WorldWideScience

Sample records for biological adaptive-imrt assessed

  1. Influence of MLC leaf width on biologically adapted IMRT plans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roedal, Jan; Soevik, Aaste; Malinen, Eirik (Dept. of Medical Physics, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo Univ. Hospital, Oslo (Norway)), E-mail: jan.rodal@radiumhospitalet.no

    2010-10-15

    Introduction. High resolution beam delivery may be required for optimal biology-guided adaptive therapy. In this work, we have studied the influence of multi leaf collimator (MLC) leaf widths on the treatment outcome following adapted IMRT of a hypoxic tumour. Material and methods. Dynamic contrast enhanced MR images of a dog with a spontaneous tumour in the nasal region were used to create a tentative hypoxia map following a previously published procedure. The hypoxia map was used as a basis for generating compartmental gross tumour volumes, which were utilised as planning structures in biologically adapted IMRT. Three different MLCs were employed in inverse treatment planning, with leaf widths of 2.5 mm, 5 mm and 10 mm. The number of treatment beams and the degree of step-and-shoot beam modulation were varied. By optimising the tumour control probability (TCP) function, optimal compartmental doses were derived and used as target doses in the inverse planning. Resulting IMRT dose distributions and dose volume histograms (DVHs) were exported and analysed, giving estimates of TCP and compartmental equivalent uniform doses (EUDs). The impact of patient setup accuracy was simulated. Results. The MLC with the smallest leaf width (2.5 mm) consistently gave the highest TCPs and compartmental EUDs, assuming no setup error. The difference between this MLC and the 5 mm MLC was rather small, while the MLC with 10 mm leaf width gave considerably lower TCPs. When including random and systematic setup errors, errors larger than 5 mm gave only small differences between the MLC types. For setup errors larger than 7 mm no differences were found between non-uniform and uniform dose distributions. Conclusions. Biologically adapted radiotherapy may require MLCs with leaf widths smaller than 10 mm. However, for a high probability of cure it is crucial that accurate patient setup is ensured.

  2. A planning quality evaluation tool for prostate adaptive IMRT based on machine learning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu Xiaofeng; Ge Yaorong; Li Taoran; Thongphiew, Danthai; Yin Fangfang; Wu, Q Jackie

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: To ensure plan quality for adaptive IMRT of the prostate, we developed a quantitative evaluation tool using a machine learning approach. This tool generates dose volume histograms (DVHs) of organs-at-risk (OARs) based on prior plans as a reference, to be compared with the adaptive plan derived from fluence map deformation. Methods: Under the same configuration using seven-field 15 MV photon beams, DVHs of OARs (bladder and rectum) were estimated based on anatomical information of the patient and a model learned from a database of high quality prior plans. In this study, the anatomical information was characterized by the organ volumes and distance-to-target histogram (DTH). The database consists of 198 high quality prostate plans and was validated with 14 cases outside the training pool. Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to DVHs and DTHs to quantify their salient features. Then, support vector regression (SVR) was implemented to establish the correlation between the features of the DVH and the anatomical information. Results: DVH/DTH curves could be characterized sufficiently just using only two or three truncated principal components, thus, patient anatomical information was quantified with reduced numbers of variables. The evaluation of the model using the test data set demonstrated its accuracy ∼80% in prediction and effectiveness in improving ART planning quality. Conclusions: An adaptive IMRT plan quality evaluation tool based on machine learning has been developed, which estimates OAR sparing and provides reference in evaluating ART.

  3. Dosimetric Evaluation of Automatic Segmentation for Adaptive IMRT for Head-and-Neck Cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tsuji, Stuart Y.; Hwang, Andrew; Weinberg, Vivian; Yom, Sue S.; Quivey, Jeanne M.; Xia Ping

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: Adaptive planning to accommodate anatomic changes during treatment requires repeat segmentation. This study uses dosimetric endpoints to assess automatically deformed contours. Methods and Materials: Sixteen patients with head-and-neck cancer had adaptive plans because of anatomic change during radiotherapy. Contours from the initial planning computed tomography (CT) were deformed to the mid-treatment CT using an intensity-based free-form registration algorithm then compared with the manually drawn contours for the same CT using the Dice similarity coefficient and an overlap index. The automatic contours were used to create new adaptive plans. The original and automatic adaptive plans were compared based on dosimetric outcomes of the manual contours and on plan conformality. Results: Volumes from the manual and automatic segmentation were similar; only the gross tumor volume (GTV) was significantly different. Automatic plans achieved lower mean coverage for the GTV: V95: 98.6 ± 1.9% vs. 89.9 ± 10.1% (p = 0.004) and clinical target volume: V95: 98.4 ± 0.8% vs. 89.8 ± 6.2% (p 3 of the spinal cord 39.9 ± 3.7 Gy vs. 42.8 ± 5.4 Gy (p = 0.034), but no difference for the remaining structures. Conclusions: Automatic segmentation is not robust enough to substitute for physician-drawn volumes, particularly for the GTV. However, it generates normal structure contours of sufficient accuracy when assessed by dosimetric end points.

  4. Biological Environmental Sampling Technologies Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-01

    assay performance for the detection of target pathogens or protein biomarkers in liquid matrices. The nanomanipulation technology provides a dramatic...personal protective equipment qPCR quantitative polymerase chain reaction RAID Rapid Assessment Initial Detection kit RFI request for information RT...Carrie Poore Robert Dorsey RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY DIRECTORATE Aaron Chonko David Grieco JOINT BIOLOGICAL TACTICAL DETECTION SYSTEM

  5. The Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment: A Concept Assessment for Upper-Division Molecular Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couch, Brian A.; Wood, William B.; Knight, Jennifer K.

    2015-01-01

    Measuring students' conceptual understandings has become increasingly important to biology faculty members involved in evaluating and improving departmental programs. We developed the Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment (MBCA) to gauge comprehension of fundamental concepts in molecular and cell biology and the ability to apply these concepts in…

  6. Biological Based Risk Assessment for Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cucinotta, Francis A.

    2011-01-01

    Exposures from galactic cosmic rays (GCR) - made up of high-energy protons and high-energy and charge (HZE) nuclei, and solar particle events (SPEs) - comprised largely of low- to medium-energy protons are the primary health concern for astronauts for long-term space missions. Experimental studies have shown that HZE nuclei produce both qualitative and quantitative differences in biological effects compared to terrestrial radiation, making risk assessments for cancer and degenerative risks, such as central nervous system effects and heart disease, highly uncertain. The goal for space radiation protection at NASA is to be able to reduce the uncertainties in risk assessments for Mars exploration to be small enough to ensure acceptable levels of risks are not exceeded and to adequately assess the efficacy of mitigation measures such as shielding or biological countermeasures. We review the recent BEIR VII and UNSCEAR-2006 models of cancer risks and their uncertainties. These models are shown to have an inherent 2-fold uncertainty as defined by ratio of the 95% percent confidence level to the mean projection, even before radiation quality is considered. In order to overcome the uncertainties in these models, new approaches to risk assessment are warranted. We consider new computational biology approaches to modeling cancer risks. A basic program of research that includes stochastic descriptions of the physics and chemistry of radiation tracks and biochemistry of metabolic pathways, to emerging biological understanding of cellular and tissue modifications leading to cancer is described.

  7. Teaching quantitative biology: goals, assessments, and resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aikens, Melissa L; Dolan, Erin L

    2014-11-05

    More than a decade has passed since the publication of BIO2010, calling for an increased emphasis on quantitative skills in the undergraduate biology curriculum. In that time, relatively few papers have been published that describe educational innovations in quantitative biology or provide evidence of their effects on students. Using a "backward design" framework, we lay out quantitative skill and attitude goals, assessment strategies, and teaching resources to help biologists teach more quantitatively. Collaborations between quantitative biologists and education researchers are necessary to develop a broader and more appropriate suite of assessment tools, and to provide much-needed evidence on how particular teaching strategies affect biology students' quantitative skill development and attitudes toward quantitative work. © 2014 Aikens and Dolan. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  8. Biological Assessment on Impacts to Peregrine Falcons

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-03-15

    George W. Ploudre, P.E. Assistant Chief, Engineering Division NPSEN-PL-ER 15 March 1984 LUMMI BAY MARINA, WHATCOM COUNTY, WASHINGTON BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT...Randall K. Knapp, and James K. Fackler, .1984. "The Behavior and Ecology of Fall Peregrine Falcons at Lummi Bay and Vicinity, Whatcom County...impacts of the proposed Lummi Bay Marina project, Whatcom County, Washington on the Federally endangered peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus

  9. The molecular biology capstone assessment: a concept assessment for upper-division molecular biology students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couch, Brian A; Wood, William B; Knight, Jennifer K

    2015-03-02

    Measuring students' conceptual understandings has become increasingly important to biology faculty members involved in evaluating and improving departmental programs. We developed the Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment (MBCA) to gauge comprehension of fundamental concepts in molecular and cell biology and the ability to apply these concepts in novel scenarios. Targeted at graduating students, the MBCA consists of 18 multiple-true/false (T/F) questions. Each question consists of a narrative stem followed by four T/F statements, which allows a more detailed assessment of student understanding than the traditional multiple-choice format. Questions were iteratively developed with extensive faculty and student feedback, including validation through faculty reviews and response validation through student interviews. The final assessment was taken online by 504 students in upper-division courses at seven institutions. Data from this administration indicate that the MBCA has acceptable levels of internal reliability (α=0.80) and test-retest stability (r=0.93). Students achieved a wide range of scores with a 67% overall average. Performance results suggest that students have an incomplete understanding of many molecular biology concepts and continue to hold incorrect conceptions previously documented among introductory-level students. By pinpointing areas of conceptual difficulty, the MBCA can provide faculty members with guidance for improving undergraduate biology programs. © 2015 B. A. Couch et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2015 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  10. Synthetic biology ethics: a deontological assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heavey, Patrick

    2013-10-01

    In this article I discuss the ethics of synthetic biology from a broadly deontological perspective, evaluating its morality in terms of the integrity of nature, the dignity of life and the relationship between God and his creation. Most ethical analyses to date have been largely consequentialist in nature; they reveal a dual use dilemma, showing that synbio has potential for great good and great evil, possibly more so than any step humanity has taken before. A deontological analysis may help to resolve this dilemma, by evaluating whether synbio is right or wrong in itself. I also assess whether deontology alone is a sufficient methodological paradigm for the proper evaluation of synbio ethics. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Assessing Probabilistic Risk Assessment Approaches for Insect Biological Control Introductions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, Leyla V; Wright, Mark G

    2017-07-07

    The introduction of biological control agents to new environments requires host specificity tests to estimate potential non-target impacts of a prospective agent. Currently, the approach is conservative, and is based on physiological host ranges determined under captive rearing conditions, without consideration for ecological factors that may influence realized host range. We use historical data and current field data from introduced parasitoids that attack an endemic Lepidoptera species in Hawaii to validate a probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) procedure for non-target impacts. We use data on known host range and habitat use in the place of origin of the parasitoids to determine whether contemporary levels of non-target parasitism could have been predicted using PRA. Our results show that reasonable predictions of potential non-target impacts may be made if comprehensive data are available from places of origin of biological control agents, but scant data produce poor predictions. Using apparent mortality data rather than marginal attack rate estimates in PRA resulted in over-estimates of predicted non-target impact. Incorporating ecological data into PRA models improved the predictive power of the risk assessments.

  12. A Diagnostic Assessment for Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Jia; Wood, William B.; Martin, Jennifer M.; Guild, Nancy A.; Vicens, Quentin; Knight, Jennifer K.

    2010-01-01

    We have developed and validated a tool for assessing understanding of a selection of fundamental concepts and basic knowledge in undergraduate introductory molecular and cell biology, focusing on areas in which students often have misconceptions. This multiple-choice Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology Assessment (IMCA) instrument is designed…

  13. Dosimetric adaptive IMRT driven by fiducial points

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crijns, Wouter; Van Herck, Hans; Defraene, Gilles; Van den Bergh, Laura; Haustermans, Karin; Slagmolen, Pieter; Maes, Frederik; Van den Heuvel, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: Intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and volumetric modulated arc therapy have become standard treatments but are more sensitive to anatomical variations than 3D conformal techniques. To correct for inter- and intrafraction anatomical variations, fast and easy to implement methods are needed. Here, the authors propose a full dosimetric IMRT correction that finds a compromise in-between basic repositioning (the current clinical practice) and full replanning. It simplifies replanning by avoiding a recontouring step and a full dose calculation. It surpasses repositioning by updating the preoptimized fluence and monitor units (MU) using a limited number of fiducial points and a pretreatment (CB)CT. To adapt the fluence the fiducial points were projected in the beam's eye view (BEV). To adapt the MUs, point dose calculation towards the same fiducial points were performed. The proposed method is intrinsically fast and robust, and simple to understand for operators, because of the use of only four fiducial points and the beam data based point dose calculations. Methods: To perform our dosimetric adaptation, two fluence corrections in the BEV are combined with two MU correction steps along the beam's path. (1) A transformation of the fluence map such that it is realigned with the current target geometry. (2) A correction for an unintended scaling of the penumbra margin when the treatment beams scale to the current target size. (3) A correction for the target depth relative to the body contour and (4) a correction for the target distance to the source. The impact of the correction strategy and its individual components was evaluated by simulations on a virtual prostate phantom. This heterogeneous reference phantom was systematically subjected to population based prostate transformations to simulate interfraction variations. Additionally, a patient example illustrated the clinical practice. The correction strategy was evaluated using both dosimetric (CTV mean dose, conformity index) and clinical (tumor control probability, and normal tissue complication probability) measures. Results: Based on the current experiments, the intended target dose and tumor control probability could be assured by the proposed method (TCP ≥ TCP intended ). Additionally, the conformity index error was more than halved compared to the current clinical practice (ΔCI 95% from 40% to 16%) resulting in improved organ at risk protection. All the individual correction steps had an added value to the full correction. Conclusions: A limited number of fiducial points (no organ contours required) and an in-room (CB)CT are sufficient to perform a full dosimetric correction for IMRT plans. In the presence of interfraction variation, the corrected plans show superior dose distributions compared to our current clinical practice

  14. Scientific Opinion on Risk Assessment of Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, Michelle M; Vermeire, Theo

    2016-08-01

    In 2013, three Scientific Committees of the European Commission (EC) drafted Scientific Opinions on synthetic biology that provide an operational definition and address risk assessment methodology, safety aspects, environmental risks, knowledge gaps, and research priorities. These Opinions contribute to the international discussions on the risk governance for synthetic biology developments. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Assessing the Biological Threat Posed by Suicide Bombers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-02-01

    ASSESSING THE BIOLOGICAL THREAT POSED BY SUICIDE BOMBERS ECBC-TR-1363 Jerry B. Cabalo Jana Kesavan David W...Assessing the Biological Threat Posed by Suicide Bombers 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Cabalo ...RDCB-DRI-T ATTN: J. Cabalo J. Kesavan D. Sickenberger A. Goad RDCB-DEJ-P ATTN: G. Diviacchi Defense

  16. The biological basis for environmental quality assessments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karpov, V.I.; Kudritsky, Y.K.; Georgievsky, A.B.

    1991-01-01

    A systematic approach is required to environmental quality assessments with regard to the Baltic regions in order to address the problem of pollution abatement. The proposed systematization of adaptive states stems from the general theory of adaptation. The various types of adaption are described. (AB)

  17. Assessing Biological Samples with Scanning Probes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, A.

    Scanning probe microscopes raster-scan an atomic scale sensor across an object. The scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) uses an electron beam focused on a few Å, and measures the electron scattering power of the irradiated column of sample matter. Not only does the STEM create dark-filed images of superb clarity, but it also delivers the mass of single protein complexes within a range of 100 kDa to 100 MDa. The STEM appears to be the tool of choice to achieve high-throughput visual proteomics of single cells. In contrast, atomically sharp tips sample the object surface in the scanning tunneling microscope as well as the atomic force microscopes (AFM). Because the AFM can be operated on samples submerged in a physiological salt solution, biomacromolecules can be observed at work. Recent experiments provided new insights into the organization of different native biological membranes, and allowed molecular interaction forces, that determine protein folds and ligand binding, to be measured.

  18. Assessing Practical Laboratory Skills in Undergraduate Molecular Biology Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Lynne; Koenders, Annette; Gynnild, Vidar

    2012-01-01

    This study explored a new strategy of assessing laboratory skills in a molecular biology course to improve: student effort in preparation for and participation in laboratory work; valid evaluation of learning outcomes; and students' employment prospects through provision of evidence of their skills. Previously, assessment was based on written…

  19. Assessing Probabilistic Risk Assessment Approaches for Insect Biological Control Introductions

    OpenAIRE

    Kaufman, Leyla V.; Wright, Mark G.

    2017-01-01

    The introduction of biological control agents to new environments requires host specificity tests to estimate potential non-target impacts of a prospective agent. Currently, the approach is conservative, and is based on physiological host ranges determined under captive rearing conditions, without consideration for ecological factors that may influence realized host range. We use historical data and current field data from introduced parasitoids that attack an endemic Lepidoptera species in H...

  20. Biological methods used to assess surface water quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szczerbiñska Natalia

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In accordance with the guidelines of the Water Framework Directive 2000/60 (WFD, both ecological and chemical statuses determine the assessment of surface waters. The profile of ecological status is based on the analysis of various biological components, and physicochemical and hydromorphological indicators complement this assessment. The aim of this article is to present the biological methods used in the assessment of water status with a special focus on bioassay, as well as to provide a review of methods of monitoring water status. Biological test methods include both biomonitoring and bioanalytics. Water biomonitoring is used to assess and forecast the status of water. These studies aim to collect data on water pollution and forecast its impact. Biomonitoring uses organisms which are characterized by particular vulnerability to contaminants. Bioindicator organisms are algae, fungi, bacteria, larval invertebrates, cyanobacteria, macroinvertebrates, and fish. Bioanalytics is based on the receptors of contaminants that can be biologically active substances. In bioanalytics, biosensors such as viruses, bacteria, antibodies, enzymes, and biotests are used to assess degrees of pollution.

  1. Biological dosimetry: chromosomal aberration analysis for dose assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-01-01

    In view of the growing importance of chromosomal aberration analysis as a biological dosimeter, the present report provides a concise summary of the scientific background of the subject and a comprehensive source of information at the technical level. After a review of the basic principles of radiation dosimetry and radiation biology basic information on the biology of lymphocytes, the structure of chromosomes and the classification of chromosomal aberrations are presented. This is followed by a presentation of techniques for collecting blood, storing, transporting, culturing, making chromosomal preparations and scaring of aberrations. The physical and statistical parameters involved in dose assessment are discussed and examples of actual dose assessments taken from the scientific literature are given

  2. BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF WATER QUALITY: A STUDY OF ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DR. AMIN

    ABSTRACT. This study was carried out to survey the biotic community of Challawa river water in Kano, Nigeria, using Biological Monitoring Working Party Score (BMWP) and Average Score Per Taxa (ASPT) assessment tools to evaluate the water quality in the field. Using standardized sampling technique insects, insects' ...

  3. Rapid biological assessment of the fishery potential of Xonxa Dam ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Rapid biological assessments have been proposed as the most cost-effective approach to identify suitable target species and to set initial catch and fishing effort levels for new fisheries. Xonxa Dam, a turbid irrigation dam situated in the White Kei catchment, rural Eastern Cape, is shown to provide fisheries potential for two ...

  4. River Pollution: Part II. Biological Methods for Assessing Water Quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Openshaw, Peter

    1984-01-01

    Discusses methods used in the biological assessment of river quality and such indicators of clean and polluted waters as the Trent Biotic Index, Chandler Score System, and species diversity indexes. Includes a summary of a river classification scheme based on quality criteria related to water use. (JN)

  5. Assessment of biological Nitrogen fixing potentials of Pigeonpea ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In a 2-year field/laboratory study, the biological nitrogen fixing potentials of 14 newly introduced pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.) genotypes from ICRISAT along with a local check were assessed under intercropping with sorghum (Sorghum bicolour (L.) Moench.) in Southern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria.

  6. Ontology- and graph-based similarity assessment in biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Haiying; Zheng, Huiru; Azuaje, Francisco

    2010-10-15

    A standard systems-based approach to biomarker and drug target discovery consists of placing putative biomarkers in the context of a network of biological interactions, followed by different 'guilt-by-association' analyses. The latter is typically done based on network structural features. Here, an alternative analysis approach in which the networks are analyzed on a 'semantic similarity' space is reported. Such information is extracted from ontology-based functional annotations. We present SimTrek, a Cytoscape plugin for ontology-based similarity assessment in biological networks. http://rosalind.infj.ulst.ac.uk/SimTrek.html francisco.azuaje@crp-sante.lu Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

  7. A Creek to Bay Biological Assessment in Oakland, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahumada, E.; Ramirez, N.; Lopez, A.; Avila, M.; Ramirez, J.; Arroyo, D.; Bracho, H.; Casanova, A.; Pierson, E.

    2011-12-01

    In 2007, the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP) assessed the impact of trash on water quality in the Peralta Creek which is located in the Fruitvale district of Oakland, CA. This 2011 follow-up study will take further steps in evaluating the physical and biological impacts of pollution and human development on Peralta Creek and in the San Leandro Bay, where the Creek empties into the larger San Francisco Bay estuary. This study will utilize two forms of biological assessment in order to determine the level of water quality and ecosystem health of Peralta Creek and San Leandro Bay in Oakland, California. A Rapid Bioassesment Protocal (RBP) will be used as the method of biological assessment for Peralta Creek. RBP uses a biotic index of benthic macroinvertebrates to provide a measure of a water body's health. Larval trematodes found in two mud snails (Ilynassa obsoleta and Cerithidea californica) will be used to evaluate the health of the San Leandro Bay. Due to the complex life cycle of trematodes, the measure of trematode diversity and richness in host species serves as an indicator of estuarine health (Huspeni 2005). We have completed the assessment of one section of Peralta Creek, located at 2465 34th Avenue, Oakland, CA 94601. Abundance results indicate a moderately healthy creek because there were high levels of pollution tolerant benthic macroinvertebrates. The tolerant group of benthic macroinvertebrates includes such organisms as flatworms, leeches, and scuds. This is possibly due to this section of the creek being pumped up to the surface from culverts impacting the macroinvertebrate's life cycle. Another contributing factor to creek health is the amount of organic debris found in the creek, which inhibits the flow and oxygenation of the water, allowing for more pollution tolerant aquatic insects to persist. Further investigation is being conducted to fully assess the Peralta Creek watershed; from the preliminary results one can surmise that

  8. Assessing Student Behaviors and Motivation for Actively Learning Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Michael Edward

    Vision and Change states that one of the major changes in the way we design biology courses should be a switch in approach from teacher-centered learning to student-centered learning and identifies active learning as a recommended methods. Studies show performance benefits for students taking courses that use active learning. What is unknown is why active learning is such an effective instructional tool and the limits of this instructional method’s ability to influence performance. This dissertation builds a case in three steps for why active learning is an effective instructional tool. In step one, I assessed the influence of different types of active learning (clickers, group activities, and whole class discussions) on student engagement behavior in one semester of two different introductory biology courses and found that active learning positively influenced student engagement behavior significantly more than lecture. For step two, I examined over four semesters whether student engagement behavior was a predictor of performance and found participation (engagement behavior) in the online (video watching) and in-class course activities (clicker participation) that I measure were significant predictors of performance. In the third, I assessed whether certain active learning satisfied the psychological needs that lead to students’ intrinsic motivation to participate in those activities when compared over two semesters and across two different institutions of higher learning. Findings from this last step show us that student’s perceptions of autonomy, competency, and relatedness in doing various types of active learning are significantly higher than lecture and consistent across two institutions of higher learning. Lastly, I tie everything together, discuss implications of the research, and address future directions for research on biology student motivation and behavior.

  9. Grays River Watershed and Biological Assessment Final Report 2006.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    May, Christopher W.; McGrath, Kathleen E.; Geist, David R. [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Abbe, Timothy; Barton, Chase [Herrera Environmental Consultants, Inc.

    2008-02-04

    The Grays River Watershed and Biological Assessment was funded to address degradation and loss of spawning habitat for chum salmon (Onchorhynchus keta) and fall Chinook salmon (Onchoryhnchus tshawytscha). In 1999, the National Marine Fisheries Service listed lower Columbia River chum salmon as a threatened Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). The Grays River watershed is one of two remaining significant chum salmon spawning locations in this ESU. Runs of Grays River chum and Chinook salmon have declined significantly during the past century, largely because of damage to spawning habitat associated with timber harvest and agriculture in the watershed. In addition, approximately 20-25% of the then-remaining chum salmon spawning habitat was lost during a 1999 channel avulsion that destroyed an important artificial spawning channel operated by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Although the lack of stable, high-quality spawning habitat is considered the primary physical limitation on Grays River chum salmon production today, few data are available to guide watershed management and channel restoration activities. The objectives of the Grays River Watershed and Biological Assessment project were to (1) perform a comprehensive watershed and biological analysis, including hydrologic, geomorphic, and ecological assessments; (2) develop a prioritized list of actions that protect and restore critical chum and Chinook salmon spawning habitat in the Grays River based on comprehensive geomorphic, hydrologic, and stream channel assessments; and (3) gain a better understanding of chum and Chinook salmon habitat requirements and survival within the lower Columbia River and the Grays River. The watershed-based approach to river ecosystem restoration relies on a conceptual framework that describes general relationships between natural landscape characteristics, watershed-scale habitat-forming processes, aquatic

  10. Grays River Watershed and Biological Assessment, 2006 Final Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    May, Christopher; Geist, David [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    2007-04-01

    The Grays River Watershed and Biological Assessment was funded to address degradation and loss of spawning habitat for chum salmon (Onchorhynchus keta) and fall Chinook salmon (Onchoryhnchus tshawytscha). In 1999, the National Marine Fisheries Service listed lower Columbia River chum salmon as a threatened Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). The Grays River watershed is one of two remaining significant chum salmon spawning locations in this ESU. Runs of Grays River chum and Chinook salmon have declined significantly during the past century, largely because of damage to spawning habitat associated with timber harvest and agriculture in the watershed. In addition, approximately 20-25% of the then-remaining chum salmon spawning habitat was lost during a 1999 channel avulsion that destroyed an important artificial spawning channel operated by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Although the lack of stable, high-quality spawning habitat is considered the primary physical limitation on Grays River chum salmon production today, few data are available to guide watershed management and channel restoration activities. The objectives of the Grays River Watershed and Biological Assessment project were to (1) perform a comprehensive watershed and biological analysis, including hydrologic, geomorphic, and ecological assessments; (2) develop a prioritized list of actions that protect and restore critical chum and Chinook salmon spawning habitat in the Grays River based on comprehensive geomorphic, hydrologic, and stream channel assessments; and (3) gain a better understanding of chum and Chinook salmon habitat requirements and survival within the lower Columbia River and the Grays River. The watershed-based approach to river ecosystem restoration relies on a conceptual framework that describes general relationships between natural landscape characteristics, watershed-scale habitat-forming processes, aquatic

  11. Sensitivity assessment of freshwater macroinvertebrates to pesticides using biological traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ippolito, A; Todeschini, R; Vighi, M

    2012-03-01

    Assessing the sensitivity of different species to chemicals is one of the key points in predicting the effects of toxic compounds in the environment. Trait-based predicting methods have proved to be extremely efficient for assessing the sensitivity of macroinvertebrates toward compounds with non specific toxicity (narcotics). Nevertheless, predicting the sensitivity of organisms toward compounds with specific toxicity is much more complex, since it depends on the mode of action of the chemical. The aim of this work was to predict the sensitivity of several freshwater macroinvertebrates toward three classes of plant protection products: organophosphates, carbamates and pyrethroids. Two databases were built: one with sensitivity data (retrieved, evaluated and selected from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ECOTOX database) and the other with biological traits. Aside from the "traditional" traits usually considered in ecological analysis (i.e. body size, respiration technique, feeding habits, etc.), multivariate analysis was used to relate the sensitivity of organisms to some other characteristics which may be involved in the process of intoxication. Results confirmed that, besides traditional biological traits, related to uptake capability (e.g. body size and body shape) some traits more related to particular metabolic characteristics or patterns have a good predictive capacity on the sensitivity to these kinds of toxic substances. For example, behavioral complexity, assumed as an indicator of nervous system complexity, proved to be an important predictor of sensitivity towards these compounds. These results confirm the need for more complex traits to predict effects of highly specific substances. One key point for achieving a complete mechanistic understanding of the process is the choice of traits, whose role in the discrimination of sensitivity should be clearly interpretable, and not only statistically significant.

  12. Assessment of the biological effects of 'strange' radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pryakhin, E.A.; Tryapitsina, G.A.; Urutskoyev, L.I.; Akleyev, A.V.

    2006-01-01

    from explosion of Ti foils in water and aqueous solutions has the capacity to produce a biological effect. 2. The biological effect of 'strange' radiation is manifested by a 13% increase in the number of nucleated cells in the bone marrow, as compared to that in controls, after exposure of the animals to 10 explosions within 3 days of the experiment. 3. The assessment of micronucleus rate in the bone marrow erythrocytes did not reveal the genotoxic effect of 'strange' radiation. 4. The exposure of mice to 'strange' radiation resulting from 10 explosions carried out within 3 days leads to 1.5 fold decrease of genotoxic effect resulting from additional gamma-irradiation (2 Gy). Such reaction may be described as an adaptive response. 5. 'strange' radiation resulting from 10 explosions carried out within 3 days after the gamma irradiation (6 Gy) leads to decrease of bone marrow repopulation. 6. The exposure to 'strange' radiation can bring about an increase in the proportion of neutrophils in the peripheral blood of experimental animals. 7. It can be suggested by the results of the test exposures that 'strange' radiation can affect human health. 8. It has been shown by these preliminary studies that in order to gain an insight into the biological effects of 'strange' radiation further investigation would be necessary. (authors)

  13. Can mixed assessment methods make biology classes more equitable?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotner, Sehoya; Ballen, Cissy J

    2017-01-01

    Many factors have been proposed to explain the attrition of women in science, technology, engineering and math fields, among them the lower performance of women in introductory courses resulting from deficits in incoming preparation. We focus on the impact of mixed methods of assessment, which minimizes the impact of high-stakes exams and rewards other methods of assessment such as group participation, low-stakes quizzes and assignments, and in-class activities. We hypothesized that these mixed methods would benefit individuals who otherwise underperform on high-stakes tests. Here, we analyze gender-based performance trends in nine large (N > 1000 students) introductory biology courses in fall 2016. Females underperformed on exams compared to their male counterparts, a difference that does not exist with other methods of assessment that compose course grade. Further, we analyzed three case studies of courses that transitioned their grading schemes to either de-emphasize or emphasize exams as a proportion of total course grade. We demonstrate that the shift away from an exam emphasis consequently benefits female students, thereby closing gaps in overall performance. Further, the exam performance gap itself is reduced when the exams contribute less to overall course grade. We discuss testable predictions that follow from our hypothesis, and advocate for the use of mixed methods of assessments (possibly as part of an overall shift to active learning techniques). We conclude by challenging the student deficit model, and suggest a course deficit model as explanatory of these performance gaps, whereby the microclimate of the classroom can either raise or lower barriers to success for underrepresented groups in STEM.

  14. Can mixed assessment methods make biology classes more equitable?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sehoya Cotner

    Full Text Available Many factors have been proposed to explain the attrition of women in science, technology, engineering and math fields, among them the lower performance of women in introductory courses resulting from deficits in incoming preparation. We focus on the impact of mixed methods of assessment, which minimizes the impact of high-stakes exams and rewards other methods of assessment such as group participation, low-stakes quizzes and assignments, and in-class activities. We hypothesized that these mixed methods would benefit individuals who otherwise underperform on high-stakes tests. Here, we analyze gender-based performance trends in nine large (N > 1000 students introductory biology courses in fall 2016. Females underperformed on exams compared to their male counterparts, a difference that does not exist with other methods of assessment that compose course grade. Further, we analyzed three case studies of courses that transitioned their grading schemes to either de-emphasize or emphasize exams as a proportion of total course grade. We demonstrate that the shift away from an exam emphasis consequently benefits female students, thereby closing gaps in overall performance. Further, the exam performance gap itself is reduced when the exams contribute less to overall course grade. We discuss testable predictions that follow from our hypothesis, and advocate for the use of mixed methods of assessments (possibly as part of an overall shift to active learning techniques. We conclude by challenging the student deficit model, and suggest a course deficit model as explanatory of these performance gaps, whereby the microclimate of the classroom can either raise or lower barriers to success for underrepresented groups in STEM.

  15. Homeland Biological Warfare Consequence Management: Capabilities and Needs Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-04-01

    Improve Civilian Medical Response. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1999, 73-74 10 —Biological and Chemical Terrorism : Strategic Plan for...www.who.int/aboutwho/en/mission.htm Notes 1 —Biological and Chemical Terrorism : Strategic Plan for Preparedness and Response Recommendations of...Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD: Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command, Domestic Preparedness Office, September 12, 2000. —Biological and Chemical

  16. Baseline requirements for assessment of mining impact using biological monitoring

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Humphrey, C.L.; Dostine, P.L. [Office of the Supervising Scientist, Jabiru, NT (Australia). Alligator Rivers Region Research Institute; Faith, D.P. [CSIRO, Div. of Wildlife and Ecology, Lyneham, ACT (Australia)

    1995-03-01

    Biological monitoring programmes for environmental protection should provide for both early detection of possible adverse effects, and assessment of the ecological significance of these effects. Monitoring techniques are required that include responses sensitive to the impact, that can be subjected to rigorous statistical analysis and for which statistical power is high. Such issues in baseline research of `what and how to measure?` and `for how long?` have been the focus of a programme being developed to monitor and assess effects of mining operations on the essentially pristine, freshwater ecosystems of the Alligator Rivers Region (ARR) in tropical northern Australia. Application of the BACIP (Before, After, Control, Impact, Paired differences) design, utilizing a form of temporal replication, to univariate (single species) and multivariate (community) data is described. The BACIP design incorporates data from single control and impact sites. We argue for modification of the design for particular studies conducted in streams, to incorporate additional independent control sites from adjacent catchment. Inferential power, by way of (i) more confidently attributing cause to an observed change and (ii) providing information about the ecological significance of the change, will be enhanced using a modified BACIP design. In highly valued environments such as the ARR, monitoring programmes require application of statistical tests with high power to guarantee that an impact no greater than a prescribed amount has gone undetected. A minimum number of baseline years using the BACIP approach would therefore be required in order to achieve some desired level of statistical power. This paper describes the results of power analyses conducted on 2-5 years (depending upon the technique) of baseline data from streams of the ARR and discuss the implications of these results for management. 44 refs., 1 tab., 3 figs.

  17. Synthetic Biology in the FDA Realm: Toward Productive Oversight Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatehi, Leili; Hall, Ralph F

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology (SB) is expected to create tremendous opportunities in a wide range of areas, including in foods, therapeutics, and diagnostics subject to regulatory oversight by the United States Food and Drug Administration. At the same time, there is substantial basis for concern about the uncertainties of accurately assessing the human health and environmental risks of such SB products. As such, SB is the latest in a string of emerging technologies that is the subject of calls for new approaches to regulation and oversight that involve "thinking ahead" to anticipate governance challenges upstream of technological development and adopting oversight mechanisms that are both adaptive to new information about risks and reflexive to performance data and feedback on policy outcomes over time. These new approaches constitute a marked departure from the status quo, and their development and implementation will require considerable time, resources, and reallocation of responsibilities. Furthermore, in order to develop an appropriate oversight response, adaptive or otherwise, there is first a need to identify the specific types and natures of applications, uncertainties, and regulatory issues that are likely to pose oversight challenges. This article presents our vision for a Productive Oversight Assessment (POA) approach in which the abilities and deficits of an oversight system are evaluated with the aim of enabling productive decisions (i.e., timely, feasible, effective for achieving desired policy outcomes) about oversight while also building capacity to facilitate broader governance efforts. The value ofPOA is two-fold. First, it will advance the development of a generalizable approach for making productive planning and decision-making about the oversight of any given new technology that presents challenges and uncertainties for any given oversight system whose policy goals are implicated by that technology. Second, this effort can enhance the very processes

  18. Snakeheads (Pisces, Channidae): A biological synopsis and risk assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtenay, Walter R.; Williams, James D.

    2004-01-01

    Snakeheads (family Channidae) are airbreathing freshwater fishes containing two genera, Channa with 26 species native to Asia, Malaysia, and Indonesia; and Parachanna with 3 species native to tropical Africa. Some snakeheads are small, reaching about 17 centimeters, but most are much larger, the largest reported to be 1.8 meters in length. All are considered thrust predators with most being piscivorous as adults. A few of the smaller snakeheads and colorful juveniles of some larger ones have been available to hobbyists through the aquarium fish trade. Several species are highly valued as food fishes within parts of their native ranges, especially in Asia where they are an important part of capture fisheries and aquaculture. Because of these uses by humans, introductions far beyond native ranges have occurred. One Asian snakehead has been established in Oahu, Hawaii, since before 1900. Another species was discovered established in southeastern Florida in 2000, and a third in a pond in Maryland in 2002. Others have been captured from natural waters of the United States without evidence of reproduction and likely represent released aquarium fishes. That snakeheads at or near sexual maturity were being sold alive in ethnic food markets raised fears that they could be introduced into novel waters. These concerns led to this study on the biology of snakeheads. A risk assessment is included that examines environmental and related aspects of snakehead introductions.

  19. Biological dose assessment of 15 victims in Haerbin radiation accident

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Jian-xiang; Huang, Min-yan; Ruan, Jian-lei; Bai, Yu-shu; Xu, Su

    2008-01-01

    unstable aberrations were analyzed and biological dose was assessed according to the dose-effect curves built by our lab member. For micronucleus analysis, blood were added cytochalasin-B after culturing 40 hours. The doses were assessed according to the dose-effect curves built by our lab member. According to a human lymphocyte chromosome aberration and micronucleus analysis, the estimated maximum irradiation dose of 3 exposed patients is lower than 2 Gy, equal to the dose of once uneven total-body irradiation. In vitro dose-response calibration curves for (60)Co gamma rays have been established for unstable chromosome aberrations in human peripheral blood lymphocytes. The observed dose-response data were fitted to a linear quadratic model. The calibration curve parameters were used to estimate the equivalent whole-body dose and dose to the irradiated region in partial body irradiation of cancer patients. The derived partial body doses and fractions of lymphocytes irradiated were in agreement with those estimated from the radiotherapy regimes. (author)

  20. Assessment of knowledge of participants on basic molecular biology techniques after 5-day intensive molecular biology training workshops in Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yisau, J I; Adagbada, A O; Bamidele, T; Fowora, M; Brai, B I C; Adebesin, O; Bamidele, M; Fesobi, T; Nwaokorie, F O; Ajayi, A; Smith, S I

    2017-07-08

    The deployment of molecular biology techniques for diagnosis and research in Nigeria is faced with a number of challenges, including the cost of equipment and reagents coupled with the dearth of personnel skilled in the procedures and handling of equipment. Short molecular biology training workshops were conducted at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), to improve the knowledge and skills of laboratory personnel and academics in health, research, and educational facilities. Five-day molecular biology workshops were conducted annually between 2011 and 2014, with participants drawn from health, research facilities, and the academia. The courses consisted of theoretical and practical sessions. The impact of the workshops on knowledge and skill acquisition was evaluated by pre- and post-tests which consisted of 25 multiple choice and other questions. Sixty-five participants took part in the workshops. The mean knowledge of molecular biology as evaluated by the pre- and post-test assessments were 8.4 (95% CI 7.6-9.1) and 13.0 (95 CI 11.9-14.1), respectively. The mean post-test score was significantly greater than the mean pre-test score (p biology workshop significantly increased the knowledge and skills of participants in molecular biology techniques. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(4):313-317, 2017. © 2017 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  1. Assessing level of development and successional stages in biological soil crusts with biological indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lan, Shubin; Wu, Li; Zhang, Delu; Hu, Chunxiang

    2013-08-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) perform vital ecosystem services, but the difference in biological components or developmental level still affects the rate and type of these services. In order to differentiate crust successional stages in quantity and analyze the relationship between crust developmental level and successional stages, this work determined several biological indicators in a series of different developmental BSCs in the Shapotou region of China. The results showed that crust developmental level (level of development index) can be well indicated by crust biological indicators. Photosynthetic biomass was the most appropriate to differentiate crust successional stages, although both photosynthetic biomass and respiration intensity increased with the development and succession of BSCs. Based on of the different biological compositions, BSCs were quantificationally categorized into different successional stages including cyanobacterial crusts (lichen and moss coverages 20 % but moss coverage 20 % but 75 %). In addition, it was found that cyanobacterial and microalgal biomass first increased as cyanobacterial crusts formed, then decreased when lots of mosses emerged on the crust surface; however nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria and heterotrophic microbes increased in the later developmental BSCs. The structural adjustment of biological components in the different developmental BSCs may reflect the requirement of crust survival and material transition.

  2. Assessing biological invasions in European Seas: Biological traits of the most widespread non-indigenous species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardeccia, Alice; Marchini, Agnese; Occhipinti-Ambrogi, Anna; Galil, Bella; Gollasch, Stephan; Minchin, Dan; Narščius, Aleksas; Olenin, Sergej; Ojaveer, Henn

    2018-02-01

    The biological traits of the sixty-eight most widespread multicellular non-indigenous species (MWNIS) in European Seas: Baltic Sea, Western European Margin of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea were examined. Data for nine biological traits was analyzed, and a total of 41 separate categories were used to describe the biological and ecological functions of these NIS. Our findings show that high dispersal ability, high reproductive rate and ecological generalization are the biological traits commonly associated with MWNIS. The functional groups that describe most of the 68 MWNIS are: photoautotrophic, zoobenthic (both sessile and motile) and nektonic predatory species. However, these 'most widespread' species comprise a wide range of taxa and biological trait profiles; thereby a clear "identikit of a perfect invader" for marine and brackish environments is difficult to define. Some traits, for example: "life form", "feeding method" and "mobility", feature multiple behaviours and strategies. Even species introduced by a single pathway, e.g. vessels, feature diverse biological trait profiles. MWNIS likely to impact community organization, structure and diversity are often associated with brackish environments. For many traits ("life form", "sociability", "reproductive type", "reproductive frequency", "haploid and diploid dispersal" and "mobility"), the categories mostly expressed by the impact-causing MWNIS do not differ substantially from the whole set of MWNIS.

  3. Biological assessments for the low energy demonstration accelerator, 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cross, S.

    1997-03-01

    This report discusses the biological impact to the area around the Los Alamos National Laboratory of the Low Energy Demonstration Accelerator. In particular the impact to the soils, water quality, vegetation, and wildlife are discussed.

  4. A Test of the Relationship between Reading Ability & Standardized Biology Assessment Scores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Denise A.

    2014-01-01

    Little empirical evidence suggested that independent reading abilities of students enrolled in biology predicted their performance on the Biology I Graduation End-of-Course Assessment (ECA). An archival study was conducted at one Indiana urban public high school in Indianapolis, Indiana, by examining existing educational assessment data to test…

  5. Development of the Neuron Assessment for Measuring Biology Students' Use of Experimental Design Concepts and Representations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasgupta, Annwesa P.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.

    2016-01-01

    Researchers, instructors, and funding bodies in biology education are unanimous about the importance of developing students' competence in experimental design. Despite this, only limited measures are available for assessing such competence development, especially in the areas of molecular and cellular biology. Also, existing assessments do not…

  6. Cancer and Aging: General Principles, Biology, and Geriatric Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Daneng; de Glas, Nienke A; Hurria, Arti

    2016-02-01

    Cancer is a disease of aging as older adults are much more likely to develop cancer compared with their younger counterparts. Understanding the biology of cancer and aging remains complex, and numerous theories regarding the relationship between the two have been proposed. Cancer treatment decisions in older patients are particularly challenging, because the evidence is scarce and the risk of toxicity increases with age. Determination of biologic age is essential due to heterogeneity of functional status, comorbidity, and physiologic reserves between patients of the same chronologic age. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Assessment of salivary flow rate: biologic variation and measure error.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongerius, P.H.; Limbeek, J. van; Rotteveel, J.J.

    2004-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the applicability of the swab method in the measurement of salivary flow rate in multiple-handicap drooling children. To quantify the measurement error of the procedure and the biologic variation in the population. STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study. METHODS: In a repeated

  8. Assessing Student Behaviors and Motivation for Actively Learning Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Michael Edward

    2017-01-01

    Vision and Change states that one of the major changes in the way we design biology courses should be a switch in approach from teacher-centered learning to student-centered learning and identifies active learning as a recommended methods. Studies show performance benefits for students taking courses that use active learning. What is unknown is…

  9. Funding needed for assessments of weed biological control

    Science.gov (United States)

    John L. Maron; Dean E. Pearson; Stephen M. Hovick; Walter P. Carson

    2010-01-01

    Invasive non-native plants are a serious economic and ecological problem worldwide, and major efforts are therefore devoted to reducing weed abundance in agricultural and natural settings. Effective options for reducing invasive abundance and spread are few, although one common approach is biological control - the introduction of specialist herbivores or pathogens from...

  10. Biological Variation and Diagnostic Accuracy of Dehydration Assessment Markers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    morning urine was collected in a sterile, inert polypropylene cup (Tyco Healthcare Group, Mansfield, MA), and a small aliquot was transferred into a 1.5-mL...biological variation around a homeostatic set point could be attributed to factors largely independent of preanalytic influences. The menstrual cycle

  11. GROWTH ANALYSIS AND ASSESSMENT OF PIG’S BIOLOGICAL MAXIMUM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dragutin Vincek

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to determine a mathematical model which can be used to describe the growth of domestic animals in an attempt to predict the optimal time of slaughter/weight or the development of body parts or tissues and estimate the biological maximum. The study was conducted on 60 pigs (30 barrows and 30 gilts in the interval between the age of 49 and 215 days. By applying the generalized logistic function, the growth of live weight and tissues were described. The observed gilts reached the inflection point in approximately 121 days (I = 70.7 kg. The point at which the interval of intensive growth starts was at the age of approximately 42 days, (TB=17.35 kg and the saturation point the pigs reached at the age of 200.5 days (TC=126.74 kg. The estimated biological maximum weight of gilts was 179.79 kg. The barrows reached the inflection point in approximately 149 days (I=92.2 kg. The point at which the intensive interval of growth starts was estimated at the age of approximately 52 days (TB=22.93 kg, and the saturation point the barrows reached at the age of 245 days (TC=164.8 kg. The estimated biological maximum weight of barrows was 233.25 kg. Muscle tissue of gilts reached the inflection point (I = 28.46 kg in approximately 110 days. The point at which the interval of intensive growth of muscle tissue starts (TB=6.06 kg was estimated at approximately 53 days, and the saturation point of growth (TC=52.25 kg the muscle tissue of gilts reached at the age of 162 days. The estimated maximum biological growth of muscle tissue in gilts was 75.79 kg. The muscle tissue of barrows reached the inflection point (I=28.78 kg in approximately 118 days, the point at which the interval of intensive growth starts (TB=6.36 kg at the age of approximately 35 days. The saturation point of muscle tissue growth in barrows (TC=52.51 kg was reached at the age of 202 days. The estimated maximum biological growth of muscle tissue in barrows was 75.74 kg. The

  12. Use of 15N methodology to assess biological nitrogen fixation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hardarson, G.

    1990-01-01

    One of the most important characteristics of legumes are their ability in symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria to fix atmospheric nitrogen for growth. For proper management and a full realization of the benefits of this plant-microbial association, it is necessary to estimate how much nitrogen is fixed under different conditions in the field. It is only after this is known that various factors can be manipulated so as to increase the amount and proportion of N a plant derives from biological fixation. A suitable method for accurately measuring the amount of N crops derive from fixation is therefore an important requirement in any programme aimed at maximizing biological nitrogen fixation. There are several methods available to measure N 2 fixation (Bergersen, 1980) based on (1) increment in N yield and plant growth, (2) nitrogen balance (3) acetylene reduction and (4) the use of isotopes of N. Only isotopic methods will be illustrated here. 20 refs, 2 figs, 9 tabs

  13. A biologic approach to environmental assessment and epidemiology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Smith, Thomas J; Kriebel, David

    2010-01-01

    .... The two key fields of study on this issue, environmental epidemiology and exposure assessment, are still given separate names because of their separate historical roots and scientific traditions...

  14. Towards adaptive IMRT sequencing for the MR-linac

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kontaxis, C; Bol, G H; Lagendijk, J J W; Raaymakers, B W

    2015-01-01

    The MRI linear accelerator (MR-linac) that is currently being installed in the University Medical Center Utrecht (Utrecht, The Netherlands), will be able to track the patient's target(s) and Organ(s) At Risk during radiation delivery. In this paper, we present a treatment planning system for

  15. Biology Needs a Modern Assessment System for Professional Productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDade, Lucinda A.; Maddison, David R.; Guralnick, Robert; Piwowar, Heather A.; Jameson, Mary Liz; Helgen, Kristofer M.; Herendeen, Patrick S.; Hill, Andrew; Vis, Morgan L.

    2011-01-01

    Stimulated in large part by the advent of the Internet, research productivity in many academic disciplines has changed dramatically over the last two decades. However, the assessment system that governs professional success has not kept pace, creating a mismatch between modes of scholarly productivity and academic assessment criteria. In this…

  16. Biological inquiry: a new course and assessment plan in response to the call to transform undergraduate biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldey, Ellen S; Abercrombie, Clarence L; Ivy, Tracie M; Kusher, Dave I; Moeller, John F; Rayner, Doug A; Smith, Charles F; Spivey, Natalie W

    2012-01-01

    We transformed our first-year curriculum in biology with a new course, Biological Inquiry, in which >50% of all incoming, first-year students enroll. The course replaced a traditional, content-driven course that relied on outdated approaches to teaching and learning. We diversified pedagogical practices by adopting guided inquiry in class and in labs, which are devoted to building authentic research skills through open-ended experiments. Students develop core biological knowledge, from the ecosystem to molecular level, and core skills through regular practice in hypothesis testing, reading primary literature, analyzing data, interpreting results, writing in disciplinary style, and working in teams. Assignments and exams require higher-order cognitive processes, and students build new knowledge and skills through investigation of real-world problems (e.g., malaria), which engages students' interest. Evidence from direct and indirect assessment has guided continuous course revision and has revealed that compared with the course it replaced, Biological Inquiry produces significant learning gains in all targeted areas. It also retains 94% of students (both BA and BS track) compared with 79% in the majors-only course it replaced. The project has had broad impact across the entire college and reflects the input of numerous constituencies and close collaboration among biology professors and students.

  17. Adding biological realism to assessments of landscape connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Researchers have long appreciated the practical value of connectivity and source-sink analyses. The importance of these assessments for conservation, planning, and reserve design has motivated many empirical and simulation studies. But there are few modeling tools available that ...

  18. Artificial intelligence in molecular biology: a review and assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawlings, C J; Fox, J P

    1994-06-29

    Over the past ten years, molecular biologists and computer scientists have experimented with various computational methods developed in artificial intelligence (AI). AI research has yielded a number of novel technologies, which are typified by an emphasis on symbolic (non-numerical) programming methods aimed at problems which are not amenable to classical algorithmic solutions. Prominent examples include knowledge-based and expert systems, qualitative simulation and artificial neural networks and other automated learning techniques. These methods have been applied to problems in data analysis, construction of advanced databases and modelling of biological systems. Practical results are now being obtained, notably in the recognition of active genes in genomic sequences, the assembly of physical and genetic maps and protein structure prediction. This paper outlines the principal methods, surveys the findings to date, and identifies the promising trends and current limitations.

  19. Biological assessment of effects of combined sewer overflows and storm water discharges.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lijklema, L.; Roijackers, R.M.M.; Cuppen, J.G.M.

    1989-01-01

    The biological effects of discharges from combined or separated sewer systems are difficult to assess or to predict due to variahilities in concentrations, environmental conditions, morphometry, susceptibility of organisms, seasonality and other factors. A general discussion of the problem results

  20. Next Generation Risk Assessment: Incorporation of Recent Advances in Molecular, Computational, and Systems Biology (Final Report)

    Science.gov (United States)

    EPA announced the release of the final report, Next Generation Risk Assessment: Incorporation of Recent Advances in Molecular, Computational, and Systems Biology. This report describes new approaches that are faster, less resource intensive, and more robust that can help ...

  1. Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    I am particularly happy that the Academy is bringing out this document by Professor M S. Valiathan on Ayurvedic Biology. It is an effort to place before the scientific community, especially that of India, the unique scientific opportunities that arise out of viewing Ayurveda from the perspective of contemporary science, its tools ...

  2. The biological exposure index: its use in assessing chemical exposures in the workplace.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowry, L K

    1987-12-01

    Human exposure to chemicals in the workplace has traditionally been assessed by determining the concentration of an airborne chemical in the workroom air. More recently, biological monitoring has been used to assess worker uptake of chemicals by all routes of exposure. Both approaches for the assessment of exposure and uptake are complementary. This relationship is examined, along with the advantages and limitations of using biological monitoring. The concept of the biological exposure index (BEI), developed by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), and information on the intended use and interpretation of BEIs are described. Examples are presented on the use of biological monitoring in NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluations (e.g., carboxyhemoglobin in blood to assess exposure to carbon monoxide, urinary metabolites of trichloroethylene to assess exposure to trichloroethanol, and 2-ethoxyacetic acid in urine to assess exposure to 2-ethoxyethanol). The progress of current research studies on the biological monitoring of volunteers exposed to paint spray solvents is presented, along with speculation on the future directions of biological monitoring research.

  3. Phytochemical and biological assessment of medicinally important plant ochradenus arabicus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hussain, J.

    2014-01-01

    Jabal Al-Akhdar (Oman) is one of diverse floral region of Arabian Peninsula. Ochradenus arabicus, is an important medicinal plant to local people of the area. However, little is known about its potential role in biological activities against various emerging ailments. The collected plant samples were extracted with methanol and fractionated into n-hexane (JOAH), ethyl acetate (JOAE), chloroform (JOAC), n-butanol (JOAB) and water (JOAAQ). Various concentrations of these fractions were tested for their antimicrobial, anticancer, antioxidant, antidiabetic, phenolics, flavonoids, allopathic and nutrition quality properties. The results showed that fruits and leaves of O. arabicus have higher levels of carbohydrate, crude fats, fibres, proteins, moisture, ash and energy values. In phytotoxic activities, JOAAQ inhibited the lettuce seed germination and growth. The anticancer activities of fractions showed that JOAE, JOAB and JOAAQ are potent to reduce the cancer cell viability of HT29, HCT116, HepG2 and MCF-7 lines with a concentration of 1000 micro g/ml. JOAB showed a meagre activity of 12% in Glucosidase inhibition assay. The total phenolic and flavonoid contents were significantly higher in JOAE, which also resulted in higher DPPH radical scavenging activity as compared to other fractions and control. JOAE also exhibited higher antibacterial and antifungal activities. The results of current findings suggest that O. arabicus is a potential medicinal plants, which could be subjected to advance column chromatography for lead compounds using a bioassay guided approach. (author)

  4. AGRO-BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF RADISH ACCESSIONS AT NOVOSIBIRSK AREA

    OpenAIRE

    T. V. Steinert; A. V. Aliluev; L. M. Avdeenko

    2017-01-01

    The result of collaboration work between Siberian Research Institute of Plant Cultivation and Breeding, the branch of The Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ICG SB RAS) and the company OOO Geterozisnaya Selectia on ecological trial and assessment of economically valuable traits were obtained in promising radish accessions. The data on influence of sowing terms on yielding ability, formation of flower bearing stalks was analyzed and mo...

  5. Prospective Technology Assessment of Synthetic Biology: Fundamental and Propaedeutic Reflections in Order to Enable an Early Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Jan Cornelius

    2016-08-01

    Synthetic biology is regarded as one of the key technosciences of the future. The goal of this paper is to present some fundamental considerations to enable procedures of a technology assessment (TA) of synthetic biology. To accomplish such an early "upstream" assessment of a not yet fully developed technology, a special type of TA will be considered: Prospective TA (ProTA). At the center of ProTA are the analysis and the framing of "synthetic biology," including a characterization and assessment of the technological core. The thesis is that if there is any differentia specifica giving substance to the umbrella term "synthetic biology," it is the idea of harnessing self-organization for engineering purposes. To underline that we are likely experiencing an epochal break in the ontology of technoscientific systems, this new type of technology is called "late-modern technology." -I start this paper by analyzing the three most common visions of synthetic biology. Then I argue that one particular vision deserves more attention because it underlies the others: the vision of self-organization. I discuss the inherent limits of this new type of late-modern technology in the attempt to control and monitor possible risk issues. I refer to Hans Jonas' ethics and his early anticipation of the risks of a novel type of technology. I end by drawing conclusions for the approach of ProTA towards an early societal shaping of synthetic biology.

  6. The importance of biologically relevant microclimates in habitat suitability assessments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna Varner

    Full Text Available Predicting habitat suitability under climate change is vital to conserving biodiversity. However, current species distribution models rely on coarse scale climate data, whereas fine scale microclimate data may be necessary to assess habitat suitability and generate predictive models. Here, we evaluate disparities between temperature data at the coarse scale from weather stations versus fine-scale data measured in microhabitats required for a climate-sensitive mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps. We collected two years of temperature data in occupied talus habitats predicted to be suitable (high elevation and unsuitable (low elevation by the bioclimatic envelope approach. At low elevations, talus surface and interstitial microclimates drastically differed from ambient temperatures measured on-site and at a nearby weather station. Interstitial talus temperatures were frequently decoupled from high ambient temperatures, resulting in instantaneous disparities of over 30 °C between these two measurements. Microhabitat temperatures were also highly heterogeneous, such that temperature measurements within the same patch of talus were not more correlated than measurements at distant patches. An experimental manipulation revealed that vegetation cover may cool the talus surface by up to 10 °C during the summer, which may contribute to this spatial heterogeneity. Finally, low elevation microclimates were milder and less variable than typical alpine habitat, suggesting that, counter to species distribution model predictions, these seemingly unsuitable habitats may actually be better refugia for this species under climate change. These results highlight the importance of fine-scale microhabitat data in habitat assessments and underscore the notion that some critical refugia may be counterintuitive.

  7. The importance of biologically relevant microclimates in habitat suitability assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varner, Johanna; Dearing, M Denise

    2014-01-01

    Predicting habitat suitability under climate change is vital to conserving biodiversity. However, current species distribution models rely on coarse scale climate data, whereas fine scale microclimate data may be necessary to assess habitat suitability and generate predictive models. Here, we evaluate disparities between temperature data at the coarse scale from weather stations versus fine-scale data measured in microhabitats required for a climate-sensitive mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps). We collected two years of temperature data in occupied talus habitats predicted to be suitable (high elevation) and unsuitable (low elevation) by the bioclimatic envelope approach. At low elevations, talus surface and interstitial microclimates drastically differed from ambient temperatures measured on-site and at a nearby weather station. Interstitial talus temperatures were frequently decoupled from high ambient temperatures, resulting in instantaneous disparities of over 30 °C between these two measurements. Microhabitat temperatures were also highly heterogeneous, such that temperature measurements within the same patch of talus were not more correlated than measurements at distant patches. An experimental manipulation revealed that vegetation cover may cool the talus surface by up to 10 °C during the summer, which may contribute to this spatial heterogeneity. Finally, low elevation microclimates were milder and less variable than typical alpine habitat, suggesting that, counter to species distribution model predictions, these seemingly unsuitable habitats may actually be better refugia for this species under climate change. These results highlight the importance of fine-scale microhabitat data in habitat assessments and underscore the notion that some critical refugia may be counterintuitive.

  8. Examining portfolio-based assessment in an upper-level biology course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler, Brittany Ann

    Historically, students have been viewed as empty vessels and passive participants in the learning process but students actually are active forming their own conceptions. One way student learning is impacted is through assessment. Alternative assessment, which contrasts traditional assessment methods, takes into account how students learn by promoting engagement and construction of knowledge This dissertation explores portfolio-based assessment, a method of alternative assessment, which requires students to compose a purposeful collection of work demonstrating their knowledge in an upper-level biology course. The research objectives include characterizing and contributing to the understanding of portfolio-based assessment in higher education, examining reflection and inquiry portfolio components, determining student knowledge of biological concepts, and investigating student integrative thinking through the transformation of reflections into concept webs One main finding includes the majority of reflections categorized as naive or novice in quality. There was no difference in quality of reflections among biological topic. There was a relatively equal amount of high and low cognitive level questions. Students' knowledge of biological concepts significantly increased from the beginning to end of the course. Student written reflections were transformed into concept webs to allow for examination of student integrative thinking. Concepts, relationships, and interconnections in concept webs showed variation but declined by the end of the semester This study is one of the first examining portfolio-based assessment in an upper-level biology course We do not contend that this method of assessment is the only way to promote student learning but portfolio-based assessment may be a tool that can transform science education but currently the role of portfolio-based assessment in science education remains unclear. Additional research needs to be conducted before we will fully

  9. Research and engineering assessment of biological solubilization of phosphate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rogers, R.D.; McIlwain, M.E.; Losinski, S.J.; Taylor, D.D.

    1993-03-01

    This research and engineering assessment examined a microbial phosphate solubilization process as a method of recovering phosphate from phosphorus containing ore compared to the existing wet acid and electric arc methods. A total of 860 microbial isolates, collected from a range of natural environments were tested for their ability to solubilize phosphate from rock phosphate. A bacterium (Pseudomonas cepacia) was selected for extensive characterization and evaluation of the mechanism of phosphate solubilization and of process engineering parameters necessary to recover phosphate from rock phosphate. These studies found that concentration of hydrogen ion and production of organic acids arising from oxidation of the carbon source facilitated microbial solubilization of both pure chemical insoluble phosphate compounds and phosphate rock. Genetic studies found that phosphate solubilization was linked to an enzyme system (glucose dehydrogenase). Process-related studies found that a critical solids density of 1% by weight (ore to liquid) was necessary for optimal solubilization. An engineering analysis evaluated the cost and energy requirements for a 2 million ton per year sized plant, whose size was selected to be comparable to existing wet acid plants.

  10. AGRO-BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF RADISH ACCESSIONS AT NOVOSIBIRSK AREA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. V. Steinert

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The result of collaboration work between Siberian Research Institute of Plant Cultivation and Breeding, the branch of The Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ICG SB RAS and the company OOO Geterozisnaya Selectia on ecological trial and assessment of economically valuable traits were obtained in promising radish accessions. The data on influence of sowing terms on yielding ability, formation of flower bearing stalks was analyzed and morphological descriptions for radish accessions were given. It was shown that the development of marketable radish roots can be possible in condition of long lasting light period. When sowing in the second decade of June less number of flower stalks formed on the plants than on the control plants of ‘Raniy Krasniy’. The sowing in the first decade of August did not give any plants with flower stalks in accessions 17-12 and 17-13. The highest yield at first sowing term was observed in accession 17-12 at second sowing term in accession 17-13, 5.6 and 6.1 kg/m2 respectively. The accession 17-12 was distinguished by root weight, 19.2 g. The highest dry matter content (5.31% was observed in accession 17-11; the highest total sugar content (2.18% was in accession 17-12; the highest ascorbic acid content (25.1 mg % was in accession 17-13. The comparative analysis of data on summer and autumn sowing terms showed that when sowing in summer time, at long lasting light period the radish accessions were characterized by the more number of plants with flower stalks; more developed leaf apparatus; larger roots and enriched biochemical composition as compared with the accessions sown in autumn time. All accessions tested belonged to early-maturing group, where the root formation takes for 22-25 days. For economically valuable traits the accessions 17-12 and 17-13 were selected out.

  11. A biological condition gradient model for historical assessment of estuarine habitat structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shumchenia, Emily J; Pelletier, Marguerite C; Cicchetti, Giancarlo; Davies, Susan; Pesch, Carol E; Deacutis, Christopher F; Pryor, Margherita

    2015-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems are affected by ever-increasing natural and human pressures. Because the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics unique to estuarine ecosystems control the ways that biological resources respond to ecosystem stressors, we present a flexible and adaptable biological assessment method for estuaries. The biological condition gradient (BCG) is a scientific framework of biological response to increasing anthropogenic stress that is comprehensive and ecosystem based and evaluates environmental conditions and the status of ecosystem services in order to identify, communicate, and prioritize management action. Using existing data, we constructed the first estuarine BCG framework that examines changes in habitat structure through time. Working in a New England (U.S.) estuary with a long history of human influence, we developed an approach to define a reference level, which we described as a "minimally disturbed" range of conditions for the ecosystem, anchored by observations before 1850 AD. Like many estuaries in the U.S., the relative importance of environmental stressors changed over time, but even qualitative descriptions of the biological indicators' status provided useful information for defining condition levels. This BCG demonstrated that stressors rarely acted alone and that declines in one biological indicator influenced the declines of others. By documenting the biological responses to cumulative stressors, the BCG inherently suggests an ecosystem-based approach to management. Additionally, the BCG process initiates thinking over long time scales and can be used to inspire scientists, managers, and the public toward environmental action.

  12. Biological effects of anthropogenic chemical stress: Tools for the assessment of ecosystem health (BEAST)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lehtonen, Kari K.; Sundelin, Brita; Lang, Thomas

    of Finland, Gulf of Riga, Gulf of Gdansk and the Belt Sea, most of which are characterised by scarce data on biological effects of hazardous substances. The data acquired will be combined with previous data (e.g. national monitoring activities, case studies, EU BEEP project) to reach the goals of WP2 and WP3......In the Baltic Sea Action Plan the urgent need to develop biological effects monitoring of hazardous substances and the assessment of ecosystem health has been clearly indicated. These goals will be tackled in the newly launched BEAST project (Biological Effects of Anthropogenic Chemical Stress...... and experiments in selected sub-regions of the Baltic Sea, WP2 - Application and validation of methods in monitoring and assessment in the Baltic Sea, and WP3 - Developing tools for ecosystem health assessment in the Baltic Sea. BEAST research activities are focused in the sub-regions of Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf...

  13. ABSCISSA ASSESSMENT WITH ALGAE: A COMPARISON OF LOCAL AND LANDSCAPE IMPAIRMENT MEASURES FOR BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT USING BENTHIC DIATOMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The development of rigorous biological assessments is dependent upon well-constructed abscissa, and various methods, both subjective and objective, exist to measure expected impairment at both the landscape and local scale. A new, landscape-scale method has recently been offered...

  14. [Comparison of biological functional assessment in intensity-modulated radiotherapy: two-dimensional study].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dejean, C; Lemosquet, A; Lefkopoulos, D; Touboul, E

    2001-12-01

    Modulated intensity dose distributions are obtained by inverse planning. It requires an inversion algorithm and an objective function that can be physical or biological. The biological objective functions aim at quantifying the probability of the favourable end of the treatment. The inversion algorithm used is analytical and is based on the mathematical analysis of the singular values decomposition. It proposes as many solutions as there are elementary beams. From the Tumour Control Probability, Normal Tissue Complication Probabilities and complication free tumour control, three biological assessment functions of the proposed solutions are compared with the least square difference between the prescribed and obtained dose distributions. We used a simplified irradiation configuration: Brahme's dose prescription (2D modelling of a prostate) and 9 beams (1D). The choice by mean of biological criterion of the optimal solution makes it possible to increase the average dose in the tumour, so as its homogeneity compared to physical optimisation. Conversely, the organs at risk are then less protected. The laying down of relevant constraints makes it possible to obtain satisfactory dose distributions. Concerning the validity of the models and data used, some limitations appear. At present time, it seems to exclude the use in clinical routine of an only biological optimisation. The future availability of new biological data will allow the development and in particular the clinical use of biological optimisation.

