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Sample records for active contours snakes

  1. Ingenious Snake: An Adaptive Multi-Class Contours Extraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Baolin; Zhou, Shoujun

    2018-04-01

    Active contour model (ACM) plays an important role in computer vision and medical image application. The traditional ACMs were used to extract single-class of object contours. While, simultaneous extraction of multi-class of interesting contours (i.e., various contours with closed- or open-ended) have not been solved so far. Therefore, a novel ACM model named “Ingenious Snake” is proposed to adaptively extract these interesting contours. In the first place, the ridge-points are extracted based on the local phase measurement of gradient vector flow field; the consequential ridgelines initialization are automated with high speed. Secondly, the contours’ deformation and evolvement are implemented with the ingenious snake. In the experiments, the result from initialization, deformation and evolvement are compared with the existing methods. The quantitative evaluation of the structure extraction is satisfying with respect of effectiveness and accuracy.

  2. AN IMPROVED SNAKE MODEL FOR REFINEMENT OF LIDAR-DERIVED BUILDING ROOF CONTOURS USING AERIAL IMAGES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Q. Chen

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Building roof contours are considered as very important geometric data, which have been widely applied in many fields, including but not limited to urban planning, land investigation, change detection and military reconnaissance. Currently, the demand on building contours at a finer scale (especially in urban areas has been raised in a growing number of studies such as urban environment quality assessment, urban sprawl monitoring and urban air pollution modelling. LiDAR is known as an effective means of acquiring 3D roof points with high elevation accuracy. However, the precision of the building contour obtained from LiDAR data is restricted by its relatively low scanning resolution. With the use of the texture information from high-resolution imagery, the precision can be improved. In this study, an improved snake model is proposed to refine the initial building contours extracted from LiDAR. First, an improved snake model is constructed with the constraints of the deviation angle, image gradient, and area. Then, the nodes of the contour are moved in a certain range to find the best optimized result using greedy algorithm. Considering both precision and efficiency, the candidate shift positions of the contour nodes are constrained, and the searching strategy for the candidate nodes is explicitly designed. The experiments on three datasets indicate that the proposed method for building contour refinement is effective and feasible. The average quality index is improved from 91.66% to 93.34%. The statistics of the evaluation results for every single building demonstrated that 77.0% of the total number of contours is updated with higher quality index.

  3. Universality in the merging dynamics of parametric active contours: a study in MRI based lung segmentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chattopadhyay, Amit K; Ray, Nilanjan; Acton, Scott T

    2005-01-01

    Measurement of lung ventilation is one of the most reliable techniques in diagnosing pulmonary diseases. The time-consuming and bias-prone traditional methods using hyperpolarized H 3 He and 1 H magnetic resonance imageries have recently been improved by an automated technique based on 'multiple active contour evolution'. This method involves a simultaneous evolution of multiple initial conditions, called 'snakes', eventually leading to their 'merging' and is entirely independent of the shapes and sizes of snakes or other parametric details. The objective of this paper is to show, through a theoretical analysis, that the functional dynamics of merging as depicted in the active contour method has a direct analogue in statistical physics and this explains its 'universality'. We show that the multiple active contour method has an universal scaling behaviour akin to that of classical nucleation in two spatial dimensions. We prove our point by comparing the numerically evaluated exponents with an equivalent thermodynamic model

  4. Measurement of laser welding pool geometry using a closed convex active contour model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zheng, Rui; Zhang, Pu; Duan, Aiqing; Xiao, Peng

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to develop a computer vision method to measure geometric parameters of the weld pool in a deep penetration CO 2 laser welding system. Accurate measurement was achieved by removing a huge amount of interference caused by spatter, arc light and plasma to extract the true weld pool contour. This paper introduces a closed convex active contour (CCAC) model derived from the active contour model (snake model), which is a more robust high-level vision method than the traditional low-level vision methods. We made an improvement by integrating an active contour with the information that the weld pool contour is almost a closed convex curve. An effective thresholding method and an improved greedy algorithm are also given to complement the CCAC model. These influences can be effectively removed by using the CCAC model to acquire and measure the weld pool contour accurately and relatively fast. (paper)

  5. Detection of the carpal bone contours from 3-D MR images of the wrist using a planar radial scale-space snake

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snel, J. G.; Venema, H. W.; Grimbergen, C. A.

    1998-01-01

    In this paper we consider the problems encountered when applying snake models to detect the contours of the carpal bones in 3-D MR images of the wrist. In order to improve the performance of the original snake model introduced by Kass [1], we propose a new image force based on one-dimensional (1-D)

  6. Quantification of left ventricular volumes from cardiac cine MRI using active contour model combined with gradient vector flow

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tanki, Nobuyoshi; Murase, Kenya; Kumashiro, Masayuki; Momoi, Risa; Yang, Xiaomei; Tabuchi, Takashi; Nagayama, Masako; Watanabe, Yuji

    2005-01-01

    We investigated the feasibility of combining the active contour model with gradient vector flow (Snakes-GVF) to estimate left ventricular (LV) volumes from cardiac cine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI data were acquired from 27 patients, including 14 adults (9 men, 5 women, 55.0±23.3 years) and 13 children (10 boys, 3 girls, 2.7±2.1 years) using Gyroscan Intera (1.5 Tesla, Philips Medical Systems). LV volumes were calculated by adding the areas surrounded by the contour extracted by Snakes-GVF and compared with volumes estimated by manual tracing. Those estimated by Snakes-GVF [y (mL)] correlated well with those estimated by manual tracing [x (mL)]. In adult cases, the regression equation and correlation coefficient were y=1.008x-0.517 and 0.996, respectively. In pediatric cases, they were y=1.174x-2.542 and 0.992, respectively. In conclusion, Snakes-GVF is a powerful and useful tool for quantifying LV volumes using cardiac MRI. (author)

  7. JESS: Java extensible snakes system

    Science.gov (United States)

    McInerney, Tim; Akhavan Sharif, M. Reza; Pashotanizadeh, Nasrin

    2005-04-01

    Snakes (Active Contour Models) are powerful model-based image segmentation tools. Although researchers have proven them especially useful in medical image analysis over the past decade, Snakes have remained primarily in the academic world and they have not become widely used in clinical practice or widely available in commercial packages. A number of confusing and specialized variants exist and there has been no standard open-source implementation available. To address this problem, we present a Java Extensible Snakes System (JESS) that is general, portable, and extensible. The system uses Java Swing classes to allow for the rapid development of custom graphical user interfaces (GUI's). It also incorporates the Java Advanced Imaging(JAI) class library, which provide custom image preprocessing, image display and general image I/O. The Snakes algorithm itself is written in a hierarchical fashion, consisting of a general Snake class and several subclasses that span the main variants of Snakes including a new, powerful, robust subdivision-curve Snake. These subclasses can be easily and quickly extended and customized for any specific segmentation and analysis task. We demonstrate the utility of these classes for segmenting various anatomical structures from 2D medical images. We also demonstrate the effectiveness of JESS by using it to rapidly build a prototype semi-automatic sperm analysis system. The JESS software will be made publicly available in early 2005.

  8. Contour Propagation Using Feature-Based Deformable Registration for Lung Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuhan Yang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Accurate target delineation of CT image is a critical step in radiotherapy treatment planning. This paper describes a novel strategy for automatic contour propagation, based on deformable registration, for CT images of lung cancer. The proposed strategy starts with a manual-delineated contour in one slice of a 3D CT image. By means of feature-based deformable registration, the initial contour in other slices of the image can be propagated automatically, and then refined by active contour approach. Three algorithms are employed in the strategy: the Speeded-Up Robust Features (SURF, Thin-Plate Spline (TPS, and an adapted active contour (Snake, used to refine and modify the initial contours. Five pulmonary cancer cases with about 400 slices and 1000 contours have been used to verify the proposed strategy. Experiments demonstrate that the proposed strategy can improve the segmentation performance in the pulmonary CT images. Jaccard similarity (JS mean is about 0.88 and the maximum of Hausdorff distance (HD is about 90%. In addition, delineation time has been considerably reduced. The proposed feature-based deformable registration method in the automatic contour propagation improves the delineation efficiency significantly.

  9. Recombinant snake venom prothrombin activators

    OpenAIRE

    L?vgren, Ann

    2012-01-01

    Three prothrombin activators; ecarin, which was originally isolated from the venom of the saw-scaled viper Echis carinatus, trocarin from the rough-scaled snake Tropidechis carinatus, and oscutarin from the Taipan snake Oxyuranus scutellatus, were expressed in mammalian cells with the purpose to obtain recombinant prothrombin activators that could be used to convert prothrombin to thrombin. We have previously reported that recombinant ecarin can efficiently generate thrombin without the need ...

  10. Active contour based segmentation of resected livers in CT images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oelmann, Simon; Oyarzun Laura, Cristina; Drechsler, Klaus; Wesarg, Stefan

    2015-03-01

    The majority of state of the art segmentation algorithms are able to give proper results in healthy organs but not in pathological ones. However, many clinical applications require an accurate segmentation of pathological organs. The determination of the target boundaries for radiotherapy or liver volumetry calculations are examples of this. Volumetry measurements are of special interest after tumor resection for follow up of liver regrow. The segmentation of resected livers presents additional challenges that were not addressed by state of the art algorithms. This paper presents a snakes based algorithm specially developed for the segmentation of resected livers. The algorithm is enhanced with a novel dynamic smoothing technique that allows the active contour to propagate with different speeds depending on the intensities visible in its neighborhood. The algorithm is evaluated in 6 clinical CT images as well as 18 artificial datasets generated from additional clinical CT images.

  11. Snakes! Snakes! Snakes!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nature Naturally, 1983

    1983-01-01

    Designed for students in grades 4-6, the teaching unit presents illustrations and facts about snakes. Topics include common snakes found in the United States, how snakes eat, how snakes shed their skin, poisonous snakes, the Eastern Indigo snake, and the anatomy of a snake. A student page includes a crossword puzzle and surprising snake facts. A…

  12. Dictionary Snakes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dahl, Anders Bjorholm; Dahl, Vedrana Andersen

    2014-01-01

    for image segmentation that operates without training data. Our method is based on a probabilistic dictionary of image patches coupled with a deformable model inspired by snakes and active contours without edges. We separate the image into two classes based on the information provided by the evolving curve......, which moves according to the probabilistic information obtained from the dictionary. Initially, the image patches are assigned to the nearest dictionary element, where the image is sampled at each pixel such that patches overlap. The curve divides the image into an inside and an outside region allowing...... us to estimate the pixel-wise probability of the dictionary elements. In each iteration we evolve the curve and update the probabilities, which merges similar texture patterns and pulls dissimilar patterns apart. We experimentally evaluate our approach, and show how textured objects are precisely...

  13. Kinematics, muscular activity and propulsion in gopher snakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon; Gans

    1998-10-01

    Previous studies have addressed the physical principles and muscular activity patterns underlying terrestrial lateral undulation in snakes, but not the mechanism by which muscular activity produces curvature and propulsion. In this study, we used synchronized electromyography and videography to examine the muscular basis and propulsive mechanism of terrestrial lateral undulation in gopher snakes Pituophis melanoleucus affinis. Specifically, we used patch electrodes to record from the semispinalis, longissimus dorsi and iliocostalis muscles in snakes pushing against one or more pegs. Axial bends propagate posteriorly along the body and contact the pegs at or immediately posterior to an inflection of curvature, which then reverses anterior to the peg. The vertebral column bends broadly around a peg, whereas the body wall bends sharply and asymmetrically around the anterior surface of the peg. The epaxial muscles are always active contralateral to the point of contact with a peg; they are activated slightly before or at the point of maximal convexity and deactivated variably between the inflection point and the point of maximal concavity. This pattern is consistent with muscular shortening and the production of axial bends, although variability in the pattern indicates that other muscles may affect the mechanics of the epaxial muscles. The kinematic and motor patterns in snakes crawling against experimentally increased drag indicated that forces are produced largely by muscles that are active in the axial bend around each peg, rather than by distant muscles from which the forces might be transmitted by connective tissues. At each point of force exertion, the propulsive mechanism of terrestrial lateral undulation may be modeled as a type of cam-follower, in which continuous bending of the trunk around the peg produces translation of the snake.

  14. Snake venoms components with antitumor activity in murine melanoma cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Queiroz, Rodrigo Guimaraes

    2012-01-01

    Despite the constant advances in the treatment of cancer, this disease remains one of the main causes of mortality worldwide. So, the development of new treatment modalities is imperative. Snake venom causes a variety of biological effects because they constitute a complex mixture of substances as disintegrins, proteases (serine and metalo), phospholipases A2, L-amino acid oxidases and others. The goal of the present work is to evaluate a anti-tumor activity of some snake venoms fractions. There are several studies of components derived from snake venoms with this kind of activity. After fractionation of snake venoms of the families Viperidae and Elapidae, the fractions were assayed towards murine melanoma cell line B16-F10 and fibroblasts L929. The results showed that the fractions of venom of the snake Notechis ater niger had higher specificity and potential antitumor activity on B16-F10 cell line than the other studied venoms. Since the components of this venom are not explored yet coupled with the potential activity showed in this work, we decided to choose this venom to develop further studies. The cytotoxic fractions were evaluated to identify and characterize the components that showed antitumoral activity. Western blot assays and zymography suggests that these proteins do not belong to the class of metallo and serine proteinases. (author)

  15. Towards Stabilizing Parametric Active Contours

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liu, Jinchao; Fan, Zhun; Olsen, Søren Ingvor

    2014-01-01

    Numerical instability often occurs in evolving of parametric active contours. This is mainly due to the undesired change of parametrization during evolution. In this paper, we propose a new tangential diffusion term to compensate this undesired change. As a result, the parametrization will converge...

  16. A hand tracking algorithm with particle filter and improved GVF snake model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yi-qi; Wu, Ai-guo; Dong, Na; Shao, Yi-zhe

    2017-07-01

    To solve the problem that the accurate information of hand cannot be obtained by particle filter, a hand tracking algorithm based on particle filter combined with skin-color adaptive gradient vector flow (GVF) snake model is proposed. Adaptive GVF and skin color adaptive external guidance force are introduced to the traditional GVF snake model, guiding the curve to quickly converge to the deep concave region of hand contour and obtaining the complex hand contour accurately. This algorithm realizes a real-time correction of the particle filter parameters, avoiding the particle drift phenomenon. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithm can reduce the root mean square error of the hand tracking by 53%, and improve the accuracy of hand tracking in the case of complex and moving background, even with a large range of occlusion.

  17. From Inpainting to Active Contours

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lauze, Francois Bernard; Nielsen, Mads

    2008-01-01

    state equation). The contour evolution is implemented in the framework of level sets. Finally, the proposed method is validated on various examples. We focus among others in the segmentation of calcified plaques observed in radiographs from human lumbar aortic regions. Keywords  Segmentation - Inpainting - Active...

  18. Brachial artery vasomotion and transducer pressure effect on measurements by active contour segmentation on ultrasound

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cary, Theodore W.; Sultan, Laith R.; Sehgal, Chandra M., E-mail: sehgalc@uphs.upenn.edu [Department of Radiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104 (United States); Reamer, Courtney B.; Mohler, Emile R. [Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Section of Vascular Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104 (United States)

    2014-02-15

    Purpose: To use feed-forward active contours (snakes) to track and measure brachial artery vasomotion on ultrasound images recorded in both transverse and longitudinal views; and to compare the algorithm's performance in each view. Methods: Longitudinal and transverse view ultrasound image sequences of 45 brachial arteries were segmented by feed-forward active contour (FFAC). The segmented regions were used to measure vasomotion artery diameter, cross-sectional area, and distention both as peak-to-peak diameter and as area. ECG waveforms were also simultaneously extracted frame-by-frame by thresholding a running finite-difference image between consecutive images. The arterial and ECG waveforms were compared as they traced each phase of the cardiac cycle. Results: FFAC successfully segmented arteries in longitudinal and transverse views in all 45 cases. The automated analysis took significantly less time than manual tracing, but produced superior, well-behaved arterial waveforms. Automated arterial measurements also had lower interobserver variability as measured by correlation, difference in mean values, and coefficient of variation. Although FFAC successfully segmented both the longitudinal and transverse images, transverse measurements were less variable. The cross-sectional area computed from the longitudinal images was 27% lower than the area measured from transverse images, possibly due to the compression of the artery along the image depth by transducer pressure. Conclusions: FFAC is a robust and sensitive vasomotion segmentation algorithm in both transverse and longitudinal views. Transverse imaging may offer advantages over longitudinal imaging: transverse measurements are more consistent, possibly because the method is less sensitive to variations in transducer pressure during imaging.

  19. Global regularizing flows with topology preservation for active contours and polygons.

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    Sundaramoorthi, Ganesh; Yezzi, Anthony

    2007-03-01

    Active contour and active polygon models have been used widely for image segmentation. In some applications, the topology of the object(s) to be detected from an image is known a priori, despite a complex unknown geometry, and it is important that the active contour or polygon maintain the desired topology. In this work, we construct a novel geometric flow that can be added to image-based evolutions of active contours and polygons in order to preserve the topology of the initial contour or polygon. We emphasize that, unlike other methods for topology preservation, the proposed geometric flow continually adjusts the geometry of the original evolution in a gradual and graceful manner so as to prevent a topology change long before the curve or polygon becomes close to topology change. The flow also serves as a global regularity term for the evolving contour, and has smoothness properties similar to curvature flow. These properties of gradually adjusting the original flow and global regularization prevent geometrical inaccuracies common with simple discrete topology preservation schemes. The proposed topology preserving geometric flow is the gradient flow arising from an energy that is based on electrostatic principles. The evolution of a single point on the contour depends on all other points of the contour, which is different from traditional curve evolutions in the computer vision literature.

  20. Automatic Image Segmentation Using Active Contours with Univariate Marginal Distribution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Cruz-Aceves

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a novel automatic image segmentation method based on the theory of active contour models and estimation of distribution algorithms. The proposed method uses the univariate marginal distribution model to infer statistical dependencies between the control points on different active contours. These contours have been generated through an alignment process of reference shape priors, in order to increase the exploration and exploitation capabilities regarding different interactive segmentation techniques. This proposed method is applied in the segmentation of the hollow core in microscopic images of photonic crystal fibers and it is also used to segment the human heart and ventricular areas from datasets of computed tomography and magnetic resonance images, respectively. Moreover, to evaluate the performance of the medical image segmentations compared to regions outlined by experts, a set of similarity measures has been adopted. The experimental results suggest that the proposed image segmentation method outperforms the traditional active contour model and the interactive Tseng method in terms of segmentation accuracy and stability.

  1. Active contour-based visual tracking by integrating colors, shapes, and motions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Weiming; Zhou, Xue; Li, Wei; Luo, Wenhan; Zhang, Xiaoqin; Maybank, Stephen

    2013-05-01

    In this paper, we present a framework for active contour-based visual tracking using level sets. The main components of our framework include contour-based tracking initialization, color-based contour evolution, adaptive shape-based contour evolution for non-periodic motions, dynamic shape-based contour evolution for periodic motions, and the handling of abrupt motions. For the initialization of contour-based tracking, we develop an optical flow-based algorithm for automatically initializing contours at the first frame. For the color-based contour evolution, Markov random field theory is used to measure correlations between values of neighboring pixels for posterior probability estimation. For adaptive shape-based contour evolution, the global shape information and the local color information are combined to hierarchically evolve the contour, and a flexible shape updating model is constructed. For the dynamic shape-based contour evolution, a shape mode transition matrix is learnt to characterize the temporal correlations of object shapes. For the handling of abrupt motions, particle swarm optimization is adopted to capture the global motion which is applied to the contour in the current frame to produce an initial contour in the next frame.

  2. Object segmentation using graph cuts and active contours in a pyramidal framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subudhi, Priyambada; Mukhopadhyay, Susanta

    2018-03-01

    Graph cuts and active contours are two very popular interactive object segmentation techniques in the field of computer vision and image processing. However, both these approaches have their own well-known limitations. Graph cut methods perform efficiently giving global optimal segmentation result for smaller images. However, for larger images, huge graphs need to be constructed which not only takes an unacceptable amount of memory but also increases the time required for segmentation to a great extent. On the other hand, in case of active contours, initial contour selection plays an important role in the accuracy of the segmentation. So a proper selection of initial contour may improve the complexity as well as the accuracy of the result. In this paper, we have tried to combine these two approaches to overcome their above-mentioned drawbacks and develop a fast technique of object segmentation. Here, we have used a pyramidal framework and applied the mincut/maxflow algorithm on the lowest resolution image with the least number of seed points possible which will be very fast due to the smaller size of the image. Then, the obtained segmentation contour is super-sampled and and worked as the initial contour for the next higher resolution image. As the initial contour is very close to the actual contour, so fewer number of iterations will be required for the convergence of the contour. The process is repeated for all the high-resolution images and experimental results show that our approach is faster as well as memory efficient as compare to both graph cut or active contour segmentation alone.

  3. NSCT BASED LOCAL ENHANCEMENT FOR ACTIVE CONTOUR BASED IMAGE SEGMENTATION APPLICATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiren Mewada

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Because of cross-disciplinary nature, Active Contour modeling techniques have been utilized extensively for the image segmentation. In traditional active contour based segmentation techniques based on level set methods, the energy functions are defined based on the intensity gradient. This makes them highly sensitive to the situation where the underlying image content is characterized by image nonhomogeneities due to illumination and contrast condition. This is the most difficult problem to make them as fully automatic image segmentation techniques. This paper introduces one of the approaches based on image enhancement to this problem. The enhanced image is obtained using NonSubsampled Contourlet Transform, which improves the edges strengths in the direction where the illumination is not proper and then active contour model based on level set technique is utilized to segment the object. Experiment results demonstrate that proposed method can be utilized along with existing active contour model based segmentation method under situation characterized by intensity non-homogeneity to make them fully automatic.

  4. Inner and outer coronary vessel wall segmentation from CCTA using an active contour model with machine learning-based 3D voxel context-aware image force

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivalingam, Udhayaraj; Wels, Michael; Rempfler, Markus; Grosskopf, Stefan; Suehling, Michael; Menze, Bjoern H.

    2016-03-01

    In this paper, we present a fully automated approach to coronary vessel segmentation, which involves calcification or soft plaque delineation in addition to accurate lumen delineation, from 3D Cardiac Computed Tomography Angiography data. Adequately virtualizing the coronary lumen plays a crucial role for simulating blood ow by means of fluid dynamics while additionally identifying the outer vessel wall in the case of arteriosclerosis is a prerequisite for further plaque compartment analysis. Our method is a hybrid approach complementing Active Contour Model-based segmentation with an external image force that relies on a Random Forest Regression model generated off-line. The regression model provides a strong estimate of the distance to the true vessel surface for every surface candidate point taking into account 3D wavelet-encoded contextual image features, which are aligned with the current surface hypothesis. The associated external image force is integrated in the objective function of the active contour model, such that the overall segmentation approach benefits from the advantages associated with snakes and from the ones associated with machine learning-based regression alike. This yields an integrated approach achieving competitive results on a publicly available benchmark data collection (Rotterdam segmentation challenge).

  5. Static magnetic field changes the activity of venom phospholipase of Vipera Lebetina snakes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garibova, L.S.; Avetisyan, T.O.; Ajrapetyan, S.N.

    2000-01-01

    The effect of the static magnetic field (SMF) on the phospholipid activity of the class-A snake venom is studied. The Vipera Lebetina snake venom was subjected during 10 days to 30 minute impact of the CMF daily. It is established that increase in the phospholipase A 1 and A 2 approximately by 21 and 32 % correspondingly and in the phosphodiesterase C - by 33 % was observed. The decrease in the total protein level of the snake venom by 31.6 ± 2.2 % was noted thereby. It may be assumed that the described phospholipase and phosphoesterase changes may lead to essential shifts in the total metabolic activity of cells and organism as a whole. The activity index of these ferments may serve as an indicator of changes in the environmental magnetic field [ru

  6. Applications of snake venom components to modulate integrin activities in cell-matrix interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcinkiewicz, Cezary

    2013-01-01

    Snake venom proteins are broadly investigated in the different areas of life science. Direct interaction of these compounds with cells may involve a variety of mechanisms that result in diverse cellular responses leading to the activation or blocking of physiological functions of the cell. In this review, the snake venom components interacting with integrins will be characterized in context of their effect on cellular response. Currently, two major families of snake venom proteins are considered as integrin-binding molecules. The most attention has been devoted to the disintegrin family, which binds certain types of integrins through specific motifs recognized as a tri-peptide structurally localized on an integrin-binding loop. Other snake venom integrin-binding proteins belong to the C-type lectin family. Snake venom molecules bind to the cellular integrins resulting in a modulation of cell signaling and in consequence, the regulation of cell proliferation, migration and apoptosis. Therefore, snake venom research on the integrin-binding molecules may have significance in biomedicine and basic cell biology. PMID:23811033

  7. An improved active contour model for glacial lake extraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, H.; Chen, F.; Zhang, M.

    2017-12-01

    Active contour model is a widely used method in visual tracking and image segmentation. Under the driven of objective function, the initial curve defined in active contour model will evolve to a stable condition - a desired result in given image. As a typical region-based active contour model, C-V model has a good effect on weak boundaries detection and anti noise ability which shows great potential in glacial lake extraction. Glacial lake is a sensitive indicator for reflecting global climate change, therefore accurate delineate glacial lake boundaries is essential to evaluate hydrologic environment and living environment. However, the current method in glacial lake extraction mainly contains water index method and recognition classification method are diffcult to directly applied in large scale glacial lake extraction due to the diversity of glacial lakes and masses impacted factors in the image, such as image noise, shadows, snow and ice, etc. Regarding the abovementioned advantanges of C-V model and diffcults in glacial lake extraction, we introduce the signed pressure force function to improve the C-V model for adapting to processing of glacial lake extraction. To inspect the effect of glacial lake extraction results, three typical glacial lake development sites were selected, include Altai mountains, Centre Himalayas, South-eastern Tibet, and Landsat8 OLI imagery was conducted as experiment data source, Google earth imagery as reference data for varifying the results. The experiment consequence suggests that improved active contour model we proposed can effectively discriminate the glacial lakes from complex backgound with a higher Kappa Coefficient - 0.895, especially in some small glacial lakes which belongs to weak information in the image. Our finding provide a new approach to improved accuracy under the condition of large proportion of small glacial lakes and the possibility for automated glacial lake mapping in large-scale area.

  8. Human body contour data based activity recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myagmarbayar, Nergui; Yuki, Yoshida; Imamoglu, Nevrez; Gonzalez, Jose; Otake, Mihoko; Yu, Wenwei

    2013-01-01

    This research work is aimed to develop autonomous bio-monitoring mobile robots, which are capable of tracking and measuring patients' motions, recognizing the patients' behavior based on observation data, and providing calling for medical personnel in emergency situations in home environment. The robots to be developed will bring about cost-effective, safe and easier at-home rehabilitation to most motor-function impaired patients (MIPs). In our previous research, a full framework was established towards this research goal. In this research, we aimed at improving the human activity recognition by using contour data of the tracked human subject extracted from the depth images as the signal source, instead of the lower limb joint angle data used in the previous research, which are more likely to be affected by the motion of the robot and human subjects. Several geometric parameters, such as, the ratio of height to weight of the tracked human subject, and distance (pixels) between centroid points of upper and lower parts of human body, were calculated from the contour data, and used as the features for the activity recognition. A Hidden Markov Model (HMM) is employed to classify different human activities from the features. Experimental results showed that the human activity recognition could be achieved with a high correct rate.

  9. A 3-Step Algorithm Using Region-Based Active Contours for Video Objects Detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphanie Jehan-Besson

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available We propose a 3-step algorithm for the automatic detection of moving objects in video sequences using region-based active contours. First, we introduce a very full general framework for region-based active contours with a new Eulerian method to compute the evolution equation of the active contour from a criterion including both region-based and boundary-based terms. This framework can be easily adapted to various applications, thanks to the introduction of functions named descriptors of the different regions. With this new Eulerian method based on shape optimization principles, we can easily take into account the case of descriptors depending upon features globally attached to the regions. Second, we propose a 3-step algorithm for detection of moving objects, with a static or a mobile camera, using region-based active contours. The basic idea is to hierarchically associate temporal and spatial information. The active contour evolves with successively three sets of descriptors: a temporal one, and then two spatial ones. The third spatial descriptor takes advantage of the segmentation of the image in intensity homogeneous regions. User interaction is reduced to the choice of a few parameters at the beginning of the process. Some experimental results are supplied.

  10. Efficient Active Contour and K-Means Algorithms in Image Segmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.R. Rommelse

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we discuss a classic clustering algorithm that can be used to segment images and a recently developed active contour image segmentation model. We propose integrating aspects of the classic algorithm to improve the active contour model. For the resulting CVK and B-means segmentation algorithms we examine methods to decrease the size of the image domain. The CVK method has been implemented to run on parallel and distributed computers. By changing the order of updating the pixels, it was possible to replace synchronous communication with asynchronous communication and subsequently the parallel efficiency is improved.

  11. Micrurus snake venoms activate human complement system and generate anaphylatoxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanaka Gabriela D

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The genus Micrurus, coral snakes (Serpentes, Elapidae, comprises more than 120 species and subspecies distributed from the south United States to the south of South America. Micrurus snake bites can cause death by muscle paralysis and further respiratory arrest within a few hours after envenomation. Clinical observations show mainly neurotoxic symptoms, although other biological activities have also been experimentally observed, including cardiotoxicity, hemolysis, edema and myotoxicity. Results In the present study we have investigated the action of venoms from seven species of snakes from the genus Micrurus on the complement system in in vitro studies. Several of the Micrurus species could consume the classical and/or the lectin pathways, but not the alternative pathway, and C3a, C4a and C5a were generated in sera treated with the venoms as result of this complement activation. Micrurus venoms were also able to directly cleave the α chain of the component C3, but not of the C4, which was inhibited by 1,10 Phenanthroline, suggesting the presence of a C3α chain specific metalloprotease in Micrurus spp venoms. Furthermore, complement activation was in part associated with the cleavage of C1-Inhibitor by protease(s present in the venoms, which disrupts complement activation control. Conclusion Micrurus venoms can activate the complement system, generating a significant amount of anaphylatoxins, which may assist due to their vasodilatory effects, to enhance the spreading of other venom components during the envenomation process.

  12. Multiple Active Contours Guided by Differential Evolution for Medical Image Segmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz-Aceves, I.; Avina-Cervantes, J. G.; Lopez-Hernandez, J. M.; Rostro-Gonzalez, H.; Garcia-Capulin, C. H.; Torres-Cisneros, M.; Guzman-Cabrera, R.

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents a new image segmentation method based on multiple active contours guided by differential evolution, called MACDE. The segmentation method uses differential evolution over a polar coordinate system to increase the exploration and exploitation capabilities regarding the classical active contour model. To evaluate the performance of the proposed method, a set of synthetic images with complex objects, Gaussian noise, and deep concavities is introduced. Subsequently, MACDE is applied on datasets of sequential computed tomography and magnetic resonance images which contain the human heart and the human left ventricle, respectively. Finally, to obtain a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the medical image segmentations compared to regions outlined by experts, a set of distance and similarity metrics has been adopted. According to the experimental results, MACDE outperforms the classical active contour model and the interactive Tseng method in terms of efficiency and robustness for obtaining the optimal control points and attains a high accuracy segmentation. PMID:23983809

  13. Multiple Active Contours Guided by Differential Evolution for Medical Image Segmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Cruz-Aceves

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a new image segmentation method based on multiple active contours guided by differential evolution, called MACDE. The segmentation method uses differential evolution over a polar coordinate system to increase the exploration and exploitation capabilities regarding the classical active contour model. To evaluate the performance of the proposed method, a set of synthetic images with complex objects, Gaussian noise, and deep concavities is introduced. Subsequently, MACDE is applied on datasets of sequential computed tomography and magnetic resonance images which contain the human heart and the human left ventricle, respectively. Finally, to obtain a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the medical image segmentations compared to regions outlined by experts, a set of distance and similarity metrics has been adopted. According to the experimental results, MACDE outperforms the classical active contour model and the interactive Tseng method in terms of efficiency and robustness for obtaining the optimal control points and attains a high accuracy segmentation.

  14. An automated approach for segmentation of intravascular ultrasound images based on parametric active contour models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vard, Alireza; Jamshidi, Kamal; Movahhedinia, Naser

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a fully automated approach to detect the intima and media-adventitia borders in intravascular ultrasound images based on parametric active contour models. To detect the intima border, we compute a new image feature applying a combination of short-term autocorrelations calculated for the contour pixels. These feature values are employed to define an energy function of the active contour called normalized cumulative short-term autocorrelation. Exploiting this energy function, the intima border is separated accurately from the blood region contaminated by high speckle noise. To extract media-adventitia boundary, we define a new form of energy function based on edge, texture and spring forces for the active contour. Utilizing this active contour, the media-adventitia border is identified correctly even in presence of branch openings and calcifications. Experimental results indicate accuracy of the proposed methods. In addition, statistical analysis demonstrates high conformity between manual tracing and the results obtained by the proposed approaches.

  15. Snake scales, partial exposure, and the Snake Detection Theory: A human event-related potentials study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Strien, Jan W.; Isbell, Lynne A.

    2017-01-01

    Studies of event-related potentials in humans have established larger early posterior negativity (EPN) in response to pictures depicting snakes than to pictures depicting other creatures. Ethological research has recently shown that macaques and wild vervet monkeys respond strongly to partially exposed snake models and scale patterns on the snake skin. Here, we examined whether snake skin patterns and partially exposed snakes elicit a larger EPN in humans. In Task 1, we employed pictures with close-ups of snake skins, lizard skins, and bird plumage. In task 2, we employed pictures of partially exposed snakes, lizards, and birds. Participants watched a random rapid serial visual presentation of these pictures. The EPN was scored as the mean activity (225–300 ms after picture onset) at occipital and parieto-occipital electrodes. Consistent with previous studies, and with the Snake Detection Theory, the EPN was significantly larger for snake skin pictures than for lizard skin and bird plumage pictures, and for lizard skin pictures than for bird plumage pictures. Likewise, the EPN was larger for partially exposed snakes than for partially exposed lizards and birds. The results suggest that the EPN snake effect is partly driven by snake skin scale patterns which are otherwise rare in nature. PMID:28387376

  16. On the Relationship between Variational Level Set-Based and SOM-Based Active Contours

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdelsamea, Mohammed M.; Gnecco, Giorgio; Gaber, Mohamed Medhat; Elyan, Eyad

    2015-01-01

    Most Active Contour Models (ACMs) deal with the image segmentation problem as a functional optimization problem, as they work on dividing an image into several regions by optimizing a suitable functional. Among ACMs, variational level set methods have been used to build an active contour with the aim of modeling arbitrarily complex shapes. Moreover, they can handle also topological changes of the contours. Self-Organizing Maps (SOMs) have attracted the attention of many computer vision scientists, particularly in modeling an active contour based on the idea of utilizing the prototypes (weights) of a SOM to control the evolution of the contour. SOM-based models have been proposed in general with the aim of exploiting the specific ability of SOMs to learn the edge-map information via their topology preservation property and overcoming some drawbacks of other ACMs, such as trapping into local minima of the image energy functional to be minimized in such models. In this survey, we illustrate the main concepts of variational level set-based ACMs, SOM-based ACMs, and their relationship and review in a comprehensive fashion the development of their state-of-the-art models from a machine learning perspective, with a focus on their strengths and weaknesses. PMID:25960736

  17. Segmentation of breast ultrasound images based on active contours using neutrosophic theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lotfollahi, Mahsa; Gity, Masoumeh; Ye, Jing Yong; Mahlooji Far, A

    2018-04-01

    Ultrasound imaging is an effective approach for diagnosing breast cancer, but it is highly operator-dependent. Recent advances in computer-aided diagnosis have suggested that it can assist physicians in diagnosis. Definition of the region of interest before computer analysis is still needed. Since manual outlining of the tumor contour is tedious and time-consuming for a physician, developing an automatic segmentation method is important for clinical application. The present paper represents a novel method to segment breast ultrasound images. It utilizes a combination of region-based active contour and neutrosophic theory to overcome the natural properties of ultrasound images including speckle noise and tissue-related textures. First, due to inherent speckle noise and low contrast of these images, we have utilized a non-local means filter and fuzzy logic method for denoising and image enhancement, respectively. This paper presents an improved weighted region-scalable active contour to segment breast ultrasound images using a new feature derived from neutrosophic theory. This method has been applied to 36 breast ultrasound images. It generates true-positive and false-positive results, and similarity of 95%, 6%, and 90%, respectively. The purposed method indicates clear advantages over other conventional methods of active contour segmentation, i.e., region-scalable fitting energy and weighted region-scalable fitting energy.

  18. On-Road Vehicle Recognition Using the Symmetry Property and Snake Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shumin Liu

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Vehicle recognition is a fundamental task for advanced driver assistance systems and contributes to the avoidance of collisions with other vehicles. In recent years, numerous approaches using monocular image analysis have been reported for vehicle detection. These approaches are primarily applied in motorway scenarios and may not be suitable for complex urban traffic with a diversity of obstacles and a clustered background. In this paper, stereovision is firstly used to segment potential vehicles from the traffic background. Given that the contour curve is the most straightforward cue for object recognition, we present here a novel method for complete contour curve extraction using symmetry properties and a snake model. Finally, two shape factors, including the aspect ratio and the area ratio calculated from the contour curve, are used to judge whether the object detected is a vehicle or not. The approach presented here was tested with substantial urban traffic images and the experimental results demonstrated that the correction rate for vehicle recognition reaches 93%.

  19. Fast Graph Partitioning Active Contours for Image Segmentation Using Histograms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nath SumitK

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract We present a method to improve the accuracy and speed, as well as significantly reduce the memory requirements, for the recently proposed Graph Partitioning Active Contours (GPACs algorithm for image segmentation in the work of Sumengen and Manjunath (2006. Instead of computing an approximate but still expensive dissimilarity matrix of quadratic size, , for a 2D image of size and regular image tiles of size , we use fixed length histograms and an intensity-based symmetric-centrosymmetric extensor matrix to jointly compute terms associated with the complete dissimilarity matrix. This computationally efficient reformulation of GPAC using a very small memory footprint offers two distinct advantages over the original implementation. It speeds up convergence of the evolving active contour and seamlessly extends performance of GPAC to multidimensional images.

  20. Water-soluble proteinase activity of gastric fluids in the European whip snake, Hierophis viridiflavus: an experimental preliminary survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Felicioli

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the mechanism of metabolic digestion and of food assimilation in wild snake species is of fundamental importance to compare trophic niches, their adaptive significance and evolutionary patterns of diet selection for different snake species. From two adult Hierophis viridiflavus males in fasting condition, we sampled gastric fluids using fiberoptic endoscopy. We analyzed the proteolytic activities (optimal pH and temperature, response to inhibitors of snake samples by zymography techniques. The two major protease activity bands were always detected at every tested pH. Activity bands were also detectable over 37 °C; in particular both bands showed the highest activity ranging from 55 °C to 60 °C. Ranging from 65 °C to 85 °C, one band remained visible while the other band disappeared over 60 °C. The pattern of proteolytic enzymes activity of sampled gastric fluids highlighted a scenario composed of few active proteases, reflecting the feeding status (e.g., fasting of studied snakes. Detection of proteolytic activity until 85 °C, as in prokaryotic organisms, supported the hypothesis about the presence of proteases of exogenous source.

  1. Analysis of Brazilian snake venoms by neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saiki, M.; Vasconcellos, M.B.A.; Rogero, J.R.; Cruz, M.C.G.

    1991-01-01

    Instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) has been applied to multielemental determinations of Brazilian snake venoms from the species: Bothrops jararacussu, Crotalus durissus terrificus and Bothrops jararaca. Concentrations of Br, Ca, Cl, Cs, K, Mg, Na, Rb, Sb, Se and Zn have been determined in lyophilized venoms by using short and long irradiations in the IEA-RI nuclear reactor under a thermal neutron flux of 10 11 to 10 13 n · cm -2 · s -1 . The reference materials NIST Bovine Liver 1577 and IUPAC Bowen's Kale were also analyzed simultaneously with the venoms to evaluate the accuracy and the reproducibility of the method. The concentrations of the elements found in snake venoms from different species were compared. The Crotalus durissus terrificus venoms presented high concentration of Se but low concentrations of Zn when these results are compared with those obtained from genera Bothrops venoms. (author) 9 refs.; 2 tabs

  2. Snake resonances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tepikian, S.

    1988-01-01

    Siberian Snakes provide a practical means of obtaining polarized proton beams in large accelerators. The effect of snakes can be understood by studying the dynamics of spin precession in an accelerator with snakes and a single spin resonance. This leads to a new class of energy independent spin depolarizing resonances, called snake resonances. In designing a large accelerator with snakes to preserve the spin polarization, there is an added constraint on the choice of the vertical betatron tune due to the snake resonances. 11 refs., 4 figs

  3. Gallbladder shape extraction from ultrasound images using active contour models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciecholewski, Marcin; Chochołowicz, Jakub

    2013-12-01

    Gallbladder function is routinely assessed using ultrasonographic (USG) examinations. In clinical practice, doctors very often analyse the gallbladder shape when diagnosing selected disorders, e.g. if there are turns or folds of the gallbladder, so extracting its shape from USG images using supporting software can simplify a diagnosis that is often difficult to make. The paper describes two active contour models: the edge-based model and the region-based model making use of a morphological approach, both designed for extracting the gallbladder shape from USG images. The active contour models were applied to USG images without lesions and to those showing specific disease units, namely, anatomical changes like folds and turns of the gallbladder as well as polyps and gallstones. This paper also presents modifications of the edge-based model, such as the method for removing self-crossings and loops or the method of dampening the inflation force which moves nodes if they approach the edge being determined. The user is also able to add a fragment of the approximated edge beyond which neither active contour model will move if this edge is incomplete in the USG image. The modifications of the edge-based model presented here allow more precise results to be obtained when extracting the shape of the gallbladder from USG images than if the morphological model is used. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Multiple Active Contours Driven by Particle Swarm Optimization for Cardiac Medical Image Segmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz-Aceves, I.; Aviña-Cervantes, J. G.; López-Hernández, J. M.; González-Reyna, S. E.

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents a novel image segmentation method based on multiple active contours driven by particle swarm optimization (MACPSO). The proposed method uses particle swarm optimization over a polar coordinate system to increase the energy-minimizing capability with respect to the traditional active contour model. In the first stage, to evaluate the robustness of the proposed method, a set of synthetic images containing objects with several concavities and Gaussian noise is presented. Subsequently, MACPSO is used to segment the human heart and the human left ventricle from datasets of sequential computed tomography and magnetic resonance images, respectively. Finally, to assess the performance of the medical image segmentations with respect to regions outlined by experts and by the graph cut method objectively and quantifiably, a set of distance and similarity metrics has been adopted. The experimental results demonstrate that MACPSO outperforms the traditional active contour model in terms of segmentation accuracy and stability. PMID:23762177

  5. Snakes in the Grass: Weaving Success for Everyone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ide, Janet L.

    2000-01-01

    Describes "Snakes in the Grass," a weaving project used with special needs students. Discusses the preliminary skill-building activities used, the process for creating the students' individual snakes, and the preparation and process for how the students wove the snakes. (CMK)

  6. Screening of Bothrops snake venoms for L-amino acid oxidase activity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pessati, M.L.; Fontana, J.D.; Guimaraes, M.F. [Federal Univ. of Parana, Curitiba (Brazil)

    1995-12-31

    Toxins, enzymes, and biologically active peptides are the main components of snake venoms from the genus Bothrops. Following the venom inoculation, the local effects are hemorrhage, edema, and myonecrosis. Nineteen different species of Brazilian Bothrops were screened for protein content and L-amino acid oxidase activity. B. cotiara, formerly found in the South of Brazil, is now threatened with extinction. Its venom contains a highly hemorrhagic fraction and, as expected from the deep yellow color of the corresponding lyophilized powder, a high L-amino acid oxidase (LAO) activity was also characterized. Flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) is its associate coenzyme. B. cotiara venom LAO catalyzed the oxidative deamination of several L-amino acids, and the best substrates were methionine, leucine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine, hence, its potential application for the use in biosensors for aspartame determination and for the removal of amino acids from plasma. High levels for LAO were also found in other species than B. cotiara. In addition, the technique of isoelectric focusing (IEF) was employed as a powerful tool to study the iso- or multi-enzyme distribution for LAO activity in the B. cotiara snake venom.

  7. Contrasting Patterns of Gene Flow for Amazonian Snakes That Actively Forage and Those That Wait in Ambush.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Fraga, Rafael; Lima, Albertina P; Magnusson, William E; Ferrão, Miquéias; Stow, Adam J

    2017-07-01

    Knowledge of genetic structure, geographic distance and environmental heterogeneity can be used to identify environmental features and natural history traits that influence dispersal and gene flow. Foraging mode is a trait that might predict dispersal capacity in snakes, because actively foragers typically have greater movement rates than ambush predators. Here, we test the hypothesis that 2 actively foraging snakes have higher levels of gene flow than 2 ambush predators. We evaluated these 4 co-distributed species of snakes in the Brazilian Amazon. Snakes were sampled along an 880 km transect from the central to the southwest of the Amazon basin, which covered a mosaic of vegetation types and seasonal differences in climate. We analyzed thousands of single nucleotide polymorphisms to compare patterns of neutral gene flow based on isolation by geographic distance (IBD) and environmental resistance (IBR). We show that IBD and IBR were only evident in ambush predators, implying lower levels of dispersal than the active foragers. Therefore, gene flow was high enough in the active foragers analyzed here to prevent any build-up of spatial genotypic structure with respect to geographic distance and environmental heterogeneity. © The American Genetic Association 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Synchronous activity in cat visual cortex encodes collinear and cocircular contours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samonds, Jason M; Zhou, Zhiyi; Bernard, Melanie R; Bonds, A B

    2006-04-01

    We explored how contour information in primary visual cortex might be embedded in the simultaneous activity of multiple cells recorded with a 100-electrode array. Synchronous activity in cat visual cortex was more selective and predictable in discriminating between drifting grating and concentric ring stimuli than changes in firing rate. Synchrony was found even between cells with wholly different orientation preferences when their receptive fields were circularly aligned, and membership in synchronous groups was orientation and curvature dependent. The existence of synchrony between cocircular cells reinforces its role as a general mechanism for contour integration and shape detection as predicted by association field concepts. Our data suggest that cortical synchrony results from common and synchronous input from earlier visual areas and that it could serve to shape extrastriate response selectivity.

  9. Responses by king snakes (Lampropeltis getulus) to chemicals from colubrid and crotaline snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weldon, P J; Schell, F M

    1984-10-01

    Four litters of king snakes (Lampropeltis getulus), a snake-eating species, were tested for responses to chemicals from colubrid and crotaline snakes. King snakes presented with swabs rubbed against the dorsal skin of living snakes and with swabs treated with methylene chloride extracts of shed snake skins tongue-flicked more to swabs from a northern copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix), a crotaline, than to swabs from some colubrid snakes or to blank swabs. Six out of 10 king snakes in one litter attacked and attempted to ingest swabs treated with snake skin chemicals, implicating these chemicals as feeding stimuli for these ophiophagous snakes. Ingestively naive king snakes presented with plain air and snake odors in an olfactometer tongue-flicked more to snake odors. This study and others suggest that crotaline and colubrid snakes can be distinguished by chemical cues.

  10. 50 CFR 226.205 - Critical habitat for Snake River sockeye salmon, Snake River fall chinook salmon, and Snake River...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... salmon, Snake River fall chinook salmon, and Snake River spring/summer chinook salmon. 226.205 Section... Snake River sockeye salmon, Snake River fall chinook salmon, and Snake River spring/summer chinook salmon. The following areas consisting of the water, waterway bottom, and adjacent riparian zone of...

  11. Liver Segmentation Based on Snakes Model and Improved GrowCut Algorithm in Abdominal CT Image

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huiyan Jiang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A novel method based on Snakes Model and GrowCut algorithm is proposed to segment liver region in abdominal CT images. First, according to the traditional GrowCut method, a pretreatment process using K-means algorithm is conducted to reduce the running time. Then, the segmentation result of our improved GrowCut approach is used as an initial contour for the future precise segmentation based on Snakes model. At last, several experiments are carried out to demonstrate the performance of our proposed approach and some comparisons are conducted between the traditional GrowCut algorithm. Experimental results show that the improved approach not only has a better robustness and precision but also is more efficient than the traditional GrowCut method.

  12. Linking snake behavior to nest predation in a Midwestern bird community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weatherhead, Patrick J; Carfagno, Gerardo L F; Sperry, Jinelle H; Brawn, Jeffrey D; Robinson, Scott K

    2010-01-01

    Nest predators can adversely affect the viability of songbird populations, and their impact is exacerbated in fragmented habitats. Despite substantial research on this predator-prey interaction, however, almost all of the focus has been on the birds rather than their nest predators, thereby limiting our understanding of the factors that bring predators and nests into contact. We used radiotelemetry to document the activity of two snake species (rat snakes, Elaphe obsoleta; racers, Coluber constrictor) known to prey on nests in Midwestern bird communities and simultaneously monitored 300 songbird nests and tested the hypothesis that predation risk should increase for nests when snakes were more active and in edge habitat preferred by both snake species. Predation risk increased when rat snakes were more active, for all nests combined and for two of the six bird species for which we had sufficient nests to allow separate analyses. This result is consistent with rat snakes being more important nest predators than racers. We found no evidence, however, that nests closer to forest edges were at greater risk. These results are generally consistent with the one previous study that investigated rat snakes and nest predation simultaneously. The seemingly paradoxical failure to find higher predation risk in the snakes' preferred habitat (i.e., edge) might be explained by the snakes using edges at least in part for non-foraging activities. We propose that higher nest predation in fragmented habitats (at least that attributable to snakes) results indirectly from edges promoting larger snake populations, rather than from edges directly increasing the risk of nest predation by snakes. If so, the notion of edges per se functioning as ecological "traps" merits further study.

  13. Isolation and characterization of biologically active venom protein from sea snake Enhydrina schistosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damotharan, Palani; Veeruraj, Anguchamy; Arumugam, Muthuvel; Balasubramanian, Thangavel

    2015-03-01

    The present study is designed to investigate the isolation and characterization of biological and biochemical active venom protein from sea snake, Enhydrina schistosa. The highest purification peaks in ion-exchange chromatography on DEAE-cellulose column were obtained for fraction numbers 39-49 when eluted with 0.35-0.45 M NaCl. Eighty per cent purity was obtained in the final stage of purification, and a single protein band of about 44 kDa was visualized in SDS-polyacrylamide gel under reducing condition. Purified venom protein expressed as haemolytic, cytotoxicity and proteolytic activities with lethal concentration (LC50 ) at 2.0 μg/mL. Venom protein exhibits enzymatic activity and hydrolyzed casein and gelatin. Gelatinolytic activity was optimal at pH 5-9. In conclusion, the present results suggested that the sea snake venom might be feasible sources for biologically active substances. Thus, this low molecular weight component of the venom protein could be used in potentially serve biological and pharmaceutical aspects. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Snake Venom Metalloproteinases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gâz Florea Şerban Andrei

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available As more data are generated from proteome and transcriptome analysis revealing that metalloproteinases represent most of the Viperid and Colubrid venom components authors decided to describe in a short review a classification and some of the multiple activities of snake venom metalloproteinases. SVMPs are classified in three major classes (P-I, P-II and P-III classes based on the presence of various domain structures and according to their domain organization. Furthermore, P-II and P-III classes were separated in subclasses based on distinctive post-translational modifications. SVMPs are synthesized in a latent form, being activated through a Cys-switch mechanism similar to matrix metalloproteinases. Most of the metalloproteinases of the snake venom are responsible for the hemorrhagic events but also have fibrinogenolytic activity, poses apoptotic activity, activate blood coagulation factor II and X, inhibit platelet aggregation, demonstrating that SVMPs have multiple functions in addition to well-known hemorrhagic function.

  15. Anti-snake Venom Activities of Ethanol and Aqueous Extract of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Snake bite leads to medical emergencies and sometimes death. It is clinically managed by administration of monovalent/polyvalent antisera and it exhibit early or late adverse reactions and sometimes these adverse effects lead to fatalities. Cassia hirsute has been used against snake bite by the traditional healers; however ...

  16. Hyaluronidase and protease activities from Indian snake venoms: neutralization by Mimosa pudica root extract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girish, K S; Mohanakumari, H P; Nagaraju, S; Vishwanath, B S; Kemparaju, K

    2004-06-01

    The aqueous root extract of Mimosa pudica dose dependently inhibited the hyaluronidase and protease activities of Indian snakes (Naja naja, Vipera russelii and Echis carinatus) venom. Copyright 2004 Elsevier B.V.

  17. MRI segmentation by active contours model, 3D reconstruction, and visualization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Hernandez, Juan M.; Velasquez-Aguilar, J. Guadalupe

    2005-02-01

    The advances in 3D data modelling methods are becoming increasingly popular in the areas of biology, chemistry and medical applications. The Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI) technique has progressed at a spectacular rate over the past few years, its uses have been spread over many applications throughout the body in both anatomical and functional investigations. In this paper we present the application of Zernike polynomials for 3D mesh model of the head using the contour acquired of cross-sectional slices by active contour model extraction and we propose the visualization with OpenGL 3D Graphics of the 2D-3D (slice-surface) information for the diagnostic aid in medical applications.

  18. A Nonparametric Shape Prior Constrained Active Contour Model for Segmentation of Coronaries in CTA Images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yin Wang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We present a nonparametric shape constrained algorithm for segmentation of coronary arteries in computed tomography images within the framework of active contours. An adaptive scale selection scheme, based on the global histogram information of the image data, is employed to determine the appropriate window size for each point on the active contour, which improves the performance of the active contour model in the low contrast local image regions. The possible leakage, which cannot be identified by using intensity features alone, is reduced through the application of the proposed shape constraint, where the shape of circular sampled intensity profile is used to evaluate the likelihood of current segmentation being considered vascular structures. Experiments on both synthetic and clinical datasets have demonstrated the efficiency and robustness of the proposed method. The results on clinical datasets have shown that the proposed approach is capable of extracting more detailed coronary vessels with subvoxel accuracy.

  19. Inhibitory Effect of Plant Manilkara subsericea against Biological Activities of Lachesis muta Snake Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Coriolano De Oliveira

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Snake venom is composed of a mixture of substances that caused in victims a variety of pathophysiological effects. Besides antivenom, literature has described plants able to inhibit injuries and lethal activities induced by snake venoms. This work describes the inhibitory potential of ethanol, hexane, ethyl acetate, or dichloromethane extracts and fractions from stem and leaves of Manilkara subsericea against in vivo (hemorrhagic and edema and in vitro (clotting, hemolysis, and proteolysis activities caused by Lachesis muta venom. All the tested activities were totally or at least partially reduced by M. subsericea. However, when L. muta venom was injected into mice 15 min first or after the materials, hemorrhage and edema were not inhibited. Thus, M. subsericea could be used as antivenom in snakebites of L. muta. And, this work also highlights Brazilian flora as a rich source of molecules with antivenom properties.

  20. Haemotoxic snake venoms : their functional activity, impact on snakebite victims and pharmaceutical promise

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slagboom, Julien; Kool, Jeroen; Harrison, Robert A.; Casewell, Nicholas R.

    2017-01-01

    Snake venoms are mixtures of numerous proteinacious components that exert diverse functional activities on a variety of physiological targets. Because the toxic constituents found in venom vary from species to species, snakebite victims can present with a variety of life-threatening pathologies

  1. Experimental research of specificity of fear of snake: coral snake pattern

    OpenAIRE

    Průšová, Lucie

    2013-01-01

    Due to shared coevolutionary history of snakes and primates with snakes acting as their main predators, snakes elicit fear in most of the primates, humans included. Humans are able to notice a stimulus that elicits fear, e.g., a snake, much faster. Such ability might have surely positively affected their survival in the past. In the nature, aposematic coloration acts as a warning of a dangerous prey to its predators not to devour it. The highly poisonous American coral snakes have this colora...

  2. Therapeutic potential of snake venom in cancer therapy: current perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vyas, Vivek Kumar; Brahmbhatt, Keyur; Bhatt, Hardik; Parmar, Utsav

    2013-01-01

    Many active secretions produced by animals have been employed in the development of new drugs to treat diseases such as hypertension and cancer. Snake venom toxins contributed significantly to the treatment of many medical conditions. There are many published studies describing and elucidating the anti-cancer potential of snake venom. Cancer therapy is one of the main areas for the use of protein peptides and enzymes originating from animals of different species. Some of these proteins or peptides and enzymes from snake venom when isolated and evaluated may bind specifically to cancer cell membranes, affecting the migration and proliferation of these cells. Some of substances found in the snake venom present a great potential as anti-tumor agent. In this review, we presented the main results of recent years of research involving the active compounds of snake venom that have anticancer activity. PMID:23593597

  3. Snake antivenom for snake venom induced consumption coagulopathy

    OpenAIRE

    Maduwage, Kalana; Buckley, Nick A.; Janaka de Silva, H.; Lalloo, David; Isbister, Geoffrey K.

    2015-01-01

    Background\\ud \\ud Snake venom induced consumption coagulopathy is a major systemic effect of envenoming. Observational studies suggest that antivenom improves outcomes for venom induced consumption coagulopathy in some snakebites and not others. However, the effectiveness of snake antivenom in all cases of venom induced consumption coagulopathy is controversial.\\ud \\ud Objectives\\ud \\ud To assess the effect of snake antivenom as a treatment for venom induced consumption coagulopathy in people...

  4. Snakes and spin rotators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, S.Y.

    1990-01-01

    The generalized snake configuration offers advantages of either shorter total snake length and smaller orbit displacement in the compact configuration or the multi-functions in the split configuration. We found that the compact configuration can save about 10% of the total length of a snake. On other hand, the spilt snake configuration can be used both as a snake and as a spin rotator for the helicity state. Using the orbit compensation dipoles, the spilt snake configuration can be located at any distance on both sides of the interaction point of a collider provided that there is no net dipole rotation between two halves of the snake. The generalized configuration is then applied to the partial snake excitation. Simple formula have been obtained to understand the behavior of the partial snake. Similar principle can also be applied to the spin rotators. We also estimate the possible snake imperfections are due to various construction errors of the dipole magnets. Accuracy of field error of better than 10 -4 will be significant. 2 refs., 5 figs

  5. Sea snake harvest in the gulf of Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Cao, Nguyen; Thien Tao, Nguyen; Moore, Amelia; Montoya, Alfred; Redsted Rasmussen, Arne; Broad, Kenneth; Voris, Harold K; Takacs, Zoltan

    2014-12-01

    Conservation of sea snakes is virtually nonexistent in Asia, and its role in human-snake interactions in terms of catch, trade, and snakebites as an occupational hazard is mostly unexplored. We collected data on sea snake landings from the Gulf of Thailand, a hotspot for sea snake harvest by squid fishers operating out of the ports of Song Doc and Khanh Hoi, Ca Mau Province, Vietnam. The data were collected during documentation of the steps of the trading process and through interviewers with participants in the trade. Squid vessels return to ports once per lunar synodic cycle and fishers sell snakes to merchants who sort, package, and ship the snakes to various destinations in Vietnam and China for human consumption and as a source of traditional remedies. Annually, 82 t, roughly equal to 225,500 individuals, of live sea snakes are brought to ports. To our knowledge, this rate of harvest constitutes one of the largest venomous snake and marine reptile harvest activities in the world today. Lapemis curtus and Hydrophis cyanocinctus constituted about 85% of the snake biomass, and Acalyptophis peronii, Aipysurus eydouxii, Hydrophis atriceps, H. belcheri, H. lamberti, and H. ornatus made up the remainder. Our results establish a quantitative baseline for characteristics of catch, trade, and uses of sea snakes. Other key observations include the timing of the trade to the lunar cycle, a decline of sea snakes harvested over the study period (approximately 30% decline in mass over 4 years), and the treatment of sea snake bites with rhinoceros horn. Emerging markets in Southeast Asia drive the harvest of venomous sea snakes in the Gulf of Thailand and sea snake bites present a potentially lethal occupational hazard. We call for implementation of monitoring programs to further address the conservation implications of this large-scale marine reptile exploitation. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  6. Using an active contour method to detect bilge dumps from SAR imagery

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mdakane, Lizwe W

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available An automatic approach to detect bilge dumping in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images over Southern African oceans is proposed. The approach uses a threshold-based algorithm and a region-based active contour model (ACM) algorithm to achieve...

  7. Smart Material-Actuated Flexible Tendon-Based Snake Robot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohiuddin Ahmed

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available A flexible snake robot has better navigation ability compare with the existing electrical motor-based rigid snake robot, due to its excellent bending capability during navigation inside a narrow maze. This paper discusses the modelling, simulation and experiment of a flexible snake robot. The modelling consists of the kinematic analysis and the dynamic analysis of the snake robot. A platform based on the Incompletely Restrained Positioning Mechanism (IRPM is proposed, which uses the external force provided by a compliant flexible beam in each of the actuators. The compliant central column allows the configuration to achieve three degrees of freedom (3DOFs with three tendons. The proposed flexible snake robot has been built using smart material, such as electroactive polymers (EAPs, which can be activated by applying power to it. Finally, the physical prototype of the snake robot has been built. An experiment has been performed in order to justify the proposed model.

  8. [New drug developments of snake venom polypeptides and progress].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Sihai; Feng, Mei; Xiong, Yan

    2017-11-28

    The value of snake venom polypeptides in clinical application has drawn extensive attention, and the development of snake polypeptides into new drugs with anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic, analgesic or antihypertensive properties has become the recent research hotspot. With the rapid development of molecular biology and biotechnology, the mechanisms of snake venom polypeptides are also gradually clarified. Numerous studies have demonstrated that snake venom polypeptides exert their pharmacological effects by regulating ion channels, cell proliferation, apoptosis, intracellular signaling pathway, and expression of cytokine as well as binding to relevant active sites or receptors.

  9. TWO NOVEL ACM (ACTIVE CONTOUR MODEL) METHODS FOR INTRAVASCULAR ULTRASOUND IMAGE SEGMENTATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Chi Hau; Potdat, Labhesh; Chittineni, Rakesh

    2010-01-01

    One of the attractive image segmentation methods is the Active Contour Model (ACM) which has been widely used in medical imaging as it always produces sub-regions with continuous boundaries. Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) is a catheter based medical imaging technique which is used for quantitative assessment of atherosclerotic disease. Two methods of ACM realizations are presented in this paper. The gradient descent flow based on minimizing energy functional can be used for segmentation of IVUS images. However this local operation alone may not be adequate to work with the complex IVUS images. The first method presented consists of basically combining the local geodesic active contours and global region-based active contours. The advantage of combining the local and global operations is to allow curves deforming under the energy to find only significant local minima and delineate object borders despite noise, poor edge information and heterogeneous intensity profiles. Results for this algorithm are compared to standard techniques to demonstrate the method's robustness and accuracy. In the second method, the energy function is appropriately modified and minimized using a Hopfield neural network. Proper modifications in the definition of the bias of the neurons have been introduced to incorporate image characteristics. The method overcomes distortions in the expected image pattern, such as due to the presence of calcium, and employs a specialized structure of the neural network and boundary correction schemes which are based on a priori knowledge about the vessel geometry. The presented method is very fast and has been evaluated using sequences of IVUS frames.

  10. A Waterline Extraction Method from Remote Sensing Image Based on Quad-tree and Multiple Active Contour Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    YU Jintao

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available After the characteristics of geodesic active contour model (GAC, Chan-Vese model(CV and local binary fitting model(LBF are analyzed, and the active contour model based on regions and edges is combined with image segmentation method based on quad-tree, a waterline extraction method based on quad-tree and multiple active contour model is proposed in this paper. Firstly, the method provides an initial contour according to quad-tree segmentation. Secondly, a new signed pressure force(SPF function based on global image statistics information of CV model and local image statistics information of LBF model has been defined, and then ,the edge stopping function(ESF is replaced by the proposed SPF function, which solves the problem such as evolution stopped in advance and excessive evolution. Finally, the selective binary and Gaussian filtering level set method is used to avoid reinitializing and regularization to improve the evolution efficiency. The experimental results show that this method can effectively extract the weak edges and serious concave edges, and owns some properties such as sub-pixel accuracy, high efficiency and reliability for waterline extraction.

  11. Lymph node segmentation by dynamic programming and active contours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Yongqiang; Lu, Lin; Bonde, Apurva; Wang, Deling; Qi, Jing; Schwartz, Lawrence H; Zhao, Binsheng

    2018-03-03

    Enlarged lymph nodes are indicators of cancer staging, and the change in their size is a reflection of treatment response. Automatic lymph node segmentation is challenging, as the boundary can be unclear and the surrounding structures complex. This work communicates a new three-dimensional algorithm for the segmentation of enlarged lymph nodes. The algorithm requires a user to draw a region of interest (ROI) enclosing the lymph node. Rays are cast from the center of the ROI, and the intersections of the rays and the boundary of the lymph node form a triangle mesh. The intersection points are determined by dynamic programming. The triangle mesh initializes an active contour which evolves to low-energy boundary. Three radiologists independently delineated the contours of 54 lesions from 48 patients. Dice coefficient was used to evaluate the algorithm's performance. The mean Dice coefficient between computer and the majority vote results was 83.2%. The mean Dice coefficients between the three radiologists' manual segmentations were 84.6%, 86.2%, and 88.3%. The performance of this segmentation algorithm suggests its potential clinical value for quantifying enlarged lymph nodes. © 2018 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.

  12. The oldest known snakes from the Middle Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous provide insights on snake evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, Michael W; Nydam, Randall L; Palci, Alessandro; Apesteguía, Sebastián

    2015-01-27

    The previous oldest known fossil snakes date from ~100 million year old sediments (Upper Cretaceous) and are both morphologically and phylogenetically diverse, indicating that snakes underwent a much earlier origin and adaptive radiation. We report here on snake fossils that extend the record backwards in time by an additional ~70 million years (Middle Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous). These ancient snakes share features with fossil and modern snakes (for example, recurved teeth with labial and lingual carinae, long toothed suborbital ramus of maxillae) and with lizards (for example, pronounced subdental shelf/gutter). The paleobiogeography of these early snakes is diverse and complex, suggesting that snakes had undergone habitat differentiation and geographic radiation by the mid-Jurassic. Phylogenetic analysis of squamates recovers these early snakes in a basal polytomy with other fossil and modern snakes, where Najash rionegrina is sister to this clade. Ingroup analysis finds them in a basal position to all other snakes including Najash.

  13. Detection of left ventricular epi- and endocardial borders using coupled active contours

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spreeuwers, Lieuwe Jan; Breeuwer, M.

