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. Spectral induced polarization (SIP) response of biodegraded oil in porous media

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdel Aal, Gamal Z.; Atekwana, Estella A.

    2014-02-01

    Laboratory experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of different oil saturation (0.2-0.8), wetting conditions (water-wet and oil-wet), and the addition of asphaltene on the spectral induced polarization (SIP) response of biodegraded and fresh crude oil in sand columns. In the water-wet case, no significant differences were observed for both the fresh and biodegraded oil and both displayed an increase in the magnitude of the phase (ϕ) and decrease in the magnitudes of the real (σ') and imaginary (σ'') conductivity components with increasing oil saturation. In this instance the SIP response is most likely controlled by the conduction and polarization of the electric double layer at the mineral-water interface. However, when oil is the wetting phase there were considerable differences in the magnitude of the SIP parameters between the fresh and biodegraded oil. The magnitude of ϕ and σ'' increased with increasing oil saturation, whereas σ' decreased. The magnitude of σ' and σ'' for the biodegraded oil-wetted sands were relatively higher compared to fresh oil-wetted sands. In experiments with fresh and biodegraded oil-wet sand, the addition of 1 per cent asphaltene increased σ' and σ'' with the biodegraded oil showing the highest magnitude. Asphaltenes are the most dipolar fraction of crude oil and increase in concentration with increasing biodegradation. Asphaltene creates a surface charge due to the ionization and complexation reactions of functional groups at interfaces. Therefore, the enhancement in the conduction and polarization observed with the biodegraded oil-wetted sands may be due to the increase in polar components (e.g. asphaltene) from the biodegradation process and the interactions of the polar components with the surfaces of water and mineral grains. Further studies are required to investigate the effect of other components in biodegraded oil such as resins, trace metals, biogenic metallic minerals (e.g. magnetite) and organic

  6. 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)

  7. Surface characterization and cytotoxicity response of biodegradable magnesium alloys

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Magnesium alloys have raised an immense amount of interest to many researchers because of their evolution as a new kind of third generation materials. Due to their biocompatibility, density, and mechanical properties, magnesium alloys are frequently reported as prospective biodegradable implant materials. Moreover, magnesium alloys experience a natural phenomenon to biodegrade in aqueous solutions due to its corrosion activity, which is excellent for orthopedic and cardiovascular applications. However, a major concern with such alloys is fast and non-uniform corrosion degradation. Controlling the degradation rate in the physiological environment determines the success of biodegradable implants. In this investigation, three different grades of magnesium alloys: AZ31B, AZ91E and ZK60A were studied for their corrosion resistance and biocompatibility. Scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy and contact angle meter are used to study surface morphology, chemistry, roughness and wettability, respectively. Additionally, the cytotoxicity of the leached metal ions was evaluated by using a tetrazolium based bio-assay, MTS. - Highlights: • Micro-textured features formed after the anodization of magnesium alloys. • Contact angle increased and surface free energy decreased by anodization. • Corrosion rate increased for anodized surfaces compared to untreated samples. • Cell viability was greater than 75% implying the cytocompatibility of Mg alloys

  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. Biodegradable Poly(ester urethane)urea Elastomers with Variable Amino Content for Subsequent Functionalization with Phosphorylcholine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Jun; Ye, Sang-Ho; Shankarraman, Venkat; Huang, Yixian; Mo, Xiumei; Wagner, William R.

    2015-01-01

    While surface modification is well suited for imparting biomaterials with specific functionality for favorable cell interactions, the modification of degradable polymers would be expected to provide only temporary benefit. Bulk modification by incorporating pendant reactive groups for subsequent functionalization of biodegradable polymers would provide a more enduring approach. Towards this end, a series of biodegradable poly(ester urethane)urea elastomers with variable amino content (PEUU-NH2 polymers) were developed. Carboxylated phosphorycholine was synthesized and conjugated to the PEUU-NH2 polymers for subsequent bulk functionalization to generate PEUU-PC polymers. Synthesis was verified by 1H NMR, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and ATR-FTIR. The impact of amine incorporation and phosphorylcholine conjugation was shown on mechanical, thermal and degradation properties. Water absorption increased with increasing amine content, and further with PC conjugation. In wet conditions, tensile strength and initial modulus generally decreased with increasing hydrophilicity, but remained in the range of 5–30 MPa and 10–20 MPa respectively. PC conjugation was associated with significantly reduced platelet adhesion in blood contact testing and the inhibition of rat vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation. These biodegradable PEUU-PC elastomers offer attractive properties for applications as non-thrombogenic, biodegradable coatings and for blood-contacting scaffold applications. Further, the PEUU-NH2 base polymers offer the potential to have multiple types of biofunctional groups conjugated onto the backbone to address a variety of design objectives. PMID:25132273

  10. Response and potential influence of Spartina alterniflora in the biodegradation of fuel oil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A study was conducted to determine the tolerance of Spartina alterniflora to sediments contaminated with weathered No. 2 fuel oil and the possible impact of its growth on the rates of oil biodegradation. Pollutants can be converted via a plant's own metabolic activity, or by stimulation of microbial activity in the rhizosphere. In order for phytoremediation to be effective, plants must be able to tolerate the contaminant of concern. In this dose response experiment, a relationship of decreased plant growth with increased No. 2 fuel oil concentration was observed. Experimental concentration ranged from 2 to 137 g oil/kg of sediment. Oiling resulted in major depression in the density of the plant stem. The biodegradation rates of residual oil were quantified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to determine the concentration of target analytes. Significant biodegradation of both alkanes and PAH was observed at low concentrations where there was limited plant mortality. It was determined that Spartina alterniflora from a north temperate environment will grow in oiled sediments, but its tolerance level is surpassed at concentrations as low as 17 g/kg. This observation has significant implications for decision makers regarding the type and level of oil spill response options for salt marshes. 26 refs., 6 figs

  11. 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

  12. A ferulic acid (FA)-eluting system for biodegradable magnesium stent: Cells response of HUVECs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Erlin; Shen, Feng

    2015-08-01

    A new drug-eluting system was designed for biodegradable magnesium stents, in which ferulic acid (FA) was used as drug due to its promotion function to endothelial cells and PHBHHx as drug delivery due to its biodegradability and biocompatibility. A 5 and 10% FA were added in PHBHHx to prepare FA containing PHBHHX films. The cell adhesion, spreading and proliferation on these films was investigated in order to assess cell response of HUVECs. It was also found that FA enhanced the adhesion, spreading and proliferation of HUVECs in a dose-dependent manner. Cell viability after H2 O2 injury and NO production of HUVECs were also studied. The results indicated that FA effectively inhibited H2 O2 -induced injury and promotes NO production. It was also shown that alkali treatment improved the cell adhesion, spreading and proliferation while the treatment reduces the FA release and in turn reduces the inhibition on H2 O2 -induced injury and NO production. However, alkali treatment itself had no influence on the H2 O2 induced injure and NO production. The tensile shear strength between the FA containing coating and Mg substrate was also tested. All results demonstrated that FA containing PHBHHx films exhibited strong promotion to the endothelialization and could be a choice for surface modification of magnesium stent. PMID:25630748

  13. 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 on the...... shallow unsaturated zone. Based on a data set comprising analysis of about 100 soil samples taken in a 16-m-deep unsaturated zone polluted with volatile petroleum compounds, we statistically and geostatistically analyzed values of essential soil properties. The subsurface of the site was highly layered...

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. Biodegradable polyurethane ureas with variable polyester or polycarbonate soft segments: effects of crystallinity, molecular weight and composition on mechanical properties

    OpenAIRE

    Ma, Zuwei; Hong, Yi; Nelson, Devin M.; Pichamuthu, Joseph E.; Leeson, Cory E.; Wagner, William R.

    2011-01-01

    Biodegradable polyurethane urea (PUU) elastomers are ideal candidates for fabricating tissue engineering scaffolds with mechanical properties akin to strong and resilient soft tissues. PUU with a crystalline poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) macrodiol soft segment (SS) showed good elasticity and resilience at small strains (

  17. pH-responsive and biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles with potential application as tumour-specific drug delivery containers

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Jäger, Eliezer; Giacomelli, F. C.; Jäger, Alessandro; Giacomelli, C.; Schmidt, V.; Ulbrich, Karel; Štěpánek, Petr

    Bratislava : Young Scientists Council of Polymer Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences, 2012 - (Podhradská, S.; Šišková, A.). s. 65-66 ISBN 978-80-970923-2-0. [Bratislava Young Polymer Scientists Workshop /4./ - BYPOS 2012. 01.10.2012-05.10.2012, Liptovský Ján] R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP208/10/1600; GA AV ČR IAAX00500803 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40500505 Institutional support: RVO:61389013 Keywords : pH-responsive nanoparticles * biodegradable nanoparticles * drug-delivery Subject RIV: CD - Macromolecular Chemistry

  18. Topside ionospheric response to solar EUV variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Phillip C.; Hawkins, Jessica M.

    2016-02-01

    We present an analysis of 23 years of thermal plasma measurements in the topside ionosphere from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) spacecraft. The H+/O+ ratio and density vary dramatically with the solar cycle; cross-correlation coefficients between E10.7 and the daily averaged densities are greater than 0.85. The ionospheric parameters also vary dramatically with season, particularly at latitudes away from the equator where the solar zenith angle varies greatly with season. There are also 27 day solar rotation periodicities in the density, associated with periodicities in the directly measured solar EUV flux. Empirical orthogonal function analysis captures over 95% of the variation in the density in the first two principal components. The first principal component (PC1) is clearly associated with the solar EUV while the second principal component (PC2) is clearly associated with the solar zenith angle variation. The magnitude of the variation of the response of the topside ionosphere to solar EUV variability is shown to be closely related to the ionospheric composition. This is interpreted as the result of the effect of composition on the scale height in the topside ionosphere and the "pivot effect" in which the variation in density near the F2 peak is amplified by a factor of e at an altitude a scale height above the F2 peak. When the topside ionosphere is H+ dominated during solar minimum, DMSP may be much less than a scale height above the F2 peak while during solar maximum, when it is O+ dominated, DMSP may be several scale heights above the F2 peak.

  19. Biodegradable polycarbonate-based stimuli-responsive nanosystems for intracellular drug delivery

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Wei

    2013-01-01

    Biodegradable nanosystems based on functional polycarbonate-based polymers have propelled the development of targeted and controlled drug and gene delivery. Functional polycarbonate-based polymers have overcome many drawbacks which limited the application of the common polyester materials in this area. It is apparent that recently introduced novel functionalities in polycarbonate-based polymers allowed the preparation of novel nanocarriers, which are bioresponsive (i.e. pH, temperature, and r...

  20. 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…

  1. Multinomial Logit Models for Variable Response Categories Ordered

    OpenAIRE

    Malika Chikhi; Thierry Moreau; Michel Chavance

    2012-01-01

    This paper present three type of logits for ordered response to c categories. We interpreted in term of distribution two logistics models: the cumulative and continuation-ratio logit for ordinal response variables to c categories.

  2. 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.

  3. Biodegradable Polymers

    OpenAIRE

    Isabelle Vroman; Lan Tighzert

    2013-01-01

    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. ...

  4. pH-responsive release of proteins from biocompatible and biodegradable reverse polymer micelles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koyamatsu, Yuichi; Hirano, Taisuke; Kakizawa, Yoshinori; Okano, Fumiyoshi; Takarada, Tohru; Maeda, Mizuo

    2014-01-10

    A reverse polymer micelle with a diameter of 100nm was prepared for a protein carrier releasing payloads in a pH-dependent manner. The reverse polymer micelle was made from an amphiphilic diblock copolymer of biodegradable poly(d,l-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) and biocompatible poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). PLGA having a terminal carboxyl group was additionally embedded in the micelle's PLGA layer via hydrophobic interaction. The micelles encapsulating bovine serum albumin and streptavidin released the proteins under neutral and basic conditions, whereas the proteins remained in the interior at acidic pH. Using erythropoietin as a protein drug, it was also exemplified that the released protein retained its cell proliferation activity even after rigorous formulation processes, including water-in-oil emulsion. The present reverse polymer micelle could potentially find application as an oral protein drug delivery carrier. PMID:24200745

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Response of biodegradation characteristics of unacclimated activated sludge to moderate pressure in a batch reactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Rui-Xiao; Li, Bing; Zhang, Yong; Si, Ling; Zhang, Xian-Qiu; Xie, Biao

    2016-04-01

    This study was aimed to investigate the effect of moderate pressure on unacclimated activated sludge. Process of organic degradation, variation of carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration of off-gas and characteristics of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) of activated sludge were analyzed using pressure-atmospheric comparative experiments in bench-scale batch reactors. It was found that moderate pressure increased the degradation rate more dramatically when the biological process ran under a higher organic load with much more oxygen demand, which illuminated that applications of the pressurized method to high concentration organic wastewaters would be more reasonable and practicable. High oxygen transfer impetus increased utilization of oxygen which not only promoted the biodegradation of organics in wastewater, but also led to more EPS consumption in activated sludge. CO2 concentration of off-gas was lower in the earlier stage due to CO2 being pressed into the liquid phase and converted into inorganic carbon (IC). More CO2 emission was observed during the pressurized aerobic process 160 min later. EPS in pressurized reactor was much lower, which may be an important way of sludge reduction by pressurized technology. PMID:26802261

  10. Background Variables and Their Relationship to Stimulation Responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulter, Richard J.

    Relevant variables for educational administrators in a problem solving, simulation situation were examined. The study analyzed choice selections (overt responses) and physiological activity (covert responses) as related to age, experience, and educational background. The physiological activities were defined as heart rate and galvanic skin…

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    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......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...

  12. 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...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. (paper)

  14. 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-...

  15. Mahalanobis distance and variable selection to optimize dose response

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A battery of statistical techniques are combined to improve detection of low-level dose response. First, Mahalanobis distances are used to classify objects as normal or abnormal. Then the proportion classified abnormal is regressed on dose. Finally, a subset of regressor variables is selected which maximizes the slope of the dose response line. Use of the techniques is illustrated by application to mouse sperm damaged by low doses of x-rays

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. Adaptive microbial population shifts in response to a continuous ethanol blend release increases biodegradation potential

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The fate of fuel releases largely depends on the poorly-understood response in microbial community structure and function. Here, we evaluate the impacts to the microbial community resulting from a pilot-scale continuous release (10 months) of a 10% v:v ethanol solution mixed with benzene and toluene (50 mg/L each). Microbial population shifts were characterized by pyrosequencing-based 16S rRNA analysis and by quantitative PCR targeting Bacteria, Archaea, and functional genes for methanogenesis (mcrA), acetogenesis (fhs) and aerobic degradation of aromatic hydrocarbons (PHE), which could occur in hypoxic micro-environments. The release stimulated microbial growth, increased species richness and diversity, and selected for genotypes involved in fermentative degradation (the relative abundance of mcrA and fhs increased 18- and 6-fold, respectively). The growth of putative hydrocarbon degraders and commensal anaerobes, and increases in microbial diversity and in degradation rates suggest an adaptive response that increases the potential for natural attenuation of ethanol blend releases. -- Highlights: •Pyrosequencing discerned microbial community changes after an ethanol blend release. •Adaptive microbial population shifts that enhance bioremediation were observed. •Hydrocarbon degraders and fermentation syntrophs proliferated. •Surprisingly, both species richness and taxonomic diversity increased. -- Pyrosequencing analysis discerned adaptive microbial population shifts that increase natural attenuation potential of an ethanol-blended fuel release

  19. 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

  20. Qigong Effects on Heart Rate Variability and Peripheral Vasomotor Responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Mei-Ying

    2015-11-01

    Population aging is occurring worldwide, and preventing cardiovascular event in older people is a unique challenge. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of a 12-week qigong (eight-form moving meditation) training program on the heart rate variability and peripheral vasomotor response of middle-aged and elderly people in the community. This was a quasi-experimental study that included the pre-test, post-test, and nonequivalent control group designs. Seventy-seven participants (experimental group = 47; control group = 30) were recruited. The experimental group performed 30 min of eight-form moving meditation 3 times per week for 12 weeks, and the control group continued their normal daily activities. After 12 weeks, the interaction effects indicated that compared with the control group, the experimental group exhibited significantly improved heart rate variability and peripheral vasomotor responses. PMID:24869492

  1. Binary regression with differentially misclassified response and exposure variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Li; Lyles, Robert H; King, Caroline C; Celentano, David D; Lo, Yungtai

    2015-04-30

    Misclassification is a long-standing statistical problem in epidemiology. In many real studies, either an exposure or a response variable or both may be misclassified. As such, potential threats to the validity of the analytic results (e.g., estimates of odds ratios) that stem from misclassification are widely discussed in the literature. Much of the discussion has been restricted to the nondifferential case, in which misclassification rates for a particular variable are assumed not to depend on other variables. However, complex differential misclassification patterns are common in practice, as we illustrate here using bacterial vaginosis and Trichomoniasis data from the HIV Epidemiology Research Study (HERS). Therefore, clear illustrations of valid and accessible methods that deal with complex misclassification are still in high demand. We formulate a maximum likelihood (ML) framework that allows flexible modeling of misclassification in both the response and a key binary exposure variable, while adjusting for other covariates via logistic regression. The approach emphasizes the use of internal validation data in order to evaluate the underlying misclassification mechanisms. Data-driven simulations show that the proposed ML analysis outperforms less flexible approaches that fail to appropriately account for complex misclassification patterns. The value and validity of the method are further demonstrated through a comprehensive analysis of the HERS example data. PMID:25652841

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. Response of closed basin lakes to interannual climate variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huybers, Kathleen; Rupper, Summer; Roe, Gerard H.

    2016-06-01

    Lakes are key indicators of a region's hydrological cycle, directly reflecting the basin-wide balance between precipitation and evaporation. Lake-level records are therefore valuable repositories of climate history. However, the interpretation of such records is not necessarily straightforward. Lakes act as integrators of the year-to-year fluctuations in precipitation and evaporation that occur even in a constant climate. Therefore lake levels can exhibit natural, unforced fluctuations that persist on timescales of decades or more. This behavior is important to account for when distinguishing between true climate change and interannual variability as the cause of past lake-level fluctuations. We demonstrate the operation of this general principle for the particular case-study of the Great Salt Lake, which has long historical lake-level and climatological records. We employ both full water-balance and linear models. Both models capture the timing and size of the lake's historical variations. We then model the lake's response to much longer synthetic time series of precipitation and evaporation calibrated to the observations, and compare the magnitude and frequency of the modeled response to the Great Salt Lake's historical record. We find that interannual climate variability alone can explain much of the decadal-to-centennial variations in the lake-level record. Further, analytic solutions to the linear model capture much of the full model's behavior, but fail to predict the most extreme lake-level variations. We then apply the models to other lake geometries, and evaluate how the timing and amplitude of a lake-level response differs with climatic and geometric setting. A lake's response to a true climatic shift can only be understood in the context of these expected persistent lake-level variations. On the basis of these results, we speculate that lake response to interannual climate variability may play an important part in explaining much of Holocene lake

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Taking the pulse of mountains: Ecosystem responses to climatic variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagre, D.B.; Peterson, D.L.; Hessl, A.E.