  15. Use of biological indicators to assess water quality of the Ul River (Portugal).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resende, Paula Cristina; Resende, Paulo; Pardal, Miguel; Almeida, Salomé; Azeiteiro, Ulisses

    2010-11-01

    Diatoms and macroinvertebrates have been extensively used as water quality indicators in Europe for the last two decades. In Portugal, the use of biological indicators to assess water quality in rivers has increased greatly. The aim of this work was to assess the water quality and ecological status of the Ul River in order to evaluate its ability for the establishment of a fluvial beach, using periphytic diatoms and macroinvertebrates as indicators. Four sites were selected along the Ul River. At each site, biological, physical, and chemical parameters were investigated. Epilithic diatoms and macroinvertebrates were sampled. The Specific Polluosensitivity Index and the Biological Diatom Index were applied to diatom data, while for macroinvertebrates, the Iberian Biological Monitoring Working Party (IBMWP) was used. According to the results obtained, it was possible to conclude that up to now, this river does not possess the ideal conditions for the establishment of a fluvial beach. We concluded that epilithic diatoms and macroinvertebrates provided consistent information on water quality assessment and can be used as biological indicators of the water quality in Ul River.

  16. Integrated chemical and biological assessment of contaminant impacts in selected European coastal and offshore marine areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hylland, Ketil; Robinson, Craig D; Burgeot, Thierry; Martínez-Gómez, Concepción; Lang, Thomas; Svavarsson, Jörundur; Thain, John E; Vethaak, A Dick; Gubbins, Mattew J

    2017-03-01

    This paper reports a full assessment of results from ICON, an international workshop on marine integrated contaminant monitoring, encompassing different matrices (sediment, fish, mussels, gastropods), areas (Iceland, North Sea, Baltic, Wadden Sea, Seine estuary and the western Mediterranean) and endpoints (chemical analyses, biological effects). ICON has demonstrated the use of a framework for integrated contaminant assessment on European coastal and offshore areas. The assessment showed that chemical contamination did not always correspond with biological effects, indicating that both are required. The framework can be used to develop assessments for EU directives. If a 95% target were to be used as a regional indicator of MSFD GES, Iceland and offshore North Sea would achieve the target using the ICON dataset, but inshore North Sea, Baltic and Spanish Mediterranean regions would fail. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Biological Assessment of Water Quality in the National Park of Prespa Lake Using Macroinvertebrates as Bioindicators

    OpenAIRE

    , E. Keçi; , A. Paparisto; , E. Hamzaraj; , O. Laknori; , B. Pepa; , A. Fjerza

    2011-01-01

    Macroinvertebrates were examined for use as potential biodiversity indicators in continental aquatic ecosystems in a semiarid Mediterranean region, the Prespa Lake basin. Biological assessment is one of the monitoring methods, which gives data related with the water quality. This assessment effectively describes water quality physical and anthropogenic impact (R. W. Plotnikoff, 1994). In our study are used the main groups of invertebrates which are phylum Arthropoda, phylum Annelidae, phylum ...

  18. Biological assessment for the effluent reduction program, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cross, S.P.

    1996-08-01

    This report describes the biological assessment for the effluent recution program proposed to occur within the boundaries of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Potential effects on wetland plants and on threatened and endangered species are discussed, along with a detailed description of the individual outfalls resulting from the effluent reduction program.

  19. An Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States: Biological Sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Lyle V., Ed.; And Others

    The quality of doctoral-level biochemistry (N=139), botany (N=83), cellular/molecular biology (N=89), microbiology (N=134), physiology (N=101), and zoology (N=70) programs at United States universities was assessed, using 16 measures. These measures focused on variables related to: (1) program size; (2) characteristics of graduates; (3)…

  20. Black Carp: Biological synopsis and risk assessment of an introduced fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nico, L.G.; Williams, J.D.; Jelks, H.L.

    2005-01-01

    This book is a detailed risk assessment and biological synopsis of the black carp, a large mollusk-eating cyprinid fish native to eastern Asia. A great deal of controversy surrounds the presence of this foreign fish in the United States. Most of those associated with the aquaculture industry view black carp as an important tool in controlling.

  1. Biohorizons: An eConference to Assess Human Biology in Large, First-Year Classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moni, Roger W.; Moni, Karen B.; Poronnik, Philip; Lluka, Lesley J.

    2007-01-01

    The authors detail the design, implementation and evaluation of an eConference entitled "Biohorizons," using a presage-process-product model to describe the development of an eLearning community. Biohorizons was a summative learning and assessment task aiming to introduce large classes of first-year Human Biology students to the practices of…

  2. Biology, host specificity tests, and risk assessment of the sawfly Heteroperreyia hubrichi, a potential biological control agent of Schinus terebinthifolius in Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abstract. Heteroperreyia hubrichi Malaise (Hymenoptera: Pergidae), a foliage feeding sawfly of Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi (Sapindales: Anacardiaceae), was studied to assess its suitability as a classical biological control agent of this invasive weed in Hawaii. Nochoice host-specificity tests we...

  3. Impact of calcium and TOC on biological acidification assessment in Norwegian rivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Susanne C

    2011-02-15

    Acidification continues to be a major impact in freshwaters of northern Europe, and the biotic response to chemical recovery from acidification is often not a straightforward process. The focus on biological recovery is relevant within the context of the EU Water Framework Directive, where a biological monitoring system is needed that detects differences in fauna and flora compared to undisturbed reference conditions. In order to verify true reference sites for biological analyses, expected river pH is modeled based on Ca and TOC, and 94% of variability in pH at reference sites is explained by Ca alone, while 98% is explained by a combination of Ca and TOC. Based on 59 samples from 28 reference sites, compared to 547 samples from 285 non-reference sites, the impact of calcium and total organic carbon (TOC) on benthic algae species composition, expressed as acidification index periphyton (AIP), is analyzed. Rivers with a high Ca concentration have a naturally higher AIP, and TOC affects reference AIP only at low Ca concentrations. Four biological river types are needed for assessment of river acidification in Norway based on benthic algae: very calcium-poor, humic rivers (CaTOC>2 mg/l); very calcium-poor, clear rivers (CaTOC4 mg/l). A biological assessment system for river acidification in Norway based on benthic algae is presented, following the demands of the Water Framework Directive. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. A Study Assessing the Potential of Negative Effects in Interdisciplinary Math–Biology Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madlung, Andreas; Bremer, Martina; Himelblau, Edward; Tullis, Alexa

    2011-01-01

    There is increasing enthusiasm for teaching approaches that combine mathematics and biology. The call for integrating more quantitative work in biology education has led to new teaching tools that improve quantitative skills. Little is known, however, about whether increasing interdisciplinary work can lead to adverse effects, such as the development of broader but shallower skills or the possibility that math anxiety causes some students to disengage in the classroom, or, paradoxically, to focus so much on the mathematics that they lose sight of its application for the biological concepts in the center of the unit at hand. We have developed and assessed an integrative learning module and found disciplinary learning gains to be equally strong in first-year students who actively engaged in embedded quantitative calculations as in those students who were merely presented with quantitative data in the context of interpreting biological and biostatistical results. When presented to advanced biology students, our quantitative learning tool increased test performance significantly. We conclude from our study that the addition of mathematical calculations to the first year and advanced biology curricula did not hinder overall student learning, and may increase disciplinary learning and data interpretation skills in advanced students. PMID:21364099

  5. A study assessing the potential of negative effects in interdisciplinary math-biology instruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madlung, Andreas; Bremer, Martina; Himelblau, Edward; Tullis, Alexa

    2011-01-01

    There is increasing enthusiasm for teaching approaches that combine mathematics and biology. The call for integrating more quantitative work in biology education has led to new teaching tools that improve quantitative skills. Little is known, however, about whether increasing interdisciplinary work can lead to adverse effects, such as the development of broader but shallower skills or the possibility that math anxiety causes some students to disengage in the classroom, or, paradoxically, to focus so much on the mathematics that they lose sight of its application for the biological concepts in the center of the unit at hand. We have developed and assessed an integrative learning module and found disciplinary learning gains to be equally strong in first-year students who actively engaged in embedded quantitative calculations as in those students who were merely presented with quantitative data in the context of interpreting biological and biostatistical results. When presented to advanced biology students, our quantitative learning tool increased test performance significantly. We conclude from our study that the addition of mathematical calculations to the first year and advanced biology curricula did not hinder overall student learning, and may increase disciplinary learning and data interpretation skills in advanced students.

  6. Conceptual Elements: A Detailed Framework to Support and Assess Student Learning of Biology Core Concepts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cary, Tawnya; Branchaw, Janet

    2017-01-01

    The Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: Call to Action report has inspired and supported a nationwide movement to restructure undergraduate biology curricula to address overarching disciplinary concepts and competencies. The report outlines the concepts and competencies generally but does not provide a detailed framework to guide the development of the learning outcomes, instructional materials, and assessment instruments needed to create a reformed biology curriculum. In this essay, we present a detailed Vision and Change core concept framework that articulates key components that transcend subdisciplines and scales for each overarching biological concept, the Conceptual Elements (CE) Framework. The CE Framework was developed using a grassroots approach of iterative revision and incorporates feedback from more than 60 biologists and undergraduate biology educators from across the United States. The final validation step resulted in strong national consensus, with greater than 92% of responders agreeing that each core concept list was ready for use by the biological sciences community, as determined by scientific accuracy and completeness. In addition, we describe in detail how educators and departments can use the CE Framework to guide and document reformation of individual courses as well as entire curricula. © 2017 T. Cary and J. Branchaw. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2017 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  7. Noninvasive Assessment of Cell Fate and Biology in Transplanted Mesenchymal Stem Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franchi, Federico; Rodriguez-Porcel, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Recently, molecular imaging has become a conditio sine qua non for cell-based regenerative medicine. Developments in molecular imaging techniques, such as reporter gene technology, have increasingly enabled the noninvasive assessment of the fate and biology of cells after cardiovascular applications. In this context, bioluminescence imaging is the most commonly used imaging modality in small animal models of preclinical studies. Here, we present a detailed protocol of a reporter gene imaging approach for monitoring the viability and biology of Mesenchymal Stem Cells transplanted in a mouse model of myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury.

  8. Assessing isocyanate exposures in polyurethane industry sectors using biological and air monitoring methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creely, K S; Hughson, G W; Cocker, J; Jones, K

    2006-08-01

    Isocyanates, as a chemical group, are considered to be the biggest cause of occupational asthma in the UK. Monitoring of airborne exposures to total isocyanate is costly, requiring considerable expertise, both in terms of sample collection and chemical analysis and cannot be used to assess the effectiveness of protection from wearing respiratory protective equipment (RPE). Biological monitoring by analysis of metabolites in urine can be a relatively simple and inexpensive way to assess exposure to isocyanates. It may also be a useful way to evaluate the effectiveness of control measures in place. In this study biological and inhalation monitoring were undertaken to assess exposure in a variety of workplaces in the non-motor vehicle repair sector. Companies selected to participate in the survey included only those judged to be using good working practices when using isocyanate formulations. This included companies that used isocyanates to produce moulded polyurethane products, insulation material and those involved in industrial painting. Air samples were collected by personal monitoring and were analysed for total isocyanate content. Urine samples were collected soon after exposure and analysed for the metabolites of different isocyanate species, allowing calculation of the total metabolite concentration. Details of the control measures used and observed contamination of exposed skin were also recorded. A total of 21 companies agreed to participate in the study, with exposure measurements being collected from 22 sites. The airborne isocyanate concentrations were generally very low (range 0.0005-0.066 mg m(-3)). A total of 50 of the 70 samples were products (12.64 micromol mol(-1) creatinine), semi-automatic moulding (4.80 micromol mol(-1) creatinine) and resin application (3.91 micromol mol(-1) creatinine). The biological monitoring results show that despite low airborne isocyanate concentrations, it was possible to demonstrate biological uptake. This tends to

  9. Eastern Baltic cod in distress: biological changes and challenges for stock assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eero, Margit; Hjelm, Joakim; Behrens, Jane

    2015-01-01

    , and the EB cod was considered one of the most successful stock recoveries in recent times. In contrast to this optimistic view, the analytical stock assessment failed in 2014, leaving the present stock status unclear. Deteriorated quality of some basic input data for stock assessment in combination...... that the stock is in distress. In this study, we (i) summarize the knowledge of recent changes in cod biology and ecosystem conditions, (ii) describe the subsequent challenges for stock assessment, and (iii) highlight the key questions where answers are urgently needed to understand the present stock status...

  10. Biological assessment of remedial action at the abandoned uranium mill tailings site near Naturita, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-03-01

    Pursuant to the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing to conduct remedial action to clean up the residual radioactive materials (RRM) at the Naturita uranium processing site in Colorado. The Naturita site is in Montrose County, Colorado, and is approximately 2 miles (mi) (3 kilometer [km]) from the unincorporated town of Naturita. The proposed remedial action is to remove the RRM from the Naturita site to the Upper Burbank Quarry at the Uravan disposal site. To address the potential impacts of the remedial action on threatened and endangered species, the DOE prepared this biological assessment. Informal consultations with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) were initiated in 1986, and the FWS provided a list of the threatened and endangered species that may occur in the Naturita study area. This list was updated by two FWS letters in 1988 and by verbal communication in 1990. A biological assessment was included in the environmental assessment (EA) of the proposed remedial action that was prepared in 1990. This EA addressed the impacts of moving the Naturita RRM to the Dry Flats disposal site. In 1993, the design for the Dry Flats disposal alternative was changed. The FWS was again consulted in 1993 and provided a new list of threatened and endangered species that may occur in the Naturita study area. The Naturita EA and the biological assessment were revised in response to these changes. In 1994, remedial action was delayed because an alternate disposal site was being considered. The DOE decided to move the FIRM at the Naturita site to the Upper Burbank Quarry at the Uravan site. Due to this delay, the FWS was consulted in 1995 and a list of threatened and endangered species was provided. This biological assessment is a revision of the assessment attached to the Naturita EA and addresses moving the Naturita RRM to the Upper Burbank Quarry disposal site.

  11. Overview of BioCreAtIvE: critical assessment of information extraction for biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hirschman Lynette

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The goal of the first BioCreAtIvE challenge (Critical Assessment of Information Extraction in Biology was to provide a set of common evaluation tasks to assess the state of the art for text mining applied to biological problems. The results were presented in a workshop held in Granada, Spain March 28–31, 2004. The articles collected in this BMC Bioinformatics supplement entitled "A critical assessment of text mining methods in molecular biology" describe the BioCreAtIvE tasks, systems, results and their independent evaluation. Results BioCreAtIvE focused on two tasks. The first dealt with extraction of gene or protein names from text, and their mapping into standardized gene identifiers for three model organism databases (fly, mouse, yeast. The second task addressed issues of functional annotation, requiring systems to identify specific text passages that supported Gene Ontology annotations for specific proteins, given full text articles. Conclusion The first BioCreAtIvE assessment achieved a high level of international participation (27 groups from 10 countries. The assessment provided state-of-the-art performance results for a basic task (gene name finding and normalization, where the best systems achieved a balanced 80% precision / recall or better, which potentially makes them suitable for real applications in biology. The results for the advanced task (functional annotation from free text were significantly lower, demonstrating the current limitations of text-mining approaches where knowledge extrapolation and interpretation are required. In addition, an important contribution of BioCreAtIvE has been the creation and release of training and test data sets for both tasks. There are 22 articles in this special issue, including six that provide analyses of results or data quality for the data sets, including a novel inter-annotator consistency assessment for the test set used in task 2.

  12. Biological Select Agents and Toxins: Risk-Based Assessment Management and Oversight.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burnett, LouAnn Crawford; Brodsky, Benjamin H.

    2016-12-01

    Sandia National Laboratories' International Biological and Chemical Threat Reduction (SNL/IBCTR) conducted, on behalf of the Federal Select Agent Program (FSAP), a review of risk assessment in modern select agent laboratories. This review and analysis consisted of literature review, interviews of FSAP staff, entities regulated by FSAP, and deliberations of an expert panel. Additionally, SNL/IBCTR reviewed oversight mechanisms used by industries, US agencies, and other countries for high-consequence risks (e.g, nuclear, chemical, or biological materials, aviation, off-shore drilling, etc.) to determine if alternate oversight mechanisms existed that might be applicable to FSAP oversight of biological select agents and toxins. This report contains five findings, based on these reviews and analyses, with recommendations and suggested actions for FSAP to consider.

  13. Examining Gender Differences in Written Assessment Tasks in Biology: A Case Study of Evolutionary Explanations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Federer, Meghan Rector; Nehm, Ross H; Pearl, Dennis K

    2016-01-01

    Understanding sources of performance bias in science assessment provides important insights into whether science curricula and/or assessments are valid representations of student abilities. Research investigating assessment bias due to factors such as instrument structure, participant characteristics, and item types are well documented across a variety of disciplines. However, the relationships among these factors are unclear for tasks evaluating understanding through performance on scientific practices, such as explanation. Using item-response theory (Rasch analysis), we evaluated differences in performance by gender on a constructed-response (CR) assessment about natural selection (ACORNS). Three isomorphic item strands of the instrument were administered to a sample of undergraduate biology majors and nonmajors (Group 1: n = 662 [female = 51.6%]; G2: n = 184 [female = 55.9%]; G3: n = 642 [female = 55.1%]). Overall, our results identify relationships between item features and performance by gender; however, the effect is small in the majority of cases, suggesting that males and females tend to incorporate similar concepts into their CR explanations. These results highlight the importance of examining gender effects on performance in written assessment tasks in biology. © 2016 M. R. Federer et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  14. Assessment of Biology Majors’ Versus Nonmajors’ Views on Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paz-y-Miño C., Guillermo

    2016-01-01

    The controversy around evolution, creationism, and intelligent design resides in a historical struggle between scientific knowledge and popular belief. Four hundred seventy-six students (biology majors n=237, nonmajors n=239) at a secular liberal arts private university in Northeastern United States responded to a five-question survey to assess their views about: (1) evolution, creationism, and intelligent design in the science class; (2) students’ attitudes toward evolution; (3) students’ position about the teaching of human evolution; (4) evolution in science exams; and (5) students’ willingness to discuss evolution openly. There were 60.6% of biology majors and 42% of nonmajors supported the exclusive teaching of evolution in the science class, while 45.3% of nonmajors and 32% of majors were willing to learn equally about evolution, creationism, and intelligent design (question 1); 70.5% of biology majors and 55.6% of nonmajors valued the factual explanations evolution provides about the origin of life and its place in the universe (question 2); 78% of the combined responders (majors plus nonmajors) preferred science courses where evolution is discussed comprehensively and humans are part of it (question 3); 69% of the combined responders (majors plus nonmajors) had no problem answering questions concerning evolution in science exams (question 4); 48.1% of biology majors and 26.8% of nonmajors accepted evolution and expressed it openly, but 18.2% of the former and 14.2% of the latter accepted evolution privately; 46% of nonmajors and 29.1% of biology majors were reluctant to comment on this topic (question 5). Combined open plus private acceptance of evolution within biology majors increased with seniority, from freshman (60.7%) to seniors (81%), presumably due to gradual exposure to upper-division biology courses with evolutionary content. College curricular/pedagogical reform should fortify evolution literacy at all education levels, particularly among

  15. METHODS OF ASSESSMENT OF THE RELATIVE BIOLOGICAL EFFECTIVENESS OF NEUTRONS IN NEUTRON THERAPY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. A. Lisin

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The relative biological effectiveness (RBE of fast neutrons is an important factor influencing the quality of neutron therapy therefore, the assessment of RBE is of great importance. Experimental and clinical studies as well as different mathematical and radiobiological models are used for assessing RBE. Research is conducted for neutron sources differing in the method of producing particles, energy and energy spectrum. Purpose: to find and analyze the dose-dependence of fast neutron RBE in neutron therapy using the U-120 cyclotron and NG-12I generator. Material and methods: The optimal method for assessing the relative biological effectiveness of neutrons for neutron therapy was described. To analyze the dependence of the RBE on neutron dose, the multi-target model of cell survival was applied. Results: The dependence of the RBE of neutrons produced from the U-120 cyclotron and NG-120 generator on the dose level was found for a single irradiation of biological objects. It was shown that the function of neutron dose was consistent with similar dependencies found by other authors in the experimental and clinical studies.

  16. Assessment of Knowledge of Participants on Basic Molecular Biology Techniques after 5-Day Intensive Molecular Biology Training Workshops in Nigeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yisau, J. I.; Adagbada, A. O.; Bamidele, T.; Fowora, M.; Brai, B. I. C.; Adebesin, O.; Bamidele, M.; Fesobi, T.; Nwaokorie, F. O.; Ajayi, A.; Smith, S. I.

    2017-01-01

    The deployment of molecular biology techniques for diagnosis and research in Nigeria is faced with a number of challenges, including the cost of equipment and reagents coupled with the dearth of personnel skilled in the procedures and handling of equipment. Short molecular biology training workshops were conducted at the Nigerian Institute of…

  17. A biological tool to assess flow connectivity in reference temporary streams from the Mediterranean Basin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cid, N., E-mail: ncid@ub.edu [Grup de Recerca “Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM)”, Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain); Verkaik, I. [Grup de Recerca “Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM)”, Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain); García-Roger, E.M. [Grup de Recerca “Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM)”, Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain); Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva, Universitat de València (Spain); Rieradevall, M.; Bonada, N. [Grup de Recerca “Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM)”, Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain); Sánchez-Montoya, M.M. [Department of Ecology and Hydrology, Regional Campus of International Excellence “Campus Mare Nostrum”—University of Murcia (Spain); Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin (Germany); Gómez, R.; Suárez, M.L.; Vidal-Abarca, M.R. [Department of Ecology and Hydrology, Regional Campus of International Excellence “Campus Mare Nostrum”—University of Murcia (Spain); Demartini, D.; Buffagni, A.; Erba, S. [Instituto di Ricerca Sulle Acque (CNR-IRSA) (Italy); Karaouzas, I.; Skoulikidis, N. [Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR) (Greece); Prat, N. [Grup de Recerca “Freshwater Ecology and Management (FEM)”, Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain)

    2016-01-01

    Many streams in the Mediterranean Basin have temporary flow regimes. While timing for seasonal drought is predictable, they undergo strong inter-annual variability in flow intensity. This high hydrological variability and associated ecological responses challenge the ecological status assessment of temporary streams, particularly when setting reference conditions. This study examined the effects of flow connectivity in aquatic macroinvertebrates from seven reference temporary streams across the Mediterranean Basin where hydrological variability and flow conditions are well studied. We tested for the effect of flow cessation on two streamflow indices and on community composition, and, by performing random forest and classification tree analyses we identified important biological predictors for classifying the aquatic state either as flowing or disconnected pools. Flow cessation was critical for one of the streamflow indices studied and for community composition. Macroinvertebrate families found to be important for classifying the aquatic state were Hydrophilidae, Simuliidae, Hydropsychidae, Planorbiidae, Heptageniidae and Gerridae. For biological traits, trait categories associated to feeding habits, food, locomotion and substrate relation were the most important and provided more accurate predictions compared to taxonomy. A combination of selected metrics and associated thresholds based on the most important biological predictors (i.e. Bio-AS Tool) were proposed in order to assess the aquatic state in reference temporary streams, especially in the absence of hydrological data. Although further development is needed, the tool can be of particular interest for monitoring, restoration, and conservation purposes, representing an important step towards an adequate management of temporary rivers not only in the Mediterranean Basin but also in other regions vulnerable to the effects of climate change. - Highlights: • The effect of flow connectivity on macroinvertebrate

  18. Development and Assessment of Modules to Integrate Quantitative Skills in Introductory Biology Courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Kathleen; Leupen, Sarah; Dowell, Kathy; Kephart, Kerrie; Leips, Jeff

    2016-01-01

    Redesigning undergraduate biology courses to integrate quantitative reasoning and skill development is critical to prepare students for careers in modern medicine and scientific research. In this paper, we report on the development, implementation, and assessment of stand-alone modules that integrate quantitative reasoning into introductory biology courses. Modules are designed to improve skills in quantitative numeracy, interpreting data sets using visual tools, and making inferences about biological phenomena using mathematical/statistical models. We also examine demographic/background data that predict student improvement in these skills through exposure to these modules. We carried out pre/postassessment tests across four semesters and used student interviews in one semester to examine how students at different levels approached quantitative problems. We found that students improved in all skills in most semesters, although there was variation in the degree of improvement among skills from semester to semester. One demographic variable, transfer status, stood out as a major predictor of the degree to which students improved (transfer students achieved much lower gains every semester, despite the fact that pretest scores in each focus area were similar between transfer and nontransfer students). We propose that increased exposure to quantitative skill development in biology courses is effective at building competency in quantitative reasoning. © 2016 K. Hoffman, S. Leupen, et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  19. Hazard identification and risk assessment for biologics targeting the immune system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, Andrea B

    2008-01-01

    Biologic pharmaceuticals include a variety of products, such as monoclonal antibodies, fusion proteins and cytokines. Products in those classes include immunomodulatory biologics, which are intended to enhance or diminish the activity of the immune system. Immunomodulatory biologics have been approved by the U.S. FDA for a variety of indications, including cancer and inflammatory conditions. Prior to gaining approval for marketing, sponsoring companies for all types of products must demonstrate a product's safety in toxicology studies conducted in animals and show safety and efficacy in clinical trials conducted in patients. The overall goal of toxicology studies, which applies to immunomodulatory and other product types, is to identify the hazards that products pose to humans. Because biologics are generally highly selective for specific targets (receptors/epitopes), conducting toxicology studies in animal models with the target is essential. Such animals are referred to as pharmacologically relevant. Endpoints routinely included in toxicology studies, such as hematology, organ weight and histopathology, can be used to assess the effect of a product on the structure of the immune system. Additionally, specialized endpoints, such as immunophenotyping and immune function tests, can be used to define effects of immunomodulatory products on the immune system. Following hazard identification, risks posed to patients are assessed and managed. Risks can be managed through clinical trial design and risk communication, a practice that applies to immunomodulatory and other product types. Examples of risk management in clinical trial design include establishing a safe starting dose, defining the appropriate patient population and establishing appropriate patient monitoring. Risk communication starts during clinical trials and continues after product approval. A combination of hazard identification, risk assessment and risk management allows for drug development to proceed

  20. Assessment of network perturbation amplitudes by applying high-throughput data to causal biological networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Florian

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background High-throughput measurement technologies produce data sets that have the potential to elucidate the biological impact of disease, drug treatment, and environmental agents on humans. The scientific community faces an ongoing challenge in the analysis of these rich data sources to more accurately characterize biological processes that have been perturbed at the mechanistic level. Here, a new approach is built on previous methodologies in which high-throughput data was interpreted using prior biological knowledge of cause and effect relationships. These relationships are structured into network models that describe specific biological processes, such as inflammatory signaling or cell cycle progression. This enables quantitative assessment of network perturbation in response to a given stimulus. Results Four complementary methods were devised to quantify treatment-induced activity changes in processes described by network models. In addition, companion statistics were developed to qualify significance and specificity of the results. This approach is called Network Perturbation Amplitude (NPA scoring because the amplitudes of treatment-induced perturbations are computed for biological network models. The NPA methods were tested on two transcriptomic data sets: normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE cells treated with the pro-inflammatory signaling mediator TNFα, and HCT116 colon cancer cells treated with the CDK cell cycle inhibitor R547. Each data set was scored against network models representing different aspects of inflammatory signaling and cell cycle progression, and these scores were compared with independent measures of pathway activity in NHBE cells to verify the approach. The NPA scoring method successfully quantified the amplitude of TNFα-induced perturbation for each network model when compared against NF-κB nuclear localization and cell number. In addition, the degree and specificity to which CDK

  1. Assessment of nitrogen and sulphur cycle bacteria and shrimp production in ponds treated with biological products

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thangapalam Jawahar Abraham

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To study the influence of biological products on the levels of nitrogen and sulphur cycle bacteria in shrimp culture systems of West Bengal, India. Methods: The pond water and sediment samples were analyzed for physico-chemical parameters as per standard methods. The bacteria involved in ammonification, nitrification, denitrification, sulphate reduction and sulphur oxidation were enumerated by most probable number technique. Results: The semi-intensive and modified extensive shrimp farms used a variety of biological products during various stages of production. No biological products were used in traditional farms. The water and sediment samples of modified extensive system recorded significantly higher mean heterotrophic bacterial counts. The counts of ammonia, nitrite and sulphur oxidizers, and nitrate and sulphate reducers varied among the systems. The cycling of nitrogen and sulphur appeared to be affected with the intensification of culture practices. Conclusions: The application of biological products in certain systems helped to maintain the bacteria involved in nitrogen and sulphur cycles and safe levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. An assessment of these metabolically active bacteria in shrimp culture ponds and the application of right kind microbial products would help ameliorate the organic pollution in shrimp aquaculture.

  2. Development and Assessment of Modules to Integrate Quantitative Skills in Introductory Biology Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Kathleen; Leupen, Sarah; Dowell, Kathy; Kephart, Kerrie; Leips, Jeff

    2016-01-01

    Redesigning undergraduate biology courses to integrate quantitative reasoning and skill development is critical to prepare students for careers in modern medicine and scientific research. In this paper, we report on the development, implementation, and assessment of stand-alone modules that integrate quantitative reasoning into introductory biology courses. Modules are designed to improve skills in quantitative numeracy, interpreting data sets using visual tools, and making inferences about biological phenomena using mathematical/statistical models. We also examine demographic/background data that predict student improvement in these skills through exposure to these modules. We carried out pre/postassessment tests across four semesters and used student interviews in one semester to examine how students at different levels approached quantitative problems. We found that students improved in all skills in most semesters, although there was variation in the degree of improvement among skills from semester to semester. One demographic variable, transfer status, stood out as a major predictor of the degree to which students improved (transfer students achieved much lower gains every semester, despite the fact that pretest scores in each focus area were similar between transfer and nontransfer students). We propose that increased exposure to quantitative skill development in biology courses is effective at building competency in quantitative reasoning. PMID:27146161

  3. Safety Assessment and Biological Effects of a New Cold Processed SilEmulsion for Dermatological Purpose

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Raposo

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available It is of crucial importance to evaluate the safety profile of the ingredients used in dermatological emulsions. A suitable equilibrium between safety and efficacy is a pivotal concern before the marketing of a dermatological product. The aim was to assess the safety and biological effects of a new cold processed silicone-based emulsion (SilEmulsion. The hazard, exposure, and dose-response assessment were used to characterize the risk for each ingredient. EpiSkin assay and human repeat insult patch tests were performed to compare the theoretical safety assessment to in vitro and in vivo data. The efficacy of the SilEmulsion was studied using biophysical measurements in human volunteers during 21 days. According to the safety assessment of the ingredients, 1,5-pentanediol was an ingredient of special concern since its margin of safety was below the threshold of 100 (36.53. EpiSkin assay showed that the tissue viability after the application of the SilEmulsion was 92 ± 6% and, thus considered nonirritant to the skin. The human studies confirmed that the SilEmulsion was not a skin irritant and did not induce any sensitization on the volunteers, being safe for human use. Moreover, biological effects demonstrated that the SilEmulsion increased both the skin hydration and skin surface lipids.

  4. Bibliographical database of radiation biological dosimetry and risk assessment: Part 1, through June 1988

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Straume, T.; Ricker, Y.; Thut, M.

    1988-08-29

    This database was constructed to support research in radiation biological dosimetry and risk assessment. Relevant publications were identified through detailed searches of national and international electronic databases and through our personal knowledge of the subject. Publications were numbered and key worded, and referenced in an electronic data-retrieval system that permits quick access through computerized searches on publication number, authors, key words, title, year, and journal name. Photocopies of all publications contained in the database are maintained in a file that is numerically arranged by citation number. This report of the database is provided as a useful reference and overview. It should be emphasized that the database will grow as new citations are added to it. With that in mind, we arranged this report in order of ascending citation number so that follow-up reports will simply extend this document. The database cite 1212 publications. Publications are from 119 different scientific journals, 27 of these journals are cited at least 5 times. It also contains reference to 42 books and published symposia, and 129 reports. Information relevant to radiation biological dosimetry and risk assessment is widely distributed among the scientific literature, although a few journals clearly dominate. The four journals publishing the largest number of relevant papers are Health Physics, Mutation Research, Radiation Research, and International Journal of Radiation Biology. Publications in Health Physics make up almost 10% of the current database.

  5. Historical precedence and technical requirements of biological weapons use : a threat assessment.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Estes, Daniel P.; Vogel, Kathleen Margaret; Gaudioso, Jennifer Marie; Hickok, Lauren T.; Jung, Danielle F.; Barnett, Natalie Beth; Frerichs, Rebecca L.; Salerno, Reynolds Mathewson

    2004-05-01

    The threat from biological weapons is assessed through both a comparative historical analysis of the patterns of biological weapons use and an assessment of the technological hurdles to proliferation and use that must be overcome. The history of biological weapons is studied to learn how agents have been acquired and what types of states and substate actors have used agents. Substate actors have generally been more willing than states to use pathogens and toxins and they have focused on those agents that are more readily available. There has been an increasing trend of bioterrorism incidents over the past century, but states and substate actors have struggled with one or more of the necessary technological steps. These steps include acquisition of a suitable agent, production of an appropriate quantity and form, and effective deployment. The technological hurdles associated with the steps present a real barrier to producing a high consequence event. However, the ever increasing technological sophistication of society continually lowers the barriers, resulting in a low but increasing probability of a high consequence bioterrorism event.

  6. Bibliographical database of radiation biological dosimetry and risk assessment: Part 1, through June 1988

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Straume, T.; Ricker, Y.; Thut, M.

    1988-01-01

    This database was constructed to support research in radiation biological dosimetry and risk assessment. Relevant publications were identified through detailed searches of national and international electronic databases and through our personal knowledge of the subject. Publications were numbered and key worded, and referenced in an electronic data-retrieval system that permits quick access through computerized searches on publication number, authors, key words, title, year, and journal name. Photocopies of all publications contained in the database are maintained in a file that is numerically arranged by citation number. This report of the database is provided as a useful reference and overview. It should be emphasized that the database will grow as new citations are added to it. With that in mind, we arranged this report in order of ascending citation number so that follow-up reports will simply extend this document. The database cite 1212 publications. Publications are from 119 different scientific journals, 27 of these journals are cited at least 5 times. It also contains reference to 42 books and published symposia, and 129 reports. Information relevant to radiation biological dosimetry and risk assessment is widely distributed among the scientific literature, although a few journals clearly dominate. The four journals publishing the largest number of relevant papers are Health Physics, Mutation Research, Radiation Research, and International Journal of Radiation Biology. Publications in Health Physics make up almost 10% of the current database

  7. Understanding the Reading Attributes and Their Cognitive Relationships on a High-Stakes Biology Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawlusyk, Kevin James

    Test items used to assess learners' knowledge on high-stakes science examinations contain contextualized questions that unintentionally assess reading skill along with conceptual knowledge. Therefore, students who are not proficient readers are unable to comprehend the text within the test item to demonstrate effectively their level of science knowledge. The purpose of this quantitative study was to understand what reading attributes were required to successfully answer the Biology 30 Diploma Exam. Furthermore, the research sought to understand the cognitive relationships among the reading attributes through quantitative analysis structured by the Attribute Hierarchy Model (AHM). The research consisted of two phases: (1) Cognitive development, where the cognitive attributes of the Biology 30 Exam were specified and hierarchy structures were developed; and (2) Psychometric analysis, that statistically tested the attribute hierarchy using the Hierarchy Consistency Index (HCI), and calculate attribute probabilities. Phase one of the research used January 2011, Biology 30 Diploma Exam, while phase two accessed archival data for the 9985 examinees who took the assessment on January 24th, 2011. Phase one identified ten specific reading attributes, of which five were identified as unique subsets of vocabulary, two were identified as reading visual representations, and three corresponded to general reading skills. Four hierarchical cognitive model were proposed then analyzed using the HCI as a mechanism to explain the relationship among the attributes. Model A had the highest HCI value (0.337), indicating an overall poor data fit, yet for the top achieving examinees the model had an excellent model fit with an HCI value of 0.888, and for examinees that scored over 60% there was a moderate model fit (HCI = 0.592). Linear regressions of the attribute probability estimates suggest that there is a cognitive relationship among six of the ten reading attributes (R2 = 0.958 and 0

  8. [Comparison and application of biological indices of macroinvertebrates in river health assessment].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geng, Shi-Wei; Qu, Xiao-Dong; Zhang, Yuan; Lin, Kun-De

    2012-07-01

    The different biological indices usually result in different results in the river health assessment. It is imperative and valuable to identify the correlation among different indices and their applicability for assessing stream health. In this study, totally five biological indices were selected and compared in the investigation of macroinvertebrate communities in the Taizi river. The results showed significant correlations among the five indices. However, due to the difference in health rating criteria for each biological index, different results of health ratings were obtained when different indices were used. The responding sensitivities to disturbance caused by different types of human activities were studied for each index to determine their applicability in assessment of river health. The data indicated that the BI index had significant correlations with land use and dissolved oxygen and was a good indicator for these two types of disturbance. The FBI index could well reflect the acid and ammonia contamination of the investigated stream. Strong negative correlation was found between the ASPT index and several water quality parameters concerning oxygen consumption. The B-IBI index had a significant negative correlation with the total nitrogen concentration, being a good indicator for nitrogen contamination. Besides, the B-IBI index was also significantly correlated to disturbance caused by other types of human activities and can be used as an indicator for both land use and aquatic pollution. To be concluded, the BI index and ASPT index can be individually used to assess the land use of a riverine and the impact of hydrochemical index on the ecosystems, whereas the B-IBI index could be a suitable indicator for evaluating the stream health correlated with various human activities.

  9. Characterization of Radiation Fields for Assessing Concrete Degradation in Biological Shields of NPPs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Remec Igor

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Life extensions of nuclear power plants (NPPs to 60 years of operation and the possibility of subsequent license renewal to 80 years have renewed interest in long-term material degradation in NPPs. Large irreplaceable sections of most nuclear generating stations are constructed from concrete, including safety-related structures such as biological shields and containment buildings; therefore, concrete degradation is being considered with particular focus on radiation-induced effects. Based on the projected neutron fluence values (E > 0.1 MeV in the concrete biological shields of the US pressurized water reactor fleet and the currently available data on radiation effects on concrete, some decrease in mechanical properties of concrete cannot be ruled out during extended operation beyond 60 years. An expansion of the irradiated concrete database is desirable to ensure reliable risk assessment for extended operation of nuclear power plants.

  10. Lake Whitney Comprehensive Water Quality Assessment, Phase 1B- Physical and Biological Assessment (USDOE)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doyle, Robert D; Byars, Bruce W

    2009-11-24

    assessment of knowledge of watershed and water quality related issues by local residents and stakeholders of Lake Whitney and design an intervention educational program to address any deficiencies discovered. Phase IA was funded primarily from EPA Cooperative Agreement X7-9769 8901-0. Phase IC (USEPA, QAPP Study Element 5) of this research focused on the ambient toxicity of the reservoir with respect to periodic blooms of golden algae. Phase IC was funded primarily from Cooperative Agreement EM-96638001. Phase 1B (USDOE, Study Elements 6-11) complemented work being done via EPA funding on study elements 1-5 and added five new study elements: 6) Salinity Transport in the Brazos Watershed to Lake Whitney; 7) Bacterial Assessment; 8) Organic Contaminant Analysis on Lake Whitney; 9) Plankton Photosynthesis; 10) Lake Whitney Resident Knowledge Assessment; and 11) Engineering Scoping Perspective: Recommendations for Use.

  11. Development of tools for integrated monitoring and assessment of hazardous substances and their biological effects in the Baltic Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehtonen, Kari K; Sundelin, Brita; Lang, Thomas; Strand, Jakob

    2014-02-01

    The need to develop biological effects monitoring to facilitate a reliable assessment of hazardous substances has been emphasized in the Baltic Sea Action Plan of the Helsinki Commission. An integrated chemical-biological approach is vitally important for the understanding and proper assessment of anthropogenic pressures and their effects on the Baltic Sea. Such an approach is also necessary for prudent management aiming at safeguarding the sustainable use of ecosystem goods and Services. The BEAST project (Biological Effects of Anthropogenic Chemical Stress: Tools for the Assessment of Ecosystem Health) set out to address this topic within the BONUS Programme. BEAST generated a large amount of quality-assured data on several biological effects parameters (biomarkers) in various marine species in different sub-regions of the Baltic Sea. New indicators (biological response measurement methods) and management tools (integrated indices) with regard to the integrated monitoring approach were suggested.

  12. The impact of biology on risk assessment -- Workshop of the National Research Council's board on radiation effects research. Meeting report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fry, R.J.M.; Grosovsky, A.; Hanawalt, P.C.; Ullrich, R.L.

    1997-01-01

    The linear, nonthreshold extrapolation from a dose-response relationship for ionizing radiation derived at higher doses to doses for which regulatory standards are proposed is being challenged by some scientists and defended by others. It appears that the risks associated with exposures to doses of interest are below the risks that can be measured with epidemiologic studies. Therefore, many have looked to biology to provide information relevant to risk assessment. The workshop reported here, ''The Impact of biology on Risk Assessment,'' was planned to address the need for further information by bringing together scientists who have been working in key fields of biology and others who have been contemplating the issues associated specifically with this question. The goals of the workshop were to summarize and review the status of the relevant biology, to determine how the reported biologic data might influence risk assessment, and to identify subjects on which more data is needed

  13. Biological assessment of radiation damage of ATP by soft X-rays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akimitsu, Nobuyoshi; Fujii, Shin-ichiro; Fujii, Kentaro; Tsukimoto, Mitsutoshi; Kojima, Shuji

    2011-01-01

    ATP (Adenosine tri-phosphate), one of ribonucleic acids, acts as an intracellular energy transfer. ATP is used as a substrate to synthesized messenger RNA and as a ligand of inter-cellular signaling. SPring-8 beam line BL23SU can produce high resolution monochromatic soft X-rays. In this study, we analyzed the soft X-ray induced radiation damage of ATP by various biological assessments, such as energy donor activity, genetic information transfer activity and inter-cellular signaling activity. (author)

  14. Assessment of compatibility among Armillaria cepistipes, A. sinapina, and North American biological species X and XI, using culture morphology and molecular biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark T. Banik; Harold H. Burdsall

    1998-01-01

    Ten single-spore isolates each of Armillaria sinapina, A. cepistipes, and North American biological species (NABS)X and XI were paired in all combinations. A second set of ten single-spore isolates of each species was likewise paired. Each pairing was duplicated for a total of 3280 pairs. Using the standard morphological criteria (e.g., fluffy, crustose) to assess the...

  15. Closing the Loop: Involving Faculty in the Assessment of Scientific and Quantitative Reasoning Skills of Biology Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurney, Carol A.; Brown, Justin; Griscom, Heather Peckham; Kancler, Erika; Wigtil, Clifton J.; Sundre, Donna

    2011-01-01

    The development of scientific and quantitative reasoning skills in undergraduates majoring in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is an objective of many courses and curricula. The Biology Department at James Madison University (JMU) assesses these essential skills in graduating biology majors by using a multiple-choice exam…

  16. The development and implementation of an instrument to assess students' data analysis skills in molecular biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rybarczyk, Brian J; Walton, Kristen L W; Grillo, Wendy Heck

    2014-12-01

    Developing visual literacy skills is an important component of scientific literacy in undergraduate science education. Comprehension, analysis, and interpretation are parts of visual literacy that describe related data analysis skills important for learning in the biological sciences. The Molecular Biology Data Analysis Test (MBDAT) was developed to measure students' data analysis skills connected with scientific reasoning when analyzing and interpreting scientific data generated from experimental research. The skills analyzed included basic skills, such as identification of patterns and trends in data and connecting a method that generated the data, and advanced skills, such as distinguishing positive and negative controls, synthesizing conclusions, determining if data supports a hypothesis, and predicting alternative or next-step experiments. Construct and content validity were established and calculated statistical parameters demonstrate that the MBDAT is valid and reliable for measuring students' data analysis skills in molecular and cell biology contexts. The instrument also measures students' perceived confidence in their data interpretation abilities. As scientific research continues to evolve in complexity, interpretation of scientific information in visual formats will continue to be an important component of scientific literacy. Thus science education will need to support and assess students' development of these skills as part of students' scientific training.

  17. The Development and Implementation of an Instrument to Assess Students’ Data Analysis Skills in Molecular Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian J. Rybarczyk

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Developing visual literacy skills is an important component of scientific literacy in undergraduate science education.  Comprehension, analysis, and interpretation are parts of visual literacy that describe related data analysis skills important for learning in the biological sciences. The Molecular Biology Data Analysis Test (MBDAT was developed to measure students’ data analysis skills connected with scientific reasoning when analyzing and interpreting scientific data generated from experimental research.  The skills analyzed included basic skills such as identification of patterns and trends in data and connecting a method that generated the data and advanced skills such as distinguishing positive and negative controls, synthesizing conclusions, determining if data supports a hypothesis, and predicting alternative or next-step experiments.  Construct and content validity were established and calculated statistical parameters demonstrate that the MBDAT is valid and reliable for measuring students’ data analysis skills in molecular and cell biology contexts.  The instrument also measures students’ perceived confidence in their data interpretation abilities.  As scientific research continues to evolve in complexity, interpretation of scientific information in visual formats will continue to be an important component of scientific literacy.  Thus science education will need to support and assess students’ development of these skills as part of students’ scientific training.

  18. Analysis and assessment of the detriment in interventional radiology using biological dosimetry methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Montoro, A.; Almonacid, M.; Villaescusa, J.I.; Barquinero, J.F.; Rodriguez, P.; Barrios, L.; Verdu, G.; Ramos, M.

    2006-01-01

    Interventional radiologist and staff members usually are exposed to high levels of scattered radiation. As a result, the exposition to radiation procedures can produce detrimental effects that we would have to know. Effective dose is the quantity that better estimates the radiation risk. For this study we have realized an estimation of the radiological detriment to exposed workers of the Hospital la Fe de Valencia. For it, have been used physical doses registered in detectors T.L.D., and doses estimated by biological dosimetry in lymphocytes of peripheral blood. There has been estimated for every case the probability of effect of skin cancer and of non-solid cancers (leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma), being compared with the baseline probability of natural effect. Biological doses were obtained by extrapolating the yield of dicentrics and translocations to their respective dose -effect curves. The discrepancies observed between physically recorded doses and biological estimated doses indicate that workers did not always wear their dosimeters or the dosimeters were not always in the radiation field. Cytogenetic studies should be extended to more workers to assess the risk derived from their occupational exposure. (authors)

  19. Analysis and assessment of the detriment in interventional radiology using biological dosimetry methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Montoro, A.; Almonacid, M.; Villaescusa, J.I. [Hospital Univ. la Fe de Valen cian, Servicio de Proteccion Radiologica, Valencia (Spain); Barquinero, J.F.; Rodriguez, P. [Universitat Autonom a de Barcelona, Servicio de Dosimetria Biologica, Unidad de Antropologia, Departamento de Biologia Animal, Vegetal y Ecologia., Barcelona (Spain); Barrios, L. [Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Dept. de Biologia Celular y Fisiologia. Unidad de Biologia Celular, Barcelona (Spain); Verdu, G.; Ramos, M. [Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Dept. de Ingenieria Quimica y Nuclear, Valencia, (Spain)

    2006-07-01

    Interventional radiologist and staff members usually are exposed to high levels of scattered radiation. As a result, the exposition to radiation procedures can produce detrimental effects that we would have to know. Effective dose is the quantity that better estimates the radiation risk. For this study we have realized an estimation of the radiological detriment to exposed workers of the Hospital la Fe de Valencia. For it, have been used physical doses registered in detectors T.L.D., and doses estimated by biological dosimetry in lymphocytes of peripheral blood. There has been estimated for every case the probability of effect of skin cancer and of non-solid cancers (leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma), being compared with the baseline probability of natural effect. Biological doses were obtained by extrapolating the yield of dicentrics and translocations to their respective dose -effect curves. The discrepancies observed between physically recorded doses and biological estimated doses indicate that workers did not always wear their dosimeters or the dosimeters were not always in the radiation field. Cytogenetic studies should be extended to more workers to assess the risk derived from their occupational exposure. (authors)

  20. Insects as test systems for assessing the potential role of microgravity in biological development and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernós, I.; Carratalá, M.; González-Jurado, J.; Valverde, J. R.; Calleja, M.; Domingo, A.; Vinós, J.; Cervera, M.; Marco, R.

    Gravity and radiation are undoubtedly the two major environmental factors altered in space. Gravity is a weak force, which creates a permanent potential field acting on the mass of biological systems and their cellular components, strongly reduced in space flights. Developmental systems, particularly at very early stages, provide the larger cellular compartments known, where the effects of alterations in the size of the gravity vector on living organisms can be more effectively tested. The insects, one of the more highly evolved classes of animals in which early development occurs in a syncytial embryo, are systems particularly well suited to test these effects and the specific developmental mechanisms affected. Furthermore, they share some basic features such as small size, short life cycles, relatively high radio-resistance, etc. and show a diversity of developmental strategies and tempos advantageous in experiments of this type in space. Drosophila melanogaster, the current biological paradigm to study development, with so much genetic and evolutionary background available, is clearly the reference organism for these studies. The current evidence on the effects of the physical parameters altered in space flights on insect development indicate a surprising correlation between effects seen on the fast developing and relatively small Drosophila embryo and the more slowly developing and large Carausius morosus system. In relation to the issue of the importance of developmental and environmental constraints in biological evolution, still the missing link in current evolutionary thinking, insects and space facilities for long-term experiments could provide useful experimental settings where to critically assess how development and evolution may be interconnected. Finally, it has to be pointed out that since there are experimental data indicating a possible synergism between microgravity and space radiation, possible effects of space radiation should be taken into

  1. Implementing the Science Assessment Standards: Developing and validating a set of laboratory assessment tasks in high school biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, Gouranga Chandra

    Very often a number of factors, especially time, space and money, deter many science educators from using inquiry-based, hands-on, laboratory practical tasks as alternative assessment instruments in science. A shortage of valid inquiry-based laboratory tasks for high school biology has been cited. Driven by this need, this study addressed the following three research questions: (1) How can laboratory-based performance tasks be designed and developed that are doable by students for whom they are designed/written? (2) Do student responses to the laboratory-based performance tasks validly represent at least some of the intended process skills that new biology learning goals want students to acquire? (3) Are the laboratory-based performance tasks psychometrically consistent as individual tasks and as a set? To answer these questions, three tasks were used from the six biology tasks initially designed and developed by an iterative process of trial testing. Analyses of data from 224 students showed that performance-based laboratory tasks that are doable by all students require careful and iterative process of development. Although the students demonstrated more skill in performing than planning and reasoning, their performances at the item level were very poor for some items. Possible reasons for the poor performances have been discussed and suggestions on how to remediate the deficiencies have been made. Empirical evidences for validity and reliability of the instrument have been presented both from the classical and the modern validity criteria point of view. Limitations of the study have been identified. Finally implications of the study and directions for further research have been discussed.

  2. Indoor Air Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Health Modeling and Assessment System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stenner, Robert D.; Hadley, Donald L.; Armstrong, Peter R.; Buck, John W.; Hoopes, Bonnie L.; Janus, Michael C.

    2001-03-01

    Indoor air quality effects on human health are of increasing concern to public health agencies and building owners. The prevention and treatment of 'sick building' syndrome and the spread of air-borne diseases in hospitals, for example, are well known priorities. However, increasing attention is being directed to the vulnerability of our public buildings/places, public security and national defense facilities to terrorist attack or the accidental release of air-borne biological pathogens, harmful chemicals, or radioactive contaminants. The Indoor Air Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Health Modeling and Assessment System (IA-NBC-HMAS) was developed to serve as a health impact analysis tool for use in addressing these concerns. The overall goal was to develop a user-friendly fully functional prototype Health Modeling and Assessment system, which will operate under the PNNL FRAMES system for ease of use and to maximize its integration with other modeling and assessment capabilities accessible within the FRAMES system (e.g., ambient air fate and transport models, water borne fate and transport models, Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic models, etc.). The prototype IA-NBC-HMAS is designed to serve as a functional Health Modeling and Assessment system that can be easily tailored to meet specific building analysis needs of a customer. The prototype system was developed and tested using an actual building (i.e., the Churchville Building located at the Aberdeen Proving Ground) and release scenario (i.e., the release and measurement of tracer materials within the building) to ensure realism and practicality in the design and development of the prototype system. A user-friendly "demo" accompanies this report to allow the reader the opportunity for a "hands on" review of the prototype system's capability.

  3. Bibliographical database of radiation biological dosimetry and risk assessment: Part 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Straume, T.; Ricker, Y.; Thut, M.

    1990-09-01

    This is part 11 of a database constructed to support research in radiation biological dosimetry and risk assessment. Relevant publications were identified through detailed searches of national and international electronic databases and through our personal knowledge of the subject. Publications were numbered and key worded, and referenced in an electronic data-retrieval system that permits quick access through computerized searches on authors, key words, title, year, journal name, or publication number. Photocopies of the publications contained in the database are maintained in a file that is numerically arranged by our publication acquisition numbers. This volume contains 1048 additional entries, which are listed in alphabetical order by author. The computer software used for the database is a simple but sophisticated relational database program that permits quick information access, high flexibility, and the creation of customized reports. This program is inexpensive and is commercially available for the Macintosh and the IBM PC. Although the database entries were made using a Macintosh computer, we have the capability to convert the files into the IBM PC version. As of this date, the database cites 2260 publications. Citations in the database are from 200 different scientific journals. There are also references to 80 books and published symposia, and 158 reports. Information relevant to radiation biological dosimetry and risk assessment is widely distributed within the scientific literature, although a few journals clearly predominate. The journals publishing the largest number of relevant papers are Health Physics, with a total of 242 citations in the database, and Mutation Research, with 185 citations. Other journals with over 100 citations in the database, are Radiation Research, with 136, and International Journal of Radiation Biology, with 132

  4. Assessing an effective undergraduate module teaching applied bioinformatics to biology students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madlung, Andreas

    2018-01-01

    Applied bioinformatics skills are becoming ever more indispensable for biologists, yet incorporation of these skills into the undergraduate biology curriculum is lagging behind, in part due to a lack of instructors willing and able to teach basic bioinformatics in classes that don't specifically focus on quantitative skill development, such as statistics or computer sciences. To help undergraduate course instructors who themselves did not learn bioinformatics as part of their own education and are hesitant to plunge into teaching big data analysis, a module was developed that is written in plain-enough language, using publicly available computing tools and data, to allow novice instructors to teach next-generation sequence analysis to upper-level undergraduate students. To determine if the module allowed students to develop a better understanding of and appreciation for applied bioinformatics, various tools were developed and employed to assess the impact of the module. This article describes both the module and its assessment. Students found the activity valuable for their education and, in focus group discussions, emphasized that they saw a need for more and earlier instruction of big data analysis as part of the undergraduate biology curriculum.

  5. Challenges of diatom-based biological monitoring and assessment of streams in developing countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bere, Taurai

    2016-03-01

    Stream biomonitoring tools are largely lacking for many developing countries, resulting in adoption of tools developed from other countries/regions. In many instances, however, the applicability of adopted tools to the new system has not been explicitly evaluated. The objective of this study was to test the applicability of foreign diatom-based water quality assessment indices to streams in Zimbabwe, with the view to highlight challenges being faced in diatom-based biological monitoring in this developing country. The study evaluated the relationship between measured water quality variables and diatom index scores and observed some degree of concordance between water quality variables and diatom index scores emphasising the importance of diatom indices in characterisation and monitoring of stream ecological conditions in developing countries. However, ecological requirements of some diatom species need to be clarified and incorporated in a diatom-based water quality assessment protocol unique to these regions. Resources should be channelled towards tackling challenges associated with diatom-based biological monitoring, principally taxonomic studies, training of skilled labour and acquiring and maintaining the necessary infrastructure. Meanwhile, simpler coarse taxonomy-based rapid bioassessment protocol, which is less time and resource consuming and requires less specialised manpower, can be developed for the country.

  6. Interactions of physical, chemical, and biological weather calling for an integrated approach to assessment, forecasting, and communication of air quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Thomas; Kukkonen, Jaakko; Dahl, Aslög; Bossioli, Elissavet; Baklanov, Alexander; Vik, Aasmund Fahre; Agnew, Paul; Karatzas, Kostas D; Sofiev, Mikhail

    2012-12-01

    This article reviews interactions and health impacts of physical, chemical, and biological weather. Interactions and synergistic effects between the three types of weather call for integrated assessment, forecasting, and communication of air quality. Today's air quality legislation falls short of addressing air quality degradation by biological weather, despite increasing evidence for the feasibility of both mitigation and adaptation policy options. In comparison with the existing capabilities for physical and chemical weather, the monitoring of biological weather is lacking stable operational agreements and resources. Furthermore, integrated effects of physical, chemical, and biological weather suggest a critical review of air quality management practices. Additional research is required to improve the coupled modeling of physical, chemical, and biological weather as well as the assessment and communication of integrated air quality. Findings from several recent COST Actions underline the importance of an increased dialog between scientists from the fields of meteorology, air quality, aerobiology, health, and policy makers.

  7. Compression-based classification of biological sequences and structures via the Universal Similarity Metric: experimental assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manzini Giovanni

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Similarity of sequences is a key mathematical notion for Classification and Phylogenetic studies in Biology. It is currently primarily handled using alignments. However, the alignment methods seem inadequate for post-genomic studies since they do not scale well with data set size and they seem to be confined only to genomic and proteomic sequences. Therefore, alignment-free similarity measures are actively pursued. Among those, USM (Universal Similarity Metric has gained prominence. It is based on the deep theory of Kolmogorov Complexity and universality is its most novel striking feature. Since it can only be approximated via data compression, USM is a methodology rather than a formula quantifying the similarity of two strings. Three approximations of USM are available, namely UCD (Universal Compression Dissimilarity, NCD (Normalized Compression Dissimilarity and CD (Compression Dissimilarity. Their applicability and robustness is tested on various data sets yielding a first massive quantitative estimate that the USM methodology and its approximations are of value. Despite the rich theory developed around USM, its experimental assessment has limitations: only a few data compressors have been tested in conjunction with USM and mostly at a qualitative level, no comparison among UCD, NCD and CD is available and no comparison of USM with existing methods, both based on alignments and not, seems to be available. Results We experimentally test the USM methodology by using 25 compressors, all three of its known approximations and six data sets of relevance to Molecular Biology. This offers the first systematic and quantitative experimental assessment of this methodology, that naturally complements the many theoretical and the preliminary experimental results available. Moreover, we compare the USM methodology both with methods based on alignments and not. We may group our experiments into two sets. The first one, performed via ROC

  8. Silver nanoparticles in complex biological media: assessment of colloidal stability and protein corona formation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Argentiere, Simona, E-mail: simona.argentiere@fondazionefilarete.com; Cella, Claudia, E-mail: claudia.cella@unimi.it [Fondazione Filarete (Italy); Cesaria, Maura, E-mail: maura.cesaria@le.infn.it [Università del Salento, Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica “Ennio De Giorgi” (Italy); Milani, Paolo, E-mail: paolo.milani@mi.infn.it; Lenardi, Cristina, E-mail: cristina.lenardi@mi.infn.it [Università degli Studi di Milano, CIMAINA and Dipartimento di Fisica (Italy)

    2016-08-15

    Engineered silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are among the most used nanomaterials in consumer products, therefore concerns are raised about their potential for adverse effects in humans and environment. Although an increasing number of studies in vitro and in vivo are being reported on the toxicity of AgNPs, most of them suffer from incomplete characterization of AgNPs in the tested biological media. As a consequence, the comparison of toxicological data is troublesome and the toxicity evaluation still remains an open critical issue. The development of a reliable protocol to evaluate interactions of AgNPs with surrounding proteins as well as to assess their colloidal stability is therefore required. In this regard, it is of importance not only to use multiple, easy-to-access and simple techniques but also to understand limitations of each characterization methods. In this work, the morphological and structural behaviour of AgNPs has been studied in two relevant biological media, namely 10 % FBS and MP. Three different techniques (Dynamic Light Scattering, Transmission Electron Microscopy, UV–Vis spectroscopy) were tested for their suitability in detecting AgNPs of three different sizes (10, 40 and 100 nm) coated with either citrate or polyvinylpyrrolidone. Results showed that UV–Vis spectroscopy is the most versatile and informative technique to gain information about interaction between AgNPs and surrounding proteins and to determine their colloidal stability in the tested biological media. These findings are expected to provide useful insights in characterizing AgNPs before performing any further in vitro/in vivo experiment.

  9. Assessment of the biological and chemical availability of the freshly spiked and aged DDE in soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Škulcová, L.; Neuwirthová, N.; Hofman, J.; Bielská, L.

    2016-01-01

    The study compared the ability of various chemical methods (XAD, β-hydroxypropylcyclodextrin - HPCD) and solid phase micro-extraction (SPME)) to mimic earthworm uptake from two similar soils containing either spiked or aged p,p´-DDE, thus representing two extreme scenarios with regard to the length of pollutant-soil contact time and the way of contamination. The extent of bioaccumulation was assessed at fixed exposure periods (10 and 21 days) and at equilibrium derived from uptake curves by multiple-point comparison or kinetic modeling. The decision on the best chemical predictor of biological uptake differed. The degree of bioaccumulation at equilibrium was best predicted by XAD while HPCD rather reflected the extent of accumulation derived after 21 days when, however, steady-state was not reached for spiked p,p´-DDE. SPME seemed to underestimate the uptake of aged p,p´-DDE, probably of the fraction taken up via soil particles. Thus, the degree of predictability seems to be associated with the capability of the chemical method to mimic the complex earthworm uptake via skin and intestinal tract as well as with the quality of biological data where the insufficient length of exposure period appears to be the major concern. - Highlights: • The uptake kinetics of spiked and aged p,p´-DDE to earthworms/samplers was measured. • Three chemical methods were used to predict earthworm uptake. • Equilibrium was not reached within the OECD recommended 21 days for spiked p,p´-DDE. • SPME seems to underestimate the uptake of aged p,p´-DDE. • The best predictor of earthworm uptake seems to be the XAD method. - Capsule: The poor prediction of biological uptake by chemical methods may result from the absence of kinetic measurements and application of short exposure periods.

  10. Biological assessments for the low energy demonstration accelerator, 1996 and 1997

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cross, S.

    1998-12-31

    The Department of Energy (DOE) plans to build, install, and operate a Low Energy Demonstration Accelerator (LMA) in Technical Area 53 of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). LEDA will demonstrate the accelerator technology necessary to produce tritium, but is not designed to produce tritium at LANL. USFWS reviewers of the Biological Assessment prepared for LEDA insisted that the main drainage be monitored to measure and document changes to vegetation, soils, wildlife, and habitats due to LEDA effluent discharges. The Biology Team of ESH-20 (LANL`s Ecology Group) has performed these monitoring activities during 1996 and 1997 to document baseline conditions before LEDA released significant effluent discharges. Quarterly monitoring of the outfall which will discharge LEDA blowdown effluent had one exceedance of permitted parameters, a high chlorine discharge that was quickly remedied. Samples from 12 soil pits in the drainage area contained no hydric indicators, such as organic matter in the upper layers, streaking, organic pans, and oxidized rhizospheres. Vegetation transacts in the meadows that LEDA discharges will flow through contained 44 species of herbaceous plants, all upland taxa. Surveys of resident birds, reptiles, and amphibians documented a fauna typical of local dry canyons. No threatened or endangered species inhabit the project area, but increased effluent releases may make the area more attractive to many wildlife species, an endangered raptor, and several other species of concern. Biological best management practices especially designed for LEDA are discussed, including protection of floodplains, erosion control measures, hazards posed by increased usage of the area by deer and elk and revegetation of disturbed areas.

  11. Welcome to the revolution: integrative biology and assessing the impact of endocrine disruptors on environmental and public health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Tyrone B

    2005-04-01

    Concern continues to grow over the negative impact of endocrine disrupting chemicals on environmental and public health. The number of identified endocrine disrupting chemicals is increasing, but biological endpoints, experimental design, and approaches for examining and assessing the impact of these chemicals are still debated. Although some workers consider endocrine disruption an "emerging science," I argue here that it is equally, a "merging science" developing in the tradition of integrative biology. Understanding the impact of endocrine disruptors on humans and wildlife is an examination of "context dependent development" and one that Scott Gilbert predicted would require a "new synthesis" or a "revolution" in the biological sciences. Here, I use atrazine as an example to demonstrate the importance of an integrative approach in understanding endocrine disruptors.Atrazine is a potent endocrine disruptor that chemically castrates and feminizes amphibians and other wildlife. These effects are the result of the induction of aromatase, the enzyme that converts androgens to estrogens, and this mechanism has been confirmed in all vertebrate classes examined (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, including humans). To truly assess the impact of atrazine on amphibians in the wild, diverse fields of study including endocrinology, developmental biology, molecular biology, cellular biology, ecology, and evolutionary biology need to be invoked. To understand fully the long-term impacts on the environment, meteorology, geology, hydrology, chemistry, statistics, mathematics and other disciplines well outside of the biological sciences are required.

  12. Review of biological factors relevant to import risk assessments for epizootic ulcerative syndrome (Aphanomyces invadans).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oidtmann, B

    2012-02-01

    Epizootic ulcerative syndrome (EUS) is a disease affecting both wild and farmed fish in freshwater and estuarine environments. After it was first described in Japan in 1971, the disease has spread widely across Asia and to some regions of Australia, North America and Africa. In Asia and Africa, the spread of the disease has substantially affected livelihoods of fish farmers and fishermen. No reports are yet published showing the presence of the disease in Europe or South America. Given its epizootic nature and its broad susceptible fish species range, it would appear that the disease has the potential for further spread. This study provides a review of the scientific literature on several biological factors of the pathogen, Aphanomyces invadans, associated with the disease EUS and aspects of the disease that are relevant to undertaking import risk assessments (IRA) covering (i) Life cycle and routes of transmission; (ii) Minimum infectious dose; (iii) Tissue localization and pathogen load; (iv) Predisposing factors for infection and factors influencing expression of disease; (v) Carrier state in fish; (vi) Diagnostic methods; (vii) Survival in the environment; (viii) Permissive temperature range; (ix) Stability of the agent in aquatic animal products; (x) Prevalence of infection; and (xi) Affected life stages. Much of the biological information presented is relevant to a broad range of risk questions. Areas where data are lacking were identified, and the information provided is put into context with other aspects that need to be addressed in an IRA. © 2011 Crown copyright.

  13. Biological assessment of contaminated land using earthworm biomarkers in support of chemical analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hankard, Peter K.; Svendsen, Claus; Wright, Julian; Wienberg, Claire; Fishwick, Samantha K.; Spurgeon, David J.; Weeks, Jason M

    2004-09-01

    Biological indicators can be used to assess polluted sites but their success depends on the availability of suitable assays. The aim of this study was to investigate the performance of two earthworm biomarkers, lysosomal membrane stability measured using the neutral red retention assay (NRR-T) and the total immune activity (TIA) assay, that have previously been established as responsive to chemical exposure. Responses of the two assays were measured following in situ exposure to complexly contaminated field soils at three industrial sites as well as urban and rural controls. The industrial sites were contaminated with a range of metal (cadmium, copper, lead, zinc, nickel and cobalt) and organic (including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) contaminants, but at concentrations below the 'New Dutch List' Intervention concentrations. Exposed earthworms accumulated both metals and organic compounds at the contaminated sites, indicating that there was significant exposure. No effect on earthworm survival was found at any of the sites. Biomarker measurements, however, indicated significant effects, with lower NRR-T and TIA found in the contaminated soils when compared to the two controls. The results demonstrate that a comparison of soil pollutant concentrations with guideline values would not have unequivocally identified chemical exposure and toxic effect for soil organisms living in these soils. However, the earthworm biomarkers successfully identified significant exposure and biological effects caused by the mixture of chemicals present.