    2003-01-01

    Active contours are a popular method for extraction of object boundaries in medical images. However, they may fail to give correct results if there are other edges in the neighbourhood. To handle and even exploit a geometrical relation between neighbouring boundaries, we propose to use a set of

  14. Snake venoms components with antitumor activity in murine melanoma cells; Componentes derivados de venenos de serpentes com acao antitumoral em celulas de melanoma murino

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Queiroz, Rodrigo Guimaraes

    2012-07-01

    Despite the constant advances in the treatment of cancer, this disease remains one of the main causes of mortality worldwide. So, the development of new treatment modalities is imperative. Snake venom causes a variety of biological effects because they constitute a complex mixture of substances as disintegrins, proteases (serine and metalo), phospholipases A2, L-amino acid oxidases and others. The goal of the present work is to evaluate a anti-tumor activity of some snake venoms fractions. There are several studies of components derived from snake venoms with this kind of activity. After fractionation of snake venoms of the families Viperidae and Elapidae, the fractions were assayed towards murine melanoma cell line B16-F10 and fibroblasts L929. The results showed that the fractions of venom of the snake Notechis ater niger had higher specificity and potential antitumor activity on B16-F10 cell line than the other studied venoms. Since the components of this venom are not explored yet coupled with the potential activity showed in this work, we decided to choose this venom to develop further studies. The cytotoxic fractions were evaluated to identify and characterize the components that showed antitumoral activity. Western blot assays and zymography suggests that these proteins do not belong to the class of metallo and serine proteinases. (author)

  15. How to make a sexy snake: estrogen activation of female sex pheromone in male red-sided garter snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, M Rockwell; Mason, Robert T

    2012-03-01

    Vertebrates indicate their genetic sex to conspecifics using secondary sexual signals, and signal expression is often activated by sex hormones. Among vertebrate signaling modalities, the least is known about how hormones influence chemical signaling. Our study species, the red-sided garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis), is a model vertebrate for studying hormonal control of chemical signals because males completely rely on the female sex pheromone to identify potential mates among thousands of individuals. How sex hormones can influence the expression of this crucial sexual signal is largely unknown. We created two groups of experimental males for the first experiment: Sham (blank implants) and E2 (17β-estradiol implants). E2 males were vigorously courted by wild males in outdoor bioassays, and in a Y-maze E2 pheromone trails were chosen by wild males over those of small females and were indistinguishable from large female trails. Biochemically, the E2 pheromone blend was similar to that of large females, and it differed significantly from Shams. For the second experiment, we implanted males with 17β-estradiol in 2007 but removed the implants the following year (2008; Removal). That same year, we implanted a new group of males with estrogen implants (Implant). Removal males were courted by wild males in 2008 (implant intact) but not in 2009 (removed). Total pheromone quantity and quality increased following estrogen treatment, and estrogen removal re-established male-typical pheromone blends. Thus, we have shown that estrogen activates the production of female pheromone in adult red-sided garter snakes. This is the first known study to quantify both behavioral and biochemical responses in chemical signaling following sex steroid treatment of reptiles in the activation/organization context. We propose that the homogametic sex (ZZ, male) may possess the same targets for activation of sexual signal production, and the absence of the activator (17

  16. Toxins not neutralized by brown snake antivenom

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Judge, Roopwant K.; Henry, Peter J.; Mirtschin, Peter; Jelinek, George; Wilce, Jacqueline A.

    2006-01-01

    The Australian snakes of the genus Pseudonaja (dugite, gwardar and common brown) account for the majority of snake bite related deaths in Australia. Without antivenom treatment, the risk of mortality is significant. There is an accumulating body of evidence to suggest that the efficacy of the antivenom is limited. The current study investigates the protein constituents recognized by the antivenom using 2-DE, immuno-blot techniques and rat tracheal organ bath assays. The 2-DE profiles for all three snake venoms were similar, with major species visualized at 78-132 kDa, 32-45 kDa and 6-15 kDa. Proteins characterized by LC-MS/MS revealed a coagulant toxin (∼42 kDa) and coagulant peptide (∼6 kDa), as well as two PLA 2 (∼14 kDa). Peptides isolated from ∼78 kDa and 15-32 kDa protein components showed no similarity to known protein sequences. Protein recognition by the antivenom occurred predominantly for the higher molecular weight components with little recognition of 6-32 kDa MW species. The ability of antivenom to neutralize venom activity was also investigated using rat tracheal organ bath assays. The venoms of Pseudonaja affinis affinis and Pseudonaja nuchalis incited a sustained, significant contraction of the trachea. These contractions were attributed to PLA 2 enzymatic activity as pre-treatment with the PLA 2 inhibitor 4-BPB attenuated the venom-induced contractions. The venom of Pseudonaja textilis incited tracheal contractility through a non-PLA 2 enzymatic activity. Neither activity was attenuated by the antivenom treatment. These results represent the first proteomic investigation of the venoms from the snakes of the genus Pseudonaja, revealing a possible limitation of the brown snake antivenom in binding to the low MW protein components

  17. Radioactive elements definition in composition of snake venom

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mekhrabova, M.A.; Topchieva, Sh.F.; Abiev, G.A.; Nagiev, Dj.A.

    2010-11-01

    Full text: The given article presents questions concerned to usage of snake venom in medicine and pharmacy for medicinal drugs production, zootoxin base antidotes, thorough treatment of many deseases, especially onkological, also have a widespread in biology as a specific test-material for biological sistem analises. It is experimentally proved that certain amount of snake venom can replace morphine drugs, taking into acount that snake venom solutions make longer prolonged influence than other drugs, vithout causing an accustoming. It is also marked about possibility of usage of snake venom for cancer treatment. Many expeditions had been conducted with the purpose to research snake venom crytals on the territory of Azerbaijan. During these expeditions snakes capturing had been made with the purpose of taking the venom and also soil samples had been taken in order to research the quantity of radioactive elements. Measurements made with the help of electronic microscope C anberra . Revealed uranium activity in spectrum of venom as a result of radiation background, which appears under influence of ionizing radiation on the environment. On the base of analises data it can be ascertained that snake venom can be used for production of medicinal and also other necessary drugs. [ru

  18. Implicit Active Contours Driven by Local and Global Image Fitting Energy for Image Segmentation and Target Localization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaosheng Yu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We propose a novel active contour model in a variational level set formulation for image segmentation and target localization. We combine a local image fitting term and a global image fitting term to drive the contour evolution. Our model can efficiently segment the images with intensity inhomogeneity with the contour starting anywhere in the image. In its numerical implementation, an efficient numerical schema is used to ensure sufficient numerical accuracy. We validated its effectiveness in numerous synthetic images and real images, and the promising experimental results show its advantages in terms of accuracy, efficiency, and robustness.

  19. P-I Snake Venom Metalloproteinase Is Able to Activate the Complement System by Direct Cleavage of Central Components of the Cascade

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pidde-Queiroz, Giselle; Magnoli, Fábio Carlos; Portaro, Fernanda C. V.; Serrano, Solange M. T.; Lopes, Aline Soriano; Paes Leme, Adriana Franco; van den Berg, Carmen W.; Tambourgi, Denise V.

    2013-01-01

    Background Snake Venom Metalloproteinases (SVMPs) are amongst the key enzymes that contribute to the high toxicity of snake venom. We have recently shown that snake venoms from the Bothrops genus activate the Complement system (C) by promoting direct cleavage of C-components and generating anaphylatoxins, thereby contributing to the pathology and spread of the venom. The aim of the present study was to isolate and characterize the C-activating protease from Bothrops pirajai venom. Results Using two gel-filtration chromatography steps, a metalloproteinase of 23 kDa that activates Complement was isolated from Bothrops pirajai venom. The mass spectrometric identification of this protein, named here as C-SVMP, revealed peptides that matched sequences from the P-I class of SVMPs. C-SVMP activated the alternative, classical and lectin C-pathways by cleaving the α-chain of C3, C4 and C5, thereby generating anaphylatoxins C3a, C4a and C5a. In vivo, C-SVMP induced consumption of murine complement components, most likely by activation of the pathways and/or by direct cleavage of C3, leading to a reduction of serum lytic activity. Conclusion We show here that a P-I metalloproteinase from Bothrops pirajai snake venom activated the Complement system by direct cleavage of the central C-components, i.e., C3, C4 and C5, thereby generating biologically active fragments, such as anaphylatoxins, and by cleaving the C1-Inhibitor, which may affect Complement activation control. These results suggest that direct complement activation by SVMPs may play a role in the progression of symptoms that follow envenomation. PMID:24205428

  20. Reproductive Disorders in Snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Girolamo, Nicola; Selleri, Paolo

    2017-05-01

    Reproduction of snakes is one of the challenging aspects of herpetology medicine. Due to the complexity of reproduction, several disorders may present before, during, or after this process. This article describes the physical examination, and radiographic, ultrasonographic, and endoscopic findings associated with reproductive disorders in snakes. Surgical techniques used to resolve reproductive disorders in snakes are described. Finally, common reproductive disorders in snakes are individually discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Contouring variability of human- and deformable-generated contours in radiotherapy for prostate cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gardner, Stephen J; Wen, Ning; Kim, Jinkoo; Liu, Chang; Pradhan, Deepak; Aref, Ibrahim; Cattaneo, Richard II; Vance, Sean; Movsas, Benjamin; Chetty, Indrin J; Elshaikh, Mohamed A

    2015-01-01

    This study was designed to evaluate contouring variability of human-and deformable-generated contours on planning CT (PCT) and CBCT for ten patients with low-or intermediate-risk prostate cancer. For each patient in this study, five radiation oncologists contoured the prostate, bladder, and rectum, on one PCT dataset and five CBCT datasets. Consensus contours were generated using the STAPLE method in the CERR software package. Observer contours were compared to consensus contour, and contour metrics (Dice coefficient, Hausdorff distance, Contour Distance, Center-of-Mass [COM] Deviation) were calculated. In addition, the first day CBCT was registered to subsequent CBCT fractions (CBCTn: CBCT2–CBCT5) via B-spline Deformable Image Registration (DIR). Contours were transferred from CBCT1 to CBCTn via the deformation field, and contour metrics were calculated through comparison with consensus contours generated from human contour set. The average contour metrics for prostate contours on PCT and CBCT were as follows: Dice coefficient—0.892 (PCT), 0.872 (CBCT-Human), 0.824 (CBCT-Deformed); Hausdorff distance—4.75 mm (PCT), 5.22 mm (CBCT-Human), 5.94 mm (CBCT-Deformed); Contour Distance (overall contour)—1.41 mm (PCT), 1.66 mm (CBCT-Human), 2.30 mm (CBCT-Deformed); COM Deviation—2.01 mm (PCT), 2.78 mm (CBCT-Human), 3.45 mm (CBCT-Deformed). For human contours on PCT and CBCT, the difference in average Dice coefficient between PCT and CBCT (approx. 2%) and Hausdorff distance (approx. 0.5 mm) was small compared to the variation between observers for each patient (standard deviation in Dice coefficient of 5% and Hausdorff distance of 2.0 mm). However, additional contouring variation was found for the deformable-generated contours (approximately 5.0% decrease in Dice coefficient and 0.7 mm increase in Hausdorff distance relative to human-generated contours on CBCT). Though deformable contours provide a reasonable starting point for contouring

  2. Pre-cancer risk assessment in habitual smokers from DIC images of oral exfoliative cells using active contour and SVM analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dey, Susmita; Sarkar, Ripon; Chatterjee, Kabita; Datta, Pallab; Barui, Ananya; Maity, Santi P

    2017-04-01

    Habitual smokers are known to be at higher risk for developing oral cancer, which is increasing at an alarming rate globally. Conventionally, oral cancer is associated with high mortality rates, although recent reports show the improved survival outcomes by early diagnosis of disease. An effective prediction system which will enable to identify the probability of cancer development amongst the habitual smokers, is thus expected to benefit sizable number of populations. Present work describes a non-invasive, integrated method for early detection of cellular abnormalities based on analysis of different cyto-morphological features of exfoliative oral epithelial cells. Differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy provides a potential optical tool as this mode provides a pseudo three dimensional (3-D) image with detailed morphological and textural features obtained from noninvasive, label free epithelial cells. For segmentation of DIC images, gradient vector flow snake model active contour process has been adopted. To evaluate cellular abnormalities amongst habitual smokers, the selected morphological and textural features of epithelial cells are compared with the non-smoker (-ve control group) group and clinically diagnosed pre-cancer patients (+ve control group) using support vector machine (SVM) classifier. Accuracy of the developed SVM based classification has been found to be 86% with 80% sensitivity and 89% specificity in classifying the features from the volunteers having smoking habit. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. The Development of Contour Interpolation: Evidence from Subjective Contours

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadad, Bat-Sheva; Maurer, Daphne; Lewis, Terri L.

    2010-01-01

    Adults are skilled at perceiving subjective contours in regions without any local image information (e.g., [Ginsburg, 1975] and [Kanizsa, 1976]). Here we examined the development of this skill and the effect thereon of the support ratio (i.e., the ratio of the physically specified contours to the total contour length). Children (6-, 9-, and…

  4. Testing the snake-detection hypothesis: larger early posterior negativity in humans to pictures of snakes than to pictures of other reptiles, spiders and slugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Strien, Jan W; Franken, Ingmar H A; Huijding, Jorg

    2014-01-01

    According to the snake detection hypothesis (Isbell, 2006), fear specifically of snakes may have pushed evolutionary changes in the primate visual system allowing pre-attentional visual detection of fearful stimuli. A previous study demonstrated that snake pictures, when compared to spiders or bird pictures, draw more early attention as reflected by larger early posterior negativity (EPN). Here we report two studies that further tested the snake detection hypothesis. In Study 1, we tested whether the enlarged EPN is specific for snakes or also generalizes to other reptiles. Twenty-four healthy, non-phobic women watched the random rapid serial presentation of snake, crocodile, and turtle pictures. The EPN was scored as the mean activity at occipital electrodes (PO3, O1, Oz, PO4, O2) in the 225-300 ms time window after picture onset. The EPN was significantly larger for snake pictures than for pictures of the other reptiles. In Study 2, we tested whether disgust plays a role in the modulation of the EPN and whether preferential processing of snakes also can be found in men. 12 men and 12 women watched snake, spider, and slug pictures. Both men and women exhibited the largest EPN amplitudes to snake pictures, intermediate amplitudes to spider pictures and the smallest amplitudes to slug pictures. Disgust ratings were not associated with EPN amplitudes. The results replicate previous findings and suggest that ancestral priorities modulate the early capture of visual attention.

  5. Breaking Snake Camouflage: Humans Detect Snakes More Accurately than Other Animals under Less Discernible Visual Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawai, Nobuyuki; He, Hongshen

    2016-01-01

    Humans and non-human primates are extremely sensitive to snakes as exemplified by their ability to detect pictures of snakes more quickly than those of other animals. These findings are consistent with the Snake Detection Theory, which hypothesizes that as predators, snakes were a major source of evolutionary selection that favored expansion of the visual system of primates for rapid snake detection. Many snakes use camouflage to conceal themselves from both prey and their own predators, making it very challenging to detect them. If snakes have acted as a selective pressure on primate visual systems, they should be more easily detected than other animals under difficult visual conditions. Here we tested whether humans discerned images of snakes more accurately than those of non-threatening animals (e.g., birds, cats, or fish) under conditions of less perceptual information by presenting a series of degraded images with the Random Image Structure Evolution technique (interpolation of random noise). We find that participants recognize mosaic images of snakes, which were regarded as functionally equivalent to camouflage, more accurately than those of other animals under dissolved conditions. The present study supports the Snake Detection Theory by showing that humans have a visual system that accurately recognizes snakes under less discernible visual conditions.

  6. Breaking Snake Camouflage: Humans Detect Snakes More Accurately than Other Animals under Less Discernible Visual Conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nobuyuki Kawai

    Full Text Available Humans and non-human primates are extremely sensitive to snakes as exemplified by their ability to detect pictures of snakes more quickly than those of other animals. These findings are consistent with the Snake Detection Theory, which hypothesizes that as predators, snakes were a major source of evolutionary selection that favored expansion of the visual system of primates for rapid snake detection. Many snakes use camouflage to conceal themselves from both prey and their own predators, making it very challenging to detect them. If snakes have acted as a selective pressure on primate visual systems, they should be more easily detected than other animals under difficult visual conditions. Here we tested whether humans discerned images of snakes more accurately than those of non-threatening animals (e.g., birds, cats, or fish under conditions of less perceptual information by presenting a series of degraded images with the Random Image Structure Evolution technique (interpolation of random noise. We find that participants recognize mosaic images of snakes, which were regarded as functionally equivalent to camouflage, more accurately than those of other animals under dissolved conditions. The present study supports the Snake Detection Theory by showing that humans have a visual system that accurately recognizes snakes under less discernible visual conditions.

  7. The Hidden Snake in the Grass: Superior Detection of Snakes in Challenging Attentional Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, Sandra C; Lindström, Björn; Esteves, Francisco; Ohman, Arne

    2014-01-01

    Snakes have provided a serious threat to primates throughout evolution. Furthermore, bites by venomous snakes still cause significant morbidity and mortality in tropical regions of the world. According to the Snake Detection Theory (SDT Isbell, 2006; 2009), the vital need to detect camouflaged snakes provided strong evolutionary pressure to develop astute perceptual capacity in animals that were potential targets for snake attacks. We performed a series of behavioral tests that assessed snake detection under conditions that may have been critical for survival. We used spiders as the control stimulus because they are also a common object of phobias and rated negatively by the general population, thus commonly lumped together with snakes as "evolutionary fear-relevant". Across four experiments (N = 205) we demonstrate an advantage in snake detection, which was particularly obvious under visual conditions known to impede detection of a wide array of common stimuli, for example brief stimulus exposures, stimuli presentation in the visual periphery, and stimuli camouflaged in a cluttered environment. Our results demonstrate a striking independence of snake detection from ecological factors that impede the detection of other stimuli, which suggests that, consistent with the SDT, they reflect a specific biological adaptation. Nonetheless, the empirical tests we report are limited to only one aspect of this rich theory, which integrates findings across a wide array of scientific disciplines.

  8. The Hidden Snake in the Grass: Superior Detection of Snakes in Challenging Attentional Conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra C Soares

    Full Text Available Snakes have provided a serious threat to primates throughout evolution. Furthermore, bites by venomous snakes still cause significant morbidity and mortality in tropical regions of the world. According to the Snake Detection Theory (SDT Isbell, 2006; 2009, the vital need to detect camouflaged snakes provided strong evolutionary pressure to develop astute perceptual capacity in animals that were potential targets for snake attacks. We performed a series of behavioral tests that assessed snake detection under conditions that may have been critical for survival. We used spiders as the control stimulus because they are also a common object of phobias and rated negatively by the general population, thus commonly lumped together with snakes as "evolutionary fear-relevant". Across four experiments (N = 205 we demonstrate an advantage in snake detection, which was particularly obvious under visual conditions known to impede detection of a wide array of common stimuli, for example brief stimulus exposures, stimuli presentation in the visual periphery, and stimuli camouflaged in a cluttered environment. Our results demonstrate a striking independence of snake detection from ecological factors that impede the detection of other stimuli, which suggests that, consistent with the SDT, they reflect a specific biological adaptation. Nonetheless, the empirical tests we report are limited to only one aspect of this rich theory, which integrates findings across a wide array of scientific disciplines.

  9. Effects of metals on blood oxidative stress biomarkers and acetylcholinesterase activity in dice snakes (Natrix tessellata from Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gavrić Jelena P.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The effects of waterborne metals in water on the activities of blood copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD, catalase (CAT, glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px, glutathione reductase (GR, glutathione-S-transferase (GST, and acetylcholinesterase (AChE, and on the concentrations of total glutathione (GSH and lipid peroxides (TBARS in the blood of dice snakes (Natrix tessellata caught in Obedska Bara, Sebia (control area, with snakes caught in Pančevački Rit, a contaminated area in Serbia were examined. The activities of CAT, GSH-Px, GR and AChE, and the concentration of TBARS were significantly decreased, while GST activity and GSH concentration were significantly increased in snakes from the contaminated area compared to specimens from the control area. Significantly increased concentrations of Al, As, B, Ba, Ca, Cu, Fe, K, Li, Mn, Na, Ni and Zn in the water at the contaminated area as compared to control area were detected. The metals Ag, Bi, Cd, Co, Hg, In and Tl were not observed in any of the localities. Cr, Mo and Pb were not detected at the control area but were observed at the contaminated area. The concentrations of Sr were similar at both sites. The concentration of Mg was 2-fold higher at the control site than at the contaminated area. The obtained results show that most of the investigated blood biomarkers correlate with concentrations of metals present in the environment. These findings suggest that dice snakes are sensitive bioindicator species for monitoring the effects of increased metal concentrations in the environment. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. 173041 i br. 173043

  10. Statistical region based active contour using a fractional entropy descriptor: Application to nuclei cell segmentation in confocal \\ud microscopy images

    OpenAIRE

    Histace, A; Meziou, B J; Matuszewski, Bogdan; Precioso, F; Murphy, M F; Carreiras, F

    2013-01-01

    We propose an unsupervised statistical region based active contour approach integrating an original fractional entropy measure for image segmentation with a particular application to single channel actin tagged fluorescence confocal microscopy image segmentation. Following description of statistical based active contour segmentation and the mathematical definition of the proposed fractional entropy descriptor, we demonstrate comparative segmentation results between the proposed approach and s...

  11. Morphology of the snake spectacle reflects its evolutionary adaptation and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Da Silva, Mari-Ann Otkjaer; Heegaard, Steffen; Wang, Tobias; Gade, Jacob Thorup; Damsgaard, Christian; Bertelsen, Mads Frost

    2017-08-18

    Covering the eye of all snakes is a transparent integumental structure known as the spectacle. In order to determine variations in spectacle thickness among species, the spectacles of 217 alcohol-preserved museum specimens of 44 species belonging to 14 different families underwent optical coherence tomography (OCT) to measure spectacular thickness. Multivariable analyses were made to determine whether family, activity period (diurnal/nocturnal) and habitat (arboreal/terrestrial/fossorial/aquatic) influenced spectacle thickness. The thinnest spectacles in absolute terms were found in the Usambara bush viper (Viperidae) with a thickness of 74 ± 9 μm and the absolute thickest spectacle was found in the red-tailed pipe snake (Cylindrophiidae) which had a spectacle thickness of 244 ± 57 μm. Fossorial and aquatic snakes had significantly thicker spectacles than arboreal and terrestrial snakes. When spectacle thickness was correlated to eye size (horizontal spectacle diameter), Gray's earth snake (Uropeltidae) had the lowest ratio (1:7) and the cottonmouth (Viperidae) had the highest ratio (1:65). Multivariable and phylogenetic analyses showed that spectacular thickness could be predicted by taxonomic family and habitat, but not activity period. This phylogenetically broad systematic study of the thickness of the snake spectacle showed that spectacular thickness varies greatly across snake species and may reflect evolutionary adaptation and development.

  12. Activity evaluation from different native or irradiated with 60 Co gamma rays snake venoms and their inhibitory effect on Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lourenco, Cecilia de Oliveira

    2000-01-01

    Cutaneous leishmaniasis is a disease, caused by Leishmania parasites, that occurs frequently in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. Skin lesions that could results in disfiguring aspect characterize it. The treatment is based on few drugs as antimony salts or pentamidine that are toxic with increasing resistance by the parasite. Alternative forms of disease treatment are in constant search, including natural components as snake venoms. Previous studies demonstrate that some components of snake venoms have an inhibitory effect against those parasites, including Leishmania species. Although snake venoms presented high toxicity, several methods have been described to detoxify most or some of their toxic components, with favorable results by the use of gamma irradiation. In this report we tested several native and irradiated snake venoms for inhibitory effect against Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis parasite and LLCMK 2 mammalian cells, with enzymatic tests and electrophoresis. There are significant activity in Acanthophis antarcticus, Agkistrodon bilineatus, Bothrops moojeni, Bothrops jararaca, Hoplocephalus stephensi, Naja melanoleuca, Naja mossambica, Pseudechis australis, Pseudechis colletti, Pseudechis guttatus and Pseudechis porphyriacus, venom being inactive Pseudonaja textilis, Notechis ater niger, Notechis scutatus. Oxyuranus microlepidotus and Oxyuranus scutellatus venoms. After 2 KGy of 60 Co irradiation most venom loses significantly their activity. Venoms with antileishmanial activity presented L-amino acid oxidase (L-AO) activity and showed common protein with a molecular weight about 60kDa in SDS-PAGE. These results indicate that L-AO activity in those venoms are probably related with antileishmanial effect. (author)

  13. Experimental Infection of Snakes with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola Causes Pathological Changes That Typify Snake Fungal Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorch, Jeffrey M; Lankton, Julia; Werner, Katrien; Falendysz, Elizabeth A; McCurley, Kevin; Blehert, David S

    2015-11-17

    Snake fungal disease (SFD) is an emerging skin infection of wild snakes in eastern North America. The fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola is frequently associated with the skin lesions that are characteristic of SFD, but a causal relationship between the fungus and the disease has not been established. We experimentally infected captive-bred corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) in the laboratory with pure cultures of O. ophiodiicola. All snakes in the infected group (n = 8) developed gross and microscopic lesions identical to those observed in wild snakes with SFD; snakes in the control group (n = 7) did not develop skin infections. Furthermore, the same strain of O. ophiodiicola used to inoculate snakes was recovered from lesions of all animals in the infected group, but no fungi were isolated from individuals in the control group. Monitoring progression of lesions throughout the experiment captured a range of presentations of SFD that have been described in wild snakes. The host response to the infection included marked recruitment of granulocytes to sites of fungal invasion, increased frequency of molting, and abnormal behaviors, such as anorexia and resting in conspicuous areas of enclosures. While these responses may help snakes to fight infection, they could also impact host fitness and may contribute to mortality in wild snakes with chronic O. ophiodiicola infection. This work provides a basis for understanding the pathogenicity of O. ophiodiicola and the ecology of SFD by using a model system that incorporates a host species that is easy to procure and maintain in the laboratory. Skin infections in snakes, referred to as snake fungal disease (SFD), have been reported with increasing frequency in wild snakes in the eastern United States. While most of these infections are associated with the fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, there has been no conclusive evidence to implicate this fungus as a primary pathogen. Furthermore, it is not understood why the

  14. Snake evolution and prospecting of snake venom

    OpenAIRE

    Vonk, Freek Jacobus

    2012-01-01

    in this thesis I have shown that snakes have undergone multiple changes in their genome and embryonic development that has provided them with the variation to which natural selection could act. This thesis provides evidence for the variable mechanisms of venom gene evolution, which presumably is much more flexible than previously thought. But it also underscores the potential use of the many different types of snake venom toxins that could be screened for use against human disorders. And most...

  15. Screening for Proteolytic Activities in Snake Venom by Means of a Multiplexing ESI-MS Assay Scheme

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liesener, A.; Perchuc, Anna-Maria; Schöni, Reto; Wilmer, Marianne; Karst, U.

    2005-01-01

    A multiplexed mass spectrometry based assay scheme for the simultaneous determination of five different substrate/product pairs was developed as a tool for screening of proteolytic activities in snake venom fractions from Bothrops moojeni. The assay scheme was employed in the functional

  16. The complexity of snake

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Biasi, M.; Ophelders, T.

    2016-01-01

    Snake and Nibbler are two well-known video games in which a snake slithers through a maze and grows as it collects food. During this process, the snake must avoid any collision with its tail. Various goals can be associated with these video games, such as avoiding the tail as long as possible, or

  17. Even order snake resonances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, S.Y.

    1993-01-01

    We found that the perturbed spin tune due to the imperfection resonance plays an important role in beam depolarization at snake resonances. We also found that even order snake resonances exist in the overlapping intrinsic and imperfection resonances. Due to the perturbed spin tune shift of imperfection resonances, each snake resonance splits into two

  18. [Bites of venomous snakes in Switzerland].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plate, Andreas; Kupferschmidt, Hugo; Schneemann, Markus

    2016-06-08

    Although snake bites are rare in Europe, there are a constant number of snake bites in Switzerland. There are two domestic venomous snakes in Switzerland: the aspic viper (Vipera aspis) and the common European adder (Vipera berus). Bites from venomous snakes are caused either by one of the two domestic venomous snakes or by an exotic venomous snake kept in a terrarium. Snake- bites can cause both a local and/or a systemic envenoming. Potentially fatal systemic complications are related to disturbances of the hemostatic- and cardiovascular system as well as the central or peripheral nervous system. Beside a symptomatic therapy the administration of antivenom is the only causal therapy to neutralize the venomous toxins.

  19. Male Body Contouring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Babu; Keaney, Terrence; Rossi, Anthony M

    2015-09-01

    Men are increasingly turning to dermatologists and plastic surgeons to request procedures that correct or enhance physical features. With the advent of this emerging new patient population, alterations in preexisting aesthetic techniques, gender-specific uses of existing devices and overall approaches need to be revisited and adapted to obtain results that are suitable for the male patient. Recently, body contouring has become one of the most sought out procedures by men. Although the majority of clinical studies involving body contouring esthetics are performed with female patients, gains from such studies can be extrapolated to men. Body contouring can be broadly classified as non-invasive or invasive, depending on the modality used. Non-invasive contouring is most frequently performed with devices that target subcutaneous adipose with focused electrical or thermal energy, including low-level laser, cryolipolysis, ultrasonography, and radiofrequency. Invasive body contouring modalities useful for male body contouring include liposuction, pectoral and abdominal wall etching, jawline fillers, synthetic deoxycholic acid injections, and solid silicone implants. The purpose of this review is to bring attention to the unique aspects, strategies, and modalities used in aesthetic body contouring for the male patient.

  20. On some labelings of triangular snake and central graph of triangular snake graph

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agasthi, P.; Parvathi, N.

    2018-04-01

    A Triangular snake Tn is obtained from a path u 1 u 2 … u n by joining ui and u i+1 to a new vertex wi for 1≤i≤n‑1. A Central graph of Triangular snake C(T n ) is obtained by subdividing each edge of Tn exactly once and joining all the non adjacent vertices of Tn . In this paper the ways to construct square sum, square difference, Root Mean square, strongly Multiplicative, Even Mean and Odd Mean labeling for Triangular Snake and Central graph of Triangular Snake graphs are reported.

  1. The costs of evaluating species densities and composition of snakes to assess development impacts in amazonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael de Fraga

    Full Text Available Studies leading to decision-making for environmental licensing often fail to provide accurate estimates of diversity. Measures of snake diversity are regularly obtained to assess development impacts in the rainforests of the Amazon Basin, but this taxonomic group may be subject to poor detection probabilities. Recently, the Brazilian government tried to standardize sampling designs by the implementation of a system (RAPELD to quantify biological diversity using spatially-standardized sampling units. Consistency in sampling design allows the detection probabilities to be compared among taxa, and sampling effort and associated cost to be evaluated. The cost effectiveness of detecting snakes has received no attention in Amazonia. Here we tested the effects of reducing sampling effort on estimates of species densities and assemblage composition. We identified snakes in seven plot systems, each standardised with 14 plots. The 250 m long centre line of each plot followed an altitudinal contour. Surveys were repeated four times in each plot and detection probabilities were estimated for the 41 species encountered. Reducing the number of observations, or the size of the sampling modules, caused significant loss of information on species densities and local patterns of variation in assemblage composition. We estimated the cost to find a snake as $ 120 U.S., but general linear models indicated the possibility of identifying differences in assemblage composition for half the overall survey costs. Decisions to reduce sampling effort depend on the importance of lost information to target-issues, and may not be the preferred option if there is the potential for identifying individual snake species requiring specific conservation actions. However, in most studies of human disturbance on species assemblages, it is likely to be more cost-effective to focus on other groups of organisms with higher detection probabilities.

  2. Prey handling and diet of Louisiana pine snakes (Pituophis ruthveni) and black pine snakes (P. melanoleucus lodingi), with comparisons to other selected colubrid snakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Craig Rudolph; Shirley J. Burgdorf; Richard N. Conner; Christopher S. Collins; Daniel Saenz; Richard R. Schaefer; Toni Trees; C. Michael Duran; Marc Ealy; John G. Himes

    2002-01-01

    Diet and prey handling behavior were determined for Louisiana pine snakes (Pituophis ruthveni) and black pine snakes (P. melanoleucus lodingi). Louisiana pine snakes prey heavily on Baird's pocket gophers (Geomys breviceps), with which they are sympatric, and exhibit specialized behaviors that facilitate...

  3. \\'The snake will swallow you': supernatural snakes and the creation ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    \\'The snake will swallow you': supernatural snakes and the creation of the Khotso legend. Felicity Wood. Abstract. No Abstract. Indilinga: African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IAJIKS) Vol. 4(1) 2005: 347-359. Full Text: EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT.

  4. Experimental infection of snakes with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola causes pathological changes that typify snake fungal disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorch, Jeffrey M.; Lankton, Julia S.; Werner, Katrien; Falendysz, Elizabeth A.; McCurley, Kevin; Blehert, David S.

    2015-01-01

    Snake fungal disease (SFD) is an emerging skin infection of wild snakes in eastern North America. The fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola is frequently associated with the skin lesions that are characteristic of SFD, but a causal relationship between the fungus and the disease has not been established. We experimentally infected captive-bred corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) in the laboratory with pure cultures of O. ophiodiicola. All snakes in the infected group (n = 8) developed gross and microscopic lesions identical to those observed in wild snakes with SFD; snakes in the control group (n = 7) did not develop skin infections. Furthermore, the same strain of O. ophiodiicola used to inoculate snakes was recovered from lesions of all animals in the infected group, but no fungi were isolated from individuals in the control group. Monitoring progression of lesions throughout the experiment captured a range of presentations of SFD that have been described in wild snakes. The host response to the infection included marked recruitment of granulocytes to sites of fungal invasion, increased frequency of molting, and abnormal behaviors, such as anorexia and resting in conspicuous areas of enclosures. While these responses may help snakes to fight infection, they could also impact host fitness and may contribute to mortality in wild snakes with chronic O. ophiodiicola infection. This work provides a basis for understanding the pathogenicity of O. ophiodiicola and the ecology of SFD by using a model system that incorporates a host species that is easy to procure and maintain in the laboratory.

  5. Efficient and Enhanced Diffusion of Vector Field for Active Contour Model

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Guoqi; Sun, Lin; Liu, Shangwang

    2015-01-01

    Gradient vector flow (GVF) is an important external force field for active contour models. Various vector fields based on GVF have been proposed. However, these vector fields are obtained with many iterations and have difficulty in capturing the whole image area. On the other hand, the ability to converge to deep and complex concavity with these vector fields is also needed to improve. In this paper, by analyzing the diffusion equation of GVF, a normalized set is defined and a dynamically nor...

  6. Observations on the anterior testicular ducts in snakes with emphasis on sea snakes and ultrastructure in the yellow-bellied sea snake, Pelamis platurus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sever, David M; Freeborn, Layla R

    2012-03-01

    The anterior testicular ducts of squamates transport sperm from the seminiferous tubules to the ductus deferens. These ducts consist of the rete testis, ductuli efferentes, and ductus epididymis. Many histological and a few ultrastructural studies of the squamate reproductive tract exist, but none concern the Hydrophiidae, the sea snakes and sea kraits. In this study, we describe the anterior testicular ducts of six species of hydrophiid snakes as well as representatives from the Elapidae, Homolapsidae, Leptotyphlopidae, and Uropeltidae. In addition, we examine the ultrastructure of these ducts in the yellow-bellied Sea Snake, Pelamis platurus, only the third such study on snakes. The anterior testicular ducts are similar in histology in all species examined. The rete testis is simple squamous or cuboidal epithelium and transports sperm from the seminiferous tubules to the ductuli efferentes in the extratesticular epididymal sheath. The ductuli efferentes are branched, convoluted tubules composed of simple cuboidal, ciliated epithelium, and many species possess periodic acid-Schiff+ granules in the cytoplasm. The ductus epididymis at the light microscopy level appears composed of pseudostratified columnar epithelium. At the ultrastructural level, the rete testis and ductuli efferentes of P. platurus possess numerous small coated vesicles and lack secretory vacuoles. Apocrine blebs in the ductuli efferentes, however, indicate secretory activity, possibly by a constitutive pathway. Ultrastructure reveals three types of cells in the ductus epididymis of P. platurus: columnar principal cells, squamous basal cells, and mitochondria-rich apical cells. This is the first report of apical cells in a snake. In addition, occasional principal cells possess a single cilium, which has not been reported in reptiles previously but is known in some birds. Finally, the ductus epididymis of P. platurus differs from other snakes that have been studied in possession of apical, biphasic

  7. Snake fungal disease: An emerging threat to wild snakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorch, Jeffrey M.; Knowles, Susan N.; Lankton, Julia S.; Michell, Kathy; Edwards, Jaime L.; Kapfer, Joshua M.; Staffen, Richard A.; Wild, Erik R.; Schmidt, Katie Z.; Ballmann, Anne; Blodgett, Doug; Farrell, Terence M.; Glorioso, Brad M.; Last, Lisa A.; Price, Steven J.; Schuler, Krysten L.; Smith, Christopher; Wellehan, James F. X.; Blehert, David S.

    2016-01-01

    Since 2006, there has been a marked increase in the number of reports of severe and often fatal fungal skin infections in wild snakes in the eastern USA. The emerging condition, referred to as snake fungal disease (SFD), was initially documented in rattlesnakes, where the infections were believed to pose a risk to the viability of affected populations. The disease is caused byOphidiomyces ophiodiicola, a fungus recently split from a complex of fungi long referred to as the Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii (CANV). Here we review the current state of knowledge about O. ophiodiicola and SFD. In addition, we provide original findings which demonstrate that O. ophiodiicola is widely distributed in eastern North America, has a broad host range, is the predominant cause of fungal skin infections in wild snakes and often causes mild infections in snakes emerging from hibernation. This new information, together with what is already available in the scientific literature, advances our knowledge of the cause, pathogenesis and ecology of SFD. However, additional research is necessary to elucidate the factors driving the emergence of this disease and develop strategies to mitigate its impacts.

  8. Runaway snakes in TEXTOR-94

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Entrop, I.; Jaspers, R.; Lopes Cardozo, N.J.; Finken, K.H.

    1999-01-01

    Observations of a runaway beam confined in an island-like structure, a so-called runaway snake, are reported. The observations are made in TEXTOR-94 by measurement of synchrotron radiation emitted by these runaways. A full poloidal view allows for the study of the synchrotron pattern of the snake to estimate runaway energy, pitch angle and the radius, shift and safety factor of the drift surface q D at which the runaway beam has developed. The runaway snake parameters are investigated under different current and magnetic field strength conditions. Examples are found of a runaway snake at the q D =1 and the q D =2 drift surface. The radial diffusion coefficient of runaways inside a snake is D r approx. 0.01m 2 s -1 . The rapid runaway losses in regions of (macroscopic) magnetic perturbations outside a snake and the good confinement inside an island assumed to consist of perfect nested surfaces are consistent with magnetic turbulence as the main cause for runaway transport. (author)

  9. Anti-snake venom: use and adverse reaction in a snake bite study clinic in Bangladesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MR Amin

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Snakebites can present local or systemic envenomation, while neurotoxicity and respiratory paralysis are the main cause of death. The mainstay of management is anti-snake venom (ASV, which is highly effective, but liable to cause severe adverse reactions including anaphylaxis. The types of adverse reaction to polyvalent anti-snake venom have not been previously studied in Bangladesh. In this prospective observational study carried out between 1999 and 2001, in the Snake Bite Study Clinic of Chittagong Medical College Hospital, 35 neurotoxic-snake-bite patients who had received polyvalent anti-snake venom were included while the ones sensitized to different antitoxins and suffering from atopy were excluded. The common neurotoxic features were ptosis (100%, external ophthalmoplegia (94.2%, dysphagia (77.1%, dysphonia (68.5% and broken neck sign (80%. The percentage of anti-snake venom reaction cases was 88.57%; pyrogenic reaction was 80.64%; and anaphylaxis was 64.51%. The common features of anaphylaxis were urticaria (80%; vomiting and wheezing (40%; and angioedema (10%. The anti-snake venom reaction was treated mainly with adrenaline for anaphylaxis and paracetamol suppository in pyrogenic reactions. The average recovery time was 4.5 hours. Due to the danger of reactions the anti-snake venom should not be withheld from a snakebite victim when indicated and appropriate guidelines should be followed for its administration.

  10. Siberian snakes for the Fermilab Main Injector

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anferov, V.A.; Baiod, R.; Courant, E.D.

    1993-01-01

    Appropriate Siberian snakes were designed to maintain the proton beam polarization during acceleration in the Fermilab Main Injector from 8 to 150 GeV. Various snake designs were investigated to find one fitting into the 14 m straight section spaces with the required spin rotation axis and the minimum orbit excursion. The authors studied both cold and warm discrete magnet snakes as well as warm snakes with helical magnets. For the warm discrete magnet snake, obtaining small orbit excursions required a nearly longitudinal snake axis, while axes near ±45 degrees are needed when using two snakes in a ring. The authors found acceptable snakes either by using superconducting magnets or by using warm magnets with a helical dipole field

  11. Snakes Have Feelings, Too: Elements of a Camp Snake Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Robert Ross

    2001-01-01

    A camp snake program can help campers overcome their fear of snakes, and people cannot truly enjoy nature when they carry a phobia about any one part of it. It can also help overcome prejudice by teaching truth and respect, instilling compassion, and helping campers develop empathy. Advice on catching, handling, identifying, keeping, and feeding…

  12. Effect of experience with pine (Pituophis melanoleucus) and king (Lampropeltis getulus) snake odors on Y-maze behavior of pine snake hatchlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, J; Boarman, W; Kurzava, L; Gochfeld, M

    1991-01-01

    The abilities of hatchling pine snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus) and king snakes (Lampropeltis getulus) to discriminate the chemical trails of pine and king snakes was investigated inY-maze experiments. Pine snakes were housed for 17 days either with shavings impregnated with pine snake odor, king snake odor, or no odor to test for the effect of experience on choice. Both pine and king snake hatchlings entered the arm with the pine snake odor and did not enter the arm with the king snake odor. The data support the hypothesis that hatchlings of both species can distinguish conspecific odors from other odors and that our manipulation of previous experience was without effect for pine snake hatchlings.

  13. Snakes: An Integrated Unit Plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, Lisa

    This document presents an integrated unit plan on snakes targeting second grade students. Objectives of the unit include developing concepts of living things, understanding the contribution and importance of snakes to the environment, and making connections between different disciplines. The unit integrates the topic of snakes into the areas of…

  14. Siberian Snakes in high-energy accelerators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mane, S R; Shatunov, Yu M; Yokoya, K

    2005-01-01

    We review modern techniques to accelerate spin-polarized beams to high energy and to preserve their polarization in storage rings. Crucial to the success of such work is the use of so-called Siberian Snakes. We explain these devices and the reason for their necessity. Closely related to Snakes is the concept of 'spin rotators'. The designs and merits of several types of Snakes and spin rotators are examined. Theoretical work with Snakes and spin rotators, and experimental results from several storage rings, are reviewed, including the so-called Snake resonances. (topical review)

  15. Pancreatic and snake venom presynaptically active phospholipases A2 inhibit nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vulfius, Catherine A; Kasheverov, Igor E; Kryukova, Elena V; Spirova, Ekaterina N; Shelukhina, Irina V; Starkov, Vladislav G; Andreeva, Tatyana V; Faure, Grazyna; Zouridakis, Marios; Tsetlin, Victor I; Utkin, Yuri N

    2017-01-01

    Phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) are enzymes found throughout the animal kingdom. They hydrolyze phospholipids in the sn-2 position producing lysophospholipids and unsaturated fatty acids, agents that can damage membranes. PLA2s from snake venoms have numerous toxic effects, not all of which can be explained by phospholipid hydrolysis, and each enzyme has a specific effect. We have earlier demonstrated the capability of several snake venom PLA2s with different enzymatic, cytotoxic, anticoagulant and antiproliferative properties, to decrease acetylcholine-induced currents in Lymnaea stagnalis neurons, and to compete with α-bungarotoxin for binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and acetylcholine binding protein. Since nAChRs are implicated in postsynaptic and presynaptic activities, in this work we probe those PLA2s known to have strong presynaptic effects, namely β-bungarotoxin from Bungarus multicinctus and crotoxin from Crotalus durissus terrificus. We also wished to explore whether mammalian PLA2s interact with nAChRs, and have examined non-toxic PLA2 from porcine pancreas. It was found that porcine pancreatic PLA2 and presynaptic β-bungarotoxin blocked currents mediated by nAChRs in Lymnaea neurons with IC50s of 2.5 and 4.8 μM, respectively. Crotoxin competed with radioactive α-bungarotoxin for binding to Torpedo and human α7 nAChRs and to the acetylcholine binding protein. Pancreatic PLA2 interacted similarly with these targets; moreover, it inhibited radioactive α-bungarotoxin binding to the water-soluble extracellular domain of human α9 nAChR, and blocked acetylcholine induced currents in human α9α10 nAChRs heterologously expressed in Xenopus oocytes. These and our earlier results show that all snake PLA2s, including presynaptically active crotoxin and β-bungarotoxin, as well as mammalian pancreatic PLA2, interact with nAChRs. The data obtained suggest that this interaction may be a general property of all PLA2s, which should be proved by

  16. Pancreatic and snake venom presynaptically active phospholipases A2 inhibit nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine A Vulfius

    Full Text Available Phospholipases A2 (PLA2s are enzymes found throughout the animal kingdom. They hydrolyze phospholipids in the sn-2 position producing lysophospholipids and unsaturated fatty acids, agents that can damage membranes. PLA2s from snake venoms have numerous toxic effects, not all of which can be explained by phospholipid hydrolysis, and each enzyme has a specific effect. We have earlier demonstrated the capability of several snake venom PLA2s with different enzymatic, cytotoxic, anticoagulant and antiproliferative properties, to decrease acetylcholine-induced currents in Lymnaea stagnalis neurons, and to compete with α-bungarotoxin for binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs and acetylcholine binding protein. Since nAChRs are implicated in postsynaptic and presynaptic activities, in this work we probe those PLA2s known to have strong presynaptic effects, namely β-bungarotoxin from Bungarus multicinctus and crotoxin from Crotalus durissus terrificus. We also wished to explore whether mammalian PLA2s interact with nAChRs, and have examined non-toxic PLA2 from porcine pancreas. It was found that porcine pancreatic PLA2 and presynaptic β-bungarotoxin blocked currents mediated by nAChRs in Lymnaea neurons with IC50s of 2.5 and 4.8 μM, respectively. Crotoxin competed with radioactive α-bungarotoxin for binding to Torpedo and human α7 nAChRs and to the acetylcholine binding protein. Pancreatic PLA2 interacted similarly with these targets; moreover, it inhibited radioactive α-bungarotoxin binding to the water-soluble extracellular domain of human α9 nAChR, and blocked acetylcholine induced currents in human α9α10 nAChRs heterologously expressed in Xenopus oocytes. These and our earlier results show that all snake PLA2s, including presynaptically active crotoxin and β-bungarotoxin, as well as mammalian pancreatic PLA2, interact with nAChRs. The data obtained suggest that this interaction may be a general property of all PLA2s, which

  17. Evaluation of seepage and discharge uncertainty in the middle Snake River, southwestern Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Molly S.; Williams, Marshall L.; Evetts, David M.; Vidmar, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the State of Idaho, Idaho Power Company, and the Idaho Department of Water Resources, evaluated seasonal seepage gains and losses in selected reaches of the middle Snake River, Idaho, during November 2012 and July 2013, and uncertainty in measured and computed discharge at four Idaho Power Company streamgages. Results from this investigation will be used by resource managers in developing a protocol to calculate and report Adjusted Average Daily Flow at the Idaho Power Company streamgage on the Snake River below Swan Falls Dam, near Murphy, Idaho, which is the measurement point for distributing water to owners of hydropower and minimum flow water rights in the middle Snake River. The evaluated reaches of the Snake River were from King Hill to Murphy, Idaho, for the seepage studies and downstream of Lower Salmon Falls Dam to Murphy, Idaho, for evaluations of discharge uncertainty. Computed seepage was greater than cumulative measurement uncertainty for subreaches along the middle Snake River during November 2012, the non-irrigation season, but not during July 2013, the irrigation season. During the November 2012 seepage study, the subreach between King Hill and C J Strike Dam had a meaningful (greater than cumulative measurement uncertainty) seepage gain of 415 cubic feet per second (ft3/s), and the subreach between Loveridge Bridge and C J Strike Dam had a meaningful seepage gain of 217 ft3/s. The meaningful seepage gain measured in the November 2012 seepage study was expected on the basis of several small seeps and springs present along the subreach, regional groundwater table contour maps, and results of regional groundwater flow model simulations. Computed seepage along the subreach from C J Strike Dam to Murphy was less than cumulative measurement uncertainty during November 2012 and July 2013; therefore, seepage cannot be quantified with certainty along this subreach. For the uncertainty evaluation, average

  18. Observations of Snake Resonance in RHIC

    CERN Document Server

    Bai, Mei; Lee, Shyh-Yuan; Lin, Fanglei; MacKay, William; Ptitsyn, Vadim; Roser, Thomas; Tepikian, Steven

    2005-01-01

    Siberian snakes now become essential in the polarized proton acceleration. With proper configuration of Siberian snakes, the spin precession tune of the beam becomes $\\frac{1}{2}$ which avoids all the spin depolarizing resonance. However, the enhancement of the perturbations on the spin motion can still occur when the betatron tune is near some low order fractional numbers, called snake resonances, and the beam can be depolarized when passing through the resonance. The snake resonances have been confirmed in the spin tracking calculations, and observed in RHIC with polarized proton beam. Equipped with two full Siberian snakes in each ring, RHIC provides us a perfect facility for snake resonance studies. This paper presents latest experimental results. New insights are also discussed.

  19. Snake Robots Modelling, Mechatronics, and Control

    CERN Document Server

    Liljebäck, Pål; Stavdahl, Øyvind; Gravdahl, Jan Tommy

    2013-01-01

    Snake Robots is a novel treatment of theoretical and practical topics related to snake robots: robotic mechanisms designed to move like biological snakes and able to operate in challenging environments in which human presence is either undesirable or impossible. Future applications of such robots include search and rescue, inspection and maintenance, and subsea operations. Locomotion in unstructured environments is a focus for this book. The text targets the disparate muddle of approaches to modelling, development and control of snake robots in current literature, giving a unified presentation of recent research results on snake robot locomotion to increase the reader’s basic understanding of these mechanisms and their motion dynamics and clarify the state of the art in the field. The book is a complete treatment of snake robotics, with topics ranging from mathematical modelling techniques, through mechatronic design and implementation, to control design strategies. The development of two snake robots is de...

  20. Quantum snake walk on graphs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosmanis, Ansis

    2011-01-01

    I introduce a continuous-time quantum walk on graphs called the quantum snake walk, the basis states of which are fixed-length paths (snakes) in the underlying graph. First, I analyze the quantum snake walk on the line, and I show that, even though most states stay localized throughout the evolution, there are specific states that most likely move on the line as wave packets with momentum inversely proportional to the length of the snake. Next, I discuss how an algorithm based on the quantum snake walk might potentially be able to solve an extended version of the glued trees problem, which asks to find a path connecting both roots of the glued trees graph. To the best of my knowledge, no efficient quantum algorithm solving this problem is known yet.

  1. Snake fungal disease: an emerging threat to wild snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorch, Jeffrey M; Knowles, Susan; Lankton, Julia S; Michell, Kathy; Edwards, Jaime L; Kapfer, Joshua M; Staffen, Richard A; Wild, Erik R; Schmidt, Katie Z; Ballmann, Anne E; Blodgett, Doug; Farrell, Terence M; Glorioso, Brad M; Last, Lisa A; Price, Steven J; Schuler, Krysten L; Smith, Christopher E; Wellehan, James F X; Blehert, David S

    2016-12-05

    Since 2006, there has been a marked increase in the number of reports of severe and often fatal fungal skin infections in wild snakes in the eastern USA. The emerging condition, referred to as snake fungal disease (SFD), was initially documented in rattlesnakes, where the infections were believed to pose a risk to the viability of affected populations. The disease is caused by Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, a fungus recently split from a complex of fungi long referred to as the Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii (CANV). Here we review the current state of knowledge about O. ophiodiicola and SFD. In addition, we provide original findings which demonstrate that O. ophiodiicola is widely distributed in eastern North America, has a broad host range, is the predominant cause of fungal skin infections in wild snakes and often causes mild infections in snakes emerging from hibernation. This new information, together with what is already available in the scientific literature, advances our knowledge of the cause, pathogenesis and ecology of SFD. However, additional research is necessary to elucidate the factors driving the emergence of this disease and develop strategies to mitigate its impacts.This article is part of the themed issue 'Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  2. Bumpus in the snake den: effects of sex, size, and body condition on mortality of red-sided garter snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shine, R; LeMaster, M P; Moore, I T; Olsson, M M; Mason, R T

    2001-03-01

    Huge breeding aggregations of red-sided garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis) at overwintering dens in Manitoba provide a unique opportunity to identify sources of mortality and to clarify factors that influence a snake's vulnerability to these factors. Comparisons of sexes, body sizes, and body condition of more than 1000 dead snakes versus live animals sampled at the same time reveal significant biases. Three primary sources of mortality were identified. Predation by crows, Corvus brachyrhynchos (590 snakes killed), was focussed mostly on small snakes of both sexes. Crows generally removed the snake's liver and left the carcass, but very small snakes were sometimes brought back to the nest. Suffocation beneath massive piles of other snakes within the den (301 dead animals) involved mostly small males and (to a lesser extent) large females; snakes in poor body condition were particularly vulnerable. Many emaciated snakes (n = 142, mostly females) also died without overt injuries, probably due to depleted energy reserves. These biases in vulnerability are readily interpretable from information on behavioral ecology of the snakes. For example, sex biases in mortality reflect differences in postemergence behavior and locomotor capacity, the greater attractiveness of larger females to males, and the high energy costs of reproduction for females.

  3. First documented case of snake fungal disease in a free-ranging wild snake in Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glorioso, Brad M.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Green, David E.; Lorch, Jeffrey M.

    2016-01-01

    Snake fungal disease (SFD) is a recently documented mycotic disease characterized by scabs or crusty scales, subcutaneous nodules, abnormal molting, cloudiness of the eyes (not associated with molting), and localized thickening or crusting of the skin. SFD has been documented in many species in the Eastern and Midwestern United States within the last decade. SFD has proven lethal in many snakes, and the disease is recognized as an emerging threat to wild snake populations. Here, we describe the first documented case of SFD in Louisiana in a free-ranging wild snake.

  4. Mast Cells Can Enhance Resistance to Snake and Honeybee Venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metz, Martin; Piliponsky, Adrian M.; Chen, Ching-Cheng; Lammel, Verena; Åbrink, Magnus; Pejler, Gunnar; Tsai, Mindy; Galli, Stephen J.

    2006-07-01

    Snake or honeybee envenomation can cause substantial morbidity and mortality, and it has been proposed that the activation of mast cells by snake or insect venoms can contribute to these effects. We show, in contrast, that mast cells can significantly reduce snake-venom-induced pathology in mice, at least in part by releasing carboxypeptidase A and possibly other proteases, which can degrade venom components. Mast cells also significantly reduced the morbidity and mortality induced by honeybee venom. These findings identify a new biological function for mast cells in enhancing resistance to the morbidity and mortality induced by animal venoms.

  5. Optical Character Recognition Using Active Contour Segmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nabeel Oudah

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Document analysis of images snapped by camera is a growing challenge. These photos are often poor-quality compound images, composed of various objects and text; this makes automatic analysis complicated. OCR is one of the image processing techniques which is used to perform automatic identification of texts. Existing image processing techniques need to manage many parameters in order to clearly recognize the text in such pictures. Segmentation is regarded one of these essential parameters. This paper discusses the accuracy of segmentation process and its effect over the recognition process. According to the proposed method, the images were firstly filtered using the wiener filter then the active contour algorithm could be applied in the segmentation process. The Tesseract OCR Engine was selected in order to evaluate the performance and identification accuracy of the proposed method. The results showed that a more accurate segmentation process shall lead to a more accurate recognition results. The rate of recognition accuracy was 0.95 for the proposed algorithm compared with 0.85 for the Tesseract OCR Engine.

  6. Unsupervised quantification of abdominal fat from CT images using Greedy Snakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Chirag; Dallal, Ahmed H.; Arbabshirani, Mohammad R.; Patel, Aalpen; Moore, Gregory

    2017-02-01

    Adipose tissue has been associated with adverse consequences of obesity. Total adipose tissue (TAT) is divided into subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) and visceral adipose tissue (VAT). Intra-abdominal fat (VAT), located inside the abdominal cavity, is a major factor for the classic obesity related pathologies. Since direct measurement of visceral and subcutaneous fat is not trivial, substitute metrics like waist circumference (WC) and body mass index (BMI) are used in clinical settings to quantify obesity. Abdominal fat can be assessed effectively using CT or MRI, but manual fat segmentation is rather subjective and time-consuming. Hence, an automatic and accurate quantification tool for abdominal fat is needed. The goal of this study is to extract TAT, VAT and SAT fat from abdominal CT in a fully automated unsupervised fashion using energy minimization techniques. We applied a four step framework consisting of 1) initial body contour estimation, 2) approximation of the body contour, 3) estimation of inner abdominal contour using Greedy Snakes algorithm, and 4) voting, to segment the subcutaneous and visceral fat. We validated our algorithm on 952 clinical abdominal CT images (from 476 patients with a very wide BMI range) collected from various radiology departments of Geisinger Health System. To our knowledge, this is the first study of its kind on such a large and diverse clinical dataset. Our algorithm obtained a 3.4% error for VAT segmentation compared to manual segmentation. These personalized and accurate measurements of fat can complement traditional population health driven obesity metrics such as BMI and WC.

  7. The Complexity of Snake

    OpenAIRE

    De Biasi, Marzio; Ophelders, Tim

    2016-01-01

    Snake and Nibbler are two well-known video games in which a snake slithers through a maze and grows as it collects food. During this process, the snake must avoid any collision with its tail. Various goals can be associated with these video games, such as avoiding the tail as long as possible, or collecting a certain amount of food, or reaching some target location. Unfortunately, like many other motion-planning problems, even very restricted variants are computationally intractable. In parti...

  8. Snake Venom: From Deadly Toxins to Life-saving Therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waheed, Humera; Moin, Syed F; Choudhary, M I

    2017-01-01

    Snakes are fascinating creatures and have been residents of this planet well before ancient humans dwelled the earth. Venomous snakes have been a figure of fear, and cause notable mortality throughout the world. The venom constitutes families of proteins and peptides with various isoforms that make it a cocktail of diverse molecules. These biomolecules are responsible for the disturbance in fundamental physiological systems of the envenomed victim, leading to morbidity which can lead to death if left untreated. Researchers have turned these life-threatening toxins into life-saving therapeutics via technological advancements. Since the development of captopril, the first drug that was derived from bradykininpotentiating peptide of Bothrops jararaca, to the disintegrins that have potent activity against certain types of cancers, snake venom components have shown great potential for the development of lead compounds for new drugs. There is a continuous development of new drugs from snake venom for coagulopathy and hemostasis to anti-cancer agents. In this review, we have focused on different snake venom proteins / peptides derived drugs that are in clinical use or in developmental stages till to date. Also, some commonly used snake venom derived diagnostic tools along with the recent updates in this exciting field are discussed. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  9. Gallbladder Boundary Segmentation from Ultrasound Images Using Active Contour Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciecholewski, Marcin

    Extracting the shape of the gallbladder from an ultrasonography (US) image allows superfluous information which is immaterial in the diagnostic process to be eliminated. In this project an active contour model was used to extract the shape of the gallbladder, both for cases free of lesions, and for those showing specific disease units, namely: lithiasis, polyps and changes in the shape of the organ, such as folds or turns of the gallbladder. The approximate shape of the gallbladder was found by applying the motion equation model. The tests conducted have shown that for the 220 US images of the gallbladder, the area error rate (AER) amounted to 18.15%.

  10. Visualization of Uncertain Contour Trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kraus, Martin

    2010-01-01

    Contour trees can represent the topology of large volume data sets in a relatively compact, discrete data structure. However, the resulting trees often contain many thousands of nodes; thus, many graph drawing techniques fail to produce satisfactory results. Therefore, several visualization methods...... were proposed recently for the visualization of contour trees. Unfortunately, none of these techniques is able to handle uncertain contour trees although any uncertainty of the volume data inevitably results in partially uncertain contour trees. In this work, we visualize uncertain contour trees...... by combining the contour trees of two morphologically filtered versions of a volume data set, which represent the range of uncertainty. These two contour trees are combined and visualized within a single image such that a range of potential contour trees is represented by the resulting visualization. Thus...

  11. Neuronal oscillations form parietal/frontal networks during contour integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellano, Marta; Plöchl, Michael; Vicente, Raul; Pipa, Gordon

    2014-01-01

    The ability to integrate visual features into a global coherent percept that can be further categorized and manipulated are fundamental abilities of the neural system. While the processing of visual information involves activation of early visual cortices, the recruitment of parietal and frontal cortices has been shown to be crucial for perceptual processes. Yet is it not clear how both cortical and long-range oscillatory activity leads to the integration of visual features into a coherent percept. Here, we will investigate perceptual grouping through the analysis of a contour categorization task, where the local elements that form contour must be linked into a coherent structure, which is then further processed and manipulated to perform the categorization task. The contour formation in our visual stimulus is a dynamic process where, for the first time, visual perception of contours is disentangled from the onset of visual stimulation or from motor preparation, cognitive processes that until now have been behaviorally attached to perceptual processes. Our main finding is that, while local and long-range synchronization at several frequencies seem to be an ongoing phenomena, categorization of a contour could only be predicted through local oscillatory activity within parietal/frontal sources, which in turn, would synchronize at gamma (>30 Hz) frequency. Simultaneously, fronto-parietal beta (13-30 Hz) phase locking forms a network spanning across neural sources that are not category specific. Both long range networks, i.e., the gamma network that is category specific, and the beta network that is not category specific, are functionally distinct but spatially overlapping. Altogether, we show that a critical mechanism underlying contour categorization involves oscillatory activity within parietal/frontal cortices, as well as its synchronization across distal cortical sites.

  12. Morphology of the snake spectacle reflects its evolutionary adaptation and development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Da Silva, Mari-Ann Otkjaer; Heegaard, Steffen; Wang, Tobias

    2017-01-01

    optical coherence tomography (OCT) to measure spectacular thickness. Multivariable analyses were made to determine whether family, activity period (diurnal/nocturnal) and habitat (arboreal/terrestrial/fossorial/aquatic) influenced spectacle thickness. Results The thinnest spectacles in absolute terms were...... be predicted by taxonomic family and habitat, but not activity period. Conclusion This phylogenetically broad systematic study of the thickness of the snake spectacle showed that spectacular thickness varies greatly across snake species and may reflect evolutionary adaptation and development.......Background Covering the eye of all snakes is a transparent integumental structure known as the spectacle. In order to determine variations in spectacle thickness among species, the spectacles of 217 alcohol-preserved museum specimens of 44 species belonging to 14 different families underwent...

  13. Computational Studies of Snake Venom Toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojeda, Paola G; Ramírez, David; Alzate-Morales, Jans; Caballero, Julio; Kaas, Quentin; González, Wendy

    2017-12-22

    Most snake venom toxins are proteins, and participate to envenomation through a diverse array of bioactivities, such as bleeding, inflammation, and pain, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic or neurotoxic effects. The venom of a single snake species contains hundreds of toxins, and the venoms of the 725 species of venomous snakes represent a large pool of potentially bioactive proteins. Despite considerable discovery efforts, most of the snake venom toxins are still uncharacterized. Modern bioinformatics tools have been recently developed to mine snake venoms, helping focus experimental research on the most potentially interesting toxins. Some computational techniques predict toxin molecular targets, and the binding mode to these targets. This review gives an overview of current knowledge on the ~2200 sequences, and more than 400 three-dimensional structures of snake toxins deposited in public repositories, as well as of molecular modeling studies of the interaction between these toxins and their molecular targets. We also describe how modern bioinformatics have been used to study the snake venom protein phospholipase A2, the small basic myotoxin Crotamine, and the three-finger peptide Mambalgin.

  14. Computational Studies of Snake Venom Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola G. Ojeda

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Most snake venom toxins are proteins, and participate to envenomation through a diverse array of bioactivities, such as bleeding, inflammation, and pain, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic or neurotoxic effects. The venom of a single snake species contains hundreds of toxins, and the venoms of the 725 species of venomous snakes represent a large pool of potentially bioactive proteins. Despite considerable discovery efforts, most of the snake venom toxins are still uncharacterized. Modern bioinformatics tools have been recently developed to mine snake venoms, helping focus experimental research on the most potentially interesting toxins. Some computational techniques predict toxin molecular targets, and the binding mode to these targets. This review gives an overview of current knowledge on the ~2200 sequences, and more than 400 three-dimensional structures of snake toxins deposited in public repositories, as well as of molecular modeling studies of the interaction between these toxins and their molecular targets. We also describe how modern bioinformatics have been used to study the snake venom protein phospholipase A2, the small basic myotoxin Crotamine, and the three-finger peptide Mambalgin.

  15. The diets of Hispaniolan colubrid snakes : I. Introduction and prey genera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Robert W

    1984-05-01

    Approximately 1590 Hispaniolan colubrid snakes representing six genera and eight species were examined for prey remains (Alsophis cantherigerus, Antillophis parvifrons, Darlingtonia haetiana, Hypsirhynchus ferox, Ialtris dorsalis, Uromacer catesbyi, U. frenatus, and U. oxyrhynchus). The snakes were collected at many localities over a span of 80 years.Of 426 prey items, 77.9% were lizards (of which 69.6% were anoles), 19% frogs, 2.6% birds and mammals, and 0.5% other snakes. Darlingtonia was the only snake that did not exploit lizards; it fed exclusively on Eleutherodactylus frogs, including egg clutches. Disregarding Darlingtonia, there is no size class of Hispaniolan colubrids between 20-90 cm SVL that does not prey primarily on Anolis. Certain prey genera are added to, or deleted from, diets depending on snake size, but the data suggest that snake SVL alone does little to dictate what prey genera (or groups) are eaten. Shannon-Wiener values (H') indicate that Darlingtonia has the narrowest trophic niche, while Alsophis and Ialtris have the widest. Values of H' are not correlated with snake SVL, but highly significant (Peats diurnally active (anoles) and diurnally quiescent (hylid frogs) prey with almost equal frequency.Within Maglio's cantherigerus species assemblage, in which an Alsophis cantherigerus-like snake was ancestral to the other species, and in which longsnouted Uromacer are the most morphologically derived, there is an obvious trend toward trophic specialization on Hispaniola. The West Indies have provided an ideal natural laboratory for the investigation of many aspects of vertebrate ecology, and an arena in which to test theories of island biogeography. The most extensively studied West Indian vertebrates have been the lizards of the iguanid genus Anolis. Conversely, the ecology of West Indian snakes has been largely ignored. This is surprising in light of the fact that much has been written about Anolis predation, but little has been written about

  16. Control of articulated snake robot under dynamic active constraints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwok, Ka-Wai; Vitiello, Valentina; Yang, Guang-Zhong

    2010-01-01

    Flexible, ergonomically enhanced surgical robots have important applications to transluminal endoscopic surgery, for which path-following and dynamic shape conformance are essential. In this paper, kinematic control of a snake robot for motion stabilisation under dynamic active constraints is addressed. The main objective is to enable the robot to track the visual target accurately and steadily on deforming tissue whilst conforming to pre-defined anatomical constraints. The motion tracking can also be augmented with manual control. By taking into account the physical limits in terms of maximum frequency response of the system (manifested as a delay between the input of the manipulator and the movement of the end-effector), we show the importance of visual-motor synchronisation for performing accurate smooth pursuit movements. Detailed user experiments are performed to demonstrate the practical value of the proposed control mechanism.

