the each structure of COS. The I-conception has been developing so far in the main within the frameworks of the traditional both cybernetic ideas and information theory that are convenient for many technical applications but are deficient for investigation of ecoand bio-systems. Situation was changed when the conception of adaptive systems (CAS) based on the ideas of ecology, biology and neurocybernetic (neuroinforamtic) had offered. As a consequence of this, the I-conception based on the CAS well accords with the S- and the E-conceptions and allows to hope to their combine into one the S + E + I conception that will include all virtues of the S-, the E-, and the I-conceptions and eliminate of their limitations. Thanks to relative easiness of hierarchic adaptive nonlinear models making using of the CAS, it is possible overcome effectively both of the problems as the "dimensionality problem" and the "loss of stability" as well for complicated models of ecosystems (CME). Optimization of energy and substance consumption process and adaptation of the CME to changes of current conditions are well realized in ranges given by goal function. A use adaptive networks (including neural nets) in frames of the CAS allows to realize any continuous function in control loops and at information processing. The considered features of the S + E + I proposed approach based on the CAS make it perspective for construction as biosphere models and

  4. Correlators in nontrivial backgrounds

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-01-15

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

  5. A sequential extraction and hydrolysis approach to understand the chemical nature of soil water repellency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, Jiefei; Dekker, Stefan C.; Nierop, Klaas G. J.

    2014-05-01

    -hydroxy fatty acids and α,ω-dicarboxylic acids. Aside from fatty acids and alcohols, the latter two compound groups were considered as the main groups of monomers released from suberins. Therefore, suberin-derived compounds were most abundant in the AI fractions suggesting that plant roots could be the main source of AI fractions. We will present some of the relations between fractions/compounds and SWR to show that this approach may be an effective tool to improve our understanding of SWR mechanisms. We present relations between fractions/compounds from SOM with SWR to determine SWR-biomarkers. By assessing the origin of these biomarkers, we are able to understand how SWR is formed and in which circumstances they are mainly from leaves or roots (i.e. cutin or suberin). References: Doerr, S.H., Shakesby, R.A., Walsh, R.P.D., 2000. Soil water repellency: its causes, characteristics and hydro- geomorphological significance. Earth-Sci. Rev. 51, 33-65. Nierop, K.G.J., 1998. Origin of aliphatic compounds in a forest soil. Organic Geochemistry 29, 1009-1016.

  6. Novel targeted approach to better understand how natural structural barriers govern carotenoid in vitro bioaccessibility in vegetable-based systems.

    PubMed

    Palmero, Paola; Lemmens, Lien; Ribas-Agustí, Albert; Sosa, Carola; Met, Kristof; de Dieu Umutoni, Jean; Hendrickx, Marc; Van Loey, Ann

    2013-12-01

    An experimental approach, allowing us to understand the effect of natural structural barriers (cell walls, chromoplast substructures) on carotenoid bioaccessibility, was developed. Different fractions with different levels of carotenoid bio-encapsulation (carotenoid-enriched oil, chromoplasts, small cell clusters, and large cell clusters) were isolated from different types of carrots and tomatoes. An in vitro method was used to determine carotenoid bioaccessibility. In the present work, a significant decrease in carotenoid in vitro bioaccessibility could be observed with an increasing level of bio-encapsulation. Differences in cell wall material and chromoplast substructure between matrices influenced carotenoid release and inclusion in micelles. For carrots, cell walls and chromoplast substructure were important barriers for carotenoid bioaccessibility while, in tomatoes, the chromoplast substructure represented the most important barrier governing bioaccessibility. The highest increase in carotenoid bioaccessibility, for all matrices, was obtained after transferring carotenoids into the oil phase, a system lacking cell walls and chromoplast substructures that could hamper carotenoid release.

  7. Achieving acoustic cloak by using compressible background flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ruo-Yang; Zhao, Qing; Ge, Mo-Lin

    2016-08-01

    We propose a scheme of acoustic spherical cloaking by means of background irrotational flow in compressible fluid. The background flow forms a virtual curved spacetime and directs the sound waves to bypass the cloaked objects. To satisfy the laws of real fluid, we show that spatially distributed mass source and momentum source are necessary to supply. The propagation of sound waves in this system is studied via both geometric acoustics approximation and full wave approach. The analytic solution of sound fields is obtained for plane wave incidence. The results reveal the effect of phase retardation (or lead) in comparison with the ordinary transformation-acoustic cloak. In addition, the ability of cloaking is also evaluated for unideal background flows by analyzing the scattering cross section. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11475088 and 11275024) and the Fund from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (Grant No. 2013YQ030595-3).

  8. Achieving acoustic cloak by using compressible background flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ruo-Yang; Zhao, Qing; Ge, Mo-Lin

    2016-08-01

    We propose a scheme of acoustic spherical cloaking by means of background irrotational flow in compressible fluid. The background flow forms a virtual curved spacetime and directs the sound waves to bypass the cloaked objects. To satisfy the laws of real fluid, we show that spatially distributed mass source and momentum source are necessary to supply. The propagation of sound waves in this system is studied via both geometric acoustics approximation and full wave approach. The analytic solution of sound fields is obtained for plane wave incidence. The results reveal the effect of phase retardation (or lead) in comparison with the ordinary transformation-acoustic cloak. In addition, the ability of cloaking is also evaluated for unideal background flows by analyzing the scattering cross section. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11475088 and 11275024) and the Fund from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (Grant No. 2013YQ030595-3).

  9. The Dramaturgy Approach to Education in Nature: Reflections of a Decade of International Vacation School Lipnice Courses, Czech Republic, 1997-2007

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Andrew J.

    2011-01-01

    This paper provides an auto-ethnography or narrative of self related to the development of international experiential education programmes in nature developed by Vacation School Lipnice (VSL) in the Czech Republic. The paper provides the cultural background that influences the course design and provides examples, through participant observation,…

  10. A Network-Based Approach on Elucidating the Multi-Faceted Nature of Chronological Aging in S. cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Borklu Yucel, Esra; Ulgen, Kutlu O.

    2011-01-01

    Background Cellular mechanisms leading to aging and therefore increasing susceptibility to age-related diseases are a central topic of research since aging is the ultimate, yet not understood mechanism of the fate of a cell. Studies with model organisms have been conducted to ellucidate these mechanisms, and chronological aging of yeast has been extensively used as a model for oxidative stress and aging of postmitotic tissues in higher eukaryotes. Methodology/Principal Findings The chronological aging network of yeast was reconstructed by integrating protein-protein interaction data with gene ontology terms. The reconstructed network was then statistically “tuned” based on the betweenness centrality values of the nodes to compensate for the computer automated method. Both the originally reconstructed and tuned networks were subjected to topological and modular analyses. Finally, an ultimate “heart” network was obtained via pooling the step specific key proteins, which resulted from the decomposition of the linear paths depicting several signaling routes in the tuned network. Conclusions/Significance The reconstructed networks are of scale-free and hierarchical nature, following a power law model with γ  =  1.49. The results of modular and topological analyses verified that the tuning method was successful. The significantly enriched gene ontology terms of the modular analysis confirmed also that the multifactorial nature of chronological aging was captured by the tuned network. The interplay between various signaling pathways such as TOR, Akt/PKB and cAMP/Protein kinase A was summarized in the “heart” network originated from linear path analysis. The deletion of four genes, TCB3, SNA3, PST2 and YGR130C, was found to increase the chronological life span of yeast. The reconstructed networks can also give insight about the effect of other cellular machineries on chronological aging by targeting different signaling pathways in the linear path analysis

  11. A portfolio approach to evaluating natural hazard mitigation policies: An Application to lateral-spread ground failure in Coastal California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bernknopf, R.L.; Dinitz, L.B.; Rabinovici, S.J.M.; Evans, A.M.

    2001-01-01

    In the past, efforts to prevent catastrophic losses from natural hazards have largely been undertaken by individual property owners based on site-specific evaluations of risks to particular buildings. Public efforts to assess community vulnerability and encourage mitigation have focused on either aggregating site-specific estimates or adopting standards based upon broad assumptions about regional risks. This paper develops an alternative, intermediate-scale approach to regional risk assessment and the evaluation of community mitigation policies. Properties are grouped into types with similar land uses and levels of hazard, and hypothetical community mitigation strategies for protecting these properties are modeled like investment portfolios. The portfolios consist of investments in mitigation against the risk to a community posed by a specific natural hazard, and are defined by a community's mitigation budget and the proportion of the budget invested in locations of each type. The usefulness of this approach is demonstrated through an integrated assessment of earthquake-induced lateral-spread ground failure risk in the Watsonville, California area. Data from the magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 are used to model lateral-spread ground failure susceptibility. Earth science and economic data are combined and analyzed in a Geographic Information System (GIS). The portfolio model is then used to evaluate the benefits of mitigating the risk in different locations. Two mitigation policies, one that prioritizes mitigation by land use type and the other by hazard zone, are compared with a status quo policy of doing no further mitigation beyond that which already exists. The portfolio representing the hazard zone rule yields a higher expected return than the land use portfolio does: However, the hazard zone portfolio experiences a higher standard deviation. Therefore, neither portfolio is clearly preferred. The two mitigation policies both reduce expected losses

  12. Insuring Resilience - Employing Approaches from the Re/insurance Sector to Encourage Sustainable Design & Operations against Natural Hazards.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douglas, R.