    2003-01-01

    An integrated program of ecosystem modeling and field studies in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest (U.S.A.) has quantified many of the ecological processes affected by climatic variability. Paleoecological and contemporary ecological data in forest ecosystems provided model parameterization and validation at broad spatial and temporal scales for tree growth, tree regeneration and treeline movement. For subalpine tree species, winter precipitation has a strong negative correlation with growth; this relationship is stronger at higher elevations and west-side sites (which have more precipitation). Temperature affects tree growth at some locations with respect to length of growing season (spring) and severity of drought at drier sites (summer). Furthermore, variable but predictable climate-growth relationships across elevation gradients suggest that tree species respond differently to climate at different locations, making a uniform response of these species to future climatic change unlikely. Multi-decadal variability in climate also affects ecosystem processes. Mountain hemlock growth at high-elevation sites is negatively correlated with winter snow depth and positively correlated with the winter Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) index. At low elevations, the reverse is true. Glacier mass balance and fire severity are also linked to PDO. Rapid establishment of trees in subalpine ecosystems during this century is increasing forest cover and reducing meadow cover at many subalpine locations in the western U.S.A. and precipitation (snow depth) is a critical variable regulating conifer expansion. Lastly, modeling potential future ecosystem conditions suggests that increased climatic variability will result in increasing forest fire size and frequency, and reduced net primary productivity in drier, east-side forest ecosystems. As additional empirical data and modeling output become available, we will improve our ability to predict the effects of climatic change

  9. Biodegradation of cyanide by a new isolated strain under alkaline conditions and optimization by response surface methodology (RSM)

    OpenAIRE

    Mirizadeh, Shabnam; Yaghmaei, Soheila; Ghobadi Nejad, Zahra

    2014-01-01

    Background Biodegradation of free cyanide from industrial wastewaters has been proven as a viable and robust method for treatment of wastewaters containing cyanide. Results Cyanide degrading bacteria were isolated from a wastewater treatment plant for coke-oven-gas condensate by enrichment culture technique. Five strains were able to use cyanide as the sole nitrogen source under alkaline conditions and among them; one strain (C2) was selected for further studies on the basis of the higher eff...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  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. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Preparation of biodegradable PEGylated pH/reduction dual-stimuli responsive nanohydrogels for controlled release of an anti-cancer drug

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Tingting; Zhao, Xubo; Liu, Lei; Liu, Peng

    2015-07-01

    A facile and efficient method was developed to prepare the monodisperse biodegradable PEGylated pH and reduction dual-stimuli sensitive poly[methacrylic acid-co-poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate-co-N,N-bis(acryloyl)cystamine] (PMPB) nanohydrogels with dried particle size below 200 nm via one-step distillation precipitation polymerization as a drug delivery system (DDS) for the controlled release of a wide-spectrum anti-cancer drug, doxorubicin hydrochloride (DOX). Under normal physiological media, the nanohydrogels possessed high drug encapsulation efficiency (more than 96%) within 48 h and exhibited good stability with a trifle premature drug release. However, rapid DOX release was achieved at lower pH or in the presence of reductive reagent glutathione (GSH) with a cumulative release of more than 85% within 30 h. Furthermore, the nanohydrogels manifested nontoxicity on HepG2 cells at a concentration of 10 μg mL-1 or lower. Based on the excellent characteristics of the nanohydrogels, such as low toxicity, impressive biodegradability, sharp dual responsiveness, adequate drug loading capacity and a high drug encapsulation efficiency, they were supposed to have potential application in the area of cancer therapy.A facile and efficient method was developed to prepare the monodisperse biodegradable PEGylated pH and reduction dual-stimuli sensitive poly[methacrylic acid-co-poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate-co-N,N-bis(acryloyl)cystamine] (PMPB) nanohydrogels with dried particle size below 200 nm via one-step distillation precipitation polymerization as a drug delivery system (DDS) for the controlled release of a wide-spectrum anti-cancer drug, doxorubicin hydrochloride (DOX). Under normal physiological media, the nanohydrogels possessed high drug encapsulation efficiency (more than 96%) within 48 h and exhibited good stability with a trifle premature drug release. However, rapid DOX release was achieved at lower pH or in the presence of

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Future Climate Variability and Watershed Response in Southern California

    OpenAIRE

    Lopez, Sonya Rita

    2012-01-01

    The current work focuses on assessing the impacts of future climate variability on water resources in southern California. Specifically, this dissertation work includes: (1) developing archetypal watersheds and climate scenarios to obtain regional changes to hydrology and sediment transport and (2) developing a statistical downscaling approach that considers regional climate heterogeneity (commonly neglected in downscaling methods) and using this data to drive hydrologic models. The archetypa...

  8. 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)

  9. 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 ...

  10. INFLUENCE OF INORGANIC AND ORGANIC NUTRIENTS ON AEROBIC BIODEGRADATION AND ON THE ADAPTATION RESPONSE OF SUBSURFACE MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES

    Science.gov (United States)

    The influence of inorganic and organic amendments on the mineralization of ethylene dibromide, p-nitrophenol, phenol, and toluene was examined in subsurface soil samples from a pristine aquifer near Lula, Okla. The responses indicate that the metabolic abilities and nutrient requ...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  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. On Pearson's X^2 for categorical response variables

    OpenAIRE

    Jeroen Weesie

    2002-01-01

    In this talk I discuss Pearson's X2 as a measure of goodness of fit for quantal response models, including binary outcome models (logit, probit, gompit), multinomial logistic regression (mlogit) and conditional logistic regression (clogit). Large sample results for X2 have been derived by a.o. McCullagh and Windmeijer. A Stata implementation of the test will be illustrated.

  14. Species response to environmental variables in Ayubia National Park, Pakistan using multivariate analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A study was conducted in Ayubia National Park to explore the species response correlation with environmental gradients. Multivariate Analysis was applied to dataset to quantify the vegetation of study area. Vann Dobben circle analysis and T value Biplot was used with the help of Canonical Correspondence Analysis. Two zones were demarcated in Park. Results showed that Species Plantago major and Thlaspi griffthianum had positive and significant response towards environmental variables and few of species showed negative regression coefficient response to environmental variables. Similarly results of Attribute plot show the species response to particular environmental variable. Dominant spp of Zone 1 Hedera nepalensis showed negative association towards organic matter and Rumex nepalensis dominant species of Zone 2 Rumex nepalensis showed positive and significant response to environmental variables. (author)

  15. Influence of inorganic and organic nutrients on aerobic biodegradation and on the adaptation response of subsurface microbial communities.

    OpenAIRE

    Swindoll, C M; Aelion, C M; Pfaender, F K

    1988-01-01

    The influence of inorganic and organic amendments on the mineralization of ethylene dibromide, p-nitrophenol, phenol, and toluene was examined in subsurface soil samples from a pristine aquifer near Lula, Okla. The responses indicate that the metabolic abilities and nutrient requirements of groundwater microorganisms vary substantially within an aquifer. In some samples, additions of inorganic nutrients resulted in a more rapid adaptation to the test substrate and a higher rate of metabolism,...

  16. 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...

  17. Acute psychological stress induces short-term variable immune response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breen, Michael S; Beliakova-Bethell, Nadejda; Mujica-Parodi, Lilianne R; Carlson, Joshua M; Ensign, Wayne Y; Woelk, Christopher H; Rana, Brinda K

    2016-03-01

    In spite of advances in understanding the cross-talk between the peripheral immune system and the brain, the molecular mechanisms underlying the rapid adaptation of the immune system to an acute psychological stressor remain largely unknown. Conventional approaches to classify molecular factors mediating these responses have targeted relatively few biological measurements or explored cross-sectional study designs, and therefore have restricted characterization of stress-immune interactions. This exploratory study analyzed transcriptional profiles and flow cytometric data of peripheral blood leukocytes with physiological (endocrine, autonomic) measurements collected throughout the sequence of events leading up to, during, and after short-term exposure to physical danger in humans. Immediate immunomodulation to acute psychological stress was defined as a short-term selective up-regulation of natural killer (NK) cell-associated cytotoxic and IL-12 mediated signaling genes that correlated with increased cortisol, catecholamines and NK cells into the periphery. In parallel, we observed down-regulation of innate immune toll-like receptor genes and genes of the MyD88-dependent signaling pathway. Correcting gene expression for an influx of NK cells revealed a molecular signature specific to the adrenal cortex. Subsequently, focusing analyses on discrete groups of coordinately expressed genes (modules) throughout the time-series revealed immune stress responses in modules associated to immune/defense response, response to wounding, cytokine production, TCR signaling and NK cell cytotoxicity which differed between males and females. These results offer a spring-board for future research towards improved treatment of stress-related disease including the impact of stress on cardiovascular and autoimmune disorders, and identifies an immune mechanism by which vulnerabilities to these diseases may be gender-specific. PMID:26476140

  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. Variability-based global sensitivity analysis of circuit response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opalski, Leszek J.

    2014-11-01

    The research problem of interest to this paper is: how to determine efficiently and objectively the most and the least influential parameters of a multimodule electronic system - given the system model f and the module parameter variation ranges. The author investigates if existing generic global sensitivity methods are applicable for electronic circuit design, even if they were developed (and successfully applied) in quite distant engineering areas. A photodiode detector analog front-end system response time is used to reveal capability of the selected global sensitivity approaches under study.

  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. 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...

  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. 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.

  4. 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

  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. 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

  7. 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...

  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. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Biodegradable modified Phba systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Compositions as well as production technology of ecologically sound biodegradable multicomponent polymer systems were developed. Our objective was to design some bio plastic based composites with required mechanical properties and biodegradability intended for use as biodegradable packaging. Significant characteristics required for food packaging such as barrier properties (water and oxygen permeability) and influence of γ-radiation on the structure and changes of main characteristics of some modified PHB matrices was evaluated. It was found that barrier properties were plasticizers chemical nature and sterilization with γ-radiation dependent and were comparable with corresponding values of typical polymeric packaging films. Low γ-radiation levels (25 kGy) can be recommended as an effective sterilization method of PHB based packaging materials. Purposely designed bio plastic packaging may provide an alternative to traditional synthetic packaging materials without reducing the comfort of the end-user due to specific qualities of PHB - biodegradability, Biocompatibility and hydrophobic nature

  14. 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

    2016-07-01

    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

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Green and biodegradable electronics

    OpenAIRE

    Mihai Irimia-Vladu; Eric. D. Głowacki; Gundula Voss; Siegfried Bauer; Niyazi Serdar Sariciftci

    2012-01-01

    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 sugg...

  19. Evaluation of response variables in computer-simulated virtual cataract surgery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Söderberg, Per G.; Laurell, Carl-Gustaf; Simawi, Wamidh; Nordqvist, Per; Skarman, Eva; Nordh, Leif

    2006-02-01

    We have developed a virtual reality (VR) simulator for phacoemulsification (phaco) surgery. The current work aimed at evaluating the precision in the estimation of response variables identified for measurement of the performance of VR phaco surgery. We identified 31 response variables measuring; the overall procedure, the foot pedal technique, the phacoemulsification technique, erroneous manipulation, and damage to ocular structures. Totally, 8 medical or optometry students with a good knowledge of ocular anatomy and physiology but naive to cataract surgery performed three sessions each of VR Phaco surgery. For measurement, the surgical procedure was divided into a sculpting phase and an evacuation phase. The 31 response variables were measured for each phase in all three sessions. The variance components for individuals and iterations of sessions within individuals were estimated with an analysis of variance assuming a hierarchal model. The consequences of estimated variabilities for sample size requirements were determined. It was found that generally there was more variability for iterated sessions within individuals for measurements of the sculpting phase than for measurements of the evacuation phase. This resulted in larger required sample sizes for detection of difference between independent groups or change within group, for the sculpting phase as compared to for the evacuation phase. It is concluded that several of the identified response variables can be measured with sufficient precision for evaluation of VR phaco surgery.

  20. 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

  1. 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 (...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Iseki, Toshio; Nielsen, Ulrik Dam

    2014-01-01

    Short-term variability of ship responses is investigated from the view point of cross-spectrum analysis. In a steady state condition, it is well known that a certain length of sampled data are required for stable spectral analysis. However, the phase angle of the cross-spectra has not been discus...... concludes that the variability influences the accuracy of the wave buoy analogy....

  3. An adaptive search for the response time variability problem☆

    OpenAIRE

    Salhi, S.; A García-Villoria

    2012-01-01

    The Response Time Variability Problem (RTVP) is an NP-hard combinatorial scheduling problem, which has recently been reported and formalised in the literature. This problem has a wide range of real-world applications in mixed-model assembly lines, multi-threaded computer systems, broadcast of commercial videotapes and others. The RTVP arises whenever products, clients or jobs need to be sequenced in such a way that the variability in the time between the points at which they receive the neces...

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Biodegradation of hydrocarbon cuts used for diesel oil formulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Penet, S.; Marchal, R.; Monot, F. [Departement de Biotechnologie et Chimie de la Biomasse, Institut Francais de Petrole, Rueil-Malmaison (France); Sghir, A. [Genoscope, CNRS UMR 8030, Structure et Evolution des Genomes, Evry (France)

    2004-11-01

    The biodegradability of various types of diesel oil (DO), such as straight-run DO, light-cycle DO, hydrocracking DO, Fischer-Tropsch DO and commercial DO, was investigated in biodegradation tests performed in closed-batch systems using two microflorae. The first microflora was an activated sludge from an urban wastewater treatment plant as commonly used in biodegradability tests of commercial products and the second was a microflora from a hydrocarbon-polluted soil with possible specific capacities for hydrocarbon degradation. Kinetics of CO{sub 2} production and extent of DO biodegradation were obtained by chromatographic procedures. Under optimised conditions, the polluted-soil microflora was found to extensively degrade all the DO types tested, the degradation efficiencies being higher than 88%. For all the DOs tested, the biodegradation capacities of the soil microflora were significantly higher than those of the activated sludge. Using both microflora, the extent of biodegradation was highly dependent upon the type of DO used, especially its hydrocarbon composition. Linear alkanes were completely degraded in each test, whereas identifiable branched alkanes such as farnesane, pristane or phytane were degraded to variable extents. Among the aromatics, substituted mono-aromatics were also variably biodegraded. (orig.)

  8. 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.

  9. Peri-implant tissue response and biodegradation performance of a Mg-1.0Ca-0.5Sr alloy in rat tibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berglund, Ida S; Jacobs, Brittany Y; Allen, Kyle D; Kim, Stanley E; Pozzi, Antonio; Allen, Josephine B; Manuel, Michele V

    2016-05-01

    Biodegradable magnesium (Mg) alloys combine the advantages of traditional metallic implants and biodegradable polymers, having high strength, low density, and a stiffness ideal for bone fracture fixation. A recently developed Mg-Ca-Sr alloy potentially possesses advantageous characteristics over other Mg alloys, such as slower degradation rates and minimal toxicity. In this study, the biocompatibility of this Mg-Ca-Sr alloy was investigated in a rat pin-placement model. Cylindrical pins were inserted in the proximal tibial metaphyses in pre-drilled holes orthogonal to the tibial axis. Implant and bone morphologies were investigated using μCT at 1, 3, and 6weeks after implant placement. At the same time points, the surrounding tissue was evaluated using H&E, TRAP and Goldner's trichrome staining. Although gas bubbles were observed around the degrading implant at early time points, the bone remained intact with no evidence of microfracture. Principle findings also include new bone formation in the area of the implant, suggesting that the alloy is a promising candidate for biodegradable orthopedic implants. PMID:26952400

  10. 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

  11. Schedule-Induced and Operant Mechanisms that Influence Response Variability: A Review and Implications for Future Investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ronald; Sturmey, Peter; Fields, Lanny

    2007-01-01

    Response variability, a fundamental characteristic of behavior, may be in some cases an induced effect of reinforcement schedules. Research on schedule-induced response variability has shown that continuous reinforcement results in less variability than intermittent reinforcement schedules. Studies on the effects of intermittency of reinforcement,…

  12. 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.

  13. System-wide contribution to frequency response from variable speed wind turbines

    OpenAIRE

    Ruttledge, Lisa; Flynn, Damian

    2012-01-01

    Due to the differing electromechanical characteristics of modern variable speed wind turbines to conventional generators, the provision of ancillary services from wind generation is likely to change the nature of the frequency response of power systems to contingency events. This paper explores the aggregate contribution from wind turbines to the frequency response of future power systems, considering both emulated inertial and governor controls. In particular, the potential issues that may a...

  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. 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.

  16. 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....

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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

    . 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...

  20. Convergence of Dynamic Vegetation Net Productivity Responses to Precipitation Variability from 10 Years of MODIS EVI

    Science.gov (United States)

    According to Global Climate Models (GCMs) the occurrence of extreme events of precipitation will be more frequent in the future. Therefore, important challenges arise regarding climate variability, which are mainly related to the understanding of ecosystem responses to changes in precipitation patte...

  1. Does Response Variability Predict Distractibility among Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Zachary W.; Roberts, Walter M.; Milich, Richard; Fillmore, Mark T.

    2011-01-01

    Increased intraindividual variability in response time (RTSD) has been observed reliably in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and has often been used as a measure of inattention. RTSD is assumed to reflect attentional lapses and distractibility, though evidence for the validity of this connection is lacking. We assessed whether RTSD…

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The contribution of interindividual factors to variability of response in transcranial direct current stimulation studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia M Li

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available There has been an explosion of research using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS for investigating and modulating human cognitive and motor function in healthy populations. It has also been used in many studies seeking to improve deficits in disease populations. With the slew of studies reporting ‘promising results’ for everything from motor recovery after stroke to boosting memory function, one could be easily seduced by the idea of tDCS being the next panacea for all neurological ills. However, huge variability exists in the reported effects of tDCS, with great variability in the effect sizes and even contradictory results reported. In this review, we consider the interindividual factors that may contribute to this variability. In particular, we discuss the importance of baseline neuronal state and features, anatomy, age and the inherent variability in the injured brain. We additionally consider how interindividual variability affects the results of motor evoked potential (MEP testing with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS, which, in turn, can lead to apparent variability in response to tDCS in motor studies.

  8. Response of fish communities to various environmental variables across multiple spatial scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

    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 environmental variables at multiple spatial scales using self-organizing map (SOM), random forest, and theoretical path models. The SOM explored differences among fish communities, reflecting environmental gradients, such as a longitudinal gradient from upstream to downstream, and differences in land cover types and water quality. The random forest model for predicting fish community patterns that used all 14 environmental variables was more powerful than a model using any single variable or other combination of environmental variables, and the random forest model was effective at predicting the occurrence of species and evaluating the contribution of environmental variables to that prediction. The theoretical path model described the responses of different species to their environment at multiple spatial scales, showing the importance of altitude, forest, and water quality factors to fish assemblages. PMID:23202766

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang-Jung Park

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available 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 environmental variables at multiple spatial scales using self-organizing map (SOM, random forest, and theoretical path models. The SOM explored differences among fish communities, reflecting environmental gradients, such as a longitudinal gradient from upstream to downstream, and differences in land cover types and water quality. The random forest model for predicting fish community patterns that used all 14 environmental variables was more powerful than a model using any single variable or other combination of environmental variables, and the random forest model was effective at predicting the occurrence of species and evaluating the contribution of environmental variables to that prediction. The theoretical path model described the responses of different species to their environment at multiple spatial scales, showing the importance of altitude, forest, and water quality factors to fish assemblages.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. Responses of Montane Forest to Climate Variability in the Central Himalayas of Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janardan Mainali

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Climate changes are having dramatic ecological impacts in mid- to high-latitude mountain ranges where growth conditions are limited by climatic variables such as duration of growing season, moisture, and ambient temperature. We document patterns of forest vegetative response for 5 major alpine forest communities to current climate variability in the central Himalayas of Nepal to provide a baseline for assessment of future changes, as well as offer some insight into the trajectory of these changes over time. We used mean monthly surface air temperature and rainfall and the monthly averaged normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI to compare relative vegetation productivity among forest types and in relation to both climatic variables. Because changes in temperature and precipitation are directly manifested as changes in phenology, we examined current vegetative responses to climate variability in an effort to determine which climate variable is most critical for different alpine forest types. Our results show that correlations differ according to vegetation type and confirm that both precipitation and temperature affect monthly NDVI values, though more significant correlations were found with temperature data. The temperature response was more consistent because at the maximum increased temperatures, there was still an ongoing increase in vegetative vigor. This indicates that temperature is still the major limiting factor for plant growth at higher-elevation sites. This part of the Himalayas has abundant moisture, and some forest types are already saturated in terms of growth in relation to precipitation. Clear increases in productivity are documented on the upper treeline ecotones, and these systems are likely to continue to have increasing growth rates.

  14. Long-term successional forest dynamics: species and community responses to climatic variability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kardol, Paul [ORNL; Todd Jr, Donald E [ORNL; Hanson, Paul J [ORNL; Mulholland, Patrick J [ORNL

    2010-01-01

    Question: Are tree dynamics sensitive to climatic variability, and do tree species differ in their responses to climatic variability? Hence, is vulnerability of forest communities to climatic variability depending on stand composition? Location: Mixed young forest at Walker Branch Watershed near Oak Ridge, East-Tennessee, USA. Methods: Using a long-term data set (1967-2006), we analyzed temporal forest dynamics at the tree and species level, and we analyzed community dynamics for forest stands that different in their initial species composition (i.e., Chestnut Oak, Oak-Hickory, Pine, and Yellow poplar stands). Using summer drought and growing season temperature as defined climate drivers, we evaluated relationships between forest dynamics and climate across levels of organization. Results: Over the 4-decade studied period, forest communities underwent successional change and substantially increased their biomass. Variation in summer drought and growing season temperature contributed to temporal biomass dynamics for some tree species, but not for others. Stand-level responses to climatic variability were shown to be related to responses of specific component species; however, not for Pine stands. Pinus echinata, the dominant species in stands initially identified as Pine stands, decreased over time due to periodical outbreaks of the pine bark beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis). The outbreaks on Walker Branch could not be directly related to climatic conditions. Conclusions: Our results imply that vulnerability of developing forests to predicted climate conditions is stand-type dependent, and hence, is a function of species composition. Autogenic successional processes (or insect outbreaks) were found to prevail over climatic variability in determining long-term forest dynamics for stands dominated by sensitive species, emphasizing the importance of studying interactions between forest succession and climate change.

  15. Decreased reaction time variability is associated with greater cardiovascular responses to acute stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wawrzyniak, Andrew J; Hamer, Mark; Steptoe, Andrew; Endrighi, Romano

    2016-05-01

    Cardiovascular (CV) responses to mental stress are prospectively associated with poor CV outcomes. The association between CV responses to mental stress and reaction times (RTs) in aging individuals may be important but warrants further investigation. The present study assessed RTs to examine associations with CV responses to mental stress in healthy, older individuals using robust regression techniques. Participants were 262 men and women (mean age = 63.3 ± 5.5 years) from the Whitehall II cohort who completed a RT task (Stroop) and underwent acute mental stress (mirror tracing) to elicit CV responses. Blood pressure, heart rate, and heart rate variability were measured at baseline, during acute stress, and through a 75-min recovery. RT measures were generated from an ex-Gaussian distribution that yielded three predictors: mu-RT, sigma-RT, and tau-RT, the mean, standard deviation, and mean of the exponential component of the normal distribution, respectively. Decreased intraindividual RT variability was marginally associated with greater systolic (B = -.009, SE = .005, p = .09) and diastolic (B = -.004, SE = .002, p = .08) blood pressure reactivity. Decreased intraindividual RT variability was associated with impaired systolic blood pressure recovery (B = -.007, SE = .003, p = .03) and impaired vagal tone (B = -.0047, SE = .0024, p = .045). Study findings offer tentative support for an association between RTs and CV responses. Despite small effect sizes and associations not consistent across predictors, these data may point to a link between intrinsic neuronal plasticity and CV responses. PMID:26894967

  16. 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...