  14. Computational Assessment of Pharmacokinetics and Biological Effects of Some Anabolic and Androgen Steroids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roman, Marin; Roman, Diana Larisa; Ostafe, Vasile; Ciorsac, Alecu; Isvoran, Adriana

    2018-02-05

    The aim of this study is to use computational approaches to predict the ADME-Tox profiles, pharmacokinetics, molecular targets, biological activity spectra and side/toxic effects of 31 anabolic and androgen steroids in humans. The following computational tools are used: (i) FAFDrugs4, SwissADME and admetSARfor obtaining the ADME-Tox profiles and for predicting pharmacokinetics;(ii) SwissTargetPrediction and PASS online for predicting the molecular targets and biological activities; (iii) PASS online, Toxtree, admetSAR and Endocrine Disruptomefor envisaging the specific toxicities; (iv) SwissDock to assess the interactions of investigated steroids with cytochromes involved in drugs metabolism. Investigated steroids usually reveal a high gastrointestinal absorption and a good oral bioavailability, may inhibit someof the human cytochromes involved in the metabolism of xenobiotics (CYP2C9 being the most affected) and reflect a good capacity for skin penetration. There are predicted numerous side effects of investigated steroids in humans: genotoxic carcinogenicity, hepatotoxicity, cardiovascular, hematotoxic and genitourinary effects, dermal irritations, endocrine disruption and reproductive dysfunction. These results are important to be known as an occupational exposure to anabolic and androgenic steroids at workplaces may occur and because there also is a deliberate human exposure to steroids for their performance enhancement and anti-aging properties.

  15. Biological assessments of multifunctional hydrogel-decorated implantable neural cuff electrode for clinical neurology application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Han-Jun; Heo, Dong Nyoung; Lee, Yi Jae; Lee, Sang Jin; Kang, Ji Yoon; Lee, Soo Hyun; Kwon, I I Keun; Do, Sun Hee

    2017-11-10

    The implantable cuff electrode is an effective neuroprosthetic device in current nerve tissue engineering. However, biocompatibility and stability are still a serious dispute in terms of in vivo function and continuous monitoring. In this regard, assessing the host's biological response to biomaterials is one of the key factors of chronic implantation. In this article, we analyzed the peripheral nerve specific-biological responses to the application of multi-functional hydrogel-coated electrodes. The surface of the cuff electrode was modified using a multifunctional hydrogel composed of PEG hydrogel, cyclosporin A(CsA)-microsphere(MS) and electrodeposited PEDOT:PSS. Through our approach, we have found that the multifunctional hydrogel coatings improve the neural electrode function, such as peak-to-peak amplitude increase. Additionally, the multifunctional hydrogel coated electrodes exhibited improved biocompatibility, such as reduced apoptotic properties and increased axonal myelination. Furthermore, 12 genes (BDNF, Gfra1, IL-6, Sox 10, S100B, P75 NTR , GAP43, MBP, MPZ, NrCAM, NE-FL, CB1) were upregulated at 5 weeks post-implant. Finally, double immunofluorescence revealed the effect of endocannabinoid system on neuroprotective properties and tissue remodeling of peripheral nerves during cuff electrode implantation. These results clearly confirmed that multifunctional hydrogel coatings could improve electrode function and biocompatibility by enhancing neuroprotective properties, which may provide a valuable paradigm for clinical neurology application.

  16. Biological assessment of contaminated land using earthworm biomarkers in support of chemical analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hankard, Peter K.; Svendsen, Claus; Wright, Julian; Wienberg, Claire; Fishwick, Samantha K.; Spurgeon, David J.; Weeks, Jason M.

    2004-01-01

    Biological indicators can be used to assess polluted sites but their success depends on the availability of suitable assays. The aim of this study was to investigate the performance of two earthworm biomarkers, lysosomal membrane stability measured using the neutral red retention assay (NRR-T) and the total immune activity (TIA) assay, that have previously been established as responsive to chemical exposure. Responses of the two assays were measured following in situ exposure to complexly contaminated field soils at three industrial sites as well as urban and rural controls. The industrial sites were contaminated with a range of metal (cadmium, copper, lead, zinc, nickel and cobalt) and organic (including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) contaminants, but at concentrations below the 'New Dutch List' Intervention concentrations. Exposed earthworms accumulated both metals and organic compounds at the contaminated sites, indicating that there was significant exposure. No effect on earthworm survival was found at any of the sites. Biomarker measurements, however, indicated significant effects, with lower NRR-T and TIA found in the contaminated soils when compared to the two controls. The results demonstrate that a comparison of soil pollutant concentrations with guideline values would not have unequivocally identified chemical exposure and toxic effect for soil organisms living in these soils. However, the earthworm biomarkers successfully identified significant exposure and biological effects caused by the mixture of chemicals present

  17. Characterization of Radiation Fields in Biological Shields of Nuclear Power Plants for Assessing Concrete Degradation*

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Remec Igor

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Life extensions of nuclear power plants to 60 and potentially 80 years of operation have renewed interest in long-term material degradation. One material being considered is concrete, with a particular focus on radiation-induced effects. Based on the projected neutron fluence values (E > 0.1 MeV in the concrete biological shields of the US pressurized water reactor fleet and the available data on radiation effects on concrete, some decrease in mechanical properties of concrete cannot be ruled out during extended operation beyond 60 years. An expansion of the irradiated concrete database and a reliable determination of relevant neutron fluence energy cutoff value are necessary to ensure reliable risk assessment for extended operation of nuclear power plants.

  18. Characterization of Radiation Fields in Biological Shields of Nuclear Power Plants for Assessing Concrete Degradationa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Remec, Igor [ORNL; Rosseel, Thomas M [ORNL; Field, Kevin G [ORNL; Le Pape, Yann [ORNL

    2016-01-01

    Life extensions of nuclear power plants to 60 and potentially 80 years of operation have renewed interest in long-term material degradation. One material being considered is concrete, with a particular focus on radiation-induced effects. Based on the projected neutron fluence values (E > 0.1 MeV) in the concrete biological shields of the US pressurized water reactor fleet and the available data on radiation effects on concrete, some decrease in mechanical properties of concrete cannot be ruled out during extended operation beyond 60 years. An expansion of the irradiated concrete database and a reliable determination of relevant neutron fluence energy cutoff value are necessary to ensure reliable risk assessment for extended operation of nuclear power plants.

  19. 76 FR 4859 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for a Biological...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-27

    ... DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2010-0028] Availability of an Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for a Biological Control Agent... (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama). The environmental assessment considers the effects of, and alternatives to, the...

  20. Biological variation of homeostasis model assessment-derived insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayagopal, Vijay; Kilpatrick, Eric S; Jennings, Paul E; Hepburn, David A; Atkin, Stephen L

    2002-11-01

    Individuals with type 2 diabetes are particularly vulnerable to cardiovascular disease. Insulin resistance is a major determinant of this increased risk and is a potential therapeutic target. This study was undertaken to establish the natural biological variation of insulin resistance in individuals with type 2 diabetes. The biological variation of insulin resistance was assessed by measuring insulin resistance at 4-day intervals on 10 consecutive occasions in 12 postmenopausal women with diet-controlled type 2 diabetes and in 11 weight- and age-matched postmenopausal women without type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance was derived using the homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) method. The distribution of HOMA-IR was log Gaussian in the type 2 diabetic study group and Gaussian in the control group. The HOMA-IR in the type 2 diabetic group was significantly greater than that of the control group (mean +/- SD: 4.33 +/- 2.3 vs. 2.11 +/- 0.79 units, P = 0.001). After accounting for analytical variation, the mean intraindividual variation was also substantially greater in the type 2 diabetic group than in the control group (mean 1.05 vs. 0.15, P = 0.001). Consequently, at any level of HOMA-IR, a subsequent sample must increase by >90% or decrease by >47% to be considered significantly different from the first. HOMA-IR is significantly greater and more variable for individuals with type 2 diabetes. Therefore, this inherent variability needs to be accounted for in studies evaluating therapeutic reduction of HOMA-IR in this group.

  1. Biological assessment for the remedial action at the chemical plant area of the Weldon Spring site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hlohowskyj, I.; Dunn, C.P.

    1992-11-01

    The Weldon Spring site in St.Charles County, Missouri, became contaminated during the 1940s through the 1960s as a result of explosives production by the US Army and uranium and thorium processing by the predecessor agency of the US Department of Energy (DOE). The site is listed on the National Priorities List of the US Environmental Protection Agency, and DOE is responsible for its cleanup. Contaminants are present in soil, surface water, and aquatic sediments. Alternatives identified for site remediation are no action (included as baseline for comparison), treatment and disposal of the wastes at the Weldon Spring site, and on-site treatment followed by off-site disposal at either a commercial facility near Clive, Utah, or at DOE's Hanford site near Richland, Washington. In accordance with the requirements of the Endangered Species Act, this biological assessment has been prepared to evaluate the potential effects of proposed remedial action alternatives on federal listed (endangered or threatened) and candidate species at the respective sites. The assessment includes consideration of the environmental setting at each site; the federal listed and candidate species that could occur at each site; the construction, excavation, and treatment activities under each alternative; and the amount of land area affected at each site.

  2. Biological assessment for the remedial action at the chemical plant area of the Weldon Spring site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hlohowskyj, I.; Dunn, C.P.

    1992-11-01

    The Weldon Spring site in St.Charles County, Missouri, became contaminated during the 1940s through the 1960s as a result of explosives production by the US Army and uranium and thorium processing by the predecessor agency of the US Department of Energy (DOE). The site is listed on the National Priorities List of the US Environmental Protection Agency, and DOE is responsible for its cleanup. Contaminants are present in soil, surface water, and aquatic sediments. Alternatives identified for site remediation are no action (included as baseline for comparison), treatment and disposal of the wastes at the Weldon Spring site, and on-site treatment followed by off-site disposal at either a commercial facility near Clive, Utah, or at DOE`s Hanford site near Richland, Washington. In accordance with the requirements of the Endangered Species Act, this biological assessment has been prepared to evaluate the potential effects of proposed remedial action alternatives on federal listed (endangered or threatened) and candidate species at the respective sites. The assessment includes consideration of the environmental setting at each site; the federal listed and candidate species that could occur at each site; the construction, excavation, and treatment activities under each alternative; and the amount of land area affected at each site.

  3. Environmental risk assessment for Neodryinus typhlocybae, biological control agent against Metcalfa pruinosa, for Austria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gudrun Strauss

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The potential environmental risks of Neodryinus typhlocybae, a parasitic wasp from North America, were evaluated with regard to its safe use as an exotic biocontrol agent for the planthopper Metcalfa pruinosa in Austria. Following an earlier host range study of N. typhlocybae conducted in the laboratory, the present study assessed the potential for establishment and spread as well as negative indirect effects on non-target organisms. The potential release sites in Austria were analysed for matching of the climatic requirements for establishment of N. typhlocybae. The two proposed release locations, Vienna and Graz, have a predominantly similar climate to the parasitoid’s region of origin, though the comparably cooler mean summer temperatures might result in a low emergence rate of the partial second generation. The natural spread potential of N. typhlocybae was reviewed and is considered to be sufficiently good for released individuals to reach nearby sites infested with M. pruinosa. However, a perceptible spreading of N. typhlocybae females only occurs a few years after release and seems to be strongly dependent on the host density. Gelis areator, a hyperparasitoid of N. typhlocybae known to occur in Austria, might have negative effects on the population of the beneficial organism. Advantages and disadvantages of chemical and biological control methods against M. pruinosa were evaluated. It is concluded that N. typhlocybae is very well suited as a biological control agent for M. pruinosa in Austria, as no adverse effects on non-target species are expected but its release offers advantages with regard to sustainable and environmentally friendly pest management.

  4. Biological assessment of urban and agricultural streams in the California Central Valley.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacey, Juanita; Spurlock, Frank

    2007-07-01

    This project was designed to establish baseline aquatic biological community structure and physical habitat conditions in select wadeable streams within the California Central Valley. A secondary objective was to evaluate possible water quality differences between site types and seasons. Two agricultural and two urban streams were monitored in spring and fall for two consecutive years beginning in the fall of 2002. Bioassessment sampling was conducted according to modified US EPA methods. The study included physical habitat assessment, water and sediment chemical analysis and characterization of the benthic macroinvertebrate community at each site. Water samples were analyzed for selected organophosphate insecticides, pyrethroid insecticides and herbicides, while sediment samples were analyzed for pyrethroids only. All sites had substantial physical habitat and water quality impairments, and the absence of pollution intolerant macroinvertebrates and dominance of pollution tolerant macroinvertebrates were indications of biological impairment. Due to the limited amount of water quality and pesticide data collected, it was not possible to definitively demonstrate any cause and effect relationships between BMI community structure and water quality or pesticide concentrations. Though most physical habitat parameters were similar and EPA physical habitat scores revealed on no significant differences between urban and agricultural sites (P=0.290), a significant difference was seen in substrate embeddedness (P=0.020). Dominant taxon found at all sites were chironomids, amphipods, and oligochaetes. Benthic macroinvertebrate metrics were significantly different between both types of sites (P=0.001) and seasons (P=0.014). Chironomidae taxon and those of the functional feeding group scrapers were greater at urban sites, while those of the functional feeding group filterers were greater at agricultural sites. In addition, the metric groups Chironomidae, filterers, and predators

  5. Horns Rev offshore wind farm. Environmental impact assessment of sea bottom and marine biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leonhard, S.B.

    2000-03-15

    An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of a planned 150 MW offshore wind farm at Horns Rev has been carried out for the marine biology and sea bottom in the area, and includes vegetation and benthic fauna. The study forms part of a total EIA of the planned offshore wind farm. This EIA study has been drawn up in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Environment and Energy in the publication, 'Guidelines for preparation of EIAstudies for offshore wind farms. Horns Rev is situated off Blaevands Huk, which is Denmark's most westerly point. It is a shallow reef with water depths between 2 and 9 metres and is primarily composed of sand, gravel and pebbles. The area designated for the wind farm lies directly south of Horns Rev and is dominated by sand with a median particle size of 0.3 mm. Along the edges, towards areas of greater depth, the particle size increases. There are areas of fine sand in the deepest area, and in isolated pockets within the proposed wind farm site. The sediment is characterised by a very low (<1%) organic matter content. On the basis of the expected impact from the establishment of the wind farm, it is not deemed necessary to carry out special programmes during the construction phase for monitoring of the environmental-biological conditions. A monitoring and control programme is recommended during the production phase in order to follow the copper concentration in bivalves, or alternatively to initiate recovery or elimination of the copper-laden waste. A control programme is recommended during the production phase in order to follow the establishment and succession of the fouling community on the wind turbine foundations and scour-protecting revetments. (BA)

  6. The pros and cons of ecological risk assessment based on data from different levels of biological organization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohr, Jason R.; Salice, Christopher J.; Nisbet, Roger M.

    2016-01-01

    Ecological risk assessment (ERA) is the process used to evaluate the safety of manufactured chemicals to the environment. Here we review the pros and cons of ERA across levels of biological organization, including suborganismal (e.g. biomarkers), individual, population, community, ecosystem, and landscapes levels. Our review revealed that level of biological organization is often related negatively with ease at assessing cause-effect relationships, ease of high-throughput screening of large numbers of chemicals (it is especially easier for suborganismal endpoints), and uncertainty of the ERA because low levels of biological organization tend to have a large distance between their measurement (what is quantified) and assessment endpoints (what is to be protected). In contrast, level of biological organization is often related positively with sensitivity to important negative and positive feedbacks and context dependencies within biological systems, and ease at capturing recovery from adverse contaminant effects. Some endpoints did not show obvious trends across levels of biological organization, such as the use of vertebrate animals in chemical testing and ease at screening large numbers of species, and other factors lacked sufficient data across levels of biological organization, such as repeatability, variability, cost per study, and cost per species of effects assessment, the latter of which might be a more defensible way to compare costs of ERAs than cost per study. To compensate for weaknesses of ERA at any particular level of biological organization, we also review mathematical modeling approaches commonly used to extrapolate effects across levels of organization. Finally, we provide recommendations for next generation ERA, submitting that if there is an ideal level of biological organization to conduct ERA, it will only emerge if ERA is approached simultaneously from the bottom of biological organization up as well as from the top down, all while employing

  7. The pros and cons of ecological risk assessment based on data from different levels of biological organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohr, Jason R; Salice, Christopher J; Nisbet, Roger M

    2016-10-01

    Ecological risk assessment (ERA) is the process used to evaluate the safety of manufactured chemicals to the environment. Here we review the pros and cons of ERA across levels of biological organization, including suborganismal (e.g., biomarkers), individual, population, community, ecosystem and landscapes levels. Our review revealed that level of biological organization is often related negatively with ease at assessing cause-effect relationships, ease of high-throughput screening of large numbers of chemicals (it is especially easier for suborganismal endpoints), and uncertainty of the ERA because low levels of biological organization tend to have a large distance between their measurement (what is quantified) and assessment endpoints (what is to be protected). In contrast, level of biological organization is often related positively with sensitivity to important negative and positive feedbacks and context dependencies within biological systems, and ease at capturing recovery from adverse contaminant effects. Some endpoints did not show obvious trends across levels of biological organization, such as the use of vertebrate animals in chemical testing and ease at screening large numbers of species, and other factors lacked sufficient data across levels of biological organization, such as repeatability, variability, cost per study and cost per species of effects assessment, the latter of which might be a more defensible way to compare costs of ERAs than cost per study. To compensate for weaknesses of ERA at any particular level of biological organization, we also review mathematical modeling approaches commonly used to extrapolate effects across levels of organization. Finally, we provide recommendations for next generation ERA, submitting that if there is an ideal level of biological organization to conduct ERA, it will only emerge if ERA is approached simultaneously from the bottom of biological organization up as well as from the top down, all while employing

  8. Assessment of biological variation and analytical imprecision of CA 125, CEA, and TPA in relation to monitoring of ovarian cancer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tuxen, M.K.; Sölétormos, G.; Petersen, P.H.

    1999-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Changes in serial tumor marker results during monitoring of patients with ovarian cancer are due not only to deterioration or amelioration of the patient's condition, but also to preanalytical sources of variation (CPP), total random analytical error, and within-subject normal......, be included in the criteria for serum tumor marker assessment during monitoring of patients with ovarian cancer....... biological variation. The aim of the study was to assess (i) the analytical imprecision (CVA) and the average inherent intra- and interindividual biological variation (CVTI and CVG, respectively) for CA 125, CEA, and TPA in a group of healthy women; (ii) the significance of changes in serial results of each...

  9. Risk assessment, eradication, and biological control: global efforts to limit Australian acacia invasions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, John R.U.; Gairifo, Carla; Gibson, Michelle R.; Arianoutsou, Margarita; Bakar, Baki B.; Baret, Stephane; Celesti-Grapow, Laura; DiTomaso, Joseph M.; Dufour-Dror, Jean-Marc; Kueffer, Christoph; Kull, Christian A.; Hoffman, John H.; Impson, Fiona A.C.; Loope, Lloyd L.; Marchante, Elizabete; Harchante, Helia; Moore, Joslin L.; Murphy, Daniel J.; Tassin, Jacques; Witt, Arne; Zenni, Rafael D.; Richardson, David M.

    2011-01-01

    Aim Many Australian Acacia species have been planted around the world, some are highly valued, some are invasive, and some are both highly valued and invasive. We review global efforts to minimize the risk and limit the impact of invasions in this widely used plant group. Location Global. Methods Using information from literature sources, knowledge and experience of the authors, and the responses from a questionnaire sent to experts around the world, we reviewed: (1) a generalized life cycle of Australian acacias and how to control each life stage, (2) different management approaches and (3) what is required to help limit or prevent invasions. Results Relatively few Australian acacias have been introduced in large numbers, but all species with a long and extensive history of planting have become invasive somewhere. Australian acacias, as a group, have a high risk of becoming invasive and causing significant impacts as determined by existing assessment schemes. Moreover, in most situations, long-lived seed banks mean it is very difficult to control established infestations. Control has focused almost exclusively on widespread invaders, and eradication has rarely been attempted. Classical biological control is being used in South Africa with increasing success. Main conclusions A greater emphasis on pro-active rather than reactive management is required given the difficulties managing established invasions of Australian acacias. Adverse effects of proposed new introductions can be minimized by conducting detailed risk assessments in advance, planning for on-going monitoring and management, and ensuring resources are in place for long-term mitigation. Benign alternatives (e.g. sterile hybrids) could be developed to replace existing utilized taxa. Eradication should be set as a management goal more often to reduce the invasion debt. Introducing classical biological control agents that have a successful track-record in South Africa to other regions and identifying new

  10. Host cell proteins in biologics development: Identification, quantitation and risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xing; Hunter, Alan K; Mozier, Ned M

    2009-06-15

    Host cell proteins (HCPs) are those produced or encoded by the organisms and unrelated to the intended recombinant product. Some are necessary for growth, survival, and normal cellular processing whereas others may be non-essential, simply carried along as baggage. Like the recombinant product, HCPs may also be modified by the host with a number of post-translational modifications. Regardless of the utility, or lack thereof, HCPs are undesirable in the final drug substance. Though commonly present in small quantities (parts per million expressed as nanograms per milligrams of the intended recombinant protein) much effort and cost is expended by industry to remove them. The purpose of this review is to summarize what is of relevance in regards to the biology, the impact of genomics and proteomics on HCP evaluation, the regulatory expectations, analytical approaches, and various methodologies to remove HCPs with bioprocessing. Historical data, bioinformatics approaches and industrial case study examples are provided. Finally, a proposal for a risk assessment tool is provided which brings these facets together and proposes a means for manufacturers to classify and organize a control strategy leading to meaningful product specifications. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Assessment of alternatives to environmental toxic formalin for DNA conservation in biological specimens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarot, Emeline; Carillo-Baraglioli, Marie-Françoise; Duranthon, Francis; Péquignot, Amandine; Pyronnet, Stéphane

    2017-07-01

    One essential step of museum and clinical specimen preservation is immersion in a fixative fluid to prevent degradation. Formalin is the most largely used fixative, but its benefit is balanced with its toxic and carcinogenic status. Moreover, because formalin-fixation impairs nucleic acids recovery and quality, current museum wet collections and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded clinical samples do not represent optimal tanks of molecular information. Our study has been developed to compare formalin to two alternative fixatives (RCL2® and ethanol) in a context of molecular exploitation. Based on a unique protocol, we created mammalian fixed collections, simulated the impact of time on preservation using an artificial ageing treatment and followed the evolution of specimens' DNA quality. DNA extraction yield, purity, visual integrity and qualitative and quantitative ability to amplify the Cox1 gene were assessed. Our results show that both RCL2 and ethanol exhibit better performances than formalin. They do not impair DNA extraction yield, and more importantly, DNA alteration is delayed over the preservation step. The use of RCL2 or ethanol as fixative in biological collections may insure a better exploitation of the genetic resources they propose.

  12. Radon as a medicine. Therapeutic effectiveness, biological mechanism and comparative risk assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deetjen, Peter; Falkenbach, Albrecht; Harder, Dietrich; Joeckel, Hans; Kaul, Alexander; Philipsborn, Henning von

    2014-07-01

    Proofs of the therapeutic efficiency of balneological radon applications administered to patients suffering from rheumatic diseases, investigations into the biological action mechanism associated with the alpha particles emitted by radon and its radioactive daughter products, and the comparative risk assessment of radon treatment and medicinal pain therapy have been the research projects whose results are summarized in this book. Controlled clinical studies, if possible performed as prospective, randomized and placebo-controlled double blind studies, have given evidence that the therapeutic effects of balneological radon applications - long-lasting pain reduction and reduced consumption of medicines compared with controls - are significantly persisting over many post-treatment months. The molecular and cellular mechanism of action underlying these long-lasting therapeutic effects has been identified as the down-regulation of cellular immune responses, initiated by cellular apoptosis sequential to low alpha particle doses and by the subsequent release of anti-inflammatory cytokines. The unwanted side-effects of non-steroidal anti-rheumatic drug treatments have to be compared with the absence of side effects from the balneological radon applications which merely involve radiation doses well below the mean value and the fluctuation width of the annual doses attributable to everybody's natural radiation exposure.

  13. Biological and microbiological assessment of the upper Chattahoochee River basin, Georgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lium, Bruce W.; Stamer, J.K.; Ehlke, T.A.; Faye, R.E.; Cherry, R.N.

    1979-01-01

    Biological and microbiological studies were conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey as a part of the Intensive River-Quality Assessment studies of the upper Chattahoochee River basin, Georgia. Phytoplankton concentrations in cells per milliliter (cells/mL) were generally higher downstream from Atlanta than upstream. The highest concentrations, mostly blue-green algae, occurred in West Point Lake with an average of 90,000 cells/mL for the sampling period. The lowest concentrations, 1,000 cells/mL, occurred upstream of Lake Sidney Lanier. Dissolved orthophosphate and nitrite plus nitrate concentrations were highest in the river reaches and upper reaches of the two lakes and were lowest at the dam pools of both lakes. The high nitrite plus nitrate concentrations downstream from Atlanta were primarily a result of nitrification by Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter bacteria. Algal growth potential was highest downstream from Atlanta, 25 milligrams per liter (mg/L) at Whitesburg, and was the lowest in the headwaters and at the dam pools of Lake Sidney Lanier and West Point Lake. The rate of nitrification in the Atlanta to Franklin reach of the river was comparatively low, 0.02 mg/L per hour. Nitrification was an important cause of dissolved-oxygen consumption in a 45-mi reach of the river downstream from the Atlanta wastewater treatment facilities. Dissolved-oxygen consumption as a result of nitrification may be greatest during low flow. (Woodard-USGS)

  14. Assessment of Clarias gariepinus as a biological control agent against mosquito larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chala, Buze; Erko, Berhanu; Animut, Abebe; Degarege, Abraham; Petros, Beyene

    2016-05-31

    The emergence and spread of insecticide resistant mosquitoes renewed interest in investigating the use of larvivorous fish as a biological control agent. The potential of Clarias gariepinus fish in controlling Anopheles arabiensis and culicine larvae was assessed under laboratory and semi-field conditions. Small size (15-20 cm) C. gariepinus fish consumed greater number of mosquito larvae than the large size fish (25-40 cm) in the multivariate regression model (β = 13.36, 95 % CI = 4.57, 22.15). The Anopheles larvae consumed was greater in number than the culicines larvae consumed by the fish (β = 12.10, 95 % CI = 3.31, 20.89). The number of larvae consumed was greater during the night hours than during the light hours (β = 30.06, 95 % CI = 21.27, 38.85). Amount of supplementary fish food did not cause significant differences in the number of mosquito larvae consumed by the fish among different groups. C. gariepinus was observed to feed on mosquito larvae under laboratory and semi-field conditions. C. gariepinus fed on the larvae of An. arabiensis and culicines readily. Hence, it can be used as an alternative mosquito control agent in Ethiopia where the breeding habitats are small and localized.

  15. A review of the known biological characteristics of the Great Meteor East site together with a sampling programme for a biological site assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roe, H.S.J.

    1985-01-01

    Existing biological information on GME is reviewed. In common with most other oceanic areas there is very little data available from depths below 2000m. There is virtually no direct benthic information and none at all on the midwater/benthic boundary layer. Existing data from a wider geographic area are relevant to GME but the applicability of such data varies according to the hydrography. A sampling programme is outlined which will allow a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative assessment of the midwater and benthic ecosystems. Particular attention will be paid to the interactions between benthic and midwater communities just above the sea floor. (author)

  16. [The assessment of biological maturation for talent selection - which method can be used?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, L; Müller, E; Hildebrandt, C; Kapelari, K; Raschner, C

    2015-03-01

    The biological maturity status plays an important role in sports, since it influences the performance level and the talent selection in various types of sport. More mature athletes are favorably selected for regional and national squads. Therefore, the biological maturity status should be considered during the talent selection process. In this context, the relative age effect (RAE), which exists when the relative age quarter distribution of selected sports groups shows a biased distribution with an over-representation of athletes born in the first months after the specific cut-off-date for the competition categories, represents another problem in the talent development. From an ethical point of view, discrimination of young talented kids does exist: the relatively younger athletes have little to no chance of reaching the elite level, despite their talents and efforts. The causal mechanisms behind the RAE are still unclear and have to be assessed. In this context, the biological maturation seems to be a possible influential factor for the existence of a RAE in sport, which has to be examined. Several methods for estimating the biological maturity status exist; however, they are often expensive and not practicable. Consequently, the aim of the present study was to assess the concordance of a simple, yet accurate method of estimating biological maturation (prediction equation of age at peak height velocity, APHV) of Mirwald and co-workers, and the gold standard method of estimating skeletal age (SA, the x-ray of the left wrist). In total, 75 Austrian students (40♂, 35♀) aged 10 - 13 years, were examined. Thirty of the participants (17♂, 13♀) were students of a well-known Austrian ski boarding school, and 45 (23♂, 22♀) of a non-sportive secondary modern school of the same region. The participants included in the study had not experienced a rupture of the carpal bones of the left wrist. Parents and participants were informed of the study aims

  17. Including a Service Learning Educational Research Project in a Biology Course-I: Assessing Community Awareness of Childhood Lead Poisoning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abu-Shakra, Amal; Saliim, Eric

    2012-01-01

    A university course project was developed and implemented in a biology course, focusing on environmental problems, to assess community awareness of childhood lead poisoning. A set of 385 questionnaires was generated and distributed in an urban community in North Carolina, USA. The completed questionnaires were sorted first into yes and no sets…

  18. An Assessment of Stressor Extent and Biological Condition in the North American Mid-continent Great Rivers (USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    We assessed the North American mid-continent great rivers (Upper Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio). We estimated the extent of each river in most- (MDC) or least-disturbed condition (LDC) based on multiple biological response indicators: fi sh and macroinvertebrate, trophic stat...

  19. How Important Is the Assessment of Practical Work? An Opinion Piece on the New Biology A-Level from BERG

    Science.gov (United States)

    Journal of Biological Education, 2014

    2014-01-01

    As education in England emerges from a major curriculum review (DfE 2013), the next few years will see significant changes in what is taught in schools and how this is assessed. As a core subject, under the current proposals, all students, from the beginning of primary school until age 16, will study science in some detail. Biology is an exciting,…

  20. Ways of incorporating photographic images in learning and assessing high school biology: A study of visual perception and visual cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nixon, Brenda Chaumont

    This study evaluated the cognitive benefits and costs of incorporating biology-textbook and student-generated photographic images into the learning and assessment processes within a 10th grade biology classroom. The study implemented Wandersee's (2000) 20-Q Model of Image-Based Biology Test-Item Design (20-Q Model) to explore the use of photographic images to assess students' understanding of complex biological processes. A thorough review of the students' textbook using ScaleMaster R with PC Interface was also conducted. The photographs, diagrams, and other representations found in the textbook were measured to determine the percentage of each graphic depicted in the book and comparisons were made to the text. The theoretical framework that guided the research included Human Constructivist tenets espoused by Mintzes, Wandersee and Novak (2000). Physiological and cognitive factors of images and image-based learning as described by Robin (1992), Solso (1997) and Wandersee (2000) were examined. Qualitative case study design presented by Yin (1994), Denzin and Lincoln (1994) was applied and data were collected through interviews, observations, student activities, student and school artifacts and Scale Master IIRTM measurements. The results of the study indicate that although 24% of the high school biology textbook is devoted to photographic images which contribute significantly to textbook cost, the teacher and students paid little attention to photographic images other than as aesthetic elements for creating biological ambiance, wasting valuable opportunities for learning. The analysis of the photographs corroborated findings published by the Association American Association for the Advancement of Science that indicated "While most of the books are lavishly illustrated, these representations are rarely helpful, because they are too abstract, needlessly complicated, or inadequately explained" (Roseman, 2000, p. 2). The findings also indicate that applying the 20-Q

  1. Instream Biological Assessment of NPDES Point Source Discharges at the Savannah River Site, 2000

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Specht, W.L.

    2001-01-01

    The Savannah River Site (SRS) currently has 31 NPDES outfalls that have been permitted by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) to discharge to SRS streams and the Savannah River. In order to determine the cumulative impacts of these discharges to the receiving streams, a study plan was developed to perform in-stream assessments of the fish assemblages, macroinvertebrate assemblages, and habitats of the receiving streams. These studies were designed to detect biological impacts due to point source discharges. Sampling was initially conducted between November 1997 and July 1998 and was repeated in the summer and fall of 2000. A total of 18 locations were sampled (Table 1, Figure 1). Sampling locations for fish and macroinvertebrates were generally the same. However, different locations were sampled for fish (Road A-2) and macroinvertebrates (Road C) in the lower portion of Upper Three Runs, to avoid interference with ongoing fisheries studies at Road C. Also, fish were sampled in Fourmile Branch at Road 4 rather than at Road F because the stream at Road F was too narrow and shallow to support many fish. Sampling locations and parameters are detailed in Sections 2 and 3 of this report. In general, sampling locations were selected that would permit comparisons upstream and downstream of NPDES outfalls. In instances where this approach was not feasible because effluents discharge into the headwaters of a stream, appropriate unimpacted reference were used for comparison purposes. This report summarizes the results of the sampling that was conducted in 2000 and also compares these data to the data that were collected in 1997 and 1998

  2. Preliminary assessment of the interaction of introduced biological agents with biofilms in water distribution systems.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sinclair, Michael B.; Caldwell, Sara; Jones, Howland D. T.; Altman, Susan Jeanne; Souza, Caroline Ann; McGrath, Lucas K.

    2005-12-01

    Basic research is needed to better understand the potential risk of dangerous biological agents that are unintentionally or intentionally introduced into a water distribution system. We report on our capabilities to conduct such studies and our preliminary investigations. In 2004, the Biofilms Laboratory was initiated for the purpose of conducting applied research related to biofilms with a focus on application, application testing and system-scale research. Capabilities within the laboratory are the ability to grow biofilms formed from known bacteria or biofilms from drinking water. Biofilms can be grown quickly in drip-flow reactors or under conditions more analogous to drinking-water distribution systems in annular reactors. Biofilms can be assessed through standard microbiological techniques (i .e, aerobic plate counts) or with various visualization techniques including epifluorescent and confocal laser scanning microscopy and confocal fluorescence hyperspectral imaging with multivariate analysis. We have demonstrated the ability to grow reproducible Pseudomonas fluorescens biofilms in the annular reactor with plate counts on the order of 10{sup 5} and 10{sup 6} CFU/cm{sup 2}. Stationary phase growth is typically reached 5 to 10 days after inoculation. We have also conducted a series of pathogen-introduction experiments, where we have observed that both polystyrene microspheres and Bacillus cereus (as a surrogate for B. anthracis) stay incorporated in the biofilms for the duration of our experiments, which lasted as long as 36 days. These results indicated that biofilms may act as a safe harbor for bio-pathogens in drinking water systems, making it difficult to decontaminate the systems.

  3. Chelating impact assessment of biological ad chemical chelates on metal extraction from contaminated soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Manwar, S.; Iram, S.

    2014-01-01

    Soil contamination is the result of uncontrolled waste dumping and poor practices by humans. Of all the pollutants heavy metals are of particular concern due to their atmospheric deposition, leaching capacity and non-biodegradability. Heavy metal containing effluent is discharged into the agricultural fields and water bodies. This results in the accumulation of heavy metals in soil and the crops grown on that soil. Studies have revealed detrimental impacts on soil fertility and the poor health of animals and humans. Phytoextraction is widely researched for remediation of heavy metal contaminated soil. To enhance the effect of phytoextraction heavy metals have to be available to the plants in soluble form. In this study the potential of different chelating agents was assessed in solubilizing the heavy metals making easy for plants to uptake them. For this purpose efficient chemical and biological chelating agent had to be identified. Along with that an optimum dose and application time for chemical chelating agent was determined. Ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA), Diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA), Nitriloacetic acid (NTA) were applied to the soil, containing Pb, Cr, Cu and Cd, at different concentrations and application time. Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus were incubated in soil for different time periods. In correspondence with findings of the study, Pb and Cr were best solubilized by 5mM EDTA. For Cd and Cu 5mM DTPA carried out efficient chelation. NTA showed relatively inadequate solubilisation, although for Cr it performed equal to EDTA. A. niger and A. flavus instead of solubilizing adsorbed the metals in their biomass. Adsorption was mainly carried out by A. niger. (author)

  4. Assessment of students’ health condition by indicators of adaptation potential, biological age and bio-energetic reserves of organism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O.V. Martyniuk

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: to assess students’ health condition by indicators of adaptation potential, biological age and express-assessment. Material: in the research 47 first and second year girl students participated, who belonged to main health group. Results: we distributed the girl students into three groups: 14.89% of them were included in group with “safe” health condition; 34.04% - in group of “third state”; 51.06% were related to group with “ dangerous” health condition. We established that dangerous level was characterized by energy potential of below middle and low level. It is accompanied by accelerated processes of organism’s age destructions and tension of regulation mechanisms. Conclusions: the received results permit to further develop and generalize the data of students’ health’s assessment by indicators of adaptation potentials, biological age and physical health’s condition.

  5. Biological Production of Methane from Lunar Mission Solid Waste: An Initial Feasibility Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strayer, Richard; Garland, Jay; Janine, Captain

    A preliminary assessment was made of the potential for biological production of methane from solid waste generated during an early planetary base mission to the moon. This analysis includes: 1) estimation of the amount of biodegradable solid waste generated, 2) background on the potential biodegradability of plastics given their significance in solid wastes, and 3) calculation of potential methane production from the estimate of biodegradable waste. The completed analysis will also include the feasibility of biological methane production costs associated with the biological processing of the solid waste. NASA workshops and Advanced Life Support documentation have estimated the projected amount of solid wastes generated for specific space missions. From one workshop, waste estimates were made for a 180 day transit mission to Mars. The amount of plastic packaging material was not specified, but our visual examination of trash returned from stocktickerSTS missions indicated a large percentage would be plastic film. This plastic, which is not biodegradable, would amount to 1.526 kgdw crew-1 d-1 or 6.10 kgdw d-1 for a crew of 4. Over a mission of 10 days this would amount to 61 kgdw of plastics and for an 180 day lunar surface habitation it would be nearly 1100 kgdw . Approx. 24 % of this waste estimate would be biodegradable (human fecal waste, food waste, and paper), but if plastic packaging was replaced with biodegradable plastic, then 91% would be biodegradable. Plastics are man-made long chain polymeric molecules, and can be divided into two main groups; thermoplastics and thermoset plastics. Thermoplastics comprise over 90% of total plastic use in the placecountry-regionUnited States and are derived from polymerization of olefins via breakage of the double bond and subsequent formation of additional carbon to carbon bonds. The resulting sole-carbon chain polymers are highly resistant to biodegradation and hydrolytic cleavage. Common thermoplastics include low

  6. Assessing the Soil Physiological Potential Using Pedo-Biological Diagnosis Under Minimum-Tillage System and Mineral Fertilization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lazar Bireescu

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The main objective of sustainable agriculture is the protection of environment and natural vegetal and soil resources. Accordingly, the objective of this research was to assess the impact of technological systems by minimum tillage on soil biological activity, using the Pedo-Biological Diagnosis of Soil Resources. Our research was conducted on haplic chernozem from Experimental Station of UASVM of Iasi, Romania, during the seasonal dynamic, to the soybean crop, on unfertilized and fertilized agrofond, using moderate mineral doses (N80P80 as average of 2009–2010 period, under minimum tillage (2x disk, paraplow, chisel compared to conventional (plugging at 20 cm and 30 cm. In the case of soil works with chisel and paraplow without return of furrow, the Pedo-Biological Diagnosis highlights an increase of soil physiological potential, in the both variants (unfertilized and fertilized, unlike the method of alternating the depth of plugging that proved to be ineffective.

  7. Selected aquatic biological investigations in the Great Salt Lake basins, 1875-1998, National Water-Quality Assessment Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giddings, Elise M.P.; Stephens, Doyle W.

    1999-01-01

    This report summarizes previous investigations of aquatic biological communities, habitat, and contaminants in streams and selected large lakes within the Great Salt Lake Basins study unit as part of the U.S. Geological Survey?s National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA). The Great Salt Lake Basins study unit is one of 59 such units designed to characterize water quality through the examination of chemical, physical, and biological factors in surface and ground waters across the country. The data will be used to aid in the planning, collection, and analysis of biological information for the NAWQA study unit and to aid other researchers concerned with water quality of the study unit. A total of 234 investigations conducted during 1875-1998 are summarized in this report. The studies are grouped into three major subjects: (1) aquatic communities and habitat, (2) contamination of streambed sediments and biological tissues, and (3) lakes. The location and a general description of each study is listed. The majority of the studies focus on fish and macroinvertebrate communities. Studies of algal communities, aquatic habitat, riparian wetlands, and contamination of streambed sediment or biological tissues are less common. Areas close to the major population centers of Salt Lake City, Provo, and Logan, Utah, are generally well studied, but more rural areas and much of the Bear River Basin are lacking in detailed information, except for fish populations..

  8. Human exposure to radiation following the release of radioactivity from a reactor accident: a quantitative assessment of the biological consequences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, H.; Stather, J.W.

    1976-11-01

    The objective of this review is to provide a biological basis upon which to assess the consequences of the exposure of a population to radioactivity released after a reactor accident. Depending upon the radiation dose, both early and late somatic damage could occur in the exposed population and hereditary effects may occur in their descendants. The development of dose-effect relationships has been based upon the limited amount of information available on humans, supplemented by data obtained from experiments on animals. (author)

  9. Including a service learning educational research project in a biology course-I: Assessing community awareness of childhood lead poisoning

    OpenAIRE

    Abu-Shakra, Amal; Saliim, Eric

    2012-01-01

    A university course project was developed and implemented in a biology course, focusing on environmental problems, to assess community awareness of childhood lead poisoning. A set of 385 questionnaires was generated and distributed in an urban community in North Carolina, USA. The completed questionnaires were sorted fırst into yes and no sets based on the responses obtained for the fırst question, which gauged the participants' awareness of lead as an indoor pollutant at 71% (n=273)...

  10. The Biological Rhythms Interview of Assessment in Neuropsychiatry in patients with bipolar disorder: correlation with affective temperaments and schizotypy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dopierala, Ewa; Chrobak, Adrian A; Kapczinski, Flavio; Michalak, Michal; Tereszko, Anna; Ferensztajn-Rochowiak, Ewa; Dudek, Dominika; Dembinska-Krajewska, Daria; Siwek, Marcin; Jaracz, Jan; Rybakowski, Janusz K

    2016-10-20

    To assess the relationship of biological rhythms, evaluated by the Biological Rhythms Interview of Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (BRIAN), with affective temperaments and schizotypy. The BRIAN assessment, along with the Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris, and San Diego-Autoquestionnaire (TEMPS-A) and the Oxford-Liverpool Inventory for Feelings and Experiences (O-LIFE), was administered to 54 patients with remitted bipolar disorder (BD) and 54 healthy control (HC) subjects. The TEMPS-A cyclothymic temperament correlated positively and the hyperthymic temperament correlated negatively with BRIAN scores in both the BD and HC groups, although the correlation was stronger in BD subjects. Depressive temperament was associated with BRIAN scores in BD but not in HC; conversely, the irritable temperament was associated with BRIAN scores in HC, but not in BD. Several positive correlations between BRIAN scores and the schizotypal dimensions of the O-LIFE were observed in both BD and HC subjects, especially with cognitive disorganization and less so with unusual experiences and impulsive nonconformity. A correlation with introversion/anhedonia was found only in BD subjects. Cyclothymic and depressive temperaments predispose to disturbances of biological rhythms in BD, while a hyperthymic temperament can be protective. Similar predispositions were also found for all schizotypal dimensions, mostly for cognitive disorganization.

  11. SYMBIOSIS: development, implementation, and assessment of a model curriculum across biology and mathematics at the introductory level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Depelteau, Audrey M; Joplin, Karl H; Govett, Aimee; Miller, Hugh A; Seier, Edith

    2010-01-01

    "It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power." Alan Cohen (Used by permission. All rights reserved. For more information on Alan Cohen's books and programs, see (www.alancohen.com.) With the support of the East Tennessee State University (ETSU) administration and a grant from Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the departments of Biological Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics, and Curriculum and Instruction have developed a biology-math integrated curriculum. An interdisciplinary faculty team, charged with teaching the 18 curriculum modules, designed this three-semester curriculum, known as SYMBIOSIS. This curriculum was piloted to two student cohorts during the developmental stage. The positive feedback and assessment results of this project have given us the foundation to implement the SYMBIOSIS curriculum as a replacement for the standard biology majors curriculum at the introductory level. This article addresses the history and development of the curriculum, previous assessment results and current assessment protocol, and the future of ETSU's approach to implementing the SYMBIOSIS curriculum.

  12. Assessing risks and benefits of floral supplements in conservation biological control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Winkler, K.; Wackers, F.L.; Termorshuizen, A.J.; Lenteren, van J.C.

    2010-01-01

    The use of flowering field margins is often proposed as a method to support biological control in agro-ecosystems. In addition to beneficial insects, many herbivores depend on floral food as well. The indiscriminate use of flowering species in field margins can therefore lead to higher pest numbers.

  13. Students' Use of Optional Online Reviews and Its Relationship to Summative Assessment Outcomes in Introductory Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, Shana K.; Rahman, Shuhebur; Lund, Terry J. S.; Armstrong, Patrick I.; Lamm, Monica H.; Reason, Robert D.; Coffman, Clark R.

    2017-01-01

    Retrieval practice has been shown to produce significant enhancements in student learning of course information, but the extent to which students make use of retrieval to learn information on their own is unclear. In the current study, students in a large introductory biology course were provided with optional online review questions that could be…

  14. Using consumption rate to assess potential predators for biological control of white perch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gosch N.J.C.

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Control of undesirable fishes is important in aquatic systems, and using predation as a tool for biological control is an attractive option to fishery biologists. However, determining the appropriate predators for biological control is critical for success. The objective of this study was to evaluate the utility of consumption rate as an index to determine the most effective predators for biological control of an invasive fish. Consumption rate values were calculated for nine potential predators that prey on white perch Morone americana in Branched Oak and Pawnee reservoirs, Nebraska. The consumption rate index provided a unique and insightful means of determining the potential effectiveness of each predator species in controlling white perch. Cumulative frequency distributions facilitated interpretation by providing a graphical presentation of consumption rates by all individuals within each predator species. Largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides, walleye Sander vitreus and sauger S. canadensis were the most efficient white perch predators in both reservoirs; however, previous attempts to increase biomass of these predators have failed suggesting that successful biological control is unlikely using existing predator species in these Nebraska reservoirs.

  15. Is 'class effect' relevant when assessing the benefit/risk profile of a biologic agent?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sterry, W.; Kerkhof, P.C.M. van de

    2012-01-01

    Psoriasis is a chronic, genetically predisposed skin disorder, characterised by thickened scaly plaques. Although no therapy is recognised as curative, therapies aimed at symptom control include biologic agents that are generally designed to block molecular activation of cellular pathways of a

  16. Semantic similarity analysis of protein data: assessment with biological features and issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzzi, Pietro H; Mina, Marco; Guerra, Concettina; Cannataro, Mario

    2012-09-01

    The integration of proteomics data with biological knowledge is a recent trend in bioinformatics. A lot of biological information is available and is spread on different sources and encoded in different ontologies (e.g. Gene Ontology). Annotating existing protein data with biological information may enable the use (and the development) of algorithms that use biological ontologies as framework to mine annotated data. Recently many methodologies and algorithms that use ontologies to extract knowledge from data, as well as to analyse ontologies themselves have been proposed and applied to other fields. Conversely, the use of such annotations for the analysis of protein data is a relatively novel research area that is currently becoming more and more central in research. Existing approaches span from the definition of the similarity among genes and proteins on the basis of the annotating terms, to the definition of novel algorithms that use such similarities for mining protein data on a proteome-wide scale. This work, after the definition of main concept of such analysis, presents a systematic discussion and comparison of main approaches. Finally, remaining challenges, as well as possible future directions of research are presented.

  17. Assessment of Student Learning Associated with Tree Thinking in an Undergraduate Introductory Organismal Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, James J.; Cheruvelil, Kendra Spence; Auvenshine, Stacie

    2013-01-01

    Phylogenetic trees provide visual representations of ancestor-descendant relationships, a core concept of evolutionary theory. We introduced "tree thinking" into our introductory organismal biology course (freshman/sophomore majors) to help teach organismal diversity within an evolutionary framework. Our instructional strategy consisted…

  18. Menstrual Discomfort as a Biological Setting Event for Severe Problem Behavior: Assessment and Intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Edward G.; Smith, Christopher E.; Giacin, Theresa A.; Whelan, Bernadette M.; Pancari, Joseph

    2003-01-01

    A study investigated menstrual discomfort as a factor in severe problem behavior in four women with developmental disabilities and identified as having increased behavior problems at the time of menses. A multicomponent strategy, addressing both biological context and the psychosocial context (task demands), reduced problem behavior to near-zero…

  19. Human biological monitoring for exposure assessment in response to an incident involving hazardous materials

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scheepers, P.T.J.; Brederode, N.E. van; Bos, P.M.J.; Nijhuis, N.J.; Weerdt, R.H. van de; Woude, I. van der; Eggens, M.L.

    2014-01-01

    Biological monitoring in humans (HBM) is widely used in the field of occupational and environmental health. In the situation of an unexpected release of hazardous materials HBM may contribute to the medical support and treatment of exposed individuals from the general population or of emergency

  20. Using consumption rate to assess potential predators for biological control of white perch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gosch, N.J.C.; Pope, K.L.

    2011-01-01

    Control of undesirable fishes is important in aquatic systems, and using predation as a tool for biological control is an attractive option to fishery biologists. However, determining the appropriate predators for biological control is critical for success. The objective of this study was to evaluate the utility of consumption rate as an index to determine the most effective predators for biological control of an invasive fish. Consumption rate values were calculated for nine potential predators that prey on white perch Morone americana in Branched Oak and Pawnee reservoirs, Nebraska. The consumption rate index provided a unique and insightful means of determining the potential effectiveness of each predator species in controlling white perch. Cumulative frequency distributions facilitated interpretation by providing a graphical presentation of consumption rates by all individuals within each predator species. Largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides, walleye Sander vitreus and sauger S. canadensis were the most efficient white perch predators in both reservoirs; however, previous attempts to increase biomass of these predators have failed suggesting that successful biological control is unlikely using existing predator species in these Nebraska reservoirs. ?? 2011 ONEMA.

  1. The acquisition of dangerous biological materials: Technical facts sheets to assist risk assessments of 46 potential BW agents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aceto, Donato Gonzalo [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Astuto-Gribble, Lisa M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Gaudioso, Jennifer M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2007-11-01

    Numerous terrorist organizations have openly expressed interest in producing and deploying biological weapons. However, a limiting factor for many terrorists has been the acquisition of dangerous biological agents, as evidenced by the very few successful instances of biological weapons use compared to the number of documented hoaxes. Biological agents vary greatly in their ability to cause loss of life and economic damage. Some agents, if released properly, can kill many people and cause an extensive number of secondary infections; other agents will sicken only a small number of people for a short period of time. Consequently, several biological agents can potentially be used to perpetrate a bioterrorism attack but few are likely capable of causing a high consequence event. It is crucial, from a US national security perspective, to more deeply understand the likelihood that terrorist organizations can acquire the range of these agents. Few studies have attempted to comprehensively compile the technical information directly relevant to the acquisition of dangerous bacteria, viruses and toxins. In this report, technical fact sheets were assembled for 46 potentially dangerous biological agents. Much of the information was taken from various research sources which could ultimately and significantly expedite and improve bioterrorism threat assessments. By systematically examining a number of specific agent characteristics included in these fact sheets, it may be possible to detect, target, and implement measures to thwart future terrorist acquisition attempts. In addition, the information in these fact sheets may be used as a tool to help laboratories gain a rudimentary understanding of how attractive a method laboratory theft is relative to other potential acquisition modes.

  2. Examining Portfolio-Based Assessment in an Upper-Level Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler, Brittany Ann

    2012-01-01

    Historically, students have been viewed as empty vessels and passive participants in the learning process but students actually are active forming their own conceptions. One way student learning is impacted is through assessment. Alternative assessment, which contrasts traditional assessment methods, takes into account how students learn by…

  3. Practice makes pretty good: assessment of primary literature reading abilities across multiple large-enrollment biology laboratory courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Brian K; Kadandale, Pavan; He, Wenliang; Murata, Paige M N; Latif, Yama; Warschauer, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Primary literature is essential for scientific communication and is commonly utilized in undergraduate biology education. Despite this, there is often little time spent training our students how to critically analyze a paper. To address this, we introduced a primary literature module in multiple upper-division laboratory courses. In this module, instructors conduct classroom discussions that dissect a paper as researchers do. While previous work has identified classroom interventions that improve primary literature comprehension within a single course, our goal was to determine whether including a scientific paper module in our classes could produce long-term benefits. On the basis of performance in an assessment exam, we found that our module resulted in longitudinal gains, including increased comprehension and critical-thinking abilities in subsequent lab courses. These learning gains were specific to courses utilizing our module, as no longitudinal gains were seen in students who had taken other upper-division labs that lacked extensive primary literature discussion. In addition, we assessed whether performance on our assessment correlated with a variety of factors, including grade point average, course performance, research background, and self-reported confidence in understanding of the article. Furthermore, all of the study conclusions are independent of biology disciplines, as we observe similar trends within each course. © 2014 B. K. Sato et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2014 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  4. Assessing environmental quality status by integrating chemical and biological effect data: The Cartagena coastal zone as a case.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Gómez, Concepción; Fernández, Beatriz; Robinson, Craig D; Campillo, J Antonio; León, Víctor M; Benedicto, José; Hylland, Ketil; Vethaak, A Dick

    2017-03-01

    Cartagena coastal zone (W Mediterranean) was chosen for a practical case study to investigate the suitability of an integrated indicator framework for marine monitoring and assessment of chemicals and their effects, which was developed by ICES and OSPAR. Red mullet (Mullus barbatus) and the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) were selected as target species. Concentrations of contaminants in sediment and biota, and contaminant-related biomarkers were analysed. To assess environmental quality in the Cartagena coastal zone with respect to chemical pollution, data were assessed using available assessment criteria, and then integrated for different environmental matrices. A qualitative scoring method was used to rank the overall assessments into selected categories and to evaluate the confidence level of the final integrated assessment. The ICES/OSPAR integrated assessment framework, originally designed for the North Atlantic, was found to be applicable for Mediterranean species and environmental matrices. Further development of assessment criteria of chemical and biological parameters in sediments and target species from the Mediterranean will, however, be required before this framework can be fully applied for determining Good Environmental Status (GES) of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive in these regions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Automated Quantitative Assessment of Proteins' Biological Function in Protein Knowledge Bases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele Mayr

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Primary protein sequence data are archived in databases together with information regarding corresponding biological functions. In this respect, UniProt/Swiss-Prot is currently the most comprehensive collection and it is routinely cross-examined when trying to unravel the biological role of hypothetical proteins. Bioscientists frequently extract single entries and further evaluate those on a subjective basis. In lieu of a standardized procedure for scoring the existing knowledge regarding individual proteins, we here report about a computer-assisted method, which we applied to score the present knowledge about any given Swiss-Prot entry. Applying this quantitative score allows the comparison of proteins with respect to their sequence yet highlights the comprehension of functional data. pfs analysis may be also applied for quality control of individual entries or for database management in order to rank entry listings.

  6. Biologic and chemical terrorism in children: an assessment of residents' knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schobitz, Erik P; Schmidt, James M; Poirier, Michael P

    2008-04-01

    This study was conducted to determine the baseline fund of knowledge of pediatric and emergency medicine residents at a single institution in the medical management of pediatric victims of biologic and chemical terrorism. A test covering essential content was developed and validated by experts. The test was given anonymously to volunteer pediatric and emergency medicine residents at a single institution. The test was readministered 5 months after a lecture on the content. The 34 pediatric residents and 15 emergency medicine residents scored a median of 65% and 73%, respectively (P = .03). Residents from both specialties combined scored a median of 70% correct versus those residents who did not attend the lecture. Pediatric and emergency medicine residents are significantly unprepared to manage pediatric victims of biologic and chemical terrorism. Education curriculums on this topic must be incorporated into these residencies. The traditional lecture format may not be the most effective technique.

  7. Assessment of the biological variation of plasma tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frederiksen, Camilla; Lomholt, A F; Lottenburger, T

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1) measurements in plasma may be useful for the early detection and prognosis of colorectal cancer (CRC). Data on analytical performance and normal intra- and interindividual biological variation are required in order to interpret...... the utility of TIMP-1 in CRC. The aim of this study was to establish the biological and analytical variation of plasma TIMP-1 in volunteers. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Three separate studies were undertaken. 1: Plasma was collected from 23 volunteers 6 times within a 3-week period, first in September 2004 (round.......4%, and the intraclass correlation was 46.2%. Comparison between the 3 rounds and time of collection showed that TIMP-1 values decreased by 11% after storage for more than 16 months (p=0.0002). A systematic circadian variation in plasma TIMP-1 levels was not observed (p=0.17). No significant variation of plasma TIMP-1...

  8. Epidemiologic studies of occupational pesticide exposure and cancer: regulatory risk assessments and biologic plausibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acquavella, John; Doe, John; Tomenson, John; Chester, Graham; Cowell, John; Bloemen, Louis

    2003-01-01

    Epidemiologic studies frequently show associations between self-reported use of specific pesticides and human cancers. These findings have engendered debate largely on methodologic grounds. However, biologic plausibility is a more fundamental issue that has received only superficial attention. The purpose of this commentary is to review briefly the toxicology and exposure data that are developed as part of the pesticide regulatory process and to discuss the applicability of this data to epidemiologic research. The authors also provide a generic example of how worker pesticide exposures might be estimated and compared to relevant toxicologic dose levels. This example provides guidance for better characterization of exposure and for consideration of biologic plausibility in epidemiologic studies of pesticides.

  9. Automated quantitative assessment of proteins' biological function in protein knowledge bases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayr, Gabriele; Lepperdinger, Günter; Lackner, Peter

    2008-01-01

    Primary protein sequence data are archived in databases together with information regarding corresponding biological functions. In this respect, UniProt/Swiss-Prot is currently the most comprehensive collection and it is routinely cross-examined when trying to unravel the biological role of hypothetical proteins. Bioscientists frequently extract single entries and further evaluate those on a subjective basis. In lieu of a standardized procedure for scoring the existing knowledge regarding individual proteins, we here report about a computer-assisted method, which we applied to score the present knowledge about any given Swiss-Prot entry. Applying this quantitative score allows the comparison of proteins with respect to their sequence yet highlights the comprehension of functional data. pfs analysis may be also applied for quality control of individual entries or for database management in order to rank entry listings.

  10. Assessment of biological age and "quantity of health" of judoists-veterans at the exit stage from elite sport

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Volodymyr Perebeynos

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: the assessment of biological age and "quantity of health" of judoists-veterans that allows estimating the level of functionality of their organism at the exit stage from elite sport and to construct correctly their training and competitive processes. Material & Methods: the systemic-functional approach is applied. The biological age and "quantity of health" of judoists-veterans decided with the help of tests. The group of 28 men and 19 women – judoists-veterans is tested for this purpose. Results: it is proved that the research of biological age of veterans of judo at the exit stage from elite sport, continuing systematic trainings, is of great importance for sports medicine, physical therapy, gerontology, neurology, and also for professional selection in respect of age rationing of intellectual and exercise stresses, assessment of influence of the motive mode on the rate of aging; the carried-out tests allowed to estimate "quantity of health" of judoists-veterans, giving the idea of the level of functionality of their organism. Conclusions: it is proved that judo classes, the correct and positive image of life positively influence health of judoists-veterans.

  11. Assessing Cross-disciplinary Efficiency of Soil Amendments for Agro-biologically, Economically, and Ecologically Integrated Soil Health Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Preventive and/or manipulative practices will be needed to maintain soil's biological, physiochemical, nutritional, and structural health in natural, managed, and disturbed ecosystems as a foundation for food security and global ecosystem sustainability. While there is a substantial body of interdisciplinary science on understanding function and structure of soil ecosystems, key gaps must be bridged in assessing integrated agro-biological, ecological, economical, and environmental efficiency of soil manipulation practices in time and space across ecosystems. This presentation discusses the application of a fertilizer use efficiency (FUE) model for assessing agronomic, economic, ecological, environmental, and nematode (pest) management efficiency of soil amendments. FUE is defined as increase in host productivity and/or decrease in plant-parasitic nematode population density in response to a given fertilizer treatment. Using the effects of nutrient amendment on Heterodera glycines population density and normalized difference vegetative index (indicator of physiological activities) of a soybean cultivar ‘CX 252’, how the FUE model recognizes variable responses and separates nutrient deficiency and toxicity from nematode parasitism as well as suitability of treatments designed to achieve desired biological and physiochemical soil health conditions is demonstrated. As part of bridging gaps between agricultural and ecological approaches to integrated understanding and management of soil health, modifications of the FUE model for analyzing the relationships amongst nematode community structure, soil parameters (eg. pH, nutrients, %OM), and plant response to soil amendment is discussed. PMID:22736840

  12. Synthesis and biological assessment of novel acylhydrazone derivatives of 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone

    OpenAIRE

    Kamal Bouhadir; Hala Atallah; Rana Mezher; Maamoun Fatfat; Hala Gali-Muhtasib; Jomana Elaridi

    2017-01-01

    Naphthoquinones are medicinally important molecules with a diverse array of biological properties such as antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-artherosclerotic and anticarcinogenic activities. In this study, we report the simple and direct preparation of a new group of novel menadione-hydrazone conjugates by reaction of 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinones with several aliphatic, aromatic and nucleobase hydrazides. The menadione-hydrazone conjugates were produced in excellent...

  13. Preparing Biology Graduate Teaching Assistants for Their Roles as Instructors: An Assessment of Institutional Approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schussler, Elisabeth E; Read, Quentin; Marbach-Ad, Gili; Miller, Kristen; Ferzli, Miriam

    2015-01-01

    The inconsistency of professional development (PD) in teaching for graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) is a widespread problem in higher education. Although GTAs serve an important role in retention of undergraduate science majors and in promotion of scientific literacy in nonmajors, they often lack preparation and ongoing support for teaching. Given the recent national focus on instructional quality in introductory courses, our goal was to use an online survey to identify current practices of teaching PD for biology GTAs and compare these results with the last national survey on this topic. In responses from 71 participant institutions, 96% reported some mandatory teaching preparation for biology GTAs; however, 52% of these programs required 10 or fewer hours per year. Respondents wanted to change their programs to include more pedagogical information and teaching observations with feedback to their GTAs. Programmatic self-ratings of satisfaction with GTA PD were positively correlated with the number of topics discussed during PD. Although more schools are requiring GTA PD for teaching compared with the last national survey, the lack of program breadth at many schools warrants a national conversation with regard to recent calls for improving undergraduate instruction. © 2015 E. E. Schussler et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2015 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  14. Biological assessment of the advanced turbine design at Wanapum Dam, 2005

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dauble, D. D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Deng, Z. D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Richmond, M. C. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Moursund, R. A. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Carlson, T. J. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Rakowski, C. L. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Duncan, J. P. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2007-08-01

    Three studies were conducted to evaluate the biological performance of an advanced design turbine installed at Unit 8 of Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River in 2005 versus a conventional Kaplan turbine, Unit 9. The studies included an evaluation of blade-strike using deterministic and probabilistic models, integrated analysis of the response of the Sensor Fish to sever hydraulic events within the turbine system, and a novel dye technique to measure injury to juvenile salmonids in the field.

  15. Sensor Fusion and Autonomy as a Powerful Combination for Biological Assessment in the Marine Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark A. Moline

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The ocean environment and the physical and biological processes that govern dynamics are complex. Sampling the ocean to better understand these processes is difficult given the temporal and spatial domains and sampling tools available. Biological systems are especially difficult as organisms possess behavior, operate at horizontal scales smaller than traditional shipboard sampling allows, and are often disturbed by the sampling platforms themselves. Sensors that measure biological processes have also generally not kept pace with the development of physical counterparts as their requirements are as complex as the target organisms. Here, we attempt to address this challenge by advocating the need for sensor-platform combinations to integrate and process data in real-time and develop data products that are useful in increasing sampling efficiencies. Too often, the data of interest is only garnered after post-processing after a sampling effort and the opportunity to use that information to guide sampling is lost. Here we demonstrate a new autonomous platform, where data are collected, analyzed, and data products are output in real-time to inform autonomous decision-making. This integrated capability allows for enhanced and informed sampling towards improving our understanding of the marine environment.

  16. Assessing the application of advanced oxidation processes, and their combination with biological treatment, to effluents from pulp and paper industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merayo, Noemí; Hermosilla, Daphne; Blanco, Laura; Cortijo, Luis; Blanco, Angeles

    2013-11-15

    The closure of water circuits within pulp and paper mills has resulted in a higher contamination load of the final mill effluent, which must consequently be further treated in many cases to meet the standards imposed by the legislation in force. Different treatment strategies based on advanced oxidation processes (ozonation and TiO2-photocatalysis), and their combination with biological treatment (MBR), are herein assessed for effluents of a recycled paper mill and a kraft pulp mill. Ozone treatment achieved the highest efficiency of all. The consumption of 2.4 g O3 L(-1) resulted in about a 60% COD reduction treating the effluent from the kraft pulp mill at an initial pH=7; although it only reached about a 35% COD removal for the effluent of the recycled paper mill. Otherwise, photocatalysis achieved about a 20-30% reduction of the COD for both type of effluents. In addition, the effluent from the recycled paper mill showed a higher biodegradability, so combinations of these AOPs with biological treatment were tested. As a result, photocatalysis did not report any significant COD reduction improvement whether being performed as pre- or post-treatment of the biological process; whereas the use of ozonation as post-biological treatment enhanced COD removal a further 10%, summing up a total 90% reduction of the COD for the combined treatment, as well as it also supposed an increase of the presence of volatile fatty acids, which might ultimately enable the resultant wastewater to be recirculated back to further biological treatment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Depressive symptoms, depression, and the effect of biologic therapy among patients in Psoriasis Longitudinal Assessment and Registry (PSOLAR).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strober, Bruce; Gooderham, Melinda; de Jong, Elke M G J; Kimball, Alexa B; Langley, Richard G; Lakdawala, Nikita; Goyal, Kavitha; Lawson, Fabio; Langholff, Wayne; Hopkins, Lori; Fakharzadeh, Steve; Srivastava, Bhaskar; Menter, Alan

    2018-01-01

    Patients with psoriasis are at an increased risk for depression. However, the impact of treatment on this risk is unclear. Evaluate the incidence and impact of treatment on depression among patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis. We defined a study population within the Psoriasis Longitudinal Assessment and Registry and measured the incidence of depressive symptoms (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-Depression score ≥8) and adverse events (AEs) of depression within cohorts receiving biologics, conventional systemic therapies, or phototherapy. Patients were evaluated at approximately 6-month intervals. Multivariate modeling determined the impact of treatment on risk. The incidence rates of depressive symptoms were 3.01 per 100 patient-years (PYs) (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.73-3.32), 5.85 per 100 PYs (95% CI, 4.29-7.97), and 5.70 per 100 PYs (95% CI, 4.58-7.10) for biologics, phototherapy, and conventional therapy, respectively. Compared with conventional therapy, biologics reduced the risk for depressive symptoms (hazard ratio, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.59-0.98), whereas phototherapy did not (hazard ratio, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.71-1.54). The incidence rates for AEs of depression were 0.21 per 100 PYs (95% CI, 0.15-0.31) for biologics, 0.55 per 100 PYs (95% CI, 0.21-1.47) for phototherapy, and 0.14 per 100 PYs (95% CI, 0.03-0.55) for conventional therapy; the fact that there were too few events (37 AEs) precluded modeling. Incomplete capture of depression and confounders in the patients on registry. Compared with conventional therapy, biologics appear to be associated with a lower incidence of depressive symptoms among patients with psoriasis. Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Assessing Student Understanding of the "New Biology": Development and Evaluation of a Criterion-Referenced Genomics and Bioinformatics Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Chad Edward

    Over the past decade, hundreds of studies have introduced genomics and bioinformatics (GB) curricula and laboratory activities at the undergraduate level. While these publications have facilitated the teaching and learning of cutting-edge content, there has yet to be an evaluation of these assessment tools to determine if they are meeting the quality control benchmarks set forth by the educational research community. An analysis of these assessment tools indicated that valid and reliable inferences about student learning. To remedy this situation the development of a robust GB assessment aligned with the quality control benchmarks was undertaken in order to ensure evidence-based evaluation of student learning outcomes. Content validity is a central piece of construct validity, and it must be used to guide instrument and item development. This study reports on: (1) the correspondence of content validity evidence gathered from independent sources; (2) the process of item development using this evidence; (3) the results from a pilot administration of the assessment; (4) the subsequent modification of the assessment based on the pilot administration results and; (5) the results from the second administration of the assessment. Twenty-nine different subtopics within GB (Appendix B: Genomics and Bioinformatics Expert Survey) were developed based on preliminary GB textbook analyses. These subtopics were analyzed using two methods designed to gather content validity evidence: (1) a survey of GB experts (n=61) and (2) a detailed content analyses of GB textbooks (n=6). By including only the subtopics that were shown to have robust support across these sources, 22 GB subtopics were established for inclusion in the assessment. An expert panel subsequently developed, evaluated, and revised two multiple-choice items to align with each of the 22 subtopics, producing a final item pool of 44 items. These items were piloted with student samples of varying content exposure levels

  19. The Development and Application of Affective Assessment in an Upper-Level Cell Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitchen, Elizabeth; Reeve, Suzanne; Bell, John D.; Sudweeks, Richard R.; Bradshaw, William S.

