WorldWideScience

Sample records for biodegradation response variability

  1. Immunological Response to Biodegradable Magnesium Implants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pichler, Karin; Fischerauer, Stefan; Ferlic, Peter; Martinelli, Elisabeth; Brezinsek, Hans-Peter; Uggowitzer, Peter J.; Löffler, Jörg F.; Weinberg, Annelie-Martina

    2014-04-01

    The use of biodegradable magnesium implants in pediatric trauma surgery would render surgical interventions for implant removal after tissue healing unnecessary, thereby preventing stress to the children and reducing therapy costs. In this study, we report on the immunological response to biodegradable magnesium implants—as an important aspect in evaluating biocompatibility—tested in a growing rat model. The focus of this study was to investigate the response of the innate immune system to either fast or slow degrading magnesium pins, which were implanted into the femoral bones of 5-week-old rats. The main alloying element of the fast-degrading alloy (ZX50) was Zn, while it was Y in the slow-degrading implant (WZ21). Our results demonstrate that degrading magnesium implants beneficially influence the immune system, especially in the first postoperative weeks but also during tissue healing and early bone remodeling. However, rodents with WZ21 pins showed a slightly decreased phagocytic ability during bone remodeling when the degradation rate reached its maximum. This may be due to the high release rate of the rare earth-element yttrium, which is potentially toxic. From our results we conclude that magnesium implants have a beneficial effect on the innate immune system but that there are some concerns regarding the use of yttrium-alloyed magnesium implants, especially in pediatric patients.

  2. Effect of Ethanol and Methyl-tert-Butyl Ether on Monoaromatic Hydrocarbon Biodegradation: Response Variability for Different Aquifer Materials Under Various Electron-Accepting Conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ruiz-Aguilar, G L; Fernandez-Sanchez, J M; Kane, S R; Kim, D; Alvarez, P J

    2003-10-06

    Aquifer microcosms were used to determine how ethanol and methyl-tert-butyl ether (MtBE) affect monoaromatic hydrocarbon degradation under different electron-accepting conditions commonly found in contaminated sites experiencing natural attenuation. Response variability was investigated by using aquifer material from four sites with different exposure history. The lag phase prior to BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes) and ethanol degradation was typically shorter in microcosms with previously contaminated aquifer material, although previous exposure did not always result in high degradation activity. Toluene was degraded in all aquifer materials and generally under a broader range of electron-accepting conditions compared to benzene, which was degraded only under aerobic conditions. MtBE was not degraded within 100 days under any condition, and it did not affect BTEX or ethanol degradation patterns. Ethanol was often degraded before BTEX compounds, and had a variable effect on BTEX degradation as a function of electron-accepting conditions and aquifer material source. An occasional enhancement of toluene degradation by ethanol occurred in denitrifying microcosms with unlimited nitrate; this may be attributable to the fortuitous growth of toluene-degrading bacteria during ethanol degradation. Nevertheless, experiments with flow-through aquifer columns showed that this beneficial effect could be eclipsed by an ethanol-driven depletion of electron acceptors, which significantly inhibited BTEX degradation and is probably the most important mechanism by which ethanol could hinder BTEX natural attenuation. A decrease in natural attenuation could increase the likelihood that BTEX compounds reach a receptor as well as the potential duration of exposure.

  3. Biodegradation of free cyanide and subsequent utilisation of biodegradation by-products by Bacillus consortia: optimisation using response surface methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mekuto, Lukhanyo; Ntwampe, Seteno Karabo Obed; Jackson, Vanessa Angela

    2015-07-01

    A mesophilic alkali-tolerant bacterial consortium belonging to the Bacillus genus was evaluated for its ability to biodegrade high free cyanide (CN(-)) concentration (up to 500 mg CN(-)/L), subsequent to the oxidation of the formed ammonium and nitrates in a continuous bioreactor system solely supplemented with whey waste. Furthermore, an optimisation study for successful cyanide biodegradation by this consortium was evaluated in batch bioreactors (BBs) using response surface methodology (RSM). The input variables, that is, pH, temperature and whey-waste concentration, were optimised using a numerical optimisation technique where the optimum conditions were found to be as follows: pH 9.88, temperature 33.60 °C and whey-waste concentration of 14.27 g/L, under which 206.53 mg CN(-)/L in 96 h can be biodegraded by the microbial species from an initial cyanide concentration of 500 mg CN(-)/L. Furthermore, using the optimised data, cyanide biodegradation in a continuous mode was evaluated in a dual-stage packed-bed bioreactor (PBB) connected in series to a pneumatic bioreactor system (PBS) used for simultaneous nitrification, including aerobic denitrification. The whey-supported Bacillus sp. culture was not inhibited by the free cyanide concentration of up to 500 mg CN(-)/L, with an overall degradation efficiency of ≥ 99 % with subsequent nitrification and aerobic denitrification of the formed ammonium and nitrates over a period of 80 days. This is the first study to report free cyanide biodegradation at concentrations of up to 500 mg CN(-)/L in a continuous system using whey waste as a microbial feedstock. The results showed that the process has the potential for the bioremediation of cyanide-containing wastewaters. PMID:25721526

  4. Process and formulation variables in the preparation of injectable and biodegradable magnetic microspheres

    OpenAIRE

    Zhao, Hong; Gagnon, Jeffrey; Häfeli, Urs O

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this study was to prepare biodegradable sustained release magnetite microspheres sized between 1 to 2 μm. The microspheres with or without magnetic materials were prepared by a W/O/W double emulsion solvent evaporation technique using poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) as the biodegradable matrix forming polymer. Effects of manufacturing and formulation variables on particle size were investigated with non-magnetic microspheres. Microsphere size could be controlled by modification o...

  5. Response surface analysis to improve dispersed crude oil biodegradation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zahed, Mohammad A.; Aziz, Hamidi A.; Mohajeri, Leila [School of Civil Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Nibong Tebal, Penang (Malaysia); Isa, Mohamed H. [Civil Engineering Department, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Tronoh, Perak (Malaysia)

    2012-03-15

    In this research, the bioremediation of dispersed crude oil, based on the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus supplementation in the closed system, was optimized by the application of response surface methodology and central composite design. Correlation analysis of the mathematical-regression model demonstrated that a quadratic polynomial model could be used to optimize the hydrocarbon bioremediation (R{sup 2} = 0.9256). Statistical significance was checked by analysis of variance and residual analysis. Natural attenuation was removed by 22.1% of crude oil in 28 days. The highest removal on un-optimized condition of 68.1% were observed by using nitrogen of 20.00 mg/L and phosphorus of 2.00 mg/L in 28 days while optimization process exhibited a crude oil removal of 69.5% via nitrogen of 16.05 mg/L and phosphorus 1.34 mg/L in 27 days therefore optimization can improve biodegradation in shorter time with less nutrient consumption. (Copyright copyright 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  6. Variability of soil potential for biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in a heterogeneous subsurface

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Andreas Houlberg; Poulsen, Tjalfe; Mortensen, Lars;

    2010-01-01

    Quantifying the spatial variability of factors affecting natural attenuation of hydrocarbons in the unsaturated zone is important to (i) performing a reliable risk assessment and (ii) evaluating the possibility for bioremediation of petroleum-polluted sites. Most studies to date have focused......, resulting in an accumulation of pollution within coarse sandy lenses. Air-filled porosity, readily available phosphorous, and the first-order rate constant (k1) of benzene obtained from slurry biodegradation experiments were found to depend on geologic sample characterization (P

  7. Stimuli-responsive biodegradable polymeric micelles for targeted cancer therapy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Talelli, M.A.

    2011-01-01

    Thermosensitive and biodegradable polymeric micelles based on mPEG-b-pHPMAmLacn have shown very promising results during the past years. The results presented in this thesis illustrate the high potential of these micelles for anticancer therapy and imaging and fully justify further pharmaceutical de

  8. A phenomenological constitutive model for the nonlinear viscoelastic responses of biodegradable polymers

    KAUST Repository

    Khan, Kamran

    2012-11-09

    We formulate a constitutive framework for biodegradable polymers that accounts for nonlinear viscous behavior under regimes with large deformation. The generalized Maxwell model is used to represent the degraded viscoelastic response of a polymer. The large-deformation, time-dependent behavior of viscoelastic solids is described using an Ogden-type hyperviscoelastic model. A deformation-induced degradation mechanism is assumed in which a scalar field depicts the local state of the degradation, which is responsible for the changes in the material\\'s properties. The degradation process introduces another timescale (the intrinsic material clock) and an entropy production mechanism. Examples of the degradation of a polymer under various loading conditions, including creep, relaxation and cyclic loading, are presented. Results from parametric studies to determine the effects of various parameters on the process of degradation are reported. Finally, degradation of an annular cylinder subjected to pressure is also presented to mimic the effects of viscoelastic arterial walls (the outer cylinder) on the degradation response of a biodegradable stent (the inner cylinder). A general contact analysis is performed. As the stiffness of the biodegradable stent decreases, stress reduction in the stented viscoelastic arterial wall is observed. The integration of the proposed constitutive model with finite element software could help a designer to predict the time-dependent response of a biodegradable stent exhibiting finite deformation and under complex mechanical loading conditions. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Wien.

  9. Biosorption and biodegradation of pyrene by Brevibacillus brevis and cellular responses to pyrene treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Liping; Chen, Shuona; Peng, Hui; Yin, Hua; Ye, Jinshao; Liu, Zehua; Dang, Zhi; Liu, Zhichen

    2015-05-01

    Biodegradation has been proposed as an effective approach to remove pyrene, however, the information regarding cellular responses to pyrene treatment is limited thus far. In this study, the biodegradation and biosorption of pyrene by Brevibacillus brevis, along with cellular responses caused by pollutant were investigated by means of flow cytometry assay and scanning electron microscopy. The experimental results showed that pyrene was initially adsorbed by B. brevis and subsequently transported and intracellularly degraded. During this process, pyrene removal was primarily dependent on biodegradation. Cell invagination and cell surface corrugation occurred due to pyrene exposure. Nevertheless, cell regrowth after 96h treatment was observed, and the proportion of necrotic cell was only 2.8% after pyrene exposure for 120h, confirming that B. brevis could utilize pyrene as a sole carbon source for growth. The removal and biodegradation amount of pyrene (1mg/L) at 168h were 0.75 and 0.69mg/L, respectively, and the biosorption amount by inactivated cells was 0.41mg/L at this time.

  10. Variability of blowfly head optomotor responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosner, R; Egelhaaf, M; Grewe, J; Warzecha, A K

    2009-04-01

    Behavioural responses of an animal are variable even when the animal experiences the same sensory input several times. This variability can arise from stochastic processes inherent to the nervous system. Also, the internal state of an animal may influence a particular behavioural response. In the present study, we analyse the variability of visually induced head pitch responses of tethered blowflies by high-speed cinematography. We found these optomotor responses to be highly variable in amplitude. Most of the variability can be attributed to two different internal states of the flies with high and low optomotor gain, respectively. Even within a given activity state, there is some variability of head optomotor responses. The amount of this variability differs for the two optomotor gain states. Moreover, these two activity states can be distinguished on a fine timescale and without visual stimulation, on the basis of the occurrence of peculiar head jitter movements. Head jitter goes along with high gain optomotor responses and haltere oscillations. Halteres are evolutionary transformed hindwings that oscillate when blowflies walk or fly. Their main function is to serve as equilibrium organs by detecting Coriolis forces and to mediate gaze stabilisation. However, their basic oscillating activity was also suggested to provide a gain-modulating signal. Our experiments demonstrate that halteres are not necessary for high gain head pitch to occur. Nevertheless, we find the halteres to be responsible for one component of head jitter movements. This component may be the inevitable consequence of their function as equilibrium and gaze-stabilising organs. PMID:19329750

  11. Acoustic response variability in automotive vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hills, E.; Mace, B. R.; Ferguson, N. S.

    2009-03-01

    A statistical analysis of a series of measurements of the audio-frequency response of a large set of automotive vehicles is presented: a small hatchback model with both a three-door (411 vehicles) and five-door (403 vehicles) derivative and a mid-sized family five-door car (316 vehicles). The sets included vehicles of various specifications, engines, gearboxes, interior trim, wheels and tyres. The tests were performed in a hemianechoic chamber with the temperature and humidity recorded. Two tests were performed on each vehicle and the interior cabin noise measured. In the first, the excitation was acoustically induced by sets of external loudspeakers. In the second test, predominantly structure-borne noise was induced by running the vehicle at a steady speed on a rough roller. For both types of excitation, it is seen that the effects of temperature are small, indicating that manufacturing variability is larger than that due to temperature for the tests conducted. It is also observed that there are no significant outlying vehicles, i.e. there are at most only a few vehicles that consistently have the lowest or highest noise levels over the whole spectrum. For the acoustically excited tests, measured 1/3-octave noise reduction levels typically have a spread of 5 dB or so and the normalised standard deviation of the linear data is typically 0.1 or higher. Regarding the statistical distribution of the linear data, a lognormal distribution is a somewhat better fit than a Gaussian distribution for lower 1/3-octave bands, while the reverse is true at higher frequencies. For the distribution of the overall linear levels, a Gaussian distribution is generally the most representative. As a simple description of the response variability, it is sufficient for this series of measurements to assume that the acoustically induced airborne cabin noise is best described by a Gaussian distribution with a normalised standard deviation between 0.09 and 0.145. There is generally

  12. Effect of Extraction Variables on the Biodegradable Chelant-Assisted Removal of Toxic Metals from Artificially Contaminated European Reference Soils

    OpenAIRE

    Begum, Zinnat A.; Rahman, Ismail M. M.; Sawai, Hikaru; Mizutani, Satoshi; Maki, Teruya; Hasegawa, Hiroshi

    2013-01-01

    Development of aminopolycarboxylate chelants (APCs) having enhanced biodegradability is gaining increasing focus to replace the EDTA and its homologs with those used widely for the ex situ treatment of contaminated soils and are potential eco-threats. The paper reports the chelant-assisted extraction of the toxic metals (Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn) from the metal-spiked European reference soils (Eurosoil 1 and Eurosoil 4) using biodegradable APCs, namely EDDS, GLDA, and HIDS. The effects of chelant-t...

  13. Variability in Autistic Children's Social Responsiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fein, Deborah; And Others

    This study attempted to systematically explore the range of variation in social response in 17 subjects (ages 5 to 15) with infantile autism. To collect observational data on social initiations, social responses, social monitoring with eye contact, and responses to specific types of social events, subjects were observed during free play in their…

  14. Brainstem response and state-trait variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilliland, Kirby

    1988-01-01

    A series of investigations are summarized from a personality research program that have relevance for mental state estimation. Of particular concern are those personality variables that are believed to have either a biological or perceptual basis and their relationship to human task performance and psychophysiology. These variables are among the most robust personality measures and include such dimensions as extraversion-introversion, sensation seeking, and impulsiveness. These dimensions also have the most distinct link to performance and psychophysiology. Through the course of many of these investigations two issues have emerged repeatedly: these personality dimensions appear to mediate mental state, and mental state appears to influence measures of performance or psychophysiology.

  15. Petroleum hydrocarbon biodegradation and microbial responses under seasonal freeze-thaw conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chang, W.; Ghoshal, S. [McGill Univ., Montreal, PQ (Canada). Dept. of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics; Klemm, S.; Whyte, L. [McGill Univ., Montreal, PQ (Canada). Dept. of Natural Resource Sciences; Simon, P. [Qikiqtaaluk Environmental Inc., Montreal, PQ (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    Seasonal freeze-thaw temperatures influence the metabolic functions of indigenous cold-adapted bacteria. Quantitative assessments of petroleum hydrocarbon biodegradation and microbial community changes under seasonal freeze-thaw temperatures were investigated in this study. Semi- and non-volatile hydrocarbon fractions were measured and microbial community compositions were characterized in a series of controlled biodegradation experiments conducted in a cold room where the seasonal freeze-thaw temperatures of a sub-Arctic site at Resolution Island were simulated. Results of the experiments demonstrated that the seasonal freezing rate did not stop microbial activity. The growth of viable microbial populations was observed in a nutrient-amended soil tank. Microbial respiration was observed during the semi-frozen soil phase where unfrozen water and pore ice co-existed in the soils. Respiration activity was accelerated due to the rapid increases of soil temperature that occurred in early summer. Microbial community shifts were observed during the freezing and thawing phase.

  16. Application of response surface analysis for biodegradation of azo reactive textile dye using Aspergillus foetidus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Praveen; Singh, Lakhvinder

    2012-06-01

    This paper reports the application of experimental design methodology for the optimization of decolourization of azo reactive textile dye Remazol Red RR and reduction of chemical oxygen demand (COD) using fungal isolate Aspergillus foetidus. Response surface methodology (RSM), involving central composite design matrix in three most important input variables; temperature, pH and initial dye concentration was employed. A total of 20 experiments were conducted in the study towards the construction of a quadratic model. This demonstrated the benefits of approach in achieving excellent predictions, while minimizing the number of experiments required. Very high regression coefficient between the variables and the responses indicated excellent evaluation of experimental data. Under optimized conditions fungal isolate was capable to decolourize Remazol Red RR up to 86.21% and COD reduction up to 55.43% was achieved during the experimental setup. Enzymatic activity indicated excellent outcome under the optimal process conditions. The experimental values agreed with the predicted ones, indicating suitability of the model and success of RSM approach in optimizing the process.

  17. Human genetic variability and HIV treatment response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, David W

    2006-07-01

    Access to potent antiretroviral medications greatly reduces morbidity and mortality due to HIV/AIDS, but drug toxicity limits treatment success in many individuals. The field of pharmacogenomics strives to understand the influence of human genetic variants in response to medications. Investigators have begun to identify associations among human genetic variants, predisposition to HIV drug toxicities, and likelihood of virologic response. These include associations among abacavir hypersensitivity reactions, HLA type, and hsp70-hom genotypes, and among CYP2B6 polymorphisms, efavirenz pharmacokinetics, and central nervous system symptoms. Pharmacogenomics also holds great promise to suggest novel targets for drug development. The discovery that a naturally occurring, nonfunctional variant of the HIV receptor gene CCR5 protected against HIV infection encouraged the development of CCR5 antagonists. Through continued translational and applied research, pharmacogenomics will ultimately benefit persons living with HIV worldwide by identifying new therapeutic targets and through individualized drug prescribing that is informed by human genetic testing. PMID:16608660

  18. Multi-Wheat-Model Ensemble Responses to Interannual Climate Variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruane, Alex C.; Hudson, Nicholas I.; Asseng, Senthold; Camarrano, Davide; Ewert, Frank; Martre, Pierre; Boote, Kenneth J.; Thorburn, Peter J.; Aggarwal, Pramod K.; Angulo, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    We compare 27 wheat models' yield responses to interannual climate variability, analyzed at locations in Argentina, Australia, India, and The Netherlands as part of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) Wheat Pilot. Each model simulated 1981e2010 grain yield, and we evaluate results against the interannual variability of growing season temperature, precipitation, and solar radiation. The amount of information used for calibration has only a minor effect on most models' climate response, and even small multi-model ensembles prove beneficial. Wheat model clusters reveal common characteristics of yield response to climate; however models rarely share the same cluster at all four sites indicating substantial independence. Only a weak relationship (R2 0.24) was found between the models' sensitivities to interannual temperature variability and their response to long-termwarming, suggesting that additional processes differentiate climate change impacts from observed climate variability analogs and motivating continuing analysis and model development efforts.

  19. Human operant learning under concurrent reinforcement of response variability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maes, J.H.R.; Goot, M.H. van der

    2006-01-01

    This study asked whether the concurrent reinforcement of behavioral variability facilitates learning to emit a difficult target response. Sixty students repeatedly pressed sequences of keys, with an originally infrequently occurring target sequence consistently being followed by positive feedback. T

  20. Biodegradable Polymers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabelle Vroman

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Biodegradable materials are used in packaging, agriculture, medicine and other areas. In recent years there has been an increase in interest in biodegradable polymers. Two classes of biodegradable polymers can be distinguished: synthetic or natural polymers. There are polymers produced from feedstocks derived either from petroleum resources (non renewable resources or from biological resources (renewable resources. In general natural polymers offer fewer advantages than synthetic polymers. The following review presents an overview of the different biodegradable polymers that are currently being used and their properties, as well as new developments in their synthesis and applications.

  1. Efficient MoS2 Exfoliation by Cross-β-Amyloid Nanotubes for Multistimuli-Responsive and Biodegradable Aqueous Dispersions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapil, Nidhi; Singh, Ashmeet; Singh, Manish; Das, Dibyendu

    2016-06-27

    Herein, we report the efficient exfoliation of MoS2 in aqueous medium by short cationic peptide nanotubes featuring the nucleating core (17) LVFFA(21) of β-amyloid (Aβ 1-42), a sequence associated with Alzheimer's disease. The role of morphology, length, and nature of the amyloid surface on exfoliation/dispersions of MoS2 were investigated through specific mutations of the amyloid sequences. Notably, owing to the properties of both the constituents, self-assembled soft nanostructures and MoS2 , the hybrid dispersions responded reversibly to various stimuli, including temperature, pH, and light. Addition of a protease resulted in loss of the dispersions, which are otherwise stable for months at ambient conditions. The design flexibility of the peptide sequences, along with the stimuli-responsiveness and biodegradability, can complement the applications of MoS2 in diverse fields. PMID:26880665

  2. Role of self-assembly coated Er(3+): YAlO3/TiO2 in intimate coupling of visible-light-responsive photocatalysis and biodegradation reactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Shanshan; Dong, Shuangshi; Tian, Xiadi; Xu, Zhengxue; Ma, Dongmei; Cui, Bin; Ren, Nanqi; Rittmann, Bruce E

    2016-01-25

    Conventionally used ultraviolet light can result in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) increasing and biofilm damage in intimate coupling of photocatalysis and biodegradation (ICPB). Visible-light-responsive photocatalysis offers an alternative for achieving ICPB. In this study, composite-cubes were developed using self-assembly to coat a thin and even layer of visible-light-responsive photocatalyst (Er(3+): YAlO3/TiO2) on sponge-type carriers, followed by biofilm cultivation. The degradations of phenol (50 mg L(-1)) were compared for four protocols in circulating beds: adsorption (AD), visible-light-responsive photocatalysis (VPC), biodegradation (B), and intimately coupled visible-light-responsive photocatalysis and biodegradation (VPCB). The phenol and DOC removal efficiencies using VPCB in 16 h were 99.8% and 65.2%, respectively, i.e., higher than those achieved using VPC (71.6% and 50.0%) or B (99.4% and 58.2%). The phenol removal of 96.3% could be obtained even after 3 additional cycles. The 6.17-min intermediate detected by HPLC, continuously accumulated for VPC, appeared at 1-6 h and then was completely removed for VPCB in 10 h. ICPB was further illustrated in that most of the biofilm was protected in the carrier interiors, with less protection on the carrier exterior in VPCB. A self-regulation mechanism that helped photocatalyst exposure to visible-light irradiation was identified, promoting the combined photocatalysis and biodegradation.

  3. Promoting Response Variability and Stimulus Generalization in Martial Arts Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harding, Jay W.; Wacker, David P.; Berg, Wendy K.; Rick, Gary; Lee, John F.

    2004-01-01

    The effects of reinforcement and extinction on response variability and stimulus generalization in the punching and kicking techniques of 2 martial arts students were evaluated across drill and sparring conditions. During both conditions, the students were asked to demonstrate different techniques in response to an instructor's punching attack.…

  4. Discerning biodegradation and adsorption of microcystin-LR in a shallow semi-enclosed bay and bacterial community shifts in response to associated process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jieming; Li, Ji; Shi, Ge; Mei, Zulin; Wang, Ruiping; Li, Dianyue

    2016-10-01

    Hepatotoxic microcystins (MCs) produced by cyanobacteria pose serious risks to aquatic ecosystems and human health, to understand elimination pathways and mechanisms for MCs, especially in a shallow and semi-enclosed eutrophic area, is of great significance. This study succeed in discerning biodegradation and adsorption of microcystin-LR (MCLR) mediated by water and/or sediment in northern part of Meiliang Bay in Lake Taihu, China, and among the first to reveal the shifts of indigenous bacterial community composition in response to MCLR-biodegradation in sediment by Illumina high-throughput sequencing (HTS). Results confirmed that biodegradation predominantly governed MCLR elimination as compared to adsorption in study area. Through faster biodegradation with a rate of 49.21μgL(-1)d(-1), lake water contributed more to overall MCLR removal than sediment. Sediment also played indispensable role in MCLR removal via primarily biodegradation by indigenous community (a rate of 17.27μgL(-1)d(-1)) and secondarily adsorption (safety in aquatic habitats. PMID:27294671

  5. Multi-wheat-model ensemble responses to interannual climatic variability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ruane, A C; Hudson, N I; Asseng, S;

    2016-01-01

    We compare 27 wheat models' yield responses to interannual climate variability, analyzed at locations in Argentina, Australia, India, and The Netherlands as part of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) Wheat Pilot. Each model simulated 1981–2010 grain yield, and we...... evaluate results against the interannual variability of growing season temperature, precipitation, and solar radiation. The amount of information used for calibration has only a minor effect on most models' climate response, and even small multi-model ensembles prove beneficial. Wheat model clusters reveal...... common characteristics of yield response to climate; however models rarely share the same cluster at all four sites indicating substantial independence. Only a weak relationship (R2 ≤ 0.24) was found between the models' sensitivities to interannual temperature variability and their response to long...

  6. Biosorption and biodegradation of Acid Orange 7 by Enterococcus faecalis strain ZL: optimization by response surface methodological approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Chi Kim; Bay, Hui Han; Aris, Azmi; Abdul Majid, Zaiton; Ibrahim, Zaharah

    2013-07-01

    Reactive dyes account for one of the major sources of dye wastes in textile effluent. In this study, decolorization of the monoazo dye, Acid Orange 7 (AO7) by the Enterococcus faecalis strain ZL that isolated from a palm oil mill effluent treatment plant has been investigated. Decolorization efficiency of azo dye is greatly affected by the types of nutrients and the size of inoculum used. In this work, one-factor-at-a-time (method and response surface methodology (RSM) was applied to optimize these operational factors and also to study the combined interaction between them. Analysis of AO7 decolorization was done using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, desorption study, UV-Vis spectral analysis, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The optimum condition via RSM for the color removal of AO7 was found to be as follows: yeast extract, 0.1% w/v, glycerol concentration of 0.1% v/v, and inoculum density of 2.5% v/v at initial dye concentration of 100 mg/L at 37 °C. Decolorization efficiency of 98% was achieved in only 5 h. The kinetic of AO7 decolorization was found to be first order with respect to dye concentration with a k value of 0.87/h. FTIR, desorption study, UV-Vis spectral analysis, FESEM, and HPLC findings indicated that the decolorization of AO7 was mainly due to the biosorption as well as biodegradation of the bacterial cells. In addition, HPLC analyses also showed the formation of sulfanilic acid as a possible degradation product of AO7 under facultative anaerobic condition. This study explored the ability of E. faecalis strain ZL in decolorizing AO7 by biosorption as well as biodegradation process.

  7. Stimuli-Responsive Biodegradable Hyperbranched Polymer-Gadolinium Conjugates as Efficient and Biocompatible Nanoscale Magnetic Resonance Imaging Contrast Agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Ling; Li, Xue; Wei, Xiaoli; Luo, Qiang; Guan, Pujun; Wu, Min; Zhu, Hongyan; Luo, Kui; Gong, Qiyong

    2016-04-27

    The efficacy and biocompatibility of nanoscale magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents depend on optimal molecular structures and compositions. Gadolinium [Gd(III)] based dendritic macromolecules with well-defined and tunable nanoscale sizes are excellent candidates as multivalent MRI contrast agents. Here, we propose a novel alternate preparation of biodegradable hyperbranched polymer-gadolinium conjugates via a simple strategy and report potentially efficient and biocompatible nanoscale MRI contrast agents for cancer diagnosis. The enzyme-responsive hyperbranched poly(oligo-(ethylene glycol) methacrylate)-gadolinium conjugate (HB-POEGMA-Gd) was prepared via one-step reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization and Gd(III) chelating, and the cRGDyK functionalized polymer (HB-POEGMA-cRGD-Gd) was obtained via click chemistry. By using an enzyme similar to lysosomal cathepsin B, hyperbranched conjugates of high molecular weights (MW) (180 and 210 kDa) and nanoscale sizes (38 and 42 nm) were degraded into low MW (25 and 30 kDa) and smaller products (4.8 and 5.2 nm) below the renal threshold. Conjugate-based nanoscale systems had three-fold more T1 relaxivity compared to clinical agent diethylenediaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA)-Gd. Animal studies with the nanoscale system offered greater tumor accumulation and enhanced signal intensity (SI) in mouse U87 tumors of which the greatest activity was conferred by the cRGDyK moiety functionalized hyperbranched conjugate. In vitro cytotoxicity, hemocompatibility and in vivo toxicity studies confirmed no adverse events. This design strategy for multifunctional Gd(III)-labeled biodegradable dendritic macromolecules may have significant potential as future efficient, biocompatible polymeric nanoscale MRI diagnostic contrast agents for cancer.

  8. Variable-ratio versus variable-interval schedules: response rate, resistance to change, and preference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nevin, J A; Randolph; Holland, S; McLean, A P

    2001-07-01

    Two experiments asked whether resistance to change depended on variable-ratio as opposed to variable-interval contingencies of reinforcement and the different response rates they establish. In Experiment 1, pigeons were trained on multiple random-ratio random-interval schedules with equated reinforcer rates. Baseline response rates were disrupted by intercomponent food, extinction, and prefeeding. Resistance to change relative to baseline was greater in the interval component, and the difference was correlated with the extent to which baseline response rates were higher in the ratio component. In Experiment 2, pigeons were trained on multiple variable-ratio variable-interval schedules in one half of each session and on concurrent chains in the other half in which the terminal links corresponded to the multiple-schedule components. The schedules were varied over six conditions, including two with equated reinforcer rates. In concurrent chains, preference strongly overmatched the ratio of obtained reinforcer rates. In multiple schedules, relative resistance to response-independent food during intercomponent intervals, extinction, and intercomponent food plus extinction depended on the ratio of obtained reinforcer rates but was less sensitive than was preference. When reinforcer rates were similar, both preference and relative resistance were greater for the variable-interval schedule, and the differences were correlated with the extent to which baseline response rates were higher on the variable-ratio schedule, confirming the results of Experiment 1. These results demonstrate that resistance to change and preference depend in part on response rate as well as obtained reinforcer rate, and challenge the independence of resistance to change and preference with respect to response rate proposed by behavioral momentum theory. PMID:11516115

  9. Hydrocarbon biodegradation and dynamic laser speckle for detecting chemotactic responses at low bacterial concentration

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Melina Nisenbaum; Gonzalo Hernán Sendra; Gastón Alfredo Cerdá Gilbert; Marcelo Scagliola; Jorge Froilán González; Silvia Elena Murialdo

    2013-01-01

    We report on the biodegradation of pure hydrocarbons and chemotaxis towards these compounds by an isolated chlorophenol degrader,Pseudomonas strain H.The biochemical and phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rDNA sequence identified Pseudomonas strain H as having 99.56% similarity with P.aeruginosa PA01.This strain was able to degrade n-hexadecane,1-undecene,1-nonene,1-decene,1-dodecene and kerosene.It grew in the presence of 1-octene,while this hydrocarbons is toxic to other hydrocarbons degraders.Pseudomonas strain H was also chemotactic towards n-hexadecane,kerosene,1-undecene and 1-dodecene.These results show that this Pseudomonas strain H is an attractive candidate for hydrocarbon-containing wastewater bioremediation in controlled environments.Since the classical standard techniques for detecting chemotaxis are not efficient at low bacterial concentrations,we demonstrate the use of the dynamic speckle laser method,which is simple and inexpensive,to confirm bacterial chemotaxis at low cell concentrations (less than 105 colony-forming unit per millilitre (CFU/mL)) when hydrocarbons are the attractants.

  10. Random Forests for Ordinal Response Data: Prediction and Variable Selection

    OpenAIRE

    Janitza, Silke; Tutz, Gerhard; Boulesteix, Anne-Laure

    2014-01-01

    The random forest method is a commonly used tool for classification with high-dimensional data that is able to rank candidate predictors through its inbuilt variable importance measures (VIMs). It can be applied to various kinds of regression problems including nominal, metric and survival response variables. While classification and regression problems using random forest methodology have been extensively investigated in the past, there seems to be a lack of literature on handling ordinal re...

  11. Response-rate differences in variable-interval and variable-ratio schedules: An old problem revisited

    OpenAIRE

    Cole, Mark R.

    1994-01-01

    In Experiment 1, a variable-ratio 10 schedule became, successively, a variable-interval schedule with only the minimum interreinforcement intervals yoked to the variable ratio, or a variable-interval schedule with both interreinforcement intervals and reinforced interresponse times yoked to the variable ratio. Response rates in the variable-interval schedule with both interreinforcement interval and reinforced interresponse time yoking fell between the higher rates maintained by the variable-...

  12. Multi-wheat-model ensemble responses to interannual climate variability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruane, Alex C.; Hudson, Nicholas I.; Asseng, Senthold; Camarrano, Davide; Ewert, Frank; Martre, Pierre; Boote, Kenneth J.; Thorburn, Peter J.; Aggarwal, Pramod K.; Angulo, Carlos; Basso, Bruno; Bertuzzi, Patrick; Biernath, Christian; Brisson, Nadine; Challinor, Andrew J.; Doltra, Jordi; Gayler, Sebastian; Goldberg, Richard; Grant, Robert F.; Heng, Lee; Hooker, Josh; Hunt, Leslie A.; Ingwersen, Joachim; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Kersebaum, Kurt Christian; Kumar, Soora Naresh; Müller, Christoph; Nendel, Claas; O'Leary, Garry; Olesen, Jørgen E.; Osborne, Tom M.; Palosuo, Taru; Priesack, Eckart; Ripoche, Dominique; Rötter, Reimund P.; Semenov, Mikhail A.; Shcherbak, Iurii; Steduto, Pasquale; Stöckle, Claudio O.; Stratonovitch, Pierre; Streck, Thilo; Supit, Iwan; Tao, Fulu; Travasso, Maria; Waha, Katharina; Wallach, Daniel; White, Jeffrey W.; Wolf, Joost

    2016-01-01

    We compare 27 wheat models' yield responses to interannual climate variability, analyzed at locations in Argentina, Australia, India, and The Netherlands as part of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) Wheat Pilot. Each model simulated 1981-2010 grain yield, and

  13. Human Operant Learning under Concurrent Reinforcement of Response Variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maes, J. H. R.; van der Goot, M.

    2006-01-01

    This study asked whether the concurrent reinforcement of behavioral variability facilitates learning to emit a difficult target response. Sixty students repeatedly pressed sequences of keys, with an originally infrequently occurring target sequence consistently being followed by positive feedback. Three conditions differed in the feedback given to…

  14. pH-responsive biodegradable micelles based on acid-labile polycarbonate hydrophobe: synthesis and triggered drug release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Wei; Meng, Fenghua; Li, Feng; Ji, Shun-Jun; Zhong, Zhiyuan

    2009-07-13

    pH-responsive biodegradable micelles were prepared from block copolymers comprising of a novel acid-labile polycarbonate hydrophobe and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). Two new cyclic aliphatic carbonate monomers, mono-2,4,6-trimethoxybenzylidene-pentaerythritol carbonate (TMBPEC, 2a) and mono-4-methoxybenzylidene-pentaerythritol carbonate (MBPEC, 2b) were designed and successfully synthesized via a two-step procedure. The ring-opening polymerization of 2a or 2b in the presence of methoxy PEG in dichloromethane at 50 °C using zinc bis[bis(trimethylsilyl)amide] as a catalyst yielded the corresponding block copolymers PEG-PTMBPEC (3a) or PEG-PMBPEC (3b) with low polydispersities (PDI 1.03-1.04). The copolymerization of D,L-lactide (DLLA) and 2a under otherwise the same conditions could also proceed smoothly to afford PEG-P(TMBPEC-co-DLLA) (3c) block copolymer. These block copolymers readily formed micelles in water with sizes of about 120 nm as determined by dynamic light scattering (DLS). The hydrolysis of the acetals of the polycarbonate was investigated using UV/vis spectroscopy. The results showed that the acetals of micelles 3a, while stable at pH 7.4 are prone to rapid hydrolysis at mildly acidic pH of 4.0 and 5.0, with a half-life of 1 and 6.5 h, respectively. The acetal hydrolysis resulted in significant swelling of micelles, as a result of change of hydrophobic polycarbonate to hydrophilic polycarbonate. In comparison, the acetals of PMBPEC of micelles 3b displayed obviously slower hydrolysis at the same pH. Both paclitaxel and doxorubicin could be efficiently encapsulated into micelles 3a achieving high drug loading content (13.0 and 11.7 wt %, respectively). The in vitro release studies showed clearly a pH dependent release behavior, that is, significantly faster drug release at mildly acidic pH of 4.0 and 5.0 compared to physiological pH. These pH-responsive biodegradable micelles are promising as smart nanovehicles for targeted delivery of anticancer drugs.

  15. Optimization of Process Variables by Response Surface Methodology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kashipeta Ravinder

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In the present study optimisation of the growth medium for the production of Cyclodextrin glucanotransferase (CGTase was carried out using response surface methodology. Four important parameters namely starch, yeast extract, K2HPO4 and MgSO4 concentrations were selected as the independent variables and the enzyme activity (CGTase activity U/mL was the dependent response variable. Each of these independent variables was studied at five different levels as per central composite design (CCD in four variables with a total of 28 experimental runs. The optimal calculated values of tested variables for maximal production of CGTase were found to be comprised of: starch, 2.16 %; yeast extract, 0.6 %; K2HPO4, 0.62 %; MgSO4, 0.04 % with a predicted CGTase activity of 150 U/ml. These predicted optimal parameters were tested in the laboratory and the final CGTase activity obtained was very close to the predicted value at 148.2 U/ml.

  16. Enhancement of the optical response in a biodegradable polymer/azo-dye film by the addition of carbon nanotubes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz Costanzo, Guadalupe; Ribba, Laura; Goyanes, Silvia; Ledesma, Silvia

    2014-04-01

    A new biodegradable photoresponsive material was developed using poly(lactic acid) (PLA) as the matrix material and Disperse Orange 3 (DO3) as photoisomerizable azo-dye. It was observed that the addition of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) leads to a new phenomenon consisting of an enhancement of the optical anisotropy in a wide range of temperatures. In particular, the optical anisotropy increases 100% at room temperature. Moreover, the material containing MWCNTs shows a faster optical response that is evidenced as an increase in the growth rate of optical anisotropy. Spectroscopic data is provided to study the interaction among DO3, MWCNTs and PLA. The enhancement of optical anisotropy obtained with the addition of MWCNTs was related to the glass transition temperature (Tg) of each material. Maximum optical anisotropy was obtained 15 °C below the Tg for both materials. Results are interpreted in terms of the interactions among DO3, MWCNTs and PLA and the packing density of the dye into the polymer chains. In memory of Professor Iñaki Mondragon.

  17. Decreased heart rate variability responses during early postoperative mobilization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jans, Øivind; Brinth, Louise; Kehlet, Henrik;

    2015-01-01

    to postoperative autonomic dysfunction. Thus, based on a previous study on haemodynamic responses during mobilization before and after elective total hip arthroplasty (THA), we performed secondary analyses of heart rate variability (HRV) and aimed to identify possible abnormal postoperative autonomic responses.......2-2.6) nu when supine to 1.2 (0.8-1.8) nu when standing. CONCLUSIONS: This study observed postoperative autonomic cardiovascular dysregulation that may contribute to limited HRV responses during early postoperative mobilization. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01089946.......BACKGROUND: Intact orthostatic blood pressure regulation is essential for early mobilization after surgery. However, postoperative orthostatic hypotension and intolerance (OI) may delay early ambulation. The mechanisms of postoperative OI include impaired vasopressor responses relating...

  18. Pavement Response to Variable Tyre Pressure of Heavy Vehicles

    OpenAIRE

    Arshad Ahmad Kamil; Haron Hairol Anuar; Abd Rahman Zanariah; Abdul Halim A.G.

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, the effect of overinflated tyre pressure and increased heavy vehicles’ axle load on flexible pavements has become a subject of great concern because of the higher stress levels induced and damage caused to road pavements. This paper aims to evaluate the effect of variable tyre inflation pressures (using actual tyre contact/footprint area) to determine the responses of flexible pavement. A full scale experiment was conducted on a heavy vehicle with 1:1:2 axle configuration, 10...

  19. Examining Uncertainty in Demand Response Baseline Models and Variability in Automated Response to Dynamic Pricing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mathieu, Johanna L.; Callaway, Duncan S.; Kiliccote, Sila

    2011-08-15

    Controlling electric loads to deliver power system services presents a number of interesting challenges. For example, changes in electricity consumption of Commercial and Industrial (C&I) facilities are usually estimated using counterfactual baseline models, and model uncertainty makes it difficult to precisely quantify control responsiveness. Moreover, C&I facilities exhibit variability in their response. This paper seeks to understand baseline model error and demand-side variability in responses to open-loop control signals (i.e. dynamic prices). Using a regression-based baseline model, we define several Demand Response (DR) parameters, which characterize changes in electricity use on DR days, and then present a method for computing the error associated with DR parameter estimates. In addition to analyzing the magnitude of DR parameter error, we develop a metric to determine how much observed DR parameter variability is attributable to real event-to-event variability versus simply baseline model error. Using data from 38 C&I facilities that participated in an automated DR program in California, we find that DR parameter errors are large. For most facilities, observed DR parameter variability is likely explained by baseline model error, not real DR parameter variability; however, a number of facilities exhibit real DR parameter variability. In some cases, the aggregate population of C&I facilities exhibits real DR parameter variability, resulting in implications for the system operator with respect to both resource planning and system stability.

  20. Biodegradable polylactide microspheres enhance specific immune response induced by Hepatitis B surface antigen

    OpenAIRE

    Qiu, Shaohui; Wei, Qiang (Ethan); Liang, Zhenglun; Ma, Guanghui; Wang, Lianyan; An, Wenqi; Ma, Xiaowei; Fang, Xin; He, Peng; Li, Hemin; Hu, Zhongyu

    2014-01-01

    Hepatitis B (HB) infection caused by Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is the most common liver disease in the world. HB vaccine, when administered in conjunction with alum adjuvants, induces Th2 immunity that confers protection against HBV. However, currently available vaccine formulations and adjuvants do not elicit adequate Th1 and CTL responses that are important for prevention of maternal transmission of the virus. Microspheres synthesized from poly (D, L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) or poly (D, L...

  1. Human Responses to Climate Variability: The Case of South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oppenheimer, M.; Licker, R.; Mastrorillo, M.; Bohra-Mishra, P.; Estes, L. D.; Cai, R.

    2014-12-01

    Climate variability has been associated with a range of societal and individual outcomes including migration, violent conflict, changes in labor productivity, and health impacts. Some of these may be direct responses to changes in mean temperature or precipitation or extreme events, such as displacement of human populations by tropical cyclones. Others may be mediated by a variety of biological, social, or ecological factors such as migration in response to long-term changes in crops yields. Research is beginning to elucidate and distinguish the many channels through which climate variability may influence human behavior (ranging from the individual to the collective, societal level) in order to better understand how to improve resilience in the face of current variability as well as future climate change. Using a variety of data sets from South Africa, we show how climate variability has influenced internal (within country) migration in recent history. We focus on South Africa as it is a country with high levels of internal migration and dramatic temperature and precipitation changes projected for the 21st century. High poverty rates and significant levels of rain-fed, smallholder agriculture leave large portions of South Africa's population base vulnerable to future climate change. In this study, we utilize two complementary statistical models - one micro-level model, driven by individual and household level survey data, and one macro-level model, driven by national census statistics. In both models, we consider the effect of climate on migration both directly (with gridded climate reanalysis data) and indirectly (with agricultural production statistics). With our historical analyses of climate variability, we gain insights into how the migration decisions of South Africans may be influenced by future climate change. We also offer perspective on the utility of micro and macro level approaches in the study of climate change and human migration.

  2. Biodegradable polylactide microspheres enhance specific immune response induced by Hepatitis B surface antigen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Shaohui; Wei, Qiang; Liang, Zhenglun; Ma, Guanghui; Wang, Lianyan; An, Wenqi; Ma, Xiaowei; Fang, Xin; He, Peng; Li, Hemin; Hu, Zhongyu

    2014-01-01

    Hepatitis B (HB) infection caused by Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is the most common liver disease in the world. HB vaccine, when administered in conjunction with alum adjuvants, induces Th2 immunity that confers protection against HBV. However, currently available vaccine formulations and adjuvants do not elicit adequate Th1 and CTL responses that are important for prevention of maternal transmission of the virus. Microspheres synthesized from poly (D, L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) or poly (D, L-lactide) (PLA) polymers have been considered as promising tools for in vivo delivery of antigens and drugs. Here we describe PLA microspheres synthesized by premix membrane emulsification method and their application in formulating a new microsphere based HB vaccine. To evaluate the immunogenicity of this microsphere vaccine, BALB/c mice were immunized with microsphere vaccine and a series of immunological assays were conducted. Results of Enzyme-linked ImmunoSpot (ELISPOT) assays revealed that the number of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ)-producing splenocytes and CD8(+) T cells increased significantly in the microsphere vaccine group. Microsphere vaccine group showed enhanced specific cell lysis when compared with HB surface antigen (HBsAg) only group in (51)Cr cytotoxicity assays. Moreover, microsphere vaccine elicited a comparable level of antibody production as that of HB vaccine administered with alum adjuvant. We show that phagocytosis of HBsAg by dendritic cells is more pronounced in microsphere vaccine group when compared with other control groups. These results clearly demonstrate the potential of using PLA microspheres as effective HB vaccine adjuvants for an enhanced Th1 immune response. PMID:25424942

  3. Variable-amplitude oscillatory shear response of amorphous materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perchikov, Nathan; Bouchbinder, Eran

    2014-06-01

    Variable-amplitude oscillatory shear tests are emerging as powerful tools to investigate and quantify the nonlinear rheology of amorphous solids, complex fluids, and biological materials. Quite a few recent experimental and atomistic simulation studies demonstrated that at low shear amplitudes, an amorphous solid settles into an amplitude- and initial-conditions-dependent dissipative limit cycle, in which back-and-forth localized particle rearrangements periodically bring the system to the same state. At sufficiently large shear amplitudes, the amorphous system loses memory of the initial conditions, exhibits chaotic particle motions accompanied by diffusive behavior, and settles into a stochastic steady state. The two regimes are separated by a transition amplitude, possibly characterized by some critical-like features. Here we argue that these observations support some of the physical assumptions embodied in the nonequilibrium thermodynamic, internal-variables based, shear-transformation-zone model of amorphous viscoplasticity; most notably that "flow defects" in amorphous solids are characterized by internal states between which they can make transitions, and that structural evolution is driven by dissipation associated with plastic deformation. We present a rather extensive theoretical analysis of the thermodynamic shear-transformation-zone model for a variable-amplitude oscillatory shear protocol, highlighting its success in accounting for various experimental and simulational observations, as well as its limitations. Our results offer a continuum-level theoretical framework for interpreting the variable-amplitude oscillatory shear response of amorphous solids and may promote additional developments.

  4. Estimation of road profile variability from measured vehicle responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fauriat, W.; Mattrand, C.; Gayton, N.; Beakou, A.; Cembrzynski, T.

    2016-05-01

    When assessing the statistical variability of fatigue loads acting throughout the life of a vehicle, the question of the variability of road roughness naturally arises, as both quantities are strongly related. For car manufacturers, gathering information on the environment in which vehicles evolve is a long and costly but necessary process to adapt their products to durability requirements. In the present paper, a data processing algorithm is proposed in order to estimate the road profiles covered by a given vehicle, from the dynamic responses measured on this vehicle. The algorithm based on Kalman filtering theory aims at solving a so-called inverse problem, in a stochastic framework. It is validated using experimental data obtained from simulations and real measurements. The proposed method is subsequently applied to extract valuable statistical information on road roughness from an existing load characterisation campaign carried out by Renault within one of its markets.

  5. The role of ethnocultural variables in response to terrorism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Katrina L; Chestnut, Dennis

    2003-08-01

    The threat of terrorism is having a profound impact on Americans. This study examined ethnocultural variables of ethnic background, gender, age, and educational background to better understand first reactions to, explanations for, and responses to what happened on September 11, 2001. Data were obtained from a sample of university students, church and civic group members, and people of the general community. Results suggest that ethnic background, gender, and age influence reactions to terrorism. Ethnic background and gender influenced causal explanations about the attacks. Strong gender differences were noted in how participants were affected by the attacks; strongest similarities were observed in reports of first reactions to news of the events, with most people experiencing shock and disbelief. Conclusions stress the importance of future mental health interventions and research giving strong consideration to ethnocultural variables when dealing with victims of terrorism. PMID:12971092

  6. Lung toxicity of biodegradable nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fattal, Elias; Grabowski, Nadége; Mura, Simona; Vergnaud, Juliette; Tsapis, Nicolas; Hillaireau, Hervé

    2014-10-01

    Biodegradable nanoparticles exhibit high potentialities for local or systemic drug delivery through lung administration making them attractive as nanomedicine carriers. However, since particulate matter or some inorganic manufactured nanoparticles exposed to lung cells have provoked cytotoxic effects, inflammatory and oxidative stress responses, it becomes important to investigate nanomedicine toxicity towards the lungs. This is the reason why, in the present review, the behavior of biodegradable nanoparticles towards the different parts of the respiratory tract as well as the toxicological consequences, measured on several models in vitro, ex vivo or in vivo, are described. Taken all together, the different studies carried out so far conclude on no or slight toxicity of biodegradable nanoparticles.

  7. On the Primacy of Molecular Processes in Determining Response Rates under Variable-Ratio and Variable-Interval Schedules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanno, Takayuki; Sakagami, Takayuki

    2008-01-01

    This study focused on variables that may account for response-rate differences under variable-ratio (VR) and variable-interval (VI) schedules of reinforcement. Four rats were exposed to VR, VI, tandem VI differential- reinforcement-of-high-rate, regulated-probability-interval, and negative-feedback schedules of reinforcement that provided the same…

  8. Interpatient Variability in Dexmedetomidine Response: A Survey of the Literature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha F. Holliday

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Fifty-five thousand patients are cared for in the intensive care unit (ICU daily with sedation utilized to reduce anxiety and agitation while optimizing comfort. The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM released updated guidelines for management of pain, agitation, and delirium in the ICU and recommended nonbenzodiazepines, such as dexmedetomidine and propofol, as first line sedation agents. Dexmedetomidine, an alpha-2 agonist, offers many benefits yet its use is mired by the inability to consistently achieve sedation goals. Three hypotheses including patient traits/characteristics, pharmacokinetics in critically ill patients, and clinically relevant genetic polymorphisms that could affect dexmedetomidine response are presented. Studies in patient traits have yielded conflicting results regarding the role of race yet suggest that dexmedetomidine may produce more consistent results in less critically ill patients and with home antidepressant use. Pharmacokinetics of critically ill patients are reported as similar to healthy individuals yet wide, unexplained interpatient variability in dexmedetomidine serum levels exist. Genetic polymorphisms in both metabolism and receptor response have been evaluated in few studies, and the results remain inconclusive. To fully understand the role of dexmedetomidine, it is vital to further evaluate what prompts such marked interpatient variability in critically ill patients.

  9. Population variability complicates the accurate detection of climate change responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCain, Christy; Szewczyk, Tim; Bracy Knight, Kevin

    2016-06-01

    The rush to assess species' responses to anthropogenic climate change (CC) has underestimated the importance of interannual population variability (PV). Researchers assume sampling rigor alone will lead to an accurate detection of response regardless of the underlying population fluctuations of the species under consideration. Using population simulations across a realistic, empirically based gradient in PV, we show that moderate to high PV can lead to opposite and biased conclusions about CC responses. Between pre- and post-CC sampling bouts of modeled populations as in resurvey studies, there is: (i) A 50% probability of erroneously detecting the opposite trend in population abundance change and nearly zero probability of detecting no change. (ii) Across multiple years of sampling, it is nearly impossible to accurately detect any directional shift in population sizes with even moderate PV. (iii) There is up to 50% probability of detecting a population extirpation when the species is present, but in very low natural abundances. (iv) Under scenarios of moderate to high PV across a species' range or at the range edges, there is a bias toward erroneous detection of range shifts or contractions. Essentially, the frequency and magnitude of population peaks and troughs greatly impact the accuracy of our CC response measurements. Species with moderate to high PV (many small vertebrates, invertebrates, and annual plants) may be inaccurate 'canaries in the coal mine' for CC without pertinent demographic analyses and additional repeat sampling. Variation in PV may explain some idiosyncrasies in CC responses detected so far and urgently needs more careful consideration in design and analysis of CC responses. PMID:26725404

  10. Anaerobic biodegradability of macropollutants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Angelidaki, Irini

    2002-01-01

    A variety of test procedures for determination of anaerobic biodegradability has been reported. This paper reviews the methods developed for determination of anaerobic biodegradability of macro-pollutants. Anaerobic biodegradability of micro-pollutants is not included. Furthermore, factors import...

  11. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation's Response to Variable Buoyancy Forcing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Edward; Oliver, Kevin; Hirschi, Joël

    2014-05-01

    The Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) is a large-scale global circulation of water (and heat) throughout the world's ocean. It is an integral part of the climate system, responsible for significant anomalous warming of the North Atlantic region. Much of our current understanding of the MOC is based on equilibrium theories. However, the MOC is not a steady circulation and exhibits variability across a broad range of timescales. We examine the transient response of global ocean overturning, with particular emphasis on the Atlantic MOC (AMOC), to periodic variations in the North Atlantic meridional density gradient on decadal, centennial, and millennial timescales within the Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean (NEMO) model framework. We use the ORCA2 global ocean configuration of NEMO (with realistic topography and a horizontal resolution of 2°) and impose periodic variations in air temperature over the North Atlantic. In response, we see large oscillations in the strength of the AMOC which peak in magnitude at 128-year timescales. A scaling relationship of the form Ψ ~ ΔρH2 (in which Δρ is a measure of meridional density gradient and H is the depth scale of maximal overturning) is found to hold for the AMOC in these transient simulations with strongest correlations observed at centennial timescales. We explore the validity of this scaling relationship across a broad range of spatial and temporal scales and discuss its validity in a global context.

  12. Biodegradation and bioremediation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Albrechtsen, H.-J.

    1996-01-01

    Anmeldelse af Alexander,M.: Biodegradation and bioremediation. Academic Press, Sandiego, USA, 1994......Anmeldelse af Alexander,M.: Biodegradation and bioremediation. Academic Press, Sandiego, USA, 1994...

  13. Historical temperature variability affects coral response to heat stress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Carilli

    Full Text Available Coral bleaching is the breakdown of symbiosis between coral animal hosts and their dinoflagellate algae symbionts in response to environmental stress. On large spatial scales, heat stress is the most common factor causing bleaching, which is predicted to increase in frequency and severity as the climate warms. There is evidence that the temperature threshold at which bleaching occurs varies with local environmental conditions and background climate conditions. We investigated the influence of past temperature variability on coral susceptibility to bleaching, using the natural gradient in peak temperature variability in the Gilbert Islands, Republic of Kiribati. The spatial pattern in skeletal growth rates and partial mortality scars found in massive Porites sp. across the central and northern islands suggests that corals subject to larger year-to-year fluctuations in maximum ocean temperature were more resistant to a 2004 warm-water event. In addition, a subsequent 2009 warm event had a disproportionately larger impact on those corals from the island with lower historical heat stress, as indicated by lower concentrations of triacylglycerol, a lipid utilized for energy, as well as thinner tissue in those corals. This study indicates that coral reefs in locations with more frequent warm events may be more resilient to future warming, and protection measures may be more effective in these regions.

  14. Intraindividual response variability is malleable: Feedback- and education-related reductions in variability with age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas D. Garrett

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Intraindividual variability (IIV in trial-to-trial reaction time is a robust and stable within-person marker of aging. However, it remains unknown whether IIV can be modulated experimentally. In a sample of healthy younger and older adults, we examined the effects of motivation- and performance-based feedback, age, and education level on IIV in a choice RT task (four blocks over 15 minutes. We found that IIV was reduced with block-by-block feedback, particularly for highly educated older adults. Notably, the baseline difference in IIV levels between this group and the young adults was reduced by 50%; by the final testing block, this advantaged older group had improved such that they were statistically indistinguishable from young adults on two of three preceding testing blocks. Our findings confirmed that response IIV is indeed modifiable, within mere minutes of feedback and testing.

  15. Biodegradation of Alachlor in Liquid and Soil Cultures Under Variable Carbon and Nitrogen Sources by Bacterial Consortium Isolated from Corn Field Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simin Nasseri

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Alachlor, an aniline herbicide widely used in corn production, is frequently detected in water resources. The main objectives of this research were focused on isolating bacterial consortium capable of alachlor biodegradation, assessing the effects of carbon and nitrogen sources on alachlor biodegradation and evaluating the feasibility of using bacterial consortium in soil culture. Kavar corn field soil with a long history of alachlor application in Fars province of Iran has been explored for their potential of alachlor biodegradation. The influence of different carbon compounds (glucose, sodium citrate, sucrose, starch and the combination of these compounds, the effect of nitrogen sources (ammonium nitrate and urea and different pH (5.5-8.5 on alachlor removal efficiency by the bacterial consortium in liquid culture were investigated. After a multi-step enrichment program 100 days of acclimation, a culture with the high capability of alachlor degradation was obtained (63%. Glucose and sodium citrate had the highest alachlor reduction rate (85%. Alachlor reduction rate increased more rapidly by the addition of ammonium nitrate (94% compare to urea. Based on the data obtained in the present study, pH of 7.5 is optimal for alachlor biodegradation. After 30 days of incubation, the percent of alachlor reduction were significantly enhanced in the inoculated soils (74% as compared to uninoculated control soils (17.67% at the soil moisture content of 25%. In conclusion, bioaugmentation of soil with bacterial consortium may enhance the rate of alachlor degradation in a polluted soil.

  16. Biodegradation of alachlor in liquid and soil cultures under variable carbon and nitrogen sources by bacterial consortium isolated from corn field soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehghani, Mansooreh; Nasseri, Simin; Zamanian, Zahra

    2013-01-01

    Alachlor, an aniline herbicide widely used in corn production, is frequently detected in water resources. The main objectives of this research were focused on isolating bacterial consortium capable of alachlor biodegradation, assessing the effects of carbon and nitrogen sources on alachlor biodegradation and evaluating the feasibility of using bacterial consortium in soil culture. Kavar corn field soil with a long history of alachlor application in Fars province of Iran has been explored for their potential of alachlor biodegradation. The influence of different carbon compounds (glucose, sodium citrate, sucrose, starch and the combination of these compounds), the effect of nitrogen sources (ammonium nitrate and urea) and different pH (5.5-8.5) on alachlor removal efficiency by the bacterial consortium in liquid culture were investigated. After a multi-step enrichment program 100 days of acclimation, a culture with the high capability of alachlor degradation was obtained (63%). Glucose and sodium citrate had the highest alachlor reduction rate (85%). Alachlor reduction rate increased more rapidly by the addition of ammonium nitrate (94%) compare to urea. Based on the data obtained in the present study, pH of 7.5 is optimal for alachlor biodegradation. After 30 days of incubation, the percent of alachlor reduction were significantly enhanced in the inoculated soils (74%) as compared to uninoculated control soils (17.67%) at the soil moisture content of 25%. In conclusion, bioaugmentation of soil with bacterial consortium may enhance the rate of alachlor degradation in a polluted soil. PMID:23452801

  17. Response time variability and response inhibition predict affective problems in adolescent girls, not in boys : the TRAILS study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Deurzen, Patricia A. M.; Buitelaar, Jan K.; Brunnekreef, J. Agnes; Ormel, Johan; Minderaa, Ruud B.; Hartman, Catharina A.; Huizink, Anja C.; Speckens, Anne E. M.; Oldehinkel, A. J.; Slaats-Willemse, Dorine I. E.

    2012-01-01

    The present study examines the relationship between neurocognitive functioning and affective problems through adolescence, in a cross-sectional and longitudinal perspective. Baseline response speed, response speed variability, response inhibition, attentional flexibility and working memory were asse

  18. Response of Thermospheric Hydrogen to Solar Variability and Greenhouse Gases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nossal, S. M.; Qian, L.; Solomon, S. C.; Burns, A. G.; Wang, W.; Mierkiewicz, E. J.; Roesler, F. L.; Woodward, R. C., Jr.

    2015-12-01

    Geocoronal hydrogen forms the upper boundary of the Earth's HOx chemisty and is a byproduct of methane and water vapor below. We will discuss observational and modeling studies of the upper atmospheric hydrogen response to the solar cycle and increases in greenhouse gases. The Wisconsin Northern hemisphere hydrogen airglow data set spans over two solar cycles. These data show a statistically significant solar cycle variation and a possible increase in intensity between successive solar maximum periods. We will discuss these data in the context of recent modeling studies with a single-column version of the Thermosphere-Ionosphere-Mesosphere-Electrodynamics General Circulation Model. We investigate mechanisms associated with the solar cycle and greenhouse gas forcing of hydrogen by separately doubling carbon dioxide and methane, as well as doubling both together. These simulations indicate that carbon dioxide cooling, as well as methane changes to the source species for hydrogen, both lead to predicted increases in the upper thermospheric hydrogen density and that the response of hydrogen to greenhouse gases depends on the phase of the solar cycle. However, the effect of greenhouse gas doubling is not as large as the modeled solar cycle variability of thermospheric hydrogen. I will discuss results from these simulations and comparisons to observations.

  19. In vitro responses of bone-forming MC3T3-E1 pre-osteoblasts to biodegradable Mg-based bulk metallic glasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Haifei; He, Wei; Pang, Shujie; Liaw, Peter K; Zhang, Tao

    2016-11-01

    In light of the superior property profile of favorable biocompatibility, proper corrosion/degradation behavior and good mechanical properties, Mg-based bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) are considered as potential biodegradable biomaterials. In the present study, in vitro responses of bone-forming MC3T3-E1 pre-osteoblasts to Mg-Zn-Ca-Sr BMGs were studied in order to assess their feasibility to serve as orthopedic implants. The Mg-Zn-Ca-Sr BMGs were much more capable of supporting cell adhesion and spreading in comparison with crystalline AZ31B Mg alloy. The Mg-Zn-Ca-Sr BMG extracts showed no cytotoxicity to and slightly stimulated the proliferation of pre-osteoblasts. The cells cultured in 100% BMG extracts exhibited lower alkaline phosphatase activity as compared with that in negative control, which could be mainly ascribed to the inhibition of high concentrations of Zn ions on cell differentiation. With decreasing the extract concentration, the inhibitory effect was diminished and the 5% BMG extract exhibited slight stimulation in cell differentiation and mineralization. The high corrosion resistance of BMGs contributed to smaller environmental variations, compared with AZ31B alloy, thus lowering the unfavorable influences on cellular responses. A comparison among the biodegradable Mg-, Ca- and Sr-based BMGs for their biomedical applications is presented. PMID:27524063

  20. Avian community responses to variability in river hydrology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Royan, Alexander; Hannah, David M; Reynolds, S James; Noble, David G; Sadler, Jonathan P

    2013-01-01

    River flow is a major driver of morphological structure and community dynamics in riverine-floodplain ecosystems. Flow influences in-stream communities through changes in water velocity, depth, temperature, turbidity and nutrient fluxes, and perturbations in the organisation of lower trophic levels are cascaded through the food web, resulting in shifts in food availability for consumer species. River birds are sensitive to spatial and phenological mismatches with aquatic prey following flow disturbances; however, the role of flow as a determinant of riparian ecological structure remains poorly known. This knowledge is crucial to help to predict if, and how, riparian communities will be influenced by climate-induced changes in river flow characterised by more extreme high (i.e. flood) and/or low (i.e. drought) flow events. Here, we combine national-scale datasets of river bird surveys and river flow archives to understand how hydrological disturbance has affected the distribution of riparian species at higher trophic levels. Data were analysed for 71 river locations using a Generalized Additive Model framework and a model averaging procedure. Species had complex but biologically interpretable associations with hydrological indices, with species' responses consistent with their ecology, indicating that hydrological-disturbance has implications for higher trophic levels in riparian food webs. Our quantitative analysis of river flow-bird relationships demonstrates the potential vulnerability of riparian species to the impacts of changing flow variability and represents an important contribution in helping to understand how bird communities might respond to a climate change-induced increase in the intensity of floods and droughts. Moreover, the success in relating parameters of river flow variability to species' distributions highlights the need to include river flow data in climate change impact models of species' distributions.

  1. Avian community responses to variability in river hydrology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Royan

    Full Text Available River flow is a major driver of morphological structure and community dynamics in riverine-floodplain ecosystems. Flow influences in-stream communities through changes in water velocity, depth, temperature, turbidity and nutrient fluxes, and perturbations in the organisation of lower trophic levels are cascaded through the food web, resulting in shifts in food availability for consumer species. River birds are sensitive to spatial and phenological mismatches with aquatic prey following flow disturbances; however, the role of flow as a determinant of riparian ecological structure remains poorly known. This knowledge is crucial to help to predict if, and how, riparian communities will be influenced by climate-induced changes in river flow characterised by more extreme high (i.e. flood and/or low (i.e. drought flow events. Here, we combine national-scale datasets of river bird surveys and river flow archives to understand how hydrological disturbance has affected the distribution of riparian species at higher trophic levels. Data were analysed for 71 river locations using a Generalized Additive Model framework and a model averaging procedure. Species had complex but biologically interpretable associations with hydrological indices, with species' responses consistent with their ecology, indicating that hydrological-disturbance has implications for higher trophic levels in riparian food webs. Our quantitative analysis of river flow-bird relationships demonstrates the potential vulnerability of riparian species to the impacts of changing flow variability and represents an important contribution in helping to understand how bird communities might respond to a climate change-induced increase in the intensity of floods and droughts. Moreover, the success in relating parameters of river flow variability to species' distributions highlights the need to include river flow data in climate change impact models of species' distributions.

  2. Synthesis and click chemistry of a new class of biodegradable polylactide towards tunable thermo-responsive biomaterials†

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Quanxuan; Ren, Hong; Baker, Gregory L.

    2015-01-01

    A new class of clickable and biodegradable polylactide was designed and prepared via bulk polymerization of 3,6-dipropargyloxymethyl-1,4-dioxane-2,5-dione (1) which was synthesized from easily accessible propargyloxylactic acid (5). A homopolymer of 1 and random copolymer of 1 with l-lactide were obtained as amorphous materials and exhibit low Tg of 8.5 and 34 °C, respectively, indicating their promising potentials for biomedical applications. The statistical nature of random copolymers was i...

  3. Global Response to Tropical Diabatic Heating Variability in Boreal Winter

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Xu; Hai LIN; JIANG Jing

    2012-01-01

    Global teleconnections associated with tropical convective activities were investigated,based on monthly data of 29 Northern Hemisphere winters:December,January,February,and March (DJFM).First,EOF analyses were performed on the outgoing long-wave radiation (OLR) data to characterize the convective activity variability in the tropical Indian Ocean and the western Pacific.The first EOF mode of the convective activity was highly correlated with the ENSO.The second EOF mode had an east-west dipole structure,and the third EOF mode had three convective activity centers.Two distinct teleconnection patterns were identified that were associated,respectively,with the second and third EOF modes. A global primitive equation model was used to investigate the physical mechanism that causes the global circulation anomalies.The model responses to anomalous tropical thermal forcings that mimic the EOF patterns matched the general features of the observed circulation anomalies well,and they were mainly controlled by linear processes.The importance of convective activities in the tropical Indian Ocean and western Pacific to the extended- and long-range forecasting capability in the extratropics is discussed.

  4. Pavement Response to Variable Tyre Pressure of Heavy Vehicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arshad Ahmad Kamil

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, the effect of overinflated tyre pressure and increased heavy vehicles’ axle load on flexible pavements has become a subject of great concern because of the higher stress levels induced and damage caused to road pavements. This paper aims to evaluate the effect of variable tyre inflation pressures (using actual tyre contact/footprint area to determine the responses of flexible pavement. A full scale experiment was conducted on a heavy vehicle with 1:1:2 axle configuration, 10 R 20 tyre size and attached trailer with constant axle load. Measurements were made for actual tyre-pavement contact area. KENPAVE linear elastic program was then used to analyse the effects of the measured actual tyre-pavement contact area and the results was compared using conventional circular tyre contact area. A comparative analysis was then made between the actual contact area and the conventional circular tyre contact area. It was found that high tyre inflation pressure produce smaller contact area, giving more detrimental effect on the flexible pavement. It was also found that the temperature of tyres when the heavy vehicles are operational give less significant impact on tyre inflation pressure for the Malaysian climate.

  5. Long-term sustained release of salicylic acid from cross-linked biodegradable polyester induces a reduced foreign body response in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandorkar, Yashoda; Bhaskar, Nitu; Madras, Giridhar; Basu, Bikramjit

    2015-02-01

    There has been a continuous surge toward developing new biopolymers that exhibit better in vivo biocompatibility properties in terms of demonstrating a reduced foreign body response (FBR). One approach to mitigate the undesired FBR is to develop an implant capable of releasing anti-inflammatory molecules in a sustained manner over a long time period. Implants causing inflammation are also more susceptible to infection. In this article, the in vivo biocompatibility of a novel, biodegradable salicylic acid releasing polyester (SAP) has been investigated by subcutaneous implantation in a mouse model. The tissue response to SAP was compared with that of a widely used biodegradable polymer, poly(lactic acid-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA), as a control over three time points: 2, 4, and 16 weeks postimplantation. A long-term in vitro study illustrates a continuous, linear (zero order) release of salicylic acid with a cumulative mass percent release rate of 7.34 × 10(-4) h(-1) over ∼1.5-17 months. On the basis of physicochemical analysis, surface erosion for SAP and bulk erosion for PLGA have been confirmed as their dominant degradation modes in vivo. On the basis of the histomorphometrical analysis of inflammatory cell densities and collagen distribution as well as quantification of proinflammatory cytokine levels (TNF-α and IL-1β), a reduced foreign body response toward SAP with respect to that generated by PLGA has been unambiguously established. The favorable in vivo tissue response to SAP, as manifest from the uniform and well-vascularized encapsulation around the implant, is consistent with the decrease in inflammatory cell density and increase in angiogenesis with time. The above observations, together with the demonstration of long-term and sustained release of salicylic acid, establish the potential use of SAP for applications in improved matrices for tissue engineering and chronic wound healing.