  17. 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...... scenarios, the EBV approach was as effective as or slightly better than the DYD approach at predicting breeding value, dependent on simulated scenarios and statistical models. Applying a Bayesian common prior model (the same prior distribution of marker effect variance) and a linear mixed model (GBLUP), the...... index combining GEBV and PA in most scenarios. These results indicate that EBV can be used as an alternative response variable for genomic prediction....

  18. 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

  19. Biodegradation of natural oils in seawater

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Al-Darbi, M.M.; Saeed, N.O.; Islam, M.R. [Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS (Canada). Faculty of Engineering; Lee, K. [Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, NS (Canada)

    2005-01-15

    Spills of non-petroleum hydrocarbons including oils and fish oils are of environmental concern because of their potential to cause serious effects on marine life and coastal environments. Biodegradation by indigenous microorganisms is an important and potentially ubiquitous process affecting both the chemical composition and physical properties of contaminant oils. Data on the environmental persistence of non-petroleum oils is now required for risk assessments and decision making by spill responders. This article investigates the biodegradability of various vegetable and fish oils under the influence of natural bacteria in seawater. The influence of nutrients and microbial environment on changes in bacterial numbers and the extent and rate of degradation for various test oils (olive, mustard, canola and cod liver oils) were studied over time. Time-series visual and microscopic observations were made to characterize physical changes in the residual oils, formation of floating and precipitate particles, oil droplets and dispersion. The biodegradation process was significantly influenced by environmental conditions, with a higher rate and extent of biodegradation observed in seawater amended with nutrients and wastewater that contained elevated numbers of bacteria and nutrients. It was observed that different oils respond in different rates and extents to biodegradation depending on their stability, viscosity and compositions. All results clearly revealed a significant response of the oil-contaminated samples to both the seawater and wastewater environments. Observations on changes in the physical properties of the residual oil may be important in the context of oil spill response strategies. For example, simple physical recovery methods may be used to recover polymeric lumps at the sea surface. (author)

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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 ...

  4. Modelling studies on soil-mediated response to acid deposition and climate variability

    OpenAIRE

    Holmberg, Maria

    2003-01-01

    The impact of acidifying atmospheric precipitation and climate variability on forest soil was studied using three approaches: (i) dynamic process-oriented modelling, (ii) static vulnerability assessment, and (iii) non-linear response pattern identification. The dynamic soil acidification model MIDAS is presented, with applications at the plot and catchment scale in Norway, Sweden and Finland, which show that growing vegetation contributes to soil acidification and which illustrate that the re...

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  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. 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.

    ANOVA showed significant variation in environmental parameters with time during monsoon. Principal component analysis of the abiotic variables revealed salinity, nitrite and nitrate to be the three driving attributes of the coastal waters during...

  17. 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.

  18. Biodegradation of halogenated organic compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhry, G R; Chapalamadugu, S

    1991-03-01

    In this review we discuss the degradation of chlorinated hydrocarbons by microorganisms, emphasizing the physiological, biochemical, and genetic basis of the biodegradation of aliphatic, aromatic, and polycyclic compounds. Many environmentally important xenobiotics are halogenated, especially chlorinated. These compounds are manufactured and used as pesticides, plasticizers, paint and printing-ink components, adhesives, flame retardants, hydraulic and heat transfer fluids, refrigerants, solvents, additives for cutting oils, and textile auxiliaries. The hazardous chemicals enter the environment through production, commercial application, and waste. As a result of bioaccumulation in the food chain and groundwater contamination, they pose public health problems because many of them are toxic, mutagenic, or carcinogenic. Although synthetic chemicals are usually recalcitrant to biodegradation, microorganisms have evolved an extensive range of enzymes, pathways, and control mechanisms that are responsible for catabolism of a wide variety of such compounds. Thus, such biological degradation can be exploited to alleviate environmental pollution problems. The pathways by which a given compound is degraded are determined by the physical, chemical, and microbiological aspects of a particular environment. By understanding the genetic basis of catabolism of xenobiotics, it is possible to improve the efficacy of naturally occurring microorganisms or construct new microorganisms capable of degrading pollutants in soil and aquatic environments more efficiently. Recently a number of genes whose enzyme products have a broader substrate specificity for the degradation of aromatic compounds have been cloned and attempts have been made to construct gene cassettes or synthetic operons comprising these degradative genes. Such gene cassettes or operons can be transferred into suitable microbial hosts for extending and custom designing the pathways for rapid degradation of recalcitrant

  19. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Stella Bollmann; Eva Böbel; Moritz Heene

    2015-01-01

    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 exa...

  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. Hair follicle response to the variable l.e.t. of a helium ion beam

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A homogeneous population of hair follicles in the rat tail has been used to analyse the in vivo response of a biological system to heavy particle irradiation. The conical configuration of the rat tail gives rise to a variable energy degradation of the beam thus yielding information on the damage elicited by the increasing l.e.t. of the helium beam at different sites on the same sample. By means of scanning electron microscopy three different zones were observed as direct evidence of helium ion penetration in the tail. Quantitative evaluation of radiation damage yielded results concerning hair follicle damage after increasing doses for different regions of the ionization curve. (author)

  3. 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

  4. Development and Validation of Culture-Specific Variable Response Inconsistency and True Response Inconsistency Scales for Use with the Korean MMPI-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ketterer, Holly L.; Han, Kyunghee; Hur, Jaehong; Moon, Kyungjoo

    2010-01-01

    In response to the concern that Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2; J. N. Butcher, W. Dahlstrom, J. R. Graham, A. Tellegen, & B. Kaemmer, 1989; J. N. Butcher et al., 2001) Variable Response Inconsistency (VRIN) and True Response Inconsistency (TRIN) score invalidity criteria recommended for use with American samples results in…

  5. Time Course and Variability of Polycythemic Response in Men at High Altitude

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grover, R. F.; Seiland, M.; McCullough, R. G.; Greenleaf, J. E.; Dahms, T. E.; Wolfel, E.; Reeves, J. T.

    2000-01-01

    Ten young men were exposed to 4,300 m (PB 460 Torr) for three weeks. Plasma volume (PV, Evans Blue dye). and blood volume (BV, carbon monoxide) measured simultaneously, and red cell volume (RCV) calculated from hematocrit, were determined twice at sea level and after 9-11 and 19-20 days at high altitude. After 19-20 days. half the subjects increased RCV +19.4 +/- 1.8% (paltitude. Consequently, compared with sea level values, BV was unchanged (-3.1 +/- 1.8%) in the group with increased RCV, but BV decreased significantly (-12.2 +/- 1.4%, p<0.05) in the other group. Variability in RCV response was not explained by differences, in hypoxemic stimulus or the erythropoictin and reticulocyte responses. Since RCV reflects the balance between red cell. production and destruction, accelerated red cell destruction may have occurred in those individuals with no net change in RCV.

  6. 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.

  7. Ecosystem responses to recent oceanographic variability in high-latitude Northern Hemisphere ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueter, Franz J.; Broms, Cecilie; Drinkwater, Kenneth F.; Friedland, Kevin D.; Hare, Jonathan A.; Hunt, George L., Jr.; Melle, Webjørn; Taylor, Maureen

    2009-04-01

    As part of the international MENU collaboration, we compared and contrasted ecosystem responses to climate-forced oceanographic variability across several high latitude regions of the North Pacific (Eastern Bering Sea (EBS) and Gulf of Alaska (GOA)) and North Atlantic Oceans (Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank (GOM/GB) and the Norwegian/Barents Seas (NOR/BAR)). Differences in the nitrate content of deep source waters and incoming solar radiation largely explain differences in average primary productivity among these ecosystems. We compared trends in productivity and abundance at various trophic levels and their relationships with sea-surface temperature. Annual net primary production generally increases with annual mean sea-surface temperature between systems and within the EBS, BAR, and GOM/GB. Zooplankton biomass appears to be controlled by both top-down (predation by fish) and bottom-up forcing (advection, SST) in the BAR and NOR regions. In contrast, zooplankton in the GOM/GB region showed no evidence of top-down forcing but appeared to control production of major fish populations through bottom-up processes that are independent of temperature variability. Recruitment of several fish stocks is significantly and positively correlated with temperature in the EBS and BAR, but cod and pollock recruitment in the EBS has been negatively correlated with temperature since the 1977 shift to generally warmer conditions. In each of the ecosystems, fish species showed a general poleward movement in response to warming. In addition, the distribution of groundfish in the EBS has shown a more complex, non-linear response to warming resulting from internal community dynamics. Responses to recent warming differ across systems and appear to be more direct and more pronounced in the higher latitude systems where food webs and trophic interactions are simpler and where both zooplankton and fish species are often limited by cold temperatures.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. The evaluation of storm rainfall variability and its influence on runoff response at a catchment scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Vaclav; Davidová, Tereza

    2015-04-01

    Storm rainfall events are usually very dynamic processes which are characterized by high spatial and temporal variability. It can influence the catchment response to the event a lot in terms of the shape and volume of response hydrographs. In this contribution, the variability of selected rainfall events is presented. It is assessed in terms of total volumes of precipitation which are an input to rainfall-runoff process. As a source of precipitation information, data from precipitation gauging stations were used which have one hour time step. Additionally, data originated from weather radar were used to describe spatial variability in more detail. Measured reflectivity data were transformed into the values of precipitation intensities which were compared to station data to make a check on the reliability of radar originated data. The assessment was carried out by the comparison of total precipitation to a catchment based on different extent of source data. Precipitation totals were calculated from station data using different methods including Thiessen polygons and different interpolation techniques. As a study area, the catchment of Blanice River was selected. This catchment is located in Central Bohemia Region and smaller part extends beyond it to South Bohemia Region. Its total area to the confluence to Sázava River is 543 km2. In this catchment, agricultural lands predominates but the percentage of forests is also not negligible. The area is in general hilly with important presence of steep slopes. The results of obtained by the analyses carried out show the high importance of the amount of available precipitation data and their quality. Despite the fact that the variability of precipitation can affect the distribution of runoff and consecutively the shape of response hydrograph, it can affect also the accuracy and representativeness of the information provided by point measurements of precipitation by gauges and by weather radars. Acknowledgement The research

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The contribution of pre-stimulus neural oscillatory activity to spontaneous response time variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bompas, Aline; Sumner, Petroc; Muthumumaraswamy, Suresh D; Singh, Krish D; Gilchrist, Iain D

    2015-02-15

    Large variability between individual response times, even in identical conditions, is a ubiquitous property of animal behavior. However, the origins of this stochasticity and its relation to action decisions remain unclear. Here we focus on the state of the perception-action network in the pre-stimulus period and its influence on subsequent saccadic response time and choice in humans. We employ magnetoencephalography (MEG) and a correlational source reconstruction approach to identify the brain areas where pre-stimulus oscillatory activity predicted saccadic response time to visual targets. We find a relationship between future response time and pre-stimulus power, but not phase, in occipital (including V1), parietal, posterior cingulate and superior frontal cortices, consistently across alpha, beta and low gamma frequencies, each accounting for between 1 and 4% of the RT variance. Importantly, these correlations were not explained by deterministic sources of variance, such as experimental factors and trial history. Our results further suggest that occipital areas mainly reflect short-term (trial to trial) stochastic fluctuations, while the frontal contribution largely reflects longer-term effects such as fatigue or practice. Parietal areas reflect fluctuations at both time scales. We found no evidence of lateralization: these effects were indistinguishable in both hemispheres and for both saccade directions, and non-predictive of choice - a finding with fundamental consequences for models of action decision, where independent, not coupled, noise is normally assumed. PMID:25482267

  15. Human inter-individual variability in metabolism and genotoxic response to zidovudine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A mainstay of the antiretroviral drugs used for therapy of HIV-1, zidovudine (AZT) is genotoxic and becomes incorporated into DNA. Here we explored host inter-individual variability in AZT-DNA incorporation, by AZT radioimmunoassay (RIA), using 19 different strains of normal human mammary epithelial cells (NHMECs) exposed for 24 h to 200 μM AZT. Twelve of the 19 NHMEC strains showed detectable AZT-DNA incorporation levels (16 to 259 molecules of AZT/106 nucleotides), while 7 NHMEC strains did not show detectable AZT-DNA incorporation. In order to explore the basis for this variability, we compared the 2 NHMEC strains that showed the highest levels of AZT-DNA incorporation (H1 and H2) with 2 strains showing no detectable AZT-DNA incorporation (L1 and L2). All 4 strains had similar (≥ 80%) cell survival, low levels of accumulation of cells in S-phase, and no relevant differences in response to the direct-acting mutagen bleomycin (BLM). Finally, when levels of thymidine kinase 1 (TK1), the first enzyme in the pathway for incorporation of AZT into DNA, were determined by Western blot analysis in all 19 NHMEC strains at 24 h of AZT exposure, higher TK1 protein levels were found in the 12 strains showing AZT-DNA incorporation, compared to the 7 showing no incorporation (p = 0.0005, Mann-Whitney test). Furthermore, strains L1 and L2, which did not show AZT-DNA incorporation at 24 h, did have measurable incorporation by 48 and 72 h. These data suggest that variability in AZT-DNA incorporation may be modulated by inter-individual differences in the rate of induction of TK1 in response to AZT exposure

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Increased Intrasubject Variability in Response Time in Youths with Bipolar Disorder and At-Risk Family Members

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brotman, Melissa A.; Rooney, Melissa H.; Skup, Martha; Pine, Daniel S.; Leibenluft, Ellen

    2009-01-01

    Intrasubject variability in response time (ISV-RT) was higher in youths with bipolar disorder (BD) and those with first-degree relatives with BD compared to youths without BD. ISV-RT may be a risk marker for BD.

  20. 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…

  1. Preparation of a biodegradable oil absorber and its biodegradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoo, Su-Yong; Daud, Wan Mohd Ashri Wan; Lee, Min-Gyu

    2012-01-01

    The biodegradable oil absorption resin (B-PEHA) was prepared by suspension polymerization, and its preparation was confirmed by Fourier transform infrared analysis. The oil absorption capacities of the prepared B-PEHA were: chloroform 30.88, toluene 19.75, xylene, 18.78, THF 15.96, octane 11.43, hexane 9.5, diesel oil 12.80, and kerosene 13.79 g/g. The biodegradation of the prepared B-PEHA was also investigated by determination of reduced sugar produced after enzymatic hydrolysis, thermogravimetric analysis, and incubation with Aspergillus niger. The biodegradation of B-PEHA was ~18%. PMID:21909668

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Putative role of aquaporins in variable hydraulic conductance of leaves in response to light.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochard, Hervé; Venisse, Jean-Stéphane; Barigah, Têtè Sévérien; Brunel, Nicole; Herbette, Stéphane; Guilliot, Agnès; Tyree, Melvin T; Sakr, Soulaiman

    2007-01-01

    Molecular and physiological studies in walnut (Juglans regia) are combined to establish the putative role of leaf plasma membrane aquaporins in the response of leaf hydraulic conductance (K(leaf)) to irradiance. The effects of light and temperature on K(leaf) are described. Under dark conditions, K(leaf) was low, but increased by 400% upon exposure to light. In contrast to dark conditions, K(leaf) values of light-exposed leaves responded to temperature and 0.1 mm cycloheximide treatments. Furthermore, K(leaf) was not related to stomatal aperture. Data of real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction showed that K(leaf) dynamics were tightly correlated with the transcript abundance of two walnut aquaporins (JrPIP2,1 and JrPIP2,2). Low K(leaf) in the dark was associated with down-regulation, whereas high K(leaf) in the light was associated with up-regulation of JrPIP2. Light responses of K(leaf) and aquaporin transcripts were reversible and inhibited by cycloheximide, indicating the importance of de novo protein biosynthesis in this process. Our results indicate that walnut leaves can rapidly change their hydraulic conductance and suggest that these changes can be explained by regulation of plasma membrane aquaporins. Model simulation suggests that variable leaf hydraulic conductance in walnut might enhance leaf gas exchanges while buffering leaf water status in response to ambient light fluctuations. PMID:17114274

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. Biodegradation of biodiesel fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biodiesel fuel test substances Rape Ethyl Ester (REE), Rape Methyl Ester (RME), Neat Rape Oil (NR), Say Methyl Ester (SME), Soy Ethyl Ester (SEE), Neat Soy Oil (NS), and proportionate combinations of RME/diesel and REE/diesel were studied to test the biodegradability of the test substances in an aerobic aquatic environment using the EPA 560/6-82-003 Shake Flask Test Method. A concurrent analysis of Phillips D-2 Reference Diesel was also performed for comparison with a conventional fuel. The highest rates of percent CO2 evolution were seen in the esterified fuels, although no significant difference was noted between them. Ranges of percent CO2 evolution for esterified fuels were from 77% to 91%. The neat rape and neat soy oils exhibited 70% to 78% CO2 evolution. These rates were all significantly higher than those of the Phillips D-2 reference fuel which evolved from 7% to 26% of the organic carbon to CO2. The test substances were examined for BOD5 and COD values as a relative measure of biodegradability. Water Accommodated Fraction (WAF) was experimentally derived and BOD5 and COD analyses were carried out with a diluted concentration at or below the WAF. The results of analysis at WAF were then converted to pure substance values. The pure substance BOD5 and COD values for test substances were then compared to a control substance, Phillips D-2 Reference fuel. No significant difference was noted for COD values between test substances and the control fuel. (p > 0.20). The D-2 control substance was significantly lower than all test substances for BCD, values at p 5 value

  9. Mesoscale disturbance and ecological response to decadal climatic variability in the American Southwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swetnam, T.W.; Betancourt, J.L.

    1998-01-01

    Ecological responses to climatic variability in the Southwest include regionally synchronized fires, insect outbreaks, and pulses in tree demography (births and deaths). Multicentury, tree-ring reconstructions of drought, disturbance history, and tree demography reveal climatic effects across scales, from annual to decadal, and from local (Climate-disturbance relations are more variable and complex than previously assumed. During the past three centuries, mesoscale outbreaks of the western spruce budworm (Choristoneura occidentalis) were associated with wet, not dry episodes, contrary to conventional wisdom. Regional fires occur during extreme droughts but, in some ecosystems, antecedent wet conditions play a secondary role by regulating accumulation of fuels. Interdecadal changes in fire-climate associations parallel other evidence for shifts in the frequency or amplitude of the Southern Oscillation (SO) during the past three centuries. High interannual, fire-climate correlations (r = 0.7 to 0.9) during specific decades (i.e., circa 1740-80 and 1830-60) reflect periods of high amplitude in the SO and rapid switching from extreme wet to dry years in the Southwest, thereby entraining fire occurrence across the region. Weak correlations from 1780 to 1830 correspond with a decrease in SO frequency or amplitude inferred from independent tree-ring width, ice core, and coral isotope reconstructions. Episodic dry and wet episodes have altered age structures and species composition of woodland and conifer forests. The scarcity of old, living conifers established before circa 1600 suggests that the extreme drought of 1575-95 had pervasive effects on tree populations. The most extreme drought of the past 400 years occurred in the mid-twentieth century (1942-57). This drought resulted in broadscale plant dieoffs in shrublands, woodlands, and forests and accelerated shrub invasion of grasslands. Drought conditions were broken by the post-1976 shift to the negative SO phase and

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Dynamic Crushing Response of Closed-cell Aluminium Foam at Variable Strain Rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, M. A.; Kader, M. A.; Escobedo, J. P.; Hazell, P. J.; Appleby-Thomas, G. J.; Quadir, M. Z.

    2015-06-01

    The impact response of aluminium foams is essential for assessing their crashworthiness and energy absorption capacity for potential applications. The dynamic compactions of closed-cell aluminium foams (CYMAT) have been tested at variable strain rates. Microstructural characterization has also been carried out. The low strain rate impact test has been carried out using drop weight experiments while the high strain compaction test has been carried out via plate impact experiments. The post impacted samples have been examined using optical and electron microscopy to observe the microstructural changes during dynamic loading. This combination of dynamic deformation during impact and post impact microstructural analysis helped to evaluate the pore collapse mechanism and impact energy absorption characteristics.