    2007-01-01

    This study exemplifies how faculty members can develop instruments to assess affective responses of students to the specific features of the courses they teach. Means for assessing three types of affective responses are demonstrated: (a) student attitudes towards courses with differing instructional objectives and methodologies, (b) student…

  20. Biological functioning of PAH-polluted and thermal desorption-treated soils assessed by fauna and microbial bioindicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cébron, Aurélie; Cortet, Jérôme; Criquet, Stéven; Biaz, Asmaa; Calvert, Virgile; Caupert, Cécile; Pernin, Céline; Leyval, Corinne

    2011-11-01

    A large number of soil bioindicators were used to assess biological diversity and activity in soil polluted with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the same soil after thermal desorption (TD) treatment. Abundance and biodiversity of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes and microarthropods, as well as functional parameters such as enzymatic activities and soil respiration, were assessed during a two year period of in situ monitoring. We investigated the influence of vegetation (spontaneous vegetation and Medicago sativa) and TD treatment on biological functioning. Multivariate analysis was performed to analyze the whole data set. A principal response curve (PRC) technique was used to evaluate the different treatments (various vegetation and contaminated vs. TD soil) contrasted with control (bare) soil over time. Our results indicated the value of using a number of complementary bioindicators, describing both diversity and functions, to assess the influence of vegetation on soil and discriminate polluted from thermal desorption (TD)-treated soil. Plants had an influence on the abundance and activity of all organisms examined in our study, favoring the whole trophic chain development. However, although TD-treated soil had a high abundance and diversity of microorganisms and fauna, enzymatic activities were weak because of the strong physical and chemical modifications of this soil. Copyright © 2011 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  1. Assessment of biological effects of environmental pollution along the NW Mediterranean Sea using mussels as sentinel organisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zorita, Izaskun; Apraiz, Itxaso; Ortiz-Zarragoitia, Maren; Orbea, Amaia; Cancio, Ibon; Soto, Manu; Marigomez, Ionan; Cajaraville, Miren P.

    2007-01-01

    With the aim of assessing the biological effects of pollution along three gradients of pollution in the NW Mediterranean Sea, a biomonitoring survey was implemented using a battery of biomarkers (lysosomal membrane stability, lysosomal structural changes, metallothionein (MT) induction and peroxisome proliferation) in mussels over a period of two years as part of the EU-funded BEEP project. Mussels from the most impacted zones (Fos, Genova and Barcelona harbours) showed enlarged lysosomes accompanied by reduced labilisation period of lysosomal membranes, indicating disturbed health. MT levels did not reveal significant differences between stations and were significantly correlated with gonad index, suggesting that they were influenced by gamete development. Peroxisomal acyl-CoA oxidase (AOX) activity was significantly inhibited in polluted stations possibly due to interactions among mixtures of pollutants. In conclusion, the application of a battery of effect and exposure biomarkers provided relevant data for the assessment of biological effects of environmental pollution along the NW Mediterranean Sea. - The biomarker approach is suitable for assessment of environmental pollution in the NW Mediterranean Sea

  2. SYMBIOSIS: Development, Implementation, and Assessment of a Model Curriculum across Biology and Mathematics at the Introductory Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joplin, Karl H.; Govett, Aimee; Miller, Hugh A.; Seier, Edith

    2010-01-01

    “It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”Alan Cohen (Used by permission. All rights reserved. For more information on Alan Cohen's books and programs, see (www.alancohen.com.) With the support of the East Tennessee State University (ETSU) administration and a grant from Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the departments of Biological Sciences, Mathematics and Statistics, and Curriculum and Instruction have developed a biology–math integrated curriculum. An interdisciplinary faculty team, charged with teaching the 18 curriculum modules, designed this three-semester curriculum, known as SYMBIOSIS. This curriculum was piloted to two student cohorts during the developmental stage. The positive feedback and assessment results of this project have given us the foundation to implement the SYMBIOSIS curriculum as a replacement for the standard biology majors curriculum at the introductory level. This article addresses the history and development of the curriculum, previous assessment results and current assessment protocol, and the future of ETSU's approach to implementing the SYMBIOSIS curriculum. PMID:20810967

  3. Assessment of biological effects of environmental pollution along the NW Mediterranean Sea using mussels as sentinel organisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zorita, Izaskun [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Apraiz, Itxaso [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Ortiz-Zarragoitia, Maren [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Orbea, Amaia [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Cancio, Ibon [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Soto, Manu [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Marigomez, Ionan [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Cajaraville, Miren P. [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain)]. E-mail: mirenp.cajaraville@ehu.es

    2007-07-15

    With the aim of assessing the biological effects of pollution along three gradients of pollution in the NW Mediterranean Sea, a biomonitoring survey was implemented using a battery of biomarkers (lysosomal membrane stability, lysosomal structural changes, metallothionein (MT) induction and peroxisome proliferation) in mussels over a period of two years as part of the EU-funded BEEP project. Mussels from the most impacted zones (Fos, Genova and Barcelona harbours) showed enlarged lysosomes accompanied by reduced labilisation period of lysosomal membranes, indicating disturbed health. MT levels did not reveal significant differences between stations and were significantly correlated with gonad index, suggesting that they were influenced by gamete development. Peroxisomal acyl-CoA oxidase (AOX) activity was significantly inhibited in polluted stations possibly due to interactions among mixtures of pollutants. In conclusion, the application of a battery of effect and exposure biomarkers provided relevant data for the assessment of biological effects of environmental pollution along the NW Mediterranean Sea. - The biomarker approach is suitable for assessment of environmental pollution in the NW Mediterranean Sea.

  4. The impact of biology on risk assessment -- Workshop of the National Research Council`s board on radiation effects research. Meeting report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fry, R.J.M. [Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States); Grosovsky, A. [Univ. of California, Riverside, CA (United States); Hanawalt, P.C. [Stanford Univ., CA (United States). Dept. of Biological Sciences; Jostes, R.F. [National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States). Board on Radiation Effects Research; Little, J.B. [Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA (United States). Dept. of Cancer Biology; Morgan, W.F. [Univ. of California, San Francisco, CA (United States). Dept. of Radiation Oncology; Oleinick, N.L. [Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, OH (United States); Ullrich, R.L. [Univ. of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX (United States). Dept. of Radiation Therapy

    1997-12-31

    The linear, nonthreshold extrapolation from a dose-response relationship for ionizing radiation derived at higher doses to doses for which regulatory standards are proposed is being challenged by some scientists and defended by others. It appears that the risks associated with exposures to doses of interest are below the risks that can be measured with epidemiologic studies. Therefore, many have looked to biology to provide information relevant to risk assessment. The workshop reported here, ``The Impact of biology on Risk Assessment,`` was planned to address the need for further information by bringing together scientists who have been working in key fields of biology and others who have been contemplating the issues associated specifically with this question. The goals of the workshop were to summarize and review the status of the relevant biology, to determine how the reported biologic data might influence risk assessment, and to identify subjects on which more data is needed.

  5. Quantifying restoration success and recovery in a metal-polluted stream: A 17-year assessment of physicochemical and biological responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clements, W.H.; Vieira, N.K.M.; Church, S.E.

    2010-01-01

    Evaluating the effectiveness of stream restoration is often challenging because of the lack of pre-treatment data, narrow focus on physicochemical measures and insufficient post-restoration monitoring. Even when these fundamental elements are present, quantifying restoration success is difficult because of the challenges associated with distinguishing treatment effects from seasonal variation, episodic events and long-term climatic changes.2. We report results of one of the most comprehensive and continuous records of physical, chemical and biological data available to assess restoration success for a stream ecosystem in North America. Over a 17 year period we measured seasonal and annual changes in metal concentrations, physicochemical characteristics, macroinvertebrate communities, and brown trout Salmo trutta populations in the Arkansas River, a metal-contaminated stream in Colorado, USA.3. Although we observed significant improvements in water quality after treatment, the effectiveness of restoration varied temporally, spatially and among biological response variables. The fastest recovery was observed at stations where restoration eliminated point sources of metal contamination. Recovery of macroinvertebrates was significantly delayed at some stations because of residual sediment contamination and because extreme seasonal and episodic variation in metal concentrations prevented recolonization by sensitive species. Synthesis and applications. Because recovery trajectories after the removal of a stressor are often complex or nonlinear, long-term studies are necessary to assess restoration success within the context of episodic events and changes in regional climate. The observed variation in recovery among chemical and biological endpoints highlights the importance of developing objective criteria to assess restoration success. Although the rapid response of macroinvertebrates to reduced metal concentrations is encouraging, we have previously demonstrated that

  6. Students’ Use of Optional Online Reviews and Its Relationship to Summative Assessment Outcomes in Introductory Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, Shana K.; Rahman, Shuhebur; Lund, Terry J. S.; Armstrong, Patrick I.; Lamm, Monica H.; Reason, Robert D.; Coffman, Clark R.

    2017-01-01

    Retrieval practice has been shown to produce significant enhancements in student learning of course information, but the extent to which students make use of retrieval to learn information on their own is unclear. In the current study, students in a large introductory biology course were provided with optional online review questions that could be accessed as Test questions (requiring students to answer the questions before receiving feedback) or as Read questions (providing students with the question and correct answer up-front). Students more often chose to access the questions as Test compared with Read, and students who used the Test questions scored significantly higher on subsequent exams compared with students who used Read questions or did not access the questions at all. Following an in-class presentation of superior exam performance following use of the Test questions, student use of Test questions increased significantly for the remainder of the term. These results suggest that practice questions can be an effective tool for enhancing student achievement in biology and that informing students about performance-based outcomes coincides with increased use of retrieval practice. PMID:28408408

  7. Assessing the impact of Melendez-Diaz on the investigation and prosecution of biological weapons incidents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahr, Elizabeth L; Katz, Rebecca

    2009-12-01

    In June 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court asserted in Melendez-Diaz v Massachusetts that the admission of a laboratory analyst's certificate to validate forensic evidence against a defendant violated the defendant's Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause rights. The Court stated that if a prosecution wished to use forensic science evidence against a defendant, the plaintiff must ensure that an actual lab analyst could testify live before the court as to the nature of the laboratory certificate being presented against the defendant, in order to uphold a defendant's constitutional right to confront the adverse witnesses against him or her. The opinion itself, as well as dicta in both the majority and the dissenting opinions, has potential implications for the success of any future prosecutions of alleged biological weapons use involving microbial forensics. Not only does the Melendez-Diaz opinion create an added burden on laboratory investigators, but the case called into question the reliability of the use of forensic science in the courtroom. Analysts and policymakers should be aware of this ruling and any potential impact the Court may have on the ability to successfully prosecute a biological weapons use event.

  8. The assessment of the coke wastewater treatment efficacy in rotating biological contractor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cema, G; Żabczyński, S; Ziembińska-Buczyńska, A

    2016-01-01

    Coke wastewater is known to be relatively difficult for biological treatment. Nonetheless, biofilm-based systems seem to be promising tool for such treatment. That is why a rotating biological contactor (RBC) system focused on the Anammox process was used in this study. The experiment was divided into two parts with synthetic and then real wastewater. It was proven that it is possible to treat coke wastewater with RBC but such a procedure requires a very long start-up period for the nitritation (190 days), as well as for the Anammox process, where stable nitrogen removal over 70% was achieved after 400 days of experiment. Interestingly, it was possible at a relatively low (20.2 ± 2.2 °C) temperature. The polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) based monitoring of the bacterial community showed that its biodiversity decreased when the real wastewater was treated and it was composed mainly of GC-rich genotypes, probably because of the modeling influence of this wastewater and the genotypes specialization.

  9. Step by Step: Biology Undergraduates’ Problem-Solving Procedures during Multiple-Choice Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prevost, Luanna B.; Lemons, Paula P.

    2016-01-01

    This study uses the theoretical framework of domain-specific problem solving to explore the procedures students use to solve multiple-choice problems about biology concepts. We designed several multiple-choice problems and administered them on four exams. We trained students to produce written descriptions of how they solved the problem, and this allowed us to systematically investigate their problem-solving procedures. We identified a range of procedures and organized them as domain general, domain specific, or hybrid. We also identified domain-general and domain-specific errors made by students during problem solving. We found that students use domain-general and hybrid procedures more frequently when solving lower-order problems than higher-order problems, while they use domain-specific procedures more frequently when solving higher-order problems. Additionally, the more domain-specific procedures students used, the higher the likelihood that they would answer the problem correctly, up to five procedures. However, if students used just one domain-general procedure, they were as likely to answer the problem correctly as if they had used two to five domain-general procedures. Our findings provide a categorization scheme and framework for additional research on biology problem solving and suggest several important implications for researchers and instructors. PMID:27909021

  10. Integrated Ecological River Health Assessments, Based on Water Chemistry, Physical Habitat Quality and Biological Integrity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji Yoon Kim

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluated integrative river ecosystem health using stressor-based models of physical habitat health, chemical water health, and biological health of fish and identified multiple-stressor indicators influencing the ecosystem health. Integrated health responses (IHRs, based on star-plot approach, were calculated from qualitative habitat evaluation index (QHEI, nutrient pollution index (NPI, and index of biological integrity (IBI in four different longitudinal regions (Groups I–IV. For the calculations of IHRs values, multi-metric QHEI, NPI, and IBI models were developed and their criteria for the diagnosis of the health were determined. The longitudinal patterns of the river were analyzed by a self-organizing map (SOM model and the key major stressors in the river were identified by principal component analysis (PCA. Our model scores of integrated health responses (IHRs suggested that mid-stream and downstream regions were impaired, and the key stressors were closely associated with nutrient enrichment (N and P and organic matter pollutions from domestic wastewater disposal plants and urban sewage. This modeling approach of IHRs may be used as an effective tool for evaluations of integrative ecological river health..

  11. Preparing Biology Graduate Teaching Assistants for Their Roles as Instructors: An Assessment of Institutional Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schussler, Elisabeth E.; Read, Quentin; Marbach-Ad, Gili; Miller, Kristen; Ferzli, Miriam

    2015-01-01

    The inconsistency of professional development (PD) in teaching for graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) is a widespread problem in higher education. Although GTAs serve an important role in retention of undergraduate science majors and in promotion of scientific literacy in nonmajors, they often lack preparation and ongoing support for teaching. Given the recent national focus on instructional quality in introductory courses, our goal was to use an online survey to identify current practices of teaching PD for biology GTAs and compare these results with the last national survey on this topic. In responses from 71 participant institutions, 96% reported some mandatory teaching preparation for biology GTAs; however, 52% of these programs required 10 or fewer hours per year. Respondents wanted to change their programs to include more pedagogical information and teaching observations with feedback to their GTAs. Programmatic self-ratings of satisfaction with GTA PD were positively correlated with the number of topics discussed during PD. Although more schools are requiring GTA PD for teaching compared with the last national survey, the lack of program breadth at many schools warrants a national conversation with regard to recent calls for improving undergraduate instruction. PMID:26231562

  12. Continued vigilance - development of an online evaluation tool for assessing preparedness of medical facilities for biological events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adini, Bruria; Verbeek, Luzie; Trapp, Susanna; Schilling, Stefan; Sasse, Julia; Pientka, Kathrin; Böddinghaus, Boris; Schaefer, Helene; Schempf, Jörg; Brodt, Reinhard; Wegner, Christian; Lev, Boaz; Laor, Daniel; Gottschalk, Rene; Biederbick, Walter

    2014-01-01

    Effective response to biological events necessitates ongoing evaluation of preparedness. This study was a bilateral German-Israeli collaboration aimed at developing an evaluation tool for assessing preparedness of medical facilities for biological events. Measurable parameters were identified through a literature review for inclusion in the evaluation tool and disseminated to 228 content experts in two modified Delphi cycles. Focus groups were conducted to identify psychosocial needs of the medical teams. Table-top and functional exercises were implemented to review applicability of the tool. One hundred seventeen experts from Germany and Israel participated in the modified Delphi. Out of 188 parameters that were identified, 183 achieved a consensus of >75% of the content experts. Following comments recommended in the Delphi cycles, and feedback from focus groups and hospital exercises, the final tool consisted of 172 parameters. Median level of importance of each parameter was calculated based on ranking recommended in the Delphi process. Computerized web-based software was developed to calculate scores of preparedness for biological events. Ongoing evaluation means, such as the tool developed in the study, can facilitate the need for a valid and reliable mechanism that may be widely adopted and implemented as quality assurance measures. The tool is based on measurable parameters and indicators that can effectively present strengths and weaknesses in managing a response to a public health threat, and accordingly, steps can be implemented to improve readiness. Adoption of such a tool is an important component of assuring public health and effective emergency management.

  13. The Development and Implementation of an Instrument to Assess Students’ Data Analysis Skills in Molecular Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rybarczyk, Brian J.; Walton, Kristen L.W.; Grillo, Wendy Heck

    2014-01-01

    Developing visual literacy skills is an important component of scientific literacy in undergraduate science education. Comprehension, analysis, and interpretation are parts of visual literacy that describe related data analysis skills important for learning in the biological sciences. The Molecular Biology Data Analysis Test (MBDAT) was developed to measure students’ data analysis skills connected with scientific reasoning when analyzing and interpreting scientific data generated from experimental research. The skills analyzed included basic skills, such as identification of patterns and trends in data and connecting a method that generated the data, and advanced skills, such as distinguishing positive and negative controls, synthesizing conclusions, determining if data supports a hypothesis, and predicting alternative or next-step experiments. Construct and content validity were established and calculated statistical parameters demonstrate that the MBDAT is valid and reliable for measuring students’ data analysis skills in molecular and cell biology contexts. The instrument also measures students’ perceived confidence in their data interpretation abilities. As scientific research continues to evolve in complexity, interpretation of scientific information in visual formats will continue to be an important component of scientific literacy. Thus science education will need to support and assess students’ development of these skills as part of students’ scientific training. PMID:25574292

  14. Exposure factors for marine eutrophication impacts assessment based on a mechanistic biological model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cosme, Nuno Miguel Dias; Koski, Marja; Hauschild, Michael Zwicky

    2015-01-01

    routes from primary (cell aggregates) and secondary producers (faecal pellets, carcasses, and active vertical transport). Carbon export production (PE) and ecosystems eXposure Factors (XF), which represents a nitrogen-to-oxygen 'conversion' potential, were estimated at a spatial resolution of 66 large......Emissions of nitrogen (N) from anthropogenic sources enrich marine waters and promote planktonic growth. This newly synthesised organic carbon is eventually exported to benthic waters where aerobic respiration by heterotrophic bacteria results in the consumption of dissolved oxygen (DO......). This pathway is typical of marine eutrophication. A model is proposed to mechanistically estimate the response of coastal marine ecosystems to N inputs. It addresses the biological processes of nutrient-limited primary production (PP), metazoan consumption, and bacterial degradation, in four distinct sinking...

  15. Kinetic and mechanistic considerations to assess the biological fate of peroxynitrite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carballal, Sebastián; Bartesaghi, Silvina; Radi, Rafael

    2014-02-01

    Peroxynitrite, the product of the reaction between superoxide radicals and nitric oxide, is an elusive oxidant with a short half-life and a low steady-state concentration in biological systems; it promotes nitroxidative damage. We will consider kinetic and mechanistic aspects that allow rationalizing the biological fate of peroxynitrite from data obtained by a combination of methods that include fast kinetic techniques, electron paramagnetic resonance and kinetic simulations. In addition, we provide a quantitative analysis of peroxynitrite production rates and conceivable steady-state levels in living systems. The preferential reactions of peroxynitrite in vivo include those with carbon dioxide, thiols and metalloproteins; its homolysis represents only peroxynitrite consumption leading to the formation of strong one-electron oxidants, carbonate radicals and nitrogen dioxide. On the other hand, peroxynitrite is rapidly reduced by peroxiredoxins, which represent efficient thiol-based peroxynitrite detoxification systems. Glutathione, present at mM concentration in cells and frequently considered a direct scavenger of peroxynitrite, does not react sufficiently fast with it in vivo; glutathione mainly inhibits peroxynitrite-dependent processes by reactions with secondary radicals. The detection of protein 3-nitrotyrosine, a molecular footprint, can demonstrate peroxynitrite formation in vivo. Basal peroxynitrite formation rates in cells can be estimated in the order of 0.1 to 0.5μMs(-1) and its steady-state concentration at ~1nM. The analysis provides a handle to predict the preferential fate and steady-state levels of peroxynitrite in living systems. This is useful to understand pathophysiological aspects and pharmacological prospects connected to peroxynitrite. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Current methods to study reactive oxygen species - pros and cons and biophysics of membrane proteins. Guest Editor: Christine Winterbourn. © 2013.

  16. Assessing the Biological Contribution to Mineralized Cap Formation in the Little Hot Creek Hot Spring System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floyd, J. G.; Beeler, S. R.; Mors, R. A.; Kraus, E. A.; 2016, G.; Piazza, O.; Frantz, C. M.; Loyd, S. J.; Berelson, W.; Stevenson, B. S.; Marenco, P. J.; Spear, J. R.; Corsetti, F. A.

    2016-12-01

    Hot spring environments exhibit unique redox/physical gradients that may create favorable conditions for the presence of life and commonly contain mineral precipitates that could provide a geologic archive of such ecosystems on Earth and potentially other planets. However, it is critical to discern biologic from abiotic formation mechanisms if hot spring-associated minerals are to be used as biosignatures. The study of modern hot spring environments where mineral formation can be directly observed is necessary to better interpret the biogenicity of ancient/extraterrestrial examples. Little Hot Creek (LHC), a hot spring located in the Long Valley Caldera, California, contains mineral precipitates composed of a carbonate base covered with amorphous silica and minor carbonate in close association with microbial mats/biofilms. Geological, geochemical, and microbiological techniques were integrated to investigate the role of biology in mineral formation at LHC. Geochemical measurements indicate that the waters of the spring are near equilibrium with respect to carbonate and undersaturated with respect to silica, implying additional processes are necessary to initiate cap formation. Geochemical modeling, integrating elemental and isotopic data from hot spring water and mineral precipitates, indicate that the abiotic processes of degassing and evaporation drive mineral formation at LHC, without microbial involvement. However, petrographic analysis of LHC caps revealed microbial microfabrics within silica mineral phases, despite the fact that microbial metabolism was not required for mineral precipitation. Our results show that microorganisms in hot spring environments can shape mineral precipitates even in the absence of a control on authigenesis, highlighting the need for structural as well as geochemical investigation in similar systems.

  17. Biological effects of static magnetic fields: a selective review with emphasis on risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Easterly, C.E.

    1982-04-01

    Rather than focusing on literature per se, the current study determines the status of magnetic field information that is applicable to risk assessment. Hence, an attempt is made to identify both the literature that is useful to the goal of risk assessment and a framework within which risk assessment methodologies can be derived. From this selected review, it is concluded that three areas exist for which adequate information can be found to begin modelling: disease induction, reproduction and development, and cardiovascular response. The first two are supported by a combination of positive and negative findings and the last by a calculational technique which utilizes the physically well-known principle of flow retardation for a conducting fluid moving through a magnetic field

  18. Biological effects of static magnetic fields: a selective review with emphasis on risk assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Easterly, C. E.

    1982-04-01

    Rather than focusing on literature per se, the current study determines the status of magnetic field information that is applicable to risk assessment. Hence, an attempt is made to identify both the literature that is useful to the goal of risk assessment and a framework within which risk assessment methodologies can be derived. From this selected review, it is concluded that three areas exist for which adequate information can be found to begin modelling: disease induction, reproduction and development, and cardiovascular response. The first two are supported by a combination of positive and negative findings and the last by a calculational technique which utilizes the physically well-known principle of flow retardation for a conducting fluid moving through a magnetic field.

  19. CLINICAL AND FUNCTIONAL ASSESSMENT OF THE BIOLOGICAL PROSTHESIS “ASPIRE” FOR SURGICAL CORRECTION OF MITRAL VALVE DISEASE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. G. Esin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim: To assess clinical and functional efficacy of implanted biological prosthesis “ASPIRE” (manufactured by Vascutek for correction of mitral valve disease.Materials and methods: From October 2008 to December 2013, biological prostheses “ASPIRE” (Vascutek were implanted to 34 patients with mitral valve disease (mean age 63.59 ± 4.96 years, 79.4% female. From these, 24 patients had mitral stenosis and 10 patients had mitral insufficiency. 73.5% of all patients had heart failure Strazhesko-Vasilenko IIA grade and 85.3% of patients had chronic heart failure NYHA III. Isolated mitral valve replacement was performed only in 8 (23.5% of patients. In 22 (64.7% of cases mitral valve replacement was combined with tricuspid valvuloplasty in various modifications. Duration of cardiopulmonary bypass and of aortic clamping was 88.09 ± 25.95 and 65.68 ± 25.51 minutes, respectively. Before and after surgery all patients underwent echocardiographic assessment and clinical assessment of their general status.Results: In-hospital mortality was 5.88% (n = 2 and was related to multiorgan failure in the early postoperative period. All 32 (94.12% surviving patients improved with decrease or complete disappearance of heart failure. Postoperative complications were typical for cardiac surgery. There were no episodes of embolism, structural dysfunction, thrombosis of the prosthesis and endocarditis of the prosthesis in the early postoperative period. Pressure gradients across prosthetic valves were not high and corresponded to good clinical and hemodynamic results in the early postoperative period.Conclusion: Taking into account good immediate results of mitral valve replacement, as well as no need in lifelong anticoagulation in patients with multiple concomitant disorders, implantation of the biological prosthesis “ASPIRE” (Vascutek could become a procedure of choice for correction of valve abnormalities in patients above 65 years. For more comprehensive

  20. Research toward the development of a biologically based dose response assessment for inorganic arsenic carcinogenicity: A progress report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clewell, Harvey J.; Thomas, Russell S.; Gentry, P. Robinan; Crump, Kenny S.; Kenyon, Elaina M.; El-Masri, Hisham A.; Yager, Janice W.

    2007-01-01

    Cancer risk assessments for inorganic arsenic have been based on human epidemiological data, assuming a linear dose response below the range of observation of tumors. Part of the reason for the continued use of the linear approach in arsenic risk assessments is the lack of an adequate biologically based dose response (BBDR) model that could provide a quantitative basis for an alternative nonlinear approach. This paper describes elements of an ongoing collaborative research effort between the CIIT Centers for Health Research, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ENVIRON International, and EPRI to develop BBDR modeling approaches that could be used to inform a nonlinear cancer dose response assessment for inorganic arsenic. These efforts are focused on: (1) the refinement of physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models of the kinetics of inorganic arsenic and its metabolites in the mouse and human; (2) the investigation of mathematical solutions for multi-stage cancer models involving multiple pathways of cell transformation; (3) the review and evaluation of the literature on the dose response for the genomic effects of arsenic; and (4) the collection of data on the dose response for genomic changes in the urinary bladder (a human target tissue for arsenic carcinogenesis) associated with in vivo drinking water exposures in the mouse as well as in vitro exposures of both mouse and human cells. An approach is proposed for conducting a biologically based margin of exposure risk assessment for inorganic arsenic using the in vitro dose response for the expression of genes associated with the obligatory precursor events for arsenic tumorigenesis

  1. The Inquiry Matrix: A Tool for Assessing and Planning Inquiry in Biology and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grady, Julie

    2010-01-01

    One way to advance inquiry in the classroom is to establish a systematic strategy for reflecting on our practice and our students' readiness to engage in increasingly complex scientific reasoning. The Matrix for Assessing and Planning Scientific Inquiry (MAPSI) is a tool that promotes this valuable reflection so that we, as teachers, are better…

  2. 77 FR 46373 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Hemlock Woolly...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-03

    ... DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2012-0060... that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared an environmental assessment relative... of the potential environmental effects associated with the proposed action are documented in detail...

  3. A technical review and assessment of the BEIR V [Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation V] report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-03-01

    This report was prepared by the DOE BEIR V Technical Review Committee (TRC) to provide a technical review and assessment of the National Research Council's Bilogical Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR) Committee's Report entitled ''Health Effects of Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation'' (BEIR V). This report contains seven sections. The first section serves as an introduction and reviews the charge to the TRC. The second section is a chapter-by- chapter summary of the BEIR V Report. The third section is a summary of the risk estimates and conclusions of the BEIR V Committee for genetic effects, cancer induction, and in utero effects. The fourth section is a summary and analysis of the new scientific information used by the BEIR V Committee in developing its risk recommendations and conclusions. The fifth section is an assessment of the scientific information and methods used by the BEIR V Committee in developing their risk estimates and conclusions and an analysis of the key assumptions underlying the use of these risk estimates in risk assessment. The sixth section is the TRC'S assessment of the regulatory implications of the BEIR V risk estimates and conclusions for DOE nuclear operations. The seventh and final section is the TRC'S recommended actions for DOE's consideration concerning the BEIR V Report risk estimates and conclusions. 23 refs., 5 tabs

  4. 75 FR 64984 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Hawkweeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-21

    ... Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the reading room). You may request paper copies..., Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS-2010-0078. Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on the environmental assessment in our reading room. The...

  5. 75 FR 28232 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Hemlock Woolly...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-20

    ... reading room). You may request paper copies of the EA by calling or writing to the person listed under FOR... 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS-2010-0029. Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on the environmental assessment in our reading room. The reading room...

  6. 75 FR 69396 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Arundo donax

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-12

    ... location and hours of the reading room). You may request paper copies of the EA by calling or writing to..., Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS-2010-0108. Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on the environmental assessment in our reading room. The...

  7. 76 FR 3076 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Air Potato

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-19

    ... reading room). You may request paper copies of the EA by calling or writing to the person listed under FOR.... APHIS-2010-0115. Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on the environmental assessment in our reading room. The reading room is located in Room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street...

  8. Assessing the Attitudes and Beliefs of Preservice Middle School Science Teachers toward Biologically Diverse Animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagler, Ron; Wagler, Amy

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between United States (US) preservice middle school science teacher characteristics, their attitude toward a specific animal and their belief concerning the likelihood of incorporating information about that specific animal into their future science classroom. The study participants…

  9. Visual Representations on High School Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, and Physics Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaDue, Nicole D.; Libarkin, Julie C.; Thomas, Stephen R.

    2015-01-01

    The pervasive use of visual representations in textbooks, curricula, and assessments underscores their importance in K-12 science education. For example, visual representations figure prominently in the recent publication of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States in Next generation science standards: for states, by states.…

  10. Environmental Health and Aging: Activity, Exposure and Biological Models to Improve Risk Assessment and Health Promotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other public health agencies are concerned that the environmental health of America’s growing population of older adults has not been taken into consideration in current approaches to risk assessment. The reduced capacity to respo...

  11. Synthesis and biological assessment of novel acylhydrazone derivatives of 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamal Bouhadir

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Naphthoquinones are medicinally important molecules with a diverse array of biological properties such as antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-artherosclerotic and anticarcinogenic activities. In this study, we report the simple and direct preparation of a new group of novel menadione-hydrazone conjugates by reaction of 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinones with several aliphatic, aromatic and nucleobase hydrazides. The menadione-hydrazone conjugates were produced in excellent yields and characterized by IR, NMR and HRMS. The menadione derivatives were tested for their anticancer effects against human colon cancer HCT116 and human breast cancer MCF-7 cell lines. Interestingly, the molecules displayed disparate activities against both cell lines; the menadione hydrazones derived from the lipophilic myristic hydrazide and stearic hydrazide exhibited the most potent activity against HCT116 cell lines with IC50 of 89 and 64 μM. The most effective compounds against MCF-7 cells were the lauric hydrazide and benzoic hydrazide-derived menadione hydrazones with IC50 of 56 µM.

  12. Biological methods for assessment of budbreak in apple trees for modeling dormancy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Anzanello

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available A biological method was developed to evaluate the dormancy state of apple buds under controlled conditions. Cuttings (20-25 cm long of ‘Castel Gala’ and ‘Royal Gala’ were sampled during the winter period, evaluating different cold and heat regimes to induce budbreak. Contrasts were tested in plant material processing (single node x intact cuttings, cold storage method to break dormancy in incubator chambers (planted in pots with floral foam x wrapped in plastic film, vertically or horizontally and budbreak method in plant growth chambers (base immersed in water x planted in floral foam. Intact cuttings stored vertically in the cold represented better the natural interactions between buds than single node cuttings. Budbreak of lateral buds was strongly influenced by apical dominance. Wrapping cuttings in plastic film optimized internal space usage in the incubators and the number of evaluated buds, compared to planting cuttings in pots. During the warm period in the growth chambers, intact cuttings on floral foam resulted in better bud preservation and survival throughout the evaluation period, compared to cuttings with bases immersed in water. The most suitable conditions to evaluate dormancy evolution in apple buds used plastic-wrapped intact cuttings stored vertically during the cold period, with budbreak evaluation in the warm period after planting the cuttings in floral foam. Standardization of methodology helps to obtain better results in the development of physiological models of dormancy.

  13. [Biomechanic and biological activity assessment of concavity-convex amniotic membrane].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Yi; Yu, Yao; Tan, Gang; Peng, Juan; Zhou, Qiong; Pei, Chonggang; Dong, Wenjia; Gao, Guiping

    2012-12-01

    This paper conducted research on biomechanical characteristics and biological activity of concavity-convex amniotic membrane (CCAM) and discussed its superiority as ocular surface repair material. Folding and compression with vacuum of fresh amniotic membrane were used to prepare CCAM. After cutting the striga of CCAM, sixteen CCAM tissue section were chosen at random to test their tensile strength using electronic universal testing machine. The bilayer amniotic membrane (BAM), the double-deck amniotic membrane (DAM) and the monolayer amniotic membrane (MAM) were as controls. The test parameters included yield strength, tensile strength, elongation at break, elastic modulus and so on. The cytokines of fresh amniotic membrane (FAM), MAM and CCAM were analyzed by radioimmunoassay method. The CCAM was obviously thicker than MAM and DAM. After 15 min in PBS, the CCAM tissue can recover the normal shape. The tensile strength and the elongation at break of CCAM were higher than those of the MAM and the DAM (P biomechanical properties than the MAM and the DAM, showing the superiority as ocular surface repair material.

  14. Application of Fourier transform infrared ellipsometry to assess the concentration of biological molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Caurel, Enric; Drevillon, Bernard; De Martino, Antonello; Schwartz, Laurent

    2002-12-01

    Spectroscopic ellipsometry is a noninvasive optical characterization technique mainly used in the semiconductor field to characterize bare substrates and thin films. In particular, it allows the gathering of information concerning the physical structure of the sample, such as roughness and film thickness, as well as its optical response. In the mid-infrared (IR) range each molecule exhibits a characteristic absorption fingerprint, which makes this technique chemically selective. Phase-modulated IR ellipsometry does not require a baseline correction procedure or suppression of atmospheric CO2 and water-vapor absorption bands, thus greatly reducing the subjectivity in data analysis. We have found that ellipsometric measurements of thin films, such as the solid residuals left on a plane surface after evaporation of a liquid drop containing a given compound in solution, are particularly favorable for dosing purposes because the intensity of IR absorptions shows a linear behavior along a wide range of solution concentrations of the given compound. Our aim is to illustrate with a concrete example and to justify theoretically the linearity experimentally found between radiation absorption and molecule concentration. For the example, we prepared aqueous solutions of glycogen, a molecule of huge biological importance currently tested in biochemical analyses, at concentrations ranging from 1 mg/l to 1 g/l, which correspond to those found in physiological conditions. The results of this example are promising for the application of ellipsometry for dosing purposes in biochemistry and biomedicine.

  15. Assessment of the propensity of biofilm growth on newfloat carrier media through process and biological experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podedworna, J; Zubrowska-Sudoł, M; Grabińska-Łoniewska, A

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents the results of research on biomass growth on Newfloat carrier elements and the implications of this growth on the wastewater treatment process. Supervision of the experiment comprised of the analysis of treatment efficiency (dynamic experiments), the estimation of the content of nitrifying bacteria in the biofilm (batch tests) and biological investigations of the biofilm structure and composition. It has been demonstrated that the biofilm growing on the carrier elements was rich in nitrifying bacteria and that this in turn guaranteed the highly efficient oxidation of ammoniacal nitrogen. After the full growth of biofilm had been established, average removal efficiencies were as follows: organic C removal-88.8% (effluent COD below 60 mg O2 l(-1)), nitrification-97.9% (effluent ammoniacal N below 1 mg N-NH4+ l(-1)), denitrification (after the COD loading rate increased to over 0.53 kg COD m(-3) d(-1))-95.7% (total N in the effluent below 8 mg N l(-1)).

  16. The Assessment of Biological and Pollution Index of Estuaries Around Port of Tanjung Emas Semarang

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tjahjono, A.; Wahyuni, O.; Purwantini, S.

    2018-02-01

    Estuary is a place of accumulation of the population’s actitivites produced by domestic, industry or agriculture. This research was conducted to three of estuary of the rivers around the waters of Port of Tanjung Emas Semarang (PTES). They were estuaries of Baru river, Banjir Kanal Timur (BKT) and Siangker in west monsoon from October to December 2015. The purpose of this research was to analyze pollution index, the abundance of microorganisms either phytoplankton or zooplankton, the content of heavy metal in sediment and sea water, biological index that included diversity (H), uniformity (e), dominance (D), Saprobik Index (SI), and the Total of Saprobik Index (TSI) in the waters either HTL (High Tide Level) or LTL (Low Tide Level). The concentration of heavy metal in both sea water and sediments were analyzed by using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS). The result obtained from 12 parameters which were tested showed that the three waters can be categorized at heavily polluted condition at each value from 12.52 to 24.98. The concentration of heavy metal at sea water during HTW and LTW ranging from Cd is around 0.033 and 0. 048 mg/kg, Cu 0.047 and 0.07 mg/kg, Pb 0.48 and 0.71 mg/kg, and Zn 0.043 and 0.057 mg/kg. The saprobity value index based on the existence of phytoplankton or zooplankton was ranging of Oligosaprobik at low pollution or has not been polluted yet.

  17. Fabrication, characterization, and biological assessment of multilayer laminin γ2 DNA coatings on titanium surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Guoli; Zhang, Jing; Dong, Wenjing; Liu, Li; Shi, Jue; Wang, Huiming

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this work was to fabricate a multilayer laminin γ2 DNA coating on a titanium surface and evaluate its biological properties. A multilayer laminin γ2 DNA coating was fabricated on titanium using a layer-by-layer assembly technique. The rate of coating degradation was evaluated by detecting the amount of cDNA remaining. Surface analysis using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and surface contact angle measurements revealed the multilayer structure to consist of cationic lipid and confirmed that a laminin γ2 DNA layer could be fabricated on titanium via the layer-by-layer assembly process. The transfection efficiency was highest for five layers in the multilayer structure. HEK293 cells cultured on the multilayer films displayed significantly higher adhesion activity than the control group. The expression of laminin γ2 and the co-localization of integrin β4 and plectin were more obvious in HN4 cells cultured on the multilayer laminin γ2 DNA coating, while weak immunoreactivities were observed in the control group. We concluded that the DNA-loaded multilayer provided a surface with good biocompatibility and that the multilayer laminin γ2 DNA coating might be effective in improving cell adhesion and the formation of hemidesmosomes on titanium surfaces. PMID:26996815

  18. Biodegradation of creosote and pentachlorophenol in contaminated groundwater: chemical and biological assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, J G; Middaugh, D P; Lantz, S E; Chapman, P J

    1991-05-01

    Shake flask studies examined the rate and extent of biodegradation of pentachlorophenol (PCP) and 42 components of coal-tar creosote present in contaminated groundwater recovered from the American Creosote Works Superfund site, Pensacola, Fla. The ability of indigenous soil microorganisms to remove these contaminants from aqueous solutions was determined by gas chromatographic analysis of organic extracts of biotreated groundwater. Changes in potential environmental and human health hazards associated with the biodegradation of this material were determined at intervals by Microtox assays and fish toxicity and teratogenicity tests. After 14 days of incubation at 30 degrees C, indigenous microorganisms effectively removed 100, 99, 94, 88, and 87% of measured phenolic and lower-molecular-weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and S-heterocyclic, N-heterocyclic, and O-heterocyclic constituents of creosote, respectively. However, only 53% of the higher-molecular-weight PAHs were degraded; PCP was not removed. Despite the removal of a majority of the organic contaminants through biotreatment, only a slight decrease in the toxicity and teratogenicity of biotreated groundwater was observed. Data suggest that toxicity and teratogenicity are associated with compounds difficult to treat biologically and that one may not necessarily rely on indigenous microorganisms to effectively remove these compounds in a reasonable time span; to this end, alternative or supplemental approaches may be necessary. Similar measures of the toxicity and teratogenicity of treated material may offer a simple, yet important, guide to bioremediation effectiveness.

  19. Assessment of a new biological complex efficacy on dysseborrhea, inflammation, and Propionibacterium acnes proliferation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trompezinski S

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Sandra Trompezinski,1 Sophie Weber,1 Benoît Cadars,2 Florence Larue,1 Nathalie Ardiet,1 Marlène Chavagnac-Bonneville,2 Michèle Sayag,2 Eric Jourdan2 1NAOS, Aix-en Provence, 2Direction Scientifique Bioderma (NAOS, Lyon, France Introduction: Acne vulgaris is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the pilosebaceous unit triggered by Propionibacterium acnes. A bakuchiol, Ginkgo biloba extract, and mannitol (BGM complex has been developed to provide patients with acne with a specific dermocosmetic to be used adjunctively with conventional treatments. Objective: The aim of these studies was to assess the antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidative potential of BGM complex and its individual compounds as well as its impact on sebum composition. Methods: The antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidative potential of BGM complex and its compounds was assessed through in vitro, ex vivo, and clinical studies. The clinical benefit of BGM complex formulated in a cream was assessed in subjects prone to acne through sebum composition analysis and photometric assessments. Results: Results from the studies showed that the BGM complex has significant antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidative properties. At similar concentrations, bakuchiol has up to twice the antioxidative potential than vitamin E. In subjects, BGM complex regulated the sebum composition in acne patients by increasing the level of sapienic and linolenic acid and reducing the level of oleic acid. The reduced number of porphyrins on the skin surface showed that it is also effective against P. acnes. Conclusion: BGM complex provides a complete adjunctive care in patients with acne by targeting etiopathogenic factors of acne: dysseborrhea, inflammation, and P. acnes proliferation. Keywords: acne, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidation, cosmetics, sebum

  20. Instream biological assessment of NPDES point source discharges at the Savannah River Site, 1997-1998

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Specht, W.L.

    2000-02-28

    The Savannah River Site currently has 33 permitted NPDES outfalls that have been permitted by the South Carolina Department of Health an Environmental Control to discharge to SRS streams and the Savannah River. In order to determine the cumulative impacts of these discharges to the receiving streams, a study plan was developed to perform in-stream assessments of the fish assemblages, macroinvertebrate assemblages, and habitats of the receiving streams.

  1. Instream biological assessment of NPDES point source discharges at the Savannah River Site, 1997-1998

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Specht, W.L.

    2000-01-01

    The Savannah River Site currently has 33 permitted NPDES outfalls that have been permitted by the South Carolina Department of Health an Environmental Control to discharge to SRS streams and the Savannah River. In order to determine the cumulative impacts of these discharges to the receiving streams, a study plan was developed to perform in-stream assessments of the fish assemblages, macroinvertebrate assemblages, and habitats of the receiving streams

  2. Comprehensive Biological Monitoring to Assess Isocyanates and Solvents Exposure in the NSW Australia Motor Vehicle Repair Industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jimmy; Cantrell, Phillip; Nand, Aklesh

    2017-10-01

    of water-based paints in the industry, resulting in lower than expected isocyanate and solvent metabolite levels detected in this more recent study. Further, the completion of sample context form, along with spot urine collection in relation to the isocyanate exposure monitoring work details will provide crucial information to interpret the biological analysis results. The development of new biomarkers of isocyanate oligomer-derived triamines should be incorporated in the assessment of isocyanate exposure in the MVR industry to provide a more complete picture of isocyanate exposure. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.

  3. Performance of the biological rhythms interview for assessment in neuropsychiatry: An item response theory and actigraphy analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allega, Olivia R; Leng, Xiamin; Vaccarino, Anthony; Skelly, Matthew; Lanzini, Mariana; Hidalgo, Maria Paz; Soares, Claudio N; Kennedy, Sidney H; Frey, Benicio N

    2018-01-01

    Biological rhythm disturbances are widely associated with the pathophysiology of mood disorders. The Biological Rhythms Interview for Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (BRIAN) is a self-report that indexes rhythm disturbance in sleep, activity, social and eating patterns. The aim of this study was to perform an Item Response Theory (IRT) analysis of the BRIAN and investigate its associations with objective sleep and rhythm disturbance measures. 103 subjects (31 bipolar, 32 major depression and 40 healthy volunteers) wore an actiwatch for fifteen days, and completed a first morning urine sample and the BRIAN on day 15. IRT analysis assessed individual BRIAN items and their relationship to total score. Individual actiwatch records were processed to produce a sequence of transitions between rest/activity, and a likelihood of transitioning between states was calculated to investigate sleep-wake dynamics. Cosinor analysis produced daily activity rhythms (DARs). Spearman correlations were used to assess the association between sleep/DAR variables and the BRIAN. IRT analyses showed that 11 of 18 BRIAN items displayed a high level of discrimination between item options across a range of BRIAN total scores. Total BRIAN score correlated with wake after sleep onset, total activity count during sleep, and urinary 6-sulphatoxymelatonin. BRIAN Activity domain correlated with the daytime transition probability from rest to activity. The sample size may have been underpowered for the graded-response model employed in IRT. The study lacked an objective comparison for BRIAN eating and social domain. The present study reveals the BRIAN displays promising external validity compared to objective parameters of circadian rhythmicity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Assessment of club patrons' alcohol and drug use: the use of biological markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brenda A; Byrnes, Hilary F; Branner, Amy C; Voas, Robert; Johnson, Mark B

    2013-11-01

    Young adulthood (ages 18-25 years) represents a time when high-risk behaviors, including alcohol and drug use, peak. Electronic music dance events (EMDEs) featured at clubs provide an ecologic niche for these high-risk behaviors. This paper examines the prevalence of alcohol and drug use among EMDE patrons. Examination of personal characteristics associated with exit levels of alcohol and drug use identifies important indicators of risk taking for prevention strategies. Data were collected anonymously during 2010-2012 from 2028 patrons as they entered and exited clubs in the San Francisco Bay area featuring EMDEs. Nearly half were aged ≤25 years. Biological measures of drug and alcohol and self-reported personal characteristics were attained. Analyses were completed in 2012. At entrance, more than one fifth of patrons were positive for drug use and one fourth arrived either impaired (blood alcohol concentration [BAC]: 0.05%-0.079%) or intoxicated (BAC: >0.08%) by alcohol. At exit, one fourth tested positive for drugs, and nearly half were impaired or intoxicated by alcohol. Individual characteristics that were important for levels of risk included prior alcohol use behaviors, sexual identity, ethnic/racial identity, and transportation to the event. Gender did not differentiate for alcohol use but fewer women used drugs. Findings confirm the importance of targeting EMDEs for prevention efforts. EMDEs attract young working adults who are engaged in heavy alcohol and/or drug use. Targeting these social settings for delivering public health prevention strategies regarding alcohol and drug use and related harm is indicated by the findings. © 2013 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

  5. In Vivo toxicological assessment of biologically synthesized silver nanoparticles in adult Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krishnaraj, Chandran, E-mail: krishnarajbio@gmail.com [Department of Food Science & Technology, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756 (Korea, Republic of); Harper, Stacey L. [Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331 (United States); Yun, Soon-Il, E-mail: siyun@jbnu.ac.kr [Department of Food Science & Technology, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756 (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-01-15

    Highlights: • Synthesis of AgNPs achieved using Malva crispa Linn., leaves extract. • 96 h LC{sub 50} concentration of AgNPs was observed at 142.2 μg/l in adult zebrafish. • Cytological changes and intrahepatic localization of AgNPs were demonstrated in tissues. • Presence of micronuclei and nuclear abnormalities were observed. • The mRNA expression of stress and immune response related genes were analyzed. - Abstract: The present study examines the deleterious effect of biologically synthesized silver nanoparticles in adult zebrafish. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) used in the study were synthesized by treating AgNO{sub 3} with aqueous leaves extract of Malva crispa Linn., a medicinal herb as source of reductants. LC{sub 50} concentration of AgNPs at 96 h was observed as 142.2 μg/l. In order to explore the underlying toxicity mechanisms of AgNPs, half of the LC{sub 50} concentration (71.1 μg/l) was exposed to adult zebrafish for 14 days. Cytological changes and intrahepatic localization of AgNPs were observed in gills and liver tissues respectively, and the results concluded a possible sign for oxidative stress. In addition to oxidative stress the genotoxic effect was observed in peripheral blood cells like presence of micronuclei, nuclear abnormalities and also loss in cell contact with irregular shape was observed in liver parenchyma cells. Hence to confirm the oxidative stress and genotoxic effects the mRNA expression of stress related (MTF-1, HSP70) and immune response related (TLR4, NFKB, IL1B, CEBP, TRF, TLR22) genes were analyzed in liver tissues and the results clearly concluded that the plant extract mediated synthesis of AgNPs leads to oxidative stress and immunotoxicity in adult zebrafish.

  6. Impact assessment of proposed ski areas: A GIS approach integrating biological, physical and landscape indicators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geneletti, Davide

    2008-01-01

    Ski centres are characterized by significant environmental impacts that occur during both the construction and the operation phase. In Trentino, a well-known ski destination located in northern Italy, new ski areas were identified by planning tools without conducting a formal assessment of their effects on the environment. This paper presents a study to assess and compare the impacts of the proposed ski areas within two valleys strongly linked to winter tourism: the Fiemme and Fassa Valleys. The method is based on the computation of spatial indicators using a Geographical Information System (GIS) to predict and quantify critical impacts, such as ecosystem loss and fragmentation, soil erosion, geomorphologic hazards, interference with flora and fauna, and visibility. Subsequently, multicriteria analysis was applied to generate composite indices, and to rank ski areas according to their overall suitability. Finally, sensitivity analyses allowed to test the stability of the results. The study concluded that two of the proposed ski areas are located in highly unsuitable environment, and the relevant plan provisions should be revised

  7. Assessment of the removal of estrogenicity in biological nutrient removal wastewater treatment processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ogunlaja, O.O., E-mail: oogunlaj@uwaterloo.ca; Parker, W.J., E-mail: wjparker@uwaterloo.ca

    2015-05-01

    The removal of estrogenicity in a University of Cape Town-biological nutrient removal (UCT-BNR) wastewater treatment process was investigated using pilot and bench scale systems, batch experiments and mathematical modeling. In the pilot BNR process, 96 ± 5% of the estrogenicity exerted by the influent wastewater was removed by the treatment process. The degradation efficiencies in the anaerobic, anoxic and aerobic zones of the pilot BNR bioreactor were 11 ± 9%, 18 ± 2% and 93 ± 10%, respectively. In order to further understand the performance of the BNR process in the removal of estrogenicity from wastewater, a bench scale BNR process was operated with synthetic wastewater dosed with E1 and E2. The removal of estrogenicity in the bench scale system (95 ± 5%) was comparable to the pilot BNR process and the degradation efficiencies were estimated to be 8 ± 0.8%, 38 ± 4% and 85 ± 22% in the anaerobic, anoxic and aerobic zones, respectively. A biotransformation model developed to predict the fate of E1 and E2 in batch tests using the sludge from the BNR process was calibrated using the data from the experiments. The biotransformation rate constants for the transformation of E2 to E1 were estimated as 71 ± 1.5, 31 ± 3.3 and 1 ± 0.9 L g COD{sup −1} d{sup −1} for the aerobic, anoxic and anaerobic batch tests, respectively, while the corresponding biotransformation rate constants for the transformation of E1 were estimated to be 7.3 ± 1.0, 3 ± 2.0, and 0.85 ± 0.6 L·g COD{sup −1} d{sup −1}. A steady state mass balance model formulated to describe the interactions between E2 and E1 in BNR activated sludge reasonably described the fate of E1 and E2 in the BNR process. - Highlights: • Comparable estrogenicity removal was observed from two BNR processes. • Pseudo first order model described the transformation of E2 and E1 in BNR process. • Biotransformation of E1 in BNR activated sludge controls the degradation of E2.

  8. Assessment of the removal of estrogenicity in biological nutrient removal wastewater treatment processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ogunlaja, O.O.; Parker, W.J.

    2015-01-01

    The removal of estrogenicity in a University of Cape Town-biological nutrient removal (UCT-BNR) wastewater treatment process was investigated using pilot and bench scale systems, batch experiments and mathematical modeling. In the pilot BNR process, 96 ± 5% of the estrogenicity exerted by the influent wastewater was removed by the treatment process. The degradation efficiencies in the anaerobic, anoxic and aerobic zones of the pilot BNR bioreactor were 11 ± 9%, 18 ± 2% and 93 ± 10%, respectively. In order to further understand the performance of the BNR process in the removal of estrogenicity from wastewater, a bench scale BNR process was operated with synthetic wastewater dosed with E1 and E2. The removal of estrogenicity in the bench scale system (95 ± 5%) was comparable to the pilot BNR process and the degradation efficiencies were estimated to be 8 ± 0.8%, 38 ± 4% and 85 ± 22% in the anaerobic, anoxic and aerobic zones, respectively. A biotransformation model developed to predict the fate of E1 and E2 in batch tests using the sludge from the BNR process was calibrated using the data from the experiments. The biotransformation rate constants for the transformation of E2 to E1 were estimated as 71 ± 1.5, 31 ± 3.3 and 1 ± 0.9 L g COD −1 d −1 for the aerobic, anoxic and anaerobic batch tests, respectively, while the corresponding biotransformation rate constants for the transformation of E1 were estimated to be 7.3 ± 1.0, 3 ± 2.0, and 0.85 ± 0.6 L·g COD −1 d −1 . A steady state mass balance model formulated to describe the interactions between E2 and E1 in BNR activated sludge reasonably described the fate of E1 and E2 in the BNR process. - Highlights: • Comparable estrogenicity removal was observed from two BNR processes. • Pseudo first order model described the transformation of E2 and E1 in BNR process. • Biotransformation of E1 in BNR activated sludge controls the degradation of E2

  9. A microbiology-based multi-parametric approach towards assessing biological stability in drinking water distribution networks

    KAUST Repository

    Lautenschläger, Karin

    2013-06-01

    and sensitive tool to assess and evaluate biological stability and microbial processes in drinking water distribution systems. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

  10. Assessment of pollution in road runoff using a Bufo viridis biological assay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dorchin, A.; Shanas, U.

    2010-01-01

    Road runoff is a major source of environmental pollution, significantly threatening nearby aquatic habitats. Chemical analyses indicate high pollutant concentrations in the road's 'first flush', but bioassays are more advantageous for addressing the cumulative effects of the numerous pollutants within the runoff. We used Bufo viridis embryos and larvae to assess the toxicity of road runoff from two major highways in Israel. We show, for the first time, that exposure to midseason runoff not only has an adverse effect on growth and development rates of B. viridis larvae but can also lead to increased rates of morphological deformations. Seasonal first flushes, despite having higher metal concentrations, did not adversely affect the toad larvae, apparently due to a counter effect of organic matter that potentially served as a supplementary energy resource. Road runoff can be a major cause for a qualitative decrease in the quality of aquatic habitats threatening amphibians in Israel. - Highway runoff has detrimental effects on the development of B. viridis larvae.

  11. Minimal information: an urgent need to assess the functional reliability of recombinant proteins used in biological experiments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Marco Ario

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Structural characterization of proteins used in biological experiments is largely neglected. In most publications, the information available is totally insufficient to judge the functionality of the proteins used and, therefore, the significance of identified protein-protein interactions (was the interaction specific or due to unspecific binding of misfolded protein regions? or reliability of kinetic and thermodynamic data (how much protein was in its native form?. As a consequence, the results of single experiments might not only become questionable, but the whole reliability of systems biology, built on these fundaments, would be weakened. The introduction of Minimal Information concerning purified proteins to add as metadata to the main body of a manuscript would render straightforward the assessment of their functional and structural qualities and, consequently, of results obtained using these proteins. Furthermore, accepted standards for protein annotation would simplify data comparison and exchange. This article has been envisaged as a proposal for aggregating scientists who share the opinion that the scientific community needs a platform for Minimum Information for Protein Functionality Evaluation (MIPFE.

  12. An Integrated Workflow To Assess Technical and Biological Variability of Cell Population Frequencies in Human Peripheral Blood by Flow Cytometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burel, Julie G; Qian, Yu; Lindestam Arlehamn, Cecilia; Weiskopf, Daniela; Zapardiel-Gonzalo, Jose; Taplitz, Randy; Gilman, Robert H; Saito, Mayuko; de Silva, Aruna D; Vijayanand, Pandurangan; Scheuermann, Richard H; Sette, Alessandro; Peters, Bjoern

    2017-02-15

    In the context of large-scale human system immunology studies, controlling for technical and biological variability is crucial to ensure that experimental data support research conclusions. In this study, we report on a universal workflow to evaluate both technical and biological variation in multiparameter flow cytometry, applied to the development of a 10-color panel to identify all major cell populations and T cell subsets in cryopreserved PBMC. Replicate runs from a control donation and comparison of different gating strategies assessed the technical variability associated with each cell population and permitted the calculation of a quality control score. Applying our panel to a large collection of PBMC samples, we found that most cell populations showed low intraindividual variability over time. In contrast, certain subpopulations such as CD56 T cells and Temra CD4 T cells were associated with high interindividual variability. Age but not gender had a significant effect on the frequency of several populations, with a drastic decrease in naive T cells observed in older donors. Ethnicity also influenced a significant proportion of immune cell population frequencies, emphasizing the need to account for these covariates in immune profiling studies. We also exemplify the usefulness of our workflow by identifying a novel cell-subset signature of latent tuberculosis infection. Thus, our study provides a universal workflow to establish and evaluate any flow cytometry panel in systems immunology studies. Copyright © 2017 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

  13. Proof of concept for a banding scheme to support risk assessments related to multi-product biologics manufacturing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Card, Jeffrey W; Fikree, Hana; Haighton, Lois A; Blackwell, James; Felice, Brian; Wright, Teresa L

    2015-11-01

    A banding scheme theory has been proposed to assess the potency/toxicity of biologics and assist with decisions regarding the introduction of new biologic products into existing manufacturing facilities. The current work was conducted to provide a practical example of how this scheme could be applied. Information was identified for representatives from the following four proposed bands: Band A (lethal toxins); Band B (toxins and apoptosis signals); Band C (cytokines and growth factors); and Band D (antibodies, antibody fragments, scaffold molecules, and insulins). The potency/toxicity of the representative substances was confirmed as follows: Band A, low nanogram quantities exert lethal effects; Band B, repeated administration of microgram quantities is tolerated in humans; Band C, endogenous substances and recombinant versions administered to patients in low (interferons), intermediate (growth factors), and high (interleukins) microgram doses, often on a chronic basis; and Band D, endogenous substances present or produced in the body in milligram quantities per day (insulin, collagen) or protein therapeutics administered in milligram quantities per dose (mAbs). This work confirms that substances in Bands A, B, C, and D represent very high, high, medium, and low concern with regard to risk of cross-contamination in manufacturing facilities, thus supporting the proposed banding scheme. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Biological assessment of streams in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Area, Indiana, 1999-2001

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voelker, David C.

    2004-01-01

    During 1999?2001, benthic invertebrates and fish were sampled to describe biological communities in the White River and selected tributaries in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Area in Indiana. Twelve sites (six on the White River and six on tributaries) were sampled biannually for benthic invertebrates and annually for fish. The information complements water-chemistry data collected by the Indianapolis Department of Public Works in the study area. Evaluation of the habitat for sites in the study area was done, using a Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index (QHEI) developed by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The QHEI scores basin and habitat characteristics for each site, with a maximum possible score of 100. Higher scores indicate better habitat conditions for biotic communities. The QHEI scores for sites on the White River ranged from 55 at the Harding site to 71 at the Waverly site; scores on the tributaries ranged from 45 on Pogues Run to 82 on Williams Creek. A total of 151 taxa were identified from the benthic-invertebrate samples. The Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) Index scores for sites on the White River ranged from 0 at the Harding site to 15 at the Nora site. The Nora site, which is upstream from Indianapolis, generally scored the highest of all White River sites. Sites in the immediate vicinity of Indianapolis scored the lowest and indicate a negative effect on benthic-invertebrate communities in that reach. EPT Index scores increased in the farthest downstream reaches, which indicate that water-quality conditions had improved in comparison to sites in Indianapolis. For the tributary sites, EPT Index values ranged from 0 at Pogues Run to 16 at Buck Creek. Tributary sites on Fall Creek, Pleasant Run, and Pogues Run consistently scored 7 or lower; sites on Buck Creek, Eagle Creek, and Williams Creek scored 7 or higher. Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (HBI) scores ranged from 4.9 (good) to 9.6 (very poor) for the White River sites and from 5

  15. Biological Assessment of the Continued Operation of Los Alamos National Laboratory on Federally Listed Threatened and Endangered Species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hansen, Leslie A. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Ecology and Air Quality Group

    2006-09-19

    This biological assessment considers the effects of continuing to operate Los Alamos National Laboratory on Federally listed threatened or endangered species, based on current and future operations identified in the 2006 Site-wide Environmental Impact Statement for the Continued Operation of Los Alamos National Laboratory (SWEIS; DOE In Prep.). We reviewed 40 projects analyzed in the SWEIS as well as two aspects on ongoing operations to determine if these actions had the potential to affect Federally listed species. Eighteen projects that had not already received U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) consultation and concurrence, as well as the two aspects of ongoing operations, ecological risk from legacy contaminants and the Outfall Reduction Project, were determined to have the potential to affect threatened or endangered species. Cumulative impacts were also analyzed.

  16. Assessing twenty-first century skills through a teacher created video game for high school biology students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Annetta, Leonard A.; Cheng, Meng-Tzu; Holmes, Shawn

    2010-07-01

    As twenty-first century skills become a greater focus in K-12 education, an infusion of technology that meets the needs of today's students is paramount. This study looks at the design and creation of a Multiplayer Educational Gaming Application (MEGA) for high school biology students. The quasi-experimental, qualitative design assessed the twenty-first century skills of digital age literacy, inventive thinking, high productivity, and effective communication techniques of the students exposed to a MEGA. Three factors, as they pertained to these skills, emerged from classroom observations. Interaction with the teacher, discussion with peers, and engagement/time-on-task while playing the MEGA suggested that students playing an educational video game exhibited all of the projected twenty-first century skills while being engrossed in the embedded science content.

  17. Role of serum eosinophil cationic protein as a biological marker to assess the severity of bronchial asthma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Begum, A.; Sattar, H.; Miah, R.A.; Saleh, A.A.; Hassan, R.; Salam, A

    2012-01-01

    Objective: The study was carried out to evaluate the role of serum eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) as a biological marker for the diagnosis and to assess the severity of bronchial asthma. Methodology: This observational cross-sectional study was conducted among 70 bronchial asthma patients and 45 disease controls (tuberculosis-15, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-15, interstitial lung disease-15) enrolled from patients attending the outpatient department of the National Institute of Disease of the Chest and Hospital (NIDCH), Dhaka, Bangladesh during July 2010 to June 2011. Global Initiative of Asthma Management and Prevention (GINA) criteria were followed for selection of both atopic and non-atopic patients with intermittent or persistent (mild, moderate and severe) asthma. Serum level of eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), IgE, forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV 1% predicted) and circulatory eosinophil (CE) count were estimated. Results: Mean serum ECP level (28.8 +- 42.9 vs. 6.82 +- 3.5 ng/mL; P<0.001), IgE level (383.59 - 225.3 vs. 135 +- 131.8 IU/mL; P<0.001) and percent circulatory eosinophil count (9.95 +- 3.7 vs. 5.95 +- 1.4; P<0.024) were all found significantly raised among asthma patients than disease controls but % FEV1 was equivocal. All grades of persistent asthma patients had significantly (P<0.025 and P<0.002) higher mean ECP level than intermittent cases but serum IgE level and CE count did not differ significantly. FEV1 % predicted correlated well among moderate and severe persistent asthma but was equivocal for intermittent and mild persistent cases. Conclusion: This study has reinforced that serum eosinophil cationic protein is a dependable biological marker with more discriminatory power over other indicators for bronchial asthma and to assess its severity. (author)

  18. Omics Meets Biology: Application to the Design and Preclinical Assessment of Antivenoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan J. Calvete

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Snakebite envenoming represents a neglected tropical disease that has a heavy public health impact worldwide, mostly affecting poor people involved in agricultural activities in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania. A key issue that complicates the treatment of snakebite envenomings is the poor availability of the only validated treatment for this disease, antivenoms. Antivenoms can be an efficacious treatment for snakebite envenoming, provided they are safe, effective, affordable, accessible and administered appropriately. The shortage of antivenoms in various regions, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and some parts of Asia, can be significantly alleviated by optimizing the use of current antivenoms and by the generation of novel polyspecific antivenoms having a wide spectrum of efficacy. Complementing preclinical testing of antivenom efficacy using in vivo and in vitro functional neutralization assays, developments in venomics and antivenomics are likely to revolutionize the design and preclinical assessment of antivenoms by being able to test new antivenom preparations and to predict their paraspecific neutralization to the level of species-specific toxins.

  19. Assessment of pollution in road runoff using a Bufo viridis biological assay

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dorchin, A., E-mail: adorchin@campus.haifa.ac.i [Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905 (Israel); Shanas, U., E-mail: shanas@research.haifa.ac.i [Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905 (Israel); Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural sciences, University of Haifa - Oranim, Tiv' on 36006 (Israel)

    2010-12-15

    Road runoff is a major source of environmental pollution, significantly threatening nearby aquatic habitats. Chemical analyses indicate high pollutant concentrations in the road's 'first flush', but bioassays are more advantageous for addressing the cumulative effects of the numerous pollutants within the runoff. We used Bufo viridis embryos and larvae to assess the toxicity of road runoff from two major highways in Israel. We show, for the first time, that exposure to midseason runoff not only has an adverse effect on growth and development rates of B. viridis larvae but can also lead to increased rates of morphological deformations. Seasonal first flushes, despite having higher metal concentrations, did not adversely affect the toad larvae, apparently due to a counter effect of organic matter that potentially served as a supplementary energy resource. Road runoff can be a major cause for a qualitative decrease in the quality of aquatic habitats threatening amphibians in Israel. - Highway runoff has detrimental effects on the development of B. viridis larvae.

