WorldWideScience

Sample records for artificially biospinning spider

  1. Antheraea pernyi Silk Fiber: A Potential Resource for Artificially Biospinning Spider Dragline Silk

    OpenAIRE

    Yaopeng Zhang; Hongxia Yang; Huili Shao; Xuechao Hu

    2010-01-01

    The outstanding properties of spider dragline silk are likely to be determined by a combination of the primary sequences and the secondary structure of the silk proteins. Antheraea pernyi silk has more similar sequences to spider dragline silk than the silk from its domestic counterpart, Bombyx mori. This makes it much potential as a resource for biospinning spider dragline silk. This paper further verified its possibility as the resource from the mechanical properties and the structures of t...

  2. Antheraea pernyi Silk Fiber: A Potential Resource for Artificially Biospinning Spider Dragline Silk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaopeng Zhang

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The outstanding properties of spider dragline silk are likely to be determined by a combination of the primary sequences and the secondary structure of the silk proteins. Antheraea pernyi silk has more similar sequences to spider dragline silk than the silk from its domestic counterpart, Bombyx mori. This makes it much potential as a resource for biospinning spider dragline silk. This paper further verified its possibility as the resource from the mechanical properties and the structures of the A. pernyi silks prepared by forcible reeling. It is surprising that the stress-strain curves of the A. pernyi fibers show similar sigmoidal shape to those of spider dragline silk. Under a controlled reeling speed of 95 mm/s, the breaking energy was 1.04×105 J/kg, the tensile strength was 639 MPa and the initial modulus was 9.9 GPa. It should be noted that this breaking energy of the A. pernyi silk approaches that of spider dragline silk. The tensile properties, the optical orientation and the β-sheet structure contents of the silk fibers are remarkably increased by raising the spinning speeds up to 95 mm/s.

  3. Toward spinning artificial spider silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rising, Anna; Johansson, Jan

    2015-05-01

    Spider silk is strong and extensible but still biodegradable and well tolerated when implanted, making it the ultimate biomaterial. Shortcomings that arise in replicating spider silk are due to the use of recombinant spider silk proteins (spidroins) that lack native domains, the use of denaturing conditions under purification and spinning and the fact that the understanding of how spiders control silk formation is incomplete. Recent progress has unraveled the molecular mechanisms of the spidroin N- and C-terminal nonrepetitive domains (NTs and CTs) and revealed the pH and ion gradients in spiders' silk glands, clarifying how spidroin solubility is maintained and how silk is formed in a fraction of a second. Protons and CO2, generated by carbonic anhydrase, affect the stability and structures of the NT and CT in different ways. These insights should allow the design of conditions and devices for the spinning of recombinant spidroins into native-like silk.

  4. Hybrid carbon nanotube yarn artificial muscle inspired by spider dragline silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, Kyoung-Yong; Hyeong Kim, Shi; Kyoon Shin, Min; Hoon Kwon, Cheong; Park, Jihwang; Tae Kim, Youn; Spinks, Geoffrey M.; Lima, Márcio D.; Haines, Carter S.; Baughman, Ray H.; Jeong Kim, Seon

    2014-02-01

    Torsional artificial muscles generating fast, large-angle rotation have been recently demonstrated, which exploit the helical configuration of twist-spun carbon nanotube yarns. These wax-infiltrated, electrothermally powered artificial muscles are torsionally underdamped, thereby experiencing dynamic oscillations that complicate positional control. Here, using the strategy spiders deploy to eliminate uncontrolled spinning at the end of dragline silk, we have developed ultrafast hybrid carbon nanotube yarn muscles that generated a 9,800 r.p.m. rotation without noticeable oscillation. A high-loss viscoelastic material, comprising paraffin wax and polystyrene-poly(ethylene-butylene)-polystyrene copolymer, was used as yarn guest to give an overdamped dynamic response. Using more than 10-fold decrease in mechanical stabilization time, compared with previous nanotube yarn torsional muscles, dynamic mirror positioning that is both fast and accurate is demonstrated. Scalability to provide constant volumetric torsional work capacity is demonstrated over a 10-fold change in yarn cross-sectional area, which is important for upscaled applications.

  5. NMRbot: Python scripts enable high-throughput data collection on current Bruker BioSpin NMR spectrometers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clos, Lawrence J; Jofre, M Fransisca; Ellinger, James J; Westler, William M; Markley, John L

    2013-06-01

    To facilitate the high-throughput acquisition of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experimental data on large sets of samples, we have developed a simple and straightforward automated methodology that capitalizes on recent advances in Bruker BioSpin NMR spectrometer hardware and software. Given the daunting challenge for non-NMR experts to collect quality spectra, our goal was to increase user accessibility, provide customized functionality, and improve the consistency and reliability of resultant data. This methodology, NMRbot, is encoded in a set of scripts written in the Python programming language accessible within the Bruker BioSpin TopSpin™ software. NMRbot improves automated data acquisition and offers novel tools for use in optimizing experimental parameters on the fly. This automated procedure has been successfully implemented for investigations in metabolomics, small-molecule library profiling, and protein-ligand titrations on four Bruker BioSpin NMR spectrometers at the National Magnetic Resonance Facility at Madison. The investigators reported benefits from ease of setup, improved spectral quality, convenient customizations, and overall time savings.

  6. Artificial Skin – Culturing of Different Skin Cell Lines for Generating an Artificial Skin Substitute on Cross-Weaved Spider Silk Fibres

    OpenAIRE

    Hanna Wendt; Anja Hillmer; Kerstin Reimers; Kuhbier, Joern W.; Franziska Schäfer-Nolte; Christina Allmeling; Cornelia Kasper; Vogt, Peter M.

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND: In the field of Plastic Reconstructive Surgery the development of new innovative matrices for skin repair is in urgent need. The ideal biomaterial should promote attachment, proliferation and growth of cells. Additionally, it should degrade in an appropriate time period without releasing harmful substances, but not exert a pathological immune response. Spider dragline silk from Nephila spp meets these demands to a large extent. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Native spider draglin...

  7. Artificial Skin - Culturing of Different Skin Cell Lines for Generating an Artificial Skin Substitute on Cross-Weaved Spider Silk Fibres

    OpenAIRE

    Wendt, Hanna; Hillmer, Anja; REIMERS, KERSTIN; Kuhbier, Joern W.; Schaefer-Nolte, Franziska; Allmeling, Christina; Kasper, Cornelia; Vogt, Peter M.

    2011-01-01

    Background: In the field of Plastic Reconstructive Surgery the development of new innovative matrices for skin repair is in urgent need. The ideal biomaterial should promote attachment, proliferation and growth of cells. Additionally, it should degrade in an appropriate time period without releasing harmful substances, but not exert a pathological immune response. Spider dragline silk from Nephila spp meets these demands to a large extent. Methodology/Principal Findings: Native spider draglin...

  8. Artificial spider: eight-legged arachnid and autonomous learning of locomotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alshurafa, Nabil I.; Harmon, Justin T.

    2006-05-01

    Evolution has produced organisms whose locomotive agility and adaptivity mock the difficulty faced by robotic scientists. The problem of locomotion, which nature has solved so well, is surprisingly complex and difficult. We explore the ability of an artificial eight-legged arachnid, or animat, to autonomously learn a locomotive gait in a three-dimensional environment. We take a physics-based approach at modeling the world and the virtual body of the animat. The arachnid-like animat learns muscular control functions using simulated annealing techniques, which attempts to maximize forward velocity and minimize energy expenditure. We experiment with varying the weight of these parameters and the resulting locomotive gaits. We perform two experiments in which the first is a naive physics model of the body and world which uses point-masses and idealized joints and muscles. The second experiment is a more realistic simulation using rigid body elements with distributed mass, friction, motors, and mechanical joints. By emphasizing physical aspects we wish to minimize, a number of interesting gaits emerge.

  9. Artificial Skin – Culturing of Different Skin Cell Lines for Generating an Artificial Skin Substitute on Cross-Weaved Spider Silk Fibres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimers, Kerstin; Kuhbier, Joern W.; Schäfer-Nolte, Franziska; Allmeling, Christina; Kasper, Cornelia; Vogt, Peter M.

    2011-01-01

    Background In the field of Plastic Reconstructive Surgery the development of new innovative matrices for skin repair is in urgent need. The ideal biomaterial should promote attachment, proliferation and growth of cells. Additionally, it should degrade in an appropriate time period without releasing harmful substances, but not exert a pathological immune response. Spider dragline silk from Nephila spp meets these demands to a large extent. Methodology/Principal Findings Native spider dragline silk, harvested directly out of Nephila spp spiders, was woven on steel frames. Constructs were sterilized and seeded with fibroblasts. After two weeks of cultivating single fibroblasts, keratinocytes were added to generate a bilayered skin model, consisting of dermis and epidermis equivalents. For the next three weeks, constructs in co-culture were lifted on an originally designed setup for air/liquid interface cultivation. After the culturing period, constructs were embedded in paraffin with an especially developed program for spidersilk to avoid supercontraction. Paraffin cross- sections were stained in Haematoxylin & Eosin (H&E) for microscopic analyses. Conclusion/Significance Native spider dragline silk woven on steel frames provides a suitable matrix for 3 dimensional skin cell culturing. Both fibroblasts and keratinocytes cell lines adhere to the spider silk fibres and proliferate. Guided by the spider silk fibres, they sprout into the meshes and reach confluence in at most one week. A well-balanced, bilayered cocultivation in two continuously separated strata can be achieved by serum reduction, changing the medium conditions and the cultivation period at the air/liquid interphase. Therefore spider silk appears to be a promising biomaterial for the enhancement of skin regeneration. PMID:21814557

  10. Artificial skin--culturing of different skin cell lines for generating an artificial skin substitute on cross-weaved spider silk fibres.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanna Wendt

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In the field of Plastic Reconstructive Surgery the development of new innovative matrices for skin repair is in urgent need. The ideal biomaterial should promote attachment, proliferation and growth of cells. Additionally, it should degrade in an appropriate time period without releasing harmful substances, but not exert a pathological immune response. Spider dragline silk from Nephila spp meets these demands to a large extent. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Native spider dragline silk, harvested directly out of Nephila spp spiders, was woven on steel frames. Constructs were sterilized and seeded with fibroblasts. After two weeks of cultivating single fibroblasts, keratinocytes were added to generate a bilayered skin model, consisting of dermis and epidermis equivalents. For the next three weeks, constructs in co-culture were lifted on an originally designed setup for air/liquid interface cultivation. After the culturing period, constructs were embedded in paraffin with an especially developed program for spidersilk to avoid supercontraction. Paraffin cross-sections were stained in Haematoxylin & Eosin (H&E for microscopic analyses. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Native spider dragline silk woven on steel frames provides a suitable matrix for 3 dimensional skin cell culturing. Both fibroblasts and keratinocytes cell lines adhere to the spider silk fibres and proliferate. Guided by the spider silk fibres, they sprout into the meshes and reach confluence in at most one week. A well-balanced, bilayered cocultivation in two continuously separated strata can be achieved by serum reduction, changing the medium conditions and the cultivation period at the air/liquid interphase. Therefore spider silk appears to be a promising biomaterial for the enhancement of skin regeneration.

  11. Enhancement of the reproductive potential of Mallada boninensis Okamoto (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae, a predator of red spider mite infesting tea: An evaluation of artificial diets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasanthakumar Duraikkannu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Green lacewing Mallada boninensis is an important predator of various soft-bodied arthropods, including red spider mites in tea. Efforts were made to develop mass rearing technology for this predator in a cost effective manner. Three combinations of artificial diets (Protinex (AD1, egg yolk (AD2 and royal jelly (AD3 based were evaluated in comparison with standard diet (Protinex + Honey. All the tested diets influenced the egg-laying capacity of M. boninensis. The egg yolk-based diet resulted in more egg production than the other two diets. Survival of all life stages of M. boninensis was also observed on each diet and no significant difference was noticed. Results revealed that the egg yolk-based diet is the best of the three diet combinations tested in view of high fecundity and survival rate of M. boninensis.

  12. A spider population in flux: selection and abandonment of artificial web-sites and the importance of intraspecific interactions in Lephthyphantes tenuis (Araneae: Linyphiidae) in wheat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samu, Ferenc; Sunderland, Keith D; Topping, Chris J; Fenlon, John S

    1996-04-01

    Lepthyphantes tenuis, a small sheet-webbuilding linyphiid spider is one of the most abundant spider species of cereal fields in Europe. In the present study we examined the process of web-site selection and web-site tenacity by adult females of this species in a winter wheat field. Spiders were selective in their choice of web-site. Different immigration rates into various manipulated web-sites, in field and laboratory, suggested that structural support and suitable micro-climate (high humidity) are the most important factors in the selection. Small holes dug in the ground were the most favoured web-sites. Web-site occupation was influenced by the presence of other conspecific spiders. Territorial contests occurred between spiders attempting to occupy the same web, these almost invariably led to the take-over of the web when the intruder was heavier. Interference, but also a certain level of tolerance, between spiders within the same web-site but in different webs was suggested by direct and indirect evidence. Many holes supported two or even three spiders in vertically stratified webs. Leaving probability of marked spiders was significantly higher in multiply occupied holes than in holes with a single web. Comparison with the results of a no-interference stochastic model showed that multiple occupancy in nature is less frequent than predicted by the model. There was further evidence for weak extra-web-interference between spiders in that multiple occupancy was even less frequent and overall occupancy was lower in web-sites which were packed close to each other. However, a level of tolerance for crowding is shown by the fact that closely packed hole colonies supported a spider density 13 times higher than in natural web-sites in the field. A marking experiment was carried out to gain information on web-site tenacity (i.e. the length of time a spider spends in a web-site) and abandonment. The average duration of tenacity was less than 2 days. A random loss function

  13. SPIDER SILK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PORAV Viorica

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The strengthness and toughness of spider fiber and its multifunctional nature is only surpassed in some cases by synthetic high performance fibers. In the world of natural fibers, spider silk has been long time recognized as a wonder fiber for its unique combination of high strength and rupture elongation. Scientists in civil military engineering reveal that the power of biological material (spider silk lies in the geometric configuration of structural protein, and the small cluster of week hydrogen bonds that works together to resist force and dissipate energy. Each spider and each type of silk has a set of mechanical properties optimized for their biological function. Most silks, in particular deagline silk, have exceptional mechanical properties. They exhibit a unique combination of high tensile strength and extensibility (ductility. This enables a silk fiber to absorb a lot of energy before breaking (toughness, the area under a stress- strain curve. A frequent mistake made in the mainstream media is to confuse strength and toughness when comparing silk to other materials. As shown below in detail, weight for weight, silk is stronger than steel, but not as strong as Kevlar. Silk is,however, tougher than both.This paper inform about overview on the today trend in the world of spider silk.

  14. Vibration Propagation in Spider Webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatton, Ross; Otto, Andrew; Elias, Damian

    Due to their poor eyesight, spiders rely on web vibrations for situational awareness. Web-borne vibrations are used to determine the location of prey, predators, and potential mates. The influence of web geometry and composition on web vibrations is important for understanding spider's behavior and ecology. Past studies on web vibrations have experimentally measured the frequency response of web geometries by removing threads from existing webs. The full influence of web structure and tension distribution on vibration transmission; however, has not been addressed in prior work. We have constructed physical artificial webs and computer models to better understand the effect of web structure on vibration transmission. These models provide insight into the propagation of vibrations through the webs, the frequency response of the bare web, and the influence of the spider's mass and stiffness on the vibration transmission patterns. Funded by NSF-1504428.

  15. Spider Webs and Silks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vollrath, Fritz

    1992-01-01

    Compares the attributes of the silk from spiders with those of the commercially harvested silk from silkworms. Discusses the evolution, design, and effectiveness of spider webs; the functional mechanics of the varieties of silk that can be produced by the same spider; and the composite, as well as molecular, structure of spider silk thread. (JJK)

  16. Behavior of an adaptive bio-inspired spider web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Lingyue; Behrooz, Majid; Huie, Andrew; Hartman, Alex; Gordaninejad, Faramarz

    2015-03-01

    The goal of this study is to demonstrate the feasibility of an artificial adaptive spider web with comparable behavior to a real spider web. First, the natural frequency and energy absorption ability of a passive web is studied. Next, a control system that consists of stepper motors, load cells and an Arduino, is constructed to mimic a spider's ability to control the tension of radial strings in the web. The energy related characteristics in the artificial spider web is examined while the pre-tension of the radial strings are varied. Various mechanical properties of a damaged spider web are adjusted to study their effect on the behavior of the web. It is demonstrated that the pre-tension and stiffness of the web's radial strings can significantly affect the natural frequency and the total energy of the full and damaged webs.

  17. Bird-eating Spiders

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    梁小明

    2002-01-01

    Many people are frightened by spiders (蜘蛛). They are especially afraid of large, hairyones. The largest and most frightening of all is thebird-eating spider, which lives in the hot, thickrain forests of northern South America.

  18. Spider Bites (For Parents)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... sure garages, attics, and woodpiles are free of spider webs. Make sure kids wear long sleeves and pants ... Widow Spider Bit Me! Hey! A Brown Recluse Spider Bit Me! Bug Bites and Stings Contact ... Policy & Terms of Use Visit the Nemours Web site. Note: All information on KidsHealth® is for ...

  19. The Spiders of China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    @@ Sevaral books about Chinese spider systematics and biology have been published,mostly since the later 1970s and the majority of then are designed as classification guides to the spider fauna of a particular area of China,or focused on a particular group ,for example Fauna of Zhejiang Province ,Araneida and Salticids of China. The newly published book "The Spiders of China",in English,differs from all others by including all 2361 described Chinese spider species and by reviewing literature of over 200 years of work on Chinese spider classification.

  20. Structure-Function-Property-Design Interplay in Biopolymers: Spider Silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokareva, Olena; Jacobsen, Matthew; Buehler, Markus; Wong, Joyce; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Spider silks have been a focus of research for almost two decades due to their outstanding mechanical and biophysical properties. Recent advances in genetic engineering have led to the synthesis of recombinant spider silks, thus helping to unravel a fundamental understanding of structure-function-property relationships. The relationships between molecular composition, secondary structures, and mechanical properties found in different types of spider silks are described, along with a discussion of artificial spinning of these proteins and their bioapplications, including the role of silks in biomineralization and fabrication of biomaterials with controlled properties. PMID:23962644

  1. Structure-function-property-design interplay in biopolymers: spider silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokareva, Olena; Jacobsen, Matthew; Buehler, Markus; Wong, Joyce; Kaplan, David L

    2014-04-01

    Spider silks have been a focus of research for almost two decades due to their outstanding mechanical and biophysical properties. Recent advances in genetic engineering have led to the synthesis of recombinant spider silks, thus helping to unravel a fundamental understanding of structure-function-property relationships. The relationships between molecular composition, secondary structures and mechanical properties found in different types of spider silks are described, along with a discussion of artificial spinning of these proteins and their bioapplications, including the role of silks in biomineralization and fabrication of biomaterials with controlled properties.

  2. Spider-man

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    路遇

    2002-01-01

    Spider-Man was first introduced in the comic(连环画) Amazing Fantasy #15(August 1962).Peter Parker,a Senior at Midtown High School,receives his powers when bitten by a exhibition(转基因) spider in a science demonstration(展览).This bite endowed(赋予) him with the proportional(相应的) strength and agility(敏捷) of a spider along with a keen “spider sense”.

  3. Disgust and spider phobia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulkens, SAN; de Jong, Peter; Merckelbach, H

    1996-01-01

    Twenty-four women with spider phobia and 45 nonphobic women completed the Disgust Questionnaire(DQ; P. Rozin, A. E. Fallen, & R. Mandell, 1984) and the Spider Phobia Questionnaire (SPQ; R. Klorman, T. C. Weerts, J. E. Hastings, B. G. Melamed, gr P. J. Lang, 1974). Participants also underwent behavio

  4. Becoming a Spider Scientist

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patrick, Patricia; Getz, Angela

    2008-01-01

    In this integrated unit, third grade students become spider scientists as they observe spiders in their classroom to debunk some common misconceptions about these intimidating creatures. "Charlotte's Web" is used to capture students' interest. In addition to addressing philosophical topics such as growing-up, death, and friendship; E.B. White's…

  5. Spiders and Silk

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    熊世民

    2004-01-01

    Spiders are very small, so it is easy to think that they do not make anything strong. However, a scientist at Oxford University in Britain has discovered this is not true. David Knight says that eight-legged spiders create a material called silk that could be as strong as rope.

  6. Silk Spinning in Silkworms and Spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Marlene; Johansson, Jan; Rising, Anna

    2016-08-09

    Spiders and silkworms spin silks that outcompete the toughness of all natural and manmade fibers. Herein, we compare and contrast the spinning of silk in silkworms and spiders, with the aim of identifying features that are important for fiber formation. Although spiders and silkworms are very distantly related, some features of spinning silk seem to be universal. Both spiders and silkworms produce large silk proteins that are highly repetitive and extremely soluble at high pH, likely due to the globular terminal domains that flank an intermediate repetitive region. The silk proteins are produced and stored at a very high concentration in glands, and then transported along a narrowing tube in which they change conformation in response primarily to a pH gradient generated by carbonic anhydrase and proton pumps, as well as to ions and shear forces. The silk proteins thereby convert from random coil and alpha helical soluble conformations to beta sheet fibers. We suggest that factors that need to be optimized for successful production of artificial silk proteins capable of forming tough fibers include protein solubility, pH sensitivity, and preservation of natively folded proteins throughout the purification and initial spinning processes.

  7. Bat predation by spiders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Nyffeler

    Full Text Available In this paper more than 50 incidences of bats being captured by spiders are reviewed. Bat-catching spiders have been reported from virtually every continent with the exception of Antarctica (≈ 90% of the incidences occurring in the warmer areas of the globe between latitude 30° N and 30° S. Most reports refer to the Neotropics (42% of observed incidences, Asia (28.8%, and Australia-Papua New Guinea (13.5%. Bat-catching spiders belong to the mygalomorph family Theraphosidae and the araneomorph families Nephilidae, Araneidae, and Sparassidae. In addition to this, an attack attempt by a large araneomorph hunting spider of the family Pisauridae on an immature bat was witnessed. Eighty-eight percent of the reported incidences of bat catches were attributable to web-building spiders and 12% to hunting spiders. Large tropical orb-weavers of the genera Nephila and Eriophora in particular have been observed catching bats in their huge, strong orb-webs (of up to 1.5 m diameter. The majority of identifiable captured bats were small aerial insectivorous bats, belonging to the families Vespertilionidae (64% and Emballonuridae (22% and usually being among the most common bat species in their respective geographic area. While in some instances bats entangled in spider webs may have died of exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, and/or hyperthermia (i.e., non-predation death, there were numerous other instances where spiders were seen actively attacking, killing, and eating the captured bats (i.e., predation. This evidence suggests that spider predation on flying vertebrates is more widespread than previously assumed.

  8. Spider webs: Damage control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.; Kaplan, David L.

    2012-04-01

    A study reveals that spider orb webs fail in a nonlinear fashion, owing to the hierarchical organization of the silk proteins. The discovery may serve as inspiration for engineers for the design of aerial, light-weight, robust architectures.

  9. Spiders in random environment

    CERN Document Server

    Gallesco, Christophe; Popov, Serguei; Vachkovskaia, Marina

    2010-01-01

    A spider consists of several, say $N$, particles. Particles can jump independently according to a random walk if the movement does not violate some given restriction rules. If the movement violates a rule it is not carried out. We consider random walk in random environment (RWRE) on $\\Z$ as underlying random walk. We suppose the environment $\\omega=(\\omega_x)_{x \\in \\Z}$ to be elliptic, with positive drift and nestling, so that there exists a unique positive constant $\\kappa$ such that $\\E[((1-\\omega_0)/\\omega_0)^{\\kappa}]=1$. The restriction rules are kept very general; we only assume transitivity and irreducibility of the spider. The main result is that the speed of a spider is positive if $\\kappa/N>1$ and null if $\\kappa/N<1$. In particular, if $\\kappa/N <1$ a spider has null speed but the speed of a (single) RWRE is positive.

  10. Spider Silk For Future Scaffolds

    OpenAIRE

    Bringhurst, Heidi; Decker, R.; Frisby, S.; Tucker, C

    2014-01-01

    Spider silk, an ancient biomaterial, has many qualities worth replicating. With the use of genetic modification, relatively large amounts of the spider silk protein have been produced through goat milk. With access to this protein we have worked to create spider silk films and hydrogels. Through chemical and mechanical means, we are discovering treatments that maximize cell growth and cell attachment on spider silk films and hydrogels.

  11. Funnel-web spider bite

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002844.htm Funnel-web spider bite To use the sharing features on this ... effects of a bite from the funnel-web spider. Male funnel-web spiders are more poisonous than females. This article ...

  12. 智能搜索蜘蛛%Intelligent Search Spiders

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    武海燕; 甘利人

    2001-01-01

    The search mechanism and the search process of the intelligent search spiders developed by the University of Arizona, which include Competitive Intelligence (CI) Spider, Meta Spider and Cancer Spider, are introduced. The characteristics of these spiders are summarized.

  13. High-toughness silk produced by a transgenic silkworm expressing spider (Araneus ventricosus) dragline silk protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuwana, Yoshihiko; Sezutsu, Hideki; Nakajima, Ken-ichi; Tamada, Yasushi; Kojima, Katsura

    2014-01-01

    Spider dragline silk is a natural fiber that has excellent tensile properties; however, it is difficult to produce artificially as a long, strong fiber. Here, the spider (Araneus ventricosus) dragline protein gene was cloned and a transgenic silkworm was generated, that expressed the fusion protein of the fibroin heavy chain and spider dragline protein in cocoon silk. The spider silk protein content ranged from 0.37 to 0.61% w/w (1.4-2.4 mol%) native silkworm fibroin. Using a good silk-producing strain, C515, as the transgenic silkworm can make the raw silk from its cocoons for the first time. The tensile characteristics (toughness) of the raw silk improved by 53% after the introduction of spider dragline silk protein; the improvement depended on the quantity of the expressed spider dragline protein. To demonstrate the commercial feasibility for machine reeling, weaving, and sewing, we used the transgenic spider silk to weave a vest and scarf; this was the first application of spider silk fibers from transgenic silkworms.

  14. High-toughness silk produced by a transgenic silkworm expressing spider (Araneus ventricosus dragline silk protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshihiko Kuwana

    Full Text Available Spider dragline silk is a natural fiber that has excellent tensile properties; however, it is difficult to produce artificially as a long, strong fiber. Here, the spider (Araneus ventricosus dragline protein gene was cloned and a transgenic silkworm was generated, that expressed the fusion protein of the fibroin heavy chain and spider dragline protein in cocoon silk. The spider silk protein content ranged from 0.37 to 0.61% w/w (1.4-2.4 mol% native silkworm fibroin. Using a good silk-producing strain, C515, as the transgenic silkworm can make the raw silk from its cocoons for the first time. The tensile characteristics (toughness of the raw silk improved by 53% after the introduction of spider dragline silk protein; the improvement depended on the quantity of the expressed spider dragline protein. To demonstrate the commercial feasibility for machine reeling, weaving, and sewing, we used the transgenic spider silk to weave a vest and scarf; this was the first application of spider silk fibers from transgenic silkworms.

  15. Spider silk as guiding biomaterial for human model neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roloff, Frank; Strauß, Sarah; Vogt, Peter M; Bicker, Gerd; Radtke, Christine

    2014-01-01

    Over the last years, a number of therapeutic strategies have emerged to promote axonal regeneration. An attractive strategy is the implantation of biodegradable and nonimmunogenic artificial scaffolds into injured peripheral nerves. In previous studies, transplantation of decellularized veins filled with spider silk for bridging critical size nerve defects resulted in axonal regeneration and remyelination by invading endogenous Schwann cells. Detailed interaction of elongating neurons and the spider silk as guidance material is unknown. To visualize direct cellular interactions between spider silk and neurons in vitro, we developed an in vitro crossed silk fiber array. Here, we describe in detail for the first time that human (NT2) model neurons attach to silk scaffolds. Extending neurites can bridge gaps between single silk fibers and elongate afterwards on the neighboring fiber. Culturing human neurons on the silk arrays led to an increasing migration and adhesion of neuronal cell bodies to the spider silk fibers. Within three to four weeks, clustered somata and extending neurites formed ganglion-like cell structures. Microscopic imaging of human neurons on the crossed fiber arrays in vitro will allow for a more efficient development of methods to maximize cell adhesion and neurite growth on spider silk prior to transplantation studies.

  16. Biomimetic calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang Liang; Habibovic, Pamela; Van Blitterswijk, Clemens A [Department of Tissue Regeneration, University of Twente, PO Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede (Netherlands); Hedhammar, My; Johansson, Jan [Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the Biomedical Centre, Box 575, 751 23 Uppsala (Sweden); Blom, Tobias; Leifer, Klaus [Department of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University, Box 534, S-751 21 Uppsala (Sweden)

    2010-08-01

    Calcium phosphate ceramic coatings, applied on surfaces of metallic and polymeric biomaterials, can improve their performance in bone repair and regeneration. Spider silk is biocompatible, strong and elastic, and hence an attractive biomaterial for applications in connective tissue repair. Recently, artificial spider silk, with mechanical and structural characteristics similar to those of native spider silk, has been produced from recombinant minispidroins. In the present study, supersaturated simulated body fluid was used to deposit calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres. The mineralization process was followed in time using scanning electron microscopy equipped with an energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) detector and Raman spectroscope. Focused ion beam technology was used to produce a cross section of a coated fibre, which was further analysed by EDX. Preliminary in vitro experiments using a culture of bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) on coated fibres were also performed. This study showed that recombinant spider silk fibres were successfully coated with a homogeneous and thick crystalline calcium phosphate layer. In the course of the mineralization process from modified simulated body fluid, sodium chloride crystals were first deposited on the silk surface, followed by the deposition of a calcium phosphate layer. The coated silk fibres supported the attachment and growth of hMSCs.

  17. Spider Silk as Guiding Biomaterial for Human Model Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Roloff

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Over the last years, a number of therapeutic strategies have emerged to promote axonal regeneration. An attractive strategy is the implantation of biodegradable and nonimmunogenic artificial scaffolds into injured peripheral nerves. In previous studies, transplantation of decellularized veins filled with spider silk for bridging critical size nerve defects resulted in axonal regeneration and remyelination by invading endogenous Schwann cells. Detailed interaction of elongating neurons and the spider silk as guidance material is unknown. To visualize direct cellular interactions between spider silk and neurons in vitro, we developed an in vitro crossed silk fiber array. Here, we describe in detail for the first time that human (NT2 model neurons attach to silk scaffolds. Extending neurites can bridge gaps between single silk fibers and elongate afterwards on the neighboring fiber. Culturing human neurons on the silk arrays led to an increasing migration and adhesion of neuronal cell bodies to the spider silk fibers. Within three to four weeks, clustered somata and extending neurites formed ganglion-like cell structures. Microscopic imaging of human neurons on the crossed fiber arrays in vitro will allow for a more efficient development of methods to maximize cell adhesion and neurite growth on spider silk prior to transplantation studies.

  18. Spider Web Pattern

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    A delicate pattern, like that of a spider web, appears on top of the Mars residual polar cap, after the seasonal carbon-dioxide ice slab has disappeared. Next spring, these will likely mark the sites of vents when the carbon-dioxide ice cap returns. This Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Orbiter Camera image is about 3-kilometers wide (2-miles).

  19. PATHWAYS TO SPIDER PHOBIA

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    MERCKELBACH, H; ARNTZ, A; ARRINDELL, WA; DEJONG, PJ

    1992-01-01

    Using a revised version of the Phobic Origin Questionnaire (POQ; Ost, L. G. & Hugdahl, K. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 19,439-477; 1981), the present study examined whether conditioning experiences, modeling experiences, and/or informational learning experiences were more often reported by spider

  20. The Spider Files

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, James; Dominguez, Lynn

    2012-01-01

    As children develop misconceptions about animals they believe are dangerous, they also adopt attitudes that are difficult to change. Changing these attitudes is challenging for teachers. One animal that is easy to find but difficult for children to understand is a spider. As with most wild animals, they are difficult to teach about because…

  1. Synthetic spider silk production on a laboratory scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsia, Yang; Gnesa, Eric; Pacheco, Ryan; Kohler, Kristin; Jeffery, Felicia; Vierra, Craig

    2012-07-18

    As society progresses and resources become scarcer, it is becoming increasingly important to cultivate new technologies that engineer next generation biomaterials with high performance properties. The development of these new structural materials must be rapid, cost-efficient and involve processing methodologies and products that are environmentally friendly and sustainable. Spiders spin a multitude of different fiber types with diverse mechanical properties, offering a rich source of next generation engineering materials for biomimicry that rival the best manmade and natural materials. Since the collection of large quantities of natural spider silk is impractical, synthetic silk production has the ability to provide scientists with access to an unlimited supply of threads. Therefore, if the spinning process can be streamlined and perfected, artificial spider fibers have the potential use for a broad range of applications ranging from body armor, surgical sutures, ropes and cables, tires, strings for musical instruments, and composites for aviation and aerospace technology. In order to advance the synthetic silk production process and to yield fibers that display low variance in their material properties from spin to spin, we developed a wet-spinning protocol that integrates expression of recombinant spider silk proteins in bacteria, purification and concentration of the proteins, followed by fiber extrusion and a mechanical post-spin treatment. This is the first visual representation that reveals a step-by-step process to spin and analyze artificial silk fibers on a laboratory scale. It also provides details to minimize the introduction of variability among fibers spun from the same spinning dope. Collectively, these methods will propel the process of artificial silk production, leading to higher quality fibers that surpass natural spider silks.

  2. Event-related potentials when identifying or color-naming threatening schematic stimuli in spider phobic and non-phobic individuals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Musial Frauke

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous studies revealed increased parietal late positive potentials (LPPs in response to spider pictures in spider phobic individuals. This study searched for basic features of fear-relevant stimuli by investigating whether schematic spider images are sufficient to evoke differential behavioral as well as differential early and late ERP responses in spider phobic, social phobic (as a clinical control group, and non-phobic control participants. Methods Behavioral and electrophysiological correlates of the processing of schematic spider and flower images were investigated while participants performed a color (emotional Stroop and an object identification task. Stimuli were schematic pictures of spiders and flowers matched with respect to constituting visual elements. Results Consistent with previous studies using photographic spider pictures, spider phobic persons showed enhanced LPPs when identifying schematic spiders compared to schematic flowers. In addition, spider phobic individuals showed generally faster responses than the control groups. This effect was interpreted as evidence for an increased general behavioral hypervigilance in this anxiety disorder group. Furthermore, both phobic groups showed enhanced P100 amplitudes compared to controls, which was interpreted as evidence for an increased (cortical hypervigilance for incoming stimuli in phobic patients in general. Finally, all groups showed faster identification of and larger N170 amplitudes in response to schematic spider than flower pictures. This may reflect either a general advantage for fear-relevant compared to neutral stimuli, or might be due to a higher level of expertise in processing schematic spiders as compared to the more artificially looking flower stimuli. Conclusion Results suggest that schematic spiders are sufficient to prompt differential responses in spider-fearful and spider-non-fearful persons in late ERP components. Early ERP components, on

  3. Mechanical behavior of silk during the evolution of orb-web spinning spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elices, Manuel; Plaza, Gustavo R; Arnedo, Miquel A; Pérez-Rigueiro, José; Torres, Fernando G; Guinea, Gustavo V

    2009-07-13

    The development of an accurate and reproducible approach to measuring the tensile behavior of spider silk has allowed characterizing and comparing the range of mechanical properties exhibited by different spider species with unprecedented detail. The comparison of silks spun by spiders belonging to different phylogenetic groups has revealed that evolution locked in many of the important properties of spider silks very early in the history of orb-web weaving spiders, despite the fact that the silk gland system is relatively isolated in physiological terms from the rest of the organism and should thus mutate quickly. The variations observed between species may be grouped in at least two patterns that are shown not to be related to phylogeny. Beyond the relevance of these results for the evolutionary biology of spiders and silks, the conservation of the basic traits observed in the mechanical behavior of spider silks is likely to set a limit to the range of properties that can be expected from artificial fibers bioinspired in natural silks.

  4. Bites by Australian mygalomorph spiders (Araneae, Mygalomorphae), including funnel-web spiders (Atracinae) and mouse spiders (Actinopodidae: Missulena spp).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbister, Geoffrey K; Gray, Mike R

    2004-02-01

    A number of mygalomorph spiders cause bites in Australia, including the funnel-web spiders (Hexathelidae, Atracinae: Hadronyche and Atrax) and mouse spiders (Actinopodidae: Missulena). There is ongoing debate about the significance of bites by mouse spiders and the frequency of severe envenoming by funnel-web spiders. We conducted a prospective cohort study of definite spider bites with expert spider identification and include the analysis of mygalomorph spiders here. Subjects were recruited prospectively from February 1999 to April 2003 from patients presenting to participating hospitals or contacting a state poison information centre. Forty-nine cases of bites by mygalomorph spiders were included: 16 were by funnel-web spiders, 13 by mouse spiders and 20 by other trapdoor spiders (Families Idiopidae and Nemesiidae). Of the 49 bites, 45 (92%) occurred on distal limbs (hands and feet). Local effects included severe pain (53%), puncture marks (61%) and bleeding (27%), local redness (33%). Itchiness did not occur. The following were highly statistically associated with mygalomorph spider bites compared to all other spiders (pweb spider bites, there were 10 cases with minor local effects, four with moderate envenoming (non-specific systemic or local neurotoxicity) and two with severe envenoming requiring antivenom. In addition to local effects, mouse spider bites caused local paraesthesia in three cases, local diaphoresis in one case and non-specific systemic effects in five cases, but not severe envenoming. True trapdoor spider bites caused only minor effects. The data from a mixed species sample of funnel-web spiders confirms previous observations suggesting that only a small proportion of funnel-web bites cause severe effects. Mouse spider bites are unlikely to cause major envenoming but the clinical effects are consistent with neurotoxic venom and are more severe than the trapdoor spiders.

  5. Molecular spiders on a plane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antal, Tibor; Krapivsky, P. L.

    2012-06-01

    Synthetic biomolecular spiders with “legs” made of single-stranded segments of DNA can move on a surface covered by single-stranded segments of DNA called substrates when the substrate DNA is complementary to the leg DNA. If the motion of a spider does not affect the substrates, the spider behaves asymptotically as a random walk. We study the diffusion coefficient and the number of visited sites for spiders moving on the square lattice with a substrate in each lattice site. The spider's legs hop to nearest-neighbor sites with the constraint that the distance between any two legs cannot exceed a maximal span. We establish analytic results for bipedal spiders, and investigate multileg spiders numerically. In experimental realizations legs usually convert substrates into products (visited sites). The binding of legs to products is weaker, so the hopping rate from the substrates is smaller. This makes the problem non-Markovian and we investigate it numerically. We demonstrate the emergence of a counterintuitive behavior—the more spiders are slowed down on unvisited sites, the more motile they become.

  6. Economic analysis of spider web airline networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    The distinct network organization, management, service and operating characteristics of US Southwest Airlines are key elements of its success compared with other airlines. As a network organization type, the spider web airline network has received more attention. In this paper, we analyzed the relation between the spider web airline network and spider web, and the structure of spider web airline network, built the assignment model of the spider web airline network,and investigated the economics concerned.

  7. Cell culture's spider silk road.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkel, Jeffrey

    2014-06-01

    A number of synthetic and natural materials have been tried in cell culture and tissue engineering applications in recent years. Now Jeffrey Perkel takes a look at one new culture component that might surprise you-spider silk.

  8. Environmental Engineering Approaches toward Sustainable Management of Spider Mites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeshi Suzuki

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Integrated pest management (IPM, which combines physical, biological, and chemical control measures to complementary effect, is one of the most important approaches to environmentally friendly sustainable agriculture. To expand IPM, we need to develop new pest control measures, reinforce existing measures, and investigate interactions between measures. Continued progress in the development of environmental control technologies and consequent price drops have facilitated their integration into plant production and pest control. Here I describe environmental control technologies for the IPM of spider mites through: (1 the disturbance of photoperiod-dependent diapause by artificial light, which may lead to death in seasonal environments; (2 the use of ultraviolet radiation to kill or repel mites; and (3 the use of water vapor control for the long-term cold storage of commercially available natural enemies. Such environmental control technologies have great potential for the efficient control of spider mites through direct physical effects and indirect effects via natural enemies.

  9. Comparing the rheology of native spider and silkworm spinning dope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, C.; Terry, A. E.; Porter, D.; Vollrath, F.

    2006-11-01

    Silk production has evolved to be energetically efficient and functionally optimized, yielding a material that can outperform most industrial fibres, particularly in toughness. Spider silk has hitherto defied all attempts at reproduction, despite advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind its superb mechanical properties. Spun fibres, natural and man-made, rely on the extrusion process to facilitate molecular orientation and bonding. Hence a full understanding of the flow characteristics of native spinning feedstock (dope) will be essential to translate natural spinning to artificial silk production. Here we show remarkable similarity between the rheologies for native spider-dragline and silkworm-cocoon silk, despite their independent evolution and substantial differences in protein structure. Surprisingly, both dopes behave like typical polymer melts. This observation opens the door to using polymer theory to clarify our general understanding of natural silks, despite the many specializations found in different animal species.

  10. Environmental Engineering Approaches toward Sustainable Management of Spider Mites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Takeshi

    2012-10-26

    Integrated pest management (IPM), which combines physical, biological, and chemical control measures to complementary effect, is one of the most important approaches to environmentally friendly sustainable agriculture. To expand IPM, we need to develop new pest control measures, reinforce existing measures, and investigate interactions between measures. Continued progress in the development of environmental control technologies and consequent price drops have facilitated their integration into plant production and pest control. Here I describe environmental control technologies for the IPM of spider mites through: (1) the disturbance of photoperiod-dependent diapause by artificial light, which may lead to death in seasonal environments; (2) the use of ultraviolet radiation to kill or repel mites; and (3) the use of water vapor control for the long-term cold storage of commercially available natural enemies. Such environmental control technologies have great potential for the efficient control of spider mites through direct physical effects and indirect effects via natural enemies.

  11. Blueprint for a high-performance biomaterial: full-length spider dragline silk genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadia A Ayoub

    Full Text Available Spider dragline (major ampullate silk outperforms virtually all other natural and manmade materials in terms of tensile strength and toughness. For this reason, the mass-production of artificial spider silks through transgenic technologies has been a major goal of biomimetics research. Although all known arthropod silk proteins are extremely large (>200 kiloDaltons, recombinant spider silks have been designed from short and incomplete cDNAs, the only available sequences. Here we describe the first full-length spider silk gene sequences and their flanking regions. These genes encode the MaSp1 and MaSp2 proteins that compose the black widow's high-performance dragline silk. Each gene includes a single enormous exon (>9000 base pairs that translates into a highly repetitive polypeptide. Patterns of variation among sequence repeats at the amino acid and nucleotide levels indicate that the interaction of selection, intergenic recombination, and intragenic recombination governs the evolution of these highly unusual, modular proteins. Phylogenetic footprinting revealed putative regulatory elements in non-coding flanking sequences. Conservation of both upstream and downstream flanking sequences was especially striking between the two paralogous black widow major ampullate silk genes. Because these genes are co-expressed within the same silk gland, there may have been selection for similarity in regulatory regions. Our new data provide complete templates for synthesis of recombinant silk proteins that significantly improve the degree to which artificial silks mimic natural spider dragline fibers.

  12. Interactions between spider silk and cells--NIH/3T3 fibroblasts seeded on miniature weaving frames.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joern W Kuhbier

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Several materials have been used for tissue engineering purposes, since the ideal matrix depends on the desired tissue. Silk biomaterials have come to focus due to their great mechanical properties. As untreated silkworm silk has been found to be quite immunogenic, an alternative could be spider silk. Not only does it own unique mechanical properties, its biocompatibility has been shown already in vivo. In our study, we used native spider dragline silk which is known as the strongest fibre in nature. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Steel frames were originally designed and manufactured and woven with spider silk, harvesting dragline silk directly out of the animal. After sterilization, scaffolds were seeded with fibroblasts to analyse cell proliferation and adhesion. Analysis of cell morphology and actin filament alignment clearly revealed adherence. Proliferation was measured by cell count as well as determination of relative fluorescence each after 1, 2, 3, and 5 days. Cell counts for native spider silk were also compared with those for trypsin-digested spider silk. Spider silk specimens displayed less proliferation than collagen- and fibronectin-coated cover slips, enzymatic treatment reduced adhesion and proliferation rates tendentially though not significantly. Nevertheless, proliferation could be proven with high significance (p<0.01. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Native spider silk does not require any modification to its application as a biomaterial that can rival any artificial material in terms of cell growth promoting properties. We could show adhesion mechanics on intracellular level. Additionally, proliferation kinetics were higher than in enzymatically digested controls, indicating that spider silk does not require modification. Recent findings concerning reduction of cell proliferation after exposure could not be met. As biotechnological production of the hierarchical composition of native spider silk fibres is still a

  13. Application of 3 kinds of practical electromagnetic spiders in electromagnetic spider web

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiang Min

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Electromagnetic spider web the launch circuit has introduced a lot, but in the center position of the utility of the spider generally have 3 kinds of circuits respectively, the use of single-chip microcomputer circuit of the low energy consumption spider by multi-channel transmission, single circuit receiver circuit. Direct use of the 3 channels of the spider and the use of PLC circuit spider, depending on the actual situation were placed.

  14. Application of 3 kinds of practical electromagnetic spiders in electromagnetic spider web

    OpenAIRE

    Jiang Min

    2016-01-01

    Electromagnetic spider web the launch circuit has introduced a lot, but in the center position of the utility of the spider generally have 3 kinds of circuits respectively, the use of single-chip microcomputer circuit of the low energy consumption spider by multi-channel transmission, single circuit receiver circuit. Direct use of the 3 channels of the spider and the use of PLC circuit spider, depending on the actual situation were placed.

  15. Decoding the secrets of spider silk

    OpenAIRE

    Lukas Eisoldt; Andrew Smith; Thomas Scheibel

    2011-01-01

    Spider silks have been employed by man for several thousands of years. Spider silks possess extraordinary mechanical properties due to a combination of strength and extensibility that are superior to most man-made fibers. Spider silk fibers are a protein-based material produced in a highly sophisticated hierarchical process under mild conditions. Here, we review the current understanding of spider silk and its assembly process, as well as discuss the application of silk-based materials to the...

  16. Spider phylogenomics: untangling the Spider Tree of Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrison, Nicole L; Rodriguez, Juanita; Agnarsson, Ingi; Coddington, Jonathan A; Griswold, Charles E; Hamilton, Christopher A; Hedin, Marshal; Kocot, Kevin M; Ledford, Joel M; Bond, Jason E

    2016-01-01

    Spiders (Order Araneae) are massively abundant generalist arthropod predators that are found in nearly every ecosystem on the planet and have persisted for over 380 million years. Spiders have long served as evolutionary models for studying complex mating and web spinning behaviors, key innovation and adaptive radiation hypotheses, and have been inspiration for important theories like sexual selection by female choice. Unfortunately, past major attempts to reconstruct spider phylogeny typically employing the "usual suspect" genes have been unable to produce a well-supported phylogenetic framework for the entire order. To further resolve spider evolutionary relationships we have assembled a transcriptome-based data set comprising 70 ingroup spider taxa. Using maximum likelihood and shortcut coalescence-based approaches, we analyze eight data sets, the largest of which contains 3,398 gene regions and 696,652 amino acid sites forming the largest phylogenomic analysis of spider relationships produced to date. Contrary to long held beliefs that the orb web is the crowning achievement of spider evolution, ancestral state reconstructions of web type support a phylogenetically ancient origin of the orb web, and diversification analyses show that the mostly ground-dwelling, web-less RTA clade diversified faster than orb weavers. Consistent with molecular dating estimates we report herein, this may reflect a major increase in biomass of non-flying insects during the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution 125-90 million years ago favoring diversification of spiders that feed on cursorial rather than flying prey. Our results also have major implications for our understanding of spider systematics. Phylogenomic analyses corroborate several well-accepted high level groupings: Opisthothele, Mygalomorphae, Atypoidina, Avicularoidea, Theraphosoidina, Araneomorphae, Entelegynae, Araneoidea, the RTA clade, Dionycha and the Lycosoidea. Alternatively, our results challenge the monophyly of

  17. Spider phylogenomics: untangling the Spider Tree of Life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole L. Garrison

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Spiders (Order Araneae are massively abundant generalist arthropod predators that are found in nearly every ecosystem on the planet and have persisted for over 380 million years. Spiders have long served as evolutionary models for studying complex mating and web spinning behaviors, key innovation and adaptive radiation hypotheses, and have been inspiration for important theories like sexual selection by female choice. Unfortunately, past major attempts to reconstruct spider phylogeny typically employing the “usual suspect” genes have been unable to produce a well-supported phylogenetic framework for the entire order. To further resolve spider evolutionary relationships we have assembled a transcriptome-based data set comprising 70 ingroup spider taxa. Using maximum likelihood and shortcut coalescence-based approaches, we analyze eight data sets, the largest of which contains 3,398 gene regions and 696,652 amino acid sites forming the largest phylogenomic analysis of spider relationships produced to date. Contrary to long held beliefs that the orb web is the crowning achievement of spider evolution, ancestral state reconstructions of web type support a phylogenetically ancient origin of the orb web, and diversification analyses show that the mostly ground-dwelling, web-less RTA clade diversified faster than orb weavers. Consistent with molecular dating estimates we report herein, this may reflect a major increase in biomass of non-flying insects during the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution 125–90 million years ago favoring diversification of spiders that feed on cursorial rather than flying prey. Our results also have major implications for our understanding of spider systematics. Phylogenomic analyses corroborate several well-accepted high level groupings: Opisthothele, Mygalomorphae, Atypoidina, Avicularoidea, Theraphosoidina, Araneomorphae, Entelegynae, Araneoidea, the RTA clade, Dionycha and the Lycosoidea. Alternatively, our results

  18. Spider silk reduces insect herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rypstra, Ann L; Buddle, Christopher M

    2013-02-23

    The role of predators in food webs extends beyond their ability to kill and consume prey. Such trait-mediated effects occur when signals of the predator influence the behaviour of other animals. Because all spiders are silk-producing carnivores, we hypothesized that silk alone would signal other arthropods and enhance non-lethal effects of spiders. We quantified the herbivory inflicted by two beetle species on green bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris) in the presence of silkworm silk and spider silk along with no silk controls. Single leaflets were treated and enclosed with herbivores in the laboratory and field. Another set of leaflets were treated and left to experience natural herbivory in the field. Entire plants in the field were treated with silk and enclosed with herbivores or left exposed to herbivory. In all cases, the lowest levels of herbivory occurred with spider silk treatments and, in general, silkworm silk produced intermediate levels of leaf damage. These results suggest that silk may be a mechanism for the trait-mediated impacts of spiders and that it might contribute to integrated pest management programmes.

  19. Ballooning Spiders: The Case for Electrostatic Flight

    CERN Document Server

    Gorham, Peter W

    2013-01-01

    We consider general aspects of the physics underlying the flight of Gossamer spiders, also known as ballooning spiders. We show that existing observations and the physics of spider silk in the presence of the Earth's static atmospheric electric field indicate a potentially important role for electrostatic forces in the flight of Gossamer spiders. A compelling example is analyzed in detail, motivated by the observed "unaccountable rapidity" in the launching of such spiders from H.M.S. Beagle, recorded by Charles Darwin during his famous voyage.

  20. A structured inventory of spiders (Arachnida, Araneae in natural and artificial forest gaps at Porto Urucu, Western Brazilian Amazonia Inventário estruturado de aranhas (Arachnida, Araneae em clareiras naturais e artificiais em Porto Urucu, Amazônia Ocidental Brasileira

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre B. Bonaldo

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available A preliminary survey of the spider fauna in natural and artificial forest gap formations at “Porto Urucu”, a petroleum/natural gas production facility in the Urucu river basin, Coari, Amazonas, Brazil is presented. Sampling was conducted both occasionally and using a protocol composed of a suite of techniques: beating trays (32 samples, nocturnal manual samplings (48, sweeping nets (16, Winkler extractors (24, and pitfall traps (120. A total of 4201 spiders, belonging to 43 families and 393 morphospecies, were collected during the dry season, in July, 2003. Excluding the occasional samples, the observed richness was 357 species. In a performance test of seven species richness estimators, the Incidence Based Coverage Estimator (ICE was the best fit estimator, with 639 estimated species. To evaluate differences in species richness associated with natural and artificial gaps, samples from between the center of the gaps up to 300 meters inside the adjacent forest matrix were compared through the inspection of the confidence intervals of individual-based rarefaction curves for each treatment. The observed species richness was significantly higher in natural gaps combined with adjacent forest than in the artificial gaps combined with adjacent forest. Moreover, a community similarity analysis between the fauna collected under both treatments demonstrated that there were considerable differences in species composition. The significantly higher abundance of Lycosidae in artificial gap forest is explained by the presence of herbaceous vegetation in the gaps themselves. Ctenidae was significantly more abundant in the natural gap forest, probable due to the increase of shelter availability provided by the fallen trees in the gaps themselves. Both families are identified as potential indicators of environmental change related to the establishment or recovery of artificial gaps in the study area.Apresenta-se um inventário preliminar da fauna de aranhas

  1. Evidence for antimicrobial activity associated with common house spider silk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wright Simon

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Spider silk is one of the most versatile materials in nature with great strength and flexibility. Native and synthetically produced silk has been used in a wide range of applications including the construction of artificial tendons and as substrates for human cell growth. In the literature there are anecdotal reports that suggest that native spider silk may also have antimicrobial properties. Findings In this study we compared the growth of a Gram positive and a Gram negative bacterium in the presence and absence of silk produced by the common house spider Tegenaria domestica. We demonstrate that native web silk of Tegenaria domestica can inhibit the growth of the Gram positive bacterium, Bacillus subtilis. No significant inhibition of growth was detected against the Gram negative bacterium, Escherichia coli. The antimicrobial effect against B. subtilis appears to be short lived thus the active agent potentially acts in a bacteriostatic rather than bactericidal manner. Treatment of the silk with Proteinase K appears to reduce the ability to inhibit bacterial growth. This is consistent with the active agent including a protein element that is denatured or cleaved by treatment. Tegenaria silk does not appear to inhibit the growth of mammalian cells in vitro thus there is the potential for therapeutic applications.

  2. Visual perception in the brain of a jumping spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menda, Gil; Shamble, Paul S; Nitzany, Eyal I; Golden, James R; Hoy, Ronald R

    2014-11-03

    Jumping spiders (Salticidae) are renowned for a behavioral repertoire that can seem more vertebrate, or even mammalian, than spider-like in character. This is made possible by a unique visual system that supports their stalking hunting style and elaborate mating rituals in which the bizarrely marked and colored appendages of males highlight their song-and-dance displays. Salticids perform these tasks with information from four pairs of functionally specialized eyes, providing a near 360° field of view and forward-looking spatial resolution surpassing that of all insects and even some mammals, processed by a brain roughly the size of a poppy seed. Salticid behavior, evolution, and ecology are well documented, but attempts to study the neurophysiological basis of their behavior had been thwarted by the pressurized nature of their internal body fluids, making typical physiological techniques infeasible and restricting all previous neural work in salticids to a few recordings from the eyes. We report the first survey of neurophysiological recordings from the brain of a jumping spider, Phidippus audax (Salticidae). The data include single-unit recordings in response to artificial and naturalistic visual stimuli. The salticid visual system is unique in that high-acuity and motion vision are processed by different pairs of eyes. We found nonlinear interactions between the principal and secondary eyes, which can be inferred from the emergence of spatiotemporal receptive fields. Ecologically relevant images, including prey-like objects such as flies, elicited bursts of excitation from single units.

  3. Controlled assembly: a prerequisite for the use of recombinant spider silk in regenerative medicine?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rising, Anna

    2014-04-01

    Recent biotechnological progress has enabled the production of spider silk proteins, spidroins, in heterologous hosts. Matrices based on recombinant spidroins support stem cell growth and are well tolerated when implanted in living tissue, thus the material is highly attractive for use in regenerative medicine. However, the matrices made are far from natural silk in terms of mechanical properties and are either spontaneously assembled, which results in heterogeneous products, or spun from harsh solvents with the concomitant risk of harmful remnants in the final products. If we could mimic the spider's aqueous silk spinning process we would likely obtain a material that had reproducible and better characteristics and that more easily could be transferred to clinical practice. Herein, the knowledge of the spiders' silk production system and the prerequisites for artificial spinning and assembly of recombinant proteins are reviewed and discussed in a biomedical context.

  4. Nanoparticle self-assembly by a highly stable recombinant spider wrapping silk protein subunit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Lingling; Tremblay, Marie-Laurence; Orrell, Kathleen E; Leclerc, Jérémie; Meng, Qing; Liu, Xiang-Qin; Rainey, Jan K

    2013-10-01

    Artificial spider silk proteins may form fibers with exceptional strength and elasticity. Wrapping silk, or aciniform silk, is the toughest of the spider silks, and has a very different protein composition than other spider silks. Here, we present the characterization of an aciniform protein (AcSp1) subunit named W1, consisting of one AcSp1 199 residue repeat unit from Argiope trifasciata. The structural integrity of recombinant W1 is demonstrated in a variety of buffer conditions and time points. Furthermore, we show that W1 has a high thermal stability with reversible denaturation at ∼71°C and forms self-assembled nanoparticle in near-physiological conditions. W1 therefore represents a highly stable and structurally robust module for protein-based nanoparticle formation.

  5. Fiber formation of a synthetic spider peptide derived from Nephila clavata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hidaka, Yuji; Kontani, Ko-Ichi; Taniguchi, Rina; Saiki, Masatoshi; Yokoi, Sayoko; Yukuhiro, Kenji; Yamaguchi, Hiroshi; Miyazawa, Mitsuhiro

    2011-01-01

    Dragline silk is a high-performance biopolymer with exceptional mechanical properties. Artificial spider dragline silk is currently prepared by a recombinant technique or chemical synthesis. However, the recombinant process is costly and large-sized synthetic peptides are needed for fiber formation. In addition, the silk fibers that are produced are much weaker than a fiber derived from a native spider. In this study, a small peptide was chemically synthesized and examined for its ability to participate in fiber formation. A short synthetic peptide derived from Nephila clavata was prepared by a solid-phase peptide method, based on a prediction using the hydrophobic parameter of each individual amino acid residue. After purification of the spider peptide, fiber formation was examined under several conditions. Fiber formation proceeded in the acidic pH range, and larger fibers were produced when organic solvents such as trifluoroethanol and acetonitrile were used at an acidic pH. Circular dichroism measurements of the spider peptide indicate that the peptide has a beta-sheet structure and that the formation of a beta-sheet structure is required for the spider peptide to undergo fiber formation.