    2014-12-01

    Over the last quarter of a century the re/insuance sector and its financial regulators have developed a suite of metrics that have guided made a significant contribution to the industry's resilience to natural disasters. In particular the introduction of annual stress tests to evaluate risks to portfolios at 1:200, 1:20 and annual average loss metrics has provided a prism through which to focus science, engineeering and analytical actcities and the supporting data environment. This approach has driven a deeper understanding of the relationship between hazard, exposure and vulnerability of the build enviornment and helped put a quantitative value on physical and operational resilience. In particular has been the recognition that while structures and operations may be distrupted and disabled during a natural disaster or extreme event the critical issue is how quickly and cheaply functions can be reinstated after the event has passed. This has highlighted the value of enabling structures and institutional processes to close down, or even 'break' in a pre-planned way when forces are exceeded to prevent excessive dislocation and allow capabilities to reinstated in an planned and effective manner. New advances in financial regulation are making this increasingly attractive

  13. The GLAST Background Model

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-10-17

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

  14. The Effectiveness of the Conceptual Change Approach, Explicit Reflective Approach, and Course Book by the Ministry of Education on the Views of the Nature of Science and Conceptual Change in Light Unit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cil, Emine; Cepni, Salih

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyze the effectiveness of the conceptual change approach, explicit reflective approach, and the course book by the Ministry of Education on the views toward the nature of science and conceptual change in the Light unit. Three study groups were selected from several seventh grade classes. Two of the three classes,…

  15. A continuous-discrete approach for evaluation of natural frequencies and mode shapes of high-rise buildings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malekinejad, Mohsen; Rahgozar, Reza; Malekinejad, Ali; Rahgozar, Peyman

    2016-09-01

    In this paper, a continuous-discrete approach based on the concept of lumped mass and equivalent continuous approach is proposed for free vibration analysis of combined system of framed tube, shear core and outrigger-belt truss in high-rise buildings. This system is treated as a continuous system (i.e., discrete beams and columns are replaced with equivalent continuous membranes) and a discrete system (or lumped mass system) at different stages of dynamic analysis. The structure is discretized at each floor of the building as a series of lumped masses placed at the center of shear core. Each mass has two transitional degrees of freedom (lateral and axial( and one rotational. The effect of shear core and outrigger-belt truss on framed tube system is modeled as a rotational spring placed at the location of outrigger-belt truss system along structure's height. By solving the resulting eigen problem, natural frequencies and mode-shapes are obtained. Numerical examples are presented to show acceptable accuracy of the procedure in estimating the fundamental frequencies and corresponding mode shapes of the combined system as compared to finite element analysis of the complete structure. The simplified proposed method is much faster and should be more suitable for rapid interactive design.

  16. Mediating the potent ROS toxicity of acrolein in neurons with silica nanoparticles and a natural product approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White-Schenk, Désirée.; Shi, Riyi; Leary, James F.

    2014-03-01

    Acrolein, a very reactive aldehyde, is a culprit in the biochemical cascade after primary, mechanical spinal cord injury (SCI), which leads to the destruction of tissue initially unharmed, referred to as "secondary injury". Additionally, in models of multiple sclerosis (MS) and some clinical research, acrolein levels are significantly increased. Due to its ability to make more copies of itself in the presence of tissue via lipid peroxidation, researchers believe that acrolein plays a role in the increased destruction of the central nervous system in both SCI and MS. Hydralazine, an FDAapproved hypotensive drug, has been shown to scavenge acrolein, but its side effects and short half life at the appropriate dose for acrolein scavenging must be improved for beneficial clinical translation. Therefore, a nanomedical approach has been designed using silica nanoparticles as a porous delivery vehicle hydralazine. The silica particles are formed in a one-step method that incorporates poly(ethylene) glycol (PEG), a stealth molecule, directly onto the nanoparticles. As an additional avenue for study, a natural product in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has been explored for its ability to react with acrolein, disabling its reactive capabilities. Upon demonstration of attenuating acrolein, EGCG's delivery may also be improved using the nanomedical approach. The current work exposes the potential of using silica nanoparticles as a delivery vehicle and EGCG's antioxidant capabilities in B35 neuroblastoma cells exposed to acrolein. We also measure nanotoxicity to individual rat neurons using high-throughput image scanning cytometry.

  17. Integrated Global Background Monitoring Network

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-12-01

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

  18. Building HIA approaches into strategies for green space use: an example from Plymouth's (UK) Stepping Stones to Nature project.

    PubMed

    Richardson, J; Goss, Z; Pratt, A; Sharman, J; Tighe, M

    2013-12-01

    The health and well-being benefits of access to green space are well documented. Research suggests positive findings regardless of social group, however barriers exist that limit access to green space, including proximity, geography and differing social conditions. Current public health policy aims to broaden the range of environmental public health interventions through effective partnership working, providing opportunities to work across agencies to promote the use of green space. Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a combination of methods and procedures to assess the potential health and well-being impacts of policies, developments and projects. It provides a means by which negative impacts can be mitigated and positive impacts can be enhanced, and has potential application for assessing green space use. This paper describes the application of a HIA approach to a multi-agency project (Stepping Stones to Nature--SS2N) in the UK designed to improve local green spaces and facilitate green space use in areas classified as having high levels of deprivation. The findings suggest that the SS2N project had the potential to provide significant positive benefits in the areas of physical activity, mental and social well-being. Specific findings for one locality identified a range of actions that could be taken to enhance benefits, and mitigate negative factors such as anti-social behaviour. The HIA approach proved to be a valuable process through which impacts of a community development/public health project could be enhanced and negative impacts prevented at an early stage; it illustrates how a HIA approach could enhance multi-agency working to promote health and well-being in communities.

  19. Natural approaches to epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Gaby, Alan R

    2007-03-01

    This article reviews research on the use of diet, nutritional supplements, and hormones in the treatment of epilepsy. Potentially beneficial dietary interventions include identifying and treating blood glucose dysregulation, identifying and avoiding allergenic foods, and avoiding suspected triggering agents such as alcohol, aspartame, and monosodium glutamate. The ketogenic diet may be considered for severe, treatment-resistant cases. The Atkins diet (very low in carbohydrates) is a less restrictive type of ketogenic diet that may be effective in some cases. Nutrients that may reduce seizure frequency include vitamin B6, magnesium, vitamin E, manganese, taurine, dimethylglycine, and omega-3 fatty acids. Administration of thiamine may improve cognitive function in patients with epilepsy. Supplementation with folic acid, vitamin B6, biotin, vitamin D, and L-carnitine may be needed to prevent or treat deficiencies resulting from the use of anticonvulsant drugs. Vitamin K1 has been recommended near the end of pregnancy for women taking anticonvulsants. Melatonin may reduce seizure frequency in some cases, and progesterone may be useful for women with cyclic exacerbations of seizures. In most cases, nutritional therapy is not a substitute for anticonvulsant medications. However, in selected cases, depending on the effectiveness of the interventions, dosage reductions or discontinuation of medications may be possible.

  20. The Cosmic Background Explorer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  1. The cosmic microwave background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Silk, Joseph

    1991-01-01

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

  2. Berkeley Low Background Facility

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-08-17

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

  3. School Law: Background Checks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Splitt, David A.

    1988-01-01

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

  4. Foregrounding the Background.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robbins, Bruce

    1998-01-01

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

  5. China: Background Notes Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reams, Joanne Reppert

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

  6. Thermal background noise limitations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gulkis, S.

    1982-01-01

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

  7. Combining Mass Spectrometric Metabolic Profiling with Genomic Analysis: A Powerful Approach for Discovering Natural Products from Cyanobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Kleigrewe, Karin; Almaliti, Jehad; Tian, Isaac Yuheng; Kinnel, Robin B.; Korobeynikov, Anton; Monroe, Emily A.; Duggan, Brendan M.; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Sherman, David H.; Dorrestein, Pieter C.; Gerwick, Lena; Gerwick, William H.

    2015-01-01

    An innovative approach was developed for the discovery of new natural products by combining mass spectrometric metabolic profiling with genomic analysis, and resulted in the discovery of the columbamides, a new class of di- and tri-chlorinated acyl amides with cannabinomimetic activity. Three species of cultured marine cyanobacteria, Moorea producens 3L, Moorea producens JHB and Moorea bouillonii PNG, were subjected to genome sequencing and analysis for their recognizable biosynthetic pathways, and this information was then compared with their respective metabolomes as detected by MS-profiling. By genome analysis, a presumed regulatory domain was identified upstream of several previously described biosynthetic gene clusters in two of these cyanobacteria, M. producens 3L and M. producens JHB. A similar regulatory domain was identified in the M. bouillonii PNG genome, and a corresponding downstream biosynthetic gene cluster was located and carefully analyzed. Subsequently, MS-based molecular networking identified a series of candidate products, and these were isolated and their structures rigorously established. Based on their distinctive acyl amide structure, the most prevalent metabolite was evaluated for cannabinomimetic properties and found to be a moderate affinity ligand for CB1. PMID:26149623

  8. Upstream-independent ribosomal RNA amplification analysis (URA): a new approach to characterizing the diversity of natural microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Yakimov, M M; Giuliano, L; Timmis, K N; Golyshin, P N

    2001-10-01

    Here, we propose an advanced method for recently developed fingerprinting strategies to analyse microbial populations by direct detection of 16S rRNA sequences occurring in natural habitats. The differential display (DD) technique, which is widely used to analyse for eukaryotic gene expression, was optimized to assess bacterial rRNA diversity in environmental samples. Double-stranded cDNAs of rRNAs were synthesized without a forward primer digested with endonuclease and ligated with a double-stranded adapter. The fragments obtained were then amplified using an adapter-specific extended primer and a 16S rDNA universal reverse primer pair displayed by electrophoresis on a polyacrylamide gel. We validated this approach by characterization of a microbial community colonizing a geothermal (48 degrees C) vent system located close to the eruption zone of the south-east crater of the Mount Etna volcano, Sicily. Analysis of the patterns of abundant 16S rRNA revealed a considerable diversity of metabolically active bacteria phylogenetically clustering within the Crenarchaeota, Cyanobacteria, Firmicutes, Planctomycetales and Thermus divisions. Two sequence phylotypes were affiliated with uncultivated representatives of the recently described candidate division OP10 from a Yellowstone hot spring. PMID:11722547

  9. Review on dry reforming of methane, a potentially more environmentally-friendly approach to the increasing natural gas exploitation.