  20. A Comparative Assessment of Biological Effects and Chemical Profile of Italian Asphodeline lutea Extracts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dora Melucci

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The present study aims to highlight the therapeutic potential of Asphodeline lutea (AL, a wild edible plant of the Mediterranean diet. Roots, aerial parts, and flowers of AL at two different phenological stages were collected from three locations in Italy. The inhibitory activities of extracts on strategic enzymes linked to human diseases were assessed. The antioxidant properties were evaluated in vitro, using six standard bioassays. The phenolic and anthraquinone profiles were also established using HPLC-PDA. Zinc, cadmium, lead, and copper contents were also determined. All the samples inhibited acetylcholinesterase (from 1.51 to 2.20 mg GALAEs/g extract, tyrosinase (from 7.50 to 25.3 mg KAEs/g extract, and α-amylase (from 0.37 to 0.51 mmol ACAEs/g extract. Aloe-emodin and physcion were present in all parts, while rhein was not detected. The phenolic profile and the heavy metals composition of specimens gathered from three different regions of Italy were different. It can be argued that samples collected near the street can contain higher concentrations of heavy metals. The experimental data confirm that the A. lutea species could be considered as a potential source of bioactive metabolites, and its consumption could play a positive and safe role in human health maintenance.

  1. Biological assessment for rare and endangered plant species: Related to CERCLA characterization activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sackschewsky, M.R.

    1992-04-01

    Environmental characterization in support of hazardous, radioactive, and mixed waste cleanup (in accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980) can involve a large number of both nonintrusive and intrusive activities. Many of these activities could have a detrimental impact on listed plant species. These impacts can be minimized by following simple conservation policies while conducting the various field activities. For instance, frequent off-road vehicular traffic and have a severe impact on native habitats and, therefore, should be kept to a minimum. Personnel performing the field activities should be trained to preserve, respect, and minimize their impact on native habitat while performing work in the field. In addition, areas where sampling is planned should be surveyed for the presence of listed plant species before the initiation of the field activities. Extremely distributed areas could be exempted from this requirement provided adequate habitat assessments have been performed by qualified personnel. Twelve special status plant species are known to survive on or very near the Hanford Site. None of these species currently are listed as Federal Threatened or Endangered Species. However, four local species currently are candidates for federal protection. These species are the Northern Wormwood (Artemisia campestris ssp. borealis var. wormskioldii), Persistantsepal Yellowcress (Rorippa columbiae), Hoover's Desert Parsley (Lomatium tuberosum), and Columbia Milkvetch (Astragalus columbianus)

  2. Recellularization of biological heart valves with human vascular cells: in vitro hemocompatibility assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schopka, Simon; Schmid, Franz-Xaver; Hirt, Stephan; Birnbaum, Dietrich E; Schmid, Christof; Lehle, Karla

    2009-01-01

    Coverage of cardiovascular bioprostheses with autologous endothelium is used for the purpose of improving blood compatibility. The aim of our study was to analyze endothelialization potential of glutaraldehyde-fixed heart valves, cellular functions of seeded endothelial cells (EC), and the impact of a two-stage seeding protocol using human vascular fibroblasts (FB) and EC from saphenous veins (HSVEC) on cellular functional properties in vitro. Adherence and morphology of adhered cells were assessed by scanning electronic microscopy and immunohistochemistry. Reproducible, complete surface coverage with EC was established on decellularized and glutaraldehyde-fixed bovine pericardium. Analyzing functional properties of cells directly adhered to biomaterial revealed nonproliferative cells, which were capable of inflammatory stimulation in terms of TNF-induced increase in interleukin-6 secretion and adhesion of inflammatory cells. Furthermore, EC showed sustained antithrombotic properties quantified by platelet adhesion onto EC and prostacyclin secretion by EC. Preseeding with vascular fibroblasts using a two-stage seeding protocol induced EC proliferation and improved inflammatory and anti-thrombotic functions. Cardiovascular biomaterials differ significantly in their potential to allow for adhesion of human EC. Successfully endothelialized biomaterial, however, revealed cellular properties which are likely to be favorable to improving performance of biomaterials. Two-stage seeding adds regenerative potential and improves cell functions of adherent EC. (c) 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Assessing the Extent of Sediment Contamination Around Creosote-treated Pilings Through Chemical and Biological Analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefansson, E. S.

    2008-12-01

    Creosote is a common wood preservative used to treat marine structures, such as docks and bulkheads. Treated dock pilings continually leach polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other creosote compounds into the surrounding water and sediment. Over time, these compounds can accumulate in marine sediments, reaching much greater concentrations than those in seawater. The purpose of this study was to assess the extent of creosote contamination in sediments, at a series of distances from treated pilings. Three pilings were randomly selected from a railroad trestle in Fidalgo Bay, WA and sediment samples were collected at four distances from each: 0 meters, 0.5 meters, 1 meter, and 2 meters. Samples were used to conduct two bioassays: an amphipod bioassay (Rhepoxynius abronius) and a sand dollar embryo bioassay. Grain size and PAH content (using a fluorometric method) were also measured. Five samples in the amphipod bioassay showed significantly lower effective survival than the reference sediment. These consisted of samples closest to the piling at 0 and 0.5 meters. One 0 m sample in the sand dollar embryo bioassay also showed a significantly lower percentage of normal embryos than the reference sediment. Overall, results strongly suggest that creosote-contaminated sediments, particularly those closest to treated pilings, can negatively affect both amphipods and echinoderm embryos. Although chemical data were somewhat ambiguous, 0 m samples had the highest levels of PAHs, which corresponded to the lowest average survival in both bioassays. Relatively high levels of PAHs were found as far as 2 meters away from pilings. Therefore, we cannot say how far chemical contamination can spread from creosote-treated pilings, and at what distance this contamination can still affect marine organisms. These results, as well as future research, are essential to the success of proposed piling removal projects. In addition to creosote-treated pilings, contaminated sediments must

  4. Coupling geochemical and biological approaches to assess the availability of cadmium in freshwater sediment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dabrin, Aymeric, E-mail: aymeric.dabrin@cemagref.fr; Durand, Cyrielle L.; Garric, Jeanne; Geffard, Olivier; Ferrari, Benoit J.D.; Coquery, Marina

    2012-05-01

    Sediments are considered as a sink for metals, and the assessment of metal bioavailability for benthic organisms represents a great challenge. Diffusive Gradient in Thin films (DGT), developed to measure labile metals in aquatic media, have more recently been applied to sediment. Nevertheless, few studies have determined the relation between measurements from DGT and bioaccumulation in different benthic organisms. The aim of our work was to determine if labile metal measured by DGT in sediment is representative of bioavailable metal for benthic organisms. We focused our work on Cd and chose to use the diversity of ecological traits from different organisms to better understand the measurement given by DGT. We exposed simultaneously DGT and 3 macroinvertebrates species (the chironomid, Chironomus riparius; the amphipod, Gammarus fossarum; the mudsnail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum) to a natural sediment Cd-spiked at environmental relevant concentrations. The nature of sediment-bound Cd was also determined by means of sequential extractions in order to better interpret DGT measurements. Cadmium concentrations were determined in DGT and in the 3 organisms after one week of exposure. Results provided by DGT indicated that Cd was poorly released from particulate phase to pore water, suggesting that Cd measured by DGT was representative of the pore water labile fraction. Sequential extractions showed that the percentage of Cd bound to carbonate fraction increased simultaneously with Cd-spiking level; hence, this Cd fraction was poorly reactive to supply DGT demand. Cadmium accumulation rates were similar between DGT measurements and P. antipodarum, suggesting that labile Cd in pore waters was representative of bioavailable Cd for this species. Cadmium accumulation rates in C. riparius were higher than in DGT, demonstrating that C. riparius can mobilize Cd bound to carbonate phase. G. fossarum showed the lowest Cd accumulation rates, suggesting that they were mainly exposed

  5. Molecular biology methods in assessing radiation-induced hereditary risks in humans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kiuru, A.

    2004-12-01

    Effort to predict the genetic consequences for humans of exposure to ionising radiation has been one of the most important issues of human genetics over the past 60 years. To date, there has been little experimental knowledge on the genetic risks of human exposure to ionising radiation. Radiation-induced deleterious hereditary effects have not been detected in human populations - not even among the offspring of atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This does not mean deleterious hereditary effects do not exist in humans, but rather that they are small and/or difficult to detect because the normal incidence of inherited abnormalities is quite high in the human population. Thus, assessment of radiation-induced hereditary risks in humans has been based on the common knowledge of human heredity and on animal experiments. However, recent data have suggested that hyper-variable tandem repeat minisatellite loci provide a useful and sensitive experimental approach for monitoring radiation-induced germline mutations in humans. In order to investigate the feasibility of the minisatellite mutation screening system in assessing radiation-induced hereditary risks in humans, we examined the amount of hereditary minisatellite mutations among the offspring of Estonian Chernobyl cleanup workers. The men studied received a median radiation dose of 109 mSv while working on the cleanup activities after the Chernobyl accident. We compared the minisatellite mutation rates of 155 children born to 147 Estonian Chernobyl cleanup workers after the accident to those of their 148 siblings born prior to it. In addition, 44 Estonian families, where the father had not been exposed to radiation, composed an additional control group. In all of these families, the paternity of the children was ascertained by using 5 minisatellite loci (APOB, HRAS, MCOB19, MCT118, and YNZ-22) in PCR-based analyses. Other 8 minisatellite loci (B6.7, CEB1, CEB15, CEB25, CEB36, MS1, MS31, and MS32) were used

  6. Molecular biology methods in assessing radiation-induced hereditary risks in humans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kiuru, A. [University of Helsinki, Department of Biosciences, Division of Genetics, Helsinki (Finland)

    2004-12-01

    Effort to predict the genetic consequences for humans of exposure to ionising radiation has been one of the most important issues of human genetics over the past 60 years. To date, there has been little experimental knowledge on the genetic risks of human exposure to ionising radiation. Radiation-induced deleterious hereditary effects have not been detected in human populations - not even among the offspring of atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This does not mean deleterious hereditary effects do not exist in humans, but rather that they are small and/or difficult to detect because the normal incidence of inherited abnormalities is quite high in the human population. Thus, assessment of radiation-induced hereditary risks in humans has been based on the common knowledge of human heredity and on animal experiments. However, recent data have suggested that hyper-variable tandem repeat minisatellite loci provide a useful and sensitive experimental approach for monitoring radiation-induced germline mutations in humans. In order to investigate the feasibility of the minisatellite mutation screening system in assessing radiation-induced hereditary risks in humans, we examined the amount of hereditary minisatellite mutations among the offspring of Estonian Chernobyl cleanup workers. The men studied received a median radiation dose of 109 mSv while working on the cleanup activities after the Chernobyl accident. We compared the minisatellite mutation rates of 155 children born to 147 Estonian Chernobyl cleanup workers after the accident to those of their 148 siblings born prior to it. In addition, 44 Estonian families, where the father had not been exposed to radiation, composed an additional control group. In all of these families, the paternity of the children was ascertained by using 5 minisatellite loci (APOB, HRAS, MCOB19, MCT118, and YNZ-22) in PCR-based analyses. Other 8 minisatellite loci (B6.7, CEB1, CEB15, CEB25, CEB36, MS1, MS31, and MS32) were used

  7. The scaling law of climate change and its relevance to assessing (palaeo)biological responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiessling, Wolfgang; Eichenseer, Kilian

    2014-05-01

    It is often argued that current rates of climate change are unprecedented in the geological past. At the same time, the magnitudes of change were often much greater in deep time than they are in history. The most severe global warming in the Phanerozoic, with dramatic consequences for life, probably occurred across the Permian-Triassic (P-T) boundary when an increase of tropical water temperatures of 15° C has been observed to occur over a timespan 0.8 myr (Sun et al. 2012), whereas global ocean warming over the last 50 years was 0.35° C (Burrows et al. 2011). When transforming these data into rates of change the P-T rate was roughly 370 times smaller than the current rate. We argue that the smaller rates of change inferred from geological proxy records are due to a scaling effect, that is, rates of climate change generally decrease with timespan of observation. We compiled from the published literature data on measured or inferred temperature changes and the timespans over which these changes were assessed. Our compilation currently comprises 120 values and covers timespans from 20 to 107 years. A log-log plot of timespan versus rate of temperature change depicts a highly significant correlation (r2 = 0.95) of a power-law relationship with an exponent of -0.87. Warming trends show a slightly lower exponent (-0.84) than cooling trends (-0.89) but the explained variance is better for the scaling of warming trends. Importantly, the scaled warming trend across the P-T boundary is higher than the current rates of warming. Similar scaling effects are well explored for sediment accumulation rates (Sadler 1981) and evolutionary rates (Gingerich 1993). These have been interpreted as being due to breaks in sedimentation and periods of stasis or transient reversals, respectively. In case of climate change, transient reversals in general trends are the most likely explanation for the scaling relationship. Even relatively rapid intervals of warming, such as the Pleistocene

  8. 76 FR 42675 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for a Biological...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-19

    ... Significant Impact for a Biological Control Agent for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health... biological control agent to reduce the severity of hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae, HWA) infestations... release of this biological control agent into the continental United States. \\1\\ To view the notice, EA...

  9. Interaction of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with membranes: in vitro assessment and relevance for their biological actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira-Leite, Catarina; Nunes, Cláudia; Reis, Salette

    2013-10-01

    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the most commonly used drugs in the world due to their anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic properties. Nevertheless, the consumption of these drugs is still associated with the occurrence of a wide spectrum of adverse effects. Regarding the major role of membranes in cellular events, the hypothesis that the biological actions of NSAIDs may be related to their effect at the membrane level has triggered the in vitro assessment of NSAIDs-membrane interactions. The use of membrane mimetic models, cell cultures, a wide range of experimental techniques and molecular dynamics simulations has been providing significant information about drugs partition and location within membranes and also about their effect on diverse membrane properties. These studies have indeed been providing evidences that the effect of NSAIDs at membrane level may be an additional mechanism of action and toxicity of NSAIDs. In fact, the pharmacokinetic properties of NSAIDs are closely related to the ability of these drugs to interact and overcome biological membranes. Moreover, the therapeutic actions of NSAIDs may also result from the indirect inhibition of cyclooxygenase due to the disturbing effect of NSAIDs on membrane properties. Furthermore, increasing evidences suggest that the disordering effects of these drugs on membranes may be in the basis of the NSAIDs-induced toxicity in diverse organ systems. Overall, the study of NSAIDs-membrane interactions has proved to be not only important for the better understanding of their pharmacological actions, but also for the rational development of new approaches to overcome NSAIDs adverse effects. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. [Delayed medical consequences of the Chernobyl accident in Armenia. Assessment of life quality and accelerated biological aging of accident liquidators].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oganesian, N M; Davidian, N R; Gevorkian, E G; Karapetian, A G; Miridzhanian, M I; Asrian, K V

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, some final results of 25-year investigations carried out in Scientific Centre for Radiation Medicine and Burns MH RA (SCRMB) on the Armenian cohort of the Chernobyl accident consequences liquidators are shown. These results show that health conditions of the liquidators became worse during the whole observation period. A considerable development of both pathological states atypical of radiation damages and diseases, which may be considered as radiation-induced ones, was determined. Rise of the sickness rate of almost all organism systems, first of all, nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory and digestive ones, was observed. In 70% of liquidators the main disease was primarily detected after working on CNPP. In the intervening years, the average number of diagnoses per 1 liquidator increased from 1.5 in 1987 to 7-8 in the recent time. In addition to the detected diseases, particular functional shifts in neuropsychological and vegetative status of the liquidators were observed. The overwhelming majority of them have increased tonicity of the sympathetic vegetative nervous system, asthenic and depressive syndromes occurring in the form of weakness, somnolence, mood instability, mental capacity decrease, and memory defects. In the paper, the results of investigations aimed at clarification of changes in biological aging processes of the liquidators and assessment of their "life quality" features in terms of physical, psychical and social welfare are considered. Biological aged-related passportization in a definite part of liquidators elucidated an accelerated aging rate. The studies were performed with the help of SF-36 inquirer and indicated that health status aggravation of the liquidators also affected their life satisfaction. The "life quality" indices of the liquidators significantly concede the overall average standards by both physical health and psychical and social welfare scales.

  11. Functional genomics to assess biological responses to marine pollution at physiological and evolutionary timescales: toward a vision of predictive ecotoxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Noah M; Whitehead, Andrew

    2016-09-01

    Marine pollution is ubiquitous, and is one of the key factors influencing contemporary marine biodiversity worldwide. To protect marine biodiversity, how do we surveil, document and predict the short- and long-term impacts of pollutants on at-risk species? Modern genomics tools offer high-throughput, information-rich and increasingly cost-effective approaches for characterizing biological responses to environmental stress, and are important tools within an increasing sophisticated kit for surveiling and assessing impacts of pollutants on marine species. Through the lens of recent research in marine killifish, we illustrate how genomics tools may be useful for screening chemicals and pollutants for biological activity and to reveal specific mechanisms of action. The high dimensionality of transcriptomic responses enables their usage as highly specific fingerprints of exposure, and these fingerprints can be used to diagnose environmental problems. We also emphasize that molecular pathways recruited to respond at physiological timescales are the same pathways that may be targets for natural selection during chronic exposure to pollutants. Gene complement and sequence variation in those pathways can be related to variation in sensitivity to environmental pollutants within and among species. Furthermore, allelic variation associated with evolved tolerance in those pathways could be tracked to estimate the pace of environmental health decline and recovery. We finish by integrating these paradigms into a vision of how genomics approaches could anchor a modernized framework for advancing the predictive capacity of environmental and ecotoxicological science. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Quantum Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Sergi

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available A critical assessment of the recent developmentsof molecular biology is presented.The thesis that they do not lead to a conceptualunderstanding of life and biological systems is defended.Maturana and Varela's concept of autopoiesis is briefly sketchedand its logical circularity avoided by postulatingthe existence of underlying living processes,entailing amplification from the microscopic to the macroscopic scale,with increasing complexity in the passage from one scale to the other.Following such a line of thought, the currently accepted model of condensed matter, which is based on electrostatics and short-ranged forces,is criticized. It is suggested that the correct interpretationof quantum dispersion forces (van der Waals, hydrogen bonding, and so onas quantum coherence effects hints at the necessity of includinglong-ranged forces (or mechanisms for them incondensed matter theories of biological processes.Some quantum effects in biology are reviewedand quantum mechanics is acknowledged as conceptually important to biology since withoutit most (if not all of the biological structuresand signalling processes would not even exist. Moreover, it is suggested that long-rangequantum coherent dynamics, including electron polarization,may be invoked to explain signal amplificationprocess in biological systems in general.

  13. A microbiology-based multi-parametric approach towards assessing biological stability in drinking water distribution networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenschlager, Karin; Hwang, Chiachi; Liu, Wen-Tso; Boon, Nico; Köster, Oliver; Vrouwenvelder, Hans; Egli, Thomas; Hammes, Frederik

    2013-06-01

    provides a powerful and sensitive tool to assess and evaluate biological stability and microbial processes in drinking water distribution systems. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Physical-chemical characterization and biological assessment of simple and lithium-doped biological-derived hydroxyapatite thin films for a new generation of metallic implants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popescu, A. C.; Florian, P. E.; Stan, G. E.; Popescu-Pelin, G.; Zgura, I.; Enculescu, M.; Oktar, F. N.; Trusca, R.; Sima, L. E.; Roseanu, A.; Duta, L.

    2018-05-01

    We report on the synthesis by PLD of simple and lithium-doped biological-origin hydroxyapatite (HA) films. The role of doping reagents (Li2CO3, Li3PO4) on the morphology, structure, chemical composition, bonding strength and cytocompatibility of the films was investigated. SEM investigations of the films evidenced a surface morphology consisting of particles with mean diameters of (5-7) μm. GIXRD analyses demonstrated that the synthesized structures consisted of HA phase only, with different degrees of crystallinity, mainly influenced by the doping reagent type. After only three days of immersion in simulated body fluid, FTIR spectra showed a remarkable growth of a biomimetic apatitic film, indicative of a high biomineralization capacity of the coatings. EDS analyses revealed a quasi-stoichiometric target-to-substrate transfer, the values inferred for the Ca/P ratio corresponding to a biological apatite. All synthesized structures displayed a hydrophilic behavior, suitable for attachment of osteoblast cells. In vitro cell viability tests showed that the presence of Li2CO3 and Li3PO4 as doping reagents promoted the hMSC growth on film surfaces. Taking into consideration these enhanced characteristics, corroborated with a low fabrication cost generated by sustainable resources, one should consider the lithium-doped biological-derived materials as promising prospective solutions for a next generation of coated implants with rapid osteointegration.

  15. Technical Assessment: Synthetic Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Pfizer, Bausch & Lomb, Coca- Cola , and other Fortune 500 companies 8 Data estimated by the...side effects. A current research thrust is seeking to develop bacteria that can sense tumors, invade malignant cells, and produce anti- cancer ...molecules that do not harm healthy cells. The successful implementation of this approach would revolutionize cancer treatment, sparing patients the serious

  16. Problem-solving skills in high school biology: The effectiveness of the IMMEX problem-solving assessment software

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palacio-Cayetano, Joycelin

    "Problem-solving through reflective thinking should be both the method and valuable outcome of science instruction in America's schools" proclaimed John Dewey (Gabel, 1995). If the development of problem-solving is a primary goal of science education, more problem-solving opportunities must be an integral part of K-16 education. To examine the effective use of technology in developing and assessing problem-solving skills, a problem-solving authoring, learning, and assessment software, the UCLA IMMEX Program-Interactive Multimedia Exercises-was investigated. This study was a twenty-week quasi-experimental study that was implemented as a control-group time series design among 120 tenth grade students. Both the experimental group (n = 60) and the control group (n = 60) participated in a problem-based learning curriculum; however, the experimental group received regular intensive experiences with IMMEX problem-solving and the control group did not. Problem-solving pretest and posttest were administered to all students. The instruments used were a 35-item Processes of Biological Inquiry Test and an IMMEX problem-solving assessment test, True Roots. Students who participated in the IMMEX Program achieved significant (p problem-solving skills on both problem-solving assessment instruments. This study provided evidence that IMMEX software is highly efficient in evaluating salient elements of problem-solving. Outputs of students' problem-solving strategies revealed that unsuccessful problem solvers primarily used the following four strategies: (1) no data search strategy, students simply guessed; (2) limited data search strategy leading to insufficient data and premature closing; (3) irrelevant data search strategy, students focus in areas bearing no substantive data; and (4) extensive data search strategy with inadequate integration and analysis. On the contrary, successful problem solvers used the following strategies; (1) focused search strategy coupled with the ability

  17. An assessment of stressor extent and biological condition in the North American mid-continent great rivers (USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angradi, Ted R.; Bolgriend, David W.; Jicha, Terri M.; Pearson, Mark S.; Taylor, Debra L.; Moffett, Mary F.; Blocksom, Karen A.; Walters, David M.; Elonen, Colleen M.; Anderson, Leroy E.; Lazorchak, James M.; Reavie, Euan D.; Kireta, Amy R.; Hill, Brian H.

    2011-01-01

    We assessed the North American mid-continent great rivers (Upper Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio). We estimated the extent of each river in most- (MDC) or least-disturbed condition (LDC) based on multiple biological response indicators: fish and macroinvertebrate, trophic state based on chlorophyll a, macrophyte cover, and exposure of fish-eating wildlife to toxic contaminants in fish tissue (Hg, total chlordane, total DDT, PCBs). We estimated the extent of stressors on each river including nutrients, suspended solids, sediment toxicity, invasive species, and land use (agriculture and impervious surface). All three rivers had a greater percent of their river length in MDC than in LDC based on fish assemblages. The Upper Mississippi River had the greatest percent of river length with eutrophic status. The Ohio River had the greatest percent of river length with fish with tissue contaminant levels toxic to wildlife. Overall, condition indices based on fish assemblages were more sensitive to stress than macroinvertebrate indices. Compared to the streams in its basin, more of the Upper Mississippi and Missouri Rivers were in MDC for nutrients than the Ohio River. Invasive species (Asian carp and Dreissenid mussels) were less widespread and less abundant on the Missouri River than on the other great rivers. The Ohio River had the most urbanized floodplains (greatest percent impervious surface). The Missouri River had the most floodplain agriculture. The effect of large urban areas on river condition was apparent for several indicators. Ecosystem condition based in fish assemblages, trophic state, and fish tissue contamination was related to land use on the floodplain and at the subcatchment scale. This is the first unbiased bioassessment of the mid-continent great rivers in the United States. The indicators, condition thresholds, results, and recommendations from this program are a starting point for improved future great river assessments.

  18. Uncertainty assessment of a model for biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal: Application to a large wastewater treatment plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannina, Giorgio; Cosenza, Alida; Viviani, Gaspare

    In the last few years, the use of mathematical models in WasteWater Treatment Plant (WWTP) processes has become a common way to predict WWTP behaviour. However, mathematical models generally demand advanced input for their implementation that must be evaluated by an extensive data-gathering campaign, which cannot always be carried out. This fact, together with the intrinsic complexity of the model structure, leads to model results that may be very uncertain. Quantification of the uncertainty is imperative. However, despite the importance of uncertainty quantification, only few studies have been carried out in the wastewater treatment field, and those studies only included a few of the sources of model uncertainty. Seeking the development of the area, the paper presents the uncertainty assessment of a mathematical model simulating biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal. The uncertainty assessment was conducted according to the Generalised Likelihood Uncertainty Estimation (GLUE) methodology that has been scarcely applied in wastewater field. The model was based on activated-sludge models 1 (ASM) and 2 (ASM2). Different approaches can be used for uncertainty analysis. The GLUE methodology requires a large number of Monte Carlo simulations in which a random sampling of individual parameters drawn from probability distributions is used to determine a set of parameter values. Using this approach, model reliability was evaluated based on its capacity to globally limit the uncertainty. The method was applied to a large full-scale WWTP for which quantity and quality data was gathered. The analysis enabled to gain useful insights for WWTP modelling identifying the crucial aspects where higher uncertainty rely and where therefore, more efforts should be provided in terms of both data gathering and modelling practises.

  19. Comparison Between Water Quality Index (WQI) and Biological Water Quality Index (BWQI) for Water Quality Assessment: Case Study of Melana River, Johor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nor Zaiha Arman; Mohd Ismid Mohd Said; Shamila Azman; Muhammad Hazim Mat Hussin

    2013-01-01

    A study of water quality in Melana River, Johor was carried out in three consecutive months (March - May 2012). This study aims to determine the comparative results through biological monitoring as well as conventional method (physical and chemical analysis). Assessment is carried out through collection and identification of the biological indicator which comprises of macro benthos based on Biological Water Quality Index (BWQI). Comparison was done based on two methods namely invertebrate analysis and also laboratory analysis. For invertebrate analysis, Melana River consist of three types of Family groups namely Nymphs, Larvae and Molluscs. The result for Water Quality Index (WQI) and also Biological Water Quality Index (BWQI) analysis showed that the level of Melana River is polluted and classified in Class III. This study shows that even though different methods were used, the similar results were obtained for both rivers and can be applied to any river to identify their level of cleanliness. (author)

  20. Atomic Force Microscopy as a Tool to Assess the Specificity of Targeted Nanoparticles in Biological Models of High Complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, Carla P; Lopes, Cátia D F; Leitner, Michael; Ebner, Andreas; Hinterdorfer, Peter; Pêgo, Ana P

    2017-11-01

    The ability to design nanoparticle delivery systems capable of selectively target their payloads to specific cell populations is still a major caveat in nanomedicine. One of the main hurdles is the fact that each nanoparticle formulation needs to be precisely tuned to match the specificities of the target cell and route of administration. In this work, molecular recognition force spectroscopy (MRFS) is presented as a tool to evaluate the specificity of neuron-targeted trimethyl chitosan nanoparticles to neuronal cell populations in biological samples of different complexity. The use of atomic force microscopy tips functionalized with targeted or non-targeted nanoparticles made it possible to assess the specific interaction of each formulation with determined cell surface receptors in a precise fashion. More importantly, the combination of MRFS with fluorescent microscopy allowed to probe the nanoparticles vectoring capacity in models of high complexity, such as primary mixed cultures, as well as specific subcellular regions in histological tissues. Overall, this work contributes for the establishment of MRFS as a powerful alternative technique to animal testing in vector design and opens new avenues for the development of advanced targeted nanomedicines. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  1. Validation of an Instrument for Assessing Conceptual Change with Respect to the Theory of Evolution by Secondary Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goff, Kevin David

    This pilot study evaluated the validity of a new quantitative, closed-response instrument for assessing student conceptual change regarding the theory of evolution. The instrument has two distinguishing design features. First, it is designed not only to gauge student mastery of the scientific model of evolution, but also to elicit a trio of deeply intuitive tendencies that are known to compromise many students' understanding: the projection of intentional agency, teleological directionality, and immutable essences onto biological phenomena. Second, in addition to a section of conventional multiple choice questions, the instrument contains a series of items where students may simultaneously endorse both scientifically normative propositions and intuitively appealing yet unscientific propositions, without having to choose between them. These features allow for the hypothesized possibility that the three intuitions are partly innate, themselves products of cognitive evolution in our hominin ancestors, and thus may continue to inform students' thinking even after instruction and conceptual change. The test was piloted with 340 high school students from diverse schools and communities. Confirmatory factor analysis and other statistical methods provided evidence that the instrument already has strong potential for validly distinguishing students who hold a correct scientific understanding from those who do not, but that revision and retesting are needed to render it valid for gauging students' adherence to intuitive misconceptions. Ultimately the instrument holds promise as a tool for classroom intervention studies by conceptual change researchers, for diagnostic testing and data gathering by instructional leaders, and for provoking classroom dialogue and debate by science teachers.

  2. SU-G-TeP3-07: On the Development of Mechano-Biological Assessment of Leukemia Cells Using Optical Tweezers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brost, E; Brooks, J; Piepenburg, J; Watanabe, Y; Hui, S [Therapeutic Radiology and Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States); Chakraborty, S; Das, T [Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems Department of New Materials and Biosystems Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (India); Green, A [Department of Physics, University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul, MN (United States)

    2016-06-15

    Purpose: Patients with BCR-ABL (Ph +ve) acute lymphoblastic leukemia are at very high risk of relapse and mortality. In line with the NIH mission to understand the physical and biological processes, we seek to report mechano-biological method to assessment and distinguish treated/untreated leukemia cells. Methods: BCR-ABL leukemia cell populations and silica microspheres were trapped in a 100x magnification optical trapping system (λ=660 nm, 70 mW). Light refracted through the trapped sample was collected in the back focal plane by a quadrant detector to measure the positions of individual cells. The sample was driven at a known frequency and amplitude with a flexure translation stage, and the target’s response was recorded. The measured response was calibrated using the known driving parameters, and information about cell movements due to mechano-biological effects was extracted. Two leukemia cell populations were tested: a control group and a group treated with 2 Gy. Results: The mechano-biological movements of 10 microspheres, control cells, and treated cells were tracked over a ∼30 minute window at 1 minute intervals. The microsphere population did not see significant change in mechano-biological movements over the testing interval and remained constant. The control cell population saw a two-fold rise in activity that peaked around 1200 seconds, then dropped off sharply. The treated cell population saw a two-fold rise in activity that peaked at 400 seconds, and dropped off slowly. Conclusion: The investigated technique allows for direct measurement the movements of a trapped object due to mechano-biological effects such as thermal and extracellular motion. When testing microspheres, the mechano-biological activity remained constant over time due to the lack of biological factors. In both the control and treated cell populations, the mechano-biological activity was increased, possibly due to mitochondrial activation. This extra activity decreased over time

  3. A comprehensive assessment protocol including patient reported outcomes, physical tests, and biological sampling in newly diagnosed patients with head and neck cancer: is it feasible?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Nieuwenhuizen, A.J.; Buffart, L.M.; Smit, J.H.; Brakenhoff, R.H.; Braakhuis, B.J.; de Bree, R.; Leemans, C.; Verdonck-de Leeuw, I.M.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Large cohort studies are needed taking into account cancer-related, personal, biological, psychobehavioral, and lifestyle-related factors, to guide future research to improve treatment and supportive care. We aimed to evaluate the feasibility of a comprehensive baseline assessment of a

  4. Biological basis of detoxication

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Caldwell, John; Jakoby, William B

    1983-01-01

    This volume considers that premise that most of the major patterns of biological conversion of foreign compounds are known and may have predictive value in assessing the biological course for novel compounds...

  5. Needs Assessment to Development of Biology Textbook for High School Class X-Based the Local Wisdom of Timor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardan, Andam S.; Ardi, M.; Hala, Yusminah; Supu, Amiruddin; Dirawan, Gufran D.

    2015-01-01

    This research aims to analyze the needs of the development of the X grade Biology textbook of Senior High School based on the local wisdom of Timor. The subject is a Senior High School Biology curriculum. Classes are taught at Senior High School X SMA in Kupang Regency in the academic years 2012/2013. Object of research includes: (1) core…

  6. Teaching cell biology in the large-enrollment classroom: methods to promote analytical thinking and assessment of their effectiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitchen, Elizabeth; Bell, John D; Reeve, Suzanne; Sudweeks, Richard R; Bradshaw, William S

    2003-01-01

    A large-enrollment, undergraduate cellular biology lecture course is described whose primary goal is to help students acquire skill in the interpretation of experimental data. The premise is that this kind of analytical reasoning is not intuitive for most people and, in the absence of hands-on laboratory experience, will not readily develop unless instructional methods and examinations specifically designed to foster it are employed. Promoting scientific thinking forces changes in the roles of both teacher and student. We describe didactic strategies that include directed practice of data analysis in a workshop format, active learning through verbal and written communication, visualization of abstractions diagrammatically, and the use of ancillary small-group mentoring sessions with faculty. The implications for a teacher in reducing the breadth and depth of coverage, becoming coach instead of lecturer, and helping students to diagnose cognitive weaknesses are discussed. In order to determine the efficacy of these strategies, we have carefully monitored student performance and have demonstrated a large gain in a pre- and posttest comparison of scores on identical problems, improved test scores on several successive midterm examinations when the statistical analysis accounts for the relative difficulty of the problems, and higher scores in comparison to students in a control course whose objective was information transfer, not acquisition of reasoning skills. A novel analytical index (student mobility profile) is described that demonstrates that this improvement was not random, but a systematic outcome of the teaching/learning strategies employed. An assessment of attitudes showed that, in spite of finding it difficult, students endorse this approach to learning, but also favor curricular changes that would introduce an analytical emphasis earlier in their training.

  7. Assessing the emergence of resistance: the absence of biological cost in vivo may compromise fosfomycin treatments for P. aeruginosa infections.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandro Rodríguez-Rojas

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Fosfomycin is a cell wall inhibitor used efficiently to treat uncomplicated urinary tract and gastrointestinal infections. A very convenient feature of fosfomycin, among others, is that although the expected frequency of resistant mutants is high, the biological cost associated with mutation impedes an effective growth rate, and bacteria cannot offset the obstacles posed by host defenses or compete with sensitive bacteria. Due to the current scarcity of new antibiotics, fosfomycin has been proposed as an alternative treatment for other infections caused by a wide variety of bacteria, particularly Pseudomonas aeruginosa. However, whether fosfomycin resistance in P. aeruginosa provides a fitness cost still remains unknown. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We herein present experimental evidence to show that fosfomycin resistance cannot only emerge easily during treatment, but that it is also cost-free for P. aeruginosa. We also tested if, as has been reported for other species such as Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Proteus mirabilis, fosfomycin resistant strains are somewhat compromised in their virulence. As concerns colonization, persistence, lung damage, and lethality, we found no differences between the fosfomycin resistant mutant and its sensitive parental strain. The probability of acquisition in vitro of resistance to the combination of fosfomycin with other antibiotics (tobramycin and imipenem has also been studied. While the combination of fosfomycin with tobramycin makes improbable the emergence of resistance to both antibiotics when administered together, the combination of fosfomycin plus imipenem does not avoid the appearance of mutants resistant to both antibiotics. CONCLUSIONS: We have reached the conclusion that the use of fosfomycin for P. aeruginosa infections, even in combined therapy, might not be as promising as expected. This study should encourage the scientific community to assess the in vivo cost of resistance

  8. Assessment of Potential Sublethal Effects of Various Insecticides on Key Biological Traits of The Tobacco Whitefly, Bemisia tabaci

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Yuxian; Zhao, Jianwei; Zheng, Yu; Weng, Qiyong; Biondi, Antonio; Desneux, Nicolas; Wu, Kongming

    2013-01-01

    The tobacco whitefly Bemisia tabaci is one of the most devastating pests worldwide. Current management of B. tabaci relies upon the frequent applications of insecticides. In addition to direct mortality by typical acute toxicity (lethal effect), insecticides may also impair various key biological traits of the exposed insects through physiological and behavioral sublethal effects. Identifying and characterizing such effects could be crucial for understanding the global effects of insecticides on the pest and therefore for optimizing its management in the crops. We assessed the effects of sublethal and low-lethal concentrations of four widely used insecticides on the fecundity, honeydew excretion and feeding behavior of B. tabaci adults. The probing activity of the whiteflies feeding on treated cotton seedlings was recorded by an Electrical Penetration Graph (EPG). The results showed that imidacloprid and bifenthrin caused a reduction in phloem feeding even at sublethal concentrations. In addition, the honeydew excretions and fecundity levels of adults feeding on leaf discs treated with these concentrations were significantly lower than the untreated ones. While, sublethal concentrations of chlorpyrifos and carbosulfan did not affect feeding behavior, honeydew excretion and fecundity of the whitefly. We demonstrated an antifeedant effect of the imidacloprid and bifenthrin on B. tabaci, whereas behavioral changes in adults feeding on leaves treated with chlorpyrifos and carbosulfan were more likely caused by the direct effects of the insecticides on the insects' nervous system itself. Our results show that aside from the lethal effect, the sublethal concentration of imidacloprid and bifenthrin impairs the phloem feeding, i.e. the most important feeding trait in a plant protection perspective. Indeed, this antifeedant property would give these insecticides potential to control insect pests indirectly. Therefore, the behavioral effects of sublethal concentrations of

  9. Correlation of biological aggressiveness assessed by 11C-methionine PET and hypoxic burden assessed by 18F-fluoromisonidazole PET in newly diagnosed glioblastoma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kawai, Nobuyuki; Miyake, Keisuke; Okada, Masaki; Tamiya, Takashi; Maeda, Yukito; Yamamoto, Yuka; Nishiyama, Yoshihiro; Kudomi, Nobuyuki

    2011-01-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is characterized by tissue hypoxia associated with resistance to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. To clarify the biological link between hypoxia and tumour-induced neovascularization and tumour aggressiveness, we analysed detailed volumetric and spatial information of viable hypoxic tissue assessed by 18 F-fluoromisonidazole (FMISO) PET relative to neovascularization in Gd-enhanced MRI and tumour aggressiveness by L-methyl- 11 C-methionine (MET) PET in newly diagnosed GBMs. Ten patients with newly diagnosed GBMs were investigated with FMISO PET, MET PET and Gd-enhanced MRI before surgery. Tumour volumes were calculated by performing a three-dimensional threshold-based volume of interest (VOI) analysis for metabolically active volume on MET PET (MET uptake indices of ≥1.3 and ≥1.5) and Gd-enhanced volume on MRI. FMISO PET was scaled to the blood FMISO activity to create tumour to blood (T/B) images. The hypoxic volume (HV) was defined as the region with T/B greater than 1.2. PET and MR images of each patient were coregistered to analyse the spatial location of viable hypoxic tissue relative to neovascularization and active tumour extension. Metabolically active tumour volumes defined using MET uptake indices of ≥1.3 and ≥1.5 and the volumes of Gd enhancement showed a strong correlation (r = 0.86, p < 0.01 for an index of ≥1.3 and r = 0.77, p < 0.05 for an index of ≥1.5). The HVs were also excellently correlated with the volumes of Gd enhancement (r = 0.94, p < 0.01). The metabolically active tumour volumes as defined by a MET uptake index of ≥1.3 and the HVs exhibited a strong correlation (r = 0.87, p < 0.01). On superimposed images, the metabolically active area on MET PET defined by a MET uptake index of ≥1.3 was usually larger than the area of the Gd enhancement and about 20-30% of the MET area extended outside the area of the enhancement. On the other hand, the surface area of viable hypoxic tissue with a T/B cutoff of

  10. Assessment of the maturity and biological parameters of compost produced from dairy manure and rice chaff by excitation-emission matrix fluorescence spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Wei; Li, Lingzhi; Liu, Fang; Zhang, Zhenhua; Yu, Guanghui; Shen, Qirong; Shen, Biao

    2012-04-01

    The assessment of maturity and biological parameters is important in the composting process. In this study, excitation-emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence spectroscopy was applied to evaluate the maturity and biological parameters of compost produced from the co-composting of dairy and rice chaff. The results from a Pearson correlation analysis between traditional physico-chemical maturity indices and fluorescence regional integration (FRI) parameters showed that among the FRI parameters, P(V,n)/P(III,n) and P(V,n) were suitable for the assessment of compost maturity. Moreover, the FRI parameters could be used to evaluate biological parameters including the germination index (GI) and ribotype evolution which indicate the bacterial community structure and dynamics. P(IV,n) was the most suitable indicator for revealing the community structure and dynamics during the composting process. Fluorescence spectroscopy combined with the FRI analysis could be used as a sensitive and efficient tool for assessing compost maturity and biological parameters. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Diagnostic of students' misconceptions using the Biological Concepts Instrument (BCI): A method for conducting an educational needs assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champagne Queloz, Annie; Klymkowsky, Michael W.; Stern, Elsbeth; Hafen, Ernst; Köhler, Katja

    2017-01-01

    Concept inventories, constructed based on an analysis of students’ thinking and their explanations of scientific situations, serve as diagnostics for identifying misconceptions and logical inconsistencies and provide data that can help direct curricular reforms. In the current project, we distributed the Biological Concepts Instrument (BCI) to 17-18-year-old students attending the highest track of the Swiss school system (Gymnasium). Students’ performances on many questions related to evolution, genetics, molecular properties and functions were diverse. Important common misunderstandings were identified in the areas of evolutionary processes, molecular properties and an appreciation of stochastic processes in biological systems. Our observations provide further evidence that the BCI is efficient in identifying specific areas where targeted instruction is required. Based on these observations we have initiated changes at several levels to reconsider how biological systems are presented to university biology studies with the goal of improving student’s foundational understanding. PMID:28493960

  12. USING LONG-TERM CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL INDICATORS TO ASSESS STREAM HEALTH IN THE UPPER OCONEE RIVER WATERSHED

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macroinvertebrates are commonly used as biological indicators of stream habitat and water quality. Chemical variables, such as dissolved oxygen (DO), specific conductance (SC), and turbidity are used to measure stream water quality. Many aquatic macroinvertebrates are sensitive...

  13. Xenograft biologic mesh in parietal and general surgery: Technical assessment and review of clinical effectiveness and safety data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sainfort, A; Denis Hallouard, I; Hartmann, D; Aulagner, G; Francois, Y; Tiffet, O; Barabino, G; Nuiry, O; Armoiry, X

    2016-12-01

    To describe the main technical characteristics of biologic prostheses used for parietal reinforcement and to present the state of the art on their risk/benefit ratio. We conducted a technical analysis of manufacturer specifications of the biologic prostheses that are currently available in France accompanied by a literature review by selecting meta-analyses and systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials and publications of health technology rating agencies. Biological implants for parietal reinforcement are mainly intended for use in a contaminated environment where the use of synthetic prostheses is contra-indicated. We identified fourteen systematic reviews and meta-analyses and one randomized controlled trial. Six ongoing clinical trials were identified as well as two clinical trials that had been interrupted. In the current state of knowledge, there are no high-level evidence data on the therapeutic contribution of biologic prostheses that allow prioritization of the various biologic prostheses according to their characteristics or their different manufacturing processes. Pending the results of current randomized controlled trials to validate the indications and an eventual specific reimbursement, indications for the use of biologic parietal reinforcement prostheses seems to be limited to rare clinical situations and only after collegial discussion. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  14. Analysis of English language learner performance on the biology Massachusetts comprehensive assessment system: The impact of english proficiency, first language characteristics, and late-entry ELL status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Mary A.

    This study analyzed English language learner (ELL) performance on the June 2012 Biology MCAS, namely on item attributes of domain, cognitive skill, and linguistic complexity. It examined the impact of English proficiency, Latinate first language, first language orthography, and late-entry ELL status. The results indicated that English proficiency was a strong predictor of performance and that ELLs at higher levels of English proficiency overwhelmingly passed. The results further indicated that English proficiency introduced a construct-irrelevant variance on the Biology MCAS and raised validity issues for using this assessment at lower levels of English proficiency. This study also found that ELLs with a Latinate first language consistently had statistically significant lower performance. Late-entry ELL status did not predict Biology MCAS performance.

  15. The effectiveness of spent coffee grounds and its biochar on the amelioration of heavy metals-contaminated water and soil using chemical and biological assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Min-Suk; Min, Hyun-Gi; Koo, Namin; Park, Jeongsik; Lee, Sang-Hwan; Bak, Gwan-In; Kim, Jeong-Gyu

    2014-12-15

    Spent coffee grounds (SCG) and charred spent coffee grounds (SCG-char) have been widely used to adsorb or to amend heavy metals that contaminate water or soil and their success is usually assessed by chemical analysis. In this work, the effects of SCG and SCG-char on metal-contaminated water and soil were evaluated using chemical and biological assessments; a phytotoxicity test using bok choy (Brassica campestris L. ssp. chinensis Jusl.) was conducted for the biological assessment. When SCG and SCG-char were applied to acid mine drainage, the heavy metal concentrations were decreased and the pH was increased. However, for SCG, the phytotoxicity increased because a massive amount of dissolved organic carbon was released from SCG. In contrast, SCG-char did not exhibit this phenomenon because any easily released organic matter was removed during pyrolysis. While the bioavailable heavy metal content decreased in soils treated with SCG or SCG-char, the phytotoxicity only rose after SCG treatment. According to our statistical methodology, bioavailable Pb, Cu and As, as well as the electrical conductivity representing an increase in organic content, affected the phytotoxicity of soil. Therefore, applying SCG during environment remediation requires careful biological assessments and evaluations of the efficiency of this remediation technology. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Sol-gel TiO2 colloidal suspensions and nanostructured thin films: structural and biological assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quartapelle Procopio, Elsa; Colombo, Valentina; Santo, Nadia; Sironi, Angelo; Lenardi, Cristina; Maggioni, Daniela

    2018-02-01

    The role of substrate topography in phenotype expression of in vitro cultured cells has been widely assessed. However, the production of the nanostructured interface via the deposition of sol-gel synthesized nanoparticles (NPs) has not yet been fully exploited. This is also evidenced by the limited number of studies correlating the morphological, structural and chemical properties of the grown thin films with those of the sol-gel ‘brick’ within the framework of the bottom-up approach. Our work intends to go beyond this drawback presenting an accurate investigation of sol-gel TiO2 NPs shaped as spheres and rods. They have been fully characterized by complementary analytical techniques both suspended in apolar solvents, by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and after deposition on substrates (solid state configuration) by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and powder x-ray diffraction (PXRD). In the case of suspended anisotropic rods, the experimental DLS data, analyzed by the Tirado-Garcia de la Torre model, present the following ranges of dimensions: 4-5 nm diameter (∅) and 11-15 nm length (L). These results are in good agreement with that obtained by the two solid state techniques, namely 3.8(9) nm ∅ and 13.8(2.5) nm L from TEM and 5.6(1) ∅ and 13.3(1) nm L from PXRD data. To prove the suitability of the supported sol-gel NPs for biological issues, spheres and rods have been separately deposited on coverslips. The cell response has been ascertained by evaluating the adhesion of the epithelial cell line Madin-Darby canine kidney. The cellular analysis showed that titania films promote cell adhesion as well clustering organization, which is a distinguishing feature of this type of cell line. Thus, the use of nanostructured substrates via sol-gel could be considered a good candidate for cell culture with the further advantages of likely scalability and interfaceability with many different materials usable as supports.

  17. Gold nanoparticles prepared by laser ablation in aqueous biocompatible solutions: assessment of safety and biological identity for nanomedicine applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Correard F

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Florian Correard,1,2 Ksenia Maximova,3 Marie-Anne Estève,1,2 Claude Villard,1 Myriam Roy,4 Ahmed Al-Kattan,3 Marc Sentis,3 Marc Gingras,4 Andrei V Kabashin,3 Diane Braguer1,2 1Aix Marseille Université, INSERM, CR02 UMR_S911, Marseille, France; 2APHM, Hôpital Timone, Marseille, France; 3Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, LP3 UMR 7341, Marseille, France; 4Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, CINAM, UMR 7325 Marseille, France Abstract: Due to excellent biocompatibility, chemical stability, and promising optical properties, gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs are the focus of research and applications in nanomedicine. Au-NPs prepared by laser ablation in aqueous biocompatible solutions present an essentially novel object that is unique in avoiding any residual toxic contaminant. This paper is conceived as the next step in development of laser-ablated Au-NPs for future in vivo applications. The aim of the study was to assess the safety, uptake, and biological behavior of laser-synthesized Au-NPs prepared in water or polymer solutions in human cell lines. Our results showed that laser ablation allows the obtaining of stable and monodisperse Au-NPs in water, polyethylene glycol, and dextran solutions. The three types of Au-NPs were internalized in human cell lines, as shown by transmission electron microscopy. Biocompatibility and safety of Au-NPs were demonstrated by analyzing cell survival and cell morphology. Furthermore, incubation of the three Au-NPs in serum-containing culture medium modified their physicochemical characteristics, such as the size and the charge. The composition of the protein corona adsorbed on Au-NPs was investigated by mass spectrometry. Regarding composition of complement C3 proteins and apolipoproteins, Au-NPs prepared in dextran solution appeared as a promising drug carrier. Altogether, our results revealed the safety of laser-ablated Au-NPs in human cell lines and support their use for theranostic applications. Keywords: protein

  18. Sol-gel TiO2 colloidal suspensions and nanostructured thin films: structural and biological assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Procopio, Elsa Quartapelle; Colombo, Valentina; Santo, Nadia; Sironi, Angelo; Lenardi, Cristina; Maggioni, Daniela

    2018-02-02

    The role of substrate topography in phenotype expression of in vitro cultured cells has been widely assessed. However, the production of the nanostructured interface via the deposition of sol-gel synthesized nanoparticles (NPs) has not yet been fully exploited. This is also evidenced by the limited number of studies correlating the morphological, structural and chemical properties of the grown thin films with those of the sol-gel 'brick' within the framework of the bottom-up approach. Our work intends to go beyond this drawback presenting an accurate investigation of sol-gel TiO 2 NPs shaped as spheres and rods. They have been fully characterized by complementary analytical techniques both suspended in apolar solvents, by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and after deposition on substrates (solid state configuration) by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and powder x-ray diffraction (PXRD). In the case of suspended anisotropic rods, the experimental DLS data, analyzed by the Tirado-Garcia de la Torre model, present the following ranges of dimensions: 4-5 nm diameter (∅) and 11-15 nm length (L). These results are in good agreement with that obtained by the two solid state techniques, namely 3.8(9) nm ∅ and 13.8(2.5) nm L from TEM and 5.6(1) ∅ and 13.3(1) nm L from PXRD data. To prove the suitability of the supported sol-gel NPs for biological issues, spheres and rods have been separately deposited on coverslips. The cell response has been ascertained by evaluating the adhesion of the epithelial cell line Madin-Darby canine kidney. The cellular analysis showed that titania films promote cell adhesion as well clustering organization, which is a distinguishing feature of this type of cell line. Thus, the use of nanostructured substrates via sol-gel could be considered a good candidate for cell culture with the further advantages of likely scalability and interfaceability with many different materials usable as supports.

  19. Validation of the Italian Version of the Biological Rhythms Interview of Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (BRIAN): Some Considerations on its Screening Usefulness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moro, Maria F; Carta, Mauro G; Pintus, Mirra; Pintus, Elisa; Melis, Riccardo; Kapczinski, Flavio; Vieta, Eduard; Colom, Francesc

    2014-01-01

    Abnormalities in biological rhythms (BR) may have a role in the pathophysiology of Bipolar Disorders (BD). The objective of this study is to validate the Italian version of the Biological Rhythms Interview of Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (BRIAN), a useful tool in studying BR, and measure its accuracy in discriminating BD. 44 outpatients with DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of BD and 38 controls balanced for sex and age were consecutively recruited. The discriminant validity of BRIAN for the screening of BD and its test re-test reliability in two evaluations were assessed. BD patients scored 22.22±11.19 in BRIAN against 7.13±5.6 of the control group (Pbiological rhythms to the usual measures of mood.

  20. Assessment of biological effects of environmental pollution in Mersin Bay (Turkey, northeastern Mediterranean Sea) using Mullus barbatus and Liza ramada as target organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yılmaz, Doruk; Kalay, Mustafa; Dönmez, Erdem; Yılmaz, Nejat

    2016-01-01

    The increasing emphasis on the assessment and monitoring of marine ecosystems has revealed the need to use appropriate biological indicators for these areas. Enzyme activities and histopathology are increasingly being used as indicators of environmental stress since they provide a definite biological end-point of pollutant exposure. As part of an ecotoxicological assessment of Mersin Bay, EROD enzyme activity and histopathological response in selected organs and tissues of two species of fish, Mullus barbatus (red mullet) and Liza ramada (thinlip grey mullet), captured from area were examined. Pollutant (Organochlorines (OC), alkylphenols (APs) and BPA) levels and biomarker responses in tissue samples were evaluated together for their potential to alter the metabolism and cellular aspects in liver and gonad. Elevated induction of EROD activity and histopathological alterations in contaminated samples from Mersin Bay was observed compared to reference site indicating the exposure to potential pollutants. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. [The use of biological age on mental work capacity model in accelerated aging assessment of professional lorry-drivers].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bashkireva, A S

    2012-01-01

    The studies of biological age, aging rate, mental work capacity in professional drivers were conducted. The examination revealed peculiarities of system organization of functions determining the mental work capacity levels. Dynamics of the aging process of professional driver's organism in relation with calendar age and driving experience were shown using the biological age model. The results point at the premature decrease of the mental work capacity in professional drivers. It was proved, that premature age-related changes of physiologic and psychophysiologic indices in drivers are just "risk indicators", while long driving experience is a real risk factor, accelerating the aging process. The "risk group" with manifestations of accelerating aging was observed in 40-49-year old drivers with 15-19 years of professional experience. The expediency of using the following methods for the age rate estimation according to biologic age indices and necessity of prophylactic measures for premature and accelerated aging prevention among working population was demonstrated.

  2. An Assessment of Weight-Length Relationships for Muskellunge,Northern Pike, and Chain Pickerel In Carlander's Handbook of Freshwater Fishery Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Daviscourt, Joshua; Huertas, Joshua; Courtney, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Carlander's Handbook of Freshwater Fishery Biology (1969) contains life history data from many species of freshwater fish found in North America. It has been cited over 1200 times and used to produce standard-weight curves for some species. Recent work (Cole-Fletcher et al. 2011) suggests Carlander (1969) contains numerous errors in listed weight-length equations. This paper assesses the weight-length relationships listed in Carlander for muskellunge, northern pike, and chain pickerel by comp...

  3. Integrative Assessment of Evolutionary Theory Acceptance and Knowledge Levels of Biology Undergraduate Students from a Brazilian University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavares, Gustavo Medina; Bobrowski, Vera Lucia

    2018-01-01

    The integrative role that Evolutionary theory plays within Biology is recognised by most scientific authors, as well as in governmental education policies, including Brazilian policies. However, teaching and learning evolution seems problematic in many countries, and Brazil is among those. Many factors may affect teachers' and students'…

  4. Prediction uncertainty assessment of a systems biology model requires a sample of the full probability distribution of its parameters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mourik, van S.; Braak, ter C.J.F.; Stigter, J.D.; Molenaar, J.

    2014-01-01

    Multi-parameter models in systems biology are typically ‘sloppy’: some parameters or combinations of parameters may be hard to estimate from data, whereas others are not. One might expect that parameter uncertainty automatically leads to uncertain predictions, but this is not the case. We illustrate

  5. Preliminary host range assessment of Asian Chrysochus spp. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), potential biological control agents of Vincetoxicum spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The European herbaceous perennials pale swallow-wort (Vincetoxicum rossicum) and black swallow-wort (V. nigrum; Apocynaceae, subfamily Asclepiadoideae) have been the subject of classical biological control efforts, due to their invasion of various natural areas and managed habitats in the northeaste...

  6. Biological water-quality assessment of selected streams in the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District Planning Area of Wisconsin, 2007

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scudder Eikenberry, Barbara C.; Bell, Amanda H.; Sullivan, Daniel J.; Lutz, Michelle A.; Alvarez, David A.

    2010-01-01

    Changes in the water quality of stream ecosystems in an urban area may manifest in conspicuous ways, such as in murky or smelly streamwater, or in less conspicuous ways, such as fewer native or pollution-sensitive organisms. In 2004, and again in 2007, the U.S. Geological Survey sampled stream organisms—algae, invertebrates, and fish—in 14 Milwaukee area streams to assess water quality as part of the ongoing Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) Corridor Study. In addition, passive-sampling devices (SPMDs, “semipermeable membrane devices”) were deployed at a subset of sites in order to evaluate the potential exposure of stream organisms to certain toxic chemicals. Results of the 2007 sampling effort are the focus of this report. Results of sampling from 2007 are compared with results from 2004. The water quality of sampled streams was assessed by evaluating biological-assemblage data, metrics computed from assemblage data, and an aggregate bioassessment ranking method that combined data for algae, invertebrates, and fish. These data contain information about the abundance (number) of different species in each group of stream organisms and the balance between species that can or cannot tolerate polluted or disturbed conditions. In 2007, the highest numbers of algal, invertebrate, and fish species were found at the Milwaukee River at Milwaukee, the largest sampled site. Algal results indicated water quality concerns at 10 of the 14 sampled sites due to the occurrence of nuisance algae or low percentages of pollution-sensitive algae. When compared to 2004, total algal biovolume was higher in 2007 at 12 of 14 sites, due mostly to more nuisance green algae from unknown causes. Results of several metrics, including the Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (HBI-10), suggest that invertebrate assemblages in the Little Menomonee River, Underwood Creek, and Honey Creek were poorer quality in 2007 compared to 2004. Six sites received “very poor” quality ratings for

  7. Seasonal assessment of biological indices, bioaccumulation and bioavailability of heavy metals in mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis from Algerian west coast, applied to environmental monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omar Rouane-Hacene

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present work is to broaden our knowledge on the variability of trace metals in mussel tissues, focusing on seasonal fluctuations in the three different sampling sites of Algerian west coast (Oran Harbor (S1, Ain Defla (S2 and Hadjaj (S3. For this purpose, the bioavailability (metal indices and bioaccumulation (metal concentrations in soft tissues of heavy metals (Zn, Cu, Pb, and Cd, and the physiological characteristics (e.g. biological indices such as condition index (CI of mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis have been assessed and related to seasons and sites. In S1, the highest levels of metal concentrations and indices were obtained in mussels sampled in winter for Zn, Cu and Cd, but in summer for Pb. The biological indices significantly decreased in winter. In S2, the levels of concentrations and indices of all metals varied whatever the seasons, excepting in summer where the values were the lowest. In summer and spring, the biological indices were lower than in autumn and winter. The low growth of organisms in spring and summer might be correlated to the reproductive period and the low trophic level known in S2. S3, considered as a “pristine” area, showed low metal concentrations and indices, and high biological indices, reflecting the favorable physiological conditions for the mussel growth. This approach might be used in the monitoring of the quality of coastal waters and the present work provided a useful data set for Mediterranean monitoring network.

  8. Assessment of uranium and selenium speciation in human and bacterial biological models to probe changes in their structural environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Avoscan, L.; Milgram, S.; Untereiner, G.; Collins, R.; Khodja, H.; Carriere, M.; Gouget, B. [Lab. Pierre Sue, CEA-CNRS UMR 9956, CEA/Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette (France); Coves, J. [Inst. de Biologie Structurale - J.-P. Ebel, Lab. des Proteines Membranaires, Grenoble (France); Hazemann, J.L. [Lab. de Geophysique Interne et Tectonopbysique, UMR CNRS/Univ. Joseph Fourier, Saint-Martin-D' Heres (France)

    2009-07-01

    This study illustrates the potential of physicochemical techniques to speciate uranium (U) and selenium (Se) in biological samples. Speciation, defined he0re as the study of structural environment, of both toxic elements, was characterized at several levels in biological media and directly in human cells or bacteria once the metal(loid)s were internalized. External speciation that is extracellular speciation in culture media was predicted by thermodynamic equilibrium computer modelling using the JChess software and validated by spectroscopic measurements (XANES and EXAFS). Internal speciation that is intracellular speciation in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells was studied in vitro with a soil bacterium Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34 and ROS 17/2.8 osteoblasts, human cells responsible for bone formation. XANES, EXAFS, HPLC-ICP-MS and SDS-PAGE coupled to particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE) permitted the identification and quantification of complexes formed with organic or inorganic molecules and/or larger proteins. (orig.)

  9. Comments on the theory of radiation risk II Experiments in biology and the assessment of radiation risk

    CERN Document Server

    Neufeld, J

    1974-01-01

    For pt. I see ibid., vol. 26, no.3, 229-37 (March 1974). An experimental program and a computational program are outlined for obtaining a relationship between transfer, L. Q and linear energy using biological data for critical effects and sets of linear equations can be obtained in which the coefficients are the doses delivered in intervals of L, and the unknowns are 'biological weighting factors', lambda . From these equations one can derive lambda 's for various L's as they relate to critical effects in animals. Using value judgment and combining the calculated results with data observed on men, one can obtain a Q-L relationship which is more directly based on experimental evidence than that which is currently used. (36 refs).

  10. Use of Biologic Agents to Promote Bone Formation in Implant Dentistry: A Critical Assessment of Systematic Reviews.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alarcón, Marco Antonio; Diaz, Karla Tatiana; Aranda, Luisiana; Cafferata, Emilio Alfredo; Faggion, Clovis Mariano; Monje, Alberto

    The use of biologic agents is emerging in bone regeneration procedures due to their ability to increase cellular events in wound healing and therefore to obtain more predictable outcomes. Hence, the aim of the present study was to critically evaluate the methodology of systematic reviews investigating biologic agents in promoting bone formation and implant site development. A literature search for systematic reviews with and without meta-analyses was performed in Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane database, as well as in journals with high impact factors in periodontics and implant dentistry. Titles, abstracts, and full-text articles were analyzed for potential inclusion. Three guidelines--AMSTAR, R-AMSTAR, and the checklist proposed by Glenny et al--were utilized to analyze their methodologic quality. Two calibrated reviewers performed all data extraction and appraisal. Cohen's kappa coefficients were calculated to appraise the interexaminer agreement. A total of 12 systematic reviews, 3 with meta-analyses, were evaluated. Platelet-rich derivatives and BMP-2 were the most widely studied biologic agents and sinus augmentation was the most common procedure evaluated. The R-AMSTAR mean score was 28 (range 14-38) and none of the systematic reviews analyzed met all of the items. In the AMSTAR checklist, the mean score was 5.75 (range 2-9) and the only item met by all the systematic reviews was the a priori design. The Glenny et al checklist mean score was 8.6 (range 4-13) and two items, "focused question" and "to identify all relevant studies," were met by all systematic reviews. Systematic reviews on biologic agents demonstrate substantial methodologic variability. Therefore, caution must be exercised when interpreting their findings.

  11. Indicator-based assessment of marine biological diversity – lessons from 10 case studies across the European Seas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Uusitalo

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The Marine Strategy Framework Directive requires the environmental status of European marine waters to be assessed using biodiversity as one out of 11 descriptors, but the complexity of marine biodiversity and its large span across latitudinal and salinity gradients have been a challenge to the scientific community aiming to produce approaches for integrating information from a broad range of indicators. The Nested Environmental status Assessment Tool (NEAT, developed for the integrated assessment of the status of marine waters, was applied to ten marine ecosystems to test its applicability and compare biodiversity assessments across the four European regional seas. We evaluate the assessment results as well as the assessment designs of the ten cases, and how the assessment design, particularly the choices made regarding the area and indicator selection, affected the results. The results show that only 2 out of the 10 case study areas show more than 50 % probability of being in good status in respect of biodiversity. No strong pattern among the ecosystem components across the case study areas could be detected, but marine mammals, birds, and benthic vegetation indicators tended to indicate poor status while zooplankton indicators indicated good status when included into the assessment. The analysis shows that the assessment design, including the selection of indicators, their target values, geographical resolution and habitats to be assessed, has potentially a high impact on the result, and the assessment structure needs to be understood in order to make an informed assessment. Moreover, recommendations are provided for the best practice of using NEAT for marine status assessments.

  12. Experimental strategies to assess the biological ramifications of multiple drivers of global ocean change-A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, Philip W; Collins, Sinead; Dupont, Sam; Fabricius, Katharina; Gattuso, Jean-Pierre; Havenhand, Jonathan; Hutchins, David A; Riebesell, Ulf; Rintoul, Max S; Vichi, Marcello; Biswas, Haimanti; Ciotti, Aurea; Gao, Kunshan; Gehlen, Marion; Hurd, Catriona L; Kurihara, Haruko; McGraw, Christina M; Navarro, Jorge M; Nilsson, Göran E; Passow, Uta; Pörtner, Hans-Otto

    2018-02-24

    Marine life is controlled by multiple physical and chemical drivers and by diverse ecological processes. Many of these oceanic properties are being altered by climate change and other anthropogenic pressures. Hence, identifying the influences of multifaceted ocean change, from local to global scales, is a complex task. To guide policy-making and make projections of the future of the marine biosphere, it is essential to understand biological responses at physiological, evolutionary and ecological levels. Here, we contrast and compare different approaches to multiple driver experiments that aim to elucidate biological responses to a complex matrix of ocean global change. We present the benefits and the challenges of each approach with a focus on marine research, and guidelines to navigate through these different categories to help identify strategies that might best address research questions in fundamental physiology, experimental evolutionary biology and community ecology. Our review reveals that the field of multiple driver research is being pulled in complementary directions: the need for reductionist approaches to obtain process-oriented, mechanistic understanding and a requirement to quantify responses to projected future scenarios of ocean change. We conclude the review with recommendations on how best to align different experimental approaches to contribute fundamental information needed for science-based policy formulation. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Assessing the effect of selection with deltamethrin on biological parameters and detoxifying enzymes in Aedes aegypti (L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Gonzalez, Leslie C; Briceño, Arelis; Ponce-Garcia, Gustavo; Villanueva-Segura, O Karina; Davila-Barboza, Jesus A; Lopez-Monroy, Beatriz; Gutierrez-Rodriguez, Selene M; Contreras-Perera, Yamili; Rodriguez-Sanchez, Iram P; Flores, Adriana E

    2017-11-01

    Resistance to insecticides through one or several mechanisms has a cost for an insect in various parameters of its biological cycle. The present study evaluated the effect of deltamethrin on detoxifying enzymes and biological parameters in a population of Aedes aegypti selected for 15 generations. The enzyme activities of alpha- and beta-esterases, mixed-function oxidases and glutathione-S-transferases were determined during selection, along with biological parameters. Overexpression of mixed-function oxidases as a mechanism of metabolic resistance to deltamethrin was found. There were decreases in percentages of eggs hatching, pupation and age-specific survival and in total survival at the end of the selection (F 16 ). Although age-specific fecundity was not affected by selection with deltamethrin, total fertility, together with lower survival, significantly affected gross reproduction rate, gradually decreasing due to deltamethrin selection. Similarly, net reproductive rate and intrinsic growth rate were affected by selection. Alterations in life parameters could be due to the accumulation of noxious effects or deleterious genes related to detoxifying enzymes, specifically those coding for mixed-function oxidases, along with the presence of recessive alleles of the V1016I and F1534C mutations, associating deltamethrin resistance with fitness cost in Ae. aegypti. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  14. [Assessment of accelerated aging among automobile drivers using model of the biological age based on physical work capacity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bashkireva, A S

    2012-01-01

    The studies of biological age, aging rate, physical work capacity in professional drivers were conducted. The examination revealed peculiarities of system organization of functions, which determine the physical work capacity levels. Dynamics of the aging process of professional driver's organism in relation with calendar age and driving experience were shown using the biological age on physical work capacity model. The results point at the premature decrease of the physical work capacity in professional drivers. The premature contraction of the range of cardio-vascular system adaptive reactions on submaximum physical load in the drivers as compared with control group was revealed. It was proved that premature age-related changes of physiologic indices in drivers are just "risk indicators", while long driving experience is a real risk factor, accelerating the ageing process. The "risk group" with manifestations of accelerating ageing was observed in 40-49-year old drivers with 15-19 years of professional experience. The expediency of using the following methods for the age rate estimation according to biologic age indices and necessity of prophylactic measures for premature and accelerated ageing prevention among working population was demonstrated.