  6. Spider silk: Webs measure up

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Zhao; Buehler, Markus J.

    2013-03-01

    The complete elastic response of a spider's orb web has been quantified by non-invasive light scattering, revealing important insights into the architecture, natural material use and mechanical properties of the web. This knowledge advances our understanding of the prey-catching process and the role of supercontraction therein.

  7. Spider pheromones - a structural perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    Spiders use pheromones for sexual communication, as do other animals such as insects. Nevertheless, knowledge about their chemical structure, function, and biosynthesis is only now being unraveled. Many studies have shown the existence of spider pheromones, but the responsible compounds have been elucidated in only a few cases. This review focuses on a structural approach because we need to know the involved chemistry if we are to understand fully the function of a pheromonal communication system. Pheromones from members of the spider families Pholcidae, Araneidae, Linyphiidae, Agenelidae, and Ctenidae are currently being identified and will be discussed in this review. Some of these compounds belong to compound classes not known from other arthropod pheromones, such as citric acid derivatives or acylated amino acids, whereas others originate from more common fatty acid metabolism. Their putative biosynthesis, their function, and the identification methods used will be discussed. Furthermore, other semiochemicals and the chemistry of apolar surface lipids that potentially might be used by spiders for communication are described briefly.

  8. The Spider and the Fly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellinger, Keith E.; Viglione, Raymond

    2012-01-01

    The Spider and the Fly puzzle, originally attributed to the great puzzler Henry Ernest Dudeney, and now over 100 years old, asks for the shortest path between two points on a particular square prism. We explore a generalization, find that the original solution only holds in certain cases, and suggest how this discovery might be used in the…

  9. Specialised use of working memory by Portia africana, a spider-eating salticid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Fiona R; Jackson, Robert R

    2014-03-01

    Using expectancy-violation methods, we investigated the role of working memory in the predatory strategy of Portia africana, a salticid spider from Kenya that preys by preference on other spiders. One of this predator's tactics is to launch opportunistic leaping attacks on to other spiders in their webs. Focussing on this particular tactic, our experiments began with a test spider on a ramp facing a lure (dead prey spider mounted on a cork disc) that could be reached by leaping. After the test spider faced the lure for 30 s, we blocked the test spider's view of the lure by lowering an opaque shutter before the spider leapt. When the shutter was raised 90 s later, either the same lure came into view again (control) or a different lure came into view (experimental: different prey type in same orientation or same prey type in different orientation). We recorded attack frequency (number of test spiders that leapt at the lure) and attack latency (time elapsing between shutter being raised and spiders initiating a leap). Attack latencies in control trials were not significantly different from attack latencies in experimental trials, regardless of whether it was prey type or prey orientation that changed in the experimental trials. However, compared with test spiders in the no-change control trials, significantly fewer test spiders leapt when prey type changed. There was no significant effect on attack frequency when prey orientation changed. These findings suggest that this predator represents prey type independently of prey orientation.

  10. Spiders do have melanin after all.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsiung, Bor-Kai; Blackledge, Todd A; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2015-11-01

    Melanin pigments are broadly distributed in nature - from bacteria to fungi to plants and animals. However, many previous attempts to identify melanins in spiders were unsuccessful, suggesting that these otherwise ubiquitous pigments were lost during spider evolution. Yet, spiders exhibit many dark colours similar to those produced by melanins in other organisms, and the low solubility of melanins makes isolation and characterization difficult. Therefore, whether melanins are truly absent or have simply not yet been detected is an open question. Raman spectroscopy provides a reliable way to detect melanins in situ, without the need for isolation. In this study, we document the presence of eumelanin in diverse species of spiders using confocal Raman microspectroscopy. Comparisons of spectra with theoretically calculated data falsify the previous hypothesis that dark colours are produced solely by ommochromes in spiders. Our data indicate that melanins are present in spiders and further supporting that they are present in most living organisms.

  11. The evolution of sociality in spiders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lubin, Yael; Bilde, T.

    2007-01-01

    I. Introducing Social Spiders II. Social and Subsocial Species: A Survey of Behavioral Traits III. Inbred Sociality in Spiders A. Cooperation Versus Competition: A Balancing Act B. Do Social Spiders Have Division of Labor? C. Colony Foundation: Propagule Dispersal Versus Fission D. Female-Biased...... Colony Sex Ratios: Primary and Operational Sex Ratios E. Mating System: Inbreeding and Its Population-Genetic Consequences F. "Boom and Bust" Colony Dynamics IV. Phylogenetic Relationships Among Social Spider Species A. Common Features of Social Evolution B. Case Studies 1. Stegodyphus (Eresidae) 2....... Anelosimus (Theridiidae) C. Sociality in Spiders: An Evolutionary Dead End? V. Evolution and Maintenance of Sociality in Spiders: Relevant Models A. Kin Selection 1. Kin Recognition 2. Inbreeding and Kin Selection B. Multilevel Selection (Group Selection) C. Ecological Benefits D. Ecological Constraints E...

  12. Designing Spider Silk Proteins for Materials Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-10-28

    WY, 82071-3944 Agreement Number: FA9550-06-1-0368 Project Title: Designing Spider Silk Proteins for Materials Applications REPORT...From - To) 06/2006-010/2009 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Designing Spider Silk Proteins for Materials Applications 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b...AVAILABILITY STATEMENT Approved for public release; distribution unlimited. 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT Spider silks have the

  13. Production of Synthetic Spider Silk Fibers

    OpenAIRE

    Copeland, Cameron G.

    2016-01-01

    Orb-weaving spiders produce six different types of silks, each with unique mechanical properties. The mechanical properties of many of these silks, in particular the dragline silk, are of interest for various biomedical applications. Spider silk does not elicit an immune response, making it an ideal material for several applications in the medical field. However, spiders cannot be farmed for their silk as they are cannibalistic and territorial. The most reasonable alternative for producing sp...

  14. Decoding the secrets of spider silk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukas Eisoldt

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Spider silks have been employed by man for several thousands of years. Spider silks possess extraordinary mechanical properties due to a combination of strength and extensibility that are superior to most man-made fibers. Spider silk fibers are a protein-based material produced in a highly sophisticated hierarchical process under mild conditions. Here, we review the current understanding of spider silk and its assembly process, as well as discuss the application of silk-based materials to the fields of biomedicine and materials engineering.

  15. Carbon nanotubes on a spider silk scaffold

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven, Eden; Saleh, Wasan R.; Lebedev, Victor; Acquah, Steve F. A.; Laukhin, Vladimir; Alamo, Rufina G.; Brooks, James S.

    2013-09-01

    Understanding the compatibility between spider silk and conducting materials is essential to advance the use of spider silk in electronic applications. Spider silk is tough, but becomes soft when exposed to water. Here we report a strong affinity of amine-functionalised multi-walled carbon nanotubes for spider silk, with coating assisted by a water and mechanical shear method. The nanotubes adhere uniformly and bond to the silk fibre surface to produce tough, custom-shaped, flexible and electrically conducting fibres after drying and contraction. The conductivity of coated silk fibres is reversibly sensitive to strain and humidity, leading to proof-of-concept sensor and actuator demonstrations.

  16. Oxyopinins, large amphipathic peptides isolated from the venom of the wolf spider Oxyopes kitabensis with cytolytic properties and positive insecticidal cooperativity with spider neurotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corzo, Gerardo; Villegas, Elba; Gómez-Lagunas, Froylan; Possani, Lourival D; Belokoneva, Olga S; Nakajima, Terumi

    2002-06-28

    Five amphipathic peptides with antimicrobial, hemolytic, and insecticidal activity were isolated from the crude venom of the wolf spider Oxyopes kitabensis. The peptides, named oxyopinins, are the largest linear cationic amphipathic peptides from the venom of a spider that have been chemically characterized at present. According to their primary structure Oxyopinin 1 is composed of 48 amino acid residues showing extended sequence similarity to the ant insecticidal peptide ponericinL2 and to the frog antimicrobial peptide dermaseptin. Oxyopinins 2a, 2b, 2c, and 2d have highly similar sequences. At least 27 out of 37 amino acid residues are conserved. They also show a segment of sequence similar to ponericinL2. Circular dichroism analyses showed that the secondary structure of the five peptides is essentially alpha-helical. Oxyopinins showed disrupting activities toward both biological membranes and artificial vesicles, particularly to those rich in phosphatidylcholine. Electrophysiological recordings performed on insect cells (Sf9) showed that the oxyopinins produce a drastic reduction of cell membrane resistance by opening non-selective ion channels. Additionally, a new paralytic neurotoxin named Oxytoxin 1 was purified from the same spider venom. It contains 69 amino acid residue cross-linked by five disulfide bridges. Application of mixtures containing oxyopinins and Oxytoxin 1 to insect larvae showed a potentiation phenomenon, by which an increase lethality effect is observed. These results suggest that the linear amphipathic peptides in spider venoms and neuropeptides cooperate to capture insects efficiently.

  17. Artificial intelligence

    CERN Document Server

    Hunt, Earl B

    1975-01-01

    Artificial Intelligence provides information pertinent to the fundamental aspects of artificial intelligence. This book presents the basic mathematical and computational approaches to problems in the artificial intelligence field.Organized into four parts encompassing 16 chapters, this book begins with an overview of the various fields of artificial intelligence. This text then attempts to connect artificial intelligence problems to some of the notions of computability and abstract computing devices. Other chapters consider the general notion of computability, with focus on the interaction bet

  18. Science Education Resources on the Web--Spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thirunarayanan, M. O.

    1997-01-01

    Lists Web sites containing information on spiders and offers brief descriptions of the information available at those sites. The 11 sites provide information on taxonomy of spiders, anatomy, different ways spiders use silk, Internet mailing lists, folk literature and art, bibliographies, night collection, and spiders commonly found in the state of…

  19. Resting EEG asymmetry and spider phobia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Merckelbach, H; Muris, P; Pool, K; de Jong, Peter

    1998-01-01

    This study examined whether resting EEG asymmetries are related to symptom severity and treatment outcome in spider phobia. Prior to treatment, EEG was recorded in a sample of spider phobic patients (N = 16). Correlations between frontal and parietal asymmetries in alpha power, on the one hand, and

  20. The ecological consequences of temperament in spiders

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jonathan N.PRUITT; Susan E.RIECHERT

    2012-01-01

    Ecological and evolutionary studies on spiders have been featured prominently throughout the contemporary behavioral syndromes movement.Here we review the behavioral syndromes literature devoted to spiders,and identify some ways in which behavioral syndromes can impact the function of spiders in ecological communities.We further highlight three general themes within the behavioral syndromes literature for which spiders have served as front running model systems:(1) how trait correlations beget performance trade-offs,(2) the influence that behavioral trait variants have on interspecific interactions and (3)mechanisms that aid in maintaining behavioral variation within- and among-populations.Research on behavioral syndromes continues to grow at an impressive rate,and we feel the success of behavioral syndromes studies in spiders bodes well for their continued prominence.

  1. Spider venomics: implications for drug discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda, Sandy S; Undheim, Eivind A B; Rupasinghe, Darshani B; Ikonomopoulou, Maria P; King, Glenn F

    2014-10-01

    Over a period of more than 300 million years, spiders have evolved complex venoms containing an extraordinary array of toxins for prey capture and defense against predators. The major components of most spider venoms are small disulfide-bridged peptides that are highly stable and resistant to proteolytic degradation. Moreover, many of these peptides have high specificity and potency toward molecular targets of therapeutic importance. This unique combination of bioactivity and stability has made spider-venom peptides valuable both as pharmacological tools and as leads for drug development. This review describes recent advances in spider-venom-based drug discovery pipelines. We discuss spider-venom-derived peptides that are currently under investigation for treatment of a diverse range of pathologies including pain, stroke and cancer.

  2. The ecological consequences of temperament in spiders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan N. PRUITT, Susan E. RIECHERT

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Ecological and evolutionary studies on spiders have been featured prominently throughout the contemporary behavio­ral syndromes movement. Here we review the behavioral syndromes literature devoted to spiders, and identify some ways in which behavioral syndromes can impact the function of spiders in ecological communities. We further highlight three general themes within the behavioral syndromes literature for which spiders have served as front running model systems: (1 how trait correlations beget performance trade-offs, (2 the influence that behavioral trait variants have on interspecific interactions and (3 mechanisms that aid in maintaining behavioral variation within- and among-populations. Research on behavioral syndromes continues to grow at an impressive rate, and we feel the success of behavioral syndromes studies in spiders bodes well for their continued prominence [Current Zoology 58 (4: 589–596, 2012].

  3. Verified spider bites in Oregon (USA) with the intent to assess hobo spider venom toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKeown, Nathanael; Vetter, Richard S; Hendrickson, Robert G

    2014-06-01

    This study compiled 33 verified spider bites from the state of Oregon (USA). The initial goal was to amass a series of bites by the hobo spider to assess whether it possesses toxic venom, a supposition which is currently in a contested state. None of the 33 bites from several spider species developed significant medical symptoms nor did dermonecrosis occur. The most common biters were the yellow sac spider, Cheiracanthium mildei (N = 10) and orb-weavers of the genus Araneus (N = 6). There were 10 bites from three genera of funnel web spiders of the family Agelenidae including one hobo spider bite and one from the congeneric giant house spider which is readily confused as a hobo spider. The hobo spider bite resulted in pain, redness, twitching in the calf muscle and resolved in 12 h. Also generated from this study were possibly the first records of bites from spiders of the genera Callobius (Amaurobiidae) and Antrodiaetus (Antrodiaetidae), both with minor manifestations.

  4. Spider phobics more easily see a spider in morphed schematic pictures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Partchev Ivailo

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Individuals with social phobia are more likely to misinterpret ambiguous social situations as more threatening, i.e. they show an interpretive bias. This study investigated whether such a bias also exists in specific phobia. Methods Individuals with spider phobia or social phobia, spider aficionados and non-phobic controls saw morphed stimuli that gradually transformed from a schematic picture of a flower into a schematic picture of a spider by shifting the outlines of the petals until they turned into spider legs. Participants' task was to decide whether each stimulus was more similar to a spider, a flower or to neither object while EEG was recorded. Results An interpretive bias was found in spider phobia on a behavioral level: with the first opening of the petals of the flower anchor, spider phobics rated the stimuli as more unpleasant and arousing than the control groups and showed an elevated latent trait to classify a stimulus as a spider and a response-time advantage for spider-like stimuli. No cortical correlates on the level of ERPs of this interpretive bias could be identified. However, consistent with previous studies, social and spider phobic persons exhibited generally enhanced visual P1 amplitudes indicative of hypervigilance in phobia. Conclusion Results suggest an interpretive bias and generalization of phobia-specific responses in specific phobia. Similar effects have been observed in other anxiety disorders, such as social phobia and posttraumatic stress disorder.

  5. Recombinant spider silk from aqueous solutions via a bio-inspired microfluidic chip

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Qingfa; Zhang, Yaopeng; Lu, Li; Shao, Huili; Qin, Kankan; Hu, Xuechao; Xia, Xiaoxia

    2016-11-01

    Spiders achieve superior silk fibres by controlling the molecular assembly of silk proteins and the hierarchical structure of fibres. However, current wet-spinning process for recombinant spidroins oversimplifies the natural spinning process. Here, water-soluble recombinant spider dragline silk protein (with a low molecular weight of 47 kDa) was adopted to prepare aqueous spinning dope. Artificial spider silks were spun via microfluidic wet-spinning, using a continuous post-spin drawing process (WS-PSD). By mimicking the natural spinning apparatus, shearing and elongational sections were integrated in the microfluidic spinning chip to induce assembly, orientation of spidroins, and fibril structure formation. The additional post-spin drawing process following the wet-spinning section partially mimics the spinning process of natural spider silk and substantially contributes to the compact aggregation of microfibrils. Subsequent post-stretching further improves the hierarchical structure of the fibres, including the crystalline structure, orientation, and fibril melting. The tensile strength and elongation of post-treated fibres reached up to 510 MPa and 15%, respectively.

  6. Artificial Intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waltz, David L.

    1982-01-01

    Describes kinds of results achieved by computer programs in artificial intelligence. Topics discussed include heuristic searches, artificial intelligence/psychology, planning program, backward chaining, learning (focusing on Winograd's blocks to explore learning strategies), concept learning, constraint propagation, language understanding…

  7. Spider silk gut: Development and characterization of a novel strong spider silk fiber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Ping; Marí-Buyé, Núria; Madurga, Rodrigo; Arroyo-Hernández, María; Solanas, Concepción; Gañán, Alfonso; Daza, Rafael; Plaza, Gustavo R.; Guinea, Gustavo V.; Elices, Manuel; Cenis, José Luis; Pérez-Rigueiro, José

    2014-12-01

    Spider silk fibers were produced through an alternative processing route that differs widely from natural spinning. The process follows a procedure traditionally used to obtain fibers directly from the glands of silkworms and requires exposure to an acid environment and subsequent stretching. The microstructure and mechanical behavior of the so-called spider silk gut fibers can be tailored to concur with those observed in naturally spun spider silk, except for effects related with the much larger cross-sectional area of the former. In particular spider silk gut has a proper ground state to which the material can revert independently from its previous loading history by supercontraction. A larger cross-sectional area implies that spider silk gut outperforms the natural material in terms of the loads that the fiber can sustain. This property suggests that it could substitute conventional spider silk fibers in some intended uses, such as sutures and scaffolds in tissue engineering.

  8. Spider silk gut: development and characterization of a novel strong spider silk fiber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Ping; Marí-Buyé, Núria; Madurga, Rodrigo; Arroyo-Hernández, María; Solanas, Concepción; Gañán, Alfonso; Daza, Rafael; Plaza, Gustavo R; Guinea, Gustavo V; Elices, Manuel; Cenis, José Luis; Pérez-Rigueiro, José

    2014-12-05

    Spider silk fibers were produced through an alternative processing route that differs widely from natural spinning. The process follows a procedure traditionally used to obtain fibers directly from the glands of silkworms and requires exposure to an acid environment and subsequent stretching. The microstructure and mechanical behavior of the so-called spider silk gut fibers can be tailored to concur with those observed in naturally spun spider silk, except for effects related with the much larger cross-sectional area of the former. In particular spider silk gut has a proper ground state to which the material can revert independently from its previous loading history by supercontraction. A larger cross-sectional area implies that spider silk gut outperforms the natural material in terms of the loads that the fiber can sustain. This property suggests that it could substitute conventional spider silk fibers in some intended uses, such as sutures and scaffolds in tissue engineering.

  9. Spiders spinning electrically charged nano-fibres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kronenberger, Katrin; Vollrath, Fritz

    2015-01-01

    Most spider threads are on the micrometre and sub-micrometre scale. Yet, there are some spiders that spin true nano-scale fibres such as the cribellate orb spider, Uloborus plumipes. Here, we analyse the highly specialized capture silk-spinning system of this spider and compare it with the silk extrusion systems of the more standard spider dragline threads. The cribellar silk extrusion system consists of tiny, morphologically basic glands each terminating through exceptionally long and narrow ducts in uniquely shaped silk outlets. Depending on spider size, hundreds to thousands of these outlet spigots cover the cribellum, a phylogenetically ancient spinning plate. We present details on the unique functional design of the cribellate gland-duct-spigot system and discuss design requirements for its specialist fibrils. The spinning of fibres on the nano-scale seems to have been facilitated by the evolution of a highly specialist way of direct spinning, which differs from the aqua-melt silk extrusion set-up more typical for other spiders.

  10. Spider silk gut: Development and characterization of a novel strong spider silk fiber

    OpenAIRE

    Ping Jiang; Núria Marí-Buyé; Rodrigo Madurga; María Arroyo-Hernández; Concepción Solanas; Alfonso Gañán; Rafael Daza; Plaza, Gustavo R.; Guinea, Gustavo V.; Manuel Elices; José Luis Cenis; José Pérez-Rigueiro

    2014-01-01

    Spider silk fibers were produced through an alternative processing route that differs widely from natural spinning. The process follows a procedure traditionally used to obtain fibers directly from the glands of silkworms and requires exposure to an acid environment and subsequent stretching. The microstructure and mechanical behavior of the so-called spider silk gut fibers can be tailored to concur with those observed in naturally spun spider silk, except for effects related with the much la...

  11. Learned predation risk management by spider mites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas eHackl

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Predation is a prime selective force shaping prey behavior. Investment in anti-predator behavior is traded-off against time and energy for other fitness-enhancing activities such as foraging or reproduction. To optimize this benefit/cost trade-off, prey should be able to innately and/or by experience modulate their behavior to the level of predation risk. Here, we assessed learned predation risk management in the herbivorous two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae. We exposed spider mites coming from benign (naïve or high immediate predation risk (experienced environments to latent and/or no risk and assessed their site choice, activity and oviposition. Benign environments were characterized by the absence of any predator cues, high immediate risk environments by killed spider mites, physical presence of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis and associated chemosensory traces left on the surface, and latent risk environments by only predator traces. In the no-choice experiment both naïve and experienced spider mites laid their first egg later on leaves with than without predator traces. Irrespective of predator traces presence/absence, experienced mites laid their first egg earlier than naïve ones did. Naïve spider mites were more active, indicating higher restlessness, and laid fewer eggs on leaves with predator traces, whereas experienced mites were less active and laid similar numbers of eggs on leaves with and without predator traces. In the choice experiment both naïve and experienced spider mites preferentially resided and oviposited on leaves without predator traces but experienced mites were less active than naïve ones. Overall, our study suggests that spider mites experienced with high predation risk behave bolder under latent risk than naïve spider mites. Since predator traces alone do not indicate immediate risk, we argue that the attenuated anti-predator response of experienced spider mites represents adaptive learned

  12. Spider Silk Spun and Integrated into Composites

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-02-20

    Vollrath, F. The role of kinetics of water and amide bonding in protein stability Soft Matter , 4 328-336 2008 Holland, C.A. Vollrath F.V. Biomimetic... Soft Matter 2, 448^151 2006 Emile, O. Floch, A.L. Vollrath, F. The self shape-memory effect in spider draglines. Nature 440, 621 2006 Vollrath F...Porter Spider silk as archetypal protein elastomer. Soft Matter 2;377- 385 2006 Vollrath F, Porter, D. Spider silk as a model biomaterial. Applied

  13. Genetic engineering of fibrous proteins: spider dragline silk and collagen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong Po Foo, Cheryl; Kaplan, David L

    2002-10-18

    Various strategies have been employed to genetically engineer fibrous proteins. Two examples, the subject of this review, include spider dragline silk from Nephila clavipes and collagen. These proteins are highlighted because of their unique mechanical and biological properties related to controlled release, biomaterials and tissue engineering. Cloning and expression of native genes and synthetic artificial variants of the consensus sequence repeats from the native genes has been accomplished. Expression of recombinant silk and collagen proteins has been reported in a variety of host systems, including bacteria, yeast, insect cells, plants and mammalian cells. Future utility for these proteins for biomedical materials is expected to increase as needs expand for designer materials with tailored mechanical properties and biological interactions to elicit specific responses in vitro and in vivo.

  14. Almost a spider: a 305-million-year-old fossil arachnid and spider origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garwood, Russell J; Dunlop, Jason A; Selden, Paul A; Spencer, Alan R T; Atwood, Robert C; Vo, Nghia T; Drakopoulos, Michael

    2016-03-30

    Spiders are an important animal group, with a long history. Details of their origins remain limited, with little knowledge of their stem group, and no insights into the sequence of character acquisition during spider evolution. We describe a new fossil arachnid, Idmonarachne brasierigen. et sp. nov. from the Late Carboniferous (Stephanian,ca 305-299 Ma) of Montceau-les-Mines, France. It is three-dimensionally preserved within a siderite concretion, allowing both laboratory- and synchrotron-based phase-contrast computed tomography reconstruction. The latter is a first for siderite-hosted fossils and has allowed us to investigate fine anatomical details. Although distinctly spider-like in habitus, this remarkable fossil lacks a key diagnostic character of Araneae: spinnerets on the underside of the opisthosoma. It also lacks a flagelliform telson found in the recently recognized, spider-related, Devonian-Permian Uraraneida. Cladistic analysis resolves our new fossil as sister group to the spiders: the spider stem-group comprises the uraraneids and I. brasieri While we are unable to demonstrate the presence of spigots in this fossil, the recovered phylogeny suggests the earliest character to evolve on the spider stem-group is the secretion of silk. This would have been followed by the loss of a flagelliform telson, and then the ability to spin silk using spinnerets. This last innovation defines the true spiders, significantly post-dates the origins of silk, and may be a key to the group's success. The Montceau-les-Mines locality has previously yielded a mesothele spider (with spinnerets). Evidently, Late Palaeozoic spiders lived alongside Palaeozoic arachnid grades which approached the spider condition, but did not express the full suite of crown-group autapomorphies.

  15. Modelling Crop Biocontrol by Wanderer Spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venturino, Ezio; Ghersi, Andrea

    2008-09-01

    We study mathematically the effects some spiders populations have on insects living in and near agroecosystems, where woods and vineyards alternate in the landscape as in the Alta Langa, Piemonte, NW Italy.

  16. Spider-Venom Peptides as Therapeutics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glenn F. King

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Spiders are the most successful venomous animals and the most abundant terrestrial predators. Their remarkable success is due in large part to their ingenious exploitation of silk and the evolution of pharmacologically complex venoms that ensure rapid subjugation of prey. Most spider venoms are dominated by disulfide-rich peptides that typically have high affinity and specificity for particular subtypes of ion channels and receptors. Spider venoms are conservatively predicted to contain more than 10 million bioactive peptides, making them a valuable resource for drug discovery. Here we review the structure and pharmacology of spider-venom peptides that are being used as leads for the development of therapeutics against a wide range of pathophysiological conditions including cardiovascular disorders, chronic pain, inflammation, and erectile dysfunction.

  17. Spider behaviors include oral sexual encounters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregorič, Matjaž; Šuen, Klavdija; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Kralj-Fišer, Simona; Kuntner, Matjaž

    2016-01-01

    Several clades of spiders whose females evolved giant sizes are known for extreme sexual behaviors such as sexual cannibalism, opportunistic mating, mate-binding, genital mutilation, plugging, and emasculation. However, these behaviors have only been tested in a handful of size dimorphic spiders. Here, we bring another lineage into the picture by reporting on sexual behavior of Darwin’s bark spider, Caerostris darwini. This sexually size dimorphic Madagascan species is known for extreme web gigantism and for producing the world’s toughest biomaterial. Our field and laboratory study uncovers a rich sexual repertoire that predictably involves cannibalism, genital mutilation, male preference for teneral females, and emasculation. Surprisingly, C. darwini males engage in oral sexual encounters, rarely reported outside mammals. Irrespective of female’s age or mating status males salivate onto female genitalia pre-, during, and post-copulation. While its adaptive significance is elusive, oral sexual contact in spiders may signal male quality or reduce sperm competition. PMID:27126507

  18. Two-step phase-shifting SPIDER

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Shuiqin; Cai, Yi; Pan, Xinjian; Zeng, Xuanke; Li, Jingzhen; Li, Ying; Zhu, Tianlong; Lin, Qinggang; Xu, Shixiang

    2016-01-01

    Comprehensive characterization of ultrafast optical field is critical for ultrashort pulse generation and its application. This paper combines two-step phase-shifting (TSPS) into the spectral phase interferometry for direct electric-field reconstruction (SPIDER) to improve the reconstruction of ultrafast optical-fields. This novel SPIDER can remove experimentally the dc portion occurring in traditional SPIDER method by recording two spectral interferograms with π phase-shifting. As a result, the reconstructed results are much less disturbed by the time delay between the test pulse replicas and the temporal widths of the filter window, thus more reliable. What is more, this SPIDER can work efficiently even the time delay is so small or the measured bandwidth is so narrow that strong overlap happens between the dc and ac portions, which allows it to be able to characterize the test pulses with complicated temporal/spectral structures or narrow bandwidths. PMID:27666528

  19. First Passage Properties of Molecular Spiders

    CERN Document Server

    Semenov, Oleg; Stefanovic, Darko

    2013-01-01

    Molecular spiders are synthetic catalytic DNA-based nanoscale walkers. We study the mean first passage time for abstract models of spiders moving on a finite two-dimensional lattice with various boundary conditions, and compare it with the mean first passage time of spiders moving on a one-dimensional track. We evaluate by how much the slowdown on newly visited sites, owing to catalysis, can improve the mean first passage time of spiders and show that in one dimension, when both ends of the track are an absorbing boundary, the performance gain is lower than in two dimensions, when the absorbing boundary is a circle; this persists even when the absorbing boundary is a single site.

  20. Numerical implementation of multiple peeling theory and its application to spider web anchorages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brely, Lucas; Bosia, Federico; Pugno, Nicola M

    2015-02-06

    Adhesion of spider web anchorages has been studied in recent years, including the specific functionalities achieved through different architectures. To better understand the delamination mechanisms of these and other biological or artificial fibrillar adhesives, and how their adhesion can be optimized, we develop a novel numerical model to simulate the multiple peeling of structures with arbitrary branching and adhesion angles, including complex architectures. The numerical model is based on a recently developed multiple peeling theory, which extends the energy-based single peeling theory of Kendall, and can be applied to arbitrarily complex structures. In particular, we numerically show that a multiple peeling problem can be treated as the superposition of single peeling configurations even for complex structures. Finally, we apply the developed numerical approach to study spider web anchorages, showing how their function is achieved through optimal geometrical configurations.

  1. Spider's web inspires fibres for industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dacey, James

    2010-03-01

    Spiders may not be everybody's idea of natural beauty, but nobody can deny the artistry in the webs that they spin, especially when decorated with water baubles in the morning dew. Inspired by this spectacle, a group of researchers in China has mimicked the structural properties of the spider's web to create a fibre for industry that can manipulate water with the same skill and efficiency, writes James Dacey.

  2. Recombinant DNA production of spider silk proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokareva, Olena; Michalczechen-Lacerda, Valquíria A; Rech, Elíbio L; Kaplan, David L

    2013-11-01

    Spider dragline silk is considered to be the toughest biopolymer on Earth due to an extraordinary combination of strength and elasticity. Moreover, silks are biocompatible and biodegradable protein-based materials. Recent advances in genetic engineering make it possible to produce recombinant silks in heterologous hosts, opening up opportunities for large-scale production of recombinant silks for various biomedical and material science applications. We review the current strategies to produce recombinant spider silks.

  3. Summary statistics for fossil spider species taxonomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Penney

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Spiders (Araneae are one of the most species-rich orders on Earth today, and also have one of the longest geological records of any terrestrial animal groups, as demonstrated by their extensive fossil record. There are currently around 1150 described fossil spider species, representing 2.6% of all described spiders (i.e. extinct and extant. Data for numbers of fossil and living spider taxa described annually (and various other metrics for the fossil taxa were compiled from current taxonomic catalogues. Data for extant taxa showed a steady linear increase of approximately 500 new species per year over the last decade, reflecting a rather constant research activity in this area by a large number of scientists, which can be expected to continue. The results for fossil species were very different, with peaks of new species descriptions followed by long troughs, indicating minimal new published research activity for most years. This pattern is indicative of short bursts of research by a limited number of authors. Given the frequent discovery of new fossil deposits containing spiders, a wealth of new material coming to light from previously worked deposits, and the application of new imaging techniques in palaeoarachnology that allow us to extract additional data from historical specimens, e.g. X-ray computed tomography, it is important not only to ensure a sustained research activity on fossil spiders (and other arachnids through training and enthusing the next generation of palaeoarachnologists, but preferably to promote increased research and expertise in this field.

  4. Novel class of spider toxin: active principle from the yellow sac spider Cheiracanthium punctorium venom is a unique two-domain polypeptide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vassilevski, Alexander A; Fedorova, Irina M; Maleeva, Ekaterina E; Korolkova, Yuliya V; Efimova, Svetlana S; Samsonova, Olga V; Schagina, Ludmila V; Feofanov, Alexei V; Magazanik, Lev G; Grishin, Eugene V

    2010-10-15

    Venom of the yellow sac spider Cheiracanthium punctorium (Miturgidae) was found unique in terms of molecular composition. Its principal toxic component CpTx 1 (15.1 kDa) was purified, and its full amino acid sequence (134 residues) was established by protein chemistry and mass spectrometry techniques. CpTx 1 represents a novel class of spider toxin with modular architecture. It consists of two different yet homologous domains (modules) each containing a putative inhibitor cystine knot motif, characteristic of the widespread single domain spider neurotoxins. Venom gland cDNA sequencing provided precursor protein (prepropeptide) structures of three CpTx 1 isoforms (a-c) that differ by single residue substitutions. The toxin possesses potent insecticidal (paralytic and lethal), cytotoxic, and membrane-damaging activities. In both fly and frog neuromuscular preparations, it causes stable and irreversible depolarization of muscle fibers leading to contracture. This effect appears to be receptor-independent and is inhibited by high concentrations of divalent cations. CpTx 1 lyses cell membranes, as visualized by confocal microscopy, and destabilizes artificial membranes in a manner reminiscent of other membrane-active peptides by causing numerous defects of variable conductance and leading to bilayer rupture. The newly discovered class of modular polypeptides enhances our knowledge of the toxin universe.

  5. The Effects of Alcohol on Spiders: What Happens to Web Construction after Spiders Consume Alcohol?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Victor E.

    2006-01-01

    In the high school experiment reported in this paper, spiders were provided with 40% ethanol (ETOH) in order to determine the effects of alcohol on the web-spinning ability of orb weaver spiders. It was hypothesized that alcohol would have a deleterious effect on the number of radii, number of cells, and area of cells in the webs of orb weaving…

  6. Cognitive bias in spider-phobic children: Comparison of a pictorial and a linguistic spider Stroop.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Kindt; J.F. Brosschot

    1999-01-01

    Examined the relation between spider fear in children and cognitive processing bias toward threatening information. It was investigated whether spider fear in children is related to a cognitive bias for threatening pictures and words. Pictorial and linguistic Stroop stimuli were administered to 28 s

  7. Acute Generalized Exanthematous Pustulosis (AGEP Triggered by a Spider Bite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Makris

    2009-01-01

    Discussion: A spider bite may represent a possible causative factor of AGEP. A spider's venom contains sphingomyelinase that stimulates the release of IL8 and GM-CSF, which are involved in AGEP pathogenesis. Whether or not the con-current use of antibiotics has an effect in AGEP appearance when combined with a spider's venom, cannot be excluded.

  8. Mass predicts web asymmetry in Nephila spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuntner, Matjaž; Gregorič, Matjaž; Li, Daiqin

    2010-12-01

    The architecture of vertical aerial orb webs may be affected by spider size and gravity or by the available web space, in addition to phylogenetic and/or developmental factors. Vertical orb web asymmetry measured by hub displacement has been shown to increase in bigger and heavier spiders; however, previous studies have mostly focused on adult and subadult spiders or on several size classes with measured size parameters but no mass. Both estimations are suboptimal because (1) adult orb web spiders may not invest heavily in optimal web construction, whereas juveniles do; (2) size class/developmental stage is difficult to estimate in the field and is thus subjective, and (3) mass scales differently to size and is therefore more important in predicting aerial foraging success due to gravity. We studied vertical web asymmetry in a giant orb web spider, Nephila pilipes, across a wide range of size classes/developmental stages and tested the hypothesis that vertical web asymmetry (measured as hub displacement) is affected by gravity. On a sample of 100 webs, we found that hubs were more displaced in heavier and larger juveniles and that spider mass explained vertical web asymmetry better than other measures of spider size (carapace and leg lengths, developmental stage). Quantifying web shape via the ladder index suggested that, unlike in other nephilid taxa, growing Nephila orbs do not become vertically elongated. We conclude that the ontogenetic pattern of progressive vertical web asymmetry in Nephila can be explained by optimal foraging due to gravity, to which the opposing selective force may be high web-building costs in the lower orb. Recent literature finds little support for alternative explanations of ontogenetic orb web allometry such as the size limitation hypothesis and the biogenetic law.

  9. Artificial blood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarkar Suman

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Artificial blood is a product made to act as a substitute for red blood cells. While true blood serves many different functions, artificial blood is designed for the sole purpose of transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout the body. Depending on the type of artificial blood, it can be produced in different ways using synthetic production, chemical isolation, or recombinant biochemical technology. Development of the first blood substitutes dates back to the early 1600s, and the search for the ideal blood substitute continues. Various manufacturers have products in clinical trials; however, no truly safe and effective artificial blood product is currently marketed. It is anticipated that when an artificial blood product is available, it will have annual sales of over $7.6 billion in the United States alone.

  10. Artificial blood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Suman

    2008-07-01

    Artificial blood is a product made to act as a substitute for red blood cells. While true blood serves many different functions, artificial blood is designed for the sole purpose of transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout the body. Depending on the type of artificial blood, it can be produced in different ways using synthetic production, chemical isolation, or recombinant biochemical technology. Development of the first blood substitutes dates back to the early 1600s, and the search for the ideal blood substitute continues. Various manufacturers have products in clinical trials; however, no truly safe and effective artificial blood product is currently marketed. It is anticipated that when an artificial blood product is available, it will have annual sales of over $7.6 billion in the United States alone.

  11. Flee or fight: ontogenetic changes in the behavior of cobweb spiders in encounters with spider-hunting wasps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uma, Divya B; Weiss, Martha R

    2012-12-01

    An animal's body size plays a predominant role in shaping its interspecific interactions, and, in encounters between two predators, often determines which shall be predator and which shall be prey. Spiders are top predators of insects, yet can fall prey to mud-dauber wasps that provision their larval nests with paralyzed spiders. Here we examined predator-prey interactions between Chalybion californicum (Saussure) (Sphecidae), a mud-dauber wasp, and Parasteatoda tepidariorum C. L. Koch (Theridiidae), a cobweb spider. We examined whether a spider's size influences its response to an attacking wasp, and report a size-dependent change in spider behavior: small-sized spiders fled, whereas medium- and large-sized spiders fought in response to wasp attacks. From the wasps' perspective, we examined whether spider size influences a wasp's hunting behavior and capture success. We found that wasps commonly approached small spiders, but were much less likely to approach medium and large spiders. However, wasp capture success did not vary with spider size. We also report a strategy used by Chalybion wasps toward cobweb spiders that is consistent with an interpretation of aggressive mimicry.

  12. Remembering the object you fear: brain potentials during recognition of spiders in spider-fearful individuals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaroslaw M Michalowski

    Full Text Available In the present study we investigated long-term memory for unpleasant, neutral and spider pictures in 15 spider-fearful and 15 non-fearful control individuals using behavioral and electrophysiological measures. During the initial (incidental encoding, pictures were passively viewed in three separate blocks and were subsequently rated for valence and arousal. A recognition memory task was performed one week later in which old and new unpleasant, neutral and spider pictures were presented. Replicating previous results, we found enhanced memory performance and higher confidence ratings for unpleasant when compared to neutral materials in both animal fearful individuals and controls. When compared to controls high animal fearful individuals also showed a tendency towards better memory accuracy and significantly higher confidence during recognition of spider pictures, suggesting that memory of objects prompting specific fear is also facilitated in fearful individuals. In line, spider-fearful but not control participants responded with larger ERP positivity for correctly recognized old when compared to correctly rejected new spider pictures, thus showing the same effects in the neural signature of emotional memory for feared objects that were already discovered for other emotional materials. The increased fear memory for phobic materials observed in the present study in spider-fearful individuals might result in an enhanced fear response and reinforce negative beliefs aggravating anxiety symptomatology and hindering recovery.

  13. Remembering the object you fear: brain potentials during recognition of spiders in spider-fearful individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalowski, Jaroslaw M; Weymar, Mathias; Hamm, Alfons O

    2014-01-01

    In the present study we investigated long-term memory for unpleasant, neutral and spider pictures in 15 spider-fearful and 15 non-fearful control individuals using behavioral and electrophysiological measures. During the initial (incidental) encoding, pictures were passively viewed in three separate blocks and were subsequently rated for valence and arousal. A recognition memory task was performed one week later in which old and new unpleasant, neutral and spider pictures were presented. Replicating previous results, we found enhanced memory performance and higher confidence ratings for unpleasant when compared to neutral materials in both animal fearful individuals and controls. When compared to controls high animal fearful individuals also showed a tendency towards better memory accuracy and significantly higher confidence during recognition of spider pictures, suggesting that memory of objects prompting specific fear is also facilitated in fearful individuals. In line, spider-fearful but not control participants responded with larger ERP positivity for correctly recognized old when compared to correctly rejected new spider pictures, thus showing the same effects in the neural signature of emotional memory for feared objects that were already discovered for other emotional materials. The increased fear memory for phobic materials observed in the present study in spider-fearful individuals might result in an enhanced fear response and reinforce negative beliefs aggravating anxiety symptomatology and hindering recovery.

  14. Exploring the shock response of spider webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tietsch, V; Alencastre, J; Witte, H; Torres, F G

    2016-03-01

    Spider orb-webs are designed to allow for quick energy absorption as well as the constraint of drastic oscillations occurring upon prey impact. Studies on spider silk illustrate its impressive mechanical properties and its capacity to be used as technical fibers in composite materials. Models have previously been used to study the mechanical properties of different silk fibers, but not the behavior of the spider web as a whole. Full spider webs have been impacted by a projectile and the transverse displacement was measured by means of a laser interferometer. The damping and stiffness of the entire webs were quantified considering the orb-web as a single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) system. The amplitude, the period duration, and the energy dissipation of the oscillations have also been reported from the experiments. The analysis of the energy dissipation confirmed that the webs of orb-web spiders are optimized for the capture of a single or few large prey, rather than several small prey. The experiments also confirmed that the overall stiffness of the web displayed a non-linear behavior. Such non-linearity was also observed in the damping characteristics of the webs studied.

  15. Optics of spider "sticky" orb webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Deb M.; Staib, Gregory R.; Naidoo, Nishen; Little, Douglas J.; Herberstein, Marie E.

    2011-04-01

    Spider orb webs are known to produce colour displays in nature, both in reflection and transmission of sunlight, under certain illumination conditions. The cause of these colours has been the subject of speculation since the time of Newton. It has also been the topic of observational interpretation and some experiment which has proposed diffraction by the fine silks, scattering from rough/structured surfaces and thin film effects as the primary causes. We report systematic studies carried out using the silks of Australian orb web weaving spiders. Studies of both white light and laser light scattering/propagation by natural spider silks have definitively determined the primary cause of the colour displays is rainbows that can be understood by the application of geometric optics combined with new knowledge of the optical properties of the spider web strands, silks, and proteins as optical materials. Additionally, a range of microscopies (optical, AFM, optical surface profiling) show the silks to be optically flat. Overall, spider silks emerge as fascinating optical materials with high dispersion, high birefringence and the potential for future research to show they have high nonlinear optical coefficients. Their importance as a bioinspiration in optics is only just beginning to be realised. Their special optical properties have been achieved by ~136 million years of evolution driven by the need for the web to evade detection by insect prey.

  16. Artificial intelligence

    CERN Document Server

    Ennals, J R

    1987-01-01

    Artificial Intelligence: State of the Art Report is a two-part report consisting of the invited papers and the analysis. The editor first gives an introduction to the invited papers before presenting each paper and the analysis, and then concludes with the list of references related to the study. The invited papers explore the various aspects of artificial intelligence. The analysis part assesses the major advances in artificial intelligence and provides a balanced analysis of the state of the art in this field. The Bibliography compiles the most important published material on the subject of

  17. Artificial urushi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, S; Uyama, H; Ikeda, R

    2001-11-19

    A new concept for the design and laccase-catalyzed preparation of "artificial urushi" from new urushiol analogues is described. The curing proceeded under mild reaction conditions to produce the very hard cross-linked film (artificial urushi) with a high gloss surface. A new cross-linkable polyphenol was synthesized by oxidative polymerization of cardanol, a phenol derivative from cashew-nut-shell liquid, by enzyme-related catalysts. The polyphenol was readily cured to produce the film (also artificial urushi) showing excellent dynamic viscoelasticity.

  18. Disentangling the phylogenetic and ecological components of spider phenotypic variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves-Souza, Thiago; Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre Felizola; Romero, Gustavo Quevedo

    2014-01-01

    An understanding of how the degree of phylogenetic relatedness influences the ecological similarity among species is crucial to inferring the mechanisms governing the assembly of communities. We evaluated the relative importance of spider phylogenetic relationships and ecological niche (plant morphological variables) to the variation in spider body size and shape by comparing spiders at different scales: (i) between bromeliads and dicot plants (i.e., habitat scale) and (ii) among bromeliads with distinct architectural features (i.e., microhabitat scale). We partitioned the interspecific variation in body size and shape into phylogenetic (that express trait values as expected by phylogenetic relationships among species) and ecological components (that express trait values independent of phylogenetic relationships). At the habitat scale, bromeliad spiders were larger and flatter than spiders associated with the surrounding dicots. At this scale, plant morphology sorted out close related spiders. Our results showed that spider flatness is phylogenetically clustered at the habitat scale, whereas it is phylogenetically overdispersed at the microhabitat scale, although phylogenic signal is present in both scales. Taken together, these results suggest that whereas at the habitat scale selective colonization affect spider body size and shape, at fine scales both selective colonization and adaptive evolution determine spider body shape. By partitioning the phylogenetic and ecological components of phenotypic variation, we were able to disentangle the evolutionary history of distinct spider traits and show that plant architecture plays a role in the evolution of spider body size and shape. We also discussed the relevance in considering multiple scales when studying phylogenetic community structure.

  19. Artificial Reefs

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — An artificial reef is a human-made underwater structure, typically built to promote marine life in areas with a generally featureless bottom, control erosion, block...

  20. Artificial Limbs

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... diabetes. They may cause you to need an amputation. Traumatic injuries, including from traffic accidents and military combat Cancer Birth defects If you are missing an arm or leg, an artificial limb can sometimes replace it. The device, which is ...

  1. Natural - synthetic - artificial!

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Peter E

    2010-01-01

    The terms "natural," "synthetic" and "artificial" are discussed in relation to synthetic and artificial chromosomes and genomes, synthetic and artificial cells and artificial life.......The terms "natural," "synthetic" and "artificial" are discussed in relation to synthetic and artificial chromosomes and genomes, synthetic and artificial cells and artificial life....

  2. Cooperative effects enhance the transport properties of molecular spider teams

    CERN Document Server

    Rank, Matthias; Frey, Erwin

    2013-01-01

    Molecular spiders are synthetic molecular motors based on DNA nanotechnology. While natural molecular motors have evolved towards very high efficiency, it remains a major challenge to develop efficient designs for man-made molecular motors. Inspired by biological motor proteins like kinesin and myosin, molecular spiders comprise a body and several legs. The legs walk on a lattice that is coated with substrate which can be cleaved catalytically. We propose a novel molecular spider design in which n spiders form a team. Our theoretical considerations show that coupling several spiders together alters the dynamics of the resulting team significantly. Although spiders operate at a scale where diffusion is dominant, spider teams can be tuned to behave nearly ballistic, which results in fast and predictable motion. Based on the separation of time scales of substrate and product dwell times, we develop a theory which utilises equivalence classes to coarse-grain the micro-state space. In addition, we calculate diffus...

  3. Edge effect on weevils and spiders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Horváth

    2002-05-01

    Full Text Available The edge effect on weevils and spiders was tested along oak forest – meadow transects using sweep-net samples at the Síkfökút Project in Hungary. For spiders the species richness was significantly higher in the forest edge than either in the meadow or the forest interior. For weevils the species richness of the forest edge was higher than that of the meadow, but the difference was not statistically significant whereas the species richness of the forest interior was significantly lower than that of the forest edge and the meadow. The composition of the spider assemblage of the edge was more similar to the forest, while the composition of weevils in the edge was more similar to the meadow. Our results based on two invertebrate groups operating on different trophic levels suggest that there is a significant edge effect for the studied taxa resulting in higher species richness in the edge.

  4. Optically probing torsional superelasticity in spider silks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumar, Bhupesh; Thakur, Ashish; Panda, Biswajit; Singh, Kamal P. [Department of Physical Sciences, IISER Mohali, Sector 81, Manauli, Mohali 140306 (India)

    2013-11-11

    We investigate torsion mechanics of various spider silks using a sensitive optical technique. We find that spider silks are torsionally superelastic in that they can reversibly withstand great torsion strains of over 10{sup 2−3} rotations per cm before failure. Among various silks from a spider, we find the failure twist-strain is greatest in the sticky capture silk followed by dragline and egg-case silk. Our in situ laser-diffraction measurements reveal that torsional strains on the silks induce a nano-scale transverse compression in its diameter that is linear and reversible. These unique torsional properties of the silks could find applications in silk-based materials and devices.

  5. Optically probing torsional superelasticity in spider silks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Bhupesh; Thakur, Ashish; Panda, Biswajit; Singh, Kamal P.

    2013-11-01

    We investigate torsion mechanics of various spider silks using a sensitive optical technique. We find that spider silks are torsionally superelastic in that they can reversibly withstand great torsion strains of over 102-3 rotations per cm before failure. Among various silks from a spider, we find the failure twist-strain is greatest in the sticky capture silk followed by dragline and egg-case silk. Our in situ laser-diffraction measurements reveal that torsional strains on the silks induce a nano-scale transverse compression in its diameter that is linear and reversible. These unique torsional properties of the silks could find applications in silk-based materials and devices.

  6. Formaldehyde biofiltration as affected by spider plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhongjun; Qin, Na; Wang, Jinggang; Tong, Hua

    2010-09-01

    The kinetic process of formaldehyde biodegradation in a biofilter packed with a mixture of compost, vermiculite powder and ceramic particles was investigated in this study. The results showed that more than 60% of formaldehyde was removed by the first 5 cm high biofilter bed at 406 Lh(-1) flowrate within the range of 5-207 mgm(-3) inlet concentrations. A macrokinetic model was applied to describe the kinetic process of formaldehyde biodegradation and the experimentally determined elimination capacity for the biofilter agreed well with the model predicted values. The data on the effect of spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum L.) on formaldehyde removal indicated that formaldehyde biofiltration might be stimulated by spider plant since formaldehyde was assimilated by spider plant roots and microbial formaldehyde degradation was enhanced by the root exudates.

  7. Insights into brown spider and loxoscelism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MH Appel

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Loxosceles is a genus of cosmopolitan spiders comprising several species, and popularly knownas brown spiders or brown recluses. Brown spider bites can cause dermonecrotic lesions andsystemic reactions known as loxoscelism. Systemic effects are less common but may be severe oreven fatal in some patients. Systemic manifestations include intravascular hemolysis, disseminatedintravascular coagulation and acute renal failure. A rapid diagnosis and an understanding of thevenom’s molecular activity are crucial for satisfactory treatment. Mechanisms by which venoms exerttheir deleterious effects are under investigation, and searches are underway for diagnosticenvenomation assays. Molecular biology is being used to produce quantities of several of the mostimportant venom molecules and has contributed to the study and understanding of their mechanismsof action.

  8. Spider web-inspired acoustic metamaterials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miniaci, Marco; Krushynska, Anastasiia; Movchan, Alexander B.; Bosia, Federico; Pugno, Nicola M.

    2016-08-01

    Spider silk is a remarkable example of bio-material with superior mechanical characteristics. Its multilevel structural organization of dragline and viscid silk leads to unusual and tunable properties, extensively studied from a quasi-static point of view. In this study, inspired by the Nephila spider orb web architecture, we propose a design for mechanical metamaterials based on its periodic repetition. We demonstrate that spider-web metamaterial structure plays an important role in the dynamic response and wave attenuation mechanisms. The capability of the resulting structure to inhibit elastic wave propagation in sub-wavelength frequency ranges is assessed, and parametric studies are performed to derive optimal configurations and constituent mechanical properties. The results show promise for the design of innovative lightweight structures for tunable vibration damping and impact protection, or the protection of large scale infrastructure such as suspended bridges.

  9. Behavioural evidence of male volatile pheromones in the sex-role reversed wolf spiders Allocosa brasiliensis and Allocosa alticeps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aisenberg, Anita; Baruffaldi, Luciana; González, Macarena

    2010-01-01

    The use of chemical signals in a sexual context is widespread in the animal kingdom. Most studies in spiders report the use of female pheromones that attract potential sexual partners. Allocosa brasiliensis and Allocosa alticeps are two burrowing wolf spiders that show sex-role reversal. Females locate male burrows and initiate courtship before males perform any detectable visual or vibratory signal. So, females of these species would be detecting chemical or mechanical cues left by males. Our objective was to explore the potential for male pheromones to play a role in mate detection in A. brasiliensis and A. alticeps. We designed two experiments. In Experiment 1, we tested the occurrence of male contact pheromones by evaluating female courtship when exposed to empty burrows constructed by males or females (control). In Experiment 2, we tested the existence of male volatile pheromones by evaluating female behaviour when exposed to artificial burrows connected to tubes containing males, females or empty tubes (control). Our results suggest the occurrence of male volatile pheromones that trigger female courtship in both Allocosa species. The sex-role reversal postulated for these wolf spiders could be driving the consequent reversal in typical pheromone-emitter and detector roles expected for spiders.

  10. Spider Silk: The Mother Nature's Biological Superlens

    CERN Document Server

    Monks, James N; Wang, Zengbo

    2016-01-01

    This paper demonstrates a possible new microfiber bio near field lens that uses minor ampullate spider silk,spun from the Nephila edulis spider, to create a real time image of a surface using near field optical techniques. The microfiber bio lens is the world's first natural superlens created by exploring biological materials. The resolution of the surface image overcomes the diffraction limit, with the ability to resolve patterns at 100 nm under a standard white light source in reflection mode. This resolution offers further developments in superlens technology and paves the way for new bio optics.

  11. Assessing and managing spider and scorpion envenomation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGhee, Stephen; Weiner, Aaron; Finnegan, Alan; Visovsky, Constance; Clochesy, John M; Graves, Brian

    2015-11-01

    Envenomation by spiders or scorpions is a public health problem in many parts of the world and is not isolated to the tropics and subtropics. Spiders and scorpions can be unintentionally transported globally, and keeping them as pets is becoming more popular, so envenomation can occur anywhere. Emergency nurses should be prepared to assess and treat patients who present with a bite or sting. This article gives an overview of the signs, symptoms and treatment of envenomation by species of arachnids that are clinically significant to humans.

  12. Spider Silk: Mother Nature's Bio-Superlens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monks, James N.; Yan, Bing; Hawkins, Nicholas; Vollrath, Fritz; Wang, Zengbo

    2016-09-01

    This paper demonstrates a possible new microfiber bio near field lens that uses minor ampullate spider silk,spun from the Nephila edulis spider, to create a real time image of a surface using near field optical techniques. The microfiber bio lens is the world's first natural superlens created by exploring biological materials. The resolution of the surface image overcomes the diffraction limit, with the ability to resolve patterns at 100 nm under a standard white light source in reflection mode. This resolution offers further developments in superlens technology and paves the way for new bio optics.

  13. Programming spiders, bots, and aggregators in Java

    CERN Document Server

    Heaton, Jeff

    2006-01-01

    The content and services available on the web continue to be accessed mostly through direct human control. But this is changing. Increasingly, users rely on automated agents that save them time and effort by programmatically retrieving content, performing complex interactions, and aggregating data from diverse sources. Programming Spiders, Bots, and Aggregators in Java teaches you how to build and deploy a wide variety of these agents-from single-purpose bots to exploratory spiders to aggregators that present a unified view of information from multiple user accounts. You will quickly build on

  14. Tangled in a sparse spider web

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dimitrov, Dimitar Stefanov; Lopardo, Lara; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2012-01-01

    orb-weaving families and web designs were already present. The processes that may have given origin to this diversification of lineages and web architectures are discussed. A combination of biotic factors, such as key innovations in web design and silk composition, as well as abiotic environmental......In order to study the tempo and the mode of spider orb web evolution and diversification, we conducted a phylogenetic analysis using six genetic markers along with a comprehensive taxon sample. The present analyses are the first to recover the monophyly of orb-weaving spiders based solely on DNA...

  15. Upside-down spiders build upside-down orb webs: web asymmetry, spider orientation and running speed in Cyclosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakata, Kensuke; Zschokke, Samuel

    2010-10-07

    Almost all spiders building vertical orb webs face downwards when sitting on the hubs of their webs, and their webs exhibit an up-down size asymmetry, with the lower part of the capture area being larger than the upper. However, spiders of the genus Cyclosa, which all build vertical orb webs, exhibit inter- and intraspecific variation in orientation. In particular, Cyclosa ginnaga and C. argenteoalba always face upwards, and C. octotuberculata always face downwards, whereas some C. confusa face upwards and others face downwards or even sideways. These spiders provide a unique opportunity to examine why most spiders face downwards and have asymmetrical webs. We found that upward-facing spiders had upside-down webs with larger upper parts, downward-facing spiders had normal webs with larger lower parts and sideways-facing spiders had more symmetrical webs. Downward-facing C. confusa spiders were larger than upward- and sideways-facing individuals. We also found that during prey attacks, downward-facing spiders ran significantly faster downwards than upwards, which was not the case in upward-facing spiders. These results suggest that the spider's orientation at the hub and web asymmetry enhance its foraging efficiency by minimizing the time to reach prey trapped in the web.

  16. Diverse formulas for spider dragline fibers demonstrated by molecular and mechanical characterization of spitting spider silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correa-Garhwal, Sandra M; Garb, Jessica E

    2014-12-08

    Spider silks have outstanding mechanical properties. Most research has focused on dragline silk proteins (major ampullate spidroins, MaSps) from orb-weaving spiders. Using silk gland expression libraries from the haplogyne spider Scytodes thoracica, we discovered two novel spidroins (S. thoracica fibroin 1 and 2). The amino acid composition of S. thoracica silk glands and dragline fibers suggest that fibroin 1 is the major component of S. thoracica dragline silk. Fibroin 1 is dominated by glycine-alanine motifs, and lacks sequence motifs associated with orb-weaver MaSps. We hypothesize fibroin 2 is a piriform or aciniform silk protein, based on amino acid composition, spigot morphology, and phylogenetic analyses. S. thoracica's dragline silk is less tough than previously reported, but is still comparable to other dragline silks. Our analyses suggest that dragline silk proteins evolved multiple times. This demonstrates that spider dragline silk is more diverse than previously understood, providing alternative high performance silk designs.

  17. High-performance spider webs: integrating biomechanics, ecology and behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmer, Aaron M T; Blackledge, Todd A; Madin, Joshua S; Herberstein, Marie E

    2011-04-06

    Spider silks exhibit remarkable properties, surpassing most natural and synthetic materials in both strength and toughness. Orb-web spider dragline silk is the focus of intense research by material scientists attempting to mimic these naturally produced fibres. However, biomechanical research on spider silks is often removed from the context of web ecology and spider foraging behaviour. Similarly, evolutionary and ecological research on spiders rarely considers the significance of silk properties. Here, we highlight the critical need to integrate biomechanical and ecological perspectives on spider silks to generate a better understanding of (i) how silk biomechanics and web architectures interacted to influence spider web evolution along different structural pathways, and (ii) how silks function in an ecological context, which may identify novel silk applications. An integrative, mechanistic approach to understanding silk and web function, as well as the selective pressures driving their evolution, will help uncover the potential impacts of environmental change and species invasions (of both spiders and prey) on spider success. Integrating these fields will also allow us to take advantage of the remarkable properties of spider silks, expanding the range of possible silk applications from single threads to two- and three-dimensional thread networks.