  6. Response of the bacterial community associated with a cosmopolitan marine diatom to crude oil shows a preference for the biodegradation of aromatic hydrocarbons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishamandani, Sara; Gutierrez, Tony; Berry, David; Aitken, Michael D

    2016-06-01

    Emerging evidence shows that hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria (HCB) may be commonly found associated with phytoplankton in the ocean, but the ecology of these bacteria and how they respond to crude oil remains poorly understood. Here, we used a natural diatom-bacterial assemblage to investigate the diversity and response of HCB associated with a cosmopolitan marine diatom, Skeletonema costatum, to crude oil. Pyrosequencing analysis and qPCR revealed a dramatic transition in the diatom-associated bacterial community, defined initially by a short-lived bloom of Methylophaga (putative oil degraders) that was subsequently succeeded by distinct groups of HCB (Marinobacter, Polycyclovorans, Arenibacter, Parvibaculum, Roseobacter clade), including putative novel phyla, as well as other groups with previously unqualified oil-degrading potential. Interestingly, these oil-enriched organisms contributed to the apparent and exclusive biodegradation of substituted and non-substituted polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), thereby suggesting that the HCB community associated with the diatom is tuned to specializing in the degradation of PAHs. Furthermore, the formation of marine oil snow (MOS) in oil-amended incubations was consistent with its formation during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This work highlights the phycosphere of phytoplankton as an underexplored biotope in the ocean where HCB may contribute importantly to the biodegradation of hydrocarbon contaminants in marine surface waters. PMID:26184578

  7. Proceedings of biodegradation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This book contains the proceedings of Biodegradation. Topics include:biodegradation using the tools of biotechnology, basic science aspects of biodegradation, the physiological characteristics of microorganisms, the use of selective techniques that enhance the process of microbial evolution of biodegradative genes in nature, the genetic characteristics of microorganisms allowing them to biodegrade both natural and synthetic toxic chemicals, the molecular techniques that allow selective assembly of genetic segments form a variety of bacterial strains to a single strain, and methods needed to advance biodegradation research as well as the high-priority chemical problems important to the Department of Defense or to the chemical industry

  8. Biodegradation of C.I. Acid Blue 92 by Nasturtium officinale: Study of Some Physiological Responses and Metabolic Fate of Dye.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torbati, S; Movafeghi, A; Khataee, A R

    2015-01-01

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the potential of aquatic vascular plant, Nasturtium officinale, for degradation of C.I. Acid Blue 92 (AB92). The effect of operational parameters such as initial dye concentration, plant biomass, pH, and temperature on the efficiency of biological decolorization process was determined. The reusability of the plant in long term repetitive operations confirmed the biological degradation process. The by-products formed during biodegradation process were identified by GC-MS technique. The effects of the dye on several plant physiological responses such as photosynthetic pigments content and antioxidant enzymes activity were investigated. The content of chlorophyll and carotenoids was significantly reduced at 20 mg/L of the dye. The activities of superoxide dismutase and peroxidase were remarkably increased in the plant root verifying their importance in plant tolerance to the dye contamination.

  9. Cropping frequency and area response to climate variability can exceed yield response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohn, Avery S.; Vanwey, Leah K.; Spera, Stephanie A.; Mustard, John F.

    2016-06-01

    The sensitivity of agricultural output to climate change has often been estimated by modelling crop yields under climate change scenarios or with statistical analysis of the impacts of year-to-year climatic variability on crop yields. However, the area of cropland and the number of crops harvested per growing season (cropping frequency) both also affect agricultural output and both also show sensitivity to climate variability and change. We model the change in agricultural output associated with the response of crop yield, crop frequency and crop area to year-to-year climate variability in Mato Grosso (MT), Brazil, a key agricultural region. Roughly 70% of the change in agricultural output caused by climate was determined by changes in frequency and/or changes in area. Hot and wet conditions were associated with the largest losses and cool and dry conditions with the largest gains. All frequency and area effects had the same sign as total effects, but this was not always the case for yield effects. A focus on yields alone may therefore bias assessments of the vulnerability of agriculture to climate change. Efforts to reduce climate impacts to agriculture should seek to limit production losses not only from crop yield, but also from changes in cropland area and cropping frequency.

  10. Phyllosphere yeasts rapidly break down biodegradable plastics

    OpenAIRE

    Kitamoto, Hiroko K.; Shinozaki, Yukiko; Cao, Xiao-hong; Morita, Tomotake; Konishi, Masaaki; Tago, Kanako; Kajiwara, Hideyuki; Koitabashi, Motoo; Yoshida, Shigenobu; Watanabe, Takashi; Sameshima-Yamashita, Yuka; Nakajima-Kambe, Toshiaki; Tsushima, Seiya

    2011-01-01

    The use of biodegradable plastics can reduce the accumulation of environmentally persistent plastic wastes. The rate of degradation of biodegradable plastics depends on environmental conditions and is highly variable. Techniques for achieving more consistent degradation are needed. However, only a few microorganisms involved in the degradation process have been isolated so far from the environment. Here, we show that Pseudozyma spp. yeasts, which are common in the phyllosphere and are easily ...

  11. Increasing Response Variability of Mand Frames with Script Training and Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betz, Alison M.; Higbee, Thomas S.; Kelley, Kristen N.; Sellers, Tyra P.; Pollard, Joy S.

    2011-01-01

    Children with autism often demonstrate less variable behavior than their typically developing peers and those with other cognitive disabilities. A possible reason for lack of response variability emitted by children with autism is that they do not have a variety of response forms in their repertoire. Multiple-exemplar training through the use of…

  12. Nanostructure controlled sustained delivery of human growth hormone using injectable, biodegradable, pH/temperature responsive nanobiohybrid hydrogel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Narendra K.; Nguyen, Quang Vinh; Kim, Bong Sup; Lee, Doo Sung

    2015-02-01

    The clinical efficacy of a therapeutic protein, the human growth hormone (hGH), is limited by its short plasma half-life and premature degradation. To overcome this limitation, we proposed a new protein delivery system by the self-assembly and intercalation of a negatively charged hGH onto a positively charged 2D-layered double hydroxide nanoparticle (LDH). The LDH-hGH ionic complex, with an average particle size of approximately 100 nm, retards hGH diffusion. Nanobiohybrid hydrogels (PAEU/LDH-hGH) were prepared by dispersing the LDH-hGH complex into a cationic pH- and temperature-sensitive injectable PAEU copolymer hydrogel to enhance sustained hGH release by dual ionic interactions. Biodegradable copolymer hydrogels comprising poly(β-amino ester urethane) and triblock poly(ε-caprolactone-lactide)-poly(ethylene glycol)-poly-(ε-caprolactone-lactide) (PCLA-PEG-PCLA) were synthesized and characterized. hGH was self-assembled and intercalated onto layered LDH nanoparticles through an anion exchange technique. X-ray diffraction and zeta potential results showed that the LDH-hGH complex was prepared successfully and that the PAEU/LDH-hGH nanobiohybrid hydrogel had a disordered intercalated nanostructure. The biocompatibility of the nanobiohybrid hydrogel was confirmed by an in vitro cytotoxicity test. The in vivo degradation of pure PAEU and its nanobiohybrid hydrogels was investigated and it showed a controlled degradation of the PAEU/LDH nanobiohybrids compared with the pristine PAEU copolymer hydrogel. The LDH-hGH loaded injectable hydrogels suppressed the initial burst release of hGH and extended the release period for 13 days in vitro and 5 days in vivo. The developed nanohybrid hydrogel has the potential for application as a protein carrier to improve patient compliance.The clinical efficacy of a therapeutic protein, the human growth hormone (hGH), is limited by its short plasma half-life and premature degradation. To overcome this limitation, we proposed a new

  13. Microbial community evolution during simulated managed aquifer recharge in response to different biodegradable dissolved organic carbon (BDOC) concentrations

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Dong

    2013-05-01

    This study investigates the evolution of the microbial community in laboratory-scale soil columns simulating the infiltration zone of managed aquifer recharge (MAR) systems and analogous natural aquifer sediment ecosystems. Parallel systems were supplemented with either moderate (1.1 mg/L) or low (0.5 mg/L) biodegradable dissolved organic carbon (BDOC) for a period of six months during which time, spatial (1 cm, 30 cm, 60 cm, 90 cm, and 120 cm) and temporal (monthly) analyses of sediment-associated microbial community structure were analyzed. Total microbial biomass associated with sediments was positively correlated with BDOC concentration where a significant decline in BDOC was observed along the column length. Analysis of 16S rRNA genes indicated dominance by Bacteria with Archaea comprising less than 1 percent of the total community. Proteobacteria was found to be the major phylum in samples from all column depths with contributions from Betaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria. Microbial community structure at all the phylum, class and genus levels differed significantly at 1 cm between columns receiving moderate and low BDOC concentrations; in contrast strong similarities were observed both between parallel column systems and across samples from 30 to 120 cm depths. Samples from 1 cm depth of the low BDOC columns exhibited higher microbial diversity (expressed as Shannon Index) than those at 1 cm of moderate BDOC columns, and both increased from 5.4 to 5.9 at 1 cm depth to 6.7-8.3 at 30-120 cm depths. The microbial community structure reached steady state after 3-4 months since the initiation of the experiment, which also resulted in an improved DOC removal during the same time period. This study suggested that BDOC could significantly influence microbial community structure regarding both composition and diversity of artificial MAR systems and analogous natural aquifer sediment ecosystems. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  14. Response variability and reliability of systems with uncertain material property

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study clearly shows that when the spatially varying bending flexibility is assumed to be a stochastic field, the beam response also constitutes the inhomogeneous stochastic field, and 'a reliability as a member' can exactly be evaluated by means of the classical first excursion theory. Although this study is very preliminary, it can help us to understand the response behavior of stochastic systems and also can give us a useful insight to estimating the reliability as a structural member. (author)

  15. Pharmacometabolomics Reveals That Serotonin Is Implicated in Aspirin Response Variability

    OpenAIRE

    Ellero-Simatos, S; Lewis, JP; Georgiades, A; Yerges-Armstrong, LM; Beitelshees, AL; Horenstein, RB; Dane, A.; Harms, AC; Ramaker, R; Vreeken, RJ; Perry, CG; Zhu, H.; Sanchez, CL; Kühn, C.; ORTEL, TL

    2014-01-01

    While aspirin is generally effective for prevention of cardiovascular disease, considerable variation in drug response exists, resulting in some individuals displaying high on-treatment platelet reactivity. We used pharmacometabolomics to define pathways implicated in variation of response to treatment. We profiled serum samples from healthy subjects pre- and postaspirin (14 days, 81 mg/day) using mass spectrometry. We established a strong signature of aspirin exposure independent ...

  16. Genetic variability and molecular responses of root penetration in cotton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klueva; Joshi; Joshi; Wester; Zartman; Cantrell; Nguyen

    2000-06-12

    Compacted soils restrict root penetration hindering productivity. In this paper, genetic variability of cotton (Gossipium spp.) root capacity to penetrate hard soil layers and the patterns of gene expression during penetration event were investigated. To mimic hard soil layers, wax-petrolatum mixtures were used. Genetic variability among 27 cotton genotypes for the root capacity to penetrate wax-petrolatum disks of 500-700 g wax/kg of mixture was high indicating that breeding efforts targeted to improve this trait can be successful. In the root tips of a cotton strain with high root penetrating ability (G. hirsutum HS 200) which penetrated through wax-petrolatum disks (P), quantity of four polypeptides with molecular weights 35-66 kDa increased compared to those root tips which grew in the absence of mechanical impedance (NP). Differential display showed significant differences in the sets of mRNA expressed in P and NP roots. Out of a total of 917 cDNAs scored in the differential display experiment, 118 cDNAs, or 13%, were specific to P roots and hence could be associated with the root penetration event. Further detailed study of gene expression in penetrated roots will pinpoint molecular factors involved in root penetration ability in cotton. PMID:10773338

  17. Historical Temperature Variability Affects Coral Response to Heat Stress

    OpenAIRE

    Jessica Carilli; Donner, Simon D.; Hartmann, Aaron C.

    2012-01-01

    Coral bleaching is the breakdown of symbiosis between coral animal hosts and their dinoflagellate algae symbionts in response to environmental stress. On large spatial scales, heat stress is the most common factor causing bleaching, which is predicted to increase in frequency and severity as the climate warms. There is evidence that the temperature threshold at which bleaching occurs varies with local environmental conditions and background climate conditions. We investigated the influence of...

  18. Glacier response to North Atlantic climate variability during the Holocene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. L. Balascio

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Small glaciers and ice caps respond rapidly to climate variations and records of their past extent provide information on the natural envelope of past climate variability. Millennial-scale trends in Holocene glacier size are well documented and correspond with changes in Northern Hemisphere summer insolation. However, there is only sparse and fragmentary evidence for higher frequency variations in glacier size because in many Northern Hemisphere regions glacier advances of the past few hundred years were the most extensive and destroyed the geomorphic evidence of ice growth and retreat during the past several thousand years. Thus, most glacier records have been of limited use for investigating centennial scale climate forcing and feedback mechanisms. Here we report a continuous record of glacier activity for the last 9.5 ka from southeast Greenland, derived from high-resolution measurements on a proglacial lake sediment sequence. Physical and geochemical parameters show that the glaciers responded to previously documented Northern Hemisphere climatic excursions, including the "8.2 ka" cooling event, the Holocene Thermal Maximum, Neoglacial cooling, and 20th Century warming. In addition, the sediments indicate centennial-scale oscillations in glacier size during the late Holocene. Beginning at 4.1 ka, a series of abrupt glacier advances occurred, each lasting ~100 years and followed by a period of retreat, that were superimposed on a gradual trend toward larger glacier size. Thus, while declining summer insolation caused long-term cooling and glacier expansions during the late Holocene, climate system dynamics resulted in repeated episodes of glacier expansion and retreat on multi-decadal to centennial timescales. These episodes coincided with ice rafting events in the North Atlantic Ocean and periods of regional ice cap expansion, which confirms their regional significance and indicates that considerable glacier activity on these timescales is a

  19. Biodegradation of butachlor by Rhodococcus sp. strain B1 and purification of its hydrolase (ChlH) responsible for N-dealkylation of chloroacetamide herbicides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hong-Ming; Cao, Li; Lu, Peng; Ni, Haiyan; Li, Yun-Xiang; Yan, Xin; Hong, Qing; Li, Shun-Peng

    2012-12-19

    Rhodococcus sp. strain B1 could degrade 100 mg/L butachlor within 5 days. Butachlor was first hydrolyzed by strain B1 through N-dealkylation, which resulted in the production of butoxymethanol and 2-chloro-N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl)acetamide. Butoxymethanol could be further degraded and utilized as the carbon source for the growth of strain B1, whereas 2-chloro-N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl)acetamide could not be degraded further. The hydrolase designated ChlH, responsible for the N-dealkylation of the side chain of butachlor, was purified 185.1-fold to homogeneity with 16.1% recovery. The optimal pH and temperature of ChlH were observed to be 7.0-7.5 and 30 °C, respectively. This enzyme was also able to catalyze the N-dealkylation of other chloroacetamide herbicides; the catalytic efficiency followed the order alachlor > acetochlor >butachlor > pretilachlor, which indicated that the alkyl chain length influenced the N-dealkylation of the chloroacetamide herbicides. This is the first report on the biodegradation of chloroacetamide herbicides at the enzyme level.

  20. Capturing the dynamics of response variability in the brain in ADHD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janna van Belle

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available ADHD is characterized by increased intra-individual variability in response times during the performance of cognitive tasks. However, little is known about developmental changes in intra-individual variability, and how these changes relate to cognitive performance. Twenty subjects with ADHD aged 7–24 years and 20 age-matched, typically developing controls participated in an fMRI-scan while they performed a go-no-go task. We fit an ex-Gaussian distribution on the response distribution to objectively separate extremely slow responses, related to lapses of attention, from variability on fast responses. We assessed developmental changes in these intra-individual variability measures, and investigated their relation to no-go performance. Results show that the ex-Gaussian measures were better predictors of no-go performance than traditional measures of reaction time. Furthermore, we found between-group differences in the change in ex-Gaussian parameters with age, and their relation to task performance: subjects with ADHD showed age-related decreases in their variability on fast responses (sigma, but not in lapses of attention (tau, whereas control subjects showed a decrease in both measures of variability. For control subjects, but not subjects with ADHD, this age-related reduction in variability was predictive of task performance. This group difference was reflected in neural activation: for typically developing subjects, the age-related decrease in intra-individual variability on fast responses (sigma predicted activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate gyrus (dACG, whereas for subjects with ADHD, activity in this region was related to improved no-go performance with age, but not to intra-individual variability. These data show that using more sophisticated measures of intra-individual variability allows the capturing of the dynamics of task performance and associated neural changes not permitted by more traditional measures.

  1. Variable Selection for Varying-Coefficient Models with Missing Response at Random

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Pei Xin ZHAO; Liu Gen XUE

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, we present a variable selection procedure by combining basis function approximations with penalized estimating equations for varying-coefficient models with missing response at random. With appropriate selection of the tuning parameters, we establish the consistency of the variable selection procedure and the optimal convergence rate of the regularized estimators. A simulation study is undertaken to assess the finite sample performance of the proposed variable selection procedure.

  2. Short term variability in FEV1 and bronchodilator responsiveness in patients with obstructive ventilatory defects.

    OpenAIRE

    Tweeddale, P M; Alexander, F.; McHardy, G J

    1987-01-01

    Short term variability in FEV1 and responsiveness to inhaled bronchodilator were measured in 150 patients with obstructive ventilatory defects. The range of initial FEV1 was 0.5-4.71 and the natural variability over a 20 minute period when expressed in absolute terms was similar over the entire range, and differed insignificantly from that found in normal subjects. The increase in FEV1 and vital capacity (VC) required to exclude natural variability with 95% confidence in these patients was 16...

  3. Testing bronchial hyper-responsiveness: provocation or peak expiratory flow variability?

    OpenAIRE

    Otter, J.J. den; Reijnen, G.M.W.; Bosch, W.J.H.M. van den; van Schayck, C. P.; Molema, J.; van Weel, C

    1997-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Assessing bronchial hyper-responsiveness (BHR) is a main diagnostic criterion of asthma. Provocation testing is not readily available in general practice, but peak expiratory flow (PEF) is. Several guidelines promote the use of PEF variability as a diagnostic tool for BHR. This study tested the agreement between histamine challenge testing and PEF variability, and the consequences for diagnosing asthma. AIM: To investigate the possibility of assessing BHR by PEF variability, using...

  4. RELATION BETWEEN BACKGROUND VARIABLES, VALUES AND CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria del Rosario González-Rodriguez

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Consumer perception of corporate social responsibility (CSR can be directly influenced by individual value structures. This research aims to provide new knowledge regarding the relationship between basic human values and the public’s perception of CSR. It focuses on the values of higher education students and their views regarding a particular corporate social initiative. The study reveals that social, educational, and economic circumstances influence human values. Those values in turn influence why different students perceive CSR differently. These findings are relevant to companies as they provide a more detailed understanding of why certain consumer groups perceive certain CSR initiatives the way that they do. They also suggest that universities should increase their awareness of the importance of integrating human values and CSR in the curricula of future business managers and social leaders.

  5. A Composite Likelihood Inference in Latent Variable Models for Ordinal Longitudinal Responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasdekis, Vassilis G. S.; Cagnone, Silvia; Moustaki, Irini

    2012-01-01

    The paper proposes a composite likelihood estimation approach that uses bivariate instead of multivariate marginal probabilities for ordinal longitudinal responses using a latent variable model. The model considers time-dependent latent variables and item-specific random effects to be accountable for the interdependencies of the multivariate…

  6. A latent class distance association model for cross-classified data with a categorical response variable

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vera, J.F.; Rooij, M. de; Heiser, W.J.

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we propose a latent class distance association model for clustering in the predictor space of large contingency tables with a categorical response variable. The rows of such a table are characterized as profiles of a set of explanatory variables, while the columns represent a single ou

  7. Biodegradability of Plastics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yutaka Tokiwa

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Plastic is a broad name given to different polymers with high molecular weight, which can be degraded by various processes. However, considering their abundance in the environment and their specificity in attacking plastics, biodegradation of plastics by microorganisms and enzymes seems to be the most effective process. When plastics are used as substrates for microorganisms, evaluation of their biodegradability should not only be based on their chemical structure, but also on their physical properties (melting point, glass transition temperature, crystallinity, storage modulus etc.. In this review, microbial and enzymatic biodegradation of plastics and some factors that affect their biodegradability are discussed.

  8. EXAMINATION OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PERCEPTION OF EMPLOYEES IN TERMS OF DEMOGRAPHIC VARIABLES

    OpenAIRE

    DEMİR, Rıza; TÜRKMEN, Erman

    2015-01-01

    Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can be defined as operating the organizations responsibly to internal and external environment. In the early 1980’s, CRS used to mean to manage activities of organizations without detriment to parties such as shareholders, employees, consumers and society, now it includes ethical and discretionary (philanthropic) responsibilities. This study aims to examine the perception of employees about corporate social responsibility in terms of demographic variables...

  9. Plant response to nutrient availability across variable bedrock geologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castle, S.C.; Neff, J.C.

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the role of rock-derived mineral nutrient availability on the nutrient dynamics of overlying forest communities (Populus tremuloides and Picea engelmanni-Abies lasiocarpa v. arizonica) across three parent materials (andesite, limestone, and sandstone) in the southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Broad geochemical differences were observed between bedrock materials; however, bulk soil chemistries were remarkably similar between the three different sites. In contrast, soil nutrient pools were considerably different, particularly for P, Ca, and Mg concentrations. Despite variations in nutrient stocks and nutrient availability in soils, we observed relatively inflexible foliar concentrations and foliar stoichiometries for both deciduous and coniferous species. Foliar nutrient resorption (P and K) in the deciduous species followed patterns of nutrient content across substrate types, with higher resorption corresponding to lower bedrock concentrations. Work presented here indicates a complex plant response to available soil nutrients, wherein plant nutrient use compensates for variations in supply gradients and results in the maintenance of a narrow range in foliar stoichiometry. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  10. Nile Delta vegetation response to Holocene climate variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernhardt, Christopher E.; Horton, Benjamin P.; Stanley, Jean-Daniel

    2012-01-01

    A 7000 yr palynologic record from Burullus Lagoon, Nile Delta, Egypt, is assessed to investigate changes in terrestrial vegetation in response to Nile flow. Previous studies in this region have shown that sea-level rise in the early to mid-Holocene, and markedly increased human land use during the past several centuries, altered vegetation in and around the lagoon. The pollen record from this study documents changes in delta vegetation that likely reflect variations in Nile flow. We suggest that Cyperaceae pollen is a sensitive marker of precipitation over the Nile headwaters and the resultant Nile flow. Decreases in Cyperaceae pollen, interpreted as a marker for diminished Nile flow, as well as the increase in relative abundance of microscopic charcoal, occurred at ca. 6000–5500, ca. 5000, ca. 4200, and ca. 3000 cal. yr B.P. (calibrated years before present). These correspond to extreme regional and global aridity events associated with a more southerly mean position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone. These changes, also recorded by other proxy studies, indicate that several marked regional drought events affected the Nile Delta region and impacted ancient Egyptian and Middle Eastern civilizations.

  11. Variable linesource response in attenuation corrected cardiac SPECT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full text: Varying line source response can result in errors due to the reference scan being inappropriate. The incidence of this problem and its effect on cardiac perfusion SPECT was investigated. Acquisitions of transmission data without the bed or a patient were used to determine the variation in global sensitivity and uniformity of the transmission with respect to camera position over a period of 4 months. The average variations for various parameters were: Influence of variations in regional sensitivity on the reconstructed attenuation map and ultimately the patient study was investigated. Counts in selected sections of patient transmission images were reduced by 5 to 30 percent and then reconstructed in the patient study with iterative reconstruction for 30 iterations (Butterworth 0.66 nyquist frequency order 10). The reconstructed scans were compared to the original study which had minimal linesource misalignment and the percentage differences were calculated to determine the effect of regional sensitivity differences with angle. At the level of variation of regional sensitivity (5-10%) it was found data varied by up to 20% in portions of the patient myocardium compared to the original data. Additional line source quality control is essential and variation in transmission counts with rotation minimised. Copyright (2002) The Australian and New Zealand Society of Nuclear Medicine Inc

  12. Stimuli-responsive protamine-based biodegradable nanocapsules for enhanced bioavailability and intracellular delivery of anticancer agents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Radhakrishnan, Krishna; Thomas, Midhun B.; Pulakkat, Sreeranjini [Indian Institute of Science, Department of Materials Engineering (India); Gnanadhas, Divya P.; Chakravortty, Dipshikha [Indian Institute of Science, Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology (India); Raichur, Ashok M., E-mail: amr@materials.iisc.ernet.in [Indian Institute of Science, Department of Materials Engineering (India)

    2015-08-15

    Enzyme- and pH-responsive polyelectrolyte nanocapsules having diameters in the range of 200 ± 20 nm were fabricated by means of Layer-by-Layer assembly of biopolymers, protamine, and heparin, and then loaded with anticancer drug doxorubicin. The incorporation of the FDA-approved peptide drug protamine as a wall component rendered the capsules responsive to enzyme stimuli. The stimuli-responsive drug release from these nanocapsules was evaluated, and further modulation of capsule permeability to avoid premature release was demonstrated by crosslinking the wall components. The interaction of the nanocapsules with cancer cells was studied using MCF-7 breast cancer cells. These capsules were readily internalized and disintegrated inside the cells, culminating in the release of the loaded doxorubicin and subsequent cell death as observed by confocal microscopy and MTT Assay. The bioavailability studies performed using BALB/c mice revealed that the encapsulated doxorubicin exhibited enhanced bioavailability compared to free doxorubicin. Our results indicate that this stimuli-responsive system fabricated from clinically used FDA-approved molecules and exhibiting minimal premature release has great potential for drug-delivery applications.

  13. Variable Selection for Semiparametric Varying-Coefficient Partially Linear Models with Missing Response at Random

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Pei Xin ZHAO; Liu Gen XUE

    2011-01-01

    In this paper,we present a variable selection procedure by combining basis function approximations with penalized estimating equations for semiparametric varying-coefficient partially linear models with missing response at random.The proposed procedure simultaneously selects significant variables in parametric components and nonparametric components.With appropriate selection of the tuning parameters,we establish the consistency of the variable selection procedure and the convergence rate of the regularized estimators.A simulation study is undertaken to assess the finite sample performance of the proposed variable selection procedure.

  14. Variability in Automated Responses of Commercial Buildings and Industrial Facilities to Dynamic Electricity Prices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mathieu, Johanna L.; Callaway, Duncan S.; Kiliccote, Sila

    2011-08-16

    Changes in the electricity consumption of commercial buildings and industrial facilities (C&I facilities) during Demand Response (DR) events are usually estimated using counterfactual baseline models. Model error makes it difficult to precisely quantify these changes in consumption and understand if C&I facilities exhibit event-to-event variability in their response to DR signals. This paper seeks to understand baseline model error and DR variability in C&I facilities facing dynamic electricity prices. Using a regression-based baseline model, we present a method to compute the error associated with estimates of several DR parameters. We also develop a metric to determine how much observed DR variability results from baseline model error rather than real variability in response. We analyze 38 C&I facilities participating in an automated DR program and find that DR parameter errors are large. Though some facilities exhibit real DR variability, most observed variability results from baseline model error. Therefore, facilities with variable DR parameters may actually respond consistently from event to event. Consequently, in DR programs in which repeatability is valued, individual buildings may be performing better than previously thought. In some cases, however, aggregations of C&I facilities exhibit real DR variability, which could create challenges for power system operation.

  15. Response stability and variability induced in humans by different feedback contingenies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maes, J.H.R.

    2003-01-01

    In two experiments, the behavioral effects of different response-feedback contingencies were examined with a task requiring human subjects to repeatedly type three-key sequences on a computer keyboard. In Experiment 1, the subjects first received positive feedback for response variability, followed

  16. Factors influencing crude oil biodegradation by Yarrowia lipolytica

    OpenAIRE

    Tatiana Felix Ferreira; Maria Alice Zarur Coelho; Maria Helena Miguez da Rocha-Leão

    2012-01-01

    Yarrowia lipolytica is unique strictly aerobic yeast with the ability to efficiently degrade hydrophobic substrates such as n-alkenes, fatty acids, glycerol and oils. In the present work, a 2(4) full factorial design was used to investigate the influence of the independent variables of temperature, agitation, initial cell concentration and initial petroleum concentration on crude oil biodegradation. The results showed that all variables studied had significant effects on the biodegradation pr...

  17. Amplitude variability over trials in hemodynamic responses in adolescents with ADHD

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, L; Eichele, T; van Wageningen, H;

    2016-01-01

    variable response times. In this study, we asked whether ADHD IIV in reaction time on a commonly-used test of attention might be related to variation in hemodynamic responses (HRs) observed trial-to-trial. Based on previous studies linking IIV to regions within the "default mode" network (DMN), we...... levels were more complex. Performance IIV correlated significantly with variability of HRs in both networks. These results suggest that assessment of trial-to-trial HR variability in ADHD provides information beyond that detectable through analysis of behavioral data and average brain activation levels......It has been suggested that intra-individual variability (IIV) in performance on attention and other cognitive tasks might be a cognitive endophenotype in individuals with ADHD. Despite robust IIV findings in behavioral data, only sparse data exist on how what type of brain dysfunction underlies...

  18. A latent class distance association model for cross-classified data with a categorical response variable.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vera, José Fernando; de Rooij, Mark; Heiser, Willem J

    2014-11-01

    In this paper we propose a latent class distance association model for clustering in the predictor space of large contingency tables with a categorical response variable. The rows of such a table are characterized as profiles of a set of explanatory variables, while the columns represent a single outcome variable. In many cases such tables are sparse, with many zero entries, which makes traditional models problematic. By clustering the row profiles into a few specific classes and representing these together with the categories of the response variable in a low-dimensional Euclidean space using a distance association model, a parsimonious prediction model can be obtained. A generalized EM algorithm is proposed to estimate the model parameters and the adjusted Bayesian information criterion statistic is employed to test the number of mixture components and the dimensionality of the representation. An empirical example highlighting the advantages of the new approach and comparing it with traditional approaches is presented.

  19. Grey water biodegradability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghunmi, Lina Abu; Zeeman, Grietje; Fayyad, Manar; van Lier, Jules B

    2011-02-01

    Knowing the biodegradability characteristics of grey water constituents is imperative for a proper design and operation of a biological treatment system of grey water. This study characterizes the different COD fractions of dormitory grey water and investigates the effect of applying different conditions in the biodegradation test. The maximum aerobic and anaerobic biodegradability and conversion rate for the different COD fractions is determined. The results show that, on average, dormitory grey water COD fractions are 28% suspended, 32% colloidal and 40% dissolved. The studied factors incubation time, inoculum addition and temperature are influencing the determined biodegradability. The maximum biodegradability and biodegradation rate differ between different COD fractions, viz. COD(ss), COD(col) and COD(diss). The dissolved COD fraction is characterised by the lowest degradation rate, both for anaerobic and aerobic conditions. The maximum biodegradability for aerobic and anaerobic conditions is 86 and 70% respectively, whereas the first order conversion rate constant, k₂₀, is 0.119 and 0.005 day⁻¹, respectively. The anaerobic and aerobic conversion rates in relation to temperature can be described by the Arrhenius relation, with temperature coefficients of 1.069 and 1.099, respectively. PMID:20658309

  20. Spatial Representation and Cognitive Modulation of Response Variability in the Lateral Intraparietal Area Priority Map

    OpenAIRE

    Falkner, Annegret L.; Goldberg, Michael E.; Krishna, B. Suresh

    2013-01-01

    The lateral intraparietal area (LIP) in the macaque contains a priority-based representation of the visual scene. We previously showed that the mean spike rate of LIP neurons is strongly influenced by spatially wide-ranging surround suppression in a manner that effectively sharpens the priority map. Reducing response variability can also improve the precision of LIP's priority map. We show that when a monkey plans a visually guided delayed saccade with an intervening distractor, variability (...

  1. Transmission Shifts Underlie Variability in Population Responses to Yersinia pestis Infection

    OpenAIRE

    Buhnerkempe, Michael G; Eisen, Rebecca J.; Brandon Goodell; Gage, Kenneth L.; Antolin, Michael F.; Webb, Colleen T.

    2011-01-01

    Host populations for the plague bacterium, Yersinia pestis, are highly variable in their response to plague ranging from near deterministic extinction (i.e., epizootic dynamics) to a low probability of extinction despite persistent infection (i.e., enzootic dynamics). Much of the work to understand this variability has focused on specific host characteristics, such as population size and resistance, and their role in determining plague dynamics. Here, however, we advance the idea that the rel...

  2. Which person variables predict how people benefit from True-False over Constructed Response items?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stella Bollmann

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was the investigation of the variable Benefit from TF, which we assumed to be additionally measured when using True-False instead of Constructed Response tests. Subjects who benefit from True-False have an advantage over other subjects in answering Multiple Choice or True-False exams. We expected it to be related to partial knowledge and examined its relation to other personal abilities and traits in a total of n = 106 psychology students. They completed a statistics exam in Constructed Response and True-False format and benefit items were defined as those to which the associated constructed response answer was not correct. Additionally, verbal intelligence and Big 5 measures were obtained. Results confirm the existence of the person variable Benefit from TF and its relation to partial knowledge. Furthermore, benefiters differed from others in conscientiousness and openness to experience variables. However, contrary to expectations, they did not differ in verbal IQ.

  3. Ecological response of Cedrus atlantica to climate variability in the Massif of Guetiane (Algeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Said Slimani

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Aim of the study: The study analyzes the long-term response of Atlas cedar, Cedrus atlantica (Manneti, to climate variability. Area of study: Atlas cedar forest of Guetiane (Batna, Algeria.Material and methods: The dendrochronological approach was adopted. An Atlas cedar tree-ring chronology was established from twenty trees. The response of the species to climate variability was assessed through the pointer years (PYs, the common climate signal among the individual chronologies, expressed by the first component (PC1, the mean sensitivity (msx, and response function and correlations analysis involving the tree-ring index and climate data (monthly mean temperature and total precipitation.Results: The highest growth variability was registered from the second half of the 20th century. The lower than the mean PYs, the PC1, and the msx increased markedly during the studied period. Dramatic increases in the PC1 and msx were detected at the end of the 1970s, reflecting a shift towards drier conditions enhancing an increasing trend towards more synchronous response of trees to climate conditions. The response function and correlations analysis showed that tree growth was mainly influenced by precipitation variability.Research highlights: Our findings provide baseline knowledge concerning the ecological response of Atlas cedar to climate variability in in its southern distribution limit, where a high level of tree mortality has been observed during recent decades, coinciding with the driest period Algeria has ever experienced. This information is vital to support ongoing ecosystem management efforts in the region. Keywords: Atlas cedar; annual growth variability; dieback; dendrochronology. 

  4. Spectral Kernel Approach to Study Radiative Response of Climate Variables and Interannual Variability of Reflected Solar Spectrum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Zhonghai; Wielicki, Bruce A.; Loukachine, Constantin; Charlock, Thomas P.; Young, David; Noeel, Stefan

    2011-01-01

    The radiative kernel approach provides a simple way to separate the radiative response to different climate parameters and to decompose the feedback into radiative and climate response components. Using CERES/MODIS/Geostationary data, we calculated and analyzed the solar spectral reflectance kernels for various climate parameters on zonal, regional, and global spatial scales. The kernel linearity is tested. Errors in the kernel due to nonlinearity can vary strongly depending on climate parameter, wavelength, surface, and solar elevation; they are large in some absorption bands for some parameters but are negligible in most conditions. The spectral kernels are used to calculate the radiative responses to different climate parameter changes in different latitudes. The results show that the radiative response in high latitudes is sensitive to the coverage of snow and sea ice. The radiative response in low latitudes is contributed mainly by cloud property changes, especially cloud fraction and optical depth. The large cloud height effect is confined to absorption bands, while the cloud particle size effect is found mainly in the near infrared. The kernel approach, which is based on calculations using CERES retrievals, is then tested by direct comparison with spectral measurements from Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Cartography (SCIAMACHY) (a different instrument on a different spacecraft). The monthly mean interannual variability of spectral reflectance based on the kernel technique is consistent with satellite observations over the ocean, but not over land, where both model and data have large uncertainty. RMS errors in kernel ]derived monthly global mean reflectance over the ocean compared to observations are about 0.001, and the sampling error is likely a major component.

  5. A Sensitive and Biodegradable Pressure Sensor Array for Cardiovascular Monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutry, Clementine M; Nguyen, Amanda; Lawal, Qudus Omotayo; Chortos, Alex; Rondeau-Gagné, Simon; Bao, Zhenan

    2015-11-18

    An array of highly sensitive pressure sensors entirely made of biodegradable materials is presented, designed as a single-use flexible patch for application in cardiovascular monitoring. The high sensitivity in combination with fast response time is unprecedented when compared to recent reports on biodegradable pressure sensors (sensitivity three orders of magnitude higher), as illustrated by pulse wave velocity measurements, toward hypertension detection.

  6. Analytical Solution for Wave-Induced Response of Seabed with Variable Shear Modulus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    A plane strain analysis based on the generalized Biot's equation is utilized to investigate the wave-induced response of a poro-elastic seabed with variable shear modulus. By employing integral transform and Frobenius methods, the transient and steady solutions for the wave-induced pore water pressure, effective stresses and displacements are analytically derived in detail. Verification is available through the reduction to the simple case of homogeneous seabed. The numerical results indicate that the inclusion of variable shear modulus significantly affects the wave-induced seabed response.

  7. Variability of visual responses of superior colliculus neurons depends on stimulus velocity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mochol, Gabriela; Wójcik, Daniel K; Wypych, Marek; Wróbel, Andrzej; Waleszczyk, Wioletta J

    2010-03-01

    Visually responding neurons in the superficial, retinorecipient layers of the cat superior colliculus receive input from two primarily parallel information processing channels, Y and W, which is reflected in their velocity response profiles. We quantified the time-dependent variability of responses of these neurons to stimuli moving with different velocities by Fano factor (FF) calculated in discrete time windows. The FF for cells responding to low-velocity stimuli, thus receiving W inputs, increased with the increase in the firing rate. In contrast, the dynamics of activity of the cells responding to fast moving stimuli, processed by Y pathway, correlated negatively with FF whether the response was excitatory or suppressive. These observations were tested against several types of surrogate data. Whereas Poisson description failed to reproduce the variability of all collicular responses, the inclusion of secondary structure to the generating point process recovered most of the observed features of responses to fast moving stimuli. Neither model could reproduce the variability of low-velocity responses, which suggests that, in this case, more complex time dependencies need to be taken into account. Our results indicate that Y and W channels may differ in reliability of responses to visual stimulation. Apart from previously reported morphological and physiological differences of the cells belonging to Y and W channels, this is a new feature distinguishing these two pathways. PMID:20203179

  8. BIODEGRADABLE MICROSPHERES: A REVIEW

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaur Dupinder

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Microspheres are characteristically free flowing powders consisting of proteins or synthetic polymers having a particle size ranging from 1-1000 μm. The range of techniques for the preparation of microspheres offers a variety of opportunities to control aspects of drug administration and enhance the therapeutic efficacy of a given drug. Of the many polymeric drug delivery systems, biodegradable polymers have been used widely as drug delivery systems because of their biocompatibility and biodegradability. The majority of biodegradable polymers have been used in the form of microparticles, from which the incorporated drug is released to the environment in a controlled manner. They can be employed to deliver medication in a rate-controlled and sometimes targeted manner. Medication is released from a microsphere by drug leaching from the polymer or by degradation of the polymer matrix. This review discusses characteristics and degradation behaviors of biodegradable polymers which are currently used in drug delivery.

  9. Biodegradation of malachite green by Ochrobactrum sp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vijayalakshmidevi, S R; Muthukumar, Karuppan

    2014-02-01

    This study presents the biodegradation of malachite green (MG), a triphenylmethane dye, using a novel microorganism isolated from textile effluent contaminated environment. The organism responsible for degradation was identified as Ochrobactrum sp JN214485 by 16S rRNA analysis. The effect of operating parameters such as temperature, pH, immobilized bead loading, and initial dye concentration on % degradation was studied, and their optimal values were found to be 30 °C, 6, 20 g/L and 100 mg/L, respectively. The analysis showed that the extracellular enzymes were responsible for the degradation. The biodegradation of MG was confirmed by UV-visible spectroscopic and FTIR analysis. The phytotoxicity test concluded that the degradation products were less toxic compared to MG. The kinetics of biodegradation was studied and the activation energy was found to be 10.65 kcal/mol.

  10. Progress of biodegradable metals

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Huafang Li; Yufeng Zheng; Ling Qin

    2014-01-01

    Biodegradable metals (BMs) are metals and alloys expected to corrode gradually in vivo, with an appropriate host response elicited by released corrosion products, then dissolve completely upon fulfilling the mission to assist with tissue healing with no implant residues. In the present review article, three classes of BMs have been systematically reviewed, including Mg-based, Fe-based and Zn-based BMs. Among the three BM systems, Mg-based BMs, which now have several systems reported the successful of clinical trial results, are considered the vanguards and main force. Fe-based BMs, with pure iron and Fe–Mn based alloys as the most promising, are still on the animal test stage. Zn-based BMs, supposed to have the degradation rate between the fast Mg-based BMs and the slow Fe-based BMs, are a rising star with only several reports and need much further research. The future research and development direction for the BMs are proposed, based on the clinical requirements on controllable degradation rate, prolonged mechanical stability and excellent biocompat-ibility, by optimization of alloy composition design, regulation on microstructure and mechanical properties, and following surface modification.

  11. Progress of biodegradable metals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huafang Li

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Biodegradable metals (BMs are metals and alloys expected to corrode gradually in vivo, with an appropriate host response elicited by released corrosion products, then dissolve completely upon fulfilling the mission to assist with tissue healing with no implant residues. In the present review article, three classes of BMs have been systematically reviewed, including Mg-based, Fe-based and Zn-based BMs. Among the three BM systems, Mg-based BMs, which now have several systems reported the successful of clinical trial results, are considered the vanguards and main force. Fe-based BMs, with pure iron and Fe–Mn based alloys as the most promising, are still on the animal test stage. Zn-based BMs, supposed to have the degradation rate between the fast Mg-based BMs and the slow Fe-based BMs, are a rising star with only several reports and need much further research. The future research and development direction for the BMs are proposed, based on the clinical requirements on controllable degradation rate, prolonged mechanical stability and excellent biocompatibility, by optimization of alloy composition design, regulation on microstructure and mechanical properties, and following surface modification.

  12. Biodegradation of plastics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimao, M

    2001-06-01

    Widespread studies on the biodegradation of plastics have been carried out in order to overcome the environmental problems associated with synthetic plastic waste. Recent work has included studies of the distribution of synthetic polymer-degrading microorganisms in the environment, the isolation of new microorganisms for biodegradation, the discovery of new degradation enzymes, and the cloning of genes for synthetic polymer-degrading enzymes. PMID:11404101

  13. pH-Responsive biodegradable polymeric micelles with anchors to interface magnetic nanoparticles for MR imaging in detection of cerebral ischemic area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hong Yu; Jang, Moon-Sun; Gao, Guang Hui; Lee, Jung Hee; Lee, Doo Sung

    2016-06-01

    A novel type of pH-responsive biodegradable copolymer was developed based on methyloxy-poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly[dopamine-2-(dibutylamino) ethylamine-l-glutamate] (mPEG-b-P(DPA-DE)LG) and applied to act as an intelligent nanocarrier system for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The mPEG-b-P(DPA-DE)LG copolymer was synthesized by a typical ring opening polymerization of N-carboxyanhydrides (NCAs-ROP) using mPEG-NH2 as a macroinitiator, and two types of amine-terminated dopamine groups and pH-sensitive ligands were grafted onto a side chain by a sequential aminolysis reaction. This design greatly benefits from the addition of the dopamine groups to facilitate self-assembly, as these groups can act as high-affinity anchors for iron oxide nanoparticles, thereby increasing long-term stability at physiological pH. The mPEG moiety in the copolymers helped the nanoparticles to remain well-dispersed in an aqueous solution, and pH-responsive groups could control the release of hydrophobic Fe3O4 nanoparticles in an acidic environment. The particle size of the Fe3O4-loaded mPEG-b-P(DPA-DE)LG micelles was measured by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and cryo-TEM. The superparamagnetic properties of the Fe3O4-loaded mPEG-b-P(DPA-DE)LG micelles were confirmed by a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID). T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of Fe3O4-loaded mPEG-b-P(DPA-DE)LG phantoms exhibited enhanced negative contrast with an r2 relaxivity of approximately 106.7 mM-1 s-1. To assess the ability of the Fe3O4-loaded mPEG-P(DE-DPA)LG micelles to act as MRI probes, we utilized a cerebral ischemia disease rat model with acidic tissue. We found that a gradual change in contrast in the cerebral ischemic area could be visualized by MRI after 1 h, and maximal signal loss was detected after 24 h post-injection. These results demonstrated that the Fe3O4-loaded mPEG-b-P(DPA-DE)LG micelles can act as pH-triggered MRI probes for diagnostic imaging of acidic

  14. CRMS vegetation analytical team framework: Methods for collection, development, and use of vegetation response variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cretini, Kari F.; Visser, Jenneke M.; Krauss, Ken W.; Steyer, Gregory D.

    2011-01-01

    This document identifies the main objectives of the Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS) vegetation analytical team, which are to provide (1) collection and development methods for vegetation response variables and (2) the ways in which these response variables will be used to evaluate restoration project effectiveness. The vegetation parameters (that is, response variables) collected in CRMS and other coastal restoration projects funded under the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) are identified, and the field collection methods for these parameters are summarized. Existing knowledge on community and plant responses to changes in environmental drivers (for example, flooding and salinity) from published literature and from the CRMS and CWPPRA monitoring dataset are used to develop a suite of indices to assess wetland condition in coastal Louisiana. Two indices, the floristic quality index (FQI) and a productivity index, are described for herbaceous and forested vegetation. The FQI for herbaceous vegetation is tested with a long-term dataset from a CWPPRA marsh creation project. Example graphics for this index are provided and discussed. The other indices, an FQI for forest vegetation (that is, trees and shrubs) and productivity indices for herbaceous and forest vegetation, are proposed but not tested. New response variables may be added or current response variables removed as data become available and as our understanding of restoration success indicators develops. Once indices are fully developed, each will be used by the vegetation analytical team to assess and evaluate CRMS/CWPPRA project and program effectiveness. The vegetation analytical teams plan to summarize their results in the form of written reports and/or graphics and present these items to CRMS Federal and State sponsors, restoration project managers, landowners, and other data users for their input.

  15. Study on Short-term Variability of Ship Responses in Waves

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Ulrik Dam; Iseki, Toshio

    2015-01-01

    Short-term variability of ship responses is investigated by cross-spectrum analysis. In a steady state condition, it is well known that a certain length of sampled data is required for stable results of the spectral analysis. However, the phase lag between responses, in terms of the phase angle...... of the cross-spectra, has not been discussed in detail. Using long stationary time series, the transition of amplitudes and relative phase angles of the cross-spectra has been investigated by iterative analyzes with a few seconds of time shifting. In the results, the short-term variability of the relative...... phase angle was observed. In effect, the variability may compromise the accuracy of the wave buoy analogy....

  16. Resistance to Change and Preference for Variable versus Fixed Response Sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arantes, Joana; Berg, Mark E.; Le, Dien; Grace, Randolph C.

    2012-01-01

    In Experiment 1, 4 pigeons were trained on a multiple chain schedule in which the initial link was a variable-interval (VI) 20-s schedule signalled by a red or green center key, and terminal links required four responses made to the left (L) and/or right (R) keys. In the REPEAT component, signalled by red keylights, only LRLR terminal-link…

  17. Response-Time Variability Is Related to Parent Ratings of Inattention, Hyperactivity, and Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Guerrero, Lorena; Martin, Cristina Dominguez; Mairena, Maria Angeles; Di Martino, Adriana; Wang, Jing; Mendelsohn, Alan L.; Dreyer, Benard P.; Isquith, Peter K.; Gioia, Gerard; Petkova, Eva; Castellanos, F. Xavier

    2011-01-01

    Objective: Individuals with ADHD are often characterized as inconsistent across many contexts. ADHD is also associated with deficits in executive function. We examined the relationships between response time (RT) variability on five brief computer tasks to parents' ratings of ADHD-related features and executive function in a group of children with…

  18. A longitudinal study in youth of heart rate variability at rest and in response to stress

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, Zhibin; Snieder, Harold; Su, Shaoyong; Ding, Xiuhua; Thayer, Julian F.; Treiber, Frank A.; Wang, Xiaoling

    2009-01-01

    Background: Few longitudinal studies have examined ethnic and sex differences, predictors and tracking stabilities of heart rate variability (HRV) at rest and in response to stress in youths and young adults. Methods: Two evaluations were performed approximately 1.5 years apart on 399 youths and you

  19. Vegetation response to climate variability in India from 2001 to 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashimoto, H.; Milesi, C.; Wang, W.; Ganguly, S.; Michaelis, A.; Nemani, R.

    2011-12-01

    Food supply in India is a critical issue in sustaining a large population, and more accurate predictability of agricultural productivity is necessary for policy makers. After the Green revolution, the productivity in India has increased dramatically, but the leveling-off of the productivity was expected in the near future. Decreasing of ground water was already observed and some climate models predict a higher frequency of drought in the 21st century. For a better understanding of vegetation response to climate change, we analyzed the satellite images of India from 2001 to 2010. MODIS satellite imagery shows high spatial variability in vegetation indices in response to climate variability. In this study we scrutinize the cause and mechanism of the spatial variability in vegetation growth in India. First, we tried to find the corresponding climate variability from re-analysis data (MERRA and NCEP-NCAR reanalysis data) and satellite imagery such as TRMM, GIMMS, and MODIS, as well as interpolated climate observation data (CRU). Although the precipitation variability due to ENSO has the strongest impact on vegetation growth, the other climate variability, such as shortwave radiation, also perturbed the vegetation response to climate changes. Second, we proved our hypothesis explaining the vegetation growth trend by running the Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System (TOPS) model. The model results were compared with satellite images and showed reasonable spatial pattern of net primary production to explain the observed vegetation growth variability to climate change. Those results can contribute to a more profound understanding of the mechanism of vegetation growth in India toward future prediction in food supply.

  20. Optimization of fresh palm oil mill effluent biodegradation with Aspergillus niger and Trichoderma virens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jalaludin Noorbaizura

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In this work, response surface optimization strategy was employed to enhance the biodegradation process of fresh palm oil mill effluent (POME by Aspergillus niger and Trichoderma virens. A central composite design (CCD combined with response surface methodology (RSM were employed to study the effects of three independent variables: inoculum size (%, agitation rate (rpm and temperature (°C on the biodegradation processes and production of biosolids enriched with fungal biomass protein. The results achieved using A. niger were compared to those obtained using T. virens. The optimal conditions for the biodegradation processes in terms of total suspended solids (TSS, turbidity, chemical oxygen demand (COD, specific resistance to filtration (SRF and production of biosolids enriched with fungal biomass protein in fresh POME treated with A. niger and T. virens have been predicted by multiple response optimization and verified experimentally at 19% (v/v inoculum size, 100 rpm, 30.2°C and 5% (v/v inoculum size, 100 rpm, 33.3°C respectively. As disclosed by ANOVA and response surface plots, the effects of inoculum size and agitation rate on fresh POME treatment process by both fungal strains were significant.

  1. Population variability in biological adaptive responses to DNA damage and the shapes of carcinogen dose-response curves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carcinogen dose-response curves for both ionizing radiation and chemicals are typically assumed to be linear at environmentally relevant doses. This assumption is used to ensure protection of the public health in the absence of relevant dose-response data. A theoretical justification for the assumption has been provided by the argument that low dose linearity is expected when an exogenous agent adds to an ongoing endogenous process. Here, we use computational modeling to evaluate (1) how two biological adaptive processes, induction of DNA repair and cell cycle checkpoint control, may affect the shapes of dose-response curves for DNA-damaging carcinogens and (2) how the resulting dose-response behaviors may vary within a population. Each model incorporating an adaptive process was capable of generating not only monotonic dose-responses but also nonmonotonic (J-shaped) and threshold responses. Monte Carlo analysis suggested that all these dose-response behaviors could coexist within a population, as the spectrum of qualitative differences arose from quantitative changes in parameter values. While this analysis is largely theoretical, it suggests that (a) accurate prediction of the qualitative form of the dose-response requires a quantitative understanding of the mechanism (b) significant uncertainty is associated with human health risk prediction in the absence of such quantitative understanding and (c) a stronger experimental and regulatory focus on biological mechanisms and interindividual variability would allow flexibility in regulatory treatment of environmental carcinogens without compromising human health

  2. Inter-individual variability of stone marten behavioral responses to a highway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Ascensão

    Full Text Available Efforts to reduce the negative impacts of roads on wildlife may be hindered if individuals within the population vary widely in their responses to roads and mitigation strategies ignore this variability. This knowledge is particularly important for medium-sized carnivores as they are vulnerable to road mortality, while also known to use available road passages (e.g., drainage culverts for safely crossing highways. Our goal in this study was to assess whether this apparently contradictory pattern of high road-kill numbers associated with a regular use of road passages is attributable to the variation in behavioral responses toward the highway between individuals. We investigated the responses of seven radio-tracked stone martens (Martes foina to a highway by measuring their utilization distribution, response turning angles and highway crossing patterns. We compared the observed responses to simulated movement parameterized by the observed space use and movement characteristics of each individual, but naïve to the presence of the highway. Our results suggested that martens demonstrate a diversity of responses to the highway, including attraction, indifference, or avoidance. Martens also varied in their highway crossing patterns, with some crossing repeatedly at the same location (often coincident with highway passages. We suspect that the response variability derives from the individual's familiarity of the landscape, including their awareness of highway passage locations. Because of these variable yet potentially attributable responses, we support the use of exclusionary fencing to guide transient (e.g., dispersers individuals to existing passages to reduce the road-kill risk.

  3. Deconstructing an Atmospheric Model: Variability and Response, Unstable Periodic Orbits, and the Fluctuation-Dissipation Theorem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gritsun, Andrei; Lucarini, Valerio

    2016-04-01

    Unstable periodic orbits (UPOs) provide the so-called skeletal dynamics of a sufficiently well-behaved chaotic dynamical system and provide a powerful tool for relating the response of the system to its variability. In fact, UPOs constitute natural modes of variability of the system, and resonant behaviour of the response of the system to can be associated to good correspondence between the geometry of one UPO and of the forcing term and between their periodicities. We have here analyzed a simple barotropic model of the atmosphere and constructed and found algorithmically a large number of UPOs. We have then studied the change in the climate resulting from changes in the forcing, in the orography, and in the Eckman friction. The most interesting result is the presence of a strong resonance in the orographic response on time scales of the order of about 3 days, corresponding to forced waves. Interestingly, such a spectral feature is entirely absent from the natural variability of the system and correspond to the excitation of a specific group of UPOs. This clarifies the fact that, as opposed to the case of quasi-equilibrium systems, it is far from obvious to associate forced and free variability in the spirit of the fluctuation-dissipation theorem (FDT). Reassuringly, ysing the complementary point of view of covariant Lyapunov vectors, we discover that the forcing projects substantially in the stable direction of the flow, which is exactly the mathematical setting under which the FDT cannot be applied.

  4. Plant Functional Variability in Response to Late-Quaternary Climate Change Recorded in Ancient Packrat Middens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmgren, C. A.; Potts, D. L.

    2006-12-01

    Responses of plant functional traits to environmental variability are of enduring interest because they constrain organism performance and ecosystem function. However, most inferences regarding plant functional trait response to climatic variability have been limited to the modern period. To better understand plant functional response to long-term climate variability and how adjustments in leaf morphology may contribute to patterns of species establishment, persistence, or extirpation, we measured specific leaf area (SLA) from macrofossils preserved in ancient packrat middens collected along the Arizona/New Mexico border, USA. Our record spanned more than 32,000 years and included six woodland and Chihuahuan Desert species: Berberis cf. haematocarpa, Juniperus cf. coahuilensis, Juniperus osteosperma, Larrea tridentata, Prosopis glandulosa and Parthenium incanum. We predicted that regional climatic warming and drying since the late Pleistocene would result in intraspecific decreases in SLA. As predicted, SLA was positively correlated with midden age for three of the six species (L. tridentata, J. osteosperma, B. cf. haematocarpa). SLA was also negatively correlated with December (L. tridentata, J. cf. coahuilensis) or June (B. cf. haematocarpa, J. osteosperma) insolation. A unique record of vegetation community dynamics, plant macrofossils preserved in packrat middens also represent a rich and largely untapped source of information on long-term trends in species functional response to environmental change.

  5. Response variability of frontal eye field neurons modulates with sensory input and saccade preparation but not visual search salience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purcell, Braden A; Heitz, Richard P; Cohen, Jeremiah Y; Schall, Jeffrey D

    2012-11-01

    Discharge rate modulation of frontal eye field (FEF) neurons has been identified with a representation of visual search salience (physical conspicuity and behavioral relevance) and saccade preparation. We tested whether salience or saccade preparation are evident in the trial-to-trial variability of discharge rate. We quantified response variability via the Fano factor in FEF neurons recorded in monkeys performing efficient and inefficient visual search tasks. Response variability declined following stimulus presentation in most neurons, but despite clear discharge rate modulation, variability did not change with target salience. Instead, we found that response variability was modulated by stimulus luminance and the number of items in the visual field independently of attentional demands. Response variability declined to a minimum before saccade initiation, and presaccadic response variability was directionally tuned. In addition, response variability was correlated with the response time of memory-guided saccades. These results indicate that the trial-by-trial response variability of FEF neurons reflects saccade preparation and the strength of sensory input, but not visual search salience or attentional allocation. PMID:22956785

  6. Green and biodegradable electronics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mihai Irimia-Vladu

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available We live in a world where the lifetime of electronics is becoming shorter, now approaching an average of several months. This poses a growing ecological problem. This brief review will present some of the initial steps taken to address the issue of electronic waste with biodegradable organic electronic materials. Many organic materials have been shown to be biodegradable, safe, and nontoxic, including compounds of natural origin. Additionally, the unique features of such organic materials suggest they will be useful in biofunctional electronics; demonstrating functions that would be inaccessible for traditional inorganic compounds. Such materials may lead to fully biodegradable and even biocompatible/biometabolizable electronics for many low-cost applications. This review highlights recent progress in these classes of material, covering substrates and insulators, semiconductors, and finally conductors.

  7. Characterizing climate predictability and model response variability from multiple initial condition and multi-model ensembles

    CERN Document Server

    Kumar, Devashish

    2016-01-01

    Climate models are thought to solve boundary value problems unlike numerical weather prediction, which is an initial value problem. However, climate internal variability (CIV) is thought to be relatively important at near-term (0-30 year) prediction horizons, especially at higher resolutions. The recent availability of significant numbers of multi-model (MME) and multi-initial condition (MICE) ensembles allows for the first time a direct sensitivity analysis of CIV versus model response variability (MRV). Understanding the relative agreement and variability of MME and MICE ensembles for multiple regions, resolutions, and projection horizons is critical for focusing model improvements, diagnostics, and prognosis, as well as impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability studies. Here we find that CIV (MICE agreement) is lower (higher) than MRV (MME agreement) across all spatial resolutions and projection time horizons for both temperature and precipitation. However, CIV dominates MRV over higher latitudes generally an...

  8. Biodegradation of the High Explosive Hexanitrohexaazaiso-wurtzitane (CL-20)

    OpenAIRE

    Steve Nicolich; Mohammed Sidhoum; Wendy Balas; Pelin Karakaya; Agamemnon Koutsospyros; Christos Christodoulatos

    2009-01-01

    The aerobic biodegradability of the high explosive CL-20 by activated sludge and the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium has been investigated. Although activated sludge is not effective in degrading CL-20 directly, it can mineralize the alkaline hydrolysis products. Phanerochaete chrysosporium degrades CL-20 in the presence of supplementary carbon and nitrogen sources. Biodegradation studies were conducted using various nutrient media under diverse conditions. Variables included the...

  9. [Progress on biodegradation of polylactic acid--a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Fan; Wang, Sha; Liu, Weifeng; Chen, Guanjun

    2008-02-01

    Polylactic acid is a high molecular-weight polyester made from renewable resources such as corn or starch. It is a promising biodegradable plastic due to its mechanical properties, biocompatibility and biodegradability. To achieve natural recycling of polylactic acid, relative microorganisms and the underlying mechanisms in the biodegradation has become an important issue in biodegradable materials. Up to date, most isolated microbes capable of degrading polylactic acid belong to actinomycetes. Proteases secreted by these microorganisms are responsible for the degradation. However, subtle differences exist between these polylactic acid degrading enzymes and typical proteases with respect to substrate binding and catalysis. Amino acids relative to catalysis are postulated to be highly plastic allowing their catalytic hydrolysis of polylactic acid. In this paper we reviewed current studies on biodegradation of polylactic acid concerning its microbial, enzymatic reactions and the possible mechanisms. We also discussed the probability of biologically recycling PLA by applying highly efficient strains and enzymes. PMID:18438013

  10. Land surface phenological response to decadal climate variability across Australia using satellite remote sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Broich

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Land surface phenological cycles of vegetation greening and browning are influenced by variability in climatic forcing. Quantitative information on phenological cycles and their variability is important for agricultural applications, wildfire fuel accumulation, land management, land surface modeling, and climate change studies. Most phenology studies have focused on temperature-driven Northern Hemisphere systems, where phenology shows annually reoccurring patterns. Yet, precipitation-driven non-annual phenology of arid and semi-arid systems (i.e. drylands received much less attention, despite the fact that they cover more than 30% of the global land surface. Here we focused on Australia, the driest inhabited continent with one of the most variable rainfall climates in the world and vast areas of dryland systems. Detailed and internally consistent studies investigating phenological cycles and their response to climate variability across the entire continent designed specifically for Australian dryland conditions are missing. To fill this knowledge gap and to advance phenological research, we used existing methods more effectively to study geographic and climate-driven variability in phenology over Australia. We linked derived phenological metrics with rainfall and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI. We based our analysis on Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI data from the MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS from 2000 to 2013, which included extreme drought and wet years. We conducted a continent-wide investigation of the link between phenology and climate variability and a more detailed investigation over the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB, the primary agricultural area and largest river catchment of Australia. Results showed high inter- and intra-annual variability in phenological cycles. Phenological cycle peaks occurred not only during the austral summer but at any time of the year, and their timing varied by more than a month in

  11. Separation of multiple evoked responses using differential amplitude and latency variability

    CERN Document Server

    Knuth, K H; Bressler, S L; Ding, M; Knuth, Kevin H.; Truccolo, Wilson A.; Bressler, Steven L.; Ding, Mingzhou

    2001-01-01

    In neuroelectrophysiology one records electric potentials or magnetic fields generated by ensembles of synchronously active neurons in response to externally presented stimuli. These evoked responses are often produced by multiple generators in the presence of ongoing background activity. While source localization techniques or current source density estimation are usually used to identify generators, application of blind source separation techniques to obtain independent components has become more popular. We approach this problem by applying the Bayesian methodology to a more physiologically-realistic source model. As it is generally accepted that single trials vary in amplitude and latency, we incorporate this variability into the model. Rather than making the unrealistic assumption that these cortical components are independent of one another, our algorithm utilizes the differential amplitude and latency variability of the evoked waveforms to identify the cortical components. The algorithm is applied to i...

  12. Computer Optimization of Biodegradable Nanoparticles Fabricated by Dispersion Polymerization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akala, Emmanuel O; Adesina, Simeon; Ogunwuyi, Oluwaseun

    2016-01-01

    Quality by design (QbD) in the pharmaceutical industry involves designing and developing drug formulations and manufacturing processes which ensure predefined drug product specifications. QbD helps to understand how process and formulation variables affect product characteristics and subsequent optimization of these variables vis-à-vis final specifications. Statistical design of experiments (DoE) identifies important parameters in a pharmaceutical dosage form design followed by optimizing the parameters with respect to certain specifications. DoE establishes in mathematical form the relationships between critical process parameters together with critical material attributes and critical quality attributes. We focused on the fabrication of biodegradable nanoparticles by dispersion polymerization. Aided by a statistical software, d-optimal mixture design was used to vary the components (crosslinker, initiator, stabilizer, and macromonomers) to obtain twenty nanoparticle formulations (PLLA-based nanoparticles) and thirty formulations (poly-ɛ-caprolactone-based nanoparticles). Scheffe polynomial models were generated to predict particle size (nm), zeta potential, and yield (%) as functions of the composition of the formulations. Simultaneous optimizations were carried out on the response variables. Solutions were returned from simultaneous optimization of the response variables for component combinations to (1) minimize nanoparticle size; (2) maximize the surface negative zeta potential; and (3) maximize percent yield to make the nanoparticle fabrication an economic proposition. PMID:26703678

  13. Computer Optimization of Biodegradable Nanoparticles Fabricated by Dispersion Polymerization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuel O. Akala

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Quality by design (QbD in the pharmaceutical industry involves designing and developing drug formulations and manufacturing processes which ensure predefined drug product specifications. QbD helps to understand how process and formulation variables affect product characteristics and subsequent optimization of these variables vis-à-vis final specifications. Statistical design of experiments (DoE identifies important parameters in a pharmaceutical dosage form design followed by optimizing the parameters with respect to certain specifications. DoE establishes in mathematical form the relationships between critical process parameters together with critical material attributes and critical quality attributes. We focused on the fabrication of biodegradable nanoparticles by dispersion polymerization. Aided by a statistical software, d-optimal mixture design was used to vary the components (crosslinker, initiator, stabilizer, and macromonomers to obtain twenty nanoparticle formulations (PLLA-based nanoparticles and thirty formulations (poly-ɛ-caprolactone-based nanoparticles. Scheffe polynomial models were generated to predict particle size (nm, zeta potential, and yield (% as functions of the composition of the formulations. Simultaneous optimizations were carried out on the response variables. Solutions were returned from simultaneous optimization of the response variables for component combinations to (1 minimize nanoparticle size; (2 maximize the surface negative zeta potential; and (3 maximize percent yield to make the nanoparticle fabrication an economic proposition.

  14. Editorial: Biodegradable Materials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carl Schaschke

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available This Special Issue “Biodegradable Materials” features research and review papers concerning recent advances on the development, synthesis, testing and characterisation of biomaterials. These biomaterials, derived from natural and renewable sources, offer a potential alternative to existing non-biodegradable materials with application to the food and biomedical industries amongst many others. In this Special Issue, the work is expanded to include the combined use of fillers that can enhance the properties of biomaterials prepared as films. The future application of these biomaterials could have an impact not only at the economic level, but also for the improvement of the environment.

  15. ltm: An R Package for Latent Variable Modeling and Item Response Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitris Rizopoulos

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available The R package ltm has been developed for the analysis of multivariate dichotomous and polytomous data using latent variable models, under the Item Response Theory approach. For dichotomous data the Rasch, the Two-Parameter Logistic, and Birnbaum's Three-Parameter models have been implemented, whereas for polytomous data Semejima's Graded Response model is available. Parameter estimates are obtained under marginal maximum likelihood using the Gauss-Hermite quadrature rule. The capabilities and features of the package are illustrated using two real data examples.

  16. Arrestin Competition Influences the Kinetics and Variability of the Mammalian Rod's Single-Photon Responses

    OpenAIRE

    Doan, Thuy; Azevedo, Anthony W.; Hurley, James B; Rieke, Fred

    2009-01-01

    Reliable signal transduction via G-protein coupled receptors requires proper receptor inactivation. For example, signals originating from single rhodopsin molecules vary little from one to the next, requiring reproducible inactivation of rhodopsin by phosphorylation and arrestin binding. We determined how reduced concentrations of rhodopsin kinase (GRK1) and/or arrestin1 influenced the kinetics and variability of the single-photon responses of mouse rods. These experiments revealed that arres...

  17. Coccolithophore responses to environmental variability in the South China Sea: species composition and calcite content

    OpenAIRE

    Jin, X. B.; C. L. Liu; Poulton, A. J.; M. H. Dai; X.H. Guo

    2016-01-01

    Coccolithophore contributions to the global marine carbon cycle are regulated by the calcite content of their scales (coccoliths), and the relative cellular levels of photosynthesis and calcification. All three of these factors vary between coccolithophore species, and with response to the growth environment. Here, water samples were collected in the northern basin of the South China Sea (SCS) during summer 2014 in order to examine how environmental variability influenced species composition ...

  18. Topographic position modulates the mycorrhizal response of oak trees to interannual rainfall variability

    OpenAIRE

    Querejeta Mercader, José Ignacio; Egerton-Warburton, L. M.; Allen, Michael F.

    2009-01-01

    California coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) forms tripartite symbiotic associations with arbuscular (AMF) and ectomycorrhizal (EMF) fungi. We selected oak individuals differing in topographic position and depth to groundwater (mesic valley vs. xeric hill sites) to investigate changes of tree mycorrhizal status in response to interannual rainfall variability. EMF root colonization, as well as hyphal abundance and viability in upper rhizosphere soil (0–30 cm), were negatively affected by seve...

  19. Eddy heat flux in the Southern Ocean: response to variable wind forcing

    OpenAIRE

    Hogg, Andrew Mcc.; Meredith, Michael P.; Blundell, Jeffrey R.; Wilson, Christopher

    2008-01-01

    We assess the role of time-dependent eddy variability in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) in influencing warming of the Southern Ocean. For this, we use an eddy-resolving quasigeostrophic model of the wind-driven circulation, and quantify the response of circumpolar transport, eddy kinetic energy and eddy heat transport to changes in winds. On interannual timescales, the model exhibits the behaviour of an "eddy saturated" ocean state, where increases in wind stress do not signicantly ...

  20. Responses of the circumpolar boreal forest to 20th century climate variability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We examined relationships between tree ring-width and climate at 232 sites around the circumpolar boreal forest to explore variability in two types of response to temperature: a browning response characterized by inverse correlations between growth and temperature, and a greening response characterized by positive correlations between growth and temperature. We used moving-window correlation analysis for eight 30-year time windows, lagged by 10 years, to characterize the climate response at each site from 1902 to 2002. Inverse growth responses to temperature were widespread, occurring in all species, all time periods, and in nearly all geographic areas. The frequency of the browning response increased after 1942, while the frequency of the greening response declined. Browning was concentrated in five species (Picea abies, Picea glauca, Picea mariana, Picea obovata and Pinus banksiana), and occurred more frequently in the warmer parts of species' ranges, suggesting that direct temperature stress might be a factor. In some species, dry sites were also more likely to experience browning; moisture stress might thus be an additional explanation in some cases. As inverse responses to temperature are widespread, and occur in a broad array of species, there is unlikely to be any single explanation for their occurrence

  1. Biodegradation of clofibric acid and identification of its metabolites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Salgado, R. [REQUIMTE/CQFB, Chemistry Department, FCT, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica (Portugal); ESTS-IPS, Escola Superior de Tecnologia de Setubal do Instituto Politecnico de Setubal, Rua Vale de Chaves, Campus do IPS, Estefanilha, 2910-761 Setubal (Portugal); Oehmen, A. [REQUIMTE/CQFB, Chemistry Department, FCT, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica (Portugal); Carvalho, G. [REQUIMTE/CQFB, Chemistry Department, FCT, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica (Portugal); Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnologica (IBET), Av. da Republica (EAN), 2784-505 Oeiras (Portugal); Noronha, J.P. [REQUIMTE/CQFB, Chemistry Department, FCT, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica (Portugal); Reis, M.A.M., E-mail: amr@fct.unl.pt [REQUIMTE/CQFB, Chemistry Department, FCT, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica (Portugal)

    2012-11-30

    Graphical abstract: Metabolites produced during clofibric acid biodegradation. Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Clofibric acid is biodegradable. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Mainly heterotrophic bacteria degraded the clofibric acid. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Metabolites of clofibric acid biodegradation were identified. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The metabolic pathway of clofibric acid biodegradation is proposed. - Abstract: Clofibric acid (CLF) is the pharmaceutically active metabolite of lipid regulators clofibrate, etofibrate and etofyllinclofibrate, and it is considered both environmentally persistent and refractory. This work studied the biotransformation of CLF in aerobic sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) with mixed microbial cultures, monitoring the efficiency of biotransformation of CLF and the production of metabolites. The maximum removal achieved was 51% biodegradation (initial CLF concentration = 2 mg L{sup -1}), where adsorption and abiotic removal mechanisms were shown to be negligible, showing that CLF is indeed biodegradable. Tests showed that the observed CLF biodegradation was mainly carried out by heterotrophic bacteria. Three main metabolites were identified, including {alpha}-hydroxyisobutyric acid, lactic acid and 4-chlorophenol. The latter is known to exhibit higher toxicity than the parent compound, but it did not accumulate in the SBRs. {alpha}-Hydroxyisobutyric acid and lactic acid accumulated for a period, where nitrite accumulation may have been responsible for inhibiting their degradation. A metabolic pathway for the biodegradation of CLF is proposed in this study.