  15. Non-enzymatic lipid oxidation products in biological systems: assessment of the metabolites from polyunsaturated fatty acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vigor, Claire; Bertrand-Michel, Justine; Pinot, Edith; Oger, Camille; Vercauteren, Joseph; Le Faouder, Pauline; Galano, Jean-Marie; Lee, Jetty Chung-Yung; Durand, Thierry

    2014-08-01

    Metabolites of non-enzymatic lipid peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids notably omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids have become important biomarkers of lipid products. Especially the arachidonic acid-derived F2-isoprostanes are the classic in vivo biomarker for oxidative stress in biological systems. In recent years other isoprostanes from eicosapentaenoic, docosahexaenoic, adrenic and α-linolenic acids have been evaluated, namely F3-isoprostanes, F4-neuroprostanes, F2-dihomo-isoprostanes and F1-phytoprostanes, respectively. These have been gaining interest as complementary specific biomarkers in human diseases. Refined extraction methods, robust analysis and elucidation of chemical structures have improved the sensitivity of detection in biological tissues and fluids. Previously the main reliable instrumentation for measurement was gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), but now the use of liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and immunological techniques is gaining much attention. In this review, the types of prostanoids generated from non-enzymatic lipid peroxidation of some important omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and biological samples that have been determined by GC-MS and LC-MS/MS are discussed. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  16. A cell-based systems biology assessment of human blood to monitor immune responses after influenza vaccination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoek, Kristen L; Samir, Parimal; Howard, Leigh M; Niu, Xinnan; Prasad, Nripesh; Galassie, Allison; Liu, Qi; Allos, Tara M; Floyd, Kyle A; Guo, Yan; Shyr, Yu; Levy, Shawn E; Joyce, Sebastian; Edwards, Kathryn M; Link, Andrew J

    2015-01-01

    Systems biology is an approach to comprehensively study complex interactions within a biological system. Most published systems vaccinology studies have utilized whole blood or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) to monitor the immune response after vaccination. Because human blood is comprised of multiple hematopoietic cell types, the potential for masking responses of under-represented cell populations is increased when analyzing whole blood or PBMC. To investigate the contribution of individual cell types to the immune response after vaccination, we established a rapid and efficient method to purify human T and B cells, natural killer (NK) cells, myeloid dendritic cells (mDC), monocytes, and neutrophils from fresh venous blood. Purified cells were fractionated and processed in a single day. RNA-Seq and quantitative shotgun proteomics were performed to determine expression profiles for each cell type prior to and after inactivated seasonal influenza vaccination. Our results show that transcriptomic and proteomic profiles generated from purified immune cells differ significantly from PBMC. Differential expression analysis for each immune cell type also shows unique transcriptomic and proteomic expression profiles as well as changing biological networks at early time points after vaccination. This cell type-specific information provides a more comprehensive approach to monitor vaccine responses.

  17. Assessment of Biological Kinetics in a Conventional Municipal WWTP by Means of the Oxygen Uptake Rate Method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincenzo Torretta

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Pollution control of surface water bodies requires stringent checks on wastewater treatment plants performances. The satisfactory operation of biological treatment, commonly performed by means of activated sludge processes, requires a number of controlling and monitoring procedures. Suitable respirometric techniques for the determination of the kinetic parameters that regulate biological processes have been implemented in order to achieve this aim. This paper describes the results of an experimental research carried out in a conventional Italian municipal wastewater treatment plant. Particularly, the research has been finalized to both evaluate the biological process for the removal of biodegradable pollutants, such as carbonaceous substrates and ammonia nitrogen, and to collect data in order to evaluate a possible plant upgrade. Heterotrophic and autotrophic biomass kinetic parameters have been examined using respirometric techniques based on oxygen uptake measurements. The research performed makes a valuable contribution toward verifying the reliability of the values proposed in the literature for some kinetic parameters, which have been commonly used for a long time.

  18. A Cell-Based Systems Biology Assessment of Human Blood to Monitor Immune Responses after Influenza Vaccination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoek, Kristen L.; Samir, Parimal; Howard, Leigh M.; Niu, Xinnan; Prasad, Nripesh; Galassie, Allison; Liu, Qi; Allos, Tara M.; Floyd, Kyle A.; Guo, Yan; Shyr, Yu; Levy, Shawn E.; Joyce, Sebastian; Edwards, Kathryn M.; Link, Andrew J.

    2015-01-01

    Systems biology is an approach to comprehensively study complex interactions within a biological system. Most published systems vaccinology studies have utilized whole blood or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) to monitor the immune response after vaccination. Because human blood is comprised of multiple hematopoietic cell types, the potential for masking responses of under-represented cell populations is increased when analyzing whole blood or PBMC. To investigate the contribution of individual cell types to the immune response after vaccination, we established a rapid and efficient method to purify human T and B cells, natural killer (NK) cells, myeloid dendritic cells (mDC), monocytes, and neutrophils from fresh venous blood. Purified cells were fractionated and processed in a single day. RNA-Seq and quantitative shotgun proteomics were performed to determine expression profiles for each cell type prior to and after inactivated seasonal influenza vaccination. Our results show that transcriptomic and proteomic profiles generated from purified immune cells differ significantly from PBMC. Differential expression analysis for each immune cell type also shows unique transcriptomic and proteomic expression profiles as well as changing biological networks at early time points after vaccination. This cell type-specific information provides a more comprehensive approach to monitor vaccine responses. PMID:25706537

  19. Assessing the effectiveness of synthetic and biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs in psoriatic arthritis – a systematic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kingsley GH

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Gabrielle H Kingsley, David L Scott Rheumatology Unit, Kings College London, London, UK Background: Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory arthritis the primary manifestations of which are locomotor and skin disease. Although a number of guidelines have been published citing strategies for reducing disease progression, the evidence base for disease-modifying agents is unclear. This forms the focus of this systematic review. Methods: The systematic review was undertaken according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses 2009 checklist. We selected randomized controlled trials (RCTs that looked at the impact of interventions with disease-modifying agents, either synthetic drugs or biologics on musculoskeletal outcomes, notably American College of Rheumatology 20 percent responders. Results were analyzed using Review Manager 5.1.6 (Cochrane Collaboration, Oxford, UK. Whilst our primary focus was on published trials, we also looked at new trials presented in abstract form in 2013–2014 that were not yet published to avoid omitting important and up-to-date information on developing treatments. Results: Our in-depth analysis included 28 trials overall enrolling 5,177 patients published between the 1980s and now as well as limited analysis of some studies in abstract form as described earlier. The most frequently available locomotor outcome measure was the American College of Rheumatology 20 percent responders. The risk ratio for achieving an American College of Rheumatology 20 percent responders response was positive in favor of treatment (risk ratio 2.30; 95% confidence interval 1.78–2.96; however, there was evidence of considerable heterogeneity between trials. Overall randomized controlled trials of established synthetic disease-modifying agents were largely negative (methotrexate, ciclosporin and sulfasalazine though leflunomide showed a small positive effect. A new synthetic agent, apremilast, did show a

  20. THE USE OF DIFFICULTY LEARNING ASSESSMENT IN ASSESSING THE CONCEPT MASTERY OF BIOLOGY TEACHER CANDIDATES ON DEVELOPMENT STAGE OF ANIMAL EMBRIOLOGY

    OpenAIRE

    Aa Juhanda

    2017-01-01

    This study aims to obtain a description of the mastery of the concept of biology teacher candidates through the study of learning difficulties in the concept of development stage of animal embryo. The subjects of the study were 43 students of semester 6 of academic year 2013 which contracted embryology subjects. The instruments used consist of diagnostic questions (essays and multiple choice questions) and interview format. Data analysis was done quantitatively and qualitatively. The results ...

  1. Context matters: volunteer bias, small sample size, and the value of comparison groups in the assessment of research-based undergraduate introductory biology lab courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownell, Sara E; Kloser, Matthew J; Fukami, Tadashi; Shavelson, Richard J

    2013-01-01

    The shift from cookbook to authentic research-based lab courses in undergraduate biology necessitates the need for evaluation and assessment of these novel courses. Although the biology education community has made progress in this area, it is important that we interpret the effectiveness of these courses with caution and remain mindful of inherent limitations to our study designs that may impact internal and external validity. The specific context of a research study can have a dramatic impact on the conclusions. We present a case study of our own three-year investigation of the impact of a research-based introductory lab course, highlighting how volunteer students, a lack of a comparison group, and small sample sizes can be limitations of a study design that can affect the interpretation of the effectiveness of a course.

  2. An Assessment of the Spatial and Temporal Variability of Biological Responses to Municipal Wastewater Effluent in Rainbow Darter (Etheostoma caeruleum) Collected along an Urban Gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bragg, Leslie M.; Tetreault, Gerald R.; Bahamonde, Paulina A.; Tanna, Rajiv N.; Bennett, Charles J.; McMaster, Mark E.; Servos, Mark R.

    2016-01-01

    Municipal wastewater effluent (MWWE) and its constituents, such as chemicals of emerging concern, pose a potential threat to the sustainability of fish populations by disrupting key endocrine functions in aquatic organisms. While studies have demonstrated changes in biological markers of exposure of aquatic organisms to groups of chemicals of emerging concern, the variability of these markers over time has not been sufficiently described in wild fish species. The aim of this study was to assess the spatial and temporal variability of biological markers in response to MWWE exposure and to test the consistency of these responses between seasons and among years. Rainbow darter (Etheostoma caeruleum) were collected in spring and fall seasons over a 5-year period in the Grand River, Ontario, Canada. In addition to surface water chemistry (nutrients and selected pharmaceuticals), measures were taken across levels of biological organization in rainbow darter. The measurements of hormone production, gonad development, and intersex severity were temporally consistent and suggested impaired reproduction in male fish collected downstream of MWWE outfalls. In contrast, ovarian development and hormone production in females appeared to be influenced more by urbanization than MWWE. Measures of gene expression and somatic indices were highly variable between sites and years, respectively, and were inconclusive in terms of the impacts of MWWE overall. Robust biomonitoring programs must consider these factors in both the design and interpretation of results, especially when spatial and temporal sampling of biological endpoints is limited. Assessing the effects of contaminants and other stressors on fish in watersheds would be greatly enhanced by an approach that considers natural variability in the endpoints being measured. PMID:27776151

  3. An Assessment of the Spatial and Temporal Variability of Biological Responses to Municipal Wastewater Effluent in Rainbow Darter (Etheostoma caeruleum Collected along an Urban Gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meghan L M Fuzzen

    Full Text Available Municipal wastewater effluent (MWWE and its constituents, such as chemicals of emerging concern, pose a potential threat to the sustainability of fish populations by disrupting key endocrine functions in aquatic organisms. While studies have demonstrated changes in biological markers of exposure of aquatic organisms to groups of chemicals of emerging concern, the variability of these markers over time has not been sufficiently described in wild fish species. The aim of this study was to assess the spatial and temporal variability of biological markers in response to MWWE exposure and to test the consistency of these responses between seasons and among years. Rainbow darter (Etheostoma caeruleum were collected in spring and fall seasons over a 5-year period in the Grand River, Ontario, Canada. In addition to surface water chemistry (nutrients and selected pharmaceuticals, measures were taken across levels of biological organization in rainbow darter. The measurements of hormone production, gonad development, and intersex severity were temporally consistent and suggested impaired reproduction in male fish collected downstream of MWWE outfalls. In contrast, ovarian development and hormone production in females appeared to be influenced more by urbanization than MWWE. Measures of gene expression and somatic indices were highly variable between sites and years, respectively, and were inconclusive in terms of the impacts of MWWE overall. Robust biomonitoring programs must consider these factors in both the design and interpretation of results, especially when spatial and temporal sampling of biological endpoints is limited. Assessing the effects of contaminants and other stressors on fish in watersheds would be greatly enhanced by an approach that considers natural variability in the endpoints being measured.

  4. An ecologically-based method for selecting ecological indicators for assessing risks to biological diversity from genetically-engineered plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andow, D. A.; Lövei, Gabor L; Arpaia, Salvatore

    2013-01-01

    The environmental risks associated with genetically-engineered (GE) organisms have been controversial, and so have the models for the assessment of these risks. We propose an ecologically-based environmental risk assessment (ERA) model that follows the 1998 USEPA guidelines, focusing on potential...

  5. BIOLOGICAL RESPONSES OF THE SEA URCHIN, ARBACIA PUNTULATA, TO LEAD CONTAMINATION FOR AN ESTUARINE ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    Science.gov (United States)

    An estuarine ecological risk assessment for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) Kittery, ME, was conducted utilizing the U.S. EPA's Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). As part of the analysis phase of the ERA, laboratory studies were conducted to develop quantitative ...

  6. Assessment of biological conditions at selected stream sites in Johnson County, Kansas, and Cass and Jackson Counties, Missouri, 2003 and 2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulton, Barry C.; Rasmussen, Teresa J.; Lee, Casey J.

    2007-01-01

    Macroinvertebrate samples were collected at 15 stream sites representing 11 different watersheds in Johnson County, Kansas, in 2003 and 2004 to assess biological conditions in streams and relations to environmental variables. Published data from an additional seven stream sites, one in Johnson County, Kansas, and six others in adjacent Cass and Jackson Counties in Missouri also were evaluated. Multimetric scores, which integrated a combination of measures that describe various aspects of biological community abundance and diversity, were used to evaluate and compare the biological health of streams. In addition, for 15 of 16 Johnson County stream sites, environmental data (streamflow, precipitation, and land use) and water- and sediment-quality data (primarily nutrients, indicator bacteria, and organic wastewater compounds) were used in statistical analyses to evaluate relations between macroinvertebrate metrics and variables that may affect them. The information is useful for defining current conditions, evaluating conditions relative to State aquatic-life support and total maximum daily load requirements, evaluating effects of urbanization, developing effective water-quality management plans, and documenting changes in biological condition and water quality.Biological conditions in selected Johnson County streams generally reflected a gradient in the degree of human disturbances upstream from the sites, including percentage of urban and agricultural land use as well as the presence, absence, and proximity of wastewater treatment discharges. In this report, the term gradient is used to describe a continuum in the conditions (biological, environmental, or land use) observed at the study sites. Upstream Blue River sites, downstream from primarily agricultural land use, consistently scored among the sites least impacted by human disturbance, and in some metrics these sites scored higher than the State reference site (Captain Creek). The term impact, as used in this

  7. A diatom-based biological condition gradient (BCG) approach for assessing impairment and developing nutrient criteria for streams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hausmann, Sonja; Charles, Donald F; Gerritsen, Jeroen; Belton, Thomas J

    2016-08-15

    Over-enrichment leading to excess algal growth is a major problem in rivers and streams. Regulations to protect streams typically incorporate nutrient criteria, concentrations of phosphorus and nitrogen that should not be exceeded in order to protect biological communities. A major challenge has been to develop an approach for both categorizing streams based on their biological conditions and determining scientifically defensible nutrient criteria to protect the biotic integrity of streams in those categories. To address this challenge, we applied the Biological Condition Gradient (BCG) approach to stream diatom assemblages to develop a system for categorizing sites by level of impairment, and then examined the related nutrient concentrations to identify potential nutrient criteria. The six levels of the BCG represent a range of ecological conditions from natural (1) to highly disturbed (6). A group of diatom experts developed a set of rules and a model to assign sites to these levels based on their diatom assemblages. To identify potential numeric nutrient criteria, we explored the relation of assigned BCG levels to nutrient concentrations, other anthropogenic stressors, and possible confounding variables using data for stream sites in New Jersey (n=42) and in surrounding Mid-Atlantic states, USA (n=1443). In both data sets, BCG levels correlated most strongly with total phosphorus and the percentage of forest in the watershed, but were independent of pH. We applied Threshold Indicator Taxa Analysis (TITAN) to determine change-points in the diatom assemblages along the BCG gradient. In both data sets, statistically significant diatom changes occurred between BCG levels 3 and 4. Sites with BCG levels 1 to 3 were dominated by species that grow attached to surfaces, while sites with BCG scores of 4 and above were characterized by motile diatoms. The diatom change-point corresponded with a total phosphorus concentration of about 50μg/L. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B

  8. Assessing Biological and Stratigraphic Determinants of Fossil Abundance: A Case Example from the Late Quaternary of Po Plain, Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kowalewski, Michal; Azzarone, Michele; Kusnerik, Kristopher; Dexter, Troy; Wittmer, Jacalyn; Scarponi, Daniele

    2017-04-01

    Absolute fossil abundance [AFA] can be defined as a relative concentration of identifiable fossils per unit of sediment. AFA, or "sediment shelliness", is controlled by the interplay between the rate of input of skeletal remains (biological productivity), pace of shell destruction (taphonomy), rate of sedimentation, and sediment compaction. Understanding the relative importance of those drivers can augment both stratigraphic and biological interpretations of the fossil record. Using 336 samples from a network of late Quaternary cores drilled in Po Plain (Italy), we examined the importance of those factors in controlling the stratigraphic distribution of fossils. All samples were vertically and volumetrically equivalent, each representing a 10 cm long interval of a core with a diameter of 7 cm ( 0.375 dm3 sediment per sample). Sample-level estimates of AFA (1) varied over 4 orders of magnitudes (from indicate that compaction (which should increase downcore), sedimentation rates (which vary predictably across systems tracts), and pace of shell destruction (expected to differ across depositional settings) are unlikely to have played important role in controlling fossils density in the sampled cores. In contrast, samples with very high shell density (AFA > 4000 specimens per dm3) were characterized by exceedingly low evenness reflecting dominance by one super-abundant species (Berger-Parker index > 0.8 in all cases). These super-abundant species were limited to small r-selective mollusks capable of an explosive population growth: the marine corbulid bivalve Lentidium mediterraneum and the brackish hyrdobiid gastropod Ecrobia ventrosa. Moreover, despite high mollusk diversity (534 species total), >80% of samples are dominated by one of the five mollusk species, which all represent small, r-selective, deposit and suspension feeders. Trends in absolute fossil abundance within late Quaternary deposits of the Po Plain appear to have been driven primarily by biological

  9. Field trial assessment of biological, chemical, and physical responses of soil to tillage intensity, fertilization, and grazing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas Gil, Silvina; Becker, Analia; Oddino, Claudio; Zuza, Mónica; Marinelli, Adriana; March, Guillermo

    2009-08-01

    Soil microbial populations can fluctuate in response to environmental changes and, therefore, are often used as biological indicators of soil quality. Soil chemical and physical parameters can also be used as indicators because they can vary in response to different management strategies. A long-term field trial was conducted to study the effects of different tillage systems (NT: no tillage, DH: disc harrow, and MP: moldboard plough), P fertilization (diammonium phosphate), and cattle grazing (in terms of crop residue consumption) in maize (Zea mays L.), sunflower (Heliantus annuus L.), and soybean (Glycine max L.) on soil biological, chemical, and physical parameters. The field trial was conducted for four crop years (2000/2001, 2001/2002, 2002/2003, and 2003/2004). Soil populations of Actinomycetes, Trichoderma spp., and Gliocladium spp. were 49% higher under conservation tillage systems, in soil amended with diammonium phosphate (DAP) and not previously grazed. Management practices also influenced soil chemical parameters, especially organic matter content and total N, which were 10% and 55% higher under NT than under MP. Aggregate stability was 61% higher in NT than in MP, 15% higher in P-fertilized soil, and also 9% higher in not grazed strips, bulk density being 12% lower in NT systems compared with MP. DAP application and the absence of grazing also reduced bulk density (3%). Using conservation tillage systems, fertilizing crops with DAP, and avoiding grazing contribute to soil health preservation and enhanced crop production.

  10. Biological assessment of marine resources for the Republic of the Maldives, Indian Ocean, August, 2001 (NODC Accession 0000670)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In August 2001, biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service were asked to conduct an assessment of the national...

  11. Enabling students to learn: Design, implementation and assessment of a supplemental study strategies course for an introductory undergraduate biology course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sriram, Jayanthi Sanjeevi

    Attrition in the STEM disciplines is a national problem and one of the important reasons for this is student experiences in introductory courses. A myriad of factors influence students' experiences in those courses; inadequate student preparation is one of the most cited reasons. Incoming freshmen often lack the learning strategies required to meaningfully learn and succeed in college courses. Unfortunately, the instructors have limited time and/or have little experience in teaching learning strategies. In this paper, the design, implementation, and evaluation of a Supplemental Course (SC) model that emphasizes learning strategies is presented. SC was offered concurrently with the introductory biology courses for four consecutive semesters (fall 2011 to spring 2013); for 10 weeks in fall 2012 and 7 weeks in the other semesters at Miami University. 10 weeks SC began earlier in the semester than the shorter SC. This study evaluated the effects of the SC on students' (1) performance in the introductory biology course, (2) perceived changes in self-regulation and social support, and (3) experiences in the introductory biology course before, during, and after participation in the SC. A mixed methods approach was used to address these goals. A pre-post survey was administered to obtain students' use of self-regulation strategies and social-support data. Quantitative methods were utilized to analyze content exam grades and changes in self-regulation strategies and social-support. To explore the experiences of the students, semi-structured interviews were conducted, followed by analysis using grounded theory. The findings reveal that participants of the longer duration SC (with an earlier start date) significantly improved in content exam performance, perceived use of self-regulation strategies, and social support compared to the non-participants. Participants of the shorter duration SC (with a later start date) did not significantly improve in content exam performance

  12. Plastic pollution in the Labrador Sea: An assessment using the seabird northern fulmar Fulmarus glacialis as a biological monitoring species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avery-Gomm, Stephanie; Provencher, Jennifer F; Liboiron, Max; Poon, Florence E; Smith, Paul A

    2018-02-01

    Plastic is now one among one of the most pervasive pollutants on the planet, and ocean circulation models predict that the Arctic will become another accumulation zone. As solutions to address marine plastic emerge, is essential that baselines are available to monitor progress towards targets. The northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), a widely-distributed seabird species, has been used as a biological monitor for plastic pollution in the North Sea, and could be a useful monitoring species elsewhere. We quantified plastic ingested by northern fulmars from the southeastern Canadian waters of the Labrador Sea with the objective of establishing a standardized baseline for future comparisons. Over two years we sampled 70 fulmars and found that 79% had ingested plastic, with an average of 11.6 pieces or 0.151g per bird. Overall, 34% of all fulmars exceeded the Ecological Quality Objective for marine litter, having ingested >0.1g of plastic. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Use of dispersion modelling for Environmental Impact Assessment of biological air pollution from composting: Progress, problems and prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, P; Hayes, E T; Williams, W B; Tyrrel, S F; Kinnersley, R P; Walsh, K; O'Driscoll, M; Longhurst, P J; Pollard, S J T; Drew, G H

    2017-12-01

    With the increase in composting asa sustainable waste management option, biological air pollution (bioaerosols) from composting facilities have become a cause of increasing concern due to their potential health impacts. Estimating community exposure to bioaerosols is problematic due to limitations in current monitoring methods. Atmospheric dispersion modelling can be used to estimate exposure concentrations, however several issues arise from the lack of appropriate bioaerosol data to use as inputs into models, and the complexity of the emission sources at composting facilities. This paper analyses current progress in using dispersion models for bioaerosols, examines the remaining problems and provides recommendations for future prospects in this area. A key finding is the urgent need for guidance for model users to ensure consistent bioaerosol modelling practices. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  14. Integrating chemical and biological status assessment: Assembling lines of evidence for the evaluation of river ecosystem risk

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Munoz Gracia, Isabel; Sabater, Sergi

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes various approaches to evaluating ecological risk in rivers affected by multiple chemical stressors, with emphasis on biofilm and invertebrate community responses. Metrics should be considered as different lines of evidence that, when weighted, form an advanced weight of evidence approach to establishing the environmental risk on a basin scale. Combination of field surveys to obtain observational data of communities, in situ experiments, toxicological sediment tests and a good chemical description of the medium (water and sediment) helps give an integrative view of the chemical and biological state of a river ecosystem. The greater and more distinct the variables used, the greater is our ability to identify the effects of major stressors impairing communities. Weight of evidence is an integrative methodology for tackling the challenge of determining causal relations and applying this knowledge in the decision-making processes of river management.

  15. An integrative study on biologically recovered polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) and simultaneous assessment of gut microbiome in yellow mealworm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ong, Su Yean; Kho, Hui-Pheng; Riedel, Sebastian L; Kim, Seok-Won; Gan, Chee-Yuen; Taylor, Todd D; Sudesh, Kumar

    2018-01-10

    Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are produced in microbes as a source of carbon and energy storage. They are biodegradable and have properties similar to synthetic plastics, which make them an interesting alternative to petroleum-based plastics. In this study, a refined method of recovering PHA from Cupriavidus necator biomass was proposed by incorporating the use of the yellow mealworm (the larval phase of the mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitor) as partial purification machinery, followed by washing of the fecal pellets with distilled water and sodium hydroxide. The PHA contents of the cells used in this study were 55wt% (produced from palm olein) and 60 wt% (produced from waste animal fats). The treatment of distilled water and NaOH further increased the purity of PHA to 94%. In parallel, analysis of the 16S rRNA metagenomic sequencing of the mealworm gut microbiome has revealed remarkable changes in the bacterial diversity, especially between the mealworms fed with cells produced from palm olein and waste animal fats. This biological recovery of PHA from cells is an attempt to move towards a green and sustainable process with the aim of reducing the use of harmful solvents and strong chemicals during polymer purification. The results obtained show that - purities of >90%, without a reduction in the molecular weight, can be obtained through this integrative biological recovery approach. In addition, this study has successfully shown that the cells, regardless of their origins, were readily consumed by the mealworms, and there is a correlation between the feed type and the mealworm gut microbiome. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Kinetics of reaction of peroxynitrite with selenium- and sulfur-containing compounds: Absolute rate constants and assessment of biological significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storkey, Corin; Pattison, David I; Ignasiak, Marta T; Schiesser, Carl H; Davies, Michael J

    2015-12-01

    Peroxynitrite (the physiological mixture of ONOOH and its anion, ONOO(-)) is a powerful biologically-relevant oxidant capable of oxidizing and damaging a range of important targets including sulfides, thiols, lipids, proteins, carbohydrates and nucleic acids. Excessive production of peroxynitrite is associated with several human pathologies including cardiovascular disease, ischemic-reperfusion injury, circulatory shock, inflammation and neurodegeneration. This study demonstrates that low-molecular-mass selenols (RSeH), selenides (RSeR') and to a lesser extent diselenides (RSeSeR') react with peroxynitrite with high rate constants. Low molecular mass selenols react particularly rapidly with peroxynitrite, with second order rate constants k2 in the range 5.1 × 10(5)-1.9 × 10(6)M(-1)s(-1), and 250-830 fold faster than the corresponding thiols (RSH) and many other endogenous biological targets. Reactions of peroxynitrite with selenides, including selenosugars are approximately 15-fold faster than their sulfur homologs with k2 approximately 2.5 × 10(3)M(-1)s(-1). The rate constants for diselenides and sulfides were slower with k2 0.72-1.3 × 10(3)M(-1)s(-1) and approximately 2.1 × 10(2)M(-1)s(-1) respectively. These studies demonstrate that both endogenous and exogenous selenium-containing compounds may modulate peroxynitrite-mediated damage at sites of acute and chronic inflammation, with this being of particular relevance at extracellular sites where the thiol pool is limited. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Assessment of radiation damage - the need for a multi-parametric and integrative approach with the help of both clinical and biological dosimetry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meineke, Viktor

    2008-01-01

    Full text: Accidental exposure to ionising radiation leads to a damage on different levels of the biological organization of the organism. Depending on exposure conditions, such as nature of radiation, time and affected organs and organ systems, the clinical endpoint of radiation damage and the resulting acute and chronic radiation syndromes may vary to a great extent. Exposure situations range from pure localised radiation scenarios and partial body exposures up to whole body exposures. Therefore clinical pictures vary from localized radiation injuries up to the extreme situation of a radiation-induced multi-organ involvement and failure requiring immediate, intensive and interdisciplinary medical treatment. These total different and complex clinical situations not only show up most different clinical diagnostic and therapeutic aspects but necessarily due to different levels of the underlying biological damage, biological indicators of effects may vary to a wide extent. This fact means that an exact assessment of the extent of radiation damage within individual patients can only be performed when taking into consideration both clinical signs and symptoms as well as different biological indicators. Among the clinical indicators, routine laboratory parameters such as blood counts and the documentation of clinical signs and symptoms (such as the METREPOL system) are the key parameters, whereas the dicentric assay, the gold standard for biological dosimetry, but also methods under development such as the gamma-H2Ax focus assay or the estimation of variations of gene expression have to be taken into account. Each method provides best results in different situations, or in other words, there are methods that work better in a specific exposure condition or at a given time of examination (e.g. time after exposure) than others. Some methods show up results immediately, others require days to weeks until results are available for clinical decision making. Therefore to

  18. A study of the ionizing radiation effect on some chemical changes in irradiated soy-bean flour, and its biological value assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tencheva, S.; Katsareva, Ts.

    1985-01-01

    The results of the assessment of a number of chemical indicators are presented, namely: formation of free radicals in defatted soy-bean flour irradiated with 10 kGy using EPR-spectrometry, alteration in the residual lipid fraction, estimated by the UV spectrometry and TB test. Assessment of the biological value of protein is done on the basis of the protein efficiency coefficient (PEC). For the purpose two kinds of synthetic diets, including 10% soy-bean protein, are employed. Growing rats of the Wistar line (body weight 55 g) are used in the experiment. The amino acid profile of irradiated and non-irradiated soy-bean flour is also outlined. The obtained results indicate that the amount of free radicals, found in soy-bean flour irradiated with dose 10 kGy,is approximately 11 times larger than in flour irradiated with 5 kGy. Changes in the UV spectrum of the lipid fraction are likewise disclosed

  19. A critical assessment of the microorganisms proposed to be important to enhanced biological phosphorus removal in full-scale wastewater treatment systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stokholm-Bjerregaard, Mikkel; McIlroy, Simon Jon; Nierychlo, Marta

    2017-01-01

    candidates proposed for each over the last few decades. The current study collectively assessed the abundance and diversity of all proposed PAOs and GAOs in 18 Danish full-scale wastewater treatment plants with well-working biological nutrient removal over a period of 9 years using 16S rRNA gene amplicon...... sequencing. The microbial community structure in all plants was relatively stable over time. Evidence for the role of the proposed PAOs and GAOs in EBPR varies and is critically assessed, in light of their calculated amplicon abundances, to indicate which of these are important in full-scale systems...... that require further research attention. Interestingly, the actinobacterial Micropruina and sbr-gs28 phylotypes were among the most abundant of the putative GAOs. Members of the genera Defluviicoccus, Propionivibrio, the family Competibacteraceae, and the spb280 group were also relatively abundant in some...

  20. THE USE OF DIFFICULTY LEARNING ASSESSMENT IN ASSESSING THE CONCEPT MASTERY OF BIOLOGY TEACHER CANDIDATES ON DEVELOPMENT STAGE OF ANIMAL EMBRIOLOGY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aa Juhanda

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to obtain a description of the mastery of the concept of biology teacher candidates through the study of learning difficulties in the concept of development stage of animal embryo. The subjects of the study were 43 students of semester 6 of academic year 2013 which contracted embryology subjects. The instruments used consist of diagnostic questions (essays and multiple choice questions and interview format. Data analysis was done quantitatively and qualitatively. The results showed that the mastery of the concept of students on aspects of C1 (remember is 53% (enough; C2 (understanding of 77% (good; C3 (applying of 98% (excellent; And C4 (analyze of 58% (enough. In addition, some students who experienced difficulty showed a positive response to their learning difficulties.

  1. Suitability of biomarkers of biological effects (BOBEs) for assessing the likelihood of reducing the tobacco related disease risk by new and innovative tobacco products: A literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, Gerhard

    2018-02-09

    The health risk of tobacco smoking can best be avoided or reduced by not taking up or quitting the habit. The use of new and innovative tobacco (NTPs, e.g. electronic cigarettes) can either be an aid for smoking cessation or, for those who are not able or willing to quit, an alternative for smoking conventional tobacco products. Before the use of an NTP can be regarded as an effective approach in tobacco harm reduction (THR), the implicated risk has to be evaluated by suitable toxicological methods such as the analysis of the chemical composition as well as assessment of detrimental effects in animal and in vitro studies. In human (clinical) studies, the NTP-related exposure to toxicants and early biological effects can be assessed by the determination of suitable biomarkers. In this review, the suitability of established and newly developed biomarkers of biological effect (BOBEs) for the indicated purpose is evaluated according to five criteria, including the association to diseases, reported difference in BOBE levels between smokers and non-smokers, dose-response relationships, reversibility and kinetics after smoking cessation. Furthermore, the effect size and the resulting sample size required in clinical studies were estimated and considered in the BOBE evaluation process. It is concluded that the rating process presented is useful for selecting BOBEs suitable for risk evaluation of NTPs in clinical and other human studies. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Assessment of biological effects of environmental pollution in Mersin Bay (Turkey, northeastern Mediterranean Sea) using Mullus barbatus and Liza ramada as target organisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yılmaz, Doruk; Kalay, Mustafa; Dönmez, Erdem; Yılmaz, Nejat

    2016-01-01

    The increasing emphasis on the assessment and monitoring of marine ecosystems has revealed the need to use appropriate biological indicators for these areas. Enzyme activities and histopathology are increasingly being used as indicators of environmental stress since they provide a definite biological end-point of pollutant exposure. As part of an ecotoxicological assessment of Mersin Bay, EROD enzyme activity and histopathological response in selected organs and tissues of two species of fish, Mullus barbatus (red mullet) and Liza ramada (thinlip grey mullet), captured from area were examined. Pollutant (Organochlorines (OC), alkylphenols (APs) and BPA) levels and biomarker responses in tissue samples were evaluated together for their potential to alter the metabolism and cellular aspects in liver and gonad. Elevated induction of EROD activity and histopathological alterations in contaminated samples from Mersin Bay was observed compared to reference site indicating the exposure to potential pollutants. - Highlights: • PCBs, DDTs, APs and BPA were detected in liver tissues of red mullet (Mullus barbatus) and thinlip grey mullet (Liza ramada). • Highly induced EROD activity were measured in fish samples from Mersin Bay in comparison to reference fish. • Liver and gonad impairments were observed in samples from contaminated area of Mersin Bay. - Histopathological alterations and induced EROD activities were observed in parallel with elevated tissue concentrations of contaminants in red mullet and thinlip grey mullet.

  3. Increasing URM Undergraduate Student Success through Assessment-Driven Interventions: A Multiyear Study Using Freshman-Level General Biology as a Model System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carmichael, Mary C.; St. Clair, Candace; Edwards, Andrea M.; Barrett, Peter; McFerrin, Harris; Davenport, Ian; Awad, Mohamed; Kundu, Anup; Ireland, Shubha Kale

    2016-01-01

    Xavier University of Louisiana leads the nation in awarding BS degrees in the biological sciences to African-American students. In this multiyear study with ∼5500 participants, data-driven interventions were adopted to improve student academic performance in a freshman-level general biology course. The three hour-long exams were common and administered concurrently to all students. New exam questions were developed using Bloom’s taxonomy, and exam results were analyzed statistically with validated assessment tools. All but the comprehensive final exam were returned to students for self-evaluation and remediation. Among other approaches, course rigor was monitored by using an identical set of 60 questions on the final exam across 10 semesters. Analysis of the identical sets of 60 final exam questions revealed that overall averages increased from 72.9% (2010) to 83.5% (2015). Regression analysis demonstrated a statistically significant correlation between high-risk students and their averages on the 60 questions. Additional analysis demonstrated statistically significant improvements for at least one letter grade from midterm to final and a 20% increase in the course pass rates over time, also for the high-risk population. These results support the hypothesis that our data-driven interventions and assessment techniques are successful in improving student retention, particularly for our academically at-risk students. PMID:27543637

  4. Compilation and assessment of microwave bioeffects. Final report. A selective review of the literature on biological effects of microwaves in relation to the Satellite Power System (SPS)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Justesen, D.R.; Ragan, H.A.; Rogers, L.E.; Guy, A.W.; Hjeresen, D.L.; Hinds, W.T.; Phillips, R.D.

    1978-05-01

    One of many alternate sources of electrical energy that are being considered by the Department of Energy is a microwave-mediated Satellite Power System (SPS). Once inserted into geosynchronous orbit at an altitude of more than 40,000 kilometers, a satellite would collect then convert the sun's energy to 2450-MHz microwaves, which would be beamed to the Earth's surface, where a rectifying antenna (rectenna) would convert the microwaves to electrical current suitable for industrial and domestic use. The expanse of each rectenna (about 10 by 13 kilometers), the power density of the continuous-wave microwave beam (approx. 23 mW/cm/sup 2/ at center, with fall off to 1 mW/cm/sup 2/ or less at the periphery of the rectenna), and the possibility that 20 or more satellite systems will eventually be operating, creates two sets of interrelated problems for biological/ecological assessment. These are 1) the effects of microwave fields of higher intensity on airborne biota (including human beings in aircraft) that may traffic the area above the rectenna and 2) the effects of virtually perpetual fields of much lower intensity on all forms of life at and beyond the rectennae's zone of exclusion. In this review, the scientific literature is examined, not only for biological effects that are pertinent to assessment of SPS, but for hiatuses of knowledge that will have to be filled before SPS can be vouched for operational safety.

  5. Assessing environmental quality status by integrating chemical and biological effect data : The Cartagena coastal zone as a case

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Martínez-Gómez, Concepción; Fernández, Beatriz; Robinson, Craig D.; Campillo, J. Antonio; León, Víctor M.; Benedicto, José; Hylland, Ketil; Vethaak, A. Dick

    Cartagena coastal zone (W Mediterranean) was chosen for a practical case study to investigate the suitability of an integrated indicator framework for marine monitoring and assessment of chemicals and their effects, which was developed by ICES and OSPAR. Red mullet (Mullus barbatus) and the

  6. 78 FR 14509 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for a Biological...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-06

    ... Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Availability of an Environmental Assessment and Finding of No... no significant impact, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that an...: Background The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing to issue permits for the...

  7. Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs) in Human Systems Biology: Gas-Phase Probes for Assessing In Vitro Enzyme System Perturbations

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Air, Climate, and Energy (ACE) and Chemical Safety for Sustainability (CSS) programs at the U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency (EPA) encompass broad-based research that includes assessment of the health and environmentalimpacts of anthropogenic and manufactured chemicals. On...

  8. 75 FR 28233 - Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological Control Agent for Asian Citrus Psyllid

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-20

    ... reading room). You may request paper copies of the EA by calling or writing to the person listed under FOR... 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS-2010-0028. Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on the environmental assessment in our reading room. The reading room...

  9. Systems Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    Systems biology seeks to study biological systems as a whole, contrary to the reductionist approach that has dominated biology. Such a view of biological systems emanating from strong foundations of molecular level understanding of the individual components in terms of their form, function and interactions is promising to ...

  10. Evaluation of the Biolog Substrate Utilization System To Identify and Assess Metabolic Variation among Strains of Xanthomonas campestris pv. Citri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verniere, C.; Pruvost, O.; Civerolo, E. L.; Gambin, O.; Jacquemoud-Collet, J. P.; Luisetti, J.

    1993-01-01

    Metabolic fingerprints of 148 strains of Xanthomonas campestris pv. citri originating from 24 countries and associated with various forms of citrus bacterial canker disease (CBCD) were obtained by using the Biolog substrate utilization system. Metabolic profiles were used to attempt strain identification. Only 6.8% of the studied strains were correctly identified when the commercial Microlog 2N data base was used alone. When the data base was supplemented with data from 54 strains of X. campestris pv. citri (40 CBCD-A strains, 8 CBCD-B strains, and 6 CBCD-C strains) and data from 43 strains of X. campestris associated with citrus bacterial spot disease, the percentage of correct identifications was 70%. Thus, it is recommended that users supplement the commercial data base with additional data prior to using the program for identification purposes. The utilization of Tween 40 in conjunction with other tests can help to differentiate strains associated with CBCD and citrus bacterial spot disease. These results confirmed the separation of X. campestris pv. citri into different subgroups (strains associated with Asiatic citrus canker [CBCD-A], cancrosis B [CBCD-B], and Mexican lime canker [CBCD-C]). The utilization of l-fucose, d-galactose, and alaninamide can be used as markers to differentiate strains associated with these groups. A single strain associated with bacteriosis of Mexican lime in Mexico (CBCD-D) was closely similar to CBCD-B strains. PMID:16348849

  11. Radiation dose response of normal lung assessed by Cone Beam CT - A potential tool for biologically adaptive radiation therapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertelsen, Anders; Schytte, Tine; Bentzen, Soren M.; Hansen, Olfred; Nielsen, Morten; Brink, Carsten

    2011-01-01

    Background: Density changes of healthy lung tissue during radiotherapy as observed by Cone Beam CT (CBCT) might be an early indicator of patient specific lung toxicity. This study investigates the time course of CBCT density changes and tests for a possible correlation with locally delivered dose. Methods: A total of 665 CBCTs in 65 lung cancer patients treated with IMRT/VMAT to 60 or 66 Gy in 2 Gy fractions were analyzed. For each patient, CBCT lung density changes during the treatment course were related to the locally delivered dose. Results: A dose response is observed for the patient population at the end of the treatment course. However, the observed dose response is highly variable among patients. Density changes at 10th and 20th fraction are clearly correlated to those observed at the end of the treatment course. Conclusions: CBCT density changes in healthy lung tissue during radiotherapy correlate with the locally delivered dose and can be detected relatively early during the treatment. If these density changes are correlated to subsequent clinical toxicity this assay could form the basis for biological adaptive radiotherapy.

  12. Improving data analysis in herpetology: Using Akaike's information criterion (AIC) to assess the strength of biological hypotheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazerolle, M.J.

    2006-01-01

    In ecology, researchers frequently use observational studies to explain a given pattern, such as the number of individuals in a habitat patch, with a large number of explanatory (i.e., independent) variables. To elucidate such relationships, ecologists have long relied on hypothesis testing to include or exclude variables in regression models, although the conclusions often depend on the approach used (e.g., forward, backward, stepwise selection). Though better tools have surfaced in the mid 1970's, they are still underutilized in certain fields, particularly in herpetology. This is the case of the Akaike information criterion (AIC) which is remarkably superior in model selection (i.e., variable selection) than hypothesis-based approaches. It is simple to compute and easy to understand, but more importantly, for a given data set, it provides a measure of the strength of evidence for each model that represents a plausible biological hypothesis relative to the entire set of models considered. Using this approach, one can then compute a weighted average of the estimate and standard error for any given variable of interest across all the models considered. This procedure, termed model-averaging or multimodel inference, yields precise and robust estimates. In this paper, I illustrate the use of the AIC in model selection and inference, as well as the interpretation of results analysed in this framework with two real herpetological data sets. The AIC and measures derived from it is should be routinely adopted by herpetologists. ?? Koninklijke Brill NV 2006.

  13. Corrosion of bare carbon steel as a passive sensor to assess moisture availability for biological activity in Atacama Desert soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cáceres, Luis; Davila, Alfonso F; Soliz, Alvaro; Saldivia, Jessica

    2018-02-28

    Here we consider that the corrosion of polished bared metal coupons can be used as a passive sensor to detect or identify the lower limit of water availability suitable for biological activity in Atacama Desert soils or solid substrates. For this purpose, carbon steel coupons were deposited at selected sites along a west-east transect and removed at predetermined times for morphological inspection. The advantage of this procedure is that the attributes of the oxide layer (corrosion extent, morphology and oxide phases) can be considered as a fingerprint of the atmospheric moisture history at a given time interval. Two types of coupons were used, long rectangular shaped ones that were half-buried in a vertical position, and square shaped ones that were deposited on the soil surface. The morphological attributes observed by SEM inspection were found to correlate to the so-called humectation time which is determined from local meteorological parameters. The main finding was that the decreasing trend of atmospheric moisture along the transect was closely related to corrosion behaviour and water soil penetration. For instance, at the coastal site oxide phases formed on the coupon surface rapidly evolve into well-crystallized species, while at the driest inland site Lomas Bayas only amorphous oxide was observed on the coupons.

  14. Assessment of polychlorinated biphenyls and mercury levels in soil and biological samples from San Felipe, Nuevo Mercurio, Zacatecas, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costilla-Salazar, Rogelio; Trejo-Acevedo, Antonio; Rocha-Amador, Diana; Gaspar-Ramírez, Octavio; Díaz-Barriga, Fernando; Pérez-Maldonado, Iván Nelinho

    2011-02-01

    The aim of this work was to evaluate contamination by polychlorinated biphenyls and mercury in soil, and to assess exposure level to both contaminants in children living in San Felipe, Nuevo Mercurio, Zacatecas, Mexico. We found soil levels of total polychlorinated biphenyls ranging from non detectable (nd) to 190 μg/kg. Mercury soil levels ranged from 8.9 to 10215.0 mg/kg. Exposure levels of total polychlorinated biphenyls assessed in blood and urinary mercury in children living in the studied community were 1,600 ± 8,800 ng/g lipid and 4.2 ± 7.1 μg/g creatinine, respectively.

  15. Elimination of pharmaceutical residues in biologically pre-treated hospital wastewater using advanced UV irradiation technology: a comparative assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köhler, C; Venditti, S; Igos, E; Klepiszewski, K; Benetto, E; Cornelissen, A

    2012-11-15

    UV irradiation technology as a membrane bioreactor (MBR) post-treatment was investigated and assessed. Both UV low pressure (LP) and medium pressure (MP) lamps were examined. The technology was installed in a pilot plant treating hospital wastewater to provide the study with adequate field data. The effect of the UV irradiation was enhanced with varying dosages of H2O2 to establish an advanced oxidation process (AOP). The efficiency of the pharmaceutical removal process was assessed by examining 14 micropollutants (antibiotics, analgesics, anticonvulsants, beta-blockers, cytostatics and X-ray contrast media) which are typically released by hospitals and detected with liquid chromatography coupled tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). While the MBR treatment generally showed only a low degradation capacity for persistent pharmaceuticals, much better degradation was obtained by applying UV irradiation and H2O2 as AOP. The "conventional" cost-benefit analysis of the different technology options taking into account both electrical energy consumption and pharmaceutical removal efficiency, revealed clearly better performance of low pressure UV lamps as AOP. However, a holistic comparison between the different scenarios was carried out by evaluating their environmental impacts using the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. Decisive advantages were highlighted to include this approach in the decision making process. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Elimination of pharmaceutical residues in biologically pre-treated hospital wastewater using advanced UV irradiation technology: A comparative assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Köhler, C.; Venditti, S.; Igos, E.; Klepiszewski, K.; Benetto, E.; Cornelissen, A.

    2012-01-01

    UV irradiation technology as a membrane bioreactor (MBR) post-treatment was investigated and assessed. Both UV low pressure (LP) and medium pressure (MP) lamps were examined. The technology was installed in a pilot plant treating hospital wastewater to provide the study with adequate field data. The effect of the UV irradiation was enhanced with varying dosages of H 2 O 2 to establish an advanced oxidation process (AOP). The efficiency of the pharmaceutical removal process was assessed by examining 14 micropollutants (antibiotics, analgesics, anticonvulsants, beta-blockers, cytostatics and X-ray contrast media) which are typically released by hospitals and detected with liquid chromatography coupled tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS). While the MBR treatment generally showed only a low degradation capacity for persistent pharmaceuticals, much better degradation was obtained by applying UV irradiation and H 2 O 2 as AOP. The “conventional” cost-benefit analysis of the different technology options taking into account both electrical energy consumption and pharmaceutical removal efficiency, revealed clearly better performance of low pressure UV lamps as AOP. However, a holistic comparison between the different scenarios was carried out by evaluating their environmental impacts using the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. Decisive advantages were highlighted to include this approach in the decision making process.

  17. Elimination of pharmaceutical residues in biologically pre-treated hospital wastewater using advanced UV irradiation technology: A comparative assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koehler, C., E-mail: christian.koehler@tudor.lu [Public Research Centre Henri Tudor/Resource Centre for Environmental Technologies, 66 rue de Luxembourg, BP 144, L-4002 Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg); Venditti, S.; Igos, E.; Klepiszewski, K.; Benetto, E.; Cornelissen, A. [Public Research Centre Henri Tudor/Resource Centre for Environmental Technologies, 66 rue de Luxembourg, BP 144, L-4002 Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg)

    2012-11-15

    UV irradiation technology as a membrane bioreactor (MBR) post-treatment was investigated and assessed. Both UV low pressure (LP) and medium pressure (MP) lamps were examined. The technology was installed in a pilot plant treating hospital wastewater to provide the study with adequate field data. The effect of the UV irradiation was enhanced with varying dosages of H{sub 2}O{sub 2} to establish an advanced oxidation process (AOP). The efficiency of the pharmaceutical removal process was assessed by examining 14 micropollutants (antibiotics, analgesics, anticonvulsants, beta-blockers, cytostatics and X-ray contrast media) which are typically released by hospitals and detected with liquid chromatography coupled tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). While the MBR treatment generally showed only a low degradation capacity for persistent pharmaceuticals, much better degradation was obtained by applying UV irradiation and H{sub 2}O{sub 2} as AOP. The 'conventional' cost-benefit analysis of the different technology options taking into account both electrical energy consumption and pharmaceutical removal efficiency, revealed clearly better performance of low pressure UV lamps as AOP. However, a holistic comparison between the different scenarios was carried out by evaluating their environmental impacts using the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. Decisive advantages were highlighted to include this approach in the decision making process.

  18. Resilience assessment of a biological early warning system based on the locomotor behavior of zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Miguel; Amorim, João; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Teles, Luis Oliva

    2016-09-01

    With the development of new tools such as biological early warning systems, it becomes extremely important to test their reliability and detection capability. This work aimed at testing the sturdiness of a video tracking system by determining whether the detection capability does not deteriorate over time, after successive exposures of the zebrafish to three different toxicants, namely sodium hypochlorite, bisphenol A, and ethanol. Zebrafish were exposed to the three tested compounds separately (one fish, one toxicant) once a day, for 1 h and 30 m over 9 days, to 9 % of the 96 h LC50 of the respective toxicant. The behavior analysis was based on nine movement descriptor parameters of the fish, namely: angular velocity; linear velocity; spatial dispersion; linear acceleration; and angular acceleration. A statistical method was developed using self-organizing map (SOM), correspondence analysis, and linear and orthogonal multiple regression models. The results indicated that the system was able to successfully detect the three toxicants. With ethanol, the detection capability was maintained, but in the case of the sodium hypochlorite and bisphenol A, a deterioration of the detection capability occurred over the 9 days. This effect may be due to the induction of detoxification mechanisms and physiological acclimation, or due to the accumulation of adverse effects caused by the repeated exposure to the toxicants. Future works, especially those focusing on the application of similar early warning systems in real-world scenarios, should regularly exchange the sentinel organisms, to avoid degradation of the detection capability, as verified with two of the three tested compounds.

  19. Use of a silver ion selective electrode to assess mechanisms responsible for biological effects of silver nanoparticles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koch, Marcus; Kiefer, Silke; Cavelius, Christian; Kraegeloh, Annette

    2012-01-01

    For a detailed analysis of the biological effects of silver nanoparticles, discrimination between effects related to the nano-scale size of the particles and effects of released silver ions is required. Silver ions are either present in the initial particle dispersion or released by the nanoparticles over time. The aim of this study is to monitor the free silver ion activity {Ag + } in the presence of silver nanoparticles using a silver ion selective electrode. Therefore, silver in the form of silver nanoparticles, 4.2 ± 1.4 nm and 2–30 nm in size, or silver nitrate was added to cell culture media in the absence or presence of A549 cells as a model for human type II alveolar epithelial cells. The free silver ion activity measured after the addition of silver nanoparticles was determined by the initial ionic silver content. The p {Ag + } values indicated that the cell culture media decrease the free silver ion activity due to binding of silver ions by constituents of the media. In the presence of A549 cells, the free silver ion activity was further reduced. The morphology of A549 cells, cultivated in DME medium containing 9.1% (v/v) FBS, was affected by adding AgNO 3 at concentrations of ≥30 μM after 24 h. In comparison, silver nanoparticles up to a concentration of 200 μM Ag did not affect cellular morphology. Our experiments indicate that the effect of silver nanoparticles is mainly mediated by silver ions. An effect of silver on cellular morphology was observed at p {Ag + } ≤ 9.2.

  20. Seawater detection and biological assessments regarding transmission of the oyster parasite Mikrocytos mackini using qPCR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polinski, Mark P; Meyer, Gary R; Lowe, Geoffrey J; Abbott, Cathryn L

    2017-10-18

    Mikrocytos mackini is an intracellular parasite of oysters and causative agent of Denman Island disease in Pacific oysters Crassostrea gigas. Although M. mackini has been investigated for decades, its natural mode of transmission, mechanism for host entry, and environmental stability are largely unknown. We explored these biological characteristics of M. mackini using a recently described quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay. We detected M. mackini in the flow-through tank water of experimentally infected oysters and during disease remission in host tissues following 6 wk of elevated water temperature. Waterborne exposure of oysters to M. mackini further confirmed the potential for extracellular seawater transmission of this parasite and also identified host gill to have the highest early and continued prevalence for M. mackini DNA compared to stomach, mantle, labial palps, or adductor muscle samples. However, infections following waterborne challenge were slow to develop despite a substantial exposure (>106 M. mackini l-1 for 24 h), and further investigation demonstrated that M. mackini occurrence and infectivity severely declined following extracellular seawater incubation of more than 24 h. This study demonstrates a potential for using qPCR to monitor M. mackini in wild or farmed oyster populations during periods of disease remission or from environmental seawater samples. This work also suggests that gill tissues may provide a primary site for waterborne entry and possibly shedding of M. mackini in oysters. Further, although extracellular seawater transmission of M. mackini was possible, poor environmental stability and infection efficiency likely restricts the geographic transmission of M. mackini between oysters in natural environs and may help to explain localized areas of infection.

  1. Occupational Exposure to Mercury: Air Exposure Assessment and Biological Monitoring based on Dispersive Ionic Liquid-Liquid Microextraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shirkhanloo, Hamid; Golbabaei, Farideh; Hassani, Hamid; Eftekhar, Farrokh; Kian, Mohammad Javad

    2014-06-01

    Exposure to mercury (Hg) as a heavy metal can cause health effects. The objective of this study was to assess occupational exposure to Hg in a chlor-alkali petrochemical industry in Iran by determining of Hg concentrations in air, blood and urine samples. The study was performed on 50 exposed subjects and 50 unexposed controls. Air samples were collected in the breathing zone of exposed subjects, using hopcalite sorbents. Analysis was performed using a cold vapor atomic absorption spectrophotometer (CV-AAS) according to NIOSH analytical method 6009. For all participants, blood and urine samples were collected and then transferred into sterile glass tubes. After micro-extraction with ionic liquid and back extraction with nitric acid, Hg concentrations in blood and urine samples were determined by CV-AAS. The mean concentration of air Hg was 0.042± 0.003 mg/m(3). The mean concentrations of Hg in blood and urine samples of exposed subjects were significantly higher than unexposed controls (22.41± 12.58 versus 1.19± 0.95 μg/l and 30.61± 10.86 versus 1.99± 1.34 μg/g creatinine, respectively). Correlation of air Hg with blood Hg, urine Hg and blood Hg-urine Hg ratio were significant statistically (P< 0.05). The values of Hg in blood and urine samples of chlor-alkali workers were considerably high. Correlation coefficients showed that blood Hg and blood Hg-urine Hg ratio are better indicators than urine Hg for assessing occupationally exposed workers in terms of current exposure assessment.

  2. Fishery Biology Database (AGDBS)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Basic biological data are the foundation on which all assessments of fisheries resources are built. These include parameters such as the size and age composition of...

  3. Assessment of biological effects of environmental pollution along the NW Mediterranean Sea using red mullets as sentinel organisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zorita, Izaskun; Ortiz-Zarragoitia, Maren; Apraiz, Itxaso; Cancio, Ibon; Orbea, Amaia; Soto, Manu; Marigomez, Ionan; Cajaraville, Miren P.

    2008-01-01

    A biomonitoring program was carried out in spring and autumn in three pollution hot-spots and sensitive areas of the NW Mediterranean Sea using red mullets (Mullus barbatus) as sentinel organisms and a battery of biomarkers together with gonad histology. In fish from anthropogenic impacted areas (Fos-sur-mer, Cortiou, Arenzano, Delta of Ebro) lysosomal membrane destabilization occurred indicating disturbed health. There were no significant differences in metallothionein (MT) levels among stations. Peroxisomal acyl-CoA oxidase (AOX) activity was highest in fish from Cortiou. Both MT levels and AOX activities were significantly correlated with gamete development. Prevalence of melanomacrophage centers were high in Cortiou in all samplings and in Fos-sur-mer in September samplings. In conclusion, the application of a battery of biomarkers in red mullets provided relevant data for the assessment of environmental pollution in the NW Mediterranean Sea but also showed the difficulties of using native fish as sentinels. For future studies caging strategies are recommended. - Application of biomarkers in red mullets is promising to assess environmental pollution in the NW Mediterranean Sea

  4. Spoilt for choice: A critical review on the chemical and biological assessment of current wastewater treatment technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasse, Carsten; Stalter, Daniel; Schulte-Oehlmann, Ulrike; Oehlmann, Jörg; Ternes, Thomas A

    2015-12-15

    The knowledge we have gained in recent years on the presence and effects of compounds discharged by wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) brings us to a point where we must question the appropriateness of current water quality evaluation methodologies. An increasing number of anthropogenic chemicals is detected in treated wastewater and there is increasing evidence of adverse environmental effects related to WWTP discharges. It has thus become clear that new strategies are needed to assess overall quality of conventional and advanced treated wastewaters. There is an urgent need for multidisciplinary approaches combining expertise from engineering, analytical and environmental chemistry, (eco)toxicology, and microbiology. This review summarizes the current approaches used to assess treated wastewater quality from the chemical and ecotoxicological perspective. Discussed chemical approaches include target, non-target and suspect analysis, sum parameters, identification and monitoring of transformation products, computational modeling as well as effect directed analysis and toxicity identification evaluation. The discussed ecotoxicological methodologies encompass in vitro testing (cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, mutagenicity, endocrine disruption, adaptive stress response activation, toxicogenomics) and in vivo tests (single and multi species, biomonitoring). We critically discuss the benefits and limitations of the different methodologies reviewed. Additionally, we provide an overview of the current state of research regarding the chemical and ecotoxicological evaluation of conventional as well as the most widely used advanced wastewater treatment technologies, i.e., ozonation, advanced oxidation processes, chlorination, activated carbon, and membrane filtration. In particular, possible directions for future research activities in this area are provided. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Assessment of biological effects of environmental pollution along the NW Mediterranean Sea using red mullets as sentinel organisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zorita, Izaskun; Ortiz-Zarragoitia, Maren; Apraiz, Itxaso; Cancio, Ibon; Orbea, Amaia; Soto, Manu; Marigomez, Ionan [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Universidad del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Cajaraville, Miren P. [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Universidad del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain)], E-mail: mirenp.cajaraville@ehu.es

    2008-05-15

    A biomonitoring program was carried out in spring and autumn in three pollution hot-spots and sensitive areas of the NW Mediterranean Sea using red mullets (Mullus barbatus) as sentinel organisms and a battery of biomarkers together with gonad histology. In fish from anthropogenic impacted areas (Fos-sur-mer, Cortiou, Arenzano, Delta of Ebro) lysosomal membrane destabilization occurred indicating disturbed health. There were no significant differences in metallothionein (MT) levels among stations. Peroxisomal acyl-CoA oxidase (AOX) activity was highest in fish from Cortiou. Both MT levels and AOX activities were significantly correlated with gamete development. Prevalence of melanomacrophage centers were high in Cortiou in all samplings and in Fos-sur-mer in September samplings. In conclusion, the application of a battery of biomarkers in red mullets provided relevant data for the assessment of environmental pollution in the NW Mediterranean Sea but also showed the difficulties of using native fish as sentinels. For future studies caging strategies are recommended. - Application of biomarkers in red mullets is promising to assess environmental pollution in the NW Mediterranean Sea.

  6. Quantitative molecular grading of bladder tumours: a tool for objective assessment of the biological potential of urothelial neoplasias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bollmann, Daniel; Bollmann, Magdolna; Bankfalvi, Agnes; Heller, Hildegard; Bollmann, Reinhard; Pajor, Gabor; Hildenbrand, Ralf

    2009-01-01

    The present study aimed to assess whether patients with bladder urothelial tumours can be more objectively stratified into low- and high-risk groups for recurrence and progression using a 2-tired molecular grading scheme, than by subjective histopathological grading alone. Biopsy material from 45 consecutive patients with urothelial bladder neoplasias (2 papillary urothelial neoplasm of low malignant potentials, 18 pTa, 1 pTis, 19 pT1 and 5 pT2) was analysed for immunohistochemical Ki-67 and p53 expression. Labelling indices were assessed by automated cellular image analysis. UroVysion FISH test results were evaluated by automated signal counting, and DNA ploidy of single nuclei preparations were measured by image cytometry. Sixty-nine percent of cases showed >10% Ki-67 LI, 64% had >10% p53 LI, 53% revealed DNA aneuploidy and 56% expressed a high-risk FISH pattern. Based on a combination of single molecular markers, 75% of neoplasias were classified as high molecular grade. Tumour stage and histopathological grade were significantly associated with FISH pattern, DNA ploidy and MIB1 LI. Stage was also related with molecular grade. Clinical outcome showed a significant correlation with MIB1 LI and molecular grade. P53 had neither diagnostic nor prognostic relevance, nor was there any correlation between histological and molecular grade. Our preliminary data strongly suggest that the combination of quantitative biomarkers provides superior and objective prognostic tools in bladder urothelial neoplasias compared to classic clinicopathological features and indices.

  7. Assessing the spatial pattern of a river water quality in southern Brazil by multivariate analysis of biological and chemical indicators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. B. B. Cassanego

    Full Text Available Abstract This study assessed the genotoxicity and chemical quality of the Rio dos Sinos, southern Brazil. During two years, bimonthly, cuttings of Tradescantia pallida var. purpurea with flower buds were exposed to river water samples from Caraá, Santo Antônio da Patrulha, Taquara and Campo Bom, which are municipalities located in the upper, middle and lower stretches of the Rio dos Sinos basin. Simultaneously, chemical parameters were analyzed, rainfall data were surveyed and negative (distilled water and positive (0.1% formaldehyde controls were made. Micronuclei (MCN frequencies were determined in tetrads of pollen grain mother cells. From the upper stretch toward the lower, there was an increase in the frequency of MCN and in concentrations of chemical parameters. Cadmium, lead, copper, total chromium and zinc were present at the four sites and a concentration gradient was not demonstrated along the river. The multivariate analysis revealed that two principal components exist, which accounted for 62.3% of the observed variances. Although genotoxicity was observed in Santo Antônio da Patrulha, the water presented higher mean values for most of the assessed parameters, in the lower stretch, where urbanization and industrialization are greater. The spatial and temporal pattern of water quality observed reinforces the importance of considering the environmental factors and their effects on organisms in an integrated way in watercourse monitoring programs.

  8. Water-quality assessment of the upper Snake River basin, Idaho and western Wyoming; summary of aquatic biological data for surface water through 1992

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maret, Terry R.

    1995-01-01

    The 35,800-square-mile upper Snake River Basin in eastern Idaho and western Wyoming was one of 20 areas selected for water-quality study under the National Water-Quality Assessment Program. As part of the initial phase of the study, data were compiled to describe the current (1992) and historical aquatic biological conditions of surface water in the basin. This description of natural and human environmental factors that affect aquatic life provides the framework for evaluating the status and trends of aquatic biological conditions in streams of the basins. Water resource development and stream alterations, irrigated agriculture, grazing, aquaculture, and species introductions have affected stream biota in the upper Snake River Basin. Cumulative effects of these activities have greatly altered cold-water habitat and aquatic life in the middle Snake River reach (Milner Dam to King Hill). Most of the aquatic Species of Special Concern in the basin , consisting of eight native mollusks and three native fish species, are in this reach of the Snake River. Selected long-term studies, including comprehensive monitoring on Rock Creek, have shown reduced pollutant loadings as a result of implementing practice on cropland; however, aquatic life remains affected by agricultural land use. Community level biological data are lacking for most of the streams in the basin, especially for large river. Aquatic life used to assess water quality of the basin includes primarily macroinvertebrate and fish communities. At least 26 different macroinvertebrate and fish community metrics have been utilized to assess water quality of the basin. Eight species of macroinvertebrates and fish are recognized as Species of Special Concern. The native fish faunas of the basin are composed primarily of cold-water species representing 5 families and 26 species. An additional 13 fish species have been introduced to the basin. Concentrations of synthetic organic compounds and trace-element contaminants

  9. Three-dimensional image technology in forensic anthropology: Assessing the validity of biological profiles derived from CT-3D images of the skeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia de Leon Valenzuela, Maria Julia

    This project explores the reliability of building a biological profile for an unknown individual based on three-dimensional (3D) images of the individual's skeleton. 3D imaging technology has been widely researched for medical and engineering applications, and it is increasingly being used as a tool for anthropological inquiry. While the question of whether a biological profile can be derived from 3D images of a skeleton with the same accuracy as achieved when using dry bones has been explored, bigger sample sizes, a standardized scanning protocol and more interobserver error data are needed before 3D methods can become widely and confidently used in forensic anthropology. 3D images of Computed Tomography (CT) scans were obtained from 130 innominate bones from Boston University's skeletal collection (School of Medicine). For each bone, both 3D images and original bones were assessed using the Phenice and Suchey-Brooks methods. Statistical analysis was used to determine the agreement between 3D image assessment versus traditional assessment. A pool of six individuals with varying experience in the field of forensic anthropology scored a subsample (n = 20) to explore interobserver error. While a high agreement was found for age and sex estimation for specimens scored by the author, the interobserver study shows that observers found it difficult to apply standard methods to 3D images. Higher levels of experience did not result in higher agreement between observers, as would be expected. Thus, a need for training in 3D visualization before applying anthropological methods to 3D bones is suggested. Future research should explore interobserver error using a larger sample size in order to test the hypothesis that training in 3D visualization will result in a higher agreement between scores. The need for the development of a standard scanning protocol focusing on the optimization of 3D image resolution is highlighted. Applications for this research include the possibility

  10. Biological computation

    CERN Document Server

    Lamm, Ehud

    2011-01-01

    Introduction and Biological BackgroundBiological ComputationThe Influence of Biology on Mathematics-Historical ExamplesBiological IntroductionModels and Simulations Cellular Automata Biological BackgroundThe Game of Life General Definition of Cellular Automata One-Dimensional AutomataExamples of Cellular AutomataComparison with a Continuous Mathematical Model Computational UniversalitySelf-Replication Pseudo Code Evolutionary ComputationEvolutionary Biology and Evolutionary ComputationGenetic AlgorithmsExample ApplicationsAnalysis of the Behavior of Genetic AlgorithmsLamarckian Evolution Genet

  11. How the biodiversity sciences may aid biological tools and ecological engineering to assess the impact of climatic changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morand, S; Guégan, J-F

    2008-08-01

    This paper addresses how climate changes interact with other global changes caused by humans (habitat fragmentation, changes in land use, bioinvasions) to affect biodiversity. Changes in biodiversity at all levels (genetic, population and community) affect the functioning of ecosystems, in particular host-pathogen interactions, with major consequences in health ecology (emergence and re-emergence; the evolution of virulence and resistance). In this paper, the authors demonstrate that the biodiversity sciences, epidemiological theory and evolutionary ecology are indispensable in assessing the impact of climate changes, and also for modelling the evolution of host-pathogen interactions in a changing environment. The next step is to apply health ecology to the science of ecological engineering.