  18. Dreamcatcher, Gatekeeper, Spider Web, Safety Net.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tweedie, Sanford; Madden, Marjorie

    1998-01-01

    Replicates, using diverse quotations grouped under four metaphors (dreamcatcher, gatekeeper, spider web, safety net) representing the dissonance of the reading/writing processes as they might be experienced by basic skills readers. Questions the relationship of basic skills to its students; implements D. Bartholomae's recommendations to reform of…

  19. Spiders (Araneae. Chapter 7.3

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang Nentwig

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available A total of 47 spider species are alien to Europe; this corresponds to 1.3 % of the native spider fauna. They belong to (in order of decreasing abundance Theridiidae (10 species, Pholcidae (7 species, Sparassidae, Salticidae, Linyphiidae, Oonopidae (4-5 species each and 11 further families. There is a remarkable increase of new records in the last years and the arrival of one new species for Europe per year has been predicted for the next decades. One third of alien spiders have an Asian origin, one fifth comes from North America and Africa each. 45 % of species may originate from temperate habitats and 55 % from tropical habitats. In the past banana or other fruit shipments were an important pathway of introduction; today potted plants and probably container shipments in general are more important. Most alien spiders established in and around human buildings, only few species established in natural sites. No environmental impact of alien species is known so far, but some alien species are theoretically dangerous to humans.

  20. The aerodynamic signature of running spiders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jérôme Casas

    Full Text Available Many predators display two foraging modes, an ambush strategy and a cruising mode. These foraging strategies have been classically studied in energetic, biomechanical and ecological terms, without considering the role of signals produced by predators and perceived by prey. Wolf spiders are a typical example; they hunt in leaf litter either using an ambush strategy or by moving at high speed, taking over unwary prey. Air flow upstream of running spiders is a source of information for escaping prey, such as crickets and cockroaches. However, air displacement by running arthropods has not been previously examined. Here we show, using digital particle image velocimetry, that running spiders are highly conspicuous aerodynamically, due to substantial air displacement detectable up to several centimetres in front of them. This study explains the bimodal distribution of spider's foraging modes in terms of sensory ecology and is consistent with the escape distances and speeds of cricket prey. These findings may be relevant to the large and diverse array of arthropod prey-predator interactions in leaf litter.

  1. Nutritional ecology: a first vegetarian spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Duncan E

    2009-10-13

    Mutualisms are ubiquitous in nature and equally commonplace is their exploitation. A well-known mutualism has been found to be exploited from a surprising source: the first described vegetarian spider dines on trophic structures produced by acacia trees to reward their mutualistic protective ants.

  2. Reversible Myocarditis after Black Widow Spider Envenomation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tarek Dendane

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Black widow spiders can cause variable clinical scenarios from local damage to very serious conditions including death. Acute myocardial damage is rarely observed and its prognostic significance is not known. We report a rare case of a 35-year-old man who developed an acute myocarditis with cardiogenic pulmonary edema requiring mechanical ventilation caused by black widow spider's envenomation. The patient was previously healthy. The clinical course was associated with systemic and cardiovascular complaints. His electrocardiogram revealed ST-segment elevation with T-wave amplitude. The plasma concentrations of cardiac enzymes were elevated. His first echocardiography showed hypokinesis of the left ventricle (left ventricle ejection fraction 48%. Magnetic resonance imaging showed also focal myocardial injury of the LV. There was progressive improvement in cardiac traces, biochemical and echocardiographical values (second left ventricle ejection fraction increased to 50%. Myocardial involvement after a spider bite is rare and can cause death. The exact mechanism of this myocarditis is unknown. We report a rare case of acute myocarditis with cardiogenic pulmonary edema requiring mechanical ventilation caused by black widow spider's envenomation. We objectively documented progressive clinical and electrical improvement.

  3. Spiders Tune Glue Viscosity to Maximize Adhesion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amarpuri, Gaurav; Zhang, Ci; Diaz, Candido; Opell, Brent D; Blackledge, Todd A; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2015-11-24

    Adhesion in humid conditions is a fundamental challenge to both natural and synthetic adhesives. Yet, glue from most spider species becomes stickier as humidity increases. We find the adhesion of spider glue, from five diverse spider species, maximizes at very different humidities that matches their foraging habitats. By using high-speed imaging and spreading power law, we find that the glue viscosity varies over 5 orders of magnitude with humidity for each species, yet the viscosity at maximal adhesion for each species is nearly identical, 10(5)-10(6) cP. Many natural systems take advantage of viscosity to improve functional response, but spider glue's humidity responsiveness is a novel adaptation that makes the glue stickiest in each species' preferred habitat. This tuning is achieved by a combination of proteins and hygroscopic organic salts that determines water uptake in the glue. We therefore anticipate that manipulation of polymer-salts interaction to control viscosity can provide a simple mechanism to design humidity responsive smart adhesives.

  4. Artificial Intelligence

    CERN Document Server

    Warwick, Kevin

    2011-01-01

    if AI is outside your field, or you know something of the subject and would like to know more then Artificial Intelligence: The Basics is a brilliant primer.' - Nick Smith, Engineering and Technology Magazine November 2011 Artificial Intelligence: The Basics is a concise and cutting-edge introduction to the fast moving world of AI. The author Kevin Warwick, a pioneer in the field, examines issues of what it means to be man or machine and looks at advances in robotics which have blurred the boundaries. Topics covered include: how intelligence can be defined whether machines can 'think' sensory

  5. Artificial sweeteners

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raben, Anne Birgitte; Richelsen, Bjørn

    2012-01-01

    Artificial sweeteners can be a helpful tool to reduce energy intake and body weight and thereby risk for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Considering the prevailing diabesity (obesity and diabetes) epidemic, this can, therefore, be an important alternative to natural, calorie-containin......Artificial sweeteners can be a helpful tool to reduce energy intake and body weight and thereby risk for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Considering the prevailing diabesity (obesity and diabetes) epidemic, this can, therefore, be an important alternative to natural, calorie...

  6. Phantom spiders: notes on dubious spider species from Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Breitling, Rainer

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available A surprisingly large number of European spider species have never been reliably rediscovered since their first description many decades ago. Most of these are probably synonymous with other species or unidentifiable, due to insufficient descriptions or missing type material. Here we discuss about 50 of these cases, declare some names as nomina dubia and establish the following new or re-confirmed synonymies: Agelena mengeella Strand, 1942 = Allagelena gracilens (C. L. Koch, 1841 syn. conf.; Anyphaena accentuata obscura (Sundevall, 1831 = Anyphaena accentuata (Walckenaer, 1802 syn. conf.; Anyphaena accentuata obscura Lebert, 1877 = Anyphaena accentuata (Walckenaer, 1802 syn. nov.; Araneus diadematus stellatus C. L. Koch, 1836 = Araneus diadematus Clerck, 1757 syn. nov.; Araneus diadematus islandicus (Strand, 1906 = Araneus diadematus Clerck, 1757 syn. nov.; Araneus quadratus minimus Simon, 1929 = Araneus quadratus Clerck, 1757 syn. nov.; Araneus quadratus subviridis (Franganillo, 1913 = Araneus quadratus Clerck, 1757 syn. nov.; Centromerus unctus (L. Koch, 1870 = Leptorhoptrum robustum (Westring, 1851 syn. nov.; Clubiona caliginosa Simon, 1932 = Clubiona germanica Thorell, 1871 syn. nov.; Coelotes atropos anomalus Hull, 1955 = Coelotes atropos (Walckenaer, 1830 syn. nov.; Coelotes atropos silvestris Hull, 1955 = Coelotes atropos (Walckenaer, 1830 syn. nov.; Coelotes obesus Simon, 1875 = Pireneitega pyrenaea (Simon, 1870 syn. conf.; Coelotes simoni Strand, 1907 = Coelotes solitarius (L. Koch, 1868 syn. nov.; Diplocephalus semiglobosus (Westring, 1861 nomen oblitum = Entelecara congenera (O. P.-Cambridge, 1879 syn. nov.; Drassodes voigti (Bösenberg, 1899 = Scotophaeus blackwalli (Thorell, 1871 syn. conf.; Erigone decens Thorell, 1871 = Hylyphantes graminicola (Sundevall, 1830 syn. nov.; Liocranoeca striata gracilior (Kulczynski, 1898 = Liocranoeca striata (Kulczynski, 1882 syn. conf.; Phlegra rogenhoferi (Simon, 1868 = Phlegra cinereofasciata

  7. Status of the CNESM diagnostic for SPIDER

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muraro, A., E-mail: muraro@ifp.cnr.it [IFP-CNR, Via Cozzi 53, Milano (Italy); Croci, G. [IFP-CNR, Via Cozzi 53, Milano (Italy); Sez. INFN Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 3, Milano (Italy); Albani, G. [University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 3, Milano (Italy); Cazzaniga, C. [Sez. INFN Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 3, Milano (Italy); University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 3, Milano (Italy); Claps, G. [INFN-LNF, Via Enrico Fermi 40, Frascati (Italy); Cavenago, M. [INFN-LNL, Viale dell’Università 2, Legnaro (Italy); Grosso, G. [IFP-CNR, Via Cozzi 53, Milano (Italy); Palma, M. Dalla; Fincato, M. [RFX Consortium, Corso Stati uniti 4, Padova (Italy); Murtas, F. [INFN-LNF, Via Enrico Fermi 40, Frascati (Italy); Pasqualotto, R. [RFX Consortium, Corso Stati uniti 4, Padova (Italy); Cippo, E. Perelli [IFP-CNR, Via Cozzi 53, Milano (Italy); Rebai, M. [University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 3, Milano (Italy); Sez. INFN Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 3, Milano (Italy); Tollin, M. [RFX Consortium, Corso Stati uniti 4, Padova (Italy); Tardocchi, M. [IFP-CNR, Via Cozzi 53, Milano (Italy); Gorini, G. [University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 3, Milano (Italy); Sez. INFN Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 3, Milano (Italy)

    2015-10-15

    Highlights: • We have finished the design of the detector box of the CNESM diagnostic for SPIDER. • We have constructed the GEM detector of the CNESM detector for SPIDER. • We have tested the detector under fast neutron irradiation. - Abstract: The ITER neutral beam test facility under construction in Padova will host two experimental devices: SPIDER, a 100 kV negative H/D RF source, and MITICA, a full scale, 1 MeV deuterium beam injector. A detection system called close-contact neutron emission surface mapping (CNESM) is under development with the aim to resolve the horizontal beam intensity profile in MITICA and one of the eight beamlet groups in SPIDER, with a spatial resolution of 1.5 and 2.5 cm respectively. This is achieved by the evaluation of the map of the neutron emission due to interaction of the deuterium beam with the deuterons implanted in the beam dump surface. CNESM uses nGEM detectors, i.e. GEM detectors equipped with a cathode that also serves as neutron–proton converter foil. The diagnostic will be placed right behind the SPIDER and MITICA beam dump, i.e. in an UHV environment, but the nGEM detectors need to operate at atmospheric pressure: in order to maintain the detector at atmospheric pressure, a vacuum sealed box, that will be mounted inside the vacuum, has been designed. The box design was driven by the need to minimize the neutron attenuation and the distance between the beam dump surface and the detector active area. This paper presents the status of the CNESM diagnostic describing the design of the detector, the design of the sealed box and reporting the results obtained with the first full-size prototype under fast neutron irradiation.

  8. A Novel Neurotoxin from Venom of the Spider, Brachypelma albopilosum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Mingwei; Li, Hongli; Wang, Ping; Yuan, Minglong; Lu, Qiumin

    2014-01-01

    Spiders have evolved highly selective toxins for insects. There are many insecticidal neurotoxins in spider venoms. Although a large amount of work has been done to focus on neurotoxicity of spider components, little information, which is related with effects of spider toxins on tumor cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, is available for Brachypelma albopilosum venom. In this work, a novel spider neurotoxin (brachyin) was identified and characterized from venoms of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum. Brachyin is composed of 41 amino acid residues with the sequence of CLGENVPCDKDRPNCCSRYECLEPTGYGWWYASYYCYKKRS. There are six cysteines in this sequence, which form three disulfided bridges. The serine residue at the C-terminus is amidated. Brachyin showed strong lethal effects on American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle). This neurotoxin also showed significant analgesic effects in mice models including abdominal writhing induced by acetic acid and formalin-induced paw licking tests. It was interesting that brachyin exerted marked inhibition on tumor cell proliferation. PMID:25329070

  9. A novel neurotoxin from venom of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Yunhua; Song, Bo; Mo, Guoxiang; Yuan, Mingwei; Li, Hongli; Wang, Ping; Yuan, Minglong; Lu, Qiumin

    2014-01-01

    Spiders have evolved highly selective toxins for insects. There are many insecticidal neurotoxins in spider venoms. Although a large amount of work has been done to focus on neurotoxicity of spider components, little information, which is related with effects of spider toxins on tumor cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, is available for Brachypelma albopilosum venom. In this work, a novel spider neurotoxin (brachyin) was identified and characterized from venoms of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum. Brachyin is composed of 41 amino acid residues with the sequence of CLGENVPCDKDRPNCCSRYECLEPTGYGWWYASYYCYKKRS. There are six cysteines in this sequence, which form three disulfided bridges. The serine residue at the C-terminus is amidated. Brachyin showed strong lethal effects on American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle). This neurotoxin also showed significant analgesic effects in mice models including abdominal writhing induced by acetic acid and formalin-induced paw licking tests. It was interesting that brachyin exerted marked inhibition on tumor cell proliferation.

  10. A novel neurotoxin from venom of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunhua Zhong

    Full Text Available Spiders have evolved highly selective toxins for insects. There are many insecticidal neurotoxins in spider venoms. Although a large amount of work has been done to focus on neurotoxicity of spider components, little information, which is related with effects of spider toxins on tumor cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, is available for Brachypelma albopilosum venom. In this work, a novel spider neurotoxin (brachyin was identified and characterized from venoms of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum. Brachyin is composed of 41 amino acid residues with the sequence of CLGENVPCDKDRPNCCSRYECLEPTGYGWWYASYYCYKKRS. There are six cysteines in this sequence, which form three disulfided bridges. The serine residue at the C-terminus is amidated. Brachyin showed strong lethal effects on American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle. This neurotoxin also showed significant analgesic effects in mice models including abdominal writhing induced by acetic acid and formalin-induced paw licking tests. It was interesting that brachyin exerted marked inhibition on tumor cell proliferation.

  11. Reconstructing web evolution and spider diversification in the molecular era.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackledge, Todd A; Scharff, Nikolaj; Coddington, Jonathan A; Szüts, Tamas; Wenzel, John W; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2009-03-31

    The evolutionary diversification of spiders is attributed to spectacular innovations in silk. Spiders are unique in synthesizing many different kinds of silk, and using silk for a variety of ecological functions throughout their lives, particularly to make prey-catching webs. Here, we construct a broad higher-level phylogeny of spiders combining molecular data with traditional morphological and behavioral characters. We use this phylogeny to test the hypothesis that the spider orb web evolved only once. We then examine spider diversification in relation to different web architectures and silk use. We find strong support for a single origin of orb webs, implying a major shift in the spinning of capture silk and repeated loss or transformation of orb webs. We show that abandonment of costly cribellate capture silk correlates with the 2 major diversification events in spiders (1). Replacement of cribellate silk by aqueous silk glue may explain the greater diversity of modern orb-weaving spiders (Araneoidea) compared with cribellate orb-weaving spiders (Deinopoidea) (2). Within the "RTA clade," which is the sister group to orb-weaving spiders and contains half of all spider diversity, >90% of species richness is associated with repeated loss of cribellate silk and abandonment of prey capture webs. Accompanying cribellum loss in both groups is a release from substrate-constrained webs, whether by aerially suspended webs, or by abandoning webs altogether. These behavioral shifts in silk and web production by spiders thus likely played a key role in the dramatic evolutionary success and ecological dominance of spiders as predators of insects.

  12. Development of Synthetic Spider Silk Fibers for High Performance Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-08

    REPORT Development of Synthetic Spider Silk Fibers for High Performance Applications 14. ABSTRACT 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: The overall goal of...this project is to demonstrate the feasibility of synthetic production of high-performance spider silk fibers for use in next-generation automotives...Z39.18 - 31-May-2013 Development of Synthetic Spider Silk Fibers for High Performance Applications Report Title ABSTRACT The overall goal of this

  13. Thin Film Assembly of Spider Silk-like Block Copolymers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Film Assembly of Spider Silk -like Block Copolymers Sreevidhya T. Krishnaji,†,‡ Wenwen Huang,§ Olena Rabotyagova,†,‡ Eugenia Kharlampieva, ) Ikjun Choi...Received November 26, 2010 We report the self-assembly of monolayers of spider silk -like block copolymers. Langmuir isotherms were obtained for a series of...bioengineered variants of the spider silks , and stable monolayers were generated. Langmuir-Blodgett films were prepared by transferring the monolayers

  14. A novel property of spider silk: chemical defence against ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shichang; Koh, Teck Hui; Seah, Wee Khee; Lai, Yee Hing; Elgar, Mark A; Li, Daiqin

    2012-05-07

    Spider webs are made of silk, the properties of which ensure remarkable efficiency at capturing prey. However, remaining on, or near, the web exposes the resident spiders to many potential predators, such as ants. Surprisingly, ants are rarely reported foraging on the webs of orb-weaving spiders, despite the formidable capacity of ants to subdue prey and repel enemies, the diversity and abundance of orb-web spiders, and the nutritional value of the web and resident spider. We explain this paradox by reporting a novel property of the silk produced by the orb-web spider Nephila antipodiana (Walckenaer). These spiders deposit on the silk a pyrrolidine alkaloid (2-pyrrolidinone) that provides protection from ant invasion. Furthermore, the ontogenetic change in the production of 2-pyrrolidinone suggests that this compound represents an adaptive response to the threat of natural enemies, rather than a simple by-product of silk synthesis: while 2-pyrrolidinone occurs on the silk threads produced by adult and large juvenile spiders, it is absent on threads produced by small juvenile spiders, whose threads are sufficiently thin to be inaccessible to ants.

  15. Giant surface plasmon induced drag effect (SPIDEr) in metal nanowires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durach, Maxim; Rusina, Anastasia; Stockman, Mark I.

    2009-08-01

    Here, for the first time we predict a giant surface plasmon-induced drag effect (SPIDEr), which exists under conditions of the extreme nanoplasmonic confinement. Under realistic conditions, in nanowires, this giant SPIDEr generates rectified THz potential differences up to 10 V and extremely strong electric fields up to ~ 105 ~ 106 V/cm. The SPIDEr is an ultrafast effect whose bandwidth for nanometric wires is ~ 20 THz. The giant SPIDEr opens up a new field of ultraintense THz nanooptics with wide potential applications in nanotechnology and nanoscience, including microelectronics, nanoplasmonics, and biomedicine.

  16. Sublethal responses of wolf spiders (Lycosidae) to organophosphorous insecticides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Erp, S; Booth, L; Gooneratne, R; O'Halloran, K

    2002-10-01

    The activities of cholinesterase (ChE) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) enzymes were assessed in the wolf spider (Lycosa hilaris) as biomarkers of organophosphate contamination in agricultural ecosystems. Spiders were exposed to simulated field rates of two commercially available organophosphorous insecticides [Basudin (diazinon) and Lorsban (chlorpyrifos)] under laboratory conditions. In terms of survival, chlorpyrifos and diazinon were more toxic to male than to female wolf spiders, but gender-specific differences in ChE activities were not evident. Cholinesterase activity in male spiders was inhibited to 14% and 61% of control activity by Basudin and Lorsban, respectively. Gluthathione S-transferase activity was not affected by either pesticide. Mortality and biomarker responses in the wolf spider were further investigated following the application of Basudin to pasture. Wolf spiders were deployed into field mesocosms; after 24 h mortality was 40%, and surviving spiders displayed significant inhibition of ChE activity (87%) compared with controls. Cholinesterase activity in spiders exposed for subsequent 24- or 48-h time periods was monitored until it returned to control levels 8 days post-application. Inhibition of ChE activity after a single application of Basudin indicate the potential use of this enzyme in wolf spiders as a biomarker for evaluating organophosphate contamination.

  17. Artificial ribonucleases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrow, J R

    1994-01-01

    Many inorganic and organic compounds promote the reactions catalyzed by RNase A. Both the transesterification step, where a 2',3'-cyclic phosphate is formed with concomitant cleavage of RNA, and the hydrolysis step, where the 2',3'-cyclic phosphate is converted to a phosphate monoester, may be mimicked with compounds that are readily synthesized in the laboratory. Electrophilic activation of the phosphate ester and charge neutralization are generally important means by which artificial RNases promote phosphate diester displacement reactions. Several artificial RNases operate by a bifunctional general acid/general base mechanism, as does RNase A. Provision of an intramolecular nucleophile appears to be an important pathway for metal complex promoted phosphate diester hydrolysis. In contrast to the successful design of compounds that promote the reactions catalyzed by RNase A, there are no artificial nucleases to date that will cleave the 3' P-O bond of RNA or hydrolyze an oligonucleotide of DNA. Artificial RNases based on both metal complexes and organic compounds have been described. Metal complexes may be particularly effective catalysts for both transesterification and hydrolysis reactions of phosphate diesters. Under physiological conditions (37 degrees C and neutral pH), several metal complexes catalyze the transesterification of RNA. Future work should involve the development of metal complexes which are inert to metal ion release but which maintain open coordination sites for catalytic activity. The design of compounds containing multiple amine or imidazole groups that may demonstrate bifunctional catalysis is a promising route to new artificial RNases. Further design of these compounds and careful placement of catalytic groups may yield new RNase mimics that operate under physiological conditions. The attachment of artificial RNases to recognition agents such as oligodeoxynucleotides to create new sequence-specific endoribonucleases is an exciting field of

  18. Artificial Intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, David R; Palacios-González, César; Harris, John

    2016-04-01

    It seems natural to think that the same prudential and ethical reasons for mutual respect and tolerance that one has vis-à-vis other human persons would hold toward newly encountered paradigmatic but nonhuman biological persons. One also tends to think that they would have similar reasons for treating we humans as creatures that count morally in our own right. This line of thought transcends biological boundaries-namely, with regard to artificially (super)intelligent persons-but is this a safe assumption? The issue concerns ultimate moral significance: the significance possessed by human persons, persons from other planets, and hypothetical nonorganic persons in the form of artificial intelligence (AI). This article investigates why our possible relations to AI persons could be more complicated than they first might appear, given that they might possess a radically different nature to us, to the point that civilized or peaceful coexistence in a determinate geographical space could be impossible to achieve.

  19. Recent advances in the understanding of brown spider venoms: From the biology of spiders to the molecular mechanisms of toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gremski, Luiza Helena; Trevisan-Silva, Dilza; Ferrer, Valéria Pereira; Matsubara, Fernando Hitomi; Meissner, Gabriel Otto; Wille, Ana Carolina Martins; Vuitika, Larissa; Dias-Lopes, Camila; Ullah, Anwar; de Moraes, Fábio Rogério; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos; Barbaro, Katia Cristina; Murakami, Mario Tyago; Arni, Raghuvir Krishnaswamy; Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea; Chaim, Olga Meiri; Veiga, Silvio Sanches

    2014-06-01

    The Loxosceles genus spiders (the brown spiders) are encountered in all the continents, and the clinical manifestations following spider bites include skin necrosis with gravitational lesion spreading and occasional systemic manifestations, such as intravascular hemolysis, thrombocytopenia and acute renal failure. Brown spider venoms are complex mixtures of toxins especially enriched in three molecular families: the phospholipases D, astacin-like metalloproteases and Inhibitor Cystine Knot (ICK) peptides. Other toxins with low level of expression also present in the venom include the serine proteases, serine protease inhibitors, hyaluronidases, allergen factors and translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP). The mechanisms by which the Loxosceles venoms act and exert their noxious effects are not fully understood. Except for the brown spider venom phospholipase D, which causes dermonecrosis, hemolysis, thrombocytopenia and renal failure, the pathological activities of the other venom toxins remain unclear. The objective of the present review is to provide insights into the brown spider venoms and loxoscelism based on recent results. These insights include the biology of brown spiders, the clinical features of loxoscelism and the diagnosis and therapy of brown spider bites. Regarding the brown spider venom, this review includes a description of the novel toxins revealed by molecular biology and proteomics techniques, the data regarding three-dimensional toxin structures, and the mechanism of action of these molecules. Finally, the biotechnological applications of the venom components, especially for those toxins reported as recombinant molecules, and the challenges for future study are discussed.

  20. Artificial blood.

    OpenAIRE

    1983-01-01

    #Blood substitutes have been developed for almost a century. The various type of artificial blood was continuously available on the market. The theme of this report is to identify the best substitute in emergency situation for some patients and science students. The definition of best is given; thus, as the vital part of the report, the comparison between them is described and discussed. Modified hemoglobin, bovine-based hemoglobin and PFCs are three basic types. In terms of the perfor...

  1. Artificial vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarbin, M; Montemagno, C; Leary, J; Ritch, R

    2011-09-01

    A number treatment options are emerging for patients with retinal degenerative disease, including gene therapy, trophic factor therapy, visual cycle inhibitors (e.g., for patients with Stargardt disease and allied conditions), and cell transplantation. A radically different approach, which will augment but not replace these options, is termed neural prosthetics ("artificial vision"). Although rewiring of inner retinal circuits and inner retinal neuronal degeneration occur in association with photoreceptor degeneration in retinitis pigmentosa (RP), it is possible to create visually useful percepts by stimulating retinal ganglion cells electrically. This fact has lead to the development of techniques to induce photosensitivity in cells that are not light sensitive normally as well as to the development of the bionic retina. Advances in artificial vision continue at a robust pace. These advances are based on the use of molecular engineering and nanotechnology to render cells light-sensitive, to target ion channels to the appropriate cell type (e.g., bipolar cell) and/or cell region (e.g., dendritic tree vs. soma), and on sophisticated image processing algorithms that take advantage of our knowledge of signal processing in the retina. Combined with advances in gene therapy, pathway-based therapy, and cell-based therapy, "artificial vision" technologies create a powerful armamentarium with which ophthalmologists will be able to treat blindness in patients who have a variety of degenerative retinal diseases.

  2. Poincar\\'{e} functions with spiders' webs

    CERN Document Server

    Mihaljević-Brandt, Helena

    2010-01-01

    For a polynomial p with a repelling fixed point w, we consider Poincar\\'{e} functions of p at w, i.e. entire functions L which satisfy L(0)=w and p(L(z))=L(p'(w)*z) for all z in the complex plane. We show that if the component of the Julia set of p that contains w equals {w}, then the (fast) escaping set of L is a spider's web; in particular it is connected. More precisely, we classify all linearizers of polynomials with regards to the spider's web structure of the set of all points which escape faster than the iterates of the maximum modulus function at a sufficiently large point.

  3. Araneae Sloveniae: a national spider species checklist

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rok Kostanjšek

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The research of the spider fauna of Slovenia dates back to the very beginning of binomial nomenclature, and has gone through more and less prolific phases with authors concentrating on taxonomy, faunistics, ecology and zoogeographic reviews. Although the body of published works is remarkable for a small nation, the faunistic data has remained too scattered for a thorough understanding of regional biotic diversity, for comparative and ecological research, and for informed conservation purposes. A national checklist is long overdue. Here, a critical review of all published records in any language is provided. The species list currently comprises 738 species, is published online at http://www.bioportal.si/katalog/araneae.php under the title Araneae Sloveniae, and will be updated in due course. This tool will fill the void in cataloguing regional spider faunas and will facilitate further araneological research in central and southern Europe.

  4. Logic circuits based on molecular spider systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Dandan; Lakin, Matthew R; Stefanovic, Darko

    2016-08-01

    Spatial locality brings the advantages of computation speed-up and sequence reuse to molecular computing. In particular, molecular walkers that undergo localized reactions are of interest for implementing logic computations at the nanoscale. We use molecular spider walkers to implement logic circuits. We develop an extended multi-spider model with a dynamic environment wherein signal transmission is triggered via localized reactions, and use this model to implement three basic gates (AND, OR, NOT) and a cascading mechanism. We develop an algorithm to automatically generate the layout of the circuit. We use a kinetic Monte Carlo algorithm to simulate circuit computations, and we analyze circuit complexity: our design scales linearly with formula size and has a logarithmic time complexity.

  5. The Jean Gutierrez spider mite collection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alain Migeon

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The family Tetranychidae (spider mites currently comprises 1,275 species and represents one of the most important agricultural pest families among the Acari with approximately one hundred pest species, ten of which considered major pests. The dataset presented in this document includes all the identified spider mites composing the Jean Gutierrez Collection hosted at the CBGP (Montferrier-sur-Lez, France, gathered from 1963 to 1999 during his career at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD. It consists of 5,262 specimens corresponding to 1,564 occurrences (combination species/host plant/date/location of 175 species. Most specimens were collected in Madagascar and other islands of the Western Indian Ocean, New Caledonia and other islands of the South Pacific and Papuasia. The dataset constitutes today the most important one available on Tetranychidae worldwide.

  6. The Jean Gutierrez spider mite collection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Migeon, Alain

    2015-01-01

    The family Tetranychidae (spider mites) currently comprises 1,275 species and represents one of the most important agricultural pest families among the Acari with approximately one hundred pest species, ten of which considered major pests. The dataset presented in this document includes all the identified spider mites composing the Jean Gutierrez Collection hosted at the CBGP (Montferrier-sur-Lez, France), gathered from 1963 to 1999 during his career at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). It consists of 5,262 specimens corresponding to 1,564 occurrences (combination species/host plant/date/location) of 175 species. Most specimens were collected in Madagascar and other islands of the Western Indian Ocean, New Caledonia and other islands of the South Pacific and Papuasia. The dataset constitutes today the most important one available on Tetranychidae worldwide.

  7. Virtual spiders raise real heart rates

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Virtual realities (VR) give rise to feelings of presence in virtual environments and have been proven a useful medium when treating specific phobias. For validation of the usability of VR for exposure therapy it is critical to investigate the techs capacity of activating the user physiologically. An experiment was designed with the purpose of investigating if virtual spiders in a virtual environment could cause a heightening of heart rate in the participants (N = 24). The hypothesis was that ...

  8. Host selection by a kleptobiotic spider

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hénaut, Yann; Delme, Juliette; Legal, Luc; Williams, Trevor

    2005-02-01

    Why do kleptobiotic spiders of the genus Argyrodes seem to be associated with spiders of the genus Nephila worldwide? Observations following introduction of experimental insect prey of different sizes and weights on to host webs revealed that: (1) small prey are more effectively retained on the web of Nephila clavipes than on the web of another common host, Leucauge venusta. (2) N. clavipes did not consume small prey that accumulated on the web whereas larger, heavier prey were enveloped and stored. (3) We observed clear partitioning of prey items between N. clavipes and Argyrodes spp.; diet selection by Argyrodes did not overlap with that of N. clavipes but closely overlapped with that of L. venusta. (4) L. venusta responds very quickly to prey impact whereas N. clavipes is slower, offering a temporal window of opportunity for Argyrodes foraging. (5) The ability of L. venusta to detect and respond to small items also means that it acts aggressively to Argyrodes spp., whereas N. clavipes does not. Consequently, food-acquisition behaviours of Argyrodes were clearly less risky with N. clavipes compared with L. venusta. We conclude that when a kleptobiotic organism has a choice of various host species, it will opt for the least risky host that presents the highest rate of availability of food items. The fact that Nephila species present such characteristics explains the worldwide association with Argyrodes kleptobiotic spiders.

  9. Spider-Venom Peptides as Bioinsecticides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glenn F. King

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Over 10,000 arthropod species are currently considered to be pest organisms. They are estimated to contribute to the destruction of ~14% of the world’s annual crop production and transmit many pathogens. Presently, arthropod pests of agricultural and health significance are controlled predominantly through the use of chemical insecticides. Unfortunately, the widespread use of these agrochemicals has resulted in genetic selection pressure that has led to the development of insecticide-resistant arthropods, as well as concerns over human health and the environment. Bioinsecticides represent a new generation of insecticides that utilise organisms or their derivatives (e.g., transgenic plants, recombinant baculoviruses, toxin-fusion proteins and peptidomimetics and show promise as environmentally-friendly alternatives to conventional agrochemicals. Spider-venom peptides are now being investigated as potential sources of bioinsecticides. With an estimated 100,000 species, spiders are one of the most successful arthropod predators. Their venom has proven to be a rich source of hyperstable insecticidal mini-proteins that cause insect paralysis or lethality through the modulation of ion channels, receptors and enzymes. Many newly characterized insecticidal spider toxins target novel sites in insects. Here we review the structure and pharmacology of these toxins and discuss the potential of this vast peptide library for the discovery of novel bioinsecticides.

  10. Characterization and Schwann Cell Seeding of up to 15.0 cm Long Spider Silk Nerve Conduits for Reconstruction of Peripheral Nerve Defects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim Kornfeld

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Nerve reconstruction of extended nerve defect injuries still remains challenging with respect to therapeutic options. The gold standard in nerve surgery is the autologous nerve graft. Due to the limitation of adequate donor nerves, surgical alternatives are needed. Nerve grafts made out of either natural or artificial materials represent this alternative. Several biomaterials are being explored and preclinical and clinical applications are ongoing. Unfortunately, nerve conduits with successful enhancement of axonal regeneration for nerve defects measuring over 4.0 cm are sparse and no conduits are available for nerve defects extending to 10.0 cm. In this study, spider silk nerve conduits seeded with Schwann cells were investigated for in vitro regeneration on defects measuring 4.0 cm, 10.0 cm and 15.0 cm in length. Schwann cells (SCs were isolated, cultured and purified. Cell purity was determined by immunofluorescence. Nerve grafts were constructed out of spider silk from Nephila edulis and decellularized ovine vessels. Finally, spider silk implants were seeded with purified Schwann cells. Cell attachment was observed within the first hour. After 7 and 21 days of culture, immunofluorescence for viability and determination of Schwann cell proliferation and migration throughout the conduits was performed. Analyses revealed that SCs maintained viable (>95% throughout the conduits independent of construct length. SC proliferation on the spider silk was determined from day 7 to day 21 with a proliferation index of 49.42% arithmetically averaged over all conduits. This indicates that spider silk nerve conduits represent a favorable environment for SC attachment, proliferation and distribution over a distance of least 15.0 cm in vitro. Thus spider silk nerve implants are a highly adequate biomaterial for nerve reconstruction.

  11. Characterization and Schwann Cell Seeding of up to 15.0 cm Long Spider Silk Nerve Conduits for Reconstruction of Peripheral Nerve Defects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kornfeld, Tim; Vogt, Peter M; Bucan, Vesna; Peck, Claas-Tido; Reimers, Kerstin; Radtke, Christine

    2016-11-30

    Nerve reconstruction of extended nerve defect injuries still remains challenging with respect to therapeutic options. The gold standard in nerve surgery is the autologous nerve graft. Due to the limitation of adequate donor nerves, surgical alternatives are needed. Nerve grafts made out of either natural or artificial materials represent this alternative. Several biomaterials are being explored and preclinical and clinical applications are ongoing. Unfortunately, nerve conduits with successful enhancement of axonal regeneration for nerve defects measuring over 4.0 cm are sparse and no conduits are available for nerve defects extending to 10.0 cm. In this study, spider silk nerve conduits seeded with Schwann cells were investigated for in vitro regeneration on defects measuring 4.0 cm, 10.0 cm and 15.0 cm in length. Schwann cells (SCs) were isolated, cultured and purified. Cell purity was determined by immunofluorescence. Nerve grafts were constructed out of spider silk from Nephila edulis and decellularized ovine vessels. Finally, spider silk implants were seeded with purified Schwann cells. Cell attachment was observed within the first hour. After 7 and 21 days of culture, immunofluorescence for viability and determination of Schwann cell proliferation and migration throughout the conduits was performed. Analyses revealed that SCs maintained viable (>95%) throughout the conduits independent of construct length. SC proliferation on the spider silk was determined from day 7 to day 21 with a proliferation index of 49.42% arithmetically averaged over all conduits. This indicates that spider silk nerve conduits represent a favorable environment for SC attachment, proliferation and distribution over a distance of least 15.0 cm in vitro. Thus spider silk nerve implants are a highly adequate biomaterial for nerve reconstruction.

  12. Structure–Activity Relationship Study of Spider Polyamine Toxins as Inhibitors of Ionotropic Glutamate Receptors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xiong, Xiaofeng; Poulsen, Mette H; Hussein, Rama A;

    2014-01-01

    The spider polyamine toxins Joro spider toxin-3 (JSTX-3) and Nephila polyamine toxins-1 and -8 (NPTX-1 and NPTX-8) are isolated from the venom of the orb-weaver spider Nephila clavata (Joro spider). They share a high degree of structural resemblance, their aromatic head groups being the only...

  13. Using Spider-Web Patterns To Determine Toxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noever, David A.; Cronise, Raymond J.; Relwani, Rachna A.

    1995-01-01

    Method of determining toxicities of chemicals involves recording and analysis of spider-web patterns. Based on observation spiders exposed to various chemicals spin webs that differ, in various ways, from normal webs. Potential alternative to toxicity testing on higher animals.

  14. Camel spider (Solifugae) use of prairie dog colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solifugids (camel spiders) are widespread throughout arid regions of western North America and are thought to be important in structuring desert arthropod communities. Despite the ubiquity of camel spiders, little is known about their ecology. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are als...

  15. Vision in the nocturnal wandering spider Leucorchestris arenicola (Araneae: Sparassidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørgaard, Thomas; Nilsson, Dan-Eric; Henschel, Joh R;

    2008-01-01

    At night the Namib Desert spider Leucorchestris arenicola performs long-distance homing across its sand dune habitat. By disabling all or pairs of the spiders' eight eyes we found that homing ability was severely reduced when vision was fully abolished. Vision, therefore, seems to play a key role...

  16. Spider mite control and resistance management: does a genome help?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    T. Van Leeuwen; W. Dermauw; M. Grbic; L. Tirry; R. Feyereisen

    2012-01-01

    The complete genome of the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae, has been reported. This is the first sequenced genome of a highly polyphagous and resistant agricultural pest. The question as to what the genome offers the community working on spider mite control is addressed.

  17. Spiders of Kerala Agricultural University Campus, Thrissur, Kerala, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. K. Adarsh

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available A total of 86 species of spiders belonging to 56 genera of 20 families have been recorded from the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU campus, Thrissur, Kerala, southern India.  This represents 5.1% of the total spiders’ species and 33.33% of the total families of spiders recorded in India.  The dominant spider family at KAU campus is Araneidae with 18 species of nine genera. Salticidae is represented by 14 species of 13 genera.  Out of 252 endemic spiders of India, 16 have been reported from KAU campus.  Guild structure analysis shows spiders belonging to seven types of feeding guilds present in KAU campus.  Orb-web builders are the dominant feeding guild accounting for 34%, followed by stalkers (22%, ground runners (20%, ambushers (8%, scattered line weavers (8%, foliage runners (7% and sheet-web builders (1%. 

  18. Biofabrication of cell-loaded 3D spider silk constructs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schacht, Kristin; Jüngst, Tomasz; Schweinlin, Matthias; Ewald, Andrea; Groll, Jürgen; Scheibel, Thomas

    2015-02-23

    Biofabrication is an emerging and rapidly expanding field of research in which additive manufacturing techniques in combination with cell printing are exploited to generate hierarchical tissue-like structures. Materials that combine printability with cytocompatibility, so called bioinks, are currently the biggest bottleneck. Since recombinant spider silk proteins are non-immunogenic, cytocompatible, and exhibit physical crosslinking, their potential as a new bioink system was evaluated. Cell-loaded spider silk constructs can be printed by robotic dispensing without the need for crosslinking additives or thickeners for mechanical stabilization. Cells are able to adhere and proliferate with good viability over at least one week in such spider silk scaffolds. Introduction of a cell-binding motif to the spider silk protein further enables fine-tuned control over cell-material interactions. Spider silk hydrogels are thus a highly attractive novel bioink for biofabrication.

  19. [Processing and Modification of Recombinant Spider Silk Proteins].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Bin; Wang, Tao; Liu, Xiaobing; Luo, Yongen

    2015-08-01

    Due to its special sequence structure, spider silk protein has unique physical and chemical properties, mechanical properties and excellent biological properties. With the expansion of the application value of spider silk in many fields as a functional material, progress has been made in the studies on the expression of recombinant spider silk proteins through many host systems by gene recombinant techniques. Recombinant spider silk proteins can be processed into high performance fibers, and a wide range of nonfibrous morphologies. Moreover, for their excellent biocompatibility and low immune response they are ideal for biomedical applications. Here we review the process and mechanism of preparation in vitro, chemistry and genetic engineering modification on recombinant spider silk protein.

  20. Recent advances in production of recombinant spider silk proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Hannah; Kim, Tae Yong; Lee, Sang Yup

    2012-12-01

    Spider silk has been drawing much attention as a great biomaterial having many applications in biotechnology and biomedicine owing to its several desired material characteristics such as outstanding strength, toughness, and elasticity as well as biodegradability and biocompatibility. With various applications foreseeable in industry, there has been much effort to produce recombinant spider silk protein in large amounts. However, owing to the difficulties in its production using spiders, alternative host systems and engineering methods have been investigated to develop suitable production systems that can efficiently produce spider silk protein. Here, we review recent advances in production of spider silk proteins in various heterologous host systems with focus given on the development of metabolic and cellular engineering strategies.

  1. Biotechnological Trends in Spider and Scorpion Antivenom Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Solà, Mireia; Jappe, Emma Christine

    2016-01-01

    Spiders and scorpions are notorious for their fearful dispositions and their ability to inject venom into prey and predators, causing symptoms such as necrosis, paralysis, and excruciating pain. Information on venom composition and the toxins present in these species is growing due to an interest...... in using bioactive toxins from spiders and scorpions for drug discovery purposes and for solving crystal structures of membrane-embedded receptors. Additionally, the identification and isolation of a myriad of spider and scorpion toxins has allowed research within next generation antivenoms to progress...... at an increasingly faster pace. In this review, the current knowledge of spider and scorpion venoms is presented, followed by a discussion of all published biotechnological efforts within development of spider and scorpion antitoxins based on small molecules, antibodies and fragments thereof, and next generation...

  2. Relatedness facilitates cooperation in the subsocial spider, Stegodyphus tentoriicola

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ruch, Jasmin; Heinrich, Lisa; Bilde, T.;

    2009-01-01

    Background Cooperative hunting and foraging in spiders is rare and prone to cheating such that the actions of selfish individuals negatively affect the whole group. The resulting social dilemma may be mitigated by kin selection since related individuals lose indirect fitness benefits by acting...... selfishly. Indeed, cooperation with genetic kin reduces the disadvantages of within-group competition in the subsocial spider Stegodyphus lineatus, supporting the hypothesis that high relatedness is an important pre-adaptation in the transition to sociality in spiders. In this study we examined...... the consequences of group size and relatedness on cooperative feeding in the subsocial spider S. tentoriicola, a species suggested to be at the transition to permanent sociality. Results We formed groups of 3 and 6 spiders that were either siblings or non-siblings. We found that increasing group size negatively...

  3. Specific predictive power of automatic spider-related affective associations for controllable and uncontrollable fear responses toward spiders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J. Huijding (Jorg); P.J. de Jong (Peter)

    2006-01-01

    textabstractThis study examined the predictive power of automatically activated spider-related affective associations for automatic and controllable fear responses. The Extrinsic Affective Simon Task (EAST; De Houwer, 2003) was used to indirectly assess automatic spider fear-related associations. Th

  4. Specific predictive power of automatic spider-related affective associations for controllable and uncontrollable fear responses toward spiders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huijdlng, J; de Jong, PJ; Huijding, J.

    2006-01-01

    This study examined the predictive power of automatically activated spider-related affective associations for automatic and controllable fear responses. The Extrinsic Affective Simon Task (EAST; De Houwer, 2003) was used to indirectly assess automatic spider fear-related associations. The EAST and t

  5. And along Came a Spider: An Attentional Bias for the Detection of Spiders in Young Children and Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    LoBue, Vanessa

    2010-01-01

    Spiders are among the most common targets of fears and phobias in the world. In visual search tasks, adults detect their presence more rapidly than other kinds of stimuli. Reported here is an investigation of whether young children share this attentional bias for the detection of spiders. In a series of experiments, preschoolers and adults were…

  6. Morphological evolution of spiders predicted by pendulum mechanics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordi Moya-Laraño

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Animals have been hypothesized to benefit from pendulum mechanics during suspensory locomotion, in which the potential energy of gravity is converted into kinetic energy according to the energy-conservation principle. However, no convincing evidence has been found so far. Demonstrating that morphological evolution follows pendulum mechanics is important from a biomechanical point of view because during suspensory locomotion some morphological traits could be decoupled from gravity, thus allowing independent adaptive morphological evolution of these two traits when compared to animals that move standing on their legs; i.e., as inverted pendulums. If the evolution of body shape matches simple pendulum mechanics, animals that move suspending their bodies should evolve relatively longer legs which must confer high moving capabilities. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We tested this hypothesis in spiders, a group of diverse terrestrial generalist predators in which suspensory locomotion has been lost and gained a few times independently during their evolutionary history. In spiders that hang upside-down from their webs, their legs have evolved disproportionately longer relative to their body sizes when compared to spiders that move standing on their legs. In addition, we show how disproportionately longer legs allow spiders to run faster during suspensory locomotion and how these same spiders run at a slower speed on the ground (i.e., as inverted pendulums. Finally, when suspensory spiders are induced to run on the ground, there is a clear trend in which larger suspensory spiders tend to run much more slowly than similar-size spiders that normally move as inverted pendulums (i.e., wandering spiders. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Several lines of evidence support the hypothesis that spiders have evolved according to the predictions of pendulum mechanics. These findings have potentially important ecological and evolutionary implications since

  7. The Transmission Line for the SPIDER experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boldrin, Marco, E-mail: marco.boldrin@igi.cnr.it [Consorzio RFX, Associazione EURATOM-ENEA sulla Fusione, Corso Stati Uniti 4, I-35127 Padova (Italy); De Lorenzi, Antonio; Recchia, Mauro; Toigo, Vanni [Consorzio RFX, Associazione EURATOM-ENEA sulla Fusione, Corso Stati Uniti 4, I-35127 Padova (Italy); Bonicelli, Tullio; Simon, Muriel [Fusion For Energy, c/o Josep Pla 2, 08019 Barcelona (Spain)

    2011-10-15

    The 100 keV Ion Source Test facility - Source for the Production of Ions of Deuterium Extracted from RF plasma (SPIDER) - is aimed to test the full scale prototype of the Ion Source for the ITER 1 MeV Neutral Beam Injector (NBI). The SPIDER facility requires the construction of a High Voltage Deck (HVD) and of a High Voltage Transmission Line (TL) respectively to host the Ion Source Power Supplies system polarized at 100 kV and to carry the power and signal conductors to the beam accelerator. In already existing NBI systems with beam energy above 100 keV, the TL is realized with the SF{sub 6} Gas Insulated Line technology. In the SPIDER TL case, the presence of a large inner conductor (half meter diameter), would make the pressurized TL a complex and costly component; therefore a free air insulated solution has been proposed. The paper focuses on the design of this TL, which has to host inside the complex high potential (100 kV) inner electrode a number of power and measuring conductors and has to minimize the Electro Magnetic Interferences (EMI) produced by the frequent grids breakdowns. Finite Element (FE) analyses have been performed to verify the configuration from the electrostatic point of view, to evaluate EMI screening effectiveness and to assess the impact of the relatively high thermal dissipation of power conductors located inside the high potential electrode. Moreover, an experimental test campaign has been carried out on a TL mockup to validate the TL electrostatic configuration under DC voltage. Finally, the paper reports on the status of procurement activities for the Transmission Line.

  8. Spider Silk-CBD-Cellulose Nanocrystal Composites: Mechanism of Assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meirovitch, Sigal; Shtein, Zvi; Ben-Shalom, Tal; Lapidot, Shaul; Tamburu, Carmen; Hu, Xiao; Kluge, Jonathan A; Raviv, Uri; Kaplan, David L; Shoseyov, Oded

    2016-09-18

    The fabrication of cellulose-spider silk bio-nanocomposites comprised of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and recombinant spider silk protein fused to a cellulose binding domain (CBD) is described. Silk-CBD successfully binds cellulose, and unlike recombinant silk alone, silk-CBD self-assembles into microfibrils even in the absence of CNCs. Silk-CBD-CNC composite sponges and films show changes in internal structure and CNC alignment related to the addition of silk-CBD. The silk-CBD sponges exhibit improved thermal and structural characteristics in comparison to control recombinant spider silk sponges. The glass transition temperature (Tg) of the silk-CBD sponge was higher than the control silk sponge and similar to native dragline spider silk fibers. Gel filtration analysis, dynamic light scattering (DLS), small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and cryo-transmission electron microscopy (TEM) indicated that silk-CBD, but not the recombinant silk control, formed a nematic liquid crystalline phase similar to that observed in native spider silk during the silk spinning process. Silk-CBD microfibrils spontaneously formed in solution upon ultrasonication. We suggest a model for silk-CBD assembly that implicates CBD in the central role of driving the dimerization of spider silk monomers, a process essential to the molecular assembly of spider-silk nanofibers and silk-CNC composites.

  9. Spider orientation and hub position in orb webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zschokke, Samuel; Nakata, Kensuke

    2010-01-01

    Orb-web building spiders (Araneae: Araneoidea, Uloboridae) can be considered as territorial central place foragers. In territorial central place foragers, the optimal foraging arena is circular, with the forager sitting in its centre. In orb webs, the spider’s orientation (head up or head down) whilst waiting for prey on the hub of its web and the downwards-upwards asymmetry of its running speeds are the probable causes for the observed deviation of the hub from the web’s centre. Here, we present an analytical model and a more refined simulation model to analyse the relationships amongst the spider’s running speeds, its orientation whilst waiting for prey and the vertical asymmetry of orb webs. The results of our models suggest that (a) waiting for prey head down is generally favourable because it allows the spider to reach the prey in its web on average quicker than spiders waiting head up, (b) the downwards-upwards running speed asymmetry, together with the head-down orientation of most spiders, are likely causes for the observed vertical asymmetry of orb webs, (c) waiting head up can be advantageous for spiders whose downwards-upwards running speed asymmetry is small and who experience high prey tumbling rates and (d) spiders waiting head up should place their hub lower than similar spiders waiting head down.

  10. Mermithid parasitism of Hawaiian Tetragnatha spiders in a fragmented landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandergast, Amy; Roderick, George K.

    2003-01-01

    Hawaiian Tetragnatha spiders inhabiting small forest fragments on the Big Island of Hawaii are parasitized by mermithid nematodes. This is the first report of mermithid nematodes infecting spiders in Hawaii, and an initial attempt to characterize this host–parasite interaction. Because immature mermithids were not morphologically identifiable, a molecular identification was performed. A phylogenetic analysis based on 18S small ribosomal subunit nuclear gene sequences suggested that Hawaiian spider mermithids are more closely related to a mainland presumptive Aranimemis species that infects spiders, than to an insect-infecting mermithid collected on Oahu, HI, or to Mermis nigrescens, also a parasite of insects. Measured infection prevalence was low (ranging from 0 to 4%) but differed significantly among forest fragments. Infection prevalence was associated significantly with fragment area, but not with spider density nor spider species richness. Results suggest that mermithid populations are sensitive to habitat fragmentation, but that changes in infection prevalence do not appear to affect spider community structure.

  11. Spider Silk-CBD-Cellulose Nanocrystal Composites: Mechanism of Assembly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sigal Meirovitch

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The fabrication of cellulose-spider silk bio-nanocomposites comprised of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs and recombinant spider silk protein fused to a cellulose binding domain (CBD is described. Silk-CBD successfully binds cellulose, and unlike recombinant silk alone, silk-CBD self-assembles into microfibrils even in the absence of CNCs. Silk-CBD-CNC composite sponges and films show changes in internal structure and CNC alignment related to the addition of silk-CBD. The silk-CBD sponges exhibit improved thermal and structural characteristics in comparison to control recombinant spider silk sponges. The glass transition temperature (Tg of the silk-CBD sponge was higher than the control silk sponge and similar to native dragline spider silk fibers. Gel filtration analysis, dynamic light scattering (DLS, small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS and cryo-transmission electron microscopy (TEM indicated that silk-CBD, but not the recombinant silk control, formed a nematic liquid crystalline phase similar to that observed in native spider silk during the silk spinning process. Silk-CBD microfibrils spontaneously formed in solution upon ultrasonication. We suggest a model for silk-CBD assembly that implicates CBD in the central role of driving the dimerization of spider silk monomers, a process essential to the molecular assembly of spider-silk nanofibers and silk-CNC composites.

  12. Silk elasticity as a potential constraint on spider body size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A; Corcobado, Guadalupe; Moya-Laraño, Jordi

    2010-10-07

    Silk is known for its strength and extensibility and has played a key role in the radiation of spiders. Individual spiders use different glands to produce silk types with unique sets of proteins. Most research has studied the properties of major ampullate and capture spiral silks and their ecological implications, while little is known about minor ampullate silk, the type used by those spider species studied to date for bridging displacements. A biomechanical model parameterised with available data shows that the minimum radius of silk filaments required for efficient bridging grows with the square root of the spider's body mass, faster than the radius of minor ampullate silk filaments actually produced by spiders. Because the morphology of spiders adapted to walking along or under silk threads is ill suited for moving on a solid surface, for these species there is a negative relationship between body mass and displacement ability. As it stands, the model suggests that spiders that use silk for their displacements are prevented from attaining a large body size if they must track their resources in space. In particular, silk elasticity would favour sexual size dimorphism because males that must use bridging lines to search for females cannot grow large.

  13. Probing the Impact of Acidification on Spider Silk Assembly Kinetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dian; Guo, Chengchen; Holland, Gregory P

    2015-07-13

    Spiders utilize fine adjustment of the physicochemical conditions within its silk spinning system to regulate spidroin assembly into solid silk fibers with outstanding mechanical properties. However, the exact mechanism about which this occurs remains elusive and is still hotly debated. In this study, the effect of acidification on spider silk assembly was investigated on native spidroins from the major ampullate (MA) gland fluid excised from Latrodectus hesperus (Black Widow) spiders. Incubating the protein-rich MA silk gland fluid at acidic pH conditions results in the formation of silk fibers that are 10-100 μm in length and ∼2 μm in diameter as judged by optical and electron microscope methods. The in vitro spider silk assembly kinetics were monitored as a function of pH with a (13)C solid-state MAS NMR approach. The results confirm the importance of acidic pH in the spider silk self-assembly process with observation of a sigmoidal nucleation-elongation kinetic profile. The rates of nucleation and elongation as well as the percentage of β-sheet structure in the grown fibers depend on the pH. These results confirm the importance of an acidic pH gradient along the spinning duct for spider silk formation and provide a powerful spectroscopic approach to probe the kinetics of spider silk formation under various biochemical conditions.

  14. First investigation of spider silk as a braided microsurgical suture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhbier, Joern W; Reimers, Kerstin; Kasper, Cornelia; Allmeling, Christina; Hillmer, Anja; Menger, Björn; Vogt, Peter M; Radtke, Christine

    2011-05-01

    Inhibition of axonal outgrowth accompanied by neuroma formation appears in microsurgical nerve repair as reaction to common microsuture materials like silk, nylon, or polyglycolic acid. In contrast, recent findings revealed advantages of spider silk fibers in guiding Schwann cells in nerve regeneration. Here, we asked if we could braid microsutures from native spider silk fibers. Microsutures braided of native spider dragline silk were manufactured, containing either 2 × 15 or 3 × 10 single fibres strands. Morphologic appearance was studied and tensile strength and stress-strain ratio (SSR) were calculated. The constructed spider silk sutures showed a median thickness of 25 μm, matching the USP definition of 10-0. Maximum load and tensile strength for both spider silk microsutures were significantly more than 2-fold higher than for nylon suture; SSR was 1.5-fold higher. All values except elasticity were higher in 3 × 10 strand sutures compared to 2 × 15 strand sutures, but not significantly. In this pilot study, we demonstrate the successful manufacture of microsutures from spider silk. With regards to the mechanical properties, these sutures were superior to nylon sutures. As spider silk displays high biocompatibility in nerve regeneration, its usage in microsurgical nerve repair should be considered.

  15. Spider Silk-CBD-Cellulose Nanocrystal Composites: Mechanism of Assembly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meirovitch, Sigal; Shtein, Zvi; Ben-Shalom, Tal; Lapidot, Shaul; Tamburu, Carmen; Hu, Xiao; Kluge, Jonathan A.; Raviv, Uri; Kaplan, David L.; Shoseyov, Oded

    2016-01-01

    The fabrication of cellulose-spider silk bio-nanocomposites comprised of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and recombinant spider silk protein fused to a cellulose binding domain (CBD) is described. Silk-CBD successfully binds cellulose, and unlike recombinant silk alone, silk-CBD self-assembles into microfibrils even in the absence of CNCs. Silk-CBD-CNC composite sponges and films show changes in internal structure and CNC alignment related to the addition of silk-CBD. The silk-CBD sponges exhibit improved thermal and structural characteristics in comparison to control recombinant spider silk sponges. The glass transition temperature (Tg) of the silk-CBD sponge was higher than the control silk sponge and similar to native dragline spider silk fibers. Gel filtration analysis, dynamic light scattering (DLS), small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and cryo-transmission electron microscopy (TEM) indicated that silk-CBD, but not the recombinant silk control, formed a nematic liquid crystalline phase similar to that observed in native spider silk during the silk spinning process. Silk-CBD microfibrils spontaneously formed in solution upon ultrasonication. We suggest a model for silk-CBD assembly that implicates CBD in the central role of driving the dimerization of spider silk monomers, a process essential to the molecular assembly of spider-silk nanofibers and silk-CNC composites. PMID:27649169

  16. Behavioural and biomaterial coevolution in spider orb webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sensenig, A; Agnarsson, I; Blackledge, T A

    2010-09-01

    Mechanical performance of biological structures, such as tendons, byssal threads, muscles, and spider webs, is determined by a complex interplay between material quality (intrinsic material properties, larger scale morphology) and proximate behaviour. Spider orb webs are a system in which fibrous biomaterials--silks--are arranged in a complex design resulting from stereotypical behavioural patterns, to produce effective energy absorbing traps for flying prey. Orb webs show an impressive range of designs, some effective at capturing tiny insects such as midges, others that can occasionally stop even small birds. Here, we test whether material quality and behaviour (web design) co-evolve to fine-tune web function. We quantify the intrinsic material properties of the sticky capture silk and radial support threads, as well as their architectural arrangement in webs, across diverse species of orb-weaving spiders to estimate the maximum potential performance of orb webs as energy absorbing traps. We find a dominant pattern of material and behavioural coevolution where evolutionary shifts to larger body sizes, a common result of fecundity selection in spiders, is repeatedly accompanied by improved web performance because of changes in both silk material and web spinning behaviours. Large spiders produce silk with improved material properties, and also use more silk, to make webs with superior stopping potential. After controlling for spider size, spiders spinning higher quality silk used it more sparsely in webs. This implies that improvements in silk quality enable 'sparser' architectural designs, or alternatively that spiders spinning lower quality silk compensate architecturally for the inferior material quality of their silk. In summary, spider silk material properties are fine-tuned to the architectures of webs across millions of years of diversification, a coevolutionary pattern not yet clearly demonstrated for other important biomaterials such as tendon, mollusc

  17. Structural and optical studies on selected web spinning spider silks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karthikeyani, R.; Divya, A.; Mathavan, T.; Asath, R. Mohamed; Benial, A. Milton Franklin; Muthuchelian, K.