    PubMed

    Lavoie, Jean-Michel

    2014-01-01

    With the actual growth of the natural gas industry in the US as well as the potential and availability of this non-renewable carbon source worldwide, reforming of methane gas is getting increasing attention. Methane can be used for the production of heat or electricity, as well, it can be converted to syngas, a building block that could lead to the production of liquid fuels and chemicals, a very promising pathway in light of the increasing price of oil. Amongst the different reforming techniques, dry reforming could represent a very interesting approach both to valorize a cheap source or carbon (CO2) as well as to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the increasing worldwide fossil-based methane consumption. In this short review, attention will be given to the thermodynamics of dry reforming followed by an investigation on dry reforming using heterogeneous catalyst by focusing on the most popular elements used in literature for dry reforming. Attention will as well be given to other emerging techniques that may allow countering at one point the high thermodynamic penalties that accompanies conversion of methane using carbon dioxide. PMID:25426488

  10. Combining Mass Spectrometric Metabolic Profiling with Genomic Analysis: A Powerful Approach for Discovering Natural Products from Cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Kleigrewe, Karin; Almaliti, Jehad; Tian, Isaac Yuheng; Kinnel, Robin B; Korobeynikov, Anton; Monroe, Emily A; Duggan, Brendan M; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Sherman, David H; Dorrestein, Pieter C; Gerwick, Lena; Gerwick, William H

    2015-07-24

    An innovative approach was developed for the discovery of new natural products by combining mass spectrometric metabolic profiling with genomic analysis and resulted in the discovery of the columbamides, a new class of di- and trichlorinated acyl amides with cannabinomimetic activity. Three species of cultured marine cyanobacteria, Moorea producens 3L, Moorea producens JHB, and Moorea bouillonii PNG, were subjected to genome sequencing and analysis for their recognizable biosynthetic pathways, and this information was then compared with their respective metabolomes as detected by MS profiling. By genome analysis, a presumed regulatory domain was identified upstream of several previously described biosynthetic gene clusters in two of these cyanobacteria, M. producens 3L and M. producens JHB. A similar regulatory domain was identified in the M. bouillonii PNG genome, and a corresponding downstream biosynthetic gene cluster was located and carefully analyzed. Subsequently, MS-based molecular networking identified a series of candidate products, and these were isolated and their structures rigorously established. On the basis of their distinctive acyl amide structure, the most prevalent metabolite was evaluated for cannabinomimetic properties and found to be moderate affinity ligands for CB1.

  11. Emphasizing the History of Genetics in an Explicit and Reflective Approach to Teaching the Nature of Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Cody Tyler; Rudge, David Wÿss

    2016-05-01

    Science education researchers have long advocated the central role of the nature of science (NOS) for our understanding of scientific literacy. NOS is often interpreted narrowly to refer to a host of epistemological issues associated with the process of science and the limitations of scientific knowledge. Despite its importance, practitioners and researchers alike acknowledge that students have difficulty learning NOS and that this in part reflects how difficult it is to teach. One particularly promising method for teaching NOS involves an explicit and reflective approach using the history of science. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of a historically based genetics unit on undergraduates' understanding of NOS. The three-class unit developed for this study introduces students to Mendelian genetics using the story of Gregor Mendel's work. NOS learning objectives were emphasized through discussion questions and investigations. The unit was administered to undergraduates in an introductory biology course for pre-service elementary teachers. The influence of the unit was determined by students' responses to the SUSSI instrument, which was administered pre- and post-intervention. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted that focused on changes in students' responses from pre- to post-test. Data collected indicated that students showed improved NOS understanding related to observations, inferences, and the influence of culture on science.

  12. Review on dry reforming of methane, a potentially more environmentally-friendly approach to the increasing natural gas exploitation

    PubMed Central

    Lavoie, Jean-Michel

    2014-01-01

    With the actual growth of the natural gas industry in the US as well as the potential and availability of this non-renewable carbon source worldwide, reforming of methane gas is getting increasing attention. Methane can be used for the production of heat or electricity, as well, it can be converted to syngas, a building block that could lead to the production of liquid fuels and chemicals, a very promising pathway in light of the increasing price of oil. Amongst the different reforming techniques, dry reforming could represent a very interesting approach both to valorize a cheap source or carbon (CO2) as well as to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the increasing worldwide fossil-based methane consumption. In this short review, attention will be given to the thermodynamics of dry reforming followed by an investigation on dry reforming using heterogeneous catalyst by focusing on the most popular elements used in literature for dry reforming. Attention will as well be given to other emerging techniques that may allow countering at one point the high thermodynamic penalties that accompanies conversion of methane using carbon dioxide. PMID:25426488

  13. Review on dry reforming of methane, a potentially more environmentally-friendly approach to the increasing natural gas exploitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavoie, Jean-Michel

    2014-11-01

    With the actual growth of the natural gas industry in the US as well as the potential and availability of this non-renewable carbon source worldwide, reforming of methane gas is getting increasing attention. Methane can be used for the production of heat or electricity, as well, it can be converted to syngas, a building block that could lead to the production of liquid fuels and chemical, a very promising pathway in light of the increasing price of oil. Amongst the different reforming techniques, dry reforming could represent a very interesting approach both to valorize a cheap source or carbon (CO2) as well as to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the increasing worldwide fossil-based methane consumption. In this short review, attention will be given on the thermodynamics of dry reforming followed by an investigation on dry reforming using heterogeneous catalyst by focusing on the mots popular elements used in literature for dry reforming. Attention will as well be given to different other emerging techniques that may allow countering at one point the high thermodynamic penalties that accompanies conversion of methane using carbon dioxide.

  14. Diffuse UV Background Radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conn Henry, Richard; Murthy, J.

    2012-01-01

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

  15. The cosmic microwave background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Silk, Joseph

    1989-01-01

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

  16. Executive Summary: Background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

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

  17. The Environmental Protection Agency's Watershed-based Approach: where social and natural sciences meet to address today's water resource challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biddle, J. C.

    2010-12-01

    A growing number of governmental organizations at the local, state, and federal level collaborate with nongovernmental organizations and individuals to solve watershed scale problems (Imperial and Koontz, 2007). Such a shift in policy approach from hierarchical regulation to bottom-up collaboration is largely a result of regulator’s recognition of the interdependence of natural and socio-economic systems on a watershed scale (Steelman and Carmin, 2002. Agencies throughout the federal government increasingly favored new governing institutions that encourage cooperation between local actors with conflicting interests, divergent geographic bases, and overlapping administrative jurisdictions to resolve continuing disputes over resource management (Bardach 1998). This favoritism of collaborative over command-and-control approaches for managing nonpoint source pollution led to the development of watershed partnerships and the watershed-based approach (Lubell et al., 2002). This study aims to further collaborative governance scholarship and aid decision-makers in identifying the critical elements of collaborative governance resulting in environmental improvements. To date, this relationship has not been empirically determined, in spite of the fact that collaborative governance is used routinely by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in resolving issues related to watershed management and other applications. This gap in the research is largely due to the lack of longitudinal data. In order to determine whether changes have occurred, environmental data must be collected over relatively long time periods (Koontz and Thomas, 2006; Sabatier, et al., 2005). However, collecting these data is often cost prohibitive. Monitoring water quality is expensive and requires technical expertise, and is often the first line item cut in environmental management budgets. This research is interdisciplinary, looking at the physical, chemical, and biological parameters for 44 waterbodies

  18. Backgrounder: The MAB Programme.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

  19. Background Information for Educators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    US Environmental Protection Agency, 2001

    2001-01-01

    Mercury is a naturally occurring and widely used element that can cause health and ecological problems when released to the environment through human activities. Though a national and even international issue, the health and environmental impacts of mercury are best understood when studied at the local level. "Mercury: An Educator's Toolkit"…

  20. Developing Views of Nature of Science in an Authentic Context: An Explicit Approach to Bridging the Gap between Nature of Science and Scientific Inquiry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schwartz, Renee S.; Lederman, Norman G.; Crawford, Barbara A.

    2004-01-01

    Reform efforts emphasize teaching science to promote contemporary views of the nature of science (NOS) and scientific inquiry. Within the framework of situated cognition, the assertion is that engagement in inquiry activities similar to those of scientists provides a learning context conducive to developing knowledge about the methods and…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  2. Background level care.