  17. Computational Studies of Snake Venom Toxins

    OpenAIRE

    Paola G. Ojeda; David Ramírez; Jans Alzate-Morales; Julio Caballero; Quentin Kaas; Wendy González

    2017-01-01

    Most snake venom toxins are proteins, and participate to envenomation through a diverse array of bioactivities, such as bleeding, inflammation, and pain, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic or neurotoxic effects. The venom of a single snake species contains hundreds of toxins, and the venoms of the 725 species of venomous snakes represent a large pool of potentially bioactive proteins. Despite considerable discovery efforts, most of the snake venom toxins are still uncharacterized. Modern bioinformatics t...

  18. Immune response to snake envenoming and treatment with antivenom; complement activation, cytokine production and mast cell degranulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shelley F Stone

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Snake bite is one of the most neglected public health issues in poor rural communities worldwide. In addition to the clinical effects of envenoming, treatment with antivenom frequently causes serious adverse reactions, including hypersensitivity reactions (including anaphylaxis and pyrogenic reactions. We aimed to investigate the immune responses to Sri Lankan snake envenoming (predominantly by Russell's viper and antivenom treatment. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Plasma concentrations of Interleukin (IL-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα, soluble TNF receptor I (sTNFRI, anaphylatoxins (C3a, C4a, C5a; markers of complement activation, mast cell tryptase (MCT, and histamine were measured in 120 Sri Lankan snakebite victims, both before and after treatment with antivenom. Immune mediator concentrations were correlated with envenoming features and the severity of antivenom-induced reactions including anaphylaxis. Envenoming was associated with complement activation and increased cytokine concentrations prior to antivenom administration, which correlated with non-specific systemic symptoms of envenoming but not with coagulopathy or neurotoxicity. Typical hypersensitivity reactions to antivenom occurred in 77/120 patients (64%, satisfying criteria for a diagnosis of anaphylaxis in 57/120 (48%. Pyrogenic reactions were observed in 32/120 patients (27%. All patients had further elevations in cytokine concentrations, but not complement activation, after the administration of antivenom, whether a reaction was noted to occur or not. Patients with anaphylaxis had significantly elevated concentrations of MCT and histamine. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We have demonstrated that Sri Lankan snake envenoming is characterized by significant complement activation and release of inflammatory mediators. Antivenom treatment further enhances the release of inflammatory mediators in all patients, with anaphylactic reactions characterised by high

  19. Comparative study on the performance of textural image features for active contour segmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moraru, Luminita; Moldovanu, Simona

    2012-07-01

    We present a computerized method for the semi-automatic detection of contours in ultrasound images. The novelty of our study is the introduction of a fast and efficient image function relating to parametric active contour models. This new function is a combination of the gray-level information and first-order statistical features, called standard deviation parameters. In a comprehensive study, the developed algorithm and the efficiency of segmentation were first tested for synthetic images. Tests were also performed on breast and liver ultrasound images. The proposed method was compared with the watershed approach to show its efficiency. The performance of the segmentation was estimated using the area error rate. Using the standard deviation textural feature and a 5×5 kernel, our curve evolution was able to produce results close to the minimal area error rate (namely 8.88% for breast images and 10.82% for liver images). The image resolution was evaluated using the contrast-to-gradient method. The experiments showed promising segmentation results.

  20. Progressive Loss of Function in a Limb Enhancer during Snake Evolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kvon, Evgeny Z.; Kamneva, Olga K.; Melo, Uirá S.; Barozzi, Iros; Osterwalder, Marco; Mannion, Brandon J.; Tissières, Virginie; Pickle, Catherine S.; Plajzer-Frick, Ingrid; Lee, Elizabeth A.; Kato, Momoe; Garvin, Tyler H.; Akiyama, Jennifer A.; Afzal, Veena; Lopez-Rios, Javier; Rubin, Edward M.; Dickel, Diane E.; Pennacchio, Len A.; Visel, Axel

    2016-10-20

    The evolution of body shape is thought to be tightly coupled to changes in regulatory sequences, but specific molecular events associated with major morphological transitions in vertebrates have remained elusive. In this paper, we identified snake-specific sequence changes within an otherwise highly conserved long-range limb enhancer of Sonic hedgehog (Shh). Transgenic mouse reporter assays revealed that the in vivo activity pattern of the enhancer is conserved across a wide range of vertebrates, including fish, but not in snakes. Genomic substitution of the mouse enhancer with its human or fish ortholog results in normal limb development. In contrast, replacement with snake orthologs caused severe limb reduction. Synthetic restoration of a single transcription factor binding site lost in the snake lineage reinstated full in vivo function to the snake enhancer. Our results demonstrate changes in a regulatory sequence associated with a major body plan transition and highlight the role of enhancers in morphological evolution.

  1. The origin of snakes: revealing the ecology, behavior, and evolutionary history of early snakes using genomics, phenomics, and the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsiang, Allison Y; Field, Daniel J; Webster, Timothy H; Behlke, Adam D B; Davis, Matthew B; Racicot, Rachel A; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2015-05-20

    The highly derived morphology and astounding diversity of snakes has long inspired debate regarding the ecological and evolutionary origin of both the snake total-group (Pan-Serpentes) and crown snakes (Serpentes). Although speculation abounds on the ecology, behavior, and provenance of the earliest snakes, a rigorous, clade-wide analysis of snake origins has yet to be attempted, in part due to a dearth of adequate paleontological data on early stem snakes. Here, we present the first comprehensive analytical reconstruction of the ancestor of crown snakes and the ancestor of the snake total-group, as inferred using multiple methods of ancestral state reconstruction. We use a combined-data approach that includes new information from the fossil record on extinct crown snakes, new data on the anatomy of the stem snakes Najash rionegrina, Dinilysia patagonica, and Coniophis precedens, and a deeper understanding of the distribution of phenotypic apomorphies among the major clades of fossil and Recent snakes. Additionally, we infer time-calibrated phylogenies using both new 'tip-dating' and traditional node-based approaches, providing new insights on temporal patterns in the early evolutionary history of snakes. Comprehensive ancestral state reconstructions reveal that both the ancestor of crown snakes and the ancestor of total-group snakes were nocturnal, widely foraging, non-constricting stealth hunters. They likely consumed soft-bodied vertebrate and invertebrate prey that was subequal to head size, and occupied terrestrial settings in warm, well-watered, and well-vegetated environments. The snake total-group - approximated by the Coniophis node - is inferred to have originated on land during the middle Early Cretaceous (~128.5 Ma), with the crown-group following about 20 million years later, during the Albian stage. Our inferred divergence dates provide strong evidence for a major radiation of henophidian snake diversity in the wake of the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K

  2. Snake studies on Tore Supra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cristofani, P.; Desgranges, C.; Garbet, X.; Geraud, A.; Gil, C.; Hoang, G.T.; Joffrin, E.; Pecquet, A.L.

    1995-01-01

    Snakes have been achieved after pellet injection in Tore Supra during ohmic as well as ICRH discharges as it has already been observed in other machines. On Tore Supra, high speed H 2 pellets were injected into D 2 plasmas under the specified experimental conditions, the matter is deposited in the centre and snakes are produced in 50% of the cases, but they are created on a second much more internal q=1 surface leading probably to a non monotonic current profile. The properties of the snake, induced current modification and the important role of the bootstrap current in the snake formation are described. (K.A.) 5 refs.; 7 figs

  3. snake and staff symbolism and healing 1. introduction 2. the snake

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Since time immemorial the snake has been venerated as an enigmatic creature with supernatural ... ticular reference to their significance in the field of health care. 2. THE SNAKE IN ... as an aid in walking and as a weapon, it was also used by rulers in .... always included an abaton (open porch with roof) where patients un-.

  4. Anti-snake venom activities of ethanolic extract of fruits of Piper longum L. (Piperaceae) against Russell's viper venom: characterization of piperine as active principle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenoy, P A; Nipate, S S; Sonpetkar, J M; Salvi, N C; Waghmare, A B; Chaudhari, P D

    2013-05-20

    Piper longum L. fruits have been traditionally used against snakebites in north-eastern and southern region of India. To examine the ability of ethanolic extract of fruits of Piper longum L., Piperaceae (PLE) and piperine, one of the main active principles of Piper longum, to inhibit the Russell's viper (Doboia russelii, Viperidae) snake venom activities. Anti-snake venom activities of ethanolic extract of fruits of Piper longum L. (Piperaceae) and piperine against Russell's viper venom was studied in embryonated fertile chicken eggs, mice and rats by using various models as follows: inhibition of venom lethal action, inhibition of venom haemorrhagic action (in vitro), inhibition of venom haemorrhagic action (in vivo), inhibition of venom necrotizing action, inhibition of venom defibrinogenating action, inhibition of venom induced paw edema, inhibition of venom induced mast cell degranulation, creatine kinase assay and assay for catalase activity. PLE was found to inhibit the venom induced haemorrhage in embryonated fertile chicken eggs. Administration of PLE and piperine significantly (p<0.01) inhibited venom induced lethality, haemorrhage, necrosis, defibrinogenation and inflammatory paw edema in mice in a dose dependent manner. PLE and piperine also significantly (p<0.01) reduced venom induced mast cell degranulation in rats. Venom induced decrease in catalase enzyme levels in mice kidney tissue and increase in creatine kinase enzyme levels in mice serum were significantly (p<0.01) reversed by administration of both PLE and piperine. PLE possesses good anti-snake venom properties and piperine is one of the compounds responsible for the effective venom neutralizing ability of the plant. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. A novel synthetic quinolinone inhibitor presents proteolytic and hemorrhagic inhibitory activities against snake venom metalloproteases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baraldi, Patrícia T; Magro, Angelo J; Matioli, Fábio F; Marcussi, Silvana; Lemke, Ney; Calderon, Leonardo A; Stábeli, Rodrigo G; Soares, Andreimar M; Correa, Arlene G; Fontes, Marcos R M

    2016-02-01

    Metalloproteases play a fundamental role in snake venom envenomation inducing hemorrhagic, fibrigen(ogen)olytic and myotoxic effects in their victims. Several snake venoms, such as those from the Bothrops genus, present important local effects which are not efficiently neutralized by conventional serum therapy. Consequently, these accidents may result in permanent sequelae and disability, creating economic and social problems, especially in developing countries, leading the attention of the World Health Organization that considered ophidic envenomations a neglected tropical disease. Aiming to produce an efficient inhibitor against bothropic venoms, we synthesized different molecules classified as quinolinones - a group of low-toxic chemical compounds widely used as antibacterial and antimycobacterial drugs - and tested their inhibitory properties against hemorrhage caused by bothropic venoms. The results from this initial screening indicated the molecule 2-hydroxymethyl-6-methoxy-1,4-dihydro-4-quinolinone (Q8) was the most effective antihemorrhagic compound among all of the assayed synthetic quinolinones. Other in vitro and in vivo experiments showed this novel compound was able to inhibit significantly the hemorrhagic and/or proteolytic activities of bothropic crude venoms and isolated snake venom metalloproteases (SVMPs) even at lower concentrations. Docking and molecular dynamic simulations were also performed to get insights into the structural basis of Q8 inhibitory mechanism against proteolytic and hemorrhagic SVMPs. These structural studies demonstrated that Q8 may form a stable complex with SVMPs, impairing the access of substrates to the active sites of these toxins. Therefore, both experimental and structural data indicate that Q8 compound is an interesting candidate for antiophidic therapy, particularly for the treatment of the hemorrhagic and necrotic effects induced by bothropic venoms. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and Société Française de

  6. Rapid visuomotor processing of phobic images in spider- and snake-fearful participants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberkamp, Anke; Schmidt, Filipp; Schmidt, Thomas

    2013-10-01

    This study investigates enhanced visuomotor processing of phobic compared to fear-relevant and neutral stimuli. We used a response priming design to measure rapid, automatic motor activation by natural images (spiders, snakes, mushrooms, and flowers) in spider-fearful, snake-fearful, and control participants. We found strong priming effects in all tasks and conditions; however, results showed marked differences between groups. Most importantly, in the group of spider-fearful individuals, spider pictures had a strong and specific influence on even the fastest motor responses: Phobic primes entailed the largest priming effects, and phobic targets accelerated responses, both effects indicating speeded response activation by phobic images. In snake-fearful participants, this processing enhancement for phobic material was less pronounced and extended to both snake and spider images. We conclude that spider phobia leads to enhanced processing capacity for phobic images. We argue that this is enabled by long-term perceptual learning processes. © 2013.

  7. An instructive case of presumed brown snake (Pseudonaja spp.) envenoming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ou, Judy; Haiart, Sebastien; Galluccio, Steven; White, Julian; Weinstein, Scott A

    2015-01-01

    Several species of medically important Australian elapid snakes are frequently involved in human envenoming. The brown snake group (Pseudonaja spp., 9 species) is most commonly responsible for envenoming including life-threatening or fatal cases. Several Pseudonaja spp. can inflict human envenoming that features minor local effects, but may cause serious systemic venom disease including defibrination coagulopathy, thrombocytopenia, micro-angiopathic hemolytic anemia (MAHA) and, rarely, paralysis. Pseudonaja envenoming is typically diagnosed by history, clinical assessment including occasional active clinical bleeding noted on physical examination (e.g. from venipuncture sites, recent cuts, etc.), and laboratory detection of coagulopathy (prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time [APTT]/INR, elevated D-dimer, afibrinogenemia and thrombocytopenia). Lack of verified identity of the envenoming snake species is a common problem in Australia and elsewhere. Identification and confirmation of the envenoming Australian snake taxon is often attempted with enzyme sandwich immunoassay venom detection kits (SVDKs). However, the SVDK has limited utility due to unreliable specificity and sensitivity when used to detect venoms of some Australian elapids. Antivenom (AV) remains the cornerstone of treatment, although there is debate concerning the recommended dose (1 vs. 2 or more vials) necessary to treat serious Pseudonaja envenoming. Envenomed patients receiving timely treatment uncommonly succumb, but a proportion of seriously envenomed patients may exhibit clinical or laboratory evidence of myocardial insult. An 88-year-old woman presented her dog to a veterinarian after it had sustained a bite by a witnessed snake, reportedly an eastern brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis, Elapidae). The woman became suddenly confused, and lost consciousness at the veterinary office. After transport to hospital, she denied any contact with the snake, but developed large haematomas at

  8. The Snake with the Scorpion’s Sting: Novel Three-Finger Toxin Sodium Channel Activators from the Venom of the Long-Glanded Blue Coral Snake (Calliophis bivirgatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daryl C. Yang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Millions of years of evolution have fine-tuned the ability of venom peptides to rapidly incapacitate both prey and potential predators. Toxicofera reptiles are characterized by serous-secreting mandibular or maxillary glands with heightened levels of protein expression. These glands are the core anatomical components of the toxicoferan venom system, which exists in myriad points along an evolutionary continuum. Neofunctionalisation of toxins is facilitated by positive selection at functional hotspots on the ancestral protein and venom proteins have undergone dynamic diversification in helodermatid and varanid lizards as well as advanced snakes. A spectacular point on the venom system continuum is the long-glanded blue coral snake (Calliophis bivirgatus, a specialist feeder that preys on fast moving, venomous snakes which have both a high likelihood of prey escape but also represent significant danger to the predator itself. The maxillary venom glands of C. bivirgatus extend one quarter of the snake’s body length and nestle within the rib cavity. Despite the snake’s notoriety its venom has remained largely unstudied. Here we show that the venom uniquely produces spastic paralysis, in contrast to the flaccid paralysis typically produced by neurotoxic snake venoms. The toxin responsible, which we have called calliotoxin (δ-elapitoxin-Cb1a, is a three-finger toxin (3FTx. Calliotoxin shifts the voltage-dependence of NaV1.4 activation to more hyperpolarised potentials, inhibits inactivation, and produces large ramp currents, consistent with its profound effects on contractile force in an isolated skeletal muscle preparation. Voltage-gated sodium channels (NaV are a particularly attractive pharmacological target as they are involved in almost all physiological processes including action potential generation and conduction. Accordingly, venom peptides that interfere with NaV function provide a key defensive and predatory advantage to a range of

  9. Helical Siberian snakes using dipole magnets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wienands, U.

    1990-09-01

    A family of multi-twist transverse-field spin rotators using discrete bending magnets is described that can be used as Siberian snakes. By varying the number of twists, snakes with quite small excursions can be constructed at only a small penalty in the overall field integral. Examples for a 1/4-twist snake and a 3-twist snake are presented, the first suitable for a very high energy machine and the second for use in the proposed TRIUMF Kaon Factory. (Author) (3 refs.)

  10. Fairfax County Contours

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security — This layer contains contours that were derived from the digital terrain model made up of irregularly spaced mass points and breaklines. The contours are 5 foot...

  11. 27 CFR 9.208 - Snake River Valley.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 27 Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Firearms 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Snake River Valley. 9.208... Snake River Valley. (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this section is “Snake River Valley”. For purposes of part 4 of this chapter, “Snake River Valley” is a term of viticultural...

  12. Sea Snake Harvest in the Gulf of Thailand

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Van Cao, Nguyen; Thien Tao, Nguyen; Moore, Amelia

    2014-01-01

    Abstract: Conservation of sea snakes is virtually nonexistent in Asia, and its role in human–snake interactions in terms of catch, trade, and snakebites as an occupational hazard is mostly unexplored. We collected data on sea snake landings from the Gulf of Thailand, a hotspot for sea snake harvest...... years), and the treatment of sea snake bites with rhinoceros horn. Emerging markets in Southeast Asia drive the harvest of venomous sea snakes in the Gulf of Thailand and sea snake bites present a potentially lethal occupational hazard. We call for implementation of monitoring programs to further...... address the conservation implications of this large-scale marine reptile exploitation....

  13. Snake Venom Metalloproteinases

    OpenAIRE

    Gâz Florea Şerban Andrei; Gâz Florea Adriana; Kelemen Hajnal; Muntean Daniela-Lucia

    2016-01-01

    As more data are generated from proteome and transcriptome analysis revealing that metalloproteinases represent most of the Viperid and Colubrid venom components authors decided to describe in a short review a classification and some of the multiple activities of snake venom metalloproteinases. SVMPs are classified in three major classes (P-I, P-II and P-III classes) based on the presence of various domain structures and according to their domain organization. Furthermore, P-II and P-III clas...

  14. Safe Handling of Snakes in an ED Setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockrell, Melanie; Swanson, Kristofer; Sanders, April; Prater, Samuel; von Wenckstern, Toni; Mick, JoAnn

    2017-01-01

    Efforts to improve consistency in management of snakes and venomous snake bites in the emergency department (ED) can improve patient and staff safety and outcomes, as well as improve surveillance data accuracy. The emergency department at a large academic medical center identified an opportunity to implement a standardized process for snake disposal and identification to reduce staff risk exposure to snake venom from snakes patients brought with them to the ED. A local snake consultation vendor and zoo Herpetologist assisted with development of a process for snake identification and disposal. All snakes have been identified and securely disposed of using the newly implemented process and no safety incidents have been reported. Other emergency department settings may consider developing a standardized process for snake disposal using listed specialized consultants combined with local resources and suppliers to promote employee and patient safety. Copyright © 2017 Emergency Nurses Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. 33 CFR 117.331 - Snake Creek.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Snake Creek. 117.331 Section 117.331 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY BRIDGES DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS Specific Requirements Florida § 117.331 Snake Creek. The draw of the Snake Creek...

  16. Coyotes Are Afraid of Little Snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weewish Tree, 1979

    1979-01-01

    Wichita tale of a contest between Coyote and Small Snake to see whose teeth are strongest. They bite each other, and soon big, strong Coyote is dead from the poisoned bite of the tiny snake. Explains why, from that time onward, coyotes have been afraid of little snakes. (DS)

  17. First test of the Siberian Snake concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krisch, A.D.

    1990-01-01

    Test results of the Siberian Snake concept at the Indiana University Cooler Ring are presented. The Siberian Snake is a clever and interesting concept for accelerating polarized protons to high energy. Thus it would be especially useful at TeV energies where there are thousands of depolarizing resonances. The Snake is the device which job is to rotate the proton's spin by 180 deg. every time the proton goes around the ring. The Snake's main element is the superconducting solenoid magnet. Examples of the Siberian Snake overcoming depolarizing resonances are presented. 6 refs.; 24 figs

  18. DETECTION OF OPHIDIOMYCES OPHIODIICOLA IN TWO CAPTIVE BOCOURT WATER SNAKES ( SUBSESSOR BOCOURTI) AND ONE CAPTIVE PUEBLAN MILK SNAKE ( LAMPROPELTIS TRIANGULUM CAMPBELLI).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picquet, Pierre; Heckers, Kim O; Kolesnik, Ekaterina; Heusinger, Anton; Marschang, Rachel E

    2018-03-01

    Two captive Bocourt water snakes ( Subsessor bocourti) presented with chronic white skin lesions on their heads; Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola was identified by culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in skin scrapings from both snakes. Histopathology performed in one Bocourt water snake revealed fungal hyphae in epidermal structures of lesions. One Pueblan milk snake ( Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli) from the same zoologic institution presented with yellow crusts and white blisters on its body, from which O. ophiodiicola was identified by culture and PCR. Two of the three snakes apparently recovered from lesions after multiple natural sheds, whereas the third snake died. This is the first report of O. ophiodiicola infection in Bocourt water snakes and in a Pueblan milk snake, as well as the first report of O. ophiodiicola in France.

  19. A description of parasites from Iranian snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasiri, Vahid; Mobedi, Iraj; Dalimi, Abdolhossein; Mirakabadi, Abbas Zare; Ghaffarifar, Fatemeh; Teymurzadeh, Shohreh; Karimi, Gholamreza; Abdoli, Amir; Paykari, Habibollah

    2014-12-01

    Little is known of the parasitic fauna of terrestrial snakes in Iran. This study aimed to evaluate the parasitic infection rates of snakes in Iran. A total of 87 snakes belonging to eight different species, that were collected between May 2012 and September 2012 and died after the hold in captivity, under which they were kept for taking poisons, were examined for the presence of gastrointestinal and blood parasites. According to our study 12 different genera of endoparasites in 64 (73.56%) of 87 examined snakes were determined. Forty one snakes (47.12%) had gastrointestinal parasites. In prepared blood smears, it was found that in 23 (26.43%) of 87 examined snakes there are at least one hemoparasite. To our knowledge, these are the first data on the internal parasitic fauna of Iranian terrestrial snakes and our findings show a higher prevalence of these organisms among them. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Beam polarization during a Siberian snake turn-on

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anferov, Vladimir A.

    1999-01-01

    Installing Siberian snakes in a circular proton accelerator allows one to overcome all spin depolarizing resonances even at very high energies. However, Siberian snake application at low energies is technically rather difficult. Turning snake on at some energy during acceleration would allow using Siberian snakes even in rings with low injection energies. It is shown that the beam polarization would be preserved during the snake ramp, provided that the snake is turned on in more than ten turns, and the energy is set near a half-integer Gγ

  1. 50 CFR Table 3 to Part 226 - Hydrologic Units Containing Critical Habitat for Snake River Sockeye Salmon and Snake River...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... Habitat for Snake River Sockeye Salmon and Snake River Spring/Summer and Fall Chinook Salmon 3 Table 3 to... Part 226—Hydrologic Units Containing Critical Habitat for Snake River Sockeye Salmon and Snake River... Snake—Asotin 17060103 17060103 17060103 Upper Grande Ronde 17060104 Wallowa 17060105 Lower Grande Ronde...

  2. 33 CFR 117.1058 - Snake River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Snake River. 117.1058 Section 117... OPERATION REGULATIONS Specific Requirements Washington § 117.1058 Snake River. (a) The draw of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad bridge across the Snake River at mile 1.5 between Pasco and Burbank is...

  3. The Study on the Snake by TOXICON

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung-wook Kim

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available The study was carried out to investigate the researches of Snake which was published papers in the TOXICON(1990-2.000, one of the most famous Journal of toxicology. And the results were as follows: 1. The number related with Snake is 195papers. 2. There were great papers related wih Cobra, and next is Tigris, Viper, etc. 3. There were great papers related wih protein in the composition of snake venom. 4. There were great papers related wih neurotoxin in the research of poisonous character. 5. There were great papers related wih Viper according to the anticoagulation. 6. Eight papers were published to study the immune response of snake venom. 7. The papers of molecular study of snake venom were seven. 8. The papers of anti-snake venom study were three.

  4. Pulmonary parenchyma segmentation in thin CT image sequences with spectral clustering and geodesic active contour model based on similarity

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Nana; Zhang, Xiaolong; Zhao, Juanjuan; Zhao, Huilan; Qiang, Yan

    2017-07-01

    While the popular thin layer scanning technology of spiral CT has helped to improve diagnoses of lung diseases, the large volumes of scanning images produced by the technology also dramatically increase the load of physicians in lesion detection. Computer-aided diagnosis techniques like lesions segmentation in thin CT sequences have been developed to address this issue, but it remains a challenge to achieve high segmentation efficiency and accuracy without much involvement of human manual intervention. In this paper, we present our research on automated segmentation of lung parenchyma with an improved geodesic active contour model that is geodesic active contour model based on similarity (GACBS). Combining spectral clustering algorithm based on Nystrom (SCN) with GACBS, this algorithm first extracts key image slices, then uses these slices to generate an initial contour of pulmonary parenchyma of un-segmented slices with an interpolation algorithm, and finally segments lung parenchyma of un-segmented slices. Experimental results show that the segmentation results generated by our method are close to what manual segmentation can produce, with an average volume overlap ratio of 91.48%.

  5. Management of Poisonous Snake Bites in Southern Taiwan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kao-Ping Chang

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Snake bite envenomation is not uncommon in Taiwan. This study focuses on the pattern of poisonous snake bites and their management in southern Taiwan over a 5-year period. The case histories of 37 patients with poisonous snake bites admitted to the Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital between June 2001 and July 2005 were analyzed retrospectively. Three patients, bitten by unknown species of venomous snakes, were excluded from this study. The frequency of snake bites from each species of snake, the local and systemic manifestations of snake bite, treatment of complications and final outcomes were analyzed. Of the remaining 34 patients, 11 (32.4% were bitten by bamboo vipers, 10 (29.4% by Russell's pit vipers, 8 (23.5% by Taiwan cobras and 5 (14.7% by Taiwan Habu. The majority of snake bites (28 occurred between May and November. Those affected were mainly outdoor hikers (14 and workers (9. The antivenin requirements for treatment in the emergency room were in accordance with standard procedures. No mortality was noted among those envenomed by poisonous snakes. Although poisonous snake bite is not a common life-threatening emergency in the study area, we observed both an environmental risk and a seasonal incidence of snake bite. Keeping the varied clinical manifestations of snake bite in mind is important for effective management. Ready availability and appropriate use of antivenin, close monitoring of patients, institution of ventilatory support and early referral to a larger hospital when required, all help reduce mortality.

  6. The Lurking Snake in the Grass: Interference of Snake Stimuli in Visually Taxing Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Cristina Soares

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Based on evolutionary considerations, it was hypothesized that humans have been shaped to easily spot snakes in visually cluttered scenes that might otherwise hide camouflaged snakes. This hypothesis was tested in a visual search experiment in which I assessed automatic attention capture to evolutionarily-relevant distractor stimuli (snakes, in comparison with another animal which is also feared but where this fear has a disputed evolutionary origin (spiders, and neutral stimuli (mushrooms. Sixty participants were engaged in a task that involved the detection of a target (a bird among pictures of fruits. Unexpectedly, on some trials, a snake, a spider, or a mushroom replaced one of the fruits. The question of interest was whether the distracting stimuli slowed the reaction times for finding the target (the bird to different degrees. Perceptual load of the task was manipulated by increments in the set size (6 or 12 items on different trials. The findings showed that snake stimuli were processed preferentially, particularly under conditions where attentional resources were depleted, which reinforced the role of this evolutionarily-relevant stimulus in accessing the visual system (Isbell, 2009.

  7. Study of spin resonances in the accelerators with snakes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, S.Y.

    1989-01-01

    Spin resonances in the circular accelerators with snakes are studied to understand the nature of snake resonances. We analyze the effect of snake configuration, and the snake superperiod on the resonance. Defining the critical resonance strength ε c as the maximum tolerable resonance strength without losing the beam polarization after passing through the resonance, we found that ε c is a sensitive function of the snake configuration, the snake superperiod at the first order snake resonance, the higher order snake resonance conditions and the spin matching condition. Under properly designed snake configuration, the critical resonance strength ε c is found to vary linearly with N S as left-angle ε c right-angle=(1/π)sin -1 (cos πν z | 1/2 )N S , where ν| z and N S are the betatron tune and the number of snakes respectively. We also study the effect of overlapping intrinsic and imperfection resonances. The imperfection resonance should be corrected to a magnitude of insignificance (e.g., ε≤0.1 for two snakes case) to maintain proper polarization

  8. Negative snakes in JET: evidence for negative shear

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gill, R.D.; Alper, B.; Edwards, A.W.

    1994-01-01

    The signature of the negative snakes from the soft X-ray cameras is very similar to the more usual snakes except that the localised region of the snake has, compared with its surroundings, decreased rather than increased emission. Circumstances where negative snakes have been seen are reviewed. The negative snake appears as a region of increased resistance and of increased impurity density. The relationship between the shear and the current perturbation is shown, and it seem probable that the magnetic shear is reversed at the point of the negative snake, i.e. that q is decreasing with radius. 6 refs., 6 figs

  9. Negative snakes in JET: evidence for negative shear

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gill, R D; Alper, B; Edwards, A W [Commission of the European Communities, Abingdon (United Kingdom). JET Joint Undertaking; Pearson, D [Reading Univ. (United Kingdom)

    1994-07-01

    The signature of the negative snakes from the soft X-ray cameras is very similar to the more usual snakes except that the localised region of the snake has, compared with its surroundings, decreased rather than increased emission. Circumstances where negative snakes have been seen are reviewed. The negative snake appears as a region of increased resistance and of increased impurity density. The relationship between the shear and the current perturbation is shown, and it seem probable that the magnetic shear is reversed at the point of the negative snake, i.e. that q is decreasing with radius. 6 refs., 6 figs.

  10. Snake studies on TORE-SUPRA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cristofani, P.; Desgranges, C.; Garbet, X.; Geraud, A.; Gil, C.; Hoang, G.T.; Joffrin, E.; Pecquet, A.L.

    1994-01-01

    Snakes have been achieved after pellet injection in TORE-SUPRA during ohmic as well as ICRH discharges as it has already been observed in other machines. They are usually localized on a region around the q=1 surface, and correspond mainly to a perturbation of the density profile. The formation of the snake depends on the penetration depth L p of the pellet: the maximum of ablation must be well inside the q=1 surface, this condition is necessary but not sufficient to produce snakes. For example on TORE-SUPRA high speed H 2 pellets (1500 m/s and approximately 10 21 atoms) were injected into D 2 plasmas with following parameters: I p =1.4 MA, B Φ =3 T, T e =1.7 KeV, e >=2-3 10 19 m -3 , a=0.78 m, R=2.4 m, and q a =3.3. In such experimental conditions, the matter is deposited in the centre and snakes are produced in 50% of the cases, but they are created on a second much more internal q=1 surface leading probably to a non monotonic current profile. The first two paragraphs describe the properties of the snake and the induced current modification. The latter paragraph discusses the important role of the bootstrap current in the snake formation. (author) 5 refs., 7 figs

  11. CONTOUR investigation launched

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    On 27 August, NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe appointed a team to investigate the apparent loss of the Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR) spacecraft, which stopped communicating with the mission control operations on 15 August.On that date, CONTOUR failed to communicate following the firing of its main engine that would take it out of its orbit around the Earth. Shortly afterwards, the mission team received telescope images from several observatories showing two objects traveling along the spacecraft's predicted path. Those objects could be CONTOUR, and part of the spacecraft that may have separated from it when the spacecraft's solid rocket motor fired.

  12. (Con)fusing contours

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lier, R.J. van; Wit, T.C.J. de; Koning, A.R.

    2005-01-01

    We have created patterns in which illusory Kanizsa squares are positioned on top of a background grid of bars. When the illusory contours and physical contours are misaligned, the resulting percept appears to be rather confusing (van Lier et al, 2004 Perception 33 Supplement, 77). Observers often

  13. Monkey pulvinar neurons fire differentially to snake postures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Quan Van; Isbell, Lynne A; Matsumoto, Jumpei; Le, Van Quang; Hori, Etsuro; Tran, Anh Hai; Maior, Rafael S; Tomaz, Carlos; Ono, Taketoshi; Nishijo, Hisao

    2014-01-01

    There is growing evidence from both behavioral and neurophysiological approaches that primates are able to rapidly discriminate visually between snakes and innocuous stimuli. Recent behavioral evidence suggests that primates are also able to discriminate the level of threat posed by snakes, by responding more intensely to a snake model poised to strike than to snake models in coiled or sinusoidal postures (Etting and Isbell 2014). In the present study, we examine the potential for an underlying neurological basis for this ability. Previous research indicated that the pulvinar is highly sensitive to snake images. We thus recorded pulvinar neurons in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) while they viewed photos of snakes in striking and non-striking postures in a delayed non-matching to sample (DNMS) task. Of 821 neurons recorded, 78 visually responsive neurons were tested with the all snake images. We found that pulvinar neurons in the medial and dorsolateral pulvinar responded more strongly to snakes in threat displays poised to strike than snakes in non-threat-displaying postures with no significant difference in response latencies. A multidimensional scaling analysis of the 78 visually responsive neurons indicated that threat-displaying and non-threat-displaying snakes were separated into two different clusters in the first epoch of 50 ms after stimulus onset, suggesting bottom-up visual information processing. These results indicate that pulvinar neurons in primates discriminate between poised to strike from those in non-threat-displaying postures. This neuronal ability likely facilitates behavioral discrimination and has clear adaptive value. Our results are thus consistent with the Snake Detection Theory, which posits that snakes were instrumental in the evolution of primate visual systems.

  14. Snake perturbations during pellet injection and LHCD in the HL-1M tokamak

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Yi; Qiu Xiaoming; Dong Yunbo; Guo Gangcheng; Xiao Zhengui; Zhong Yunzhe; Zheng Yinjia; Fu Bingzhong; Dong Jiafu; Liu Yong; Wang Enyao

    2004-01-01

    Excitation of snake perturbations has been observed in the core region of pellet-fuelled HL-1M plasmas when the pellets cross the surface with a q value of 1. It is observed that the snake oscillations have an m = 1, n = 1 helicity with quite a long lifetime. A detailed comparison has been made between the locations of the q = 1 surface and the snake oscillation. Through measurements of the plasma q-profile by means of multi-exposures with a CCD camera during pellet ablation, and investigation of the pellet ablation process, possible mechanisms for the formation of the snake oscillation are discussed. In addition, a large, long-lived snake-like oscillation is frequently observed in lower-hybrid current driven (LHCD) discharge in which the sawtooth has been stabilized early in the discharge. There is evidence that such a perturbation is due to impurity accumulation during sawtooth-stabilization, and good performance with peaking profiles after LHCD is limited by magnetohydrodynamic instabilities including sawtooth and snake activities in HL-1M plasmas

  15. Generic and robust method for automatic segmentation of PET images using an active contour model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhuang, Mingzan [Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, 9700 RB Groningen (Netherlands)

    2016-08-15

    Purpose: Although positron emission tomography (PET) images have shown potential to improve the accuracy of targeting in radiation therapy planning and assessment of response to treatment, the boundaries of tumors are not easily distinguishable from surrounding normal tissue owing to the low spatial resolution and inherent noisy characteristics of PET images. The objective of this study is to develop a generic and robust method for automatic delineation of tumor volumes using an active contour model and to evaluate its performance using phantom and clinical studies. Methods: MASAC, a method for automatic segmentation using an active contour model, incorporates the histogram fuzzy C-means clustering, and localized and textural information to constrain the active contour to detect boundaries in an accurate and robust manner. Moreover, the lattice Boltzmann method is used as an alternative approach for solving the level set equation to make it faster and suitable for parallel programming. Twenty simulated phantom studies and 16 clinical studies, including six cases of pharyngolaryngeal squamous cell carcinoma and ten cases of nonsmall cell lung cancer, were included to evaluate its performance. Besides, the proposed method was also compared with the contourlet-based active contour algorithm (CAC) and Schaefer’s thresholding method (ST). The relative volume error (RE), Dice similarity coefficient (DSC), and classification error (CE) metrics were used to analyze the results quantitatively. Results: For the simulated phantom studies (PSs), MASAC and CAC provide similar segmentations of the different lesions, while ST fails to achieve reliable results. For the clinical datasets (2 cases with connected high-uptake regions excluded) (CSs), CAC provides for the lowest mean RE (−8.38% ± 27.49%), while MASAC achieves the best mean DSC (0.71 ± 0.09) and mean CE (53.92% ± 12.65%), respectively. MASAC could reliably quantify different types of lesions assessed in this work

  16. Venomous Snake Bite Injuries at Kitui District Hospital | Kihiko ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background Snake bites are a neglected public health issue in poor rural communities, and the true burden of snake bites is not known. Kitui County has a high incidence of snake bites and no functional snake bite control programs exists. Diagnostic tests for snake species identification are not available and management ...

  17. Automatic media-adventitia IVUS image segmentation based on sparse representation framework and dynamic directional active contour model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakeri, Fahimeh Sadat; Setarehdan, Seyed Kamaledin; Norouzi, Somayye

    2017-10-01

    Segmentation of the arterial wall boundaries from intravascular ultrasound images is an important image processing task in order to quantify arterial wall characteristics such as shape, area, thickness and eccentricity. Since manual segmentation of these boundaries is a laborious and time consuming procedure, many researchers attempted to develop (semi-) automatic segmentation techniques as a powerful tool for educational and clinical purposes in the past but as yet there is no any clinically approved method in the market. This paper presents a deterministic-statistical strategy for automatic media-adventitia border detection by a fourfold algorithm. First, a smoothed initial contour is extracted based on the classification in the sparse representation framework which is combined with the dynamic directional convolution vector field. Next, an active contour model is utilized for the propagation of the initial contour toward the interested borders. Finally, the extracted contour is refined in the leakage, side branch openings and calcification regions based on the image texture patterns. The performance of the proposed algorithm is evaluated by comparing the results to those manually traced borders by an expert on 312 different IVUS images obtained from four different patients. The statistical analysis of the results demonstrates the efficiency of the proposed method in the media-adventitia border detection with enough consistency in the leakage and calcification regions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Molecular Identification of Cryptosporidium Species from Pet Snakes in Thailand

    OpenAIRE

    Yimming, Benjarat; Pattanatanang, Khampee; Sanyathitiseree, Pornchai; Inpankaew, Tawin; Kamyingkird, Ketsarin; Pinyopanuwat, Nongnuch; Chimnoi, Wissanuwat; Phasuk, Jumnongjit

    2016-01-01

    Cryptosporidium is an important pathogen causing gastrointestinal disease in snakes and is distributed worldwide. The main objectives of this study were to detect and identify Cryptosporidium species in captive snakes from exotic pet shops and snake farms in Thailand. In total, 165 fecal samples were examined from 8 snake species, boa constrictor (Boa constrictor constrictor), corn snake (Elaphe guttata), ball python (Python regius), milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum), king snake (Lampropel...

  19. New practicable Siberian Snake schemes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Steffen, K.

    1983-07-01

    Siberian Snake schemes can be inserted in ring accelerators for making the spin tune almost independent of energy. Two such schemes are here suggested which lend particularly well to practical application over a wide energy range. Being composed of horizontal and vertical bending magnets, the proposed snakes are designed to have a small maximum beam excursion in one plane. By applying in this plane a bending correction that varies with energy, they can be operated at fixed geometry in the other plane where most of the bending occurs, thus avoiding complicated magnet motion or excessively large magnet apertures that would otherwise be needed for large energy variations. The first of the proposed schemes employs a pair of standard-type Siberian Snakes, i.e. of the usual 1st and 2nd kind which rotate the spin about the longitudinal and the transverse horizontal axis, respectively. The second scheme employs a pair of novel-type snakes which rotate the spin about either one of the horizontal axes that are at 45 0 to the beam direction. In obvious reference to these axes, they are called left-pointed and right-pointed snakes. (orig.)

  20. Annual incidence of snake bite in rural bangladesh.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ridwanur Rahman

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Snake bite is a neglected public health problem in the world and one of the major causes of mortality and morbidity in many areas, particularly in the rural tropics. It also poses substantial economic burdens on the snake bite victims due to treatment related expenditure and loss of productivity. An accurate estimate of the risk of snake bite is largely unknown for most countries in the developing world, especially South-East Asia. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We undertook a national epidemiological survey to determine the annual incidence density of snake bite among the rural Bangladeshi population. Information on frequency of snake bite and individuals' length of stay in selected households over the preceding twelve months was rigorously collected from the respondents through an interviewer administered questionnaire. Point estimates and confidence intervals of the incidence density of snake bite, weighted and adjusted for the multi-stage cluster sampling design, were obtained. Out of 18,857 study participants, over one year a total of 98 snake bites, including one death were reported in rural Bangladesh. The estimated incidence density of snake bite is 623.4/100,000 person years (95% C I 513.4-789.2/100,000 person years. Biting occurs mostly when individuals are at work. The majority of the victims (71% receive snake bites to their lower extremities. Eighty-six percent of the victims received some form of management within two hours of snake bite, although only three percent of the victims went directly to either a medical doctor or a hospital. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Incidence density of snake bite in rural Bangladesh is substantially higher than previously estimated. This is likely due to better ascertainment of the incidence through a population based survey. Poor access to health services increases snake bite related morbidity and mortality; therefore, effective public health actions are warranted.

  1. Evolutionary stability of sex chromosomes in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rovatsos, Michail; Vukić, Jasna; Lymberakis, Petros; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2015-12-22

    Amniote vertebrates possess various mechanisms of sex determination, but their variability is not equally distributed. The large evolutionary stability of sex chromosomes in viviparous mammals and birds was believed to be connected with their endothermy. However, some ectotherm lineages seem to be comparably conserved in sex determination, but previously there was a lack of molecular evidence to confirm this. Here, we document a stability of sex chromosomes in advanced snakes based on the testing of Z-specificity of genes using quantitative PCR (qPCR) across 37 snake species (our qPCR technique is suitable for molecular sexing in potentially all advanced snakes). We discovered that at least part of sex chromosomes is homologous across all families of caenophidian snakes (Acrochordidae, Xenodermatidae, Pareatidae, Viperidae, Homalopsidae, Colubridae, Elapidae and Lamprophiidae). The emergence of differentiated sex chromosomes can be dated back to about 60 Ma and preceded the extensive diversification of advanced snakes, the group with more than 3000 species. The Z-specific genes of caenophidian snakes are (pseudo)autosomal in the members of the snake families Pythonidae, Xenopeltidae, Boidae, Erycidae and Sanziniidae, as well as in outgroups with differentiated sex chromosomes such as monitor lizards, iguanas and chameleons. Along with iguanas, advanced snakes are therefore another example of ectothermic amniotes with a long-term stability of sex chromosomes comparable with endotherms. © 2015 The Author(s).

  2. Quantitative evaluation of blood elements by neutron activation analysis in mice immunized with Bothrops snake venoms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zamboni, C.B.; Metairon, S.; Suzuki, M.F.; Furtado, M.F.; Sant'Anna, O.A.; Tambourgi, D.V.

    2009-01-01

    Mice genetically selected for high antibody responsiveness (HIII) were immunized against different Bothrops species snake venoms from distinct region of Brazil. The Neutron Activation Analysis technique was used to evaluate the whole blood concentrations of elements of clinical relevance [Ca, Cl, K, Mg and Na] in order to establish a potential correlation between antibody response and blood constituents after Bothrops venom administration for clinical screening of envenomed patients. (author)

  3. A theoretical analysis of pitch stability during gliding in flying snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jafari, Farid; Ross, Shane D; Vlachos, Pavlos P; Socha, John J

    2014-06-01

    Flying snakes use their entire body as a continuously morphing 'wing' to produce lift and shallow their glide trajectory. Their dominant behavior during gliding is aerial undulation, in which lateral waves are sent posteriorly down the body. This highly dynamic behavior, which is unique among animal gliders, should have substantial effects on the flight dynamics and stability of the snakes, resulting from the continuous redistribution of mass and aerodynamic forces. In this study, we develop two-dimensional theoretical models to assess the stability characteristics of snakes in the pitch direction. Previously measured force coefficients are used to simulate aerodynamic forces acting on the models, and undulation is simulated by varying mass. Model 1 is a simple three-airfoil representation of the snake's body that possesses a passively stable equilibrium solution, whose basin of stability contains initial conditions observed in experimental gliding trajectories. Model 2 is more sophisticated, with more degrees of freedom allowing for postural changes to better represent the snake's real kinematics; in addition, a restoring moment is added to simulate potential active control. The application of static and dynamic stability criteria show that Model 2 is passively unstable, but can be stabilized with a restoring moment. Overall, these models suggest that undulation does not contribute to stability in pitch, and that flying snakes require a closed-loop control system formed around a passively stable dynamical framework.

  4. The upper cretaceous snake Dinilysia patagonica Smith-Woodward, 1901, and the crista circumfenestralis of snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palci, Alessandro; Caldwell, Michael W

    2014-10-01

    Studies on the phylogenetic relationships of snakes and lizards are plagued by problematic characterizations of anatomy that are then used to define characters and states in taxon-character matrices. State assignments and character descriptions must be clear characterizations of observable anatomy and topological relationships if homologies are to be hypothesized. A supposed homology among snakes, not observed in lizards, is the presence of a crista circumfenestralis (CCF), a system of bony crests surrounding the fenestra ovalis and lateral aperture of the recessus scalae tympani. We note that there are some fossil and extant snakes that lack a CCF, and some extant lizards that possess a morphological equivalent. The phylogenetically important upper Cretaceous fossil snake Dinilysia patagonica has been interpreted by different authors as either having or lacking a CCF. These conflicting results for Dinilysia were tested by re-examining the morphology of the otic region in a large sample of snakes and lizards. An unambiguous criterion arising from the test of topology is used to define the presence of a CCF: the enclosure of the ventral margin of the juxtastapedial recess by flanges of the otoccipital (crista tuberalis and crista interfenestralis) that extend forward to contact the posterior margin of the prootic. According to this criterion D. patagonica does not possess a CCF, therefore, this anatomical feature must have arisen later during the evolution of snakes. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Method of segmenting inferior horns of lateral ventricles using active contour models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hattori, Masumi; Koyama, Shuji; Kodera, Yoshie

    2007-01-01

    Recent research has suggested that the measurement of regional atrophy in the structure of the medial temporal lobe is a promising way to discriminate Alzheimer-type dementia patients from healthy control subjects. There are some reports that the inferior horns of the lateral ventricles are expanded by atrophying the structure of the medial temporal lobe. We developed a technique to automatically detect the region of the inferior horns of the lateral ventricles by gray-level thresholding and morphological processing. However, there were some incorrect regions in this method. Accordingly, we proposed a technique for which active contour models (ACM) were used. Our ACM incorporates the improved edge-based image and the external constraint to improve convergence and to reduce its dependence on initial estimation. In this study, we present the details of an algorithm that traces the contours of the inferior horns of the lateral ventricles and its performance relative to manual methods. The average degree of correspondence between the extract region and manual trace was measured in 30 inferior horns of 15 subjects. The average degree of correspondence of the proposed method was about 4% higher than that of the conventional method. These results suggest that the proposed method is more accurate than the conventional method. (author)

  6. Born Knowing: Tentacled Snakes Innately Predict Future Prey Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catania, Kenneth C.

    2010-01-01

    Background Aquatic tentacled snakes (Erpeton tentaculatus) can take advantage of their prey's escape response by startling fish with their body before striking. The feint usually startles fish toward the snake's approaching jaws. But when fish are oriented at a right angle to the jaws, the C-start escape response translates fish parallel to the snake's head. To exploit this latter response, snakes must predict the future location of the fish. Adult snakes can make this prediction. Is it learned, or are tentacled snakes born able to predict future fish behavior? Methods and Findings Laboratory-born, naïve snakes were investigated as they struck at fish. Trials were recorded at 250 or 500 frames per second. To prevent learning, snakes were placed in a water container with a clear transparency sheet or glass bottom. The chamber was placed over a channel in a separate aquarium with fish below. Thus snakes could see and strike at fish, without contact. The snake's body feint elicited C-starts in the fish below the transparency sheet, allowing strike accuracy to be quantified in relationship to the C-starts. When fish were oriented at a right angle to the jaws, naïve snakes biased their strikes to the future location of the escaping fish's head, such that the snake's jaws and the fish's translating head usually converged. Several different types of predictive strikes were observed. Conclusions The results show that some predators have adapted their nervous systems to directly compensate for the future behavior of prey in a sensory realm that usually requires learning. Instead of behavior selected during their lifetime, newborn tentacled snakes exhibit behavior that has been selected on a different scale—over many generations. Counter adaptations in fish are not expected, as tentacled snakes are rare predators exploiting fish responses that are usually adaptive. PMID:20585384

  7. Cardiovascular responses of snakes to hypergravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillywhite, H. B.; Ballard, R. E.; Hargens, A. R.; Rosenberg, H. I.

    1997-01-01

    Snakes have provided useful vertebrate models for understanding circulatory adaptation to gravity, attributable to their elongate body shape and evolutionary diversificaton in terms of ecology and behavior. Recently we have studied cardiovascular responses of snakes to hypergravic acceleration forces produced acutely in the head-to-tail direction (+Gz) on a short-arm centrifuge. Snakes were held in a nearly straight position within a horizontal plastic tube and subjected to a linear force gradient during acceleration. Carotid blood flow provided an integrated measure of cardiovascular performance. Thus, cardiovascular tolerance of snakes to stepwise increments of Gz was measured as the caudal Gz force at which carotid blood flow ceased. Tolerance to increasing Gz varies according to adaptive evolutionary history inferred from the ecology and behavior of species. With respect to data for six species we investigated, multiple regression analysis demonstrates that Gz tolerance correlates with gravitational habitat, independently of body length. Relative to aquatic and non-climbing species, carotid blood flow is better maintained in arboreal or scansorial species, which tolerate hypergravic forces of +2 to +3.5 Gz. Additionally, semi-arboreal rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta) exhibit plasticity of responses to long-term, intermittent +1.5 Gz stress. Compared to non-acclimated controls, acclimated snakes show greater increases of heart rate during head-up tilt or acceleration, greater sensitivity of arterial pressure to circulating catecholamines, higher blood levels of prostaglandin ratios favorable to maintenance of arterial blood pressure, and medial hypertrophy in major arteries and veins. As in other vertebrates, Gz tolerance of snakes is enhanced by acclimation, high arterial pressure, comparatively large blood volume, and body movements. Vascular studies of snakes suggest the importance to acclimation of local responses involving vascular tissue, in addition to

  8. Smooth transition for CPG-based body shape control of a snake-like robot

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nor, Norzalilah Mohamad; Ma, Shugen

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a locomotion control based on central pattern generator (CPG) of a snake-like robot. The main point addressed in this paper is a method that produces a smooth transition of the body shape of a snake-like robot. Body shape transition is important for snake-like robot locomotion to adapt to different space widths and also for obstacle avoidance. By manipulating the phase difference of the CPG outputs instantly, it will results in a sharp point or discontinuity which lead to an unstable movement of the snake-like robot. To tackle the problem, we propose a way of controlling the body shape: by incorporating activation function in the phase oscillator CPG model. The simplicity of the method promises an easy implementation and simple control. Simulation results and torque analysis confirm the effectiveness of the proposed control method and thus, can be used as a locomotion control in various potential applications of a snake-like robot. (paper)

  9. High Resolution Elevation Contours

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This dataset contains contours generated from high resolution data sources such as LiDAR. Generally speaking this data is 2 foot or less contour interval.

  10. Development of a Novel Locomotion Algorithm for Snake Robot

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, Raisuddin; Billah, Md Masum; Watanabe, Mitsuru; Shafie, A A

    2013-01-01

    A novel algorithm for snake robot locomotion is developed and analyzed in this paper. Serpentine is one of the renowned locomotion for snake robot in disaster recovery mission to overcome narrow space navigation. Several locomotion for snake navigation, such as concertina or rectilinear may be suitable for narrow spaces, but is highly inefficient if the same type of locomotion is used even in open spaces resulting friction reduction which make difficulties for snake movement. A novel locomotion algorithm has been proposed based on the modification of the multi-link snake robot, the modifications include alterations to the snake segments as well elements that mimic scales on the underside of the snake body. Snake robot can be able to navigate in the narrow space using this developed locomotion algorithm. The developed algorithm surmount the others locomotion limitation in narrow space navigation

  11. Computer-aided measurement of liver volumes in CT by means of geodesic active contour segmentation coupled with level-set algorithms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suzuki, Kenji; Kohlbrenner, Ryan; Epstein, Mark L.; Obajuluwa, Ademola M.; Xu Jianwu; Hori, Masatoshi [Department of Radiology, University of Chicago, 5841 South Maryland Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60637 (United States)

    2010-05-15

    Purpose: Computerized liver extraction from hepatic CT images is challenging because the liver often abuts other organs of a similar density. The purpose of this study was to develop a computer-aided measurement of liver volumes in hepatic CT. Methods: The authors developed a computerized liver extraction scheme based on geodesic active contour segmentation coupled with level-set contour evolution. First, an anisotropic diffusion filter was applied to portal-venous-phase CT images for noise reduction while preserving the liver structure, followed by a scale-specific gradient magnitude filter to enhance the liver boundaries. Then, a nonlinear grayscale converter enhanced the contrast of the liver parenchyma. By using the liver-parenchyma-enhanced image as a speed function, a fast-marching level-set algorithm generated an initial contour that roughly estimated the liver shape. A geodesic active contour segmentation algorithm coupled with level-set contour evolution refined the initial contour to define the liver boundaries more precisely. The liver volume was then calculated using these refined boundaries. Hepatic CT scans of 15 prospective liver donors were obtained under a liver transplant protocol with a multidetector CT system. The liver volumes extracted by the computerized scheme were compared to those traced manually by a radiologist, used as ''gold standard.''Results: The mean liver volume obtained with our scheme was 1504 cc, whereas the mean gold standard manual volume was 1457 cc, resulting in a mean absolute difference of 105 cc (7.2%). The computer-estimated liver volumetrics agreed excellently with the gold-standard manual volumetrics (intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.95) with no statistically significant difference (F=0.77; p(F{<=}f)=0.32). The average accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and percent volume error were 98.4%, 91.1%, 99.1%, and 7.2%, respectively. Computerized CT liver volumetry would require substantially less

  12. Computer-aided measurement of liver volumes in CT by means of geodesic active contour segmentation coupled with level-set algorithms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suzuki, Kenji; Kohlbrenner, Ryan; Epstein, Mark L.; Obajuluwa, Ademola M.; Xu Jianwu; Hori, Masatoshi

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: Computerized liver extraction from hepatic CT images is challenging because the liver often abuts other organs of a similar density. The purpose of this study was to develop a computer-aided measurement of liver volumes in hepatic CT. Methods: The authors developed a computerized liver extraction scheme based on geodesic active contour segmentation coupled with level-set contour evolution. First, an anisotropic diffusion filter was applied to portal-venous-phase CT images for noise reduction while preserving the liver structure, followed by a scale-specific gradient magnitude filter to enhance the liver boundaries. Then, a nonlinear grayscale converter enhanced the contrast of the liver parenchyma. By using the liver-parenchyma-enhanced image as a speed function, a fast-marching level-set algorithm generated an initial contour that roughly estimated the liver shape. A geodesic active contour segmentation algorithm coupled with level-set contour evolution refined the initial contour to define the liver boundaries more precisely. The liver volume was then calculated using these refined boundaries. Hepatic CT scans of 15 prospective liver donors were obtained under a liver transplant protocol with a multidetector CT system. The liver volumes extracted by the computerized scheme were compared to those traced manually by a radiologist, used as ''gold standard.''Results: The mean liver volume obtained with our scheme was 1504 cc, whereas the mean gold standard manual volume was 1457 cc, resulting in a mean absolute difference of 105 cc (7.2%). The computer-estimated liver volumetrics agreed excellently with the gold-standard manual volumetrics (intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.95) with no statistically significant difference (F=0.77; p(F≤f)=0.32). The average accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and percent volume error were 98.4%, 91.1%, 99.1%, and 7.2%, respectively. Computerized CT liver volumetry would require substantially less completion time

  13. Snake Genome Sequencing: Results and Future Prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerkkamp, Harald M I; Kini, R Manjunatha; Pospelov, Alexey S; Vonk, Freek J; Henkel, Christiaan V; Richardson, Michael K

    2016-12-01

    Snake genome sequencing is in its infancy-very much behind the progress made in sequencing the genomes of humans, model organisms and pathogens relevant to biomedical research, and agricultural species. We provide here an overview of some of the snake genome projects in progress, and discuss the biological findings, with special emphasis on toxinology, from the small number of draft snake genomes already published. We discuss the future of snake genomics, pointing out that new sequencing technologies will help overcome the problem of repetitive sequences in assembling snake genomes. Genome sequences are also likely to be valuable in examining the clustering of toxin genes on the chromosomes, in designing recombinant antivenoms and in studying the epigenetic regulation of toxin gene expression.

  14. Snake Genome Sequencing: Results and Future Prospects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harald M. I. Kerkkamp

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Snake genome sequencing is in its infancy—very much behind the progress made in sequencing the genomes of humans, model organisms and pathogens relevant to biomedical research, and agricultural species. We provide here an overview of some of the snake genome projects in progress, and discuss the biological findings, with special emphasis on toxinology, from the small number of draft snake genomes already published. We discuss the future of snake genomics, pointing out that new sequencing technologies will help overcome the problem of repetitive sequences in assembling snake genomes. Genome sequences are also likely to be valuable in examining the clustering of toxin genes on the chromosomes, in designing recombinant antivenoms and in studying the epigenetic regulation of toxin gene expression.

  15. Tagged Vector Contour (TVC)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Kansas Data Access and Support Center — The Kansas Tagged Vector Contour (TVC) dataset consists of digitized contours from the 7.5 minute topographic quadrangle maps. Coverage for the state is incomplete....

  16. Cutaneous Chromatophoromas in Captive Snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Gutiérrez, J F; Garner, M M; Kiupel, M

    2016-11-01

    Chromatophoromas are neoplasms arising from pigment-bearing cells (chromatophores) of the dermis. While isolated cases have been reported in the literature, the prevalence and biological behavior of chromatophoromas in snakes are unknown. Forty-two chromatophoromas were identified among 4663 submissions (0.9%) to a private diagnostic laboratory in a 16-year period. The most commonly affected snakes were colubrids (23 cases, 55%) and vipers (8 cases, 19%). The San Francisco garter snake was the most commonly affected species (6 cases; 14% of all affected snake species and 3.7% of all garter snake submissions). No sex predilection was found. The age of 28 snakes ranged from 5 to 27 years. Single cutaneous chromatophoromas were most commonly observed and presented as pigmented cutaneous masses or plaques along any body segment. Euthanasia or death due to progressive neoplastic disease or metastasis was reported in 8 (19%) and 4 (10%) cases, respectively. The survival time of 4 animals ranged from 4 to 36 months. Microscopically, xanthophoromas, iridophoromas, melanocytic neoplasms, and mixed chromatophoromas were identified, with melanocytic neoplasms being most common. Microscopic examination alone was generally sufficient for the diagnosis of chromatophoroma, but immunohistochemistry for S-100 and PNL-2 may be helpful for diagnosing poorly pigmented cases. Moderate to marked nuclear atypia appears to be consistently present in cutaneous chromatophoromas with a high risk of metastasis, while mitotic count, lymphatic invasion, the level of infiltration, and the degree of pigmentation or ulceration were not reliable predictors of metastasis. © The Author(s) 2016.

  17. Comparative study of anticoagulant and procoagulant properties of 28 snake venoms from families Elapidae, Viperidae, and purified Russell's viper venom-factor X activator (RVV-X).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suntravat, Montamas; Nuchprayoon, Issarang; Pérez, John C

    2010-09-15

    Snake venoms consist of numerous molecules with diverse biological functions used for capturing prey. Each component of venom has a specific target, and alters the biological function of its target. Once these molecules are identified, characterized, and cloned; they could have medical applications. The activated clotting time (ACT) and clot rate were used for screening procoagulant and anticoagulant properties of 28 snake venoms. Crude venoms from Daboia russellii siamensis, Bothrops asper, Bothrops moojeni, and one Crotalus oreganus helleri from Wrightwood, CA, had procoagulant activity. These venoms induced a significant shortening of the ACT and showed a significant increase in the clot rate when compared to the negative control. Factor X activator activity was also measured in 28 venoms, and D. r. siamensis venom was 5-6 times higher than those of B. asper, B. moojeni, and C. o. helleri from Wrightwood County. Russell's viper venom-factor X activator (RVV-X) was purified from D. r. siamensis venom, and then procoagulant activity was evaluated by the ACT and clot rate. Other venoms, Crotalus atrox and two Naja pallida, had anticoagulant activity. A significant increase in the ACT and a significant decrease in the clot rate were observed after the addition of these venoms; therefore, the venoms were considered to have anticoagulant activity. Venoms from the same species did not always have the same ACT and clot rate profiles, but the profiles were an excellent way to identify procoagulant and anticoagulant activities in snake venoms.

  18. Serpents in jars: the snake wine industry in Vietnam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Somaweera

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Exploitation of snakes in Vietnam takes place for different purposes, and among them the snake wine industry is prominent but has received far less attention than other dealings, such as the pet trade. Despite widespread commercialisation there is a general lack of information about this snake trade, which makes it difficult to evaluate its magnitude and impact on snake populations. This study documents the use of snakes in snake wine in four cities in Vietnam through surveys conducted in 127 locations selling snake wine in September 2009. This study provides a list of species used along with the number of individuals observed. While none of the species involved are listed in the IUCN Red List, seven species are listed in the Vietnam Red Data Book, of which five are regulated by CITES. On the other hand, the most abundant species used in the trade, Xenochrophis flavipunctatus, is not listed in any conservation document. The popularity and economic importance of snakes in the form of snake wine demonstrates the need for the development of sustainable use programs for these species.

  19. Lung segmentation from HRCT using united geometric active contours

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Junwei; Li, Chuanfu; Xiong, Jin; Feng, Huanqing

    2007-12-01

    Accurate lung segmentation from high resolution CT images is a challenging task due to various detail tracheal structures, missing boundary segments and complex lung anatomy. One popular method is based on gray-level threshold, however its results are usually rough. A united geometric active contours model based on level set is proposed for lung segmentation in this paper. Particularly, this method combines local boundary information and region statistical-based model synchronously: 1) Boundary term ensures the integrality of lung tissue.2) Region term makes the level set function evolve with global characteristic and independent on initial settings. A penalizing energy term is introduced into the model, which forces the level set function evolving without re-initialization. The method is found to be much more efficient in lung segmentation than other methods that are only based on boundary or region. Results are shown by 3D lung surface reconstruction, which indicates that the method will play an important role in the design of computer-aided diagnostic (CAD) system.

  20. Ocean Sediment Thickness Contours

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Ocean sediment thickness contours in 200 meter intervals for water depths ranging from 0 - 18,000 meters. These contours were derived from a global sediment...

  1. A snail-eating snake recognizes prey handedness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danaisawadi, Patchara; Asami, Takahiro; Ota, Hidetoshi; Sutcharit, Chirasak; Panha, Somsak

    2016-04-05

    Specialized predator-prey interactions can be a driving force for their coevolution. Southeast Asian snail-eating snakes (Pareas) have more teeth on the right mandible and specialize in predation on the clockwise-coiled (dextral) majority in shelled snails by soft-body extraction. Snails have countered the snakes' dextral-predation by recurrent coil reversal, which generates diverse counterclockwise-coiled (sinistral) prey where Pareas snakes live. However, whether the snake predator in turn evolves any response to prey reversal is unknown. We show that Pareas carinatus living with abundant sinistrals avoids approaching or striking at a sinistral that is more difficult and costly to handle than a dextral. Whenever it strikes, however, the snake succeeds in predation by handling dextral and sinistral prey in reverse. In contrast, P. iwasakii with little access to sinistrals on small peripheral islands attempts and frequently misses capturing a given sinistral. Prey-handedness recognition should be advantageous for right-handed snail-eating snakes where frequently encountering sinistrals. Under dextral-predation by Pareas snakes, adaptive fixation of a prey population for a reversal gene instantaneously generates a sinistral species because interchiral mating is rarely possible. The novel warning, instead of sheltering, effect of sinistrality benefitting both predators and prey could further accelerate single-gene ecological speciation by left-right reversal.