  13. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 (Not) and interface traps (Nit) 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

  18. The response of the North Pacific Decadal Variability to strong tropical volcanic eruptions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Tao [Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nansen-Zhu International Research Center, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Beijing (China); Otteraa, Odd Helge [Uni Bjerknes Centre, Uni Research, Bergen (Norway); Bjerknes Center for Climate Research, Bergen (Norway); Gao, Yongqi [Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nansen-Zhu International Research Center, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Beijing (China); Bjerknes Center for Climate Research, Bergen (Norway); Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, Bergen (Norway); Wang, Huijun [Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nansen-Zhu International Research Center, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Beijing (China); Chinese Academy of Sciences, Climate Change Research Center, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Beijing (China)

    2012-12-15

    In this study, the effects of volcanic forcing on North Pacific climate variability, on interannual to decadal time scales, are examined using climate model simulations covering the last 600 years. The model used is the Bergen Climate Model, a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model. It is found that natural external forcings, such as tropical strong volcanic eruptions (SVEs) and variations in total solar irradiance, play an important role in regulating North Pacific Decadal Variability (NPDV). In response to tropical SVEs the lower stratospheric pole-to-equator temperature gradient is enhanced. The North polar vortex is strengthened, which forces a significant positive Arctic Oscillation. At the same time, dipole zonal wind anomalies associated with strong polar vortex propagate downward from the lower stratosphere. Through positive feedbacks in the troposphere, the surface westerly winds across the central North Pacific are significantly weakened, and positive sea level pressure anomalies are formed in the North Pacific. This anomalous surface circulation results in changes in the net heat fluxes and the oceanic advection across the North Pacific. As a result of this, warm water converges in the subtropical western North Pacific, where the surface waters in addition are heated by significantly reduced latent and sensible heat fluxes from the ocean. In the eastern and high-latitude North Pacific the ocean loses more heat, and large-scale decreases in sea surface temperatures are found. The overall response of this chain of events is that the North Pacific enters a negative phase of the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO), and this negative phase of the PDO is maintained for several years. It is thus concluded that the volcanic forcing plays a key role in the phasing of the PDO. The model results furthermore highlight the important role of troposphere-stratosphere coupling, tropical-extratropical teleconnections and extratropical ocean

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

    2016-04-01

    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. PMID:26573338

  2. Using Bayesian inference for parameter estimation when the system response and experimental conditions are measured with error and some variables are considered as nuisance variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emery, A. F.; Valenti, E.; Bardot, D.

    2007-01-01

    Parameter estimation is generally based upon the maximum likelihood approach and often involves regularization. Typically it is desired that the results be unbiased and of minimum variance. However, it is often better to accept biased estimates that have minimum mean square error. Bayesian inference is an attractive approach that achieves this goal and incorporates regularization automatically. More importantly, it permits us to analyse experiments in which both the system response and the independent variables (time, sensor position, experimental conditions, etc) are corrupted by noise and in which the model includes nuisance variables. This paper describes the use of Bayesian inference for an apparently simple experiment which is, in fact, fundamentally difficult and is compounded by a nuisance variable. By presenting this analysis we hope that members of the inverse community will see the value of applying Bayesian inference.

  3. FOSSIL FUEL BIODEGRADATION: LABORATORY STUDIES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natural processes of biodegradation, that return carbon from its various organic forms to the inorganic state, are increasingly screened for bioremediation applications. ariety of microbial systems capable of degrading synthetic organic chemicals, from pesticides to polychlorinat...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Anaerobic biodegradability of kitchen waste

    OpenAIRE

    Neves, L.; Oliveira, Rosário; M. Mota; Alves, M.M.

    2002-01-01

    Biodegradability of synthetic and real kitchen wastes was assessed in batch assays, under different solid contents between 1,8 and 24% and waste/inoculum ratios between 0,2 and 29 VSwaste/Vsseed sludge. Methanization rate and cumulative methane production from synthetic wastes simulated with different blends of protein, carbohydrates, fat and cellulose were compared. Although the excess of protein, carbohydrates and cellulose enhanced the biodegradability by 16 to 48%, the excess of fat re...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Biodegradation of polyethoxylated nonylphenols.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Yassellis; Medina, Luis; Borusiak, Margarita; Ramos, Nairalith; Pinto, Gilberto; Valbuena, Oscar

    2013-01-01

    Polyethoxylated nonylphenols, with different ethoxylation degrees (NPEO x ), are incorporated into many commercial and industrial products such as detergents, domestic disinfectants, emulsifiers, cosmetics, and pesticides. However, the toxic effects exerted by their degradation products, which are persistent in natural environments, have been demonstrated in several animal and invertebrate aquatic species. Therefore, it seems appropriate to look for indigenous bacteria capable of degrading native NPEO x and its derivatives. In this paper, the isolation of five bacterial strains, capable of using NPEO 15 , as unique carbon source, is described. The most efficient NPEO 15 degrader bacterial strains were identified as Pseudomonas fluorescens (strain Yas2) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (strain Yas1). Maximal growth rates were reached at pH 8, 27°C in a 5% NPEO 15 medium. The NPEO 15 degradation extension, followed by viscometry assays, reached 65% after 54.5 h and 134 h incubation times, while the COD values decreased by 95% and 85% after 24 h for the Yas1 and Yas2 systems, respectively. The BOD was reduced by 99% and 99.9% levels in 24 h and 48 h incubations. The viscosity data indicated that the NPEO 15 biodegradation by Yas2 follows first-order kinetics. Kinetic rate constant (k) and half life time (τ) for this biotransformation were estimated to be 0.0072 h(-1) and 96.3 h, respectively. PMID:23936727

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Effects of the Biodegradation on Biodegradable Polymer Blends and Polypropylene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, R. C. T.; Franchetti, S. M. M.; Agnelli, J. A. M.; Mattoso, L. H. C.

    2008-08-01

    The large use of plastics in the world generates a large amount of waste which persists around 200 years in the environment. To minimize this effect is important to search some new polymer materials: the blends of biodegradable polymers with synthetic polymers. It is a large area that needs an intensive research to investigate the blends properties and its behavior face to the different treatments to aim at the biodegradation. The blends used in this work are: some biodegradable polymers such as: poly(hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) and poly(ɛ-polycaprolactone) (PCL) with a synthetic polymer, polypropylene (PP), in lower concentration. These blends were prepared using an internal mixer (Torque Rheometer), and pressed. These films were submitted to fungus biotreatment. The films analyses will be carried out by Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR), UV-Vis absorption (UV-Vis), Scanning Electronic Microscopy (SEM), DSC and TGA.

  5. 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.

  6. Biodegradable and radically polymerized elastomers with enhanced processing capabilities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ifkovits, Jamie L; Burdick, Jason A [Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Padera, Robert F [Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women' s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115 (United States)], E-mail: burdick2@seas.upenn.edu

    2008-09-01

    The development of biodegradable materials with elastomeric properties is beneficial for a variety of applications, including for use in the engineering of soft tissues. Although others have developed biodegradable elastomers, they are restricted by their processing at high temperatures and under vacuum, which limits their fabrication into complex scaffolds. To overcome this, we have modified precursors to a tough biodegradable elastomer, poly(glycerol sebacate) (PGS) with acrylates to impart control over the crosslinking process and allow for more processing options. The acrylated-PGS (Acr-PGS) macromers are capable of crosslinking through free radical initiation mechanisms (e.g., redox and photo-initiated polymerizations). Alterations in the molecular weight and % acrylation of the Acr-PGS led to changes in formed network mechanical properties. In general, Young's modulus increased with % acrylation and the % strain at break increased with molecular weight when the % acrylation was held constant. Based on the mechanical properties, one macromer was further investigated for in vitro and in vivo degradation and biocompatibility. A mild to moderate inflammatory response typical of implantable biodegradable polymers was observed, even when formed as an injectable system with redox initiation. Moreover, fibrous scaffolds of Acr-PGS and a carrier polymer, poly(ethylene oxide), were prepared via an electrospinning and photopolymerization technique and the fiber morphology was dependent on the ratio of these components. This system provides biodegradable polymers with tunable properties and enhanced processing capabilities towards the advancement of approaches in engineering soft tissues.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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 .

  11. 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.

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Responses of terrestrial ecosystems and carbon budgets to current and future environmental variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medvigy, David; Wofsy, Steven C; Munger, J William; Moorcroft, Paul R

    2010-05-01

    We assess the significance of high-frequency variability of environmental parameters (sunlight, precipitation, temperature) for the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems under current and future climate. We examine the influence of hourly, daily, and monthly variance using the Ecosystem Demography model version 2 in conjunction with the long-term record of carbon fluxes measured at Harvard Forest. We find that fluctuations of sunlight and precipitation are strongly and nonlinearly coupled to ecosystem function, with effects that accumulate through annual and decadal timescales. Increasing variability in sunlight and precipitation leads to lower rates of carbon sequestration and favors broad-leaved deciduous trees over conifers. Temperature variability has only minor impacts by comparison. We also find that projected changes in sunlight and precipitation variability have important implications for carbon storage and ecosystem structure and composition. Based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change model estimates for changes in high-frequency meteorological variability over the next 100 years, we expect that terrestrial ecosystems will be affected by changes in variability almost as much as by changes in mean climate. We conclude that terrestrial ecosystems are highly sensitive to high-frequency meteorological variability, and that accurate knowledge of the statistics of this variability is essential for realistic predictions of ecosystem structure and functioning. PMID:20404190

  1. 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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 μm 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Variability in lateralised blood flow response to language is associated with language development in children aged 1-5 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, M; Keage, H A D; Spooner, R; Flitton, A; Hofmann, J; Churches, O F; Elliott, S; Badcock, N A

    2015-01-01

    The developmental trajectory of language lateralisation over the preschool years is unclear. We explored the relationship between lateralisation of cerebral blood flow velocity response to object naming and cognitive performance in children aged 1-5 years. Functional transcranial Doppler ultrasound was used to record blood flow velocity bilaterally from middle cerebral arteries during a naming task in 58 children (59% male). At group level, the Lateralisation Index (LI) revealed a greater relative increase in cerebral blood flow velocity within the left as compared to right middle cerebral artery. After controlling for maternal IQ, left-lateralised children displayed lower expressive language scores compared to right- and bi-lateralised children, and reduced variability in LI. Supporting this, greater variability in lateralised response, rather than mean response, was indicative of greater expressive language ability. Findings suggest that a delayed establishment of language specialisation is associated with better language ability in the preschool years. PMID:25950747

  4. 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

  5. Long-term release of clodronate from biodegradable microspheres

    OpenAIRE

    Perugini, Paola; Genta, Ida; Conti, Bice; Modena, Tiziana; Pavanetto, Franca

    2001-01-01

    This paper describes the formulation of a biodegradable microparticulate drug delivery system containing clodronate, a bisphosphonate intended for the treatment of bone diseases. Microspheres were prepared with several poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) copolymers of various molecular weights and molar compositions and 1 poly(D,L-lactide) (PDLLA) homopolymer by a water-in-oil-in-water (w/o/w) double emulsion solvent evaporation procedure. Critical process parameters and formulation variabl...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Biodegradation kinetics at low concentrations (

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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 in the...

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. Variable glacier response to atmospheric warming, northern Antarctic Peninsula, 1988–2009

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. J. Davies

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The northern Antarctic Peninsula has recently exhibited ice-shelf disintegration, glacier recession and acceleration. However, the dynamic response of land-terminating, ice-shelf tributary and tidewater glaciers has not yet been quantified or assessed for variability, and there are sparse data for glacier classification, morphology, area, length or altitude. This paper firstly classifies the area, length, altitude, slope, aspect, geomorphology, type and hypsometry of 194 glaciers on Trinity Peninsula, Vega Island and James Ross Island in 2009 AD. Secondly, this paper documents glacier change 1988–2009. In 2009, the glacierised area was 8140±262 km2. From 1988–2001, 90% of glaciers receded, and from 2001–2009, 79% receded. This equates to an area change of −4.4% for Trinity Peninsula eastern coast glaciers, −0.6% for western coast glaciers, and −35.0% for ice-shelf tributary glaciers from 1988–2001. Tidewater glaciers on the drier, cooler eastern Trinity Peninsula experienced fastest shrinkage from 1988–2001, with limited frontal change after 2001. Glaciers on the western Trinity Peninsula shrank less than those on the east. Land-terminating glaciers on James Ross Island shrank fastest in the period 1988–2001. This east-west difference is largely a result of orographic temperature and precipitation gradients across the Antarctic Peninsula, with warming temperatures affecting the precipitation-starved glaciers on the eastern coast more than on the western coast. Reduced shrinkage on the western Peninsula may be a result of higher snowfall, perhaps in conjunction with the fact that these glaciers are mostly grounded. Rates of area loss on the eastern side of Trinity Peninsula are slowing, which we attribute to the floating ice tongues receding into the fjords and reaching a new dynamic equilibrium. The rapid shrinkage of tidewater glaciers on James Ross Island is likely to continue because of their low elevations and

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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.

  16. Biobased and biodegradable polymer nanocomposites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Kaiyan

    In this dissertation, various noncrosslinked and crosslinked biobased and biodegradable polymer nanocomposites were fabricated and characterized. The properties of these polymer nanocomposites, and their relating mechanisms and corresponding applications were studied and discussed in depth. Chapter 1 introduces the research background and objectives of the current research. Chapter 2 presents the development of a novel low cost carbon source for bacterial cellulose (BC) production and fabrication and characterization of biobased polymer nanocomposites using produced BC and soy protein based resins. The carbon source, soy flour extract (SFE), was obtained from defatted soy flour (SF) and BC yield achieved using SFE medium was high. The results of this study showed that SFE consists of five sugars and Acetobacter xylinum metabolized sugars in a specific order. Chapter 3 discusses the fabrication and characterization of biodegradable polymer nanocomposites using BC and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). These polymer nanocomposites had excellent tensile and thermal properties. Crosslinking of PVA using glutaraldehyde (GA) not only increased the mechanical and thermal properties but the water-resistance. Chapter 4 describes the development and characterization of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) based biodegradable polymer nanocomposites by blending MFC suspension with PVA. Chemical crosslinking of the polymer nanocomposites was carried out using glyoxal to increase the mechanical and thermal properties as well as to make the PVA partially water-insoluble. Chapter 5 reports the development and characterization of halloysite nanotube (HNT) reinforced biodegradable polymer nanocomposites utilizing HNT dispersion and PVA. Several separation techniques were used to obtain individualized HNT dispersion. The results indicated uniform dispersion of HNTs in both PVA and malonic acid (MA) crosslinked PVA resulted in excellent mechanical and thermal properties of the materials, especially

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. Towards personalized causal inference of medication response in mobile health: an instrumental variable approach for randomized trials with imperfect compliance

    OpenAIRE

    Neto, Elias Chaibub; Bot, Brian M.; Kellen, Mike; Friend, Stephen H; Trister, Andrew D.

    2016-01-01

    Mobile health studies can leverage longitudinal sensor data from smartphones to guide the application of personalized medical interventions. These studies are particularly appealing due to their ability to attract a large number of participants. In this paper, we argue that the adoption of an instrumental variable approach for randomized trials with imperfect compliance provides a natural framework for personalized causal inference of medication response in mobile health studies. Randomized t...

  1. Tree ring variability and climate response of Abies spectabilis along an elevation gradient in Mustang, Nepal

    OpenAIRE

    Kharal, D.K.; Meilby, Henrik; Rayamajhi, S.; Bhuju, D.; Thapa, U.K.

    2014-01-01

    In mountainous areas including the Himalayas, tree lines are expected to advance to higher altitudes due to global climate change affecting the distribution and growth of plant species. This study aimed at identifying the tree ring variability of Abies spectabilis (D. Don) and its response to the climate along an elevation gradient in the high Himalayas of central Nepal. Tree core samples were collected from four sites in Mustang district. All sites were located in the same valley and exposed...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Dong, Yun-wei; Yu, Shan-Shan; Wang, Qing-lin; Dong, Shuang-Lin

    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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Factors and variables affecting tumor response to combined heat and radiation in head and neck

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The purpose of this report is to evaluate, retrospectively, the value of the combined modality over radiation alone with respect to CR rate and its correlation with some variables, such as tumor temperature and tumor volume, in a patient population homogeneous with respect to tumor site and histology and treated under the same conditions according to a treatment protocol. (orig./MG)

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. Biodegradable lubricants for road vehicles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schramm, J. [Denmark Technical Univ., Lyngby (Denmark). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

    2004-07-01

    This presentation outlined the characteristics of biolubricants and their use in vehicles. Experiments with compression ignition (CI) and spark ignition (SI) engines were also presented. Biolubes can be used in 4-stroke and 2-stroke engines, bearing compressors and hydraulic equipment. Studies have shown that biolubes do not cause unusual engine wear. They are produced from biomass, with the base material being vegetable oils and synthetic esters. Conventional lubricants are produced from fossil fuels, with the base material being mineral oils, polyglycol or synthetic ester. This presentation rated the characteristics of various lubricants in terms of viscosity temperature behaviour, low temperature behaviour, liquid range, oxidation stability, thermal stability, volatility, fire resistance, hydrolytic stability, corrosion protection, seal material compatibility, paints compatibility, miscibility with mineral oil, solubility of additives, lubricating properties, toxicity, and biodegradability. The environmental impacts of biolubes regarding emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and particulate matter were discussed along with the impact of combining biolubes with alternative fuels. The future beneficial applications include outboard engines, off road vehicle engines and road vehicle engines. Currently, vegetable oil based biolubricants are 2 to 3 times more expensive than mineral based oils, and synthetic lubricants are even more expensive. It was suggested that future studies should examine the biodegradability of used lubricants, the performance of biodegradable lubricants, alternative fuels and fuel economy. tabs., figs.

  20. 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.

  1. Radiation effects on biodegradable polyesters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) [P(3HB)] and its copolymer poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3hydroxyvalerate) [P(3HB-co-3HV)] are microbial biodegradable polyesters produced by many types of bacteria. Poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) and poly(E-caprolactone) (PCL) are also biodegradable synthetic polyesters which have been commercialized. These thermoplastics are expected for wide usage in environmental protection and blocompatible applications. Radiation grafting of hydrophilic monomers onto many polymers, e.g., polyethylene and polypropylene has been studied mainly for biomedical applications. In the present study, radiation-induced graft polymerization of vinyl monomers onto PHB and P(3HB-co-3HV) was carried out and improvement of their properties was studied. Changes in the properties and biodegradability were compared with the degree of grafting. Radiation-induced crosslinking of PBS and PCL which relatively show thermal and irradiation stability was also carried out to improve their thermal stability or processability. Irradiation to PBS and PCL mainly resulted in crosslinking and characterization of these crosslinked polyesters was investigated

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

    Due to the heterogeneity of the Arctic tundra, general current understanding of net carbon (C) uptake in these ecosystems is poorly developed. This study investigates the dependency of carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes on environmental, meteorological and vegetation properties in high, low and subarctic...... tundra sites for the purpose of exposing the environmental, meteorological and vegetation factors, especially season length, that drive CO2 fluxes in disparate tundra environments. Partitioning CO2 fluxes and redefining seasons in the same manner improved our interpretation of the factors affecting flux...... 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...

  6. Evaluating aquifer response to variable ground water pumpage scenarios in indus basin through finite element modeling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A three-dimensional numerical groundwater flow model was developed using Feflow 5.1 software to investigate the aquifer behavior of Upper Jhelum Canal command under variables cenarios of groundwater pumpage. The results of the study show that the ground water systemis effected by variable conditions of the ground water pumpage thus influencing the watertable status in the Indus irrigated plain. The groundwater -levels indicated sensitivity to both increase in numbers of tubewells and pumpage rates. Although lowering of the water table due to increase in groundwater pumpage may result in minimizing the negative effects of water logging and salinity in the area but other influential factors (physical and management) also need to be investigated in order to reduce future risks of these problems on sustainable basis. A detail investigation of the groundwater system is required in context of increasing number of private/public tube wells and rapidly changing environment in the Indus irrigated plain. (author)

  7. 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...

  8. 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 ...

  9. Community trait response to environment: disentangling species turnover vs intraspecific trait variability effects

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lepš, Jan; de Bello, Francesco; Šmilauer, P.; Doležal, Jiří

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 34, č. 5 (2011), s. 856-863. ISSN 0906-7590 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/1471; GA ČR GA526/09/0963 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508; CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : variability effects Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 4.188, year: 2011

  10. 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.

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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.

  13. Biodegradation of high molecular weight polylactic acid

    OpenAIRE

    Stloukal, Petr; Koutný, Marek; Sedlařík, Vladimír; Kucharczyk, Pavel

    2012-01-01

    Polylactid acid seems to be an appropriate replacement of conventional non-biodegradable synthetic polymer primarily due to comparable mechanical, thermal and processing properties in its high molecular weight form. Biodegradation of high molecular PLA was studied in compost for various forms differing in their specific surface area. The material proved its good biodegradability under composting conditions and all investigated forms showed to be acceptable for industrial composting. Despite e...