    PubMed

    Pitts, N B

    2009-01-01

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

  3. The Backgrounds Data Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  4. Backgrounds Data Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1994-09-01

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

  5. Solution-Focused Approaches in the Practice of UK Educational Psychologists: A Study of the Nature of Their Application and Evidence of Their Effectiveness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stobie, Ingeborg; Boyle, James; Woolfson, Lisa

    2005-01-01

    Solution-focused approaches are increasingly widely used in the practice of the applied educational psychologist (EP) (Ajmal and Rees, 2001; Durrant, 1993; Redpath and Harper, 1999; Rhodes and Ajmal, 1995). Based on a small-scale computer-mediated exploratory survey, this article examines the nature of such practice and investigates whether and…

  6. Mimicking/extracting structure and functions of natural products: synthetic approaches that address unexplored needs in chemical biology.

    PubMed

    Hirai, Go

    2015-04-01

    Natural products are often attractive and challenging targets for synthetic chemists, and many have interesting biological activities. However, synthetic chemists need to be more than simply suppliers of compounds to biologists. Therefore, we have been seeking ways to actively apply organic synthetic methods to chemical biology studies of natural products and their activities. In this personal review, I would like to introduce our work on the development of new biologically active compounds inspired by, or extracted from, the structures of natural products, focusing on enhancement of functional activity and specificity and overcoming various drawbacks of the parent natural products.

  7. Background Suppression Effects on Signal Estimation

    SciTech Connect

    Burr, Tom

    2008-01-01

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

  8. Cosmic microwave background theory.

    PubMed

    Bond, J R

    1998-01-01

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

  9. Ultraviolet Background Radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henry, R. C.; Murthy, J.

    1993-12-01

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

  10. Historical background of itch.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Galileons on cosmological backgrounds

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-12-01

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

  12. Gamma-Ray Background Variability in Mobile Detectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aucott, Timothy John

    Gamma-ray background radiation significantly reduces detection sensitivity when searching for radioactive sources in the field, such as in wide-area searches for homeland security applications. Mobile detector systems in particular must contend with a variable background that is not necessarily known or even measurable a priori. This work will present measurements of the spatial and temporal variability of the background, with the goal of merging gamma-ray detection, spectroscopy, and imaging with contextual information--a "nuclear street view" of the ubiquitous background radiation. The gamma-ray background originates from a variety of sources, both natural and anthropogenic. The dominant sources in the field are the primordial isotopes potassium-40, uranium-238, and thorium-232, as well as their decay daughters. In addition to the natural background, many artificially-created isotopes are used for industrial or medical purposes, and contamination from fission products can be found in many environments. Regardless of origin, these backgrounds will reduce detection sensitivity by adding both statistical as well as systematic uncertainty. In particular, large detector arrays will be limited by the systematic uncertainty in the background and will suffer from a high rate of false alarms. The goal of this work is to provide a comprehensive characterization of the gamma-ray background and its variability in order to improve detection sensitivity and evaluate the performance of mobile detectors in the field. Large quantities of data are measured in order to study their performance at very low false alarm rates. Two different approaches, spectroscopy and imaging, are compared in a controlled study in the presence of this measured background. Furthermore, there is additional information that can be gained by correlating the gamma-ray data with contextual data streams (such as cameras and global positioning systems) in order to reduce the variability in the background

  13. SPAM Detection Server Model Inspired by the Dionaea Muscipula Closure Mechanism: An Alternative Approach for Natural Computing Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Souza Pereira Lopes, Rodrigo Arthur; Carrari R. Lopes, Lia; Mustaro, Pollyana Notargiacomo

    Natural computing has been an increasingly evolving field in the last few years. Focusing on the interesting behaviours offered by nature and biological processes, this work intends to apply the metaphor of the carnivorous plant "Dionaea muscipula" as a complementary defence system against a recurring problem regarding internet and e-mails: spam. The metaphor model presents relevant aspects for further implementation and debate.

  14. Tracking the nature and duration of magma transfer beneath Mauna Loa using a crystal population and kinetic modelling approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahl, M.; Morgan, D. J.; Thornber, C. R.; Trusdell, F. A.

    2014-12-01

    Deep long period (DPL) seismic swarms recently detected beneath Mauna Loa fuel speculation whether the volcano could enter a renewed phase of unrest. To mitigate threats from future eruptions, a better understanding of how and over which timescales magma moves within Mauna Loa is required. We present a novel approach linking the compositions preserved in the chemical stratigraphy of 158 olivine crystals with kinetic modelling to provide timescales and routes of magma migration beneath Mauna Loa prior to the voluminous (376 million m3, [1]) 1950 eruption of Mauna Loa. We have studied a total of 8 near-vent samples erupted from fissures that opened progressively at elevations from 12,000ft to 8,500ft within the first 24h of the eruption (June 1-23, 1950). The samples contain olivine crystals with different populations of core (Fo89, Fo87-88, Fo85-86, Fo82-84), and rim compositions (majority Fo78-81) and zoning patterns (normal, reverse and complex). The diverging compositional and zoning record can be best explained as the product of magma evolution in five distinct magmatic environments (MEs): M0 (=Fo89), M1 (=Fo87-88), M2 (=Fo85-86), M3 (=Fo82-84), M4 (=Fo78-81) with melt transfer and mixing among them. Modelling the diffusive relaxation of the compositional zoning profiles constrains the timescales and durations over which crystals (and melt) are transferred between the different MEs. Diffusion models were performed at temperatures of 1133-1168°C and fO2 at ∆NNO -0.55 [2]. The derived timescales range from ~20 days up to 11 months, with the majority of the timescales being shorter than 4 months. The nature and duration of magma transfer beneath Mauna Loa prior to the catastrophic 1950 eruption is interpreted as follows: (i) Three dominant magma migration pathways connecting the environments M1:M4, M3:M4 and M2:M4 can be identified; and (ii) transfer of magma along these routes occurs in multiples pulses commencing up to 8 months before, and becoming more

  15. Low background aspects of GERDA

    SciTech Connect

    Simgen, Hardy

    2011-04-27

    The GERDA experiment operates bare Germanium diodes enriched in {sup 76}Ge in an environment of pure liquid argon to search for neutrinoless double beta decay. A very low radioactive background is essential for the success of the experiment. We present here the research done in order to remove radio-impurities coming from the liquid argon, the stainless steel cryostat and the front-end electronics. We found that liquid argon can be purified efficiently from {sup 222}Rn. The main source of {sup 222}Rn in GERDA is the cryostat which emanates about 55 mBq. A thin copper shroud in the center of the cryostat was implemented to prevent radon from approaching the diodes. Gamma ray screening of radio-pure components for front-end electronics resulted in the development of a pre-amplifier with a total activity of less than 1 mBq {sup 228}Th.

  16. Spectral Analysis in High Radiation Space Backgrounds with Robust Fitting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lasche, G. P.; Coldwell, R. L.; Nobel, L. A.; Rester, A. C.; Trombka, J. I.

    1997-01-01

    Spectral analysis software is tested for its ability to fit spectra from space. The approach, which emphasizes the background shape function, is uniquely suited to the identification of weak-strength nuclides in high-radiation background environments.

  17. Historical Background and Introduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vial, Jean-Claude

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

  18. Genetical background of intelligence.

    PubMed

    Junkiert-Czarnecka, Anna; Haus, Olga

    2016-01-01

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

  19. The cosmic background explorer

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-01-01

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

  20. Biological aerosol background characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blatny, Janet; Fountain, Augustus W., III

    2011-05-01

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

  1. Developing views of nature of science in an authentic context: An explicit approach to bridging the gap between nature of science and scientific inquiry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwartz, Reneé S.; Lederman, Norman G.; Crawford, Barbara A.

    2004-07-01

    Reform efforts emphasize teaching science to promote contemporary views of the nature of science (NOS) and scientific inquiry. Within the framework of situated cognition, the assertion is that engagement in inquiry activities similar to those of scientists provides a learning context conducive to developing knowledge about the methods and activities through which science progresses, and, in turn, to developing desired views of NOS. The inclusion of a scientific inquiry context to teach about NOS has intuitive appeal. Yet, whether the learners are students, teachers, or scientists, the empirical research does not generally support the claim that engaging in scientific inquiry alone enhances conceptions of NOS. We studied developments in NOS conceptions during a science research internship course for preservice secondary science teachers. In addition to the research component, the course included seminars and journal assignments. Interns' NOS views were assessed in a pre/post format using the Views of Nature of Science questionnaire, [VNOS-C] and interviews. Results indicate most interns showed substantial developments in NOS knowledge. Three factors were identified as important for NOS developments during the internship: (1) reflection, (2) context, and (3) perspective. Reflective journal writing and seminars had the greatest impact on NOS views. The science research component provided a context for reflection. The interns' role perspective appeared to impact their abilities to effectively reflect. Interns who assumed a reflective stance were more successful in deepening their NOS conceptions. Those who maintained a scientist's identity were less successful in advancing their NOS views through reflection. In light of these results, we discuss the significance and challenges to teaching about NOS within inquiry contexts.

  2. Background matrix subtraction (BMS): A novel background removal algorithm for GPR data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rashed, Mohamed; Harbi, Hussein

    2014-07-01

    Background noise is a common type of coherent noise that severely compromises the integrity of the high-resolution images provided by ground penetrating radar survey. Several existing techniques employ different approaches to attenuate background noise. In this study, we present the background matrix subtraction (BMS) as an alternative technique to remove horizontal background noise and we compare its efficiency to that of the conventional background removal technique. Instead of calculating an average trace that is subtracted from the GPR data in the conventional background removal methods, the BMS technique is based on calculating a complete background matrix of the same size of the GPR section. The background matrix is created through a series of windowing, sample exclusion, weighting, and iteration. This series of processes guarantees that the background matrix is least affected by target response and is composed purely of horizontal background noise. The computed background matrix is then subtracted from the GPR data to remove horizontal events. Results of experiments conducted on both synthetic and real GPR data show that the BMS technique yields better results than the commonly used background removal technique.