  2. MICHIGAN/INDIANA: Siberian Snakes strike again

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1993-01-01

    Full text: Siberian snakes are showing themselves to be even more deadly than expected in killing their prey, the depolarizing resonances which would make it very difficult to accelerate polarized protons to TeV energies at accelerators such as the Tevatron, UNK, LHC, and SSC. The snake concept was proposed in the mid-1970s by Siberians Yaroslav Derbenev and Anatoly Kondratenko at Novosibirsk, but the snakes lay almost dormant until Owen Chamberlain, Ernest Courant, Alan Krisch, and the late Kent Terwilliger organized the 1985 Superconducting Supercollider (SSC) polarized beam workshop in Ann Arbor, which highlighted the need to test the concept. The idea is to rotate the spin through 180° on each turn in the ring. With such successive spin flips, the depolarizing effects seen in one turn should be cancelled by an equal and opposite perturbation on the subsequent turn. The new Cooler Ring at the Indiana University Cyclotron Facility then seemed an excellent test site for these eager but untested serpents. The Michigan/lndiana/Brookhaven team led by Krisch constructed the world's first snake and found that it could easily overcome its initial enemy, the imperfection depolarizing resonances caused by ring magnet imperfections (January/February 1990, page 20). In the next few years the growing team of ''herpetologists'' showed that Siberian snakes could overcome all kinds of depolarizing resonances, including the intrinsic kind (caused by the vertical betatron oscillations which keep the beam focused) and the synchrotron resonances (caused by synchrotron oscillations in energy). The team also discovered a new type of snake that was inadvertently built into the cooling section. This socalled type-3 snake rotates the spin around the vertical direction. A full type-1 snake (such as the team's superconducting solenoid magnet) rotates the spin by 180° around the beam direction; a type-2 snake rotates the spin around the radial direction

  3. Snake perturbations during pellet injection and LHCD in the HL-1M tokamak

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Yi; Qiu Xiaoming; Dong Yunbo; Zhong Yunzhe; Fu Bingzhong; Jiafu Dong Yong Liu

    2005-01-01

    Excitation of snake perturbations has been observed in the core region of pellet-fuelled HL-1M plasmas when the pellets cross surface with q value 1. Through measurements of plasma q profile by means of multi-exposures with CCD camera during pellet ablation, and investigation on pellet ablation process, possible mechanisms for the formation of snake oscillation are discussed. In addition, a large, long-lived snake-like oscillation is frequently observed in lower hybrid current driven discharge in which the sawtooth has been stabilized at early times. There is evidence that such a perturbation is due to impurity accumulation during sawtooth-stabilization, and the good performance with peaking profiles after LHCD is limited by magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) instabilities including sawtooth and snake activities in HL-1M plasma. (author)

  4. Reproductive strategies in snakes.

    OpenAIRE

    Shine, Richard

    2003-01-01

    Snakes of both sexes display remarkable flexibility and diversity in their reproductive tactics. Many features of reproduction in female snakes (such as reproductive mode and frequency, seasonality and multiple mating) allow flexible maternal control. For example, females can manipulate not only the genotypes of their offspring (through mate choice or enhanced sperm competition) but also the phenotypes of their offspring (through allocation 'decisions', behavioural and physiological thermoreg...

  5. Natural History of Pseudoboine Snakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marília P. Gaiarsa

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Even though natural history information is crucial for answering key ecological, evolutionary, and conservation questions, basic studies are still lacking for Neotropical snakes. This study aims at contributing to the knowledge of the Neotropical tribe Pseudoboini, based on literature data, analysis of museum specimens and unpublished data. The tribe is mainly composed of moderate-sized snakes, although small and large-sized snakes also occur in the clade. Mean fecundity ranged from two (Rodriguesophis iglesiasi to 29 eggs (Clelia plumbea and the species are predominantly terrestrial and nocturnal. Most species are diet specialists and lizards are the most commonly consumed prey (found in the diet of 29 species, followed by small mammals (consumed by 20 species and snakes (consumed by 18 species. Although the tribe Pseudoboini appears to be well studied, for 15 species (32% only a small amount of information or none was available. We hope that our study can motivate research on the least known species.

  6. Automated consensus contour building for prostate MRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalvati, Farzad

    2014-01-01

    Inter-observer variability is the lack of agreement among clinicians in contouring a given organ or tumour in a medical image. The variability in medical image contouring is a source of uncertainty in radiation treatment planning. Consensus contour of a given case, which was proposed to reduce the variability, is generated by combining the manually generated contours of several clinicians. However, having access to several clinicians (e.g., radiation oncologists) to generate a consensus contour for one patient is costly. This paper presents an algorithm that automatically generates a consensus contour for a given case using the atlases of different clinicians. The algorithm was applied to prostate MR images of 15 patients manually contoured by 5 clinicians. The automatic consensus contours were compared to manual consensus contours where a median Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) of 88% was achieved.

  7. Pulmonoscopy of Snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knotek, Zdenek; Jekl, Vladimir

    2015-09-01

    Pulmonoscopy is a practical diagnostic tool for investigating respiratory diseases in snakes. Two different approaches exist for pulmonoscopy, tracheal and transcutaneous. The access to the proximal or distal lung is limited by the length and diameter of the endoscope when using the tracheal approach. The transcutaneous approach allows direct evaluation of the lung and distal trachea through the air sac. Both of the methods are safe, and specific contraindications for pulmonoscopy in snakes are not known except for any anesthesia contraindication. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Primary homologies of the circumorbital bones of snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palci, Alessandro; Caldwell, Michael W

    2013-09-01

    Some snakes have two circumorbital ossifications that in the current literature are usually referred to as the postorbital and supraorbital. We review the arguments that have been proposed to justify this interpretation and provide counter-arguments that reject those conjectures of primary homology based on the observation of 32 species of lizards and 81 species of snakes (both extant and fossil). We present similarity arguments, both topological and structural, for reinterpretation of the primary homologies of the dorsal and posterior orbital ossifications of snakes. Applying the test of similarity, we conclude that the posterior orbital ossification of snakes is topologically consistent as the homolog of the lacertilian jugal, and that the dorsal orbital ossification present in some snakes (e.g., pythons, Loxocemus, and Calabaria) is the homolog of the lacertilian postfrontal. We therefore propose that the terms postorbital and supraorbital should be abandoned as reference language for the circumorbital bones of snakes, and be replaced with the terms jugal and postfrontal, respectively. The primary homology claim for the snake "postorbital" fails the test of similarity, while the term "supraorbital" is an unnecessary and inaccurate application of the concept of a neomorphic ossification, for an element that passes the test of similarity as a postfrontal. This reinterpretation of the circumorbital bones of snakes is bound to have important repercussions for future phylogenetic analyses and consequently for our understanding of the origin and evolution of snakes. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Pitch contour impairment in congenital amusia: New insights from the Self-paced Audio-visual Contour Task (SACT).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Xuejing; Sun, Yanan; Ho, Hao Tam; Thompson, William Forde

    2017-01-01

    Individuals with congenital amusia usually exhibit impairments in melodic contour processing when asked to compare pairs of melodies that may or may not be identical to one another. However, it is unclear whether the impairment observed in contour processing is caused by an impairment of pitch discrimination, or is a consequence of poor pitch memory. To help resolve this ambiguity, we designed a novel Self-paced Audio-visual Contour Task (SACT) that evaluates sensitivity to contour while placing minimal burden on memory. In this task, participants control the pace of an auditory contour that is simultaneously accompanied by a visual contour, and they are asked to judge whether the two contours are congruent or incongruent. In Experiment 1, melodic contours varying in pitch were presented with a series of dots that varied in spatial height. Amusics exhibited reduced sensitivity to audio-visual congruency in comparison to control participants. To exclude the possibility that the impairment arises from a general deficit in cross-modal mapping, Experiment 2 examined sensitivity to cross-modal mapping for two other auditory dimensions: timbral brightness and loudness. Amusics and controls were significantly more sensitive to large than small contour changes, and to changes in loudness than changes in timbre. However, there were no group differences in cross-modal mapping, suggesting that individuals with congenital amusia can comprehend spatial representations of acoustic information. Taken together, the findings indicate that pitch contour processing in congenital amusia remains impaired even when pitch memory is relatively unburdened.

  10. Fuels Management and Habitat Restoration Activities Benefit Eastern Hognose Snakes (Heterodon platirhinos) in a Disturbance-Dependent Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael E. Akresh; David I. King; Brad C. Timm; Robert T. Brooks

    2017-01-01

    Eastern Hognose Snakes (Heterodon platirhinos) are considered a species of conservation concern in the northeast United States because of their association with rare and declining habitats such as pine barrens and shrublands. These are disturbance-dependent habitats that currently require management to persist. We studied Eastern Hognose Snakes on...

  11. A survey of snake-inspired robot designs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hopkins, James K; Spranklin, Brent W; Gupta, Satyandra K

    2009-01-01

    Body undulation used by snakes and the physical architecture of a snake body may offer significant benefits over typical legged or wheeled locomotion designs in certain types of scenarios. A large number of research groups have developed snake-inspired robots to exploit these benefits. The purpose of this review is to report different types of snake-inspired robot designs and categorize them based on their main characteristics. For each category, we discuss their relative advantages and disadvantages. This review will assist in familiarizing a newcomer to the field with the existing designs and their distinguishing features. We hope that by studying existing robots, future designers will be able to create new designs by adopting features from successful robots. The review also summarizes the design challenges associated with the further advancement of the field and deploying snake-inspired robots in practice. (topical review)

  12. A preliminary investigations on infective parasites in King rat snakes(Elaphe carinata and Red-banded wolf snakes(Dinodon rufozonatum in Shanghai

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WU Youling

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available To investigate the infective status of parasites in snakes from Shanghai,19 snakes from 2 species ( 9 Dinodon rufozonatum and 10 Elaphe carinata confiscated from the market were dissected.The viscera (body,subcutaneous,muscles,heart,lungs,liver,stomach,intestinal organs and blood smears of the snakes were examined.The parasites from these viscera were collected and observed by microscope.The results showed nematodes,tapeworms and Hepatozoon were found,but no ectoparasites,trematodes and acanthocephalan.The parasitic infection rate of snakes checked was 100%.The infection rate of nematodes,tapeworms and Hepatozoon were 77.88%,100%,0 in Dinodon rufozonatum and 100%,100%,100% in Elaphe carinata, respectively.A total of 192 nematodes and 1236 tapeworms were collected in 19 snakes,and 69.79% of nematodes and 86.55% of tapeworms were from Elaphe carinata.According to the viscera,93.20% of tapeworms were found in subcutaneous and 65.63% of nematodes in stomach.The results indicated the parasitic infection rate and intensity of snakes from Shanghai market were very high.Sparganum mansoni found in this investigation was zoonotic parasite,and it is easy to infect humans through eating snake skin,meat and gall.Therefore,protecting wild animals like snakes is also to protect human themselves.

  13. Runaway snakes in TEXTOR-94

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Entrop, I.; R. Jaspers,; Cardozo, N. J. L.; Finken, K.H.

    1999-01-01

    Observations of a runaway beam confined in an island-like structure, a so-called runaway snake, are reported. The observations are made in TEXTOR-94 by measurement of synchrotron radiation emitted by these runaways. A full poloidal View allows for the study of the synchrotron pattern of the snake to

  14. Boosting Active Contours for Weld Pool Visual Tracking in Automatic Arc Welding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liu, Jinchao; Fan, Zhun; Olsen, Søren Ingvor

    2015-01-01

    Detecting the shape of the non-rigid molten metal during welding, so-called weld pool visual sensing, is one of the central tasks for automating arc welding processes. It is challenging due to the strong interference of the high-intensity arc light and spatters as well as the lack of robust...... approaches to detect and represent the shape of the nonrigid weld pool. We propose a solution using active contours including an prior for the weld pool boundary composition. Also, we apply Adaboost to select a small set of features that captures the relevant information. The proposed method is applied...... to weld pool tracking and the presented results verified its feasibility....

  15. Trophic and maternal transfer of selenium in brown house snakes (Lamprophis fuliginosus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, William A; Staub, Brandon P; Baionno, Jennifer A; Jackson, Brian P; Roe, John H; Ford, Neil B

    2004-07-01

    Excessive concentrations of dietary Se are toxic to oviparous vertebrates (i.e., fish and birds) but little is known about its accumulation and effects in reptiles. We exposed female brown house snakes, Lamprophis fuliginosus, to 10 and 20 microg/g Se by injecting seleno-D,L-methionine into their prey items and compared the snakes to individuals receiving background levels of approximately 1 microg/g dietary Se. Snakes were fed meals equaling 25% of their body mass 2-3 times a month for 10 months. Snakes exposed to excessive Se accumulated significant concentrations of Se in kidney, liver, and ovarian tissue, but accumulation had no effect on female survival, food consumption, growth, or body condition. Fewer females exposed to excessive Se reproduced than females exposed to 1 microg/g Se (67% vs. 91%, respectively), but the reduction in reproductive activity was not statistically significant. Total reproductive output of females did not differ among the three dietary treatments. However, snakes exposed to 10 and 20 microg/g Se transferred significant concentrations of Se to their eggs. In the 20 microg/g treatment, maternal transfer resulted in Se concentrations in eggs that surpassed all suggested reproductive toxicity thresholds for birds and fish. Further studies are needed to more rigorously determine whether maternal transfer of Se in this snake species affects the viability of developing embryos or the health of offspring.

  16. Snake venom L-amino acid oxidases: an overview on their antitumor effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    The L-amino acid oxidases (LAAOs) constitute a major component of snake venoms and have been widely studied due to their widespread presence and various effects, such as apoptosis induction, cytotoxicity, induction and/or inhibition of platelet aggregation, hemorrhage, hemolysis, edema, as well as antimicrobial, antiparasitic and anti-HIV activities. The isolated and characterized snake venom LAAOs have become important research targets due to their potential biotechnological applications in pursuit for new drugs of interest in the scientific and medical fields. The current study discusses the antitumor effects of snake venom LAAOs described in the literature to date, highlighting the mechanisms of apoptosis induction proposed for this class of proteins. PMID:24940304

  17. Pitch contour impairment in congenital amusia: New insights from the Self-paced Audio-visual Contour Task (SACT.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuejing Lu

    Full Text Available Individuals with congenital amusia usually exhibit impairments in melodic contour processing when asked to compare pairs of melodies that may or may not be identical to one another. However, it is unclear whether the impairment observed in contour processing is caused by an impairment of pitch discrimination, or is a consequence of poor pitch memory. To help resolve this ambiguity, we designed a novel Self-paced Audio-visual Contour Task (SACT that evaluates sensitivity to contour while placing minimal burden on memory. In this task, participants control the pace of an auditory contour that is simultaneously accompanied by a visual contour, and they are asked to judge whether the two contours are congruent or incongruent. In Experiment 1, melodic contours varying in pitch were presented with a series of dots that varied in spatial height. Amusics exhibited reduced sensitivity to audio-visual congruency in comparison to control participants. To exclude the possibility that the impairment arises from a general deficit in cross-modal mapping, Experiment 2 examined sensitivity to cross-modal mapping for two other auditory dimensions: timbral brightness and loudness. Amusics and controls were significantly more sensitive to large than small contour changes, and to changes in loudness than changes in timbre. However, there were no group differences in cross-modal mapping, suggesting that individuals with congenital amusia can comprehend spatial representations of acoustic information. Taken together, the findings indicate that pitch contour processing in congenital amusia remains impaired even when pitch memory is relatively unburdened.

  18. Epidemiology of Snake Bites among Selected Communities in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Snake is one of the major group of games feared by people in many localities because of their venoms, yet snakes are equally afraid of human beings. This balance of terror apart from affecting both man and snakes has also led to their deaths. Epidemiology of snake bites among selected communities in the enclave of ...

  19. Digital extraction of interference fringe contours

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mastin, G.A.; Ghiglia, D.C.

    1985-01-01

    Two basic techniques for extracting interferogram contours have been discussed. The first is a global contour extracton technique based on the fast Fourier transform. The second extracts individual contours with a thinning algorithm using logical neighborhood transformations

  20. Pharmacokinetics of Snake Venom

    OpenAIRE

    Suchaya Sanhajariya; Stephen B. Duffull; Geoffrey K. Isbister

    2018-01-01

    Understanding snake venom pharmacokinetics is essential for developing risk assessment strategies and determining the optimal dose and timing of antivenom required to bind all venom in snakebite patients. This review aims to explore the current knowledge of snake venom pharmacokinetics in animals and humans. Literature searches were conducted using EMBASE (1974–present) and Medline (1946–present). For animals, 12 out of 520 initially identified studies met the inclusion criteria. In general, ...

  1. The status of taxonomy and venom in sea snakes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Redsted Rasmussen, Arne; Sanders, Kate L.

    2017-01-01

    The status of taxonomy and venom in sea snakesArne R Rasmussen1, Kate L Sanders21 The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design & Conservation, Copenhagen, Denmark2 School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, AustraliaSea...... snakes form two aquatic groups of snakes with a flat vertically paddle-form tail (sea kraits and viviparous sea snakes). Sea snakes belong to the same family Elapidae, which also includes the terrestrial mambas, cobra, kraits, taipan and brown snake. All elapids are characterized by the anterior position...... of the poison-fangs on the maxillary bone (proteroglyphous). Globally there are some 70 species of sea snake found in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Most species are found in the Indo-Malayan Archipelago, the China Sea, Indonesia, and the Australian region...

  2. Image Interpolation with Geometric Contour Stencils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascal Getreuer

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available We consider the image interpolation problem where given an image vm,n with uniformly-sampled pixels vm,n and point spread function h, the goal is to find function u(x,y satisfying vm,n = (h*u(m,n for all m,n in Z. This article improves upon the IPOL article Image Interpolation with Contour Stencils. In the previous work, contour stencils are used to estimate the image contours locally as short line segments. This article begins with a continuous formulation of total variation integrated over a collection of curves and defines contour stencils as a consistent discretization. This discretization is more reliable than the previous approach and can effectively distinguish contours that are locally shaped like lines, curves, corners, and circles. These improved contour stencils sense more of the geometry in the image. Interpolation is performed using an extension of the method described in the previous article. Using the improved contour stencils, there is an increase in image quality while maintaining similar computational efficiency.

  3. Spectrally accurate contour dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Buskirk, R.D.; Marcus, P.S.

    1994-01-01

    We present an exponentially accurate boundary integral method for calculation the equilibria and dynamics of piece-wise constant distributions of potential vorticity. The method represents contours of potential vorticity as a spectral sum and solves the Biot-Savart equation for the velocity by spectrally evaluating a desingularized contour integral. We use the technique in both an initial-value code and a newton continuation method. Our methods are tested by comparing the numerical solutions with known analytic results, and it is shown that for the same amount of computational work our spectral methods are more accurate than other contour dynamics methods currently in use

  4. Oral microbiota of Brazilian captive snakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MG Fonseca

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The present work aimed to determine the oral microbiotic composition of snakes from São José do Rio Preto city, São Paulo State, Brazil. Ten snake species, comprising the families Boidae, Colubridae, Elapidae and Viperidae, were submitted to microbiological examination of their oral cavity, which indicated positivity for all buccal samples. Gram-negative bacilli, gram-negative cocci bacilli, gram-positive bacilli and gram-positive cocci were isolated from the snakes. Among isolated bacterium species, the occurrence of coagulase-negative staphylococci in the buccal cavity of Crotalus durissus (Viperiade, Eunectes murinus (Boidae, Mastigodryas bifossatus (Colubridae and Bacillus subtilis, common to oral cavity of Bothrops alternatus (Viperidae and Phalotris mertensi (Colubridae, was detected. It was observed higher diversity of isolated bacteria from the oral cavity of Micrurus frontalis (Elapidae and Philodryas nattereri (Colubridae, as well as the prevalence of gram-positive baccillus and gram-positive cocci. The composition of the oral microbiota of the studied snakes, with or without inoculating fangs, is diverse and also related to the formation of abscesses at the bite site in the victims of the ophidian accidents, and to pathogenic processes in the snakes that host these microorganisms.

  5. The influence of automation on tumor contouring

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aselmaa, A.; van Herk, Marcel; Song, Y.; Goossens, R.H.M.; Laprie, Anne

    2017-01-01

    Fully or semi-automatic contouring tools are increasingly being used in the tumor contouring task for radiotherapy. While the fully automatic contouring tools have not reached sufficient efficiency, the semi-automatic contouring tools balance more effectively between the human interaction and

  6. Heat, sight and scent: multiple cues influence foraging site selection by an ambush-foraging snake Hoplocephalus bungaroides (Elapidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weiguo DU, Jonathan K. WEBB, Richard SHINE

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Most mobile organisms respond to multiple cues when selecting habitat types, and laboratory experiments that manipulate only single cues may fail to reveal the true complexity of habitat-selection behaviour. In south-eastern Australia, broad-headed snakes Hoplocephalus bungaroides (Elapidae lie in wait under sun-warmed rocks to ambush velvet geckos Oedura leseuerii (Gekkonidae. Previous laboratory work has shown that both the geckos and the snakes actively select hotter rather than colder rocks, and that the snakes actively select rocks scented by geckos. We manipulated rock temperature and the presence of two types of cues from geckos (chemical and visual information to clarify the causal basis for foraging site selection by the juveniles of this snake. When given a choice between cold lizard-scented rocks and hot unscented rocks, our captive snakes gave a higher priority to lizard scent than to temperature. The snakes also selected shelter-sites that provided visual as well as scent cues from lizards, rather than shelter-sites with scent cues alone. Thus, although broad-headed snakes show a direct preference for hotter rather than colder rocks in the laboratory, their choice of foraging site in the field may also be influenced by the presence of scent cues from prey. Our laboratory results suggest that habitat selection by broad-headed snakes may be more complex than has been suggested by previous single-factor laboratory trials[Current Zoology 55(4: 266–271, 2009].

  7. Snake evolution and prospecting of snake venom

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, Freek Jacobus

    2012-01-01

    in this thesis I have shown that snakes have undergone multiple changes in their genome and embryonic development that has provided them with the variation to which natural selection could act. This thesis provides evidence for the variable mechanisms of venom gene evolution, which presumably is

  8. Where Galactic Snakes Live

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    This infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows what astronomers are referring to as a 'snake' (upper left) and its surrounding stormy environment. The sinuous object is actually the core of a thick, sooty cloud large enough to swallow dozens of solar systems. In fact, astronomers say the 'snake's belly' may be harboring beastly stars in the process of forming. The galactic creepy crawler to the right of the snake is another thick cloud core, in which additional burgeoning massive stars might be lurking. The colorful regions below the two cloud cores are less dense cloud material, in which dust has been heated by starlight and glows with infrared light. Yellow and orange dots throughout the image are monstrous developing stars; the red star on the 'belly' of the snake is 20 to 50 times as massive as our sun. The blue dots are foreground stars. The red ball at the bottom left is a 'supernova remnant,' the remains of massive star that died in a fiery blast. Astronomers speculate that radiation and winds from the star before it died, in addition to a shock wave created when it exploded, might have played a role in creating the snake. Spitzer was able to spot the two black cloud cores using its heat-seeking infrared vision. The objects are hiding in the dusty plane of our Milky Way galaxy, invisible to optical telescopes. Because their heat, or infrared light, can sneak through the dust, they first showed up in infrared images from past missions. The cloud cores are so thick with dust that if you were to somehow transport yourself into the middle of them, you would see nothing but black, not even a star in the sky. Now, that's spooky! Spitzer's new view of the region provides the best look yet at the massive embryonic stars hiding inside the snake. Astronomers say these observations will ultimately help them better understand how massive stars form. By studying the clustering and range of masses of the stellar embryos, they hope to determine if the stars

  9. A resistant predator and its toxic prey: persistence of newt toxin leads to poisonous (not venomous) snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Becky L; Brodie, Edmund D; Brodie, Edmund D

    2004-10-01

    The common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) preys upon the rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa), which contains the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin (TTX) in the skin. TTX is toxic, large quantities are present in a newt, and highly resistant snakes have the ability to ingest multiple newts; subsequently snakes harbor significant amounts of active toxin in their own tissues after consuming a newt. Snakes harbor TTX in the liver for 1 mo or more after consuming just one newt, and at least 7 wk after consuming a diet of newts. Three weeks after eating one newt, snakes contained an average of 42 microg of TTX in the liver. This amount could severely incapacitate or kill avian predators, and mammalian predators may be negatively affected as well.

  10. Enhancement of Afterimage Colors by Surrounding Contours

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takao Sato

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Presenting luminance contours surrounding the adapted areas in test phase enhances color afterimages in both duration and color appearance. The presence of surrounding contour is crucial to some color phenomenon such as van Lier's afterimage, but the contour-effect itself has not been seriously examined. In this paper, we compared the contour-effect to color afterimages and to actually colored patches to examine the nature of color information subserving color-aftereffect. In the experiment, observers were adapted for 1 sec to a small colored square (red, green, yellow, or blue presented on a gray background. Then, a test field either with or without surrounding contour was presented. Observers matched the color of a test-patch located near the afterimage to the color of afterimage. It was found that the saturation of negative afterimage was almost doubled by the presence of surrounding contours. There was no effect of luminance contrast or polarity of contours. In contrast, no enhancement of saturation by surrounding contours was observed for actually colored patches even though the colors of patches were equalized to that of afterimage without contours. This dissociation in the contour-effect demonstrates the crucial difference between the color information for aftereffects and for ordinary bottom-up color perception.

  11. Diversity of Snakes in Rajegwesi Tourism Area, Meru Betiri National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aji Dharma Raharjo

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Rajegwesi tourism area is one of the significant tourism areas in Meru Betiri National Park, East Java, Indonesia. The area rich in term of biodiversity which are potential for developed as natural tourism attraction.  The aim of this study is to identify snakes species diversity and its distribution in Rajegwesi tourism area. Field survey was done in Rajegwesi area, namely swamps forest, residential area, rice fields, agriculture area (babatan, resort area, and Plengkang cliff. This study found some snakes, encompasses Colubridae (10 species, Elapidae (four species, and Phytonidae (one species. There are Burmese Python (Python reticulatus, Red-necked Keelback (Rhabdophis subminiatus, Painted Bronzeback Snake (Dendrelaphis Pictus, Black Copper Rat Snake (Coelognathus flavolineatus, Radiated Rat Snake (C. radiatus, Striped Keelback (Xenochrophis vittatus, Checkered Keelback (X. piscator, Spotted Ground Snake (Gongyosoma balioderius, Gold-ringed Cat Snake (Boiga dendrophila, Common Wolf Snake (Lycodon capucinus, Banded Wolf snake (L. subcinctus, Cobra (Naja sputatrix, King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah, Malayan Krait (Bungarus candidus, and Banded Krait (B. fasciatus was found. These snake habitats distributes at 21 coordinate points. Keywords: conservation, ecotourism, snakes.

  12. Studies of polarized beam acceleration and Siberian Snakes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, S.Y.

    1992-01-01

    We studied depolarization mechanisms of polarized proton acceleration in high energy accelerators with snakes and found that the perturbed spin tune due to the imperfection resonance plays an important role in beam depolarization at snake resonances. We also found that even order snake resonances exist in the overlapping intrinsic and imperfection resonances. Due to the perturbed spin tune of imperfection resonances, each snake resonance splits into two. Thus the available betatron tune space becomes smaller. Some constraints on polarized beam colliders were also examined

  13. Snake Venom Metalloproteinases and Their Peptide Inhibitors from Myanmar Russell’s Viper Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khin Than Yee

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Russell’s viper bites are potentially fatal from severe bleeding, renal failure and capillary leakage. Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs are attributed to these effects. In addition to specific antivenom therapy, endogenous inhibitors from snakes are of interest in studies of new treatment modalities for neutralization of the effect of toxins. Two major snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs: RVV-X and Daborhagin were purified from Myanmar Russell’s viper venom using a new purification strategy. Using the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS approach to explore the Myanmar RV venom gland transcriptome, mRNAs of novel tripeptide SVMP inhibitors (SVMPIs were discovered. Two novel endogenous tripeptides, pERW and pEKW were identified and isolated from the crude venom. Both purified SVMPs showed caseinolytic activity. Additionally, RVV-X displayed specific proteolytic activity towards gelatin and Daborhagin showed potent fibrinogenolytic activity. These activities were inhibited by metal chelators. Notably, the synthetic peptide inhibitors, pERW and pEKW, completely inhibit the gelatinolytic and fibrinogenolytic activities of respective SVMPs at 5 mM concentration. These complete inhibitory effects suggest that these tripeptides deserve further study for development of a therapeutic candidate for Russell’s viper envenomation.

  14. Skin lipid structure controls water permeability in snake molts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torri, Cristian; Mangoni, Alfonso; Teta, Roberta; Fattorusso, Ernesto; Alibardi, Lorenzo; Fermani, Simona; Bonacini, Irene; Gazzano, Massimo; Burghammer, Manfred; Fabbri, Daniele; Falini, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    The role of lipids in controlling water exchange is fundamentally a matter of molecular organization. In the present study we have observed that in snake molt the water permeability drastically varies among species living in different climates and habitats. The analysis of molts from four snake species: tiger snake, Notechis scutatus, gabon viper, Bitis gabonica, rattle snake, Crotalus atrox, and grass snake, Natrix natrix, revealed correlations between the molecular composition and the structural organization of the lipid-rich mesos layer with control in water exchange as a function of temperature. It was discovered, merging data from micro-diffraction and micro-spectroscopy with those from thermal, NMR and chromatographic analyses, that this control is generated from a sophisticated structural organization that changes size and phase distribution of crystalline domains of specific lipid molecules as a function of temperature. Thus, the results of this research on four snake species suggest that in snake skins different structured lipid layers have evolved and adapted to different climates. Moreover, these lipid structures can protect, "safety", the snakes from water lost even at temperatures higher than those of their usual habitat. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Evaluation of Snake Bites with Bedside Ultrasonography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josef E Jolissaint

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available History of present illness: While watering his lawn, a 36-year-old man felt two sharp bites to his bilateral ankles. He reports that he then saw a light brown, 2-foot snake slither away from him. He came to the emergency department because of pain and swelling in his ankles and inability to bear weight. Physical examination revealed bilateral ankle swelling and puncture marks on his left lateral heel and medial right ankle. Palpation, passive flexion and extension elicited severe pain bilaterally. Blood work including prothrombin time (PT, partial thromboplastin time (PTT, international normalized ratio (INR, and fibrinogen were within normal limits. Consultation with Poison Control indicated the snake was likely a copperhead, which is a venomous snake whose bites rarely require antivenin. Significant findings: In this case, ultrasonography of the lateral surface of the left foot revealed soft tissue edema (red arrow and fluid collection (white asterisk adjacent to the extensor tendon (white arrow. The edematous area resembles cobblestones, with hypoechoic areas of fluid spanning relatively hyperechoic fat lobules. The tendon is surrounded by anechoic fluid, expanding the potential space in the sheath. No hyperechoic foreign objects were noted. Discussion: The patient was diagnosed with soft tissue injury and extensor tenosynovitis after a snake envenomation. Snake venom contains metalloproteinases and other enzymatic proteins that cause local tissue edema and necrosis.1 After a snake bite, ultrasound can be used to assess for retained fangs, soft tissue edema, tendon sheath fluid, muscle fasciculation, and injury to deeper musculature that may not be readily apparent on physical exam.2,3 Most patients with tenosynovitis will recover with immobilization of the joint and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.4 Rarely, the tendon may become infected requiring antibiotics and surgical intervention.4 Topics: Ultrasound, snake envenomation

  16. Anti snake Venom Activity of Hibiscus aethiopicus L. against Echis ocellatus and Naja n. nigricollis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hasson, S.S.; Al-Jabri, A.A.; Al-Balushi, M.S.; Hasson, S.S.; Sallam, T.A.; Mothana, R.A.A.

    2010-01-01

    The objective of the study is to investigate whether the Hibiscus aethiopicus L. plant has neutralization activity against venoms of two clinically important snakes. The H. aethiopicus was dried and extracted with water. Different assays were performed to evaluate the plant's acute toxicity and its anti-snake venom activities. The results showed that H. aethiopicus extract alone had no effect on the viability of C 2 C 12 muscle cells, but significantly (P<.05) protected muscle cells against the toxic effects of E. ocellatus venom at 55, 150, and 300 μg/ mL. The maximum protective effect of the extract was exhibited at 75μg/mL. The extract significantly (P<.001) inhibited the cytotoxic effects of E. ocellatus venom at 300?μg/mL. All rabbits (n=10) and guinea pigs (n=10) were alive after the two weeks of given the lethal dosage 16g/Kg of the H. aethiopicus extract herbal solution. No abnormal behaviour was observed of both groups of animals. All guinea pigs (n=3) treated with venoms alone (5 mg/kg) died. However, all guinea pigs (n=21) treated with venom (5 mg/kg) and the extract (400 to 1000 mg/kg) survived. Guinea pigs (n=3) treated with Naja n. nigricollis venom alone (2.5 mg/kg) and guinea pigs (n=21) venom with the extract (400 to 1000 mg/kg) died. The H. aethiopicus completely (100%) blocked the haemorrhagic activity of E. ocellatus in the egg embryo at 3.3mg/ mL of extract. These findings suggest that H. aethiopicus may contain an endogenous inhibitor of venom-induced haemorrhage.

  17. Molecular evidence of Sarcocystis species in captive snakes in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, Niichiro; Matsubara, Katsuki; Tamukai, Kenichi; Miwa, Yasutsugu; Takami, Kazutoshi

    2015-08-01

    Sarcocystis nesbitti, using snakes as the definitive host, is a causative agent of acute human muscular sarcocystosis in Malaysia. Therefore, it is important to explore the distribution and prevalence of S. nesbitti in snakes. Nevertheless, epizootiological information of S. nesbitti in snakes remains insufficient because few surveys have assessed Sarcocystis infection in snakes in endemic countries. In Japan, snakes are popular exotic pet animals that are imported from overseas, but the degree of Sarcocystis infection in them remains unclear. The possibility exists that muscular sarcocystosis by S. nesbitti occurs in contact with captive snakes in non-endemic countries. For a total of 125 snake faecal samples from 67 snake species collected at animal hospitals, pet shops and a zoo, this study investigated the presence of Sarcocystis using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the 18S ribosomal RNA gene (18S rDNA). Four (3.2%) faecal samples were positive by PCR. Phylogenetic analysis of the 18S rDNA sequences obtained from four amplification products revealed one isolate from a beauty snake (Elaphe taeniura), Sarcocystis zuoi, which uses rat snakes as the definitive host. The isolate from a Macklot's python (Liasis mackloti) was closely related with unidentified Sarcocystis sp. from reticulated pythons in Malaysia. The remaining two isolates from tree boas (Corallus spp.) were closely related with Sarcocystis lacertae, Sarcocystis gallotiae and unidentified Sarcocystis sp. from smooth snakes, Tenerife lizards and European shrews, respectively. This report is the first of a study examining the distribution of Sarcocystis species in captive snakes in Japan.

  18. Snake Venom PLA2s Inhibitors Isolated from Brazilian Plants: Synthetic and Natural Molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, B. M. A.; Santos, J. D. L.; Xavier, B. M.; Almeida, J. R.; Resende, L. M.; Martins, W.; Marcussi, S.; Marangoni, S.; Stábeli, R. G.; Calderon, L. A.; Soares, A. M.; Da Silva, S. L.; Marchi-Salvador, D. P.

    2013-01-01

    Ophidian envenomation is an important health problem in Brazil and other South American countries. In folk medicine, especially in developing countries, several vegetal species are employed for the treatment of snakebites in communities that lack prompt access to serum therapy. However, the identification and characterization of the effects of several new plants or their isolated compounds, which are able to inhibit the activities of snake venom, are extremely important and such studies are imperative. Snake venom contains several organic and inorganic compounds; phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) are one of the principal toxic components of venom. PLA2s display a wide variety of pharmacological activities, such as neurotoxicity, myotoxicity, cardiotoxicity, anticoagulant, hemorrhagic, and edema-inducing effects. PLA2 inhibition is of pharmacological and therapeutic interests as these enzymes are involved in several inflammatory diseases. This review describes the results of several studies of plant extracts and their isolated active principles, when used against crude snake venoms or their toxic fractions. Isolated inhibitors, such as steroids, terpenoids, and phenolic compounds, are able to inhibit PLA2s from different snake venoms. The design of specific inhibitors of PLA2s might help in the development of new pharmaceutical drugs, more specific antivenom, or even as alternative approaches for treating snakebites. PMID:24171158

  19. Snake Venom PLA2s Inhibitors Isolated from Brazilian Plants: Synthetic and Natural Molecules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. M. A. Carvalho

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Ophidian envenomation is an important health problem in Brazil and other South American countries. In folk medicine, especially in developing countries, several vegetal species are employed for the treatment of snakebites in communities that lack prompt access to serum therapy. However, the identification and characterization of the effects of several new plants or their isolated compounds, which are able to inhibit the activities of snake venom, are extremely important and such studies are imperative. Snake venom contains several organic and inorganic compounds; phospholipases A2 (PLA2s are one of the principal toxic components of venom. PLA2s display a wide variety of pharmacological activities, such as neurotoxicity, myotoxicity, cardiotoxicity, anticoagulant, hemorrhagic, and edema-inducing effects. PLA2 inhibition is of pharmacological and therapeutic interests as these enzymes are involved in several inflammatory diseases. This review describes the results of several studies of plant extracts and their isolated active principles, when used against crude snake venoms or their toxic fractions. Isolated inhibitors, such as steroids, terpenoids, and phenolic compounds, are able to inhibit PLA2s from different snake venoms. The design of specific inhibitors of PLA2s might help in the development of new pharmaceutical drugs, more specific antivenom, or even as alternative approaches for treating snakebites.

  20. First Observation of a Snake Depolarizing Resonance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Phelps, R.; Anferov, V.; Blinov, B.; Crandell, D.; Koutin, S.; Krisch, A.; Liu, T.; Ratner, L.; Wong, V.; Chu, C.; Lee, S.; Rinckel, T.; Schwandt, P.; Sperisen, F.; Stephenson, E.; von Przewoski, B.; Sato, H.

    1997-01-01

    Using a 104MeV stored polarized proton beam and a full Siberian snake, we recently found evidence for a so-called open-quotes snakeclose quotes depolarizing resonance. A full Siberian snake forces the spin tune ν s to be a half integer. Thus, if the vertical betatron tune ν y is set near a quarter integer, then the ν s =n±2ν y second-order snake resonance can depolarize the beam. Indeed, with a full Siberian snake, we found a deep depolarization dip when ν y was equal to 4.756; moreover, when ν y was changed to 4.781, the deep dip disappeared and the polarization was preserved. copyright 1997 The American Physical Society

  1. 3D Filament Network Segmentation with Multiple Active Contours

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Ting; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Huang, Xiaolei

    2014-03-01

    Fluorescence microscopy is frequently used to study two and three dimensional network structures formed by cytoskeletal polymer fibers such as actin filaments and microtubules. While these cytoskeletal structures are often dilute enough to allow imaging of individual filaments or bundles of them, quantitative analysis of these images is challenging. To facilitate quantitative, reproducible and objective analysis of the image data, we developed a semi-automated method to extract actin networks and retrieve their topology in 3D. Our method uses multiple Stretching Open Active Contours (SOACs) that are automatically initialized at image intensity ridges and then evolve along the centerlines of filaments in the network. SOACs can merge, stop at junctions, and reconfigure with others to allow smooth crossing at junctions of filaments. The proposed approach is generally applicable to images of curvilinear networks with low SNR. We demonstrate its potential by extracting the centerlines of synthetic meshwork images, actin networks in 2D TIRF Microscopy images, and 3D actin cable meshworks of live fission yeast cells imaged by spinning disk confocal microscopy.

  2. The Development of Skull Prosthesis Through Active Contour Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yi-Wen; Shih, Cheng-Ting; Cheng, Chen-Yang; Lin, Yu-Cheng

    2017-09-09

    Skull defects result in brain infection and inadequate brain protection and pose a general danger to patient health. To avoid these situations and prevent re-injury, a prosthesis must be constructed and grafted onto the deficient region. With the development of rapid customization through additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology, skull prostheses can be fabricated accurately and efficiently prior to cranioplasty. However, an unfitted skull prosthesis made with a metal implant can cause repeated infection, potentially necessitating secondary surgery. This paper presents a method of creating suitably geometric graphics of skull defects to be applied in skull repair through active contour models. These models can be adjusted in each computed tomography slice according to the graphic features, and the curves representing the skull defect can be modeled. The generated graphics can adequately mimic the natural curvature of the complete skull. This method will enable clinical surgeons to rapidly implant customized prostheses, which is of particular importance in emergency surgery. The findings of this research can help surgeons provide patients with skull defects with treatment of the highest quality.

  3. Anatomical contouring variability in thoracic organs at risk

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCall, Ross, E-mail: rmccall86@gmail.com [Medical Dosimetry Program, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, WI (United States); MacLennan, Grayden; Taylor, Matthew; Lenards, Nishele [Medical Dosimetry Program, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, WI (United States); Nelms, Benjamin E. [Canis Lupus LLC, Madison, WI (United States); Koshy, Matthew; Lemons, Jeffrey [Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States); Hunzeker, Ashley [Medical Dosimetry Program, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, WI (United States)

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether contouring thoracic organs at risk was consistent among medical dosimetrists and to identify how trends in dosimetrist's education and experience affected contouring accuracy. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used to contextualize the raw data that were obtained. A total of 3 different computed tomography (CT) data sets were provided to medical dosimetrists (N = 13) across 5 different institutions. The medical dosimetrists were directed to contour the lungs, heart, spinal cord, and esophagus. The medical dosimetrists were instructed to contour in line with their institutional standards and were allowed to use any contouring tool or technique that they would traditionally use. The contours from each medical dosimetrist were evaluated against “gold standard” contours drawn and validated by 2 radiation oncology physicians. The dosimetrist-derived contours were evaluated against the gold standard using both a Dice coefficient method and a penalty-based metric scoring system. A short survey was also completed by each medical dosimetrist to evaluate their individual contouring experience. There was no significant variation in the contouring consistency of the lungs and spinal cord. Intradosimetrist contouring was consistent for those who contoured the esophagus and heart correctly; however, medical dosimetrists with a poor metric score showed erratic and inconsistent methods of contouring.

  4. Venom of the Peruvian snake Bothriopsis oligolepis: Detection of antibacterial activity and involvement of proteolytic enzymes and C-type lectins in growth inhibition of Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulca, M A; Remuzgo, C; Cárdenas, J; Kiyota, S; Cheng, E; Bemquerer, M P; Machini, M T

    2017-08-01

    There is a rising interest in snake venoms proteins (SVPs) because these macromolecules are related to pharmacological properties that manifest themselves during poisoning and can lead to secondary microbial infections. Interestingly, researchers have somehow neglected the antimicrobial activity of SVPs. The aims of this study were: (i) to verify whether the venom of the Peruvian snake Bothriopsis oligolepis displays such activity; (ii) to isolate and identify some of its antimicrobial constituents. Liquid growth inhibition assays revealed that the crude venom inhibited the growth of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, but not of Candida species. Fractionation of the venom by anion-exchange chromatography provided fractions P2, P4 and P8 active against S. aureus. Fractionation of P2 or P8 by gel-filtration chromatography and of P4 by RP-HPLC furnished the sub-fractions P2-I, P8-II and P4-II, respectively, being those fractions active against S. aureus. Analyses of these sub-fractions by SDS-PAGE under denaturing/reducing conditions evidenced SVPs with 59-73, 27 and 14-28 kDa, respectively. Their in-gel tryptic digestion gave peptide fragments, whose sequencing by MALDI-TOF/MS followed by protein BLAST analysis allowed identifying PIII metalloprotease(s) [SVMP(s)] in P2-I, serine protease(s) [SVSP(s)] in P4-II and lectin(s) in P8-II. Detection of gelatinolytic activity in P2-I and P4-II reinforced the existence of PIII-SVMP(s) and SVSP(s), respectively. Activation of the coagulation cascade intrinsic pathway by P8-II (probably by interaction with factors IX and/or X as some snake C-type lectins do) supported the presence of C-type lectin(s). Altogether, these new findings reveal that the venom of the Peruvian snake Bothriopsis oligolepis displays antibacterial activity and that the isolated SVMP(s), SVSP(s) and C-type lectin(s) are associated to its ability to inhibit the growth of S. aureus. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Prevalence of Amblyomma gervaisi ticks on captive snakes in Tamil Nadu.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catherine, B R; Jayathangaraj, M G; Soundararajan, C; Bala Guru, C; Yogaraj, D

    2017-12-01

    Ticks are the important ectoparasites that occur on snakes and transmit rickettsiosis, anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis. A total of 62 snakes (Reticulated python, Indian Rock Python, Rat snakes and Spectacled cobra) were examined for tick infestation at Chennai Snake Park Trust (Guindy), Arignar Anna Zoological Park (Vandalur) and Rescue centre (Velachery) in Tamil Nadu from September, 2015 to June, 2016. Ticks from infested snakes were collected and were identified as Amblyomma gervaisi (previously known as Aponomma gervaisi ). Overall occurrence of tick infestation on snakes was 66.13%. Highest prevalence of tick infestation was observed more on Reticulated Python ( Python reticulatus , 90.91%) followed by Indian Rock Python ( Python molurus , 88.89%), Spectacled cobra ( Naja naja, 33.33%) and Rat snake ( Ptyas mucosa, 21.05%). Highest prevalence of ticks were observed on snakes reared at Chennai Snake Park Trust, Guindy (83.33%), followed by Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur (60.00%) and low level prevalence of 37.50% on snakes at Rescue centre, Velachery. Among the system of management, the prevalence of ticks were more on captive snakes (70.37%) than the free ranging snakes (37.5%). The presences of ticks were more on the first quarter when compared to other three quarters and were highly significant ( P  ≤ 0.01).

  6. 77 FR 10960 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Snake Creek, Islamorada, FL

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-24

    ... Operation Regulation; Snake Creek, Islamorada, FL AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS. ACTION: Notice of temporary... deviation from the regulation governing the operation of Snake Creek Bridge, mile 0.5, across Snake Creek... schedule of Snake Creek Bridge in Islamorada, Florida. This deviation will result in the bridge opening...

  7. ROADS CENTRE-AXIS EXTRACTION IN AIRBORNE SAR IMAGES: AN APPROACH BASED ON ACTIVE CONTOUR MODEL WITH THE USE OF SEMI-AUTOMATIC SEEDING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. G. Lotte

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Research works dealing with computational methods for roads extraction have considerably increased in the latest two decades. This procedure is usually performed on optical or microwave sensors (radar imagery. Radar images offer advantages when compared to optical ones, for they allow the acquisition of scenes regardless of atmospheric and illumination conditions, besides the possibility of surveying regions where the terrain is hidden by the vegetation canopy, among others. The cartographic mapping based on these images is often manually accomplished, requiring considerable time and effort from the human interpreter. Maps for detecting new roads or updating the existing roads network are among the most important cartographic products to date. There are currently many studies involving the extraction of roads by means of automatic or semi-automatic approaches. Each of them presents different solutions for different problems, making this task a scientific issue still open. One of the preliminary steps for roads extraction can be the seeding of points belonging to roads, what can be done using different methods with diverse levels of automation. The identified seed points are interpolated to form the initial road network, and are hence used as an input for an extraction method properly speaking. The present work introduces an innovative hybrid method for the extraction of roads centre-axis in a synthetic aperture radar (SAR airborne image. Initially, candidate points are fully automatically seeded using Self-Organizing Maps (SOM, followed by a pruning process based on specific metrics. The centre-axis are then detected by an open-curve active contour model (snakes. The obtained results were evaluated as to their quality with respect to completeness, correctness and redundancy.

  8. [Snake as a symbol in medicine and pharmacy - a historical study].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okuda, J; Kiyokawa, R

    2000-01-01

    The snake and snake venoms have stimulated the mind and imagination of humankind since the beginning of records about society. No animal has been more worshipped yet more cast out, more loved yet more despised than the snake. The essence of the fascination with fear of the snake lies within the creature's venom. Snakes have been used for worship, magic potions and, medicine, and they have been the symbol of love, health, disease, medicine, pharmacy, immortality, death and even wisdom. In the Sumer civilization (B.C. 2350-2150), designs with 2 snakes appeared. In Greek mythology (B.C. 2000-400), statues of Asclepius (God of Medicine), with "Caduceus" (made of two snakes and a staff), and his daughter Hygeia (God of Health), holding a snake and bowl, were created as symbols for medicine and health, respectively. A kind of Caduceus (1 snake and 1 staff) has been used as a symbol by the World Health Organization (WHO) and a snake and bowl as a symbol of pharmacies in Europe. Snakes have also been worshipped by old Indian peoples involved in Hinduism since 6-4th century B.C. In ancient Egypt, snake designs were used in hieroglyphs. In China, dried bodies of about 30 species of snakes are still using as Chinese medicines. In Japan, a painting of the symbol of "Genbu" (snake with tortoise) was found recently on the north wall of the Takamatsuzuka ancient tomb (7-8th century A.D.), however it is a symbol of a compass direction, and has probably less relation to medicine and pharmacy.

  9. An improved spatial contour tree constructed method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Yi; Zhang, Ling; Guilbert, Eric; Long, Yi

    2018-05-01

    Contours are important data to delineate the landform on a map. A contour tree provides an object-oriented description of landforms and can be used to enrich the topological information. The traditional contour tree is used to store topological relationships between contours in a hierarchical structure and allows for the identification of eminences and depressions as sets of nested contours. This research proposes an improved contour tree so-called spatial contour tree that contains not only the topological but also the geometric information. It can be regarded as a terrain skeleton in 3-dimention, and it is established based on the spatial nodes of contours which have the latitude, longitude and elevation information. The spatial contour tree is built by connecting spatial nodes from low to high elevation for a positive landform, and from high to low elevation for a negative landform to form a hierarchical structure. The connection between two spatial nodes can provide the real distance and direction as a Euclidean vector in 3-dimention. In this paper, the construction method is tested in the experiment, and the results are discussed. The proposed hierarchical structure is in 3-demintion and can show the skeleton inside a terrain. The structure, where all nodes have geo-information, can be used to distinguish different landforms and applied for contour generalization with consideration of geographic characteristics.

  10. Veterinary management of snake reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, Scott J

    2002-09-01

    The reptile veterinarian should approach the breeder with a comprehensive plan involving a review of proper husbandry, nutrition, record keeping, and a thorough prebreeding evaluation of the snakes. In addition, an evaluation of the reproductive strategy, assistance with confirming and monitoring gestation, and a review of potential reproductive complications will help to prepare the snake owner for a successful breeding season.

  11. Cardiovascular Responses of Snakes to Gravitational Gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Shi-Tong T.; Lillywhite, H. B.; Ballard, R. E.; Hargens, A. R.; Holton, Emily M. (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    Snakes are useful vertebrates for studies of gravitational adaptation, owing to their elongate body and behavioral diversification. Scansorial species have evolved specializations for regulating hemodynamics during exposure to gravitational stress, whereas, such adaptations are less well developed in aquatic and non-climbing species. We examined responses of the amphibious snake,\\italicize (Nerodia rhombifera), to increments of Gz (head-to-tail) acceleration force on both a short- and long-arm centrifuge (1.5 vs. 3.7 m radius, from the hub to tail end of snake). We recorded heart rate, dorsal aortic pressure, and carotid arterial blood flow during stepwise 0.25 G increments of Gz force (referenced at the tail) in conscious animals. The Benz tolerance of a snake was determined as the Gz level at which carotid blood flow ceased and was found to be significantly greater at the short- than long-arm centrifuge radius (1.57 Gz vs. 2.0 Gz, respectively; P=0.016). A similar pattern of response was demonstrated in semi-arboreal rat snakes,\\italicize{Elaphe obsoleta}, which are generally more tolerant of Gz force (2.6 Gz at 1.5m radius) than are water snakes. The tolerance differences of the two species reflected cardiovascular responses, which differed quantitatively but not qualitatively: heart rates increased while arterial pressure and blood flow decreased in response to increasing levels of Gz. Thus, in both species of snakes, a reduced gradient of Gz force (associated with greater centrifuge radius) significantly decreases the Gz level that can be tolerated.

  12. A novel mechanism regulating a sexual signal: the testosterone-based inhibition of female sex pheromone expression in garter snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, M Rockwell; Mason, Robert T

    2014-08-01

    Vertebrates communicate their sex to conspecifics through the use of sexually dimorphic signals, such as ornaments, behaviors and scents. Furthermore, the physiological connection between hormones and secondary sexual signal expression is key to understanding their dimorphism, seasonality and evolution. The red-sided garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis) is the only reptile for which a described pheromone currently exists, and because garter snakes rely completely on the sexual attractiveness pheromone for species identification and mate choice, they constitute a unique model species for exploring the relationship between pheromones and the endocrine system. We recently demonstrated that estrogen can activate female pheromone production in male garter snakes. The purpose of this study was to determine the mechanism(s) acting to prevent female pheromone production in males. We found that castrated males (GX) are courted by wild males in the field and produce appreciable amounts of female sex pheromone. Furthermore, pheromone production is inhibited in castrates given testosterone implants (GX+T), suggesting that pheromone production is actively inhibited by the presence of testosterone. Lastly, testosterone supplementation alone (T) increased the production of several saturated methyl ketones in the pheromone but not the unsaturated ketones; this may indicate that saturated ketones are testosterone-activated components of the garter snake's skin lipid milieu. Collectively, our research has shown that pheromone expression in snakes results from two processes: activation by the feminizing steroid estradiol and inhibition by testosterone. We suggest that basal birds and garter snakes share common pathways of activation that modulate crucial intraspecific signals that originate from skin. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Automatic re-contouring in 4D radiotherapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lu, Weiguo; Olivera, Gustavo H; Chen, Quan; Chen, Ming-Li; Ruchala, Kenneth J

    2006-01-01

    Delineating regions of interest (ROIs) on each phase of four-dimensional (4D) computed tomography (CT) images is an essential step for 4D radiotherapy. The requirement of manual phase-by-phase contouring prohibits the routine use of 4D radiotherapy. This paper develops an automatic re-contouring algorithm that combines techniques of deformable registration and surface construction. ROIs are manually contoured slice-by-slice in the reference phase image. A reference surface is constructed based on these reference contours using a triangulated surface construction technique. The deformable registration technique provides the voxel-to-voxel mapping between the reference phase and the test phase. The vertices of the reference surface are displaced in accordance with the deformation map, resulting in a deformed surface. The new contours are reconstructed by cutting the deformed surface slice-by-slice along the transversal, sagittal or coronal direction. Since both the inputs and outputs of our automatic re-contouring algorithm are contours, it is relatively easy to cope with any treatment planning system. We tested our automatic re-contouring algorithm using a deformable phantom and 4D CT images of six lung cancer patients. The proposed algorithm is validated by visual inspections and quantitative comparisons of the automatic re-contours with both the gold standard segmentations and the manual contours. Based on the automatic delineated ROIs, changes of tumour and sensitive structures during respiration are quantitatively analysed. This algorithm could also be used to re-contour daily images for treatment evaluation and adaptive radiotherapy

  14. BjussuSP-I: a new thrombin-like enzyme isolated from Bothrops jararacussu snake venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sant' Ana, Carolina D; Ticli, Fabio K; Oliveira, Leandro L; Giglio, Jose R; Rechia, Carem G V; Fuly, André L; Selistre de Araújo, Heloisa S; Franco, João J; Stabeli, Rodrigo G; Soares, Andreimar M; Sampaio, Suely V

    2008-11-01

    A thrombin-like enzyme named BjussuSP-I, isolated from B. jararacussu snake venom, is an acidic single chain glycoprotein with approximately 6% sugar, Mr=61,000 under reducing conditions and pI approximately 3.8, representing 1.09% of the chromatographic A(280) recovery. BjussuSP-I is a glycosylated serine protease containing both N-linked carbohydrates and sialic acid in its structure. BjussuSP-I showed a high clotting activity upon human plasma, which was inhibited by PMSF, leupeptin, heparin and 1,10-phenantroline. This enzyme showed high stability regarding coagulant activity when analyzed at different temperatures (-70 to 37 degrees C), pHs (4.5 to 8.0), and presence of two divalent metal ions (Ca(2+) and Mg(2+)). It also displayed TAME esterase and proteolytic activities toward natural (fibrinogen and fibrin) and synthetic (BAPNA) substrates, respectively, being also inhibited by PMSF and leupeptin. BjussuSP-I can induce production of polyclonal antibodies able to inhibit its clotting activity, but unable to inhibit its proteolytic activity on fibrinogen. The enzyme also showed crossed immunoreactivity against 11 venom samples of Bothrops, 1 of Crotalus, and 1 of Calloselasma snakes, in addition of LAAO isolated from B. moojeni venom. It displayed neither hemorrhagic, myotoxic, edema-inducing profiles nor proteolytic activity on casein. BjussuSP-I showed an N-terminal sequence (VLGGDECDINEHPFLA FLYS) similar to other thrombin-like enzymes from snake venoms. Based on its biochemical, enzymatic and pharmacological characteristics, BjussuSP-I was identified as a new thrombin-like enzyme isoform from Bothrops jararacussu snake venom.

  15. Snake River Sockeye Salmon Habitat and Limnological Research : 2005 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taki, Doug; Kohler, Andre E.; Griswold, Robert G.; Gilliland, Kim

    2006-07-14

    In March 1990, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to list Snake River sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) as endangered. Snake River sockeye salmon were officially listed as endangered in November 1991 under the Endangered Species Act (56 FR 58619). In 1991, the Snake River Sockeye Salmon Habitat and Limnological Research Project was implemented. This project is part of an interagency effort to prevent the extinction of the Redfish Lake stock of Snake River sockeye salmon. The Shoshone-Bannock Tribal goal for this project is two tiered: The immediate goal is to increase the population of Snake River sockeye salmon while preserving the unique genetic characteristics of the Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU). The Tribes long term goal is to maintain a viable population that warrants delisting and provides Tribal harvest opportunities. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) provides funding for this interagency recovery. Collaborators in the recovery effort include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), the University of Idaho (UI), and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes (SBT). This report summarizes activities conducted by Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Fisheries Department personnel during the 2005 calendar year. Project tasks include: (1) monitor limnological parameters of the Sawtooth Valley lakes to assess lake productivity; (2) conduct lake fertilization in Pettit and Alturas lakes; (3) reduce the number of mature kokanee spawning in Fishhook and Alturas Lake creeks; (4) monitor and enumerate sockeye salmon smolt migration from Pettit and Alturas lakes; (5) monitor spawning kokanee escapement and estimate fry recruitment in Fishhook, Alturas Lake, and Stanley Lake creeks; (6) conduct sockeye and kokanee salmon population surveys; (7) evaluate potential competition and predation between stocked juvenile sockeye salmon and a variety of fish species in

  16. Molecular Identification of Cryptosporidium Species from Pet Snakes in Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yimming, Benjarat; Pattanatanang, Khampee; Sanyathitiseree, Pornchai; Inpankaew, Tawin; Kamyingkird, Ketsarin; Pinyopanuwat, Nongnuch; Chimnoi, Wissanuwat; Phasuk, Jumnongjit

    2016-08-01

    Cryptosporidium is an important pathogen causing gastrointestinal disease in snakes and is distributed worldwide. The main objectives of this study were to detect and identify Cryptosporidium species in captive snakes from exotic pet shops and snake farms in Thailand. In total, 165 fecal samples were examined from 8 snake species, boa constrictor (Boa constrictor constrictor), corn snake (Elaphe guttata), ball python (Python regius), milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum), king snake (Lampropeltis getula), rock python (Python sebae), rainbow boa (Epicrates cenchria), and carpet python (Morelia spilota). Cryptosporidium oocysts were examined using the dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)-modified acid-fast staining and a molecular method based on nested-PCR, PCR-RFLP analysis, and sequencing amplification of the SSU rRNA gene. DMSO-modified acid-fast staining revealed the presence of Cryptosporidium oocysts in 12 out of 165 (7.3%) samples, whereas PCR produced positive results in 40 (24.2%) samples. Molecular characterization indicated the presence of Cryptosporidium parvum (mouse genotype) as the most common species in 24 samples (60%) from 5 species of snake followed by Cryptosporidium serpentis in 9 samples (22.5%) from 2 species of snake and Cryptosporidium muris in 3 samples (7.5%) from P. regius.

  17. Snake-like phenomena in Tore Supra following pellet injection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pecquet, A.L.; Cristofani, P.; Mattioli, M.; Garbet, X.; Laurent, L.; Geraud, A.; Gil, C.; Joffrin, E.; Sabot, R.

    1996-01-01

    Snakes are observed in Tore-Supra, after injection of high velocity solid hydrogen or deuterium pellets ablated inside the q=1 surface. They are detected, immediately after the ablation, as oscillations on the line integrated densities of the central interferometer channels. The corresponding oscillations on the soft X-ray signals detach from the noise about 70 ms later. Snakes survive sawtooth crashes, but are nevertheless affected by them. Variations, during the about 500 ms long lifetime, of the snake radius τ s , of the rotation frequency and of the rotation direction are discussed, stressing the effects of the sawtooth crashes. In many snakes τ s /τ q =1 is of the order of 0.5. Since the snake has a m=1, n=1 helicity, this points out the existence of a flat or inverted safety factor profile, confirmed by calculation of the current profile using Spitzer's resistivity. Combined simulations of the snake oscillations on both interferometer and soft X-ray signals have indicated that, starting about 80 ms after the snake formation, the impurity (carbon) density inside the snake is much larger than outside it. Since a change of regime seems to appear about 80 ms after the snake formation on the soft X-ray, it seems plausible that impurity (carbon) accumulation takes place at this time. A stability criterion taking into account both impurity and bootstrap effects is presented, the result agrees with the model proposed by Wesson. (authors)

  18. New progress in snake mitochondrial gene rearrangement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Nian; Zhao, Shujin

    2009-08-01

    To further understand the evolution of snake mitochondrial genomes, the complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences were determined for representative species from two snake families: the Many-banded krait, the Banded krait, the Chinese cobra, the King cobra, the Hundred-pace viper, the Short-tailed mamushi, and the Chain viper. Thirteen protein-coding genes, 22-23 tRNA genes, 2 rRNA genes, and 2 control regions were identified in these mtDNAs. Duplication of the control region and translocation of the tRNAPro gene were two notable features of the snake mtDNAs. These results from the gene rearrangement comparisons confirm the correctness of traditional classification schemes and validate the utility of comparing complete mtDNA sequences for snake phylogeny reconstruction.

  19. Australian elapid snake envenomation in cats: Clinical priorities and approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcalees, Trudi J; Abraham, Linda A

    2017-11-01

    Practical relevance: No fewer than 140 species of terrestrial snakes reside in Australia, 92 of which possess venom glands. With the exception of the brown tree snake, the venom-producing snakes belong to the family Elapidae. The venom of a number of elapid species is more toxic than that of the Indian cobra and eastern diamondback rattle snake, which has earned Australia its reputation for being home to the world's most venomous snakes. Clinical challenges: The diagnosis of elapid snake envenomation is not always easy. Identification of Australian snakes is not straightforward and there are no pathognomonic clinical signs. In cats, diagnosis of envenomation is confounded by the fact that, in most cases, there is a delay in seeking veterinary attention, probably because snake encounters are not usually witnessed by owners, and also because of the tendency of cats to hide and seek seclusion when unwell. Although the administration of antivenom is associated with improved outcomes, the snake venom detection kit and antivenom are expensive and so their use may be precluded if there are financial constraints. Evidence base: In providing comprehensive guidance on the diagnosis and treatment of Australian elapid snake envenomation in cats, the authors of this review draw on the published veterinary, medical and toxicology literature, as well as their professional experience as specialists in medicine, and emergency medicine and critical care.

  20. Snake venom neutralization by Indian medicinal plants (Vitex negundo and Emblica officinalis) root extracts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alam, M I; Gomes, A

    2003-05-01

    The methanolic root extracts of Vitex negundo Linn. and Emblica officinalis Gaertn. were explored for the first time for antisnake venom activity. The plant (V. negundo and E. officinalis) extracts significantly antagonized the Vipera russellii and Naja kaouthia venom induced lethal activity both in in vitro and in vivo studies. V. russellii venom-induced haemorrhage, coagulant, defibrinogenating and inflammatory activity was significantly neutralized by both plant extracts. No precipitating bands were observed between the plant extract and snake venom. The above observations confirmed that the plant extracts possess potent snake venom neutralizing capacity and need further investigation.

  1. Antivenom Cross-Neutralization of the Venoms of Hydrophis schistosus and Hydrophis curtus, Two Common Sea Snakes in Malaysian Waters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Choo Hock Tan

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Sea snake envenomation is a serious occupational hazard in tropical waters. In Malaysia, the beaked sea snake (Hydrophis schistosus, formerly known as Enhydrina schistosa and the spine-bellied sea snake (Hydrophis curtus, formerly known as Lapemis curtus or Lapemis hardwickii are two commonly encountered species. Australian CSL sea snake antivenom is the definitive treatment for sea snake envenomation; it is unfortunately extremely costly locally and is not widely available or adequately stocked in local hospitals. This study investigated the cross-neutralizing potential of three regionally produced anti-cobra antivenoms against the venoms of Malaysian H. schistosus and H. curtus. All three antivenoms conferred paraspecific protection from sea snake venom lethality in mice, with potency increasing in the following order: Taiwan bivalent antivenom < Thai monocled cobra monovalent antivenom < Thai neuro polyvalent antivenom (NPAV. NPAV demonstrated cross-neutralizing potencies of 0.4 mg/vial for H. schistosus venom and 0.8 mg/vial for H. curtus, which translates to a dose of less than 20 vials of NPAV to neutralize an average amount of sea snake venom per bite (inferred from venom milking. The cross-neutralization activity was supported by ELISA cross-reactivity between NPAV and the venoms of H. schistosus (58.4% and H. curtus (70.4%. These findings revealed the potential of NPAV as a second-line treatment for sea snake envenomation in the region. Further profiling of the cross-neutralization activity should address the antivenomic basis using purified toxin-based assays.

  2. Venomous snakes of Costa Rica: biological and medical implications of their venom proteomic profiles analyzed through the strategy of snake venomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomonte, Bruno; Fernández, Julián; Sanz, Libia; Angulo, Yamileth; Sasa, Mahmood; Gutiérrez, José María; Calvete, Juan J

    2014-06-13

    In spite of its small territory of ~50,000km(2), Costa Rica harbors a remarkably rich biodiversity. Its herpetofauna includes 138 species of snakes, of which sixteen pit vipers (family Viperidae, subfamily Crotalinae), five coral snakes (family Elapidae, subfamily Elapinae), and one sea snake (Family Elapidae, subfamily Hydrophiinae) pose potential hazards to human and animal health. In recent years, knowledge on the composition of snake venoms has expanded dramatically thanks to the development of increasingly fast and sensitive analytical techniques in mass spectrometry and separation science applied to protein characterization. Among several analytical strategies to determine the overall protein/peptide composition of snake venoms, the methodology known as 'snake venomics' has proven particularly well suited and informative, by providing not only a catalog of protein types/families present in a venom, but also a semi-quantitative estimation of their relative abundances. Through a collaborative research initiative between Instituto de Biomedicina de Valencia (IBV) and Instituto Clodomiro Picado (ICP), this strategy has been applied to the study of venoms of Costa Rican snakes, aiming to obtain a deeper knowledge on their composition, geographic and ontogenic variations, relationships to taxonomy, correlation with toxic activities, and discovery of novel components. The proteomic profiles of venoms from sixteen out of the 22 species within the Viperidae and Elapidae families found in Costa Rica have been reported so far, and an integrative view of these studies is hereby presented. In line with other venomic projects by research groups focusing on a wide variety of snakes around the world, these studies contribute to a deeper understanding of the biochemical basis for the diverse toxic profiles evolved by venomous snakes. In addition, these studies provide opportunities to identify novel molecules of potential pharmacological interest. Furthermore, the

  3. Coral snake venoms: mode of action and pathophysiology of experimental envenomation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oswald Vital Brazil

    1987-06-01

    Full Text Available Coral snakes, the New World Elapidae, are included in the genera Micniroides and Micrurus. The genus Mlcrurus comprises nearly all coral snake species and those which are responsible for human snake-bite accidents. The following generalizations concerning the effects induced by their venoms, and their venom-properties can be made. Coral snake venoms are neurotoxic, producing loss of muscle strenght and death by respiratory paralysis. Local edema and necrosis are not induced nor blood coagulation or hemorrhages. Proteolysis activity is absent or of very low grade. They display phospholipase A2 activity. Nephrotoxic effects are not evoked. The main toxins from elapid venoms are postsynaptic and presynaptic neurotoxins and cardiotoxins. Phospholipases A2 endowed with myonecrotic or cardiotoxin-like properties are important toxic components from some elapid venoms. The mode of action of Micrurus frontalis, M. lemniscatus, M. corallinus and M. fulvius venoms has been investigated in isolated muscle preparations and is here discussed. It is shown that while M. frontalis and M. lemniscatus venoms must contain only neurotoxins that act at the cholinergic end-plate receptor (postsynaptic neurotoxins, M. corallinus venom also inhibits evoked acetylcholine release by the motor nerve endings (presynaptic neurotoxin-like effect and M. fulvius induces muscle fiber membrane depolarization (cardiotoxin-like effect. The effects produced by M. corallinus and M. fulvius venoms in vivo in dogs and M. frontalis venom in dogs and monkeys are also reported.