  14. Biodegradable materials as foundry moulding sands binders

    OpenAIRE

    K. Major-Gabryś

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this article is to show the possibility of using biodegradable materials as part of the composition of foundry moulding and core sand binders. Research shows that moulding sands with biodegradable materials selected as binders are not only less toxic but are also better suited to mechanical reclamation than moulding sands with phenol-furfuryl resin. The use of biodegradable materials as additives to typical synthetic resins can result in their decreased toxicity and improved abilit...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Accuracy of pleth variability index to predict fluid responsiveness in mechanically ventilated patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Haitao; Wang, Yong; Sun, Yanfei; Wang, Gang

    2016-06-01

    To systemically evaluate the accuracy of pleth variability index to predict fluid responsiveness in mechanically ventilated patients. A literature search of PUBMED, OVID, CBM, CNKI and Wanfang Data for clinical studies in which the accuracy of pleth variability index to predict fluid responsiveness was performed (last update 5 April 2015). Related journals were also searched manually. Two reviewers independently assessed trial quality according to the modified QUADAS items. Heterogeneous studies and meta-analysis were conducted by Meta-Disc 1.4 software. A subgroup analysis in the operating room (OR) and in intensive care unit (ICU) was also performed. Differences between subgroups were analyzed using the interaction test. A total of 18 studies involving 665 subjects were included. The pooled area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) to predict fluid responsiveness in mechanically ventilated patients was 0.88 [95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.84-0.91]. The pooled sensitivity and specificity were 0.73 (95 % CI 0.68-0.78) and 0.82 (95 % CI 0.77-0.86), respectively. No heterogeneity was found within studies nor between studies. And there was no significant heterogeneity within each subgroup. No statistical differences were found between OR subgroup and ICU subgroup in the AUC [0.89 (95 % CI 0.85-0.92) versus 0.90 (95 % CI 0.82-0.94); P = 0.97], and in the specificity [0.84 (95 % CI 0.75-0.86) vs. 0.84 (95 % CI 0.75-0.91); P = 1.00]. Sensitivity was higher in the OR subgroup than the ICU subgroup [0.84 (95 % CI 0.78-0.88) vs. 0.56 (95 % CI 0.47-0.64); P = 0.00004]. The pleth variability index has a reasonable ability to predict fluid responsiveness. PMID:26242233

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. Biodegradable materials as foundry moulding sands binders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Major - Gabryś

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this article is to show the possibility of using biodegradable materials as part of the composition of foundry moulding and core sand binders. Research shows that moulding sands with biodegradable materials selected as binders are not only less toxic but are also better suited to mechanical reclamation than moulding sands with phenol-furfuryl resin. The use of biodegradable materials as additives to typical synthetic resins can result in their decreased toxicity and improved ability to reclamation as well as in accelerated biodegradation of binding material leftovers of mechanical reclamation.

  20. HDL-C Response Variability to Niacin ER in US Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christian, Jennifer B.; Olson, Eric J.; Allen, Jeffery K.; Lowe, Kimberly A.

    2013-01-01

    Background. Niacin is the most effective treatment currently available for raising HDL-C levels. Objective. To evaluate if gender and baseline lipid levels have an effect on the HDL-C response of niacin ER and to identify factors that predict response to niacin ER at the 500 mg dose. Material and Methods. The change in HDL-C effect between baseline and follow-up levels was quantified in absolute change as well as dichotomized into high versus low response (high response was defined as an HDL-C effect of >15% increase and low response was HDL-C <5%) in a sample of 834 individuals. Results. Both males and females with low HDL-C levels at baseline exhibited a response to treatment in the multivariate model (males, HDL-C <40 mg/dL: OR = 5.18, 95% CI: 2.36–11.39; females, HDL-C <50 mg/dL: OR = 5.40, 95% CI: 1.84–15.79). There was also a significant difference in the mean HDL-C effect between baseline and follow-up HDL-C levels in the 500 mg niacin ER dose group for both males (mean HDL-C effect = 0.08, P < 0.001) and females (mean HDL-C effect = 0.10, P = 0.019). Conclusion. Baseline HDL-C levels are the biggest predictor of response to niacin ER treatment for both males and females among the factors evaluated. PMID:23533734

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Non-linear frequency response of non-isothermal adsorption controlled by micropore diffusion with variable diffusivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MENKA PETKOVSKA

    2000-12-01

    Full Text Available The concept of higher order frequency response functions (FRFs is used for the analysis of non-linear adsorption kinetics on a particle scale, for the case of non-isothermal micropore diffusion with variable diffusivity. Six series of FRFs are defined for the general non-isothermal case. A non-linerar mathematical model is postulated and the first and second order FRFs derived and simulated. A variable diffusivity influences the shapes of the second order FRFs relating the sorbate concentration in the solid phase and t he gas pressure significantly, but they still keep their characteristics which can be used for discrimination of this from other kinetic mechanisms. It is also shown that first and second order particle FRFs offter sufficient information for an easy and fast estimation of all model parameters, including those defining the system non-linearity.

  4. Determining the responsivity of microbolometer FPA using variable optical aperture stop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bieszczad, Grzegorz; Gogler, Sławomir; Sosnowski, Tomasz; Madura, Henryk; Kucharz, Juliusz; Zarzycka, Alicja

    2012-10-01

    Contemporary infrared detector arrays suffers from technological imprecision which causes that the response to uniform radiation results in nonuniform image with superimposed fixed pattern noise (FPN). In order to compensate this noise there is a need to evaluate detectors characteristics like responsivity and offset of every detector in array. In article the method of determining the responsivity of detectors in a microbolometer array is described. In the method geometrical and optical parameters of the detector array and the measurement system are taken into account. A special test bench was constructed and is consisting of: two precise surface black bodies, aperture limiter, an electronic interface for data acquisition and software for measurement and correction of results with optical parameters of the measuring stand taken into account. Constructed aperture limiter enables evaluation of optical paths in measurement stand with equivalent relative aperture F# from 0.5 to 16.1 In order to evaluate the impact of optical path to radiation distribution in the measurement system, special radiation model was elaborated and evaluated in Zemax software. Incident radiation intensity distribution on the detector surface was calculated using Monte-Carlo method for various parameters of the optical path in the measurement system. Calculated radiation maps were used to compensate radiation intensity nonuniformity of optical measurement system giving more precise responsivity evaluation of detector array parameters. The obtained values of voltage responsivity of the detectors in the array, can be used in algorithms like nonuniformity correction and radiometric calibration of the infrared camera. In article results of responsivity evaluation is presented for microbolometer infrared arrays from ULIS company (France).

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. The relationship between variable host grouping and functional responses among parasitoids of Antispila nysaefoliella (Lepidoptera: Heliozelidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Low, Candace; Scheffer, Sonja J; Lewis, Matthew L; Gates, Michael W

    2012-12-01

    Our study investigated the importance of variability in the parasitoid community as a source of selection on host group size using a field population of the tupelo leafminer, Antispila nysaefoliella Clemens, which specializes on tupelo, Nyssa sylvatica Marsh. Larvae were collected from leaves with variable numbers of larvae and screened for parasitism using polymerase chain reaction of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I using markers designed specifically for amplifying parasitoid DNA while excluding host DNA. This method of selective PCR was effective for detecting the presence and identifying species of immature stages of three hymenopteran superfamilies: Chalcidoidea, Ichneumonoidea and Platygastroidea, which represented 83.4%, 16.0% and 0.6% of the total detectable parasitism, respectively. Our resulting sequences were then calibrated with sequences from identified adult parasitoids that had been either reared or field-captured. A cluster analysis revealed 10 distinct clades that showed differences in attack patterns with respect to host traits and season. Total parasitism followed an inverse density-dependent or density-independent pattern with respect to host density (number per leaf). However, when parasitoid taxa were considered separately, one clade, which could be a cryptic species of Pnigalio maculipes Crawford (Chalcidoidea: Eulophidae), was found to increase its per leaf attack rate with host density. Our results suggest that parasitoid community composition and differences among species in their attack strategies can play a large role in determining the adaptive advantage of host grouping. PMID:23094653

  9. Impact of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on maize physiology and biochemical response under variable nitrogen levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are known for colonizing plant roots, transporting water and nutrients from the soil to the plant. Therefore, environmental conditions set mainly by soil water and nutrient levels are important determinants of AM function and host plant response. Mechanisms of nitro...

  10. Variability of the human aggregation response of normal platelets to AVP

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pencheva, N.; Barth, Tomislav; Barthová, J.; Penev, M.

    Praha : ÚOCHB AV ČR, 2003. s. 38. ISBN 80-86241-18-1. [Biologicky aktivní peptidy /8./. 23.04.2003-25.04.2003, Praha] Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z4055905 Keywords : arginine vasopressin * response Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Peptide biomarkers as evidence of perchlorate biodegradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bansal, Reema; Crawford, Ronald L; Paszczynski, Andrzej J

    2011-02-01

    Perchlorate is a known health hazard for humans, fish, and other species. Therefore, it is important to assess the response of an ecosystem exposed to perchlorate contamination. The data reported here show that a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based proteomics approach for the detection of perchlorate-reducing enzymes can be used to measure the ability of microorganisms to degrade perchlorate, including determining the current perchlorate degradation status. Signature peptides derived from chlorite dismutase (CD) and perchlorate reductase can be used as biomarkers of perchlorate presence and biodegradation. Four peptides each derived from CD and perchlorate reductase subunit A (PcrA) and seven peptides derived from perchlorate reductase subunit B (PcrB) were identified as signature biomarkers for perchlorate degradation, as these sequences are conserved in the majority of the pure and mixed perchlorate-degrading microbial cultures examined. However, chlorite dismutase signature biomarker peptides from Dechloromonas agitata CKB were found to be different from those in other cultures used and should also be included with selected CD biomarkers. The combination of these peptides derived from the two enzymes represents a promising perchlorate presence/biodegradation biomarker system. The biomarker peptides were detected at perchlorate concentrations as low as 0.1 mM and at different time points both in pure cultures and within perchlorate-reducing environmental enrichment consortia. The peptide biomarkers were also detected in the simultaneous presence of perchlorate and an alternate electron acceptor, nitrate. We believe that this technique can be useful for monitoring bioremediation processes for other anthropogenic environmental contaminants with known metabolic pathways. PMID:21115710

  14. 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

  15. 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 in the...... order of 200 days. Higher concentrations of 2,4-D resulted in a grossly overestimate of the actual degradation rate for concentrations characteristic for Danish found in groundwater....

  16. 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.)

  17. 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...

  18. Drug Addiction and Stress-Response Genetic Variability: Association Study in African Americans

    OpenAIRE

    Levran, Orna; Randesi, Matthew; Li, Yi; Rotrosen, John; Ott, Jurg; Adelson, Miriam; Kreek, Mary Jeanne

    2014-01-01

    Stress is a significant risk factor in the development of drug addictions and in addiction relapse susceptibility. This hypothesis-driven study was designed to determine if specific SNPs in genes related to stress response are associated with heroin and/or cocaine addiction in African Americans. The analysis included 27 genes (124 SNPs) and was performed independently for each addiction. The sample consisted of former heroin addicts in methadone maintenance treatment (n = 314), cocaine addict...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  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. 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.

  3. ANAMNESTIC IMMUNE RESPONSE EIGHT YEARS AFTER IMMUNIZATION OF PRIMATES WITH A MULTIVALENT HIV-1 GP120 VARIABLE PEPTIDE VACCINE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Rivera

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Successful development of an effective HIV vaccine hasn’t occurred yet partly as a consequence of the antigenic variation deployed by HIV-1 to escape the immune system. Our laboratory is dedicated to develop a single peptide synthesis approach to create multivalent peptides representing hypervariable epitopes of the gp120 envelope glycoprotein of HIV-1. Our previous study showed that our HIV HECs are potent immunogens that activate both humoral and cellular arms of the acquired immune response and that these responses are broadly reactive, recognizing epitopes from divergent strains of HIV-1. To detect the long term duration of memory response induced by HIV HECs, two rhesus macaques were immunized at weeks 0 and 8 and euthanized two weeks after a third immunization at week 393 (more than 8 years later. Antibody response to individual components of HIV HEC immunogens and HIV HEC-induced cross-reactive antibody response were determined by an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA. The antibody titer to individual HIV HEC components and a mixture of the five peptides was greater than 1:5000 dilution. Antibodies from HIV HEC-immunized macaques recognized HIV HEC analogs representing the monovalent epitopes of five variable regions of gp120 from subtype B HIV-1 MN, HIV-1 RF and HIV-1 SF2 isolates with an antibody titer greater than 1: 500 dilution. Moreover, lymphocytes from lymph nodes of HIV HEC-immunized macaques showed T cell proliferative responses specific to HIV HEC individual components and to the five HIV HEC peptides combined. Our results clearly show that in these two macaques, HIV HECs induced strong, long-lasting anamnestic immune responses 8 years after immunization.

  4. 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.

  5. Effects of heart rate variability biofeedback on cardiovascular responses and autonomic sympathovagal modulation following stressor tasks in prehypertensives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, S; Sun, P; Wang, S; Lin, G; Wang, T

    2016-02-01

    Autonomic dysfunction is implicated in prehypertension, and previous studies have suggested that therapies that improve modulation of sympathovagal balance, such as biofeedback and slow abdominal breathing, are effective in patients with prehypertension at rest. However, considering that psychophysiological stressors may be associated with greater cardiovascular risk in prehypertensives, it is important to investigate whether heart rate variability biofeedback (HRV-BF) results in equivalent effects on autonomic cardiovascular responses control during stressful conditions in prehypertensives. A total of 32 college students with prehypertension were enrolled and randomly assigned to HRV-BF (n=12), slow abdominal breathing (SAB, n=10) or no treatment (control, n=10) groups. Then, a training experiment consisting of 15 sessions was employed to compare the effect of each intervention on the following cardiovascular response indicators before and after intervention: heart rate (HR); heart rate variability (HRV) components; blood volume pulse amplitude (BVPamp); galvanic skin response; respiration rate (RSP); and blood pressure. In addition, the cold pressor test and the mental arithmetic challenge test were also performed over two successive days before and after the invention as well as after 3 months of follow-up. A significant decrease in HR and RSP and a significant increase in BVPamp were observed after the HRV-BF intervention (P<0.001). For the HRV analysis, HRV-BF significantly reduced the ratio of low-frequency power to high-frequency power (the LF/HF ratio, P<0.001) and increased the normalized high-frequency power (HFnm) (P<0.001) during the stress tests, and an added benefit over SAB by improving HRV was also observed. In the 3-month follow-up study, similar effects on RSP, BVPamp, LF/HF and HFnm were observed in the HRV-BF group compared with the SAB group. HRV-BF training contributes to the beneficial effect of reducing the stress-related cardiovascular

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. The application of Plackett-Burman design and response surface methodology for optimization of formulation variables to produce Piroxicam niosomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed M.S. Ahmed

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study were (1 to screen seven independent variables (X including; speed of rotation (X1, amount of chloroform (X2, HLB (X3, PIR amount in buffer (X4, sonication time (X5, total lipid amount (X6, and surfactant cholesterol ratio (X7 using Plackett-Burman design to identify which variables significantly affect the entrapment efficiency (EE% and in-vitro release (Y of PIR niosomes; and (2 to optimize the formulation by response surface methodology (RSM. PIR niosomes were prepared by lipid evaporation method and all vesicles were evaluated for their particle size, EE%, and in-vitro drug release. The niosomes appeared as round in shape and size ranged between 97.85 and 161.25nm. EE% was found to be between 20.23% and 37.13%. The release profiles of PIR niosomes occurred in two distinct phases, an initial phase for about 8 hours, followed by slow phase for at least 4 hours. The in-vitro study suggests that higher EE% was related with slow release. The release pattern shown by these formulations were Higuchi diffusion controlled mechanism. RSM showed that X3, X7, and X6 had the main effect on the responses (Y.

  12. 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.

  13. Management of the variability of vibration response levels in mistuned bladed discs using robust design concepts. Part 2. Tolerance design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Y.-J.; Ewins, D. J.

    2010-11-01

    The mistuning pattern on a bladed disc is controlled in Part 2 of the two-part article either by (i) imposing a small maximum allowable mistune according to the small mistuning approach or (ii) incorporating non-identical blades of specific patterns, known as the intentional mistuning approach. These approaches resemble the tolerance design stage of the Taguchi method of robust design. The first-order maximum amplification factor sensitivity in a single-degree-of-freedom (DOF)-per-sector system is derived to support a new definition of the interblade coupling ratio and to illustrate the dependence of the maximum amplification factor sensitivity on design parameters of a bladed disc. It is found that the variability of the forced vibration response levels in flexible bladed discs can be reduced by controlling the degree of mistune within realistic levels. The potential of a "linear" mistuning pattern to become an effective intentional mistuning pattern is evaluated by observing the amplification factors of bladed discs with combined intentional mistuning and additional random mistuning. A tool based on the importance sampling method is used to reduce the computational effort in determining the magnitude of intentional mistuning. Guidelines of designing bladed discs with a lower variability of forced vibration response levels are given according to the findings in casting the blade mistuning problem as a robust design problem.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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. 

  18. GUSTATORY RESPONSE OF COMMON CARP CYPRINUS CARPIO TO VARIABLE CONCENTRATIONS OF TWO STIMULATORY AMINO ACIDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan David Wood

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Common carp possesses a highly evolved gustatory system that is stimulated by a narrow range of free amino acids including L-cysteine and L-proline. A synergetic effect on the gustatory response of a combination of these two substances has not previously been demonstrated. In this study, groups of common carp were randomly presented with different concentrations of L-cysteine (0-0.1 M and L-proline (0-0.05 M in agar pellets in one minute trials. First retention duration, total retention duration during each trial and the number of ingestions (pellet acceptances were recorded for each of a total of 690 trials. Palatability, pellet consumption rate and average pellet acceptances were calculated for each pellet type. It was shown that L-cysteine was more highly stimulatory than L-proline but no synergism between the two regarding the gustatory response was observed. The results are relevant for the formulation of aquafeeds and angling baits for carp.

  19. Effects of playing surface on physiological responses and performance variables in a controlled football simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Michael G; Birdsey, Laurence; Meyers, Rob; Newcombe, Daniel; Oliver, Jon Lee; Smith, Paul M; Stembridge, Michael; Stone, Keeron; Kerwin, David George

    2013-01-01

    In spite of the increased acceptance of artificial turf in football, few studies have investigated if matches are altered by the type of surface used and no research has compared physiological responses to football activity on artificial and natural surfaces. In the present study, participants performed a football match simulation on high-quality artificial and natural surfaces. Neither mean heart rate (171 ± 9 beats · min(-1) vs. 171 ± 9 beats · min(-1); P > 0.05) nor blood lactate (4.8 ± 1.6 mM vs. 5.3 ± 1.8 mM; P > 0.05) differed between the artificial and natural surface, respectively. Measures of sprint, jumping and agility performance declined through the match simulation but surface type did not affect the decrease in performance. For example, the fatigue index of repeated sprints did not differ (P > 0.05) between the artificial, (6.9 ± 2.1%) and natural surface (7.4 ± 2.4%). The ability to turn after sprinting was affected by surface type but this difference was dependent on the type of turn. Although there were small differences in the ability to perform certain movements between artificial and natural surfaces, the results suggest that fatigue and physiological responses to football activity do not differ markedly between surface-type using the high-quality pitches of the present study. PMID:23316743

  20. 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,...

  1. 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.

  2. Complex resistivity signatures of ethanol biodegradation in porous media

    Science.gov (United States)

    Personna, Yves Robert; Slater, Lee; Ntarlagiannis, Dimitrios; Werkema, Dale; Szabo, Zoltan

    2013-01-01

    Numerous adverse effects are associated with the accidental release of ethanol (EtOH) and its persistence in the subsurface. Geophysical techniques may permit non-invasive, real time monitoring of microbial degradation of hydrocarbon. We performed complex resistivity (CR) measurements in conjunction with geochemical data analysis on three microbial-stimulated and two control columns to investigate changes in electrical properties during EtOH biodegradation processes in porous media. A Debye Decomposition approach was applied to determine the chargeability (m), normalized chargeability (mn) and time constant (τ) of the polarization magnitude and relaxation length scale as a function of time. The CR responses showed a clear distinction between the bioaugmented and control columns in terms of real (σ′) and imaginary (σ″) conductivity, phase (ϕ) and apparent formation factor (Fapp). Unlike the control columns, a substantial decrease in σ′ and increase in Fapp occurred at an early time (within 4 days) of the experiment for all three bioaugmented columns. The observed decrease in σ′ is opposite to previous studies on hydrocarbon biodegradation. These columns also exhibited increases in ϕ (up to ~ 9 mrad) and σ″ (up to two order of magnitude higher) 5 weeks after microbial inoculation. Variations in m and mn were consistent with temporal changes in ϕ and σ″ responses, respectively. Temporal geochemical changes and high resolution scanning electron microscopy imaging corroborated the CR findings, thus indicating the sensitivity of CR measurements to EtOH biodegradation processes. Our results offer insight into the potential application of CR measurements for long-term monitoring of biogeochemical and mineralogical changes during intrinsic and induced EtOH biodegradation in the subsurface.

  3. 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

  4. 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).