  2. Mass Market Demand Response and Variable Generation Integration Issues: A Scoping Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cappers, Peter; Mills, Andrew; Goldman, Charles; Wiser, Ryan; Eto, Joseph H.

    2011-09-10

    This scoping study focuses on the policy issues inherent in the claims made by some Smart Grid proponents that the demand response potential of mass market customers which is enabled by widespread implementation of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) through the Smart Grid could be the “silver bullet” for mitigating variable generation integration issues. In terms of approach, we will: identify key issues associated with integrating large amounts of variable generation into the bulk power system; identify demand response opportunities made more readily available to mass market customers through widespread deployment of AMI systems and how they can affect the bulk power system; assess the extent to which these mass market Demand Response (DR) opportunities can mitigate Variable Generation (VG) integration issues in the near-term and what electricity market structures and regulatory practices could be changed to further expand the ability for DR to mitigate VG integration issues over the long term; and provide a qualitative comparison of DR and other approaches to mitigate VG integration issues.

  3. Variability in the Responsiveness to Low-Dose Aspirin: Pharmacological and Disease-Related Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bianca Rocca

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The main pharmacological aspects of pharmacodynamics (PD and pharmacokinetics (PK of aspirin as antiplatelet agent were unravelled between the late sixties and the eighties, and low-dose aspirin given once daily has been shown to be a mainstay in the current treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disorders. Nevertheless, several PD and PK aspects of aspirin in selected clinical conditions have recently emerged and deserve future clinical attention. In 1994, the term “aspirin resistance” was used for the first time, but, until now, no consensus exists on definition, standardized assay, underlying mechanisms, clinical impact, and possible efficacy of alternative therapeutic interventions. At variance with an undefined aspirin-resistant status, in the last 5 years, the concept of variability in response to aspirin due to specific pathophysiological mechanisms and based on PK and/or PD of the drug has emerged. This growing evidence highlights the existence and possible clinical relevance of an interindividual variability of pharmacological aspirin response and calls for new, large studies to test new low-dose aspirin-based regimens which may ameliorate platelet acetylation, reduce variability in drug responsiveness, and improve clinical efficacy on selected populations.

  4. A case study of alternative site response explanatory variables in Parkfield, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, E.M.; Baise, L.G.; Kayen, R.E.; Morgan, E.C.; Kaklamanos, J.

    2011-01-01

    The combination of densely-spaced strong-motion stations in Parkfield, California, and spectral analysis of surface waves (SASW) profiles provides an ideal dataset for assessing the accuracy of different site response explanatory variables. We judge accuracy in terms of spatial coverage and correlation with observations. The performance of the alternative models is period-dependent, but generally we observe that: (1) where a profile is available, the square-root-of-impedance method outperforms VS30 (average S-wave velocity to 30 m depth), and (2) where a profile is unavailable, the topographic-slope method outperforms surficial geology. The fundamental site frequency is a valuable site response explanatory variable, though less valuable than VS30. However, given the expense and difficulty of obtaining reliable estimates of VS30 and the relative ease with which the fundamental site frequency can be computed, the fundamental site frequency may prove to be a valuable site response explanatory variable for many applications. ?? 2011 ASCE.

  5. A general approach to simultaneous model fitting and variable elimination in response models for biological data with many more variables than observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiiveri Harri T

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background With the advent of high throughput biotechnology data acquisition platforms such as micro arrays, SNP chips and mass spectrometers, data sets with many more variables than observations are now routinely being collected. Finding relationships between response variables of interest and variables in such data sets is an important problem akin to finding needles in a haystack. Whilst methods for a number of response types have been developed a general approach has been lacking. Results The major contribution of this paper is to present a unified methodology which allows many common (statistical response models to be fitted to such data sets. The class of models includes virtually any model with a linear predictor in it, for example (but not limited to, multiclass logistic regression (classification, generalised linear models (regression and survival models. A fast algorithm for finding sparse well fitting models is presented. The ideas are illustrated on real data sets with numbers of variables ranging from thousands to millions. R code implementing the ideas is available for download. Conclusion The method described in this paper enables existing work on response models when there are less variables than observations to be leveraged to the situation when there are many more variables than observations. It is a powerful approach to finding parsimonious models for such datasets. The method is capable of handling problems with millions of variables and a large variety of response types within the one framework. The method compares favourably to existing methods such as support vector machines and random forests, but has the advantage of not requiring separate variable selection steps. It is also works for data types which these methods were not designed to handle. The method usually produces very sparse models which make biological interpretation simpler and more focused.

  6. Behavioral variability, elimination of responses, and delay-of-reinforcement gradients in SHR and WKY rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Killeen Peter R

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD is characterized by a pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that is cross-situational, persistent, and produces social and academic impairment. Research has shown that reinforcement processes are altered in ADHD. The dynamic developmental theory has suggested that a steepened delay-of-reinforcement gradient and deficient extinction of behavior produce behavioral symptoms of ADHD and increased behavioral variability. Method The present study investigated behavioral variability and elimination of non-target responses during acquisition in an animal model of ADHD, the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR, using Wistar Kyoto (WKY rats as controls. The study also aimed at providing a novel approach to measuring delay-of-reinforcement gradients in the SHR and the WKY strains. The animals were tested in a modified operant chamber presenting 20 response alternatives. Nose pokes in a target hole produced water according to fixed interval (FI schedules of reinforcement, while nose pokes in the remaining 19 holes either had no consequences or produced a sound or a short flickering of the houselight. The stimulus-producing holes were included to test whether light and sound act as sensory reinforcers in SHR. Data from the first six sessions testing FI 1 s were used for calculation of the initial distribution of responses. Additionally, Euclidean distance (measured from the center of each hole to the center of the target hole and entropy (a measure of variability were also calculated. Delay-of-reinforcement gradients were calculated across sessions by dividing the fixed interval into epochs and determining how much reinforcement of responses in one epoch contributed to responding in the next interval. Results Over the initial six sessions, behavior became clustered around the target hole. There was greater initial variability in SHR behavior, and slower elimination of

  7. Classification of worldwide drainage basins through the multivariate analysis of variables controlling their hydrosedimentary response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raux, Julie; Copard, Yoann; Laignel, Benoît; Fournier, Matthieu; Masseï, Nicolas

    2011-04-01

    Quality and amount of waters and sediments conveyed within large drainage basins are crucial for human societies and biodiversity concerns. This work aims to determine the factors controlling the hydrosedimentary response (water discharge and sediment load) of 24 worldwide large drainage basins. In this respect, eleven geomorphologic and climatic variables routinely used in the literature were considered and others as fractal dimension, elongation and mean channel slope are novel for such an issue. In addition, two variables, land cover and lithology indexes, somewhat different from the literature in terms of calculation principles, were also included. All these variables were then subjected to multivariate statistical analyses (CA and PCA) and confronted in a matrix correlation. On the whole, our results display that water discharge is controlled by runoff, precipitation, basin area, elongation and fractal dimension while sediment load is governed by runoff, precipitation and maximum elevation. Mean channel slope and land-use have a minor role while other parameters (hypsometry, lithology, length, slope, mean elevation and temperature) do not play a significant role in the hydrosedimentary response. Such statistical analyses also bring out a classification of these drainage basins, comprising five to six main clusters which are ranged according to the main variables ruling their hydrosedimentary response. Two clusters are essentially governed by geomorphometric parameters (area, elongation, fractal dimension, mean elevation and hypsometry) while one cluster is rather controlled by transfer processes (runoff) and by active tectonic (maximum elevation). Hydrosedimentary response of arctic and continental rivers is controlled by low temperature while two drainage basins show any trend. A comparison of our results with other previous works dealing with this same issue points to some significant disagreements essentially based on the number of drainage basins

  8. Phyllosphere yeasts rapidly break down biodegradable plastics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitamoto, Hiroko K; Shinozaki, Yukiko; Cao, Xiao-Hong; Morita, Tomotake; Konishi, Masaaki; Tago, Kanako; Kajiwara, Hideyuki; Koitabashi, Motoo; Yoshida, Shigenobu; Watanabe, Takashi; Sameshima-Yamashita, Yuka; Nakajima-Kambe, Toshiaki; Tsushima, Seiya

    2011-01-01

    The use of biodegradable plastics can reduce the accumulation of environmentally persistent plastic wastes. The rate of degradation of biodegradable plastics depends on environmental conditions and is highly variable. Techniques for achieving more consistent degradation are needed. However, only a few microorganisms involved in the degradation process have been isolated so far from the environment. Here, we show that Pseudozyma spp. yeasts, which are common in the phyllosphere and are easily isolated from plant surfaces, displayed strong degradation activity on films made from poly-butylene succinate or poly-butylene succinate-co-adipate. Strains of P. antarctica isolated from leaves and husks of paddy rice displayed strong degradation activity on these films at 30°C. The type strain, P. antarctica JCM 10317, and Pseudozyma spp. strains from phyllosphere secreted a biodegradable plastic-degrading enzyme with a molecular mass of about 22 kDa. Reliable source of biodegradable plastic-degrading microorganisms are now in our hands. PMID:22126328

  9. Grey water biodegradability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abu Ghunmi, L.; Zeeman, G.; Fayyad, M.; Van Lier, J.B.

    2010-01-01

    Knowing the biodegradability characteristics of grey water constituents is imperative for a proper design and operation of a biological treatment system of grey water. This study characterizes the different COD fractions of dormitory grey water and investigates the effect of applying different condi

  10. Comparative Study on Response Surfaces for Reliability Analysis of Spatially Variable Soil Slope

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李亮; 褚雪松

    2015-01-01

    This paper focuses on the performance of the second-order polynomial-based response surfaces on the reliability of spatially variable soil slope. A single response surface constructed to approximate the slope system failure performance functionG(X) (called single RS) and multiple response surfaces constructed on finite number of slip surfaces (called multiple RS) are developed, respectively. Single RS and multiple RS are applied to evaluate the system failure probability pf for a cohesive soil slope together with Monte Carlo simulation (MCS). It is found thatpf calculated by single RS deviates significantly from that obtained by searching a large number of potential slip surfaces, and this deviation becomes insignificant with the decrease of the number of random variables or the increase of the scale of fluctuation. In other words, single RS cannot approximateG(X) with reasonable accuracy. The value ofpf from multiple response surfaces fits well with that obtained by searching a large number of potential slip surfaces. That is, multiple RS can estimateG(X) with reasonable accuracy.

  11. Variable postpartum responsiveness among humans and other primates with "cooperative breeding": A comparative and evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hrdy, Sarah B

    2016-01-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Parental Care".Until recently, evolutionists reconstructing mother-infant bonding among human ancestors relied on nonhuman primate models characterized by exclusively maternal care, overlooking the highly variable responsiveness exhibited by mothers in species with obligate reliance on allomaternal care and provisioning. It is now increasingly recognized that apes as large-brained, slow maturing, and nutritionally dependent for so long as early humans were, could not have evolved unless "alloparents" (group members other than genetic parents), in addition to parents, had helped mothers to care for and provision offspring, a rearing system known as "cooperative breeding." Here I review situation-dependent maternal responses ranging from highly possessive to permissive, temporarily distancing, rejecting, or infanticidal, documented for a small subset of cooperatively breeding primates. As in many mammals, primate maternal responsiveness is influenced by physical condition, endocrinological priming, prior experience and local environments (especially related to security). But mothers among primates who evolved as cooperative breeders also appear unusually sensitive to cues of social support. In addition to more "sapient" or rational decision-making, humankind's deep history of cooperative breeding must be considered when trying to understand the extremely variable responsiveness of human mothers. PMID:26518662

  12. Acute marijuana effects on response-reinforcer relations under multiple variable-interval schedules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, S D; Cherek, D R; Pietras, C J; Tcheremissine, O V

    2004-07-01

    Acute marijuana administration may alter response-reinforcer relationships via a change in reinforcer efficacy, but may also impair coordination and motor function. One approach to evaluating drug effects on both motor function and reinforcer efficacy involves fitting the matching law equation to data obtained under multiple variable interval (VI) schedules. The present report describes an experiment that examined the effects of acute marijuana on response properties using this approach. Six human subjects responded under a multiple VI schedule for monetary reinforcers after smoking placebo and two active doses of marijuana. The low marijuana dose produced unsystematic changes in responding. As measured by the matching law equation parameters (k and rB), at the high dose five subjects showed a decrease-motor-related properties of response rate and four subjects' responding indicated a decrease in reinforcer efficacy. These data raise the possibility that, at high doses, marijuana administration alters both motor function and reinforcer efficacy.

  13. Dose Response Association between Physical Activity and Biological, Demographic, and Perceptions of Health Variables

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul D. Loprinzi

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Few population-based studies have examined the association between physical activity (PA and cardiovascular disease risk factors, demographic variables, and perceptions of health status, and we do not have a clear understanding of the dose-response relationship among these variables. Methods: Data from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was used to examine the dose-response relationship between objectively measured PA and metabolic syndrome (and its individual cardiovascular disease risk factors, demographic variables, and perceptions of health. After exclusions, 5,538 participants 18 years or older were included in the present study, with 2,538 participants providing fasting glucose and 2,527 providing fasting triglyceride data. PA was categorized into deciles. Results: Overall, the health benefits showed a general pattern of increase with each increasing levels of PA. Of the ten PA classifications examined, participants in the highest moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA category (at least 71 min/day had the lowest odds of developing metabolic syndrome. Conclusion: At a minimum, sedentary adults should strive to meet current PA guidelines (i.e., 150 min/week of MVPA, with additional positive benefits associated with engaging in three times this level of PA.

  14. Growth responses of subalpine fir to climatic variability in the Pacific Northwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, D.W.; Peterson, D.L.; Ettl, Gregory J.

    2002-01-01

    We studied regional variation in growth-limiting factors and responses to climatic variability in subalpine forests by analyzing growth patterns for 28 tree-ring growth chronologies from subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt.) stands in the Cascade and Olympic Mountains (Washington and Oregon, U.S.A.). Factor analysis identified four distinct time series of common growth patterns; the dominant growth pattern at any site varied with annual precipitation and temperature (elevation). Throughout much of the region, growth is negatively correlated with winter precipitation and spring snowpack depth, indicating that growth is limited primarily by short growing seasons. On the driest and warmest sites, growth is negatively correlated with previous summer temperature, suggesting that low summer soil moisture limits growth. Growth patterns in two regions were sensitive to climatic variability associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, apparently responding to low-frequency variation in spring snowpack and summer soil moisture (one negatively, one positively). This regional-scale analysis shows that subalpine fir growth in the Cascades and Olympics is limited by different climatic factors in different subregional climates. Climatea??growth relationships are similar to those for a co-occurring species, mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana (Bong.) Carri??re), suggesting broad biogeographic patterns of response to climatic variability and change by subalpine forest ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest.

  15. Low voltage RF MEMS variable capacitor with linear C-V response

    KAUST Repository

    Elshurafa, Amro M.

    2012-07-23

    An RF MEMS variable capacitor, fabricated in the PolyMUMPS process and tuned electrostatically, possessing a linear capacitance-voltage response is reported. The measured quality factor of the device was 17 at 1GHz, while the tuning range was 1.2:1 and was achieved at an actuation DC voltage of 8V only. Further, the linear regression coefficient was 0.98. The variable capacitor was created such that it has both vertical and horizontal capacitances present. As the top suspended plate moves towards the bottom fixed plate, the vertical capacitance increases whereas the horizontal capacitance decreases simultaneously such that the sum of the two capacitances yields a linear capacitance-voltage relation. © 2012 The Institution of Engineering and Technology.

  16. Complex response of white pines to past environmental variability increases understanding of future vulnerability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia Iglesias

    Full Text Available Ecological niche models predict plant responses to climate change by circumscribing species distributions within a multivariate environmental framework. Most projections based on modern bioclimatic correlations imply that high-elevation species are likely to be extirpated from their current ranges as a result of rising growing-season temperatures in the coming decades. Paleoecological data spanning the last 15,000 years from the Greater Yellowstone region describe the response of vegetation to past climate variability and suggest that white pines, a taxon of special concern in the region, have been surprisingly resilient to high summer temperature and fire activity in the past. Moreover, the fossil record suggests that winter conditions and biotic interactions have been critical limiting variables for high-elevation conifers in the past and will likely be so in the future. This long-term perspective offers insights on species responses to a broader range of climate and associated ecosystem changes than can be observed at present and should be part of resource management and conservation planning for the future.

  17. Large-basin hydrological response to climate model outputs: uncertainty caused by the internal atmospheric variability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Gelfan

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available An approach is proposed to assess hydrological simulation uncertainty originating from internal atmospheric variability. The latter is one of three major factors contributing to the uncertainty of simulated climate change projections (along with so-called "forcing" and "climate model" uncertainties. Importantly, the role of the internal atmospheric variability is the most visible over the spatial–temporal scales of water management in large river basins. The internal atmospheric variability is represented by large ensemble simulations (45 members with the ECHAM5 atmospheric general circulation model. The ensemble simulations are performed using identical prescribed lower boundary conditions (observed sea surface temperature, SST, and sea ice concentration, SIC, for 1979–2012 and constant external forcing parameters but different initial conditions of the atmosphere. The ensemble of the bias-corrected ECHAM5-outputs as well as ensemble averaged ECHAM5-output are used as the distributed input for ECOMAG and SWAP hydrological models. The corresponding ensembles of runoff hydrographs are calculated for two large rivers of the Arctic basin: the Lena and the Northern Dvina rivers. A number of runoff statistics including the mean and the SD of the annual, monthly and daily runoff, as well as the annual runoff trend are assessed. The uncertainties of runoff statistics caused by the internal atmospheric variability are estimated. It is found that the uncertainty of the mean and SD of the runoff has a distinguished seasonal dependence with maximum during the periods of spring-summer snowmelt and summer-autumn rainfall floods. A noticeable non-linearity of the hydrological models' response to the ensemble ECHAM5 output is found most strongly expressed for the Northern Dvine River basin. It is shown that the averaging over ensemble members effectively filters stochastic term related to internal atmospheric variability. The simulated trends are close to

  18. Continental-scale impacts of intra-seasonal rainfall variability on simulated ecosystem responses in Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Guan

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Climate change is expected to result in an increase of intra-seasonal rainfall variability, which has arisen from concurrent shifts in rainfall frequency, intensity and seasonality. Changes in intra-seasonal rainfall variability are likely to have important ecological impacts for terrestrial ecosystems, and quantifying these impacts across biomes and large climate gradients is required for a better prediction of ecosystem services and their responses to climate change. Here we use a synthetic weather generator and an advanced vegetation dynamic model (SEIB-DGVM to virtually conduct a series of "rainfall manipulation experiments" to study how changes in the intra-seasonal rainfall variability affect continent-scale ecosystem responses across Africa. We generated different rainfall scenarios with fixed total annual rainfall but shifts in: (i frequency vs. intensity, (ii seasonality vs. frequency, (iii intensity vs. seasonality. These scenarios were fed into the SEIB-DGVM to investigate changes in biome distributions and ecosystem productivity. We find a loss of ecosystem productivity with increased rainfall frequency and decreased intensity at very low rainfall regimes (−1 and low frequency (−1; beyond these very dry regimes, most ecosystems benefit from increasing frequency and decreasing intensity, except in the wet tropics (>1800 mm year−1 where radiation limitation prevents further productivity gains. This finding reconciles seemingly contradictory findings in previous field studies on the direction of rainfall frequency/intensity impacts on ecosystem productivity. We also find that changes in rainy season length can yield more dramatic ecosystem responses compared with similar percentage changes in rainfall frequency or intensity, with the largest impacts in semi-arid woodlands. This study demonstrates that not all rainfall regimes are ecologically equivalent, and that intra-seasonal rainfall characteristics play a significant role in

  19. Assessment of the Impact of Geomechanical Parameters Variability on Underground Excavations Stability Using Response Surface Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pytel, Witold; Świtoń, Joanna

    2013-03-01

    Recognition of properties of the rock mass surrounding a mineral deposit is particularly important for the mining operations at greater depths. Since the rock mass is usually not homogeneous, and its parameters have characteristics of randomness, underground workings safety issue should always be analysed taking into account the dispersion of the values of these parameters around their mean values. In order to assess the impact of geotechnical parameters uncertainty on the excavation stability one uses the appropriate statistical approach. In this paper, by analysing successive combinations of geomechanical parameters of the rock in the measured range, we examined the effect of their variability on risk of underground excavation instability using response surface method.

  20. Inter-Individual Variability in Human Response to Low-Dose Ionizing Radiation, Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rocke, David [Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)

    2016-08-01

    In order to investigate inter-individual variability in response to low-dose ionizing radiation, we are working with three models, 1) in-vivo irradiated human skin, for which we have a realistic model, but with few subjects, all from a previous project, 2) ex-vivo irradiated human skin, for which we also have a realistic model, though with the limitations involved in keeping skin pieces alive in media, and 3) MatTek EpiDermFT skin plugs, which provides a more realistic model than cell lines, which is more controllable than human samples.

  1. Pastoral mobility as a response to climate variability in African drylands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adriansen, Hanne Kirstine

    1999-01-01

    The article outlines aspects of ‘the new paradigm’ for dryland ecosystems and pastoral production systems. Rationality of pastoralism was claimed by parts of the research community for decades, but especially among policy and development planners pastoralism was perceived as an irrational and des...... West Africa. In an example from Ferlo, Senegal, different types of pastoral mobility are discussed with special focus on the importance of scale. It is concluded that pastoral mobility is a rational response to climate variability and unpredictability in African drylands....

  2. Comparison between genomic predictions using daughter yield deviation and conventional estimated breeding value as response variables

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guo, Gang; Lund, Mogens Sandø; Zhang, Y;

    2010-01-01

    This study compared genomic predictions using conventional estimated breeding values (EBV) and daughter yield deviations (DYD) as response variables based on simulated data. Eight scenarios were simulated in regard to heritability (0.05 and 0.30), number of daughters per sire (30, 100, and unequal......), the EBV and DYD approaches provided similar genomic estimated breeding value (GEBV) reliabilities, except for scenarios with unequal numbers of daughters and half of sires without genotype, for which the EBV approach was superior to the DYD approach (by 1.2 and 2.4%). Using a Bayesian mixture prior model...

  3. Inter-Individual Variability in Human Response to Low-Dose Ionizing Radiation, Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rocke, David [Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)

    2016-08-01

    In order to investigate inter-individual variability in response to low-dose ionizing radiation, we are working with three models, 1) in-vivo irradiated human skin, for which we have a realistic model, but with few subjects, all from a previous project 2) ex-vivo irradiated human skin, for which we also have a realistic model, though with the limitations involved in keeping skin pieces alive in media, and 3) MatTek EpiDermFT skin plugs, which provides a more realistic model than cell lines, which is more controllable then human samples.

  4. Highly variable response to cytotoxic chemotherapy in carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) from lung and breast

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) can promote carcinogenesis and tumor progression. Only limited data on the response of CAFs to chemotherapy and their potential impact on therapy outcome are available. This study was undertaken to analyze the influence of chemotherapy on carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in vitro and in vivo. The in vivo response of stromal cells to chemotherapy was investigated in 22 neoadjuvant treated breast tumors on tissue sections before and after chemotherapy. Response to chemotherapy was analyzed in vitro in primary cultures of isolated CAFs from 28 human lung and 9 breast cancer tissues. The response was correlated to Mdm2, ERCC1 and TP53 polymorphisms and TP53 mutation status. Additionally, the cytotoxic effects were evaluated in an ex vivo experiment using cultured tissue slices from 16 lung and 17 breast cancer specimens. Nine of 22 tumors showed a therapy-dependent reduction of stromal activity. Pathological response of tumor or stroma cells did not correlate with clinical response. Isolated CAFs showed little sensitivity to paclitaxel. In contrast, sensitivity of CAFs to cisplatinum was highly variable with a GI50 ranging from 2.8 to 29.0 μM which is comparable to the range observed in tumor cell lines. No somatic TP53 mutation was detected in any of the 28 CAFs from lung cancer tissue. In addition, response to cisplatinum was not significantly associated with the genotype of TP53 nor Mdm2 and ERCC1 polymorphisms. However, we observed a non-significant trend towards decreased sensitivity in the presence of TP53 variant genotype. In contrast to the results obtained in isolated cell culture, in tissue slice culture breast cancer CAFs responded to paclitaxel within their microenvironment in the majority of cases (9/14). The opposite was observed in lung cancer tissues: only few CAFs were sensitive to cisplatinum within their microenvironment (2/15) whereas a higher proportion responded to cisplatinum in isolated culture

  5. Deregressed EBV as the response variable yield more reliable genomic predictions than traditional EBV in pure-bred pigs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ostersen, Tage; Christensen, Ole Fredslund; Henryon, Mark;

    2011-01-01

    Background Genomic selection can be implemented by a multi-step procedure, which requires a response variable and a statistical method. For pure-bred pigs, it was hypothesised that deregressed estimated breeding values (EBV) with the parent average removed as the response variable generate higher...... for feed conversion ratio it ranged between 18 and 39% and was significant only when MIXTURE was used. Genomic BLUP, Bayesian Lasso and MIXTURE had similar reliabilities. Conclusions Deregressed EBV is the preferred response variable, whereas the choice of statistical method is less critical for pure...

  6. Biodegradation of cyanuric acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saldick, J

    1974-12-01

    Cyanuric acid biodegrades readily under a wide variety of natural conditions, and particularly well in systems of either low or zero dissolved-oxygen level, such as anaerobic activated sludge and sewage, soils, muds, and muddy streams and river waters, as well as ordinary aerated activated sludge systems with typically low (1 to 3 ppm) dissolved-oxygen levels. Degradation also proceeds in 3.5% sodium chloride solution. Consequently, there are degradation pathways widely available for breaking down cyanuric acid discharged in domestic effluents. The overall degradation reaction is merely a hydrolysis; CO(2) and ammonia are the initial hydrolytic breakdown products. Since no net oxidation occurs during this breakdown, biodegradation of cyanuric acid exerts no primary biological oxygen demand. However, eventual nitrification of the ammonia released will exert its usual biological oxygen demand.

  7. Amygdala and heart rate variability responses from listening to emotionally intense parts of a story

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wallentin, Mikkel; Nielsen, Andreas Højlund; Vuust, Peter;

    2011-01-01

    Emotions are often understood in relation to conditioned responses. Narrative emotions, however, cannot be reduced to a simple associative relationship between emotion words and their experienced counterparts. Intensity in stories may arise without any overt emotion depicting words and vice versa....... In this fMRI study we investigated BOLD-responses to naturally fluctuating emotions evoked by listening to a story. The emotional intensity profile of the text was found through a rating study. The validity of this profile was supported by heart rate variability (HRV) data showing a significant...... correspondence across participants between intensity ratings and HRV measurements obtained during fMRI. With this ecologically valid stimulus we found that narrative intensity was accompanied by activation in temporal cortices, medial geniculate nuclei in the thalamus and amygdala, brain regions that are all...

  8. Dose dependency and individual variability of the lipopolysaccharide-induced bovine acute phase protein response

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, S.; Andersen, P.H.; Tølbøll, T.;

    2004-01-01

    In order to investigate the dose dependency and the individual variability of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced acute phase protein response in cattle, 8 nonlactating, nonpregnant Danish Holstein cows were challenged 3 times each by intravenous injection of increasing doses (10, 100, and 1000 ng....../kg, consecutively) of Escherichia coli LPS with 3-wk intervals. All 3 LPS doses resulted in a rapid increase in serum concentrations of haptoglobin and serum amyloid A (SAA) and a decrease in serum concentrations of albumin in all 8 cows. Serum concentrations of acute phase proteins (APP) remained altered...... and haptoglobin concentrations in either of the challenges, which suggests that the synthesis of haptoglobin and SAA are regulated in different ways. In conclusion, cattle are highly susceptible to LPS, as very low doses of LPS elicited acute phase albumin, SAA, and haptoglobin responses. Concentrations of APP...

  9. Wintertime atmospheric response to Atlantic multidecadal variability: effect of stratospheric representation and ocean-atmosphere coupling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peings, Yannick; Magnusdottir, Gudrun

    2016-08-01

    The impact of the Atlantic multidecadal variability (AMV) on the wintertime atmosphere circulation is investigated using three different configurations of the Community Atmospheric Model version 5 (CAM5). Realistic SST and sea ice anomalies associated with the AMV in observations are prescribed in CAM5 (low-top model) and WACCM5 (high-top model) to assess the dependence of the results on the representation of the stratosphere. In a third experiment, the role of ocean-atmosphere feedback is investigated by coupling CAM5 to a slab-ocean model in which the AMV forcing is prescribed through oceanic heat flux anomalies. The three experiments give consistent results concerning the response of the NAO in winter, with a negative NAO signal in response to a warming of the North Atlantic ocean. This response is found in early winter when the high-top model is used, and in late winter with the low-top model. With the slab-ocean, the negative NAO response is more persistent in winter and shifted eastward over the continent due to the damping of the atmospheric response over the North Atlantic ocean. Additional experiments suggest that both tropical and extratropical SST anomalies are needed to obtain a significant modulation of the NAO, with small influence of sea ice anomalies. Warm tropical SST anomalies induce a northward shift of the ITCZ and a Rossby-wave response that is reinforced in the mid-latitudes by the extratropical SST anomalies through eddy-mean flow interactions. This modeling study supports that the positive phase of the AMV promotes the negative NAO in winter, while illustrating the impacts of the stratosphere and of the ocean-atmosphere feedbacks in the spatial pattern and timing of this response.

  10. Absorbable and biodegradable polymers

    CERN Document Server

    Shalaby, Shalaby W

    2003-01-01

    INTRODUCTION NOTES: Absorbable/Biodegradable Polymers: Technology Evolution. DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATIONOF NEW SYSTEMS: Segmented Copolyesters with Prolonged Strength Retention Profiles. Polyaxial Crystalline Fiber-Forming Copolyester. Polyethylene Glycol-Based Copolyesters. Cyanoacrylate-Based Systems as Tissue Adhesives. Chitosan-Based Systems. Hyaluronic Acid-Based Systems. DEVELOPMENTS IN PREPARATIVE, PROCESSING, AND EVALUATION METHODS: New Approaches to the Synthesis of Crystalline. Fiber-Forming Aliphatic Copolyesters. Advances in Morphological Development to Tailor the Performance of Me

  11. Variable selection for distribution-free models for longitudinal zero-inflated count responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Tian; Wu, Pan; Tang, Wan; Zhang, Hui; Feng, Changyong; Kowalski, Jeanne; Tu, Xin M

    2016-07-20

    Zero-inflated count outcomes arise quite often in research and practice. Parametric models such as the zero-inflated Poisson and zero-inflated negative binomial are widely used to model such responses. Like most parametric models, they are quite sensitive to departures from assumed distributions. Recently, new approaches have been proposed to provide distribution-free, or semi-parametric, alternatives. These methods extend the generalized estimating equations to provide robust inference for population mixtures defined by zero-inflated count outcomes. In this paper, we propose methods to extend smoothly clipped absolute deviation (SCAD)-based variable selection methods to these new models. Variable selection has been gaining popularity in modern clinical research studies, as determining differential treatment effects of interventions for different subgroups has become the norm, rather the exception, in the era of patent-centered outcome research. Such moderation analysis in general creates many explanatory variables in regression analysis, and the advantages of SCAD-based methods over their traditional counterparts render them a great choice for addressing this important and timely issues in clinical research. We illustrate the proposed approach with both simulated and real study data. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:26844819

  12. Arctic sea ice response to atmospheric forcings with varying levels of anthropogenic warming and climate variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jinlun; Steele, Michael; Schweiger, Axel

    2010-10-01

    Numerical experiments are conducted to project arctic sea ice responses to varying levels of future anthropogenic warming and climate variability over 2010-2050. A summer ice-free Arctic Ocean is likely by the mid-2040s if arctic surface air temperature (SAT) increases 4°C by 2050 and climate variability is similar to the past relatively warm two decades. If such a SAT increase is reduced by one-half or if a future Arctic experiences a range of SAT fluctuation similar to the past five decades, a summer ice-free Arctic Ocean would be unlikely before 2050. If SAT increases 4°C by 2050, summer ice volume decreases to very low levels (10-37% of the 1978-2009 summer mean) as early as 2025 and remains low in the following years, while summer ice extent continues to fluctuate annually. Summer ice volume may be more sensitive to warming while summer ice extent more sensitive to climate variability. The rate of annual mean ice volume decrease relaxes approaching 2050. This is because, while increasing SAT increases summer ice melt, a thinner ice cover increases winter ice growth. A thinner ice cover also results in a reduced ice export, which helps to further slow ice volume loss. Because of enhanced winter ice growth, arctic winter ice extent remains nearly stable and therefore appears to be a less sensitive climate indicator.

  13. Application and Refinement of a Method to Achieve Uniform Convective Response on Variable-Resolution Meshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walko, R. L.; Medvigy, D.; Avissar, R.

    2013-12-01

    Variable-resolution computational grids can substantially improve the benefit-to-cost ratio in many environmental modeling applications, but they can also introduce unwanted and unrealistic numerical anomalies if not properly utilized. For example, we showed in previous studies that resolved (non-parameterized) atmospheric convection develops more quickly as resolution increases. Furthermore, on variable grids that transition from resolved to parameterized convection, timing and intensity of the convection in both regimes is generally disparate unless special care is taken to tune the parameterization. In both cases, the convection that develops first (due to purely numerical reasons) tends to suppress convection elsewhere by inducing subsidence in the surrounding environment. This highly nonlinear competition, while desirable when induced by natural causes such as surface inhomogeneity, is highly undesirable when it is a numerical artifact of variable grid resolution and/or selective application of convective parameterization. Our current research is aimed at leveling the playing field for convection across a variable resolution grid so that the above problems are avoided. The underlying idea is to apply the same or very similar 'convective machinery' to all areas of the grid. For convection-resolving regions of the grid, this machinery is simply the model grid itself, along with explicit representation of dynamics and a bulk microphysics parameterization. For coarser regions of the grid, the local environment is sampled from one or more grid columns (depending on local resolution) and fed to a separate 'convective processor', which determines the convective response to that environment and feeds the result back to the host grid. The convective processor chooses to either (1) explicitly resolve convective activity in the given environment on a separate (independent) limited-area 3D computational grid of comparable resolution to the convection-resolving part of the

  14. An individual-based model simulating goat response variability and long-term herd performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puillet, L; Martin, O; Sauvant, D; Tichit, M

    2010-12-01

    Finding ways of increasing the efficiency of production systems is a key issue of sustainability. System efficiency is based on long-term individual efficiency, which is highly variable and management driven. To study the effects of management on herd and individual efficiency, we developed the model simulation of goat herd management (SIGHMA). This dynamic model is individual-based and represents the interactions between technical operations (relative to replacement, reproduction and feeding) and individual biological processes (performance dynamics based on energy partitioning and production potential). It simulates outputs at both herd and goat levels over 20 years. A farmer's production project (i.e. a targeted milk production pattern) is represented by configuring the herd into female groups reflecting the organisation of kidding periods. Each group is managed by discrete events applying decision rules to simulate the carrying out of technical operations. The animal level is represented by a set of individual goat models. Each model simulates a goat's biological dynamics through its productive life. It integrates the variability of biological responses driven by genetic scaling parameters (milk production potential and mature body weight), by the regulations of energy partitioning among physiological functions and by responses to diet energy defined by the feeding strategy. A sensitivity analysis shows that herd efficiency was mainly affected by feeding management and to a lesser extent by the herd production potential. The same effects were observed on herd milk feed costs with an even lower difference between production potential and feeding management. SIGHMA was used in a virtual experiment to observe the effects of feeding strategies on herd and individual performances. We found that overfeeding led to a herd production increase and a feed cost decrease. However, this apparent increase in efficiency at the herd level (as feed cost decreased) was related

  15. Assessing conservation relevance of organism-environment relations using predicted changes in response variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutzwiller, Kevin J.; Barrow, Wylie C.; White, Joseph D.; Johnson-Randall, Lori; Cade, Brian S.; Zygo, Lisa M.

    2010-01-01

    1. Organism–environment models are used widely in conservation. The degree to which they are useful for informing conservation decisions – the conservation relevance of these relations – is important because lack of relevance may lead to misapplication of scarce conservation resources or failure to resolve important conservation dilemmas. Even when models perform well based on model fit and predictive ability, conservation relevance of associations may not be clear without also knowing the magnitude and variability of predicted changes in response variables. 2. We introduce a method for evaluating the conservation relevance of organism–environment relations that employs confidence intervals for predicted changes in response variables. The confidence intervals are compared to a preselected magnitude of change that marks a threshold (trigger) for conservation action. To demonstrate the approach, we used a case study from the Chihuahuan Desert involving relations between avian richness and broad-scale patterns of shrubland. We considered relations for three winters and two spatial extents (1- and 2-km-radius areas) and compared predicted changes in richness to three thresholds (10%, 20% and 30% change). For each threshold, we examined 48 relations. 3. The method identified seven, four and zero conservation-relevant changes in mean richness for the 10%, 20% and 30% thresholds respectively. These changes were associated with major (20%) changes in shrubland cover, mean patch size, the coefficient of variation for patch size, or edge density but not with major changes in shrubland patch density. The relative rarity of conservation-relevant changes indicated that, overall, the relations had little practical value for informing conservation decisions about avian richness. 4. The approach we illustrate is appropriate for various response and predictor variables measured at any temporal or spatial scale. The method is broadly applicable across ecological

  16. Experimental Investigation and Optimization of Response Variables in WEDM of Inconel - 718

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karidkar, S. S.; Dabade, U. A.

    2016-02-01

    Effective utilisation of Wire Electrical Discharge Machining (WEDM) technology is challenge for modern manufacturing industries. Day by day new materials with high strengths and capabilities are being developed to fulfil the customers need. Inconel - 718 is similar kind of material which is extensively used in aerospace applications, such as gas turbine, rocket motors, and spacecraft as well as in nuclear reactors and pumps etc. This paper deals with the experimental investigation of optimal machining parameters in WEDM for Surface Roughness, Kerf Width and Dimensional Deviation using DoE such as Taguchi methodology, L9 orthogonal array. By keeping peak current constant at 70 A, the effect of other process parameters on above response variables were analysed. Obtained experimental results were statistically analysed using Minitab-16 software. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) shows pulse on time as the most influential parameter followed by wire tension whereas spark gap set voltage is observed to be non-influencing parameter. Multi-objective optimization technique, Grey Relational Analysis (GRA), shows optimal machining parameters such as pulse on time 108 Machine unit, spark gap set voltage 50 V and wire tension 12 gm for optimal response variables considered for the experimental analysis.

  17. Statistical correlation of fractional oscillator response by complex spectral moments and state variable expansion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinnola, Francesco Paolo

    2016-10-01

    The statistical characterization of the oscillator response with non-integer order damping under Gaussian noise represents an important challenge in the modern stochastic mechanics. In fact, this kind of problem appears in several issues of different type (wave propagation in viscoelastic media, Brownian motion, fluid dynamics, RLC circuit, etc.). The aim of this paper is to provide a stochastic characterization of the stationary response of linear fractional oscillator forced by normal white noise. In particular, this paper shows a new method to obtain the correlation function by exact complex spectral moments. These complex quantities contain all the information to describe the random processes but in the considered case their analytical evaluation needs some mathematical manipulations. For this reason such complex spectral moment characterization is used in conjunction with a fractional-order state variable analysis. This kind of analysis permits to find the exact expression of complex spectral moments, and the correlation function by using the Mellin transform. Moreover, the proposed approach provides an analytical expression of the response variance of the fractional oscillator. Capability and efficiency of the present method are shown in the numerical examples in which correlation and variance of fractional oscillator response are found and compared with those obtained by Monte Carlo simulations.

  18. Frequency Domain Analysis for Assessing Fluid Responsiveness by Using Instantaneous Pulse Rate Variability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pei-Chen Lin

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In the ICU, fluid therapy is conventional strategy for the patient in shock. However, only half of ICU patients have well-responses to fluid therapy, and fluid loading in non-responsive patient delays definitive therapy. Prediction of fluid responsiveness (FR has become intense topic in clinic. Most of conventional FR prediction method based on time domain analysis, and it is limited ability to indicate FR. This study proposed a method which predicts FR based on frequency domain analysis, named instantaneous pulse rate variability (iPRV. iPRV provides a new indication in very high frequency (VHF range (0.4-0.8Hz of spectrum for peripheral responses. Twenty six healthy subjects participated this study and photoplethysmography signal was recorded in supine baseline, during head-up tilt (HUT, and passive leg raising (PLR, which induces variation of venous return and helps for quantitative assessment of FR individually. The result showed the spectral power of VHF decreased during HUT (573.96±756.36 ms2 in baseline; 348.00±434.92 ms2 in HUT and increased during PLR (573.96±756.36 ms2 in baseline; 718.92±973.70 ms2 in PLR, which present the compensated regulation of venous return and FR. This study provides an effective indicator for assessing FR in frequency domain and has potential to be a reliable system in ICU.

  19. Dynamic Response in Transient Operation of a Variable Geometry Turbine Stage: Influence of the Aerodynamic Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Binder

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The transient response of a radial turbine stage with a variable geometry system is evaluated. Mainly, the consequences of the variations of the aerodynamic performance of the stage on the response time are checked. A simple quasi-steady model is derived in order to formalize the expected dependences. Then an experimental campaign is conducted: a brutal step in the feeding conditions of the stage is imposed, and the response time in terms of rotational speed is measured. This has been reproduced on different declinations of the same stage, through the variation of the stator geometry, and correlated to the steady-state performance of the initial and final operating points of the transient phase. The matching between theoretical expectation and results is surprisingly good for some configurations, less for others. The most important factor identified is the mass-flow level during the transient phase. It increases the reactivity, even far above the theoretical expectation for some configurations. For those cases, it is demonstrated that the quasi-steady approach may not be sufficient to explain how the transient response is set.

  20. Spatial patterns of simulated transpiration response to climate variability in a snow dominated mountain ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, L.; Tague, C.L.; Baron, J.S.

    2008-01-01

    Transpiration is an important component of soil water storage and stream-flow and is linked with ecosystem productivity, species distribution, and ecosystem health. In mountain environments, complex topography creates heterogeneity in key controls on transpiration as well as logistical challenges for collecting representative measurements. In these settings, ecosystem models can be used to account for variation in space and time of the dominant controls on transpiration and provide estimates of transpiration patterns and their sensitivity to climate variability and change. The Regional Hydro-Ecological Simulation System (RHESSys) model was used to assess elevational differences in sensitivity of transpiration rates to the spatiotemporal variability of climate variables across the Upper Merced River watershed, Yosemite Valley, California, USA. At the basin scale, predicted annual transpiration was lowest in driest and wettest years, and greatest in moderate precipitation years (R2 = 0.32 and 0.29, based on polynomial regression of maximum snow depth and annual precipitation, respectively). At finer spatial scales, responsiveness of transpiration rates to climate differed along an elevational gradient. Low elevations (1200-1800 m) showed little interannual variation in transpiration due to topographically controlled high soil moistures along the river corridor. Annual conifer stand transpiration at intermediate elevations (1800-2150 m) responded more strongly to precipitation, resulting in a unimodal relationship between transpiration and precipitation where highest transpiration occurred during moderate precipitation levels, regardless of annual air temperatures. Higher elevations (2150-2600 m) maintained this trend, but air temperature sensitivities were greater. At these elevations, snowfall provides enough moisture for growth, and increased temperatures influenced transpiration. Transpiration at the highest elevations (2600-4000 m) showed strong sensitivity to

  1. Multi-scale responses of scattering layers to environmental variability in Monterey Bay, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urmy, Samuel S.; Horne, John K.

    2016-07-01

    A 38 kHz upward-facing echosounder was deployed on the seafloor at a depth of 875 m in Monterey Bay, CA, USA (36° 42.748‧N, 122° 11.214‧W) from 27 February 2009 to 18 August 2010. This 18-month record of acoustic backscatter was compared to oceanographic time series from a nearby data buoy to investigate the responses of animals in sound-scattering layers to oceanic variability at seasonal and sub-seasonal time scales. Pelagic animals, as measured by acoustic backscatter, moved higher in the water column and decreased in abundance during spring upwelling, attributed to avoidance of a shoaling oxycline and advection offshore. Seasonal changes were most evident in a non-migrating scattering layer near 500 m depth that disappeared in spring and reappeared in summer, building to a seasonal maximum in fall. At sub-seasonal time scales, similar responses were observed after individual upwelling events, though they were much weaker than the seasonal relationship. Correlations of acoustic backscatter with oceanographic variability also differed with depth. Backscatter in the upper water column decreased immediately following upwelling, then increased approximately 20 days later. Similar correlations existed deeper in the water column, but at increasing lags, suggesting that near-surface productivity propagated down the water column at 10-15 m d-1, consistent with sinking speeds of marine snow measured in Monterey Bay. Sub-seasonal variability in backscatter was best correlated with sea-surface height, suggesting that passive physical transport was most important at these time scales.

  2. Forced response and internal variability of summer climate over western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamae, Youichi; Shiogama, Hideo; Imada, Yukiko; Mori, Masato; Arakawa, Osamu; Mizuta, Ryo; Yoshida, Kohei; Takahashi, Chiharu; Arai, Miki; Ishii, Masayoshi; Watanabe, Masahiro; Kimoto, Masahide; Xie, Shang-Ping; Ueda, Hiroaki

    2016-09-01

    Over the past decade, anomalously hot summers and persistent droughts frequented over the western United States (wUS), the condition similar to the 1950s and 1960s. While atmospheric internal variability is important for mid-latitude interannual climate variability, it has been suggested that anthropogenic external forcing and multidecadal modes of variability in sea surface temperature, namely, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), also affect the occurrence of droughts and hot summers. In this study, 100-member ensemble simulations for 1951-2010 by an atmospheric general circulation model were used to explore relative contributions of anthropogenic warming, atmospheric internal variability, and atmospheric response to PDO and AMO to the decadal anomalies over the wUS. By comparing historical and sensitivity simulations driven by observed sea surface temperature, sea ice, historical forcing agents, and non-warming counterfactual climate forcing, we found that large portions of recent increases in mean temperature and frequency of hot summers (66 and 82 %) over the wUS can be attributed to the anthropogenic global warming. In contrast, multidecadal change in the wUS precipitation is explained by a combination of the negative PDO and the positive AMO after the 2000s. Diagnostics using a linear baroclinic model indicate that AMO- and PDO-related diabatic heating anomalies over the tropics contribute to the anomalous atmospheric circulation associated with the droughts and hot summers over wUS on multidecadal timescale. Those anomalies are not robust during the periods when PDO and AMO are in phase. The prolonged PDO-AMO antiphase period since the late twentieth century resulted in the substantial component of multidecadal anomalies in temperature and precipitation over the wUS.

  3. Spatial representation and cognitive modulation of response variability in the lateral intraparietal area priority map.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falkner, Annegret L; Goldberg, Michael E; Krishna, B Suresh

    2013-10-01

    The lateral intraparietal area (LIP) in the macaque contains a priority-based representation of the visual scene. We previously showed that the mean spike rate of LIP neurons is strongly influenced by spatially wide-ranging surround suppression in a manner that effectively sharpens the priority map. Reducing response variability can also improve the precision of LIP's priority map. We show that when a monkey plans a visually guided delayed saccade with an intervening distractor, variability (measured by the Fano factor) decreases both for neurons representing the saccade goal and for neurons representing the broad spatial surround. The reduction in Fano factor is maximal for neurons representing the saccade goal and steadily decreases for neurons representing more distant locations. LIP Fano factor changes are behaviorally significant: increasing expected reward leads to lower variability for the LIP representation of both the target and distractor locations, and trials with shorter latency saccades are associated with lower Fano factors in neurons representing the surround. Thus, the LIP Fano factor reflects both stimulus and behavioral engagement. Quantitative modeling shows that the interaction between mean spike count and target-receptive field (RF) distance in the surround during the predistractor epoch is multiplicative: the Fano factor increases more steeply with mean spike count further away from the RF. A negative-binomial model for LIP spike counts captures these findings quantitatively, suggests underlying mechanisms based on trial-by-trial variations in mean spike rate or burst-firing patterns, and potentially provides a principled framework to account simultaneously for the previously observed unsystematic relationships between spike rate and variability in different brain areas. PMID:24107945

  4. Intraclass Correlation Coefficients in Hierarchical Design Studies with Discrete Response Variables: A Note on a Direct Interval Estimation Procedure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raykov, Tenko; Marcoulides, George A.

    2015-01-01

    A latent variable modeling procedure that can be used to evaluate intraclass correlation coefficients in two-level settings with discrete response variables is discussed. The approach is readily applied when the purpose is to furnish confidence intervals at prespecified confidence levels for these coefficients in setups with binary or ordinal…

  5. A Method for Analyzing the Dynamic Response of a Structural System with Variable Mass, Damping and Stiffness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mike D.R. Zhang

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, a method for analyzing the dynamic response of a structural system with variable mass, damping and stiffness is first presented. The dynamic equations of the structural system with variable mass and stiffness are derived according to the whole working process of a bridge bucket unloader. At the end of the paper, an engineering numerical example is given.

  6. Genetic control of the variable innate immune response to asymptomatic bacteriuria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenny Grönberg-Hernández

    Full Text Available The severity of urinary tract infection (UTI reflects the quality and magnitude of the host response. While strong local and systemic innate immune activation occurs in patients with acute pyelonephritis, the response to asymptomatic bacteriuria (ABU is low. The immune response repertoire in ABU has not been characterized, due to the inherent problem to distinguish bacterial differences from host-determined variation. In this study, we investigated the host response to ABU and genetic variants affecting innate immune signaling and UTI susceptibility. Patients were subjected to therapeutic urinary tract inoculation with E. coli 83972 to ensure that they were exposed to the same E. coli strain. The innate immune response repertoire was characterized in urine samples, collected from each patient before and after inoculation with bacteria or PBS, if during the placebo arm of the study. Long-term E. coli 83972 ABU was established in 23 participants, who were followed for up to twelve months and the innate immune response was quantified in 233 urine samples. Neutrophil numbers increased in all but two patients and in an extended urine cytokine/chemokine analysis (31 proteins, the chemoattractants IL-8 and GRO-α, RANTES, Eotaxin-1 and MCP-1, the T cell chemoattractant and antibacterial peptide IP-10, inflammatory regulators IL-1-α and sIL-1RA and the T lymphocyte/dendritic cell product sIL-2Rα were detected and variably increased, compared to sterile samples. IL-6, which is associated with symptomatic UTI, remained low and numerous specific immune mediators were not detected. The patients were also genotyped for UTI-associated IRF3 and TLR4 promoter polymorphisms. Patients with ABU associated TLR4 polymorphisms had low neutrophil numbers, IL-6, IP-10, MCP-1 and sIL-2Rα concentrations. Patients with the ABU-associated IRF3 genotype had lower neutrophils, IL-6 and MCP-1 responses than the remaining group. The results suggest that the host

  7. Continental-scale impacts of intra-seasonal rainfall variability on simulated ecosystem responses in Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, K.; Good, S. P.; Caylor, K. K.; Sato, H.; Wood, E. F.; Li, H.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change is expected to modify intra-seasonal rainfall variability, arising from shifts in rainfall frequency, intensity and seasonality. These intra-seasonal changes are likely to have important ecological impacts on terrestrial ecosystems. Yet, quantifying these impacts across biomes and large climate gradients is largely missing. This gap hinders our ability to better predict ecosystem services and their responses to climate change, especially for arid and semi-arid ecosystems. Here we use a synthetic weather generator and an independently validated vegetation dynamic model (SEIB-Dynamic Global Vegetation Model, DGVM) to virtually conduct a series of "rainfall manipulation experiments" to study how changes in the intra-seasonal rainfall variability affect continent-scale ecosystem responses across Africa. We generate different rainfall scenarios with fixed total annual rainfall but shifts in (i) frequency vs. intensity, (ii) rainy season length vs. frequency, (iii) intensity vs. rainy season length. These scenarios are fed into SEIB-DGVM to investigate changes in biome distributions and ecosystem productivity. We find a loss of ecosystem productivity with increased rainfall frequency and decreased intensity at very low rainfall regimes (year-1) and low frequency (benefit from increased frequency and decreased intensity, except in the wet tropics (>1800 mm year-1) where radiation limitation prevents further productivity gains. This result reconciles seemingly contradictory findings in previous field studies on the impact of rainfall frequency/intensity on ecosystem productivity. We also find that changes in rainy season length can yield more dramatic ecosystem responses compared with similar percentage changes in rainfall frequency or intensity, with the largest impacts in semi-arid woodlands. This study demonstrates that intra-seasonal rainfall characteristics play a significant role in influencing ecosystem function and structure through controls on

  8. Monsoonal variability in abiotic parameters in coastal waters off Trivandrum evokes press and pulse response in biotic variables

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Subina, N.S.; Bhosle, S.; Nair, S.; Lokabharathi, P.A.

    Trivandrum Coast experiences coastal upwelling during south west monsoon, which is accompanied by abiotic changes in physio-chemical parameters. The resultant biotic responses could range from an instantaneous pulse to a sustained press reaction...

  9. Hydrological response to changing climate conditions: Spatial streamflow variability in the boreal region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teutschbein, Claudia; Grabs, Thomas; Karlsen, Reinert H.; Laudon, Hjalmar; Bishop, Kevin

    2016-04-01

    It has long been recognized that streamflow-generating processes are not only dependent on climatic conditions, but also affected by physical catchment properties such as topography, geology, soils and land cover. We hypothesize that these landscape characteristics do not only lead to highly variable hydrologic behavior of rather similar catchments under the same stationary climate conditions (Karlsen et al., 2014), but that they also play a fundamental role for the sensitivity of a catchment to a changing climate (Teutschbein et al., 2015). A multi-model ensemble based on 15 regional climate models was combined with a multi-catchment approach to explore the hydrologic sensitivity of 14 partially nested and rather similar catchments in Northern Sweden to changing climate conditions and the importance of small-scale spatial variability. Current (1981-2010) and future (2061-2090) streamflow was simulated with the HBV model. As expected, projected increases in temperature and precipitation resulted in increased total available streamflow, with lower spring and summer flows, but substantially higher winter streamflow. Furthermore, significant changes in flow durations with lower chances of both high and low flows can be expected in boreal Sweden in the future. This overall trend in projected streamflow pattern changes was comparable among the analyzed catchments while the magnitude of change differed considerably. This suggests that catchments belonging to the same region can show distinctly different degrees of hydrological responses to the same external climate change signal. We reason that differences in spatially distributed physical catchment properties at smaller scales are not only of great importance for current streamflow behavior, but also play a major role as first-order control for the sensitivity of catchments to changing climate conditions. References Karlsen, R.H., T. Grabs, K. Bishop, H. Laudon, and J. Seibert (2014). Landscape controls on

  10. Variability of glycemic and insulin response to a standard meal, within and between healthy subjects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Hirsch

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Aim: To test the variability within and between subject of glycemic response test following the ingestion of a standard food. Material and methods: Glucose and insulin response of a standard meal (white bread was performed in ten healthy volunteers and repeated under identical conditions for 6 times. Blood glucose and insulin levels were measured in the fasted state and over the 180 min following commencement of consumption of the foods The Area Under the Curve (AUC for glucose and insulin was calculated for the values above baseline for the 3hour period following the standard meal. Within and between coefficient of variation was calculated. Results: The total intra-individual variation of the gAUC was 51.8% range 24.9 to 91.4%. The inter-individual variation of the gAUC in the complete study was 75.2% . The total intra-individual variation of the iAUC was 51.9%. ranged: 7.7 to 103%. The inter-individual variation in the complete study was 86%. Conclusion: Glucose and insulin response to a reference food has low reliability, therefore limits its clinical utility for individual dietary prescription.

  11. Calibrations between the variables of microbial TTI response and ground pork qualities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Eunji; Choi, Dong Yeol; Kim, Hyun Chul; Kim, Keehyuk; Lee, Seung Ju

    2013-10-01

    A time-temperature indicator (TTI) based on a lactic acid bacterium, Weissella cibaria CIFP009, was applied to ground pork packaging. Calibration curves between TTI response and pork qualities were obtained from storage tests at 2°C, 10°C, and 13°C. The curves of the TTI vs. total cell number at different temperatures coincided to the greatest extent, indicating the highest representativeness of calibration, by showing the least coefficient of variance (CV=11%) of the quality variables at a given TTI response (titratable acidity) on the curves, followed by pH (23%), volatile basic nitrogen (VBN) (25%), and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) (47%). Similarity of Arrhenius activation energy (Ea) could also reflect the representativeness of calibration. The total cell number (104.9 kJ/mol) was found to be the most similar to that of the TTI response (106.2 kJ/mol), followed by pH (113.6 kJ/mol), VBN (77.4 kJ/mol), and TBARS (55.0 kJ/mol). PMID:23747630

  12. How to include the variability of TMS responses in simulations: a speech mapping case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Geeter, N.; Lioumis, P.; Laakso, A.; Crevecoeur, G.; Dupré, L.

    2016-11-01

    When delivered over a specific cortical site, TMS can temporarily disrupt the ongoing process in that area. This allows mapping of speech-related areas for preoperative evaluation purposes. We numerically explore the observed variability of TMS responses during a speech mapping experiment performed with a neuronavigation system. We selected four cases with very small perturbations in coil position and orientation. In one case (E) a naming error occurred, while in the other cases (NEA, B, C) the subject appointed the images as smoothly as without TMS. A realistic anisotropic head model was constructed of the subject from T1-weighted and diffusion-weighted MRI. The induced electric field distributions were computed, associated to the coil parameters retrieved from the neuronavigation system. Finally, the membrane potentials along relevant white matter fibre tracts, extracted from DTI-based tractography, were computed using a compartmental cable equation. While only minor differences could be noticed between the induced electric field distributions of the four cases, computing the corresponding membrane potentials revealed different subsets of tracts were activated. A single tract was activated for all coil positions. Another tract was only triggered for case E. NEA induced action potentials in 13 tracts, while NEB stimulated 11 tracts and NEC one. The calculated results are certainly sensitive to the coil specifications, demonstrating the observed variability in this study. However, even though a tract connecting Broca’s with Wernicke’s area is only triggered for the error case, further research is needed on other study cases and on refining the neural model with synapses and network connections. Case- and subject-specific modelling that includes both electromagnetic fields and neuronal activity enables demonstration of the variability in TMS experiments and can capture the interaction with complex neural networks.

  13. Correcting scan-to-scan response variability for a radiochromic film-based reference dosimetry system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Purpose: In radiochromic film dosimetry systems, measurements are usually obtained from film images acquired on a CCD-based flatbed scanner. The authors investigated factors affecting scan-to-scan response variability leading to increased dose measurement uncertainty. Methods: The authors used flatbed document scanners to repetitively scan EBT3 radiochromic films exposed to doses 0–1000 cGy, together with three neutral density filters and three blue optical filters. Scanning was performed under two conditions: scanner lid closed and scanner lid opened/closed between scans. The authors also placed a scanner in a cold room at 9 °C and later in a room at 22 °C and scanned EBT3 films to explore temperature effects. Finally, the authors investigated the effect of altering the distance between the film and the scanner’s light source. Results: Using a measurement protocol to isolate the contribution of the CCD and electronic circuitry of the scanners, the authors found that the standard deviation of response measurements for the EBT3 film model was about 0.17% for one scanner and 0.09% for the second. When the lid of the first scanner was opened and closed between scans, the average scan-to-scan difference of responses increased from 0.12% to 0.27%. Increasing the sample temperature during scanning changed the RGB response values by about −0.17, −0.14, and −0.05%/°C, respectively. Reducing the film-to-light source distance increased the RBG response values about 1.1, 1.3, and 1.4%/mm, respectively. The authors observed that films and film samples were often not flat with some areas up to 8 mm away from the scanner’s glass window. Conclusions: In the absence of measures to deal with the response irregularities, each factor the authors investigated could lead to dose uncertainty >2%. Those factors related to the film-to-light source distance could be particularly impactful since the authors observed many instances where the curl of film samples had the

  14. Mt Response of a 1d Earth Model Employing the Born Approximation with Variable Background Conductivities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tejero, A.; Chavez, R. E.

    2001-12-01

    The Born approximation method has been commonly employed to study the electromagnetic field response. Other interpretative techniques have benn employed based upon the Born Approximation, like the extended Born approximation (EBA). This method employs the total field, instead of the primary field. Also, the Quasi Linear Approximation method (QLA) is an extension of EVA. In the present work, we propose an alternative technique, which employs the Born Approximation using variable background conductivities (BAVBC). The Green function is represented as a Born perturbation of zero order. Such that, the reference medium conductivity is a parameter selected according the working frequency. A similar procedure has been reported for stratified 1D-earth seismic models. This technique (BAVBC) has been applied to model computational models with reasonable results, as compared with available computational packages in the market. This method permits variations in the conductivity contrast of up to 80%, which provides solutions with 30% error, with respect of the analytical solution.

  15. Detection of outliers in the response and explanatory variables of the simple circular regression model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahmood, Ehab A.; Rana, Sohel; Hussin, Abdul Ghapor; Midi, Habshah

    2016-06-01

    The circular regression model may contain one or more data points which appear to be peculiar or inconsistent with the main part of the model. This may be occur due to recording errors, sudden short events, sampling under abnormal conditions etc. The existence of these data points "outliers" in the data set cause lot of problems in the research results and the conclusions. Therefore, we should identify them before applying statistical analysis. In this article, we aim to propose a statistic to identify outliers in the both of the response and explanatory variables of the simple circular regression model. Our proposed statistic is robust circular distance RCDxy and it is justified by the three robust measurements such as proportion of detection outliers, masking and swamping rates.

  16. Conserved and Variable Functions of the sigma(E Stress Response in Related Genomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Bacteria often cope with environmental stress by inducing alternative sigma (sigma factors, which direct RNA polymerase to specific promoters, thereby inducing a set of genes called a regulon to combat the stress. To understand the conserved and organism-specific functions of each sigma, it is necessary to be able to predict their promoters, so that their regulons can be followed across species. However, the variability of promoter sequences and motif spacing makes their prediction difficult. We developed and validated an accurate promoter prediction model for Escherichia coli sigma(E, which enabled us to predict a total of 89 unique sigma(E-controlled transcription units in E. coli K-12 and eight related genomes. sigma(E controls the envelope stress response in E. coli K-12. The portion of the regulon conserved across genomes is functionally coherent, ensuring the synthesis, assembly, and homeostasis of lipopolysaccharide and outer membrane porins, the key constituents of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. The larger variable portion is predicted to perform pathogenesis-associated functions, suggesting that sigma(E provides organism-specific functions necessary for optimal host interaction. The success of our promoter prediction model for sigma(E suggests that it will be applicable for the prediction of promoter elements for many alternative sigma factors.

  17. Urban heat island impacts on plant phenology: intra-urban variability and response to land cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zipper, Samuel C.; Schatz, Jason; Singh, Aditya; Kucharik, Christopher J.; Townsend, Philip A.; Loheide, Steven P., II

    2016-05-01

    Despite documented intra-urban heterogeneity in the urban heat island (UHI) effect, little is known about spatial or temporal variability in plant response to the UHI. Using an automated temperature sensor network in conjunction with Landsat-derived remotely sensed estimates of start/end of the growing season, we investigate the impacts of the UHI on plant phenology in the city of Madison WI (USA) for the 2012-2014 growing seasons. Median urban growing season length (GSL) estimated from temperature sensors is ˜5 d longer than surrounding rural areas, and UHI impacts on GSL are relatively consistent from year-to-year. Parks within urban areas experience a subdued expression of GSL lengthening resulting from interactions between the UHI and a park cool island effect. Across all growing seasons, impervious cover in the area surrounding each temperature sensor explains >50% of observed variability in phenology. Comparisons between long-term estimates of annual mean phenological timing, derived from remote sensing, and temperature-based estimates of individual growing seasons show no relationship at the individual sensor level. The magnitude of disagreement between temperature-based and remotely sensed phenology is a function of impervious and grass cover surrounding the sensor, suggesting that realized GSL is controlled by both local land cover and micrometeorological conditions.

  18. Correlative changes in life-history variables in response to environmental change in a model organism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smallegange, Isabel M; Deere, Jacques A; Coulson, Tim

    2014-06-01

    Global change alters the environment, including increases in the frequency of (un)favorable events and shifts in environmental noise color. However, how these changes impact the dynamics of populations, and whether these can be predicted accurately has been largely unexamined. Here we combine recently developed population modeling approaches and theory in stochastic demography to explore how life history, morphology, and average fitness respond to changes in the frequency of favorable environmental conditions and in the color of environmental noise in a model organism (an acarid mite). We predict that different life-history variables respond correlatively to changes in the environment, and we identify different life-history variables, including lifetime reproductive success, as indicators of average fitness and life-history speed across stochastic environments. Depending on the shape of adult survival rate, generation time can be used as an indicator of the response of populations to stochastic change, as in the deterministic case. This work is a useful step toward understanding population dynamics in stochastic environments, including how stochastic change may shape the evolution of life histories.

  19. The High Variability of Hydrologic Response in Mountain Watersheds: Snowy Range, Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, S. N.

    2015-12-01

    Three adjacent mountain streams that coalesce to form a single river have been monitored with a nested watershed design comprised of ten runoff stations for the past three years. Some of the stations are co-located on previous monitoring sites that allow for an extended period of record. Stage-discharge relationships have been built with high degrees of confidence at each station, and stream isotope data have been taken to better determine sources of water and fractionation of precipitation into runoff components. In addition to runoff observations we have multiple weather stations and use geophysical methods to investigate the subsurface and better characterize potential flow pathways and remote sensing and field methods to characterize the watersheds. From these data we have observed a high degree in variability in runoff characteristics among these sites, including significant differences in annual runoff, proportion of baseflow, rainfall/runoff efficiency, and hydrologic regime. Analyses of nested runoff data reveal longitudinal and seasonal changes in surface and subsurface flow, which allow us to identify the timing and location of groundwater contributions and channel transmission to regional aquifers. Differences among the watershed responses are augmented by precipitation, and we identify stream reaches that change from effluent to influent depending on timing and magnitude of runoff. We explored physical interpretations for the observed variability, including management, beetle impacts, and subsurface characteristics as inferred from geophysical data.

  20. Optimization and Modeling of Process Variables of Biodiesel Production from Marula Oil using Response Surface Methodology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper presents an optimization study in the production of biodiesel production from Marula oil. The study was carried out using a central composite design of experiments under response surface methodology. A mathematical model was developed to correlate the transesterification process variables to biodiesel yield. The transesterification reaction variables were methanol to oil ratio, x /sub 1/ (10-50 wt percentage), reaction time, x /sub 2/ (30-90 min), reaction temperature, x /sub 3/ (30-90 Degree C) stirring speed, x /sub 4/ (100-400 rpm) and amount of catalyst, x /sub 5/ (0.5-1.5 g). The optimum conditions for the production of the biodiesel were found to be methanol to oil ratio (29.43 wt percentage), reaction time (59.17 minutes), reaction temperature (58.80 Degree C), stirring speed (325 rpm) and amount of catalyst (1.02 g). The optimum yield of biodiesel that can be produced was 95 percentage. The results revealed that the crucial fuel properties of the biodiesel produced at the optimum conditions met the ASTM biodiesel specifications. (author)

  1. Dynamic sensorimotor planning during long-term sequence learning: the role of variability, response chunking and planning errors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy Verstynen

    Full Text Available Many everyday skills are learned by binding otherwise independent actions into a unified sequence of responses across days or weeks of practice. Here we looked at how the dynamics of action planning and response binding change across such long timescales. Subjects (N = 23 were trained on a bimanual version of the serial reaction time task (32-item sequence for two weeks (10 days total. Response times and accuracy both showed improvement with time, but appeared to be learned at different rates. Changes in response speed across training were associated with dynamic changes in response time variability, with faster learners expanding their variability during the early training days and then contracting response variability late in training. Using a novel measure of response chunking, we found that individual responses became temporally correlated across trials and asymptoted to set sizes of approximately 7 bound responses at the end of the first week of training. Finally, we used a state-space model of the response planning process to look at how predictive (i.e., response anticipation and error-corrective (i.e., post-error slowing processes correlated with learning rates for speed, accuracy and chunking. This analysis yielded non-monotonic association patterns between the state-space model parameters and learning rates, suggesting that different parts of the response planning process are relevant at different stages of long-term learning. These findings highlight the dynamic modulation of response speed, variability, accuracy and chunking as multiple movements become bound together into a larger set of responses during sequence learning.