  4. Snake venom instability | Willemse | African Zoology

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Egyptian cobra Naja haje haje) and puffadder (Bills arietans). Considerable differences in electrophoretic characteristics were found between fresh venom and commercial venom samples from the same species of snake. These differences could be attributed partly to the instability of snake venom under conditions of drying ...

  5. An unusual complication of snake bite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Grace

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Anterior pituitary hypofunction is a well-known complication following snake bite. However, central diabetes insipidus as a complication of snake bite is only rarely reported in the literature. We are reporting a case of central diabetes insipidus, which developed as sequelae to viper bite.

  6. Comparison of Different Dosing Protocols of Anti-Snake Venom (ASV) in Snake Bite Cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daswani, B R; Chandanwale, A S; Kadam, D B; Ghongane, B B; Ghorpade, V S; Manu, H C

    2017-09-01

    Considering the cost of Anti-Snake Venom (ASV) and irregularity in its supply, there is often a need to curtail doses of ASV, despite guidelines for management of snake bite. During June 2013 to September 2013, when ASV was in short supply, our institutional committee reviewed the overall hospital statistics of snake bite cases as well as scientific literature and formulated a working modified protocol that used low dose of ASV in snake bite cases. To retrospectively analyse and compare the modified ASV protocol versus conventional ASV protocol with respect to outcome, number of ASV vials required, duration of stay in the hospital/ ICU, and additional supportive interventions needed. This was a retrospective study conducted at a tertiary care teaching hospital, Maharashtra, India. Hospital records of inpatients admitted for snake bite during June 2013 to September 2013 (since introduction of the modified protocol) as well as during June 2012 to September 2012, (when patients received conventional protocol-historical controls) were retrospectively analysed to assess the number of ASV vials received by the patients during the stay, need for supportive therapy, duration of stay and outcome of the patients. There was a significant reduction in average number of ASV vials per patient, required vide the modified protocol compared to their historical controls (10.74±0.95 vs 28.17±2.75 pcost of management of each patient reduced by approximately 11974.41 INR per treated patient, based on the requirement of ASV. The modified ASV protocol used in this study is more cost effective as compared to the conventional protocol, deserves prospective evaluation and may be followed at least during prime time of scarcity of ASV.

  7. Potentiation of aminoglycoside antibiotic activity using the body fat from the snake Boa constrictor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe S. Ferreira

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Boa constrictor is widely used in traditional communities in many different folk remedies and products derived from it are sold in public markets throughout northeastern Brazil and as its body fat has many different therapeutic indications as a folk remedy. The present work evaluates the antibacterial activity of the body fat from the snake Boa constrictor when employed either alone or in combination with antibiotics and discusses the ecological implications of the use of this traditional remedy. Oil (OBC was extracted from body fat located in the ventral region of B. constrictor using hexane as a solvent. The antibacterial activity of OBC was tested against standard as well as multi-resistant lines, either alone and in combination with antibiotics. OBC did not demonstrate any relevant antibacterial activity against standard or multidrug-resistant bacterial strains. OBC showed synergistic activity when combined with the aminoglycoside antibiotics. Our results indicate that the body fat of Boa constrictor does not possess bactericidal activity, from the clinical point of view, but when combined with an antibiotic, the fat demonstrated a significant synergistic activity.

  8. Potentiation of aminoglycoside antibiotic activity using the body fat from the snake Boa constrictor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe S. Ferreira

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Boa constrictor is widely used in traditional communities in many different folk remedies and products derived from it are sold in public markets throughout northeastern Brazil and as its body fat has many different therapeutic indications as a folk remedy. The present work evaluates the antibacterial activity of the body fat from the snake Boa constrictor when employed either alone or in combination with antibiotics and discusses the ecological implications of the use of this traditional remedy. Oil (OBC was extracted from body fat located in the ventral region of B. constrictor using hexane as a solvent. The antibacterial activity of OBC was tested against standard as well as multi-resistant lines, either alone and in combination with antibiotics. OBC did not demonstrate any relevant antibacterial activity against standard or multidrug-resistant bacterial strains. OBC showed synergistic activity when combined with the aminoglycoside antibiotics. Our results indicate that the body fat of Boa constrictor does not possess bactericidal activity, from the clinical point of view, but when combined with an antibiotic, the fat demonstrated a significant synergistic activity.

  9. Antipredatory reaction of the leopard gecko Eublepharis macularius to snake predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landová, Eva; Musilová, Veronika; Polák, Jakub; Sedláčková, Kristýna; Frynta, Daniel

    2016-10-01

    Ability to recognize a risk of predation and react with adaptive antipredatory behavior can enhance fitness, but has some costs as well. Animals can either specifically react on the most dangerous predators (threat-sensitive avoidance) or they have safe but costly general wariness avoiding all potential predators. The level of threat may depend on the predator's foraging ecology and distribution with the prey with sympatric and specialist species being the most dangerous. We used 2 choice trials to investigate antipredatory behavior of captive born and wild-caught leopard geckos confronted with different snake predators from 2 families (Colubridae, Boidae) varying in foraging ecology and sympatric/allopatric distribution with the geckos. Predator-naïve subadult individuals have general wariness, explore both chemically and visually, and perform antipredatory postures toward a majority of snake predators regardless of their sympatry/allopatry or food specialization. The most exaggerated antipredatory postures in both subadult and adult geckos were toward 2 sympatric snake species, the spotted whip snake Hemorrhois ravergieri , an active forager, and the red sand boa Eryx johnii , a subterranean snake with a sit-and-wait strategy. In contrast, also subterranean but allopatric the Kenyan sand boa Eryx colubrinus did not elicit any antipredatory reaction. We conclude that the leopard gecko possesses an innate general antipredatory reaction to different species of snake predators, while a specific reaction to 2 particular sympatric species can be observed. Moreover, adult wild caught geckos show lower reactivity compared with the captive born ones, presumably due to an experience of a real predation event that can hardly be simulated under laboratory conditions.

  10. Snakes as hazards: modelling risk by chasing chimpanzees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGrew, William C

    2015-04-01

    Snakes are presumed to be hazards to primates, including humans, by the snake detection hypothesis (Isbell in J Hum Evol 51:1-35, 2006; Isbell, The fruit, the tree, and the serpent. Why we see so well, 2009). Quantitative, systematic data to test this idea are lacking for the behavioural ecology of living great apes and human foragers. An alternative proxy is snakes encountered by primatologists seeking, tracking, and observing wild chimpanzees. We present 4 years of such data from Mt. Assirik, Senegal. We encountered 14 species of snakes a total of 142 times. Almost two-thirds of encounters were with venomous snakes. Encounters occurred most often in forest and least often in grassland, and more often in the dry season. The hypothesis seems to be supported, if frequency of encounter reflects selective risk of morbidity or mortality.

  11. EVOLUTION. A four-legged snake from the Early Cretaceous of Gondwana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martill, David M; Tischlinger, Helmut; Longrich, Nicholas R

    2015-07-24

    Snakes are a remarkably diverse and successful group today, but their evolutionary origins are obscure. The discovery of snakes with two legs has shed light on the transition from lizards to snakes, but no snake has been described with four limbs, and the ecology of early snakes is poorly known. We describe a four-limbed snake from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian) Crato Formation of Brazil. The snake has a serpentiform body plan with an elongate trunk, short tail, and large ventral scales suggesting characteristic serpentine locomotion, yet retains small prehensile limbs. Skull and body proportions as well as reduced neural spines indicate fossorial adaptation, suggesting that snakes evolved from burrowing rather than marine ancestors. Hooked teeth, an intramandibular joint, a flexible spine capable of constricting prey, and the presence of vertebrate remains in the guts indicate that this species preyed on vertebrates and that snakes made the transition to carnivory early in their history. The structure of the limbs suggests that they were adapted for grasping, either to seize prey or as claspers during mating. Together with a diverse fauna of basal snakes from the Cretaceous of South America, Africa, and India, this snake suggests that crown Serpentes originated in Gondwana. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  12. Snake bites

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... number if someone has been bitten by a snake. If possible, call ahead to the emergency room so that antivenom can be ready when the person arrives. Your local poison center can be reached directly by calling the ...

  13. Drawing Contour Trees in the Plane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heine, C; Schneider, D; Carr, Hamish; Scheuermann, G

    2011-11-01

    The contour tree compactly describes scalar field topology. From the viewpoint of graph drawing, it is a tree with attributes at vertices and optionally on edges. Standard tree drawing algorithms emphasize structural properties of the tree and neglect the attributes. Applying known techniques to convey this information proves hard and sometimes even impossible. We present several adaptions of popular graph drawing approaches to the problem of contour tree drawing and evaluate them. We identify five esthetic criteria for drawing contour trees and present a novel algorithm for drawing contour trees in the plane that satisfies four of these criteria. Our implementation is fast and effective for contour tree sizes usually used in interactive systems (around 100 branches) and also produces readable pictures for larger trees, as is shown for an 800 branch example.

  14. Visualizing Contour Trees within Histograms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kraus, Martin

    2010-01-01

    Many of the topological features of the isosurfaces of a scalar volume field can be compactly represented by its contour tree. Unfortunately, the contour trees of most real-world volume data sets are too complex to be visualized by dot-and-line diagrams. Therefore, we propose a new visualization...... that is suitable for large contour trees and efficiently conveys the topological structure of the most important isosurface components. This visualization is integrated into a histogram of the volume data; thus, it offers strictly more information than a traditional histogram. We present algorithms...... to automatically compute the graph layout and to calculate appropriate approximations of the contour tree and the surface area of the relevant isosurface components. The benefits of this new visualization are demonstrated with the help of several publicly available volume data sets....

  15. The Influence of Sex and Season on Conspecific Spatial Overlap in a Large, Actively-Foraging Colubrid Snake.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javan M Bauder

    Full Text Available Understanding the factors influencing the degree of spatial overlap among conspecifics is important for understanding multiple ecological processes. Compared to terrestrial carnivores, relatively little is known about the factors influencing conspecific spatial overlap in snakes, although across snake taxa there appears to be substantial variation in conspecific spatial overlap. In this study, we described conspecific spatial overlap of eastern indigo snakes (Drymarchon couperi in peninsular Florida and examined how conspecific spatial overlap varied by sex and season (breeding season vs. non-breeding season. We calculated multiple indices of spatial overlap using 6- and 3-month utilization distributions (UD of dyads of simultaneously adjacent telemetered snakes. We also measured conspecific UD density values at each telemetry fix and modeled the distribution of those values as a function of overlap type, sex, and season using generalized Pareto distributions. Home range overlap between males and females was significantly greater than overlap between individuals of the same sex and male home ranges often completely contained female home ranges. Male home ranges overlapped little during both seasons, whereas females had higher levels of overlap during the non-breeding season. The spatial patterns observed in our study are consistent with those seen in many mammalian carnivores, in which low male-male overlap and high inter-sexual overlap provides males with greater access to females. We encourage additional research on the influence of prey availability on conspecific spatial overlap in snakes as well as the behavioral mechanisms responsible for maintaining the low levels of overlap we observed.

  16. Short telomeres in hatchling snakes: erythrocyte telomere dynamics and longevity in tropical pythons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beata Ujvari

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Telomere length (TL has been found to be associated with life span in birds and humans. However, other studies have demonstrated that TL does not affect survival among old humans. Furthermore, replicative senescence has been shown to be induced by changes in the protected status of the telomeres rather than the loss of TL. In the present study we explore whether age- and sex-specific telomere dynamics affect life span in a long-lived snake, the water python (Liasis fuscus. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Erythrocyte TL was measured using the Telo TAGGG TL Assay Kit (Roche. In contrast to other vertebrates, TL of hatchling pythons was significantly shorter than that of older snakes. However, during their first year of life hatchling TL increased substantially. While TL of older snakes decreased with age, we did not observe any correlation between TL and age in cross-sectional sampling. In older snakes, female TL was longer than that of males. When using recapture as a proxy for survival, our results do not support that longer telomeres resulted in an increased water python survival/longevity. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In fish high telomerase activity has been observed in somatic cells exhibiting high proliferation rates. Hatchling pythons show similar high somatic cell proliferation rates. Thus, the increase in TL of this group may have been caused by increased telomerase activity. In older humans female TL is longer than that of males. This has been suggested to be caused by high estrogen levels that stimulate increased telomerase activity. Thus, high estrogen levels may also have caused the longer telomeres in female pythons. The lack of correlation between TL and age among old snakes and the fact that longer telomeres did not appear to affect python survival do not support that erythrocyte telomere dynamics has a major impact on water python longevity.

  17. Short telomeres in hatchling snakes: erythrocyte telomere dynamics and longevity in tropical pythons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ujvari, Beata; Madsen, Thomas

    2009-10-16

    Telomere length (TL) has been found to be associated with life span in birds and humans. However, other studies have demonstrated that TL does not affect survival among old humans. Furthermore, replicative senescence has been shown to be induced by changes in the protected status of the telomeres rather than the loss of TL. In the present study we explore whether age- and sex-specific telomere dynamics affect life span in a long-lived snake, the water python (Liasis fuscus). Erythrocyte TL was measured using the Telo TAGGG TL Assay Kit (Roche). In contrast to other vertebrates, TL of hatchling pythons was significantly shorter than that of older snakes. However, during their first year of life hatchling TL increased substantially. While TL of older snakes decreased with age, we did not observe any correlation between TL and age in cross-sectional sampling. In older snakes, female TL was longer than that of males. When using recapture as a proxy for survival, our results do not support that longer telomeres resulted in an increased water python survival/longevity. In fish high telomerase activity has been observed in somatic cells exhibiting high proliferation rates. Hatchling pythons show similar high somatic cell proliferation rates. Thus, the increase in TL of this group may have been caused by increased telomerase activity. In older humans female TL is longer than that of males. This has been suggested to be caused by high estrogen levels that stimulate increased telomerase activity. Thus, high estrogen levels may also have caused the longer telomeres in female pythons. The lack of correlation between TL and age among old snakes and the fact that longer telomeres did not appear to affect python survival do not support that erythrocyte telomere dynamics has a major impact on water python longevity.

  18. Adiabatic partial Siberian snake turn-on with no beam depolarization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Phelps, R.A.; Anferov, V.A.; Chu, C.M.; Courant, E.D.; Crandell, D.A.; Derbenev, Y.S.; Kaufman, W.A.; Koulsha, A.V.; Krisch, A.D.; Nurushev, T.S.; Raczkowksi, D.B.; Sund, S.E.; Wong, V.K.; Caussyn, D.D.; Ellison, T.J.P.; Lee, S.Y.; Sperisen, F.; Stephenson, E.J.; von Przewoski, B.; Baiod, R.; Khiari, F.Z.; Ratner, L.G.; Sato, H.

    1994-01-01

    A recent experiment in the IUCF cooler ring studied the adiabatic turn-on of a partial Siberian snake at 370 MeV, where the spin tune, ν s is 21/2 for all snake strengths. The snake consisted of two rampable warm solenoid magnets in series with a superconducting solenoid; this combination allowed varying the snake strength between about 0 and 25% at 370 MeV. We measured the beam polaraization after varying the snake either 1, 2, or 10 times; we found with good precision that no polarization was lost. This supports the conjecture that a Siberian snake can be ramped adiabatically at an energy where the spin tune is a half integer

  19. Orientation-crowding within contours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glen, James C; Dakin, Steven C

    2013-07-15

    We examined how crowding (the breakdown of object recognition in the periphery caused by interference from "clutter") depends on the global arrangement of target and distracting flanker elements. Specifically we probed orientation discrimination using a near-vertical target Gabor flanked by two vertical distractor Gabors (one above and one below the target). By applying variable (opposite-sign) horizontal offsets to the positions of the two flankers we arranged the elements so that on some trials they formed contours with the target and on others they did not. While the presence of flankers generally elevated orientation discrimination thresholds for the target we observe maximal crowding not when flanker and targets were co-aligned but when a small spatial offset was applied to flanker location, so that contours formed between flanker and targets only when the target orientation was cued. We also report that observers' orientation judgments are biased, with target orientation appearing either attracted or repulsed by the global/contour orientation. A second experiment reveals that the sign of this effect is dependent both on observer and on eccentricity. In general, the magnitude of repulsion is reduced with eccentricity but whether this becomes attraction (of element orientation to contour orientation) is dependent on observer. We note however that across observers and eccentricities, the magnitude of repulsion correlates positively with the amount of release from crowding observed with co-aligned targets and flankers, supporting the notion of fluctuating bias as the basis for elevated crowding within contours.

  20. Neutralization of toxicological activities of medically-relevant Bothrops snake venoms and relevant toxins by two polyvalent bothropic antivenoms produced in Peru and Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estevao-Costa, Maria I; Gontijo, Silea S; Correia, Barbara L; Yarleque, Armando; Vivas-Ruiz, Dan; Rodrigues, Edith; Chávez-Olortegui, Carlos; Oliveira, Luciana S; Sanchez, Eladio F

    2016-11-01

    Snakebite envenoming is a neglected public pathology, affecting especially rural communities or isolated areas of tropical and subtropical Latin American countries. The parenteral administration of antivenom is the mainstay and the only validated treatment of snake bite envenoming. Here, we assess the efficacy of polyspecific anti-Bothrops serum (α-BS) produced in the Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS, Peru) and at the Fundação Ezequiel Dias (FUNED, Brazil), to neutralize the main toxic activities induced by five medically-relevant venoms of: Bothrops atrox, B. barnetti, and B. pictus from Peru, and the Brazilian B. jararaca and B. leucurus, all of them inhabiting different geographical locations. Protein electrophoretic patterns of these venoms showed significant differences in composition, number and intensity of bands. Another goal was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of lyophilized α-BS developed at INS to neutralize the detrimental effects of these venoms using in vivo and in vitro assays. The availability of lyophilized α-BS has relevant significance in its distribution to distant rural communities where the access to antivenom in health facilities is more difficult. Despite the fact that different antigen mixtures were used for immunization during antivenom production, our data showed high toxin-neutralizing activity of α-BS raised against Bothrops venoms. Moreover, the antivenom cross-reacted even against venoms not included in the immunization mixture. Furthermore, we have evaluated the efficacy of both α-BS to neutralize key toxic compounds belonging to the predominant protein families of Bothrops snakes. Most significantly, both α-BS cross-specifically neutralized the main toxicological activities e.g. lethality and hemorrhage induced by these venoms. Thus, our data indicate that both α-BS are equally effective to treat snake bite victims inflicted by Bothrops snakes particularly B. atrox, responsible for the largest numbers of human

  1. Isolation of bothrasperin, a disintegrin with potent platelet aggregation inhibitory activity, from the venom of the snake Bothrops asper

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pinto, A.; Angulo, Y.; Jimenez, R.; Lomonte, B.

    2003-01-01

    The venom of Bothrops asper induces severe coagulation disturbances in accidentally envenomed humans. However, only few studies have been conducted to identify components that interact with the hemostatic system in this venom. In the present work, we fractionated B. asper venom in order to investigate the possible presence of inhibitors of platelet aggregation. Using a combination of gel filtration, anion-exchange chromatography, and reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography, we isolated an acidic protein which shows a single chain composition, with a molecular mass of ∼8 kDa, estimated by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Its N-terminal sequence has high similarity to disintegrins isolated from different snake venoms, which are known to bind to cellular integrins such as the GPIIb/IIIa fibrinogen receptor on platelets. The purified protein exerted potent aggregation inhibitory activity on ADP-stimulated human platelets in vitro, with an estimated IC 50 of 50 nM. This biological activity, together with the biochemical characteristics observed, demonstrate that the protein isolated from B. asper venom is a disintegrin, hereby named bothrasperin. This is the first disintegrin isolated from Central American viperid snake species. (Author)

  2. Finding the neck-trunk boundary in snakes: anteroposterior dissociation of myological characteristics in snakes and its implications for their neck and trunk body regionalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuihiji, Takanobu; Kearney, Maureen; Rieppel, Olivier

    2012-09-01

    The neck and trunk regionalization of the presacral musculoskeletal system in snakes and other limb-reduced squamates was assessed based on observations on craniovertebral and body wall muscles. It was confirmed that myological features characterizing the neck in quadrupedal squamates (i.e., squamates with well-developed limbs) are retained in all examined snakes, contradicting the complete lack of the neck in snakes hypothesized in previous studies. However, the posterior-most origins of the craniovertebral muscles and the anterior-most bony attachments of the body wall muscles that are located at around the neck-trunk boundary in quadrupedal squamates were found to be dissociated anteroposteriorly in snakes. Together with results of a recent study that the anterior expression boundaries of Hox genes coinciding with the neck-trunk boundary in quadrupedal amniotes were dissociated anteroposteriorly in a colubrid snake, these observations support the hypothesis that structures usually associated with the neck-trunk boundary in quadrupedal squamates are displaced relative to one another in snakes. Whereas certain craniovertebral muscles are elongated in some snakes, results of optimization on an ophidian cladogram show that the most recent common ancestor of extant snakes would have had the longest craniovertebral muscle, M. rectus capitis anterior, that is elongated only by several segments compared with that of quadrupedal squamates. Therefore, even such a posteriorly displaced "cervical" characteristic plesiomorphically lies fairly anteriorly in the greatly elongated precloacal region of snakes, suggesting that the trunk, not the neck, would have contributed most to the elongation of the snake precloacal region. A similar dissociation of structures usually associated with the neck-trunk boundary in quadrupedal squamates is observed in limb-reduced squamates, suggesting that these forms and snakes may share a developmental mechanism producing modifications in the

  3. Optimization of AGS Polarized Proton Operation with the Warm Helical Snake

    CERN Document Server

    Takano, Junpei; Bai, Mei; Brown, Kevin A; Gardner, Chris J; Glenn, Joseph; Hattori, Toshiyuki; Huang, Haixin; Luccio, Alfredo U; MacKay, William W; Okamura, Masahiro; Roser, Thomas; Tepikian, Steven; Tsoupas, Nicholaos

    2005-01-01

    A normal conducting helical dipole partial Siberian snake (Warm Snake) has been installed in the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) for overcoming all of imperfection depolarizing resonances and reducing the transverse coupling resonances caused by the solenoidal Siberian snake which had been operated in AGS before the last polarized run. The polarized proton beam has been accelerated successfully with the warm snake and the polarization at extraction of the AGS was increased to 50% as opposed to 40% with the solenoidal snake. The magnetic field and beam trajectory in the warm snake was calculated by using the OPERA-3D/TOSCA software. We present optimization of the warm snake with beam during RUN5.

  4. Emerging fungal pathogen Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in wild European snakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklinos, Lydia H. V.; Lorch, Jeffrey M.; Bohuski, Elizabeth A.; Rodriguez-Ramos Fernandez, Julia; Wright, Owen; Fitzpatrick, Liam; Petrovan, Silviu; Durrant, Chris; Linton, Chris; Baláž, Vojtech; Cunningham, Andrew A; Lawson, Becki

    2017-01-01

    Snake fungal disease (SFD) is an emerging disease of conservation concern in eastern North America. Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, the causative agent of SFD, has been isolated from over 30 species of wild snakes from six families in North America. Whilst O. ophiodiicola has been isolated from captive snakes outside North America, the pathogen has not been reported from wild snakes elsewhere. We screened 33 carcasses and 303 moulted skins from wild snakes collected from 2010–2016 in Great Britain and the Czech Republic for the presence of macroscopic skin lesions and O. ophiodiicola. The fungus was detected using real-time PCR in 26 (8.6%) specimens across the period of collection. Follow up culture and histopathologic analyses confirmed that both O. ophiodiicola and SFD occur in wild European snakes. Although skin lesions were mild in most cases, in some snakes they were severe and were considered likely to have contributed to mortality. Culture characterisations demonstrated that European isolates grew more slowly than those from the United States, and phylogenetic analyses indicated that isolates from European wild snakes reside in a clade distinct from the North American isolates examined. These genetic and phenotypic differences indicate that the European isolates represent novel strains of O. ophiodiicola. Further work is required to understand the individual and population level impact of this pathogen in Europe.

  5. North American snake and scorpion envenomations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilbeck, Jennifer; Gresham, Chip

    2013-06-01

    Envenomations by snakes and scorpions in North America, although uncommon, do occur, and the victims may seek medical treatment. Combined, snake and scorpion encounters result in more than 25,000 calls a year to poison centers. Although some similarities exist with respect to general signs of envenomation and treatment, specific nuances distinguish the medical care to be anticipated and therapies available. Regardless of geographic practice area, exposures will occur that may result in a significant envenomation. This article provides critical care nurses with fundamental knowledge of varied snake and scorpion envenomation presentations and treatments to assist in optimizing patient outcomes. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Oxygenation properties and isoform diversity of snake hemoglobins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storz, Jay F; Natarajan, Chandrasekhar; Moriyama, Hideaki; Hoffmann, Federico G; Wang, Tobias; Fago, Angela; Malte, Hans; Overgaard, Johannes; Weber, Roy E

    2015-11-01

    Available data suggest that snake hemoglobins (Hbs) are characterized by a combination of unusual structural and functional properties relative to the Hbs of other amniote vertebrates, including oxygenation-linked tetramer-dimer dissociation. However, standardized comparative data are lacking for snake Hbs, and the Hb isoform composition of snake red blood cells has not been systematically characterized. Here we present the results of an integrated analysis of snake Hbs and the underlying α- and β-type globin genes to characterize 1) Hb isoform composition of definitive erythrocytes, and 2) the oxygenation properties of isolated isoforms as well as composite hemolysates. We used species from three families as subjects for experimental studies of Hb function: South American rattlesnake, Crotalus durissus (Viperidae); Indian python, Python molurus (Pythonidae); and yellow-bellied sea snake, Pelamis platura (Elapidae). We analyzed allosteric properties of snake Hbs in terms of the Monod-Wyman-Changeux model and Adair four-step thermodynamic model. Hbs from each of the three species exhibited high intrinsic O2 affinities, low cooperativities, small Bohr factors in the absence of phosphates, and high sensitivities to ATP. Oxygenation properties of the snake Hbs could be explained entirely by allosteric transitions in the quaternary structure of intact tetramers, suggesting that ligation-dependent dissociation of Hb tetramers into αβ-dimers is not a universal feature of snake Hbs. Surprisingly, the major Hb isoform of the South American rattlesnake is homologous to the minor HbD of other amniotes and, contrary to the pattern of Hb isoform differentiation in birds and turtles, exhibits a lower O2 affinity than the HbA isoform. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  7. 33 CFR 117.385 - Snake River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Snake River. 117.385 Section 117.385 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY BRIDGES DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS Specific Requirements Idaho § 117.385 Snake River. The drawspan of the U.S. 12 bridge...

  8. Trophic specialization drives morphological evolution in sea snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherratt, Emma; Rasmussen, Arne R; Sanders, Kate L

    2018-03-01

    Viviparous sea snakes are the most rapidly speciating reptiles known, yet the ecological factors underlying this radiation are poorly understood. Here, we reconstructed dated trees for 75% of sea snake species and quantified body shape (forebody relative to hindbody girth), maximum body length and trophic diversity to examine how dietary specialization has influenced morphological diversification in this rapid radiation. We show that sea snake body shape and size are strongly correlated with the proportion of burrowing prey in the diet. Specialist predators of burrowing eels have convergently evolved a 'microcephalic' morphotype with dramatically reduced forebody relative to hindbody girth and intermediate body length. By comparison, snakes that predominantly feed on burrowing gobies are generally short-bodied and small-headed, but there is no evidence of convergent evolution. The eel specialists also exhibit faster rates of size and shape evolution compared to all other sea snakes, including those that feed on gobies. Our results suggest that trophic specialization to particular burrowing prey (eels) has invoked strong selective pressures that manifest as predictable and rapid morphological changes. Further studies are needed to examine the genetic and developmental mechanisms underlying these dramatic morphological changes and assess their role in sea snake speciation.

  9. Snakes mimic earthworms: propulsion using rectilinear travelling waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marvi, Hamidreza; Bridges, Jacob; Hu, David L.

    2013-01-01

    In rectilinear locomotion, snakes propel themselves using unidirectional travelling waves of muscular contraction, in a style similar to earthworms. In this combined experimental and theoretical study, we film rectilinear locomotion of three species of snakes, including red-tailed boa constrictors, Dumeril's boas and Gaboon vipers. The kinematics of a snake's extension–contraction travelling wave are characterized by wave frequency, amplitude and speed. We find wave frequency increases with increasing body size, an opposite trend than that for legged animals. We predict body speed with 73–97% accuracy using a mathematical model of a one-dimensional n-linked crawler that uses friction as the dominant propulsive force. We apply our model to show snakes have optimal wave frequencies: higher values increase Froude number causing the snake to slip; smaller values decrease thrust and so body speed. Other choices of kinematic variables, such as wave amplitude, are suboptimal and appear to be limited by anatomical constraints. Our model also shows that local body lifting increases a snake's speed by 31 per cent, demonstrating that rectilinear locomotion benefits from vertical motion similar to walking. PMID:23635494

  10. A transitional snake from the Late Cretaceous period of North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longrich, Nicholas R; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2012-08-09

    Snakes are the most diverse group of lizards, but their origins and early evolution remain poorly understood owing to a lack of transitional forms. Several major issues remain outstanding, such as whether snakes originated in a marine or terrestrial environment and how their unique feeding mechanism evolved. The Cretaceous Coniophis precedens was among the first Mesozoic snakes discovered, but until now only an isolated vertebra has been described and it has therefore been overlooked in discussions of snake evolution. Here we report on previously undescribed material from this ancient snake, including the maxilla, dentary and additional vertebrae. Coniophis is not an anilioid as previously thought a revised phylogenetic analysis of Ophidia shows that it instead represents the most primitive known snake. Accordingly, its morphology and ecology are critical to understanding snake evolution. Coniophis occurs in a continental floodplain environment, consistent with a terrestrial rather than a marine origin; furthermore, its small size and reduced neural spines indicate fossorial habits, suggesting that snakes evolved from burrowing lizards. The skull is intermediate between that of lizards and snakes. Hooked teeth and an intramandibular joint indicate that Coniophis fed on relatively large, soft-bodied prey. However, the maxilla is firmly united with the skull, indicating an akinetic rostrum. Coniophis therefore represents a transitional snake, combining a snake-like body and a lizard-like head. Subsequent to the evolution of a serpentine body and carnivory, snakes evolved a highly specialized, kinetic skull, which was followed by a major adaptive radiation in the Early Cretaceous period. This pattern suggests that the kinetic skull was a key innovation that permitted the diversification of snakes.

  11. Development of a contour meter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andrada C, F.A.; Sanz, D.E.

    2006-01-01

    The dosimetric calculation in patients that receive radiotherapy treatment it requires the one knowledge of the geometry of some anatomical portions, which differs from a patient to another. Making reference to the specific case of mammary neoplasia, one of the measurements that is carried out on the patient is the acquisition of the contour of the breast, which is determined from a point marked on the breastbone until another point marked on the lateral of the thorax, below the armpit, with the patient located in the irradiation position. This measurement is carried out with the help of a mechanical contour meter that is a device conformed by a series of wires with a polymeric coating, which support on the breast of the patient and it reproduces its form. Then it is transported in the more careful possible form on a paper and the contour is traced with a tracer one. The geometric error associated to this procedure is of ±1 cm, which is sensitive of being reduced. The present work finds its motivation in the patient's radiological protection radiotherapy. The maximum error in dose allowed in radiotherapeutic treatments is 5%. It would be increase the precision and with it to optimize the treatment received by the patient, reducing the error in the acquisition process of the mammary contour. With this objective, a digital device is designed whose operation is based in the application of a spatial transformation on a picture of the mammary contour, which corrects the geometric distortion introduced in the process of the photographic acquisition. An algorithm that allows to obtain a front image (without distortion) of the plane of the contour was developed. A software tool especially developed carries out the processing of the digital images. The maximum geometric error detected in the validation process is 2 mm located on a small portion of the contour. (Author)

  12. SNAKE VENOM INSTABILITY • Department of Physiology, Medical ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    It is generally accepted that the biological activities of snake venom dried in vacuum at room temperature remain unaltered (Christensen 1955). The possibility of an alteration in biochemical properties due to the method of drying has been demonstrated by Bjork &. Boman (1959), but this would not necessarily influence the ...

  13. Biochemical and biological characterization of Bothriechis schlegelii snake venoms from Colombia and Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prezotto-Neto, José P; Kimura, Louise F; Alves, André F; Gutiérrez, José María; Otero, Rafael; Suárez, Ana M; Santoro, Marcelo L; Barbaro, Katia C

    2016-12-01

    Snakebites inflicted by the arboreal viperid snake Bothriechis schlegelii in humans are characterized by pain, edema, and ecchymosis at the site of the bite, rarely with blisters, local necrosis, or defibrination. Herein, a comparative study of Bothriechis schlegelii snake venoms from Colombia (BsCo) and Costa Rica (BsCR) was carried out in order to compare their main activities and to verify the efficacy of Bothrops antivenom produced in Brazil to neutralize them. Biochemical (SDS-PAGE and zymography) and biological parameters (edematogenic, lethal, hemorrhagic, nociceptive, and phospholipase A 2 activities) induced by BsCo and BsCR snake venoms were evaluated. The presence of antibodies in Bothrops antivenom that recognize BsCo and BsCR snake venoms by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blotting, as well as the ability of this antivenom to neutralize the toxic activities were also verified. SDS-PAGE showed differences between venoms. Distinctive caseinolytic and hyaluronidase patterns were detected by zymography. BsCo and BsCR showed similar phospholipase A 2 activity. Strong cross-reactivity between BsCo and BsCR was detected using Bothrops antivenom with many components located between 150 and 35 kDa. BsCR was more edematogenic and almost fourfold more hemorrhagic than BsCo, and both venoms induced nociception. BsCR (LD 50 5.60 mg/kg) was more lethal to mice than BsCo (LD 50 9.24 mg/kg). Bothrops antivenom was effective in the neutralization of lethal and hemorrhagic activities of BsCo and BsCR and was partially effective in the neutralization of edematogenic and nociceptive activities. In conclusion, geographic distribution influences the composition and activities of Bothriechis schlegelii venoms. Bothrops antivenom cross-reacted with these venoms and was partially effective in neutralizing some toxic activities of BsCo and BsCR.

  14. The impact of snake bite on household economy in Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasan, S M K; Basher, A; Molla, A A; Sultana, N K; Faiz, M A

    2012-01-01

    The present study aims to assess the different types of costs for treatment of snake bite patients, to quantify household economic impact and to understand the coping mechanisms required to cover the costs for snake bite patients in Bangladesh. The patients admitted to four tertiary level hospitals in Bangladesh were interviewed using structured questionnaires including health-care-related expenditures and the way in which the expenditures were covered. Of the snakes which bit the patients, 54.2% were non-venomous, 45.8% were venomous and 42.2% of the patients were given polyvalent antivenom. The total expenditure related to snake bite varies from US$4 (US$1 = Taka 72) to US$2294 with a mean of US$124 and the mean income loss was US$93. Expenditure for venomous snake bite was US$231, which is about seven times higher than non-venomous snake bite (US$34). The treatment imposes a major economic burden on affected families, especially in venomous snake bite cases.

  15. Pine snake (Pituophis ruthveni and Pituophis mellanoleucus lodingi) hibernacula

    Science.gov (United States)

    D.C. Rudolph; R.R. Schaefer; S.J. Burgdorf; M. Duran; R.N. Conner

    2007-01-01

    Snakes are often highly selective in the choice of sites for hibernation, and suitable sites can potentially be a limiting resource. Hibernating Louisiana Pine Snakes (Pituopllis ruthveni; N = 7) in eastern Texas and Black Pine Snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus lodingi; N = 5) in Mississippi were excavated to characterize their...

  16. Mechanical diffraction in a sand-specialist snake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiebel, Perrin E.; Rieser, Jennifer M.; Hubbard, Alex M.; Chen, Lillian; Goldman, Daniel I.

    Limbless locomotors such as snakes move by pressing the trunk against terrain heterogeneities. Our laboratory studies of the desert-dwelling Mojave Shovel-nosed snake (C. occipitalis, 40cm long, N=9) reveal that these animals use a stereotyped sinusoidal traveling wave of curvature. However, this snake also encounters rigid obstacles in its natural environment, and the tradeoff between using a cyclic, shape controlled gait versus one which changes shape in response to the terrain is not well understood. We challenged individuals to move across a model deformable substrate (carpet) through a row of 6.4 mm diameter force-sensitive pegs, a model of obstacles such as grass, oriented perpendicular to the direction of motion. Instead of forward-directed reaction forces, reaction forces generated by the pegs were more often perpendicular to the direction of motion. Distributions of post-peg travel angles displayed preferred directions revealing a diffraction-like pattern with a central peak at zero and symmetric peaks at 193 ° and 415 °. We observed similar dynamics in a robotic snake using shape-based control. This suggests that this sand-specialist snake adheres to its preferred waveform as opposed to changing in response to heterogeneity.

  17. Testing the snake-detection hypothesis: larger early posterior negativity in humans to pictures of snakes than to pictures of other reptiles, spiders and slugs

    OpenAIRE

    Van Strien, Jan W.; Franken, Ingmar H. A.; Huijding, Jorg

    2014-01-01

    According to the snake detection hypothesis (Isbell, 2006), fear specifically of snakes may have pushed evolutionary changes in the primate visual system allowing pre-attentional visual detection of fearful stimuli. A previous study demonstrated that snake pictures, when compared to spiders or bird pictures, draw more early attention as reflected by larger early posterior negativity (EPN). Here we report two studies that further tested the snake detection hypothesis. In Study, 1 we tested whe...

  18. Rapid Radiations and the Race to Redundancy: An Investigation of the Evolution of Australian Elapid Snake Venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Koludarov, Ivan; Ali, Syed A.; Dobson, James; Zdenek, Christina N.; Dashevsky, Daniel; op den Brouw, Bianca; Masci, Paul P.; Nouwens, Amanda; Josh, Peter; Goldenberg, Jonathan; Cipriani, Vittoria; Hay, Chris; Hendrikx, Iwan; Dunstan, Nathan; Allen, Luke; Fry, Bryan G.

    2016-01-01

    Australia is the stronghold of the front-fanged venomous snake family Elapidae. The Australasian elapid snake radiation, which includes approximately 100 terrestrial species in Australia, as well as Melanesian species and all the world’s true sea snakes, may be less than 12 million years old. The incredible phenotypic and ecological diversity of the clade is matched by considerable diversity in venom composition. The clade’s evolutionary youth and dynamic evolution should make it of particular interest to toxinologists, however, the majority of species, which are small, typically inoffensive, and seldom encountered by non-herpetologists, have been almost completely neglected by researchers. The present study investigates the venom composition of 28 species proteomically, revealing several interesting trends in venom composition, and reports, for the first time in elapid snakes, the existence of an ontogenetic shift in the venom composition and activity of brown snakes (Pseudonaja sp.). Trends in venom composition are compared to the snakes’ feeding ecology and the paper concludes with an extended discussion of the selection pressures shaping the evolution of snake venom. PMID:27792190

  19. Non-equilibrium trajectory dynamics and the kinematics of gliding in a flying snake

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Socha, John J; Jafari, Farid; Miklasz, Kevin; Vlachos, Pavlos P

    2010-01-01

    Given sufficient space, it is possible for gliding animals to reach an equilibrium state with no net forces acting on the body. In contrast, every gliding trajectory must begin with a non-steady component, and the relative importance of this phase is not well understood. Of any terrestrial animal glider, snakes exhibit the greatest active movements, which may affect their trajectory dynamics. Our primary aim was to determine the characteristics of snake gliding during the transition to equilibrium, quantifying changes in velocity, acceleration, and body orientation in the late phase of a glide sequence. We launched 'flying' snakes (Chrysopelea paradisi) from a 15 m tower and recorded the mid-to-end portion of trajectories with four videocameras to reconstruct the snake's body position with mm to cm accuracy. Additionally, we developed a simple analytical model of gliding assuming only steady-state forces of lift, drag and weight acting on the body and used it to explore effects of wing loading, lift-to-drag ratio, and initial velocity on trajectory dynamics. Despite the vertical space provided to transition to steady-state gliding, snakes did not exhibit equilibrium gliding and in fact displayed a net positive acceleration in the vertical axis, an effect also predicted by the analytical model.

  20. Non-equilibrium trajectory dynamics and the kinematics of gliding in a flying snake

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Socha, John J; Jafari, Farid [Engineering Science and Mechanics, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061 (United States); Miklasz, Kevin [Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, CA 93950 (United States); Vlachos, Pavlos P, E-mail: jjsocha@vt.ed [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061 (United States)

    2010-12-15

    Given sufficient space, it is possible for gliding animals to reach an equilibrium state with no net forces acting on the body. In contrast, every gliding trajectory must begin with a non-steady component, and the relative importance of this phase is not well understood. Of any terrestrial animal glider, snakes exhibit the greatest active movements, which may affect their trajectory dynamics. Our primary aim was to determine the characteristics of snake gliding during the transition to equilibrium, quantifying changes in velocity, acceleration, and body orientation in the late phase of a glide sequence. We launched 'flying' snakes (Chrysopelea paradisi) from a 15 m tower and recorded the mid-to-end portion of trajectories with four videocameras to reconstruct the snake's body position with mm to cm accuracy. Additionally, we developed a simple analytical model of gliding assuming only steady-state forces of lift, drag and weight acting on the body and used it to explore effects of wing loading, lift-to-drag ratio, and initial velocity on trajectory dynamics. Despite the vertical space provided to transition to steady-state gliding, snakes did not exhibit equilibrium gliding and in fact displayed a net positive acceleration in the vertical axis, an effect also predicted by the analytical model.

  1. Reproductive strategies in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shine, Richard

    2003-05-22

    Snakes of both sexes display remarkable flexibility and diversity in their reproductive tactics. Many features of reproduction in female snakes (such as reproductive mode and frequency, seasonality and multiple mating) allow flexible maternal control. For example, females can manipulate not only the genotypes of their offspring (through mate choice or enhanced sperm competition) but also the phenotypes of their offspring (through allocation 'decisions', behavioural and physiological thermoregulation, and nest-site selection). Reliance on stored energy ('capital') to fuel breeding results in low frequencies of female reproduction and, in extreme cases, semelparity. A sophisticated vomeronasal system not only allows male snakes to locate reproductive females by following scent trails, but also facilitates pheromonally mediated mate choice by males. Male-male rivalry takes diverse forms, including female mimicry and mate guarding; combat bouts impose strong selection for large body size in males of some species. Intraspecific (geographical) variation and phenotypic plasticity in a wide array of reproductive traits (offspring size and number; reproductive frequency; incidence of multiple mating; male tactics such as mate guarding and combat; mate choice criteria) provide exceptional opportunities for future studies.

  2. Analysis, reconstruction and manipulation using arterial snakes

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Guo; Liu, Ligang; Zheng, Hanlin; Mitra, Niloy J.

    2010-01-01

    , and manipulating such arterial surfaces. The core of the algorithm is a novel deformable model, called arterial snake, that simultaneously captures the topology and geometry of the arterial objects. The recovered snakes produce a natural decomposition of the raw

  3. Diadophis Puntatus Puntatus (Southern Ring-neck Snake) Predation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotte, Steve W.

    2016-01-01

    DIADOPHIS PUNCTATUS PUNCTATUS (Southern Ring-necked Snake). PREDATION. Here I present the first record of Buteo lineatus (Red-shouldered Hawk) predator on a Diadophis p. punctatus. At ca. 1100h on l2 February2 013,I observed a B. lineatus eating a katydid in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary (26.2730'N, 81.6079"W;WGS 84), Collier Co., Florida, USA. The hawk was in a Pond Cypress tree on the edge of a small prairie bordered on one side by a cypress swamp and by pine woodland on the other. Immediately upon consuming the katydid, the hawk flew to the ground ca. 1.5 m from an elevated boardwalk to grab an adult D. punctatus. It then flew with the snake in its talons to a branch 3 m high ca. l0 m from the boardwalk. The hawk stretched and otherwise manipulated the struggling snake (Fig.1) before consuming the still moving snake. Although snakes are a well-known component of B. lineatus diet (Clark1 987A. Field Guide to the Hawks of North America. Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston, Massachusetts 198 pp.), I found only one literature reference to Red-shouldered Hawks eating Ring-neck Snakes (Fisher 1893.Hawks and Owls of the United States in their Relation to Agriculture. U.S. Dept. Agric., Div Ornith. Mamm. Bull. 3). That specimen was from Canton, New York (taken 26 Oct IBBB) and would be a D. p. edwardisii (Northern Ring-necked Snake), while the snake reported on here is a Diadophis p. punctatus (USNM Herp Image 2847a -c). Based on evidence presented by Fontanella et al. (2008. Mol. Phylogenet Evol.46:1049-1070), D. p. edwardisii and D. p. punctatus are likely different species.

  4. A Method for Denoising Image Contours

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ovidiu COSMA

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The edge detection techniques have to compromise between sensitivity and noise. In order for the main contours to be uninterrupted, the level of sensitivity has to be raised, which however has the negative effect of producing a multitude of insignificant contours (noise. This article proposes a method of removing this noise, which acts directly on the binary representation of the image contours.

  5. Snake River Sockeye Salmon Habitat and Limnological Research : 2008 Annual Progress Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kohler, Andre E. [Shoshone-Bannock Tribes; Griswold, Robert G. [Biolines Environmental Consulting; Taki, Doug [Shoshone-Bannock Tribes

    2009-07-31

    In March 1990, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to list Snake River sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) as endangered. Snake River sockeye salmon were officially listed as endangered in November 1991 under the Endangered Species Act (56 FR 58619). In 1991, the Snake River Sockeye Salmon Habitat and Limnological Research Project was implemented. This project is part of an interagency effort to prevent the extinction of the Redfish Lake stock of Snake River sockeye salmon. The Shoshone-Bannock Tribal goal for this project is two tiered: the immediate goal is to increase the population of Snake River sockeye salmon while preserving the unique genetic characteristics of the evolutionarily significant unit (ESU). The Tribes long term goal is to maintain a viable population that warrants delisting and provides Tribal harvest opportunities. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) provides funding for this interagency Recovery effort. Collaborators in the recovery effort include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), the University of Idaho (UI), and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes (SBT). This report summarizes activities conducted by Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Fisheries Department personnel during the 2008 calendar year. Project tasks include: (1) monitor limnological parameters of the Sawtooth Valley lakes to assess lake productivity; (2) conduct lake fertilization in Pettit and Alturas lakes; (3) reduce the number of mature kokanee salmon spawning in Alturas Lake Creek; (4) monitor, enumerate, and evaluate sockeye salmon smolt migration from Pettit and Alturas lakes; (5) monitor spawning kokanee salmon escapement and estimate fry recruitment in Fishhook and Alturas Lake creeks; (6) conduct sockeye and kokanee salmon population surveys; (7) evaluate potential competition and predation between stocked juvenile sockeye salmon and a variety of fish species in

  6. Snake fungal disease caused by Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in a free-ranging mud snake (Farancia abacura).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Last, Lisa A; Fenton, Heather; Gonyor-McGuire, Jessica; Moore, Matthew; Yabsley, Michael J

    2016-11-01

    Snake fungal disease is an emerging infectious disease caused by the fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola leading to severe dermatitis and facial disfiguration in numerous free-ranging and captive snakes. A free-ranging mud snake (Farancia abacura) from Bulloch County, Georgia, was presented for autopsy because of facial swelling and emaciation. Extensive ulceration of the skin, which was especially severe on the head, and retained shed were noted on external examination. Microscopic examination revealed severe heterophilic dermatitis with intralesional fungal hyphae and arthroconidia consistent with O. ophiodiicola A skin sample incubated on Sabouraud dextrose agar yielded a white-to-tan powdery fungal culture that was confirmed to be O. ophiodiicola by polymerase chain reaction and sequence analysis. Heavy infestation with adult tapeworms (Ophiotaenia faranciae) was present within the intestine. Various bacterial and fungal species, interpreted to either be secondary invaders or postmortem contaminants, were associated with oral lesions. Although the role of these other organisms in the overall health of this individual is not known, factors such as concurrent infections or immunosuppression should be considered in order to better understand the overall manifestation of snake fungal disease, which remains poorly characterized in its host range and geographic distribution. © 2016 The Author(s).

  7. Chronobiology of reproduction in garter snakes: neuroendocrine mechanisms and geographic variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutterschmidt, Deborah I

    2012-05-01

    The majority of studies on reproductive neuroendocrinology in snakes have focused on one particular snake population in Manitoba, Canada, the red-sided garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis). Although traditionally these studies have emphasized its unusual temporal dissociation between mating behavior and peak gonadal activity, current evidence suggests that reproductive regulation in this population may be more similar to the norm than previously thought. Like other ectotherms, temperature plays a critical role in activating reproductive behavior in red-sided garter snakes. Diel melatonin and corticosterone rhythms appear to be important in transducing temperature cues, and it is clear that both hormones regulate courtship behavior during spring. Current evidence also suggests that sex steroid hormones are in fact central to reproductive regulation in males, although the timing of their action occurs during winter dormancy. Whether this is also true for female T. sirtalis parietalis requires further study, but it should be noted that patterns of sex steroid hormones are sexually dimorphic during winter dormancy, as are melatonin rhythms during spring emergence. While continuing to advance our understanding of reproductive regulation in this extremely well-studied population is prudent, future comparative studies are critical for understanding if and how reproductive regulatory mechanisms differ across environments, populations, and phylogenies. For example, melatonin and corticosterone responses to environmental cues vary significantly among populations of T. sirtalis in a common garden, as do male courtship behavior and androgen concentrations. These data support the hypothesis that neuroendocrine-mediated responses to environmental cues underlie phenotypic plasticity in reproductive life history traits. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Snake fungal disease in North America: U.S. Geological Survey updates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Noelle E.; Lankau, Emily W.; Moede Rogall, Gail

    2018-01-12

    Snake fungal disease (SFD) results from a skin infection that has been documented only in snakes. Historically, reports of snakes with skin infections of unknown origin have been sporadic. Recently, the number of reported cases of skin infections in snakes has increased substantially. This emerging infectious disease, confirmed in numerous species of snakes, is caused by the fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola. As of August 2017, O. ophiodiicola has been detected in at least 23 States and one Canadian Province. However, researchers suspect that SFD may be more widely distributed than these documented cases suggest, because efforts to monitor the health of many snake populations are limited. Snake fungal disease may also be underreported in populations where it affects snakes infrequently or in species that develop less severe illness. Signs of SFD include crusted or ulcerated scales, nodules (that is, abnormal bumps) under the skin, and facial disfiguration that can be quite severe, leading to emaciation and death. Many snake populations are already in decline due to habitat loss and dwindling prey populations, and the recent emergence of SFD may accelerate this decline, causing certain species to disappear entirely from some locations.

  9. Testing the Snake-Detection hypothesis : Larger early posterior negativity in humans to pictures of snakes than to pictures of other reptiles, spiders and slugs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Strien, Jan W.; Franken, Ingmar H A; Huijding, Jorg

    2014-01-01

    According to the snake detection hypothesis (Isbell, 2006), fear specifically of snakes may have pushed evolutionary changes in the primate visual system allowing pre-attentional visual detection of fearful stimuli. A previous study demonstrated that snake pictures, when compared to spiders or bird

  10. Pharmacokinetics of Snake Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suchaya Sanhajariya

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Understanding snake venom pharmacokinetics is essential for developing risk assessment strategies and determining the optimal dose and timing of antivenom required to bind all venom in snakebite patients. This review aims to explore the current knowledge of snake venom pharmacokinetics in animals and humans. Literature searches were conducted using EMBASE (1974–present and Medline (1946–present. For animals, 12 out of 520 initially identified studies met the inclusion criteria. In general, the disposition of snake venom was described by a two-compartment model consisting of a rapid distribution phase and a slow elimination phase, with half-lives of 5 to 48 min and 0.8 to 28 h, respectively, following rapid intravenous injection of the venoms or toxins. When the venoms or toxins were administered intramuscularly or subcutaneously, an initial absorption phase and slow elimination phase were observed. The bioavailability of venoms or toxins ranged from 4 to 81.5% following intramuscular administration and 60% following subcutaneous administration. The volume of distribution and the clearance varied between snake species. For humans, 24 out of 666 initially identified publications contained sufficient information and timed venom concentrations in the absence of antivenom therapy for data extraction. The data were extracted and modelled in NONMEM. A one-compartment model provided the best fit, with an elimination half-life of 9.71 ± 1.29 h. It is intended that the quantitative information provided in this review will provide a useful basis for future studies that address the pharmacokinetics of snakebite in humans.

  11. Fasting for 21days leads to changes in adipose tissue and liver physiology in juvenile checkered garter snakes (Thamnophis marcianus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Mary; Jessee, Renee; Close, Matthew; Fu, Xiangping; Settlage, Robert; Wang, Guoqing; Cline, Mark A; Gilbert, Elizabeth R

    2015-12-01

    Snakes often undergo periods of prolonged fasting and, under certain conditions, can survive years without food. Despite this unique phenomenon, there are relatively few reports of the physiological adaptations to fasting in snakes. At post-prandial day 1 (fed) or 21 (fasting), brain, liver, and adipose tissues were collected from juvenile checkered garter snakes (Thamnophis marcianus). There was greater glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (G3PDH)-specific activity in the liver of fasted than fed snakes (P=0.01). The mRNA abundance of various fat metabolism-associated factors was measured in brain, liver, and adipose tissue. Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) mRNA was greater in fasted than fed snakes in the brain (P=0.04). Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL; P=0.006) mRNA was greater in the liver of fasted than fed snakes. In adipose tissue, expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)γ (P=0.01), and fatty acid binding protein 4 (P=0.03) was greater in fed than fasted snakes. Analysis of adipocyte morphology revealed that cross-sectional area (P=0.095) and diameter (P=0.27) were not significantly different between fed and fasted snakes. Results suggest that mean adipocyte area can be preserved during fasting by dampening lipid biosynthesis while not changing rates of lipid hydrolysis. In the liver, however, extensive lipid remodeling may provide energy and lipoproteins to maintain lipid structural integrity during energy restriction. Because the duration of fasting was not sufficient to change adipocyte size, results suggest that the liver is important as a short-term provider of energy in the snake. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Development of a CONTOUR-METER

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andrada Contardi, F.A.

    2004-01-01

    Dose calculation in patients undergoing radiotherapy treatments requires the knowledge of their anatomical geometry.Making reference to the specific case of breast cancer, one of the measurement that are made on the patients is the acquisition of the breast's contour, determined in an axial plane from a point marked on the breastbone until another point marked on the thorax side under the armpit.This measurement is normally made with a mechanic contour-meter: a device formed by a series of plastic-covered wires designed to be applied on the patient's skin copying the breast contour after it deformation.The geometrical error associated with this procedure is ± 1 cm. The precision of the dose calculation could be increased acquiring a breast contour more accurate.This objective was achieved developing a method based on breast images from a digital camera.The algorithms to obtain an axial-plane image of the contour from digital photographs taken from arbitrary positions were developed.A geometric transformation is applied to the photograph to correct for perspective distortions, obtaining a frontal - undistorted image (axial-plane image).A software tool to make all the image processing was developed under MatLab.The maximum geometrical error detected during the validation of the process was 2 mm [es

  13. Molecular analysis of the diets of snakes: changes in prey exploitation during development of the rare smooth snake Coronella austriaca.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, David S; Ebenezer, Katie L; Symondson, William O C

    2014-08-01

    Reptiles are declining in many parts of the world, mainly due to habitat loss and environmental change. A major factor in this is availability of suitable food. For many animals, dietary requirements shift during developmental stages and a habitat will only be suitable for conserving a species if it supports all stages. Conventional methods for establishing diet often rely on visual recognition of morphologically identifiable features of prey in faeces, regurgitation or stomach contents, which suffer from biases and poor resolution of taxa. DNA-based techniques facilitate noninvasive analysis of diet from faeces without these constraints. We tested the hypothesis that diet changes during growth stages of smooth snakes (Coronella austriaca), which have a highly restricted distribution in the UK but are widespread in continental Europe. Small numbers of the sympatric grass snake (Natrix natrix) were analysed for comparison. Faecal samples were collected from snakes and prey DNA analysed using PCR, targeting amphibians, reptiles, mammals and invertebrates. Over 85% of smooth snakes were found to have eaten reptiles and 28% had eaten mammals. Predation on mammals increased with age and was entirely absent among juveniles and subadults. Predation on reptiles did not change ontogenetically. Smooth snakes may, therefore, be restricted to areas of sufficiently high reptile densities to support young snakes. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Partial Purification and Characterization of Anticoagulant Factor from the Snake (Echis Carinatus) Venom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amrollahi Byoki, Elham; Zare Mirakabadi, Abbas

    2013-01-01

    Objective(s): Snake venoms contain complex mixture of proteins with biological activities. Some of these proteins affect blood coagulation and platelet function in different ways. Snake venom toxin may serve as a starting material for drug design to combat several pathophysiological problems such as cardiovascular disorders. In the present study, purification of anticoagulation factor from venom of snake (Echis carinatus) was studied. Materials and Methods: Anticoagulation activity of crude venom, fractions and purified peptide were determined by using prothrombin time (PT) and thrombin time (TT). Three fractions were partially purified from the venom of E. Carinatus by gel filtration on sephadex G-75 and final purification was performed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with C18 column. A purified anticoagulant factor was derived which showed a single protein band in SDS-PAGE electrophoresis under reducing condition. Results: Results of PT and TT tests for purified peptide (EC217) were found to be 102±4.242 and < 5 min. respectively. Determination of molecular weight revealed that the active purified peptide (EC217) was about 30 KD. Conclusion: The present study showed that the venom of E. carinatus contains at least one anticoagulant factor. PMID:24494065

  15. Partial Purification and Characterization of Anticoagulant Factor from the Snake (Echis carinatus Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elham Amrollahi Byoki

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available   Objective(s: Snake venoms contain complex mixture of proteins with biological activities. Some of these proteins affect blood coagulation and platelet function in different ways. Snake venom toxin may serve as a starting material for drug design to combat several pathophysiological problems such as cardiovascular disorders. In the present study, purification of anticoagulation factor from venom of snake (Echis carinatus was studied. Anticoagulation activity of crude venom, fractions and purified peptide were determined by using prothrombin time (PT and thrombin time (TT. Three fractions were partially purified from the venom of E. Carinatus by gel filtration on sephadex G-75 and final purification was performed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC with C18 column. A purified anticoagulant factor was derived which showed a single protein band in SDS-PAGE electrophoresis under reducing condition. Results of PT and TT tests for purified peptide (EC217 were found to be 102±4.242 and < 5 min. respectively. Determination of molecular weight revealed that the active purified peptide (EC217 was about 30 KD. In conclusion, the present study showed that the venom of E. carinatus contains at least one anticoagulant factor.

  16. Snake and staff symbolism in healing | Retief | Acta Theologica

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Since time immemorial the snake has been venerated as an enigmatic creature with supernatural powers. As a snake and staff symbol it is also traditionally associated with the healing arts, either as the single-snake attribute of Asclepius, or as the doublesnake attribute of Hermes. In this article the mythological basis for this ...

  17. Addiction to Snake Venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Saibal; Barnwal, Preeti; Maiti, Tanay; Ramasamy, Anand; Mondal, Somnath; Babu, Dinesh

    2017-07-03

    The nature of addiction depends on various factors. The tendency to have already used several addictive substances and to seek high sensation experiences as a result of specific personality traits may lead to extreme and peculiar forms of addictions. Even belonging to specific social and cultural background may lead to such forms of addiction such as intentional snake bite and willful envenomation. In this article, we have discussed the peculiarities and practical insight of such addiction to snake venom. The possible molecular mechanism behind such venom-mediated reinforcement has also been highlighted. Finally, we have stressed upon the treatment and de-addiction measures.

  18. Black Bear Reactions to Venomous and Non-venomous Snakes in Eastern North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Lynn L; Mansfield, Susan A; Hornby, Kathleen; Hornby, Stewart; Debruyn, Terry D; Mize, Malvin; Clark, Rulon; Burghardt, Gordon M

    2014-01-01

    Bears are often considered ecological equivalents of large primates, but the latter often respond with fear, avoidance, and alarm calls to snakes, both venomous and non-venomous, there is sparse information on how bears respond to snakes. We videotaped or directly observed natural encounters between black bears (Ursus americanus) and snakes. Inside the range of venomous snakes in Arkansas and West Virginia, adolescent and adult black bears reacted fearfully in seven of seven encounters upon becoming aware of venomous and non-venomous snakes; but in northern Michigan and Minnesota where venomous snakes have been absent for millennia, black bears showed little or no fear in four encounters with non-venomous snakes of three species. The possible roles of experience and evolution in bear reactions to snakes and vice versa are discussed. In all areas studied, black bears had difficulty to recognize non-moving snakes by smell or sight. Bears did not react until snakes moved in 11 of 12 encounters with non-moving timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) and four species of harmless snakes. However, in additional tests in this study, bears were repulsed by garter snakes that had excreted pungent anal exudates, which may help explain the absence of snakes, both venomous and harmless, in bear diets reported to date. PMID:25635152

  19. Association Between Fear and Beauty Evaluation of Snakes: Cross-Cultural Findings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landová, Eva; Bakhshaliyeva, Natavan; Janovcová, Markéta; Peléšková, Šárka; Suleymanova, Mesma; Polák, Jakub; Guliev, Akif; Frynta, Daniel

    2018-01-01

    According to the fear module theory, humans are evolutionarily predisposed to perceive snakes as prioritized stimuli and exhibit a fast emotional and behavioral response toward them. In Europe, highly dangerous snake species are distributed almost exclusively in the Mediterranean and Caspian areas. While the risk of a snakebite is relatively low in Central Europe, Azerbaijan, on the other hand, has a high occurrence of the deadly venomous Levant viper (Macrovipera lebetina). We hypothesize that co-habitation with this dangerous snake has shaped the way in which humans evaluate snake species resembling it. For that purpose, we asked respondents from the Czech Republic and Azerbaijan to rank photographs depicting 36 snake species according to perceived fear and beauty. The results revealed a high cross-cultural agreement in both evaluations (fear r2 = 0.683, p < 0.0001; beauty: r2 = 0.816, p < 0.0001). Snakes species eliciting higher fear tend to be also perceived as more beautiful, yet people are able to clearly distinguish between these two dimensions. Deadly venomous snakes representing a serious risk are perceived as highly fearful. This is especially true for the vipers and allies (pit vipers) possessing a characteristic body shape with a distinct triangular head and thick body, which was found as the most fear evoking by respondents from both countries. Although the attitude toward snakes is more negative among the respondents from Azerbaijan, their fear evaluation is similar to the Czechs. For instance, despite co-habitation with the Levant viper, it was not rated by the Azerbaijanis as more fearful than other dangerous snakes. In conclusion, agreement in the evaluation of snake fear and beauty is cross-culturally high and relative fear attributed to selected snake species is not directly explainable by the current environmental and cultural differences. This may provide some support for the evolutionary hypothesis of preparedness to fear snakes. PMID:29615942

  20. Partial hepatectomy in a Plains garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis radix with biliary cystadenoma: case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zdeněk Knotek

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available A four-year-old, captive-bred, female Plains garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis radix was presented with a large midbody distension (5 cm × 3 cm × 3 cm in the second third of the body length (total body length 123 cm. Contrast radiography technique excluded an envolvement of the oesophagus or stomach. Aspiration of 8 ml of acellular straw coloured fluid negative for presence of bacteria, fungi or parasites, reduced the swelling to a third of its original size. Surgical exploration revealed a pathologically changed central part of the liver with multiple different sized cysts. Histopathologically the diagnosis was defined as biliary cystadenoma. As the liver had a physiological appearance cranial and caudal to the central area, a partial hepatectomy was performed. The snake recovered well and started to feed spontaneously two days after surgery. During the check up two, four and seven months after hepatectomy, the snake was active and in a good condition. Hypoproteinaemia and altered activity of lactate dehydrogenase were present two months after surgery, azurophilia and hyperuricaemia were present in the blood sampled four months after hepatectomy. Except for azurophilia, the other values of the blood profile were within the expected range for a healthy snake seven months after surgery, indicating full recovery. This is the first detailed report of a successful central resection of a large pathologically changed part of the liver in snakes which was diagnosed as biliary cystadenoma.

  1. Contours - MO 2012 Greene County 5ft Contours (SHP)

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC State | GIS Inventory — 5ft cartographic contour file for Greene County, Missouri. This file was created using the elevation data from the 2011 LiDAR flight. It includes indexes for 10, 25,...

  2. Differential contribution of early visual areas to the perceptual process of contour processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schira, Mark M; Fahle, Manfred; Donner, Tobias H; Kraft, Antje; Brandt, Stephan A

    2004-04-01

    We investigated contour processing and figure-ground detection within human retinotopic areas using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 6 healthy and naïve subjects. A figure (6 degrees side length) was created by a 2nd-order texture contour. An independent and demanding foveal letter-discrimination task prevented subjects from noticing this more peripheral contour stimulus. The contour subdivided our stimulus into a figure and a ground. Using localizers and retinotopic mapping stimuli we were able to subdivide each early visual area into 3 eccentricity regions corresponding to 1) the central figure, 2) the area along the contour, and 3) the background. In these subregions we investigated the hemodynamic responses to our stimuli and compared responses with or without the contour defining the figure. No contour-related blood oxygenation level-dependent modulation in early visual areas V1, V3, VP, and MT+ was found. Significant signal modulation in the contour subregions of V2v, V2d, V3a, and LO occurred. This activation pattern was different from comparable studies, which might be attributable to the letter-discrimination task reducing confounding attentional modulation. In V3a, but not in any other retinotopic area, signal modulation corresponding to the central figure could be detected. Such contextual modulation will be discussed in light of the recurrent processing hypothesis and the role of visual awareness.