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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)

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Intimately coupling of photolysis accelerates nitrobenzene biodegradation, but sequential coupling slows biodegradation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  11. Using C stable isotopes to infer shifting metabolism in response to variable environmental conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballantyne, Ford; Billings, Sharon; Lehmeier, Christoph; Min, Kyungjin

    2014-05-01

    The flow of carbon (C) from organic matter substrates through microbial biomass and into CO2 comprises a complex suite of processes. Organic matter compounds are modified by extracellular enzyme activity, potentially taken up by microbes, and can either remain as altered organic compounds in the soil matrix, or are transformed into inorganic C forms, including CO2. During these transformations, discrimination between 12C and 13C occurs. The net result of all fractionations is what we observe in the δ13C of respired CO2. However, our understanding of fractionations associated with soil organic matter (SOM) transformations is far from complete, especially for biologically-mediated transformations. To make proper inference from δ13C values of respired CO2, we need a more comprehensive understanding of what governs isotopic fractionation along the path from SOM to CO2 release. Here, we present equations for 12C and 13C dynamics in a chemostat system, with which C flux data coupled to isotopic ratios can be used to infer the degree of fractionation associated with functionally distinct processes. Using patterns in the fractionation between substrate and biomass and between biomass and respired CO2 observed for Pseudomonas fluorescens in the experimental chemostat system, we argue that a single mechanism cannot be responsible for temperature-induced changes in the flow rates of 12C and 13C from a single substrate, cellobiose, into respired CO2. We further describe how changing C availability can influence fractionation among C pools and compare predictions to chemostat runs for which C availability varied. Our modeling applied to observed C isotope fluxes strongly suggests that significant discrimination against 13C occurs during cellobiose uptake by P. fluorescens, and that apparently smooth changes in specific respiration rates and associated C use efficiency are actually the result of discontinuous shifts in C flow through anabolic and catabolic pathways. Accounting

  12. 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

  13. Study of material response on simulated ITER disruptive plasma heat load with variable duration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The damage of divertor elements during off-normal events (disruptions and giant ELMs) will determine sufficiently the life-time of ITER divertor. The strategy of the solution of a problem of the reliable prediction of divertor components disruptive damages is contained in collection of information on both natural disruptions in existing Tokamaks and simulated ones, and also development of codes for modelling of the experiments and divertor life-time damage. Some results of the study of material response on plasma high heat flux load are given in the report. High power long pulse plasma accelerator of VIKA facility is used as source of plasma high heat flux (wp ≤ 30 MJ/m2). The peculiarity of described experiments in variation of rectangular like pulse duration of plasma stream (τp = 0.09; 0.18; 0.27; 0.36 ms). Some data of plasma parameters in a plasma-material interaction zone are given. The growth of both mass losses and crater depth with irradiation increase is fixed for Al and Cu. As a preliminary result one can mark a tendency to decreasing both crack length for hot (T = 300 C) irradiated Al sample and mass losses for W irradiated at T = 1,000 C

  14. 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.

  15. Drug addiction and stress-response genetic variability: association study in African Americans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levran, Orna; Randesi, Matthew; Li, Yi; Rotrosen, John; Ott, Jurg; Adelson, Miriam; Kreek, Mary Jeanne

    2014-07-01

    Stress is a significant risk factor in the development of drug addictions and in addiction relapse susceptibility. This hypothesis-driven study was designed to determine if specific SNPs in genes related to stress response are associated with heroin and/or cocaine addiction in African Americans. The analysis included 27 genes (124 SNPs) and was performed independently for each addiction. The sample consisted of former heroin addicts in methadone maintenance treatment (n = 314), cocaine addicts (n = 281), and controls (n = 208). Fourteen SNPs showed nominally significant association with heroin addiction (p gene (GALR1) and the functional FKBP5 intronic SNP rs1360780. Thirteen SNPs showed association with cocaine addiction, including the synonymous SNPs rs237902, in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR), and rs5374 in GALR1. No signal remained significant after correction for multiple testing. Four additional SNPs (GALR1 rs2717162, AVP rs2282018, CRHBP rs1875999, and NR3C2 rs1040288) were associated with both addictions and may indicate common liability. The study provides preliminary evidence for novel association of variants in several stress-related genes with heroin and/or cocaine addictions and may enhance the understanding of the interaction between stress and addictions. PMID:24766650

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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)

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Enhancement of spilled oil biodegradation by nutrients of natural origin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ten years ago, Elf Aquitaine began developing the technologies for the acceleration of hydrocarbon biodegradation. The continuation of this work has involved the study of new additives to complement the oleophilic nutrient, INIPOL EAP 22. In particular, it has been shown in both laboratory and in situ tests that hydrocarbon degradation can be accelerated by animal meals, which are natural products. Preliminary laboratory studies carried out under batch conditions have shown that the use of these products has resulted in considerable growth of the bacteria, coupled with a notable increase in the biological degradation kinetics of the hydrocarbons. These results are comparable with the performance of the nutrient INIPOL EAP 22. In situ experiments undertaken on soils polluted by hydrocarbons have shown that by using animal meals, 50 percent biodegradation was obtained after six weeks and this increased to 80 percent when mechanical aeration was also employed. Under nutrient-free control conditions, 25 percent biodegradation was obtained with no aeration and 35 percent with mechanical aeration. In trials using coastal sandy sediments, the use of these nutrients has resulted in an increase of both the number of hydrocarbon specific bacteria and the hydrocarbon degradation. It can be concluded from these pilot experiments that in the development of bioremediation as an operational tool in the response to accidental oil spills, these nutrients of natural origin represent an interesting advance

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Recession analysis across scales: The impact of both random and nonrandom spatial variability on aggregated hydrologic response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bo; Krajewski, Witold F.

    2015-04-01

    Recession analysis across scales can provide insight into the spatial aggregation of hydrologic processes. Accordingly, we analyzed individual late-time recession curves from 25 nested USGS stream gauges over a period of ∼150 days with negligible precipitation during the 2012-2013 North American drought. These gauges are located in the Iowa and Cedar River basins and drain areas ranging from ∼70 to 17,000 km2. Our data analyses show that these late-time recession processes can be represented by a linear reservoir model with a constant recession time scale of about 34 days, indicating linear and homogeneous recession behaviors at the large scales investigated. However, others have shown that the early-time recession process becomes more nonlinear as spatial scale and, thus, spatial variability increases. We developed a distributed drainage model as a diagnostic tool to understand these seemingly contradictory recession characteristics at multiple spatial scales and different stages. With a hierarchical description of the recession variability at the hillslope scale, our model can simultaneously produce the increasing nonlinear early-time and the linear and homogenous late-time recession behaviors at larger scales. The hierarchical representation classifies hillslopes according to the Strahler orders of the stream links into which they drain. We postulate that a larger difference in recession behaviors will occur between hillslopes from different orders than between those from the same order. Overall, this study shows how the spatial randomness and nonrandomness of small-scale process variability control the hydrologic responses at larger scales and suggests a combined (nonrandom-random) representation of watersheds for aggregating hydrologic processes.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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).

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Biodegradable lubricants - ''the solution for future?''

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The environmental impact of lubricants use concern the direct effects from spills but also the indirect effects such as their lifetime and the emissions from thermal engines. The biodegradable performances and the toxicity are the environmental criteria that must be taken into account in the development and application of lubricants together with their technical performances. This paper recalls first the definition of biodegradable properties of hydrocarbons and the standardized tests, in particular the CEC and AFNOR tests. Then, the biodegradable performances of basic oils (mineral, vegetal, synthetic esters, synthetic hydrocarbons etc..), finite lubricants (hydraulic fluids..) and engine oils is analyzed according to these tests. Finally, the definition of future standards would take into account all the environmental characteristics of the lubricant: biodegradable performances, energy balance (CO2, NOx and Hx emissions and fuel savings), eco-toxicity and technical performances (wearing and cleanliness). (J.S.)

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Variability in platelet responses to collagen--comparison between whole blood perfusions, traditional platelet function tests and PFA-100.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepäntalo, A; Beer, J H; Siljander, P; Syrjälä, M; Lassila, R

    2001-07-15

    The purpose of this study was to determine if the results obtained in platelet function tests and whole blood perfusions are associated with those in platelet function analyser (PFA)-100. We used collagen type I monomers and fibrils to analyse the distinct roles of glycoprotein (GP) Ia/IIa and other collagen receptors in flowing blood under a high shear rate (1600/s) and in aggregation studies. Also, anticoagulation [citrate vs. D-phenylalanyl-1-prolyl-1 arginine chloromethyl ketone (PPACK)] was varied to enhance the functions of GP Ia/IIa, since it has been shown that the cation-poor environment of citrated blood impairs GP Ia/IIa-dependent platelet recruitment. Large interindividual variability (45-fold) was detected in deposition of platelets in whole blood perfusions over collagen monomers, whereas this variation was only fourfold in fibrils. In PFA, this variation was reduced to 2.5-fold. However, platelet deposition on monomers is associated with epinephrine-enhanced PFA (r=-.49, P<.03), whereas platelet deposition on fibrils is correlated with adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-enhanced PFA (r=-.47, P<.05), suggesting a distinct synergism between epinephrine and monomers (GP Ia/IIa) as well as ADP with fibrils (other collagen receptors). Donors with 807 C/C polymorphism of GP Ia (n=14) had longer lag phase in aggregation experiments compared with C/T (n=7) both by monomers and fibrils (P<.04), but these polymorphisms with their mild impact on GP Ia/IIa activity did not markedly differ in other tests. In conclusion, the results obtained in perfusion studies and PFA experiments correlated, but PFA fails to reveal the large-scale variability related to collagen-induced platelet responses. PMID:11457470

  10. 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

  11. Temporal variability of nitrate transport through hydrological response during flood events within a large agricultural catchment in south-west France

    OpenAIRE

    Oeurng, Chantha; Sauvage, Sabine; Sanchez-Pérez, José-Miguel

    2010-01-01

    The temporal variability of nitrate transport was monitored continuously in a large agricultural catchment, the 1110 km2 Save catchment in south-west France, from January 2007 to June 2009. The overall aim was to analyse the temporal transport of nitrate through hydrological response during flood events in the catchment. Nitrate loads and hysteresis were also analysed and the relationships between nitrate and hydro-climatological variables within flood events were determined. During the study...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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. 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 (Pequestrian 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. PMID:23380228

  20. 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.

  1. Remote response of the spring heat source over the Tibetan Plateau in interannual variability to the North Atlantic SSTA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Anmin; Cui, Yangfan

    2014-05-01

    Data analysis indicates that the interannual variability of spring sensible heating (SH) over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) depends mainly on the intensity of above westerly jet, which is closely related to the leading mode of sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) over the North Atlantic, i.e., the SSTA tripole pattern. Such a pattern can be attributed to a result of the atmospheric forcing of the preceding winter and coinstantaneous spring North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Numerical experiments with idealized diabatic heating profile in a linear baroclinic model and the North Atlantic SSTA tripole pattern forcing in an atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) are carried out to investigate the remote response of the circulation over the TP. Results demonstrate that the warm core of the tripole pattern generates a steady Rossby wave train to the downstream, and the two cold cores to its north and south sides can modulate the location and intensity of the wave train to a certain degree. The combined effect of the SSTA tripole pattern in the North Atlantic further enhances the spring westerly and the resultant SH over the TP.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Biodegradable Polymers and Stem Cells for Bioprinting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meijuan Lei

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available It is imperative to develop organ manufacturing technologies based on the high organ failure mortality and serious donor shortage problems. As an emerging and promising technology, bioprinting has attracted more and more attention with its super precision, easy reproduction, fast manipulation and advantages in many hot research areas, such as tissue engineering, organ manufacturing, and drug screening. Basically, bioprinting technology consists of inkjet bioprinting, laser-based bioprinting and extrusion-based bioprinting techniques. Biodegradable polymers and stem cells are common printing inks. In the printed constructs, biodegradable polymers are usually used as support scaffolds, while stem cells can be engaged to differentiate into different cell/tissue types. The integration of biodegradable polymers and stem cells with the bioprinting techniques has provided huge opportunities for modern science and technologies, including tissue repair, organ transplantation and energy metabolism.

  9. Biodegradable Polymers and Stem Cells for Bioprinting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Meijuan; Wang, Xiaohong

    2016-01-01

    It is imperative to develop organ manufacturing technologies based on the high organ failure mortality and serious donor shortage problems. As an emerging and promising technology, bioprinting has attracted more and more attention with its super precision, easy reproduction, fast manipulation and advantages in many hot research areas, such as tissue engineering, organ manufacturing, and drug screening. Basically, bioprinting technology consists of inkjet bioprinting, laser-based bioprinting and extrusion-based bioprinting techniques. Biodegradable polymers and stem cells are common printing inks. In the printed constructs, biodegradable polymers are usually used as support scaffolds, while stem cells can be engaged to differentiate into different cell/tissue types. The integration of biodegradable polymers and stem cells with the bioprinting techniques has provided huge opportunities for modern science and technologies, including tissue repair, organ transplantation and energy metabolism. PMID:27136526

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

  12. An artificial neural network-based response surface method for reliability analyses of c-φ slopes with spatially variable soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shu, Su-xun; Gong, Wen-hui

    2016-03-01

    This paper presents an artificial neural network (ANN)-based response surface method that can be used to predict the failure probability of c-φ slopes with spatially variable soil. In this method, the Latin hypercube sampling technique is adopted to generate input datasets for establishing an ANN model; the random finite element method is then utilized to calculate the corresponding output datasets considering the spatial variability of soil properties; and finally, an ANN model is trained to construct the response surface of failure probability and obtain an approximate function that incorporates the relevant variables. The results of the illustrated example indicate that the proposed method provides credible and accurate estimations of failure probability. As a result, the obtained approximate function can be used as an alternative to the specific analysis process in c-φ slope reliability analyses.

  13. Biodegradability Evaluation of Polymers by ISO 14855-2

    OpenAIRE

    Masao Kunioka; Fumi Ninomiya; Masahiro Funabashi

    2009-01-01

    Biodegradabilities of polymers and their composites in a controlled compost were described. Polycaprolactone (PCL) and poly(lactic acid) (PLA) were employed as biodegradable polymers. Biodegradabilities of PCL and PLA samples in a controlled compost were measured using a Microbial Oxidative Degradation Analyzer (MODA) according to ISO 14855-2. Sample preparation method for biodegradation test according to ISO/DIS 10210 was also described. Effects of sizes and shapes of samples on biodegradabi...

  14. 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.

  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. Biodegradable polyesters based on succinic acid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikolić Marija S.

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Two series of aliphatic polyesters based on succinic acid were synthesized by copolymerization with adipic acid for the first series of saturated polyesters, and with fumaric acid for the second series. Polyesters were prepared starting from the corresponding dimethyl esters and 1,4-butanediol by melt transesterification in the presence of a highly effective catalyst tetra-n-butyl-titanate, Ti(0Bu4. The molecular structure and composition of the copolyesters was determined by 1H NMR spectroscopy. The effect of copolymer composition on the physical and thermal properties of these random polyesters were investigated using differential scanning calorimetry. The degree of crystallinity was determined by DSC and wide angle X-ray. The degrees of crystallinity of the saturated and unsaturated copolyesters were generally reduced with respect to poly(butylene succinate, PBS. The melting temperatures of the saturated polyesters were lower, while the melting temperatures of the unsaturated copolyesters were higher than the melting temperature of PBS. The biodegradability of the polyesters was investigated by enzymatic degradation tests. The enzymatic degradation tests were performed in a buffer solution with Candida cylindracea lipase and for the unsaturated polyesters with Rhizopus arrhizus lipase. The extent of biodegradation was quantified as the weight loss of polyester films. Also the surface of the polyester films after degradation was observed using optical microscopy. It could be concluded that the biodegradability depended strongly on the degree of crystallinity, but also on the flexibility of the chain backbone. The highest biodegradation was observed for copolyesters containing 50 mol.% of adipic acid units, and in the series of unsaturated polyesters for copolyesters containing 5 and 10 mol.% of fumarate units. Although the degree of crystallinity of the unsaturated polyesters decreased slightly with increasing unsaturation, the biodegradation

  17. 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; Donath, K

    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-PTFE...... that e-PTFE was well tolerated and encapsulated by a fibrous connective tissue capsule. There was capsule formation around Resolut and Vicryl and around Bio-Gide in the early phase there was a wide inflammatory zone already. e-PTFE and Vicryl were stable materials while Resolut and Bio-Gide fragmented...

  18. 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.

  19. Biodegradable multifunctional oil production chemicals: Thermal polyaspartates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The paper deals with biodegradable oil production chemicals. Control of both mineral scale and corrosion with a single, environmentally acceptable material is an ambitious goal. Polyaspartate polymers represent a significant milestone in the attainment of this goal. Thermal polyaspartates (TPA) are polycarboxylate polymers derived via thermal condensation of the naturally occurring amino acid aspartic acid. These protein-like polymers are highly biodegradable and non-toxic, and are produced by an environmentally benign manufacturing process. TPAs exhibit excellent mineral scale inhibition activity and CO2 corrosion control. Laboratory data on scale inhibition and corrosion control in the North Sea oil field production applications is presented. 8 refs., 2 figs., 6 tabs

  20. Synthetic biodegradable functional polymers for tissue engineering: a brief review

    OpenAIRE

    BaoLin, GUO; Ma, Peter X.

    2014-01-01

    Scaffolds play a crucial role in tissue engineering. Biodegradable polymers with great processing flexibility are the predominant scaffolding materials. Synthetic biodegradable polymers with well-defined structure and without immunological concerns associated with naturally derived polymers are widely used in tissue engineering. The synthetic biodegradable polymers that are widely used in tissue engineering, including polyesters, polyanhydrides, polyphosphazenes, polyurethane, and poly (glyce...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Adding sodium dodecyl sulfate and Pseudomonas aeruginosa UG2 biosurfactants inhibits polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon biodegradation in a weathered creosote-contaminated soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deschenes, L. [Univ. of Quebec, PQ (Canada). INRS-Eau]|[National Research Council of Canada, Montreal, PQ (Canada). Biotechnology Research Inst.; Lafrance, P. [Univ. of Quebec, PQ (Canada). INRS-Eau; Villeneuve, J.P. [Univ. of Quebec, PQ (Canada). INRS-Eau; Samson, R. [National Research Council of Canada, Montreal, PQ (Canada). Biotechnology Research Inst.

    1996-12-31

    The effect of two anionic surfactants was assessed during biodegradation of 13 of the 16 USEPA priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in a wood-preserving soil contaminated with creosote and pentacholorophenol for a period of at least 20 years. Sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and biosurfactants from Pseudomonas aeruginosa UG2 were utilized at concentrations of 10, 100 and 500 {mu}g/g soil. Because both surfactants are readily biodegradable, the microcosms received a fresh spike of surfactant every 2 weeks. Biodegradation of aged PAH residues was monitored by GC/MS for a period of 45 weeks. Results indicated that the biodegradation of the three-ring PAH was rapid and almost complete but was slowed by the addition of 100 {mu}g/g and 500 {mu}g/g chemical surfactant. Similarly, at the same concentrations, the two surfactants significantly decreased the biodegradation rate of the four-ring PAH. In this case, the inhibition was more pronounced with SDS. High-molecular-mass PAH (more than four rings) were not biodegraded under the test conditions. It was suggested that the preferential utilization of surfactants by PAH degraders was responsible for the inhibition observed in the biodegradation of the hydrocarbons. The high biodegradability and the inhibitory effect of these two surfactants would have a significant impact on the development of both above-ground and in situ site reclamation processes. (orig.)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Dissolved Organic Carbon in Boreal Black Spruce Forest: Sources, Chemistry, and Biodegradability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickland, K. P.; Neff, J. C.; Aiken, G. R.

    2006-12-01

    Northern terrestrial ecosystems are commonly characterized by large stores of soil organic matter and are a major source of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to aquatic systems. Recent changes in climate may be impacting the fate of terrestrial DOC in these high latitude ecosystems. Terrestrially-derived DOC can be metabolized by microbes in soils, sorbed to mineral soils, or transported to ground or surface waters. To understand what determines the fate of terrestrial DOC in northern ecosystems, it is essential to quantify the chemical nature and potential biodegradability of this DOC, and to know how factors such as vegetation and hydrology influence these qualities. We examined the chemistry and potential biodegradability of DOC from black spruce forest, a dominant ecosystem type in the boreal regions of Alaska and Canada. Over the course of one year, soil pore waters were collected from three black spruce sites that spanned a range of hydrologic regimes and permafrost extents, designated as well drained (WD), moderately well drained (MD), and poorly drained (PD), and from thermokarst wetlands (TW) that had formed within the PD site due to permafrost melting. DOC chemistry was characterized using XAD resin fractionation, UV-Vis absorbance, and DOC fluorescence measurements. Potential biodegradability was assessed by incubating the samples for one month, and measuring CO2 production over time. We also measured chemistry and potential biodegradability of DOC leached from dominant vegetation species. Soil pore water DOC from all sites was dominated by hydrophobic acids and was highly aromatic, while the chemical composition of vegetation leachate DOC varied with species. There was no seasonal variability in soil pore water DOC chemistry or biodegradability; however DOC collected from PD was less biodegradable than DOC from the other sites (6% loss vs. 13-15% loss). The potential biodegradability of vegetation-derived DOC ranged from 10%-90% loss, and was strongly

  7. Obtaining and characterization of a biodegradable polymer starting from the tapioca starch

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study focuses on the preparation of tapioca starch biodegradable polymer, processed by blends of starch modified with glycerin and water as plasticizers, by using roll mill and a single-screw extruder in the process. During extrusion, there is a series of variables to control namely: the barrel temperature profile, screw torque and screw rotation speed. Tensile test, differential scanning calorimetric (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transformer infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and morphology were used in the process

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Biodegradation of chlorobenzoic acids by ligninolytic fungi

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Muzikář, Milan; Křesinová, Zdena; Svobodová, Kateřina; Filipová, Alena; Čvančarová, Monika; Cajthamlová, Kamila; Cajthaml, Tomáš

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 196, - (2011), s. 386-394. ISSN 0304-3894 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 2B06156; GA ČR GA525/09/1058 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50200510 Keywords : Chlorobenzoic acid * Polychlorinated biphenyls * Biodegradation Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 4.173, year: 2011

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Polyvinyl alcohol biodegradation under denitrifying conditions

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Marušincová, H.; Husárová, L.; Růžička, J.; Ingr, M.; Navrátil, Václav; Buňková, L.; Koutný, M.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 84, October (2013), s. 21-28. ISSN 0964-8305 Grant ostatní: GA ČR(CZ) GAP108/10/0200 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : polyvinyl alcohol * biodegradation * denitrification * waste-water treatment * anaerobic * Steroidobacter Subject RIV: EI - Biotechnology ; Bionics Impact factor: 2.235, year: 2013

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. ENGINEERING BULLETIN: IN SITU BIODEGRADATION TREATMENT

    Science.gov (United States)

    In situ biodegradation may be used to treat low-to-intermediate concentrations of organic contaminants in place without disturbing or displacing the contaminated media. Although this technology has been used to degrade a limited number of inorganics, specifically cyanide and nitr...