  3. 23 CFR 777.3 - Background.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... NATURAL HABITAT § 777.3 Background. (a) Executive Order 11990 (42 FR 26961, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 121... inspection and copying from FHWA headquarters and field offices as prescribed at 49 CFR part 7. (1) There is... participation with title 23, U.S. Code, funds. (c) 33 CFR parts 320 through 330, Regulatory Program, U.S....

  4. 23 CFR 777.3 - Background.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... NATURAL HABITAT § 777.3 Background. (a) Executive Order 11990 (42 FR 26961, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 121... inspection and copying from FHWA headquarters and field offices as prescribed at 49 CFR part 7. (1) There is... participation with title 23, U.S. Code, funds. (c) 33 CFR parts 320 through 330, Regulatory Program, U.S....

  5. 23 CFR 777.3 - Background.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... NATURAL HABITAT § 777.3 Background. (a) Executive Order 11990 (42 FR 26961, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 121... inspection and copying from FHWA headquarters and field offices as prescribed at 49 CFR part 7. (1) There is... participation with title 23, U.S. Code, funds. (c) 33 CFR parts 320 through 330, Regulatory Program, U.S....

  6. 23 CFR 777.3 - Background.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... NATURAL HABITAT § 777.3 Background. (a) Executive Order 11990 (42 FR 26961, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 121... inspection and copying from FHWA headquarters and field offices as prescribed at 49 CFR part 7. (1) There is... participation with title 23, U.S. Code, funds. (c) 33 CFR parts 320 through 330, Regulatory Program, U.S....

  7. 23 CFR 777.3 - Background.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... NATURAL HABITAT § 777.3 Background. (a) Executive Order 11990 (42 FR 26961, 3 CFR, 1977 Comp., p. 121... inspection and copying from FHWA headquarters and field offices as prescribed at 49 CFR part 7. (1) There is... participation with title 23, U.S. Code, funds. (c) 33 CFR parts 320 through 330, Regulatory Program, U.S....

  8. Faculty Approaches to Assessing Critical Thinking in the Humanities and the Natural and Social Sciences: Implications for General Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nicholas, Mark C.; Labig, Chalmer E., Jr.

    2013-01-01

    An analysis of interviews, focus-group discussions, assessment instruments, and assignment prompts revealed that within general education, faculty assessed critical thinking as faceted using methods and criteria that varied epistemically across disciplines. Faculty approaches were misaligned with discipline-general institutional approaches.…

  9. Background sources in optical communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vilnrotter, V. A.

    1983-01-01

    The characterization and measurement of background radiation relevant to optical communications system performance is addressed. The necessary optical receiver parameters are described, and radiometric concepts required for the calculation of collected background power are developed. The most important components of optical background power are discussed, and their contribution to the total collected background power in various communications scenarios is examined.

  10. Review: Natural tracers in fractured hard-rock aquifers in the Austrian part of the Eastern Alps—previous approaches and future perspectives for hydrogeology in mountain regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilberg, Sylke

    2016-08-01

    Extensive in-depth research is required for the implementation of natural tracer approaches to hydrogeological investigation to be feasible in mountainous regions. This review considers the application of hydrochemical and biotic parameters in mountain regions over the past few decades with particular reference to the Austrian Alps, as an example for alpine-type mountain belts. A brief introduction to Austria's hydrogeological arrangement is given to show the significance of fractured hard-rock aquifers for hydrogeological science as well as for water supply purposes. A literature search showed that research concerning fractured hard-rock aquifers in Austria is clearly underrepresented to date, especially when taking the abundance of this aquifer type and the significance of this topic into consideration. The application of abiotic natural tracers (hydrochemical and isotope parameters) is discussed generally and by means of examples from the Austrian Alps. The potential of biotic tracers (microbiota and meiofauna) is elucidated. It is shown that the meiofauna approach to investigating fractured aquifers has not yet been applied in the reviewed region, nor worldwide. Two examples of new approaches in mountainous fractured aquifers are introduced: (1) use of CO2 partial pressure and calcite saturation of spring water to reconstruct catchments and flow dynamics (abiotic approach), and, (2) consideration of hard-rock aquifers as habitats to reconstruct aquifer conditions (biotic approach).

  11. Measurement of proteolysis in natural water as an approach to the study of natural cycling and pollution impact. Technical completion report

    SciTech Connect

    Sjogren, R.E.

    1982-12-01

    Studies were conducted using a spectrophotometric assay that utilizes a particulate chromogenic protein to detect and follow proteolytic activity of natural mixed bacterial populations from lake water. Seasonal changes in proteolytic rates were found to be related to lake turnover, algal blooms, and are dependent on the dominant proteolytic bacterium. In addition, temperature, but not pH changes, leads to changes in proteolytic rates. Addition of 100 micrograms per liter of orthophosphate leads to an increase in proteolytic rates by 54 percent, while the addition of metal cofactors leads to variable increases (about 5 percent) in rates when compared to control flasks. The addition of chemical contaminants generally leads to a reduction in the rate of proteolysis. Toxic heavy metals were also inhibitory. Recognition of the sensitivity of the assay to varying levels of added orthophosphate led to the development of a procedure for assessment of trophic state of freshwater ecosystems. Preliminary data demonstrate a reasonable correlation between biologically available phosphorus and trophic state.

  12. Cosmic microwave background images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herranz, D.; Vielva, P.

    2010-01-01

    Cosmology concerns itself with the fundamental questions about the formation, structure, and evolution of the Universe as a whole. Cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation is one of the foremost pillars of physical cosmology. Joint analyses of CMB and other astronomical observations are able to determine with ever increasing precision the value of the fundamental cosmological parameters and to provide us with valuable insight about the dynamics of the Universe in evolution. The CMB radiation is a relic of the hot and dense first moments of the Universe: a extraordinarily homogeneous and isotropic blackbody radiation, which shows small temperature anisotropies that are the key for understanding the conditions of the primitive Universe, testing cosmological models and probing fundamental physics at the very dawn of time. CMB observations are obtained by imaging of the sky at microwave wavelengths. However, the CMB signal is mixed with other astrophysical signals of both Galactic and extragalactic origin. To properly exploit the cosmological information contained in CMB images, they must be cleansed of these other astrophysical emissions first. Blind source separation (BSS) has been a very active field in the last few years. Conversely, the term "compact sources" is often used in the CMB literature referring to spatially bounded, small features in the images, such as galaxies and galaxy clusters. Compact sources and diffuse sources are usually treated separately in CMB image processing. We devote this tutorial to the case of compact sources. Many of the compact source-detection techniques that are widespread inmost fields of astronomy are not easily applicable to CMB images. In this tutorial, we present an overview of the fundamentals of compact object detection theory keeping in mind at every moment these particularities. Throughout the article, we briefly consider Bayesian object detection, model selection, optimal linear filtering, nonlinear filtering, and

  13. A combined approach to physical vulnerability of large cities exposed to natural hazards - the case study of Arequipa, Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thouret, Jean-Claude; Ettinger, Susanne; Zuccaro, Giulio; Guitton, Mathieu; Martelli, Kim; Degregorio, Daniela; Nardone, Stefano; Santoni, Olivier; Magill, Christina; Luque, Juan Alexis; Arguedas, Ana

    2013-04-01

    Arequipa, the second largest city in Peru with almost one million inhabitants, is exposed to various natural hazards, such as earthquakes, landslides, flash floods, and volcanic eruptions. This study focuses on the vulnerability and response of housing, infrastructure and lifelines in Arequipa to flash floods and eruption induced hazards, notably lahars from El Misti volcano. We propose a combined approach for assessing physical vulnerability in a large city based on: (1) remote sensing utilizing high-resolution imagery (SPOT5, Google Earth Pro, Bing, Pléïades) to map the distribution and type of land use, properties of city blocks in terms of exposure to the hazard (elevation above river level, distance to channel, impact angle, etc.); (2) in situ survey of buildings and critical infrastructure (e.g., bridges) and strategic resources (e.g., potable water, irrigation, sewage); (3) information gained from interviews with engineers involved in construction works, previous crises (e.g., June 2001 earthquake) and risk mitigation in Arequipa. Remote sensing and mapping at the scale of the city has focused on three pilot areas, along the perennial Rio Chili valley that crosses the city and oasis from north to south, and two of the east-margin tributaries termed Quebrada (ravine): San Lazaro crossing the northern districts and Huarangal crossing the northeastern districts. Sampling of city blocks through these districts provides varying geomorphic, structural, historical, and socio-economic characteristics for each sector. A reconnaissance survey included about 900 edifices located in 40 city blocks across districts of the pilot areas, distinct in age, construction, land use and demographics. A building acts as a structural system and its strength and resistance to flashfloods and lahars therefore highly depends on the type of construction and the used material. Each building surveyed was assigned to one of eight building categories based on physical criteria (dominant

  14. Estimating radiological background using imaging spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Bernacki, Bruce E.; Schweppe, John E.; Stave, Sean C.; Jordan, David V.; Kulisek, Jonathan A.; Stewart, Trevor N.; Seifert, Carolyn E.