  3. NEOPLASIA IN SNAKES AT ZOO ATLANTA DURING 1992-2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page-Karjian, Annie; Hahne, Megan; Leach, Kate; Murphy, Hayley; Lock, Brad; Rivera, Samuel

    2017-06-01

    A retrospective study was conducted to review neoplasia of captive snakes in the Zoo Atlanta collection from 1992 to 2012. Of 255 snakes that underwent necropsy and histopathologic examination at Zoo Atlanta during the study period, 37 were observed with neoplasia at necropsy. In those 37 snakes, 42 neoplastic lesions of 18 primary cell types were diagnosed. Thirty-five of those neoplasms (83.3%) were malignant, and of those, 19 were of mesenchymal origin, whereas 14 were of epithelial origin. The median annual rate of neoplasia at necropsy was 12.5% (interquartile range = 2.8-19.5%) over the 21-yr study period. The mean estimated age at death for snakes with neoplasia was 13.2 yr (range, 1-24 yr). Investigating the incidence and clinical significance of neoplasia in captive snakes is vital for developing effective preventative and treatment regimes.

  4. Common Cutaneous Bacteria Isolated from Snakes Inhibit Growth of Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Aubree J; Leys, Jacob E; Bryan, Danny; Erdman, Fantasia M; Malone, Katherine S; Russell, Gabrielle N; Applegate, Roger D; Fenton, Heather; Niedringhaus, Kevin; Miller, Andrew N; Allender, Matthew C; Walker, Donald M

    2018-03-01

    There is increasing concern regarding potential impacts of snake fungal disease (SFD), caused by Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola (Oo), on free-ranging snake populations in the eastern USA. The snake cutaneous microbiome likely serves as the first line of defense against Oo and other pathogens; however, little is known about microbial associations in snakes. The objective of this study was to better define the composition and immune function of the snake cutaneous microbiome. Eight timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) and four black racers (Coluber constrictor) were captured in Arkansas and Tennessee, with some snakes exhibiting signs of SFD. Oo was detected through real-time qPCR in five snakes. Additional histopathological techniques confirmed a diagnosis of SFD in one racer, the species' first confirmed case of SFD in Tennessee. Fifty-eight bacterial and five fungal strains were isolated from skin swabs and identified with Sanger sequencing. Non-metric multidimensional scaling and PERMANOVA analyses indicated that the culturable microbiome does not differ between snake species. Fifteen bacterial strains isolated from rattlesnakes and a single strain isolated from a racer inhibited growth of Oo in vitro. Results shed light on the culturable cutaneous microbiome of snakes and probiotic members that may play a role in fighting an emergent disease.

  5. Identification and comparative analysis of the epidermal differentiation complex in snakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brigit Holthaus, Karin; Mlitz, Veronika; Strasser, Bettina; Tschachler, Erwin; Alibardi, Lorenzo; Eckhart, Leopold

    2017-01-01

    The epidermis of snakes efficiently protects against dehydration and mechanical stress. However, only few proteins of the epidermal barrier to the environment have so far been identified in snakes. Here, we determined the organization of the Epidermal Differentiation Complex (EDC), a cluster of genes encoding protein constituents of cornified epidermal structures, in snakes and compared it to the EDCs of other squamates and non-squamate reptiles. The EDC of snakes displays shared synteny with that of the green anole lizard, including the presence of a cluster of corneous beta-protein (CBP)/beta-keratin genes. We found that a unique CBP comprising 4 putative beta-sheets and multiple cysteine-rich EDC proteins are conserved in all snakes and other squamates investigated. Comparative genomics of squamates suggests that the evolution of snakes was associated with a gene duplication generating two isoforms of the S100 fused-type protein, scaffoldin, the origin of distinct snake-specific EDC genes, and the loss of other genes that were present in the EDC of the last common ancestor of snakes and lizards. Taken together, our results provide new insights into the evolution of the skin in squamates and a basis for the characterization of the molecular composition of the epidermis in snakes. PMID:28345630

  6. Friction enhancement in concertina locomotion of snakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marvi, Hamidreza; Hu, David L.

    2012-01-01

    Narrow crevices are challenging terrain for most organisms and biomimetic robots. Snakes move through crevices using sequential folding and unfolding of their bodies in the manner of an accordion or concertina. In this combined experimental and theoretical investigation, we elucidate this effective means of moving through channels. We measure the frictional properties of corn snakes, their body kinematics and the transverse forces they apply to channels of varying width and inclination. To climb channels inclined at 60°, we find snakes use a combination of ingenious friction-enhancing techniques, including digging their ventral scales to double their frictional coefficient and pushing channel walls transversely with up to nine times body weight. Theoretical modelling of a one-dimensional n-linked crawler is used to calculate the transverse force factor of safety: we find snakes push up to four times more than required to prevent sliding backwards, presumably trading metabolic energy for an assurance of wall stability. PMID:22728386

  7. A test of reproductive power in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boback, Scott M; Guyer, Craig

    2008-05-01

    Reproductive power is a contentious concept among ecologists, and the model has been criticized on theoretical and empirical grounds. Despite these criticisms, the model has successfully predicted the modal (optimal) size in three large taxonomic groups and the shape of the body size distribution in two of these groups. We tested the reproductive power model on snakes, a group that differs markedly in physiology, foraging ecology, and body shape from the endothermic groups upon which the model was derived. Using detailed field data from the published literature, snake-specific constants associated with reproductive power were determined using allometric relationships of energy invested annually in egg production and population productivity. The resultant model accurately predicted the mode and left side of the size distribution for snakes but failed to predict the right side of that distribution. If the model correctly describes what is possible in snakes, observed size diversity is limited, especially in the largest size classes.

  8. Collinear facilitation and contour integration in autism: evidence for atypical visual integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jachim, Stephen; Warren, Paul A; McLoughlin, Niall; Gowen, Emma

    2015-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, atypical communication and a restricted repertoire of interests and activities. Altered sensory and perceptual experiences are also common, and a notable perceptual difference between individuals with ASD and controls is their superior performance in visual tasks where it may be beneficial to ignore global context. This superiority may be the result of atypical integrative processing. To explore this claim we investigated visual integration in adults with ASD (diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome) using two psychophysical tasks thought to rely on integrative processing-collinear facilitation and contour integration. We measured collinear facilitation at different flanker orientation offsets and contour integration for both open and closed contours. Our results indicate that compared to matched controls, ASD participants show (i) reduced collinear facilitation, despite equivalent performance without flankers; and (ii) less benefit from closed contours in contour integration. These results indicate weaker visuospatial integration in adults with ASD and suggest that further studies using these types of paradigms would provide knowledge on how contextual processing is altered in ASD.

  9. Collinear facilitation and contour integration in autism: evidence for atypical visual integration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen eJachim

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder (ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, atypical communication and a restricted repertoire of interests and activities. Altered sensory and perceptual experiences are also common, and a notable perceptual difference between individuals with ASD and controls is their superior performance in visual tasks where it may be beneficial to ignore global context. This superiority may be the result of atypical integrative processing. To explore this claim we investigated visual integration in adults with ASD (diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome using two psychophysical tasks thought to rely on integrative processing - collinear facilitation and contour integration. We measured collinear facilitation at different flanker orientation offsets and contour integration for both open and closed contours. Our results indicate that compared to matched controls, ASD participants show (i reduced collinear facilitation, despite equivalent performance without flankers and (ii less benefit from closed contours in contour integration. These results indicate weaker visuospatial integration in adults with ASD and suggest that further studies using these types of paradigms would provide knowledge on how contextual processing is altered in ASD.

  10. Pharmacological screening of plants recommended by folk medicine as anti-snake venom: I. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina M. Ruppelt

    1991-01-01

    Full Text Available We have observed that several plants used popularly as anti-snake venom show anti-inflammatory activity. From the list prepared by Rizzini, Mors and Pereira some species have been selected and tested for analgesic activity (number of contortions and anti-inflammatory activity (Evans blue dye diffusion - 1% solution according to Whittle's technique (intraperitoneal administration of 0.1 N-acetic acid 0.1 ml/10 g in mice. Previous oral administration of a 10% infusion (dry plant or 20% (fresh plant corresponding to 1 or 2 g/Kg of Apuleia leiocarpa, Casearia sylvestris, Brunfelsia uniflora, Chiococca brachiata, Cynara scolymus, Dorstenia brasiliensis, Elephantopus scaber, Marsypianthes chamaedrys, Mikania glomerata and Trianosperma tayuya demonstrated analgesic and/or anti-inflammatory activities of varied intensity

  11. The snakes and ladders of FM service excellence

    OpenAIRE

    Price, Ilfryn; Mccarroll, Patricia

    2015-01-01

    A report to accompany a workshop and gamification event at EFMC 2015 in Glasgow.\\ud \\ud Snakes and Ladders is an ancient Indian board game regarded today as a worldwide classic. The historic version had its root in morality lessons, where a player's progression up the board represented a life journey complicated by virtues (ladders) and vices (snakes). Our version brings back the morality element by associating each ladder and snake with enablers or barriers to service excellence in FM all id...

  12. Hibernation Site Philopatry in Northern Pine Snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus) in New Jersey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Joanna; Zappalorti, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Northern Pine Snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus) are one of the few snakes that spend the winter in underground hibernacula that they excavate. We report the use of hibernacula by Pine Snakes from 1986 to 2012 in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. We determined whether philopatry to a specific hibernaculum varied as a function of age, sex, and location of the hibernaculum. Three hibernacula were occupied nearly continuously for 27 yr by 1 to 27 snakes each year. With known-age snakes (N = 120), captured mainly as hatchlings and 2-yr-olds, we found that 23% were always philopatric. Philopatry was related to age of last capture, sex, and capture location. Philopatry was higher for 1) females compared with males, 2) snakes at two solitary hibernacula compared with a hibernaculum complex, and 3) snakes 6 yr old or younger, compared with older snakes. Of hatchlings found hibernating, 24% used the same hibernation site the next year, and 38% were located at year 4 or later. The number of snakes that always used the same hibernation site declined with the age of last capture. Snakes that entered hibernacula as hatchlings were found more often than those that entered as 2-yr-olds. For the seven snakes that were 14 yr or older, females were found 64– 86 % of the time, whereas males were found 15 to 50% of the time. Understanding the behavior and habitat requirements of snakes during different seasons is central to life-history analysis and for conserving viable populations. PMID:27011392

  13. Exogenous attention to fear: Differential behavioral and neural responses to snakes and spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, Sandra C; Kessel, Dominique; Hernández-Lorca, María; García-Rubio, María J; Rodrigues, Paulo; Gomes, Nuno; Carretié, Luis

    2017-05-01

    Research has consistently shown that threat stimuli automatically attract attention in order to activate the defensive response systems. Recent findings have provided evidence that snakes tuned the visual system of evolving primates for their astute detection, particularly under challenging perceptual conditions. The goal of the present study was to measure behavioral and electrophysiological indices of exogenous attention to snakes, compared with spiders - matched for rated fear levels but for which sources of natural selection are less well grounded, and to innocuous animals (birds), which were presented as distracters, while participants were engaged in a letter discrimination task. Duration of stimuli, consisting in a letter string and a concurrent distracter, was either presented for 180 or 360ms to explore if the stimulus duration was a modulating effect of snakes in capturing attention. Results showed a specific early (P1) exogenous attention-related brain potential with maximal amplitude to snakes in both durations, which was followed by an enhanced late attention-related potential (LPP) showing enhanced amplitudes to spiders, particularly under the longer exposure durations. These results suggest that exogenous attention to different classes of threat stimuli follows a gradual process, with the most evolutionary-driven stimulus, i.e., snakes, being more efficient at attracting early exogenous attention, thus more dependent on bottom-up processes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. A partial snake for the AGS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ratner, L.G.

    1990-01-01

    Based on snake experiments at the Indian University Cyclotron Facility and computer simulations at Brookhaven National Laboratory, as well as the conclusions of a BNL mini-workshop, we feel that a partial Siberian snake is a practical device for the AGS. It is anticipated that such a device could reduce the polarized beam tune-up time from 2--3 weeks to 2--3 days

  15. 75 FR 5803 - John Day/Snake Resource Advisory Council; Meetings

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-04

    ...] John Day/Snake Resource Advisory Council; Meetings AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Meeting Notice for the John Day/Snake Resource Advisory Council. SUMMARY: Pursuant to the Federal Land..., Bureau of Land Management (BLM) John Day/Snake Resource Advisory Council (JDSRAC) will meet as indicated...

  16. Fall Chinook Salmon Survival and Supplementation Studies in the Snake River and Lower Snake River Reservoirs, 1995 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Williams, John G.; Bjomn (Bjornn), Theodore C.

    1997-03-01

    In 1994, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service began a cooperative study to investigate migrational characteristics of subyearling fall chinook salmon in the Snake River. The primary study objectives were to (1) determine the feasibility of estimating detection and passage survival probabilities of natural and hatchery subyearling fall chinook salmon released in the Snake River (Chapter 1), (2) investigate relationships between detection and passage survival probabilities and travel time of subyearling fall chinook salmon and environmental influences such as flow volume and water temperature (Chapter 1), (3) monitor and evaluate dispersal of hatchery subyearling chinook salmon into nearshore rearing areas used by natural fish (Chapter 2), and (4) monitor and evaluate travel time to Lower Granite Dam, growth from release in the Snake River to recapture at Lower Granite Dam, ATPase levels of fish recaptured at Lower Granite Dam, and survival from release in the free-flowing Snake River to the tailrace of Lower Granite Dam (Chapter 2).

  17. Fall chinook salmon survival and supplementation studies in the Snake River and Lower Snake River reservoirs: Annual report 1995

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, John G.; Bjornn, Theodore C.

    1997-01-01

    In 1994, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service began a cooperative study to investigate migrational characteristics of subyearling fall chinook salmon in the Snake River. The primary study objectives were to (1) determine the feasibility of estimating detection and passage survival probabilities of natural and hatchery subyearling fall chinook salmon released in the Snake River (Chapter 1), (2) investigate relationships between detection and passage survival probabilities and travel time of subyearling fall chinook salmon and environmental influences such as flow volume and water temperature (Chapter 1), (3) monitor and evaluate dispersal of hatchery subyearling chinook salmon into nearshore rearing areas used by natural fish (Chapter 2), and (4) monitor and evaluate travel time to Lower Granite Dam, growth from release in the Snake River to recapture at Lower Granite Dam, ATPase levels of fish recaptured at Lower Granite Dam, and survival from release in the free-flowing Snake River to the tailrace of Lower Granite Dam (Chapter 2)

  18. Pathophysiological significance and therapeutic applications of snake venom protease inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakur, Rupamoni; Mukherjee, Ashis K

    2017-06-01

    Protease inhibitors are important constituents of snake venom and play important roles in the pathophysiology of snakebite. Recently, research on snake venom protease inhibitors has provided valuable information to decipher the molecular details of various biological processes and offer insight for the development of some therapeutically important molecules from snake venom. The process of blood coagulation and fibrinolysis, in addition to affecting platelet function, are well known as the major targets of several snake venom protease inhibitors. This review summarizes the structure-functional aspects of snake venom protease inhibitors that have been described to date. Because diverse biological functions have been demonstrated by protease inhibitors, a comparative overview of their pharmacological and pathophysiological properties is also highlighted. In addition, since most snake venom protease inhibitors are non-toxic on their own, this review evaluates the different roles of individual protease inhibitors that could lead to the identification of drug candidates and diagnostic molecules. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Integrating multiscale polar active contours and region growing for microcalcifications segmentation in mammography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arikidis, N S; Karahaliou, A; Skiadopoulos, S; Panagiotakis, G; Costaridou, L; Likaki, E

    2009-01-01

    Morphology of individual microcalcifications is an important clinical factor in microcalcification clusters diagnosis. Accurate segmentation remains a difficult task due to microcalcifications small size, low contrast, fuzzy nature and low distinguishability from surrounding tissue. A novel application of active rays (polar transformed active contours) on B-spline wavelet representation is employed, to provide initial estimates of microcalcification boundary. Then, a region growing method is used with pixel aggregation constrained by the microcalcification boundary estimates, to obtain the final microcalcification boundary. The method was tested on dataset of 49 microcalcification clusters (30 benign, 19 malignant), originating from the DDSM database. An observer study was conducted to evaluate segmentation accuracy of the proposed method, on a 5-point rating scale (from 5:excellent to 1:very poor). The average accuracy rating was 3.98±0.81 when multiscale active rays were combined to region growing and 2.93±0.92 when combined to linear polynomial fitting, while the difference in rating of segmentation accuracy was statistically significant (p < 0.05).

  20. Pipe-dependent ventral processing of Easter by Snake is the defining step in Drosophila embryo DV axis formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Yong Suk; Stevens, Leslie M; Stein, David

    2010-06-22

    The establishment of Drosophila embryonic dorsal-ventral (DV) polarity relies on serine proteolytic activity in the perivitelline space between the embryonic membrane and the eggshell. Gastrulation Defective cleaves and activates Snake, which processes and activates Easter, which cleaves Spätzle to form the activating ligand for the Toll receptor. Ventral restriction of ligand formation depends on the Pipe sulfotransferase, which is expressed in ventral cells of the follicular epithelium surrounding the developing oocyte. Pipe modifies components of the developing eggshell to produce a ventral cue embedded in the vitelline membrane. This ventral cue is believed to promote one or more of the proteolysis steps in the perivitelline space. By examining the processing of transgenic, tagged versions of the perivitelline proteins during DV patterning, we find that the proteolysis of Easter by Snake is the first Pipe-dependent step and therefore the key ventrally restricted event in the protease cascade. We also find that Snake and Easter associate together in a complex in both wild-type and pipe mutant-derived embryos. This observation suggests a mechanism in which the sulfated target of Pipe promotes a productive interaction between Snake and Easter, perhaps by facilitating conformational changes in a complex containing the two proteins. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Biochemical and biological characterization of Bothriechis schlegelii snake venoms from Colombia and Costa Rica

    OpenAIRE

    Prezotto-Neto, Jos�� P; Kimura, Louise F; Alves, Andr�� F; Guti��rrez, Jos�� Mar��a; Otero, Rafael; Su��rez, Ana M; Santoro, Marcelo L; Barbaro, Katia C

    2016-01-01

    Snakebites inflicted by the arboreal viperid snake Bothriechis schlegelii in humans are characterized by pain, edema, and ecchymosis at the site of the bite, rarely with blisters, local necrosis, or defibrination. Herein, a comparative study of Bothriechis schlegelii snake venoms from Colombia (BsCo) and Costa Rica (BsCR) was carried out in order to compare their main activities and to verify the efficacy of Bothrops antivenom produced in Brazil to neutralize them. Biochemical (SDS-PAGE and z...

  2. Toxin synergism in snake venoms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard

    2016-01-01

    Synergism between venom toxins exists for a range of snake species. Synergism can be derived from both intermolecular interactions and supramolecular interactions between venom components, and can be the result of toxins targeting the same protein, biochemical pathway or physiological process. Few...... simple systematic tools and methods for determining the presence of synergism exist, but include co-administration of venom components and assessment of Accumulated Toxicity Scores. A better understanding of how to investigate synergism in snake venoms may help unravel strategies for developing novel...

  3. The new conceptual design of snakes and spin rotators in RHIC

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, S.Y.; Courant, E.D.

    1990-01-01

    We discuss the generalized snake configurations, which offers either the advantages of shorter total snake length and smaller horizontal orbit displacement in the compact configuration or the dual functions of a snake and a 90 degree spin rotation for the helicity state. The generalized snake is then applied to the polarized proton collision in RHIC. The possible schemes of obtaining high luminosity are discussed

  4. ACCELERATION OF POLARIZED BEAMS USING MULTIPLE STRONG PARTIAL SIBERIAN SNAKES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    ROSER, T.; AHRENS, L.; BAI, M.

    2004-01-01

    Acceleration of polarized protons in the energy range of 5 to 25 GeV is particularly difficult since depolarizing spin resonances are strong enough to cause significant depolarization but full Siberian snakes cause intolerably large orbit excursions. Using a 20-30% partial Siberian snake both imperfection and intrinsic resonances can be overcome. Such a strong partial Siberian snake was designed for the Brookhaven AGS using a dual pitch helical superconducting dipole. Multiple strong partial snakes are also discussed for spin matching at beam injection and extraction

  5. The snake as the symbol of medicine, toxicology and toxinology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramoutsaki, I A; Haniotakis, S; Tsatsakis, A M

    2000-10-01

    We investigated the meaning and the roots of the snake's usage as a symbol of medicine, the medical profession, toxicology and toxinology by examining mythological, archeological data and a variety of texts from the ancient Greek world. The snake figure was associated with Asclepios, the ancient Greek God of medicine, and possessed benevolent properties. It was believed to be able to cure a patient or a wounded person just by touch. The snake is also connected with pharmacology and antisepsis, as snakes possess an antivenom against their own poison. The snake is related to sciences associated with poison and death, such as toxicology and toxinology, and it also implies a metaphysical idea. It is connected with the underworld, not only because it crawls on the ground, but because it can bring death, connecting the upper with the underground world. The ability of the snake to shed its skin has been associated with the circle of life, and the renaissance spirit also, ever since early Hellenic antiquity. Consequently, as a symbol of the modern medical profession, toxicology and toxinology, the snake twisted around a stick or the snake beside a pharmapeutic cup, which also implies the use of medicines or even poison, has its roots in the ancient Mediterranean area as proven by the archeological data combined with literary references. Its benevolent as well as its poisonous properties could be paralleled by the similar properties of medicines.

  6. Tolerance of Snakes to Hypergravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillywhite, H. B.; Ballard, R. E.; Hargens, A. R.

    1994-01-01

    Sensitivity of carotid blood flow to +Gz (head-to-tail) acceleration was studied in six species of snakes hypothesized to show varied adaptive cardiovascular responses to gravity. Blood flow in the proximal carotid artery was measured in 15 snakes before, during and following stepwise increments of +0.25Gz force produced on a 2.4 m diameter centrifuge. During centrifugation each snake was confined to a straight position within an individually- fitted acrylic tube with the head facing the center of rotation. We measured the centrifugal force at the tail of the snake in order to quantify the maximum intensity of force gradient promoting antero-posterior pooling of blood. Tolerance to increased gravity was quantified as the acceleration force at which carotid blood flow ceased. This parameter varied according to the gravitational adaptation of species defined by their ecology and behavior. At the extremes, carotid blood flow decreased in response to increasing gravity and approached zero near +1Gz in aquatic and ground-dwelling species, whereas in climbing species carotid flow was maintained at forces in excess of +2Gz. Surprisingly, tolerant (arboreal) species withstood hypergravic forces of +2 to +3 G. for periods up to 1 h without cessation of carotid blood flow or apparent loss of consciousness. Data suggest that relatively tight skin of the tolerant species provides a natural antigravity suit which is of prime importance in counteracting Gz stress on blood circulation.

  7. B-Spline Active Contour with Handling of Topology Changes for Fast Video Segmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederic Precioso

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with video segmentation for MPEG-4 and MPEG-7 applications. Region-based active contour is a powerful technique for segmentation. However most of these methods are implemented using level sets. Although level-set methods provide accurate segmentation, they suffer from large computational cost. We propose to use a regular B-spline parametric method to provide a fast and accurate segmentation. Our B-spline interpolation is based on a fixed number of points 2j depending on the level of the desired details. Through this spatial multiresolution approach, the computational cost of the segmentation is reduced. We introduce a length penalty. This results in improving both smoothness and accuracy. Then we show some experiments on real-video sequences.

  8. Medicinal plants used to treat Snake bite by Fulani Herdsmen in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dr. Ameen

    the use of village surrounding medicinal plants for the treatment of the snake bite. Recent efforts on ... treatment of snake bites. Information .... Snake venoms are complex mixture of enzymatic and .... treated, mode of diagnosis and medicinal.

  9. Pancreatic gross tumor volume contouring on computed tomography (CT) compared with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Results of an international contouring conference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, William A; Heerkens, Hanne D; Paulson, Eric S; Meijer, Gert J; Kotte, Alexis N; Knechtges, Paul; Parikh, Parag J; Bassetti, Michael F; Lee, Percy; Aitken, Katharine L; Palta, Manisha; Myrehaug, Sten; Koay, Eugene J; Portelance, Lorraine; Ben-Josef, Edgar; Erickson, Beth A

    Accurate identification of the gross tumor volume (GTV) in pancreatic adenocarcinoma is challenging. We sought to understand differences in GTV delineation using pancreatic computed tomography (CT) compared with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Twelve attending radiation oncologists were convened for an international contouring symposium. All participants had a clinical and research interest in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. CT and MRI scans from 3 pancreatic cases were used for contouring. CT and MRI GTVs were analyzed and compared. Interobserver variability was compared using Dice's similarity coefficient (DSC), Hausdorff distances, and Jaccard indices. Mann-Whitney tests were used to check for significant differences. Consensus contours on CT and MRI scans and constructed count maps were used to visualize the agreement. Agreement regarding the optimal method to determine GTV definition using MRI was reached. Six contour sets (3 from CT and 3 from MRI) were obtained and compared for each observer, totaling 72 contour sets. The mean volume of contours on CT was significantly larger at 57.48 mL compared with a mean of 45.76 mL on MRI, P = .011. The standard deviation obtained from the CT contours was significantly larger than the standard deviation from the MRI contours (P = .027). The mean DSC was 0.73 for the CT and 0.72 for the MRI (P = .889). The conformity index measurement was similar for CT and MRI (P = .58). Count maps were created to highlight differences in the contours from CT and MRI. Using MRI as a primary image set to define a pancreatic adenocarcinoma GTV resulted in smaller contours compared with CT. No differences in DSC or the conformity index were seen between MRI and CT. A stepwise method is recommended as an approach to contour a pancreatic GTV using MRI. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Radiation Oncology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. On a collection of Snakes from Dehli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lidth de Jeude, van Th.W.

    1890-01-01

    During his stay in Laboean (Delili, East-Sumatra) Dr. B. Hagen, to whom the Leyden Museum is indebted for large series of mammals, birds and insects, also collected a large number of snakes, the greater part of which were sent to our Museum. Dr. Hagen took a lively interest in snakes, and being

  11. A Review and Database of Snake Venom Proteomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tasoulis, Theo; Isbister, Geoffrey K

    2017-09-18

    Advances in the last decade combining transcriptomics with established proteomics methods have made possible rapid identification and quantification of protein families in snake venoms. Although over 100 studies have been published, the value of this information is increased when it is collated, allowing rapid assimilation and evaluation of evolutionary trends, geographical variation, and possible medical implications. This review brings together all compositional studies of snake venom proteomes published in the last decade. Compositional studies were identified for 132 snake species: 42 from 360 (12%) Elapidae (elapids), 20 from 101 (20%) Viperinae (true vipers), 65 from 239 (27%) Crotalinae (pit vipers), and five species of non-front-fanged snakes. Approximately 90% of their total venom composition consisted of eight protein families for elapids, 11 protein families for viperines and ten protein families for crotalines. There were four dominant protein families: phospholipase A₂s (the most common across all front-fanged snakes), metalloproteases, serine proteases and three-finger toxins. There were six secondary protein families: cysteine-rich secretory proteins, l-amino acid oxidases, kunitz peptides, C-type lectins/snaclecs, disintegrins and natriuretic peptides. Elapid venoms contained mostly three-finger toxins and phospholipase A₂s and viper venoms metalloproteases, phospholipase A₂s and serine proteases. Although 63 protein families were identified, more than half were present in <5% of snake species studied and always in low abundance. The importance of these minor component proteins remains unknown.

  12. Traditional use and perception of snakes by the Nahuas from Cuetzalan del Progreso, Puebla, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-López, Romina; Villegas, Alejandro; Pacheco-Coronel, Noé; Gómez-Álvarez, Graciela

    2017-01-21

    Indigenous cultures are the result of their adaptation to the natural surroundings, in such a way that, amongst their main features is a set of knowledge, technologies and strategies for the appropriation of nature. In Cuetzalan del Progreso, Puebla, Mexico snakes represent 71.1% of the total local herpetofauna; and in addition to this, different groups of Nahuas have shown to have information of their use of various snake species in many ways. This study was conducted to investigate the traditional uses of snakes in this cultural group. Formal and informal interviews were conducted with the inhabitants of the communities. During these interviews, 30 images of the different species of snakes present in the area were presented to the subjects, so that they would recognize them and reveal information about the knowledge they possess on them. A usage analysis was applied to each species considering the following categories: food purposes, medicinal, artisanal and magical-religious. Likewise, the frequency, the diversity and the value of use was estimated for these snakes. A total of 51 interviews were carried out. The individuals recognized 18 out of 30 images of snakes that were presented. The total of usage categories was five; we found that the magic-religious use was the most mentioned by 32 personas. Boa imperator and Antropoides nummifer were the species with the highest value of use. More than half of the interviewees mentioned killing snakes because they're poisonous and aggressive. In the magic-religious aspect the "Danza de los Negritos" is highlighted; this is a local festival, brought by Africans, and alludes to snakes. This study revealed that snakes are still very important for the culture in Cuetzalan del Progreso, finding that the magical-religious and the medicinal use stand out. On the other hand, the fear and misperception on the toxicity of snakes might represent a potential threat for their conservation. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out a

  13. Parasitic fauna of captive snakes in Tamilnadu, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nakulan Valsala Rajesh

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To study the parasitic fauna on serpentines under captive condition in zoological park of Tamilnadu, India. Methods: Fecal samples were collected from (n = 247 serpentines, Arignar Anna Zoological Park (n = 22, Vandalur, Tamilnadu, India and Snake Park (n = 27, Guindy, Tamilnadu, India and screened for endoparasites using sedimentation techniques. Ectoparasites were also reported in this study. Results: Coprological examination (n = 247 from captive snakes (n = 49 on random analysis revealed strongyles were predominant in Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur and Snake Park, Guindy, however the parasites were absent in king cobras (Ophiophagus hannah. Eggs of Capillaria sp. showed less predominance in Vandalur and Gunidy. Rat snakes [Ptyas mucosus (P. mucosus] showed higher prevalence of strongyle infection in Vandalur, and Russell’s viper (Daboia russelii showed higher prevalence in Guindy. Study on ectoparasites revealed Aponomma gerviasii ticks in P. mucosus, Indian cobras (Naja naja, king cobras (Ophiophagus hannah, reticulated pythons (Python reticulates and Indian rock pythons (Python molurus, among them, the most heavy infestation was documented in P. mucosus (n = 9. Conclusions: Confinement favour stress and dysecdysis in captive condition affect the health status of snakes in zoological park.

  14. The North-South divide in snake bite envenomation in India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vivek Chauhan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Snake bite envenomations are common in rural areas and the incidence peaks during monsoons in India. Prominent venomous species have been traditionally labeled as the ′big four′ that includes Cobra, Krait, Russel′s viper and Saw scaled viper. Systematic attempts for identification and classification of prevalent snakes in various states of India are missing till now and there is no concrete data on this aspect. The published literature however shows that some species of snakes are more prevalent in a particular region than the other parts of India e.g. Saw scaled vipers in Rajasthan. We reviewed the published literature from various parts of India and found that there is a North-South divide in the snake bite profile from India. Neurotoxic envenomations are significantly higher in North India compared to South India where Hematotoxic envenomations are prevalent. Russel′s viper causes local necrosis, gangrene and compartment syndrome. These manifestations have never been reported in North Indian snake bite profile in the published literature. Early morning neuroparalysis caused by Krait is a common problem in North India leading to high mortality after snake bite. This review presents supporting evidence for the North-South divide and proposes a way forward in formulation and revision of guidelines for snake bite in India.

  15. Gender differences in seasonal movement of dice snakes in Histria, southeastern Romania

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kärvemo, S.; Carlsson, M.; Tudor, M.; Sloboda, M.; Mihalca, A. D.; Ghira, I.; Bel, L.; Modrý, David

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 18, 20 September 2011 (2011), s. 245-254 ISSN 0934-6643 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Squamata * Natrix tessellata * dice snake * seasonal movements * activity patterns * sex ratio Subject RIV: EG - Zoology

  16. Identification of snake venom allergens by two-dimensional electrophoresis followed by immunoblotting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yujing; Yang, Liming; Yang, Haiwei; He, Shaoheng; Wei, Ji-Fu

    2017-01-01

    This allergic reaction to snake venom was described to occur in patients after recurrent exposure through bites in amateur and professional snake handlers, which might be underestimated and contribute to fatal snakebites in victim, independently from the toxicity of the venom itself. Few allergens were identified from snake venoms by normal SDS-PAGE, which cannot separate the snake venom completely. In the present study, we identified nine potential allergens by two-dimensional (2D) electrophoresis followed by immunoblotting (named as allergenomics) in Protobothrops mucrosquamatus venom. By multidimensional liquid chromatography-ion trap mass spectrometry (MDLC-ESI-LTQ-MS/MS) analysis, six allergens showed sequence similarity to snake venom serine proteinases. Other allergens showed sequence similarity to snake venom metalloproteinase. These allergic reactions to snake venom allergens might contribute to fatal snakebites in victim, independently. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Phylogeny, ecology, and heart position in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gartner, Gabriel E A; Hicks, James W; Manzani, Paulo R; Andrade, Denis V; Abe, Augusto S; Wang, Tobias; Secor, Stephen M; Garland, Theodore

    2010-01-01

    The cardiovascular system of all animals is affected by gravitational pressure gradients, the intensity of which varies according to organismic features, behavior, and habitat occupied. A previous nonphylogenetic analysis of heart position in snakes-which often assume vertical postures-found the heart located 15%-25% of total body length from the head in terrestrial and arboreal species but 25%-45% in aquatic species. It was hypothesized that a more anterior heart in arboreal species served to reduce the hydrostatic blood pressure when these animals adopt vertical postures during climbing, whereas an anterior heart position would not be needed in aquatic habitats, where the effects of gravity are less pronounced. We analyzed a new data set of 155 species from five major families of Alethinophidia (one of the two major branches of snakes, the other being blind snakes, Scolecophidia) using both conventional and phylogenetically based statistical methods. General linear models regressing log(10) snout-heart position on log(10) snout-vent length (SVL), as well as dummy variables coding for habitat and/or clade, were compared using likelihood ratio tests and the Akaike Information Criterion. Heart distance to the tip of the snout scaled isometrically with SVL. In all instances, phylogenetic models that incorporated transformation of the branch lengths under an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck model of evolution (to mimic stabilizing selection) better fit the data as compared with their nonphylogenetic counterparts. The best-fit model predicting snake heart position included aspects of both habitat and clade and indicated that arboreal snakes in our study tend to have hearts placed more posteriorly, opposite the trend identified in previous studies. Phylogenetic signal in relative heart position was apparent both within and among clades. Our results suggest that overcoming gravitational pressure gradients in snakes most likely involves the combined action of several cardiovascular and

  18. Visual system evolution and the nature of the ancestral snake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simões, B F; Sampaio, F L; Jared, C; Antoniazzi, M M; Loew, E R; Bowmaker, J K; Rodriguez, A; Hart, N S; Hunt, D M; Partridge, J C; Gower, D J

    2015-07-01

    The dominant hypothesis for the evolutionary origin of snakes from 'lizards' (non-snake squamates) is that stem snakes acquired many snake features while passing through a profound burrowing (fossorial) phase. To investigate this, we examined the visual pigments and their encoding opsin genes in a range of squamate reptiles, focusing on fossorial lizards and snakes. We sequenced opsin transcripts isolated from retinal cDNA and used microspectrophotometry to measure directly the spectral absorbance of the photoreceptor visual pigments in a subset of samples. In snakes, but not lizards, dedicated fossoriality (as in Scolecophidia and the alethinophidian Anilius scytale) corresponds with loss of all visual opsins other than RH1 (λmax 490-497 nm); all other snakes (including less dedicated burrowers) also have functional sws1 and lws opsin genes. In contrast, the retinas of all lizards sampled, even highly fossorial amphisbaenians with reduced eyes, express functional lws, sws1, sws2 and rh1 genes, and most also express rh2 (i.e. they express all five of the visual opsin genes present in the ancestral vertebrate). Our evidence of visual pigment complements suggests that the visual system of stem snakes was partly reduced, with two (RH2 and SWS2) of the ancestral vertebrate visual pigments being eliminated, but that this did not extend to the extreme additional loss of SWS1 and LWS that subsequently occurred (probably independently) in highly fossorial extant scolecophidians and A. scytale. We therefore consider it unlikely that the ancestral snake was as fossorial as extant scolecophidians, whether or not the latter are para- or monophyletic. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  19. Spin with two snakes and overlapping resonances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, S.Y.; Zhao, X.F.

    1987-01-01

    We study the effect of multiple spin depolarization resonances on the spin of the particles with two snakes. When two resonances are well separated, the polarization can be restored in passing through these resonances provided that the snake resonances are avoided. When two resonances are overlapping, the beam particles may be depolarized depending on the spacing between these two resonances. If the spacing between these two resonances is an odd number for two snakes, the beam particles may be depolarized depending on the strength of the resonance. When the spacing becomes an even number, the spin can tolerate a much larger resonance strength without depolarization. Numerical simulations can be shown to agree well with the analytic formula. However, the spin is susceptible to the combination of an intrinsic and an imperfection resonances even in the presence of the snakes. Numerical simulation indicates that the spin can be restored after the resonances provided that imperfection strength is less than 0.1 if intrinsic strength is fixed at 0.745

  20. Segmentation of lung fields using Chan-Vese active contour model in chest radiographs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sohn, Kiwon

    2011-03-01

    A CAD tool for chest radiographs consists of several procedures and the very first step is segmentation of lung fields. We develop a novel methodology for segmentation of lung fields in chest radiographs that can satisfy the following two requirements. First, we aim to develop a segmentation method that does not need a training stage with manual estimation of anatomical features in a large training dataset of images. Secondly, for the ease of implementation, it is desirable to apply a well established model that is widely used for various image-partitioning practices. The Chan-Vese active contour model, which is based on Mumford-Shah functional in the level set framework, is applied for segmentation of lung fields. With the use of this model, segmentation of lung fields can be carried out without detailed prior knowledge on the radiographic anatomy of the chest, yet in some chest radiographs, the trachea regions are unfavorably segmented out in addition to the lung field contours. To eliminate artifacts from the trachea, we locate the upper end of the trachea, find a vertical center line of the trachea and delineate it, and then brighten the trachea region to make it less distinctive. The segmentation process is finalized by subsequent morphological operations. We randomly select 30 images from the Japanese Society of Radiological Technology image database to test the proposed methodology and the results are shown. We hope our segmentation technique can help to promote of CAD tools, especially for emerging chest radiographic imaging techniques such as dual energy radiography and chest tomosynthesis.

  1. CT liver volumetry using geodesic active contour segmentation with a level-set algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Kenji; Epstein, Mark L.; Kohlbrenner, Ryan; Obajuluwa, Ademola; Xu, Jianwu; Hori, Masatoshi; Baron, Richard

    2010-03-01

    Automatic liver segmentation on CT images is challenging because the liver often abuts other organs of a similar density. Our purpose was to develop an accurate automated liver segmentation scheme for measuring liver volumes. We developed an automated volumetry scheme for the liver in CT based on a 5 step schema. First, an anisotropic smoothing filter was applied to portal-venous phase CT images to remove noise while preserving the liver structure, followed by an edge enhancer to enhance the liver boundary. By using the boundary-enhanced image as a speed function, a fastmarching algorithm generated an initial surface that roughly estimated the liver shape. A geodesic-active-contour segmentation algorithm coupled with level-set contour-evolution refined the initial surface so as to more precisely fit the liver boundary. The liver volume was calculated based on the refined liver surface. Hepatic CT scans of eighteen prospective liver donors were obtained under a liver transplant protocol with a multi-detector CT system. Automated liver volumes obtained were compared with those manually traced by a radiologist, used as "gold standard." The mean liver volume obtained with our scheme was 1,520 cc, whereas the mean manual volume was 1,486 cc, with the mean absolute difference of 104 cc (7.0%). CT liver volumetrics based on an automated scheme agreed excellently with "goldstandard" manual volumetrics (intra-class correlation coefficient was 0.95) with no statistically significant difference (p(F<=f)=0.32), and required substantially less completion time. Our automated scheme provides an efficient and accurate way of measuring liver volumes.

  2. Minor snake venom proteins: Structure, function and potential applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boldrini-França, Johara; Cologna, Camila Takeno; Pucca, Manuela Berto; Bordon, Karla de Castro Figueiredo; Amorim, Fernanda Gobbi; Anjolette, Fernando Antonio Pino; Cordeiro, Francielle Almeida; Wiezel, Gisele Adriano; Cerni, Felipe Augusto; Pinheiro-Junior, Ernesto Lopes; Shibao, Priscila Yumi Tanaka; Ferreira, Isabela Gobbo; de Oliveira, Isadora Sousa; Cardoso, Iara Aimê; Arantes, Eliane Candiani

    2017-04-01

    Snake venoms present a great diversity of pharmacologically active compounds that may be applied as research and biotechnological tools, as well as in drug development and diagnostic tests for certain diseases. The most abundant toxins have been extensively studied in the last decades and some of them have already been used for different purposes. Nevertheless, most of the minor snake venom protein classes remain poorly explored, even presenting potential application in diverse areas. The main difficulty in studying these proteins lies on the impossibility of obtaining sufficient amounts of them for a comprehensive investigation. The advent of more sensitive techniques in the last few years allowed the discovery of new venom components and the in-depth study of some already known minor proteins. This review summarizes information regarding some structural and functional aspects of low abundant snake venom proteins classes, such as growth factors, hyaluronidases, cysteine-rich secretory proteins, nucleases and nucleotidases, cobra venom factors, vespryns, protease inhibitors, antimicrobial peptides, among others. Some potential applications of these molecules are discussed herein in order to encourage researchers to explore the full venom repertoire and to discover new molecules or applications for the already known venom components. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. Impact of contour on aesthetic judgments and approach-avoidance decisions in architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vartanian, Oshin; Navarrete, Gorka; Chatterjee, Anjan; Fich, Lars Brorson; Leder, Helmut; Modroño, Cristián; Nadal, Marcos; Rostrup, Nicolai; Skov, Martin

    2013-01-01

    On average, we urban dwellers spend about 90% of our time indoors, and share the intuition that the physical features of the places we live and work in influence how we feel and act. However, there is surprisingly little research on how architecture impacts behavior, much less on how it influences brain function. To begin closing this gap, we conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging study to examine how systematic variation in contour impacts aesthetic judgments and approach-avoidance decisions, outcome measures of interest to both architects and users of spaces alike. As predicted, participants were more likely to judge spaces as beautiful if they were curvilinear than rectilinear. Neuroanatomically, when contemplating beauty, curvilinear contour activated the anterior cingulate cortex exclusively, a region strongly responsive to the reward properties and emotional salience of objects. Complementing this finding, pleasantness—the valence dimension of the affect circumplex—accounted for nearly 60% of the variance in beauty ratings. Furthermore, activation in a distributed brain network known to underlie the aesthetic evaluation of different types of visual stimuli covaried with beauty ratings. In contrast, contour did not affect approach-avoidance decisions, although curvilinear spaces activated the visual cortex. The results suggest that the well-established effect of contour on aesthetic preference can be extended to architecture. Furthermore, the combination of our behavioral and neural evidence underscores the role of emotion in our preference for curvilinear objects in this domain. PMID:23754408

  4. Are snake populations in widespread decline?

    OpenAIRE

    Reading, C. J.; Luiselli, L. M.; Akani, G. C.; Bonnet, X.; Amori, G.; Ballouard, J. M.; Filippi, E.; Naulleau, G.; Pearson, D.; Rugiero, L.

    2010-01-01

    Long-term studies have revealed population declines in fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. In birds, and particularly amphibians, these declines are a global phenomenon whose causes are often unclear. Among reptiles, snakes are top predators and therefore a decline in their numbers may have serious consequences for the functioning of many ecosystems. Our results show that, of 17 snake populations (eight species) from the UK, France, Italy, Nigeria and Australia, 11 have declined ...

  5. Public perceptions of snakes and snakebite management: implications for conservation and human health in southern Nepal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Deb Prasad; Subedi Pandey, Gita; Devkota, Kamal; Goode, Matt

    2016-06-02

    Venomous snakebite and its effects are a source of fear for people living in southern Nepal. As a result, people have developed a negative attitude towards snakes, which can lead to human-snake conflicts that result in killing of snakes. Attempting to kill snakes increases the risk of snakebite, and actual killing of snakes contributes to loss of biodiversity. Currently, snake populations in southern Nepal are thought to be declining, but more research is needed to evaluate the conservation status of snakes. Therefore, we assessed attitudes, knowledge, and awareness of snakes and snakebite by Chitwan National Park's (CNP) buffer zone (BZ) inhabitants in an effort to better understand challenges to snake conservation and snakebite management. The results of this study have the potential to promote biodiversity conservation and increase human health in southern Nepal and beyond. We carried out face-to-face interviews of 150 randomly selected CNP BZ inhabitants, adopting a cross-sectional mixed research design and structured and semi-structured questionnaires from January-February 2013. Results indicated that 43 % of respondents disliked snakes, 49 % would exterminate all venomous snakes, and 86 % feared snakes. Farmers were the most negative and teachers were the most ambivalent towards snakes. Respondents were generally unable to identify different snake species, and were almost completely unaware of the need of conserve snakes and how to prevent snakebites. Belief in a snake god, and the ability of snakes to absorb poisonous gases from the atmosphere were among many superstitions that appeared to predispose negativity towards snakes of BZ residents. People with predisposed negativity towards snakes were not proponents of snake conservation. Fear, negativity, ambivalence towards, and ignorance about, snakes and the need for snake conservation were strong indicators of the propensity to harm or kill snakes. It seems that if wanton killing of snakes continues

  6. Functional variability of snake venom metalloproteinases: adaptive advantages in targeting different prey and implications for human envenomation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana L Bernardoni

    Full Text Available Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs are major components in most viperid venoms that induce disturbances in the hemostatic system and tissues of animals envenomated by snakes. These disturbances are involved in human pathology of snake bites and appear to be essential for the capture and digestion of snake's prey and avoidance of predators. SVMPs are a versatile family of venom toxins acting on different hemostatic targets which are present in venoms in distinct structural forms. However, the reason why a large number of different SVMPs are expressed in some venoms is still unclear. In this study, we evaluated the interference of five isolated SVMPs in blood coagulation of humans, birds and small rodents. P-III class SVMPs (fractions Ic, IIb and IIc possess gelatinolytic and hemorrhagic activities, and, of these, two also show fibrinolytic activity. P-I class SVMPs (fractions IVa and IVb are only fibrinolytic. P-III class SVMPs reduced clotting time of human plasma. Fraction IIc was characterized as prothrombin activator and fraction Ic as factor X activator. In the absence of Ca2+, a firm clot was observed in chicken blood samples with fractions Ic, IIb and partially with fraction IIc. In contrast, without Ca2+, only fraction IIc was able to induce a firm clot in rat blood. In conclusion, functionally distinct forms of SVMPs were found in B. neuwiedi venom that affect distinct mechanisms in the coagulation system of humans, birds and small rodents. Distinct SVMPs appear to be more specialized to rat or chicken blood, strengthening the current hypothesis that toxin diversity enhances the possibilities of the snakes for hunting different prey or evading different predators. This functional diversity also impacts the complexity of human envenoming since different hemostatic mechanisms will be targeted by SVMPs accounting for the complexity of the response of humans to venoms.

  7. An antemortem guide for the assessment of stranded Australian sea snakes (Hydrophiinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillett, Amber K; Flint, Mark; Mills, Paul C

    2014-12-01

    Marine snakes of the subfamily Hydrophiinae are obligate ocean dwellers, unlike their amphibious counterparts, the sea kraits (Laticaudinae), and as such they are often referred to as 'true' sea snakes. This specialization means that the presence of a true sea snake on a beach is atypical and likely indicates disease or injury. Traumatic injuries such as eye, jaw, and spinal lesions have been observed in stranded sea snakes and may present as acute injury or progress to chronic debilitation. Diseases, such as neoplasia, leukemia, and parasite overburden, have also been seen in wild sea snakes, and these animals may present similarly. Sick, moribund, or deceased sea snakes are intermittently found washed ashore along Australian beaches, and these specimens may prove valuable as bioindicators of marine health. This review is intended as a guide to the diagnostic investigation of sick or injured sea snakes by suitably qualified people.

  8. Spectral embedding based active contour (SEAC): application to breast lesion segmentation on DCE-MRI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agner, Shannon C.; Xu, Jun; Rosen, Mark; Karthigeyan, Sudha; Englander, Sarah; Madabhushi, Anant

    2011-03-01

    Spectral embedding (SE), a graph-based manifold learning method, has previously been shown to be useful in high dimensional data classification. In this work, we present a novel SE based active contour (SEAC) segmentation scheme and demonstrate its applications in lesion segmentation on breast dynamic contrast enhance magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI). In this work, we employ SE on DCE-MRI on a per voxel basis to embed the high dimensional time series intensity vector into a reduced dimensional space, where the reduced embedding space is characterized by the principal eigenvectors. The orthogonal eigenvector-based data representation allows for computation of strong tensor gradients in the spectrally embedded space and also yields improved region statistics that serve as optimal stopping criteria for SEAC. We demonstrate both analytically and empirically that the tensor gradients in the spectrally embedded space are stronger than the corresponding gradients in the original grayscale intensity space. On a total of 50 breast DCE-MRI studies, SEAC yielded a mean absolute difference (MAD) of 3.2+/-2.1 pixels and mean Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) of 0.74+/-0.13 compared to manual ground truth segmentation. An active contour in conjunction with fuzzy c-means (FCM+AC), a commonly used segmentation method for breast DCE-MRI, produced a corresponding MAD of 7.2+/-7.4 pixels and mean DSC of 0.58+/-0.32. In conjunction with a set of 6 quantitative morphological features automatically extracted from the SEAC derived lesion boundary, a support vector machine (SVM) classifier yielded an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.73, for discriminating between 10 benign and 30 malignant lesions; the corresponding SVM classifier with the FCM+AC derived morphological features yielded an AUC of 0.65.

  9. Use of immunoturbidimetry to detect venom-antivenom binding using snake venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Leary, M A; Maduwage, K; Isbister, G K

    2013-01-01

    Immunoturbidimetry studies the phenomenon of immunoprecipitation of antigens and antibodies in solution, where there is the formation of large, polymeric insoluble immunocomplexes that increase the turbidity of the solution. We used immunoturbidimetry to investigate the interaction between commercial snake antivenoms and snake venoms, as well as cross-reactivity between different snake venoms. Serial dilutions of commercial snake antivenoms (100μl) in water were placed in the wells of a microtitre plate and 100μl of a venom solution (50μg/ml in water) was added. Absorbance readings were taken at 340nm every minute on a BioTek ELx808 plate reader at 37°C. Limits imposed were a 30minute cut-off and 0.004 as the lowest significant maximum increase. Reactions with rabbit antibodies were carried out similarly, except that antibody dilutions were in PBS. Mixing venom and antivenom/antibodies resulted in an immediate increase in turbidity, which either reached a maximum or continued to increase until a 30minute cut-off. There was a peak in absorbance readings for most Australian snake venoms mixed with the corresponding commercial antivenom, except for Pseudonaja textilis venom and brown snake antivenom. There was cross-reactivity between Naja naja venom from Sri Lanka and tiger snake antivenom indicated by turbidity when they were mixed. Mixing rabbit anti-snake antibodies with snake venoms resulted in increasing turbidity, but there was not a peak suggesting the antibodies were not sufficiently concentrated. The absorbance reading at pre-determined concentrations of rabbit antibodies mixed with different venoms was able to quantify the cross-reactivity between venoms. Indian antivenoms from two manufacturers were tested against four Sri Lankan snake venoms (Daboia russelli, N. naja, Echis carinatus and Bungarus caeruleus) and showed limited formation of immunocomplexes with antivenom from one manufacturer. The turbidity test provides an easy and rapid way to compare

  10. A cognitive evaluation procedure for contour based shape descriptors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ghosh, Anarta; Petkov, Nicolai

    2005-01-01

    Present image processing algorithms are unable to extract a neat and closed contour of an object of interest from a natural image. Advanced contour detection algorithms extract the contour of an object of interest from a natural scene with a side effect of depletion of the contour. Hence in order to

  11. Association Between Fear and Beauty Evaluation of Snakes: Cross-Cultural Findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landová, Eva; Bakhshaliyeva, Natavan; Janovcová, Markéta; Peléšková, Šárka; Suleymanova, Mesma; Polák, Jakub; Guliev, Akif; Frynta, Daniel

    2018-01-01

    According to the fear module theory, humans are evolutionarily predisposed to perceive snakes as prioritized stimuli and exhibit a fast emotional and behavioral response toward them. In Europe, highly dangerous snake species are distributed almost exclusively in the Mediterranean and Caspian areas. While the risk of a snakebite is relatively low in Central Europe, Azerbaijan, on the other hand, has a high occurrence of the deadly venomous Levant viper ( Macrovipera lebetina ). We hypothesize that co-habitation with this dangerous snake has shaped the way in which humans evaluate snake species resembling it. For that purpose, we asked respondents from the Czech Republic and Azerbaijan to rank photographs depicting 36 snake species according to perceived fear and beauty. The results revealed a high cross-cultural agreement in both evaluations (fear r 2 = 0.683, p differences. This may provide some support for the evolutionary hypothesis of preparedness to fear snakes.

  12. Molecular detection of Toxoplasma gondii in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasiri, Vahid; Teymurzadeh, Shohreh; Karimi, Gholamreza; Nasiri, Mehdi

    2016-10-01

    Toxoplasma gondii, an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite, is responsible for one of the most common zoonotic parasitic diseases in almost all warm-blooded vertebrates worldwide, and it is estimated that about one-third of the world human population is chronically infected with this parasite. Little is known about the circulation of T. gondii in snakes and this study for the first time aimed to evaluate the infection rates of snakes by this parasite by PCR methods. The brain of 68 Snakes, that were collected between May 2012 and September 2015 and died after the hold in captivity, under which they were kept for taking poisons, were examined for the presence of this parasite. DNA was extracted and Nested-PCR method was carried out with two of pairs of primers to detect the 344 bp fragment of T. gondii GRA6 gene. Five positive nested-PCR products were directly sequenced in the forward and reverse directions by Sequetech Company (Mountain View, CA). T. gondii GRA6 gene were detected from 55 (80.88%) of 68 snakes brains. Sequencing of the GRA6 gene revealed 98-100% of similarity with T. gondii sequences deposited in GenBank. To our knowledge, this is the first study of molecular detection of T. gondii in snakes and our findings show a higher frequency of this organism among them. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Function of snake mobbing in spectral tarsiers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gursky, Sharon

    2006-04-01

    Numerous species are known for their tendency to approach and confront their predators as a group. This behavior is known as mobbing. Snakes seem to be one of the more consistent recipients of this type of predator-directed behavior. This paper explores individual differences (sex and age) in the mobbing behavior of the spectral tarsier toward live and model snakes. This study was conducted at Tangkoko Nature Reserve (Sulawesi, Indonesia) during 2003-2004. During this research, 11 natural mobbing events and 31 artificially induced mobbing events were observed. The mean number of individuals at a mobbing was 5.7. The duration of mobbing events was strongly correlated with the number of assembled mobbers. Adults were more likely than other age classes to participate in mobbings. Males were more likely than females to participate in mobbings. Mobbing groups often contained more than one adult male, despite the fact that no spectral tarsier group contains more than one adult male. No difference in body size between extragroup males and resident males was observed, refuting the "attract the mightier" hypothesis. The number of mobbers did not affect whether the tarsier or the snake retreated first, countering the "move-on" hypothesis. The "perception advertisement" hypothesis was tentatively supported, in that live snakes were rarely seen in the area following mobbing calls, in comparison to when tarsiers either ignored the snake or alarm call. Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  14. The status of taxonomy and venom in sea snakes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Redsted Rasmussen, Arne; Sanders, Kate L.

    2017-01-01

    The status of taxonomy and venom in sea snakesArne R Rasmussen1, Kate L Sanders21 The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design & Conservation, Copenhagen, Denmark2 School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia......, the Aipysurus group was separated from the other viviparous sea snakes at around 5.8 million years before present and in the Hydrophis lineage the Hydrophis group was separated from the three semi-marine lineages at around 4.4 million years before present. The venoms of sea snakes are rather simple, typically...... containing a-neurotoxins and phospholipases A2 (PLA2s), and in terms of lethality are known to be more potent than the venoms from terrestrial snakes....

  15. Chemosensory age discrimination in the snake Boa constrictor (Serpentes: Boidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianne Gabirot

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Many snakes are able to use their chemosensory system to detect scent of conspecifics, which is important in many social contexts. Age discrimination based on chemical cues may be especially important to ensure access to sexually mature potential partners. In this study, we used 24 individual Boa constrictor snakes (12 adults mature and 12 non-mature individuals that had been captured in different areas of Ecuador, and were maintained in captivity at the Vivarium of Quito. We used tongue-flick experiments to examine whether these snakes were able to discriminate between scents from mature and non-mature individuals. Results showed that B. constrictor snakes used chemical cues to recognize conspecifics and that the scent of individuals of different ages elicited chemosensory responses of different magnitudes. The scents from adult conspecifics elicited the quickest and highest chemosensory responses (i.e., short latency times and high tongue-flick rates, although we did not find differential responses to scent of males and females. The magnitude of the responses was lower to scent of sub adult individuals, and then even lower to scent of juvenile snakes, but in all cases the scent of snakes was discriminated from a blank control. We discuss the potential chemical mechanisms that may allow age recognition and its implications for social and sexual behavior of this snake species.

  16. A Biologically Motivated Multiresolution Approach to Contour Detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Neri

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Standard edge detectors react to all local luminance changes, irrespective of whether they are due to the contours of the objects represented in a scene or due to natural textures like grass, foliage, water, and so forth. Moreover, edges due to texture are often stronger than edges due to object contours. This implies that further processing is needed to discriminate object contours from texture edges. In this paper, we propose a biologically motivated multiresolution contour detection method using Bayesian denoising and a surround inhibition technique. Specifically, the proposed approach deploys computation of the gradient at different resolutions, followed by Bayesian denoising of the edge image. Then, a biologically motivated surround inhibition step is applied in order to suppress edges that are due to texture. We propose an improvement of the surround suppression used in previous works. Finally, a contour-oriented binarization algorithm is used, relying on the observation that object contours lead to long connected components rather than to short rods obtained from textures. Experimental results show that our contour detection method outperforms standard edge detectors as well as other methods that deploy inhibition.

  17. The Narrow Fellow in the Grass: Human Infants Associate Snakes and Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLoache, Judy S.; LoBue, Vanessa

    2009-01-01

    Why are snakes such a common target of fear? One current view is that snake fear is one of several innate fears that emerge spontaneously. Another is that humans have an evolved predisposition to learn to fear snakes. In the first study reported here, 9- to 10-month-old infants showed no differential spontaneous reaction to films of snakes versus…

  18. Shedding light on serpent sight: the visual pigments of henophidian snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Wayne L; Cowing, Jill A; Bowmaker, James K; Carvalho, Livia S; Gower, David J; Hunt, David M

    2009-06-10

    The biologist Gordon Walls proposed his "transmutation" theory through the 1930s and the 1940s to explain cone-like morphology of rods (and vice versa) in the duplex retinas of modern-day reptiles, with snakes regarded as the epitome of his hypothesis. Despite Walls' interest, the visual system of reptiles, and in particular snakes, has been widely neglected in favor of studies of fishes and mammals. By analyzing the visual pigments of two henophidian snakes, Xenopeltis unicolor and Python regius, we show that both species express two cone opsins, an ultraviolet-sensitive short-wavelength-sensitive 1 (SWS1) (lambda(max) = 361 nm) pigment and a long-wavelength-sensitive (LWS) (lambda(max) = 550 nm) pigment, providing the potential for dichromatic color vision. They also possess rod photoreceptors which express the usual rod opsin (Rh1) pigment with a lambda(max) at 497 nm. This is the first molecular study of the visual pigments expressed in the photoreceptors of any snake species. The presence of a duplex retina and the characterization of LWS, SWS1, and Rh1 visual pigments in henophidian snakes implies that "lower" snakes do not provide support for Walls' transmutation theory, unlike some "higher" (caenophidian) snakes and other reptiles, such as geckos. More data from other snake lineages will be required to test this hypothesis further.

  19. Automated segmentation of ultrasonic breast lesions using statistical texture classification and active contour based on probability distance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Bo; Cheng, H D; Huang, Jianhua; Tian, Jiawei; Liu, Jiafeng; Tang, Xianglong

    2009-08-01

    Because of its complicated structure, low signal/noise ratio, low contrast and blurry boundaries, fully automated segmentation of a breast ultrasound (BUS) image is a difficult task. In this paper, a novel segmentation method for BUS images without human intervention is proposed. Unlike most published approaches, the proposed method handles the segmentation problem by using a two-step strategy: ROI generation and ROI segmentation. First, a well-trained texture classifier categorizes the tissues into different classes, and the background knowledge rules are used for selecting the regions of interest (ROIs) from them. Second, a novel probability distance-based active contour model is applied for segmenting the ROIs and finding the accurate positions of the breast tumors. The active contour model combines both global statistical information and local edge information, using a level set approach. The proposed segmentation method was performed on 103 BUS images (48 benign and 55 malignant). To validate the performance, the results were compared with the corresponding tumor regions marked by an experienced radiologist. Three error metrics, true-positive ratio (TP), false-negative ratio (FN) and false-positive ratio (FP) were used for measuring the performance of the proposed method. The final results (TP = 91.31%, FN = 8.69% and FP = 7.26%) demonstrate that the proposed method can segment BUS images efficiently, quickly and automatically.

  20. Neurological manifestations of snake bite in Sri Lanka.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seneviratne U

    2002-10-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Snake bite is an important cause of mortality and morbidity in certain parts of Sri Lanka. This study was designed to determine the offending snakes, neurological manifestations, disease course, and outcome in neurotoxic envenomation. METHODS AND MATERIAL: Fifty six consecutive patients admitted with neurological manifestations following snake bite were studied prospectively. Data were obtained regarding the offending snakes, neurological symptoms, time taken for onset of symptoms, neurological signs, and time taken for recovery. RESULTS: The offending snake was Russell′s viper in 27(48.2%, common and Sri Lankan krait in 19(33.9%, cobra in 3(5.4%, and unidentified in 7(12.5%. Ptosis was the commonest neurological manifestation seen in 48(85.7% followed by ophthalmoplegia (75%, limb weakness (26.8%, respiratory failure (17.9%, palatal weakness (10.7%, neck muscle weakness (7.1%, and delayed sensory neuropathy (1.8%. Neurological symptoms were experienced usually within 6 hours after the bite. Following administration of antivenom, the signs of recovery became evident within a few hours to several days. The duration for complete recovery ranged from four hours to two weeks. CONCLUSIONS: Complete recovery of neuromuscular weakness was observed in all patients except for one who died with intracerebral haemorrhage shortly after admission.

  1. Screening of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors in snake venom by electrospray mass spectrometry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liesener, A.; Perchuc, Anna-Maria; Schöni, Reto; Schebb, Nils Helge; Wilmer, Marianne; Karst, U.

    2007-01-01

    An electrospray ionization/mass spectrometry (ESI/MS)-based assay for the determination of acetylcholinesterase (AChE)-inhibiting activity in snake venom was developed. It allows the direct monitoring of the natural AChE substrate acetylcholine (AC) and the respective product choline. The assay

  2. Biochemical parameters in the blood of grass snakes (Natrix natrix in ecosystems under varying degrees of anthropogenic influence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Y. Gasso

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The grass snake Natrix natrix (Linnaeus, 1758 is a partly hygrophilous species, distributed throughoutUkraine. This snake may be considered as a test object for environmental biomonitoring. Modern biochemical methods make it possible to obtain new scientific data on the effects of anthropogenic pressure on reptiles. Blood is a sensitive and informative indicator of the condition of an organism as it responds quickly to most changes in exogenous and endogenous factors, and reflects negative influences on both individual and, indirectly, populations. Changes in biochemical parameters may be used as biomarkers of the state of health of reptiles in ecosystems under varying degrees of anthropogenic pressure. Due the increase in anthropogenic influence the development and introduction of new methods of perceptual research, collection of up-to-date information and development of a database of reptile biochemical parameters have become an urgent priority. We collected mature individuals of the grass snake in floodplain ecosystems on the right bank of the Dnieper River in Dnipropetrovsk city. Grass snakes from floodplain habitats on the left bank of theSamaraRiver (O.L. Belgard Prysamarskii International Biosphere Station, Novomoskovsk district, Dnipropetrovsk province were studied as the control specimens. Our study demonstrated statistically significant differences between snakes from the study sites in the amount of albumin, urea and urea nitrogen, and inorganic phosphorus, as well as in alanine aminotransferase (ALT and alkaline phosphatise (AP activity. The amount of albumin in the blood serum of specimens from the anthropogenically transformed areas was significantly lower (by 25% than in that of the snakes caught in the control habitats. Decrease of the albumin concentration usually indicates abnormal processes in the kidneys and liver. According to the changes observed in the concentration of albumin, a corresponding increase in the albumin to

  3. Snake Venom As An Effective Tool Against Colorectal Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzair, Bushra; Atlas, Nagina; Malik, Sidra Batool; Jamil, Nazia; Salaam, Temitope Ojuolape; Rehman, Mujaddad Ur; Khan, Barkat Ali

    2018-06-13

    Cancer is considered one of the most predominant causes of morbidity and mortality all over the world and colorectal cancer is the most common fatal cancers, triggering the second cancer related death. Despite progress in understanding carcinogenesis and development in chemotherapeutics, there is an essential need to search for improved treatment. More than the half a century, cytotoxic and cytostatic agents have been examined as a potential treatment of cancer, among these agents; remarkable progresses have been reported by the use of the snake venom. Snake venoms are secreting materials of lethal snakes are store in venomous glands. Venoms are composite combinations of various protein, peptides, enzymes, toxins and non proteinaceous secretions. Snake venom possesses immense valuable mixtures of proteins and enzymes. Venoms have potential to combat with the cancerous cells and produce positive effect. Besides the toxicological effects of venoms, several proteins of snake venom e.g. disintegrins, phospholipases A2, metalloproteinases, and L-amino acid oxidases and peptides e.g. bradykinin potentiators, natriuretic, and analgesic peptides have shown potential as pharmaceutical agents, including areas of diagnosis and cancer treatment. In this review we have discussed recent remarkable research that has involved the dynamic snake venoms compounds, having anticancer bustle especially in case of colorectal cancer. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  4. The equivalent internal orientation and position noise for contour integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, Alex S; Fu, Minnie; Farivar, Reza; Hess, Robert F

    2017-10-12

    Contour integration is the joining-up of local responses to parts of a contour into a continuous percept. In typical studies observers detect contours formed of discrete wavelets, presented against a background of random wavelets. This measures performance for detecting contours in the limiting external noise that background provides. Our novel task measures contour integration without requiring any background noise. This allowed us to perform noise-masking experiments using orientation and position noise. From these we measure the equivalent internal noise for contour integration. We found an orientation noise of 6° and position noise of 3 arcmin. Orientation noise was 2.6x higher in contour integration compared to an orientation discrimination control task. Comparing against a position discrimination task found position noise in contours to be 2.4x lower. This suggests contour integration involves intermediate processing that enhances the quality of element position representation at the expense of element orientation. Efficiency relative to the ideal observer was lower for the contour tasks (36% in orientation noise, 21% in position noise) compared to the controls (54% and 57%).