  12. Designing and conducting tabletop exercises to assess public health preparedness for manmade and naturally occurring biological threats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dausey David J

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Since 2001, state and local health departments in the United States (US have accelerated efforts to prepare for high-impact public health emergencies. One component of these activities has been the development and conduct of exercise programs to assess capabilities, train staff and build relationships. This paper summarizes lessons learned from tabletop exercises about public health emergency preparedness and about the process of developing, conducting, and evaluating them. Methods We developed, conducted, and evaluated 31 tabletop exercises in partnership with state and local health departments throughout the US from 2003 to 2006. Participant self evaluations, after action reports, and tabletop exercise evaluation forms were used to identify aspects of the exercises themselves, as well as public health emergency responses that participants found more or less challenging, and to highlight lessons learned about tabletop exercise design. Results Designing the exercises involved substantial collaboration with representatives from participating health departments to assure that the scenarios were credible, focused attention on local preparedness needs and priorities, and were logistically feasible to implement. During execution of the exercises, nearly all health departments struggled with a common set of challenges relating to disease surveillance, epidemiologic investigations, communications, command and control, and health care surge capacity. In contrast, performance strengths were more varied across participating sites, reflecting specific attributes of individual health departments or communities, experience with actual public health emergencies, or the emphasis of prior preparedness efforts. Conclusion The design, conduct, and evaluation of the tabletop exercises described in this report benefited from collaborative planning that involved stakeholders from participating health departments and exercise developers and

  13. Assessing the Possibility of Biological Complexity on Other Worlds, with an Estimate of the Occurrence of Complex Life in the Milky Way Galaxy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louis N. Irwin

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Rational speculation about biological evolution on other worlds is one of the outstanding challenges in astrobiology. With the growing confirmation that multiplanetary systems abound in the universe, the prospect that life occurs redundantly throughout the cosmos is gaining widespread support. Given the enormous number of possible abodes for life likely to be discovered on an ongoing basis, the prospect that life could have evolved into complex, macro-organismic communities in at least some cases merits consideration. Toward that end, we here propose a Biological Complexity Index (BCI, designed to provide a quantitative estimate of the relative probability that complex, macro-organismic life forms could have emerged on other worlds. The BCI ranks planets and moons by basic, first-order characteristics detectable with available technology. By our calculation only 11 (~1.7% of the extrasolar planets known to date have a BCI above that of Europa; but by extrapolation, the total of such planets could exceed 100 million in our galaxy alone. This is the first quantitative assessment of the plausibility of complex life throughout the universe based on empirical data. It supports the view that the evolution of complex life on other worlds is rare in frequency but large in absolute number.

  14. Assessing the cytotoxic and mutagenic effects of secondary metabolites produced by several fungal biological control agents with the Ames assay and the VITOTOX(®) test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouvelis, Vassili N; Wang, Chengshu; Skrobek, Anke; Pappas, Katherine M; Typas, Milton A; Butt, Tariq M

    2011-05-18

    The potential genotoxic effects of several pure secondary metabolites produced by fungi used as biological control agents (BCAs) were studied with the Ames Salmonella/microsome mutagenicity assay and the Vitotox test, with and without metabolic activation. A complete set of Salmonella tester strains was used to avoid false negative results. To detect possible mutagenic and/or cytotoxic effects of fungal secondary metabolites due to synergistic action, crude extracts and fungal cell extracts of the BCAs were also examined. Although the sensitivity of the methods varied depending on the metabolite used, clearly no genotoxicity was observed in all cases. The results of the two assays are discussed in the light of being used in a complementary fashion for a convincing risk-assessment evaluation of fungal BCAs and their secondary metabolites. 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Assessing of organic content in surface sediments of Suez Gulf, Egypt depending on normal alkanes, terpanes and steranes biological markers indicators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abedel Aziz Elfadly

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The Semi-enclosed Suez Gulf records various signals of high anthropic pressures from surrounding regions and the industrialized Suez countries. The sedimentary hydrocarbons have been studied in 6 coastal stations located in the Gulf of Suez. Non-aromatic hydrocarbons were analyzed by GC/FID and GC/MS to assess organic content in surface sediments of Suez Gulf, Egypt depending on alkanes, terpanes and steranes biological markers indicators. The results showed that the hydrocarbons are originated from multiple terrestrial inputs, biogenic, pyrolytic. Several ratios of hydrocarbons indicated the predominance of petrogenic in combination with biogenic hydrocarbons. Al-Attaqa harbor, Suez oil processing company, Al-Nasr Oil Company, AL-Kabanon and EL-Sukhna of Loloha Beach are the main sources of petroleum contamination.

  16. Removal of Antibiotics in Biological Wastewater Treatment Systems—A Critical Assessment Using the Activated Sludge Modeling Framework for Xenobiotics (ASM-X)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Polesel, Fabio; Andersen, Henrik Rasmus; Trapp, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Many scientific studies present removal efficiencies for pharmaceuticals in laboratory-, pilot-, and full-scale wastewater treatment plants, based on observations that may be impacted by theoretical and methodological approaches used. In this Critical Review, we evaluated factors influencing...... observed removal efficiencies of three antibiotics (sulfamethoxazole, ciprofloxacin, tetracycline) in pilot- and full-scale biological treatment systems. Factors assessed include (i) retransformation to parent pharmaceuticals from e.g., conjugated metabolites and analogues, (ii) solid retention time (SRT......), (iii) fractions sorbed onto solids, and (iv) dynamics in influent and effluent loading. A recently developed methodology was used, relying on the comparison of removal efficiency predictions (obtained with the Activated Sludge Model for Xenobiotics (ASM-X)) with representative measured data from...

  17. Mercury bioaccumulation studies in the National Water-Quality Assessment Program--biological data from New York and South Carolina, 2005-2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaulieu, Karen M.; Button, Daniel T.; Eikenberry, Barbara C. Scudder; Riva-Murray, Karen; Chasar, Lia C.; Bradley, Paul M.; Burns, Douglas A.

    2012-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment Program conducted a multidisciplinary study from 2005–09 to investigate the bioaccumulation of mercury in streams from two contrasting environmental settings. Study areas were located in the central Adirondack Mountains region of New York and the Inner Coastal Plain of South Carolina. Fish, macroinvertebrates, periphyton (attached algae and associated material), detritus, and terrestrial leaf litter were collected. Fish were analyzed for total mercury; macroinvertebrates, periphyton, and terrestrial leaf litter were analyzed for total mercury and methylmercury; and select samples of fish, macroinvertebrates, periphyton, detritus, and terrestrial leaf litter were analyzed for stable isotopes of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N). This report presents methodology and data on total mercury, methylmercury, stable isotopes, and other ecologically relevant measurements in biological tissues.

  18. An assessment of biological processes close to the sea bed in a slope region and its significance to the assessment of sea bed disposal of radioactive waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hargreaves, P.M.; Ellis, C.J.; Angel, M.V.

    1984-01-01

    Vertical profiles of planktonic and micronektonic biomass observed close to the sea bed along a transect running up the continental slope on the southern flank of the Porcupine Seabight (to the southwest of Ireland) showed that a doubling in biomass concentration occurs from 100 to 10m above the sea bed. Comparison with biomass concentrations at two deep water stations, one in the Seabight and the other in the Rockall Trough, showed that there was a consistent increase in standing crop close to the sea bed over the slope. Supplementary data were collected on the northern flank of the Seabight. Analysis of both taxonomic groups and individual species showed that some taxa were more abundant near the sea floor and extended their vertical ranges to greater depths over the slope than over deep water, other taxa were unaffected. The implications to the problem of assessing the safety of sea bed disposal of high level radioactive waste are summarised. (author)

  19. Comparative assessment of phthalate removal and risk in biological wastewater treatment systems of developing countries and small communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gani, Khalid Muzamil, E-mail: khalidmzml@gmail.com; Kazmi, Absar Ahmad, E-mail: absarakazmi@yahoo.com

    2016-11-01

    Phthalates are widely used in plastic and personnel care products. Being non-steroid endocrine disrupting compounds, their exposure have toxic effects on aquatic life and human health. The aim of this study was a comparative assessment of their fate and risk in full scale wastewater treatment along with influence of seasonal variations. Four priority phthalates, Diethylphthalate (DEP), Dibutylphthalate (DBP), Benzylbutyl phthalate (BBP) and Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) were chosen for this study and wastewater treatment plants investigated were designed as nutrient removal based sequencing batch reactor (SBR), conventional activated sludge process (ASP) and up flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) with polishing pond. Results showed that the main removal mechanism of phthalates was biotransformation with removal contribution of 74% in SBR, 65% in conventional ASP and 37% in UASB. Overall removal of phthalates was maximum in the treatment combination of UASB and pond (83%) followed by SBR (80%) and conventional ASP (74%). Seasonal influences on occurrence, removal and risk of these phthalates were also studied. The concentration of DEP, DBP and DEHP in untreated wastewater increased by 2, 7 and 2 μg/L, respectively in summer. However in sludge, only large molecular weight phthalates BBP and DEHP increased in winter by 3 mg/kg and 12 mg/kg, respectively. Seasonal variations in removal of phthalates were discrepant in each process with better removal during summer. Risk assessment of phthalates to aquatic life showed that there is no potential risk of DEP, DBP and BBP from effluents of treatment plants however risk quotient of DEHP was in the range of 27–73 in both seasons which indicate probable risk to aquatic organisms. Phthalate risk to human beings estimated by daily intake of phthalates was in the range of 0.3 ± 0.1 to 20 ± 0.7 ng/kg/d and far below their respective reference dosages, demonstrating the potential of these treatment plants to reduce the risk

  20. Comparative assessment of phthalate removal and risk in biological wastewater treatment systems of developing countries and small communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gani, Khalid Muzamil; Kazmi, Absar Ahmad

    2016-01-01

    Phthalates are widely used in plastic and personnel care products. Being non-steroid endocrine disrupting compounds, their exposure have toxic effects on aquatic life and human health. The aim of this study was a comparative assessment of their fate and risk in full scale wastewater treatment along with influence of seasonal variations. Four priority phthalates, Diethylphthalate (DEP), Dibutylphthalate (DBP), Benzylbutyl phthalate (BBP) and Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) were chosen for this study and wastewater treatment plants investigated were designed as nutrient removal based sequencing batch reactor (SBR), conventional activated sludge process (ASP) and up flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) with polishing pond. Results showed that the main removal mechanism of phthalates was biotransformation with removal contribution of 74% in SBR, 65% in conventional ASP and 37% in UASB. Overall removal of phthalates was maximum in the treatment combination of UASB and pond (83%) followed by SBR (80%) and conventional ASP (74%). Seasonal influences on occurrence, removal and risk of these phthalates were also studied. The concentration of DEP, DBP and DEHP in untreated wastewater increased by 2, 7 and 2 μg/L, respectively in summer. However in sludge, only large molecular weight phthalates BBP and DEHP increased in winter by 3 mg/kg and 12 mg/kg, respectively. Seasonal variations in removal of phthalates were discrepant in each process with better removal during summer. Risk assessment of phthalates to aquatic life showed that there is no potential risk of DEP, DBP and BBP from effluents of treatment plants however risk quotient of DEHP was in the range of 27–73 in both seasons which indicate probable risk to aquatic organisms. Phthalate risk to human beings estimated by daily intake of phthalates was in the range of 0.3 ± 0.1 to 20 ± 0.7 ng/kg/d and far below their respective reference dosages, demonstrating the potential of these treatment plants to reduce the risk

  1. In-vitro Cell Exposure Studies for the Assessment of Nanoparticle Toxicity in the Lung - A Dialogue between Aerosol Science and Biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hanns-Rudolf, Paur; Cassee, Flemming R.; Teeguarden, Justin G.; Fissan, Heinz; Diabate, Silvia; Aufderheide, M.; Kreyling, Wolfgang G.; Hanninen, Otto; Kasper, G.; Riediker, Michael; Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara; Schmid, Otmar

    2011-10-01

    The rapid introduction of engineered nanostructured materials into numerous industrial and consumer products will result in enhanced exposure to engineered nanoparticles. Workplace exposure has been identified as the most likely source of uncontrolled inhalation of engineered aerosolized nanoparticles, but release of engineered nanoparticles may occur at any stage of the lifecycle of consumer products. The dynamic development of new nanomaterials with possibly unknown toxicological effects poses a challenge for the assessment of nanoparticle induced toxicity and safety. In this consensus document from a workshop on in-vitro cell systems for nanotoxicity testing an overview is given of the main issues concerning inhalation exposure to nanoparticles, lung physiology, nanoparticle-related biological mechanisms, in-vitro cell exposure systems for nanoparticles and social aspects of nanotechnology. The workshop participants recognized the large potential of in-vitro cell exposure systems for reliable, high-throughput screening of nanotoxicity. For the investigation of pulmonary nanotoxicity, a strong preference was expressed for air-liquid interface (ALI) cell exposure systems (rather than submerged cell exposure systems) as they closely resemble in-vivo conditions in the lungs and they allow for unaltered and dosimetrically accurate delivery of aerosolized nanoparticles to the cells. The members of the workshop believe that further advances in in-vitro cell exposure studies would be greatly facilitated by a more active role of the aerosol scientists. The technical know-how for developing and running ALI in-vitro exposure systems is available in the aerosol community and at the same time biologists/toxicologists are required for proper assessment of the biological impact of nanoparticles.

  2. In-vitro Cell Exposure Studies for the Assessment of Nanoparticle Toxicity in the Lung - A Dialogue between Aerosol Science and Biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanns-Rudolf, Paur; Cassee, Flemming R.; Teeguarden, Justin G.; Fissan, Heinz; Diabate, Silvia; Aufderheide, M.; Kreyling, Wolfgang G.; Hanninen, Otto; Kasper, G.; Riediker, Michael; Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara; Schmid, Otmar

    2011-01-01

    The rapid introduction of engineered nanostructured materials into numerous industrial and consumer products will result in enhanced exposure to engineered nanoparticles. Workplace exposure has been identified as the most likely source of uncontrolled inhalation of engineered aerosolized nanoparticles, but release of engineered nanoparticles may occur at any stage of the lifecycle of consumer products. The dynamic development of new nanomaterials with possibly unknown toxicological effects poses a challenge for the assessment of nanoparticle induced toxicity and safety. In this consensus document from a workshop on in-vitro cell systems for nanotoxicity testing an overview is given of the main issues concerning inhalation exposure to nanoparticles, lung physiology, nanoparticle-related biological mechanisms, in-vitro cell exposure systems for nanoparticles and social aspects of nanotechnology. The workshop participants recognized the large potential of in-vitro cell exposure systems for reliable, high-throughput screening of nanotoxicity. For the investigation of pulmonary nanotoxicity, a strong preference was expressed for air-liquid interface (ALI) cell exposure systems (rather than submerged cell exposure systems) as they closely resemble in-vivo conditions in the lungs and they allow for unaltered and dosimetrically accurate delivery of aerosolized nanoparticles to the cells. The members of the workshop believe that further advances in in-vitro cell exposure studies would be greatly facilitated by a more active role of the aerosol scientists. The technical know-how for developing and running ALI in-vitro exposure systems is available in the aerosol community and at the same time biologists/toxicologists are required for proper assessment of the biological impact of nanoparticles.

  3. Simulation to aid in interpreting biological relevance and setting of population-level protection goals for risk assessment of pesticides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Topping, Christopher John; Luttik, Robert

    2017-10-01

    Specific protection goals (SPGs) comprise an explicit expression of the environmental components that need protection and the maximum impacts that can be tolerated. SPGs are set by risk managers and are typically based on protecting populations or functions. However, the measurable endpoints available to risk managers, at least for vertebrates, are typically laboratory tests. We demonstrate, using the example of eggshell thinning in skylarks, how simulation can be used to place laboratory endpoints in context of population-level effects as an aid to setting the SPGs. We develop explanatory scenarios investigating the impact of different assumptions of eggshell thinning on skylark population size, density and distribution in 10 Danish landscapes, chosen to represent the range of typical Danish agricultural conditions. Landscape and timing of application of the pesticide were found to be the most critical factors to consider in the impact assessment. Consequently, a regulatory scenario of monoculture spring barley with an early spray treatment eliciting the eggshell thinning effect was applied using concentrations eliciting effects of zero to 100% in steps of 5%. Setting the SPGs requires balancing scientific, social and political realities. However, the provision of clear and detailed options such as those from comprehensive simulation results can inform the decision process by improving transparency and by putting the more abstract testing data into the context of real-world impacts. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Assessment of biological effects resulting from large scale applications of coal power plant wastes in building technology in Poland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pensko, J.; Geisler, J.

    1980-01-01

    Some of the building materials commonly used in Poland contain natural radioactive elements and some contain radioactive industrial wastes. It has been shown that these building materials could induce additional annual doses to the inhabitants of the order of 0.4 mGy gamma radiation to the whole body and about 13 mSv alpha radiation to the critical tissues of the respiratory tract. On the basis of these dosimetric data and demographic and forecasting data, the number of severe genetic effects and cancer deaths caused by the additional radiation doses in dwellings were assessed for the population of Poland for the period 1951-2010. It was estimated that additional somatic effects in six consecutive decades will result in approximately 31,200 cancer deaths, including about 26,300 deaths caused by lung cancer. The expected number of severe genetic effects resulting from additional doses of ionizing radiation absorbed by parents indoors will amount to about 260 cases in the first generation and about 7500 cases in succeeding generations. (H.K.)

  5. Biological Assessment of a Calcium Silicate Incorporated Hydroxyapatite-Gelatin Nanocomposite: A Comparison to Decellularized Bone Matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong Joon Lee

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Our laboratory utilized biomimicry to develop a synthetic bone scaffold based on hydroxyapatite-gelatin-calcium silicate (HGCS. Here, we evaluated the potential of HGCS scaffold in bone formation in vivo using the rat calvarial critical-sized defect (CSD. Twelve Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized to four groups: control (defect only, decellularized bone matrix (DECBM, and HGCS with and without multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPCs. DECBM was prepared by removing all the cells using SDS and NH4OH. After 12 weeks, the CSD specimens were harvested to evaluate radiographical, histological, and histomorphometrical outcomes. The in vitro osteogenic effects of the materials were studied by focal adhesion, MTS, and alizarin red. Micro-CT analysis indicated that the DECBM and the HGCS scaffold groups developed greater radiopaque areas than the other groups. Bone regeneration, assessed using histological analysis and fluorochrome labeling, was the highest in the HGCS scaffold seeded with MAPCs. The DECBM group showed limited osteoinductivity, causing a gap between the implant and host tissue. The group grafted with HGCS+MAPCs resulting in twice as much new bone formation seems to indicate a role for effective bone regeneration. In conclusion, the novel HGCS scaffold could improve bone regeneration and is a promising carrier for stem cell-mediated bone regeneration.

  6. Assessment of Trichogramma japonicum and T. chilonis as Potential Biological Control Agents of Yellow Stem Borer in Rice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Tang

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Two species of Trichogramma wasps were assessed for their effectiveness against yellow stem borer Scirpophaga incertulas. A laboratory cage test with T. japonicum and T. chilonis showed that both species parasitized yellow stem borer egg masses at 60.0% ± 9.13% and 40.7% ± 7.11%, respectively, with egg parasitism rates of 15.8% ± 22.2% for T. japonicum and 2.8% ± 5.0% for T. chilonis. Once the host eggs were parasitized, emergence rates were high for both species (95.7% ± 0.12% for T. japonicum and 100% for T. chilonis. In paddy field trials, the two Trichogramma species were released at three densities (50,000/ha, 100,000/ha and 200,000/ha in Southwestern China. Egg mass parasitism was 9% ± 7.7% for T. japonicum and 15% ± 14.1% for T. chilonis, and again only a relatively small fraction of eggs was successfully parasitized. No clear conclusion could be drawn on the most efficient release rate as no significant differences were found among the three release rates. A comparison of field-collected T. japonicum with T. japonicum and T. chilonis mass reared on Corcyra cephalonica showed significantly larger body size and ovipositor length in field-collected wasps, suggesting potentially higher effectiveness on yellow stem borer eggs after at least one generation on the target host. Factors contributing to the low field parasitism rates are discussed.

  7. Biological Assessment of Urban and Agricultural Streams in the California Central Valley (Fall 2002 Through Spring 2004)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacey, J.; Moncada, A.

    2005-05-01

    California has over 200,000 miles of rivers and streams that are increasingly impacted from human activities. Various agencies in the state have begun to conduct bioassessment to evaluate these impacts. We conducted a pilot study to assess potential aquatic impacts of pesticides and other human activities in two urban creeks and two agricultural creeks in the fall and spring for two years (2002-04) using a modified U.S. EPA EMAP method. All creeks showed highly impacted conditions. Water quality measurements indicated below normal dissolved oxygen levels at 44% and 15% of the sites, and elevated temperatures at 70% and 73% of the urban and agricultural sites, respectively. Physical habitat scores indicated significant impacts. Diazinon and chlorpyrifos were detected at all sites (trace to 0.212 ppb). Pyrethroids were detected in water and sediment in urban sites only (trace to 27.5 ppt). High numbers of chironomidae and very low numbers of pollution intolerant species were detected in the benthic macroinvertebrate community. Urban creeks had a higher number of pollution tolerant species compared to agricultural creeks. All sites were ecologically impacted. Mulitvariate ANOVA of macroinvertebrate metrics revealed a significant difference between urban and agricultural sites (P= 0.002) and between fall and spring seasons (P=0.036).

  8. Biological Assessment of a Calcium Silicate Incorporated Hydroxyapatite-Gelatin Nanocomposite: A Comparison to Decellularized Bone Matrix

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Dong Joon; Padilla, Ricardo; Zhang, He; Hu, Wei-Shou; Ko, Ching-Chang

    2014-01-01

    Our laboratory utilized biomimicry to develop a synthetic bone scaffold based on hydroxyapatite-gelatin-calcium silicate (HGCS). Here, we evaluated the potential of HGCS scaffold in bone formation in vivo using the rat calvarial critical-sized defect (CSD). Twelve Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized to four groups: control (defect only), decellularized bone matrix (DECBM), and HGCS with and without multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPCs). DECBM was prepared by removing all the cells using SDS and NH4OH. After 12 weeks, the CSD specimens were harvested to evaluate radiographical, histological, and histomorphometrical outcomes. The in vitro osteogenic effects of the materials were studied by focal adhesion, MTS, and alizarin red. Micro-CT analysis indicated that the DECBM and the HGCS scaffold groups developed greater radiopaque areas than the other groups. Bone regeneration, assessed using histological analysis and fluorochrome labeling, was the highest in the HGCS scaffold seeded with MAPCs. The DECBM group showed limited osteoinductivity, causing a gap between the implant and host tissue. The group grafted with HGCS+MAPCs resulting in twice as much new bone formation seems to indicate a role for effective bone regeneration. In conclusion, the novel HGCS scaffold could improve bone regeneration and is a promising carrier for stem cell-mediated bone regeneration. PMID:25054149

  9. Coupling Self-Organizing Maps with a Naïve Bayesian classifier: A case study for classifying Vermont streams using geomorphic, habitat and biological assessment data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fytilis, N.; Rizzo, D. M.

    2012-12-01

    Environmental managers are increasingly required to forecast the long-term effects and the resilience or vulnerability of biophysical systems to human-generated stresses. Mitigation strategies for hydrological and environmental systems need to be assessed in the presence of uncertainty. An important aspect of such complex systems is the assessment of variable uncertainty on the model response outputs. We develop a new classification tool that couples a Naïve Bayesian Classifier with a modified Kohonen Self-Organizing Map to tackle this challenge. For proof-of-concept, we use rapid geomorphic and reach-scale habitat assessments data from over 2500 Vermont stream reaches (~1371 stream miles) assessed by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (VTANR). In addition, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VTDEC) estimates stream habitat biodiversity indices (macro-invertebrates and fish) and a variety of water quality data. Our approach fully utilizes the existing VTANR and VTDEC data sets to improve classification of stream-reach habitat and biological integrity. The combined SOM-Naïve Bayesian architecture is sufficiently flexible to allow for continual updates and increased accuracy associated with acquiring new data. The Kohonen Self-Organizing Map (SOM) is an unsupervised artificial neural network that autonomously analyzes properties inherent in a given a set of data. It is typically used to cluster data vectors into similar categories when a priori classes do not exist. The ability of the SOM to convert nonlinear, high dimensional data to some user-defined lower dimension and mine large amounts of data types (i.e., discrete or continuous, biological or geomorphic data) makes it ideal for characterizing the sensitivity of river networks in a variety of contexts. The procedure is data-driven, and therefore does not require the development of site-specific, process-based classification stream models, or sets of if-then-else rules associated with

  10. A Critical Assessment of the Microorganisms Proposed to be Important to Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal in Full-Scale Wastewater Treatment Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stokholm-Bjerregaard, Mikkel; McIlroy, Simon J; Nierychlo, Marta; Karst, Søren M; Albertsen, Mads; Nielsen, Per H

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the microbiology of phosphorus (P) removal is considered essential to knowledge-based optimization of enhanced biological P removal (EBPR) systems. Biological P removal is achieved in these systems by promoting the growth of organisms collectively known as the polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs). Also considered important to EBPR are the glycogen accumulating organisms (GAOs), which are theorized to compete with the PAOs for resources at the expense of P removal efficiency. Numerous studies have sought to identify the PAOs and their GAOs competitors, with several candidates proposed for each over the last few decades. The current study collectively assessed the abundance and diversity of all proposed PAOs and GAOs in 18 Danish full-scale wastewater treatment plants with well-working biological nutrient removal over a period of 9 years using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. The microbial community structure in all plants was relatively stable over time. Evidence for the role of the proposed PAOs and GAOs in EBPR varies and is critically assessed, in light of their calculated amplicon abundances, to indicate which of these are important in full-scale systems. Bacteria from the genus Tetrasphaera were the most abundant of the PAOs. The " Candidatus Accumulibacter" PAOs were in much lower abundance and appear to be biased by the amplicon-based method applied. The genera Dechloromonas, Microlunatus , and Tessaracoccus were identified as abundant putative PAO that require further research attention. Interestingly, the actinobacterial Micropruina and sbr-gs28 phylotypes were among the most abundant of the putative GAOs. Members of the genera Defluviicoccus, Propionivibrio , the family Competibacteraceae, and the spb280 group were also relatively abundant in some plants. Despite observed high abundances of GAOs (periodically exceeding 20% of the amplicon reads), P removal performance was maintained, indicating that these organisms were not

  11. Biologic fatigue in psoriasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Ethan C; Gupta, Rishu; Brown, Gabrielle; Malakouti, Mona; Koo, John

    2014-02-01

    Over the past 15 years, biologic medications have greatly advanced psoriasis therapy. However, these medications may lose their efficacy after long-term use, a concept known as biologic fatigue. We sought to review the available data on biologic fatigue in psoriasis and identify strategies to help clinicians optimally manage patients on biologic medications in order to minimize biologic fatigue. We reviewed phase III clinical trials for the biologic medications used to treat psoriasis and performed a PubMed search for the literature that assessed the loss of response to biologic therapy. In phase III clinical trials of biologic therapies for the treatment of psoriasis, 20-32% of patients lost their PASI-75 response during 0.8-3.9 years of follow-up. A study using infliximab reported the highest percentage of patients who lost their response (32%) over the shortest time-period (0.8 years). Although not consistently reported across all studies, the presence of antidrug antibodies was associated with the loss of response to treatment with infliximab and adalimumab. Biologic fatigue may be most frequent in those patients using infliximab. Further studies are needed to identify risk factors associated with biologic fatigue and to develop meaningful antidrug antibody assays.

  12. Biological assessment and streambed-sediment chemistry of streams in the Indianapolis metropolitan area, Indiana, 2003–2008

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voelker, David C.

    2012-01-01

    During 2003–2008, the U.S. Geological Survey sampled 13 sites in the Indianapolis metropolitan area in Indiana for benthic invertebrates, fish communities, and streambed-sediment chemistry. Data from seven White River sites and six tributary sites complement surface-water chemistry data collected by the Indianapolis Department of Public Works. The information is being used to assess changes in water quality in conjunction with the City's programs to reduce combined sewer overflows and other point and nonpoint sources of pollution in the Indianapolis area. During the study, 233 benthic-invertebrate taxa were identified from which the Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT) Index, the Hilsenhoff Biotic Index (HBI), and the Invertebrate Community Index (ICI) were calculated. EPT index scores ranged from 2 to 16 on the White River and from 2 to 17 on the tributaries. EPT index scores indicate that these pollution-intolerant taxa are more prevalent upstream from and away from the combined-sewer areas of Indianapolis. HBI scores from sites on the White River ranged from 4.67 (good) to 9.55 (very poor), whereas on the tributaries, scores ranged from 4.21 (very good) to 8.14 (poor). Lower HBI scores suggest that less organic pollution was present and, like the EPT scores, indicate better conditions where combined-sewer overflows (CSOs) are not present. Similarly, ICI scores indicated better conditions upstream from the CSO outfalls on the White River. White River scores ranged from 12 to 46, where higher ICI scores indicate better conditions in the benthic-invertebrate community. ICI scores at the tributary sites ranged from 12 to 52, with the highest scores on streams without CSOs.

  13. Assessment of multi-chemical pollution in aquatic ecosystems using toxic units: compound prioritization, mixture characterization and relationships with biological descriptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginebreda, Antoni; Kuzmanovic, Maja; Guasch, Helena; de Alda, Miren López; López-Doval, Julio C; Muñoz, Isabel; Ricart, Marta; Romaní, Anna M; Sabater, Sergi; Barceló, Damià

    2014-01-15

    Chemical pollution is typically characterized by exposure to multiple rather than to single or a limited number of compounds. Parent compounds, transformation products and other non-targeted compounds yield mixtures whose composition can only be partially identified by monitoring, while a substantial proportion remains unknown. In this context, risk assessment based on the application of additive ecotoxicity models, such as concentration addition (CA), is rendered somewhat misleading. Here, we show that ecotoxicity risk information can be better understood upon consideration of the probabilistic distribution of risk among the different compounds. Toxic units of the compounds identified in a sample fit a lognormal probability distribution. The parameters characterizing this distribution (mean and standard deviation) provide information which can be tentatively interpreted as a measure of the toxic load and its apportionment among the constituents in the mixture (here interpreted as mixture complexity). Furthermore, they provide information for compound prioritization tailored to each site and enable prediction of some of the functional and structural biological variables associated with the receiving ecosystem. The proposed approach was tested in the Llobregat River basin (NE Spain) using exposure and toxicity data (algae and Daphnia) corresponding to 29 pharmaceuticals and 22 pesticides, and 5 structural and functional biological descriptors related to benthic macroinvertebrates (diversity, biomass) and biofilm metrics (diatom quality, chlorophyll-a content and photosynthetic capacity). Aggregated toxic units based on Daphnia and algae bioassays provided a good indication of the pollution pattern of the Llobregat River basin. Relative contribution of pesticides and pharmaceuticals to total toxic load was variable and highly site dependent, the latter group tending to increase its contribution in urban areas. Contaminated sites' toxic load was typically dominated by

  14. Development of a Model, Metal-reducing Microbial Community for a System Biology Level Assessment of Desulfovibrio vulgaris as part of a Community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elias, Dwayne; Schadt, Christopher; Miller, Lance; Phelps, Tommy; Brown, S. D.; Arkin, Adam; Hazen, Terry; Drake, Megin; Yang, Z.K.; Podar, Mircea

    2010-05-17

    One of the largest experimental gaps is between the simplicity of pure cultures and the complexity of open environmental systems, particularly in metal-contaminated areas. These microbial communities form ecosystem foundations, drive biogeochemical processes, and are relevant for biotechnology and bioremediation. A model, metal-reducing microbial community was constructed as either syntrophic or competitive to study microbial cell to cell interactions, cell signaling and competition for resources. The microbial community was comprised of the metal-reducing Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough and Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA. Additionally, Methanococcus maripaludis S2 was added to study complete carbon reduction and maintain a low hydrogen partial pressure for syntrophism to occur. Further, considerable work has been published on D. vulgaris and the D. vulgaris/ Mc. maripaludis co-culture both with and without stress. We are extending this work by conducting the same stress conditions on the model community. Additionally, this comprehensive investigation includes physiological and metabolic analyses as well as specially designed mRNA microarrays with the genes for all three organisms on one slide so as to follow gene expression changes in the various cultivation conditions as well as being comparable to the co- and individual cultures. Further, state-of -the-art comprehensive AMT tag proteomics allows for these comparisons at the protein level for a systems biology assessment of a model, metal-reducing microbial community. Preliminary data revealed that lactate oxidation by D. vulgaris was sufficient to support both G. sulfurreducens and M. maripaludis via the excretion of H2 and acetate. Fumarate was utilized by G. sulfurreducens and reduced to succinate since neither of the other two organisms can reduce fumarate. Methane was quantified, suggesting acetate and H2 concentrations were sufficient for M. maripaludis. Steady state community cultivation will allow for

  15. Generation and biological assessment of recombinant avian metapneumovirus subgroup C (aMPV-C) viruses containing different length of the G gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Qingzhong; Estevez, Carlos; Song, Minxun; Kapczynski, Darrell; Zsak, Laszlo

    2010-02-01

    Genetic variation in length of the G gene among different avian metapneumovirus subgroup C (aMPV-C) isolates has been reported. However, its biological significance in virus replication, pathogenicity and immunity is unknown. In this study, we developed a reverse genetics system for aMPV-C and generated two Colorado (CO) strain-based recombinant viruses containing either the full-length G gene derived from a Canadian goose isolate or a C-terminally truncated G gene of the CO strain. The truncated short G (sG) gene encoded 252 amino acids (aa), which is 333 aa shorter than the full-length G (585 aa). The biological properties of these two recombinant G variants were assessed in Vero cells and in specific-pathogen-free (SPF) turkeys. In Vero cells, the short G variant displayed a similar level of growth dynamics and virus titers as the parental aMPV-CO strain, whereas the full-length G variant replicated less efficiently than the sG variant during the first 72 h post-infection. Both of the G variants induced typical cytopathic effects (CPE) that were indistinguishable from those seen with the parental aMPV-CO infection. In SPF turkeys, both of the G variants were attenuated and caused little or no disease signs, but the full-length G variant appeared to grow more readily in tracheal tissue than the sG variant during the first 5 days post-infection. Both G variants were immunogenic and induced a slightly different level of antibody response. These results demonstrated that the large portion (333 aa) of the extracellular domain of the viral attachment protein is not essential for virus viability in vitro and in vivo, but may play a role in enhancing virus attachment specificity and immunity in a natural host. (c) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Biological Assessment of Aquaculture Effects on Effluent-Receiving Streams in Ghana Using Structural and Functional Composition of Fish and Macroinvertebrate Assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansah, Yaw Boamah; Frimpong, Emmanuel A.; Amisah, Stephen

    2012-07-01

    Biological assessment of aquatic ecosystems is widely employed as an alternative or complement to chemical and toxicity testing due to numerous advantages of using biota to determine ecosystem condition. These advantages, especially to developing countries, include the relatively low cost and technical requirements. This study was conducted to determine the biological impacts of aquaculture operations on effluent-receiving streams in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. We collected water, fish and benthic macroinvertebrate samples from 12 aquaculture effluent-receiving streams upstream and downstream of fish farms and 12 reference streams between May and August of 2009, and then calculated structural and functional metrics for biotic assemblages. Fish species with non-guarding mode of reproduction were more abundant in reference streams than downstream ( P = 0.0214) and upstream ( P = 0.0251), and sand-detritus spawning fish were less predominant in reference stream than upstream ( P = 0.0222) and marginally less in downstream locations ( P = 0.0539). A possible subsidy-stress response of macroinvertebrate family richness and abundance was also observed, with nutrient (nitrogen) augmentation from aquaculture and other farming activities likely. Generally, there were no, or only marginal differences among locations downstream and upstream of fish farms and in reference streams in terms of several other biotic metrics considered. Therefore, the scale of impact in the future will depend not only on the management of nutrient augmentation from pond effluents, but also on the consideration of nutrient discharges from other industries like fruit and vegetable farming within the study area.

  17. The Biology of the Triatomine Bugs Native to South Central Texas and Assessment of the Risk They Pose for Autochthonous Chagas Disease Exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wozniak, Edward J; Lawrence, Gena; Gorchakov, Rodion; Alamgir, Hasanat; Dotson, Ellen; Sissel, Blake; Sarkar, Sahotra; Murray, Kristy O

    2015-10-01

    Triatomine bugs are a group of hematophagous arthropods that can serve as biological vectors for Trypanosoma cruzi , the etiological agent of American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease). Because of differences in the biology and feeding habits among triatomine species, some are more likely than others to be involved in zoonotic and/or human-to-human transmission cycles of T. cruzi . In an attempt to assess the risk for Chagas disease exposure in south-central Texas, human habitations across Texas Health Service Region 8 (HSR 8) and surrounding counties were surveyed for triatomines to characterize the geographic distribution, species-specific biology, and T. cruzi -infection prevalence better. Between May 2010 and August 2013, a total of 545 triatomines representing all 5 known indigenous species (Triatoma gerstaeckeri, Triatoma indictiva, Triatoma lecticularia, Triatoma sanguisuga, and Triatoma protracta woodi) were collected from 59 sites across the region. Triatoma gerstaeckeri was the species most commonly found in domestic and peridomestic ecotopes across Texas HSR 8, representing over 80% of the triatomines collected. Adult T. gerstaeckeri exhibited a seasonal dispersal pattern that began in late April, peaked in mid-May, and then continued into August. On homes with available crevices in the exterior walls, adult T. gerstaeckeri were observed emerging from or entering these protective microhabitats, suggesting possible opportunistic colonization of some exterior walls compartments. Laboratory testing of triatomine hindgut contents for T. cruzi by PCR demonstrated the adult T. gerstaeckeri-infection prevalence across Texas HSR 8 to be 64%. Monitoring peridomestic adult T. gerstaeckeri over the seasonal dispersal peak demonstrated statistically significant increases in both their T. cruzi -infection prevalence (P tendency to invade human dwellings (P tendencies. The high prevalence of T. cruzi infection in native triatomines, and the high frequency with which T

  18. The impact of breast cancer biological subtyping on tumor size assessment by ultrasound and mammography - a retrospective multicenter cohort study of 6543 primary breast cancer patients

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stein, Roland Gregor; Wollschläger, Daniel; Kreienberg, Rolf; Janni, Wolfgang; Wischnewsky, Manfred; Diessner, Joachim; Stüber, Tanja; Bartmann, Catharina; Krockenberger, Mathias; Wischhusen, Jörg; Wöckel, Achim; Blettner, Maria; Schwentner, Lukas

    2016-01-01

    Mammography and ultrasound are the gold standard imaging techniques for preoperative assessment and for monitoring the efficacy of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer. Maximum accuracy in predicting pathological tumor size non-invasively is critical for individualized therapy and surgical planning. We therefore aimed to assess the accuracy of tumor size measurement by ultrasound and mammography in a multicentered health services research study. We retrospectively analyzed data from 6543 patients with unifocal, unilateral primary breast cancer. The maximum tumor diameter was measured by ultrasound and/or mammographic imaging. All measurements were compared to final tumor diameter determined by postoperative histopathological examination. We compared the precision of each imaging method across different patient subgroups as well as the method-specific accuracy in each patient subgroup. Overall, the correlation with histology was 0.61 for mammography and 0.60 for ultrasound. Both correlations were higher in pT2 cancers than in pT1 and pT3. Ultrasound as well as mammography revealed a significantly higher correlation with histology in invasive ductal compared to lobular cancers (p < 0.01). For invasive lobular cancers, the mammography showed better correlation with histology than ultrasound (p = 0.01), whereas there was no such advantage for invasive ductal cancers. Ultrasound was significantly superior for HR negative cancers (p < 0.001). HER2/neu positive cancers were also more precisely assessed by ultrasound (p < 0.001). The size of HER2/neu negative cancers could be more accurately predicted by mammography (p < 0.001). This multicentered health services research approach demonstrates that predicting tumor size by mammography and ultrasound provides accurate results. Biological tumor features do, however, affect the diagnostic precision

  19. Giant Constrictors: Biological and Management Profiles and an Establishment Risk Assessment for Nine Large Species of Pythons, Anacondas, and the Boa Constrictor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Robert N.; Rodda, Gordon H.

    2009-01-01

    Giant Constrictors: Biological and Management Profiles and an Establishment Risk Assessment for Nine Large Species of Pythons, Anacondas, and the Boa Constrictor, estimates the ecological risks associated with colonization of the United States by nine large constrictors. The nine include the world's four largest snake species (Green Anaconda, Eunectes murinus; Indian or Burmese Python, Python molurus; Northern African Python, Python sebae; and Reticulated Python, Broghammerus reticulatus), the Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor), and four species that are ecologically or visually similar to one of the above (Southern African Python, Python natalensis; Yellow Anaconda, Eunectes notaeus; DeSchauensee's Anaconda, Eunectes deschauenseei; and Beni Anaconda, Eunectes beniensis). At present, the only probable pathway by which these species would become established in the United States is the pet trade. Although importation for the pet trade involves some risk that these animals could become established as exotic or invasive species, it does not guarantee such establishment. Federal regulators have the task of appraising the importation risks and balancing those risks against economic, social, and ecological benefits associated with the importation. The risk assessment quantifies only the ecological risks, recognizing that ecosystem processes are complex and only poorly understood. The risk assessment enumerates the types of economic impacts that may be experienced, but leaves quantification of economic costs to subsequent studies. Primary factors considered in judging the risk of establishment were: (1) history of establishment in other countries, (2) number of each species in commerce, (3) suitability of U.S. climates for each species, and (4) natural history traits, such as reproductive rate and dispersal ability, that influence the probability of establishment, spread, and impact. In addition, the risk assessment reviews all management tools for control of invasive giant

  20. Systems Biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiley, H S.

    2006-06-01

    The biology revolution over the last 50 years has been driven by the ascendancy of molecular biology. This was enthusiastically embraced by most biologists because it took us into increasingly familiar territory. It took mysterious processes, such as the replication of genetic material and assigned them parts that could be readily understood by the human mind. When we think of ''molecular machines'' as being the underlying basis of life, we are using a paradigm derived from everyday experience. However, the price that we paid was a relentless drive towards reductionism and the attendant balkanization of biology. Now along comes ''systems biology'' that promises us a solution to the problem of ''knowing more and more about less and less''. Unlike molecular biology, systems biology appears to be taking us into unfamiliar intellectual territory, such as statistics, mathematics and computer modeling. Not surprisingly, systems biology has met with widespread skepticism and resistance. Why do we need systems biology anyway and how does this new area of research promise to change the face of biology in the next couple of decades?

  1. Biological therapeutics

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Greenstein, Ben; Brook, Daniel A

    2011-01-01

    This introductory textbook covers all the main categories of biological medicines, including vaccines, hormonal preparations, drugs for rheumatoid arthritis and other connective tissue diseases, drugs...

  2. Model for assessing the efficiency of biologic drugs in the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis for one year in clinical practice in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puig, L; López-Ferrer, A; Vilarrasa, E; García, I; Fernández-del Olmo, R

    2016-01-01

    Most economic evaluations in the literature on the subject of biologic therapy for the treatment of psoriasis do not reflect normal clinical practice or consider the cost of patient management. The objective of the present study is to establish a model for assessing the efficiency of biologic therapies in the treatment of psoriasis taking into account the cost of managing treatment which, in routine clinical practice, depends on patient response. We developed a model based on a decision tree that incorporates the probability of treatment response or failure with adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab, and ustekinumab after 24 weeks of therapy (end of the induction phase). The probability in each case was calculated using data from a meta-analysis. The following direct health costs were taken into account: the cost of drugs and their administration in euro (2015). Our analysis was based on the cost of 12 months of treatment administered in a hospital setting. According to the proposed model, the mean cost per year by initial treatment strategy was lowest for patients who started treatment with ustekinumab, although the percentage cost difference between ustekinumab and infliximab or adalimumab was less than 3%. With a fixed budget of €1,000,000, the initial treatment option that would achieve success in the largest number of patients for one year would, according to this model, be ustekinumab (66 patients), followed by infliximab (n = 62), adalimumab (n = 59), and etanercept (n = 50). Sensitivity analysis confirmed the reliability of these results. However, considering the confidence intervals of the incremental efficacy observed in the meta-analysis, the differences found are probably not significant in all the possible binary comparisons. Likewise, possible differences in actual price structures, populations, and the strategies and therapeutic objectives of each hospital could all give rise to considerable variations in real life. The cost of managing treatment in

  3. Is synthetic biology mechanical biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Sune

    2015-12-01

    A widespread and influential characterization of synthetic biology emphasizes that synthetic biology is the application of engineering principles to living systems. Furthermore, there is a strong tendency to express the engineering approach to organisms in terms of what seems to be an ontological claim: organisms are machines. In the paper I investigate the ontological and heuristic significance of the machine analogy in synthetic biology. I argue that the use of the machine analogy and the aim of producing rationally designed organisms does not necessarily imply a commitment to mechanical biology. The ideal of applying engineering principles to biology is best understood as expressing recognition of the machine-unlikeness of natural organisms and the limits of human cognition. The paper suggests an interpretation of the identification of organisms with machines in synthetic biology according to which it expresses a strategy for representing, understanding, and constructing living systems that are more machine-like than natural organisms.

  4. Using biological and physico-chemical test methods to assess the role of concrete mixture design in resistance to microbially induced corrosion

    Science.gov (United States)

    House, Mitchell Wayne

    Concrete is the most widely used material for construction of wastewater collection, storage, and treatment infrastructure. The chemical and physical characteristics of hydrated portland cement make it susceptible to degradation under highly acidic conditions. As a result, some concrete wastewater infrastructure may be susceptible to a multi-stage degradation process known as microbially induced corrosion, or MIC. MIC begins with the production of aqueous hydrogen sulfide (H2S(aq)) by anaerobic sulfate reducing bacteria present below the waterline. H2S(aq) partitions to the gas phase where it is oxidized to sulfuric acid by the aerobic sulfur oxidizing bacteria Thiobacillus that resides on concrete surfaces above the waterline. Sulfuric acid then attacks the cement paste portion of the concrete matrix through decalcification of calcium hydroxide and calcium silica hydrate coupled with the formation of expansive corrosion products. The attack proceeds inward resulting in reduced service life and potential failure of the concrete structure. There are several challenges associated with assessing a concrete's susceptibility to MIC. First, no standard laboratory tests exist to assess concrete resistance to MIC. Straightforward reproduction of MIC in the laboratory is complicated by the use of microorganisms and hydrogen sulfide gas. Physico-chemical tests simulating MIC by immersing concrete specimens in sulfuric acid offer a convenient alternative, but do not accurately capture the damage mechanisms associated with biological corrosion. Comparison of results between research studies is difficult due to discrepancies that can arise in experimental methods even if current ASTM standards are followed. This thesis presents two experimental methods to evaluate concrete resistance to MIC: one biological and one physico-chemical. Efforts are made to address the critical aspects of each testing method currently absent in the literature. The first method presented is a new test

  5. Mesoscopic biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Abstract. In this paper we present a qualitative outlook of mesoscopic biology where the typical length scale is of the order of nanometers and the energy scales comparable to thermal energy. ... National Center for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, UAS-GKVK Campus, Bangalore 560 065, India ...

  6. Computational biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hartmann, Lars Røeboe; Jones, Neil; Simonsen, Jakob Grue

    2011-01-01

    Computation via biological devices has been the subject of close scrutiny since von Neumann’s early work some 60 years ago. In spite of the many relevant works in this field, the notion of programming biological devices seems to be, at best, ill-defined. While many devices are claimed or proved t...

  7. Mesoscopic biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    In this paper we present a qualitative outlook of mesoscopic biology where the typical length scale is of the order of nanometers and the energy scales comparable to thermal energy. Novel biomolecular machines, governed by coded information at the level of DNA and proteins, operate at these length scales in biological ...

  8. A review of biological processes within oceanic water columns relevant to the assessment of the safety of disposal of waste, notably radioactive isotopes on or within the sea bed

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Angel, M.V.

    1985-01-01

    Pelagic biological processes and their connotations in the assessment of possible dispersal mechanisms of contaminants released on the deep oceanic seabed are reviewed. Biological gradients tend to be from the surface down so the search is for processes which run counter to these general gradients. Observed profiles of standing crop of both plankton and micronekton show that below 2000 m biological activity would have to be exceptionally dynamic to have an influence that will even approach within an order of magnitude of the dispersive effect of physical mixing. Examination of all forms of known migration mechanisms fails to reveal such dynamic activity. Nor have any critical pathways been identified within the present or foreseeable pattern of exploitation of the oceans. However, a major gap in knowledge is whether the pattern of these biological processes changes substantially in the region of continental slopes. (author)

  9. Applying Data Analytics and Visualization to Assessing the Research Impact of the Cancer Cell Biology (CCB Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fei Yu

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The purpose of this paper is to report on a research impact assessment (RIA project conducted by the Health Sciences Library (HSL at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH for the Cancer Cell Biology (CCB program in the institution’s cancer center through bibliometric data analysis and visualization. Methods: A total of 642 publications produced by the CCB researchers from 2010 to 2014 was used as the original dataset. After the citations of these publications were cleaned and standardized, the citations were imported into selected bibliometric and other tools for quantitative analysis and visualization. Results: The CCB program at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center had significant scientific output and citation impact in the examined five-year period, which was quantitatively measured not only by the total number of publications and citation counts, but also by comparative citation impact measures. In addition, the research collaboration network visualizations helped identify the most productive CCB researchers, the most highly cited CCB researchers, the research groups composed by co-authors, and the internal and external research partners. Further, the research topic visualizations confirmed the alignment of publication concentrations with the five core areas on which the CCB program has been focusing. Conclusions: The bibliometric data analysis and visualizations produced for this project were able to provide quick insights to the administrators in terms of identified patterns, trends, and gaps of the supported research activities.

  10. Removal of Antibiotics in Biological Wastewater Treatment Systems-A Critical Assessment Using the Activated Sludge Modeling Framework for Xenobiotics (ASM-X).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polesel, Fabio; Andersen, Henrik R; Trapp, Stefan; Plósz, Benedek Gy

    2016-10-04

    Many scientific studies present removal efficiencies for pharmaceuticals in laboratory-, pilot-, and full-scale wastewater treatment plants, based on observations that may be impacted by theoretical and methodological approaches used. In this Critical Review, we evaluated factors influencing observed removal efficiencies of three antibiotics (sulfamethoxazole, ciprofloxacin, tetracycline) in pilot- and full-scale biological treatment systems. Factors assessed include (i) retransformation to parent pharmaceuticals from e.g., conjugated metabolites and analogues, (ii) solid retention time (SRT), (iii) fractions sorbed onto solids, and (iv) dynamics in influent and effluent loading. A recently developed methodology was used, relying on the comparison of removal efficiency predictions (obtained with the Activated Sludge Model for Xenobiotics (ASM-X)) with representative measured data from literature. By applying this methodology, we demonstrated that (a) the elimination of sulfamethoxazole may be significantly underestimated when not considering retransformation from conjugated metabolites, depending on the type (urban or hospital) and size of upstream catchments; (b) operation at extended SRT may enhance antibiotic removal, as shown for sulfamethoxazole; (c) not accounting for fractions sorbed in influent and effluent solids may cause slight underestimation of ciprofloxacin removal efficiency. Using tetracycline as example substance, we ultimately evaluated implications of effluent dynamics and retransformation on environmental exposure and risk prediction.

  11. Field assessment of the mid winter mass kills of trophic fishes at Mariotteya stream, Egypt: chemical and biological pollution synergistic model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eissa, A E; Tharwat, N A; Zaki, M M

    2013-01-01

    Pathogenic Candida albicans was isolated from water and fish samples collected during an emergent event of mass mortalities among the juvenile Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), Sharp toothed catfish (Clarias gariepinus) along the stream of Mariotteya drainage. Investigations indicated that fish mortalities were confined to the area of Shubramant and Aboul Noumros (North to Sakara 7 drainage). C. albicans was isolated from the lesions associated with multiple skin ulcers in both Nile tilapia juveniles and Sharp toothed catfish. Assessment of the field and laboratory data has indicated that Mariotteya environmental disaster was a multifactorial problem. The fish mass kills were initially flared up through the dumping of the improperly treated nasty organic and inorganic chemicals from Elhawamdia sugar factory and municipal sewage. The physical stagnation of the stream, high levels of ammonia, phenol and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and low levels of dissolved oxygen (DO) were all incriminated as the initial stimulus behind biological invasion of pathogenic bacteria (Pseudomonas fluorescence) and yeast (C. albicans). Pathologically, fishes were dying from both respiratory and osmoregulatory failure induced by the severe damage of both gills and skin. It has been implied that such environmental pollutants have direct damaging effects on gills, skin and fins with consequent suppression of the skin's natural innate components. The adversely confronted immunological barriers were further exacerbated by the possible synergistic interactions of P. fluorescence dermotropic toxins followed by the secondary invasion of the pathogenic C. albicans. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. A comparative study with biologically and chemically synthesized nZVI: applications in Cr (VI) removal and ecotoxicity assessment using indigenous microorganisms from chromium-contaminated site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravikumar, K V G; Kumar, Deepak; Rajeshwari, A; Madhu, G M; Mrudula, P; Chandrasekaran, Natarajan; Mukherjee, Amitava

    2016-02-01

    In the present communication, we report a comparative study of Cr (VI) removal using biologically synthesized nano zero valent iron (BS-nZVI) and chemically synthesized nZVI (CS-nZVI), both immobilized in calcium alginate beads. The parameters like initial Cr (VI) concentration, nZVI concentration, and the contact time for Cr (VI) removal were optimized based on Box-Behnken design (BBD) by response surface modeling at a constant pH 7. Under the optimized conditions (concentration of nZVI = 1000 mg L(-1), contact time = ∼ 80 min, and initial concentration of Cr (VI) = 10 mg L(-1)), the Cr (VI) removal by the immobilized BS-nZVI and CS-nZVI alginate beads was 80.04 and 81.08 %, respectively. The adsorption of Cr (VI) onto the surface of alginate beads was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) analysis. The applicability of the process using both the sorbents was successfully test medium Cr (VI) spiked environmental water samples. In order to assess the ecotoxic effects of nZVI, the decline in cell viability, generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), cell membrane damage, and biouptake was studied at 1000 mg L(-1) concentration, with five indigenous bacterial isolates from chromium-contaminated lake sediments and their consortium.

  13. The use of wavelength-selective plastic cladding materials in horticulture: understanding of crop and fungal responses through the assessment of biological spectral weighting functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Nigel D; Jacobson, Rob J; Taylor, Anna; Wargent, Jason J; Moore, Jason P

    2005-01-01

    Plant responses to light spectral quality can be exploited to deliver a range of agronomically desirable end points in protected crops. This can be achieved using plastics with specific spectral properties as crop covers. We have studied the responses of a range of crops to plastics that have either (a) increased transmission of UV compared with standard horticultural covers, (b) decreased transmission of UV or (c) increased the ratio of red (R) : far-red (FR) radiation. Both the UV-transparent and R : FR increasing films reduced leaf area and biomass, offering potential alternatives to chemical growth regulators. The UV-opaque film increased growth, but while this may be useful in some crops, there were trade-offs with elements of quality, such as pigmentation and taste. UV manipulation may also influence disease control. Increasing UV inhibited not only the pathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea but also the disease biocontrol agent Trichoderma harzianum. Unlike B. cinerea, T. harzianum was highly sensitive to UV-A radiation. These fungal responses and those for plant growth in the growth room and the field under different plastics are analyzed in terms of alternative biological spectral weighting functions (BSWF). The role of BSWF in assessing general patterns of response to UV modification in horticulture is also discussed.

  14. Review on Invasive Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle) Conflicting Values: Assessment of Its Ecosystem Services and Potential Biological Threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sladonja, Barbara; Sušek, Marta; Guillermic, Julia

    2015-10-01

    Globally, invasions by alien plants are rapidly increasing in extent and severity, leading to large-scale ecosystem degradation. One of the most widespread invasive alien plant species in Europe and North America, Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle) was introduced intentionally for use as an ornamental plant in the 18th century. Since then, it has spread and is now frequently found in a number of countries. Today, Tree of Heaven is considered one of the worst invasive plant species in Europe and is also listed as invasive in North America and many other countries. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment is one of many systems trying to list and categorize biological services to humans and to provide a tool for identifying services delivered by natural ecosystems. Invasive species have generally caused degradation of the services, have a major impact on the environment, and are threatening biodiversity and reducing overall species abundance and diversity. On the other hand, some invasive species can provide services useful to human well-being. In the present review A. altissima impacts on ecosystems are identified and positive influences on some ecosystem services are weighed against the negative effects on the environment and human health. The aim of the present review is to resume the general knowledge of A. altissima, group available references on distribution and ecology according to countries, compare ecosystem services provided or enhanced by A. altissima presence and the negative effects it causes, identify gaps in current knowledge, and give recommendations for future lines of research.

  15. Biological and Tribological Assessment of Poly(Ethylene Oxide Terephthalate)/Poly(Butylene Terephthalate), Polycaprolactone, and Poly (L\\DL) Lactic Acid Plotted Scaffolds for Skeletal Tissue Regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendrikson, Wilhelmus J; Zeng, Xiangqiong; Rouwkema, Jeroen; van Blitterswijk, Clemens A; van der Heide, Emile; Moroni, Lorenzo

    2016-01-21

    Additive manufactured scaffolds are fabricated from three commonly used biomaterials, polycaprolactone (PCL), poly (L\\DL) lactic acid (P(L\\DL)LA), and poly(ethylene oxide terephthalate)/poly(butylene terephthalate) (PEOT/PBT). Scaffolds are compared biologically and tribologically. Cell-seeded PEOT/PBT scaffolds cultured in osteogenic and chondrogenic differentiation media show statistical significantly higher alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity/DNA and glycosaminoglycans (GAG)/DNA ratios, followed by PCL and P(L\\DL)LA scaffolds, respectively. The tribological performance is assessed by determining the friction coefficients of the scaffolds at different loads and sliding velocities. With increasing load or decreasing sliding velocity, the friction coefficient value decreases. PEOT/PBT show to have the lowest friction coefficient value, followed by PCL and P(L\\DL)LA. The influence of the scaffold architecture is further determined with PEOT/PBT. Reducing of the fiber spacing results in a lower friction coefficient value. The best and the worst performing scaffold architecture are chosen to investigate the effect of cell culture on the friction coefficient. Matrix deposition is low in the cell-seeded scaffolds and the effect is, therefore, undetermined. Taken together, our studies show that PEOT/PBT scaffolds support better skeletal differentiation of seeded stromal cells and lower friction coefficient compared to PCL and P(L/DL)A scaffolds. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  16. Biological Oceanography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyhrman, Sonya

    2004-10-01

    The ocean is arguably the largest habitat on the planet, and it houses an astounding array of life, from microbes to whales. As a testament to this diversity and its importance, the discipline of biological oceanography spans studies of all levels of biological organization, from that of single genes, to organisms, to their population dynamics. Biological oceanography also includes studies on how organisms interact with, and contribute to, essential global processes. Students of biological oceanography are often as comfortable looking at satellite images as they are electron micrographs. This diversity of perspective begins the textbook Biological Oceanography, with cover graphics including a Coastal Zone Color Scanner image representing chlorophyll concentration, an electron micrograph of a dinoflagellate, and a photograph of a copepod. These images instantly capture the reader's attention and illustrate some of the different scales on which budding oceanographers are required to think. Having taught a core graduate course in biological oceanography for many years, Charlie Miller has used his lecture notes as the genesis for this book. The text covers the subject of biological oceanography in a manner that is targeted to introductory graduate students, but it would also be appropriate for advanced undergraduates.

  17. Determination of the dose of gamma radiation sterilization for assessment of biological parameters of male Ceratitis capitada (Diptera: Tephritidae), tsl - Vienna 8 strain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rocha, Aline Cristina Pereira da

    2011-01-01

    The Vienna-8, tsl (temperature sensitive lethal) strain of Ceratitis capitata, by presenting mutations that facilitate the mass rearing and release only of sterile males in the field, has been used in (Sterile Insect Technique) programmes. The objective of this study was to determine the radiation dose that provides the highest level of sterility for Vienna-8, tsl males assessing their biological parameters that indicate the quality of sterile males to be released. Brown pupae (males) of the tsl strain were obtained from the mass rearing of the Food Irradiation and Radio entomology laboratory of CENA/USP, and they were irradiated (with gamma radiation - 60 Co) 24 hours before the emergence at rates of 0, 30, 60, 90 and 120 Gy. The determination of the sterilizing dose was based on fertility of sexually mature females of the bisexual strain and not irradiated, mated with males of different treatments. Eggs were collected daily during 6 days, were counted and it was possible to estimate fecundity, and assess the hatching rate. The emergence and flight ability were determined by following the protocol of quality control manual for FAO/IAEA/USDA (2003). To assess the longevity under nutritional stress, the insects were kept a period of 48 h after emergence in the absence of water and food, and after this period, mortality was recorded. The size of the testes (left and right) was obtained by dissecting irradiated and non-irradiated males at the eighth day of life, and measure the testes in an ocular micrometer, considering the maximum length and width of each sample. To determine the sperm number was necessary to dissect the males and break their testicles. No difference was observed in emergence rate, flight ability and longevity of irradiated and non-irradiated males, nor in the fecundity of females mated with males of different treatments. The sterilizing dose that resulted in lower fertility of females was 120 Gy, with 1.5% hatching. Considering the parameters of

  18. Compilation and assessment of microwave bioeffects. Final report. A selective review of the literature on biological effects of microwaves in relation to the satellite power system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Justesen, D. R.; Ragan, H. A.; Rogers, L. E.; Guy, A. W.; Hjeresen, D. L.; Hinds, W. T.

    1978-05-01

    Potential biological and ecological problems are the focus of a review of the world's scientific literature on biological effects of microwave radiation. The emphasis is on recently reported data and on the 2450-MHz continuous-wave (CW) radiation that is envisioned for a Satellite Power System (SPS).

  19. A guide to toxicity assessment and monitoring effects at lower levels of biological organization following marine oil spills in European waters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Martínez-Gómez, C.; Vethaak, A.D.; Hylland, K.; Burgeot, T.; Köhler, A.; Lyons, B.P.; Thain, J.; Gubbins, M.J.; Davies, I.M.

    2010-01-01

    The usefulness of applying biological-effects techniques (bioassays and biomarkers) as tools to assist in evaluating damage to the health of marine ecosystems produced by oil spills has been demonstrated clearly during recent decades. Guidelines are provided for the use of biological-effects

  20. Original Research doi:10.4102/http://www.indieskriflig.org.za ids.v48i2.722 An exploration of synthetic biology: A preliminary Christian ethical assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of synthetic biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riaan A.L. Rheeder

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available On 20 May 2010, the Venter Institute in America announced that they have fully synthesised the genome of the organism Mycoplasma mycoides whilst in vitro by using a computer connected to a machine that synthesises genes. Thereafter, the genome was placed back into the casing of another organism (Mycoplasma capricolum and it was reported that the synthesised organism and the genome functioned normally. This synthesised organism was reconstructed to function as a minute little factory with the aim of producing and secreting fuel and medicine − something that is not the natural function of this organism. There are certain potential dangers inherent in this kind of technology. Scientists fear that this technology may contaminate or infect humans, animals or the environment, and that it can as such be extremely harmful, or even lead to the destruction of humans. Other scientists are concerned that terrorists can use this technology to kill innocent citizens. Some ethicists are of the opinion that the consequences of synthetic biology is currently unpredictable and that it is therefore risky. In opposition to the potential dangers, one has to mention that synthetic biology indeed can result in far-reaching positive outcomes such as the manufacturing of biofuel and medication. Most scientists and ethicists are of the opinion that the potential dangers involved in synthetic biology should be evaluated in light of the fact that genetic manipulation has not caused any biological devastation over the last 30 years. From a Christian point of departure, the opinion is currently that synthetic biology is not an irresponsible science and technology.

  1. Biological Pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skip to main content Biological Pathways Fact Sheet Enter Search Term(s): Español Research Funding An Overview Bioinformatics Current Grants Education and Training Funding Extramural Research News Features ...

  2. A timeless biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tozzi, Arturo; Peters, James F; Chafin, Clifford; De Falco, Domenico; Torday, John S

    2018-05-01

    Contrary to claims that physics is timeless while biology is time-dependent, we take the opposite standpoint: physical systems' dynamics are constrained by the arrow of time, while living assemblies are time-independent. Indeed, the concepts of "constraints" and "displacements" shed new light on the role of continuous time flow in life evolution, allowing us to sketch a physical gauge theory for biological systems in long timescales. In the very short timescales of biological systems' individual lives, time looks like "frozen" and "fixed", so that the second law of thermodynamics is momentarily wrecked. The global symmetries (standing for biological constrained trajectories, i.e. the energetic gradient flows dictated by the second law of thermodynamics in long timescales) are broken by local "displacements" where time is held constant, i.e., modifications occurring in living systems. Such displacements stand for brief local forces, able to temporarily "break" the cosmic increase in entropy. The force able to restore the symmetries (called "gauge field") stands for the very long timescales of biological evolution. Therefore, at the very low speeds of life evolution, time is no longer one of the four phase space coordinates of a spacetime Universe: it becomes just a gauge field superimposed to three-dimensional biological systems. We discuss the implications in biology: when assessing living beings, the underrated role of isolated "spatial" modifications needs to be emphasized, living apart the evolutionary role of time. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Exposure Assessment, Biological Monitoring, and Liver Function Tests of Operating Room Personnel Exposed to Halothane in Hamedan Hospitals, West of Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakhshaei, Mohammad Hossien; Bahrami, Abdorrahman; Mirzakhani, Amin; Mahjub, Hossien; Assari, Mohammad Javad

    2017-11-04

    Occupational exposure to halogenated hydrocarbons has been associated with halothane hepatitis, an increase of liver enzymes, and congenital malformations. The objectives of this study were to investigate whether bromide, a urinary metabolite of halothane, could be used as a biological marker of exposure to this anesthetic gas and assessment of associated exposure to halothane with any significant changes in conventional parameters of liver function (serum aminotransferase activities). A cross-sectional study. Seventy-five anesthesiologists, anesthesia nurses, operating room nurses, and surgeons (exposed group) and 75 matched unexposed individuals (reference group) were selected randomly from two public hospitals in Hamadan City, western Iran.  Atmospheric concentrations of halothane in the breathing zone of the exposed subjects and urinary bromide levels were measured by headspace gas chromatography. Similarly, serum activities of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were measured by the enzymatic method using an automatic Prestige instrument. Mean atmospheric concentrations of halothane and urinary bromide levels for exposed subjects were 1.49 ±1.36 ppm and 0.83 ±0.29 mM, respectively. A relatively good correlation was found between exposure to halothane and urinary bromide levels (r=0.38). The chi-squared test results showed that the proportions of the subjects with abnormal ALT and AST among the women exposed were significantly higher than those of reference individuals (P<0.05). Urinary bromide can be used as a potential biomarker of exposure to halothane, although additional studies are necessary to further validate these initial findings.