    2014-06-13

    Optical imaging spectroscopy is investigated as a method to estimate radiological background by spectral identification of soils, sediments, rocks, minerals and building materials derived from natural materials and assigning tabulated radiological emission values to these materials. Radiological airborne surveys are undertaken by local, state and federal agencies to identify the presence of radiological materials out of regulatory compliance. Detection performance in such surveys is determined by (among other factors) the uncertainty in the radiation background; increased knowledge of the expected radiation background will improve the ability to detect low-activity radiological materials. Radiological background due to naturally occurring radiological materials (NORM) can be estimated by reference to previous survey results, use of global 40K, 238U, and 232Th (KUT) values, reference to existing USGS radiation background maps, or by a moving average of the data as it is acquired. Each of these methods has its drawbacks: previous survey results may not include recent changes, the global average provides only a zero-order estimate, the USGS background radiation map resolutions are coarse and are accurate only to 1 km – 25 km sampling intervals depending on locale, and a moving average may essentially low pass filter the data to obscure small changes in radiation counts. Imaging spectroscopy from airborne or spaceborne platforms can offer higher resolution identification of materials and background, as well as provide imaging context information. AVIRIS hyperspectral image data is analyzed using commercial exploitation software to determine the usefulness of imaging spectroscopy to identify qualitative radiological background emissions when compared to airborne radiological survey data.

  15. Towards the Application of a River Management Approach Encompassing most Natural Process Drivers : Lessons Learned from Freedom Space for Rivers in Quebec (Canada)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biron, P.; Buffin-Belanger, T. K.; Massé, S.

    2015-12-01

    The consensus around the need for a shift in river management approaches to include more natural processes is steadily growing amongst scientists, practitioners and governmental agencies. Not only is this a sound way to increase resilience of fluvial systems and adapt to climate change, but it will likely result in improved water quality and better aquatic habitat. This paper presents the freedom space for rivers approach which we have developed recently in Quebec (Canada) to combine natural processes related to mobility, flooding and riparian wetland connectivity into a single index. The approach was applied to 3 contrasted rivers (de la Roche, Yamaska Sud-Est and Matane) to produce two main levels of freedom space, operating at two time scales: "short" (in geomorphic terms, i.e. < 50 years) and long (floodplain renewal, ranging from several decades to centuries). For each river, a cost-benefit analysis revealed economic benefits over a 50-year period when taking into account ecosystem services. There is now a growing interest within ministries and watershed agencies to implement such a management approach, but also strong inertia and resistance to change, particularly in agricultural watersheds. Our observations reveal that for such a shift in paradigm to operate, hydrogeomorphogical concepts must be better understood by those in charge of managing rivers, which is currently not the case in Quebec. The role of integrating scientific knowledge in the implementation of a freedom space for rivers management scheme will be discussed based on case studies in 3 watersheds: rivière du Nord, Coaticook and Mitis/Neigette. The original approach was applied only to the main branches, however the second phase of the project is also aiming to determine whether the impact of leaving more space for natural rivers to operate would be more beneficial in headwater tributaries than in higher-order reaches.

  16. A new approach to the determination of the synthetic or natural origin of red pigments through spectroscopic analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franquelo, Maria Luisa; Perez-Rodriguez, Jose Luis

    2016-09-01

    This work suggests a way of differentiation between the natural or synthetic origin of inorganic materials that were historically used in the Cultural Heritage field. An exhaustive review of different reported procedures of synthesis of pigments was conducted, as well as a review of the accompanying minerals in case of natural pigments. The natural or synthetic origin of the pigments studied in this work was performed through the characterization of the accompanying minerals, in the case of the natural pigments, or the trace elements that are present as part of synthesis by-products or washing/purifying reagents and/or reactants that have only been partly removed in the final steps of these processes. This work characterized red pigments due to their wide variety, complexity and possibility of use in different mixtures. The following pigments were studied: cinnabar-vermilion, red lead and iron pigments. Also mixtures of these pigments between them and with red lake were also studied. Natural cinnabar was accompanied by silicon oxide (opal, chalcedony or quartz), calcite, clay minerals and, sometimes, pyrite. K together with S indicated a synthetic pigment (vermilion) obtained through the wet method. Nevertheless, K has not been found in layers containing only vermilion in our samples. The presence of Sn in some cases indicated vermilion that came from the dry process. K from the synthesis always appeared in the red lead pigment. The red natural ochre was confirmed by presence of clay minerals and iron. It should be said that Ca and S, and sometimes Al and K, were usually found in Mars red pigment. The presence of Al and Ca allowed the identification of carmine lake.

  17. A new approach to the determination of the synthetic or natural origin of red pigments through spectroscopic analysis.

    PubMed

    Franquelo, Maria Luisa; Perez-Rodriguez, Jose Luis

    2016-09-01

    This work suggests a way of differentiation between the natural or synthetic origin of inorganic materials that were historically used in the Cultural Heritage field. An exhaustive review of different reported procedures of synthesis of pigments was conducted, as well as a review of the accompanying minerals in case of natural pigments. The natural or synthetic origin of the pigments studied in this work was performed through the characterization of the accompanying minerals, in the case of the natural pigments, or the trace elements that are present as part of synthesis by-products or washing/purifying reagents and/or reactants that have only been partly removed in the final steps of these processes. This work characterized red pigments due to their wide variety, complexity and possibility of use in different mixtures. The following pigments were studied: cinnabar-vermilion, red lead and iron pigments. Also mixtures of these pigments between them and with red lake were also studied. Natural cinnabar was accompanied by silicon oxide (opal, chalcedony or quartz), calcite, clay minerals and, sometimes, pyrite. K together with S indicated a synthetic pigment (vermilion) obtained through the wet method. Nevertheless, K has not been found in layers containing only vermilion in our samples. The presence of Sn in some cases indicated vermilion that came from the dry process. K from the synthesis always appeared in the red lead pigment. The red natural ochre was confirmed by presence of clay minerals and iron. It should be said that Ca and S, and sometimes Al and K, were usually found in Mars red pigment. The presence of Al and Ca allowed the identification of carmine lake.

  18. A new approach to the determination of the synthetic or natural origin of red pigments through spectroscopic analysis.

    PubMed

    Franquelo, Maria Luisa; Perez-Rodriguez, Jose Luis

    2016-09-01

    This work suggests a way of differentiation between the natural or synthetic origin of inorganic materials that were historically used in the Cultural Heritage field. An exhaustive review of different reported procedures of synthesis of pigments was conducted, as well as a review of the accompanying minerals in case of natural pigments. The natural or synthetic origin of the pigments studied in this work was performed through the characterization of the accompanying minerals, in the case of the natural pigments, or the trace elements that are present as part of synthesis by-products or washing/purifying reagents and/or reactants that have only been partly removed in the final steps of these processes. This work characterized red pigments due to their wide variety, complexity and possibility of use in different mixtures. The following pigments were studied: cinnabar-vermilion, red lead and iron pigments. Also mixtures of these pigments between them and with red lake were also studied. Natural cinnabar was accompanied by silicon oxide (opal, chalcedony or quartz), calcite, clay minerals and, sometimes, pyrite. K together with S indicated a synthetic pigment (vermilion) obtained through the wet method. Nevertheless, K has not been found in layers containing only vermilion in our samples. The presence of Sn in some cases indicated vermilion that came from the dry process. K from the synthesis always appeared in the red lead pigment. The red natural ochre was confirmed by presence of clay minerals and iron. It should be said that Ca and S, and sometimes Al and K, were usually found in Mars red pigment. The presence of Al and Ca allowed the identification of carmine lake. PMID:27219074

  19. Estimating U.S. Methane Emissions from the Natural Gas Supply Chain. Approaches, Uncertainties, Current Estimates, and Future Studies

    SciTech Connect

    Heath, Garvin; Warner, Ethan; Steinberg, Daniel; Brandt, Adam

    2015-08-01

    A growing number of studies have raised questions regarding uncertainties in our understanding of methane (CH4) emissions from fugitives and venting along the natural gas (NG) supply chain. In particular, a number of measurement studies have suggested that actual levels of CH4 emissions may be higher than estimated by EPA" tm s U.S. GHG Emission Inventory. We reviewed the literature to identify the growing number of studies that have raised questions regarding uncertainties in our understanding of methane (CH4) emissions from fugitives and venting along the natural gas (NG) supply chain.

  20. Holographic thermalization in a quark confining background

    SciTech Connect

    Ageev, D. S. Aref’eva, I. Ya.

    2015-03-15

    We study holographic thermalization of a strongly coupled theory inspired by two colliding shock waves in a vacuum confining background. Holographic thermalization means a black hole formation, in fact, a trapped surface formation. As the vacuum confining background, we considered the well-know bottom-up AdS/QCD model that provides the Cornell potential and reproduces the QCD β-function. We perturb the vacuum background by colliding domain shock waves that are assumed to be holographically dual to heavy ions collisions. Our main physical assumption is that we can make a restriction on the time of trapped surface formation, which results in a natural limitation on the size of the domain where the trapped surface is produced. This limits the intermediate domain where the main part of the entropy is produced. In this domain, we can use an intermediate vacuum background as an approximation to the full confining background. We find that the dependence of the multiplicity on energy for the intermediate background has an asymptotic expansion whose first term depends on energy as E{sup 1/3}, which is very similar to the experimental dependence of particle multiplicities on the colliding ion energy obtained from the RHIC and LHC. However, this first term, at the energies where the approximation of the confining metric by the intermediate background works, does not saturate the exact answer, and we have to take the nonleading terms into account.