  5. Helical spin rotators and snakes for RHIC

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ptitsin, V.I.; Shatunov, Yu.M.; Peggs, S.

    1995-01-01

    The RHIC collider, now under construction at BNL, will have the possibility of polarized proton-proton collisions up to a beam energy of 250 Gev. Polarized proton beams of such high energy can be only obtained with the use of siberian snakes, a special kind of spin rotator that rotates the particle spin by 180 degree around an axis lying in the horizontal plane. Siberian snakes help to preserve the beam polarization while numerous spin depolarizing resonances are crossed, during acceleration. In order to collide longitudinally polarized beams, it is also planned to install spin rotators around two interaction regions. This paper discusses snake and spin rotator designs based on sequences of four helical magnets. The schemes that were chosen to be applied at RHIC are presented

  6. Detection of eastern equine encephalomyelitis virus RNA in North American snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bingham, Andrea M; Graham, Sean P; Burkett-Cadena, Nathan D; White, Gregory S; Hassan, Hassan K; Unnasch, Thomas R

    2012-12-01

    The role of non-avian vertebrates in the ecology of eastern equine encephalomyelitis virus (EEEV) is unresolved, but mounting evidence supports a potential role for snakes in the EEEV transmission cycle, especially as over-wintering hosts. To determine rates of exposure and infection, we examined serum samples from wild snakes at a focus of EEEV in Alabama for viral RNA using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Two species of vipers, the copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and the cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus), were found to be positive for EEEV RNA using this assay. Prevalence of EEEV RNA was more frequent in seropositive snakes than seronegative snakes. Positivity for the quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in cottonmouths peaked in April and September. Body size and sex ratios were not significantly different between infected and uninfected snakes. These results support the hypothesis that snakes are involved in the ecology of EEEV in North America, possibly as over-wintering hosts for the virus.

  7. Brain nuclei in actively courting red-sided garter snakes: a paradigm of neural trimorphism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krohmer, Randolph W; DeMarchi, Geno A; Baleckaitis, Daniel D; Lutterschmidt, Deborah I; Mason, Robert T

    2011-03-28

    During the breeding season, two distinct male phenotypes are exhibited by red-sided garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis), with courtship behavior being directed not only toward females, but also toward a sub-population of males called she-males. She-males are morphologically identical to other males except for a circulating androgen level three times that of normal males and their ability to produce a female-like pheromone. As in other vertebrates, limbic nuclei in the red-sided garter snake brain are involved in the control of sexual behaviors. For example, an intact anterior hypothalamus pre-optic area (AHPOA) is essential for the initiation and maintenance of reproduction. To determine if brain morphology varies among the three behavioral phenotypes (i.e., males, she-males, and females) during the breeding season, we examined the volume, cell size and cell density of the AHPOA as well as a control region, the external nucleus of the optic tract (ENOT). We used Luxol Fast Blue and Ziehl's Fuchsin to visualize neurons and glial cells, respectively. No significant differences were observed among the three behavioral phenotypes in the volume, cell size or density in the control region. In contrast, the volume, cell size and density of the AHPOA of she-males were significantly greater than those of both male and female snakes. While the volume of the AHPOA was significantly greater in females compared to males, no differences were observed in cell size or density. These differences in brain morphology suggest a possible underlying mechanism for phenotypic-specific behavioral patterns. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Cognitive reappraisal of snake and spider pictures: An event-related potentials study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langeslag, Sandra J E; van Strien, Jan W

    2018-05-30

    Fear of snakes and spiders are common animal phobias. Emotion regulation can change the response to emotional stimuli, including snakes and spiders. It is well known that emotion regulation modulates the late positive potential (LPP), which reflects sustained motivated attention. However, research concerning the effect of emotion regulation on the early posterior negativity (EPN), which reflects early selective attention, is scarce. The present research question was whether the EPN and LPP amplitudes are modulated by regulation of emotional responses to snake and spider stimuli. Emotion up- and down-regulation were expected to enhance and reduce the LPP amplitude, respectively, but emotion regulation was not expected to modulate the EPN amplitude. Female participants passively viewed snake, spider, and bird pictures, and up- and down-regulated their emotional responses to the snake and spider pictures using self-focused reappraisal, while their electroencephalogram was recorded. There were EPNs for snakes and spiders vs. birds, as well as for snakes vs. spiders. The LPP amplitude tended to be enhanced for snakes and spiders compared to birds. Most importantly, the LPP amplitude was larger in the up-regulate than in the down-regulate condition for both snakes and spiders, but there was no evidence that the EPN amplitude was modulated by emotion regulation. This suggests that emotion regulation modulated sustained motivated attention, but not early selective attention, to snakes and spiders. The findings are in line with the notion that the emotional modulation of the EPN is more automatic than the emotional modulation of the LPP. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Preliminary Studies on Antimicrobial Activity of Extracts from Aloe Vera Leaf, Citrus Hystrix Leaf, Zingiber Officinale and Sabah Snake Grass Against Bacillus Subtilis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uda M.N.A.

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Herbal plants have several potential antimicrobial activities either as antifungal or antibacterial to fight against the disease and pathogen that attack the plants. The extractions of the Aloe vera leaf, Citrus hystrix leaf, Zingiber officinale rhizome and Sabah snake grass were selected in this study to fight against Bacillus subtilis. B. subtilis is a Gram-positive bacterium, rodshaped and catalase-positive that lives on decayed organic material. It is known as Gram-positive bacteria because of its thick peptidoglycan and would appear purple when subjected to Gram test. This species is commonly found in the upper layers of the soil, in meat or vegetables, in pastry, cooked meat, in bread or poultry products. The extracts of Sabah Snake Grass found to be most effective than A.vera leaf, Z. officinale, and C. hystrix against the B. subtilis.

  10. Image Interpolation with Contour Stencils

    OpenAIRE

    Pascal Getreuer

    2011-01-01

    Image interpolation is the problem of increasing the resolution of an image. Linear methods must compromise between artifacts like jagged edges, blurring, and overshoot (halo) artifacts. More recent works consider nonlinear methods to improve interpolation of edges and textures. In this paper we apply contour stencils for estimating the image contours based on total variation along curves and then use this estimation to construct a fast edge-adaptive interpolation.

  11. Interactive 3D segmentation using connected orthogonal contours

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Bruin, P. W.; Dercksen, V. J.; Post, F. H.; Vossepoel, A. M.; Streekstra, G. J.; Vos, F. M.

    2005-01-01

    This paper describes a new method for interactive segmentation that is based on cross-sectional design and 3D modelling. The method represents a 3D model by a set of connected contours that are planar and orthogonal. Planar contours overlayed on image data are easily manipulated and linked contours

  12. Detection of Snake Fungal Disease Due to Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in Virginia, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guthrie, Amanda L; Knowles, Susan; Ballmann, Anne E; Lorch, Jeffrey M

    2016-01-01

    Snake fungal disease (SFD) is an emerging disease of wildlife believed to be caused by Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola. Although geographic and host ranges have yet to be determined, this disease is characterized by crusty scales, superficial pustules, and subcutaneous nodules, with subsequent morbidity and mortality in some snake species. To confirm the presence of SFD and O. ophiodiicola in snakes of eastern Virginia, US, we clinically examined 30 free-ranging snakes on public lands from April to October 2014. Skin biopsy samples were collected from nine snakes that had gross lesions suggestive of SFD; seven of these biopsies were suitable for histologic interpretation, and eight were suitable for culture and PCR detection of O. ophiodiicola. Seven snakes had histologic features consistent with SFD and eight were positive for O. ophiodiicola by PCR or fungal culture.

  13. Tick infestation on wild snakes in northern part of western Ghats of India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandit, Pranav; Bandivdekar, Ruta; Geevarghese, G; Pande, Satish; Mandke, Omkar

    2011-05-01

    In total, 167 individuals of 30 species of snakes belonging to 22 genera and five families were examined for tick infestation from November 2008 to March 2010. Only two species of snakes, Ptyas mucosa (L., 1758) (Indian rat snake) and Naja naja (L., 1758) (spectacled cobra), were found infested by ticks. All ticks collected were identified to be Amblyomma gervaisi [previously Aponomma gervaisi (Lucas, 1847) 1. The average prevalence of these ticks on Indian rat snakes (n=48) was 29.16%, with abundance of 7.02 ticks per individual; on spectacled cobras (n=20), average prevalence was 30.00%, with abundance of 6.9 ticks per individual. The nymphs and males were predominant. All the ticks were found on the dorsal aspect of the body of the snake, and no ticks were recorded on the head, tail, or ventral body. The rate of tick infestation was highest in scrubland and was lowest in evergreen forests. Female Indian rat snakes showed higher tick infestation rates than male Indian rat snakes. Using Mann-Whitney U test, we found that longer snakes of both species had significantly higher rate of tick infestation in both the species of snakes.

  14. A theoretical analysis of pitch stability during gliding in flying snakes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jafari, Farid; Ross, Shane D; Socha, John J; Vlachos, Pavlos P

    2014-01-01

    Flying snakes use their entire body as a continuously morphing ‘wing’ to produce lift and shallow their glide trajectory. Their dominant behavior during gliding is aerial undulation, in which lateral waves are sent posteriorly down the body. This highly dynamic behavior, which is unique among animal gliders, should have substantial effects on the flight dynamics and stability of the snakes, resulting from the continuous redistribution of mass and aerodynamic forces. In this study, we develop two-dimensional theoretical models to assess the stability characteristics of snakes in the pitch direction. Previously measured force coefficients are used to simulate aerodynamic forces acting on the models, and undulation is simulated by varying mass. Model 1 is a simple three-airfoil representation of the snake’s body that possesses a passively stable equilibrium solution, whose basin of stability contains initial conditions observed in experimental gliding trajectories. Model 2 is more sophisticated, with more degrees of freedom allowing for postural changes to better represent the snake’s real kinematics; in addition, a restoring moment is added to simulate potential active control. The application of static and dynamic stability criteria show that Model 2 is passively unstable, but can be stabilized with a restoring moment. Overall, these models suggest that undulation does not contribute to stability in pitch, and that flying snakes require a closed-loop control system formed around a passively stable dynamical framework. (papers)

  15. Snake oil and venoms for medical research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolpert, H. D.

    2011-04-01

    Some think that using derivatives of snake venom for medical purposes is the modern version of snake oil but they are seriously misjudging the research potentials of some of these toxins in medicines of the 2000's. Medical trials, using some of the compounds has proven their usefulness. Several venoms have shown the possibilities that could lead to anticoagulants, helpful in heart disease. The blood clotting protein from the taipan snake has been shown to rapidly stop excessive bleeding. The venom from the copperhead may hold an answer to breast cancer. The Malaysian pit viper shows promise in breaking blood clots. Cobra venom may hold keys to finding cures for Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's. Rattlesnake proteins from certain species have produced blood pressure medicines. Besides snake venoms, venom from the South American dart frog, mollusks (i.e. Cone Shell Snail), lizards (i.e. Gila Monster & Komodo Dragon), some species of spiders and tarantulas, Cephalopods, mammals (i.e. Platypus & Shrews), fish (i.e. sting rays, stone fish, puffer fish, blue bottle fish & box jelly fish), intertidal marine animals (echinoderms)(i.e. Crown of Thorn Star Fish & Flower Urchin) and the Honeybee are being investigated for potential medical benefits.

  16. Bothrops asper snake venom and its metalloproteinase BaP–1 activate the complement system. Role in leucocyte recruitment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra H. P. Farsky

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available The venom of the snake Bothrops asper, the most important poisonous snake in Central America, evokes an inflammatory response, the mechanisms of which are not well characterized. The objectives of this study were to investigate whether B. asper venom and its purified toxins – phospholipases and metalloproteinase – activate the complement system and the contribution of the effect on leucocyte recruitment. In vitro chemotaxis assays were performed using Boyden's chamber model to investigate the ability of serum incubated with venom and its purified toxins to induce neutrophil migration. The complement consumption by the venom was evaluated using an in vitro haemolytic assay. The importance of complement activation by the venom on neutrophil migration was investigated in vivo by injecting the venom into the peritoneal cavity of C5-deficient mice. Data obtained demonstrated that serum incubated with crude venom and its purified metalloproteinase BaP–1 are able to induce rat neutrophil chemotaxis, probably mediated by agent(s derived from the complement system. This hypothesis was corroborated by the capacity of the venom to activate this system in vitro. The involvement of C5a in neutrophil chemotaxis induced by venom-activated serum was demonstrated by abolishing migration when neutrophils were pre-incubated with antirat C5a receptor antibody. The relevance of the complement system in in vivo leucocyte mobilization was further demonstrated by the drastic decrease of this response in C5-deficient mice. Pre-incubation of serum with the soluble human recombinant complement receptor type 1 (sCR 1 did not prevent the response induced by the venom, but abolished the migration evoked by metalloproteinase-activated serum. These data show the role of the complement system in bothropic envenomation and the participation of metalloproteinase in the effect. Also, they suggest that the venom may contain other component(s which can cause direct activation

  17. Contour plotting programs for printer and Calcomp plotter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moller, P.

    1980-07-01

    Contour plotting programs for plotting contour diagrams on printers or Calcomp plotters are described. The subroutines also exist in versions that are useful for the special application of finding minima and saddlepoints of nuclear potential energy surfaces generated by the subroutine PETR3 of another program package. For the general user, however, the most interesting aspect of the plotting package is probably the possibility of generating printer contour plots. The plotting of printer contour plots is a very fast and convenient way of displaying two-dimensional functions. 3 figures

  18. GPU based contouring method on grid DEM data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Liheng; Wan, Gang; Li, Feng; Chen, Xiaohui; Du, Wenlong

    2017-08-01

    This paper presents a novel method to generate contour lines from grid DEM data based on the programmable GPU pipeline. The previous contouring approaches often use CPU to construct a finite element mesh from the raw DEM data, and then extract contour segments from the elements. They also need a tracing or sorting strategy to generate the final continuous contours. These approaches can be heavily CPU-costing and time-consuming. Meanwhile the generated contours would be unsmooth if the raw data is sparsely distributed. Unlike the CPU approaches, we employ the GPU's vertex shader to generate a triangular mesh with arbitrary user-defined density, in which the height of each vertex is calculated through a third-order Cardinal spline function. Then in the same frame, segments are extracted from the triangles by the geometry shader, and translated to the CPU-side with an internal order in the GPU's transform feedback stage. Finally we propose a "Grid Sorting" algorithm to achieve the continuous contour lines by travelling the segments only once. Our method makes use of multiple stages of GPU pipeline for computation, which can generate smooth contour lines, and is significantly faster than the previous CPU approaches. The algorithm can be easily implemented with OpenGL 3.3 API or higher on consumer-level PCs.

  19. Broad geographic, taxonomic and ecological patterns of interpopulation variation in the dietary habits of snakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Luiselli

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Because of their unique morphological and ecological characteristics (i.e. being obligate carnivorous, solitary, and ingesting their prey whole, snakes are expected to show unusual dietary patterns compared to other ectothermic vertebrates, and the best way to explore this is to analyse the snake dietary patterns globally. Here I review and analyse the peer-reviewed snake diet literature available in order to explore whether there are broad patterns in the interpopulation variability of diet composition in these unique ectothermic predators. I collated data for 181 independent populations belonging to 58 species of snakes from some of the main families (1 Boidae, 2 Pythonidae, 27 Colubridae, 10 Elapidae, and 18 Viperidae and from all the continents (4 from South and Central America, 13 from North America, 12 from Europe, 18 from Africa, 4 from Asia, and 7 from Australia. All these populations satisfied some precise criteria of inclusion, and were therefore re-analysed in a comparative perspective. I classified each literature entry according to 1 snake species, 2 snake family, 3 geographic position (continent of the study areas, 4 climatic region (temperate versus tropical, 5 guild (if the species is aquatic, terrestrial, or arboreal, 6 hunting strategy (sit-and-wait versus active forager, and 7 venom (if the species is venomous or not. All these seven factors were analysed by GLM procedures to evaluate their effects on the interpopulation diet variation within snake species, that was assessed by using a univariate similarity index. The various taxonomical categories of snake prey were grouped according to two different levels of taxonomic affinity: a general affinity, e.g. frogs and toads, salamanders, lizards, birds, etc., and b close affinity, by grouping prey types belonging to a same genus. My study revealed that, within-species snake populations showed a very low variability in terms of diet composition. As for the general affinity

  20. Hypernatremia in Dice snakes (Natrix tessellata) from a coastal population: implications for osmoregulation in marine snake prototypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brischoux, François; Kornilev, Yurii V

    2014-01-01

    The widespread relationship between salt excreting structures (e.g., salt glands) and marine life strongly suggests that the ability to regulate salt balance has been crucial during the transition to marine life in tetrapods. Elevated natremia (plasma sodium) recorded in several marine snakes species suggests that the development of a tolerance toward hypernatremia, in addition to salt gland development, has been a critical feature in the evolution of marine snakes. However, data from intermediate stage (species lacking salt glands but occasionally using salty environments) are lacking to draw a comprehensive picture of the evolution of an euryhaline physiology in these organisms. In this study, we assessed natremia of free-ranging Dice snakes (Natrix tessellata, a predominantly fresh water natricine lacking salt glands) from a coastal population in Bulgaria. Our results show that coastal N. tessellata can display hypernatremia (up to 195.5 mmol x l(-1)) without any apparent effect on several physiological and behavioural traits (e.g., hematocrit, body condition, foraging). More generally, a review of natremia in species situated along a continuum of habitat use between fresh- and seawater shows that snake species display a concomitant tolerance toward hypernatremia, even in species lacking salt glands. Collectively, these data suggest that a physiological tolerance toward hypernatremia has been critical during the evolution of an euryhaline physiology, and may well have preceded the evolution of salt glands.

  1. Hypernatremia in Dice snakes (Natrix tessellata from a coastal population: implications for osmoregulation in marine snake prototypes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François Brischoux

    Full Text Available The widespread relationship between salt excreting structures (e.g., salt glands and marine life strongly suggests that the ability to regulate salt balance has been crucial during the transition to marine life in tetrapods. Elevated natremia (plasma sodium recorded in several marine snakes species suggests that the development of a tolerance toward hypernatremia, in addition to salt gland development, has been a critical feature in the evolution of marine snakes. However, data from intermediate stage (species lacking salt glands but occasionally using salty environments are lacking to draw a comprehensive picture of the evolution of an euryhaline physiology in these organisms. In this study, we assessed natremia of free-ranging Dice snakes (Natrix tessellata, a predominantly fresh water natricine lacking salt glands from a coastal population in Bulgaria. Our results show that coastal N. tessellata can display hypernatremia (up to 195.5 mmol x l(-1 without any apparent effect on several physiological and behavioural traits (e.g., hematocrit, body condition, foraging. More generally, a review of natremia in species situated along a continuum of habitat use between fresh- and seawater shows that snake species display a concomitant tolerance toward hypernatremia, even in species lacking salt glands. Collectively, these data suggest that a physiological tolerance toward hypernatremia has been critical during the evolution of an euryhaline physiology, and may well have preceded the evolution of salt glands.

  2. Noninvasive Body Contouring: A Male Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wat, Heidi; Wu, Douglas C; Goldman, Mitchel P

    2018-01-01

    Noninvasive body contouring is an attractive therapeutic modality to enhance the ideal male physique. Men place higher value on enhancing a well-defined, strong, masculine jawline and developing a V-shaped taper through the upper body. An understanding of the body contour men strive for allows the treating physician to focus on areas that are of most concern to men, thus enhancing patient experience and satisfaction. This article discusses noninvasive body contouring techniques, taking into account the unique aesthetic concerns of the male patient by combining an analysis of the existing literature with our own clinical experience. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. After massive weight loss: patients' expectations of body contouring surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitzinger, Hugo B; Abayev, Sara; Pittermann, Anna; Karle, Birgit; Bohdjalian, Arthur; Langer, Felix B; Prager, Gerhard; Frey, Manfred

    2012-04-01

    Massive weight loss following bariatric surgery leads to excess skin with functional and aesthetic impairments. Surplus skin can then contribute to problems with additional weight loss or gain. The aims of the current study were to evaluate the frequency of massive soft tissue development in gastric bypass patients, to determine whether males and females experience similar post-bypass body changes, and to learn about the expectations and impairments related to body contouring surgery. A questionnaire addressing information on the satisfaction of body image, quality of life, and expectation of body contouring surgery following massive weight loss was mailed to 425 patients who had undergone gastric bypass surgery between 2003 and 2009. Of these 425 individuals, 252 (59%) patients completed the survey. Ninety percent of women and 88% of men surveyed rated their appearance following massive weight loss as satisfactory, good, or very good. However, 96% of all patients developed surplus skin, which caused intertriginous dermatitis and itching. In addition, patients reported problems with physical activity (playing sports) and finding clothing that fit appropriately. Moreover, 75% of female and 68% of male patients reported desiring body contouring surgery. The most important expectation of body contouring surgery was improved appearance, followed by improved self-confidence and quality of life. Surplus skin resulting from gastric bypass surgery is a common issue that causes functional and aesthetic impairments in patients. Consequently, this increases the desire for body contouring surgery with high expectations for the aesthetic outcome as well as improved life satisfaction.

  4. Locomotion Gait Planning of Climber Snake-Like Robot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Nezaminia

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available In this article a novel breed of snake-like climber robots has been introduced. Structure and operation of the first generation of snake-like climber robot "Marak I" has been discussed. The gait planning for two dimensional locomotion of a novel snake-like climber robot "Marak I" is presented. The types of locomotion investigated were rectilinear and wheeling gaits. The gaits of locomotion were experimented and their suitability for various applications has been mentioned. Some encountered practical problems plus solutions were addressed. Finally we found out that: the vertical motion was producing more fault than horizontal locomotion, and notably the fastest gait of locomotion was the wheeling gait

  5. Snake Envenomation Causing Distant Tracheal Myonecrosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amina Khimani

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Snakebites are often believed to be poisonous. However, this is not always the case. In fact, each bite differs from snake to snake, depending on if the snake is poisonous and if there is envenomation. Venom in pit viper snakebites is often associated with local necrosis. The abundant literature selections and research articles justify local myonecrosis due to envenomation, but there is not much in the literature regarding myonecrosis at a site distant from the snakebite. We hereby present a case of a 42-year-old man who was transferred to our emergency department after a rattlesnake bit him twice. The patient, besides developing local myonecrosis at the site of the snakebite, developed necrosis of the scrotum as well as tracheal pressure myonecrosis at the site of the endotracheal tube balloon. In this review, we will attempt to discuss the myonecrosis pathophysiology and management related to the rattle snakebite.

  6. Linking snake habitat use to nest predation risk in grassland birds: the dangers of shrub cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug, Page E; Jackrel, Sara L; With, Kimberly A

    2010-03-01

    Extremes in rangeland management, varying from too-frequent fire and intensive grazing to the suppression of both, threaten rangeland ecosystems worldwide. Intensive fire and grazing denude and homogenize vegetation whereas their suppression increases woody cover. Although habitat loss is implicated in grassland bird declines, degradation through intensive management or neglect also decreases breeding habitat and may reduce nesting success through increased rates of nest predation. Snakes are important nest predators, but little is known about how habitat use in snakes relates to predation risk for grassland birds nesting within tallgrass prairie subjected to different grazing and fire frequencies. We evaluated nest survival in the context of habitat used by nesting songbirds and two bird-eating snakes, the eastern yellowbelly racer Coluber constrictor flaviventris and Great Plains ratsnake Pantherophis emoryi. Daily nest survival rates decreased with increasing shrub cover and decreasing vegetation height, which characterize grasslands that have been neglected or intensively managed, respectively. Discriminant function analysis revealed that snake habitats were characterized by higher shrub cover, whereas successful nests were more likely to occur in areas with tall grass and forbs but reduced shrub cover. Because snakes often use shrub habitat, birds nesting in areas with increased shrub cover may be at higher risk of nest predation by snakes in addition to other predators known to use shrub habitat (e.g., mid-sized carnivores and avian predators). Depredated nests also occurred outside the discriminant space of the snakes, indicating that other predators (e.g., ground squirrels Spermophilus spp. and bullsnakes Pituophis catenifer) may be important in areas with denuded cover. Targeted removal of shrubs may increase nest success by minimizing the activity of nest predators attracted to shrub cover.

  7. The ecological origins of snakes as revealed by skull evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Da Silva, Filipe O; Fabre, Anne-Claire; Savriama, Yoland; Ollonen, Joni; Mahlow, Kristin; Herrel, Anthony; Müller, Johannes; Di-Poï, Nicolas

    2018-01-25

    The ecological origin of snakes remains amongst the most controversial topics in evolution, with three competing hypotheses: fossorial; marine; or terrestrial. Here we use a geometric morphometric approach integrating ecological, phylogenetic, paleontological, and developmental data for building models of skull shape and size evolution and developmental rate changes in squamates. Our large-scale data reveal that whereas the most recent common ancestor of crown snakes had a small skull with a shape undeniably adapted for fossoriality, all snakes plus their sister group derive from a surface-terrestrial form with non-fossorial behavior, thus redirecting the debate toward an underexplored evolutionary scenario. Our comprehensive heterochrony analyses further indicate that snakes later evolved novel craniofacial specializations through global acceleration of skull development. These results highlight the importance of the interplay between natural selection and developmental processes in snake origin and diversification, leading first to invasion of a new habitat and then to subsequent ecological radiations.

  8. A retrospective review of snake bite victims admitted in a tertiary ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Objective: Snake bite remains major public health problem worldwide. We present our experience with cases of snake bites managed in our tertiary care teaching center of South India. Materials and Methods: The details of all patients with snake bite admitted to a tertiary teaching care hospital from 2010 to 2012 were ...

  9. Snake venoms: A brief treatise on etymology, origins of terminology, and definitions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinstein, Scott A

    2015-09-01

    The ancient perceptions of "venomous" and "poisonous snakes", as well as the Indo-European (IE) etymological origins of the term "venom" specifically associated with snakes are considered. Although several ancient cultures perceived snakes as symbols of fecundity and renewal, concurrent beliefs also associated venomous snakes with undesirable human characteristics or as portending non-propitious events. The respective IE roots of the terms "venom" and "poison", "wen" and "poi" refer to desire or the act of ingesting liquids. The origin of the term, "venom", is associated with polytheistic cults that emphasized attainment of desires sometimes assisted by "love potions", a term later interpolated with the word, "poison". Specific interpretation of the term, venom, has varied since its first probable use in the mid-Thirteenth Century. The definition of snake venom has long been contended, and interpretations have often reflected emphasis on the pharmacological or experimental toxicity of medically relevant snake venoms with less regard for the basic biological bases of these venoms, as well as those from snakes with no known medical significance. Several definitions of "snake venom" and their defining criteria are reviewed, and critical consideration is given to traditional criteria that might facilitate the future establishment of a biologically accurate definition. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Metabolism of homologous and heterologous serum proteins in garter snakes (Thamnophis ordinoides)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leong, D.; Coe, J.E.

    1978-01-01

    The half-life (Tsub(1/2) of serum immunoglobulin (Ig) and albumin from snakes and mammals were determined in both garter snakes (Thamnophis ordinoides) and mice (Mus musculus). Metabolism of serum proteins in snakes was similar to mammalian protein metabolism in that homologous serum albumin had shorter Tsub(1/2) (16 days) than IgG (38 days). Also, reptilian and mammalian serum proteins had a relatively longer Tsub(1/2) when injected into closely related species. Thus mammalian serum Ig (rabbit gamma globulin (RGG)) had a shorter Tsub(1/2) (6.3 days) in snake than did homologous snake IgG (38 days), whereas in mice, RGG had a longer Tsub(1/2) (3.8 days) than snake Ig (0.9 days). Differences between metabolism of homologous and heterologous albumins were apparent only in snakes in which the Tsub(1/2) of homologous albumin was approximately 8-fold greater than mammalian albumin. These results indicate that metabolism of both Ig and albumin in snakes is regulated by specific receptors whereas albumin receptors have been difficult to demonstrate in mammals. The results of this study suggest that one of the factors determining the metabolism of a protein is its foreignness to the host perhaps because of receptor cross reactions. (author)

  11. Summing over Feynman histories by functional contour integration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garrison, J.C.; Wright, E.M.

    1986-01-01

    The authors show how complex paths can be consistently introduced into sums for Feynman histories by using the notion of functional contour integration. For a kappa-dimensional system specified by a potential with suitable analyticity properties, each coordinate axis is replaced by a copy of the complex plane, and at each instant of time a contour is chosen in each plane. This map from the time axis into the set of complex contours defines a functional contour. The family of contours labelled by time generates a (kappa+1)-dimensional submanifold of the (2kappa+1)-dimensional space defined by the cartesian product of the time axis and the coordinate planes. The complex Feynman paths lie on this submanifold. An application of this idea to systems described by absorptive potentials yields a simple derivation of the correct WKB result in terms of a complex path that extremalises the action. The method can also be applied to spherically symmetric potentials by using a partial wave expansion and restricting the contours appropriately. (author)

  12. Yellowstone-Snake River Plain seismic profilling experiment: Crustal structure of the eastern Snake River Plain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Braile, L.W.; Smith, R.B.; Ansorge, J.; Baker, M.R.; Sparlin, M.A.; Prodehl, C.; Schilly, M.M.; Healy, J.H.; Mueller, S.; Olsen, K.H.

    1982-01-01

    Seismic refraction profiles recorded along the eastern Snake River Plain (ESRP) in southeastern Idaho during the 1978 Yellowstone-Snake River Plain cooperative seismic profiling experiment are interpreted to infer the crustal velocity and attenuation (Q-1) structure of the ESRP. Travel-time and synthetic seismogram modeling of a 250 km reversed refraction profile as well as a 100 km detailed profile indicate that the crust of the ESRP is highly anomalous. Approximately 3 to 6 km of volcanic rocks (with some interbedded sediments) overlie an upper-crustal layer (compressional velocity approx. =6.1 km/s) which thins southwestward along the ESRP from a thickness of 10 km near Island Park Caldera to 2 to 3 km beneath the central and southwestern portions of the ESRP. An intermediate-velocity (approx. =6.5 km/s) layer extends from approx. =10 to approx. =20 km depth. a thick (approx. =22 km) lower crust of compressional velocity 6.8 km/s, a total crustall thickness of approx. =42 km, and a P/sub n/ velocity of approx. =7.9 km/s is observed in the ESRP, similar to the western Snake River Plain and the Rocky Mountains Provinces. High attenuation is evident on the amplitude corrected seismic data due to low-Q values in the volcanic rocks (Q/sub p/ = 20 to 200) and throughout the crust (Q/sub p/ = 160 to 300). Based on these characteristics of the crustal structure and volcanic-age progression data, it is suggested that the ESRP has resulted from an intensitive period of intrusion of mantle-derived basaltic magma into the upper crust generating explosive silicic volcanism and associated regional uplift and caldera collapse. This activity began about 15 m.y. ago in southwestern Idaho and has migrated northeast to its present position at Yellowstone. Subsequent cooling of the intruded upper crust results in the 6.5 km/s velocity intermediate layer. Crustal subsidence and periodic basaltic volcanism as represented by the ESRP complete the sequence of crustal evolution

  13. Snake assemblages of Marajó Island, Pará state, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerson Moreira Rodrigues

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT We describe the diversity, natural history and structure of snake assemblages from Marajó Island, state of Pará, Brazil, after analyzing 439 specimens deposited in herpetological collections. We tested the hypothesis that snake assemblages from forest and open areas of Marajó Island are distinct with regard to their structure, composition and functional groups. To compare the snake composition of the forest and open areas of Marajó with other comparable assemblages in Brazil, Principal Coordinate Analysis and Clustering tests were performed. A total of 61 species of snakes was recorded for Marajó, with ten species cited for the first time for the study area (Atractus natans Hoogmoed & Prudente, 2003, A. schach (Boie, 1827, Dendrophidion dendrophis (Schlegel, 1837, Helicops hagmanni Roux, 1910, Hydrops martii (Wagler in Spix, 1824, Lygophis meridionalis (Schenkel, 1901, Erythrolamprus typhlus (Linnaeus, 1758, Philodryas argentea (Daudin, 1803, Siphlophis cervinus (Laurenti, 1768, and Thamnodynastes sp.. The composition and structure of snake assemblages between forested and open were different, with five functional groups of snakes in forest areas, and three groups in open areas, based on habit and habitat. In all, 19 species were exclusive to forest areas, 10 were exclusive to open areas and 26 species were recorded in both areas. Our results revealed greater richness for forested areas, probably due to greater habitat heterogeneity. The species composition for forested area in Marajó was similar to that found in other Amazonian assemblages, while that for open areas was more similar to the Pantanal region than other open area assemblages. The general structure of the snake assemblage of Marajó was dominated by anurophagous, terrestrial and diurnal species. Terrestrial, arboreal and semi-arboreal snakes showed a seasonal offspring production pattern, while the pattern for aquatic and semi-aquatic species was aseasonal. The

  14. Detection of snake fungal disease due to Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in Virginia, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guthrie, Amanda L.; Knowles, Susan N.; Ballmann, Anne; Lorch, Jeffrey M.

    2015-01-01

    Snake fungal disease (SFD) is an emerging disease of wildlife believed to be caused by Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola. Although geographic and host ranges have yet to be determined, this disease is characterized by crusty scales, superficial pustules, and subcutaneous nodules, with subsequent morbidity and mortality in some snake species. To confirm the presence of SFD and O. ophiodiicola in snakes of eastern Virginia, USA, we clinically examined 30 free-ranging snakes on public lands from April to October 2014. Skin biopsy samples were collected from nine snakes that had gross lesions suggestive of SFD; seven of these biopsies were suitable for histologic interpretation, and eight were suitable for culture and PCR detection of O. ophiodiicola. Seven snakes had histologic features consistent with SFD and were positive for O. ophiodiicola by PCR or fungal culture.

  15. Common Visual Preference for Curved Contours in Humans and Great Apes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munar, Enric; Gómez-Puerto, Gerardo; Call, Josep; Nadal, Marcos

    2015-01-01

    Among the visual preferences that guide many everyday activities and decisions, from consumer choices to social judgment, preference for curved over sharp-angled contours is commonly thought to have played an adaptive role throughout human evolution, favoring the avoidance of potentially harmful objects. However, because nonhuman primates also exhibit preferences for certain visual qualities, it is conceivable that humans' preference for curved contours is grounded on perceptual and cognitive mechanisms shared with extant nonhuman primate species. Here we aimed to determine whether nonhuman great apes and humans share a visual preference for curved over sharp-angled contours using a 2-alternative forced choice experimental paradigm under comparable conditions. Our results revealed that the human group and the great ape group indeed share a common preference for curved over sharp-angled contours, but that they differ in the manner and magnitude with which this preference is expressed behaviorally. These results suggest that humans' visual preference for curved objects evolved from earlier primate species' visual preferences, and that during this process it became stronger, but also more susceptible to the influence of higher cognitive processes and preference for other visual features.

  16. Combining prior day contours to improve automated prostate segmentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Godley, Andrew; Sheplan Olsen, Lawrence J.; Stephans, Kevin; Zhao Anzi

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: To improve the accuracy of automatically segmented prostate, rectum, and bladder contours required for online adaptive therapy. The contouring accuracy on the current image guidance [image guided radiation therapy (IGRT)] scan is improved by combining contours from earlier IGRT scans via the simultaneous truth and performance level estimation (STAPLE) algorithm. Methods: Six IGRT prostate patients treated with daily kilo-voltage (kV) cone-beam CT (CBCT) had their original plan CT and nine CBCTs contoured by the same physician. Three types of automated contours were produced for analysis. (1) Plan: By deformably registering the plan CT to each CBCT and then using the resulting deformation field to morph the plan contours to match the CBCT anatomy. (2) Previous: The contour set drawn by the physician on the previous day CBCT is similarly deformed to match the current CBCT anatomy. (3) STAPLE: The contours drawn by the physician, on each prior CBCT and the plan CT, are deformed to match the CBCT anatomy to produce multiple contour sets. These sets are combined using the STAPLE algorithm into one optimal set. Results: Compared to plan and previous, STAPLE improved the average Dice's coefficient (DC) with the original physician drawn CBCT contours to a DC as follows: Bladder: 0.81 ± 0.13, 0.91 ± 0.06, and 0.92 ± 0.06; Prostate: 0.75 ± 0.08, 0.82 ± 0.05, and 0.84 ± 0.05; and Rectum: 0.79 ± 0.06, 0.81 ± 0.06, and 0.85 ± 0.04, respectively. The STAPLE results are within intraobserver consistency, determined by the physician blindly recontouring a subset of CBCTs. Comparing plans recalculated using the physician and STAPLE contours showed an average disagreement less than 1% for prostate D98 and mean dose, and 5% and 3% for bladder and rectum mean dose, respectively. One scan takes an average of 19 s to contour. Using five scans plus STAPLE takes less than 110 s on a 288 core graphics processor unit. Conclusions: Combining the plan and all prior days via

  17. Variation in contour and cancer of stomach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Won Hong; Hwang, Seon Moon; Yoon, Kwon Ha

    1999-01-01

    There were four types of stomach contour included eutonic, hypotonic, steerhorn, and cascade. The aim of this study is to clarify relationship between incidence of stomach cancer and contour variation of the stomach. Double- contrast upper gastrointestinal study was performed in 1,546 patients, who had dyspepsia or other gastrointestinal tract symptoms. The radiographs were classified into the four types including eutonic, hypotonic, steerhorn, and cascade according to stomach contour in relation to body build. We also reviewed pathologic reports on endoscopic biopsy or surgical specimen. We studied the presence of relationship between incidence of stomach cancer and variation of stomach contour. We also examined the incidence of gastritis and gastric ulcer to the stomach contour variation. Of total 1,546 patients, eutonic stomach were 438(28.3%), hypotonic 911(58.9%), steerhorn 102(6.5%) and cascade 95(6.2%). Stomach cancer was found in 139(31.7%) of 438 eutonic stomachs, in 135(14.8%) of 911 hypotonic, in 42(41.2%) of 102 steerhorn, and in 24(36.9%) of 95 cascade (P=0.001). In hypotonic stomach, the incidence of stomach cancer was lower compared to the other three types significantly (p<0.05). Gastritis or gastric ulcer was found in 146(33.3%) of eutonic stomach, in 293(32.1%) of hypotonic, in 36(35.2%) of steerhorn, and in 26(27.3%) of cascade (p=0.640). In conclusion, gastric contour variation seems to be a factor affecting development of stomach cancer. The patients with hypotonic stomach may have lower incidence of stomach cancer than that of the other types. There was no relationship between the contour and gastric ulcer

  18. Variation in contour and cancer of stomach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Won Hong; Hwang, Seon Moon [Asan Medical Center, Asan (Korea, Republic of); Yoon, Kwon Ha [College of Medicine, Wonkwang Univ., Iksan (Korea, Republic of)

    1999-04-01

    There were four types of stomach contour included eutonic, hypotonic, steerhorn, and cascade. The aim of this study is to clarify relationship between incidence of stomach cancer and contour variation of the stomach. Double- contrast upper gastrointestinal study was performed in 1,546 patients, who had dyspepsia or other gastrointestinal tract symptoms. The radiographs were classified into the four types including eutonic, hypotonic, steerhorn, and cascade according to stomach contour in relation to body build. We also reviewed pathologic reports on endoscopic biopsy or surgical specimen. We studied the presence of relationship between incidence of stomach cancer and variation of stomach contour. We also examined the incidence of gastritis and gastric ulcer to the stomach contour variation. Of total 1,546 patients, eutonic stomach were 438(28.3%), hypotonic 911(58.9%), steerhorn 102(6.5%) and cascade 95(6.2%). Stomach cancer was found in 139(31.7%) of 438 eutonic stomachs, in 135(14.8%) of 911 hypotonic, in 42(41.2%) of 102 steerhorn, and in 24(36.9%) of 95 cascade (P=0.001). In hypotonic stomach, the incidence of stomach cancer was lower compared to the other three types significantly (p<0.05). Gastritis or gastric ulcer was found in 146(33.3%) of eutonic stomach, in 293(32.1%) of hypotonic, in 36(35.2%) of steerhorn, and in 26(27.3%) of cascade (p=0.640). In conclusion, gastric contour variation seems to be a factor affecting development of stomach cancer. The patients with hypotonic stomach may have lower incidence of stomach cancer than that of the other types. There was no relationship between the contour and gastric ulcer.

  19. Elapid Snake Venom Analyses Show the Specificity of the Peptide Composition at the Level of Genera Naja and Notechis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aisha Munawar

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Elapid snake venom is a highly valuable, but till now mainly unexplored, source of pharmacologically important peptides. We analyzed the peptide fractions with molecular masses up to 10 kDa of two elapid snake venoms—that of the African cobra, N. m. mossambica (genus Naja, and the Peninsula tiger snake, N. scutatus, from Kangaroo Island (genus Notechis. A combination of chromatographic methods was used to isolate the peptides, which were characterized by combining complimentary mass spectrometric techniques. Comparative analysis of the peptide compositions of two venoms showed specificity at the genus level. Three-finger (3-F cytotoxins, bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPPs and a bradykinin inhibitor were isolated from the Naja venom. 3-F neurotoxins, Kunitz/basic pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI-type inhibitors and a natriuretic peptide were identified in the N. venom. The inhibiting activity of the peptides was confirmed in vitro with a selected array of proteases. Cytotoxin 1 (P01467 from the Naja venom might be involved in the disturbance of cellular processes by inhibiting the cell 20S-proteasome. A high degree of similarity between BPPs from elapid and viperid snake venoms was observed, suggesting that these molecules play a key role in snake venoms and also indicating that these peptides were recruited into the snake venom prior to the evolutionary divergence of the snakes.

  20. Adiabatic Siberian snake turn-on and acceleration through depolarizing resonances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koulsha, A.V.; Anferov, V.A.; Baiod, R.

    1993-01-01

    The authors plan to install in the IUCF Cooler Ring a rampable partial (30%) Siberian snake to test if the spin polarization is preserved during adiabatic turn-on. They also plan to use this ramped snake to accelerate polarized protons to 370 MeV while passing through two depolarizing resonances. The Siberian snake will consist of two small rampable warm solenoids placed symmetrically on either side of the exciting cold 2 T·m solenoid which would run dc at about 0.5 T·m. Ramping each warm magnet from about -0.25T·m to + 0.25 T·m. Recent experiments showed that turning on the snake in 100 msec at 370 MeV causes no serious beam loss

  1. Diversity, natural history, and geographic distribution of snakes in the Caatinga, Northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guedes, Thaís B; Nogueira, Cristiano; Marques, Otavio A V

    2014-09-19

    prey, as arthropods, annelids, and mollusks. In relation to time of activity, 35.7% of snakes are both diurnal and nocturnal, 33.0% are strictly nocturnal, and 30.4% are diurnal. The data provided herein increase the list of Caatinga snake species from 50 to 112, and includes detailed maps and information on geographic distribution. The Caatinga snake assemblage shows high richness and endemism levels, and our results highlight the usefulness of basic natural history data and revision of voucher specimens as baseline information for biogeographic studies and conservation strategies. 

  2. Skeletal heterochrony is associated with the anatomical specializations of snakes among squamate reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werneburg, Ingmar; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2015-01-01

    Snakes possess a derived anatomy, characterized by limb reduction and reorganization of the skull and internal organs. To understand the origin of snakes from an ontogenetic point of view, we conducted comprehensive investigations on the timing of skeletal elements, based on published and new data, and reconstructed the evolution of the ossification sequence among squamates. We included for the first time Varanus, a critical taxon in phylogenetic context. There is comprehensive delay in the onset of ossification of most skeletal elements in snakes when compared to reference developmental events through evolution. We hypothesize that progressing deceleration accompanied limb reduction and reorganization of the snake skull. Molecular and morphological studies have suggested close relationship of snakes to either amphisbaenians, scincids, geckos, iguanids, or varanids. Likewise, alternative hypotheses on habitat for stem snakes have been postulated. Our comprehensive heterochrony analyses detected developmental shifts in ossification for each hypothesis of snake origin. Moreover, we show that reconstruction of ancestral developmental sequences is a valuable tool to understand ontogenetic mechanisms associated with major evolutionary changes and test homology hypotheses. The "supratemporal" of snakes could be homolog to squamosal of other squamates, which starts ossification early to become relatively large in snakes. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  3. Snake venom serine proteinases specificity mapping by proteomic identification of cleavage sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelanis, André; Huesgen, Pitter F; Oliveira, Ana Karina; Tashima, Alexandre K; Serrano, Solange M T; Overall, Christopher M

    2015-01-15

    Many snake venom toxins are serine proteases but their specific in vivo targets are mostly unknown. Various act on components of the coagulation cascade, and fibrinolytic and kallikrein-kinin systems to trigger various pathological effects observed in the envenomation. Despite showing high similarity in terms of primary structure snake venom serine proteinases (SVSPs) show exquisite specificity towards macromolecular substrates. Therefore, the characterization of their peptide bond specificity is important for understanding the active site preference associated with effective proteolysis as well as for the design of peptide substrates and inhibitors. Bothrops jararaca contains various SVSPs among which Bothrops protease A is a specific fibrinogenolytic agent and PA-BJ is a platelet-activating enzyme. In this study we used proteome derived peptide libraries in the Proteomic Identification of protease Cleavage Sites (PICS) approach to explore the peptide bond specificity of Bothrops protease A and PA-BJ in order to determine their individual peptide cleavage sequences. A total of 371 cleavage sites (208 for Bothrops protease A and 163 for PA-BJ) were detected and both proteinases displayed a clear preference for arginine at the P1 position. Moreover, the analysis of the specificity profiles of Bothrops protease A and PA-BJ revealed subtle differences in the preferences along P6-P6', despite a common yet unusual preference for Pro at P2. Taken together, these results map the subsite specificity of both SVSPs and shed light in the functional differences between these proteinases. Proteolysis is key to various pathological effects observed upon envenomation by viperid snakes. The use of the Proteomic Identification of protease Cleavage Sites (PICS) approach for the easy mapping of proteinase subsite preferences at both the prime- and non-prime sides concurrently gives rise to a fresh understanding of the interaction of the snake venom serine proteinases with peptide and

  4. Economic costs of electrical system instability and power outages caused by snakes on the Island of Guam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritts, T.H.

    2002-01-01

    The Brown Tree Snake, Boiga irregularis, is an introduced species on Guam where it causes frequent electrical power outages. The snake's high abundance, its propensity for climbing, and use of disturbed habitats all contribute to interruption of Guam's electrical service and the activities that depend on electrical power. Snakes have caused more than 1600 power outages in the 20-yr period of 1978–1997 and most recently nearly 200 outages per year. Single outages spanning the entire island and lasting 8 or more hours are estimated to cost in excess of $3,000,000 in lost productivity, but the costs of outages that involve only parts of the island or those of shorter durations are more difficult to quantify. Costs to the island's economy have exceeded $4.5 M $4.5M"> per year over a 7-yr period without considering repair costs, damage to electrical equipment, and lost revenues. Snakes pose the greatest problem on high voltage transmission lines, on transformers, and inside electrical substations.

  5. South Fork Snake River/Palisades Wildlife Mitigation Project: Environmental assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-09-01

    BPA proposes to fund the implementation of the South Fork Snake River Programmatic Management Plan to compensate for losses of wildlife and wildlife habitat due to hydroelectric development at Palisades Dam. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game drafted the plan, which was completed in May 1993. This plan recommends land and conservation easement acquisition and wildlife habitat enhancement measures. These measures would be implemented on selected lands along the South Fork of the Snake River between Palisades Dam and the confluence with the Henry`s Fork, and on portions of the Henry`s Fork located in Bonneville, Madison, and Jefferson Counties, Idaho. BPA has prepared an Environmental Assessment evaluating the proposed project. The EA also incorporates by reference the analyses in the South Fork Snake River Activity/Operations Plan and EA prepared jointly in 1991 by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service. Based on the analysis in the EA, BPA has determined that the proposed action is not a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment within the meaning of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969. Therefore, the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not required and BPA is issuing this FONSI.

  6. Low level constraints on dynamic contour path integration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie Hall

    Full Text Available Contour integration is a fundamental visual process. The constraints on integrating discrete contour elements and the associated neural mechanisms have typically been investigated using static contour paths. However, in our dynamic natural environment objects and scenes vary over space and time. With the aim of investigating the parameters affecting spatiotemporal contour path integration, we measured human contrast detection performance of a briefly presented foveal target embedded in dynamic collinear stimulus sequences (comprising five short 'predictor' bars appearing consecutively towards the fovea, followed by the 'target' bar in four experiments. The data showed that participants' target detection performance was relatively unchanged when individual contour elements were separated by up to 2° spatial gap or 200 ms temporal gap. Randomising the luminance contrast or colour of the predictors, on the other hand, had similar detrimental effect on grouping dynamic contour path and subsequent target detection performance. Randomising the orientation of the predictors reduced target detection performance greater than introducing misalignment relative to the contour path. The results suggest that the visual system integrates dynamic path elements to bias target detection even when the continuity of path is disrupted in terms of spatial (2°, temporal (200 ms, colour (over 10 colours and luminance (-25% to 25% information. We discuss how the findings can be largely reconciled within the functioning of V1 horizontal connections.

  7. Spatial profile of contours inducing long-range color assimilation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devinck, Frédéric; Spillmann, Lothar; Werner, John S

    2006-01-01

    Color induction was measured using a matching method for two spatial patterns, each composed of double contours. In one pattern (the standard), the contours had sharp edges to induce the Watercolor Effect (WCE); in the other, the two contours had a spatial taper so that the overall profile produced a sawtooth edge, or ramped stimulus. These patterns were chosen based on our previous study demonstrating that the strength of the chromatic WCE depends on a luminance difference between the two contours. Low-pass chromatic mechanisms, unlike bandpass luminance mechanisms, may be expected to be insensitive to the difference between the two spatial profiles. The strength of the watercolor spreading was similar for the two patterns at narrow widths of the contour possibly because of chromatic aberration, but with wider contours, the standard stimulus produced stronger assimilation than the ramped stimulus. This research suggests that luminance-dependent chromatic mechanisms mediate the WCE and that these mechanisms are sensitive to differences in the two spatial profiles of the pattern contours only when they are wide.

  8. Postmortem examination of Australian sea snakes ( Hydrophiinae): Anatomy and common pathologic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillett, Amber K; Ploeg, Richard; Flint, Mark; Mills, Paul C

    2017-09-01

    There is limited published information about disease in wild sea snakes and no standardized guideline for postmortem examination of sea snakes. Identifying causes of morbidity and mortality of marine vertebrate species has been pivotal to understanding disease factors implicated in stranding events and assisting with the formulation of conservation plans. Additionally, postmortem findings can provide valuable information on life history traits and the ecology of these reclusive species. Sick, moribund, or dead sea snakes are intermittently washed ashore along Australian and international beaches and provide an opportunity to examine a subset of the population and identify causes of population decline. We present an illustrated description of sea snake anatomy and describe a systematic approach to postmortem examination of sea snakes. We describe common pathologic conditions identified from clinical and postmortem examinations of stranded Australian sea snakes from southeast Queensland. Notable pathologic conditions include traumatic injury, inflammatory conditions, parasitic infections, and neoplasia.

  9. GENETIC BASIS OF ACTIVITY METABOLISM. I. INHERITANCE OF SPEED, STAMINA, AND ANTIPREDATOR DISPLAYS IN THE GARTER SNAKE THAMNOPHIS SIRTALIS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garland, Theodore

    1988-03-01

    Recent conceptual advances in physiological ecology emphasize the potential selective importance of whole-animal performance. Empirical studies of locomotor performance in reptiles have revealed surprising amounts of individual variation in speed and stamina. The present study is the first in a series examining the genetic basis of variation in locomotor performance, activity metabolism, and associated behaviors in garter snakes. Maximal sprint crawling speed, treadmill endurance, and antipredator displays (Arnold and Bennett, 1984; exhibited as snakes reached exhaustion on the treadmill) were measured for approximately six offspring (presumed to be full siblings) from each of 46 wild-caught gravid garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis). Each character was measured on two days; all were individually repeatable. Correlations of these characters with body mass, snout-vent length, age at testing, litter size, dam mass, and dam snout-vent length were removed by computing residuals from multiple-regression equations. These residuals were used in subsequent genetic analyses. Approximate coefficients of variation of residuals were 17% for speed, 48% for endurance, and 31% for antipredator displays. Broad-sense heritabilities were significant for all characters: speed h 2 = 0.58; stamina h 2 = 0.70; antipredator display h 2 = 0.42. All three residual characters showed positive and statistically significant phenotypic correlations (r = 0.19-0.36). Genetic correlations (estimated and tested by restricted maximum likelihood) among residuals were positive and highly significant between speed and endurance (0.58), but nonsignificant between speed and antipredator display (0.43), and between endurance and antipredator display (0.26). All environmental correlations were nonsignificant. These data suggest that, contrary to expectations based on previous physiological studies, there may be no necessary evolutionary trade-off between speed and stamina in these animals. This tentative

  10. Role of economics in endangered species act activities related to Snake River salmon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woodruff, E.J.; Huppert, D.D.

    1993-01-01

    The development of recovery actions for the species of Snake River Salmon listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) must consider a wide range of actions covering the different life-cycles of the species. This paper examines the possible role of economic analysis in assisting in selection of actions to undertake and draws heavily on similar opinions presented by others in the region

  11. Antibacterial activity of different types of snake venom from the Viperidae family against Staphylococcus aureus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabela Nascimento Canhas

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Toxins and venoms produced by living organisms have exhibited a variety of biological activities against microorganisms. In this study, we tested seven snake venoms from the family Viperidae for antibacterial activity and the activities of reversal of antibiotic resistance and inhibition of biofilm formation against 22 clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus. Bothrops moojeni venom exhibited anti staphylococcal activity with the lowest mean value of minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC. Moreover, reversal of antibiotic resistance was observed for combinations of B. moojeni venom (½ x MIC and norfloxacin or ampicillin (both ½ x MIC for 86.4% and 50% of the isolates, respectively. B. moojeni venom alone at ½ MIC inhibited 90% of biofilm formation, whereas in combination with ciprofloxacin, both at ½ MIC, a reduction on the NorA efflux pump activity was observed. The detection of in vitro mutants colonies of S. aureus resistant to B. moojeni venom was low and they did not survive. A phospholipase A2 was purified from the venom of B. moojeni and displayed anti-staphylococcal activity when tested alone or in combination with ciprofloxacin. The results presented here will contribute to the search for new antimicrobial agents against resistant S. aureus.

  12. Corticosterone and the transition from courtship behavior to dispersal in male red-sided garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cease, Arianne J; Lutterschmidt, Deborah I; Mason, Robert T

    2007-01-01

    Seasonal modulation of baseline glucocorticoid concentrations as well as the sensitivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis plays an important role in supporting critical life-history events such as seasonal reproduction and migration. Despite numerous studies on adrenocortical modulation, little is known about the exact timing of this seasonal modulation with respect to critical life-history stages. We tested the hypothesis that seasonal modulation of the HPA axis during the spring mating season in male red-sided garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis) is temporally linked to the mechanisms regulating dispersal. We compared hormonal responses to capture stress in courting male red-sided garter snakes collected from the den site and den perimeter to those of dispersing snakes collected 0.6 km from the den. We also investigated possible changes in steroid hormones during the spring mating season. These studies support previous findings that plasma androgen and corticosterone concentrations significantly decline over the mating season. Our results demonstrate that males 0.6 km into a 15-20 km route to the feeding grounds have lower baseline corticosterone concentrations than male snakes actively courting at the den. Dispersing males also exhibit a typical stress response marked by a significant increase in corticosterone while actively courting males do not. Capture stress did not significantly influence androgen concentrations of either courting or dispersing male red-sided garter snakes. There were no significant differences in body composition indices among male snakes collected from the den, den perimeter, or 0.6 km away from the den. However, we did observe a significant negative correlation between baseline corticosterone levels and body composition indices. These data suggest that breeding is a distinct stage accompanied by specific physiological parameters that differ from those during dispersal to the feeding grounds. Our results

  13. Scanning laser ophthalmoscopy and optical coherence tomography imaging of spectacular ecdysis in the corn snake (Pantherophis guttatus) and the California king snake (Lampropeltis getulus californiae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazalot, Guillaume; Rival, Franck; Linsart, Adeline; Isard, Pierre-François; Tissier, Marion; Peiffer, Robert Louis; Dulaurent, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    One of the singularities of the eyes of snakes is the presence of the spectacle, a transparent and vascularized integument covering the cornea. The spectacle is completely renewed during ecdysis. Combined scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (SLO), optical coherence tomography (OCT), and conventional macrophotography were used to image this phenomenon. A spectral OCT/SLO examination and macrophotography were performed in four healthy adult corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) and one healthy adult California king snake (Lampropeltis getulus californiae) the day before the start of ecdysis and then daily during ecdysis. In all animals, ecdysis lasted 5 days. The spectacle was hardly visible at baseline, but became obvious at day one, while the subspectacular space became larger and the superficial cornea presented a hyperechoic band. At day two, eye surface became translucent, and at the same time, vascularization of the spectacle was visible using SLO. At day 3, the vascularization was no longer visible, while the subspectacular space increased and the eye surface remained translucent. At day 4, the eye surface was transparent and the superficial hyperechoic band started to become less bright. At day 5, the old spectacle was shed and all the parameters returned to baseline. We hypothesize that the echogenicity modifications of the anterior cornea correspond to major metabolic activity associated with new spectacle formation. This increased metabolic activity may contribute to the neovascularization and play an important role in the accumulation of fluid in the subspectacular space, facilitating the shedding of the old spectacle. © 2014 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

  14. The Antinociceptive Effects of Iranian Cobra Snake Venom using Formalin Test

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahra Hadi Chegeni

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background: There have been numerous reports of snake venoms being employed as analgesics in attempts to relieve severe pain associated with cancer, immune dysfunction and viral infections. This study investigates the antinociceptive effects of iranian cobra snake venom (Naja naja oxiana in comparison with morphine and lidocain on laboratorial femal mice. Materials and Methods: This study has been done on 48 NMRI female mice of 18-20 g in weight. Antinociceptive activeity of snake venom was evaluated by formalin test. In this test, the animals were divided into 6 groups (each group consisting of 8 mice: Sham, positive Control (receiving morphine at dose of 5 mg/kg, and receiving lidocain at dose of 20 mg/kg, and experimental groups receiving venom at doses of 1, 3 and 4/5 µg/mice. In all groups, the formalin test was recorded for 60 min after administration of venom and drugs in mice. Data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA and Tukey test. Results: The results showed that the venom of Naja naja oxiana decreased nociception meaningfully in both acute and chronic phases. We also showed that this venom revealed even a better analgesic activity in comparison with morphine and lidocain. Conclusion: This study showed that the antinociceptive effect of the venom was mediated through central nervous system and peripheral mechanisms. Although details of the mechanism remain unclear, and further studies should be considered to demonstrate its therapeutic effects.

  15. [Application of rapid PCR to authenticate medicinal snakes].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Kang; Jiang, Chao; Yuan, Yuan; Huang, Lu-Qi; Li, Man

    2014-10-01

    To obtained an accurate, rapid and efficient method for authenticate medicinal snakes listed in Chinese Pharmacopoeia (Zaocysd humnades, Bungarus multicinctus, Agkistrodon acutus), a rapid PCR method for authenticate snakes and its adulterants was established based on the classic molecular authentication methods. DNA was extracted by alkaline lysis and the specific primers were amplified by two-steps PCR amplification method. The denatured and annealing temperature and cycle numbers were optimized. When 100 x SYBR Green I was added in the PCR product, strong green fluorescence was visualized under 365 nm UV whereas adulterants without. The whole process can complete in 30-45 minutes. The established method provides the technical support for authentication of the snakes on field.

  16. Differential transcript profile of inhibitors with potential anti-venom role in the liver of juvenile and adult Bothrops jararaca snake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cícera Maria Gomes

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Background Snakes belonging to the Bothrops genus are vastly distributed in Central and South America and are responsible for most cases of reported snake bites in Latin America. The clinical manifestations of the envenomation caused by this genus are due to three major activities—proteolytic, hemorrhagic and coagulant—mediated by metalloproteinases, serine proteinases, phospholipases A2 and other toxic compounds present in snake venom. Interestingly, it was observed that snakes are resistant to the toxic effects of its own and other snake’s venoms. This natural immunity may occur due the absence of toxin target or the presence of molecules in the snake plasma able to neutralize such toxins. Methods In order to identify anti-venom molecules, we construct a cDNA library from the liver of B. jararaca snakes. Moreover, we analyzed the expression profile of four molecules—the already known anti-hemorrhagic factor Bj46a, one gamma-phospholipase A2 inhibitor, one inter-alpha inhibitor and one C1 plasma protease inhibitor—in the liver of juvenile and adult snakes by qPCR. Results The results revealed a 30-fold increase of gamma-phospholipase A2 inhibitor and a minor increase of the inter-alpha inhibitor (5-fold and of the C1 inhibitor (3-fold in adults. However, the Bj46a factor seems to be equally transcribed in adults and juveniles. Discussion The results suggest the up-regulation of different inhibitors observed in the adult snakes might be a physiological adaptation to the recurrent contact with their own and even other snake’s venoms throughout its lifespan. This is the first comparative analysis of ontogenetic variation of expression profiles of plasmatic proteins with potential anti-venom activities of the venomous snake B. jararaca. Furthermore, the present data contributes to the understanding of the natural resistance described in these snakes.

  17. A heteromeric snake toxin and the molecular details of pain perception

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strømgaard, Kristian; Kristensen, Anders Skov

    2012-01-01

    Gaining on pain: Two snake protein toxins combine to form a heteromeric complex, MitTx, which activates acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) and elicits pain. MitTx is used to explore the roles of specific ASIC subtypes in pain pathways. These insights may provide new pharmacological tools ultimately...

  18. Comparison of cranial form and function in association with diet in natricine snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hampton, Paul M

    2011-12-01

    The skull of squamates has many functions, with food acquisition and ingestion being paramount. Snakes vary interspecifically in the frequency, size, and types of prey that are consumed. Natural selection should favor phenotypes that minimize the costs of energy acquisition; therefore, trophic morphology should reflect a snake's primary prey type to enhance some aspect of feeding performance. I measured 19 cranial variables for six natricine species that vary in the frequency with which they consume frogs and fish. Both conventional and phylogenetically corrected analyses indicated that fish-eating snakes have relatively longer upper and lower jaw elements than frog-eating snakes, which tended to have broader skull components. I also compared the ratio of the in-lever to the out-lever lengths of the jaw-closing mechanism [jaw mechanical advantage (MA)] among species. Fish-eating snakes had significantly lower MAs in the jaws than did the frog-eating snakes. This result suggests that piscivores have faster closing jaws and that the jaws of frog-eating snakes have higher closing forces. Cranial morphology and the functional demands of prey capture and ingestion appear to be associated with primary prey type in natricine snakes. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  19. Roentgenological differential diagnosis of the psoas contour

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Voran, G.; Pfab, R.; Hess, F.

    1984-01-01

    The assessment of the psoas border contour in the X-ray photo of the abdomen is important for differential diagnostic considerations. For the separation of fallacious psoas configurations which are similar to the well defined pathological form changes, a regular supine position of the patient was chosen, and the psoas examined without and with muscle tension. The whole visible psoas muscle system did not show any unilateral bulging of the border silhouette during muscle action. Isolated tension of the left psoas muscle induced a distinct deviation of both border contours to the left side, too. There was a clear tendency of a more distinct psoas border contour and of augmented opacity of the muscle over its whole length under muscle tension. Changes similar to the bulging border contour of a psoas abscess were not produced by muscular action. (orig.) [de

  20. [Development of a Software for Automatically Generated Contours in Eclipse TPS].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Zhao; Hu, Jinyou; Zou, Lian; Zhang, Weisha; Zou, Yuxin; Luo, Kelin; Liu, Xiangxiang; Yu, Luxin

    2015-03-01

    The automatic generation of planning targets and auxiliary contours have achieved in Eclipse TPS 11.0. The scripting language autohotkey was used to develop a software for automatically generated contours in Eclipse TPS. This software is named Contour Auto Margin (CAM), which is composed of operational functions of contours, script generated visualization and script file operations. RESULTS Ten cases in different cancers have separately selected, in Eclipse TPS 11.0 scripts generated by the software could not only automatically generate contours but also do contour post-processing. For different cancers, there was no difference between automatically generated contours and manually created contours. The CAM is a user-friendly and powerful software, and can automatically generated contours fast in Eclipse TPS 11.0. With the help of CAM, it greatly save plan preparation time and improve working efficiency of radiation therapy physicists.

  1. Incomplete contour representations and shape descriptors : ICR test studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ghosh, Anarta; Petkov, Nicolai; Gregorio, MD; DiMaio,; Frucci, M; Musio, C

    2005-01-01

    Inspired by psychophysical studies of the human cognitive abilities we propose a novel aspect and a method for performance evaluation of contour based shape recognition algorithms regarding their robustness to incompleteness of contours. We use complete contour representations of objects as a

  2. Inhibitory potential of important phytochemicals from Pergularia daemia (Forsk. chiov., on snake venom (Naja naja

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.T.V. Raghavamma

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Pergularia daemia (Forsk. chiov., is a milk weed of Asclepiadaceae family. In the present study β-sitosterol, β-amyrin, α-amyrin and lupeol were identified in the leaf by GC–MS. Molecular docking studies were performed to evaluate their activities on phospholipase A2 (PLA2 and l-amino acid oxidase enzymes which constituted a rich source in snake venoms (Naja naja. Snake venom Phospholipase A2 with PDB code 1A3D devoid of co-crystallized ligand was extracted from Protein Data Bank. Using Molegro Virtual Docker two cavities are formed by cocrystallization. l-Amino acid oxidase (PDB code 4E0V was a receptor model with a co-crystallized ligand FAD. Among the phytochemicals analysed, β-sitosterol displayed high affinity of binding to the active site regions of phospholipase A2 and l-amino acid oxidase, respectively. The affinity of binding was −125.939 and −157.521 kcal/mole identified by gold scores. α-Amyrin and β-amyrin had two hydrogen bond interactions with PLA2. Hence this study suggests that β-sitosterol identified in P. daemia can antagonize PLA2 and LAAO activities and forms a theoretical basis for the folk use of the plant against snake venom.