  3. Biodegradable PEG-based drug carriers

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pechar, Michal; Braunová, Alena; Ulbrich, Karel; Jelínková, Markéta; Říhová, Blanka; Seymour, L. W.

    Glasgow : University of Strathclyde, 2005, s. 7-9. [Conference on New Approaches to Drug Delivery "Nanomedicines of the Future". Glasgow (GB), 18.11.2005] R&D Projects: GA MŠk 1M0505 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40500505 Keywords : biodegradable polymers * drug carriers Subject RIV: EI - Biotechnology ; Bionics

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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)

  9. 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. PMID:12491727

  10. 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

  11. Improving the biodegradative capacity of subsurface bacteria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Romine, M.F.; Brockman, F.J.

    1993-04-01

    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.

  12. 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. We have taken benefit of this technique, varying experimental conditions, to determine the main parameters influencing the biodegradation kinetics and compositional evolution of hydrocarbons, under steady state unsaturated conditions and with respect to aerobic metabolism. Impacts of the nitrogen quantity and of three different grain sizes have been examined. Biodegradation of petroleum cut, as diesel cut and middle distillate without aromatic fraction, were, also studied. (author)

  13. 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

  14. Biodegradation and origin of oil sands in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhou Shuqing; Huang Haiping; Liu Yuming

    2008-01-01

    The oil sands deposits in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) comprise of at least 85% of the total immobile bitumen in place in the world and are so concentrated as to be virtually the only such deposits that are economically recoverable for conversion to oil.The major deposits are in three geographic and geologic regions of Alberta: Athabasca,Cold Lake and Peace River.The bitumen reserves have oil gravities ranging from 8 to 12° API,and are hosted in the reservoirs of varying age,ranging from Devonian (Grosmont Formation) to Early Cretaceous (Mannville Group).They were derived from light oils in the southern Alberta and migrated to the north and east for over 100 km during the Laramide Orogeny,which was responsible for the uplift of the Rocky Mountains.Biodegradation is the only process that transforms light oil into bitumen in such a dramatic way that overshadowed other alterations with minor contributions.The levels of biodegradation in the basin increasing from west (non-biodegraded) to east (extremely biodegraded) can be attributed to decreasing reservoir temperature,which played the primary role in controlling the biodegradation regime.Once the reservoir was heated to approximately 80 ℃,it was pasteurized and no biodegradation would further occur.However,reservoir temperature could not alone predict the variations of the oil composition and physical properties.Compositional gradients and a wide range of biodegradation degree at single reservoir column indicate that the water-leg size or the volume ratio of oil to water is one of the critical local controls for the vertical variations of biodegradation degree and oil physical properties.Late charging and mixing of the fresh and degraded oils ultimately dictate the final distribution of compositions and physical properties found in the heavy oil and oil sand fields.Oil geochemistry can reveal precisely the processes and levels that control these variations in a given field,which opens the

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. Age differences in high frequency phasic heart rate variability and performance response to increased executive function load in three executive function tasks

    OpenAIRE

    Byrd, Dana L.; Reuther, Erin T.; McNamara, Joseph P. H.; DeLucca, Teri L.; Berg, William K.

    2015-01-01

    The current study examines similarity or disparity of a frontally mediated physiological response of mental effort among multiple executive functioning tasks between children and adults. Task performance and phasic heart rate variability (HRV) were recorded in children (6 to 10 years old) and adults in an examination of age differences in executive functioning skills during periods of increased demand. Executive load levels were varied by increasing the difficulty levels of three executive fu...

  18. A new glacier inventory for 2009 reveals spatial and temporal variability in glacier response to atmospheric warming in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula, 1988–2009

    OpenAIRE

    M. J. Hambrey; N. F. Glasser; Carrivick, J. L.; Davies, B.J.; Smellie, J.L.

    2011-01-01

    The Northern Antarctic Peninsula has recently exhibited ice-shelf disintegration, glacier recession and acceleration. However, the dynamic response of land-terminating, ice-shelf tributary and tidewater glaciers has not yet been quantified or assessed for variability, and there are sparse published data for glacier classification, morphology, area, length or altitude. This paper firstly uses ASTER images from 2009 and a SPIRIT DEM from 2006 to classify the area, length, altitude, slop...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Modeling the effect of soil meso- and macropores topology on the biodegradation of a soluble carbon substrate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Laure E.; Makowski, David; Garnier, Patricia; Vieublé-Gonod, Laure; Coquet, Yves; Raynaud, Xavier; Nunan, Naoise; Chenu, Claire; Falconer, Ruth; Pot, Valérie

    2015-09-01

    Soil structure and interactions between biotic and abiotic processes are increasingly recognized as important for explaining the large uncertainties in the outputs of macroscopic SOM decomposition models. We present a numerical analysis to assess the role of meso- and macropore topology on the biodegradation of a soluble carbon substrate in variably water saturated and pure diffusion conditions . Our analysis was built as a complete factorial design and used a new 3D pore-scale model, LBioS, that couples a diffusion lattice-Boltzmann model and a compartmental biodegradation model. The scenarios combined contrasted modalities of four factors: meso- and macropore space geometry, water saturation, bacterial distribution and physiology. A global sensitivity analysis of these factors highlighted the role of physical factors in the biodegradation kinetics of our scenarios. Bacteria location explained 28% of the total variance in substrate concentration in all scenarios, while the interactions among location, saturation and geometry explained up to 51% of it.

  4. 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…

  5. Nanocomposites of Polyacrylic Acid Nanogels and Biodegradable Polyhydroxybutyrate for Bone Regeneration and Drug Delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikael Larsson

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Biodegradable cell scaffolds and local drug delivery to stimulate cell response are currently receiving much scientific attention. Here we present a nanocomposite that combines biodegradation with controlled release of lithium, which is known to enhance bone growth. Nanogels of lithium neutralized polyacrylic acid were synthesized by microemulsion-templated polymerization and were incorporated into a biodegradable polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB matrix. Nanogel size was characterized using dynamic light scattering, and the nanocomposites were characterized with regard to structure using scanning electron microscopy, mechanical properties using tensile testing, permeability using tritiated water, and lithium release in PBS using a lithium specific electrode. The nanogels were well dispersed in the composites and the mechanical properties were good, with a decrease in elastic modulus being compensated by increased tolerance to strain in the wet state. Approximately half of the lithium was released over about three hours, with the remaining fraction being trapped in the PHB for subsequent slow release during biodegradation. The prepared nanocomposites seem promising for use as dual functional scaffolds for bone regeneration. Here lithium ions were chosen as model drug, but the nanogels could potentially act as carriers for larger and more complex drugs, possibly while still carrying lithium.

  6. Biodegradation of chlorinated ethenes by a methane-utilizing mixed culture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chlorinated ethenes are toxic substances which are widely distributed groundwater contaminants and are persistent in the subsurface environment. Reports on the biodegradation of these compounds under anaerobic conditions which might occur naturally in groundwater show that these substances degrade very slowly, if at all. Previous attempts to degrade chlorinated ethenes aerobically have produced conflicting results. A mixed culture containing methane-utilizing bacteria was obtained by methane enrichment of a sediment sample. Biodegradation experiments carried out in sealed culture bottles with radioactively labeled trichloroethylene (TCE) showed that approximately half of the radioactive carbon had been converted to 14CO2 and bacterial biomass. In addition to TCE, vinyl chloride and vinylidene chloride could be degraded to products which are not volatile chlorinated substances and are therefore likely to be further degraded to CO2. Two other chlorinated ethenes, cis and trans-1,2-dichloroethylene, were shown to degrade to chlorinated products, which appeared to degrade further. A sixth chlorinated ethene, tetrachloroethylene, was not degraded by the methane-utilizing culture under these conditions. The biodegradation of TCE was inhibited by acetylene, a specific inhibitor of methane oxidation by methanotrophs. This observation supported the hypothesis that a methanotroph is responsible for the observed biodegradations

  7. Starch/polyester films: simultaneous optimisation of the properties for the production of biodegradable plastic bags

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. B. Olivato

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Blends of starch/polyester have been of great interest in the development of biodegradable packaging. A method based on multiple responses optimisation (Desirability was used to evaluate the properties of tensile strength, perforation force, elongation and seal strength of cassava starch/poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate (PBAT blown films produced via a one-step reactive extrusion using tartaric acid (TA as a compatibiliser. Maximum results for all the properties were set as more desirable, with an optimal formulation being obtained which contained (55:45 starch/PBAT (88.2 wt. (%, glycerol (11.0 wt. (% and TA (0.8 wt. (%. Biodegradable plastic bags were produced using the film with this formulation, and analysed according to the standard method of the Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas (ABNT. The bags exhibited a 45% failure rate in free-falling dart impact tests, a 10% of failure rate in dynamic load tests and no failure in static load tests. These results meet the specifications set by the standard. Thus, the biodegradable plastic bags fabricated with an optimised formulation could be useful as an alternative to those made from non-biodegradable materials if the nominal capacity declared for this material is considered.

  8. Screening of Microorganisms for Biodegradation of Simazine Pollution (Obsolete Pesticide Azotop 50 WP).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Błaszak, Magdalena; Pełech, Robert; Graczyk, Paulina

    2011-09-01

    The capability of environmental microorganisms to biodegrade simazine-an active substance of 2-chloro-s-triazine herbicides (pesticide waste since 2007)-was assessed. An enormous metabolic potential of microorganisms impels to explore the possibilities of using them as an alternative way for thermal and chemical methods of utilization. First, the biotope rich in microorganisms resistant to simazine was examined. Only the higher dose of simazine (100 mg/l) had an actual influence on quantity of bacteria and environmental fungi incubated on substrate with simazine. Most simazine-resistant bacteria populated activated sludge and biohumus (vermicompost); the biggest strain of resistant fungi was found in floral soil and risosphere soil of maize. Compost and biohumus were the sources of microorganisms which biodegraded simazine, though either of them was the dominant considering the quantity of simazine-resistant microorganisms. In both cases of periodic culture (microorganisms from biohumus and compost), nearly 100% of simazine (50 mg/l) was degraded (within 8 days). After the repeated enrichment culture with simazine, the rate of its degradation highly accelerated, and just after 24 h, the significant decrease of simazine (20% in compost and 80% in biohumus) was noted. Although a dozen attempts of isolating various strains responsible for biodegradation of simazine from compost and biohumus were performed, only the strain identified as Arthrobacter urefaciens (NC) was obtained, and it biodegraded simazine with almost 100% efficiency (within 4 days). PMID:21949452

  9. Biodegradation and cometabolic modeling of selected beta blockers during ammonia oxidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sathyamoorthy, Sandeep; Chandran, Kartik; Ramsburg, C Andrew

    2013-11-19

    Accurate prediction of pharmaceutical concentrations in wastewater effluents requires that the specific biochemical processes responsible for pharmaceutical biodegradation be elucidated and integrated within any modeling framework. The fate of three selected beta blockers-atenolol, metoprolol, and sotalol-was examined during nitrification using batch experiments to develop and evaluate a new cometabolic process-based (CPB) model. CPB model parameters describe biotransformation during and after ammonia oxidation for specific biomass populations and are designed to be integrated within the Activated Sludge Models framework. Metoprolol and sotalol were not biodegraded by the nitrification enrichment culture employed herein. Biodegradation of atenolol was observed and linked to the activity of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and heterotrophs but not nitrite-oxidizing bacteria. Results suggest that the role of AOB in atenolol degradation may be disproportionately more significant than is otherwise suggested by their lower relative abundance in typical biological treatment processes. Atenolol was observed to competitively inhibit AOB growth in our experiments, though model simulations suggest inhibition is most relevant at atenolol concentrations greater than approximately 200 ng·L(-1). CPB model parameters were found to be relatively insensitive to biokinetic parameter selection suggesting the model approach may hold utility for describing pharmaceutical biodegradation during biological wastewater treatment. PMID:24112027

  10. Anaerobic biodegradability of mixtures of pesticides in an expanded granular sludge bed reactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monsalvo, V M; Garcia-Mancha, N; Puyol, D; Mohedano, A F; Rodriguez, J J

    2014-01-01

    The biodegradability and toxicity of three commercial pesticides containing 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid (MCPA), imidacloprid and dimethoate were evaluated individually, and a complex mixture of these pesticides was treated in an expanded granular sludge bed (EGSB) reactor. MCPA was partially biodegraded, while imidacloprid and dimethoate remained almost unaltered during the individual biodegradability tests. Cyclohexanone was identified as the major solvent in the dimethoate-bearing insecticide, which was completely removed regardless of the presence of other pesticides. The analysis of the inhibition over the acetoclastic methanogenesis showed IC(50) (half maximal inhibitory concentration) values of 474 and 367 mg/L for imidacloprid and dimethoate, respectively. The effect on the methanogenesis was negligible in the case of MCPA and cyclohexanone. Pesticides caused a dramatic decrease of the EGSB reactor performance. After 30 d acclimation, the EGSB reactor achieved a stable chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency and methane production of around 85% and 0.9 g CH(4)-COD/g COD, respectively, for MCPA, imidacloprid, dimethoate and cyclohexanone feed concentrations of 57, 20, 25 and 27 mg/L, respectively. The presence of complex pesticide mixtures led to synergistic/antagonistic responses, reducing the MCPA biodegradation and improving the removal of the insecticides' active ingredients, which were completely removed in the EGSB reactor. PMID:24552724

  11. Environmental biodegradation of haloarchaea-produced poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) in activated sludge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiao-Bin; Wu, Lin-Ping; Hou, Jing; Chen, Jun-Yu; Han, Jing; Xiang, Hua

    2016-08-01

    Novel poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBHV) copolymers produced by haloarchaea are excellent candidate biomaterials. However, there is no report hitherto focusing on the biodegradation of PHBHV synthesized by haloarchaea. In this study, an environmental biodegradation of haloarchaea-produced PHBHV films, with 10~60 mol% 3-hydroxyvalerate (3HV) composition and different microchemical structures, was studied in nutrition-depleted activated sludge. The changes in mass, molar mass, chemical composition, thermal properties, and surface morphology were monitored. The mass and molar mass of each film decreased significantly, while the PHA monomer composition remained unchanged with time. Interestingly, the sample of random copolymer PHBHV-2 (R-PHBHV-2) (3HV, 30 mol%) had the lowest crystallinity and was degraded faster than R-PHBHV-3 containing the highest 3HV content or the higher-order copolymer PHBHV-1 (O-PHBHV-1) possessing the highest surface roughness. The order of biodegradation rate was in the opposite trend to the degree of crystallizability of the films. Meanwhile, thermal degradation temperature of most films decreased after biodegradation. Additionally, the surface erosion of films was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. The dominant bacteria probably responsible for the degradation process were identified in the activated sludge. It was inferred that the degradation rate of haloarchaea-produced PHBHV films mainly depended on sample crystallinity, which was determined by monomer composition and microchemical structure and in turn strongly influenced surface morphology. PMID:27098259

  12. Influence of nitrifying conditions on the biodegradation and sorption of emerging micropollutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Fontaina, E; Omil, F; Lema, J M; Carballa, M

    2012-10-15

    High biodegradation efficiencies of different emerging micropollutants were obtained with nitrifying activated sludge (NAS) working at high nitrogen loading rates (NLR), that boosted the development of biomass with high nitrifying activities (>1 g N-NH(4)(+)/g VSS d). Come-tabolic biodegradation seemed to be responsible for the removal of most compounds due to the action of the ammonium monooxygenase enzyme. NAS showed a different affinity for each compound, probably due to steric hindrance, activation energy limitations or the presence of specific functional groups. Increasing loading rates of micropollutants were removed at shorter hydraulic retention times, although the biodegradation efficiencies of compounds with slow/intermediate kinetics, such as fluoxetine, erythromycin, roxithromycin and trimethoprim, diminished due to kinetic and/or stoichiometric limitations. Solids retention time, always above the minimum to avoid the washout of nitrifiers, did not enhance the biodegradation of any of the selected compounds, with the exception of diclofenac. Regarding sorption, the solid-liquid distribution coefficients (K(d)) obtained in NAS were very similar to those found in conventional activated sludge by other authors. No correlation between K(d) values and any of the operational parameters was found for the selected substances. PMID:22877882

  13. Controlled morphology of biodegradable polymer blends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buddhiranon, Sasiwimon; Kyu, Thein

    2009-03-01

    Phase diagrams of biodegradable polymer blends containing poly(ɛ-caprolactone) (PCL) and poly(d,l-lactic acid) (PDLLA) having two different molecular weights were established by means of cloud point measurement and differential scanning calorimetry. Subsequently, the theoretical phase diagram was calculated self-consistently based on the combination of Flory-Huggins free energy for liquid-liquid phase separation and phase field free energy for crystal solidification. The phase diagrams thus obtained were LCST type or hour-glass type, which depended on molecular weight of PDLLA utilized. Guided by the phase diagram, the emerged morphology was determined as a function of blend concentration and temperature. It appears that the morphology control is feasible that ultimately affects the end-use property of PCL/PDLLA blends. A wide variety of morphology of biodegradable polymer may be developed with the porous structure and pore size to control scaffold porosity and the rate of drug delivery.

  14. Starch-based completely biodegradable polymer materials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Starch is a natural polymer which possesses many unique properties and some shortcoming simultaneously. Some synthetic polymers are biodegradable and can be tailor-made easily. Therefore, by combining the individual advantages of starch and synthetic polymers, starch-based completely biodegradable polymers (SCBP are potential for applications in biomedical and environmental fields. Therefore it received great attention and was extensively investigated. In this paper, the structure and characteristics of starch and some synthetic degradable polymers are briefly introduced. Then, the recent progress about the preparation of SCBP via physical blending and chemical modification is reviewed and discussed. At last, some examples have been presented to elucidate that SCBP are promising materials for various applications and their development is a good solution for reducing the consumption of petroleum resources and environmental problem.

  15. Biodegradable Epoxy Networks Cured with Polypeptides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Shigeo; Kramer, Edward J.

    2006-03-01

    Epoxy resins are used widely for adhesives as well as coatings. However, once cured they are usually highly cross-linked and are not biodegradable. To obtain potentially biodegradable polypeptides that can cure with epoxy resins and achieve as good properties as the conventional phenol novolac hardeners, poly(succinimide-co-tyrosine) was synthesized by thermal polycondensation of L-aspartic acid and L-tyrosine with phosphoric acid under reduced pressure. The tyrosine/succinimide ratio in the polypeptide was always lower than the tyrosine/(aspartic acid) feed ratio and was influenced by the synthesis conditions. Poly(succinimide-tyrosine- phenylalanine) was also synthesized from L-aspartic acid, L- tyrosine and L-phenylalanine. The thermal and mechanical properties of epoxy resins cured with these polypeptides are comparable to those of similar resins cured with conventional hardeners. In addition, enzymatic degradability tests showed that Chymotrypsin or Subtilisin A could cleave cured films in an alkaline borate buffer.

  16. Anaerobic Biodegradability of Agricultural Renewable Fibers

    OpenAIRE

    Shi, Bo; Lortscher, Peter; Palfery, Doris

    2013-01-01

    Natural fiber-based paper and paperboard products are likely disposed of in municipal wastewater, composting, or landfill after an intended usage. However, there are few studies reporting anaerobic sludge digestion and biodegradability of agricultural fibers although the soiled sanitary products, containing agricultural fibers, are increasingly disposed of in municipal wastewater or conventional landfill treatment systems, in which one or more unit operations are anaerobic digestion. We condu...

  17. Assessment of polymer-based nanocomposites biodegradability

    OpenAIRE

    Machado, A.V.; Araújo, Andreia Isabel Silva; Oliveira, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    The management of solid waste is a growing concern in many countries. Municipal solid waste is a major component of the total solid waste generated by society, and the composting of municipal solid waste has gained some attention even though a composting treatment for it is not yet widespread. It may not be realistic to replace large portions of these plastics with biodegradable materials, and it may be more important to separate plastics unsuitable for the composting process at the generatin...