    2017-01-01

    This study investigates the structural and optical properties in the cribellate silk of the sheet web spider Stegodyphus sarasinorum Karsch (Eresidae) and the combined dragline, viscid silk of the orb-web spiders Argiope pulchella Thorell (Araneidae) and Nephila pilipes Fabricius (Nephilidae). X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR), Ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) and fluorescence spectroscopic techniques were used to study these three spider silk species. X-ray diffraction data are consistent with the amorphous polymer network which is arising from the interaction of larger side chain amino acid contributions due to the poly-glycine rich sequences known to be present in the proteins of cribellate silk. The same amorphous polymer networks have been determined from the combined dragline and viscid silk of orb-web spiders. From FTIR spectra the results demonstrate that, cribellate silk of Stegodyphus sarasinorum, combined dragline viscid silk of Argiope pulchella and Nephila pilipes spider silks are showing protein peaks in the amide I, II and III regions. Further they proved that the functional groups present in the protein moieties are attributed to α-helical and side chain amino acid contributions. The optical properties of the obtained spider silks such as extinction coefficients, refractive index, real and imaginary dielectric constants and optical conductance were studied extensively from UV-Vis analysis. The important fluorescent amino acid tyrosine is present in the protein folding was investigated by using fluorescence spectroscopy. This research would explore the protein moieties present in the spider silks which were found to be associated with α-helix and side chain amino acid contributions than with β-sheet secondary structure and also the optical relationship between the three different spider silks are investigated. Successful spectroscopic knowledge of the internal protein structure and optical properties of the spider silks could

  18. Structural and optical studies on selected web spinning spider silks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karthikeyani, R; Divya, A; Mathavan, T; Asath, R Mohamed; Benial, A Milton Franklin; Muthuchelian, K

    2017-01-01

    This study investigates the structural and optical properties in the cribellate silk of the sheet web spider Stegodyphus sarasinorum Karsch (Eresidae) and the combined dragline, viscid silk of the orb-web spiders Argiope pulchella Thorell (Araneidae) and Nephila pilipes Fabricius (Nephilidae). X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR), Ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) and fluorescence spectroscopic techniques were used to study these three spider silk species. X-ray diffraction data are consistent with the amorphous polymer network which is arising from the interaction of larger side chain amino acid contributions due to the poly-glycine rich sequences known to be present in the proteins of cribellate silk. The same amorphous polymer networks have been determined from the combined dragline and viscid silk of orb-web spiders. From FTIR spectra the results demonstrate that, cribellate silk of Stegodyphus sarasinorum, combined dragline viscid silk of Argiope pulchella and Nephila pilipes spider silks are showing protein peaks in the amide I, II and III regions. Further they proved that the functional groups present in the protein moieties are attributed to α-helical and side chain amino acid contributions. The optical properties of the obtained spider silks such as extinction coefficients, refractive index, real and imaginary dielectric constants and optical conductance were studied extensively from UV-Vis analysis. The important fluorescent amino acid tyrosine is present in the protein folding was investigated by using fluorescence spectroscopy. This research would explore the protein moieties present in the spider silks which were found to be associated with α-helix and side chain amino acid contributions than with β-sheet secondary structure and also the optical relationship between the three different spider silks are investigated. Successful spectroscopic knowledge of the internal protein structure and optical properties of the spider silks could

  19. INTERVENTION PROGRAM FOR NURSING STAFF REGARDING APPROACH TO A PATIENT WITH SPIDER PHOBIA AND/OR BITE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Agroudi, Mahfouz Ahmad; Ahmed, Salwa Abdalla Mohammad; Morsy, Tosson A

    2016-04-01

    Spider bites are uncommon medical events, since there are limited number of spiders world-wide with fangs strong enough to pierce human skin, and most spiders bite humans only as a final defense when being crushed between skin and another object. Thus, most lesions attributed to spider bites are caused by some other etiology. The spiders that can cause medically significant bites include widow and false widow spiders (worldwide), recluse spiders (mostly North and South America), Australian funnel web spiders (eastern coastal Australia) and Phoneutria spiders (Brazil). Acute spider bites most commonly result in a solitary papule, pustule, or wheal. Systemic symptoms can accompany envenomation of widow; funnel web, and Phoneutria spiders, and less often, those of recluse spiders.

  20. Phylogenomics resolves a spider backbone phylogeny and rejects a prevailing paradigm for orb web evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bond, Jason E; Garrison, Nicole L; Hamilton, Chris A; Godwin, Rebecca L; Hedin, Marshal; Agnarsson, Ingi

    2014-08-04

    Spiders represent an ancient predatory lineage known for their extraordinary biomaterials, including venoms and silks. These adaptations make spiders key arthropod predators in most terrestrial ecosystems. Despite ecological, biomedical, and biomaterial importance, relationships among major spider lineages remain unresolved or poorly supported. Current working hypotheses for a spider "backbone" phylogeny are largely based on morphological evidence, as most molecular markers currently employed are generally inadequate for resolving deeper-level relationships. We present here a phylogenomic analysis of spiders including taxa representing all major spider lineages. Our robust phylogenetic hypothesis recovers some fundamental and uncontroversial spider clades, but rejects the prevailing paradigm of a monophyletic Orbiculariae, the most diverse lineage, containing orb-weaving spiders. Based on our results, the orb web either evolved much earlier than previously hypothesized and is ancestral for a majority of spiders or else it has multiple independent origins, as hypothesized by precladistic authors. Cribellate deinopoid orb weavers that use mechanically adhesive silk are more closely related to a diverse clade of mostly webless spiders than to the araneoid orb-weaving spiders that use adhesive droplet silks. The fundamental shift in our understanding of spider phylogeny proposed here has broad implications for interpreting the evolution of spiders, their remarkable biomaterials, and a key extended phenotype--the spider web.

  1. Spiders (Araneae) Found in Bananas and Other International Cargo Submitted to North American Arachnologists for Identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, Richard S; Crawford, Rodney L; Buckle, Donald J

    2014-11-01

    Spiders found in international cargo brought into North America are sometimes submitted to arachnologists for identification. Often, these spiders are presumed to be of medical importance because of size or a submitter's familiarity with a toxic spider genus from the continent of origin. Starting in 2006, requests were made for spiders found in international cargo brought into North America, in addition to the specimens from similar cargo shipments already in our museum collections. This was an ad hoc study that allowed us to focus on spiders of concern to the discoverer. We identified 135 spiders found in international cargo. A key for the most common species is provided. The most frequently submitted spiders were the pantropical huntsman spider, Heteropoda venatoria (L.) (Sparassidae), and the redfaced banana spider, Cupiennius chiapanensis Medina Soriano (Ctenidae). Spiders of medical importance were rare. The most common cargo from which spiders were submitted was bananas with most specimens coming from Central America, Ecuador, or Colombia. Lack of experience with nonnative fauna caused several experienced American arachnologists to misidentify harmless ctenid spiders (C. chiapanensis, spotlegged banana spider, Cupiennius getazi Simon) as highly toxic Phoneutria spiders. These misidentifications could have led to costly, unwarranted prophylactic eradication measures, unnecessary employee health education, heightened employee anxiety and spoilage when perishable goods are left unloaded due to safety concerns.

  2. Misdiagnosis of spider bites: bacterial associates, mechanical pathogen transfer, and hemolytic potential of venom from the hobo spider, Tegenaria agrestis (Araneae: Agelenidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaver-Wainwright, Melissa M; Zack, Richard S; Foradori, Matthew J; Lavine, Laura Corley

    2011-03-01

    The European spider Tegenaria agrestis (Walckenaer) (hobo spider) has been implicated as a spider of medical importance in the Pacific Northwest since its introduction in the late 1980s. Studies have indicated that the hobo spider causes necrotic tissue lesions through hemolytic venom or through the transfer of pathogenic bacteria introduced by its bite. Bacterial infections are often diagnosed as spider bites, in particular the pathogenic bacteria methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This study examines three aspects of the potential medical importance of hobo spiders in part of its introduced range, Washington State. First, the bacterial diversity of the spider was surveyed using a polymerase chain reaction-based assay to determine whether the spider carries any pathogenic bacteria. Second, an experiment was conducted to determine the ability of the spiders to transfer MRSA. Third, the venom was evaluated to assess the hemolytic activity. We found 10 genera of ubiquitous bacteria on the exterior surface of the spiders. In addition, none of the spiders exposed to MRSA transferred this pathogen. Finally, the hemolytic venom assay corroborates previous studies that found hobo spider venom was not deleterious to vertebrate red blood cells.

  3. Sex-specific kleptoparasitic foraging in ant-eating spiders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martisová, Martina; Bilde, T.; Pekar, Stano

    2009-01-01

    Foraging by intraspecific kleptoparasitism is widespread among animal taxa. Most kleptoparasitic interactions are considered facultative, and can be influenced by life history stage and trade-offs with other activities such as mate searching. Trade-offs with mating strategies are often sex specific....... To investigate this hypothesis, we studied the effect of sex and life history stage on the frequency of kleptoparasitism in ant-eating spiders of the genus Zodarion in the field. These spiders use a special capture technique involving a quick attack on an ant that is left unguarded by spiders for several minutes...

  4. Spider silk: a novel optical fibre for biochemical sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hey Tow, Kenny; Chow, Desmond M.; Vollrath, Fritz; Dicaire, Isabelle; Gheysens, Tom; Thévenaz, Luc

    2015-09-01

    Whilst being thoroughly used in the textile industry and biomedical sector, silk has not yet been exploited for fibre optics-based sensing although silk fibres directly obtained from spiders can guide light and have shown early promises to being sensitive to some solvents. In this communication, a pioneering optical fibre sensor based on spider silk is reported, demonstrating for the first time the use of spider silk as an optical fibre sensor to detect polar solvents such as water, ammonia and acetic acid.

  5. Biotechnological Trends in Spider and Scorpion Antivenom Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Solà, Mireia; Jappe, Emma Christine;

    2016-01-01

    Spiders and scorpions are notorious for their fearful dispositions and their ability to inject venom into prey and predators, causing symptoms such as necrosis, paralysis, and excruciating pain. Information on venom composition and the toxins present in these species is growing due to an interest...... at an increasingly faster pace. In this review, the current knowledge of spider and scorpion venoms is presented, followed by a discussion of all published biotechnological efforts within development of spider and scorpion antitoxins based on small molecules, antibodies and fragments thereof, and next generation...

  6. Recent Results from the 2015 flight of Spider

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, William C.

    2016-06-01

    Spider is a balloon borne mm-wave polarimeter designed to provide high fidelity measurements of the large scale polarization of the microwave sky. Spider flew a 17 day mission in January 2015, mapping roughly 10% of the full sky (4500 square degrees) in the southern Galactic hemisphere at each of 94 and 150 GHz. Spider achieved an instrumental sensitivity of 4 μ K_{CMB}√{s}, providing maps that exceed the sensitivity of the Planck data. We discuss these data, the current status of our science analysis, and our understanding of the Galacticforeground emission in this high latitude region.

  7. Artificial Economy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandru JIVAN

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes to eliminate, a routine in the economic thinking, claimed to be responsible for the negative essence of economic developments, from the point of view, of the ecological implications (employment in the planetary ecosystem. The methodological foundations start from the natural origins of the functionality of the human economic society according to the originary physiocrat liberalism, and from specific natural characteristics of the humankind. This paper begins with a comment-analysis of the difference between natural and artificial within the economy, and then explains some of the most serious diversions from the natural essence of economic liberalism. It shall be explained the original (heterodox interpretation of the Classical political economy (economics, by making calls to the Romanian economic thinking from aggravating past century. Highlighting the destructive impact of the economy - which, under the invoked doctrines, we call unnatural - allows an intuitive presentation of a logical extension of Marshall's market price, based on previous research. Besides the doctrinal arguments presented, the economic realities inventoried along the way (major deficiencies and effects, determined demonstrate the validity of the hypothesis of the unnatural character and therefore necessarily to be corrected, of the concept and of the mechanisms of the current economy.The results of this paper consist of original heterodox methodspresented, intuitive or developed that can be found conclusively within the key proposals for education and regulation.

  8. Inbreeding avoidance in spiders: evidence for rescue effect in fecundity of female spiders with outbreeding opportunity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bilde, T.; Maklakov, A.A.; Schilling, Nadia

    2007-01-01

    for unrelated sperm via pre- and/or post-copulatory mechanisms could restore female fitness when inbreeding depression increases. Using inbred isofemale lines we provided female spiders with one or two male spiders of different relatedness in five combinations: one male sib; one male nonsib; two male sibs; two...... male nonsibs; one male sib and one male nonsib. We assessed the effect of mating treatment on fecundity and hatching success of eggs after one and three generations of inbreeding. Inbreeding depression in F1 was not sufficient to detect inbreeding avoidance. In F3, inbreeding depression caused a major...... decline in fecundity and hatching rates of eggs. This effect was mitigated by complete recovery in fecundity in the sib-nonsib treatment, whereas no rescue effect was detected in the hatching success of eggs. The rescue effect is best explained by post-mating discrimination against kin via differential...

  9. Optical surface profiling of orb-web spider capture silks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kane, D M; Joyce, A M; Staib, G R [Department of Physics, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109 (Australia); Herberstein, M E, E-mail: deb.kane@mq.edu.a [Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109 (Australia)

    2010-09-15

    Much spider silk research to date has focused on its mechanical properties. However, the webs of many orb-web spiders have evolved for over 136 million years to evade visual detection by insect prey. It is therefore a photonic device in addition to being a mechanical device. Herein we use optical surface profiling of capture silks from the webs of adult female St Andrews cross spiders (Argiope keyserlingi) to successfully measure the geometry of adhesive silk droplets and to show a bowing in the aqueous layer on the spider capture silk between adhesive droplets. Optical surface profiling shows geometric features of the capture silk that have not been previously measured and contributes to understanding the links between the physical form and biological function. The research also demonstrates non-standard use of an optical surface profiler to measure the maximum width of a transparent micro-sized droplet (microlens).

  10. Unravelling the biodiversity of nanoscale signatures of spider silk fibres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Luciano P.; Rech, Elibio L.

    2013-12-01

    Living organisms are masters at designing outstanding self-assembled nanostructures through a hierarchical organization of modular proteins. Protein-based biopolymers improved and selected by the driving forces of molecular evolution are among the most impressive archetypes of nanomaterials. One of these biomacromolecules is the myriad of compound fibroins of spider silks, which combine surprisingly high tensile strength with great elasticity. However, no consensus on the nano-organization of spider silk fibres has been reached. Here we explore the biodiversity of spider silk fibres, focusing on nanoscale characterization with high-resolution atomic force microscopy. Our results reveal an evolution of the nanoroughness, nanostiffness, nanoviscoelastic, nanotribological and nanoelectric organization of microfibres, even when they share similar sizes and shapes. These features are related to unique aspects of their molecular structures. The results show that combined nanoscale analyses of spider silks may enable the screening of appropriate motifs for bioengineering synthetic fibres from recombinant proteins.

  11. Bromeliad-living spiders improve host plant nutrition and growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, Gustavo Q; Mazzafera, Paulo; Vasconcellos-Neto, Joao; Trivelin, Paulo C O

    2006-04-01

    Although bromeliads are believed to obtain nutrients from debris deposited by animals in their rosettes, there is little evidence to support this assumption. Using stable isotope methods, we found that the Neotropical jumping spider Psecas chapoda (Salticidae), which lives strictly associated with the terrestrial bromeliad Bromelia balansae, contributed 18% of the total nitrogen of its host plant in a greenhouse experiment. In a one-year field experiment, plants with spiders produced leaves 15% longer than plants from which the spiders were excluded. This is the first study to show nutrient provisioning in a spider-plant system. Because several animal species live strictly associated with bromeliad rosettes, this type of facultative mutualism involving the Bromeliaceae may be more common than previously thought.

  12. Beyond PICO: the SPIDER tool for qualitative evidence synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, Alison; Smith, Debbie; Booth, Andrew

    2012-10-01

    Standardized systematic search strategies facilitate rigor in research. Current search tools focus on retrieval of quantitative research. In this article we address issues relating to using existing search strategy tools, most typically the PICO (Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome) formulation for defining key elements of a review question, when searching for qualitative and mixed methods research studies. An alternative search strategy tool for qualitative/mixed methods research is outlined: SPIDER (Sample, Phenomenon of Interest, Design, Evaluation, Research type). We used both the SPIDER and PICO search strategy tools with a qualitative research question. We have used the SPIDER tool to advance thinking beyond PICO in its suitable application to qualitative and mixed methods research. However, we have highlighted once more the need for improved indexing of qualitative articles in databases. To constitute a viable alternative to PICO, SPIDER needs to be refined and tested on a wider range of topics.

  13. Molecular spring: from spider silk to silkworm silk

    CERN Document Server

    Wu, Xiang; Du, Ning; Xu, Gang-Qin; Li, Bao-Wen

    2009-01-01

    In this letter, we adopt a new approach combining theoretical modeling with silk stretching measurements to explore the mystery of the structures between silkworm and spider silks, leading to the differences in mechanical response against stretching. Hereby the typical stress-strain profiles are reproduced by implementing the newly discovered and verified "$\\beta$-sheet splitting" mechanism, which primarily varies the secondary structure of protein macromolecules; our modeling and simulation results show good accordance with the experimental measurements. Hence, it can be concluded that the post-yielding mechanical behaviors of both kinds of silks are resulted from the splitting of crystallines while the high extensibility of spider dragline is attributed to the tiny $\\beta$-sheets solely existed in spider silk fibrils. This research reveals for the first time the structural factors leading to the significant difference between spider and silkworm silks in mechanical response to the stretching force. Addition...

  14. Biomimetic calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yang, Liang; Hedhammar, My; Blom, Tobias; Leifer, Klaus; Johansson, Jan; Habibovic, Pamela; Blitterswijk, van Clemens A.

    2010-01-01

    Calcium phosphate ceramic coatings, applied on surfaces of metallic and polymeric biomaterials, can improve their performance in bone repair and regeneration. Spider silk is biocompatible, strong and elastic, and hence an attractive biomaterial for applications in connective tissue repair. Recently,

  15. Spiders of the Great Dismal Swamp: Lake Drummond 1977

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report outlines the results of a study of spiders that was conducted along the shores of Lake Drummond, in the Great Dismal Swamp. The purpose of the study was...

  16. Early events in the evolution of spider silk genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Starrett

    Full Text Available Silk spinning is essential to spider ecology and has had a key role in the expansive diversification of spiders. Silk is composed primarily of proteins called spidroins, which are encoded by a multi-gene family. Spidroins have been studied extensively in the derived clade, Orbiculariae (orb-weavers, from the suborder Araneomorphae ('true spiders'. Orbicularians produce a suite of different silks, and underlying this repertoire is a history of duplication and spidroin gene divergence. A second class of silk proteins, Egg Case Proteins (ECPs, is known only from the orbicularian species, Lactrodectus hesperus (Western black widow. In L. hesperus, ECPs bond with tubuliform spidroins to form egg case silk fibers. Because most of the phylogenetic diversity of spiders has not been sampled for their silk genes, there is limited understanding of spidroin gene family history and the prevalence of ECPs. Silk genes have not been reported from the suborder Mesothelae (segmented spiders, which diverged from all other spiders >380 million years ago, and sampling from Mygalomorphae (tarantulas, trapdoor spiders and basal araneomorph lineages is sparse. In comparison to orbicularians, mesotheles and mygalomorphs have a simpler silk biology and thus are hypothesized to have less diversity of silk genes. Here, we present cDNAs synthesized from the silk glands of six mygalomorph species, a mesothele, and a non-orbicularian araneomorph, and uncover a surprisingly rich silk gene diversity. In particular, we find ECP homologs in the mesothele, suggesting that ECPs were present in the common ancestor of extant spiders, and originally were not specialized to complex with tubuliform spidroins. Furthermore, gene-tree/species-tree reconciliation analysis reveals that numerous spidroin gene duplications occurred after the split between Mesothelae and Opisthothelae (Mygalomorphae plus Araneomorphae. We use the spidroin gene tree to reconstruct the evolution of amino acid

  17. Early events in the evolution of spider silk genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starrett, James; Garb, Jessica E; Kuelbs, Amanda; Azubuike, Ugochi O; Hayashi, Cheryl Y

    2012-01-01

    Silk spinning is essential to spider ecology and has had a key role in the expansive diversification of spiders. Silk is composed primarily of proteins called spidroins, which are encoded by a multi-gene family. Spidroins have been studied extensively in the derived clade, Orbiculariae (orb-weavers), from the suborder Araneomorphae ('true spiders'). Orbicularians produce a suite of different silks, and underlying this repertoire is a history of duplication and spidroin gene divergence. A second class of silk proteins, Egg Case Proteins (ECPs), is known only from the orbicularian species, Lactrodectus hesperus (Western black widow). In L. hesperus, ECPs bond with tubuliform spidroins to form egg case silk fibers. Because most of the phylogenetic diversity of spiders has not been sampled for their silk genes, there is limited understanding of spidroin gene family history and the prevalence of ECPs. Silk genes have not been reported from the suborder Mesothelae (segmented spiders), which diverged from all other spiders >380 million years ago, and sampling from Mygalomorphae (tarantulas, trapdoor spiders) and basal araneomorph lineages is sparse. In comparison to orbicularians, mesotheles and mygalomorphs have a simpler silk biology and thus are hypothesized to have less diversity of silk genes. Here, we present cDNAs synthesized from the silk glands of six mygalomorph species, a mesothele, and a non-orbicularian araneomorph, and uncover a surprisingly rich silk gene diversity. In particular, we find ECP homologs in the mesothele, suggesting that ECPs were present in the common ancestor of extant spiders, and originally were not specialized to complex with tubuliform spidroins. Furthermore, gene-tree/species-tree reconciliation analysis reveals that numerous spidroin gene duplications occurred after the split between Mesothelae and Opisthothelae (Mygalomorphae plus Araneomorphae). We use the spidroin gene tree to reconstruct the evolution of amino acid compositions of

  18. Mechanics and Morphology of Silk Drawn from Anesthetized Spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madsen, B.; Vollrath, F.

    CO2 and N2 anesthetized Nephila spiders produced dragline silk with mechanical properties that differed from control silk as a function of time under anesthesia. Silk from CO2 spiders had a significantly lower breaking strain and breaking energy, significantly higher initial modulus, and marginally lower breaking stress. At the onset of anesthesia the silk diameter became highly variable. During deep anesthesia silk either became thinner or retained cross-section but fibrillated.

  19. Endosymbiont dominated bacterial communities in a dwarf spider.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bram Vanthournout

    Full Text Available The microbial community of spiders is little known, with previous studies focussing primarily on the medical importance of spiders as vectors of pathogenic bacteria and on the screening of known cytoplasmic endosymbiont bacteria. These screening studies have been performed by means of specific primers that only amplify a selective set of endosymbionts, hampering the detection of unreported species in spiders. In order to have a more complete overview of the bacterial species that can be present in spiders, we applied a combination of a cloning assay, DGGE profiling and high-throughput sequencing on multiple individuals of the dwarf spider Oedothorax gibbosus. This revealed a co-infection of at least three known (Wolbachia, Rickettsia and Cardinium and the detection of a previously unreported endosymbiont bacterium (Rhabdochlamydia in spiders. 16S rRNA gene sequences of Rhabdochlamydia matched closely with those of Candidatus R. porcellionis, which is currently only reported as a pathogen from a woodlouse and with Candidatus R. crassificans reported from a cockroach. Remarkably, this bacterium appears to present in very high proportions in one of the two populations only, with all investigated females being infected. We also recovered Acinetobacter in high abundance in one individual. In total, more than 99% of approximately 4.5M high-throughput sequencing reads were restricted to these five bacterial species. In contrast to previously reported screening studies of terrestrial arthropods, our results suggest that the bacterial communities in this spider species are dominated by, or even restricted to endosymbiont bacteria. Given the high prevalence of endosymbiont species in spiders, this bacterial community pattern could be widespread in the Araneae order.

  20. Molecular Fundaments of Mechanical Properties of Spider Silk

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    潘志娟; 刘敏; 李春萍; 李栋高; 盛家镛

    2003-01-01

    Dragline,framework and cocoon silk fibers of Araneus Ventricosus were used for this study.To investigate the microstructure mechanisms of stress-strain behavior of spider silk,firstly,amino acid compositions were analyzed and molecular conformations and crystallinity were measured with Raman spectra and X-ray diffraction respectively.The results showed that there were more amino acids with large side groups and polar ones in spider silk than those of Bombyx silk,and the amino acid distribution varied with different spider silk.The molecular structures were mainly α-helix and β-sheet,and random coil and β-turn existed as well.The proportions and arrangement of these conformations of dragline silk were different from framework and cocoon silk fibers.Microstructure was one of important factors of excellent mechanical properties of spider silk.Crystallinity of spider silk was very low,which implied that the roles of crystal on spider silk were not as great as other protein fibers.

  1. Nutrient deprivation induces property variations in spider gluey silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blamires, Sean J; Sahni, Vasav; Dhinojwala, Ali; Blackledge, Todd A; Tso, I-Min

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms facilitating property variability in biological adhesives may promote biomimetic innovations. Spider gluey silks such as the spiral threads in orb webs and the gumfoot threads in cobwebs, both of which comprise of an axial thread coated by glue, are biological adhesives that have variable physical and chemical properties. Studies show that the physical and chemical properties of orb web gluey threads change when spiders are deprived of food. It is, however, unknown whether gumfoot threads undergo similar property variations when under nutritional stress. Here we tested whether protein deprivation induces similar variations in spiral and gumfoot thread morphology and stickiness. We manipulated protein intake for the orb web spider Nephila clavipes and the cobweb spider Latrodectus hesperus and measured the diameter, glue droplet volume, number of droplets per mm, axial thread width, thread stickiness and adhesive energy of their gluey silks. We found that the gluey silks of both species were stickier when the spiders were deprived of protein than when the spiders were fed protein. In N. clavipes a concomitant increase in glue droplet volume was found. Load-extension curves showed that protein deprivation induced glue property variations independent of the axial thread extensions in both species. We predicted that changes in salt composition of the glues were primarily responsible for the changes in stickiness of the silks, although changes in axial thread properties might also contribute. We, additionally, showed that N. clavipes' glue changes color under protein deprivation, probably as a consequence of changes to its biochemical composition.

  2. A clinical and epidemiological study on spider bites in Turkey

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yildirim Cesaretli; Ozcan Ozkan

    2011-01-01

    Objective:To classify and characterize spider bites among inquiries to the National Poison Information Center (NPIC) between1995 and2004, in terms of the epidemiology and clinical symptomatology.Methods: Clinical and epidemiological data were obtained from theNPIC’s patient records. The following information was recorded for each spider bite: demographics, circumstances of the bite, and local and systemic effects.Results: A total of82 cases were reported. The accidents were mostly seen during August. The gender distribution was59.76%male, 37.20% female, and2.44% unknown and the20-29 age group presented more spider bites. Most of the cases were in the Central Anatolia, Marmara, Mediterranean, and Black Sea regions. Local symptoms were observed in60.87% of the cases, including local pain, edema, redness, itching, debris, burning, and numbness. Systemic symptoms were observed such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, lethargy, anxiety, weakness, somnolence, dyspnea, hypertension, hypotension, and hyperthermia.Conclusions: In conclusion, these findings emphasize the presence of medically important spider species in Turkey. All patients and especially pediatric patients should be admitted to the hospital. Identification of spider species may be considered a useful clinical and epidemiological tool in determining the incidence and risk of spider bites.

  3. Biodiversity baseline of the French Guiana spider fauna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vedel, Vincent; Rheims, Christina; Murienne, Jérôme; Brescovit, Antonio Domingos

    2013-01-01

    The need for an updated list of spiders found in French Guiana rose recently due to many upcoming studies planned. In this paper, we list spiders from French Guiana from existing literature (with corrected nomenclature when necessary) and from 2142 spiders sampled in 12 sites for this baseline study. Three hundred and sixty four validated species names of spider were found in the literature and previous authors' works. Additional sampling, conducted for this study added another 89 identified species and 62 other species with only a genus name for now. The total species of spiders sampled in French Guiana is currently 515. Many other Morphospecies were found but not described as species yet. An accumulation curve was drawn with seven of the sampling sites and shows no plateau yet. Therefore, the number of species inhabiting French Guiana cannot yet be determined. As the very large number of singletons found in the collected materials suggests, the accumulation curve indicates nevertheless that more sampling is necessary to discover the many unknown spider species living in French Guiana, with a focus on specific periods (dry season and wet season) and on specific and poorly studied habitats such as canopy, inselberg and cambrouze (local bamboo monospecific forest).

  4. SPIDER Progress Towards High Resolution Correlated Fission Product Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Dan; Meierbachtol, Krista; Tovesson, Fredrik; Arnold, Charles; Blackeley, Rick; Bredeweg, Todd; Devlin, Matt; Hecht, Adam; Jandel, Marian; Jorgenson, Justin; Nelson, Ron; White, Morgan; Spider Team

    2014-09-01

    The SPIDER detector (SPectrometer for Ion DEtermination in fission Research) is under development with the goal of obtaining high-resolution, high-efficiency, correlated fission product data needed for many applications including the modeling of next generation nuclear reactors, stockpile stewardship, and the fundamental understanding of the fission process. SPIDER simultaneously measures velocity and energy of both fission products to calculate fission product yields (FPYs), neutron multiplicity (ν), and total kinetic energy (TKE). A detailed description of the prototype SPIDER detector components will be presented. Characterization measurements with alpha and spontaneous fission sources will also be discussed. LA-UR-14-24875. The SPIDER detector (SPectrometer for Ion DEtermination in fission Research) is under development with the goal of obtaining high-resolution, high-efficiency, correlated fission product data needed for many applications including the modeling of next generation nuclear reactors, stockpile stewardship, and the fundamental understanding of the fission process. SPIDER simultaneously measures velocity and energy of both fission products to calculate fission product yields (FPYs), neutron multiplicity (ν), and total kinetic energy (TKE). A detailed description of the prototype SPIDER detector components will be presented. Characterization measurements with alpha and spontaneous fission sources will also be discussed. LA-UR-14-24875. This work is in part supported by LANL Laboratory Directed Research and Development Projects 20110037DR and 20120077DR.

  5. Place avoidance learning and memory in a jumping spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peckmezian, Tina; Taylor, Phillip W

    2017-03-01

    Using a conditioned passive place avoidance paradigm, we investigated the relative importance of three experimental parameters on learning and memory in a salticid, Servaea incana. Spiders encountered an aversive electric shock stimulus paired with one side of a two-sided arena. Our three parameters were the ecological relevance of the visual stimulus, the time interval between trials and the time interval before test. We paired electric shock with either a black or white visual stimulus, as prior studies in our laboratory have demonstrated that S. incana prefer dark 'safe' regions to light ones. We additionally evaluated the influence of two temporal features (time interval between trials and time interval before test) on learning and memory. Spiders exposed to the shock stimulus learned to associate shock with the visual background cue, but the extent to which they did so was dependent on which visual stimulus was present and the time interval between trials. Spiders trained with a long interval between trials (24 h) maintained performance throughout training, whereas spiders trained with a short interval (10 min) maintained performance only when the safe side was black. When the safe side was white, performance worsened steadily over time. There was no difference between spiders tested after a short (10 min) or long (24 h) interval before test. These results suggest that the ecological relevance of the stimuli used and the duration of the interval between trials can influence learning and memory in jumping spiders.

  6. Relatedness facilitates cooperation in the subsocial spider, Stegodyphus tentoriicola

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bilde Trine

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cooperative hunting and foraging in spiders is rare and prone to cheating such that the actions of selfish individuals negatively affect the whole group. The resulting social dilemma may be mitigated by kin selection since related individuals lose indirect fitness benefits by acting selfishly. Indeed, cooperation with genetic kin reduces the disadvantages of within-group competition in the subsocial spider Stegodyphus lineatus, supporting the hypothesis that high relatedness is an important pre-adaptation in the transition to sociality in spiders. In this study we examined the consequences of group size and relatedness on cooperative feeding in the subsocial spider S. tentoriicola, a species suggested to be at the transition to permanent sociality. Results We formed groups of 3 and 6 spiders that were either siblings or non-siblings. We found that increasing group size negatively affected feeding efficiency but that these negative effects were reduced in sib-groups. Sib groups were more likely to feed cooperatively and all group members grew more homogenously than groups of unrelated spiders. The measured differences did not translate into differential growth or mortality during the experimental period of 8 weeks. Conclusion The combination of our results with those from previous studies indicates that the conflict between individual interests and group interests may be reduced by nepotism and that the latter promote the maintenance of the social community.

  7. Sperm Dynamics in Spiders (Araneae): Ultrastructural Analysis of the Sperm Activation Process in the Garden Spider Argiope bruennichi (Scopoli, 1772)

    OpenAIRE

    Oliver Vöcking; Gabriele Uhl; Peter Michalik

    2013-01-01

    Storage of sperm inside the female genital tract is an integral phase of reproduction in many animal species. The sperm storage site constitutes the arena for sperm activation, sperm competition and female sperm choice. Consequently, to understand animal mating systems information on the processes that occur from sperm transfer to fertilization is required. Here, we focus on sperm activation in spiders. Male spiders produce sperm whose cell components are coiled within the sperm cell and that...

  8. Spider Web DNA: A New Spin on Noninvasive Genetics of Predator and Prey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles C Y Xu

    Full Text Available Noninvasive genetic sampling enables biomonitoring without the need to directly observe or disturb target organisms. This paper describes a novel and promising source of noninvasive spider and insect DNA from spider webs. Using black widow spiders (Latrodectus spp. fed with house crickets (Acheta domesticus, we successfully extracted, amplified, and sequenced mitochondrial DNA from spider web samples that identified both spider and prey to species. Detectability of spider DNA did not differ between assays with amplicon sizes from 135 to 497 base pairs. Spider and prey DNA remained detectable at least 88 days after living organisms were no longer present on the web. Spider web DNA as a proof-of-concept may open doors to other practical applications in conservation research, pest management, biogeography studies, and biodiversity assessments.

  9. Spider Web DNA: A New Spin on Noninvasive Genetics of Predator and Prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Charles C Y; Yen, Ivy J; Bowman, Dean; Turner, Cameron R

    2015-01-01

    Noninvasive genetic sampling enables biomonitoring without the need to directly observe or disturb target organisms. This paper describes a novel and promising source of noninvasive spider and insect DNA from spider webs. Using black widow spiders (Latrodectus spp.) fed with house crickets (Acheta domesticus), we successfully extracted, amplified, and sequenced mitochondrial DNA from spider web samples that identified both spider and prey to species. Detectability of spider DNA did not differ between assays with amplicon sizes from 135 to 497 base pairs. Spider and prey DNA remained detectable at least 88 days after living organisms were no longer present on the web. Spider web DNA as a proof-of-concept may open doors to other practical applications in conservation research, pest management, biogeography studies, and biodiversity assessments.

  10. Science 101: Why Don't Spiders Stick to Their Own Webs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Bill

    2011-01-01

    This article explains why spiders don't stick to their webs. Spiders don't get stuck in their own webs (and they aren't immune to their own glue) because they use a combination of sticky and nonsticky threads (different glands for producing those), and the glue is in droplets that the spider can avoid but the prey can't. The spider's nervous…

  11. Brain dynamics in spider-phobic individuals exposed to phobia-relevant and other emotional stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    Michalowski, Jaroslaw; Melzig, Christiane; Weike, Almut I.; Stockburger, Jessica; Schupp, Harald Thomas; Hamm, Alfons

    2009-01-01

    Dense sensor event-related brain potentials were measured in participants with spider phobia and nonfearful controls during viewing of phobia-relevant spider and standard emotional (pleasant, unpleasant, neutral) pictures. Irrespective of the picture content, spider phobia participants responded with larger P1 amplitudes than controls, suggesting increased vigilance in this group. Furthermore, spider phobia participants showed a significantly enlarged early posterior negativity (EPN) and late...

  12. Male-directed infanticide in spider monkeys (Ateles spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez, Sara; Di Fiore, Anthony; Champion, Jane; Pavelka, Mary Susan; Páez, Johanna; Link, Andrés

    2015-04-01

    Infanticide is considered a conspicuous expression of sexual conflict amongst mammals, including at least 35 primate species. Here we describe two suspected and one attempted case of intragroup infanticide in spider monkeys that augment five prior cases of observed or suspected infanticide in this genus. Contrary to the typical pattern of infanticide seen in most primate societies, where infants are killed by conspecifics independent of their sex, all eight cases of observed or suspected infanticide in spider monkeys have been directed toward male infants within their first weeks of life. Moreover, although data are still scant, infanticides seem to be perpetrated exclusively by adult males against infants from their own social groups and are not associated with male takeovers or a sudden rise in male dominance rank. Although the slow reproductive cycles of spider monkeys might favor the presence of infanticide because of the potential to shorten females' interbirth intervals, infanticide is nonetheless uncommon among spider monkeys, and patterns of male-directed infanticide are not yet understood. We suggest that given the potentially close genetic relationships among adult males within spider monkey groups, and the need for males to cooperate with one another in territorial interactions with other groups of related males, infanticide may be expected to occur primarily where the level of intragroup competition among males outweighs that of competition between social groups. Finally, we suggest that infanticide in spider monkeys may be more prevalent than previously thought, given that it may be difficult for observers to witness cases of infanticide or suspected infanticide that occur soon after birth in taxa that are characterized by high levels of fission-fusion dynamics. Early, undetected, male-biased infanticide could influence the composition of spider monkey groups and contribute to the female-biased adult sex ratios often reported for this genus.

  13. Progress of studies on regenerated protein fiber of silkworm silk and spider silk%蚕丝和蜘蛛丝再生蛋白纤维研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    谢吉祥; 李晓龙; 张袁松

    2011-01-01

    The properties of silkworm silk and spider silk are excellent, and obtaining regenerated silkworm silk and spider silk with good performance through artificial methods has been a hot field of research to domestic and overseas scholars. However, currently the available regenerated silkworm silk and spider silk are not satisfactory. This paper summarizes the studies on regenerated silkworm silk and spider silk, including preparation of spinning solution, wet-spinning and electro-spinning, as well as the impact of spinning conditions on the properties of fibers etc. It also discusses the improvement of the properties of regenerated fibers through pH value adjusmet, alcoholic solution treatment, stretching, and heat treatment. Finally, the paper presents the bright future of regenerated silk fibers, and it is expected to provide useful information for the further studies on artificial silkworm silk and spider silk.%蚕丝和蜘蛛丝的性能优良,通过人造方法获得性能良好的再生蚕丝和蜘蛛丝一直是国内外学者研究的热点,但目前研究所获得的再生蚕丝或蜘蛛丝并不理想.本文总结了有关蚕丝和蜘蛛丝再生研究,包括纺丝液的制备、湿法纺丝和静电纺丝的方法以及纺丝工艺条件对纤维特性的影响等;探讨了pH值调整、醇处理、拉伸、热处理等改善再生丝纤维性能的方法及其效果;阐述了再生丝纤维广阔的发展前景,期望能为今后人造蚕丝和蜘蛛丝提供有用的信息.

  14. Trends in Artificial Intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Patrick

    1978-01-01

    Discusses the foundations of artificial intelligence as a science and the types of answers that may be given to the question, "What is intelligence?" The paradigms of artificial intelligence and general systems theory are compared. (Author/VT)

  15. Artificiality in Social Sciences

    OpenAIRE

    Rennard, Jean-Philippe

    2007-01-01

    This text provides with an introduction to the modern approach of artificiality and simulation in social sciences. It presents the relationship between complexity and artificiality, before introducing the field of artificial societies which greatly benefited from the computer power fast increase, gifting social sciences with formalization and experimentation tools previously owned by "hard" sciences alone. It shows that as "a new way of doing social sciences", artificial societies should undo...

  16. Artificial life and Piaget.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Ulrich; Grobman, K H.

    2003-04-01

    Artificial life provides important theoretical and methodological tools for the investigation of Piaget's developmental theory. This new method uses artificial neural networks to simulate living phenomena in a computer. A recent study by Parisi and Schlesinger suggests that artificial life might reinvigorate the Piagetian framework. We contrast artificial life with traditional cognitivist approaches, discuss the role of innateness in development, and examine the relation between physiological and psychological explanations of intelligent behaviour.

  17. Detection and phylogenetic analysis of bacteriophage WO in spiders (Araneae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Qian; Qiao, Huping; Gao, Jin; Yun, Yueli; Liu, Fengxiang; Peng, Yu

    2015-11-01

    Phage WO is a bacteriophage found in Wolbachia. Herein, we represent the first phylogenetic study of WOs that infect spiders (Araneae). Seven species of spiders (Araneus alternidens, Nephila clavata, Hylyphantes graminicola, Prosoponoides sinensis, Pholcus crypticolens, Coleosoma octomaculatum, and Nurscia albofasciata) from six families were infected by Wolbachia and WO, followed by comprehensive sequence analysis. Interestingly, WO could be only detected Wolbachia-infected spiders. The relative infection rates of those seven species of spiders were 75, 100, 88.9, 100, 62.5, 72.7, and 100 %, respectively. Our results indicated that both Wolbachia and WO were found in three different body parts of N. clavata, and WO could be passed to the next generation of H. graminicola by vertical transmission. There were three different sequences for WO infected in A. alternidens and two different WO sequences from C. octomaculatum. Only one sequence of WO was found for the other five species of spiders. The discovered sequence of WO ranged from 239 to 311 bp. Phylogenetic tree was generated using maximum likelihood (ML) based on the orf7 gene sequences. According to the phylogenetic tree, WOs in N. clavata and H. graminicola were clustered in the same group. WOs from A. alternidens (WAlt1) and C. octomaculatum (WOct2) were closely related to another clade, whereas WO in P. sinensis was classified as a sole cluster.

  18. Phylogenomic analysis of spiders reveals nonmonophyly of orb weavers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Rosa; Hormiga, Gustavo; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2014-08-01

    Spiders constitute one of the most successful clades of terrestrial predators. Their extraordinary diversity, paralleled only by some insects and mites, is often attributed to the use of silk, and, in one of the largest lineages, to stereotyped behaviors for building foraging webs of remarkable biomechanical properties. However, our understanding of higher-level spider relationships is poor and is largely based on morphology. Prior molecular efforts have focused on a handful of genes but have provided little resolution to key questions such as the origin of the orb weavers. We apply a next-generation sequencing approach to resolve spider phylogeny, examining the relationships among its major lineages. We further explore possible pitfalls in phylogenomic reconstruction, including missing data, unequal rates of evolution, and others. Analyses of multiple data sets all agree on the basic structure of the spider tree and all reject the long-accepted monophyly of Orbiculariae, by placing the cribellate orb weavers (Deinopoidea) with other groups and not with the ecribellate orb weavers (Araneoidea). These results imply independent origins for the two types of orb webs (cribellate and ecribellate) or a much more ancestral origin of the orb web with subsequent loss in the so-called RTA clade. Either alternative demands a major reevaluation of our current understanding of the spider evolutionary chronicle.

  19. Recent Advances in Research on Widow Spider Venoms and Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuai Yan

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Widow spiders have received much attention due to the frequently reported human and animal injures caused by them. Elucidation of the molecular composition and action mechanism of the venoms and toxins has vast implications in the treatment of latrodectism and in the neurobiology and pharmaceutical research. In recent years, the studies of the widow spider venoms and the venom toxins, particularly the α-latrotoxin, have achieved many new advances; however, the mechanism of action of the venom toxins has not been completely clear. The widow spider is different from many other venomous animals in that it has toxic components not only in the venom glands but also in other parts of the adult spider body, newborn spiderlings, and even the eggs. More recently, the molecular basis for the toxicity outside the venom glands has been systematically investigated, with four proteinaceous toxic components being purified and preliminarily characterized, which has expanded our understanding of the widow spider toxins. This review presents a glance at the recent advances in the study on the venoms and toxins from the Latrodectus species.

  20. Biotechnological Trends in Spider and Scorpion Antivenom Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Solà, Mireia; Jappe, Emma Christine; Oscoz, Saioa; Lauridsen, Line Præst; Engmark, Mikael

    2016-01-01

    Spiders and scorpions are notorious for their fearful dispositions and their ability to inject venom into prey and predators, causing symptoms such as necrosis, paralysis, and excruciating pain. Information on venom composition and the toxins present in these species is growing due to an interest in using bioactive toxins from spiders and scorpions for drug discovery purposes and for solving crystal structures of membrane-embedded receptors. Additionally, the identification and isolation of a myriad of spider and scorpion toxins has allowed research within next generation antivenoms to progress at an increasingly faster pace. In this review, the current knowledge of spider and scorpion venoms is presented, followed by a discussion of all published biotechnological efforts within development of spider and scorpion antitoxins based on small molecules, antibodies and fragments thereof, and next generation immunization strategies. The increasing number of discovery and development efforts within this field may point towards an upcoming transition from serum-based antivenoms towards therapeutic solutions based on modern biotechnology. PMID:27455327

  1. Biotechnological Trends in Spider and Scorpion Antivenom Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Hougaard Laustsen

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Spiders and scorpions are notorious for their fearful dispositions and their ability to inject venom into prey and predators, causing symptoms such as necrosis, paralysis, and excruciating pain. Information on venom composition and the toxins present in these species is growing due to an interest in using bioactive toxins from spiders and scorpions for drug discovery purposes and for solving crystal structures of membrane-embedded receptors. Additionally, the identification and isolation of a myriad of spider and scorpion toxins has allowed research within next generation antivenoms to progress at an increasingly faster pace. In this review, the current knowledge of spider and scorpion venoms is presented, followed by a discussion of all published biotechnological efforts within development of spider and scorpion antitoxins based on small molecules, antibodies and fragments thereof, and next generation immunization strategies. The increasing number of discovery and development efforts within this field may point towards an upcoming transition from serum-based antivenoms towards therapeutic solutions based on modern biotechnology.

  2. Recent Advances in Research on Widow Spider Venoms and Toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Shuai; Wang, Xianchun

    2015-11-27

    Widow spiders have received much attention due to the frequently reported human and animal injures caused by them. Elucidation of the molecular composition and action mechanism of the venoms and toxins has vast implications in the treatment of latrodectism and in the neurobiology and pharmaceutical research. In recent years, the studies of the widow spider venoms and the venom toxins, particularly the α-latrotoxin, have achieved many new advances; however, the mechanism of action of the venom toxins has not been completely clear. The widow spider is different from many other venomous animals in that it has toxic components not only in the venom glands but also in other parts of the adult spider body, newborn spiderlings, and even the eggs. More recently, the molecular basis for the toxicity outside the venom glands has been systematically investigated, with four proteinaceous toxic components being purified and preliminarily characterized, which has expanded our understanding of the widow spider toxins. This review presents a glance at the recent advances in the study on the venoms and toxins from the Latrodectus species.

  3. SPIDER: probing the early Universe with a suborbital polarimeter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fraisse, A.A.; Chiang, H.C. [Department of Physics, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (United States); Ade, P.A.R. [School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, Cardiff (United Kingdom); Amiri, M.; Burger, B.; Davis, G. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC (Canada); Benton, S.J. [Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON (Canada); Bock, J.J.; Crill, B.P.; Doré, O.; Filippini, J.P.; Golwala, S. [Department of Physics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA (United States); Bond, J.R.; Farhang, M. [Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON (Canada); Bonetti, J.A. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (United States); Bryan, S. [Department of Physics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH (United States); Clark, C.N.; Contaldi, C.R. [Theoretical Physics, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College, London (United Kingdom); Fissel, L.M.; Gandilo, N.N., E-mail: afraisse@princeton.edu [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON (Canada); and others

    2013-04-01

    We evaluate the ability of SPIDER, a balloon-borne polarimeter, to detect a divergence-free polarization pattern (B-modes) in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). In the inflationary scenario, the amplitude of this signal is proportional to that of the primordial scalar perturbations through the tensor-to-scalar ratio r. We show that the expected level of systematic error in the SPIDER instrument is significantly below the amplitude of an interesting cosmological signal with r = 0.03. We present a scanning strategy that enables us to minimize uncertainty in the reconstruction of the Stokes parameters used to characterize the CMB, while accessing a relatively wide range of angular scales. Evaluating the amplitude of the polarized Galactic emission in the SPIDER field, we conclude that the polarized emission from interstellar dust is as bright or brighter than the cosmological signal at all SPIDER frequencies (90 GHz, 150 GHz, and 280 GHz), a situation similar to that found in the ''Southern Hole.'' We show that two ∼ 20-day flights of the SPIDER instrument can constrain the amplitude of the B-mode signal to r < 0.03 (99% CL) even when foreground contamination is taken into account. In the absence of foregrounds, the same limit can be reached after one 20-day flight.

  4. Endemic harvestmen and spiders of Austria (Arachnida: Opiliones, Araneae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Komposch, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available A comprehensive overview of plant, fungus and animal species of Austria revealed a total of 748 endemic and subendemic species, including, 11 harvestman and 46 spider species. Altogether two endemic harvestmen (Nemastoma bidentatum relictum, Nemastoma schuelleri and 8 endemic spiders (Abacoproeces molestus, Collinsia (caliginosa nemenziana, Mughiphantes severus, Mughiphantes styriacus, Pelecopsis alpica, Scotophaeus nanus, Troglohyphantes novicordis, Troglohyphantes tauriscus, beside 9 subendemic harvestman and 38 subendemic spider species have been recorded from Austria. Hot-spots of endemism in the Eastern Alps are the north-eastern (Ennstaler Alps and southern Calcareous Alps (Karawanken, Karnische Alps and the Central Alps (Hohe Tauern, Gurktaler Alps, Ötztaler and Stubaier Alps. Most of the endemic arachnid species occur from the nival down to the montane zone. Important habitats are rocky areas, caves and woodlands. High absolute numbers and percentages of endemics can be found within the harvestman families Cladonychiidae, Ischyropsalididae and Nemastomatidae and in the spider genera Lepthyphantes s. l. and Troglohyphantes. The conservation status of these highly endangered taxa – 85 % of the spider species and 100 % of the harvestman taxa are endangered in Austria – is poor.

  5. POISON SPIDER FIELD CHEMICAL FLOOD PROJECT, WYOMING

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Douglas Arnell; Malcolm Pitts; Jie Qi

    2004-11-01

    A reservoir engineering and geologic study concluded that approximate 7,852,000 bbls of target oil exits in Poison Spider. Field pore volume, OOIP, and initial oil saturation are defined. Potential injection water has a total dissolved solids content of 1,275 mg/L with no measurable divalent cations. If the Lakota water consistently has no measurable cations, the injection water does not require softening to dissolve alkali. Produced water total dissolved solids were 2,835 mg/L and less than 20 mg/L hardness as the sum of divalent cations. Produced water requires softening to dissolve chemicals. Softened produced water was used to dissolve chemicals in these evaluations. Crude oil API gravity varies across the field from 19.7 to 22.2 degrees with a dead oil viscosity of 95 to 280 cp at 75 F. Interfacial tension reductions of up to 21,025 fold (0.001 dyne/cm) were developed with fifteen alkaline-surfactant combinations at some alkali concentration. An additional three alkaline-surfactant combinations reduced the interfacial tension greater than 5,000 fold. NaOH generally produced the lowest interfacial tension values. Interfacial tension values of less than 0.021 dyne/cm were maintained when the solutions were diluted with produced water to about 60%. Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3} when mixed with surfactants did not reduce interfacial tension values to levels at which incremental oil can be expected. NaOH without surfactant interfacial tension reduction is at a level where some additional oil might be recovered. Most of the alkaline-surfactant-polymer solutions producing ultra low interfacial tension gave type II- phase behavior. Only two solutions produced type III phase behavior. Produced water dilution resulted in maintenance of phase type for a number of solutions at produced water dilutions exceeding 80% dilution. The average loss of phase type occurred at 80% dilution. Linear corefloods were performed to determine relative permeability end points, chemical

  6. Prey interception drives web invasion and spider size determines successful web takeover in nocturnal orb-web spiders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenjin Gan

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available A striking feature of web-building spiders is the use of silk to make webs, mainly for prey capture. However, building a web is energetically expensive and increases the risk of predation. To reduce such costs and still have access to abundant prey, some web-building spiders have evolved web invasion behaviour. In general, no consistent patterns of web invasion have emerged and the factors determining web invasion remain largely unexplored. Here we report web invasion among conspecifics in seven nocturnal species of orb-web spiders, and examined the factors determining the probability of webs that could be invaded and taken over by conspecifics. About 36% of webs were invaded by conspecifics, and 25% of invaded webs were taken over by the invaders. A web that was built higher and intercepted more prey was more likely to be invaded. Once a web was invaded, the smaller the size of the resident spider, the more likely its web would be taken over by the invader. This study suggests that web invasion, as a possible way of reducing costs, may be widespread in nocturnal orb-web spiders.

  7. Prey interception drives web invasion and spider size determines successful web takeover in nocturnal orb-web spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gan, Wenjin; Liu, Shengjie; Yang, Xiaodong; Li, Daiqin; Lei, Chaoliang

    2015-09-24

    A striking feature of web-building spiders is the use of silk to make webs, mainly for prey capture. However, building a web is energetically expensive and increases the risk of predation. To reduce such costs and still have access to abundant prey, some web-building spiders have evolved web invasion behaviour. In general, no consistent patterns of web invasion have emerged and the factors determining web invasion remain largely unexplored. Here we report web invasion among conspecifics in seven nocturnal species of orb-web spiders, and examined the factors determining the probability of webs that could be invaded and taken over by conspecifics. About 36% of webs were invaded by conspecifics, and 25% of invaded webs were taken over by the invaders. A web that was built higher and intercepted more prey was more likely to be invaded. Once a web was invaded, the smaller the size of the resident spider, the more likely its web would be taken over by the invader. This study suggests that web invasion, as a possible way of reducing costs, may be widespread in nocturnal orb-web spiders.

  8. Influence of spider silk on refugia preferences of the recluse spiders Loxosceles reclusa and Loxosceles laeta (Araneae: Sicariidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, Richard S; Rust, Michael K

    2010-06-01

    In a previous experimental study, recluse spiders Loxosceles reclusa Gertsch and Mulaik and Loxosceles laeta (Nicolet) (Araneae: Sicariidae) preferred small cardboard refugia covered with conspecific silk compared with never-occupied refugia. Herein, we investigated some factors that might be responsible for this preference using similar cardboard refugia. When the two Loxosceles species were given choices between refugia previously occupied by their own and by the congeneric species, neither showed a species-specific preference; however, each chose refugia coated with conspecific silk rather than those previously inhabited by a distantly related cribellate spider, Metaltella simoni (Keyserling). When L. laeta spiders were offered refugia that were freshly removed from silk donors compared with heated, aged refugia from the same silk donor, older refugia were preferred. Solvent extracts of L. laeta silk were chosen approximately as often as control refugia when a range of solvents (methylene chloride:methanol, water, and hexane) were used. However, when acetone was used on similar silk, there was a statistical preference for the control, indicating that there might be a mildly repellent aspect to acetone-washed silk. Considering the inability to show attraction to chemical aspects of fresh silk, it seems that physical attributes may be more important for selection and that there might be repellency to silk of a recently vacated spider. These findings are discussed in regard to pest management strategies to control recluse spiders.

  9. Stable isotope analyses of web-spinning spider assemblages along a headwater stream in Puerto Rico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Sean P; Cuevas, Elvira; Ramírez, Alonso

    2015-01-01

    Web-spinning spiders that inhabit stream channels are considered specialists of aquatic ecosystems and are major consumers of emerging aquatic insects, while other spider taxa are more commonly found in riparian forests and as a result may consume more terrestrial insects. To determine if there was a difference in spider taxa abundance between riverine web-spinning spider assemblages within the stream channel and the assemblages 10 m into the riparian forest, we compared abundances for all web-spinning spiders along a headwater stream in El Yunque National Forest in northeast Puerto Rico. By using a nonmetric dimensional scaling (NMDS) abundance analysis we were able to see a clear separation of the two spider assemblages. The second objective of the study was to determine if aquatic insects contributed more to the diet of the spider assemblages closest to the stream channel and therefore stable isotope analyses of δ (15)N and δ (13)C for web-spinning spiders along with their possible prey were utilized. The results of the Bayesian mixing model (SIAR) however showed little difference in the diets of riverine (0 m), riparian (10 m) and upland (25 m) spiders. We found that aquatic insects made up ∼50% of the diet for web-spinning spiders collected at 0 m, 10 m, and 25 m from the stream. This study highlights the importance of aquatic insects as a food source for web-spinning spiders despite the taxonomic differences in assemblages at different distances from the stream.

  10. Bird predation affects diurnal and nocturnal web-building spiders in a Mediterranean citrus grove

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mestre, L.; Garcia, N.; Barrientos, J. A.; Espadaler, X.; Piñol, J.

    2013-02-01

    Spiders and birds can greatly decrease insect populations, but birds also limit spider densities in some habitats. Bird predation is thought to be one of the causes behind nocturnal activity in spiders, so night-active spiders that hide in retreats during the day should be less affected by bird foraging than day-active spiders. However, this hypothesis has not yet been tested. We investigated the importance of bird predation on the spider community of a Mediterranean organic citrus grove. We excluded birds by placing net cages over the trees and we conducted visual searches in the canopies to sample web-building spiders. As there are many nocturnal species in the family Araneidae, we conducted searches both by day and by night to compare the abundance of active araneids in these two time periods. We sampled the tree trunks with cardboard bands to collect hunting spiders. In bird-excluded canopies there were more spiders of the families Araneidae and Theridiidae. There were higher numbers of active Araneidae at night, but these were just as negatively affected by bird predation as day-active Araneidae, so there was no evidence of nocturnal activity serving as an anti-predator strategy. We did not find any negative impact of birds on hunting spiders. Our results contrast with other studies reporting a negative effect of birds on hunting but not on web-building spiders.