  1. Synthesis of the Danish Experience with Combating Nutrient Pollution of Surface Waters: The Old Regulatory Approach and a New Targeted Approach Utilising the Natural Attenuation Capacity in Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kronvang, Brian; Windolf, Jørgen; Blicher-Mathiesen, Gitte; Tornbjerg, Henrik; Højberg, Anker; Rieman, Bo

    2016-04-01

    Excess nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) emissions to surface waters are a high priority environmental problem worldwide for protection of water resources in times of population growth and climate change. As clean water is a scarce resource the struggle for reducing nutrient emissions are an ongoing issue for many countries and regions. Since the mid1980s a wide range of national regulatory general measures have been implemented to reduce land based nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) loadings of the Danish aquatic environment. These measures have addressed both point source emissions and emissions from diffuse sources especially from agricultural production. Following nearly 4 decades of combating nutrient pollution our surface waters such as lakes and estuaries are only slowly responding on the 50% reduction in N and 56% reduction in P. Therefore, the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive in Danish surface waters still call for further reductions of N and P loadings. Introduction of a new paradigm of targeted implemented measures was the proposed outcome of a Commission on Nature and Agriculture established by the Danish Government in 2013. Their White Book points to the need of increased growth and better environment through more targeted and efficient regulation using advanced technological mitigation methods that are implemented intelligently according to the local natural attenuation capacity for nutrients in the landscape. As a follow up a national consensus model for N was established chaining existing leaching, 3D groundwater and surface water models. The new model concept enables a calculation of the N dynamics and attenuation capacity within a scale of 15 km2. Moreover, several research projects have been conducted to investigate the effect of a suite of targeted mitigation measures such as restored natural wetlands, constructed wetlands, controlled drainage and intelligent buffer zones. The outcome of six Danish management plans for nutrient load

  2. Using a Multicultural Approach to Teach Chemistry and the Nature of Science to Undergraduate Non-Majors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goff, Peter; Boesdorfer, Sarah B.; Hunter, William

    2012-01-01

    This research documents the creation, implementation, and evaluation of a novel chemistry curriculum. The curriculum allowed students to create theories situated in a variety of cultures while they investigated chemical phenomena central to all civilizations; it was a way of synthesizing chemistry, the history and nature of science, inquiry, and…

  3. Devising an Instrument for Determining Students' Preparedness for an Education through Science Learning Approach within the Topic of Natural Hazards

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cerulli, D.; Holbrook, J.; Mander, Ü.

    2016-01-01

    As global average temperatures rise, there has been an increase in the frequency and magnitude of meteorological natural hazards. To survive in the world and thrive in the work place, students need to utilize educational skills (such as creative thinking, non-routine problem solving, collaboration and systems thinking) and become independent…

  4. High School Biology Students' Transfer of the Concept of Natural Selection: A Mixed-Methods Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pugh, Kevin J.; Koskey, Kristin L. K.; Linnenbrink-Garcia, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    The concept of natural selection serves as a foundation for understanding diverse biological concepts and has broad applicability to other domains. However, we know little about students' abilities to transfer (i.e. apply to a new context or use generatively) this concept and the relation between students' conceptual understanding and…

  5. Transfer of Nature of Science Understandings into Similar Contexts: Promises and Possibilities of an Explicit Reflective Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Khishfe, Rola

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to (a) investigate the effectiveness of explicit nature of science (NOS) instruction in the context of controversial socioscientific issues and (b) explore whether the transfer of acquired NOS understandings, which were explicitly taught in the context of one socioscientific context, into other similar contexts…

  6. Effect of natural microbiota on growth of Salmonella spp. in fresh pork--a predictive microbiology approach.

    PubMed

    Møller, C O A; Ilg, Y; Aabo, S; Christensen, B B; Dalgaard, P; Hansen, T B

    2013-06-01

    This study was undertaken to model and predict growth of Salmonella and the dominating natural microbiota, and their interaction in ground pork. Growth of Salmonella in sterile ground pork at constant temperatures between 4 °C and 38 °C was quantified and used for developing predictive models for lag time, max. specific growth rate and max. population density. Data from literature were used to develop growth models for the natural pork microbiota. Challenge tests at temperatures from 9.4 to 24.1 °C and with Salmonella inoculated in ground pork were used for evaluation of interaction models. The existing Jameson-effect and Lotka-Volterra species interaction models and a new expanded Jameson-effect model were evaluated. F-test indicated lack-of-fit for the classical Jameson-effect model at all of the tested temperatures and at 14.1-20.2 °C this was caused by continued growth of Salmonella after the natural microbiota had reached their max. population density. The new expanded Jameson-effect model and the Lotka-Volterra model performed better and appropriately described the continued but reduced growth of Salmonella after the natural microbiota had reached their max. population density. The expanded Jameson-effect model is a new and simple species interaction model, which performed as well as the more complex Lotka-Volterra model.

  7. New Tools and New Approaches to Improve the Assessment and Evaluation of Monitored Natural Attenuation of Organic Compoundsin Ground Water

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the years since publication of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. EPA technical protocols for evaluating Monitored Natural Attenuation, MNA had found widespread application to organic contaminants in ground water. These documents were issued more than a decade ago; the science has m...

  8. Candidate soil indicators for monitoring the progress of constructed wetlands toward a natural state: a statistical approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stapanian, Martin A.; Adams, Jean V.; Fennessy, M. Siobhan; Mack, John; Micacchion, Mick

    2013-01-01

    A persistent question among ecologists and environmental managers is whether constructed wetlands are structurally or functionally equivalent to naturally occurring wetlands. We examined 19 variables collected from 10 constructed and nine natural emergent wetlands in Ohio, USA. Our primary objective was to identify candidate indicators of wetland class (natural or constructed), based on measurements of soil properties and an index of vegetation integrity, that can be used to track the progress of constructed wetlands toward a natural state. The method of nearest shrunken centroids was used to find a subset of variables that would serve as the best classifiers of wetland class, and error rate was calculated using a five-fold cross-validation procedure. The shrunken differences of percent total organic carbon (% TOC) and percent dry weight of the soil exhibited the greatest distances from the overall centroid. Classification based on these two variables yielded a misclassification rate of 11% based on cross-validation. Our results indicate that % TOC and percent dry weight can be used as candidate indicators of the status of emergent, constructed wetlands in Ohio and for assessing the performance of mitigation. The method of nearest shrunken centroids has excellent potential for further applications in ecology.

  9. Faculty Conceptualizations and Approaches to Assessing Critical Thinking in the Humanities and Natural Sciences--A Grounded Theory Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nicholas, Mark C.

    2011-01-01

    Empirical research on how faculty across disciplines conceptualize or assess CT is scarce. This investigation focused on a group of 14 faculty drawn from multiple disciplines in the humanities and natural sciences. Using in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, assessment artifacts and qualitative coding strategies, this study examined how…

  10. The Sum of the Squares of the First "n" Natural Numbers: Two Different but Similar Approaches, and a Bonus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grima, Pere; Marco, Lluis

    2008-01-01

    This note presents two demonstrations of the known formula for the sum of squares of the first n natural numbers. One demonstration is based on geometrical considerations and the other one uses elementary integral calculus. Both demonstrations are very easy to understand, even for high school students, and may be good examples of how to explore…

  11. Joy of Nature, "Friluftsliv" Education and Self: Combining Narrative and Cultural-Ecological Approaches to Environmental Sustainability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gurholt, Kirsti Pedersen

    2014-01-01

    Autobiographies of prominent environmentalists describe that their early lives have been rich in personal experiences of nature. The early childhood experiences of philosopher and climber Arne Naess (1912-2009) inspired the development of deep ecology philosophy, which markedly influenced the emergence of Norwegian "friluftsliv"…

  12. Emphasizing the History of Genetics in an Explicit and Reflective Approach to Teaching the Nature of Science: A Pilot Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Cody Tyler; Rudge, David Wÿss

    2016-01-01

    Science education researchers have long advocated the central role of the nature of science (NOS) for our understanding of scientific literacy. NOS is often interpreted narrowly to refer to a host of epistemological issues associated with the process of science and the limitations of scientific knowledge. Despite its importance, practitioners and…

  13. Using a Conceptual Change Text as a Tool to Teach the Nature of Science in an Explicit Reflective Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cepni, Salih; Cil, Emine

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this study is to develop conceptual change texts in the teaching of aspects of the nature of science and to introduce the development of texts. The socio-cultural and the subjective aspects were taken into consideration in the conceptual change texts, which are presented in the study. The conceptual change texts were prepared to be used…

  14. Bike Helmets and Black Riders: Experiential Approaches to Helping Students Understand Natural Hazard Assessment and Mitigation Issues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, S. A.; Kley, J.; Hindle, D.; Friedrich, A. M.