  2. Genotypic variability in physiological, biomass and yield response to drought stress in pigeonpea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanaja, M; Maheswari, M; Sathish, P; Vagheera, P; Jyothi Lakshmi, N; Vijay Kumar, G; Yadav, S K; Razzaq, Abdul; Singh, Jainender; Sarkar, B

    2015-10-01

    Three pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan L. Millsp.) genotypes- GT-1, AKP-1 and PRG-158 with varying crop duration, growth habit and flowering pattern were evaluated for variability in their response for drought stress. Drought stress was imposed at initiation of flowering and the observations on biomass and seed yield parameters were recorded at harvest. The magnitude of response of individual component to drought stress was found to be genotype specific. Drought stress significantly decreased photosynthetic rate (PN), transpiration rate (Tr) and relative water content (RWC) in all the genotypes, however the magnitude of reduction differed with genotype. With drought stress, the reduction of PN was highest in GT-1 while reduction in Tr was highest in PRG-158. The genotype AKP-1, accumulated significantly higher concentrations of osmotic solutes especially proline under water deficit stress, this facilitated it to maintain higher relative water content (RWC) and lower malondialdehyde (MDA) content as compared to other genotypes. Drought stress also impacted biomass production and their partitioning to vegetative and reproductive components at harvest. There was significant variability between the genotypes for seed yield under drought stress while it was non-significant under well-watered condition. Drought stress enhanced flower drop and decreased flower to pod conversion resulting in reduced pod number and seed number in PRG-158 and GT-1. The genotype AKP-1 recorded superior performance for seed yield under stress environment due to its ability in maintaining pod and seed number as well as improved test weight (100 seed weight). Under drought stress, significant positive association of seed yield with proline, seed number, pod number and test weight clearly indicating their role in drought tolerance. PMID:26600680

  3. Androgen responsiveness to competition in humans: the role of cognitive variables

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliveira GA

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Gonçalo A Oliveira,1 Rui F Oliveira1,2 1Unidade de Investigação em Eco-Etologia, ISPA – Instituto Universitário, Lisbon, Portugal; 2Champalimaud Neuroscience Program, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Oeiras, Portugal Abstract: Although androgens are commonly seen as male sex hormones, it has been established over the years that in both sexes, androgens also respond to social challenges. To explain the socially driven changes in androgens, two theoretical models have been proposed: the biosocial model and the challenge hypothesis. These models are typically seen as partly overlapping; however, they generate different predictions that are clarified here. In humans, sports competition and nonmetabolic competitive tasks have been used in the laboratory setting, as a proxy for agonistic interactions in animals. The results reviewed here show that the testosterone (T response to competition in humans is highly variable – the studies present postcompetition T levels and changes in T that depend on the contest outcome and that cannot be predicted by the current theoretical models. These conflicting results bring to the foreground the importance of considering cognitive factors that could moderate the androgen response to competition. Among these variables, we elect cognitive appraisal and its components as a key candidate modulating factor. It is known that T also modulates the cognitive processes that are relevant to performance in competition. In this article, we reviewed the evidence arising from studies investigating the effect of administering exogenous T and compare those results with the findings from studies that measured endogenous T levels. Finally, we summarized the importance of also considering the interaction between androgens and other hormones, such as cortisol, when investigating the social modulation of T, as proposed by the dual-hormone hypothesis. Keywords: testosterone, challenge hypothesis, biosocial model, cognitive

  4. Evaluation of simulated photolysis rates and their response to solar irradiance variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sukhodolov, Timofei; Rozanov, Eugene; Ball, William T.; Bais, Alkiviadis; Tourpali, Kleareti; Shapiro, Alexander I.; Telford, Paul; Smyshlyaev, Sergey; Fomin, Boris; Sander, Rolf; Bossay, Sébastien; Bekki, Slimane; Marchand, Marion; Chipperfield, Martyn P.; Dhomse, Sandip; Haigh, Joanna D.; Peter, Thomas; Schmutz, Werner

    2016-05-01

    The state of the stratospheric ozone layer and the temperature structure of the atmosphere are largely controlled by the solar spectral irradiance (SSI) through its influence on heating and photolysis rates. This study focuses on the uncertainties in the photolysis rate response to solar irradiance variability related to the choice of SSI data set and to the performance of the photolysis codes used in global chemistry-climate models. To estimate the impact of SSI uncertainties, we compared several photolysis rates calculated with the radiative transfer model libRadtran, using SSI calculated with two models and observed during the Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) satellite mission. The importance of the calculated differences in the photolysis rate response for ozone and temperature changes has been estimated using 1-D a radiative-convective-photochemical model. We demonstrate that the main photolysis reactions, responsible for the solar signal in the stratosphere, are highly sensitive to the spectral distribution of SSI variations. Accordingly, the ozone changes and related ozone-temperature feedback are shown to depend substantially on the SSI data set being used, which highlights the necessity of obtaining accurate SSI variations. To evaluate the performance of photolysis codes, we compared the results of eight, widely used, photolysis codes against two reference schemes. We show that, in most cases, absolute values of the photolysis rates and their response to applied SSI changes agree within 30%. However, larger errors may appear in specific atmospheric regions because of differences, for instance, in the treatment of Rayleigh scattering, quantum yields, or absorption cross sections.

  5. Response variability in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: a neuronal and glial energetics hypothesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Auerbach Judith G

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available 1. Abstract Background Current concepts of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD emphasize the role of higher-order cognitive functions and reinforcement processes attributed to structural and biochemical anomalies in cortical and limbic neural networks innervated by the monoamines, dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin. However, these explanations do not account for the ubiquitous findings in ADHD of intra-individual performance variability, particularly on tasks that require continual responses to rapid, externally-paced stimuli. Nor do they consider attention as a temporal process dependent upon a continuous energy supply for efficient and consistent function. A consideration of this feature of intra-individual response variability, which is not unique to ADHD but is also found in other disorders, leads to a new perspective on the causes and potential remedies of specific aspects of ADHD. The hypothesis We propose that in ADHD, astrocyte function is insufficient, particularly in terms of its formation and supply of lactate. This insufficiency has implications both for performance and development: H1 In rapidly firing neurons there is deficient ATP production, slow restoration of ionic gradients across neuronal membranes and delayed neuronal firing; H2 In oligodendrocytes insufficient lactate supply impairs fatty acid synthesis and myelination of axons during development. These effects occur over vastly different time scales: those due to deficient ATP (H1 occur over milliseconds, whereas those due to deficient myelination (H2 occur over months and years. Collectively the neural outcomes of impaired astrocytic release of lactate manifest behaviourally as inefficient and inconsistent performance (variable response times across the lifespan, especially during activities that require sustained speeded responses and complex information processing. Testing the hypothesis Multi-level and multi-method approaches are required. These include

  6. Reef fish dynamic response to climatic variability in a warm eastern Mediterranean semi-enclosed basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agiadi, K.; Koskeridou, E.; Giamali, Ch.; Karakitsios, V.

    2012-04-01

    Recent studies on the effects of global warming on fish populations reveal that the resulting hypoxia-based habitat compression due to the expansion of the oxygen minimum zone may lead to the restriction of fish depth distributions to the oxygenated near-surface layer1. Here we postulate that similar phenomena may have affected the fish distribution in the early Pliocene Heraklion semi-enclosed sea (Crete, eastern Mediterranean). Fish otoliths from Voutes section are systematically identified and the data is examined from a palaeoecologic perspective in response to the Pliocene climatic variability. Bregmaceros and Diaphus taaningi otoliths' relative abundances are used as reliable palaeoclimatic indicators2. The Voutes section sediments contain a very rich fish fauna. Diaphus spp., Bregmaceros sp., Sardinella maderensis, Phosichthyidae and Sternoptychyidae form the pelagic component. Mesopelagic taxa belong mostly to Myctophids. The benthopelagic and benthic component of the fish fauna is very well diversified and is comprised of Gobiids, such as Gobius cf. niger, Callogobius sp., Lesueurigobius aff. sanzoi, and Aphya sp., as well as Gadiculus labiatus, Laemonema sp., Oblada melanura, Parascombrus mutinensis, Barbourisia rufa, Blennius sp., Ammodytes sp., Solea aff. solea. The presence of Oligopus sp., Spratelloides sp., and Brotula cf. mutlibarbata in the middle part of the section indicate the development of a reef in the study area. The palaeoecologic analysis of the surface, intermediate and deep water faunal groups indicate that the pelagic fish populations in the semi-enclosed early Pliocene Heraklion basin directly reflect the climatic variability. However, the intermediate and deep water fish did not respond to climate change in the same manner. Indeed, two dysoxic events are recorded in this section, where the pelagic component of the fauna is almost exclusively comprised of Bregmaceros sp., few Myctophids are present, and the benthic and benthopelagic

  7. Variability of Sea Surface Temperature Response to Tropical Cyclones along the NEC Bifurcation Latitude

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, I.; Villanoy, C. L.

    2013-12-01

    The east of the Philippines serves as an entry point to an annual average of 20 tropical cyclones. The ocean is dynamic where the North Equatorial Current (NEC) bifurcates into the Kurushio Current to the north and Mindanao Current to the south. The displacement and intensity of NEC bifurcation in the region varies seasonally and interannually driven by local monsoons and ENSO. The variability of the NEC bifurcation latitude may alter the origins of the Kuroshio and modify the sea surface temperature field, which can alter the strength of the typhoons and upper ocean response. This paper aims to characterize the variability of Sea Surface Temperature (SST) Response to Tropical Cyclones along with the NEC Bifurcation latitude using daily merged product of the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) and Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E), Sea Surface Height (SSH) and SSH Anomaly (SSHA) from AVISO and background climatological D26 (depth of 26 °C) and T100 (depth integrated temperature up to 100 meters) from ARGO profiles and CTD data from WOA09 from 2003 to 2012. SSH measurements from this period were used as a proxy for determining the bifurcation latitude (YB). Characteristics of the meridional distribution from 0° to 30°N of D26 is homogenous along 10-15°N. Monthly mean D26 along 10-15°N, 125-145°E shows high correlation with YB . Variations of the D26 and T100 showed deepening and warming along with YB. Two regions were derived from meridional distribution of T100 namely BSouth (15°N), where background climatological condition is shallow (D26) and varies seasonally. These regions where used to compare variability with respect to SST recovery time and the SST maximum change (ΔSSTmax) along with other factors such as TCs translation speed (TS) and intensity based on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. Results showed that in both regions SST Recovery time is described as fast (5days). Difference between both regions can be described with respect to the

  8. Governmental responses and smallholders' adaptations to climatic variability in southeastern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mardero Jimenez, Silvia Sofia; Schmook, Birgit; Christman, Zachary; Radel, Claudia

    2016-04-01

    Maize agriculture comprises a third of the area under cultivation in Mexico (75 million hectares), with only a quarter of this crop irrigated artificially. With the great dependence of the country's dominant crop on natural rainfall, there is potential for major losses in maize production due to climatic events, such as irregular rainfalls, droughts, and hurricanes. In 2012, droughts alone caused losses of 16 billion Mexican pesos nationwide in the agricultural sector. Over the last decades, political and economic pressures in the agrarian sector have further stressed Mexican smallholder farmers, as they have to respond to a combination of economic and climatic factors. This interdisciplinary study first documents local climate changes and then explores smallholder farmers' adaptations and governmental policy responses to the variable and changing precipitation and temperature patterns across southeastern Mexico. To assess local climate changes, we analyzed precipitation and temperature data from the land-based weather station network of CONAGUA for the 1973-2012 period. Precipitation anomalies were estimated to evaluate the annual and seasonal stability, deficit, or surplus; and linear regressions used to evaluate precipitation and temperature trends. Climatic analysis demonstrated, 1) a considerable increase in temperature across the study area; 2) a decline in precipitation across a sub-section; 3) increased drought frequency; and 4) an increase in negative anomalies in recent years. We then combine findings from our previous research (Mardero et al. 2014 and Mardero et al. 2015), based on interviews with 150 swidden maize smallholders in 10 communities, to new data from in-depth interviews with managers of local and regional agricultural associations and with members of governmental institutions in charge of climate policy implementation (n=19). The new data allow us to explore governmental responses to climatic variability in the agricultural sector in direct

  9. Environmental variability study on the measured responses of Runyang Cablestayed Bridge using wavelet packet analysis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DING YouLiang; LI AiQun; LIU Tao

    2008-01-01

    The structural damage alarming method based on wavelet packet energy spectrum (WPES) for long-span cable-stayed bridges is presented through combination of ambient vibration test and wavelet packet analysis.The environmental variability in the measured WPES and damage alarming indices ERVD of the Runyang Ca-ble-stayed Bridge are discussed in detail using the wavelet packet analysis of the measured acceleration responses of the bridge under daily environmental condi-tions.The analysis results reveal that the actual environmental conditions includ-ing traffic Ioadings,environmental temperature and typhoon Ioadings have re-markable correlations with the measured WPES.The changes of environmental temperature have a long-term trend influence on the WPES,while the influences of traffic and typhoon Ioadings on the measured WPES of the bridge present instan-taneous changes because of the nonstationary properties of the Ioadings.The analysis results of the measured responses further reveal that the damage alarm-ing indices ERVD can sensitively reflect the influences of environmental tempera-ture and typhoon Ioadings on the dynamic properties of Runyang Cable-stayed Bridge.Therefore,the proposed structural damage alarming indices ERVD under ambient vibrations are suitable for real-time damage alarming for long-span ca-ble-stayed bridges.

  10. Environmental enrichment and cafeteria diet attenuate the response to chronic variable stress in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeeni, N; Bassil, M; Fromentin, G; Chaumontet, C; Darcel, N; Tome, D; Daher, C F

    2015-02-01

    Exposure to an enriched environment (EE) or the intake of a highly palatable diet may reduce the response to chronic stress in rodents. To further explore the relationships between EE, dietary intake and stress, male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed one of two diets for 5 weeks: high carbohydrate (HC) or "cafeteria" (CAF) (Standard HC plus a choice of highly palatable cafeteria foods: chocolate, biscuits, and peanut butter). In addition, they were either housed in empty cages or cages with EE. After the first two weeks, half of the animals from each group were stressed daily using a chronic variable stress (CVS) paradigm, while the other half were kept undisturbed. Rats were sacrificed at the end of the 5-week period. The effects of stress, enrichment and dietary intake on animal adiposity, serum lipids, and stress hormones were analyzed. Results showed an increase in intra-abdominal fat associated with the CAF diet and an increase in body weight gain associated with both the CAF diet and EE. Furthermore, the increase in ACTH associated with CVS was attenuated in the presence of EE and the CAF diet independently while the stress-induced increase in corticosterone was reduced by the combination of EE and CAF feeding. The present study provides evidence that the availability of a positive environment combined to a highly palatable diet increases resilience to the effects of CVS in rats. These results highlight the important place of palatable food and supportive environments in reducing central stress responses.

  11. Environmental variability study on the measured responses of Runyang Cablestayed Bridge using wavelet packet analysis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    The structural damage alarming method based on wavelet packet energy spectrum (WPES) for long-span cable-stayed bridges is presented through combination of ambient vibration test and wavelet packet analysis. The environmental variability in the measured WPES and damage alarming indices ERVD of the Runyang Cable-stayed Bridge are discussed in detail using the wavelet packet analysis of the measured acceleration responses of the bridge under daily environmental conditions. The analysis results reveal that the actual environmental conditions including traffic loadings, environmental temperature and typhoon loadings have remarkable correlations with the measured WPES. The changes of environmental temperature have a long-term trend influence on the WPES, while the influences of traffic and typhoon loadings on the measured WPES of the bridge present instantaneous changes because of the nonstationary properties of the loadings. The analysis results of the measured responses further reveal that the damage alarming indices ERVD can sensitively reflect the influences of environmental temperature and typhoon loadings on the dynamic properties of Runyang Cable-stayed Bridge. Therefore, the proposed structural damage alarming indices ERVD under ambient vibrations are suitable for real-time damage alarming for long-span cable-stayed bridges.

  12. Dendrogeomorphically derived slope response to decadal and centennial scale climate variability: Black Mesa, Arizona, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. A. Scuderi

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available A major impediment to an understanding of the links between climate and landscape change, has been the relatively coarse resolution of landscape response measures (rates of weathering, sediment production, erosion and transport relative to the higher resolution of the climatic signal (precipitation and temperature on hourly to annual time scales. A combination of high temporal and spatial resolution dendroclimatic and dendrogeomorphic approaches were used to study relationships between climatic variability and hillslope and valley floor dynamics in a small drainage basin in the Colorado Plateau of northeastern Arizona, USA Dendrogeomorphic and vegetation evidence from slopes and valley bottoms, including root exposure, bending of trunks, change in plant cover and burial and exhumation of valley bottom trees and shrubs, suggest that the currently observed process of root colonization and rapid breakdown of the weakly cemented bedrock by subaerial weathering, related to periodic dry/wet cycle induced changes in vegetation cover, has lead to a discontinuous, climate-controlled production of sediment from these slopes. High-amplitude precipitation shifts over the last 2000-years may exert the largest control on landscape processes and may be as, or more, important than other hypothesized causal mechanisms (e.g. ENSO frequency and intensity, flood frequency in eroding slopes and producing sediments that ultimately impact higher order drainages in the region. Current vegetation response to a prolonged drought over the past decade suggests that another major transition, incorporating vegetation change, slope erosion, sediment production and subsequent valley floor deposition, may be in its initial phase.

  13. Himalayan River Terraces as A Landscape Response to Quaternary Summer Monsoon Variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonell, T. N.; Clift, P. D.

    2013-12-01

    In order to interpret marine sedimentary archives as records of the erosional response to Asian monsoon variability, we must first recognize how transport processes affect the storage and release of sediment to the ocean. River terraces, such as found in the Greater Himalaya, provide a pivotal role in the source-to-sink story, because this is where sediment storage occurs and is likely modulated. We investigate the role that climate plays in controlling erosion and sediment flux to the Indus delta and fan by looking at the Indus River system, which is dominated by the strong forcing of the Asian monsoon, as well as winter Westerly winds. Paleoceanographic, speleothem, and lacustrine records indicate that summer monsoon intensity was strong from 29 to 37 ka, decreased after that time until ~16 ka, reached maximum intensity from 8 to 10 ka, and then weakened until ~3 ka. Some lacustrine records, however, indicate a more complex pattern of monsoon variability in the Greater Himalaya, which contrasts with monsoonal forcing in central India. This disagreement suggests that floodplains of major river systems may not experience the same climatic conditions as their mountain sources, resulting in contrasting landscape responses to climate change. High altitude river valleys, at least north ofthe Greater Himalaya, appear to be sensitive to monsoon strength because they lie on the periphery of the present rainfall maximum, in the Himalayan rain shadow. These steep river valleys may be affected by landslide damming during periods of increase moisture transport and strong monsoonal precipitation, where damming provides sediment storage through valley-filling and later sediment release through gradual incision or dam-bursting. The Zanskar River, a major tributary to the upper Indus River, provides a record of the erosional response of mountain river valleys to these extreme phases through river terracing. New OSL ages from alluvial terraces indicate reworking of sediment and

  14. Dissociation of response variability from firing rate effects in frontal eye field neurons during visual stimulation, working memory, and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Mindy H; Armstrong, Katherine M; Moore, Tirin

    2012-02-01

    Recent studies suggest that trial-to-trial variability of neuronal spiking responses may provide important information about behavioral state. Observed changes in variability during sensory stimulation, attention, motor preparation, and visual discrimination suggest that variability may reflect the engagement of neurons in a behavioral task. We examined changes in spiking variability of frontal eye field (FEF) neurons in a change detection task requiring monkeys to remember a visually cued location and direct attention to that location while ignoring distracters elsewhere. In this task, the firing rates (FRs) of FEF neurons not only continuously reflect the location of the remembered cue and select targets, but also predict detection performance on a trial-by-trial basis. Changes in FEF response variability, as measured by the Fano factor (FF), showed clear dissociations from changes in FR. The FF declined in response to visual stimulation at all tested locations, even in the opposite hemifield, indicating much broader spatial tuning of the FF compared with the FR. Furthermore, despite robust spatial modulation of the FR throughout all epochs of the task, spatial tuning of the FF did not persist throughout the delay period, nor did it show attentional modulation. These results indicate that changes in variability, at least in the FEF, are most effectively driven by visual stimulation, while behavioral engagement is not sufficient. Instead, changes in variability may reflect shifts in the balance between feedforward and recurrent sources of excitatory drive. PMID:22323732

  15. A simple model for the spatially-variable coastal response to hurricanes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockdon, H.F.; Sallenger, A.H., Jr.; Holman, R.A.; Howd, P.A.

    2007-01-01

    The vulnerability of a beach to extreme coastal change during a hurricane can be estimated by comparing the relative elevations of storm-induced water levels to those of the dune or berm. A simple model that defines the coastal response based on these elevations was used to hindcast the potential impact regime along a 50-km stretch of the North Carolina coast to the landfalls of Hurricane Bonnie on August 27, 1998, and Hurricane Floyd on September 16, 1999. Maximum total water levels at the shoreline were calculated as the sum of modeled storm surge, astronomical tide, and wave runup, estimated from offshore wave conditions and the local beach slope using an empirical parameterization. Storm surge and wave runup each accounted for ∼ 48% of the signal (the remaining 4% is attributed to astronomical tides), indicating that wave-driven process are a significant contributor to hurricane-induced water levels. Expected water levels and lidar-derived measures of pre-storm dune and berm elevation were used to predict the spatially-varying storm-impact regime: swash, collision, or overwash. Predictions were compared to the observed response quantified using a lidar topography survey collected following hurricane landfall. The storm-averaged mean accuracy of the model in predicting the observed impact regime was 55.4%, a significant improvement over the 33.3% accuracy associated with random chance. Model sensitivity varied between regimes and was highest within the overwash regime where the accuracies were 84.2% and 89.7% for Hurricanes Bonnie and Floyd, respectively. The model not only allows for prediction of the general coastal response to storms, but also provides a framework for examining the longshore-variable magnitudes of observed coastal change. For Hurricane Bonnie, shoreline and beach volume changes within locations that experienced overwash or dune erosion were two times greater than locations where wave runup was confined to the foreshore (swash regime

  16. A comparison of stratospheric photochemical response to different reconstructions of solar ultraviolet radiative variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolduc, Cassandra; Bourqui, Michel S.; Charbonneau, Paul

    2015-09-01

    We present calculations of stratospheric chemical abundances variations between different levels of solar activity using a simple photochemistry model in transient chemistry mode. Different models for the reconstruction of the solar spectrum, as well as observations from the SOLar STellar Irradiance Comparison Experiment (SOLSTICE) and Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SIM) on the SOlar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) satellite, are used as inputs to the calculations. We put the emphasis on the MOnte CArlo Spectral Solar Irradiance Model (MOCASSIM) reconstructions, which cover the spectral interval from 150 to 400 nm and extend from 1610 to present. We compare our results with those obtained with the Naval Research Laboratory Solar Spectral Irradiance (NRLSSI) model as well as with the Magnesium-Neutron Monitor (MGNM) model over a period of time spanning the ascending phase of Cycle 22. We also perform the calculations using SORCE composite spectra for the descending phase of Cycle 23 and with the reconstructed MOCASSIM, NRLSSI and MGNM spectra for the same period for comparison. Finally, we compare the chemical abundances obtained for the Maunder Minimum with those obtained for the Cycle 23 minimum (in March 2009) and find that stratospheric ozone concentration was slightly higher during the recent minimum, consequent to the small positive variability between the MOCASSIM spectra for both epochs, especially below 260 nm. We find that the response in stratospheric ozone is not only dependent on the variability amplitude in the solar spectrum (especially in the 200-240 nm band), but also significantly on the base level of the minimum solar spectrum.

  17. Response of durum wheat to water variability under climate change scenarios in southern Sardinia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soddu, Antonino; Deidda, Roberto; Marrocu, Marino; Meloni, Roberto; Paniconi, Claudio; Ludwig, Ralf; Sodde, Marcella; Mascaro, Giuseppe; Perra, Enrica

    2013-04-01

    Durum wheat is the most important C3 rainfed crop in southern Sardinia, Italy and is highly vulnerable to climate variability. This region has experienced severe drought conditions and problems of competing water demands during the last decades. Within the framework of European (1) and Regional (2) research projects, a study was conducted to evaluate the effects of increased maximum temperature and high rainfall variability on durum wheat yield, as part of an effort to devise strategies for water management and adaptation at the field and catchment scales in southern Sardinia. Towards this goal, the AquaCrop model was calibrated and its predictive performance was tested in the period from 1995 to 2012 using daily meteorological data and durum wheat (CV Creso) yield measurements from the experimental fields of the Agris Research Agency in Ussana (Sardinia, Italy). During the verification period, the model showed a good performance with a significant correlation between observed and simulated yield for durum wheat and a very good estimation of the water stress conditions during the drought period in 1995. Next, four future scenarios of climate change were simulated with AquaCrop to predict wheat yield responses and to investigate water availability for rainfed and irrigated crops for the 30-year periods 2011-2040, 2041-2070, and 2071-2100. The simulated future scenarios show potential improved productivity arising from the increased CO2 concentration. This positive outlook is however tempered by increased uncertainty and fluctuations in rainfall during the fall and early winter periods (September-December). The possible tradeoffs between these factors, as well as the expected negative effects of increased maximum temperatures, are being further examined. (1) Climate Induced Changes in the Mediterranean Region (CLIMB), funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Program. (2) Valutazione degli impatti sul comportamento idrologico dei bacini idrografici e sulle

  18. Biodegradation of Polypropylene Nonwovens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keene, Brandi Nechelle

    The primary aim of the current research is to document the biodegradation of polypropylene nonwovens and filament under composting environments. To accelerate the biodegradat ion, pre-treatments and additives were incorporated into polypropylene filaments and nonwovens. The initial phase (Chapter 2) of the project studied the biodegradation of untreated polypropylene with/without pro-oxidants in two types of composting systems. Normal composting, which involved incubation of samples in food waste, had little effect on the mechanical properties of additive-free spunbond nonwovens in to comparison prooxidant containing spunbond nonwovens which were affected significantly. Modified composting which includes the burial of samples with food and compressed air, the polypropylene spunbond nonwovens with/without pro-oxidants displayed an extreme loss in mechanical properties and cracking on the surface cracking. Because the untreated spunbond nonwovens did not completely decompose, the next phase of the project examined the pre-treatment of gamma-irradiation or thermal aging prior to composting. After exposure to gamma-irradiation and thermal aging, polypropylene is subjected to oxidative degradation in the presence of air and during storage after irradiat ion. Similar to photo-oxidation, the mechanism of gamma radiation and thermal oxidative degradation is fundamentally free radical in nature. In Chapter 3, the compostability of thermal aged spunbond polypropylene nonwovens with/without pro-oxidant additives. The FTIR spectrum confirmed oxidat ion of the polypropylene nonwovens with/without additives. Cracking on both the pro-oxidant and control spunbond nonwovens was showed by SEM imaging. Spunbond polypropylene nonwovens with/without pro-oxidants were also preirradiated by gamma rays followed by composting. Nonwovens with/without pro-oxidants were severely degraded by gamma-irradiation after up to 20 kGy exposure as explained in Chapter 4. Furthermore (Chapter 5), gamma

  19. Forest tree growth response to hydroclimate variability in the southern Appalachians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Katherine J; Miniat, Chelcy F; Pederson, Neil; Laseter, Stephanie H

    2015-12-01

    Climate change will affect tree species growth and distribution; however, under the same climatic conditions species may differ in their response according to site conditions. We evaluated the climate-driven patterns of growth for six dominant deciduous tree species in the southern Appalachians. We categorized species into two functional groups based on their stomatal regulation and xylem architecture: isohydric, diffuse porous and anisohydric, ring porous. We hypothesized that within the same climatic regime: (i) species-specific differences in growth will be conditional on topographically mediated soil moisture availability; (ii) in extreme drought years, functional groups will have markedly different growth responses; and (iii) multiple hydroclimate variables will have direct and indirect effects on growth for each functional group. We used standardized tree-ring chronologies to examine growth of diffuse-porous (Acer, Liriodendron, and Betula) and ring-porous (Quercus) species vs. on-site climatic data from 1935 to 2003. Quercus species growing on upslope sites had higher basal area increment (BAI) than Quercus species growing on mesic, cove sites; whereas, Acer and Liriodendron had lower BAI on upslope compared to cove sites. Diffuse-porous species were more sensitive to climate than ring porous, especially during extreme drought years. Across functional groups, radial growth was more sensitive to precipitation distribution, such as small storms and dry spell length (DSL), rather than the total amount of precipitation. Based on structural equation modeling, diffuse-porous species on upslope sites were the most sensitive to multiple hydroclimate variables (r(2)  = 0.46), while ring-porous species on upslope sites were the least sensitive (r(2)  = 0.32). Spring precipitation, vapor pressure deficit, and summer storms had direct effects on summer AET/P, and summer AET/P, growing season small storms and DSL partially explained growth. Decreasing numbers of

  20. Effect of high-resolution spatial soil moisture variability on simulated runoff response using a distributed hydrologic model

    OpenAIRE

    Minet, J; Laloy, E.; Lambot, S; Vanclooster, M

    2011-01-01

    The importance of the spatial variability of antecedent soil moisture conditions on runoff response is widely acknowledged in hillslope hydrology. Using a distributed hydrologic model, this paper aims at investigating the effects of soil moisture spatial variability on runoff in various field conditions and at finding the structure of the soil moisture pattern that approaches the measured soil moisture pattern in terms of field scale runoff. High spatial resolution soil moisture was surveyed ...

  1. Effect of GPR-derived within-field soil moisture variability on the runoff response using a distributed hydrologic model

    OpenAIRE

    Minet, J; Laloy, E.; Lambot, S; Vanclooster, M

    2010-01-01

    The importance of the spatial variability of the antecedent soil moisture conditions on the runoff response is widely acknowledged in hillslope hydrology. Using a distributed hydrologic model, this paper aims at investigating the effects of soil moisture spatial variability on the runoff in various field conditions and at finding the soil moisture scenario that behaves the most closely as the measured soil moisture pattern in term of runoff hydrograph. Soil moisture was surveyed in ten differ...

  2. Ecohydrological responses of dense canopies to environmental variability: 1. Interplay between vertical structure and photosynthetic pathway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drewry, D. T.; Kumar, P.; Long, S.; Bernacchi, C.; Liang, X.-Z.; Sivapalan, M.

    2010-12-01

    Vegetation acclimation to changing climate, in particular elevated atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), has been observed to include modifications to the biochemical and ecophysiological functioning of leaves and the structural components of the canopy. These responses have the potential to significantly modify plant carbon uptake and surface energy partitioning, and have been attributed with large-scale changes in surface hydrology over recent decades. While the aggregated effects of vegetation acclimation can be pronounced, they often result from subtle changes in canopy properties that require the resolution of physical, biochemical and ecophysiological processes through the canopy for accurate estimation. In this paper, the first of two, a multilayer canopy-soil-root system model developed to capture the emergent vegetation responses to environmental change is presented. The model incorporates both C3 and C4 photosynthetic pathways, and resolves the vertical radiation, thermal, and environmental regimes within the canopy. The tight coupling between leaf ecophysiological functioning and energy balance determines vegetation responses to climate states and perturbations, which are modulated by soil moisture states through the depth of the root system. The model is validated for three growing seasons each for soybean (C3) and maize (C4) using eddy-covariance fluxes of CO2, latent, and sensible heat collected at the Bondville (Illinois) Ameriflux tower site. The data set provides an opportunity to examine the role of important environmental drivers and model skill in capturing variability in canopy-atmosphere exchange. Vertical variation in radiative states and scalar fluxes over a mean diurnal cycle are examined to understand the role of canopy structure on the patterns of absorbed radiation and scalar flux magnitudes and the consequent differences in sunlit and shaded source/sink locations through the canopies. An analysis is made of the impact of

  3. Biodegradable micromechanical sensors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Keller, Stephan Sylvest; Greve, Anders; Schmid, Silvan;

    The development of biopolymers for food packaging, medical engineering or drug delivery is a growing field of research [1]. At the same time, the interest in methods for detailed analysis of biopolymers is increasing. Micromechanical sensors are versatile tools for the characterization of mechani......The development of biopolymers for food packaging, medical engineering or drug delivery is a growing field of research [1]. At the same time, the interest in methods for detailed analysis of biopolymers is increasing. Micromechanical sensors are versatile tools for the characterization...... of biopolymers to microfabrication is challenging, as these polymers are affected by common processes such as photolithography or wet etching. Here, we present two methods for fabrication of biodegradable micromechanical sensors. First, we fabricated bulk biopolymer microcantilevers using nanoimprint lithography...

  4. Dissociation in Response to Methylphenidate on Response Variability in a Group of Medication Naive Children with ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Katherine A.; Barry, Edwina; Bellgrove, Mark A.; Cox, Marie; Kelly, Simon P.; Daibhis, Aoife; Daly, Michael; Keavey, Michelle; Watchorn, Amy; Fitzgerald, Michael; McNicholas, Fiona; Kirley, Aiveen; Robertson, Ian H.; Gill, Michael

    2008-01-01

    Increased variability in reaction time (RT) has been proposed as a cardinal feature of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Increased variability during sustained attention tasks may reflect inefficient fronto-striatal and fronto-parietal circuitry; activity within these circuits is modulated by the catecholamines. A disruption to…

  5. Muscle activation, blood lactate, and perceived exertion responses to changing resistance training programming variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiscock, Daniel J; Dawson, Brian; Donnelly, Cyril J; Peeling, Peter

    2016-08-01

    Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE: 0-10) during resistance training with varying programming demands were examined. Blood lactate (BLa) and muscle activation (using surface electromyography: EMG) were measured as potential mediators of RPE responses. Participants performed three sets of single arm (preferred side) bicep curls at 70% of 1 repetition maximum over 4 trials: Trial (A) 3 sets × 8 repetitions × 120 s recovery between sets; (B) 3 sets × 8 repetitions × 240 s recovery; (C) 3 sets × maximum number of repetitions (MNR) × 120 s recovery; (D) 3 sets × MNR × 240 s recovery. Overall body (RPE-O) and active muscle (RPE-AM) perceptual responses were assessed following each set in each trial. Biceps brachii and brachioradialis muscle EMG was measured during each set for each trial. RPE-O and RPE-AM were not different between Trial A (3.5 ± 1 and 6 ± 1, respectively) and Trial B (3.5 ± 1 and 5.5 ± 1, respectively) (p < .05). However, RPE-AM was significantly greater in Trial C (7.5 ± 1.5) and Trial D (7.5 ± 1.5) than in Trial B (p < .05). There were no significant differences in muscle activation or BLa between trials; however, work rate (tonnage/min) was greater in Trials C and D compared to Trial B. In conclusion, BLa and muscle activation were not related to RPE, but resistance training variables, such as work rate, may impact on RPE when intensity (%1RM) and the number of sets completed remain constant. PMID:26267339

  6. Responses of carbon isotope discrimination in C4 plant to variable N and water supply

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hao; Li, Shenggong

    2016-04-01

    Understanding variations and underlying mechanisms of carbon isotope discrimination (Δ) in C4 species is critical for predicting the effects of change in C3/C4 ratio of plant community on ecosystem processes and functionning. However, little is known about the effects of soil resource gradients on Δ of C4 plants. To address Δ responses to drought and nitrogen supply, the leaf carbon isotope composition, bundle sheath leakiness (BLS), and leaf gas exchange (A, gs, Ci/Ca) were measured on Cleistogenes squarrosa, a dominant C4 species in the Inner Mongolia grassland. C. squarrosa were grown in controlled-environment pots from seed under a combination of water and N supply. High N availability and drought stimulated photosynthetic rate (A) and further decreased the ratio of internal and ambient CO2 concentrations (Ci/Ca) through increasing leaf N content. BLS was higher under high N supply and was unchanged by drought. There was significant interaction between N and water supply to affect BLS and Ci/Ca. Δ was negatively related to Ci/Ca and was positively related to BLS. Tradeoff between the responses of BLS and Ci/Ca to changing environmental conditions kept leaf Δ relatively stable, which was also supported by a field N addition experiment. Our results suggested leaf Δ of C4 plant was unchanged under variable water and N environment conditions although the operating efficiency of C4 pathway and CO2 concentration in photosynthesis were changed. Our findings have implications for predicting the change of C3/C4 ratio of plant community and understanding ecosystem processes and functionning.

  7. Global change ecotoxicology: Identification of early life history bottlenecks in marine invertebrates, variable species responses and variable experimental approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrne, M

    2012-05-01

    Climate change is a threat to marine biota because increased atmospheric CO₂ is causing ocean warming, acidification, hypercapnia and decreased carbonate saturation. These stressors have toxic effects on invertebrate development. The persistence and success of populations requires all ontogenetic stages be completed successfully and, due to their sensitivity to environmental stressors, developmental stages may be a population bottleneck in a changing ocean. Global change ecotoxicology is being used to identify the marine invertebrate developmental stages vulnerable to climate change. This overview of research, and the methodologies used, shows that most studies focus on acidification, with few studies on ocean warming, despite a long history of research on developmental thermotolerance. The interactive effects of stressors are poorly studied. Experimental approaches differ among studies. Fertilization in many species exhibits a broad tolerance to warming and/or acidification, although different methodologies confound inter-study comparisons. Early development is susceptible to warming and most calcifying larvae are sensitive to acidification/increased pCO₂. In multistressor studies moderate warming diminishes the negative impact of acidification on calcification in some species. Development of non-calcifying larvae appears resilient to near-future ocean change. Although differences in species sensitivities to ocean change stressors undoubtedly reflect different tolerance levels, inconsistent handling of gametes, embryos and larvae probably influences different research outcomes. Due to the integrative 'developmental domino effect', life history responses will be influenced by the ontogenetic stage at which experimental incubations are initiated. Exposure to climate change stressors from early development (fertilization where possible) in multistressor experiments is needed to identify ontogenetic sensitivities and this will be facilitated by more consistent

  8. Aquifer response to regional climate variability in a part of Kashmir Himalaya in India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeelani, Gh

    2008-12-01

    Forty major perennial springs, under different lithological controls, in a part of Kashmir Himalaya in India were studied to understand the response of spring discharges to regional climate variability. The average monthly spring discharge is high in Triassic Limestone-controlled springs (karst springs) and low in alluvium- and Karewa-controlled springs. In general, the measured monthly spring discharges show an inverse relation with the monthly precipitation data. However, a direct correlation exists between the spring discharges and the degree of snow/ice melt. The results suggest that the creation of a low and continuous (but stable) recharge from the Triassic Limestone and Panjal Trap aquifers, due to blockage of groundwater flow between strata with contrasting hydraulic conductivity, attenuates the discharge and gives rise to small fluctuations in the alluvium- and Karewa-controlled springs. The average monthly discharge of the karst and alluvial springs showed an overall decreasing trend for two and a half decades, with the lowest discharge recorded in 2001. The study revealed that the regional/global warming and below-normal precipitation in the period of snow accumulation (PSA) has triggered the receding of glaciers and attenuation of spring discharges.

  9. Parametric study of influence of stiffener variables on postbuckling response of frame-stiffened composite panels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanz-Douglass, Gabriela J.

    Traditional aircraft composite stiffened panels are designed to avoid buckling of the skin at service loads, to prevent initiation and growth of delamination damages. In stitched composites, the stitching provides reinforcement against delamination; therefore, the structure can be designed for operation in a post buckled state with local skin buckling. The novel stitched stiffened composite panel concept titled Pultruded-Rod Stiffened Efficient Unitized Structure, PRSEUS, was designed specifically for operating in the postbuckling regime, yet the nonlinear postbuckling behavior of PRSEUS has not been explored fully. This thesis presents a finite element analysis based trade study to understand influence of frame stiffener design variables on the nonlinear postbuckling response of the PRSEUS panel concept. The trade study allowed exploration of the design space as a first step towards design optimization. It also allowed discovery of some of the challenges of post processing that must be addressed to enable an automated surrogate based design optimization of the PRESUS stiffened panel concept for operation in postbuckling regimes.

  10. Origins of Total-Dose Response Variability in Linear Bipolar Microcircuits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    BARNABY,H.J.; CIRBA,C.R.; SCHRIMPF,R.D.; FLEETWOOD,D.M.; PEASE,R.L.; SHANEYFELT,MARTY R.; TURFLINGER,T.; KRIEG,J.F.; MAHER,M.C.

    2000-11-15

    LM1ll voltage comparators exhibit a wide range of total-dose-induced degradation. Simulations show this variability may be a natural consequence of the low base doping of the substrate PNP (SPNP) input transistors. Low base doping increases the SPNP's collector to base breakdown voltage, current gain, and sensitivity to small fluctuations in the radiation-induced oxide defect densities. The build-up of oxide trapped charge (N{sub ot}) and interface traps (N{sub it}) is shown to be a function of pre-irradiation bakes. Experimental data indicate that, despite its structural similarities to the LM111, irradiated input transistors of the LM124 operational amplifier do not exhibit the same sensitivity to variations in pre-irradiation thermal cycles. Further disparities in LM111 and LM124 responses may result from a difference in the oxide defect build-up in the two part types. Variations in processing, packaging, and circuit effects are suggested as potential explanations.

  11. Temperature and pH Responsive Microfibers for Controllable and Variable Ibuprofen Delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toan Tran

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Electrospun microfibers (MFs composed of pH and temperature responsive polymers can be used for controllable and variable delivery of ibuprofen. First, electrospinning technique was employed to prepare poly(ε-caprolactone (PCL and poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-methacrylic acid (pNIPAM-co-MAA MFs containing ibuprofen. It was found that drug release rates from PCL MFs cannot be significantly varied by either temperature (22–40°C or pH values (1.7–7.4. In contrast, the ibuprofen (IP diffusion rates from pNIPAM-co-MAA MFs were very sensitive to changes in both temperature and pH. The IP release from pNIPAM-co-MAA MFs was highly linear and controllable when the temperature was above the lower critical solution temperature (LCST of pNIPAM-co-MAA (33°C and the pH was lower than the pKa of carboxylic acids (pH 2. At room temperature, however, the release rate was dramatically increased by nearly ten times compared to that at higher temperature and lower pH. Such a unique and controllable drug delivery system could be naturally envisioned to find many practical applications in biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences such as programmable transdermal drug delivery.

  12. Compared in vivo toxicity in mice of lung delivered biodegradable and non-biodegradable nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aragao-Santiago, Letícia; Hillaireau, Hervé; Grabowski, Nadège; Mura, Simona; Nascimento, Thais L; Dufort, Sandrine; Coll, Jean-Luc; Tsapis, Nicolas; Fattal, Elias

    2016-01-01

    To design nanoparticle (NP)-based drug delivery systems for pulmonary administration, biodegradable materials are considered safe, but their potential toxicity is poorly explored. We here explore the lung toxicity in mice of biodegradable nanoparticles (NPs) and compare it to the toxicity of non-biodegradable ones. NP formulations of poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) coated with chitosan (CS), poloxamer 188 (PF68) or poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA), which renders 200 nm NPs of positive, negative or neutral surface charge respectively, were analyzed for their biodistribution by in vivo fluorescence imaging and their inflammatory potential after single lung nebulization in mice. After exposure, analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cell population, protein secretion and cytokine release as well as lung histology were carried out. The inflammatory response was compared to the one induced by non-biodegradable counterparts, namely, TiO2 of rutile and anatase crystal form and polystyrene (PS). PLGA NPs were mostly present in mice lungs, with little passage to other organs. An increase in neutrophil recruitment was observed in mice exposed to PS NPs 24 h after nebulization, which declined at 48 h. This result was supported by an increase in interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) in BAL supernatant at 24 h. TiO2 anatase NPs were still present in lung cells 48 h after nebulization and induced the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the recruitment of polymorphonuclear cells to BAL. In contrast, regardless of their surface charge, PLGA NPs did not induce significant changes in the inflammation markers analyzed. In conclusion, these results point out to a safe use of PLGA NPs regardless of their surface coating compared to non-biodegradable ones.

  13. Reliability analysis for aeroengine turbine disc fatigue life with multiple random variables based on distributed collaborative response surface method

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    高海峰; 白广忱; 高阳; 鲍天未

    2015-01-01

    The fatigue life of aeroengine turbine disc presents great dispersion due to the randomness of the basic variables, such as applied load, working temperature, geometrical dimensions and material properties. In order to ameliorate reliability analysis efficiency without loss of reliability, the distributed collaborative response surface method (DCRSM) was proposed, and its basic theories were established in this work. Considering the failure dependency among the failure modes, the distributed response surface was constructed to establish the relationship between the failure mode and the relevant random variables. Then, the failure modes were considered as the random variables of system response to obtain the distributed collaborative response surface model based on structure failure criterion. Finally, the given turbine disc structure was employed to illustrate the feasibility and validity of the presented method. Through the comparison of DCRSM, Monte Carlo method (MCM) and the traditional response surface method (RSM), the results show that the computational precision for DCRSM is more consistent with MCM than RSM, while DCRSM needs far less computing time than MCM and RSM under the same simulation conditions. Thus, DCRSM is demonstrated to be a feasible and valid approach for improving the computational efficiency of reliability analysis for aeroengine turbine disc fatigue life with multiple random variables, and has great potential value for the complicated mechanical structure with multi-component and multi-failure mode.

  14. Using climate response functions in analyzing electricity production variables. A case study from Norway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tøfte, Lena S.; Martino, Sara; Mo, Birger

    2016-04-01

    representation of hydropower is included and total hydro power production for each area is calculated, and the production is distributed among all available plants within each area. During simulation, the demand is affected by prices and temperatures. 6 different infrastructure scenarios of wind and power line development are analyzed. The analyses are done by running EMPS calibrated for today's situation for 11*11*8 different combinations of altered weather variables (temperature, precipitation and wind) describing different climate change scenarios, finding the climate response function for every EMPS-variable according the electricity production, such as prices and income, energy balances (supply, consumption and trade), overflow losses, probability of curtailment etc .

  15. Biodegradable and edible gelatine actuators for use as artificial muscles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, L. D.; Winfield, J.; Ieropoulos, I.; Rossiter, J.

    2014-03-01

    The expense and use of non-recyclable materials often requires the retrieval and recovery of exploratory robots. Therefore, conventional materials such as plastics and metals in robotics can be limiting. For applications such as environmental monitoring, a fully biodegradable or edible robot may provide the optimum solution. Materials that provide power and actuation as well as biodegradability provide a compelling dimension to future robotic systems. To highlight the potential of novel biodegradable and edible materials as artificial muscles, the actuation of a biodegradable hydrogel was investigated. The fabricated gelatine based polymer gel was inexpensive, easy to handle, biodegradable and edible. The electro-mechanical performance was assessed using two contactless, parallel stainless steel electrodes immersed in 0.1M NaOH solution and fixed 40 mm apart with the strip actuator pinned directly between the electrodes. The actuation displacement in response to a bias voltage was measured over hydration/de-hydration cycles. Long term (11 days) and short term (1 hour) investigations demonstrated the bending behaviour of the swollen material in response to an electric field. Actuation voltage was low (robotics.

  16. The identification of hydrological indices for the characterization of macroinvertebrate community response to flow regime variability

    OpenAIRE

    Worrall, T.P; M. J. Dunbar; Extence, C.A.; C. L. R. Laize; Monk, W.A.; Wood, P J

    2014-01-01

    The importance of flow regime variability for maintaining ecological functioning and integrity of river ecosystems has been firmly established in both natural and anthropogenically modified systems. In this paper we examine river flow regimes across lowland catchments in eastern England using 47 variables, including those derived using the Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) software. A Principal Components Analysis (PCA) method was used to identify redundant hydrological variables and ...

  17. Carbon dioxide exchange in three tundra sites show a dissimilar response to environmental variables

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mbufong, Herbert Njuabe; Lund, Magnus; Christensen, Torben Røjle;

    2015-01-01

    variability. An improved understanding of the control of ancillary variables on net ecosystem exchange (NEE), gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Re) will improve the accuracy with which CO2 exchange seasonality in Arctic tundra ecosystems is modelled. Fluxes were measured with the eddy...... Lake. Growing season NEE correlated mainly to cumulative radiation and temperature-related variables at Zackenberg, while at Daring Lake the same variables showed significant correlations with the partitioned fluxes (GPP and Re). Stordalen was temperature dependent during the growing season. This study...

  18. Investigating Biodegradation of Heavy Fuel Oil by Kinetic Models and New Third Parametric Equation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali-Reza Chackoshian Khorasani

    2014-03-01

    Conclusion: Ch equation by reason of using two variables for computation of third variable and correctly selecting variables could describe various changes in mazut biodegradation under different conditions via mathematical statements. Moreover, it is possible that this equation can be used to study other various phenomena in future.

  19. Soil microbial community response to drought and precipitation variability in the Chihuahuan Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Jeb S; Campbell, James H; Grizzle, Heath; Acosta-Martìnez, Veronica; Zak, John C

    2009-02-01

    Increases in the magnitude and variability of precipitation events have been predicted for the Chihuahuan Desert region of West Texas. As patterns of moisture inputs and amounts change, soil microbial communities will respond to these alterations in soil moisture windows. In this study, we examined the soil microbial community structure within three vegetation zones along the Pine Canyon Watershed, an elevation and vegetation gradient in Big Bend National Park, Chihuahuan Desert. Soil samples at each site were obtained in mid-winter (January) and in mid-summer (August) for 2 years to capture a component of the variability in soil temperature and moisture that can occur seasonally and between years along this watershed. Precipitation patterns and amounts differed substantially between years with a drought characterizing most of the second year. Soils were collected during the drought period and following a large rainfall event and compared to soil samples collected during a relatively average season. Structural changes within microbial community in response to site, season, and precipitation patterns were evaluated using fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) and polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) analyses. Fungal FAME amounts differed significantly across seasons and sites and greatly outweighed the quantity of bacterial and actinomycete FAME levels for all sites and seasons. The highest fungal FAME levels were obtained in the low desert scrub site and not from the high elevation oak-pine forests. Total bacterial and actinomycete FAME levels did not differ significantly across season and year within any of the three locations along the watershed. Total bacterial and actinomycete FAME levels in the low elevation desert-shrub and grassland sites were slightly higher in the winter than in the summer. Microbial community structure at the high elevation oak-pine forest site was strongly correlated with levels of NH4+-N, % soil moisture

  20. Microtopographic hydrologic variability change resulting from vegetation acclimation response to elevated atmospheric CO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, P. V.; Kumar, P.

    2015-12-01

    The elevated concentration of atmospheric CO2 increases the ratio of carbon fixation to water loss from plants or water use efficiency, which reduces transpiration. However, the magnitude of the effects of this vegetation acclimation on hydrologic dynamics, such as soil moisture content and surface runoff controlled by microtopographic variability on the land surface, remains unclear. Here we integrate a multi-layer canopy-root-soil model (MLCan) with a coupled surface-subsurface flow model (GCSFlow) to capture the acclimation responses of vegetation to climate change and predict how these changes affect hydrologic dynamics on landscapes at fine scales. The model is implemented on a hybrid CPU-GPU parallel computing environment to overcome challenges associated with the high density of computational grid and nonlinear solvers. The model is capable of simulating large-scale heterogeneities due to both microtopography and soils and lateral water fluxes at emerging lidar-scale resolutions (~1m). We demonstrate that hybrid computing is feasible for detailed, large-scale ecohydrologic modeling, which has been previously assumed to be an intractable computational problem. Simulations are performed for corn crop in the Goose Creek watershed in central Illinois, USA at present and projected higher concentrations of atmospheric CO2, 400 ppm and 550 ppm, respectively. The results show a net decrease of 11% for the average annual evapotranspiration of corn, which increases water content in the soil and at the land surface. These results highlight the critical role of a warming climate on atmospheric-soil-vegetation interactions and the need to understand other dynamics near the soil surface associated with water and vegetation.

  1. A cafeteria diet modifies the response to chronic variable stress in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeeni, N; Daher, C; Fromentin, G; Tome, D; Darcel, N; Chaumontet, C

    2013-03-01

    Stress is known to lead to metabolic and behavioral changes. To study the possible relationships between stress and dietary intake, male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed one of three diets for 6 weeks: high carbohydrate (HC), high fat (HF), or "Cafeteria" (CAF) (Standard HC plus a choice of highly palatable cafeteria foods: chocolate, biscuits, and peanut butter). After the first 3 weeks, half of the animals from each group (experimental groups) were stressed daily using a chronic variable stress (CVS) paradigm, while the other half of the animals (control groups) were kept undisturbed. Rats were sacrificed at the end of the 6-week period. The effects of stress and dietary intake on animal adiposity, serum lipids, and corticosterone were analyzed. Results showed that both chronic stress and CAF diet resulted in elevated total cholesterol, increased low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL). In addition, increases in body weight, food intake, and intra-abdominal fat were observed in the CAF group compared with the other dietary groups. In addition, there was a significant interaction between stress and diet on serum corticosterone levels, which manifest as an increase in corticosterone levels in stressed rats relative to non-stressed controls in the HC and HF groups but not in the CAF group. These results show that a highly palatable diet, offering a choice of food items, is associated with a reduction in the response to CVS and could validate a stressor-induced preference for comfort food that in turn could increase body weight.

  2. Exploring the climate response to the 1815 Tambora eruption with respect to natural climate variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenz, Stephan J.; Timmreck, Claudia; Jungclaus, Johann H.

    2010-05-01

    The largest historic volcanic eruption with known origin was the explosion of Mount Tambora in Indonesia in April 1815. In the aftermath of this devastating eruption, the following year 1816 came to be known as the "year without a summer", in particular in USA, Canada, and Europe, where the worst famine over a century as well as typhus epidemics accompanied by enhanced emigration from Europe were recorded. The stratospheric aerosol mass load was estimated to be about three times that of the Pinatubo eruption in 1991, leading to strong impact on the Earth's climate system. In a series of ensemble simulations of the last Millennium we applied our Earth system model, based on the ECHAM5/MPIOM model family, to investigate the climate signal of the Tambora eruption with respect to natural and forced variability. This event contributed to one of the strongest cooling periods during the last Millennium in the ensemble of simulations. However, this period is associated with a large ensemble spread in simulated air temperature on a hemispheric and global as well as on a regional scale, with limited to very strong atmospheric response. The unique path of the climate evolution through the Earth's history yielding the extreme summer in 1816 in North America and Europe is compared with the simulations. A special focus of our analysis is Tambora's impact on climate and its relationship with the status of the climate system, e.g. the ENSO state, at the time of the eruption. Additionally, the contribution of the large volcanic eruption with tropical but unknown location about six years prior to the Tambora in 1809 will be discussed.

  3. Loss of lag-response curvilinearity of indices of heart rate variability in congestive heart failure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smith Michael L

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Heart rate variability (HRV is known to be impaired in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF. Time-domain analysis of ECG signals traditionally relies heavily on linear indices of an essentially non-linear phenomenon. Poincaré plots are commonly used to study non-linear behavior of physiologic signals. Lagged Poincaré plots incorporate autocovariance information and analysis of Poincaré plots for various lags can provide interesting insights into the autonomic control of the heart. Methods Using Poincaré plot analysis, we assessed whether the relation of the lag between heart beats and HRV is altered in CHF. We studied the influence of lag on estimates of Poincaré plot indices for various lengths of beat sequence in a public domain data set (PhysioNet of 29 subjects with CHF and 54 subjects with normal sinus rhythm. Results A curvilinear association was observed between lag and Poincaré plot indices (SD1, SD2, SDLD and SD1/SD2 ratio in normal subjects even for a small sequence of 50 beats (p value for quadratic term 3 × 10-5, 0.002, 3.5 × 10-5 and 0.0003, respectively. This curvilinearity was lost in patients with CHF even after exploring sequences up to 50,000 beats (p values for quadratic term > 0.5. Conclusion Since lagged Poincaré plots incorporate autocovariance information, these analyses provide insights into the autonomic control of heart rate that is influenced by the non-linearity of the signal. The differences in lag-response in CHF patients and normal subjects exist even in the face of the treatment received by the CHF patients.

  4. Developmental models for estimating ecological responses to environmental variability: structural, parametric, and experimental issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Julia L; Remais, Justin V

    2014-03-01

    Developmental models that account for the metabolic effect of temperature variability on poikilotherms, such as degree-day models, have been widely used to study organism emergence, range and development, particularly in agricultural and vector-borne disease contexts. Though simple and easy to use, structural and parametric issues can influence the outputs of such models, often substantially. Because the underlying assumptions and limitations of these models have rarely been considered, this paper reviews the structural, parametric, and experimental issues that arise when using degree-day models, including the implications of particular structural or parametric choices, as well as assumptions that underlie commonly used models. Linear and non-linear developmental functions are compared, as are common methods used to incorporate temperature thresholds and calculate daily degree-days. Substantial differences in predicted emergence time arose when using linear versus non-linear developmental functions to model the emergence time in a model organism. The optimal method for calculating degree-days depends upon where key temperature threshold parameters fall relative to the daily minimum and maximum temperatures, as well as the shape of the daily temperature curve. No method is shown to be universally superior, though one commonly used method, the daily average method, consistently provides accurate results. The sensitivity of model projections to these methodological issues highlights the need to make structural and parametric selections based on a careful consideration of the specific biological response of the organism under study, and the specific temperature conditions of the geographic regions of interest. When degree-day model limitations are considered and model assumptions met, the models can be a powerful tool for studying temperature-dependent development. PMID:24443079

  5. Coccolithophore responses to environmental variability in the South China Sea: species composition and calcite content

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Xiaobo; Liu, Chuanlian; Poulton, Alex J.; Dai, Minhan; Guo, Xianghui

    2016-08-01

    Coccolithophore contributions to the global marine carbon cycle are regulated by the calcite content of their scales (coccoliths) and the relative cellular levels of photosynthesis and calcification rates. All three of these factors vary between coccolithophore species and with response to the growth environment. Here, water samples were collected in the northern basin of the South China Sea (SCS) during summer 2014 in order to examine how environmental variability influenced species composition and cellular levels of calcite content. Average coccolithophore abundance and their calcite concentration in the water column were 11.82 cells mL-1 and 1508.3 pg C mL-1, respectively, during the cruise. Water samples can be divided into three floral groups according to their distinct coccolithophore communities. The vertical structure of the coccolithophore community in the water column was controlled by the trophic conditions, which were regulated by mesoscale eddies across the SCS basin. The evaluation of coccolithophore-based calcite in the surface ocean also showed that three key species in the SCS (Emiliania huxleyi, Gephyrocapsa oceanica, Florisphaera profunda) and other larger, numerically rare species made almost equal contributions to total coccolith-based calcite in the water column. For Emiliania huxleyi biometry measurements, coccolith size positively correlated with nutrients (nitrate, phosphate), and it is suggested that coccolith length is influenced by light and nutrients through the regulation of growth rates. Larger-sized coccoliths were also linked statistically to low pH and calcite saturation states; however, it is not a simple cause and effect relationship, as carbonate chemistry was strongly co-correlated with the other key environmental factors (nutrients, light).

  6. Intratesticular and subcutaneous lidocaine alters the intraoperative haemodynamic responses and heart rate variability in male cats undergoing castration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moldal, E.R.; Eriksen, T.; Kirpensteijn, J.; Nødtvedt, A.; Kristensen, A.T.; Sparta, F.M.; Haga, H.A.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the usefulness of intratesticular and subcutaneous lidocaine in alleviating the intraoperative nociceptive response to castration, measured by pulse rate (PR) and mean arterial pressure (MAP), and to test the applicability of heart rate variability (HRV) analysis in a

  7. Streamflow response to climate variability and human activities in the upper catchment of the Yellow River Basin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO FangFang; XU ZongXue; ZHANG Lu; ZUO DePeng

    2009-01-01

    Both sensitivity-based method and simulation method are used to analyze the streamflow response to climate variability and human activities in the upper catchment of the Yellow River Basin (UYRB) in this study.The separation regime of effects from climate variability and human activities is investigated.Results show that the changes of streamflow are more sensitive to precipitation than potential evapotranspiration (PET).Effect of climate variability on streamflow estimated using the sensitiv-ity-based method is weak in the upper catchment of Jimai station, and strong in the upper catchment of Lanzhou station, where the climate effects accounted for about 50% of total streamflow changes.Effects of human activities on streamflow accounted for about 40% in the UYRB, with weaker effects in the upper catchment of Tangnaihai station than those in the upper catchment of Lanzhou station.Both climate variability and human activities are main factors to affect the changes of streamflow in the UYRB.

  8. Streamflow response to climate variability and human activities in the upper catchment of the Yellow River Basin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Both sensitivity-based method and simulation method are used to analyze the streamflow response to climate variability and human activities in the upper catchment of the Yellow River Basin (UYRB) in this study. The separation regime of effects from climate variability and human activities is investigated. Results show that the changes of streamflow are more sensitive to precipitation than potential evapotranspiration (PET). Effect of climate variability on streamflow estimated using the sensitivity-based method is weak in the upper catchment of Jimai station, and strong in the upper catchment of Lanzhou station, where the climate effects accounted for about 50% of total streamflow changes. Effects of human activities on streamflow accounted for about 40% in the UYRB, with weaker effects in the upper catchment of Tangnaihai station than those in the upper catchment of Lanzhou station. Both climate variability and human activities are main factors to affect the changes of streamflow in the UYRB.

  9. Temporal variability in California grasslands: soil type and species functional traits mediate response to precipitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Going, B M; Anacker, B L; Harrison, S P

    2012-09-01

    Plant communities on infertile soils may be relatively resistant to climatic variation if species in these communities have "stress-tolerant" functional traits that limit their ability to respond to climate. Alternatively, such communities may be more sensitive to climatic variation if their relatively sparse vegetative cover exposes species to more extreme changes in factors such as temperature or wind. We compared temporal variability in species richness and composition over 10 years between grasslands on infertile serpentine and "normal" sedimentary soils. Variability in species richness and species composition tracked mean annual precipitation on both soils, but variability was lower in serpentine grasslands. Communities on serpentine had lower functional diversity and had species with more "stress-tolerant" traits than non-serpentine communities (i.e., shorter stature, lower specific leaf area, and lower leaf area). Within and between soils, variability in species richness and temporal turnover were lower in communities scoring as more stress tolerant on a multivariate index of these traits; however, community variability was unrelated to functional diversity. Within 41 species found commonly on both soils, variability in occurrence and cover were also lower on serpentine soils, even though intraspecific trait differences between soils were minimal; this suggests a direct effect of soil type on species variability in addition to the indirect, trait-mediated effect. Communities with higher biomass had higher annual variability in species occurrence and cover. Our results suggest that infertile soils reduce compositional variability indirectly by selecting for stress-tolerant traits and directly by limiting productivity. We conclude that communities on infertile soils may respond more conservatively to predicted changes in precipitation, including increased variability, than communities on soils of normal fertility.

  10. Spatial uncoupling of biodegradation, soil respiration, and PAH concentration in a creosote contaminated soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bengtsson, Goeran, E-mail: goran.bengtsson@ekol.lu.s [Lund University, Department of Ecology, Soelvegatan 37, SE-223 62 Lund (Sweden); Toerneman, Niklas [Lund University, Department of Ecology, Soelvegatan 37, SE-223 62 Lund (Sweden); Yang Xiuhong [Lund University, Department of Ecology, Soelvegatan 37, SE-223 62 Lund (Sweden); Department of Environmental Science, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275 (China)

    2010-09-15

    Hotspots and coldspots of concentration and biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) marginally overlapped at the 0.5-100 m scale in a creosote contaminated soil in southern Sweden, suggesting that concentration and biodegradation had little spatial co-variation. Biodegradation was substantial and its spatial variability considerable and highly irregular, but it had no spatial autocorrelation. The soil concentration of PAHs explained only 20-30% of the variance of their biodegradation. Soil respiration was spatially autocorrelated. The spatial uncoupling between biodegradation and soil respiration seemed to be governed by the aging of PAHs in the soil, since biodegradation of added {sup 13}C phenanthrene covaried with both soil respiration and microbial biomass. The latter two were also correlated with high concentrations of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) that are common in gram-negative bacteria. However, several of the hotspots of biodegradation coincided with hotspots for the distribution of a PLFA indicative of fungal biomass. - Hotspots of PAH biodegradation in a creosote contaminated soil do not coincide with hotspots of PAH concentration, microbial biomass and respiration.

  11. Spatial uncoupling of biodegradation, soil respiration, and PAH concentration in a creosote contaminated soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hotspots and coldspots of concentration and biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) marginally overlapped at the 0.5-100 m scale in a creosote contaminated soil in southern Sweden, suggesting that concentration and biodegradation had little spatial co-variation. Biodegradation was substantial and its spatial variability considerable and highly irregular, but it had no spatial autocorrelation. The soil concentration of PAHs explained only 20-30% of the variance of their biodegradation. Soil respiration was spatially autocorrelated. The spatial uncoupling between biodegradation and soil respiration seemed to be governed by the aging of PAHs in the soil, since biodegradation of added 13C phenanthrene covaried with both soil respiration and microbial biomass. The latter two were also correlated with high concentrations of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) that are common in gram-negative bacteria. However, several of the hotspots of biodegradation coincided with hotspots for the distribution of a PLFA indicative of fungal biomass. - Hotspots of PAH biodegradation in a creosote contaminated soil do not coincide with hotspots of PAH concentration, microbial biomass and respiration.

  12. Biodegradation of plastics in soil and effects on nitrification activity. A laboratory approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulia eBettas Ardisson

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The progressive application of new biodegradable plastics in agriculture calls for improved testing approaches to assure their environmental safety. Full biodegradation (≥ 90% prevents accumulation in soil, which is the first tier of testing. The application of specific ecotoxicity tests is the second tier of testing needed to show safety for the soil ecosystem. Soil microbial nitrification is widely used as a bioindicator for evaluating the impact of chemicals on soil but it is not applied for evaluating the impact of biodegradable plastics. In this work the International Standard test for biodegradation of plastics in soil (ISO 17556, 2012 was applied both to measure biodegradation and to prepare soil samples needed for a subsequent nitrification test based on another International Standard (ISO 14238, 2012. The plastic mulch film tested in this work showed full biodegradability and no inhibition of the nitrification potential of the soil in comparison with the controls. The laboratory approach suggested in this Technology Report enables (i to follow the course of biodegradation, (ii a strict control of variables and environmental conditions, (iii the application of very high concentrations of test material (to maximize the possible effects. This testing approach could be taken into consideration in improved testing schemes aimed at defining the biodegradability of plastics in soil.

  13. PEF variability, bronchial responsiveness and their relation to allergy markers in a random population (20-70 yr).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boezen, H M; Postma, D S; Schouten, J P; Kerstjens, H A; Rijcken, B

    1996-07-01

    We investigated the coherence of bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) and peak expiratory flow (PEF) variability in their relation to allergy markers and respiratory symptoms in 399 subjects (20-70 yr). Bronchial hyperresponsiveness to methacholine was defined by both the provocative dose causing a fall in FEV1 of 20%, and the dose-response slope. PEF variability was determined as diurnal PEF variation (amplitude percent mean) and between-day PEF variation. Skin tests positivity, serum total IgE, and specific IgE (RAST) for house-dust mite (HDM), cat, timothy grass, and birch ("pollen") were determined, as well as the number of peripheral blood eosinophils. Wheeze and nocturnal dyspnea were defined as asthma-like symptoms; dyspnea > or = grade 3, cough and phlegm as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)-like symptoms. The reciprocal of the dose-response slope and PEF variability were significantly correlated (r = -0.39). Subjects with a positive skin test for HDM (odds ratio [OR] = 3.9), cat (OR = 8.3), or pollen (OR = 3.6), or specific IgE for HDM (OR = 2.3), cat (OR = 3.4), or pollen (OR = 1.9) had increased risk of BHR compared with the reference group (all p values blood eosinophils. There are different associations of BHR and PEF variability with allergy markers. Although BHR and PEF variability are significantly correlated, they cannot be used interchangeably in epidemiologic settings. PMID:8680695

  14. Global signal modulation of single-trial fMRI response variability: Effect on positive vs negative BOLD response relationship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayhew, S D; Mullinger, K J; Ostwald, D; Porcaro, C; Bowtell, R; Bagshaw, A P; Francis, S T

    2016-06-01

    In functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the relationship between positive BOLD responses (PBRs) and negative BOLD responses (NBRs) to stimulation is potentially informative about the balance of excitatory and inhibitory brain responses in sensory cortex. In this study, we performed three separate experiments delivering visual, motor or somatosensory stimulation unilaterally, to one side of the sensory field, to induce PBR and NBR in opposite brain hemispheres. We then assessed the relationship between the evoked amplitudes of contralateral PBR and ipsilateral NBR at the level of both single-trial and average responses. We measure single-trial PBR and NBR peak amplitudes from individual time-courses, and show that they were positively correlated in all experiments. In contrast, in the average response across trials the absolute magnitudes of both PBR and NBR increased with increasing stimulus intensity, resulting in a negative correlation between mean response amplitudes. Subsequent analysis showed that the amplitude of single-trial PBR was positively correlated with the BOLD response across all grey-matter voxels and was not specifically related to the ipsilateral sensory cortical response. We demonstrate that the global component of this single-trial response modulation could be fully explained by voxel-wise vascular reactivity, the BOLD signal standard deviation measured in a separate resting-state scan (resting state fluctuation amplitude, RSFA). However, bilateral positive correlation between PBR and NBR regions remained. We further report that modulations in the global brain fMRI signal cannot fully account for this positive PBR-NBR coupling and conclude that the local sensory network response reflects a combination of superimposed vascular and neuronal signals. More detailed quantification of physiological and noise contributions to the BOLD signal is required to fully understand the trial-by-trial PBR and NBR relationship compared with that of

  15. Variability in Cell Response of Cronobacter sakazakii after Mild-Heat Treatments and Its Impact on Food Safety

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parra-Flores, Julio; Juneja, Vijay; Garcia de Fernando, Gonzalo; Aguirre, Juan

    2016-01-01

    Cronobacter spp. have been responsible for severe infections in infants associated with consumption of powdered infant formula and follow-up formulae. Despite several risk assessments described in published studies, few approaches have considered the tremendous variability in cell response that small micropopulations or single cells can have in infant formula during storage, preparation or post process/preparation before the feeding of infants. Stochastic approaches can better describe microbial single cell response than deterministic models as we prove in this study. A large variability of lag phase was observed in single cell and micropopulations of ≤50 cells. This variability increased as the heat shock increased and growth temperature decreased. Obviously, variability of growth of individual Cronobacter sakazakii cell is affected by inoculum size, growth temperature and the probability of cells able to grow at the conditions imposed by the experimental conditions should be taken into account, especially when errors in bottle-preparation practices, such as improper holding temperatures, or manipulation, may lead to growth of the pathogen to a critical cell level. The mean probability of illness from initial inoculum size of 1 cell was below 0.2 in all the cases and for inoculum size of 50 cells the mean probability of illness, in most of the cases, was above 0.7. PMID:27148223

  16. Peak expiratory flow variability, bronchial responsiveness, and susceptibility to ambient air pollution in adults

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boezen, M; Schouten, Jan; Rijcken, B; Vonk, J; Gerritsen, J; Hoek, G; Brunekreef, B; Postma, D

    1998-01-01

    Bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) and peak expiratory flow (PEF) variability are associated expressions of airway lability, yet probably reflect different underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms. We investigated whether both measures can be used interchangeably to identify subjects who are suscepti

  17. North Atlantic multidecadal variability in coupled climate models - Mechanisms and responses

    OpenAIRE

    Medhaug, Iselin

    2011-01-01

    Global atmosphere-ocean general circulation models have been used to investigate mechanisms controlling the North Atlantic low-frequency variability, with the focus on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, the Subpolar Gyre dynamics and the North Atlantic basin scale sea surface temperatures, called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. The understanding of the dynamics of, and mechanisms behind the variability in these components of the climate system are of great ...

  18. Adhesion of biocompatible and biodegradable micropatterned surfaces

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaiser, J.S.; Kamperman, M.M.G.; Souza, E.J.; Schick, B.; Arzt, E.

    2011-01-01

    We studied the effects of pillar dimensions and stiffness of biocompatible and biodegradable micropatterned surfaces on adhesion on different compliant substrates. The micropatterned adhesives were based on biocompatible polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and biodegradable poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PL

  19. Poly (3-Hydroxyalkanoates: Biodegradable Plastics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Surbhi Jain

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available During the 1920’s, a polyester called poly (3-hydroxybutyrate was discovered in bacterial cells. This compound, otherwise known as PHB, is part of a polyester family called polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs. Polyhydroxyalkanoates are used as an energy and carbon sto rage compound within certain bacterial cells. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs are thermoplastic, biodegradable polyesters synthesized by some bacteria from renewable carbon sources. However, their application is limited by high production cost. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs have attracted research and commercial interests worldwide because they can be used as biodegradable thermoplastics and also because they can be produced from renewable resources. This review will present an overview on synthesis and degradation of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs, development as biodegradable plastics and its potential production from renewable resources such as palm oil products.

  20. Testing biodegradability with standardized methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagga, U

    1997-12-01

    Laboratory test methods are used by industry laboratories to determine biodegradability, an important parameter for the evaluation of the ecological behaviour of substances. Biodegradability has a key role due to the simple fact that a degradable substance will cause no long term risk in the environment. The great variety of biodegradation processes in the natural environment and in technical plants for treating waste water and solid wastes gave rise to a rather large number of test methods based on different test principles. To guarantee the acceptance of the test results by authorities and customers internationally standardized methods (ISO, OECD) and established quality criteria (GLP, EN 45,000, ISO 9000) are used. PMID:9415981

  1. Variability of North Sea pH and CO2 in response to North Atlantic Oscillation forcing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salt, Lesley A.; Thomas, Helmuth; Prowe, Friederike;

    2013-01-01

    observational records covering the relevant levels of the NAO index, we provide evidence that the North Sea pH and CO2 system strongly responds to external and internal expressions of the NAO. Under positive NAO, the higher rates of inflow of water from the North Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic outflow lead......[1] High biological activity causes a distinct seasonality of surface water pH in the North Sea, which is a strong sink for atmospheric CO2 via an effective shelf pump. The intimate connection between the North Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean suggests that the variability of the CO2 system...... of the North Atlantic Ocean may, in part, be responsible for the observed variability of pH and CO2 in the North Sea. In this work, we demonstrate the role of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the dominant climate mode for the North Atlantic, in governing this variability. Based on three extensive...