  11. Cannibalism, food limitation, intraspecific competition, and the regulation of spider populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, David H

    2006-01-01

    Cannibalism among generalist predators has implications for the dynamics of terrestrial food webs. Spiders are common, ubiquitous arthropod generalist predators in most natural and managed terrestrial ecosystems. Thus, the relationship of spider cannibalism to food limitation, competition, and population regulation has direct bearing on basic ecological theory and applications such as biological control. This review first briefly treats the different types of spider cannibalism and then focuses in more depth on evidence relating cannibalism to population dynamics and food web interactions to address the following questions: Is cannibalism in spiders a foraging strategy that helps to overcome the effects of a limited supply of calories and/or nutrients? Does cannibalism in spiders reduce competition for prey? Is cannibalism a significant density-dependent factor in spider population dynamics? Does cannibalism dampen spider-initiated trophic cascades?

  12. [The black widow spider--its appearance and control].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landeka, Nediljko; Plenković, Jasminka

    2003-03-01

    Between 1995 and 2002, a massive appearance of black widow (Latrodectus mactans tredecimguttatus, Rossi 1790) was recorded along the Croatia coast. This paper gives a historical review of latrodectism and observations from Istria and Dalmatia, paying particular attention to the spider's habitat. There are several reasons for the black widow to appear in a new habitat such as the introduction of leguminous plants, watermelons and melons where crops were grown earlier. Black widow can also be found near buildings and gardens. Human contacts with the spider are usually without consequences for humans, thanks to education and a relatively good visibility of the spider. The authors describe their experience in fighting black widow and emphasise the importance of education in preventing lactrodectism.

  13. Molecular architecture and engineering of spider dragline silk protein

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Hengmu; LIU Jinyuan

    2005-01-01

    Spider dragline silk, which is produced in spider major ampullate gland, is a composite proteinacious fiber with highly repetitive Ala-Gly-rich domain. The unique combination of both high tensile strength and high elasticity makes spider dragline silk superior to almost any other natural or synthetic fibers. Cloning of the genes reveals that the silk is composed of at least two major proteins. Each protein component contains multiple repeats of modular structures that alternate between Ala-rich domains and Gly-rich domains. Molecular engineering not only opens a door to the production of spidroins but also provides a valuable experimental system to test and further establish the relationship between modular structures and mechanical properties. Here, based on our own studies, we review the latest progress of the modular structure and genetic engineering and outline the future prospects.

  14. Synthetic Adhesive Attachment Discs based on Spider Pyriform Silk Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Dharamdeep; Sahni, Vasav; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2014-03-01

    Among the variety of silks produced by spiders, pyriform silk is used in conjunction with the dragline silk to attach webs to different surfaces. Cob weaver spiders employ different architectural patterns to utilize the pyriform silk and form attachment joints with each pattern having a characteristic adhesive performance. The staple pin architecture is a one of the strongest attachment designs employed by spiders to attach their webs. Here we use a synthetic approach to create the a similar patterned architecture attachment discs on aluminum substrate using thermoplastic polyurethane. Measurable pull off forces are generated when the synthetic discs are peeled off a surface. This innovative adhesive strategy can be a source of design in various biomedical applications. Financial Support from National Science Foundation.

  15. Web-building spiders attract prey by storing decaying matter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjorkman-Chiswell, Bojun T.; Kulinski, Melissa M.; Muscat, Robert L.; Nguyen, Kim A.; Norton, Briony A.; Symonds, Matthew R. E.; Westhorpe, Gina E.; Elgar, Mark A.

    The orb-weaving spider Nephila edulis incorporates into its web a band of decaying animal and plant matter. While earlier studies demonstrate that larger spiders utilise these debris bands as caches of food, the presence of plant matter suggests additional functions. When organic and plastic items were placed in the webs of N. edulis, some of the former but none of the latter were incorporated into the debris band. Using an Y-maze olfactometer, we show that sheep blowflies Lucilia cuprina are attracted to recently collected debris bands, but that this attraction does not persist over time. These data reveal an entirely novel foraging strategy, in which a sit-and-wait predator attracts insect prey by utilising the odours of decaying organic material. The spider's habit of replenishing the debris band may be necessary to maintain its efficacy for attracting prey.

  16. Predation of wild spider monkeys at La Macarena, Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuda, Ikki; Izawa, Kosei

    2008-01-01

    The killing of an adult male spider monkey (Ateles belzebuth ) by a jaguar (Panthera onca) and a predation attempt by a puma (Felis concolor) on an adult female spider monkey have been observed at the CIEM (Centro de Investigaciones Ecológicas La Macarena), La Macarena, Colombia. These incidents occurred directly in front of an observer, even though it is said that predation under direct observation on any type of primate rarely occurs. On the basis of a review of the literature, and the observations reported here, we suggest that jaguars and pumas are likely to be the only significant potential predators on adult spider monkeys, probably because of their large body size.

  17. Mating duration and sperm precedence in the spider Linyphia triangularis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weldingh, Ditte Louise; Toft, Søren; Larsen, Ole Næsbye

    2010-01-01

    In spiders, copulations often take much longer than needed to fertilize the female’s complement of eggs, and the likelihood that a female mates again may depend on the duration of the first male’s copulation since the mating itself may induce lack of receptivity in the female. Also, the result...... of sperm competition often depends on the relative mating duration of a female’s mating partners. Since linyphiid spiders load their pedipalps with sperm several times during a normal mating sequence, paternity and female receptivity can be related not only to mating duration but also to the behavioural...... phases of the mating sequence. We performed sperm competition experiments (sterile-male technique) with the linyphiid spider Linyphia triangularis including four treatments, in which the copulation of the first male was interrupted at prescribed phases of the highly ritualized mating sequence, while...

  18. Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis associated with spider bite*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milman, Laura de Mattos; Müller, Giana Paula; Souza, Paulo Ricardo Martins; Grill, Aline Barcellos; Rhoden, Deise Louise Bohn; Mello-da-Silva, Carlos Augusto; Vettorato, Gerson

    2016-01-01

    Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP) is an acute febrile rash, usually induced by drugs, which recently has been linked to spider bite. We report a case of a male patient, 48 years old, with an erythematous rash accompanied by fever and small non-follicular pustules. He reported previous pain in the buttock with the onset of a necrotic plaque. The lesion was compatible with spider bite of the genus Loxosceles. According to the EuroSCAR group instrument, the patient scored +10 indicating definite diagnosis of AGEP. As the patient had a compatible lesion and had no other triggers of AGEP, in an Loxosceles endemic area, the AGEP would be associated with spider bite, as described in other publications. PMID:27579754

  19. Modeling and characterization of the SPIDER half-wave plate

    CERN Document Server

    Bryan, Sean A; Amiri, Mandana; Benton, Steve; Bihary, Richard; Bock, James J; Bond, J Richard; Bonetti, Joseph A; Chiang, H Cynthia; Contaldi, Carlo R; Crill, Brendan P; O'Dea, Daniel; Dore, Olivier; Farhang, Marzieh; Filippini, Jeffrey P; Fissel, Laura; Gandilo, Natalie; Golwala, Sunil; Gudmundsson, Jon E; Hasselfield, Matthew; Halpern, Mark; Helson, Kyle R; Hilton, Gene; Holmes, Warren; Hristov, Viktor V; Irwin, Kent D; Jones, William C; Kuo, Chao Lin; MacTavish, Carrie J; Mason, Peter; Morford, Tracy; Montroy, Thomas E; Netterfield, C Barth; Rahlin, Alexandra S; Reintsema, Carl D; Riley, Daniel; Ruhl, John E; Runyan, Marcus C; Schenker, Matthew A; Shariff, Jamil; Soler, Juan Diego; Trangsrud, Amy; Tucker, Rebecca; Tucker, Carole; Turner, Anthony

    2010-01-01

    Spider is a balloon-borne array of six telescopes that will observe the Cosmic Microwave Background. The 2624 antenna-coupled bolometers in the instrument will make a polarization map of the CMB with approximately one-half degree resolution at 145 GHz. Polarization modulation is achieved via a cryogenic sapphire half-wave plate (HWP) skyward of the primary optic. We have measured millimeter-wave transmission spectra of the sapphire at room and cryogenic temperatures. The spectra are consistent with our physical optics model, and the data gives excellent measurements of the indices of A-cut sapphire. We have also taken preliminary spectra of the integrated HWP, optical system, and detectors in the prototype Spider receiver. We calculate the variation in response of the HWP between observing the CMB and foreground spectra, and estimate that it should not limit the Spider constraints on inflation.

  20. Final design of thermal diagnostic system in SPIDER ion source

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brombin, M.; Dalla Palma, M.; Pasqualotto, R.; Pomaro, N.

    2016-11-01

    The prototype radio frequency source of the ITER heating neutral beams will be first tested in SPIDER test facility to optimize H- production, cesium dynamics, and overall plasma characteristics. Several diagnostics will allow to fully characterise the beam in terms of uniformity and divergence and the source, besides supporting a safe and controlled operation. In particular, thermal measurements will be used for beam monitoring and system protection. SPIDER will be instrumented with mineral insulated cable thermocouples, both on the grids, on other components of the beam source, and on the rear side of the beam dump water cooled elements. This paper deals with the final design and the technical specification of the thermal sensor diagnostic for SPIDER. In particular the layout of the diagnostic, together with the sensors distribution in the different components, the cables routing and the conditioning and acquisition cubicles are described.

  1. Recombinant Spider Silks—Biopolymers with Potential for Future Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Scheibel

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Nature has evolved a range of materials that compete with man-made materials in physical properties; one of these is spider silk. Silk is a fibrous material that exhibits extremely high strength and toughness with regard to its low density. In this review we discuss the molecular structure of spider silk and how this understanding has allowed the development of recombinant silk proteins that mimic the properties of natural spider silks. Additionally, we will explore the material morphologies and the applications of these proteins. Finally, we will look at attempts to combine the silk structure with chemical polymers and how the structure of silk has inspired the engineering of novel polymers.

  2. Production of spider silk proteins in tobacco and potato.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheller, J; Gührs, K H; Grosse, F; Conrad, U

    2001-06-01

    Spider dragline silk is a proteinaceous fiber with remarkable mechanical properties that make it attractive for technical applications. Unfortunately, the material cannot be obtained in large quantities from spiders. We have therefore generated transgenic tobacco and potato plants that express remarkable amounts of recombinant Nephila clavipes dragline proteins. Using a gene synthesis approach, the recombinant proteins exhibit homologies of >90% compared to their native models. Here, we demonstrate the accumulation of recombinant silk proteins, which are encoded by synthetic genes of 420-3,600 base pairs, up to a level of at least 2% of total soluble protein in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of tobacco and potato leaves and potato tubers, respectively. Using the present expression system, spider silk proteins up to 100 kDa could be detected in plant tissues. When produced in plants, the recombinant spidroins exhibit extreme heat stability-a property that is used to purify the spidroins by a simple and efficient procedure.

  3. Nutrient deprivation induces property variations in spider gluey silk.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean J Blamires

    Full Text Available Understanding the mechanisms facilitating property variability in biological adhesives may promote biomimetic innovations. Spider gluey silks such as the spiral threads in orb webs and the gumfoot threads in cobwebs, both of which comprise of an axial thread coated by glue, are biological adhesives that have variable physical and chemical properties. Studies show that the physical and chemical properties of orb web gluey threads change when spiders are deprived of food. It is, however, unknown whether gumfoot threads undergo similar property variations when under nutritional stress. Here we tested whether protein deprivation induces similar variations in spiral and gumfoot thread morphology and stickiness. We manipulated protein intake for the orb web spider Nephila clavipes and the cobweb spider Latrodectus hesperus and measured the diameter, glue droplet volume, number of droplets per mm, axial thread width, thread stickiness and adhesive energy of their gluey silks. We found that the gluey silks of both species were stickier when the spiders were deprived of protein than when the spiders were fed protein. In N. clavipes a concomitant increase in glue droplet volume was found. Load-extension curves showed that protein deprivation induced glue property variations independent of the axial thread extensions in both species. We predicted that changes in salt composition of the glues were primarily responsible for the changes in stickiness of the silks, although changes in axial thread properties might also contribute. We, additionally, showed that N. clavipes' glue changes color under protein deprivation, probably as a consequence of changes to its biochemical composition.

  4. Prey type, vibrations and handling interactively influence spider silk expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blamires, S J; Chao, I-C; Tso, I-M

    2010-11-15

    The chemical and mechanical properties of spider major ampullate (MA) silks vary in response to different prey, mostly via differential expression of two genes - MaSp1 and MaSp2 - although the spinning process exerts additional influence over the mechanical properties of silk. The prey cues that initiate differential gene expression are unknown. Prey nutrients, vibratory stimuli and handling have been suggested to be influential. We performed experiments to decouple the vibratory stimuli and handling associated with high and low kinetic energy prey (crickets vs flies) from their prey nutrients to test the relative influence of each as inducers of silk protein expression in the orb web spider Nephila pilipes. We found that the MA silks from spiders feeding on live crickets had greater percentages of glutamine, serine, alanine and glycine than those from spiders feeding on live flies. Proline composition of the silks was unaffected by feeding treatment. Increases in alanine and glycine in the MA silks of the live-cricket-feeding spiders indicate a probable increase in MaSp1 gene expression. The amino acid compositions of N. pilipes feeding on crickets with fly stimuli and N. pilipes feeding on flies with cricket stimuli did not differ from each other or from pre-treatment responses, so these feeding treatments did not induce differential MaSp expression. Our results indicate that cricket vibratory stimuli and handling interact with nutrients to induce N. pilipes to adjust their gene expression to produce webs with mechanical properties appropriate for the retention of this prey. This shows that spiders can genetically alter their silk chemical compositions and, presumably, mechanical properties upon exposure to different prey types. The lack of any change in proline composition with feeding treatment in N. pilipes suggests that the MaSp model determined for Nephila clavipes is not universally applicable to all Nephila.

  5. How spiders practice aggressive and Batesian mimicry

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ximena J.NELSON; Robert R.JACKSON

    2012-01-01

    To understand communication,the interests of the sender and the receiver/s of signals should be considered separately.When our goal is to understand the adaptive significance of specific responses to specific signals by the receiver,questions about signal information are useful.However,when our goal is to understand the adaptive significance to the sender of generating a signal,it may be better to envisage the receiver's response to signals as part of the sender's extended phenotype.By making signals,a sender interfaces with the receiver's model of the world and indirectly manipulates its behaviour.This is especially clear in cases of mimicry,where animals use deceptive signals that indirectly manipulate the behaviour of receivers.Many animals adopt Batesian mimicry to deceive their predators,or aggressive mimicry to deceive their prey.We review examples from the literature on spiders to illustrate how these phenomena,traditionally thought of as distinct,can become entangled in a web of lies.

  6. How spiders practice aggressive and Batesian mimicry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ximena J. NELSON, Robert R. JACKSON

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available To understand communication, the interests of the sender and the receiver/s of signals should be considered separately. When our goal is to understand the adaptive significance of specific responses to specific signals by the receiver, questions about signal information are useful. However, when our goal is to understand the adaptive significance to the sender of generating a signal, it may be better to envisage the receiver’s response to signals as part of the sender’s extended phenotype. By making signals, a sender interfaces with the receiver’s model of the world and indirectly manipulates its behaviour. This is especially clear in cases of mimicry, where animals use deceptive signals that indirectly manipulate the behaviour of receivers. Many animals adopt Batesian mimicry to deceive their predators, or aggressive mimicry to deceive their prey. We review examples from the lite­rature on spiders to illustrate how these phenomena, traditionally thought of as distinct, can become entangled in a web of lies [Current Zoology 58 (4: 620–629, 2012].

  7. Thermal architecture for the SPIDER flight cryostat

    CERN Document Server

    Gudmundsson, J E; Amiri, M; Benton, S J; Bihary, R; Bock, J J; Bond, J R; Bonetti, J A; Bryan, S A; Chiang, H C; Contaldi, C R; Crill, B P; O'Dea, D; Farhang, M; Filippini, J P; Fissel, L M; Gandilo, N N; Golwala, S R; Halpern, M; Hasselfield, M; Helson, K R; Hilton, G; Holmes, W; Hristov, V V; Irwin, K D; Jones, W C; Kuo, C L; MacTavish, C J; Mason, P V; Montroy, T E; Morford, T A; Netterfield, C B; Rahlin, A S; Reintsema, C D; Ruhl, J E; Runyan, M C; Schenker, M A; Shariff, J A; Soler, J D; Trangsrud, A; Tucker, C; Tucker, R S; Turner, A D; 10.1117/12.857925

    2011-01-01

    We describe the cryogenic system for SPIDER, a balloon-borne microwave polarimeter that will map 8% of the sky with degree-scale angular resolution. The system consists of a 1284 L liquid helium cryostat and a 16 L capillary-filled superfluid helium tank, which provide base operating temperatures of 4 K and 1.5 K, respectively. Closed-cycle helium-3 adsorption refrigerators supply sub-Kelvin cooling power to multiple focal planes, which are housed in monochromatic telescope inserts. The main helium tank is suspended inside the vacuum vessel with thermally insulating fiberglass flexures, and shielded from thermal radiation by a combination of two vapor cooled shields and multi-layer insulation. This system allows for an extremely low instrumental background and a hold time in excess of 25 days. The total mass of the cryogenic system, including cryogens, is approximately 1000 kg. This enables conventional long duration balloon flights. We will discuss the design, thermal analysis, and qualification of the cryog...

  8. Thermal architecture for the SPIDER flight cryostat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gudmundsson, J. E.; Ade, P. A. R.; Amiri, M.; Benton, S. J.; Bihary, R.; Bock, J. J.; Bond, J. R.; Bonetti, J. A.; Bryan, S. A.; Burger, B.; Chiang, H. C.; Contaldi, C. R.; Crill, B. P.; Doré, O.; Farhang, M.; Filippini, J.; Fissel, L. M.; Gandilo, N. N.; Golwala, S. R.; Halpern, M.; Hasselfield, M.; Hilton, G.; Holmes, W.; Hristov, V. V.; Irwin, K. D.; Jones, W. C.; Kuo, C. L.; MacTavish, C. J.; Mason, P. V.; Montroy, T. E.; Morford, T. A.; Netterfield, C. B.; O'Dea, D. T.; Rahlin, A. S.; Reintsema, C. D.; Ruhl, J. E.; Runyan, M. C.; Schenker, M. A.; Shariff, J. A.; Soler, J. D.; Trangsrud, A.; Tucker, C.; Tucker, R. S.; Turner, A. D.

    2010-07-01

    We describe the cryogenic system for SPIDER, a balloon-borne microwave polarimeter that will map 8% of the sky with degree-scale angular resolution. The system consists of a 1284 L liquid helium cryostat and a 16 L capillary-filled superfluid helium tank, which provide base operating temperatures of 4 K and 1.5 K, respectively. Closed-cycle 3He adsorption refrigerators supply sub-Kelvin cooling power to multiple focal planes, which are housed in monochromatic telescope inserts. The main helium tank is suspended inside the vacuum vessel with thermally insulating fiberglass flexures, and shielded from thermal radiation by a combination of two vapor cooled shields and multi-layer insulation. This system allows for an extremely low instrumental background and a hold time in excess of 25 days. The total mass of the cryogenic system, including cryogens, is approximately 1000 kg. This enables conventional long duration balloon flights. We will discuss the design, thermal analysis, and qualification of the cryogenic system.

  9. Reports of presumptive brown recluse spider bites reinforce improbable diagnosis in regions of North America where the spider is not endemic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, Richard S; Bush, Sean P

    2002-08-15

    Envenomations by the brown recluse spider have been reported throughout North America, despite the fact that the spider's range is limited to the South and central Midwest of the United States. Several of these medical reports have originated from regions of nonendemicity where the spider has never or rarely been documented and brown recluse spider populations are unknown. In most of these reports, no spider is positively identified in association with the dermonecrotic wound, and diagnosis has been based on clinical examination findings. Considering the extreme rarity of brown recluse spiders in areas of nonendemicity, the diagnosis of a presumptive bite is a misdiagnosis that reinforces the assumption that brown recluse spiders are common local etiologic agents of necrosis. There are many medical conditions of diverse origin that have been misdiagnosed as brown recluse spider bites, some of which can be fatal or debilitating. Physicians' awareness of these conditions will increase diagnostic accuracy in areas of North America where bites from brown recluse spiders are improbable.

  10. Simple Model for the Mechanics of Spider Webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoyanagi, Yuko; Okumura, Ko

    2010-01-01

    We propose a simple model to describe spider orb webs. The model has a formal analytical solution when no thread elements are broken. When the radial threads are sufficiently strong compared to the spiral threads, the model is free of stress concentrations even when a few spiral threads are broken. This is in contrast with what occurs in common elastic materials. According to our model, spiders can increase the number of spiral threads to make a dense web (to catch small insects) or adjust the number of radial threads (to adapt to environmental conditions or reduce the cost of making the web) without reducing the damage tolerance of the web.

  11. Synthesis and characterization of spider silk calcite composite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svetlana Dmitrović

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Spider silk poses excellent mechanical properties, tenacity and elasticity and it has been used as a template for calcite mineralization to improve load bearing strength of osteoconductive calcite. The samples were obtained by mimicking biomineralization for five days in order to follow formation and growth of calcite on the surface of spider silk. Crystal phase was detected by XRD and FTIR spectroscopy. Microstructure, crystal size and its morphology were studied by means of FESEM. After two days of processing, pure calcite phase was obtained, and a size of the formed crystals increased with prolongation of biomineralization.

  12. An image filtering technique for SPIDER visible tomography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fonnesu, N., E-mail: nicola.fonnesu@igi.cnr.it; Agostini, M.; Brombin, M.; Pasqualotto, R.; Serianni, G. [Consorzio RFX, Associazione EURATOM-ENEA sulla Fusione, Corso Stati Uniti 4, I-35127 Padova (Italy)

    2014-02-15

    The tomographic diagnostic developed for the beam generated in the SPIDER facility (100 keV, 50 A prototype negative ion source of ITER neutral beam injector) will characterize the two-dimensional particle density distribution of the beam. The simulations described in the paper show that instrumental noise has a large influence on the maximum achievable resolution of the diagnostic. To reduce its impact on beam pattern reconstruction, a filtering technique has been adapted and implemented in the tomography code. This technique is applied to the simulated tomographic reconstruction of the SPIDER beam, and the main results are reported.

  13. Shear-induced rigidity in spider silk glands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koski, Kristie J.; McKiernan, Keri; Akhenblit, Paul; Yarger, Jeffery L.

    2012-09-01

    We measure the elastic stiffnesses of the concentrated viscous protein solution of the dehydrated Nephila clavipes major ampullate gland with Brillouin light scattering. The glandular material shows no rigidity but possesses a tensile stiffness similar to that of spider silk. We show, however, that with application of a simple static shear, the mechanical properties of the spider gland protein mixture can be altered irreversibly, lowering symmetry and enabling shear waves to be supported, thus, giving rise to rigidity and yielding elastic properties similar to those of the naturally spun (i.e., dynamically sheared) silk.

  14. Spider Silk-CBD-Cellulose Nanocrystal Composites: Mechanism of Assembly

    OpenAIRE

    Sigal Meirovitch; Zvi Shtein; Tal Ben-Shalom; Shaul Lapidot; Carmen Tamburu; Xiao Hu; Kluge, Jonathan A; Uri Raviv; Kaplan, David L.; Oded Shoseyov

    2016-01-01

    The fabrication of cellulose-spider silk bio-nanocomposites comprised of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and recombinant spider silk protein fused to a cellulose binding domain (CBD) is described. Silk-CBD successfully binds cellulose, and unlike recombinant silk alone, silk-CBD self-assembles into microfibrils even in the absence of CNCs. Silk-CBD-CNC composite sponges and films show changes in internal structure and CNC alignment related to the addition of silk-CBD. The silk-CBD sponges exhib...

  15. Learning from animal sensors: the clever "design" of spider mechanoreceptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barth, Friedrich G.

    2012-04-01

    Three types of spider sensors responding to different forms of mechanical energy are chosen to illustrate the power of evolutionary constraints to fine-tune the functional "design" of animal sensors to the particular roles they play in particular behavioral contexts. As demonstrated by the application of computational biomechanics and a fruitful cooperation between biologists and engineers there are remarkable "technical" tricks to be found by which spider tactile sensors, airflow sensors, and strain sensors are adjusted to their biologically relevant stimulus patterns. The application of such "tricks" to technical solutions of measuring problems similar to those animals have to cope with, seems both realistic and very promising.

  16. Nukuhiva Berland, 1935 is a troglobitic wolf spider (Araneae: Lycosidae), not a nursery-web spider (Pisauridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Framenau, Volker W; Lehtinen, Pekka T

    2015-10-07

    The monotypic genus Nukuhiva Berland, 1935 with N. adamsoni (Berland, 1933) as type species, is re-described and transferred from the Pisauridae Simon, 1890 (fishing or nursery-web spiders) to the Lycosidae Sundevall, 1833 (wolf spiders) based on genitalic and somatic characters. Nukuhiva adamsoni, originally described from French Polynesia, appears to inhabit mountainous habitats of volcanic origin. Its troglobitic morphology--comparatively small eyes and pale, uniform coloration--suggest it to be associated with subterranean habitats such as caves or lava tubes, similar to the Hawaiian troglobitic species Lycosa howarthi Gertsch, 1973 and Adelocosa anops Gertsch, 1973.

  17. Dispersal-mediated effect of microhabitat availability and density dependence determine population dynamics of a forest floor web spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takada, Mayura B; Miyashita, Tadashi

    2014-09-01

    Landscapes in nature can be viewed as a continuum of small total habitable area with high fragmentation to widely spreading habitats. The dispersal-mediated rescue effect predominates in the former landscapes, while classical density-dependent processes generally prevail in widely spread habitats. A similar principle should be applied to populations of organisms utilizing microhabitats in limited supply. To test this hypothesis, we examined the population dynamics of a web spider, Neriene brongersmai, in 16 populations with varying degrees of microhabitat availability, and we explored whether: (i) high microhabitat availability improves survival rate during density-independent movement, while the resultant high density reduces survival rate in a density-dependent manner; and (ii) temporal population stability increases with microhabitat availability at the population level. Furthermore, we conducted two types of field experiments to verify whether high microhabitat availability actually reduces mortality associated with web-site movement. Field observations revealed that demographic change in N. brongersmai populations was affected by three factors at different stages, namely the microhabitat limitation from the early to late juvenile stages, the density dependence from the late juvenile to adult stages and the food limitation from the adult to the next early juvenile stages. In addition, there was a tendency for a positive association between population stability and microhabitat availability at the population level. A small-scale experiment, where the frequency of spider web relocation was equalized artificially, revealed that high microhabitat availability elevated the survival rate during a movement event between web-sites. The larger spatiotemporal scale experiment also revealed an improved spider survival rate following treatment with high microhabitat availability, even though spider density was kept at a relatively low level. The population dynamics of N

  18. Artificial cognition architectures

    CERN Document Server

    Crowder, James A; Friess, Shelli A

    2013-01-01

    The goal of this book is to establish the foundation, principles, theory, and concepts that are the backbone of real, autonomous Artificial Intelligence. Presented here are some basic human intelligence concepts framed for Artificial Intelligence systems. These include concepts like Metacognition and Metamemory, along with architectural constructs for Artificial Intelligence versions of human brain functions like the prefrontal cortex. Also presented are possible hardware and software architectures that lend themselves to learning, reasoning, and self-evolution

  19. Contrasting responses of web-building spiders to deer browsing among habitats and feeding guilds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takada, Mayura; Baba, Yuki G; Yanagi, Yosuke; Terada, Saeko; Miyashita, Tadashi

    2008-08-01

    We examined web-building spider species richness and abundance in forests across a deer density gradient to determine the effects of sika deer browsing on spiders among habitats and feeding guilds. Deer decreased the abundance of web-building spiders in understory vegetation but increased their abundance in the litter layer. Deer seemed to affect web-building spiders in the understory vegetation by reducing the number of sites for webs because vegetation complexity was positively correlated with spider density and negatively correlated with deer density. In contrast, the presence of vegetation just above the litter layer decreased the spider density, and deer exerted a negative effect on this vegetation, possibly resulting in an indirect positive effect on spider density. The vegetation just above the litter layer may be unsuitable as a scaffold for building webs if it is too flexible to serve as a reliable web support, and may even hinder spiders from building webs on litter. Alternatively, the negative effect of this vegetation on spiders in the litter may be as a result of reduced local prey availability under the leaves because of the reduced accessibility of aerial insects. The response to deer browsing on web-building spiders that inhabit the understory vegetation varied with feeding guild. Deer tended to affect web-invading spiders, which inhabit the webs of other spiders and steal prey, more heavily than other web-building spiders, probably because of the accumulated effects of habitat fragmentation through the trophic levels. Thus, the treatment of a particular higher-order taxon as a homogeneous group could result in misleading conclusions about the effects of mammalian herbivores.

  20. A Smart Itsy Bitsy Spider for the Web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hsinchun; Chung, Yi-Ming; Ramsey, Marshall; Yang, Christopher C.

    1998-01-01

    This study tested two Web personal spiders (i.e., agents that take users' requests and perform real-time customized searches) based on best first-search and genetic-algorithm techniques. Both results were comparable and complementary, although the genetic algorithm obtained higher recall value. The Java-based interface was found to be necessary…

  1. The Spider's Web: Creativity and Survival in Dynamic Balance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Bill

    2001-01-01

    The spider's web is presented as a model for Indigenous education and community transformation, grounded in Okanagan philosophy. Children are at the center and benefit from the influence of extended family and community. The model's relevance for language revitalization, cultural maintenance, and educational planning and assessment is discussed.…

  2. On the Colours of Spider Orb-Webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suhr, Wilfried; Schlichting, H. Joachim

    2011-01-01

    A sticky capture thread from the spiral element of spider orb-webs is formed of almost regularly spaced droplets that surround a supporting axial fibre. From the perspective of physical optics it represents a periodic linear array of scattering elements that acts as a diffraction grating. This is a novel aspect, which is of vital importance for…

  3. Reproducing natural spider silks' copolymer behavior in synthetic silk mimics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Bo; Jenkins, Janelle E; Sampath, Sujatha; Holland, Gregory P; Hinman, Mike; Yarger, Jeffery L; Lewis, Randolph

    2012-12-10

    Dragline silk from orb-weaving spiders is a copolymer of two large proteins, major ampullate spidroin 1 (MaSp1) and 2 (MaSp2). The ratio of these proteins is known to have a large variation across different species of orb-weaving spiders. NMR results from gland material of two different species of spiders, N. clavipes and A. aurantia , indicates that MaSp1 proteins are more easily formed into β-sheet nanostructures, while MaSp2 proteins form random coil and helical structures. To test if this behavior of natural silk proteins could be reproduced by recombinantly produced spider silk mimic protein, recombinant MaSp1/MaSp2 mixed fibers as well as chimeric silk fibers from MaSp1 and MaSp2 sequences in a single protein were produced based on the variable ratio and conserved motifs of MaSp1 and MaSp2 in native silk fiber. Mechanical properties, solid-state NMR, and XRD results of tested synthetic fibers indicate the differing roles of MaSp1 and MaSp2 in the fiber and verify the importance of postspin stretching treatment in helping the fiber to form the proper spatial structure.

  4. Ballooning behavior in the golden orbweb spider Nephilapilipes (Araneae: Nephilidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa M.J. Lee

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Ballooning, a mode of aerial dispersal in spiders, is an innate behavior that requires appropriate physiological and meteorological conditions. Although only rarely reported in the golden orbweb spiders, family Nephilidae, the large geographic distributions of most nephilids—in particular of Nephila species—would imply that these spiders likely routinely disperse by ballooning in spite of giant female sizes. Here we study ballooning behavior in the golden orbweb spider Nephila pilipes (Fabricius, 1793. Specifically, we test for the propensity of spiderlings to deploy ballooning as a dispersal mechanism. We subjected a total of 59 first-instar spiderlings to a wind experiment at two wind speeds (2.17 ± 0.02 m s-1 and 3.17 ± 0.02 m s-1 under laboratory conditions. Under an average wind speed of 3.17 m s-1, none of the spiderlings exhibited pre-ballooning or ballooning behavior. However, at an average wind speed of 2.17 m s-1, 53 (89.8% spiderlings showed pre-ballooning behavior, and 17 (32.1% of the pre-ballooners ultimately ballooned. Our results concur with prior reports on spiderlings of other families that pre-ballooning behavior is a requirement for ballooning to occur. Furthermore, although we cannot rule out other dispersal mechanisms such as synanthropic spread, our findings suggest that the widespread N. pilipes uses ballooning to colonize remote oceanic islands.

  5. Food caching in orb-web spiders (Araneae: Araneoidea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champion de Crespigny, Fleur E.; Herberstein, Marie E.; Elgar, Mark A.

    2001-01-01

    Caching or storing surplus prey may reduce the risk of starvation during periods of food deprivation. While this behaviour occurs in a variety of birds and mammals, it is infrequent among invertebrates. However, golden orb-web spiders, Nephila edulis, incorporate a prey cache in their relatively permanent web, which they feed on during periods of food shortage. Heavier spiders significantly reduced weight loss if they were able to access a cache, but lost weight if the cache was removed. The presence or absence of stored prey had no effect on the weight loss of lighter spiders. Furthermore, N. edulis always attacked new prey, irrespective of the number of unprocessed prey in the web. In contrast, females of Argiope keyserlingi, who build a new web every day and do not cache prey, attacked fewer new prey items if some had already been caught. Thus, a necessary pre-adaptation to the evolution of prey caching in orb-web spiders may be a durable or permanent web, such as that constructed by Nephila.

  6. Further notes on the spiders of New Guinea I (Argyopidae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chrysanthus, Fr.

    1971-01-01

    In this paper several collections of spiders are dealt with, originating from New Guinea, Bismarck Arch., Solomon Is., and from islands of the Great Barrier Reef and in the Coral Sea. Descriptions, figures and/or remarks are given of the following species: Argyope aemula (Walckenaer), A. aetherea (W

  7. Preservice Teachers' Conceptions about Animals and Particularly about Spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jambrina, Carmen Urones; Vacas, Jose Manuel; Sanchez-Barbudo, Miguel

    2010-01-01

    Introduction: This article explores the scientific ideas and alternative conceptions that pre-service teachers have regarding animal classification and spiders in particular. Method: The study involved 40 pre-service teachers of elementary education in Spain and the data was collected by means of questionnaires, descriptions and drawings. The…

  8. Taxonomic revision of the spider family Penestomidae (Araneae, Entelegynae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Miller, J.A.; Griswold, C.E.; Haddad, C.R.

    2010-01-01

    Conflicting character evidence and a scarcity of male specimens has historically made placement of the spider subfamily Penestominae Simon problematic. The Penestominae was recently removed from the family Eresidae and promoted to family rank based on the results of a molecular phylogenetic study; a

  9. Competition between introduced and native spiders (Araneae: Linyphiidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houser, J.D.; Ginsberg, Howard S.; Jakob, Elizabeth M.

    2014-01-01

    The European sheet-web spider Linyphia triangularis (Araneae: Linyphiidae) has become established in Maine, where it often reaches very high densities. Two lines of evidence from previous work suggest that L. triangularis affects populations of the native linyphiid spider Frontinella communis. First, F. communis individuals are relatively scarce in both forest and coastal habitat where L. triangularis is common, but more common where L. triangularis is at low density. Second, in field experiments, F. communis species are less likely to settle in experimental plots when L. triangularis is present, and F. communis disappears from study plots when L. triangularis is introduced. Here we test two mechanisms that may underlie these patterns. First, we tested whether L. triangularis invades and usurps the webs of F. communis. When spiders were released onto webs of heterospecifics, L. triangularis was more likely to take over or share webs of F. communis than the reverse. We also observed natural takeovers of F. communis webs. Second, we explored the hypothesis that L. triangularis reduces prey availability for native species. We sampled flying prey in areas with L. triangularis and those where it had been removed, and found no effect of spider presence on measured prey density. We also found no effect of prey supplementation on web tenacity in F. communis, suggesting that F. communis movements are not highly dependent on prey availability. We conclude that web takeover is likely more important than prey reduction in driving negative effects of L. triangularis on F. communis.

  10. Incidense of spider mites in South Texas cotton fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    The incidence of spider mites was evaluated· in four locations of south Texas between Progreso (Hidalgo Co.) to Bishop (Nueces Co.). This is an area with a south to north transect of 125 miles from south Progreso to north Bishop (respectively).The other two intermediate sampled locations were Harlin...

  11. Insights into Antimicrobial Peptides from Spiders and Scorpions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiuqing; Wang, Guangshun

    2016-01-01

    The venoms of spiders and scorpions contain a variety of chemical compounds. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) from these organisms were first discovered in the 1990s. As of May 2015, there were 42 spider's and 63 scorpion's AMPs in the Antimicrobial Peptide Database (http://aps.unmc.edu/AP). These peptides have demonstrated broad or narrow-spectrum activities against bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites. In addition, they can be toxic to cancer cells, insects and erythrocytes. To provide insight into such an activity spectrum, this article discusses the discovery, classification, structure and activity relationships, bioinformatics analysis, and potential applications of spider and scorpion AMPs. Our analysis reveals that, in the case of linear peptides, spiders use both glycine-rich and helical peptide models for defense, whereas scorpions use two distinct helical peptide models with different amino acid compositions to exert the observed antimicrobial activities and hemolytic toxicity. Our structural bioinformatics study improves the knowledge in the field and can be used to design more selective peptides to combat tumors, parasites, and viruses.

  12. Spiders (Araneae) as polyphagous natural enemies in orchards

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bogya, S.

    1999-01-01

    Spiders (Araneae) occur in high abundance in all terrestrial ecosystems including agro-ecosystems. They are a very heterogeneous group of animals with different hunting tactics and therefore they play very different ecological roles. At family level these tactics are rather similar thus properties a

  13. ArachnoServer: a database of protein toxins from spiders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaas Quentin

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Venomous animals incapacitate their prey using complex venoms that can contain hundreds of unique protein toxins. The realisation that many of these toxins may have pharmaceutical and insecticidal potential due to their remarkable potency and selectivity against target receptors has led to an explosion in the number of new toxins being discovered and characterised. From an evolutionary perspective, spiders are the most successful venomous animals and they maintain by far the largest pool of toxic peptides. However, at present, there are no databases dedicated to spider toxins and hence it is difficult to realise their full potential as drugs, insecticides, and pharmacological probes. Description We have developed ArachnoServer, a manually curated database that provides detailed information about proteinaceous toxins from spiders. Key features of ArachnoServer include a new molecular target ontology designed especially for venom toxins, the most up-to-date taxonomic information available, and a powerful advanced search interface. Toxin information can be browsed through dynamic trees, and each toxin has a dedicated page summarising all available information about its sequence, structure, and biological activity. ArachnoServer currently manages 567 protein sequences, 334 nucleic acid sequences, and 51 protein structures. Conclusion ArachnoServer provides a single source of high-quality information about proteinaceous spider toxins that will be an invaluable resource for pharmacologists, neuroscientists, toxinologists, medicinal chemists, ion channel scientists, clinicians, and structural biologists. ArachnoServer is available online at http://www.arachnoserver.org.

  14. Small Molecules from Spiders Used as Chemical Probes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Christian Adam; Kristensen, Anders S.; Strømgaard, Kristian

    2011-01-01

    Spiders are important species in ecological systems and as major predators of insects they are endowed with a plethora of low‐molecular‐weight natural products having intriguing biological activities. The isolation and biological characterization of these entities are well established, however, o...

  15. The sejugal furrow in camel spiders and acariform mites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dunlop, Jason A.

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Camel spiders (Arachnida: Solifugae are one of the arachnid groups characterised by a prosomal dorsal shield composed of three distinct elements: the pro-, meso- and metapeltidium. These are associated respectively with prosomal appendages one to four, five, and six. What is less well known, although noted in the historical literature, is that the coxae of the 4th and 5th prosomal segments (i.e. walking legs 2 and 3 of camel spiders are also separated ventrally by a distinct membranous region, which is absent between the coxae of the other legs. We suggest that this essentially ventral division of the prosoma specifically between coxae 2 and 3 is homologous with the so-called sejugal furrow (the sejugal interval sensu van der Hammen. This division constitutes a fundamental part of the body plan in acariform mites (Arachnida: Acariformes. If homologous, this sejugal furrow could represent a further potential synapomorphy for (Solifugae + Acariformes; a relationship with increasing morphological and molecular support. Alternatively, outgroup comparison with sea spiders (Pycnogonida and certain early Palaeozoic fossils could imply that the sejugal furrow defines an older tagma, derived from a more basal grade of organisation. In this scenario the (still divided prosoma of acariform mites and camel spiders would be plesiomorphic. This interpretation challenges the textbook arachnid character of a peltidium (or ‘carapace’ covering an undivided prosoma.

  16. Infanticide by a solitary koinobiont ichneumonid ectoparasitoid of spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takasuka, Keizo; Matsumoto, Rikio

    2011-06-01

    When encountering an already parasitized host, a parasitoid's optimal choices (superparasitism, host rejection, host feeding or infanticide) seem to depend on the individual species' life history, because the same choice may have different fitness consequences. We demonstrate infanticide under laboratory conditions by a polysphinctine, Zatypota albicoxa, which is a solitary koinobiont ectoparasitoid of spiders. The female always removed any previously attached egg or larva from the body of the host spider, Parasteatoda tepidariorum, with a rubbing behaviour. She rubbed her ovipositor back and forth toward the undersurface of the attached egg or of the saddle under the attached larva to pry it off and laid an egg after removal. When removing a larva, the infanticidal female engaged exclusively in unfastening the `saddle' which fastens the larva to the body of the spider. All larvae were removed with the `saddle' attached to the ventral surface of the body. The female invested more time to remove the medium second and the large penultimate instar larvae than to remove eggs and first instar larvae because of the labour involved in unfastening the saddle. Oviposition with infanticide of the medium second and the penultimate instar larvae imposed more time upon the female than that on an unparasitized host. Removal of any previous occupant in spite of the associated labour costs suggests that infanticide will always be adaptive, no matter the time costs to Z. albicoxa, because so much is invested in attacking the host and because the parasitoid cannot detect whether the spider is already parasitized until she achieves subjugation.

  17. Biotechnological Trends in Spider and Scorpion Antivenom Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Solà, Mireia; Jappe, Emma Christine;

    2016-01-01

    Spiders and scorpions are notorious for their fearful dispositions and their ability to inject venom into prey and predators, causing symptoms such as necrosis, paralysis, and excruciating pain. Information on venom composition and the toxins present in these species is growing due to an interest...

  18. From repulsion to attraction: species- and spatial context-dependent threat sensitive response of the spider mite Tetranychus urticae to predatory mite cues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández Ferrari, M. Celeste; Schausberger, Peter

    2013-06-01

    Prey perceiving predation risk commonly change their behavior to avoid predation. However, antipredator strategies are costly. Therefore, according to the threat-sensitive predator avoidance hypothesis, prey should match the intensity of their antipredator behaviors to the degree of threat, which may depend on the predator species and the spatial context. We assessed threat sensitivity of the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae, to the cues of three predatory mites, Phytoseiulus persimilis, Neoseiulus californicus, and Amblyseius andersoni, posing different degrees of risk in two spatial contexts. We first conducted a no-choice test measuring oviposition and activity of T. urticae exposed to chemical traces of predators or traces plus predator eggs. Then, we tested the site preference of T. urticae in choice tests, using artificial cages and leaves. In the no-choice test, T. urticae deposited their first egg later in the presence of cues of P. persimilis than of the other two predators and cue absence, indicating interspecific threat-sensitivity. T. urticae laid also fewer eggs in the presence of cues of P. persimilis and A. andersoni than of N. californicus and cue absence. In the artificial cage test, the spider mites preferred the site with predator traces, whereas in the leaf test, they preferentially resided on leaves without traces. We argue that in a nonplant environment, chemical predator traces do not indicate a risk for T. urticae, and instead, these traces function as indirect habitat cues. The spider mites were attracted to these cues because they associated them with the existence of a nearby host plant.

  19. Global patterns of guild composition and functional diversity of spiders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Cardoso

    Full Text Available The objectives of this work are: (1 to define spider guilds for all extant families worldwide; (2 test if guilds defined at family level are good surrogates of species guilds; (3 compare the taxonomic and guild composition of spider assemblages from different parts of the world; (4 compare the taxonomic and functional diversity of spider assemblages and; (5 relate functional diversity with habitat structure. Data on foraging strategy, prey range, vertical stratification and circadian activity was collected for 108 families. Spider guilds were defined by hierarchical clustering. We searched for inconsistencies between family guild placement and the known guild of each species. Richness and abundance per guild before and after correcting guild placement were compared, as were the proportions of each guild and family between all possible pairs of sites. Functional diversity per site was calculated based on hierarchical clustering. Eight guilds were discriminated: (1 sensing, (2 sheet, (3 space, and (4 orb web weavers; (5 specialists; (6 ambush, (7 ground, and (8 other hunters. Sixteen percent of the species richness corresponding to 11% of all captured individuals was incorrectly attributed to a guild by family surrogacy; however, the correlation of uncorrected vs. corrected guilds was invariably high. The correlation of guild richness or abundances was generally higher than the correlation of family richness or abundances. Functional diversity was not always higher in the tropics than in temperate regions. Families may potentially serve as ecological surrogates for species. Different families may present similar roles in the ecosystems, with replacement of some taxa by other within the same guild. Spiders in tropical regions seem to have higher redundancy of functional roles and/or finer resource partitioning than in temperate regions. Although species and family diversity were higher in the tropics, functional diversity seems to be also

  20. Nonlinear material behaviour of spider silk yields robust webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cranford, Steven W; Tarakanova, Anna; Pugno, Nicola M; Buehler, Markus J

    2012-02-01

    Natural materials are renowned for exquisite designs that optimize function, as illustrated by the elasticity of blood vessels, the toughness of bone and the protection offered by nacre. Particularly intriguing are spider silks, with studies having explored properties ranging from their protein sequence to the geometry of a web. This material system, highly adapted to meet a spider's many needs, has superior mechanical properties. In spite of much research into the molecular design underpinning the outstanding performance of silk fibres, and into the mechanical characteristics of web-like structures, it remains unknown how the mechanical characteristics of spider silk contribute to the integrity and performance of a spider web. Here we report web deformation experiments and simulations that identify the nonlinear response of silk threads to stress--involving softening at a yield point and substantial stiffening at large strain until failure--as being crucial to localize load-induced deformation and resulting in mechanically robust spider webs. Control simulations confirmed that a nonlinear stress response results in superior resistance to structural defects in the web compared to linear elastic or elastic-plastic (softening) material behaviour. We also show that under distributed loads, such as those exerted by wind, the stiff behaviour of silk under small deformation, before the yield point, is essential in maintaining the web's structural integrity. The superior performance of silk in webs is therefore not due merely to its exceptional ultimate strength and strain, but arises from the nonlinear response of silk threads to strain and their geometrical arrangement in a web.

  1. SPIDER: Next Generation Chip Scale Imaging Sensor Update

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, A.; Kendrick, R.; Ogden, C.; Wuchenich, D.; Thurman, S.; Su, T.; Lai, W.; Chun, J.; Li, S.; Liu, G.; Yoo, S. J. B.

    2016-09-01

    The Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center (LM ATC) and the University of California at Davis (UC Davis) are developing an electro-optical (EO) imaging sensor called SPIDER (Segmented Planar Imaging Detector for Electro-optical Reconnaissance) that seeks to provide a 10x to 100x size, weight, and power (SWaP) reduction alternative to the traditional bulky optical telescope and focal-plane detector array. The substantial reductions in SWaP would reduce cost and/or provide higher resolution by enabling a larger-aperture imager in a constrained volume. Our SPIDER imager replaces the traditional optical telescope and digital focal plane detector array with a densely packed interferometer array based on emerging photonic integrated circuit (PIC) technologies that samples the object being imaged in the Fourier domain (i.e., spatial frequency domain), and then reconstructs an image. Our approach replaces the large optics and structures required by a conventional telescope with PICs that are accommodated by standard lithographic fabrication techniques (e.g., complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) fabrication). The standard EO payload integration and test process that involves precision alignment and test of optical components to form a diffraction limited telescope is, therefore, replaced by in-process integration and test as part of the PIC fabrication, which substantially reduces associated schedule and cost. This paper provides an overview of performance data on the second-generation PIC for SPIDER developed under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)'s SPIDER Zoom research funding. We also update the design description of the SPIDER Zoom imaging sensor and the second-generation PIC (high- and low resolution versions).

  2. Global patterns of guild composition and functional diversity of spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Pedro; Pekár, Stano; Jocqué, Rudy; Coddington, Jonathan A

    2011-01-01

    The objectives of this work are: (1) to define spider guilds for all extant families worldwide; (2) test if guilds defined at family level are good surrogates of species guilds; (3) compare the taxonomic and guild composition of spider assemblages from different parts of the world; (4) compare the taxonomic and functional diversity of spider assemblages and; (5) relate functional diversity with habitat structure. Data on foraging strategy, prey range, vertical stratification and circadian activity was collected for 108 families. Spider guilds were defined by hierarchical clustering. We searched for inconsistencies between family guild placement and the known guild of each species. Richness and abundance per guild before and after correcting guild placement were compared, as were the proportions of each guild and family between all possible pairs of sites. Functional diversity per site was calculated based on hierarchical clustering. Eight guilds were discriminated: (1) sensing, (2) sheet, (3) space, and (4) orb web weavers; (5) specialists; (6) ambush, (7) ground, and (8) other hunters. Sixteen percent of the species richness corresponding to 11% of all captured individuals was incorrectly attributed to a guild by family surrogacy; however, the correlation of uncorrected vs. corrected guilds was invariably high. The correlation of guild richness or abundances was generally higher than the correlation of family richness or abundances. Functional diversity was not always higher in the tropics than in temperate regions. Families may potentially serve as ecological surrogates for species. Different families may present similar roles in the ecosystems, with replacement of some taxa by other within the same guild. Spiders in tropical regions seem to have higher redundancy of functional roles and/or finer resource partitioning than in temperate regions. Although species and family diversity were higher in the tropics, functional diversity seems to be also influenced by

  3. Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom toxins: tools for biological purposes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaim, Olga Meiri; Trevisan-Silva, Dilza; Chaves-Moreira, Daniele; Wille, Ana Carolina M; Ferrer, Valéria Pereira; Matsubara, Fernando Hitomi; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; da Silveira, Rafael Bertoni; Gremski, Luiza Helena; Gremski, Waldemiro; Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea; Veiga, Silvio Sanches

    2011-03-01

    Venomous animals use their venoms as tools for defense or predation. These venoms are complex mixtures, mainly enriched of proteic toxins or peptides with several, and different, biological activities. In general, spider venom is rich in biologically active molecules that are useful in experimental protocols for pharmacology, biochemistry, cell biology and immunology, as well as putative tools for biotechnology and industries. Spider venoms have recently garnered much attention from several research groups worldwide. Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom is enriched in low molecular mass proteins (5-40 kDa). Although their venom is produced in minute volumes (a few microliters), and contain only tens of micrograms of protein, the use of techniques based on molecular biology and proteomic analysis has afforded rational projects in the area and permitted the discovery and identification of a great number of novel toxins. The brown spider phospholipase-D family is undoubtedly the most investigated and characterized, although other important toxins, such as low molecular mass insecticidal peptides, metalloproteases and hyaluronidases have also been identified and featured in literature. The molecular pathways of the action of these toxins have been reported and brought new insights in the field of biotechnology. Herein, we shall see how recent reports describing discoveries in the area of brown spider venom have expanded biotechnological uses of molecules identified in these venoms, with special emphasis on the construction of a cDNA library for venom glands, transcriptome analysis, proteomic projects, recombinant expression of different proteic toxins, and finally structural descriptions based on crystallography of toxins.

  4. Brown Spider (Loxosceles genus Venom Toxins: Tools for Biological Purposes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Senff-Ribeiro

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Venomous animals use their venoms as tools for defense or predation. These venoms are complex mixtures, mainly enriched of proteic toxins or peptides with several, and different, biological activities. In general, spider venom is rich in biologically active molecules that are useful in experimental protocols for pharmacology, biochemistry, cell biology and immunology, as well as putative tools for biotechnology and industries. Spider venoms have recently garnered much attention from several research groups worldwide. Brown spider (Loxosceles genus venom is enriched in low molecular mass proteins (5–40 kDa. Although their venom is produced in minute volumes (a few microliters, and contain only tens of micrograms of protein, the use of techniques based on molecular biology and proteomic analysis has afforded rational projects in the area and permitted the discovery and identification of a great number of novel toxins. The brown spider phospholipase-D family is undoubtedly the most investigated and characterized, although other important toxins, such as low molecular mass insecticidal peptides, metalloproteases and hyaluronidases have also been identified and featured in literature. The molecular pathways of the action of these toxins have been reported and brought new insights in the field of biotechnology. Herein, we shall see how recent reports describing discoveries in the area of brown spider venom have expanded biotechnological uses of molecules identified in these venoms, with special emphasis on the construction of a cDNA library for venom glands, transcriptome analysis, proteomic projects, recombinant expression of different proteic toxins, and finally structural descriptions based on crystallography of toxins.

  5. Artificial life and life artificialization in Tron

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Dantas Figueiredo

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Cinema constantly shows the struggle between the men and artificial intelligences. Fiction, and more specifically fiction films, lends itself to explore possibilities asking “what if?”. “What if”, in this case, is related to the eventual rebellion of artificial intelligences, theme explored in the movies Tron (1982 and Tron Legacy (2010 trat portray the conflict between programs and users. The present paper examines these films, observing particularly the possibility programs empowering. Finally, is briefly mentioned the concept of cyborg as a possibility of response to human concerns.

  6. Disgust and disgust sensitivity in spider phobia : Facial EMG in response to spider and oral disgust imagery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, Peter; Peters, Madelon L.; Vanderhallen, [Unknown

    2002-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that disgust and fear of contamination is involved in spider phobia. Yet, because the evidence exclusively relies on self-report data it can not be ruled out these findings are produced by mechanisms such as a negative attribution bias, or imprecise emotional labeling. T

  7. Bourgeois behavior and freeloading in the colonial orb web spider Parawixia bistriata (Araneae, Araneidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenseleers, Tom; Bacon, Jonathan P; Alves, Denise A; Couvillon, Margaret J; Kärcher, Martin; Nascimento, Fabio S; Nogueira-Neto, Paulo; Ribeiro, Marcia; Robinson, Elva J H; Tofilski, Adam; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2013-07-01

    Spiders of the tropical American colonial orb weaver Parawixia bistriata form a communal bivouac in daytime. At sunset, they leave the bivouac and construct individual, defended webs within a large, communally built scaffolding of permanent, thick silk lines between trees and bushes. Once spiders started building a web, they repelled other spiders walking on nearby scaffolding with a "bounce" behavior. In nearly all cases (93%), this resulted in the intruder leaving without a fight, akin to the "bourgeois strategy," in which residents win and intruders retreat without escalated contests. However, a few spiders (6.5%) did not build a web due to lack of available space. Webless spiders were less likely to leave when bounced (only 42% left) and instead attempted to "freeload," awaiting the capture of prey items in nearby webs. Our simple model shows that webless spiders should change their strategy from bourgeois to freeloading satellite as potential web sites become increasingly occupied.

  8. Invited review current progress and limitations of spider silk for biomedical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widhe, Mona; Johansson, Jan; Hedhammar, My; Rising, Anna

    2012-06-01

    Spider silk is a fascinating material combining remarkable mechanical properties with low density and biodegradability. Because of these properties and historical descriptions of medical applications, spider silk has been proposed to be the ideal biomaterial. However, overcoming the obstacles to produce spider silk in sufficient quantities and in a manner that meets regulatory demands has proven to be a difficult task. Also, there are relatively few studies of spider silk in biomedical applications available, and the methods and materials used vary a lot. Herein we summarize cell culture- and in vivo implantation studies of natural and synthetic spider silk, and also review the current status and future challenges in the quest for a large scale production of spider silk for medical applications.

  9. How informative are case studies of spider bites in the medical literature?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuber, Marielle; Nentwig, Wolfgang

    2016-05-01

    We analyzed the reliability and information content of 134 medical case studies on spider bites, published in 91 journal articles. Overall, we found that only 22% of these studies fulfilled the criteria for a verified spider bite. This means that the majority of such case studies cannot be attributed to a given spider species and usually not even to a spider. Their scientific value is negligible, moreover, such publications are even dangerous because they suggest incorrect conclusions. Secondly, we found that such case studies usually do not follow an obvious structure and many details on the development of symptoms, therapy and healing process are widely lacking. So even for verified spider bites, the comparability of case studies is limited. We discuss the obvious failure of a reviewing process for case studies and give recommendations how to increase the currently low information content of medical case studies on spider bites.

  10. 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.

  11. Biochemical and pharmacological study of venom of the wolf spider Lycosa singoriensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ZH Liu

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The wolf spider Lycosa singoriensis is a large and venomous spider distributed throughout northwestern China. Like other spider venoms, the wolf spider venom is a chemical cocktail. Its protein content is 0.659 mg protein/mg crude venom as determined by the Lowry method. MALDI-TOF analysis revealed that the venom peptides are highly diverse and may be divided into three groups characterized by three independent molecular ranges: 2,000 to 2,500 Da, 4,800 to 5,500 Da and 7,000 to 8,000 Da, respectively. This molecular distribution differs substantially from those of most spider venoms studied so far. This wolf spider venom has low neurotoxic action on mice, but it can induce hemolysis of human erythrocytes. Furthermore, the venom shows antimicrobial activity against prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

  12. Onion artificial muscles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chien-Chun; Shih, Wen-Pin; Chang, Pei-Zen; Lai, Hsi-Mei; Chang, Shing-Yun; Huang, Pin-Chun; Jeng, Huai-An

    2015-05-01

    Artificial muscles are soft actuators with the capability of either bending or contraction/elongation subjected to external stimulation. However, there are currently no artificial muscles that can accomplish these actions simultaneously. We found that the single layered, latticed microstructure of onion epidermal cells after acid treatment became elastic and could simultaneously stretch and bend when an electric field was applied. By modulating the magnitude of the voltage, the artificial muscle made of onion epidermal cells would deflect in opposing directions while either contracting or elongating. At voltages of 0-50 V, the artificial muscle elongated and had a maximum deflection of -30 μm; at voltages of 50-1000 V, the artificial muscle contracted and deflected 1.0 mm. The maximum force response is 20 μN at 1000 V.

  13. Spiders' webs and locally connected Julia sets of transcendental entire functions

    CERN Document Server

    Osborne, J W

    2011-01-01

    We show that, if the Julia set of a transcendental entire function is locally connected, then it takes the form of a spider's web in the sense defined by Rippon and Stallard. In the opposite direction, we prove that a spider's web Julia set is always locally connected at a dense subset of buried points. We also show that the set of buried points (the residual Julia set) can be a spider's web.