    2014-12-01

    Defending society against natural hazards is a high-stakes game of chance against nature, involving tough decisions. How should a developing nation allocate its budget between building schools for towns without ones or making existing schools earthquake-resistant? Does it make more sense to build levees to protect against floods, or to prevent development in the areas at risk? Would more lives be saved by making hospitals earthquake-resistant, or using the funds for patient care? These topics are challenging because they are far from normal experience, in that they involve rare events and large sums. To help students in natural hazard classes conceptualize them, we pose tough and thought-provoking questions about complex issues involved and explore them together via lectures, videos, field trips, and in-class and homework questions. We discuss analogous examples from the students' experiences, drawing on a new book "Playing Against Nature, Integrating Science and Economics to Mitigate Natural Hazards in an Uncertain World". Asking whether they wear bicycle helmets and why or why not shows the cultural perception of risk. Individual students' responses vary, and the overall results vary dramatically between the US, UK, and Germany. Challenges in hazard assessment in an uncertain world are illustrated by asking German students whether they buy a ticket on public transportation - accepting a known cost - or "ride black" - not paying but risking a heavy fine if caught. We explore the challenge of balancing mitigation costs and benefits via the question "If you were a student in Los Angeles, how much more would you pay in rent each month to live in an earthquake-safe building?" Students learn that interdisciplinary thinking is needed, and that due to both uncertainties and sociocultural factors, no unique or right strategies exist for a particular community, much the less all communities. However, we can seek robust policies that give sensible results given

  15. Leakage detection of Marcellus Shale natural gas at an Upper Devonian gas monitoring well: a 3-d numerical modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liwei; Anderson, Nicole; Dilmore, Robert; Soeder, Daniel J; Bromhal, Grant

    2014-09-16

    Potential natural gas leakage into shallow, overlying formations and aquifers from Marcellus Shale gas drilling operations is a public concern. However, before natural gas could reach underground sources of drinking water (USDW), it must pass through several geologic formations. Tracer and pressure monitoring in formations overlying the Marcellus could help detect natural gas leakage at hydraulic fracturing sites before it reaches USDW. In this study, a numerical simulation code (TOUGH 2) was used to investigate the potential for detecting leaking natural gas in such an overlying geologic formation. The modeled zone was based on a gas field in Greene County, Pennsylvania, undergoing production activities. The model assumed, hypothetically, that methane (CH4), the primary component of natural gas, with some tracer, was leaking around an existing well between the Marcellus Shale and the shallower and lower-pressure Bradford Formation. The leaky well was located 170 m away from a monitoring well, in the Bradford Formation. A simulation study was performed to determine how quickly the tracer monitoring could detect a leak of a known size. Using some typical parameters for the Bradford Formation, model results showed that a detectable tracer volume fraction of 2.0 × 10(-15) would be noted at the monitoring well in 9.8 years. The most rapid detection of tracer for the leak rates simulated was 81 days, but this scenario required that the leakage release point was at the same depth as the perforation zone of the monitoring well and the zones above and below the perforation zone had low permeability, which created a preferred tracer migration pathway along the perforation zone. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the time needed to detect CH4 leakage at the monitoring well was very sensitive to changes in the thickness of the high-permeability zone, CH4 leaking rate, and production rate of the monitoring well. PMID:25144442

  16. Leakage detection of Marcellus Shale natural gas at an Upper Devonian gas monitoring well: a 3-d numerical modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liwei; Anderson, Nicole; Dilmore, Robert; Soeder, Daniel J; Bromhal, Grant

    2014-09-16

    Potential natural gas leakage into shallow, overlying formations and aquifers from Marcellus Shale gas drilling operations is a public concern. However, before natural gas could reach underground sources of drinking water (USDW), it must pass through several geologic formations. Tracer and pressure monitoring in formations overlying the Marcellus could help detect natural gas leakage at hydraulic fracturing sites before it reaches USDW. In this study, a numerical simulation code (TOUGH 2) was used to investigate the potential for detecting leaking natural gas in such an overlying geologic formation. The modeled zone was based on a gas field in Greene County, Pennsylvania, undergoing production activities. The model assumed, hypothetically, that methane (CH4), the primary component of natural gas, with some tracer, was leaking around an existing well between the Marcellus Shale and the shallower and lower-pressure Bradford Formation. The leaky well was located 170 m away from a monitoring well, in the Bradford Formation. A simulation study was performed to determine how quickly the tracer monitoring could detect a leak of a known size. Using some typical parameters for the Bradford Formation, model results showed that a detectable tracer volume fraction of 2.0 × 10(-15) would be noted at the monitoring well in 9.8 years. The most rapid detection of tracer for the leak rates simulated was 81 days, but this scenario required that the leakage release point was at the same depth as the perforation zone of the monitoring well and the zones above and below the perforation zone had low permeability, which created a preferred tracer migration pathway along the perforation zone. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the time needed to detect CH4 leakage at the monitoring well was very sensitive to changes in the thickness of the high-permeability zone, CH4 leaking rate, and production rate of the monitoring well.

  17. Positive approach: Implications for the relation between number theory and geometry, including connection to Santilli mathematics, from Fibonacci reconstitution of natural numbers and of prime numbers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johansen, Stein E.

    2014-12-01

    The paper recapitulates some key elements in previously published results concerning exact and complete reconstitution of the field of natural numbers, both as ordinal and as cardinal numbers, from systematic unfoldment of the Fibonacci algorithm. By this natural numbers emerge as Fibonacci "atoms" and "molecules" consistent with the notion of Zeckendorf sums. Here, the sub-set of prime numbers appears not as the primary numbers, but as an epistructure from a deeper Fibonacci constitution, and is thus targeted from a "positive approach". In the Fibonacci reconstitution of number theory natural numbers show a double geometrical aspect: partly as extension in space and partly as position in a successive structuring of space. More specifically, the natural numbers are shown to be distributed by a concise 5:3 code structured from the Fibonacci algorithm via Pascal's triangle. The paper discusses possible implications for the more general relation between number theory and geometry, as well as more specifically in relation to hadronic mathematics, initiated by R.M. Santilli, and also briefly to some other recent science linking number theory more directly to geometry and natural systems.

  18. Positive approach: Implications for the relation between number theory and geometry, including connection to Santilli mathematics, from Fibonacci reconstitution of natural numbers and of prime numbers

    SciTech Connect

    Johansen, Stein E.

    2014-12-10

    The paper recapitulates some key elements in previously published results concerning exact and complete reconstitution of the field of natural numbers, both as ordinal and as cardinal numbers, from systematic unfoldment of the Fibonacci algorithm. By this natural numbers emerge as Fibonacci 'atoms' and 'molecules' consistent with the notion of Zeckendorf sums. Here, the sub-set of prime numbers appears not as the primary numbers, but as an epistructure from a deeper Fibonacci constitution, and is thus targeted from a 'positive approach'. In the Fibonacci reconstitution of number theory natural numbers show a double geometrical aspect: partly as extension in space and partly as position in a successive structuring of space. More specifically, the natural numbers are shown to be distributed by a concise 5:3 code structured from the Fibonacci algorithm via Pascal's triangle. The paper discusses possible implications for the more general relation between number theory and geometry, as well as more specifically in relation to hadronic mathematics, initiated by R.M. Santilli, and also briefly to some other recent science linking number theory more directly to geometry and natural systems.

  19. Carbon export in the naturally iron-fertilized Kerguelen area of the Southern Ocean based on the 234Th approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Planchon, F.; Ballas, D.; Cavagna, A.-J.; Bowie, A. R.; Davies, D.; Trull, T.; Laurenceau, E.; Van Der Merwe, P.; Dehairs, F.

    2014-11-01

    The Kerguelen Plateau region in the Indian sector of the Southern Ocean supports annually a large-scale phytoplankton bloom which is naturally fertilized with iron. As part of the second KErguelen Ocean and Plateau compared Study expedition (KEOPS2) in austral spring (October-November 2011), we examined upper-ocean Particulate Organic Carbon (POC) export using the 234Th approach. We aimed at characterizing the spatial and the temporal variability of POC export production at high productivity sites over and downstream the Kerguelen plateau. Export production is compared to a High Nutrient Low Chlorophyll area upstream of the plateau in order to assess the impact of iron-induced productivity on the vertical export of carbon. Deficits in 234Th activities relative to its parent nuclide 238U were observed at all stations in surface waters, indicating that scavenging by particles occurred during the early stages of the phytoplankton bloom. 234Th export was lowest at reference station R-2 (412 ± 134 dpm m-2 d-1) and highest inside a~permanent meander of the Polar Front (PF) at stations E (1995 ± 176 dpm m-2 d-1, second visit E-3) where a detailed time series was obtained as part of a~pseudo-lagrangian study. 234Th export over the central plateau was relatively limited at station A3 early (776 ± 171 dpm m-2 d-1, first visit A3-1) and late in the survey (993 ± 223 dpm m-2 d-1, second visit A3-2), but it was higher at high biomass stations TNS-8 (1372 ± 255 dpm m-2 d-1) and E-4W (1068 ± 208 dpm m-2 d-1) in waters which could be considered as derived from plateau. Limited 234Th export of 973 ± 207 dpm m-2 d-1 was also found in the northern branch of the Kerguelen bloom located downstream of the island, north of the PF (station F-L). The 234Th results support that Fe fertilization increased particle export in all iron fertilized waters. The impact was greatest in the recirculation feature (3-4 fold at 200 m depth), but more moderate over the central Kerguelen plateau

  20. Beam induced backgrounds: CDF experience

    SciTech Connect

    Tesarek, R.J.; /Fermilab

    2008-05-01

    We summarize the experiences of the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) experiment in the presence of backgrounds originating from the counter circulating beams in the Fermilab Tevatron. These backgrounds are measured and their sources identified. Finally, we outline the strategies employed to reduce the effects of these backgrounds on the experiment.