  2. Characterization of a Novel Butachlor Biodegradation Pathway and Cloning of the Debutoxylase (Dbo) Gene Responsible for Debutoxylation of Butachlor in Bacillus sp. hys-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Yang; Jin, Lei; Shi, Hui; Chu, Zhangjie

    2015-09-30

    Bacillus sp. strain hys-1, which was isolated from active sludge, could degrade >90% butachlor at a concentration of 100 mg/L within 7 days. The present work revealed that strain hys-1 could mineralize butachlor via the following pathway: butachlor was initially metabolized to 2-chloro-N-(2,6-diethylphenyl)-N-methylacetamide by debutoxylation and then transformed to form 2-chloro-N-(2,6-diethylphenyl)acetamide by N-demethylation. Subsequently, it was converted to 2,6-diethylaniline and further mineralized into CO2 and H2O. In addition, the catalytic efficiency of crude cell extracts descended as follows: alachlor > acetochlor > butachlor. Furthermore, a novel 744 bp gene responsible for transforming butachlor into 2-chloro-N-(2,6-diethylphenyl)-N-methylacetamide was cloned from strain hys-1 and the encoding debutoxylase was designated Dbo. Then Dbo was expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) and purified using Ni-nitrilotriacetic acid affinity chromatography. Dbo displayed the highest activity against butachlor at pH 6.5 and 30 °C. Metal ions played an important role in Dbo activity. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first report that strain hys-1 can mineralize butachlor by a novel metabolic mechanism and the first identification of a gene encoding butachlor debutoxylase.

  3. Petroleum biodegradation in marine environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harayama, S; Kishira, H; Kasai, Y; Shutsubo, K

    1999-08-01

    Petroleum-based products are the major source of energy for industry and daily life. Petroleum is also the raw material for many chemical products such as plastics, paints, and cosmetics. The transport of petroleum across the world is frequent, and the amounts of petroleum stocks in developed countries are enormous. Consequently, the potential for oil spills is significant, and research on the fate of petroleum in a marine environment is important to evaluate the environmental threat of oil spills, and to develop biotechnology to cope with them. Crude oil is constituted from thousands of components which are separated into saturates, aromatics, resins and asphaltenes. Upon discharge into the sea, crude oil is subjected to weathering, the process caused by the combined effects of physical, chemical and biological modification. Saturates, especially those of smaller molecular weight, are readily biodegraded in marine environments. Aromatics with one, two or three aromatic rings are also efficiently biodegraded; however, those with four or more aromatic ring are quite resistant to biodegradation. The asphaltene and resin fractions contain higher molecular weight compounds whose chemical structures have not yet been resolved. The biodegradability of these compounds is not yet known. It is known that the concentrations of available nitrogen and phosphorus in seawater limit the growth and activities of hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms in a marine environment. In other words, the addition of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers to an oil-contaminated marine environment can stimulate the biodegradation of spilled oil. This notion was confirmed in the large-scale operation for bioremediation after the oil spill from the Exxon Valdez in Alaska. Many microorganisms capable of degrading petroleum components have been isolated. However, few of them seem to be important for petroleum biodegradation in natural environments. One group of bacteria belonging to the genus

  4. Groundwater level response in U.S. Principal Aquifers to natural climate variability on interannual to multidecadal timescales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velasco, E.; Gurdak, J. J.; Dickinson, J.; Hanson, R. T.; Ferré, T. P. A.; Maurer, E. P.

    2014-12-01

    Natural climate variability on interannual to multidecadal timescales are important controls on precipitation, drought, evapotranspiration, streamflow, and groundwater recharge. Climate variability can also augment or diminish human stresses on water resources. Thus, understanding climate variability has particular relevance for groundwater management. Findings will be presented from a national scale study of groundwater level response to natural climate variability in principal aquifers (PAs) of the U.S., including the California Coastal Basin, Rio Grande, Coastal Lowlands, Mississippi Embayment, Floridan, and Glacial aquifer systems. We use the U.S. Geological Survey hydroclimatic analysis toolkit HydroClimATe to perform singular spectrum analysis and identify quasi-periodic signals in precipitation and groundwater time series that are coincident with the Arctic Oscillation (AO) (6-12 mo cycle), Pacific/North American oscillation (PNA) (levels have a statistically significant lag correlation (95% confidence interval) with the AO, PNA, ENSO, NAO, PDO, and AMO indices. The largest amount of variance in precipitation and groundwater levels was attributed to the PDO, accounting for more than 90% of the variance in many PAs. The next largest amount of variance in precipitation and groundwater levels was attributed to ENSO, accounting for more than 50% of the variance in many PAs. The AMO was the least frequently detected signal in all time series but accounted for as much as 95% of the variance when detected. Thus, climate variability on interannual to multidecadal timescales has a statistically significant and measurable effect on the lagged responses of precipitation variability and, in turn, groundwater level fluctuations in PAs. Our findings have important implications for the availability and sustainability of groundwater, including management and planning decisions about the locations, cost effectiveness, and optimal time periods for conjunctive use strategies.

  5. Adulthood stress responses in rats are variably altered as a factor of adolescent stress exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Nicole L T; Altman, Daniel E; Gauchan, Sangeeta; Genovese, Raymond F

    2016-05-01

    Stress exposure during development may influence adulthood stress response severity. The present study investigates persisting effects of two adolescent stressors upon adulthood response to predator exposure (PE). Rats were exposed to underwater trauma (UWT) or PE during adolescence, then to PE after reaching adulthood. Rats were then exposed to predator odor (PO) to test responses to predator cues alone. Behavioral and neuroendocrine assessments were conducted to determine acute effects of each stress experience. Adolescent stress altered behavioral response to adulthood PE. Acoustic startle response was blunted. Bidirectional changes in plus maze exploration were revealed as a factor of adolescent stress type. Neuroendocrine response magnitude did not predict severity of adolescent or adult stress response, suggesting that different adolescent stress events may differentially alter developmental outcomes regardless of acute behavioral or neuroendocrine response. We report that exposure to two different stressors in adolescence may differentially affect stress response outcomes in adulthood. Acute response to an adolescent stressor may not be consistent across all stressors or all dependent measures, and may not predict alterations in developmental outcomes pertaining to adulthood stress exposure. Further studies are needed to characterize factors underlying long-term effects of a developmental stressor.

  6. Biodegradable polycaprolactone-chitosan three-dimensional scaffolds fabricated by melt stretching and multilayer deposition for bone tissue engineering: assessment of the physical properties and cellular response

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thuaksuban, Nuttawut; Nuntanaranont, Thongchai; Suttapreyasri, Srisurang [Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, Prince of Songkla University, Kanjanavanij Road, Hatyai, Songkhla, 90112 (Thailand); Pattanachot, Wachirapan [Polymer Science Program, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Kanjanavanij Road, Hatyai, Songkhla, 90112 (Thailand); Cheung, Lim Kwong, E-mail: nuttawut.t@psu.ac.t [Discipline of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (China)

    2011-02-15

    Fabrication of polycaprolactone (PCL)-chitosan (CS) three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds using the novel technique of melt stretching and multilayer deposition was introduced. In brief, firstly, the PCL-CS monofilaments containing 0% (pure PCL), 10%, 20% and 30% CS by weight were fabricated by melting and stretching processes. Secondly, the desired multilayer (3D) scaffolds were fabricated by arranging and depositing the filaments. Physical properties of the filaments and the scaffolds were evaluated. MC3T3-E1 cell lines were seeded on the scaffolds to assess their proliferation. A typical micro-groove pattern was found on the surfaces of pure PCL filaments due to stretching. The filaments of PCL-30%CS had the highest tendency of fracture during stretching and could not be used to form the scaffold. Increasing CS proportions tended to reduce the micro-groove pattern, surface roughness, tensile strength and elasticity of the filaments, whilst compressive strength of the PCL-CS scaffolds was not affected. The average pore size and porosity of the scaffolds were 536.90 {+-} 17.91 {mu}m and 45.99 {+-} 2.8% respectively. Over 60 days, degradation of the scaffolds gradually increased (p > 0.05). The more CS containing scaffolds were found to increase in water uptake, but decrease in degradation rate. During the culture period, the growth of the cells in PCL-CS groups was significantly higher than in the pure PCL group (p < 0.05). On culture-day 21, the growth in the PCL-20%CS group was significantly higher than the other groups (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the PCL-20%CS scaffolds obtained the optimum results in terms of physical properties and cellular response.

  7. Distinguishing spatiotemporal variability of sediment sources in small urbanized catchment as a response to urban expansion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belyaev, Vladimir; Feoktistov, Artem; Huygens, Dries; Shamshurina, Eugenia; Golosov, Valentin

    2014-05-01

    Understanding hydrological response and geomorphic behavior of small catchments in urban environments, especially those experiencing urban expansion, represents serious and important problem which has not yet been given an adequate research attention. Urbanization exerts profound and diverse impacts on catchment characteristics, particularly by increasing surface runoff coefficients, peak flow discharges and rates of flash flood waves propagation as a result of widespread appearance of buildings and paved surfaces with practically zero infiltration capacities. Another essential influence of urbanization on small catchment hydrological regimes is associated with significant changes of natural topography (from relatively minor modifications such as grading of steeper slopes to complete transformations including total filling of gullies and small valleys, transfer of small streams from surface into underground pipes or collectors, etc.) combined with creation of systems of concrete-protected surface drainages and underground storm flow sewages. Such activities can result in substantial changes of runoff- and sediment-contributing areas for the remaining gullies and small valleys in comparison to the pre-urbanization conditions, causing dramatic increase of fluvial activity in some of those and much lower flow discharges in others. In addition, gullies and small valleys in urban settlements often become sites of dumping for both dry and liquid domestic and industrial wastes, thus being major pathways for dissolved and particle-bound pollutant transfer into perennial streams and rivers. All the problems listed require detailed hydrological and geomorphic investigations in order to provide sound basis for developing appropriate measures aimed to control and decrease urban erosion, sediment redistribution, pollution of water bodies, damage to constructions and communications. Recent advances in sediment tracing and fingerprinting techniques provide promising opportunities

  8. Physiological Responses in a Variable Environment: Relationships between Metabolism, Hsp and Thermotolerance in an Intertidal-Subtidal Species

    OpenAIRE

    Yun-wei Dong; Shan-shan Yu; Qing-lin Wang; Shuang-lin Dong

    2011-01-01

    Physiological responses to temperature reflect the evolutionary adaptations of organisms to their thermal environment and the capability of animals to tolerate thermal stress. Contrary to conventional metabolism theory, increasing environmental temperatures have been shown to reduce metabolic rate in rocky-eulittoral-fringe species inhabiting highly variable environments, possibly as a strategy for energy conservation. To study the physiological adaptations of an intertidal-subtidal species t...

  9. State-contingent analysis of farmers’ response to weather variability: Irrigated dairy farming in the Murray Valley, Australia

    OpenAIRE

    Mallawaarachchi, Thilak; Nauges, Céline; Quiggin, John; Sanders, Orion

    2016-01-01

    The agricultural sector is commonly regarded as one of the most vulnerable to climate change. Current understanding of the impact of climate change on this sector relies on the underlying assumptions about farmers’ possible responses to weather variability, including changes in crop choice, input combinations and land management practices. Many previous analyses rely on the implicit (and restrictive) assumption that farmers operate under a fixed technology set across different states of natur...

  10. Social Responsibility of Multinational Corporations to Train Their Personnel. An Evaluation of Explanatory Variables for a Telecommunications Company

    OpenAIRE

    Basarab Gogoneaţă

    2011-01-01

    Corporate social responsibility in the field of employee-employer relation has enjoyed a growing attention in recent years. In this context, workplace training plays an essential role for the harmony of interdependence between community and company. This paper provides a top-down analysis of training effects and a model for an empirical evaluation of explanatory variables for training intensity in the case of a multinational telecommunications company. The analysis of training effects reveale...

  11. A Virtual Clinical Trial of FDG-PET Imaging of Breast Cancer: Effect of Variability on Response Assessment1

    OpenAIRE

    Harrison, Robert L.; Elston, Brian F.; Doot, Robert K.; Lewellen, Thomas K.; Mankoff, David A.; Kinahan, Paul E

    2014-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: There is growing interest in using positron emission tomography (PET) standardized uptake values (SUVs) to assess tumor response to therapy. However, many error sources compromise the ability to detect SUV changes. We explore relationships between these errors and overall SUV variability. METHODS: We used simulations in a virtual clinical trial framework to study impacts of error sources from scanning and analysis effects on assessment of SUV changes. We varied tumor diameter, s...

  12. A Methodology to Infer Crop Yield Response to Climate Variability and Change Using Long-Term Observations

    OpenAIRE

    Lange, Manfred A.; Mustapha El-Maayar

    2013-01-01

    A new methodology to extract crop yield response to climate variability and change from long-term crop yield observations is presented in this study. In contrast to the existing first-difference approach (FDA), the proposed methodology considers that the difference in value between crop yields of two consecutive years reflects necessarily the contributions of climate and management conditions, especially at large spatial scales where both conditions may vary significantly from one year to the...

  13. In vivo analysis of thoracic mechanical response variability under belt loading: Specific behavior and relationship to age, gender and BMI

    OpenAIRE

    POULARD, David; BERMOND, François; Bruyere-Garnier, Karine

    2013-01-01

    Thoracic injuries are a major cause of mortality in frontal collisions, especially for elderly female and obese people. Car occupant individual characteristics like age, gender and Body Mass Index (BMI) are known to influence human vulnerability tolerance in crashes. The objective of the this study was to perform in vivo test experiments to quantify the influence of subject characteristics in terms of age, gender and anthropometry and on thorax mechanical response variability under belt loadi...

  14. Development of aliphatic biodegradable photoluminescent polymers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jian; Zhang, Yi; Gautam, Santosh; Liu, Li; Dey, Jagannath; Chen, Wei; Mason, Ralph P.; Serrano, Carlos A.; Schug, Kevin A.; Tang, Liping

    2009-01-01

    None of the current biodegradable polymers can function as both implant materials and fluorescent imaging probes. The objective of this study was to develop aliphatic biodegradable photoluminescent polymers (BPLPs) and their associated cross-linked variants (CBPLPs) for biomedical applications. BPLPs are degradable oligomers synthesized from biocompatible monomers including citric acid, aliphatic diols, and various amino acids via a convenient and cost-effective polycondensation reaction. BPLPs can be further cross-linked into elastomeric cross-linked polymers, CBPLPs. We have shown representatively that BPLP-cysteine (BPLP-Cys) and BPLP-serine (BPLP-Ser) offer advantages over the traditional fluorescent organic dyes and quantum dots because of their preliminarily demonstrated cytocompatibility in vitro, minimal chronic inflammatory responses in vivo, controlled degradability and high quantum yields (up to 62.33%), tunable fluorescence emission (up to 725 nm), and photostability. The tensile strength of CBPLP-Cys film ranged from 3.25 ± 0.13 MPa to 6.5 ± 0.8 MPa and the initial Modulus was in a range of 3.34 ± 0.15 MPa to 7.02 ± 1.40 MPa. Elastic CBPLP-Cys could be elongated up to 240 ± 36%. The compressive modulus of BPLP-Cys (0.6) (1:1:0.6 OD:CA:Cys) porous scaffold was 39.60 ± 5.90 KPa confirming the soft nature of the scaffolds. BPLPs also possess great processability for micro/nano-fabrication. We demonstrate the feasibility of using BPLP-Ser nanoparticles (“biodegradable quantum dots”) for in vitro cellular labeling and noninvasive in vivo imaging of tissue engineering scaffolds. The development of BPLPs and CBPLPs represents a new direction in developing fluorescent biomaterials and could impact tissue engineering, drug delivery, bioimaging. PMID:19506254

  15. Effects of mechanical property variability in lead rubber bearings on the response of seismic isolation system for different ground motions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The effects of variability of the mechanical properties of lead rubber bearings on the response of a seismic isolation system are investigated. Material variability in manufacturing, aging, and operation temperature is assumed, and two variation models of an isolation system are considered. To evaluate the effect of ground motion characteristics on the response, 27 earthquake record sets with different peak A/V ratios were selected, and three components of ground motions were used for a seismic response analysis. The response in an isolation system and a superstructure increases significantly for ground motions with low A/V ratios. The variation in the mechanical properties of isolators results in a significant influence on the shear strains of the isolators and the acceleration response of the superstructure. The variation provisions in the ASCE-4 are reasonable, but more strict variation limits should be given to isolation systems subjected to ground motions having low A/V ratios. For application of seismic isolation systems to safety-related nuclear structures, the variation in the material and mechanical properties of the isolation system should be properly controlled during the manufacturing and aging processes. In addition, special consideration should be given to minimize the accidental torsion caused by the dissimilarity in the stiffness variations of the isolators.

  16. Factors influencing crude oil biodegradation by Yarrowia lipolytica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana Felix Ferreira

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Yarrowia lipolytica is unique strictly aerobic yeast with the ability to efficiently degrade hydrophobic substrates such as n-alkenes, fatty acids, glycerol and oils. In the present work, a 2(4 full factorial design was used to investigate the influence of the independent variables of temperature, agitation, initial cell concentration and initial petroleum concentration on crude oil biodegradation. The results showed that all variables studied had significant effects on the biodegradation process. Temperature, agitation speed and initial cell concentration had positive effects, and initial petroleum concentration had a negative effect. Among the crude oil removal conditions studied, the best temperature and agitation conditions were 28ºC and 250 rpm, respectively.

  17. Association of Heart Rate Variability and Inflammatory Response in Patients with Cardiovascular Diseases: Current Strengths and Limitations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasilios Efthymios Papaioannou

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Many experimental and clinical studies have confirmed a continuous cross-talk between both sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of autonomic nervous system and inflammatory response, in different clinical scenarios. In cardiovascular diseases, inflammation has been proven to play a pivotal role in disease progression, pathogenesis and resolution. A few clinical studies have assessed the possible inter-relation between neuro-autonomic output, estimated with heart rate variability analysis, which is the variability of R-R in the electrocardiogram, and different inflammatory biomarkers, in patients suffering from stable or unstable coronary artery disease and heart failure. Moreover, different indices derived from heart rate signals’ processing, have been proven to correlate strongly with severity of heart disease and predict final outcome. In this review article we will summarize major findings from different investigators, evaluating neuro-immunological interactions through heart rate variability analysis, in different groups of cardiovascular patients. We suggest that markers originating from variability analysis of heart rate signals seem to be related to inflammatory biomarkers. However, a lot of open questions remain to be addressed, regarding the existence of a true association between heart rate variability and autonomic nervous system output or its adoption for risk stratification and therapeutic monitoring at the bedside. Finally, potential therapeutic implications will be discussed, leading to autonomic balance restoration in relation with inflammatory control.

  18. Temporal Learning and Rhythmic Responding: No Reduction in the Proportion Easy Effect with Variable Response-Stimulus Intervals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James R Schmidt

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The present report further investigates the proportion easy effect, a conflict-free version of the proportion congruent effect. In the proportion easy paradigm, it is observed that the difference in performance between easy (high contrast and hard (low contrast items is smaller in a task with mostly hard items relative to a task with mostly easy items. This effect has been interpreted as evidence for temporal learning: participants learn a faster pace (i.e., rhythm of responding in the mostly easy context, which boosts the contrast effect, and a slower pace in the mostly hard context. In the present experiment, intervals between trials were either fixed or randomly varied from trial to trial. Interestingly, the proportion easy effect was still present with variable intervals. These data suggest that participants do not learn the regularity in timing from one response to the next (which was highly inconsistent with variable intervals. As one alternative, participants might be learning the intervals between stimulus onset and responses, which were not manipulated. They could then use this learned timing information to prepare for responding at the anticipated time, resulting in rhythmic responding. The results further imply that variable response-stimulus intervals are insufficient for controlling for rhythmic biases.

  19. Within- and Between-Day Repeatability and Variability in Children's Physiological Responses during Submaximal Treadmill Exercise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amorim, Paulo R. S.; Byrne, Nuala Mary; Hills, Andrew P.

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to verify within- and between-day repeatability and variability in children's oxygen uptake (VO[subscript 2]), gross economy (GE; VO[subscript 2] divided by speed) and heart rate (HR) during treadmill walking based on self-selected speed (SS). Fourteen children (10.1 plus or minus 1.4 years) undertook three testing…

  20. Cortical Response Variability as a Developmental Index of Selective Auditory Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strait, Dana L.; Slater, Jessica; Abecassis, Victor; Kraus, Nina

    2014-01-01

    Attention induces synchronicity in neuronal firing for the encoding of a given stimulus at the exclusion of others. Recently, we reported decreased variability in scalp-recorded cortical evoked potentials to attended compared with ignored speech in adults. Here we aimed to determine the developmental time course for this neural index of auditory…

  1. Quiet Eye Duration Is Responsive to Variability of Practice and to the Axis of Target Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horn, Robert R.; Okumura, Michelle S.; Alexander, Melissa G. F.; Gardin, Fredrick A.; Sylvester, Curtis T.

    2012-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis that quiet eye, the final fixation before the initiation of a movement in aiming tasks, is used to scale the movement's parameters. Two groups of 12 participants (N = 24) threw darts to targets in the horizontal and vertical axes under conditions of higher (random) or lower (blocked) target variability. Supporting our…

  2. Study on Short-term Variability of Ship Responses in Waves

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Iseki, Toshio; Nielsen, Ulrik Dam

    2014-01-01

    discussed in detail. Using long stationary time histories, the transition of amplitudes and relative phase angles of the cross-spectra have been investigated by iterative analyzes with a few seconds of time shifting. In the results, the short-term variability of the relative phase angle was observed...

  3. Local Perceptions and Responses to Climate Change and Variability: The Case of Laikipia District, Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Ayeri Ogalleh

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural policies in Kenya aim to improve farmers’ livelihoods. With projected climate change, these policies are short of mechanisms that promote farmers’ adaptation. As a result, smallholders are confronted with a variety of challenges including climate change, which hinders their agricultural production. Local knowledge can be instrumental in assisting smallholders to cope with climate change and variability. In this paper, we present empirical evidence that demonstrates local knowledge, perceptions and adaptations to climate change and variability amongst smallholders of Laikipia district of Kenya. A Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI calculated for one station is compared with smallholders’ perceptions. Data was collected using qualitative and quantitative methods in Umande and Muhonia sub-locations. Qualitative data included 46 transcripts from focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Quantitative data is derived from 206 interviewees. We analyzed qualitative and quantitative data using Atlas-ti and SPSS respectively. According to smallholders’ perceptions, climatic variability is increasingly changing. Local perceptions include decreasing rainfalls, increasing temperatures, increasing frosts and increasing hunger. The PDSI shows a trend towards severe droughts in the last four decades, which is in accordance with farmers’ perceptions. Smallholders use a combination of coping and adaptation strategies to respond to variability, including, among others, diversification of crop varieties, migration and sale of livestock. Significant relationships exist between drought perceptions and some adaptations such as migration and sale of livestock. Farmers have an in-depth knowledge of climatic variability, which they use to inform their coping and adaptation strategies. Knowledge of climatic perceptions and adaptations are vital entry points for decision makers and policy makers to learn how and where to enhance the

  4. Accounting for inter-annual and seasonal variability in regionalization of hydrologic response in the Great Lakes basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kult, J. M.; Fry, L. M.; Gronewold, A. D.

    2012-12-01

    Methods for predicting streamflow in areas with limited or nonexistent measures of hydrologic response typically invoke the concept of regionalization, whereby knowledge pertaining to gauged catchments is transferred to ungauged catchments. In this study, we identify watershed physical characteristics acting as primary drivers of hydrologic response throughout the US portion of the Great Lakes basin. Relationships between watershed physical characteristics and hydrologic response are generated from 166 catchments spanning a variety of climate, soil, land cover, and land form regimes through regression tree analysis, leading to a grouping of watersheds exhibiting similar hydrologic response characteristics. These groupings are then used to predict response in ungauged watersheds in an uncertainty framework. Results from this method are assessed alongside one historical regionalization approach which, while simple, has served as a cornerstone of Great Lakes regional hydrologic research for several decades. Our approach expands upon previous research by considering multiple temporal characterizations of hydrologic response. Due to the substantial inter-annual and seasonal variability in hydrologic response observed over the Great Lakes basin, results from the regression tree analysis differ considerably depending on the level of temporal aggregation used to define the response. Specifically, higher levels of temporal aggregation for the response metric (for example, indices derived from long-term means of climate and streamflow observations) lead to improved watershed groupings with lower within-group variance. However, this perceived improvement in model skill occurs at the cost of understated uncertainty when applying the regression to time series simulations or as a basis for model calibration. In such cases, our results indicate that predictions based on long-term characterizations of hydrologic response can produce misleading conclusions when applied at shorter

  5. Biodegradable congress 2012; Bioschmierstoff-Kongress 2012

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2012-11-01

    Within the Guelzower expert discussions at 5th and 6th June, 2012 in Oberhausen (Federal Republic of Germany) the following lectures were held: (1) Promotion of biodegradable lubricants by means of research and development as well as public relations (Steffen Daebeler); (2) Biodegradable lubricants - An overview of the advantages and disadvantages of the engaged product groups (Hubertus Murrenhoff); (3) Standardization of biodegradable lubricants - CEN/DIN standard committees - state of the art (Rolf Luther); (4) Market research for the utilization of biodegradable lubricants and means of proof of sustainability (Norbert Schmitz); (5) Fields of application for high performance lubricants and requirements upon the products (Gunther Kraft); (6) Investigations of biodegradable lubricants in rolling bearings and gears (Christoph Hentschke); (7) Biodegradable lubricants in central lubrication systems Development of gears and bearings of offshore wind power installations (Reiner Wagner); (8) Investigations towards environmental compatibility of biodegradable lubricants used in offshore wind power installations (Tolf Schneider); (9) Development of glycerine based lubricants for the industrial metalworking (Harald Draeger); (10) Investigations and utilization of biodegradable oils as electroinsulation oils in transformers (Stefan Tenbohlen); (11) Operational behaviour of lubricant oils in vegetable oil operation and Biodiesel operation (Horst Hamdorf); (12) Lubrication effect of lubricating oil of the third generation (Stefan Heitzig); (13) Actual market development from the view of a producer of biodegradable lubricants (Frank Lewen); (14) Utilization of biodegradable lubricants in forestry harvesters (Guenther Weise); (15) New biodegradable lubricants based on high oleic sunflower oil (Otto Botz); (16) Integrated fluid concept - optimized technology and service package for users of biodegradable lubricants (Juergen Baer); (17) Utilization of a bio oil sensor to control

  6. Enzymatic oxidative biodegradation of nanoparticles: Mechanisms, significance and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlasova, Irina I; Kapralov, Alexandr A; Michael, Zachary P; Burkert, Seth C; Shurin, Michael R; Star, Alexander; Shvedova, Anna A; Kagan, Valerian E

    2016-05-15

    Biopersistence of carbon nanotubes, graphene oxide (GO) and several other types of carbonaceous nanomaterials is an essential determinant of their health effects. Successful biodegradation is one of the major factors defining the life span and biological responses to nanoparticles. Here, we review the role and contribution of different oxidative enzymes of inflammatory cells - myeloperoxidase, eosinophil peroxidase, lactoperoxidase, hemoglobin, and xanthine oxidase - to the reactions of nanoparticle biodegradation. We further focus on interactions of nanomaterials with hemoproteins dependent on the specific features of their physico-chemical and structural characteristics. Mechanistically, we highlight the significance of immobilized peroxidase reactive intermediates vs diffusible small molecule oxidants (hypochlorous and hypobromous acids) for the overall oxidative biodegradation process in neutrophils and eosinophils. We also accentuate the importance of peroxynitrite-driven pathways realized in macrophages via the engagement of NADPH oxidase- and NO synthase-triggered oxidative mechanisms. We consider possible involvement of oxidative machinery of other professional phagocytes such as microglial cells, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, in the context of biodegradation relevant to targeted drug delivery. We evaluate the importance of genetic factors and their manipulations for the enzymatic biodegradation in vivo. Finally, we emphasize a novel type of biodegradation realized via the activation of the "dormant" peroxidase activity of hemoproteins by the nano-surface. This is exemplified by the binding of GO to cyt c causing the unfolding and 'unmasking' of the peroxidase activity of the latter. We conclude with the strategies leading to safe by design carbonaceous nanoparticles with optimized characteristics for mechanism-based targeted delivery and regulatable life-span of drugs in circulation. PMID:26768553

  7. Biodegradable Pectin/clay Aerogels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biodegradable, foamlike materials based on renewable pectin and sodium montmorillonite clay were fabricated through a simple, environmentally friendly freeze-drying process. Addition of multivalent cations (Ca2+ and Al3+) resulted in apparent crosslinking of the polymer, and enhancement of aerogel p...

  8. Biodegradable polymeric prodrugs of naltrexone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bennet, D.B.; Li, X.; Adams, N.W.; Kim, S.W.; Hoes, C.J.T.; Feijen, J.

    1991-01-01

    The development of a biodegradable polymeric drug delivery system for the narcotic antagonist naltrexone may improve patient compliance in the treatment of opiate addiction. Random copolymers consisting of the ¿-amino acids N5-(3-hydroxypropyl--glutamine and -leucine were synthesized with equimolar

  9. Biodegradation kinetics at low concentrations (

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Toräng, Lars; Albrechtsen, Hans-Jørgen; Nyholm, Niels

    2000-01-01

    Aerobic biodegradation of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) was studied in groundwater added sediment fines. At concentrations at or below 1 mu g/L of 2,4-D degradation kinetic was of true first order without significant growth of specific degraders and with half-life for mineralization...

  10. Biosorption and biodegradation of a sulfur dye in high-strength dyeing wastewater by Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Thai Anh; Fu, Chun-Chieh; Juang, Ruey-Shin

    2016-11-01

    The ability of the bacterial strain Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans to remove sulfur blue 15 (SB15) dye from water samples was examined. This bacterium could not only oxidize sulfur compounds to sulfuric acid but also promote the attachment of the cells to the surface of sulfidic particles, therefore serving as an efficient biosorbent. The biosorption isotherms were better described by the Langmuir equation than by the Freundlich or Dubinin-Radushkevich equation. Also, the biosorption process followed the pseudo-second-order kinetics. At pH 8.3 and SB15 concentrations up to 2000 mg L(-1) in the biomass/mineral salt solution, the dye removal and decolorization were 87.5% and 91.4%, respectively, following the biosorption process. Biodegradation was proposed as a subsequent process for the remaining dye (250-350 mg L(-1)). A central composite design was used to analyze independent variables in the response surface methodology study. Under the optimal conditions (i.e., initial dye concentration of 300 mg L(-1), initial biomass concentration of 1.0 g L(-1), initial pH of 11.7, and yeast extract dose of 60 mg L(-1)), up to 50% of SB15 was removed after 4 days of biodegradation.

  11. Assessment of variability in acquired thermotolerance: potential option to study genotypic response and the relevance of stress genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senthil-Kumar, Muthappa; Kumar, Ganesh; Srikanthbabu, Venkatachalayya; Udayakumar, Makarla

    2007-02-01

    High-temperature stress affects all growth stages of crops and ultimately yields. This is further aggravated by other environmental stresses like intermittent drought and high light. Management options are few and hence developing intrinsically tolerant plants is essential to combat the situation. As thermotolerance is a multigenic trait, emphasis needs to be on relevant approaches to assess genetic variability in basal and acquired tolerance. This is in fact the major aspect in crop improvement programmes. The relevance of temperature induction (acclimation) response (TIR), a high throughput approach to identify thermotolerant individuals and its utility as potential screening method is described here. This is based on the concept that stress-responsive genes are expressed only during initial stages of stress (acclimation stress) and bring about requisite changes in cell metabolism for adaptation. The fact that acclimation response is ubiquitous has been demonstrated in different crop plants in our studies and by others. Significance of acclimation in acquired tolerance and thus in assessing genetic variability in thermotolerance is discussed. The limitations of present approaches to validate the relevance of specific stress genes either in transgenics or in mutants or knock downs have been analyzed and the need to characterize transformants under conditions that trigger acquired tolerance is also highlighted. This review also focuses on the potential of exploiting acclimation response approach to improve the thermotolerance of crop plants by suitable breeding strategies. PMID:17207553

  12. Response of Fish Communities to Various Environmental Variables across Multiple Spatial Scales

    OpenAIRE

    Sang-Jung Park; Myeong-Seop Byoen; Soon-Jin Hwang; Mi-Jung Bae; Namil Chung; Fengqing Li; Yong-Su Kwon; Young-Seuk Park

    2012-01-01

    A better understanding of the relative importance of different spatial scale determinants on fish communities will eventually increase the accuracy and precision of their bioassessments. Many studies have described the influence of environmental variables on fish communities on multiple spatial scales. However, there is very limited information available on this topic for the East Asian monsoon region, including Korea. In this study, we evaluated the relationship between fish communities and ...

  13. Heart rate and heart rate variability responses to Tai Chi and jogging in Beijing and Graz

    OpenAIRE

    Gerhard Litscher; Weibo Zhang; Tao Huang; Lu Wang

    2011-01-01

    Background : Tai Chi is a famous training method in China, and jogging is a popular kind of exercise both in Austria and China. Nevertheless, there is little information concerning online monitoring of biosignals during both training activities in parallel. Within the last years innovative scientific monitoring tools for evaluating features of neurocardial fitness have been developed. Aims : The goal of this study was to demonstrate heart rate and heart rate variability analysis for the first...

  14. Developmental models for estimating ecological responses to environmental variability: structural, parametric, and experimental issues

    OpenAIRE

    Moore, Julia L.; Justin V. Remais

    2014-01-01

    Developmental models that account for the metabolic effect of temperature variability on poikilotherms, such as degree-day models, have been widely used to study organism emergence, range and development, particularly in agricultural and vector-borne disease contexts. Though simple and easy to use, structural and parametric issues can influence the outputs of such models, often substantially. Because the underlying assumptions and limitations of these models have rarely been...

  15. Comparative response of Rangifer tarandus and other northern ungulates to climatic variability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert B. Weladji

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available To understand the factors influencing life history traits and population dynamics, attention is increasingly being given to the importance of environmental stochasticity. In this paper, we review and discuss aspects of current knowledge concerning the effect of climatic variation (local and global on population parameters of northern ungu¬lates, with special emphasis on reindeer/caribou (Rangifer tarandus. We also restrict ourselves to indirect effects of climate through both forage availability and quality, and insect activity. Various authors have used different weather variables; with sometime opposite trends in resulting life history traits of ungulates, and few studies show consistent effects to the same climatic variables. There is thus little consensus about which weather variables play the most sig¬nificant role influencing ungulate population parameters. This may be because the effects of weather on ungulate pop¬ulation dynamics and life history traits are scale dependent and it is difficult to isolate climatic effects from density dependent factors. This confirms the complexity of the relationship between environment and ecosystem. We point out limits of comparability between systems and the difficulty of generalizing about the effect of climate change broadly across northern systems, across species and even within species. Furthermore, insect harassment appears to be a key climate-related factor for the ecology of reindeer/caribou that has been overlooked in the literature of climatic effects on large herbivores. In light of this, there is a need for further studies of long time series in assessing effects of climate variability on reindeer/caribou.

  16. Effects of variations in local reinforcement rate on local response rate in variable interval schedules

    OpenAIRE

    Leslie, Julian C.

    1981-01-01

    Rats trained to lever press for sucrose were exposed to variable-interval schedules in which (i) the probability of reinforcement in each unit of time was a constant, (ii) the probability was high in the first ten seconds after reinforcement and low thereafter, (iii) the probability was low for ten seconds and high thereafter, (iv) the probability increased with time since reinforcement, or (v) the probability was initially zero and then increased with time since reinforcement. All schedules ...

  17. Heart rate and heart rate variability responses to Tai Chi and jogging in Beijing and Graz

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerhard Litscher

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Background: Tai Chi is a famous training method in China, and jogging is a popular kind of exercise both in Austria and China. Nevertheless, there is little information concerning online monitoring of biosignals during both training activities in parallel. Within the last years innovative scientific monitoring tools for evaluating features of neurocardial fitness have been developed. Aims: The goal of this study was to demonstrate heart rate and heart rate variability analysis for the first time during Tai Chi and jogging. Volunteers and Methods: Continuous electrocardiographic monitoring over a period of 75 minutes was performed simultaneously in two healthy volunteers using the same type of equipment (medilog AR12 systems. Two healthy persons (both male, 49 years and 52 years, respectively, both hobby sportsmen, were monitored continuously during two resting periods before and after active sport and also during Tai Chi and jogging, respectively. Results: Data acquisition was performed without any technical problems in both subjects. Poincaré plots of sequential R-R intervals (beat to beat variability show two ellipses of different shape and magnitude. During resting periods blood pressure effects can be clearly seen in one subject (jogging. The same effects, however reduced, are obvious in the other volunteer during Tai Chi. Conclusions: The present investigations during Tai Chi and jogging highlight the potential value of heart rate and heart rate variability monitoring even under difficult conditions. The innovative kind of analysis helps to show how well the human body reacts to sport, stress and recovery.

  18. Heart rate and heart rate variability responses to Tai Chi and jogging in Beijing and Graz

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerhard Litscher

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Background : Tai Chi is a famous training method in China, and jogging is a popular kind of exercise both in Austria and China. Nevertheless, there is little information concerning online monitoring of biosignals during both training activities in parallel. Within the last years innovative scientific monitoring tools for evaluating features of neurocardial fitness have been developed. Aims : The goal of this study was to demonstrate heart rate and heart rate variability analysis for the first time during Tai Chi and jogging. Volunteers and Methods : Continuous electrocardiographic monitoring over a period of 75 minutes was performed simultaneously in two healthy volunteers using the same type of equipment (medilog AR12 systems. Two healthy persons (both male, 49 years and 52 years, respectively, both hobby sportsmen, were monitored continuously during two resting periods before and after active sport and also during Tai Chi and jogging, respectively. Results : Data acquisition was performed without any technical problems in both subjects. Poincaré plots of sequential R-R intervals (beat to beat variability show two ellipses of different shape and magnitude. During resting periods blood pressure effects can be clearly seen in one subject (jogging. The same effects, however reduced, are obvious in the other volunteer during Tai Chi. Conclusions : The present investigations during Tai Chi and jogging highlight the potential value of heart rate and heart rate variability monitoring even under difficult conditions. The innovative kind of analysis helps to show how well the human body reacts to sport, stress and recovery.

  19. Variability of growing degree days in Poland in response to ongoing climate changes in Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wypych, Agnieszka; Sulikowska, Agnieszka; Ustrnul, Zbigniew; Czekierda, Danuta

    2016-05-01

    An observed increase in air temperature can lead to significant changes in the phenology of plants and, consequently, changes in agricultural production. The aim of the study was to evaluate the spatial differentiation of thermal resources in Poland and their variability during a period of changing thermal conditions in Europe. Since the variability of thermal conditions is of paramount importance for perennial crops, the study focused on apple, plum, and cherry orchard regions in Poland. The analysis was conducted for the period of 1951-2010 using air temperature daily data. Thermal resources have been defined using the growing degree days (GDD) index calculated independently for the whole year and during in frost-free season for three air temperature thresholds: 0, 5, and 10 °C, which determine the non-winter period, growing season, and the period of full plant growth, respectively. In addition, due to the high significance for perennials in particular, the incidence and intensity of frost during flowering were calculated. In this study, a detailed analysis of the spatial differentiation of thermal resources was first performed, followed by an evaluation of long-term variability and associated change patterns. The obtained results confirmed an increase in thermal resources in Poland as a consequence of the lengthening of the growing season. However, the frequency and intensity of spring frost, especially during flowering or even during ripening of plants, remain a threat to harvests in both the eastern and western parts of the country.

  20. A kinetic model for predicting biodegradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitrov, S; Pavlov, T; Nedelcheva, D; Reuschenbach, P; Silvani, M; Bias, R; Comber, M; Low, L; Lee, C; Parkerton, T; Mekenyan, O

    2007-01-01

    Biodegradation plays a key role in the environmental risk assessment of organic chemicals. The need to assess biodegradability of a chemical for regulatory purposes supports the development of a model for predicting the extent of biodegradation at different time frames, in particular the extent of ultimate biodegradation within a '10 day window' criterion as well as estimating biodegradation half-lives. Conceptually this implies expressing the rate of catabolic transformations as a function of time. An attempt to correlate the kinetics of biodegradation with molecular structure of chemicals is presented. A simplified biodegradation kinetic model was formulated by combining the probabilistic approach of the original formulation of the CATABOL model with the assumption of first order kinetics of catabolic transformations. Nonlinear regression analysis was used to fit the model parameters to OECD 301F biodegradation kinetic data for a set of 208 chemicals. The new model allows the prediction of biodegradation multi-pathways, primary and ultimate half-lives and simulation of related kinetic biodegradation parameters such as biological oxygen demand (BOD), carbon dioxide production, and the nature and amount of metabolites as a function of time. The model may also be used for evaluating the OECD ready biodegradability potential of a chemical within the '10-day window' criterion.

  1. Effect of an acid filler on hydrolysis and biodegradation of poly-lactic acid (PLA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iozzino, Valentina; Speranza, Vito; Pantani, Roberto

    2015-12-01

    The use of biodegradable polymers is certainly an excellent strategy to solve many of the problems related to the disposal of the traditional polymers, whose accumulation in the environment is harmful and damaging. In order to optimize the use of biodegradable polymers, it is very important to understand and control the transformation processes, the structures and the morphologies resulting from the process conditions used to produce the articles and, not least, the biodegradation. The latter is strictly dependent on the just mentioned variables. The poly-lactic acid, PLA, is a biodegradable polymer. Many studies have been carried out on the degradation process of this polymer. In the course of this work we performed degradation tests on the PLA, with a specific D-isomer content, having amorphous structure, and in particular of biodegradation and hydrolysis. An acid chemical, fumaric acid, was added to PLA with the objective of controlling the rate of hydrolysis and of biodegradation. The hydrolysis process was followed, as function of time, by means of different techniques: pH variation, variation of weight of samples and variation of crystallinity degree and glass transition temperature using DSC analysis. The samples were also analyzed in terms of biodegradability by means of a homemade respirometer apparatus, in controlled composting conditions.

  2. Idiotypes as immunogens: facing the challenge of inducing strong therapeutic immune responses against the variable region of immunoglobulins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro eLopez-Requena

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Idiotype (Id-based immunotherapy has been exploited as cancer treatment option. Conceived as therapy for malignancies bearing idiotypic antigens, it has been also extended to solid tumours because of the capacity of anti-idiotypic antibodies to mimick Id-unrelated antigens. In both these two settings, efforts are being made to overcome the poor immune responsiveness often experienced when using self immunoglobulins as immunogens. Despite bearing a unique gene combination, and thus particular epitopes, it is normally difficult to stimulate the immune response against antibody variable regions. Different strategies are currently used to strengthen Id immunogenicity, such as concomitant use of immune-stimulating molecules, design of Id-containing immunogenic recombinant proteins, specific targeting of relevant immune cells and genetic immunization. This review focuses on the role of anti-Id vaccination in cancer management and on the current developments used to foster anti-idiotypic B- and T-cell responses.

  3. Acetylcholine-Based Entropy in Response Selection: A Model of How Striatal Interneurons Modulate Exploration, Exploitation, and Response Variability in Decision Making

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    Andrea eStocco

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available The basal ganglia play a fundamental role in decision making. Their contribution is typically modeled within a reinforcement learning framework, with the basal ganglia learning to select the options associated with highest value and their dopamine inputs conveying performance feedback. This basic framework, however, does not account for the role of cholinergic interneurons in the striatum, and does not easily explain certain dynamic aspects of decision-making and skill acquisition like the generation of exploratory actions. This paper describes BABE (Basal ganglia Acetylcholine-Based Entropy, a model of the acetylcholine system in the striatum that provides a unified explanation for these phenomena. According to this model, cholinergic interneurons in the striatum control the level of variability in behavior by modulating the number of possible responses that are considered by the basal ganglia, as well as the level of competition between them. This mechanism provides a natural way to account for the role of basal ganglia in generating behavioral variability during the acquisition of certain cognitive skills, as well as for modulating exploration and exploitation in decision making. Compared to a typical reinforcement learning model, BABE showed a greater modulation of response variability in the face of changes in the reward contingencies, allowing for faster learning (and re-learning of option values. Finally, the paper discusses the possible applications of the model to other domains.

  4. Variable epitope libraries: new vaccine immunogens capable of inducing broad human immunodeficiency virus type 1-neutralizing antibody response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles-Niño, Claudia; Pedroza-Roldan, Cesar; Viveros, Monica; Gevorkian, Goar; Manoutcharian, Karen

    2011-07-18

    The extreme antigenic variability of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) leads to immune escape of the virus, representing a major challenge in the design of effective vaccine. We have developed a novel concept for immunogen construction based on introduction of massive mutations within the epitopes targeting antigenically variable pathogens and diseases. Previously, we showed that these immunogens carrying large combinatorial libraries of mutated epitope variants, termed as variable epitope libraries (VELs), induce potent, broad and long lasting CD8+IFN-γ+ T-cell response. Moreover, we demonstrated that these T cells recognize more than 50% of heavily mutated variants (5 out of 10 amino acid positions were mutated in each epitope variant) of HIV-1 gp120 V3 loop-derived cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitope (RGPGRAFVTI) in mice. The constructed VELs had complexities of 10000 and 12500 individual members, generated as plasmid DNA or as M13 phage display combinatorial libraries, respectively, and with structural composition RGPGXAXXXX or XGXGXAXVXI, where X is any of 20 natural amino acids. Here, we demonstrated that sera from mice immunized with these VELs are capable of neutralizing 5 out of 10 viral isolates from Tier 2 reference panel of subtype B envelope clones, including HIV-1 isolates which are known to be resistant to neutralization by several potent monoclonal antibodies, described previously. These data indicate the feasibility of the application of immunogens based on VEL concept as an alternative approach for the development of molecular vaccines against antigenically variable pathogens.

  5. Coherence among the Northern Hemisphere land, cryosphere, and ocean responses to natural variability and anthropogenic forcing during the satellite era

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonsamo, Alemu; Chen, Jing M.; Shindell, Drew T.; Asner, Gregory P.

    2016-08-01

    A lack of long-term measurements across Earth's biological and physical systems has made observation-based detection and attribution of climate change impacts to anthropogenic forcing and natural variability difficult. Here we explore coherence among land, cryosphere and ocean responses to recent climate change using 3 decades (1980-2012) of observational satellite and field data throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Our results show coherent interannual variability among snow cover, spring phenology, solar radiation, Scandinavian Pattern, and North Atlantic Oscillation. The interannual variability of the atmospheric peak-to-trough CO2 amplitude is mostly impacted by temperature-mediated effects of El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Pacific/North American Pattern (PNA), whereas CO2 concentration is affected by Polar Pattern control on sea ice extent dynamics. This is assuming the trend in anthropogenic CO2 emission remains constant, or the interannual changes in the trends are negligible. Our analysis suggests that sea ice decline-related CO2 release may outweigh increased CO2 uptake through longer growing seasons and higher temperatures. The direct effects of variation in solar radiation and leading teleconnections, at least in part via their impacts on temperature, dominate the interannual variability of land, cryosphere and ocean indicators. Our results reveal a coherent long-term changes in multiple physical and biological systems that are consistent with anthropogenic forcing of Earth's climate and inconsistent with natural drivers.

  6. Vegetation Dynamics in Response to Interannual Rainfall Variability in Southern Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scanlon, Todd; Caylor, Kelly; Saha, Michael; D'Odorico, Paolo

    2013-04-01

    In the Kalahari region of southern Africa, vegetation cover is highly sensitive to interannual variability in rainfall, a property that is detectable at the regional scale through the use of remote sensing. The disparate sensitivities of the dominant functional forms of the savanna vegetation (i.e., trees and grasses) to rainfall provide a means by which to disaggregate the overall vegetation cover into these functional forms. Through the application of a land surface hydrological model, the dynamical nature of the savanna vegetation is shown to be essential for closing the hydrological budget such that losses from the base of the root zone are minimal. We show that vegetation assemblages comprised of tree cover (which is influenced by mean annual rainfall) and grass cover (which dynamically responds to interannual variability in rainfall) is ideal suited for maximizing use of a fluctuating, limiting resource (i.e., water) in this semi-arid environment. The ability of vegetation to optimally use water is explored through the application of a single metric, stress-weighted plant water uptake, which represents a trade-off between maximizing water use while minimizing water stress. Finally, like many arid and semi-arid regions of the world, the Kalahari seems to be experiencing "greening" over recent decades, at least according to temporal trends in AVHRR-based vegetation indices. We combine MODIS-based Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) data with a Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) product to evaluate such trends in the Kalahari region. In particular, we rely upon an analysis of the sensitivity of EVI to interannual variability in rainfall as a means to determine if there have been any detectable shifts in tree/grass cover composition in the Kalahari associated with this apparent greening.

  7. The eastward shift of the Walker Circulation in response to global warming and its relationship to ENSO variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayr, Tobias; Dommenget, Dietmar; Martin, Thomas; Power, Scott B.

    2014-11-01

    This study investigates the global warming response of the Walker Circulation and the other zonal circulation cells (represented by the zonal stream function), in CMIP3 and CMIP5 climate models. The changes in the mean state are presented as well as the changes in the modes of variability. The mean zonal circulation weakens in the multi model ensembles nearly everywhere along the equator under both the RCP4.5 and SRES A1B scenarios. Over the Pacific the Walker Circulation also shows a significant eastward shift. These changes in the mean circulation are very similar to the leading mode of interannual variability in the tropical zonal circulation cells, which is dominated by El Niño Southern Oscillation variability. During an El Niño event the circulation weakens and the rising branch over the Maritime Continent shifts to the east in comparison to neutral conditions (vice versa for a La Niña event). Two-thirds of the global warming forced trend of the Walker Circulation can be explained by a long-term trend in this interannual variability pattern, i.e. a shift towards more El Niño-like conditions in the multi-model mean under global warming. Further, interannual variability in the zonal circulation exhibits an asymmetry between El Niño and La Niña events. El Niño anomalies are located more to the east compared with La Niña anomalies. Consistent with this asymmetry we find a shift to the east of the dominant mode of variability of zonal stream function under global warming. All these results vary among the individual models, but the multi model ensembles of CMIP3 and CMIP5 show in nearly all aspects very similar results, which underline the robustness of these results. The observed data (ERA Interim reanalysis) from 1979 to 2012 shows a westward shift and strengthening of the Walker Circulation. This is opposite to what the results in the CMIP models reveal. However, 75 % of the trend of the Walker Circulation can again be explained by a shift of the dominant

  8. Detecting variable responses in time-series using repeated measures ANOVA: Application to physiologic challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macey, Paul M; Schluter, Philip J; Macey, Katherine E; Harper, Ronald M

    2016-01-01

    We present an approach to analyzing physiologic timetrends recorded during a stimulus by comparing means at each time point using repeated measures analysis of variance (RMANOVA). The approach allows temporal patterns to be examined without an a priori model of expected timing or pattern of response. The approach was originally applied to signals recorded from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) volumes-of-interest (VOI) during a physiologic challenge, but we have used the same technique to analyze continuous recordings of other physiological signals such as heart rate, breathing rate, and pulse oximetry. For fMRI, the method serves as a complement to whole-brain voxel-based analyses, and is useful for detecting complex responses within pre-determined brain regions, or as a post-hoc analysis of regions of interest identified by whole-brain assessments. We illustrate an implementation of the technique in the statistical software packages R and SAS. VOI timetrends are extracted from conventionally preprocessed fMRI images. A timetrend of average signal intensity across the VOI during the scanning period is calculated for each subject. The values are scaled relative to baseline periods, and time points are binned. In SAS, the procedure PROC MIXED implements the RMANOVA in a single step. In R, we present one option for implementing RMANOVA with the mixed model function "lme". Model diagnostics, and predicted means and differences are best performed with additional libraries and commands in R; we present one example. The ensuing results allow determination of significant overall effects, and time-point specific within- and between-group responses relative to baseline. We illustrate the technique using fMRI data from two groups of subjects who underwent a respiratory challenge. RMANOVA allows insight into the timing of responses and response differences between groups, and so is suited to physiologic testing paradigms eliciting complex response patterns. PMID

  9. Self-Assembled Cationic Biodegradable Nanoparticles from pH-Responsive Amino-Acid-Based Poly(Ester Urea Urethane)s and Their Application As a Drug Delivery Vehicle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Mingyu; Potuck, Alicia; Kohn, Julie C; Fung, Katharina; Reinhart-King, Cynthia A; Chu, Chih-Chang

    2016-02-01

    The objective of this study is to develop a new family of biodegradable and biologically active copolymers and their subsequent self-assembled cationic nanoparticles as better delivery vehicles for anticancer drugs to achieve the synergism between the cytotoxicity effects of the loaded drugs and the macrophage inflammatory response of the delivery vehicle. This family of cationic nanoparticles was formulated from a new family of amphiphilic cationic Arginine-Leucine (Arg-Leu)-based poly(ester urea urethane) (Arg-Leu PEUU) synthesized from four building blocks (amino acids, diols, glycerol α-monoallyl ether, and 1,6 hexamethylene diisocyanate). The chemical, physical, and biological properties of Arg-Leu PEUU biomaterials can be tuned by controlling the feed ratio of the four building blocks. The Arg-Leu PEUU copolymers have weight-average molecular weights from 13.4 to 16.8 kDa and glass-transition temperatures from -3.4 to -4.6 °C. The self-assembled cationic nanoparticles (Arg-Leu PEUU NPs) were prepared using a facile dialysis method. Arg-Leu PEUU NPs have average diameters ranging from 187 to 272 nm, show good biocompatibility with 3T3 fibroblasts, and they support bovine aortic endothelial cell (BAEC) proliferation and adhesion. Arg-Leu PEUU NPs also enhanced the macrophages' production of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and nitric oxide (NO), but produced relatively low levels of interleukin-10 (IL-10), and therefore, the antitumor activity of macrophages might be enhanced. Arg-Leu PEUU NPs were taken up by HeLa cells after 4 h of incubation. The in vitro hemolysis assay showed the cationic Arg-Leu PEUU NPs increased their chance of endosomal escape at a more acidic pH. Doxorubicin (DOX) was successfully incorporated into the Arg-Leu PEUU NPs, and the DOX-loaded Arg-Leu PEUU NPs exhibited a pH-dependent drug release profile with accelerated release kinetics in a mild acidic condition. The DOX-loaded 6-Arg-4-Leu-4 A/L-2/1 NPs showed higher HeLa cell

  10. A temperature rise reduces trial-to-trial variability of locust auditory neuron responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eberhard, Monika J B; Schleimer, Jan-Hendrik; Schreiber, Susanne; Ronacher, Bernhard

    2015-09-01

    The neurophysiology of ectothermic animals, such as insects, is affected by environmental temperature, as their body temperature fluctuates with ambient conditions. Changes in temperature alter properties of neurons and, consequently, have an impact on the processing of information. Nevertheless, nervous system function is often maintained over a broad temperature range, exhibiting a surprising robustness to variations in temperature. A special problem arises for acoustically communicating insects, as in these animals mate recognition and mate localization typically rely on the decoding of fast amplitude modulations in calling and courtship songs. In the auditory periphery, however, temporal resolution is constrained by intrinsic neuronal noise. Such noise predominantly arises from the stochasticity of ion channel gating and potentially impairs the processing of sensory signals. On the basis of intracellular recordings of locust auditory neurons, we show that intrinsic neuronal variability on the level of spikes is reduced with increasing temperature. We use a detailed mathematical model including stochastic ion channel gating to shed light on the underlying biophysical mechanisms in auditory receptor neurons: because of a redistribution of channel-induced current noise toward higher frequencies and specifics of the temperature dependence of the membrane impedance, membrane potential noise is indeed reduced at higher temperatures. This finding holds under generic conditions and physiologically plausible assumptions on the temperature dependence of the channels' kinetics and peak conductances. We demonstrate that the identified mechanism also can explain the experimentally observed reduction of spike timing variability at higher temperatures. PMID:26041833

  11. Precipitation variability and response to changing climatic condition in the Yarlung Tsangpo River basin, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sang, Yan-Fang; Singh, Vijay P.; Gong, Tongliang; Xu, Kang; Sun, Fubao; Liu, Changming; Liu, Wenbin; Chen, Ruizhi

    2016-08-01

    Hydroclimatic process in the Yarlung Tsangpo River (YTR) basin, a sensitive area to climate change, is obviously changing during recent years, but there has limited understanding about it. In this study, we investigated the spatiotemporal variation of precipitation over last four decades in the basin and the impact thereon of the changing Indian summer monsoon at interannual and decadal time scales. All the precipitation series have similar scaling behavior, reflecting similar climatic regime throughout the basin. However, the effect of the Indian monsoon strengthens from the downstream to upstream, causing spatial variability in the seasonal distribution of precipitation, and on this basis, the YTR basin is roughly divided into three regions: east, middle, and west. Both the occurrence times and magnitude of precipitation extremes, ranging 25-50 mm/d, are exhibiting downward trends over the last four decades, which bodes well for water disaster controls in the basin. The Indian summer monsoon index, as an intensity indicator for the Indian summer monsoon, shows a positive relationship with the summer precipitation in the YTR basin. Periodic variability of the Indian monsoon determines the interannual nonstationary fluctuations of precipitation. Especially, the weakening effect of the Indian summer monsoon has caused an obvious decrease in precipitation over the rainy season after 1998. If the Indian summer monsoon keeps weakening, the precipitation would decrease and potentially water shortage would become more severe in the basin. Effective adaptation strategy should therefore be developed proactively to handle the unfavorable water situation, which is likely to occur in the future.

  12. Auditory stimulation with music influences the geometric indices of heart rate variability in response to the postural change maneuver

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bianca C. R. de Castro

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available It is poor in the literature the behavior of the geometric indices of heart rate variability (HRV during the musical auditory stimulation. The objective is to investigate the acute effects of classic musical auditory stimulation on the geometric indexes of HRV in women in response to the postural change maneuver (PCM. We evaluated 11 healthy women between 18 and 25 years old. We analyzed the following indices: Triangular index, Triangular interpolation of RR intervals and Poincarι plot (standard deviation of the instantaneous variability of the beat-to beat heart rate [SD1], standard deviation of long-term continuous RR interval variability and Ratio between the short - and long-term variations of RR intervals [SD1/SD2] ratio. HRV was recorded at seated rest for 10 min. The women quickly stood up from a seated position in up to 3 s and remained standing still for 15 min. HRV was recorded at the following periods: Rest, 0-5 min, 5-10 min and 10-15 min during standing. In the second protocol, the subject was exposed to auditory musical stimulation (Pachelbel-Canon in D for 10 min at seated position before standing position. Shapiro-Wilk to verify normality of data and ANOVA for repeated measures followed by the Bonferroni test for parametric variables and Friedman′s followed by the Dunn′s posttest for non-parametric distributions. In the first protocol, all indices were reduced at 10-15 min after the volunteers stood up. In the protocol musical auditory stimulation, the SD1 index was reduced at 5-10 min after the volunteers stood up compared with the music period. The SD1/SD2 ratio was decreased at control and music period compared with 5-10 min after the volunteers stood up. Musical auditory stimulation attenuates the cardiac autonomic responses to the PCM.

  13. The Effects of Audience Interest, Responsiveness, and Evaluation on Public Speaking Anxiety and Related Variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacIntyre, Peter D.; Thivierge, Kimly A.; MacDonald, J. Renee

    1997-01-01

    Examines potential sources of public-speaking anxiety among undergraduate students stemming from the audience. Identifies three sources of anxiety: degree of formal evaluation, level of audience interest in the topic, and audience's responsiveness to the speaker. Measures willingness to speak and expected speech quality. Finds interest,…

  14. Energetic plasticity underlies a variable response to ocean acidification in the pteropod, Limacina helicina antarctica.

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    Brad A Seibel

    Full Text Available Ocean acidification, caused by elevated seawater carbon dioxide levels, may have a deleterious impact on energetic processes in animals. Here we show that high PCO(2 can suppress metabolism, measured as oxygen consumption, in the pteropod, L. helicina forma antarctica, by ∼20%. The rates measured at 180-380 µatm (MO(2  =  1.25 M(-0.25, p  =  0.007 were significantly higher (ANCOVA, p  =  0.004 than those measured at elevated target CO(2 levels in 2007 (789-1000 µatm,  =  0.78 M(-0.32, p  =  0.0008; Fig. 1. However, we further demonstrate metabolic plasticity in response to regional phytoplankton concentration and that the response to CO(2 is dependent on the baseline level of metabolism. We hypothesize that reduced regional Chl a levels in 2008 suppressed metabolism and masked the effect of ocean acidification. This effect of food limitation was not, we postulate, merely a result of gut clearance and specific dynamic action, but rather represents a sustained metabolic response to regional conditions. Thus, pteropod populations may be compromised by climate change, both directly via CO(2-induced metabolic suppression, and indirectly via quantitative and qualitative changes to the phytoplankton community. Without the context provided by long-term observations (four seasons and a multi-faceted laboratory analysis of the parameters affecting energetics, the complex response of polar pteropods to ocean acidification may be masked or misinterpreted.

  15. Response of birds to climatic variability; evidence from the western fringe of Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnelly, Alison; Cooney, Tom; Jennings, Eleanor; Buscardo, Erika; Jones, Mike

    2009-05-01

    Ireland’s geographic location on the western fringe of the European continent, together with its island status and impoverished avifauna, provides a unique opportunity to observe changes in bird migration and distribution patterns in response to changing climatic conditions. Spring temperatures have increased in western Europe over the past 30 years in line with reported global warming. These have been shown, at least in part, to be responsible for changes in the timing of life cycle events (phenology) of plants and animals. In order to investigate the response of bird species in Ireland to changes in temperature, we examined ornithological records of trans-Saharan migrants over the 31-year period 1969-1999. Analysis of the data revealed that two discrete climatic phenomena produced different responses in summer migrant bird species. Firstly, a number of long-distance migrants showed a significant trend towards earlier arrival. This trend was evident in some species and was found to be a response to increasing spring air temperature particularly in the month of March. Secondly, (1) a step change in the pattern of occurrences of non-breeding migrant bird species, and (2) an increase in the ringing data of migrant species were found to correlate with a step change in temperature in 1987-1988. These results indicate that, for migrant bird species, the impact of a sudden change in temperature can be as important as any long-term monotonic trend, and we suggest that the impact of step change events merits further investigation on a wider range of species and across a greater geographical range.

  16. Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) granulocytes and monocytes display variable responses to in vitro pressure exposures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Laura A; Romano, Tracy A

    2015-01-01

    While it is widely known that marine mammals possess adaptations which allow them to make repetitive and extended dives to great depths without suffering ill effects seen in humans, the response of marine mammal immune cells to diving is unknown. Renewed interest in marine mammal dive physiology has arisen due to reports of decompression sickness-like symptoms and embolic damage in stranded and by-caught animals, and there is concern over whether anthropogenic activities can impact marine mammal health by disrupting adaptive dive responses and behavior. This work addresses the need for information concerning marine mammal immune function during diving by evaluating granulocyte and monocyte phagocytosis, and granulocyte activation in belugas (n = 4) in comparison with humans (n = 4), with and without in vitro pressure exposures. In addition, the potential for additional stressors to impact immune function was investigated by comparing the response of beluga cells to pressure between baseline and stressor conditions. Granulocyte and monocyte phagocytosis, as well as granulocyte activation, were compared between pressure exposed and non-exposed cells for each condition, between different pressure profiles and between conditions using mixed generalized linear models (α = 0.05). The effects of pressure varied between species as well by depth, compression/decompression rates, and length of exposures, and condition for belugas. Pressure induced changes in granulocyte and monocyte function in belugas could serve a protective function against dive-related pathologies and differences in the response between humans and belugas could reflect degrees of dive adaptation. The alteration of these responses during physiologically challenging conditions may increase the potential for dive-related in jury and disease in marine mammals.

  17. Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas granulocytes and monocytes display variable responses to in vitro pressure exposures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura A Thompson

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available While it is widely known that marine mammals possess adaptations which allow them to make repetitive and extended dives to great depths without suffering ill effects seen in humans, the response of marine mammal immune cells to diving is unknown. Renewed interest in marine mammal dive physiology has arisen due to reports of decompression sickness-like symptoms and embolic damage in stranded and by-caught animals, and there is concern over whether anthropogenic activities can impact marine mammal health by disrupting adaptive dive responses and behavior. This work addresses the need for information concerning marine mammal immune function during diving by evaluating granulocyte and monocyte phagocytosis, and granulocyte activation in belugas (n=4 in comparison with humans (n=4, with and without in vitro pressure exposures. In addition, the potential for additional stressors to impact immune function was investigated by comparing the response of beluga cells to pressure between baseline and stressor conditions. Granulocyte and monocyte phagocytosis, as well as granulocyte activation, were compared between pressure exposed and non-exposed cells for each condition, between different pressure profiles and between conditions using mixed generalized linear models (α=0.05. The effects of pressure varied between species as well by depth, compression/decompression rates, and length of exposures, and condition for belugas. Pressure induced changes in granulocyte and monocyte function in belugas could serve a protective function against dive-related pathologies and differences in the response between humans and belugas could reflect degrees of dive adaptation. The alteration of these responses during physiologically challenging conditions may increase the potential for dive-related in jury and disease in marine mammals.

  18. Spatial variability of the response to climate change in regional groundwater systems -- examples from simulations in the Deschutes Basin, Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waibel, Michael S.; Gannett, Marshall W.; Chang, Heejun; Hulbe, Christina L.

    2013-01-01

    We examine the spatial variability of the response of aquifer systems to climate change in and adjacent to the Cascade Range volcanic arc in the Deschutes Basin, Oregon using downscaled global climate model projections to drive surface hydrologic process and groundwater flow models. Projected warming over the 21st century is anticipated to shift the phase of precipitation toward more rain and less snow in mountainous areas in the Pacific Northwest, resulting in smaller winter snowpack and in a shift in the timing of runoff to earlier in the year. This will be accompanied by spatially variable changes in the timing of groundwater recharge. Analysis of historic climate and hydrologic data and modeling studies show that groundwater plays a key role in determining the response of stream systems to climate change. The spatial variability in the response of groundwater systems to climate change, particularly with regard to flow-system scale, however, has generally not been addressed in the literature. Here we simulate the hydrologic response to projected future climate to show that the response of groundwater systems can vary depending on the location and spatial scale of the flow systems and their aquifer characteristics. Mean annual recharge averaged over the basin does not change significantly between the 1980s and 2080s climate periods given the ensemble of global climate models and emission scenarios evaluated. There are, however, changes in the seasonality of groundwater recharge within the basin. Simulation results show that short-flow-path groundwater systems, such as those providing baseflow to many headwater streams, will likely have substantial changes in the timing of discharge in response changes in seasonality of recharge. Regional-scale aquifer systems with flow paths on the order of many tens of kilometers, in contrast, are much less affected by changes in seasonality of recharge. Flow systems at all spatial scales, however, are likely to reflect

  19. Feasibility demonstration of a variable frequency driver-microwave transient regression rate measurement system. [for solid propellant combustion response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strand, L. D.; Mcnamara, R. P.

    1976-01-01

    The feasibility of a system capable of rapidly and directly measuring the low-frequency (motor characteristics length bulk mode) combustion response characteristics of solid propellants has been investigated. The system consists of a variable frequency oscillatory driver device coupled with an improved version of the JPL microwave propellant regression rate measurement system. The ratio of the normalized regression rate and pressure amplitudes and their relative phase are measured as a function of varying pressure level and frequency. Test results with a well-characterized PBAN-AP propellant formulation were found to compare favorably with the results of more conventional stability measurement techniques.

  20. Cholera and shigellosis: different epidemiology but similar responses to climate variability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin A Cash

    Full Text Available Comparative studies of the associations between different infectious diseases and climate variability, such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, are lacking. Diarrheal illnesses, particularly cholera and shigellosis, provide an important opportunity to apply a comparative approach. Cholera and shigellosis have significant global mortality and morbidity burden, pronounced differences in transmission pathways and pathogen ecologies, and there is an established climate link with cholera. In particular, the specific ecology of Vibrio cholerae is often invoked to explain the sensitivity of that disease to climate.The extensive surveillance data of the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh are used here to revisit the known associations between cholera and climate, and to address their similarity to previously unexplored patterns for shigellosis. Monthly case data for both the city of Dhaka and a rural area known as Matlab are analyzed with respect to their association with El Niño and flooding. Linear correlations are examined between flooding and cumulative cases, as well as for flooding and El Niño. Rank-correlation maps are also computed between disease cases in the post-monsoon epidemic season and sea surface temperatures in the Pacific. Similar climate associations are found for both diseases and both locations. Increased cases follow increased monsoon flooding and increased sea surface temperatures in the preceding winter corresponding to an El Niño event.The similarity in association patterns suggests a systemic breakdown in population health with changing environmental conditions, in which climate variability acts primarily through increasing the exposure risk of the human population. We discuss these results in the context of the on-going debate on the relative importance of the environmental reservoir vs. secondary transmission, as well as the implications for the use of El Niño as an early indicator of

  1. Semiarid watershed response in central New Mexico and its sensitivity to climate variability and change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. R. Vivoni

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Hydrologic processes in the semiarid regions of the Southwest United States are considered to be highly susceptible to variations in temperature and precipitation characteristics due to the effects of climate change. Relatively little is known about the potential impacts of climate change on the basin hydrologic response, namely streamflow, evapotranspiration and recharge, in the region. In this study, we present the development and application of a continuous, semi-distributed watershed model for climate change studies in semiarid basins of the Southwest US. Our objective is to capture hydrologic processes in large watersheds, while accounting for the spatial and temporal variations of climate forcing and basin properties in a simple fashion. We apply the model to the Río Salado basin in central New Mexico since it exhibits both a winter and summer precipitation regime and has a historical streamflow record for model testing purposes. Subsequently, we use a sequence of climate change scenarios that capture observed trends for winter and summer precipitation, as well as their interaction with higher temperatures, to perform long-term ensemble simulations of the basin response. Results of the modeling exercise indicate that precipitation uncertainty is amplified in the hydrologic response, in particular for processes that depend on a soil saturation threshold. We obtained substantially different hydrologic sensitivities for winter and summer precipitation ensembles, indicating a greater sensitivity to more intense summer storms as compared to more frequent winter events. In addition, the impact of changes in precipitation characteristics overwhelmed the effects of increased temperature in the study basin. Nevertheless, combined trends in precipitation and temperature yield a more sensitive hydrologic response throughout the year.

  2. Spatial and temporal variability in the responses of Arctic terrestrial ecosystems to environmental change

    OpenAIRE

    Callaghan, Terry V.; Press, Malcolm C.; Lee, John A.; Robinson, David L.; Anderson, Clive W.