  14. View of Arabella, one of two Skylab spiders and her web

    Science.gov (United States)

    1973-01-01

    A close-up view of Arabella, one of the two Skylab 3 common cross spiders 'aranous diadematus,' and the web it had spun in the zero gravity of space aboard the Skylab space station cluster in Earth orbit. During the 59 day Skylab 3 mission the two spiders Arabella and Anita, were housed in an enclosure onto which a motion picture and still camera were attached to record the spiders' attempts to build a web in the weightless environment.

  15. Intraguild interactions between spiders and ants and top-down control in a grassland food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Dirk; Platner, Christian

    2007-01-01

    In most terrestrial ecosystems ants (Formicidae) as eusocial insects and spiders (Araneida) as solitary trappers and hunters are key predators. To study the role of predation by these generalist predators in a dry grassland, we manipulated densities of ants and spiders (natural and low density) in a two-factorial field experiment using fenced plots. The experiment revealed strong intraguild interactions between ants and spiders. Higher densities of ants negatively affected the abundance and biomass of web-building spiders. The density of Linyphiidae was threefold higher in plots without ant colonies. The abundance of Formica cunicularia workers was significantly higher in spider-removal plots. Also, population size of springtails (Collembola) was negatively affected by the presence of wandering spiders. Ants reduced the density of Lepidoptera larvae. In contrast, the abundance of coccids (Ortheziidae) was positively correlated with densities of ants. To gain a better understanding of the position of spiders, ants and other dominant invertebrate groups in the studied food web and important trophic links, we used a stable isotope analysis ((15)N and (13)C). Adult wandering spiders were more enriched in (15)N relative to (14)N than juveniles, indicating a shift to predatory prey groups. Juvenile wandering and web-building spiders showed delta(15)N ratios just one trophic level above those of Collembola, and they had similar delta(13)C values, indicating that Collembola are an important prey group for ground living spiders. The effects of spiders demonstrated in the field experiment support this result. We conclude that the food resource of spiders in our study system is largely based on the detrital food web and that their effects on herbivores are weak. The effects of ants are not clear-cut and include predation as well as mutualism with herbivores. Within this diverse predator guild, intraguild interactions are important structuring forces.

  16. Chemical attraction of kleptoparasitic flies to heteropteran insects caught by orb-weaving spiders.

    OpenAIRE

    Eisner, T.; Eisner, M; Deyrup, M

    1991-01-01

    Insects of the heteropteran families Pentatomidae (stink bugs) and Coreidae (squash bugs), when being eaten by the orb-weaving spider Nephila clavipes, attract flies of the family Milichiidae. The flies aggregate on the bugs and, as kleptoparasites, share in the spider's meal. Stink bugs and squash bugs typically eject defensive sprays when attacked; they do so when caught by Nephila, but the spray only minimally affects the spider. Evidence is presented indicating that it is the spray of the...

  17. Previous experience and site tenacity in the orb spider Nephila (Araneae, Araneidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vollrath, F; Houston, A

    1986-09-01

    The tenacity of the orb spider Nephila clavipes to a web site was studied in the laboratory. No differences were found between the giving-up-times and the site tenacity of spiders reared in the laboratory or those caught in the field, nor between spiders raised under a poor or a richt diet. The animals left sites at random and seemed to ignore experiences gained at previous sites.

  18. Characterization of insecticidal peptides from venom Australian funnel-web spiders

    OpenAIRE

    E. J. Vonorax; M. I. Tyler; R. K. Atkinson; M. E. H. Howden

    2006-01-01

    Australian funnel-web spiders are relatively large primitive hunting spiders. Male Atrax robustus spiders have been responsible for a number of human deaths. Venom was collected from the species Hadronyche infensa (Hickman) [female], H. formidabilis [male and female], H. versuta [female], and A. robustus (Cambridge) [male] and was fractionated by high performance liquid chromatography. This resulted in the isolation and purification of a homologous series of 7 insecticidal peptides of relativ...

  19. Acute myocardial injury caused by Sydney funnel-web spider (Atrax robustus) envenoming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbister, G K; Warner, G

    2003-12-01

    A 67-year-old female suffered envenoming by a Sydney funnel-web spider (Atrax robustus), complicated by ST elevation and elevated troponin levels consistent with an acute myocardial injury. She was treated primarily with funnel-web spider antivenom, admission to intensive care and initial respiratory support for acute pulmonary oedema. The mechanism by which funnel-web spider envenomation caused myocardial injury is unclear but follow-up nuclear studies in the patient demonstrated that she had minimal atherosclerotic disease.

  20. Loss of legs: is it or not a handicap for an orb-weaving spider?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasquet, Alain; Anotaux, Mylène; Leborgne, Raymond

    2011-07-01

    Leg loss is a common phenomenon in spiders, and according to the species 5% to 40% of the adults can present at least one missing leg. There is no possibility of regeneration after adult moult and the animal must manage with its missing appendages until its death. With the loss of one or more legs, female orb-weaving spiders can be penalized twice: firstly, because the legs are necessary for web construction and secondly, the legs are essential for the control of the prey after its interception by the web. During development, spiders may be also penalized because regeneration has energetic costs that take away resources for survival, growth and reproduction. All these consequences should influence negatively the development of the spider and thus its fitness. We investigated the impact of leg loss in the orb-weaving spider, Zygiella x-notata by studying its frequency in a natural population and web building and prey capture behaviours in laboratory. In field populations, 9.5% to 13%, of the adult females presented the loss of one or more legs; the majority of individuals had lost only one leg (in 48% of cases, a first one). Leg loss seems to affect all the adult spiders, as there is no difference of mass between intact spiders and those with missing leg. Data obtained with laboratory-reared spiders, showed that the loss of legs due to the moult is rare (less than 1%). Considering changes in web design, spiders with missing legs decreased their silk investment, increased the distance between spiral turns but did not change the capture surface of the web. Under our laboratory experimental conditions, spiders with one or two lost legs did not present any difference in prey capture efficiency. In laboratory conditions, spiders with lost leg(s) did not show any difference in egg sac production or in longevity (adult lifespan) compared to intact spiders.

  1. Risk of spider predation alters food web structure and reduces local herbivory in the field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucher, Roman; Menzel, Florian; Entling, Martin H

    2015-06-01

    Predators can indirectly enhance plant performance via herbivore suppression, with both prey consumption and changes in prey traits (e.g. changes in foraging behaviour) contributing to the reduction in herbivory. We performed a field experiment to determine the extent of such non-consumptive effects which consisted of repeatedly placing spiders (Pisaura mirabilis) on enclosed plants (Urtica dioica) for cue deposition. Control plants were enclosed in the same way but without spiders. After cue deposition, the enclosures were removed to allow arthropods to colonize the plants and feed on them. Arthropods were removed from the plants before the subsequent spider deposition or control enclosure. During six cycles of enclosure, we quantified leaf damage on the plants. After a seventh cycle, the colonizing arthropods were sampled to determine community composition in relation to the presence/absence of spider cues. We found that the presence of chemotactile spider cues reduced leaf damage by 50 %. In addition, spider cues led to changes in the arthropod community: smaller spiders avoided plants with spider cues. In contrast, the aphid-tending ant Myrmica rubra showed higher recruitment of workers on cue-bearing plants, possibly to protect aphids. Our results show that the risk of spider predation can reduce herbivory on wild plants and also demonstrate that non-consumptive effects can be particularly strong within the predator guild.

  2. Processing of recombinant spider silk proteins into tailor-made materials for biomaterials applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schacht, Kristin; Scheibel, Thomas

    2014-10-01

    Spider silk has extraordinary mechanical properties, is biocompatible and biodegradable, and therefore an ideal material for biomedical applications. However, a drawback for any application is the inhomogeneity of spider silk, as seen for other natural materials, as well as the low availability due to the cannibalism of most spiders. Recently, developed recombinant spider silk proteins ensure constant material properties, as well as scalable production, and further the processing into morphologies other than fibres. Biotechnology enables genetic modification, broadening the range of applications, such as implant coatings, scaffolds for tissue engineering, wound dressing devices as well as drug delivery systems.

  3. Low-Tech, Pilot Scale Purification of a Recombinant Spider Silk Protein Analog from Tobacco Leaves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heppner, René; Weichert, Nicola; Schierhorn, Angelika; Conrad, Udo; Pietzsch, Markus

    2016-10-09

    Spider dragline is used by many members of the Araneae family not only as a proteinogenic safety thread but also for web construction. Spider dragline has been shown to possess high tensile strength in combination with elastic behavior. This high tensile strength can be attributed to the presence of antiparallel β-sheets within the thread; these antiparallel β-sheets are why the protein is classified as a silk. Due to the properties of spider silk and its technical and medical uses, including its use as a suture material and as a scaffold for tissue regeneration, spider dragline is a focus of the biotechnology industry. The production of sufficient amounts of spider silk is challenging, as it is difficult to produce large quantities of fibers because of the cannibalistic behavior of spiders and their large spatial requirements. In recent years, the heterologous expression of genes coding for spider silk analogs in various hosts, including plants such as Nicotiana tabacum, has been established. We developed a simple and scalable method for the purification of a recombinant spider silk protein elastin-like peptide fusion protein (Q-/K-MaSp1-100× ELP) after heterologous production in tobacco leaves involving heat and acetone precipitation. Further purification was performed using centrifugal Inverse Transition Cycling (cITC). Up to 400 mg of highly pure spider silk protein derivatives can be isolated from six kilograms of tobacco leaves, which is the highest amount of silk protein derivatives purified from plants thus far.

  4. Low-Tech, Pilot Scale Purification of a Recombinant Spider Silk Protein Analog from Tobacco Leaves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    René Heppner

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Spider dragline is used by many members of the Araneae family not only as a proteinogenic safety thread but also for web construction. Spider dragline has been shown to possess high tensile strength in combination with elastic behavior. This high tensile strength can be attributed to the presence of antiparallel β-sheets within the thread; these antiparallel β-sheets are why the protein is classified as a silk. Due to the properties of spider silk and its technical and medical uses, including its use as a suture material and as a scaffold for tissue regeneration, spider dragline is a focus of the biotechnology industry. The production of sufficient amounts of spider silk is challenging, as it is difficult to produce large quantities of fibers because of the cannibalistic behavior of spiders and their large spatial requirements. In recent years, the heterologous expression of genes coding for spider silk analogs in various hosts, including plants such as Nicotiana tabacum, has been established. We developed a simple and scalable method for the purification of a recombinant spider silk protein elastin-like peptide fusion protein (Q-/K-MaSp1-100× ELP after heterologous production in tobacco leaves involving heat and acetone precipitation. Further purification was performed using centrifugal Inverse Transition Cycling (cITC. Up to 400 mg of highly pure spider silk protein derivatives can be isolated from six kilograms of tobacco leaves, which is the highest amount of silk protein derivatives purified from plants thus far.

  5. Spiders do not evoke greater early posterior negativity in the event-related potential as snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Hongshen; Kubo, Kenta; Kawai, Nobuyuki

    2014-09-10

    It has been long believed that both snakes and spiders are archetypal fear stimuli for humans. Furthermore, snakes have been assumed as stronger threat cues for nonhuman primates. However, it is still unclear whether spiders hold a special status in human perception. The current study explored to what extent spider pictures draw early visual attention [as assessed with early posterior negativity (EPN)] when compared with insects similar to spiders. To measure the EPN, participants watched a random rapid serial presentation of pictures, which consisted of two conditions: spider condition (spider, wasp, bumblebee, beetle) and snake condition (snake, bird). EPN amplitudes revealed no significant difference between spider, wasp, bumblebee, and beetle pictures, whereas EPN amplitudes were significantly larger for snake pictures relative to bird pictures. In addition, EPN amplitudes were significantly larger for snake pictures relative to spider pictures. These results suggest that the early visual attentional capture of animate objects is stronger for snakes, whereas spiders do not appear to hold special early attentional value.

  6. Spider Transcriptomes Identify Ancient Large-Scale Gene Duplication Event Potentially Important in Silk Gland Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Thomas H; Garb, Jessica E; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Arensburger, Peter; Ayoub, Nadia A

    2015-06-08

    The evolution of specialized tissues with novel functions, such as the silk synthesizing glands in spiders, is likely an influential driver of adaptive success. Large-scale gene duplication events and subsequent paralog divergence are thought to be required for generating evolutionary novelty. Such an event has been proposed for spiders, but not tested. We de novo assembled transcriptomes from three cobweb weaving spider species. Based on phylogenetic analyses of gene families with representatives from each of the three species, we found numerous duplication events indicative of a whole genome or segmental duplication. We estimated the age of the gene duplications relative to several speciation events within spiders and arachnids and found that the duplications likely occurred after the divergence of scorpions (order Scorpionida) and spiders (order Araneae), but before the divergence of the spider suborders Mygalomorphae and Araneomorphae, near the evolutionary origin of spider silk glands. Transcripts that are expressed exclusively or primarily within black widow silk glands are more likely to have a paralog descended from the ancient duplication event and have elevated amino acid replacement rates compared with other transcripts. Thus, an ancient large-scale gene duplication event within the spider lineage was likely an important source of molecular novelty during the evolution of silk gland-specific expression. This duplication event may have provided genetic material for subsequent silk gland diversification in the true spiders (Araneomorphae).

  7. Herbivory in a spider through exploitation of an ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meehan, Christopher J; Olson, Eric J; Reudink, Matthew W; Kyser, T Kurt; Curry, Robert L

    2009-10-13

    Spiders are thought to be strict predators. We describe a novel exception: Bagheera kiplingi, a Neotropical jumping spider (Salticidae) that exploits a well-studied ant-plant mutualism, is predominantly herbivorous. From behavioral field observations and stable-isotope analyses, we show that the main diet of this host-specific spider comprises specialized leaf tips (Beltian food bodies; Figure 1A) from Vachellia spp. ant-acacias (formerly Acacia spp.), structures traded for protection in the plant's coevolved mutualism with Pseudomyrmex spp. ants that inhabit its hollow thorns. This is the first report of a spider that feeds primarily and deliberately on plants.

  8. Species status and conservation issues of New Zealand's endemic Latrodectus spider species (Araneae: Theridiidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vink, Cor J; Sirvid, Phillip J; Malumbres-Olarte, Jagoba;

    2008-01-01

    New Zealand has two endemic widow spiders, Latrodectus katipo Powell, 1871 and L. atritus Urquhart, 1890. Both species face many conservation threats and are actively managed. The species status of the Latrodectus spiders of New Zealand was assessed using molecular (COI, ITS1, ITS2) and morpholog......New Zealand has two endemic widow spiders, Latrodectus katipo Powell, 1871 and L. atritus Urquhart, 1890. Both species face many conservation threats and are actively managed. The species status of the Latrodectus spiders of New Zealand was assessed using molecular (COI, ITS1, ITS2...... was also detected and its conservation implications are discussed....

  9. A comparison of spider communities in Bt and non-Bt rice fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sue Yeon; Kim, Seung Tae; Jung, Jong Kook; Lee, Joon-Ho

    2014-06-01

    To assess the potential adverse effects of a Bt rice line (Japonica rice cultivar, Nakdong) expressing a synthetic cry1Ac1 gene, C7-1-9-1-B, which was highly active against all larval stages of Cnaphalocrocis medinalis (Guenée) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), we investigated the community structure of spiders in Bt and non-Bt rice fields during the rice-growing season in 2007 and 2008 in Chungcheongnam-do, Korea. Spiders were surveyed with a sweep net and suction device. Suction sampling captured more spiders, measured in terms of species level and abundance, than sweeping. Araneidae and Thomisidae were captured more by sweeping, and certain species were captured only by sweeping. These findings show that both suction and sweep sampling methods should be used because these methods are most likely complementary. In total, 29 species in 23 genera and nine families were identified from the 4,937 spiders collected, and both Bt and non-Bt rice fields showed a typical Korean spider assemblage. The temporal patterns of spider species richness and spider abundance were very similar between Bt and non-Bt rice, although significant differences in species richness were observed on a few occasions. Overall, spider community structure, including diversity, the dominant species, and abundance did not differ between Bt and non-Bt rice. The results of the study indicated that the transgenic Cry1Ac rice lines tested in this study had no adverse effects on the spider community structure of the rice fields.

  10. Artificial intelligence in medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramesh, A. N.; Kambhampati, C.; Monson, J. R. T.; Drew, P. J.

    2004-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science capable of analysing complex medical data. Their potential to exploit meaningful relationship with in a data set can be used in the diagnosis, treatment and predicting outcome in many clinical scenarios. METHODS: Medline and internet searches were carried out using the keywords 'artificial intelligence' and 'neural networks (computer)'. Further references were obtained by cross-referencing from key articles. An overview of different artificial intelligent techniques is presented in this paper along with the review of important clinical applications. RESULTS: The proficiency of artificial intelligent techniques has been explored in almost every field of medicine. Artificial neural network was the most commonly used analytical tool whilst other artificial intelligent techniques such as fuzzy expert systems, evolutionary computation and hybrid intelligent systems have all been used in different clinical settings. DISCUSSION: Artificial intelligence techniques have the potential to be applied in almost every field of medicine. There is need for further clinical trials which are appropriately designed before these emergent techniques find application in the real clinical setting. PMID:15333167

  11. Spider-mediated flux of PCBs from contaminated sediments to terrestrial ecosystems and potential risks to arachnivorous birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    We investigated aquatic insect utilization and PCB exposure in riparian spiders at the Lake Hartwell superfund site (Clemson, SC , USA). We sampled sediments, adult chironomids, terrestrial insects, riparian spiders (Tetragnathidae, Araneidae, and Mecynogea lemniscata), and upla...

  12. Silkworms transformed with chimeric silkworm/spider silk genes spin composite silk fibers with improved mechanical properties

    OpenAIRE

    Teulé, Florence; Miao, Yun-Gen; Sohn, Bong-Hee; Kim, Young-Soo; Hull, J. Joe; Fraser, Malcolm J.; Lewis, Randolph V.; Jarvis, Donald L.

    2012-01-01

    The development of a spider silk-manufacturing process is of great interest. However, there are serious problems with natural manufacturing through spider farming, and standard recombinant protein production platforms have provided limited progress due to their inability to assemble spider silk proteins into fibers. Thus, we used piggyBac vectors to create transgenic silkworms encoding chimeric silkworm/spider silk proteins. The silk fibers produced by these animals were composite materials t...

  13. Cross-reactivity of Sydney funnel-web spider antivenom: neutralization of the in vitro toxicity of other Australian funnel-web (Atrax and Hadronyche) spider venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graudins, A; Wilson, D; Alewood, P F; Broady, K W; Nicholson, G M

    2002-03-01

    Australian funnel-web spiders are recognized as one of the most venomous spiders to humans world-wide. Funnel-web spider antivenom (FWS AV) reverses clinical effects of envenomation from the bite of Atrax robustus and a small number of related Hadronyche species. This study assessed the in vitro efficacy of FWS AV in neutralization of the effects of funnel-web spider venoms, collected from various locations along the eastern seaboard of Australia, in an isolated chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. Venoms were separated by SDS-PAGE electrophoresis to compare protein composition and transblotted for Western blotting and incubation with FWS AV.SDS-PAGE of venoms revealed similar low and high molecular weight protein bands. Western blotting with FWS AV showed similar antivenom binding with protein bands in all the venoms tested. Male funnel-web spider venoms (7/7) and female venoms (5/10) produced muscle contracture and fasciculation when applied to the nerve-muscle preparation. Venom effects were reversed by subsequent application of FWS AV or prevented by pretreatment of the preparation with antivenom.FWS AV appears to reverse the in vitro toxicity of a number of funnel-web spider venoms from the eastern seaboard of Australia. FWS AV should be effective in the treatment of envenomation from most, if not all, species of Australian funnel-web spiders.

  14. Black widow spider (Latrodectus mactans) envenomation in a term pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherman; Groll; Gonzalez; Aerts

    2000-07-01

    Description of a black widow spider (Latrodectus mactans) envenomation in a term pregnancy.Case report conducted at an Air Force tertiary care hospital of a 27-year-old primigravida at 38 1/7 weeks pregnancy.Latrodectus mactans antivenin can be given to treat symptoms of black widow envenomation.Black widow envenomations can cause symptoms associated with acute intra-abdominal processes. In pregnancy, envenomations can result in symptoms and signs similar to those seen in preeclampsia (abdominal pain, headache, hypertension, and proteinuria). Latrodectism should be considered in patients complaining of these symptoms in association with a spider bite. If latrodectism is considered to be the underlying origin for these symptoms, appropriate treatment should be administered. In cases of pregnancy, treatment should include L. mactans antivenin if believed to be clinically indicated. There is no current evidence that this antivenin is contraindicated in pregnancy. (Curr Surg 57:346-348)

  15. A golden-silk spider spins its web

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    On the grounds of Kennedy Space Center, a female Golden-Silk Spider repairs its web. The female can be identified by its brownish-green abdomen with a white spotted irregular pattern. The golden-silk spider repairs the webbing each day, replacing half but never the whole web at one time. Its web may measure two to three feet across. The center shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, a 92,000-acre refuge that is a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  16.  “Spiders and Webs in American Literature”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent Dussol

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available From Jonathan Edwards to Jorie Graham, spiders are strikingly present in American literature. The purpose of this article is first to show how that theme may have become something of a national tradition as very different writers, all of them careful observers of aranae, answered one another through the years. It is very likely that the attention paid to spiders by American authors was increased by those Native American myths in which spiders are a central figure. More than occasionally, on the female side of the American counter-culture, especially among its feminist and lesbian exponents, simple activists and creative writers have harnessed the symbolic power invested in the spider by Native Americans.There may be deeper reasons accounting for American authors’ fascination with spiders. The country’s phobia of disunion is one; a nation of settlers’ acute consciousness of the precariousness of its occupation of the territory is another. In demonstrating outstanding skills for adjustment to unknown places, spiders epitomize a form of identity permanence. The predominantly positive character of spider symbols in American literature will occasionally be inverted. Following the national logic of checks and balances, any web covering the whole of the United States will tend to come under suspicion.This study ends with an inventory of cultural productions linked with spiders and webs and whose Americanness is yet to be clearly determined.De Jonathan Edwards à Jorie Graham, l’araignée apparaît dans un nombre frappant de textes littéraires américains. On a d’abord voulu tenter de montrer comment a pu se construire cette tradition thématique et faire la preuve que différents écrivains, réunis par un souci de l’observation, se sont répondus à travers elle. L’attention prêtée à l’araignée s’est certainement trouvée renforcée par les récits mythologiques des peuples premiers américains qui font de l’araignée une

  17. A Spider That Lays Its Eggs in Rows

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert L. Edwards

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available The small (2.5-3.0 mm, colorful metine spider, Homalometa nigritarsis Simon 1897, Family Tetragnathidae, has previously been reported from northern Mexico, Panama and the southern islands of the Lesser Antilles (Levi 1986. In the rain forest of northeastern Puerto Rico it is most frequently found with webbing on the larger outer concave surfaces of pendulous leaves. H. nigritarsis typically makes a circular, relatively flat retreat within which the female deposits two parallel rows of naked eggs. The rows are produced at intervals; as one row hatches another replaces it shortly thereafter. Evidence of up to four generations of rows has been observed. Above the retreat, and closely aligned with it, the spider builds a nearly invisible, delicate orb web, typically from edge to edge of the leaf (Fig. 1a and b. While retaining the traditional orb-web, H. nigritarsis has adopted a unique habitat and set of life history features.

  18. Composition of the silk lipids of the spider Nephila clavipes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, S

    2001-06-01

    A detailed analysis of the lipids of spider silk is given for the first time. Extracts of the silk from the golden orb weaver, Nephila clavipes, were studied by gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, and chemical derivatizations. The major group of the lipids consisted of methyl-branched 1-methoxyalkanes (methyl ethers) with up to four methyl groups in the chain (chain length between C28 and C34), which are unique to spiders. The position of the methyl branches was determined by conversion into cyanides, which allowed easy location of methyl branches. The second-largest group included alkanes with a wide structural variety; 2-methyl-branched, even-numbered hydrocarbons predominated. A general numerical method for the estimation of retention indices of alkanes and their derivatives is presented. Further components of the web included alkanols and alkanediols, fatty acids, and glyceryl ethers. Some comments on the biosynthesis of these compounds are also given.

  19. Systematics, phylogeny, and evolution of orb-weaving spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hormiga, Gustavo; Griswold, Charles E

    2014-01-01

    The orb-weaving spiders (Orbiculariae) comprise more than 25% of the approximately 44,000 known living spider species and produce a remarkable variety of webs. The wheel-shaped orb web is primitive to this clade, but most Orbiculariae make webs hardly recognizable as orbs. Orb-weavers date at least to the Jurassic. With no evidence for convergence of the orb web, the monophyly of the two typical orb web taxa, the cribellate Deinopoidea and ecribellate Araneoidea, remains problematic, supported only weakly by molecular studies. The sister group of the Orbiculariae also remains elusive. Despite more than 15 years of phylogenetic scrutiny, a fully resolved cladogram of the Orbiculariae families is not yet possible. More comprehensive taxon sampling, comparative morphology, and new molecular markers are required for a better understanding of orb-weaver evolution.

  20. Structure to function: Spider silk and human collagen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabotyagova, Olena S.

    Nature has the ability to assemble a variety of simple molecules into complex functional structures with diverse properties. Collagens, silks and muscles fibers are some examples of fibrous proteins with self-assembling properties. One of the great challenges facing Science is to mimic these designs in Nature to find a way to construct molecules that are capable of organizing into functional supra-structures by self-assembly. In order to do so, a construction kit consisting of molecular building blocks along with a complete understanding on how to form functional materials is required. In this current research, the focus is on spider silk and collagen as fibrous protein-based biopolymers that can shed light on how to generate nanostructures through the complex process of self-assembly. Spider silk in fiber form offers a unique combination of high elasticity, toughness, and mechanical strength, along with biological compatibility and biodegrability. Spider silk is an example of a natural block copolymer, in which hydrophobic and hydrophilic blocks are linked together generating polymers that organize into functional materials with extraordinary properties. Since silks resemble synthetic block copolymer systems, we adopted the principles of block copolymer design from the synthetic polymer literature to build block copolymers based on spider silk sequences. Moreover, we consider spider silk to be an important model with which to study the relationships between structure and properties in our system. Thus, the first part of this work was dedicated to a novel family of spider silk block copolymers, where we generated a new family of functional spider silk-like block copolymers through recombinant DNA technology. To provide fundamental insight into relationships between peptide primary sequence, block composition, and block length and observed morphological and structural features, we used these bioengineered spider silk block copolymers to study secondary structure

  1. SPIDER: A Balloon-borne Large-scale CMB Polarimeter

    CERN Document Server

    Crill, B P; Battistelli, E S; Benton, S; Bihary, R; Bock, J J; Bond, J R; Brevik, J; Bryan, S; Contaldi, C R; Dore, O; Farhang, M; Fissel, L; Golwala, S R; Halpern, M; Hilton, G; Holmes, W; Hristov, V V; Irwin, K; Jones, W C; Kuo, C L; Lange, A E; Lawrie, C; MacTavish, C J; Martin, T G; Mason, P; Montroy, T E; Netterfield, C B; Pascale, E; Riley, D; Ruhl, J E; Runyan, M C; Trangsrud, A; Tucker, C; Turner, A; Viero, M; Wiebe, D

    2008-01-01

    Spider is a balloon-borne experiment that will measure the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background over a large fraction of a sky at 1 degree resolution. Six monochromatic refracting millimeter-wave telescopes with large arrays of antenna-coupled transition-edge superconducting bolometers will provide system sensitivities of 4.2 and 3.1 micro K_cmb rt s at 100 and 150 GHz, respectively. A rotating half-wave plate will modulate the polarization sensitivity of each telescope, controlling systematics. Bolometer arrays operating at 225 GHz and 275 GHz will allow removal of polarized galactic foregrounds. In a 2-6 day first flight from Alice Springs, Australia in 2010, Spider will map 50% of the sky to a depth necessary to improve our knowledge of the reionization optical depth by a large factor.

  2. Biotechnological applications of brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea; Henrique da Silva, Paulo; Chaim, Olga Meiri; Gremski, Luiza Helena; Paludo, Kátia Sabrina; Bertoni da Silveira, Rafael; Gremski, Waldemiro; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; Veiga, Silvio Sanches

    2008-01-01

    Loxoscelism (the term used to define accidents by the bite of brown spiders) has been reported worldwide. Clinical manifestations following brown spider bites are frequently associated with skin degeneration, a massive inflammatory response at the injured region, intravascular hemolysis, platelet aggregation causing thrombocytopenia and renal disturbances. The mechanisms by which the venom exerts its noxious effects are currently under investigation. The whole venom is a complex mixture of toxins enriched with low molecular mass proteins in the range of 5-40 kDa. Toxins including alkaline phosphatase, hyaluronidase, metalloproteases (astacin-like proteases), low molecular mass (5.6-7.9 kDa) insecticidal peptides and phospholipases-D (dermonecrotic toxins) have been identified in the venom. The purpose of the present review is to describe biotechnological applications of whole venom or some toxins, with especial emphasis upon molecular biology findings obtained in the last years.

  3. Spatial distribution of Madeira Island Laurisilva endemic spiders (Arachnida: Araneae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luís Crespo

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Madeira island presents a unique spider diversity with a high number of endemic species, many of which are still poorly known. A recent biodiversity survey on the terrestrial arthropods of the native forest, Laurisilva, provided a large set of standardized samples from various patches throughout the island. Out of the fifty two species recorded, approximately 33.3% are Madeiran endemics, many of which had not been collected since their original description. Two new species to science are reported – Ceratinopsis n. sp. and Theridion n. sp. – and the first records of Poeciloneta variegata (Blackwall, 1841 and Tetragnatha intermedia Kulczynski, 1891 are reported for the first time for Madeira island. Considerations on species richness and abundance from different Laurisilva locations are presented, together with distribution maps for endemic species. These results contribute to a better understanding of spider diversity patterns and endemic species distribution in the native forest of Madeira island.

  4. VIPR III VADR SPIDER Structural Design and Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wesley; Chen, Tony

    2016-01-01

    In support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Vehicle Integrated Propulsion Research (VIPR) Phase III team to evaluate the volcanic ash environment effects on the Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofan engine, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center has successfully performed structural design and analysis on the Volcanic Ash Distribution Rig (VADR) and the Structural Particulate Integration Device for Engine Research (SPIDER) for the ash ingestion test. Static and dynamic load analyses were performed to ensure no structural failure would occur during the test. Modal analysis was conducted, and the results were used to develop engine power setting avoidance zones. These engine power setting avoidance zones were defined to minimize the dwell time when the natural frequencies of the VADR/SPIDER system coincided with the excitation frequencies of the engine which was operating at various revolutions per minute. Vortex-induced vibration due to engine suction air flow during the ingestion test was also evaluated, but was not a concern.

  5. Artificial Neural Networks

    OpenAIRE

    Chung-Ming Kuan

    2006-01-01

    Artificial neural networks (ANNs) constitute a class of flexible nonlinear models designed to mimic biological neural systems. In this entry, we introduce ANN using familiar econometric terminology and provide an overview of ANN modeling approach and its implementation methods.

  6. Introduction to artificial intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheeseman, P.; Gevarter, W.

    1986-01-01

    This paper presents an introductory view of Artificial Intelligence (AI). In addition to defining AI, it discusses the foundations on which it rests, research in the field, and current and potential applications.

  7. Silkworms transformed with chimeric silkworm/spider silk genes spin composite silk fibers with improved mechanical properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    The development of a spider silk manufacturing process is of great interest. piggyBac vectors were used to create transgenic silkworms encoding chimeric silkworm/spider silk proteins. The silk fibers produced by these animals were composite materials that included chimeric silkworm/spider silk prote...

  8. An estimated 400-800 million tons of prey are annually killed by the global spider community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyffeler, Martin; Birkhofer, Klaus

    2017-04-01

    Spiders have been suspected to be one of the most important groups of natural enemies of insects worldwide. To document the impact of the global spider community as insect predators, we present estimates of the biomass of annually killed insect prey. Our estimates assessed with two different methods suggest that the annual prey kill of the global spider community is in the range of 400-800 million metric tons (fresh weight), with insects and collembolans composing >90% of the captured prey. This equals approximately 1‰ of the global terrestrial net primary production. Spiders associated with forests and grasslands account for >95% of the annual prey kill of the global spider community, whereas spiders in other habitats are rather insignificant contributors over a full year. The spider communities associated with annual crops contribute less than 2% to the global annual prey kill. This, however, can be partly explained by the fact that annual crop fields are "disturbed habitats" with a low buildup of spider biomass and that agrobiont spiders often only kill prey over short time periods in a year. Our estimates are supported by the published results of exclusion experiments, showing that the number of herbivorous/detritivorous insects and collembolans increased significantly after spider removal from experimental plots. The presented estimates of the global annual prey kill and the relative contribution of spider predation in different biomes improve the general understanding of spider ecology and provide a first assessment of the global impact of this very important predator group.

  9. Ubiquitous distribution of salts and proteins in spider glue enhances spider silk adhesion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amarpuri, Gaurav; Chaurasia, Vishal; Jain, Dharamdeep; Blackledge, Todd A.; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2015-03-01

    Modern orb-weaving spiders use micron-sized glue droplets on their viscid silk to retain prey in webs. A combination of low molecular weight salts and proteins makes the glue viscoelastic and humidity responsive in a way not easily achieved by synthetic adhesives. Optically, the glue droplet shows a heterogeneous structure, but the spatial arrangement of its chemical components is poorly understood. Here, we use optical and confocal Raman microscopy to show that salts and proteins are present ubiquitously throughout the droplet. The distribution of adhesive proteins in the peripheral region explains the superior prey capture performance of orb webs as it enables the entire surface area of the glue droplet to act as a site for prey capture. The presence of salts throughout the droplet explains the recent Solid-State NMR results that show salts directly facilitate protein mobility. Understanding the function of individual glue components and the role of the droplet's macro-structure can help in designing better synthetic adhesives for humid environments.

  10. Physical characterization of functionalized spider silk: electronic and sensing properties

    OpenAIRE

    Eden Steven, Jin Gyu Park, Anant Paravastu, Elsa Branco Lopes, James S Brooks, Ongi Englander, Theo Siegrist, Papatya Kaner and Rufina G Alamo

    2011-01-01

    This work explores functional, fundamental and applied aspects of naturally harvested spider silk fibers. Natural silk is a protein polymer where different amino acids control the physical properties of fibroin bundles, producing, for example, combinations of β-sheet (crystalline) and amorphous (helical) structural regions. This complexity presents opportunities for functional modification to obtain new types of material properties. Electrical conductivity is the starting point of this invest...

  11. Novel nanocomposites from spider silk–silica fusion (chimeric) proteins

    OpenAIRE

    Wong Po Foo, Cheryl; Patwardhan, Siddharth V.; Belton, David J.; Kitchel, Brandon; Anastasiades, Daphne; Huang, Jia; Naik, Rajesh R.; Perry, Carole C.; Kaplan, David L.

    2006-01-01

    Silica skeletal architectures in diatoms are characterized by remarkable morphological and nanostructural details. Silk proteins from spiders and silkworms form strong and intricate self-assembling fibrous biomaterials in nature. We combined the features of silk with biosilica through the design, synthesis, and characterization of a novel family of chimeric proteins for subsequent use in model materials forming reactions. The domains from the major ampullate spidroin 1 (MaSp1) protein of Neph...

  12. Reproductive Seasonality in Nesticus (Araneae: Nesticidae) Cave Spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carver, Linnea M; Perlaky, Patricia; Cressler, Alan; Zigler, Kirk S

    2016-01-01

    Spiders of the family Nesticidae are members of cave communities around the world with cave-obligate (troglobiotic) species known from North America, Europe, Asia and the Indo-Pacific. A radiation of Nesticus (Araneae: Nesticidae) in the southern Appalachians includes ten troglobiotic species. Many of these species are of conservation interest due to their small ranges, with four species being single-cave endemics. Despite conservation concerns and their important role as predators in cave communities, we know little about reproduction and feeding in this group. We addressed this knowledge gap by examining populations of two species on a monthly basis for one year. We made further observations on several other species and populations, totaling 671 individual spider observations. This more than doubled the reported observations of reproduction and feeding in troglobiotic Nesticus. Female Nesticus carry egg sacs, facilitating the determination of the timing and frequency of reproduction. We found that Nesticus exhibit reproductive seasonality. Females carried egg sacs from May through October, with a peak in frequency in June. These spiders were rarely observed with prey; only 3.3% (22/671) of individuals were observed with prey items. The frequency at which prey items were observed did not vary by season. Common prey items were flies, beetles and millipedes. Troglobiotic species constituted approximately half of all prey items observed. This result represents a greater proportion of troglobiotic prey than has been reported for various troglophilic spiders. Although our findings shed light on the life history of troglobiotic Nesticus and on their role in cave ecosystems, further work is necessary to support effective conservation planning for many of these rare species.

  13. Reproductive Seasonality in Nesticus (Araneae: Nesticidae) Cave Spiders

    OpenAIRE

    Carver, Linnea M.; Perlaky, Patricia; Cressler, Alan; Kirk S Zigler

    2016-01-01

    Spiders of the family Nesticidae are members of cave communities around the world with cave-obligate (troglobiotic) species known from North America, Europe, Asia and the Indo-Pacific. A radiation of Nesticus (Araneae: Nesticidae) in the southern Appalachians includes ten troglobiotic species. Many of these species are of conservation interest due to their small ranges, with four species being single-cave endemics. Despite conservation concerns and their important role as predators in cave co...

  14. Early environmental conditions shape personality types in a jumping spider

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jannis eLiedtke

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Individuals of many species across the animal kingdom are found to be less plastic than expected, even in behavioral traits. The existence of consistent behavioral differences between individuals, termed personality differences, is puzzling, since plastic behavior is considered ideal to enable animals to adaptively respond to changes in environmental conditions. In order to elucidate which mechanisms are important for the evolution of personality differences, it is crucial to understand which aspects of the environment are important for the development of personality differences. Here, we tested whether physical or social aspects of the environment during development influence individual differentiation (mean level of behavior using the jumping spider Marpissa muscosa. Furthermore, we assessed whether those behaviors were repeatable, i.e. whether personalities existed. We applied a split-brood design and raised spider siblings in three different environments: a deprived environment with no enrichment, a socially and a physically enriched environment. We focused on exploratory behavior and repeatedly assessed individual behavior in a novel environment and a novel object test. Results show that the environment during development influenced spiders’ exploratory tendencies: spiders raised in enriched environments tended to be more exploratory. Most investigated behaviors were repeatable (i.e. personalities existed across all individuals tested, whereas only few behaviors were also repeatable across individuals that had experienced the same environmental condition. Taken together, our results indicate that external stimuli can influence the development of one aspect of personality, the inter-individual variation (mean level of behavior, in a jumping spider. We also found family by environment interactions on behavioral traits potentially suggesting genetic variation in developmental plasticity.

  15. Principles of artificial intelligence

    CERN Document Server

    Nilsson, Nils J

    1980-01-01

    A classic introduction to artificial intelligence intended to bridge the gap between theory and practice, Principles of Artificial Intelligence describes fundamental AI ideas that underlie applications such as natural language processing, automatic programming, robotics, machine vision, automatic theorem proving, and intelligent data retrieval. Rather than focusing on the subject matter of the applications, the book is organized around general computational concepts involving the kinds of data structures used, the types of operations performed on the data structures, and the properties of th

  16. Physics of Artificial Gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukley, Angie; Paloski, William; Clement, Gilles

    2006-01-01

    This chapter discusses potential technologies for achieving artificial gravity in a space vehicle. We begin with a series of definitions and a general description of the rotational dynamics behind the forces ultimately exerted on the human body during centrifugation, such as gravity level, gravity gradient, and Coriolis force. Human factors considerations and comfort limits associated with a rotating environment are then discussed. Finally, engineering options for designing space vehicles with artificial gravity are presented.

  17. Optimal foraging, not biogenetic law, predicts spider orb web allometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregorič, Matjaž; Kiesbüy, Heine C.; Quiñones Lebrón, Shakira G.; Rozman, Alenka; Agnarsson, Ingi; Kuntner, Matjaž

    2013-03-01

    The biogenetic law posits that the ontogeny of an organism recapitulates the pattern of evolutionary changes. Morphological evidence has offered some support for, but also considerable evidence against, the hypothesis. However, biogenetic law in behavior remains underexplored. As physical manifestation of behavior, spider webs offer an interesting model for the study of ontogenetic behavioral changes. In orb-weaving spiders, web symmetry often gets distorted through ontogeny, and these changes have been interpreted to reflect the biogenetic law. Here, we test the biogenetic law hypothesis against the alternative, the optimal foraging hypothesis, by studying the allometry in Leucauge venusta orb webs. These webs range in inclination from vertical through tilted to horizontal; biogenetic law predicts that allometry relates to ontogenetic stage, whereas optimal foraging predicts that allometry relates to gravity. Specifically, pronounced asymmetry should only be seen in vertical webs under optimal foraging theory. We show that, through ontogeny, vertical webs in L. venusta become more asymmetrical in contrast to tilted and horizontal webs. Biogenetic law thus cannot explain L. venusta web allometry, but our results instead support optimization of foraging area in response to spider size.

  18. A Materiomics Approach to Spider Silk: Protein Molecules to Webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarakanova, Anna; Buehler, Markus J.

    2012-02-01

    The exceptional mechanical properties of hierarchical self-assembling silk biopolymers have been extensively studied experimentally and in computational investigations. A series of recent studies has been conducted to examine structure-function relationships across different length scales in silk, ranging from atomistic models of protein constituents to the spider web architecture. Silk is an exemplary natural material because its superior properties stem intrinsically from the synergistic cooperativity of hierarchically organized components, rather than from the superior properties of the building blocks themselves. It is composed of beta-sheet nanocrystals interspersed within less orderly amorphous domains, where the underlying molecular structure is dominated by weak hydrogen bonding. Protein chains are organized into fibrils, which pack together to form threads of a spider web. In this article we survey multiscale studies spanning length scales from angstroms to centimeters, from the amino acid sequence defining silk components to an atomistically derived spider web model, with the aim to bridge varying levels of hierarchy to elucidate the mechanisms by which structure at each composite level contributes to organization and material phenomena at subsequent levels. The work demonstrates that the web is a highly adapted system where both material and hierarchical structure across all length scales is critical for its functional properties.

  19. Morphology and Microstructure of Spider Dragline Silk from Araneus Ventricosus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    PAN Zhi-juan; MIURA Mikihiko; MORIKAWA Hideaki; IWASA Masayuki; LIU Min

    2005-01-01

    The spider dragline silk has excellent mechanical properties. The stress- strain curves of dragline silk fibers have intraspecific and intraindividual variability because of the spiders active control during spinning process. To investigate the relationship between the morphology of dragline silk fibers and spinning conditions, four samples were made at the reeling rates of 1mm/s, 20mm/s, 43.5mm/s and 110mm/s from the major ampullate glands of Araneus Ventricosus and the other two of dragline silks were prepared from a crawling or dropping spider. The surface microstructure and nanofibril characteristic were analyzed with atomic force microscopy (AFM). AFM images of 2000nm*2000nm and 500nm*500nm of these samples showed that the spinning condition influenced the surface roughness and fibril size, while AFM images of 200nm*200nm clearly displayed that dragline silk of Araneus Ventricosus included sheet macro-conformation structure. These results can facilitate the further investigation of the spinning mechanism of a spider in order to understand mechanical properties and macromolecular structures of dragline silk.

  20. Post-secretion processing influences spider silk performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blamires, Sean J; Wu, Chung-Lin; Blackledge, Todd A; Tso, I-Min

    2012-10-07

    Phenotypic variation facilitates adaptations to novel environments. Silk is an example of a highly variable biomaterial. The two-spidroin (MaSp) model suggests that spider major ampullate (MA) silk is composed of two proteins-MaSp1 predominately contains alanine and glycine and forms strength enhancing β-sheet crystals, while MaSp2 contains proline and forms elastic spirals. Nonetheless, mechanical properties can vary in spider silks without congruent amino acid compositional changes. We predicted that post-secretion processing causes variation in the mechanical performance of wild MA silk independent of protein composition or spinning speed across 10 species of spider. We used supercontraction to remove post-secretion effects and compared the mechanics of silk in this 'ground state' with wild native silks. Native silk mechanics varied less among species compared with 'ground state' silks. Variability in the mechanics of 'ground state' silks was associated with proline composition. However, variability in native silks did not. We attribute interspecific similarities in the mechanical properties of native silks, regardless of amino acid compositions, to glandular processes altering molecular alignment of the proteins prior to extrusion. Such post-secretion processing may enable MA silk to maintain functionality across environments, facilitating its function as a component of an insect-catching web.

  1. Piriform spider silk sequences reveal unique repetitive elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, David J; Bittencourt, Daniela; Siltberg-Liberles, Jessica; Rech, Elibio L; Lewis, Randolph V

    2010-11-08

    Orb-weaving spider silk fibers are assembled from very large, highly repetitive proteins. The repeated segments contain, in turn, short, simple, and repetitive amino acid motifs that account for the physical and mechanical properties of the assembled fiber. Of the six orb-weaver silk fibroins, the piriform silk that makes the attachment discs, which lashes the joints of the web and attaches dragline silk to surfaces, has not been previously characterized. Piriform silk protein cDNAs were isolated from phage libraries of three species: A. trifasciata , N. clavipes , and N. cruentata . The deduced amino acid sequences from these genes revealed two new repetitive motifs: an alternating proline motif, where every other amino acid is proline, and a glutamine-rich motif of 6-8 amino acids. Similar to other spider silk proteins, the repeated segments are large (>200 amino acids) and highly homogenized within a species. There is also substantial sequence similarity across the genes from the three species, with particular conservation of the repetitive motifs. Northern blot analysis revealed that the mRNA is larger than 11 kb and is expressed exclusively in the piriform glands of the spider. Phylogenetic analysis of the C-terminal regions of the new proteins with published spidroins robustly shows that the piriform sequences form an ortholog group.

  2. Pointing control for the SPIDER balloon-borne telescope

    CERN Document Server

    Shariff, Jamil A; Amiri, Mandana; Benton, Steven J; Bock, Jamie J; Bond, J Richard; Bryan, Sean A; Chiang, H Cynthia; Contaldi, Carlo R; Crill, Brendan P; Doré, Olivier P; Farhang, Marzieh; Filippini, Jeffrey P; Fissel, Laura M; Fraisse, Aurelien A; Gambrel, Anne E; Gandilo, Natalie N; Golwala, Sunil R; Gudmundsson, Jon E; Halpern, Mark; Hasselfield, Matthew; Hilton, Gene C; Holmes, Warren A; Hristov, Viktor V; Irwin, Kent D; Jones, William C; Kermish, Zigmund D; Kuo, Chao-Lin; MacTavish, Carolyn J; Mason, Peter V; Megerian, Krikor G; Moncelsi, Lorenzo; Morford, Tracy A; Nagy, Johanna M; Netterfield, C Barth; O'Brient, Roger; Rahlin, Alexandra S; Reintsema, Carl D; Ruhl, John E; Runyan, Marcus C; Soler, Juan D; Trangsrud, Amy; Tucker, Carole E; Tucker, Rebecca S; Turner, Anthony D; Weber, Alexis C; Wiebe, Donald V; Young, Edward Y

    2014-01-01

    We present the technology and control methods developed for the pointing system of the SPIDER experiment. SPIDER is a balloon-borne polarimeter designed to detect the imprint of primordial gravitational waves in the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation. We describe the two main components of the telescope's azimuth drive: the reaction wheel and the motorized pivot. A 13 kHz PI control loop runs on a digital signal processor, with feedback from fibre optic rate gyroscopes. This system can control azimuthal speed with < 0.02 deg/s RMS error. To control elevation, SPIDER uses stepper-motor-driven linear actuators to rotate the cryostat, which houses the optical instruments, relative to the outer frame. With the velocity in each axis controlled in this way, higher-level control loops on the onboard flight computers can implement the pointing and scanning observation modes required for the experiment. We have accomplished the non-trivial task of scanning a 5000 lb payload sinusoidally in az...

  3. Detail design of the beam source for the SPIDER experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marcuzzi, D. [Consorzio RFX, Euratom-ENEA Association, C.so Stati Uniti 4, I-35127 Padova (Italy); Agostinetti, P., E-mail: piero.agostinetti@igi.cnr.i [Consorzio RFX, Euratom-ENEA Association, C.so Stati Uniti 4, I-35127 Padova (Italy); Dalla Palma, M.; Degli Agostini, F.; Pavei, M.; Rizzolo, A.; Tollin, M.; Trevisan, L. [Consorzio RFX, Euratom-ENEA Association, C.so Stati Uniti 4, I-35127 Padova (Italy)

    2010-12-15

    The ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility (PRIMA-Padova Research on Injector Megavolt Accelerated) is planned to be built at Consorzio RFX (Padova, Italy). PRIMA includes two experimental devices: a full size plasma source with low voltage extraction called SPIDER (Source for Production of Ion of Deuterium Extracted from RF plasma) and a full size neutral beam injector at full beam power called MITICA (Megavolt ITER Injector Concept Advancement). SPIDER is the first experimental device to be built and operated, aiming at testing the extraction of a negative ion beam (made of H{sup -} and in a later stage D{sup -} ions) from an ITER size ion source. The main requirements of this experiment are a H{sup -}/D{sup -} current of approximately 70 A/50 A and an energy of 100 keV. This paper presents an overview of the SPIDER beam source design, with a particular focus on the main design choices, aiming at reaching the best compromise between physics, optics, thermo-mechanical, cooling, assembly and electrical requirements.

  4. Heidegger and artificial intelligence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Diaz, G.

    1987-01-01

    The discipline of Artificial Intelligence, in its quest for machine intelligence, showed great promise as long as its areas of application were limited to problems of a scientific and situation neutral nature. The attempts to move beyond these problems to a full simulation of man's intelligence has faltered and slowed it progress, largely because of the inability of Artificial Intelligence to deal with human characteristic, such as feelings, goals, and desires. This dissertation takes the position that an impasse has resulted because Artificial Intelligence has never been properly defined as a science: its objects and methods have never been identified. The following study undertakes to provide such a definition, i.e., the required ground for Artificial Intelligence. The procedure and methods employed in this study are based on Heidegger's philosophy and techniques of analysis as developed in Being and Time. Results of this study show that both the discipline of Artificial Intelligence and the concerns of Heidegger in Being and Time have the same object; fundamental ontology. The application of Heidegger's conclusions concerning fundamental ontology unites the various aspects of Artificial Intelligence and provides the articulation which shows the parts of this discipline and how they are related.

  5. Volatile compounds from leaves of the African spider plant (Gynandropsis gynandra) with bioactivity against spider mite (Tetranychus urticae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nyalala, Samuel Odeyo; Petersen, Mikael Agerlin; Grout, Brian William Wilson

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that Gynandropsis gynandra emits acetonitrile as a foliar volatile from intact plants and isolated leaves, and that this compound is an effective spider mite repellent. This study has used gas chromatography–mass spectrometry to investigate volatile compounds...... emitted from homogenised G. gynandra leaves to evaluate their tissue acetonitrile content and to look for other compounds that might be exploited for the management of spider mites. Acetonitrile was absent from the homogenised tissues of five lines of G. gynandra, studied over two seasons. Thirteen......, and a high constitutive content of them in roses may be of value in targeted plant breeding for enhanced insect resistance. The range of isothiocyanates found in G. gynandra accounts for the bitter taste of the leaves when used as a traditional vegetable in Eastern Africa and provides a target...

  6. Red-back spider (Latrodectus mactans hasselti) envenomation in a neonate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrne, G C; Pemberton, P J

    A case of red-back spider (Latrodectus mactans hasselti) envenomation in a neonate is presented. The signs of envenomation in a neonate are discussed, together with the dose of antivenom necessary for the successful treatment of envenomation. In episodes of untractable crying in neonates, the possibility that the baby has been bitten by a red-back spider should be considered.

  7. Web orientation and prey resources for web-building spiders in eastern hemlock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallis, Rachael E; Rieske, Lynne K

    2010-10-01

    We examined the arthropod community on eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carr, in the context of its role in providing potential prey items for hemlock-associated web-weaving spiders. Using sticky traps simulating spider webs, we evaluated what prey items are available to web-weaving spiders in eastern hemlock based on web orientation (horizontal versus vertical) and cardinal direction. We found that the overwhelming majority (>70%) of prey items available to spiders in hemlock canopies were Diptera. Psocoptera, Hymenoptera, and Hemiptera comprised most of the remaining potential prey. A significant direction × orientation interaction, and greater trap capture in some direction-orientation combinations, suggests that spiders might locate their webs in eastern hemlock canopies for thermoregulatory purposes, ultimately optimizing prey capture. We also evaluated these findings in the context of hemlock infestation by the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae Annand. The adelgid is a sedentary insect with a mobile crawler stage that provides a readily available, easily obtained food source for predators in hemlock canopies. However, an abundance of alternative prey will affect within canopy spider distribution and the potential intensity with which spiders consume these prey. Understanding the response of spiders to potential prey availability is essential to understanding the trophic interactions involving these predators and their potential for influencing herbivore populations.

  8. Reverse positional orientation in a neotropical orb-web spider, Verrucosa arenata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rao, Dinesh; Fernandez, Oscar Ceballos; Castañeda-Barbosa, Ernesto; Díaz-Fleischer, Francisco

    2011-08-01

    Most orb-web spiders face downwards in the web. A downward orientation has been proposed to be the optimal strategy because spiders run faster downwards and thus can catch prey quicker. Consequently, orb-web spiders also extend their web in the lower part, leading to top-down web asymmetry. Since the majority of orb-web spiders face downwards, it has been difficult to test the effect of orientation on prey capture and web asymmetry. In this study, we explored the influence of reverse orientation on foraging efficiency and web asymmetry in Verrucosa arenata, a neotropical orb-web spider that faces upwards in the web. We show that reverse orientation does not imply reverse web asymmetry in this species. V. arenata spiders captured more prey in the lower part of the web but more prey per area on the upper part. The average running speeds of spiders did not differ between upward and downward running, but heavier spiders took longer to capture prey while running upwards. We discuss these findings in the context of foraging efficiency and web asymmetry.

  9. Heritability of defence and life-history traits in the two-spotted spider mite

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tien, N.S.H.; Sabelis, M.W.; Egas, M.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Two-spotted spider mites hide against predatory mites in a web of self-produced sticky silk. The proteins invested in this shelter may reduce investment in reproduction. Questions: Do spider mite populations harbor genetic variation for web production, thereby enabling a response to sele

  10. A Web of Learning: Beyond "Itsy Bitsy Spider," Preschool Students Learn Science Content Naturally

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evitt, Marie Faust

    2011-01-01

    One of the author's biggest challenges as a preschool teacher is helping children in a group see and touch and do. Hands-on explorations are important for everyone, but essential for young children. How can young children do hands-on explorations of spiders and their webs? Teachers do not want children handling all sorts of spiders. They worry…

  11. A New Spin on Miscue Analysis: Using Spider Charts to Web Reading Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohlwend, Karen E.

    2012-01-01

    This article introduces a way of seeing miscue analysis data through a "spider chart", a readily available digital graphing tool that provides an effective way to visually represent readers' complex coordination of interrelated cueing systems. A spider chart is a standard feature in recent spreadsheet software that puts a new spin on miscue…

  12. In Vitro Evaluation of Spider Silk Meshes as a Potential Biomaterial for Bladder Reconstruction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steins, A.; Dik, P.; Müller, W.H.; Vervoort, S.J.; Reimers, K.; Kubhier, J.W.; Vogt, P.M.; Apeldoorn, van A.A.; Coffer, P.J.; Schepers, K.

    2015-01-01

    Reconstruction of the bladder by means of both natural and synthetic materials remains a challenge due to severe adverse effects such as mechanical failure. Here we investigate the application of spider major ampullate gland-derived dragline silk from the Nephila edulis spider, a natural biomaterial

  13. Colourful orb-weaving spiders, Nephila pilipes, through a bee's eyes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tso, I-Min; Lin, Chih-Wei; Yang, En-Cheng

    2004-07-01

    Many orb-weaving spiders in the tropics forage in open sites during the day and some of them have both bright and dark colourations. The conspicuous UV-reflective colour markings of these spiders have been reported to be attractive to visually oriented prey and thus could increase the spiders' foraging success. Using a combination of field and laboratory studies, we examine whether or not the body colouration of orb-weaving spiders exhibits optical properties that are attractive to insect prey from the viewpoint of insect visual physiology. We compared the prey interception rates and colour contrasts of the typical and melanic morphs of the giant wood spider, Nephila pilipes. Results of the field study showed that the typical morph caught significantly more insects than the melanic morph. Colour contrasts calculated from spectral reflectances of the background and body surface of spiders showed that the brightly coloured body parts of the typical morph exhibited rather high values, but those of the dark body parts were below the discrimination threshold. The differential colour contrasts of body parts generated a visual signal unlike that of a spider but rather like certain forms of food resources. On the other hand, the melanic morphs did not have bright colouration and the colour contrasts of every part of the body were significantly higher than the threshold, making the contour of spiders quite clear to bees.

  14. Utility Assessment Report for SPIDERS Phase 2: Ft. Carson (Rev 1.0)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barr, Jonathan L. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Tuffner, Francis K. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Hadley, Mark D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Schneider, Kevin P. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2014-01-01

    This document contains the Utility Assessment Report (UAR) for the Phase 2 operational Demonstration (OD) of the Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security (SPIDERS) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD). The UAR for Phase 2 shows that the SPIDERS system was able to meet the requirements of the Implementation Directive at Ft. Carson.

  15. Differences among plant species in acceptance by the spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boom, van den C.E.M.; Beek, van T.A.; Dicke, M.

    2003-01-01

    The spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch has a broad range of host plants. However, the spider mite does not accept all plants to the same degree because of differences in nutritive and toxic constituents. Other factors, such as the induction of secondary metabolites, the morphology of a leaf surfac

  16. Counterconditioning in the treatment of spider phobia : effects on disgust, fear and valence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, Peter; Vorage, [Unknown; van den Hout, MA

    2000-01-01

    From the perspective that disgust is a core feature of spider phobia, we investigated whether the treatment efficacy could be improved by adding a counterconditioning procedure. Women with a clinically diagnosed spider phobia (N = 34) were randomly assigned to the regular one-session exposure condit

  17. Compositional changes in spider (Araneae) assemblages along an urbanisation gradient near a Danish town

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Horváth, R.; Elek, Zoltán; Lövei, Gabor L

    2014-01-01

    species, with money spiders (Linyphiidae) and wolf spiders (Lycosidae) being most numerous. One species, Ero aphana, was new to the Danish fauna. In 2004, 45-47 species were captured in the habitats in various stages of urbanisation, while in 2005 (with a smaller collection effort), 28 (urban) - 37 (rural...