  3. Does aquatic foraging impact head shape evolution in snakes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segall, Marion; Cornette, Raphaël; Fabre, Anne-Claire; Godoy-Diana, Ramiro; Herrel, Anthony

    2016-08-31

    Evolutionary trajectories are often biased by developmental and historical factors. However, environmental factors can also impose constraints on the evolutionary trajectories of organisms leading to convergence of morphology in similar ecological contexts. The physical properties of water impose strong constraints on aquatic feeding animals by generating pressure waves that can alert prey and potentially push them away from the mouth. These hydrodynamic constraints have resulted in the independent evolution of suction feeding in most groups of secondarily aquatic tetrapods. Despite the fact that snakes cannot use suction, they have invaded the aquatic milieu many times independently. Here, we test whether the aquatic environment has constrained head shape evolution in snakes and whether shape converges on that predicted by biomechanical models. To do so, we used three-dimensional geometric morphometrics and comparative, phylogenetically informed analyses on a large sample of aquatic snake species. Our results show that aquatic snakes partially conform to our predictions and have a narrower anterior part of the head and dorsally positioned eyes and nostrils. This morphology is observed, irrespective of the phylogenetic relationships among species, suggesting that the aquatic environment does indeed drive the evolution of head shape in snakes, thus biasing the evolutionary trajectory of this group of animals. © 2016 The Author(s).

  4. Shortcomings in snake bite management in rural Cameroon: a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tianyi, Frank-Leonel; Dimala, Christian Akem; Feteh, Vitalis Fambombi

    2017-06-08

    Snake bites are an important public health problem in developing countries with most bites occurring in rural areas. Severe envenomation often occurs in children and following bites to the face. Prompt administration of potent anti-venom remains the mainstay of management. However in Cameroon, the use of anti-venoms is limited by non-availability, high cost (where available) and poor mastery of treatment guidelines. We present a 10-year-old muslim Cameroonian child from an enclaved rural area, brought to the hospital 12 h after a snake bite to the face, with signs of severe envenomation. Despite the suboptimal anti-venom dose administered to this patient due to a stock out of this medication, supportive therapy was beneficial in ensuring a positive outcome and satisfactory recovery. This highlights snake bites as a public health problem due to the lack of snake anti-venoms in peripheral health facilities, rendering them unable to appropriately manage these cases. National health policies should encourage constant peripheral availability of anti-venoms and the institution of an intervention package for snake bite management, comprising: treatment protocol, staff training, monitoring of compliance and community education to help reduce the mortality and morbidity from snake bites.

  5. SU-C-BRB-05: Determining the Adequacy of Auto-Contouring Via Probabilistic Assessment of Ensuing Treatment Plan Metrics in Comparison with Manual Contours

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nourzadeh, H; Watkins, W; Siebers, J; Ahmad, M

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: To determine if auto-contour and manual-contour—based plans differ when evaluated with respect to probabilistic coverage metrics and biological model endpoints for prostate IMRT. Methods: Manual and auto-contours were created for 149 CT image sets acquired from 16 unique prostate patients. A single physician manually contoured all images. Auto-contouring was completed utilizing Pinnacle’s Smart Probabilistic Image Contouring Engine (SPICE). For each CT, three different 78 Gy/39 fraction 7-beam IMRT plans are created; PD with drawn ROIs, PAS with auto-contoured ROIs, and PM with auto-contoured OARs with the manually drawn target. For each plan, 1000 virtual treatment simulations with different sampled systematic errors for each simulation and a different sampled random error for each fraction were performed using our in-house GPU-accelerated robustness analyzer tool which reports the statistical probability of achieving dose-volume metrics, NTCP, TCP, and the probability of achieving the optimization criteria for both auto-contoured (AS) and manually drawn (D) ROIs. Metrics are reported for all possible cross-evaluation pairs of ROI types (AS,D) and planning scenarios (PD,PAS,PM). Bhattacharyya coefficient (BC) is calculated to measure the PDF similarities for the dose-volume metric, NTCP, TCP, and objectives with respect to the manually drawn contour evaluated on base plan (D-PD). Results: We observe high BC values (BC≥0.94) for all OAR objectives. BC values of max dose objective on CTV also signify high resemblance (BC≥0.93) between the distributions. On the other hand, BC values for CTV’s D95 and Dmin objectives are small for AS-PM, AS-PD. NTCP distributions are similar across all evaluation pairs, while TCP distributions of AS-PM, AS-PD sustain variations up to %6 compared to other evaluated pairs. Conclusion: No significant probabilistic differences are observed in the metrics when auto-contoured OARs are used. The prostate auto-contour needs

  6. SU-C-BRB-05: Determining the Adequacy of Auto-Contouring Via Probabilistic Assessment of Ensuing Treatment Plan Metrics in Comparison with Manual Contours

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nourzadeh, H; Watkins, W; Siebers, J; Ahmad, M [University of Virginia Health Systems, Charlottesville, VA (United States)

    2016-06-15

    Purpose: To determine if auto-contour and manual-contour—based plans differ when evaluated with respect to probabilistic coverage metrics and biological model endpoints for prostate IMRT. Methods: Manual and auto-contours were created for 149 CT image sets acquired from 16 unique prostate patients. A single physician manually contoured all images. Auto-contouring was completed utilizing Pinnacle’s Smart Probabilistic Image Contouring Engine (SPICE). For each CT, three different 78 Gy/39 fraction 7-beam IMRT plans are created; PD with drawn ROIs, PAS with auto-contoured ROIs, and PM with auto-contoured OARs with the manually drawn target. For each plan, 1000 virtual treatment simulations with different sampled systematic errors for each simulation and a different sampled random error for each fraction were performed using our in-house GPU-accelerated robustness analyzer tool which reports the statistical probability of achieving dose-volume metrics, NTCP, TCP, and the probability of achieving the optimization criteria for both auto-contoured (AS) and manually drawn (D) ROIs. Metrics are reported for all possible cross-evaluation pairs of ROI types (AS,D) and planning scenarios (PD,PAS,PM). Bhattacharyya coefficient (BC) is calculated to measure the PDF similarities for the dose-volume metric, NTCP, TCP, and objectives with respect to the manually drawn contour evaluated on base plan (D-PD). Results: We observe high BC values (BC≥0.94) for all OAR objectives. BC values of max dose objective on CTV also signify high resemblance (BC≥0.93) between the distributions. On the other hand, BC values for CTV’s D95 and Dmin objectives are small for AS-PM, AS-PD. NTCP distributions are similar across all evaluation pairs, while TCP distributions of AS-PM, AS-PD sustain variations up to %6 compared to other evaluated pairs. Conclusion: No significant probabilistic differences are observed in the metrics when auto-contoured OARs are used. The prostate auto-contour needs

  7. Identification of potent odorants in different cultivars of snake fruit [Salacca zalacca (Gaert.) Voss] using gas chromatography-olfactometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wijaya, C H; Ulrich, D; Lestari, R; Schippel, K; Ebert, G

    2005-03-09

    Three cultivars of snake fruits, Pondoh Hitam, Pondoh Super, and Gading, were freshly extracted using liquid-liquid extraction. The aroma compounds of the three samples were analyzed by GC-MS and GC-olfactometry using the nasal impact frequency (NIF) method. A total of 24 odor-active compounds were associated with the aroma of snake fruit. Methyl 3-methylpentanoate was regarded as the character impact odorant of typical snake fruit aroma. 2-Methylbutanoic acid, 3-methylpentanoic acid, and an unknown odorant with very high intensity were found to be responsible for the snake fruit's sweaty odor. Other odorants including methyl 3-methyl-2-butenoate (overripe fruity, ethereal), methyl 3-methyl-2-pentenoate (ethereal, strong green, woody), and 2,5-dimethyl-4-hydroxy-3[2]-furanone (caramel, sweet, cotton candy-like) contribute to the overall aroma of snake fruit. Methyl dihydrojasmonate and isoeugenol, which also have odor impact, were identified for the first time as snake fruit volatiles. The main differences between the aroma of Pondoh and Gading cultivars could be attributed to the olfactory attributes (metallic, chemical, rubbery, strong green, and woody), which were perceived by most of the panelists in the Pondoh samples but were not detected in the Gading samples. This work is a prerequisite for effective selection of salak genotypes with optimal aroma profiles for high consumer acceptance.

  8. Volume of eggs in the clutches of Grass snake Natrix natrix and Dice snake N. tessellata: error correction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klenina Anastasiya Aleksandrovna

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The authors have made a mistake in calculating the volume of eggs in the clutches of snake family Natrix. In this article we correct the error. As a result, it was revealed, that the volume of eggs positively correlates with a female length and its mass, as well as with the quantity of eggs in the clutches. There is a positive correlation between the characteristics of newborn snakes (length and mass and the volume of eggs, from which they hatched.

  9. Computer-aided diagnosis of pulmonary nodules on CT scans: Segmentation and classification using 3D active contours

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Way, Ted W.; Hadjiiski, Lubomir M.; Sahiner, Berkman; Chan, H.-P.; Cascade, Philip N.; Kazerooni, Ella A.; Bogot, Naama; Zhou Chuan

    2006-01-01

    We are developing a computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) system to classify malignant and benign lung nodules found on CT scans. A fully automated system was designed to segment the nodule from its surrounding structured background in a local volume of interest (VOI) and to extract image features for classification. Image segmentation was performed with a three-dimensional (3D) active contour (AC) method. A data set of 96 lung nodules (44 malignant, 52 benign) from 58 patients was used in this study. The 3D AC model is based on two-dimensional AC with the addition of three new energy components to take advantage of 3D information: (1) 3D gradient, which guides the active contour to seek the object surface (2) 3D curvature, which imposes a smoothness constraint in the z direction, and (3) mask energy, which penalizes contours that grow beyond the pleura or thoracic wall. The search for the best energy weights in the 3D AC model was guided by a simplex optimization method. Morphological and gray-level features were extracted from the segmented nodule. The rubber band straightening transform (RBST) was applied to the shell of voxels surrounding the nodule. Texture features based on run-length statistics were extracted from the RBST image. A linear discriminant analysis classifier with stepwise feature selection was designed using a second simplex optimization to select the most effective features. Leave-one-case-out resampling was used to train and test the CAD system. The system achieved a test area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (A z ) of 0.83±0.04. Our preliminary results indicate that use of the 3D AC model and the 3D texture features surrounding the nodule is a promising approach to the segmentation and classification of lung nodules with CAD. The segmentation performance of the 3D AC model trained with our data set was evaluated with 23 nodules available in the Lung Image Database Consortium (LIDC). The lung nodule volumes segmented by the 3D AC

  10. Invariance Signatures: Characterizing contours by their departures from invariance

    OpenAIRE

    Squire, David; Caelli, Terry M.

    1997-01-01

    In this paper, a new invariant feature of two-dimensional contours is reported: the Invariance Signature. The Invariance Signature is a measure of the degree to which a contour is invariant under a variety of transformations, derived from the theory of Lie transformation groups. It is shown that the Invariance Signature is itself invariant under shift, rotation and scaling of the contour. Since it is derived from local properties of the contour, it is well-suited to a neural network implement...

  11. Ecological and phylogenetic variability in the spinalis muscle of snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tingle, J L; Gartner, G E A; Jayne, B C; Garland, T

    2017-11-01

    Understanding the origin and maintenance of functionally important subordinate traits is a major goal of evolutionary physiologists and ecomorphologists. Within the confines of a limbless body plan, snakes are diverse in terms of body size and ecology, but we know little about the functional traits that underlie this diversity. We used a phylogenetically diverse group of 131 snake species to examine associations between habitat use, sidewinding locomotion and constriction behaviour with the number of body vertebrae spanned by a single segment of the spinalis muscle, with total numbers of body vertebrae used as a covariate in statistical analyses. We compared models with combinations of these predictors to determine which best fit the data among all species and for the advanced snakes only (N = 114). We used both ordinary least-squares models and phylogenetic models in which the residuals were modelled as evolving by the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process. Snakes with greater numbers of vertebrae tended to have spinalis muscles that spanned more vertebrae. Habitat effects dominated models for analyses of all species and advanced snakes only, with the spinalis length spanning more vertebrae in arboreal species and fewer vertebrae in aquatic and burrowing species. Sidewinding specialists had shorter muscle lengths than nonspecialists. The relationship between prey constriction and spinalis length was less clear. Differences among clades were also strong when considering all species, but not for advanced snakes alone. Overall, these results suggest that muscle morphology may have played a key role in the adaptive radiation of snakes. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  12. Molecular Evolution of the Infrared Sensory Gene TRPA1 in Snakes and Implications for Functional Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Ke; Zhang, Peng

    2011-01-01

    TRPA1 is a calcium ion channel protein recently identified as the infrared receptor in pit organ-containing snakes. Therefore, understanding the molecular evolution of TRPA1 may help to illuminate the origin of “heat vision” in snakes and reveal the molecular mechanism of infrared sensitivity for TRPA1. To this end, we sequenced the infrared sensory gene TRPA1 in 24 snake species, representing nine snake families and multiple non-snake outgroups. We found that TRPA1 is under strong positive selection in the pit-bearing snakes studied, but not in other non-pit snakes and non-snake vertebrates. As a comparison, TRPV1, a gene closely related to TRPA1, was found to be under strong purifying selection in all the species studied, with no difference in the strength of selection between pit-bearing snakes and non-pit snakes. This finding demonstrates that the adaptive evolution of TRPA1 specifically occurred within the pit-bearing snakes and may be related to the functional modification for detecting infrared radiation. In addition, by comparing the TRPA1 protein sequences, we identified 11 amino acid sites that were diverged in pit-bearing snakes but conserved in non-pit snakes and other vertebrates, 21 sites that were diverged only within pit-vipers but conserved in the remaining snakes. These specific amino acid substitutions may be potentially functional important for infrared sensing. PMID:22163322

  13. Snake River Sockeye Salmon Habitat and Limnological Research; 2004 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kohler, Andre E.; Taki, Doug (Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, Fort Hall, ID); Griswold, Robert G. (Biolines, Stanley, ID)

    2004-06-01

    In March 1990, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to list the Snake River sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) as endangered. Snake River sockeye salmon were officially listed as endangered in November 1991 under the Endangered Species Act (56 FR 58619). In 1991, the Snake River Sockeye Salmon Habitat and Limnological Research Program was implemented (Project Number 1991-071-00). This project is part of an interagency effort to prevent the extinction of the Redfish Lake stock of sockeye salmon. The Shoshone-Bannock Tribal goal for this project is two tiered: The immediate goal is to increase the population of Snake River sockeye salmon while preserving the unique genetic characteristics of the Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU); The Tribe's long term goal is to maintain a viable population that warrants delisting and provides Tribal harvest opportunities. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) provides funding for this interagency recovery program through their Integrated Fish and Wildlife Program. Collaborators in the recovery effort include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), the University of Idaho (UI), and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes (SBT). This report summarizes activities conducted by Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Fisheries Department personnel during the 2004 calendar year. Project tasks include: (1) monitor limnological parameters of the Sawtooth Valley lakes to assess lake productivity; (2) conduct lake fertilization in Pettit Lake; (3) reduce the number of mature kokanee salmon spawning in Fishhook Creek; (4) monitor and enumerate sockeye salmon smolt migration from Pettit and Alturas lakes; (5) monitor spawning kokanee salmon escapement and estimate fry recruitment in Fishhook, Alturas Lake, and Stanley Lake creeks; (6) conduct sockeye salmon and kokanee salmon population surveys; (7) evaluate potential competition and predation

  14. Snake River Sockeye Salmon Habitat and Limnological Research; 2003 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taki, Doug; Kohler, Andre E. (Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, Fort Hall, ID); Griswold, Robert G. (Biolines, Stanley, ID)

    2004-01-01

    In March 1990, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to list the Snake River sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) as endangered. As a result of that petition, the Snake River sockeye salmon was officially listed as endangered in November 1991 under the Endangered Species Act (56 FR 58619). In 1991, the Snake River Sockeye Salmon Habitat and Limnological Research Program was implemented (Project Number 1991-071-00). This project is part of an interagency effort to prevent the extinction of the Redfish Lake stock of sockeye salmon. The Shoshone-Bannock Tribal goal for this project is two tiered: The immediate goal is to increase the population of Snake River sockeye salmon while preserving the unique genetic characteristics of the Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU). The Tribes long term goal is to maintain a viable population that warrants delisting and provides Tribal harvest opportunities. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) provides funding for this interagency recovery program through the Northwest Power and Conservation Council Fish and Wildlife Program (NPCCFWP). Collaborators in the recovery effort include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), the University of Idaho (UI), and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes (SBT). This report summarizes activities conducted by Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Fisheries Department personnel during the 2003 calendar year. Project objectives include: (1) monitor limnological parameters of the Sawtooth Valley lakes to assess lake productivity; (2) reduce the number of mature kokanee spawning in Fishhook Creek; (3) monitor sockeye salmon smolt migration from the captive rearing program release of juveniles into Pettit and Alturas lakes; (4) monitor spawning kokanee escapement and estimate fry recruitment in Fishhook, Alturas Lake, and Stanley Lake creeks; (5) conduct sockeye and kokanee salmon population surveys; (6

  15. Why Did the Snake Cross the Road? Effects of Roads on Movement and Location of Mates by Garter Snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Shine

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available If animals avoid road surfaces or are unable to follow conspecific trails across such surfaces, previously continuous populations may be fragmented. We gathered data on the effects of a small (4-m wide gravel road on the behavior and trail-following abilities of garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis in Manitoba, central Canada. As expected, the road surface had less vegetation cover, a more open canopy and, thus, higher incident radiation than did the surrounding grassland. Contrary to expectations, however, substrate temperatures were lower on the road than in its surrounds, because of the higher reflectivity of the road's surface. On a nearby asphalt road, substrate temperatures were relatively high on the road surface only in the evening, as surrounding areas cooled. Focal sampling showed that snakes avoided the gravel road, typically changing direction when they encountered it. If they crossed the road, they did so by the shortest possible route (straight across. Mate-searching male snakes were less able to follow substrate-deposited pheromonal trails left by females if those trails crossed a road than if the trails were entirely within the surrounding grassland. Thus, roads may significantly modify snake movement patterns, as well as the ability of males to locate reproductive females. Our study provides the first detailed information on the effects of roads on snake behavior.

  16. Particle spin tune in a partially excited snake

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, S.Y.; Tepikian, S.; Courant, E.D.

    1985-01-01

    In this paper, we address the question on the effect of the particle spin when a snake is turned on adiabatically near a depolarization resonance while not accelerating. The spinor equation and its solution are reviewed briefly and the spin transfer matrix method in the presence of a snake are used to evaluate the spin tune and the precession axis

  17. The detection of hemorrhagic proteins in snake venoms using monoclonal antibodies against Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) serum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, E E; García, C; Pérez, J C; De La Zerda, S J

    1998-10-01

    Most snakes and a few warm-blooded animals have a resistance to snake venoms because of naturally occurring antihemorrhagins found in their sera. The antihemorrhagins in serum of Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) neutralize hemorrhagic activity by binding to hemorrhagins in snake venoms. The binding characteristic of antihemorrhagins in D. virginiana serum was used to develop a five-step western blot. The detection of hemorrhagic proteins were measured indirectly with antihemorrhagins in Virginia opossum serum and with DV-2LD#2, a monoclonal antibody specific for Virginia opossum antihemorrhagins. Snake venoms were separated by native-PAGE, transferred to a Millipore Immobilon-P membrane and then incubated with crude Virginia opossum serum. The hemorrhagins in snake venom bind to antihemorrhagins in Virginia opossum serum which react with DV-2LD#2 a monoclonal antibody that is specific for Virginia opossum antihemorrhagins. DV-2LD#2 monoclonal antibody inhibits antihemorrhagic activity in Virginia opossum serum when mixed in equal amounts. The inhibition of antihemorrhagins by DV-2LD#2 monoclonal antibody suggests specificity. DV-2LD#2 monoclonal antibody does not recognize antihemorrhagins in gray woodrat (Neotoma micropus) serum. The five-step western blot reveals two well-defined bands which represent hemorrhagins found in Western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) venom. Venoms from 15 different snake species were examined to determine the usefulness of the five-step western blot. Other hemorrhagic venoms (Great Basin rattlesnake (C. viridis lutosus), Prairie rattlesnake (C. viridis viridis), Tancitaran dusky rattlesnake (C. pusillus), Northern Mojave rattlesnake (C. scutulatus scutulatus type B) and Northern Pacific rattlesnake (C. v. oreganus)) had one single band in the five-step western blot. DV-2LD#2 did not bind to the non-hemorrhagic venoms and reacted with 50% of the hemorrhagic venoms used in this study. The monoclonal antibody, CAH

  18. MP-4 Contributes to Snake Venom Neutralization by Mucuna pruriens Seeds through an Indirect Antibody-mediated Mechanism*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Ashish; Gupta, Chitra; Salunke, Dinakar M.

    2016-01-01

    Mortality due to snakebite is a serious public health problem, and available therapeutics are known to induce debilitating side effects. Traditional medicine suggests that seeds of Mucuna pruriens can provide protection against the effects of snakebite. Our aim is to identify the protein(s) that may be important for snake venom neutralization and elucidate its mechanism of action. To this end, we have identified and purified a protein from M. pruriens, which we have named MP-4. The full-length polypeptide sequence of MP-4 was obtained through N-terminal sequencing of peptide fragments. Sequence analysis suggested that the protein may belong to the Kunitz-type protease inhibitor family and therefore may potentially neutralize the proteases present in snake venom. Using various structural and biochemical tools coupled with in vivo assays, we are able to show that MP-4 does not afford direct protection against snake venom because it is actually a poor inhibitor of serine proteases. Further experiments showed that antibodies generated against MP-4 cross-react with the whole venom and provide protection to mice against Echis carinatus snake venom. This study shows that the MP-4 contributes significantly to the snake venom neutralization activity of M. pruriens seeds through an indirect antibody-mediated mechanism. PMID:26987900

  19. Cheap contouring of costly functions: the Pilot Approximation Trajectory algorithm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huttunen, Janne M J; Stark, Philip B

    2012-01-01

    The Pilot Approximation Trajectory (PAT) contour algorithm can find the contour of a function accurately when it is not practical to evaluate the function on a grid dense enough to use a standard contour algorithm, for instance, when evaluating the function involves conducting a physical experiment or a computationally intensive simulation. PAT relies on an inexpensive pilot approximation to the function, such as interpolating from a sparse grid of inexact values, or solving a partial differential equation (PDE) numerically using a coarse discretization. For each level of interest, the location and ‘trajectory’ of an approximate contour of this pilot function are used to decide where to evaluate the original function to find points on its contour. Those points are joined by line segments to form the PAT approximation of the contour of the original function. Approximating a contour numerically amounts to estimating a lower level set of the function, the set of points on which the function does not exceed the contour level. The area of the symmetric difference between the true lower level set and the estimated lower level set measures the accuracy of the contour. PAT measures its own accuracy by finding an upper confidence bound for this area. In examples, PAT can estimate a contour more accurately than standard algorithms, using far fewer function evaluations than standard algorithms require. We illustrate PAT by constructing a confidence set for viscosity and thermal conductivity of a flowing gas from simulated noisy temperature measurements, a problem in which each evaluation of the function to be contoured requires solving a different set of coupled nonlinear PDEs. (paper)

  20. SUPERCONDUCTING HELICAL SNAKE MAGNETS: CONSTRUCTION AND MEASUREMENTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mackay, W.W.; Anerella, M.; Courant, E.

    1999-01-01

    In order to collide polarized protons, the RHIC project will have two snakes in each ring and four rotators around each of two interaction regions. Two snakes on opposite sides of each ring can minimize depolarization during acceleration by keeping the spin tune at a half. Since the spin direction is normally along the vertical direction in a flat ring, spin rotators must be used around an interaction point to have longitudinal polarization in a collider experiment. Each snake or rotator will be composed of four helical dipoles to provide the required rotation of spin with minimal transverse orbit excursions in a compact length of 10m. The basic helical dipole is a superconducting magnet producing a transverse dipole field which is twisted about the magnet axis through 360 o in a length of 2.4 m. The design and construction of the magnets is described in this paper

  1. VT 10 ft Contour Lines generated from bare earth lidar - Chittenden

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — (Link to Metadata) ElevationContours_CN10T (10ft contours) was extracted from ElevationContours_CN2T (2ft contours), which was generated by USGS from the 2004...

  2. Ontogenetic shifts of heart position in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillywhite, Harvey B; Lillywhite, Steven M

    2017-08-01

    Heart position relative to total body length (TL) varies among snakes, with anterior hearts in arboreal species and more centrally located hearts in aquatic or ground-dwelling species. Anterior hearts decrease the cardiac work associated with cranial blood flow and minimize drops in cranial pressure and flow during head-up climbing. Here, we investigate whether heart position shifts intraspecifically during ontogenetic increases in TL. Insular Florida cottonmouth snakes, Agkistrodon conanti, are entirely ground-dwelling and have a mean heart position that is 33.32% TL from the head. In contrast, arboreal rat snakes, Pantherophis obsoleta, of similar lengths have a mean heart position that is 17.35% TL from the head. In both species, relative heart position shifts craniad during ontogeny, with negative slopes = -.035 and -.021% TL/cm TL in Agkistrodon and Pantherophis, respectively. Using a large morphometric data set available for Agkistrodon (N = 192 individuals, 23-140 cm TL), we demonstrate there is an anterior ontogenetic shift of the heart position within the trunk (= 4.56% trunk length from base of head to cloacal vent), independent of head and tail allometry which are both negative. However, in longer snakes > 100 cm, the heart position reverses and shifts caudally in longer Agkistrodon but continues toward the head in longer individuals of Pantherophis. Examination of data sets for two independent lineages of fully marine snakes (Acrochordus granulatus and Hydrophis platurus), which do not naturally experience postural gravity stress, demonstrate both ontogenetic patterns for heart position that are seen in the terrestrial snakes. The anterior migration of the heart is greater in the terrestrial species, even if TL is standardized to that of the longer P. obsoleta, and compensates for about 5 mmHg gravitational pressure head if they are fully upright. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Biogeographic origins of the viviparous sea snake assemblage (Elapidae) of the Indian Ocean

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ukuwela, D P; Lee, Michael S. Y.; Redsted Rasmussen, Arne

    2017-01-01

    Abstract: One of the primary goals in biogeography is to understand how different biotas have been assembled in different regions of the world. The presence of the viviparous sea snakes in the Indian Ocean (IO) poses a unique question in this regard due to their evolutionary origins in Australasia...... (Australia and New Guinea). Here, we examined the origins and patterns of colonization of the IO sea snake assemblage through time-calibrated molecular phylogenies and ancestral area reconstructions. We further evaluated how past and present barriers to dispersal affect genetic diversity of IO sea snakes...... by examining the population genetic structure of the widespread sea snake, Hydrophis curtus. Our phylogenetic analyses and ancestral area reconstructions strongly indicate that the majority of the IO sea snakes are derived from the Southeast Asian (SEA) sea snake fauna through dispersal and colonization...

  4. Pulvinar neurons reveal neurobiological evidence of past selection for rapid detection of snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Le, Quan; Isbell, Lynne A; Matsumoto, Jumpei; Nguyen, Minh; Hori, Etsuro; Maior, Rafael S; Tomaz, Carlos; Tran, Anh Hai; Ono, Taketoshi; Nishijo, Hisao

    2013-11-19

    Snakes and their relationships with humans and other primates have attracted broad attention from multiple fields of study, but not, surprisingly, from neuroscience, despite the involvement of the visual system and strong behavioral and physiological evidence that humans and other primates can detect snakes faster than innocuous objects. Here, we report the existence of neurons in the primate medial and dorsolateral pulvinar that respond selectively to visual images of snakes. Compared with three other categories of stimuli (monkey faces, monkey hands, and geometrical shapes), snakes elicited the strongest, fastest responses, and the responses were not reduced by low spatial filtering. These findings integrate neuroscience with evolutionary biology, anthropology, psychology, herpetology, and primatology by identifying a neurobiological basis for primates' heightened visual sensitivity to snakes, and adding a crucial component to the growing evolutionary perspective that snakes have long shaped our primate lineage.

  5. Snow snake performance monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-12-01

    A recent study, Three-Dimensional Roughness Elements for Snow Retention (FHWA-WY-06/04F) (Tabler 2006), demonstrated : positive evidence for the effectiveness of Snow Snakes, a new type of snow fence suitable for use within the highway right-of...

  6. Revisiting the fear of snakes in children: the role of aposematic signalling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souchet, Jérémie; Aubret, Fabien

    2016-11-25

    Why humans fear snakes is an old, yet unresolved debate. Its innate origin from evolutionary causes is debated against the powerful influence early experience, culture, media and religion may have on people's aversion to snakes. Here we show that the aversion to snakes in human beings may have been mistaken for an aversion to aposematic signals that are commonly displayed by snakes. A total of 635 children were asked to rate single item images as "nice" or "mean". Snakes, pets and smiley emoticon items were not rated as "mean" unless they displayed subtle aposematic signals in the form of triangular (rather than round) shapes. Another 722 children were shown images featuring two items and asked which item was "nice" and which item was "mean". This context dependent comparison triggered even sharper responses to aposematic signals. We hypothesise that early primates evolved an aversion for aposematic signals in the form of potentially harmful triangular shapes such as teeth, claws or spikes, not for snakes per se. Further, we hypothesise that this adaptation was in turn exploited by snakes in their anti-predatory threat display as a triangular head or dorsal zig-zag pattern, and is currently the basis for efficient international road-danger signalling.

  7. Spiral Light Beams and Contour Image Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishkin, Sergey A.; Kotova, Svetlana P.; Volostnikov, Vladimir G.

    Spiral beams of light are characterized by their ability to remain structurally unchanged at propagation. They may have the shape of any closed curve. In the present paper a new approach is proposed within the framework of the contour analysis based on a close cooperation of modern coherent optics, theory of functions and numerical methods. An algorithm for comparing contours is presented and theoretically justified, which allows convincing of whether two contours are similar or not to within the scale factor and/or rotation. The advantages and disadvantages of the proposed approach are considered; the results of numerical modeling are presented.

  8. Selected regulation of gastrointestinal acid-base secretion and tissue metabolism for the diamondback water snake and Burmese python.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Secor, Stephen M; Taylor, Josi R; Grosell, Martin

    2012-01-01

    manifested in a depressed gastric and intestinal metabolism, which selectively serves to reduce basal metabolism and hence promote survival between infrequent meals. By maintaining elevated GI performance between meals, fasted water snakes incur the additional cost of tissue activity, which is expressed in a higher standard metabolic rate.

  9. ENZYMATIC CHANGES IN SNAKE ENVENOMATION- AN OBSERVATIONAL STUDY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sidharth Kapoor

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND Snakes are the most feared and the most worshipped living creatures on the earth. Snakes are called venomous when envenomation or human fatalities after their bite are known. Snakebite is an acute medical emergency faced by temperate and tropical regions with heavy rainfall and humid climate. The specific therapy for snakebite in India is still polyvalent ASV and clinical practice ASV is not recommended until the victim of snakebite presents either with the evidence of bite by a poisonous snake such as definite fang marks, swelling or pain at the bite site or with clinical or laboratory evidence of envenomation such as local and systemic bleeding. In some cases, institution of ASV may also be initiated on the identification of offending snake brought by the patient or attendants, but most of these are subjective matters and subject to fallacies. Also, that out of polyvalent and monovalent ASV available, since it is monovalent ASV, which is desirable due to its less side effects and more effectiveness, but its use warrants the identification of snake, which is practically not possible in every case and/or on the objective evidence of peripheral neurological signs and symptoms and haematological alterations, which may not be dependable in many cases. MATERIALS AND METHODS Snake envenomation is in fact a multifactorial stress phenomenon, which produces altered physiological states including death and one of the consequences of the stress phenomenon is generation of several lysosomal enzymes and formation of free radicals. Extensive data search on Medline has failed to show study of this type in any part of the world, so this study being taken up as a preliminary attempt to evaluate the pattern of enzymatic changes in snake envenomation. RESULTS The patients included in the study were be those coming to the Emergency Department of Government Medical College, Jammu, bitten by poisonous snakes during the period May 2003 to April 2004. The

  10. 77 FR 3115 - Safety Zone; Grain-Shipment Vessels, Columbia and Snake Rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-23

    ...-AA00 Safety Zone; Grain-Shipment Vessels, Columbia and Snake Rivers AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS. ACTION... Terminal, Longview, WA, while they are located on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. This safety zone extends... on the Columbia and Snake rivers when vessels begin arriving at EGT, Longview, WA. Under 5 U.S.C. 553...

  11. Detection of Chlamydia pneumoniae in a collection of captive snakes and response to treatment with marbofloxacin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rüegg, S R; Regenscheit, N; Origgi, F C; Kaiser, C; Borel, N

    2015-09-01

    In a collection of 58 snakes comprising predominantly Eurasian vipers in Switzerland, five snakes died unexpectedly during hibernation from 2009 to 2012. In one snake, organisms resembling chlamydiae were detected by immunohistochemistry in multiple histiocytic granulomas. Real-time quantitative PCR and microarray analysis were used to determine the presence of Chlamydia pneumoniae in tissue samples and cloacal/choanal swabs from snakes in the collection; 8/53 (15.1%) of the remaining snakes were positive. Although one infected snake had suppurative periglossitis, infection with C. pneumoniae did not appear to be associated with specific clinical signs in snakes. Of seven snakes treated with 5 mg/kg marbofloxacin IM once daily, five became PCR negative for C. pneumoniae following treatment, whereas one animal remained positive and one snake was lost to follow-up. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Snakes of Sulawesi: checklist, key and additional Biogeographical remarks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosch, in den H.A.J.

    1985-01-01

    A checklist with concise synonymy and a key to the snakes of Sulawesi is presented, comprising 63 species in 38 genera; 3 subspecies and 15 species, of which one constitutes a monotypic genus, are considered endemic. There is a strong Indo-Malayan relationship. Sea-snakes and Candoia carinata

  13. Contour adaptation reduces the spreading of edge induced colors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coia, Andrew J; Crognale, Michael A

    2017-04-25

    Brief exposure to flickering achromatic outlines of an area causes a reduction in the brightness contrast of the surface inside the area. This contour adaptation to achromatic contours does not reduce surface contrast when the surface is chromatic (the saturation or colorimetric purity of the surface is maintained). In addition to reducing the brightness of physical luminance contrast, contour adaptation also reduces (or even reverses) the illusory brightness contrast seen in the Craik-O'Brien-Cornsweet illusion, in which two physically identical grey areas appear different brightness because of a sharp luminance edge separating them. Chromatic color spreading illusions also occur with chromatic inducing edges, and an unanswered question is whether contour adaptation can reduce the perceived contrast of illusory color spreading from edges, even though it cannot reduce the perceived contrast of physical surface color. The current studies use a color spreading illusion known as the watercolor effect in order to test whether illusory color spreading is affected by contour adaptation. The general findings of physical achromatic contrast being reduced and chromatic contrast being robust to contour adaptation were replicated. However, both illusory brightness and color were reduced by contour adaptation, even when the illusion edges only differed in chromatic contrast with each other and the background. Additional studies adapting to chromatic contours showed opposite effects on illusory color contrast than achromatic adaptation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The role of shape complexity in the detection of closed contours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, John; Feldman, Jacob; Singh, Manish

    2016-09-01

    The detection of contours in noise has been extensively studied, but the detection of closed contours, such as the boundaries of whole objects, has received relatively little attention. Closed contours pose substantial challenges not present in the simple (open) case, because they form the outlines of whole shapes and thus take on a range of potentially important configural properties. In this paper we consider the detection of closed contours in noise as a probabilistic decision problem. Previous work on open contours suggests that contour complexity, quantified as the negative log probability (Description Length, DL) of the contour under a suitably chosen statistical model, impairs contour detectability; more complex (statistically surprising) contours are harder to detect. In this study we extended this result to closed contours, developing a suitable probabilistic model of whole shapes that gives rise to several distinct though interrelated measures of shape complexity. We asked subjects to detect either natural shapes (Exp. 1) or experimentally manipulated shapes (Exp. 2) embedded in noise fields. We found systematic effects of global shape complexity on detection performance, demonstrating how aspects of global shape and form influence the basic process of object detection. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Keeping venomous snakes in the Netherlands: a harmless hobby or a public health threat?

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Genderen, P J J; Slobbe, L; Koene, H; Mastenbroek, R D L; Overbosch, D

    2013-10-01

    To describe the incidence of venomous snakebites and the hospital treatment thereof (if any) amongst private individuals who keep venomous snakes as a hobby. Descriptive study. Private keepers of venomous snakes were invited via the social media Facebook, Hyves, Twitter, Google Plus, Linked In and two large discussion forums to fill in an online questionnaire on a purely voluntary and anonymous basis. In the period from 1 September 2012 to 31 December 2012, 86 questionnaires were completed by individuals who keep venomous snakes as a hobby. One-third of the venomous snake keepers stated that they had at some point been bitten by a venomous snake. Out of those, two-thirds needed hospital treatment and one-third of those bitten required at least one, sometimes more, doses of antiserum. The chances of being bitten increased the more venomous snakes a person kept. An inventory of the collections of venomous snakes being kept further revealed that no antiserum exists for 16 of the species, including for the most commonly held venomous snake, the coral cobra. Keeping venomous snakes as a hobby is not without danger. Although in the majority of snakebite cases no antiserum had to be administered, there is nevertheless a significant risk of morbidity and sequelae. Preventing snakebites in the first place remains the most important safety measure since there are no antiserums available for a substantial number of venomous snakes.

  16. Isolation and characterization of a serine proteinase with thrombin-like activity from the venom of the snake Bothrops asper

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.V Pérez

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available A serine proteinase with thrombin-like activity was isolated from the venom of the Central American pit viper Bothrops asper. Isolation was performed by a combination of affinity chromatography on aminobenzamidine-Sepharose and ion-exchange chromatography on DEAE-Sepharose. The enzyme accounts for approximately 0.13% of the venom dry weight and has a molecular mass of 32 kDa as determined by SDS-PAGE, and of 27 kDa as determined by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Its partial amino acid sequence shows high identity with snake venom serine proteinases and a complete identity with a cDNA clone previously sequenced from this species. The N-terminal sequence of the enzyme is VIGGDECNINEHRSLVVLFXSSGFL CAGTLVQDEWVLTAANCDSKNFQ. The enzyme induces clotting of plasma (minimum coagulant dose = 4.1 µg and fibrinogen (minimum coagulant dose = 4.2 µg in vitro, and promotes defibrin(ogenation in vivo (minimum defibrin(ogenating dose = 1.0 µg. In addition, when injected intravenously in mice at doses of 5 and 10 µg, it induces a series of behavioral changes, i.e., loss of the righting reflex, opisthotonus, and intermittent rotations over the long axis of the body, which closely resemble the `gyroxin-like' effect induced by other thrombin-like enzymes from snake venoms.

  17. Do infants find snakes aversive? Infants' physiological responses to "fear-relevant" stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thrasher, Cat; LoBue, Vanessa

    2016-02-01

    In the current research, we sought to measure infants' physiological responses to snakes-one of the world's most widely feared stimuli-to examine whether they find snakes aversive or merely attention grabbing. Using a similar method to DeLoache and LoBue (Developmental Science, 2009, Vol. 12, pp. 201-207), 6- to 9-month-olds watched a series of multimodal (both auditory and visual) stimuli: a video of a snake (fear-relevant) or an elephant (non-fear-relevant) paired with either a fearful or happy auditory track. We measured physiological responses to the pairs of stimuli, including startle magnitude, latency to startle, and heart rate. Results suggest that snakes capture infants' attention; infants showed the fastest startle responses and lowest average heart rate to the snakes, especially when paired with a fearful voice. Unexpectedly, they also showed significantly reduced startle magnitude during this same snake video plus fearful voice combination. The results are discussed with respect to theoretical perspectives on fear acquisition. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Similar effectiveness of Fab and F(ab')2 antivenoms in the neutralization of hemorrhagic activity of Vipera berus snake venom in mice

    OpenAIRE

    Lomonte, Bruno; León Montero, Guillermo; Hanson, Lars Ake

    1996-01-01

    The ability of two antivenoms to Vipera spp., consisting of Fab (Therapeutic Antibodies), or of F(ab′)2 (Zagreb Institute of Immunology) antibody fragments, to neutralize the hemorrhagic activity of Vipera berus snake venom in mice, was compared. First, the neutralizing potency was determined by in vitro preincubation of venom and antivenom, followed by intradermal injection into mice and subsequent measurement of the hemorrhagic area. Both antivenoms had the same anti-hemorrhagic potency, in...

  19. Snake mortality associated with late season radio-transmitter implantation

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Craig Rudolph; Shirley J. Burgdorf; Richard R. Schaefer; Richard N. Conner; Robert T. Zappalorth

    1998-01-01

    Radio-telemetry is an increasingly used procedure to obtain data on the biology of free-living snakes (Reinert 1992, 1994). In Texas and Louisiana we have been using the surgical technique of Weatherhead and Anderka (1984) to implant transmitters in timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) and Louisiana pine snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus...

  20. Identification of snake bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPPs)-simile sequences in rat brain--Potential BPP-like precursor protein?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campeiro, Joana D'Arc; Neshich, Izabella P; Sant'Anna, Osvaldo A; Lopes, Robson; Ianzer, Danielle; Assakura, Marina T; Neshich, Goran; Hayashi, Mirian A F

    2015-08-01

    Bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPPs) from the South American pit viper snake venom were the first natural inhibitors of the human angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) described. The pioneer characterization of the BPPs precursor from the snake venom glands by our group showed for the first time the presence of the C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) in this same viper precursor protein. The confirmation of the BPP/CNP expression in snake brain regions correlated with neuroendocrine functions stimulated us to pursue the physiological correlates of these vasoactive peptides in mammals. Notably, several snake toxins were shown to have endogenous physiological correlates in mammals. In the present work, we expressed in bacteria the BPPs domain of the snake venom gland precursor protein, and this purified recombinant protein was used to raise specific polyclonal anti-BPPs antibodies. The correspondent single protein band immune-recognized in adult rat brain cytosol was isolated by 2D-SDS/PAGE and/or HPLC, before characterization by MS fingerprint analysis, which identified this protein as superoxide dismutase (SOD, EC 1.15.1.1), a classically known enzyme with antioxidant activity and important roles in the blood pressure modulation. In silico analysis showed the exposition of the BPP-like peptide sequences on the surface of the 3D structure of rat SOD. These peptides were chemically synthesized to show the BPP-like biological activities in ex vivo and in vivo pharmacological bioassays. Taken together, our data suggest that SOD protein have the potential to be a source for putative BPP-like bioactive peptides, which once released may contribute to the blood pressure control in mammals. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Data integrity systems for organ contours in radiation therapy planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Veeraj P; Lakshminarayanan, Pranav; Moore, Joseph; Tran, Phuoc T; Quon, Harry; Deville, Curtiland; McNutt, Todd R

    2018-06-12

    The purpose of this research is to develop effective data integrity models for contoured anatomy in a radiotherapy workflow for both real-time and retrospective analysis. Within this study, two classes of contour integrity models were developed: data driven models and contiguousness models. The data driven models aim to highlight contours which deviate from a gross set of contours from similar disease sites and encompass the following regions of interest (ROI): bladder, femoral heads, spinal cord, and rectum. The contiguousness models, which individually analyze the geometry of contours to detect possible errors, are applied across many different ROI's and are divided into two metrics: Extent and Region Growing over volume. After analysis, we found that 70% of detected bladder contours were verified as suspicious. The spinal cord and rectum models verified that 73% and 80% of contours were suspicious respectively. The contiguousness models were the most accurate models and the Region Growing model was the most accurate submodel. 100% of the detected noncontiguous contours were verified as suspicious, but in the cases of spinal cord, femoral heads, bladder, and rectum, the Region Growing model detected additional two to five suspicious contours that the Extent model failed to detect. When conducting a blind review to detect false negatives, it was found that all the data driven models failed to detect all suspicious contours. The Region Growing contiguousness model produced zero false negatives in all regions of interest other than prostate. With regards to runtime, the contiguousness via extent model took an average of 0.2 s per contour. On the other hand, the region growing method had a longer runtime which was dependent on the number of voxels in the contour. Both contiguousness models have potential for real-time use in clinical radiotherapy while the data driven models are better suited for retrospective use. © 2018 The Authors. Journal of Applied Clinical

  2. Black Bear Reactions to Venomous and Non-venomous Snakes in Eastern North America

    OpenAIRE

    Rogers, Lynn L; Mansfield, Susan A; Hornby, Kathleen; Hornby, Stewart; Debruyn, Terry D; Mize, Malvin; Clark, Rulon; Burghardt, Gordon M

    2014-01-01

    Bears are often considered ecological equivalents of large primates, but the latter often respond with fear, avoidance, and alarm calls to snakes, both venomous and non-venomous, there is sparse information on how bears respond to snakes. We videotaped or directly observed natural encounters between black bears (Ursus americanus) and snakes. Inside the range of venomous snakes in Arkansas and West Virginia, adolescent and adult black bears reacted fearfully in seven of seven encounters upon b...

  3. Improved procedure for implanting radiotransmitters in the coelomic cavity of snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryant, G L; Eden, P; De Tores, P; Warren, K

    2010-11-01

    To investigate the expulsion of radiotransmitters in snakes and modify the surgical technique for coelomic implantation to prevent its occurrence. To enable monitoring of snakes for an ecological study, radiotransmitters were implanted in 23 south-west carpet pythons (Morelia spilota imbricata) using the standard surgical technique. In a further 23 pythons we used a refinement of the technique, which anchored the tracking device, using non-dissolvable sutures, to the snake's rib-cage. We also investigated the potential mechanisms for expelling the radiotransmitters in one snake that underwent an exploratory coeliotomy. Of the initial group of snakes, 12 (52%) expelled the radiotransmitter between 4 days and 3 years post implantation. In the later group, which underwent the refined technique of implantation, none of the radiotransmitters was expelled and no adverse responses were observed. An appropriately sized radiotransmitter anchored to the rib-cage of the snake will prevent expulsion of the device and appears to be well tolerated. Non-attachment of the tracking device enables it to migrate along the length of the body, particularly during feeding and reproduction. Caudal positioning of the transmitter's antenna provides a possible pathogenesis for expulsion into the cloaca. © 2010 The Authors. Australian Veterinary Journal © 2010 Australian Veterinary Association.

  4. Perceptual representation and effectiveness of local figure-ground cues in natural contours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakai, Ko; Matsuoka, Shouhei; Kurematsu, Ken; Hatori, Yasuhiro

    2015-01-01

    A contour shape strongly influences the perceptual segregation of a figure from the ground. We investigated the contribution of local contour shape to figure-ground segregation. Although previous studies have reported local contour features that evoke figure-ground perception, they were often image features and not necessarily perceptual features. First, we examined whether contour features, specifically, convexity, closure, and symmetry, underlie the perceptual representation of natural contour shapes. We performed similarity tests between local contours, and examined the contribution of the contour features to the perceptual similarities between the contours. The local contours were sampled from natural contours so that their distribution was uniform in the space composed of the three contour features. This sampling ensured the equal appearance frequency of the factors and a wide variety of contour shapes including those comprised of contradictory factors that induce figure in the opposite directions. This sampling from natural contours is advantageous in order to randomly pickup a variety of contours that satisfy a wide range of cue combinations. Multidimensional scaling analyses showed that the combinations of convexity, closure, and symmetry contribute to perceptual similarity, thus they are perceptual quantities. Second, we examined whether the three features contribute to local figure-ground perception. We performed psychophysical experiments to judge the direction of the figure along the local contours, and examined the contribution of the features to the figure-ground judgment. Multiple linear regression analyses showed that closure was a significant factor, but that convexity and symmetry were not. These results indicate that closure is dominant in the local figure-ground perception with natural contours when the other cues coexist with equal probability including contradictory cases.

  5. Perceptual representation and effectiveness of local figure–ground cues in natural contours

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakai, Ko; Matsuoka, Shouhei; Kurematsu, Ken; Hatori, Yasuhiro

    2015-01-01

    A contour shape strongly influences the perceptual segregation of a figure from the ground. We investigated the contribution of local contour shape to figure–ground segregation. Although previous studies have reported local contour features that evoke figure–ground perception, they were often image features and not necessarily perceptual features. First, we examined whether contour features, specifically, convexity, closure, and symmetry, underlie the perceptual representation of natural contour shapes. We performed similarity tests between local contours, and examined the contribution of the contour features to the perceptual similarities between the contours. The local contours were sampled from natural contours so that their distribution was uniform in the space composed of the three contour features. This sampling ensured the equal appearance frequency of the factors and a wide variety of contour shapes including those comprised of contradictory factors that induce figure in the opposite directions. This sampling from natural contours is advantageous in order to randomly pickup a variety of contours that satisfy a wide range of cue combinations. Multidimensional scaling analyses showed that the combinations of convexity, closure, and symmetry contribute to perceptual similarity, thus they are perceptual quantities. Second, we examined whether the three features contribute to local figure–ground perception. We performed psychophysical experiments to judge the direction of the figure along the local contours, and examined the contribution of the features to the figure–ground judgment. Multiple linear regression analyses showed that closure was a significant factor, but that convexity and symmetry were not. These results indicate that closure is dominant in the local figure–ground perception with natural contours when the other cues coexist with equal probability including contradictory cases. PMID:26579057

  6. Perceptual Representation and Effectiveness of Local Figure-Ground Cues in Natural Contours

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ko eSakai

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available A contour shape strongly influences the perceptual segregation of a figure from the ground. We investigated the contribution of local contour shape to figure-ground segregation. Although previous studies have reported local contour features that evoke figure-ground perception, they were often image features and not necessarily perceptual features. First, we examined whether contour features, specifically, convexity, closure, and symmetry, underlie the perceptual representation of natural contour shapes. We performed similarity tests between local contours, and examined the contribution of the contour features to the perceptual similarities between the contours. The local contours were sampled from natural contours so that their distribution was uniform in the space composed of the three contour features. This sampling ensured the equal appearance frequency of the factors and a wide variety of contour shapes including those comprised of contradictory factors that induce figure in the opposite directions. This sampling from natural contours is advantageous in order to randomly pickup a variety of contours that satisfy a wide range of cue combinations. Multidimensional scaling analyses showed that the combinations of convexity, closure, and symmetry contribute to perceptual similarity, thus they are perceptual quantities. Second, we examined whether the three features contribute to local figure-ground perception. We performed psychophysical experiments to judge the direction of the figure along the local contours, and examined the contribution of the features to the figure-ground judgment. Multiple linear regression analyses showed that closure was a significant factor, but that convexity and symmetry were not. These results indicate that closure is dominant in the local figure-ground perception with natural contours when the other cues coexist with equal probability including contradictory cases.

  7. Gravity and the Evolution of Cardiopulmonary Morphology in Snakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillywhite, Harvey B.; Albert, James S.; Sheehy, Coleman M.; Seymour, Roger S.

    2011-01-01

    Physiological investigations of snakes have established the importance of heart position and pulmonary structure in contexts of gravity effects on blood circulation. Here we investigate morphological correlates of cardiopulmonary physiology in contexts related to ecology, behavior and evolution. We analyze data for heart position and length of vascular lung in 154 species of snakes that exhibit a broad range of characteristic behaviors and habitat associations. We construct a composite phylogeny for these species, and we codify gravitational stress according to species habitat and behavior. We use conventional regression and phylogenetically independent contrasts to evaluate whether trait diversity is correlated with gravitational habitat related to evolutionary transitions within the composite tree topology. We demonstrate that snake species living in arboreal habitats, or which express strongly climbing behaviors, possess relatively short blood columns between the heart and the head, as well as relatively short vascular lungs, compared to terrestrial species. Aquatic species, which experience little or no gravity stress in water, show the reverse – significantly longer heart–head distance and longer vascular lungs. These phylogenetic differences complement the results of physiological studies and are reflected in multiple habitat transitions during the evolutionary histories of these snake lineages, providing strong evidence that heart–to–head distance and length of vascular lung are co–adaptive cardiopulmonary features of snakes. PMID:22079804

  8. Diversity of Micrurus Snake Species Related to Their Venom Toxic Effects and the Prospective of Antivenom Neutralization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Gabriela D.; Furtado, Maria de Fátima D.; Portaro, Fernanda C. V.; Sant'Anna, Osvaldo Augusto; Tambourgi, Denise V.

    2010-01-01

    Background Micrurus snake bites can cause death by muscle paralysis and respiratory arrest, few hours after envenomation. The specific treatment for coral snake envenomation is the intravenous application of heterologous antivenom and, in Brazil, it is produced by horse immunization with a mixture of M. corallinus and M. frontalis venoms, snakes that inhabit the South and Southeastern regions of the country. However, this antivenom might be inefficient, considering the existence of intra- and inter-specific variations in the composition of the venoms. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the toxic properties of venoms from nine species of Micrurus: eight present in different geographic regions of Brazil (M. frontalis, M. corallinus, M. hemprichii, M. spixii, M. altirostris, M. surinamensis, M. ibiboboca, M. lemniscatus) and one (M. fulvius) with large distribution in Southeastern United States and Mexico. This study also analyzed the antigenic cross-reactivity and the neutralizing potential of the Brazilian coral snake antivenom against these Micrurus venoms. Methodology/Principal Findings Analysis of protein composition and toxicity revealed a large diversity of venoms from the nine Micrurus species. ELISA and Western blot assays showed a varied capability of the therapeutic antivenom to recognize the diverse species venom components. In vivo and in vitro neutralization assays indicated that the antivenom is not able to fully neutralize the toxic activities of all venoms. Conclusion These results indicate the existence of a large range of both qualitative and quantitative variations in Micrurus venoms, probably reflecting the adaptation of the snakes from this genus to vastly dissimilar habitats. The data also show that the antivenom used for human therapy in Brazil is not fully able to neutralize the main toxic activities present in the venoms from all Micrurus species occurring in the country. It suggests that modifications in the

  9. A longitudinal study of Salmonella from snakes used in a public outreach program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goupil, Brad A; Trent, Ava M; Bender, Jeff; Olsen, Karen E; Morningstar, Brenda R; Wünschmann, Arno

    2012-12-01

    Snakes are considered to be a source of Salmonella infection for humans, but little is known about the actual serotype prevalence in healthy snakes over time. Twelve snakes involved in a public outreach program, representing seven different species, were tested weekly for shedding of Salmonella sp. over a period of 10 consecutive weeks. The snakes were housed in close proximity but in separate exhibits. Fresh fecal samples (when available) or cloacal swabs were cultured for Salmonella sp., and subsequent Salmonella isolates were serotyped. As representatives of the feed source, the feces of two mice and the intestines of one rat were cultured weekly. Fecal samples from 11 of the 12 snakes were positive for Salmonella at least once. Seven (58%) of 12 snakes were culture positive five times or more. The weekly prevalence of Salmonella shedding varied between 25% and 66%. Two or more different serotypes were isolated from nine snakes over time; however, a predominant serotype was generally isolated from each of these snakes. Altogether 15 different serotypes were identified. Serotypes of public health concern included Newport, Oranienburg, and Muenchen. Two samples from feeder rodents were positive for Salmonella. The results are consistent with previous studies showing high intestinal colonization rates with Salmonella sp. in snakes. Frequent and intermittent shedding of multiple serotypes was evident. Feeder rodents might serve as a source for intestinal colonization. Appropriate handling protocols should be implemented for all reptiles associated with public outreach programs to minimize risk of Salmonella transmission to the public.

  10. Immunologic responses in corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) after experimentally induced infection with ferlaviruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neul, Annkatrin; Schrödl, Wieland; Marschang, Rachel E; Bjick, Tina; Truyen, Uwe; von Buttlar, Heiner; Pees, Michael

    2017-04-01

    OBJECTIVE To measure immunologic responses of snakes after experimentally induced infection with ferlaviruses. ANIMALS 42 adult corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) of both sexes. PROCEDURES Snakes were inoculated intratracheally with genogroup A (n = 12), B (12), or C (12) ferlavirus (infected groups) or cell-culture supernatant (6; control group) on day 0. Three snakes from each infected group were euthanized on days 4, 16, 28, and 49, and 3 snakes from the control group were euthanized on day 49. Blood samples were collected from live snakes on days -6 (baseline), 4, 16, 28, and 49. Hematologic tests were performed and humoral responses assessed via hemagglutination-inhibition assays and ELISAs. Following euthanasia, gross pathological and histologic evaluations and virus detection were performed. RESULTS Severity of clinical signs of and immunologic responses to ferlavirus infection differed among snake groups. Hematologic values, particularly WBC and monocyte counts, increased between days 4 and 16 after infection. A humoral response was identified between days 16 and 28. Serum IgM concentrations increased from baseline earlier than IgY concentrations, but the IgY relative increase was higher at the end of the study. The hemagglutination-inhibition assay revealed that the strongest reactions in all infected groups were against the strain with which they had been infected. Snakes infected with genogroup A ferlavirus had the strongest immune response, whereas those infected with genogroup B had the weakest responses. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results of this experimental study suggested that the ferlavirus strain with the highest virulence induced the weakest immune response in snakes.

  11. An inspection of pipe by snake robot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    František Trebuňa

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The article deals with development and application of snake robot for inspection pipes. The first step involves the introduction of a design of mechanical and electrical parts of the snake robot. Next, the analysis of the robot locomotion is introduced. For the curved pipe, potential field method is used. By this method, the system is able to generate path for the head and rear robot, linking the environment with obstacles, which are represented by the walls of the pipe. Subsequently, the solution of potential field method is used in inverse kinematic model, which respects tasks as obstacle avoidance, joint limit avoidance, and singularity avoidance. Mentioned approach is then tested on snake robot in provisional pipe with rectangular cross section. For this research, software Matlab (2013b is used as the control system in cooperation with the control system of robot, which is based on microcontrollers. By experiments, it is shown that designed robot is able to pass through straight and also curved pipe.

  12. The influence of thermal biology on road mortality risk in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mccardle, Logan D; Fontenot, Clifford L

    2016-02-01

    Road mortality is a significant threat to terrestrial vertebrates in many areas, and the novel thermal environment of black-topped roads may represent ecological traps for some species and demographic groups. We investigated the relationship between ambient temperature and on-road detection in a snake assemblage in southeastern Louisiana by comparing observations of live snakes on a black-topped road, across measurements of air temperature and road temperature on survey days. Analyses indicated on-road detection of snakes was significantly influenced by ambient temperature conditions for five snake species. Additionally, road temperatures, and the difference between air and road temperatures, were strong drivers of on-road snake detections. Permutation analysis methods revealed that significant temperature related group (species or sex) structure exists in occurrences of snakes on the roadway, and that road temperature was the strongest driver of species differences. We also compared how air and road temperatures affected occurrence on the road between sexes in the colubrid snakes Nerodia fasciata, Nerodia cyclopion, Thamnophis proximus, and Pantherophis obsoletus. Males and females of the viviparous species N. fasciata, N. cyclopion, and T. proximus diverged significantly in temperature preferences, with females found under warmer conditions, while males and females of the oviparous species P. obsoletus did not. Road temperature was also the strongest driver of differences between sexes. Our results indicate that black-topped roads are an ecological trap that is heavily influenced by sex, reproductive condition, and species specific thermoregulatory requirements, particularly for viviparous species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Observations on the sexual segment of the kidney of snakes with emphasis on ultrastructure in the yellow-bellied sea snake, Pelamis platurus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sever, David M; Rheubert, Justin L; Gautreaux, Jillian; Hill, Toren G; Freeborn, Layla R

    2012-05-01

    The sexual segment of the kidney (SSK) is an accessory sex structure in male lizards and snakes (Squamata). We describe histology of the SSK in 12 species of snakes, including one from the basal Scolecophidia, Leptotyphlops dulcis, and from the more advanced Alethinophidia, species from the Acrochordidae (Acrochordus granulatus), Homalopsidae (Cerberus rynchops), Uropeltidae (Teretrurus sanguineus), and eight species from the Elapidae, including six species of sea snakes. We also describe the ultrastructure of the SSK of the sea snake, Pelamis platurus. The SSK of L. dulcis does not include the ureter but does include distal convoluted tubules (DCTs) and collecting ducts. In all other snakes examined, the SSK is limited to the DCTs and does not differ in histology by any consistent character. We found apparently mature individuals of several species with inactive SSKs. Hypertrophied SSKs give positive reactions for protein secretions but variable reactions for carbohydrates. Ultrastructure of the SSK of P. platurus reveals nuclei situated medially in the epithelium and mature electron dense secretory vacuoles in other areas of the cytoplasm. Product release is apocrine. Junctional complexes only occur at the luminal border, and intercellular canaliculi become widened and are open basally. No cytologically unique characters occur in the SSK of P. platurus. The ancestral condition of the SSK in squamates is the presence of simple columnar epithelium specialized for secretion of a protein + carbohydrate product that matures and is released seasonally. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Vine snake (Thelotornis capensis bite in a dog : clinical communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Otto

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available A vine snake bite in a dog is reported. There was continued minor bleeding from the assumed nose bite site for 4 days. Currently manufactured snakebite antivenom is not effective against vine snake bites and treatment is supportive.

  15. Ghost of habitat past: historic habitat affects the contemporary distribution of giant garter snakes in a modified landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halstead, Brian J.; Wylie, Glenn D.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2014-01-01

    Historic habitat conditions can affect contemporary communities and populations, but most studies of historic habitat are based on the reduction in habitat extent or connectivity. Little is known about the effects of historic habitat on contemporary species distributions when historic habitat has been nearly completely removed, but species persist in a highly altered landscape. More than 93% of the historic wetlands in the Central Valley of California, USA, have been drained and converted to agricultural and other uses, but agricultural wetlands, such as rice and its supporting infrastructure of canals, allow some species to persist. Little is known about the distribution of giant garter snakes Thamnophis gigas, a rare aquatic snake species inhabiting this predominantly agricultural landscape, or the variables that affect where this species occurs. We used occupancy modeling to examine the distribution of giant garter snakes at the landscape scale in the Sacramento Valley (northern portion of the Central Valley) of California, with an emphasis on the relative strength of historic and contemporary variables (landscape-scale habitat, local microhabitat, vegetation composition and relative prey counts) for predicting giant garter snake occurrence. Proximity to historic marsh best explained variation in the probability of occurrence of giant garter snakes at the landscape scale, with greater probability of occurrence near historic marsh. We suspect that the importance of distance to historic marsh represents dispersal limitations of giant garter snakes. These results suggest that preserving and restoring areas near historic marsh, and minimizing activities that reduce the extent of marsh or marsh-like (e.g. rice agriculture, canal) habitats near historic marsh may be advantageous to giant garter snakes.

  16. Hand-Geometry Recognition Based on Contour Parameters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veldhuis, Raymond N.J.; Bazen, A.M.; Booij, W.D.T.; Hendrikse, A.J.; Jain, A.K.; Ratha, N.K.

    This paper demonstrates the feasibility of a new method of hand-geometry recognition based on parameters derived from the contour of the hand. The contour is completely determined by the black-and-white image of the hand and can be derived from it by means of simple image-processing techniques. It

  17. Predation upon hatchling dinosaurs by a new snake from the late Cretaceous of India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey A Wilson

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Derived large-mouthed snakes (macrostomatans possess numerous specializations in their skull and lower jaws that allow them to consume large vertebrate prey. In contrast, basal snakes lack these adaptations and feed primarily on small prey items. The sequence of osteological and behavioral modifications involved in the evolution of the macrostomatan condition has remained an open question because of disagreement about the origin and interrelationships of snakes, the paucity of well-preserved early snake fossils on many continental landmasses, and the lack of information about the feeding ecology of early snakes. We report on a partial skeleton of a new 3.5-m-long snake, Sanajeh indicus gen. et sp. nov., recovered from Upper Cretaceous rocks of western India. S. indicus was fossilized in association with a sauropod dinosaur egg clutch, coiled around an egg and adjacent to the remains of a ca. 0.5-m-long hatchling. Multiple snake-egg associations at the site strongly suggest that S. indicus frequented nesting grounds and preyed on hatchling sauropods. We interpret this pattern as "ethofossil" preservation of feeding behavior. S. indicus lacks specializations of modern egg-eaters and of macrostomatans, and skull and vertebral synapomorphies place it in an intermediate position in snake phylogeny. Sanajeh and its large-bodied madtsoiid sister taxa Yurlunggur camfieldensis and Wonambi naracoortensis from the Neogene of Australia show specializations for intraoral prey transport but lack the adaptations for wide gape that characterize living macrostomatan snakes. The Dholi Dungri fossils are the second definitive association between sauropod eggs and embryonic or hatchling remains. New fossils from western India provide direct evidence of feeding ecology in a Mesozoic snake and demonstrate predation risks for hatchling sauropod dinosaurs. Our results suggest that large body size and jaw mobility afforded some non-macrostomatan snakes a greater

  18. Prostate Contouring Variation: Can It Be Fixed?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khoo, Eric L.H.; Schick, Karlissa; Plank, Ashley W.; Poulsen, Michael; Wong, Winnie W.G.; Middleton, Mark; Martin, Jarad M.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To assess whether an education program on CT and MRI prostate anatomy would reduce inter- and intraobserver prostate contouring variation among experienced radiation oncologists. Methods and Materials: Three patient CT and MRI datasets were selected. Five radiation oncologists contoured the prostate for each patient on CT first, then MRI, and again between 2 and 4 weeks later. Three education sessions were then conducted. The same contouring process was then repeated with the same datasets and oncologists. The observer variation was assessed according to changes in the ratio of the encompassing volume to intersecting volume (volume ratio [VR]), across sets of target volumes. Results: For interobserver variation, there was a 15% reduction in mean VR with CT, from 2.74 to 2.33, and a 40% reduction in mean VR with MRI, from 2.38 to 1.41 after education. A similar trend was found for intraobserver variation, with a mean VR reduction for CT and MRI of 9% (from 1.51 to 1.38) and 16% (from 1.37 to 1.15), respectively. Conclusion: A well-structured education program has reduced both inter- and intraobserver prostate contouring variations. The impact was greater on MRI than on CT. With the ongoing incorporation of new technologies into routine practice, education programs for target contouring should be incorporated as part of the continuing medical education of radiation oncologists.

  19. Marine invasions by non-sea snakes, with thoughts on terrestrial-aquatic-marine transitions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, John C

    2012-08-01

    Few species of snakes show extensive adaptations to aquatic environments and even fewer exploit the oceans. A survey of morphology, lifestyles, and habitats of 2552 alethenophidian snakes revealed 362 (14%) that use aquatic environments, are semi-aquatic, or aquatic; about 70 (2.7%) of these are sea snakes (Hydrophiinae and Laticaudinae). The ancient and aquatic family Acrochordidae contains three extant species, all of which have populations inhabiting brackish or marine environments, as well as freshwater. The Homalopsidae have the most ecologically diverse representatives in coastal habitats. Other families containing species exploiting saline waters with populations in freshwater environments include: the Dipsadidae of the western hemisphere, the cosmopolitan Natricidae, the African Grayinae, and probably a few Colubridae. Species with aquatic and semi-aquatic lifestyles are compared with more terrestrial (fossorial, cryptozoic, and arboreal) species for morphological traits and life histories that are convergent with those found in sea