    1999-01-01

    This paper compares the responses of two contrasting Arctic ecosystems to climate change simulations: a polar semi-desert (in Svalbard) and a dwarf shrub heath (at Abisko, northern Sweden). These ecosystems are located close to the northern-and southernmost extremes of the Arctic region, respectively. Inmacts of simulated climatic changes were determined through factorial perturbation experiments, where growing season temperature, nutrient availability and water supply were manipulated. The r...

  3. Variability in individual and group responses in feeding behaviour of iceland scallop; chlamys islandica.

    OpenAIRE

    Habbestad, Terese

    2012-01-01

    Due to regulatory requirements of monitoring the marine environment, and the development of offshore petroleum activities in new and more remote locations, there is at present an emphasis on implementing biological responses in monitoring systems to reflect the environmental conditions over a period of time. Choosing Darwinian fitness parameters that reflect the health status of individuals, such as growth and reproductive potential is highly interesting. The current study used clearance ...

  4. Utility of Extinction-induced Response Variability for the Selection of Mands

    OpenAIRE

    Grow, Laura L; Kelley, Michael E; Roane, Henry S; Shillingsburg, M. Alice

    2008-01-01

    Functional communication training (FCT; Carr & Durand, 1985) is a commonly used differential reinforcement procedure for replacing problem behavior with socially acceptable alternative responses. Most studies in the FCT literature consist of demonstrations of the maintenance of responding when various treatment components (e.g., extinction, punishment) are present and absent (e.g., Fisher et al., 1993; Wacker et al., 1990). Relatively little research on FCT has (a) evaluated the conditions un...

  5. Agricultural Producer Responses to Weather and Surface Water Variability: Implications for Climate Change

    OpenAIRE

    Manning, Dale T; Goemans, Chris; Maas, Alex

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is predicted to bring increased temperatures and changes in water availability across the United States. Understanding the responsiveness of irrigated agriculture to changes in available water, both supplemental, and natural, is critical to evaluating the potential impacts of climage change as well as measuring the benefit of new water supply development. Despite representing only half the value of total agricultural sales in the US, previous literature has mostly focused on dr...

  6. Response of the meridional overturning circulation to variable buoyancy forcing in a double hemisphere basin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lucas, Marc A. [National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, School of Ocean and Earth Science, Southampton (United Kingdom); Collecte Localisation Satellite, Ramonville Saint Agne (France); Hirschi, J.J.M. [National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, School of Ocean and Earth Science, Southampton (United Kingdom); Marotzke, J. [Max-Planck-Institut fuer Meteorologie, Hamburg (Germany)

    2010-04-15

    We consider how a highly idealized double-hemisphere basin responds to a zonally constant restoring surface temperature profile that oscillates in time, with periods ranging from 0.5 to 32,000 years. In both hemispheres, the forcing is similar but can be either in phase or out of phase. The set-up is such that the Northern Hemisphere always produces the densest waters. The model's meridional overturning circulation (MOC) exhibits a strong response in both hemispheres on decadal to multi-millennial timescales. The amplitude of the oscillations reaches up to 140% of the steady-state maximum MOC and exhibits resonance-like behaviour, with a maximum at centennial to millennial forcing periods. When the forcing is in phase between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, there is a marked decrease in the amplitude of the MOC response as the forcing period is increased beyond the resonance period. In this case the resonance-like behaviour is identical to the one we found earlier in a single-hemisphere model and occurs for the same reasons. When the forcing is out of phase between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, the amplitude of the MOC response is substantially greater for long forcing periods (millennial and longer), particularly in the Southern Hemisphere. This increased MOC amplitude occurs because for an out of phase forcing, either the northern or the southern deep water source is always active, leading to generally colder bottom waters and thus greater stratification in the opposite hemisphere. This increased stratification in turn stabilises the water column and thus reduces the strength of the weaker overturning cell. The interaction of the two hemispheres leads to response timescales of the deep ocean at half the forcing period. Our results suggest a possible explanation for the half-precessional time scale observed in the deep Atlantic Ocean palaeo-temperature record. (orig.)

  7. Sex differences in synaptic plasticity in stress-responsive brain regions following chronic variable stress

    OpenAIRE

    Carvalho-Netto, Eduardo F.; Myers, Brent; Jones, Kenneth; Solomon, Matia B.; Herman, James P.

    2011-01-01

    Increased stress responsiveness is implicated in the etiology of mood and anxiety disorders, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Additionally, stress-related affective disorders have a higher incidence in women than men. Chronic stress in rodents produces numerous neuromorphological changes in a variety of limbic brain regions. Here, we examined the sex-dependent differences in presynaptic innervation of the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN), prefrontal co...

  8. Variability or conservation of hepatitis C virus hypervariable region 1? Implications for immune responses

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Mario U Mondelli; Antonella Cerino; Annalisa Meola; Alfredo Nicosia

    2003-04-01

    The hypervariable region 1 (HVR1) of the E2 protein of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is highly heterogeneous in its primary sequence and is responsible for significant inter- and intra-individual variation of the infecting virus, which may represent an important pathogenetic mechanism leading to immune escape and persistent infection. A binding site for neutralizing antibodies (Ab) has also been allegedly identified in this region. Prospective studies of serological responses to synthetic oligopeptides derived from naturally-occurring HVR1 sequences showed promiscuous recognition of HVR1 variants in most patients via binding to C-terminal amino acid residues with conserved physicochemical properties. Monoclonal antibodies generated by immunization of mice with peptides derived from natural HVR1 sequences were shown to recognize several HVR1 variants in line with evidence gathered from studies using human sera. In addition, selected mAbs were able to bind HVR1 in the context of a complete soluble form of the E2 glycoprotein, indicating recognition of correctly folded sequences, and were shown to specifically capture circulating and recombinant HCV particles, suggesting that HVR1 is expressed on intact virus particles and therefore potentially able to interact with cellular receptor(s). These findings suggest that it is possible to induce a broadly reactive clonal immune response to multiple HCV variants and that this mechanism could be used in principle to induce protective immunity for a large repertoire of HCV variants.

  9. BIODEGRADABLE COATING FROM AGATHIS ALBA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    NORYAWATI MULYONO

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The adhesive property of copal makes it as a potential coating onto aluminum foil to replace polyethylene. This research aimed to develop copal-based coating. The coating was prepared by extracting the copal in ethyl acetate and dipping the aluminium foil in ethyl acetate soluble extract of copal. The characterization of coating included its thickness, weight, thermal and chemical resistance, and biodegradation. The results showed that the coating thickness and weight increased as the copal concentration and dipping frequency increased. Thermal resistance test showed that the coating melted after being heated at 110°C for 30 min. Copal-based coating wasresistant to acidic solution (pH 4.0, water, and coconut oil, but was deteriorated in detergent 1% (w/v and basic solution (pH 10.0. Biodegradability test using Pseudomonas aeruginosa showed weight reduction of 76.82% in 30 days.

  10. Biodegradable Polyphosphazene Based Peptide-Polymer Hybrids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Linhardt

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available A novel series of peptide based hybrid polymers designed to undergo enzymatic degradation is presented, via macrosubstitution of a polyphosphazene backbone with the tetrapeptide Gly-Phe-Leu-Gly. Further co-substitution of the hybrid polymers with hydrophilic polyalkylene oxide Jeffamine M-1000 leads to water soluble and biodegradable hybrid polymers. Detailed degradation studies, via 31P NMR spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering and field flow fractionation show the polymers degrade via a combination of enzymatic, as well as hydrolytic pathways. The peptide sequence was chosen due to its known property to undergo lysosomal degradation; hence, these degradable, water soluble polymers could be of significant interest for the use as polymer therapeutics. In this context, we investigated conjugation of the immune response modifier imiquimod to the polymers via the tetrapeptide and report the self-assembly behavior of the conjugate, as well as its enzymatically triggered drug release behavior.

  11. Biodegradation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

    OpenAIRE

    DEMİR, İsmail; DEMİRBAĞ, Zihni

    1999-01-01

    Polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), such as petroleum and petroleum derivatives, are widespread organic pollutants entering the environment, chiefly, through oil spills and incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. Since most PAHs are persist in the environment for a long period of time and bioaccumulate, they cause environmental pollution and effect biological equilibrium dramatically. Biodegradation of some PAHs by microorganisms has been biochemically and genetically investigated. Ge...

  12. Engineering Flame Retardant Biodegradable Nanocomposites

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Shan; Yang, Kai; Guo, Yichen; Zhang, Linxi; Pack, Seongchan; Davis, Rachel; Lewin, Menahem; Ade, Harald; Korach, Chad; Kashiwagi, Takashi; Rafailovich, Miriam

    2013-03-01

    Cellulose-based PLA/PBAT polymer blends can potentially be a promising class of biodegradable nanocomposites. Adding cellulose fiber reinforcement can improve mechanical properties of biodegradable plastics, but homogeneously dispersing hydrophilic cellulose in the hydrophobic polymer matrix poses a significant challenge. We here show that resorcinol diphenyl phosphates (RDP) can be used to modify the surface energy, not only reducing phase separation between two polymer kinds but also allowing the cellulose particles and the Halloysite clay to be easily dispersed within polymer matrices to achieve synergy effect using melt blending. Here in this study we describe the use of cellulose fiber and Halloysite clay, coated with RDP surfactant, in producing the flame retardant polymer blends of PBAT(Ecoflex) and PLA which can pass the stringent UL-94 V0 test. We also utilized FTIR, SEM and AFM nanoindentation to elucidate the role RDP plays in improving the compatibility of biodegradable polymers, and to determine structure property of chars that resulted in composites that could have optimized mechanical and thermal properties. Supported by Garcia Polymer Center and NSF Foundation.

  13. Ecohydrological responses of dense canopies to environmental variability: 2. Role of acclimation under elevated CO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drewry, D. T.; Kumar, P.; Long, S.; Bernacchi, C.; Liang, X.-Z.; Sivapalan, M.

    2010-12-01

    The ability to accurately predict land-atmosphere exchange of mass, energy, and momentum over the coming century requires the consideration of plant biochemical, ecophysiological, and structural acclimation to modifications of the ambient environment. Amongst the most important environmental changes experienced by terrestrial vegetation over the last century has been the increase in ambient carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, with a projected doubling in CO2 from preindustrial levels by the middle of this century. This change in atmospheric composition has been demonstrated to significantly alter a variety of leaf and plant properties across a range of species, with the potential to modify land-atmosphere interactions and their associated feedbacks. Free Air Carbon Enrichment (FACE) technology has provided significant insight into the functioning of vegetation in natural conditions under elevated CO2, but remains limited in its ability to quantify the exchange of CO2, water vapor, and energy at the canopy scale. This paper addresses the roles of ecophysiological, biochemical, and structural plant acclimation on canopy-scale exchange of CO2, water vapor, and energy through the application of a multilayer canopy-root-soil model (MLCan) capable of resolving changes induced by elevated CO2 through the canopy and soil systems. Previous validation of MLCan flux estimates were made for soybean and maize in the companion paper using a record of six growing seasons of eddy covariance data from the Bondville Ameriflux site. Observations of leaf-level photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, and surface temperature collected at the SoyFACE experimental facility in central Illinois provide a basis for examining the ability of MLCan to capture vegetation responses to an enriched CO2 environment. Simulations of control (370 [ppm]) and elevated (550 [ppm]) CO2 environments allow for an examination of the vertical variation and canopy-scale responses of vegetation states and fluxes

  14. Optimization of process variables on flexural properties of epoxy/organo-montmorillonite nanocomposite by response surface methodology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available This study attempted to investigate the preparation and optimization of the flexural properties for epoxy/organomontmorillonite (OMMT nanocomposites. In-situ polymerization method was used to prepare epoxy/OMMT nanocomposites. The diglycidyl ether bisphenol A (DGEBA and curing agent were mixed first, followed by the addition of OMMT. In this study, computer aided statistical methods of experimental design (Response Surface Methodology, RSM was used to investigate the process variables on the flexural properties of epoxy/4wt% OMMT nanocomposites. Speed of mechanical stirrer, post-curing time and post-curing temperature were chosen as process variables in the experimental design. Results showed that the speed of mechanical stirrer, post-curing time and post-curing temperature were able to influence the flexural modulus and flexural yield stress of epoxy/4 wt% OMMT nanocomposites. The results of optimization showed that the design of experiment (DOE has six combination of operating variables which have been obtained in order to attain the greatest overall desirability.

  15. The Key Oceanic Regions Responsible for the Interannual Variability of the Western North Pacific Subtropical High and Associated Mechanisms

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2015-01-01

    The western North Pacifi c subtropical high (WNPSH) is an important circulation system that impacts the East Asian summer climate. The interannual variability of the WNPSH is modulated by tropical air-sea interaction. In order to make it clear which oceanic regions are crucial to the interannual variability of the WNPSH, the research progresses in this regard in the past decade are reviewed. Based on the review, it is recognized that fi ve oceanic regions are responsible for the interannual variability of the WNPSH in summer, including the equatorial central–eastern Pacifi c Ocean, tropical Indian Ocean, subtropical western North Pacifi c, the vicinity of the maritime continent, and the tropical Atlantic Ocean. The mechanisms how the sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs) in these regions aff ect the WNPSH are elaborated. The formation mechanisms for the SSTAs in these fi ve regions are discussed. Strengths and weaknesses of the climate models in simulating and predicting the WNPSH are also documented. Finally, key scientifi c problems deserving further studies are proposed.

  16. Cardiac sympathetic modulation in response to apneas/hypopneas through heart rate variability analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Chouchou

    Full Text Available Autonomic dysfunction is recognized to contribute to cardiovascular consequences in obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS patients who present predominant cardiovascular sympathetic activity that persists during wakefulness. Here, we examined 1 the factors that influence sympathetic cardiac modulation in response to apneas/hypopneas; and 2 the influence of autonomic activity during apneas/hypopneas on CA. Sixteen OSAHS patients underwent in-hospital polysomnography. RR interval (RR and RR spectral analysis using wavelet transform were used to study parasympathetic (high frequency power: HF(WV and sympathetic (low frequency power: LF(WV and LF(WV/HF(WV ratio activity before and after apnea/hypopnea termination. Autonomic cardiac modulations were compared according to sleep stage, apnea/hypopnea type and duration, arterial oxygen saturation, and presence of CA. At apnea/hypopnea termination, RR decreased (p<0.001 while LF(WV (p = 0.001 and LF(WV/HF(WV ratio (p = 0.001 increased. Only RR and LF(WV/HF(WV ratio changes were higher when apneas/hypopneas produced CA (p = 0.030 and p = 0.035, respectively or deep hypoxia (p = 0.023 and p = 0.046, respectively. Multivariate statistical analysis showed that elevated LF(WV (p = 0.006 and LF(WV/HF(WV ratio (p = 0.029 during apneas/hypopneas were independently related to higher CA occurrence. Both the arousal and hypoxia processes may contribute to sympathetic cardiovascular overactivity by recurrent cardiac sympathetic modulation in response to apneas/hypopneas. Sympathetic overactivity also may play an important role in the acute central response to apneas/hypopneas, and in the sleep fragmentation.

  17. Kinetics and thermodynamics of biodegradation of hydrolyzed polyacrylamide under anaerobic and aerobic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Lanmei; Bao, Mutai; Yan, Miao; Lu, Jinren

    2016-09-01

    Kinetics and thermodynamics of hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) biodegradation in anaerobic and aerobic activated sludge biochemical treatment systems were explored to determine the maximum rate and feasibility of HPAM biodegradation. The optimal nutrient proportions for HPAM biodegradation were determined to be 0.08g·L(-1) C6H12O6, 1.00g·L(-1) NH4Cl, 0.36g·L(-1) NaH2PO4 and 3.00g·L(-1) K2HPO4 using response surface methodology (RSM). Based on the kinetics, the maximum HPAM biodegradation rates were 16.43385mg·L(-1)·d(-1) and 2.463mg·L(-1)·d(-1) in aerobic and anaerobic conditions, respectively. The activation energy (Ea) of the aerobic biodegradation was 48.9897kJ·mol(-1). Entropy changes (ΔS) of biochemical treatment system decreased from 216.21J·K(-1) to 2.39J·K(-1). Thermodynamic windows of opportunity for HPAM biodegradation were drawn. And it demonstrated HPAM was biodegraded into acetic acid and CO2 under laboratory conditions. Growth-process equations for functional bacteria anaerobically grown on polyacrylic acid were constructed and it confirmed electron equivalence between substrate and product. PMID:27235971

  18. Aerobic biodegradation of a mixture of monosubstituted phenols in a sequencing batch reactor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fernández, Isaac; Suárez-Ojeda, María Eugenia; Pérez, Julio; Carrera, Julián, E-mail: julian.carrera@uab.es

    2013-09-15

    Highlights: • Aerobic biodegradation of a mixture of p-nitrophenol and o-cresol is feasible. • Simultaneous biodegradation of p-nitrophenol and o-cresol was achieved at long-term. • o-Chlorophenol caused complete failure of the sequencing batch reactor. • Biomass had good settling properties although no mature granules were obtained. • p-Nitrophenol is believed to be responsible for granulation failure. -- Abstract: A sequencing batch reactor (SBR) was inoculated with p-nitrophenol-degrading activated sludge to biodegrade a mixture of monosubstituted phenols: p-nitrophenol (PNP), PNP and o-cresol; and PNP, o-cresol and o-chlorophenol. Settling times were progressively decreased to promote biomass granulation. PNP was completely biodegraded. The PNP and o-cresol mixture was also biodegraded although some transitory accumulation of intermediates occurred (mainly hydroquinone and catechol). o-Chlorophenol was not biodegraded and resulted in inhibition of o-cresol and PNP biodegradation and complete failure of the SBR within a few days. The biomass had very good settling properties when a settling time of 1 min was applied: sludge volume index (SVI{sub 5}) below 50 mL g{sup −1}, SVI{sub 5}/SVI{sub 30} ratio of 1 and average particle size of 200 μm.

  19. Aerobic biodegradation of a mixture of monosubstituted phenols in a sequencing batch reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • Aerobic biodegradation of a mixture of p-nitrophenol and o-cresol is feasible. • Simultaneous biodegradation of p-nitrophenol and o-cresol was achieved at long-term. • o-Chlorophenol caused complete failure of the sequencing batch reactor. • Biomass had good settling properties although no mature granules were obtained. • p-Nitrophenol is believed to be responsible for granulation failure. -- Abstract: A sequencing batch reactor (SBR) was inoculated with p-nitrophenol-degrading activated sludge to biodegrade a mixture of monosubstituted phenols: p-nitrophenol (PNP), PNP and o-cresol; and PNP, o-cresol and o-chlorophenol. Settling times were progressively decreased to promote biomass granulation. PNP was completely biodegraded. The PNP and o-cresol mixture was also biodegraded although some transitory accumulation of intermediates occurred (mainly hydroquinone and catechol). o-Chlorophenol was not biodegraded and resulted in inhibition of o-cresol and PNP biodegradation and complete failure of the SBR within a few days. The biomass had very good settling properties when a settling time of 1 min was applied: sludge volume index (SVI5) below 50 mL g−1, SVI5/SVI30 ratio of 1 and average particle size of 200 μm

  20. Variable NF-κB pathway responses in colon cancer cells treated with chemotherapeutic drugs

    OpenAIRE

    Samuel, Temesgen; Fadlalla, Khalda; Gales, Dominique N; Putcha, Balananda DK; Manne, Upender

    2014-01-01

    Background The nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) signaling pathway is activated in cells exposed to various stimuli, including those originating on the cell surface or in the nucleus. Activated NF-κB signaling is thought to enhance cell survival in response to these stimuli, which include chemotherapy and radiation. In the present effort, we determined which anticancer drugs preferentially activate NF-κB in colon cancer cells. Methods NF-κB reporter cells ...

  1. Extremophiles in Mineral Sulphide Heaps: Some Bacterial Responses to Variable Temperature, Acidity and Solution Composition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen R. Watling

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available In heap bioleaching, acidophilic extremophiles contribute to enhanced metal extraction from mineral sulphides through the oxidation of Fe(II and/or reduced inorganic sulphur compounds (RISC, such as elemental sulphur or mineral sulphides, or the degradation of organic compounds derived from the ore, biota or reagents used during mineral processing. The impacts of variable solution acidity and composition, as well as temperature on the three microbiological functions have been examined for up to four bacterial species found in mineral sulphide heaps. The results indicate that bacteria adapt to sufficiently high metal concentrations (Cu, Ni, Co, Zn, As to allow them to function in mineral sulphide heaps and, by engaging alternative metabolic pathways, to extend the solution pH range over which growth is sustained. Fluctuating temperatures during start up in sulphide heaps pose the greatest threat to efficient bacterial colonisation. The large masses of ores in bioleaching heaps mean that high temperatures arising from sulphide oxidation are hard to control initially, when the sulphide content of the ore is greatest. During that period, mesophilic and moderately thermophilic bacteria are markedly reduced in both numbers and activity.

  2. Problems with diagnosing Conversion Disorder in response to variable and unusual symptoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barnum R

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Richard BarnumPrivate practice, Child and adolescent psychiatry, MA, USAAbstract: Conversion Disorder (CD is a diagnosis offered to explain signs and symptoms that do not correspond to recognized medical conditions. Pediatric patients with variable, vague, and multisystem complaints are at increased risk for being diagnosed with CD. Little is known about the impact of such a diagnosis. In making such diagnoses, it is likely that pediatric providers hope to encourage patients to access mental health care, but no basis exists to show that these diagnoses result in such access in any useful way. This article presents the case of a child with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, who had been previously (incorrectly diagnosed with CD and referred for mental health care. It offers commentary based on interviews with other pediatric patients with similar experiences – conducted in collaboration with the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation. These cases indicate that CD diagnoses can seriously undermine patients’ trust in doctors, and can create such defensiveness that it may interfere with (especially patients’ abilities to engage with mental health services. Such interference is an important problem, if the diagnosis is accurate. But, in the (more likely event that it is not accurate, this defensiveness can interfere with both important mental health care and further ongoing necessary medical care.Keywords: somatoform disorders, dysautonomias, pain, collagen diseases, mitochondrial diseases, complex regional pain syndromes

  3. Vulnerability of white spruce tree growth in interior Alaska in response to climate variability: Dendrochronological, demographic, and experimental perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, Anthony; Ruess, R.W.; Lloyd, A.; Yarie, J.; Clein, J.S.; Juday, G.P.

    2010-01-01

    This paper integrates dendrochronological, demographic, and experimental perspectives to improve understanding of the response of white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) tree growth to climatic variability in interior Alaska. The dendrochronological analyses indicate that climate warming has led to widespread declines in white spruce growth throughout interior Alaska that have become more prevalent during the 20th century. Similarly, demographic studies show that white spruce tree growth is substantially limited by soil moisture availability in both mid- and late-successional stands. Interannual variability in tree growth among stands within a landscape exhibits greater synchrony than does growth of trees that occupy different landscapes, which agrees with dendrochronological findings that the responses depend on landscape position and prevailing climate. In contrast, the results from 18 years of a summer moisture limitation experiment showed that growth in midsuccessional upland stands was unaffected by moisture limitation and that moisture limitation decreased white spruce growth in floodplain stands where it was expected that growth would be less vulnerable because of tree access to river water. Taken together, the evidence from the different perspectives analyzed in this study clearly indicates that white spruce tree growth in interior Alaska is vulnerable to the effects of warming on plant water balance.

  4. Relating the variability of tone-burst otoacoustic emission and auditory brainstem response latencies to the underlying cochlear mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verhulst, Sarah; Shera, Christopher A.

    2015-12-01

    Forward and reverse cochlear latency and its relation to the frequency tuning of the auditory filters can be assessed using tone bursts (TBs). Otoacoustic emissions (TBOAEs) estimate the cochlear roundtrip time, while auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) to the same stimuli aim at measuring the auditory filter buildup time. Latency ratios are generally close to two and controversy exists about the relationship of this ratio to cochlear mechanics. We explored why the two methods provide different estimates of filter buildup time, and ratios with large inter-subject variability, using a time-domain model for OAEs and ABRs. We compared latencies for twenty models, in which all parameters but the cochlear irregularities responsible for reflection-source OAEs were identical, and found that TBOAE latencies were much more variable than ABR latencies. Multiple reflection-sources generated within the evoking stimulus bandwidth were found to shape the TBOAE envelope and complicate the interpretation of TBOAE latency and TBOAE/ABR ratios in terms of auditory filter tuning.

  5. Where No (Observed) Forest has Gone Before: New Patterns in Forest Response to Climate Change and Variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNulty, S.; Sun, G.; Boggs, J. L.; Ward, E. J.

    2014-12-01

    Insect outbreaks, wildfire, and drought have directly or indirectly impacted forest health, productivity and water use long before the advent of modern forestry practices. However, climate change may be acerbating these impacts are causing land managers to reconsider the use and timing of management tools. However, even as new methods are being devised to combat negative drought impacts, the forest response to chronic and increasingly severe episodic drought may be changing. Historically, the weakest (e.g., suppressed, understory) trees were the first to succumb to stress while the strongest (e.g., dominant, fast growing). However, recent studies have suggested that a combination of chronic and increasingly extreme episodic stress may be causing hereunto unobserved patterns in forest mortality with the more vigorously growing trees having higher rates of mortality than slower growing, more generally stressed individuals. I suggest that the forests have not altered their response to stress, but only that the level of stress, and the forest response to that stress has not previously been observed in recorded history. This extension of the forest stress response continuum has very significant implications to forest management under drought and associated disturbance. Therefore, this paper explores the causes and implications for maintaining forest resilience and sustainability under an increasingly variable climate.

  6. Discontinuous aerobic biodegradation of dairy wastewater: influence of operation conditions; Depuracion aerobia de vertidos lacteos en regimen discontinuo: influencia de las condiciones de operacion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alvarez Mateos, P.; Romero guzman, F.; Pereda Marin, J. [Departamento Ingenieria Quimica, Facultad de Quimica, Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla (Spain)

    1995-11-01

    In this work, the effect of different parameters on the aerobic biodegradation of the dairy wastewater has been studied. The variables have been: temperature, initial pH value, light, temperature of the incubation and conditions of adaptability of the inoculum and initial organic load. a kinetic equation that fit of the best to this biodegradation process is studied. 8 refs.

  7. Effect of high-resolution spatial soil moisture variability on simulated runoff response using a distributed hydrologic model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Minet

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The importance of spatial variability of antecedent soil moisture conditions on runoff response is widely acknowledged in hillslope hydrology. Using a distributed hydrologic model, this paper aims at investigating the effects of soil moisture spatial variability on runoff in various field conditions and at finding the structure of the soil moisture pattern that approaches the measured soil moisture pattern in terms of field scale runoff. High spatial resolution soil moisture was surveyed in ten different field campaigns using a proximal ground penetrating radar (GPR mounted on a mobile platform. Based on these soil moisture measurements, seven scenarios of spatial structures of antecedent soil moisture were used and linked with a field scale distributed hydrological model to simulate field scale runoff. Accounting for spatial variability of soil moisture resulted in general in higher predicted field scale runoff as compared to the case where soil moisture was kept constant. The ranges of possible hydrographs were delineated by extreme scenarios where soil moisture was directly and inversely modelled according to the topographic wetness index (TWI. These behaviours could be explained by the sizes and locations of runoff contributing areas, knowing that runoff was generated by infiltration excess over a certain soil moisture threshold. The most efficient scenario for modelling the within field spatial structure of soil moisture appeared to be when soil moisture is directly arranged according to the TWI, especially when measured soil moisture and TWI were correlated. The novelty of this work is to benefit from a large set of high-resolution soil moisture measurements allowing to model effectively the within field distribution of soil moisture and its impact on the field scale hydrograph. These observations contributed to the current knowledge of the impact of antecedent soil moisture spatial variability on field scale runoff.

  8. Response of the western North Atlantic to seasonal variability in the Southern Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivchenko, V.; Sinha, B.; Wells, N.; Blaker, A.

    2009-04-01

    The huge seasonal variability in Antarctic sea ice distribution and concentration is well known. As a result the air-sea fluxes of heat, freshwater and momentum fluxes are strongly modified seasonally. In this study we conduct two experiments with the NEMO ocean general circulation model at 1 degree horizontal resolution. The first is a control run between January 1989 and December of 1994 forced at the surface by NCEP reanalysis. The second experiment was run for the same period of time as the control run, but all external fluxes from/to the atmosphere south of 30S are replaced by annual mean fluxes. The difference between the two experiments results in anomalies of temperature, salinity and other variables. The anomalies south of 30S are created by differences in the surface fluxes. The anomalies north of 30S are created by the influence of the Southern Ocean (SO) on the northern domain (ND). The SO anomalies can affect the ND in two ways (disregarding possible atmosphere influence): (i) slow propagation of the anomaly signal by currents and turbulence (ii) fast wave-like propagation of the anomaly signal. The propagation speed of such waves could be high. For example the barotropic Rossby waves have a wave speed of about 40 m/s. The results from the experiments show that the anomaly signal starts propagation in the South Atlantic as a barotropic planetary wave, reaching the equator within the first two days and reaching the North Atlantic in a few days. After the wave reflects from the western boundary temperature anomalies (TA) appear quickly, but with very low amplitude. However, the amplitude of the TA increases with time. Maximum values of TA occur in an area adjacent to the coast over the Southeast Newfoundland Rise (SNR). The highest values of TA can be observed after two or three years at depths between 90 and 200m: usually between 0.3 to 0.6C and occasionally even above that, up to 0.8C and 1.0C. Mesoscale patches appear after approx. 5 months with

  9. Effect of dietary omega-3 fatty acids on the heart rate and the heart rate variability responses to myocardial ischemia or submaximal exercise

    OpenAIRE

    George E Billman; William S. Harris

    2011-01-01

    The consumption of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) has been reported to decrease resting heart rate (HR) and increase heart rate variability (HRV). However, the effects of n-3 PUFAs on these variables in response to a physiological stress (e.g., exercise or acute myocardial ischemia), particularly in postmyocardial infarction (MI) patients, are unknown. Therefore, HR and HRV (high frequency and total R-R interval variability) were evaluated at rest, during submaximal exercise,...

  10. The use of antioxidant enzymes in freshwater biofilms: temporal variability vs. toxicological responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnineau, Chloé; Tlili, Ahmed; Faggiano, Leslie; Montuelle, Bernard; Guasch, Helena

    2013-07-15

    This study aims to investigate the potential of antioxidant enzyme activities (AEA) as biomarkers of oxidative stress in freshwater biofilms. Therefore, biofilms were grown in channels for 38 days and then exposed to different concentrations (0-150 μg L(-1)) of the herbicide oxyfluorfen for 5 more weeks. Under control conditions, the AEA of biofilms were found to change throughout time with a significant increase in ascorbate peroxidase (APX) activity during the exponential growth and a more important role of catalase (CAT) and glutathione reductase (GR) activities during the slow growth phase. Chronic exposure to oxyfluorfen led to slight variations in AEA, however, the ranges of variability of AEA in controls and exposed communities were similar, highlighting the difficulty of a direct interpretation of AEA values. After 5 weeks of exposure to oxyfluorfen, no clear effects were observed on chl-a concentration or on the composition of other pigments suggesting that algal group composition was not affected. Eukaryotic communities were structured clearly by toxicant concentration and both eukaryotic and bacterial richness were reduced in communities exposed to the highest concentration. In addition, during acute exposure tests performed at the end of the chronic exposure, biofilms chronically exposed to 75 and 150 μg L(-1) oxyfluorfen showed a higher CAT activity than controls. Chronic exposure to oxyfluorfen provoked then structural changes but also functional changes in the capacity of biofilm CAT activity to respond to a sudden increase in concentration, suggesting a selection of species with higher antioxidant capacity. This study highlighted the difficulty of interpretation of AEA values due to their temporal variation and to the absence of absolute threshold value indicative of oxidative stress induced by contaminants. Nevertheless, the determination of AEA pattern throughout acute exposure test is of high interest to compare oxidative stress levels

  11. Environmental responses of the Northeast Antarctic Peninsula to the Holocene climate variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbara, Loïc.; Crosta, Xavier; Leventer, Amy; Schmidt, Sabine; Etourneau, Johan; Domack, Eugene; Massé, Guillaume

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we present a unique high-resolution Holocene record of oceanographic and climatic change based on analyses of diatom assemblages combined with biomarker data from a sediment core collected from the Vega Drift, eastern Antarctic Peninsula (EAP). These data add to the climate framework already established by high-resolution marine sedimentary records from the Palmer Deep, western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). Heavy sea ice conditions and reduced primary productivity were observed prior to 7.4 ka B.P. in relation with the proximity of the glacial ice melt and calving. Subsequent Holocene oceanographic conditions were controlled by the interactions between the Westerlies-Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC)-Weddell Gyre dynamics. A warm period characterized by short seasonal sea ice duration associated with a southern shift of both ACC and Westerlies field persisted until 5 ka B.P. This warm episode was then followed by climate deterioration during the middle-to-late Holocene (5 to 1.9 ka B.P.) with a gradual increase in annual sea ice duration triggered by the expansion of the Weddell Gyre and a strong oceanic connection from the EAP to the WAP. Increase of benthic diatom species during this period was indicative of more summer/autumn storms, which was consistent with changes in synoptic atmospheric circulation and the establishment of low- to high-latitude teleconnections. Finally, the multicentennial scale variability of the Weddell Gyre intensity and storm frequency during the late Holocene appeared to be associated with the increased El Niño-Southern Oscillation frequency.

  12. Responses of coastal ecosystems to environmental variability in emerging countries from the Americas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muniz, Pablo; Calliari, Danilo; Giménez, Luis; Defeo, Omar

    2015-12-01

    Coastal ecosystems supply critical ecological services and benefits to human society (Barbier et al., 2011). Nearly 38% of the global monetary value of annual ecosystem services arises from estuaries, seagrass and algal beds, coral reefs and shelf ecosystems (Costanza et al., 1997). However, these ecosystems are being increasingly affected by multiple drivers acting simultaneously at several spatial and temporal scales (Lotze et al., 2006; Hoegh-Guldberg and Bruno, 2010). Climate change (temperature increase, sea level rise, ocean acidification), human activities (e.g. land use/cover change, pollution, overexploitation, translocation of species), and extreme natural events (storms, floods, droughts) are the most important drivers degrading the resilience of coastal systems. Such factors operate on individual level processes, leading organisms away from their niches (Steinberg, 2013) or modifying rates and phenology (Giménez, 2011; Mackas et al., 2012, Deutsch et al., 2015). All of these influence ecosystem level processes, causing changes in species composition, diversity losses and deterioration of ecosystem functions (Worm et al., 2006; Defeo et al., 2009; Doney et al., 2011; Dornelas et al., 2014). The rate of change in habitats, species distributions and whole ecosystems has accelerated over the past decades as shown, for example, in the increase in the frequency of events of coastal hypoxia (Diaz and Rosenberg, 2008,Vaquer-Sunyer and Duarte, 2008), extensive translocation of species by global shipping (Seebens et al., 2013), and in ecosystem regime shifts (Möllmann et al., 2015 and references therein). Some coastal areas have been transformed into novel ecosystems with physical and biological characteristics outside their natural range of variability (Cloern et al., 2015) while others are likely to become sink areas, limiting the migration of marine species away from warming habitats (Burrows et al., 2014).

  13. A constrained variable projection reconstruction method for photoacoustic computed tomography without accurate knowledge of transducer responses

    CERN Document Server

    Sheng, Qiwei; Matthews, Thomas P; Xia, Jun; Zhu, Liren; Wang, Lihong V; Anastasio, Mark A

    2015-01-01

    Photoacoustic computed tomography (PACT) is an emerging computed imaging modality that exploits optical contrast and ultrasonic detection principles to form images of the absorbed optical energy density within tissue. When the imaging system employs conventional piezoelectric ultrasonic transducers, the ideal photoacoustic (PA) signals are degraded by the transducers' acousto-electric impulse responses (EIRs) during the measurement process. If unaccounted for, this can degrade the accuracy of the reconstructed image. In principle, the effect of the EIRs on the measured PA signals can be ameliorated via deconvolution; images can be reconstructed subsequently by application of a reconstruction method that assumes an idealized EIR. Alternatively, the effect of the EIR can be incorporated into an imaging model and implicitly compensated for during reconstruction. In either case, the efficacy of the correction can be limited by errors in the assumed EIRs. In this work, a joint optimization approach to PACT image r...

  14. Can you escape the beat? Modelling spatiotemporal biodegradation dynamics during periodic disturbances

    Science.gov (United States)

    König, Sara; Worrich, Anja; Wick, Lukas Y.; Miltner, Anja; Kästner, Matthias; Thullner, Martin; Centler, Florian; Banitz, Thomas; Frank, Karin

    2016-04-01

    Biodegradation of organic compounds in soil is an important microbial ecosystem service. Soil ecosystems are constantly exposed to disturbances of different spatial configurations and frequencies, challenging their ability to recover the biodegradation function. Thus, the response to these disturbances is crucial for the soil systems' biodegradation performance. The influence of spatial aspects of the disturbance regimes on long-term biodegradation dynamics under periodic disturbances has not been examined, yet. We applied a numerical simulation model considering bacterial growth, degradation, and dispersal to analyze the spatiotemporal biodegradation dynamics under disturbances occuring with different frequencies and with different spatial configurations. We found biodegradation performance decreasing in response to periodic disturbances but on average approaching a new quasi steady state. This mean performance of the disturbed systems increases with both, the interval length between disturbance events and the fragmentation of the spatial disturbance patterns. A detailed spatiotemporal analysis of degradation activity reveals that under highly fragmented disturbance patterns, biodegradation still takes place in the entire disturbed area. For moderately fragmented disturbance patterns, parts of the disturbed area become completely inactive. However, areas with high degradation activity emerge at the interface between disturbed and undisturbed areas, allowing the systems to maintain a relatively high degradation performance. Further decreasing the disturbance patterns' fragmentation, fewer interfaces between disturbed and undisturbed area and, thus, fewer active habitats occur, which reduces biodegradation performances. In additional simulations, we found that bacterial dispersal networks, as for example provided by fungal hyphae, usually increase the areas of high degradation activity and, thus, the biodegradation performance in presence of periodic disturbances

  15. Histological evaluation of different biodegradable and non-biodegradable membranes implanted subcutaneously in rats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhao, S; Pinholt, E M; Madsen, J E;

    2000-01-01

    Different types of biodegradable membranes have become available for guided tissue regeneration. The purpose of this study was to evaluate histologically three different biodegradable membranes (Bio-Gide, Resolut and Vicryl) and one non-biodegradable membrane (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene/e-P...

  16. A review of plastic waste biodegradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Ying; Yanful, Ernest K; Bassi, Amarjeet S

    2005-01-01

    With more and more plastics being employed in human lives and increasing pressure being placed on capacities available for plastic waste disposal, the need for biodegradable plastics and biodegradation of plastic wastes has assumed increasing importance in the last few years. This review looks at the technological advancement made in the development of more easily biodegradable plastics and the biodegradation of conventional plastics by microorganisms. Additives, such as pro-oxidants and starch, are applied in synthetic materials to modify and make plastics biodegradable. Recent research has shown that thermoplastics derived from polyolefins, traditionally considered resistant to biodegradation in ambient environment, are biodegraded following photo-degradation and chemical degradation. Thermoset plastics, such as aliphatic polyester and polyester polyurethane, are easily attacked by microorganisms directly because of the potential hydrolytic cleavage of ester or urethane bonds in their structures. Some microorganisms have been isolated to utilize polyurethane as a sole source of carbon and nitrogen source. Aliphatic-aromatic copolyesters have active commercial applications because of their good mechanical properties and biodegradability. Reviewing published and ongoing studies on plastic biodegradation, this paper attempts to make conclusions on potentially viable methods to reduce impacts of plastic waste on the environment. PMID:16419620

  17. Study on biodegradable aromatic/aliphatic copolyesters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yiwang Chen; Licheng Tan; Lie Chen; Yan, Yang; Xiaofeng Wang [Nanchang University, Nanchang (China). School of Materials Science and Engineering. Inst. of Polymer Materials]. E-mail: ywchen@ncu.edu.cn

    2008-04-15

    Progress on biodegradable aromatic/aliphatic copolyesters based on aliphatic and aromatic diacids, diols and ester monomers was reviewed. The aromatic/aliphatic copolyesters combined excellent mechanical properties with biodegradability. Physical properties and biodegradability of copolyesters varied with chain length of the aliphatic polyester segment and atacticity of copolyesters. The process ability of copolyesters could be improved significantly after incorporating a stiff chain segment through copolymerization of aliphatic polyesters with an aromatic liquid crystal element. The aromatic/aliphatic copolyesters as a new type of biodegradable materials could replace some general plastics in certain applications, namely biomedical and environmental friendly fields. (author)

  18. Biodegradation of PAHs and PCBs in soils and sludges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, L.; Tindall, J.A.; Friedel, M.J.

    2007-01-01

    Results from a multi-year, pilot-scale land treatment project for PAHs and PCBs biodegradation were evaluated. A mathematical model, capable of describing sorption, sequestration, and biodegradation in soil/water systems, is applied to interpret the efficacy of a sequential active-passive biotreatment process of organic chemicals on remediation sites. To account for the recalcitrance of PAHs and PCBs in soils and sludges during long-term biotreatment, this model comprises a kinetic equation for organic chemical intraparticle sequestration process. Model responses were verified by comparison to measurements of biodegradation of PAHs and PCBs in land treatment units; a favorable match was found between them. Model simulations were performed to predict on-going biodegradation behavior of PAHs and PCBs in land treatment units. Simulation results indicate that complete biostabilization will be achieved when the concentration of reversibly sorbed chemical (S RA) reduces to undetectable levels, with a certain amount of irreversibly sequestrated residual chemical (S IA) remaining within the soil particle solid phase. The residual fraction (S IA) tends to lose its original chemical and biological activity, and hence, is much less available, toxic, and mobile than the "free" compounds. Therefore, little or no PAHs and PCBs will leach from the treatment site and constitutes no threat to human health or the environment. Biotreatment of PAHs and PCBs can be terminated accordingly. Results from the pilot-scale testing data and model calculations also suggest that a significant fraction (10-30%) of high-molecular-weight PAHs and PCBs could be sequestrated and become unavailable for biodegradation. Bioavailability (large K d , i.e., slow desorption rate) is the key factor limiting the PAHs degradation. However, both bioavailability and bioactivity (K in Monod kinetics, i.e., number of microbes, nutrients, and electron acceptor, etc.) regulate PCBs biodegradation. The sequential

  19. Variable stress-responsiveness in wild type and domesticated fighting fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verbeek, Peter; Iwamoto, Toshitaka; Murakami, Noboru

    2008-01-28

    We combined behavioral and physiological measures to compare coping style in wild-type Betta splendens and a domesticated strain selectively bred for sports fighting. We showed previously that the fighter strain is more aggressive than the wild type during experimental conditions that most closely resemble an actual fight. We predicted that compared to the wild type, the fighter strain would show a more proactive coping style, characterized by lesser cortisol and greater sympathetic responses to non-social challenges. We introduced males to an unfamiliar environment and spatial confinement as challenges that may resemble some of those that B. splendens may encounter in its natural habitat. We developed a non-invasive stress assay that enables repeated individual measures of water-borne cortisol. We estimated sympathetic activation through opercular beat rate and recorded the duration of behavioral immobility. We found that exposure to an unfamiliar environment raised cortisol levels in the wild type but not in the fighter strain and that confinement raised cortisol levels in both. In both strains opercular beat rates were significantly reduced during the latter stages of confinement compared to during the early stages. The fighter strain, but not the wild type, adopted a behavioral strategy of immobility from the very beginning of confinement. PMID:17884114

  20. Separating response variability from structural inconsistency to test models of risky decision making

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael H. Birnbaum

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Individual true and error theory assumes that responses by the same person to the same choice problem within a block of trials are based on the same true preferences but may show preference reversals due to random error. Between blocks, a person{}'s true preferences may differ or stay the same. This theory is illustrated with studies testing two critical properties that distinguish models of risky decision making: (1 restricted branch independence, which is implied by original prospect theory and violated in a specific way by both cumulative prospect theory and the priority heuristic; and (2 stochastic dominance, which is implied by cumulative prospect theory. Corrected for random error, most individuals systematically violated stochastic dominance, ruling out cumulative prospect theory. Furthermore, most people violated restricted branch independence in the opposite way predicted by that theory and the priority heuristic. Both violations are consistent with the transfer of attention exchange model. No one was found whose data were compatible with cumulative prospect theory, except for those that were also compatible with expected utility, and no one satisfied the priority heuristic.

  1. WEDM process variables investigation for HSLA by response surface methodology and genetic algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neeraj Sharma

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Wire electric discharge machining (WEDM is a thermo-electric spark erosion non-traditional type manufacturing process. The applications of WEDM have been found in aerospace and die manufacturing industries, where precise dimensions were the prime objective. This process is applied in case of processing difficult to machine material. Brass wire is used as an electrode and High strength low alloy (HSLA steel as a work-piece during experimentation. The present research deals with the effect of process parameters on the overcut while machining the HSLA steel on WEDM. The mathematical model has been developed with the help of Response Surface Methodology (RSM. Further this model is processed with help of Genetic Algorithm (GA to find out the optimum machining parameters. The percentage error between the predicted and experimental values lies in the range of ±10%, which indicates that the developed model can be utilized to predict the overcut values. The experimental plan was executed according to central composite design. The optimal setting of process parameters is pulse on-time-117 μs; pulse off-time-50 μs; spark gap voltage-49 V; peak current-180 A and wire tension-6 g; for minimum overcut, whereas at the optimal setting overcut is 9.9922 μm.

  2. Intra-specific variability in the response of maize to arsenic exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Requejo, Raquel; Tena, Manuel

    2014-09-01

    The response of maize (Zea mays L.) to inorganic arsenic exposure was studied, at the seedling stage under hydroponic conditions, preliminarily in sixteen lines (fourteen hybrids and two inbred lines) and then, more deeply, in six of these lines, selected by showing contrasting differences in their sensitivity to the metalloid. The results indicated that (i) maize is rather tolerant to arsenic toxicity, (ii) arsenite is more phytotoxic than arsenate, (iii) roots are less sensitive than shoots to the metalloid, (iv) a great accumulation of non-protein thiols (probably phytochelatins), without substantial effect on the glutathione content, is produced in roots but not in shoots of arsenic-exposed plants and (v) maize is able to accumulate high levels of arsenic in roots with very low translocation to shoots. The study, thus, suggests that maize, for its very low rate of acropetal transport of arsenic from roots to shoots, may be a safe crop in relation to the risk of entry of metalloid in the food chain and, for being an important bioenergy crop capable of expressing high levels of arsenic tolerance and accumulation in roots, may represent an interesting opportunity for the exploitation of agricultural useless arsenic contaminated lands.

  3. Flexible designs for phase II comparative clinical trials involving two response variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bersimis, S; Sachlas, A; Papaioannou, T

    2015-01-30

    The aim of phase II clinical trials is to determine whether an experimental treatment is sufficiently promising and safe to justify further testing. The need for reduced sample size arises naturally in phase II clinical trials owing to both technical and ethical reasons, motivating a significant part of research in the field during recent years, while another significant part of the research effort is aimed at more complex therapeutic schemes that demand the consideration of multiple endpoints to make decisions. In this paper, our attention is restricted to phase II clinical trials in which two treatments are compared with respect to two dependent dichotomous responses proposing some flexible designs. These designs permit the researcher to terminate the clinical trial when high rates of favorable or unfavorable outcomes are observed early enough requiring in this way a small number of patients. From the mathematical point of view, the proposed designs are defined on bivariate sequences of multi-state trials, and the corresponding stopping rules are based on various distributions related to the waiting time until a certain number of events appear in these sequences. The exact distributions of interest, under a unified framework, are studied using the Markov chain embedding technique, which appears to be very useful in clinical trials for the sample size determination. Tables of expected sample size and power are presented. The numerical illustration showed a very good performance for these new designs.

  4. Assessing the response of the Australian carbon balance to climate variability by assimilating satellite observations in a distributed ecosystem model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exbrayat, Jean-François; Bloom, A. Anthony; Smallman, T. Luke; Williams, Mathew

    2016-04-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems offset about 25% of anthropogenic emissions of fossil fuel responsible for the current global warming. This long-term carbon sink exhibits a large inter-annual variability that recent studies have associated to the response of semi-arid ecosystems to variations in climate conditions and especially the occurrence of extreme events. For example, wet conditions during the 2010-2011 La Niña episode led to the strongest annual terrestrial carbon sink ever observed. Satellite observations of plant productivity and modelling experiments indicate that this anomalous sink was mostly located in the southern hemisphere where Australia experienced record-breaking rainfall. However, the durability of this extra-sink has yet to be assessed as dry conditions returned in northern Australia at the end of 2011, causing large-scale fires. In this paper we investigate the influence of climate variability on Australian ecosystems and we particularly focus on the resilience of the La Niña driven 2010-2011 sink to subsequent dry years. Therefore, we use the CARbon Data MOdel fraMework (CARDAMOM) data-assimilation system to retrieve the 21st century Australian terrestrial carbon cycle simulated by an ecosystem model in agreement with climate data and Earth Observations relevant to the biosphere: burned area, leaf area index and biomass. Accordingly with previous studies results indicate a strong influence of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation on the inter-annual variability of the Australian carbon balance at the continent-scale. More precisely, in 2010-2011 the La Niña-driven wet conditions led the continent to become a strong sink of atmospheric carbon. Then, dry conditions accompanied by intense fires returned at the end of 2011 and our analyses indicate that the totality of the northern Australian sink (north of 30°S) was re-emitted by late 2011 as fires immediately burnt the extra-fuel produced during the record wet seasons. These results raise concerns on

  5. Floods in Colombia (2009-2011): rethinking our response to climatic variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canon Barriga, J. E.

    2011-12-01

    The alternating El Niño-La Niña events of 2009-2011 are clear examples of the extreme weather variability that we can expect from climate-change conditions around the world. This presentation will discuss the impact that such events have had already in Colombia and will suggest ways to deal with similar events in the future. In less than a year the country passed from a dry El Niño (in which the system of reservoirs for water supply and hydropower dropped to critical levels) to a wet La Niña (in which a heavy, sustained rainy period caused landslides and major floods in most of the floodplains and main cities and put the reservoirs to work at their maximum capacity). As a result of the rains, several levees, bridges and roads across the country failed or collapsed, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency and to propose an ambitious plan for the reconstruction of the country's infrastructure in the following years. Many of the effects of these floods, which occur seasonally at lower scales, were magnified by the increasing human occupation of wetlands and floodplains due to different economic interests and by decades of transformation of forested areas in the mountains for pastures and cattle-growing. We drawn several lessons from these alternate occurrence of weather extremes: 1) reservoirs, for instance, may not be resilient to the occurrence of a single period of severe dryness and have a limited capacity to control floods during seasons of heavy rain; 2) alternating weather extremes may leave governments with limited time to respond within the regular seasonal cycle and solutions may be delayed and unreliable (as the PDO enters in a negative phase in the coming years, La Niña events and wetter than normal conditions in the country are likely to become more frequent, extending the rainy season cycle); 3) several years of deforestation in the cordillera have increased erosive processes and sediment loads making the rivers more difficult to

  6. Cerebral venous thrombosis in Saudi Arabia. Clinical variables, response to treatment, and outcome

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    To investigate cerebral venous thrombosis (CVTR) clinical presentations, risk factors, and response to treatment in Saudi Arabia. Retrospective analysis of the King Farad Medical City, Riyadh, acute stroke database from April 2005 through February 2008 revealed 22 patients with CVTR. Hyper coagulable work-up and neuroimaging were performed. Sixteen patients were female (72.7%), and the median age was 35 years. Clinical presentations included: headache (77.3%), seizures (54.5%), focal neurological signs (54.5%), and decreased level of consciousness (50%). Over two-thirds (n=11; 69%) of female patients had a history of oral contraceptive use, which was the most common risk factor. Protein S deficiency (n=3), anti phospholipid antibody syndrome secondary to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (n=1), rhinocerebral mucormycosis (n=1), leukemia (n=1), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (n=1), sepsis (n=1), and unknown (n=6) were causes. Affected areas included superior sagittal (n=13), transverse (n=16), sigmoid (n=14), straight (n=6), and cavernous sinus (n=1); internal cerebral vein (n=2); vein of Galen (n=3); cortical veins (n=10); and internal jugular vein (n=12). Two patients had quadriparesis, and 2 patients died. The remainder (n=18, 81.8%) improved. Bilateral hemorrhagic presentation or venous infarction, deep venous system thrombosis, and underlying malignancy had less favorable results. Presentations in our series were similar to those in other reports, although altered consciousness and seizures were more common. Cortical vein involvement was also higher than commonly reported. Oral contraceptive use was a primary risk factor in female patients. Outcomes were favorable in 81.8% of patients. (author)

  7. Phytoplankton variability in Lake Fraijanes, Costa Rica, in response to local weather variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umaña-Villalobos, Gerardo

    2014-06-01

    Phytoplankton species show a variety in morphology which is the result of adaptations to pelagic life including responses to fluctuations in water column dynamics driven by weather conditions. This has been reported in the oceans and in Northern temperate lakes. In order to observe whether tropical freshwater phytoplankton responds to seasonal variation in weather, the weekly variation in temperature of the water column and phytoplankton composition was studied in Lake Fraijanes, Costa Rica, a shallow (6.2m) lake at 1 640m above sea level. A chain of data loggers for temperature was placed in the deepest point in the lake to register temperature every hour at four different depths, and phytoplankton samples were retrieved every week for a year. Additional monthly samples for nutrients were taken at two depths. Notwithstanding its shallowness, the lake developed a thermal gradient which kept the water column stratified for several months during dry season. Whole lake overturns occurred during cold spells with intense precipitation. Phytoplankton changed throughout the year mainly through a shift in dominant taxa. From September to February the lake was frequently mixed by rain storms and windy weather. At this time, phytoplankton was dominated by Chlorococcal green algae. From March to June, the lake was stratified and warmer. Phytoplankton became dominated by Cyanobateria, mainly colonial Chroococcales. The rainy season started again in May 2009. During June and July the lake started to mix intermittently during rain events and phytoplankton showed a brief increase in the contribution of Chlorococcales. These changes fitted well to a general model of phytoplankton succession based on functional groups identified according to their morphology and adaptations. PMID:25102633

  8. Hydrological Responses of Andean Lakes and Tropical Floodplains to Climate Variability and Human Intervention: an Integrative Modelling Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoyos, I. C.; González Morales, C.; Serna López, J. P.; Duque, C. L.; Canon Barriga, J. E.; Dominguez, F.

    2013-12-01

    Andean water bodies in tropical regions are significantly influenced by fluctuations associated with climatic and anthropogenic drivers, which implies long term changes in mountain snow peaks, land covers and ecosystems, among others. Our work aims at providing an integrative framework to realistically assess the possible future of natural water bodies with different degrees of human intervention. We are studying in particular the evolution of three water bodies in Colombia: two Andean lakes and a floodplain wetland. These natural reservoirs represent the accumulated effect of hydrological processes in their respective basins, which exhibit different patterns of climate variability and distinct human intervention and environmental histories. Modelling the hydrological responses of these local water bodies to climate variability and human intervention require an understanding of the strong linkage between geophysical and social factors. From the geophysical perspective, the challenge is how to downscale global climate projections in the local context: complex orography and relative lack of data. To overcome this challenge we combine the correlational and physically based analysis of several sources of spatially distributed biophysical and meteorological information to accurately determine aspects such as moisture sources and sinks and past, present and future local precipitation and temperature regimes. From the social perspective, the challenge is how to adequately represent and incorporate into the models the likely response of social agents whose water-related interests are diverse and usually conflictive. To deal with the complexity of these systems we develop interaction matrices, which are useful tools to holistically discuss and represent each environment as a complex system. Our goal is to assess partially the uncertainties of the hydrological balances in these intervened water bodies we establish climate/social scenarios, using hybrid models that combine

  9. Variability in prefrontal hemodynamic response during exposure to repeated self-selected music excerpts, a near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saba Moghimi

    Full Text Available Music-induced brain activity modulations in areas involved in emotion regulation may be useful in achieving therapeutic outcomes. Clinical applications of music may involve prolonged or repeated exposures to music. However, the variability of the observed brain activity patterns in repeated exposures to music is not well understood. We hypothesized that multiple exposures to the same music would elicit more consistent activity patterns than exposure to different music. In this study, the temporal and spatial variability of cerebral prefrontal hemodynamic response was investigated across multiple exposures to self-selected musical excerpts in 10 healthy adults. The hemodynamic changes were measured using prefrontal cortex near infrared spectroscopy and represented by instantaneous phase values. Based on spatial and temporal characteristics of these observed hemodynamic changes, we defined a consistency index to represent variability across these domains. The consistency index across repeated exposures to the same piece of music was compared to the consistency index corresponding to prefrontal activity from randomly matched non-identical musical excerpts. Consistency indexes were significantly different for identical versus non-identical musical excerpts when comparing a subset of repetitions. When all four exposures were compared, no significant difference was observed between the consistency indexes of randomly matched non-identical musical excerpts and the consistency index corresponding to repetitions of the same musical excerpts. This observation suggests the existence of only partial consistency between repeated exposures to the same musical excerpt, which may stem from the role of the prefrontal cortex in regulating other cognitive and emotional processes.

  10. Effect of GPR-derived within-field soil moisture variability on the runoff response using a distributed hydrologic model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Minet

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available The importance of the spatial variability of the antecedent soil moisture conditions on the runoff response is widely acknowledged in hillslope hydrology. Using a distributed hydrologic model, this paper aims at investigating the effects of soil moisture spatial variability on the runoff in various field conditions and at finding the soil moisture scenario that behaves the most closely as the measured soil moisture pattern in term of runoff hydrograph. Soil moisture was surveyed in ten different field campaigns using a proximal ground penetrating radar (GPR that allowed to perform high-resolution (~m mapping at the field scale (several ha. Based on these soil moisture measurements, seven scenarios of antecedent soil moisture were used to feed hydrological simulations and the resulting hydrographs were compared. The novelty of this work is to benefit from high-resolution soil moisture measurements using an advanced GPR in various soil moisture conditions. Accounting for the spatial variability of soil moisture resulted in a larger discharge than using a spatially constant soil moisture. The ranges of possible hydrographs were delineated by the extreme scenarios where soil moisture was directly and inversely arranged according to the topographic wetness index (TWI. These behaviours could be explained in terms of runoff contributing areas, with respect to their sizes and their relative locations within the field. The most efficient scenario for soil moisture appeared to be when soil moisture is directly arranged according to the TWI. This was related to the correlation of the measured soil moisture and the TWI. These observations generalised some of the statements pointed out in previous studies. Similar findings are thus expected under similar soil and rainfall forcing conditions.

  11. Geological and Geophysical Models Underneath Bucharest City Responsible for the Variability of Seismic Site Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bala, A.; Aldea, A.; Balan, S. F.; Arion, C.

    2012-04-01

    assembled which contains: Vp and Vs values for each sedimentary layer, density and geologic characteristics of each layer, which are the basic data for equivalent linear modelling of the site; other geotechnical parameters measured in the laboratory on the rock samples will permit the nonlinear modelling of the site. Using the program SHAKE2000 and EERA we compute spectral acceleration functions at specific depths and transfer functions for the 1D models obtained from the in situ measurements. The acceleration response spectra correspond to the wave amplifications due to the package of sedimentary layers from 50 m depth (maximum depth) up to the surface, that are expected for a moderate real earthquake motion incident at the bottom of each 1D model. Because of the lack of outcropping bedrock in the Bucharest area, a seismic signal recorded in a borehole (PRI - 50 m depth; TEI- 78 m depth; INC - 140 m depth) at a moderate earthquake (Mw= 6), is used as input for the entire study area. 1D models obtained were tested in order to strengthen the importance of various input parameters in the obtained results. The results of the equivalent linear modeling with SHAKE2000 program for the 10 boreholes are presented and compared as graphs of spectral acceleration. The maximum values of the spectral accelerations occur around the 3 main the periods: T1 = 0.13 s; T2 = 0.2 s; T3 = 0.55 s. The highest values occured at the period T2 = 0.2 s, and they are between 0.22 g and 0.48 g. If we consider a comparison of the values at surface, they are between 0.22 g at Romanian Shooting Fed. (northern part of Bucharest) and 0.48 g (Ecologic Univ. in the central part of Bucharest).

  12. Low-frequency ionospheric sounding with Narrow Bipolar Event lightning radio emissions: regular variabilities and solar-X-ray responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. R. Jacobson

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available We present refinements of a method of ionospheric D-region sounding that makes opportunistic use of powerful (109–1011 W broadband lightning radio emissions in the low-frequency (LF; 30–300 kHz band. Such emissions are from "Narrow Bipolar Event" (NBE lightning, and they are characterized by a narrow (10-μs, simple emission waveform. These pulses can be used to perform time-delay reflectometry (or "sounding" of the D-region underside, at an effective LF radiated power exceeding by orders-of-magnitude that from man-made sounders. We use this opportunistic sounder to retrieve instantaneous LF ionospheric-reflection height whenever a suitable lightning radio pulse from a located NBE is recorded. We show how to correct for three sources of "regular" variability, namely solar zenith angle, radio-propagation range, and radio-propagation azimuth. The residual median magnitude of the noise in reflection height, after applying the regression corrections for the three regular variabilities, is on the order of 1 km. This noise level allows us to retrieve the D-region-reflector-height variation with solar X-ray flux density for intensity levels at and above an M-1 flare. The instantaneous time response is limited by the occurrence rate of NBEs, and the noise level in the height determination is typically in the range ±1 km.

  13. Diverse Responses of Remotely Sensed Grassland Phenology to Interannual Climate Variability over Frozen Ground Regions in Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhigang Sun

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Frozen ground may regulate the phenological shifts of dry and cold grasslands at the southern edge of the Eurasian cryosphere. In this study, an investigation based on the MODIS Collection 5 phenology product and climatic data collected from 2001 to 2009 reveals the diverse responses of grassland phenology to interannual climate variability over various frozen ground regions in Mongolia. Compared with middle and southern typical steppe and desert steppe, the spring (start of season; SOS and autumn (end of season; EOS phenological events of northern forest steppe with lower air temperature tend to be earlier and later, respectively. Both the SOS and EOS are less sensitive to climate variability in permafrost regions than in other regions, whereas the SOS of typical steppe is more sensitive to both air temperature and precipitation over sporadic permafrost and seasonal frozen ground regions. Over various frozen ground regions in Mongolia; the SOS is mainly dominated by the prior autumn precipitation, and frozen ground plays a vital role in storing the precipitation of the previous autumn for the subsequent grass green-up. The EOS is mainly dominated by autumn air temperature. These findings could help to improve phenological models of grasslands in extremely dry and cold regions.

  14. Hourly Fluctuations in Labile Soil Phosphorus in Response to Climate Variability in a Wet Tropical Forest, La Selva, Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandecar, K. L.; Lawrence, D. C.; Das, R.; Clark, D. A.; Oberbauer, S. F.; Schwendenmann, L.

    2007-05-01

    Tropical rain forests are one of the most productive ecosystems in the world and play a significant role in the global carbon budget. Changes in phosphorus cycling dynamics as a result of on-going climate change have the potential to limit productivity in this ecosystem. Our objective was to determine hourly patterns in labile soil phosphorus throughout the day and explore possible mechanisms driving these patterns. We conducted an in situ experiment on soils from a wet tropical forest at La Selva Biological Station located in N.E. Costa Rica. A variety of climatic and biotic variables including temperature, precipitation, PAR, soil temperature, soil moisture and soil respiration were measured in order to determine their effect on labile phosphorus. Our results indicate that labile phosphorus does vary significantly throughout the day in response to a combination of climatic variables. An understanding of the mechanisms driving phosphorus availability at fine temporal scales can provide a valuable indicator of long term trends in phosphorus cycling dynamics.

  15. Response of the everglades ridge and slough landscape to climate variability and 20th-century water management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernhardt, C.E.; Willard, D.A.

    2009-01-01

    The ridge and slough landscape of the Florida Everglades consists of a mosaic of linear sawgrass ridges separated by deeper-water sloughs with tree islands interspersed throughout the landscape. We used pollen assemblages from transects of sediment cores spanning sawgrass ridges, sloughs, and ridge-slough transition zones to determine the timing of ridge and slough formation and to evaluate the response of components of the ridge and slough landscape to climate variability and 20th-century water management. These pollen data indicate that sawgrass ridges and sloughs have been vegetationally distinct from one another since initiation of the Everglades wetland in mid-Holocene time. Although the position and community composition of sloughs have remained relatively stable throughout their history, modern sawgrass ridges formed on sites that originally were occupied by marshes. Ridge formation and maturation were initiated during intervals of drier climate (the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age) when the mean position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone shifted southward. During these drier intervals, marsh taxa were more common in sloughs, but they quickly receded when precipitation increased. Comparison with regional climate records suggests that slough vegetation is strongly influenced by North Atlantic Oscillation variability, even under 20th-century water management practices. ?? 2009 by the Ecological Society of America.

  16. Response Surfaces for Key Controlled Variables in a Hybrid Solid Oxide Fuel Cell/Gas Turbine System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rosen, William G; Banta, Larry; Gorrell, Megan; Restrepo, Bernardo; Tucker, David

    2012-07-01

    Hybrid generation systems have been extensively modeled as a first step toward the development of automatic controls for the system. In most cases, it is impossible to validate mathematical models against real hardware because only a handful of hardware systems exist in the world. Data taken from the existing hardware has demonstrated significant nonlinearity, complex coupling between controlled variables, and sometimes non-intuitive behavior. This work exploits the capability of the HyPer hardware test bed at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to generate data from a real recuperated gas turbine coupled with hardware simulations of a fuel cell cathode and appropriate ancillary equipment. Prior work has characterized the system only over a limited range of its operating envelope, due to the inability to manipulate multiple control inputs simultaneously. The work presented here fills the gaps using data from a 34 factorial experiment to generate quasi-continuous response surfaces describing the operating state space of the HyPer system. Polynomial correlation functions have been fitted to the data with excellent agreement. Relationships between the control inputs and critical state variables such as cathode mass flow, cathode temperature, turbine inlet and exhaust temperatures and other key system parameters are presented.

  17. Batch phenol biodegradation study and application of factorial experimental design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Hellal

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available A bacterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ATTC27853, was investigated for its ability to grow and to degrade phenol as solecarbon source, in aerobic batch culture. The parameters which affect the substrate biodegradation such as the adaptation ofbacteria to phenol, the temperature, and the nature of the bacteria were investigated. The results show that for a range oftemperature of 30 to 40°C, the best degradation of phenol for a concentration of 100mg/l was observed at 30°C. The regenerationof the bacterium which allows the reactivation of its enzymatic activity, shows that the degradation of 100 mg/ l ofsubstrate at 30° C required approximately 50 hours with revivified bacteria, while it only starts after 72 hours for those norevivified. Adapted to increasing concentrations, allows the bacteria to degrade a substrate concentration of about 400mg/l in less than 350 hours.A second part was consisted in the determination of a substrate degradation model using the factorial experiment design,as a function of temperature (30-40°C and of the size of the inoculums (260.88 - 521.76mg/ l. The results were analyzedstatistically using the Student’s t-test, analysis of variance, and F-test. The value of R2 (0.99872 and adjusted R2 (0.9962close to 1.0, verifies the good correlation between the observed and the predicted values, and provides the excellent relationshipbetween the independent variables (factors and the response (the time of the phenol degradation. F-value found above200, indicates that the considered model is statistically significant.

  18. The relative role of hillslope and river network routing in the hydrologic response to spatially variable rainfall fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoccatelli, Davide; Borga, Marco; Chirico, Giovanni Battista; Nikolopoulos, E. I.

    2015-12-01

    This paper introduces a new methodology and a rainfall spatial organisation index to examine the relative role of hillslope and channel residence times in the analysis of the significance of spatial rainfall representation in catchment flood response modelling. The relationship between the flood response, the hillslope and channel residence time representation and the spatial organisation of the rainfall fields is obtained by extending the 'spatial moments of catchment rainfall' statistics (Zoccatelli et al., 2011) to the hillslope system. The flood prediction error generated by assuming spatially uniform rainfall is related to the spatial organisation of the rainfall fields by means of the scaled spatial moment of order one for the channel network and the hillslope system. The methodology provides a basis for a more general consideration of the relationship between the flood response dependence to spatial rainfall organisation and catchment size. The methodology is illustrated based on data from five extreme flash floods occurred in various European regions in the period 2002-2007. Discharge data are available either from streamgauges or from post-flood surveys for 27 catchments, ranging in size between 36 and 982 km2. High space-time resolution radar rainfall fields are also available for the analyses. These data are used to implement a distributed hydrological model simulating the runoff generation by infiltration excess and explicitly representing the surface flow paths across both the hillslopes and the river network. The hydrological model is alternatively forced with spatially-distributed and spatially-uniform rainfall input, to analyse the factors controlling the sensitivity of the model output to the spatial rainfall data. Our results show that the spatial variability of the rainfall can influence the flash-flood hydrographs for catchments as small as 50 km2, and that the dependence of flood hydrograph shape to spatial rainfall variability cannot be

  19. ADAPTATION OF AQUIFER MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES TO THE BIODEGRADATION OF XENOBIOTIC COMPOUNDS: INFLUENCE OF SUBSTRATE CONCENTRATION AND PREEXPOSURE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studies were conducted to examine the adaptation response of aquifer microbial communities to xenobiotic compounds and the influence of chemical preexposure in the laboratory and in situ on adaptation. Adaptation and biodegradation were assessed as mineralization and cellular inc...