  18. Biased interpretation and memory in children with varying levels of spider fear

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klein, A.M.; Titulaer, G.; Simons, C.G.; Allart-van Dam, E.; Gier, E. de; Bögels, S.M.; Becker, E.S.; Rinck, M.

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated multiple cognitive biases in children simultaneously, to investigate whether spider-fearful children display an interpretation bias, a recall bias, and source monitoring errors, and whether these biases are specific for spider-related materials. Furthermore, the independent a

  19. Skin conductance responses of spider phobics to backwardly masked phobic cues

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mayer, B; Merckelbach, H; de Jong, Peter; Leeuw, W.J.F.

    1999-01-01

    The present study was carried out to test Ohman's (1994) hypothesis that a pre-attentive analysis of phobic stimuli is sufficient for a fear response to occur. Spider phobic (n = 47) and nonphobic (n = 41) subjects were exposed to phobic slides (spiders) and nonphobic slides (flowers, mushrooms, and

  20. Photoluminescent properties of spider silk coated with Eu-doped nanoceria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dmitrović, Svetlana; Nikolić, Marko G.; Jelenković, Branislav; Prekajski, Marija; Rabasović, Mihailo; Zarubica, Aleksandra; Branković, Goran; Matović, Branko

    2017-02-01

    Spider dragline silk was coated with pure as well as Eu-doped ceria nanopowders at the room temperature. The treatment was done by immersion of the spider silk mesh into aqueous solutions of cerium nitrate (Ce(NO3)3) and ammonium hydroxide (NH4OH). Depending on the relationship between Ce3+ ion and ammonium hydroxide concentration, coated fibers exhibited a different thickness. Obtained materials were studied by means of FESEM. It was found that ceria nanoparticles of average size of 3 nm were coated along spider thread. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and selected-area electron diffraction (SAED) confirmed crystal nature of nanoparticle coating of spider silk. By using Williamson-Hall plots, crystallite size and strain were estimated. EDS measurement confirmed the presence of Eu in spider-Eu-doped ceria composite, and according to FTIR analysis, the interaction between CeO2 and spider silk was proposed. The morphology of obtained composite was observed by TEM. The photoluminescence emission spectra of spider silk coated with Eu-doped ceria were measured with two different excitations of 385 and 466 nm. The two-photon excited auto-fluorescence of spider silk coated with Eu-doped ceria was detected using a nonlinear laser scanning microscope. Obtained composite has a potential as a fluorescent labeling material in diverse applications.

  1. Spectral response of spider mite infested cotton: Mite density and miticide rate study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Two-spotted spider mites are important pests in many agricultural systems. Spider mites (Acari: Tetranychidae) have been found to cause economic damage in corn, cotton, and sorghum. Adult glass vial bioassays indicate that Temprano™ (abamectin) is the most toxic technical miticide for adult two-spot...

  2. Transcriptome analysis of venom glands from a single fishing spider Dolomedes mizhoanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Liping; Liu, Changjun; Duan, Zhigui; Deng, Meichun; Tang, Xing; Liang, Songping

    2013-10-01

    The spider venom is a large pharmacological repertoire composed of different types of bioactive peptide toxins. Despite the importance of spider toxins in capturing terrestrial prey and defending themselves against predators, we know little about the venom components from the spider acting on the fish. Here we constructed a cDNA library of a pair of venomous glands from a single fish-hunting spider Dolomedes mizhoanus. A total of 356 high-quality expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were obtained from the venom gland cDNA library and analyzed. These transcripts were further classified into 45 clusters (19 contigs and 26 singletons), most of which encoded cystine knot toxins (CKTs) and non-CKTs. The ESTs coding for 53 novel CKT precursors were abundant transcripts in the venom glands of the spider D. mizhoanus, accounting for 76% of the total ESTs, the precursors of which were grouped into six families based on the sequence identity and the phylogenetic analysis. In addition, the non-CKTs deduced from 21% of the total ESTs were annotated by Gene Ontology terms and eukaryotic orthologous groups. Fifty-five CKT precursors deduced from 273 ESTs are the largest dataset for a single spider specimen to date. The results may contribute to discovering novel potential drug leads from spider venoms and a better understanding of the evolutionary relationship of the spider toxin.

  3. Neural correlation of successful cognitive behaviour therapy for spider phobia: a magnetoencephalography study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Barry; Alderson-Day, Ben; Prendergast, Garreth; Kennedy, Juliette; Bennett, Sophie; Docherty, Mary; Whitton, Clare; Manea, Laura; Gouws, Andre; Tomlinson, Heather; Green, Gary

    2013-12-30

    Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be an effective treatment for spider phobia, but the underlying neural correlates of therapeutic change are yet to be specified. The present study used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to study responses within the first half second, to phobogenic stimuli in a group of individuals with spider phobia prior to treatment (n=12) and then in nine of them following successful CBT (where they could touch and manage live large common house spiders) at least 9 months later. We also compared responses to a group of age-matched healthy control participants (n=11). Participants viewed static photographs of real spiders, other fear-inducing images (e.g. snakes, sharks) and neutral stimuli (e.g. kittens). Beamforming methods were used to localise sources of significant power changes in response to stimuli. Prior to treatment, participants with spider phobia showed a significant maximum response in the right frontal pole when viewing images of real spiders specifically. No significant frontal response was observed for either control participants or participants with spider phobia post-treatment. In addition, participants' subjective ratings of spider stimuli significantly predicted peak responses in right frontal regions. The implications for understanding brain-based effects of cognitive therapies are discussed.

  4. THE ROLE OF EVALUATIVE LEARNING AND DISGUST SENSITIVITY IN THE ETIOLOGY AND TREATMENT OF SPIDER PHOBIA

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    MERCKELBACH, H; DEJONG, PJ; ARNTZ, A; SCHOUTEN, E

    1993-01-01

    The role of disgust and contamination sensitivity in the development and treatment of spider phobia was examined. It was predicted that spider phobics high in disgust and contamination sensitivity have been more susceptible to evaluative conditioning processes and, as a result, less often report tra

  5. High School Students' Attitudes Towards Spiders: A cross-cultural comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prokop, Pavol; Tolarovičová, Andrea; Camerik, Anne M.; Peterková, Viera

    2010-08-01

    Spiders are traditionally considered to be among the least popular of animals. Current evidence suggests that a negative attitude towards spiders could be influenced by both cultural and evolutionary pressures. Some researchers suggest that science education activities could positively influence students' perceptions of spiders. Their evidence is, however, ambivalent. Using a five-point score Likert-type questionnaire in which the items were developed in a similar way to four of Kellert's categories of attitude (scientistic, negativistic, naturalistic, and ecologistic) towards invertebrates, we compared the level of knowledge of and attitudes towards spiders of high school students from two countries, Slovakia (n = 354) and South Africa (n = 382). The students represented different cultures and followed dissimilar science education curricula. Only among the Slovakian students there was a statistically significant but low correlation between knowledge and attitude (r = 0.30). The South African students scored higher in the categories of scientistic, naturalistic, and ecologistic attitudes. Comparison of attitude towards spiders of indigenous Africans from coeducational Catholic schools revealed that South African students have greater fear of spiders than Slovakian students, supporting the biological preparedness hypothesis. This hypothesis predicts a greater fear of spiders in South Africa than in Europe since several South African spiders possess venoms that are dangerous to humans. The results of this study are discussed from science education, cultural, and evolutionary perspectives.

  6. Postharvest fumigation of California table grapes with ozone to control Western black widow spider (Araneae: Theridiidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozone fumigations were evaluated for postharvest control of Western black widow spider (BWS), Latrodectus hesperus (Chamberlin and Ivie), in fresh table grapes destined for export from California USA. Mature adult female black widow spiders were contained in separate gas-permeable cages within a flo...

  7. fMRI neurofeedback facilitates anxiety regulation in females with spider phobia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zilverstand, Anna; Sorger, Bettina; Sarkheil, Pegah; Goebel, R.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Spider phobics show an exaggerated fear response when encountering spiders. This fear response is aggravated by negative and irrational beliefs about the feared object. Cognitive reappraisal can target these beliefs, and therefore has a fear regulating effect. The presented study investi

  8. Species richness and composition assessment of spiders in a Mediterranean scrubland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bondoso Cardoso, Pedro Miguel; Henriques, Sérgio S.; Gaspar, Clara

    2009-01-01

    Intensive fieldwork has been undertaken in Portugal in order to develop a standardized and optimized sampling protocol for Mediterranean spiders. The present study had the objectives of testing the use of semi-quantitative sampling for obtaining an exhaustive species richness assessment of spider...

  9. Untangling spider silk evolution with spidroin terminal domains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garb Jessica E

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Spidroins are a unique family of large, structural proteins that make up the bulk of spider silk fibers. Due to the highly variable nature of their repetitive sequences, spidroin evolutionary relationships have principally been determined from their non-repetitive carboxy (C-terminal domains, though they offer limited character data. The few known spidroin amino (N-terminal domains have been difficult to obtain, but potentially contain critical phylogenetic information for reconstructing the diversification of spider silks. Here we used silk gland expression data (ESTs from highly divergent species to evaluate the functional significance and phylogenetic utility of spidroin N-terminal domains. Results We report 11 additional spidroin N-termini found by sequencing ~1,900 silk gland cDNAs from nine spider species that shared a common ancestor > 240 million years ago. In contrast to their hyper-variable repetitive regions, spidroin N-terminal domains have retained striking similarities in sequence identity, predicted secondary structure, and hydrophobicity. Through separate and combined phylogenetic analyses of N-terminal domains and their corresponding C-termini, we find that combined analysis produces the most resolved trees and that N-termini contribute more support and less conflict than the C-termini. These analyses show that paralogs largely group by silk gland type, except for the major ampullate spidroins. Moreover, spidroin structural motifs associated with superior tensile strength arose early in the history of this gene family, whereas a motif conferring greater extensibility convergently evolved in two distantly related paralogs. Conclusions A non-repetitive N-terminal domain appears to be a universal attribute of spidroin proteins, likely retained from the origin of spider silk production. Since this time, spidroin N-termini have maintained several features, consistent with this domain playing a key role in silk

  10. Factors that influence the beta-diversity of spider communities in northwestern Argentinean Grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Artigas, Sandra M; Ballester, Rodrigo; Corronca, Jose A

    2016-01-01

    Beta-diversity, defined as spatial replacement in species composition, is crucial to the understanding of how local communities assemble. These changes can be driven by environmental or geographic factors (such as geographic distance), or a combination of the two. Spiders have been shown to be good indicators of environmental quality. Accordingly, spiders are used in this work as model taxa to establish whether there is a decrease in community similarity that corresponds to geographic distance in the grasslands of the Campos & Malezales ecoregion (Corrientes). Furthermore, the influence of climactic factors and local vegetation heterogeneity (environmental factors) on assemblage composition was evaluated. Finally, this study evaluated whether the differential dispersal capacity of spider families is a factor that influences their community structure at a regional scale. Spiders were collected with a G-Vac from vegetation in six grassland sites in the Campos & Malezales ecoregion that were separated by a minimum of 13 km. With this data, the impact of alpha-diversity and different environmental variables on the beta-diversity of spider communities was analysed. Likewise, the importance of species replacement and nesting on beta-diversity and their contribution to the regional diversity of spider families with different dispersion capacities was evaluated. The regional and site-specific inventories obtained were complete. The similarity between spider communities declined as the geographic distance between sites increased. Environmental variables also influenced community composition; stochastic events and abiotic forces were the principal intervening factors in assembly structure. The differential dispersal capacity of spider groups also influenced community structure at a regional scale. The regional beta-diversity, as well as species replacement, was greater in high and intermediate vagility spiders; while nesting was greater in spiders with low dispersion

  11. Proximate mechanism of behavioral manipulation of an orb-weaver spider host by a parasitoid wasp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzaga, Marcelo Oliveira; de Oliveira, Leandro Licursi; Sperber, Carlos Frankl

    2017-01-01

    Some ichneumonid wasps induce modifications in the web building behavior of their spider hosts to produce resistant “cocoon” webs. These structures hold and protect the wasp’s cocoon during pupa development. The mechanism responsible for host manipulation probably involves the inoculation of psychotropic chemicals by the parasitoid larva during a specific developmental period. Recent studies indicate that some spiders build cocoon webs similar to those normally built immediately before ecdysis, suggesting that this substance might be a molting hormone or a precursor chemical of this hormone. Here, we report that Cyclosa spider species exhibiting modified behavior presented higher 20-OH-ecdysone levels than parasitized spiders acting normally or unparasitized individuals. We suggest that the lack of control that spiders have when constructing modified webs can be triggered by anachronic activation of ecdysis. PMID:28158280

  12. Scrutinizing the datasets obtained from nanoscale features of spider silk fibres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Luciano P; Rech, Elibio L

    2014-01-01

    Spider silk fibres share unprecedented structural and mechanical properties which span from the macroscale to nanoscale and beyond. This is possible due to the molecular features of modular proteins termed spidroins. Thus, the investigation of the organizational scaffolds observed for spidroins in spider silk fibres is of paramount importance for reverse bioengineering. This dataset consists in describing a rational screening procedure to identify the nanoscale features of spider silk fibres. Using atomic force microscopy operated in multiple acquisition modes, we evaluated silk fibres from nine spider species. Here we present the complete results of the analyses and decrypted a number of novel features that could even rank the silk fibres according to desired mechanostructural features. This dataset will allow other researchers to select the most appropriate models for synthetic biology and also lead to better understanding of spider silk fibres extraordinary performance that is comparable to the best manmade materials.

  13. Sequential origin in the high performance properties of orb spider dragline silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackledge, Todd A.; Pérez-Rigueiro, José; Plaza, Gustavo R.; Perea, Belén; Navarro, Andrés; Guinea, Gustavo V.; Elices, Manuel

    2012-10-01

    Major ampullate (MA) dragline silk supports spider orb webs, combining strength and extensibility in the toughest biomaterial. MA silk evolved ~376 MYA and identifying how evolutionary changes in proteins influenced silk mechanics is crucial for biomimetics, but is hindered by high spinning plasticity. We use supercontraction to remove that variation and characterize MA silk across the spider phylogeny. We show that mechanical performance is conserved within, but divergent among, major lineages, evolving in correlation with discrete changes in proteins. Early MA silk tensile strength improved rapidly with the origin of GGX amino acid motifs and increased repetitiveness. Tensile strength then maximized in basal entelegyne spiders, ~230 MYA. Toughness subsequently improved through increased extensibility within orb spiders, coupled with the origin of a novel protein (MaSp2). Key changes in MA silk proteins therefore correlate with the sequential evolution high performance orb spider silk and could aid design of biomimetic fibers.

  14. Spider genomes provide insight into composition and evolution of venom and silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanggaard, Kristian W; Bechsgaard, Jesper S; Fang, Xiaodong; Duan, Jinjie; Dyrlund, Thomas F; Gupta, Vikas; Jiang, Xuanting; Cheng, Ling; Fan, Dingding; Feng, Yue; Han, Lijuan; Huang, Zhiyong; Wu, Zongze; Liao, Li; Settepani, Virginia; Thøgersen, Ida B; Vanthournout, Bram; Wang, Tobias; Zhu, Yabing; Funch, Peter; Enghild, Jan J; Schauser, Leif; Andersen, Stig U; Villesen, Palle; Schierup, Mikkel H; Bilde, Trine; Wang, Jun

    2014-05-06

    Spiders are ecologically important predators with complex venom and extraordinarily tough silk that enables capture of large prey. Here we present the assembled genome of the social velvet spider and a draft assembly of the tarantula genome that represent two major taxonomic groups of spiders. The spider genomes are large with short exons and long introns, reminiscent of mammalian genomes. Phylogenetic analyses place spiders and ticks as sister groups supporting polyphyly of the Acari. Complex sets of venom and silk genes/proteins are identified. We find that venom genes evolved by sequential duplication, and that the toxic effect of venom is most likely activated by proteases present in the venom. The set of silk genes reveals a highly dynamic gene evolution, new types of silk genes and proteins, and a novel use of aciniform silk. These insights create new opportunities for pharmacological applications of venom and biomaterial applications of silk.

  15. The allometry of CNS size and consequences of miniaturization in orb-weaving and cleptoparasitic spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quesada, Rosannette; Triana, Emilia; Vargas, Gloria; Douglass, John K; Seid, Marc A; Niven, Jeremy E; Eberhard, William G; Wcislo, William T

    2011-11-01

    Allometric studies of the gross neuroanatomy of adults from nine species of spiders from six web-weaving families (Orbicularia), and nymphs from six of these species, show that very small spiders resemble other small animals in having disproportionately larger central nervous systems (CNSs) relative to body mass when compared with large-bodied forms. Small spiderlings and minute adult spiders have similar relative CNS volumes. The relatively large CNS of a very small spider occupies up to 78% of the cephalothorax volume. The CNSs of very small spiders extend into their coxae, occupying as much as 26% of the profile area of the coxae of an Anapisona simoni spiderling (body mass weave prey capture webs, as do the spiderlings, beginning with second instar nymphs. Comparable allometric relations occur in adults of both orb-weaving and cleptoparasitic species, indicating that this behavioral difference is not reflected in differences in gross CNS allometry.

  16. Association of spiders and lichen on Robben Island, South Africa: a case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Mukherjee

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The present study is a firstrecord of spider occurrence on Robben Island, South Africa. Some habitats were rich in lichens. As we know, lichens enhance wildlife habitat in less direct ways. The objective of the study was to examine the potential importance of lichens in enriching spider diversity and abundance. A total of 260 spiders (170 from lichens and 90 from bush were collected following the visual search method over one year. Seasonal trends in overall species richness and abundance indicated that the relative density of spiders was greater in lichens than in bushes. The result suggests that habitat structure, such as branch size and epiphytic lichen abundance, can be an explanation for the greater number of spiders in lichen-rich patches of the island.

  17. Microstructure of the water spider (Argyroneta aquatica using the scanning electron microscope

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jung-Hoon Kang

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This study is aimed to identify the external features of the water spiders (Argyroneta aquatica collected from “The Natural Monument No. 412 Yeoncheon Eundaeri Water Spider Habitat” through observation of their microstructures using a scanning electron microscope. There is no study on the microstructures of the water spiders excluding several studies on protection plans and ecological investigations, thus giving this study considerable academic significance. Based on the scanning electron microscopy analysis, the water spider has eight simple eyes, and both of its lateral simple eyes are stuck together. A lateral bump was confirmed on the upper jaw, and the pedipalps had six joints and the legs had seven joints. The abdomen and sternum of A. aquatica have more hairs compared with those of land spiders, and its structure shows an elongated area of contact with the air bell so that the air bell can become attached to the abdomen better.

  18. The path to the nest of spiders The path to the nest of spiders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliane Luz Bayer

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Italo Calvino writes in his preface to The Path to the Nest of Spiders that the novel answers to the "ripeness of the time" since ht wrote it after wartime, a period when everyone had a tale to tell. He tells us that this is a story in which iobody is a hero and nobody has the class consciousness necessary to unify them in the struggle. Calvino acknowledges that it was difficult to conciliate his experiences with the postwar literary movement which he calls Neo-expresSionism, a term which, he thinks, describes better Italian Neo-realism. This is a book with a full realistic depictior of the incongruousness of the whole situation, showing rumen beings driven by loneliness, aggressiveness, unfulfilment and failure to meet, their nerves frayed by the War. It reveals human beings in their weaknesses, subjected to deterministic fates changing roles according to circumstance. Partisans shift to the Nazi side and inform on their f rmer allies and vice-versa, being later chased in revenge. The novel has as its setting Italy under Fascism and unde German occupation, the Italian people being divided betw en the fascists of the "Black Brigade" and the "Partisa4s" who belonged to the Resistance. Although this is a pOlitical book, it has universal appeal. At the same time that it livens up historical facts about the period, it moves our feelings. Calvino's book is about World War II as it is viewed and felt by a small outcast, Pin, who makes considerable efforts to be accepted and understood by adults. In his daily life Pinsuffers the consequences Of the war. His aggressive disposition reflects the environment which he has been brought up in: since he was born, his country has been at war. Besides that, his only sister is a whore, whom he hates and despises. Italo Calvino writes in his preface to The Path to the Nest of Spiders that the novel answers to the "ripeness of the time" since ht wrote it after wartime, a period when everyone had a tale to tell

  19. Effects of Spider Venom Toxin PWTX-I (6-Hydroxytrypargine on the Central Nervous System of Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario S. Palma

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The 6-hydroxytrypargine (6-HT is an alkaloidal toxin of the group of tetrahydro-b-carbolines (THbC isolated from the venom of the colonial spider Parawixia bistriata. These alkaloids are reversible inhibitors of the monoamine-oxidase enzyme (MAO, with hallucinogenic, tremorigenic and anxiolytic properties. The toxin 6-HT was the first THbC chemically reported in the venom of spiders; however, it was not functionally well characterized up to now. The action of 6-HT was investigated by intracerebroventricular (i.c.v. and intravenous (i.v. applications of the toxin in adult male Wistar rats, followed by the monitoring of the expression of fos-protein, combined with the use of double labeling immunehistochemistry protocols for the detection of some nervous receptors and enzymes related to the metabolism of neurotransmitters in the central nervous system (CNS. We also investigated the epileptiform activity in presence of this toxin. The assays were carried out in normal hippocampal neurons and also in a model of chronic epilepsy obtained by the use of neurons incubated in free-magnesium artificial cerebro-spinal fluid (ACSF. Trypargine, a well known THbC toxin, was used as standard compound for comparative purposes. Fos-immunoreactive cells (fos-ir were observed in hypothalamic and thalamic areas, while the double-labeling identified nervous receptors of the sub-types rGlu2/3 and NMR1, and orexinergic neurons. The 6-HT was administrated by perfusion and ejection in “brain slices” of hippocampus, inducing epileptic activity after its administration; the toxin was not able to block the epileptogenic crisis observed in the chronic model of the epilepsy, suggesting that 6-HT did not block the overactive GluRs responsible for this epileptic activity.

  20. Color development upon reaction of ferric ion with the toxin JSTX, a glutamate receptor blocker present in the venom gland of the spider Nephila clavata (Joro spider).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshioka, M; Narai, N; Pan-Hou, H; Shimazaki, K; Miwa, A; Kawai, N

    1988-01-01

    A spider toxin, JSTX, derived from Nephila clavata, which blocks glutamate receptor was found to react with Fe3+. Mechanism of the coloration may be chelate formation since the green color completely faded upon the addition of EDTA. The colored JSTX significantly lost its neurophysiological activity. This unique coloration may be useful for not only detecting specific blockers of the glutamate receptor in spider venom but also for characterizing the glutamate receptor.

  1. Spider community responds to litter complexity: insights from a small-scale experiment in an exotic pine stand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana R. Podgaiski

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Conservation of biodiversity in agroecosystems is an urgent need, and a suitable approach to maximize animal biodiversity and their services is the restoration of habitat heterogeneity. Here we investigated the value of increasing litter complexity in tree plantations of exotic pine for ground spiders. We hypothesized that increasing the litter complexity of these systems, as it would be the case in ecologically designed plantations, would increase spider aggregations. We performed a small-scale litter manipulation experiment within an exotic pine stand in the municipality of Minas do Leão, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and compared spider diversity in simple (only pine needles and complex substrates (with the addition of diverse native broadleaves. We found 1,110 spiders, 19 families and 32 morphospecies. The most abundant families were Linyphiidae, Theridiidae and Salticidade, and the dominant morphospecies were Thymoites sp. 2 and Lygarina sp. Web-building spiders represented 61% of total spider abundance, and 17 species, while hunting spiders, 49% and 15 species. As expected, densities of spider individuals and species from both web-building and hunting spiders were higher in complex litter substrate. Potential preys (Collembola also responded positively to the treatment, and had influence of spider community patterns. Our results suggest that ensuring some degree of plant and litter diversity within pine stands (e.g. understory establishment might foster spider aggregations and possibly help to conserve their diversity at local-scales.

  2. The distribution of brown recluse spiders in the southeastern quadrant of the United States in relation to loxoscelism diagnoses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, Richard S

    2009-05-01

    The southern and eastern margins of the range of the brown recluse spider run through the southeastern quadrant of the United States. Populations vary from abundant in states such as Arkansas and west and central Kentucky and Tennessee to absent in the Atlantic seaboard states. The diagnosis of loxoscelism should be restricted to areas of the southeastern United States where brown recluse spiders are both common and widespread. Better knowledge of the local presence of recluse spiders in one's area, along with the list of differential diagnoses for dermonecrosis, will allow medical personnel in the south to better assess the probability of spider involvement in a necrotic skin lesion. In North America, there are two groups of spiders proven to be medically important: the widow spiders (genus Latrodectus) and the recluse spiders (genus Loxosceles). The widow spiders are a known entity, because their distinctive coloration makes them readily identifiable by nonarachnologists. Also, the physiological mechanism of the venom, the antivenom to counter it, and the symptoms are known, causing misdiagnosis to rarely occur. In contrast, recluse spiders are almost at the other end of the spectrum. They are readily misidentified or confused with harmless spiders, and the physiological mechanism of the venom is still being elucidated. Furthermore, no antivenom is commercially available, and the brown recluse's infamy causes many skin lesions of nonarachnid origin to be misdiagnosed as brown recluse spider bites.

  3. Beneficial Effects of Ants and Spiders on the Reproductive Value of Eriotheca gracilipes (Malvaceae) in a Tropical Savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefani, Vanessa; Pires, Tayna Lopes; Torezan-Silingardi, Helena Maura; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2015-01-01

    Predators affect plant fitness when they forage on them and reduce the action of herbivores. Our study evaluates the complementary effects of spiders and ants that visit the extrafloral nectaries of Eriotheca gracilipes (Malvaceae) on the production of fruits and viable seeds of these savanna trees. Four experimental groups were established: control group - with free access of spiders and ants; exclusion group - spiders and ants excluded; ant group - absence of spiders; and spider group - absence of ants. The presence of ants reduced the spider richness; however, the presence of spiders did not affect the ant richness. A significantly higher number of fruits per buds were found in the presence of spiders alone or spiders and ants together (control group) compared with the absence of both predators (exclusion group). The number of seeds per fruits and seed viability were higher in the control group. This is the first study showing that spiders and ants may exert a positive and complementary effect on the reproductive value of an extrafloral nectaried plant. Mostly the impact of ants and/or spiders on herbivores is considered, whereas our study reinforces the importance of evaluating the effect of multiple predators simultaneously, exploring how the interactions among predators with distinct skills may affect the herbivores and the plants on which they forage.

  4. Silkworms transformed with chimeric silkworm/spider silk genes spin composite silk fibers with improved mechanical properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teulé, Florence; Miao, Yun-Gen; Sohn, Bong-Hee; Kim, Young-Soo; Hull, J Joe; Fraser, Malcolm J; Lewis, Randolph V; Jarvis, Donald L

    2012-01-17

    The development of a spider silk-manufacturing process is of great interest. However, there are serious problems with natural manufacturing through spider farming, and standard recombinant protein production platforms have provided limited progress due to their inability to assemble spider silk proteins into fibers. Thus, we used piggyBac vectors to create transgenic silkworms encoding chimeric silkworm/spider silk proteins. The silk fibers produced by these animals were composite materials that included chimeric silkworm/spider silk proteins integrated in an extremely stable manner. Furthermore, these composite fibers were, on average, tougher than the parental silkworm silk fibers and as tough as native dragline spider silk fibers. These results demonstrate that silkworms can be engineered to manufacture composite silk fibers containing stably integrated spider silk protein sequences, which significantly improve the overall mechanical properties of the parental silkworm silk fibers.

  5. Artificial vision workbench.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frenger, P

    1997-01-01

    Machine vision is an important component of medical systems engineering. Inexpensive miniature solid state cameras are now available. This paper describes how these devices can be used as artificial retinas, to take snapshots and moving pictures in monochrome or color. Used in pairs, they produce a stereoscopic field of vision and enable depth perception. Macular and peripheral vision can be simulated electronically. This paper also presents the author's design of an artificial orbit for this synthetic eye. The orbit supports the eye, protects it, and provides attachment points for the ocular motion control system. Convergence and image fusion can be produced, and saccades simulated, along with the other ocular motions. The use of lenses, filters, irises and focusing mechanisms are also discussed. Typical camera-computer interfaces are described, including the use of "frame grabbers" and analog-to-digital image conversion. Software programs for eye positioning, image manipulation, feature extraction and object recognition are discussed, including the application of artificial neural networks.

  6. Artificial intelligence in nanotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sacha, G M; Varona, P

    2013-11-15

    During the last decade there has been increasing use of artificial intelligence tools in nanotechnology research. In this paper we review some of these efforts in the context of interpreting scanning probe microscopy, the study of biological nanosystems, the classification of material properties at the nanoscale, theoretical approaches and simulations in nanoscience, and generally in the design of nanodevices. Current trends and future perspectives in the development of nanocomputing hardware that can boost artificial-intelligence-based applications are also discussed. Convergence between artificial intelligence and nanotechnology can shape the path for many technological developments in the field of information sciences that will rely on new computer architectures and data representations, hybrid technologies that use biological entities and nanotechnological devices, bioengineering, neuroscience and a large variety of related disciplines.

  7. Artificial muscles on heat

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, Thomas G.; Shin, Dong Ki; Percy, Steven; Knight, Chris; McGarry, Scott; Anderson, Iain A.

    2014-03-01

    Many devices and processes produce low grade waste heat. Some of these include combustion engines, electrical circuits, biological processes and industrial processes. To harvest this heat energy thermoelectric devices, using the Seebeck effect, are commonly used. However, these devices have limitations in efficiency, and usable voltage. This paper investigates the viability of a Stirling engine coupled to an artificial muscle energy harvester to efficiently convert heat energy into electrical energy. The results present the testing of the prototype generator which produced 200 μW when operating at 75°C. Pathways for improved performance are discussed which include optimising the electronic control of the artificial muscle, adjusting the mechanical properties of the artificial muscle to work optimally with the remainder of the system, good sealing, and tuning the resonance of the displacer to minimise the power required to drive it.

  8. Artificial intelligence in nanotechnology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sacha, G. M.; Varona, P.

    2013-11-01

    During the last decade there has been increasing use of artificial intelligence tools in nanotechnology research. In this paper we review some of these efforts in the context of interpreting scanning probe microscopy, the study of biological nanosystems, the classification of material properties at the nanoscale, theoretical approaches and simulations in nanoscience, and generally in the design of nanodevices. Current trends and future perspectives in the development of nanocomputing hardware that can boost artificial-intelligence-based applications are also discussed. Convergence between artificial intelligence and nanotechnology can shape the path for many technological developments in the field of information sciences that will rely on new computer architectures and data representations, hybrid technologies that use biological entities and nanotechnological devices, bioengineering, neuroscience and a large variety of related disciplines.

  9. Artificial organ engineering

    CERN Document Server

    Annesini, Maria Cristina; Piemonte, Vincenzo; Turchetti, Luca

    2017-01-01

    Artificial organs may be considered as small-scale process plants, in which heat, mass and momentum transfer operations and, possibly, chemical transformations are carried out. This book proposes a novel analysis of artificial organs based on the typical bottom-up approach used in process engineering. Starting from a description of the fundamental physico-chemical phenomena involved in the process, the whole system is rebuilt as an interconnected ensemble of elemental unit operations. Each artificial organ is presented with a short introduction provided by expert clinicians. Devices commonly used in clinical practice are reviewed and their performance is assessed and compared by using a mathematical model based approach. Whilst mathematical modelling is a fundamental tool for quantitative descriptions of clinical devices, models are kept simple to remain focused on the essential features of each process. Postgraduate students and researchers in the field of chemical and biomedical engineering will find that t...

  10. Resistance status of the carmine spider mite, Tetranychus cinnabarinus and the twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae to selected acaricides on strawberries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bi, Jian-Long; Niu, Zi-Mian; Yu, Lu; Toscano, Nick C

    2016-02-01

    The carmine spider mite, Tetranychus cinnabarinus (Boisduval) and the twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch, are serious pests of strawberries and many other horticultural crops. Control of these pests has been heavily dependent upon chemical acaricides. Objectives of this study were to determine the resistance status of these two pest species to commonly used acaricides on strawberries in a year-round intensive horticultural production region. LC90 of abamectin for adult carmine spider mites was 4% whereas that for adult twospotted spider mites was 24% of the top label rate. LC90s of spiromesifen, etoxazole, hexythiazox and bifenazate were 0.5%, 0.5%, 1.4% and 83% of their respective highest label rates for carmine spider mite eggs, 0.7%, 2.7%, 12.1% and 347% of their respective highest label rates for the nymphs. LC90s of spiromesifen, etoxazole, hexythiazox and bifenazate were 4.6%, 11.1%, 310% and 62% of their respective highest label rates for twospotted spider mite eggs, 3%, 13%, 432,214% and 15% of their respective highest label rates for the nymphs. Our results suggest that T. cinnabarinus have developed resistance to bifenazate and that the T. urticae have developed resistance to hexythiazox. These results strongly emphasize the need to develop resistance management strategies in the region.

  11. Bayesian artificial intelligence

    CERN Document Server

    Korb, Kevin B

    2003-01-01

    As the power of Bayesian techniques has become more fully realized, the field of artificial intelligence has embraced Bayesian methodology and integrated it to the point where an introduction to Bayesian techniques is now a core course in many computer science programs. Unlike other books on the subject, Bayesian Artificial Intelligence keeps mathematical detail to a minimum and covers a broad range of topics. The authors integrate all of Bayesian net technology and learning Bayesian net technology and apply them both to knowledge engineering. They emphasize understanding and intuition but also provide the algorithms and technical background needed for applications. Software, exercises, and solutions are available on the authors' website.

  12. Artificial human vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowling, Jason

    2005-01-01

    Can vision be restored to the blind? As early as 1929 it was discovered that stimulating the visual cortex of an individual led to the perception of spots of light, known as phosphenes [1] . The aim of artificial human vision systems is to attempt to utilize the perception of phosphenes to provide a useful substitute for normal vision. Currently, four locations for electrical stimulation are being investigated; behind the retina (subretinal), in front of the retina (epiretinal), the optic nerve and the visual cortex (using intra- and surface electrodes). This review discusses artificial human vision technology and requirements, and reviews the current development projects.

  13. Spatially Resolved Artificial Chemistry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fellermann, Harold

    2009-01-01

    Although spatial structures can play a crucial role in chemical systems and can drastically alter the outcome of reactions, the traditional framework of artificial chemistry is a well-stirred tank reactor with no spatial representation in mind. Advanced method development in physical chemistry has...... made a class of models accessible to the realms of artificial chemistry that represent reacting molecules in a coarse-grained fashion in continuous space. This chapter introduces the mathematical models of Brownian dynamics (BD) and dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) for molecular motion and reaction...

  14. General artificial neuron

    Science.gov (United States)

    Degeratu, Vasile; Schiopu, Paul; Degeratu, Stefania

    2007-05-01

    In this paper the authors present a model of artificial neuron named the general artificial neuron. Depending on application this neuron can change self number of inputs, the type of inputs (from excitatory in inhibitory or vice versa), the synaptic weights, the threshold, the type of intensifying functions. It is achieved into optoelectronic technology. Also, into optoelectronic technology a model of general McCulloch-Pitts neuron is showed. The advantages of these neurons are very high because we have to solve different applications with the same neural network, achieved from these neurons, named general neural network.

  15. Peptidomic and transcriptomic profiling of four distinct spider venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldrati, Vera; Koua, Dominique; Allard, Pierre-Marie; Hulo, Nicolas; Arrell, Miriam; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Lisacek, Frédérique; Wolfender, Jean-Luc; Kuhn-Nentwig, Lucia; Stöcklin, Reto

    2017-01-01

    Venom based research is exploited to find novel candidates for the development of innovative pharmacological tools, drug candidates and new ingredients for cosmetic and agrochemical industries. Moreover, venomics, as a well-established approach in systems biology, helps to elucidate the genetic mechanisms of the production of such a great molecular biodiversity. Today the advances made in the proteomics, transcriptomics and bioinformatics fields, favor venomics, allowing the in depth study of complex matrices and the elucidation even of minor compounds present in minute biological samples. The present study illustrates a rapid and efficient method developed for the elucidation of venom composition based on NextGen mRNA sequencing of venom glands and LC-MS/MS venom proteome profiling. The analysis of the comprehensive data obtained was focused on cysteine rich peptide toxins from four spider species originating from phylogenetically distant families for comparison purposes. The studied species were Heteropoda davidbowie (Sparassidae), Poecilotheria formosa (Theraphosidae), Viridasius fasciatus (Viridasiidae) and Latrodectus mactans (Theridiidae). This led to a high resolution profiling of 284 characterized cysteine rich peptides, 111 of which belong to the Inhibitor Cysteine Knot (ICK) structural motif. The analysis of H. davidbowie venom revealed a high richness in term of venom diversity: 95 peptide sequences were identified; out of these, 32 peptides presented the ICK structural motif and could be classified in six distinct families. The profiling of P. formosa venom highlighted the presence of 126 peptide sequences, with 52 ICK toxins belonging to three structural distinct families. V. fasciatus venom was shown to contain 49 peptide sequences, out of which 22 presented the ICK structural motif and were attributed to five families. The venom of L. mactans, until now studied for its large neurotoxins (Latrotoxins), revealed the presence of 14 cysteine rich

  16. Variation in protein intake induces variation in spider silk expression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean J Blamires

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: It is energetically expensive to synthesize certain amino acids. The proteins (spidroins of spider major ampullate (MA silk, MaSp1 and MaSp2, differ in amino acid composition. Glutamine and proline are prevalent in MaSp2 and are expensive to synthesize. Since most orb web spiders express high proline silk they might preferentially attain the amino acids needed for silk from food and shift toward expressing more MaSp1 in their MA silk when starved. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We fed three spiders; Argiope aetherea, Cyrtophora moluccensis and Leucauge blanda, high protein, low protein or no protein solutions. A. aetherea and L. blanda MA silks are high in proline, while C. moluccesnsis MA silks are low in proline. After 10 days of feeding we determined the amino acid compositions and mechanical properties of each species' MA silk and compared them between species and treatments with pre-treatment samples, accounting for ancestry. We found that the proline and glutamine of A. aetherea and L. blanda silks were affected by protein intake; significantly decreasing under the low and no protein intake treatments. Glutmaine composition in C. moluccensis silk was likewise affected by protein intake. However, the composition of proline in their MA silk was not significantly affected by protein intake. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that protein limitation induces a shift toward different silk proteins with lower glutamine and/or proline content. Contradictions to the MaSp model lie in the findings that C. moluccensis MA silks did not experience a significant reduction in proline and A. aetherea did not experience a significant reduction in serine on low/no protein. The mechanical properties of the silks could not be explained by a MaSp1 expressional shift. Factors other than MaSp expression, such as the expression of spidroin-like orthologues, may impact on silk amino acid composition and spinning and glandular processes may impact

  17. Micromachined Artificial Haircell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chang (Inventor); Engel, Jonathan (Inventor); Chen, Nannan (Inventor); Chen, Jack (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    A micromachined artificial sensor comprises a support coupled to and movable with respect to a substrate. A polymer, high-aspect ratio cilia-like structure is disposed on and extends out-of-plane from the support. A strain detector is disposed with respect to the support to detect movement of the support.

  18. Artificial Gravity Research Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Charlene

    2014-01-01

    This document describes the forward working plan to identify what countermeasure resources are needed for a vehicle with an artificial gravity module (intermittent centrifugation) and what Countermeasure Resources are needed for a rotating transit vehicle (continuous centrifugation) to minimize the effects of microgravity to Mars Exploration crewmembers.

  19. Artificial Left Ventricle

    CERN Document Server

    Ranjbar, Saeed; Meybodi, Mahmood Emami

    2014-01-01

    This Artificial left ventricle is based on a simple conic assumption shape for left ventricle where its motion is made by attached compressed elastic tubes to its walls which are regarded to electrical points at each nodal .This compressed tubes are playing the role of myofibers in the myocardium of the left ventricle. These elastic tubes have helical shapes and are transacting on these helical bands dynamically. At this invention we give an algorithm of this artificial left ventricle construction that of course the effect of the blood flow in LV is observed with making beneficiary used of sensors to obtain this effecting, something like to lifegates problem. The main problem is to evaluate powers that are interacted between elastic body (left ventricle) and fluid (blood). The main goal of this invention is to show that artificial heart is not just a pump, but mechanical modeling of LV wall and its interaction with blood in it (blood movement modeling) can introduce an artificial heart closed to natural heart...

  20. Artificial intelligence and psychiatry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Servan-Schreiber, D

    1986-04-01

    This paper provides a brief historical introduction to the new field of artificial intelligence and describes some applications to psychiatry. It focuses on two successful programs: a model of paranoid processes and an expert system for the pharmacological management of depressive disorders. Finally, it reviews evidence in favor of computerized psychotherapy and offers speculations on the future development of research in this area.

  1. Observations of artificial satellites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. MAMMANO

    1964-06-01

    Full Text Available The following publication gives the results of photographic
    observations of artificial satellites made at Asiago during the second
    and third year of this programme. The fixed camera technique and that
    with moving film (the latter still in its experimental stage have been used.

  2. Artificial intelligence within AFSC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gersh, Mark A.

    1990-01-01

    Information on artificial intelligence research in the Air Force Systems Command is given in viewgraph form. Specific research that is being conducted at the Rome Air Development Center, the Space Technology Center, the Human Resources Laboratory, the Armstrong Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, the Armamant Laboratory, and the Wright Research and Development Center is noted.

  3. A Tank Bromeliad Favors Spider Presence in a Neotropical Inundated Forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yann Hénaut

    Full Text Available Tank bromeliads are good models for understanding how climate change may affect biotic associations. We studied the relationships between spiders, the epiphytic tank bromeliad, Aechmea bracteata, and its associated ants in an inundated forest in Quintana Roo, Mexico, during a drought period while, exceptionally, this forest was dry and then during the flooding that followed. We compared spider abundance and diversity between 'Aechmea-areas' and 'control-areas' of the same surface area. We recorded six spider families: the Dipluridae, Ctenidae, Salticidae, Araneidae, Tetragnathidae and Linyphiidae among which the funnel-web tarantula, Ischnothele caudata, the only Dipluridae noted, was the most abundant. During the drought period, the spiders were more numerous in the Aechmea-areas than in the control-areas, but they were not obligatorily associated with the Aechmea. During the subsequent flooding, the spiders were concentrated in the A. bracteata patches, particularly those sheltering an ant colony. Also, a kind of specificity existed between certain spider taxa and ant species, but varied between the drought period and subsequent flooding. We conclude that climatic events modulate the relationship between A. bracteata patches and their associated fauna. Tank bromeliads, previously considered only for their ecological importance in supplying food and water during drought, may also be considered refuges for spiders during flooding. More generally, tank bromeliads have an important role in preserving non-specialized fauna in inundated forests.

  4. The lethal toxin from Australian funnel-web spiders is encoded by an intronless gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda, Sandy Steffany; Wilson, David; Mattick, John S; King, Glenn F

    2012-01-01

    Australian funnel-web spiders are generally considered the most dangerous spiders in the world, with envenomations from the Sydney funnel-web spider Atrax robustus resulting in at least 14 human fatalities prior to the introduction of an effective anti-venom in 1980. The clinical envenomation syndrome resulting from bites by Australian funnel-web spiders is due to a single 42-residue peptide known as δ-hexatoxin. This peptide delays the inactivation of voltage-gated sodium channels, which results in spontaneous repetitive firing and prolongation of action potentials, thereby causing massive neurotransmitter release from both somatic and autonomic nerve endings. Here we show that δ-hexatoxin from the Australian funnel-web spider Hadronyche versuta is produced from an intronless gene that encodes a prepropeptide that is post-translationally processed to yield the mature toxin. A limited sampling of genes encoding unrelated venom peptides from this spider indicated that they are all intronless. Thus, in distinct contrast to cone snails and scorpions, whose toxin genes contain introns, spiders may have developed a quite different genetic strategy for evolving their venom peptidome.

  5. The lethal toxin from Australian funnel-web spiders is encoded by an intronless gene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandy Steffany Pineda

    Full Text Available Australian funnel-web spiders are generally considered the most dangerous spiders in the world, with envenomations from the Sydney funnel-web spider Atrax robustus resulting in at least 14 human fatalities prior to the introduction of an effective anti-venom in 1980. The clinical envenomation syndrome resulting from bites by Australian funnel-web spiders is due to a single 42-residue peptide known as δ-hexatoxin. This peptide delays the inactivation of voltage-gated sodium channels, which results in spontaneous repetitive firing and prolongation of action potentials, thereby causing massive neurotransmitter release from both somatic and autonomic nerve endings. Here we show that δ-hexatoxin from the Australian funnel-web spider Hadronyche versuta is produced from an intronless gene that encodes a prepropeptide that is post-translationally processed to yield the mature toxin. A limited sampling of genes encoding unrelated venom peptides from this spider indicated that they are all intronless. Thus, in distinct contrast to cone snails and scorpions, whose toxin genes contain introns, spiders may have developed a quite different genetic strategy for evolving their venom peptidome.

  6. Spider mites adaptively learn recognizing mycorrhiza-induced changes in host plant volatiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patiño-Ruiz, J David; Schausberger, Peter

    2014-12-01

    Symbiotic root micro-organisms such as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi commonly change morphological, physiological and biochemical traits of their host plants and may thus influence the interaction of aboveground plant parts with herbivores and their natural enemies. While quite a few studies tested the effects of mycorrhiza on life history traits, such as growth, development and reproduction, of aboveground herbivores, information on possible effects of mycorrhiza on host plant choice of herbivores via constitutive and/or induced plant volatiles is lacking. Here we assessed whether symbiosis of the mycorrhizal fungus Glomus mosseae with common bean plants Phaseolus vulgaris influences the response of the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae to volatiles of plants that were clean or infested with spider mites. Mycorrhiza-naïve and -experienced spider mites, reared on mycorrhizal or non-mycorrhizal bean plants for several days before the experiments, were subjected to Y-tube olfactometer choice tests. Experienced but not naïve spider mites distinguished between constitutive volatiles of clean non-mycorrhizal and mycorrhizal plants, preferring the latter. Neither naïve nor experienced spider mites distinguished between spider mite-induced volatiles of mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal plants. Learning the odor of clean mycorrhizal plants, resulting in a subsequent preference for these odors, is adaptive because mycorrhizal plants are more favorable host plants for fitness of the spider mites than are non-mycorrhizal plants.

  7. Brain dynamics in spider-phobic individuals exposed to phobia-relevant and other emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalowski, Jaroslaw M; Melzig, Christiane A; Weike, Almut I; Stockburger, Jessica; Schupp, Harald T; Hamm, Alfons O

    2009-06-01

    Dense sensor event-related brain potentials were measured in participants with spider phobia and nonfearful controls during viewing of phobia-relevant spider and standard emotional (pleasant, unpleasant, neutral) pictures. Irrespective of the picture content, spider phobia participants responded with larger P1 amplitudes than controls, suggesting increased vigilance in this group. Furthermore, spider phobia participants showed a significantly enlarged early posterior negativity (EPN) and late positive potential (LPP) during the encoding of phobia-relevant pictures compared to nonfearful controls. No group differences were observed for standard emotional materials indicating that these effects were specific to phobia-relevant material. Within group comparisons of the spider phobia group, though, revealed comparable EPN and LPP evoked by spider pictures and emotional (unpleasant and pleasant) picture contents. These results demonstrate a temporal unfolding in perceptual processing from unspecific vigilance (P1) to preferential responding (EPN and LPP) to phobia-relevant materials in the spider phobia group. However, at the level of early stimulus processing, these effects of increased attention seem to be related to emotional relevance of the stimulus cues rather than reflecting a fear-specific response.

  8. Exploration behaviour and behavioural flexibility in orb-web spiders: A review

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Thomas HESSELBERG

    2015-01-01

    Orb-web spiders and their webs constitute an ideal model system in which to study behavioural flexibility and spatial cognition in invertebrates due to the easily quantifiable nature of the orb web.A large number of studies demonstrate how spiders are able to modify the geometry of their webs in response to a range of different conditions including the ability to adapt their webs to spatial constraints.However,the mechanisms behind this impressive web-building flexibility in these cognitively limited animals remain poorly explored.One possible mechanism though may be spatial learning during the spiders' exploration of their immediate surroundings.This review discusses the importance of exploration behaviour,the reliance on simple behavioural rules,and the use of already laid threads as guidelines for web-building in orb-web spiders.The focus is on the spiders' ability to detect and adapt their webs to space limitations and other spatial disruptions.I will also review the few published studies on how spatial information is gathered during the exploration phase and discuss the possibility of the use of ‘cognitive map’-like processes in spiders.Finally,the review provides suggestions for designing experimental studies to shed light on whether spiders gather metric information during the site exploration (cognitive map hypothesis) or rely on more simple binary information in combination with previously laid threads to build their webs (stigmergy hypothesis) [Current Zoology 61 (2):313-327,2015].

  9. Molecular characterization and evolutionary study of spider tubuliform (eggcase) silk protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Maozhen; Lewis, Randolph V

    2005-06-01

    As a result of hundreds of millions of years of evolution, orb-web-weaving spiders have developed the use of seven different silks produced by different abdominal glands for various functions. Tubuliform silk (eggcase silk) is unique among these spider silks due to its high serine and very low glycine content. In addition, tubuliform silk is the only silk produced just during a short period of time, the reproductive season, in the spider's life. To understand the molecular characteristics of the proteins composing this silk, we constructed tubuliform-gland-specific cDNA libraries from three different spider families, Nephila clavipes, Argiope aurantia, and Araneus gemmoides. Sequencing of tubuliform silk cDNAs reveals the repetitive architecture of its coding sequence and novel amino acid motifs. The inferred protein, tubuliform spidroin 1 (TuSp1), contains highly homogenized repeats in all three spiders. Amino acid composition comparison of the predicted tubuliform silk protein sequence to tubuliform silk indicates that TuSp1 is the major component of tubuliform silk. Repeat unit alignment of TuSp1 among three spider species shows high sequence conservation among tubuliform silk protein orthologue groups. Sequence comparison among TuSp1 repetitive units within species suggests intragenic concerted evolution, presumably through gene conversion and unequal crossover events. Comparative analysis demonstrates that TuSp1 represents a new orthologue in the spider silk gene family.

  10. Effects of kaolin particle films on the life span of an orb-weaver spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benhadi-Marín, Jacinto; Pereira, José Alberto; Santos, Sónia A P

    2016-02-01

    Araniella cucurbitina (Araneae: Araneidae) is a widespread orb-weaver spider commonly found in agroecosystems. Mineral particle films such as kaolin, due to their protective or anti-feeding action, can represent an alternative to pesticides, especially in organic farming systems, but little is known about its effects on A. cucurbitina. Therefore, we tested the effect of kaolin sprays on the life span of A. cucurbitina under laboratory conditions. Four treatments were tested encompassing different exposure routes. Thus, kaolin sprays were applied on (i) the surface, (ii) the prey (fly), (iii) the spider and (iv) both spider & prey. A control group was tested with water in each treatment. Results showed that sprays of kaolin significantly affected the survival of A. curcubitina when applications were done on the surface and on both spider & prey registering a reduction of 48% and 56%, respectively. Spiders in control obtained higher probability of reaching alive at the end of the assay than those treated with kaolin. Differences observed can be explained by the feeding behavior of the species and may depend on the consumption of the web by the spider and the ratio spider/fly for body size.

  11. Dynamics of spider glue adhesion: effect of surface energy and contact area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amarpuri, Gaurav; Chen, Yizhou; Blackledge, Todd; Dhinojwala, Ali

    Spider glue is a unique biological adhesive which is humidity responsive such that the adhesion continues to increase upto 100% relative humidity (RH) for some species. This is unlike synthetic adhesives that significantly drop in adhesion with an increase in humidity. However, most of adhesion data reported in literature have used clean hydrophilic glass substrate, unlike the hydrophobic, and charged insect cuticle surface that adheres to spider glue in nature. Previously, we have reported that the spider glue viscosity changes over five orders of magnitude with humidity. Here, we vary the surface energy and surface charge of the substrate to test the change in Larnioides cornutus spider glue adhesion with humidity. We find that an increase in both surface energy and surface charge density increases the droplet spreading and there exists an optimum droplet contact area where adhesion is maximized. Moreover, spider glue droplets act as reusable adhesive for low energy hydrophobic surface at the optimum humidity. These results explain why certain prey are caught more efficiently by spiders in their habitat. The mechanism by which spider species tune its glue adhesion for local prey capture can inspire new generation smart adhesives.

  12. Design of a convertible drone from the Rolling Spider

    OpenAIRE

    Marí Marí, Marc

    2014-01-01

    [ANGLÈS] The Rolling Spider is Parrot's mini-quadcopter launched in summer 2014. Despite its very light design, this unmanned aerial vehicle has a great compactness and robustness and it has been mainly created for fun and model building fans. It is able to fly indoors and outdoors and it can be piloted via a smartphone or a tablet. Besides, it has an electronic embedded system working on Linux kernel and several sensors which aim at its stability during flight. Thus, the purpose of the proje...

  13. Systemic lupus erythematosus flare triggered by a spider bite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín Nares, Eduardo; López Iñiguez, Alvaro; Ontiveros Mercado, Heriberto

    2016-01-01

    Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic autoimmune disease with a relapsing and remitting course characterized by disease flares. Flares are a major cause of hospitalization, morbidity and mortality in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Some triggers for these exacerbations have been identified, including infections, vaccines, pregnancy, environmental factors such as weather, stress and drugs. We report a patient who presented with a lupus flare with predominantly mucocutaneous, serosal and cardiac involvement after being bitten by a spider and we present the possible mechanisms by which the venom elicited such a reaction. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first such case reported in the literature.

  14. Spider-silk-based fabrication of nanogaps and wires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Piero; Rapone, Bruno; Caruso, Mario; Flammini, Davide

    2012-06-01

    We report on the use of spider fibers as micro- and nanostencils for the fabrication of nanogaps between ultrathin conductive electrodes, and as molds for fabrication of micro- and nanowires by deposition of evaporated gold. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) morphological characterization of the nanogaps is described, together with the measurement of the electrical behavior of both nanogaps and nanowires. Gaps as narrow as 20 nm, comparable to e-beam-fabricated gaps, with electrical resistance higher than 1013 Ω have been obtained; while conductive fibers ranging from 350 nm to 1.5 μm in diameter and resistances ranging from 50 MΩ to 100 Ω have been obtained and characterized.

  15. Native spider silk as a biological optical fiber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huby, N.; Vié, V.; Renault, A.; Beaufils, S.; Lefèvre, T.; Paquet-Mercier, F.; Pézolet, M.; Bêche, B.

    2013-03-01

    In this study, we demonstrate the use of eco-friendly native spider silk as an efficient optical fiber in air, highly bent fibers, and physiological liquid. We also integrated the silk filament in a photonic chip made of polymer microstructures fabricated by UV lithography. The molding process is non-destructive for silk and leads to an efficient micro-optical coupling between silk and synthetic optical structures. These optical performances combined with the unique biocompatibility, bioresorbability, flexibility, and tensile strength of silk filaments pave the way for new applications in biological media and for original biophotonic purposes.

  16. Structure determination of spider silk from X-ray images

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ulrich, Stephan; Zippelius, Annette [Universitaet Goettingen, Institut fuer Theoretische Physik (Germany); Meling, Martin [Max-Planck-Institut fuer biophysikalische Chemie, Goettingen (Germany); Glisovic, Anja; Salditt, Tim [Universitaet Goettingen, Institut fuer Roentgenphysik (Germany)

    2008-07-01

    Spider silk consists of interconnected crystallites, which are typically aligned along the fiber axis. We present a method to systematically determine the structure of these crystallites. Hereby we introduce a model that calculates the scattering function G(q) which is fitted to the measured X-ray image (silk from nephila clavipes). With it, the crystallites' size, the constitution and dimensions of their unit cell, as well as their tilt with respect to the fiber axis is identified, and furthermore the effect of coherent scattering from different crystallites is investigated. The shown methods and the presented model can easily be generalized to a wide class of composite materials.

  17. Back in Europe: Quamtana spiders (Araneae: Pholcidae in Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huber, Bernhard

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Two undescribed species of the African pholcid spider genus Quamtana have been found in German greenhouses and plant markets since 2012. Both species seem to have established stable populations. This genus has not been previously recorded from Europe, except for a fossil specimen in Eocene amber from the Paris Basin that was tentatively assigned to Quamtana and that is estimated to date from 53 million years ago. Since the actual geographic origins of the two species (probably South and/or tropical Africa are unknown, we do not formally describe them.

  18. Benefits of cooperation with genetic kin in a subsocial spider

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schneider, J.M.; Bilde, T.

    2008-01-01

    in prey capture and feed communally. We provide clear experimental evidence for net benefits of cooperating with kin. Genetic relatedness within groups and not association with familiar individuals directly improved feeding efficiency and growth rates, demonstrating a positive effect of kin cooperation...... relatives include the cost of lowering indirect fitness benefits that could otherwise be achieved through the propagation of shared genes. Kin selection theory has been proved to be of general importance for the origin of cooperative behaviors, but other driving forces, such as direct fitness benefits, can....... Hence, in communally feeding spiders, nepotism favors group retention and reduces the conflict between selfish interests and the interests of the group....

  19. Biodistribution studies of bee venom and spider toxin using radiotracers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. M. Yonamine

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available The use of radiotracers allows the understanding of the bioavailability process, biodistribution, and kinetics of any molecule labelled with an isotope, which does not alter the molecule's biological properties. In this work, technetium-99m and iodine-125 were chosen as radiotracers for biodistribution studies in mice using bee (Apis mellifera venom and a toxin (PnTX2-6 from the Brazilian "armed" spider (Phoneutria nigriventer venom. Incorporated radioactivity was measured in the blood, brain, heart, lung, liver, kidney, adrenal gland, spleen, stomach, testicle, intestine, muscle, and thyroid gland. Results provided the blood kinetic parameter, and different organs distribution rates.