  18. Biodegradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Soil

    OpenAIRE

    MR Mehrasbi; B Haghighi; M.Shariat; S Naseri; Naddafi, K

    2003-01-01

    Biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons (20 g/kg dw soil) was investigated in 3 media, differing in the kind of petroleum fractions. In the laboratory experiments, during 5 months, the activities of petroleum hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms and dehydrogenase activity of soil was determined. Gas chromatographic analysis showed the biological decontaminations for gas oil, kerosene and synthetic mixture (gas oil, kerosene and furnace oil) are 60 %, 36 % and 55 %, respectively. Dehydrogenas...

  19. Nanomembranes and nanofibers from biodegradable conducting polymers

    OpenAIRE

    Jordi Puiggalí; Carlos Alemán; Luís Javier del Valle; Elaine Armelin; María del Mar Pérez-Madrigal; Elena Llorens

    2013-01-01

    This review provides a current status report of the field concerning preparation of fibrous mats based on biodegradable (e. g., aliphatic polyesters such as polylactide or polycaprolactone) and conducting polymers (e. g., polyaniline, polypirrole or polythiophenes). These materials have potential biomedical applications (e. g., tissue engineering or drug delivery systems) and can be combined to get free-standing nanomembranes and nanofibers that retain the better properties of their correspon...

  20. Biodegradation of tert-butylphenyl diphenyl phosphate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The biodegradation of tert-butylphenyl diphenyl phosphate (BPDP) was examined in microcosms containing sediment and water from five different ecosystems as part of studies to elucidate the environmental fate of phosphate ester flame retardants. Biodegradation of [14C]BPDP was monitored in the environmental microcosms by measuring the evolution of 14CO2. Over 37% of BPDP was mineralized after 8 weeks in microcosms from an ecosystem which had chronic exposure to agricultural chemicals. In contrast, only 1.7% of BPDP was degraded to 14CO2 in samples collected from a noncontaminated site. The exposure concentration of BPDP affected the percentage which was degraded to 14CO2 in microcosms from the two most active ecosystems. Mineralization was highest at a concentration of 0.1 mg of BPDP and was inhibited with 10- and 100-fold higher concentrations of BPDP. The authors observed adaptive increases in both microbial populations and phosphoesterase enzymes in some sediments acclimated to BPDP. Chemical analyses of the residues in the microcosms indicated undegraded BPDP and minor amounts of phenol, tert-butylphenol, diphenyl phosphate, and triphenyl phosphate as biodegradation products. These data suggest that the microbial degradation of BPDP results from at least three catabolic processes and is highest when low concentrations of BPDP are exposed to sediment microorganisms of eutrophic ecosystems which have high phosphotri- and diesterase activities and previous exposure to anthropogenic chemicals

  1. Nanomembranes and Nanofibers from Biodegradable Conducting Polymers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordi Puiggalí

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This review provides a current status report of the field concerning preparation of fibrous mats based on biodegradable (e.g., aliphatic polyesters such as polylactide or polycaprolactone and conducting polymers (e.g., polyaniline, polypirrole or polythiophenes. These materials have potential biomedical applications (e.g., tissue engineering or drug delivery systems and can be combined to get free-standing nanomembranes and nanofibers that retain the better properties of their corresponding individual components. Systems based on biodegradable and conducting polymers constitute nowadays one of the most promising solutions to develop advanced materials enable to cover aspects like local stimulation of desired tissue, time controlled drug release and stimulation of either the proliferation or differentiation of various cell types. The first sections of the review are focused on a general overview of conducting and biodegradable polymers most usually employed and the explanation of the most suitable techniques for preparing nanofibers and nanomembranes (i.e., electrospinning and spin coating. Following sections are organized according to the base conducting polymer (e.g., Sections 4–6 describe hybrid systems having aniline, pyrrole and thiophene units, respectively. Each one of these sections includes specific subsections dealing with applications in a nanofiber or nanomembrane form. Finally, miscellaneous systems and concluding remarks are given in the two last sections.

  2. Biodegradation of ion-exchange media

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ion-exchange media, both bead resins and powdered filter media, are used in nuclear power plants to remove radioactivity from process water prior to reuse or environmental discharge. Since the ion- exchange media are made from synthetic hydrocarbon-based polymers, they may be susceptible to damage from biological activity. The purpose of this study was to investigate some of the more basic aspects of biodegradation of ion-exchange media, specifically to evaluate the ability of microorganisms to utilize the ion-exchange media or materials sorbed on them as a food source. The ASTM-G22 test, alone and combined with the Bartha Pramer respirometric method, failed to indicate the biodegradability of the ion-exchange media. The limitation of these methods was that they used a single test organism. In later phases of this study, a mixed microbial culture was grown from resin waste samples obtained from the BNL High Flux Beam Reactor. These microorganisms were used to evaluate the susceptibility of different types of ion-exchange media to biological attack. Qualitative assessments of biodegradability were based on visual observations of culture growths. Greater susceptibility was associated with increased turbidity in solution indicative of bacterial growth, and more luxuriant fungal mycelial growth in solution or directly on the ion-exchange resin beads. 21 refs., 9 figs., 18 tabs

  3. Titanate nanotube coatings on biodegradable photopolymer scaffolds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rigid, biodegradable photopolymer scaffolds were coated with titanate nanotubes (TNTs) by using a spin-coating method. TNTs were synthesized by a hydrothermal process at 150 °C under 4.7 bar ambient pressure. The biodegradable photopolymer scaffolds were produced by mask-assisted excimer laser photocuring at 308 nm. For scaffold coating, a stable ethanolic TNT sol was prepared by a simple colloid chemical route without the use of any binding compounds or additives. Scanning electron microscopy along with elemental analysis revealed that the scaffolds were homogenously coated by TNTs. The developed TNT coating can further improve the surface geometry of fabricated scaffolds, and therefore it can further increase the cell adhesion. Highlights: ► Biodegradable scaffolds were produced by mask-assisted UV laser photocuring. ► Titanate nanotube deposition was carried out without binding compounds or additives. ► The titanate nanotube coating can further improve the surface geometry of scaffolds. ► These reproducible platforms will be of high importance for biological applications

  4. Macmillan ring-free oil biodegradation project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crude oil processing at the Macmillan Ring-Free Oil Company facility (Macmillan Oil Refinery) began in approximately 1929. Operations produced naphtha, diesel fuel, insulating oil, lubricating oil, and asphalt until approximately 1987. The waste material generated by the process was Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) listed waste K048-Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) float containing volatile and semivolatile organic compounds. On-site unlined surface impoundments used to store DAF and crude oil wastes have periodically overflowed and contaminated two adjacent creeks. A series of extensive site investigation activities in 1992 and 1993 addressed tank and drum, asbestos, lagoon and groundwater contamination at the site. The results of the investigation indicated that the majority of the contamination is contained within 10 lagoons and surrounding soils. Volume calculations indicate that approximately 45,000 cubic yards of contaminated soils and sediments required treatment. A field simulation of biodegradation of these wastes in a land treatment unit was implemented during removal actions. Results of the remedy selection biodegradation assessment provided evidence of a 61 to 96 percent reduction in contaminant concentrations. These concentrations are below land disposal and health risk-based criteria. The technology of biodegradation meets the EPA criteria for inclusion in the potential remedies for the Macmillan Oil Refinery

  5. Biodegradation potential of photocatalyzed surfactant washwater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maillacheruvu, K; Buck, L; Lee, E

    2001-01-01

    Enhanced release of hydrophobic compounds from a soil matrix can be achieved by use of soil-washing or soil-flushing using various surfactants. However, the surfactants used in achieving the desorption of organic contaminants may also cause a problem in subsequent removal/disposal of these contaminants. UV radiation in the presence of TiO2 as a pre-treatment step to achieve initial (or partial) breakdown of naphthalene and Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (SDS) using batch experiments indicated that 56% to 88% naphthalene degradation occurred within 30 minutes to one hour. Preliminary results on the estimate of the batch aerobic biodegradation potential of photocatalyzed washwater containing naphthalene and SDS suggested that SDS was the major carbon and energy source for an activated sludge enrichment culture and an enrichment culture obtained from microorganisms at a contaminated site. Continuous-flow stirred tank reactors (CSTRs) with with a solids retention time (SRT) of 4 days were not effective, but an SRT of 8 days was successful in biodegrading the naphthalene and surfactant. These results indicated that photocatalytic treatment as a pre-treatment step followed by a biodegradation step may offer potential in cleaning up surfactant washwaters containing organic contaminants. PMID:11501312

  6. Titanate nanotube coatings on biodegradable photopolymer scaffolds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beke, S., E-mail: szabolcs.beke@iit.it [Department of Nanophysics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, via Morego 30, 16163 Genova (Italy); Kőrösi, L. [Department of Biotechnology, Nanophage Therapy Center, Enviroinvest Corporation, Kertváros u. 2, H-7632, Pécs (Hungary); Scarpellini, A. [Department of Nanochemistry, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, via Morego 30, 16163 Genova (Italy); Anjum, F.; Brandi, F. [Department of Nanophysics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, via Morego 30, 16163 Genova (Italy)

    2013-05-01

    Rigid, biodegradable photopolymer scaffolds were coated with titanate nanotubes (TNTs) by using a spin-coating method. TNTs were synthesized by a hydrothermal process at 150 °C under 4.7 bar ambient pressure. The biodegradable photopolymer scaffolds were produced by mask-assisted excimer laser photocuring at 308 nm. For scaffold coating, a stable ethanolic TNT sol was prepared by a simple colloid chemical route without the use of any binding compounds or additives. Scanning electron microscopy along with elemental analysis revealed that the scaffolds were homogenously coated by TNTs. The developed TNT coating can further improve the surface geometry of fabricated scaffolds, and therefore it can further increase the cell adhesion. Highlights: ► Biodegradable scaffolds were produced by mask-assisted UV laser photocuring. ► Titanate nanotube deposition was carried out without binding compounds or additives. ► The titanate nanotube coating can further improve the surface geometry of scaffolds. ► These reproducible platforms will be of high importance for biological applications.

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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.

  10. Benthic diatom community response to environmental variables and metal concentrations in a contaminated bay adjacent to Casey Station, Antarctica

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study examined the effects of anthropogenic contaminants and environmental variables on the composition of benthic diatom communities within a contaminated bay adjacent to an abandoned waste disposal site in Antarctica. The combination of geographical, environmental and chemical data included in the study explained all of the variation observed within the diatom communities. The chemical data, particularly metal concentrations, explained 45.9% of variation in the diatom communities, once the effects of grain-size and spatial structure had been excluded. Of the metals, tin explained the greatest proportion of variation in the diatom communities (28%). Tin was very highly correlated (R 2 > 0.95) with several other variables (copper, iron, lead, and sum of metals), all of which explained similarly high proportions of total variation. Grain-size data explained 23% of variation once the effects of spatial structure and the chemical data had been excluded. The pure spatial component explained only 1.8% of the total variance. The study demonstrates that much of the compositional variability observed in the bay can be explained by concentrations of metal contaminants

  11. 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 (

  12. Biodegradability evaluation of polymers by ISO 14855-2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funabashi, Masahiro; Ninomiya, Fumi; Kunioka, Masao

    2009-10-01

    Biodegradabilities of polymers and their composites in a controlled compost were described. Polycaprolactone (PCL) and poly(lactic acid) (PLA) were employed as biodegradable polymers. Biodegradabilities of PCL and PLA samples in a controlled compost were measured using a Microbial Oxidative Degradation Analyzer (MODA) according to ISO 14855-2. Sample preparation method for biodegradation test according to ISO/DIS 10210 was also described. Effects of sizes and shapes of samples on biodegradability were studied. Reproducibility of biodegradation test of ISO 14855-2 by MODA was confirmed. Validity of sample preparation method for polymer pellets, polymer film, and polymer products of ISO/DIS 10210 for ISO 14855-2 was confirmed. PMID:20111676

  13. Biodegradable materials as binders for IVth generation moulding sands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Major-Gabry

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper focuses on the possibility of using the biodegradable materials as binders (or parts of binders?compositions for foundry moulding and core sands. Results showed that there is a great possibility of using available biodegradable materials as foundry moulding sand binders. Using biodegradable materials as partial content of new binders, or additives to moulding sands may not only decrease the toxicity and increase reclamation ability of tested moulding sands, but also accelerate the biodegradation rate of used binders, and the new biodegradable additive (PCL did not decrease the strength and thermal properties. In addition, using polycaprolactone (PCL as a biodegradable material may improve the flexibility of moulding sands with polymeric binder and reduce toxicity.

  14. Assessing the role of spatial rainfall variability on watersheds response using weather radar A case study in the Gard region, France

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anggraheni, Evi; Payrastre, Olivier; Emmanuel, Isabelle; Andrieu, Herve

    2014-05-01

    The consideration of spatial rainfall variability in hydrological modeling is not only an important scientific issue but also, with the current development of high resolution rainfall data from weather radars, an increasing request from managers of sewerage networks and from flood forecasting services. Although the literature on this topic is already significant, at this time the conclusions remain contrasted. The impact of spatial rainfall variability on the hydrological responses appears to highly depend both on the organization of rainfall fields and on the watershed characteristics. The objective of the study presented here is to confirm and analyze the high impact of spatial rainfall variability in the specific context of flash floods. The case study presented is located in the Gard region in south east of France and focuses on four events which occurred on 13 different watersheds in 2008. The hydrological behaviors of these watersheds have been represented by the distributed rainfall - runoff model CINECAR, which already proved to well represent the hydrological responses in this region (Naulin et al., 2013). The influence of spatial rainfall variability has been studied here by considering two different rainfall inputs: radar data with a resolution of 1 km x 1 km and the spatial average rainfall over the catchment. First, the comparison between simulated and measured hydrographs confirms the good performances of the model for intense rainfall events, independently of the level of spatial rainfall variability of these events. Secondly, the simulated hydrographs obtained from radar data are taken as reference and compared to those obtained from the average rainfall inputs by computing two values: the time difference and the difference of magnitude between the simulated peaks discharge. The results highly depend on the rainfall event considered, and on the level of organization of the spatial rainfall variability. According to the model, the behavior of the

  15. Penicillium purpurogenum cultures under ethanol-induced stress and its correlation with fungal adhesion and biodegrading ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomaa, Ola M; Husseiny, Sherif M; Abd El Kareem, Hussein; Talaat, Riham

    2016-10-01

    Fungi are known to be affected by external environmental stimuli, resulting in different stress response effects, which in turn could be used to enhance its biodegrading ability. In a previous study, ethanol was used to manipulate cell-cell and cell-surface interaction to prevent cell loss and maximize the usage of Penicillium purpurogenum cells in the media, a correlation was drawn between ethanol oxidative stress, surface-bound proteins and fungal adhesion. The present study focuses on a more detailed study of the effect of ethanol on the same fungus. The results show that the presence of Yap1p gene and the detection of an oxidized form of glutathione (GSSG) suggest that a stress response might be involved in the adhesion process. The process of adhesion could be described as a signaling process and it is affected by the germ tube formation as an initial step in adhesion. Protein profile showed polymorphism in surface-bound proteins for cultures amended with ethanol when compared to control cultures. Ethanol also affected the DNA polymorphic profile of DNA, rendering the fungus genetically variable. P. purpurogenum produced phenol oxidase enzyme and could be used to degrade total phenols in olive mill waste water without the formation of biofilm on the surface of the containers. PMID:26936484

  16. Effect of partial and complete variable loop deletions of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 envelope glycoprotein on the breadth of gp160-specific immune responses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Induction of cross-reactive cellular and humoral responses to the HIV-1 envelope (env) glycoprotein was examined after DNA immunization of BALB/c mice with gp14089.6-derived constructs exhibiting partial or complete deletions of the V1, V2, and V3 domains. It was demonstrated that specific modification of the V3 loop (mV3) in combination with the V2-modified (mV2) or V1/V2-deleted (ΔV1/V2) region elicited increased levels of cross-reactive CD8+ T cell responses. Mice immunized with the mV2/mV3 or ΔV1/V2/mV3 gp14089.6 plasmid DNA were greater than 50-fold more resistant to challenge with recombinant vaccinia virus (rVV) expressing heterologous env gene products than animals immunized with the wild-type (WT) counterpart. Sera from mV2/mV3- and ΔV1/V2/mV3-immunized mice exhibited the highest cross-neutralizing activity and displayed intermediate antibody avidity values which were further enhanced by challenge with rVV expressing the homologous gp160 glycoprotein. In contrast, complete deletion of the variable regions had little or no effect on the cross-reactive antibody responses. The results of these experiments indicate that the breadth of antibody responses to the HIV-1 env glycoprotein may not be increased by removal of the variable domains. Instead, partial deletions within these regions may redirect specific responses toward conserved epitopes and facilitate approaches for boosting cross-reactive cellular and antibody responses to the env glycoprotein

  17. Preclinical development of biodegradable polymer foils for intracerebral delivery of cytotoxic nucleosides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grieb, Paweł; Ryba, Mirosław; Janisz, Monika; Walski, Michał

    2003-01-01

    Intracerebral implantation of biodegradable polymers loaded with cytotoxic or radiosensitising nucleoside analogues is a promising treatment strategy for malignant gliomas, which are currently intractable. The aim of the study was to develop biodegradable polymers containing nucleosides which could be implanted intracerebrally. Methods of synthesis were developed for the copolymers composed of D,L-lactide, glycolide and caprolactone in different proportions, as well as a novel method of introducing nucleosides to these copolymers at the polymerisation step. Upon degradation in an aqueous medium some of these copolymers emit nucleosides in micromolar concentration over several months. Their in situ degradation and biocompatibility with brain tissues was assessed by means of scanning and transmission electron microscopy. At the ultrastructural level tissue responses to the copolymer implantation closely resembled the responses to mechanical trauma. PMID:12899199

  18. Degradation of Oxo-Biodegradable Plastic by Pleurotus ostreatus

    OpenAIRE

    José Maria Rodrigues da Luz; Sirlaine Albino Paes; Mateus Dias Nunes; Marliane de Cássia Soares da Silva; Maria Catarina Megumi Kasuya

    2013-01-01

    Growing concerns regarding the impact of the accumulation of plastic waste over several decades on the environmental have led to the development of biodegradable plastic. These plastics can be degraded by microorganisms and absorbed by the environment and are therefore gaining public support as a possible alternative to petroleum-derived plastics. Among the developed biodegradable plastics, oxo-biodegradable polymers have been used to produce plastic bags. Exposure of this waste plastic to ul...

  19. The Role of Attached and Free-Living Bacteria in Biodegradation in Karst Aquifers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmad Kheder

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Natural attenuation of groundwater contamination occurs at some level for all aquifers impacted with organic contaminants. The issues regarding natural attenuation are whether it takes place at a sufficient rate to be protective of human health and the environment. Implementation of a Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA remedial alternative for groundwater requires parties responsible for the contamination to demonstrate to regulators and the public that MNA is protective at a given site. Analysis of MNA for remediation of karst aquifers is hampered by a lack of understanding of biodegradation in karst environments. The lack of studies examining biodegradation in karst aquifers may in large part be due to the widespread perception that contaminants are rapidly flushed out of karst aquifers resulting in insufficient residence times for contaminants to biodegrade. In highly developed and well-connected conduit systems, the rate of contaminant migration is perceived to be much faster than the rate of biodegradation. This perception of contaminant transport is largely incorrect. Tracer studies for karst aquifers often indicate that these aquifers are characterized by diverse flow regimes and storage capabilities. Additionally, it is also believed that if bioremediation in bedrock aquifers is dependent upon contact between surface-attached bacteria and contaminants, then bioremediation would be limited by the low surface-area-to-volume ratio (SA/V of karst aquifers. A quantitative basis, however, for accepting or rejecting the assumption that attached bacteria dominate the biodegradation process in karst conduits has not been shown. The objective of this research was to determine if free-living karst bacteria from contributed as much to toluene biodegradation as attached bacteria. This is an important area of research. Research indicates bacteria are both attached and free-living in karst aquifers and it is unrealistic to think that only the attached

  20. Combining Quantitative Trait Loci Analysis and an Ecophysiological Model to Analyze the Genetic Variability of the Responses of Maize Leaf Growth to Temperature and Water Deficit1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reymond, Matthieu; Muller, Bertrand; Leonardi, Agnès; Charcosset, Alain; Tardieu, François

    2003-01-01

    Ecophysiological models predict quantitative traits of one genotype in any environment, whereas quantitative trait locus (QTL) models predict the contribution of alleles to quantitative traits under a limited number of environments. We have combined both approaches by dissecting into effects of QTLs the parameters of a model of maize (Zea mays) leaf elongation rate (LER; H. Ben Haj Salah, F. Tardieu [1997] Plant Physiol 114: 893–900). Response curves of LER to meristem temperature, water vapor pressure difference, and soil water status were established in 100 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) of maize in six experiments carried out in the field or in the greenhouse. All responses were linear and common to different experiments, consistent with the model. A QTL analysis was carried out on the slopes of these responses by composite interval mapping confirmed by bootstrap analysis. Most QTLs were specific of one response only. QTLs of abscisic acid concentration in the xylem sap colocalized with QTLs of response to soil water deficit and conferred a low response. Each parameter of the ecophysiological model was computed as the sum of QTL effects, allowing calculation of parameters for 11 new RILs and two parental lines. LERs were simulated and compared with measurements in a growth chamber experiment. The combined model accounted for 74% of the variability of LER, suggesting that it has a general value for any RIL under any environment. PMID:12586890