  20. Ecological response to hydrological variability and catchment development: Insights from a shallow oxbow lake in Lower Mississippi Valley, Arkansas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Ruchi; Hausmann, Sonja; Hubeny, J Bradford; Gell, Peter; Black, Jessica L

    2016-11-01

    The ecological response of shallow oxbow lakes to variability in hydrology and catchment development in large river floodplain ecosystems (RFE) in Arkansas remains largely unknown. Investigating these responses will advance our understanding of ecological evolution of oxbow lakes in response to the major environmental drivers, which will establish baseline conditions required to develop effective management practices for RFE. In this pilot study, we examined the potential of using a dated surface sediment core from Adams Bayou, a floodplain lake located within the Cache-Lower White River Ramsar site in SE Arkansas. Stratigraphic records of diatoms and sediment geochemistry were used to ascertain variation in Adams Bayou's ecological condition. During 1968-2008, in response to hydrological and anthropogenic changes, Adams Bayou's diatom assemblages progressed from predominantly benthic (Gomphonema parvulum and Meridion circulare) to primarily planktonic assemblage (Aulacoseira granulata and Cyclotella meneghiniana), along with a decrease in magnetic susceptibility (k) and % silt. Statistical analyses reveled that during 1968-2000, higher hydrological connectivity and catchment alterations drove Adams Bayou's ecosystem. After 2000, lower hydrological connectivity and increase in cultivation were the major drivers. The potential impact of increasing air temperature was also noted. The shift in Adams Bayou from a connected, clear, mesotrophic state to a relatively isolated, turbid and nutrient enriched state is consistent with regime shift models and highlights its sensitivity to a combination of environmental stresses prevalent in the catchment. Although fluvial systems pose challenges in establishing clear chronologies, oxbow lake sediments can be a effective paleoecological archives. Our work provides clear evidence for the change in the ecological character of this wetland of international significance and flags the need for a wider assessment of water bodies

  1. Ecological response to hydrological variability and catchment development: Insights from a shallow oxbow lake in Lower Mississippi Valley, Arkansas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Ruchi; Hausmann, Sonja; Hubeny, J Bradford; Gell, Peter; Black, Jessica L

    2016-11-01

    The ecological response of shallow oxbow lakes to variability in hydrology and catchment development in large river floodplain ecosystems (RFE) in Arkansas remains largely unknown. Investigating these responses will advance our understanding of ecological evolution of oxbow lakes in response to the major environmental drivers, which will establish baseline conditions required to develop effective management practices for RFE. In this pilot study, we examined the potential of using a dated surface sediment core from Adams Bayou, a floodplain lake located within the Cache-Lower White River Ramsar site in SE Arkansas. Stratigraphic records of diatoms and sediment geochemistry were used to ascertain variation in Adams Bayou's ecological condition. During 1968-2008, in response to hydrological and anthropogenic changes, Adams Bayou's diatom assemblages progressed from predominantly benthic (Gomphonema parvulum and Meridion circulare) to primarily planktonic assemblage (Aulacoseira granulata and Cyclotella meneghiniana), along with a decrease in magnetic susceptibility (k) and % silt. Statistical analyses reveled that during 1968-2000, higher hydrological connectivity and catchment alterations drove Adams Bayou's ecosystem. After 2000, lower hydrological connectivity and increase in cultivation were the major drivers. The potential impact of increasing air temperature was also noted. The shift in Adams Bayou from a connected, clear, mesotrophic state to a relatively isolated, turbid and nutrient enriched state is consistent with regime shift models and highlights its sensitivity to a combination of environmental stresses prevalent in the catchment. Although fluvial systems pose challenges in establishing clear chronologies, oxbow lake sediments can be a effective paleoecological archives. Our work provides clear evidence for the change in the ecological character of this wetland of international significance and flags the need for a wider assessment of water bodies

  2. Here today, gone tomorrow: biodegradable soft robots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossiter, Jonathan; Winfield, Jonathan; Ieropoulos, Ioannis

    2016-04-01

    One of the greatest challenges to modern technologies is what to do with them when they go irreparably wrong or come to the end of their productive lives. The convention, since the development of modern civilisation, is to discard a broken item and then procure a new one. In the 20th century enlightened environmentalists campaigned for recycling and reuse (R and R). R and R has continued to be an important part of new technology development, but there is still a huge problem of non-recyclable materials being dumped into landfill and being discarded in the environment. The challenge is even greater for robotics, a field which will impact on all aspects of our lives, where discards include motors, rigid elements and toxic power supplies and batteries. One novel solution is the biodegradable robot, an active physical machine that is composed of biodegradable materials and which degrades to nothing when released into the environment. In this paper we examine the potential and realities of biodegradable robotics, consider novel solutions to core components such as sensors, actuators and energy scavenging, and give examples of biodegradable robotics fabricated from everyday, and not so common, biodegradable electroactive materials. The realisation of truly biodegradable robots also brings entirely new deployment, exploration and bio-remediation capabilities: why track and recover a few large non-biodegradable robots when you could speculatively release millions of biodegradable robots instead? We will consider some of these exciting developments and explore the future of this new field.

  3. Biodegradation of aliphatic and aromatic polycarbonates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artham, Trishul; Doble, Mukesh

    2008-01-01

    Polycarbonate is one of the most widely used engineering plastics because of its superior physical, chemical, and mechanical properties. Understanding the biodegradation of this polymer is of great importance to answer the increasing problems in waste management of this polymer. Aliphatic polycarbonates are known to biodegrade either through the action of pure enzymes or by bacterial whole cells. Very little information is available that deals with the biodegradation of aromatic polycarbonates. Biodegradation is governed by different factors that include polymer characteristics, type of organism, and nature of pretreatment. The polymer characteristics such as its mobility, tacticity, crystallinity, molecular weight, the type of functional groups and substituents present in its structure, and plasticizers or additives added to the polymer all play an important role in its degradation. The carbonate bond in aliphatic polycarbonates is facile and hence this polymer is easily biodegradable. On the other hand, bisphenol A polycarbonate contains benzene rings and quaternary carbon atoms which form bulky and stiff chains that enhance rigidity. Even though this polycarbonate is amorphous in nature because of considerable free volume, it is non-biodegradable since the carbonate bond is inaccessible to enzymes because of the presence of bulky phenyl groups on either side. In order to facilitate the biodegradation of polymers few pretreatment techniques which include photo-oxidation, gamma-irradiation, or use of chemicals have been tested. Addition of biosurfactants to improve the interaction between the polymer and the microorganisms, and blending with natural or synthetic polymers that degrade easily, can also enhance the biodegradation.

  4. Nylon biodegradation by lignin-degrading fungi.

    OpenAIRE

    DEGUCHI, T; Kakezawa, M; Nishida, T.

    1997-01-01

    The biodegradation of nylon by lignin-degrading fungi was investigated. The fungus IZU-154 significantly degraded nylon-66 membrane under ligninolytic conditions. Nuclear magnetic resonance analysis showed that four end groups, CHO, NHCHO, CH3, and CONH2, were formed in the biodegraded nylon-66 membranes, suggesting that nylon-66 was degraded oxidatively.

  5. Biodegradation of the high explosive hexanitrohexaazaiso-wurtzitane (CL-20).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karakaya, Pelin; Christodoulatos, Christos; Koutsospyros, Agamemnon; Balas, Wendy; Nicolich, Steve; Sidhoum, Mohammed

    2009-04-01

    The aerobic biodegradability of the high explosive CL-20 by activated sludge and the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium has been investigated. Although activated sludge is not effective in degrading CL-20 directly, it can mineralize the alkaline hydrolysis products. Phanerochaete chrysosporium degrades CL-20 in the presence of supplementary carbon and nitrogen sources. Biodegradation studies were conducted using various nutrient media under diverse conditions. Variables included the CL-20 concentration; levels of carbon (as glycerol) and ammonium sulfate and yeast extract as sources of nitrogen. Cultures that received CL-20 at the time of inoculation transformed CL-20 completely under all nutrient conditions studied. When CL-20 was added to pre-grown cultures, degradation was limited. The extent of mineralization was monitored by the (14)CO(2) time evolution; up to 51% mineralization was achieved when the fungus was incubated with [(14)C]-CL-20. The kinetics of CL-20 biodegradation by Phanerochaete chrysosporium follows the logistic kinetic growth model. PMID:19440524

  6. Biodegradation and toxicological evaluation of lubricant oils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivo Shodji Tamada

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this work was to compare different toxicity levels of lubricant oils. The tests were performed using the earthworm (Eisenia andrei, arugula seeds (Eruca sativa and lettuce seeds (Lactuca sativa, with three types of contaminants (mineral lubricant oil, synthetic lubricant oil and used lubricant oil for various biodegradation periods in the soil. The toxicity tests indirectly measured the biodegradation of the contaminants. The samples were analyzed at t0, t60, t120 and t180 days of biodegradation. The used lubricant oil was proved very toxic in all the tests and even after biodegradation its toxicity was high. The mineral and synthetic oils were biodegraded efficiently in the soil although their toxicity did not disappear completely after 180 days.

  7. Response of waves and coastline evolution to climate variability off the Niger Delta coast during the past 110 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dada, Olusegun A.; Li, Guangxue; Qiao, Lulu; Ma, Yanyan; Ding, Dong; Xu, Jishang; Li, Pin; Yang, Jichao

    2016-08-01

    River deltas, low-lying landforms that host critical economic infrastructures and diverse ecosystems as well as high concentrations of human population, are highly vulnerable to the effects of global climate change. In order to understand the wave climate, their potential changes and implication on coastline evolution for environment monitoring and sustainable management of the Niger Delta in the Gulf of Guinea, an investigation was carried out based on offshore wave statistics of an 110-year time series (1900-2010) dataset obtained from the ECMWF ERA-20C atmospheric reanalysis. Results of multivariate regression analyses indicate that interannual mean values of Hs and Tm trends tended to increase over time, especially in the western part of the delta coast, so that they are presently (1980 and 2010) up to 264 mm (300%) and 0.32 s (22%), respectively, higher than 80 years (1900-1930) ago. The maximum directions of the wave have become more westerly (southward) than southerly (westward) by up to 2° (33%) and the mean longshore sediment transport rate has increased by more than 8% over the last 80 years. The linear regression analysis for shoreline changes from 1987 to 2013 shows an erosional trend at the western part of the delta and accretional trends towards eastern part. The relationship between wave climate of the study area and atmospheric circulation using Pearson's correlation shows that the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), East Atlantic pattern (EA) and El-Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Index explain significant proportion of the seasonal and annual wave variabilities compared to other indices. But it is most likely that the combination of these climatic indices acting together or separately constitutes a powerful and effective mechanism responsible for much of the variability of the offshore Niger Delta wave climate. The study concludes that changing wave climate off the Niger Delta has strong implications on the

  8. SIFAT MEKANIK DAN MORFOLOGI PLASTIK BIODEGRADABLE DARI LIMBAH TEPUNG NASI AKING DAN TEPUNG TAPIOKA MENGGUNAKAN PEMLASTIK GLISEROL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andri Cahyo Kumoro

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available [Title: Mechanical Properties and Morfology of Biodegradable Plastic from Steamed Rice Waste and Cassava Flour with Glycerol as Plasticizer] The annual consumption of plastic packaging has increased significantly as a response to the increase of people’s need and buying power. As a packaging material, plastic is light, flexible, practical and inexpensive. Unfortunately, if the plastic is not biodegradable and dumped irresponsibly to the ecosystem may cause serious environmental problems. The objective of this research was to study the effect of glycerol on the characteristic of biodegradable plastic from steamed rice waste and cassava flours composites. The biodegradable plastic was manufactured by casting the warm solution of flours composite with addition of glycerol as plasticizer. The results showed that biodegradable plastic obtained from steamed rice waste and cassava flours composites has limited mechanical stress, but remains flexible in nature. Good quality biodegradable plastic was obtained when 15% weight of glycerol in addition to 30:70 ratio of steamed rice waste flour to cassava flour with tensile strength 20.65 MPa, elongation at break 4.7% and Young Modulus 1138 MPa. The biodegradable plastic exhibits discontinue microstructure, rough and porous. Fourier transform infrared analysis proved the existence of OH, CH2, amide III and amida I groups in the biodegradable plastic. 

  9. Biodegradable products by lipase biocatalysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linko, Y Y; Lämsä, M; Wu, X; Uosukainen, E; Seppälä, J; Linko, P

    1998-11-18

    The interest in the applications of biocatalysis in organic syntheses has rapidly increased. In this context, lipases have recently become one of the most studied groups of enzymes. We have demonstrated that lipases can be used as biocatalyst in the production of useful biodegradable compounds. A number of examples are given. 1-Butyl oleate was produced by direct esterification of butanol and oleic acid to decrease the viscosity of biodiesel in winter use. Enzymic alcoholysis of vegetable oils without additional organic solvent has been little investigated. We have shown that a mixture of 2-ethyl-1-hexyl esters can be obtained in a good yield by enzymic transesterification from rapeseed oil fatty acids for use as a solvent. Trimethylolpropane esters were also similarly synthesized as lubricants. Finally, the discovery that lipases can also catalyze ester syntheses and transesterification reactions in organic solvent systems has opened up the possibility of enzyme catalyzed production of biodegradable polyesters. In direct polyesterification of 1,4-butanediol and sebacic acid, polyesters with a mass average molar mass of the order of 56,000 g mol-1 or higher, and a maximum molar mass of about 130,000 g mol-1 were also obtained by using lipase as biocatalyst. Finally, we have demonstrated that also aromatic polyesters can be synthesized by lipase biocatalysis, a higher than 50,000 g mol-1 mass average molar mass of poly(1,6-hexanediyl isophthalate) as an example. PMID:9866859

  10. A Methodology to Infer Crop Yield Response to Climate Variability and Change Using Long-Term Observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manfred A. Lange

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available A new methodology to extract crop yield response to climate variability and change from long-term crop yield observations is presented in this study. In contrast to the existing first-difference approach (FDA, the proposed methodology considers that the difference in value between crop yields of two consecutive years reflects necessarily the contributions of climate and management conditions, especially at large spatial scales where both conditions may vary significantly from one year to the next. Our approach was applied to remove the effect of non-climatic factors on crop yield and, hence, to isolate the effect of the observed climate change between 1961 and 2006 on three widely crops grown in three Mediterranean countries—namely wheat, corn and potato—using national-level crop yield observations’ time-series. Obtained results show that the proposed methodology provides us with a ground basis to improve substantially our understanding of crop yield response to climate change at a scale that is relevant to large-scale estimations of agricultural production and to food security analyses; and therefore to reduce uncertainties in estimations of potential climate change effects on agricultural production. Furthermore, a comparison of outputs of our methodology and FDA outputs yielded a difference in terms of maize production in Egypt, for example, that exceeds the production of some neighbouring countries.

  11. Grazing game: a learning tool for adaptive management in response to climate variability in semiarid areas of Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grace B. Villamor

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In West Africa, the most extreme predicted effects of climate change are expected to occur in desert and grassland areas. It is crucial for local populations in this region to better understand what such projections signify to them to identify sound adaptation policies and interventions. We developed a game, called the "grazing game," and conducted trials with local farmers at multiple study sites as a learning tool to better understand their behavior in response to climate variability under semiarid conditions in West Africa and to facilitate social learning. The grazing game was designed to reveal the processes that lead to overgrazing and desertification based on the players' interactions with environmental conditions and their resulting decisions. We conducted a total of 23 game trials around the Vea catchment of the Upper East Region of Ghana involving 243 individual farmers. From the games, local farmers exhibited a very positive response to how the game replicated rainfall fluctuations that they currently experience and led to the identification of coping strategies, such as selling cows, seeking government assistance, and engaging in alternative livelihood means. Participating farmers tended to avoid uncertain situations and sought to simplify their decisions, and the game provided insight into the rich local ecological knowledge of environmental indicators. Based on the game trial results, we found that the game facilitated instrumental and communicative learning among the players and facilitators. Further, the game served as a platform where players could share their views, knowledge, and perceptions of climate-related issues.

  12. Neutron activation analysis for chemical characterization of Brazilian oxo-biodegradable plastics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The chemical characterization of oxo-biodegradable plastic bags was performed by neutron activation analysis. The presence of several chemical elements (As, Br, Ca, Co, Cr, Fe, Hf, K, La, Na, Sb, Sc, Ta and Zn) with large variability of mass fractions amongst samples indicates that these plastics receive additives and may have been contaminated during manufacturing process thereby becoming potential environmental pollutants. (author)

  13. Toluene biodegradation rates in unsaturated soil systems versus liquid batches and their relevance to field conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Picone, S.; Grotenhuis, J.T.C.; Gaans, van P.; Valstar, J.; Langenhoff, A.A.M.; Rijnaarts, H.

    2013-01-01

    Contaminant biodegradation in unsaturated soils may reduce the risks of vapor intrusion. However, the reported rates show large variability and are often derived from slurry experiments that are not representative of unsaturated conditions. Here, different laboratory setups are used to derive the bi

  14. Use of Frequency Response Metrics to Assess the Planning and Operating Requirements for Reliable Integration of Variable Renewable Generation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eto, Joseph H.; Undrill, John; Mackin, Peter; Daschmans, Ron; Williams, Ben; Haney, Brian; Hunt, Randall; Ellis, Jeff; Illian, Howard; Martinez, Carlos; O' Malley, Mark; Coughlin, Katie; LaCommare, Kristina Hamachi

    2010-12-20

    An interconnected electric power system is a complex system that must be operated within a safe frequency range in order to reliably maintain the instantaneous balance between generation and load. This is accomplished by ensuring that adequate resources are available to respond to expected and unexpected imbalances and restoring frequency to its scheduled value in order to ensure uninterrupted electric service to customers. Electrical systems must be flexible enough to reliably operate under a variety of"change" scenarios. System planners and operators must understand how other parts of the system change in response to the initial change, and need tools to manage such changes to ensure reliable operation within the scheduled frequency range. This report presents a systematic approach to identifying metrics that are useful for operating and planning a reliable system with increased amounts of variable renewable generation which builds on existing industry practices for frequency control after unexpected loss of a large amount of generation. The report introduces a set of metrics or tools for measuring the adequacy of frequency response within an interconnection. Based on the concept of the frequency nadir, these metrics take advantage of new information gathering and processing capabilities that system operators are developing for wide-area situational awareness. Primary frequency response is the leading metric that will be used by this report to assess the adequacy of primary frequency control reserves necessary to ensure reliable operation. It measures what is needed to arrest frequency decline (i.e., to establish frequency nadir) at a frequency higher than the highest set point for under-frequency load shedding within an interconnection. These metrics can be used to guide the reliable operation of an interconnection under changing circumstances.

  15. Intimately coupling of photolysis accelerates nitrobenzene biodegradation, but sequential coupling slows biodegradation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Lihui [Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, College of Life and Environmental Science, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234 (China); Zhang, Yongming, E-mail: zhym@shnu.edu.cn [Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, College of Life and Environmental Science, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234 (China); Bai, Qi; Yan, Ning; Xu, Hua [Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, College of Life and Environmental Science, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234 (China); Rittmann, Bruce E. [Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology, Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-5701 (United States)

    2015-04-28

    Highlights: • Intimately coupled UV photolysis accelerated nitrobenzene biodegradation. • NB biodegradation was slowed by accumulation of nitrophenol. • Oxalic acid was a key product of UV photolysis. • Oxalic acid accelerated biodegradation of nitrobenzene and nitrophenol by a co-substrate effect. • Intimate coupling of UV and biodegradation accentuated the benefits of oxalic acid. - Abstract: Photo(cata)lysis coupled with biodegradation is superior to photo(cata)lysis or biodegradation alone for removal of recalcitrant organic compounds. The two steps can be carried out sequentially or simultaneously via intimate coupling. We studied nitrobenzene (NB) removal and mineralization to evaluate why intimate coupling of photolysis with biodegradation was superior to sequential coupling. Employing an internal circulation baffled biofilm reactor, we compared direct biodegradation (B), biodegradation after photolysis (P + B), simultaneous photolysis and biodegradation (P&B), and biodegradation with nitrophenol (NP) and oxalic acid (OA) added individually and simultaneously (B + NP, B + OA, and B + NP + OA); NP and OA were NB’s main UV-photolysis products. Compared with B, the biodegradation rate P + B was lower by 13–29%, but intimately coupling (P&B) had a removal rate that was 10–13% higher; mineralization showed similar trends. B + OA gave results similar to P&B, B + NP gave results similar to P + B, and B + OA + NP gave results between P + B and P&B, depending on the amount of OA and NP added. The photolysis product OA accelerated NB biodegradation through a co-substrate effect, but NP was inhibitory. Although decreasing the UV photolysis time could minimize the inhibition impact of NP in P + B, P&B gave the fastest removal of NB by accentuating the co-substrate effect of OA.

  16. Recent advances in biodegradable metals for medical sutures: a critical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seitz, Jan-Marten; Durisin, Martin; Goldman, Jeremy; Drelich, Jaroslaw W

    2015-09-16

    Sutures that biodegrade and dissolve over a period of several weeks are in great demand to stitch wounds and surgical incisions. These new materials are receiving increased acceptance across surgical procedures whenever permanent sutures and long-term care are not needed. Unfortunately, both inflammatory responses and adverse local tissue reactions in the close-to-stitching environment are often reported for biodegradable polymeric sutures currently used by the medical community. While bioabsorbable metals are predominantly investigated and tested for vascular stent or osteosynthesis applications, they also appear to possess adequate bio-compatibility, mechanical properties, and corrosion stability to replace biodegradable polymeric sutures. In this Review, biodegradable alloys made of iron, magnesium, and zinc are critically evaluated as potential materials for the manufacturing of soft and hard tissue sutures. In the case of soft tissue closing and stitching, these metals have to compete against currently available degradable polymers. In the case of hard tissue closing and stitching, biodegradable sternal wires could replace the permanent sutures made of stainless steel or titanium alloys. This Review discusses the specific materials and degradation properties required by all suture materials, summarizes current suture testing protocols and provides a well-grounded direction for the potential future development of biodegradable metal based sutures.

  17. Synergy of environmental variables alters the thermal window and heat shock response: an experimental test with the crab Pachygrapsus marmoratus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madeira, Diana; Narciso, Luís; Diniz, Mário Sousa; Vinagre, Catarina

    2014-07-01

    The intertidal zone is an extremely variable habitat, imposing stressful conditions on its inhabiting communities. Tolerance towards extremes of temperature, salinity and pH are crucial in these habitats. Despite the vast literature on stress tolerance, few studies have focused on the synergistic effects of several variables on thermal tolerance and HSP70 (heat shock protein 70 kDa) levels. In this work, the crabs were exposed to three experimental conditions 1) thermal ramp at standard pH (8) and saline conditions (35‰) (named T), 2) thermal ramp at standard pH (8) and hyposaline conditions (15‰) (named T plus HypoS), and 3) thermal ramp at lower pH (7) and standard saline conditions (35‰) (named T plus A). Two physiological parameters (Critical Thermal Maximum - CTMax, and osmolality) and a stress biomarker (HSP70) were chosen for this analysis. These parameters were measured in all of the aforementioned conditions. CTMax for each set of conditions was reached by exposing the organisms to a rate of temperature increase of 1 °C h(-1) until loss of equilibrium. Haemolymph samples were taken every 2 °C to quantify HSP70 and osmolality. Results showed that CTMax did not differ between crabs solely exposed to T stress and crabs exposed to T plus HypoS stress. However, HSP70 production was impaired in T plus HypoS stress. When crabs were exposed to T plus A stress, they showed a significantly higher CTMax, suggesting that short-term exposure to acidified conditions may alter the thermal window of this species. Nevertheless, in T plus A conditions HSP70 production was impaired as well. Regarding osmolality it decreased according to temperature increase in all tested stress conditions. This study showed that the heat stress response is altered by the synergistic effect of variables. Physiological end-points (i.e. CTMax) may vary and the expression of stress proteins such as HSP70 may be impaired. PMID:24836643

  18. Estimation of tree transpiration and response of tree conductance to meteorological variables in desert-oasis system of Northwest China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN; Rensheng; KANG; Ersi; ZHANG; Zhihui; ZHAO; Wenzhi; S

    2004-01-01

    Transpirations of three dominated tree species, namely Mongol Scotch Pine (Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica Litvin), White elm (Ulmus pumila) and Gansu Poplar (Populus gansuensis Wang et Yang) in oasis shelter forest (Linze site) and of two dominated tree species,namely Euphrates Poplar (Populus euphratica Oliv.) and Russia olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia Linn.) in lowland desert (Erjinaqi site) have been estimated using measured sapflow in summer,autumn and winter, 2002 and in spring, 2003. An ENVIS System was used for each site to measure microclimate variables, soil moisture and sapflow every half an hour, and the study time scale is one day. In the 104 days of observation during the growing season at the Linze site, the average daily sapflow of Gansu Poplar is 9.93L·d-1,and the average transpiration per unit leaf area is 1.99mm·d-1.For White elm tree,the daily average sapflow is 4.08L·d-1,while the daily average transpiration per unit leaf area is 0.49mm·d-1.The values for Mongol Scotch Pine are 3.91L·d-1 and 0.25mm·d-1,respectively.In the total 73 days of observation during the growing season at the Erjinaqi site, the daily average sapflows of Russia olive and Euphrates Poplar are 12.1 and 20.97L·d-1,respectively,and the average transpirations per unit leaf area are 0.22 amd 0.31mm·d-1,respectively.In the observation period of the growing season,tree conductances of Mongol Scotch Pine, White elm, Gansu Poplar or Russia olive show an exponential relationship with the daily average air temperature or vapour pressure deficit, but the relationship is not so obvious between tree conductance and global radiation. The transpiration process of each tree species is affected by all the observed four environmental variables. The response of tree conductance to different climatic factors changes with tree species. The effect of the same factor to the same tree species is also variable in different growing stages. The sapflow of every tree species is relatively large

  19. Modeling the response of primary production and sedimentation to variable nitrate loading in the Mississippi River plume

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Rebecca E.; Breed, Greg A.; Dagg, Michael J.; Lohrenz, Steven E.

    2008-07-01

    Increases in nitrate loading to the Mississippi River watershed during the last 50 years are considered responsible for the increase in hypoxic zone size in Louisiana-Texas shelf bottom waters. There is currently a national mandate to decrease the size of the hypoxic zone to 5000 km 2 by 2015, mostly by a 30% reduction in annual nitrogen discharge into the Gulf of Mexico. We developed an ecosystem model for the Mississippi River plume to investigate the response of organic matter production and sedimentation to variable nitrate loading. The nitrogen-based model consisted of nine compartments (nitrate, ammonium, labile dissolved organic nitrogen, bacteria, small phytoplankton, diatoms, micro- and mesozooplankton, and detritus), and was developed for the spring season, when sedimentation of organic matter from plume surface waters is considered important in the development of shelf hypoxia. The model was forced by physical parameters specified along the river-ocean salinity gradient, including residence time, light attenuation by dissolved and particulate matter, mixed layer depth, and dilution. The model was developed using measurements of biological biomasses and nutrient concentrations across the salinity gradient, and model validation was performed with an independent dataset of primary production measurements for different riverine NO 3 loads. Based on simulations over the range of observed springtime NO 3 loads, small phytoplankton contributed on average 80% to primary production for intermediate to high salinities (>15), and the main contributors to modeled sedimentation at these salinities were diatom sinking, microzooplankton egestion, and small phytoplankton mortality. We investigated the impact of limiting factors on the relationship between NO 3 loading and ecosystem rates. Model results showed that primary production was primarily limited by physical dilution of NO 3, followed by abiotic light attenuation, light attenuation due to mixing, and diatom

  20. Short-term Holocene climate variability in coastal mid-Norway - the terrestrial response to the North Atlantic climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug, M.; Seidenkrantz, M.-S.; Piotrowski, J. A.; Heinemeier, J.; Rubensdotter, L.; Faust, J.; Knies, J.

    2012-04-01

    Coastal areas are known to be susceptible to maritime climate variations, especially where prevailing wind directions provide humidity and latent heat to the land masses. Temperature reconstructions from the eastern North Atlantic, and from northern and western Norway show simultaneous changes on millennial to centennial scales during the Holocene. However also latitudinal climatic differences occur during the Holocene. These indicate a more complex system along the Norwegian coast with regional temperature variations depending on more than only North Atlantic's climate. Climate sensitive archives such as lake sediments in coastal mid-Norway provide the opportunity to study the influence of and the terrestrial response to climate variations mediated by the North Atlantic and allow the extension of our knowledge about regional peculiarities along the Norwegian coast. Lake Blomstertjønna, a small lake outside Trondheim at 427 m a.s.l., enables a detailed study of climatic and environmental variations during the Holocene. The entire succession is 590 cm long and is composed of minerogenic sediments at the bottom and dominating biogenic sediments in the upper 495 cm. Radiocarbon dating of macrofossils aided by tephra identification reveal a lake history that started after deglaciation at about 12 kyr BP and shifted to a biogenic productive lake with overall uniform sedimentation rates at about 11 kyr BP. Biogeochemical proxies like total organic carbon and total sulphur and geophysical parameters show a weak, i.e. more even response to climatic variations in the gyttja-rich section and indicate that temperature was not a limiting factor for the lake productivity. In contrast, geochemical elemental ratios from XRF scanning reveal a pronounced long- and short-term variability of elemental composition. The long-term trend of selected elemental ratios reflects the general Holocene temperature evolution with higher values during the Holocene Thermal Maximum and a

  1. Interobserver variability effects on computerized volume analysis of treatment response of head and neck lesions in CT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadjiiski, Lubomir; Chan, Heang-Ping; Ibrahim, Mohannad; Sahiner, Berkman; Gujar, Sachin; Mukherji, Suresh K.

    2010-03-01

    A computerized system for segmenting lesions in head and neck CT scans was developed to assist radiologists in estimation of the response to treatment of malignant lesions. The system performs 3D segmentation based on a level set model and uses as input an approximate bounding box for the lesion of interest. We investigated the effect of the interobserver variability of radiologists' marking of the bounding box on the automatic segmentation performance. In this preliminary study, CT scans from a pre-treatment exam and a post one-cycle chemotherapy exam of 34 patients with primary site head and neck neoplasms were used. For each tumor, an experienced radiologist marked the lesion with a bounding box and provided a reference standard by outlining the full 3D contour on both the pre- and post treatment scans. A second radiologist independently marked each tumor again with another bounding box. The correlation between the automatic and manual estimates for both the pre-to-post-treatment volume change and the percent volume change was r=0.95. Based on the bounding boxes by the second radiologist, the correlation between the automatic and manual estimate for the pre-to-post-treatment volume change was r=0.89 and for the percent volume change was r=0.91. The correlation for the automatic estimates obtained from the bounding boxes by the two radiologists was as follows: (1) pretreatment volume r=0.92, (2) post-treatment volume r=0.88, (3) pre-to-post-treatment change r=0.89 and (4) percent preto- post-treatment change r=0.90. The difference between the automatic estimates based on the two sets of bounding boxes did not achieve statistical significance for any of the estimates (p>0.29). The preliminary results indicate that the automated segmentation system can reliably estimate tumor size change in response to treatment relative to radiologist's hand segmentation as reference standard, and that the performance was robust against inter-observer variability in marking the

  2. Design of experiment (DOE) study of biodegradable magnesium alloy synthesized by mechanical alloying using fractional factorial design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salleh, Emee Marina; Ramakrishnan, Sivakumar; Hussain, Zuhailawati

    2014-06-01

    The biodegradable nature of magnesium (Mg) makes it a most highlighted and attractive to be used as implant materials. However, rapid corrosion rate of Mg alloys especially in electrolytic aqueous environment limits its performance. In this study, Mg alloy was mechanically milled by incorporating manganese (Mn) as alloying element. An attempt was made to study both effect of mechanical alloying and subsequent consolidation processes on the bulk properties of Mg-Mn alloys. 2k-2 factorial design was employed to determine the significant factors in producing Mg alloy which has properties closes to that of human bones. The design considered six factors (i.e. milling time, milling speed, weight percentage of Mn, compaction pressure, sintering temperature and sintering time). Density and hardness were chosen as the responses for assessing the most significant parameters that affected the bulk properties of Mg-Mn alloys. The experimental variables were evaluated using ANOVA and regression model. The main parameter investigated was compaction pressure.

  3. Biodegradable and compostable alternatives to conventional plastics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, J H; Murphy, R J; Narayan, R; Davies, G B H

    2009-07-27

    Packaging waste forms a significant part of municipal solid waste and has caused increasing environmental concerns, resulting in a strengthening of various regulations aimed at reducing the amounts generated. Among other materials, a wide range of oil-based polymers is currently used in packaging applications. These are virtually all non-biodegradable, and some are difficult to recycle or reuse due to being complex composites having varying levels of contamination. Recently, significant progress has been made in the development of biodegradable plastics, largely from renewable natural resources, to produce biodegradable materials with similar functionality to that of oil-based polymers. The expansion in these bio-based materials has several potential benefits for greenhouse gas balances and other environmental impacts over whole life cycles and in the use of renewable, rather than finite resources. It is intended that use of biodegradable materials will contribute to sustainability and reduction in the environmental impact associated with disposal of oil-based polymers. The diversity of biodegradable materials and their varying properties makes it difficult to make simple, generic assessments such as biodegradable products are all 'good' or petrochemical-based products are all 'bad'. This paper discusses the potential impacts of biodegradable packaging materials and their waste management, particularly via composting. It presents the key issues that inform judgements of the benefits these materials have in relation to conventional, petrochemical-based counterparts. Specific examples are given from new research on biodegradability in simulated 'home' composting systems. It is the view of the authors that biodegradable packaging materials are most suitable for single-use disposable applications where the post-consumer waste can be locally composted. PMID:19528060

  4. Biodegradation of surfactant bearing wastes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In nuclear industry, during decontamination of protective wears and contaminated materials, detergents are employed to bring down the level of radioactive contamination within safe limits. However, the surfactant present in these wastes interferes in the chemical treatment process, reducing the decontamination factor. Biodegradation is an efficient and ecologically safe method for surfactant removal. A surfactant degrading culture was isolated and inoculated separately into simulated effluents containing 1% yeast extract and 5-100 ppm sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and 1% yeast extract and 5-100 ppm of commercial detergent respectively. The growth of the bacterial culture and the degradation characteristics of the surfactant in the above effluents were monitored under both dynamic and static conditions. (author). 6 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab

  5. New perspectives in plastic biodegradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivan, Alex

    2011-06-01

    During the past 50 years new plastic materials, in various applications, have gradually replaced the traditional metal, wood, leather materials. Ironically, the most preferred property of plastics--durability--exerts also the major environmental threat. Recycling has practically failed to provide a safe solution for disposal of plastic waste (only 5% out of 1 trillion plastic bags, annually produced in the US alone, are being recycled). Since the most utilized plastic is polyethylene (PE; ca. 140 million tons/year), any reduction in the accumulation of PE waste alone would have a major impact on the overall reduction of the plastic waste in the environment. Since PE is considered to be practically inert, efforts were made to isolate unique microorganisms capable of utilizing synthetic polymers. Recent data showed that biodegradation of plastic waste with selected microbial strains became a viable solution. PMID:21356588

  6. Engineered biosynthesis of biodegradable polymers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jambunathan, Pooja; Zhang, Kechun

    2016-08-01

    Advances in science and technology have resulted in the rapid development of biobased plastics and the major drivers for this expansion are rising environmental concerns of plastic pollution and the depletion of fossil-fuels. This paper presents a broad view on the recent developments of three promising biobased plastics, polylactic acid (PLA), polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) and polybutylene succinate (PBS), well known for their biodegradability. The article discusses the natural and recombinant host organisms used for fermentative production of monomers, alternative carbon feedstocks that have been used to lower production cost, different metabolic engineering strategies used to improve product titers, various fermentation technologies employed to increase productivities and finally, the different downstream processes used for recovery and purification of the monomers and polymers.

  7. Engineered biosynthesis of biodegradable polymers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jambunathan, Pooja; Zhang, Kechun

    2016-08-01

    Advances in science and technology have resulted in the rapid development of biobased plastics and the major drivers for this expansion are rising environmental concerns of plastic pollution and the depletion of fossil-fuels. This paper presents a broad view on the recent developments of three promising biobased plastics, polylactic acid (PLA), polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) and polybutylene succinate (PBS), well known for their biodegradability. The article discusses the natural and recombinant host organisms used for fermentative production of monomers, alternative carbon feedstocks that have been used to lower production cost, different metabolic engineering strategies used to improve product titers, various fermentation technologies employed to increase productivities and finally, the different downstream processes used for recovery and purification of the monomers and polymers. PMID:27260524

  8. Biodegradable Metals From Concept to Applications

    CERN Document Server

    Hermawan, Hendra

    2012-01-01

    This book in the emerging research field of biomaterials covers biodegradable metals for biomedical applications. The book contains two main parts where each of them consists of three chapters. The first part introduces the readers to the field of metallic biomaterials, exposes the state of the art of biodegradable metals, and reveals its application for cardiovascular implants. It includes some fundamental aspects to give basic understanding on metals for further review on the degradable ones is covered in chapter one. The second chapter introduces the concept of biodegradable metals, it's st

  9. Canine sense and sensibility: tipping points and response latency variability as an optimism index in a canine judgement bias assessment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa J Starling

    Full Text Available Recent advances in animal welfare science used judgement bias, a type of cognitive bias, as a means to objectively measure an animal's affective state. It is postulated that animals showing heightened expectation of positive outcomes may be categorised optimistic, while those showing heightened expectations of negative outcomes may be considered pessimistic. This study pioneers the use of a portable, automated apparatus to train and test the judgement bias of dogs. Dogs were trained in a discrimination task in which they learned to touch a target after a tone associated with a lactose-free milk reward and abstain from touching the target after a tone associated with water. Their judgement bias was then probed by presenting tones between those learned in the discrimination task and measuring their latency to respond by touching the target. A Cox's Proportional Hazards model was used to analyse censored response latency data. Dog and Cue both had a highly significant effect on latency and risk of touching a target. This indicates that judgement bias both exists in dogs and differs between dogs. Test number also had a significant effect, indicating that dogs were less likely to touch the target over successive tests. Detailed examination of the response latencies revealed tipping points where average latency increased by 100% or more, giving an indication of where dogs began to treat ambiguous cues as predicting more negative outcomes than positive ones. Variability scores were calculated to provide an index of optimism using average latency and standard deviation at cues after the tipping point. The use of a mathematical approach to assessing judgement bias data in animal studies offers a more detailed interpretation than traditional statistical analyses. This study provides proof of concept for the use of an automated apparatus for measuring cognitive bias in dogs.

  10. Canine sense and sensibility: tipping points and response latency variability as an optimism index in a canine judgement bias assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starling, Melissa J; Branson, Nicholas; Cody, Denis; Starling, Timothy R; McGreevy, Paul D

    2014-01-01

    Recent advances in animal welfare science used judgement bias, a type of cognitive bias, as a means to objectively measure an animal's affective state. It is postulated that animals showing heightened expectation of positive outcomes may be categorised optimistic, while those showing heightened expectations of negative outcomes may be considered pessimistic. This study pioneers the use of a portable, automated apparatus to train and test the judgement bias of dogs. Dogs were trained in a discrimination task in which they learned to touch a target after a tone associated with a lactose-free milk reward and abstain from touching the target after a tone associated with water. Their judgement bias was then probed by presenting tones between those learned in the discrimination task and measuring their latency to respond by touching the target. A Cox's Proportional Hazards model was used to analyse censored response latency data. Dog and Cue both had a highly significant effect on latency and risk of touching a target. This indicates that judgement bias both exists in dogs and differs between dogs. Test number also had a significant effect, indicating that dogs were less likely to touch the target over successive tests. Detailed examination of the response latencies revealed tipping points where average latency increased by 100% or more, giving an indication of where dogs began to treat ambiguous cues as predicting more negative outcomes than positive ones. Variability scores were calculated to provide an index of optimism using average latency and standard deviation at cues after the tipping point. The use of a mathematical approach to assessing judgement bias data in animal studies offers a more detailed interpretation than traditional statistical analyses. This study provides proof of concept for the use of an automated apparatus for measuring cognitive bias in dogs.

  11. Variability of projected terrestrial biosphere responses to elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 due to uncertainty in biological nitrogen fixation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyerholt, Johannes; Zaehle, Sönke; Smith, Matthew J.

    2016-03-01

    Including a terrestrial nitrogen (N) cycle in Earth system models has led to substantial attenuation of predicted biosphere-climate feedbacks. However, the magnitude of this attenuation remains uncertain. A particularly important but highly uncertain process is biological nitrogen fixation (BNF), which is the largest natural input of N to land ecosystems globally. In order to quantify this uncertainty and estimate likely effects on terrestrial biosphere dynamics, we applied six alternative formulations of BNF spanning the range of process formulations in current state-of-the-art biosphere models within a common framework, the O-CN model: a global map of static BNF rates, two empirical relationships between BNF and other ecosystem variables (net primary productivity and evapotranspiration), two process-oriented formulations based on plant N status, and an optimality-based approach. We examined the resulting differences in model predictions under ambient and elevated atmospheric [CO2] and found that the predicted global BNF rates and their spatial distribution for contemporary conditions were broadly comparable, ranging from 108 to 148 Tg N yr-1 (median: 128 Tg N yr-1), despite distinct regional patterns associated with the assumptions of each approach. Notwithstanding, model responses in BNF rates to elevated levels of atmospheric [CO2] (+200 ppm) ranged between -4 Tg N yr-1 (-3 %) and 56 Tg N yr-1 (+42 %) (median: 7 Tg N yr-1 (+8 %)). As a consequence, future projections of global ecosystem carbon (C) storage (+281 to +353 Pg C, or +13 to +16 %) as well as N2O emission (-1.6 to +0.5 Tg N yr-1, or -19 to +7 %) differed significantly across the different model formulations. Our results emphasize the importance of better understanding the nature and magnitude of BNF responses to change-induced perturbations, particularly through new empirical perturbation experiments and improved model representation.

  12. The Macaque Social Responsiveness Scale (mSRS): A Rapid Screening Tool for Assessing Variability in the Social Responsiveness of Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulatta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feczko, Eric J; Bliss-Moreau, Eliza; Walum, Hasse; Pruett, John R; Parr, Lisa A

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the biological mechanisms underlying human neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), has been hindered by the lack of a robust, translational animal model. Rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) display many of the same social behaviors that are affected in ASD, making them an excellent animal species in which to model social impairments. However, the social impairments associated with ASD may reflect extreme ends of a continuous distribution of traits. Thus, to validate the rhesus monkey as an animal model for studying social impairments that has strong translational relevance for ASD, researchers need an easily-implemented measurement tool that can quantify variation in social behavior dimensionally. The Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) is a 65-item survey that identifies both typical and atypical social behaviors in humans that covary with ASD symptom severity. A chimpanzee SRS has already been validated and the current study adapted this tool for use in the rhesus monkey (mSRS). Fifteen raters completed the mSRS for 105 rhesus monkeys living at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. The mSRS scores showed a unimodal distribution with a positive skew that identified 6 statistical outliers. Inter-rater reliability was very strong, but only 17 of the 36 questions showed positive intra-item reliability. The results of an exploratory factor analysis identified 3 factors that explained over 60% of the variance, with 12 items significantly loading onto the primary factor. These items reflected behaviors associated with social avoidance, social anxiety or inflexibility and social confidence. These initial findings are encouraging and suggest that variability in the social responsiveness of rhesus monkeys can be quantified using the mSRS: a tool that has strong translational relevance for human disorders. With further modification, the mSRS may provide an promising new direction for research on the biological mechanisms underlying

  13. The Macaque Social Responsiveness Scale (mSRS: A Rapid Screening Tool for Assessing Variability in the Social Responsiveness of Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulatta.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric J Feczko

    Full Text Available Understanding the biological mechanisms underlying human neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD, has been hindered by the lack of a robust, translational animal model. Rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta display many of the same social behaviors that are affected in ASD, making them an excellent animal species in which to model social impairments. However, the social impairments associated with ASD may reflect extreme ends of a continuous distribution of traits. Thus, to validate the rhesus monkey as an animal model for studying social impairments that has strong translational relevance for ASD, researchers need an easily-implemented measurement tool that can quantify variation in social behavior dimensionally. The Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS is a 65-item survey that identifies both typical and atypical social behaviors in humans that covary with ASD symptom severity. A chimpanzee SRS has already been validated and the current study adapted this tool for use in the rhesus monkey (mSRS. Fifteen raters completed the mSRS for 105 rhesus monkeys living at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. The mSRS scores showed a unimodal distribution with a positive skew that identified 6 statistical outliers. Inter-rater reliability was very strong, but only 17 of the 36 questions showed positive intra-item reliability. The results of an exploratory factor analysis identified 3 factors that explained over 60% of the variance, with 12 items significantly loading onto the primary factor. These items reflected behaviors associated with social avoidance, social anxiety or inflexibility and social confidence. These initial findings are encouraging and suggest that variability in the social responsiveness of rhesus monkeys can be quantified using the mSRS: a tool that has strong translational relevance for human disorders. With further modification, the mSRS may provide an promising new direction for research on the biological

  14. Evaluating the Impact of Contaminant Dilution and Biodegradation in Uncertainty Quantification of Human Health Risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarlenga, Antonio; de Barros, Felipe; Fiori, Aldo

    2016-04-01

    We present a probabilistic framework for assessing human health risk due to groundwater contamination. Our goal is to quantify how physical hydrogeological and biochemical parameters control the magnitude and uncertainty of human health risk. Our methodology captures the whole risk chain from the aquifer contamination to the tap water assumption by human population. The contaminant concentration, the key parameter for the risk estimation, is governed by the interplay between the large-scale advection, caused by heterogeneity and the degradation processes strictly related to the local scale dispersion processes. The core of the hazard identification and of the methodology is the reactive transport model: erratic displacement of contaminant in groundwater, due to the spatial variability of hydraulic conductivity (K), is characterized by a first-order Lagrangian stochastic model; different dynamics are considered as possible ways of biodegradation in aerobic and anaerobic conditions. With the goal of quantifying uncertainty, the Beta distribution is assumed for the concentration probability density function (pdf) model, while different levels of approximation are explored for the estimation of the one-point concentration moments. The information pertaining the flow and transport is connected with a proper dose response assessment which generally involves the estimation of physiological parameters of the exposed population. Human health response depends on the exposed individual metabolism (e.g. variability) and is subject to uncertainty. Therefore, the health parameters are intrinsically a stochastic. As a consequence, we provide an integrated in a global probabilistic human health risk framework which allows the propagation of the uncertainty from multiple sources. The final result, the health risk pdf, is expressed as function of a few relevant, physically-based parameters such as the size of the injection area, the Péclet number, the K structure metrics and

  15. Preparation and degradation mechanisms of biodegradable polymer: a review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, S. H.; Duan, P. P.; Shen, M. X.; Xue, Y. J.; Wang, Z. Y.

    2016-07-01

    Polymers are difficult to degrade completely in Nature, and their catabolites may pollute the environment. In recent years, biodegradable polymers have become the hot topic in people's daily life with increasing interest, and a controllable polymer biodegradation is one of the most important directions for future polymer science. This article presents the main preparation methods for biodegradable polymers and discusses their degradation mechanisms, the biodegradable factors, recent researches and their applications. The future researches of biodegradable polymers are also put forward.

  16. Physiological responses in a variable environment: relationships between metabolism, hsp and thermotolerance in an intertidal-subtidal species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yun-wei Dong

    Full Text Available Physiological responses to temperature reflect the evolutionary adaptations of organisms to their thermal environment and the capability of animals to tolerate thermal stress. Contrary to conventional metabolism theory, increasing environmental temperatures have been shown to reduce metabolic rate in rocky-eulittoral-fringe species inhabiting highly variable environments, possibly as a strategy for energy conservation. To study the physiological adaptations of an intertidal-subtidal species to the extreme and unpredictable heat stress of the intertidal zone, oxygen consumption rate and heat shock protein expression were quantified in the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus. Using simulate natural temperatures, the relationship between temperature, physiological performance (oxygen consumption and heat shock proteins and thermotolerance were assessed. Depression of oxygen consumption rate and upregulation of heat shock protein genes (hsps occurred in sequence when ambient temperature was increased from 24 to 30°C. Large-scale mortality of the sea cucumber occurred when temperatures rose beyond 30°C, suggesting that the upregulation of heat shock proteins and mortality are closely related to the depression of aerobic metabolism, a phenomenon that is in line with the concept of oxygen- and capacity-limited thermal tolerance (OCLTT. The physiologically-related thermotolerance of this sea cucumber should be an adaptation to its local environment.

  17. Uncertainty in Model Predictions of Vibrio Vulnificus Response to Climate Variability and Change: A Chesapeake Bay Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urquhart, Erin A.; Zaitchik, Benjamin F.; Waugh, Darryn W.; Guikema, Seth D.; Del Castillo, Carlos E.

    2014-01-01

    The effect that climate change and variability will have on waterborne bacteria is a topic of increasing concern for coastal ecosystems, including the Chesapeake Bay. Surface water temperature trends in the Bay indicate a warming pattern of roughly 0.3-0.4 C per decade over the past 30 years. It is unclear what impact future warming will have on pathogens currently found in the Bay, including Vibrio spp. Using historical environmental data, combined with three different statistical models of Vibrio vulnificus probability, we explore the relationship between environmental change and predicted Vibrio vulnificus presence in the upper Chesapeake Bay. We find that the predicted response of V. vulnificus probability to high temperatures in the Bay differs systematically between models of differing structure. As existing publicly available datasets are inadequate to determine which model structure is most appropriate, the impact of climatic change on the probability of V. vulnificus presence in the Chesapeake Bay remains uncertain. This result points to the challenge of characterizing climate sensitivity of ecological systems in which data are sparse and only statistical models of ecological sensitivity exist.

  18. Uncertainty in model predictions of Vibrio vulnificus response to climate variability and change: a Chesapeake Bay case study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin A Urquhart

    Full Text Available The effect that climate change and variability will have on waterborne bacteria is a topic of increasing concern for coastal ecosystems, including the Chesapeake Bay. Surface water temperature trends in the Bay indicate a warming pattern of roughly 0.3-0.4°C per decade over the past 30 years. It is unclear what impact future warming will have on pathogens currently found in the Bay, including Vibrio spp. Using historical environmental data, combined with three different statistical models of Vibrio vulnificus probability, we explore the relationship between environmental change and predicted Vibrio vulnificus presence in the upper Chesapeake Bay. We find that the predicted response of V. vulnificus probability to high temperatures in the Bay differs systematically between models of differing structure. As existing publicly available datasets are inadequate to determine which model structure is most appropriate, the impact of climatic change on the probability of V. vulnificus presence in the Chesapeake Bay remains uncertain. This result points to the challenge of characterizing climate sensitivity of ecological systems in which data are sparse and only statistical models of ecological sensitivity exist.

  19. Ultrastructural localization of highly variable 185/333 immune response proteins in the coelomocytes of the sea urchin, Heliocidaris erythrogramma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dheilly, Nolwenn M; Birch, Debra; Nair, Sham V; Raftos, David A

    2011-11-01

    The 185/333 proteins of sea urchins represent a family of highly variable immune response molecules with unknown functions. In this study, we show that 185/333 proteins are expressed by three cell types: amoebocytes, colourless spherule cells and gut-associated amoebocytes. A sub-population of amoebocytes express 185/333 proteins on the membranes of vesicles emanating from the trans-Golgi and which later fuse with the plasma membranes of the cells. The previously uncharacterized gut-associated amoebocytes also show a high level of 185/333 protein expression on their internal vesicles and plasma membranes. Colourless spherule cells contain 185/333 proteins within large spherules (specialized intracellular vesicles). In the presence of bacteria and yeast, the ultrastucture of colourless spherule cells changes and 185/333 proteins disappear. In contrast, 185/333 proteins were not found in the phagosomes of coelomocytes. The 185/333-positive gut amoebocytes were often associated with anuclear bodies, which appeared to incorporate material of microbial origin that was surrounded by 185/333 proteins. The association between 185/333 proteins on gut amoebocytes and anuclear bodies suggests that these proteins may be involved in the phagocytosis of microbes in the gut epithelium.

  20. Dissolved organic carbon in Alaskan boreal forest: Sources, chemical characteristics, and biodegradability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickland, K.P.; Neff, J.C.; Aiken, G.R.

    2007-01-01

    The fate of terrestrially-derived dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is important to carbon (C) cycling in both terrestrial and aquatic environments, and recent evidence suggests that climate warming is influencing DOC dynamics in northern ecosystems. To understand what determines the fate of terrestrial DOC, it is essential to quantify the chemical nature and potential biodegradability of this DOC. We examined DOC chemical characteristics and biodegradability collected from soil pore waters and dominant vegetation species in four boreal black spruce forest sites in Alaska spanning a range of hydrologic regimes and permafrost extents (Well Drained, Moderately Well Drained, Poorly Drained, and Thermokarst Wetlands). DOC chemistry was characterized using fractionation, UV-Vis absorbance, and fluorescence measurements. Potential biodegradability was assessed by incubating the samples and measuring CO2 production over 1 month. Soil pore water DOC from all sites was dominated by hydrophobic acids and was highly aromatic, whereas the chemical composition of vegetation leachate DOC varied significantly with species. There was no seasonal variability in soil pore water DOC chemical characteristics or biodegradability; however, DOC collected from the Poorly Drained site was significantly less biodegradable than DOC from the other three sites (6% loss vs. 13-15% loss). The biodegradability of vegetation-derived DOC ranged from 10 to 90% loss, and was strongly correlated with hydrophilic DOC content. Vegetation such as Sphagnum moss and feathermosses yielded DOC that was quickly metabolized and respired. In contrast, the DOC leached from vegetation such as black spruce was moderately recalcitrant. Changes in DOC chemical characteristics that occurred during microbial metabolism of DOC were quantified using fractionation and fluorescence. The chemical characteristics and biodegradability of DOC in soil pore waters were most similar to the moderately recalcitrant vegetation

  1. ALTERNATIVE FOR PHENOL BIODEGRADATION IN OIL CONTAMINATED WASTEWATERS USING AN ADAPTED BACTERIAL BIOFILM LAYER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Kopytko

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The project studied the biodegradation potential of phenols in an industrial wastewater from an oil field in the province of Santander, Colombia. An elevated potential was established, according to three important factors: the great abundance of microorganisms found in the wastewater and sludge samples collected, the bacterial adaptation to high phenol concentrations (10 mg/l and the elevated elimination efficiencies (up to 86% obtained in the laboratory tests. The laboratory scale treatment system, which consisted of fixed-bed bioreactors with adapted bacterial biofilm, was optimized using a 22 factorial experimental design. The selected variables, studied in their maximum and minimum level were: HRT (hydraulic retention time and the presence or absence of GAC (granular activated carbon layer. The response variable was phenol concentration. The optimum treatment conditions for low and high phenol concentrations (2.14 y 9.30 mg/l, were obtained with the presence of GAC and 18 hours of HRT. The best result for the intermediate phenol concentration (6.13 mg/l was obtained with a 24 hour HRT and the presence of GAC. Nevertheless, the presence of the GAC layer was not significantly important in terms of phenol removal. Moreover, the increase of HRT from 18 to 24 hours, showed no significant improvement in phenol removal.

  2. Biodegradable polymers: Which, when and why?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kotwal V

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The plethora of drug therapies and types of drugs demand different formulations, fabrications conditions and release kinetics. No single polymer can satisfy all the requirements. Therefore there have been tremendous advances in area of biodegradable copolymers over the last 30 years. This article reviews current research on biodegradable polymers, focusing their potential as drug carries. The major classes of polymers are briefly discussed with regard to synthesis, properties and biodegradability, and known degradation modes and products are indicated based on studies reported in the literature. A vast majority of biodegradable polymers studied belongs to the polyester family, which includes polyglycolides and polylactides. Other degradable polymers such as polyorthoesters, polyanhydrides and polyphosphazenes are also discussed and their advantages and disadvantages are summarized.

  3. In vitro and in vivo evaluation of biodegradable embolic microspheres with tunable anticancer drug release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weng, Lihui; Rostamzadeh, Parinaz; Nooryshokry, Navid; Le, Hung C; Golzarian, Jafar

    2013-06-01

    Natural polymer-derived materials have attracted increasing interest in the biomedical field. Polysaccharides have obvious advantages over other polymers employed for biomedical applications due to their exceptional biocompatibility and biodegradability. None of the spherical embolic agents used clinically is biodegradable. In the current study, microspheres prepared from chitosan and carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) were investigated as a biodegradable embolic agent for arterial embolization applications. Aside from the enzymatic degradability of chitosan units, the cross-linking bonds in the matrix, Schiff bases, are susceptible to hydrolytic cleavage in aqueous conditions, which would overcome the possible shortage of enzymes inside the arteries. The size distribution, morphology, water retention capacity and degradability of the microspheres were found to be affected by the modification degree of CMC. An anticancer drug, doxorubicin, was successfully incorporated into these microspheres for local release and thus for killing cancerous cells. These microspheres demonstrated controllable degradation time, variable swelling and tunable drug release profiles. Co-culture with human umbilical vein endothelial cells revealed non-cytotoxic nature of these microspheres compared to monolayer control (P>0.95). In addition, a preliminary study on the in vivo degradation of the microspheres (100-300μm) was performed in a rabbit renal embolization model, which demonstrated that the microspheres were compatible with microcatheters for delivery, capable of occluding the arteries, and biodegradable inside arteries. These microspheres with biodegradability would be promising for embolization therapies. PMID:23419554

  4. Biodegradation of aliphatic and aromatic polycarbonates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artham, Trishul; Doble, Mukesh

    2008-01-01

    Polycarbonate is one of the most widely used engineering plastics because of its superior physical, chemical, and mechanical properties. Understanding the biodegradation of this polymer is of great importance to answer the increasing problems in waste management of this polymer. Aliphatic polycarbonates are known to biodegrade either through the action of pure enzymes or by bacterial whole cells. Very little information is available that deals with the biodegradation of aromatic polycarbonates. Biodegradation is governed by different factors that include polymer characteristics, type of organism, and nature of pretreatment. The polymer characteristics such as its mobility, tacticity, crystallinity, molecular weight, the type of functional groups and substituents present in its structure, and plasticizers or additives added to the polymer all play an important role in its degradation. The carbonate bond in aliphatic polycarbonates is facile and hence this polymer is easily biodegradable. On the other hand, bisphenol A polycarbonate contains benzene rings and quaternary carbon atoms which form bulky and stiff chains that enhance rigidity. Even though this polycarbonate is amorphous in nature because of considerable free volume, it is non-biodegradable since the carbonate bond is inaccessible to enzymes because of the presence of bulky phenyl groups on either side. In order to facilitate the biodegradation of polymers few pretreatment techniques which include photo-oxidation, gamma-irradiation, or use of chemicals have been tested. Addition of biosurfactants to improve the interaction between the polymer and the microorganisms, and blending with natural or synthetic polymers that degrade easily, can also enhance the biodegradation. PMID:17849431

  5. Biodegradation and toxicological evaluation of lubricant oils

    OpenAIRE

    Ivo Shodji Tamada; Paulo Renato Matos Lopes; Renato Nallin Montagnolli; Ederio Dino Bidoia

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this work was to compare different toxicity levels of lubricant oils. The tests were performed using the earthworm (Eisenia andrei), arugula seeds (Eruca sativa) and lettuce seeds (Lactuca sativa), with three types of contaminants (mineral lubricant oil, synthetic lubricant oil and used lubricant oil) for various biodegradation periods in the soil. The toxicity tests indirectly measured the biodegradation of the contaminants. The samples were analyzed at t0, t60, t120 and t180 days...

  6. Biodegradation of cresol isomers in anoxic aquifers.

    OpenAIRE

    Smolenski, W J; Suflita, J M

    1987-01-01

    The biodegradation of o-, m-, and p-cresol was examined in material obtained from a shallow anaerobic alluvial sand aquifer. The cresol isomers were preferentially metabolized, with p-cresol being the most easily degraded. m-Cresol was more persistent than the para-isomer, and o-cresol persisted for over 90 days. Biodegradation of cresol isomers was favored under sulfate-reducing conditions (SRC) compared with that under methanogenic conditions (MC). Slurries that were acclimated to p-cresol ...

  7. Lubricant Biodegradation Enhancers:Designed Chemistry and Engineered Technology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chen Boshui; Gao Lingyue; Fang Jianhua; Zhang Nan; Wu Jiang; Wang Jiu

    2015-01-01

    In recent decades, a growing worldwide trend of developing the biodegradable lubricants has been prevailing to form a speciifc ifeld of green chemistry and green engineering. Enhancement of biodegradability of unreadily biodegradable petroleum-based lubricants has as such become an urgent must. For over a decade the authors have been focusing on the im-provement of biodegradability of unreadily biodegradable lubricants such as petroleum-based lubricating oils and greases. A new idea of lubricant biodegradation enhancer was put forward by the authors with the aim to stimulate the biodegradation of unreadily biodegradable lubricants by incorporating the enhancer into the lubricants in order to turn the lubricants into greener biodegradable ones and to help in situ bioremediation of lubricant-contaminated environment. This manuscript sum-marizes our recent efforts relating to the chemistry and technology of biodegradation enhancers for lubricants. Firstly, the chemistry of lubricant biodegradation enhancers was designed based on the principles of bioremediation for the treatment of hydrocarbon contaminated environment. Secondly, the ability of the designed biodegradation enhancers for increasing the biodegradability of unreadily biodegradable industrial lubricants was investigated through biodegradability evaluation tests, microbial population analysis, and biodegradation kinetics modeling. Finally, the impact of biodegradation enhancers on some crucial performance characteristics of lubricants such as lubricity and oxidation stability was tested via tribological evaluation and oxidation determinations. Our results have shown that the designed chemistry of nitrogenous and/or phos-phorous compounds such as lauroyl glutamine, oleoyl glycine, oleic diethanolamide phosphate and lauric diethanolamide borate was outstanding in boosting biodegradation of petroleum-based lubricants which was ascribed to increase the micro-bial population and decrease the oil-water interfacial

  8. Physiological and neuroendocrine responses to chronic variable stress in male California mice (Peromyscus californicus): influence of social environment and paternal state

    OpenAIRE

    De Jong, TR; Harris, BN; Perea-Rodriguez, JP; Saltzman, W

    2013-01-01

    Social environment and parental state affect stress responses in mammals, but their impact may depend on the social and reproductive strategy of the species. The influences of cohabitation with a male or female conspecific, and the birth of offspring, on the physiological and endocrine responses to chronic variable stress were studied in the monogamous and biparental California mouse (Peromyscus californicus). Adult male California mice were housed either with a male cage ma...

  9. Biodegradability of Chlorinated Anilines in Waters

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHAO WANG; GUAN-GHUA LU; YAN-JIE ZHOU

    2007-01-01

    Objective To identify the bacteria tolerating chlorinated anilines and to study the biodegradability of o-chloroaniline and its coexistent compounds. Methods Microbial community of complex bacteria was identified by plate culture observation techniques and Gram stain method. Bacterial growth inhibition test was used to determine the tolerance of complex bacteria to toxicant. Biodegradability of chlorinated anilines was determined using domesticated complex bacteria as an inoculum by shaking-flask test. Results The complex bacteria were identified, consisting of Xanthomonas, Bacillus alcaligenes,Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, and Actinomycetaceae nocardia. The obtained complex bacteria were more tolerant to o-chloroaniline than mixture bacteria in natural river waters. The effects of exposure concentration and inoculum size on the biodegradability of o-chloroaniline were analyzed, and the biodegradation characteristics of single o-chloroaniline and 2,4-dichloroaniline were compared with the coexistent compounds. Conclusion The biodegradation rates can be improved by decreasing concentration of compounds and increasing inoculum size of complex bacteria. When o-chloroaniline coexists with aniline, the latter is biodegraded prior to the former, and as a consequence the metabolic efficiency of o-chloroaniline is improved with the increase of aniline concentration. Meanwhile, when o-chloroaniline coexists with 2,4-dichloroaniline, the metabolic efficiency of 2,4-dichloroaniline is markedly improved.

  10. Low Power-Consumption and High Response Frequency Thermo-Optic Variable Optical Attenuators Based on Silicon-on-Insulator Materials

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    FANG Qing; CHEN Peng; XIN Hong-Li; WANG Chun-Xia; LI Fang; LIU Yu-Liang

    2005-01-01

    @@ A novel silicon-on-insulator thermo-optic variable optical attenuator with isolated grooves based on a multimode interference coupler principle is fabricated by the inductive coupled plasma etching technology. The maximum fibre-to-fibre insertion loss is lower than 2.2 dB, the dynamic attenuation range is from 0 to 30 dB in the wavelength range 1500-1600nm, and the maximum power consumption is only 140mW. The response frequency of the fabricated variable optical attenuator is about 30 kHz. Compared to the variable optical attenuator without isolated grooves, the maximum power consumption decreases more than 220mW, and the response frequency rises are more than 20kHz.

  11. Palynological Response to Middle Eocene Climate Variability in the North Atlantic Ocean: IODP Expedition 342, Newfoundland Ridge, Offshore Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willard, D. A.

    2013-12-01

    Proxy records from Eocene hyperthermals provide evidence for rates and magnitudes of environmental changes associated with these events, as well as their impacts on terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (MECO) occurred ~40 Million years ago (Ma) and lasted ~500,000 years, and previous research has documented changes in marine and terrestrial biotas during and after this event. Cores collected in sediment drifts on Newfoundland Ridge off the coast of eastern Canada during IODP Expedition 342 recovered expanded sections of the middle Eocene, with sedimentation rates of 1-2 cm/kyr. We present results from pollen, palynofacies, and dinocyst analyses from Sites 1408 (41.438'N, 49.786'W, 3022 mwd), 1409 (41.296'N, 49.233'W, 3501 mwd), and 1410 (41.328'N, 49.170'W, 3387 mwd), spanning an interval that includes the MECO. Palynological assemblages are well preserved throughout the middle Eocene at Sites 1408 and 1410, whereas carbonate-rich samples from Site 1409 were completely barren of palynomorphs. Substantial variability in dinocyst species composition and diversity, pollen assemblages, and organic palynofacies were observed within the MECO event. Fluctuations in concentrations of opaque organic matter, insect fragments, and pollen and spores from terrestrial vegetation reflect changes in terrigenous influx, intensity of the hydrologic cycle, and source vegetation. Dinocyst assemblage shifts are correlated with changes in productivity, nutrient supply, and salinity. Integration of palynological data with other proxies will provide further insights into correlations between increased terrigenous input and eutrophication, leads and lags between terrestrial and marine responses to climate fluctuations, and environmental stability during the Middle Eocene.

  12. Targeted demersal fish species exhibit variable responses to long-term protection from fishing at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bornt, Katrina R.; McLean, Dianne L.; Langlois, Tim J.; Harvey, Euan S.; Bellchambers, Lynda M.; Evans, Scott N.; Newman, Stephen J.

    2015-12-01

    Natural fluctuations in the abundance and length of targeted fish are often disrupted by acute environmental changes and anthropogenic impacts, particularly fishing pressure. Long-term assessments of targeted fish populations inside and outside areas closed to fishing are often necessary to elucidate these effects, yet few of these studies extend over long time periods. We assessed trends in the abundance and length of six targeted fish species in areas open and closed to fishing on seven occasions spanning a 9-year period (2005-2010 and 2013) at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. Shallow (8-12 m) and deep (22-26 m) coral-dominated reef sites were sampled across four geographically separated island groups using baited remote underwater stereo-video (stereo-BRUV). Between 2005 and 2010, populations of Lethrinus miniatus, Lethrinus nebulosus, Plectropomus leopardus, and Chrysophrys auratus became increasingly dominated by larger individuals, potentially indicative of an ageing population. Between 2010 and 2013, however, there was a significant increase in the proportion of smaller L. miniatus, L. nebulosus, and P. leopardus in both open and closed areas, reflecting increased recruitment perhaps due to changing environmental conditions associated with a marine heat wave anomaly. This recruitment pulse was not observed for the other species in this study ( Chr. auratus, Choerodon rubescens, and Glaucosoma hebraicum). Lethrinus miniatus, L. nebulosus, Chr. auratus, and P. leopardus were larger in closed areas relative to open areas; however, they were not more abundant. These complex responses to protection also varied across sampling years for certain species (e.g., P. leopardus). Monitoring changes over the long-term in areas open and closed to fishing provides a sound basis for separating environmental variability from that associated with fishing mortality, which is crucial for optimising fisheries management.

  13. Cortisol release, heart rate and heart rate variability in the horse and its rider: different responses to training and performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Lewinski, Mareike; Biau, Sophie; Erber, Regina; Ille, Natascha; Aurich, Jörg; Faure, Jean-Michel; Möstl, Erich; Aurich, Christine

    2013-08-01

    Although some information exists on the stress response of horses in equestrian sports, the horse-rider team is much less well understood. In this study, salivary cortisol concentrations, heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV), SDRR (standard deviation of beat-to-beat interval) and RMSSD (root mean square of successive beat-to-beat intervals) were analysed in horses and their riders (n=6 each) at a public performance and an identical rehearsal that was not open to the public. Cortisol concentrations increased in both horses and riders (P<0.001) but did not differ between performance and rehearsal. HR in horses and riders increased during the rehearsal and the public performance (P<0.001) but the increase in HR was more pronounced (P<0.01) in riders than in their horses during the public performance (from 91 ± 10 to 150 ± 15 beats/min) compared to the rehearsal (from 94 ± 10 to 118 ± 12 beats/min). The SDRR decreased significantly during the equestrian tasks in riders (P<0.001), but not in their horses. The RMSSD decreased in horses and riders (P<0.001) during rehearsal and performance, indicating a decrease in parasympathetic tone. The decrease in RMSSD in the riders was more pronounced (P<0.05) during the performance (from 32.6 ± 6.6 to 3.8 ± 0.3 ms) than during the rehearsal (from 27.5 ± 4.2 to 6.6 ± 0.6 ms). The study has shown that the presence of spectators caused more pronounced changes in cardiac activity in the riders than it did in their horses.

  14. Time- and frequency-domain parameters of heart rate variability and sympathetic skin response in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maetzler, Walter; Karam, Marie; Berger, Monika Fruhmann; Heger, Tanja; Maetzler, Corina; Ruediger, Heinz; Bronzova, Juliana; Lobo, Patricia Pita; Ferreira, Joaquim J; Ziemssen, Tjalf; Berg, Daniela

    2015-03-01

    The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is regularly affected in Parkinson's disease (PD). Information on autonomic dysfunction can be derived from e.g. altered heart rate variability (HRV) and sympathetic skin response (SSR). Such parameters can be quantified easily and measured repeatedly which might be helpful for evaluating disease progression and therapeutic outcome. In this 2-center study, HRV and SSR of 45 PD patients and 26 controls were recorded. HRV was measured during supine metronomic breathing and analyzed in time- and frequency-domains. SSR was evoked by repetitive auditory stimulation. Various ANS parameters were compared (1) between patients and healthy controls, (2) to clinical scales (Unified Parkinson's disease rating scale, Mini-Mental State Examination, Becks Depression Inventory), and (3) to disease duration. Root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD) and low frequency/high frequency (LF/HF) ratio differed significantly between PD and controls. Both, HRV and SSR parameters showed low or no association with clinical scores. Time-domain parameters tended to be affected already at early PD stages but did not consistently change with longer disease duration. In contrast, frequency-domain parameters were not altered in early PD phases but tended to be lower (LF, LF/HF ratio), respectively higher (HF) with increasing disease duration. This report confirms previous results of altered ANS parameters in PD. In addition, it suggests that (1) these ANS parameters are not relevantly associated with motor, behavioral, and cognitive changes in PD, (2) time-domain parameters are useful for the assessment of early PD, and (3) frequency-domain parameters are more closely associated with disease duration.