  20. Transient Myocarditis and Cardiomyopathy After Scorpion and Spider Envenomation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mustafa Kır

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Spider and scorpion stings can cause multiple clinical manifestations such as local skin reactions or multiple organ failure that can cause death. Multi-organ involvement is more frequent in children due to their lower body weight. The most important life threatening event after the sting is cardiac and lung involvement. In this case report, two cases who developed myocarditis and cardiomyopathy following scorpion and spider stings were reported.Case Report: Clinical evaluation of a ten-year-old boy with respiratory distress and tachycardia after being bitten by a spider on his right hand revealed high levels of cardiac enzymes [CK-MB: 16.5 ng/ml (N:0.0-7.2 ng/ml, troponin: 3.06 ng/ml (N:0.0-0.3ng/ml], pathological ST elevations in leads V3 and V4, and T wave negativity in leads V5 and V6. In echocardiography, left ventricular dilatation and moderate systolic dysfunction were found. Antivenom [Serum antiscorpionique (labs 50] was given (5 cc antivenom was administered intravenously following a 1:10 dilution with normal saline. With supportive treatment, all pathological findings resolved in a week. The second case was an eight-year-old boy who had been bitten by a scorpion on his foot and taken to the intensive care unit because of respiratory distress and convulsion. Two doses of antivenom were given to the case who had elevated levels of troponin and CK-MB, pathological ST depressions in ECG, and left ventricular dilatation and systolic dysfunction, as revealed by echocardiography. With dobutamin and supportive treatment, the pathological findings normalized in ten days.Conclusion: Myocarditis developing following spider or scorpion bites can threaten life due to left ventricular systolic dysfunction. This consequence has been attributed to increased catecholaminergic activity or direct effect of toxin to myocardial fibres. ECG must be performed, cardiac enzymes must be monitored and echocardiography must be done to evaluate

  1. Introduction to Artificial Neural Networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Jan

    1999-01-01

    The note addresses introduction to signal analysis and classification based on artificial feed-forward neural networks.......The note addresses introduction to signal analysis and classification based on artificial feed-forward neural networks....

  2. Can field-scale habitat diversification enhance the biocontrol potential of spiders?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samu, Ferenc

    2003-04-01

    The study investigated the effect of strip management in alfalfa on the abundance and diversity of spiders. In strip management, narrow strips were left unmown in the crop, which were then shifted at next mowing. In an experimental field, out of the six 50 x 50-m blocks, three received strip management and three were managed traditionally (ie the whole block was mown). Our main hypothesis was that unmown strips will contain a more diverse and abundant spider assemblage, which will increase spider numbers in the mown parts of the crop. Over the 3 years of the study, unmown strips contained a spider assemblage of more than 50% higher abundance than in control alfalfa. Species diversity was also greater in the strips, and the presence of specific indicator species could be shown. We found that five dominant species comprised over 75% of spiders in the strips, and they were the same species as those that are dominant in alfalfa, where they represent 85% of all spiders. In contrast, a neighbouring meadow, which was a control in the study, also had high diversity, but different dominant species. The main result of the experiment was negative in that elevated abundance of spiders in unmown strips did not raise spider numbers in the mown strips of alfalfa, where abundance was only marginally higher than in the control alfalfa. We can speculate that better ecological conditions in unmown strips attract and conserve spiders from neighbouring areas and from the crop at mowing. We suggest that if diversification is more interspersed within the crop, we have a higher chance of increasing the number of natural enemies and bringing them closer to pests, so that they can interact more intensively.

  3. Functional relations between locomotor performance traits in spiders and implications for evolutionary hypotheses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taylor Phillip W

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Locomotor performance in ecologically relevant activities is often linked to individual fitness. Recent controversy over evolution of extreme sexual size dimorphism (SSD in spiders centres on the relationship between size and locomotor capacity in males. Advantages for large males running over horizontal surfaces and small males climbing vertically have been proposed. Models have implicitly treated running and climbing as functionally distinct activities and failed to consider the possibility that they reflect common underlying capacities. Findings We examine the relationship between maximum climbing and running performance in males of three spider species. Maximum running and climbing speeds were positively related in two orb-web spiders with high SSD (Argiope keyserlingi and Nephila plumipes, indicating that for these species assays of running and climbing largely reveal the same underlying capacities. Running and climbing speeds were not related in a jumping spider with low SSD (Jacksonoides queenslandica. We found no evidence of a performance trade-off between these activities. Conclusions In the web-spiders A. keyserlingi and N. plumipes good runners were also good climbers. This indicates that climbing and running largely represent a single locomotor performance characteristic in these spiders, but this was not the case for the jumping spider J. queenslandica. There was no evidence of a trade-off between maximum running and climbing speeds in these spiders. We highlight the need to establish the relationship between apparently disparate locomotor activities when testing alternative hypotheses that yield predictions about different locomotor activities. Analysis of slopes suggests greater potential for an evolutionary response on performance in the horizontal compared to vertical context in these spiders.

  4. Deer herbivory reduces web-building spider abundance by simplifying forest vegetation structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chips, Michael J.; Carson, Walter P.

    2016-01-01

    Indirect ecological effects are a common feature of ecological systems, arising when one species affects interactions among two or more other species. We examined how browsing by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) indirectly affected the abundance and composition of a web-building spider guild through their effects on the structure of the ground and shrub layers of northern hardwood forests. We examined paired plots consisting of deer-free and control plots in the Allegheny Plateau region Pennsylvania and Northern Highlands region of Wisconsin. We recorded the abundance of seven types of webs, each corresponding to a family of web-building spiders. We quantified vegetation structure and habitat suitability for the spiders by computing a web scaffold availability index (WSAI) at 0.5 m and 1.0 m above the ground. At Northern Highlands sites, we recorded prey availability. Spider webs were twice as abundant in deer-free plots compared to control plots, while WSAI was 7–12 times greater in deerfree plots. Prey availability was lower in deer-free plots. With the exception of funnel web-builders, all spider web types were significantly more abundant in deer-free plots. Both deer exclusion and the geographic region of plots were significant predictors of spider community structure. In closed canopy forests with high browsing pressure, the low density of tree saplings and shrubs provides few locations for web-building spiders to anchor webs. Recruitment of these spiders may become coupled with forest disturbance events that increase tree and shrub recruitment. By modifying habitat structure, deer appear to indirectly modify arthropod food web interactions. As deer populations have increased in eastern North America over the past several decades, the effects of deer on web-building spiders may be widespread. PMID:27703868

  5. Deer herbivory reduces web-building spider abundance by simplifying forest vegetation structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberson, Elizabeth J; Chips, Michael J; Carson, Walter P; Rooney, Thomas P

    2016-01-01

    Indirect ecological effects are a common feature of ecological systems, arising when one species affects interactions among two or more other species. We examined how browsing by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) indirectly affected the abundance and composition of a web-building spider guild through their effects on the structure of the ground and shrub layers of northern hardwood forests. We examined paired plots consisting of deer-free and control plots in the Allegheny Plateau region Pennsylvania and Northern Highlands region of Wisconsin. We recorded the abundance of seven types of webs, each corresponding to a family of web-building spiders. We quantified vegetation structure and habitat suitability for the spiders by computing a web scaffold availability index (WSAI) at 0.5 m and 1.0 m above the ground. At Northern Highlands sites, we recorded prey availability. Spider webs were twice as abundant in deer-free plots compared to control plots, while WSAI was 7-12 times greater in deerfree plots. Prey availability was lower in deer-free plots. With the exception of funnel web-builders, all spider web types were significantly more abundant in deer-free plots. Both deer exclusion and the geographic region of plots were significant predictors of spider community structure. In closed canopy forests with high browsing pressure, the low density of tree saplings and shrubs provides few locations for web-building spiders to anchor webs. Recruitment of these spiders may become coupled with forest disturbance events that increase tree and shrub recruitment. By modifying habitat structure, deer appear to indirectly modify arthropod food web interactions. As deer populations have increased in eastern North America over the past several decades, the effects of deer on web-building spiders may be widespread.

  6. Deer herbivory reduces web-building spider abundance by simplifying forest vegetation structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth J. Roberson

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Indirect ecological effects are a common feature of ecological systems, arising when one species affects interactions among two or more other species. We examined how browsing by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus indirectly affected the abundance and composition of a web-building spider guild through their effects on the structure of the ground and shrub layers of northern hardwood forests. We examined paired plots consisting of deer-free and control plots in the Allegheny Plateau region Pennsylvania and Northern Highlands region of Wisconsin. We recorded the abundance of seven types of webs, each corresponding to a family of web-building spiders. We quantified vegetation structure and habitat suitability for the spiders by computing a web scaffold availability index (WSAI at 0.5 m and 1.0 m above the ground. At Northern Highlands sites, we recorded prey availability. Spider webs were twice as abundant in deer-free plots compared to control plots, while WSAI was 7–12 times greater in deerfree plots. Prey availability was lower in deer-free plots. With the exception of funnel web-builders, all spider web types were significantly more abundant in deer-free plots. Both deer exclusion and the geographic region of plots were significant predictors of spider community structure. In closed canopy forests with high browsing pressure, the low density of tree saplings and shrubs provides few locations for web-building spiders to anchor webs. Recruitment of these spiders may become coupled with forest disturbance events that increase tree and shrub recruitment. By modifying habitat structure, deer appear to indirectly modify arthropod food web interactions. As deer populations have increased in eastern North America over the past several decades, the effects of deer on web-building spiders may be widespread.

  7. 蜘蛛丝蛋白的人工合成及人造蜘蛛丝%The Synthetic Spider Silk Protein and The Artificial Spider Silk

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    许箐; 潘志娟

    2005-01-01

    蜘蛛丝是一种天然的高性能蛋白质纤维,由于其优异的力学性能而引起广泛的关注.随着生物技术的发展,人工合成蜘蛛丝蛋白已成为可能,并且可以用湿法纺丝技术将人工合成蜘蛛丝蛋白纺制成人造蜘蛛丝.通过改进纺丝工艺以及纺丝后处理方法可以改善人造蜘蛛丝的力学性能.本文对蜘蛛丝蛋白的人工合成以及蜘蛛丝蛋白的纺丝方法作一个综述.

  8. Identification and synthesis of novel biomaterials based on spider structural silk fibers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsia, Yang; Gnesa, Eric; Tang, Simon; Jeffery, Felicia; Geurts, Paul; Zhao, Liang; Franz, Andreas; Vierra, Craig

    2011-11-01

    The diversity in function and mechanical behavior of spider silks, and the ability to produce these silks recombinantly, have tremendous potential in creating a new class of biomimetic materials. Here we investigate the structural and mechanical properties of pyriform silks from the golden orb-weaver, Nephila clavipes. Nanoscale indentation measurements using atomic force microscopy on natural pyriform silk suggests that this biomaterial has high toughness that may be suitable for dissipating high amounts of mechanical energy. We also observed the occurrence of highly organized nanocrystals within the pyriform silk fibers that may contribute to the remarkable energy dissipation capability of these silks. It has been demonstrated that poly-(Gly-Ala) and poly-Ala stretches within the internal block repeat modules of dragline silk fibroins form nanocrystals, and these nanocrystalline structures may be responsible for the high extensibility of the dragline silks. In contrast, amino acid sequence analysis shows that PySp2 does not contain the same motifs. In the absence of poly-(Gly-Ala) and poly-Ala repeats, we hypothesized that PySp2 contains new protein motifs sufficient to polymerize into functional structures. To investigate the functional contributions of these novel motifs during pyriform fiber formation, we expressed different recombinant PySp2 fibroins with various segments spanning its block repeat units. We demonstrate that PySp2 recombinant proteins with the Pro-rich sub-block domain (PXP motifs, where X= sub-set of the amino acids A, L, or R) and/or the Ser + Gln + Ala-rich sub-block domain (QQSSVAQS motifs) are sufficient for artificial fiber formation. Moreover, we show that recombinant PySp2 proteins that contain a single block repeat unit can self-assemble into foam-like nanostructures. Collectively, our findings support the use of PySp2 recombinant proteins for a wide range of biomimetic materials with morphologies ranging from fibers to porous

  9. Phantom spiders 2: More notes on dubious spider species from Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Breitling, Rainer

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available A surprisingly large number of European spider species have never been reliably rediscovered since their first description many decades ago. Most of these are probably synonymous with other species or unidentifiable, due to insufficient descriptions or missing type material. In this second part of a series on this topic, we discuss about 100 of these cases, focusing mainly on species described in the early 20th century by Pelegrín Franganillo Balboa and Gabor von Kolosváry, as well as a number of jumping spiders and various miscellaneous species. In most cases, the species turned out to be unidentifiable nomina dubia, but for some of them new synonymies could be established as follows: Alopecosa accentuata auct., nec (Latreille, 1817 = Alopecosa farinosa (Herman, 1879 syn. nov., comb. nov.; Alopecosa barbipes oreophila Simon, 1937 = Alopecosa farinosa (Herman, 1879 syn. nov., comb. nov.; Alopecosa mariae orientalis (Kolosváry, 1934 = Alopecosa mariae (Dahl, 1908 syn. nov.; Araneus angulatus afolius (Franganillo, 1909 and Araneus angulatus atricolor Simon, 1929 = Araneus angulatus Clerck, 1757 syn. nov.; Araneus angulatus castaneus (Franganillo, 1909 = Araneus pallidus (Olivier, 1789 syn. nov.; Araneus angulatus levifolius (Franganillo, 1909, Araneus angulatus niger (Franganillo, 1918 and Araneus angulatus nitidifolius (Franganillo, 1909 = Araneus angulatus Clerck 1757 syn. nov.; Araneus angulatus pallidus (Franganillo, 1909, Araneus angulatus crucinceptus (Franganillo, 1909, Araneus angulatus fuscus (Franganillo, 1909 and Araneus angulatus iberoi (Franganillo, 1909 = Araneus pallidus (Olivier, 1789 syn. nov.; Araneus circe strandi (Kolosváry, 1935 = Araneus circe (Audouin, 1826 syn. nov.; Araneus diadematus nemorosus Simon, 1929 and Araneus diadematus soror (Simon, 1874 = Araneus diadematus Clerck, 1757 syn. nov.; Araneus pyrenaeus (Simon, 1874 = Araneus pallidus (Olivier, 1789 syn. nov.; Araneus sericinus (Roewer, 1942 = Aculepeira armida

  10. Entire functions for which the escaping set is a spider's web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sixsmith, D. J.

    2011-11-01

    We construct several new classes of transcendental entire functions, f, such that both the escaping set, I(f), and the fast escaping set, A(f), have a structure known as a spider's web. We show that some of these classes have a degree of stability under changes in the function. We show that new examples of functions for which I(f) and A(f) are spiders' webs can be constructed by composition, by differentiation, and by integration of existing examples. We use a property of spiders' webs to give new results concerning functions with no unbounded Fatou components.

  11. Entire functions for which the escaping set is a spider's web

    CERN Document Server

    Sixsmith, D J

    2010-01-01

    We construct several new classes of transcendental entire functions, f, such that both the escaping set, I(f), and the fast escaping set, A(f), have a structure known as a spider's web. We show that some of these classes have a degree of stability under changes in the function. We show that new examples of functions for which I(f) and A(f) are spiders' webs can be constructed by composition, by differentiation, and by integration of existing examples. We use a property of spiders' webs to give new results concerning functions with no unbounded Fatou components.

  12. Protein composition correlates with the mechanical properties of spider ( Argiope trifasciata ) dragline silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marhabaie, Mohammad; Leeper, Thomas C; Blackledge, Todd A

    2014-01-13

    We investigated the natural variation in silk composition and mechanical performance of the orb-weaving spider Argiope trifasciata at multiple spatial and temporal scales in order to assess how protein composition contributes to the remarkable material properties of spider dragline silk. Major ampullate silk in orb-weaving spiders consists predominantly of two proteins (MaSp1 and MaSp2) with divergent amino acid compositions and functionally different microstructures. Adjusting the expression of these two proteins therefore provides spiders with a simple mechanism to alter the material properties of their silk. We first assessed the reliability and precision of the Waters AccQ-Tag amino acid composition analysis kit for determining the amino acid composition of small quantities of spider silk. We then tested how protein composition varied within single draglines, across draglines spun by the same spider on different days, and finally between spiders. Then, we correlated chemical composition with the material properties of dragline silk. Overall, we found that the chemical composition of major ampullate silk was in general homogeneous among individuals of the same population. Variation in chemical composition was not detectable within silk spun by a single spider on a single day. However, we found that variation within a single spider's silk across different days could, in rare instances, be greater than variation among individual spiders. Most of the variation in silk composition in our investigation resulted from a small number of outliers (three out of sixteen individuals) with a recent history of stress, suggesting stress affects silk production process in orb web spiders. Based on reported sequences for MaSp genes, we developed a gene expression model showing the covariation of the most abundant amino acids in major ampullate silk. Our gene expression model supports that dragline silk composition was mostly determined by the relative abundance of MaSp1 and Ma

  13. Documented bites by a yellow sac spider (Cheiracanthium punctorium in Italy: a case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R Papini

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In Italy reports of human envenomations by yellow sac spiders have been sporadic. Since increasing clinical information would improve understanding of the danger of yellow sac spiders to humans, we report the case of a 7-year-old child and her father bitten by a documented Cheiracanthium punctorium. They developed acute persistent pain with local skin signs and numbness, and required emergency treatment. The father recovered completely within 1 to 2 hours and the child within 3 to 4 days after treatment, probably as a result of spontaneous evolution. Clinicians should be aware of the risks and immediate management of spider bites.

  14. Adaptation of the spiders to the environment: the case of some Chilean species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canals, Mauricio; Veloso, Claudio; Solís, Rigoberto

    2015-01-01

    Spiders are small arthropods that have colonized terrestrial environments. These impose three main problems: (i) terrestrial habitats have large fluctuations in temperature and humidity; (ii) the internal concentration of water is higher than the external environment in spiders, which exposes them continually to water loss; and (iii) their small body size determines a large surface/volume ratio, affecting energy exchange and influencing the life strategy. In this review we focus on body design, energetic, thermal selection, and water balance characteristics of some spider species present in Chile and correlate our results with ecological and behavioral information. Preferred temperatures and critical temperatures of Chilean spiders vary among species and individuals and may be adjusted by phenotypic plasticity. For example in the mygalomorph high-altitude spider Paraphysa parvula the preferred temperature is similar to that of the lowland spider Grammostola rosea; but while P. parvula shows phenotypic plasticity, G. rosea does not. The araneomorph spiders Loxosceles laeta and Scytodes globula have greater daily variations in preferred temperatures at twilight and during the night, which are set to the nocturnal activity rhythms of these species. They also present acclimation of the minimum critical temperatures. Dysdera crocata has a low preferred temperature adjusted to its favorite prey, the woodlouse. Spider metabolic rate is low compared to other arthropods, which may be associated with its sit and wait predatory strategy particularly in primitive hunter and weavers. In mygalomorph spiders the respiratory system is highly optimized with high oxygen conductance, for example G. rosea needs only a difference of 0.12–0.16 kPa in the oxygen partial pressure across the air-hemolymph barrier to satisfy its resting oxygen consumption demands. Water loss is a significant stress for spiders. Paraphysa parvula shows an evaporative water loss 10 times more than usual

  15. Tests for attraction to prey and predator avoidance by chemical cues in spiders of the beech forest floor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wetter, Melissa B.

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Spiders leave draglines, faeces and other secretions behind when traveling through their microhabitat. The presence of these secretions may unintentionally inform other animals, prey as well as predators, about a recent and possible current predation risk or food availability. For a wolf spider, other spiders including smaller conspecifics, form a substantial part of their prey, and larger wolf spiders, again including conspecifics, are potential predators. We tested two hypotheses: that large wolf spiders may locate patches of potential spider prey through the presence of silk threads and/or other secretions; and that prey spiders may use secretions from large wolf spiders to avoid patches with high predation risk. We used large (subadult or adult Pardosa saltans to provide predator cues and mixed dwarf spiders or small (juvenile P. saltans to provide prey cues. Subadult wolf spiders were significantly attracted to litter contaminated by dwarf spiders or small conspecifics after 6 hours but no longer after 24 hours. In contrast, neither dwarf spiders nor small P. saltans showed significant avoidance of substrate contaminated by adult P. saltans. However, small P. saltans showed different activity patterns on the two substrates. The results indicate that wolf spiders are able to increase the efficiency of foraging by searching preferentially in patches with the presence of intraguild prey. The lack of a clear patch selection response of the prey in spite of a modified activity pattern may possibly be associated with the vertical stratification of the beech litter habitat: the reduced volume of spaces in the deeper layers could make downward rather than horizontal movement a fast and safe tactic against a large predator that cannot enter these spaces.

  16. A parasitoid wasp induces overwintering behaviour in its spider host.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanislav Korenko

    Full Text Available Parasites and parasitoids control behaviors of their hosts. However, the origin of the behavior evoked by the parasitic organism has been rarely identified. It is also not known whether the manipulation is universal or host-specific. Polysphinctine wasps, koinobiont ectoparasitoids of several spider species that manipulate host web-spinning activity for their own protection during pupation, provide an ideal system to reveal the origin of the evoked behavior. Larva of Zatypota percontatoria performed species-specific manipulation of theridiid spiders, Neottiura bimaculata and Theridion varians, shortly before pupation. Parasitized N. bimaculata produced a dense web, whereas parasitized T. varians built a cupola-like structure. The larva pupated inside of either the dense web or the cupola-like structure. We discovered that unparasitized N. bimaculata produce an analogous dense web around their eggsacs and for themselves during winter, while T. varians construct an analogous 'cupola' only for overwintering. We induced analogous manipulation in unparasitized hosts by altering ambient conditions. We discovered that the behavior evoked by larvae in two hosts was functionally similar. The larva evoked protective behaviors that occur in unparasitized hosts only during specific life-history periods.

  17. Synergetic material and structure optimization yields robust spider web anchorages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pugno, Nicola M; Cranford, Steven W; Buehler, Markus J

    2013-08-26

    Millions of years of evolution have adapted spider webs to achieve a range of properties, including the well-known capture of prey, with efficient use of materials. One feature that remains poorly understood is the attachment disc, a network of silk fibers that mechanically anchors a web to its environment. Experimental observations suggest that one possible attachment disc adheres to a substrate through multiple symmetrically branched structures composed of sub-micrometer scale silk fibers. Here, a theoretical model is used to explore the adaptation of the strength of attachment of such an anchorage, and complementary mesoscale simulations are applied to demonstrate a novel mechanism of synergetic material and structural optimization, such that the maximum anchorage strength can be achieved regardless of the initial anchor placement or material type. The optimal delamination (peeling) angle is facilitated by the inherent extensibility of silk, and is attained automatically during the process of delamination. This concept of self-optimizing peeling angle suggests that attachment discs do not require precise placement by the spider, irrespective of adhesion strength. Additional hierarchical branching of the anchorage increases efficiency, where both the delamination force and toughness modulus increase with a splitting of the cross-sectional area.

  18. Compliant threads maximize spider silk connection strength and toughness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Avery; Pugno, Nicola M; Cranford, Steven W

    2014-09-06

    Millions of years of evolution have adapted spider webs to achieve a range of functionalities, including the well-known capture of prey, with efficient use of material. One feature that has escaped extensive investigation is the silk-on-silk connection joints within spider webs, particularly from a structural mechanics perspective. We report a joint theoretical and computational analysis of an idealized silk-on-silk fibre junction. By modifying the theory of multiple peeling, we quantitatively compare the performance of the system while systematically increasing the rigidity of the anchor thread, by both scaling the stress-strain response and the introduction of an applied pre-strain. The results of our study indicate that compliance is a virtue-the more extensible the anchorage, the tougher and stronger the connection becomes. In consideration of the theoretical model, in comparison with rigid substrates, a compliant anchorage enormously increases the effective adhesion strength (work required to detach), independent of the adhered thread itself, attributed to a nonlinear alignment between thread and anchor (contact peeling angle). The results can direct novel engineering design principles to achieve possible load transfer from compliant fibre-to-fibre anchorages, be they silk-on-silk or another, as-yet undeveloped, system.

  19. Relationships between supercontraction and mechanical properties of spider silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yi; Shao, Zhengzhong; Vollrath, Fritz

    2005-12-01

    Typical spider dragline silk tends to outperform other natural fibres and most man-made filaments. However, even small changes in spinning conditions can have large effects on the mechanical properties of a silk fibre as well as on its water uptake. Absorbed water leads to significant shrinkage in an unrestrained dragline fibre and reversibly converts the material into a rubber. This process is known as supercontraction and may be a functional adaptation for the silk's role in the spider's web. Supercontraction is thought to be controlled by specific motifs in the silk proteins and to be induced by the entropy-driven recoiling of molecular chains. In analogy, in man-made fibres thermal shrinkage induces changes in mechanical properties attributable to the entropy-driven disorientation of `unfrozen' molecular chains (as in polyethylene terephthalate) or the `broken' intermolecular hydrogen bonds (as in nylons). Here we show for Nephila major-ampullate silk how in a biological fibre the spinning conditions affect the interplay between shrinkage and mechanical characteristics. This interaction reveals design principles linking the exceptional properties of silk to its molecular orientation.

  20. Spider web and silk performance landscapes across nutrient space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blamires, Sean J.; Tseng, Yi-Hsuan; Wu, Chung-Lin; Toft, Søren; Raubenheimer, David; Tso, I.-Min

    2016-01-01

    Predators have been shown to alter their foraging as a regulatory response to recent feeding history, but it remains unknown whether trap building predators modulate their traps similarly as a regulatory strategy. Here we fed the orb web spider Nephila pilipes either live crickets, dead crickets with webs stimulated by flies, or dead crickets without web stimulation, over 21 days to enforce spiders to differentially extract nutrients from a single prey source. In addition to the nutrients extracted we measured web architectures, silk tensile properties, silk amino acid compositions, and web tension after each feeding round. We then plotted web and silk “performance landscapes” across nutrient space. The landscapes had multiple peaks and troughs for each web and silk performance parameter. The findings suggest that N. pilipes plastically adjusts the chemical and physical properties of their web and silk in accordance with its nutritional history. Our study expands the application of the geometric framework foraging model to include a type of predatory trap. Whether it can be applied to other predatory traps requires further testing. PMID:27216252

  1. Endogenous cortisol levels influence exposure therapy in spider phobia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lass-Hennemann, Johanna; Michael, Tanja

    2014-09-01

    Previous research in patients with phobia showed that the administration of glucocorticoids reduces fear in phobic situations and enhances exposure therapy. Glucocorticoids underlie a daily cycle with a peak in the morning and low levels during the evening and night. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether exposure is more effective when conducted in the morning when endogenous cortisol levels are high. Sixty patients meeting DSM IV criteria for specific phobia (animal type) were randomly assigned to one-session exposure treatment either at 08.00 a.m. (high cortisol group) or at 06.00 p.m. (low cortisol group). Participants returned for a posttreatment assessment one week after therapy and a follow-up assessment three months after therapy. Both groups showed good outcome, but patients treated in the morning exhibited significantly less fear of spiders in the behavioral approach test (BAT) and a trend for lower scores on the Fear of Spiders Questionnaire (FSQ) than patients treated in the evening. This effect was present at posttreatment and follow-up. Our findings indicate that exposure therapy is more effective in the morning than in the evening. We suggest that this may be due to higher endogenous cortisol levels in the morning group that enhance extinction memory.

  2. The SPIDER fission fragment spectrometer for fission product yield measurements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meierbachtol, K.; Tovesson, F. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States); Shields, D. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States); Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401 (United States); Arnold, C. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States); Blakeley, R. [University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131 (United States); Bredeweg, T.; Devlin, M. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States); Hecht, A.A.; Heffern, L.E. [University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131 (United States); Jorgenson, J.; Laptev, A. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States); Mader, D. [University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131 (United States); O' Donnell, J.M.; Sierk, A.; White, M. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States)

    2015-07-11

    The SPectrometer for Ion DEtermination in fission Research (SPIDER) has been developed for measuring mass yield distributions of fission products from spontaneous and neutron-induced fission. The 2E–2v method of measuring the kinetic energy (E) and velocity (v) of both outgoing fission products has been utilized, with the goal of measuring the mass of the fission products with an average resolution of 1 atomic mass unit (amu). The SPIDER instrument, consisting of detector components for time-of-flight, trajectory, and energy measurements, has been assembled and tested using {sup 229}Th and {sup 252}Cf radioactive decay sources. For commissioning, the fully assembled system measured fission products from spontaneous fission of {sup 252}Cf. Individual measurement resolutions were met for time-of-flight (250 ps FWHM), spacial resolution (2 mm FHWM), and energy (92 keV FWHM for 8.376 MeV). Mass yield results measured from {sup 252}Cf spontaneous fission products are reported from an E–v measurement.

  3. Nectar Meals of a Mosquito-Specialist Spider

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josiah O. Kuja

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Evarcha culicivora, an East African jumping spider, is known for feeding indirectly on vertebrate blood by actively choosing blood-carrying mosquitoes as prey. Using cold-anthrone tests to detect fructose, we demonstrate that E. culicivora also feeds on nectar. Field-collected individuals, found on the plant Lantana camara, tested positive for plant sugar (fructose. In the laboratory, E. culicivora tested positive for fructose after being kept with L. camara or one of another ten plant species (Aloe vera, Clerodendron magnifica, Hamelia patens, Lantana montevideo, Leonotis nepetaefolia, Parthenium hysterophorus, Ricinus communis, Senna didymobotrya, Striga asiatica, and Verbena trivernia. Our findings demonstrate that E. culicivora acquires fructose from its natural diet and can ingest fructose directly from plant nectaries. However, experiments in the laboratory also show that E. culicivora can obtain fructose indirectly by feeding on prey that have fed on fructose, implying a need to consider this possibility when field-collected spiders test positive for fructose. In laboratory tests, 53.5% of 1,215 small juveniles, but only 3.4% of 622 adult E. culicivora, left with plants for 24 hours, were positive for fructose. These findings, along with the field data, suggest that fructose is especially important for early-instar juveniles of E. culicivora.

  4. Extracellular matrix molecules as targets for brown spider venom toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veiga S.S.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Loxoscelism, the term used to describe lesions and clinical manifestations induced by brown spider's venom (Loxosceles genus, has attracted much attention over the last years. Brown spider bites have been reported to cause a local and acute inflammatory reaction that may evolve to dermonecrosis (a hallmark of envenomation and hemorrhage at the bite site, besides systemic manifestations such as thrombocytopenia, disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemolysis, and renal failure. The molecular mechanisms by which Loxosceles venoms induce injury are currently under investigation. In this review, we focused on the latest reports describing the biological and physiopathological aspects of loxoscelism, with reference mainly to the proteases recently described as metalloproteases and serine proteases, as well as on the proteolytic effects triggered by L. intermedia venom upon extracellular matrix constituents such as fibronectin, fibrinogen, entactin and heparan sulfate proteoglycan, besides the disruptive activity of the venom on Engelbreth-Holm-Swarm basement membranes. Degradation of these extracellular matrix molecules and the observed disruption of basement membranes could be related to deleterious activities of the venom such as loss of vessel and glomerular integrity and spreading of the venom toxins to underlying tissues.

  5. Spider web and silk performance landscapes across nutrient space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blamires, Sean J; Tseng, Yi-Hsuan; Wu, Chung-Lin; Toft, Søren; Raubenheimer, David; Tso, I-Min

    2016-05-24

    Predators have been shown to alter their foraging as a regulatory response to recent feeding history, but it remains unknown whether trap building predators modulate their traps similarly as a regulatory strategy. Here we fed the orb web spider Nephila pilipes either live crickets, dead crickets with webs stimulated by flies, or dead crickets without web stimulation, over 21 days to enforce spiders to differentially extract nutrients from a single prey source. In addition to the nutrients extracted we measured web architectures, silk tensile properties, silk amino acid compositions, and web tension after each feeding round. We then plotted web and silk "performance landscapes" across nutrient space. The landscapes had multiple peaks and troughs for each web and silk performance parameter. The findings suggest that N. pilipes plastically adjusts the chemical and physical properties of their web and silk in accordance with its nutritional history. Our study expands the application of the geometric framework foraging model to include a type of predatory trap. Whether it can be applied to other predatory traps requires further testing.

  6. Functional anatomy of the pretarsus in whip spiders (Arachnida, Amblypygi).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Jonas O; Seiter, Michael; Gorb, Stanislav N

    2015-11-01

    Whip spiders (Amblypygi) are a small, cryptic order of arachnids mainly distributed in the tropics. Some basal lineages (families Charinidae and Charontidae) have adhesive pads on the tips of their six walking legs. The present study describes the macro- and ultrastructure of these pads and investigates their contact mechanics and adhesive strength on smooth and rough substrates. Furthermore, the structure of the pretarsus and its kinematics are compared in Charon cf. grayi (with an adhesive pad) and Phrynus longipes (without an adhesive pad). The adhesive pads exhibit an elaborate structure with a unique combination of structural features of smooth and hairy foot pads including a long transversal contact zone performing lateral detachment, a thick internally-branched cuticle with longitudinal ribs and hexagonal surface microstructures with spatulate keels. The contact area of the pads on smooth glass is discontinuous due to the spatulate microstructures with a discontinuous detachment, which could be observed in vivo by high speed videography at a rate of up to 10,000 fps. Adhesive strength was measured with vertical whole animal pull-off tests, obtaining mean values between 55 and 200 kPa. The occurrence of viscous lipid secretions between microstructures was occasionally observed, which, however, seems not to be a necessity for good foothold. The results are discussed in relation to the whip spider's ecology and evolution. Structure-function relationships of the adhesive pads are compared to those of insects and vertebrates.

  7. Benefits of cooperation with genetic kin in a subsocial spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, J M; Bilde, T

    2008-08-05

    Interaction within groups exploiting a common resource may be prone to cheating by selfish actions that result in disadvantages for all members of the group, including the selfish individuals. Kin selection is one mechanism by which such dilemmas can be resolved. This is because selfish acts toward relatives include the cost of lowering indirect fitness benefits that could otherwise be achieved through the propagation of shared genes. Kin selection theory has been proved to be of general importance for the origin of cooperative behaviors, but other driving forces, such as direct fitness benefits, can also promote helping behavior in many cooperatively breeding taxa. Investigating transitional systems is therefore particularly suitable for understanding the influence of kin selection on the initial spread of cooperative behaviors. Here we investigated the role of kinship in cooperative feeding. We used a cross-fostering design to control for genetic relatedness and group membership. Our study animal was the periodic social spider Stegodyphus lineatus, a transitional species that belongs to a genus containing both permanent social and periodic social species. In S. lineatus, the young cooperate in prey capture and feed communally. We provide clear experimental evidence for net benefits of cooperating with kin. Genetic relatedness within groups and not association with familiar individuals directly improved feeding efficiency and growth rates, demonstrating a positive effect of kin cooperation. Hence, in communally feeding spiders, nepotism favors group retention and reduces the conflict between selfish interests and the interests of the group.

  8. Physical gills in diving insects and spiders: theory and experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seymour, Roger S; Matthews, Philip G D

    2013-01-15

    Insects and spiders rely on gas-filled airways for respiration in air. However, some diving species take a tiny air-store bubble from the surface that acts as a primary O(2) source and also as a physical gill to obtain dissolved O(2) from the water. After a long history of modelling, recent work with O(2)-sensitive optodes has tested the models and extended our understanding of physical gill function. Models predict that compressible gas gills can extend dives up to more than eightfold, but this is never reached, because the animals surface long before the bubble is exhausted. Incompressible gas gills are theoretically permanent. However, neither compressible nor incompressible gas gills can support even resting metabolic rate unless the animal is very small, has a low metabolic rate or ventilates the bubble's surface, because the volume of gas required to produce an adequate surface area is too large to permit diving. Diving-bell spiders appear to be the only large aquatic arthropods that can have gas gill surface areas large enough to supply resting metabolic demands in stagnant, oxygenated water, because they suspend a large bubble in a submerged web.

  9. Artificial Enzymes, "Chemzymes"

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjerre, Jeannette; Rousseau, Cyril Andre Raphaël; Pedersen, Lavinia Georgeta M;

    2008-01-01

    Enzymes have fascinated scientists since their discovery and, over some decades, one aim in organic chemistry has been the creation of molecules that mimic the active sites of enzymes and promote catalysis. Nevertheless, even today, there are relatively few examples of enzyme models...... that successfully perform Michaelis-Menten catalysis under enzymatic conditions (i.e., aqueous medium, neutral pH, ambient temperature) and for those that do, very high rate accelerations are seldomly seen. This review will provide a brief summary of the recent developments in artificial enzymes, so called...... "Chemzymes", based on cyclodextrins and other molecules. Only the chemzymes that have shown enzyme-like activity that has been quantified by different methods will be mentioned. This review will summarize the work done in the field of artificial glycosidases, oxidases, epoxidases, and esterases, as well...

  10. Artificial neural network modelling

    CERN Document Server

    Samarasinghe, Sandhya

    2016-01-01

    This book covers theoretical aspects as well as recent innovative applications of Artificial Neural networks (ANNs) in natural, environmental, biological, social, industrial and automated systems. It presents recent results of ANNs in modelling small, large and complex systems under three categories, namely, 1) Networks, Structure Optimisation, Robustness and Stochasticity 2) Advances in Modelling Biological and Environmental Systems and 3) Advances in Modelling Social and Economic Systems. The book aims at serving undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers in ANN computational modelling. .

  11. Artificial Neural Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kapil Nahar

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available An artificial neural network is an information-processing paradigm that is inspired by the way biological nervous systems, such as the brain, process information.The key element of this paradigm is the novel structure of the information processing system. It is composed of a large number of highly interconnected processing elements (neurons working in unison to solve specific problems.Ann’s, like people, learn by example.

  12. Essentials of artificial intelligence

    CERN Document Server

    Ginsberg, Matt

    1993-01-01

    Since its publication, Essentials of Artificial Intelligence has beenadopted at numerous universities and colleges offering introductory AIcourses at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Based on the author'scourse at Stanford University, the book is an integrated, cohesiveintroduction to the field. The author has a fresh, entertaining writingstyle that combines clear presentations with humor and AI anecdotes. At thesame time, as an active AI researcher, he presents the materialauthoritatively and with insight that reflects a contemporary, first hand

  13. Artificial Neural Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kapil Nahar

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available An artificial neural network is an information-processing paradigm that is inspired by the way biological nervous systems, such as the brain, process information. The key element of this paradigm is the novel structure of the information processing system. It is composed of a large number of highly interconnected processing elements (neurons working in unison to solve specific problems. Ann’s, like people, learn by example.

  14. Artificial sweetener; Jinko kanmiryo

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1999-08-01

    The patents related to the artificial sweetener that it is introduced to the public in 3 years from 1996 until 1998 are 115 cases. The sugar quality which makes an oligosaccharide and sugar alcohol the subject is greatly over 28 cases of the non-sugar quality in the one by the kind as a general tendency of these patents at 73 cases in such cases as the Aspartame. The method of manufacture patent, which included new material around other peptides, the oligosaccharide and sugar alcohol isn`t inferior to 56 cases of the formation thing patent at 43 cases, and pays attention to the thing, which is many by the method of manufacture, formation. There is most improvement of the quality of sweetness with 31 cases in badness of the aftertaste which is characteristic of the artificial sweetener and so on, and much stability including the improvement in the flavor of food by the artificial sweetener, a long time and dissolution, fluid nature and productivity and improvement of the economy such as a cost are seen with effect on a purpose. (NEDO)

  15. ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION IN BOVINE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. L. M Marinho

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available This literature review aims to show the main scientific advances achieved in the area of Artificial Insemination (AI within animal reproduction and how these can improve reproductive efficiency and productive of the Brazilian cattle herd. With knowledge of the mechanisms involved in the control of reproductive physiology, in levels endocrine, cellular and molecular, it was possible the development of reproductive biotechnologies, standing out the IA, It has been used on a large scale, by allow the multiplication of animals superior genetically , increase the birthrate and be particularly effective in adjusting the breeding season in cattle. Artificial insemination has an important role in animal genetic improvement; it is the main and more viable middle of spread of genes worldwide when compared to other methods how technologies of embryos and the natural breeding. There are several advantages in using artificial insemination in herd both of cutting as milkman, as herd genetic improvement in lesser time and at a low cost through the use of semen of demonstrably superior sires for production, well as in the control and decrease of diseases which entail reproductive losses and consequently productive, by allowing the creator The crossing of zebuine females with bulls of European breeds and vice-versa, through the use of semen, increasing the number of progeny of a reproducer superior

  16. Predator perception of detritus and eggsac decorations spun by orb-web spiders Cyclosa octotuberculata: Do they function to camouflage the spiders?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenjin GAN, Fengxiang LIU, Zengtao ZHANG, Daiqin LI

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Camouflage is one of the most widespread and powerful strategies that animals use to make detection/recognition more difficult. Many orb-web spiders of the genus Cyclosa add prey remains, plant debris, moults, and/or eggsacs to their webs called web decorations. Web decorations resembling spider body colour pattern have been considered to camouflage the spider from predators. While this camouflage is obvious from a human’s perspective, it has rarely been investigated from a predator’s perspective. In this study, we tested the visibility of web decorations by calculating chromatic and achromatic contrasts of detritus and eggsac decorations built by Cyclosa octotuberculata, against four different backgrounds viewed by both bird (e.g., blue tits and hymenopteran (e.g. wasps predators. We showed that both juvenile and adult spiders on webs with detritus or egg-sac decorations were undetectable by both hymenopteran and bird predators over short and long distances. Our results thus suggest that decorating webs with detritus or eggsacs by C. octotuberculata may camouflage the spider from both hymenopteran and bird predators in their common habitats [Current Zoology 56 (3: 379–387, 2010].

  17. Task specialization in two social spiders, Stegodyphus sarasinorum (Eresidae) and Anelosimus eximius (Theridiidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Settepani, Virginia; Grinsted, Lena; Pedersen, Jørgen Granfeldt

    2013-01-01

    skew is common in other group-living animals. Permanently, social spiders form highly related groups with reproductive skew and communal brood care. We investigated task differentiation in nonreproductive tasks in two permanently and independently derived social spider species asking the following...... questions: Do individual spiders vary consistently in their propensity to engage in prey attack? Are individual spiders' propensities to engage in web maintenance behaviour influenced by their previous engagement in prey attack? Interestingly, we found that both species showed some degree of task...... no individual specialization, but showed differentiation according to instar, where adult and subadult females were more likely to engage in prey attack than were juveniles. We found no evidence for division of labour between prey attack and web maintenance. Different solutions to achieve task differentiation...

  18. Biomimetic Spider Leg Joints: A Review from Biomechanical Research to Compliant Robotic Actuators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Landkammer

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Due to their inherent compliance, soft actuated joints are becoming increasingly important for robotic applications, especially when human-robot-interactions are expected. Several of these flexible actuators are inspired by biological models. One perfect showpiece for biomimetic robots is the spider leg, because it combines lightweight design and graceful movements with powerful and dynamic actuation. Building on this motivation, the review article focuses on compliant robotic joints inspired by the function principle of the spider leg. The mechanism is introduced by an overview of existing biological and biomechanical research. Thereupon a classification of robots that are bio-inspired by spider joints is presented. Based on this, the biomimetic robot applications referring to the spider principle are identified and discussed.

  19. To spin or not to spin: spider silk fibers and more.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doblhofer, Elena; Heidebrecht, Aniela; Scheibel, Thomas

    2015-11-01

    Spider silk fibers have a sophisticated hierarchical structure composed of proteins with highly repetitive sequences. Their extraordinary mechanical properties, defined by a unique combination of strength and extensibility, are superior to most man-made fibers. Therefore, spider silk has fascinated mankind for thousands of years. However, due to their aggressive territorial behavior, farming of spiders is not feasible on a large scale. For this reason, biotechnological approaches were recently developed for the production of recombinant spider silk proteins. These recombinant proteins can be assembled into a variety of morphologies with a great range of properties for technical and medical applications. Here, the different approaches of biotechnological production and the advances in material processing toward various applications will be reviewed.

  20. Spider-silk-like shape memory polymer fiber for vibration damping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Qianxi; Li, Guoqiang

    2014-10-01

    In this study, the static and dynamic properties of shape memory polyurethane (SMPU) fiber are reported and compared to those of spider dragline silk. Although the polymeric fiber has a lower strength compared to spider dragline silks (0.2-0.3 GPa versus 1.1 GPa), it possesses much higher toughness (276-289 MJ m-3 versus 160 MJ m-3), due to its excellent extensibility. The dynamic mechanical tests reveal that SMPU fiber has a high damping capacity (tan δ = 0.10-0.35) which is comparable to or even higher than that of spider silks (tan δ = 0.15). In addition, we found that, different programming methods change the shape memory and damping properties of the fiber in different ways and cold-drawing programming is more advocated in structural applications. These results suggest that the SMPU fiber has similar vibration damping and mechanical properties as spider silk, and may find applications in lightweight engineering structures.

  1. A structural view on spider silk proteins and their role in fiber assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagn, Franz

    2012-06-01

    Spider silk is the toughest known biomaterial and even outrivals modern synthetic high-performance materials. The question of understanding fiber formation is how the spider can prevent premature and fatal aggregation processes inside its own body and how the chemical and mechanical stimuli used to induce the fiber formation process translate into structural changes of the silk material, finally leading to controlled and irreversible aggregation. Here, the focus will be on the structure and function of the highly conserved N-domains and C-terminal domains of spider dragline silk which, unlike the very long repetitive sequence elements, adopt a folded conformation in solution and are therefore able to control intermolecular interactions and aggregation between other spider silk molecules. The structures of these domains add valuable details for the construction of a molecular picture of the complicated and highly optimized silk assembly process that might be beneficial for large-scale in vitro fiber formation attempts with recombinant silk material.

  2. Composition and Humidity Response of the Black Widow Spider's Gumfoot Silk and its Implications on Adhesion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Dharamdeep; Zhang, Ci; Cool, Lydia Rose; Blackledge, Todd. A.; Wesdemiotis, Chrys; Miyoshi, Toshikazu; Dhinojwala, Ali

    Humidity plays an important part in the performance of biomaterials such as pollen, gecko toe, wheat awns, bird feathers and dragline silk. Capture silk produced by web building spiders form an interesting class of humidity responsive biological glues. The adhesive properties of the widely studied `viscid silk' produced by orbweb-weaving spiders is highly humidity sensitive. On the other hand, relatively less is known about the dependence of composition and humidity response towards adhesion for `gumfoot' silk produced by cobweb-weaving spiders. In the present study, we investigate the gumfoot silk produced by Black Widow using adhesion mechanics, microscopy and spectroscopic methods. The results show the presence of hygroscopic salts, glycoproteins and previously known spider coating peptides in silk and their importance in the humidity response and adhesion. The current study elucidates the role of constituents of capture silk in its adhesion mechanism and offers insights to novel ways for fabricating bio-inspired adhesives.

  3. The age and evolution of sociality in Stegodyphus spiders: a molecular phylogenetic perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johannesen, Jes; Lubin, Yael; Smith, Deborah R.;

    2007-01-01

    suggested to be unstable in evolutionary time, and hence sociality a rare phenomenon in spiders. Based on a partial molecular phylogeny of the genus Stegodyphus, we address the hypothesis that social spiders in this genus are evolutionary transient. We estimate the age of the three social species, test......Social, cooperative breeding behaviour is rare in spiders and generally characterized by inbreeding, skewed sex ratios and high rates of colony turnover, processes that when combined may reduce genetic variation and lower individual fitness quickly. On these grounds, social spider species have been...... whether they represent an ancestral or derived state and assess diversification relative to subsocial congeners. Intraspecific sequence divergence was high in all of the social species, lending no support for the idea that they are young, transient species. The age of the social lineages, constant lineage...

  4. Toxicity of poison from spider Nephila sp. to Aëdes aegypti L. larvae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    YAYAN SANJAYA

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available A research about the toxicity of poison from spider Nephila sp. unto larvae of Aëdes aegypti L. had been done. The objectives of this research were to get the information about the toxicity of poison from spider Nephila sp. into larvae A. aegypti. The experiment method of this research was using Randomized Complete Block Design. This experiment used all of four instars of A. aegypti larvae. The experiment of each instar had been done with six treatments of the lethal concentration from spiders poison. Those six treatments were 1%, 10%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%. Each treatment had four replications. The result of this research showed that poison from spider Nephila sp. is toxic unto the larvae of A. aegypti. The average of lethal concentration for the first instar is 13.11%, for the second instar is 28.16%, for the third instar is 41.46% and for the fourth instar is 63.09%.

  5. A check list of the spiders of the Kruger National Park, South Africa (Arachnida: Araneae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.S. Dippenaar-Schoeman

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available As part of the South African National Survey of Arachnida (SANSA, projects are underway to determine the biodiversity of arachnids present in protected areas in South Africa. Spiders have been collected over a period of 16 years from the Kruger National Park, South Africa. A check list is provided consisting of 152 species, 116 genera and 40 families. This represents about 7.6 % of the total known South African spider fauna. Of the 152 species, 103 are new records for the park. The ground dwelling spiders comprise 58 species from 25 families. Of these, 21 % are web dwellers and 62 % free living, while 17 % live in burrows. From the plant layer, 94 species have been collected of which 53 % were web builders and 47 % free living wandering spiders.

  6. Annotated Check List of the Spiders (Araneae) of the Mountain Zebra National Park

    OpenAIRE

    Anna S. Dippenaar-Schoeman

    1988-01-01

    A preliminary check list of the spider fauna of the Mountain Zebra National Park is given. Sixteen families, comprising 29 genera and 32 species, are recorded. Observations on the distribution, diagnostic morphology and behaviour of 15 species are given.

  7. Pre-flight integration and characterization of the SPIDER balloon-borne telescope

    CERN Document Server

    Rahlin, A S; Amiri, M; Benton, S J; Bock, J J; Bond, J R; Bryan, S A; Chiang, H C; Contaldi, C R; Crill, B P; Doré, O; Farhang, M; Filippini, J P; Fissel, L M; Fraisse, A A; Gambrel, A E; Gandilo, N N; Golwala, S; Gudmundsson, J E; Halpern, M; Hasselfield, M F; Hilton, G; Holmes, W A; Hristov, V V; Irwin, K D; Jones, W C; Kermish, Z D; Kuo, C L; MacTavish, C J; Mason, P V; Megerian, K; Moncelsi, L; Morford, T A; Nagy, J M; Netterfield, C B; O'Brient, R; Reintsema, C; Ruhl, J E; Runyan, M C; Shariff, J A; Soler, J D; Trangsrud, A; Tucker, C; Tucker, R S; Turner, A D; Weber, A C; Wiebe, D V; Young, E Y

    2014-01-01

    We present the results of integration and characterization of the SPIDER instrument after the 2013 pre-flight campaign. SPIDER is a balloon-borne polarimeter designed to probe the primordial gravitational wave signal in the degree-scale $B$-mode polarization of the cosmic microwave background. With six independent telescopes housing over 2000 detectors in the 94 GHz and 150 GHz frequency bands, SPIDER will map 7.5% of the sky with a depth of 11 to 14 $\\mu$K$\\cdot$arcmin at each frequency, which is a factor of $\\sim$5 improvement over Planck. We discuss the integration of the pointing, cryogenic, electronics, and power sub-systems, as well as pre-flight characterization of the detectors and optical systems. SPIDER is well prepared for a December 2014 flight from Antarctica, and is expected to be limited by astrophysical foreground emission, and not instrumental sensitivity, over the survey region.

  8. SpiderFab: Architecture for On-Orbit Construction of Kilometer-Scale Apertures Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The SpiderFab effort has investigated the value proposition and technical feasibility of radically changing the way we build and deploy spacecraft in order to escape...

  9. Contamination and Harm Relevant UCS-Expectancy Bias in Spider Phobic Individuals : Influence of Treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Overveld, Mark; de Jong, Peter J.; Huijding, Jorg; Peters, Madelon L.

    2010-01-01

    Phobic individuals expect aversive UCS's following encounters with phobic stimuli. Previous research using a thought-experiment procedure showed that contamination rather than harm-related outcome expectancies differentiated best between high and low spider fearful undergraduates. This study investi

  10. Spiders (Araneae) of the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, Washington County, Maine

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report summarizes my identifications of spiders for graduate student Matthew Vander Haegen, College of Forest Resources, Department of Wildlife, University of...

  11. Sexual size dimorphism predicts the frequency of sexual cannibalism within and among species of spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, Shawn M; Rypstra, Ann L

    2008-09-01

    Sexual cannibalism varies widely among spiders, but no general evolutionary hypothesis has emerged to explain its distribution across taxa. Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) also varies widely among spiders and could affect the vulnerability of males to cannibalistic attacks by females. We tested for a relationship between SSD and sexual cannibalism within and among species of spiders, using a broad taxonomic data set. For most species, cannibalism was more likely when males were much smaller than females. In addition, using phylogenetically controlled and uncontrolled analyses, there was a strong positive relationship between average SSD of a species and the frequency of sexual cannibalism. This is the first evidence that the degree of size difference between males and females is related to the phylogenetic distribution of sexual cannibalism among a broad range of spiders.

  12. SPIDER: Listening for the echoes of inflation from above the clouds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filippini, Jeffrey; Spider Collaboration

    2016-03-01

    We report on the status of SPIDER, a balloon-borne instrument to map the polarization of the cosmic microwave background at large angular scales. SPIDER targets the B-mode signature of primordial gravitational waves, with a focus on mapping a large sky area at multiple frequencies. SPIDER's six monochromatic refracting telescopes (three each at 95 and 150 GHz) feed a total of more than 2000 antenna-coupled superconducting transition-edge sensors. A sapphire half-wave plate at the aperture of each telescope modulates sky polarization for control of systematics. We discuss SPIDER's first long-duration balloon flight in January 2015, as well as the status of data analysis and development toward a second flight.

  13. The distribution of spiders and Harvestmen (Chelicerata) in the Dutch National Park "De Hoge Veluwe"

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hammen, van der L.

    1983-01-01

    A preliminary study is made of the distribution of Araneida and Opilionida (Chelicerata) in a National Park in The Netherlands. Special attention is paid to the influence of vegetation structure on the distribution of the spiders.

  14. Prediction of abundance of forest spiders according to climate warming in South Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tae-Sung Kwon

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Distribution of spiders will be changed as climate warms. Abundance of spider species was predicted nationwide in South Korea. Abundance of spiders was projected using temperature species distribution model based on a nationwide data (366 forest sites according to climate change scenario RCP 4.5 and 8.5. The model predicts that 9 out of 17 species will increase in abundance while 8 species will decrease. Based on this finding, a qualitative prediction (increase or decrease was conducted on the species with more than 1% occurrence: 68 species are expected to decrease, 9 to increase, and 8 to change a little. In pooled estimation, 76 species (75% are expected to decrease, 18 species (18% to increase, and by 8 species (8% to have little change. The projection indicates that majority of spider species will decrease, but minority of species will increase as climate warms, suggesting great increase of remained species in lowlands.

  15. Effects of the Spider Venom on proliferation of Human Lung Adenocarcinoma Cell A549

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zengxiang HU

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Background and objective The spider venom may inspire new drugs to treat cancer. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects and mechanisms of spider venom on lung adenocarcinoma cell A549. Methods The proliferation of lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells was detected by MTT. The apoptosis rate was observed with MTT assay and flow cytometer. The activity of catalase was detected by colorimetry. The malondialdehyde (MDA content was determined by improved thiobarbituric acid fluorometric method. The expression of P38MAPK protein was analyzed with Western blot. Results Spider venom can remarkably inhibite the proliferation of lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells, increased activity of catalase and MDA content, down-regulated expression of P38MAPK compared with the control group. Conclusion The reduced proliferation of lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells by spider venom is may be associated with the increased of activity of catalase and MDA content and decreased expression of P38MAPK.

  16. SPIDER: a balloon-borne CMB polarimeter for large angular scales

    CERN Document Server

    Filippini, J P; Amiri, M; Benton, S J; Bihary, R; Bock, J J; Bond, J R; Bonetti, J A; Bryan, S A; Burger, B; Chiang, H C; Contaldi, C R; Crill, B P; Doré, O; Farhang, M; Fissel, L M; Gandilo, N N; Golwala, S R; Gudmundsson, J E; Halpern, M; Hasselfield, M; Hilton, G; Holmes, W; Hristov, V V; Irwin, K D; Jones, W C; Kuo, C L; MacTavish, C J; Mason, P V; Montroy, T E; Morford, T A; Netterfield, C B; O'Dea, D T; Rahlin, A S; Reintsema, C D; Ruhl, J E; Runyan, M C; Schenker, M A; Shariff, J A; Soler, J D; Trangsrud, A; Tucker, C; Tucker, R S; Turner, A D

    2011-01-01

    We describe SPIDER, a balloon-borne instrument to map the polarization of the millimeter-wave sky with degree angular resolution. Spider consists of six monochromatic refracting telescopes, each illuminating a focal plane of large-format antenna-coupled bolometer arrays. A total of 2,624 superconducting transition-edge sensors are distributed among three observing bands centered at 90, 150, and 280 GHz. A cold half-wave plate at the aperture of each telescope modulates the polarization of incoming light to control systematics. Spider's first flight will be a 20-30-day Antarctic balloon campaign in December 2011. This flight will map \\sim8% of the sky to achieve unprecedented sensitivity to the polarization signature of the gravitational wave background predicted by inflationary cosmology. The Spider mission will also serve as a proving ground for these detector technologies in preparation for a future satellite mission.

  17. Captive spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) arm-raise to solicit allo-grooming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheel, Matthew H; Edwards, Dori

    2012-03-01

    Old World monkeys solicit allo-grooming from conspecifics. However, there are relatively few studies of allo-grooming among spider monkeys, and descriptions of allo-grooming solicitation among spider monkeys are anecdotal. In this study, eighty-one hours of video, shot over eight weeks, captured 271 allo-grooming bouts among small groups of captive spider monkeys. Six of eight monkeys made heretofore unreported arm-raises that solicited higher than normal rates of allo-grooming. Allo-grooming bout durations following arm-raises also tended to be longer than bouts not preceded by arm-raises. The efficacy of the arm-raise at soliciting allo-grooming suggests spider monkeys are capable of intentional communication.

  18. Investigating the influence of farm-scape geospatial characteristics on spider diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biodiversity is an important aspect of sustainable crop management and agricultural production. Maintaining biodiversity within agricultural ecosystems, especially in regards to predator species, promotes natural pest control and many other ecosystem services. Spiders (Araneae) often prey upon commo...

  19. Envia garciai, a new genus and species of mygalomorph spiders (Araneae, Microstigmatidae from Brazilian Amazonia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ott Ricardo

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The genus Envia, comprising only the new species Envia garciai, is proposed. These small mygalomorph spiders were abundantly collected in soil cores and litter samples in primary rain forests near Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil.

  20. Spider fauna of semi-dry grasslands on a military training base in Northwest Germany (Münster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buchholz, Sascha

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available The spider fauna of semi-dry grasslands on the military training area of Dorbaum near Münster (North Rhine-Westphalia was investigated. From 2002 to 2003 a total of 11,194 mature spiders from 141 species and 20 families was caught by pitfall trapping and hand sampling. Among them are 18 species listed in the Red Data Book of North Rhine-Westphalia, four species are rare or previously rarely recorded. Most of the spiders are habitat generalists that extend their occurrence into all types of habitats, while the number of species which are stenotopic to sand habitats is noticeably low (n = 13. The spider data were analysed with Principal Component Analysis (PCA. It is possible to distinguish spider communities of neighbouring forested habitats from species groups of open habitats, but there is no uniform spider community which is characteristic for semi-dry grassland.