  4. The Utility of the Swine Model to Assess Biological Rhythms and Their Characteristics during Different Stages of Residence in a Simulated Intensive Care Unit: A Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leyden, Katrina N; Hanneman, Sandra K; Padhye, Nikhil S; Smolensky, Michael H; Kang, Duck-Hee; Chow, Diana Shu-Lian

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the utility of the mammalian swine model under simulated intensive care unit (sICU) conditions and mechanical ventilation (MV) for assessment of the trajectory of circadian rhythms of sedation requirement, core body temperature (CBT), pulmonary mechanics (PM) and gas exchange (GE). Data were collected prospectively with an observational time-series design to describe and compare circadian rhythms of selected study variables in four swine mechanically ventilated for up to seven consecutive days. We derived the circadian (total variance explained by rhythms of τ between 20 and 28 h)/ultradian (total variance explained by rhythms of τ between 1 and rhythms, and compare findings between the early (first 3 days) and late (subsequent days) sICU stay. All pigs exhibited statistically significant circadian rhythms (τ between 20 and 28 h) in CBT, respiratory rate and peripheral oxygen saturation, but circadian rhythms were detected less frequently for sedation requirement, spontaneous minute volume, arterial oxygen tension, arterial carbon dioxide tension and arterial pH. Sedation did not appear to mask the circadian rhythms of CBT, PM and GE. Individual subject observations were more informative than group data, and provided preliminary evidence that (a) circadian rhythms of multiple variables are lost or desynchronized in mechanically ventilated subjects, (b) robustness of circadian rhythm varies with subject morbidity and (c) healthier pigs develop more robust circadian rhythm profiles over time in the sICU. Comparison of biological rhythm profiles among sICU subjects with similar severity of illness is needed to determine if the results of this pilot study are reproducible. Identification of consistent patterns may provide insight into subject morbidity and timing of such therapeutic interventions as weaning from MV.

  5. Biological assessment of the effects of construction and operation of a depleted uranium hexafluoride conversion facility at the Paducah, Kentucky, site.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Lonkhuyzen, R.

    2005-09-09

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride (DUF{sub 6}) Management Program evaluated alternatives for managing its inventory of DUF{sub 6} and issued the ''Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Alternative Strategies for the Long-Term Management and Use of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride'' (DUF{sub 6} PEIS) in April 1999 (DOE 1999). The DUF{sub 6} inventory is stored in cylinders at three DOE sites: Paducah, Kentucky; Portsmouth, Ohio; and East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP), near Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In the Record of Decision for the DUF{sub 6} PEIS, DOE stated its decision to promptly convert the DUF6 inventory to a more stable chemical form. Subsequently, the U.S. Congress passed, and the President signed, the ''2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery from and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States'' (Public Law No. 107-206). This law stipulated in part that, within 30 days of enactment, DOE must award a contract for the design, construction, and operation of a DUF{sub 6} conversion plant at the Department's Paducah, Kentucky, and Portsmouth, Ohio, sites, and for the shipment of DUF{sub 6} cylinders stored at ETTP to the Portsmouth site for conversion. This biological assessment (BA) has been prepared by DOE, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and the Endangered Species Act of 1974, to evaluate potential impacts to federally listed species from the construction and operation of a conversion facility at the DOE Paducah site.

  6. “Biotecnological War” - A Conceptual And Perceptual Assessment Tool For Teaching Biotechnology And Protein Chemistry For Undergraduate Students In Biological Sciences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. R. C. Cruz et al.

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available "Biotecnological War" board game, a conceptual and perceptual assessment tool for biotechnology and protein chemistry teaching for undergraduate students in biological sciences and related areas. It is a proposal initially conceived as an alternative complementary tool for biochemistry teaching of proteins and peptides, challenging students, aiming to review concepts transmitted in classroom, stimulating diverse student’s abilities, such as their creativity, competitiveness and resource management. OBJECTIVES. Correlate biochemistry importance of proteins and peptides with the development of new products. MATERIAL AND METHODS. Firstly, theoretical-practical classes were given with seminars to be presented by the groups, including topics that will be addressed in game. Groups of 5 students, with previously viewed themes drawn a goal to be achieved. There are two drawn goals variations: Academic or Commercial. Board is divided into provinces, which must be bought with an initial resource to complete the goal. Before the beginning each group will have 15 minutes to plan their actions. The objective is to develop the entire objective drawn with appropriate methodology, having at least 1 territory in each province. RESULTS. This game proved to be an excellent tool for complementary evaluation of students, which stimulated teamwork and a strong competitive spirit within classroom, which allowed to analyze students' perception regarding the protein subject and team work. On the other hand, for teacher and students participating in compulsory traineeship program this game demonstrated new ways to approach complex subjects in biochemistry using creativity with the development of new activities such as this board game. CONCLUSION: Overall, students had a good impression of “Biotecnological war” game since it helped to secure and administer the protein and peptides biochemical subject in a competitive and team work way.

  7. Assessment of sábalo (Prochilodus lineatus fisheries in the lower Paraná River basin (Argentina based on hydrological, biological, and fishery indicators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio Baigún

    Full Text Available This study assesses the change in fish exploitation patterns of the sábalo fisheries of the lower Paraná River basin based on hydrological, biological, and fishery indicators. From historical catch records, we recorded a shift from a lightly and moderate exploited status before 2001 to a heavily exploited one, as a result of the development of sábalo exports from 2001 onwards. Channel and floodplain connectivity indices demonstrated that the Paraná exhibited highly favorable hydrological conditions between 1972 and 1999 but more adverse conditions from 1999 to 2009, as a consequence of flood pulses reduction coincident with a fishing mortality increment. A total catch of 15,000 tons, including local consumption, regional market, informal sales, and exportation volumes, was estimated as the maximum sustainable catch. That level was instead exceeded 3 fold in 2004, in parallel with a decrease in the mean fish length from 48 to 42 cm, along with a reduction in both the mesh size from 16 to 12 cm and megaspawner proportion, and an increase of fishing mortality. Although growth overfishing was not noted, an analysis of the spawning potential ratio trend indicated that recruitment overfishing took place during 2005, since the fishing mortality rate was 4 times greater than the natural mortality rate. These observations suggest that less favorable hydrological conditions after 1999 coupled with a coincident high fishing pressure could have impacted the sábalo population biomass. Management of sábalo fisheries requires to set aside a single economic vision of the resource use moving to an ecosystem-oriented approach that incorporate, among others components, the hydrological regime, species life history traits, fishing impacts on other species, and main stakeholders socioeconomic requirements as key elements for the preservation of fishery sustainability.

  8. A systematic approach for the assessment of bacterial growth-controlling factors linked to biological stability of drinking water in distribution systems

    KAUST Repository

    Prest, E. I.

    2016-01-06

    A systematic approach is presented for the assessment of (i) bacterial growth-controlling factors in drinking water and (ii) the impact of distribution conditions on the extent of bacterial growth in full-scale distribution systems. The approach combines (i) quantification of changes in autochthonous bacterial cell concentrations in full-scale distribution systems with (ii) laboratoryscale batch bacterial growth potential tests of drinking water samples under defined conditions. The growth potential tests were done by direct incubation of water samples, without modification of the original bacterial flora, and with flow cytometric quantification of bacterial growth. This method was shown to be reproducible (ca. 4% relative standard deviation) and sensitive (detection of bacterial growth down to 5 μg L-1 of added assimilable organic carbon). The principle of step-wise assessment of bacterial growth-controlling factors was demonstrated on bottled water, shown to be primarily carbon limited at 133 (±18) × 103 cells mL-1 and secondarily limited by inorganic nutrients at 5,500 (±1,700) × 103 cells mL-1. Analysis of the effluent of a Dutch full-scale drinking water treatment plant showed (1) bacterial growth inhibition as a result of end-point chlorination, (2) organic carbon limitation at 192 (±72) × 103 cells mL-1 and (3) inorganic nutrient limitation at 375 (±31) × 103 cells mL-1. Significantly lower net bacterial growth was measured in the corresponding full-scale distribution system (176 (±25) × 103 cells mL-1) than in the laboratory-scale growth potential test of the same water (294 (±35) × 103 cells mL-1), highlighting the influence of distribution on bacterial growth. The systematic approach described herein provides quantitative information on the effect of drinking water properties and distribution system conditions on biological stability, which can assist water utilities in decision-making on treatment or distribution system improvements to

  9. Are UV photolysis and UV/H2O2 process efficient to treat estrogens in waters? Chemical and biological assessment at pilot scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cédat, Bruno; de Brauer, Christine; Métivier, Hélène; Dumont, Nathalie; Tutundjan, Renaud

    2016-09-01

    In this study, UV based treatments were implemented at pilot scale to assess their ability to remove hormones from treated wastewater, especially with the view to equip small and medium size Wastewater Treatment Plants (WTPs). To this end, the degradation of a mixture of estrogenic hormones (Estrone (E1), β-Estradiol (E2), and 17α-Ethinyl Estradiol (EE2)) in waters by UV photolysis and UV/H2O2 process was investigated in real conditions. A particular attention was paid at designing a well validated laboratory scale pilot in order to optimise oxidant concentrations and UV fluence. A Low pressure lamp (254 nm) was used in a flow through commercial reactor. The effects of water matrices (drinking water and treated wastewater) and H2O2 concentrations (10, 40, and 90 mg/L) on the pilot efficiency were first determined. Only E1 could be partially degraded by UV photolysis whereas hormones were all well removed by UV/H2O2 process in both matrices. The second part of the study focused on a chemical and biological assessment of UV photolysis and UV/H2O2 process (30 and 50 mg/L). Degradation rate constants of hormones as well as changes in estrogenic activity (YES bioassay) and toxicity (Vibrio fischeri) were followed at the same time. UV photolysis could not remove neither estrogens nor estrogenic activity at relevant UV fluence in waters. However 80% of initial estrogenic compounds and estrogenic activity could be removed from treated wastewater by combining UV fluence of 423 and 520 mJ/cm(2) with 50 and 30 mg/L of H2O2, respectively. No high estrogenic or toxic by-products were detected by the two bioassays following UV photolysis or UV/H2O2 process. Operating costs were estimated for a full scale pilot. H2O2 was the major cost. By combining the appropriate concentration of H2O2 and UV fluence, it could be possible to design a cost effective treatment for treating estrogens in small and medium size WTPs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Radiation biology at CRNL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Myers, D.K.

    1986-01-01

    This paper gives a broad overview of radiation biology at Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories (CRNL). The research group consists of 8 professionals and approximately 12 support staff. Objectives of the group are listed. Current research programs discussed are: 1) recombinant dna technology; 2) the hyperthermia program; 3) cancer-prone families; 4) animal studies; and 5) assessment of radiation hazards

  11. Water pollution biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mason, C.F. [University of Essex, Colchester (United Kingdom). Dept. of Biology

    1996-12-31

    Chapter 4 of this book describes the effects of major types of pollutants on aquatic life. These are: organic pollution, eutrophication, acidification, toxic chemicals, oil, and radioactivity. The review includes an description of some of the methods of assessing the biological impacts of pollution. 50 refs., 8 figs., 3 tabs.

  12. Environmental assessment of the south Texas outer continental shelf : biological investigations from 01 January 1961 to 01 December 1975 (NODC Accession 7600741)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Biological and chemical data were collected using net, buoy, and bottle casts from the GUS III and LONGHORN in the Gulf of Mexico from 01 January 1961 to 01 December...

  13. Biological, oceanographic and meteorological data collected as part of the Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment Program (OCSEAP) from 1946-01-01 to 1990-10-11

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This collection contains physical, biological, chemical and meteorological data collected from various platforms by various organizations. Data were collected as...

  14. Biological preconcentrator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manginell, Ronald P [Albuquerque, NM; Bunker, Bruce C [Albuquerque, NM; Huber, Dale L [Albuquerque, NM

    2008-09-09

    A biological preconcentrator comprises a stimulus-responsive active film on a stimulus-producing microfabricated platform. The active film can comprise a thermally switchable polymer film that can be used to selectively absorb and desorb proteins from a protein mixture. The biological microfabricated platform can comprise a thin membrane suspended on a substrate with an integral resistive heater and/or thermoelectric cooler for thermal switching of the active polymer film disposed on the membrane. The active polymer film can comprise hydrogel-like polymers, such as poly(ethylene oxide) or poly(n-isopropylacrylamide), that are tethered to the membrane. The biological preconcentrator can be fabricated with semiconductor materials and technologies.

  15. Biological rhythms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halberg, F.

    1975-01-01

    An overview is given of basic features of biological rhythms. The classification of periodic behavior of physical and psychological characteristics as circadian, circannual, diurnal, and ultradian is discussed, and the notion of relativistic time as it applies in biology is examined. Special attention is given to circadian rhythms which are dependent on the adrenocortical cycle. The need for adequate understanding of circadian variations in the basic physiological indicators of an individual (heart rate, body temperature, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, etc.) to ensure the effectiveness of prophylactic and therapeutic measures is stressed.

  16. Re-assessing the last 3,000 years of archaeological and biological sea-level data from Israel and Greece to identify East Mediterranean trends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivan, Dorit; Dean, Silas; Sisma-Ventura, Guy; Bechor, Benny; Evelpidou, Niki; Baika, Kalliopi; Theodoulou, Theotokis A.

    2016-04-01

    The last 3,000 years of relative sea level (RSL) in Israel are derived primarily from archaeological indicators with additional bio-construction indicators (Dendropoma petraeum reefs at the edge of the abrasion platform along the Israeli coast). The current study examines whether sea-level fluctuations (above and mainly below present-day MSL) observed along the coast of Israel can also be observed in other East Mediterranean areas like Greece so that better evaluations can be made of local and regional driving mechanisms. There are three objectives for achieving this goal: 1) Identify new and already published archaeological and biological RSL indicators from this period in Israel and Greece; 2) Assess the reliability of both existing and new indicators using consistent standards to determine which types most accurately indicate ancient RSL and with what degree of uncertainty; 3) Correct the data for isostatic and tectonic effects. The survey collected nearly 140 archaeological indicators from Israel and about 120 from Greece. Of the Israeli indicators, some 120 were deemed reliable enough for reconstructions, whereas in Greece only 40 were, and not all of these from tectonically stable areas. The Israeli data includes 31 dates obtained from Dendropoma reefs in Israel. The higher reliability of the Israeli dataset may stem from a smaller coastline and more focused SL research over the past few decades. In Greece, many measurements were taken before precise surveying methods were available, and published without sufficient metadata. The two regional datasets reveal chronological gaps and disparities: Israel has a strong set of many indicators from the Roman Period (~2000BP) to present, but fewer from 3000-2000BP, while Greek indicators are strongly clustered in the Classical to Hellenistic Periods (2500-2000BP). On-going research is focusing now also on the last Millennial Greek sea levels (mainly the 'Venetian' period). Results however suggest some correspondence

  17. Managing biological diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samson, Fred B.; Knopf, Fritz L.

    1993-01-01

    Biological diversity is the variety of life and accompanying ecological processes (Off. Technol. Assess. 1987, Wilcove and Samson 1987, Keystone 1991). Conservation of biological diversity is a major environmental issue (Wilson 1988, Counc. Environ. Quality 1991). The health and future of the earth's ecological systems (Lubchenco et al. 1991), global climate change (Botkin 1990), and an ever-increasing rate in loss of species, communities, and ecological systems (Myers 1990) are among issues drawing biological diversity to the mainstream of conservation worldwide (Int. Union Conserv. Nat. and Nat. Resour. [IUCN] et al. 1991). The legal mandate for conserving biological diversity is now in place (Carlson 1988, Doremus 1991). More than 19 federal laws govern the use of biological resources in the United States (Rein 1991). The proposed National Biological Diversity Conservation and Environmental Research Act (H.R. 585 and S.58) notes the need for a national biological diversity policy, would create a national center for biological diversity research, and recommends a federal interagency strategy for ecosystem conservation. There are, however, hard choices ahead for the conservation of biological diversity, and biologists are grappling with how to set priorities in research and management (Roberts 1988). We sense disillusion among field biologists and managers relative to how to operationally approach the seemingly overwhelming charge of conserving biological diversity. Biologists also need to respond to critics like Hunt (1991) who suggest a tree farm has more biological diversity than an equal area of old-growth forest. At present, science has played only a minor role in the conservation of biological diversity (Weston 1992) with no unified approach available to evaluate strategies and programs that address the quality and quantity of biological diversity (Murphy 1990, Erwin 1992). Although actions to conserve biological diversity need to be clearly defined by

  18. Marine Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewees, Christopher M.; Hooper, Jon K.

    1976-01-01

    A variety of informational material for a course in marine biology or oceanology at the secondary level is presented. Among the topics discussed are: food webs and pyramids, planktonic blooms, marine life, plankton nets, food chains, phytoplankton, zooplankton, larval plankton and filter feeders. (BT)

  19. Mesoscopic biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Abstract. In this paper we present a qualitative outlook of mesoscopic biology where the typical length scale is of the order of nanometers and the energy scales comparable to thermal energy. Novel biomolecular machines, governed by coded information at the level of DNA and proteins, operate at these length scales in ...

  20. Scaffolded biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minelli, Alessandro

    2016-09-01

    Descriptions and interpretations of the natural world are dominated by dichotomies such as organism vs. environment, nature vs. nurture, genetic vs. epigenetic, but in the last couple of decades strong dissatisfaction with those partitions has been repeatedly voiced and a number of alternative perspectives have been suggested, from perspectives such as Dawkins' extended phenotype, Turner's extended organism, Oyama's Developmental Systems Theory and Odling-Smee's niche construction theory. Last in time is the description of biological phenomena in terms of hybrids between an organism (scaffolded system) and a living or non-living scaffold, forming unit systems to study processes such as reproduction and development. As scaffold, eventually, we can define any resource used by the biological system, especially in development and reproduction, without incorporating it as happens in the case of resources fueling metabolism. Addressing biological systems as functionally scaffolded systems may help pointing to functional relationships that can impart temporal marking to the developmental process and thus explain its irreversibility; revisiting the boundary between development and metabolism and also regeneration phenomena, by suggesting a conceptual framework within which to investigate phenomena of regular hypermorphic regeneration such as characteristic of deer antlers; fixing a periodization of development in terms of the times at which a scaffolding relationship begins or is terminated; and promoting plant galls to legitimate study objects of developmental biology.

  1. Biological digestion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosevear, A.

    1988-01-01

    This paper discusses the biological degradation of non-radioactive organic material occurring in radioactive wastes. The biochemical steps are often performed using microbes or isolated enzymes in combination with chemical steps and the aim is to oxidise the carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and sulphur to their respective oxides. (U.K.)

  2. Biology Notes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    School Science Review, 1981

    1981-01-01

    Outlines a variety of laboratory procedures, techniques, and materials including construction of a survey frame for field biology, a simple tidal system, isolation and applications of plant protoplasts, tropisms, teaching lung structure, and a key to statistical methods for biologists. (DS)

  3. Introduction to radiation biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gensicke, F.

    1977-01-01

    The textbook is written with special regard to radiation protection of man. It shall enable the reader to assess the potential radiation risks to living organisms and lead him to an insight into radiation protection measures. The following topics are covered: physical fundamentals of ionizing radiations; physical and chemical fundamentals of biological radiation effects; radiation effects on cells, organs, organ systems, and whole animal organisms focussing on mammals and man; modification of radiation effects; chemical radiation protection; therapy of radiation injuries; radionuclide kinetics; biological radiation effects in connection with radiation hazards and with the limitation of radiation exposure. It is intended for vocational education of medical personnel

  4. Water-Quality and Biological Assessment of the Iowa River and Tributaries Within and Contiguous to the Meskwaki Settlement of the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, 2006-07

    Science.gov (United States)

    Littin, Gregory R.; McVay, Jason C.

    2009-01-01

    In cooperation with the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa (Meskwaki Nation), the U.S. Geological Survey conducted a 2-year baseline assessment of the chemical and biological quality of streams within the Meskwaki Settlement in central Iowa. The Meskwaki Nation is a federally recognized tribe that wishes to establish water-quality standards to safeguard the integrity of surface waters and aquatic biota within the settlement for the health and welfare of the tribal community. The settlement is drained by the Iowa River and four tributaries (Onion, Cattail, Raven, and Bennett Creeks). Water-quality samples were collected at three sites on the Iowa River, two sites on Onion Creek, and one site each on Cattail, Raven, and Bennett Creeks from April 2006 through July 2007. Biological and habitat assessments were conducted at all three sites on the Iowa River and the downstream-most site on Onion Creek from June through August 2007. Analysis of physical properties, major ions, nutrients, trace compounds, bacteria, and total suspended solids in water, and trace metals and organic compounds in streambed sediment provided information about the effects of anthropogenic (human related) activities on the water quality of settlement streams. Analysis of biological samples collected during the summer of 2007, including fish community, benthic macroinvertebrates, and periphyton samples, as well as physical habitat characteristics, provided information on the effects of water quality on the condition of the aquatic environment. The majority of surface water sampled within the settlement was predominately a calcium bicarbonate type. Nitrates (nitrate plus nitrite as nitrogen) exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) primary drinking-water Maximum Contaminant Level of 10 ug/L in 19 of 36 samples from sites on the Iowa River and Raven and Bennett Creeks but not in samples from Onion and Cattail Creeks. None of the samples analyzed for pesticides, trace

  5. Economic assessment of the contribution of biological control to the management of invasive alien plants and to the protection of ecosystem services in South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    De Lange, Willem J

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available J-R, Neser S (1999) Past and present intitatives on the biological control of Lantana camara (Verbenaceae) in South Africa. African Entomology Memoir 1: 21-33 Buhlea ER, Margolis M and Ruesink J (2005) Bang for buck: cost-effective control... BW, van der Heyden F, Zimmermann HG, Magadlela D and Willems T (2000) Big returns from small organisms: Developing a strategy for the biological control of invasive alien plants in South Africa. South African Journal of Science 96: 148-152 van Wyk...

  6. Biologic Scaffolds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Alessandra; Naranjo, Juan Diego; Londono, Ricardo; Badylak, Stephen F

    2017-09-01

    Biologic scaffold materials composed of allogeneic or xenogeneic extracellular matrix are commonly used for the repair and functional reconstruction of injured and missing tissues. These naturally occurring bioscaffolds are manufactured by the removal of the cellular content from source tissues while preserving the structural and functional molecular units of the remaining extracellular matrix (ECM). The mechanisms by which these bioscaffolds facilitate constructive remodeling and favorable clinical outcomes include release or creation of effector molecules that recruit endogenous stem/progenitor cells to the site of scaffold placement and modulation of the innate immune response, specifically the activation of an anti-inflammatory macrophage phenotype. The methods by which ECM biologic scaffolds are prepared, the current understanding of in vivo scaffold remodeling, and the associated clinical outcomes are discussed in this article. Copyright © 2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  7. Biological radioprotector

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stefanescu, Ioan; Titescu, Gheorghe; Tamaian, Radu; Haulica, Ion; Bild, Walther

    2002-01-01

    According to the patent description, the biological radioprotector is deuterium depleted water, DDW, produced by vacuum distillation with an isotopic content lower than natural value. It appears as such or in a mixture with natural water and carbon dioxide. It can be used for preventing and reducing the ionizing radiation effects upon humans or animal organisms, exposed therapeutically, professionally or accidentally to radiation. The most significant advantage of using DDW as biological radioprotector results from its way of administration. Indeed no one of the radioprotectors currently used today can be orally administrated, what reduces the patients' compliance to prophylactic administrations. The biological radioprotector is an unnoxious product obtained from natural water, which can be administrated as food additive instead of drinking water. Dose modification factor is according to initial estimates around 1.9, what is a remarkable feature when one takes into account that the product is toxicity-free and side effect-free and can be administrated prophylactically as a food additive. A net radioprotective action of the deuterium depletion was evidenced experimentally in laboratory animals (rats) hydrated with DDW of 30 ppm D/(D+H) concentration as compared with normally hydrated control animals. Knowing the effects of irradiation and mechanisms of the acute radiation disease as well as the effects of administration of radiomimetic chemicals upon cellular lines of fast cell division, it appears that the effects of administrating DDW result from stimulation of the immunity system. In conclusion, the biological radioprotector DDW presents the following advantages: - it is obtained from natural products without toxicity; - it is easy to be administrated as a food additive, replacing the drinking water; - besides radioprotective effects, the product has also immunostimulative and antitumoral effects

  8. Crusts: biological

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Elias, Scott A.

    2013-01-01

    Biological soil crusts, a community of cyanobacteria, lichens, mosses, and fungi, are an essential part of dryland ecosystems. They are critical in the stabilization of soils, protecting them from wind and water erosion. Similarly, these soil surface communities also stabilized soils on early Earth, allowing vascular plants to establish. They contribute nitrogen and carbon to otherwise relatively infertile dryland soils, and have a strong influence on hydrologic cycles. Their presence can also influence vascular plant establishment and nutrition.

  9. Marine biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thurman, H.V.; Webber, H.H.

    1984-01-01

    This book discusses both taxonomic and ecological topics on marine biology. Full coverage of marine organisms of all five kingdoms is provided, along with interesting and thorough discussion of all major marine habitats. Organization into six major parts allows flexibility. It also provides insight into important topics such as disposal of nuclear waste at sea, the idea that life began on the ocean floor, and how whales, krill, and people interact. A full-color photo chapter reviews questions, and exercises. The contents are: an overview marine biology: fundamental concepts/investigating life in the ocean; the physical ocean, the ocean floor, the nature of water, the nature and motion of ocean water; general ecology, conditions for life in the sea, biological productivity and energy transfer; marine organisms; monera, protista, mycota and metaphyta; the smaller marine animals, the large animals marine habitats, the intertidal zone/benthos of the continental shelf, the photic zone, the deep ocean, the ocean under stress, marine pollution, appendix a: the metric system and conversion factors/ appendix b: prefixes and suffixes/ appendix c: taxonomic classification of common marine organisms, and glossary, and index

  10. The effect of sanitary landfill leachate aging on the biological treatment and assessment of photoelectrooxidation as a pre-treatment process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Müller, Gabriel Timm [Universidade Estadual do Rio Grande do Sul (UERGS), R. Gal. João Manoel, 50, CEP 90010-030 Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil); Giacobbo, Alexandre [Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500, Setor 4, Prédio 74, CEP 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil); Santos Chiaramonte, Edson Abel dos [Universidade Estadual do Rio Grande do Sul (UERGS), R. Gal. João Manoel, 50, CEP 90010-030 Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil); Rodrigues, Marco Antônio Siqueira [Universidade FEEVALE, ICET, RS 239, 2755, CEP 93352-000 Novo Hamburgo, RS (Brazil); Meneguzzi, Alvaro [Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500, Setor 4, Prédio 74, CEP 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil); Bernardes, Andréa Moura, E-mail: amb@ufrgs.br [Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500, Setor 4, Prédio 74, CEP 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil)

    2015-02-15

    Highlights: • Photoelectrooxidation (PEO) emerges as a new technology for leachate treatment. • Aging of sanitary landfills acts on leachate composition and biodegradability. • PEO is applied as leachate pretreatment before the biological processes. • PEO produced significant changes in the leachate matrix, easing biological process. - Abstract: The sanitary landfill leachate is a dark liquid, of highly variable composition, with recalcitrant features that hamper conventional biological treatment. The physical–chemical characteristics of the leachate along the landfill aging, as well as their effects on the efficiency of the conventional treatment, were evaluated at this paper. The feasibility of photoelectrooxidation process as an alternative technique for treatment of landfill leachates was also determined. Photoelectrooxidation experiments were conducted in a bench-scale reactor. Analysis of the raw leachate revealed many critical parameters demonstrating that the recalcitrance of leachate tends to increase with time, directly influencing the decline in efficiency of the conventional treatment currently employed. The effects of current density and lamp power were investigated. Using a 400 W power lamp and a current density of 31.5 mA cm{sup −2}, 53% and 61% efficiency for the removal of ammoniacal nitrogen and chemical oxygen demand were respectively achieved by applying photoelectrooxidation process. With the removal of these pollutants, downstream biological treatment should be improved. These results demonstrate that photoelectrooxidation is a feasible technique for the treatment of sanitary landfill leachate, even considering this effluent’s high resistance to treatment.

  11. The effect of sanitary landfill leachate aging on the biological treatment and assessment of photoelectrooxidation as a pre-treatment process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Müller, Gabriel Timm; Giacobbo, Alexandre; Santos Chiaramonte, Edson Abel dos; Rodrigues, Marco Antônio Siqueira; Meneguzzi, Alvaro; Bernardes, Andréa Moura

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Photoelectrooxidation (PEO) emerges as a new technology for leachate treatment. • Aging of sanitary landfills acts on leachate composition and biodegradability. • PEO is applied as leachate pretreatment before the biological processes. • PEO produced significant changes in the leachate matrix, easing biological process. - Abstract: The sanitary landfill leachate is a dark liquid, of highly variable composition, with recalcitrant features that hamper conventional biological treatment. The physical–chemical characteristics of the leachate along the landfill aging, as well as their effects on the efficiency of the conventional treatment, were evaluated at this paper. The feasibility of photoelectrooxidation process as an alternative technique for treatment of landfill leachates was also determined. Photoelectrooxidation experiments were conducted in a bench-scale reactor. Analysis of the raw leachate revealed many critical parameters demonstrating that the recalcitrance of leachate tends to increase with time, directly influencing the decline in efficiency of the conventional treatment currently employed. The effects of current density and lamp power were investigated. Using a 400 W power lamp and a current density of 31.5 mA cm −2 , 53% and 61% efficiency for the removal of ammoniacal nitrogen and chemical oxygen demand were respectively achieved by applying photoelectrooxidation process. With the removal of these pollutants, downstream biological treatment should be improved. These results demonstrate that photoelectrooxidation is a feasible technique for the treatment of sanitary landfill leachate, even considering this effluent’s high resistance to treatment

  12. Biological assessment of recombinant avian metapneumovirus subgroup C (aMPV-C) viruses containing different length of the G gene in cultured cells and SPF turkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genetic variation in length of the glycoprotein (G) gene among different avian metapneumovirus subgroup C (aMPV-C) isolates has been reported. However, its biological significance in virus replication and pathogenicity is unknown. In this study, we generated two Colorado (CO) strain-based recombinan...

  13. Engineering assessment and feasibility study of Chattanooga Shale as a future source of uranium. [Preliminary mining; data on soils, meteorology, water resources, and biological resources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-06-01

    This volume contains five appendixes: Chattanooga Shale preliminary mining study, soils data, meteorologic data, water resources data, and biological resource data. The area around DeKalb County in Tennessee is the most likely site for commercial development for recovery of uranium. (DLC)

  14. Biological assessment of the effects of construction and operation of a depleted uranium hexafluoride conversion facility at the Portsmouth, Ohio,site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Lonkhuyzen, R.

    2005-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride (DUF 6 ) Management Program evaluated alternatives for managing its inventory of DUF 6 and issued the ''Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Alternative Strategies for the Long-Term Management and Use of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride'' (DUF 6 PEIS) in April 1999 (DOE 1999). The DUF 6 inventory is stored in cylinders at three DOE sites: Paducah, Kentucky; Portsmouth, Ohio; and East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP), near Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In the Record of Decision for the DUF 6 PEIS, DOE stated its decision to promptly convert the DUF 6 inventory to a more stable chemical form. Subsequently, the U.S. Congress passed, and the President signed, the ''2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery from and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States'' (Public Law No. 107-206). This law stipulated in part that, within 30 days of enactment, DOE must award a contract for the design, construction, and operation of a DUF 6 conversion plant at the Department's Paducah, Kentucky, and Portsmouth, Ohio, sites, and for the shipment of DUF 6 cylinders stored at ETTP to the Portsmouth site for conversion. This biological assessment (BA) has been prepared by DOE, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the Endangered Species Act of 1974, to evaluate potential impacts to federally listed species from the construction and operation of a conversion facility at the DOE Portsmouth site. The Indiana bat is known to occur in the area of the Portsmouth site and may potentially occur on the site during spring or summer. Evaluations of the Portsmouth site indicated that most of the site was found to have poor summer habitat for the Indiana bat because of the small size, isolation, and insufficient maturity of the few woodlands on the site. Potential summer habitat for the Indiana bat was identified outside the developed area bounded by Perimeter Road, within the corridors

  15. "I Forgot I Wasn't Saving the World": the Use of Formative and Summative Assessment in Instructional Video Games for Undergraduate Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lookadoo, Kathryn L.; Bostwick, Eryn N.; Ralston, Ryan; Elizondo, Francisco Javier; Wilson, Scott; Shaw, Tarren J.; Jensen, Matthew L.

    2017-12-01

    This study examined the role of formative and summative assessment in instructional video games on student learning and engagement. A 2 (formative feedback: present vs absent) × 2 (summative feedback: present vs absent) factorial design with an offset control (recorded lecture) was conducted to explore the impacts of assessment in video games. A total of 172 undergraduates were randomly assigned to one of four instructional video game conditions or the control. Results found that knowledge significantly increased from the pretest for players in all game conditions. Participants in summative assessment conditions learned more than players without summative assessment. In terms of engagement outcomes, formative assessment conditions did not significantly produce better learning engagement outcomes than conditions without formative assessment. However, summative assessment conditions were associated with higher temporal disassociation than non-summative conditions. Implications for future instructional video game development and testing are discussed in the paper.

  16. Synthetic biology and occupational risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, John; Murashov, Vladimir; Schulte, Paul

    2017-03-01

    Synthetic biology is an emerging interdisciplinary field of biotechnology that involves applying the principles of engineering and chemical design to biological systems. Biosafety professionals have done an excellent job in addressing research laboratory safety as synthetic biology and gene editing have emerged from the larger field of biotechnology. Despite these efforts, risks posed by synthetic biology are of increasing concern as research procedures scale up to industrial processes in the larger bioeconomy. A greater number and variety of workers will be exposed to commercial synthetic biology risks in the future, including risks to a variety of workers from the use of lentiviral vectors as gene transfer devices. There is a need to review and enhance current protection measures in the field of synthetic biology, whether in experimental laboratories where new advances are being researched, in health care settings where treatments using viral vectors as gene delivery systems are increasingly being used, or in the industrial bioeconomy. Enhanced worker protection measures should include increased injury and illness surveillance of the synthetic biology workforce; proactive risk assessment and management of synthetic biology products; research on the relative effectiveness of extrinsic and intrinsic biocontainment methods; specific safety guidance for synthetic biology industrial processes; determination of appropriate medical mitigation measures for lentiviral vector exposure incidents; and greater awareness and involvement in synthetic biology safety by the general occupational safety and health community as well as by government occupational safety and health research and regulatory agencies.

  17. Biomarkers to Assess Possible Biological Effects on Reproductive Potential, Immune Function, and Energetic Fitness of Bottlenose Dolphins Exposed to Sounds Consistent with Naval Sonars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-30

    biologically significant responses such as changes in reproductive potential, immune system function, acute phase responses, and energetic fitness. The...the National Marine Fisheries Service-Southwest Fisheries Science Center. Particular thanks go to Dr. R.L. Brownell, Ms. Siri Hakala, Agent Rhyan...profiling of a pre-selected class of metabolites, and non-targeted, semi-quantitative fingerprinting of a large number of metabolites providing a “ systems

  18. Comparative physical, chemical and biological assessment of simple and titanium-doped ovine dentine-derived hydroxyapatite coatings fabricated by pulsed laser deposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duta, L.; Mihailescu, N.; Popescu, A.C.; Luculescu, C.R. [National Institute for Lasers, Plasma and Radiation Physics, 077125 Magurele (Romania); Mihailescu, I.N., E-mail: ion.mihailescu@inflpr.ro [National Institute for Lasers, Plasma and Radiation Physics, 077125 Magurele (Romania); Çetin, G.; Gunduz, O. [Department of Bioengineering, Faculty of Engineering, Marmara University, 34722 Istanbul (Turkey); Oktar, F.N. [Department of Bioengineering, Faculty of Engineering, Marmara University, 34722 Istanbul (Turkey); Department of Medical Imaging Techniques, Vocational School of Health Services, Marmara University, 34668 Istanbul (Turkey); Nanotechnology and Biomaterials Application & Research Centre, Marmara University, 34722 Istanbul (Turkey); Popa, A.C. [National Institute of Materials Physics, 077125 Magurele (Romania); Army Centre for Medical Research, 010195 Bucharest (Romania); Kuncser, A.; Besleaga, C. [National Institute of Materials Physics, 077125 Magurele (Romania); Stan, G.E., E-mail: george_stan@infim.ro [National Institute of Materials Physics, 077125 Magurele (Romania)

    2017-08-15

    Highlights: • Pulsed laser deposition of Ti doped hydroxyapatite films of biological origin. • Downgrade of films’ crystallinity and increase of roughness induced by Ti doping. • Bonding strength values superior to minimum value imposed by ISO standards. • Excellent biocompatibility in hMSC cultures of Ti doped structures. • Ti doped hydroxyapatite films as feasible materials for implantology applications. - Abstract: We report on the synthesis by Pulsed Laser Deposition of simple and Ti doped hydroxyapatite thin films of biological (ovine dentine) origin. Detailed physical, chemical, mechanical and biological investigations were performed. Morphological examination of films showed a surface composed of spheroidal particulates, of micronic size. Compositional analyses pointed to the presence of typical natural doping elements of bone, along with a slight non-stoichiometry of the deposited films. Structural investigations proved the monophasic hydroxyapatite nature of both simple and Ti doped films. Ti doping of biological hydroxyapatite induced an overall downgrade of the films crystallinity together with an increase of the films roughness. It is to be emphasized that bonding strength values measured at film/Ti substrate interface were superior to the minimum value imposed by International Standards regulating the load-bearing implant coatings. In vitro tests on Ti doped structures, compared to simple ones, revealed excellent biocompatibility in human mesenchymal stem cell cultures, a higher proliferation rate and a good cytocompatibility. The obtained results aim to elucidate the overall positive role of Ti doping on the hydroxyapatite films performance, and demonstrate the possibility to use this novel type of coatings as feasible materials for future implantology applications.

  19. Preliminary assessment of geologic materials to minimize biological intrusion of low-level waste trench covers and plans for the future

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hakonson, T.E.; White, G.C.; Gladney, E.S.; Muller, M.

    1981-01-01

    The long-term integrity of low-level waste shallow land burial sites is dependent on the interaction of physical, chemical, and biological factors that modify the waste containment system. Past research on low-level waste shallow land burial methods has emphasized physical (i.e., water infiltration, soil erosion) and chemical (radionuclide leaching) processes that can cause radionuclide transport from a waste site. Preliminary results demonstrate that a sandy backfill material offers little resistance to root and animal intrusion through the cover profile. However, bentonite clay, cobble, and cobble-gravel combinations do reduce plant root and animal intrusion through cover profiles compared with sandy backfill soil. However, bentonite clay barrier systems appear to be degraded by plant roots through time. Desiccation of the clay barrier by invading plant roots may limit the usefulness of bentonite clay as a moisture and/or biological carrier unless due consideration is given to this interaction. Future experiments are described that further examine the effect of plant roots on clay barrier systems and that determine the effectiveness of proposed biological barriers on larger scales and under various stress conditions

  20. Comparative physical, chemical and biological assessment of simple and titanium-doped ovine dentine-derived hydroxyapatite coatings fabricated by pulsed laser deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duta, L.; Mihailescu, N.; Popescu, A. C.; Luculescu, C. R.; Mihailescu, I. N.; Çetin, G.; Gunduz, O.; Oktar, F. N.; Popa, A. C.; Kuncser, A.; Besleaga, C.; Stan, G. E.

    2017-08-01

    We report on the synthesis by Pulsed Laser Deposition of simple and Ti doped hydroxyapatite thin films of biological (ovine dentine) origin. Detailed physical, chemical, mechanical and biological investigations were performed. Morphological examination of films showed a surface composed of spheroidal particulates, of micronic size. Compositional analyses pointed to the presence of typical natural doping elements of bone, along with a slight non-stoichiometry of the deposited films. Structural investigations proved the monophasic hydroxyapatite nature of both simple and Ti doped films. Ti doping of biological hydroxyapatite induced an overall downgrade of the films crystallinity together with an increase of the films roughness. It is to be emphasized that bonding strength values measured at film/Ti substrate interface were superior to the minimum value imposed by International Standards regulating the load-bearing implant coatings. In vitro tests on Ti doped structures, compared to simple ones, revealed excellent biocompatibility in human mesenchymal stem cell cultures, a higher proliferation rate and a good cytocompatibility. The obtained results aim to elucidate the overall positive role of Ti doping on the hydroxyapatite films performance, and demonstrate the possibility to use this novel type of coatings as feasible materials for future implantology applications.

  1. Biological biomaterials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jorge-Herrero, E. [Servicio de Cirugia Experimental. Clinica Puerta de Hierro, Madrid (Spain)

    1997-05-01

    There are a number of situations in which substances of biological origin are employed as biomaterials. Most of them are macromolecules derived from isolated connective tissue or the connective tissue itself in membrane form, in both cases, the tissue can be used in its natural form or be chemically treated. In other cases, certain blood vessels can be chemically pretreated and used as vascular prostheses. Proteins such as albumin, collagen and fibrinogen are employed to coat vascular prostheses. Certain polysaccharides have also been tested for use in controlled drug release systems. Likewise, a number of tissues, such as dura mater, bovine pericardium, procine valves and human valves, are used in the preparation of cardiac prostheses. We also use veins from animals or humans in arterial replacement. In none of these cases are the tissues employed dissimilar to the native tissues as they have been chemically modified, becoming a new bio material with different physical and biochemical properties. In short, we find that natural products are being utilized as biomaterials and must be considered as such; thus, it is necessary to study both their chemicobiological and physicomechanical properties. In the present report, we review the current applications, problems and future prospects of some of these biological biomaterials. (Author) 84 refs.

  2. Development of the Biology Card Sorting Task to Measure Conceptual Expertise in Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Julia I.; Combs, Elijah D.; Nagami, Paul H.; Alto, Valerie M.; Goh, Henry G.; Gourdet, Muryam A. A.; Hough, Christina M.; Nickell, Ashley E.; Peer, Adrian G.; Coley, John D.; Tanner, Kimberly D.

    2013-01-01

    There are widespread aspirations to focus undergraduate biology education on teaching students to think conceptually like biologists; however, there is a dearth of assessment tools designed to measure progress from novice to expert biological conceptual thinking. We present the development of a novel assessment tool, the Biology Card Sorting Task,…

  3. Biological effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trott, K.R.

    1973-01-01

    Following an introduction into the field of cellular radiation effect considering the most important experimental results, the biological significance of the colony formation ability is brought out. The inactivation concept of stem cells does not only prove to be good, according to the present results, in the interpretation of the pathogenesis of acute radiation effects on moult tissue, it also enables chronicle radiation injuries to be interpreted through changes in the fibrous part of the organs. Radiation therapy of tumours can also be explained to a large extent by the radiation effect on the unlimited reproductiveness of tumour cells. The more or less similar dose effect curves for healthy and tumour tissue in practice lead to intermittent irradiation. The dependence of the intermittent doses and intervals on factors such as Elkind recovery, synchronisation, redistribution, reoxygenation, repopulation and regeneration are reviewed. (ORU/LH) [de

  4. Transformation of Contaminant Candidate List (CCL3) compounds during ozonation and advanced oxidation processes in drinking water: Assessment of biological effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mestankova, Hana; Parker, Austa M; Bramaz, Nadine; Canonica, Silvio; Schirmer, Kristin; von Gunten, Urs; Linden, Karl G

    2016-04-15

    The removal of emerging contaminants during water treatment is a current issue and various technologies are being explored. These include UV- and ozone-based advanced oxidation processes (AOPs). In this study, AOPs were explored for their degradation capabilities of 25 chemical contaminants on the US Environmental Protection Agency's Contaminant Candidate List 3 (CCL3) in drinking water. Twenty-three of these were found to be amenable to hydroxyl radical-based treatment, with second-order rate constants for their reactions with hydroxyl radicals (OH) in the range of 3-8 × 10(9) M(-1) s(-1). The development of biological activity of the contaminants, focusing on mutagenicity and estrogenicity, was followed in parallel with their degradation using the Ames and YES bioassays to detect potential changes in biological effects during oxidative treatment. The majority of treatment cases resulted in a loss of biological activity upon oxidation of the parent compounds without generation of any form of estrogenicity or mutagenicity. However, an increase in mutagenic activity was detected by oxidative transformation of the following CCL3 parent compounds: nitrobenzene (OH, UV photolysis), quinoline (OH, ozone), methamidophos (OH), N-nitrosopyrolidine (OH), N-nitrosodi-n-propylamine (OH), aniline (UV photolysis), and N-nitrosodiphenylamine (UV photolysis). Only one case of formation of estrogenic activity was observed, namely, for the oxidation of quinoline by OH. Overall, this study provides fundamental and practical information on AOP-based treatment of specific compounds of concern and represents a framework for evaluating the performance of transformation-based treatment processes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Application of translocation, γ-H2AX, and Sam68 as a biological indicators for the assessment of radiation exposure in nuclear power plant workers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Kwang Hee; Park, Hyung Sun; Nam, Seon Young [Korea Hydro Nuclear Power Co., Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-05-15

    This study showed that confirmation of the initial dose estimated by dicentric analysis is provided by the subsequent FISH analysis for translocation frequency and provides further evidence for the valid use of FISH as a retrospective biological dosimeter. The IAEA manual on cytogenetic dosimetry recommends a halftime value of 3 y to correct for the decrease of dicentrics in case of delayed sampling based on the patient data of Buckton. Support for this comes from the cytogenetic follow up of an individual exposed to tritium, which also indicated a decline in dicentrics with a half-time of ∼3 y. Naturally, the RBE of tritium, as well as other kinds of ionizing radiation, depends on the dose, exposure conditions, and studied parameters. The information about the RBE of tritium that is most important from an applied standpoint is that associated with the range of low doses. In our study, the dose dependence of tritium RBE was not identified because of very low dose Tritium (< 1mSv). However, The strong smooth relationship between translocation yield and age is shown in Table 2. The translocation yields reported here are only slightly lower than already published. The implication is that the increase of yield with age could be due to environmental factors, to a natural aging process or both. In addition, we confirmed that γ-H2AX and Sam68 associated with DNA damage and apoptosis, can be new biological indicators for radiation exposure. Radiation workers are exposed to ionizing radiation from various sources. Ionizing radiation produces several types of DNA lesion, including DNA base alterations, DNA. DNA cross-links, and single- and double-strand breaks. As a protocol for biological dosimetry recommended by IAEA (2001), the analysis of solid stained dicentric chromosomes has been used since the mid 1960s. The intervening years have seen great improvements bringing the technique to a point where dicentric analysis has become a routine component of the radiological

  6. Creating biological nanomaterials using synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, MaryJoe K; Ruder, Warren C

    2014-02-01

    Synthetic biology is a new discipline that combines science and engineering approaches to precisely control biological networks. These signaling networks are especially important in fields such as biomedicine and biochemical engineering. Additionally, biological networks can also be critical to the production of naturally occurring biological nanomaterials, and as a result, synthetic biology holds tremendous potential in creating new materials. This review introduces the field of synthetic biology, discusses how biological systems naturally produce materials, and then presents examples and strategies for incorporating synthetic biology approaches in the development of new materials. In particular, strategies for using synthetic biology to produce both organic and inorganic nanomaterials are discussed. Ultimately, synthetic biology holds the potential to dramatically impact biological materials science with significant potential applications in medical systems.

  7. Creating biological nanomaterials using synthetic biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rice, MaryJoe K; Ruder, Warren C

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a new discipline that combines science and engineering approaches to precisely control biological networks. These signaling networks are especially important in fields such as biomedicine and biochemical engineering. Additionally, biological networks can also be critical to the production of naturally occurring biological nanomaterials, and as a result, synthetic biology holds tremendous potential in creating new materials. This review introduces the field of synthetic biology, discusses how biological systems naturally produce materials, and then presents examples and strategies for incorporating synthetic biology approaches in the development of new materials. In particular, strategies for using synthetic biology to produce both organic and inorganic nanomaterials are discussed. Ultimately, synthetic biology holds the potential to dramatically impact biological materials science with significant potential applications in medical systems. (review)

  8. Biologically inspired intelligent robots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bar-Cohen, Yoseph; Breazeal, Cynthia

    2003-07-01

    Humans throughout history have always sought to mimic the appearance, mobility, functionality, intelligent operation, and thinking process of biological creatures. This field of biologically inspired technology, having the moniker biomimetics, has evolved from making static copies of human and animals in the form of statues to the emergence of robots that operate with realistic behavior. Imagine a person walking towards you where suddenly you notice something weird about him--he is not real but rather he is a robot. Your reaction would probably be "I can't believe it but this robot looks very real" just as you would react to an artificial flower that is a good imitation. You may even proceed and touch the robot to check if your assessment is correct but, as oppose to the flower case, the robot may be programmed to respond physical and verbally. This science fiction scenario could become a reality as the current trend continues in developing biologically inspired technologies. Technology evolution led to such fields as artificial muscles, artificial intelligence, and artificial vision as well as biomimetic capabilities in materials science, mechanics, electronics, computing science, information technology and many others. This paper will review the state of the art and challenges to biologically-inspired technologies and the role that EAP is expected to play as the technology evolves.

  9. Near-Peer Teaching and Exam Results: The Acceptability, Impact, and Assessment Outcomes of a Novel Biological Sciences Revision Programme Taught by Senior Medical Students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jake Mann

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Near-peer teaching is becoming increasingly popular as a learning methodology. We report the development of a novel near-peer biological sciences revision course and its acceptability and impact on student confidence and exam performance. Methods. A cross-sectional analysis of tutee-completed evaluation forms before and after each session was performed, providing demographic details, quality scores, and self-rating of confidence in the topic taught on a 0 to 100 mm visual analogue scale (VAS. The confidence data was examined using analysis of means. Exam performance was examined by analysis of variance and canonical correlation analysis. Results. Thirty-eight sessions were delivered to an average of 69.9 (±27.1 years 1 and 2 medical students per session generating 2656 adequately completed forms. There was a mean VAS gain of 19.1 (5.3 to 27.3 in self-reported confidence. Looking at relationship between attendance and exam scores, only two topics showed significant association between number of sessions attended and exam performance, fewer than hypothesised. Conclusion. The present study demonstrates that near-peer teaching for biological sciences is feasible and is associated with improved self-reported confidence in the sessions taught. The outcome data, showing significant effect for only a small number of items, demonstrates the difficulty of outcome related research.

  10. Biological Sexing of a 4000-Year-Old Egyptian Mummy Head to Assess the Potential of Nuclear DNA Recovery from the Most Damaged and Limited Forensic Specimens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loreille, Odile; Ratnayake, Shashikala; Bazinet, Adam L; Stockwell, Timothy B; Sommer, Daniel D; Rohland, Nadin; Mallick, Swapan; Johnson, Philip L F; Skoglund, Pontus; Onorato, Anthony J; Bergman, Nicholas H; Reich, David; Irwin, Jodi A

    2018-03-01

    High throughput sequencing (HTS) has been used for a number of years in the field of paleogenomics to facilitate the recovery of small DNA fragments from ancient specimens. Recently, these techniques have also been applied in forensics, where they have been used for the recovery of mitochondrial DNA sequences from samples where traditional PCR-based assays fail because of the very short length of endogenous DNA molecules. Here, we describe the biological sexing of a ~4000-year-old Egyptian mummy using shotgun sequencing and two established methods of biological sex determination (R X and R Y ), by way of mitochondrial genome analysis as a means of sequence data authentication. This particular case of historical interest increases the potential utility of HTS techniques for forensic purposes by demonstrating that data from the more discriminatory nuclear genome can be recovered from the most damaged specimens, even in cases where mitochondrial DNA cannot be recovered with current PCR-based forensic technologies. Although additional work remains to be done before nuclear DNA recovered via these methods can be used routinely in operational casework for individual identification purposes, these results indicate substantial promise for the retrieval of probative individually identifying DNA data from the most limited and degraded forensic specimens.

  11. Biological Sexing of a 4000-Year-Old Egyptian Mummy Head to Assess the Potential of Nuclear DNA Recovery from the Most Damaged and Limited Forensic Specimens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Odile Loreille

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available High throughput sequencing (HTS has been used for a number of years in the field of paleogenomics to facilitate the recovery of small DNA fragments from ancient specimens. Recently, these techniques have also been applied in forensics, where they have been used for the recovery of mitochondrial DNA sequences from samples where traditional PCR-based assays fail because of the very short length of endogenous DNA molecules. Here, we describe the biological sexing of a ~4000-year-old Egyptian mummy using shotgun sequencing and two established methods of biological sex determination (RX and RY, by way of mitochondrial genome analysis as a means of sequence data authentication. This particular case of historical interest increases the potential utility of HTS techniques for forensic purposes by demonstrating that data from the more discriminatory nuclear genome can be recovered from the most damaged specimens, even in cases where mitochondrial DNA cannot be recovered with current PCR-based forensic technologies. Although additional work remains to be done before nuclear DNA recovered via these methods can be used routinely in operational casework for individual identification purposes, these results indicate substantial promise for the retrieval of probative individually identifying DNA data from the most limited and degraded forensic specimens.

  12. Assessment of biological half life using in silico QSPkR approach: a self organizing molecular field analysis (SOMFA) on a series of antimicrobial quinolone drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goel, Honey; Sinha, V R; Thareja, Suresh; Aggarwal, Saurabh; Kumar, Manoj

    2011-08-30

    The quinolones belong to a family of synthetic potent broad-spectrum antibiotics and particularly active against gram-negative organisms, especially Pseudomonas aeruginosa. A 3D-QSPkR approach has been used to obtain the quantitative structure pharmacokinetic relationship for a series of quinolone drugs using SOMFA. The series consisting of 28 molecules have been investigated for their pharmacokinetic performance using biological half life (t(1/2)). A statistically validated robust model for a diverse group of quinolone drugs having flexibility in structure and pharmacokinetic profile (t(1/2)) obtained using SOMFA having good cross-validated correlation coefficient r(cv)(2) (0.6847), non cross-validated correlation coefficient r(2) values (0.7310) and high F-test value (33.9663). Analysis of 3D-QSPkR models through electrostatic and shape grids provide useful information about the shape and electrostatic potential contributions on t(1/2). The analysis of SOMFA results provide an insight for the generation of novel molecular architecture of quinolones with optimal half life and improved biological profile. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Groundtruthing Notes and Miscellaneous Biological Datasets from Coral Ecosystems Surveys from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Rapid Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program of 2000-2002 (NODC Accession 0001448)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (NOWRAMP) began in 2000 with the mission to rapidly evaluate and map the shallow water...

  14. Part 1. Assessment of carcinogenicity and biologic responses in rats after lifetime inhalation of new-technology diesel exhaust in the ACES bioassay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, Jacob D; Doyle-Eisele, Melanie; Seagrave, JeanClare; Gigliotti, Andrew P; Chow, Judith; Zielinska, Barbara; Mauderly, Joe L; Seilkop, Steven K; Miller, Rodney A

    2015-01-01

    The Health Effects Institute and its partners conceived and funded a program to characterize the emissions from heavy-duty diesel engines compliant with the 2007 and 2010 on-road emissions standards in the United States and to evaluate indicators of lung toxicity in rats and mice exposed repeatedly to 2007-compliant new-technology diesel exhaust (NTDE*). The a priori hypothesis of this Advanced Collaborative Emissions Study (ACES) was that 2007-compliant on-road diesel emissions "... will not cause an increase in tumor formation or substantial toxic effects in rats and mice at the highest concentration of exhaust that can be used ... although some biological effects may occur." This hypothesis was tested at the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI) by exposing rats by chronic inhalation as a carcinogenicity bioassay. Indicators of pulmonary toxicity in rats were measured after 1, 3, 12, 24, and 28-30 months of exposure. Similar indicators of pulmonary toxicity were measured in mice, as an interspecies comparison of the effects of subchronic exposure, after 1 and 3 months of exposure. A previous HEI report (Mauderly and McDonald 2012) described the operation of the engine and exposure systems and the characteristics of the exposure atmospheres during system commissioning. Another HEI report described the biologic responses in mice and rats after subchronic exposure to NTDE (McDonald et al. 2012). The primary motivation for the present chronic study was to evaluate the effects of NTDE in rats in the context of previous studies that had shown neoplastic lung lesions in rats exposed chronically to traditional technology diesel exhaust (TDE) (i.e., exhaust from diesel engines built before the 2007 U.S. requirements went into effect). The hypothesis was largely based on the marked reduction of diesel particulate matter (DPM) in NTDE compared with emissions from older diesel engine and fuel technologies, although other emissions were also reduced. The DPM

  15. Forty years of carabid beetle research in Europe – from taxonomy, biology, ecology and population studies to bioindication, habitat assessment and conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Johan Kotze

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available ‘Carabidologists do it all’ (Niemelä 1996a is a phrase with which most European carabidologists are familiar. Indeed, during the last half a century, professional and amateur entomologists have contributed enormously to our understanding of the basic biology of carabid beetles. The success of the field is in no small part due to regular European Carabidologists’ Meetings, which started in 1969 in Wijster, the Netherlands, with the 14th meeting again held in the Netherlands in 2009, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first meeting and 50 years of long-term research in the Dwingelderveld. This paper offers a subjective summary of some of the major developments in carabidology since the 1960s. Taxonomy of the family Carabidae is now reasonably established, and the application of modern taxonomic tools has brought up several surprises like elsewhere in the animal kingdom. Progress has been made on the ultimate and proximate factors of seasonality and timing of reproduction, which only exceptionally show non-seasonality. Triggers can be linked to evolutionary events and plausibly explained by the “taxon cycle” theory. Fairly little is still known about certain feeding preferences, including granivory and ants, as well as unique life history strategies, such as ectoparasitism and predation on higher taxa. The study of carabids has been instrumental in developing metapopulation theory (even if it was termed differently. Dispersal is one of the areas intensively studied, and results show an intricate interaction between walking and flying as the major mechanisms. The ecological study of carabids is still hampered by some unresolved questions about sampling and data evaluation. It is recognised that knowledge is uneven, especially concerning larvae and species in tropical areas. By their abundance and wide distribution, carabid beetles can be useful in population studies, bioindication, conservation biology and landscape ecology. Indeed

  16. How to integrate geology, biology, and modern wireless technologies to assess biotic-abiotic interactions on coastal dune systems: a new multidisciplinary approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarti, Giovanni; Bertoni, Duccio; Bini, Monica; Ciccarelli, Daniela; Ribolini, Adriano; Ruocco, Matteo; Pozzebon, Alessandro; Alquini, Fernanda; Giaccari, Riccardo; Tordella, Stefano

    2014-05-01

    Coastal dune systems are arguably one of the most dynamic environments because their evolution is controlled by many factors, both natural and human-related. Hence, they are often exposed to processes leading to erosion, which in turn determine serious naturalistic and economic losses. Most recent studies carried out on different dune fields worldwide emphasized the notion that a better definition of this environment needs an approach that systematically involves several disciplines, striving to merge every data collected from any individual analyses. Therefore, a new multidisciplinary method to study coastal dune systems has been conceived in order to integrate geology, biology, and modern wireless technologies. The aim of the work is threefold: i) to check the reliability of this new approach; ii) to provide a dataset as complete as ever about the factors affecting the evolution of coastal dunes; and iii) to evaluate the influence of any biotic and abiotic factors on plant communities. The experimentation site is located along the Pisa coast within the Migliarino - S. Rossore - Massaciuccoli Regional Park, a protected area where human influence is low (Tuscany, Italy). A rectangle of 100 x 200 m containing 50 grids of 20 x 20 m was established along the coastal dune systems from the coastline to the pinewood at the landward end of the backdune area. Sampling from each grid determined grain-size analysis carried out on surface sediment samples such as geologic aspects; topographic surveys performed by means of DGPS-RTK instruments; geophysical surveys conducted with a GPR equipment, which will be matched with core drilling activities; digital image analysis of high definition pictures taken by means of a remote controlled aircraft drone flying over the study area; biological data obtained by percent cover of each vascular plant species recorded in the sampling unit. Along with geologic and biologic methodologies, this research implemented the use of informatics

  17. Combined use of GIS and environmental indicators for assessment of chemical, physical and biological soil degradation in a Spanish Mediterranean region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Paz, José-Miguel; Sánchez, Juan; Visconti, Fernando

    2006-04-01

    Soil is one of the main non-renewable natural resources in the world. In the Valencian Community (Mediterranean coast of Spain), it is especially important because agriculture and forest biomass exploitation are two of the main economic activities in the region. More than 44% of the total area is under agriculture and 52% is forested. The frequently arid or semi-arid climate with rainfall concentrated in few events, usually in the autumn and spring, scarcity of vegetation cover, and eroded and shallow soils in several areas lead to soil degradation processes. These processes, mainly water erosion and salinization, can be intense in many locations within the Valencian Community. Evaluation of soil degradation on a regional scale is important because degradation is incompatible with sustainable development. Policy makers involved in land use planning require tools to evaluate soil degradation so they can go on to develop measures aimed at protecting and conserving soils. In this study, a methodology to evaluate physical, chemical and biological soil degradation in a GIS-based approach was developed for the Valencian Community on a 1/200,000 scale. The information used in this study was obtained from two different sources: (i) a soil survey with more than 850 soil profiles sampled within the Valencian Community, and (ii) the environmental information implemented in the Geo-scientific map of the Valencian Community digitised on an Arc/Info GIS. Maps of physical, chemical and biological soil degradation in the Valencian Community on a 1/200,000 scale were obtained using the methodology devised. These maps can be used to make a cost-effective evaluation of soil degradation on a regional scale. Around 29% of the area corresponding to the Valencian Community is affected by high to very high physical soil degradation, 36% by high to very high biological degradation, and 6% by high to very high chemical degradation. It is, therefore, necessary to draw up legislation and to

  18. Forty years of carabid beetle research in Europe - from taxonomy, biology, ecology and population studies to bioindication, habitat assessment and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotze, D Johan; Brandmayr, Pietro; Casale, Achille; Dauffy-Richard, Emmanuelle; Dekoninck, Wouter; Koivula, Matti J; Lövei, Gábor L; Mossakowski, Dietrich; Noordijk, Jinze; Paarmann, Wilfried; Pizzolotto, Roberto; Saska, Pavel; Schwerk, Axel; Serrano, José; Szyszko, Jan; Taboada, Angela; Turin, Hans; Venn, Stephen; Vermeulen, Rikjan; Zetto, Tullia

    2011-01-01

    'Carabidologists do it all' (Niemelä 1996a) is a phrase with which most European carabidologists are familiar. Indeed, during the last half a century, professional and amateur entomologists have contributed enormously to our understanding of the basic biology of carabid beetles. The success of the field is in no small part due to regular European Carabidologists' Meetings, which started in 1969 in Wijster, the Netherlands, with the 14th meeting again held in the Netherlands in 2009, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first meeting and 50 years of long-term research in the Dwingelderveld. This paper offers a subjective summary of some of the major developments in carabidology since the 1960s. Taxonomy of the family Carabidae is now reasonably established, and the application of modern taxonomic tools has brought up several surprises like elsewhere in the animal kingdom. Progress has been made on the ultimate and proximate factors of seasonality and timing of reproduction, which only exceptionally show non-seasonality. Triggers can be linked to evolutionary events and plausibly explained by the "taxon cycle" theory. Fairly little is still known about certain feeding preferences, including granivory and ants, as well as unique life history strategies, such as ectoparasitism and predation on higher taxa. The study of carabids has been instrumental in developing metapopulation theory (even if it was termed differently). Dispersal is one of the areas intensively studied, and results show an intricate interaction between walking and flying as the major mechanisms. The ecological study of carabids is still hampered by some unresolved questions about sampling and data evaluation. It is recognised that knowledge is uneven, especially concerning larvae and species in tropical areas. By their abundance and wide distribution, carabid beetles can be useful in population studies, bioindication, conservation biology and landscape ecology. Indeed, 40 years of carabidological

  19. Forty years of carabid beetle research in Europe – from taxonomy, biology, ecology and population studies to bioindication, habitat assessment and conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotze, D. Johan; Brandmayr, Pietro; Casale, Achille; Dauffy-Richard, Emmanuelle; Dekoninck, Wouter; Koivula, Matti J.; Lövei, Gábor L.; Mossakowski, Dietrich; Noordijk, Jinze; Paarmann, Wilfried; Pizzolotto, Roberto; Saska, Pavel; Schwerk, Axel; Serrano, José; Szyszko, Jan; Taboada, Angela; Turin, Hans; Venn, Stephen; Vermeulen, Rikjan; Zetto, Tullia

    2011-01-01

    Abstract ‘Carabidologists do it all’ (Niemelä 1996a) is a phrase with which most European carabidologists are familiar. Indeed, during the last half a century, professional and amateur entomologists have contributed enormously to our understanding of the basic biology of carabid beetles. The success of the field is in no small part due to regular European Carabidologists’ Meetings, which started in 1969 in Wijster, the Netherlands, with the 14th meeting again held in the Netherlands in 2009, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first meeting and 50 years of long-term research in the Dwingelderveld. This paper offers a subjective summary of some of the major developments in carabidology since the 1960s. Taxonomy of the family Carabidae is now reasonably established, and the application of modern taxonomic tools has brought up several surprises like elsewhere in the animal kingdom. Progress has been made on the ultimate and proximate factors of seasonality and timing of reproduction, which only exceptionally show non-seasonality. Triggers can be linked to evolutionary events and plausibly explained by the “taxon cycle” theory. Fairly little is still known about certain feeding preferences, including granivory and ants, as well as unique life history strategies, such as ectoparasitism and predation on higher taxa. The study of carabids has been instrumental in developing metapopulation theory (even if it was termed differently). Dispersal is one of the areas intensively studied, and results show an intricate interaction between walking and flying as the major mechanisms. The ecological study of carabids is still hampered by some unresolved questions about sampling and data evaluation. It is recognised that knowledge is uneven, especially concerning larvae and species in tropical areas. By their abundance and wide distribution, carabid beetles can be useful in population studies, bioindication, conservation biology and landscape ecology. Indeed, 40 years

  20. Fundamentals of quality assessment of molecular amplification methods in clinical diagnostics. International Federation of Clinical Chemistry Scientific Division Committee on Molecular Biology Techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumaier, M; Braun, A; Wagener, C

    1998-01-01

    The increasing interest in molecular biology diagnostics is a result of the tremendous gain of scientific knowledge in genetics, made possible especially since the introduction of amplification techniques. High expectations have been placed on genetic testing, and the number of laboratories now using the relevant technology is rapidly increasing--resulting in an obvious need for standardization and definition of laboratory organization. This communication is an effort towards that end. We address aspects that should be considered when structuring a new molecular diagnostic laboratory, and we discuss individual preanalytical and analytical procedures, from sampling to evaluation of assay results. In addition, different means of controlling contamination are discussed. Because the methodology is in constant change, no general standards can be defined. Accordingly, this publication is intended to serve as a recommendation for good laboratory practice and internal quality control and as a guide to troubleshooting, primarily in amplification techniques.