  15. Docosahexaenoic acid-rich fish oil improves heart rate variability and heart rate responses to exercise in overweight adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ninio, Daniel M; Hill, Alison M; Howe, Peter R; Buckley, Jonathan D; Saint, David A

    2008-11-01

    Dietary fish oil supplementation and regular physical activity can improve outcomes in patients with established CVD. Exercise has been shown to improve heart rate variability (HRV), a predictor of cardiac death, but whether fish oil benefits HRV is controversial. Obese adults at risk of future coronary disease have impaired HRV and may benefit from these interventions. We evaluated the effect of DHA-rich tuna fish oil supplementation with and without regular exercise on HRV in sedentary, overweight adults with risk factors for coronary disease. In a randomised, double-blind, parallel comparison, sixty-five volunteers consumed 6 g fish oil/d (DHA 1.56 g/d, EPA 0.36 g/d) or sunflower-seed oil (placebo) for 12 weeks. Half of each oil group also undertook regular moderate physical activity (3 d/week for 45 min, at 75 % of age-predicted maximal heart rate (HR)). Resting HR and the HR response to submaximal exercise were measured at weeks 0, 6 and 12. In forty-six subjects, HRV was also assessed by power spectrum analysis of 20 min electrocardiogram recordings taken supine at baseline and 12 weeks. Fish oil supplementation improved HRV by increasing high-frequency power, representing parasympathetic activity, compared with placebo (P = 0.01; oil x time interaction). It also reduced HR at rest and during submaximal exercise (P = 0.008; oil x time interaction). There were no significant fish oil x exercise interactions. Dietary supplementation with DHA-rich fish oil reduced HR and modulated HRV in keeping with an improved parasympathetic-sympathetic balance in overweight adults with risk factors for future coronary disease. PMID:18339222

  16. The usefulness of the Basic Question Procedure for determining non-response bias in substantive variables - A test of four telephone questionnaires

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Goor, Henk; van Goor, Annemiek

    2007-01-01

    The Basic Question Procedure (BQP) is a method for determining non-response bias. The BQP involves asking one basic question - that is, the question relating to the central substantive variable of the study - of those persons who refuse to participate in the survey. We studied the usefulness of this

  17. Liquid, injectable, hydrophobic and biodegradable polymers as drug delivery vehicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amsden, Brian G

    2010-08-11

    New delivery approaches to achieve minimally invasive, sustained and local release of drugs are needed for more effective treatment of conditions such as cancer and ischemia. Hydrophobic, biodegradable, liquid injectable polymers possess a number of potential advantages for this purpose. This review examines various approaches that have been explored for the preparation of these types of polymers, their ability to control the release of various drugs ranging from low-molecular-weight hydrophobic compounds to protein therapeutics, and finally their degradation rates and the tissue response to them upon implantation. PMID:20480512

  18. Design of biodegradable particles for protein delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vila, A; Sánchez, A; Tobío, M; Calvo, P; Alonso, M J

    2002-01-17

    Major research issues in protein delivery include the stabilization of proteins in delivery devices and the design of appropriate protein carriers in order to overcome mucosal barriers. We have attempted to combine both issues through the conception of new biodegradable polymer nanoparticles: (i) poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-coated poly(lactic acid) (PLA) nanoparticles, chitosan (CS)-coated poly(lactic acid-glycolic acid (PLGA) nanoparticles and chitosan (CS) nanoparticles. These nanoparticles have been tested for their ability to load proteins, to deliver them in an active form, and to transport them across the nasal and intestinal mucosae. Additionally, the stability of some of these nanoparticles in simulated physiological fluids has been studied. Results showed that the PEG coating improves the stability of PLA nanoparticles in the gastrointestinal fluids and helps the transport of the encapsulated protein, tetanus toxoid, across the intestinal and nasal mucosae. Furthermore, intranasal administration of these nanoparticles provided high and long-lasting immune responses. On the other hand, the coating of PLGA nanoparticles with the mucoadhesive polymer CS improved the stability of the particles in the presence of lysozyme and enhanced the nasal transport of the encapsulated tetanus toxoid. Finally, nanoparticles made solely of CS were also stable upon incubation with lysozyme. Moreover, these particles were very efficient in improving the nasal absorption of insulin as well as the local and systemic immune responses to tetanus toxoid, following intranasal administration. In summary, these results show that a rational modification in the composition and structure of the nanoparticles, using safe materials, increases the prospects of their usefulness for mucosal protein delivery and transport.

  19. Comparative study of by near-field heterodyne transient grating and continuously variable spatial frequency transient grating methods for measurements of terahertz reflection responses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Inoue, H; Katayama, K [Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Chuo University, 1-13-27 Kasuga, Bunkyo, Tokyo 112-8551 (Japan); Shen, Q; Toyoda, T [Department of Applied Physics and Chemistry, University of Electro-Communications, 1-5-1 Chofugaoka Chofu, Tokyo 182-8585 (Japan); Nelson, K A, E-mail: kkata@kc.chuo-u.ac.j [Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 (United States)

    2010-03-01

    We measured terahertz reflection responses utilizing a propagating phonon polariton wave, which was generated and detected by two different methods: the near-field heterodyne transient grating and the continuously variable spatial frequency transient grating method. The obtained results were compared for the purpose of clarifying which of both methods is better for measurements of terahertz reflection responses. The phonon polariton wave is propagated and reflected at a ferroelectric crystal edge. From the viewpoint of the separation between the excited and reflected phonon polariton waves, the latter method is better for measurements of reflection responses.

  20. An assessment of the role mass market demand response could play in contributing to the management of variable generation integration issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The penetration of wind and solar generating resources is expected to dramatically increase in the United States over the coming years. It is widely understood that large scale deployment of these types of renewable energy sources (e.g., wind, solar) that have variable and less predictable production characteristics than traditional thermal resources poses integration challenges for bulk power system operators. At present, bulk power system operators primarily utilize strategies that rely on existing thermal generation resources and improved wind and solar energy production forecasts to manage this uncertainty; a host of additional options are also envisioned for the near future including demand response (DR). There are well-established bodies of research that examine variable generation integration issues as well as demand response potential; but, the existing literature that provides a comparative assessment of the two neither treats this topic comprehensively nor in a highly integrated fashion. Thus, this paper seeks to address these missing pieces by considering the full range of opportunities and challenges for mass market DR rates and programs to support integration of variable renewable generation. - Highlights: ► Mass market demand response can help manage the integration of renewable resources. ► To be more effective, retail electricity rates must apply contemporaneous prices. ► Demand response programs will require shorter duration and more frequent events. ► Mass market customers will likely need to accept control technology. ► Market rules and regulatory policies must change to expand demand response's role.

  1. Sap flow characteristics and their response to environmental variables in a desert riparian forest along lower Heihe River Basin, Northwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Yu, TengFei; Li, XiaoYan; Zhao, ChunYan

    2015-10-01

    Hysteresis, related to tree sap flow and associated environmental variables, plays a critical ecological role in the comprehensive understanding of forest water use dynamics. Nevertheless, only limited researches related to this unique ecological phenomenon have been conducted to date in desert riparian forests under extreme arid regions. Populus euphratica Oliv sap flow velocity (VS) was measured during the 2012 growing season using the heat ratio method, at the same time as environmental variables, such as photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), vapor pressure deficit (VPD), and leaf water potential. We found clockwise patterns of hysteresis between VS and VPD but anticlockwise patterns between VS and PAR. Pronounced hysteretic VS lag time, a function of PAR and VPD, was approximately 1.0~1.5 and -0.5 h, respectively. Hysteresis was primarily caused by the biophysical declining in canopy conductance. Sigmoid response of VS to synthetic meteorological variables was enhanced by approximately 56 % after hysteresis calibration to sunny days. Consequently, hysteresis can be seen as a protection mechanism for plants to avoid the overlapping of peak VS and environmental variables. Furthermore, the consistent presence of hysteresis suggested that estimating of plant water use in large temporal and spatial models may require certain provisions to different VS responses to variables between morning and afternoon and between seasons. PMID:27624743

  2. Understanding tree growth in response to moisture variability: Linking 32 years of satellite based soil moisture observations with tree rings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albrecht, Franziska; Dorigo, Wouter; Gruber, Alexander; Wagner, Wolfgang; Kainz, Wolfgang

    2014-05-01

    Climate change induced drought variability impacts global forest ecosystems and forest carbon cycle dynamics. Physiological drought stress might even become an issue in regions generally not considered water-limited. The water balance at the soil surface is essential for forest growth. Soil moisture is a key driver linking precipitation and tree development. Tree ring based analyses are a potential approach to study the driving role of hydrological parameters for tree growth. However, at present two major research gaps are apparent: i) soil moisture records are hardly considered and ii) only a few studies are linking tree ring chronologies and satellite observations. Here we used tree ring chronologies obtained from the International Tree ring Data Bank (ITRDB) and remotely sensed soil moisture observations (ECV_SM) to analyze the moisture-tree growth relationship. The ECV_SM dataset, which is being distributed through ESA's Climate Change Initiative for soil moisture covers the period 1979 to 2010 at a spatial resolution of 0.25°. First analyses were performed for Mongolia, a country characterized by a continental arid climate. We extracted 13 tree ring chronologies suitable for our analysis from the ITRDB. Using monthly satellite based soil moisture observations we confirmed previous studies on the seasonality of soil moisture in Mongolia. Further, we investigated the relationship between tree growth (as reflected by tree ring width index) and remotely sensed soil moisture records by applying correlation analysis. In terms of correlation coefficient a strong response of tree growth to soil moisture conditions of current April to August was observed, confirming a strong linkage between tree growth and soil water storage. The highest correlation was found for current April (R=0.44), indicating that sufficient water supply is vital for trees at the beginning of the growing season. To verify these results, we related the chronologies to reanalysis precipitation and

  3. Productivity and river flux variability in response to the PETM on Atlantic margin at Bass River, NJ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoll, H.; Shimizu, N.; Savain, R.; Zachos, J.; Ziveri, P.

    2009-04-01

    While the dramatic climate warming of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum has been well characterized, changes in the hydrological cycle and the broader biogeochemical feedbacks (weathering, nutrients, productivity) are less well constrained. Here we describe new geochemical results from a coastal section on the midlatitude Atlantic margin of the U.S. at Bass River, NJ. We measured the elemental geochemistry of coccoliths to probe the productivity of these algae in response to the changing nutrient dynamics on the shelf in the time interval preceding and during the PETM. Coccoliths extracted from the siliclastic coastal section at Bass River NJ exhibit exceptionally good preservation and negligible overgrowth compared to typical ocean carbonate-rich sediments. Analysis of individual coccoliths using secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) facilitates reliable trace element measurements in this low-carbonate section. Published sequence stratigraphy and microfossil analysis have revealed several third order sea level cycles in the late Paleocene including a highstand during the PETM. Consequently we extend our paleoproductivity records far below the PETM to characterize this background variability. We recognize a pattern of generally maximum productivity during lowstands and minimal productivity during highstands. Because nutrient concentrations decrease significantly with distance from the coast, highstands reduce productivity by shifting the highest nutrient levels landward, away from the site. This is likely due to greater distance from river sources as well as reduced wave turbulence which mixes nutrients into the photic zone. This general pattern is broken during the PETM, which features high productivity despite a sea level highstand. This anomalous high productivity may reflect enhanced riverine nutrient delivery, and potentially changes in wind strength and mixing intensity. Riverine nutrient delivery could increase with higher precipitation or precipitation

  4. Kinetics of phenolic and phthalic acid esters biodegradation in membrane bioreactor (MBR) treating municipal landfill leachate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boonnorat, Jarungwit; Chiemchaisri, Chart; Chiemchaisri, Wilai; Yamamoto, Kazuo

    2016-05-01

    The kinetic of phenolic and phthalic acid esters (PAEs) biodegradation in membrane bioreactor (MBR) treating municipal landfill leachate was investigated. Laboratory-scale MBR was fed with mixture of fresh and stabilized landfill leachate containing carbon to nitrogen (C/N) ratio of 10, 6, 3 and operated under different solid retention time (SRT) of 90, 15 and 5 d. Batch experiments using MBR sludge obtained from each steady-state operating condition revealed highest biodegradation rate constant (k) of 0.059-0.092 h(-1) of the phenolic and PAEs compounds at C/N of 6. Heterotrophic bacteria were the major group responsible for biodegradation of compounds whereas the presence of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) helped accelerating their removals. Heterotrophic nitrifying bacteria found under high ammonia condition had an important role in enhancing the biodegradation of phenols and PAEs by releasing phenol hydroxylase (PH), esterase (EST) and phthalate dioxygenase (PDO) enzymes and the presence of AOB helped improving biodegradation of phenolic and PAEs compounds through their co-metabolism. PMID:26908045

  5. Different responses of Ross River virus to climate variability between coastline and inland cities in Queensland, Australia

    OpenAIRE

    Tong, S; Hu, W

    2002-01-01

    Aims: To examine the potential impact of climate variability on the transmission of Ross River virus (RRv) infection, and to assess the difference in the potential predictors of RRv incidence in coastline and inland regions, Queensland, Australia.

  6. Preferential biodegradation of structurally dissimilar dyes from a mixture by Brevibacillus laterosporus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurade, Mayur B; Waghmode, Tatoba R; Govindwar, Sanjay P

    2011-09-15

    Biodegradation of a mixture containing seven commercial textile dyes with different structures and color properties has been investigated by an ecofriendly strain--Brevibacillus laterosporus MTCC 2298. It showed 87% decolorization in terms of ADMI removal (American Dye Manufacturing Institute) within 24h. The effective decolorization of dye mixture was attained in the presence of metal salt--CaCl(2) and nitrogen sources. The induction of oxido-reductive enzymes such as veratryl alcohol oxidase, tyrosinase, NADH-DCIP reductase and azo reductase was found to be responsible for biotransformation of dyes. High performance thin layer chromatography exposed the mechanism of preferential biodegradation of dyes at different time periods. Significant change in the high pressure liquid chromatography and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of sample before and after treatment confirmed the biodegradation of dye mixture. Phytotoxicity study revealed the much less toxic nature of the metabolites produced after the degradation of dyes mixture.

  7. Biodegradable compounds: Rheological, mechanical and thermal properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nobile, Maria Rossella; Lucia, G.; Santella, M.; Malinconico, M.; Cerruti, P.; Pantani, R.

    2015-12-01

    Recently great attention from industry has been focused on biodegradable polyesters derived from renewable resources. In particular, PLA has attracted great interest due to its high strength and high modulus and a good biocompatibility, however its brittleness and low heat distortion temperature (HDT) restrict its wide application. On the other hand, Poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) is a biodegradable polymer with a low tensile modulus but characterized by a high flexibility, excellent impact strength, good thermal and chemical resistance. In this work the two aliphatic biodegradable polyesters PBS and PLA were selected with the aim to obtain a biodegradable material for the industry of plastic cups and plates. PBS was also blended with a thermoplastic starch. Talc was also added to the compounds because of its low cost and its effectiveness in increasing the modulus and the HDT of polymers. The compounds were obtained by melt compounding in a single screw extruder and the rheological, mechanical and thermal properties were investigated. The properties of the two compounds were compared and it was found that the values of the tensile modulus and elongation at break measured for the PBS/PLA/Talc compound make it interesting for the production of disposable plates and cups. In terms of thermal resistance the compounds have HDTs high enough to contain hot food or beverages. The PLA/PBS/Talc compound can be, then, considered as biodegradable substitute for polystyrene for the production of disposable plates and cups for hot food and beverages.

  8. Development of mold for biodegradable materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Japitana, F.H.; Jabrica, A.M. [Metals Industry Research and Develeopment Center, Manila (Philippines). Dept. of Science and Technology; Komatsu, M. [Komatsu Consulting Engineer Office, Iwaki City, Fukushima (Japan); Takeuchi, Y. [Osaka Univ., Osaka (Japan). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

    2008-07-01

    The improper disposal of non-biodegradable plastics adversely affect global environmental factors, principles of sustainability, industrial ecology and ecoefficiency. Therefore, a new generation of bio-based polymeric products has been developed. These polylactides (PLA), cellulose esters, starch plastics and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are made from renewable natural resources and are biodegradable. They meet environmental conditions and can compete with their petrochemical counterparts. Among them, PLA is particularly attractive as a sustainable alternative to synthetic polymers and a potential candidate for the fabrication of biocomposites. Certain blends have proved successful in medical implants, sutures and drug delivery systems because of their capacity to dissolve away with time. However, widespread use of PLA is limited because of cost. Biodegradable plastic products are currently 6 to 10 times more expensive than traditional plastics. Environmentalists argue that the cheaper price of traditional plastics does not reflect their true cost when their impact is considered. This paper presented a solution to reduce the production cost of biodegradable plastics. In particular, it described a newly developed plastic injection mold for biodegradable materials which can produce a scrapless product. The system reduces processing time because it is not necessary to remove any gating or runners after the injection process. Takeout robots ensure that the quality of the product is maintained. 12 figs.

  9. Bio-Degradable Plastics Impact On Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.SUBRAMANI

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The potential of biodegradable polymers and more particularly that of polymers obtained from renewable resources such as the polysaccharides (e.g., starch have long been recognized. However, these biodegradable polymers have been largely used in some applications (e.g., food industry and have not found extensive applications in the packaging industries to replace conventional plastic materials, although they could be an interesting way to overcome the limitation of the petrochemical resources in the future. The fossil fuel and gas could be partially replaced by greener agricultural sources, which should participate in the reduction of CO2 emissions. Bio-based and biodegradable plastics can form the basis for environmentally preferable, sustainable alternative to current materials based exclusively on petroleum feed stocks. These bio-based materials offer value in the sustainability/life-cycle equation by being a part of the biological carbon cycle, especially as it relates to carbon-based polymeric materials such as plastics, water soluble polymers and other carbon based products like lubricants, biodiesel, and detergents. Identification and quantification of bio based content uses radioactive C-14 signature. Biopolymers are generally capable of being utilized by living matter (biodegraded, and so can be disposed in safe and ecologically sound ways through disposal processes (waste management like composting, soil application, and biological wastewater treatment. Single use, short-life, disposable products can be engineered to be bio-based and biodegradable.

  10. Biodegradability of degradable plastic waste.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agamuthu, P; Faizura, Putri Nadzrul

    2005-04-01

    Plastic waste constitutes the third largest waste volume in Malaysian municipal solid waste (MSW), next to putrescible waste and paper. The plastic component in MSW from Kuala Lumpur averages 24% (by weight), whereas the national mean is about 15%. The 144 waste dumps in the country receive about 95% of the MSW, including plastic waste. The useful life of the landfills is fast diminishing as the plastic waste stays un-degraded for more than 50 years. In this study the compostability of polyethylene and pro-oxidant additive-based environmentally degradable plastics (EDP) was investigated. Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) samples exposed hydrolytically or oxidatively at 60 degrees C showed that the abiotic degradation path was oxidative rather than hydrolytic. There was a weight loss of 8% and the plastic has been oxidized as shown by the additional carbonyl group exhibited in the Fourier transform infra red (FTIR) Spectrum. Oxidation rate seemed to be influenced by the amount of pro-oxidant additive, the chemical structure and morphology of the plastic samples, and the surface area. Composting studies during a 45-day experiment showed that the percentage elongation (reduction) was 20% for McD samples [high-density polyethylene, (HDPE) with 3% additive] and LL samples (LLDPE with 7% additive) and 18% reduction for totally degradable plastic (TDP) samples (HDPE with 3% additive). Lastly, microbial experiments using Pseudomonas aeroginosa on carbon-free media with degradable plastic samples as the sole carbon source, showed confirmatory results. A positive bacterial growth and a weight loss of 2.2% for degraded polyethylene samples were evident to show that the degradable plastic is biodegradable.

  11. The effects of biodegradation on the compositions of aromatic hydrocarbons and maturity indicators in biodegraded oils from Liaohe Basin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    By the aid of GC-MS technique,a series of sequentially biodegraded oils from Liaohe Basin have been analyzed. The results show that the concentrations and relative compositions of various aromatic compounds in the biodegraded crude oils will change with increasing biodegradation degree. The concentrations of alkyl naphthalenes,alkyl phenanthrenes,alkyl dibenzothiophene are decreased,and the concentration of triaromatic steroids will increase with increasing biodegradation degree in biodegraded oils. Those phenomena indicate that various aromatic compounds are more easily biodegraded by bacteria like other kinds of hydrocarbons such as alkanes,but different series of aromatic compounds have a varied ability to resistant to biodegradation. The ratios of dibenzothiophene to phenenthrene(DBTH/P) and methyl dibenzothiophene to methyl phenanthrene(MDBTH/MP) are related to the features of depositional environment for source rocks such as redox and ancient salinity. However,in biodegraded oils,the two ratios increase quickly with the increase of the biodegradation degree,indicating that they have lost their geochemical significance. In this case,they could not be used to evaluate the features of depositional environment. Methyl phenanthrene index,methyl phenanthrene ratio and methyl dibenzoyhiophene ratio are useful aromatic maturity indicators for the crude oils and the source rocks without vitrinite. But for biodegraded oils,those aromatic maturity indicators will be affected by biodegradation and decrease with the increase of the biodegradation degree. Therefore,those aromatic molecular maturity indicators could not be used for biodegraded oils.

  12. Introduction of environmentally degradable parameters to evaluate the biodegradability of biodegradable polymers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenbin Guo

    Full Text Available Environmentally Degradable Parameter ((EdK is of importance in the describing of biodegradability of environmentally biodegradable polymers (BDPs. In this study, a concept (EdK was introduced. A test procedure of using the ISO 14852 method and detecting the evolved carbon dioxide as an analytical parameter was developed, and the calculated (EdK was used as an indicator for the ultimate biodegradability of materials. Starch and polyethylene used as reference materials were defined as the (EdK values of 100 and 0, respectively. Natural soil samples were inoculated into bioreactors, followed by determining the rates of biodegradation of the reference materials and 15 commercial BDPs over a 2-week test period. Finally, a formula was deduced to calculate the value of (EdK for each material. The (EdK values of the tested materials have a positive correlation to their biodegradation rates in the simulated soil environment, and they indicated the relative biodegradation rate of each material among all the tested materials. Therefore, the (EdK was shown to be a reliable indicator for quantitatively evaluating the potential biodegradability of BDPs in the natural environment.

  13. Characterization of the biosorption and biodegradation properties of Ensifer adhaerens: A potential agent to remove polychlorinated biphenyls from contaminated water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Li; Chen, Xiong; Li, Huixin; Hu, Feng; Liang, Mingxiang

    2016-01-25

    Ensifer adhaerens is a soil bacterium known for its potential to remove pollutants from the environment. We investigated the contributions of biosorption and biodegradation to the process of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) removal from water by living or heat-killed E. adhaerens with different incubation times. We examined the physicochemical properties of E. adhaerens, including its membrane surface moieties, extracellular polymeric substances, and defense-related enzyme activities. In addition, we measured the biosorption and biodegradation of different PCB congeners. We found that removal of PCBs by heat-killed E. adhaerens was attributed to biosorption only, while both biosorption and biodegradation were responsible for the dissipation of PCBs by live E. adhaerens. Biosorption initially plays a major role in PCB removal, but biodegradation becomes increasingly important with increased incubation time. The results of infrared spectroscopy analysis showed that bacterial lipids, proteins, and polysaccharides, which offer abundant binding sites, are responsible for the biosorption of PCBs. Biodegradation was correlated with loosely bound polysaccharides and defense-related enzyme activities that could increase the pollutant's solubility and facilitate further degradation. The PCB congeners exhibited different biosorption and biodegradation patterns, and the patterns were correlated with the octanol-water partition coefficients (Kow) of the congeners. The more hydrophobic organic compounds tended to have higher biosorption, but lower biodegradation capacities. These results indicate that E. adhaerens-mediated biosorption and biodegradation of PCBs are dependent on the status of the strain, the incubation time, and the PCB congener present, and suggest guidelines for PCB removal from water. PMID:26476319

  14. Exploring Genetic Variability at PI, GSK3, HPA, and Glutamatergic Pathways in Lithium Response: Association With IMPA2, INPP1, and GSK3B Genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitjans, Marina; Arias, Bárbara; Jiménez, Esther; Goikolea, Jose M; Sáiz, Pilar A; García-Portilla, M Paz; Burón, Patricia; Bobes, Julio; Vieta, Eduard; Benabarre, Antoni

    2015-10-01

    Lithium is considered the first-line treatment in bipolar disorder, although response could range from an excellent response to a complete lack of response. Response to lithium is a complex phenotype in which different factors, part of them genetics, are involved. In this sense, the aim of this study was to investigate the potential association of genetic variability at genes related to phosphoinositide, glycogen synthetase kinase-3 (GSK3), hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal, and glutamatergic pathways with lithium response. A sample of 131 bipolar patients (99 type I, 32 type II) were grouped and compared according to their level of response: excellent responders (ER), partial responders (PR), and nonresponders (NR). Genotype and allele distributions of the rs669838 (IMPA2), rs909270 (INNP1), rs11921360 (GSK3B), and rs28522620 (GRIK2) polymorphisms significantly differed between ER, PR, and NR. When we compared the ER versus PR+NR, the logistic regression showed significant association for rs669838-C (IMPA2; P = 0.021), rs909270-G (INPP1; P = 0.009), and rs11921360-A (GSK3B; P = 0.004) with lithium nonresponse. Haplotype analysis showed significant association for the haplotypes rs3791809-rs4853694-rs909270 (INPP1) and rs1732170-rs11921360-rs334558 (GSK3B) and lithium response. Our study is in line with previous studies reporting association between genetic variability at these genes and lithium response, pointing to an effect of IMPA2, INPP1, and GSK3B genes to lithium response in bipolar disorder patients. Further studies with larger samples are warranted to assess the strength of the reported associations. PMID:26267417

  15. Biodegradable Materials for Bone Repairs: A Review

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lili Tan; Xiaoming Yu; Peng Wan; Ke Yang

    2013-01-01

    With attractive research and development of biomaterials,more and more opportunities have been brought to the treatments of human tissue repairs.The implant is usually no need to exist in the body accompanied with the recovery or regeneration of the tissue lesions,and the long-term effect of exotic substance to human body should be reduced as lower as possible.For this purpose,biodegradable materials,including polymers,magnesium alloys and ceramics,have attracted much attention for medical applications due to their biodegradable characters in body environment.This paper in turn introduces these three different types of widely studied biodegradable materials as well as their advantages as implants in applications for bone repairs.Relevant history and research progresses are summarized.

  16. Biodegradable nanoparticles for gene therapy technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hosseinkhani, Hossein, E-mail: hosseinkhani@mail.ntust.edu.tw; He, Wen-Jie [National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan Tech), Graduate Institute of Biomedical Engineering (China); Chiang, Chiao-Hsi [School of Pharmacy, National Defense Medical Center (China); Hong, Po-Da [National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan Tech), Graduate Institute of Biomedical Engineering (China); Yu, Dah-Shyong [Nanomedicine Research Center, National Defense Medical Center (China); Domb, Abraham J. [The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Institute of Drug Research, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and The Alex Grass Center for Drug Design and Synthesis (Israel); Ou, Keng-Liang [College of Oral Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Research Center for Biomedical Devices and Prototyping Production (China)

    2013-07-15

    Rapid propagations in materials technology together with biology have initiated great hopes in the possibility of treating many diseases by gene therapy technology. Viral and non-viral gene carriers are currently applied for gene delivery. Non-viral technology is safe and effective for the delivery of genetic materials to cells and tissues. Non-viral systems are based on plasmid expression containing a gene encoding a therapeutic protein and synthetic biodegradable nanoparticles as a safe carrier of gene. Biodegradable nanoparticles have shown great interest in drug and gene delivery systems as they are easy to be synthesized and have no side effect in cells and tissues. This review provides a critical view of applications of biodegradable nanoparticles on gene therapy technology to enhance the localization of in vitro and in vivo and improve the function of administered genes.

  17. Biodegradable nanoparticles for gene therapy technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rapid propagations in materials technology together with biology have initiated great hopes in the possibility of treating many diseases by gene therapy technology. Viral and non-viral gene carriers are currently applied for gene delivery. Non-viral technology is safe and effective for the delivery of genetic materials to cells and tissues. Non-viral systems are based on plasmid expression containing a gene encoding a therapeutic protein and synthetic biodegradable nanoparticles as a safe carrier of gene. Biodegradable nanoparticles have shown great interest in drug and gene delivery systems as they are easy to be synthesized and have no side effect in cells and tissues. This review provides a critical view of applications of biodegradable nanoparticles on gene therapy technology to enhance the localization of in vitro and in vivo and improve the function of administered genes

  18. Petroleum biodegradation and oil spill bioremediation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hydrocarbon-utilizing microorganisms are ubiquitously distributed in the marine environment following oil spills. These microorganisms naturally biodegrade numerous contaminating petroleum hydrocarbons, thereby cleansing the oceans of oil pullutants. Bioremediation, which is accomplished by adding exogenous microbial populations or stimulating indigenous ones, attempts to raise the rates of degradation found naturally to significantly higher rates. Seeding with oil degraders has not been demonstrated to be effective, but addition of nitrogenous fertilizers has been shown to increase rates of petroleum biodegradation. In the case of the Exxon Valdez spill, the largest and most thoroughly studied application of bioremediation, the application of fertilizer (slow release or oleophilic) increased rates of biodegradation 3-5 times. Because of the patchiness of oil, an internally conserved compound, hopane, was critical for demonstrating the efficacy of bioremediation. Multiple regression models showed that the effectiveness of bioremediation depended upon the amount of nitrogen delivered, the concentration of oil, and time. (author)

  19. Biodegradable Photonic Melanoidin for Theranostic Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Min-Young; Lee, Changho; Jung, Ho Sang; Jeon, Mansik; Kim, Ki Su; Yun, Seok Hyun; Kim, Chulhong; Hahn, Sei Kwang

    2016-01-26

    Light-absorbing nanoparticles for localized heat generation in tissues have various biomedical applications in diagnostic imaging, surgery, and therapies. Although numerous plasmonic and carbon-based nanoparticles with strong optical absorption have been developed, their clearance, potential cytotoxicity, and long-term safety issues remain unresolved. Here, we show that "generally regarded as safe (GRAS)" melanoidins prepared from glucose and amino acid offer a high light-to-heat conversion efficiency, biocompatibility, biodegradability, nonmutagenicity, and efficient renal clearance, as well as a low cost for synthesis. We exhibit a wide range of biomedical photonic applications of melanoidins, including in vivo photoacoustic mapping of sentinel lymph nodes, photoacoustic tracking of gastrointestinal tracts, photothermal cancer therapy, and photothermal lipolysis. The biodegradation rate and renal clearance of melanoidins are controllable by design. Our results confirm the feasibility of biodegradable melanoidins for various photonic applications to theranostic nanomedicines. PMID:26623481

  20. Biodegradation of creosote compounds: Comparison of experiments at different scales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Broholm, K.; Arvin, Erik

    2001-01-01

    This paper compares the results of biodegradation experiments with creosote compounds performed at different scales. The experiments include field observations, field experiments, large-scale intact laboratory column experiments, model fracture experiments, and batch experiments. Most of the expe...... of the pyrroles on the biodegradation of benzene, and the biodegradation of benzothiophene occurs only in the presence of a primary substrate. The experiments show that some biodegradation processes of organic compounds may be common to different microorganisms....

  1. Biodegradable containers from green waste materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartore, Luciana; Schettini, Evelia; Pandini, Stefano; Bignotti, Fabio; Vox, Giuliano; D'Amore, Alberto

    2016-05-01

    Novel biodegradable polymeric materials based on protein hydrolysate (PH), derived from waste products of the leather industry, and poly(ethylene glycol) diglycidyl ether (PEG) or epoxidized soybean oil (ESO) were obtained and their physico-chemical properties and mechanical behaviour were evaluated. Different processing conditions and the introduction of fillers of natural origin, as saw dust and wood flour, were used to tailor the mechanical properties and the environmental durability of the product. The biodegradable products, which are almost completely manufactured from renewable-based raw materials, look promising for several applications, particularly in agriculture for the additional fertilizing action of PH or in packaging.

  2. Instrumental variables estimation of exposure effects on a time-to-event response using structural cumulative survival models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martinussen, T.; Vansteelandt, S.; Tchetgen, E. J. Tchetgen;

    2016-01-01

    of complications due to censoring and survivorship bias. In this paper, we make a novel proposal under a class of structural cumulative survival models which parameterize time-varying effects of a point exposure directly on the scale of the survival function; these models are essentially equivalent with a semi......-parametric variant of the instrumental variables additive hazards model. We propose a class of recursive instrumental variable estimators for these exposure effects, and derive their large sample properties along with inferential tools. We examine the performance of the proposed method in simulation studies...

  3. Millennial-scale climate variability in response to changing glacial and orbital boundary conditions during the Mid-Pleistocene transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferretti, Patrizia; Crowhurst, Simon; Drysdale, Russell; Bajo, Petra; Barbante, Carlo

    2016-04-01

    The Mid-Pleistocene transition represents perhaps the most important climate transition in the Quaternary period, yet it is one of the most poorly understood. Although the exact timing and mechanism of the onset of the "100 kyr" regime remain a matter of debate, it is well established that the overall periodicity of the glacial-interglacial cycles changed from a dominant 41 kyr obliquity periodicity prior to ~0.9 Ma to a dominant late Pleistocene 100 kyr variance. This change in the frequency domain was associated with an increase in the amplitude of global ice volume variations that, superimposed on a long-term climatic trend towards more glacial conditions over millions of years, produced some of the most extreme glaciations recorded. This interval of time has often been considered to be important in relation to long-term Milankovitch-scale climate variability. In contrast, here, special emphasis will be placed on assessing the presence and the characteristics of the suborbital-scale variability, and reconstructing the evolution of millennial-scale climate variability as the average climate state evolve toward generally colder conditions with larger ice sheets, and the spectral character of climate variability shifted from dominantly 41 kyr to 100 kyr. Appealing evidence suggests that millennial-scale climate variability is amplified during times of intense forcing changes, but this rapid variability has not been thoroughly explored yet at the time when the major changes in climate periodicity occurred. To address these questions, we have examined the record of climatic conditions from Marine Isotope Stages 25 to 16 (~970-650 ka) using high-resolution stable isotope records from benthic and planktonic foraminifera from a sedimentary sequence in the North Atlantic (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 306, Site U1313) in order to assess millennial-scale changes in sea-surface and deep-water conditions, the dynamics of thermohaline deep-water circulation

  4. Soluble Eggshell Mebrane Protein:Antibacterial Property and Biodegradability

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YI Feng; YU Jian; LI Qiang; GUO Zhaoxia

    2007-01-01

    The antibacterial property and biodegradability of soluble eggshell membrane protein (SEP)are reported. Unlike the natural eggshell membrane (ESM), SEP does not possess antibacterial property against E.coli. The biodegradation tests with trypsin show that both ESM and SEP are biodegradable.

  5. Microbial life in continental salt pan sediments and their response to climate variability in Northern South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genderjahn, Steffi; Mangelsdorf, Kai; Alawi, Mashal; Belz, Lukas; Kallmeyer, Jens; Wagner, Dirk

    2016-04-01

    The environmental history of southwestern African mainland is largely unknown. Since there are no lacustrine systems with constant water coverage in this area, we investigated a continental salt pan as a terrestrial geoarchive with the potential to preserve climate signals. Within the frame of the research project "GeoArchives" (part of the SPACES program, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF) we aimed to reconstruct climate variabilities during the late Pleistocene to Holocene. The presented study is focused on variations within the microbial community structure and abundance of key organisms in a salt pan with special regards to sediment age and geochemical parameters. A combined approach of a 16S rDNA-based quantification method and lipid biomarker analysis was used to demonstrate the response of the microbial communities with respect to environmental changes. The phospholipid derived fatty acids (PLFAs) in sedimentary deposits are characteristic markers for living Bacteria, whereby their side chain represents a fingerprint of the community structure on a broad taxonomic level. Archaeol and isoprenoid glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (iGDGTs) were used as characteristic makers for Archaea whereas branched GDGTs (brGDGTs) are typical biomarkers for Bacteria. In contrast to PLFAs, they represent dead microbial biomass and thus the past microbial communities in older sediments, since they are already partly degraded. Samples from the Witpan, located in the northwest of South Africa and representing a depths profile from the Late Pleistocene to Holocene, were gathered. Despite the extreme environment with rather low TOC values, restricted availability of water and high salt concentration markers for Bacteria and Archaea were observed. A series of saturated, branched and unsaturated PLFAs were identified. The diversity and concentration of PLFAs were highest in the top layers (up to 30000 ng gsed-1, 0-10 cm) and characteristic

  6. Response of paleofloods to climate variability in alpine catchments of different size reconstructed from floodplain sediments. Similarities or differences?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulte, Lothar; Carvalho, Filipe; Llorca, Jaime; Monterrubio, Glòria; Peña, Juan Carlos; Cabrera-Medina, Paula; Gómez-Bolea, Antonio; Sánchez-García, Carlos

    2016-04-01

    Continuous palaeohydrological time series are generally attributed to lake sediments rather than to those of fluvial sediments. However, most of the alpine lakes analysed are fed by small catchments (few km2). Recent studies show the high potential of flood reconstruction form sedimentary floodplain proxies of mid-size catchments (hundreds of km2) when calibrated by historical sources or other markers. Despite of different catchment sizes, flood pulses achieved from lake and flood plain sediments coincides in some cases. Nevertheless, these correlations must not be taken for granted, because catchment response can be strongly influenced by local physiographic and climatic parameters such as the unequal spatial distribution of precipitation caused by summer thunderstorms and advective rainfall events. To contribute to this discussion, our study investigate new proxy data of three cores retrieved from a small basin in the Bernese Alps, fed by the alluvial fans of Eistlenbach (4 km2) and Farnigraben (2 km2) which were compared with the floodplain records from the nearby Aare (596 km2) and Lütschine (379 km2) catchments. Following the same methodology developed previously in the other alpine basins, a 3200-yr long flood series were reconstructed from sedimentary and geochemical data applying XRF-core scan techniques, conventional XRF, LOI and grain size analysis. Flood pulses were identified by 30 flood layers, and a higher number of Zr/Ti, Sr/Ti, Ca/Ti peaks and Factor 1 scores. Modern flood signals were calibrated by historical sources, maps, aerial photographs and instrumental data. Not all events were recorded by coarse-grained beds because of the spatial variations of alluvial fan channels and their connectivity to the small distal basin. Recurrence intervals of the tipping points of the fan channel oscillation are traced by key changes of sedimentation rates and facies. However, geochemical proxies correlate not only very close with the historical local data

  7. Use of Fixed and Mobile Acoustic Telemetry Systems to Understand Fish Responses to Habitat Variability in a Large River (Rhône, France)

    OpenAIRE

    Capra, Hervé; Pella, Hervé; Ovidio, Michaël; McNeil, Eric; Bergé, Julien; Oriol, Eric

    2011-01-01

    The presentation would summarize the advantages and limitations of both fixed and mobile acoustic telemetry equipment deployed in a fast flowing large river : the Rhône river (France). The objectives were to describe fish behavior in term of fish movements as responses to habitat variability due to the production of peaking electricity and temperature heterogeneity (natural or due to a nuclear power plant release). At a local scale we used a fixed automatic acoustic telemetry system to rec...

  8. Single peptide and anti-idiotype based immunizations can broaden the antibody response against the variable V3 domain of HIV-1 in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boudet, F; Keller, H; Kieny, M P; Thèze, J

    1995-05-01

    The third variable (V3) domain of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) external envelope glycoprotein gp120 is a major target of neutralizing antibodies in infected persons and in experimental immunized animals. Given the high degree of sequence variability of V3, the humoral response toward this region is very type-specific. In the present study, we evaluated the potential of a single peptide and an anti-idiotypic antibody to broaden the anti-V3 antibody specificity in BALB/c mice. We show that a synthetic peptide derived from the V3 determinant of HIV-1 MN isolate (V3MN), when used as an immunogen, was able to induce an antibody response to multiple (up to six) HIV-1 strains. The extent of this cross-reactivity, which tended to enlarge as the injections increased, appeared to be inversely correlated with the binding affinity to V3MN peptide. These data thus present evidence that, despite its great sequence heterogeneity, the V3 loop encompasses conserved amino-acid positions and/or stretches which may be less immunogenic than their variable counterparts. We additionally demonstrate that a rabbit anti-idiotype (Ab2), recognizing a binding site related idiotype on a V3-specific mouse monoclonal antibody (Ab1), could mount a broadened humoral response (Ab3) in mice. Unlike nominal antibody Ab1 which strictly reacted with the European HIV-1 LAI isolate, elicited Ab3 recognized the two divergent HIV-1 strains SF2 and 1286, originating respectively from North America and Central Africa, in addition to LAI. The reasons accounting for this Ab2-induced enlargement of the V3 antibody response are discussed. Our findings suggest that single peptide and anti-idiotype based immunizations may provide viable approaches to overcome, at least in part, HIV epitope variability. PMID:7783749

  9. Resilience, rapid transitions and regime shifts: fingerprinting the responses of Lake Żabińskie (NE Poland) to climate variability and human disturbance since 1000 AD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tylmann, Wojciech; Hernández-Almeida, Iván; Grosjean, Martin; José Gómez Navarro, Juan; Larocque-Tobler, Isabelle; Bonk, Alicja; Enters, Dirk; Ustrzycka, Alicja; Piotrowska, Natalia; Przybylak, Rajmund; Wacnik, Agnieszka; Witak, Małgorzata

    2016-04-01

    Rapid ecosystem transitions and adverse effects on ecosystem services as responses to combined climate and human impacts are of major concern. Yet few quantitative observational data exist, particularly for ecosystems that have a long history of human intervention. Here, we combine quantitative summer and winter climate reconstructions, climate model simulations and proxies for three major environmental pressures (land use, nutrients and erosion) to explore the system dynamics, resilience, and the role of disturbance regimes in varved eutrophic Lake Żabińskie since AD 1000. Comparison between regional and global climate simulations and quantitative climate reconstructions indicate that proxy data capture noticeably natural forced climate variability, while internal variability appears as the dominant source of climate variability in the climate model simulations during most parts of the last millennium. Using different multivariate analyses and change point detection techniques, we identify ecosystem changes through time and shifts between rather stable states and highly variable ones, as expressed by the proxies for land-use, erosion and productivity in the lake. Prior to AD 1600, the lake ecosystem was characterized by a high stability and resilience against considerable observed natural climate variability. In contrast, lake-ecosystem conditions started to fluctuate at high frequency across a broad range of states after AD 1600. The period AD 1748-1868 represents the phase with the strongest human disturbance of the ecosystem. Analyses of the frequency of change points in the multi-proxy dataset suggests that the last 400 years were highly variable and flickering with increasing vulnerability of the ecosystem to the combined effects of climate variability and anthropogenic disturbances. This led to significant rapid ecosystem transformations.

  10. Comparative study on the biodegradation and biocompatibility of silicate bioceramic coatings on biodegradable magnesium alloy as biodegradable biomaterial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razavi, M.; Fathi, M. H.; Savabi, O.; Razavi, S. M.; Hashemibeni, B.; Yazdimamaghani, M.; Vashaee, D.; Tayebi, L.

    2014-03-01

    Many clinical cases as well as in vivo and in vitro assessments have demonstrated that magnesium alloys possess good biocompatibility. Unfortunately, magnesium and its alloys degrade too quickly in physiological media. In order to improve the biodegradation resistance and biocompatibility of a biodegradable magnesium alloy, we have prepared three types of coating include diopside (CaMgSi2O6), akermanite (Ca2MgSi2O6) and bredigite (Ca7MgSi4O16) coating on AZ91 magnesium alloy through a micro-arc oxidation (MAO) and electrophoretic deposition (EPD) method. In this research, the biodegradation and biocompatibility behavior of samples were evaluated in vitro and in vivo. The in vitro analysis was performed by cytocompatibility and MTT-assay and the in vivo test was conducted on the implantation of samples in the greater trochanter of adult rabbits. The results showed that diopside coating has the best bone regeneration and bredigite has the best biodegradation resistance compared to others.

  11. The Role of Early Symptom Trajectories and Pretreatment Variables in Predicting Treatment Response to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Cara C.; Simons, Anne D.; Kim, Hyoun K.

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Research has focused on 2 different approaches to answering the question, "Which clients will respond to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression?" One approach focuses on rates of symptom change within the 1st few weeks of treatment, whereas the 2nd approach looks to pretreatment client variables (e.g., hopelessness) to…

  12. Development of biodegradable starch microspheres for intranasal delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yadav A

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Domperidone microspheres for intranasal administration were prepared by emulsification crosslinking technique. Starch a biodegradable polymer was used in preparation of microspheres using epichlorhydrine as cross-linking agent. The formulation variables were drug concentration and polymer concentration and batch of drug free microsphere was prepared for comparisons. All the formulations were evaluated for particle size, morphological characteristics, percentage drug encapsulation, equilibrium swelling degree, percentage mucoadhesion, bioadhesive strength, and in vitro diffusion study using nasal cell. Spherical microspheres were obtained in all batches with mean diameter in the range of above 22.8 to 102.63 μm. They showed good mucoadhesive property and swelling behaviour. The in vitro release was found in the range of 73.11% to 86.21%. Concentration of both polymer and drug affect in vitro release of drug.

  13. Skin barrier function in healthy volunteers as assessed by transepidermal water loss and vascular response to hexyl nicotinate: intra- and inter-individual variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oestmann, E; Lavrijsen, A P; Hermans, J; Ponec, M

    1993-02-01

    This study assesses the variability of two non-invasive methods of measuring stratum corneum barrier function in vivo. Transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and the vascular response to hexyl nicotinate (HN) penetration as determined by laser-Doppler flowmetry, were measured in a group of 21 healthy volunteers. Each time profile of the vascular response to HN penetration was analysed using the following parameters: the baseline cutaneous blood flow, the lag-time between application and initial response (t0), the time between application and maximum response (tmax), the maximum response, and the slope of the curve. TEWL measured on the left volar forearm showed a normal range of 3.9-7.6 g/m2h and a small inter-individual variability [coefficient of variation (CV) 19.4%]. TEWL values at three other forearm sites did not show differences of clinical importance compared with the left volar forearm. The parameters of the vascular response to HN penetration spanned a wider normal range than the TEWL values (CV between 33 and 52%). Repeat measurements after a 1-2 month interval showed highly reproducible individual TEWL values. The mean difference between first and second measurements was only 0.03 g/m2h; the relative difference 0.6%. The intra-individual reproducibility of t0 and tmax. for HN penetration was also high (relative differences of 2.8 and 3.1%, respectively). The other vascular response parameters were less reproducible (relative differences of 6.9-18.6%). We conclude that TEWL and selected parameters of HN penetration, as non-invasive tests of the stratum corneum barrier function, yield reproducible results and are hence useful for investigations assessing the skin barrier function in various disorders.

  14. Dissolved organic nitrogen in urban streams: Biodegradability and molecular composition studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lusk, Mary G; Toor, Gurpal S

    2016-06-01

    A portion of the dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) is biodegradable in water bodies, yet our knowledge of the molecular composition and controls on biological reactivity of DON is limited. Our objective was to investigate the biodegradability and molecular composition of DON in streams that drain a gradient of 19-83% urban land use. Weekly sampling over 21 weeks suggested no significant relationship between urban land use and DON concentration. We then selected two streams that drain 28% and 83% urban land use to determine the biodegradability and molecular composition of the DON by coupling 5-day bioassay experiments with high resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS). Both urban streams contained a wide range of N-bearing biomolecular formulas and had >80% DON in lignin-like compounds, with only 5-7% labile DON. The labile DON consisted mostly of lipid-and protein-like structures with high H/C and low O/C values. Comparison of reactive formulas and formed counterparts during the bioassay experiments indicated a shift toward more oxygenated and less saturated N-bearing DON formulas due to the microbial degradation. Although there was a little net removal (5-7%) of organic-bound N over the 5-day bioassay, there was some change to the carbon skeleton of DON compounds. These results suggest that DON in urban streams contains a complex mixture of compounds such as lipids, proteins, and lignins of variable chemical structures and biodegradability. PMID:27058880

  15. Dissolved organic nitrogen in urban streams: Biodegradability and molecular composition studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lusk, Mary G; Toor, Gurpal S

    2016-06-01

    A portion of the dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) is biodegradable in water bodies, yet our knowledge of the molecular composition and controls on biological reactivity of DON is limited. Our objective was to investigate the biodegradability and molecular composition of DON in streams that drain a gradient of 19-83% urban land use. Weekly sampling over 21 weeks suggested no significant relationship between urban land use and DON concentration. We then selected two streams that drain 28% and 83% urban land use to determine the biodegradability and molecular composition of the DON by coupling 5-day bioassay experiments with high resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS). Both urban streams contained a wide range of N-bearing biomolecular formulas and had >80% DON in lignin-like compounds, with only 5-7% labile DON. The labile DON consisted mostly of lipid-and protein-like structures with high H/C and low O/C values. Comparison of reactive formulas and formed counterparts during the bioassay experiments indicated a shift toward more oxygenated and less saturated N-bearing DON formulas due to the microbial degradation. Although there was a little net removal (5-7%) of organic-bound N over the 5-day bioassay, there was some change to the carbon skeleton of DON compounds. These results suggest that DON in urban streams contains a complex mixture of compounds such as lipids, proteins, and lignins of variable chemical structures and biodegradability.

  16. Modeling in vivo corrosion of AZ31 as temporary biodegradable implants. Experimental validation in rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In this paper, two complementary approaches, mathematical modeling and experimental results are combined to identify variables that affect the in vivo biodegradation of magnesium implants. The in vivo corrosion behavior of AZ31 alloy proposed for temporary applications as fixation of bone fractures has been modeled solving the Laplace equation by finite element method (FEM). Bar-shaped AZ31 implants of 1 mm diameter and 20 mm length were inserted in Wistar rat femurs with and without a fracture. The presence of gas around AZ31 implants inside the femurs has been detected in situ at the epiphysis and in fractured areas by computerized tomography (CT). Examining some in vivo conditions, the model confirms that magnesium-alloy devices have different biodegradation behavior, depending on the thickness of electrolyte at the implantation site and can be used for predicting the biodegradation behavior. - Highlights: • Modeling of AZ31 corrosion by solving the Laplace by finite element method • Electrolyte thickness is a key factor in the in vivo corrosion of magnesium alloys. • A critical thickness below which corrosion is focused around impurities is identified. • The critical value is less evident in a material with a high number of impurities. • Experimental and numerical results explain the biodegradation of magnesium implants

  17. Nanophasic biodegradation enhances the durability and biocompatibility of magnesium alloys for the next-generation vascular stents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Lin; Shen, Li; Niu, Jialin; Zhang, Jian; Ding, Wenjiang; Wu, Yu; Fan, Rong; Yuan, Guangyin

    2013-09-01

    Biodegradable metal alloys emerge as a new class of biomaterials for tissue engineering and medical devices such as cardiovascular stents. Deploying biodegradable materials to fabricate stents not only obviates a second surgical intervention for implant removal but also circumvents the long-term foreign body effect of permanent implants. However, these materials for stents suffer from an un-controlled degradation rate, acute toxic responses, and rapid structural failure presumably due to a non-uniform, fast corrosion process. Here we report that highly uniform, nanophasic degradation is achieved in a new Mg alloy with unique interstitial alloying composition as the nominal formula Mg-2.5Nd-0.2Zn-0.4Zr (wt%, hereafter, denoted as JDBM). This material exhibits highly homogeneous nanophasic biodegradation patterns as compared to other biodegradable metal alloy materials. Consequently it has significantly reduced degradation rate determined by electrochemical characterization. The in vitro cytotoxicity test using human vascular endothelial cells indicates excellent biocompatibility and potentially minimal toxic effect on arterial vessel walls. Finally, we fabricated a cardiovascular stent using JDBM and performed in vivo long-term assessment via implantation of this stent in an animal model. The results confirmed the reduced degradation rate in vivo, excellent tissue compatibility and long-term structural and mechanical durability. Thus, this new Mg-alloy with highly uniform nanophasic biodegradation represents a major breakthrough in the field and a promising material for manufacturing the next generation biodegradable vascular stents.

  18. Generation of Microcellular Biodegradable Polycaprolactone Foams in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xu Qun; Ren Xian-wen; Chang Yu-ning; Yu Long; Wang Jing-wu

    2004-01-01

    Present now the application of microcellular polymeric materials in biomedical field is growing rapidly, as that of guided tissue regeneration and cell transplantation. As far as guided tissue regeneration is concerned, porous implants are used as size selective membrane to promote the growth of a special tissue in a healing site. Ideally, the implant should be inherently biocompatible,have well-defined cell size and be resorbable with appropriate biodegradation rates.Poly(a-caprolactone) (PCL) is a kind of materials suit for the demands above. PCL is biocompatible and biodegradable aliphatic polyester which is nontoxic for living organisms and bioresorbable after a period of implantation. Because of its unique combination of biocompatibility, permeability and biodegradability, PCL and some of its copolymer with lactides and glycolide have been widely applied in medicine as artificial skin, artificial bone and containers for sustained drug release.Goel and Beckman have reported a new method to generate microcellular poly(methy l methacrylate) foams in which the samples are saturated with CO2 under a series of supercritical (SC)conditions, and then the system is rapidly depressurized to atmospheric pressure at constant temperature. Unlike traditional methods, it reduces glass-transition temperature (Tg) of the mixture to below the experimental temperature rather than directly heat the system above Tg. In this process of nucleation, no phase separation occurs as well as no phase boundary meets, so the cellular structure of the foam can be retained better.In this work, we have generated PCL foams by using supercritical CO2. Because of the low glass transition temperature (Tg = -60 ℃) of PCL far below the ice point, the experimental temperature in our study is much higher than Tg, which is different from the studies by others before. A series of variable factors on the foam structure as saturation temperature, saturation pressure, saturation time and depressurization

  19. Biodegradable polymers in clinical use and clinical development

    CERN Document Server

    Domb, Abraham J

    2011-01-01

    The definitive guide to biodegradable polymer science-where we are and what's to come The most comprehensive review of biodegradable polymers already utilized or under development for clinical use, Biodegradable Polymers in Clinical Use and Clinical Development looks at the state of biodegradable polymers now and over the next five years. Implantable molecules that break down within the body over a predetermined period of time, biodegradable polymers have been employed as drug carriers, orthopedic fixation devices, and absorbable sutures. Yet while hundreds of such polymers have been deve

  20. Fate and biodegradability of sulfonated aromatic amines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tan, N.C.G.; Leeuwen, van A.; Voorthuizen, van E.M.; Slenders, P.; Prenafeta, F.X.; Temmink, H.; Lettinga, G.; Field, J.A.

    2005-01-01

    Ten sulfonated aromatic amines were tested for their aerobic and anaerobic biodegradability and toxicity potential in a variety of environmental inocula. Of all the compounds tested, only two aminobenzenesulfonic acid (ABS) isomers, 2- and 4-ABS, were degraded. The observed degradation occurred only

  1. Natural Biodegradation of Phenolic Compounds in Groundwater

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    A combination of field data and theoretical approaches is used to assess the natural attenuation and status of a complex plume of phenolic compounds (phenol, cresols, xylenols) in a deep, consolidated, UK Permo-Triassic sandstone aquifer. Biodegradation of the phenolic compounds at concentrations up to 12500mg·L-1 is occurring under aerobic, NO-3-reducing, Mn/Fe-reducing, SO2-4-reducing and methanogenic conditions in the aquifer, with the accumulation of inorganic and organic metabolites in the plume. An electron and carbon balance for the plume suggests that only 6% of the source term has been degraded in 50 years. The residual contaminant mass in the plume significantly exceeds estimates of electron acceptor inputs, indicating that the plume will grow. Two detailed vertical profiles through the plume show that contaminant distributions are controlled more by source history than by biodegradation processes. Microbiological and mass balance studies show that biodegradation is greatest at the plume fringe where contaminant concentrations are diluted by transverse mixing. Active bacterial populations exist throughout the plume but biodegradation is inhibited in the plume core by high contaminant concentrations. Stable isotope studies show that SO2-4-reduction is particularly sensitive to contaminant concentration. The aquifer is not oxidant-deficient but natural attenuation of the phenolic compounds in this system is limited by toxicity from the pollutant load and the bioavailability of electron acceptors. Natural attenuation of these contaminants will increase only after increased dilution of the plume.

  2. Transport of nonlinearly biodegradable contaminants in aquifers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keijzer, H.

    2001-01-01

    This thesis deals with the transport behavior of nonlinearly biodegradable contaminants in aquifers. Such transport occurs during in situ bioremediation which is based on the injection of an electron acceptor or electron donor. The main interests in this thesis are the mutual influences of underlyin

  3. Biodegradable polymersomes for targeted ultrasound imaging

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhou, W.; Meng, F.; Engbers, G.H.M.; Feijen, J.

    2006-01-01

    Biodegradable polymersomes with a sub-micron size were prepared by using poly(ethylene glycol)–polylactide (PEG–PDLLA) block-copolymers in aqueous media. Air-encapsulated polymersomes could be obtained by a lyophilization/rehydration procedure. Preliminary results showed that these polymersomes were

  4. Biodegradable Polymeric Microcapsules: Preparation and Properties

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sawalha, H.I.M.; Schroën, C.G.P.H.; Boom, R.M.

    2011-01-01

    Biodegradable polymeric microcapsules can be produced through different methods of which emulsion solvent-evaporation/extraction is frequently used. In this technique, the polymer (often polylactide) is dissolved in a good solvent and is emulsified together with a poor solvent into a nonsolvent phas

  5. Fabrication of Environmentally Biodegradable Lignin Nanoparticles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frangville, C.; Rutkevicius, M.; Richter, A.P.; Velev, O.D.; Stoyanov, S.D.; Paunov, V.N.

    2012-01-01

    We developed a method for the fabrication of novel biodegradable nanoparticles (NPs) from lignin which are apparently non-toxic for microalgae and yeast. We compare two alternative methods for the synthesis of lignin NPs which result in particles of very different stability upon change of pH. The fi

  6. Biodegradable synthetic polymers for tissue engineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gunatillake P. A.

    2003-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews biodegradable synthetic polymers focusing on their potential in tissue engineering applications. The major classes of polymers are briefly discussed with regard to synthesis, properties and biodegradability, and known degradation modes and products are indicated based on studies reported in the literature. A vast majority of biodegradable polymers studied belongs to the polyester family, which includes polyglycolides and polylactides. Some disadvantages of these polymers in tissue engineering applications are their poor biocompatibility, release of acidic degradation products, poor processability and loss of mechanical properties very early during degradation. Other degradable polymers such as polyorthoesters, polyanhydrides, polyphosphazenes, and polyurethanes are also discussed and their advantages and disadvantages summarised. With advancements in tissue engineering it has become necessary to develop polymers that meet more demanding requirements. Recent work has focused on developing injectable polymer compositions based on poly (propylene fumarate and poly (anhydrides to meet these requirements in orthopaedic tissue engineering. Polyurethanes have received recent attention for development of degradable polymers because of their great potential in tailoring polymer structure to achieve mechanical properties and biodegradability to suit a variety of applications.

  7. Enhancement of 4-chlorophenol biodegradation using glucose

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tarighian, Alireza; Hill, Gordon; Headley, John [Division of Environmental Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, 105 Maintenance Road, S7N 5C5, Saskatoon, SK (Canada); Pedras, Soledad [Department of Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan, 110 Science Place, S7N 5C9, Saskatoon, SK (Canada)

    2003-03-01

    Toxic, xenobiotic chemicals present challenging problems for the environment since they are normally resistant to biodegradation. Sometimes it is possible to induce biodegradation activity by the use of growth cosubstrates. In this study, pure solutions and binary mixtures of glucose, phenol and 4-chlorophenol have been metabolized in batch cultures by a pure strain of Pseudomonas putida. Following a lag period during which slow growth and low production of biomass occurred, phenol was metabolized according to the Monod model. Glucose was also metabolized according to the Monod model but exponential growth commenced immediately after inoculation with no noticeable lag phase. Biokinetic behavior for growth on a mixture of phenol and glucose paralleled the behavior on individual substrates with simultaneous consumption of both substrates. 4-chlorophenol was not consumed as a sole substrate by Pseudomonas putida but was consumed as a cometabolite with either glucose or phenol acting as the primary growth cosubstrate. Surprisingly, glucose was found to be the superior growth cosubstrate, suggesting that inexpensive sugars can be used to enhance the biodegradation of chlorophenol-contaminated sites. Glucose and the excreted metabolic products of the biodegradation process, including a bright yellow pigment, demonstrated negligible toxicity towards Artemia salina, unlike the phenol and 4-chlorophenol substrates. (orig.)

  8. Biodegradability of leathers through anaerobic pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhayalan, K; Fathima, N Nishad; Gnanamani, A; Rao, J Raghava; Nair, B Unni; Ramasami, T

    2007-01-01

    Leather processing generates huge amounts of both solid and liquid wastes. The management of solid wastes, especially tanned leather waste, is a challenging problem faced by tanners. Hence, studies on biodegradability of leather become imperative. In this present work, biodegradability of untanned, chrome tanned and vegetable tanned leather under anaerobic conditions has been addressed. Two different sources of anaerobes have been used for this purpose. The effect of detanning as a pretreatment method before subjecting the leather to biodegradation has also been studied. It has been found that vegetable tanned leather leads to more gas production than chrome tanned leather. Mixed anaerobic isolates when employed as an inoculum are able to degrade the soluble organics of vegetable tanned material and thus exhibit an increased level of gas production during the initial days, compared to the results of the treatments that received the anaerobic sludge. With chrome tanned materials, there was not much change in the volume of the gas produced from the two different sources. It has been found that detanning tends to improve the biodegradability of both types of leathers. PMID:16740383

  9. Biodegradable elastomeric scaffolds for soft tissue engineering

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pego, Ana Paula; Poot, André A.; Grijpma, Dirk W.; Feijen, Jan

    2003-01-01

    Elastomeric copolymers of 1,3-trimethylene carbonate (TMC) and ε-caprolactone (CL) and copolymers of TMC and D,L-lactide (DLLA) have been evaluated as candidate materials for the preparation of biodegradable scaffolds for soft tissue engineering. TMC-DLLA copolymers are amorphous and degrade more r

  10. Changes in the heart rate variability in patients with obstructive sleep apnea and its response to acute CPAP treatment

    OpenAIRE

    Ernesto Kufoy; Jose-Alberto Palma; Jon Lopez; Manuel Alegre; Elena Urrestarazu; Julio Artieda; Jorge Iriarte

    2012-01-01

    Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The goal of this study was to demonstrate whether the use of CPAP produces significant changes in the heart rate or in the heart rate variability of patients with OSA in the first night of treatment and whether gender and obesity play a role in these differences. METHODS: Single-center transversal study including patients with severe OSA corrected with CPAP. Only ...

  11. Temperature variability analysis using wavelets and multiscale entropy in patients with systemic inflammatory response syndrome, sepsis, and septic shock

    OpenAIRE

    Papaioannou, Vasilios E; Chouvarda, Ioanna G; Maglaveras, Nikos K; Pneumatikos, Ioannis A

    2012-01-01

    Background Even though temperature is a continuous quantitative variable, its measurement has been considered a snapshot of a process, indicating whether a patient is febrile or afebrile. Recently, other diagnostic techniques have been proposed for the association between different properties of the temperature curve with severity of illness in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), based on complexity analysis of continuously monitored body temperature. In this study, we tried to assess temperature ...

  12. Characterization of the Highly Variable Immune Response Gene Family, He185/333, in the Sea Urchin, Heliocidaris erythrogramma

    OpenAIRE

    Roth, Mattias O.; Wilkins, Adam G.; Cooke, Georgina M.; Raftos, David A; Nair, Sham V.

    2014-01-01

    This study characterizes the highly variable He185/333 genes, transcripts and proteins in coelomocytes of the sea urchin, Heliocidaris erythrogramma. Originally discovered in the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, the products of this gene family participate in the anti-pathogen defenses of the host animals. Full-length He185/333 genes and transcripts are identified. Complete open reading frames of He185/333 homologues are analyzed as to their element structure, single nucleoti...

  13. Econometric Analysis of Food Crops’ Response to Climate Variability and Macroeconomic Policies’ Reforms in Nigeria (1978-2009

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Onoja, Anthony O.

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the extent to which climate variability (proxied by rainfall variability and macroeconomic policies influenced food crop output in Nigeria. It used time series data obtained from Central Bank of Nigeria and National Bureau of Statistics (1978-2009. Four functional forms of OLS models were tried. The Cobb-Douglas function was finally adopted based on standard econometric model selection criteria and diagnosis. Chow test was used to test the hypotheses of the study. It was found that rainfall variability influenced crop output negatively. Climatic factor, loans guaranteed by Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund and lending rate were all statistically significant drivers of crop output in the economy at p<0.05, p<0.01 and p<0.05 respectively. Their elasticities were respectively 4.01%, 0.52% and 0.98%. No structural difference between the economic reform era and the preceding era‟s regression coefficients was found. Programmes to stem corruption and loan diversion; subsidization of agricultural credit and climate change adaptation capacity building programmes were recommended to bring about sustainable food security in the country.

  14. Methodological considerations regarding response bias effect in substance use research: is correlation between the measured variables sufficient?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petróczi Andrea

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Efforts for drug free sport include developing a better understanding of the behavioural determinants that underline doping with an increased interest in developing anti-doping prevention and intervention programmes. Empirical testing of both is dominated by self-report questionnaires, which is the most widely used method in psychological assessments and sociology polls. Disturbingly, the potential distorting effect of socially desirable responding (SD is seldom considered in doping research, or dismissed based on weak correlation between some SD measure and the variables of interest. The aim of this report is to draw attention to i the potential distorting effect of SD and ii the limitation of using correlation analysis between a SD measure and the individual measures. Models of doping opinion as a potentially contentious issue was tested using structural equation modeling technique (SEM with and without the SD variable, on a dataset of 278 athletes, assessing the SD effect both at the i indicator and ii construct levels, as well as iii testing SD as an independent variable affecting expressed doping opinion. Participants were categorised by their SD score into high- and low SD groups. Based on low correlation coefficients (

  15. Toxicity and biodegradation of PCBs in contaminated sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    PCBs represent a serious ecological problem due to their low degradability, high toxicity, and strong bioaccumulation. Because of many environmental and economical problems, there are efforts to develop bio-remediation technologies for decontamination of the PCB-polluted areas. PCB were used by storage of spent nuclear fuel in nuclear power plants Jaslovske Bohunice. In the locality of the former producer of PCB - Chemko Strazske a. s. - big amount of these substances is still persisting in sediments and soil. The goal of this study was to analyze the contaminated sediments from Strazsky canal and Zemplinska Sirava water reservoir from several points of view. The study of eco-toxicity confirmed that both sediments were toxic for various tested organisms. The genotoxicity test has not proved the mutagenic effect. The subsequent step included microbiological analysis of the contaminated sediments and isolation of pure bacterial cultures capable of degrading PCBs. In order to determine the genetic potential for their biodegradability, the gene bphA1 was identified using PCR technique in their genomes. This gene codes the enzyme biphenyl-dioxygenase, which is responsible for PCB degradation. The final goal was to perform aerobic biodegradation of PCBs in the sediments. The bacteria present in both sediments are able to degrade certain low chlorinated congeners. The issue of biodiversity is still open and has to be studied to reveal the real cooperation between bacteria. (authors)

  16. Orthopaedic applications for PLA-PGA biodegradable polymers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athanasiou, K A; Agrawal, C M; Barber, F A; Burkhart, S S

    1998-10-01

    Biodegradable polymers, especially those belonging to the family of polylactic acid (PLA) and polyglycolic acid (PGA), play an increasingly important role in orthopaedics. These polymers degrade by hydrolysis and enzymatic activity and have a range of mechanical and physical properties that can be engineered appropriately to suit a particular application. Their degradation characteristics depend on several parameters including their molecular structure, crystallinity, and copolymer ratio. These biomaterials are also rapidly gaining recognition in the fledging field of tissue engineering because they can be fashioned into porous scaffolds or carriers of cells, extracellular matrix components, and bioactive agents. Although their future appears to be bright, several questions regarding the biocompatibility of these materials linger and should be addressed before their wide-scale use. In the context of musculoskeletal tissue, this report provides a comprehensive review of properties and applications of biodegradable PLA/PGA polymers and their copolymers. Of special interest are orthopaedic applications, biocompatibility studies, and issues of sterilization and storage of these versatile biomaterials. Also discussed is the fact that terms such as PLA, PGA, or PLA-PGA do not denote one material, but rather a large family of materials that have a wide range of differing bioengineering properties and concomitant biological responses. An analysis of some misconceptions, problems, and potential solutions is also provided. PMID:9788368

  17. Biodegradation of acetanilide herbicides acetochlor and butachlor in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Chang-ming; Wang, Xing-jun; Zheng, He-hui

    2002-10-01

    The biodegradation of two acetanilide herbicides, acetochlor and butachlor in soil after other environmental organic matter addition were measured during 35 days laboratory incubations. The herbicides were applied to soil alone, soil-SDBS (sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate) mixtures and soil-HA (humic acid) mixtures. Herbicide biodegradation kinetics were compared in the different treatment. Biodegradation products of herbicides in soil alone samples were identified by GC/MS at the end of incubation. Addition of SDBS and HA to soil decreased acetochlor biodegradation, but increased butachlor biodegradation. The biodegradation half-life of acetochlor and butachlor in soil alone, soil-SDBS mixtures and soil-HA mixtures were 4.6 d, 6.1 d and 5.4 d and 5.3 d, 4.9 d and 5.3 d respectively. The biodegradation products were hydroxyacetochlor and 2-methyl-6-ethylaniline for acetochlor, and hydroxybutachlor and 2,6-diethylaniline for butachlor.

  18. Development of biodegradable materials; balancing degradability and performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mayer, J.M.; Allen, A.L.; Dell, P.A.; McCassie, J.E.; Shupe, A.E.; Stenhouse, P.J. Stenhouse, Welch, E.A.; Kaplan, D.L. [Army Natick Research Development, MA (United States)

    1993-12-31

    The development of biodegradable materials suitable for packaging must take into consideration various performance criteria such as mechanical and barrier properties, as well as rate of biodegradability in given environments. Individual or blended biopolymer films were obtained commercially or blown into film in the laboratory and tested for tensile strength, ultimate elongation and oxygen barrier. These films were then subjected to accelerated marine biodegradation tests as well as simulated marine respirometry. Starch/ethylene vinyl alcohol films exhibited good mechanical and excellent oxygen barrier properties, but were very slow to biodegrade in the simulated and excellent oxygen barrier properties, but were very slow to biodegrade in the simulated marine environment. Polyhydroxyalkanoates had good mechanical properties, average oxygen barrier and good biodegradability. Data indicate that performance and biodegradability of packaging can be tailored to needs by combining individual biopolymers in different proportions in blends and laminates.

  19. Improving the biodegradative capacity of subsurface bacteria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The continual release of large volumes of synthetic materials into the environment by agricultural and industrial sources over the last few decades has resulted in pollution of the subsurface environment. Cleanup has been difficult because of the relative inaccessibility of the contaminants caused by their wide dispersal in the deep subsurface, often at low concentrations and in large volumes. As a possible solution for these problems, interest in the introduction of biodegradative bacteria for in situ remediation of these sites has increased greatly in recent years (Timmis et al. 1988). Selection of biodegradative microbes to apply in such cleanup is limited to those strains that can survive among the native bacterial and predator community members at the particular pH, temperature, and moisture status of the site (Alexander, 1984). The use of microorganisms isolated from subsurface environments would be advantageous because the organisms are already adapted to the subsurface conditions. The options are further narrowed to strains that are able to degrade the contaminant rapidly, even in the presence of highly recalcitrant anthropogenic waste mixtures, and in conditions that do not require addition of further toxic compounds for the expression of the biodegradative capacity (Sayler et al. 1990). These obstacles can be overcome by placing the genes of well-characterized biodegradative enzymes under the control of promoters that can be regulated by inexpensive and nontoxic external factors and then moving the new genetic constructs into diverse groups of subsurface microbes. ne objective of this research is to test this hypothesis by comparing expression of two different toluene biodegradative enzymatic pathways from two different regulatable promoters in a variety of subsurface isolates

  20. Hydrocarbons biodegradation in unsaturated porous medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biological processes are expected to play an important role in the degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in contaminated soils. However, factors influencing the kinetics of biodegradation are still not well known, especially in the unsaturated zone. To address these biodegradation questions in the unsaturated zone an innovative experimental set up based on a physical column model was developed. This experimental set up appeared to be an excellent tool for elaboration of a structured porous medium, with well defined porous network and adjusted water/oil saturations. Homogeneous repartition of both liquid phases (i.e., aqueous and non aqueous) in the soil pores, which also contain air, was achieved using ceramic membranes placed at the bottom of the soil column. Reproducible interfaces (and connectivity) are developed between gas, and both non mobile water and NAPL phases, depending on the above-defined characteristics of the porous media and on the partial saturations of these three phases (NAPL, water and gas). A respirometric apparatus was coupled to the column. Such experimental set up have been validated with hexadecane in dilution in an HMN phase. This approach allowed detailed information concerning n-hexadecane biodegradation, in aerobic condition, through the profile of the oxygen consumption rate.